EADS builds case for A400M sale to USAF

Triton

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From Flight International December 15, 2009:

"EADS builds case for A400M sale to USAF"
by Stephen Trimble

Three factors could sway the US Air Force within five years to buy the Airbus Military A400M transport, believes EADS North America chief executive Sean O'Keefe

The A400M, which achieved a first flight in December, could fill an anticipated airlift gap created by a wave of Lockheed Martin C-5A retirements, Boeing C-17 programme termination and Lockheed C-130J size and performance limitations, O'Keefe says.

EADS anticipates that the A400M would be the USAF's only option to address the gap, which could occur slightly before the middle of the next decade, he says.

EADS analysts have identified the three factors based on an internal assessment. The company has not shared its findings with the USAF, nor discussed plans with service officials for an A400M acquisition, O'Keefe says.

The EADS assessment conflicts with USAF plans to continue buying C-130Js and flying all 59 C-5As, although the latter were removed from the reliability enhancement and re-engining programme (RERP) in 2008 to save money.

The USAF has attempted to shut the C-17 production line every year since 2007, but Congress has added funds to buy 33 more airlifters beyond the USAF's stated requirement. Congress is debating conflicting proposals to add between three and 10 more C-17s in the fiscal year 2010 budget.

"That doesn't fill the [airlift] gap at all even if Congress buys a few more," O'Keefe says.

The A400M's future, however, is itself uncertain. Airbus has asked its customers to agree on new contract terms to absorb cost overruns reportedly greater than €5 billion($7.25 million).

The A400M programme is scheduled to complete the flight-test phase and enter service in 2012.

URL: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2009/12/15/336102/eads-builds-case-for-a400m-sale-to-usaf.html
 

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EADS North America promotional video for A400M appears targeted to the United States Air Force/Army.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5RTljDRMV4&feature=share&list=UU-gc9j9xDuE7IKz7Zo4l5XA
 

Jemiba

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I would regard this more as an attempt to threaten the European purchaser, that the production
could be moved to the USA, leaving the European countries without any return in the form of
workshare.
 

Michel Van

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Jemiba said:
I would regard this more as an attempt to threaten the European purchaser, that the production
could be moved to the USA, leaving the European countries without any return in the form of
workshare.


this could change,
if US generals at Army or US Marines see this Video and come to conclusion:
"Hey that exactly what we need as replacement for our aging C-130 fleet !"
 

Jemiba

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Michel Van said:
this could change,
if US generals at Army or US Marines see this Video and come to conclusion:
"Hey that exactly what we need as replacement for our aging C-130 fleet !"

And even if those US generals rant and rave for something, that doesn't mean, that it would
be purchased by the government. To replace the Herk would be a REALLY big order and to
accept such a bid from a foreign country .... well, that probably would need A LOT OF political
courage by the then current US government !
 

Stargazer2006

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Jemiba said:
that probably would need A LOT OF political courage by the then current US government !

Courage... or insanity?? A market of that magnitude would generate so much employment and cashflow that I can see no government, whether conservative, democrat or liberal, turn down the possibility of having it built at home!
 

TomS

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Could be built at the EADS facility in Alabama that's going to house an A320 assembly line.

I just don't know whether the Air Force is interested enough in the Joint Future Theater Lift program to actually buy anything. If they do buy something, I'm sure it's not going to be as fancy as Speed Agile, so maybe the A400M would have a shot.
 

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The problem is manifold, I think. To turn down such a proposal, because of "not invented here" just isn't
"political correct" nowadays, not even if you can asure the taxpayer, that in the end the foreign product
would be cheaper to purchase and to operate. A loss of jobs can be experienced directly and demonstrators
at closed factory gates never are good publicity for those in charge. On the other hand, if costs are spread
over decades, it is hard to proof, that they would have been much lower, if the original decision would
have been different. And above all: Where's a government, that really makes decisions, that are aimed at
longer times, than the current legislative period ?
In this sense, I think, that economy really has more hindsight. And in the light of the just spoiled merger of
BAe and EADS, such a proposal could be seen as a signal not only to the US, but to Europe, too, I think.
 

sferrin

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How would the Japanese C-2 compare to the A400?
 

Triton

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That didn't stop the United States Army from buying the UH-72 Lakota from American Eurocopter. It could be argued that EADS North America is a United States company and the A400M for the United States Air Force or United States Army might be built in Mobile, Alabama.

