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A400M: Britain Blocks Six-Month Extension; Decision in Late July

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posted on Jun, 24 2009 @ 05:58 AM

PARIS --- Seeking major concessions from prime contractor Airbus Military, Britain yesterday vetoed a French-German proposal to extend ongoing talks on the A400M military transport aircraft until the end of the year.

Instead, defense ministers of the seven partner nations (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and UK) agreed to meet again in Paris in late July to decide and how, to take the program forward

someone is seriously pissed at the french - they want to play for time and the UK have slapped them down witha NO - sort it out now.

posted on Jun, 24 2009 @ 12:32 PM
Quite right. I think that answers are required and the French and Germans who are taking the bulk of the orders need to assert pressure and control.

The danger to the UK and others is that the French and Germans may not mind further delays and as they are the "big buyers" they dictate the progress.

The problems for the UK and smaller customers is that the programme can be slowed by weak leadership and project management. France and Gernamy need to pull their fingers out and start demanding progress. If the UK is getting miffed then they have a legitimate reason.

I really like the A400M and think it has a place in the UK fleet, but not at any cost or at some unspecified time in the future.


posted on Jun, 24 2009 @ 01:10 PM
I agree. I really like the A400M and would love to see it in RAF service but there has to come a time when you say enough is enough.

It will be a shame if the RAF has to go back to ordering more C-130's, and the smaller payload means either a reduced overall capacity or more aircraft, and you don't need to be a genius to figure which option the UK treasury will demand.

If only a "BAE - Antonov An-70UK" wasn't such a pipe dream! Still, look on the bright side, the UK fleet of C-17's might reach double figures

posted on Jun, 24 2009 @ 01:55 PM
I suspect that the UK will come around. I have a funny feeling that future Airbus workshare is going to be used to make threats by the French and Germans to get them back into the fold.

posted on Jun, 25 2009 @ 09:39 AM

Originally posted by paraphi
start demanding progress.

If something takes X hours, sometimes there is not an awful lot you can do about it.

Throwing more and more people at it results in diminished returns, and eventually, a clogged system going slower.

All Airbus can do is just come clean, and give them a list of what is wrong and a realistic schedule on how long it is going to take to put things right.

posted on Jun, 25 2009 @ 09:47 AM
but they wont - they wont tell the countries exactly how , over the last 5 years they have fecked up with the A400 now will they.

posted on Jun, 25 2009 @ 10:38 PM
Waynos, nice dream that BAE-AN-70.

I personally think that more C-17s are the best way to go for the RAF. They are proven not only as excellent war horses but also as fitting in well with British troop and logistic deployment. Why add a third transport to the already overstretched RAF when all it does is fill a small niche between the 130 and 17.
Why not look at getting hold of a smaller more agile vehicle like the V-22 which could be operated by all three services and keep down maintainace


posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:00 AM

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. signaled it’s reluctant to pay for cost overruns on the A400M military transport plane, saying talks with the European Aeronautic, Defense & Space Co. and other nations are in a “difficult” stage.

“This situation is very difficult and we want to be co- operative” with EADS, junior defense minister Quentin Davies, who has responsibility for equipment procurement, said in an interview in London. “But that absolutely cannot be at the expense of our armed forces and the British taxpayer.”

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:03 AM

French plan aims to win UK support for A400M-source

PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) - France has made a new proposal to win UK support for the delayed Airbus (EAD.PA) A400M military transporter, a French government source said on Wednesday.

"France has made a proposal to its European partners which should allow us to meet British demands," the source told Reuters.

"We have to succeed in saving the A400M," the source added, declining to give details about the proposal.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:24 AM

Originally posted by jensy
Why not look at getting hold of a smaller more agile vehicle like the V-22 which could be operated by all three services and keep down maintainace


Sure the US are looking at scrapping that program.

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:29 AM
reply to post by kilcoo316

For once you and I agree on something. The Osprey seems a bit of a dog and it should have been canceled a long time ago.

Operational experience in Somolia, Serbia, and the both Gulf Wars has shown that attack chopters are no match for an RPG. I shudder to think of the USMC using them to storm beacheads.

