Yep...ain't going to happen...no one wants to fund defence here.
Article continued @ Flightglobal[SIZE=4]European defence industry nearing crisis, report warns[/SIZE]
By: Craig Hoyle London
Europe's ability to develop next-generation combat aircraft has been dangerously eroded, and will reach "a point of no return" unless collaborative funding decisions are made soon, a new industry study warns.
Commissioned by the European Defence Agency (EDA), the Future Air Systems for Europe (FAS4Europe) group study says "the situation for future air systems is severe, with some important industrial capabilities and technologies already at risk".
Yep...ain't going to happen...no one wants to fund defence here.
So what is Taranis? or nEUROn? They seen quite developed already.
The Typhoon kind of showed the problems with that and the problems with getting it into service and now updating it.
Personally, I don't think that Europe will save the ability to develop and produce next generation combat aircraft. First you have to come up with the funds for such a program; second a huge crowd of collaborative members will ultimately lead to problems. Take a look at the NH90, Tiger, EF2000, A400M, for example. They were all meant as one piece of kit that can solve the problems of all nations involved. Hilarious, but an interesting lesson for the future.
The EF started out with the French, and they wanted something else and produced the Rafale instead. This will happen again, potential customers will drop out of the development of combat systems because they are heavily delayed and over budget, and/or they will look for gapfillers, like the Finns (or Swedes?) are currently doing with the S-70 (because the NH90 is ****ing late).
A "joint" European defense industry was proposed for a long time already, for all sorts of products (land vehicles, jet fighters, helos, frigates, weapons, etc.), but it failed in most cases (?) quite miserably, in my honest opinion.
The consequences of too big to fail are affecting most of the Western Nations. There must be 2 base closures every week in Europe now.
The suppliers are going to feel the pinch. At least ME nations are still buying some of our toys.
Thankfully europe's only 2 military powers have left the freeloaders behind to a large extent.
I don't want the UK to have any more to do with european defence projects.
The Tornado killed our domestic fighter industry (the Buccaneer 2 would have been far more capable, and carrier capable). The Eurofighter is late and a commerical flop. The A400 is a joke.
Thankfully even the Labour party had the sense to steer clear of the diabolical NH90.
With the work done on Taranis, and 'son-of-Taranis', we at least have a ray of light to remain a producer of first-rate fixed wing combat aircraft. The French are the only european country with the credentials to join us.
All this ''further integration will save us [from the problems caused by previous integration]'' is utter bollocks.
In related news and worth a read:
Article continued @ Aviation Week[SIZE=3]Europe Poised For Gradual Updates To Fighters
Mar 26, 2012
By Robert Wall
The severe budget austerity gripping much of Europe does not augur well for air forces looking to achieve leaps in capability for the next decade. It is somewhat a matter of luck, then, that foreign demand is effectively pushing stingy treasuries to provide funding to field upgrades.
The list of European militaries likely to benefit from these export-driven enhancements is long and includes the Swedish, French, British and German air forces.
OMG! What are they saying? Some people are giving you important reasons to give them money?
What Europe should have done, instead of creating a bloated 'all-European' monster of an arms industry, is simply to have issued tenders for everything and... let the best company win. In this case, each country's industry would have taken on a project that it was suited for; the end product of which would have been bought by other EU members.
On an individual level; some French, Swedish, German, British, etc.. arms manufacturers and industries are very competitive - but encouraging them into artificial collaborative projects simply killed the end-product.
Granted, the Grizzly is late and costly, no questions asked and we all know it.
But don't underestimate the commercial opportunity this cargo hauler could offer: Even with a reduced payload (for example: 30t), it should be still able to carry most MRAPs and wheeled APCs and/or IFVs that are currently being offered on the market. I'm speaking of Boxer, AMV, VBCI, and others in this class. Even a Super Hercules can't do that with its 20t maximum payload, and I sincerely hope you don't expect a whole lot of nations will go for a C-130J/C-17 combination. The A400M fills a gap between the Herc and bigger aircraft like the Il-76 and Galaxy. Given that quite a few C-130 customers will look for replacements, I'm pretty much certain that Airbus will gain additional orders for this type once production and deliveries are going ahead. Currently, the only aircraft in its class that could "oppose" the A400M is Japan's C-2, but it remains to be seen if this one will ever be sold to an international customer. Lockheed Martin needs to make up their mind about countering the A400M with a new aircraft, and while doing so, try to do something against the KC-390 and the joint Indian-Russian aircraft.
That said, let's wait and see.
I hope you're right, but the C-130/C-17 combo is precisely what I would have gone for (more of). In the case of the UK, we already have the exisitng airframes, the training, the experience, the engineering setup, etc..
Obviously, that isn't the case for most other potential A400 customers. What strikes me is how quickly and emphatically the Brazillians can churn out an approximate equivelant.
If, for example, BAE had been told in 1982(!!!!!) to build a bigger more efficient BAe146, with an austere air to air refuelling capability, and a rear-loading ramp, then (anti-BAE quips aside), we'd have that flying on operations today.
Almost irrespective of how successful the A400 eventually is, it's already demonstable of incompetence at every level of pan-european projects.
Everyone wants their toys to do its own thing and with a multinational project doesn't turn out that way. A multinational European defence industry (favoured by the EU crowd) may be in crisis but single states in Europe can get it done. Germany are good with its tanks, UK her ships etc
Honestly, what is next generation air power really going to be about. Air space control? Ground strike capability? Naval component? Manned aircraft or UAV?
What are surface based defense systems going to be like in 10 years. I'm surprised SAM technology isn't already advancing at a far greater rate than airframes. Easier to mod or build ground based systems.
The answers to these questions really depend on who you are and what you think you are going to want to do.
The EU is now figuring some things out about what their mission might be and what that might cost.
Besides, it will not be a one-size-fits-all war in the future. Defense Department's issue things in two sizes. Too big and too small.
With A400 the simpler solution was to update the Shorts Belfast