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5 AUGUST 2013

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Article from BTNews 5 AUGUST 2013

First A400M finally delivered

France has taken delivery of the first of 50 Airbus A400 Atlas military transport it has on order.  The A400 is a 21st century version of the Shorts Belfast capable of lifting up to 37 tons of varied equipment through a rear doorway and landing on rough strips.

Airbus hopes to find buyers for hundreds of the aircraft, which competes with the smaller Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules turboprop and the bigger Boeing C-17 cargo jet.  The RAF order now stands at 22 (down from 25) with the first due in 2015.

The A400M was developed for seven European NATO nations at a cost of more than €20bn and is way behind schedule, assembly of the prototype having started in 2007 at the EADS Seville plant in Spain.  Luxemburg is due a single aircraft in 2019.

Malaysia is the only country outside Europe to currently order the plane, the first of four due in 2015.  South Africa cancelled.  A story from Reuters says that Spain would like to sell 13 of its 14 aircraft committed for, but that would affect further exports.  The total order book now stands at 174. www.airbusmilitary.com

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