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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:18 am

CX747 wrote:
When discussing these aircraft, we have to take a step back and see what they are truly used for. The A400 and C-130 are very different birds. Saying one is "better" than the other is missing the point. Maybe, just maybe one should use the right tool for the right job.


I agree. And I've mentioned previously that they can compliment each other even though the A400m was intended to replace/compete with the C-130. The combination would work for a lot of air forces. "Better" is subjective.
But in a competing/replacement scenario, the A400m has more capability. Therefore considered "better".
Most air forces have tight budgets and need to do more with less. The A400m allows them to do both tactical and strategic missions.

CX747 wrote:
The A400 has almost zero track record of being deployed in theater, at forward bases and doing no joke NVG ops into unimproved fields. C-130Js have and continue to do them. In fact, what services have learned is that for a ton of missions, the C-130 is EXACTLY what you want. Hence France and Germany buying J models and England setting forward on a plan to refurbish their Js. That is a heavy amount of A400 users going back to the -130 to get certain mission sets accomplished.


The A400m has not yet reached FOC! It's still in the process of getting it's full defensive package among other certifications. So it can't yet be expected to be proving itself in that arena. And is probably the reason for the C-130 orders as well as deliveries being slow.
But it is proving itself in the strategic roles and that IS one of its intended duties. So it should be.
The rest will come when it's ready. Rather a proper fix than a bandaid.

CX747 wrote:
If one looks at actual front line trash hauler, recent history shows the C-130 at times being too big........In Iraq, the US Army ended up burning through CH-47s due to the necessity of moving items in that sized hauler. They were flying CH-47s at extremely long ranges in lieu of C-130s. Hence the move by AFSOC to add a stable of aircraft smaller than C-130s over the past 5-7 years. In addition, anyone saying the C-130 is old tech/rusty should take a look at AFSOC C-130Js and the non slick mission sets those birds do day in and day out in all theaters.


Sure. I wouldn't doubt this. It all depends on the mission and the requirements. There would be a number of reasons for this.

CX747 wrote:
There are some great open source discussions between USAF -17 and -130 pilots covering the difference between those two birds and what missions are truly being flown in theater. A little google research would be very eye opening for a few here on what is actually needed on the front lines.


Very different birds and roles, and I don't think they can be compared.

CX747 wrote:
Using your philosophy, the C-17 can do more than the A400 and therefore is better. The A400 falls flat against the C-17 in "Strat" categories. Heck, the C-5 does "more" than the A400. It flies further, carries more and is bigger......Oh, wait, you don't need a C-5's capacity for all the missions? Maybe that is why there are C-5's, C-17s, A400s and C-130s?!?!?


C-5 is a strategic lifter. And both are heavy lifters.
And both are out of production. C-5 for a long time.
The A400m can land on runways that neither of them can, but I don't think the C-130 or A400m can be compared to either.

CX747 wrote:
What we have actually seen in real life and not online make believe is multiple C-130 users growing their Hercules fleets after seeing what the A400 truly is. HENCE the recent English, French and German moves.... Look up USAF AFSOC and their multiple C-130 variants. When the A400 picks up 25%-50% of that mission set and does it in combat, then we are talking about a bird that has proven something. Delivering an excavator across the Atlantic non-stop isn't going to turn heads.


It's turned mine. I like thats being used and moving past its teething problems. I like that is being used to do something positive.
But the late deliveries and slow certification, most likely has a lot to do with the rest. Time will tell. But I think the A400m will do just fine and gain even more than planned capabilities.
 
WIederling
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:08 am

Revelation wrote:
Yep, as long as someone else is f&&&&ing up worse than us, we're fine! :butthead:


Lesser nations shouldn't aspire to best the best of the best of the best ... :-)

This is not to be taken as "the BER f*up is just done for being polite" :-)
Murphy is an optimist
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:07 am

WIederling wrote:
Lesser nations shouldn't aspire to best the best of the best of the best ... :-)

You are the one trying to rationalize the A400Ms late delivery of features via comparison to other nations rather than just admitting it's a challenge to get all these things in one package.

And you claim the C-17 feature set is simple whilst the A400M is burning though many years and many more millions of Euros than planned trying to reach parity with it?

At what point do you think the A400M prices itself out of a feasible export market?

I don't think Airbus is going to be willing to sell them at a loss just to prove they are not from "lesser nations".

I'm glad to see the A400M is doing quite useful things in hurricane relief and other missions over the last year or two.

IMHO the real issue is that it is still consuming millions of Euros a year and is still not done yet, whilst the budget rationalization is still to come.

The old mantra of "half a C-17 for half the price" is now a hollow joke.
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It is a deadly cancer on American society
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Dutchy
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:12 pm

Sure, the whole set-up for the A400M was wrong. That's why it is late and tons over budget. But all of that must be sunk cost, if Airbus can get a price which is higher than it actually cost to build the thing, they should sell it, otherwise not. Simple as that.

"half a C-17 for half the price" has always been a joke, not achievable in the real world. :D
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:46 pm

 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:32 pm

Dutchy wrote:
But all of that must be sunk cost, if Airbus can get a price which is higher than it actually cost to build the thing, they should sell it, otherwise not. Simple as that.

