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Pool of Antonovs for NATO?

HDE

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Hi Guys!

    According to StrategyPage.com various NATO countries, including Canada, signed on to have a pool of Antonov AN-124s on lease back in February.  Rumour? Fact?
 

Cloud Cover

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http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htairmo/articles/20060319.aspx


Ukrainian Aircraft Plug NATO Transport Gap
March 19, 2006: NATO will rely on the Ukrainian An-124 transport aircraft to bridge its strategic airlift gap starting in March 2006. Under the so called Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) NATO will have access to up to six An-124-100 transport aircraft. Two of the aircraft will be permanently placed in Leipzig, Germany, with the remaining four available from Russian and Ukrainian airports at short notice for additional requirements. The leasing contract will initially run for three years for a leasing rate of approximately $220 million with the contract rolling on a yearly basis until 2012. Every year the SALIS members have committed themselves to a minimum usage of 2,000 flying hours. Any further operational use will result in additional leasing costs.



Since NATO members had identified strategic airlift as one of their most pressing military deficites in 2002, options were discussed how to overcome those shortfalls. Most European NATO members have decided to boost their capabilities in this regard through the acquisition of the Airbus A400M. However, with the Airbus not entering into service before the end of this decade, a short term gap remains. As an unilateral solution, the United Kingdom decided in 2000 to lease four Boeing C-17 Globemaster III for seven years with a two year renewal option for an initial price of $1.34 billion. Other European countries together with Canada signed instead the common interim solution in February 2006.



The An-124-100 can carry up to 130 tons of cargo and is due to its size also capable to handle outsized and extremely large cargo. In comparison to those specifications, the C-17 can only carry up to 84 tons and the A400M can lift a maximum of 40 tons. The advantage of the two smaller airlifters is the ability to operate from shorter unpaved runways, which makes them less dependable on existing infrastructure. The limitations of the future European A400M fleet for outsized cargo are a credible indicator that the now launched interim solution might turn into a permanent solution beyond 2012.—Joachim Hofbauer

 

HDE

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Thanks Whiskey!  Sorry,  Franko.  I was called away in mid-post on the last one  :mad:
 

Zoomie

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No change here folks - Canada already has an agreement for use of Antonov's when we need them.  We used this contract when we needed to more DART to SE Asia.

Strategic lift is not something we need to get all excited about. Sure it would be great to have our own planes, watch and shoot on that issue. 
These big planes are the 18 wheelers of the sky - nothing military about them and can really be done by anyone.  What we really lack is a heavy lifter tactical airlift that can fly into a rough strip, drop off a LAV-3 or MGS and a couple platoons to support it.  There isn't an Antonov in the world that we would use for such a job - we need C-17s for that.
 

inferno

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Completely ignorant question here...

but is there any possibility of designing modular setups.. or slightly modifying equiptment to make them work with existing setups.

For example.. does the DART team have some single peice of equiptment that will absolutely not fit in our largest aircraft?
Isn't there a way to modify or re-design the team so that it fits in 3 or 6 Hercs... instead of 1 or 2 larger aircraft..

Same with the LAVs.. isn't there a way they can be packaged to fit in a smaller aircraft.. maybe not quite a paralell example here.. but when I drive my truck on the ferry (lifted).. I'm overheight.. if the tires are at 30lbs..  $30+~$15 overheigt fee...

reworked the suspension a tiny bit.. air the tires down to 5lbs.. and im underheight..

Is the equiptment 2x too large.. or is it mere inches that could be lost if someone sat down with the gear and was told to make it fit?

Kind of just a question I've been asking myself for a long while now..
It would save introducing a new aircraft.. more support structure at local and receiving airfields.. renting/leasing/buying the aircraft themselves.. and waiting the time necessary to secure any aircraft that are going to be rented.

 

Zoomie

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DART is fully modularized (is that a word?) - CC-130/150 could move it if required - it would takes lots of trips though.

