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The Atlas A400M back home after its world tour

Around the world mission A400M, XP Avalon(B2) The A400M is due to land in Orléans this Friday (March 6), in the evening, returning from its first world tour. A mission carried out by the Center for Military Aerial Experiments (CEAM) in Biscarosse with the aim of testing the device over the long term.

For Colonel Laurent Paquot (of SIRPA Air), the mission indeed had certain very down-to-earth objectives: First of all, “ measure the fatigue and level of alertness of an A400M crew during long flights, with significant jet lag”. A study is being carried out by the Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute (IRBA) to test the fatigue of a crew during an airlift. Afterwards, " assess the effectiveness of the rest facilities intended for the crews on board the aircraft itself as part of a long-duration mission ". Finally, " test the accessibility of the lands of Faaa in Tahiti and La Tontouta in New Caledonia ". We could also add: give a demonstration, Urbi et orbi, from " the long strategic » (as the air experts say) of this aircraft, the European manufacturer of which intends to double the export potential over the lifespan of the aircraft. The A400M was presented at the Avalon international air show in Australia.

The new transport plane, called Atlas, will have completed its world tour in 11 stages, representing 3 days, 2 hours and 20 minutes (to be exact) of cumulative flight. A figure to compare to the Transall, which would have required, by the military's own admission, 8 to 10 days more.

NB: This good result should not make us forget the latest concerns of the European plane. According to my colleague fromFactory new, the general delegate for Armaments, Laurent Cohet-Billon, also gave a little rant in Mérignac on Wednesday (March 4). Reason for the wrath of the DGA, who is not in the habit of mincing his words: the French army should only receive two aircraft this year (instead of the four promised). And even ! There is a hint of uncertainty for the delivery of the second copy, scheduled for December. A little delay and it will be for 2016… Moreover, “ there is a delay in the development of military functions », explained the DGA to the journalists present. Certain functions cannot be implemented: the plane could not refuel military helicopters in flight, as planned.


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).

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