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A400M French AF  
User currently offlinebreiz From France, joined Mar 2005, 1917 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 8 months 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The first A400M to be delivered to the French AF (MSN 007 F-RBAA) was rolled-out at Sevilla in standard grey cs with small French flag on the fin and small "Armee de l'Air" on forward fuselage.
Ii is planned to be formally delivered in May 2013 at the Orleans-Bricy AB.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.as...a0db49-ffae-49e9-9011-b06c9c93e2ca

278 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (1 year 8 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Armee de l'Air could have really used a dozen or so in service by now. Operation Serval will really hit the Transall fleets of France and Germany hard.


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinebreiz From France, joined Mar 2005, 1917 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (1 year 8 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 1):
Armee de l'Air could have really used a dozen or so in service by now. Operation Serval will really hit the Transall fleets of France and Germany hard.


So true.
The French AF chartered the Antonov 124 from Volga-Dnepr and the RAF contributed with two Boeing C-17.


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (1 year 8 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

To be honest, even with the A400, they would have still chartered the Antonovs. They're regulars at on the world's battlefields now...

Is that the final livery? It's exactly like the protos. I would have liked a Eurogreen camo scheme.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (1 year 8 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 3):
I would have liked a Eurogreen camo scheme.

The real question is are you willing to pay for it?

If it isn't in the contract, I doubt Airbus will.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

In addition to 2 RAF C-17s flying for the French, at least one RCAF C-17, and a Danish C-130J are helping out. How long before the SAC C-17s are asked to help, too?

User currently offlineiakobos From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 3313 posts, RR: 34
Reply 6, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
In addition to 2 RAF C-17s flying for the French, at least one RCAF C-17, and a Danish C-130J are helping out.

...plus two C-130H from BAF and expect some C-27J and/or C-130J from Italy tomorrow


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (1 year 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
How long before the SAC C-17s are asked to help, too?

USAF has come to an agreement to provide C-17 and possibly C-5s. French gov't is picking up the tab.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 32568 times:

France needs the C17, only nationalistic pride gets in the way. There will be no more AN124 made and they will get worn down with time, the A400 is not the answer to every problem.

Even my little defence hating nation has a part of a C17, clearly it is a very good asset to have despite being from outside of France.


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (1 year 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 32537 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 8):
only nationalistic pride gets in the way.

What gets in the way is the fact that there is NO money of any kind in the government budget to acquire any.

We also need new tankers, more fighters, new drones, etc.
The government is out to save over 30bn € in just a few years, and it's belt tightening time everywhere, especially the military...

What we really need is a real European military force which can effectively pool its resources together.
But then we can't even get our foreign ministers to agree on anything...



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinefridgmus From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 1442 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 32524 times:
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It sounds (to me) like the French went into this without sufficient air lift in place.

Is this true?

Thanks,

F



The Lockheed Super Constellation, the REAL Queen of the Skies!
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 32508 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 9):

So why did FR vote against pooling the C17 for EU nations? GER and FR were hostile towards pooling C17 in EU. Now wiser with time, maybe that was very stupid?! It is soon too late to order more. And the last ones off the line in California will be very good and cheap frames. To start a C17 program in EU would cost a lot more than ordering a few before EOL.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

EU could really use some of that ECB printing for anyting else than helping french and german banks. The rest of us in EU are really starting to hate FR and GER.


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 32467 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 11):
So why did FR vote against pooling the C17 for EU nations?

Several reasons. Much like the (in)famous franco-german regiment, nobody can ever agree on when to deploy these assets, and under what rules of engagement.

Then, splitting the transport fleet and recognising that a dedicated strategic airlifter is required dilutes the A400M business case. (The C17 has some tactical capability, but the A400M is supposed to be able to fulfill both the C130 and C17 roles).

Therefore, in theory a bigger fleet of A400M aircraft provides greater flexibility with the reduced costs of a single fleet, even if it is smaller than a C17 (but not that much smaller!). As a turboprop, the fuel burn is supposed to be much more favorable than a jet, and the cruise speed is higher than a C130.

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 10):
It sounds (to me) like the French went into this without sufficient air lift in place.

Yes. And France went into Harmattan/Libya without sufficient air to air refuelling capability also, and the US Navy greyhounds helped the French Navy by providing logistical support for the Charles de Gaulle because France has never purchased an equivalent aircraft that can transport people and equipement and trap on a carrier.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (1 year 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 32446 times:

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 12):
Therefore, in theory a bigger fleet of A400M aircraft provides greater flexibility with the reduced costs of a single fleet, even if it is smaller than a C17 (but not that much smaller!).

At MTOW, it carries half the payload of one C-17 at MTOW, so you need two to do the job of one. That is not a reduction in costs.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 32432 times:

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 10):
It sounds (to me) like the French went into this without sufficient air lift in place.

Is this true?

Thanks,

F

Well, it wasn't an operation planned months in advance that could be launched at any time like Iraqi freedom, it was a "rescue" mission to stop a government from being overthrown. A government that the US doesn't support and thus can't help, by the way.

For the operation that was planned, it was supposed to happen in September so there was plenty of time, and it was mainly about formation and support, not boots and vehicles on the ground.

Quoting sweair (Reply 11):
EU could really use some of that ECB printing for anyting else than helping french and german banks. The rest of us in EU are really starting to hate FR and GER.

Well I don't see what Sweden has to do with the ECB, if you want to print money you can. If the ECB didn't do what was necessary for a long time it's precisely because Germany and France have very different views on the matter, France willing to print endlessly US style, while Germany thinks doing so would bring about the third world war.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
At MTOW, it carries half the payload of one C-17 at MTOW, so you need two to do the job of one. That is not a reduction in costs.

It depends of the cost/price of each (including the fact that one is providing jobs in european countries) really, and instead of using two you can also do two trips. I don't know if the French military could use a fleet of C-17 year round effectively.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3547 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 32411 times:
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Quoting Aesma (Reply 14):
I don't know if the French military could use a fleet of C-17 year round effectively.

Fleet effectiveness and military are a contradiction anyway


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 32282 times:

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 10):
It sounds (to me) like the French went into this without sufficient air lift in place.

France does not, and never has had enough sufficient airlift capability for distant deployments. Few countries have. The political nature of this operation meant that France is acting alone, so far, which does not mean that allied nations can't be helping out, and they are.

The troop and equipment seem to be getting there one way or another, so I'd say the main issue in this conflict is not airlift capability.

Quoting sweair (Reply 11):
Stupid, stupid, stupid!

I fail to identify your post as anything other that blind fanboyism, but you have to understand that those are political decisions taken decades ago in a difficult and evolving European context. The A400M, for all its issues, provides jobs in many European nations and is designed to be an efficient aircraft for the job required. Euro air forces, for the most part, can't afford to have several subfleets of transport aircrafts.

And to be honest, if France was to buy a large strategic airlifter, I'd prefer my taxpayer money to buy part of an An-124, or even some used 747F. Much cheaper to buy and operate than a C-17!

The A400 can do the unprepared airfield bit. What always seem to lack in these distant conflicts is the capability to carry lots of heavy equipment to the main, paved, airfields of the affected country.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 32262 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 16):

Can you be a fanboy when it comes to strategic capability of a continent? If FR and GER had not blocked the C17 purchase EU as a whole would have a whole different capability on its own right now. Why depend on Ukrainian An124s? What is to say that these old birds will fly in 15 years?

Sweden went ahead and joined the SAC in Hungary, they learned the hard way in 2004 that heavy airlift can and do get short when things happen.

The only way FR would accept the C17 would be in kits assembled in Toulouse.. Put some GTF engines on it in the future, a very decent military and civilian freighter, not needing the infrastructure a 747 needs.

EU will stand on its own in the future US is aiming towards SE Asia, getting used to others having your back is dangerous. I don´t think the US taxpayer is willing to foot the defence bill for EU anymore.


User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 18, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 32237 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 17):

France does operate US aircraft.

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Quoting sweair (Reply 17):

EU will stand on its own in the future US is aiming towards SE Asia, getting used to others having your back is dangerous. I don´t think the US taxpayer is willing to foot the defence bill for EU anymore.

And that's exactly why we need to preserve and support our own aircrat industry.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 32199 times:

I'm not sure why no one is pointing out that if the A400M had come anywhere near its original schedule and budget, France would already have all the airlift it needs for this operation.

Quote:

The partner nations – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium, and Luxembourg – signed an agreement in May 2003 to buy 212 aircraft.[citation needed] These nations decided to charge the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) with the management of the acquisition of the A400M.

Following the withdrawal of Italy and revision of procurement totals the revised requirement was for 180 aircraft, with first flight in 2008 and first delivery in 2009.

It seems France could really use some of those 50 frames that the put deposits down in 2003 and expected to have starting in 2009.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 16):
France does not, and never has had enough sufficient airlift capability for distant deployments.

If you go by the old rule of thumb that two A400Ms equal one C-17, it seems France surely would be OK for this operation.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 16):
And to be honest, if France was to buy a large strategic airlifter, I'd prefer my taxpayer money to buy part of an An-124, or even some used 747F. Much cheaper to buy and operate than a C-17!

Fair enough.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 16):
The A400 can do the unprepared airfield bit. What always seem to lack in these distant conflicts is the capability to carry lots of heavy equipment to the main, paved, airfields of the affected country.

I still wonder what commander is going to order these extremely expensive aircraft to land on some unprepared airfield.

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 18):
And that's exactly why we need to preserve and support our own aircrat industry.

It's funny that you use the word "our", because it seems Frau Merkel shot down the EADS-BAe deal mostly because she thought that DE needed its own defense industry, or at least very tight control of the EADS segments in DE.

It also should be pretty obvious that for what the A400M ends up costing, you could have stocked a life time's worth of spare parts for whatever non-EU aircraft that was purchased.

As for the future, I personally have a hard time seeing the EU governments agreeing to another pan-EU program like A400M for quite a while, given both the way the A400M project went and given the fiscal climate.

I think all the worlds aerospace contractors really need to be concerned about the cost of their products and the willingness of governments to keep funding them.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 32154 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
I'm not sure why no one is pointing out that if the A400M had come anywhere near its original schedule and budget, France would already have all the airlift it needs for this operation.

Good point.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
It also should be pretty obvious that for what the A400M ends up costing, you could have stocked a life time's worth of spare parts for whatever non-EU aircraft that was purchased.

Of course, but that non-EU aircraft would erode Europe's capability to build aircraft. I'm not saying that buying foreign is always wrong, olf course.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):

I think all the worlds aerospace contractors really need to be concerned about the cost of their products and the willingness of governments to keep funding them.

True to that.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 32146 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
it seems France surely would be OK for this operation.

When the Armée de L'Air finally gets its A400s, then yes.

Quoting sweair (Reply 17):
Can you be a fanboy when it comes to strategic capability of a continent?

Enough with the drama...
EU as a whole has no enemy that would warrant such an airlift capacity. The last few wars it's engaged in were linked with localized ethnic wars, terrorism and jihadism guerillas, ousting dictators and the like.

And if such a threat ever arises, there is no doubt that EU as a whole would react as one and every country would provide its military capacity. Which by then would be around 150 A400s.

The SAC NATO arrangement is to pool 3 C-17s between over 10 nations. Hardly the same scope.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
As for the future, I personally have a hard time seeing the EU governments agreeing to another pan-EU program like A400M for quite a while, given both the way the A400M project went and given the fiscal climate.

They might not have a choice. France opted out of the Eurofighter program and went alone. Both products ended up being fine and adapted aircrafts, but basically, twice the money was spent for 2 similar products,and half of that bore by one country alone. Both programs ended up overbudget and late.
As you say, money becoming tight these days, I doubt there will be a choice but to pool resources in the future if they want a competitive product. However, one light hope that the arrangements of such programs would involve politicians a lot less and let private defense companies group themselves and share the development work according to financial arrangements.

It's hard to get political bickering out of the loop completely, unfortunately, but programs like the nEUROn seem a step in the right direction in terms of European cooperation.

Ideally, European countries would agree on a set of specifications and numbers required and launch an RFP and let EADS and other European consortiums battle it out. One can dream.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 32105 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
They might not have a choice. France opted out of the Eurofighter program and went alone. Both products ended up being fine and adapted aircrafts, but basically, twice the money was spent for 2 similar products,and half of that bore by one country alone. Both programs ended up overbudget and late.
As you say, money becoming tight these days, I doubt there will be a choice but to pool resources in the future if they want a competitive product. However, one light hope that the arrangements of such programs would involve politicians a lot less and let private defense companies group themselves and share the development work according to financial arrangements.

I think F35 shows the more you pool together, the more the tendency is to make sure everyone gets their pet feature/project included in the product, the more difficult is is to cut things because of the political tension, and the more the budget and schedule explodes.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
Ideally, European countries would agree on a set of specifications and numbers required and launch an RFP and let EADS and other European consortiums battle it out.

A400M did have budgetary controls in the contract. Unfortunately the remedies were too heavy-handed: if the remedies were applied, the whole project would collapse. Hopefully the public sector has learned from this, but the cynic in me doubts it.

Part of the problem is when you fund projects just to keep a capability alive, the people involved know this and know you can't/won't walk away from the project when things get out of hand.

In some ways you are better off having a foreign entity develop the hardware. Australia got a better deal out of Boeing for Wedgetail than Boeing would have offered the US for the same capability, and Boeing paid the compensation when it was late.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 32100 times:

The end of production is very soon, we should on this continent really sit down and think about this, last chance..

User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 32070 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
I still wonder what commander is going to order these extremely expensive aircraft to land on some unprepared airfield.

The one who requires his men and supplies on the ground ASAP.


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 25, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 32412 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 22):
I think F35 shows the more you pool together, the more the tendency is to make sure everyone gets their pet feature/project included in the product, the more difficult is is to cut things because of the political tension, and the more the budget and schedule explodes.

I agree. But then we're back to the same point. If you need several nations to fund a project like this, you'll never get anyone of them to just pour money into your local company which will develop and build the thing. They'll all want their money's worth in domestic downfall.

Hard to find an ideal compromise, unless every nation has a supplier that happens to be able to design and build a subsystem that represents the exact overall portion of the project that's funded by said nation.
Otherwise you end up with 4 suppliers from 4 different countries speaking 4 different languages having to somehow come up with 1 working engine...
It's a feat, when you think about it.

The important thing in all that, maybe, is that they eventually make it happen. The money spent by the government is at least being reinvested in the local economy, even if it's more than initially budgeted. The role of a government is to invest its revenue into its own economy after all.
In a way, it's better than spending less of the tax payer's money in another country. At least that's how the politics see it.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 22):
, the people involved know this and know you can't/won't walk away from the project when things get out of hand.

