In a series of tests at RAF Boscombe Down in the United Kingdom, Airbus Military tested the new A400M tactical transport aircraft to deploy vehicles and troops rapidly to seize an enemy airfield. The photo published on July 17th shows a Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicle, and weapons-mounted support vehicle with trailer exiting an A400M with its engines running to enable it to depart immediately. The technique is typically used to enable special forces to secure a bridgehead airfield so that large quantities of reinforcements and supplies can subsequently be delivered in safety. Although not tested this time, up to 60 troops could be deployed simultaneously with the vehicles.
UPDATE 22 NOVEMBER 2013: The Indonesian government cancelled all military co-operation (temporarily) with Australia on 1 January 2014, out of anger of Australian espionage of highly placed officials including the Indonesian president. The Indonesian move will very likely cause cancellation or delay of at least the latter five C-130s.
Nine former Royal Australian Air Force C-130H Hercules will soldier on with the Indonesian Defence Forces, according to a press release by the Australian government on July 26th, 2013.
On that day five C-130s were offered at at discount rate and the two countries signed an pre-sale document. Four other Herculeses are already in the process of being transferred as part of an earlier agreement.
,,The sale of a further five C-130H transport aircraft will further enhance Indonesia’s capacity to respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crisis”, writes an Australian government press spokesperson.
The Cameroon Air Force got its first and only new Airbus (CASA) CN235 medium transport aircraft, reports Airbus Military.
The handover makes Cameroon the sixteenth sub-Saharan nation to operate Airbus Military’s family of light and medium aircraft. Altogether 61 countries now operate the Airbus Military light and medium family of airlifters and surveillance aircraft – the C212, CN235 and C295.
The CN235 is can carry a six tonne payload and operates in hot, dusty and humid conditions and on unprepared runways. It has a fair short take-off and landing capability, and its cabin can be reconfigured for a variety of transport missions such as carrying troops, cargo, mixed loads or for medical evacuation.
Source: Airbus Military
Cameroon Air Force (Armée de l’Air du Cameroun) status as of July 2013
A US Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey transport aircraft from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 (Reinforced), 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, takes off from Samuel Hill Airfield in Australia on July 16th, 2013. The 31st MEU is participating in Talisman Saber 2013, a biennial exercise that enhances multilateral collaboration between U.S. and Australian forces for future combined operations, humanitarian assistance and natural disaster response.