January 1, 2012: In November, France received the first of eight CN-235 transports (two months ahead of schedule). These aircraft were ordered because the existing fleet of 52 C160 transports was becoming inoperable, due to old age. The CN-235s are a stopgap measure because of the delay in delivery of the larger A400M transports. The first A400Ms are not expected to enter French service until 2014. The eight CN-235s were ordered about 20 months ago.
The CN-235 was jointly developed by Spain and Indonesia and cost about $38 million each. France already has 19 CN-235s. The two engine, 16 ton CN-235 can carry 5.9 tons of cargo or 44 passengers and stay in the air for about ten hours per sortie. Cruise speed is about 454 kilometers an hour.