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Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Dec 31, 2020 1:52 pm

Welcome to the Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread 2021. Please continue your discussion and to post your updates here.

Link to previous thread:

A400M Update Thread 2020
 
Ozair
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:01 pm

Apparently interest from Kazakhstan for the A400M continues with negotiations potentially happening for the acquisition of two aircraft.

Kazakhstan reportedly in talks to acquire two Airbus A400M

Kazakhstan is reportedly negotiating with Airbus Defense & Space the acquisition of two A400M, according to diplomatic sources cited by Spanish media ABC.

The capabilities of the transport aircraft were showcased to the Kazakh authorities several times. In May 2018, Airbus sent one A400M to the Kazakh defense exhibition KADEX to “demonstrate its complementarity to the C295” ‒ a transport aircraft that the Kazakh Air Force already operates.

More recently, in September 2020, the British Royal Air Force presented their A400M to several members of the Kazakh government during a visit to promote bilateral military cooperation between the two countries. “As part of the demonstration, the A400M was loaded with an Arlan Armoured vehicle and Airbus Test pilots showcased the aircraft’s technical capabilities to Kazakh Air Defense Force Officers,” the RAF stated.

...

https://www.aerotime.aero/26822-kazakhs ... rbus-a400m
 
mxaxai
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:10 pm

Airbus has developed a UAV launcher that deploys small UAV out of the A400M's cargo ramp: https://youtu.be/8BbyL28JnOQ

Just a technology demonstrator so far but certainly an interesting concept.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:16 am

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... ide-doors/

This has probably already been posted, but I cannot believe I missed this. I had erroneously assumed that paratroop deployment was part of the initial development of the aircraft.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Wed Feb 10, 2021 11:07 am

Reddevil556 wrote:
https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/06/03/airbus-a400m-cleared-to-drop-more-paratroopers-through-its-side-doors/

This has probably already been posted, but I cannot believe I missed this. I had erroneously assumed that paratroop deployment was part of the initial development of the aircraft.

It was. They were just limited to the ramp or one door and couldn't use both doors simultaneously until 2020.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:23 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Reddevil556 wrote:
https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/06/03/airbus-a400m-cleared-to-drop-more-paratroopers-through-its-side-doors/

This has probably already been posted, but I cannot believe I missed this. I had erroneously assumed that paratroop deployment was part of the initial development of the aircraft.

It was. They were just limited to the ramp or one door and couldn't use both doors simultaneously until 2020.


Yeah I figured the side doors with simultaneous use would have been part of it the initial development. Ramp jumps are really only useful to freefall operations, for static line jumps the risk goes up considerably. This is based on aerodynamics and how a static line parachute opens. Given that the current NATO users of the A400 have airborne units that rely on static line operations I was surprised by this feature. Oddly enough a C130 pilot was the one who filled me in on the current limitations of the A400.
 
Noray
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Feb 11, 2021 4:06 am

Reddevil556 wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Reddevil556 wrote:
https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/06/03/airbus-a400m-cleared-to-drop-more-paratroopers-through-its-side-doors/

This has probably already been posted, but I cannot believe I missed this. I had erroneously assumed that paratroop deployment was part of the initial development of the aircraft.

It was. They were just limited to the ramp or one door and couldn't use both doors simultaneously until 2020.


Yeah I figured the side doors with simultaneous use would have been part of it the initial development. Ramp jumps are really only useful to freefall operations, for static line jumps the risk goes up considerably. This is based on aerodynamics and how a static line parachute opens. Given that the current NATO users of the A400 have airborne units that rely on static line operations I was surprised by this feature. Oddly enough a C130 pilot was the one who filled me in on the current limitations of the A400.


This had been planned for a much earlier stage. You can even find a paper from 2006 on "Computer Simulation of Paratrooper Deployment by Static Line from A400M" written by EADS-CASA engineers. The aim obviously was to avoid what had happened with parachuting from the C-17. From the paper's introduction:


The example of the McDonnel Douglas/Boeing C-17 illustrates how costly and time-intensive the
empirical approach can become [1]. During C-17 flight testing, it was identified the possibility of
“crossover”, a highly dangerous phenomenon where paratroopers exiting from opposite sides of the
aircraft are drawn towards the aircraft centreline. Crossover can lead to paratrooper collision and/or
parachute entanglement, both of which are potentially lethal. McDonnel Douglas was forced to embark on
a very lengthy and expensive wind tunnel and flight testing campaign to reduce the risk of crossover to an
acceptable level. Eventually, after a significant testing and engineering effort, the way was paved for
certification of the C-17 for mass paratroop jumps.



