Airbus now aims to complete full certification for helicopter air-to-air refuelling with its A400M by late 2021.
Belgium receives first A400M
The Belgian Air Component will shortly become the eighth operator of the A400M airlifter after it took delivery of its first of seven aircraft, manufacturer Airbus announced on 22 December.
A second A400M for Belgium will follow in early 2021.
The first aircraft was handed over to the customer at the A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain. It subsequently performed its ferry flight (pictured) to Belgium, where the aircraft will be based with the BELUX 15th Air Transport Wing in Melsbroek.
This is a joint unit comprising the Belgian Air Component (seven A400Ms) and the Luxembourg Army Air Force (one).
Other A400M operators include France, Germany, Malaysia, Spain, Turkey and the UK.
Alberto Gutierrez, head of military aircraft at Airbus Defence and Space, said: ‘Despite challenges due to Covid-19, our teams have achieved all 10 aircraft deliveries scheduled this year, bringing the global [A400M] fleet in operation to 98 aircraft.’
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