France has demonstrated the load-carrying credentials of its A400M tactical transport at Le Bourget, as it gets ready to take delivery of a seventh example from Airbus “in the coming days”.

Weighing in at a cool 29t, a VBCI armoured vehicle – used “everywhere” by the nation’s army – has been repeatedly loaded onto the French air force aircraft on display outside Airbus’s chalet. A growth version tipping 32t is to come soon.

Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian opted to keep the nation’s A400Ms in operational use following a fatal accident involving the type in Spain on 9 May. Its fleet has logged more than 150 flight hours since then, in locations including Africa and the Middle East.

“We have full confidence in the aircraft, and the way we have operated since the accident shows our faith,” says France’s programme manager for the A400M, who declines to be named. The acceptance process for its next example has been completed, with the airlifter “ready to go”, he adds.

Source: Flight Daily News