Airbus A380 superjumbo as the next Air Force One?


The Airbus A380 has attracted interest from the US Air Force (USAF) as a cargo freighter and as a large VIP transport in the Air Force One class, says an industry source.

EADS last summer responded to two separate inquiries by the USAF’s Air Mobility Command (AMC) about the A380, which is a double-decker jet delivered to Singapore Airlines on 15 October after a long delay.

AMC’s first request asked EADS to submit data about the A380F Freighter for potential use as a military airlifter, the source said, adding that the company has submitted a reply and expects an invitation to make a presentation in December to AMC officials. The request may be linked to the USAF’s ongoing review of a potentially over-budget re-engining and reliability improvement programme for the Lockheed Martin C-5 fleet. Lockheed insists the programme can be accomplished within the current budget, but USAF estimates indicate a 50% to 100% cost growth.

USAF officials were not immediately available to comment.

Separately, AMC also requested data from EADS about three Airbus jets as part of a market survey for “VIP Large Aircraft Recapitalization”, the source said. The survey solicited data about the A380, A340-600 and A330-200.

The USAF may soon need to recapitalize the VC-25 Air Force One and the US Navy also may face similar pressure to replace the E-4 Looking Glass airborne command post. Both aircraft are based on the Boeing 747-200 and entered service in the early 1990s. Many commercial airliners are retiring the 747-200 due to age and fuel inefficiency.

First Marine One now possibly Air Force One, historically a Boeing monopoly, being a European aircraft.

As you can imagine the conservative blogs are apoplectic at the very thought!
Depends. For a program this big it'll have to go through a load of places like the Congressional oversight committees and the big defence contractors are incredibly skilled at playing the political game. Doesn't matter what the military really wants, if you've got enough political pull you can force them to take another version.
Uh do you mean buying a better type of aircraft, a better system of government or a better class of right-wing whackjob in regards to Free Republic?
Air Force one will be an Airbus on the same day that Satan goes to work on a snowplough.

The real question is that the USAF is up to here and what program of theirs (which they actually want) is on the chopping block. They offer to bin the A380 idea in return for _________.
I meant you would expect them to buy an american made product where possible in the same way I think the we should favour British made products where possible.
When spending public money price is not as relevant as a more expensive product made in the uk will be cheaper in real terms. With tax asuporting industry tax employment reduced benefit bill . I know because of they way public pecurement works this is not properly considered and the army will have X budeget no allowances made for tax back jobs in budget terms, but this is not the correct way the government should do it for the benefit of economy. Of course if a forgien made product is better and it would effect operation effectiveness then there would be a case for it.
To be fair though the government are promising to give us these little beauties for when the carriers (finally) come through.

An excellent piece of kit. The torpedo means it's able to perform both anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) carrier based duties, note the mounted heavy machine gun which allows it to also fill the air superiority role as well, and as an added bonus since you can also drop the torpedo on ground targets as well plus if you roll the plane over enough the machine gun can also fire at ground targets it fulfills all our bombing/air strike and CAS needs as well. An absolute steal ladies and gents at only GB£57.2 million each from BAE Systems for the ultimate multirole aircraft. ;)
57.2 million? Alas - a bargain! Bugger the F35
In-Limbo said:
Chipmunk? That's about right, because one of these would be a luxury!!!
Ah, the Sopwith Camel, I used to work for the son of the guy who designed that baby! :)

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