A400M – A TACTICAL AND STRATEGIC AIRLIFTER
The A400M meets the demands of efficient, all-terrain, transport of modern military operations: in all weather, day and night, for troops, as a tanker or for equipment up to the size of helicopters.
Today's armed forces require flexible and cost effective means of deploying rapidly their manpower and resources. This need was reflected in a joint European Staff Requirement that was endorsed in 1997 by eight European nations, all of them members of NATO. Following an assessment of a number of proposals to meet this requirement, the nations announced on 27 July 2000 that their choice was in favour of the Airbus A400M proposal.
A400M is a new design tailored to meet the Customers’ needs, and is at the forefront of developments in new technology for a large transport aircraft. The aircraft also offers the possibility ofgreater interoperability, as well as multi-national training and support packages with the potential to offer major through-life savings. The programme breaks new ground in European collaborative procurement with the adoption of a more commercial approach towards its acquisition and support.
The programme was officially launched and integrated into OCCAR in May 2003. The current intention of the Participating States is to procure a total of 170 aircraft made up as follows: Germany 53, France 50, Spain 27, Türkiye 10, UK 22, Belgium 7, Luxembourg 1 (Luxembourg is represented by Belgium within the OCCAR A400M Programme).
As at June 2023, a total of 115 AC have been delivered to OCCAR Participating States, plus a further 4 to Malaysia (the first A400M export Nations).
In 2021, two export sales were confirmed by AMSL; with 2 AC being sold to Kazakhstan and two AC to Indonesia (with an option for a further 4 AC). A number of additional export campaigns are being pursued.
The A400M can transport the heavy and outsize loads which cannot fit in current tactical airlifters such as heavy armoured vehicles, helicopters or specialized civil engineering equipment and fly them at high cruise speed over long distances in the same way as a jet-engine strategic airlifter.
The A400M can deliver those heavy and outsize loads directly where they are most urgently needed, onto short and soft unpaved airstrips inaccessible to any jet-engine airlifter, thanks to its turboprop engines, which provide better protection against debris (FOD), and its 12 wheel main landing gear for better weight distribution.
The A400M has a built-in tanker capability by design and can be very rapidly fitted with two pods to refuel simultaneously two fighters and/or with a Hose and Drum Unit (HDU) to refuel large aircraft such as another A400M or a C295.
A400M Participating States