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Balerit
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:59 am

Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:
Countries that support international operations have new gen fighting vehicles, want to be able to transport serious relief equipment, be able to cross substantial distances quickly without refuelling, be able refuel jets, be certified for using civil airways, present a truly tactical capability to get to the action directly. Frankly I think there are many.

Your assumption is wrong. There aren't many countries and the requirements you have listed, which looks like a nice list of A400M capabilities, isn't common for most militaries. Outside of UN operations, I can't think of ten countries that globally deploy troops on a regular basis outside of alliance organisations. If we look at NATO/ISAF, those transport needs are already met, as are any alliance operations conducted with the US, by the US extensive transport fleet. Additionally even the US contracts out to private providers including AN-124 operators.

Within UN operations, the vast majority of troops come from reasonably poor countries, are deployed regionally and the UN provides them with transport. Most UN vehicle movement is done by sea because the deployments are known with enough time to plan economic movement.

keesje wrote:
Basicly the larger, reasonable developped countries. Some use C-17's but they are not really tacticle and way more expensive to operate.

Keesje, France and Germany aren't landing AFVs forward using the A400M, even in Africa the threat is too high to deploy vehicles that way. They may fly them in to nearby airports but the most common transport method remains via sea. That way all the ammunition, special equipment, fuel, spares, support staff, engineering vehicles etc can be transported at the same time as the AFVs .

The" deploying a vehicle forward to an austere location with a A400M", or any current transport plane, is a myth and not a reality. Even in 1990, the US transported the vast majority of military equipment for GW1 by sea. During the cold war, there were no plans for the US to transport large fleets of AFV via aircraft, they used pre-positioned equipment and relied on sea transportation to move heavy equipment across the Atlantic, and that was a military with the largest and most capable air transport fleet in history.


I would hazard a guess that at least one army on each continent needs heavy lift capability. For instance the SANDF requires some urgently for deploying troops around Africa but for us, South Africa, they are too expensive. It is a pity that the AN 70 never got anywhere.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:08 am

Balerit wrote:

I would hazard a guess that at least one army on each continent needs heavy lift capability. For instance the SANDF requires some urgently for deploying troops around Africa but for us, South Africa, they are too expensive.

Perhaps, but how many of those already operate aircraft of a similar or larger size?

Balerit wrote:
It is a pity that the AN 70 never got anywhere.

Agree, would be a different landscape had Germany gone ahead with a western AN-70 version. in hindsight, I doubt the dev costs and delay wouldn't have been as great either.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:27 am

Wasn't the whole idea to build the A400M backlog for the European military and close the line afterwards? While Airbus mentioned export orders would be nice to have, it was not a requirement.
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:40 am

Grizzly410 wrote:
The list you linked is up to date, I have slightly different delivery date, I think because I record Transfer of Title day and the site use delivery flight day. But for MSN56&75 being allocated to UK that's currently not true. I think we'll have news about MSN56 future before year end but MSN75 likely to go in long term storage until Airbus finds a home for it.


Unless it's a photoshop, MSN 56 has been painted in Egypt Air Force colors.

Image
https://twitter.com/airspottersORG/stat ... 4513685505
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:39 pm

Jayafe wrote:
Revelation wrote:
All those unfilled requirements and yet A400M has such slow sales that Airbus is considering reducing the production rate.

Not considering, they are reducing it (20) in 2018 (15) and again in 2019 (11).

Thanks for the info.

Jayafe wrote:
The fact that the A400 is great doesn’t mean it’s the best for everything.

Yep, that's the point pretty much every poster not named Keesje is making here.

The fact that Airbus can't find A400M customers in a period of relatively healthy economy while being motivated by empty production slots tells us that the demand that some think is best filled by new A400Ms:

a) is already filled in other ways
b) can't be addressed by A400M due to its cost
c) doesn't exist

Otherwise we would not be seeing the production rate reductions.
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:46 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Wasn't the whole idea to build the A400M backlog for the European military and close the line afterwards? While Airbus mentioned export orders would be nice to have, it was not a requirement.

Some times plans change.

Costs are far higher than planned so export orders are more important than planned.

I doubt the original plan included FR and DE ending up with C-130J fleets and DE selling some of its A400Ms on the export market. The UK was always expected to go rouge! :biggrin:

It seems the plan for Enders to go to the customers and ask for some concessions isn't very workable right now: he's in a bad position to be asking for favors, and Angie is in a bad position to be granting such favors.

Tough times.
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:50 pm

Revelation wrote:

The fact that Airbus can't find A400M customers in a period of relatively healthy economy while being motivated by empty production slots tells us that the demand that some think is best filled by new A400Ms:


Show me one healthy economy, just about every country is cutting back on expenditure?
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:08 pm

Balerit wrote:
Revelation wrote:

The fact that Airbus can't find A400M customers in a period of relatively healthy economy while being motivated by empty production slots tells us that the demand that some think is best filled by new A400Ms:


Show me one healthy economy, just about every country is cutting back on expenditure?


