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The Atlas A400M enthuses the BBC. Contract for a training school in Brize Norton (UK)

The A400M in flight with the door open (credit: BBC / B2)

(BRUSSELS2) The British Ministry of Defense today (March 4) concluded a contract with Airbus Military and Thales UK with the aim of preparing the arrival of the A400M Atlas in the Royal Air Force. Signed for 18 years, the contract aims to provide training and training services for the A400M Atlas. An amount of £300 million has been earmarked for this investment which will be ensured mainly by A400M Training Services Ltd, a company created jointly (joint venture) between Airbus Military and Thales UK.

The training school will be built at the RAF base at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, where the A400Ms will also be based. It should be completed in spring 2014. It will train crews and ground staff on the RAF's new transport aircraft. The contract thus includes the design, construction and management of a training school for the A400M, as well as the installation and maintenance of full flight simulators as well as training equipment (Cost: £226 million ). Another contract provides for the development, manufacture and installation of protection systems in hostile environments (Cost: £80 million).

The UK has purchased 22 A400M transport planes to replace their fleet of C130 Hercules. The first British A400M will enter service during 2014. A BBC reporter was able to board the plane in flight. He comes out rather enthusiastic. As shown in his interview with head test driver Ed Strongman. Judge by his report here


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).