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AA 12/05/14: Turkey air force gets military transport aircraft

President Gul says Turkey is 'ready for war' if necessary at Airbus military transporter is delivered.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said "Turkey is against war, but we have to show that we are ready for it" during the handover of a military transportation aircraft to the Turkish air force.

Gul's comments came on Monday as the Airbus A400M transportation plane "Atlas" was formally handed over in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri.

The aircraft is capable of carrying heavy loads - including small aircraft, tanks and armoured combat vehicles - to distances of thousands of kilometres, he said.

“We achieved today, with this aircraft, the ability to transport powerful conventional military units over long distances,” he said.

“This level of freight capacity and speed could change the fate of battles in today’s conditions.”

Gul said the aircraft contributed to "Turkey's [military] deterrence, effectiveness and prestige.”

The A400M is a military transporter designed to meet the requirements of air forces in Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

The Turkish Air Force will receive 10 planes in total by 2018, including one this year, one in 2015 and then two planes a year from 2015 until 2018.

France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg signed an agreement in May 2003 to buy 212 aircraft.

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