Moderators: richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
User avatar
keesje
Posts: 14785
Joined: Thu Apr 12, 2001 2:08 am

Re: FCTM: A CN-235 & C-130H successor to be designed by Airbus?

Sun Nov 21, 2021 8:23 am

FlapOperator wrote:
LTEN11 wrote:
Sounds purely like a job creation/retention project.


This.

I'd love to see the pedigree of analysis that demonstrates the mission of this aircraft.


BS IMO. Operational requirements outgrew the early fifties C130 design. Too small. Even USAF requirements were suppressed time after time. C130 is used as a school book example of pork barrel contracts, job creation. USAF states they don't need them, still get them. Incredible.

https://www.tampabay.com/archive/1998/1 ... pork-diet/
https://tomdispatch.com/jeremiah-goulka ... o-of-pork/
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... id-19-bill

A400M and C-17 operators need smaller transports to avoid those expensivecaircraft flying around a few pallets / folks. Preferably STOL, I wonder if twin engines is the best configuration for that.. Maybe 3 engines would be the best compromise but practical configurations seem hard..
https://images.app.goo.gl/xkiuaHGFash9d57Q7
 
texl1649
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Sun Nov 21, 2021 12:16 pm

I wonder why the Luftwaffe (as did the French) is taking C-130J’s as a pork barrel project for Lockheed? LOL. It has 24 nations operating the type, also including the UK, Denmark, and Canada. Yes, it’s (relatively) cheap, robust, available, widely supported, and easy to train/operate for a lot of customers, maybe that has also helped it over time.

The idea envisaged above of putting two TP-400’s on some sort of derivative (or even a tiltrotor!) seems like the participating countries didn’t learn a think from the A400M. Those engines, and the cost to operate them, are precisely why the A400M sales have not been easily double what they could have been (and thus why Airbus has written off/lost billions on the program over the years). Keesje also at one time envisaged the A400M taking a ton of orders from the C-130, and even going to the USAF, so I think that explains some of the comparative passionate dislike for the latter aircraft, though there is some truth that the ANG units have gotten more than they have needed/asked for.

The age of a design doesn’t really matter if it is still the best option. See: the Tu-95’s still operating.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Sun Nov 21, 2021 10:17 pm

One thing lost in the C-130 buy was how much of that was supposed to support the Stryker brigades mobility.

It was a terrible concept, borne from a flawed idea that future US ground combat efforts would like Bosnian peacekeeping. The combination of speed of mobility and the -130 as the prime mover meant lots of limitations were baked into Stryker (especially when there demonstrated better AFV platforms out there.)

The Army thankfully let the Stryker global mobility concept die (really only as late as 2008ish) but the USAF, once a supporter of this idea rapidly started to complain when it was obvious that the -130 buy was eating into other programs, and the real flaws of USAF intratheater airlift in Iraq and Afghanistan were becoming crystal clear.
 
Noray
Topic Author
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: FCTM: A CN-235 & C-130H successor to be designed by Airbus?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 1:11 am

FlapOperator wrote:
LTEN11 wrote:
Sounds purely like a job creation/retention project.


This.

I'd love to see the pedigree of analysis that demonstrates the mission of this aircraft.

It helps to look at where the French C-235s are now deployed. France has vast overseas territories all over the world, much of it made up of tiny islands in remote areas, as well as bases in foreign countries, where the French Air & Space Force needs to be present, but the constant deployment of an A400M (or lots of them as there are so many islands and bases) is neither required nor adequate.

So, at least according to Wikipedia, C-235s are (among others) stationed in French Guiana, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Reunion, Djibouti, Chad, and many of these C-235s have replaced older Transalls there.

Another use case is paratrooper training at tiny airstrips that are often placed inside or near Para/SF bases. The German army is currently renting civilian M-28 Skytrucks for this purpose.
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: FCTM: A CN-235 & C-130H successor to be designed by Airbus?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 3:02 am

keesje wrote:
Operational requirements outgrew the early fifties C130 design. Too small.


