Only One of Eight А400М Aircraft of German Air Force Is Capable to Fly

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The German Air Force has serious problems with the new Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.

Only One of Eight А400М Aircraft of German Air Force Is Capable to Fly

The Airbus A400M military transport aircraft of the German Air Force (Photo: Airliners.net / Tamás Terjék)

After a serious incident with the new Airbus A400M military transport aircraft of the German Air Force, prospects of German military have became clear, the Les Echos information website reported. As of February 9, 2017, only one of eight German A400Ms was in good working condition, the German Air Force reported, just two days after the А400М aircraft with the German Defense Minister on board broke on its way to Lithuania.

A spokesman for the German Air Force explained that three A400Ms, including the aircraft, which were flying to Lithuania, do not fly due to conducting of unplanned maintenance, two others undergo scheduled inspection, while another one is a subject of scheduled upgrade. The seventh aircraft is still at the stage of putting into operation after its acceptance on January 31, 2017. According to the spokesman, “of course, we would like to see these aircraft serviceable, but this is normal, when aircraft undergo inspection and maintenance.”

On February 9, the German authorities said that they continue to investigate reasons for the breakage of one of the four engines of the A400M aircraft, on which German Defense Minister Ursula von Leyen was flying to Lithuania. The Airbus company declined to comment on the figures, provided by the German Air Force. The company has already reserved €5 billion for this program due to problems with the gear box and cracks in the fuselage, and said that it would do everything possible to facilitate the investigation. In May 2016, the European concern admitted its mistakes in the A400M’s design process.

Tobias Lindner, a deputy from the Greens political party, said that the latest incident demonstrates constant problems with the A400M and, in particular, with its engines, as well as expressed concern that it would affect the timing of aircraft deliveries. Airbus told the German Defense Ministry that it plans to supply ten A400Ms instead of 12 aircraft, as it was provided previously, and 13 planes in 2018 instead of 14 planned.

In January, the German Defense Ministry provided Lindner with information that the department demanded Airbus to pay compensation in the amount of €39.4 million due to the delays in deliveries of the first five aircraft, €27.2 million of which has already been paid.

Years of delays in implementation of the A400M program led to an increase in the aggregate price of the aircraft for Germany to €9.6 billion instead of planned €8.1 billion. Germany is the main customer of the aircraft, whose development was conducted by order of seven European countries for the amount of €20 billion.

Press secretary of Airbus noted that by now the company has already delivered 40 A400M aircraft, which are operated in France, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Turkey and Malaysia. Recently, Indonesia announced its intention to purchase several aircraft in the near future.

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