Adaptive optics is one of the main features of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) - an array of four 8 meter telescopes. These telescopes can be operated individually, in an incoherent and in a coherent interferometric beam combination mode. Each telescope will be equipped with adaptive optics systems for real-time correction of atmospheric turbulence effects. First results with a prototype system developed for the VLT demonstrated the feasibility and the significant gain of this technology for astronomical imaging. This paper describes the VLT adaptive optics system and its implementation program.