Apparently, the simulation wasn't sufficient and the A400M required its own flight testing campaign to reduce the risk of crossover, and they probably changed something about the configuration. In earlier parachuting and helicopter refueling tests, the landing gear used to be extended during slow flight. I think that's not the case anymore. I also read that they are now using parachutes with longer static lines to avoid collisions.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:55 pm

[/quote]

Apparently, the simulation wasn't sufficient and the A400M required its own flight testing campaign to reduce the risk of crossover, and they probably changed something about the configuration. In earlier parachuting and helicopter refueling tests, the landing gear used to be extended during slow flight. I think that's not the case anymore. I also read that they are now using parachutes with longer static lines to avoid collisions.[/quote]

A lot of that can be prevented by staggering the jumpers, but sometimes the sequence gets off and jumpers exit the doors are the same time. Another big factor is the type of parachute. The US Army switched to the T-11 nearly 10 years ago from the old T-10D. The T-10 had been around since the 1950s I believe. With the T-11, the static line does not actually pull the parachute from the packtray assembly, rather it pulls a drogue chute out that in turn pulls the main canopy out. This creates a delayed opening and reduces the opening shock felt by the paratroopers. Naturally there were some teething issues and after a few fatalities some changes were made, typically how things happen in the Army. From memory I believe the static line on the T-11 is also longer than the T10Ds.

It was found that very light females did not have the body weight to actually deploy their parachutes and also the timing sequence had to be changed for releasing the jumpers. We started seeing jumpers getting caught in the static line from the jumper ahead of them (here is where aerodynamics really come into play). As a result we couldn't drop a trooper at a rate of 1 per second anymore. This of course creates issues with drop zone sizes. At drop speeds in a C17, with 45 troops going out each door....the dropzone suddenly seems a lot smaller. The difference between the No1 and 45 jumpers can often be over 3 km.

All that being said, the C17 has a much better platform from which to jump, whereas the C130 creates a weird suction effect and exit is typically more violent. I have never bounced off the skin of the aircraft but I have been on jumps where it happened. I figured Airbus would try to use a door design similar to that of the C17.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:34 pm

Reddevil556 wrote:
Naturally there were some teething issues and after a few fatalities some changes were made, typically how things happen in the Army.

:wideeyed:

Reddevil556 wrote:
It was found that very light females did not have the body weight to actually deploy their parachutes and also the timing sequence had to be changed for releasing the jumpers. We started seeing jumpers getting caught in the static line from the jumper ahead of them (here is where aerodynamics really come into play). As a result we couldn't drop a trooper at a rate of 1 per second anymore. This of course creates issues with drop zone sizes. At drop speeds in a C17, with 45 troops going out each door....the dropzone suddenly seems a lot smaller. The difference between the No1 and 45 jumpers can often be over 3 km.

As far as I remember in A400M I've only seen identical sticks used in flight test prior to real jumpers testing.
Maybe the jumper weight doesn't have a huge effect on single or paralel doors jumps ? At least for certification :D

Reddevil556 wrote:
All that being said, the C17 has a much better platform from which to jump, whereas the C130 creates a weird suction effect and exit is typically more violent. I have never bounced off the skin of the aircraft but I have been on jumps where it happened. I figured Airbus would try to use a door design similar to that of the C17.

What do you mean by "similar design" ?
I'd think the evil is in the details of the airflow, the principle and position of both paratropper doors looks like identical, but the airflow in the zone should be very different (size, speed, prop/turbo)
 
744SPX
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:54 pm

I'm really hoping they find another application for the TP400. Something like Keesje's Turboliner or a new anti-sub aircraft would be great.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:58 pm

Reddevil556 wrote:
All that being said, the C17 has a much better platform from which to jump, whereas the C130 creates a weird suction effect and exit is typically more violent. I have never bounced off the skin of the aircraft but I have been on jumps where it happened. I figured Airbus would try to use a door design similar to that of the C17.

What do you mean by "similar design" ?
I'd think the evil is in the details of the airflow, the principle and position of both paratropper doors looks like identical, but the airflow in the zone should be very different (size, speed, prop/turbo)[/quote]

I mean that Airbus could design side doors with similar aerodynamic properties as the C17. For example the fuselage shape near the doors. The C17 has some interesting curves where the side doors are located compared to lets say a C130.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:27 pm

Reddevil556 wrote:
I mean that Airbus could design side doors with similar aerodynamic properties as the C17. For example the fuselage shape near the doors. The C17 has some interesting curves where the side doors are located compared to lets say a C130.


:innocent:
For me they all have PTD located above the rear of the sponson of a boring transport aircraft.

Be sure for each platform a tweak was needed to manage the airflow for the specific part of the flight envelope the jump will happen.
The A400M tweak took time to be delivered because the customers had others priority's and accepted to push the feature for a later batch delivery.
The current batch.

On top of my head there is only the low level automatic terrain following, high altitude aerial delivery and helicopter refuel left to reach the complete original operationals requirements.
Given the quietness of the Flight Test fleet these days I'd think it's job done. We'll see.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:46 am

Grizzly410 wrote:
Given the quietness of the Flight Test fleet these days I'd think it's job done. We'll see.

Adsbexchange shows lots of EC-400 flights from Toulouse in the recent months, often low level in the Pyrenees or Massif Central.
 
WIederling
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 11:53 am

Image
borrowed from and including a bit of an explanation:
https://aviation.stackexchange.com/ques ... this-movie

Image

borrowed from Wikimedia commons:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... 78-014.jpg

common basic idea, different designs.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:56 pm

WIederling wrote:
Image
borrowed from and including a bit of an explanation:
https://aviation.stackexchange.com/ques ... this-movie

Image

borrowed from Wikimedia commons:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... 78-014.jpg

common basic idea, different designs.


