Airbus Military A400M to visit Asia for first time in April

The Airbus Military A400M new generation airlifter for the 21st Century, is to visit Asia between April 14 and 20. Malaysia, an A400M customer, is the first and longest stop of its three-nation Asia tour, with the aircraft staying there from 14 – 17 April. The tour continues with visits to Jakarta, Indonesia, and Chiang Mai and Bangkok, Thailand, before returning to Europe.

The visit, the first time that the A400M will be seen in Asia, will give the Malaysian Government and Air Force a chance to see the A400M at first hand. The Malaysian Government has ordered four of the new aircraft which has as its launch customer nations Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

The aircraft that will be flown for the Asia Pacific tour is Grizzly 4, one of the five development aircraft.
For the Malaysian leg of the tour, the A400M will be welcomed by the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force on 15 April at the Subang Airbase. The aircraft will then remain there on static display, for visits by the Minister of Defence, Royal Malaysian Air Force personnel and invited guests who will be participating at Defence Services Asia 2012. Demonstration flights will take place over the following days with selected Air Forces and VIP guests.

Grizzly 4 will then fly to Jakarta, Indonesia, on 18th April where it will be based for a day at the Halim airbase. Government and Air Force guests will be able to visit the aircraft and participate in a demonstration flight to get a firsthand experience of the outstanding capabilities of the A400M. Airbus Military’s long standing partner in Indonesia, PT Dirgantara Indonesia, is supporting and facilitating the Grizzly’s visit to Indonesia.

On 19th April, the aircraft will leave for Thailand with a visit to the Chiang Mai airbase first, participating in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Thai Air Force, followed by a flight with the Royal Thai Air Force on board to Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok. Various Government and Air Force guests will visit the aircraft during this static display. The aircraft will then return to Europe on the 20th of April.

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, while being also able to be used as a tanker plane. 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 the job of three of today’s different aircraft models in a single one. This means smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. Able to do more with less, the A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.

Source: Airbus, an EADS N.V. company (Paris: EAD.PA)
Date: Apr 10, 2012