That's why I used the world relative. This isn't 2008 or 2001.

If A400M can't sell in this economic climate, what one can it sell in?
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:11 pm

When Airbus presented this design the world was in far better shape and events led to the collapse of a lot of economies. We probably won't see any recovery before the next world war breaks out.
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:55 pm

Balerit wrote:
Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:
Countries that support international operations have new gen fighting vehicles, want to be able to transport serious relief equipment, be able to cross substantial distances quickly without refuelling, be able refuel jets, be certified for using civil airways, present a truly tactical capability to get to the action directly. Frankly I think there are many.

Your assumption is wrong. There aren't many countries and the requirements you have listed, which looks like a nice list of A400M capabilities, isn't common for most militaries. Outside of UN operations, I can't think of ten countries that globally deploy troops on a regular basis outside of alliance organisations. If we look at NATO/ISAF, those transport needs are already met, as are any alliance operations conducted with the US, by the US extensive transport fleet. Additionally even the US contracts out to private providers including AN-124 operators.

Within UN operations, the vast majority of troops come from reasonably poor countries, are deployed regionally and the UN provides them with transport. Most UN vehicle movement is done by sea because the deployments are known with enough time to plan economic movement.

keesje wrote:
Basicly the larger, reasonable developped countries. Some use C-17's but they are not really tacticle and way more expensive to operate.

Keesje, France and Germany aren't landing AFVs forward using the A400M, even in Africa the threat is too high to deploy vehicles that way. They may fly them in to nearby airports but the most common transport method remains via sea. That way all the ammunition, special equipment, fuel, spares, support staff, engineering vehicles etc can be transported at the same time as the AFVs .

The" deploying a vehicle forward to an austere location with a A400M", or any current transport plane, is a myth and not a reality. Even in 1990, the US transported the vast majority of military equipment for GW1 by sea. During the cold war, there were no plans for the US to transport large fleets of AFV via aircraft, they used pre-positioned equipment and relied on sea transportation to move heavy equipment across the Atlantic, and that was a military with the largest and most capable air transport fleet in history.


I would hazard a guess that at least one army on each continent needs heavy lift capability. For instance the SANDF requires some urgently for deploying troops around Africa but for us, South Africa, they are too expensive. It is a pity that the AN 70 never got anywhere.


I'm still hoping the SAAF will purchase the A400M.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:50 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
MSN 70 has been delivered:

2nd #A400M for Spain delivered to @EjercitoAire this morning. 19 this year


https://twitter.com/AirbusDefence/statu ... 7390586881


Image
And landed!

Image
 
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 5:54 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Grizzly410 wrote:
The list you linked is up to date, I have slightly different delivery date, I think because I record Transfer of Title day and the site use delivery flight day. But for MSN56&75 being allocated to UK that's currently not true. I think we'll have news about MSN56 future before year end but MSN75 likely to go in long term storage until Airbus finds a home for it.


Unless it's a photoshop, MSN 56 has been painted in Egypt Air Force colors.


Photoshop !! Today is Dia de los inocentes in Spain, the same as April´s fool in the rest of the world :rotfl:

MSN56 left paintshop a couple of week earlier, full grey + immat : EC-400 :bouncy: The higlighted part is still valid, though, but late... I´m sure MSN56 future will be known soon and you´ll be one of the first to find out.

Image
https://twitter.com/airspottersORG/stat ... 4513685505[/quote]

Can´t copy twitter link from here, but now @Defence_blog have a picture with the original, a Malaysian one.
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:22 pm

Respect for the editor :biggrin: worrying too :worried:
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:54 pm

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mxaxai
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:10 am

Revelation wrote:
Jayafe wrote:
Revelation wrote:
All those unfilled requirements and yet A400M has such slow sales that Airbus is considering reducing the production rate.

Not considering, they are reducing it (20) in 2018 (15) and again in 2019 (11).

Thanks for the info.

Jayafe wrote:
The fact that the A400 is great doesn’t mean it’s the best for everything.

Yep, that's the point pretty much every poster not named Keesje is making here.

The fact that Airbus can't find A400M customers in a period of relatively healthy economy while being motivated by empty production slots tells us that the demand that some think is best filled by new A400Ms:

a) is already filled in other ways
b) can't be addressed by A400M due to its cost
c) doesn't exist

Otherwise we would not be seeing the production rate reductions.


I've done a couple of graphs that IMO show that ...

... the C-130 Hercules is by far the most popular transport aircraft
... the A400M isn't doing as bad as many here think
... the A400M's market is fairly limited compared to cheaper and smaller tactical transport aircraft
... most military transports do fairly poor with regards to exports, particularly large, strategic transport aircraft

I suppose the export expectations by Airbus & government executives were wildly optimistic. Comparing it to its competitors I think it is doing fairly well. It has over 1/3rd market share against its only direct competitors, the C-2 and the C-17.

