This approval marks another major programme milestone as the process moves ahead for achieving A400M Military Initial Operating Clearance – paving the way for the no. 1 delivery to the French Air Force, planned during the second quarter of 2013.
“This is an aircraft that is going to transform the military airlift world in the years ahead, and we look forward with great excitement to the first delivery,” said Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña Raso.
During the certification programme, the new-generation airlifter has undergone exhaustive testing of its handling qualities throughout the flight envelope in normal and failure conditions, demonstrated outstanding performance in a variety of climates and completed more than 300 hours of function and reliability testing to demonstrate the robustness of its TP400 engines and systems.
Additionally, the airlifter has conducted tests of more advanced military functions such as air-to-air refuelling, air-dropping of supplies and paratroopers, as well as low-level flights.
“Certifying the A400M to civil as well as military standards has been a huge challenge for us, our suppliers and EASA itself,” explained Cedric Gautier, Airbus Military’s Head of the A400M programme. “By providing a firm framework for certification from day one to globally accepted standards, both we and the operators will see important benefits as the aircraft mature in service and new customers join the programme.”
Airbus Military's A400M airlifter is a cost-effective, high-speed turboprop aircraft specifically designed to meet the needs of European NATO nations, as well as the requirements of international air forces.