Thing is, the sinking hasn't yet stopped, and there is still a budget reckoning session to come between Airbus and its customer nations.

Do you think the customer nations are going to be willing to say "go ahead and stiff us for hundreds of million Euros more, and go forth and sell units to other nations at cost?"

Seems unlikely to me, but then again I'm not an A400M partisan.
The gun is NOT a precious symbol of freedom
It is a deadly cancer on American society
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GDB
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:21 pm

IIRC there was a rather long time between deliveries of the C-130J and their being able to do the full spectrum of operations, measured in years.
Certainly the RAF ('England' does not have an air force FFS) had these issues with the J model.

Yet here we are, RAF A400M's have trialled beach landings, have been used on operations not just the disaster relief of the last few days.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:37 pm

Revelation wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
But all of that must be sunk cost, if Airbus can get a price which is higher than it actually cost to build the thing, they should sell it, otherwise not. Simple as that.

Thing is, the sinking hasn't yet stopped, and there is still a budget reckoning session to come between Airbus and its customer nations.

Do you think the customer nations are going to be willing to say "go ahead and stiff us for hundreds of million Euros more, and go forth and sell units to other nations at cost?"

Seems unlikely to me, but then again I'm not an A400M partisan.


If it is needed to get the a/c to specs, it will probably be spent. The electorate will only see that a/c being sold abroad and not the price and where the profit is going to lend. Ah well, the EU governments have made a sh!t load of money for providing those loans to the A320 and A330 programs. It will all even out.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:25 pm

Dutchy wrote:
If it is needed to get the a/c to specs, it will probably be spent. The electorate will only see that a/c being sold abroad and not the price and where the profit is going to lend. Ah well, the EU governments have made a sh!t load of money for providing those loans to the A320 and A330 programs. It will all even out.

So many shifting sand arguments here.

Launch aid is great because we make so much money off the profitable programs. Ignore the unprofitable ones (A380, A340-NG, A300, etc) and the fact we're going to shuffle the profits to off-budget non-commercial projects like A400M.

The A400M is great because it's a right-sized clean-sheet program. Ignore the teething issues, the missing functionality, the budget/schedule overruns and the past/future squabbles over paying for it.

It'd be more sane to just admit that RLA is government aid and the A400M never made sense economically, but that's why it's great to be a partisan. And yes, I'm sure I have my moments of partisanship too.
The gun is NOT a precious symbol of freedom
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Dutchy
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:29 pm

Oh gee, never mind, I retract my comment.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:15 pm

Dutchy wrote:

"half a C-17 for half the price" has always been a joke, not achievable in the real world. :D

Hardly, the airframe was launched on that premise with an acquisition cost of approx 80 mil. Now the acquisition cost is nearing 250% of that number and development money spent is over 300% of initial projections. All of a sudden the capability that the A400M offers is not economically viable. For most nations who don't require a rough field capability alternatives such as contract hire or the C-2 are a heck of a lot cheaper. As with the A380, the business case for the A400M was flawed from the beginning and then poorly executed.
 
WIederling
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:28 am

Ozair wrote:
Dutchy wrote:

"half a C-17 for half the price" has always been a joke, not achievable in the real world. :D

Hardly, the airframe was launched on that premise with an acquisition cost of approx 80 mil. Now the acquisition cost is nearing 250% of that number and development money spent is over 300% of initial projections. All of a sudden the capability that the A400M offers is not economically viable. For most nations who don't require a rough field capability alternatives such as contract hire or the C-2 are a heck of a lot cheaper. As with the A380, the business case for the A400M was flawed from the beginning and then poorly executed.


If you work with alternative truth numbers you position is understandable.

In the real world the A400M contract was signed covering 180 frames for €20B on 27. Mai 2003.
That is €111m per item.
An amount of 10 to 12b Euros over budget is bandied about.
( one half attributed to the engine issues.)
From this 5...6b Euros have been loaded onto the customer nations.

Nowhere do I see 250% ( to 3.5times the original sum )
or even 300% ( to 4 times the original sum ) increases.

Please lead me!
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:11 pm

I think everybody agrees the C-130 has done and is doing a tremendous job and one should use the right tool for the right job.
Mentioning the A400M might be the better tool for specific jobs than the C-130 / C-17 combi always seems to touch open nerves.
It's too new and not from here might play a role. Meanwhile A400M's fly from Europe directly into Virgin Islands, Barbados, St Martin.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:01 pm

Not sure how up to date this production list is since it was posted a month ago that MSN75 rolled out from assembly, but it seems there must be quite a few frames sitting around.
Probably awaiting the new PGB?

http://www.abcdlist.nl/a400mf/a400mf.html


I'm guessing 66 and 68 were originally slated for the SAAF.
 
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Grizzly410
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:25 pm

Revelation wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
But all of that must be sunk cost, if Airbus can get a price which is higher than it actually cost to build the thing, they should sell it, otherwise not. Simple as that.