A400M and C-17 operators need smaller transports to avoid those expensive aircraft flying around a few pallets / folks. Preferably STOL,

It is hard to believe these two sentences were in the same post and so close together. You are trying incredibly hard to justify why the C-130J shouldn't be purchased.

Calling the C-130J program pork barrelling is laughable when it is operated by so many nations. It is the exact size most nations need for day to day delivery of pallets / folks. You just admitted it is needed for pallets / folks.

A twin engine A400M the size of the C-130J on the other hand is 100% pork barrelling. France and Germany are already accepting the C-130J. They just really r hate having to accept US equipment A new program cost divided over 100 aircraft would see it costing more than double of the C-130J. At most the Airbus product might fly 5% faster/further or 5% shorter takeoff roll than the C-130J. How that can be justified is beyond me.

Unless it is a game changing STOVL design.
 
Noray
Topic Author
Posts: 240
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: FCTM: A CN-235 & C-130H successor to be designed by Airbus?

Mon Nov 22, 2021 6:37 am

RJMAZ wrote:
keesje wrote:
Operational requirements outgrew the early fifties C130 design. Too small.


A400M and C-17 operators need smaller transports to avoid those expensive aircraft flying around a few pallets / folks. Preferably STOL,

It is hard to believe these two sentences were in the same post and so close together. You are trying incredibly hard to justify why the C-130J shouldn't be purchased.

It's no contradiction to those who know the Transall, that had a larger cargo hold and better soft field capabilities than the C-130.

RJMAZ wrote:
A twin engine A400M the size of the C-130J on the other hand is 100% pork barrelling. France and Germany are already accepting the C-130J. They just really r hate having to accept US equipment A new program cost divided over 100 aircraft would see it costing more than double of the C-130J. At most the Airbus product might fly 5% faster/further or 5% shorter takeoff roll than the C-130J. How that can be justified is beyond me.

Unless it is a game changing STOVL design.

Would it be asked too much to keep your jealousy of non-US programmes out of this thread about a European programme? It must be jealousy, because I know that you know about the national economic/tax effects of building your own aircraft vs. buying abroad. You also know about the French desire for strategic autonomy.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Mon Nov 22, 2021 12:54 pm

Once again this is really akin to the Boeing KC-46 in many regards, an expensive, very lengthy development process, many billions in write offs/rescue efforts for the project, and now speculation that Airbus would consider working toward a miniaturized version seems a bit preposterous. Airbus is a well run organization imho and I'd expect them to strongly resist any pressure to throw money at a baby A200M.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/22/airbus- ... n-ceo.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-airb ... 2R20100305

Airbus has written off at least 8 billion Euro's on the A400M.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-43069630

The A400M was meant to be the flagship of Airbus' military fleet - but the programme has been dogged by seemingly endless delays, technical problems and what the chief executive, Tom Enders, has described as a 'flawed contractual set-up".

As a result, the heavy-lifter has ended up being a financial deadweight on the company. The new write-off of €1.3bn takes the total so far to more than €8bn.


This isn't of course to bash the program (or otherwise play some silly game of US vs. Europe), but rather to point out a lot of this is attributable to the incredibly long process it took to launch the aircraft finally in 2003. FIMA (Future International Military Airlifter) started waaaay back in 1982, but it was only finally launched in 2003. 30 years of changing studies/programs/requirements was simply...too long.

Airbus almost certainly would have selected the PW180 in 2002 for it but...all of the TP400 problems to follow were driven by silly decisions, obviously not driven by performance/specs/costs. I sincerely hope this new effort does not take 30 years to finally launch a plane and does not similarly repeat the TP400 mistakes, as the actual capability would be quite good/of interest. I do think the US will go with a quad tiltrotor eventually (to finally replace the Hercs), but doubt we see anything flying before 2040 on that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A400M_Atlas
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: FCTM: A CN-235 & C-130H successor to be designed by Airbus?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 12:36 am

Noray wrote:
FlapOperator wrote:
LTEN11 wrote:
Sounds purely like a job creation/retention project.