Also note that the C-17 never went beyond 16 aircraft per year. IMO the production cuts are of minor relevance. Production is ensured for at least another 10 years anyway.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Please forgive me any small errors, the online lists are not always 100% accurate and I grabbed most of the data from Wikipedia. I hope this doesn't feel like "spamming" images, either.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:15 am

Revelation wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
Wasn't the whole idea to build the A400M backlog for the European military and close the line afterwards? While Airbus mentioned export orders would be nice to have, it was not a requirement.

Some times plans change.

Costs are far higher than planned so export orders are more important than planned.

I doubt the original plan included FR and DE ending up with C-130J fleets and DE selling some of its A400Ms on the export market. The UK was always expected to go rouge! :biggrin:

It seems the plan for Enders to go to the customers and ask for some concessions isn't very workable right now: he's in a bad position to be asking for favors, and Angie is in a bad position to be granting such favors.

Tough times.

The orginal plan indeed didn't expect the C-130J order. However, let's remember that we're looking at quite different aircraft here. The A400M is especially much larger than its predecessor:
Image
It's like calling the 787 bad because the operater chose to order some 737s too. The A400M is a fine aircraft but it can't do everything. Neither can the C-130, or any other product. Sometimes things are meant to coexist.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:56 am

mxaxai wrote:
Revelation wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
Wasn't the whole idea to build the A400M backlog for the European military and close the line afterwards? While Airbus mentioned export orders would be nice to have, it was not a requirement.

Some times plans change.

Costs are far higher than planned so export orders are more important than planned.

I doubt the original plan included FR and DE ending up with C-130J fleets and DE selling some of its A400Ms on the export market. The UK was always expected to go rouge! :biggrin:

It seems the plan for Enders to go to the customers and ask for some concessions isn't very workable right now: he's in a bad position to be asking for favors, and Angie is in a bad position to be granting such favors.

Tough times.

The orginal plan indeed didn't expect the C-130J order. However, let's remember that we're looking at quite different aircraft here. The A400M is especially much larger than its predecessor:
Image
It's like calling the 787 bad because the operater chose to order some 737s too. The A400M is a fine aircraft but it can't do everything. Neither can the C-130, or any other product. Sometimes things are meant to coexist.


Very valid points and I follow your logic and conclusion Mxaxai. Excellent quality posts.
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:08 am

mxaxai wrote:
The orginal plan indeed didn't expect the C-130J order. However, let's remember that we're looking at quite different aircraft here. The A400M is especially much larger than its predecessor:
Image

Thanks for the charts. Can you add some additional airframes to the payload chart please? Given the KC-390 and C-2 are valid competitors in the medium transport space it would be worth seeing their values graphically. Also the IL-76?
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:10 pm

mxaxai wrote:
It's like calling the 787 bad because the operater chose to order some 737s too. The A400M is a fine aircraft but it can't do everything. Neither can the C-130, or any other product. Sometimes things are meant to coexist.

I guess you weren't around for the earlier debates here. Many of us made the point that indeed A400M could not do everything and were told otherwise. It turns out that it does a lot of things, but not exceedingly well and not on a cost effective basis. It is not an optimal strategic transport. It is not an optimum in-theater transport. It is not optimum at refueling helicopters, dropping paratroopers or spec-ops duties.

It turns out most nations realize that heavy jets are better for strategic transport, and smaller turboprops are better for in-theater roles as well as refueling helicopters, dropping paratroopers and spec-ops duties. The large turboprop ended up costing a lot of time and money to develop, and unfortunately resulted in a few fatalities too. I don't think it was worth it.

Many of us made the point that users would be better off with heavy jet transports (both military and commercial) for the inter-theater role and smaller turboprops for the intra-theater role, and were told A400M could do all the roles in a cost effective manner. Reality speaks for itself.

mxaxai wrote:
IMO the production cuts are of minor relevance. Production is ensured for at least another 10 years anyway.

The problem is they haven't made money on them yet, and are not going to make it on a reduced production schedule. They've invested in the facilities for a big ramp up, but don't have the orders to fill the pipeline. As mentioned earlier, they were already on the verge of going back to the customers for more concessions, but this was side tracked due to Airbus's corruption scandals and Merkel's elections challenges. It's hard to paint a rosy picture going forward.

The graphs are nice, but as you admit these planes have quite varied characteristics so simply counting tails is problematic. The situation is far more complex than market share. The big deal to me at least is about the sustainability of the product and fitness to purpose, and A400M is challenged in this regard.
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:23 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
Photoshop !! Today is Dia de los inocentes in Spain, the same as April´s fool in the rest of the world :rotfl:


I have to admit, that's a pretty good photoshop.
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:09 pm

I expect at some point the orders will start to stream in. Let us not forget Airbus wasn't even allowed to commit to exports until recently, because to European airforces were all over them to deliver. Talking to others / offering discounts was/is a political mine field when you are discussing cost rises with existing customers. When those are satisfied, new opportunities can be picked up. I stand firm by my assesment the market potential is significant and 1-1 competition absent at this stage.

