Airbus handed over the last overhauled C-160 Transall to the German Air Force (Luftwaffe). And for that occasion German Air Force painted a special livery which paid a visit to Airbus military servicing centre in Manching. The C-160 is expected to be replaced in French and German service by the Airbus A400M Atlas. In 2015, it was announced that the retirement of Germany’s Transall fleet had been pushed back from 2018 to 2021 due to delays with the Airbus A400M; until 2021, a decreasing number of aircraft shall remain in service to perform missions that require the Transall’s self-protection suite.
The Transall C-160 is a military transport aircraft, produced as a joint venture between France and Germany. “Transall” is an abbreviation of the manufacturing consortium Transporter Allianz, comprising the companies of MBB, Aerospatiale, and VFW-Fokker. It was initially developed to meet the requirements for a modern transport aircraft for the French and German Air Forces; export sales were also made to South Africa and to Turkey, as well as a small number to civilian operators. The C-160 remains in service more than 50 years after the type’s first flight in 1963.
The Transall C-160 is a twin-engine tactical transport featuring a cargo hold, a rear-access ramp beneath an upswept tail, a high-mounted wing and turboprop engines. The C-160 is designed to perform cargo and troop transport duties, aerial delivery of supplies and equipment and is designed to be compatible with international railway loading gauges to simplify cargo logistics and loading. The landing gear can be partially retracted while on the ground. This lowers the C-160, making it easier to move vehicles into the hold as they don’t need to climb a ramp.