Thing is, the sinking hasn't yet stopped, and there is still a budget reckoning session to come between Airbus and its customer nations.


Not sure the program is at a loss by itself right now.
Can't find the article right now but I kind of remember Tom Enders saying the current loss are due to the 2010 negotiation where it was decided the frame to be fully paid once retrofitted to the ordered standard. IRC Airbus claim is that the amount paid at delivery should be higher. If true, one day, we may see some black ink in the A400M bottom line. :|


Slug71 wrote:
Not sure how up to date this production list is since it was posted a month ago that MSN75 rolled out from assembly, but it seems there must be quite a few frames sitting around.
Probably awaiting the new PGB?

http://www.abcdlist.nl/a400mf/a400mf.html

I'm guessing 66 and 68 were originally slated for the SAAF.

Your theory for MSN66&68 makes a lot of sense but can't confirm.
The list you linked is up to date, I have slightly different delivery date, I think because I record Transfer of Title day and the site use delivery flight day. But for MSN56&75 being allocated to UK that's currently not true. I think we'll have news about MSN56 future before year end but MSN75 likely to go in long term storage until Airbus finds a home for it.
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:46 pm

keesje wrote:
I think everybody agrees the C-130 has done and is doing a tremendous job and one should use the right tool for the right job.
Mentioning the A400M might be the better tool for specific jobs than the C-130 / C-17 combi always seems to touch open nerves.
It's too new and not from here might play a role. Meanwhile A400M's fly from Europe directly into Virgin Islands, Barbados, St Martin.

I'm glad the A400M are being put to such a worthy purpose. Are they flying direct to BVI / St Martin / St Marteen? Press reports aren't clear if that is the case or if they are staging through Barbados and/or French territories. Would be interesting to see some flight tracks.
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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:35 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Not sure how up to date this production list is since it was posted a month ago that MSN75 rolled out from assembly, but it seems there must be quite a few frames sitting around.
Probably awaiting the new PGB?

http://www.abcdlist.nl/a400mf/a400mf.html

I'm guessing 66 and 68 were originally slated for the SAAF.

Your theory for MSN66&68 makes a lot of sense but can't confirm.
The list you linked is up to date, I have slightly different delivery date, I think because I record Transfer of Title day and the site use delivery flight day. But for MSN56&75 being allocated to UK that's currently not true. I think we'll have news about MSN56 future before year end but MSN75 likely to go in long term storage until Airbus finds a home for it.


Thank you. Interesting about MSNs-56&75.

Hopefully we will hear something about the new PGB, helo refuelling, and the paratrooper (from the rear doors) certifications soon. Been very quiet about that for months now.
 
Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:19 pm

WIederling wrote:

Please lead me!

I've already provided you the numbers with sources in post #355. Why don't you actually provide some sourcing to a single claim you make, then we might be able to have a discussion based around facts...

keesje wrote:
Mentioning the A400M might be the better tool for specific jobs than the C-130 / C-17 combi always seems to touch open nerves.

Why would it. The aircraft certainly has a niche that it fills very well and those nations that have ordered and operate the aircraft do so for a reason. The problem is the export market, which is now congested with viable alternatives.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:48 am

The A400 fills a very specific and numerically small field for certain end users. I would have rather have seen the actors on stage put all of that money into C-17 squadrons. All of the savings could have kitted out some awesome birds, with pilots and crews afforded the best training money could buy. The jets would have been fielded faster and helped the West in it's campaign against Terror a whole lot sooner. Turning sorties in defense of one's nation is what counts for military aircraft. Delays or inability to perform a mission set leave the burden to others.

It is nice to see the A400 delivering aid to the Caribbean. Again, a C-17 could do that just as easily.
Heck, we are throwing around "Atlantic" and "Non-Stop" like it hasn't been done before. For crying out loud, Lindbergh went "Non-Stop" last century. For the most part, a used fleet of 767-300Fs could do what is being touted, just ask Amazon.

C-17s could have been fielded and performing mission critical flights over a decade ago. Touching on a prior point, I guess the C-17 not being from "There" was more important than fielding an operable, mission ready jet expediently.
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Slug71
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:54 am

CX747 wrote:
The A400 fills a very specific and numerically small field for certain end users. I would have rather have seen the actors on stage put all of that money into C-17 squadrons. All of the savings could have kitted out some awesome birds, with pilots and crews afforded the best training money could buy. The jets would have been fielded faster and helped the West in it's campaign against Terror a whole lot sooner. Turning sorties in defense of one's nation is what counts for military aircraft. Delays or inability to perform a mission set leave the burden to others.

It is nice to see the A400 delivering aid to the Caribbean. Again, a C-17 could do that just as easily.
Heck, we are throwing around "Atlantic" and "Non-Stop" like it hasn't been done before. For crying out loud, Lindbergh went "Non-Stop" last century. For the most part, a used fleet of 767-300Fs could do what is being touted, just ask Amazon.

C-17s could have been fielded and performing mission critical flights over a decade ago. Touching on a prior point, I guess the C-17 not being from "There" was more important than fielding an operable, mission ready jet expediently.


