Airbus Military's A400M demonstrates cargo carrying capabilities
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Airbus Military’s A400M demonstrates cargo carrying capabilities

20 Jun 2012

Airbus Military has successfully demonstrated the cargo carrying capabilities of the A400M military transport aircraft during a series of field tests at Holzdorf air base in Germany and in Toulouse, France.

A400M aircraft

Airbus Military has successfully demonstrated the cargo carrying capabilities of the A400M military transport aircraft during a series of field tests at Holzdorf air base in Germany and in Toulouse, France.

During the tests, which were conducted last month, Eurocopter EC725 and NH Industries-built NH90 helicopters were loaded onto, and unloaded from the Grizzly 4 development aircraft.

The Airbus Military trials mark the first time the aircraft’s cargo-carrying capabilities have been tested using other aircraft.

The loading trials will be followed by further exercises, which focus on demonstrating the aircraft’s ability to carry a wider range of military equipment.

Powered by four Europrop International TP400 turboprop engines, the Airbus A400M is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designated as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities.

The aircraft is capable of landing on makeshift runways and can also be configured to perform long-range cargo and troop transport, medical evacuation, aerial refuelling and electronic surveillance operations.

With a lifting capacity of up to 30t, the airlifter can either carry an NH90 or CH-47 Chinook helicopter, or two heavy armoured vehicles for military purposes, as well as a heavy logistic truck. The airlifter is also capable of carrying rescue boats and large lifting devices.

Around 174 aircraft have been ordered by seven Nato nations including; Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

The French Air Force (ALA) is scheduled to take delivery of the first aircraft by the end of 2012.


Image: An EC725 helicopter being loaded onto the A400M military transport aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Airbus Military.