|Quoting Keesje (Reply 4):|
The C130 is too small for new gen fighting vehicles. The Army say they need a bigger fuselage and 30t capability.
The Stryker, which is what I assume you're referring to, can fit into a C-130 and in fact has been flown many times on a C-130. The issue with regards to size as it relates to the C-130 seems to be related to the fact that the clearances within the fuselage are smaller than typical USAF
operating requirements. That does not, however, seem to be a hindrance to flying them on C-130s. The Army may want a bigger fuselage with a 30t capability, but that only points to the need to fly the LAVs in more than a 1:1 sortie ratio.
|Quoting Keesje (Reply 8):|
Saying the C-17 can fit anything bigger then a C130 is true, but maybe also a gross simplification assuming a world of unlimited resources.
The KC30 carries about 25% more fuel the the KC767. Not 4 times as much.
Well, using the specs for all three airframes (130, 400M, 17), the C-130 can carry 1 Stryker LAV. The A400M can carry 2 Stryker LAVs. The C-17 can carry 6 Stryker LAVs (that's also taking into consideration internal cargo bay space). If the Army needs LAVs deployed, I have no doubt they're going to want to do it as quickly as possible and the USAF
will want to do it as efficiently as possible. Seems to me, it makes more sense to fly 6 LAVs per sortie rather than just 2, or even 1 at a time.
HOWEVER, and despite the above, I don't really dispute anything you're saying, Keesje (now isn't that a novelty!). There is a gap between the C-130 and the C-17 and the A400M currently is the only offering that would fit nicely in there. But it doesn't appear that the gap is critical and needs to be urgently filled (unlike the scenario playing out on the KC
-X side). In addition, and unlike the tanker competition which relies on commercial off-the-shelf products, combat lift capability is a uniquely military specification. Therefore, IMO, if the USAF
ever decides to fill that lift gap, they will have the luxury of allowing different manufacturers to come up with an all-new design specific to the task at hand. And in that case, if and when that were to happen, the A400M might just be the old girl that is getting long in the tooth. Her design is already a decade old and, I might add, not even proven as of yet given all the issues with her powerplants (not to mention the fact that she hasn't even flown yet). Assuming the A400M would be a perfect fit for that lift capability gap, it might be too much of a stretch at this point to assume she would be a shoe-in.