Apr 24, 2013 16:12 UTC
Latest updates[?]: UK A400M program forecast more than $1 billion over approved costs.
A400M rollout, Seville
Airbus’ A400M is a EUR 20+ billion program that aims to repeat Airbus’ civilian successes in the full size military transport market. A series of smart design decisions were made around capacity (35-37 tonnes/ 38-40 US tons, large enough for survivable armored vehicles), extensive use of modern materials, multi-role capability as a refueling tanker, and a multinational industrial program; all of which leave the aircraft well positioned to take overall market share from Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Hercules. If the USA’s C-17 is allowed to go out of production, the A400M would also have a strong position in the strategic transport market, with only Russian AN-70, IL-76 and AN-124 aircraft as competition. To date, 174 orders have been placed by Germany (now 53 + 7 options), France (50), Spain (27), Britain (now 22), Turkey (10),
South Africa (8), Belgium (7), Malaysia (4), and Luxembourg (1). Chile has expressed an unfinalized interest in 3 planes, but is now likely to buy Brazilian KC-390s instead.
EADS’ biggest issue, by far, has been funding for a project that is more than EUR 7 billion over budget. The next biggest issue is timing, as A400M delivery penalties and Lockheed Martin’s strong push for its serving C-130J Super Hercules cast a pall over the A400M’s potential future. The entire project was under moratorium for over a year as all parties decided what to do, but it’s now moving forward again. This DID Spotlight article covers the latest developments, as the A400M Atlas moves into production.
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Apr 17, 2013 17:16 UTC
Latest updates[?]: FY 2014 budget; Loss in South Korea; Article restructured & improved; AH-1Z and UH-1Y specifications added; Core industrial partners added; Budgets updated to 2018.
UH-1Y and AH-1Z
by Neville Dawson
The US Marines’ helicopter force is aging at all levels, from banana-shaped CH-46 Sea Knight transports that are far older than their pilots, to the 1980s-era UH-1N Hueys and AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters that make up the Corps’ helicopter assault force. While the tilt-rotor V-22 Osprey program has staggered along for almost 2 decades under accidents, technical delays, and cost issues, replacement of the USMC’s backbone helicopter assets has languished. Given the high-demand scenarios inherent in the current war, other efforts are clearly required.
Enter the H-1 program, the USMC’s plan to remanufacture older helicopters into new and improved UH-1Y utility and AH-1Z attack helicopters. The new versions would discard the signature 2-bladed rotors for modern 4-bladed improvements, redo the aircraft’s electronics, and add improved engines and weapons to offer a new level of performance. It seemed simple, but hasn’t quite worked out that way. The H-1 program has encountered its share of delays and issues, but the program survived its review, and continued on into production and deployment.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This article covers the H-1 helicopter programs’ rationales and changes, the upgrades involved in each model, program developments and annual budgets, the full timeline of contracts and key program developments, and related research sources.
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