Ozair
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:29 am

Noray wrote:
Revelation wrote:
It's kind of like going to see a fantasy film in a theater, where willingful suspension of belief is required for one to enjoy the film.


Fantasy stories like "the US Navy is not in the transport business" (while it actually operates an air transport fleet), or "the A400M was a contender to replace C-130Hs of the US Air National Guard and US Air Force (USAF) Reserve Command" (which is too far-fetched).

One day I'll open a fish trade and sell all the red herrings found in this forum.

Noray, I never said the USN doesn't operate transports, I said they don't today operate them in the numbers they used to and they have no need of a strategic transport. They are not in the air transport business, their current fleet provides them with the lift they need and is inconsequential to the sea based assets they operate. If they wanted something bigger or longer ranged they could have ordered the C-17 when it was available. Further, you still haven't provided a valid use case for operating the A400m other than outsize cargo which given they have a small tactical airlift fleet and can call on a 250+ C-17/C-5 fleet, plus 400+ C-130s is clearly not needed. Additionally no one has actually indicated how the USN could afford this despite it being clearly pointed out they have other priorities.
 
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:12 pm

Further, you still haven't provided a valid use case for operating the A400m


Are you serious? I guess fast putting new generation Marines vehicles in the dirt, close to the action. The MPC, ACV's, 2 LAV's with turrets, Venoms, etc. The Hercules & C-17 can't move big loads to dirt strips.

Why do think they requested information from LM?
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:05 pm

keesje wrote:
Further, you still haven't provided a valid use case for operating the A400m


Are you serious? I guess fast putting new generation Marines vehicles in the dirt, close to the action. The MPC, ACV's, 2 LAV's with turrets, Venoms, etc. The Hercules & C-17 can't move big loads to dirt strips.

Why do think they requested information from LM?

Keesje, you know what puts fast new generation Marine vehicles in the dirt? The USN and the vehicle itself.

Below is the equipment used by a Marine Expeditionary Unit. It is a combined force that trains and fights together. The whole point of the MEU is to deploy together and support each other in areas where there is no other support.

Image

There is no Marines dropping armored vehicles off on dirt strips, they do it via the above. How many A400Ms are the USMC going to need to move a single MEU, at least a 100 and likely a 150... How do you expect to support those marines with the ammo, supplies and fuel they need, additional A400Ms? How do you expect to land those A400Ms in a contested environment without massive fighter support protecting them...

Ludicrous mate, simply ludicrous.

keesje wrote:
The Hercules & C-17 can't move big loads to dirt strips.

Clearly... :roll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2a0foRVgOV0
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:27 pm

Well I think one can cross NZ off the list of possible A400M customers.

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/sup ... red-option
 
JJT
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:45 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Well I think one can cross NZ off the list of possible A400M customers.

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/sup ... red-option


The C130J has been chosen for the Tactical lift only.

The Strategic lift is still a few years away before the NZ Govt will seek a RFI from manufacturers. The A400M is a viable option for that role and has a very good chance. Other potentials are the KHI C-2 (which I like a lot) but I wouldn’t mind us looking at a KC-46 or Airbus equivalent MRTT.
 
Ozair
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:36 am

JJT wrote:
ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
Well I think one can cross NZ off the list of possible A400M customers.

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/sup ... red-option


The C130J has been chosen for the Tactical lift only.

The Strategic lift is still a few years away before the NZ Govt will seek a RFI from manufacturers. The A400M is a viable option for that role and has a very good chance. Other potentials are the KHI C-2 (which I like a lot) but I wouldn’t mind us looking at a KC-46 or Airbus equivalent MRTT.

The A400M is a viable option for the strat component but I doubt has a very good chance. It was too much capability for the tactical lift and I expect it is both too capable and not capable enough for the strat lift. NZ doesn't need the landing capabilities of the aircraft for the strat mission nor the defensive systems. The outsize cargo would be an advantage, but likely not decidedly so, as would the ramp loading.

If you consider that NZ currently operate two 757s in that role I expect the intention is to continue that model and look for an airliner variant. The runway at McMurdo is now capable of taking a decent airliner so something as large as an A330 is possible (which would be a good option although no NZ operated A330s at this time).
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:17 pm

Ozair wrote:
The A400M is a viable option for the strat component but I doubt has a very good chance. It was too much capability for the tactical lift and I expect it is both too capable and not capable enough for the strat lift. NZ doesn't need the landing capabilities of the aircraft for the strat mission nor the defensive systems. The outsize cargo would be an advantage, but likely not decidedly so, as would the ramp loading.

I think Tom Enders foretold this one:

Exporting the A400M is a very different game from the smaller transports built [at the same location] in Spain. The A400M is a product of the requirements of six [partner] nations who are very sophisticated, and you just don’t find those kind of customers around every corner,” Enders said on 14 February, adding, “I am optimistic that there will be exports, but it won’t be in the hundreds [of aircraft].”

Seems like people are happy to play the game they know instead of picking up a new game, especially because it has lower entry fees.

Seems like some members should read some of the comments in https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/sup ... red-option :

“After considering the range of military air transport aircraft carefully, the Super Hercules has been selected as it offers the necessary range and payload capability as well as fully meeting NZDF’s requirements,” says Ron Mark.

