Airbus announced to slash production rate of A400M from its 19 a year in 2017 to 8 a year from 2020. The slashing rate would be from 15 this year, 11 units in 2019 and 8 units from 2020 onwards. Airbus faces heavy financial burden on these two A400M and A380 programs. The A400M production overruns has gone beyond $8 billion, mostly due to delay in delivery penalties.
Production rate cuts would directly affect 3700 jobs across its plants in Europe. Airbus group had said on Monday that production rate cuts and laying off workers on two ailing programs were imminent, but assured to transfer some workers to its subsidy plants.
The 3700 jobs from following production plants will be lost;
1. Seville, Spain – final assembly line of the light and medium CN235s and C295s, as well as for the A400M,
2. Filton England – builds the plane’s wings,
3, Stade, Germany – makes the vertical tailplane and pressure bulkheads
4. Bremen,Germany – Produces the cargo-loading system
5. Augsburg, Germany – Produces fuselage sections.
The A400M is the most advanced, proven and certified airlifter available, and is capable of landing on small and unpaved airstrips with the payload of 37 tonnes. A400M is powered by EuroProp International (EPI) TP 400 turboprops, and has a range of 4,800 nm / 8,900 km, at a cruising altitude up to 37,000 ft, at a speed of up to Mach 0.72.
A400M provides day and night air-to-air (AAR) refuelling capability with two hose and drogue under-wing refuelling pods. Each provide a fuel flow of up to 400 US gal / 1,200 kg per minute to receiver aircraft. Refuelling can also be done through a centre-line Hose and Drum Unit (HDU) which provides a higher fuel flow of some 600 US gal / 1,800 kg per minute.
As of today Airbus delivered 80 A400M aircraft out of 174 units ordered by seven nations, Belgium, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Spain, Turkey, Uk and Malaysia.