Ninth A400M Atlas transport for French air force

Ninth-A400M-Atlas-transport-for-French-air-force.  PARIS, The French Ministry of Defense reports it has received its ninth A400M Atlas military transport aircraft from Airbus Defense and Space.

The newest A400M transport for France leaves its manufacturing plant in Spain. Photo courtesy Airbus DS

The new airlifter is the first to have tactical capabilities, including the ability to drop paratroopers and supplies, a self-protection suite, the ability to operate on semi-prepared landing strips and the ability to refuel combat and transport aircraft in flight.

The ministry plans to have six A400M operational aircraft with these capabilities, and two other similar aircraft are to be delivered before the end of the year.

Three A400Ms currently in service will be retrofitted to the capability standards of the aircraft received earlier this month.

The A400M is a four-engine turboprop. It has a cruise speed of 485 miles per hour and a range of 2,490 miles while carrying a 33-ton payload.

By Richard Tomkins