AFAIK the LAV-3 is a tight fit in the Hercules - it can still be done however.  Getting a company of LAVs overseas is going to take some time at one per aircraft - Antonovs and other large Strat-Lift carry more than just one.

We'd burn out our entire CC-130 fleet flying back and forth across the atlantic just positioning...  Strat lift is needed for those runs.
 

ringo

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Australia has bought 4 C-17's, they have similiar military situation to Canada large land mass long way to some of there deployments.
IIRC 4 C-17's are replacing 6 C-130H's.
IMHO Canada should bite the bullet and buy 6 C-17's to replace 18 C-130E's, 12 A400M's and 18 C-27's to come later, trade-in C-130E's to Boeing or Lockheed?
 

Rescue Randy

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The significant point is that in the past, Canada has leased Antonovs when (a) we needed Strat airlift, and (b) they were available.  There were often times that we needed it, and they were not available.  As of Feb 06, that changed, and for the next three years, we have basically hired Antonovs to be on call for us.  The good news is that we now have access, the bad news is that we pay for them, whether or not we use them - and that money comes from the funds that could have been used for procurement.
A secondary impact of this will be to punt the requirement to buy a Strat airlifter (ie, C-17) to the right for six years.  That means that having signed on to this, Canada is no longer in a hurry to get an airlifter prior to 2012.  Under current projections, the C-17 production line will be closed by then.
 

Cloud Cover

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Rescue Randy said:
The significant point is that in the past, Canada has leased Antonovs when (a) we needed Strat airlift, and (b) they were available.  There were often times that we needed it, and they were not available.  As of Feb 06, that changed, and for the next three years, we have basically hired Antonovs to be on call for us.  The good news is that we now have access, the bad news is that we pay for them, whether or not we use them - and that money comes from the funds that could have been used for procurement.
A secondary impact of this will be to punt the requirement to buy a Strat airlifter (ie, C-17) to the right for six years.  That means that having signed on to this, Canada is no longer in a hurry to get an airlifter prior to 2012.  Under current projections, the C-17 production line will be closed by then.

I'm missing something here. How does 3 years become 6 years? Are you refering to the year to year basis on the Anotov contract past 2009.
 

Sheerin

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I'm missing something here. How does 3 years become 6 years? Are you refering to the year to year basis on the Anotov contract past 2009.

If I recall correctly the deal is for three years with options for the three following that....
 

Rescue Randy

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The contract is three years plus three year follow-on.  That gives government a six year delay in any requirement to make a decision about Strat lift, and in a minority situation, if you do not have to make a decision, you won't. 
 

Cloud Cover

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Who the heck knows what the government is or isn't going to do. They are getting a free pass from the libs on this budget, so if they are going to make any moves, it will be now or never.  Military spending is about the least controversial thing they could do, as long as they don't go overboard.
 

Rescue Randy

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Agreed that the government needs to walk the talk.  The only problem is that with the new rental contract for Antonovs, added to the costs of procurement of new trucks for the Army, FWSAR, Chinooks, Airlift (Tactical and Strat), and Supply Ships, there has to be a prioritization because they can't do it all at once - and anything that they can logically defer will probably be deferred.  Even if they just pay the bills for what is currently happening, with no additional procurement, the CF needs a large influx of cash.
 

ringo

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Australia C-17's were purchased with funds from federal budget surplus, and not from defence budget, Canada should do the same thing.
 

Gobsmacked

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Rescue Randy said:
The significant point is that in the past, Canada has leased Antonovs when (a) we needed Strat airlift, and (b) they were available.  There were often times that we needed it, and they were not available.  As of Feb 06, that changed, and for the next three years, we have basically hired Antonovs to be on call for us.  The good news is that we now have access, the bad news is that we pay for them, whether or not we use them - and that money comes from the funds that could have been used for procurement.
A secondary impact of this will be to punt the requirement to buy a Strat airlifter (ie, C-17) to the right for six years.  That means that having signed on to this, Canada is no longer in a hurry to get an airlifter prior to 2012.  Under current projections, the C-17 production line will be closed by then.

