The UK, France and Spain have signed a long-term global support service contract with Airbus Defence and Space for their new fleet of A400M Atlas aircraft.
The contract was awarded by the UK’s Defence Equipment & Support Agency (DE&S), the French Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) and Spain’s Direccion General de Armamento y Material (DGAM) through the OCCAR international programme management organisation.
It follows previously signed contracts, under which France and UK received support in their early years of operation of the A400M.
Phase I of the agreement allows other OCCAR nations to join later.
Airbus Defence and Space military aircraft services head Stephan Miegel said: “The contracts that were put in place to see the A400M into initial service have worked well, but this next stage will provide a sophisticated and highly integrated support service that will further free operators to focus on their mission, knowing that they can rely on robust support for the years ahead.
“We would encourage other A400M operators to take advantage of these arrangements which we are convinced have the potential to let them operate the aircraft to its maximum capability.”
The latest deal covers a spares pool, technical and engineering support, maintenance and flight operations services.
By sharing these resources and assets in a common central services operation, customer nations will benefit from cost savings, increased efficiency of service, and greater flexibility to meet their specific operational requirements, Airbus said.
The A400M airlifter has been designed to carry numerous pieces of outsize cargo including, vehicles and helicopters that are too large or too heavy for previous generation tactical airlifters.
Image: The A400M airlifter showing its counter-rotating propellers on each wing. Photo: courtesy of Curimedia.