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Following the launch of A400M series production last February, Airbus Military has begun final assembly of the first A400M that will be delivered to a customer –the French Air Force.
The fuselage for this aircraft, known as MSN7, arrived at the final assembly line in Seville (Spain) on board an Airbus Beluga. The wings and nose arrived some days earlier and the integration of the central box and outer wings has already begun. The horizontal tailplane (HTP) is expected next week and the vertical tailplane (VTP) in two weeks time.
France will receive its first A400M military airlifter around the turn of the year 2012/2013.
Eight serial A400M aircraft are already at different stages of production.
The A400M is an all-new military airlifter designed to meet the needs of the world's Armed Forces in the 21st Century. Thanks to its most advanced technologies, it is able to fly higher, faster and further, while retaining high manoeuvrability, low speed, and short, soft and rough airfield capabilities. It combines both tactical and strategic/logistic missions. With its cargo hold specifically designed to carry the outsize equipment needed today for both military and humanitarian disaster relief missions, it can bring this material quickly and directly to where it is most needed. Conceived to be highly reliable, dependable, and with a great survivability, the multipurpose A400M can do more with less, implying smaller fleets and less investment from the operator. The A400M is the most cost efficient and versatile airlifter ever conceived and absolutely unique in its capabilities.
About Airbus Military
Airbus Military is the only military and civic/humanitarian transport aircraft manufacturer to develop, produce, sell and provide support and services for a comprehensive family of airlifters with a payload range of three to 45 tonnes. An Airbus subsidiary, Airbus Military is responsible for the A400M programme, the A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) and further military derivatives based on Airbus civil aircraft. These, together with the smaller 'Light & Medium' C295, CN235 and C212, make Airbus Military the global leader in the market for military transport, tanker and surveillance aircraft capable of performing the most varied types of missions. Altogether, Airbus Military has sold more than 1,000 aircraft to some 130 military, civil and governmental customers. More than 800 of these aircraft have been delivered. Airbus is an EADS company.
More information: www.eads.com