Noray
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:06 am

Ozair wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
As I pointed out earlier, I think it's time to accept that the A400M market is not much bigger than the current order book, thus we should not expect much export orders.

In that context then, what point is there to slow production to 8 a year? Is it to keep the workforce, slow customer delivery, meet the capability delivery required through slow incremental improvement?

If the assessment is that there will be few export orders then wouldn’t delivering as fast as possible and closing down the line be better for Airbus and the respective partners?

That would mean that they get even less export orders, since not all possible export customer's needs are imminent. But I guess that Airbus have a better overview of the market than me and you.

It's also a matter of demand from current customers. Germany ordered 53 A400Ms, but until recently planned to put only 40 into service. So 13 can wait till later. Another 13 unwanted machines remain from the Spanish order of 27. France have ordered 50, but according to the recent defense plan for 2019 to 2025, they will take only 11 during that period, which leaves 25 for later years. So we have a total of 51 machines from these three countries that are on hold and won't probably be needed before the mid 2020s.

Then it also doesn't make much sense to rush the production through while they're still working on some fixes and points of specification. The faster they finish the production, the more aircraft will have to be retrofitted.

Revelation wrote:
Must be a lot of unused tools, fixtures, facilities.

Maybe, but some of that may be required for retrofits of early production aircraft anyway. Previously, it was unclear how they could perfom all the necessary retrofits simultaneously with the production. They had planned to build an extra hangar for this.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:08 pm

Continuing from the jobs thread, viewtopic.php?p=20235195#p20235195 ...

spacecookie wrote:
Well, not for the first time they do this, and they do lose some manpower
In the past they trade orders for contracting people from india
Maybee the press is unfriendly in germany ir maybee they are just right.

Pd: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airb ... SKBN16O29L

Interesting article.

One quote:

Tobias Lindner, a member of the Greens party and the budget committee, said the decision showed that the renegotiation of the A400M contract in 2010 had been based on false expectations about the airplane’s export prospects.


Yes, everyone involved was using imaginary sales to imaginary customers to make the numbers balance, and no one was (except me on a.net, lol) was saying "what if these sales never happen"?

And now the article says Germany will just keep the 13 frames it was to sell off and the German government will just have to find another EUR 500M to get the ball rolling.

mjoelnir wrote:
It is not only Airbus that wants to stretch deliveries. Now that Airbus has ramped up and can deliver, the countries buying the birds, having formerly accused Airbus of late deliveries, do want to stretch deliveries, as they have realized that they have to pay when this birds are delivered. That has also enabled Airbus to put some pressure on the A400M customers, for the new agreements that have been concluded a short while ago.

Interesting. The article says:

Gruebel said the ministry continued to explore multinational use for the 13 planes, but it made sense for the German air force to use them in the meantime to offset delivery delays on the other 40 A400M aircraft Germany is buying.

That's one thing that was never made clear in 2010. It seemed the presumption was that they were going to try to sell the last 13 frames in their batch, but now we read that they were going to sell some of the earlier birds so they could reduce the spend rate on the program.

All of this is political absurdity. The reality is the program costs more than Germany is willing to spend, but when they could have firmly addressed that problem back in 2010 they chose to fudge. The reason why they chose to fudge is that if they addressed the problem the only solution would have resulted in the A400M program being shut down years ago, and no one wanted to kill the largest military aerospace program in Europe. Since then, costs have only increased and it's still a mystery how the customers are going to fund their purchases even with the relaxed production rate.
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:20 pm

Noray wrote:
Germany ordered 53 A400Ms, but until recently planned to put only 40 into service. So 13 can wait till later.

In my previous post, the Reuters link made it clear that the 13 frames were intended to be sold by now already to reduce the spend rate of program vs the German defense budget, but they could not find customers.

In line with Karel's earlier comment:

KarelXWB wrote:
As I pointed out earlier, I think it's time to accept that the A400M market is not much bigger than the current order book, thus we should not expect much export orders.

... it's not clear there are any takers for these frames.

So it seems that:
a) Germany will have to come up with the money to purchase and deploy these 'extra' A400Ms (and apparently build out a military base to do so), or,
b) Find a way to reject them

Given how nebulous this "framework for an agreement" is, maybe this is all a smoke screen for the fact that (b) will happen.

Too bad the "Bullshit Castle" was shut down, this sounds like a perfect thing for them to sort out.
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WIederling
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:43 pm

Ozair wrote:
I am surprised at the drop to 8 a month from 2020, we knew it was going to drop but this is a permanent reduction.


This is the result of reduced military spending. ( or repurposed as may be.)

As an example: Germany is highly interested in reducing its A440M order.

Now reducing the order would just skyrocket the per frame price increasing outlay in the near future.
Keeping the orders and stretching them is, for a simple mind, the solution to reduce that outlay in that near future.

Obvious reducing production rate will cost in the long run but what government today things beyond the next election?
( or even less far.)
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mjoelnir
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:51 pm

I do not even think that Germany is the main problem, it is more the small countries that are deferring. Germany is increasing the military budget, but there are so many places were they need to spend, that to many fight about what area will see an increase in spending, and increased numbers of A400M is not the main priority.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:23 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
I do not even think that Germany is the main problem, it is more the small countries that are deferring. Germany is increasing the military budget, but there are so many places were they need to spend, that to many fight about what area will see an increase in spending, and increased numbers of A400M is not the main priority.

I guess we talk about Germany because we get some visibility into their decision process.
Also they were the first to talk of selling excess frames which in turn depresses the export market.
I think it matters what fleet size will they end up having.
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Kiwirob
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:46 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
As I pointed out earlier, I think it's time to accept that the A400M market is not much bigger than the current order book, thus we should not expect much export orders.


