Egypt seeking 12 A400Ms

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The Egyptian Air Force is seeking up to 12 A400Ms to grow its transport aircraft fleet, according to Spanish sources.

On 5 October Spanish website AndaluciaInformaciones.es revealed an upcoming deal concerning an unspecified number of A400M airlifters for Egypt. Pilar Albiac, the executive VP of Airbus Defence & Space, was quoted as saying “that Egypt had requested delivery of A400M airlifters as soon as possible.”

On 24 November AndaluciaInformaciones.es quoted unidentified aviation sources as saying the Egyptian order will comprise 12 aircraft at a cost of €150 million each for a total of €1.8 billion.

In mid-November Egyptian Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi visited Airbus’ Seville-San Pablo plant where the A400M is assembled, along with the C295 light transport. Egypt has ordered a total of 20 C295s in several batches.

Airbus officials neither confirmed nor denied the Egyptian A400M sale.

Meanwhile, Infodefensa.com quoted an unidentified industry official as confirming the deal, but saying that “the number of aircraft is much exaggerated.”

Egypt currently operates 26 Lockheed C-130 Hercules, as well as 9 DHC-5 Buffalos and is receiving 20 C295s.

Airbus Defence and Space is hoping to sign up a new A400M customer within the next 24 months, especially as the aircraft has now proven itself in real operations with France and Turkey, which has flown the airlifter into Africa and Afghanistan.

Airbus has demonstrated the aircraft in Algeria and Saudi Arabia and provided additional information on the A400M to three Latin American countries. Jordan, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates are also reportedly interested in the type.

To date Airbus has delivered 16 aircraft and hopes to deliver a larger number next year. The A400M fleet has accumulated 4 550 flight hours as of the end of September with most flying accumulated by the French Air Force. These flight hours were reached in more than 1 100 missions.

Yesterday the Spanish Air Force reached an agreement with Airbus to buy 14 A400Ms out of a commitment for 27. The 14 aircraft will be delivered by 2022 after which a decision will be made on how to proceed with the remainder of the acquisition, postponed to 2024, reports Flight Global. A decision to reduce the buy or sell the remaining 13 to other customers would have to be agreed by the manufacturer and the Spanish government, the report notes. These 13 aircraft would be sold by Spain to customers like Egypt.