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France receives first A400M with AAR capability, ability to paradrop 16-tonne load

11 December 2019
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France on 4 December received its 16th A400M and its first with an AAR capability (photo from cockpit of aircraft it is refuelling) and able to drop a 16-tonne load. (Armée de l'Air)France on 4 December received its 16th A400M and its first with an AAR capability (photo from cockpit of aircraft it is refuelling) and able to drop a 16-tonne load. (Armée de l'Air)

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.

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