Especially when the project is too far ahead to just cancel it altogether...

Quoting Revelation (Reply 22):
In some ways you are better off having a foreign entity develop the hardware. Australia got a better deal out of Boeing for Wedgetail than Boeing would have offered the US for the same capability, and Boeing paid the compensation when it was late.

This is only acceptable when you don't have a local industrial equivalent capable of developing and producing that product. Otherwise you can bet their government lobbyists and unions will be throwing all kinds of tantrums up on the political scene...



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 26, posted (1 year 7 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 32166 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 25):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 22):
the people involved know this and know you can't/won't walk away from the project when things get out of hand.

Especially when the project is too far ahead to just cancel it altogether...

Or when you make it look like the project is too far ahead to just cancel it, and the government didn't/can't/won't audit the program well enough to figure that out till it's too late.

Auditors blast EADS management over A400M says:

Quote:

Following are some key findings from the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) audit:

- PWC said it found no evidence that robust systems had been established to monitor costs booked to the A400M programme against the actual value delivered. There is no mechanism to understand how advanced the programme is.

- The budgeting process of Airbus parent EADS has consistently and significantly underestimated the costs of the A400M and concluded the current process has limited value.

So it seems in this case that the customers relied on EADS's accounting systems till the overrun reared its ugly head, and then they brought in their own auditor when it was far to late to do much about it.

One can ask a lot of questions about that.

And yes, this is far from the only military program that has cost overruns. I just find it interesting that the customers did try to put in some protections, but those protections failed. I'm not sure what the root cause was. After the fact, it seems to me that either the customers were pretty naive, or they were willing accomplices to the overruns.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 27, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 32086 times:

From the thread in non-av:

Quote:

The heaviest Cheetah forces for Mali — available but not necessarily deployed – include: two more companies of VBCIs plus a number of Leclerc heavy tanks and units equipped with the Caesar, an ultra-modern, truck-mounted 155-millimeter artillery piece.

...

In any event, Paris lacks the airlift capacity to haul all the hardware bound for Africa. “At the strategic airlift level, the capability gap has been since long considered as problematic,” Henrotin says. Early on, Paris appealed for help from allied nations. Canada and the U.K. were the first to offer up C-17 transport planes — one and two, respectively; the U.S. sent five of its own C-17s over the weekend. The four-engine C-17 is big enough to carry a Caesar and any other French vehicle.

Ref: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/01/mali-heavy-firepower/

Some relevant specs:

Quote:

Caesar (artillery) specs:

Weight 17.7 tonnes
Length 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
Width 2.55 m (8 ft 4 in)
Height 3.7 m (12 ft 2 in)

Leclerc (tank) specs:

Weight 54.5 tonnes[3]
Length 9.87 m (6.88 without gun[3])
Width 3.71 m[3]
Height 2.53 m[3]

A400M specs:

Range with Maximum Payload (37 000 kg - 81 600 lb) 1780 nm 3300 km
Range with 20 000 kg (44 000 lb) Payload 3450 nm 6400 km
Cargo Hold Length (ramp excluded) 17.71 m 58 ft
Cargo Hold Height 3.85 – 4.00 m 12 ft 7 in – 13 ft
Cargo Hold Width 4.00 m 13 ft

Seems the Leclerc is going by sea, or in a borrowed C-17 and/or Antonov?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 28, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 31758 times:

The US wanted us to pay for the C-17 flights (a hefty sum) so apparently we declined and took the free options (from Canada, UK and others) while suggesting the US help the African nations sending men for free.

That information is days old so I don't know what has happened in practice, the Pentagon was embarrassed and said they wouldn't ask for money after all.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 29, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 31576 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 27):

No need for dimensions. At over 50 tonnes It's too heavy for the A400M.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 30, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 31509 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 29):
At over 50 tonnes It's too heavy for the A400M.

Seems then that the A400M is sufficient for skirmishes but not for all-out war.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 31, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 31475 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 30):
Seems then that the A400M is sufficient for skirmishes but not for all-out war.

Like the c-130 or is that good enough for war?


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 32, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 31449 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 31):
Like the c-130 or is that good enough for war?

It is when you have larger aircraft to carry the bigger items that may be needed. C-130 + A400M= MBTs stay home. C-130 + C-17/C-5 = MBTs can be airlifted into theatre by your own forces.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 33, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 31415 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 31):
Like the c-130 or is that good enough for war?

The question answers itself, doesn't it? The French could have worked with the USAF to secure C-130 services but they didn't, they have secured C-17 services instead.

It seems from the payload/range of the A400M, its creators really had intra-continent lower-intensity scenarios in mind. Now the French find themselves on another continent wanting their MBTs and they have no way to get them there for weeks if not months even if they had A400Ms. Maybe the creators thought the opponents would not have the funding or the access to the kinds of weaponry that makes one desire MBTs in theater? The main design targets were put down in the 90s, so perhaps they aimed lower then they would have later in time, and the original LOI was signed shortly before 9/11.

Here's an interesting timeline:

Quote:

1982 -- Aerospatiale, British Aerospace, Lockheed and MBB set up a project -- later known as the Future Large Aircraft (FLA) -- to develop a troop transporter to replace the C-130 Hercules and the Transall C-160.

1989 -- Lockheed pulls out of developing an upgrade to its own C-130 Hercules transporter.

1999 -- Partners including BAE Systems, Daimler Chrysler Aerospace (Dasa), France's Aerospatiale Matra and Spain's Casa establish Airbus Military Company to develop the A400M.

2000 -- Airbus says it will start the industrial phase of the A400M project by March 2001; first deliveries are expected in 2007.

June 2001 -- Eight countries -- Germany, France, Spain, Britain, Turkey, Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg -- sign an initial letter of intent to buy 196 A400Ms.

November 2001 -- Germany calls off official signing ceremony for the project due to a parliamentary confidence motion over German plans to deploy troops in Afghanistan.

December 2001 -- Seven nations agree to buy the A400M, though plans still hinge on German parliamentary approval.

February 2003 -- Italy and Portugal cancel orders for the A400M.

May 2003 -- Airbus bows to government pressure to appoint a European consortium to build new engines for the A400M, reversing a decision to buy from Pratt & Whitney Canada.

May 2003 -- Germany's parliament approves the purchase of 60 A400Ms, cut from 73, removing the final hurdle for the project.

December 2004 -- South Africa orders 8 A400Ms.

DEC. 2005 -- Malaysia orders 4 A400Ms.

March 2007 -- Airbus takes 352 million euro ($508.6 million) charge to cushion A400M overruns.

November 2007 -- EADS warns it sees charges of up to 1.4 billion euros from A400M delays.

September 2008 -- EADS postpones first flight of A400M indefinitely in row over engine development.

January 2009 -- Airbus chief Thomas Enders says the A400M project is "mission impossible" without contract changes.

July 2009 -- The European ordering nations agree to renegotiate the cost and scale of the project.

November 2009 -- South Africa cancels its A400M order.

December 2009 -- Germany confirms the A400M project is 5 billion euros over its production budget.

December 11, 2009 -- Reuters reports auditors have identified 11 billion euros of total cost overruns.

January 20, 2010 -- A leaked draft summary of the audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers blames Airbus managers for huge cost overruns on A400M.

February 4, 2010 -- More talks held in Berlin between EADS and seven NATO nations to resolve the funding dispute.

February 24, 2010 -- Spanish defense minister Carme Chacon says EADS and government buyers have reached the "basis of an agreement" for a 3.5 billion euro bail-out, including 2 billion euros of direct aid and 1.5 billion in financial support.

March 5, 2010 -- A deal is struck to save the project from collapse. The agreement aims to preserve 10,000 jobs but will force EADS to take 1.8 billion euros of provisions for its share of the overrun, pushing the company to an operating and net loss for 2009.

-- German Defense Ministry says the first deliveries of the A400M should now happen in 2014.

March 29, 2010 -- Britain says it will trim its order for the A400M to 22 from 25 to finance its share of an agreed increase in the price of the project.

Ref: http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/...00m-timeline-idUSTRE6570PE20100608



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 34, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 31441 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 32):
C-17/C-5 = MBTs can be airlifted into theatre by your own forces.

Looking at the UK who have C130 & C17, realistically with the small number of C17 in the fleet they are not in a position to deploy MBTs in any significant numbers... for Desert Storm everybody sent their MBTs by boat. Only the US can afford/has the capability to airfreight MBTs... and even then I'm not sure they do it that often?


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 35, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 31394 times:

Frankly I have no idea why we would be sending MBT at all in Mali, the enemy has pick-ups. If it's true they have anti-tank weapons then we are sending nice targets.

Apparently it's 4 Leclerc that were going to Qatar for a training exercise.

It could just be to show off.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 36, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 31356 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 30):
Seems then that the A400M is sufficient for skirmishes but not for all-out war.

I think that's wrong.

Some aircraft can airlift a few tanks for skirmishes, but no country seems to be able to airlift armoured divisions- US armour for Saudi Arabia went by sea as far as I know, despite the imminent Iraqi threat. To be honest I'm not sure why - I guess the heavy transport fleet was simply needed for carrying lighter forces.

So the French are simply realistic in not being able to airlift MBTs, in my view.

[Edited 2013-01-25 11:23:20]


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 37, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 31351 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 35):
Frankly I have no idea why we would be sending MBT at all in Mali, the enemy has pick-ups.

My understanding is they have pretty much anything that Qadaffi's armories had before they were looted.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 35):
If it's true they have anti-tank weapons then we are sending nice targets.

Why have MBTs are all then?

I guess the soldiers are there to be targets as well?

Quoting Aesma (Reply 35):
It could just be to show off.

I suppose, but then again I suppose one could say the same thing about A400M as well?

I'd hope the focus would be around building a fast reaction force that would utilize the most survivable vehicle that the A400M could carry, but I don't know what the plan is.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineSeJoWa From United States of America, joined May 2006, 352 posts, RR: 0
Reply 38, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 31143 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 28):

The US wanted us to pay for the C-17 flights (a hefty sum) so apparently we declined and took the free options (from Canada, UK and others) while suggesting the US help the African nations sending men for free.

That information is days old so I don't know what has happened in practice, the Pentagon was embarrassed and said they wouldn't ask for money after all.

C-17 Globemaster III transport jets, operating under the control of U.S. Africa Command, are moving a French mechanized infantry battalion. The ongoing operation is expected to last at least two weeks, officials said.
The first C-17 from Dover Air Force Base, Del., took off from Istres and landed in Mali’s capital of Bamako on Jan. 21 to deliver more than 80,000 pounds of equipment and dozens of French soldiers.

SOURCE: http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=119110

So, excellent outcome, and only possible thanks to the quick initial French response.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 39, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 30962 times:

In all of the rightful lauding of the C-17 and the capabilities it gives to the nations that operate it, while bashing the A400M for it's delays, it's worth remembering just what a torrid time the Globemaster development process was.
So bad it came close to outright cancellation on at least one occasion, there were cost overruns, technical problems (including a wing structural test failure), it really was a bad experience for all involved.
Near the top of any shit list for 1990's Pentagon/contractor procurement nightmares.

But that's forgotten now, isn't it? Deliberately or otherwise given the great success the C-17 has been in service, to mention it's previous troubles might seem to be like letting off a loud fart at a genteel social gathering.
Problem is, you cannot bash the A400M for it's development troubles and honestly ignore the C-17's rather similar history.
Presumably to follow that logic means it's also, like the Globemaster, likely to be a valuable and admired asset for those who operate it, maybe even repeating what you suspect many of the C-17 users feel about that aircraft, how did we cope before we had it?

At least the C-17 was only being developed by one country with, at the time, only one certain end user.
(Though some may think the puzzle palace of the US defence/political structure is as shark infested as anything that stretches across European borders).

France could not reasonably - without big cuts elsewhere at least - afford to buy and operate 25 C-17's as opposed to 50 A400M's.
The cuts elsewhere to do so may well include some of the equipment it was meant to transport.
Yes there was the industrial policy aspect too, though it would be perverse to think that does not feature in US procurement choices either.

You could buy 50 C-130J's I guess, legendary aircraft it certainly is but for all the upgrades of the current model it still has that cargo cross section designed in the 1950's. Many critical items for repaid deployment just could not be easily accommodated, if at all.

After all those decades of labouring on with the Transall (and a few Herks), the A400M is going to transform the abilities of the French AF to deploy forces out of area.
They'll still need the occasional supplement by AN-124's, or USAF C-5's and/pt C-17's it's true.
But pooling assets is one of the advantages to being in the military alliances France is and they are far from the only major AF to occasionally call on such support.
But they'll need it less often when their A400M fleet is up and running.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 40, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 30939 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 39):

They chose to veto the C17, that is what bothers me, they tried to force others in EU to go for the A400. Now I think some regret being such typical french, a fleet of 7 like UK along with the A400 would be a very useful combo.

I have no more warm feelings for the french, I used to like them but with EU they really showed what they are made of.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 41, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 30882 times:

Well Sweden makes the Gripen and is selling it internationally so you should understand the need for some nations to keep certain industries alive, what would you think if your Air Force disregarded the Gripen and bought Mirages of F-16s ?


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 42, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 30842 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
it's worth remembering just what a torrid time the Globemaster development process was.
So bad it came close to outright cancellation on at least one occasion, there were cost overruns, technical problems (including a wing structural test failure), it really was a bad experience for all involved.

Indeed, and the project continued because there really was no alternative: the C5s aren't as numerous and aren't reliable and modern enough, the C-141s were aging out, the C130s are not able to move the heavy assets. I certainly agree both US and non-US procurement systems are quite flawed.

Quoting GDB (Reply 39):
France could not reasonably - without big cuts elsewhere at least - afford to buy and operate 25 C-17's as opposed to 50 A400M's.

That's hard to say not knowing what the final cost of the A400M at full level of functionality will be or when that will occur. It certainly won't be "half the C-17 at half the cost" that some made it out to be.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 43, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 30870 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 16):
The A400M, for all its issues, provides jobs in many European nations and is designed to be an efficient aircraft for the job required. Euro air forces, for the most part, can't afford to have several subfleets of transport aircrafts.

And to be honest, if France was to buy a large strategic airlifter, I'd prefer my taxpayer money to buy part of an An-124, or even some used 747F. Much cheaper to buy and operate than a C-17!

The A400 can do the unprepared airfield bit. What always seem to lack in these distant conflicts is the capability to carry lots of heavy equipment to the main, paved, airfields of the affected country.

