Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 12:22 pm

Noray wrote:
The art of denying has reached a high level here.

Who is denying what? We all know the A400M is more capable than the C-130J, it should be given it costs nearly three times as much to acquire and weighs twice as much.

Noray wrote:
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.

Great. It is good to see it provided value for the RAF in that scenario.

The question is, why does it need to provide the same value for the USAF, which operates over 200 strategic transports that carry twice the load of an A400M nearly twice as far and 400 tactical transports below it that carry 2/3 the load almost as far? The USAF does not need it, it isn't denial or hated of Europe or anything so stupid, they already have enough transport capability. When they look to replace either airframe, the USAF will look for a significant capability increase that the A400M does not provide over their current fleet mix.
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 12:49 pm

Maybe a Northrop Grumman C-43 could be considered as a locally build alternative.

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Dutchy
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 1:29 pm

Revelation wrote:
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.


Sure, but given the A400 is up and running why not buy into it.
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Noray
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 1:42 pm

Ozair wrote:
Noray wrote:
The art of denying has reached a high level here.

Who is denying what? We all know the A400M is more capable than the C-130J, it should be given it costs nearly three times as much to acquire and weighs twice as much.

I don't buy these numbers. And two or three C-130s will need more pilots and more servicing as well.

Ozair wrote:
The question is, why does it need to provide the same value for the USAF, which operates over 200 strategic transports that carry twice the load of an A400M nearly twice as far and 400 tactical transports below it that carry 2/3 the load almost as far? The USAF does not need it, it isn't denial or hated of Europe or anything so stupid, they already have enough transport capability. When they look to replace either airframe, the USAF will look for a significant capability increase that the A400M does not provide over their current fleet mix.

If those 200 strategic transports are unable to land on that little island runway, they provide little help. I've heard that there are US forces that might operate in similar circumstances. Operations of the US Marine Corps in the Pacific have been named in that context in the past.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 3:52 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Revelation wrote:
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.

Sure, but given the A400 is up and running why not buy into it.

For the exact same reasons that the A400M member nations other than the UK didn't buy in to the up and running C-17 and C-130.

I honestly can't see the US Congress ignoring the kind of pressure they'd get from LM, Boeing, NG, et al and vote to fund a purchase of A400M.

keesje wrote:
Maybe a Northrop Grumman C-43 could be considered as a locally build alternative.

Aren't you the one who criticizes others for being relying too much on hopes?

Ozair wrote:
The question is, why does it need to provide the same value for the USAF, which operates over 200 strategic transports that carry twice the load of an A400M nearly twice as far and 400 tactical transports below it that carry 2/3 the load almost as far? The USAF does not need it, it isn't denial or hated of Europe or anything so stupid, they already have enough transport capability. When they look to replace either airframe, the USAF will look for a significant capability increase that the A400M does not provide over their current fleet mix.

I could see the point that the Army would like to have an aircraft built around the requirements of transporting something like the failed FCS ( ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Combat_Systems ). I just don't see them getting the funding to do not just a FCS vehcle but to then buy a fleet of transporters built to match their requirements. As you say, it'd only happen if the USAF had decided it's time to move on and replace one of the airframes they already have, then they'd at least listen to Army requirements. I don't see Congress agreeing to fund a purchase of A400Ms though.

It's pretty instructive to consider that FCS failed even when one option to transport it would seem to have been buying A400Ms yet no one involved was advocating that approach.

Noray wrote:
If those 200 strategic transports are unable to land on that little island runway, they provide little help.

For the US at least, there's other tools in the toolbox.
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SamYeager2016
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 4:35 pm

The thread title is "A400M Update" not "Why the US should buy the A400M" or "Why the US only requires its existing US aircraft". If people don't have updates on the A400M then please stop wasting other people's time posting irrelevant stuff. :mad:
 
Egerton
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Re: RAF A400M long-range air-sea rescue operations

Tue May 15, 2018 6:03 pm

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.


Sorry to be late in seeing this. There is a lot of ocean in the pond. UK seemed to use this sort of capability a surprising amount when we had Nimrods. How do the US deal with the same issue from their side? Perhaps the ocean only get rough on the UK side, to do with the prevailing wind?
 
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Revelation
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Re: RAF A400M long-range air-sea rescue operations

Tue May 15, 2018 6:28 pm

SamYeager2016 wrote:
The thread title is "A400M Update" not "Why the US should buy the A400M" or "Why the US only requires its existing US aircraft". If people don't have updates on the A400M then please stop wasting other people's time posting irrelevant stuff.

