Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
17 November 2016
Spain took delivery of its Airbus Defence and Space (DS) A400M airlifter during a ceremony at the final assembly line (FAL) in Seville on 17 November.
The formal handover of the aircraft, company serial MSN44, took place around two-and-a-half months after the maiden flight, which was flown out of the same facility in southern Spain.
As one of the principal partners in the multinational project, Spain is contracted to procure 27 A400Ms to replace its ageing Lockheed Martin C/ KC-130H Hercules aircraft. However, in May 2013 the country announced it was looking to reduce this order to 14 aircraft because of budgetary pressures, with the remainder to be sold off to third parties. The first 14 will be delivered between now and 2022, with the remaining 13 postponed until at least 2025 in order for Madrid to find a buyer.
The Spanish Air Force (Ejército del Aire Español: EdAE) will base its A400Ms at Zaragoza in the northeast of the country, from where they will complement the Boeing 707-300 (T.17), Airbus DS C212 (T.12), CN235 (T.19), and C295 (T.21) fixed-wing transport fleets.
Original post: janes.com