I guess that adds to my confusion on the subject, the aircraft was designed and built for a mission it wasn't ready to do upon entrance into service. There is really no reason to add the side doors and spoiler to an aircraft unless you intend to drop paratroops from that door. Unless I am missing something, every A400 customer has airborne units. I have never seen C130 or C17 crews use those doors for anything other than paratroop drops. Does this mean the birds that were built and delivered prior to the testing and certification are retroactively approved for the mission? Then again defense contracts rarely seem to make much sense.
 
Noray
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:43 am

Reddevil556 wrote:
I guess that adds to my confusion on the subject, the aircraft was designed and built for a mission it wasn't ready to do upon entrance into service. There is really no reason to add the side doors and spoiler to an aircraft unless you intend to drop paratroops from that door. Unless I am missing something, every A400 customer has airborne units. I have never seen C130 or C17 crews use those doors for anything other than paratroop drops. Does this mean the birds that were built and delivered prior to the testing and certification are retroactively approved for the mission? Then again defense contracts rarely seem to make much sense.

The side doors and deflectors are part of the basic aircraft. They were already there in 2010; developed by Turkey, by the way.

PICTURE: First paratroops jump from Europe's A400M
By Craig Hoyle, 8 November 2010
Source: Flight International:


Visible in the released image, the A400M's new side door deflectors were added to the development aircraft fleet after initial tests with the ramp and side doors open resulted in high noise levels and turbulence inside the cargo hold, says Fernando Alonso, Airbus Military's senior vice-president flight and integration test centre.

Conducted after initial tests using water-filled balloons and also followed by the release of instrumented dummies from static lines, the first paratroop jumps will lead to further trials scheduled to take place during 2011, Airbus says.

Obviously, 2011 was too optimistic.

The result of the trials could be any or all of these:
* procedures to be observed by the crew or the parachutists
* software updates to the aircraft
* hardware updates to the aircraft
* hardware updates to the parachutes.

Whether aircraft built prior to the testing and certification are retroactively approved for the mission either automatically, with software upgrades or hardware upgrades, depends on which of the above is the case. I don't actually now the answer. I'd expect that at least an update to the Flight Management System will be required. But not all A400Ms that have been built were acquired for tactical missions. So some may never be upgraded although the side doors and deflectors are there in the basic A400M model.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:27 pm

Noray wrote:
The side doors and deflectors are part of the basic aircraft. They were already there in 2010; developed by Turkey, by the way.

PICTURE: First paratroops jump from Europe's A400M
................................................

Thanks for the info.
So what was changed? details on the deflector? Hole pattern ..
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:17 pm

A friendly reminder to provide links to your sources when stating facts, thanks.
 
Reddevil556
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Mon Feb 15, 2021 10:20 am

Noray wrote:
Reddevil556 wrote:
I guess that adds to my confusion on the subject, the aircraft was designed and built for a mission it wasn't ready to do upon entrance into service. There is really no reason to add the side doors and spoiler to an aircraft unless you intend to drop paratroops from that door. Unless I am missing something, every A400 customer has airborne units. I have never seen C130 or C17 crews use those doors for anything other than paratroop drops. Does this mean the birds that were built and delivered prior to the testing and certification are retroactively approved for the mission? Then again defense contracts rarely seem to make much sense.

The side doors and deflectors are part of the basic aircraft. They were already there in 2010; developed by Turkey, by the way.

PICTURE: First paratroops jump from Europe's A400M
By Craig Hoyle, 8 November 2010
Source: Flight International:


Visible in the released image, the A400M's new side door deflectors were added to the development aircraft fleet after initial tests with the ramp and side doors open resulted in high noise levels and turbulence inside the cargo hold, says Fernando Alonso, Airbus Military's senior vice-president flight and integration test centre.

Interesting, thanks for the sources. Oddly enough even though all C17s are equipped for side door paratroop drop, only a select few units are certified for it. That would explain why I rarely saw any C17 tails other than Charleston. I would assume that certified crews could operate the tails from other units in a pinch if need be.

Conducted after initial tests using water-filled balloons and also followed by the release of instrumented dummies from static lines, the first paratroop jumps will lead to further trials scheduled to take place during 2011, Airbus says.

Obviously, 2011 was too optimistic.

The result of the trials could be any or all of these:
* procedures to be observed by the crew or the parachutists
* software updates to the aircraft
* hardware updates to the aircraft
* hardware updates to the parachutes.

Whether aircraft built prior to the testing and certification are retroactively approved for the mission either automatically, with software upgrades or hardware upgrades, depends on which of the above is the case. I don't actually now the answer. I'd expect that at least an update to the Flight Management System will be required. But not all A400Ms that have been built were acquired for tactical missions. So some may never be upgraded although the side doors and deflectors are there in the basic A400M model.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Mon Feb 15, 2021 2:19 pm

Noray wrote:
Grizzly410 wrote:
Given the quietness of the Flight Test fleet these days I'd think it's job done. We'll see.

Adsbexchange shows lots of EC-400 flights from Toulouse in the recent months, often low level in the Pyrenees or Massif Central.


By "these days" I meant very recently, in 2021. EC-400 was indeed heavily used in late 2020, it was the platform for the Low Level terrain following.

