A team of 5 RAF engineers have been specifically chosen for their unique skill set and deployed to British Forces South Atlantic Islands to successfully complete an intricate engine change on an A400M aircraft.

The Royal Air Force say in a news release that tailored tooling and equipment was required for the project; one that had never been attempted before at such a remote location away from RAF Brize Norton.

Cpl Ramsey Awad from 70 Sqn has been leading the bespoke engineering team, he said:

“The task has gone to plan, without any major disruption, this is due to a whole team effort ensuring all equipment and spares necessary for the task arrived safely in the Falkland Islands and the enthusiastic and professional attitude of the deployed team.”

Gp Capt Chris Jones OBE is Head of Airbus Support Centre UK, he explained:

“Recovering an A400M that needs an engine change is always a significant event that needs expertise and careful engineering. There has been a constant link between the UK and the deployed team at BFSAI. Team Atlas is a combined effort of RAF, Airbus and Flybe the task has been a good test of joint organisational skills and communication.”

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Why do we have an A400 deployed in the Falklands. I assume that it isn’t engaged in the Tanker role (although it could be)….a big, expensive piece of kit that might be better deployed elsewhere


The article says that the aircraft needed to be recovered so my guess is that it went u/s on a service from Ascension rather than being deployed in the Falklands.

Sceptical Richard

There is an A400M and a Voyager permanently assigned to the Falklands. I was the CEO of Airbus Military in the UK and headed the whole Brize Norton operation before I retired in 2017. I was also the Airbus board member on the AirTanker board. I know only too well the perils of keeping two lonely aircraft in this hostile environment far away from your main operating base. I’m very glad to see that members of 70 Squadron have apparently undertaken this complex task on their own. Back at Brize, this task would have been led by the Airbus engineering… Read more »


A Hercules was based there previously, from memory. It may have been that the problem with the engine was discovered on an inward flight and was unable to be repaired . The A400 might operate between Brize Norton and MPA shuttling goods and personnel and might not be based there permanently.
These are just guesses Herodotus.

The Big Man

An A400 replaced the Hercules in April 2018. It took over as BFSAI’s tactical airlift capability delivering maritime reconnaissance, search and rescue and humanitarian assistance.


Thanks…that is what I thought. But why an A400 instead of a C130…sledgehammers and nuts. When you consider that we already have a voyager stationed there, it does seem somewhat excessive!


i’m sure I read that one of either the c130/a400m or voyager had been withdrawn (leaving the other.) I would imagine the voyager is the one which is still there.

The Big Man

The A400M is definitely still there and maintains high readiness 24/7 365. Voyagers provide the airbridge, but also the Typhoons stationed there would need Voyagers would they not?

David Flandry

it is a poor man’s maritime patrol aircraft.


To be fair we do not need special maritime patrol aircraft there right now. It has a good range and can operate multiple roles, including moving men and equipment etc.


I thought I read it was training in the airborne assault role, of an island.


Participating in an exercise with HMS Forth, it involved a fully integrated UK air, land and sea force to invade/raid one of the islands.

Andy P

I’m curious what Flybe had to do with it.


The engineering arm of Flybe do some maintennance work on the A400 as part of an on-going contract with Airbus/RAF – you could often see an A400 on the pan outside their shed at Exeter Airport – not sure whats happened since Flybe Maybe went bust though

Andy P

Cheers mate, every day’s a school day.

Peter Crisp

That must have been a pretty fascinating assignment and not something that pops-up all that often. Good job to all involved.


Come on it doesn’t take the brains of a rocket scientist to know the days of the conventional helicopter are numbered. Our pilots would have ben looking at this program with a very keen interest – Ooo, new and shiny…

I wonder if the tie in between Bell and Leonardo places them in a greater position with regards to ever replacing Merlin/Puma with derivative of the Valor?

Mark F



If we piss off China enough they might try to tie up us much of our armed forces in the Falkland Islands as possible. A bit like how they tie up India’s army in the plateau regions, keeping them far away from Chinas SLOC’’s. China is planning to invest heavily in Argentina, they have a very interesting relationship and China will want Argentina to have the ability to defend themselves and those investments. So, it’s great to see we can sustain A400M’s like this, along with direct flights with Voyager now. We are in a good position, let’s just not… Read more »