I think it's likely we will see a French AF
A330-200 tanker in time, maybe ex civil ones - GE
powered that is.
However, they may be calculating that A400M is more of a priority in a tight budget, that it also looks to be a capable tanker too no doubt is very helpful to them.
With the very recent French defence review, calling for the closing of some overseas French bases, the argument for a small A330 tanker/transport force to complement the A400M's.
The more mobile, flexible rapid reaction forces envisaged, need to be able to get where they are going to after all.
Often a lot a comment over here about the differing levels of closeness with the US, between the UK and France.
It should be remembered though, that the KC
-135's were ordered for France initially for one reason only.
To allow the new French independent nuclear force, carried on Mirage IVA bombers, to reach their Soviet targets. (Not that there would be anything to return to).
The US knew this of course too.
Thus rather undermining CDG
's complaints about Anglo favouritism, indeed he was still in office when the US licenced technology exports for navigation equipment, for the then under development French SLBM's.
(Better yet, the command and control is directly imported TCAMO gear, but carried in modified C-160's).
In time of course, the French KC
-135's got the various updates, including CFM engines, wing mounted hoses, a hose on to the boom - boom compatible French aircraft began and ended with the Mirage IVA.
In the early/mid 60's, the KC
-135 was also the only tanker game in town - to support the bombers at least.
-10 (which French industry built the tails of), was not yet in military service, a (converted) tanker version - not with a boom either, was two decades away.