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JSF and A400M at risk?

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JSF and A400M at risk?

Old 12th Jan 2009, 09:51
  #241 (permalink)  
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I can imagine a scenario in the Middle or Far East where speedy deployment is required to protect our interests. It is a very unstable area and ground facilities can easily be denied. If the IFR is to be built in then surely it should be tested, maybe thought should be given to developing a retractable probe for large aircraft so that the crew is not kept awake by the probe noise (only joking but serious suggestion).

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Old 12th Jan 2009, 09:58
  #242 (permalink)  
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Grrr Further 2 Year Delay to A400M

An entry to service date has been revised by Airbus Military and now includes a further two year delay. Further details here: A400M service-entry hit by further two-year delay
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Old 12th Jan 2009, 14:05
  #243 (permalink)  
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Interesting debate about the probes, but IMO we should worry ourselves more about other key capabilities first. Enough sets of DAS to start with, flight deck armour etc etc, all the role equipment we need to deploy the things would be nice.

IIRC, the common standard aircraft can be fitted with probes for refuelling. Assuming we have not paid extra to have the capability removed (such things have happened...), it should not be a huge faff to retro fit an AAR (receiver) capability. That of course depends upon availabiity of kit and then a trials programme that should only need to focus on the differences between the multi-national airworthiness regs and our own (as per the rest of the ac capabilities). There was no customer requirement for a refuelling capability, hence one has not been bought. If that subsequently changes (engine performance leading to reduced range, perchance?), then changing our minds should not be tricky, expensive, but not tricky.

When you buy to a budget, you can't have all the toys, you have to pick the most important ones. Roll on another couple of C-17s.
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Old 12th Jan 2009, 14:41
  #244 (permalink)  

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I don't know that more C17s would fill the specific gaps our AT fleet faces. It's more Hercs we need - let's twist some ANG arms and get some of their Js off them. That would buy us at least at some breathing space; 2012 is coming fast and with CATARA , the end of the K, J wing boxes, no A400M all happening around then, we find ourselves heading towards one rather magnificent brick wall at a phenomenal speed....
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Old 12th Jan 2009, 15:13
  #245 (permalink)  
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Agreed, it is the Tac AT that is going to be the problem. Would love to be working in 2 Gp now working this out!

(Anyone know if CATARA is dead? - heard that it had been re-badged 'Future Brize'...)
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Old 12th Jan 2009, 16:19
  #246 (permalink)  
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Devil Meeting what needs ?

Whatever the "here & now" needs are, and possible future needs, there's a real nightmare scenario that nobody so far has raised .
The new US administration will (probably already is) be looking very hard at costs in every direction, and with so much "fiat money" (not the Italian Fiat) being poured into economies, even cautious Germany, there are certainly rocky times to come and ALL budgets will suffer. Add to this the (strong?) possibility that by the time kit like the F-35, nice big carriers and the A400M can be service-ready, troops will be out of Afghanistan as well as Iraq.
And then how do the various nations' military justify this, that or the other programme?
Pity the bright young engineers at MTU ("stripling Dipl. Ings "?) couldn't do a FADEC (Europrop is very silent on what they used to control the engine on the test rigs and seems content to let Airbus Military take the public flak), but Airbus is right to say out loud that the A400M's in-service date will be even later: they can't know when the engine will be reliable enough for flight tests on the A400M to begin, nor how long after first flight the test programme will take.
We must all hope that the engine does make a second flight from Marshall's soon, or we'll begin to wonder if the borescoping after the first flight turned up any nasties ...
Be all that as it may, and apart from all the wise (and less wise) words that have preceded this post, and also apart from the shock-horror noises that draconic cuts will provoke, isn't it a very strong possibility that sheer economic constraints will mean that not one of the programmes mentioned will survive?
Happy New Year(s) to all ...
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Old 13th Jan 2009, 16:13
  #247 (permalink)  

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Is this news or old news? Yesterday's Hansard:

12 Jan 2009 : Column 10

Mr. James Arbuthnot (North-East Hampshire) (Con): In view of the attacks on the supply route, is the Secretary of State considering acquiring new C-17 or C-130 aircraft, and if he is, will they be funded from the contingency reserve?

