Airbus has successfully completed the certification flight tests for the A400M Cargo Hold Tanks (CHT) refueling unit.
The firm say that is part of an effort taking a new step towards the full certification of the aircraft for air-to-air refueling operations as a tanker.
The campaign, performed together with the Spanish Air Force Test Centre (CLAEX), featured a total of nine flights where 90 tonnes of fuel were dispensed to Spanish Air Force F-18 receivers and to another A400M prototype as a representative heavy aircraft receiver.
The test campaign included the development and certification of the Cargo Hold Tanks with the latest Fuel Quantity Management System software, to be certified during 2019, enhancement of the night refueling vision system and preliminary testing of helicopter air-to-air refueling capabilities.
In other A400M Atlas news, 206 Squadron, supported by 70 Squadron engineers, have been practicing beach landing with an A400M Atlas aircraft in Southern Wales, say the Royal Air Force.
According to a release, beaches are routinely used by the RAF for training operations with other tactical airlifters.
“The A400M showcased its superb tactical capabilities on natural surfaces by performing take-off, landing and taxiing manoeuvres.”
Flight Lieutenant Cheng, a 206 Squadron Pilot, said:
“The advanced flight deck of the A400M and cutting-edge fly by wire controls made this task easier to fly than other platforms. We are now looking forward to the challenge of conducting this operation using night vision goggles later in the trial.”
Wing Commander Neil Philp, Officer Commanding 206 Squadron, said:
“My specialist team has worked hard to deliver this trial and it has showcased the tremendous tactical potential of the A400M. Once this capability is handed over to the front line it has the potential to have a great impact on operations.”