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First A400M military transporter rolled out

In a ceremony presided over by His Majesty Juan Carlos I, King of Spain, Airbus Military has today rolled out the first complete A400M military transport aircraft from the Final Assembly Line facility in Seville, Spain.

The new aircraft, which was presented to the customers and the world's press, heralds a new era in military airlift capability.

Designed initially to a recognised requirement for a new airlifter for European air forces, the A400M incorporates the state-of-the-art materials and technology that are being continuously perfected in today's civil aircraft fleets. Features such as electronic flight controls, carbon composite structures and an automated handling system will bring new standards of operability and safety to military aircrews.

Launched under a single contract in 2003 with 180 orders for seven European launch customers, the A400M represents the most ambitious military procurement programme ever undertaken in Europe. The launch customer nations, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom were subsequently joined by Malaysia and South Africa, which recognised the potential of the new airlifter for their own requirements and brought the total number of commitments to 192.

"Today is a great day for our industry," said Carlos Suarez, CEO of Airbus Military and Head of MTAD: "It is the result of the combined efforts and determination of all those involved in the programme. It has been supported by the national governments - our customers, the industrial partners, the suppliers, and all the employees who have worked to produce the aircraft. I would like to thank and congratulate them all."

"This event demonstrates our joint determination to show that EADS can design and manufacture a long-range military transport aircraft which will set new standards airlift and open further potential in international markets. It also serves to justify the confidence which our customers placed in us when awarding the initial contract", said Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS

The initial contract, worth some 20 billion Euros was signed with a single interface between Airbus Military and OCCAR, (Organisation Conjointe de Coordination en matière d'Armament), the contractual body representing all seven European customer nations.

Versatility is the characteristic that best describes the A400M, it being conceived with both tactical and strategic capability. With a payload of up to 37 tonnes over ranges of up to 4700 nm, the A400M is designed to carry all loads and vehicles in the European Staff Requirement (ESR) inventory, serve as an aerial delivery platform and act as an in-flight refueller for both fast jets and helicopters.

The A400M is the first truly new military transport aircraft of its category designed in over 30 years, with twice the capacity and twice the payload of the current aircraft types that it will replace. It is all set to become the new standard in military airlift.

Press release issued by Airbus Defence & Space HQ on June 27, 2008

 

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