A400M troubles, the latest news...

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A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Verbal » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:10 pm

Airbus could lose out to rival Boeing
Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 07:58
bristol.co.uk

The Government says it may order more aircraft from an American firm after Airbus announced a delay of up to four years in its A400M military transport plane.

Defence Secretary John Hutton warned yesterday that the delay would put an “unacceptable strain” on the RAF – and said it was now “looking at the possibility” of buying extra C17 Globemaster aircraft from Airbus’ rival Boeing.

He told MPs the announcement by EADS, parent company of Airbus, that the A400M might not be ready before 2012 was not acceptable.

The plane’s wings and composite parts are being designed and made by Airbus and GKN at Filton, where about 900 workers are involved in the project.

A further 100 staff at Rolls-Royce in Patchway are involved in making the A400M’s engines. Airbus UK has invested more than £200 million over five years in the Filton wing project.

The UK is one of seven nations so far to have ordered the aircraft, which cost about £90 million each. Total orders number 192.

It will help provide the RAF with additional transport capability, operating in different configurations including cargo and troop transport, aerial refuelling and electronic surveillance. At present much of that role is provided by an aging fleet of Hercules aircraft.

EADS has indicated deliveries of the aircraft will not now start until at least three and possibly years after its first flight.

In a statement on Friday the company said Airbus was working with engine developers “to firm up a date for the first flight.”

At question time in the Commons Mr Hutton told MPs: “The A400M programme is now likely to be subject to considerable delay, because of problems EADS are having in producing the aircraft, not because of any policy decision of the UK Government or any of the other partner nations.

“We can’t accept a three-to-four-year delay in the delivery of these aircraft. It is going to impose unnecessary and unacceptable strain on our air assets.

“We, along with all of our partner nations will have to consider very carefully indeed what the right response now to this problem is as we go forward.”

Mr Hutton also told the Tory chairman of the Defence Select Committee, James Arbuthnot, that the MoD was “looking at the possibility” of buying extra C17 Globemaster aircraft.

Last month, Airbus carried out a long-awaited first test flight of the engine being developed for the A400M after months of delays.

The TP400-D5 engine is the largest turbo-prop ever developed in the West, built by a consortium led by Rolls-Royce Group and Safran.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Sickbag » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:22 pm

Yeah but no but yeah..
Buying more globemaster does not mean necessarly they won't be purchasing the $400m.
They do quite different tasks, mind you, the country is skint and we are on the cusp of a complete retreat from one of our oh-so-popular foreign wars...
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Robert Hilton » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:49 pm

Sickbag wrote:we are on the cusp of a complete retreat from one of our oh-so-popular foreign wars...

I thought we were just reviewing our current position on foreign policy?

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby David Hilditch » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:07 pm

Sickbag wrote:Yeah but no but yeah..
Buying more globemaster does not mean necessarly they won't be purchasing the $400m.
They do quite different tasks, mind you, the country is skint and we are on the cusp of a complete retreat from one of our oh-so-popular foreign wars...


Right - personally, I think the air force needs more C-130s rather than more C-17s. They've lost at least four of the former in the current decade's wars.

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Robert Hilton » Tue Jan 13, 2009 9:58 pm

David Hilditch wrote:Right - personally, I think the air force needs more C-130s rather than more C-17s. They've lost at least four of the former in the current decade's wars.

That would make more sense.

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby rattler » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:40 am

Robert Hilton wrote:
David Hilditch wrote:Right - personally, I think the air force needs more C-130s rather than more C-17s. They've lost at least four of the former in the current decade's wars.

That would make more sense.


I have the hunch that the dear MP doesnt really know from a PPOV what he is talking about (hey, finally found a diplomatic strain within my genes! :D ), those two a/c make apples and tomatoes in comparison... Also, I havent heard him stating that this is not a problem primarily created by EADS, but rather a RR one (they have - really! - 100 ppl working on the development on a new generation turboprop design ???! Wow!).

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:10 am

It's kinda sad that a program is run so well that it makes the Belfast look like a success!
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Robert Hilton » Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:54 am

Princess Leia wrote:It's kinda sad that a program is run so well that it makes the Belfast look like a success!

Well, the Belfast was quite a success.......... For Heavylift anyway.

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby David Hilditch » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:05 am

Robert Hilton wrote:Well, the Belfast was quite a success.......... For Heavylift anyway.


Indeed, it wasn't called the Belslow for nothing, but I expect the RAF wishes they had them right now !

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Robert Hilton » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:15 pm

David Hilditch wrote:
Robert Hilton wrote:Well, the Belfast was quite a success.......... For Heavylift anyway.


Indeed, it wasn't called the Belslow for nothing, but I expect the RAF wishes they had them right now !

Well they really paid through the nose for them during the Falklands campaign.

