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The CC-130-J Hercules Merged Thread

MarkOttawa

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Actual ex-factory price of C-130J: US $64 million and change, as of December, 2006--and these are stretched and tanker versions.

Lockheed Martin has received
Aviation Week & Space Technology (text subscriber only)
12/18/2006, page 14
http://www.aviationweek.com/search/AvnowSearchResult.do?reference=xml/awst_xml/2006/12/18/AW_12_18_2006_p10-13.xml&query=%22%24128+million%22&INTERCEPT_MESSAGES=S_LOGIN&PRIOR_REQUEST_URL=%2Fsearch%2FAvnowSearchResult.do%3Freference%3Dxml%2Fawst_xml%2F2006%2F12%2F18%2FAW_12_18_2006_p10-13.xml%26query%3D%2522%2524128%2Bmillion%2522

Lockheed Martin has received $128 million from the Pentagon as the initial payment on a $256.2-million contract for three USAF C-130J-30 combat delivery aircraft and one KC-130J-30 for the Marine Corps. They are slated for delivery in 2010. That brings total C-130J orders to 186.

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MarkOttawa

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A400M engine--this certainly is confidence-building:

Propping Up TP400 (full text subscriber only, reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)
AW&ST , Jan. 1

Snecma and its partners are moving to commit more resources to the powerplant for Europe's A400M to prevent the engine effort, and the airlifter program itself, from falling behind schedule.

Marc Ventre, the new head of Snecma's propulsion business, says the EuroPropulsion consortium building the A400M's TP400-B6 turboprop has met all milestones to date, but has fallen behind on total accumulated hours on the bench. EuroPropulsion comprises Snecma, Rolls-Royce, MTU and ITP of Spain.

To deal with the problem, the consortium is adding two test articles to the nine units already earmarked for the test bench program, and increasing the number of benches to six from five. Ventre says the move is related to an unspecified production hiccup, and no design glitches have been encountered.

He asserts that all performance targets, including engine mass and fuel consumption, are "right to spec," and that the consortium should meet the first-quarter 2007 schedule for the first flight on board a C-130 flying testbed.

It has long been recognized that the 11,000-hp. TP400--the most powerful Western turboprop ever built--represents one of the greatest risk areas of the A400M, and any slippage in development is likely to impact the program itself [emphasis added].

An audit of the project recently turned up the need to urgently target more engineering and other resources to a number of high-risk program areas, including the powerplant, to avoid impacting the schedule, which has already absorbed all available margin (AW&ST Dec. 11, 2006, p. 20). The aircraft is slated to make its first flight in March 2008.

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MarkOttawa

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Warning: A public relations agency for both Lockheed and Alenia supplied this link.
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?F=2488758&C=europe

Airbus has warned customers of a potential three-month delay on its 20 billion euro ($26 billion) A400M transport aircraft program, a senior executive said Jan. 17.

News of the possible delay came as parent company EADS said in a Jan. 17 statement that Airbus probably would lose money for 2006 but EADS’ group likely would break even due to contributions from other divisions.

The European aircraft company said in December that an audit of the A400M program identified areas of risk and had approved a recovery plan. The program review recognized the risk of a three-month delay in starting final assembly of the aircraft, said Tom Williams, Airbus executive vice president, programs, at a press conference Jan. 17.

The original plan was to begin final assembly of the first cargo plane in March, but that could slip into the second quarter of this year, Williams said.

“We have flagged this to customers, who are naturally concerned,” he said.

The potential delay was due to an extensive redesign of the aircraft, which called for structural changes, to meet performance commitments, he said. The redesign had been completed by the time the program audit was done. But to avoid repeating the production fiasco that has delayed deliveries of the A380 superjumbo aircraft, Airbus will only begin assembly of the A400M if the sections delivered are at the required level of completion, Williams said...

If A400M assembly is delayed, time could be made up in the test phase by using several airframes in concurrent testing, Williams said. “It can be done.”
   
That could allow Airbus to meet a target of first flight, due in January 2008.
   
A three-month delay was probably not critical in a military program, he said...

The A400M program is a challenging one, involving a new aircraft, new turboprop engine and new propeller, the largest ever built, Williams said.
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/53631/post-509474.html#msg509474

Jean-Paul Herteman, chief executive of Safran’s Sagem Defense Security unit, said Jan. 16 that development of the TP400 engine was “very challenging [see last para at link].” He added he was personally following the program’s progress...
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2006/06/military-procurement-heres-really.html

Mark
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Green On!