Maybe we should see if Airbus Sales is updating the EU politicians on how badly they want to sell A400Ms to Saudia Arabia? :biggrin:

Egerton 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.


Sorry to be late in seeing this. There is a lot of ocean in the pond. UK seemed to use this sort of capability a surprising amount when we had Nimrods. How do the US deal with the same issue from their side? Perhaps the ocean only get rough on the UK side, to do with the prevailing wind?

By using fine European equipment such as Dolphin and Spartan and 'Ocean Sentry'! :bigthumbsup:

A few LM Hercs and 'Lockheed' MH60s too.

You can buy these for a lot less than A400Ms.

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_e ... d#Aircraft

Updating my own earlier comment with some data:

Revelation wrote:
I could see the point that the Army would like to have an aircraft built around the requirements of transporting something like the failed FCS ( ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_Combat_Systems ).

https://breakingdefense.com/2015/03/arm ... quisition/ says:

As a result, even after the Army radically trimmed requirements, the GCV designs weighed in at 56 to 70 tons, depending on the armor kit installed, compared to 35 to 40 tons for the Bradley.
....
Arguably, modern urban warfare requires a heavily armored infantry carrier like GCV: look at Israel’s 49-ton Achzarit and 66-ton Namer.

It makes me wonder if there's much hope for A400M ( brochure capacity: 37t ) being used to transport a vehicle that can be used in an IED rich environment.
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 8:00 pm

I guess the C-17 and C-130J are the greatests & the army must make sure everything fits in those and everything will be just fine.
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Noray
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Re: RAF A400M long-range air-sea rescue operations

Tue May 15, 2018 10:16 pm

Egerton 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.


Sorry to be late in seeing this. There is a lot of ocean in the pond. UK seemed to use this sort of capability a surprising amount when we had Nimrods. How do the US deal with the same issue from their side? Perhaps the ocean only get rough on the UK side, to do with the prevailing wind?

Now that we know that an A400M replaces the C-130J in the Falkland Islands it makes sense that they tested the capability prior to this.
 
Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Tue May 15, 2018 10:54 pm

Noray wrote:
I don't buy these numbers. And two or three C-130s will need more pilots and more servicing as well.

I specifically said cost to acquire. Yes additional costs will arrive from operating two or three aircraft over one but additional opportunities also present themselves by having the ability to have two or three aircraft in multiple places at the same time. These are general operational trade-offs that need to be considered and made when planning air mobility movement.

Just so we are again clear. Operators of both aircraft indicatet they use the aircraft for different segments including the French clearly saying they see the C-130J in a different transport capability to the A400M.
Noray wrote:
If those 200 strategic transports are unable to land on that little island runway, they provide little help. I've heard that there are US forces that might operate in similar circumstances. Operations of the US Marine Corps in the Pacific have been named in that context in the past.

You are trying to identify a niche use case. Instead of looking at the 5% of scenarios where the A400M may provide a capability improvement on their fleet consider the 95% where it does not…

Where should a nation invest their money in that context?

keesje wrote:
I guess the C-17 and C-130J are the greatests & the army must make sure everything fits in those and everything will be just fine.

Keesje, because your powers of comprehension appear to be failing, no one is saying the C-17 and C-130J are better than the A400M. They sit in different capability bands and it is quite clear that different nations have different requirements for their transport fleets.

For nations like the US, Australia and Canada a C-17/C-130 combo works very well. They have large distances to cover and the combination of a large strategic transport with a forward deployed tactical transport works well. For others a one transport fleet that can cover some of the use cases of both segments will suit better.
 
mrg
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Re: A400M Update

Sun May 20, 2018 7:31 pm

@ Revelation
"It makes me wonder if there's much hope for A400M ( brochure capacity: 37t ) being used to transport a vehicle that can be used in an IED rich environment."
There is no way an occupying force can sustain an MBT weight category APC force. Tank transporters just to position APC's? No way. The A400M will get 30 ton vehicles onto CBR 6 runways in a manner that the C-17 cannot. The A400M is very relevant.
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Thu May 24, 2018 10:03 am

Revelation wrote:
Aren't you the one who criticizes others for being relying too much on hopes?


At some point the US Army, Marines will put new requirements on the table. looking at recent programs, RFI's one can pretty well predict how they will look. Boeing and LM worked on them before.

Image

Image
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/farnborough-will-boeing-fatten-orderbook-with-shrunken-345146/

Then everybody is invited to come up with ideas, proposals, plans. The big US defense contractors will go in, Boeing, LM, NG, Raytheon, L3. Great artist impressions, visualization, visions will fly around the room. VTOL, stealth, hybrid, etc.

