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Stitch
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:26 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 296):
Current USAF C-17 unit cost is US$330.8M including training and spares.

Which just happens to pretty much match what the UAE is paying if the quoted cost is for the four ships. So, as I hypothesized, the UAE deal should include training and spares (and perhaps even maintenance) and is not just the price for the base ship.

Does anyone have any idea how much training, spares and maintenance contracts would add to the €145 million per ship price of the A400M? I would not be surprised if that didn't add scores (or more) of millions of Euro to each ship's final price, as well.
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:29 pm



Quoting Stitch (Reply 300):
Does anyone have any idea how much training, spares and maintenance contracts would add to the €145 million per ship price of the A400M?

I think the A400M price is with training support and spares included.
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:10 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 299):
I'm sorry that the AW&ST story posted an "inconvenient truth". Fact is, the A400M is costing almost as much as a C-17--at this point in time. If costs continue to escalate on the airbus, and this IS a military program after all, the airbus countries could end up paying more for an A400M than for a plane that carries almost twice as much! Some UK lawmakers are already calling for cancellation.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...onews&tkr=BA%3AUS&sid=anaTmEyAMRuk

Very interesting article.

Quote:
“It is extremely serious that the A400M transport aircraft program is now running two years late and further delays cannot be ruled out,” said James Arbuthnot, a lawmaker from the Conservative opposition who leads the Defense Committee including lawmakers from Britain’s three main political parties.

The government should say “whether it considers that there is a real risk that the entire A400M project might be so delayed that abandonment would be preferable,” he said.

Since this guy is in opposition, it's not a surprise that he's asking the uncomfortable question, like McCain is on the VH-71. But given that he leads the Defense Committee and he feels safe in asking about abandoning the program without fear of exposing himself to large amounts of ridicule is pretty significant IMHO.
 
bennett123
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 5:28 pm

I see no reason to be humble.  Smile

The point that he makes is perfectly valid, and in a year he could be in government.
 
Lumberton
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 7:50 pm

Thales ain't happy campers either.
http://www.cnbc.com/id/29411706

Quote:
PARIS, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Electronics group Thales on Thursday ruled out making any financial contribution to help planemaker Airbus reduce its exposure to the troubled A400M military aircraft programme and accused it of hoarding cash. EADS unit Airbus has said building the troop and equipment carrier for seven European NATO nations is "mission impossible" because of delays and problems with the 20 billion contract and wants suppliers and governments to share more risk.

 
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Stitch
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:45 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 301):
I think the A400M price is with training support and spares included.

That may not be the case. An AviationWeek UK article from 2006 on A400M Support notes that the acquisition costs were €5 billion and that a 30 year life-cycle cost would be €10 billion. Airbus Military's A400M site notes that life-cycle costs include training, maintenance and spares.

While a true doubling of the €145 million cost won't be accurate, neither will it be totally inaccurate since the delay in getting the A400M into service will raise the support costs through inflation and "idle time" of the MROs, if nothing else. At the current Euro to Dollar exchange rate of .7845 means that an A400M with 30 years of support would run just under $370 million USD. That figure is likely high, but if we knock 10% off as a round number, we're looking at almost identical cost structures to what the UAE is paying for their C-17s.

Now, assuming the life-cycle of the C-17s is 20 years instead of 30, that still makes the A400M a cheaper platform overall, which is something I have argued as a favorable point for her. But she's not half as much or a third-as much cheaper as some others have been attempting to portray...
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:48 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 296):
To acquire 120 aircraft will now cost an estimated $43 billion--$1.3 billion more than the Pentagon's last estimate to acquire 210 aircraft.
http://www.fas.org/man/gao/gao94141.htm

That was 1994, 15 yrs ago. Now its 2009 and we are now talking 200 aircraft.

Inflation etc.. Do you want me to go any further? Is there any reason to simply ignore the 3 sources I posted in 296?

I get the feeling some folks are trying to talk the C-17 into a similar prices A400M alternative by letting A400M costs explode and C-17 costs implode. That is a nice exercition but has nothing to do with reality.

For FY1997, Congress appropriated almost $2.2 billion for procurement of eight C-17s under a multiyear procurement contract. For FY1998, Congress provided $2.3 billion for the program, procuring nine aircraft. The FY1999 budget provided some $3 billion for procurement of 13 C-17s. The FY2000 budget provides about $3.1 billion for the program, procuring another 15 aircraft. For FY2001, the Administration requested some $3.1 billion for procurement of 12 C-17s.

https://www.policyarchive.org/handle/10207/843

Prices
1997 : 275 million / ac
1998 : 255 million / ac
1999 : 230 million / ac
2000 : 206 million / ac
2001 : 268 million / ac

Through FY1999, some $28 billion was provided for the C-17 program, which would cost about $45 billion for development and procurement of 134 aircraft, as estimated in September 1999.

One could also think : 45 + 6.2 billion for 161 aircraft ~318 million per aircraft.

Australia paid 2 Billion for 4 C-17 including 2 addition engines and equipment.
http://www.military-quotes.com/forum...alia-wants-2-billion-c-t20305.html

.. anyway we can quickly forget 150 million in 2009 or someone else must pay the other half (assuming there has been no inflation since 2001)
 
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Stitch
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:21 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 306):
Australia paid 2 Billion for 4 C-17 including 2 addition engines and equipment.

