2014-09-23 The A400M program is an international program with core partners involved from the beginning, notably Turkey and Malaysia.
South Africa is involved in the production process but remains to buy the aircraft, but the prospects seem good for them to do so.
The extensive areas to be covered for the defense and security of Malaysia have been highlighted by recent events in the region, and the A400M will become an important part of enhancing Malaysian security and defense forces to operate in the region.
In an earlier interview on Second Line of Defense, M. Ghazemy Mahmud, the editor of the Malaysian based Asian Defence Journal highlighted the importance of the Malysian engagement at the outset of the entry into service of A400Ms worldwide.
How important is it for Malaysia to be on the ground floor for the launch of this new European aircraft program?
Very important. And both ways, for the European program to operate in Asian conditions and for us to be part of a new global program.
Airbus is certainly not new to us. We are buying the A380 and other planes on the commercial side with Airbus.
According to an Airbus Defence and Space press release dated September 23, 2014:
The first Airbus A400M new generation airlifter for the Royal Malaysian Air Force is rapidly taking shape at the Airbus Defence and Space final assembly line in Seville, Spain.
All the fully equipped major sections including the wing, tailplane, cockpit, fuselage and landing-gear have been joined ready for ground-testing.
This aircraft will be delivered in the first quarter of 2015, followed by two more later in the year and the fourth and final aircraft in 2016.
The A400M can carry heavy and outsize loads over intercontinental distances at jet-like speeds while retaining true tactical capability to use short and unprepared runways, and can also act as an air-to-air refueler.
The first group of Malaysian pilot trainees are already undergoing instruction at the Airbus Defence and Space International Training Centre and will be joined by maintenance engineers and technicians in the coming weeks.