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May 10, 2009

Airbus

Airbus Military is looking for a commitment from its seven European customers before next month's Paris air show to continue their involvement in the A400M project. Now in a three-month moratorium period agreed between the EADS-led company and its partner nations, the 180-aircraft programme is expected to achieve a delayed first flight later this year. May 8, 2009

Eurocopter

The French army is conducting a series of urgent modifications to its Eurocopter Tiger HAP attack helicopters, in advance of receiving an order to deploy the type operationally for the first time, to Afghanistan. "We are waiting for formal initial operational capability status, and for a decision from the Joint Staff to deploy," says Lt Col Jean-Baptiste Pouret, the army's Tiger programme manager. Enhancements to be made ahead of a combat deployment include the addition of improved air particle separators, rotor blade protection and secure communications equipment. May 6, 2009

Eurocopter

The French air force is to almost double its inventory of Eurocopter EC725 combat search-and-rescue helicopters, with a new batch of five aircraft to be delivered between late 2010 and 2012. Six EC725s are in air force service, with three of these having been assigned to duties in Afghanistan since December 2006 as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. The 11t-class helicopters are used to provide medical evacuation, troop transport and personnel recovery services. May 5, 2009

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