Mr Eric Huybrechts, Deputy Director of OCCAR-EA, made a speech during the ceremony, and explained how this ceremony marked a major milestone for A400M and indeed for OCCAR: “... The A400M programme and OCCAR were established at nearly the same time. OCCAR was created to provide an optimised framework for co-operative armaments programmes in Europe and to manage these in a more efficient way than before by adopting common rules. A400M constituted nothing less than a test case for our young organisation. It has passed that test, as a unique programme successfully meeting the requirements of all Participating States together. ...”
Mr Domingo Urena, CEO of Airbus Military, paid particular tribute to the role played by OCCAR in successful delivery of the programme. Finally the aircraft was symbolically handed over to the French Minister of Defence. The French delegation then departed on one of the A400M planes to a further ceremony at the A400M’s French home of Orleans.