What are the chances of additional orders from the partner nations? I could see the UK ordering additional frames, they appear to really like it, the Herc will go away at some point, so why not order more?
 
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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Mar 10, 2018 6:41 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
As I pointed out earlier, I think it's time to accept that the A400M market is not much bigger than the current order book, thus we should not expect much export orders.


What are the chances of additional orders from the partner nations? I could see the UK ordering additional frames, they appear to really like it, the Herc will go away at some point, so why not order more?


I could see the UK taking more, but they might come of Spain's order. While not a partner anymore, I'm hoping South Africa still places an order. I think we'll see additional export orders once it eventually reaches FOC and we see signs of good reliability and maturity. I think Australia, NZ, and Canada are good candidates too. Maybe even India.

The slow progress toward FOC and all the teething issues have no doubt hurt it's sales.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:47 pm

Slug71 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
As I pointed out earlier, I think it's time to accept that the A400M market is not much bigger than the current order book, thus we should not expect much export orders.


What are the chances of additional orders from the partner nations? I could see the UK ordering additional frames, they appear to really like it, the Herc will go away at some point, so why not order more?


I could see the UK taking more, but they might come of Spain's order. While not a partner anymore, I'm hoping South Africa still places an order. I think we'll see additional export orders once it eventually reaches FOC and we see signs of good reliability and maturity. I think Australia, NZ, and Canada are good candidates too. Maybe even India.

The slow progress toward FOC and all the teething issues have no doubt hurt it's sales.

I don't see the UK topping their order. As France clearly indicated, the C-130 and the A400M are seen as different classes of transports. In the UK case they already have C-17, are approaching a sizeable A400 fleet and have an older C-130J fleet. Perhaps a top up or replacement of early C-130Js with late models frames will occur but other than that the RAF fleet will stay in that form for a long time to come.

Both Canada and Australia have a C-17/C-130J fleet and Canada's first of fourteen C-130Js arrived just in 2010 so their fleet is very young. NZ is being discussed in multiple threads and the A400M is a potential but it comes at a greater cost than other potential aircraft. India may acquire but is also a C-17/C-130J operator, they would be a good candidate to take excess frames from a partner nation but nothing in India happens quickly. South African defence procurement is so constrained a second hand airframe makes more sense, or one that comes with lower acquisition and operating costs such as the C-130J.

There are few places additional orders will come from but of the possible I think Saudi Arabia is a good option. They have a very large C-130 fleet that will eventually need replacing and could become the largest operator of the type if they ordered. Saudi Arabia started the process for ordering C-130Js in late 2012 but that appears to have stalled. Singapore is an option as well but would likely be for only 5 airframes.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:10 pm

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:

What are the chances of additional orders from the partner nations? I could see the UK ordering additional frames, they appear to really like it, the Herc will go away at some point, so why not order more?


I could see the UK taking more, but they might come of Spain's order. While not a partner anymore, I'm hoping South Africa still places an order. I think we'll see additional export orders once it eventually reaches FOC and we see signs of good reliability and maturity. I think Australia, NZ, and Canada are good candidates too. Maybe even India.

The slow progress toward FOC and all the teething issues have no doubt hurt it's sales.

I don't see the UK topping their order. As France clearly indicated, the C-130 and the A400M are seen as different classes of transports. In the UK case they already have C-17, are approaching a sizeable A400 fleet and have an older C-130J fleet. Perhaps a top up or replacement of early C-130Js with late models frames will occur but other than that the RAF fleet will stay in that form for a long time to come.

Both Canada and Australia have a C-17/C-130J fleet and Canada's first of fourteen C-130Js arrived just in 2010 so their fleet is very young. NZ is being discussed in multiple threads and the A400M is a potential but it comes at a greater cost than other potential aircraft. India may acquire but is also a C-17/C-130J operator, they would be a good candidate to take excess frames from a partner nation but nothing in India happens quickly. South African defence procurement is so constrained a second hand airframe makes more sense, or one that comes with lower acquisition and operating costs such as the C-130J.

There are few places additional orders will come from but of the possible I think Saudi Arabia is a good option. They have a very large C-130 fleet that will eventually need replacing and could become the largest operator of the type if they ordered. Saudi Arabia started the process for ordering C-130Js in late 2012 but that appears to have stalled. Singapore is an option as well but would likely be for only 5 airframes.


Yes Saudi Arabia and Singapore are good candidates too. I don't see the A400M as just a C-130 replacement though. I think it also compliments both the C-130 and the C-17 too. But I agree Canada might be tough with their budget and new aquisitions. South Africa too. But if they(SA) had the budget, they are a good example of where the A400M and C-130 can compliment each other. Australia too, albeit a small fleet. Perhaps a joint fleet with NZ where the cost can be split?

Looks like a couple might be going to Indonesia.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/03 ... irlifters/
 
Noray
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:27 am

The Spanish press cites Mexico, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as potential buyers.
http://andaluciainformacion.es/andaluci ... -y-arabia/

And as Airbus recently gave more work packages to Turkey, there are speculations that the country may place a follow-on order for its A400Ms. Their current order is 10, but in the late 1990s they had planned to buy 20 or 26.
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... re-tested/
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:54 am

Slug71 wrote:

Yes Saudi Arabia and Singapore are good candidates too. I don't see the A400M as just a C-130 replacement though. I think it also compliments both the C-130 and the C-17 too.

It is pretty clear that operators also don't see the A400M as a C-130 replacement given their acquisition of C-130s.


