The French Air Force's 16th A400M arrived at Orléans-Bricy Air Base on 4 December following its acceptance by the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA), the French procurement agency announced on its website on 6 December. The aircraft was the first A400M capable of dropping a 16-tonne load and perform air-to-air refueling (AAR), according to the DGA.
The agency said the ability to drop heavy equipment facilitated mobility in a theatre of operations - for example, engineering equipment to repair damaged runways.
It added that the aircraft had an AAR system that can refuel Rafale and Mirage fighters, as well as other transport aircraft such as the A400M.
Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to Jane's unrivalled data and insight, learn more about our subscription options at janes.com/products