Spanish Air Force takes delivery of first A400M from Airbus
The Spanish Air Force has received the first A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space.
The delivery follows successful maiden flight of the airlifter in Spain on 5 September.
Spain will receive 27 A400Ms in total and will become the sixth nation to have the aircraft in service.
The first 14 aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2022, and the remaining 13 are scheduled for delivery from 2025 onwards, Airbus said in a statement.
Airbus Defence and Space military aircraft head Fernando Alonso said: “Every delivery to every customer is of huge importance to us, but being able to hand over the first aircraft to Spain from our final assembly line in Seville is a source of particular pride.
“I would like to thank all our employees, as well as OCCAR and our Spanish customer for achieving this milestone.”
Called MSN44, the aircraft will replace the ageing C-130 aircraft type currently in-service with Spain and can be used as a tactical air-to-air tanker for other transport aircraft, including other A400Ms.
The A400M's four engines and advanced aerodynamic design will allow it to travel at jet-like speeds and at altitudes over intercontinental ranges.
It is designed to operate repeatedly from short and unprepared airstrips close to the scene of military action or humanitarian crisis, according to the company.
The Spanish A400M fleet will be based at Zaragoza in North East Spain and will represent the heavy-lift element of a transport force that includes the medium C295 and CN235, and light C212 aircraft.
Image: The A400M in flight. Photo: © Airbus DS GmbH.