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WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:41 am

Brief fair use excerpt from The Wall Street Journal:
[...]

Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, said the alliance needs medium- and long-range planes to carry out its growing workload. Candidates include the Airbus (ABI.YY) A400M and Boeing Co.'s (BA) C-17.

[...]

The 26-member transatlantic alliance has successfully purchased a fleet of reconnaissance planes known as AWACS. But other efforts to buy communal equipment have floundered. For example, NATO has not made much progress toward its plans for another spy plane known as NATO Air-to-Ground Surveillance, or AGS.

[...]

Cargo planes would face a similar uphill battle. If NATO did start to buy planes, it would also need to weigh transatlantic industrial concerns. European NATO members have a stake in Airbus and its primary parent, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (5730.FR), while Boeing is a major U.S. employer.

Jones said the alliance already plans to buy A400M planes in the 2010-2012 timeframe. Those planes are considered tactical aircraft, since they do not have the range or size of so-called strategic airlift.

"Over and above that, I believe that there's a need for a strategic airlifter," Jones said. "A C-17 would be an excellent choice."
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
CX747
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Tue Mar 07, 2006 6:25 am

If anything happens, I would expect a large purchase of A400Ms. With the current timeline, the C-17 would more than likely be out of production. Of course, if the timeline is moved up, Boeing may have another way to extend the production line. Does anyone think the C-130J has a shot?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
TheSonntag
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:42 am

I think C-17s would make sense. The A400s are already purchased by lots of member states, so it is the real long range airlift capability which is needed. C-17s are too expensive for a lot of Nato countries, but everybody needs them, so if NATO gets them, every state could use them...
 
CX747
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:42 am

That actually makes alot of sense. The number one issue with the C-17 always comes down to price. If the Nato nations pooled their money, they could buy more than enough C-17s and put them to good use hauling European military hardware.
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GDB
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:13 am

I think NATO missed out a few years ago, the AN-124 people offered to NATO a R/R engined, modernised western avionic equipped, new production version.
It would have made sense to buy say about a 12-20 of them, in a manner similar to the AWACS buy in the 1980's, spreading out costs and sharing manning and use, which has worked for over 20 years with the E-3 fleet.

However, apart from it seems maybe a buy of a couple of C-17's by the Dutch, as well as the 5 RAF versions, it is hard to see any more beyond that.
A400M is not meant to be a C-17 rival, it will however carry more than the C-130J, like the LM product will have in flight refuelling-as well as carry fuelling hoses.
Not the perfect answer for tasking beyond tactical stuff, but an affordable one.

At least A400M will provide a big improvement on all those older C-130s and C-160s.
 
CX747
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:51 am

I would think that a purchase of C-17s makes the most sense. As an earlier poster stated, the A400M has already been purchased by several European states. Therefore, that "lift" segment has already been filled. The heavy strategic lift segment has not. If the A400M is not a C-17 competitor, then the C-17 should have a leg up in this competition.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
CX747
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:08 am

Is there any way that we can get the C-17s, A400Ms and C-130Js data and price? That way we can compare and contrast between the different vehicles? One thing that was not mentioned was the new designs being worked on by Boeing and Lockheed that will more than likely be coming to life around the 2011-12 time frame. These new designs is one reason why the C-130J has not been ordered in as high of number as earlier models.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
A319XFW
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:16 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 2):
I think C-17s would make sense. The A400s are already purchased by lots of member states

Playing devils advocate here and twisting those words around - the USAF and RAF has already got the C-17 like a few countries have ordered the A400M. Where's the difference in that?

But I suppose we'd need to compare the range etc and what exactly NATO is looking for in terms of "medium- and long-range planes"
 
CX747
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:01 am

The problem is, that besides England there are no C-17s dedicated to Europe's heavy lift long haul segment. Also, the U.S. has plenty of C-17s for its own needs and some of it allies needs. The allies aka NATO need to have their own organic airlift capability. Seeing that several NATO nations already have the A400M or C-130 for short haul inter-theater operations, that need is already filled. The C-17 is really the only long haul, heavy lift aircraft in production right now. Training can be done along side of the USAF along with spare parts depots and maintenance.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
F4N
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:28 am

Quoting CX747 (Reply 1):
If anything happens, I would expect a large purchase of A400Ms. With the current timeline, the C-17 would more than likely be out of production. Of course, if the timeline is moved up, Boeing may have another way to extend the production line. Does anyone think the C-130J has a shot?

Cx747:

I doubt that C17 will go out of production soon; the program simply has too many important allies in Congress for it to go away without a major fight. The California delegation in Congress will not easily accede to the end to a/c production in S. California. Nor will it accept the idea of shutting down C17 and order A400's in turn. I doubt few in Congress will. The only chance A400 has for USAF service would be a "quid pro quo" order from NATO for C17 and possibly for C130J in order to create a balanced lift force. I believe that the Army will soon order either C27J or C295 from Europe also. This is the sort of rationale I suggested in another thread to create better forces through combined purchases. Whether or not it happens is another thing...  scratchchin 

regards,

F4N
 
TheSonntag
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:32 am

Germany is chartering so many IL76s and An124s all the time that I ask myself whether this really is economical. These Russian and Ukrainian companies take a lot of money for their flights, so in the end I guess having independant airlift capabilities would make a lot of sense, but I leave it to the experts at our armed forces to determine that.
 
A342
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:35 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 4):
I think NATO missed out a few years ago, the AN-124 people offered to NATO a R/R engined, modernised western avionic equipped, new production version.

An-124 production is restarted. And if the NATO wants western engines and turns up with cash at Antonov, no doubt they´ll build it.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
CX747
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RE: WSJ: Nato Wants Airlift, And Lots Of It

Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:49 am

Thats were the C-17 could come in handy. Being realistic, few if any European countries are going to buy the C-17. It is expensive to purchase and they don't see the need. Certain countries such as Germany do have the need though, but buy an American cargo aircraft when the A400M is only a few years away would be unacceptable. If NATO purchases the C-17 rather than a single country, there would be more than enough useage. It would also save "face" for individual countries by allowing NATO and not a federal govenment to purchase the American product.

If Sweden does purchase 2 airframes, I tip my cap to them.

Does anyone know how the AWACS deal was done? Was did this deal survive when so many others failed?
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower

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