Airbus Military officially celebrated the handover of its initial A400M next-generation airlifter with a ceremony today at the aircraft’s final assembly line in Seville, Spain – formalising the aircraft’s previous delivery to the French Air Force two months ago.
More than 700 people attended this event, including H.R.H Prince Felipe of Asturias, French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian, Spanish Minister of Defence Pedro Morenés, as well as other representatives from the A400M programme partner nations and OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation), along with EADS CEO Tom Enders, Airbus Military Chairman and CEO Domingo Ureña-Raso, who were joined by more than 300 Airbus and Airbus Military staff.
Airbus Military delivered the no.1 A400M next-generation airlifter to France on 1 August 2013. Located at Orleans – Bricy Air Base, the aircraft will be deployed on military and humanitarian missions following its initial use for training.
In preparation for the milestone first delivery, Airbus Military conducted more than 5,000 flight-test hours with its first-built A400Ms – certifying the aircraft to both civil and military standards – while nearly 40,000 people were involved during the 10-year development of this major European defence programme.
The A400M responds to the combined needs of seven European nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom) and meets the varied requirements of 21st century air forces. A total of 174 A400M aircraft have been ordered, including 50 by France.