any truth to this? eu army related

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Enforcer Talen
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any truth to this? eu army related

Post by Enforcer Talen » 2003-06-13 03:16am

I was given no source.

Europe Launches Plans for Military to Rival U.S. Post #1 of 5

The European Union demonstrated its determination to become a major military power today when its leading members signed a $23 billion contract to buy a fleet of 180 Airbus A400 military transport jumbo jets, with the capacity to deploy up to 20,000 troops far beyond Europe's shores in a single airlift.

The move is a dream come true for French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who since breaking with Washington over Iraq have vowed to create a power to rival the United States.

By far the largest military contract the Airbus manufacturers have ever signed, the deal was justified as essential for further military cooperation in Europe and as a crucial symbol of the EU's military ambitions. It will secure 40,000 jobs across Europe over the next two decades.

Germany is to buy 60 of the specially designed military transports, France 50, Spain 27, Britain 25, Turkey 10, Belgium seven and Luxembourg one. Germany was originally planning to buy up to 90 aircraft but reduced its order for budgetary reasons, and Portugal said it could not afford any at all.

The first aircraft, to be delivered in 2009, will replace the fleets of C-130 Hercules and C-160 Transall and give European armies a far-longer reach and a much-improved cargo capacity. Powered by four high-speed turboprop engines, each military Airbus will carry up to 37 tons or 120 fully equipped troops. It will transport a load of 20 tons over a distance of 3,700 miles at a maximum speed of 422 knots and can use short or unpaved runways and can refuel other aircraft or be itself refueled in flight.

The A400m will be unable to carry main battle tanks like the British Challenger 2, which weigh more than 60 tons, so any future EU expeditionary force will be limited to light armor. The EU military force is so far expected to fulfill only peacekeeping and the lighter end of peace-making tasks rather than full-scale armored warfare. But the new strategic airlift capability puts Africa, the Caucasus, the Middle East and much of Asia into the EU's wider strategic space.

The new aircraft are badly needed. Germany had to lease Ukrainian transports when sending its troops to help the U.S. in Afghanistan, and European troops were painfully slow to deploy in the Kosovo operation because of transport restraints.

The deal was signed between the EU's joint armaments cooperation agency, known by its initials OCCAR, in Bonn, and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space, the European Airbus manufacturer owned by France, Germany, Britain and Spain.

"I am pleased to see this important collaborative project going ahead," said British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon. "A400M will be a vital new strategic asset for the United Kingdom and its European partners, and will create or sustain thousands of jobs here and across Europe."

With Britain still refusing to join the EU's currency, the euro, Prime Minister Tony Blair has emphasized EU defense cooperation as the main symbol of his commitment to the European project. Britain has pushed hard for more EU defense industrial projects such as the A400M and the new Eurofighter.

Such investments are required, Blair says, if the European allies within NATO are not to fall technologically too far behind their American allies to be militarily useful.

Anger in U.S.

The EU's military plans have generated more irritation than admiration in the United States. Congressmen have accused the EU of "a political fix" in giving the contract for the A400M's engines to an Anglo-French consortium.

The U.S. company Pratt & Whitney says it offered its engines at a price 20 percent lower than the bid by the Rolls Royce-Snecma consortium. European officials claim that the engines were not comparable and that the A400M is poised to become a major commercial success with sales to other customers worldwide.

"The A400M is well positioned to replace a major part of the current worldwide fleet of tactical transport aircraft," said EADS co-chief executives Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich.

Richard Thompson, Airbus Military's commercial director, predicted "at least 200 further orders." He cited talks with Canada, Norway, South Africa and Sweden.

The strategic thrust of the EU's military ambitions worries some Americans, who fear this could weaken NATO. Blair persuaded the Clinton and Bush administrations that Britain's presence would ensure the new EU force would enhance rather than weaken the European allies' commitment to NATO.

Last year's NATO summit in Prague agreed to set up a new and highly mobile rapid-reaction force, and the EU force and the new EU airlift capacity could fit into this concept.

But last month's Franco-German-Belgian summit that called for an EU military capability distinct from NATO, and with its own intelligence, staff and logistics arms, and a separate headquarters from NATO, has revived American concerns.

"What we need is not more headquarters," commented U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Blair warned, "Add this row to the fall-out from Iraq and you have the beginnings already of the divisions that we wanted to get rid of when the Cold War finished."

The problem is that increasing the EU's military capabilities, such as the Airbus contract, is a double-edged sword that could strengthen NATO, so long as the European allies remain committed to the alliance as the central Transatlantic security system. But if that commitment to NATO falters, then the Airbus contract gives the EU the capability to become a global strategic actor in its own right, in a way that could worry the United States in regions where American and European policies differ, as they did over Iraq.
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Re: any truth to this? eu army related

Post by Oddity » 2003-06-13 04:08am

Did a google search. It's from NewsMax.com

Don't know how reliable they are, though.
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Post by Colonel Olrik » 2003-06-13 06:32am

That's old news, and not exactly a ground shaking event. And..
and Portugal said it could not afford any at all.
Bullshit. Portugal was to buy six of them, but our current minister of defense broke the agreement because he decided to buy six similar planes from American companies. He said it was quicker (because they already exist, while the Airbus is still a project) and cheaper. Currently, there are two proposals, one from Lockheed and another from Boeing.

