Third A400M in Subang

M54-03 on finals at Subang following its ferry flight on June 13.

SHAH ALAM: Third A400M in Subang. RMAF’s third A400M air-lifter arrived at the Subang airbase this afternoon – four days after it was officially delivered to the service. The A400M – tail number M54-03 – flew some 9,100 km to get to Subang from the Airbus D&S A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain.

The ferry flight from Seville, took two days with one stop-over at the Al Bateen executive airport in Abu Dhabi. Both the previous deliveries, took the same route and stop-overs.

M54-03 on finals at Subang today.
M54-03 on finals at Subang today.

Unlike the arrival of 02 late last year, 03’s arrival today was rather subdued. There was no fly past over Subang and there was no escorts.

MSN36 or M54-03 undergoing manufacturing when Malaysian Defence visited the A400M FAL in late October, 2015
MSN36 or M54-03 undergoing manufacturing when Malaysian Defence visited the A400M FAL in late October, 2015

An official welcoming ceremony for the aircraft is only expected after Ramadan. It will be a good excuse to hold a Raya open house at 22nd Squadron spanking new hangars.

M54-03 on finals at Subang airport.
M54-03 on finals at Subang airport.

The prompt arrival of the RMAF third aircraft must be a welcome relief to Airbus D&S which have come under pressure due to delivery delays caused by engine and air-frame issues.

M54-03 accorded the traditional welcome as it taxi into Subang airbase. Air Times picture
M54-03 accorded the traditional welcome as it taxi into Subang airbase. Air Times picture

Mean-while, a PDRM Super King Air 350 fitted with the ISR fit also made a landing at the runway after what appears to be a test flight following maintenance.

PDRM Super King Air 350 on finals at Subang airport.
PDRM Super King Air 350 on finals at Subang airport.

— Malaysian Defence

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Shah Alam

5 Comments

  1. With the arrival of a400m, does it mean that our soldiers will not be flying witb air asia again i.e during the tanduo incident.

    Reply
    No, some times it’s cheaper and faster to hire commercial airlines just to ferry soldiers especially when there is a surge situation like what happened during Lahad Datu. Moreover it will allow RMAF aircraft to carry bombs and ammunition. Even with 19 A400M and Hercules, one cannot expect all will be available all the time.

  2. more interested in the pdrm super king air isr suite
    looks like the isr quite similar to the air force mpa

    Reply
    Look the same but RMAF ones are all Thales AMASCOS now. I am not sure of actual equipment on the PDRM ISR birds, two of them from the five they bought. No worries some one will chip in

  3. shalelalela,

    Even the likes of the U.S. and Britain rely on leased commercial aircraft and ships to move stuff around. In 2013 a retired army officer wrote a letter to a major daily claiming that the C-130s were not operational and because of that; we used Air Asia : total nonsense. He was apparently unaware that an agreement had been reached with Air Asia long before Lahad Dato and that prior to that; we sometimes used MAS to move people. This same person also asked why we didn’t deploy PT-91s to Lahad Dato. What he should have asked is whether there was actually a need for PT-91s at Lahad Dato.

  4. There’s nothing new about using airliners to carry armed forces personal.I still remember the infamous Air Arrow Douglas DC-8 Flight 1285 carrying 248 U.S troops crashing at Gander,Canada after a long flight from Cairo,Egypt which resulted in the death of the soldiers and 8 crew members on board.It happened on the 12/12 1985 in an era where the USAF had hundreds of Hercules,Starlifters,C135s and the mighty Galaxies in the inventory.Mind you,we really don’t have to listen to statements made by some demented retired military officers who have selected memories capabilitiy when you can simply surf the internet for the required information.

  5. Rozaimi – ”we really don’t have to listen to statements made by some demented retired military officers who have selected memories”

    Some statements made are also politically driven.

    During the Gulf War; the U.S. used chartered ships to freight heavy stuff to Saudi. One such ship carried a Patriot battery and had a Malaysian First Mate. I’ve mentioned this before but when it comes to delivering heavy stuff from Port A to Port B; commercial ships can do the job just as well as any LST or LPD. The difference is when there’s a need to deliver stuff to a destination where there is no proper infrastructure : that’s when an LST or an LPD comes in useful. Similarly, if we have to fly heavy gear from Subang to Tawau [or anyplace with a proper runway ATC and lighting]; a commercial aircraft can do the job just as well as an A400M or a C-130H.

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