Piranha 5 loaded into the A400M Atlas airlifter

General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) announced 25 May that the company's Piranha 5 8x8 armoured fighting vehicle was loaded into an Airbus Defence and Space A400M military tactical airlifter. The demonstration took place during an evaluation exercise at the Airbus Defence and Space site near Seville.

As part of the drill, the wheeled combat vehicle was driven into the cargo compartment and completely tied-down. The aim of the operation was to validate the boarding of a Piranha 5 vehicle in the comprehensive cargo compartment without any special preparation. The event was held as part of the aircraft’s broader evaluation process.

The vehicle, developed by the company's Switzerland-based operation GDELS-Mowag, allows the integration of a variety of remote or crew-operated turrets, as well as mission kits and equipment. Several versions are available.

The Danish Ministry of Defence procurement organization purchased 309 of the armoured vehicles according to a December 2015 contract worth approximately $600 million. Infantry, command, ambulance, engineer, mortar and repair variants will be delivered 2018-2023. Spain has selected the design as the basis platform to meet its VCR (Vehículo de Combate sobre Ruedas) wheeled combat vehicle programme.

The A400M Atlas aircraft is currently fielded by the air forces of France, Germany, Turkey, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg also will receive the aircraft.