Airbus Defence and Space today delivered the 50th A400M new generation airlifter to the German Air Force marking a key milestone for the programme.
The aircraft, known as MSN59, is the twelfth to be delivered this year at the Final Assembly Line in Seville and the thirteenth to be accepted by Germany.
The A400M is steadily becoming the backbone of the European transport fleet and in recent weeks began to demonstrate its full potential as aircraft from Germany, France and the UK undertook intensive hurricane relief missions in the Caribbean.
MSN59 will shortly be ferried to Wunstorf, Lower Saxony which is home to Germany’s A400M unit – Air Transport Wing 62.
The A400M is positioned, in terms of size, between the C-130 and the C-17; it can carry heavier loads than the C-130, while able to use rough landing strips. Along with the transport role, the A400M can perform aerial refuelling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment.
The A400M aircraft in RAF service is named ATLAS and the RAF received its first of 22 aircraft in Autumn 2014 with deliveries expected to be complete by 2019.