Photos of RMAF A400M M54-01

RMAF first A400M M54-01 out of the paint shop. Airbus photo

SHAH ALAM: Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) first Airbus A400M new generation air-lifter has been painted in its new colours at the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Seville, Spain.

RMAF A400M M54-01. Airbus
RMAF A400M M54-01. Airbus

The aircraft was serial numbered M54-01. In the coming days the aircraft, known by Airbus as MSN22, will perform its first ground tests and flights before delivery.

RMAF A400M M54-01
RMAF A400M M54-01

RMAF pilots, maintenance engineers and technicians are already undergoing instruction at the Airbus Defence and Space International Training Centre.

— Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2205 Articles
Shah Alam

1 Comment

  1. RMAF can convert 1 or 2 C-130 into A-130 for use against insurgents in ESSCOM..?

    AFAIK the upgrade only involve the cockpit nothing else. It is unlikely they will be converted into gunships.
    SgWay says:
    January 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    With 15 C130 and A400M. Will RMAF sell some of the older charlies? They can sell to the Phillipines which have need of such planes.

    No. The Philippines can get them from the US, which they did recently.
    ZekMR says:
    January 26, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    the 2nd, 3rd and 4th
    should have a bolder lettering

    after all, it is a simple kind of work
    that can be done at airod

    even after the induction of A400M
    into service latter
    RedSot says:
    January 25, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    I agree with some blogger saying about the decals either the logo or the lettering is actually out of proportion to the plane itself that make it look odd…example mkm n indon su-27 their decals looks more in place than our mkm with the logo at the nose n looks funny….. says:
    January 25, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Although it is not like Malaysia has any extra budget, is the current weak rubles making any Russian equipment any cheaper?

    If the reported price tag of Gripen NG is over $100 million apiece, then it will make any of the Euro canards seemed a poor choice for a small budget air force like Malaysia…

    Rubles might be cheap but they will sell us via dollars or Euros as they need the foreign exchange.
    nimitz says:
    January 24, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    On TUDM lettering. The current format looks good to me. Compare what is painted now to the colour & font size on Nuri in 1980’s. Very outstanding although the picture was printed black&white on a paperback book.

    Those unflattering comments were made earlier without the benefit of the additional pictures. Which was the reason I specifically asked Airbus for the extra pictures!
    Lee Yoke Meng says:
    January 24, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Well, let the pilots test the planes, the treasury to make the financial analysis n the politicians to decide. Whether it be super.hornet, typhoon , gripen or kf 50 let.the choice be the best. At this time of the economic situation we should heave a sigh of relief to get anything at all
    Rokuth says:
    January 24, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    “Mirsy says:
    January 23, 2015 at 11:13 pm
    Frankly, my senses is telling “something strong is brewing” after the announcement of DRB with SAAB on the Gripen cooperatiom….. Why so? Gripen E/F is coming on stream in 3 years, will we see CTRM get a piece of the cake of the “E/F” cake? Off cource provided the Gripen is selected probably i think on lease, C/D cum perchase of the E/F later on. ”

    The deal Saab has with Brazil and what they had proposed to Switzerland is as Mirsy describes above. The JAS-39C/D types would be initially provided (leased?) to meet the requirement for a fighter to be in service sooner than when the production versions of the E/F Gripen will be ready. It allows for aircrews and groundcrews to get familiar with the type. This should be what the TUDM should be looking at.

    Then again, it does boil down to the bean counters and political sway of the countries that will end up providing the next gen MRCA to the Air Force. It’s almost like watching a movie that has a plot twist that nobody saw coming…
    azlan says:
    January 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Every pilot has to fly ‘x’ number of hours to maintain currency. Fast jet pilots who had left their squadrons and were no longer type rated could however maintain currency on F-5Es or F-5Fs – a good example (albeit non fast jet) was the former RMAF Chief who was a Charlie pilot and as RMAF Chief flew a Charlie to Siberia. One of the 5 stretched Charlie’s we got in 1995 was also flown here by the then RMAF Chief.

    What will really be felt with regards to numbers will be the retirement of the Fulcrum as it is a front line type. There are only a handful of F-5Es left and they hardly fly anyway; even when they do its mostly for non front line taskings.

    Parts wise, Super Hornet spares are available in Japan and could be rushed here as part of an emergency order. There are as yet no regional Rafale or Typhoon operators and it remains to be seen if this will change. It also remains to be seen if HALs plans to store critical components common to the MKI and MKM – which can be delivered 24 hours after payment – will happen soon.
    azlan says:
    January 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm


    What I meant was that in certain areas a type selected will perform better or vice versa in certain areas
    (rate of turn at certain Gs, performance when fully loaded at certain altitudes, rate of climb, etc) compared to other types, thus a trade off has to be made when selecting a type. Contrary to what OEMs would portray, there is no perfect solution; just what best suits our specific requirements.