Slug71 wrote:
But I agree Canada might be tough with their budget and new aquisitions. South Africa too. But if they(SA) had the budget, they are a good example of where the A400M and C-130 can compliment each other.

Australia too, albeit a small fleet. Perhaps a joint fleet with NZ where the cost can be split?

Please, Australia is not getting the A400M. They already have 10 C-27J, 12 C-130J, 8 C-17 and 7 KC-30 with two more planned. They do not need the A400M nor is there a use case for it. Australia also has no interest in subsidizing the defence of NZ. While the two services operate some similar systems, such as helicopters, ships and land vehicles, they don't joint sustain any of them.

I don't see South Africa operating both the C-130 and A400M at the same time, it would be one or the other.

Slug71 wrote:
Looks like a couple might be going to Indonesia.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/03 ... irlifters/

Indonesia has a long expressed desire to operate the A400M but have made it very clear they don't see a requirement for more than 5. The fact Indonesia are acquiring the A400 and the associated source articles have been posted in this thread numerous times.

Noray wrote:
The Spanish press cites Mexico, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as potential buyers.
http://andaluciainformacion.es/andaluci ... -y-arabia/

Egypt is certainly a chance for a dozen at least. Mexico only operates seven C-130 type aircraft so 5-7 would be the extent of any acquisition.

Noray wrote:
And as Airbus recently gave more work packages to Turkey, there are speculations that the country may place a follow-on order for its A400Ms. Their current order is 10, but in the late 1990s they had planned to buy 20 or 26.
https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... re-tested/

All up if we add Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey that might constitute the remaining frames that the current partners don't want, maybe an extra dozen on the end in total.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:18 am

Ozair wrote:
It is pretty clear that operators also don't see the A400M as a C-130 replacement given their acquisition of C-130s.

Given the small numbers of C-130s they acquire, they do see the A400M as a replacement, but neither a complete replacement nor a one-to-one replacement. Capacity-wise, an A400M replaces about two C-130s they'd have to buy, operate and maintain otherwise.

Ozair wrote:
All up if we add Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey that might constitute the remaining frames that the current partners don't want, maybe an extra dozen on the end in total.

If Airbus was expecting huge orders, they wouldn't have announced a reduced production rate as they did a few days ago.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:46 am

Noray wrote:
Given the small numbers of C-130s they acquire, they do see the A400M as a replacement, but neither a complete replacement nor a one-to-one replacement. Capacity-wise, an A400M replaces about two C-130s they'd have to buy, operate and maintain otherwise.

Not quite. France operate the C-130, have not retired any yet, are acquiring the C-130J and have plans to expend the C-130J fleet over the next 5-7 years. As already quoted previously, the French Air Force sees the A400M as a heavy transport and the C-130 as a medium transport and therefore fulfill different roles.

Noray wrote:
If Airbus was expecting huge orders, they wouldn't have announced a reduced production rate as they did a few days ago.

Perhaps, the reduction as some have suggested has less to do with anticipated export orders but that doesn't mean we can't speculate on who may acquire it.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:51 am

Ozair wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
But I agree Canada might be tough with their budget and new aquisitions. South Africa too. But if they(SA) had the budget, they are a good example of where the A400M and C-130 can compliment each other.

Australia too, albeit a small fleet. Perhaps a joint fleet with NZ where the cost can be split?

Please, Australia is not getting the A400M. They already have 10 C-27J, 12 C-130J, 8 C-17 and 7 KC-30 with two more planned. They do not need the A400M nor is there a use case for it. Australia also has no interest in subsidizing the defence of NZ. While the two services operate some similar systems, such as helicopters, ships and land vehicles, they don't joint sustain any of them.

I don't see South Africa operating both the C-130 and A400M at the same time, it would be one or the other.


Who said anything about subsidizing? Pretty sure there was chatter not too long ago about a joint fleet of C-17s before the last white tails were sold. No reason it couldn't be done with the A400M. But yes Australia has a pretty good selection on hand.

And yes it will be one or the other with South Africa. But if they had the budget...

Ozair wrote:
All up if we add Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey that might constitute the remaining frames that the current partners don't want, maybe an extra dozen on the end in total.


I think there are only 12 from Spain, of the current partners that are unwanted. IIRC, Germany has decided to repurpose their previously unwanted frames. Who knows should a buyer come along though.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:21 am

Ozair wrote:
Noray wrote:
Given the small numbers of C-130s they acquire, they do see the A400M as a replacement, but neither a complete replacement nor a one-to-one replacement. Capacity-wise, an A400M replaces about two C-130s they'd have to buy, operate and maintain otherwise.

Not quite. France operate the C-130, have not retired any yet, are acquiring the C-130J and have plans to expend the C-130J fleet over the next 5-7 years. As already quoted previously, the French Air Force sees the A400M as a heavy transport and the C-130 as a medium transport and therefore fulfill different roles.


He's not really wrong. A lot of the roughly 70 C-130 operators only have them in small numbers. Many only 2 to 4. Even a lot of the roughly 20 C-130J operators only have 2 to 4. Including France. Any potential buyer for the A400M that only operate 2-4 C-130s, will mostly likely be replacements. Likewise with the A400M's competition.
 
Noray
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:23 am

Ozair wrote:
Not quite. France operate the C-130, have not retired any yet, are acquiring the C-130J and have plans to expend the C-130J fleet over the next 5-7 years. As already quoted previously, the French Air Force sees the A400M as a heavy transport and the C-130 as a medium transport and therefore fulfill different roles.

