A400M

meanwhile, back at the a ranch, the RAF want MC-130H’s , not A400’s for cutting about in places they shouldn’t be.

1 type becomes 2, Was intended to become 1, but becomes rationalised into 3 - how not to save money.

And all the RAF wanted was 25 new C-130’s and a few extra c-17’s.
Can you just remind me of when you were on the Air Staff again?
 
PhotEx,

I am actually going to give you a 'like' for that post.

I do believe that you and I are debating on different levels. Mine being that the UK/RAF will make the Atlas an excellent TAC/STRAT (whatever) aircraft in the near future. You are more along the lines of we should never have got it in the first place.

Neither of us are very right or very wrong but at least healthy debate continues.

SB
if the RAF stick with, it will be in the same mould as the old Belfast, which oddly enough suffered from the Same commercial problem, it fell also between two stool. too big for day to day tactical, not big enough for strategic. It’s future will probably as the day to day pallet hauler like the old Jets.
its been a huge commercial flop. Other than the launch partners and a few minnows, not a single one has been sold a decade up the road, and even some of the launch partners are desperately trying to offload many of their orders.

AIRBUS didnt listen to the market, what the market wanted was a better C-130, not a poor mans C-17. Only 5% of intra-theatre loads won’t fit in a C-130. The A400M makes some sense of you don’t have a C-17 To shift that other 5%, but we do, lots of them.
 
if the RAF stick with, it will be in the same mould as the old Belfast, which oddly enough suffered from the Same commercial problem, it fell also between two stool. too big for day to day tactical, not big enough for strategic. It’s future will probably as the day to day pallet hauler like the old Jets.
its been a huge commercial flop. Other than the launch partners and a few minnows, not a single one has been sold a decade up the road, and even some of the launch partners are desperately trying to offload many of their orders.

AIRBUS didnt listen to the market, what the market wanted was a better C-130, not a poor mans C-17. Only 5% of intra-theatre loads won’t fit in a C-130. The A400M makes some sense of you don’t have a C-17 To shift that other 5%, but we do, lots of them.
8 x C17 = ‘lots’?

Your imaginary time on the Air Staff wasn’t wasted eh?
 
The RAF is determined to make a decent fist of the A400, there really isn't any other option. It's not doom n gloom though. I am given to understand that the pilots like flying it, it can can lug decent loads at good speeds and it has a decent range.
Engine gearbox issues - not sure where we are with that, but it certainly hasn't helped perceptions and it certainly has caused problems, hopefully fixed shortly.
I am a fan, I'll admit, and I do think that it will prove to be a good 'un in the long term.
 
.....yes, but the A400 is very loud.
I live near Lyneham. Used to C130s and even though it's no longer active we get single or three plane flights low and high. We also get A400's and C17s. Many civilian aircraft also. The A400 really draws attention to itself as it drones overhead. You can hear it some time before it arrives compared to other aircraft.
Are they worse than the old VC 10 Tankers? They were a really noisy beast. Far noisier than the normal VC-10s, Britannia's or Belfasts.
 
The A400 will
mature into an excellent Strat air transport, para drop, once all the issues are ironed out.
Imagine if @PhotEx was around when C130 was being introduced.
I dont doubt that in years to come - that the most on point criticism will not be directed at the aircraft itself - but will be the 3 aircraft types fleet and that once the UK had purchased C17 it would have been better to increase that fleet to a 18 aircraft and replace the hercs with newer hercs.

That the A400 doesnt really make sense if you are operating and intend to keep operating hercs and C17 is not a fault of the aircraft.
 
I suspect the CH130 will go the way of the Dakota. Both excellent aircraft for their area, but tempest fugit and all that.
We will see the rise of turbofan replacements like the C390 or AN178. Be curious to see what Lockheed comes out with.
 
I dont doubt that in years to come - that the most on point criticism will not be directed at the aircraft itself - but will be the 3 aircraft types fleet and that once the UK had purchased C17 it would have been better to increase that fleet to a 18 aircraft and replace the hercs with newer hercs.

That the A400 doesnt really make sense if you are operating and intend to keep operating hercs and C17 is not a fault of the aircraft.
Who in the UK took the decision to purchase the A400M if it was such a bad idea ?
 
Who in the UK took the decision to purchase the A400M if it was such a bad idea ?
It was partly political - partly economic - being involved in a collaborative project rather than just purchasing something.

The original plan was that the RAF would by 25 C130J and then the rest of the Ks would be replaced by 25 A400

Despite the claims of some the RAF never* intended to replace hercs with A400s - the A400 was always to be a 2nd fleet slotting into the strategic role -

Fast forward several years the A400 is delayed the C130K fleet increasingly knackered and theres no strategic lift capability - a desperate need for this was fulfilled by leasing 4 C17s until the A400 arrives. .
The high utilisation of these and the further delays of the A400 lead to the decision to buy the 4 and another 4.

Its at this point things go Awry - Its oft reported and probably true for entirely logical reasons that having bought C17s the RAF wanted to ditch A400 and go with (more c17s) and C130s.

