SHAH ALAM: Geronimo from an A400M. It appears that Airbus will complete the certification for the simultaneous dispatch of 116 troops from the A400M very soon. Head of A400M flight test Eric Isorce said the certification for the the dispatch of 58 troops from one door was completed and the same was done for the 40 troops per door (80 troops) was also completed.
He said they did not foresee any difficulty in getting the certification for 58 troops per door simultaneously as the previous tests had shown it could done. It had not been done at the moment as they need a bigger drop zone for such tests and more paratroopers than they had previously.
The A400M dropping the paratroopers for the test drop.
Isorce who spoke at the Airbus Defence and Space Trade Media Briefing on Wednesday in Manching, Germany, said that the certification was completed after the paratrooper shield door on the A400M had been modified to ensure proper separation of the troops from the aircraft fuselage during jumping. The door reduces the amount of wind blast on the paratroopers as they exited the door.
The paratrooper shield door on RMAF A400M M54-02. It is located next to the rear door
Airbus has also developed proper sequencing for jumps for the troops to ensure a safe jump from the A400M. The new paratrooper shield door – extended by 60 inches – is easily retrofitted on the airlifter, four of which are operating with RMAF.
The paratrooper shield door when extended. Airbus
Airbus officials who spoke to Malaysian Defence on the issue did not specifically say RMAF was looking to fit the new paratrooper shield door on its A400M but said it was available on the next retrofit programme of the airlifter.
Paratroopers from a Hercules during the recent Pahlawan exercise. MAB
I believed the requirement to use the A400M to dispatch paratroopers in our context falls more heavily on the Army and it is up to them to get the RMAF on board. Currently the 10th Para Brigade conduct paratroop jumps from the C-130H Hercules (64 troops and the CN-235 (48 troops). It is interesting to note that the only time I was allowed to cover a 10th Para drop, last year, the soldiers on the CN235 only jumped from the left door. I dont think RMAF will allow me on board the CN235 if they were jumping from both doors though.
Disclosure: Airbus Defence & Space paid for the trip to Germany
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