WIMBORNE, England, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- Airbus' A400M tactical airlifter has demonstrated its aerial fuel transfer capabilities through the use of Cobham's 908E air-to-air refueling pods.
The British-headquartered company said the capability was proven during a series of flight trials held in Spain by Airbus.
A total of 33 dry contacts were made by the A400M and a Spanish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet and 35 wet contacts, which involved the transfer of more than 20 ton of fuel.
"Designed for quick role change, the latest generation 908E wing dispense equipment provides the A400M with an extension to its enormous flexibility by converting the aircraft into a highly effective tanker," Cobham said.
The A400M, a four-engine turboprop, first took flight in 2009 and has been ordered by at least five countries. It has a cruising speed of 485 miles per hour.
The aircraft's basic fuel capacity is more than 50 tons, which can be increased through the use of extra cargo hold tanks.