The A400M ordered by the Luxembourg military completed its maiden flight at the final assembly line of Seville, Spain, on April 13, 2020. The aircraft is scheduled for delivery later in the year.
The new generation Airbus A400M transporter will be operated by the Belgian and Luxembourgian armed forces within a binational unit, currently the 15 Air Transport Wing, based in Melsbroek, Belgium, next to Brussels Airport (BRU). Belgium will be in charge of logistical support and joint training of crews, including six Luxembourgian pilots and six technicians.
It will be the first aircraft operated by the armed forces of the Grand Duchy since 1953. “This new strategic transport capacity can be used to support military operations, crisis management and humanitarian aid missions,” a government’s press release reads. Seven Belgian A400M transporters will eventually join the unit alongside the Luxembourgish plane. The first one is expected for September 2020.
Ordered in 2003, the aircraft MSN104 is to be delivered in the second quarter of 2020. Earlier reports indicated it may participate in the Luxembourgish National Day celebrations on June 23, 2020. The transporter is expected to be fully operational by the beginning of 2021.
The A400M Atlas continues its certification campaign. In October 2019, the airlifter completed the certification flight test for the simultaneous dispatch of 80 equipped paratroopers from both side doors on a single pass. It will eventually deploy up to 116 paratroopers simultaneously, something that will be tested in 2020.