The UK’s first A400M has entered final assembly at Airbus Military’s San Pablo site in Seville, Spain, ahead of the type’s scheduled delivery to the Royal Air Force from September 2014.
The main fuselage for MSN16 – the European programme’s tenth production aircraft – entered the join-up stage in late November. The nose section for the RAF’s second of 22 examples, MSN17, has also arrived at the site, with its fuselage due to arrive by late this month or early January.
Ordered to replace part of the RAF’s now-retired fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130K tactical transports, the UK’s A400M Atlas airlifters will be flown from the service’s Brize Norton air base in Oxfordshire.
According to Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database, the UK’s first A400M will carry the service registration ZM400, while its last on-order examples are due to be accepted in 2021. Another three of the type are on option for the nation, which reduced its firm commitment from 25 units as part of a new contract agreement signed in early 2011.