Let's not turn this into yet another C-17 vs. A-400 thread.

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 18):
France does operate US aircraft.

Yes, but only a handful.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 19):
I'm not sure why no one is pointing out that if the A400M had come anywhere near its original schedule and budget, France would already have all the airlift it needs for this operation.

  

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 19): it seems France surely would be OK for this operation.
When the Armée de L'Air finally gets its A400s, then yes.

No, they won't. They will be retiring more C-160s and C-130s. France will end up with just a minor boost in capacity.

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
EU as a whole has no enemy that would warrant such an airlift capacity. The last few wars it's engaged in were linked with localized ethnic wars, terrorism and jihadism guerillas, ousting dictators and the like.

And if such a threat ever arises, there is no doubt that EU as a whole would react as one and every country would provide its military capacity. Which by then would be around 150 A400s.

Did you forget Kosovo?

Quoting francoflier (Reply 21):
France opted out of the Eurofighter program and went alone. Both products ended up being fine and adapted aircrafts, but basically, twice the money was spent for 2 similar products,and half of that bore by one country alone. Both programs ended up overbudget and late.

France opted out because it could not get the biggest share of the EF-2000 production.


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 44, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 30820 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):
Did you forget Kosovo?

No. Ethnic war. Also, I don't understand why Kosovo would change anything in France or Europe's need for strategic transport.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):
France opted out because it could not get the biggest share of the EF-2000 production.

I don't understand your point.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):
France will end up with just a minor boost in capacity.

France is operating about 50 Transalls and around a dozen Hercs.
They will be replaced by 50 A400s. It is a boost in capacity of, I'd say, at least 50% in terms of available payload.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):
Let's not turn this into yet another C-17 vs. A-400 thread.

Right, let's keep it a straight A400 / France bashing thread instead.
  

Quoting Revelation (Reply 42):
That's hard to say not knowing what the final cost of the A400M at full level of functionality will be or when that will occur. It certainly won't be "half the C-17 at half the cost" that some made it out to be.

I'd say the acquisition cost of 25 C-17s off the shelf would actually have been cheaper than the 50 A400s, considering the USAF, through the US congress, has basically absorbed the development cost of the program and its overruns. The aircraft's manufacturing cost is now fixed and the manufacturing structure is amortized. I'm actually pretty sure they could have gotten a great deal.
In the case of the A400, participating nations are still not completely sure of how much the final unit cost will be yet. The overall cost has increased and is divided by a number of final orders which has decreased. The governments pick up the tab...

Remains to be seen whether the operating cost of an A400 is about half that of a C-17. I'd say probably. The only dark area here (for me) will be engine maintenance. Those TP-400s might end up being more expensive to maintain and overhaul than the PW2000.

Trivially, MTU Aero, which owns a 28% stake in Europrop, also owns a 21% stake in the C-17's engine.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 158 posts, RR: 1
Reply 45, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 30764 times:

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 34):
Looking at the UK who have C130 & C17, realistically with the small number of C17 in the fleet they are not in a position to deploy MBTs in any significant numbers... for Desert Storm everybody sent their MBTs by boat. Only the US can afford/has the capability to airfreight MBTs... and even then I'm not sure they do it that often?
Quoting Aesma (Reply 35):
Frankly I have no idea why we would be sending MBT at all in Mali, the enemy has pick-ups. If it's true they have anti-tank weapons then we are sending nice targets.
Quoting ptrjong (Reply 36):
Some aircraft can airlift a few tanks for skirmishes, but no country seems to be able to airlift armoured divisions- US armour for Saudi Arabia went by sea as far as I know, despite the imminent Iraqi threat. To be honest I'm not sure why - I guess the heavy transport fleet was simply needed for carrying lighter forces.

While MBTs are usually moved by sea, when sudden crises arise, the ability to airlift MBTs can be very useful.

This ability has been an important and useful tool for the US numerous times:

In 1973 C-5s airlifted dozens of US M-60s into Israel during the Yom Kippur War. Those M-60s were quickly put to good use.

In 1989 C-5s carried MBTs into Panama to augment tanks already there. (not sure of the type of tanks)

In 1998 C-5s airlifted M-1s into Mogadishu following the 'Blackhawk Down' incident.

In 1999 C-17s airlifted M-1s into Skopje and Tirana during the Kosovo conflict. These tanks created a credible threat of ground attack against Serbia.

In 2003 C-17s airlifted M-1s into northern Iraq to help open a second front against Iraqi forces.

AFAIK, all MBTs in Afghanistan have been airlifted into there. I've personally observed M-1s and Leopards being carried by C-17s.

MBTs have proven very effective in low intensity conflicts. They were used extensively in Iraq and are used today in Afghanistan. They deliver an enormous amount of firepower, are very hard to kill, and are very mobile. They make things very difficult for insurgents who choose to fight.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):
Let's not turn this into yet another C-17 vs. A-400 thread.

Why not? We haven't had one in awhile. This seems like a great real world example of why the A400M was a bad move for the European countries producing it. It's too delayed to participate in a French-led conflict, and even if it was operational France would still be asking for C-17s to airlift their tanks. What is the latest cost for the A400M? Pretty close to the C-17.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 46, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 30780 times:

The real reason that the A400M gets a bashing here is of course, it's taken, already, some potential customers for the C-130J, not the C-17.
Worth mentioning that while only a derivative of a very well established type, the C-130J also had a far from smooth entry into service, the RAF had to wait several years after it's aircraft were delivered until they could actually use them across the spectrum of normal missions.
Another one that's been forgotten, deliberately it seems.

The carry a MBT is something of a red herring, in the context of European NATO nations at least, yes they have at times, but only in small numbers and that's what chartering AN-124's or using those NATO C-17's or allied AF's C-17's is for.

Given the urgency of the situation in Mali, France might well have called on C-17's and Antonovs even if they already had some A400M's in service.

There is also the subject of this thread, there is at least one poster here who only a couple of years ago dismissed the A400M as 'vaporware', yet at the top of the thread is a production example for the lead customer.

Judge this aircraft by what it does once in service, since using it's rather fraught development history only brings comparison to the C-17 and to an extent, the C-130J.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 47, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 30727 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 44):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 43):Let's not turn this into yet another C-17 vs. A-400 thread.
Right, let's keep it a straight A400 / France bashing thread instead.

Who is doing that? France finds itself envolved in a conflict they are not equipped to fully support using there own assets. Now France is requesting USAF KC-135Rs to help with air refueling missions in Mali. The US and Canada are airlifting ground forces from Chad because France wants to expand rapidly and cannot do it on its own.

Quoting GDB (Reply 46):
The real reason that the A400M gets a bashing here is of course, it's taken, already, some potential customers for the C-130J, not the C-17.

Who? UK? Canada? Australia? India? Qatar? Of the 174 A-400s currently on order, 170 are going to European customers and 14 of them are already up for sale. Meanwhile Canada choose not to order the A-400M, Chile never firmed up their MOU, and South Africa canceled their order for 8 plus 6 options. Only Malaysia has kept their order for 4 airplanes.

Quoting GDB (Reply 46):
Worth mentioning that while only a derivative of a very well established type, the C-130J also had a far from smooth entry into service, the RAF had to wait several years after it's aircraft were delivered until they could actually use them across the spectrum of normal missions.

How long do you think it wil take to iron out the bugs in the A-400M after it is in operational service?

Quoting GDB (Reply 46):
Judge this aircraft by what it does once in service, since using it's rather fraught development history only brings comparison to the C-17 and to an extent, the C-130J.

We cannot judge it, because no A-400M is operational, nor will there be any for at least a year in a half, assuming the first one is still delivered in May 2013. We already know it still has finiky engines.


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 30673 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
We already know it still has finiky engines.

Actually, the latest standard of engines has now been installed on the test aircraft, performed all of the function & reliability campaign with no issues whatsoever (which was important for civil type certification), so it appears that the gearbox material issues are now over.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 49, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 30607 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 46):
Judge this aircraft by what it does once in service, since using it's rather fraught development history only brings comparison to the C-17 and to an extent, the C-130J.

As an engineer I'm keenly interested in the development process/history and find the comparisons to other successful as well as less than successful programs to be quite interesting and certainly not something to turn away from.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 50, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 30591 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Who? UK? Canada? Australia? India? Qatar? Of the 174 A-400s currently on order, 170 are going to European customers and 14 of them are already up for sale

Well, France and Germany had their large Transall fleets to replace, in an A400M free world the only realistic replacement would have been C-130J.

RAF - the 25 C-130J's ordered well before any A400M development ever started was borne out by the need to replace some of the aging and very hard worked C-130K fleet ASAP. Apparently ops to all those primitive desert strips in Desert Shield/Storm really added wear and tear to already far from young frames.
Added strain from the mid 70's too, after virtually all other transport types were retired, Belfasts, Andovers, Britannia's meant the C-130 fleet had to do it all.

Aside from France and Germany, big AF's granted, the standard European transport has been the C-130 for decades, even France topped up it's C-160's with a dozen Herks.

Canada had some similar problems to the UK, they had an aging, (older than most of the RAF fleet) C-130 force of several different versions, yet were becoming, post Cold War, more involved in out of NATO area operations.
The C-130J/C-17 mix made absolute sense for them.

The Danes went C-130J, another aging C-130 fleet, heavily used, more so in the post 9/11 world. Again, that made sense for them at the time.

South Africa was more about budget issues and maybe more, there is a bunch of defence procurement scandals involving political corruption brewing there, maybe the cancelled order was part of that?
In any case, have they gone out and brought C-130J's, they do really need transport fleet modernisation.

India - initial order was for special forces orientated C-130J's, (perhaps linked in with concerns they and the US has with the security of Pakistani nukes if the country implodes/falls into extremist hands? The USA and India are cooperating on a scale unimaginable even a decade ago, nuclear co-operation likely means more than what has been officially stated. Both have a justified concern about the nukes next door to India).

Other orders from India will be interesting to watch, the US has broken through and that may inform future procurements to modernise India's diverse and rather aging fleet. But 'diverse' also applies to India's long standing policy of weapons procurement. Don't rule out an A400M order yet, espeically if the vague proposals about some India/Russian cooperation on a new airlifter come to nothing.

I do agree however that the ultimate test of the A400M awaits.
Same applied to the C-17 and C-130J too.
Assuming a generally stable transition to service (not the same as problem free), seeing how the A400M does orders wise in the next decade will be interesting indeed.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 51, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 30529 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 41):
what would you think if your Air Force disregarded the Gripen and bought Mirages of F-16s ?

Whatever is most sane to me as a taxpayer gets my vote, no use in inventing the wheel all over if a wheel is on the market and paid for. There will be no more heavy lifter produced for a very long time after the last C17 rolls off the FAL.

Then to start a hugely expensive program to do what the C17 does would be a waste of taxpayers money and typical disrespect of the taxpayer.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 52, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 30418 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 51):
Then to start a hugely expensive program to do what the C17 does would be a waste of taxpayers money and typical disrespect of the taxpayer.

And the warfighter too, IMHO.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 53, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 30463 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 50):
Don't rule out an A400M order yet, espeically if the vague proposals about some India/Russian cooperation on a new airlifter come to nothing.

I won't rule out future orders for the A-400M, but the fact that attached to every new airplane ordered by someone other than the current customers is going to be that added $10M loan repayment for the loans extended to EADS during the last price increase. It was this added cost that caused the USAF not to consider the unsolicited 118 airplane proposal from EADS a few years ago.

Quoting GDB (Reply 50):
Then to start a hugely expensive program to do what the C17 does would be a waste of taxpayers money and typical disrespect of the taxpayer.

The A-400M is equeilly expensive, and more expensive that the C-17 when to dollars are scaled to the airlift payload capability. Many EU customers love to get into humanitarian missions around the world. This is really what has worn out many C-130s around the world. In this respect, the A-400M will be no different than the C-130, C-17, or C-5. I have longed believed that civilian freighters, like the B-747F, B-767F, B-777F, A-300F, and A-330F would be a better choice on MOST missions (not all), because they operate at commerical airports where infastructure is already inplace for them. During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, even the A-300F BELUGA was used for light weight, but over sized cargo.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 54, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 30447 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 53):

My concern is that about 10 years after the EOL of the C17 production some knuckle head in EU thinks it would be great to have heavy airlift...reinventing the wheel, as long as it has the tricolore it can cost whatever they can steal from us taxpayers. We already support their farmers..


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 55, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 30238 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 53):
It was this added cost that caused the USAF not to consider the unsolicited 118 airplane proposal from EADS a few years ago.

You really think the A400M had a chance there?
What would be the USAF's need for it?
Loads of Herks and over 200 C-17's.

I don't see either how the humanitarian missions the EU 'does; has any bearing, not least since the USAF does them too.

We won't really know the costs until it's in full scale production and for support costs, well established in service.
No different to any other aircraft.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 56, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 30208 times:

Is there really any chance of the C-17 not being available 10 years from now ? Unlike commercial programs there is no reason to scrap the tooling, I would even guess it's forbidden by the contract with the government.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 57, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 30094 times:

I don't understand a whole thread of people comparing a C-130 sized plane to the C-17....

The A400M is less than half the weight of a C-17 and carries half the payload.

On the flip side, it weighs almost exactly what the C-130J weighs, while carrying almost twice the payload, 120km/h faster, about the same range with the same takeoff run.

So again, why are we babbling about the C-17 in this thread?

NS

[Edited 2013-01-29 00:56:14]

User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 58, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 30008 times:

Quoting gigneil (Reply 57):
I don't understand a whole thread of people comparing a C-130 sized plane to the C-17....

Actually it's a thread about the rollout of the 1st A400M to be delivered to France.

Then France was asked to send troops to Mali, and so the thread drifted into discussing the air transport aspects of that.

Hardly a whole thread on C-17...

Quoting gigneil (Reply 57):
So again, why are we babbling about the C-17 in this thread?

His majesty is displeased? 



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3547 posts, RR: 26
Reply 59, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 29861 times:
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Quoting Aesma (Reply 56):
Is there really any chance of the C-17 not being available 10 years from now ? Unlike commercial programs there is no reason to scrap the tooling, I would even guess it's forbidden by the contract with the government.

Tooling for spares prone parts will be retained, tooling related to parts not spares prone may be mothballed but probably not. major assembly tooling will be scrapped after 5 years or so. Since al the tooling drawings remain available with any revisions that were made keeping both engineering and tools is inefficient .