Wouldn't it be ironic if Lockheed Martin manufactured the A400M under license from EADS since Lockheed was originally a member of the consortium to create a replacement for the C-130.

There is also the Embraer KC-390.

I don't know if we will see a repeat of the KC-X competition, but EADS has since invested in production lines in the United States instead of trying to find a partner in the United States like Northrop Grumman.
 

Stargazer2006

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DonaldM said:
That didn't stop the United States Army from buying the UH-72 Lakota from American Eurocopter.

No, but it sure killed the Merlin-based VH-71A...
 

Triton

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Stargazer2006 said:
No, but it sure killed the Merlin-based VH-71A...

I believe that Lockheed Martin is to blame for the cancellation of the VH-71 Kestrel rather than any issues with the AgustaWestland AW-101 design.

Delays and engineering issues plagued the VH-71's development. By 2007, the estimated cost of developing and modifying the aircraft had risen by 40% to $2.4 billion and had passed the $4.2 billion expected for the production of the fleet. In March 2008, the program cost had risen and was projected to cost a total $11.2 billion, or about $400 million per helicopter.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_VH-71_Kestrel

I don't believe that it was cancelled due to any anti-European sentiment.
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
DonaldM said:
That didn't stop the United States Army from buying the UH-72 Lakota from American Eurocopter.

No, but it sure killed the Merlin-based VH-71A...

Yet they did award that contract, despite having an "all-American" candidate from Sikorsky.

Maybe if the VH-71 had been an American airframe, it would have avoided cancellation, but I doubt it. The exploding cost estimates, coming at a time of terrible economic news, is what really killed the VH-71.
 

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The AgustaWestland AW101 design won over the Sikorsky S-92 in the original VXX competition.

Further, Boeing considered licensing the AgustaWestland AW101 in 2010 for a new VXX competition.

The KC-X competition was a very strange animal. It was originally conceived as a means to continue the Boeing 767 production line in Everett, Washington by manufacturing new tankers and leasing them to the United States Air Force. This leasing scheme was rejected by Congress. Then the decision was made to buy the tankers instead and then we had the procurement scandal, etc.

I guess the KC-45 cancellation is seen by Europeans as anti-European sentiment in the United States. But the original plan was conceived as corporate welfare to the Boeing Company to keep the 767 production line open.

Is the Super Lobster/Super Frog program at Boeing dead?
 

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Fundamental issue for the USAF Inc. , A400 has propellors. That is so 20th Century. Then there is the issue that the aircraft does not come close to any requirements the U.S. Army has for the future so they would not consider giving up any funds to the USAF for the aircraft. The USAF Inc., cancelled the effort that the U.S. Army spent ten years working on.
 

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A C-130J fits into the existing supply & service chain while a A400M would require a completely new one thus being more expensive to support.
 

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Airbus A400M model in United States Air Force markings on display at the Association of the US Army Convention 2011.

Size comparison of Boeing C-17A Globemaster III, Airbus A400M Atlas, and Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules.

Source:
http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:9c732d49-efb5-4fbc-98e7-14fe73417d5c
http://www.aviation-news.co.uk/archive/a400m.html
http://far-maroc.forumpro.fr/t2466p30-avions-de-transport-tactique-lourd
 

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yasotay

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DonaldM said:
The Lockheed Martin C-130J is granted an exemption because it's a legacy?

How many times has USAF Inc., tried to halt C-130 production only to have the Congressional delegation from the great state of Georgia ensure that the USAF Inc. buys a few every year. I think that the Japanese or Brasilian aircraft have better chance than A400. I mean, really who in USAF Inc., wants turbo-prop time? You can't get a good paying job with all your hours in turbo-prop. Why do you think C-17, KC-10 and K/R/C-135 are so popular with pilots. Thats where the money is.
 

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yasotay said:
I think that the Japanese or Brasilian aircraft have better chance than A400. I mean, really who in USAF Inc., wants turbo-prop time? You can't get a good paying job with all your hours in turbo-prop. Why do you think C-17, KC-10 and K/R/C-135 are so popular with pilots. Thats where the money is.

Retirees who become commercial airline pilots?
 

yasotay

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DonaldM said:
yasotay said:
I think that the Japanese or Brasilian aircraft have better chance than A400. I mean, really who in USAF Inc., wants turbo-prop time? You can't get a good paying job with all your hours in turbo-prop. Why do you think C-17, KC-10 and K/R/C-135 are so popular with pilots. Thats where the money is.

Retirees who become commercial airline pilots?
They aren't waiting for retirement...
 

