[Avionics Magazine 12-13-2016] The German Air Force has received its first Airbus A400M transport aircraft qualified for tactical operations and able to fly in areas subject to military threats. According to Airbus Defense and Space, this is the first A400M the German Air Force has received with these capabilities, and the sixth to enter service for Germany.
German A400M. Photo: Airbus Group.
Key aspects of the aircraft’s latest capabilities are improvements in its self-defense systems, ability to airdrop cargo loads, and paratrooping. Additionally it can operate on unprepared runways, fly as low as 150ft above the ground, refuel other aircraft as a tanker, and safely take off and land in extremely high temperatures. The newly upgraded A400M variant also features a new Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS) incorporating a missile warning system, radar warning receiver, and an expendables dispensing system to eject flares and radar-confusing chaff.
In this latest configuration, the A400M is certified to operate in temperatures up to 55 degrees Celsius at sea level, ensuring high-level performance at operationally challenging airfields around the world. Additionally, it is approved to takeoff and fly on three of its four engines in the event of a mechanical problem or battle damage.