Above: The Luftwaffe’s 33rd A400M departing from Seville earlier today on delivery to LTG62 at Wunstorf. Airbus Defence
AIRBUS DEFENCE and Space delivered another A400M to the German Air Force today, June 25. The aircraft, 54+34 (c/n 103), was flown from Seville-San Pablo Airport, Spain, where the final assembly line is located, to Wunstorf Air Base, Germany, to join Lufttransportgeschwader 62 (LTG62 – 62nd Air Transport Squadron)/621 Staffel. This was the 33rd A400M to be delivered to the Luftwaffe. Prior to this, the most recent delivery, of the 32nd aircraft, had taken place in January.
Germany had originally planned to buy 75 of the type, but budget cuts led to this being reduced to 60 and then again down to 53. In a further cost-saving effort, it was decided to only operate 40 of the 53 on order, while the remaining 13 were to be sold as soon as they were delivered. This plan was, however, thwarted by a lack of interest from potential buyers and it was eventually decided that all 53 will be operated by the Luftwaffe. This threw into disarray the plan to have just one A400M base, Wunstorf, with all 40 aircraft operating from there. The decision to retain the last 13 aircraft as well has meant that once the initial 40 have been delivered to Wunstorf, the remaining 13 will be allocated to a new unit to be formed at Lechfeld.