    One thing the Gripen has going for it at present is that it has a larger customer base when compared to the FA-50.
    Ferret says:
    January 24, 2015 at 10:20 am


    Like I said before, I’m not too clued up on air force operations, but I think the question of numbers is important.

    All things being equal — and all the MRCA candidates are about equal — we should go for numbers, ie the deal that gives us the biggest number of a/c should be chosen. At the moment that points to Gripen.

    All the candidates have problems. Eg Typhoon spare parts can’t be procured quickly. The RAF has had to ground Typhoon pilots because of lack of servicable a/c and to make way for Saudi trainee pilots. Cost and contractual glitches aside, the Indians are having a second look at the AESA radar for Rafale, etc.

    At the moment TUDM will be short of fast jets with the retirement of the Migs and F5 and even now has less combat aircraft than that carried by a US aircraft carrier.

    A critical number of aircraft is needed for TUDM to maintain skill. Because of operational requirements, wear and tear on existing a/c, need for conservation of airframes and so on, too few a/c will not allow many pilots to fly often. I believe pilots are like surgeons or F1 drivers. They need to operate or drive often in order to maintain their skill. Too few a/c and skill goes downhill for lack of training opportunities and sheer lack of flying time to maintain already honed skills.
    Ferret says:
    January 24, 2015 at 9:29 am

    I like to tap MAF thinking whenever I can, which is not often. Luckily there are some ‘transcripts’ of interviews here but perhaps Marhalim can help us with some videos of interviews with top brass, if at all possible?

    The former PTU said the A400 is not a replacement for Charlie and it’s a strategic asset. I’m not sure what he meant by ‘strategic asset’ but he did mention A400 has double C-130 payload for the same distance or double the distance for the same payload. So a wave of four A400 can carry almost a whole battalion from Perlis to Sabah; now that is something.

    As for markings, I’m just glad TUDM has added roundels to make them ‘standard’ with other air forces although the rectangular markings are perfectly fine. If TUDM wanted to make the lettering bolder they could have painted them in lurid pink but clearly that defeats the idea of ‘subdued’ markings.
    … says:
    January 24, 2015 at 7:19 am

    @ azlan

    I understand what you mean, I also understand that the gripen would be inferior in performance even to the legacy hornet inbthe scheme of things. What im saying is, if it is expected that the performance is a tradeoff for datalinks and such, why not look at other fighters with similar performance as the gripen, cheaper and have the necessary datalinks? Thats where I found the KAI FA-50.
    Mirsy says:
    January 23, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Frankly, my senses is telling “something strong is brewing” after the announcement of DRB with SAAB on the Gripen cooperatiom….. Why so? Gripen E/F is coming on stream in 3 years, will we see CTRM get a piece of the cake of the “E/F” cake? Off cource provided the Gripen is selected probably i think on lease, C/D cum perchase of the E/F later on.
    azlan says:
    January 23, 2015 at 5:55 pm


    Yes the RMAF prefers twin engine platforms but I still think that circumstances might lead it to a single engine type, not only due to costs issues but the fact it already operates 2 types of twin seat, twin engine platforms. I have heard nothing about the RMAF not willing to deploy MKMs to Sabah. The Gripen C may not have the paper specs of the Rafale but it is systems, not platform capabilities we should worry about.


    To me the fact that the cheaper Gripen would be inferior in certain aspects when compared to the Rafale and Super Hornet is to be expected. I’m not really concerned about performance specs as it really depends on ones requirements and making required trade offs. I still maintain that the key difference will be when the RMAF acquires systems capabilities and make the transition from the platform centric air arm it is now.

    I’m not a fan of the Gripen either and personally I prefer a twin engine platform but I really fail to see what the Gripen can’t do (in comparison to other types) if paired with an AEW and fitted with a common data link as in this day and age, it’s not the platform but the systems capabilities that go with the platform that can make the difference.
    SavvyKL says:
    January 23, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    …. kerberosWXIV

    Gripen NG price about USD 110~125 million with maintenance/traning/parts.
    SavvyKL says:
    January 23, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    In our context, we more prefer to twin engine due to more Survivability/safety, MRCA will be base on Kuantan, most of time the jet need patrol over the south china sea, also fly to support operation in Sarawak/Sabah. and maybe u think we got Su-30, but remember our jet unit is limited, not expect su-30 to cover all site. plus our su-30 engine only have 3000 hrs lifespan compare to at lease or more 6000 hrs on F18/EF/Rafale. RMAF also not willing use su-30 to fly to sabah.
    And currently Gripen C/D performance not match to Rafale F3 F18 Block3 now.
    azlan says:
    January 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm


    How on earth did you come up with the conclusion that the RMAF is “not strong and proud” based on the size of the font? Irrespective of whether one approves or not, the RMAF I’m sure had valid reasons for doing what it did with regards to font size.

