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  1. #1
    CQMS The Usual Suspect's Avatar
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    Future Common Helicopter Fleet AC/CG/NS/Ambulance/Garda

    Given our small size would a future common helicopter fleet, along the Dutch or Danish model, offer substantial advantages?

    Realistically, is this the only structure that would be able to generate two medium utility/medivac helicopters for deployment on UN peace keeping/peace enforcement missions overseas?

    As a former NH90/AW101 enthusiast, the following article makes a sobering read.

    Helicopter scandals for everyone, Black Hawk to the rescue.

    If we had to make a decision in the short term, and the Naval Service wanted to inclue an option for six future ASW capable helicopters, would the leading contender be the MH-60R/S?

    An initial fleet structure for consideration might be..

    6 MH-60-Sierra Air Corps General Operations/Garda ASU
    6 MH-60-Sierra Coast Guard/Air Ambulance

    .. with options for.

    2 MH-60-Sierra Shipborne SAR/Deployable Utility/Medivac
    6 MH-60-Romeo ASW/Shipborne SAR

    The common cockpit across the Romeo and Sierra models is a huge operational advantage, compounding all the other system commonality advantages.



    US Navy paying millions of dollars to store dozens of Sikorsky MH-60R helicopters it has no need for.
    Last edited by The Usual Suspect; 1st May 2019 at 17:59. Reason: Updated link
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    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Shock a helicopter with 3 engines is harder and more expensive to maintain (AW101 / EH101)

    What’s the problem with the NH90? Open to correction, but every country’s ones are different so they have to be certified as such, which pushes up the cost. It also means no 2 countries aircraft are the same and it designed that way so the customer can have what they want on it.

    Some of Australia’s problems https://www.anao.gov.au/sites/defaul...13-2014_52.pdf

  3. #3
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The size of the AC fleet means that every aircraft has to be multi-role. We can’t buy 6 of the same helicopter but only 2 can be used for air ambulance work, etc

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    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    There are many errors in the story especially in relation to the cost per hour.
    If the values are to believe the MH60 cost per hour are lower than the UH60. This would be a first that the naval helicopter with all its expensive avionics has lower costs than the much simpler land based troop transporter.

    Also what has to be taken into account is that the NH90 and AW101 have much large troop carrying capacity. This does not mean the either NH or Leonardo can be let off for the extremely poor spares supply or reliability.

    That the USN is storing MH-60R is not new but it is a little higher than planned as they have over-estimated the number of LCS vessels they wold have in-service.

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    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Shock a helicopter with 3 engines is harder and more expensive to maintain (AW101 / EH101)

    What’s the problem with the NH90? Open to correction, but every country’s ones are different so they have to be certified as such, which pushes up the cost. It also means no 2 countries aircraft are the same and it designed that way so the customer can have what they want on it.

    Some of Australia’s problems https://www.anao.gov.au/sites/defaul...13-2014_52.pdf
    You hit the nail on the head, every country different: French NH90's can do fast roping but the Australian NH90's cannot..............

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    CQMS The Usual Suspect's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    We can’t buy 6 of the same helicopter but only 2 can be used for air ambulance work, etc
    Sure, numbers shown are merely illustrative of how an appropriately sized common MH-60S fleet might be arrived at. The whole point is to maximise commonality across all aspects of operation to enhance availability, utility, and cross-mission support for all taskings. In practical terms, the only difference between Coast Guard/Ambulance/Garda/General Ops helicopters would be the presence/absence of high-visibility day-glo vinyl on the side doors.

    If the Rangers are given the option to cancel a training mission because of an availability issue, or use a reserve aircraft from elsewhere, I don't think for a moment they'd bat an eyelid.

    The NH90 is a sad and sorry tale indeed, with reported flight availability in the range of 40% and a Typhoon-like cost per flight-hour of €19,000. The AW101 appears a star by comparison with 66% availability and a cost per flight hour of €14,000. Source.

    Lockheed-Martin claim a modest Grippen-like cost per flight hour of €3,000 for the MH-60R/S.

    Total interoperability may be a fantasy, but on the face of it, the MH-60 Romeo and Sierra appear to come as close as may be practicable.

    Plus, the Romeo model in particular, might just be available for a song.

    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    If the values are to believe the MH60 cost per hour are lower than the UH60. This would be a first that the naval helicopter with all its expensive avionics has lower costs than the much simpler land based troop transporter.

    Also what has to be taken into account is that the NH90 and AW101 have much large troop carrying capacity. This does not mean the either NH or Leonardo can be let off for the extremely poor spares supply or reliability.