This was unacceptable politically (good European bit) economically workshare being based on numbers ordered** and so the UK continued with the A400M.

Fast forward to today and the RAF instead of operating 2 types now has 3 - - but there never was a plan for the RAF to operate the A400 as a single type -



*Never - the 2010 decision to go with a fleet of 25 A400m and 8 C17 ditching hercs altogether was a) cost based and b) long since changed - it was never going to happen RAF plated that one well.

** Somehow Germany who operated about 40 c160s - claiming it wanted 70 A400s effectively quadrupling its lift never raised any eyebrows. Colour me less than stunned at their subsequent attempts to cut orders whilst retaining workshare
 
It was partly political - partly economic - being involved in a collaborative project rather than just purchasing something.

The original plan was that the RAF would by 25 C130J and then the rest of the Ks would be replaced by 25 A400

Despite the claims of some the RAF never* intended to replace hercs with A400s - the A400 was always to be a 2nd fleet slotting into the strategic role -

Fast forward several years the A400 is delayed the C130K fleet increasingly knackered and theres no strategic lift capability - a desperate need for this was fulfilled by leasing 4 C17s until the A400 arrives. .
The high utilisation of these and the further delays of the A400 lead to the decision to buy the 4 and another 4.

Its at this point things go Awry - Its oft reported and probably true for entirely logical reasons that having bought C17s the RAF wanted to ditch A400 and go with (more c17s) and C130s.

This was unacceptable politically (good European bit) economically workshare being based on numbers ordered** and so the UK continued with the A400M.

Fast forward to today and the RAF instead of operating 2 types now has 3 - - but there never was a plan for the RAF to operate the A400 as a single type -



*Never - the 2010 decision to go with a fleet of 25 A400m and 8 C17 ditching hercs altogether was a) cost based and b) long since changed - it was never going to happen RAF plated that one well.

** Somehow Germany who operated about 40 c160s - claiming it wanted 70 A400s effectively quadrupling its lift never raised any eyebrows. Colour me less than stunned at their subsequent attempts to cut orders whilst retaining workshare
Thank you for the summary.
 
Its at this point things go Awry - Its oft reported and probably true for entirely logical reasons that having bought C17s the RAF wanted to ditch A400 and go with (more c17s) and C130s.
very true, even to the extent the RAF allocated extra C-17 tail codes. It wanted 10, enough to create two squadrons.
 
The RAF is determined to make a decent fist of the A400, there really isn't any other option. It's not doom n gloom though. I am given to understand that the pilots like flying it, it can can lug decent loads at good speeds and it has a decent range.
Engine gearbox issues - not sure where we are with that, but it certainly hasn't helped perceptions and it certainly has caused problems, hopefully fixed shortly.
I am a fan, I'll admit, and I do think that it will prove to be a good 'un in the long term.
there’s the point, isnt it?
the RAF will make a good go of making it work, but it’s also far and away the most technically competent if all the launch partners with far and away the best resources.

its a trash hauler, but it’s needing the sort of decades long re development work you’d expect for a troubled bleeding edge fighter just to get it to do half what it was promised to do. And some of the issues like the thermal issue are irrecoverable and simply been written out of the ‘must do this’ spec sheet.
the Huns are having a really hard time of it, serviceability is aweful, single figures, low single figures.
its simply too complex a plane for the job with too many too clever ideas put in by a manufacturer with no prior experience in the airlifter business. It will be AIRBUS’s first and last attempt at that market.

And that’s assuredly why the rest of the huge airlifter market is giving it a very stiff ignoring. They can see only the RAFs getting useful serviceability out if it, and the other launch partners are giving up.
On the plus side, There are now plenty of no longer wanted Spanish/German zero miles A400Ms going cheap if the RAF wants to up its fleet numbers.
 
Didn't we get stiffed by the French with the Jaguar, and the Gazelle/Puma purchasesback in the Seventies? The French were going to buy an equal number of Lynx's?
 
Didn't we get stiffed by the French with the Jaguar, and the Gazelle/Puma purchasesback in the Seventies? The French were going to buy an equal number of Lynx's?

European collaborations? we always do.

The then SecDef fondly imagined that plowing on with the very troubled A400M when the RAF made it very plain the wanted to walk away would curry us favour with the French and they'd reciprocate by buying lots of British kit to reward us for our Europeane solidarity.

Quelle surprise, we sign on the line and it was null points from the French
 
So in conclusion the French stiff everyone who deals with them.
 

Sexton Blake

Old-Salt
So in conclusion the French stiff everyone who deals with them.
They certainly stiffed me with my effing Peugeot van.

Sorry, massive thread drift.
 
Didn't we get stiffed by the French with the Jaguar, and the Gazelle/Puma purchasesback in the Seventies? The French were going to buy an equal number of Lynx's?
Wow. They'd have had to buy a lot of lynxes. Not sure if that's right. The only use they could have had would be in the navy, which they did buy.
 

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