A400M “Atlas” in Turkish Air Forces’ Inventory

The acceptance studies of Turkey’s first A400M Transport Aircraft were accomplished on 4 April 2014 at Airbus Group’s facilities in Sevilla and the aircraft landed for the f

Date: Issue 53 - May 2014

Turkey joined the A400M New Generation Transport Aircraft program launched as a multi-national program with the participation of countries such as Germany, Belgium, France, UK, Spain and Luxembourg in 1988. The Program Board Decision regulating the affairs between the participant countries and project management was signed and entered into force on 22 May 2003 by the representatives of the participant countries. The A400M Agreement was signed between OCCAR on behalf of the participant countries and main contractor AMSL (Airbus Military Consortium) on 27 May 2003 in Bonn. Turkey announced a purchase of 10 A400M transport aircrafts for the Air Forces Command, according to the agreement text on which the participant countries reached a settlement. Malaysia joined the program in 2005 and the total number of aircraft orders reached to 174. A400M’s Roll-Out was accomplished in the summer of 2008 and the maiden flight took place in September 2009 due a year from the intended date. Several issues emerged during those years. In 2009-2010, 6 countries came together and revised the contract, determined a new schedule and went to several changes in the technical specifications. These studies revitalized the project and the first A400M aircraft was delivered to French Air Forces at the end of September 2013. The second aircraft was intended to be delivered to Turkey in November 2013 within the scope of the program but as a result of the conflict between two parties on technical specifications and financial issues, the delivery took place in April 2014 to the Turkish Air Forces after a five-month-delay. The second aircraft is planned to be delivered in 2014 following the delivery of the first aircraft according the project schedule. The second new generation transport aircraft to be delivered to Turkey is reportedly being manufactured at the Military Aircrafts Final Assembly Center of Airbus Group in Sevilla, Spain. In parallel with the aircraft deliveries, personnel and technician trainings have been accomplished as well. 4 teams composed of 8 pilots completed their pilot trainings up to date. Moreover, in order to provide maintenance services at 12th Military Airbase Command in Kayseri, 60 maintenance technicians and 8 loading personnel went through various trainings.

All 10 aircrafts ordered by Turkey within the scope of the program are foreseen to be completed and taken into Air Forces Command’s inventory by the end of 2018. First two aircrafts with logistic task capabilities were delivered to France in the last quarter of 2013.