By MG Mahmud
GETAFE/KUALA LUMPUR: The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has knotched a new key milestone after the certification of its Automatic Low Level Flight capability, offering a unique in its class capability for a military transport aircraft.
The certification campaign, performed in April above the Pyrenees and central France, involved operations down to 500ft, including transitions from low level flight to other operations like aerial delivery. (The top image shows a RAF A400M performing low level flight. Photo credit: Scott Norbury/Airbus)
This first certification phase concerns operations with Visual Meteorological Conditions, meaning with crew visibility. There will be a second phase including Instrumental Meteorological Conditions, without visibility, to be certified in Q2 2021.
Inherent to the fighter aircraft world, and as a unique capability for a military transport aircraft, the Automatic Low Level Flights improves the A400M’s terrain masking and survivability, making the aircraft less detectable in hostile areas and less susceptible to threats when cruising towards key military operations like aerial delivery, air-to-air refuelling, logistic or other specific special operations.
Presently, the Airbus A400M have been deployed to deliver medical supplies in COVID-19 relief operations worldwide including in European nations such as Spain right to Southeast Asia where Malaysia operates four of the airlifters.