V-22’s Iraq Performance Should Prompt Program Review, GAO Says

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- The V-22 Osprey’s performance during its 19 months in Iraq was substandard and the Pentagon should review whether the aircraft’s cost and reliability merit continuing the program, according to congressional auditors.

The tilt-rotor plane’s components wear out too soon, making it too costly to maintain and grounded too much of the time, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said.

The Defense Department has spent $28 billion on the aircraft developed and built by Textron Inc. and Boeing Co. and has bought 206 planes to date. It plans to spend $25 billion more on upgrades and the purchase of the remaining 252 planes in the 458-aircraft program for the Marine Corps and Air Force Special Operations Command.

Given the “significant funding needs” to complete the program, “now is a good time to consider the return on this investment as well as other, less costly alternatives that can fill the current requirement,” the watchdog agency said.

93 million per copy
That alone should kill it. Its almost as bad as the new presidential chopter.

Adding to problems outlined by GAO, V-22 costs have risen sharply above initial projections. In 1996, the plan was to build nearly 1,000 of them in 10 years at $37.7 million each. Now, the plan is for fewer than 500 at $93.4 million apiece -- a procurement unit cost jump of 148 percent, GAO said.

[edit on 6/26/09 by FredT]

posted on Jun, 26 2009 @ 03:31 AM
it seems the main problem with the V-22 is around the particle system - they knew of the issues and yet so far all the `fixes` have failed.

it needs to be ripped apart and fixed properly - and the companies own expense

posted on Jun, 27 2009 @ 05:27 AM
reply to post by waynos

You might be happy with this.

An-70 Returns From The Dead
Activity on Antonov An-70 airlifter has been dormant for several years, but a model of the Ukrainian-built heavy airlifter nonetheless appeared in the company's exhibit area. Two prototypes of the turboprop-powered An-70 were developed more than a decade ahead of the similarly sized Airbus A400M, but failed to find its market in the region's turbulent post-Soviet era. With the A400M's current developmental struggles, Antonov perhaps sees hope for a market revival.
From the Paris airshow.
It would be great to see the program get off the ground.


posted on Jun, 27 2009 @ 10:52 AM
You are quite right. That did make me smile. Now all we need to do is get the bloody MoD to look at the thing. Simples! (why don't we have a meerkat smiley?)

posted on Jun, 27 2009 @ 10:57 AM
reply to post by waynos

Whats the unit cost for the An? I for some reason never looked at the cost for the A400 100 million euros

Thats quite a bit for and I assume any production foreward will cost alot more.

But if your goign that route, whats wrong with a mix of C-130J's and C-17

posted on Jun, 27 2009 @ 11:35 AM
I don't know the actual cost, but for a plane successfully developed and flown a decade ago must surely be cheaper, mustn't it? I wonder if we would insist on Rolls engines?

The C-17 is a very large aircraft and too big for the RAF's tactical scenarios, and bloody expensive., but obviously worth it for the strategic reach it gives, which is a different role.

The RAF feels that the C-130 is now too small for its tactical needs, don't forget the RAF was the launch customer for the C-130J - hence the need for something between these two in size. I think the An-70 is probabkly the best large tactical transport since the C-130 and the first one to better it. I think its such a wasted opportunity if no-one buys it. Although I do like the A400M, I wouldn't blink iof we scrapped it for the Antonov.

After all, if Aeroflot can fly Boeings and Airbuses.......why not?

[edit on 27-6-2009 by waynos]

posted on Jun, 27 2009 @ 01:45 PM
needs a flight engineer as they dont have FADEC

posted on Jun, 28 2009 @ 06:27 AM

Originally posted by Harlequinneeds a flight engineer as they dont have FADEC

Even if modern Russian/Ukranian planes/helo's do not have FADEC and need a flight engineer, they still are just as good as any western AC.

In this case, the AN-70 outperforms the A400 so just the aditional costs of an extra crewmember doesnt make the AN-70 bad. And that is IF Russian planes dont have fadec.

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