Of course there is a market for KC390/Herc sized tactical aircraft. Moving a few pallets / 4x4s / platoon by A400M is a total waste, . Unless you need training/ nav hours anyway :wink2:
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:40 pm

keesje wrote:
I expect at some point the orders will start to stream in. Let us not forget Airbus wasn't even allowed to commit to exports until recently, because to European airforces were all over them to deliver. Talking to others / offering discounts was/is a political mine field when you are discussing cost rises with existing customers. When those are satisfied, new opportunities can be picked up. I stand firm by my assesment the market potential is significant and 1-1 competition absent at this stage.

Of course there is a market for KC390/Herc sized tactical aircraft. Moving a few pallets / 4x4s / platoon by A400M is a total waste, . Unless you need training/ nav hours anyway :wink2:

I expect A400M is on the same glide slope as A380. Expensive product with stagnant incoming orders and decreasing order backlog. Airbus agrees with me since it's cutting production on both instead of building inventory for that stream of orders you keep suggesting will happen but never does. Trend line is down: (20) in 2018 (15) and again in 2019 (11). New CEO will be in place in 2019, probably thinking it's time to wind down the money losing programs started by his predecessors and laden with political trapdoors so he can have a good run later in his tenure. Might make sense to focus on the things the market is willing to buy and that make money for Airbus instead of keeping doors open for prestige and goodwill.
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:55 pm

keesje wrote:
Of course there is a market for KC390/Herc sized tactical aircraft. Moving a few pallets / 4x4s / platoon by A400M is a total waste, . Unless you need training/ nav hours anyway :wink2:


Obviously.

But didn't I read somewhere that average payload utilization on the C-17 is below 15% :-)

Special forces insertion ( more or less a US dominated pasttime ) wasn't really on the table when the A400M was specced.
No idea if countries that use C130 ( or C160) as a kind of military operated public transport would like to go for capacity markup or not.
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:56 pm

Revelation wrote:
Otherwise we would not be seeing the production rate reductions.


Honestly, production rate 20 was unrealistic anyway. Even if Airbus sticks to the original plan without export orders, at rate 20 they would burn through the backlog in less than 10 years.

Large military aircraft do not sell in large quantities like civil aircraft and should run at lower production rates. For reference, if we take the median, the C-17 had an average production rate of 12 aircraft per year, with a peak of 16 deliveries.

The A400M should aim at 10 to 15 annual deliveries, and spread costs over a production run of 20 years.
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:29 pm

keesje wrote:
I expect at some point the orders will start to stream in. Let us not forget Airbus wasn't even allowed to commit to exports until recently, because to European airforces were all over them to deliver. Talking to others / offering discounts was/is a political mine field when you are discussing cost rises with existing customers. When those are satisfied, new opportunities can be picked up.

Common Keesje... Malaysia ordered the A400M in 2005!

Malaysia ordered four A400M aircraft and training and integrated logistics support services from Airbus under an RM3.5bn ($1.1bn) contract in December 2005, to help supplement the RMAF’s ageing C-130 Hercules aircraft fleet.

http://www.airforce-technology.com/news ... e-4529535/

There has been no restriction on committing to A400M exports.

keesje wrote:
I stand firm by my assesment the market potential is significant and 1-1 competition absent at this stage.

Except the C-2 can fly the same max cargo load a 1,000kms further while likely less to acquire. No competition at all...
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:52 pm

Yes of the C2, but it doesn't it do refuelling and dirt runways. It's a different aircraft.
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:10 pm

keesje wrote:
Yes of the C2, but it doesn't it do refuelling and dirt runways. It's a different aircraft.
https://youtu.be/wIxy6Gt3QUA

Of course its a different aircraft, that is why it can fly further while costing less. That is the whole point of the last page of discussion, that not every military needs those specific capabilities and why other options can be just as viable. While I doubt the C-2 dirt runway issue will be changed, the Japanese don't have that requirement, there is no reason the C-2 couldn't be modified for AAR. It has a similar configuration as the KC-390 and could probably be modified to do so if a customer really wanted it.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:26 am

Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:
Yes of the C2, but it doesn't it do refuelling and dirt runways. It's a different aircraft.
https://youtu.be/wIxy6Gt3QUA

Of course its a different aircraft, that is why it can fly further while costing less. That is the whole point of the last page of discussion, that not every military needs those specific capabilities and why other options can be just as viable. While I doubt the C-2 dirt runway issue will be changed, the Japanese don't have that requirement, there is no reason the C-2 couldn't be modified for AAR. It has a similar configuration as the KC-390 and could probably be modified to do so if a customer really wanted it.


