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A400M

Published by: AIR FORCE TECHNOLOGY, on 03 August 2020.

First A400M Atlas for Belgian Air Force conducts maiden test flight.

Belgian Air Force has announced that its first Airbus A400M Atlas has conducted maiden test flight.


The military transport aircraft conducted its first flight at an Airbus Defence facility in Seville.

In a Twitter post, the Belgian Air Force said: “The aircraft performed a full Production Aircraft Test Manual (PATM) flight test profile in the late afternoon.”

According to the Airbus website, the A400M Atlas is designed to carry strategic loads to tactical locations. It can land on frontline airbases, grass and / or sand strips, as well as deliver paratroopers or pallets by airdrop.
The aircraft was launched in 2003 to serve the requirements of seven European Nations regrouped within OCCAR.

The aircraft is assembled in Spain, while the wings and the fuselage are manufactured in the UK and Germany respectively.

Capable of carrying payloads of up to 37t, the aircraft has a range of 8,900km and can be used to carry paratroopers, heavy vehicles, equipment and other cargo.

1597068438929.png

[photo] German Air Force Airbus A400M.

 
The Government have found a role for the plane at last. Taken from an article in todays Guardian about military aid to the Border Force in repect about channel crossings by illegals in small boats:


"At the same time, the Royal Air Force (RAF) dispatched a plane to survey the Channel after the flight was authorised by the defence secretary, Ben Wallace.

On Tuesday, the immigration minister, Chris Philp, is due to hold the latest round of talks with French counterparts in Paris.

The Ministry of Defence is understood to be clarifying the request from the Home Office.

As a preliminary step, an RAF A400M Atlas transport plane was dispatched to support the Border Force, making it easier to pick out inflatable boats and other small craft attempting to make the crossing from France. Further military deployments could follow later this week following discussions with France, although there is no scope for Royal Navy vessels to operate in French territorial waters to pick up migrants".
 
We don’t always get stiffed by the French - the relationship over Jaguar was very good until Dassault’s takeover of Breguet, whereupon the standard-issue ‘we must shaft les rosbifs’ approach was adopted.

In fairness, we know what they’re like, and the real pains are the Germans - Tornado (largest order, demand first flight from German airfield, oh, sorry, now the workshare is agreed, we’re not buying as many); Typhoon (5 years added to development thanks to them arsing about attempting to pull off a ‘we don’t want any, but still want the workshare’ deal); A400M (requirement for sufficient aircraft to successfully conduct the next Stalingrad airlift, predictably reduced, and now with further efforts to dispose of a dozen or so of the order they’ve had to take to keep the workshare). Pretty much every programme they get involved with sees them drive up cost and cause delays.

Yet you’ll still find commentators stating that its insanity to not include the French and the Germans in the Tempest programme...
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
So in conclusion the French stiff everyone who deals with them.
Some years ago, I interviewed a guy who'd been on the design team for Concorde.

The way things were done was that the two countries would take design lead on a portion of the aircraft. This guy - a Brit - was on the UK team bidding to supply the undercarriage.

The French were responsible for the undercarriage. The UK solution was half the price of the French. The contract went to... the French.

The effort to get the decision reversed had to go all the way to ministerial level.

When Concorde crashed because of shoddy French maintenance a strip of metal on the runway, the company invited to supply the safer new tyre design was Michelin. Dunlop Aircraft Tyres, based just off the M6 in Birmingham, didn't even get a look-in despite being perfectly capable of delivering a very similar design.

The French wanted design lead on what became the Eurofighter Typhoon because they felt they had design expertise in terms of delta-winged aircraft (the Mirage series). They copped a strop when they didn't get their way and buggered off to develop Rafale.

Hm. Deltas. Avro Vulcan or Gloster Javelin as well as any number of other, experimental types, anyone? Or the EAP project?
 
We don’t always get stiffed by the French - the relationship over Jaguar was very good until Dassault’s takeover of

Ah yes the famous decision to go with the Etendard as a carrier attack aircraft and not the Jaguar - because the Jaguar was underpowered in the event of a single engine Failure.

I dont think any ones ever disputed that - but im somewhat suspect of a process that concluded the Etendards performance was better in the event of a single engine failure.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
We don’t always get stiffed by the French - the relationship over Jaguar was very good until Dassault’s takeover of Breguet, whereupon the standard-issue ‘we must shaft les rosbifs’ approach was adopted.

In fairness, we know what they’re like, and the real pains are the Germans - Tornado (largest order, demand first flight from German airfield, oh, sorry, now the workshare is agreed, we’re not buying as many); Typhoon (5 years added to development thanks to them arsing about attempting to pull off a ‘we don’t want any, but still want the workshare’ deal); A400M (requirement for sufficient aircraft to successfully conduct the next Stalingrad airlift, predictably reduced, and now with further efforts to dispose of a dozen or so of the order they’ve had to take to keep the workshare). Pretty much every programme they get involved with sees them drive up cost and cause delays.

Yet you’ll still find commentators stating that its insanity to not include the French and the Germans in the Tempest programme...
I have to say, on that basis the work-share divisions on the new French/German Gen 6 aircraft are going to be a joy to watch unfold.
 

aardvark64

War Hero
We don’t always get stiffed by the French
...
Yet you’ll still find commentators stating that its insanity to not include the French and the Germans in the Tempest programme...
Really? Who's that then? Most commentators I read suggest we're far better off with the Swedes; Italians not so much, unless it's just the UK arm of Leonardo.

The French and Germans have their own competing design, now with added Spanishness. I can't see that ending well, what with all the shenanigans around the future tank concept?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Really? Who's that then? Most commentators I read suggest we're far better off with the Swedes; Italians not so much, unless it's just the UK arm of Leonardo.

