Bogi
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Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:19 pm

Best opportunities for export?
Quote:
“We are in a segment of the market where we have no competitors and we foresee no competitors for the next ten years,” stated Tentor.

“Strategic airlifters cannot use unpaved airstrips. Tactical transporters cannot carry outsize loads. This year, we are starting negotiations with a number of possible customers. We see market opportunities in Asia, the Middle East, Australasia and South America. And what of the US? They have a huge gap between the [Boeing] C-17 and the [Lockheed Martin] C-130J, and they have no project to fill that. So, we see an opportunity in the US in the medium to long term. Our market forecast is to export 400 A400Ms over the next 30 years. It’s a conservative estimate. It’s been a long and winding road, but we are here!”.
http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/art...gins-a400m-deliveries-2013-07-12-1
 
L-188
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:03 pm

The man needs to lay off the Drugs.

The C-130, .C-17 and that stretched Il-76 with the Perm fans are all existing competitors.

Not to mention that airlifted Embrarer was working.

His comments ate just a sales pitched for and overpriced, unproven and delayed aircraft.
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Ozair
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:30 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 1):
The man needs to lay off the Drugs.

Agree, I especially like the comment that strat airlifters cannot use unpaved airstrips.



http://www.netting.it/sfondi/images/grandi/c17.jpg


Heck, the C-17 can even land on an aircraft carrier  
 
cmb56
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:12 am

Well the market for the high end C-17 could be running out of steam while the C-130 just doesn't get there for those same shoppers. Sort of like a choice between a 8 ton truck or a 3 ton truck when what you really need is a 5 tonner. You may want the 8 ton version but can't justify it and the 3 ton may not get the job done. The EU picked the size and capability to avoid a head to head with the C-17 and C-130.
 
L-188
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:33 am

Plus I think the Ukranians are still sitting on the plans or the AN-70 somewhere
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GDB
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:24 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 4):
Plus I think the Ukranians are still sitting on the plans or the AN-70 somewhere

That's nice, have any been delivered to an operator yet? The AN-70 flew years before the A400M after all. The French AF have their first, the RAF get's their first A400M next year. Not bad for an aircraft the usual suspects on here called 'vaporware' even when the first aircraft were being built.
Have any A400M's crashed in the development program?

Your description of the A400M matches exactly what was said about the C-17 in the late 1990's. That was a messed up program but look at it now.
How many times did it come close to being cancelled outright?

Then the C-130J, years to get it properly operational after it was first delivered to the early customers.
The double standards here from some about this subject is astonishing and a bit odd.
A400M for some reason really touches a nerve. Why?

But I agree that the Brazilian aircraft is a threat - to C-130J sales.
 
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zeke
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:26 am

Quoting Ozair (Reply 2):

Agree, I especially like the comment that strat airlifters cannot use unpaved airstrips.

Those strips are still engineered, graded, rolled etc, the A400M can land of what people would consider to be soft ground, CBR4 surface (not just the subgrade), which means 4% of the strength of crushed limestone. That sort of surface it would be difficult to even drive a 2WD vehicle. A C17 could not operate out of those conditions.

To anyone that is reasonable, the C17 and A400M have the same numbers of wheels with different weights, one would expect a difference,
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Ozair
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:08 pm

Quoting zeke (Reply 6):
Those strips are still engineered, graded, rolled etc, the A400M can land of what people would consider to be soft ground, CBR4 surface (not just the subgrade), which means 4% of the strength of crushed limestone. That sort of surface it would be difficult to even drive a 2WD vehicle. A C17 could not operate out of those conditions.

My issue is not with the capability but with the salesmanship.

It is pretty clear the C-17, IL-76 have the capability to land on unpaved airstrips, not only from the images above but, and I do not claim in anyway to be an expert on this, from a quick review of the following C-17 document. http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/AF/AFETL/etl_97_9.pdf There is a capability to land on CBR4 surfaces, albeit at very light loads and a limited number of times. I am sure the A400 would have similar restrictions but perhaps not as extreme.

I have no issue with the A400 program, it will be a good fit for a number of nations, but I don't think it is the ultimate or perfect size many claim it to be, including Airbus Military president and CEO Domingo Ureña. A400 operators will still need to use smaller tactical transports, such as the CN235, and if you need to move something a long way A400 operators will still require strategic transports, either owned or leased.
 
