With the first examples of its A400M airlifter now in service with France, Airbus Military is beginning to market the new generation airlifter out beyond the partner nations.
Although many air arms in the region have shored up their transport capabilities in recent years, Airbus Military believes the A400M is highly suited to the requirements of air forces around the Gulf region and beyond, which is why the company will displaying the new generation airlifter in the flying display here at the Dubai Airshow.
The debut flying display will shored up on in the static with an appearance from a C295 twin-engined medium transport, in the colors of the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) and an Airbus A330-200 multi-role tanker transport, from the United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defense. It is the first time that all three products will have appeared at Dubai at the same time.
Head of Airbus Military, Domingo Ureña-Raso, believes the airshow is a critical opportunity to prove the capabilities of the combined family of Airbus Military products, he spoke to Aviation Week ShowNews about the importance of the event and the region for the company.
ShowNews: How important has the Middle East market been for Airbus Military in recent years?
Domingo: The UAE itself and Saudi Arabia were critical in establishing the A330 MRTT in the market. They each ordered three and then Saudi Arabia ordered another three. Two of our largest sales of the C295 were the eight aircraft for Oman – transport and maritime patrol - and now a total of 12 for Egypt, plus six in Algeria.
It would appear that transport requirements for many of the Middle Eastern countries have now been fulfilled with orders for C-17 and C-130J, what can Airbus Military bring to the table in the region now?
I think it’s more complex than that. Although they all compete, no other aircraft can do what the A400M can do. The C-130 has half the payload/range capability and a smaller cargo hold, and the C-17 does not have true tactical characteristics compatible with short and soft strips. Plus the A400M is a very flexible tanker which is an important point in this region.
What are the key selling points for Middle Eastern nations for the A400M?