The UK Royal Air Force’s (RAF) A400M Atlas aircraft and its crew from RAF Brize Norton have carried out natural surface operation training in France.

The training was conducted during the aircraft’s deployment in multinational exercise Ouranos in Amberieu.

The natural surface operation training is a crucial capability of Air Mobility fleet that prepares the aircraft to operate in a wide range of locations without being restricted to the prepared runways.

It saw the aircraft practice landing on natural and unprepared surfaces, unlike the regular asphalt or tarmac.

The crew, including members of LXX and 30 Squadron from RAF Brize Norton, also demonstrated the capabilities of the RAF’s Atlas fleet during the exercise.

Both LXX and 30 Squadron are the frontline flying units for the Atlas aircraft comprising of qualified instructors in Natural Surface Operations from XXIV Squadron onboard.

As part of the exercise, the RAF crew together with the French counterparts from Armée de l’Air learned new skills and enhanced interoperability.

Detachment commander squadron leader Beard said: “Exercise Ouranos has been an excellent opportunity for the Atlas Force.

“It has fostered relationships with other nations and exercise and will only serve to improve interoperability with these countries in the future.

“The exchange of knowledge with regard to Natural Surface Operations with Atlas C1, and opportunity to use Tactical Landing Zone at Amberieu has been a crucial step in development of this capability for Atlas Force.”

The latest exercise comes after the Armée de l’Air Atlas aircraft conducted reciprocal training on Pembrey Sands in Wales.