I think a point that has been missed in all of this is that it is also a parting HaHa from the Lieberals.  >:D
As per the NATO news release, ptn attached below, the recently-departed previous Mr Dithers gov't signed the original agreement on - wait for it, Ministerial Level Gov't signature required - on January 23rd 2006 of all days.
Remember - Jan 23rd - election day! - Libs expecting to lose.
Kind of a - even if we don't get re-elected we can stick the Conservatives with a contract,
even if they don't want it -  :evil:
- as they've announced they want to purchase a minimum of 3 C-17 type aircraft, that requires them to keep paying for one full year after giving notice to withdraw.  :nana:
ie. Tying (Probable Incomming) MND O'Conner's hands regarding an airlift solution.

[Do a google - NATO Strategic Air Lift Interim Solution (SALIS) MOU - and you can download an earlier (circa David Pratt) unsigned Pre-Sweden (added March 23) version of the contract.]

Not only does NATO SALIS Not meet the cancelled FSA availability timelines of 24hrs (2 An-124-100) & 48hrs (2 additional An-124-100), the only 'readily available' on ramp aircraft - but subject to SALIS Steering Board & EAG (read European) SALCC approval - are a mere 2 An-124-100 based overseas at Leipzig Germany.


RELEASE Excerpts  [comments added in]
'(Source: NATO; issued March 23, 2006)'

Deputy Secretary General Minuto Rizzo travelled to Leipzig, Germany, on 23 March, for a ceremony to mark the entry into force of a multinational contract on a Strategic Airlift Interim Solution.  The event was hosted by German Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung, since Germany has taken the lead on this initiative. 

Thanks to a multinational contract, Russian and Ukrainian Antonov aircraft are to be used as an interim solution to meet shortfalls in European strategic airlift capabilities, pending deliveries of Airbus A400M aircraft, expected to start in 2010. 

On 23 January, 15 NATO countries signed a contract with Ruslan SALIS GmbH, a subsidiary of the Russian company Volga Dnepr, based in Leipzig.  The 15 original signatories – Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Finland [likely replacing Turkey], France, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom [likely replacing Spain]  – were joined by Sweden on 23 March. 

[Committed YFH financial obligation (whether used or not, although this can be given to another accepting nation) was - in decreasing order:
lead Germany - 750, France - 550, Canada - 150,
Netherlands - 70, Czech Replublic - 60, Norway - 60, Poland - 50, Spain (withdrawn) - 50,
Denmark - 40, Hungary - 25, Slovakia - 20, Turkey (withdrawn) - 20,
Portugal -7, Slovenia - 4, Luxembourg - 3.

"The contractor(s) will provide assured access for up to six (6) An-124-100 no later than six days after notification by the SB . . . these six (6) aircraft will be available for up to 20 (20) consecutive days and able to fly a minimum of eight hundred (800) hours during that period.  This assured access may be activated once every calendar year,"

Original fiscal split - yearly financial obligation (admin, service charges, and Annual Assurred Access Fee, plus National Activation Rights) was - in decreasing order:
lead Germany - 33.7342%, France - 25.4764%,
Canada - 7.4925%, Netherlands - 6.6448%, Spain (withdrawn) - 6.2081%,
Poland - 4.5604%, Denmark - 4.5338%, Norway - 3.7088%, Turkey (withdrawn) - 2.322%,
Czech Replublic - 1.655%, Hungary - 1.1953%, Slovakia - 0.8827%, Portugal - 0.8466%,
Slovenia - 0.4781%, Luxembourg - 0.2615%.

See 3.1.3 thru 3.1.9 re: National Activation Rights, in addition to the previously noted Once Yearly Major activation.  "the Contractor will be required to provide a minimum of fifty (50) single outsized cargo aircraft activations over the eight years of the project." ]

The contract provides for two AN-124-100 aircraft on full-time charter, two more on six days notice and another two on nine days notice.  This multinational arrangement allows the countries participating in the Strategic Airlift Interim Solution (SALIS) programme to meet commitments to strengthen capabilities in both the NATO and EU frameworks. 