So much for those saying C130J lacked required capabilities.

The C-130J is a proven aircraft, with more than 400 C-130Js having been delivered to over 21 nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

“It is used by key defence partners and carries a greater payload faster and further than the current fleet, with no loss of ability to land where our current Hercules are deployed.

Looks like they are happy with C130 family off field landing capabilities.

“Tactical air transport capability is one of the highest value assets available to New Zealand, offering huge utility to the community and nation, enabling movement of personnel and cargo around the country, the South Pacific, down to Antarctica and all around the globe.

“We need a proven performer, and this aircraft is tried and tested. We cannot take risks with what is one of our most critical military capabilities,” says Ron Mark.

It seems like Enders comments on the A400M program turning the corner on risk are not holding up in the market place.

Ozair wrote:
If you consider that NZ currently operate two 757s in that role I expect the intention is to continue that model and look for an airliner variant. The runway at McMurdo is now capable of taking a decent airliner so something as large as an A330 is possible (which would be a good option although no NZ operated A330s at this time).

Agree a small wide body seems better suited since 757s aren't being made any more, we don't have a cargo/militarized variant of A321, and a wide body's payload/range are really beneficial in that role.
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frmrCapCadet
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:06 pm

Revelation wrote:
Ozair wrote:
The A400M is a viable option for the strat component but I doubt has a very good chance. It was too much capability for the tactical lift and I expect it is both too capable and not capable enough for the strat lift. NZ doesn't need the landing capabilities of the aircraft for the strat mission nor the defensive systems. The outsize cargo would be an advantage, but likely not decidedly so, as would the ramp loading.

I think Tom Enders foretold this one:

Exporting the A400M is a very different game from the smaller transports built [at the same location] in Spain. The A400M is a product of the requirements of six [partner] nations who are very sophisticated, and you just don’t find those kind of customers around every corner,” Enders said on 14 February, adding, “I am optimistic that there will be exports, but it won’t be in the hundreds [of aircraft].”

Seems like people are happy to play the game they know instead of picking up a new game, especially because it has lower entry fees.

Seems like some members should read some of the comments in https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/sup ... red-option :

“After considering the range of military air transport aircraft carefully, the Super Hercules has been selected as it offers the necessary range and payload capability as well as fully meeting NZDF’s requirements,” says Ron Mark.

So much for those saying C130J lacked required capabilities.

The C-130J is a proven aircraft, with more than 400 C-130Js having been delivered to over 21 nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

“It is used by key defence partners and carries a greater payload faster and further than the current fleet, with no loss of ability to land where our current Hercules are deployed.

Looks like they are happy with C130 family off field landing capabilities.

“Tactical air transport capability is one of the highest value assets available to New Zealand, offering huge utility to the community and nation, enabling movement of personnel and cargo around the country, the South Pacific, down to Antarctica and all around the globe.

“We need a proven performer, and this aircraft is tried and tested. We cannot take risks with what is one of our most critical military capabilities,” says Ron Mark.

It seems like Enders comments on the A400M program turning the corner on risk are not holding up in the market place.

Ozair wrote:
If you consider that NZ currently operate two 757s in that role I expect the intention is to continue that model and look for an airliner variant. The runway at McMurdo is now capable of taking a decent airliner so something as large as an A330 is possible (which would be a good option although no NZ operated A330s at this time).

Agree a small wide body seems better suited since 757s aren't being made any more, we don't have a cargo/militarized variant of A321, and a wide body's payload/range are really beneficial in that role.


AHA, another role of the 797. LOL
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GDB
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:07 pm

There might not be any civil A330's on the NZ register right now, however the RAAF operate the military variant, have deployed with it too. That might well be a deciding factor for the RNZAF, alongside 'proven' in general being a major factor in the C-130J selection, proven in RAAF service even better as far as they are concerned.
 
Ozair
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:58 pm

GDB wrote:
There might not be any civil A330's on the NZ register right now, however the RAAF operate the military variant, have deployed with it too. That might well be a deciding factor for the RNZAF, alongside 'proven' in general being a major factor in the C-130J selection, proven in RAAF service even better as far as they are concerned.

Given Qantas service both their and the RAAF A330s out of Brisbane it does make sense. I do wonder if the A330 might be a bit big for what NZ are after but is probably the best option over likely older 767s to convert and too costly new builds for either.

The irony of the C-130J selection is I expect that Airbus will likely win the NZ C-130J sustainment. They have been the RAAF service provider for the last 10 years and continue to win the work at each contract tender.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:24 am

There has been a new accord on the program, reducing the rate to 8 per year. Terms were not disclosed.

https://www.ft.com/content/ed8682bc-8ea ... 2f641eca37
 
Noray
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:01 am

Ozair wrote:
They are not in the air transport business, their current fleet provides them with the lift they need and is inconsequential to the sea based assets they operate. If they wanted something bigger or longer ranged they could have ordered the C-17 when it was available. Further, you still haven't provided a valid use case for operating the A400m other than outsize cargo which given they have a small tactical airlift fleet and can call on a 250+ C-17/C-5 fleet, plus 400+ C-130s is clearly not needed. Additionally no one has actually indicated how the USN could afford this despite it being clearly pointed out they have other priorities.

