In the coming days, the aircraft, known as MSN22, will perform its first ground tests and flights before delivery. RMAF pilots, maintenance engineers and technicians are already undergoing instruction at the Airbus Defence and Space International Training Centre.
The A400M is the most versatile airlifter currently available responding to the most varied needs of world Air Forces and other organisations in the 21st century. It can perform three very different types of duties: it is able to perform both tactical missions directly to the point of need and long range strategic/logistic ones. And it can also serve as an air-to-air refueling “tanker”.
Powered by four unique counter-rotating Europrop International (EPI) TP400 turboprop powerplants, the A400M offers a wide flight envelope in terms of both speed and altitude. It is the ideal airlifter to fulfill the most varied requirements of any nation around the globe in terms of military, humanitarian and any other “civic” mission for the benefit of society.
The A400M was launched in 2003 to respond to the combined needs of seven European Nations regrouped within OCCAR (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey and the UK), with Malaysia joining in 2005. This is one of the major reasons for its extreme versatility.
The A400M’s maiden flight took place on 11th December 2009.