RMAF A400M Taking Part in Seoul Airshow

The four RMAF A400Ms flying in formation as they approach Subang before landing.

SHAH ALAM: RMAF is sending one of its A400M air-lifters to South Korea next week, to take part in the Seoul air show, scheduled from Oct 17 to 22, Airbus says in a statement issued today .

The air-lifter will be on the static display at Seoul International Aerospace & Defense Exhibition 2017 (ADEX 2017 or Seoul air show) and promises to be a highlight of the show. Airbus says this all-new aircraft offers a unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities, and is the ideal replacement for older generation air-lifters.

M54-01 landing at Subang after the 2017 National Day flypast

Airbus will also be highlighting its entire commercial aircraft product line, ranging from 100 to over 600 seats. A scale model of the A330neo, the latest variant of this highly versatile and popular wide-body aircraft, will be on display at the company’s chalet. The company has been especially successful in Korea’s airline market, where over 100 Airbus passenger aircraft from across the company’s product line (the A320 Family, A330, A350 XWB, and A380) are in service, and another 90 are on order for future delivery.
At ADEX 2017, other scale models will also be on display at the company’s chalet. These
include the C295 mission aircraft, which is suitable for the region’s maritime patrol and anti-
submarine requirements, and the NH90 multi-role naval helicopter which can be configured
to launch anti-ship missiles, torpedoes and sonobuoys.

M54-02 landing at Subang after the 2017 National Day flypast.

Airbus did not identify the A400M taking part in the airshow but RMAF Air Operations Commander Lt Gen Mutalib Ab Wahab says it will be the second aircraft delivered, meaning that it will be M54-02. This will be the second time the 02 will be taking part in a foreign airshow.
A400M M54-03 landing at Subang after the 2017 National Day flypast

The same aircraft was put on static display at the Singapore airshow in 2016. Mutalib also says that 02 is expected to fly to Seville, Spain to undergo the same upgrades conducted on RMAF’s first A400M, M54-01.
M54-04 landing after the 2017 National Day flypast.

It is likely 02 will return to Malaysia first before flying off to Spain later in the month. M55-01 returned home in the last week of August, just in time to take part in the National Day flypasts, the first during the final rehearsals on Aug. 30 and of course, on Aug. 31.
The four RMAF A400Ms flying in formation as they approach Subang before landing.

The two flypasts were the first time, RMAF’s four A400Ms had flown together in a single formation.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. It would be a hard sell for new build A400M as even the current users (spain, germany, UK) are tying to sell off their current commitments.

    What we and anyone interested in A400M can do is to wait for all the current users receive most of their allocations, and offer to buy some of the used ones at lower price than brand new.

  2. These mammoths are surprisingly quiet for they’re size. Very agile too. To think that the first plane was a kite that had a prop strapped on the back of it. Amazing what human ingenuity can do.

    PS @marhalim the commenting system has been buggy for the past couple of weeks. (not letting you post even though you checked everything)(etc)

    On the comments yes I know

  3. Airbus pay us for the show on behalf of their product, and TUDM got the chance to show off our tactical airlifter capabilities.

    Win win situation.

  4. The question is whether we actually have a need for additional A400Ms, even if we could afford it or were offered pre owned examples at bargain prices.

    My guess is that given that our Charlies will be operational for quite a few more years and that in most cases we won’t need the cargo or lift capacity offered by the A400M; we don’t have a requirement for additional A400Ms at present and won’t for the foreseeable future. It’s not as if we have numerous global or local commitments that routinely call for the airlifting of huge loads.

  5. TUDM should get 2 more A400M….. than can retire all C130 in 2022-2025, so future only use A400M+CN235 better for logistics

  6. @ savvykl

    2 more A400M would be nice. But i dont think in the 2022-25 timeframe.

    Our 5 oldest C-130 is 41 years old this year, so probably good for 15 more years. The youngest is around 26 years old. So replacement (and even the A400M buy) is not an urgent priority for TUDM. As of now we still have 14 C-130s in various configurations. TUDM will still be a hercules operator probably 20-30 years from now.

  7. savvykl “TUDM should get 2 more A400M….. than can retire all C130 in 2022-2025, so future only use A400M+CN235 better for logistics”

    Most of our loads cannot even fill up a Charlie, what good would that do? We would be the only air force in the world do to that, most users are cutting their orders because they find they seldom need so much capacity.

    We use the Charlies as MPA or maritime SAR aircraft. Using the A400M in this role would be even more wasteful.

    It also won’t do to replace ten aircraft with six. An aircraft can only be in one place at a time, which is often the maintenance hangar.

    An air force with a cash crunch and fighter numbers crunch like ours has no business owning any A400M at all.

