PARIS --- France’s 15th A400M Atlas military transport aircraft landed on April 26, 2019 at Orléans-Bricy Air Base, after being accepted in Seville by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) on April 25, 2019.
This aircraft is the first new aircraft delivered directly in a tactical standard, including the capability to land and take off from unprepared airstrips at all times. Since the beginning of the year, three previously-delivered French aircraft have also been upgraded to this new standard.
Two additional capabilities will be added in the fall: the ability to drop heavy loads weighing up to 16 tons, and in-flight refueling from the central fuselage boom, mainly for the benefit of other A400M and Transall transport aircraft.
A tactical military transport aircraft having strategic reach, the A400M Atlas is unmatched on the global market. Powered by four turboprops, it is designed to carry up to 35 tons of equipment and carry out all transportation-related tasks, including inter and intra-theater operations, assault on rough terrain, air dropping of troops and equipment including from very high altitudes, in-flight refueling and medical evacuations.
Its advanced communications and performance allow it to integrate into joint air operations like no other transport aircraft before. The A400M is in this respect a real combat system.
The technical performance of the A400M Atlas makes it possible to increase, over the course of deliveries, the capabilities of the French military air transport. The tactical capabilities of this 15th aircraft illustrate the recently-traveled path to the target standard: dropping paratroops through a side door, refueling another centrally transported aircraft, and improved ground performance.
The 2019-2025 military programming law provides for the delivery of 11 A400Ms during the period, for a total of 25 aircraft in service at the end of 2025.