GETAFE: 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 said June 2.
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 paratroop side doors with automatic parachute opening, a state-of-the-art capability that greatly increments its operational possibilities.
The paradrop picture above shows the successful dispatch of paratroopers during the flight test campaign over Ger Azet drop zone in southern France in September 2019. A total of 90 A400M Atlas strategic transporters are in operations worldwide in several European air forces and in service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force, the only non-NATO operator. Other Airbus military aircraft in service in the Asia-Pacific include the A330 MRTT ( Royal Australian Air Force, Republic of Korea Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force), CN-235 ( ROKAF, RMAF, Indonesian Air Force, Royal Thai Air Force, Royal Brunei Air Force), C-295 (Indonesian Air Force, Vietnamese Air Force, the Philippine Air Force and Bangladesh Army Aviation Group).