Almost 4 months later than scheduled, Luxembourg’s A400M tactical airlifter finally landed in the grand duchy on Wednesday evening for an official welcome. Luxembourg will share the plane, the first military aircraft to officially fly under the Luxembourg army colours, with Belgium as part of an 8 strong bi-national fleet.
The plane has huge capabilities, according to experts. It can fly long distance and also perform short and arduous landings on rough terrain, which makes it ideal for delivering aid--part of the Luxembourg army’s mission in recent years.
Speaking with Delano back in July, the UK’s defence attaché in Brussels, Group Captain Justin Fowler, who has in-depth knowledge of the aircraft, said the A400M is the sort of military capability that “delivering aid and supporting humanitarian causes, sits neatly with Luxembourg’s position”.
The plane cost Luxembourg close to €200m all in, and operational costs come to some €12m a year. Luxembourg crew were trained partly at RAF Brize Norton in the UK.