Still, the A400M replaces many more C-130s they'd have to buy otherwise. They once operated 75 C-160 Transall and will soon have 18 C-130H/J.

Ozair wrote:
have plans to expend the C-130J fleet over the next 5-7 years

According to the defense plan (Loi de programmation militaire) for 2019-2025, they won't buy more than 4 C-130J until 2025. They will modernize their 14 C-130H which they bought in the 80s and 90s and keep them in service until about 2030.
https://www.defense.gouv.fr/content/dow ... %C3%A9.pdf
Last edited by Noray on Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:06 am

I clearly remember a national assembly debate about buying some C-130, they were clearly intended as interim lift due to the A400M being late. Not saying the French AF don't need some anyway.
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:44 am

Noray wrote:
Ozair wrote:
It is pretty clear that operators also don't see the A400M as a C-130 replacement given their acquisition of C-130s.

Given the small numbers of C-130s they acquire, they do see the A400M as a replacement, but neither a complete replacement nor a one-to-one replacement. Capacity-wise, an A400M replaces about two C-130s they'd have to buy, operate and maintain otherwise.

Ozair wrote:
All up if we add Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey that might constitute the remaining frames that the current partners don't want, maybe an extra dozen on the end in total.

If Airbus was expecting huge orders, they wouldn't have announced a reduced production rate as they did a few days ago.

It seems the larger/wealthier customers view the "2 for 1" substitution and the ultra-modern frame as a benefit they are willing to pay more for.

It seems the smaller/poorer customers are happy with the C-130 size and functionality and enjoy the benefit of the lower acquisition cost and much larger pool of spares
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:53 am

Slug71 wrote:
IIRC, Germany has decided to repurpose their previously unwanted frames. Who knows should a buyer come along though.

I'm not sure we have a good read on the situation, based on the Bloomberg article linked above.

A big part of making the numbers work on the 2010 deal was for Germany to sell off the 13 frames. Now we read their defense ministry say they've tried to do so and failed. Yet at the same time it's not clear the politicians are making the funds needed to acquire and operate the planes available.

And in the background we have the "framework for an agreement" without actual deals being signed yet Airbus announcing a big rate reduction and a big write down and declaring their financial issues with the program are resolved.

Seems obvious to me the only way this all works out is if the 13 frames are just like the Virgin A380s, a ghost order kept on the books to make the program appear to be more successful than it actually is, to be quietly erased as the A400M program winds down a decade or so from now.
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Noray
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:24 am

Revelation wrote:
It seems the larger/wealthier customers view the "2 for 1" substitution and the ultra-modern frame as a benefit they are willing to pay more for.

Considering the whole life cycle, do you really pay more for one A400M than for two C-130Js including their crew and maintenance? I don't know; of course it depends on how reliable the A400M will be. Beyond that, the A400M offers capabilities that no number of C-130s ever will have. But of course not everybody needs these capabilities.

Revelation wrote:
It seems the smaller/poorer customers are happy with the C-130 size and functionality and enjoy the benefit of the lower acquisition cost and much larger pool of spares

Not sure if all of them are really happy or simply unable to get what they'd like. Airbus do know that the high price is a major obstacle for further exports though, and I wonder if the job cuts in the German A400M production are part of a plan to make the aircraft more affordable for export customers.

Revelation wrote:
A big part of making the numbers work on the 2010 deal was for Germany to sell off the 13 frames.

That was a typical compromise that temporarily solved the internal political conflict but didn't stand the test of reality.

Revelation wrote:
Yet at the same time it's not clear the politicians are making the funds needed to acquire and operate the planes available.

The budget committee actually did approve in 2017 the additional 13 machines to be operated by the Luftwaffe.
https://www.bmvg.de/de/aktuelles/hausha ... ekte-11238
I wouldn't read too much into the lack of further decisions. We were close to the elections and this may have been left to decide for the new government that is only just forming.

Revelation wrote:
Seems obvious to me the only way this all works out is if the 13 frames are just like the Virgin A380s, a ghost order kept on the books to make the program appear to be more successful than it actually is, to be quietly erased as the A400M program winds down a decade or so from now.

We should remember that the main reason why the launch customers ordered a total of 180 A400Ms (in 2003, reduced to 170 ca. 2010) was that this had been exactly the minimum number required by Airbus to run the project at all, otherwise it would have been canceled. They're kept in the book because Airbus has the right to keep them, and if the customers cancel them they have to pay huge penalties (I guess; I don't know the contract myself). So they're more than ghost orders, the least thing they are is bargaining chips for future negotiations.
 
Nean1
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:51 am

Noray wrote:
Revelation wrote:
It seems the larger/wealthier customers view the "2 for 1" substitution and the ultra-modern frame as a benefit they are willing to pay more for.

Considering the whole life cycle, do you really pay more for one A400M than for two C-130Js including their crew and maintenance? I don't know; of course it depends on how reliable the A400M will be. Beyond that, the A400M offers capabilities that no number of C-130s ever will have. But of course not everybody needs these capabilities.

Revelation wrote:
It seems the smaller/poorer customers are happy with the C-130 size and functionality and enjoy the benefit of the lower acquisition cost and much larger pool of spares

Not sure if all of them are really happy or simply unable to get what they'd like. Airbus do know that the high price is a major obstacle for further exports though, and I wonder if the job cuts in the German A400M production are part of a plan to make the aircraft more affordable for export customers.

Revelation wrote:
A big part of making the numbers work on the 2010 deal was for Germany to sell off the 13 frames.

That was a typical compromise that temporarily solved the internal political conflict but didn't stand the test of reality.