Then some skilled people from DoD will make rough costs / planning / risk assements, based on past projects. Regardless of what the industry presented.. Probably staggering numbers.

Then one of the parties mentioned comes in with this locally build, upgraded C-43. With all the cost and risk of that. This is then presented to DoD and congress committees. With some objective, most unwelcome conclusions.

Then something like an uncontained engine failure happens. From all directions well financed people jump in, spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt in congress and on TV. Flag waving, bending the rules, putting on law firms raising hundreds of questions. A tanker like process, "read my lips"

And another decade of posts on this forum. https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1019919
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Thu May 24, 2018 11:21 am

keesje wrote:
Then one of the parties mentioned comes in with this (A400M-based) locally build, upgraded C-43. With all the cost and risk of that. This is then presented to DoD and congress committees. With some objective, most unwelcome conclusions.

Congress being objective?

That idea, like the rest of the post, is a fantasy.

Airbus would be better off going the Bullshit Castle / Serious Fraud route rather than relying on Congress's objectivity.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Thu May 24, 2018 10:03 pm

Revelation wrote:


That idea, like the rest of the post, is a fantasy.

I wasn't actually sure what any of that post was about...

But if the insinuation is that the A400M may play a role in a future USAF competition for a new transport then it is certainly possible, it all depends on how the requirements are crafted. If we look at the T-X competition all three entrants actually rely on foreign designs of some sort as cost and risk reduction are big factors in the selection.

My guess though is that any new USAF transport would seek either payload or distance requirements that the A400M could not meet, if it was even in production by the time the USAF was ready to order.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Fri May 25, 2018 12:07 am

Ozair wrote:
I wasn't actually sure what any of that post was about...

But if the insinuation is that the A400M may play a role in a future USAF competition for a new transport then it is certainly possible, it all depends on how the requirements are crafted. If we look at the T-X competition all three entrants actually rely on foreign designs of some sort as cost and risk reduction are big factors in the selection.

My guess though is that any new USAF transport would seek either payload or distance requirements that the A400M could not meet, if it was even in production by the time the USAF was ready to order.

I think your point about future requirements is correct, and I also think while the US defense industry has indeed allowed their "turf" to be encroached by things like trainers, light helicopters, some armored vehicles etc without putting up much a fight because they really don't have a big interest in those spaces, I think an A400M or bigger transport would be seen by at least one or two of the contractors as worth fighting over. Given that Congress is largely funded by US corporations and the current amount of jingoism I don't see a program getting the green light without it being a largely US designed and developed product.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Fri May 25, 2018 2:21 am

Revelation wrote:
I think your point about future requirements is correct, and I also think while the US defense industry has indeed allowed their "turf" to be encroached by things like trainers, light helicopters, some armored vehicles etc without putting up much a fight because they really don't have a big interest in those spaces, I think an A400M or bigger transport would be seen by at least one or two of the contractors as worth fighting over. Given that Congress is largely funded by US corporations and the current amount of jingoism I don't see a program getting the green light without it being a largely US designed and developed product.

It is worth noting that before the GCV was cancelled in 2014 the weight of the concept vehicles was approaching 70t. There is no way a modified A400M is going to lift that payload no matter where it is built. The GCV's replacement, the NGCV, is still in concept phase and the plan is for entry into service in 2035. While that vehicle may end up being lighter than the previous iteration (I really hope so...) the US Army can't tell you today what it will look like or weigh and probably won't know themselves for another seven years.

What we can say though is that come 2030 and the US Army considers mobility of its future ground fleet on USAF transports the C-5/C-17 will comfortably transport whatever is built. I expect a new program is likely to develop an aircraft that is capable of transporting the NGCV, amongst other things, with an IOC in the mid/late 2030s and is about the perfect timing for replacing the C-5M/C-17 fleets with one airframe. By that time I don't expect an A400M to be competitive, if as already suggested it is even still in production, for USAF requirements.
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Fri May 25, 2018 12:30 pm

Revelation wrote:
Given that Congress is largely funded by US corporations and the current amount of jingoism I don't see a program getting the green light without it being a largely US designed and developed product.


Agree, if the A400M was invented and build in Marietta Georgia or Long Beach, DoD would have jumped long ago.

https://youtu.be/5JIamYBaU0M
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Re: A400M Update

Fri May 25, 2018 12:46 pm

keesje wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Given that Congress is largely funded by US corporations and the current amount of jingoism I don't see a program getting the green light without it being a largely US designed and developed product.


