Aerial Refueling Pods For A400M

SHAH ALAM: RMAF has taken delivery of the first set of aerial refueling pods for its A400M. The pods manufactured by Cobham from UK consists of the 908E Wing Dispense Equipment (WDE) and 808E Hose Drum Unit (HDU). The delivery of the first set was announced by Cobham on its Twitter feed.

The announcement:

The #RMAF has recently received its first set of @AirbusA400M wing-mounted aerial refueling pods (WARPs) supplied by @Cobham_plc

A close up of two F/A-18s from the Spanish Air Force being refuelled by an A400M. Airbus.

RMAF is getting two sets of the refuelling pods for its four A400M, all of which are wired for air to air refuelling. It is likely that the RMAF has only two sets of the air to air refuelling pods for its four KC-130H Hercules aircraft. It is also likely that the Hercules refueling pods were also sourced from Cobham.
A400M refueling 8 Hornets of the Spanish Air Force. Airbus

RMAF also has an undisclosed number of Chobham 754 Buddy refueling pod currently in use by 11 Squadron, the Flanker unit.
A RMAF Flanker conducting a buddy refueling. Cobham

The A400M crews at the Singapore Airshow confirmed the delivery and readily shared that their squadron were already conducting training flights with RMAF fast jet fleet. This may well include the F/A-18Ds, Su-30MKMs and the Hawk 108/208 as well.
The schematics of the Cobham pod for the A400M. Cobham.

Although not officially confirmed, the A400M will be conducting air to air refuelling qualifications with other fast jets when they take part in Exercise Pitch Black later this August.
A schematic of the HDU unit. Cobham

Apart from the A400M, Malaysia unofficialy will also be sending at least four Hornets from the 18 Squadron for the exercise. The last time the Hornets went there was in 2008.

Meanwhile, Reuters on Feb. 13 wrote that the A400M may never get some of the features it was supposed to have. The report however did not state what features that will be axed.

SINGAPORE/BERLIN (Reuters) – Europe’s new troop transporter may never go into battle with all the promised military capabilities after buyers of the A400M agreed to let Airbus (AIR.PA) negotiate an opt-out for features deemed too difficult to build.
A document signed last week between Airbus and seven NATO nations, and seen by Reuters, allows the planemaker to negotiate deals with the individual buyers so that some of the complex add-on features can be removed from the official specifications.
The new “declaration of intent” appears to mark the first time the buyers have recognized that not all the features designed to outdo competing U.S. aircraft will be available.

The full story here.

A400M M54-04 landing at Labuan airport on Nov. 17, 2017.

It must be noted that during a briefing at the Singapore Airshow, Fernando Alonso, the head of the Military Division of Airbus Defence and Space stated that they were on their way to complete all of the specifications including helicopter air to air refueling and mass drop of paratroopers.

By the way for those celebrating, Happy Chinese New Year!
— Malaysian Defence


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