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Turkish Air Forces Gear Up the First A400M “Atlas”

Issue 54

The first Turkish A400M Atlas Military Aircraft after undergoing unit controls was delivered on 12 May 2014. A ceremony to mark the occasion was attended by President Abdullah Gül, Minister of National Defence Ismet Yılmaz, Chief of Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, Air Force Commander Gen. Akın Öztürk, military and defence officials. The acceptance document signed on 4 April 2014 saw the A400M Atlas Aircraft take off from Seville, Spain to the 12th Air Transport Base Command at Erkilet, Kayseri. The first of the A400M Aircraft to be delivered to Turkey, the aircraft will be assigned to the 221st fleet of the 12th Air Transport Main Base Command at Kayseri. 

Speaking at the ceremony, President Abdullah Gül stressed that Turkey was one of the first nations to “build an aircraft before a car” and said, “I want to say with pride and satisfaction that Turkey, having joined the consortium that owns and builds the most powerful transport aircraft in the world, has undertaken important strides. We continue to meet the needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. It is well known that the security strategies of Turkey it is not an easy matter. Many of the areas of conflict in the world are near Turkey. That these problems will continue in this geography can be seen when we look at NATO maps. Last February we participated in a ceremony to mark Turkey’s first HIK aircraft that was delivered to Konya. The A400M will be a total of 10 aircrafts. The first we have received today. We use the C-130 and C-160 aircrafts in Libya, in Iraq and in Afghanistan. We are now purchasing bigger transport carriers that go longer distances. This is an indication of the capacity increase of our Air Force. We are taking an important step in terms of strategy. We are taking a step consistent with new NATO programmes. The use of these capabilities with the other components of the alliance is a requirement adopted in Chicago in 2012. Based on the decision taken in Chicago we are developing and producing with our allies the aircraft we have purchased. These large projects are long-term projects. If you don’t take these decisions on time, if you don’t participate in these projects on time, the opportunities are gone. From now on it will be like this.”

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