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Sickbag » Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:49 pm

Report says EADS looking at escape from A400M
* EADS denies mulling collapse of top military programme
(Adds details)
PARIS, Jan 23 (Reuters) - European aerospace group EADS on Friday denied a report that it was preparing for a possible collapse of the 20 billion euro ($25.91 billion) A400M military aircraft programme as it tries to renegotiate late delivery penalties.
The Financial Times Deutschland reported potential losses due to delays had forced the Airbus parent company to question its role in Europe's biggest single arms development.
"According to FTD information, the mass of A400M problems is prompting a discussion at EADS over whether the project should be maintained," the newspaper said.
"A withdrawal -- which customers as well could demand -- threatens to reverse the transaction."
EADS denied any internal scenarios to escape the project.
"There is no discussion within EADS about a scenario to withdraw from the A400M programme, contrary to what has been circulated in the press," the Airbus parent said in a statement.
EADS shares fell more than 4 percent to 12.35 euros.
EADS said this month the project would be delayed by at least three years and called for talks over contract terms.
Airbus blames engine makers led by Rolls Royce and Safran while the engine makers say it is Airbus that has botched the testing of the West's largest ever turbo-prop.
The FTD quoted the head of Germany's air force as saying deliveries to the Luftwaffe of the troop and cargo plane would be delayed for as much as four years to 2014.
"That is a disastrous development," he was reported saying. (Reporting by Tim Hepher and Michael Shields, editing by Marcel Michelson)


Airbus wants to escape from the A400m project ?
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:44 pm

And in other news, Ukraine has decided to go ahead with the AN-70 again. I think you need to shoot this thing in the head to kill it for good.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Sat Feb 14, 2009 12:00 am

Man, this whole saga is getting more entertaining as time goes on.

New estimate for A400m is 145 million Euros per plane. Starting to make the C-17 look like a bargain!

French senate describes AN-70 as a "research project", and declares that the A400m must go ahead in order to deny the US a monopoly. At whatever the cost?

And the Ukranians, meanwhile, have decided on production of 4 more AN-70s.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Verbal » Mon Mar 02, 2009 5:27 pm

EADS Could Face Cancellation Of A400 Orders - Report
Dow Jones International News 03/01/2009

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--Orders for the A400 military transporter at the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co NV, or EADS, (5730.FR) may be canceled, the German weekly der Spiegel magazine reported over the weekend.

The European military authority Occar has reminded the member countries of EADS that it could cancel its purchase contract for the aircraft on March 31.

The first test flight of the aircraft had been planned for January 2008. EADS has said that technical problems make it unclear when a prototype of the craft will be available, therefore missing a "critical milestone," Occar said, according to the report.

A spokesman at the German defense ministry told Dow Jones Newswires Sunday that there are no negotiations with Airbus at the moment, but that the government is unwilling to give up its contractual claims. Further, he noted it is up to Airbus to provide transparency on the issue. A spokesman for Occar wasn't immediately available for comment.

According to a contract from May 3, 2003, Airbus would have to pay back billions of euros provided by countries which have ordered the planes within sixty days of a cancellation.

Germany has ordered 60 planes worth around EUR8 billion, while France planned to purchase 60 planes. In total, Airbus has 192 orders worth around EUR20 billion from nine countries.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Schorsch » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:22 pm

The German weekly magazine "Der Spiegel" takes a piss on Airbus and EADS at every possible occasion. They did also foresee the total failure of the A380 program (in the end it was only a limited failure so far), they actually foresaw the doom of Airbus every other year (from 1970 on). So, generally, when it comes to aviation matters, Germany's weekly magazine "Der Spiegel" is useful for entertaining pilots at long haul flights (while it may depress them so much that they crash intentionally).

"Der Spiegel" is generally a magazine that builds on the German Angst: no matter what good things happen in the world, "Der Spiegel" finds the fly in the ointment. Typically German.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Verbal » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:24 pm

Schorsch wrote:"Der Spiegel" is generally a magazine that builds on the German Angst: no matter what good things happen in the world, "Der Spiegel" finds the fly in the ointment.

We have the equivalent in America. It's called National Public Radio.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Wed Mar 04, 2009 4:34 am

Verbal wrote:
Schorsch wrote:"Der Spiegel" is generally a magazine that builds on the German Angst: no matter what good things happen in the world, "Der Spiegel" finds the fly in the ointment.

We have the equivalent in America. It's called National Public Radio.


Yes, the NPR on my drive to work builds on my German Angst.

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Sickbag » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:35 pm

Schorsch wrote: (in the end it was only a limited failure so far)



Yes, but 'Limited failure' in European aviation production translates as "Great Success" thanks to the political entanglement of the industry to all sorts of national and regional aspirations. This is Airbus's master card.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Verbal » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:41 pm

Oh my.

New blow for EADS as France considers cut to A400M order
The Daily Telegraph (London) 03/18/2009
Author: Amy Wilson
Copyright (C) 2008 The Daily Telegraph; Source: World Reporter (TM)

France is considering cutting its order of A400M military transport aircraft because of years of delay in the programme run by European aerospace group EADS. The country will look at buying or leasing alternative transport planes to meet the needs of its forces in Afghanistan, according to Laurent Collet-Billon, the head of France's defence procurement agency, DGA.