This.

I'd love to see the pedigree of analysis that demonstrates the mission of this aircraft.

It helps to look at where the French C-235s are now deployed. France has vast overseas territories all over the world, much of it made up of tiny islands in remote areas, as well as bases in foreign countries, where the French Air & Space Force needs to be present, but the constant deployment of an A400M (or lots of them as there are so many islands and bases) is neither required nor adequate.

So, at least according to Wikipedia, C-235s are (among others) stationed in French Guiana, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Reunion, Djibouti, Chad, and many of these C-235s have replaced older Transalls there.

Another use case is paratrooper training at tiny airstrips that are often placed inside or near Para/SF bases. The German army is currently renting civilian M-28 Skytrucks for this purpose.


I think the A400 makes tremendous sense for the French, and as you note is reflective of French global operations, and the desire to retain military independence and capability. It's how the A400M fits into the other militaries I wonder about. A shrunken twin engine A400 derivative doesn't seem to accomplish anything a C-235 or -130 doesn't, both of these representing a fraction of the cost of new design.
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: FCTM: A CN-235 & C-130H successor to be designed by Airbus?

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:02 am

FlapOperator wrote:
A shrunken twin engine A400 derivative doesn't seem to accomplish anything a C-235 or -130 doesn't, both of these representing a fraction of the cost of new design.

Apparently it is about national economic/tax effects of building your own aircraft vs. buying abroad and the French desire for strategic autonomy.....

I think the C-27J is the solution for the major A400M operators. It can fit full size 463L pallets the same as the C-130. It can also fit a light vehicle and two dozen troops.

Statistics calculated by a large number of Air Forces in the world, show that
more than 75% of military transport flights are performed with less than 10 Tons of cargo and
less than 50 soldiers.

In fact, the Italian and Hellenic Militaries found that their average load for support missions were
around the 6 tons. The Australian Army found that during relief operations in East Timor, that
average load was 3 tons.

https://www.ordinariat.sk/data/att/106685.pdf

I have mentioned it before but the C-27J-30 would take the world by storm. This is my hypothetical model similar to the C-130J-30. A small stretch of 2.7m allows an extra pallet on the main deck.

The cargo bay volume was a good match for the original G.222 with its lower payload weight and MTOW. The C-27J NG has a max payload weight increase of 29% over the original G.222 it could now definitely do with some extra cargo volume. A C-27J-30 could then effectively replace the C-130H one for one. The C-27J doesn't have an overload configuration like the CN-295 or C-130J. It's payload and MTOW are rated for full 2.5G. This means there is significant performance available for when in overload.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:35 am

I think the -27J would have taken the DOD by storm, but Norty Schwartz killed it.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:25 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
I think the -27J would have taken the DOD by storm, but Norty Schwartz killed it.


Slovenia just ordered one from the Italians. I do think it still has some good life left in it. Pretty good aircraft.

https://militaryleak.com/2021/11/19/slo ... ment-deal/

Australian elephant walk with C-27J's:

Image

In 2007, the C-27J was selected as the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) for the United States military; these were produced in an international teaming arrangement under which L-3 Communications served as the prime contractor. In 2012, the United States Air Force (USAF) elected to retire the C-27J after only a short service life due to budget cuts; they were later reassigned to the U.S. Coast Guard and United States Special Operations Command. The C-27J has also been ordered by the military air units of Australia, Bulgaria, Chad, Italy, Greece, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, United States, Romania, Slovakia, Zambia and an undisclosed country.


I dunno about the winglets mattering much, but the next gen model might pull in some more orders in the coming years. If this product is available from Leonardo/within the EU shortly, what is really needed by the FMTC?

https://theaviationist.com/2020/12/30/l ... the-world/
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:49 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Slovenia just ordered one from the Italians. I do think it still has some good life left in it. Pretty good aircraft.

Quite a few smaller air forces have purchased the C-27J. It is now up to 16 operators.

