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A400M's cargo carrying capability demonstrated

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The A400M aircraft. An Airbus Military photo

MADRID (BNS): Airbus Military has demonstrated cargo carrying capability of the A400M military transport plane by loading the NH90 and EC725 helicopters onto it.

In a series of tests at Holzdorf air base in Germany and at Toulouse, France respectively, the NH Industries NH90 and Eurocopter EC725 were loaded onto, and unloaded from, the Grizzly 4 - one of the five A400M development aircraft - as required for military Initial Operating Capability (IOC), Airbus Military said on Monday.

The tests were the first demonstrations of the A400M's cargo-carrying capability using a real aircraft, and represent the most challenging loads in terms of their dimensions required for IOC, the European firm said.

They will be followed by further exercises showing the aircraft's ability to carry a wide range of military equipment as required by the launch nations, it added.

Development of A400M by seven NATO partner nations is pegged as Europe's biggest defence project. The airlifter is being built to replace ageing military cargo carriers of several European air forces.

The aircraft can carry troops, armoured vehicles and helicopters and land on short, unprepared runways.

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