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kanban
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:12 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 7):
but I don't think it is the ultimate or perfect size many claim it to be

Have you ever heard a military contractor say their product wasn't the best thing for everybody in all situations.. They all stretch the truth for sales.

And I agree the plane has it's uses and capabilities.. just maybe not all to the full extent claimed.. can think of some other programs that are much the same way..
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:01 pm

Quoting Ozair (Reply 2):
Heck, the C-17 can even land on an aircraft carrier



So can the C-130, and actually has:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar-poc38C84
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_H._Flatley_III
He is the son of the Namesake for the ship I was stationed on, USS Flatley FFG-21, and I met him twice, as I was his driver for change of commands. Shame I didn't know he did at the time. Nice guy.

Dan in Jupiter

[Edited 2013-07-15 07:02:29]
 
bigjku
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:45 pm

Quoting Bogi (Thread starter):
They have a huge gap between the [Boeing] C-17 and the [Lockheed Martin] C-130J, and they have no project to fill that.

I know this is not your quote but I think this point is vastly overblown in regards to the A400M. There are capability gaps and then there are appearance gaps. This, in my view, is much more the later than the former. While the C-130's deficiencies delivering vehicles is well known that is a small part of its mission set really. More than anything it is an airborne truck for hauling supplies around the theater of conflict. And the most important thing for trucks is that they run and are reasonably priced.

For the US market the key question is not if there is a capability gap in the C-130/C-17 pair but operationally what would the US (or anyone else operating the C-130/C-17 combo) gain by either adding A400M's to the mix or by replacing their C-130's with them. That is a really hard question to answer. I have yet to see a good answer. If you are just looking to supplement you need a pretty compelling reason to spend a lot of money to put a new aircraft into that gap. I have no doubt that in theory the Army would love to have another air lifter. But ask them if they would rather make it work with the C-130's and C-17's or if they want to give up their new combat vehicles or AH-64 upgrades to pay for it and I bet their tune changes.

Keep in mind that the cost of replacing the C-130 with A400M's for the USAF would be something around $40-$60 billion dollars. One can make a good logical argument that replacing the C-130 with A400M would add capability but I am not sure one can cost justify it.
 
GDB
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:56 pm

I don't think that the USAF will ever buy the A400M, or that they need to.
A gap doesn't matter so much when your fleets are counted in three figures!

But Airbus Military would be remiss not to try!
 
fridgmus
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:16 am

I read somewhere, I can't remember where, that Lockheed was working on a bigger version of the C-130.

Have any of my fellow A.netter's heard about this, shed any light on it?

Thanks,

F
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L-188
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:00 am

Lockheed has been suggesting mods or updates for decades. Every aircraft company does that. It keeps the designers busy.

At one point there was a twin engine shrink of the C-130 proposed.

The last size increase I remember hearing about was a proposal to move the landing gear outside the aircraft. That would eliminate the two big square boxes midway down the cabin which the mains retract into.

This wouldn't chance the floor width of the herk but the cabin would be wider about two thee feet up the sides.so you could fit more circular lads in it.

That proposal is probably ten intern years old by now.
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mrg
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:52 am

Hi all,
this is my first post on A-Net although I've been an avid reader for several years.

The A400M is perhaps somewhat expensive but it's not more expensive than the C17 and only marginally more so than the C130J.
The A400M carries more than 90% of NATO vehicles.
The A400M's detractors often point to the long delays suffered by the progamme. The C17 almost didn't make it. How long did it take LM to put new engines and avionics onto an airframe that is nothing less than utterly mature?

The C17 isn't really a tactical plane. At a push it can land on unpaved strips but it will often require repairs afterwards. It's ability to carry an actual payload to a CBR6 strip with fuel for the return leg is limited. The A400M does better.
The USAF has spent considerable sums maintaining the C17 in Afghanistan. Turboprops for tactical, turbofans for strategic.


I would also like to point out that Airbus has considerable experience with regard to the design, manufacture and sustainment of military transports.

To all those who revel in trashing the A400M I urge you to read the following:

http://oai.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=get...taPrefix=html&identifier=ADA430864
 
zanl188
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:10 am

Quoting mrg (Reply 14):

Aircraft operating out of unpaved strips often require repairs regardless of type. Doors and antennas especially seem to take a beating, not to mention coatings.
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
GDB
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:55 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 13):
At one point there was a twin engine shrink of the C-130 proposed.

