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The A400M in the snow, before the first delivery to the French army

The Grizzly 5 in Iqaluit – Canada (credit: Airbus military)

(BRUSSELS2) Before the first “customer” delivery, the A400M (the Airbus military transport plane) went “into the cold” for a final series of endurance tests. Chosen location: Iqaluit, one of the northernmost Canadian cities, on the edge of the Arctic Ocean and facing Greenland. Objective: test the cargo boarding system and the engines. Test passed – according to the European manufacturer – for the Grizzly 5 (Msn6) at -32°.

Assistance contract for the French plane

In the same week, OCCAR (Organization Joint Cooperation in Armaments) – which acted on behalf of the French Ministry of Defense – and Airbus Military signed a first initial assistance contract (In-Service Support) for the first 18 months of service. The first plane must be delivered to the Air Force… before summer. This contract provides for a “tailor-made service” to meet the needs of the French Air Force on the basis of the framework contract concluded between OCCAR (acting on behalf of France, Turkey, United Kingdom, Germany , Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg) and Airbus Military, for the launch of the A400M, providing integrated logistics support (ILS): technical documentation, ground equipment, etc. The ISS contract also provides industrial maintenance support, spare parts management, an “extended” question answering service; it should also allow easier (“smooth”) flight operations from the Orléans base, where the first A400Ms will be based. For the following period – after the first 18 months – everything is not yet finalized, the “ negotiations continue » specifies the industrialist…

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).