    That the USN is storing MH-60R is not new but it is a little higher than planned as they have over-estimated the number of LCS vessels they wold have in-service.
    Noted
    Last edited by The Usual Suspect; 1st May 2019 at 20:17.
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    You won't get an MH 60 as an export customer.
    You'll get an S-70 to your local specifications. The cabin space is smaller than the AW139, who seem to have a pretty good service record with us. Also, the power by the hours figures provided by sikorsky were much higher for a S70 if I recall correctly.
    As for even considering using them in the GASU role, even the LAPD don't use S70 variants. LAFD do though, presumaby because the downdraft can extinguish most small fires. You don't want the whole county knowing you have an eye in the sky. The H135 is far better suited to this role.

    We don't want to offend our European overlords. Read about why we don't have S92s in the Air corps if you are wondering why. Buying surplus stock is bad for business.
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    The last time you had a helicopter that satisfied everyone, it was the Bell UH-1D. Bell said, "here is a hole, into which you can fit twelve men or x pounds of cargo. In front is a smaller hole for up to two pilots. The hole is surrounded with aluminium and magnesium, has a simple turbine on top, on top of which is a simple two-blade main rotor. Bringing up the rear is a small rotor, again a simple two-blader. Out of this aircraft you can hang a multitude of weapons, pylons and hoists, as required. There is a large sliding door on either side of the hole, so that you can conduct any operation from either side. It can be flown or maintained by any person who has passed through an appropriate teaching facility. It can, for the most part, be serviced and maintained in the field with simple hand tools and a few electrical tools such as a multimeter, a battery charger, a fuel pump and a generator and it can be supplied from any Army truck. It can be repaired by anyone who knows how to buck rivets or operate a ratchet." The nearest equivalent were / are the Alouette III and the Mi-2, with the UH-60 as a worthy successor. Every helicopter company that makes helicopters and every armed force that aspires to be a competent helicopter operator should be forcibly issued a UH-1 and told to start again.

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  14. #9
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Usual Suspect View Post




    Sure, numbers shown are merely illustrative of how an appropriately sized common MH-60S fleet might be arrived at. The whole point is to maximise commonality across all aspects of operation to enhance availability, utility, and cross-mission support for all taskings. In practical terms, the only difference between Coast Guard/Ambulance/Garda/General Ops helicopters would be the presence/absence of high-visibility day-glo vinyl on the side doors.

    If the Rangers are given the option to cancel a training mission because of an availability issue, or use a reserve aircraft from elsewhere, I don't think for a moment they'd bat an eyelid.

    The NH90 is a sad and sorry tale indeed, with reported flight availability in the range of 40% and a Typhoon-like cost per flight-hour of €19,000. The AW101 appears a star by comparison with 66% availability and a cost per flight hour of €14,000. Source.

    Lockheed-Martin claim a modest Grippen-like cost per flight hour of €3,000 for the MH-60R/S.

    Total interoperability may be a fantasy, but on the face of it, the MH-60 Romeo and Sierra appear to come as close as may be practicable.

    Plus, the Romeo model in particular, might just be available for a song.



    Noted
    What I mean is that you would end up with helicopters that are very good at 1 mission but are limited in other ones, eg there is a special air ambulance version.... where not everything is removable so really it can only be used in that role.

    Also currently the IRCG don’t own the helos (the service being contracted out)

  15. #10
    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    Both S70 and MH60 versions have been sold abroad.

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    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    At least for the MH/UH-60 there are figures available as to their costs is US service:
    For the MH060R the cost per hour is about $12,500; this is based upon the yearly cost of $5.1m per A/C and around 400 hours per year. The airframe has a design life of 10,000hrs.
    For the UH60M the cost per hour is about $1,100; this is based upon yearly cost of $1.1m per A/C and around 1000 hours per year. The airframe has a design life of 25,000hrs.

    Details can be found at the end of the "OFFICIAL" SAR reports (not some jurno!)
    https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/D...C_2015_SAR.pdf
    https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/D...C_2015_SAR.pdf

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  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    The last time you had a helicopter that satisfied everyone, it was the Bell UH-1D. Bell said, "here is a hole, into which you can fit twelve men or x pounds of cargo. In front is a smaller hole for up to two pilots. The hole is surrounded with aluminium and magnesium, has a simple turbine on top, on top of which is a simple two-blade main rotor. Bringing up the rear is a small rotor, again a simple two-blader. Out of this aircraft you can hang a multitude of weapons, pylons and hoists, as required. There is a large sliding door on either side of the hole, so that you can conduct any operation from either side. It can be flown or maintained by any person who has passed through an appropriate teaching facility. It can, for the most part, be serviced and maintained in the field with simple hand tools and a few electrical tools such as a multimeter, a battery charger, a fuel pump and a generator and it can be supplied from any Army truck. It can be repaired by anyone who knows how to buck rivets or operate a ratchet." The nearest equivalent were / are the Alouette III and the Mi-2, with the UH-60 as a worthy successor. Every helicopter company that makes helicopters and every armed force that aspires to be a competent helicopter operator should be forcibly issued a UH-1 and told to start again.
    And is still being built today in an updated form as the Bell UH-1Y Venom

