17 March 2014 airforce-technology.com
The Nato Support Agency (NSPA) and the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) have signed a service level agreement (SLA) for the A400M Atlas next-generation military transport aircraft.
Signed after several years of preparatory and negotiation work with OCCAR and the participating states, the SLA also represents an additional key milestone in the agency's expanded cooperation with OCCAR.
Specifically, the A400M and NH-90/TIGER Programme (LN) will provide electronic materiel support services, namely acquisition of A400M spares in electronic and automated manner over the next four years.
The services are expected to be the same as those currently provided to OCCAR for the Tiger and the NH-90 helicopters.
Designated as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities, the A400M can also be configured to perform long-range cargo and troop transport, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), and aerial refuelling and electronic surveillance missions.
Capable of carrying more than 100 fully equipped troops or a 30t payload, the aircraft features a six-wheel, high-flotation main landing gear, and short soft-field landing and takeoff capability, enabling troop and equipment transportation to Mali or Afghanistan.
Currently operational with the French Air Force, the four-EuroProp TP400-D6 turboprop engines powered aircraft has also been ordered by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Spain, Turkey and the UK.
The airlifter has recently completed the first phase of airdrop trials flying over the Fonsorbes drop zone near Toulouse, in south-western France, marking the completion of one of the most significant elements of its continuing military flight-test programme.