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Belgian Air Force has announced that its first Airbus A400M Atlas has conducted maiden test flight.

The military transport aircraft conducted its first flight at an Airbus Defence facility in Seville.

In a Twitter post, the Belgian Air Force said: “The aircraft performed a full Production Aircraft Test Manual (PATM) flight test profile in the late afternoon.”

According to the Airbus website, the A400M Atlas is designed to carry strategic loads to tactical locations. It can land on frontline airbases, grass and / or sand strips, as well as deliver paratroopers or pallets by airdrop.

The aircraft was launched in 2003 to serve the requirements of seven European Nations regrouped within OCCAR.

The aircraft is assembled in Spain, while the wings and the fuselage are manufactured in the UK and Germany respectively.

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Capable of carrying payloads of up to 37t, the aircraft has a range of 8,900km and can be used to carry paratroopers, heavy vehicles, equipment and other cargo.

Particularly, the A400M can be used to transport personnel and goods directly into theatres of operation and undertake strategic airlift operations. The aircraft can also be used for front-line refuelling missions.

In May, the Airbus A400M next-generation airlifter secured certification for its Automatic Low-Level Flight capability. The certification campaign was performed above the Pyrenees and central France and involved operations down to 500ft.

This year, the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) also deployed Airbus A400M aircraft to support Covid-19 relief operations in the country.