Agree, if the A400M was invented and build in Marietta Georgia or Long Beach, DoD would have jumped long ago.

https://youtu.be/5JIamYBaU0M


Which confirms that the only reasons the A400M is not flying for the US are protectionism and nationalism. Funny how they come later on to give lessons about quality products and superiority, as long as they ignore what else is flying around and brag about their belly button.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Fri May 25, 2018 12:52 pm

keesje wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Given that Congress is largely funded by US corporations and the current amount of jingoism I don't see a program getting the green light without it being a largely US designed and developed product.


Agree, if the A400M was invented and build in Marietta Georgia or Long Beach, DoD would have jumped long ago.

https://youtu.be/5JIamYBaU0M

But, that's not what I said, so you're not agreeing.

If A400M was US designed and developed it would be designed based on USAF's needs not the various EU customer's needs so it'd be a very different aircraft.

And I think the congress of the 90s/00s would have been much more likely to fund a non-US developed aircraft that the current one.
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Fri May 25, 2018 2:39 pm

Jayafe wrote:
keesje wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Given that Congress is largely funded by US corporations and the current amount of jingoism I don't see a program getting the green light without it being a largely US designed and developed product.


Agree, if the A400M was invented and build in Marietta Georgia or Long Beach, DoD would have jumped long ago.

https://youtu.be/5JIamYBaU0M


Which confirms that the only reasons the A400M is not flying for the US are protectionism and nationalism. Funny how they come later on to give lessons about quality products and superiority, as long as they ignore what else is flying around and brag about their belly button.

Ok, so you're saying Keesje's misstatements based my post confirms the only reasons the A400M is not flying for the US are protectionism and nationalism?

It's definitely a factor in procurement, and is definitely more prominent in the current Congress, but no, it's not the only reason.

LM was an original team member of the program that evolved into A400M and if the design goals had converged it would be no big surprise if the resulting aircraft was in the USAF fleet.

Speaking of ignoring what else is flying around, consider how much time and money it took to develop the A400M engines, especially given their rookie mistakes meant they had to re-develop the ECU because they didn't understand compliance, and how the gearbox and software loading issues impacted the program.
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bigjku
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Re: A400M Update

Fri May 25, 2018 3:46 pm

Jayafe wrote:
keesje wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Given that Congress is largely funded by US corporations and the current amount of jingoism I don't see a program getting the green light without it being a largely US designed and developed product.


Agree, if the A400M was invented and build in Marietta Georgia or Long Beach, DoD would have jumped long ago.

https://youtu.be/5JIamYBaU0M


Which confirms that the only reasons the A400M is not flying for the US are protectionism and nationalism. Funny how they come later on to give lessons about quality products and superiority, as long as they ignore what else is flying around and brag about their belly button.


This is such utter tripe.

The reality is the A400m would never have been developed in the US because a very expensive program to sit in between the C-17 and the C-130 would never rise to the point where it would actually be a funded priority.

Just off the top of my head the USAF has the following things to fund since the A400m launch that are vastly more important.

F-22 upgrades and procurement

F-35 procurement which is basically recapitalizing the whole fighter force

Tanker procurement

ICBM replacement

GPS System Upgrades

B-2 upgrades

B-21 development and procurement

B-61 upgrades and life extension

AWACS upgrades

And that is just off the top of my head. It doesn’t even account for weapons procurement and improvements or improvements to existing aircraft.

Which of these should be bumped for making room to purchase something to stick in the niche between the C-130 and the C-17? I am honestly curious.

I can’t think of a bigger waste of money honestly than introducing a new type for this. It just doesn’t seem necessary.
 
Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:16 pm

In place on a whole separate thread I thought it was worth posting here that Indonesia have reduced their A400M buy to two aircraft and will also now be acquiring five C-130J aircraft.

Gov't Plans to Buy 5 New Hercules Military Transporters: Defense Minister

The government plans to procure five new Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transportation aircraft to modernize its aging fleet.

"[We are] not [buying] many of them; five aircraft are enough," Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said at his office in Jakarta on Tuesday (05/06).

No details are currently available of the contract value or timeline for the planned purchase of the four-engine turboprop aircraft, produced by Lockheed Martin in the United States.

Ryamizard said the Indonesian Air Force's existing Hercules fleet is aging, with most of the aircraft having been grants from other countries decades ago.

The minister said the government wants Indonesia to start producing its own aircraft, but that the country currently lacks the capacity. The government therefore aims to obtain a technology transfer with the planned purchase, so that the country can start building its own aircraft in the near future.

"We [already] build our own tanks and meanwhile, by purchasing [these aircraft], we can strengthen our friendship, especially in defense and technology transfer [with other countries]," Ryamizard said.