Chances are the RAAF C-17s came with engines and the 18 extra are for spares.  Wink

Quoting Keesje (Reply 306):
I get the feeling some folks are trying to talk the C-17 into a similar prices A400M alternative by letting A400M costs explode and C-17 costs implode. That is a nice exercise but has nothing to do with reality.

Those earlier C-17 prices probably included all R&D costs associated with the program, which would have inflated the original price and resulted in lower prices for the later buys as those R&D costs were spread out across more frames. The latest $175-200 million USD prices may represent just the actual sales price per frame should all the R&D costs already have been amortized by Boeing in those earlier buys and therefore do not need to be figured in.

On the flip side, the A400M frames would see their ship price going up should the number of units fall (due to cancellations) or additional R&D funds needing to be expended to meet the original program performance goals having to be assigned to each ship of this initial tranche.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:42 am

Nobody knows what the final cost per unit of the A400 will be when it finally is delivered in 2014, except that it will be considerably more expensive than projected at the moment. That's why Enders is asking for more money. How much more is anybody's guess.

Will it end up significantly less than the C-17? My guess is no.
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:59 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 306):
Australia paid 2 Billion for 4 C-17 including 2 addition engines and equipment.
http://www.military-quotes.com/forum...alia-wants-2-billion-c-t20305.html

.. anyway we can quickly forget 150 million in 2009 or someone else must pay the other half (assuming there has been no inflation since 2001)

$2B aus, which is $1.44B USD at the exchange rate in April 2006. Furthermore you insist on quoting old information when newer information is available and has been provided to you on several occasions. So I will ask again, if you are going to quote information from 2006 and say that it's valid today, please provide me with evidence of inservice A400Ms (which we are supposed to have according to information from 2006).

I do find it interesting that you argued for the EADS KCX bid being the objective choice for the tanker contract but you insist on throwing up irrational and outdated poppycock on this thread. I also find it funny that you argued for the A400M on the grounds it would be available while LM only had power points in previous threads:

Quote:
Now if the A400 is up and flying next year and touring the USA LM will still be doing powerpoints.

Which you posted https://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...archid=97025&s=kc-x+keesje#ID97025

Now in fairness you did point out that others have used some of the arguements you are now using against the C17, but what I can't help but find very amusing is that at the very least, when the US was looking for a tanker they bid it, and Europe chose to single source their military transport project. Now the bid process may have been royally f***ed up (sorry there is nothing else to call it), but it's still miles ahead of the 'A400M I chose you' approach from Europe.

Here's the question I would put to you Keesje; just what is it about the A400M that makes it better in any way than the C17? Let's leave out purchase price since we will have to agree to disagree on the prices you are quoting for *both* the C17 and the A400M. Please apply the same rational you applied when discussing the KC-X competition. Also please don't include features that are likely to be dropped from the 400M (such as low level terrain following, etc.)

Quoting Keesje (Reply 306):

I get the feeling some folks are trying to talk the C-17 into a similar prices A400M alternative by letting A400M costs explode and C-17 costs implode. That is a nice exercition but has nothing to do with reality.

Finally I just have to point out the irony of that statement. You are complaining about something having nothing to do with reality while conveniently using old/outdate and/or incorrect information as it suits you, while the current reality has been provided to you on numerous occasions.

Here's the reality as far as I can tell based on the most recently available information:

a) The purchase price for the A400M is going up. At the very least I think it's safe to *assume* a 10% price increase. That puts it damned close to 160M Eu.
b) The most recent publically quoted price for the C17 is $220M US to 'foreign' purchasers.
c) The Euro is current trading at: 1.2716 USD, which means the A400M's cost is: $184M at list and likely at least $203M based on my above assumption.
d) The price quoted for the C17 is likely a small buy price
e) Large buys always get better pricing, even in the military space

All of the above lead me to believe that it's entirely possible, *in reality* for the A400M to cost more (as the 145M Eu price is based on the big orders place by the EU, i.e. there is no bulk discounting left on the table) than a similar *lift capactiy* buy of C17s.

Finally regarding the supplies and spares and support costs, the EADS press release for the A400M order said nothing about that:

Quote:
The launch contract provides for a total of 180 A400M transport aircraft for seven NATO International military alliance created to defend western Europe against a possible Soviet invasion. nations with the Airbus partners Germany (60), France (50), Spain (27) and the UK (25) placing the largest orders. The other national partners' and customers' orders are Turkey (10), Belgium (7) and Luxemburg (1).

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/EADS+L...:+Order+Worth+EUR20...-a0102468121

There is no reference in *anything* I can find online to spares/support being included in the contracted price. Undoubtedly there would be *some* support to go along with a new type, but how much and what additional costs might be incurred are (publically) completely unspecified.
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:10 am



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 304):

Thales ain't happy campers either.

That is potentially a huge problem in the making. If Thales and EADS come to virtual/legal blows over this it would set the program back years. I also find it interesting if the Thale's acusations are true that EADS has sat on all the advances for themselves. Surely it hasn't cost EADS 5B EU to R&D *their* part of the A400M. If true that is jsut mind boggling and I don't think it is. I'm sure a good chunk of that money has been funneled into XWB and other R&D. There is just no way the R&D on the 400M is more than the R&D on the XWB.
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:50 am



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 309):
Here's the question I would put to you Keesje; just what is it about the A400M that makes it better in any way than the C17?

