30 Sep '13, 1pm

Airbus delivers first A400M military transport plane

SEVILLE, Spain — After years of delays and huge cost overruns, Airbus on Sept. 30 delivered its first A400M military transport plane, handing over the huge turboprop to France. The pan-European aircraft maker hopes the official handover ceremony at the Airbus Military plant in Seville will launch strong sales to air forces worldwide following a difficult birth. "It is an extremely high-performance aircraft and I am quite proud that France is number one for delivery," French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said at a handover ceremony also attended by Spain's Prince Felipe. Already, though, there are concerns about orders for the plane. The French minister, who was returning to a military base in Orleans aboard the plane after the ceremony, said France still planned to take 50 of the A400M aircraft, which has propellers more than 5 meters (16 feet) long. But the minister...

Full article: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130930/DEFREG/309300015

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