An A400M transport operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has undertaken undertakes flights to support relief efforts in Indonesia. The airlifted arrived at Jakarta’s Halim Air Base on October 4 and began delivering relief material to Palu to support the victims of an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, which devastated the city on September 28.
The earthquake was followed by a tsunami of up to 20ft (6m), which struck Palu and neighbouring Donggala. More than 1,400 people were killed, around 50,000 residents have been reported missing and over 200,000 people were left in need of emergency assistance.
The A400M’s cargo included fuel trucks from Indonesian oil firm Pertamina and excavators from industrial products manufacturer PT Pindad. The aircraft also transported food and drinks, clothes, and medical supplies collected by the Indonesian Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises. It will be distributed via the ministry’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) networks, which are actively supporting the relief efforts.
The humanitarian relief efforts in Palu have seen the Indonesian government and RMAF working together with the Airbus Foundation – the company’s vehicle for corporate philanthropy. The foundation is supporting the transport and distribution of emergency supplies and is helping the IFRC by providing 45 flight hours with an H125. The Airbus Foundation is also supporting Medecins sans Frontières (MSF) by enabling them to contract an H155 operator who will be assisting relief efforts for a few weeks. Furthermore, images from Airbus satellites are being used for emergency response following the activation of the International Charter for Space.
“Everyone has seen the heart-breaking devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Palu, and our thoughts are with victims and their families who have lost so much,” said Andrea Debbane, Executive Director of the Airbus Foundation. “This is the least that we can do together with our partners, who have provided much-needed logistical support and contributed a lot to this urgent call for help.”
RMAF A400M fleet
According to data from AirForces Intelligence, Malaysia ordered a batch of four A400Ms in December 2005, for delivery commencing in 2013, but this original schedule was delayed until 2015. Airbus Defence and Space rolled out the first A400M destined for the RMAF on January 21, 2015, at its facility in Seville, Spain. The aircraft then undertook ground tests, before successfully performing its maiden flight on January 30 that year and, in due course, the pre-delivery flight-test programme. Formal handover of this first A400M for the RMAF took place in Seville on March 9, 2015 and the aircraft departed for its delivery flight to Malaysia on March 12. Following its arrival, it was placed on public display at the LIMA airshow at Langkawi, which took place from March 17-21.
The second A400M for the RMAF made its maiden flight at Seville on November 19, 2015 and was handed over there the following December 23.
The third example arrived at Kuala Lumpur-Subang on completion of its delivery flight on June 13, 2016.
The fourth and final aircraft was handed over on March 22. 2017.
The operating unit is No 22 Skuadron at Subang.