To maximize airlift for any given budget operating fewer types will always have an advantage. Operating say C-17, A400M, C-130, C-27J and CN-235 would no doubt cover the entire spectrum of missions but it would provide less capability than compared to purchasing say just the A400M and C-27J. A much larger larger quantity of aircraft can be operated for the same budget.

Many say the C-17 and C-130J is the best combo with the C-130J being the perfect size below to cover a very large spectrum of missions. The C-130J has 26% of the MTOW of the large C-17. Now with the A400M, 26% of the size is 37t which is getting very close to the C-27J NG. The A400M and C-27J would provide an excellent strategic/tactical combo.

It seems the KC-130J tanker is also one of the primary selling points for operating the Hercules for both France and Germany. I wonder if the C-27J could be made to refuel helicopters. Even just a single drogue from the rear cargo hold could work well. I doubt the C-27J has the wingspan to refuel one helicopter per wing.
 
Schroinx
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:32 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:47 pm

From reading this tread it seems is the FMTC is targeting lower than the 130J, close to the C27J. That seems rather odd as the C27J is fairly new and already covers the range. If the goal where more aimed for making a commercial succesfull project, I would tend to think that the 130J/KC-390 range would be the one to target?
 
Flying-Tiger
Posts: 4163
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 1999 5:35 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Mon Nov 29, 2021 11:08 am

Schroinx wrote:
From reading this tread it seems is the FMTC is targeting lower than the 130J, close to the C27J. That seems rather odd as the C27J is fairly new and already covers the range. If the goal where more aimed for making a commercial succesfull project, I would tend to think that the 130J/KC-390 range would be the one to target?


The C-27J had its first flight in 1999, and has since sold ~90 frames. And its main design dated back to the G.222, a development of the 1960s. The similar sized C295 had its first flight in 1998, has sold around 190 copied and is based on the C-235, itself dating back to the early 1980.

Which ever way you twist it: both will be around 30 years old when first flight of the FMTC will happen, and probably around 35 years of age when first deliveries will occur. In other words: the FMTC will be the follow-on to both the C295 and C-27. And given the limited sales success of both - less than 300 frames in total in 25+ years - a joint project is more likely than two separate ones.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:54 pm

Flying-Tiger wrote:
Schroinx wrote:
From reading this tread it seems is the FMTC is targeting lower than the 130J, close to the C27J. That seems rather odd as the C27J is fairly new and already covers the range. If the goal where more aimed for making a commercial succesfull project, I would tend to think that the 130J/KC-390 range would be the one to target?


The C-27J had its first flight in 1999, and has since sold ~90 frames. And its main design dated back to the G.222, a development of the 1960s. The similar sized C295 had its first flight in 1998, has sold around 190 copied and is based on the C-235, itself dating back to the early 1980.

Which ever way you twist it: both will be around 30 years old when first flight of the FMTC will happen, and probably around 35 years of age when first deliveries will occur. In other words: the FMTC will be the follow-on to both the C295 and C-27. And given the limited sales success of both - less than 300 frames in total in 25+ years - a joint project is more likely than two separate ones.


It would seem to me to be irrationally exuberant about the FMTC prospects to assume it could be delivered so quickly, given the previous experience with the A400M program precursors. If the bigger European powers wanted to evolve either the C295 or C-27 further, it could be done and realistically very little actual advantages would come from a pricier, all new FMTC vs. those programs, regardless of the age of their predecessor/original precursor designs. They are sturdy frames, capable in this space, and realistically could even figure out a way to joint-produce the product in Germany-France if that is the real goal (likely).

That the C-130, a design from the 50’s, continues to win foreign sales (including Germany/France) this millennium is a testament to the fact that (a) it was designed quite well, and (b) cost/support (training/parts) matter for airlifters. The C-27 is perhaps just ‘too Italian’ at this time for some in the EU.
 
Schroinx
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2021 9:32 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Mon Nov 29, 2021 3:56 pm

Flying-Tiger wrote:
Schroinx wrote:
From reading this tread it seems is the FMTC is targeting lower than the 130J, close to the C27J. That seems rather odd as the C27J is fairly new and already covers the range. If the goal where more aimed for making a commercial succesfull project, I would tend to think that the 130J/KC-390 range would be the one to target?


