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Seventh A400M transport delivered to RAF

Airbus Defense and Space has delivered a seventh A400M military transport to Britain's Royal Air Force.

By Richard Tomkins
Seventh A400M transport delivered to RAF
An Airbus A400M new-generation airlifted, known as Atlas in U.K. service. Photo courtesy Airbus Defense and Space

LONDON, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Britain's Royal Air Force has received the seventh of 22 A400M transport aircraft from Airbus Defense and Space, the Ministry of Defense announced.

The delivery means the acquisition program has achieved its in-service date, a declaration the RAF fleet of A400Ms has the capability to conduct extended missions around the world, the ministry said.

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"The achievement of the A400M In-Service Date is a key milestone for the Royal Air Force and is testament to the outstanding work of the DE&S Project Team working closely with the RAF and industry," said The MOD's Chief of Materiel - Air, Air Marshal Simon Bollom. "The fleet now has the core capabilities required to train the instructors and crews, and to undertake logistics missions."

DE&S is the acronym for the ministry's Defense Equipment and Support organization that manages complex equipment and services acquisition projects.

The project to acquire 22 of the aircraft is an endeavor worth about $4.2 billion.

The first four airlifters received are currently in operation; the remainder are being fitted with U.K.-specific systems.

The A400M is a four-engine turboprop tactical airlifter with a cargo capacity of 81,600 pounds or 116 troops. It has a maximum cruise speed of 345 miles per hour and a range of 2,450 nautical miles with a 33-ton payload.

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