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yasotay said:
DonaldM said:
yasotay said:
I think that the Japanese or Brasilian aircraft have better chance than A400. I mean, really who in USAF Inc., wants turbo-prop time? You can't get a good paying job with all your hours in turbo-prop. Why do you think C-17, KC-10 and K/R/C-135 are so popular with pilots. Thats where the money is.

Retirees who become commercial airline pilots?
They aren't waiting for retirement...

The solution would be for Lockheed Georgia to bring out an ATR clone with Hercules technology (Or even the real thing as license built version). :D Fuel prices and all...
 

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Yasotay, you have me at a disadvantage. I have no knowledge of how the United States Air Force determines pay rates for its pilots or makes promotion decisions. Are you saying that turboprop pilots are paid less and have less opportunity for promotion?
 

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I think the problem is there aren't many positions available for 4-engine turboprop pilots...
 

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I imagine Airbus regrets that Lockheed-Georgia was kicked out of the Future International Military-Civil Airlifter (FIMA) consortium in 1989 for pursuing an updated C-130 Hercules.

I wonder if the A400M would be better positioned if the alliance still existed with Northrop Grumman?
 

yasotay

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DonaldM said:
Yasotay, you have me at a disadvantage. I have no knowledge of how the United States Air Force determines pay rates for its pilots or makes promotion decisions. Are you saying that turboprop pilots are paid less and have less opportunity for promotion?

No the pay is the same in the USAF. The civil airline industry pays 4 engine turbine qualified pilots far better than turbo-prop qualified pilots, and as Hobbes mentioned there is not a huge market for civil four engine turbo-prop. So getting qualified in C-17 gets you hired with delta. Getting qualified in C-130 get you hired by rubber-dog-poop air.

I could be wrong about this as it has been a while since I really talked with anyone who has been in this circumstance, but I suspect if you look at what a turbo-prop commuter pilot gets paid versus a heavy turbine pilot gets paid there is probably a pretty big difference.
 

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Thanks for your response, yasotay. I believe that my original question was misunderstood which led me to believe that the USAF pays jet and propeller pilots differently. Sorry for the confusion.
 

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Model of Airbus A400M in hypothetical United States Air Force markings.

Source:
http://blogs.defensenews.com/intercepts/2013/09/six-planes-industry-wants-dod-and-other-militaries-to-buy/
 

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Jemiba

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I'm thinking about moving it to the "Theoretical and Speculatice Projects" section.
Was it already posted in What-If modellers board ? ;)
 

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Jemiba said:
I'm thinking about moving it to the "Theoretical and Speculatice Projects" section.
Was it already posted in What-If modellers board ? ;)

To the best my recollection this topic was created before the "Theoretical and Speculative Projects" board was created.
 

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"Airbus sees possible future sales of 'hundreds' of 400M in U.S."
Sept 11, 2014

Source:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/11/us-aero-summit-airbus-a400m-idUSKBN0H628S20140911

(Reuters) - Europe's Airbus (AIR.PA) said on Thursday that it sees the possibility of selling hundreds of its A400M military transport plane to the U.S. military in the medium to long term.

Barry Eccleston, president of Airbus Americas Inc, told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit that the company was focused on securing additional orders for the UH-72 helicopter that it builds in Mississippi in the short term, but its "next big project" would be focused on marketing the A400M.

"There's this incredible airplane that can do just about everything," Eccleston said, noting that Airbus saw possible sales of the A400M to the U.S. Air Force and other military services to replace older C-130 transport planes built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and C-17s built by Boeing Co (BA.N).

He said Airbus would launch a major marketing drive for the A400M in the United States after the airplane was introduced in France, Britain, Turkey and Germany.

"We want to let our customers show what the airplane can do," Eccleston told the summit held at the Reuters office in Washington.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Leslie Adler)
 

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I mean its like with the new Air Force One or the tanker deal - they could have either the best plane or the American plane! ;)
 

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Reaper said:
I mean its like with the new Air Force One or the tanker deal - they could have either the best plane or the American plane! ;)

All three could have been built at the Airbus production line in Mobile, AL and Airbus Group, Inc. is a United States subsidiary of Airbus Group so I don't understand the aircraft isn't American argument against them.
 

