Airbus A400M Atlas
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
31 July 2013
11 December 2009
EUR€157 million (USD$180 million)
Also Known As: FLA
and United Kingdom
Airbus Military* and Premium AEROTEC (*) lead contractor
Parent System: Airbus A400M Atlas
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 31 July 2013
Maiden Flight: 11 December 2009
Total Production: 181
Total Cost: EUR€30 billion (USD$34 billion)
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Description: The A400M is a tactical turboprop-powered, transport aircraft designed for the replacement of current C-130 Hercules and C-160 Transall cargo aircraft in service in the European Air Forces. The new transport aircraft will offer increased payload, cruise speed and range over current cargo aircraft. In addition, the A400M will become the standard tactical cargo aircraft of most European Air Forces. The A400M aircraft will meet the requirements of European Air Forces well into the 21st century while enhancing Europe's airlift capability. It will be able to takeoff from short (less than 1,000 meters) and rough runways and to operate autonomously loading and unloading payloads through its own resources independently of ground support. The aircraft has a rear loading ramp and T tail.
Airbus Military manages the A400M program. There are plans to developed advanced derivatives to fulfill specific missions profiles such as maritime patrol aircraft, early warning aircraft etc. The A400M will be converted to the air tanker role rapidly through the addition of under wing hose and drogue pods. The aircraft also features a forward fuselage mounted refueling probe. Germany, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium and Luxemburg have ordered the A400M cargo aircraft. These seven NATO nations will purchase 180 A400M aircraft with deliveries beginning in 2009. The 180 aircraft, and future export orders, will be assembled at Airbus Military facilities in Seville, Spain.
In October 2004, Thales was awarded the flight management system development contract for the A400M military transport aircraft. The new system, featuring an innovative software architecture, was named the FMS400 and will perform as the core of the avionics suite. Airbus Military and the government of South Africa signed a Declaration of Intent (DOI) at a ceremony in Pretoria on December 15, 2004 that will lead South Africa to become a partner in the A400M tactical military transport aircraft. South Africa stake on the A400M program has been numbered at 750 million Euros. Furthermore, South Africa could become the first export customer for the A400M aircraft.
In June 2005, EADS Defence Electronics was awarded a contract for the supply of Digital Map Generator System (DMGS) to equip the Airbus A400M tactical transport aircraft. The DMGS will be installed on all firm order A400Ms, more than 180, and those sold to international customers as standard equipment for the integral navigation and tactical information system. Previously, EADS Defence Electronics was selected to provide the Mission Management Computer (MMC) and Defensive Aid Computer (DAC).
On 15 July 2005, Airbus Military and the Chilean Air Force signed a Declaration of Intent (DOI) for the purchase of three A400M tactical transport aircraft in the 2018-2022 timeframe. This way, Chile may become the first export customer for the A400M aircraft. A final agreement was anticipated to be signed by December 2005. During Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in December 2005 (LIMA '05) EADS and the government of Malaysia signed a contract for the purchase of four Airbus A400M tactical transport aircraft. The contract included an offset agreement that would report 200 million Euro in high-tech work packages on A400M airframe components to be delivered worldwide.
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