Mr. Hutton: We are looking at all those issues. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the C-17s; we recently acquired additional C-17s, and we are looking at the possibility of acquiring more, yes.
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Old 13th Jan 2009, 16:22
  #248 (permalink)  
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Flight International - EADS to push A330 as 'bridging solution' after A400M delays

EADS has proposed Airbus A330s to A400M customers requiring interim lift in the wake of further delays to the military transport programme, chief executive Louis Gallois has revealed.

Gallois says that the "bridging solution" suggested by EADS involves a mix of A330s and "other airplanes", which he declines to specify. He notes that A330s, which could be deployed as logistical transports, are already due for delivery to the UK through its Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft programme.

Speaking on 12 January, UK defence secretary John Hutton insisted that the UK could not accept a three- to four-year delay to deliveries of its 25 A400Ms, which are needed to replace its aged Lockheed martin C-130K tactical transports. Responding on 13 January, Gallois admitted that he understood Hutton's frustration and shared it. He said that "intensive discussions" are under way with Europe's OCCAR procurement agency and the programme's launch nations, with the UK "fully involved".

Gallois attributes the programme's severe delays to a "complete underestimation of the nature of the programme" on the part not just of EADS, but of suppliers and customers. The A400M (below) had been viewed as a "flying truck" or "normal Airbus", but proved "more complex", he adds.

EADS is now seeking a renegotiated contract that recognises "the military nature of the programme" and the risk involved. Gallois describes the transport as a "military airplane with full military capability", and adds that its complexity outstrips that of the Dassault Rafale or Eurofighter.

Gallois also claims that no military aircraft had ever been developed in less than 10 years, whereas the A400M had been scheduled for delivery within six-and-a-half years of project launch. Unlike the A350, the A400M had required EADS to "start from scratch" with every item.

The EADS chief executive insists that he is "not looking for excuses" and accepts that EADS has "a big share of the responsibility for the underestimation", although it is "not alone" in this.

While acknowledging the need for "a clear, visible time schedule", Gallois was unable to commit to a date for the transport's first flight, saying only that it would happen one month after delivery of the full-authority digital engine control software for its TP400-D6 turboprop engine by Europrop International. He also refused to specify the changes to "technical characteristics" that EADS is proposing to A400M customers, but ruled out any downgrading of the aircraft.
So the project has now reached the classic 'allocation of blame' stage

Who is designing the FADEC software - the same people responsible for JPA?
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Old 13th Jan 2009, 17:18
  #249 (permalink)  
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Did hear some murmurings today about the A400............2015 earliest in service date and post a recent trial the floor is fecked ..........anyone in the know care to comment.
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Old 13th Jan 2009, 20:11
  #250 (permalink)  
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2015 is a very realistice earliest in-service date for the floundering A400M project.

Couple that with the fairly serious rumour that the C130K fleet will not make it's 2012 OSD due to high FI rates.

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Old 13th Jan 2009, 20:21
  #251 (permalink)  

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To be honest, and at the risk of dragging this off topic, I don't know that the C130K fleet retiring a bit earlier is really going to have that much of an effect. Sure there'll be a capability gap in a couple of areas but on the whole the transfer of engineering effort and funding onto the J fleet might actually generate more 'frames on the line here. Couple that with the draw-down of TELIC freeing up (hopefully!) more airframes it might be possible to get by without too much pain. Not looking for an argument (!) just stating things as I see it
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Old 13th Jan 2009, 20:29
  #252 (permalink)  
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Assuming said frames aren't pulled out of the big Telic frying pan into the big Herrick fire...

Here's hoping...
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Old 13th Jan 2009, 20:59
  #253 (permalink)  
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well, with the credit crisis in full swing, its going to be next to impossible for them to cancel the project...

WE could end up with far too much AT (not that that is any bad thing) when a400m comes into service. Shame we will probably be out of afghanistan by that stage...
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Old 14th Jan 2009, 10:39
  #254 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by StopStart View Post
Is this news or old news? Yesterday's Hansard:
Both - first time I've seen it mentioned by a Govt Minister, but there has always been a suspicion that the C-17 buy would be more than 6 - reserving up to 10 tail numbers for them for one!!

