Airbus say that the Airbus A400M has successfully achieved certification of the simultaneous paratrooper dispatch capability.
Airbus have completed development of the type’s paratrooping deployment capacity, with a maximum dispatch of 116 paratroopers using both side doors (58 + 58).
The certification fight test, completed in May 2020 in coordination with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA) and supported by the French and Belgian Armed Forces, combined an extensive paratrooping campaign of more than 1,000 jumps along with the implementation of new capability development methodologies based on recording and 3D modelling of paratrooper jump trajectories.
Airbus #A400M achieves Automatic Low Level Flight certification ✅ offering a unique in its class capability for a military transport aircraft.#WeMakeItFly
🔗 https://t.co/m8qQOuBmp5 pic.twitter.com/IMGoXeysVt
— Airbus Defence (@AirbusDefence) May 26, 2020
“This certification completes a challenging journey to achieve this next generation capability. The achievement reinforces the strategic value the A400M already offers to air force operators and society, as demonstrated during Covid-19 times,” said Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space.
With the completion of this key milestone, the A400M is able to carry 116 paratroopers able to jump two at a time from the ramp in freefall, or through the paratroop side doors with automatic parachute opening, a capability that greatly increments its operational possibilities.
The picture above, provided by Airbus, shows the successful dispatch of paratroopers during the flight test campaign over Ger Azet drop zone in southern France in September 2019.