There's a capability gap between the C-130 and the C-17/C-5 that the A400M can fill, like carrying a 22 ton excavator to the damaged runway of an island airport. Also, you're overlooking the aerial refueling capability that can complement sea based assets. Funding issues could be reduced through swap deals.

JayinKitsap wrote:
There has been a new accord on the program, reducing the rate to 8 per year. Terms were not disclosed.

https://www.ft.com/content/ed8682bc-8ea ... 2f641eca37

Why do you link to an article hidden behind a paywall when more detailed information is freely available elsewhere?

Airbus press release: Airbus and OCCAR sign A400M Contract Amendment
...
With the contract amendment, Airbus as well as OCCAR and the Launch Customer Nations have agreed on the following:

1. New capabilities development plan
Based on this new plan, Airbus aims to provide all agreed capabilities over an adjusted timeframe and to give solid visibility to the Launch Customer Nations for a better planning of operations and engagements. First elements of this new planning have already been implemented with deliveries of tactical capabilities which enable the Launch Customer Nations to operate in various mission profiles all around the world.

2. New production delivery schedule
All parties have agreed to stretch the A400M production plan while keeping the programme’s contractual timeframe until 2030. The new production delivery schedule both addresses the Launch Customer Nations’ expectations and significantly reduces the financial exposure. Furthermore, the new delivery schedule enables the A400M programme to adjust the production rate in order to accommodate export orders in the coming years.

3. New retrofit delivery schedule
The new retrofit agreement with the Launch Customer Nations will implement the final contractual standard with associated capabilities to all of the delivered A400M aircraft.
This new agreement will minimise aircraft downtimes to meet customer expectations while optimising the retrofit process for Airbus.

4. New financial terms
Airbus, OCCAR and the Launch Customer Nations have agreed on the implementation of a revised financial retention mechanism. This new scheme recognises the achievement of A400M capabilities which have already been implemented in service while keeping an incentive to finalise the development of the ultimate contractual standard.

Furthermore, a significant compensation in products and services has been agreed in exchange of accrued financial obligations due to past late deliveries. This provides both the customers and industry with an opportunity to jointly enhance the A400M platform.

Unlike assumed earlier, this doesn't mention any omission of contractual capabilites like aerial refueling of helicopters.

Flightglobal on the same topic: Revised contract signature restores A400M prospects
OCCAR describes the nations’ new contractual arrangement with Airbus as being “cost-neutral”, and of “keeping the programme on a sound financial footing”. It also “provides solid foundations for the A400M in the decades ahead, for existing and future export customers,” it adds.


Janes about a possible new customer:
Saudi Arabia considering A400M as An-132D fades
This would probably be stopped by a German veto, but it still confirms that the C-130 is getting too small for some customers:

Saudi Arabia currently operates the Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules for transport, with approval for the acquisition of 25 C-130J aircraft given in 2012 by the US Congress. Progress on the acquisition of the C-130J platform has, however, been slow to materialise.

"The C-130 payload is 20 tonnes, and the An-132D is a 10-tonne payload, so you need to acquire a bigger platform. The Air Force is looking to go into the 40-tonne size, and that is why we are in intense discussions with Airbus over the A400M."
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:48 pm

All this is great news for the A400M program.

The thing I find lacking in the links is some independent analysis.

The FG piece reads like a cut/paste of the Airbus presser.

The best news for the program would be a Saudi deal.

They are a great example of someone with the financial and technical resources to take on a significant A400M fleet.

That, coupled with an obvious need, is a good thing for Airbus.

Maybe the next German government will be persuaded to not use their veto power and bring some jobs home instead.

Keeping the line up and running till 2030 is great for future prospects, but 8/year has to be providing a poor return.

Yet it seems Airbus was liable for huge penalties and have negotiated their way out of them.

Hopefully this the last time they will be asking for give backs, but I doubt it.

Meanwhile, Boeing eats $2B in KC-46 overruns without complaint.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:13 pm

Noray wrote:
Ozair wrote:
They are not in the air transport business, their current fleet provides them with the lift they need and is inconsequential to the sea based assets they operate. If they wanted something bigger or longer ranged they could have ordered the C-17 when it was available. Further, you still haven't provided a valid use case for operating the A400m other than outsize cargo which given they have a small tactical airlift fleet and can call on a 250+ C-17/C-5 fleet, plus 400+ C-130s is clearly not needed. Additionally no one has actually indicated how the USN could afford this despite it being clearly pointed out they have other priorities.

There's a capability gap between the C-130 and the C-17/C-5 that the A400M can fill, like carrying a 22 ton excavator to the damaged runway of an island airport. Also, you're overlooking the aerial refueling capability that can complement sea based assets. Funding issues could be reduced through swap deals.

Sure a capability gap exists in that the US doesn't have a transport within that specific size range but it is pretty clear they don't think they need it. If they did they would run a competition to select one. In place they have a global fleet of support vessels which provide assistance for humanitarian disasters. If you gave the USN, and the nations they provide humanitarian support, the option of flying a 22 ton excavator into an airfield or parking a Wasp class amphib off the coast which one do you think they would choose?

