Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A400M's for the US Coast Guard? Think Again...

I wrote a couple of earlier posts here and here referring to EADS plans to sell 210 A400M's to the US military.  I won't rehash that but in the comments section a poster stated that the US Coast Guard might be in the market for the airplane.  I had the same thoughts and posted it earlier.

Well a quick Google search revealed that we both might be wrong.  I thought it interesting that the US Coast Guard didn't follow suit with the rest of the military and recapitalize their air fleet.  Seems like they have.  This from the US Coast Guard website... 
Coast Guard C-130J Deepwater Missionization Underway
Missionization work is underway on the first Coast Guard C-130J at the Lockheed Martin Aircraft Logistics Center in Greenville, S.C. Plans call for all six of the service's C-130J aircraft to be outfitted with interoperable mission packages for long range surveillance under the Deepwater Program.This first aircraft was inducted by the C-130J team late last December and is now undergoing extensive modifications including installation of a belly-mounted surface search radar, nose-mounted electro-optical infrared sensor and a flight deck mission operator station. The project was assigned to Deepwater to ensure integration and interoperability with all new and existing aviation assets, including its legacy fleet of C-130H aircraft.The Coast Guard is scheduled to accept the first aircraft in September 2007, with completion of the missionization program by Fall 2008.
And there you have it.  Unless the Obama Administration is in the mood to anger the Senators from the state where the C-17 is being built and wants the added anger of the workers building it then this idea of a sale of A400M's to the US is a total non-starter.  Add the cost issue (yeah I know --I'm beating the cost of the airplane like a drum) and the ability to buy C-17 at darn near the same price and this just won't happen.

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