PICTURE: Turkey's first A400M enters final assembly

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Airbus Military's final assembly activities on the A400M have been expanded to include its first aircraft for the Turkish air force, which is scheduled for delivery in 2013.

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Airbus Military

The third of a contracted 174 series production "Atlas" aircraft to enter final assembly, following the first two A400Ms for launch operator France, MSN9 is now in work at the company's San Pablo site in Seville, Spain. Its nose and fuselage sections were joined in late June, after its wing and central wing-box had also been integrated. The last parts of the transport - its horizontal and vertical tailplanes - arrived at the site on 11 July.

Turkey will receive 10 A400Ms, with the type to replace its aged fleet of C160 Transall airlifters. Other buyers for the new-generation European transport include Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and the UK, plus export customer Malaysia. A total of three aircraft will be delivered next year, followed by seven or eight in 2014, before Airbus Military achieves its planned peak delivery rate of 30 per year in 2015.