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  • Mi-8s

    If these are the helicopters the Army uses when on operations overseas, maybe these are the helicopters the Air Corps should have...



    (Irish soldiers and Mi-8s in Liberia)

  • #2
    Originally posted by carrington View Post
    If these are the helicopters the Army uses when on operations overseas, maybe these are the helicopters the Air Corps should have...

    The AC did not select Mi 8's so there is no point in discussing it.
    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

    Comment


    • #3
      train as you mean to fight..

      The Air Corps didn't select the NH-90 or the Merlin either...

      The primary purpose of the AW139 is military transport. Unlike most other armies, the Irish Army trains on one helicopter but uses a different one for operations.

      The possibility of deploying AW139s abroad - which would seem to be the most logical option - is currently ruled out by Government policy as set out in the White Paper. The other logical alternative would be to buy Mi-8s for training in Ireland, since they are the helicopters most likely to be used on operations.

      Did the Air Corps even consider this option? If Mi-8s are good enough for operational work, why not?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Carrington,
        Those aircraft are not in use by the Army, they are in use by the UN. Symantics maybe but they are hired as the cheapest tender to a UN contract, they are not selected or approved by the Army nor do the Air Corps have any input to there air worthiness.
        I am not saying the MI 8 is not an outstanding machine but it was never tendered for the AC competition.
        Real Jack,
        The Air Corps 'selected' the best of what was tendered. IMHO the tender system is fatality flawed as companies generally tend to showcase there new unproven machines rather then better tried and teseted options but if its not tendered it cannot be bought.

        T

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by carrington View Post
          The primary purpose of the AW139 is military transport. Unlike most other armies, the Irish Army trains on one helicopter but uses a different one for operations.
          Incorrect.

          In that picture Irish troops are being carried by helicopters operated by another nation involved in the UN mission. There's nothing new in this, the Italians were operating helicopters in Lebanon during the UNIFIL days. Are you suggesting we should have been using Agusta helicopters back then, but swapped to Mi-8s now?
          "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

          Comment


          • #6
            Some kite flying I did 4 years ago:

            http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com...&highlight=mi8
            .
            .
            .
            With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

            Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

            Comment


            • #7
              carrington, regardless of what type of heli the AC flys, the principles of heli operations for the ground based troops are still going to be pretty much the same.

              it doesn't matter what we fly in...just how we can get in and out of them safely and quickly. at the end of the day it doesn't matter whether its a shiny new AW139 or an old, rickety MI-8 its just a bus to get us somewhere else.

              using this argument for the AC getting a particular heli is a bit pointless really. at least now the army can train with helis that have a higher capacity than before, even if it is not as high as assets that may be used overseas.
              Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

              And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

              Comment


              • #8
                Mil offered their Heli(not sure whether Mi-8 or other) for the MLH tender, with western Avionics provided by an Israeli company. It did not make it to the latter stage.

                Kamov also offered a model.


                Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  No Mil offerings in the MLH contest.
                  Only the KA32 with Israeli avionics and Kaman Seasprite were the only two not to make it out of the paper evaluation. The other entrants are well known.
                  T

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FMolloy View Post
                    Incorrect.

                    In that picture Irish troops are being carried by helicopters operated by another nation involved in the UN mission. There's nothing new in this, the Italians were operating helicopters in Lebanon during the UNIFIL days. Are you suggesting we should have been using Agusta helicopters back then, but swapped to Mi-8s now?

                    No, I'm suggesting we should bring our own...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by X-RayOne View Post
                      carrington, regardless of what type of heli the AC flys, the principles of heli operations for the ground based troops are still going to be pretty much the same.

                      it doesn't matter what we fly in...just how we can get in and out of them safely and quickly. at the end of the day it doesn't matter whether its a shiny new AW139 or an old, rickety MI-8 its just a bus to get us somewhere else.

                      using this argument for the AC getting a particular heli is a bit pointless really. at least now the army can train with helis that have a higher capacity than before, even if it is not as high as assets that may be used overseas.


                      Well if it doesn't matter which type of bus you fly in, then if you can get two or three times as many Mi-17s (current version of the Mi-8) for the same money as AW139s, and each of those Mi-17s can carry twice as many troops, it sounds like a no-brainer...




                      The Canadians were considering the Mi-17:
                      http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...3Doff%26sa%3DN

                      Came across this on another site:

                      "CASE FOR RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS
                      For 70 years in the west have been taught that west good and east is bad. This is clearly and intellectually ridiculous. Who after all was the first into space? Who has been stunning the crowds at airshows over the last three years? The Sukhoi 27 with its cobra maneuver and now the vector thrusting Su-37 which stole shows. And who was Igor Sikorsky the founder of the American helicopter industry but a Russian emigrant? In Malaysia they have already broken this mental barrier by purchasing the MIG 29 fighter which has been very successful with a very high rate of serviceability and reliability. If we look deeper in history Indonesia in 50s has been satisfied buyer of the Kazan made Mi-4 helicopters. The Mi-17 is a derivative of the Mi-8. It is the Mi-8 Mark 2. It has bigger engines, an APU and new electrical system and the tail rotor is moved to the other side to increase yaw control to cope with the increased torque but also to improve yaw control in cross wind conditions. And the Mi-17-1V is the Super Mi-17 with engines modified to increase ceiling up to 6000 m (approximately 20000 ft).

