FMV conducts Gripen C/D refuelling test with the German Air Force and Airbus A400M
The Swedish Defense Materiel Agency (FMV), together with the German Air Force, are currently conducting in-flight refuelling tests of the Gripen C/D with Airbus A400M, reports the FMV website.
Airbus A400M is German Air Force’s latest tanker aircraft which can carry cargo, and also act as a refuelling aircraft. According to a news report in Aviacionline.com, the aircraft is setting a standard and increasing the availability of this capability in Europe. At the end of the tests, Gripen will join the list of aircraft certified to operate with A400M.
Talking about the refuelling exercise, Joakim Hamilton, Assistant Project Manager, FMV, said, "So far, the campaign has worked very well, and above all, the cooperation with the German Air Force has been characterised by a great openness and positive spirit."
The FMV website states that a total of seven air-to-air refuelling tests will be conducted at the Swedish F21 base in Luleå including night-time exercises. It is important to test the ability of both aircraft to maneuver safely at night as more concentration is required to coordinate in dark.
Europe has had a limited air refuelling capacity for a long time, and this exercise aims to change that, and reduce dependency on American air refuelling aircraft. Also, A400M is available in European NATO countries, which means the certification should interest more Gripen operators.
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