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The European armaments agency OCCAR-EA approved the aircraft standard "New Standard Operating Clearance 2.5" (NSOC 2.5) on September 8th on behalf of the A400M program nations, according to a communication from the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) . With the "Type Acceptance" thus granted, the A400M program nations (Belgium / Luxembourg, Germany, France, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom) formally recognize the progress made in the development of the complex A400M weapon system. For the contractor Airbus, this means that the contractually agreed requirements for this aircraft standard have been met.

A400M-Rüststand NSOC 2.5 abgenommen
Forces of the military evacuation operation in Kabul land with the A400M transport aircraft in Wunstorf on August 27th, 2021. / Bundeswehr / Jana Neumann

With the NSCO 2.5, the user nations have access to a large number of improvements for already delivered, but also for completely new capabilities. The Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Federal Armed Forces names among others

  • the ability to simultaneously lower parachutists with automatically deployed parachutes,
  • the ability to set down loads using the pull-out method,
  • ground-system-independent instrument approaches,
  • further optimized self-protection system (level 2b) and
  • an initial qualification for automatic low-level flight.

The OCCAR-EA also refers to reduced and military operating standards and the integrated calculation of aircraft performance with TOPOCS (Take-Off Performance On Board Computer System).

A400M-Rüststand NSOC 2.5 abgenommen
Forces of the military evacuation operation in Kabul land with the transport aircraft A400M 54 + 23 in Wunstorf on August 27th, 2021. / Bundeswehr / Marco Dorow

The BAAINBw intends to release some of these capabilities for use by the Air Force shortly. The remaining portion will be subjected to an operational test in a timely manner. In the further course of the A400M program there are the lifting of some restrictions of the operational limits in flight operations, which result by default from the approval process for aircraft.

A400M-Rüststand NSOC 2.5 abgenommen

For the coming years, the OCCAR has set the goal of reaching the final SOC3 standard. BAAINBw writes that this final aircraft standard will be the focus of project work in the near future. From 2023 the A400M will be delivered according to this standard and thus have all the contractually required capabilities. The transport aircraft that have already been delivered will then be gradually upgraded to SOC3 in a “retrofit program”.

Editors / gwh