Well, I think the C-17 is about twice as big, heavy and expensive as the A400 and doesn't meet basic mission requirements set by the A400M customers.

That's why I think the replacement potential is weak.

But that might just be me.

 Wink

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 309):
d) The price quoted for the C17 is likely a small buy price

Ok, I give up. There's just no way you ever can be convinced its not the case.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 309):
There is no reference in *anything* I can find online to spares/support being included in the contracted price. Undoubtedly there would be *some* support to go along with a new type, but how much and what additional costs might be incurred are (publically) completely unspecified.

So you have to assume every is excluded for the A400 and included for the C-17 right ?
 Big grin
 
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SEPilot
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:38 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 311):
expensive

As I see it, one of the main issues being argued is that by the time the A400 flies, it will cost nearly the same as the C-17 and have half the capacity. That does NOT make the C-17 "twice as expensive." It will be more expensive to operate per unit, but if it is loaded anywhere near to capacity it will probably not cost more per ton carried.
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:42 am



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 309):
I do find it interesting that you argued for the EADS KCX bid being the objective choice for the tanker contract but you insist on throwing up irrational and outdated poppycock on this thread.



Even when one quotes Tom Enders, one is not believed.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 309):
Here's the question I would put to you Keesje; just what is it about the A400M that makes it better in any way than the C17? Let's leave out purchase price since we will have to agree to disagree on the prices you are quoting for *both* the C17 and the A400M. Please apply the same rational you applied when discussing the KC-X competition. Also please don't include features that are likely to be dropped from the 400M (such as low level terrain following, etc.)

Maybe someone will cook up a nice spider chart. I miss that one!  Smile

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 309):
The purchase price for the A400M is going up.

And it's long term maintenance cost is a huge unknown at this point. Sure, EADS can offer a "by the hour" maintenance contract, but who's to say they won't want to renegotiate that too, should they find some nagging issues?

Quoting Keesje (Reply 311):
Well, I think the C-17 is about twice as big, heavy and expensive as the A400 and doesn't meet basic mission requirements set by the A400M customers.



I suppose if you mean twice as big, you also are implying twice as much payload and twice as much range, I suppose you are correct. Also 50% faster and rolling off the production lines today in large numbers.

What more basic mission requirements are you talking about, basically?

Speaking of basic mission requirements, Wiki says (with references):

Quote:
The German newspaper Financial Times Deutschland has closely followed the A400M program and reported on 12 January 2009 that the aircraft is overweight by 12 tons and may not be able to achieve a critical performance requirement, the ability to airlift 32 tons. Sources told FTD that, currently, the aircraft can only lift 29 tons, which is insufficient to carry a modern armored infantry fighting vehicle.[9]

Seems pretty basic to me.

Somehow it was OK for the KC330 to take up twice as much ramp space as KC767, but we now have an issue with a larger C17?
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 12:35 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 313):
Also 50% faster and rolling off the production lines today in large numbers.

No. That's the problem. Congress has to fight to prevent Boeing closing the line & Boeing has to discount with your tax money.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 313):
What more basic mission requirements are you talking about, basically?



Quoting Revelation (Reply 313):
Somehow it was OK for the KC330 to take up twice as much ramp space as KC767, but we now have an issue with a larger C17?

? :

Quoting Revelation (Reply 298):
Quoting Keesje (Reply 292):
[C-17] not meeting runway, soft terrain, terrain following and tanker / crew requirements



Quoting Revelation (Reply 313):
Somehow it was OK for the KC330 to take up twice as much ramp space as KC767, but we now have an issue with a larger C17?

The a330 has bigger wing / more span. After Boeing Marketing dreamed up this "problem" Boeing could no longer include 767-400ER raked wingtips to boost performance. Or will they..

The KC30 can carry 25% more fuel then the 767/KC-135 (not twice us much) but still was cheaper (confimed). However I noticed folks like to keep away from the numbers in the Tanker contest  Wink Xenophobics, local politics, flagwaving & bribery proved the preferred tools, at the costs of the USAF.

The euro airforces don't have to fly around empty 50-75%, because an ailing product line has to be kept open somewhere. Maybe indeed the KC-X "fix" is not forgotten too..
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:37 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 314):
has to discount with your tax money.

Don't even go there Keesje. Your tax money is being pissed away on a plane that hasn't even flown yet and a plane that is likely to not break-even. I'm reminded of saying about stones and glass houses.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 314):
Xenophobics, local politics, flagwaving & bribery proved the preferred tools

Now I'm reminded of a saying about a pot and kettle.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 311):
A400 and doesn't meet basic mission requirements set by the A400M customers.

Yes, but does the 400M still meet the mission requirements. Some would say no, at least in some instances.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 311):
Ok, I give up. There's just no way you ever can be convinced its not the case.

Well when the UK or Germany order a few (and I'm sure they will) we can compare prices.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 311):
So you have to assume every is excluded for the A400 and included for the C-17 right ?

