In Greek mythology “Atlas” was the name of a Titan who was condemned by Zeus, father of the gods, to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. With such a name, the new European military transport aircraft is causing quite some attraction – while it will not have to carry the weight of the world, the A400M will fly around the world and constitute the backbone of European military Air Transport (AT) for many years to come.
EATC takes over key roles in A400M employment
The EATC is increasingly involved in A400M issues. After the handover of the first A400M “Atlas” to France, the EATC - as biggest future user of the A400M and acting as “think tank” of many military air transport issues in the heart of Europe - has invested a lot of time and work into the A400M doctrine and concepts.
“But it’s worth it”, underlines the Commander of the European Air Transport Command (EATC): “Those opportunities only happen every 30 or 40 years in transport aircraft fleets”, reflects Major General Christian Badia, underlining the importance of any single step within the A400M introduction.
Here comes an overview of those opportunities the Commander EATC is pointing at:
Working on the interoperability framework
The A400M Operational User Group (A400M OUG) has already proved to be an excellent A400M networking opportunity and has been designed to give access to A400M national projects, also providing the opportunity to communicate and negotiate on the different topics with non-EATC A400M nations (e.g. the United Kingdom). Since 2011 the EATC has provided the chairmanship of the OUG.
This group will become even more important after the entry into service of the Atlas, as operators will have gathered experience and faced actual interoperability issues in cross-national training and routine operations.
Employment concepts for the A400M
A lot of efforts were engaged to write the common A400M doctrine and employment concepts.
The common A400M concept intends to standardize the principles of use of the new asset. Based on the FR-DE technical arrangement addressing training, both ground and air crew training concepts intend to standardize the training types and principles.
The achieved compromises will make future work easier, when breaking down this concept into common or national follow-on documents.
Aeromedical evacuation solutions – EATC takes care
In order to find a common approach and solutions for the best way to perform Aeromedical Evacuation with the A400M, the EATC coordinates the development of “High- and Low care” solutions for the evacuation of patients, this as an addition to the palletized stretcher support solution that is being developed and can also be used on other aircraft than the A400M.
The EATC provides the floor for the exchange of information and experiences concerning these future configuration items.
EATC dealing with airworthiness harmonization
European Military Airworthiness regulations (EMAR) will be the basic framework for multinational cooperation and the EATC is already involved in this process alongside with EDA. With the entry into service of the different PNs’ A400M, EMAR implementation is needed for spare parts exchange between the nations, common ground crew training and cross maintenance.