The cynic in me suspects that ordering 'one or two' in dribs and drabs as needed is seen as more politically acceptable, and easier to hide, than ordering 6 at one go.
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Old 14th Jan 2009, 11:33
  #255 (permalink)  
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I personally have never heard 10 C17s being the desired number from the UK stand-point. The UK was always after 8, with Boeing saying it wouldn't place a sim in UK until there were 10 A/C for it to support. However, I've been out of the "loop" for a few years now....

So, back to the point,

Diario de Sevilla - EADS anuncia un retraso de al menos tres aos en la entrega del...

The article above (for those who can't speak spanish) is basically saying that first delivery will not be until 3 years after first flight. With first flight delayed until late 2010, that puts FAF delivery at late 2013, and RAF at around 2015.

Good news is though, from one who is partially 'in the know', I haven't heard of any reduction in capability.......yet!

I can agree that there have been some rather major underestimations made on both sides of the fence. Airbus thought it was 'just another Airbus' and allocated resources accordingly, while the customer wanted a mini C17 straight off the bat and underestimated exactly how much work and technology has gone into a C17. Not to mention the fact that the C17 is a bit bigger, with jets and so the engineering solutions can be a little bit more....chunky!!

Never had a chance of working like that, but we're getting there, slowly but slowly...

As for the "other aircraft" that could be offered, as EADS is the parent company for CASA as well as Airbus, the pax role could be filled by the offered A330s, and the flat floor role could be filled with a few C-295s. With 57 already in international service, at least it's available and has a proven track record.

Naturally a 295 is smaller than Albert, but the stats aren't too bad really.
71 seats + 4 optional
Floor load of 3 land rovers or similar
5 108"x88" pallets.

Not too far off a Mk1 for payload, but speed and range suffer a bit as it's only a twin.

Last edited by moosemaster; 14th Jan 2009 at 11:56.
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Old 14th Jan 2009, 15:24
  #256 (permalink)  

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Av Week's take , EADS brochure:

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Old 14th Jan 2009, 16:37
  #257 (permalink)  
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The new US administration will (probably already is) be looking very hard at costs in every direction, and with so much "fiat money" (not the Italian Fiat) being poured into economies, even cautious Germany, there are certainly rocky times to come and ALL budgets will suffer.

American attitudes may not be the same as D-lands.

On the contrary, some ppl. -- e.g., me - deep inside the [lower end of] the bowels of the US mil.-ind complex are expecting the nObama administration to do a lot of spending on military and NASA pojects. Gotta stimulate the economy, doncha see, and a least the stuff's still made in USA.

Where will the $ come from, and how will nObama justify this to his followers?? Never mind, let's just visualize the New Age of Peace, Love, and Understanding!
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Old 14th Jan 2009, 16:45
  #258 (permalink)  
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Good news is though, from one who is partially 'in the know', I haven't heard of any reduction in capability.......yet!
I can't say the German's will agree with you on this point.

Airbus A400M Overweight & Understrength

12 Jan 2009 - BERLIN - The Airbus A400 military transport plane is too heavy and does not deliver on performance, the Financial Times Deutschland and newspaper reported on Jan. 12.

The FTD cited sources which said the current version of the A400M can carry only 29-30 tons of material, instead of an expected 32 tons, and that it is itself 12 tons overweight.

The European Aeronautic Defence Space Company, Airbus' parent company, will have to completely revise its plans, the newspaper said.

EADS acknowledged recently that the first delivery of an A400M would be delayed by three years, but did not give a precise date.

A total of 180 of the aircraft have been ordered so far for 20 billion Euros ($26.8 billion) by OCCAR, the European organization for military cooperation that represents seven countries.

I believe the very same brochure is currently circulating around Pratt & Whitney Canada's facility.
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Old 14th Jan 2009, 18:53
  #259 (permalink)  
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Isn't it about time we dumped politics and trying to re-invent the wheel ?

The C-130 may be over 50 years old, but the 'J' versions certainly aren't.

That and the rather good ( as far as I can make out ) C-17 have transport covered; so unless we come up with something special & extremely unlikely like a V/STOL job, let's leave it to them, buy a few more and spend the rest of the money on aircraft, ships or army equipment ?
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Old 14th Jan 2009, 19:19
  #260 (permalink)  
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If we bit the bullet and ordered a few C-17s and a sqn of C-130Js today, would they be fully in service before 2015 anyway (the most optimistic A400M date)?

Is the C-17 line not winding down? Can Lockheed easily make more slots available on the J line?
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