As for A2A refuelling, the US has plenty of assets deployed globally for this as well as SH and soon MQ-25 tankers for fleet operations. The USMC now acquires only KC-130s, 53 of them as well as additional airframes on order, so clearly they need a tanker but also one which is capable of refuelling their helicopters. Their KC-130s are also the Harvast Hawk version, capable of operating a weapons configuration that clearly suits the operating concept of the USMC and also a capability the A400M currently does not have, nor as far as I am aware is road mapped.

The end result is that while a size gap may exist it doesn't need to be filled, nor do they have the funding available to fill it.

Noray wrote:
[Janes about a possible new customer:
Saudi Arabia considering A400M as An-132D fades
This would probably be stopped by a German veto, but it still confirms that the C-130 is getting too small for some customers:

Saudi Arabia currently operates the Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules for transport, with approval for the acquisition of 25 C-130J aircraft given in 2012 by the US Congress. Progress on the acquisition of the C-130J platform has, however, been slow to materialise.

"The C-130 payload is 20 tonnes, and the An-132D is a 10-tonne payload, so you need to acquire a bigger platform. The Air Force is looking to go into the 40-tonne size, and that is why we are in intense discussions with Airbus over the A400M."

Good news and I have said previously that the Saudis would be a good customer. I don't think this rules out C-130J for them, just the opportunity to operate both. The question as you state is whether the order survive a german veto...
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:16 pm

You can register for the Financial Times and get a limited number of articles a month. So I read some half dozen a month.
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JayinKitsap
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:44 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
You can register for the Financial Times and get a limited number of articles a month. So I read some half dozen a month.


I read FT articles from time to time so I must have done that because I did not 'see' a paywall.

I actually saw a different article first that was more fly by knight, Google hits on the A-400 at the time I posted only had a few links available. A day later there were a lot of other links apparently.
 
Ozair
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:06 am

The engines of the A400M continue to be a source of trouble for the program! Good news is the UK Government isn't paying for the rectification with that money coming from Industry. Two from twenty serviceable is pretty dismal though.

RAF Nato row after 'totally unacceptable' engine problems keep £2.6bn fleet on the ground

row erupted at a recent Nato conference over the RAF's new £2.6billion transporter planes as it has emerged engine problems mean just two of 20-strong fleet are able to fly at any one time.

The delay in bringing into service the new A400M plane for the RAF and other partner nations led to a major disagreement between Airbus, the aircraft manufacturer, and Nato Ministers.

Stuart Andrew, the MoD’s Minister for Procurement, said that after an “extremely robust meeting” the problems with the A400M aircraft should be fixed by next year.

Concerns have been raised over the new aircraft since its inception in 2003. A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.

...

In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

The former Minister of Defence asked what could be done about the “emerging procurement disaster”.

Mr Andrew replied: “The performance has been totally unacceptable. We are now expecting EuroProp International, the engine manufacturer, to be more empowered to negotiate the support solutions that we need.

“Airbus Defence and Space has also been held to account, but, following the problems with the engines and gear boxes, those parts will be replaced on each of the aircraft by the middle of next year.

The MoD confirmed that there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and that all reliability improvements will be funded by industry.

...

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/0 ... keep-26bn/
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:48 pm

Ozair wrote:

A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.

...

In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

The former Minister of Defence asked what could be done about the “emerging procurement disaster”.

Mr Andrew replied: “The performance has been totally unacceptable. We are now expecting EuroProp International, the engine manufacturer, to be more empowered to negotiate the support solutions that we need.

That kind of news in such a public forum can't be good for export campaigns.

I thought Airbus had already declared victory with regard to gearbox problems?

Now this?

“Airbus Defence and Space has also been held to account, but, following the problems with the engines and gear boxes, those parts will be replaced on each of the aircraft by the middle of next year.

The MoD confirmed that there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and that all reliability improvements will be funded by industry.

Replacing all engines and gear boxes on the UK fleet by the middle of next year?

That can't be cheap, and of course the other operators will now expect the same.

Good thing Airbus got the customers to sign the concessionary renegotiated contract before all this hit the fan.

Britain has bought 22 aircraft, with 20 delivered so far, at a cost of £2.6 billion. The planned in-service date of 2009 slipped more than six years.

Germany has bought 53 aircraft, with 30 delivered so far. The Telegraph understands the Luftwaffe sought to pull out of the programme and not take the remaining 23, but was convinced by Britain to stay in.

Hmmm :scratchchin:
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mxaxai
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:51 pm

For some good news, the german Luftwaffe recently published a video showing the in-flight refueling of Eurofighters from the A400M. Includes some pretty nice cockpit and external views.
https://youtu.be/3oWsIuI4wvQ
 
Kiwirob
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jul 12, 2019 4:11 pm

Some nice selective quoting going on here. Read a bit further down the article and you get this.

The latest serviceability figures for the RAF’s A400M, from February this year, showed that 12 of the 20 were in the ‘Forward Fleet’, which comprises serviceable aircraft and those temporarily unavailable due to minor works or other technical inspections that can arise on a day-to-day basis.