The C-17 was simply too big for most air forces. And can't land on the same unprepared runways the A400m can. And it's expensive to operate.
If they wanted it, they would have ordered it.

I do wish the SAAF would have ordered some though. As well as the A400m.
 
WIederling
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:27 am

Ozair wrote:
WIederling wrote:

Please lead me!

I've already provided you the numbers with sources in post #355. Why don't you actually provide some sourcing to a single claim you make, then we might be able to have a discussion based around facts...


It might be advisable to heed that advice yourself.

Back then I informed you that your numbers were wrong. you progressed from a single apple blossom to an apple harvest.
i.e. you compared cost for the pure developement to later numbers for the package ( devel + 180 frames.)

The initial contract signed in 2003 does not fit your view.
see:
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/a ... 03095.html

Even the inital talks DE/FR around 2000 show the same numbers : €20B
see:
http://www.rp-online.de/politik/gemeins ... -1.2258676

It would be really nice if you could step back from your wrong assertions.
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keesje
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:48 am

Somebody just landed at the small island of Anquilla.

Image

A landing halfway increases payload, enables legs to be stretched / toilet stop. Inflight refueling some hours into the flight is also a (faster, more expensive) option. Not sure what they do. Although the A400M goes high & fast it's probably not the most comfortable ride.It also has to do with the conditions at destination.
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Grizzly410
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:23 am

Slug71 wrote:
Hopefully we will hear something about the new PGB, helo refuelling, and the paratrooper (from the rear doors) certifications soon. Been very quiet about that for months now.


Thing is, once designed the modification for these features it's complicated to ground A/C and introduce new parts/modification and then take flight slots without compromising an already busy flight test planning.

FWIW :
MSN6 is currently under scheduled maintenance, I heard they'll enjoy one engine exchange to introduce the new PGB on this one. Before the maintenance this A/C was spotted in Pau, France, doing paratrooper delivery. We can imagine it will continue this activity when back in line.
Helo refueling, I'm not sure there a solution ready for test flight yet. Likely to be tested by MSN4 which is the tanker prototype (currently fitted with the hose unit on its ramp), so until we see MSN4 entering an hangar for at least a couple of weeks don't expect to have real news.
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:37 am

CX747 wrote:
The A400 fills a very specific and numerically small field for certain end users. I would have rather have seen the actors on stage put all of that money into C-17 squadrons. All of the savings could have kitted out some awesome birds, with pilots and crews afforded the best training money could buy. The jets would have been fielded faster and helped the West in it's campaign against Terror a whole lot sooner. Turning sorties in defense of one's nation is what counts for military aircraft. Delays or inability to perform a mission set leave the burden to others.

Yes, and the US could be flying very serviceable A330 tankers for years now instead of having KC-46s stacked up like cord wood at KPAE, but of course military purchases are primarily political...

Let's all be adults and admit the A400M was primarily about keeping the money in Europe just like KC-46 was primarily about keeping the money in the USA. There are other reasons about why the A400M is a good fit for EU needs and why the KC-46 is a good fit for US needs, but those are secondary considerations with regard to the decision process that ended up deciding to purchase those systems.

Put another way, if A330 was a US built product and 767 an EU built product, right now the USAF would be building lots of big hangars and bragging about its huge capacity whilst asking Congress for more funds for F35 and B21.

And now, let's give A400M credit for being there to help hurricane victims and KC-46 for being on its way to being a great asset for decades to come, and try not to vomit when we think of how our taxes get spent.
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Ozair
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:42 am

WIederling wrote:
It might be advisable to heed that advice yourself.

Back then I informed you that your numbers were wrong. you progressed from a single apple blossom to an apple harvest.
i.e. you compared cost for the pure developement to later numbers for the package ( devel + 180 frames.)

The initial contract signed in 2003 does not fit your view.
see:
http://www.faz.net/aktuell/wirtschaft/a ... 03095.html

Even the inital talks DE/FR around 2000 show the same numbers : €20B
see:
http://www.rp-online.de/politik/gemeins ... -1.2258676

It would be really nice if you could step back from your wrong assertions.


No, my sourcing is based on what Airbus provided in 1999 as per my link. As already indicated in my sources dev costs were priced by Airbus themselves in 1999 as US$6 billion and US$80 each for aircraft. My sources also showed an 11 billion euro cost overrun by 2009. In 2017 an Airbus insider acknowledged a 6 billion Euro hit that hasn't been financed by the partners.
“We’ve taken more than our fair share of losses on everyone’s else’s behalf.” said one Airbus insider, adding that so far the company has taken a €6bn hit on the programme.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/02/22/airbus-flies-yet-trouble-a400m-military-plane/

So with that hit, the acknowledged cost overuns and industry analysts assessing the A400M costing airbus approx 1.5 billion euro a year a dev cost exceeding 300% of initial projections is not only feasible but supported by sourcing.

