The C-27J Spartan twin turboprop, selected by the U.S. Army in 2007 to provide intra-theater airlift support in austere environments such as Afghanistan and shifted to Air Force jurisdiction two years later, now faces early retirement to the aircraft “boneyard” at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona.
Airbus Military has begun final assembly of the first production A400M, slated for the French Air Force. The company says that delivery of this aircraft (MSN7) is on schedule for the first quarter of 2013, thanks to good progress in the flight-test program.
Airbus Military has delivered the first of four CN235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft to Mexico, and the first of two C295 medium airlifters to Ghana.
While the A400M program enters a new phase of turbulence, with Germany looking to slash its purchase to 40 from 53 and France looking to renegotiate a maintenance deal, the flight-test campaign is forging ahead with the aim of getting the European airlifter delivered by the end of 2012.
Although it gained EASA certification in May, the Europrop International (EPI) TP400-D6 engine that powers the Airbus Military A400M airlifter subsequently encounter
Airbus Military and Alenia announced new orders for their rival medium-size tactical transports. Airbus Military has sold two C295s to the Ghana Air Force, which will use them for troop transport, paratrooping, medical evacuation and humanitarian operations. The company said the C295 was chosen because of its ease of maintenance and proven operational capabilities in any environment, including deserts.
The commander of the Indian Air Force (IAF) said that the IAF would likely acquire at least six more Boeing C-17s and another six Lockheed Martin C-130J airlifters. The first two of six C-130Js already ordered by the IAF have been delivered, and the order for an initial 10 C-17s has been finalized, according to ACM P. V. Naik, who was interviewed for the latest edition of India Strategic magazine.
According to the latest speculation, the A400M will soon gain an official name: Atlas. Not a bad choice for a heavy airlifter, although references to Greek mythology invariably suffer from conflicting and sometimes mischievous interpretations.
EADS Cassidian has selected Goodrich’s Terprom terrain-referenced navigation (TRN) system for the Airbus Military A400M airlifter.
Flight testing of the A400M airlifter is on track, and Airbus Military expects civil type certification (TC) by the end of the year, according to the new head of the program, Cedric Gautier. The four development aircraft have now logged more than 1,600 flight hours and will be joined by a fifth next October, which will be in production configuration.