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  20. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by apc View Post
    And is still being built today in an updated form as the Bell UH-1Y Venom
    Aren't they made from recycling UH1 airframes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Aren't they made from recycling UH1 airframes?
    It was to be, but in '05 they moved to new build airframes instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    At least for the MH/UH-60 there are figures available as to their costs is US service:
    For the MH060R the cost per hour is about $12,500; this is based upon the yearly cost of $5.1m per A/C and around 400 hours per year. The airframe has a design life of 10,000hrs.
    For the UH60M the cost per hour is about $1,100; this is based upon yearly cost of $1.1m per A/C and around 1000 hours per year. The airframe has a design life of 25,000hrs.

    Details can be found at the end of the "OFFICIAL" SAR reports (not some jurno!)
    https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/D...C_2015_SAR.pdf
    https://www.esd.whs.mil/Portals/54/D...C_2015_SAR.pdf
    A thousand hours a year is busy for a helicopter, so it'd use up quite a bit of downtime in that year for maintenance. You do a thousand hours and you are getting into serious part changes, of lifed items and into deep inspections.

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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Aren't they made from recycling UH1 airframes?
    That is the OEM Huey II program based on the single engine UH-1H where they remanufacture and zero hour the airframe, uprated Honeywell T53-L-703 engine, new rotor hub and blades, glass cockpit and a number of off the shelf components from the Bell 212. A tough, dependable jack of all trades that can be airlifted by a C-130 that represents the best value for money military chopper in my view. You can literally buy 5 Huey II's with a training, spares and support package for the price of one NH-90 airframe and the cpfh is a 1/3.

    The UH-1Y Venom is based on the later twin Huey UH-1N. Better but more expensive.

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  26. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    A thousand hours a year is busy for a helicopter, so it'd use up quite a bit of downtime in that year for maintenance. You do a thousand hours and you are getting into serious part changes, of lifed items and into deep inspections.
    The 1000 hours are what the US Army are calculating with and what they have designed the aircraft for. It has a deign life of 25,000 hours over 25 years. Given there high rate of utilisation over the past years this might not be far off the mark. Comparing the maintenance cost of a Mike with a Lime there is more than a 50% difference which could indicate higher utilisation.

    The figure are not mine but from the responsible US Army Program Office.

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    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Usual Suspect View Post
    Given our small size would a future common helicopter fleet, along the Dutch or Danish model, offer substantial advantages?

    [/URL].
    Both the Danes and the Dutch operate a heavy/medium model.
    Danes: AW101 and MH60R
    Dutch: CH47F and NH90 (they also have AH64D just to round out the force)

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    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Semi related

    France has just announced that they are replacing the Gazelle, Alouette III, Panther, Dolphin, Fennec and Puma in all 3 services with the Airbus H160M Cheetah

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Semi related

    France has just announced that they are replacing the Gazelle, Alouette III, Panther, Dolphin, Fennec and Puma in all 3 services with the Airbus H160M Cheetah
    The plan was announced some years ago, today they have announced that the program will be brought forward, should mean that it is available when we need to replace our AW139s.
    https://www.verticalmag.com/press-re...opter-forward/

    There will be a ship-board version also which might mean VARD have to change what is sitting on the flight deck of their MRV!

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  32. #21
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    Airwolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    The plan was announced some years ago, today they have announced that the program will be brought forward, should mean that it is available when we need to replace our AW139s.
    https://www.verticalmag.com/press-re...opter-forward/
    There will be a ship-board version also which might mean VARD have to change what is sitting on the flight deck of their MRV!
    Why would we replace the AW139s (which can carry 8 in troop seats) with one that can carry 5 ?

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    Sergeant Major EUFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Why would we replace the AW139s (which can carry 8 in troop seats) with one that can carry 5 ?
    It is designed to have the same seating capacity as the AW139.
    The capacity is 2 flight crew, two window gunners and 8 seated troops.

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  36. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    It is designed to have the same seating capacity as the AW139.
    The capacity is 2 flight crew, two window gunners and 8 seated troops.
    Thanks but the ones the French are getting are 2 pilots and 5 troops

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Thanks but the ones the French are getting are 2 pilots and 5 troops
    If we wanted we could also configure the AW139 for 2 pilots and 5 troops also.
    Fact is that both have the same size internal cabin and can be configured as the user wants.
    The French do not intend them as their primary troop transport for that they have NH90 rather they would be used for SF insertion.

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