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Air Transportation: The A400M Replacements
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January 1, 2012: In November, France received the first of eight CN-235 transports (two months ahead of schedule). These aircraft were ordered because the existing fleet of 52 C160 transports was becoming inoperable, due to old age. The CN-235s are a stopgap measure because of the delay in delivery of the larger A400M transports. The first A400Ms are not expected to enter French service until 2014. The eight CN-235s were ordered about 20 months ago.

The CN-235 was jointly developed by Spain and Indonesia and cost about $38 million each. France already has 19 CN-235s. The two engine, 16 ton CN-235 can carry 5.9 tons of cargo or 44 passengers and stay in the air for about ten hours per sortie. Cruise speed is about 454 kilometers an hour.

 

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Toosh       1/1/2012 11:36:41 PM
What does France need A400Ms for anyway? Are they still fighting the Cold War? Are they still involved in Indo-China? Are they fighting terrorists in South America? No, No, No. They reason they want them is they still have colonial ambitions in Africa. The French have a disgraceful history in Africa and need to just leave these people alone.
 
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heraldabc    Welcome to my side of the fence.   1/1/2012 11:47:00 PM
I think that its not just France who needs to get out of the colonial imperialist business. Uncle Sam has his grimy clutches in a lot of places as do the PRC Bandits.
 
H.

What does France need A400Ms for anyway? Are they still fighting the Cold War? Are they still involved in Indo-China? Are they fighting terrorists in South America? No, No, No. They reason they want them is they still have colonial ambitions in Africa. The French have a disgraceful history in Africa and need to just leave these people alone.

 
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LB       1/2/2012 7:16:30 AM
 
 
Leaving aside why France specifically needs the A400M, that's up to France.  It might be more interesting to ask why does anyone need the A400M?  Originally designed as a replacement for the C-160 tactical transport for Germany and France, an aircraft about 2/3rds the size of the C-130, the A400M is about twice the size of the C-130.  It's a very large tactical transport but not a strategic air lifter.
 
Consider an A400M carries 30 tons around 2,400nm which is about 1/3rd more than a C-130J can carry so you'd need 3 C-130J's to carry the load of 2 A400M's.  However, the C-17 carriers about 80 tons over 2,400nm so you'd need 8 A400M's to equal 3 C-17's over this distance if the requirement was purely by weight.  The problem here is the A400M costs well over twice a C-130J and almost the same as the C-17.   It's simply too expensive to compete with the C-130J and while it costs almost the same as the C-17 it's nowhere near as capable.  This "cost" also includes a significant loss on the A400M.
 
Quite a few nations have looked at the A400M and instead purchased the C-130J and a few C-17's.  Which brings up the other issue with the A400M.  If you buy it you need a smaller tactical transport, like a CN-235, because the A400M is simply too big to fly for every minor mission; moreover, one also needs actual strategic air lifters.  It's a totally open question exactly how much utility the A400M brings, leaving aside the fact it's too expensive to do anything and really should have been canceled some years ago.  
 
This isn't to say there is anything wrong with the A400M per se.  The issues are that the actual class of the aircraft is unique and hasn't in fact demonstrated it's utility.  It's  a tactical transport almost the size of the C-141.  As well as the hideous cost.  Be interesting to see RAF evaluation given they will operate the A400M along with the C-130J and C-17.
 
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Skylark       1/4/2012 3:17:17 PM
The problem with the A400M is that it is too slow to be an effective strategic transport, and too big to be a tactical one.  It's over twice as expensive as the latest C130, but it isn't twice as good as the Herc, while at the same time, it's more than half the cost of the C17, and the C17 is twice as good, making the A400M an expensive white elephant.
 
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HeavyD       6/7/2012 9:12:34 PM
I believe part of the rationale behind the A400M is the requirement to be able to transport IFVs like the new Puma.  
 
But they did get caught in no-man's land:  It takes 3 A400m trips to move 2 Pumas with their up-armor kits instead of 1 C17, but they still can't move a Leopard II or a Pzh2000!
 
This is what happens when politics drives procurement, eh? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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giblets       6/15/2012 6:11:42 AM
Not sure I have read quite as much rubbish on a thread before. There is a huge gap in performance, and as stated by HeavyD, AND the GAO, who stated "There is a potential future gap in tactical airlift capabilities for transporting medium- weight army equipment that cannot fit on C-130 aircraft,".
 
So whilst the Hercules can carry an up-armoured Humvee, can it carry any of the mine resistant vehicles, or Strykers? No. The A400m can carry anything up to the Bradley. It can do that, and land on rough strips, something the C-17 can't do. MBT's get carried in Boeing demonstrations and critical military events, which are pretty rare (Northern Iraq in GWII being the last occasion). The A400m  can  can carry 9 pallets AND 54 troops, as oppsoed to the C-130J, which can carry 8 pallets OR 124 troops. The C17 can do this too, but is a lot more aircraft than you need (as with most Cargo, it bulks out before it weighs out). 
 
Ask yourself, in a military conflict, how much can a C-130 take over the Atlantic? (It's 3,000nm from Dover AFB (one of the closest AFB) to the UK btw), try the table below, the answer is not a lot!!!  What about overflight rights!?
                                   C130j                             A400m                                 C17   
Cost (approx)               $66m                            $130m                                $200-$260m            
Cruise Speed:              670Km/h                         780km/h                           830km/h
 
Payload:               Max 19tonnes                 Max 32tonnes                                 Max77tonnes
                               N/A                             30tonnes to 2,450nm                  72tonnes to 2,420nm                                                                       15tonnes to 1,600nm        20tonnes to 3,450nm                 18tonnes to 5,610nm
 
 
 
http://img22.imageshack.us/img22/6831/a400g.jpg" alt="" /> 
 
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giblets       6/15/2012 6:47:18 AM

 
Taking recent military activities (i.e Middle East based ones),  the C-17 can go straight the theatre (though would have to take a 2nd crew), the A400m would stop off in Europe (at a USAF base there), the C-130 would have to stop multiple times.
 
Also: 
My bad, the C-130j can carry one stryker (just 310nm from Kabul according to the GAO!!!!), but not a lot else, A400m could carry 2  plus other cargo. C-17, four!
What if you need to deploy them to forward air bases? C-17 can't land, and C-130 is range and payload limited, and can't take them to most places in Afghanistan.
 
http://www.gao.gov/htext/d0492...   (GAO report with C-130 range with Stryker)
 
 
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