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Globesmasher,

I love you analogy about the farmer who needs to replace his old truck, but what if he needs to get food out to his sheep and because he's procrastinated for soooo long the new truck he needs isn't available for a few years.  He just might have to put some more cash into that old workhorse to make sure he has something to haul his feed in until the new one arrives.  I think this is the point we’re at now, and that we need fix up some old the old Herc’s and progress with a new airframe at the same time just to ensure we can keep the sheep happy.
 

Globesmasher

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Green On! said:
..... but what if he needs to get food out to his sheep and because he's procrastinated for soooo long the new truck he needs isn't available for a few years. 

Green On ....
Yeah, you are absolutely right.  The timing is terrible.  The farmer needed that new truck not today .... but yesterday.  Unfortunately, he's been aware of that situation for the last couple of years, but for 13 years his "landlord" ... the banker ... the guy who controls his money ... has refused to listen to him .... and now he's stuck scrambling to get the 17 new trucks up on line and up and running by late 2009, more like 2010.

It is to late .... just like the Sea King fiasco ... and the Buffalo ......

The trucks are simply so old now that injecting more money into them is no longer feasible ... we've passed that point.  In fact we've been doing that now for the last 10 years with new outer wings, new engine upgrades, avionics upgrades ..... empenage upgrades ..... the list goes on ..... and we have reached a point where it is no long fiscally responsible to put more money into them ....we just have to get on with it and buy new ones.

But you are correct ......... this should have been done a long time ago instead of being procrastinated.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Guess they were a little stung by Canada pointing out the "vapourware" factor of their design.....I will believe it when the actual aircraft leaves the ground.  ::)



Airbus to produce military transport plane
Updated Wed. Mar. 21 2007 7:22 AM ET

Associated Press

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Airbus is ready to start production of its first military transport plane, designed to give European countries better ability to respond to crisis without American help.

The Airbus A400M airlifter program, expected to cost US$24 billion, was launched in the 1990s in the wake of the violent breakup of the former Yugoslavia, when European countries couldn't dispatch peacekeepers to a region right on their own doorstep without American assistance.

At the time, the Clinton administration fiercely criticized the strategy as wasteful duplication -- since the U.S. had similar aircraft for sale, such as the C-130 Hercules. Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned of the potential "decoupling" of Europe and the U.S. if the European Union continued to divert resources from joint NATO-directed programs to its own security priorities.

But the war on terror has changed the relationship between the United States and Europe, who are facing common threats such as the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and rogue states like North Korea and Iran.

The most prominent example of U.S.-European cooperation is Afghanistan, where the EU now accounts for nearly half of the 35,000 allied troops and has expressed a firm commitment to see the job through.

While the Bush administration and many European allies disagree sharply over Iraq policy, the White House has toned down warnings of a trans-Atlantic rift, accepting the view that the four-propeller cargo airplane adds to the collective Western defense.

"Our activities are complementary, and if Europeans do manage to raise their game on defense, it seems to me to matter not a jot whether this is done on a NATO or an EU ticket," said Nick Whitney, head of the European Defense Agency.

"Everybody knows that if Europeans want to preserve effective military clout ... they have no choice but to cooperate."

The A400M is the first military plane produced by Europe's Airbus consortium. It looks like a larger version of the C-130, a workhorse of the U.S. Air Force and many allies for half a century. New variants still are being produced by Lockheed Martin Corp.

The prototype is scheduled to take to the sky in less than a year and about 200 will enter service in eight European air forces beginning in 2009.

Airbus will offer much greater range and nearly twice the payload of the C-130 Hercules, thus allowing the Europeans to quickly deploy forces to faraway theaters such as Central Africa, the Middle East, or Central Asia.



 

Retired AF Guy

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Just when you thought it was all over with, along comes Airbus with another proposal. According to this write-up in the G & M (09 Jun 07) Airbus has put forward a proposal that Canada kept its eight best CC-130's it currently has and buy eight A400M. By going this route Airbus says that Canada could save $2 billion dollars; $2 billion that then could be used to buy new SAR aircraft. Of course there is one little hitch and that is that the A400M hasn't even been built yet, let alone flown!! The link is here:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070609.PLANES09/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/
 

MarkOttawa

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Meanwhile India is buying 6 C-130Js, which fact escaped Mr Leblanc of the Globe and a certain Ottawa Citizen reporter (who at least provided more context than Mr Leblanc).
http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=02378026-8bb2-4404-822c-b31fcc5a95e1

US offers to sell India six Hercules planes
Times of India, 30 May
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/2085836.cms

WASHINGTON: United States has offered India a $1,059 million deal to sell six C-130J Hercules aircraft with associated equipment and services to provide it special operations airlift capability and ensure interoperability with American forces in coalition operations.

