Year-End Spurt In Bundeswehr Procurement
(Source: German Ministry of Defense; issued Dec 17, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by
On December 16, the Bundestag budget committee released the necessary budget funds for new investments by the Bundeswehr. The force can now equip A400M transport aircraft and NH-90 helicopters. In the A400M project, there will also be additional cargo space trainers.

A400M are adapted to tasks

For around 255 million euros, the German Armed Forces want to better equip 45 Airbus A400M aircraft. Aircraft that were previously only usable for logistical missions are to be made capable of tactical missions through additional equipment and preparations. The mission-oriented equipment is to be retrofitted to 40 machines.

This, for example, will increase the loading capacity of the cargo floor for transporting tracked vehicles. Self-protection components will also be installed and removed more quickly, and an infrared vision system will help ensure safety.

Five A400M intended for logistical tasks will be converted to the so-called tactical version. This means that more A400Ms than before can be used for air refueling and dropping loads.

The modern self-protection equipment then also allows flights to areas with a potential threat. These five A400Ms are among the 13 A400Ms that were originally intended to be resold, but are now used by the Bundeswehr itself due to greater demand.

The work should be combined with planned maintenance measures, to keep down-time in the industry as short as possible.

Optimal training thanks to A400M load compartment replicas

So that paratroopers and air cargo personnel can better practice their tasks, the Bundeswehr wants to procure two cargo hold trainers for the A400M. One of these true-to-the-original, but partially simplified replicas of the loading space of an A400M, will be installed at the Altenstadt site. Paratroopers will thus receive a modern training tool for their training and practice.

At the Wunstorf location, another hold trainer will be available for air cargo personnel to practice loading and unloading of equipment.

Both cargo hold trainers are optimized for the respective training purposes. They can be used regardless of the weather and light conditions, and offer realistic exercise options. This also protects the A400M type aircraft that previously had to be used for this purpose.

For around 33 million euros, the two replicas are to go into operation around two years after the contract was signed in Altenstadt and Wunstorf.

The configuration of the NH-90 is harmonized

A total of six NH-90 TTH (Tactical Transport Helicopter, Army variant) pre-production helicopters are to be brought up to series production standard. Five of these pre-production NH-90s will receive a new helicopter cell. This extends the service life of the aircraft and improves their profitability. One pre-production helicopter will retain its cell assembly when series components are installed, will later be used as a training device for aircraft technical personnel.

The total costs of around 133 million euros for the project will be reduced, among other things, through contributions in kind from an earlier amendment contract and compensation from the contractor. The financial requirement will amount to around 103 million euros.


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