The Herc does soft runways, so does A400M. Suggesting an aircraft that isn't tactical as a realistic alternative because some airforces only need the more strategic capability seems far fetched. But your are welcome. W'll see what the air forces need.
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mxaxai
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:08 pm

Ozair wrote:
Thanks for the charts. Can you add some additional airframes to the payload chart please? Given the KC-390 and C-2 are valid competitors in the medium transport space it would be worth seeing their values graphically. Also the IL-76?

I have found the time to generate the graphics:
Image
Image
Red are aircraft no longer in service or currently in retirement
Yellow are aircraft no longer in production but still in service
Green are aircraft in production
Aircraft that are (likely) not for sale to western air forces got a red frame.

One can see that the A400M is the heaviest military transporter available to western air forces, save for renting commercial Il-76 and the An-124.
The Kawasaki C-2 is very long-ranged for the payload it can carry and is closest to the A400M. Incidentally, it is also the fastest of the lot, cruising at Mach .80. All others sit between Mach .70 (Il-76) and .77 (C-17), except for the C-130, which cruises at Mach .58, and the C-160 at .50. While this may seem slow, the need for short runways is likely the reason for this.

Also note that the KC-390 is more of a C-130-class aircraft, although it is a fair bit larger and faster.

I will not discuss runways length or quality here since that depends on many factors and cannot easily be compiled into one graph.

Ozair wrote:
Except the C-2 can fly the same max cargo load a 1,000kms further while likely less to acquire. No competition at all...

Compare the numbers built and sold, perhaps?

Revelation wrote:
It turns out that it does a lot of things, but not exceedingly well and not on a cost effective basis.

If it didn't have the ongoing technical difficulties it could do most roles it was bought for very well. The only roles missing right now are helicopter refueling and very short runway operations. Whether it is cost effective is an entirely different question. I would agree that it got a bit expensive but it is not that much more expensive compared to its peers.

Revelation wrote:
The problem is they haven't made money on them yet, and are not going to make it on a reduced production schedule. They've invested in the facilities for a big ramp up, but don't have the orders to fill the pipeline.[...]The graphs are nice, but as you admit these planes have quite varied characteristics so simply counting tails is problematic. The situation is far more complex than market share. The big deal to me at least is about the sustainability of the product and fitness to purpose, and A400M is challenged in this regard.

That is certainly the largest problem. Airbus expected many more orders than what actually happened. And IMO the lack of orders is not due to the aircraft but simply because the demand for an aircraft of this size is not there. Check out the others. Counting tails is valid when you've got the C-2 and the KC-390 as its only "real" modern competitors.
 
mxaxai
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:31 pm

Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:
Yes of the C2, but it doesn't it do refuelling and dirt runways. It's a different aircraft.
https://youtu.be/wIxy6Gt3QUA

Of course its a different aircraft, that is why it can fly further while costing less. That is the whole point of the last page of discussion, that not every military needs those specific capabilities and why other options can be just as viable. While I doubt the C-2 dirt runway issue will be changed, the Japanese don't have that requirement, there is no reason the C-2 couldn't be modified for AAR. It has a similar configuration as the KC-390 and could probably be modified to do so if a customer really wanted it.

I agree that not every country has the same needs. The C-2 is built to the specs of the JASDF, the C-17 is built to the USAF's requirements and the A400M was built on request by the Luftwaffe, the Armeé de l'Air, the RAF and the Ejército del Aire. In 2007 Embraer expected a market of 695 aircraft - they have sold 60 so far.

Most countries that think they need more than a few large military transport aircraft have the capability to manufacture their own. Those that don't, like Malaysia or Turkey, rarely buy many. Others simply continue to fly cheaper, old aircraft like the Il-76, the An-12 or the Hercules. Note that over 350 C-130, 75 Il-76 and 232 An-12 crashed. Compare this to 1 A400, 1 C-17 and 0 KC-390 & C-2 hull losses.

(Note: I'm not saying that all C-130 or Il-76 are old or unsafe. Sometimes they do things no other aircraft could or get pushed beyond their limits in combat. But for some of its operators, price certainly is priority no.1)
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:09 pm

The C130 and A400M are the tactical aircraft. Putting big vehicles / loads close to / in the operating area. It makes those aircraft build the way they are. Sturdy, lots of redundancy, heavy. I doubt air forces even like to use twins for it. Comparing it with C-2 or C-141 makes little sense.

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Nicoeddf
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:23 pm

keesje wrote:
The C130 and A400M are the tactical aircraft. Putting big vehicles / loads close to / in the operating area. It makes those aircraft build the way they are. Sturdy, lots of redundancy, heavy. I doubt air forces even like to use twins for it. Comparing it with C-2 or C-141 makes little sense.


