Malaysia is expected to receive its first Airbus A400M military airlifter in January 2015 with the rest to follow in in stages, Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) commander Gen Tan Sri Rodzali Daud said.
Malaysia placed an order for four A400Ms in December 2005 with a cost of RM3.5 billion, including training and logistics. All the aircraft are expected to be delivered by 2016, Rodzali said.
He added that the A400M was not meant to replace the existing C-130 transport aircraft but rather, to increase the capacity of the RMAF by two-fold, thus giving the force to three major capabilities, namely a true heavy airlift capability, tactical capability and air-to-air refuelling capability.
He was speaking to reporters after welcoming the arrival of Airbus' new-generation transport aircraft, the Grizzly 4, which is on a three-nation tour of Asia involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, at the RMAF base in Subang, near here. Present was Airbus' vice-president for Asia-Pacific, Ignacio Alonso.
The A400M has the capability of landing on makeshift runways and capable of combining logistical and tactical operations. It has a lifting capacity of up to 30 tonnes with a range of 2,450 nautical miles.
To read more about defense, click on DEFENSE WORLD on the home page.