I remember seeing something about that, in the late 1970's? Aimed at the civil cargo market IIRC.
The first airshow i went to was at RAF Greenham Common in 1979, a huge event, which included celebrating 25 years since the first C-130 flew, they had 25 of them lined up, from all over the world, all sorts of versions.

Pretty certain I saw the twin C-130 idea in the official program for the show, in a Lockheed advert.
 
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Revelation
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:39 pm

Quoting mrg (Reply 14):
The A400M carries more than 90% of NATO vehicles.

Not sure of what to make of such a statistic. One interpretation could be that A400M carries 100% of NATO's bicycles and 0% of NATO's main battle tanks.
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ThePointblank
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sun Jul 21, 2013 3:42 pm

Kazakhstan is mulling over buying a pair A400M's:
http://www.janes.com/article/24612/k...stan-mulls-a400m-orders-more-c295s

Quote:
Kazakhstan is considering the acquisition of two A400M military transport aircraft and establishing a maintenance and service facility for Airbus Military aircraft, the Kazakhstani defence ministry announced in early July.

The official communiqué was published shortly after visits to the former Soviet republic by the head of Airbus Military, Domingo Ureña-Raso, who met with the Kazakhstan defence minister, Adilbek Dzhaksybekov, and the Spanish defence minister, Pedro Morenes.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sun Jul 21, 2013 5:12 pm

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 12):
I read somewhere, I can't remember where, that Lockheed was working on a bigger version of the C-130.

Have any of my fellow A.netter's heard about this, shed any light on it?

The C-130XL was a white paper back in 2008. I believe the concept has been canned by now.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...er-larger-c-130xl-to-fight-316314/

Meanwhile, the A-400M does have competition now, the KC-390. Boeing has been trying to sell the KC-390 to the USAF for about a year now.

AF.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.ihs.com/events/exhibition...y-10/Boeing-touts-KC-390-USAF.aspx

Quoting mrg (Reply 14):
I would also like to point out that Airbus has considerable experience with regard to the design, manufacture and sustainment of military transports.

Where? BTW welcome to a.net.

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 15):
Aircraft operating out of unpaved strips often require repairs regardless of type. Doors and antennas especially seem to take a beating, not to mention coatings.

Correct. The A-400M did have minor damage when it was tested on the gravel strip they set up for it.
 
bigjku
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:46 pm

Quoting mrg (Reply 14):
The A400M is perhaps somewhat expensive but it's not more expensive than the C17 and only marginally more so than the C130J.

Using what cost metrics?
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:49 pm

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 15):
Aircraft operating out of unpaved strips often require repairs regardless of type. Doors and antennas especially seem to take a beating, not to mention coatings.

This is absolutely true. Some years ago a C-17 from our base was doing some of those gravel landings and when it returned home there was extensive damage to the belly and landing gear wells.
MSgt, USAF
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mrg
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:14 pm

Quoting zanl188 (Reply 15):

Sure, landing on unprepared strips is punishing but the C130 doesn't require the same attention after a tactical landing as does a C17- neither does the strip.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 17):

The correct interpretation is that the A400M will carry >90% of vehicles listed in NATO's TO&E.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 20):

The RAF has 7 C17s in service. They paid 200 million Pounds for the seventh plane that they ordered later.
The countries that have ordered the C130J have paid an average programme unit cost of $142 million. Some paid more, some paid a little less.
The RAF will be paying a programme unit price of about $200million for it's 22 A400Ms. All military planes are expensive.

EADS Casa and the companies that comprised the Transport Allianz (Transall) have delivered just over 1000 C212, CN235; CN295 and C160 planes to many customers on all continents. They have a fair idea of what they're doing.

The KC390 has turbofans. I understand why- integrating a turbofan onto a wing is a walk in the park. Integrating turboprops is anything but. Most C130 customers rarely conduct tactical landings with max or near max payloads. Embraer have stated that their plane should be considered by these countries. It is not the right plane for tactical missions. It cannot replace a C130 or C160

For better or for worse modern infantry carriers are trending at 20 tons plus. The A400M will handle those weights on CBR 6 without chewing up the strip after a handful of passes.

@ L-188. The twin engined C130 was realised long ago. It's called the C160  
Seriously, the C160 has a slightly larger cargo hold than the C130. It'll carry 16 tons half the distance that the C130 will. It's undercarriage is miles better though.