While I too find that you Keesje are quite a bit too optimistic on the prospects of the A400M on the export market, I agree with your notion here.
Just to make it clear: If Germany, France and the other nations don't intend to use the A400M in the in-theater soft field role as well, they would have better opted for a cheaper transport in the C2 class. But I understand the A400M will fullfil both strategic and in-theater roles. And is as such more complex than an individual aircraft for each of that role should be. And more versatile, while more expensive.

Realizing the suboptimal program management, incl. all the difficulties the ever changing ever complex European defense cooperation brings, I still think the A400M is a formidable plane. And a worthwhile one with huge lessons learned for Airbus and all member states of the program. And it will be an excellent performer on the field, if ever needed to the fullest of its capabilties.

Has it become too expensive? No doubt.
Has it become a drain on Airbus resources? Hell yeah
Is it any worse than other comparable complex products? Don't think so.

But same sentiment as in the Tornado replacement thread: One has to stay realistic on what was achievable with given resources and political climate. And here we are.
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WIederling
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:41 pm

Nicoeddf wrote:
But I understand the A400M will fullfil both strategic and in-theater roles. And is as such more complex than an individual aircraft for each of that role should be. And more versatile, while more expensive.


What you think you need in case of war/conflict and what you do with that stuff while that use case sleeps.

The C160 was designed and procured for an in theater use.
The Luftwaffe have used their C160 fleet to death in a mostly freighter/resupply role.

The US is always busy with some very wichtig War somewhere on this globe. Germany less so.
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Nicoeddf
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:54 pm

We are not in disagreement ;)
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:30 pm

mxaxai wrote:
I have found the time to generate the graphics:

Thanks, that adds some interesting comparisons to the discussion.

mxaxai wrote:
Compare the numbers built and sold, perhaps?

Not necessary and not directly relevant. Numbers sold will always tell us only a part of the story and the A-400M and C-2 are different, they are always going to be, but it seems hard for Keesje to understand that not every nation, or likely even ten identifiable nations, require the capability to land an AFV on a semi-prepared strip. Once you remove the AFV requirement, then a host of aircraft become viable for battlefield delivery including C-130, C-27, C-235, C-295 etc and will do so at less cost and with likely less capital or capability risk than a larger half tactical half strategic airframe.

Nicoeddf wrote:
Realizing the suboptimal program management, incl. all the difficulties the ever changing ever complex European defense cooperation brings, I still think the A400M is a formidable plane. And a worthwhile one with huge lessons learned for Airbus and all member states of the program. And it will be an excellent performer on the field, if ever needed to the fullest of its capabilties.

No doubt, the issue I have always had is the business case, not the capability.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:31 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Otherwise we would not be seeing the production rate reductions.

Honestly, production rate 20 was unrealistic anyway. Even if Airbus sticks to the original plan without export orders, at rate 20 they would burn through the backlog in less than 10 years.

Large military aircraft do not sell in large quantities like civil aircraft and should run at lower production rates. For reference, if we take the median, the C-17 had an average production rate of 12 aircraft per year, with a peak of 16 deliveries.

The A400M should aim at 10 to 15 annual deliveries, and spread costs over a production run of 20 years.

But the whole premise of A400M was that a military program could be run on a commercial basis.

keesje wrote:
Yes of the C2, but it doesn't it do refuelling and dirt runways. It's a different aircraft.

That's why Japan has fourteen C130 ( ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Air ... e#Aircraft )

Ozair wrote:
keesje wrote:
Yes of the C2, but it doesn't it do refuelling and dirt runways. It's a different aircraft.
https://youtu.be/wIxy6Gt3QUA

Of course its a different aircraft, that is why it can fly further while costing less. That is the whole point of the last page of discussion, that not every military needs those specific capabilities and why other options can be just as viable. While I doubt the C-2 dirt runway issue will be changed, the Japanese don't have that requirement, there is no reason the C-2 couldn't be modified for AAR. It has a similar configuration as the KC-390 and could probably be modified to do so if a customer really wanted it.

:checkmark:

Ozair wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Compare the numbers built and sold, perhaps?

Not necessary and not directly relevant. Numbers sold will always tell us only a part of the story and the A-400M and C-2 are different, they are always going to be, but it seems hard for Keesje to understand that not every nation, or likely even ten identifiable nations, require the capability to land an AFV on a semi-prepared strip. Once you remove the AFV requirement, then a host of aircraft become viable for battlefield delivery including C-130, C-27, C-235, C-295 etc and will do so at less cost and with likely less capital or capability risk than a larger half tactical half strategic airframe.

Yet we get told the orders will stream in some day.

Ozair wrote:
Nicoeddf wrote:
Realizing the suboptimal program management, incl. all the difficulties the ever changing ever complex European defense cooperation brings, I still think the A400M is a formidable plane. And a worthwhile one with huge lessons learned for Airbus and all member states of the program. And it will be an excellent performer on the field, if ever needed to the fullest of its capabilties.