The bigger problem is keeping all the suppliers certifications and dedicated space available. Those building spares not so much as those building clips and stringers. if there is a gap of ten years, probably 1/3 to 1/2 of the suppliers will either have gone out of business, been absorbed by another company, or moved on to different products.

The plus for Boeing would be all the contracts to bring improved tech. to the existing fleet. (which is going to happen to some degree anyway)


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 60, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 29788 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 54):
as long as it has the tricolore it can cost whatever they can steal from us taxpayers. We already support their farmers..

So much anger. Reassuring at least to know that your problem lies with the French and not the A400 itself.
Sorry for bleeding Sweden dry, by the way. Now excuse me while I got eat an apple grown with your tax money...
 
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 53):
It was this added cost that caused the USAF not to consider the unsolicited 118 airplane proposal from EADS a few years ago.

Honestly, this was probably the last reason the USAF didn't get A400s. I believe the proposal never even got studied that far.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
France finds itself envolved in a conflict they are not equipped to fully support using there own assets. Now France is requesting USAF KC-135Rs to help with air refueling missions in Mali. The US and Canada are airlifting ground forces from Chad because France wants to expand rapidly and cannot do it on its own.

And the Us and Canada, amongst others, seem happy to help... These are terrorists after all, getting dangerous close to controlling those areas where uranium, for instance, is mined.
The decision behind this conflict was driven by the wish to throw dangerous fundamentalists out of Mali, restore freedom to terrorist-controlled areas and prevent the whole country from becoming a brutal jihadist dictat.
This was a crash rescue mission, and I believe the main line of thinking was : 'let's get in there before it's too late and we'll figure out the details on the way'. And figure it out they did. I'm quite impressed by that, if anything.

I wouldn't have been much impressed if they had said: 'hey, we'd like to save these people, but look, we don't have enough freighters. Sorry, good luck...'.
At least this is showing politicians why they've bought A400s.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 45):
This seems like a great real world example of why the A400M was a bad move for the European countries producing it.

Yes, all those jobs, technological independence, so much waste...

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 45):
It's too delayed to participate in a French-led conflict,

I'd have to check, but I think the January 2013 war in Mali was not included in the A400 negotiations back in the 90s.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 45):
and even if it was operational France would still be asking for C-17s to airlift their tanks.

France always has requested/rented heavy airlift for heavy artillery, or shipped them seawise. This changes nothing, and the decision to make the A400 the size it is came from a strategic decision taken in the 90s (or late 80s), but which is still valid today. Still a lot better than Transalls and C-130s.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 45):
What is the latest cost for the A400M? Pretty close to the C-17.

Cost which is injected in the local economy, as opposed to the dry loss of giving it to a foreign company hiring foreign workers... If the money is going to be spent anyway, sounds good to me.
I mean, even moving most of the KC-45 production to the US wasn't enough to give it a chance in the US, and this would be much worse since the C-17s would not have been built in Europe.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 61, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 29755 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 60):
And the Us and Canada, amongst others, seem happy to help... These are terrorists after all, getting dangerous close to controlling those areas where uranium, for instance, is mined.
The decision behind this conflict was driven by the wish to throw dangerous fundamentalists out of Mali, restore freedom to terrorist-controlled areas and prevent the whole country from becoming a brutal jihadist dictat.
This was a crash rescue mission, and I believe the main line of thinking was : 'let's get in there before it's too late and we'll figure out the details on the way'. And figure it out they did. I'm quite impressed by that, if anything.

I wouldn't have been much impressed if they had said: 'hey, we'd like to save these people, but look, we don't have enough freighters. Sorry, good luck...'.
At least this is showing politicians why they've bought A400s.

Quite. You really cannot compare this to a UN style peacekeeping operation, in this clip there are troops deployed to secure an airfield but also an operational para-trooper deployment of 250 men (to cut off if possible fleeing insurgents), Rafales being bombed up and a French Navy amphibious ship unloading more hardware.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zGDIDGMcbaM

No one has everything they need all of the time, it's now 25 years since the Royal Navy was asked to provide some of their modern mine warfare ships to the Gulf to support US led operations there, there was a serious threat from Iranian mines but the USN had little in the way of modern vessels of this type. The RN still deploy Minesweepers there.

Gulf War 1, the RAF rushes it's Tornado GR.1A recce versions to service, since aside from the aging RF-4C's, they had little in the way of modern tactical recon aircraft in the USAF in 1990.

Even a decade later, after the SR-71 final retirement but before drones predominated as now, the RAF had plenty of requests for the veteran though modernised Canberra PR.9's, from the US, over Afghanistan, Iraq and likely some less public deployments.

These are admittedly minor examples but they were requested by a Superpower, if they could have some gaps here and there that emerge during previously unforeseen events, then much smaller, middle ranking at best nations, are going to have gaps too.
This is why we have alliances, surely?

The A400M, for all the long development, political wrangling, the industrial base support it represents, is at lest addressing one of the (justified) complaints the US has had, with the airlift provision of it's major allies.
But only if they provide it from US sources?


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 62, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 29708 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 61):

The A400M, for all the long development, political wrangling, the industrial base support it represents, is at lest addressing one of the (justified) complaints the US has had, with the airlift provision of it's major allies.

Indeed, although it wasn't around this time when it was needed, there seems no doubt it'll be needed again.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 158 posts, RR: 1
Reply 63, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 29608 times:

Quoting francoflier (Reply 60):
Yes, all those jobs, technological independence, so much waste...
Quoting francoflier (Reply 60):
Cost which is injected in the local economy, as opposed to the dry loss of giving it to a foreign company hiring foreign workers... If the money is going to be spent anyway, sounds good to me.

You seem to value jobs and government support of industry much more than you value quality, defense capability, and money spent efficiently. Based on this logic, shouldn't France or Germany build starfighters or underwater cities? An incredible waste of money, but who cares? Think of the jobs, and technological independence! And the local economy!

With the C-17, France/Germany/UK could have gotten greater airlift capability for less money. They could spend the money they saved on other defense shortages, such as A330 tankers or Rafales or Eurofighters or aircraft carriers. Or they could choose to not spend the money at all and let the taxpayers have it.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 64, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 29525 times:

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 63):

You seem to value jobs and government support of industry much more than you value quality, defense capability, and money spent efficiently.

But that's hardly unique to either France or Germany, is it?
France is not shy of importing US hardware when needed, E-3 and E-2 AWACS - big ticket and expensive- C-130's, LGB's to name high profile and obvious ones. However both they and Germany intend to retain a defence/industrial base, for security as well as industrial reasons.
The exact same arguments used in the US by when foreign and US designs are in contention.


User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1656 posts, RR: 2
Reply 65, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 29489 times:

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 63):
You seem to value jobs and government support of industry much more than you value quality, defense capability, and money spent efficiently.

Sounds like the F-35.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 66, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 29484 times:

Quoting Acheron (Reply 65):
Quoting cargotanker (Reply 63):
You seem to value jobs and government support of industry much more than you value quality, defense capability, and money spent efficiently.

Sounds like the F-35.

Yep, LM, NG, BAe and other subs are taking a whole swath of the world's taxpayers to the cleaners:

Quote:

The United States plans to buy a total of 2,443 aircraft to provide the bulk of its tactical airpower for the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy over the coming decades. The United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Israel and Japan are part of the development program and may equip their air services with the F-35



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 67, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 29430 times:

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 63):
You seem to value jobs and government support of industry much more than you value quality, defense capability, and money spent efficiently.

I do! Isn't the point of a country/government trying to make sure that its citizens live as well as possible? You seem to live in a world in which war is the mean to all ends... I agree it's an incidental, and apparently unavoidable, fact of human society, but we've managed to keep it offshore for a while now, and a minimal part of our overall affairs.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 63):
Based on this logic, shouldn't France or Germany build starfighters or underwater cities? An incredible waste of money, but who cares?

Something needed to be built, they built it using the local industries. The end product is real and of use.
And our government already spends a lot more on social projects that are much less useful and productive than starfighters and underwater cities...

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 63):
With the C-17, France/Germany/UK could have gotten greater airlift capability for less money.

It all depends on the value of that 'greater airlift capacity' over the local economic downfalls. We aviation nerds tend to prefer the technical side of things. Looking at the greater picture, and in the mind of most people, it makes little difference. As a citizen I'm much more interested in broader issues like the local economy and industry, jobs, health, education, etc.
The whole A400 program could have been financed by the savings associated with a more efficient public health system management.

I don't believe it would have been cheaper to buy C-17s than A400s, as the A400 itself wouldn't have served as leverage in the price negotiation, but even if it had been, I don't think the difference in price would have made up the local economic downfalls. Remember that all these companies building bits of the A400 pay taxes here and employ people who also pay taxes here.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 63):
Or they could choose to not spend the money at all and let the taxpayers have it.

   Thanks for the laugh!



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 68, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 29319 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
The US and Canada are airlifting ground forces from Chad because France wants to expand rapidly and cannot do it on its own.

Chad is acting on its own. It is not part of the African troops involved - or soon to be involved - in the ground OPS.Your comment is irrelevant. France din't and doesn't need Chadian involvement.

Quoting sweair (Reply 51):
Then to start a hugely expensive program to do what the C17 does would be a waste of taxpayers money and typical disrespect of the taxpayer.

Why on earth didn't your country participate in the A400M program ?
Why is your country producing a fighter instead of buying off-the-shelf US products like the F-18 ?
Where did anyone use your precious tax money to build the A400M ?
And finally, why don't you set up a "Swedish independent party" on the model of UKIP ? so, have a sip at a SIP ! and cheers !

[quote=KC135TopBoom,reply=53] During the Hurricane Katrina disaster, even the A-300F BELUGA was used for light weight, but over sized cargo.

I wonder why everyone forgets this airlifter in the discussion. ?

Quoting sweair (Reply 54):

My concern is that about 10 years after the EOL of the C17 production some knuckle head in EU thinks it would be great to have heavy airlif

...and I wonder some other knuckle heads do not understand that the C-17, for all its qualities cannot accomplish the advanced airfield missions of the A-400M?

Quoting gigneil (Reply 57):
, it weighs almost exactly what the C-130J weighs, while carrying almost twice the payload, 120km/h faster, about the same range with the same takeoff run.

That's about the most valid point / comparison one could bring . Thanks.

[Edited 2013-01-31 06:09:09]

[Edited 2013-01-31 06:10:13]

[Edited 2013-01-31 06:11:18]

[Edited 2013-01-31 06:12:23]


Contrail designer
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3547 posts, RR: 26
Reply 69, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 29237 times:
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Quoting Pihero (Reply 68):
France din't and doesn't need Chadian involvement.

maybe not as a military force, but as a political statement they are needed.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 68):
advanced airfield missions of the A-400M?

din't the plane fail to pass the unimproved runway because it was too unimproved, or damp .. must have finally found the spec that matches performance...

personally I can not fault the French for designing and building it. However if it is a employment program why build it in Spain when they rioting for jobs in Paris?..


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 70, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 29173 times:
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Quoting kanban (Reply 69):
personally I can not fault the French for designing and building it. However if it is a employment program why build it in Spain when they rioting for jobs in Paris?..

Good remark. Maybe people will understand more what Airbus is also about and what being part of the EU means. When will people understand that the airplane comes from a requirement : to land as close as possible to the battlefield fully operational units ? To me, just stating that requirement disqualifies the other airplanes , whatever their other qualities are.
On the same subject, the Germans torpedoed the EADS - BAe merger for reasons of no confidence with the future of the UK in the EU... and the question is : are they in or are they out ? To leave Airbus in order to sail into western seas was rather unwelcome. To come back through another door is taking the would-be partners for fools.Time has come for the patience of EU countries to get very thin.

Quoting kanban (Reply 69):
din't the plane fail to pass the unimproved runway because it was too unimproved, or damp ..

... or both. Landing in a quagmire had never been in the specs of the airplane. The sentence stands : the 17 cannot go where the A400 lands.
But let's be serious. The Atlas is - almost - here and it is to stay, whatever our friends from the north or the northwest think and holler. It will be needed in the future as we have too many defence / assistance accords with quite a few African countries. Had we had it in sufficient numbers, the immediate deployment needs would have been covered.
As for lifting main battle tanks, nobody seems to have noticed that the Dixmude has landed quite a lot of troops and vehicles in Dakar. With the other five LHDs / LCs we don't need help, as it is so reluctantly given, these days, with or without payment.
The funny thing is : this OPS is against terrorism of the worst sort, directed against all the western world, with Europe first as a target. So these claims of spending their taxpayers' hard earned money, western solidarity - of course under the umbrella of US might , as if we couldn't do nothing - especially defend ourselves- without it...
Pathetic.


ps : sorry slightly off-topic.



Contrail designer
User currently offlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3547 posts, RR: 26
Reply 71, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 29134 times:
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Quoting Pihero (Reply 70):
or both.

I was poking fun.. like Grizzly better than Atlas.. Agree with your points.. and we'll have C-17's when you need them..

It's good to see this plane ready to begin some real work.. so how many will they deliver this year?


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 72, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 29076 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 71):
like Grizzly better than Atlas..

Yup... On the plus side, it does make my Grizzly patch worth a lot more...  
Quoting kanban (Reply 71):
how many will they deliver this year?

Target is 4 to the french air force.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 73, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 29002 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 69):
personally I can not fault the French for designing and building it. However if it is a employment program why build it in Spain when they rioting for jobs in Paris?..

Perhaps because CASA, now EADS Spain, had experience starting with the C-212, then a line of development to the CN-235?


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 74, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 29016 times:
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Quoting kanban (Reply 71):
like Grizzly better than Atlas..

ditto, but perhaps it is too american ?
  



Contrail designer
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 75, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 28990 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 74):
ditto, but perhaps it is too american ?

I believe it was a bit of a political mix-up.

Airbus Military came up with the "Grizzly" name, and there were some objections from the partner nations as it had not been circulated and approved by everybody... The final name that came out of the hat was "Atlas". Apparently it is more in line with other military transport names (I'm not an expert on the whole naming thing   )


User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 76, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 28990 times:

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 75):

Atlas is among other things a reference to the Noratlas I think, which was almost Franco-German, too.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages



Grizzly was simply inspired by the claws I guess.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jens Mattner




The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 77, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 28937 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 70):
the Germans torpedoed the EADS - BAe merger for reasons of no confidence with the future of the UK in the EU...

Personally I think the correct interpretation is that Ms Merkel torpedoed EADS-BAe because she feared it would have diluted Germany's role in EADS too much. The center of the defense business would shift to London and the center of the commercial business would remain in Toulouse amid talk of closing EADS offices in Germany, and that was too much for Ms Merkel.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 70):
The sentence stands : the 17 cannot go where the A400 lands.