As for your first source, there is some inconsistent math there. They claim 60 aircraft for the German Air Force for 8.3 billion euros at 127 million euro each, either bad math or at the very least unclear what that cost includes. Total cost is 20 billion euro for 180 aircraft, which equates to 111 million euro each. But that does not exclude US$6 billion in dev cost. If we exclude that then the per aircraft price becomes 88 million Euro, so still approx 150% of the present day cost of US$170-180 million for export orders. As for the initial US$80 million number provided by Airbus, it is approx 200% of initial projection.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:42 am

Grizzly410 wrote:
Thing is, once designed the modification for these features it's complicated to ground A/C and introduce new parts/modification and then take flight slots without compromising an already busy flight test planning.

Yes, that's why the 'tranche' approach is a false economy.

It gets sold as a way to stage the introduction of features so expenditures of assets can also be staged, but it also multiplies the efforts needed to introduce each feature due to the overhead needed to introduce each feature individually.

There is a US military saying that Vietnam was not a ten year war, it was ten one year wars. The A400M is now a long series of short wars, with different terms of engagement for each war.
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KarelXWB
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:05 am

Slug71 wrote:
Hopefully we will hear something about the new PGB, helo refuelling, and the paratrooper (from the rear doors) certifications soon. Been very quiet about that for months now.


Regarding helicopter refueling, this was reported in June:

In the meantime, Airbus is working to address requirements that the A400M is currently unable to meet. The company has successfully tested an extended refuelling hose that can allow the Atlas to support helicopters, Alonso says, and it is now waiting for OCCAR to approve the proposed redesign.


Ref https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ac-438229/

We should see certification before the end of the year.
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WIederling
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:25 am

Grizzly410 wrote:
Thing is, once designed the modification for these features it's complicated to ground A/C and introduce new parts/modification and then take flight slots without compromising an already busy flight test planning.


Would that not be limited for in use planning to "simple engine swaps" ?
It would be quite surprising if engine replacement is a prolonged affair.
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:59 am

Revelation wrote:
Grizzly410 wrote:
Thing is, once designed the modification for these features it's complicated to ground A/C and introduce new parts/modification and then take flight slots without compromising an already busy flight test planning.

Yes, that's why the 'tranche' approach is a false economy.


Capability upgrades are quite common for military projects. The A330 MRTT was not fully capable from the beginning and received upgrades through additional certification. The F35 is still getting upgrades, and even the initial KC-46 deliveries won't have operational WARPs. Military projects are just too complex to be fully operational from day one.

The SOC software upgrades were planned from the beginning. The issue on the A400M is that is requires hardware redesigns in several areas, something that was not planned.
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:58 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Hopefully we will hear something about the new PGB, helo refuelling, and the paratrooper (from the rear doors) certifications soon. Been very quiet about that for months now.


Regarding helicopter refueling, this was reported in June:

In the meantime, Airbus is working to address requirements that the A400M is currently unable to meet. The company has successfully tested an extended refuelling hose that can allow the Atlas to support helicopters, Alonso says, and it is now waiting for OCCAR to approve the proposed redesign.


Ref https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ac-438229/

We should see certification before the end of the year.


I read it in a very different and less positive way. If they tested it it was by modeling, or in a wind tunnel at best, and if they have to submit to OCCAR it is likely because the new design will bring some trade of with it...
IRC the solution is "simply" to use longer hose, unfortunately this was said to compromise stability of the basket in flight and would make the AAR next to impossible for fighter jet (due to speed).
I wouldn't be surprised that it needs two different PODs, the long for helicopters and the short for all others.
I could be wrong but even if it was just a matter of hanging two PODs and flight test it there is no way I can see this certified by year end, MSN4 came out with hose unit and standard PODs only 2-3 weeks ago after being grounded 5 weeks, they will make it work hard on this configuration before introducing anything else.

It's been a while now Airbus is trying to certify the existing Hose and PODs, I'm more inclined to think they concentrate to get certification for these, maybe this year, and then go for the helicopter AAR sometime next year.

WIederling wrote:
Grizzly410 wrote:
Thing is, once designed the modification for these features it's complicated to ground A/C and introduce new parts/modification and then take flight slots without compromising an already busy flight test planning.


Would that not be limited for in use planning to "simple engine swaps" ?
It would be quite surprising if engine replacement is a prolonged affair.


For the new EGP yes, more or less an engine swap... and the flights slots you'll need to find in order to validate the modification under various flight conditions.
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:59 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Military projects are just too complex to be fully operational from day one.

"Fully operational" is just a milestone. The real issue is about deploying the product to the field or to flight test and then having to pull it back into the shed to fix it up, often displacing other work that was scheduled without an appreciation of those disruptions.

KarelXWB wrote:
The SOC software upgrades were planned from the beginning. The issue on the A400M is that is requires hardware redesigns in several areas, something that was not planned.

Thing is, you often don't know you need a hardware redesign till the production software drives all the hardware at its full pace...
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:24 pm

Revelation wrote:
Thing is, you often don't know you need a hardware redesign till the production software drives all the hardware at its full pace...


And all available processing power ( once deemed fully sufficient with lots of ohmpf to spare )
getting dragged down due to all the little software gimmicks programmed to work
around hardware issues, shortcomings and just plain design errors.
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:48 pm

Grizzly410 wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Hopefully we will hear something about the new PGB, helo refuelling, and the paratrooper (from the rear doors) certifications soon. Been very quiet about that for months now.