The government embarked on a drive to modernize its military fleet after a Hercules C-130B crashed in a densely populated part of Medan, North Sumatra, in 2015, killing 122 people, including 30 on board.

Another Hercules C-130 crashed into Pugima Mountain in Papua on Dec. 18, 2016, killing 13 people on board. The aircraft, which carried 13 tons of cement and rice from Timika to Wamena, crashed after the pilot allegedly insisted on landing despite poor weather conditions.

Last year, the government reportedly expressed interest in the purchase of five Airbus A400M Atlas transportation aircraft from the European manufacturer for $2 billion. However, in March this year the Indonesian Air Force announced that it would only acquire two.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... ister.html

A lot of the speculation around Indonesia purchasing five A400M was that they were going to conduct the fit out themselves or perhaps have some sort of local assembly. Clearly with only two aircraft now coming that is unlikely to occur.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:36 pm

Ozair wrote:
A lot of the speculation around Indonesia purchasing five A400M was that they were going to conduct the fit out themselves or perhaps have some sort of local assembly. Clearly with only two aircraft now coming that is unlikely to occur.

With a purchase of 2*A400M and 5*C130J we see another nation who decided the "one size fits all" approach was not for them.

They're willing to keep two pools of pilots, mechanics, loadmasters, maintainers, parts, etc which is the opposite of what some people here cling to.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:59 pm

Revelation wrote:
With a purchase of 2*A400M and 5*C130J we see another nation who decided the "one size fits all" approach was not for them.

They're willing to keep two pools of pilots, mechanics, loadmasters, maintainers, parts, etc which is the opposite of what some people here cling to.

A bigger factor I would say is that the geography of Indonesia doesn’t lend itself to a large transport aircraft. The C-130 is the right size for the type of air transport that is most common there, people and pallet supplies. There are enough ferries and coastal craft to carry the heavier equipment around the islands for a fraction of the cost but even then much of that doesn’t move very far.

The Indonesians already operate twenty C-130 and fifteen C-295 so a couple of larger transports at the top end supplementing the middle tier where the actual demand is makes sense. The reduction makes sense when you consider that with an existing C-130 fleet the Indonesian Air Force can acquire two and a half new C-130s for the same price as one A400M. With their current usage and requirements there is no way they would not favour that type of split. It also satisfies political considerations by continuing to buy from both trading blocks.
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:14 am

Moving big stuff fast to small soft runways, that's the USP. In miost cases you would include smaller aircraft too, that can do most mission cheaper.
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:30 am

keesje wrote:
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.

AIN: Franco-German C-130J Squadron Now a Reality gives us:

"The C-130J will fill a gap which will emerge with the retirement of the aging Transall," said German air force commander Karl Muellner when he attended a commissioning ceremony for the first French C-130J-30 last January. A total of 29 Transalls remain in German service, but they are all slated for retirement by 2021. Last year, the German air force website explained that the C-130Js “will be used where the A400M is too large. This could be, for example, evacuation missions in Africa, where small and unpaved airfields make the use of the A400M impossible.”

Airbus has contested this assertion, but a long list of admitted temporary deficiencies has caused a renegotiation of the pan-European A400M contract that is not yet fully concluded, although a slowdown in deliveries to the six air forces has been agreed. The original impetus for the French C-130J order was the failure of Airbus to provide air-to-air refueling of helicopters from the A400M. But, like the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) before them, the French and German air forces have evidently concluded that the A400M is not agile enough to perform special-forces missions. The RAF decided to retain its C-130Js—the first ones ever delivered back in the late 1990s—despite agreeing to buy 25 A400Ms (since reduced to 22).

Here we read from the militaries themselves that the A400M is too large for small and unpaved airfields, not preferred for helicopter refueling, and not agile enough for special forces missions. This pushes A400M into the general purpose medium transport pigeon hole.

It looks more and more like instead of the A400M replacing "expensive dedicated assets and their support infrastructures" that it is becoming an expensive dedicated asset with an expensive support infrastructure vulnerable to replacement from above and below by assets better suited and more cost effective for the required tasks.

People might deny this, but actions talk louder than words. Here we see the DE and FR militaries upgrading the French airbase ($260M) and buying C130s ($2.0B) and the UK retaining C130s because the A400M does not "do all very well".
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:47 am

I googled "ainonline C130J" and "ainonline A400M" and looked at the headers showing up, I'll refrain from conclusions.

C130J and A400M are not in the same ball park.

There's a factor ~2 between them. Like a Chevy Cruze and a Grand Cherokee.

