The European Defence Agency (EDA), the European Air Transport Command (EATC), and the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation-Executive Administration (OCCAR-EA) have enhanced their cooperation in the in-service support phase of the A400M military transport aircraft.

The three organisations have signed a letter of intent (LoI) for providing common in-service support for the A400M capability within the remit of EATC.

Under the terms of the deal, the three organisations have agreed to cooperate in areas of common operation manuals for air and ground operations, in addition to common training requirements and syllabi.

The project partners will also work in collaboration on airworthiness and certification aspects, air-to-air refuelling, and topics arising through the Single European Sky (SES).

The in-service support phase of the aircraft is expected to improve synergies, avoid the duplication of efforts, reduce the administrative burden and facilitate common action wherever possible.

It is also expected that the cooperation between EDA, EATC, and OCCAR-EA will offer significant value-addition, particularly by improving interoperability between the respective member states.

“Working together means that each organisation will bring in its particular strengths and expertise.”

EDA chief executive Jorge Domecq said: “Based on the already excellent cooperation with EATC, for example on air-to-air refuelling and with OCCAR-EA on the development of a European remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) capability, I am confident that today’s agreement will be of benefit to all our member states.

“Working together means that each organisation will bring in its particular strengths and expertise. This is European defence in practice.”

Common in-service support of the A400M will also help further lay emphasis on the capabilities’ multinational configuration.

Developed by Airbus, the A400M is an advanced and certified airlifter capable of carrying strategic loads and supplying them to tactical locations with small and unprepared airstrips.

It can also serve as a frontline-tanker for other aircraft.