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JSF and A400M at risk?

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JSF and A400M at risk?

Old 25th Nov 2008, 18:32
  #221 (permalink)  
 
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Latest very strong rumour is that training for the initial cadre will not take place till mid 2010 AT THE VERY EARLIEST
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Old 25th Nov 2008, 18:57
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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Just what CATARA needs....
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Old 25th Nov 2008, 20:59
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Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the merits of extending the life of the C-130K fleet; [237383]
(2) what assessment he has made of the merits of purchasing one or more additional C-17s; [237384]
(3) what his latest estimate is of the in-service date of the A400M aircraft. [237385]
Mr. Quentin Davies: It is planned that the Hercules C-130K fleet, the out of service date of which remains 2012, will be replaced by the A400M, that has a planned
24 Nov 2008 : Column 903W
in service date of 2011. However, following the recent announcement of delays by Airbus Military in the A400M programme, we are considering a number of options as a contingency to mitigate any potential capability gaps that may arise. Options we are considering include an extension to the life of the C-130K fleet and leasing or procurement of additional C-17 capacity. We are monitoring the situation closely and are pressing Airbus Military for further information so we can make a detailed assessment of the impact on A400M production deliveries and the planned in-service date.
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Old 25th Nov 2008, 21:59
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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UK eyes more C-17s to cover A400M delay

Further info and background here UK eyes more C-17s to cover A400M delay

Extracts (Flight International):-

The UK Ministry of Defence could lease or buy additional Boeing C-17 strategic transports due to uncertainties surrounding the delivery schedule for its planned fleet of 25 Airbus Military A400Ms.
A withdrawal from the A400M project does not appear to be among the options under consideration by the MoD. While the programme's seven European partners could reduce or cancel their orders in exchange for providing compensation to Airbus Military, Davies reveals that a contract clause means "all nations collaborating on the programme are obliged to hold their partners harmless from any associated impact." However, speaking to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee on 25 November, chief of defence materiel Gen Sir Kevin O'Donoghue said: "All of us need the capability, but we can't wait forever."
Separately, Davies confirms that all the UK's A400Ms will be equipped with a fuel tank inerting system, "with the exception of one development aircraft that will either be retrofitted at a later date, or if this proves impossible, excluded from use in areas of significant operational threat". The MoD has not revealed the cost of adding the safety equipment to its A400M production order.
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Old 25th Nov 2008, 23:18
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Quote:
Separately, Davies confirms that all the UK's A400Ms will be equipped with a fuel tank inerting system, "with the exception of one development aircraft that will either be retrofitted at a later date, or if this proves impossible, excluded from use in areas of significant operational threat". The MoD has not revealed the cost of adding the safety equipment to its A400M production order.

I thought we were getting 2 development aircraft !
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Old 26th Nov 2008, 06:14
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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He's not saying we aren't getting 2, just that 1 of them will not have the system fitted as standard.
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Old 29th Nov 2008, 09:49
  #227 (permalink)  
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According to the Torygraph today the A400 will slip at least 18 months and we no what that means. Seems the 4 engines shiped to UK are for test purposes only.

So 2013 or later?

It went on to say they are looking at using A380 in the passenger role.
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Old 10th Jan 2009, 09:27
  #228 (permalink)  
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A400M Programme in Disarray

FT - 10 Jan 09

Airbus, and its parent EADS, admitted last night its A400M military transport aircraft programme was in disarray and it had approached European governments to try to renegotiate aspects of the €20bn programme.
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EADS said last night it wanted to review the timing and technical characteristics of the A400M, as it admitted it was still unable to set a date for its first flight.

EADS subsidiary, Airbus Military, said it proposed resuming production of the aircraft only once it had reached "adequate maturity" based on flight test results. The company admitted that it was still working with the consortium of engine manufacturers to firm up a date for the first flight. Delivery of the aircraft would then take place around three years after the first flight.

EADS said it would only be able to "reliably determine all financial implications once a committed industrial plan, including the availability of systems, is fully stabilised" and once it knew the position of its launch customers to its proposal.

The news throws into disarray the proposed delivery schedule of the €20bn programme, Europe's largest military project, which has run into serious problems with growing delays and rising losses. The French air force had originally been due to receive the first delivery in October 2009.
EADS was forced in November last year to take an additional €341m charge for the latest delays. It warned at the time it was still unable to produce a reliable delivery schedule and said it would face further charges for the loss-making, fixed-price contract.

