Riat23 Germany A400m 54Plus16 Glenn Stanley 1

Airbus A400M

The Airbus A400M Atlas is a four engine transport aircraft that has both tactical and strategic capabilities. Larger than a C-130 Hercules and smaller than the C-17, the A400M was originally developed to replace the Hercules and C-160 in European service. In addition to the transport role, the Atlas can be used as an aerial refuelling aircraft or for medical evacuation. The type has achieved limited export success, in addition to the original seven nations (Germany, France, Spain, UK, Turkey, Belgium, and Luxembourg) to order the Atlas, the aircraft has since been ordered by Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Indonesia.

Germany originally ordered a total of 60 aircraft but eventually reduced their order to 53 airframes however only 40 of these are in operation at one time. Whilst originally intended to replace the C-160 fleet, the German Air Force have also identified a requirement to maintain a smaller tactical airlifter capability and have therefore also ordered six C-130J Hercules including three KC-130J tankers as part of a joint fleet with France. Germany is currently trying to identify a use for their 13 spare aircraft which may include the creation of a multi-nation transport alliance of other European nations that currently don’t possess a Strategic Airlift capability.

Following the success of the aerial refuelling demonstration performed at RIAT 2023, Lufttransportgeschwader 62 from Wunstorf in north-western Germany will once again be sending an A400M to RIAT 2024 as part of our celebration of the 75th Anniversary of NATO. This year the unit will be performing a full solo display representing a RIAT debut.

Photo Credit: Glenn Stanley

On display

Role Friday Saturday Sunday
Flying Not decided Yes Yes