But you are welcome to ignore and compare if it suits your goals :shy:

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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:02 pm

keesje wrote:
I googled "ainonline C130J" and "ainonline A400M" and looked at the headers showing up, I'll refrain from conclusions.

C130J and A400M are not in the same ball park.

There's a factor ~2 between them. Like a Chevy Cruze and a Grand Cherokee.

But you are welcome to ignore and compare if it suits your goals :shy:

My goal was to show the error of your statement, which I did.

You keep claiming the A400M's expense is justified because it can "do all well".

In reality it sacrificed speed to be able to try to do tactical missions but it needed bulk to try to do strategic missions so it ended up as a compromised platform.

In the end it doesn't "do it all well", and the goal of trying to please multiple masters has added complexity, delay and a lot of expense.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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seahawk
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:07 pm

The A400M ended up being a bad strategic airlifter and bad tactical one too.
 
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Jayafe
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:26 pm

seahawk wrote:
The A400M ended up being a bad strategic airlifter and bad tactical one too.


None of those statements are right or justified. It's an amazing product being blamed for not becoming a competition-killer, which never was intended to be. Time for people to grow up.
 
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seahawk
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:33 pm

No, it is a fact. What good is the ability to cruise at FL37 when you are so slow that air traffic control usually asks you to go down to FL27 or below. And the fact that most operators see a need to have a C-130 fleet besides the A400Ms, as the C-130s can go places the A400 can not, also means that it is not doing too good in that role either.

It still is an acceptable compromise, but it can not compete with a specialised solution in either field. Which is good for countries with smaller transport fleets, because they can do a lot with just one type. It is kind of the SUV of aircraft. Not as fast and sporty as the jets and not a rough and versatile as the tactical transports, but still a good choice for many.
 
GRIVely
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:55 pm

As a former special ops mission planner I commented on this thread years ago that the A400M just didn’t have the mission flexibility needed to support many of the missions we carried out. Subsequent events have borne that out. It is a good aircraft for moving slightly larger loads than a C-130 but I couldn’t imagine anyone’s Air Force risking such an expensive trash hauler landing regularly on an unprepared surface. One wadi/arroyo/sunken road across the landing path or an errant buffalo, camel, pack of crazed locals or a herd of goats and your day is ruined. I can only imagine the unfortunate aircraft commander’s angst getting on the satphone to higher explaining how he or she just trashed some large percentage of the nation’s entire strategic airlift.

I have 31 such tactical landings as mission commander in various locations and each time everyone in the cockpit was in high pucker mode as we made the approach. Oh, and not only were those landings made on unprepared ground, they hadn’t even been previously visited by a tacair ops team much less surveyed for trafficability and obstacles. Several of them were immediate medevacs and were tasked while we were in orbiting overwatch so they gave us a gps coordinate, the medical condition of the casualty and the color of smoke. And that was our entire mission package and the total planning horizon was 30 minutes.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:47 pm

The more recent information does make it look like while it's totally capable in its niche, the niche just isn't as big as thought.

I think I'll have to drop the A400M out of my list of possible NZ airlifters. Just a tad too big and expensive with a loss in capability compared to the current C-130s.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:38 pm

Jayafe wrote:
It's an amazing product being blamed for not becoming a competition-killer, which never was intended to be.

It was intended to be used in Cold War scenarios with the main mission of moving assets around the European theater where despite all the statements about off field landing capabilities there are a lot of developed landing fields. Thus it was OK for it to have less range and speed than a strategic transport and desirable to have more size than a tactical transport. It's good at such core missions but its expensive and it's not a "do it all" platform.

The fact that the mission has changed and that the shortcomings are being seen and the new contract accepts that some features may never be delivered makes me wonder if the customers might not take up all the frames they have on order.

seahawk wrote:
It still is an acceptable compromise, but it can not compete with a specialised solution in either field. Which is good for countries with smaller transport fleets, because they can do a lot with just one type.

The countries with smaller fleets tend to not have strong finances, and given the choice, the option of many smaller transports tends to be more attractive than fewer big transports. This is what we see with Indonesia cutting their A400M purchase in half to buy more C130s. Of course the fact that there have been over 2500 C130s of all types produced provides a nice installed base of parts, crews, mechanics, etc so that also makes it easier for the smaller fleets to take in C130s.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has it's beaches, it's homeland and thoughts of it's own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has it's seasons, it's evenings and songs of it's own
 
Kiwirob
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:16 pm

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
The more recent information does make it look like while it's totally capable in its niche, the niche just isn't as big as thought.

I think I'll have to drop the A400M out of my list of possible NZ airlifters. Just a tad too big and expensive with a loss in capability compared to the current C-130s.


