SHAH ALAM: Airbus today announced that the Republic of Kazakhstan has ordered two Airbus A400M airlifter, becoming the second export customer for the aircraft after Malaysia. The Royal Malaysian Air Force currently operates four A400Ms.
The two aircraft bring the total number of A400M ordered to 176 from 174 the previous number recorded. Airbus has has already delivered 100 A400Ms to the eight countries which already ordered the aircraft.
Getafe, 1 September 2021 – The Republic of Kazakhstan has placed an order for two Airbus A400M aircraft and becomes the ninth operator together with Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Malaysia and Luxembourg.
With delivery of the first aircraft scheduled in 2024, the contract includes a complete suite of maintenance and training support. Together with the agreement a Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed to collaborate on Maintenance and Overhaul services and with a first step of creating a local C295 maintenance centre.
”The A400M will become the cornerstone of Kazakhstan’s tactical and strategic airlifting operations,” said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. “This new export contract brings the total number of A400M orders to 176 aircraft, a figure that we expect to increase in the near future. With more than 100 aircraft delivered and 100,000 flight hours in operation, the A400M has proven its capabilities, reaching a state of maturity that many potential customers were waiting for.”
With the capacity to accommodate the country’s inventory and conduct military, civil and humanitarian missions, the A400M will enable Kazakhstan to quickly respond to any mission by rapidly deploying game-changing capabilities over long distances and enabling effective access to remote areas.
— Malaysian DefenceIf you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment
I’m rather surprised the A400M still has difficulty to find more export buyers til today. It really suits those who wanted something more than C130 but not able/willing to stump for C17 or else have runway restrictions that are unusable for C17s. Indonesia comes to mind, Pinoy as well. Japan Kawasaki C-2 is operationally similar as well but no takers too.
Very unlike the airline industry where operators would try to target niche gaps and require planes configured to fill those gaps where like B737 has some 12 passenger variants that one could order.
The problems with AAR with the A400Ms for helicopters and other teething issues are well documented and probably the main reason behind the lack of export orders as people fear that it remains a prototype. Moreover the C130J is cheaper and a well known aircraft to more air forces than the A400M. One cannot buy the C-17 as the production line has stopped. The K-2 is likely an expensive option compared to the C-130 while the Embraer C-390 is also seen like the A400M a prototype despite a small number already in service
Indeed, up til last year Airbus was still adding new features to existing planes as part of their contract obligation so in a way it does gives the impression that this plane was delivered incomplete. I don’t know how big a factor it is with prospective buyers, certainly it is unheard for.
My guess is, most forces currently with C130s just use 2 or more planes to haul the same cargo load of an A400M, since fuel cost & manpower overheads to double or more the flight route is less of an issue as compared to civvie airliner.
I’d like to get your personal opinion on something. I was long of the opinion that we need a transport fleet comprising “heavy” 4 engine lifters and “light” 2 engine ones. The reason being is that when loads are small; it’s cheaper and practical to use a CN-235 rather than a Charlie or a A400M.
Under CAP55; which like the 5/15 was a PR political exercise in which services knew were not at all feasible or realistic; the RMAF was to do away with its light transport fleet and just stick to 4 engine transports. Great from a support perspective as only 1 or 2 transport types have to be supported but not so great from a cost perspective if inky a pallet loaf has to be flown in a Charlie or A400M.
What is your personal opinion on this?
I think it will better to stick on 1 type of transport really. For smaller stuff we should sent them using helicopters
Regardless, its not like the CN235 fleet are being put out to pastures, half of them are merely converted into MSI – still under TUDM control & care anyways – so keeping some units in their transport role would not change the equation.