Airbus Defence & Space has performed the first flight of an A400M tactical transport for the Spanish air force, with the service on course to accept the aircraft later this year.

Conducted from the company’s Seville final assembly site in Spain on 5 September, MSN44’s debut sortie lasted 3h 45min.

Spanish A400M take-off - Airbus Defence & Space

Airbus Defence & Space

Airbus – which had previously expected the Spanish aircraft to take to the air in mid-July – says the nation’s first Atlas “is scheduled to be delivered in the coming weeks”.

Spanish A400M - Airbus Defence & Space

Airbus Defence & Space

Madrid’s commitment to the A400M totals 27 aircraft. It has agreed to receive its first 14 examples before making a decision on the remainder of its order after 2024.

Spain will follow France, Germany, Malaysia, Turkey and the UK in introducing the European airlifter to operational use. Flight Fleets Analyzer records these as having a current combined 28 A400Ms in service.

Belgium and Luxembourg will also field the type, with Airbus looking to add further international customers.