Airbus Military remains on track to deliver the first production example of its A400M Atlas transport to the French air force during the second quarter of next year, according to a financial update released by parent company EADS on 7 November.

"A400M initial operating capability is targeted in Q1 2013 on a configuration to be agreed with [European defence procurement agency] OCCAR, allowing the first delivery to France in Q2 2013," EADS says.

In addition to handing over aircraft MSN7 by the middle of next year, the European airframer still plans to deliver a further three A400Ms during 2013, EADS says. These will comprise a further two examples for France and the first Atlas for the Turkish air force.

Meanwhile, a critical programme of function and reliability testing involving development aircraft "Grizzly 5" is expected to recommence soon, following an interruption caused by a design issue with the Europrop International TP400-D6 turboprop engine earlier this year. Retrofit activities to address the issue "are at an advanced stage", according to Airbus Military.



EADS listed sales worth almost €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) during the first nine months of this year - down from over €1.7 billion during the same period in 2011. The decrease was the result of lower revenues linked to the A400M and its A330-based multi-role tanker transport programme, it adds.

Airbus Military had received new orders for 30 aircraft by the end of September this year, and delivered 11, according to EADS.

Source: Flight International