This Tuesday, a delegation from the French DGA (Direction générale de l'armement/General Directorate for Armament) visited Eindhoven Air Base within EATC premises. The Commander of the EATC, Major General Pascal Valentin, welcomed the delegation under the lead of Mr. Tanguy Lestienne, Chief Engineer of the DGA Armament Division. From EATC aside the visit was prepared by LTC Stefan Wilmers, Secretary of the Operational Users Group A400M and LTC Marc Liboureau, Deputy Head of EATCs Technical and Logistics Branch.
The scope of the visit was to share the French experiences concerning the entry into service of the A400M and to identify possible opportunities for common multinational activities between the EATC and the A400M user nations.
The EATC, as a future central actor for the common use of the A400M, is already now deeply involved in the writing of a common A400M concept and a common A400M doctrine. Moreover since 2011 the EATC provides the chairman of the Operational Users Group A400M.
The DGA explained the role and organisation of the different French entities and gave a lookout on the increased capabilities of the new aircraft.
Furthermore the current and future French service and support organization has been presented and the A400M configuration management has been discussed.
The participants underlined the importance of sharing experience between the EATC, OCCAR and the different A400M user nations and identified common configuration management, common data and information management as well as common spare parts management as most promising fields of cooperation.
Who is who on the A400M introduction
The A400M program is a cooperative development of seven European countries and NATO members Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg. Program management (project) is provided by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). Program development and production of the A400M is under the direction of Airbus Defence & Space.
Together with the Staff of the French Armed Forces the DGA provides the capabilities essential for military sustainment, structures military needs, proves and recommends solutions for military equipment. In this regard the DGA is responsible for the A400M testing phase together with the MEST (Multinational Entry into Service Team) – before the aircraft is approved/licensed for operational military service.
EATC finally works on several working groups and concepts to accelerate the A400M employment into the EATC Participating Nations Air Forces. As far as each national owned aircraft finish successfully the national testing phase and join the national operational service, EATC shall consequently take over the aircraft under operational Command (OPCON) via Transfer of Authority (ToA). This way EATC will run the biggest A400M fleet on the continent within just one decade.
Words and pictures: EATC PAO
Read more about the EATC involvement in A400M matters here.