The Turkish Air Force has taken delivery of the first A400M new generation transport aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space at the company’s A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain.
Accomplished after a delay of several months, the delivery makes Turkey the second country in the world to receive the aircraft after France.
The aircraft, which represents the third production A400M, had completed its maiden flight in August 2013, and is scheduled to be flown to Kayseri air base in central Turkey, where it will initially be used for training.
Around ten A400M aircraft were ordered by the Turkish Air Force in May 2003 to help address its cargo transport requirements, and replace its existing C-160 Transall twin turboprop transporters fleet.
Designated as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities, the A400M can also be configured to perform a wide range of operations, including 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, which is claimed to enable troop and equipment transportation to Mali or Afghanistan.
In addition to Turkey and France, the four-EuroProp TP400-D6 turboprop engines-powered aircraft has also been ordered by the air forces of Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Malaysia and the UK.
Image: The Turkish Air Force’s first A400M airlifter during its maiden flight test. Photo: © C2013 Airbus Defence and Space.