Airbus has delivered its A400M military transport aircraft to the Luxembourg Armed Forces. The aircraft was accepted at the A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain, before undertaking a ferry flight to Luxembourg. The A400M will shortly continue on to the 15th Wing Air Transport, a joint Belgium/Luxembourg airlift unit based in Melsbroek, Belgium.
With the delivery of this aircraft, known as MSN104, Luxembourg becomes the seventh A400M operator. MSN104 will be operated by the binational unit together with the seven A400M ordered by Belgium, which is due to receive its first aircraft in the coming weeks.
The A400M has recently been equipped with additional capabilities such as simultaneous paratrooper dispatch for a maximum of 116 paratroopers using the side doors, automatic low level flight in visual meteorological conditions, and aerial delivery and combat off-load that allows a single 16-tonne load to be dropped automatically via parachute extraction. In addition, 25 tonnes can be gravity-dropped, and manual combat offload of up to 19 tonnes on pallets (one pass) or 25 tonnes (two passes) on an unpaved runway is possible. The A400M has also recently achieved the first successful wet contact air-to-air refuelling operation with a H225M helicopter.
Alberto Gutierrez, Head of Military Aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, commented: “I welcome Luxembourg to the growing A400M user community. With 94 aircraft in service, the A400M is increasingly becoming the air mobility backbone of our customers, both in civil and military environments, as seen in recent COVID-19 crisis missions around the globe.”