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.