The number of aircraft available varies day-to-day according to normal flight management activities and general serviceability.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:14 pm

I couldn't resist. I thought Airbus software was perfect.
In 2015 one A400M aircraft crashed in Spain during a test flight, killing four crew members. A software fault, since rectified, was found to be the cause of the crash.


Imagine the A400M if it had used the Pratt Canada engines, could have saved years from the delays.
 
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:43 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Imagine the A400M if it had used the Pratt Canada engines, could have saved years from the delays.

I guess we'll never know.

What we do know is that a lot of the features of the aircraft that many tout pushed the envelope on engine thrust and gearbox dynamics and it appears that we won't know for another year or so if they've really ironed out the problems or not.

Meanwhile potential export customers must wonder what they'd be buying in to should they buy A400M in the near future.
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:39 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
I couldn't resist. I thought Airbus software was perfect.
In 2015 one A400M aircraft crashed in Spain during a test flight, killing four crew members. A software fault, since rectified, was found to be the cause of the crash.


Imagine the A400M if it had used the Pratt Canada engines, could have saved years from the delays.


What 11k hp Pratt Canada engines? Virtual ones?
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strfyr51
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:05 am

Noray wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Had the A400 used Pratt Canada's engine, they would have probably landed 20 orders from there and missed many years of costly delay. The program would be a lot healthier today too.

Which engine? There didn't exist any off-the-shelf engine for the A400M. That's why EPI boast that the TP400 is the most powerful Western turboprop. Any new development would have been risky.


the A400's overt complexity over the C130 with the opposite turning engines and Props led it to be looked at in askance. It doesn't at first glance to be efficient.
it has size but not exceptional range nor weight lifting capabilities. and the fact they would need 2 different Engines and Props for ONE airplane??
That's an aerodynamic F#$K-UP! Which no matter how you cut it? Makes the A400M a dark horse.
a REAL Dark Horse..
 
strfyr51
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 4:50 am

Revelation wrote:
Ozair wrote:

A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.

...

In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

The former Minister of Defence asked what could be done about the “emerging procurement disaster”.

Mr Andrew replied: “The performance has been totally unacceptable. We are now expecting EuroProp International, the engine manufacturer, to be more empowered to negotiate the support solutions that we need.

That kind of news in such a public forum can't be good for export campaigns.

I thought Airbus had already declared victory with regard to gearbox problems?

Now this?

“Airbus Defence and Space has also been held to account, but, following the problems with the engines and gear boxes, those parts will be replaced on each of the aircraft by the middle of next year.

The MoD confirmed that there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and that all reliability improvements will be funded by industry.

Replacing all engines and gear boxes on the UK fleet by the middle of next year?

That can't be cheap, and of course the other operators will now expect th
Good thing Airbus got the customers to sign the concessionary renegotiated contract before all this hit the fan.

Britain has bought 22 aircraft, with 20 delivered so far, at a cost of £2.6 billion. The planned in-service date of 2009 slipped more than six years.

Germany has bought 53 aircraft, with 30 delivered so far. The Telegraph understands the Luftwaffe sought to pull out of the programme and not take the remaining 23, but was convinced by Britain to stay in.
:scratchchin:

Can they Not replace the gearbox on wing? Or is it a totally NEW Gearbox?? And why didn't they just go to Rolls Royce for Help? They b uild the Gearbox for the T56
 
mxaxai
Posts: 1033
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:44 am

mxaxai wrote:
For some good news, the german Luftwaffe recently published a video showing the in-flight refueling of Eurofighters from the A400M. Includes some pretty nice cockpit and external views.
https://youtu.be/3oWsIuI4wvQ

And I found the reason why they chose to publish this footage just now: The A400M is currently deployed to Jordan in an Air Tanker role, replacing the A310 MRTT.

The new air-to-air refueling capability has been defined “a giant leap forward” by the Luftwaffe Inspector General, Lieutenant-General Ingo Gerhartz, who stated that the A-400M will be deployed “initially as a trial for the next few weeks to gain valuable experience.”Image

https://theaviationist.com/2019/07/09/g ... -on-daesh/
 
mxaxai
Posts: 1033
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:02 am

strfyr51 wrote:
Can they Not replace the gearbox on wing? Or is it a totally NEW Gearbox?? And why didn't they just go to Rolls Royce for Help? They b uild the Gearbox for the T56

It's not a completely new gearbox but it is definitely modifed. The manufacturer Avio Aero (a subsidiary of GE) had planned to integrate the improved gearbox starting last year, so it's unclear whether the current problems are with the new modified gearbox, with the "hotfixed" one, or with the gearbox as originally installed.


Interestingly, Avio Aero should have plenty of experience with gearboxes, considering that they provide accessory or power gearboxes for
best-in-class solutions including CF6-80, GE90, V2500, GEnx, LM6000, LM2500, BR710, TP400, PW1100, PW1400, PW1500, PW150, PW800, PW2000, PW4000, EC175, CH53, AS365, EJ200, T700, Trent900 and SaM146.
There's only one engine there that has had major gearbox problems.
 
Noray
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 12:19 pm

Revelation wrote:
All this is great news for the A400M program.

