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  • Light helicopters

    Just two quick questions left over from another thread.
    1.Would it be feasible in the current environment to procure larger helicopters for the LUH role (I'm thinking Bell 412).
    2. Could this class of helicopter perform all the roles currently expected from LUH fleet plus enough new capabilities to justify the expense?
    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

  • #2
    I think a Bell 412 is too big to be considered a LUH.
    "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."

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    • #3
      But would it be too big to fill observation and utility roles?
      I know it has a much more powerful engine which I presume makes it moe expensive to run but if the additional cost was not too great are there benefits of a larger type which might outweigh the cost?
      Or is the larger aircraft simply incapable of fulfilling the basic LUH roles outlined by the whitepaper?
      "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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      • #4
        I'm never getting this answered
        "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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        • #5
          The problem, I think, is that you're looking for a simple answer to a complex issue. Can one helo fill dual roles? Sure, but it won't do either very well. I would say that the term "light utility" is a misnomer to begin with. No such bird. Medium utility yes, but not light. Light helos are good for one thing, and one thing only and thats Observation. But does the IDF actually need a LOH?

          The 412 is a nice piece of kit, no doubt. But, as many countries can attest, in the military Medium lift role, it sucks. With mission equipment attached (armour, guns etc.) you can carry only 4 fully-equipped troops. In hotter weather, they can't even lift the lightest of artillery pieces.

          For SAR, its real nice, unless you are in the hover for more than 15 minutes. At that point, you have to stop what you're doing and go into normal flight for a few minutes, or else the tranny will blow up. I've yet to encounter an actualy SAR mission lasting under 15 minutes. If that could be dealt with, it would be pretty nice.

          Screw all the Gucci kit. Get 212s for medium lift and maybe some 105s for LOH (if LOH is needed). Cheap to buy, cheap to operate and cheap to maintain. Extrememly tough and reliable.

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          • #6
            Well I use the term LUH lightly because really the IACs light helicopter fleet is used for ministerial transport, internal security duties, a smattering of army co-op traioning and as much rescue typework as it can handle, how'd you feel about rescuing trawler crews in a storm in an AIII?
            Really what we're talking about is tacking on some semblance of military value to a squadron that is regarded by the civil authorities as a private air service.
            "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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            • #7
              Something larger than an A109, prices too. It works out at eur 32.85 million per helicopter. It does not say what this contract includes.

              Greece buys 20 NH 90 helicopters for 657 million euros

              01/09/2003 at 14:06:01

              Date line: MARIGNANE, France
              Greece has ordered 20 NH 90 helicopters for a total 657 million euros (721 million dollars) from the Eurocopter unit of EADS, in a lift for the pan-European aerospace sector, Eurocopter said Monday.

              Greece also took options for a further 14 of the next-generation rotary wing aircraft, Eurocopter said.

              The twin-engine, medium-size helicopter is to begin service with the German army in mid 2004, but deliveries to Greece would extend from late 2005 to 2010, if the options are included, the company said in a statement released in this southern French city.

              Philippe Camus, co-president of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) called the contract "remarkable", while Eurocopter president Fabrice Bregier noted the contract "was wrapped up in six months".

              "There is an opening for exports of tactical helicopters and we have come up with the right machine at the right moment," Bregier added.

              EADS international chief Jean-Paul Guth said the deal underscored "the Greek government's will to reinforce European cooperation".

              Along with France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands -- which cooperated in developing the NH 90 -- Finland, Norway, Portugal and Sweden have also placed orders.

              Of the 20 firm Greek purchases, 16 were for tactical transport versions, while four were destined for special operations.

              All are to be transformable to medivac choppers, and equipped with Rolls-Royce-Turbomeco RTM 322 engines.

              The latest deal brings to a total of 325 the number of firm orders for the NH 90, along with options for 86 others.

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              • #8
                The latest information I have, from this morning [that's when I got it], is that the D2 which was in short term storage, is now in long-term storage, rotors removed, sprayed with preserative, coverd in plastic, ect.
                A replacement helicopter is being considerd for the D2's, and presumably the Gazelle] the A111's are to continue for the forseeable, and that the A109 does not appear to be a contender.
                "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
                Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
                Illegitimi non carborundum

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                • #9
                  on the way back from my holidays, picked up one of those airpower magazines at the airport, which had an intresting article about the future of the Dutch air force. However what drew my attention is the fact that the Dutch are planning to keep their alouette IIIs, which have just been overhalued, in service till 2012. What says you to that.

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                  • #10
                    Well as I understand it the uncertainty over the AIIIs future here stems from a shortage of parts, the Netherlands 9 AIIIs are quite probably the last of a much larger number that can be canabalised, we on the other hand have seven...period.
                    I certainly have nothing against the AIII, however given that the white paper called for a fleet of eight light helicopters I thought it might be nice if something slightly more capable across a broader range of tasks could be acquired.

                    The RNAF also has 13 CH-47D, 3 AB412, 27 MBB Bo105C and 17 Cougars, thats not including their naval aviation so I suppose that additional capabilities aren't really needed from their AIII fleet.
                    "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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                    • #11
                      I could pick up 10 Bell 212s with a quick phone call. Fully kitted with weather radar, full IFR, full medevac kit including hoist etc. etc. All for only $3M USD each.

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                      • #12
                        Well it would be a section lifter for only a million more than a basic A109, sounds too good to be true
                        "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sarsteve
                          I could pick up 10 Bell 212s with a quick phone call. Fully kitted with weather radar, full IFR, full medevac kit including hoist etc. etc. All for only $3M USD each.
                          Sounds great allright, is there some other factor that stops governments from doing this?
                          Would these machines all be of the different specs / in need up expensive work in short term / expensive to maintain, or any other factor that would make them non-viable?
                          .
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                          .
                          With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

                          Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

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                          • #14
                            CQ, thou' unable to confirm this we may get 8 A111's, [there is still a possablity of the lake diver being rebuilt], however the vendor, is still willing, at this stage, to supply new parts and there is no shortage, how long this will continue, I have no idea, presumably as long as it remains economicly viable.[spellin]
                            At the end of the day however [in best Roy Keane voice] the A111 still seems to be the best european 'slick' and I would not be suprised if the DoD suddenly became possesed of the urge to aquire some more of them.
                            It remains one of the finest helicopter types available and must remain one of the 'best buy's' DoD ever made.
                            "We will hold out until our last bullet is spent. Could do with some whiskey"
                            Radio transmission, siege of Jadotville DR Congo. September 1961.
                            Illegitimi non carborundum

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                            • #15
                              Nobody makes the Alouette III anymore, so you can't buy them, but they've all recently been overhauled, and could last another few years ( 3 date from the early 1960's, but the other four date from the 1970's). its only defect is that it doesn't have 24 hour capability, which is a gap in capability. however, the fact that the Dutch replaced the AIII with the now retired Bo-105 in the 1970s, but never got rid of them, says much about the quality of the design.
                              Last edited by paul g; 2 September 2003, 19:46.

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