Revelation wrote:
Yet at the same time it's not clear the politicians are making the funds needed to acquire and operate the planes available.

The budget committee actually did approve in 2017 the additional 13 machines to be operated by the Luftwaffe.
https://www.bmvg.de/de/aktuelles/hausha ... ekte-11238
I wouldn't read too much into the lack of further decisions. We were close to the elections and this may have been left to decide for the new government that is only just forming.

Revelation wrote:
Seems obvious to me the only way this all works out is if the 13 frames are just like the Virgin A380s, a ghost order kept on the books to make the program appear to be more successful than it actually is, to be quietly erased as the A400M program winds down a decade or so from now.

We should remember that the main reason why the launch customers ordered a total of 180 A400Ms (in 2003, reduced to 170 ca. 2010) was that this had been exactly the minimum number required by Airbus to run the project at all, otherwise it would have been canceled. They're kept in the book because Airbus has the right to keep them, and if the customers cancel them they have to pay huge penalties (I guess; I don't know the contract myself). So they're more than ghost orders, the least thing they are is bargaining chips for future negotiations.


Noray,

Comparing 2 C-130 with 1 A400, the Hercules have capabilities beyond the possibility of A400 eg. to be in 2 different missions. Another capability is to have more units available at any one time. I would not be surprised if in 10 years the A400's production line is closed.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:26 am

Noray wrote:
We should remember that the main reason why the launch customers ordered a total of 180 A400Ms (in 2003, reduced to 170 ca. 2010) was that this had been exactly the minimum number required by Airbus to run the project at all, otherwise it would have been canceled. They're kept in the book because Airbus has the right to keep them, and if the customers cancel them they have to pay huge penalties (I guess; I don't know the contract myself). So they're more than ghost orders, the least thing they are is bargaining chips for future negotiations.

And we should remember the reason why FR, DE, UK, ES etc bought so many is because the Red Army was going to be sweeping across Europe.

Nean1 wrote:
Comparing 2 C-130 with 1 A400, the Hercules have capabilities beyond the possibility of A400 eg. to be in 2 different missions. Another capability is to have more units available at any one time.

I think a lot of the smaller militaries also might not need some of the more advanced features. For instance, if you only have 2-4 A400Ms costing EUR 150M or more each are you going to train crews to do terrain following at low levels? A live training incident could wipe out a large fraction of your fleet. Are you going to train to land on unprepared fields? Refuel helicopters? Discharge paratroopers? Probably don't have critical mass to train crews to do these things routinely.
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:29 am

Nean1 wrote:

Noray,

Comparing 2 C-130 with 1 A400, the Hercules have capabilities beyond the possibility of A400 eg. to be in 2 different missions. Another capability is to have more units available at any one time.

Isn't that overobvious? That's why I wrote: "Capacity-wise, an A400M replaces about two C-130s they'd have to buy, operate and maintain otherwise."

For an airforce that operates more than a few A400Ms or a mix of aircraft types, this shouldn't be an issue, though. An important requirement for the A400M fleet was to deliver a given amount of cargo over a given distance in a given timeframe.

Nean1 wrote:
I would not be surprised if in 10 years the A400's production line is closed.

While I don't see the logical link to your previous sentence, this is entirely possible, just like the opposite is possible.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:39 am

Revelation wrote:
And we should remember the reason why FR, DE, UK, ES etc bought so many is because the Red Army was going to be sweeping across Europe.

Are you sure that this was still an issue in the early 2000s? I think Kosovo and Afghanistan were the talking points then, and Africa for France.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:07 am

Continued from my previous post:
Europe was overly dependent on American air transport capacities in the Kosovo and Afghanistan conflicts. America wasn't happy about this, and that was a major reason why the A400M deal finally got signed. Now America isn't happy about Europe becoming independent from them either; I guess they would have preferred to sell us US-made aircraft.

Revelation wrote:
I think a lot of the smaller militaries also might not need some of the more advanced features. For instance, if you only have 2-4 A400Ms costing EUR 150M or more each are you going to train crews to do terrain following at low levels? A live training incident could wipe out a large fraction of your fleet. Are you going to train to land on unprepared fields? Refuel helicopters? Discharge paratroopers? Probably don't have critical mass to train crews to do these things routinely.

While they won't need all of the advanced features, the A400M still offers some straightforward capabilities that the C-130 or C-295 don't, like delivering outsize or heavy goods to small airfields:

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/atlas-shoulders-the-load/

“The A400M was remarkable in what it could do, It could take three times as much as a C-130 into a tight, small strip without taking any military risk in its performance. Whereas C-130 was taking in five tonnes, the A400 would be taking in 15.”
 
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:29 pm

Noray wrote:
While they won't need all of the advanced features, the A400M still offers some straightforward capabilities that the C-130 or C-295 don't, like delivering outsize or heavy goods to small airfields:

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/atlas-shoulders-the-load/

“The A400M was remarkable in what it could do, It could take three times as much as a C-130 into a tight, small strip without taking any military risk in its performance. Whereas C-130 was taking in five tonnes, the A400 would be taking in 15.”