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Post by Crown » 2003-06-13 12:04pm

Errr, no.

Planes do not get ordered, designed and built over-night. The heavy airlift capability for Europe, or lack thereof, was something that the US has been bitchin' about for years, and rightly so.

It's just the fact that some chose the indiginous option, rather than depend even more on the US.
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Post by Sea Skimmer » 2003-06-13 12:43pm

The A400M is a totally paper aircraft, and an incredibly expensive one. If the current rate of cost increases keep up, very likely since they still haven't even built a prototype, there going to end up costing as much as a C-17 while having a fraction of the payload and range. The article is wrong about the aircrafts range as well. It can fly about 4000 miles empty, but with a full payload its limited to 2100 miles, assuming it can refuel where it deploys. Less then half that if it cannot do so.

In any case, airlift is only one of several massive deficiencies facing the militaries of the EU. And the A400M doesn’t even cover that gap very well, there are far too few of them with too limited a capability. The claim that the fleet can haul 20,000 men in one lift is stupid, because they'd have no vehicles, heavy equipment or supplies whatsoever. Moving a single light infantry division with 10,000 men and no armored vehicles takes some 1000 C-141 sorties for example, and scores more each day to keep the unit supplied. 180 aircraft, maybe 120 available at any one time are not going to accomplish much outside of Europe.
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Post by Howedar » 2003-06-13 02:45pm

*giggles like a schoolgirl*
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Re: any truth to this? eu army related

Post by Howedar » 2003-06-13 02:45pm

Crazy Ivan wrote:Did a google search. It's from NewsMax.com

Don't know how reliable they are, though.
They aren't. Period.
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Post by Ted » 2003-06-13 02:49pm

It is still a much better choice for the EU than taking Boeing or Lockheed planes. Jobs created within Europe, not in the US, spares more readily accessible, not needing to be shipped across the Atlantic, etc...
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Post by Colonel Olrik » 2003-06-13 02:57pm

Ted wrote:It is still a much better choice for the EU than taking Boeing or Lockheed planes. Jobs created within Europe, not in the US, spares more readily accessible, not needing to be shipped across the Atlantic, etc...
Realistically, to a country like Portugal, it is not. We'll have planes sooner, at a better price and that have been proven worthy already. Replacement parts are no problem, all the material of the Portuguese air force is U.S made, anyway.

It would be like buying a car of worse quality and more expensive, just because it's national made. Things don't work that way, fortunatelly.

I don't know if my governments decision was good or not (certain portuguese companies will lose their projects) but I give them the benefit of doubt.

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Post by TheDarkling » 2003-06-13 03:24pm

Colonel Olrik:I would have thought you of all people would show some solidarity with your EU brethren :wink:

I actually see further EU military integration coming about this way (joint arm procurement etc) not because we need it from a strategic view (although I think we do) but because it gives the EU a perfect excuse to draft up a list of equipment (all made by the big EU defence firms) and make it approved for EU operations and then tell the governments they must put so much of their defence spending into getting something off the list (as th UK and France have been pushing for).

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Post by HemlockGrey » 2003-06-13 03:26pm

It is still a much better choice for the EU than taking Boeing or Lockheed planes. Jobs created within Europe, not in the US, spares more readily accessible, not needing to be shipped across the Atlantic...
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Post by Sea Skimmer » 2003-06-13 04:01pm

Ted wrote:It is still a much better choice for the EU than taking Boeing or Lockheed planes. Jobs created within Europe, not in the US, spares more readily accessible, not needing to be shipped across the Atlantic, etc...
Its better politically, from a military standpoint there getting less for more from a plane with spiraling costs while still on paper that cannot even reach the west African hot spots without refueling.
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Post by Sea Skimmer » 2003-06-13 04:06pm

TheDarkling wrote:Colonel Olrik:I would have thought you of all people would show some solidarity with your EU brethren :wink:

I actually see further EU military integration coming about this way (joint arm procurement etc) not because we need it from a strategic view (although I think we do) but because it gives the EU a perfect excuse to draft up a list of equipment (all made by the big EU defence firms) and make it approved for EU operations and then tell the governments they must put so much of their defence spending into getting something off the list (as th UK and France have been pushing for).
That given way most EU militaries are run its more likely nations will decide they can now spend less on defence because this reaction force exists on paper. The result will be a hollow shell that is undeployabul even if a fleet of Ro-Ro's was leased.
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