A400M programme hits delivery landmark

European defence and aviation prime Airbus has completed 100 deliveries of its A400M turboprop transport, with the Spanish Air Force on May 24 receiving its tenth aircraft.

The same week the type also reached 100,000 flight-hours across the fleets of the eight customer nations. At present Germany (36), the UK (20), France (18), Spain (10), Turkey (9), Malaysia (4), Belgium (2) and Luxembourg (1) operate the A400M.

100th A400M delivered
Additional capabilities are being integrated into the A400M platform, including air-to-air refuelling. Airbus 

In a May 25 release Airbus also stated the A400M had recently conducted a key helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification flight test campaign in coordination with the French Directorate General of Armaments, completing the majority of its certification objectives, including the first simultaneous refuelling of two helicopters.

The A400M is able to air drop up to 116 paratroopers, via simultaneous dispatch from the side doors with automatic parachute opening, or from the ramp with automatic parachute opening or in freefall, day and night.

Recent tests were completed in Spain, in collaboration with the UK Royal Air Force parachute test team, to expand up to 25,000ft (7,600m) for automatic parachute opening - and up to 38,000ft (11,582m) for free fall.

The A400M also completed additional tests to expand its air drop capability, including multiple platforms with parachute extraction (23 tonnes), with France and Spain participated in these flights.

This article has been updated to include the exact distribution of A400M aircraft.