Absolutely a great core capability. Thing is, you have to pay for the advanced features to get the core features such as this. It should be interesting to see the decisions some of the smaller militaries make. It will depend to a great degree on how competitive the vendors can be on price.
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:13 pm

Revelation wrote:
Absolutely a great core capability. Thing is, you have to pay for the advanced features to get the core features such as this. It should be interesting to see the decisions some of the smaller militaries make. It will depend to a great degree on how competitive the vendors can be on price.


do you think an A400B as in Bare Bones won't be sold if somebody asks? They seem to have had an A400UN in mind too.( No idea what kind of options that would include or not. Chaff, flares, i.e. passive self defence are probably a desirable thing to have even for UN missions.)
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Mar 13, 2018 4:23 pm

WIederling wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Absolutely a great core capability. Thing is, you have to pay for the advanced features to get the core features such as this. It should be interesting to see the decisions some of the smaller militaries make. It will depend to a great degree on how competitive the vendors can be on price.


do you think an A400B as in Bare Bones won't be sold if somebody asks? They seem to have had an A400UN in mind too.( No idea what kind of options that would include or not. Chaff, flares, i.e. passive self defence are probably a desirable thing to have even for UN missions.)

The tricky part will be not activating the customers who are paying full price for A400M model "A" when setting price for model "B". You might see demands from "full price" customers asking to move a large part of their orders to model "B".
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:29 pm

Good news for the A400M programme, it appears that the build quality is improving as hence the time for the French Air Force to inspect and subsequently accept the jet in decreasing.

France meets A400M milestone early

France received its 14th A400M Atlas military airlifter on March 16, a hand over earlier than expected due to the higher quality of the aircraft, the Armed Forces Ministry said Thursday.

“This delivery took place several months in advance of the scheduled date, thanks to significant improvement in the quality of the aircraft delivered,” the ministry said in a statement. The plane was flown March 20 to the Orleans airbase, a short flight south of the capital.

The quality of the 13th and 14th A400M were improved, such that the Direction Générale de l’Armement certified the aircraft in only three weeks, about half the time previously needed, a spokesman for the procurement office said.

Delivery of the 14th unit means the A400M fleet is now large enough for the air force to fly operational missions and also, shortly, to conduct test flight campaigns to certify further tactical capabilities, including in-flight refueling of Rafale fighter jets, the spokesman said. Other planned tests include landing the transport aircraft on rough airstrips.

The 15th A400M is due to be shipped next year, the first of the 11-strong batch of units scheduled for delivery in the draft 2019-2025 military budget law. That would being the French fleet to 25 units, halfway to the total order for 50 A400Ms for France.

Separately, an A400M for the first time flew 26 tons of fuel to the Menaka and Tessalit French army bases in Mali, supporting the Barkhane mission, army Col. Patrik Steiger, spokesman for the joint chiefs of staff, told journalists today. That single flight of logistical support to the African bases would previously have taken a few days, he added.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/03 ... one-early/
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:37 am

Revelation wrote:
You might see demands from "full price" customers asking to move a large part of their orders to model "B".


Occar ordered the "with everything" model in a fixed number for a fixed price.
reducing the production lot or product scope essentially
brings nothing beyond making any single item more expensive.

A lot of features are software centric ( with or without small hardware changes.
The cost is in developing the functionality not in flashing firmware.

( OK, flashing firmware properly has its problems too, as we've seen.)
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:24 pm

WIederling wrote:
Occar ordered the "with everything" model in a fixed number for a fixed price.

It's more like a "with 90 % model". There's a basic model and then there are dozens of special accessories (like refuelling pods, DASS, bulletproof cockpit, propeller brakes, loading crane ...) that can be ordered individually by the customer states and that drive up the price of individual aircraft.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:30 pm

A400m replaces C-130j in falkland islands

http://www.janes.com/article/79088/a400 ... nd-islands
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:58 pm

Noray wrote:
WIederling wrote:
Occar ordered the "with everything" model in a fixed number for a fixed price.

It's more like a "with 90 % model". There's a basic model and then there are dozens of special accessories (like refuelling pods, DASS, bulletproof cockpit, propeller brakes, loading crane ...) that can be ordered individually by the customer states and that drive up the price of individual aircraft.


You may lack understanding how the per plane price is derived.
Customers via Occar ordered a package deal.
What ever order or option you step back from just distributes cost differently. It does not reduce overall cost.
Actual per item manufacturing cost is a lesser cost item. Especially the more software is involved.
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Apr 29, 2018 2:54 am

I'll just post this here, since I it is within the scope of Germany's fixed-wing air transport fleet.

Discussion on German military expenses, C-130 purchase in doubt
Bei einer solchen Summe müsste von der Leyens Ministerium an geplanten Rüstungsprojekten sparen. Mindestens eines der "verabredeten großen internationalen" Projekte, das im kommenden Jahr anlaufen sollte, müsste dann wegfallen. Der "BamS" zufolge hat das Ministerium bereits eine Streichliste zusammengestellt: An erster Stelle stehe darauf die angestrebte Kooperation zwischen der deutschen und norwegischen Marine, die gemeinsame Manöver und die Zusammenarbeit in der Ausbildung vorsieht. Auch der Kauf von sechs neuen Transportflugzeugen des Typs C-130 Hercules soll auf der Liste stehen.

http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/bundesw ... t-101.html
The premise of the article is that the German MoD wants an additional 12 billion € (spread over the next four years) but the finance minister only wants to grant an additional 5.5 billion €. As a result, at least one large project would have to be cut. Among those could be a training and development cooperation between Germany and Norway, or the purchase of 6 new C-130.
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:05 pm

mxaxai wrote:
I'll just post this here, since I it is within the scope of Germany's fixed-wing air transport fleet.

