Airbus Military has today released a fresh-from-the-paint-hangar image showing the first production A400M Atlas in the colours of launch operator the French air force.
‘Salut’ to France’s first A400M
By Craig Hoyle on 15 January, 2013 in Uncategorised
With some of the Armee de l’Air’s aged C160 Transall and C-130H Hercules tactical transports currently supporting its Operation Serval activity in Mali, MSN7′s move towards first flight and a mid-year delivery date provides a promising glimpse of what its future inventory will hold. No surprises, though, in the Airbus Military-provided shot depicting an aircraft in typically drab military transport livery.
While some French troops and equipment have arrived at Bamako airport near the Malian capital aboard a Royal Air Force Boeing C-17, France’s eventually 50-strong fleet of A400Ms will deliver a real increase in payload-lifting capability over the coming years: certainly enough for it to move its own armoured vehicles by air next time.
I reckon that the chances of Airbus Military’s A400M press briefing at this year’s Paris air show including more than a few range/payload charts depicting how the Atlas would have aided its African intervention is a 100% certainty. But will we see France’s first example in the static line or flying display, I wonder?
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