As reported in MALAYSIANDEFENCE the fourth A400M for Malaysia will be arriving in January next year complete with the DASS high tech self-protection kit, air-to-air refueling (receiving and providing fuel) and the ability to deliver up to 25 tonnes of cargo.
The A400M has been specifically designed for low detectability and low vulnerability.
First of all its low level flight capabilities allow the aircraft to perform tactical missions at very low level. Together with its
- high maneuverability, enhanced low level flight capability
- steep descent and climb performance
- short landing and take-off performance
the aircraft is able to perform comparably agile over hostile terrain, being same time passively secured by
- damage tolerant flight controls
- armored cockpit and bullet-resistant windscreens
- the use of inerting gas in the fuel tanks and the on-board inert gas generating system
- segregated routing of hydraulics and wiring
- the cockpit and LMWS-armoring in combination with 12.7mm bullet-resistant glass
- no use of forward emitting sensors.
The EPI TP 400 turboprops deliver minimal infra-red signature. With highly responsive fly-by-wire flight controls, four independent control computers and damage tolerant controls the A400M is to be considered at a high level in self protection.
A400M advanced self-protection kit of defensive aids are enable it to carry out missions in demanding hostile environments.
The Defensive Aids Subsystems (DASS) is the planned tool to protect the crew - consisting of different subsystems to act on a variety of threats:
1. The missile warning system (MWS)
2. The radar warning receiver (RWR)
3. Laser warning receiver (LWR)
4. Direct energy infra red counter measures
5. Towed Radar Decoy
The DASS mirrors for a high standard of self-protection and survivability. Protection measures can furthermore be enhanced by a programmable defensive aids computer, reacting on a fully automated mode. All the desribed tools shall be ready for use on a midterm scale.