Keesje, I'm working from published quotes and articles. I'm not assuming anything. I have a published article that is very recent and quote 220M usd for the C17 (not including extras). Similarly we have a 145M Eu price for the 400M with no extras. I am assuming the price per unit is going up on the 400M since EADS has basically *said* it will. My numbers I ran (which you ignored) didn't include the extras. The only time I've factored extras into the price argument is when you quote a price that includes extras and I point it out.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 292):
and not meeting runway, soft terrain, terrain following and tanker / crew requirements. Forget it.

The A400M doesn't meet terrain following requirements. It's already public knowledge that functionality is likely dropped. Runway performance is going to suffer too (it has to with 12T more weight *or* EADS has figured out how to defeat basic physics). Soft terrain; see 12 t more weight again. As for the tanker requirements, what's it's useful linger time going to be with all that extra weight? If I applied your logic about tankers to this, the EU should order 330 based tankers since they are superior in every metric you've ever used to justify why they should have won the KC-X competition.

In short, your own arguments either fail to support the 400M *or* support the purchase of different hardware.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 314):
The euro airforces don't have to fly around empty 50-75%, because an ailing product line has to be kept open somewhere.

You're right. They have to look at their gear sitting on the ground waiting for ailing aircraft to fly them somewhere because their shiny new A400Ms haven't even flown yet and won't be available for 4 years. But I'm sure we all agree, as long as EADS gets the business who cares if troops suffer or old aircraft crash that should have been retired  sarcastic 
 
nomadd22
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:44 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 314):
No. That's the problem. Congress has to fight to prevent Boeing closing the line & Boeing has to discount with your tax money.

The whole problem was that congress wasn't doing anything to keep the 17 line open. Boeing has continued ordering components from suppliers with their own money to maintain it.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 314):
The KC30 can carry 25% more fuel then the 767/KC-135 (

I give up. What the heck is a 767/KC135?
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 7:32 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 314):
The euro airforces don't have to fly around empty 50-75%

The UK has bought C-17s and the Germans are renting Antonovs. Which "euro airforces" are you talking about? The ones I know of would happily deal with more capacity.

One might settle for half the plane at half the cost, but not less than half the plane (27 ton capacity vs 77 ton capacity, 1200NM full payload range vs 2400NM) at almost the same cost.

I think this "basic" disparity may help them work out how to deal with the other "basic" issues you mentioned. Somehow the USAF, RAF, RAAF and RCAF have figured it out. I have confidence the "euro airforces" will as well.
 
Lumberton
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 9:04 pm

Maybe a spider chart will be conclusive proof on the C-17 versus A400? After all, it is cited by some as the quintessential reference by some on another comparison?  Wink
 
gsosbee
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Fri Feb 27, 2009 10:26 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 318):
Maybe a spider chart will be conclusive proof on the C-17 versus A400? After all, it is cited by some as the quintessential reference by some on another comparison?

Unfortunately, until the A400M actually files such a comparison, while a nice academic exercise, would not solve anything.
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:04 am



Quoting Revelation (Reply 317):
Revelation

Must I even answer to this odd non-sense ?

A few C-17 are already ordered for NATO tasks. Enough.

For replacing Transals and C-130s, it is well..

Maybe the USAF should order 100 C-17 themselves to replace 400 Hercs .  Yeah sure

By the way I provided 4 sources that prove the 150m /ship prices quoted here are from wonderland. Silence on those unfortunately.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:19 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 314):
still was cheaper (confimed).

Only when the USAF used incorrect and unsupported methods to cook the numbers on Boeings side. Which they got slapped down for.
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:03 am



Quoting Keesje (Reply 320):
A few C-17 are already ordered for NATO tasks. Enough.

For replacing Transals and C-130s, it is well..

Thanks for your opinion.

Now, let's see what's happening in the real world.

Quote:
Although the C-17 fleet was to be a fallback for the A400M, the UK announced on 21 July 2004 that they have elected to buy their four C-17s at the end of the lease, even though the A400M is moving towards production. They will also be placing a follow-on order for one aircraft, though there may be additional purchases later.[32] While the A400M is described as a "strategic" airlifter, the C-17 gives the RAF true strategic capabilities that it would not wish to lose, for example a maximum payload of 169,500 lb (77,000 kg) compared to the Airbus' 82,000 lb (37,000 kg).[29]

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on 4 August 2006 that they had ordered an additional C-17 and that the four aircraft on lease will be purchased at the end of the current contract in 2008. The fifth aircraft was delivered on 22 February 2008 and reported for duty on 7 April 2008 at Brize Norton air base in Oxfordshire.[33] Due to fears that the A400M may suffer further delays, the MoD is planning to acquire three more C-17s (for a total of eight) for delivery in 2009-2010, provided that the U.S. Air Force places a follow-on order extending through the same time period.[34] On 26 July 2007, Defence Secretary Des Browne announced that the MoD intends to order a sixth C-17 to boost operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.[35] On 3 December 2007, the MoD announced a contract with Boeing for a sixth C-17,[36] which was handed over to the RAF on 11 June 2008.[37][

You seem to have a poor grasp of what the options are in the real world: Airbus is 4-5 years late and not meeting cost or performance targets, and have lost major amounts of credibility with their customers. There is not much of an option to wait. The Germans have said they can make the C160s last two more years, no more, and have said they do not have the money to pay for cost overruns. I don't know the outcome of all this, but you don't seem to see the risk of A400M getting outright canceled if not severely downsized.
 
redflyer
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:40 pm

News reports are saying Germany may abandon the A400M.

