The German Air Force (Luftwaffe) said on Wednesday it had decided not to accept delivery of two European plane-building consortium’s A400M military transporters planes, citing recurring technical problems with the military transporters. They said extra inspections were also needed to test engine mounts, combustion chambers and engine flaps and for crack detection on various parts. European plane-building consortium’s A400M military transporters. It said the A400M was still not able to perform all tasks, despite these checks.
On 5 November 2010, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey finalised the contract and agreed to lend Airbus Military €1.5 billion. The UK reduced its order from 25 to 22 aircraft and Germany from 60 to 53, decreasing the total order from 180 to 170. The air force said the A400M had taken part in nearly 1,700 missions and formed the backbone of its air transport for carrying personnel and material, air-to-air refueling and humanitarian aid missions. Although 31 aircraft of 53 ordered had been handed over, it said there were technical issues with the planes, including with nuts used on propellers. It said extra time was needed for inspections that undermined the readiness of the A400M fleet.
Airbus said in a statement that issues with the model were not safety critical. “We are aware of findings related to dowel bolts / propeller interface in some of our customer aircraft,” it said. “This is not safety critical and our customers continue to accept and operate their aircraft.” It said it was working both with Europrop International (EPI), the consortium responsible for providing the troop carrier’s turboprop engines, and Ratier-Figeac, the French company that makes the propellers, to alleviate the need for inspections.