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Light Utility Helicopters

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  • Light Utility Helicopters

    So its official then....we Might be getting new LUH to replace the Gazelle,Alouette and Dauphin Helis. Ignoring the Politics,bull and spin that went with this announcement,what would we expect to be flying rotary wing in the next few years?

    There are a few in the running already,Notably the EC135,and Squirrel used by the GASU,though the Squirrel is a bit small..The A109 is in there also,with many others...I guess we can assume that the type will be european,but given the selection of the Learjet,its anyones guess. We can only also assume that the type will be a military and not civilian type..
    Here are a few of my "suggestions".

    Agusta A109

    Eurocopter EC635

    Eurocopter EC120

    Eurocopter EC130

    Eurocopter EC145

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

  • #2
    I will say one thing it about bl**dy time they got them.
    Hopefully the A109.
    Only the dead have seen the end of war - Plato

    "Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory" Proverbs 11-14


    • #3
      Ill bet that we'll replace a fleet of around 10 or 12 with only 5 or 6. And by the looks of things we will lose the SAR capability forever now. The Govt has STILL let us down.:(
      "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
      "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."


      • #4
        Morpheus, I have to say I don't think that the Government should get all the blame over SAR, yes it would be great to have received the new S/H-92, however, to have a Seaking sitting in Sligo unable to provide 24 hour SAR, while CHC using the same/similar equipment are able to from 3 other locations around the country, leads to some questions and not questions about the Government.



        • #5
          I was under the impresson it was 12 new heli's they were getting, wasnt that what they said on 6.1?

          If its a proper tender and the lowest price then it may not be a european heli, the US helif's are better and cheaper, it will be intresting to see the short list


          • #6
            How about SA330 Pumas

            Would secondhand Pumas be worth considering. There are 10 available with 2 available for delivery within 8 weeks.These are fully overhauled low timed ex South African Air force Pumas.
            The company also has a large spares backup.

            Bearing in mind that the RAF have bought 6 of these South African machines already as attrition replacements for their Puma fleet.

            They also have 2 civilian Pumas for sale possible Vip transports?

            Check it out at this link (Click on Aircraft)

            Puma Specifications.

            Powerplant: Two Turbomeca Turbo 111C4 turboshafts of 1,435shp

            Max Speed: 163mph (263km/h)

            Accommodation: Up to 20 passengers/troops or 7,055lb underslung.


            • #7
              wasn't there a dispute a while ago over six new helis, something to do with a contract row involing Eurocopter and Sikorsky? I remember reading about it and I heard somewhere else that Bertie stuck his nose in and messed up the deal?
              There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today Chatfield
              Admiral of the Fleet David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty GCB OM GCVO


              • #8
                Its a LIGHT utility helicopter....The Puma is a Medium lift..

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


                • #9
                  I realise he said Light Utility Helicopters but is this not a chance for some lateral thinking to be done to acquire a type of aircraft that would massively change the capabilities of the Air Corps and Army.

                  For a reasonable expenditure probably what will be spent on the Light Utility helicopters (Which will have limited uses). The Air Corps could have a heli squadron equipped with 4 Dauphins for naval and army support (refurbished and properly equipped) along with 10 SA 330 Pumas as troop transports. Allowing them to lift over 200 troops in one go. Thus allowing the Army to train in the tactical use of helicopters like every other first world army.

                  The real danger is that a token force of Light Utility helicopters will be bought and all the Air Corps will end up doing is VIP air taxi.

                  The powers that be have to decide what is wanted from the Air Corps. A military force capable of supporting the Army or a VIP transport operation that any banana republic would be proud of. Imagine the amount of use the politicians would get out of a nice shiny fleet of light Helicopters in say the Squirrel or EC 135 class. I can`t see them wanting to get into a muddy Puma equipped for tactical troop transport I doubt it would be comfortable enough.


                  • #10
                    You cannot start rotary flying training on something as unforgiving and complex as a Puma.
                    The 3 still flying Dauphins,1 of which is equipped for naval ops require a €1.5 mil avionics rebuild NOW,and they are useless for the role in any case.
                    If we had bought the LUH in bulk when the GASU got their machine,we would have paid about 2mil each at the time.
                    Even with your puma idea,we stil need training helis. This is why the single type LUH is more practical for our needs.
                    In any case,when would we need to airlift 200 troops? The last irish Puma was used as VIP transport in Ethiopia...

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


                    • #11
                      And Flyer, as much as we would like to, we can't actually buy your company's Pumas as we are a bunch of amateurs and have no impact on DoD thinking....



                      • #12
                        Perhaps the purchase of the LUH could be tied in with a future purchase of a MLH?

                        For example, we agree to purchase 8 EC-635's from Eurocopter with an option on 4/5 NH-90's or Cougars at a later date?
                        "The dolphins were monkeys that didn't like the land, walked back to the water, went back from the sand."


                        • #13
                          First let me make it clear I have no connection with the company selling the Pumas. I cannot see anywhere in my post where I implied that.
                          Secondly my idea about the Pumas could equally be applied to any other types out there if the are available. I just happened to come across that website recently and this thread made me think.
                          At the end of the day it is only a suggestion.

                          As to the training requirements why not retain a couple of AIIIs assuming spares can be sourced for the immediate future or purchase a couple of dedicated training helicopters we certainly don't need more than two training helicopters.

                          When you say the Dauphins need a €1.5 million avionics rebuild is this to IFR or VFR standard.
                          I was proposing a VFR rebuild coupled with a NVG capability which could be done in house and is much less costly something that has been mooted here before. With the added benefit of increased lifting capability. Thus providing a useful aircraft for special forces / recce operations in support of the troop lifters. The Dauphin is not a bad machine it is just useless in the role the Air Corps has used it to date.
                          As far as I know the Dauphins have plenty airframe time left.

                          When I hear people say why would we want to airlift 200 troops I despair. I have to ask the question why would we not want to? Should our Army not train in helicopter operations like the troops of every other European nation ?

                          All I am saying is that if the Air Corps is to have a chance at becoming a military force on a very limited budget then some imagination will have to be used.
                          At the moment they are well on their way to becoming a fantastic VIP transport operation. If that is the future then so be it.


                          • #14
                            What should have been done.....and still poss could... is to tie into the Aer Lingus purchase of Air Bus with somthing from the EADS range & options on MHL's. Has anybody thought about selling the idea of 10 MHL's giving the ability to move 200 VIP's around, thus expanding the most important arm of the IAC (in the govts eyes) MATS!!!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FLYER115
                              First let me make it clear I have no connection with the company selling the Pumas. I cannot see anywhere in my post where I implied that.
                              It was a joke son. Lighten up, tis the season after all.