UK

MoD suspends use of two military planes after Spanish crash

Airbus A400M military transport plane crash outside Seville Image copyright EPA
Image caption The plane reportedly hit an electric power line as pilots tried to make an emergency landing

The UK has temporarily suspended the use of a new military transport plane after one crashed in southern Spain.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD), which has two Airbus A400M aircraft, said their operations have been "paused".

The plane, which was undergoing flight trials, reportedly developed a fault just after take-off. Those on board were Spanish Airbus employees.

An MoD spokeswoman said: "As a precaution the UK's A400M aircraft are temporarily paused."

At least four people were killed in the crash on Saturday and two other crew members have been seriously injured.

Spain's airport authority said Seville airport had been closed and all flights were being diverted to Malaga and Jerez.

The A400M is a large, propeller-driven transport aircraft.

About 194 planes, which are manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, have been ordered by eight countries, including Spain, France and the UK.

Image copyright MOD
Image caption The first of the UK's A400M planes was delivered to the RAF in November 2014

The Royal Air Force (RAF) has ordered a total of 22 planes to be delivered over the next few years.

They will gradually replace the existing fleet of C-130 Hercules, the tried and trusted workhorse of the RAF's air transport fleet.

The MoD said the new aircraft will give the RAF the ability to move people and equipment rapidly around the globe for military and humanitarian operations.

It is capable of carrying 30-tonne vehicles and up to 116 armed forces personnel. According to Airbus, the A400M can be adapted to become a tanker, for air-to-air refuelling.

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