Indeed, as does "the 17 carries what the A400M can't, further". It'd seem there are good enough places for the C-17 to land in Mali, as the UK, Canadian and US ones seem to be getting put to good use, as are a few foreign C-130s too.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 70):
It will be needed in the future as we have too many defence / assistance accords with quite a few African countries. Had we had it in sufficient numbers, the immediate deployment needs would have been covered.

Quite a correct statement but that statement seems to project the idea that you don't seem to want a discussion of why they weren't there in sufficient numbers as they should/could have been, or why they will cost a lot more than promised, or how to prevent this on future programs. Instead we hear of the social benefits of the program, which of course can be achieved other ways, and only encourages future programs to be even more late and bloated.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 70):
As for lifting main battle tanks, nobody seems to have noticed that the Dixmude has landed quite a lot of troops and vehicles in Dakar.

Thankfully there was the time for it to make that journey.

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 76):
Grizzly was simply inspired by the claws I guess.

That, and I do believe the first models had a dark black nose which stood out against the green primer paint. It was the nickname used by the test flight crews, until the stuffy higher-ups felt their prerogatives were being usurped and so they squashed "Grizzly" and came up with "Atlas", which to me sounds like a name that the US higher-ups would pick!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 78, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 28869 times:

Talking about deploying Main Battle Tanks to places like Afghanistan, Mali, they seem to be used, in very small numbers, as a sort of mobile, hardened, command, surveillance, pill-box/roadblock platform. With added artillery as a bonus.
I think the Germans and/or Danes put a few Leopards into Afghanistan.
The UK did seriously consider sending a few Challenger 2's but for whatever reason, chose not to.
But I doubt airlift provision was a factor in not doing so.

So we are seeing, sometimes, a few MBT's being sent to these sorts of conflicts, not a full blown armoured brigade or more.
Now without a lot of C-17's, C-5's deploying a big formation if it needed doing quickly would be a problem.
But that's a challenge for even the US, if Saddam had crossed the Saudi border in 1990, just as the 82nd Airborne were deploying, their only armoured assets would have been some 'Sheridan' light tanks which I gather were neither popular or effective.
True they did not have the C-17's then, they did however have a larger fleet of C-5's than today.

So for European nations at least, the lift MBT's requirement can exist at times, though it's not something you bend the design of an air-lifter which has to cover a wide spectrum of both tactical and strategic roles.
It would be a trade off, be more expensive and less use in the tactical roles to/from very primitive airstrips.
All designs are a compromise.

The French are lucky to have those big armoured car bad-boys, though (judging by the size of it's cannon - 105mm?) it's a substantial vehicle. Likely it can do a lot of the MBT role and though large, is going to be more deploy-able than large tracked armour. Both in the size/weight of the vehicle but as important, a smaller supply-chain too.


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2130 posts, RR: 4
Reply 79, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 28851 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 78):
'Sheridan' light tanks which I gather were neither popular or effective.

Not popular . . . maybe, but they were effective in blasting holes in jungle foliage and earthen bunkers in Vietnam 
Quoting GDB (Reply 78):
But that's a challenge for even the US, if Saddam had crossed the Saudi border in 1990,

The US does have an advantage of a Marine Expeditionary Force that can deploy with Armour, though not as fast as Airborne. Does any one know if the Marines's M1s have extended deployment on the Amphibious Ships or are they only staged for quick deployment?


bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 80, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 28862 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 78):
The French are lucky to have those big armoured car bad-boys, though (judging by the size of it's cannon - 105mm?) it's a substantial vehicle. Likely it can do a lot of the MBT role and though large, is going to be more deploy-able than large tracked armour.

ERC-90 Sagaie.
Has a 90mm gun, and is amphibious.

Wikipedia is not up to date, the french ones were upgraded in 2009 with a new Mercedez-derived diesel engine and numerous modifications to the body, armour, systems and turret.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ERC_90_Sagaie


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 81, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 28823 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 78):
But that's a challenge for even the US, if Saddam had crossed the Saudi border in 1990, just as the 82nd Airborne were deploying, their only armoured assets would have been some 'Sheridan' light tanks which I gather were neither popular or effective.

Right, that's why I said earlier:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 37):
I'd hope the focus would be around building a fast reaction force that would utilize the most survivable vehicle that the A400M could carry, but I don't know what the plan is.

and something being addressed via your comments as well as:

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 80):
ERC-90 Sagaie.

I recall seeing a story where it was said that composites could offer a lot of the benefits of traditional metal-based armor at a lot less weight, but haven't heard much about attempts to develop this any further.

I feel traditional armor is "aging out" just like we see UAVs taking over many roles of manned aircraft. I doubt we should keep large formations of current-tech MBTs because the need has shifted to scenarios like Mali as opposed to masses of Soviet tanks heading for the Fulda gap...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 82, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 28818 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 81):
I feel traditional armor is "aging out" just like we see UAVs taking over many roles of manned aircraft.

...an interesting question... clearly, MBTs have shown their limits in urban or confined areas (the french deployment of Leclerc MBTs to southern libanon was not classed as a success... the mountainous terrain, restrictive UN mandate and hostile environment really precluded their use).

They are also increasingly vulnerable in assymetrical warfare situations (a few M1s got into trouble in Iraq, primarily painted into a corner in urban combat and then set fire to - during the Israeli incursion into Southern Lebanon their merkava tanks suffered after hezbollah figured out a way to defeat their reactive armour by using rockets in tandem)...

Ironically, Mali has presented one of the best opportunities for MBTs on the battlefield, but the campaign has moved too fast for the supply chain to follow (regardless of airlift capacity.... as you pointed out, the build-up of armour before the iraq war in 1991 took weeks).

I still think that the US made the right choice by upgrading the original M1A1s to A2 standard, and the further potential A3 upgrade is also a wise step when everyone else is more or less dropping that capability (the british challenger and the french leclerc are not planned for any significant upgrades in the near future).

Even if their usefulness is decreasing, is it worth dropping the capability altogether? Not sure anybody has figured that one out yet.... In the meanwhile, medium armour like the ERC-90 Sagaie do come in handy. I've always had a soft spot for the british Warrior armoured vehicles... and I believe that they performed ok in Kosovo.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 83, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 28836 times:

There will always be need of heavy airlift, I guess the An124s will get more wear with time. The C5s are heading for the scrap heap.

Luckily for France other EU nations did get some C17s that FR really needed now, all this alliance talk.. When was the last time FR ever helped others out? A plane that was not needed for anyone..


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 84, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 28823 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 83):
When was the last time FR ever helped others out?

During the evacuation of Libya, France evacuated EU nationals, and then evacuated egyptian nationals back home when Egypt lacked air transport to do so.

Before that, the evacuation of southern libanon in 2006. The french provided the bulk of the naval force that ran the israeli gauntlet and evacuated european passport holders. The new BPC class of ships proved their worth, and a lot of european countries did not have the naval means available in the right place to carry out such an operation.

During operation Baliste, France evacuated 14,000 people (of which 10,000 where french passport holders). The french navy got 7,714 people out from areas that could not be evacuated by other means.

We may be a flawed nation, but we have our moments of glory  


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 85, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 28832 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 83):
When was the last time FR ever helped others out?

Think of Iraq.... Afghanistan... Kosovo...Gabon...Zaïre...Mauritania...Zaïre again (Kolwezi)...Chad...Centrafrica...Lybia...Togo... Rwanda...Cameroon...Congo...Zaïre again ( Kinshasa evacuation )... Somalia ("Restore Hope" )... Ivory Coast... Djibouti... Gulf of Aden...
Enough ? For the past fifty years, non stop, French troops have been involved in some kind of warfare or another . At this moment some 8000 of them are on an OPEX ( Operations abroad )

Amongst these operations are the protection and evacuation of foreign nationals, on top of Chuchoteur's list above : Gabon (1990 ) 1800 evacuated... Rwanda (1994) :1400 foreigners, 420 of them French... Congo (1997) 6500 evacuated from Brazzaville ... Ivory Coast (2002 ) protection of all foreign nationals ; fortunately, the defeat of the rebels made an evacuation unnecessary.

During that time, where were the C-17 equipped swedes ?
Being neutral, as usual.
Soooo !... I don't think you are in a position to give us any lesson on warfare, helping others and alliances.

Best regards.

[Edited 2013-02-01 14:02:40]


Contrail designer
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 86, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 28815 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 83):
There will always be need of heavy airlift, I guess the An124s will get more wear with time.

I just saw a documentary on the An124. The existing frames have had a 'service life extension' and the engines are getting upgraded over time. It seems they will be with us for a while.

Quoting sweair (Reply 83):
The C5s are heading for the scrap heap.

Not quite, but it's fair to say the US could be doing better at keeping them up to date, that's for sure.

One problem is the USAF always shifts budget dollars out of the maint budget and into the budget for the newest toys (see F-22, F-35).

Another is that the industry has gotten very good at raping the taxpayers over upgrade programs. They never seem to go to schedule or budget.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 85):
I don't think you are in a position to give us any lesson on warfare, helping others and alliances.

I too feel France tends to get less recognition than it deserves in many cases.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 87, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 28809 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 85):
During that time, where were the C-17 equipped swedes ?

To be fair, France for historical reasons has much stronger links to africa (hence a lot of operations on your list), whereas Sweden is somewhat more focused on things further north  

If anything, they least require the C17 aircraft they have acquired?


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 88, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 28825 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 77):
you don't seem to want a discussion of why they weren't there in sufficient numbers as they should/could have been, or why they will cost a lot more than promised, or how to prevent this on future programs.

I'm all for a good discussion between civilized people and I certainly have no agenda. Trying to hide something behind a slogan is not really my idea of intellectual honesty.
Fact is the discussion went into the - to say it mildly - social vs defence programs choice.
The reasons for the A400 delays are rather well known : a mixture of political choices (social wins over defence, hence reports and delays... because of the delays / reports the program costs start to climb in a well known spiral ) then technical choices that encounter hurdles ( the choice of the engine was, to say the least, debatable, but the engine manufacturers did try and swallow more than they could chew, at least in the original timing... like on just about all cooperation programs, the equipments were too diverse to accomodate in the given time-frame and some systems had never been designed for the size the aircraft required : the in-flight refuelling system, the terrain-following radar...list is rather long.
But I won't fall into the stink hole of comparing what we are experiencing vs other countries' problems.
What I am interested in is that the plane will go in a few weeks to the OPS testing site in the Landes and, hopefully we should see the first operational squadron in 2015.



Contrail designer
User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 89, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 28821 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 88):
What I am interested in is that the plane will go in a few weeks to the OPS testing site in the Landes and, hopefully we should see the first operational squadron in 2015.

First A400M in Orleans end of May/start of June.

Bearing in mind it is being delivered to the "equipes de marque" who will then need to get acquainted with the plane, I think 2015 for an operational squadron may be a little bit early. Not because the aircraft is not ready, but because all the crews need to be trained on an aircraft that is 2 to 3 generations beyond what they currently operate.

Transitioning from the C160 or C130H to the A400M is definitely going to be interesting to watch... the consensus is that it is equivalent to what the Mirage F1 pilots experienced transitioning to the Rafale... (a whole batch of the initial pilots failed the course and had to re-sit it, it was subsequently discovered that the original crews who passed the course had been "cheating" by doing a lot of additional "off the radar" training at night and weekends in their own spare time).

The loadmaster/crew chief role is also going to be an interesting transition.... from a very manual role to one piloting a computer system. A lot of checks and balances have been put in place but it is still a pretty big technology leap for a lot of people.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 90, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 28762 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 88):
What I am interested in is that the plane will go in a few weeks to the OPS testing site in the Landes and, hopefully we should see the first operational squadron in 2015.

Thanks for your earlier statement and especially this one.

Should be very good to see Atlas move out of the factory and into the field.

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 89):

Transitioning from the C160 or C130H to the A400M is definitely going to be interesting to watch... the consensus is that it is equivalent to what the Mirage F1 pilots experienced transitioning to the Rafale...

Indeed it will be a challenging transition especially for the earliest ones, as they and their instructors figure out together a lot about what the areas of focus need to be for such a transition.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 91, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 28744 times:

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 63):
You seem to value jobs and government support of industry much more than you value quality, defense capability, and money spent efficiently. Based on this logic, shouldn't France or Germany build starfighters or underwater cities? An incredible waste of money, but who cares? Think of the jobs, and technological independence! And the local economy!

Well some would argue that when France built nuclear reactors all over the place it did exactly that.

Should I mention Concorde ?

Quoting kanban (Reply 69):
personally I can not fault the French for designing and building it. However if it is a employment program why build it in Spain when they rioting for jobs in Paris?..

Actually since the start of the crisis Spain has seen far more "action" including the biggest "99% camps" of all, while France has seen none.

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 82):
(the french deployment of Leclerc MBTs to southern libanon was not classed as a success... the mountainous terrain, restrictive UN mandate and hostile environment really precluded their use).

And from what I read the other day the tracks had to be changed every 3 weeks !



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 92, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 28733 times:

Would FR accept the C17 if it came in kits that got assembled in Toulouse? With all the posturing from EU of a greater strategic role, we lack some real gear when reality hits us. Anyway its just a few more years before the C17 is history.

IFVs getting heavier, so heavy the A400 cant carry them as planned. And the trust of Russians or Ukrainians I know how I vote on that matter.

EU is a medium sized dog with big dog attitude  


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 93, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 28679 times:

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 80):

ERC-90 Sagaie.
Has a 90mm gun, and is amphibious.

I saw them on some news footage from Mali.

Though I was referring to this beast;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMX_10_RC


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 94, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 28643 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 77):
Quoting Pihero (Reply 70):
As for lifting main battle tanks, nobody seems to have noticed that the Dixmude has landed quite a lot of troops and vehicles in Dakar.
Thankfully there was the time for it to make that journey.

Hey ! There arte some very small physical / logistical considerations to make :
A Leclerc regiment is made of 54 MBTs, 86 armored vehicles (troop carriers, reco vehicles...). and 276 support vehicles (including tankers... etc...)
To deploy this tiny regiment, I would guess at more than 150 flights ! Evreux would be logjammed way before one third of the eqipment is loaded...
Take only then what seems to be the needs in Mali : Just one squadron : 13 MBTs, 86 armored vehicles and 60 support vehicles ( including three tankers ), then add 100 personel.... some 60 + C-17 flights would still be needed... before you think of the receiving capacity of a Malian airfield... obvious that a sea deployment is better, which is now being done, using Dakar as landing port.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 91):
And from what I read the other day the tracks had to be changed every 3 weeks !