Regarding helicopter refueling, this was reported in June:

In the meantime, Airbus is working to address requirements that the A400M is currently unable to meet. The company has successfully tested an extended refuelling hose that can allow the Atlas to support helicopters, Alonso says, and it is now waiting for OCCAR to approve the proposed redesign.


Ref https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ac-438229/

We should see certification before the end of the year.


I read it in a very different and less positive way. If they tested it it was by modeling, or in a wind tunnel at best, and if they have to submit to OCCAR it is likely because the new design will bring some trade of with it...
IRC the solution is "simply" to use longer hose, unfortunately this was said to compromise stability of the basket in flight and would make the AAR next to impossible for fighter jet (due to speed).
I wouldn't be surprised that it needs two different PODs, the long for helicopters and the short for all others.
I could be wrong but even if it was just a matter of hanging two PODs and flight test it there is no way I can see this certified by year end, MSN4 came out with hose unit and standard PODs only 2-3 weeks ago after being grounded 5 weeks, they will make it work hard on this configuration before introducing anything else.

It's been a while now Airbus is trying to certify the existing Hose and PODs, I'm more inclined to think they concentrate to get certification for these, maybe this year, and then go for the helicopter AAR sometime next year.


Last thing I read on it, says the hose will be stiffer and narrower.

"Morrell says the company will be testing a stiffer hose design than used previously, and that this will also have to be narrower in diameter, in order to fit within the same Cobham pod design. This will result in a slower fuel flow, although Airbus has yet to determine its exact effect on overall refuelling time."

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ll-426543/

That was mentioned over a year ago though. A different solution may have been found since then.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:09 pm

WIederling wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Thing is, you often don't know you need a hardware redesign till the production software drives all the hardware at its full pace...


And all available processing power ( once deemed fully sufficient with lots of ohmpf to spare )
getting dragged down due to all the little software gimmicks programmed to work
around hardware issues, shortcomings and just plain design errors.

Indeed. A lot of the things software does to work around hardware issues destroys a lot of the presumptions made about the scalability of the system, because the high powered CPU is often stuck doing uncached, single-threaded, bus-locked IO read/write operations to do the workarounds rather than all those nice highly parallel cached memory accesses the designers thought it'd be doing otherwise.

Slug71 wrote:
Last thing I read on it, says the hose will be stiffer and narrower.

I feel a dirty joke coming on..
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:16 pm

Slug71 wrote:
Grizzly410 wrote:
KarelXWB wrote:

Regarding helicopter refueling, this was reported in June:



Ref https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ac-438229/

We should see certification before the end of the year.


I read it in a very different and less positive way. If they tested it it was by modeling, or in a wind tunnel at best, and if they have to submit to OCCAR it is likely because the new design will bring some trade of with it...
IRC the solution is "simply" to use longer hose, unfortunately this was said to compromise stability of the basket in flight and would make the AAR next to impossible for fighter jet (due to speed).
I wouldn't be surprised that it needs two different PODs, the long for helicopters and the short for all others.
I could be wrong but even if it was just a matter of hanging two PODs and flight test it there is no way I can see this certified by year end, MSN4 came out with hose unit and standard PODs only 2-3 weeks ago after being grounded 5 weeks, they will make it work hard on this configuration before introducing anything else.

It's been a while now Airbus is trying to certify the existing Hose and PODs, I'm more inclined to think they concentrate to get certification for these, maybe this year, and then go for the helicopter AAR sometime next year.


Last thing I read on it, says the hose will be stiffer and narrower.

"Morrell says the company will be testing a stiffer hose design than used previously, and that this will also have to be narrower in diameter, in order to fit within the same Cobham pod design. This will result in a slower fuel flow, although Airbus has yet to determine its exact effect on overall refuelling time."

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ll-426543/

That was mentioned over a year ago though. A different solution may have been found since then.


Stiffer, narrower and 50% longer ! 36,6m when original is 24,4m.
Thanks for this article, I'll just correct the link because for whatever reason yours fails.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ll-426543/
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:20 pm

Revelation wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Last thing I read on it, says the hose will be stiffer and narrower.

I feel a dirty joke coming on..


:lol: :lol:

Grizzly410 wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
Last thing I read on it, says the hose will be stiffer and narrower.

"Morrell says the company will be testing a stiffer hose design than used previously, and that this will also have to be narrower in diameter, in order to fit within the same Cobham pod design. This will result in a slower fuel flow, although Airbus has yet to determine its exact effect on overall refuelling time."

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ll-426543/

That was mentioned over a year ago though. A different solution may have been found since then.


Stiffer, narrower and 50% longer ! 36,6m when original is 24,4m.
Thanks for this article, I'll just correct the link because for whatever reason yours fails.
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ll-426543/


Ughh. Probably not enough coffee yet.
Looking at that picture in that article, the hose does look short. Even though it's the same as used on the KC-130 if i'm not mistaken. We're long past the end of 2016 though. So i'm guessing some further changes had to be made. Maybe new materials used. Who knows.

