The Royal Malaysian Air Force third A400M air-lifter arrived at the Subang airbase last Monday – four days after it was officially delivered to the service. The A400M – tail number M54-03 – flew some 9,100 km to get to Subang from the Airbus D&S A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain.
The ferry flight from Seville, took two days with one stop-over at the Al Bateen executive airport in Abu Dhabi. Both the previous deliveries, took the same route and stop-overs.
Unlike the arrival of 02 late last year, 03’s arrival today was rather subdued. There was no fly past over Subang and there was no escorts.
An official welcoming ceremony for the aircraft is only expected after Ramadan. It will be a good excuse to hold a Raya open house at 22nd Squadron spanking new hangar.
The prompt arrival of the RMAF third aircraft must be a welcome relief to Airbus D&S which have come under pressure due to delivery delay caused by engine and air-frame issues.
Mean-while, a PDRM Super King Air 350 fitted with the ISR fit also made a landing at the runway after what appears to be a test flight following maintenance.
The Airbus A400M Atlas is a multi-national, four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military (merged in January 2014 to Airbus Defence and Space) as a tactical airlifter withstrategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.The A400M is positioned, in terms of size, between the C-130 and the C-17; it can carry heavier loads than the C-130, while able to use rough landing strips.