The C-27J had its first flight in 1999, and has since sold ~90 frames. And its main design dated back to the G.222, a development of the 1960s. The similar sized C295 had its first flight in 1998, has sold around 190 copied and is based on the C-235, itself dating back to the early 1980.

Which ever way you twist it: both will be around 30 years old when first flight of the FMTC will happen, and probably around 35 years of age when first deliveries will occur. In other words: the FMTC will be the follow-on to both the C295 and C-27. And given the limited sales success of both - less than 300 frames in total in 25+ years - a joint project is more likely than two separate ones.


That makes sense, though Spain should join as well?
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 30, 2021 1:18 am

texl1649 wrote:

That the C-130, a design from the 50’s, continues to win foreign sales (including Germany/France) this millennium is a testament to the fact that (a) it was designed quite well, and (b) cost/support (training/parts) matter for airlifters. The C-27 is perhaps just ‘too Italian’ at this time for some in the EU.


The USAF argument against the -27J was that the cost per flight hour was high enough to not really be a savings against a -130J. I don't believe it personally, but I could see the analysis driving that way.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 30, 2021 12:04 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
texl1649 wrote:

That the C-130, a design from the 50’s, continues to win foreign sales (including Germany/France) this millennium is a testament to the fact that (a) it was designed quite well, and (b) cost/support (training/parts) matter for airlifters. The C-27 is perhaps just ‘too Italian’ at this time for some in the EU.


The USAF argument against the -27J was that the cost per flight hour was high enough to not really be a savings against a -130J. I don't believe it personally, but I could see the analysis driving that way.


I dunno, some of that I’m sure was just politics. I’ve read somewhere that the Herc costs on the average of $30K/flight hour to operate. I have a tough time thinking a plane with half of the identical engines would cost anywhere north of $20K/hour. Yes, call a spade a spade; a lot of politics went into the financial argument for the type’s early retirement, imho. Yes, EADS/Airbus claimed the C-295 costs half as much to maintain/fuel and has some record of wins (Philipines etc) but the Hercules is just a different cost scale, imho.

https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org ... oast-guard

The USAF basically made up the numbers it needed to justify retiring the new aircraft, and noted it could repair the Herc fleet ‘organically’ so no costs involved vs. Leonardo (pure shenanigans, in other words);

https://www.military.com/dodbuzz/2012/0 ... uth-vacuum

Rand corp. analysis found/assumed it costs 70% of what a C-130J would cost to operate per hour, and per ton delivered the CH-47’s would cost 10 times more.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/p ... _OP254.pdf
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:23 pm

Just to be clear, I don't view a "driven analysis" as a positive thing; on the contrary, as I stated before I believe Norty Schwartz killed it to save his community since the C-23s showed that the MC-130 specifically and the greater USAF intra-theater airlift program was not fit for purpose or responsive to tactical tasking in Iraq.

Of course the USAF stacked the analytical deck to do a a-net level of due diligence, followed by chopping it, immediately after convincing the Army leadership he wouldn't.

Just to be clear, I don't think the C-27's death in Army and later USAF service was "just politics." It was interservice budgetary politics of the lowest sort, that was done for completely service/community centric reasons and completely ignored the customer's preference, i.e. the troops requiring the lift.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1980
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:23 pm

FlapOperator wrote:
Just to be clear, I don't view a "driven analysis" as a positive thing; on the contrary, as I stated before I believe Norty Schwartz killed it to save his community since the C-23s showed that the MC-130 specifically and the greater USAF intra-theater airlift program was not fit for purpose or responsive to tactical tasking in Iraq.

Of course the USAF stacked the analytical deck to do a a-net level of due diligence, followed by chopping it, immediately after convincing the Army leadership he wouldn't.

Just to be clear, I don't think the C-27's death in Army and later USAF service was "just politics." It was interservice budgetary politics of the lowest sort, that was done for completely service/community centric reasons and completely ignored the customer's preference, i.e. the troops requiring the lift.


