The delivery of two Airbus A400M military transport aircraft to the Turkish Air Force this year is expected to be delayed following a halt in testing.

The testing was halted due to an aircraft crash near Seville, Spain, in May, killing four crew members.

A Turkish official from the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM), part of Turkey’s defence ministry, was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Talks are continuing on the delivery date for the replacement.

"Turkey is broadly on-track, probably some months later than they would like to be, but essentially they are on-track."

Airbus was scheduled to deliver ten of the Airbus heavy cargo and troop carriers by 2018 as part of a contract signed by Turkish Defense Ministry along with group of seven European Nato nations in 2003.

The European manufacturer had delivered the first two aircraft to Ankara in 2014 and was due to hand over two more last year, but only one was delivered.

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"Compared to its predecessor, the aircraft can carry twice the load over intercontinental distances at speeds comparable to jet aircraft."

Talks are currently underway of a replacement for the crashed aircraft.

The A400M is designated as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. It can be configured to perform long-range cargo and troop transport, medical evacuation, aerial refuelling, and electronic surveillance missions.

Compared to its predecessor, the aircraft can carry twice the load over intercontinental distances at speeds comparable to jet aircraft. It can also land on short or unprepared airstrips close to the scene of military or humanitarian action.

In addition to Turkey, the A400M has been ordered by the air forces of Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Spain, Malaysia, and the UK.

Image: A400M military transport aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Benurs / Wikipedia.