Video: Airbus Updates A400M Firefighting Kit

A400M. Photo @AirbusDefence

Airbus Defence and Space conducted a new flight test campaign of the prototype A400M Roll-on/Roll-off firefighting kit, deploying 20,000 liters of retardant and creating high concentration lines over 400 meters long on the ground.

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Over two weeks, the A400M carried out a campaign of ground and flight tests in the southwest and center of Spain, including six loads, three of which used red-colored retardant and three used water.

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A400M. Photo @AirbusDefence

“We tested a new version of the kit, improving drop efficiency and reducing discharge time by more than 30% compared to last year, combined with rapid deployment and easy installation on the A400M aircraft,” said Jean-Brice Dumont, head of military air systems at Airbus Defence and Space. “We continue to pioneer new solutions and capabilities for our A400M fleet, in this case protecting populations and natural environments from fires.”

This Roll-on/Roll-off kit does not require any modification to the aircraft and is therefore interchangeable with any aircraft in the A400M fleet. Water or retardant is stored in a tank in the aircraft’s cargo compartment, and using a mechanical lever, a door is opened to allow the liquid to flow out of the aircraft by gravity through a discharge tube. The current prototype design is capable of releasing 20,000 liters in a single discharge.

The tanks can be filled in less than 10 minutes using standard high-pressure pumps on the ground. The A400M is characterized by its ability to take off and land on short and unpaved runways, and a wide range of air bases and aerodromes.

A400M. Photo @AirbusDefence
During the campaign, the 43rd Firefighting Squadron of the Spanish Air Force was involved as a technical advisor, ensuring that this capability in the A400M has operational value for any potential operator.

Source: @AirbusDefence

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