I didn’t really track it all that closely but no reason to doubt you on it. The USAF has for a long time prioritized keeping the Army from getting any niche fixed wing operations back if it can be avoided, at all costs, including the mission for the warfighter. This is a space to watch moving forward as we talk about possible tiltrotor successors the next two decades for the Hercules itself.

The politics are pretty disgusting, imho, but there is no avoiding it, then, now, or in the future specifications/decisions. The same is perhaps the case on the other side of the pond dealing with the FMTC requirements phase vs. the C-27/C-295 etc.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:57 pm

texl1649 wrote:

I didn’t really track it all that closely but no reason to doubt you on it. The USAF has for a long time prioritized keeping the Army from getting any niche fixed wing operations back if it can be avoided, at all costs, including the mission for the warfighter. This is a space to watch moving forward as we talk about possible tiltrotor successors the next two decades for the Hercules itself.

The politics are pretty disgusting, imho, but there is no avoiding it, then, now, or in the future specifications/decisions. The same is perhaps the case on the other side of the pond dealing with the FMTC requirements phase vs. the C-27/C-295 etc.


Exactly. I think the Euros get hung up on the US complaining about the 2% spending requirement (where the US has the better part of argument, in my opinion, and it is not just the Europeans, but the Canadians as well.) I think most Americans, for their part, don't understand the truly Byzantine, nationally driven, criminally under-resourced scrum that is inter-European defense procurement, from even my admittedly outsider perspective (though I claim some insight as I qualify for 2 or 3 CSDP Service medals.)

As I once explained to a senior officer why there was so much infighting during an EU exercise, let alone a real-world deployment (where deployed EU staffs and forces work surprisingly well) I related the famous joke "Why are college faculty fights so vicious? Because the stakes are so small."

As an outsider, I until you see the small scale many European militaries are operating on, its hard to really grasp the limitations and requirements of their forces.
 
User avatar
kitplane01
Posts: 2218
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 5:58 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 30, 2021 9:14 pm

texl1649 wrote:
If the bigger European powers wanted to evolve either the C295 or C-27 further, it could be done and realistically very little actual advantages would come from a pricier, all new FMTC vs. those programs, regardless of the age of their predecessor/original precursor designs.


I would be curious if future airlift in this space would be mostly composites or metal. Even if they are nearly the same weight, composites might have better long term costs due to lack of corrosion and fewer stress-and-age-related problems. But composites might be harder to make minor repairs to. It would be interesting to see which choice is favored.
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:00 pm

texl1649 wrote:
I dunno, some of that I’m sure was just politics. I’ve read somewhere that the Herc costs on the average of $30K/flight hour to operate. I have a tough time thinking a plane with half of the identical engines would cost anywhere north of $20K/hour.

I don't have a tough time thinking that. I am certain the C-27J would be above two thirds of hourly cost of the C-130J. The C-27J has the same crew of 3. Parts cost would be higher for the C-27J due to lower economy of scale.

With a small fleet size I could see the C-27J costing up to 75% of the hourly cost of the C-130J as the aircraft ages. Now unless you have lots of cargo flights with small loads then it does not make sense as this advantage rarely gets used.

What kills the C-27J cost benefit analysis would be while it costs 65-70% to operate it can carry only 40% of the cargo weight over 1,500nm. Approximately 18t vs 7t using available payload range curves.

Doing regular cargo 5 C-27J would be required to do the same job as 2 C-130J. Now even if the C-27J has an optimistic 60% of the hourly cost of the C-130 then the C-27J costs 50% more when it is 5 aircraft versus 2.

I guess it was unfair for the USAF comparing it mainly to the C-130J. The C-27J would have replaced some Chinook flights and this is where the C-27J would have been much cheaper.

I think the main reason was that the USAF only needs a certain amount of tactical airlifters and Lockheed needs to sell a certain number of C-130J aircraft to keep production running at a profitable and competitive rate. If the USAF started to get a huge fleet of C-27J then C-130J production might go into a death spiral as the USAF couldn't take as many even if forced.