I know some of you contemplate the AN-70 in your free time. Take a look at how narrow the undercarriage track is.
http://www.airliners.net/photo/Anton...d=f87b6cde0cc403fceba7692dddbb62b2

Did anyone download the pdf linked in my first post. Please do. It's most instructive.
 
bigjku
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:05 pm

Quoting mrg (Reply 22):
The RAF has 7 C17s in service. They paid 200 million Pounds for the seventh plane that they ordered later.
The countries that have ordered the C130J have paid an average programme unit cost of $142 million. Some paid more, some paid a little less.

You still never answer the question posed. What cost basis are we working on? You quoted program cost for the C-17.

If we use program cost for the A400M then the UK is paying $227 million a copy according to the latest major projects report. So assuming that the partners try to recoup some of the R&D cost (which I would guess they would) an A400M is going to cost you about what a C-17 cost. Which is of course the problem.

http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/upl...jor-Projects-full-report-Vol-1.pdf

Again, the A400M is a fine aircraft technically. It just seems to have missed its business case pretty badly.
 
Ozair
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:28 pm

Quoting mrg (Reply 22):
Did anyone download the pdf linked in my first post. Please do. It's most instructive.

I'm not sure how your linked PDF is relevant to explaining the capabilities of the A400? The document provides nothing new to the info from the link I quoted.

Quoting Ozair (Reply 7):
http://www.wbdg.org/ccb/AF/AFETL/etl_97_9.pdf

Do you have a link for the capabilities and limitations of the A400M under a similar scenario?

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 23):

Again, the A400M is a fine aircraft technically. It just seems to have missed its business case pretty badly.

I agree, I don't see anyone trashing the airframe.

Quoting mrg (Reply 22):
For better or for worse modern infantry carriers are trending at 20 tons plus. The A400M will handle those weights on CBR 6 without chewing up the strip after a handful of passes.

And the last few wars have proven how inefficient the capability to transport a tank on a C-17 is. Sure it can do it, but would you do it? For instance, the weight of a Boxer AFV is approximately 34 tons. The following map indicates an A400M at that weight would probably be limited to 3500km http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ma...with_distance_circles_to_paris.svg So at the loading weights you are suggesting, the A400M becomes a tactical transport. You still need the cargo ships/Strat air transports to carry the vehicles to a forward location before you can effectively use the A400M.

Then you have the practicality of transporting AFVs in a tactical or strategic air transport. Unpaved strips mean lighter landing weights and you can only carry one vehicle in each A400M (or C-130 if possible or C-17). Given the ammo, fuel, food and spares requirements for deploying AFVs and their associated troops you better make sure you can supply the vehicles with what they require after your transport fleet positions them.

Pretty sure in Mali the French Air Force flew into hardened paved strips and moved vehicles overland from there.
 
mrg
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:32 pm

@BigJKU
I don't have exact prices. I don't think anybody does actually. The point I'm seemingly unsuccessfully trying to make is that the A400M is not expensive compared to what else is out there.

There are some who routinely try to depict the A400 in the worst possible way. The costs are portrayed as being way and beyond those of it's competitors. And that it's tactical capability is somehow overlapped by it's competitors.
It's payload always compared to that of the MBT that the C17 would carry.
The C17 will indeed carry 70 tons- from one tarmac runway to another. It'll take 20 tons onto a CBR 6 runway 8 times before the strip needs regrading. The A400M will take 30 tons 40 times to the same strip.
The A400M will carry twice the load of the C130J at almost the speed of the C17 to LZ's that the C17 cannot access.

The Brits were not allowed to conduct tactical landings while they were leasing their C17s. There's a reason for that. The C17 doesn't handle that kind of treatment well. It's a great plane for strategic lift.

During the Mali operation the loads carried by participating C17s were delivered 900 Km away from where they were actually needed.

With regard to my linked pdf about the C-17 in Afghanistan did anyone read about the brownouts INSIDE the cockpit??

The A400M wasn't designed to suit a business case. Not many military aircraft are.

@ KC135TOPBOOM you said "Correct. The A-400M did have minor damage when it was tested on the gravel strip they set up for it." Would you care to elaborate?
I'm only aware of the incident at Cottbus-Drewitz where the left MLG dug into the turf. It was neither gravel nor prepared. And the plane wasn't damaged.
 
bigjku
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:43 pm

@MRG

Again, I have never disputed that the A400M has capabilities. The problem with it is that while it can do the things you are arguing for I don't see anyone making a case that they actually need or want to do those things for the most part. The US is more able to risk its C-17's from a cost/capability standpoint in unprepared landing strips than most European nations would be with the A400M. The reality of the situation is that the vast majority of the time the A400M will land at the same place C-17's are landing.