Quote:
Germany may soon decide to abandon the Airbus A400M military transporter plane because of delays to Europe's biggest military programme, a German magazine reported on Saturday.
Der Spiegel reported if Airbus does not soon explain whether and how it can solve the problems, German procurement officials would advise Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung to end the contract. The weekly quoted Defence Ministry sources.

http://www.iii.co.uk/news/?type=afxn...9&subject=companies&action=article

At 300+ posts, I don't remember if this is old news being re-reported or a new development.
 
Lumberton
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:44 pm

Der Spiegel reports that Germany "could" cancel its participation in the A400M program. Personally, I'd be stunned if this were to happen since the program most likely would not survive the loss of its largest customer. Undoubtedly, the UK would likely (or independently still could) walk as well. This would undoubtedly create a lot of bad feelings between the airbus countries for future projects. Is this mere posturing from Germany? My personal feeling is that is most likely the case.

Perhaps its just better to continue with the program? A failure would haunt relations for years to come?

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssI...UtilitiesNews/idUSLS27323320090228

Quote:
BERLIN, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Germany may soon decide to abandon the Airbus A400M military transporter plane because of delays to Europe's biggest military programme, a German magazine reported on Saturday.

Der Spiegel reported if Airbus does not soon explain whether and how it can solve the problems, German procurement officials would advise Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung to end the contract. The weekly quoted Defence Ministry sources.


[Edited 2009-02-28 09:56:52]
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:52 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 324):
Is this mere posturing from Germany? My personal feeling is that is most likely the case.

Posturing to what end? Germany is signaling they are interested in a price hike. EADS has said they aren't interested in proceeding without one. Either the governments or EADS take a bath on this (or they split the bath and both get screwed). Germany is in a real tough spot as the revised A400M no longer does what they need or wanted from it. Frankly, I see this as a bigger sign of things to come (namely Germany slowly unwinding their EADS position). It has become apparent in recent years that the French have a stranglehold on the day to day operations at EADS and I believe Germany may finally have had enough of it.
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:07 am



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 325):
Germany is signaling they are interested in a price hike.

that should read aren't.. sorry...
 
TheSonntag
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:56 pm



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 325):
I see this as a bigger sign of things to come (namely Germany slowly unwinding their EADS position). It has become apparent in recent years that the French have a stranglehold on the day to day operations at EADS and I believe Germany may finally have had enough of it.

I would seriously doubt that, as it would only harm the German interests. In fact, EADS is 50 % german, and Germany has a strategic interest in keeping that this way...

However, I think this actually could be a good sign. Don't forget, while EADS became so large that it can compete on an international level, its strong monopol position in Europe is not in the interest of the European countries. A bit more competition would help, thats for sure...
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Sun Mar 01, 2009 3:06 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 322):
The Germans have said they can make the C160s last two more years, no more, and have said they do not have the money to pay for cost overruns. I don't know the outcome of all this, but you don't seem to see the risk of A400M getting outright canceled if not severely downsized.



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 323):
Der Spiegel reported if Airbus does not soon explain whether and how it can solve the problems, German procurement officials would advise Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung to end the contract. The weekly quoted Defence Ministry sources.


Interesting correlation, if I do say so myself!  Smile

It's an interesting bit of brinkmanship, if nothing else. Germany is saying it wants to see Airbus's cards on the table, now. Airbus is just as politically savvy as their customers, and they are in no rush to supply the rope used to hang them.

So, what are the ways forward?

1) A400M is deemed so important from a political point of view that the customers concede to Airbus's demands for a new contract with removal of penalty payments and full relief on schedule, budget and functionality.

2) A400M is deemed so late and expensive that it is abandoned

3) A400M is deemed important enough that the customers conceed to some of Airbus's demands for a new contract with removal of penalty payments and relief on schedule, budget and functionality.

Of course, (3) seems the most likely, but it's actually harder to achieve than (1) or (2).

The seed that became the A400M was planted in the early 80s and it took to 2003 for the contract to be signed. How are all these parties going to agree to take some pretty unsavory decisions?

One could imagine the basis of an agreement could include:

  • Delivery of the most basic usable A400M variant at the earliest possible time
  • A set of blocks/tranches where the more advanced functionality is added later
  • Some of these blocks/tranches would be optional to save cost for certain customers
  • Forgiveness on late penalties already due
  • New pricing that allows Airbus to break even on the project
  • A new system of late penalties or better yet, performance bonds


Even this kind of deal seems destined to leave everyone unhappy.

It's interesting how no one yet has taken up Gallois's call for a summit to discuss the A400M last fall (ref: http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5gAIHoBCBupJjcCNS84-87YU4Ub0g et al). The customers have a signed contract that grants them a lot of leverage.

It's interesting how the customers got Airbus to sign a contract to deliver a plane on a "commercial basis" complete with penalty clauses. This is the contract that Enders says Airbus was "stupid" to sign.

It's clear that Airbus now wants to go to a more traditional defense contractor model, where cost overruns are the norm. For instance, in the US, you can have a 50% cost overrun before you get called to the carpet in front of Congress. This is what is now happening with VH-71.

It's also clear the customers do not want that to happen.