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"Airbus Mulls Bringing A400M To US"
By Colin Clark
on June 15, 2015 at 7:42 AM

Source:
http://breakingdefense.com/2015/06/airbus-mulls-bringing-a400m-to-us/

UPDATED: Air Force Acquisition Head LaPlante Leaves Door Open For Airbus

PARIS AIR SHOW: The A400M can do things no C-130 can. It’s much bigger than a C-130. The air platform is reportedly incredibly stable in flight, raising the possibility of launching rockets from it or putting high accuracy guns on it.

But it’s got a few problems. First, it’s European. Second, much of the senior Airbus leadership remains deeply scarred by their experience with their last big American sales effort, the failed attempt to sell the Air Force the A330 tanker, first with Northrop Grumman and then through their American subsidiary, then called EADS, now known as Airbus Americas.

UPDATE BEGINS The door for a visit was — encouragingly — left wide open this afternoon by the head of Air Force acquisition, Bill LaPlante. “In general, when we talk to Airbus, we think the more the merrier in terms of getting industry to think about our missions,” he said. “We understand there’s the history with the tanker.” He noted that, “we’ve been trying to bring Airbus in to our CEO roundtables.” UPDATE ENDS

I heard last year that Airbus was hopeful of beginning the briefing process in the Pentagon, catching the ear of some Air Force or Special Operations Command leaders.

But few American fliers know anything about the A400M Grizzly. It’s much bigger than the C-130 since it was designed to give Europeans something they didn’t have: strategic lift. It can carry big loads a long way. For example, the French military can now fly a helicopter to the fight aboard an A400M instead of shipping it in pieces and reassembling it.

But an A400M crashed in May, killing four crew members. Incorrectly installed flight software was found to be the cause. This morning, with French President Francoise Hollande watching. an A400M soared over the field at Le Bourget Airport, completing some combat climbs and sharp turns to demonstrate the plane is back and remains safe.

Now the company must decide the benefits and risks of bringing an A400M or two to the United States to show off its impressive capabilities. Will American lawmakers reflexively oppose a European plane, even one from an ally as staunch as France has been since 9/11? The Army is buying the Lakota helicopter from Airbus Military. In fact, the Lakota is on display in the American corral here at the show.

If I were an Airbus executive and wanted to test the market, I couldn’t think of a better way to do it than bringing the A400M to America for a week or two and showing off its capabilities — especially to SOCOM. We’ll see what they decide.
 

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"Airbus says US to be biggest customer for A400M military plane"
June 12, 2015

Source:
http://news.yahoo.com/airbus-says-us-biggest-customer-a400m-military-plane-103700613.html


Frankfurt (AFP) - European aircraft maker Airbus believes the United States will be the biggest customer for its A400M military transport plane, despite a fatal crash involving one of them during a test flight last month.

"By the next decade at the latest, the US armed forces will be the biggest customer for the aircraft," Airbus chief executive Tom Enders told the weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche in an interview.

Despite its current technical problems, there was no other rival product at the moment, Enders argued.

Boeing's C-17 was larger and Lockheed Martin's C-130 was smaller.

"But a lot of countries don't want either extreme. For the next few years, there will only be one alternative, the A400M, which is also a lot more fuel-efficient and more versatile," he said.

An A400M plane crashed during a test on May 9 near Seville in Spain, killing four of the six people on board and seriously injuring the two others.

The A400M, a large, propeller-driven transport aircraft, was launched in 2003 and is assembled in Seville. But Britain, Germany, Turkey, Malaysia and Spain grounded their A400M planes after the crash.

An initial analysis of the black boxes revealed that three of the aircraft's four engines failed, Airbus has said.

Enders said Airbus was sticking to its sales and earnings targets for this year, despite the crash.

"We're on the right path to achieve our published goals for 2015," the CEO said.

Airbus is looking to increase both sales and earnings this year.

"In 2014, our operating profit was four billion euros on sales of 60 billion euros," he said. Cash flow was positive, at 88 million euros, compared with a negative cash flow of around one billion euros in 2013.

Turning to the possibility of upgrading its super jumbo A380, Enders said a decision would be reached by the end of this year.

"The administrative board will need until the end of the year to get a full picture of the situation and to reach a decision," Enders said.

"It is one of the most difficult product decisions of the last few years. But it's clear: there won't be an A380 with new engines for just one customer."

Dubai's Emirates Airline in particular is pushing for a more fuel-efficient variant of the superjumbo.

Enders said Airbus had succeeded in reducing fuel consumption of the A380 by several percent even without the engines.

"One option I'm concretely thinking about would be innovations in the cabin," he said, adding that new engines would be one of a number of possible engines.
 

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