The Luxembourg Armed Forces’ A400M airlifter has made its maiden flight in Spain, ahead of this year’s delivery.
Built by Airbus, the aircraft – MSN104 – took off from Seville, where the final assembly line is located, and landed after a five-hour flight.
MSN104 is scheduled to be delivered in the second quarter of 2020 and will be operated by the armed forces of Belgium and Luxembourg within a binational unit based at the Melsbroek Air Base in Belgium.
Belgium and Luxembourg reached an agreement on the joint operation of the A400M in 2001, under which Belgium was to buy seven units and Luxembourg one. According to local reports, Luxembourg is paying close to $170 million for the aircraft.
The A400M combines the capability to carry strategic loads with the ability to deliver into tactical locations with small and unprepared airstrips and can act as a frontline-tanker.
The airlifter has a range of 4,800 nm (8,900 km), 340 cubic meters of cargo space and a payload capacity of up to 37 tons. According to Airbus, the A400M can fly at an altitude of up to 40,000 ft/12,200 m for special operations.