But of course it only needed me to say they were quiet for MSN4 to come out of an hangar fitted with PODs...
 
Noray
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Wed Mar 24, 2021 11:44 pm

Within a few years, the A400M will be the smallest fixed wing transport aircraft of the RAF. The UK will retire its complete C130J fleet by 2023, rather than 2035 as previously planned. This is at least what the Defence Command Paper of the UK's Integrated Review says that was released on March 22. According to the paper, "The A400M Atlas force will increase its capacity and capability", but this isn't specified. At least it shows that the UK has growing confidence in the A400M.

Defence Command Paper, PDF
The Royal Air Force will retire the BAe146 as planned by 2022 and take the C130 Hercules out of service by 2023. The A400M Atlas force will increase its capacity and capability, operating alongside C-17 Globemaster and Voyager transport aircraft and tankers.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace's speech doesn't indicate any plans to increase the currently envisaged number of 22 A400Ms.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/defence-secretary-oral-statement-on-the-defence-command-paper

as the transport fleet improves availability we will retire the C130-J Hercules in 2023, after 24 years of service. Twenty-two A400Ms, alongside the C17s, will provide a more capable and flexible transport fleet.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:15 pm

Noray wrote:
Within a few years, the A400M will be the smallest fixed wing transport aircraft of the RAF. The UK will retire its complete C130J fleet by 2023, rather than 2035 as previously planned. This is at least what the Defence Command Paper of the UK's Integrated Review says that was released on March 22. According to the paper, "The A400M Atlas force will increase its capacity and capability", but this isn't specified. At least it shows that the UK has growing confidence in the A400M.

Defence Command Paper, PDF
The Royal Air Force will retire the BAe146 as planned by 2022 and take the C130 Hercules out of service by 2023. The A400M Atlas force will increase its capacity and capability, operating alongside C-17 Globemaster and Voyager transport aircraft and tankers.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace's speech doesn't indicate any plans to increase the currently envisaged number of 22 A400Ms.
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/defence-secretary-oral-statement-on-the-defence-command-paper

as the transport fleet improves availability we will retire the C130-J Hercules in 2023, after 24 years of service. Twenty-two A400Ms, alongside the C17s, will provide a more capable and flexible transport fleet.



Does anyone else feel completely shocked by this decision regarding the C-130s?
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:47 am

aumaverick wrote:
as the transport fleet improves availability we will retire the C130-J Hercules in 2023, after 24 years of service. Twenty-two A400Ms, alongside the C17s, will provide a more capable and flexible transport fleet.


Does anyone else feel completely shocked by this decision regarding the C-130s?


Unless the Hercs are now expensive to maintain, this seems like a mistake to me. I imagine that it would be more economical using a Herc to do a job where the capacity of the Grizzly is not needed.

Oh yes, and where the Typhoons are concerned, I await news of Indonesia expressing an interest in them.
 
Noray
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 26, 2021 10:48 am

art wrote:
aumaverick wrote:
as the transport fleet improves availability we will retire the C130-J Hercules in 2023, after 24 years of service. Twenty-two A400Ms, alongside the C17s, will provide a more capable and flexible transport fleet.


Does anyone else feel completely shocked by this decision regarding the C-130s?


Unless the Hercs are now expensive to maintain, this seems like a mistake to me. I imagine that it would be more economical using a Herc to do a job where the capacity of the Grizzly is not needed.

Oh yes, and where the Typhoons are concerned, I await news of Indonesia expressing an interest in them.

This topic deserves to be adressed separately, maybe split into a new thread?

It has alway been a main purpose of the A400M to minimise the number of fleets to be maintained, as each fleet requires a costly organisation, no matter how many aircraft there are. I suppose that the paper pushers have calculated the economy of flying a larger aircraft vs. maintaining an additional small fleet. That's also why Germany and France are forming a common unit to maintain a limited number of C-130Js. When, several years ago, they decided to buy C-130Js even though they're also major A400M customers, there were still many more doubts about whether the A400M would ever reach some of its tactical capabilities. A lot has improved since then, and the use cases that would absolutely require the C-130J and justify an additional fleet are getting rarer than ever. I also believe that the Hercs require new wing boxes.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:38 am

It does seem perverse given how much emphasis the review places of improved and more SF ops, as well as deployability in general.
(My own view is that the 10 shortbodied ones should have had some converted to tankers, the rest for SF ops).
However, if the wing boxes do need replacing, which is likely as the C-130J's were hard worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, including plenty of rough field ops, then more understandable.
However, if there are unsold A400M's going spare, surely it would be sensible to add to the RAF fleet, around 6-8 more of theseframes.
 
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SAS A340
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 26, 2021 11:49 am

You would think that they have approx 20 years of service left within them and probably attractive to some airforces, perhaps including my own (Sweden) but as said earlier, we don´t know the actual status of them for now.
 
texl1649
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:45 pm

Noray wrote:
art wrote:
aumaverick wrote:

Does anyone else feel completely shocked by this decision regarding the C-130s?


Unless the Hercs are now expensive to maintain, this seems like a mistake to me. I imagine that it would be more economical using a Herc to do a job where the capacity of the Grizzly is not needed.