The US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on Tuesday that it had notified Congress of India's request for the sale of six Lockheed Martin C-130J aircraft as required by US law...

Other equipment sought by India includes four Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 spare engines; eight AAR-47 Missile Warning Systems; eight AN/ALR-56M Advanced Radar Warning Receivers; eight AN/ALE-47 Counter-Measures Dispensing Systems; and eight AAQ-22 Star SAFIRE III Special Operations Suites.

Also requested are eight ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures; two spare AN/ARC-210 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS); eight spare Secure Voice Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency Radios; four spare Secure Voice High Frequency Radios; three spare AN/AAR-222 SINCGARS and Key Gen (KV-10) Systems; one KIV-119 Non-standard Communication/ COMSEC equipment and two ARC-210 Non-standard Communication/COMSEC equipment.

The deal includes spare and repair parts, configuration updates, communications security equipment and radios, integration studies, support equipment, publications and technical documentation, technical services, personnel training and training equipment, foreign liaison office support, Field Service Representatives' services, US Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics support.

Offset agreements associated with the proposed sale are expected, but at this time the specific offset agreements are undetermined and will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and contractors, DSCA said...

Indian editors clearly think their readers want more solid information than Canadian editors do.

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GAP

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Also requested are eight ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures; two spare AN/ARC-210 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS); eight spare Secure Voice Very High Frequency/Ultra High Frequency Radios; four spare Secure Voice High Frequency Radios; three spare AN/AAR-222 SINCGARS and Key Gen (KV-10) Systems; one KIV-119 Non-standard Communication/ COMSEC equipment and two ARC-210 Non-standard Communication/COMSEC equipment.

I didn't think India was enabled on the US's channels......
 

MarkOttawa

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A post at The Torch:

Let's hope this doesn't fly
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/06/lets-hope-this-doesnt-fly.html

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Cdn Blackshirt

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Somebody needs to help me out with the math on this....

The Pugiliese story says the following:

The government is currently in negotiations with Lockheed Martin to purchase 17 C-130Js. The government estimated it will spend $3.2 billion on the program. Another $1.7 billion will be set aside for a 20-year in-service support contract for the planes.

Maybe I'm a dumbass, but that looks an awful lot like $190 million CAD per C-130J with another $100 million per aircraft as part of the in-service support program (so $290 million CAD per aircraft including in-service support contracts).

The other story says that that the A400M project would cost $2 billion less which works out ot $2.9 billion CAD divided by 8 aircraft which works out to about $355 million per aircraft including in-service support contract.

Thoughts:
1)  The fly-away cost on both aircraft seems to be significantly higher than what I would've anticipated.  I beleve in this very thread there's mention that fly-away cost for C-130J should be about $65 million USD which now works out to less than $71 million CAD.
2)  Cosidering the extra capability the A400M should have in terms of ability to move the LAV-III as well as other materials (while the C-130J cannot move the LAV-III), I think the offer should be considered as long as we get a guaranteed delivery date and they're willing to write performance clauses into the contract.
3)  I find it strange that the costs for the Lockheed deal have not changed significantly as measured in $CAD given the precipitous fall in the $USD.  Is Lockheed just planning on billing us in $CAD and pocketing the difference?  And in the same vein, I hope we signed the deal for the C-17's to be payable in $USD as well....as in all cases because the production is based on $USD costs, it should save us a minimum of 25% over original projections, and since we're talking billions of dollars, that's huge money.


Matthew.    :salute:
 

Loachman

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These contracts typically include everything needed to start operating, not just the airframes themselves. That would entail such things as a simulator, tools, spares, publications (but don't let them subcontract translation of the French version to a Belgian company as Bell did for the Griffon programme), and initial aircrew and groundcrew training.

If you read back through the thread, you'll see that the problem with the A400M is that it hasn't been built yet, and we don't know when it will be. Company estimates are not to be relied upon, and all sorts of things could delay it further. We are unlikely to have a single Herc left flying by the time the A400M has finally entered full production. After that, of course, comes the inevitable bug-curing period.

In contrast, the J-model Herc exists and has been flying for some time.

The "requirement" to move a LAV-III is not particularly significant. It doesn't happen much, and if we're doing a full-blown deployment/redeployment an air move is hugely expensive and still takes lots of time with a handful of airframes.

C17 will be able to handle such moves far better.
 

