The trials were executed by the LXX Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton. It was performed at Mihail Kogălniceanu Airbase on the Black Sea coast.
The latest evaluation activity involved the participation of the Romanian Army’s High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, operated by its 8th Tactical Operational Missile Brigade.
The demonstrations involved loading the weapon systems onto the RAF’s future A400M military aircraft, which then performed flying operations and unloaded the weapon systems.
Besides, the transport aircraft fired a simulated missile strike before the final reloading and return to the base.
The main objective of the trials was to assess whether the RAF’s new military transport aircraft fleet is capable of loading and transporting the US’ weapon systems that are presently in service with various Nato allied and partner nations.
Personnel from the US Special Operations Command Europe were also present during the A400M aircraft tests. The team participated as advisors for the activity.
Trials Management Office Air Portability Section Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit flight sergeant Ellery said: “The greatest challenge is the initial assessment of any unfamiliar vehicle.
“Gathering all the data required to clear it, what are its dimensions? Tyre pressures? Weight? Dangerous goods contained within?
“Then we can ascertain whether the vehicle physically fits, isn’t going to strike any part of the aircraft as it’s loaded, isn’t going to overload floor capacity or aircraft compartment and can be restrained sufficiently for flight.
“In this case the US vehicle crew train to load and restrain the vehicle in conjunction with the aircraft loadmaster.”