DEVELOPING a novel on-board lifter for its A300-600ST Beluga outsize
freighter as part of its proposal to meet the Royal Air Force
Short Term Strategic Airlifter (STSA) requirement.
The cargo lifter allows freight to be loaded and unloaded without
the need for ground support equipment, says Airbus director of
transport operation, Arnaud Martin. Built into the front of the
Beluga's cargo hold, the cargo lifter is compatible with all STSA
essential loads, including the Boeing CH-47 Chinook and AH-64
Apache helicopters and the Warrior armoured fighting vehicle.
Martin says Airbus has completed modelling work that proves the
| lifter concept, but it has not selected the mechanical systems.
Airbus' STSA bid is based on one Beluga and four A300-600F freighters.
Maritn says that all will be new-build aircraft, which will need
a sixth A300-600ST to be produced.
He adds that the bid could be modified to two Belugas and three
A300-600Fs if the RAF is concerned about having only a single
Other STSA bidders inlude Boeing and Airbus Industrie partner
British Aerospace offering four C-17 Globmasters, while Air Foyle
is proposing Antonov An-124s, re-engined with Rolls-Royce RB211s,
and IBP is offering unmodified An-124s.