I guess it's time to break out the popcorn and sit back and watch what happens next.
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:44 pm



Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 45):
So what's the likely outcome then if Germany and other countries decide the A400M isn't worth the $$$ invested?



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 72):
I can see the UK and Germany both reducing the size of their orders substantially and picking up other lift.



Quoting Revelation (Reply 160):
Not sure where Germany is going to find the Euros to proceed, though.



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 323):
News reports are saying Germany may abandon the A400M.



Quoting Revelation (Reply 328):
2) A400M is deemed so late and expensive that it is abandoned

Yes laternatively it might be just repeating some wishfull thinking..

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/ne..._to_buy_Airbus_military_transport_

 scratchchin 
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:13 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 329):
Yes laternatively it might be just repeating some wishfull thinking..

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/ne...port_

Kessje, I really do wish you would stop a) subjectively quoting/quoting out of context, and b) dropping a random link and running off without elaborating. You have ignored several long posts I've made addressed to you on this subject and continue to drop these very immature 'one liners'.

In the artciel you linked:

Quote:
However Raabe gave no indication Monday that a cancellation was likely. However he added that the Defence Ministry would also not give up its contractual rights. Germany has ordered 60 of the planes.

Giving no indication is vastly different than saying "we are keeping it". Also I see no quote whatsoever, just very nebulous blather. Finally, "would also not give up its contractual rights" meaning delay penalties.

How does Germany wanting their delay payments go vs. EADS wanting a price lift and delay relief? Sounds like an impass to me. It also sounds like there is nothing settled yet, and Airbus still hasn't given Germany the answers they want. So to use the fact they didn't hint at cancellation as evidence they are keeping the full order seems a bit premature to me.

Given that Germany was one of the big supporters of the low level capabilities of the aircraft, and that those are now seemingly gone or very very delayed, I stand by my statement that Germany is likely to reduce the number of aircraft they take on. Also since Germany has yet to receive an inservice date from Airbus, I see that liklihood growing. Germany *needs* new airlift. It's not a question of 'it would be nice to have by xyz'. They have *old* frames that are at service life and then some.
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:02 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 329):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 328):
2) A400M is deemed so late and expensive that it is abandoned

Yes aternatively it might be just repeating some wishfull thinking..

Earlier in this thread you accused me of selective quoting, and now you selectively quote only one of the three options I was presenting to represent my entire point of view?

If it weren't so sad, it'd be funny.
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:08 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 331):
Earlier in this thread you accused me of selective quoting, and now you selectively quote only one of the three options I was presenting to represent my entire point of view?

I include the 2) to show it was one of the options.

How would rate using a long quote from wikipedia & not mentioning the source (#322) and then say :

Quoting Revelation (Reply 322):
You seem to have a poor grasp of what the options are in the real world:

I guess :

Quoting Revelation (Reply 331):
If it weren't so sad, it'd be funny.

..

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 330):
Giving no indication is vastly different than saying "we are keeping it".

He is saying they stick to the plan, but obviously it's not what you want to read in it..
 
Alessandro
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:25 pm

Swedish media claim there´s "cancel-for-free" in the customers contracts if the A400M don´t fly this month?
Anyone knows anything about this?
 
Lumberton
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:16 pm



Quoting Alessandro (Reply 333):
Swedish media claim there´s "cancel-for-free" in the customers contracts if the A400M don´t fly this month?
Anyone knows anything about this?

I read on a "pay per view" site that the Germans have the right to cancel and get their down payments back. I suspect that applies to the UK, France, and Spain as well, but I have no link.
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:21 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 332):
He is saying they stick to the plan, but obviously it's not what you want to read in it..

I see a very non-committal statement either way. I see them indicating they would like to keep their order, but I also see them saying they don't intend to give up their delay payments or 'contract rights' which includes the CURRENT price. Please tell me how this reconciles against EADS saying they can't/won't build it under the current terms?

I've asked you the above question 3 or 4 times now and would really appreciate an answer. If you are just going to stick you head in the sand I won't bother attempt to engage you in a discussion anymore. Frankly your posts in this thread of late have been very close to the 'low quality' post that mods nuke on a regular basis.
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:23 pm



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 334):
I read on a "pay per view" site that the Germans have the right to cancel and get their down payments back. I suspect that applies to the UK, France, and Spain as well, but I have no link.

Supposed to happen sometime in March if certain key things don't happen on the program. I.e. there is a point in time where all the current customers get an out. It has been documented in the media and I will see if I can find a link this evening if I have a chance. (This is not a statement to say there will be cancellations, merely that there is a window for them).
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:56 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 332):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 331):
Earlier in this thread you accused me of selective quoting, and now you selectively quote only one of the three options I was presenting to represent my entire point of view?

I include the 2) to show it was one of the options.

And then go on to say:

Quoting Keesje (Reply 329):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 328):
2) A400M is deemed so late and expensive that it is abandoned

Yes laternatively it might be just repeating some wishfull thinking..

Thus accusing me of wishful thinking when I presented three different options to be discussed, and actually expounded further on the third, not the second. It was you that chose to presume that I'm wishing (2) will happen, when there's no evidence of that anywhere.

Besides, since this is a discussion forum, why don't you tell us which of the 3 options you think will happen, instead of deciding those who will discuss the possibility of cancelation are wishing for cancelation?