Oh yes, and where the Typhoons are concerned, I await news of Indonesia expressing an interest in them.

This topic deserves to be adressed separately, maybe split into a new thread?

It has alway been a main purpose of the A400M to minimise the number of fleets to be maintained, as each fleet requires a costly organisation, no matter how many aircraft there are. I suppose that the paper pushers have calculated the economy of flying a larger aircraft vs. maintaining an additional small fleet. That's also why Germany and France are forming a common unit to maintain a limited number of C-130Js. When, several years ago, they decided to buy C-130Js even though they're also major A400M customers, there were still many more doubts about whether the A400M would ever reach some of its tactical capabilities. A lot has improved since then, and the use cases that would absolutely require the C-130J and justify an additional fleet are getting rarer than ever. I also believe that the Hercs require new wing boxes.


There’s no evidence/cite that the C-130J’s need new wing boxes.

The A400M costs (largely due to the TP400) per hour are significantly higher than the C-130. This is why even the Germans/French bought the J’s. The Germans are desperate to unload some of their committed A400’s so I would expect the RAF to pick some up at some point in the next few years.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 27, 2021 1:38 am

texl1649 wrote:
There’s no evidence/cite that the C-130J’s need new wing boxes.

The A400M costs (largely due to the TP400) per hour are significantly higher than the C-130. This is why even the Germans/French bought the J’s. The Germans are desperate to unload some of their committed A400’s so I would expect the RAF to pick some up at some point in the next few years.


From start to finish, this is the kind of misinformation I'm used to hear from Lockheed fanboys, lobbyists, shareholders and employees all over the web, I'm afraid. And, contrary to the forum rules, you don't provide a single link. It's easy to find links that disprove almost each of your allegations.

Centre wing box replacement deal supports RAF's Hercules
18 July 2017
...
Announced by the Ministry of Defence on 14 July, a new, £110 million ($143 million) contract will lead to the UK's Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group replacing the centre wing boxes on 14 stretched-fuselage C-130J-30s, designated C4s by the RAF.

First C-130J with new centre wing returns to RAF (10 August 2020)

Germans/French bought the J’s for aerial refuelling of helicopters and for operations on small unpaved runways, especially in Africa, where France previously had to rely on US KC-130s to refuel their special forces helicopters.
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... ow-reality
If costs per flight hour were the issue, creating a tiny C-130 fleet in addition to the large A400M fleets would be nonsensical.

The RAF can hardly "pick up" aircraft that Germany isn't trying to sell, since they will be based at Germany's second A400M base at Lechfeld in southern Germany.
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... th-hungary
The UK could join Germany and Hungary in the new Multinational Air Transport Unit (MNAU) in Lechfeld, but I doubt this, since they're not even members of the EATC.
 
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Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:51 am

There is a dedicated thread with respect to the C-130J fleet which can be found here:

UK Defence Command Paper: RAF to Axe C-130 Fleet by 2023
 
texl1649
Posts: 1895
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:38 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sun Mar 28, 2021 11:30 am

Noray wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
There’s no evidence/cite that the C-130J’s need new wing boxes.

The A400M costs (largely due to the TP400) per hour are significantly higher than the C-130. This is why even the Germans/French bought the J’s. The Germans are desperate to unload some of their committed A400’s so I would expect the RAF to pick some up at some point in the next few years.


From start to finish, this is the kind of misinformation I'm used to hear from Lockheed fanboys, lobbyists, shareholders and employees all over the web, I'm afraid. And, contrary to the forum rules, you don't provide a single link. It's easy to find links that disprove almost each of your allegations.

Centre wing box replacement deal supports RAF's Hercules
18 July 2017
...
Announced by the Ministry of Defence on 14 July, a new, £110 million ($143 million) contract will lead to the UK's Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group replacing the centre wing boxes on 14 stretched-fuselage C-130J-30s, designated C4s by the RAF.

First C-130J with new centre wing returns to RAF (10 August 2020)

Germans/French bought the J’s for aerial refuelling of helicopters and for operations on small unpaved runways, especially in Africa, where France previously had to rely on US KC-130s to refuel their special forces helicopters.
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... ow-reality
If costs per flight hour were the issue, creating a tiny C-130 fleet in addition to the large A400M fleets would be nonsensical.

The RAF can hardly "pick up" aircraft that Germany isn't trying to sell, since they will be based at Germany's second A400M base at Lechfeld in southern Germany.
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... th-hungary
The UK could join Germany and Hungary in the new Multinational Air Transport Unit (MNAU) in Lechfeld, but I doubt this, since they're not even members of the EATC.


Ok, we have a fanboy. Got it. The A400M issues with reliability/cost/per hour cost are well documented, no need to go dig thru them all, but if you want to claim it is equivalent in some way to a C-130 have at it.

viewtopic.php?t=1027711&start=300

On the Germans, and French, there’s a reason they also operate a small fleet of Hercs, and as well why the Brits didn’t send A400M’s into Libya a few years ago; obviously the A400M’s could have landed on those same strips. Hmmm....

Finally, yes, the Germans are desperate to hawk off some of their committed A400’s. They’ve been trying for years for these ‘surplus’ Grizzlies, but to no avail.

