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Airbus A400M


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#1 Dawes

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 0915 AM

This is one aircraft that doesn't seem to generate a lot of recent press. How is the current reliability doing? And has it been well received by it's operators?

 

Apparently, Germany tried to sell the last 13 aircraft of it's order but couldn't find any takers. So some sort of joint airlift unit was being considered?


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#2 BansheeOne

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Posted 23 June 2019 - 1019 AM

In this case, no press is good press after all the earlier headlines about technical problems - some serious, some jazzed up. By now the aircraft seems to have overcome its teething problems and hit its stride in everyday operations, with more than 80 delivered to six nations over the last six years. Availability was still somewhat low last year at about 50 percent; not sure about current numbers.

 

Some deficiencies remain. I think the buffeting problems for dropping paratroops from the side doors and refueling helicopters in flight haven't been overcome yet, though aircraft have airdropped troops and cargo from the tailgate and refueled fighter jets. AFAIK only Step 1 of the DASS self-defense suite (lacking DIRCM) has been implemented, but the armor package is in service and the MEDEVAC kit is operational. The marginal small airfield capability isn't going to change of course, which is why France and Germany are standing up a joint C-130J squadron for supplemental SF support.

 

The multinational squadron with the 13 German surplus aircraft is supposed to operate from Lechfeld, Bavaria from 2025. The Czech Republic and Hungary are being talked of as partners, but nothing definite so far. I wouldn't be surprised if the planes end up being bought by the Luftwaffe alone, the necessary funds provided.


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#3 Tim the Tank Nut

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Posted 24 June 2019 - 1040 AM

I got a private tour of one and the crew really seemed to like the aircraft.  They said they stayed really busy with it.

It had just come from Africa when I saw it


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