The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has successfully achieved certification of the simultaneous paratrooper dispatch capability and completed the full industrial development of the type’s paratrooping deployment capacity, with a maximum dispatch of 116 paratroopers using both side doors (58 + 58).
The certification fight test, completed in May 2020 in coordination with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) and supported by the French and Belgian Armed Forces, combined an extensive paratrooping campaign of more than 1,000 jumps along with the implementation of new capability development methodologies based on recording and 3D modeling of paratrooper jump trajectories.
“This certification completes a challenging journey to achieve this next generation capability. The achievement reinforces the strategic value the A400M already offers to air force operators and society, as demonstrated during Covid-19 times,” said Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space.
With the completion of this key milestone, the A400M excels in its paratrooping role, being able to carry 116 paratroopers who can jump two at a time from the ramp in freefall, or through the paratroop side doors with automatic parachute opening, a state-of-the-art capability that greatly increments its operational possibilities.
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 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.