The project is at least four years behind schedule, according to Mr Collet-Billon. EADS, the owner of A400M-maker Airbus, attributes the lengthy delay to a dispute with its suppliers over engine problems.

Last week, defence chiefs from the seven partner countries which have ordered a total of 180 A400M's agreed to postpone for three months a decision on whether to scrap the project completely.

France originally planned to buy 50 A400Ms, but is now considering an alternative aircraft built by another company. Mr Collet-Billon said he is not looking at Lockheed Martin's C130 Hercules but declined to comment on whether Boeing's C17 is in the running.

Britain and France are considering taking early delivery of aircraft which have a combined troop carrying and refuelling capacity in order to make up for the delayed A400M.

Both countries have aging fleets of transport planes, which are in urgent need of replacement.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby GerryW » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:03 pm

engine test video from 2007

Airbus A400M TP400-D6 Engine Test

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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Verbal » Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:51 pm

Oh no.

Costs, delays scupper Airbus A400M sale to S.Africa
Reuters News 11/05/2009
Author: Wendell Roelf
(C) Reuters Limited 2009.

CAPE TOWN, Nov 5 (Reuters) - South Africa cancelled a $5.2 billion contract to buy eight Airbus A400M military transport planes, rattling aerospace group EADS which is already fighting to save the troubled project from cost overruns and delays.

South African cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko called the deal an "unaffordable burden on the taxpayer" at a time when Africa's biggest economy is struggling to emerge from its first recession in 17 years and government borrowing has risen sharply.

The minister in charge of South Africa's forces, which have taken a leading role in peace-keeping operations in Africa, said the country still needed to update its transport fleet, raising the prospect Airbus's loss could benefit U.S. rivals.

"We have terminated the contract with Airbus but we've not terminated our quest to ensure we have the necessary capabilities. That is very clear," Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said.

"We have as one of our priorities the acquisition of strategic military air transport capability."

Lockheed Martin , producer of the veteran C-130 airlifter, has predicted extra sales due to three- to four-year delays in the A400M, blamed on engine software problems.

The cancellation comes at a time when EADS is in the final stages of negotiating a rescue package for the 20 billion euro A400M contract it signed wkth a core group of European buyers, some of whom have also threatened to trim or cancel orders.

"Airbus Military is surprised by the South African government's announcement ... and regrets this declaration at a time when the programme is on track for a first flight by end-year," an EADS spokesman said.

Airbus will study the finacial impact, he added.

MAJOR CATALYST

Shares in Airbus parent EADS were down 0.5 percent at 1313 GMT, underperforming a sluggish European market.

Launched after almost two decades of debate over European requirements in 2003, the A400M is designed to carry troops and heavy equipment into combat zones or disaster areas.

Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Turkey ordered 180 planes in Europe's biggest single arms deal.

Export sales to South Africa and Malaysia brought the total order tally to 192, but Chile pulled back from an order.

South Africa's decision does not affect the main European contract which is considered a major catalyst to EADS finances and shares, but the group is already relying on exports to make the airplane break even after 2.3 billion euros in provisions.

European industry officials seethed at the decision which comes weeks before a long-delayed first flight that was due to repair the planemaker's credibility and serve as a springboard for a new export campaign to help recoup A400M losses.

"It came really as a surprise because usually there is some warning, but in this instance there was nothing," a source familiar with the project told Reuters.

South Africa said it would continue co-operation between national arms maker Denel and Airbus but a source on the European side warned the relationship "will not be helped".

South Africa has vowed to slash borrowing for three years to bring down a record deficit of 7.6 percent of GDP this year.

"They are clearly worried about the need for extra borrowing and so a few big ticket items are easy wins," said Peter Attard Montalto, emerging markets economist at Nomura International.

The A400M deal had caused a growing political and budget row after South Africa's arms procurement agency Armscor told parliament last month the cost had jumped to 47 billion rand ($6.1 billion) from 6.4 billion when the order was placed.

The value of the deal had already risen to 17 billion rand by the time the transaction was signed.

South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, called for a parliamentary investigation into the deal, which took place under former President Thabo Mbeki, who was forced from office last year.

Additional reporting by Matthias Blamont and Tim Hepher
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby supersean » Thu Nov 12, 2009 6:07 pm

This program is so deeply in the hole that it is in real danger of failure. The program cost overruns have made alternative aircraft attractive not only to export customers but also the core EU partners (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey, and U.K.). There was rumor a few months ago that a decision was to be made soon (also referenced in Verbal's post on 3/18)....

wonder how this plays out and to see if Boeing (and others) pick up additional wins from the forecast requirement for close to 200 transport aircraft.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:52 pm

Current murmers are of first flight on Nov. 25th.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:48 pm

And... she rolls to 20 knots under her own power today, and even backs up. Not quite a first flight, but at least it is no longer a paperweight.

Now a semi-mobile paperweight.
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Re: A400M troubles, the latest news...

Postby Princess Leia » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:41 am

Latest word is sometime between Dec. 6 and 13 for FF.

In other news, the RAF is getting close to signing for C-17 #8
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