                      The first thing you need to get used to with Russian helicopters is that they are not pretty. They look very old fashioned. It is hard to believe that this is a state of the art, in production machine. The basic airframe design is 30 years old and only those things that needed to be changed have been changed. It was ahead of its time when it was built and 9000 units later it has stayed ahead. The aircraft is designed for simplicity. This is not because the engineers did not know how to design anything more complicated but because they wanted to create a vehicle which could be thrown out into the Siberian wasteland with minimal maintenance and spares back up and give the user consistent reliable performance. If you are designing an advanced fighter aircraft or AWACS vehicle or even an attack helicopter, you need sophistication but how much sophistication do you need or can you tolerate in battlefield truck which is what the utility helicopter is. I have watched perfectly serviceable Super Pumas at Aberdeen Airport with engines turning and rotors running but not going anywhere because the computer is indicating no go due to damp or extreme cold somewhere in a printed circuit board. The S-76 rotor brake is a typical example of over designing. You press a switch and it does the rest. It senses rotor rpm and exerts increasing differential pressure as the rotor slows down but it still manages a violent shudder at the final full stop. What is so difficult about a handle and cable where the pilot can protect his aircraft by feeling his way to go wrong and it is easier to fix if it does go wrong. Ever increasing electronic sophistication may be a designer driven assault on the helicopter rather than user driven.

                      An example of Russian thinking is that the Mi-17 undercarriage is fixed and not retractable. You may lose 10 kts of speed but it can take a bard impact in case of careless handling or battlefield necessity. It also makes for ease of maintenance and lack of complex moving parts. The aircraft is remarkably robust and does not need or expect hangar except for deep maintenance. The engine power of the Mi-17 is quite phenomenal. With 2 hours fuel endurance you can fit 30 armed troops on board. In Sri Lanka over 60 troops have been loaded and lifted in an Mi-17 in war zone emergency conditions. The aircraft is well tried and has proved to be very forgiving. They worked in extreme battle conditions in Afghanistan and came home with bullets everywhere but still running. One came home from a 12000 ft mountain top site with only one engine running and 20 bullet holes in the rotor blade. It is a pilot’s friend, a soldier’s friend and a battlefield commander’s friend because it usually gets somehow and can be patched up and sent out again in quick time. One of the most satisfying aspects of the Mi-17 helicopter it its cabin. If you like functional designs like a Land Rover or a good 4WD truck you will like this. The cabin is large with a tracked metal floor. Access is by a sliding door at the front or huge clam shell doors at the back through which you can drive a jeep. The sliding fittings for a 5 tone external load hook are on the main gear box accessed in the roof lining by popper studs (not even a spanner or screw driven needed). Two clip fasteners open the trap door in the floor through which you drop the hook and watch the load. You want a ferry tank or maybe four ferry tanks? Fine. You just fit them into the floor tracking and plug them into the fuel connectors on the cabin wall. You want to jump out? Fine. There is a static line in the roof to hook your parachute to or a 150 kg hoist over the door for a more gentle ride. This is essentially a versatile practical airborne truck and tractor combined. The heart of this helicopter though, is in its engines. Each one producing 2200 shaft horse power (compared to say the S-61 engines at 750). It can operate over a range of - 500C with very little attrition to performance at either extreme. It can carry a 5 tone load with 2 hours fuel externally or internally anytime and any place. What is hard to believe is that you can buy at least 2 Mi-17s and probably 3 for every Super Puma or Black Hawk and yet it will out perform both on almost every parameter. Its fuel burn is slightly higher than most western aircraft but this piece of the mathematics is last in the savings made elsewhere. This aircraft is cheaper not because it is not so good but because of 10 years of 70 years of communist history.

                      This was a vatim geared to creating work and not geared to commercial pricing of its products. They would simply not know how, now, to measure R+D costs on the Mi-17 or how to apply the labor cost or the factory overheads. Pricing is done assuming that all mutial capital costs are already written off. Some people worry about after sales support. Not many people know that over 50 countries outside Russia operate these aircraft and that the system for flow of parts around the world and a very effective AOG system has been in place for a long time. Those countries aligned with the USSR. during the cold war have enjoyed this system for many years but now western aligned countries are being added effortlessly to the list. In summary the Mi-17 is quite simply the best vehicle available for its task and the magic thing is that you can get three for the price of one western equivalent. Buy one squadron for your air force and get two free squadrons. How about that for an offer? From my own point of view I speak from the heart (and from the pocket). If I were offered a western machine in this class alongside the Mi-17 at the same price 1 would take the Mi- 17. It is a superb, powerful versatile cross country truck. Like a good wife it is always at hand when you want it and gives you the support you need without complaint and without fuss. Who needs a helicopter which complains and breaks down in tears when you make real demand on it? Since the break up of the Soviet Union many Russian engineers and designers have been overawed by the technology advances in materials and software particularly in the west and are presenting what they see as their slightly dated products on the market almost apologetically. As their confidence increases so also will the price - so now it is the time for a bargain ”Make the best of it.”

