Spanish Air Force Takes Delivery of Airbus’ 100th A400M

A400MGrizzlyBearLanding

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(26 May 2021)
Airbus has delivered the tenth A400M to the Spanish Air Force
in Zaragoza.

The delivery of aircraft MSN111 also marks 100 A400M
deliveries that Airbus has made since the aircraft’s maiden flight
in 2009.

The A400M
global fleet has also just achieved the 100,000 flight-hours landmark
performing missions worldwide for all eight customer nations.

Recently the A400M
successfully conducted a major helicopter air-to-air refuelling
certification flight test campaign in coordination with the DGA
(French Directorate General of Armaments), completing the majority
of its certification objectives, including the first simultaneous
refueling of two helicopters.


A400M Grizzly Bear Landing in Bangkok, Thailand. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

The A400M is already able to
drop up to 116 paratroopers, via simultaneous dispatch from the
side doors with automatic parachute opening, or from the ramp with
automatic parachute opening or in freefall, day and night.

Recent
tests were completed in Spain, in collaboration with the UK Royal
Air Force parachute test team, to expand up to 25,000 feet (7,600 metres) for automatic parachute opening – and up to 38,000ft
(11,582 metres) for free fall.

The A400M also completed
additional tests to expand its air drop capability, including
multiple platforms with parachute extraction (23 tonnes). France
and Spain participated in those flights.

Another way to deliver
cargo on austere airstrips without handling equipment was also
certified: Combat offload of up to 19 tonnes of pallets (one pass)
or 25 tonnes (two passes) on paved or unpaved airstrips.

The A400M also achieved a new decisive milestone after the
certification flights of its Automatic Low Level Flight capability
for Instrumental Meteorological Conditions (IMC). Using navigation
systems and terrain databases, without the need of a
terrain-following radar, this is a first for a military transport
aircraft. It makes the aircraft less detectable in hostile areas
and less susceptible to threats while conducting operations in
hostile environments.

Operations

In terms of
collaborative missions, the Spanish Air Force supported the French
Arme de lAir in the transport of a Caracal helicopter from Cazaux (France) to Tucson (USA), using a Spanish A400M.

The flight
was used by CLAEX (Spanish Logistics Center for Armament and
Experimentation) and CECTA (Air Transport Cargo Evaluation Cell)
to validate the loading process on Spanish A400Ms.

Key
military missions last year included the delivery of almost 40
tonnes of food, water, fuel and ammunition by a single French
A400M to troops based in the Sahel region of Africa, the first
A400M to airdrop supplies in a country outside of Europe.

In addition, Germany became the first A400M customer to use the
A400M as a tanker in real missions providing support in the
Counter Daesh operation in Jordan.

2020 and 2021 also saw the use of
the A400M in civil emergency response roles during the ongoing COVID19
pandemic crisis, not least for civil medical evacuation (medevac)
duties – with Airbus providing critical support for air force
operators as well as for transporting key medical relief
supplies.

The versatility of the aircraft also allowed a rapid
conversion to medevac configuration, where installed critical care
modules provided airborne intensive care units.

HD Video Tour of an Airbus A400M

HD video tour of Grizzly 4, an Airbus A400M which was in Bangkok, Thailand, on 19 April 2012. The Airbus Military A400M
was in Thailand for the very first time, and took part in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Royal Thai Air Force – “The Centennial of the RTAF Founding Fathers’ Aviation”. The visit
was the final leg of the A400M’s first Asia Pacific Tour during
which it had already visited Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Chiang Mai before returning to Europe
after the stop in Bangkok. See more:

Pictures of the Airbus A400M (2 pages)
.

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