The problem for the C-130 is flights to the Antarctic, it can’t go down and back on internal fuel, RNZAF C-130’s do a slot of ice flights, the A400 is going to be a lot better at this.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:50 pm

Kiwirob wrote:
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
The more recent information does make it look like while it's totally capable in its niche, the niche just isn't as big as thought.

I think I'll have to drop the A400M out of my list of possible NZ airlifters. Just a tad too big and expensive with a loss in capability compared to the current C-130s.


The problem for the C-130 is flights to the Antarctic, it can’t go down and back on internal fuel, RNZAF C-130’s do a slot of ice flights, the A400 is going to be a lot better at this.


Will this be the deciding factor?
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
Kiwirob
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:22 pm

Dutchy wrote:
Kiwirob wrote:
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
The more recent information does make it look like while it's totally capable in its niche, the niche just isn't as big as thought.

I think I'll have to drop the A400M out of my list of possible NZ airlifters. Just a tad too big and expensive with a loss in capability compared to the current C-130s.


The problem for the C-130 is flights to the Antarctic, it can’t go down and back on internal fuel, RNZAF C-130’s do a slot of ice flights, the A400 is going to be a lot better at this.


Will this be the deciding factor?


Maybe not deciding but certainly a major factor.
 
Noray
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:57 pm

Ozair wrote:
Revelation wrote:
With a purchase of 2*A400M and 5*C130J we see another nation who decided the "one size fits all" approach was not for them.

They're willing to keep two pools of pilots, mechanics, loadmasters, maintainers, parts, etc which is the opposite of what some people here cling to.

A bigger factor I would say is that the geography of Indonesia doesn’t lend itself to a large transport aircraft. The C-130 is the right size for the type of air transport that is most common there, people and pallet supplies. There are enough ferries and coastal craft to carry the heavier equipment around the islands for a fraction of the cost but even then much of that doesn’t move very far.

The Indonesians already operate twenty C-130 and fifteen C-295 so a couple of larger transports at the top end supplementing the middle tier where the actual demand is makes sense. The reduction makes sense when you consider that with an existing C-130 fleet the Indonesian Air Force can acquire two and a half new C-130s for the same price as one A400M. With their current usage and requirements there is no way they would not favour that type of split. It also satisfies political considerations by continuing to buy from both trading blocks.

While this sounds reasonable at first, politics may have played a bigger role than you're aware of. There are reports that suggest that the A400M deal was used as a leverage in the controversy about the Indonesian palm oil production. The EU has opposed the loss of rainforests and the forced displacement of inhabitants that go with the palm oil plantations. The United States of Donald Trump are likely to be less scrupulous when it comes to making money.

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/19347/ ... il_Imports
http://palmoilmonitor.org/2018/04/18/pa ... er-review/
https://www.reuters.com/article/malaysi ... SL3N1PD2YR
 
Nean1
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:01 am

It seems clear to me in the history of A400 that the issue of technical superiority was not decisive in getting sales.
 
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seahawk
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:50 am

Revelation wrote:
Jayafe wrote:
It still is an acceptable compromise, but it can not compete with a specialised solution in either field. Which is good for countries with smaller transport fleets, because they can do a lot with just one type.

The countries with smaller fleets tend to not have strong finances, and given the choice, the option of many smaller transports tends to be more attractive than fewer big transports. This is what we see with Indonesia cutting their A400M purchase in half to buy more C130s. Of course the fact that there have been over 2500 C130s of all types produced provides a nice installed base of parts, crews, mechanics, etc so that also makes it easier for the smaller fleets to take in C130s.


Well it offers different options. Instead of a fleet of C-130s you could have a combined fleet of A400Ms and CASA C295s which imho is more versatile than a pure C-130 fleet. But then the C130s are cheap, there is a wide user base and you can get decent used frames and have plenty upgrade options, so on the financial side it has many trump cards.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:11 pm

seahawk wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Jayafe wrote:
It still is an acceptable compromise, but it can not compete with a specialised solution in either field. Which is good for countries with smaller transport fleets, because they can do a lot with just one type.

The countries with smaller fleets tend to not have strong finances, and given the choice, the option of many smaller transports tends to be more attractive than fewer big transports. This is what we see with Indonesia cutting their A400M purchase in half to buy more C130s. Of course the fact that there have been over 2500 C130s of all types produced provides a nice installed base of parts, crews, mechanics, etc so that also makes it easier for the smaller fleets to take in C130s.

