The Luftwaffe has reportedly decided not to accept delivery of two Airbus A400M aircraft, citing ‘technical problems’.

“The armed forces have decided not to accept two A400Ms due for delivery,” the Luftwaffe said in a press statement. It was also reported that routine checks on some of the 31 (out of 53) delivered aircraft have found “not all 24 nuts per propeller had the correct tightening torque”.

The Luftwaffe also said:

“If these problems are not identified and corrected, they can cause severe structural damage to the propeller and shaft.”

When contacted, Airbus said in a statement that issues were not safety critical.

“We are aware of findings related to dowel bolts/Propeller interface in some of our customer aircraft. This is not safety critical and our customers continue to accept and operate their aircraft.”
Earlier in the year, the A400M partner nations agreed an arrangement with Airbus that was designed to sort out issues over cost and capability. Key areas to be ‘rebaselined’ include the introduction of new capabilities, the delivery schedule, refit of the aircraft and financial terms.

“The overall aim of the Global Rebaselining – both for Airbus as well as for OCCAR and the Launch Customer Nations – was to recover a sustainable contractual basis for and to ensure a proper execution of the A400M programme,” said Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space.

“I would like to thank our customers for their engagement and support during the discussions over the last two years. This new situation will also support our efforts to export the A400M worldwide.”

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Steve R

Could it be more likely that Germany simply doesnt want to pay for these 2 planes, given how little they care or invest into their own defence?

Andy P

Aye, that could be it, or maybe its just because they’re dastardly Bosch, or maybe because of their stereotypical Teutonic efficiency they’ve found that the expensive gear they’ve ordered wasn’t up to muster. However it pans out, I’m sure we can point the finger and score some faux moral high ground. I mean, that’s what its all about, right ?????

Levi Goldsteinberg

They have 50 odd A400? That’s a solid air lift capability – far more than I’d expect fro Germany. It’s double ours – how has that happened?


From memory they are retiring all of their c130’s and they have no globemasters. The main reason they ordered so many was for industrial workshare and there has to be some sort of scale to make the project viable and EOS for future exports.
Of course Germany will probably sell 45 of them off under market value like they did the leopard 2.


Germany has never operated the C-130, they have operated the C-160 Transall for many years.


Sell ’em cheap, to the RAF? BOGOF perhaps?


With a bit of luck then we might be able to get a few extra airframes from them cheap.

Hope springs…


They never have had C130s in the Luftwaffe, they have/had Transall C160, they still have 1 operational wing flying them (LTG63), you are nearly right I always say the German government will propose to buy several hundred to get maximum work share, then they will reduce it to 100 they will sell 40 before they are built, they will moth ball another 20, fly another 20 and then christmas tree the other 20 to keep the other 20 flying, basically what they did with Tonka and Typhoon.


Ideology, public and government opinion has been against sending troops abroad on interventions and peace keeping since WW2 and so have had to find other ways to promote their interests and that’s been through cash (paying other countries to conduct peacekeeping operations) or through providing logistics like transport and basing.

Robert blay

Because they don’t operate C17’s A400’s and Hercules like we do, or a Voyager fleet.


It’s not double our airlift capacity, it’s double our Atlas numbers. We also have C17’s, Hercs and Voyager


its sounds like a comedy sketch in the waiting. Video of the planes being rejected due to under tightened nuts and in the background Luftwaffe engineer sneaking away with a big wrench with the guys in the foreground going what engineer, i don’t see one.

Simon m

In regards to numbers I think the UK should up its game 22 is too few considering potential commitments and the likelihood of out of area ops. The RN are soon going to be operating a fleet of flexible ships a number of which prepositioned there is also talk of increasing bases etc. Plus supporting strike brigades etc.


They are not our only transport aircraft.


Will somebody please give them a bloody spanner !!!


The joys of Quality Control and Quality Assurance. I have no issues with a customer not accepting equipment. Every part of the plane when manufactures would have been checked and signed off. If someone finds loose nuts on a prop then what else has been signed off as correct and fit for use when it is not? There has been a breach in the recognised ISO standards and that is a serious issue requiring investigations, audits and a breakdown in trust between the manufacturer and customer. A similar failure of QA hit BAe recently remember the Glued Bolt heads saga… Read more »


Quite, if they’ve been signed off as properly torqued, what else was signed off not quite right?
If the torque tolerances are too tight on the FAT form then they shold be noted and a change put in that can be approved by the buyer. If they’re reasonable then they shoudl be adhered to.