Istanbul - Cargoplanes used for airlifting in air forces are often dubbed "workhorses." These workhorses are not only responsible for carrying out military missions, they also play definitive roles in disaster relief, humanitarian aid and can even be modified as flying ambulances. Airlifting operations are carried out in every theater of conflict.
In 1982, European nations started a project titled Future International Military Airlifter (FIMA). Turkey also participated in this project in 1988, seeking a replacement for aging C130s and C160s.
In 2003, the project was integrated to the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), marking the official start of the Airbus A400M project. OCCAR consists of six member states: Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain; and six other participating states: Finland, Sweden, Poland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Turkey. The main purpose of OCCAR is to develop and produce costeffective defense systems while supporting the products through their service life.
Turkey is participating in both the development and production of Airbus A400M. Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) is responsible for the design and production of 7.2 percent of structural components as well as 1.27 percent of internal systems of all aircraft to be produced.
Structural components are fuselage (body) parts, emergency escape doors, paratrooper doors as well as flight control surfaces like ailerons and speed brakes. Internal systems to be produced are interior and exterior lighting, all cables and water waste systems. With the production and design of these parts, TAI aims to be a global player and has already gained invaluable experience.