I'd like to see a reference for that . The aluminium + rubber tracks have been / still are on some models, replaced with steel tracks that are a lot more durable.

Quoting sweair (Reply 92):
Would FR accept the C17 if it came in kits that got assembled in Toulouse?

Ryan Air doesn't build aircraft, and if they did, certainly not in Toulouse.

Quoting sweair (Reply 92):
IFVs getting heavier, so heavy the A400 cant carry them as planned.

The usual uninformed bull : most of the vehicles have been in production or service before the A400 was built ; their dimensions were part of the specifications for the A400 :
In Mali, those are the equipment used by the French Serval operation :
VAB 13.8 T ; 6m long
VBCI 25.6 T; 7.6 m long
ERC Sagaie :8.3 T ;7.7 m long (including the 90mm cannon )
Caesar 17.7 T ; 10 m long ( it's a self-propelled 155 mm cannon )
Question : Do you ever check your arguments or reference them ? Or is it just your idea of trolling amusement ?

@GDB, post # 93 :
That beast, tha AMX-10 is considered inferior to the ERC Sagaie for this kind of theatre of operaztions. To my knowledge they haven't been deployed in Mali.

[Edited 2013-02-02 06:26:31]


Contrail designer
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 95, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 28626 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 92):
IFVs getting heavier, so heavy the A400 cant carry them as planned.

I'd argue with the amount of investment in the A400Ms that France is making, and the quantity they are purchasing, the imperative is to design the IFV to be able to be carried by the A400M, not the other way around.

The US has the same issue if not worse, trying to keep useful vehicles deployable by C-130s to the forward operating bases.

The US attempts to come up with new vehicles have been a true clusterf***. The Army and their related contractors know they only get a shot at a new vehicle every decade or two at best, so they load it up with every imaginable requirement. The result is it all sinks under the cost of these requirements and they continue to just load up the existing machines.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 96, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 28625 times:

I did not only think about FR(France) needs of IFVs, if they want to sell it to others it will have to carry a lot more.

It can carry the Swedish IFV the CV90 but the range would totally suck and it would take forever to deploy it.

Anyway I don't want to rain on the parade, just saying some stupid decisions were made 10 years ago.


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 97, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 28615 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 96):
if they want to sell it to others it will have to carry a lot more.

It just carries twice as much load twice the distance as your - getting old - Herks... and a lot more airlift than the 550hr/year = 1 hr 40min /day you're entitled with the Nato C-17 ...   



Contrail designer
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 98, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 28601 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 96):
I did not only think about FR(France) needs of IFVs, if they want to sell it to others it will have to carry a lot more.

It can carry the Swedish IFV the CV90 but the range would totally suck and it would take forever to deploy it.

Some interesting points around the US GCV effort:

Quote:

The GCV must be transportable by cargo aircraft, rail and ship. The army requires it to meet the availability rates of the current Stryker. The army is not limiting the vehicle by the dimensions of the C-130, which, in the past, has constrained many designs. Air mobility will be provided by the more spacious C-17.

So the planned Stryker replacement will not be in the same weight class at all. In fact:

Quote:

In November 2012, estimates of the GCV's weight, depending on armor packages, put the General Dynamics entry vehicle at 64-70 tons, and the BAE Systems entry vehicle at 70-84 tons. This makes the planned infantry fighting vehicle designs heavier than the M1 Abrams tank. The reason is the vehicle must have enough armor to protect a squad of nine troops from all battlefield threats, from rocket-propelled grenades to IEDs, as good as or better than other vehicles can protect against specific threats individually. This works against the vehicle, as the weight increases, cost goes up and maneuverability goes down. The contractors are currently working to bring the weight down.

So it seems the IFV weights are increasing tremendously, which indeed is a problem for the A400M both for current and future potential customers.

In the US context, there are around 330 Hercs in active/guard/reserve formations and ~210 C-17s. I suppose we can see now why Lockheed isn't getting much interest in C-130 upgrades. There has been a lot of dreadful reporting in the US press during the recent conflict about how the lighter vehicles provide inadequate protection. I think it's way overblown because every solder can't expect to have MBT-like protection, but it seems the press have put so much pressure on the military that they feel they have no choice but to react to it.

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GCV_Infantry_Fighting_Vehicle

Quoting Pihero (Reply 94):
obvious that a sea deployment is better, which is now being done, using Dakar as landing port.

Obvious if you have time to wait for sea deployment and if you have a friendly sea port close enough to be of use.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 94):
most of the vehicles have been in production or service before the A400 was built ; their dimensions were part of the specifications for the A400

Since you say these are vehicles that pre-date the A400M, what will their replacements look like for the French forces? It seems as above that IFVs need to be designed to resist some pretty substantial RPG and IED threats and the way most seem to be doing this is just using a lot of very heavy, metallic designs.

There are already criticisms that the A400M is inadequate for the armoured German Puma which weighs 43 tonnes. Apparently you can take off the add-on armour and get to 31.5 tonnes but having to do that is far from ideal, and as above, the trend is for future vehicles to be even heavier.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 99, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 28560 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 92):
With all the posturing from EU of a greater strategic role, we lack some real gear when reality hits us.

There is no EU on defense and if that conflict has shown anything is that it's very far from existing.

Quoting sweair (Reply 92):
EU is a medium sized dog with big dog attitude

With no attitude at all. Ever heard of Catherine Ashton ? Most people, European or otherwise, haven't.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 94):
I'd like to see a reference for that . The aluminium + rubber tracks have been / still are on some models, replaced with steel tracks that are a lot more durable.

It was a blog I think, talking about the Leclercs coming back from Lebanon and how it was far from ideal in the role it had there.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 100, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 28551 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 97):
and a lot more airlift than the 550hr/year = 1 hr 40min /day you're entitled with the Nato C-17 ...

Just out of curiosity, what is the planned yearly utilization rate for the C-160 fleet?



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 101, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 28536 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 97):
It just carries twice as much load twice the distance as your - getting old - Herks...

Right - as above it's clear the Herks are losing the IFV mission and it's not at all clear to me if the A400M will be adequate for different military scenarios of the near future.

Newer IFVs are coming in at weights that put them more in the MBT category, at least in US service. German Pumas are already marginal for A400Ms.

Seems Herks will be good for soldiers and Humvee class vehicles and some amount of palletized freight.

Not sure where A400M will fall along the spectrum.

Seems its role will be to carry enough troops and light vehicles to capture and attempt to hold an airstrip or a port needed to bring in heavier IFVs/MBTs/arty?

Either that, or to bring in current gen less armoured IFVs and live with losses from RPGs and IEDs?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 102, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 28543 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 98):
Obvious if you have time to wait for sea deployment

We rae arguing in circles, here. Do you think that the dep^loyment I showed above will be mluch faster by air ?
Probably, but not by much.
The deployment of the half squadron to Mali was achieved in five days, using a BCP, plus helicopters + support vehicles + troops.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 98):
what will their replacements look like for the French forces? It seems as above that IFVs need to be designed to resist some pretty substantial RPG and IED threats and the way most seem to be doing this is just using a lot of very heavy, metallic designs.

France has some extensive - probably unique - experience in African theaters. As far as I know, the troops are quite happy with the actual equipment, except the cannon-armed VAB on which the turret was too big, but which is being replaced now with a remotely operated gun that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. The requirement is on mobility first and that's the reason why the replacements are not that much bigger (the VBCRM is 3 or so tons heavier). I do not think we could afford, in order to deploy 7 soldiers 60 or 70 ton monsters. The philosophy is to rely on active armor... and use wheeled configurations instead of tracks... as far as I know, the losses in combat have been nil ( I may be grossly mistaken ) but on youtube, there are videos of common French-US ops where the US APCs didn't fare very well compared to the VABs on the same engagement.
In short, these vehicles are designed for vastly different scenarii : One is about Battlefield Europe the other peace-keeping / anti guerilla. Tha the equipment needs would be different is obvious.(What's the need of hardened biological / nuclear protection in Tombuctu or Bouake ?)



Contrail designer
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 103, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 28553 times:

Well Sweden voted for the C17 I hear no swedes whine about not getting the A400, swedes mostly hate everything American and love everything European.

I think we had some CV90s picked up and delivered to stan the other year. I have only heard positive words about the time slot sharing.

And as we are now good customers of the US extra help wont be an issue   We have plenty of airstrips that can handle the C17 and C5.

I know who I trust when the heat is on and its not the fellow Europeans south of the border, as does the former Soviet occupied nations in EU.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13206 posts, RR: 77
Reply 104, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 28528 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 94):
That beast, tha AMX-10 is considered inferior to the ERC Sagaie for this kind of theatre of operaztions. To my knowledge they haven't been deployed in Mali.

I saw footage of some being driven off the Mistral class ship (another excellent French military product IMHO), for deployment to Mali.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 105, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 28476 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 103):
Well Sweden voted for the C17 I hear no swedes whine about not getting the A400, swedes mostly hate everything American and love everything European.

Is the military a subject Swedes care about when voting ? I mean even in France with a budget you can't even compare, it isn't mentioned at all during elections.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 106, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 28483 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 103):

Well Sweden voted for the C17 I hear no swedes whine about not getting the A400

... and whgy do you think wed ever counted on Sweden to buy it ?

Quoting sweair (Reply 103):
swedes mostly hate everything American and love everything European.

Looking at just the Air force, you seem to depend a lot on american hardware ( and the Grippens wouldn't fly without their GE F4, would they ? )... and, yes we know you like European helicopters.

Quoting sweair (Reply 103):
We have plenty of airstrips that can handle the C17 and C5.

Looking at the width of the country, all of them should be within range of any enemy force.

Quoting sweair (Reply 103):
I know who I trust when the heat is on and its not the fellow Europeans south of the border

And you think trhat the reciprocity doesn't exist ? especially when British / French / US airplanes were involved in Lybia, thre flygvapnet established a security zone out of Sigonella...
When will you understand that the door to the EU works both ways.?.. It's just a matter of poilitical courage... and economic idiocy.

Quoting GDB (Reply 104):
I saw footage of some being driven off the Mistral class ship (another excellent French military product IMHO), for deployment to Mal

Thanks, I didn't know that and I didn't follow the news, apart from big titles ( the prez got offered a camel ...)...I'm more interested in the six nations as it's a lot more serious. Saw some awsome rugby today.



Contrail designer
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 107, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 28481 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 105):

I meant that we future thinking swedes voted for the C17 over the A400M   No matter how much France and Germany tried to sway this decision. I think many Swedes are thankful for this chosen path in airlift.

It was really meant to be a Nordic purchase of the C17 but some less sophisticated northern neighbour chickened out.

I guess we will get new hercs with time as well.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 108, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 28467 times:

Thanks for the summary.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 102):
We rae arguing in circles, here. Do you think that the dep^loyment I showed above will be mluch faster by air ?
Probably, but not by much.
The deployment of the half squadron to Mali was achieved in five days, using a BCP, plus helicopters + support vehicles + troops.

Right, and that works OK for France with its interests close enough for a sea deployment in a few days, but it's not clear that it'd work that well for some other potential A400M customers, nor for France should it feel the need to act in other theaters.

If you double the distance the sea deployment time more or less doubles whereas the air depoloyment doesn't. The sea deployment becomes driven by the travel time whereas the air time becomes driven by the airfield capacity.

If you move the conflict to a place where a good harbor isn't near by you have issues. There aren't many populated places where a good airfield isn't available, and for those you end up using the nearest good airfield as a MOB and then setting up FOBs where you use other assets to move stuff in.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 102):
The philosophy is to rely on active armor... and use wheeled configurations instead of tracks... as far as I know, the losses in combat have been nil ( I may be grossly mistaken ) but on youtube, there are videos of common French-US ops where the US APCs didn't fare very well compared to the VABs on the same engagement.

It's good that it's working well for France.

The evidence shows that others aren't so willing to go light and fast.

Personally, I think the militaries of the world are putting too much emphasis on going up-armored, but it's a pretty clear desire if not trend out there.

I can guarantee you that the USAF isn't glad that the Army is negating a lot of the spending the USAF did on Hercs.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 102):
In short, these vehicles are designed for vastly different scenarii : One is about Battlefield Europe the other peace-keeping / anti guerilla.

I think there's plenty of scenarios in between the two cases you give that are of interest to many potential and actual A400M customers.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 109, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 28464 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 103):
And as we are now good customers of the US

I'm not sure that buying one 11th of 2 C-17s qualifies Sweden as a 'good customer'.

Quoting sweair (Reply 103):
I know who I trust when the heat is on and its not the fellow Europeans south of the border, as does the former Soviet occupied nations in EU.

The heat is never on. It's Sweden.



Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 110, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 28471 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 108):

The evidence shows that others aren't so willing to go light and fast.

Don't forget "punchy" : the AMX- 10 has a 105mm cannon (at 15 T weight), the Sagaie a 90mm cannon (at 7.5) tons.
We have an idea of the materiel that will follow, the Renault AMC :
"The design combines high level protection (ballistic, IED, mine and RPG) with good cross country performance (tactical mobility) and transportability (strategic mobility), large payload capacity and unobstructed internal volume. At a gross vehicle weight of 22 tons, the AMC's curb weight will almost equal its payload carrying capability. This payload capacity will be utilized for add-on armor kits and mission payload. The vehicle is designed to transport 11 soldiers, in addition to the vehicle's crew members. Renault is designing the vehicle in 6x6 and 8x8 configurations to support a 'family of vehicles' approach, comprising an armored personnel carrier, infantry combat vehicle, scout vehicle, command post, ambulance, weapon carrier (missiles, mortars, anti-tank and anti-aircraft), specialist vehicle (combat engineers, NBC, artillery observation) etc. "
That weight, though some 8 tons heavier than the VBA is in fact lighter by some 4 tons than the VBCI.
The progress will be on armour - I should say "protection" -, and more advanced electronics, including data exchange, situation map updates...
Apparently, the philosophy hasn't changed...
That is ...when they are ordered ( after the usual budget cuts by the socialist government... they will never learn).

[Edited 2013-02-02 12:58:25]


Contrail designer
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 111, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 28430 times:

The question is, will EADS be able to make all potential customers build lighter and less safe IFVs to sell them the A400M?

Why did they not go for 40-50t? Still way smaller than the C17..

I wonder how feasible an engine upgrade for the C17 would be, say GTF engines in the 40K thrust class? You don't need a C5 or AN124 all the time, but lifting an up armored IFV is a nice capability to have always!


