Kazakhstan has placed an order for two Airbus A400M aircraft and becomes the ninth operator together with Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Malaysia and Luxembourg.

With delivery of the first aircraft scheduled in 2024, the contract includes a complete suite of maintenance and training support. Together with the agreement a Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed to collaborate on Maintenance and Overhaul services and with a first step of creating a local C295 maintenance centre.

“The A400M will become the cornerstone of Kazakhstan’s tactical and strategic airlifting operations,” said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space.

“This new export contract brings the total number of A400M orders to 176 aircraft, a figure that we expect to increase in the near future. With more than 100 aircraft delivered and 100,000 flight hours in operation, the A400M has proven its capabilities, reaching a state of maturity that many potential customers were waiting for.”

With the capacity to accommodate the country’s inventory and conduct military, civil and humanitarian missions, the A400M “will enable Kazakhstan to quickly respond to any mission by rapidly deploying game-changing capabilities over long distances and enabling effective access to remote areas”, say Airbus.

The Airbus A400M Atlas is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed by Airbus Defence and Space as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

The A400M is between the C-130 and the Boeing C-17 in size; it can carry heavier loads than the C-130 and is able to use rough landing strips. Along with the transport role, the A400M can perform aerial refueling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment.

Around 100 have been built so far, the UK has ordered 22 and operates 20 currently.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Fedaykin (@guest_580718)
2 years ago

Wow Wow We Wa Very Nice!

DRS (@guest_580720)
2 years ago

Interesting in Kabul we didn’t really see RAF A400M, but C17. Other countries did do those (Germany)/ France and a few hercs too. this is an interesting analysis on the US effort… A visual explainer of the historic U.S. airlift in Afghanistan (usatoday.com)

Donaldson (@guest_580744)
2 years ago
Reply to  DRS

A RAF Photographer logged the number of sorties by various aircraft on Twitter @Callsign_Kodak i’ll note below [This isn’t official just off flight tracking websites]

270 sorties total:

128 by C-17 – 7 airframes used
56 by C-130J – 3 airframes used
44 by Voyager – 7 airframes used (Brize to Al Minhad AB)
42 by A400M – 4 airframes used

As you say not a great showing by A400M.

Donaldson (@guest_580749)
2 years ago
Reply to  Donaldson

Also of interest to note, A RAAF KC-30A (Voyager) flew 8 sorties refuelling 66 coalition aircraft during the airlift mission as the airport it’s self had ran out of fuel, Now if only the RAF had that capability for the Voyagers.

Positroll (@guest_580997)
2 years ago
Reply to  Donaldson

“not a great showing by A400M.”
Whut? This was an operation using the huge landing field of a civilian international airport. The limitation was number of available landing slots, regulated by the US. Not capability to land on austere fields. Only makes sense to primarily use the bigger C17+Voyager, if you have them.

SteveT (@guest_581400)
2 years ago
Reply to  Donaldson

Now, Not an A400 fan, but… Normalize your data, and then produce the sensationalist Relative numbers; and then show the Absolute numbers. The C17 did the lifting (who knew?) followed equally by C130, A400 and Voy. Sometimes, you have to do what’s required; and on this occasion, we did! The boys dun gud!

Coll (@guest_580722)
2 years ago

I mean, it’s great news. But I would have thought they would have gone with Russian aircraft considering their current inventory. What is Kazakhstan’s current relationship with Russia like?

Last edited 2 years ago by Coll
farouk (@guest_580851)
2 years ago
Reply to  Coll

Coll wrote:

What is Kazakhstan’s current relationship with Russia like?

Both are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which is a fledgling version of the EU, which also incorporates a military security cooperation part. Personally I feel that the A400s were purchased to be dissembled in which to see how they tick by either Russia or China.

Coll (@guest_581041)
2 years ago
Reply to  farouk

Reverse engineering them was my first thought.

Simon (@guest_581951)
2 years ago
Reply to  Coll

What small price of 2 planes to hand the design and technology over to China in all likelihood.

Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib
Hujjathullah M.H.B. Sahib (@guest_613781)
2 years ago
Reply to  Coll

Please don’t insult the intelligence and integrity of the Kazakhstani people. They don’t need to buy the Airbus to reverse engineer it, they already have preferantial acces to even higher Russian aviation technologies. The Kazakh, in ordering the Airbus aircrafts, I suspect, are simply interested in gaining political access to the EU and also creating non-Russian future working oppotunities for their own citizens. So that is a smart move by the Kazakhs I should say.

WatcherZero (@guest_581756)
2 years ago
Reply to  Coll

Kazakstan is a heavy buyer of Airbus helicopters, theyve also previously bought a couple of light transports from Airbus, so sticking with the company you know. Also included in the deal is the setting up of facilities to service the two aircraft but also to locally service Airbus commercial airliners so the civilian side may have played a role in selection as well.