The contract amendment was signed today in Seville by Patrick Bellouard, Director of OCCAR – Executive Agency, and Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña, in the presence of Spanish Minister of Defence Carme Chacón. National armament directors and other representatives from customer nations also attended the ceremony.
The Contract Amendment now implements the changes which were agreed in principle by the Participating Nations with EADS and Airbus Military in the Frame Agreement signed on 5th March 2010.
“This is a major milestone, and EADS is particularly proud to have the support of all governments involved in this cooperation programme that represents a strategic capacity for Europe and its defence, and for the new generation of military transport worldwide. The A400M is a fantastic new aircraft already flying with outstanding and unrivalled capabilities", said EADS CEO Louis Gallois.
“From an industrial point of view, the programme is on track. This enabled us to agree, with full confidence on the industrial go-ahead of the programme over a month ago,“ said Domingo Ureña, Airbus Military CEO. “We are also very satisfied with the progress of the Flight Test programme which confirms day by day the soundness of the aircraft. Also, all the pilots of the Air Forces who have already tried and flown the aircraft, expressed great satisfaction about its agility and capabilities. We are sure that, once it gets better known, many more Air Forces around the world will be keen to have it in their fleets”.
With four aircraft flying, the A400M has achieved over 1,400 test flight hours and close to 450 flights. The fifth aircraft is complete and has started the final control phase prior to a first flight in early Fall. Civil Certification is to be achieved before year end, and first delivery to first operator – the French Air Force – by the turn of the year 2012 / early 2013. Today Airbus Military holds 174 firm orders from eight nations, the seven launch nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey and the UK) for 170,plus four for Malaysia.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 45.8 billion and employed a workforce of nearly 122,000.
About the A400M
The A400M is an all-new military airlifter designed to meet the needs of the world's Armed Forces in the 21st Century. Thanks to its most advanced technologies, it is able to fly higher,faster and further, while retaining high manoeuvrability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities. It combines both tactical and strategic/logistic missions. With its cargo hold specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed today for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, it can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is most needed. Conceived to be highly reliable, dependable, and with a great survivability, the multipurpose A400M can do more with less, implying smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. The A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.
Source: Leiden/Seville, 7 April 2011 – EADS & Airbus
Photo: High Speed / High Level - Meeting the need for rapid response while increasing fleet productivity. [airbusmilitary]