Discussion on German military expenses, C-130 purchase in doubt
Bei einer solchen Summe müsste von der Leyens Ministerium an geplanten Rüstungsprojekten sparen. Mindestens eines der "verabredeten großen internationalen" Projekte, das im kommenden Jahr anlaufen sollte, müsste dann wegfallen. Der "BamS" zufolge hat das Ministerium bereits eine Streichliste zusammengestellt: An erster Stelle stehe darauf die angestrebte Kooperation zwischen der deutschen und norwegischen Marine, die gemeinsame Manöver und die Zusammenarbeit in der Ausbildung vorsieht. Auch der Kauf von sechs neuen Transportflugzeugen des Typs C-130 Hercules soll auf der Liste stehen.

http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/bundesw ... t-101.html
The premise of the article is that the German MoD wants an additional 12 billion € (spread over the next four years) but the finance minister only wants to grant an additional 5.5 billion €. As a result, at least one large project would have to be cut. Among those could be a training and development cooperation between Germany and Norway, or the purchase of 6 new C-130.


I guess there are enough C130s around to fill medium transport requirements. It seems many airforces are looking for 10-20t tactical transports. Maybe some Transall's could stay a little longer.

Maybe the Brasiliens did something right. Their V2500 powered transport is probably a lot quieter too and could operate in civil airways.
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mffoda
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Re: A400M Update

Sun May 06, 2018 12:00 pm

And then there's this from FG:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -h-448358/

"The US State Department approved the sale of six Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport and tanker aircraft to Germany for an estimated $1.4 billion, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency."

Must not be enough C-130's around... ;)
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Re: A400M Update

Sun May 06, 2018 12:01 pm

mffoda wrote:
And then there's this from FG:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -h-448358/

"The US State Department approved the sale of six Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport and tanker aircraft to Germany for an estimated $1.4 billion, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency."

Must not be enough C-130's around... ;)

Wow, the "big three" of A400M customers all end up taking some C130Js.

This is not how it was supposed to play out.
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Re: A400M Update

Sun May 06, 2018 12:20 pm

Revelation wrote:
mffoda wrote:
And then there's this from FG:

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -h-448358/

"The US State Department approved the sale of six Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules transport and tanker aircraft to Germany for an estimated $1.4 billion, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency."

Must not be enough C-130's around... ;)

Wow, the "big three" of A400M customers all end up taking some C130Js.

This is not how it was supposed to play out.

Why does everything have to be adversarial?

The C-130J is a remarkable aircraft. There are places and situations where it will be preferable over the A400M. Operating joint fleets of the aircraft for bigger players makes a lot of sense.

Germany is spending a large amount of money on these aircraft which indicates to calmer heads that they have a longterm use for them; not just in some stopgap role.

The elephant in the room is that orders for aircraft like the C-130J and A400M are by definition always going to be political. That means take any kind of logic and throw it out of the window. This order though is a nice export one for Lockheed Martin and honestly can't be viewed through partisan, adversarial eyes as it just won't work.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sun May 06, 2018 2:15 pm

Revelation wrote:
Wow, the "big three" of A400M customers all end up taking some C130Js.


I'd say that having both options ready is pretty smart and efficient. Having the US not buying A400Ms due to protectionist and nationalist reasons, is kind of dumb (or not kind of), and plenty of people clapping. But just the bias of the forum, no surprises here.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Sun May 06, 2018 6:11 pm

Jayafe wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Wow, the "big three" of A400M customers all end up taking some C130Js.

I'd say that having both options ready is pretty smart and efficient. Having the US not buying A400Ms due to protectionist and nationalist reasons, is kind of dumb (or not kind of), and plenty of people clapping. But just the bias of the forum, no surprises here.

Regardless of your ever present whining about favoritism, how is it smart and efficient to spend EUR 28.5B or more on A400M and end up with a plane that cannot perform the air drop, refueling and air lift missions these French and German C130Js will be tasked with?

Meanwhile, a mere three months ago we read:

keesje wrote:
Revelation wrote:
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.


The A400M is expensive assett to use as a rescue vehicle, expensive as tactical transport, as a strategic transport and expensive used just as a tanker. The overwhelming saving / benefit is it can do all very well without needing expensive dedicated assets and their support infrastructures.

It opens up valuable capabilities for decades to come for its operators. Moving big loads at M.7 to grass strips close to the action is a great capability. Looking back concluding it isn't needed is deceptive. The capability simply didn't exist. So smaller transports / helicopters / trucks had to be used to pick it up from large airfields.

Image

Seems like A400M has come up short on the "do all very well" metric.
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Re: A400M Update

Sun May 06, 2018 8:01 pm

If one of the 'big three' is the RAF, then worth remembering that they were a launch customer of both the C-130J and the A400M.
They got their first C-130J's around 20 years ago, they have not ordered any more since getting A400M's.
If fact they stored some of them.

But unlike the others, they are also a C-17 operator.

Which rather reinforces Channex757's point.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Mon May 07, 2018 3:37 am

Jayafe wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Wow, the "big three" of A400M customers all end up taking some C130Js.


I'd say that having both options ready is pretty smart and efficient. Having the US not buying A400Ms due to protectionist and nationalist reasons, is kind of dumb (or not kind of), and plenty of people clapping. But just the bias of the forum, no surprises here.

The Americans don't need A400M; for tactical missions, they had the perfectly adequate C-130 in large numbers, plus C-130J's coming in that are cheaper to run and purchase, and for anything strategic, they had their C-5's and C-17's to do that job.

Most of the nations taking A400M don't have their own organic strategic airlift capabilities; the main exception is the British.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Mon May 14, 2018 9:57 pm

We didn't have it in the past, not from here, so it can't be much / important :bored:

The Army / Marines over the years have given many specs, RFI's under different names.
They they want some bigger, too big for an C130 to places an C-17 can't operate.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/15609/the-army-desperately-wants-a-pint-sized-tank-with-a-big-gun-heres-what-we-know

They now fly heavier equipment to bigger airport and than on trucks. Not because they prefer, but because they have no choice.