No doubt, the issue I have always had is the business case, not the capability.

But the two are so tied together. Once you decide on the capability target of being both strategic and tactical transport, you need to base your business case on the customers that can pay for both capabilities in one package, not the sum of those needing the capabilities of the individual packages. You also have to factor in the capability hit you take by trying to put both capabilities into one package. It's like building an autogyro presuming you'll be able to capture both the airplane and helicopter markets, whereas the customers look at the autogyro and see a bad airplane and a bad helicopter in one expensive package.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:42 pm

Revelation wrote:
But the two are so tied together. Once you decide on the capability target of being both strategic and tactical transport, you need to base your business case on the customers that can pay for both capabilities in one package, not the sum of those needing the capabilities of the individual packages. You also have to factor in the capability hit you take by trying to put both capabilities into one package. It's like building an autogyro presuming you'll be able to capture both the airplane and helicopter markets, whereas the customers look at the autogyro and see a bad airplane and a bad helicopter in one expensive package.

Realistically, the A400M is not a strat lifter. It may pinch hit in that area but that is about it and the range/payload comparisons to the C-2, IL-76, C-141 demonstrate that. What it is is a big tactical lifter which I believe it does very well. I agree they went the wrong size though and value added so much that the value isn’t there anymore.
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:32 am

Realistically, the A400M is not a strat lifter. It may pinch hit in that area but that is about it and the range/payload comparisons to the C-2, IL-76, C-141 demonstrate that.


The A400M does 20t outsized loads across the Atlantic unrefuelled at M .7, 30k ft.. top it up and it takes more / everywhere.

Not a strat lifter? Fine.. :scratchchin:

Image

Now let's discuss it's it is not really a tanker..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:04 am

WIederling wrote:
The US is always busy with some very wichtig War somewhere on this globe. Germany less so.


That was in the past! Who knows what the future holds? Who knows what the Queen of Europe, Frau Merkel has on her mind? European Air Forces must be ready for playing a bigger role in global conflicts.
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Nicoeddf
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:06 am

BawliBooch wrote:
WIederling wrote:
The US is always busy with some very wichtig War somewhere on this globe. Germany less so.


That was in the past! Who knows what the future holds? Who knows what the Queen of Europe, Frau Merkel has on her mind? European Air Forces must be ready for playing a bigger role in global conflicts.


Why? Because we cannot accept that we don't need to democratize the whole world? And push our way of living on others?

I am absolutely against "playing a bigger role" for Germany. Not due to its past, but due to the fact that it is VERY difficult to understand differing cultures, their needs and necessities, their motivations.
It took Europe (and Europeans, counting colonies...) millions and millions of deaths, 1500 years of cruelty, massacres, uncounted genocides, uncounted wars + two world wars to plant the seed of democrazy and the rule of law. Why do we think we can, coming even from a totally different culture, plant that seed in a few years in Afghanistan, the whole of Africa, the middle east?
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:44 pm

keesje wrote:
Now let's discuss it's it is not really a tanker..

Seems the French prefer C-130J in that role, at least for refueling helicopters.

France receives first C-130J says:

France's first Lockheed Martin C-130J was delivered to its Orléans air base on 22 December 2017. Carrying the service registration 61-PO, the tactical transport is the first of four C-130Js being acquired by Paris. Its second airlifter will be received later this year, while a pair of KC-130J tanker/transports – needed to refuel combat helicopters in-flight – are to follow during 2019.

For those fond of pictures:

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Re: A400M Update

Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:36 pm

Revelation wrote:
Seems the French prefer C-130J in that role, at least for refueling helicopters.

Well yes, for a niche role the A400M is not YET being able to perform they selected C-130J.
But when it comes to deliver loads on small airfields, which I'd think would be a capacity needed by any potential customer, C-130 and A400M are not at all in the same league.
Have a read about Operation Ruman in this article.
https://www.aerosociety.com/news/Atlas- ... -the-load/

“If I talk about Beef Island Airport in the British Virgin Islands, the runway length, it's concrete of course, but about 4,000ft long, and we were able to transport in the order of 20 tonnes, compared to the C-130’s seven or eight tonnes. We love the C-130, but you can't help but draw comparisons.” He added: “I would stress there is that we didn't have to employ any sort of special take-off or landing techniques. Everything was done to the standard that all the crews are trained to, using the same sort of tactics and techniques that we would use here at Brize Norton.”


All in all, maybe that's true some nations don't want to invest the big money for A400M but if they do they will have much more capacity and flexibility in their operations. And with A400M they'll have a platform that will gain capability other time, whereas Herc are now more or less frozen. From the conclusion :
While other snags could still emerge, the evidence from the Royal Air Force, one of the most experienced and skilled air arms in the tactical air transport business, is that it is proving to be a worthy successor to the much-loved Hercules.
In order to be old and wise, one must first be young and dumb.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:29 pm

The use of the A400M by the UK air force in the Caribbean hurricane disaster.