FlapOperator wrote:
Just to be clear, I don't think the C-27's death in Army and later USAF service was "just politics."
I think the US army getting tactical airlifters was a big issue. This problem will have to be solved for the quad tilt rotor. The Army should get full control and budget boost to operate the tilt rotor. The USAF will then lose most of its C-130J budget. That will be a big fight.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Tue Nov 30, 2021 10:18 pm

All this analysis might be true, but its irrelevant if the USAF isn't willing to create the doctrine that makes them do the intratheater airlift mission properly. And guess what the GWOT taught us? The USAF ISN'T willing to do the mission despite getting resourced to do it, and the Army Aviation community doesn't care because its not an Apache.

There are many reasons the USMC, USN and USCG retain -130s.
 
IADFCO
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 4:20 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Wed Dec 01, 2021 12:03 am

The tiltrotor fans here have a point. The quadrotor could double up as a weapon. Imagine a formation of 5 of these in low speed, low altitude flight. The enemy forces that are not disabled by the noise of the 20 rotors would be swept away by their combined downwash... :stirthepot:
 
RJMAZ
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:54 am

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Wed Dec 01, 2021 12:24 am

Back to the Europe requirement. I'm trying to think of possible reasons this could get the green light.

Europe has seen the C-130 remain in production for 65 years. The C-141 production came and went. C-17 production came and went. A400M has come and will go. It seems only the medium size tactical airlift market is large enough to permanently sustain a production run for multiple decades. Europe might be aiming for a long sustained program to take the reigns from the C-130J.

I could easily see the USAF no longer ordering the C-130J beyond 2030 once a quad tilt rotor is available. Lockheed will lose economy of scale and will then have a tough time competing against a technically superior twin engine aircraft of similar size made in Europe.

Would two Europrop TP400-D6 have lower purchase and operating costs compared to four Rolls-Royce AE 2100? Technically it should be able to. A cleansheet twin engine design with fewer parts, rivets and more composites should have lower maintenance than the old Hercules.

Performance wise a cleansheet twin from Europe should be able to beat the C-130J by 10% in all specs. If it is equal size it should be able to fly 10% further with 10% more payload at 10% greater speed all while operating from 10% shorter runways at 10% lower cost per hour.

Now all it comes down to is getting the manufacturing cost and purchase price low enough. Once the C-130J loses economy of scale it's unit cost might increase by 30%. This gives Europe room to make a profit with jts superior twin even if it charges a premium.

Europe just has to hope that a stubborn US government doesn't force Lockheed to fit new engines and 8 blade props to the C-130J and then places another order for 300 Hercules. This would make it impossible for a European Cleansheet twin engine design to win on cost/performance.
 
ThePointblank
Posts: 3882
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Wed Dec 01, 2021 1:24 am

FlapOperator wrote:
One thing lost in the C-130 buy was how much of that was supposed to support the Stryker brigades mobility.

It was a terrible concept, borne from a flawed idea that future US ground combat efforts would like Bosnian peacekeeping. The combination of speed of mobility and the -130 as the prime mover meant lots of limitations were baked into Stryker (especially when there demonstrated better AFV platforms out there.)

The Army thankfully let the Stryker global mobility concept die (really only as late as 2008ish) but the USAF, once a supporter of this idea rapidly started to complain when it was obvious that the -130 buy was eating into other programs, and the real flaws of USAF intratheater airlift in Iraq and Afghanistan were becoming crystal clear.

Incorrect; the Stryker brigades were meant for increased strategic mobility compared to the rest of the US Army force. Remember that the bulk of the US Army's ground combat vehicle force is tracked; this means that if you intend on moving tracked vehicles long distance, you are forced to make sure that either:
1. You have enough prime movers and trailers to load the vehicles and carry them that way;
2. be close to a rail head and transport the brigade via rail;
3. If you have absolutely no options, run on the road, and accept significantly increased wear and tear requiring frequent halts for maintenance and dramatically increased fuel usage, assuming your tracks don't tear up the roads in the first place.

