Future Large Aircraft

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 2nd July 2015.

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Photo of Kevan Jones Kevan Jones Shadow Minister (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many safety tests of the A400m Atlas aircraft have been undertaken by his Department to date; and how many further such tests are scheduled over the next year.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Defence Procurement)

The A400M development and production contract requires that Airbus undertake a comprehensive flight test programme to validate the safety of the A400M aircraft. The results of this test programme make a pivotal contribution to the safety certification of the A400M by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the A400M partner nations' certification and qualification organisation. Although the Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not directly undertake A400M flight testing, MOD personnel and subject matter experts scrutinise and, with counterparts from other partner nations, confirm the validity of certification evidence, including the robustness of flight test evidence in supporting the A400M safety case.

In addition to the scope of the A400M development programme, there are a number of dedicated UK capabilities, such as UK parachutes and aerial delivery systems, which need to be cleared from a safety perspective on A400M. Consequently, the UK will commence its own testing of these dedicated capabilities, starting at the end of July 2015 and continuing until March 2018, to clear their release to service.

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