A400M

Gen question - I know the army's vehicle fleet is getting chunkier: are there any vehicles too big/heavy to fit in a C130 that will fit in an A400? Or is it the case that in the event of a modern war the army will be without vehicles until they secure a runway big enough to bring in a C-17?
 
Last edited:
Gen question - I know the army's vehicle fleet is getting chunkier: are there any vehicles too big/heavy to fit in a C130 that will fit in an A400? Or is it the case that in the event of a modern war the army will be without vehicles until they secure a runway big enough to bring in a C-17?
CP,

The anser to your question is a simple, unequivocal yes.

It was one of the projects I was working on before I left the military late 2019.

Without coming across as being too melodramatic, I can't list the vehicle or other type here but yes, UK mil had some 'stuff' that only the Atlas could transport (and airdrop) that would not fit into a UK C130.

It could fit into our C17's but not conducive to AD.

Hope that helps.
 
Gen question - I know the army's vehicle fleet is getting chunkier: are there any vehicles too big/heavy to fit in a C130 that will fit in an A400? Or is it the case that in the event of a modern war the army will be without vehicles until they secure a runway big enough to bring in a C-17?
I think that discussion earlier in the thread said that Boxer was one such vehicle. C130 already has problems with smaller, earlier generation vehicles, and current vehicles are getting larger and heavier in order to increase protection.

I also seem to recall US army or air force documents being posted on this thread which said that plans for rapid air deployment of mobile armoured forces would in future require a larger aircraft due to the above factors. The implication seemed to be that C130 was going to become obsolescent in the foreseeable future, although it's still a very useful aircraft today, and that a newer, larger aircraft was going to have to be developed to fill that role. Currently, transporting an LAV requires partial disassembly, being split into two loads, and reassembly upon arrival, which made a drive on / drive off deployment impractical. C17 wasn't a solution to this because it required a suitable developed airfield to already be in your hands, which sort of missed the whole point of the air mobile concept.

The response by the nay sayers on this thread was that the US air mobile concept was all wrong and that light armoured vehicles would all just have to be transported by sea which in turn meant that the C130 was still fine.

The problem with your question is that it requires first answering the question of whether procurement should be driven by strategy or whether future strategy should be limited by what's already your current inventory. The US already feel that the C130 is imposing increasingly difficult to deal with constraints on their equipment development strategy. I'm not going to get into the question of whether A400 is the answer to these problems, as that's a much more complicated question.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
95% of intra theatre lift fits in a C-130.

And most stuff to big to fit in a C-130 is too heavy for an A400M.
There‘s a reason the market hasn’t all charged down the 40 tonne route - and everyones giving the A400M a stiff ignoring.
 
Astonishing. Everything that is able fit into a C130 fits into a C130. And I'll bet that everything that fit into a Horsa glider fit into a Horsa glider.

Someone seems to have difficulty wrapping his head around the notion that technology moves on, otherwise we'd still be designing equipment to fit into Horsa gliders.
 
95% of intra theatre lift fits in a C-130.

And most stuff to big to fit in a C-130 is too heavy for an A400M.
There‘s a reason the market hasn’t all charged down the 40 tonne route - and everyones giving the A400M a stiff ignoring.
Genuine questions.

95% of intra theatre lift fits in a C-130. - Where did you get this from please?

And most stuff to big to fit in a C-130 is too heavy for an A400M. - Not from my experience, again, where do you draw this conclusion from please?
 
Hmm. Volume, floor space, load limit per sq m, payload limits and internal dimensions all favour the A400 over the C130. Happy to be corrected if wrong.
So, logically, of the things that a C130 can carry, the A400 can carry more.
So alongside @Sexton Blake , I'm curious. I also admit to being a neophyte in this.
 
95% of intra theatre lift fits in a C-130. -

Its probably true and even more likely a US statistic - but its one of those irrelevant missleading facts -


I suspect the 1st caveat is fixed wing.

2nd point is up until recently the choice was pretty much either a C130 or a C130 - no great suprise that 95% went in a herc then.

In an extension of CinC Googles logic in ww2 95% of Intratheatre lift was by DC3 - seems silly to have introduced hercs really
 
Genuine questions.

95% of intra theatre lift fits in a C-130. - Where did you get this from please?

And most stuff to big to fit in a C-130 is too heavy for an A400M. - Not from my experience, again, where do you draw this conclusion from please?
You’re arguing with Photex


Give your head a wobble...
 