In contrast, a Styker brigade can be self-deployed as it is a primarily wheeled force; it can run on the roads and highways with little need for halts for maintenance. It can also get to a location quicker as a result, and deploy its assets as a fast rapid reaction force that's more heavily armed and protected than just a light infantry brigade that is travelling via unarmoured Humvees. In fact, all of the Stryker brigades are converted from light infantry or cavalry units that didn't have any armoured vehicles as part of their force; at best, they got unarmoured Humvee's and trucks to move soldiers around in.
 
FlapOperator
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2021 4:07 pm

Re: Future Medium-size Tactical Cargo (FMTC) News and Discussion Thread

Wed Dec 01, 2021 4:12 am

ThePointblank wrote:
[
Incorrect; the Stryker brigades were meant for increased strategic mobility compared to the rest of the US Army force. Remember that the bulk of the US Army's ground combat vehicle force is tracked; this means that if you intend on moving tracked vehicles long distance, you are forced to make sure that either:
1. You have enough prime movers and trailers to load the vehicles and carry them that way;
2. be close to a rail head and transport the brigade via rail;
3. If you have absolutely no options, run on the road, and accept significantly increased wear and tear requiring frequent halts for maintenance and dramatically increased fuel usage, assuming your tracks don't tear up the roads in the first place.

In contrast, a Styker brigade can be self-deployed as it is a primarily wheeled force; it can run on the roads and highways with little need for halts for maintenance. It can also get to a location quicker as a result, and deploy its assets as a fast rapid reaction force that's more heavily armed and protected than just a light infantry brigade that is travelling via unarmoured Humvees. In fact, all of the Stryker brigades are converted from light infantry or cavalry units that didn't have any armoured vehicles as part of their force; at best, they got unarmoured Humvee's and trucks to move soldiers around in.


So with a SBCT, you had a force with none of the virtues of light infantry and all of the logistics requirements of mech infantry (Strykers need gas and maintenance, too) with none of the firepower of a mech force (the 105 MGS was stillborne, and everyone knew it, leaving a 50 cal or Mk19 as the prime fire weapon) with next to no fires (mortars and I think two sections of 777s), no real ADA, limited CBRN and two maneuver and one recon element.

A SBCT has all of the liabilities of a Soviet Motorized Rifle Regiment and none of its virtues. The Stryker itself was designed to fit in a C-130 per its mobility requirement, but can't do it with any fight from the ramp capability like fuel, inflated tires or survival add-ons like an RPG cage. So, its really not much more protected than a MRAP/HMMWV. Really, what the grunt gets from the Stryker is some really Gucci comms and sensors.

Like I said, the scenario you posit is Bosnia, and maybe Panama, and not anything like a forced entry or MCO against anything like a peer adversary. That's not surprising as most of the pedigree of the SBCT and the Stryker itself was from the limitations of the 1980/1990s heavy/light mix of US Army combat formations. Army officers looked at the LAV and at the MEUs inherent mobility and fires and said, "lets make a 'fight from ramp' capability except our ramp is the -130."

Senior Army leadership didn't like it when they were told by their own analysts "The US has a fight from the ramp capability with near global mobility, called airborne and Rangers, and near follow-on with light armor and organic fires, Role III medical, area ADA, etc. called the MEU. Follow on to the MEU is the MPF. Why are we replicating this capability?"

Lots of C-130s were helped along the procurement trail with the idea we can move SBCTs with them (along with the requirement to support like the Army's likely grossly oversized airborne capability.)

Now, there might be an argument that the overall size and economy of scale of the C-130 is its greatest virtue, regardless of how we got there. Frankly, if I had to CHOOSE between a -130 and -27J fleet, I'd be hard-pressed to chose the -27J (as much as a partisan I was of the project) if I could see myself doing everything from basic trash-hauling to HARVEST HAWK type COIN stuff to Major Combat operations with the same airframe with basically turn key support.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos