A400M to get military certification, as delivery wait continues

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Airbus Military's A400M transport is poised to lift military certification approval from the programme's seven European launch nations, as the company's first production example awaits delayed service introduction with the French air force.

France's DGA defence procurement agency on 20 July announced via Twitter that the A400M launch partners had agreed to approve the military certification milestone. Airbus Military earlier this year secured full civil certification for the type, which is powered by four Europrop International TP400-D6 turboprop engines.

Airbus Military and the DGA continue to discuss the terms for delivering French air force aircraft MSN7; the first of 170 A400Ms under contract for Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK. The service is due to field its first three of 50 A400Ms this year, with the second already having been flown in Seville, Spain. Paris had previously been scheduled to accept its first example in late May or early June 2013.

 

Craig Hoyle/Flightglobal

Meanwhile, development aircraft "Grizzly 5" is to soon start an additional series of aerial delivery testing in Spain, having completed its participation at the 20-21 July Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, the UK. This included making two flypasts of the show on the closing day leading the RAF's Red Arrows aerobatic display team.

The same production-standard aircraft also recently performed a series of loading and unloading trials and flights from the Ministry of Defence/Qinetiq flight test centre at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire. Vehicles carried during the activity included a Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle and a Land Rover and trailer.

 

Airbus Military