Boeing and LM in the past even offered C17 Lite's and Fat Hercules types.

It seems congress is wanting for LM / Boeing to come up with something useful. Something from Europe seems unacceptable in the current climate.

Meanwhile the limited C-130 hold that was ok in the sixties, seventies eighties, nineties, but now is quickly becoming a bottle neck. The US Army is in a hurry.

http://www.janes.com/article/75982/us-army-s-mobile-protected-firepower-tank-to-skip-development-phase

Major General David Bassett, programme executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, added that the platform will be tracked, weighs 25–35 tonnes, and has substantial armour protection, but not as much as a main battle tank. He said the MPF is not expected to have a C-17 airdrop capability because that requirement would cost the tank too much on the protection side.
Last edited by keesje on Mon May 14, 2018 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A400M Update

Mon May 14, 2018 9:59 pm

I agree that the current political climate isn't ideal. But why waste money on developing another aircraft for the Army/Marines when a perfectly acceptable example is flying? Europe buys enough American stuff to justify it and it happened before with small requirements.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Mon May 14, 2018 11:53 pm

keesje wrote:
We didn't have it in the past, not from here, so it can't be much / important :bored:

The Army / Marines over the years have given many specs, RFI's under different names.
They they want some bigger, too big for an C130 to places an C-17 can't operate.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/15609/the-army-desperately-wants-a-pint-sized-tank-with-a-big-gun-heres-what-we-know

Keesje did you actually read the link you just referenced? The requirements for the new vehicle has a threshold for C-17 carriage and an objective of C-0130 carriage. Pretty clear your statement above is directly opposite to what the US Army is after…

The requirements also state off the ramp of a C-17 so clearly they are not asking for an air transport capability for the vehicle that is outside of where or how they currently operate.

keesje wrote:
They now fly heavier equipment to bigger airport and than on trucks. Not because they prefer, but because they have no choice.

No, they do that because it is the most efficient and effective method to transport the material into theatre, especially with the longer distances the USAF fly their large transport aircraft.

keesje wrote:
It seems congress is wanting for LM / Boeing to come up with something useful. Something from Europe seems unacceptable in the current climate.

Europe has nothing to do with it, the US buys plenty of military equipment from European suppliers. If and when the US military needs anew transport aircraft, and they will at some point, they are unlikely to buy an off the shelf aircraft that offers no significantly capability improvement over their current combined fleets.

keesje wrote:
Meanwhile the limited C-130 hold that was ok in the sixties, seventies eighties, nineties, but now is quickly becoming a bottle neck. The US Army is in a hurry.

Strange then that the USAF and USMC continue to acquire an aircraft, and upgrade older aircraft, they no longer want in significant quantities…

I suggest you would be better served taking the time to understand the US requirement for a new transport aircraft, if and when that arrives, than try and pigeon hole the US Military into a use case you feel warrants an A400M acquisition.
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 12:15 am

I'm not interested in anyone aquiring the A400M, I'm not related.
I find interesting to see how people deny, distract and create workarounds
for the obvious when something doesn't fit preferences :veryhappy:
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jupiter2
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 1:15 am

keesje wrote:
I'm not interested in anyone aquiring the A400M, I'm not related.
I find interesting to see how people deny, distract and create workarounds
for the obvious when something doesn't fit preferences :veryhappy:


Unlike yourself, who finds reasons why customers should acquire your favoured models, when those same customers have absolutely no need for those particular models. Or, they already have perfectly fine working practices/models, which nullify any need for the model you would like them too acquire. It's not like the USAF are short on options to move their freight around.
 
Noray
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 8:45 am

The art of denying has reached a high level here.

Meanwhile, those who operate the A400M and the C-130J side by side report that the A400M was able to "take three times as much as a C-130 into a tight, small strip without taking any military risk in its performance."
https://www.aerosociety.com/news/atlas- ... -the-load/

I doubt that it's cheaper to operate three C-130Js rather than one A400M.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 11:09 am

keesje wrote:
It seems congress is wanting for LM / Boeing to come up with something useful. Something from Europe seems unacceptable in the current climate.

T'was the same under the last administration too.

Given this is true there's absolutely no need to keep fantasizing about the A400M being authorized by Congress, right?

keesje wrote:
Meanwhile the limited C-130 hold that was ok in the sixties, seventies eighties, nineties, but now is quickly becoming a bottle neck. The US Army is in a hurry.

http://www.janes.com/article/75982/us-army-s-mobile-protected-firepower-tank-to-skip-development-phase

Major General David Bassett, programme executive officer for Ground Combat Systems, added that the platform will be tracked, weighs 25–35 tonnes, and has substantial armour protection, but not as much as a main battle tank. He said the MPF is not expected to have a C-17 airdrop capability because that requirement would cost the tank too much on the protection side.

The last major Army program got killed in large part because it wasn't transportable. The Army doesn't have the same pull as the Air Force. The Army needs to find a way to fit into the Air Force planes or they don't get funded.

Dutchy wrote:
I agree that the current political climate isn't ideal. But why waste money on developing another aircraft for the Army/Marines when a perfectly acceptable example is flying? Europe buys enough American stuff to justify it and it happened before with small requirements.

If it was about not wasting money the Europeans would have never built the A400M, they would have bought C130J and C17 and lived with the gap in between just like USA and NATO does. Airbus too would be happier if this is how it went down, knowing what they now know about the A400M program past present and future.
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