The thing I find lacking in the links is some independent analysis.

This is confidential negotiations combined with a press mostly incompetent in defence issues. Any independent analysis would require a leak. Much of the European press is interested only in bad news about the military anyway. You'll find some reports from industry-friendly french newspapers, like A400M, the revenge of "the cursed plane". Quotes:

After years of technical setbacks and 11 billion euros of additional cost, Airbus military transport aircraft finally sees the end of the tunnel.
...
The last big piece will be the refueling of helicopters, a capacity that should be certified in 2021.


But the general lack of information paves the way for smear campaigns, distortions of facts etc.

Revelation wrote:
Yet it seems Airbus was liable for huge penalties and have negotiated their way out of them.

Hopefully this the last time they will be asking for give backs, but I doubt it.

Meanwhile, Boeing eats $2B in KC-46 overruns without complaint.

Airbus avoided additional penalties that would have resulted from the previous contract combined with the current plan for delayed deliveries, but that doesn't mean they avoided any penalty or asked for give backs. According to FlightGlobal,

OCCAR describes the nations’ new contractual arrangement with Airbus as being “cost-neutral”.

I guess Airbus would have eagerly traded the A400M for any project that has only $2B in cost overruns. They reached that amount many years ago, and it has multiplied since then.


Ozair wrote:
If you gave the USN, and the nations they provide humanitarian support, the option of flying a 22 ton excavator into an airfield or parking a Wasp class amphib off the coast which one do you think they would choose?

In an emergency, they'd probably choose the faster option, which is the aircraft, followed by the ship a few days later.


Revelation wrote:
Ozair wrote:

A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.

...

In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

The former Minister of Defence asked what could be done about the “emerging procurement disaster”.

Mr Andrew replied: “The performance has been totally unacceptable. We are now expecting EuroProp International, the engine manufacturer, to be more empowered to negotiate the support solutions that we need.

That kind of news in such a public forum can't be good for export campaigns.

No, but it's good for smear campaigns.

Revelation wrote:
I thought Airbus had already declared victory with regard to gearbox problems?

Now this?

Basically, it isn't news, but a summary of well-known issues of the past. The only piece of information I take from this article is that Germany isn't the only A400M user that has suffered from temporarily poor availability rates. Meanwhile in June 2019, 19 different A400Ms of the Luftwaffe have actually flown within one month.

Revelation wrote:
“Airbus Defence and Space has also been held to account, but, following the problems with the engines and gear boxes, those parts will be replaced on each of the aircraft by the middle of next year.

The MoD confirmed that there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and that all reliability improvements will be funded by industry.

Replacing all engines and gear boxes on the UK fleet by the middle of next year?

That can't be cheap, and of course the other operators will now expect the same.

Good thing Airbus got the customers to sign the concessionary renegotiated contract before all this hit the fan.

Nonsense. The article simply describes what will happen within the new contract. It isn't cheap for Airbus, but that's no news.

Incompetent press meets American readers willing to read only the worst about a European project.

Revelation wrote:
Germany has bought 53 aircraft, with 30 delivered so far. The Telegraph understands the Luftwaffe sought to pull out of the programme and not take the remaining 23, but was convinced by Britain to stay in.

Hmmm :scratchchin:

I'll attribute this to the incompetence of the press as well. It sounds like a distorted rendering of the well-known fact that Germany had been trying to sell 13 out of 53 aircraft, a plan that, as we know, has been abandoned.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 20577
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:19 pm

Noray wrote:
The only piece of information I take from this article is that Germany isn't the only A400M user that has suffered from temporarily poor availability rates. Meanwhile in June 2019, 19 different A400Ms of the Luftwaffe have actually flown within one month.

19 aircraft flying once or more in one month is a pretty low standard for a fleet of 30 planes, no?
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
Noray
Posts: 86
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 1:46 pm

Revelation wrote:
Noray wrote:
The only piece of information I take from this article is that Germany isn't the only A400M user that has suffered from temporarily poor availability rates. Meanwhile in June 2019, 19 different A400Ms of the Luftwaffe have actually flown within one month.

19 aircraft flying once or more in one month is a pretty low standard for a fleet of 30 planes, no?

So do you know how many were required to fly that month? It's certainly better than "2 out of 20".

There are always some aircraft in retrofit measures that take several months, and this will go on for several years and reduce the general availability. Also, I guess that the A400M hasn't completely overcome the first part of the bathtub curve yet.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 1328
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:23 pm

keesje wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
I couldn't resist. I thought Airbus software was perfect.
In 2015 one A400M aircraft crashed in Spain during a test flight, killing four crew members. A software fault, since rectified, was found to be the cause of the crash.


Imagine the A400M if it had used the Pratt Canada engines, could have saved years from the delays.


What 11k hp Pratt Canada engines? Virtual ones?


PW was proposing the PW180 while the TP400 was by a new JV of 4 entities that had not produced an engine together before. So both engines were virtual at the time of selection. However, one company had lots of prior experience, the other had a lot of virtual experience.
The PW800 core was to be the basis for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW180 turboprop engine proposed for the Airbus A400M Atlas.[3] However the Europrop TP400 was selected instead.


