MLF - Military Logistics

RAF’s 20th Atlas enters service

17th July 2018 - 07:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Royal Air Force’s (RAF) 20th A400M Atlas transport aircraft has formally entered into service following its handover at Brize Norton, the UK Ministry of Defence announced on 13 July.

The delivery coincided with programme trials to test the aircraft’s ability to deliver cargo by parachute and undergo air-to-air refuelling using an RAF Voyager aircraft. The cargo delivery trial involved containers weighing around 1t in weight being dropped in sequence over Salisbury Plain.

The air-to-air refuelling trial took place near Seville in Spain and involved an Airbus-owned Atlas receiving fuel from an RAF Voyager tanker aircraft over a wide range of altitudes and air speeds. The results from both trials are now being analysed with a view to delivering operational clearances.

Under the A400M programme, being delivered by Airbus, the UK government has ordered 22 Atlas aircraft which are all expected to be delivered to the RAF by the early 2020s.

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