20 February 2013 airforce-technology.com
Airbus Military has received a contract from Europe's Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'ARmement (OCCAR) to supply initial in-service support (ISS) for the French Air Force's (ALAT) A400M military transport aircraft fleet.
Covering provision of an 18-month A400M support services package, the contract represents a significant milestone in preparations for the delivery of first aircraft to the air force.
Services to be provided as part of this contract include industrial on-base maintenance support and spares management, as well as extended query answering service, to facilitate smooth flight operations at the aircraft's initial operating base in Orleans, France.
The latest contract offers a tailored service to address the air force's requirements, building on foundations laid by the A400M Launch Contract, which was signed between the company and OCCAR on behalf of France, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and the UK, in 2011.
The contract covers delivery of integrated logistic support (ILS) services, including technical documentation and aerospace ground equipment to the seven customer nations.
Airbus Military has also proposed a joint French / UK ISS proposal for a further support arrangement in November 2012.
The offer is currently being discussed with the concerned authorities, who are expected to reach an agreement during the second half of 2013.
Powered by four TP400-D6 turboprop engines, the Airbus A400M, also dubbed Atlas, is designated as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities, and can also be configured to conduct long-range cargo and troop transport, medical evacuation, aerial refuelling and electronic surveillance missions.
The French Air Force has ordered a total of 50 aircraft, and is set to take delivery of an initial three A400Ms, starting from the second quarter of 2013.