Quoting Keesje (Reply 332):
How would rate using a long quote from wikipedia & not mentioning the source (#322)

Please follow along.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 313):
Speaking of basic mission requirements, Wiki says (with references):

Quote:
The German newspaper Financial Times Deutschland has closely followed the A400M program and reported on 12 January 2009 that the aircraft is overweight by 12 tons and may not be able to achieve a critical performance requirement, the ability to airlift 32 tons. Sources told FTD that, currently, the aircraft can only lift 29 tons, which is insufficient to carry a modern armored infantry fighting vehicle.[9]

Glad you've caught up.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 332):
and then say :

Quoting Revelation (Reply 322):
You seem to have a poor grasp of what the options are in the real world:

Why not quote the whole selection?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 322):
You seem to have a poor grasp of what the options are in the real world: Airbus is 4-5 years late and not meeting cost or performance targets, and have lost major amounts of credibility with their customers. There is not much of an option to wait. The Germans have said they can make the C160s last two more years, no more, and have said they do not have the money to pay for cost overruns. I don't know the outcome of all this, but you don't seem to see the risk of A400M getting outright canceled if not severely downsized.

This is a discussion forum. Instead of digressing into posting etiquette, why don't you give us your opinion on if and how the A400M will get past the current crisis?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 328):
1) A400M is deemed so important from a political point of view that the customers concede to Airbus's demands for a new contract with removal of penalty payments and full relief on schedule, budget and functionality.

2) A400M is deemed so late and expensive that it is abandoned

3) A400M is deemed important enough that the customers conceed to some of Airbus's demands for a new contract with removal of penalty payments and relief on schedule, budget and functionality.

Pick an option, and tell us why you think it'll play out that way, or add your own option to the discussion.
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:33 am



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 335):
Please tell me how this reconciles against EADS saying they can't/won't build it under the current terms?

I've asked you the above question 3 or 4 times now and would really appreciate an answer. If

I don't see how some here that seem to know a lot about aviation can't see what happening. The A400M program has hit some snags. As a preparation to tough negotiations with customers (which are states basicly) EADS shouts around it's a undoable project under the current contract, the airforce say they have to stick to the contratced plan.

After that negotiations start and they probably end up somewhere halfway. At least that is what I have seen happening at both sides of the ocean for a string of major projects. All the doom scenarios dreamed up here by people that for some reason want to push to C-17 are suprising but I think fully unrealistic. I explained why several times already.
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:49 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 338):
After that negotiations start and they probably end up somewhere halfway.

I hope negotiations do start soon.

The Der Spiegel article says Germany is in discussions with Airbus, but made it clear that they were not in negotiations. Splitting hairs I know, but as you say, a lot of posturing is going on.

I wonder what half-way means for A400M. Surely compromises on schedule and budget, but also compromises on performance? Conpromises on functionality?

As in option (3) above, I can see them moving towards a block/tranche setup where they push off the more expensive yet less critical functionality to later blocks. Hopefully the early blocks will focus on meeting baseline range and payload issues.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 338):
All the doom scenarios dreamed up here by people that for some reason want to push to C-17 are suprising but I think fully unrealistic.

Thanks for sharing your opinion.

I think perhaps you bring people's position on the C-17 to its extreme.

Clearly there are missions that the A400M is suitable for that the C-17 is not. But just as clearly there are missions that C-17 is suitable for that A400M is not. And clearly there are missions where either one C-17 or two A400Ms will do. And everything in between.

One can "abuse" A400M by flying long range missions with multiple refuellings but it'll be incredibly costly in terms of pilots, planes and fuel. Of course, any shortfalls A400M has on payload/range will amplify this.

One can "abuse" C-17 by flying short range missions with small payloads but it'll be incredibly costly in terms of fuel, and may result in landing at a larger airport farther away from the objective.

Clearly the market price (whatever that may be) for C-17 will serve as an upper bound for what Airbus can get for A400M. Since the contract needs re-negotiation, the customers can choose to downsize their order for A400M and buy some C-17s instead.

It's clear that the UK will know exactly what the pricing is for both, and knows exactly how useful the C-17 is, whereas A400M will still have a list of unknowns for several years to come. It's documented that the UK has already increased its C-17 purchases even though it has A400M commitments, and I'm sure Germany is considering doing something similar as well.

It seems to me that when the A400M contracts were signed most customers were thinking in terms of regional roles, but since then it seems to me that many customers are thinking in terms of global roles for both military and humanitarian missions.
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:22 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 339):
It seems to me that when the A400M contracts were signed most customers were thinking in terms of regional roles, but since then it seems to me that many customers are thinking in terms of global roles for both military and humanitarian missions.

Thank you for your opinion.

I'm not sure what you mean by its limitted payload range capability. Its not build to ship Leopard II tanks over oceans but can hold it own very well for the mission requirements. (medium helicopters / guns / ammored vehicles http://www.army-technology.com/projects/artillery/images/5.jpg ). E.g. a C130 max load of 20 tonnes, the Atlantic is no problem.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...6/6a/Range_of_the_Airbus_A400M.png

The A400M is a multi role aircraft, the C-17 is not.
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:01 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 340):
I'm not sure what you mean by its limitted payload range capability.

