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Airbus has delivered the 12th A400M Atlas military transport aircraft to the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) for use by the French Air Force.

With serial number MSN62, the new aircraft is the first to feature two pods for refuelling aircraft in flight.

The remaining aircraft in the French Air Force’s fleet will be equipped with this refuelling capability during future retrofit programmes.

The MSN 62 with tactical and logistical capabilities will be based at the Orléans-Bricy airbase.

Powered by four EuroProp International (EPI) TP 400 turboprops, the A400M tactical military transport aircraft is capable of carrying up to 37t of heavy and outsize equipment.

The aircraft can perform missions related to transport, including inter and intra-theatre links, assault landings on rough terrain, the personnel and equipment delivery by parachute, air refuelling, and medical evacuations.

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It has a maximum range of 8,900km and can travel at a maximum speed of 0.72 Mach.

“It has a maximum range of 8,900km and can travel at a maximum speed of 0.72 Mach.”

The A400M can also accommodate up to 116 fully equipped paratroopers.

According to the Military Programming Law 2014-2019, France’s Ministry of the Armed Forces will receive a total of 15 A400Ms by 2019.

The A400M was launched in May 2003 to cater to the needs of seven European Nations regrouped within OCCAR, which include Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey, and the UK.

To date, Airbus received orders for 174 A400Ms, of which 46 are currently in operation.