The French Air Force (Armée de l’Air, AdlA) received its third Airbus A400M tactical airlifter on 25 July. The plane flew at 14:30 local time from Seville in Spain and landed at BA123 Orlean Bricy, where it was welcomed by the Multinational Entry into Service Team (MEST).
In contrast to the first two aircraft, the AdlA’s third A400M is already certified to fly up to 39,370 feet (12km), to fly low-visibly approaches (Cat II) and to carry two pallets on the cargo ramp.
This year is marked with many milestones for Europe’s own propeller driven military cargo aircraft, including a French Air Force A400M being the first to make a Transatlantic flight of the type.
The French Air Force is the first operational operator of the aircraft nicknamed Atlas since August 2013, with Paris expected to order 50 A400Ms. They are to replace the Transalls in AdlA service. Turkey received its first out of 10 aircraft in April 2014. The United Kingdom, where the RAF will fly it under the name Grizzly, is expected the first of 22 A400Ms in September. Germany will follow in December, with up to 40 aircraft to come. Other future users are Spain (14), Malaysia (4), Belgium (7) and Luxembourg (1).
Source: Armée de l’Air / Airbus