Europrop International GmbH (EPI) is a European Programme composed of four European aircraft engine manufacturers, MTU Aero Engines, Safran Aircraft Engines, Rolls-Royce, and ITP Aero. The company is responsible for the design, development, manufacturing and support of the TP400-D6 turboprop engine, designed to power the Airbus A400M Military Transport built by Airbus Defence and Space.

Workshare on the TP400-D6 engine is split based on the number of aircraft purchased by each of the partner nations. The current shares are: Snecma 28% (including work at Techspace Aero), Rolls-Royce 28% (includes work at German operations), MTU 28%, ITP 16% (includes a Turkish share from TEI [1] who are responsible for the front bearing structure and exhaust nozzle assemblies).


Quotes are from Wiki
 
User avatar
keesje
Posts: 12914
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:11 pm

Maybe the PW had been a disaster. PW never built a prop engine of that size. We'll never know. The PW4000, PW8000 were problematic at the time.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
User avatar
Grizzly410
Posts: 184
Joined: Sun May 10, 2015 8:38 pm

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:31 pm

Noray wrote:
Revelation wrote:
All this is great news for the A400M program.

The thing I find lacking in the links is some independent analysis.

This is confidential negotiations combined with a press mostly incompetent in defence issues. Any independent analysis would require a leak. Much of the European press is interested only in bad news about the military anyway. You'll find some reports from industry-friendly french newspapers, like A400M, the revenge of "the cursed plane". Quotes:

After years of technical setbacks and 11 billion euros of additional cost, Airbus military transport aircraft finally sees the end of the tunnel.
...
The last big piece will be the refueling of helicopters, a capacity that should be certified in 2021.


But the general lack of information paves the way for smear campaigns, distortions of facts etc.

Revelation wrote:
Yet it seems Airbus was liable for huge penalties and have negotiated their way out of them.

Hopefully this the last time they will be asking for give backs, but I doubt it.

Meanwhile, Boeing eats $2B in KC-46 overruns without complaint.

Airbus avoided additional penalties that would have resulted from the previous contract combined with the current plan for delayed deliveries, but that doesn't mean they avoided any penalty or asked for give backs. According to FlightGlobal,

OCCAR describes the nations’ new contractual arrangement with Airbus as being “cost-neutral”.

I guess Airbus would have eagerly traded the A400M for any project that has only $2B in cost overruns. They reached that amount many years ago, and it has multiplied since then.


Ozair wrote:
If you gave the USN, and the nations they provide humanitarian support, the option of flying a 22 ton excavator into an airfield or parking a Wasp class amphib off the coast which one do you think they would choose?

In an emergency, they'd probably choose the faster option, which is the aircraft, followed by the ship a few days later.


Revelation wrote:
Ozair wrote:

A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable.

...

In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

The former Minister of Defence asked what could be done about the “emerging procurement disaster”.

Mr Andrew replied: “The performance has been totally unacceptable. We are now expecting EuroProp International, the engine manufacturer, to be more empowered to negotiate the support solutions that we need.

That kind of news in such a public forum can't be good for export campaigns.

No, but it's good for smear campaigns.

Revelation wrote:
I thought Airbus had already declared victory with regard to gearbox problems?

Now this?

Basically, it isn't news, but a summary of well-known issues of the past. The only piece of information I take from this article is that Germany isn't the only A400M user that has suffered from temporarily poor availability rates. Meanwhile in June 2019, 19 different A400Ms of the Luftwaffe have actually flown within one month.

Revelation wrote:
“Airbus Defence and Space has also been held to account, but, following the problems with the engines and gear boxes, those parts will be replaced on each of the aircraft by the middle of next year.

The MoD confirmed that there will be no additional cost to the taxpayer and that all reliability improvements will be funded by industry.

Replacing all engines and gear boxes on the UK fleet by the middle of next year?

That can't be cheap, and of course the other operators will now expect the same.

Good thing Airbus got the customers to sign the concessionary renegotiated contract before all this hit the fan.

Nonsense. The article simply describes what will happen within the new contract. It isn't cheap for Airbus, but that's no news.

Incompetent press meets American readers willing to read only the worst about a European project.

Revelation wrote:
Germany has bought 53 aircraft, with 30 delivered so far. The Telegraph understands the Luftwaffe sought to pull out of the programme and not take the remaining 23, but was convinced by Britain to stay in.

Hmmm :scratchchin:

I'll attribute this to the incompetence of the press as well. It sounds like a distorted rendering of the well-known fact that Germany had been trying to sell 13 out of 53 aircraft, a plan that, as we know, has been abandoned.


