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Could this be the end of Army Heli Op's?

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  • Could this be the end of Army Heli Op's?

    If the IAC manage to get back into the SAR game now or in the future and considering their SLA with the HSE for Air ambulance, where does that leave Army Heli support?
    If it would take 2 x AW139's to run a SAR base and considering that this would need to be seperate from the Air ambulance machine, what aircraft would be left for the Army? Also if the AW139's are under tasked (as currently must be the case if the IAC appear to be lobbying for new/old roles) do we really need as many to begin with if they are under used and the IRCG door is closed until 2022ish....A lot of other countries seem to be moving towards a light "Air mobile" role for their troops, should we not do the same?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Pause to Remember View Post
    If the IAC manage to get back into the SAR game now or in the future and considering their SLA with the HSE for Air ambulance, where does that leave Army Heli support?
    If it would take 2 x AW139's to run a SAR base and considering that this would need to be seperate from the Air ambulance machine, what aircraft would be left for the Army? Also if the AW139's are under tasked (as currently must be the case if the IAC appear to be lobbying for new/old roles) do we really need as many to begin with if they are under used and the IRCG door is closed until 2022ish....A lot of other countries seem to be moving towards a light "Air mobile" role for their troops, should we not do the same?
    IAC aren't getting near SAR,wouldn't worry about it
    the problem here ultimately is that in order for the aircorps to do either SAR or troop transport effectively it needed a big chopper were talking NH 90,S-92,super puma etc!

    buying the AW-139 meant they can't physically move enough people from A to B in any meaningful way,so the fleet is useless as a transport platform for anymore than a platoon at a time so were not going to be able to do "Air Mobile" anytime soon

    now if we had stuck with those S-92's and not canceled the contract we could have had the ability to move a company at a time

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    • #3
      buying the AW-139 meant they can't physically move enough people from A to B in any meaningful way
      It really depends on what you are doing. Can, for instance, 2 AW139s deployed overseas move troops in combat or large scale patrol scenarios? No of course not, however 2 AW139s could provide at least single aircraft 24/7 availability for a tactical support unit (1 section ready in case of a major incident such as IED attack etc), EOD support, Medivac, outpost resupply, recce, Liason, Comms relay the list goes on.
      Consider also that the Army are going to the Leb next. Italair have provided such services to the Italian Army in the Leb with only legacy aircraft such as AB205s and B212s.
      What this comes down to is if the Army want the AC out there and if the AC want to go. The politics of an outdated White Paper would soon be got around.
      Personally I truly believe that such an operation would breathe new life and a sense of purpose back into the AC while also providing a very significant capability to the Army.

      As of SAR, past history would show that unless the work practices are significantly overhauled it will take a lot more then 2 aircraft to provide a 24/7 service therefore requiring more then 2 of the 6 aircraft. I also believe that PTR is correct, if the AC ever got back into SAR the Army will move back to the 'hind tit' and now, as they would no longer be needed to justify new aircraft or a role, they would be forgotten about. Not rash talk just recent history.
      Tadpole
      Sergeant Major
      Last edited by Tadpole; 16 February 2011, 13:59.

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      • #4
        buying the AW-139 meant they can't physically move enough people from A to B in any meaningful way,so the fleet is useless as a transport platform for anymore than a platoon at a time so were not going to be able to do "Air Mobile" anytime soon
        Was always going to be the problem but yet again the AC were prepared to take what was on the table as opposed to going for what they needed for the future as opposed to what they needed to get the out of a hole when everything else was passed its used by date.

        The arguments were that these would be a lead in for larger machines but now the coffers have dried up they are stuck with a very limited mid range helo.