The contract’s initial duration is for three years with a possibility to extend it further. The aircraft, which were made available from the beginning of February, are drawn from the Russian company, Volga-Dnepr, and Ukraine’s ADB. The contract is administered by the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency and its operation is managed by the SALIS Coordination Centre in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The countries concerned have committed to using [or paying for] the aircraft for a minimum of 2000 flying hours per year. 
[Originally 1,859 Min YFH]

The SALIS plan evolved from the signing of a letter of intent to develop a multinational consortium to arrange for strategic airlift by NATO defence ministers in June 2003.  Strategic airlift is a key capability enabling the rapid deployment of troops and equipment to where they are needed.  A single AN-124-100 can transport up to 120 tons of cargo
[De-rated from 150 tons to extend airframe life - nearing Life Expectency of 2010 per Volga-Dnepr Chairman.]

Volga-Dnepr and ADB already provide AN-124-100 aircraft to support the Afghanistan mission, with weekly sorties from Germany to Afghanistan and back, under contractual arrangements with the Allied Movement Coordination Center at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. 
-ENDS-

Antonov further notes,
'(Source: Antonov ASTC; web-posted March 24, 2006)'

NATO will use [AN-124] Ruslan [heavy transport aircraft] in accordance with the Contract signed in January, 2006 between NAMSA (NATO Maintenance and Support Agency) and Ruslan SALIS GmbH. 
Ruslan SALIS GmbH represents interests of Antonov ASTC (Ukraine) and Volga-Dnepr group companies (Russia).  According to this document two AN-124-100 airplanes will be constantly based in Leipzig airport. Another 4 aircraft will be put on disposal by request.  The AN-124-100 will carry out strategic transportations in the interests of European Community and NATO within the period till 2012. 

On March 23, 2006 the first two of leased AN-124-100 arrived to Leipzig-Halle airport.  One of them belongs to Antonov Airlines -- the structural subdivision of Antonov ASTC -- the other one to Volga-Dnepr group companies.  These companies have a multi-year experience to perform transportations by orders of the European countries and Canada.  So, within the period from 2002 till now Antonov Airlines airplanes delivered about 80,000 t of cargo under the Alliance order.  Besides use of Ruslans in SALIS programme means increasing demand for these aircraft services.  It also proves the expediency to renew serial production of the AN-124 type aircraft. 

The Ruslan was chosen under many aspects including its considerable advantages over its main competitor American Boeing C-17.  If accounting for lifting capability, the Ruslan surpasses C-17 almost twice ( 120 t of AN-124-100 and 150 t of AN-124-100 against 76.7 t of C-17 ); the same may be said concerning cargo cabin volume and flight range.  Besides, it is equipped with cargo handling facilities which its competitor has none.
[Umm - what about the C-17's onboard winch and roller system, and pressurised cargo hold
- something the An-124 does not have.]
These facilities allow perform loading/unloading operations including those directly from the truck-bed through tail cargo ramp. 
-ENDS-


As an interesting side-note,
last year when I advised the AF Col who was still the CAS Air Mobility Programs Manager (and former FSA project mngr - before the "Politically driven" cancellation of his program in early-2003) about SALIS and it's implications (ie. Lg $$ for little to show), his astonishing response was along the lines of  'As of 11 April 2003 when Minister McCallum cancelled the Future Strategic Airlift project I / we have had nothing to do with this subject.'

For this type of response from the [CAS] person in charge of this sort of thing speaks volumnes:
- Liberal MND's office keeping CAS out-of-loop, and obviously not accepting/wanting their input as to an adequate outsize airlift solution, due to their 'Perceived' Paranoia re: 'Air Staff who are fixated on a C-17 type solution'.
 

childs56

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Ralph Klein should buy us a couple of Heavy lifters from his surplus. Ahhh then no one could say that Alberta doesnt care about the rest of the country. A pretty fair and even way to distribute the excess money and support your country more then giving it to the away for services that people should have to pay for, such as Day care and secondary schooling.
 
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