No one knows what it capabilities will be when it is in production. For instance:

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 127):
Germany plans to use the A400M to transport the Puma armored fighting vehicle that weighs 31.5 tons in its basic version. If Airbus Military cannot recoup more of the payload capabilities, the aircraft would only be able to carry the Puma with a sizable range restriction.

Hopefully your range circles will be correct, but from what is being reported, no one knows for sure.
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:50 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 338):

After that negotiations start and they probably end up somewhere halfway.

Ok, so you're on record as saying you think negotiations will meet halfway, thank you! Believe it or not I won't disagree with you on this  Smile However, if they do end up meeting halfway I do think it is very likely that some of the buyers involved (namely Germany and the UK) will purchase additional lift from other sources, and I see that additional lift being C17s.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 338):
All the doom scenarios dreamed up here by people that for some reason want to push to C-17 are suprising but I think fully unrealistic.

Well based on the current rumoured specification, some lift augmentation is likely going to be necessary as the 400M appears to be falling well short on some key mission parameters.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 340):
The A400M is a multi role aircraft, the C-17 is not.

I believe that is going to be one of it's biggest failings. Out of the gate it tried to be far too many things to too many people IMHO and all that functionality is built on brand new everything (software, engines, airframe, etc.) Instead of picking one or two things and doing that really well, I think EADS got caught up in promising too much and delivering none of it.
 
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keesje
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:00 pm



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 342):
so you're on record as saying you think negotiations will meet halfway

Halfway price, EIS, production rate, postphoned capabilities, who knows?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 341):
No one knows what it capabilities will be when it is in production



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 342):
Well based on the current rumoured specification,

Agree with both of you its all pure speculation & we do not know what's really happening. Drawing far reaching conclusion, predicting cancellation and declaring the project fiasco might even more low value.
 
bennett123
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:52 pm

IMO it is a case of better a bird in the hand than 2 in the bush.

The A400M may eventually come right, but the C17 already looks good.
 
redflyer
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:10 pm



Quote:
France is pushing Britain and Germany, in particular, to work with the Airbus Military industrial consortium to adapt the current contract and requirements to allow the A400M program to proceed.

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...20Gapfiller%20Plan&channel=defense

It would appear some member countries may be willing to adapt to the current situation with the program. And that might make sense since the member flags are intertwined in this project. But I wonder what would happen if more problems and/or delays continued to plague the project? It's one thing to bite the bullet and put the problems behind and move forward, but there has to be some kind of understanding that the worst is behind them. At least that is what I'd be looking to if I were asked to continue to press ahead.
 
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Stitch
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:37 pm

I still can't see this being an "either / or" decision. The reality is far more likely we'll see a small C-17 buy and the existing C-130Hs and C-160Ds will just have to keep going until such time as the A400M is ready to enter service and replace them.

Personally, I would not be surprised if over the next four to eight years the US doesn't quietly tell Europe to pick up more of their own share of their defense. In such a case, not only will they need some C-17s, but they are also going to need all of their currently-planned A400Ms to do it.

And since the A400M program has a bird in the air today and more on the way, even if it falls short on performance now, it's better to keep it going and keep improving it. Okay, so the first score may be "real dogs" - they still should be able to beat a C-160Ds in capacity and range. And maybe the next score after that are just "dogs" - they should still handle replacement of existing C-130Hs . So Germany, France, Spain and the UK aren't exactly any worse off and they get more volumetric payload if nothing else for larger combat vehicles and combat helicopters. Then we get the third tranche which do what they were supposed to and everybody's happy.
 
osiris30
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:14 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 343):
Halfway price, EIS, production rate, postphoned capabilities, who knows?

Close enough for me  Wink I was having a hard time figuring out where you stood on the issue. As I said I agree there will be a compromise. I also think this isn't a zero sum game. I think there is room for both the C17 and A400M in the Germany and UK fleets. The UK so far agrees. Frankly Airbus might be well served if Germany and the UK picked up a few C17s. It would reduce the pressure on the 400M somewhat.

All that said, I still think PW would have been a better choice for engines.
 
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Revelation
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:39 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 345):
It would appear some member countries may be willing to adapt to the current situation with the program. And that might make sense since the member flags are intertwined in this project. But I wonder what would happen if more problems and/or delays continued to plague the project? It's one thing to bite the bullet and put the problems behind and move forward, but there has to be some kind of understanding that the worst is behind them. At least that is what I'd be looking to if I were asked to continue to press ahead.

I would hope the bulk of the issues are largely understood at this point in time, and if so, the rest would have to be handled via contingency.

The article you quote goes on to say:

Quote:
Ministerial representatives from the member countries, and the Occar European acquisition agency, are expected to meet this month to discuss a way ahead. Germany has been reluctant to change the terms of the existing fixed-price development contract.

So it seems the meetings should start this month. Note they said discussions, not renegotiation of the contract, but that too may be posturing, because it is clear that there will have to be a new contract.
 
redflyer
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RE: A400M Three Years Late?

Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:45 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 348):
I would hope the bulk of the issues are largely understood at this point in time

One would hope they are understood at this point in time, at least by the customers. But I'm not so sure. It was only six months ago that EADS was predicting first flight by end of 2008. These problems have been festering for a long time, which is to say they have been known by a few on the inside, but not revealed to others. It's a credibility issue.
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