Well it offers different options. Instead of a fleet of C-130s you could have a combined fleet of A400Ms and CASA C295s which imho is more versatile than a pure C-130 fleet. But then the C130s are cheap, there is a wide user base and you can get decent used frames and have plenty upgrade options, so on the financial side it has many trump cards.

True, and that strikes a political balance too. OTOH if you are already a C130 operator the C27J ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alenia_C-27J_Spartan ) offers a lot of commonality.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has it's beaches, it's homeland and thoughts of it's own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has it's seasons, it's evenings and songs of it's own
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:49 pm

With all respect, the C130 is becoming a totally yesterday aircraft, the KC390 seems much better in this segment.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
jupiter2
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:06 am

keesje wrote:
With all respect, the C130 is becoming a totally yesterday aircraft, the KC390 seems much better in this segment.


It's been "totally yesterdays aircraft" for 50 years, yet it still sells, it is still a magnificent aircraft and will be for probably another 50 years. It still is as relevant today as it was when it first flew, other manufacturers would kill to have it's success.
 
Planeflyer
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:30 am

Guys, how many A400 did AB project to sell when the project got the green light.

If memory serves the program got into trouble when Europeon governments cut back on their orders.

Given how small the market for strategic airlifters is it really seems as if there would be a deal that could be worked out between the US and Europe.

Imagine if there was joint program that generated the #’s from the a400 and c17?
 
tommy1808
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:29 am

Noray wrote:
Germany ordered 53 A400Ms, but until recently planned to put only 40 into service.


Initial Order was 73, 53 is already the first reduction.

Revelation wrote:
Here we read from the militaries themselves that the A400M is too large for small and unpaved airfields, not preferred for helicopter refueling, and not agile enough for special forces missions.


That is marketing for domestic use, without that total approach there is no way to get the money.
The A400M can go where ever the C160 can go, which means it can go places the C130 can't. We also don't have helicopters to refuel. And not agile enough? Possible, but given power to weight ratio and wingloading I don't see how others can perform better.
Having something that has lower trip costs does have its appeal though, one we get helicopters to tank, tanking them would be cool too.

Best regards
Thomas
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:57 am

jupiter2 wrote:
keesje wrote:
With all respect, the C130 is becoming a totally yesterday aircraft, the KC390 seems much better in this segment.


It's been "totally yesterdays aircraft" for 50 years, yet it still sells, it is still a magnificent aircraft and will be for probably another 50 years. It still is as relevant today as it was when it first flew, other manufacturers would kill to have it's success.


I wonder if people here have an idea on the production rates and the amount of US government foreign sales in the C130 backlog. How large is the backlog? When will LM itself call it a day? Have we forgotten all C130J controverses?

https://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/th ... cks-03582/
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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seahawk
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:07 am

tommy1808 wrote:
Noray wrote:
Germany ordered 53 A400Ms, but until recently planned to put only 40 into service.


Initial Order was 73, 53 is already the first reduction.

Revelation wrote:
Here we read from the militaries themselves that the A400M is too large for small and unpaved airfields, not preferred for helicopter refueling, and not agile enough for special forces missions.


That is marketing for domestic use, without that total approach there is no way to get the money.
The A400M can go where ever the C160 can go, which means it can go places the C130 can't.

Best regards
Thomas


No it can not, simply because it is bigger and the load per wheel is about 100% higher that for the C160.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:48 am

Kiwirob wrote:
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
The more recent information does make it look like while it's totally capable in its niche, the niche just isn't as big as thought.

I think I'll have to drop the A400M out of my list of possible NZ airlifters. Just a tad too big and expensive with a loss in capability compared to the current C-130s.


The problem for the C-130 is flights to the Antarctic, it can’t go down and back on internal fuel, RNZAF C-130’s do a slot of ice flights, the A400 is going to be a lot better at this.


Yup, which is why I think the KC-290 or C-2 will be the front runners. But we'll have to wait to see what the RFP puts down as requirements before we can really start guessing.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: A400M Update

Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:22 pm

seahawk wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
Noray wrote:
Germany ordered 53 A400Ms, but until recently planned to put only 40 into service.


Initial Order was 73, 53 is already the first reduction.

Revelation wrote:
Here we read from the militaries themselves that the A400M is too large for small and unpaved airfields, not preferred for helicopter refueling, and not agile enough for special forces missions.


That is marketing for domestic use, without that total approach there is no way to get the money.
The A400M can go where ever the C160 can go, which means it can go places the C130 can't.

Best regards
Thomas


No it can not, simply because it is bigger and the load per wheel is about 100% higher that for the C160.


That might be so, but it is all about the load per sqmm, not per wheel.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!

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