The A400M is the proven, certified and in-operations most advanced airlifter with 21st century state-of-the-art technologies. The A400M can airlift in its large cargo bay most of the critical armed forces equipment that no longer fits in previous generation tactical airlifters, such as a heavy helicopter, an infantry fighting vehicle or a humanitarian excavator. Thanks to its combined strategic and tactical capabilities, the A400M has proven better range, speed, altitude, payload and tactical performance than previous-generation tactical airlifters, enabling the delivery of game-changing capabilities to the point of need, such as next to a natural disaster or a theatre of operations where strategic airlifters cannot operate. The A400M enables cost-effective and rapid response to crises. The aircraft has also demonstrated its worth in supporting humanitarian and disaster relief operations as well as VIP transport.
The A400M was launched in May 2003 to respond to the combined needs of seven European Nations regrouped within OCCAR (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey and the UK), with Malaysia joining in 2005. The A400M assembly takes place in Spain; the wings (largely designed with composite materials) are manufactured in the UK, while the fuselage is built in Germany.
The A400M made its first flight on 11 December 2009. The first production aircraft was delivered to the French Air Force in August 2013 and entered into service a year after. The A400M already has seen operational use with the French and Turkish Air Forces in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, African Sahel Region, Mali and in the Middle East to support the air operations over Iraq and Syria.