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 112, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 28423 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 111):
The question is, will EADS be able to make all potential customers build lighter and less safe IFVs to sell them the A400M?

The new army combat vehicle will not be less safe. It will capitalise on the latest technologies and if anything be more versatile, as listed in the previous post.

The C17 will not lift heavier vehicles just with an engine change, substantial structural changes would need to be made.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 113, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 28427 times:

Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 112):

I was thinking economics and future proofing. Those 757 engines are old..

The C17 can carry a Leopard 2 tank..I dont think it needs to carry more than that.


User currently offlinechuchoteur From France, joined Sep 2006, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 114, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 28392 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 113):

I was thinking economics and future proofing. Those 757 engines are old..

Using a GTF, you would increase the fan diameter. Which would reduce ground clearance, thus possibly taking the C17 out of the tactical airlifter role altogether. It already eats a lot of dust landing on semi-prepared strips, so not sure that would be such a great idea.

It would however be great in terms of fuel burn performance and added range, but the C17 doesn't really have any issues there... unlike tactical transport aircraft. The A400M will go further and faster than the C130J, it was part of the design requirements.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 115, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 28388 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 110):
The progress will be on armour - I should say "protection"

As it should be. The vehicles can't just keep getting heavier ad infinitum.

Quoting sweair (Reply 113):
Those 757 engines are old..

You can still find 707 engines on:
B-52 Stratofortress
E-3 Sentry
E-8 Joint STARS
KC-135 Stratotanker

FedEx and Uncle Sam will be flying the 757s around for quite a while yet, and as above there are 210 C-17s out there so there's going to be a good market for spares for quite a while.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 116, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 28283 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 107):


I meant that we future thinking swedes voted for the C17 over the A400M

But the future thinking Swedes only bought a time share they didn't buy a complete plane, which isn't really future thinking is it?

Quoting sweair (Reply 111):
You don't need a C5 or AN124 all the time, but lifting an up armored IFV is a nice capability to have always!

Which is a capability you only have for a small amount of time each year, and probably not when you need it.


User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 117, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 28191 times:

Its three aircraft and 550 hours of flight time, one frame is US owned.

Finland has only 100 hours.

I think the tsunami in 2004 woke some people, heavy airlift was short for a long time. Sweden will not get the A400M.


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7365 posts, RR: 5
Reply 118, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 28072 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 117):

I think the tsunami in 2004 woke some people, heavy airlift was short for a long time. Sweden will not get the A400M.

Woop woop, I have a friend that owns a part share in a Ferrari, he gets to use it 10% of the year, but he has to book it 2 weeks in advance, he can't pop down to his garage and take it for a spin on a nice day, basically he'd be better off renting one when he wants it, which is pretty much like Sweden and it's fractional ownership of two C17's, they aren't based in Sweden, you can't use them whenever you want, it's a dumb idea, ownership is much better. Sweden took the cheap option. IMO having 4-5 A400's is a far better option than having a percentage of something you can't use whenever you want it.


User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 119, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 28072 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 118):
IMO having 4-5 A400's is a far better option than having a percentage of something you can't use whenever you want it.

For that cost you could own 2 C-17s outright.



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 120, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 28053 times:

This thread was about the french A400M, I hope I wasn´t the sole reason for it to depart from the subject.

The A400M is a great plane, it will make FR very happy for many years.


User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2403 posts, RR: 13
Reply 121, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 28019 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 120):
The A400M is a great plane, it will make FR very happy for many years.

Yes, with 58-abreast seating it will be the favorite airplane of FR.

David



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 122, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 28026 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 116):
Quoting sweair (Reply 107):

I meant that we future thinking swedes voted for the C17 over the A400M
But the future thinking Swedes only bought a time share they didn't buy a complete plane, which isn't really future thinking is it?

It provides more airlift capability than any A-400M time share program could. Sweden is one of 12 countries in the SAC Program, and one of two PfP members.

The SAC Program C-17s are flown by all member country's aircrews, which means Sweden has some pilots and Loadmasters assigned to the program and actually fly the airplanes. Sweden has a small defense budget, and if you cannot afford to buy some C-17s or A-400Ms, SAC is the next best option.


User currently offlinefrancoflier From France, joined Oct 2001, 3761 posts, RR: 11
Reply 123, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27944 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 118):
, ownership is much better.

And if you can't own, then, just like your Ferrari-part-owner friend, you're better off just renting the capacity on an on-demand basis from other air forces or willing civilian operators. Antonov Design Bureau comes to mind.

But I think we've gone full circle...

Anybody knows when formal entry into active duty is planned for the french birds? I wonder if they could see some early action if the Mali war drags on a bit, which wars on terror tend to do, unfortunately...

[Edited 2013-02-03 14:43:02]


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit posting...
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 124, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27967 times:
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Quoting sweair (Reply 120):
The A400M is a great plane, it will make FR very happy for many years.

Thanks for the info. I didn't know MoL was interested in them, but I would love to see one in FR colour scheme !

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 121):
Yes, with 58-abreast seating it will be the favorite airplane of FR.

     

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 122):
The SAC Program C-17s are flown by all member country's aircrews, which means Sweden has some pilots and Loadmasters assigned to the program and actually fly the airplanes.

Fair enough. How many crews ? 10 ?.. that's 55 h / crew / year... 5 ? ok, 110 yearly hours, or 9hr and 10 min in a month... Woah ! That's training and experience ( I hope they don't go to some real operational areas ).

[Edited 2013-02-03 14:41:45]


Contrail designer
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 125, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 27948 times:
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Quoting francoflier (Reply 123):
Anybody knows when formal entry into active duty is planned for the french birds?

According to the official site of the Armée de l'Air, the A400M training centre has been built, the maintenance centre is about ready with equipment and ground personel training. The first aircraft (pictured here by the OP ) will be delivered in March and the plane will reach operational entry into service next year (No date, yet ).
Orléans will be the sole home of the fleet, apparently.
In French only :
L’arrivée du premier avion de transport A400M sur la base d’Orléans est prévue en mars 2013, pour une mise en service opérationnel en 2014, au sein de l’escadron 1/61 «Touraine». L’enjeu de ce vaste programme d’infrastructure devrait permettre à la base aérienne 123 d’exploiter l’ensemble de la flotte A400M (environ 50 aéronefs), d’en assurer la maintenance, d’accueillir la formation et le maintien en condition des équipages et mécaniciens français et de proposer ce service aux nations partenaires.

As I think the plane will go first to the CEAM Air Force test centre in the Landes, they seem to be running two or three months behind this schedule.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 126, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 27944 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 68):
...and I wonder some other knuckle heads do not understand that the C-17, for all its qualities cannot accomplish the advanced airfield missions of the A-400M?

Evidence?
Not only is the C17 designed for tactical missions, but so far the USAF has declined to have a new version of the C-17 developed for more extreme unprepared surfaces such as soft sand... indicating a rather low desire for having your multi-million dollar mission critical aircraft play the odds in questionable tactical operations.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 118):
IMO having 4-5 A400's is a far better option than having a percentage of something you can't use whenever you want it.

A A400M is well over 1/2 the cost of a C17. Last I heard it was closer to 80-90%. Most interesting statistic I found when comparing the two planes is that a C17 can carry a A400M payload to the A400M's ferry range. Thats right, when the A400M is down to crew and fuel only, the C17 can still haul a A400M payload. So we clearly have a case where infinite A400M can't replace a single C17.


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 127, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 27986 times:
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Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 126):
Thats right, when the A400M is down to crew and fuel only, the C17 can still haul a A400M payload.

The C17 strategic transport capability has never been in doubt in my mind and your argument is disingenuous.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 126):
Not only is the C17 designed for tactical missions, but so far the USAF has declined to have a new version of the C-17 developed for more extreme unprepared surfaces such as soft sand... indicating a rather low desire for having your multi-million dollar mission critical aircraft play the odds in questionable tactical operations.

I don't really understand the "questionable tactical operations" bit ; Does that mean that they won't be risked in / close to a combat zone and gravel / sand / dust unprepared airstrips ?
As a matter of fact, you defined exactly one of the A400 specifications. I have seen some test footage of a prototype landing a 25 ton payload on an 800m airstrip... I suspect that in the same conditions, another aircraft woud be tasked, and the fact that - in your own words - the present version of the C17 doesn't have that sort of capability, confirms my point that it can't achieve what is one of the primary missions of the A400 : to land, close to the combat zone a rapid deployment force.
One of my points is that, had the A400M been delivered on time - initial EIS was 2009 -, the deployment of the French troops in Mali would have been done quicker without any help from other air forces. The C17 were very useful for transporting materiel and troops to Bamako.
What amuses me is that the same people claiming that the A380 is too big, not adapted to nowadays airline economics and should leave the 777s / 787s do the job, are using exactly a reverse argument : big is best.
Not all the time.



Contrail designer
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 128, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 27993 times:
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Just discovered on Youtube, an interesting vid on RAF test pilots (some of them part of the project ) flying the beast and a long sequence on their comments.
It seems that they see a place for the aircraft in their inventory : Hear the planned utilisation on tactical transport, humanitarian relief... And they are all specalists of that kind of job, all being herc drivers.
RAF pilots test fly the A400M



Contrail designer
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 129, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 27537 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 127):
Does that mean that they won't be risked in / close to a combat zone and gravel / sand / dust unprepared airstrips ?

Pretty much yes. It can land on "soft" surfaces, just not really soft surfaces. It adds risk, and the USAF and others have all worked very hard to ensure that the C17 is never needed to land on anything but prepared strips or better. The new version Boeing has proposed is for extremely tight tactical landings and surfaces completely inapproprate for aircraft use. The example used is a soft sand beach. You know, the kind that 4wd pickups can get stuck in. The current C17 is from what I've read is rated for normal unimproved surfaces like packed dirt, hard sand, etc. without preparation. Of course in real life the people commanding the C17 wings want them landing on ground thats had a proper clearing with a bulldozer and surface prep if needed to minimize risk.

Various parachute systems, sleds for deployment just above the ground, and heavy lift helicopters all ensure you are not bouncing your $180M aircraft across random bits of not very flat not very well known terra firma. With the relatively low numbers of transports compared to the size of the operations the C17 is used in, the loss of a frame can be a bigger problem for your forces than not making the drop.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 127):
One of my points is that, had the A400M been delivered on time - initial EIS was 2009 -, the deployment of the French troops in Mali would have been done quicker without any help from other air forces.

Sorry the A400M's problem isn't what it was designed to do... Its that its already both obsolete and way too expensive to do what its designed to do. Its obsolete in that all the vehicles it was supposed to carry that the C130 couldn't are now grown to be too big for the A400M. Its also now way too expensive to risk in tactical operations. Both money and its value as asset needed for future operations. The C130 is much easier to risk in that if you bend a couple up, you know you can aquire a couple more on fairly short order.

The performance shortfalls only make this worse.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 127):
What amuses me is that the same people claiming that the A380 is too big, not adapted to nowadays airline economics and should leave the 777s / 787s do the job, are using exactly a reverse argument : big is best.

You are missing that the A400M today misses the market they aimed at. The market moved one way, the A400M then moved a different and not very good way.

While not really needed if it could do 1/2 the C17 job for 1/2 C17 cost, you can justify it. Now that its being delivered as a strategic lift asset only, doing less than 1/2 a C17 job for most of a C17 cost... How DO you justify it?

This isn't really a Airbus problem. Its a problem with the whole military lift industry where there is 0 money to pay for progress, so the current frames on sale have such a massive cost advantage. So the A400M burned a hell of alot of development money to launch a troubled platform in the face of entrenched, cheap options. The pay off might hit in 20+ years if it gets the money to keep improving as its newer technology does have advantages the older frames don't have. Again thats IF money keeps pouring in to pay for this. The C130, C17 both have $0 on the frame needed to pay off its history. Nevermind the cheap russian airlift punishing people trying to justify internal lift.


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 130, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 27472 times:
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Thank you for your post.
Problem is, there are a few arguments that don't hold water :

1/- The very specification for the French Air Force is for a tactical transport operating on unprepared landing strips ; for instance, one is taylored closely on delivering some 32 tons of load on an 800 m airfield some 3000 Nm from base in France and have enough remaining fuel to ferry to a better equipped airfield, to refuel and fly back.

2/- Due to its turbofan config, the C17, a/ will be a hog in terms of low altitude missions, b/ cannot fly a steep tractical approach in a firefight zone and c/ cannot land where the A400 is designed to be.

3/- I hear a lot the "A400M, too expensive " argument, without anyone giving specifics. You quote 180 M usd, and I just compare that figure with the Indian C17 purchase in which the sum quoted is 5.8 billion usd for ten frames. Unless the US is taking the Indians to the cleaners, that makes the price of the C17 at some 580 M apiece. So please, be more careful with your arguments.( ... and, yes, I know that the agreement is for ten, plus an additinal 5 spare engines and spares...). So who is kidding whom ?

4/- I don't accept your argument which is only based on cost : saying that "bending a couple of C13 is ok" is, to me quite a bit derogatory for the Herc crews : They risk their lives, and to put them into jeopardy on a just-cost-based argument is callowl.

5/- There is nothing that drastically change in the French army future inventory that the A400 cannot carry / uplift / deliver on unprepared strips. None. The replacements of the VABs, VBCIs, Sagaies, Amx 10s, Casars...etc...will have similar dimensions and weights. That sort of equipment has been / is doing fine in the theaters that have been operation zones for the Army for dozens of years.

Contrarily to you, I believe that the Defence criteria are based on cross-adaptation of the means and the A400M is taylored to the equipment it is to carry, and vice-versa. As for the German equipment, I have a feeling that it is planned to deploy in classical scenarii, probably needing ground or self transport... you can't use that argument against the A400M... The French senate Defence committee, three or four years ago submitted back a paper. It stated - and that was right in the middle of the moment when, due to mounting costs, there was a discussion on whether to dump the program altogether - that , not acquiring the 50 A400Ms that were planned, meant that the Armée de l'Air would have to be equipped with... 10 C17s and ... 120 C130s !.. to fulfill its future needs.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14026 posts, RR: 62
Reply 131, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 27348 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 130):
As for the German equipment, I have a feeling that it is planned to deploy in classical scenarii, probably needing ground or self transport..

Germany´s military is still equipped for a large part with weapons intended for a large scale conventional war of armoured divisions slugging it out on the Northern German plains, as a part of the Cold War heritage. Operations abroad came only into being during the last 10-15 years.
I´m sure that if we get involved into more and more assymetrical conflicts abroad our military will receive more and more equipment like what the French have. The A400M is one part of the restructuring of the German military, which it´s previous centre on short range, but hard hitting combat with tanks and heavy artillery to lighter, more mobile units suitable to all kinds of environments.
We actually might buy equipment from the French or build similar stuff ourselves.