No one is trashing the airframe by any stretch. But the fact of the matter is that the A400M has not sold well outside its industrial partners to this point and has been in a lot of competitions. Most C-130J users will fly those aircraft for a long time yet. Had the A400M come in on time and on budget it might have won those orders but it didn't. It does not help prospects for keeping that line open that the German's openly are looking to sell some of their aircraft right away. Until those sell no one is going to buy full priced models off of EADS.

So it is not just posters trying to paint it in a bad light. Lots of potential buyers have looked at the A400M and then bought C-17's and C-130's.
 
mrg
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:27 pm

The A400M from a European perspective: we don't have any ambition to transport MBTs to distant parts of the world. Since the end of the Cold War many European NATO members have been involved in peace keeping missions and interventions in Eastern Europe, Africa and Afghanistan and even Iraq. The lessons learned included the need for heavier armoured vehicles capable of withstanding IEDs - armoured HUMVEEs and Land Rovers just don't cut it anymore.
The C130 and C160 can't carry the latest vehicle designs- no matter how modular you make them.

Refugee relief- we do quite a bit of it- entails flying supplies to hapless, pathetic victims of some man-made or natural tragedy who seldom gather near a runway. They're usually in the middle of a dustbowl somewhere. You want a turbo-prop for those tasks.

Germany doesn't have multiple transport types in it's inventory. It has the C160 which was manufactured decades ago. Having a mixed fleet of C130J and C17 isn't a realistic proposition for us. The Transall will be replaced by one type. It'll suit us.

The Brits will soon have a transport capability that'll be the envy of many. C17, A400M and C130J together with the A330 MRTT means they'll have all bases covered. You'll see: the A400M be be at the centre of their tactical lift capability.

If we'd gone for the Pratt engine you guys would buy it too  
 
bigjku
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:29 pm

Quoting mrg (Reply 27):

The Brits will soon have a transport capability that'll be the envy of many. C17, A400M and C130J together with the A330 MRTT means they'll have all bases covered. You'll see: the A400M be be at the centre of their tactical lift capability.

Unless you need to move a lot of stuff.

I actually hate the British setup quite a bit. They have way to much money tied up in their transport/tanker capabilities and it is an outright mess in my view. They have lots of platforms that are half utilized and frankly should be ashamed of the situation. Can't use their A400M's as tankers because of their A330 contract. Can't refuel their C-17's or RC-135's because of the tanker types. It is just a mess.

The German/French approach is good. They A400M will provide them good service as a single type. They can do the kind of things they want to do with it and if forced can also do tactical landings as well. For those kind of nations I like the platform.

Quoting mrg (Reply 27):
Refugee relief- we do quite a bit of it- entails flying supplies to hapless, pathetic victims of some man-made or natural tragedy who seldom gather near a runway. They're usually in the middle of a dustbowl somewhere. You want a turbo-prop for those tasks.

I will say this is somewhat idealistic. A lot of end user distribution is done by helicopters. Almost every nation has one more more airports that can take a large jet aircraft and the fixed wing assets usually land there and then supplies are moved around disaster areas by helicopters. No one is going to risk a landing in a crap field to bring MRE's to people with a $200 million airplane.
 
mrg
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 24, 2013 5:00 pm

I think you're being too harsh on the Brits. OK, not being able to refuel boom receivers like the C17, F16 an French Sentries is a bit whacky. It's a glaring omission IMHO.
However, look at the Malian operation. The RAF was able to airlift heavy French equipment, albeit to a runway 500 miles away from where the stuff was actually needed. No European country on it's own can afford to have in it's airforce all the varied assets that you Yanks have. It's just not on. Right now though the Brits can bring a lot to the table. Libya and Mali I think will be a template for future combined ops- well UK/French led ones.

The A400M as a refueller will be most handy on operations that require helicopters and fast-jets to be refuelled. It'll do that mission far, far better than will the C130J.
The C130J on the other hand is great for Special Ops insertion and CSAR/ personnel extraction. Admittedly if the A400M had not experienced such delays the C130J would perhaps not have been procured.

In zones of ethnic strife those on the losing end are usually not in control of cities and major transport infrastructure. The Luftwaffe has over the last decades routinely delivered supplies to unprepared strips. The French too. Actually the French prefer to use their C160 for rough fields. The undercarriage is better than that of the C130. The A400M will do those tasks too.
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:08 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
The A-400M did have minor damage when it was tested on the gravel strip they set up for it.

