In a statement sent to JakartaDaily.id last month, Airbus said the test campaign took place in daylight conditions with a minimum operating height of 150ft, flight speeds as low as 125 knots, and drops involving up to 20 tonnes of water from the current tank in less than 10 seconds.
The European plane maker said the development of this prototype and the tests have been carried out in close collaboration with the 43rd Group of the Spanish Air Force, as well as European authorities in Firefighting operations and the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO), a department of the Government of Spain.
"The development of this firefighting kit is an intrinsic part of our journey towards helping to create a more sustainable and safer world, not only by our actions but also through our products. We strongly believe the A400M can play a vital role in the fight against the ever-increasing threat posed by wildfires and support the restoration of social and environmental systems," Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, said in the statement.
The Airbus firefighting solution created for the A400M is a roll-on/roll-off (RORO) kit that requires no modification to the aircraft and therefore is interchangeable with any aircraft in the A400M fleet.
The water is stored in a fixed tank in the cargo hold, and retained by two independent doors. These doors are connected to two flood pipes, so when the discharge is triggered, the water is expelled through two sections at the end of the ramp.