Im working on a project now that wont fit in a C130 but will fit in a A400M but weight wise both can carry it. Oh the real world eh!
 
Im working on a project now that wont fit in a C130 but will fit in a A400M but weight wise both can carry it. Oh the real world eh!
The answer to that is C17 surely ?

...I'll get me coat....
 
Its probably true and even more likely a US statistic - but its one of those irrelevant missleading facts -


I suspect the 1st caveat is fixed wing.

2nd point is up until recently the choice was pretty much either a C130 or a C130 - no great suprise that 95% went in a herc then.

In an extension of CinC Googles logic in ww2 95% of Intratheatre lift was by DC3 - seems silly to have introduced hercs really
You've hit the nail on the head with respect to what's wrong with the 95% number. If 95% of what you have available for that task can only do 'x', then 95% of what gets done is 'x'. That doesn't mean however that the march of progress should be ignored and that you should be limited to 'x' forever.
 
Death of Hercules: Entire fleet of transporter plane favoured by the SAS to be grounded.

It the Mail so how true the article is I don't know. I thought that the RAF was meant to be getting the MC130J or was this just on the wish list?

There are all sorts of rumours floating around about Hercules and Puma at the moment, ranging from deletion of both types through to new (but small) MC-130 purchase specifically for SF support.

I forget if this rumour is the one that has about 8-10 Pumas being retained (again largely for SF support), or whether that rumour is associated with the AAC losing some/all of its Wildcat so they can be transferred to 33 & 230 Sqns allowing Puma retirement four years early (we do know it's out of service in 2025) and a purchase of a new helicopter circa 2029/2030 which'll replace the Puma [or bring the capability holiday to an end] and the RN Merlins.

Whatever the truth is, the mood music I keep hearing means that I don't think its unreasonable to predict that a number of current Hercules and Puma aircrew will be looking for a place on the OCUs for other aircraft types...
 
My neighbour 20 years ago was a loadie, he claimed to work solely with SF forces and wouldn’t really talk about his job, I have no idea if that’s a thing but he was away a lot.

His phrase was, “Low and Slow, the only way to go” and he told us about deploying in a C-130 and how they flew to Cyprus for like 6 hours, then from there another six hours to where they were operating.

He was really looking forward to A400M but was very critical of BAE and Airbus for the delays.

Although I see the potential benefit of a middle between C-130 and C-17, we could have agreed to support France with our C-17 (and bought more) if they in return support is with Atlas.

This is Britain, maintaining 3 Heavy Lifters seems a bit opulent for our meagre budget and staff.

Bloody Europe, specifically France, they are greedy and selfish, not a good partner really, shame they are next door.
 
Trouble is, or rather part of the trouble is, once the Govt decide to slash something than Defense simply has to suck it up and get on with it.

Without me going to Google i can cast my mind back to the cuts by John Nott circa early 1980’s. The binning of the harrier Force. Chopping Inf Battalions etc.

I am not in anyway decrying the posts above but this is IMHO separate to the C130 v A400 ‘debate’.

It won’t be the first or last time that a decision such as this results in capability gaps or devising new TTPs or means of trying to still deliver the effect(s).

However, what the wisest folk in Government or the MOD don’t know is that the C17 can solve everything. If only someone could drop them an email or short note pointing this out.
 

Cromarty

War Hero
My neighbour 20 years ago was a loadie, he claimed to work solely with SF forces and wouldn’t really talk about his job, I have no idea if that’s a thing but he was away a lot.

His phrase was, “Low and Slow, the only way to go” and he told us about deploying in a C-130 and how they flew to Cyprus for like 6 hours, then from there another six hours to where they were operating.

He was really looking forward to A400M but was very critical of BAE and Airbus for the delays.

Although I see the potential benefit of a middle between C-130 and C-17, we could have agreed to support France with our C-17 (and bought more) if they in return support is with Atlas.

This is Britain, maintaining 3 Heavy Lifters seems a bit opulent for our meagre budget and staff.

Bloody Europe, specifically France, they are greedy and selfish, not a good partner really, shame they are next door.

It seems strange that the usual cry of less platforms and common training and maintenance doesn't occur when a purely political decision foists an unwanted aircraft on the RAF.

And before usual suspects tell me how much the RAF love it and what it can do. What do you expect them to say? And of course they will make it work, they are professionals, almost military like. That doesn't change the fact it wasn't wanted or needed.
 

Latest Threads

Top