        Had we gone big the AC would have been able to operate as part of the EU battle group , all we can hope for now is that some of the EU group will insist on a percentage of IAC pilots being qualified on the larger machines and do that through some sort of partnership.

        however 2 AW139s could provide at least single aircraft 24/7 availability for a tactical support unit (1 section ready in case of a major incident such as IED attack etc), EOD support, Medivac, outpost resupply, recce, Liason, Comms relay the list goes on.
        I agree with the theory but with the Ac it has almost always been three to have one constantly available. With the AW139s this is possible but and the big but is are they prepared to accept the consequences of possible losses and the need for replacement should loss be incurred?
        Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tadpole View Post
          It really depends on what you are doing. Can, for instance, 2 AW139s deployed overseas move troops in combat or large scale patrol scenarios? No of course not, however 2 AW139s could provide at least single aircraft 24/7 availability for a tactical support unit (1 section ready in case of a major incident such as IED attack etc), EOD support, Medivac, outpost resupply, recce, Liason, Comms relay the list goes on.
          Consider also that the Army are going to the Leb next. Italair have provided such services to the Italian Army in the Leb with only legacy aircraft such as AB205s and B212s.
          What this comes down to is if the Army want the AC out there and if the AC want to go. The politics of an outdated White Paper would soon be got around.
          Personally I truly believe that such an operation would breathe new life and a sense of purpose back into the AC while also providing a very significant capability to the Army.
          Tadpole it could be argued that the EC-135 would actually be more use in this role! light nimble and can land just about anywhere!

          Comment


          • #6
            Tadpole it could be argued that the EC-135 would actually be more use in this role! light nimble and can land just about anywhere!
            Agreed, unless you want a fast reaction support section plus the 139 has more room for casualty evacuation / assistance. The other issue is that the IAC only have 2 135s used in training etc while they have 6 139s ready and able, its just a case of willing.

            but and the big but is are they prepared to accept the consequences of possible losses
            If they are not then they have no place in the military. Our troops face this risk on every OS mission, while they can numerically be replaced, their lives cannot. The AC even in some small way could, if they want to, provide assistance to the troops OS and provide increased security, safety and invaluable assistance in the event of injury.
            If the AC cannot act as a military organisation, in a military role and accept that bad things can happen then they need to be disbanded. For god sake, you can hire civvies that will do these jobs and in the past we have!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              The reasons we were getting the S-92 was for SAR with 1 as a reserve/troop lift.

              The fleet of AW139s could carry nearly half a coy in 1 lift (that is a meaningful number).

              The US airborne uses Blackhawks and Brits use Lynx (neither of these are medium lift).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DeV View Post
                The reasons we were getting the S-92 was for SAR with 1 as a reserve/troop lift.

                The fleet of AW139s could carry nearly half a coy in 1 lift (that is a meaningful number).

                The US airborne uses Blackhawks and Brits use Lynx (neither of these are medium lift).
                they use those in addition to Chinooks,pumas,seakings,seaknights,merlins,ospreys
                any kind of large movements are done by those

                Comment


                • #9
                  Current DF White Paper restricts AC from being deployed overseas although a new White Paper is apparently due soon. Might be some change to policy then The 139's would be well suited to an overseas role.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pure Hover View Post
                    Current DF White Paper restricts AC from being deployed overseas although a new White Paper is apparently due soon. Might be some change to policy then The 139's would be well suited to an overseas role.
                    how can you say that? it's completely untested in a military theatre of operations

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi PH,
                      I agree the White Paper is a stumbling block but I think its is likely to be a small one. Its period ended in 2010 so could be argued that it is no longer in force. All it would take is a good argument from the DF and the AC would be overseas. All they have to point to is cost of leasing aircraft, lack of safety and control of leased machines and recent 'let downs' in Chad that left injured persons waiting for hours.

                      I think the bigger snag would actually be supporting the operation over there. Logistics would not be a problem as it is 'relatively' close and the AC should at this stage know what consumables, high failure items they require for each 6 months of operations, dependent of course on hours flown.

                      I think a bigger problem would be crews and technicians. Take for example 2 aircraft overseas, one on 24/7 standby and the other as available between maintenance. That would require:

                      24/7: about 6 pilots and 3 crewmen.
                      As available: 2 pilots and 1 crewman.