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/Atlas- ... -the-load/
 
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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:38 pm

First A400M delivery of 2018, for the Luftwaffe.

https://twitter.com/AirbusDefence/statu ... 1794332672
 
Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:43 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
While other snags could still emerge, the evidence from the Royal Air Force, one of the most experienced and skilled air arms in the tactical air transport business, is that it is proving to be a worthy successor to the much-loved Hercules.

Probably worth adding this recent article to the discussion on the role of the C-130 and A400M and how they probably complement each other rather than directly compete.
It looks like France is keen to order additional C-130J aircraft in the mid 20s, likely as replacements for the current C-130H fleet.

A four-strong batch of C-130J Super Hercules airlifters ordered by France is the start of a planned larger fleet of the aircraft for the French Air Force, according to a source close to the project.
There are plans “eventually to expand the fleet” of C-130J, the source said Tuesday on condition of anonymity. Further orders of the turboprop transports are expected from 2025.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/01 ... rce-fleet/

To support my remarks above it appears that France see the C-130 as a medium transport.

The service sees the C-130 as a “medium transport” that fits between the four-engine Airbus A400M and twin-engine Casa light airlifter. The C-130 will also replace the twin-engine C-160 Transall, which will be retired from service in 2023.

There is obviously a long way until 2023 and a second French order for the C-130J but this should give us a good example, after the UK, of how operators expect to use the C-130J and A400M and how both can co-exist in military transport fleets.
 
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RAF A400M long-range air-sea rescue operations

Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:54 am

The UK also late last year concluded a series of flight trials to assess the A400M's ability to participate in maritime rescue operations. The activity involved deploying specialist rescue apparatus including container-housed inflatable life-rafts and survival equipment from the transport's rear cargo ramp by parachute.

"The trials successfully demonstrated the ability of the A400M to safely deploy air-sea rescue apparatus and conduct long-range air-sea rescue operations," says the UK's Defence Equipment & Support agency.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/a400m-deliveries-hit-new-high-in-2017-444971/

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tommy1808
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:57 am

Ozair wrote:
Keesje, France and Germany aren't landing AFVs forward using the A400M, even in Africa the threat is too high to deploy vehicles that way.


Germany does. We even have a special light AFV for that very purpose, the Wiesel, for airborne troops to bring along via CH53 and C160. The Puma and A400M are specified for each other to deploy heavy firepower right over the ramp.

Best regards
Thomas
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:12 pm

tommy1808 wrote:

Germany does. We even have a special light AFV for that very purpose, the Wiesel, for airborne troops to bring along via CH53 and C160. The Puma and A400M are specified for each other to deploy heavy firepower right over the ramp.

Best regards
Thomas

Tommy I'm not sure the Wiesel counts as an AFV for this discussion and given it can be transported by just about any of the current transports including C-27 it isn't what we were discussing.

As for the Puma, I assume you mean the Boxer? When was the last time Germany deployed an AFV the size of Boxer into a war zone via air with the need to fight over the ramp?
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:30 pm

Ozair wrote:
Tommy I'm not sure the Wiesel counts as an AFV for this discussion and given it can be transported by just about any of the current transports including C-27 it isn't what we were discussing.


Weight and room considerations came into play. It was about the best protection and firepower usable with the CH53Gs along troops, and it is pretty quick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dk6aoLLkFw

As for the Puma, I assume you mean the Boxer? When was the last time Germany deployed an AFV the size of Boxer into a war zone via air with the need to fight over the ramp?


Puma IFV, sorry. The Wiesel is too small to carry extra soldiers. That was and is the plan during national defense, big mistake no. 3, where safety as absolute as possible as during low intensity conflicts is less important than getting shit done. Fighting right off the Ramp with Wiesels gets still practiced and demonstrated to the public, usually in the context of taking and holding an airfield. During ILA they like to demonstrate even quick entry/mission/retreat raid, air cover and all. As far as i know for Puma´s this has only been tried as proof of concept, but the Puma got modular armor just for that purpose, the full kit is too heavy. I´d expect to see that in training when enough of both are with the troops.

Russia also keeps an eye on that capability, they even intent to airdrop with troops inside, the 2S25 Sprut-SD pretty much only exists for that reason.

best regards
Thomas
This Singature is a safe space......
 
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Revelation
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Re: RAF A400M long-range air-sea rescue operations

Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:10 pm

keesje wrote:
The UK also late last year concluded a series of flight trials to assess the A400M's ability to participate in maritime rescue operations. The activity involved deploying specialist rescue apparatus including container-housed inflatable life-rafts and survival equipment from the transport's rear cargo ramp by parachute.

Seems to me to be a very expensive asset to use just to chuck some life rafts out the back.
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