A400M

#1
A €20 billion (£18.3 billion) project to build military transporter aircraft for Nato risks being scrapped next month, EADS, the aerospace group, warned today.

The admission raises the prospect that the group, which also owns Airbus, could be hit by huge fines as demand for aircraft evaporates amid the steep economic downturn.

Louis Gallois, the chief executive of EADS, admitted that 2009 “will be a very difficult year for us”.

EADS warned that the A400M project, which has been plagued by delays of up to four years, could be cancelled altogether if all seven nations supporting it pull out, as they have the right to do, on April 1
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article5879659.ece

The UK aside none of the other participating Countries have either the cash or the operational need anymore

Spain is broke and is looking at 20% unemployment next year, Turkey has had to go to the IMF, Belguim and luxemborg are at the knackers yard, Germany's economy is imploding and they are expected to bail out the whole Eurozone, South Africa and Malaysia?!, only France will probably stick with it until they hear about the new price and delivery date.
 
#2
Brinkmanship, who is going to blink first

There is simply no way this project is going to be cancelled and I suspect an under the table deal will be conncocted to make sure it stays intact, some horse trading on delivery dates and costs is inevitable and EADS is going to have to swallow some shite, despite what they say
 
#3
meridian said:
Brinkmanship, who is going to blink first

There is simply no way this project is going to be cancelled and I suspect an under the table deal will be conncocted to make sure it stays intact, some horse trading on delivery dates and costs is inevitable and EADS is going to have to swallow some shite, despite what they say
Not in these economic times old love I bet you fifty quid to Holidays for Heroes that on the 2nd of April at least half the partners have pulled out and its kicked into the long grass for ever.
 
#4
so that means a few more C-17's and extra C-130j's to fulfil lift requirment then?

good. thats a better option for the UK, (and mybe a few of the C-27j spartans would be a good idea too?)
 
#5
we are the only people involved who actually need something yesterday so hopefully we will buy American on April the 6th
 
#6
What will we have instead then? Septic or Ruskie? I can bet Boeing shares are on the rise.
 
#7
All the Yanks or / and the Ivans have to do is bundle it all up as a PFI and Broon will sign off on it
 
#8
When this project kicked off EADS made a lot of noise about this being a commercial contract with the usual penalty clauses which would be delivered to time. Hubris indeed. They cannot wriggle out of paying for their inability to deliver, or stop their customers from walking away as per the contract.

Now in the commercial world airliners do run late and suppliers do make deals with customers as a result, so it's not impossible to save this project. However, one suspects that most of the customers will see this as a good excuse to save a few quid. Short sighted maybe, but that's the name of the game these days.

In fact, the only customer who has a problem is the UK. We desperately need airlift and losing the A400 kicks out the central plank of our strategy. I look forward to the usual suspects telling us how we can't put alternatives in place quickly as it's all too difficult, they work very hard and it's not as if there's a war on after all.
 
#9
You may have seen my previous posts on the A400, I am actually a firm believer and the mantra that more C17's and C130J's kind of misses the point completely.

Have a read here for a reasonable rundown

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2009/02/are-we-the-only-people-that-like-the-a400m/


There is also no doubt that the economic climate means that Governments will get a battering if they start cancelling native projects which have a significant job element and buying stuff from overseas which results in zero tax income and zero jobs (which also has of course tax income attached). If they cancel it the people who once contributed now become yet another drain in the form of unemployment benefits.

Anyone who thinks this is about an aircraft are wrong, it politics writ large
 
#10
We desperately need airlift and losing the A400 kicks out the central plank of our strategy. I look forward to the usual suspects telling us how we can't put alternatives in place quickly as it's all too difficult, they work very hard and it's not as if there's a war on after all.
You're not talking about the RAF per chance? ;)
 
#11
On the other hand....

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/6036/

07:54 GMT, March 10, 2009 During today's press conference, EADS managers said to defpro.com that a termination of the A400M military transport aircraft programme is very unlikely.

As defpro reported last month, the French Senate unveiled a report entitled “L'Airbus militaire A400M sur le ‘chemin critique’ de l'Europe de la défense” – “The A400M Military Airbus on the critical path for European defense”, in which it was said that the participating nations in a collective or individual decision have the legal right to abandon the programme and demand their funding payments be returned if the first flight is delayed by more than 14 months. This deadline is to expire 1 April 2009.

An EADS manager who declines to be identified however said to defpro.com that a termination of the programme may only be obtained with a “unanimous mandate” of all launch nations. This make a termination very unlikely, the manager said.

Theoretically, a cancellation of the A400M contract by OCCAR would trigger reimbursement of the pre-delivery payments and other payments received from OCCAR. The total amount is approximately €5.7 billion. Separately, each of the launch nations may claim cancellation of those individual aircraft which would be substantially delayed.

During the press conference, Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS confirmed that flight tests with the A400M TP400-D6 engine, which is fitted to a modified C-130 aircraft, have been successful so far. Gallois said that three flights have been carried out with very positive results.

Gallois also confirmed that the problem is not the engine itself but rather its implementation into the aircraft. "The engine is working very well on the flight test bed."

