The Flight Test Centre of the Direction Generale de l'Armament (DGA) of the French Ministry of Defence has taken delivery of the first of eight CN235 medium airlifters ordered from Airbus Military by the French DGA last year. These eight aircraft will be operated by the French Air Force, to add to the 19 examples it already has in service. The last of the remaining seven aircraft ordered will be delivered by the end of 2012.
The CN235 can carry up to six tonnes of payload and its cabin can be quickly and easily reconfigured for different transport missions: troops, paratroops, medical evacuation, cargo, or a mixed configuration of cargo and troops. It incorporates a specialised loading system for palletized loads.
The flexibility and reliability of the CN235 make it an ideal tool for the French Air Force to conduct both traditional military and "civic missions‟ for the benefit of society. Its short take-off and landing (STOL) performance and its ability to use unprepared and semi-prepared runways allow the CN235 to operate closer to the theatre of operations than other aircraft. This is often crucial when the CN235 is used to transport humanitarian relief after a natural disaster, allowing rapid delivery of supplies closer to where they are needed.
"We are very proud that the French Air Force has trusted once more in Airbus Military and its range of products to strengthen its fleet. The eight CN235 aircraft ordered from France incorporate the latest technologies and systems to ensure the best performance of the missions they will carry out after their entry in service", said Airbus Military Head of Programmes, Rafael Tentor.
The French Air Force already operates 19 CN235 aircraft. The Centre d'Essais en Vol of the French Government also operates three Airbus Military C212s.
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