July 22, 2013
Credit: Airbus Military
PARIS — The seven member countries of the A400M program on July 19 recommended military certification of the A400M military transport aircraft, the latest step toward final certification and delivery of the plane to the French air force.
The recommendation allows French defense procurement agency DGA in the coming days to begin producing a military type certificate for the A400M, which is built by Airbus Military of Seville.
The expert committee includes a representative from each member nation and is presided over by a DGA armaments engineer. The body’s main function is to verify that military security requirements and performance presented by Airbus Military are being met.
The committee’s recommendation was informed by 15 working groups in domains concerning the certification, one of the necessary steps ahead of delivery of the first A400M to the French air force. It is part of a process that includes civil certification of the aircraft, which was approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in March. Both civil and military certification are confirmed by the program’s procurement authority, the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation, with the accord of all participating countries.
Delivery of the first A400M to France has been repeatedly delayed, and Airbus Military is still working on the development of some of the aircraft’s critical capabilities, such as air-to-air refueling and tactical flying, which will evolve progressively in a series of five standard operational capability releases, the first of which will be delivered later this year. Five of the development aircraft are being devoted to the development of these standards.