"The real challenge is the computer which controls the engine as well as the entire propulsion system" he said. "All now depends on the Full Authority Digital Engine Controls (FADEC) for the EPI TP400-D6 turboprop engines, this is the main reason we are late."

Gallois also said that the date of the A400M first flight will be essential for the company, since it is committed to deliver the first aircraft exactly three years after this first flight. The time schedule of the first flight depends on the availability and clearance FADEC, he said.


The CEO pointed out those critical parts of the aircraft includes the Flight Management System (FMS), Military Mission Management System (MMMS) and some other systems which are all not on Airbus responsibility but rather other large suppliers including Sagem, Thales, and Rheinmetall.

Gallois also said that the company is negotiating with the customers nations on the time schedule of the production line as well as on the different stand-ups of the aircraft. "During these negotiations France and Germany have declared they remain committed to the programme," Gallois said.
 
#12
meridian said:
Anyone who thinks this is about an aircraft are wrong, it politics writ large
Not disputing that but the worse global economic crisis since the 30's suspends the politics as usual approach, the EU Countries will regard saving the Euro and themselves this year as the real project. Not a hundred odd military transports only thirty or so of which will ever smell powder.
 
#13
True, but the build programme is spread across many countries and supports many jobs and don't forget the hubris and pride. We bin this off and we hand the market to the US
 
#14
meridian said:
True, but the build programme is spread across many countries and supports many jobs and don't forget the hubris and pride. We bin this off and we hand the market to the US
Only the French will try to keep it alive as fantassin has illustrated, the real jobs are with Airbus which has enough trouble with the strengh of the dollar, cancelled orders from China (all of them) and Obhama saying no to the refueling deal. The A400M is not core Airbus/EDS business and will be last on the list.

As I said 50 quid to H4H on the 2nd of April - will you take my wager Sir?
 
#15
RE: The EADS manager- he would say that, wouldn't he?

Why we insist on a long drawn out and highly expensive program to develop an aircraft marginally more useful than we could buy off the shelf for much less is a question I have yet to find a satisfactory answer to. So far as I can tell, it's the usual jobs-for-people approach.
 
#16
No it is a vision thing. Either you decide to hand out the complete exclusivity of tactical transport aircrafts design and production to the US of A for the coming 50 years and you tie your hands in the process or you don't like the idea and do something about it.
 
#17
Since they stand to lose such large amounts of cash should it be cancelled and are unlikely to be able to deliver on time could we not get them to cover the costs of leasing some extra C-130s to cover the gap as a compromise? I'm sure they'd much rather much less of a profit or at least break even on the original order in the hope of profits from other future sales rather than making a massive loss.

meridian said:
You may have seen my previous posts on the A400, I am actually a firm believer and the mantra that more C-17's and C130J's kind of misses the point completely.

Have a read here for a reasonable rundown

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2009/02/are-we-the-only-people-that-like-the-a400m/
Interesting read. On the A400 issue it does seem to break down rather starkly to either those who are very much in favour of buying it or those very much not in favour of buying it with little middle ground between them. The articles I've found seem to be fairly partisan one way or the other at least. You wouldn't happen to have be able to post or have a link to somewhere that shows the specs for the newer C-130s and A400 side by side to get a decent idea about the two would you?

From the article you posted something I need a little clarification,

Think Defence said:
Long term we believe that the A400 should replace all models of C130 in service with the RAF as the newer J models are withdrawn from service.

This would leave the A400 as the only tactical airlifter in service with the RAF apart from the few Islanders and this would create a large gap in capability at the lower end.
Maybe it's just the few pints I had with lunch at the pub but isn't that sort of contradicting themselves? Are they saying that they want purely C-17 and A400 or a mix of C-17, A400 and C-130? As I understand it the plan is to hub and spoke it, use the mahoosive C-17s to shift equipment in bulk into the theatre and then A400s and/or C-130s to shuffle it around in country correct?
 
#18
Yes the UK needs airlift ASAP, but A400M was always the political choice not the military choice.

If A400M does get binned by the consortium, then the UK has the chance, albeit with a delay, to purchase the military choice at a lower overall outlay than the £2.8 billion plus and have an equal, if not greater airlift capability.

Swings and roundabouts to this one.

Now then Bubbles_Barker, here's your chance to shine. :)
 
#19
Mon dieu, it would be sad to bin the project. The A400M was the basis for my final year group design project back at the (now defunct) RMCS at Shriv' in 2000. We had stacks of specs and glossy brochures from Airbus that you could have sworn they would have had them rolling off the production line in no time. One of the blokes on a parallel design team back then now works for Airbus and told me a while back that they were in the sh*t with the A400M.
 
#20
Croque_Monsieur said:
Mon dieu, it would be sad to bin the project. The A400M was the basis for my final year group design project back at the (now defunct) RMCS at Shriv' in 2000. We had stacks of specs and glossy brochures from Airbus that you could have sworn they would have had them rolling off the production line in no time. One of the blokes on a parallel design team back then now works for Airbus and told me a while back that they were in the sh*t with the A400M.
not just merde-stirring is he?
 

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