On 11 December 2009, the A400M made its first flight.
Since then, the aircraft has chalked up over 45,000 flight hours supporting military forces from France, Germany, Malaysia, the UK, Spain and Turkey.
The A400M is proving its multi-mission capabilities, from search and rescue, transport and maritime patrols to disaster relief fights.
For example, it contributed to the humanitarian response following the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia in 2018 and in the wake of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique in 2019.
The aircraft’s versatility is clear to see. But only those who fly with it can really feel what a difference its speed, reach, cargo and ability to land in confined spaces make to mission success.
It can carry 37 tonnes of hardware and goods, excavators for recovery efforts, or 116 fully-equipped paratroopers.
Its superb agility means it can take off and land from unprepared and very short strips.
Its frontline tanking capability makes it the ultimate support partner. Its armoured cockpit gives it low vulnerability. And its defensive aids and damage-tolerant flight controls give it high survivability.
The A400M: the proven mission partner.
The first A400M production aircraft was delivered to the French Air Force in August 2013, and it was in service a year later.
On 6 November 2018, the A400M clocked its milestone 10,000th flight test hour.
The A400M 37-tonne, 116-paratrooper payload is more than any other Western-built military turboprop transport, setting new standards in paratrooping operations.
And with production currently underway for the 100th aircraft, the A400M is set to continue making a difference.
“It’s very strange for me to look at this massive aircraft and to see it operate on sand, on grass, on laterite runway… When you see an aircraft functioning like that with 115 tonnes…wow!”
Eric Isorge, Head of Flight Test & Operations for Airbus Military Aircraft
“Flight testing has taken this aeroplane to places and to do things that it would probably never ever have to do or have to experience in its operational life.”
Fernando Alonso, former Head of Military Aircraft and test pilot
Like this story?
For 50 days, we are celebrating the pioneering spirit that drives our progress. Explore more stories here.