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

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threa ... 6/page-199

Even if the Germans have now given up selling any off (Indonesia and South Korea were the last ones interested I thought), perhaps the Spaniards will still be willing to ditch a few excess/unwanted frames as was the word in 2017.

viewtopic.php?t=1411745
 
WIederling
Posts: 10043
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:15 pm

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:06 pm

[quote="texl1649"]The A400M costs (largely due to the TP400) per hour are significantly higher than the C-130. This is why even the Germans/French bought the J’s. The Germans are desperate to unload some of their committed A400’s so I would expect the RAF to pick some up at some point in the next few years.[/quote]

Interesing oppinion.

IMU the French bought a set of C130 for smallish force insertion/removal activities.
and
IMU the Germans bought into this for French/German coop projects.
( Germany wants to go to war now like the other kids on the block. no Sh*t! )
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sun Mar 28, 2021 8:54 pm

texl1649 wrote:
Noray wrote:
texl1649 wrote:
There’s no evidence/cite that the C-130J’s need new wing boxes.

The A400M costs (largely due to the TP400) per hour are significantly higher than the C-130. This is why even the Germans/French bought the J’s. The Germans are desperate to unload some of their committed A400’s so I would expect the RAF to pick some up at some point in the next few years.


From start to finish, this is the kind of misinformation I'm used to hear from Lockheed fanboys, lobbyists, shareholders and employees all over the web, I'm afraid. And, contrary to the forum rules, you don't provide a single link. It's easy to find links that disprove almost each of your allegations.

Centre wing box replacement deal supports RAF's Hercules
18 July 2017
...
Announced by the Ministry of Defence on 14 July, a new, £110 million ($143 million) contract will lead to the UK's Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group replacing the centre wing boxes on 14 stretched-fuselage C-130J-30s, designated C4s by the RAF.

First C-130J with new centre wing returns to RAF (10 August 2020)

Germans/French bought the J’s for aerial refuelling of helicopters and for operations on small unpaved runways, especially in Africa, where France previously had to rely on US KC-130s to refuel their special forces helicopters.
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... ow-reality
If costs per flight hour were the issue, creating a tiny C-130 fleet in addition to the large A400M fleets would be nonsensical.

The RAF can hardly "pick up" aircraft that Germany isn't trying to sell, since they will be based at Germany's second A400M base at Lechfeld in southern Germany.
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... th-hungary
The UK could join Germany and Hungary in the new Multinational Air Transport Unit (MNAU) in Lechfeld, but I doubt this, since they're not even members of the EATC.


Ok, we have a fanboy. Got it. The A400M issues with reliability/cost/per hour cost are well documented, no need to go dig thru them all, but if you want to claim it is equivalent in some way to a C-130 have at it.

viewtopic.php?t=1027711&start=300

On the Germans, and French, there’s a reason they also operate a small fleet of Hercs, and as well why the Brits didn’t send A400M’s into Libya a few years ago; obviously the A400M’s could have landed on those same strips. Hmmm....

Finally, yes, the Germans are desperate to hawk off some of their committed A400’s. They’ve been trying for years for these ‘surplus’ Grizzlies, but to no avail.

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

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threa ... 6/page-199

Even if the Germans have now given up selling any off (Indonesia and South Korea were the last ones interested I thought), perhaps the Spaniards will still be willing to ditch a few excess/unwanted frames as was the word in 2017.

viewtopic.php?t=1411745

As expected, you keep digging up old stuff and you totally fail to recognize the progress the A400M programme has made in the past years. There has been a new contract amendment, a new solution for the propeller gear box, more of the contractual capabilities certified. Remember how long it took for the C-17 to mature, in spite of the huge US defence budget, before it received international orders.

as well why the Brits didn’t send A400M’s into Libya a few years ago; obviously the A400M’s could have landed on those same strips. Hmmm....

You mean those evacuations in 2011, three years before the UK received its first A400M? Hmmm....
The desert strip that was evacuated was Nafurah 1 with 3000 metres tarmac, where probably even a 747 could land.
With the A400M, the operation could have been started directly from Brize Norton instead of Malta. Of course, UK Special Forces are now trained to use the C-130, but things move on.
 
JayinKitsap
Posts: 2621
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:55 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:41 am

Well A400 sales have been brisk, a huge backlog from countries not in the original group, lots and lots of top off orders.

There were 174 orders by 2011 and there are 174 orders on the books today. Massive sales, just massive.
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:37 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
Well A400 sales have been brisk, a huge backlog from countries not in the original group, lots and lots of top off orders.

There were 174 orders by 2011 and there are 174 orders on the books today. Massive sales, just massive.

See my previous post: You keep digging up old stuff and you totally fail to recognize the progress the A400M programme has made in the past years. There has been a new contract amendment, a new solution for the propeller gear box, more of the contractual capabilities certified. The UK MoD now recognizes the progress and relies on the A400M. Remember how long it took for the C-17 to mature, in spite of the huge US defence budget, before it received international orders.

(Could have reported your post as "off topic" in the "News" thread rather than repeating my previous post.)
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Apr 01, 2021 8:03 pm

A report of the Bundeswehr about their recent successful operational test of simultaneous automatic parachute jumps from the A400M:

German (Google translate)

Also includes a video (in German, Google translation of video transcript).