Do we have any links for that?

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 23):
Again, the A400M is a fine aircraft technically. It just seems to have missed its business case pretty badly.

Which suggests that the C17 at last has some company ...  

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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:44 pm

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 28):
I actually hate the British setup quite a bit. They have way to much money tied up in their transport/tanker capabilities and it is an outright mess in my view. They have lots of platforms that are half utilized and frankly should be ashamed of the situation. Can't use their A400M's as tankers because of their A330 contract. Can't refuel their C-17's or RC-135's because of the tanker types. It is just a mess.

That's a result of having to adapt to a high tempo operation as much as procurement issues.

C-17 ( just 4) were intially leased to provide a short term boost before numbers of what would become the A400M would be in service.
Post Sept 2001, the greatly expanded use of RAF transport assets would cause the C-17's to be brought and added to.
But the A400M would still be needed, since even the newer C-130J's, purchased back in the mid 1990's, had too many limitations. Besides that, the older 1960's built C-130K's needed replacement. The most worn out C-130K's had to be replaced sooner hence the C-130J buy, which was the only game in town at the time.

The C-130K fleet had not only seen long and very active service since the mid/late 1960's, many operations had been especially hard on the airframes. The long, in flight refuelled treks to the Falklands, a lot of unpaved strip operations in the first Gulf War to name two.
From the mid 1970's to the C-130J's and C-17's of the late 1990's/early 2000's, the C-130K fleet had to do it all.

All the above illustrates what has driven the yes rather messy set up the RAF now has, events.
The UK has long been the most actively deployed military outside of the NATO area, with France a close second, unlike other European AF's well before the Cold War ended too.
This has meant the RAF's needs in modernising it's transport fleet, has operated on a different timeline to many of the others but they still want and think they need, the A400M.

Their experience has shown that the C-17 operations to date have not required in flight refuelling, it's a nice to have but not vital. Besides, there are plenty of USAF KC-135's. KC-10's, French Stratotankers, Dutch KDC-10's around, the RAF tankers have many times refuelled allied aircraft, including USN/USMC types. In late 2001, before any bases in country were established, RAF VC-10's went way nearer Afghan airspace than other tankers to support USN/USMC strike packages.
This is why we have NATO and the recent Mali operation as mentioned.
 
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:57 pm

Quoting astuteman (Reply 30):
Do we have any links for that?
Quoting mrg (Reply 32):
I can only imagine that KC135TOPBOOM was referring to the trial conducted at Cottbus-Drewitz.

Correct

Quoting mrg (Reply 29):
The A400M as a refueller will be most handy on operations that require helicopters and fast-jets to be refuelled. It'll do that mission far, far better than will the C130J.

But Germany has the A-310MRTT to handle the fast jets. France has KC-135s, and will replace them with the A-330MRTT, so neither country will need the A-400M as a fast jet refueler. The same for Turkey and the UK.

The RAF receptacle equipped receivers, C-17A, E-3D, RC-135W, all can rely on USAF KC-135s. Are the Voyagers equipped with receptacles?

Now Spain is different, they will need the A-400 as their primary tanker.
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:03 am

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 28):
No one is going to risk a landing in a crap field to bring MRE's to people with a $200 million airplane.

That's what cargo parachutes are for!
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:17 am

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 34):
That's what cargo parachutes are for!

...or LAPES for heavier load.
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:12 pm

Quoting mrg (Reply 29):
The A400M as a refueller will be most handy on operations that require helicopters and fast-jets to be refuelled. It'll do that mission far, far better than will the C130J.

Brits are not buying refueling kits for their A400M's because of their dumb air tanker deal. That is a huge part of my problem with their whole approach. In my view the RAF is imbalanced because a bunch of deals were done without a lot of consideration for what else was going on.

Quoting fridgmus (Reply 34):
That's what cargo parachutes are for!

Or in most cases what happens is you land at a big airport and then use helicopters to take things to where they actually need to be.
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:09 pm

I read an article not too long ago that stated the RAF C130J's would be phased out as the A400's arrive.
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:32 pm

Quoting Bogi (Thread starter):
And what of the US? They have a huge gap between the [Boeing] C-17 and the [Lockheed Martin] C-130J,

IMO the C-17 and C-130 can be quite complemetary. Yes, the A400M could fill the space in between, but is there really a case to introduce a new type? Not so sure.

