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 modelling 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 paratrooper side doors with automatic parachute opening, a state-of-the-art capability that greatly increments its operational possibilities.
The airlifter recently achieved another decisive milestone – the certification of its Automatic Low Level Flight capability.
Airbus A400M Atlas
Airbus A400M Atlas is a multi-national, four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed by Airbus Military (now Airbus Defence and Space) as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.
The A400M is positioned, in terms of size and payload capacity, between the C-130 tactical airlifter and the C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter. Along with the transport role, the A400M can perform aerial refuelling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment.
The A400M operates in many configurations including cargo transport, troop transport, and medical evacuation. The aircraft is intended for use on short, soft landing strips and for long-range, cargo transport flights. The aircraft is powered by four Europrop TP400-D6 engines rated at 8,250 kW (11,000 hp) each.
The A400M’s maiden flight took place on 11 December 2009 from Seville, Spain and the first aircraft was delivered to the French Air Force in August 2013.