Airbus readies A400M for entry into service

Airbus Military reported on June 20 that its A400M Atlas military airlifter is being readied for service entry, as the first three production versions of this multi-role airlifter are progressing towards planned deliveries this year to the French Air Force and the Turkish Air Force.

The initial A400M for delivery – designated MSN7 – was handed over to Airbus Military’s Delivery Centre in late April, with customer acceptance underway for the French Air Force.

MSN8, which is scheduled to follow with its handover to the French Air Force in August, made its first flight in May and is planned to begin Delivery Centre processing in early July.

Airbus Military’s third production aircraft – MSN9 – will be the first for the Turkish Air Force and is targeted for delivery in September. This A400M is set to make its maiden flight by the end of June after completing acceptance testing.

The A400M was designed specifically to meet the needs of European NATO nations, as well as the requirements of international air forces. Powered by four modern turboprop engines that drive state-of-the-art eight-bladed propellers, the A400M is capable of cruising speeds of up to Mach 0.72 and reaching altitudes of up to 37,000 ft/11,278m.