UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy reached some significant–though little noticed–defense arrangements when they met in London late last month. The two countries agreed to seek a single joint contract for the in-service support of the Airbus A400M airlifters that both have ordered. If achieved, this will be the first such arrangement ever concluded.
The Airbus A400M is not just a military airlifter, according to Peter Scoffham, vice president of customer marketing for Airbus Military, speaking at the 2007 Military Airlift in London. It is also well-suited to the transport of humanitarian aid, which, he said, is one reason Malaysia has chosen the aircraft for its fleet.
A series of flight tests held in France this past summer has successfully shown that the Thales TopOwl helmet-mounted display system originally designed for helicopter pilots works just as well for those flying military transport aircraft. The tests made use of the TopOwl-H head up display (HUD) system now in full-scale production. Thales has made more than 400 to date.
Airbus Military will receive the first four flight test engines for the delayed A400M medium-lift transport by the end of the year, ending speculation that the TP400 engine program has run into serious difficulties.
Four European engine exhibitors at Dubai–Rolls-Royce, Safran, MTU and ITP–are fighting to recover an engine program that has run into serious problems during testing, forcing major delays to the Airbus Military A400M transport currently being campaigned as the answer to medium uplift requirements in the UAE and other Gulf states.
Dr. Stefan Weingartner replaced Bernd Kessler as the president and CEO, commercial maintenance, of MTU Aero Engines (Stand W750) on November 1, following his nomination by MTU’s supervisory board on October 18. Kessler has left MTU to become the CEO of Switzerland-based aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul company SR Technics (Stand E500).
To no one's great surprise, EADS finally admitted that the A400M airlifter will be late taking off. "The consequence on deliveries and cost is under assessment," the company added.
Lufthansa has selected Hamilton Sundstrand, a United Technologies company, to supply its APS 3200 auxiliary power unit (APU) for 30 new single-aisle Airbus aircraft. The company has also recently delivered the first production-configuration secondary electric power distribution center (SEPDC) chassis assembly for the Airbus A400M military airlifter.
It seems there is no slack left in the Europrop TP400-D6 turboprop engine program for the Airbus A400M military transport.
As the A400M program gathers force, Airbus Military has chosen Thales as its preferred partner for training systems. A formal agreement covers the delivery of full-flight simulators to AMSL, plus an MoU for the provision of training solutions to France and the UK. AMSL and Thales will pool their considerable resources to provide training systems and services for A400M customers.