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Not so long ago, I read an article in which Airbus claimed that the maintenance costs for the A400 would be much lower than the "problem plauged" C130J.  I'd like to know how Airbus can quote maintenance costs for an airplane that has so far only been built on a draftsman's computer. ::)
 

MarkOttawa

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What the heck, we should still consider buying the A400M instead of the C-130J. I wonder if Daniel Leblanc of the Globe and Mail and a certain reporter will even be aware of the latest news.

An earlier post at The Torch:

Let's hope this doesn't fly
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/06/lets-hope-this-doesnt-fly.html

Now the news:

First flight target for A400M's TP400 engine slips to fourth quarter 2007
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/06/21/215029/first-flight-target-for-a400ms-tp400-engine-slips-to-fourth-quarter.html

The target date for the first flight of the Europrop International (EPI) TP400-D6 turboprop has slipped into the fourth quarter of this year after the engine consortium was forced to redesign some mechanical components that encountered higher than expected loads during bench testing.

A development engine suffered oil contamination during ground testing earlier this year, but the source of the problem could not be traced, it emerged at the Paris air show this week.

Meanwhile, moving to limit the impact of propulsion system delays to the A400M project, Airbus Military has revealed plans to add a sixth aircraft to compress its previously planned 18-month flight-test campaign for the transport.

EPI expects to hand over the flight-test engine "before the end of June", says TP400 programme and operations director Jacques Desclaux. "The forecast is to have the first flight between October and December, depending on the integration issues."

The flight trials are to be performed by Cambridge, UK-based Marshall Aerospace using a modified Lockheed Martin C-130. Under the original schedule EPI had been due to deliver the first flightworthy TP400 in November 2006.

"Today there is enough of a buffer before impacting the [A400M] first flight," says Desclaux [and I have some really nice land in Florida for you - MC]...

Airbus Military says it "remains very confident of achieving first flight and first delivery of the A400M on schedule", referring to goals of the first quarter of next year and late 2009 respectively. "The addition of the sixth flight-test aircraft will bring flexibility to the programme."

Final assembly activities at EADS Casa's Seville site in southern Spain are expected to start later this year, with the work having been postponed from late March as a risk-reduction measure. "We've learnt from the A380 [airliner] programme that you shouldn't start final assembly when there are gaps in the programme," says an Airbus Military source.

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SeaKingTacco

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Hey- who is to say that someday, we won't want the A400M?  Airbus- bring us a flying A400M for us to test and evaluate...then we will talk.  Until then, STFU- the herc fleet is dying faster than you can possibly deliver replacement aircraft, even if your program remains on schedule and hiccup free (which would make you the first aircraft manufacturer in the history of aviation to manage that trick...)
 

ringo

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If we order A400M's, in lieu of C-130J,  will have to buy additional C-17's to replace the C-130's that have to be retired before the A400M's can be delivered.

More C-17's will be fine with me, I believe Boeing has funded 10 more unsold C-17's to take production till 2010.
 

Cdn Blackshirt

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ringo said:
If we order A400M's, in lieu of C-130J,  will have to buy additional C-17's to replace the C-130's that have to be retired before the A400M's can be delivered.

More C-17's will be fine with me, I believe Boeing has funded 10 more unsold C-17's to take production till 2010.

As a non-pilot, no CF member, but a logistics specialist I always thought a mix of C-17's and A400M's would be better as it would provide greater capability....but I'll continue to defer to others who know better what the loads are that are being carried, etc.


Matthew.    :salute:
 

Colin Parkinson

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A400= slightly Jellied vapourware. Just as our pilots and flightcrews are currently training on real C-17 in real life, our guys can go train on real C130J's and be ready to greet them when they arrive. Even if we were to get a working A400 in 2009 (cough, gasp, sputter) Their would be no trained pilots, flight crews, real life load plans, spare parts, etc,etc
 

MarkOttawa

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A400M shocker
Surprise (text subscriber only)!
http://www.aviationweek.com/search/AvnowSearchResult.do?reference=xml/awst_xml/2007/07/23/AW_07_23_2007_p16-164766-28.xml&query=tp400

Aviation Week & Space Technology
07/23/2007, page 19

EADS CEO Louis Gallois says delays with the TP400 turboprop engine that will power the Airbus A400M airlifter are likely to lead to a deferral of the first flight, which has been scheduled for late March 2008. Test problems already have delayed the initial flight of the engine on a C-130 testbed to the third or first quarter of this year (AW&ST June 11, p. 36). However, initial deliveries should still take place by late 2009, Gallois says.

Place your bets.

Mark
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