On another note, I wonder if MSNs-56 & 75 could be going to Indonesia.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:26 pm

Slug71 wrote:
On another note, I wonder if MSNs-56 & 75 could be going to Indonesia.


I'm surprised Airbus is building white tails, why is that? There are enough orders in backlog, why have MSN 56 and 75 not been allocated to existing customers?
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Re: A400M Update

Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:44 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
On another note, I wonder if MSNs-56 & 75 could be going to Indonesia.


I'm surprised Airbus is building white tails, why is that? There are enough orders in backlog, why have MSN 56 and 75 not been allocated to existing customers?


Weren't those two tagged for the Brits?
ref: https://web.archive.org/web/20170819145 ... 400mf.html
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:41 am

Revelation wrote:
Let's all be adults and admit the A400M was primarily about keeping the money in Europe just like KC-46 was primarily about keeping the money in the USA. There are other reasons about why the A400M is a good fit for EU needs and why the KC-46 is a good fit for US needs, but those are secondary considerations with regard to the decision process that ended up deciding to purchase those systems.

Put another way, if A330 was a US built product and 767 an EU built product, right now the USAF would be building lots of big hangars and bragging about its huge capacity whilst asking Congress for more funds for F35 and B21.

And now, let's give A400M credit for being there to help hurricane victims and KC-46 for being on its way to being a great asset for decades to come, and try not to vomit when we think of how our taxes get spent.


Nail on the head. A post of the highest quality. I hope some of the flag wavers on either side take notice.

have a great day sir.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:44 am

FrancisBegbie wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Let's all be adults and admit the A400M was primarily about keeping the money in Europe just like KC-46 was primarily about keeping the money in the USA. There are other reasons about why the A400M is a good fit for EU needs and why the KC-46 is a good fit for US needs, but those are secondary considerations with regard to the decision process that ended up deciding to purchase those systems.

Put another way, if A330 was a US built product and 767 an EU built product, right now the USAF would be building lots of big hangars and bragging about its huge capacity whilst asking Congress for more funds for F35 and B21.

And now, let's give A400M credit for being there to help hurricane victims and KC-46 for being on its way to being a great asset for decades to come, and try not to vomit when we think of how our taxes get spent.


Nail on the head. A post of the highest quality. I hope some of the flag wavers on either side take notice.


But it is to a part rewriting history.
Lockheed though initially involved deigned to not participate any further.

WP:EN:A400M cite:
Origins

The project began as the Future International Military Airlifter (FIMA) group, set up in 1982 by Aérospatiale, British Aerospace (BAe), Lockheed, and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) to develop a replacement for the C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160.[7] Varying requirements and the complications of international politics caused slow progress. In 1989, Lockheed left the grouping and went on to develop an upgraded Hercules, the C-130J Super Hercules. With the addition of Alenia of Italy and CASA of Spain the FIMA group became Euroflag.
endCite
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:54 am

WIederling wrote:
FrancisBegbie wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Let's all be adults and admit the A400M was primarily about keeping the money in Europe just like KC-46 was primarily about keeping the money in the USA. There are other reasons about why the A400M is a good fit for EU needs and why the KC-46 is a good fit for US needs, but those are secondary considerations with regard to the decision process that ended up deciding to purchase those systems.

Put another way, if A330 was a US built product and 767 an EU built product, right now the USAF would be building lots of big hangars and bragging about its huge capacity whilst asking Congress for more funds for F35 and B21.

And now, let's give A400M credit for being there to help hurricane victims and KC-46 for being on its way to being a great asset for decades to come, and try not to vomit when we think of how our taxes get spent.


Nail on the head. A post of the highest quality. I hope some of the flag wavers on either side take notice.


But it is to a part rewriting history.
Lockheed though initially involved deigned to not participate any further.


WP:EN:A400M cite:
Origins

The project began as the Future International Military Airlifter (FIMA) group, set up in 1982 by Aérospatiale, British Aerospace (BAe), Lockheed, and Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) to develop a replacement for the C-130 Hercules and Transall C-160.[7] Varying requirements and the complications of international politics caused slow progress. In 1989, Lockheed left the grouping and went on to develop an upgraded Hercules, the C-130J Super Hercules. With the addition of Alenia of Italy and CASA of Spain the FIMA group became Euroflag.
endCite

I'm not following you, but then again, we often are not on the same wavelength. Feel free to spell it out for me.
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:11 am

Revelation wrote:
I'm not following you, but then again, we often are not on the same wavelength. Feel free to spell it out for me.


If the Euros had kicked out Lockheed to have a "private" programme ... your argument would have substance.

But Lockheed left the international realization group ( politics, no interest or certain the project would go into limbo. no idea )

We've seen comparable behaviour with the ITER Fusion project.
When things run too well the US asserts itself as member, proposes to change things
that already have been decided .. until entanglement has grown back a bit and
the project has walloped to another stand still. .. than they retreat again.
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:34 am

WIederling wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I'm not following you, but then again, we often are not on the same wavelength. Feel free to spell it out for me.


If the Euros had kicked out Lockheed to have a "private" programme ... your argument would have substance.

