MADRID, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- An 18-month In-Service Support Services contract for A400M airlifters to be delivered to the French air force has been signed by OCCAR.
OCCAR -- the Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matiere d'ARmement -- is a multinational European organization for through life management of collaborative defense equipment programs.
The organization signed the agreement on behalf of France and Airbus Military of Spain.
"This is a key milestone in preparation for the delivery of the first A400M to the French air force," it said, and builds on an earlier A400M Launch Contract between the company and OCCAR, which represented France, Turkey, Britain, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxemburg.
The ISS is for services such as technical documentation and ground equipment for the transport aircraft.
The A400M is a four-engine turboprop. It is a tactical airlifter that can carry 81,600 pounds of cargo and a range of more than 2,000 miles. Its tactical takeoff distance is 3,215 feet, while its tactical landing distance is 2,526 feet.
About nine countries have ordered more than 170 of the planes. France is to be the first recipient.