Two Turkish Air Force A400M military transport aircrafts, which were stranded at Kyiv’s Boryspil International Airport, Ukraine due to the closure of airspace as a result of the Russian invasion, arrived in Turkey on Tuesday. The aircrafts began to be transferred to their home base, Kayseri. Turkey, internationally praised for its unique mediator role between Ukraine and Russia, has repeatedly called on Kyiv and Moscow to end the war through negotiations. The two aircrafts of the Turkish Air Force had flown to Kyiv-Boryspil Airport shortly after midnight on February 24 just as Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.
The Airbus A400M Atlas is a European four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military (now Airbus Defence and Space) as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The A400M is sized between the C-130 and the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III; it can carry heavier loads than the C-130 and is able to use rough landing strips. In addition to its transport capabilities, the A400M can perform aerial refueling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment.
The project has its origins in the Future International Military Airlifter (FIMA) group, which was established in 1982 as a joint venture between Aérospatiale, British Aerospace (BAe), Lockheed, and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) with the goal of developing a replacement for both the C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160. The original partner nations were France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Turkey had taken receipt of its 10th and final A400M from Airbus Defence & Space, becoming the third nation to complete its fleet of the tactical transports.
The Airbus A400M increases the airlift capacity and range compared with the aircraft it was originally set to replace, the older versions of the Hercules and Transall. Cargo capacity is expected to double over existing aircraft, both in payload and volume, and range is increased substantially as well. The A400M operates in many configurations including cargo transport, troop transport, and medical evacuation. It is intended for use on short, soft landing strips and for long-range, cargo transport flights. The maximum payload of 37 metric tons (41 short tons) can be carried over 2,000 nmi (3,700 km; 2,300 mi).