A new atmospheric model has been developed jointly by Meteo-France and the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) under the acronym ARPEGE (Action de Recherche Petite Echelle Grand Echelle, which means research project on small and large scales) and IFS (integrated forecast system). This model includes, inter alia, an atmospheric general circulation model (GCM) which is intended by the French climate modelling community to be used for studyingthe anthropogenic climate impact. A preliminary version of this model has been available since 1992. This paper describes its main characteristics. Three 10-year integrations of this model having spectral horizontal resolutions of T21, T42, and T79 have been performed using prescribed monthly mean sea surface temperatures (SST) observed from 1979 until 1988. The results of these integrations are presented and compared with the observed climatology. The comparison is made for the winter (DJF) and summer (JJA) periods. It is shown that the model is capable of reproducing the observed climatology in a generally successful manner.