Quoting mrg (Reply 27):
Having a mixed fleet of C130J and C17 isn't a realistic proposition for us. The Transall will be replaced by one type. It'll suit us.

And that sums up the available options quite well. Large Air Forces can go for C-17 / C-130 dual fleets. Smaller Air Forces where subfleets make less sense and needing a do-it-all aircraft can go for A400M (and lease C17's and An-124's when needed).

Quoting L-188 (Reply 1):
The C-130, .C-17 and that stretched Il-76 with the Perm fans are all existing competitors.
Not to mention that airlifted Embrarer was working.

The C-17 will be out of production sooner or later, so no longer a competitor. C-130 and KC-390 are in another class, they may or may not compete on the lower end depending on the country's airlift needs.

Quoting mrg (Reply 27):

The Brits will soon have a transport capability that'll be the envy of many. C17, A400M and C130J together with the A330 MRTT means they'll have all bases covered.

It's an envy, but not a cost efficient setup. IMO the RAF should not be handling so many subfleets.

Quoting mrg (Reply 29):
No European country on it's own can afford to have in it's airforce all the varied assets that you Yanks have

Agree - which is why we should have a pooled fleet of C-17's or An-124's for shared use. But still too many political obstacles for that to happen.
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:53 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 38):
Large Air Forces can go for C-17 / C-130 dual fleets.

I'd argue Australia is a small air force and does very well out of the combination but this probably has more to do with the geographical location than anything else.

Quoting r2rho (Reply 38):
Smaller Air Forces where subfleets make less sense and needing a do-it-all aircraft can go for A400M

And this is where the KC-30 excels as a tanker over the KC-767. Time will tell whether the A400 can slide into that role. The proof will be how many smaller nations, particulaly those in South East Asia who are going to have the money to buy over the next 10-15 years, like Malaysia (4 so far), Thailand, Singapore etc, go for the jet.
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:33 pm

Quoting r2rho (Reply 38):
Large Air Forces can go for C-17 / C-130 dual fleets. Smaller Air Forces where subfleets make less sense and needing a do-it-all aircraft can go for A400M (and lease C17's and An-124's when needed).

I wouldn't classify A400M as a do-it-all aircraft in this context, because it can't land places C130 can and it can't carry loads that the C-17 can. It's more of a jack of all trades and master of none.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:08 pm

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 36):
Brits are not buying refueling kits for their A400M's because of their dumb air tanker deal. That is a huge part of my problem with their whole approach. In my view the RAF is imbalanced because a bunch of deals were done without a lot of consideration for what else was going on.

While I do agree that the tanker deal was dumb (and not untypical, way beyond the RAF or military), it likely won't survive an event that calls for a maxed out RAF transport/tanker deployed - which has happened several times in the last 30 years - such things have a way of concentrating minds and blowing a gale of common sense through the corridors of power.
Not that I think the RAF would be that interested in tanker kits for the A400M's anyway, they'll want the maximum use of it as a transport.

But as I mentioned before, a lot of the set up is as much about rapidly changing events.

There might be another propellor driven US type, which is now being looked at for being modded to install a tanker kit, that could see UK service in time.
The V-22, for the carriers now being built.
If that happens, be nothing to stop them operating from land bases too. Rather like the RN Sea King AEW.7's deployed to Afghanistan to use their radar to track ground targets.

To Revelation's point, aren't all transports 'jacks of all trades'?
C-130, can do a lot but nothing too outsize.
C-17, versatile too, but cannot go down to the tactical level/austere strip that the C-130J and A400M can.
I'd say Jack Of All Trades in a transport is a complement.
Besides, as has been stated, the main customer base for the A400M are best served by something in the middle of C-130J and C-17, most could not afford the C-17, at least in any number plus the high operating costs.
But more and more of that military kit, vehicles especially, cannot be carried by C-130J
That has been driven also by the experience of bigger and more sophisticated IED's, where once there were Landrovers and Hummers, now there are Mastiffs, Stykers and all manner of bigger, heavier, much better protected vehicles.
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:07 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 41):
To Revelation's point, aren't all transports 'jacks of all trades'?
C-130, can do a lot but nothing too outsize.
C-17, versatile too, but cannot go down to the tactical level/austere strip that the C-130J and A400M can.
I'd say Jack Of All Trades in a transport is a complement.

It is a compliment, but there's the old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee.
It's all about engineering trade-offs, or some would say compromises.

