France receives a new A400M with extra capabilities

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Airbus Defense and Space is about to deliver a hundred A400M, 87 are already in service in 6 different area forces and each time they can perform more different missions. On December 4, from the Airbus DS assembly plant in Seville, a new A400M landed at the base area 123, in Orlans-Bricy. Army of the Air french. With the arrival of this device this area force already has 17 A400M, framed in the Escadron of Transport (ET) 1/61 Touraine.

The main novelty of this device, registered as F-RBAP, the production MSN095, is that it is the first delivered by Airbus DS, as required by the DGA (Direction Gnrale de lArmement) French, capable of launching loads of 16 tons and supplying fuel to other A400M, in addition to the fighter planes.

According to the DGA, the F-RBAP is capable of launching 16 tons of material at one time, which gives it a great capacity to deliver cargo per area. It is expected that this new capacity particularly accompanies the evolution of the troops in an operating theater. In particular, allows to launch heavy equipment such as engineering machines for earthworks, which serve to repair a damaged airstrip, the French press release said.

This capacity is widely used in the Sahel theater of operations, within the framework of the Barkhane operation, which leads France, since loads of livelihoods, ammunition, or medicines can be launched quickly. Etc, to advanced temporary bases. Also to reduce the replenishment convoys, which require the use of land protection forces and support areas, which run along the long routes that run through the deserts / semi-deserts of this large area of ​​West Africa, limiting as casualties to the fire of Islamic terrorists, and their dangerous FDI (Improvised Explosive Device).

This 16 A400M is also the first depending on a complete refueling system that is capable of supplying not only French combat equipment (Rafale and Mirage 2000 …) and allies, but also transport aircraft, such as other A400M They feature a refueling hanger on top of the fuselage.

The A400M improvements increase the operational capabilities of French military areo transport. Successfully completed tests in 2019 by Airbus, with the assistance of the DGA and the French Armed Forces, resulted in the simultaneous launch of 80 (40 + 40) paratroopers through the side doors. In parallel, the refueling of helicopters in flight was carried out, specifically tested by giving fuel to an Airbus Helicopter H225M Caracal and the new H160 Gupart. Final certifications of these two key capabilities are now expected by 2020 and 2021, respectively. (Julio Maz Sanz)

Photography: The prototype EC-400 of the A400M launching loads during the tests prior to the certification of this capacity. (photo: DGA)

View from the A400M cockpit resupplied by another similar device. (photo: DGA)

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