On July 6 the A400M, officially unveiled as “Grizzly” at the Farnborough 2010 airshow, will be very officially re-baptised as“Atlas”...at least as far as the UK and French air forces are concerned.
photo credit: Airbus Military
The Royal Air Force had already decided last year that its A400Ms would be called “Atlas”, a choice not universally applauded amongst senior officers of the force, notably the chief of the air force staff himself!
And now the French have decided that their A400Ms will also be called Atlas.
The naming ceremony will take place on the sidelines of the traditional Royal International Air Tattoo RAF Fairford, UK and will be held in the presence of the seven partner nations in the A400M program (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom).
It's not clear whether the other nations will also call their A400Ms by the same name. And will the name “take” I wonder? The Typhoon, for example, I would argue is still better known by its original name: Eurofighter. When one has referred to something for so long by one name it's not always easy to change. Don't you think?
Editor's Note: Location of RIA Tattoo corrected