It took an initial €1.37bn charge a year ago. EADS has blamed the delays on problems with the propulsion system for the aircraft, specifically the engine control software
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Old 10th Jan 2009, 12:02
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More C17's

Boeing must be thinking it's Christmas again, as will Lockheed Martin.
So more C17's anyone?
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Old 10th Jan 2009, 19:46
  #230 (permalink)  
 
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First delivery 2012 if all goes well
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 01:48
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FT.com / Companies / Aerospace & Defence - EADS to merge military transport into Airbus
EADS to merge military transport into Airbus

By Kevin Done andSylvia Pfeifer in London
Published: December 16 2008 22:21 | Last updated: December 16 2008 22:21

EADS is reorganising its military transport aircraft operations by integrating the Spain-based business into Airbus, its commercial aircraft division.

The restructuring is one of the most important industrial moves to rationalise EADS since the Franco-German group overcame its complex corporate governance challenges last year and abandoned the complicated system of having joint French and German chairmen and chief executives.

The group is also planning closer co-ordination of its space and defence and security divisions under the leadership of François Auque, chief executive of the EADS Astrium space business. The separate military transport aircraft division was established from the outset when EADS was created in 2000 through a merger of large parts of the French, German and Spanish aerospace and defence industries. The division was based in Spain partly to satisfy national sensibilities among the three shareholder nations, where French and German interests have dominated and have often been in conflict. The Spanish state still holds a 5.5 per cent stake in EADS.

The separate organisations led to complicated reporting structures and responsibilities, however, as the EADS group worked to develop military derivatives of Airbus commercial aircraft and in particular to develop the A400M military transport aircraft.

The A400M programme has run into serious problems with growing delays and rising losses and the reorganisation announced yesterday has been made more urgent by the need to regain control of the project.

EADS was forced last month to take an additional €341m ($471m) charge for the latest delays. It warned it was still unable to produce a reliable delivery schedule and said it would face further charges for the loss-making, fixed price contract. It took an initial €1.37bn charge a year ago.

EADS has blamed the delays on problems with the propulsion system for the aircraft, specifically the engine control software. First delivery to the French air force was originally scheduled for October 2009 and the first flight was due to have taken place in the summer of this year, but there is currently no date for the start of the flight test programme.

Until yesterday overall programme responsibility for the A400M lay with the military transport aircraft division in Spain along with responsibility for production including the final assembly plant in Seville. Development of the aircraft has been undertaken by Airbus in Toulouse. As a result of yesterday’s shake-up, the Spain-based division will be integrated into Airbus under the name of Airbus Military.

Carlos Suarez, hitherto head of the division, will remain a member of the EADS executive committee and become a member of the Airbus executive committee reporting to Tom Enders, Airbus chief executive. The reorganisation strengthens the position of Mr Enders at the head of Airbus and underlines his claim to become the next chief executive of EADS.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2008
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 10:04
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AAR Capability for the A400M

I am not sure if this has been picked up before - if so apologies. This is an extract from an article by Richard Gardner in January's "Aerospace International" the Royal Aeronautical Society's journal.

Aerospace International has learned from a government Parliamentary reply that it does not intend to fit out any A400Ms as air tankers, even though the RAF will in future only have nine dedicated A330 tankers in its FSTA fleet. More alarming, however, is the confirmation that the RAF's A400Ms will not be fitted with flight refuelling probes. In view of the need for the RAF to retain a quick-reaction global capability, this decision seems quite extraordinary as it could add an unnecessary restriction to operations. For example, if required to carry a maximum weight payload over a long distance, as quickly and safely as possible, the A400Ms will not be able to top up their tanks after take-off, or en route. And, if required, to make an extended overwater flight, such as over the South Atlantic, they will no longer benefit from the comfort factor of knowing that if there is a weather or technical problem they can rely on an air refuelling to stay airborne long enough to make a safe landfall. Diversion to a mainland airport may not always be an option. Is this another case of 'capability hibernation'? When questions are asked as to why the new A330 tankers or Sentinel radar aircraft won't have probes either, the official reply is that they simply aren't needed. There will be provision for probes on the A400M which could, of course, be added later, but modification, operational clearance and crew training takes time which might be in short supply in a real emergency, so why not fit this relatively inexpensive item at the outset? The added value and operational flexibility that comes from IFR capability was unchallenged not so long ago, yet future tanking capability is going to be on a greatly reduced scale, despite some new platform aircraft arriving. Is UK defence underfunding now so dire it has become a case of selecting defensive aids or probes, but not both? Even though the UK will most likely be the major user of the A400M in global operations the RAF's 25 aircraft may be the only ones not to have the use of IFR probes as a standard fit. One must hope that at least a few probes will be purchased to meet unexpected future contingencies as there are no longer any spare Vulcan probes in MoD's storage shed!

