Airbus has announced the successful completion of certification flight tests for the A400M Cargo Hold Tanks (CHT) refuelling unit. The milestone is the latest step towards full certification of the airlifter for air-to-air refuelling operations as a tanker.
The flight-test campaign was performed together with the Spanish Air Force Centro Logístico de Armamento y Experimentación (CLAEX, Armament and Experimentation Logistics Centre). It featured a total of nine flights during which 90 tonnes of fuel were dispensed to Ejército del Aire (Spanish Air Force) F/A-18 Hornet receivers and to another A400M prototype as a representative heavy aircraft receiver.
The test campaign included the development and certification of the CHTs with the latest Fuel Quantity Management System software, to be certified this year, enhancement of the night-refuelling vision system and preliminary testing of helicopter air-to-air refuelling capabilities.