The Airbus A400M new-generation airlifter ordered by the Luxembourg Armed Forces has made its maiden flight, marking a key milestone towards its delivery.
The aircraft, known as MSN104, took off from Seville (Spain), where the final assembly line is located, Monday at 16:08 local time (CET) and landed back on site 5 hours later.
The Luxembourg aircraft will be operated by the armed forces of Belgium and Luxembourg within a binational unit based in Belgium.
MSN104 is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of 2020.
The A400M “Atlas” is the most advanced, proven and certified airlifter available, combining 21st century state-of-the-art technologies to fulfill the current and upcoming armed forces’ needs.
The A400M combines the capability to carry strategic loads with the ability to deliver even into tactical locations with small and unprepared airstrips and can act as a frontline-tanker.
The A400M was launched in May 2003 to respond to the combined needs of seven European Nations regrouped within OCCAR (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey and the UK), with Malaysia joining in 2005.
The A400M assembly takes place in Spain; the wings (largely designed with composite materials) are manufactured in the UK, while the fuselage is built in Germany.
The A400M made its first flight on 11 December 2009. The first production aircraft was delivered to the French Air Force in August 2013 and entered into service a year after.
The A400M already has seen operational use with the French and Turkish Air Forces in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, African Sahel Region, Mali and in the Middle East to support the air operations over Iraq and Syria.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2019, it generated revenues of € 70 billion and employed a workforce of around 135,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners.
Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies.
In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.