Some details:
Tests were made with conventional T-10 parachutes, but with modified static lines of a certain lenght required for the A400M.

Currently only a single German A400M (54+36) is certified for simultaneous automatic jumps as it is equipped with a modified "door protection" (maybe refers to the deflector?). Older A400Ms will be retrofitted during maintenance checks, future deliveries will already be equipped with the modified side doors.
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:27 pm

A report about the certification of simultaneous drop of parachutists written by an engineer responsible for the A400M at the French DGA armament office:

A400M ET PARACHUTISTES – UNE SAGA À SURSAUTS (French; Google Translate English)

Abstract:
The A400M being a modern aircraft, there were certain safety criteria defined between Airbus and the authorities. In their digital simulation, Airbus found that there was a significant risk of collision if two paratroopers jump simultaneously from the opposite side doors. Another issue found in practical tests was that a growing number of static lines and parachute bags were accumulating towards the bottom of the door, where they presented a danger for the parachutists that followed. Therefore, the initial capacity certified was 30 paratroopers per door and alternate jump only.

To solve the problem of static lines and bags, the "extended door protection" (not sure about the correct English term) was created, a panel installed inside the aircraft at the aft of the side doors. After the door is opened in flight, the panel gets swung out and then protrudes slightly from the fuselage. Its rounded outside edge forces the static lines to the door's upper corner, where the lines and bags don't interfere with the following parachutists. You can briefly see it in some A400M videos of paratrooper drops.
https://youtu.be/wyG9m2FMRpM?t=17 (0:17 door protection inside the cargo bay; 0:31 door protection extended)

In order to find out how large the danger of collisions actually is, it was finally decided to make comparative tests with the C-130, as there is only a small number of accidents linked to interference between two parachutists in the long history of that aircraft. Various incidents interrupted these tests, among others the new French and Belgian parachute (EPC) had to be modified and recertified after one soldier died and several got hurt while jumping from a C-130 in Mali in 2017. So the A400M test frame was used to recertify the parachute und pursue the A400M's paratroop jump certification at the same time.

The result of all the measurements and calculations was that the A400M is not more dangerous than the C130, and so the full certification of the A400M's parachuting capability was reached in 2020.
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:50 pm

Meanwhile, the tests to certificate aerial refuelling of helicopters continue.

A recent image from the DGA shows two H225Ms making contact with the A400M simultaneously.

The same event in southern France was observed by a spotter from the ground: Essais ravitaillements A400M-Caracals – Cooper-JR – Youtube
 
mxaxai
Posts: 2761
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:59 am

Noray wrote:
Meanwhile, the tests to certificate aerial refuelling of helicopters continue.

A recent image from the DGA shows two H225Ms making contact with the A400M simultaneously.

Interesting to see that the outboard spoilers are slightly deployed. I assume to improve the wake?
 
LTEN11
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:09 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Mon Apr 12, 2021 8:46 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Noray wrote:
Meanwhile, the tests to certificate aerial refuelling of helicopters continue.

A recent image from the DGA shows two H225Ms making contact with the A400M simultaneously.

Interesting to see that the outboard spoilers are slightly deployed. I assume to improve the wake?


Probably helping it fly at a slow enough speed to enable the helicopter to keep up, plenty of flap out too.
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Apr 17, 2021 3:10 am

With its tank capacity of ca. 60,000 litres, the A400M can also serve as a Forward Area Refueling Point for helicopters. This capability was successfully tested by the Luftwaffe in Wunstorf. Gravity refueling was tested with an H145M and pressure refueling with an NH90 and a CH53G.

A400M besteht Test als mobile Tankstelle für Hubschrauber (German)
A400M passes test as a mobile filling station for helicopters
 
GDB
Posts: 14394
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:31 am

texl1649, not to be a pedant and it's a post a few weeks old but the RAF could hardly have sent A400M's into Libya a few years ago, if you are referring to the 2011 military operation, that was likely due to the type not being in RAF service then.
 
744SPX
Posts: 568
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:08 pm

I'm curious as to what the A400M's top speed is. The flight test review with an AWST pilot said they maintained 480-485mph at only 60-65% power (published high speed cruise). Its got to be easily over 500 at max power. An unmodified P-3 set a 501 mph speed record back in 1970 with its straight wing and 4-blade paddle props and unmodified T-56's. I'll bet the A400M can do 515-520.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 2761
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:45 pm

744SPX wrote:
I'm curious as to what the A400M's top speed is. The flight test review with an AWST pilot said they maintained 480-485mph at only 60-65% power (published high speed cruise). Its got to be easily over 500 at max power. An unmodified P-3 set a 501 mph speed record back in 1970 with its straight wing and 4-blade paddle props and unmodified T-56's. I'll bet the A400M can do 515-520.

Per the published specifications, it seems to be 300 KIAS or M.72. Long range cruise is M.68. It's likely that they took it higher for certification but I doubt that they'd go beyond the limits during regular operations. If Airbus certified it like a civilian jet, which I believe they did, you'd have to demonstrate at least Mmo + M.05, typically Mmo + M.07. That would put the speed achieved during testing at approx. M.77 - .79, or up to 530mph.