For instance, if you have to cover all bases with one a/c, the turboprops make sense.
Good short field performance, good FOD resistance, etc.
On the down side, you take a hit on range and cruise speed relative to a jet.
Not to mention having to design your own turboprop because you couldn't buy one off the shelf.
That's because you want to the be the jack of all trades, so you want as much thrust as possible.
This also pushes you to try state of the art propeller designs.
In turn you end up dealing with "interesting" whirl mode issues.
All end up being dealt with via time and money, so your export customers might not be able to afford the a/c.

I'm sure you'll point out that other a/c have similar problems.
So it's really about where you aim your design center, and how broad a range of requirements you want to meet.
We can see that A400M covers a large range of requirements.
We can also see it takes lots of time and money to do it.

Quoting GDB (Reply 41):
Besides, as has been stated, the main customer base for the A400M are best served by something in the middle of C-130J and C-17, most could not afford the C-17, at least in any number plus the high operating costs.
But more and more of that military kit, vehicles especially, cannot be carried by C-130J
That has been driven also by the experience of bigger and more sophisticated IED's, where once there were Landrovers and Hummers, now there are Mastiffs, Stykers and all manner of bigger, heavier, much better protected vehicles.

Seems the A400M has a good future ahead of it, presuming more nations can afford to buy it.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:53 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 40):
I wouldn't classify A400M as a do-it-all aircraft in this context, because it can't land places C130 can and it can't carry loads that the C-17 can. It's more of a jack of all trades and master of none.

The A400M will land AND take off (with noteworthy payload) from any CBR 4 or 6 strip that a C-130J will. It flies considerably faster, higher and farther than the J. It'll refuel fast jets at the altitudes and speeds they're used to and refuel helicopters at the altitudes and speeds they're used to. And it's pretty maneuverable.
It's a pretty good camel.
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:14 pm

Quoting mrg (Reply 43):
The A400M will land AND take off (with noteworthy payload) from any CBR 4 or 6 strip that a C-130J will.

I was thinking more about takeoff distance and the specs I see on wiki say:
C-130J: Takeoff distance: 3,127 ft (953 m) at 155,000 lb (70,300 kg) gross weight
A400M: Tactical takeoff distance: 980 m (3,215 ft) (aircraft weight 100 tonnes, soft field, ISA, sea level)

Not sure of all of the minutia behind these measurements, but they seem to be within shouting distance, as we say...

Quoting mrg (Reply 43):
It's a pretty good camel.

Pretty good indeed, especially if you aren't paying for it.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
Max Q
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:30 am

The A400 is a superb Aircraft by any standard, and as good as the C130 is it's being left behind.
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:30 pm

The thing that's so nice about the A400 is that for the first time in a long time it will allow some role reversal in future allied military operations. The US will largely be left in the role of intercontinental freight lifter where we get the goods to the theater of action, secure major points of entry, and then hand over the nasty bit of getting personnel and equipment to the front lines to Germany, The UK, Spain, and France. That's what this plane is for and this is what it's going to mean. I think that suits everyone's capabilities almost perfectly.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:21 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 37):
I read an article not too long ago that stated the RAF C130J's would be phased out as the A400's arrive.

At this rate, the RAF C-130Js will have a normal aged retirement.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 45):
The A400 is a superb Aircraft by any standard,

Which standards are those? Where and when has it proven itself in the 'field' or in a combat zone?
 
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:24 am

It may not have any serious competition for the next decade. Then again, there may not really be any market for the next decade either. Where are the customers?
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RE: Tentor: A400M No Competitors For The Next 10 Years

Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:23 pm

Quoting wingman (Reply 46):
The thing that's so nice about the A400 is that for the first time in a long time it will allow some role reversal in future allied military operations. The US will largely be left in the role of intercontinental freight lifter where we get the goods to the theater of action, secure major points of entry, and then hand over the nasty bit of getting personnel and equipment to the front lines to Germany, The UK, Spain, and France. That's what this plane is for and this is what it's going to mean. I think that suits everyone's capabilities almost perfectly.

The idea that somehow the airlift capacity of the UK, Germany, Spain, France could "role-reverse," take-over of any sort from the USAF airlifts is fantasy. Though mighty and capable those nations air forces are, their combined airlift capacity might just be adequate to take a supplementary role a long the entire mission profile. Whole take-over of any part is dubious.

I am excited and do hope the A400M goes on to have a glorious, numerous, and long service though. It looks like a very capable, well-engineered piece of kit

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