  8. @ AM

    ” An air force with a cash crunch and fighter numbers crunch like ours has no business owning any A400M at all. ”

    Sad but that is the reality right now. Usd 1.8 billion (according to janes) for the privillege of owning those a400m’s. But even sadder is the airforces top brass ignoring the reality of the government having spent your allocation (spread out for a few RMKs and last payment surely in RMK11 2016-2020) for those a400m’s and still living in dream land hoping for billions now for a new MRCA. I forsee no other big ticket items for the airforce before 2020.

    Big ticket items RMK11 2016-2020
    Army – gempita, starstreak
    Navy – Gowinds, sub refit
    Airforce – A400M, MADGE, Groundmaster 400 radar.

    Big ticket items RMK12 2021-2025
    Army – gempita, gempita batch 2?
    Navy – Gowinds, MRSS, LMS
    Airforce – MPA? AEWACs? MRCAs? Hawk/mb339 replacements? Additional EC735s? Which one would be the priority?

    It must be said that the A400Ms were a national interest project that was out of sync with the air force own plans.

  9. Actually there is a need for transports especially for bulk cargoes. Currently such cargoes for non urgent basis are sent by the navy. But dince the withdrawal of the second hand US ship the two remsinning ships have bern taxed to the max.
    The air force can help to cut some slack for navy

  10. @ marhalim,

    Yes, not something we should add, thats is why the off topic note.

    But this is one of the signals that UK is starting to sell off a lot of their used equipments. Probably we can look at other items, such as the stormer+starstreak combos, rapier jernas, ships etc etc.

    No, the things made public recently had been earmarked for disposal within the last two years. As I had stated previously we have been consulted on these items and there was only interest on the River Class OPVs by the MMEA but even they turned it down after they were told that it will not be given FOC but we need to pay for it including the refurbishment costs.

  11. Somehow I expected this from you.

    A400M fits right in with Chinooks, Apaches, MMEA battleships, section mortars, RPG and 7.62 rifles.

  12. savvykl – ”than can retire all C130 in 2022-2025, so future only use A400M+CN235 better for logistics”

    Fine on paper but in reality do we need an all A400M fleet? It is practical? As it is most of the time the Charlies are not busy and don’t fly full loads. It’s one thing having an aircraft with a large cargo space but it’s another thing regularly finding use for such a capability – we don’t have global commitments; nor do we regularly lift heavy loads within the country. Granted we need the capability for unexpected contingencies and we have 4 A400Ms but I doubt we really need an all A400M fleet.

    Lee – ”Currently such cargoes for non urgent basis are sent by the navy. ”

    A lot of heavy cargo is sent by commercial means; like the AV-8s that went to Sabah in late 2015. Quite often it’s cheaper and more practical to use commercial means; especially in peacetime when the cargo is moved from Port A to Port B or Airport A to Airport B; places with adequate facilities. It’s actually quite common for all countries to utilise commercial means to move heavy loads – land and sea – by commercial means. Singapore has LSTs but 90 percent of the heavy stuff sent abroad for exercises/deployments are sent via commercial means [including in the past MAS Cargo to Australia] – the Terrexs that were impounded were sent by commercial shipping and it’s estimated that a large percentage of heavy gear sent to Kuwait by the U.S. for the 2003 invasion was sent using commercial companies such as Maersk and chartered aircraft.

  13. Indonesia has its problems too. They are buying new build instead of from of the unwanted European ones.

    They want the A400M assembled locally, even though they are only buying 5 and only assembling 3 in Indonesia.

    Its the Defense ministry and other parts of the government that wants the A400Ms. The air force wants C-130Js

  14. We should keep A400m + C130H as transport / air refuel aircraft.

    If needed, we might need get 2nd hand low flight C130J from UK.
    Cn-235 should convert to MPA. This will save cost buying a brand new MPA.

  15. On the other hand, heard that singapore is getting 2 additional used S-70B seahawks, with asw systems stripped off to be a multi purpose helicopter.

  16. The Singaporean move makes sense because it is silly to use their current ASW (60R equivalent they told me) helicopters as utility helos.

    The Super Pumas can and do operate from RSN ships including on their CJTF151 voyage, but they not marinised.

    Transport aircraft can last a long time. The UK Js and J30s have been used hard but should still have lots of life. Singapore’s C-130 B and H models are on average older than ours and you can be sure they would have been replaced if necessary.

  17. Used seahawks? They are new and were order in 2013 for use wit lmv. Heard they will be 2 more for the jmms and lms. And a follow on for the new frigate to replace victory ships.

    The herc are not the prioriti. It is the new mpa. My guess bombardier 6000 or 7000 wit mix or israel and p8 and local tech.

  18. Considering how long utility helicopters and transport aircraft can last, it would be fine if they were bought used.

    Two weeks ago Straits Times had an article on how the Super Puma still has plenty of life left, even though it is more than 30 years old and is set to be replaced in a few years more. There was also an article on Ex Wallaby.

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