The Airbus Military A400M, the new generation airlifter for the 21st Century, is today flying over Thailand for the very first time as it takes part in the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Royal Thai Air Force – “The Centennial of the RTAF Founding Fathers’ Aviation”.
The visit is part of the first Asia Pacific Tour the A400M is making, visiting Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, then Chiang Mai and finally Bangkok, before returning to Europe.
The aircraft for the tour is “Grizzly 4”, one of the five development aircraft. Malaysia is the first Asian customer, having ordered four of the new aircraft, which has as its launch customer nations Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK.
Grizzly 4 arrives in Thailand today, starting with a visit to the Chiang Mai airbase, where it participates in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the Royal Thai Air Force. It will then make a flight with the Royal Thai Air Force on board to Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, where various Government and Air Force guests are visiting the aircraft during a static display of the aircraft.
“We have a long standing relationship with Thailand where several of our smaller aircraft are already operating successfully for years,” said Ignacio Alonso, Airbus Military Senior Vice President for Commercial, Strategy and Industrial Relations, Asia. “Last year one of our C295s undertook a humanitarian mission to the province of Nakhorn Sawan to support the relief efforts for the floods that affected the area. And today we are proud to bring the A400M to Thailand and participate in the 100th anniversary of the Royal Thai Air Force showing the multi-role capabilities of this new generation airlifter. We hope to see the A400M flying with the Royal Thai Air Force in the future”, he added.
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 19, 2012