It reminds me 2-3 years ago when France and Germany were very vocal about this topic (while RAF happily shared tons of picture of aircraft operating), I had the opportunity to cross checked the numbers published in the press and the hard numbers from inside...
Of course it's true the fleet avail was poor, but nowhere near what was claimed and with a fair number of blame deflected to Airbus. For example, at some point France had 3 a/c grounded waiting for SCHEDULED maintenance that they couldn't perform because the hangar wasn't ready. Same think for Germany, except it was a lack of manpower in maintenance. (with total fleet size well under the 20, the planned retrofit for capacity or gearbox fix, it's rather easy to claim to have only 10% fleet avail in this condition)

But Airbus had to answer anyway and focused more on availability during the last 2 years and what we are said is that we got rather good results for them. So now, seeing this kind of communication from UK while historically the RAF was the more positive customer in their communication surprise me very much. I'm not claiming the aircraft is perfect, far from it, but I suspect there's a big part of negotiation behind that, in order to extract something
In order to be old and wise, one must first be young and dumb.
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 20577
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:31 pm

keesje wrote:
Maybe the PW had been a disaster. PW never built a prop engine of that size. We'll never know. The PW4000, PW8000 were problematic at the time.

We're all free to have our own opinions, but I think it's pretty likely that PW would have avoided the major EPI rookie mistakes, namely the lack of understanding of compliance issues that caused a rewrite of the ECU software, and poor software installation procedures and poor run time range checking that led to the tragic loss of a plane and its crew, a literal disaster.

mxaxai wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
Can they Not replace the gearbox on wing? Or is it a totally NEW Gearbox?? And why didn't they just go to Rolls Royce for Help? They b uild the Gearbox for the T56

It's not a completely new gearbox but it is definitely modifed. The manufacturer Avio Aero (a subsidiary of GE) had planned to integrate the improved gearbox starting last year, so it's unclear whether the current problems are with the new modified gearbox, with the "hotfixed" one, or with the gearbox as originally installed.

Interestingly, Avio Aero should have plenty of experience with gearboxes, considering that they provide accessory or power gearboxes for
best-in-class solutions including CF6-80, GE90, V2500, GEnx, LM6000, LM2500, BR710, TP400, PW1100, PW1400, PW1500, PW150, PW800, PW2000, PW4000, EC175, CH53, AS365, EJ200, T700, Trent900 and SaM146.
There's only one engine there that has had major gearbox problems.

There's a big difference between accessory gearboxes for jets and main gearboxes for turboprops of the power of the Europrop TP400.

There is more similarity to the GTF's main gear, also made by Avio, but the intellectual property behind that gear is owned by (you guessed it) Pratt.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 1328
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:32 pm

Revelation wrote:
keesje wrote:
Maybe the PW had been a disaster. PW never built a prop engine of that size. We'll never know. The PW4000, PW8000 were problematic at the time.

We're all free to have our own opinions, but I think it's pretty likely that PW would have avoided the major EPI rookie mistakes, namely the lack of understanding of compliance issues that caused a rewrite of the ECU software, and poor software installation procedures and poor run time range checking that led to the tragic loss of a plane and its crew, a literal disaster.

mxaxai wrote:
strfyr51 wrote:
Can they Not replace the gearbox on wing? Or is it a totally NEW Gearbox?? And why didn't they just go to Rolls Royce for Help? They b uild the Gearbox for the T56

It's not a completely new gearbox but it is definitely modifed. The manufacturer Avio Aero (a subsidiary of GE) had planned to integrate the improved gearbox starting last year, so it's unclear whether the current problems are with the new modified gearbox, with the "hotfixed" one, or with the gearbox as originally installed.

Interestingly, Avio Aero should have plenty of experience with gearboxes, considering that they provide accessory or power gearboxes for
best-in-class solutions including CF6-80, GE90, V2500, GEnx, LM6000, LM2500, BR710, TP400, PW1100, PW1400, PW1500, PW150, PW800, PW2000, PW4000, EC175, CH53, AS365, EJ200, T700, Trent900 and SaM146.
There's only one engine there that has had major gearbox problems.

There's a big difference between accessory gearboxes for jets and main gearboxes for turboprops of the power of the Europrop TP400.

There is more similarity to the GTF's main gear, also made by Avio, but the intellectual property behind that gear is owned by (you guessed it) Pratt.



I concur that PW had not built a 11k HP turboprop before, but the Europrop JV had not built any turboprop before as a team. PW has been known for stout gearboxes for a long time and has the most IP around it. It is kind of like MHI doing its jet, sure they should know how but we all have watched for a decade their struggle to get it certified.
 
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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:26 am

"The German air force’s fleet of Airbus Defence & Space A400M tactical transports will soon have improved protection against surface-to-air heat-seeking missiles, with the service set to integrate directed-infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) technology from Elbit Systems."

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... es-459184/
 
Ozair
Posts: 3904
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:38 am

Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:39 am

Slug71 wrote:
"The German air force’s fleet of Airbus Defence & Space A400M tactical transports will soon have improved protection against surface-to-air heat-seeking missiles, with the service set to integrate directed-infrared countermeasure (DIRCM) technology from Elbit Systems."

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... es-459184/


No surprise there, a DIRCM is becoming standard equipment for larger aircraft now with the RAAF using DIRCMs on C-17, C-130J, E-7A and KC-30. Should improve the ability of the aircraft to operate in and out of threat zones where MANPADs remain a concern.
 
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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update Thread 2019

Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:46 am

It sounds like the engine issue referred to in the above article, is perhaps more of a supply issue of the new PGB that is being made to address those issues. Not necessarily a new or ongoing issue with that updated PGB.

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