The French and Germans have their own competing design, now with added Spanishness. I can't see that ending well, what with all the shenanigans around the future tank concept?
It'll be really, really stealthy then. Especially if they call it the Inquisition.

You'll just not see it coming.
 

aardvark64

War Hero
You're a very bad person, I'm not rising to that....
 
Ah yes the famous decision to go with the Etendard as a carrier attack aircraft and not the Jaguar - because the Jaguar was underpowered in the event of a single engine Failure.

I dont think any ones ever disputed that - but im somewhat suspect of a process that concluded the Etendards performance was better in the event of a single engine failure.

The Jaguar M had poor throttle response, apparently. The point that the SuE's throttle response in an engine out scenario was sub-optimal passed the French government by...

Dassault are quite content to shaft their own services - the Aeronavale spent some years pointing out that it wasn't 1966 any more, and that the F-8 might have a bit of difficulty up against modern fighters. They looked at the F/A-18, but Dassault pulled a few strings and they had to wait more than a decade for the Rafale (Dassault fearing that an F/A-18 buy, or even lease, would lead to people asking whether the Rafale was actually needed when the Hornet met most of the requirements. And they might have noticed that the Hornet was better at most things than the SuE, and advocated retiring that airframe as well.

Really? Who's that then? Most commentators I read suggest we're far better off with the Swedes; Italians not so much, unless it's just the UK arm of Leonardo.

The French and Germans have their own competing design, now with added Spanishness. I can't see that ending well, what with all the shenanigans around the future tank concept?

There was a piece in one of the aeronautical journals a week or so ago, where someone - don't think it was a Brit - suggested that running two 6th Gen fighter programmes in Europe was lunacy and the happy examples of past cooperation offered the right answer. Without going into details, the RAF Capability side of the house are quite content that they have, indeed, drawn the right lesson from past examples of cooperation with Europe... I'll try and see if I can find it (and the commentator isn't the only one, but is in a minority).
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
There was a piece in one of the aeronautical journals a week or so ago, where someone - don't think it was a Brit - suggested that running two 6th Gen fighter programmes in Europe was lunacy and the happy examples of past cooperation offered the right answer. Without going into details, the RAF Capability side of the house are quite content that they have, indeed, drawn the right lesson from past examples of cooperation with Europe... I'll try and see if I can find it (and the commentator isn't the only one, but is in a minority).
There was a good piece posted on the Tempest thread about the design philosophy being pursued and how it differs from the traditional:
 

aardvark64

War Hero
The Jaguar M had poor throttle response, apparently. The point that the SuE's throttle response in an engine out scenario was sub-optimal passed the French government by...

Dassault are quite content to shaft their own services - the Aeronavale spent some years pointing out that it wasn't 1966 any more, and that the F-8 might have a bit of difficulty up against modern fighters. They looked at the F/A-18, but Dassault pulled a few strings and they had to wait more than a decade for the Rafale (Dassault fearing that an F/A-18 buy, or even lease, would lead to people asking whether the Rafale was actually needed when the Hornet met most of the requirements. And they might have noticed that the Hornet was better at most things than the SuE, and advocated retiring that airframe as well.



There was a piece in one of the aeronautical journals a week or so ago, where someone - don't think it was a Brit - suggested that running two 6th Gen fighter programmes in Europe was lunacy and the happy examples of past cooperation offered the right answer. Without going into details, the RAF Capability side of the house are quite content that they have, indeed, drawn the right lesson from past examples of cooperation with Europe... I'll try and see if I can find it (and the commentator isn't the only one, but is in a minority).
Okay, I can understand that the 'European' view is that UK is wrong not to join in with their project. FlightGlobal reported this as recently as June 2020.

Anyone without a vested interest in FCAS saying it though?
 
It'll be really, really stealthy then. Especially if they call it the Inquisition.

You'll just not see it coming.

'No-one expects the Luftwaffe, with our 250 wonderful fighter... no 190 world beating multi-role combat aircraft, yes, all 143 of them.... cut the workshare? Fetch the comfy chair for our heretical guest, Cardinal von Richthofen!'


It was an Italian think tank which first proposed the merging of Tempest and FCAS (a year ago, it turns out...), and there's been one other commentator since - I did note this is a minority view - but can't find it at the moment

Think Tank - Join Tempest programme then try to merge it with Franco-German Effort
 
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Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
'No-one expects the Luftwaffe, with our 250 wonderful fighter... no 190 world beating multi-role combat aircraft, yes, all 143 of them.... cut the workshare? Fetch the comfy chair for our heretical guest, Cardinal von Richthofen!'


It was an Italian think tank which first proposed the merging of Tempest and FCAS (a year ago, it turns out...), and there's been one other commentator since - I did note this is a minority view - but can't find it at the moment

Think Tank - Join Tempest programme then try to merge it with Franco-German Effort
Interesting that the article states that the Germans don't have a requirement to carry nuclear weapons. They certainly do, hence the recent wrangling over an F-18 buy.
 
Interesting that the article states that the Germans don't have a requirement to carry nuclear weapons. They certainly do, hence the recent wrangling over an F-18 buy.
They still have that capability, however watch them buy Chinese fighters. China, Russia love Merkl, wonder why.
 

Noray

Crow
** 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
Germany purchased 110 C-160s (20 of which were sold to Turkey) and were still operating 80 in 2011. An increase in transport capacity was desireable. 70 new aircraft would have been affordable at the price of the AN-70, but Europe voted against the German suggestion and chose the more expensive A400M. Its rising costs, the financial burden of the German reunification, and the strong and unpredictable influence of the German parliament on military procurement led to the reduction of numbers.

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.
There are no German A400Ms for sale anymore. A second A400M base is to open in 2025 at Lechfeld Air Base.
 

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