Air Transportation: June 1, 2003


On May 27th, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg agreed to buy 180 A400M military transports for $132 million each. Germany will get 60, France 50, Spain 27, Britain 25, Turkey 10, Belgium seven and Luxembourg one, instead of the tried and true (and constantly updated) U.S. C-130. The 130 ton A400M has a maximum payload of 37 tons. With a 30 ton payload, it can fly 4,400 kilometers, making it more similar to the C-17 than the older C-130. The A400M uses four turboprop engines. The latest model of the C-130, the 79 ton C-130J has a maximum payload of 20 tons. It's range is about 20 percent less than the A400M, but costs less than half as much. The 290 ton C-17 can carry up to 100 tons (including one M-1 tank) anywhere in the world because of in-air refueling. The C-17, however, costs $300 million each.


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