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This is a discussion on Royal Air Force [RAF] discussions and updates within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; It would appear that the A400M may be behind schedule: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/7048103.stm...


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Old October 17th, 2007   #16
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It would appear that the A400M may be behind schedule:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/7048103.stm
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Old October 18th, 2007   #17
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yes indeed..

this announcement could not have come at a worse time with current raf transport assets stretched as they are..

the old C130K's may just have to serve a while longer yet..

one wonders what impact these delays will have on countries in the future selecting as yet unbuilt aircraft as replacements for old planes that HAVE to be retired..

or perhaps defence planners should stop this practice of starting replacement programmes too late, since in the todays high tech world delays in programmes are inevitable..
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Old October 30th, 2007   #18
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Just read an interesting article in the Ocober edition of Air Forces Monthly.

Some very negative comments are made by serving RAF pilots. Apparantly there is some unhappiness amongst the ranks, with members feeling the top brass is letting them down when it comes to speaking out against cuts to force structure etc. with Army and Navy chiefs being much more vocal in their opposition to cuts.

Further more, according to the article, there is also a negative feeling about the practice of removing squadron markings from individual Tornado GR4 aircraft as they are increasingly operated in a 'pool' of aircraft resembling two super squadrons at the two main operating bases(RAF Marham and RAF Lossiemouth) within the expiditionary air wing concept.

I suppose these are the kind of problems being experienced world wide by air forces with tight purse strings.

However to take a positive from all this.. I believe the fact that in spite of these issues, the RAF continues to perform exeptionally well is a tribute to the professionalism of its members.

According to another article in the same issue, it is rumoured that no 78 Squadron, when taking the new Merlin HC3A to Afghanistan next year, will be operating in the special forces support role since the 7 Squadron Chinooks currently performing this role, are so stretched that civilian Mi - 8 's have to help.
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Old November 8th, 2007   #19
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I came across this Q+A on the FSTA in the RAF:
http://www.freewebs.com/ministryofdements/index.htm
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Old November 9th, 2007   #20
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Air Tanker the company whom are meant to be supplying a PFI solution to the RAF are having a few difficulties:
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle2602476.ece
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Old November 9th, 2007   #21
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Air Tanker the company whom are meant to be supplying a PFI solution to the RAF are having a few difficulties:
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle2602476.ece
A bit out of date. Latest reports suggest that potential lenders have woken up to it being a government deal, & effectively government-guaranteed, & they now have credit offered at about 50 basis points over LIBOR.
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Old November 9th, 2007   #22
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A bit out of date. Latest reports suggest that potential lenders have woken up to it being a government deal, & effectively government-guaranteed, & they now have credit offered at about 50 basis points over LIBOR.
Latest reports?Please provide details.
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Old November 9th, 2007   #23
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Latest reports?Please provide details.
Sorry, I don't take notes of all the print media I read. Can't remember if it was in the FT or JDW. Read it in the last couple of days.
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Old November 9th, 2007   #24
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It is very easy to discredit a post with a sweeping statement,but it should be supported with evidence.I have looked myself and cannot find any for your statement Swerve.
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Old November 9th, 2007   #25
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It is very easy to discredit a post with a sweeping statement,but it should be supported with evidence.I have looked myself and cannot find any for your statement Swerve.
JDW, online article dated 31-10-2007. I read it in the print edition. I don't have a subscription.

Since that took me two minutes to find, in one of the two places I said I thought I'd read it, you can't have looked very hard.
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Old November 10th, 2007   #26
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I cannot believe that the UK government would allow this deal to fall through. After all the controversy they had during the selection proccess, they wouldn't want to look foolish especially after PFI proposals have been rejected in other RAF programmes, such as the support helicopter replacement.

Anyway, good news that they got the credit in the end.
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Old November 10th, 2007   #27
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It was not in the FT and as I do not have a subscription to JDW,,then I will have to take your word for it.Funny that none of the financial press have mentioned it.
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Old November 10th, 2007   #28
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I cannot believe that the UK government would allow this deal to fall through. After all the controversy they had during the selection proccess, they wouldn't want to look foolish especially after PFI proposals have been rejected in other RAF programmes, such as the support helicopter replacement.

Anyway, good news that they got the credit in the end.
IIRC (this is from memory) it didn't say they have the credit signed sealed & delivered, but that the hiccup when credit dried up everywhere was over, & negotiations were proceeding on the basis of more favourable terms than before the credit crunch. Lenders seem to have decided that it's a safe haven for their money. Fair enough, given the state backing.

Still a bloody stupid deal. We should buy the damn things outright, & if we have spare capacity (unlikely unless we buy more), make a deal with a firm with suitable skills to operate any spare aircraft, wet-leasing them to whoever might want 'em - e.g. some of our allies.
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Old November 10th, 2007   #29
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IIRC (this is from memory) it didn't say they have the credit signed sealed & delivered, but that the hiccup when credit dried up everywhere was over, & negotiations were proceeding on the basis of more favourable terms than before the credit crunch. Lenders seem to have decided that it's a safe haven for their money. Fair enough, given the state backing.

Still a bloody stupid deal. We should buy the damn things outright, & if we have spare capacity (unlikely unless we buy more), make a deal with a firm with suitable skills to operate any spare aircraft, wet-leasing them to whoever might want 'em - e.g. some of our allies.
From The Daily Telegraph:
13bn RAF tanker deal is ready for lift-off


By Sylvia Pfeifer
Last Updated: 10:36pm GMT 10/11/2007


Britain's biggest private finance initiative, the long-delayed 13bn deal to supply the Royal Air Force with a vital new fleet of tanker aircraft, is ready for lift-off.
AirTanker, the consortium backing the project which is led by Airbus's parent company EADS, launched a competition to raise 2.5bn of financing earlier this year. Although the credit crunch has increased the cost of the fund-raising, the consortium insists that things are on track.
Anthony Forshaw, managing director at Deutsche Bank, the consortium's financial adviser, said: "We do have options, despite the credit crunch. We had extraordinarily aggressive pitches from the banks of around 50-70 basis points over Libor. But the credit crisis has moved the cost of bank finance up by between 10-20 basis points to about 70-80 basis points."
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According to Forshaw, even after the credit crunch, the terms offered by the banks support allocating some 25 per cent of the debt funding to banks. The remainder will now be raised via a bond issue, which would be the largest PFI bond ever issued.
"The rest is expected to be raised in the wrapped bond market. However flexibility is being maintained to vary each debt component, depending on the market," said Forshaw.
The consortium is in the process of finalising an agreement with Ambac, the world's second largest municipal bond insurer, and with HBOS on the bank debt side, but expects to bring other institutions into the deal before it closes.
Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and RBC are arranging the wrapped bonds. The financing structure has also received preliminary investment grade indications from both Moody's and S&P.
"The bulk of the controversial documentation is in an agreed form and we will be disappointed not to be going to market early next year," added Forshaw.
The consortium includes VT, Rolls-Royce, Cobham and Thales. Under the terms of the 27-year deal, AirTanker will provide a fleet of Airbus A330 tankers to replace the RAF's old tanker fleet.
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Old November 11th, 2007   #30
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Shows the problems of trying to remember something hastily skimmed . . . Right numbers, wrong way round.
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