Monday, July 14, 2008

RAF's new transport aircraft revealed

RAF's new transport aircraft revealed

An Equipment and Logistics news article
27 Jun 08
The first Airbus A400M, the RAF's future transport aircraft, was revealed to the world yesterday, Thursday 26 June 2008, at the EADS production facility in Seville.

The long-range turbo-prop aircraft is expected to take to the air for the first time later this year. The A400M will replace part of the RAF's C-130 Hercules fleet early in the next decade with 25 aircraft already earmarked for the UK armed forces.

Minister for Defence Equipment & Support, Baroness Taylor, said:

"The A400M will be the RAF's new state-of-the-art transport aircraft for the 21st century. Capable of carrying a mixture of troops, equipment, vehicles and helicopters to the heart of our operations these aircraft will be the backbone of support to our troops.

"Their ability to take-off and land on short makeshift strips will enable us to deploy our forces quickly and effectively around the world on a variety of operations. Today's roll-out marks significant progress in the programme and I look forward to its first flight later this year."

Air Marshal Sir Barry Thornton, Chief of Materiel (Air) in MOD's Defence Equipment & Support organisation, added:

"This eagerly awaited new aircraft will support the deployment of all three Services in peace, crisis and wartime roles. It will be a highly reliable and capable aircraft that will make a significant difference to the Royal Air Force's strategic and tactical airlift."

The A400M programme is a European collaboration between Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Turkey and the UK.

UK-based companies are playing a significant part in the project, with the largely composite wing design and production taking place at Filton, Bristol, and Rolls-Royce in the UK playing a major role in the engine consortium.

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