With A400M Delayed, France Eyes C-130J
France is among the seven nations that committed to develop and buy 180 A400Ms, which are larger than the C-130 but smaller than the C-17. But several of the countries are looking at their options in the face of problems, notably on the software that controls the plane’s TP400 engines, which are delaying deliveries by three years.
France, which was to receive the first of its 50 A400Ms later this year, is now looking for ways to improve tactical airlift capability to meet its military needs and preserve hard-won aircrew proficiency. Lockheed Martin’s C-130J is the front-runner for a gap-filler aircraft.
A U.S. Airman, with the 86th Maintenance Squadron, marshals the first U.S. Air Force C-130J to be assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing (AW), Ramstein Air Base, Germany, April 7, 2009. A ceremony was held to not only honor the arrival of the new aircraft but also a new era in operations for the 86th AW. The event also included a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new 68,000 square feet dual-bay maintenance hangar, which can hold two C-130Js or one C-17. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kenny Holston/Released) Photographer's Name: Airman 1st Class Kenny HolstonLocation: Ramstein Air Base