Arrival of Luxembourg's A400M in Belgium launches binational unit between two countries

by Nicholas Fiorenza

The Luxembourg Armed Forces’ A400M arrived at Melsbroek, the military part of Brussels airport, on 9 October to join the Belgian air force's 15 Air Transport Wing as the first aircraft of a binational unit (BNU) between the two countries. The aircraft flew over towns and cities in Luxembourg and Belgium on its way from the Grand Duchy’s Findel airport on its way to Melsbroek. On board was Luxembourg’s deputy prime minister, François Bausch, who also holds the defence portfolio and said after landing that the aircraft was piloted by a Belgian and a Luxembourger.

The Luxembourg Armed Forces’ A400M joined Belgium’s 15 Wing at Melsbroek on 9 October. (Janes/Nicholas Fiorenza)

The Luxembourg Armed Forces’ A400M joined Belgium’s 15 Wing at Melsbroek on 9 October. (Janes/Nicholas Fiorenza)

The first of seven Belgian A400Ms is expected in Melsbroek in the coming months, with the final aircraft to arrive by 2023, according to 15 Wing commander Lieutenant Dominique Van Den Heuvel. Bausch said Luxembourg would provide three crews totalling six pilots and six loadmasters who would work side by side with their Belgian counterparts.

Belgian Air Component commander General Thierry Dupont said the BNU would reach its initial operational capability in June 2021 with two A400Ms and five crews, with the final operational capability to be achieved by the end of 2024.

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The Luxembourg Armed Forces’ A400M arrived at Melsbroek, the military part of Brussels airport, on 9...

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