But Lockheed left the international realization group ( politics, no interest or certain the project would go into limbo. no idea )

We've seen comparable behaviour with the ITER Fusion project.
When things run too well the US asserts itself as member, proposes to change things
that already have been decided .. until entanglement has grown back a bit and
the project has walloped to another stand still. .. than they retreat again.


Quite a theory if I got it right -- LM's participation in 1982-89 of what must have been little more than conceptual/feasibility studies of a program not launched till 2000-01 gave the program so much US taint that it should be considered to be undermined by the dark hand of the USA?
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It is a deadly cancer on American society
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:22 pm

Revelation wrote:
Quite a theory if I got it right -- LM's participation in 1982-89 of what must have been little more than conceptual/feasibility studies of a program not launched till 2000-01 gave the program so much US taint that it should be considered to be undermined by the dark hand of the USA?


That actually is not my theory.

My observation is that Lockheed was involved and retreated. ( The theory is the why they retreated.)
Euros doing it alone is not an act of "Euros Über Alles" but of an overseas partner having no interest.

i.e. the A400M is not a EÜA case but the KC46 has good chance of constituting a MAGA case :-)
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 4:32 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
Slug71 wrote:
On another note, I wonder if MSNs-56 & 75 could be going to Indonesia.


I'm surprised Airbus is building white tails, why is that? There are enough orders in backlog, why have MSN 56 and 75 not been allocated to existing customers?


Why not that :
56. Swap from UK to Turkey, which eventually refused it.
75. Speculation white tail in the hope it will help make a deal with an export customer.

The 56 being back in assembly suggests there's now a plan in place after 6 months out of FAL. The 75 sits idle "only" for weeks, have to be patient.
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 5:10 pm

WIederling wrote:
My observation is that Lockheed was involved and retreated. ( The theory is the why they retreated.)

LM was involved in and retreated from a bunch of concept/feasibility studies for something that became a product launch a decade later. We don't know if they decided to leave or were asked to leave or something in between.

We do know that when it came to the actual A400M product a decade later that there was a "buy EU" mandate for the engines.

Seems to me you have not made your point.
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:04 pm

WIederling wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Quite a theory if I got it right -- LM's participation in 1982-89 of what must have been little more than conceptual/feasibility studies of a program not launched till 2000-01 gave the program so much US taint that it should be considered to be undermined by the dark hand of the USA?


That actually is not my theory.

My observation is that Lockheed was involved and retreated. ( The theory is the why they retreated.)
Euros doing it alone is not an act of "Euros Über Alles" but of an overseas partner having no interest.

i.e. the A400M is not a EÜA case but the KC46 has good chance of constituting a MAGA case :-)


Wlerdling, you need to get a grip mate. Get over your conspiracy theories and your anti American hype.

As mentioned before, the A400 is all about strengthening European aircraft manufacturing and the aerospace industry as a whole in Europe. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, lets face it, it was the whole premise that Airbus was set up on. For that, Airbus has been a resounding success. But in saying that, the company is big enough now, that it shouldn't need government protected financing every time it launches a new product.

It is ok to have a program not run perfectly once in a while, which the A400 program has proven to be. But that's not to say it won't end up being a fine aircraft in the future. Sometimes companies need these types of failures in their businesses, it helps to learn from the errors that have been committed and hopefully to prevent those same problems happening in the future.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:16 pm

jupiter2 wrote:
It is ok to have a program not run perfectly once in a while, which the A400 program has proven to be. But that's not to say it won't end up being a fine aircraft in the future. Sometimes companies need these types of failures in their businesses, it helps to learn from the errors that have been committed and hopefully to prevent those same problems happening in the future.

Agree, the capability the A400M offers is superb. Enders stated the contractual side of the A400M was a massive mistake and that is certainly one area one would hope Airbus would improve if they go through this type of dev program again.
I’d also like to see more consideration of the market and the requirements before making export claims. Airbus has always indicated that the USAF would be a potential customer for the A400M but that seems today further away than ever and removing the USAF as an export customer clouds potential export numbers significantly.
 
FrancisBegbie
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:55 am

Revelation wrote:
WIederling wrote:
My observation is that Lockheed was involved and retreated. ( The theory is the why they retreated.)

LM was involved in and retreated from a bunch of concept/feasibility studies for something that became a product launch a decade later. We don't know if they decided to leave or were asked to leave or something in between.

We do know that when it came to the actual A400M product a decade later that there was a "buy EU" mandate for the engines.

Seems to me you have not made your point.


I'm with Revelation on this one. What you are discussing is the follow-up after the decision to spend locally. The whole idea of the A400M follows from European desire to spend money on transport capacity internally.

Whatever the merits of the A400M are (I'm not questioning them!), the European countries could just as well have bought a combination of C-17/C-130 off the shelf to do the job. USAF proves daily that is a workable solution.
 
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Re: A400M Update

Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:52 am

Yes, so? Military hardware is also a source of innovation money spend locally. You have seen it with the KC-45 saga, unacceptable for US politicians that the European a/c was chosen. So what is the problem here?
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