                      Total detachment: 8 pilots and 4 crewmen.

                      Now I am not sure about the current numbers but I think there are about 20 139 pilots. Therefore doing 2 month stints (Based on RAF method) almost every pilot would be overseas in a 6 month period, or twice every full year. I dont think even the young guns would keep that up for many years. It would certainly take a huge change in mindset, but its not impossible.
                      Tadpole
                      Sergeant Major
                      Last edited by Tadpole; 16 February 2011, 15:30.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tadpole View Post
                        Italair have provided such services to the Italian Army in the Leb with only legacy aircraft such as AB205s and B212s.
                        .

                        Italiar provides support to all contingents in UNIFIL not just the Italian contingent.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tadpole View Post
                          Hi PH,
                          I agree the White Paper is a stumbling block but I think its is likely to be a small one. Its period ended in 2010 so could be argued that it is no longer in force. All it would take is a good argument from the DF and the AC would be overseas. All they have to point to is cost of leasing aircraft, lack of safety and control of leased machines and recent 'let downs' in Chad that left injured persons waiting for hours.

                          I think the bigger snag would actually be supporting the operation over there. Logistics would not be a problem as it is 'relatively' close and the AC should at this stage know what consumables, high failure items they require for each 6 months of operations, dependent of course on hours flown.

                          I think a bigger problem would be crews and technicians. Take for example 2 aircraft overseas, one on 24/7 standby and the other as available between maintenance. That would require:

                          24/7: about 6 pilots and 3 crewmen.
                          As available: 2 pilots and 1 crewman.

                          Total detachment: 8 pilots and 4 crewmen.

                          Now I am not sure about the current numbers but I think there are about 20 139 pilots. Therefore doing 2 month stints (Based on RAF method) almost every pilot would be overseas in a 6 month period, or twice every full year. I dont think even the young guns would keep that up for many years. It would certainly take a huge change in mindset, but its not impossible.
                          wouldn't you need two crewmen to man the GPMG's if the shit hit the fan??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            wouldn't you need two crewmen to man the GPMG's if the shit hit the fan??
                            Apologies, correct and right. You also require 2 if in ten place troop config (8 troops / 2 crew) as single crewman cannot open both sliding doors (Seats restrict movement from side to side).

                            Italiar provides support to all contingents in UNIFIL not just the Italian contingent.
                            Thanks didnt know that. However if everybody over there is happy with 205s / 212s then AW139 should be a step up.

                            how can you say that? it's completely untested in a military theatre of operations
                            TBH, in most respects a helicopter is a helicopter. Dependent on threat level it may need balistic plates etc but thats were you talk to operators already there and ascertain the requirements. Of more note may be the IACs requirement for training / doctrine for military / high risk operations.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tadpole View Post
                              Hi PH,
                              I agree the White Paper is a stumbling block but I think its is likely to be a small one.
                              How is Government policy a small stumbling block?!


                              I think the bigger snag would actually be supporting the operation over there. Logistics would not be a problem as it is 'relatively' close and the AC should at this stage know what consumables, high failure items they require for each 6 months of operations, dependent of course on hours flown.

                              I think a bigger problem would be crews and technicians. Take for example 2 aircraft overseas, one on 24/7 standby and the other as available between maintenance. That would require:

                              24/7: about 6 pilots and 3 crewmen.
                              As available: 2 pilots and 1 crewman.

                              Total detachment: 8 pilots and 4 crewmen.

                              Now I am not sure about the current numbers but I think there are about 20 139 pilots. Therefore doing 2 month stints (Based on RAF method) almost every pilot would be overseas in a 6 month period, or twice every full year. I dont think even the young guns would keep that up for many years. It would certainly take a huge change in mindset, but its not impossible.
                              Also factor in:
                              - cost of getting the aircraft there
                              - cost of deployable maintenance equipment
                              - cost of rotating AC personnel
                              - cost of getting spare from Baldonnel
                              - wear and tear on aircraft

                              Comment

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