A400M aircraft

Airbus Military has successfully completed the first engine runs of the Turkish Air Force’s (TuAF) first A400M transport aircraft, marking a significant step forward in its delivery to the customer.

Carried out at the company’s final assembly line (FAL) in Seville, Spain, the trial involved simultaneous running of the aircraft’s four EuroProp TP400-D6 turboprop engines.

The aircraft is scheduled to be transferred to the company’s delivery centre in September 2013.

Meanwhile, the aircraft, designated as MSN9, has also performed an initial taxi trial, using only its outboard engines at the same facility, FlightGlobal reports.

The aircraft represents the third production A400M to have been manufactured by Airbus Military, following two French Air Force’s examples, according to the news agency.

"The aircraft represents the third production A400M to have been manufactured by Airbus Military, following two French Air Force’s examples."

Around ten A400M aircraft were ordered by the TuAF to help address its cargo transport requirements in May 2003.

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Airbus Military had also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) in June 2012 to establish a joint company, named Airbus Military Turkey (AMTR), to offer in-service support (ISS) services for the Turkish A400M fleet.

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

Capable of carrying more than 100 fully equipped troops or a 30t payload, the aircraft features a six-wheel, high-flotation main landing gear, and short soft-field landing and takeoff capability, enabling troop and equipment transportation to Mali or Afghanistan.

Besides Turkey and France, the aircraft has also been ordered by the air forces of Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Malaysia and the UK.

Deliveries of all Turkish A400Ms are scheduled to be completed in 2018, according to the Turkish defence procurement agency (SSM).

Image: Turkish Air Force’s first A400M aircraft performing first engine runs. Photo: courtesy of Airbus Military.

Defence Technology