The handover of the first of four Airbus A400M ATLAS military transport aircraft to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) marks the first delivery of this aircraft to an export customer outside the original European launch nations. The Chief of the RMAF, General Dato’ Sri Roslan Saad, officially took over the aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space’s CEO Bernhard Gerwert during a ceremony on 17 March. Gerwert said: “We are extremely proud to deliver the first A400M to our first export customer – Malaysia. These aircraft will transform Malaysia’s air mobility force thanks to the A400M’s unique combination of strategic and tactical capabilities. Today sends a clear message that the A400M is not just a specialised aircraft designed and developed for Europe’s Air Forces, but is truly the new reference in tactical and strategic transport market globally – fulfilling both roles in a single machine.” The handover ceremony was attended by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and Minister of Defence Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. Two additional aircraft will be delivered during 2015, with the final ATLAS set to be handed over in 2016.
|The RMAF’s first Airbus A400M ATLAS spotted during the Opening Ceremony of LIMA 2015 on 17 March 2015.|