A400M Set for Production

Airbus Military has approved the A400M transport for production, following an in-depth examination of all facets of the program to ensure full compliance and preparedness, announced parent company EADS Thursday. The first four A400Ms will roll off the production line next year, with the manufacturing rate incrementally increasing to 2.5 airframes monthly by December 2015. Airbus has a total of 174 orders from the eight countries committed to the program, including 53 for Germany, 50 for France, and 22 to equip Britain’s Royal Air Force. “The industrial launch is a very important milestone for the program. It is also excellent news for the suppliers and workforce,” said Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña. EADS officials said earlier this month the A400M completed the first stage of full-scale fatigue testing. In February, it began aerial refueling trials with an RAF VC-10 tanker.