Jan 2, 2014
Airbus A400M tactical airlifter makes combat debut in Mali
L'Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) has released images showing the Airbus A400M Atlas tactical airlifter during its first combat sortie in support to Operation Serval in Mali.
The Atlas “F-RBAB” carrying 22 tons of material, took off from Orléans-Bricy airbase on Dec. 29 at 10.30 LT and arrived at Bamako, Mali, after 6 hours and 40 minutes. On Dec. 31, the aircraft flew from Bamako to Gao.
The first A400M was taken on charge by the Multinational Entry into Service Team (MEST) at Orléans on Aug. 2, 2013. The first operational mission therefore came only five months after the induction of the aircraft into active service.
Currently, two A400M Atlas are assigned to the MEST. The first operational mission is a step towards the type full operational capability of the type, expected in late 2014.