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Airbus offers a solution based on its “oversize” Beluga ST aircraft for strategic airlift

To date, partly to fulfill its strategic airlift wants, the Ministry of Armed Forces has used the SALIS contract. [Solution intérimaire pour le transport aérien stratégique]Private Ukrainian firm Antonov Logistics Salis, or awarded by NATO via a so-called “buy order” process.

But in a single case as within the different, the French forces chartered the An-124-100 giant transport aircraft, able to carrying 120 tons, and even, and topic to availability, AN-type aircraft. 22, AN-225 and IL-76 [de conception russe, ndlr].

In 2017, former deputy Francois Cornat-Gentil submitted a report through which he was involved about this French dependence on energy in Ukraine. [voire russes] In this area “Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs observe the Coué methodology right here: Diplomats are happy with the great routing of military freight and the firmness of the Franco-German couple inside NATO! Everyone pretends to not see it, in actual fact, it’s the Russians and Ukrainians who’ve management over the projection of our forces in exterior theaters,” he denounced.

Since then, the European venture SATOC [Strategic Air Transport for Outsized Cargo] was saved on monitor as a part of everlasting structural cooperation [CSP/PESCO], with the participation of France, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Slovenia. Only, it should not be applied till 2026…

Obviously, the present context, characterised by the warfare in Ukraine, modifications the state of affairs. Thus, for instance, solely three AN-124s might be discovered close to the Antonov Logistics Sallys… and the one copy of the AN-225 was destroyed in the course of the assault of Russian forces towards Hostomel Airport. And there is no such thing as a query of requesting Il-76s.

Airbus’ proposal is due to this fact based on its A300-600ST “Beluga” giant transport aircraft, which have been used for the reason that Nineteen Nineties to move giant components from one industrial website to a different.

For this, Airbus Defense and Space developed a loading system “for lifting non-standard navy cargo” with its personal funds and over an A300-600ST in a 12 months and a half. And it was demonstrated on September 21 in Munching as a Bundeswehr CH-53 heavy-lift helicopter was loaded onto a Beluga ST [Allemagne]. The operation lasted for an hour.

“The demand for large-scale transportation capability is rising. This functionality is uncommon, and in mild of present geopolitical developments, many purchasers are trying for new, quick and environment friendly options. This is precisely what we provide with our fleet of Beluga STs”, explains Michael Schollhorn, CEO of Airbus Defense and Space.

“Our groups have labored on a quick, environment friendly and autonomous dealing with solution for loading heavy navy cargo onto aircraft. Speed, agility and autonomy are essential components for our clients in the case of such operations,” he added.

For the second, solely the Bundeswehr has expressed its curiosity on this solution. According to Airbus, it should certify it throughout the subsequent week.

Twin-engine, 56.15 meters lengthy with a wingspan of 44.84 meters and a peak of 17.24 meters, the Beluga ST can journey over 4,600 km carrying 20 tonnes and a pair of,780 km carrying 40 tonnes. Its most load is 47 tons. For its personal wants, Airbus is within the strategy of changing it with the A330-743L “Beluga XL” which has bigger dimensions and a capability to move 53 tons over a distance of 4,000 km.

Photo: Airbus Defense and Space

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