French defence minister Hervé Morin decided this morning to release €100 million from the A400M program to modernise and upgrade 10 of the countries ageing Transall military transport aircraft so that they can plod on until 2018 (when they will be 55, yes 55 years old!), by which time, hopefully, the A400M will have been delivered.
The C-160 Transall, a Franco-German-Italian project launched in 1958 until the Italians pulled out, first flew on 25 February 1963. South Africa bought nine of the first series built but they have all been retired (harsher weather conditions perhaps?). Turkey bought 20, France 53 and Germany 113.
The aircraft was originally designed to fly 25 years.
photo credit: French Defense Ministry, Stéphane Bréart