Top speeds in the transonic region are usually limited by buffet onset or controllability issues, not engine thrust. For props, propeller tip speed can also be an issue.
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Wed May 12, 2021 2:44 pm

Some updates:

1.

The tests for aerial refuelling of helicopters mentioned in #37 have been widely reported a few days later.

Airbus video
Airbus press release: Airbus A400M conducts major helicopter refuelling certification campaign
Flightglobal: A400M nearing tanker clearance for French Caracal operations


2.

From another thread we know that South Korea’s KAI looks to enter military transport market.

A recent report by Flightglobal now says that:

Seoul will also obtain four “large-sized transport aircraft by purchasing overseas”. It will budget W480 billion for this requirement, and the winning bidder must form a local consortium to support Korean jobs and industry. This programme will run from 2022 to 2026.

Potential contenders could be the Lockheed Martin C-130J, Embraer KC-390, and the Airbus Defence & Space A400M.


Among those three candidates, the A400M is the one that fits best the description of “large-sized transport aircraft”. But I'm not sure if the budget is sufficient to buy four of them and set up a local consortium.


3.

A 30-minute cockpit video showing a German Luftwaffe A400M refuelling Tornados, all the way from flight preparations to the landing:

BREATHTAKING A400M & Tornado DUAL Luftwaffe Cockpit Movie, air-refueling! 30-Min Supercut [AirClips]
 
889091
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Wed May 12, 2021 3:47 pm

Noray wrote:


Did they forget to slap on some sunscreen on the plane? What's up with the peeling paint (00:26 in the video)?
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Wed May 12, 2021 4:29 pm

889091 wrote:
Noray wrote:


Did they forget to slap on some sunscreen on the plane? What's up with the peeling paint (00:26 in the video)?

I guess that this test frame originally was supposed to be retired after a few years, but as the first tests of helicopter refuelling failed, it had to be kept airworthy for much longer than planned. Unlike other aircraft of that age (ca. 10 years), it probably never went through a large check that required repainting. And while Airbus were losing money with the programme, they weren't interested in spending even more on fresh paint for a test frame that will soon be retired.

It would also be interesting to know if this is regular wear, if this frame has the same kind of paint as serial aircraft, if it has flown through a sand storm or was parked in an area with sand storms ...
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

100th delivery milestone

Fri May 28, 2021 11:06 pm

On May 24, Airbus delivered the tenth A400M to Spain. It was also the 100th operational A400M delivered to a customer.

In late May, the global operational fleet topped a combined 100,000 flying hours, with 40,000h having been added since late 2019. This strong growth is due to a rise in activity during the Corona crisis.

A Flightglobal piece reports this and discusses future prospects with Clive Schley, A400M programme head. Some points:

Automatic low-level flight in instrument meteorological conditions has been proven.
A maturity drive will run until 2023 to address fleet availability and affordability issues.
The propeller gearbox (PGB) replacement has resolved issues with that component.
Airbus is working with EPI and the regulator to recertificate a new standard for the powerplant that should establish new maintenance schedules.
Work supporting the certification of design for the NSOC 3 standard now should be completed in the second half of 2022, leading to type acceptance during 2023, rather than 2021.
 
Noray
Posts: 211
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:28 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:41 pm

Today, the French Armée de l'Air et de l'Espace has declared the initial tactical capability of the A400M. They can land with vehicles more than 24 metric tons heavy on a laterite runway less than 1500 metres long, day or night, or airdrop up to 25 tons in a single pass, all of that with self protection against infrared SAMs. They also have a support system to perform such missions.

L’A400M Atlas franchit une nouvelle étape décisive vers sa pleine capacité opérationnelle (French)


In May, a French A400M has landed on three of the tiny Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean. Europa, Juan de Nova and the Glorieuses, all situated between Madagascar and the African mainland, have gravel runways between 1300 and 1400 metres long, according to what I can see on Google Earth. As not all of the runways have the minimum width of 27,4 metres required for the A400M, a French national certification will allow the Atlas to be used on runways with a minimum width of 20 metres.

Links:
Military experts on mission in the French Scattered Islands (Le Journal des Archipels)
FAZSOI : Le déploiement des spécialistes du génie de l’air sur les îles Éparses pour un succès aérien sans précédent (French government)
 
GDB
Posts: 14394
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:38 pm

Not a news thing as such, thought you all might enjoy this, it's RAF Northolt in the West London suburbs, a few miles to the north of me, hence the Transport For London bus with presumably some surprised passengers!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqZ0N ... m6J4AaABCQ
 
Flying-Tiger
Posts: 4133
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 1999 5:35 am

Re: Airbus A400M News, Production and Delivery Thread - 2021

Fri Jun 18, 2021 7:57 am

AKKA Technologies is now offering a quick-change solution for the A400M to be used as fire fighting aircraft with a capability of 20 tons.

https://www.journal-aviation.com/en/news/46135-the-airbus-a400m-soon-to-be-used-as-a-firefighting-aircraft

I think that´s a capability which is quite interesting to a number of air forces, and I would guess some of these kits to end up in Spain, France and Germany.

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