The Airbus A400M has successfully achieved its first helicopter air-to-air refueling contacts with an H225M.

Over the course of 4 flights, operated in day conditions over the south of France, the A400M performed 51 dry contacts marking a decisive milestone towards its full capability as a tanker. These tests were performed under the coordination of the French DGA Essais en vol flight test centre, say the firm.

“The tests, involving no fuel and performed between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft at flight speeds as low as 105 knots, confirmed the positive results of previous proximity flights conducted at the beginning of 2019.

The next step in the flight test program will involve wet contact operations scheduled to take place before the end of 2019 ahead of final certification in 2021.”

The flight test campaign also included the first proximity trials between the A400M and an H160 helicopter requested by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) in the frame of the feasibility study for the Guépard (future military multirole helicopter for the French armed forces). Tests were performed successfully.

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john martin

We should have these, we wont but we should.


What A400Ms or Super Pumas?


I’d imagine the A400m as it’s the subject of the article.


We already operate 20 of the A400M (Atlas) aircraft, with another 2 expected for delivery next year.

I wouldn’t touch a Super Puma with a barge pole, we have the Merlin instead, which is better in all respects and it is much more reliable.


Yeah we do and completely agree with you but John Martin might be of a different nationality.


I would think he means the refueling capability on the A400m

john martin

Yes that is it well done!!!


We have the excellent Air Tanker contract, so I’m not sure if its possible without paying a contract fine. However, I’m not sure if the contract covers Fleet Air Arm F35Bs or our helicopters. I’m fairly certain it was written to cover “RAF” fixed wing aircraft only, so there may be scope for working around the contract.


FAA ought to purchase some with folding wings for QE/PoW to refuel the F35Bs

Harry Bulpit

What A400M. Couldn’t even taki on the carrier let alone take off.


I’m pretty sure it could taxi but it would be in the sea next.

Gavin Gordon

I know that A400M has experienced it’s fair share of problems, but its one of those aircraft that just looks right to me.

Andy P

A lot of gear has teething problems but I agree, this looks like it could be around for years, the new Herc for the 21st century.

David Barry

The new Herc for the 21st Century? That would be why the French Air Force have just several… Hercules…!

Andy P

Yup, apologies if my slightly ‘flowery’ description is confusing. The UK also still operate Hercs, so do many countries. It was not my intention to imply that all Hercs should be scrapped and replaced by A400’s.

Again, apologies if I’ve caused confusion or umbrage.


We currently have 20 Atlas (plus 2 more) and 8 Globmasters. 14 Super-Hercules. France have 15 Atlas, 14 Hercules and 2 Super-Hercules (plus2 more). Frances older Hercules’ must be on their last legs and will be replaced by 15 more Atlas’. So our transport command will have some 44 and the French about 34. So we the RAF have a much better transport capacity than France and remember the Globmaster has a much bigger capacity than Hercules and Atlas. Indeed more capacity than any in NATO except the USA. Indeed not many if any after that. So we, the UK,… Read more »


So often there are superb images in these articles, but then the headline gets plonked on top of it. A small adjustment to the layout please.