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The UK has taken delivery of the third of its 22 A400M Atlas aircraft as part of a £2.75 billion programme which is on track to meet the UK’s future air mobility requirements.

The UK's first A400M 'Atlas' seen here in flight over England.
The UK’s first A400M ‘Atlas’ seen here in flight over England.

The MOD’s Chief of Defence Materiel, Sir Bernard Gray, said:

“Having now undertaken and completed thorough checks on the UK’s A400M aircraft, I am satisfied that we have fulfilled and allowed for the safe delivery of this third aircraft.

We are very mindful of the recent tragedy in Spain and our thoughts remain with the families and friends of those affected by these terrible events.

This world-class aircraft will have an important role to fulfil with the Royal Air Force and the programme is at the forefront of modern technology and the RAF is looking forward to receiving its full order in due course.”

Prior to a pause in flying in May, the first two A400M Atlas to be delivered to the RAF completed over 405 flying hours, with the first aircraft – named “City of Bristol” – carrying out its first operational mission to Cyprus in March.

The new fleet of A400M is due to replace the C-130 Hercules when it goes out of service in 2022. Over the next three years the aircraft will be equipped with advanced capabilities that will see it progress into a highly capable air transporter that will move people and equipment rapidly around the globe on military and humanitarian operations.

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