Airbus Military today formally delivered the first A400M next-generation military airlifter, which was received by the French Air Force.
Following this delivery, the aircraft, known in the French Air Force as the A400M Atlas, will go to the French Orléans-Bricy Air Base, where it will be based with the military service. Initially, the airlifter is to be used for continued aircrew training before becoming part of the operational transport fleet.
“Today is a truly historic day for the European aerospace industry – marking the moment at which it becomes the new global leader in the military transport sector with an entirely new aircraft,” said Airbus Military Chairman and CEO Domingo Ureña-Raso. “I would like to express my sincere thanks to everyone at Airbus Military, Airbus and our suppliers whose unflagging efforts have made this enormous achievement possible, as well as our customers and OCCAR [Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation] whose inputs over the years have been crucial to the success of the programme.”
Airbus Military has conducted more than 5,000 flight hours with the A400M, while certifying the aircraft to both civil and military standards. Nearly 40,000 people were involved with this major European defence programme during its 10 years of development.
Launched to respond to the combined needs of seven European nations – Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom – the A400M is a next-generation military airlifter designed to meet the varied 21st-century requirements of air forces around the world. It can carry up to 116 fully equipped paratroopers or 37 tonnes of payload, with additional capability as an air-to-air refuel aircraft.