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Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 3:43 am
by SXDFC
As we all know Airbus will be making the A320 series aircraft in Alabama soon. If Airbus decided to open up an A400 line down in Alabama, would that potentially attract a possible deal with the US Air Force, Navy, Marines?

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:28 am
by BMI727
Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
If Airbus decided to open up an A400 line down in Alabama, would that potentially attract a possible deal with the US Air Force, Navy, Marines?

I can't imagine there could ever be enough orders for an airlifter to support two factories.

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:13 am
by checksixx
Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
If Airbus decided to open up an A400 line down in Alabama, would that potentially attract a possible deal with the US Air Force, Navy, Marines?

Use a FAR less capable airframe? No. Not gonna happen. They've already gone down that road once, it's not gonna happen again.

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:09 pm
by par13del
In my opinion, it depends on the economic and political situation in the world.
The C-17 is winding down, C-5 is modernization only, no new air lifeter design is on the drawing board.
Limitations of the C-130 will remain - narrow fuse - the sequester is still in place even though POTUS is proposing a spend increase.
The US Air Force has been against new C-17's for a number of years, congress has forced them to take the last few batches, so if the EU zone continues to struggle - deflation, Geexit etc - and Ukraine not resolved, oil stay low and other economies in the rest of the world pick up, the EU will need economic stimulus, so a batch for testing and evaluation could be as small as 12 frames for the USA, for Airbus 12 frames is much larger.

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:30 pm
by Revelation
Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
no new air lifeter design is on the drawing board

To me that doesn't matter much.

Right now the US has what it needs in a hi/low combination. A400M has some characteristics that would be nice to have, but it's not going to be enough to get a new program past Congress. If there is to be a new airlifter in the US inventory, a US firm will get the business. The price tag for A400M would be so high that it'd draw a lot of flack from the industry and the politicians. Such flak is exactly why there is an A400M. Yes, an all new design would result in similar mistakes that were made by A400M and C-17 before it, but that's just how the game is played.

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:37 pm
by strfyr51
Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
As we all know Airbus will be making the A320 series aircraft in Alabama soon. If Airbus decided to open up an A400 line down in Alabama, would that potentially attract a possible deal with the US Air Force, Navy, Marines?

without a US Contractor? I doubt it ..

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:53 pm
by Stitch
Quoting SXDFC (Thread starter):
If Airbus decided to open up an A400 line down in Alabama, would that potentially attract a possible deal with the US Air Force, Navy, Marines?

Former member keesje pushed for this often, but I expect it was mainly to tweak people's noses and not because he felt it was a viable airframe.

I honestly expect "Country of Origin" would not be seen as a negative as the US purchase a fair amount of kit from foreign suppliers.

No, cost is what would ensure that Congress refused to fund it as an A400M frame will cost more to acquire and operate than a C-17 frame (due to the existing infrastructure of the C-17 fleet).

And, as noted above, the USAF has been taking C-17's against their will for years due to McD and Boeing placing component production all over the US. This has forced them to spend money on the C-17 that they'd rather spend on something else. To then be forced to spend even more to add the A400M to the fleet... Not going to happen.

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 8:00 pm
by spectre242
The only situation I could imagine (and I'm not saying it's likely) is if the USMC perhaps down the road want to expand their own tactical airlift capability independent of the USAF (in that way Marines sometimes do), and the C-130J isn't quite big enough for their requirements. Then the A400M falls nicely into that zone of capability.

But that's a long shot...

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:02 am
by kc135topboom
With the USAF parking C-17s, and retiring C-5s, I don't see this happening.

RE: Usaf Airbus A400, A Possiblity?

Posted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:59 am
by 11Bravo
I don't see any need for the US to replace either the C-17 or the C-130 anytime in the next 10-15 year timeframe. After that period, I suspect the A400 will no longer be an available choice. I just can't see Airbus keeping this program going without significant additional orders.