                      C. H. CHAMBERS"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The current fleet were not purchased for overseas operations. Even if they were the Air Corps dont have enough pilots to staff an overseas roster and the UN will not pay for the Army to bring their own machines. Thats why the UN control the aircraft and generally go for UTAir.
                        T

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by carrington View Post
                          No, I'm suggesting we should bring our own...
                          If there is a budgetary crisis involved in sending 350 troops to Chad - how are we as a country going to afford sending the 8 Mi-8/17's pictured above there?

                          Otherwise I'm not knocking your suggestion - I happen to think they are a good old helicopter once people get past the "they're Russian" bias. Although whether we should be looking at a nearly 50 year old design instead of NH90's - which the Finns are replacing their "Hip's" with - I'm not so sure.

                          That one ultimately comes down to the issue of cost.

                          I think if we're sending our troops to trouble spots around the world, the very least they deserve is the best equipment they need to do their job.

                          I don't see the Mi-8 as being the best.

                          Shame I don't have control of the purse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The thing about the Mi-8 Carrington, is that it may be cheap to buy in relative terms to your typical Euro/US chopper, but it is very expensive to operate and sustain in theatre compared to say that old 'western' workhorse the Huey UH-1. For instance I remember been told that a 1200 gallons an hour fuel consumption rate is quite common for the Mi-8. They have a habit of falling out of the sky too much for my liking and require more frequent phase servicing. That said they have an impressive heavy lift capability for commercial work. I have seen one make easy work of 20m steel Chairlift pylons last year on Mt Ruapehu when I was on a Alpine SAREX. On the other hand I don't think this chopper is what the Air Corps needs IF it were to deploy in the future. Maybe if you argued for remanufactured UH-1 II's, a far more cost effective and theatre supportable option for your Air Corp deployment argument - if the cost of acquiring another six AW-139's (to create a deployable rotary flight additional to domestic training support requirements) were a bit too much to ask, you then might get some more traction. At least your thinking of ideas and options, which is not a bad thing. Cheers TK.
                            Last edited by Te Kaha; 7 November 2007, 10:33. Reason: spelling

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Te Kaha View Post
                              The thing about the Mi-8 Carrington, is that it may be cheap to buy in relative terms to your typical Euro/US chopper, but it is very expensive to operate and sustain in theatre compared to say that old 'western' workhorse the Huey UH-1. For instance I remember been told that a 1200 gallons an hour fuel consumption rate is quite common for the Mi-8. They have a habit of falling out of the sky too much for my liking and require more frequent phase servicing. That said they have an impressive heavy lift capability for commercial work. I have seen one make easy work of 20m steel Chairlift pylons last year on Mt Ruapehu when I was on a Alpine SAREX. On the other hand I don't think this chopper is what the Air Corps needs IF it were to deploy in the future. Maybe if you argued for remanufactured UH-1 II's, a far more cost effective and theatre supportable option for your Air Corp deployment argument - if the cost of acquiring another six AW-139's (to create a deployable rotary flight additional to domestic training support requirements) were a bit too much to ask, you then might get some more traction. At least your thinking of ideas and options, which is not a bad thing. Cheers TK.

                              Hey TK, Thanks for the comments. Reasons I suggested the Mi-8/Mi-17 are

                              (i) the Irish Army have used them on UN deployments - if they're good enough for that, they should be good enough to buy;
                              (ii) they can accommodate around 25 troops;
                              (iii) they're very cheap: I read somewhere that a new Mi-17 can be bought for less than €4 million;
                              (iv) they seem to be rugged and strong, albeit not very pretty, but I don't know enough about their operating costs and safety record - maybe there are problems in those areas as you say;
                              (v) as you imply, I'm trying to get people to think 'outside the box': the question should be: 'can it do the job?', not 'does it have all the bells and whistles and will it look nice at an airshow?'
                              (vi) I think your suggestion of a reconditioned Huey would also fit the bill. Let's be honest: all that's needed 90% of the time is a flying truck.

                              People here are always complaining that there aren't enough helicopters and it's all the fault of the Dept. of Finance. Maybe if they looked for a cheap but effective helicopter, rather than the 'Rolls-Royce' option, they could afford a lot more than six small trooplifters.

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