Jan


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 132, posted (1 year 7 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 27322 times:
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Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 131):
Germany´s military is still equipped for a large part with weapons intended for a large scale conventional war of armoured divisions slugging it out on the Northern German plains, as a part of the Cold War heritage.

I can't agree more with your post. All of it...



Contrail designer
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 133, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 26671 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 124):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 122):The SAC Program C-17s are flown by all member country's aircrews, which means Sweden has some pilots and Loadmasters assigned to the program and actually fly the airplanes.
Fair enough. How many crews ? 10 ?.. that's 55 h / crew / year... 5 ? ok, 110 yearly hours, or 9hr and 10 min in a month... Woah ! That's training and experience ( I hope they don't go to some real operational areas ).

I don't know how many crews are in SAC, nor do I know if the annual flying hour allotments is for total flying hours, including training, or is it just for operational flying hours.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 130):

Actually everything you said about the C-17 is incorrect. The A-400M is not designed to fly into a hot combat zone, it has little in the way of defenses. You quoted the price the IAF has on the total C-17 package, yet only use the base 'fly away' price of the A-400M, and not even including developement costs. How about an apples to apples comparison?


User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 134, posted (1 year 7 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 26643 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 58):
His majesty is displeased? 

A little  

NS


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 135, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 26521 times:
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Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 133):
You quoted the price the IAF has on the total C-17 package, yet only use the base 'fly away' price of the A-400M

Never quoted a price for either. Just pointed at the official price quoted by the Indian defence department as upo toà580 M$ for ten frames, five spare engines and spares, which would represent the price one would pay for a deployable fleet.Your argument is moot.
On the other hand, I found the only oficial budgeted cost for the A400M : It's from the Spain Ministry of Defence . The final acquisition of 27 fully operational aircraft will be 5,493 M€, which would put the unit cost at slightly above 200 M€ per aircraft.
Doicument, in Spanish is Here

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 133):
The A-400M is not designed to fly into a hot combat zone, it has little in the way of defenses

Ah! Semantics ! I never talked about a "hot combat zone " . I mentioned "close to a combat zone".
As for defenses, it has the usual threat warning system and chaff / flares. Is the C-17 better equipped ?



Contrail designer
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 136, posted (1 year 7 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 26497 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 135):
As for defenses, it has the usual threat warning system and chaff / flares. Is the C-17 better equipped ?

DIRCM (I believe)

LAIRCM (installed)


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 137, posted (1 year 7 months 14 hours ago) and read 26024 times:
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FlightGlobal article reveals that MSN 7, the first Armée de l'Air plane will have its first flight first week in March. The dates are between the 2nd and the 6th.
The ground test are to begin this week.
Article here



Contrail designer
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 138, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 25553 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 51):
Then to start a hugely expensive program to do what the C17 does would be a waste of taxpayers money and typical disrespect of the taxpayer.

Rubbish, you don't really have got a clue what the mission of the A400M is if you write such a thing.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 45):
This seems like a great real world example of why the A400M was a bad move for the European countries producing it

Nonsense. How many tax billions has spent the US in military programs for nothing?
Want some real world examples?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 133):
The A-400M is not designed to fly into a hot combat zone, it has little in the way of defenses.


Says who? And the C-17 is of course designed to fly into a hot combat zone...      

The A400M has been specifically designed for low detectability, low vulnerability and high survivability. It features low IR Signature, low RCS, segregated routing of hydraulics and wiring, engine exhaust treatment and the DASS. I could go on..

Just to remember the DASS is one of the most integrated and automated self defense systems in the World. The same system used in the Eurofighter + MIRAS multicolour infraRed alerting sensor (LAIRCM)

DASS Step 2 (from 2013 away) will feature DIRCM with Towed Radar Decoy.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 135):
Is the C-17 better equipped ?

No it isn't.

The usual A400 bashing thread i suggest deletion.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineflagon From France, joined May 2007, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 139, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 25363 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 138):
low RCS

I worked on the A400M and must admit I am totally ignorant of how RCS has been taken into consideration into the design. The only low observable feature I can think of off the top of my head is the composite wing box, which in all honesty was probably driven by aircraft performance (weight) rather than RCS reduction.
Can you elaborate a bit more on that point? Are they using RAM coating or anything like that?

On a separate note, I think you would make your point more successfully if you weren't so agressive in your answers, if I may say so...



Stephane
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 140, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 25310 times:

Quoting flagon (Reply 139):
Can you elaborate a bit more on that point? Are they using RAM coating or anything like that?

Difficult there are barely sources, but the RCS of the A400 has yet to be figured out. I guest trials will start soon.

Airbus itself pointed on some earlier documentations there were taken design measures to get a low rcs.

The house of commons comission (UK) plans with the radar cross-section data, to make an assessment of the aircraft's ability to penetrate hostile airspace at low level.

http://www.publications.parliament.u...nsrd/cm120912/text/120912w0001.htm

Quoting flagon (Reply 139):
I think you would make your point more successfully if you weren't so agressive in your answers, if I may say so...

You're right. I apologize for being so agressive. But its very annoying to read for YEARS!! the same unfounded bashing contests on A.net.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinecargotanker From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 158 posts, RR: 1
Reply 141, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 25121 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 138):
Quoting cargotanker (Reply 45):
This seems like a great real world example of why the A400M was a bad move for the European countries producing it

Nonsense. How many tax billions has spent the US in military programs for nothing?
Want some real world examples?

I think your argument contradicts itself. Are you stating that the A400M is a military program that offers 'billions for nothing' but my statement is nonsense because the US does it as well?

The US wastes a lot of money on military spending. I wish it wouldn't. We have spent too much on V-22s and F-35Bs and Comanches and a lot of other programs. Go ahead and provide as many examples as you want to. Europe does it, too; and I think they're doing it with the A400M.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 142, posted (1 year 6 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 24979 times:

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 141):
Are you stating that the A400M is a military program that offers 'billions for nothing' but my statement is nonsense because the US does it as well?

Indeed, both are bad things.

IMHO it's a bad idea to go with the "mommy, he's doing it too!" defense.

BTW AvWeek has an article about France finally getting its first A400M:

A400M Certification Imminent, Without Full Capability

It's not a very cheerful article:

Quote:

France will still receive its initial aircraft more than three years later than originally planned but with a series of capability upgrades slated for later. The first aircraft will only have initial operating clearance, essentially allowing its use as a freighter with no significant additional military functionality.

It's also saying that negotiations over the price of spare parts are contentious. In particular the engine manufacturer expected to make more margins on the spares and of course expected the program to ship earlier and to be producing engines for a larger fleet.

On the good news side:

Quote:

Currently four other A400Ms are in various stages of completion on the final-assembly line here. MSN008, MSN010 and MSN011 will also be delivered to France, while MSN009 will be the first aircraft for Turkey.

Airbus Military expects the first parts for MSN012 to arrive within the next two weeks. In addition to handing over four aircraft this year, the company aims to deliver 10 in 2014, all of which will enter the final assembly process before year-end. Production of parts has been launched for aircraft up to MSN029.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 143, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 24870 times:

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 141):
Are you stating that the A400M is a military program that offers 'billions for nothing'

No i didn't state the A400M is a military program that offers 'billions for nothing. You are putting words in my mouth.

I'm pointing out how many military programms in US for trillons which were for nothing. In this comparison the A400M program exist because there is a need for it and we can make good use of it.

We spend most of the time taxpayers money where is demand unlike the US goverment and mostly for infrastructure projects.

Quoting cargotanker (Reply 141):
Europe does it, too; and I think they're doing it with the A400M.

The difference is the A400M is being delivered and the "customers" need it while the commanche not.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 144, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 24860 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 143):
The difference is the A400M is being delivered and the "customers" need it while the commanche not.

You could certainly make the argument that the US Army needed the recon asset in the time frame it was proposed, and could still use it. The main issue was the development was far more costly than the proposal (where have we heard this?) and that certain design aspects did not appear to be on the path to reaching solution at the time of cancellation.

In the current time frame we've seen that UAVs have matured and are capable of many recon missions.

The main issue the US Army has with this is that it can do pretty much whatever it wants to do with rotary wing aviation but must bow to the USAF in the fixed wing space except for VIP transports.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 145, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 24864 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 144):
you could certainly make the argument that the US Army needed the recon asset

Commanche was only a example, (why a non stealth recon chopper wouldn't do the job is questionable), what about Project Pluto for what that was needed?



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 146, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 24839 times:

I'm still not getting where you are going with this.

Yes, there are US programs that are wasteful.
Yes, there are US programs that should never have been started or should have been terminated early.
Yes, there are US policy decisions such as not letting the Army have fixed wing assets that are meant to solve some problems yet cause other ones

If you want to discuss them, feel free to open threads about them!

Here we're discussing the A400M!

Yes, it's a useful platform
Yes, it's first airframe is about to ship to its first customer, albeit late and incomplete.
Yes, it's been a disappointing development program with a lot of wastage and poor decision making.
Yes, the citizens of the producing nations will be stuck with the bills and the missing functionality.
Yes, other citizens should be glad that their allies and NATO partners have them.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 147, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 24794 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 146):
If you want to discuss them, feel free to open threads about them!

No need everything has been discussed already.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 146):
Here we're discussing the A400M!

Seems not, some people preferred to talk about what a bad move this was for Europe instead about the A400M.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 146):
first customer, albeit late and incomplete, disappointing development program with a lot of wastage and poor decision making,citizens of the producing nations will be stuck with the bills and the missing functionality.

That reminds me about ... F-35, F-22, P-8, KC-46A ...



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 148, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 24716 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 147):
what a bad move this was for Europe instead about the A400M

Uhm, that is about the a400m ...

Quoting autothrust (Reply 147):
F-35, F-22, P-8, KC-46A

... and that is not about the a400m ....

... but I suppose at least one part of you knew that already ...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 149, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 24488 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 146):
Yes, it's first airframe is about to ship to its first customer, albeit late and incomplete.

The airframe is complete
It can move cargo. By the year's end, the first SOC will see it with aerial delivery and protection.
THen, at the end of next uear, when the first squadron becomes operational, low altitude delivery, soft and unprepared terrain capabilities will be added...
Then aerial refuelling...etc... etc...
The new calendar talks about complete SOCs implemented in 2017. France did not require the low level mission profile the Luftwaffe did. The aircraft will then reach full operational capability some 18 months before SOC 5.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 146):
Yes, the citizens of the producing nations will be stuck with the bills and the missing functionality.

What is interesting is when me make a comparison on the respective calendars for tghe A400 and the C17.

Taking the launch decision as 0,
C17 : First flight after 10 years 11 months ; Initial delivery 12 years 8 months ; IOC 14 years 6 months.
A400 :....................... 6 years 6 months.........................10..................................10 years 6 months... full SOC 14 years.
I really don't see any reason to crow either from the other side of the Atlantic or for Airbus / EU haters.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 150, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 24466 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 149):
The airframe is complete
It can move cargo.

Yet that is not its entire mission.

Are you saying no additional hardware or software needs to be added to complete its mission?

If so, you'd be wrong, according to the AvWeek article.

In particular, SOC 1.5 requires a return to the factory for all the birds.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 149):
I really don't see any reason to crow either from the other side of the Atlantic

Not sure what your point is, let's not discuss the failings of the A400M because the C-17 had failings too?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 151, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 24460 times:
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As far as I know - which is not a lot - up to SOC 1.5, it's software changes / improvements... After that, I have no details.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 150):
Not sure what your point is, let's not discuss the failings of the A400M because the C-17 had failings too?

With all its failings, the A400 achieves a shorter time to delivery ( nearly three years ) than the C17... and I'm not even quoting the C130J which, for a derivative aircraft has been, by all accounts a disaster.
Just to put things in perspective.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 150):
Yet that is not its entire mission.

Granted. But that's the entire mission covered by a C17... Perspective again.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12543 posts, RR: 25
Reply 152, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 24443 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 151):
As far as I know - which is not a lot - up to SOC 1.5, it's software changes / improvements... After that, I have no details.

From the AvWeek article in #142:

Quote:

Before year-end, the A400M will undergo its first upgrade to standard operational capability 1 (SOC1), allowing for initial aerial delivery and self-protection. That is to be followed by SOC1.5 in late 2014 and SOC2 a year later. According to Gautier, upgrades up to SOC1.5 are likely to be performed here because they also involve hardware changes, but later upgrades are expected to be implemented at the various main operational bases because they are limited to software adaptation. The final step to SOC3 will clear the aircraft for low-level flight.


So the plan is for late 2015 for SOC2 and no date is being given for SOC3.

Keep tuned to see when they actually happen.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 151):
Just to put things in perspective.

Right, you feel better about hitting your wife because your neighbor does as well.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 151):
Granted. But that's the entire mission covered by a C17...

Not exactly. C-17 can do aerial delivery, has defensive counter-measures, can do aerial refueling, etc while right now the A400M is without these things. It can also lift twice as much and go twice as far without refueling. Just to put things in perspective.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinejollo From Italy, joined Aug 2011, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 153, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 24313 times:

Can someone summarize for me the planned next steps for the A400M program, please?

The AVHerald article implies this timetable:

* Initial deliveries (MSN007 through MSN011) - apr-dec 2013: "limited" (?) capabilities
* SOC 1 - dec 2013: "initial" (?) aerial delivery and self-protection
* SOC 1.5 - late 2014: ?
* SOC 2 - late 2015 - sw only: ?
* SOC 3 - 2018 - sw only: low-level flight

I would be grateful if anyone could fill in the gaps. Thanks.


User currently offlineaviaponcho From France, joined Aug 2011, 619 posts, RR: 8
Reply 154, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 24296 times:

I find this tiny little thread.
For sure, A400M is smaller than C17
For sure, A400M is bigger than C130J30
It's not a replacement for both, but, at least for France and Germany it opens new transports capabilities
No similar in service airplane I think, so it's a niche.
I think that's its a good niche
It's a total clean sheet ... from nose to tail, including engines (I hope for the best from now), it's a perfect replacement for C141 I think  http://www.c141heaven.info/dotcom/sor182.php

Waiting for full EASA certification .Indeed we'll have a new TRANSATL 120PAX passenger bird in the comin weeks  . There's some active noise suppression embedded in the cargo hold....


User currently offlineaviaponcho From France, joined Aug 2011, 619 posts, RR: 8
Reply 155, posted (1 year 6 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 24217 times: