A CGI of the A400M. Airbus Military photo
KUALA LUMPUR: The on-and off again Airbus A400M has hit another wall yet again. This time around Airbus Military (see release below) is asking the launch nations to bear with them yet again. Basically they are asking for a new round delays which will see our first A400M see service, most probably in the year 2020.
However with our propensity to defer the defence budget whenever an economic crunch comes around, the first A400M may well see service in the year 2030! While Malaysian Defence understands that there is an RM1 billion offset agreement which came from the RM2 billion deal for the four A400M it is unbecoming to let the Armed Forces be beholden to what is basically a private industrial deal. Furthermore with AirAsia buying more Airbuses than any one else, why could’nt the A400M offset deal be renegotiated if we decide to ditch the European Hercules.
The uncertainties with the A400M must be playing havoc with the Armed Forces planners especially with the budget crunch. How could they draw up a viable long term strategic air transport capabilities with such crap hanging over their heads? More over they also need to think over the planned changes of the air lifter capabilities and whether four aircraft is enough to cover our military and political needs. Furthermore, there is a big chance we may have to pay more than what was originally envisaged.
The European nations can afford to wait for the A400M, they are already pooling resources to buy C-17s and individually they are also buying the J-version of the Hercules while we have to rely on our mix fleet of Hercules (15?) and CN-235s (8) for all sundry and purposes.
Malaysian Defence believes its time to re-think about the A400M especially when other essential things for the Armed Forces from APCs to gun optics have been deferred due to the budget crunch.
Release from Airbus Military.
AIRBUS MILITARY and EADS propose a new approach for the A400M Programme
Airbus Military and EADS have proposed a new programme approach for the A400M to the Launch Nations, through OCCAR, with the aim to find a way forward for this programme.
Airbus Military and EADS want to discuss the programme schedule along with changes to other areas of the contract including in particular certain technical characteristics of this first-class military aircraft.
Airbus Military suggests to resume series production only once adequate maturity is reached, based on flight test results. With this proposed new approach, the first delivery of the A400M would then occur around three years after first flight.
Airbus Military is still working with the engine consortium to firm up a date for the first flight.
Airbus Military and EADS will only be able to reliably determine all financial implications once a committed industrial plan, including the availability of systems, is fully stabilized and once OCCAR’s position on the proposal is known.
This proposed new approach will not compromise the ultimate qualities and the exceptional characteristics of the airplane, with the most advanced logistic and tactical capabilities that will be delivered to the armed forces and will make A400M a unique airplane in its category.
–Malaysian DefenceIf you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment