The first of the UK’s A400M Atlas next-generation military transport aircraft has today been officially unveiled by the MOD at its new home at RAF Brize Norton.
The aircraft will replace the existing fleet of C-130 Hercules which have been the tried and trusted workhorse of the RAF’s Air Transport Fleet for decades.
Manufactured by Airbus Defence & Space, A400M Atlas will represent major advances on its predecessor, capable of flying almost twice as fast, twice as far and carrying almost twice as much cargo.
With a cargo capacity of 32 tonnes and a hold optimised for carriage of heavy vehicles, helicopters or cargo pallets, the aircraft is capable of supporting a wide range of operational scenarios.
The UK is the third country to operate the aircraft, after France and Turkey and the £2.8bn programme will see a total of 22 aircraft delivered to the RAF in the coming years.
The French President has been in Oxfordshire for a face-to-face summit meeting with the Prime Minister - on the agenda? Talks about Britain's role in Europe, and military cooperation.
The world's media descended on RAF Brize Norton today to witness the arrival of Francois Hollande. It was a day of handshakes and hard talking and lunch at a pub.
Rachel Hepworth reports.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the UK's partnership with France was "as close and important as ever".
Speaking during a news conference with French President Francois Hollande, Mr Cameron said, "We are two leaders determined to keep our citizens safe and to secure a better future for them all."
He described the RAF Brize Norton air base where addressed reporters as "a great example of the close relationship between our two countries".
French President Francois Hollande has arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. He's in the county for a summit with Prime Minister David Cameron, where discussions on defence co-operation and energy are on the agenda.
A soldier from West Sussex who was killed in Afghanistan is to be repatriated today.
Lance Corporal James Brynin of the Intelligence Corps was killed in Helmand province last week. He was 23 and from Shoreham. He will return via RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
The family of a 22-year-old man who died in a road traffic collision on Sunday (have a released a picture of their 'perfect son'. Jack Webster was killed when his car crashed on the B4477 slip road from the A40 towards Brize Norton.
Officers were called to the scene shortly after 5am. Two other people were also taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The RAF said it was “deeply saddened” by the death of Jack, who was based at RAF Brize Norton.
The friends and family of three soldiers killed in Afghanistan paid emotional tributes to them today as their bodies were flown back to the UK. There was applause for the servicemen. Divya Kohli reports.
Poignant scenes at Carterton today.
Guildford soldier Lieutenant Andrew Chesterman of 3rd Battalion, The Rifles and Lance Corporal Matthew Smith of the 26 Engineer Regiment - who grew up in Aldershot - were both killed by small arms fire. The body of Guardsman Jamie Shadrake was also flown into RAF Brize Norton.