    It will be more interesting to speculate what affects the entry into service of the A400M will have on the Charlie fleet and whether the RMAF requested any modifications to be made to its A400Ms.
    ZekMR says:
    January 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Really nice airlifter for our air force

    Hopefully the font for ‘TENTERA UDARA DIRAJA MALAYSIA’
    and its english version on both sides of the A400M can become
    a little bit larger and bolder,

    should be altered before the acceptance ceremony
    mofaz says:
    January 23, 2015 at 8:33 am

    With 4 A400M maybe a couple of C130 can be converted to A130 and kick some Suluk butt …
    … says:
    January 23, 2015 at 8:25 am

    I agree that this milestone is something that we should celebrate (although I wonder if those in the airforce is as happy as those in airbus military)

    @ azlan

    Previously I am a fan of the gripen too. It gets weaker as I read the full Swiss airforce flyoff report. Other than the hyped datalink, the performance of the gripen, the flying performance, radar, weapons, range is weaker than the f/a-18c hornets.

    Then I stumbled upon the KAI FA-50 (the fighter variant of the T-50) that the Korean airforce is getting as a replacement of the f-5e. It has the similar engine as the gripen c (based on the hornet engine), link16 datalink (even thai gripen don’t have this, and only have ingenious datalink among gripen and erieye only), a radar with almost the same performance as the hornet (based on an israelI radar built in korea I know, but more powerful aesa radar for Korean airforce is blocked by Lockheed aa not to make the FA-50 more powerful then the F-16. Maybe for export aesa is possible), a heavier weapons load than the gripen c (I was astonised by this too) but a bit slower because of the high maneuverability wing design (only mach 1.2 compared to mach 1.6 for gripen). Compared and compared both planes, if it has almost similar performance ( FA-50 and gripen c) at half the price (30 vs 60 mil) so why go for a gripen at all? The gripen e is even more expensive, and costs as much as a super hornet. As operating costs go, the FA-50 is similar in size, and the same engine as the gripen c, so should have similar low operating costs.
    kerberosWXIV says:
    January 23, 2015 at 6:08 am

    Gripen NG can supercruise, feature an AESA radar and has wider range of weapon systems to begin with… If going by price alone, would make sense to go for more Su-30, since they cost around 40-50mil a piece…

    But that’s off topic, some relatively bright news for Malaysia in these dark days…
    SavvyKL says:
    January 23, 2015 at 12:44 am

    seems . the ”Royal Malaysia Air Force” word font size too small painting at fuselage,not clear from far,not strong and proud show rmaf asset, compare to RAF and Germany A400m,
    azlan says:
    January 22, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    The question I’ve been asking is – in our context – with a common data link and working with an AEW; what can’t the cheaper Gripen do that the more expensive and sexy Rafale and Typhoon can?

    With 2 twin engine, twin seater, front line types already in service, I would not be surprised if the RMAF decides on a single engine MRCA.
    … says:
    January 22, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    @ sgway

    After doing my own comparisons I am wondering…

    Other than bombastic advertising, blogs and brochures of the gripen, what different can a usd60mil gripen do that a usd30mil KAI FA-50 golden eagle can’t??
    … says:
    January 22, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Tudm ni tak ada standard SOP ke untuk lukis lambang tudm tu?

    Ratio (bukan saiz) diameter biru cerah, biru gelap dan bintang kuning tu berbeza2 antara setiap pesawat. Ada biru cerah nipis, biru gelap tebal; ada biru gelap dan biru cerah sama tebal… Saya suka yg f/a-18d; ratio bulatan kuning (yg tengah sebelum bucu2 bintang) biru gelap dan biru cerah sama dan sekata…
    SgWay says:
    January 22, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    Great progress!!! Hope to see good service from these brids.

    Anyway a Kinibiz article seem to suggest that the recent DrBHicom-SAAB agrrement is a precursor to the procurement of the Gripen with a cost of RM4 billion, which based on Wiki Gripen unit cost is only enough for 16 Gripen. How true is this?

    You have to ask them how they got the figure, I am not purview to their calculations. It will be unwise to use other sources to figure it out.
    … says:
    January 22, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    With the additional airlift capacity of the A400M, the current C-130H fleet could be:

    1) reduced by 2 to 12 units. Sold proceeds used to upgrade the rest of the 12 herc fleet

    2) rewire 1/2? 1/3? Of the herc fleet to carry pods with EO turrets for maritime patrol. Buy 2-4 pods and pool the use among the fleet.

    3) modify 1 for special forces insertions with dircm, mwr, balistic protections, satcoms etc. Or sell one and get a used MC-130H (If could be done)

    4) modify some with the Lockheed martin vigilance AEW pods?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.