JB
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 12:57
  #233 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by John Blakeley View Post

[I]Aerospace International has learned from a government Parliamentary reply that it does not intend to fit out any A400Ms as air tankers, even though the RAF will in future only have nine dedicated A330 tankers in its FSTA fleet.
Anyone in the know comment on the rumour that this is because the terms of the FSTA contract require that the A330s are the ONLY tankers available in the RAF?
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 14:20
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Just this once


Couldn’t agree more. Your experience when you spoke up is common. I recall our 2 Star saying in the late 90s “I’ve just spoken to (1 Star) and he tells me RMPA is on target”. A Sqn Ldr replied “Oh, so he didn’t mention the 4 year slip?” The 2* was begonged, the 1* promoted and the Sqn Ldr shipped out. Mind you, perhaps the 2* thought 4 years was nothing, given he also thought his Chinook Mk3 was fine and dandy, having ignored the warnings on that as well. Funnily enough, 4 years became 10 on both programmes, so at least he was consistent.



I twitch when I see something like this written……..


One must hope that at least a few probes will be purchased to meet unexpected future contingencies as there are no longer any spare Vulcan probes in MoD's storage shed!

The BCs read this stuff and think buying a few spares equates to capability, as if all one has to do is bolt them on and, hey presto, you have IFR. I know the author clearly understands the issues, and it is just for effect, but most in MoD don’t understand.
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 14:29
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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Re extra C-17 capacity to cover the 400 delay, will UK have access to the 2 NAMA frames?
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 15:26
  #236 (permalink)  
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RAF transport aircraft delay - Times Online, 11 Jan 09

The A400M, a four-engine turbo-prop, has been plagued by delays and cost overruns since its inception, but Friday’s announcement is a serious blow. EADS said it would not now deliver the first aircraft until three years after the maiden flight. No date has yet been set for this, but sources at Airbus say it should take place in September.
So even if the RAF gets the first production aircraft, it won't arrive until Sep 2012.
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 18:07
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Will the RAF please stand in line with the others. Next!
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 18:51
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The lack of a initial provision of a probe for the A400M means that there is a strong chance that the Nimrod fiasco could recur again with desperate panic measures required to fit IFR equipment in the event of a sudden need. Whether that sudden need will arise is at least a fair chance as history has shown. Furthermore the Nimrod is undoubtedly restricted by the lack of IFR as will be the A330, losing flexibility in deployments and economy of fuel. The expense of providing refuelling capability is small in comparison with the overall programme cost but surely large in future operational effect.
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Old 11th Jan 2009, 22:18
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When the VC10K entered service, people were surprised at its lack of AT capability. It seemed daft that it could only 17-18 people in the back of the K2/3.....

It was then explained to us that, had the VC10K been a true AT/AAR aircraft, a number of C1s would have been sacrificed to defence cuts. So by keeping the 'K as a single role supposedly 'North Sea' tanker, 'they' were able to hang on to all the Cs.
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Old 12th Jan 2009, 09:43
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Are the Probes being bought?

Equivocator,

As an engineer I am not qualified to comment on the operational necessity or otherwise of an AAR capability on the A400M; although I did see at first hand the vital role of the C130 fit for the Falklands War.

Are you able to confirm that the probes are being purchased for the A400M, and if so are MOD at least going to do the clearance trials to authorise the operational, installation and airworthiness clearances needed - or will the RAF be prepared to rely on the other nations' trials to provide an operational clearance and modification approval? No disrespect or spin intended but I venture to suggest that if this is not the case then as a very large organisation, with, I assume, an offshore Design Authority, EADS would not be able to react to a UK national UOR fit as quickly as Marshalls did on the C130 unless most of the preparatory work (and hence spend) has already been done. Alternatively, will there be a full "sister" DA capability in the UK - presumably with BAES?

Happy to be corrected.

JB
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