Spanish Air Force's first A400M conducts maiden flight


The Spanish Air Force's first A400M four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft has successfully completed its maiden flight.

Designated the MSN44, the airlifter took off from Seville in Spain on 5 September and landed back after a three hour and 45 minute flight.

The Airbus Defence and Space-built aircraft was captained by the company's test pilot Nacho Lombo.

Lombo said: "As always, the aircraft was a pleasure to fly.

"I am confident that its unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities will have a transformational effect on the Spanish Air Force’s air mobility operations as it has done in other countries already."

The aircraft is expected to be delivered shortly, Airbus said in a statement.

Indra's InShield was recently selected to provide infrared countermeasure protection against surface-to-air missile attacks to A400M.

"Indra's InShield was recently selected to provide infrared countermeasure protection against surface-to-air missile attacks to A400M."

With an ability to detect and divert multiple missiles simultaneously, InShield will protect aircraft from attacks by short-range heat-seeking missiles, such as manpads.

Airbus had launched A400M in 2003 to cater to the needs of seven European nations regrouped within OCCAR, including Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey and the UK, with Malaysia joining in 2005.

The airlifter is already in service with the French and Turkish Air Forces in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, African’ Sahel Region, Mali and in the Middle East to support the air operations over Iraq and Syria.


Image: The A400M in flight. Photo: © Airbus DS GmbH.