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Commie choppers

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  • Commie choppers

    1. The two AB-139's operated by the Aga Khan charity were shown on BBC the other day transporting British experts in Pakistan earthquake response. Superb! The main cabin is luxuriously large compared to the UH-1H's and Bell 412's I am accustomed to, and they are quite quick.

    2. As a tangent that will drive the adimistrator nuts, may I suggest that if the IAC prefers to follow-up the current order for four AB-139's with another, more capable aircraft for international missions, but within the same price range - they need look no further than the Mi-171Sh. A significantly upgraded version fo the original Mi-8, with more powerful engines and a hydraulic rear ramp. The czech Air Force is currently recieving twelve and putting them through a NATO interoperability upgrade, as described below. A new M-171Sh runs between $US6-7M each, including the NATO upgrade = a tad bit more than the AB-139. The result is a very capable aircraft, well suited to the types of international military and humanitarian operations Ireland is committed to. Just a thought.

    New Czech Mi-171Sh helicopters set to receive NATO interoperability upgrade:

    The latest version of the Mil Mi-8/-17 'Hip' transport helicopter family introduced into Czech service in August 2005 - the Mi-171Sh - is to receive a domestic upgrade to allow it to operate with other NATO forces abroad without regard to geographic conditions.

    The scope and specifications for the NATO interoperability upgrade have already been specified for prototype installation, scheduled for completion by 2006. Once tested and approved, it is planned that the remaining helicopters will be upgraded in short order.

    The basic equipment fit for the upgraded Czech Mi-171Sh helicopter includes:
    - a stabilised forward-looking infra-red (FLIR) system;

    - multipurpose displays for the moving map, weather radar, planning and combat support system;

    - an AN/ARC 210 radio;

    - a NATO-standard onboard emergency location transponder (ELT);

    - a radio navigation system (including VOR, LOC, GS, MKR and TACAN), plus a Global Positioning System (GPS) fit;

    - a SX-16 searchlight with an infrared filter;

    - a cockpit/cabin air-conditioning unit; and

    - an external hoist (beneath the fuselage) of 4,000 kg capacity (compared with the 3,000 kg capacity of the standard Mi-17 hoist).

  • #2
    Here's a shot of one of a new Czech Mi-171Sh.
    Attached Files


    • #3

      Preaching to the converted


      • #4
        Honestly it would be very hard to see an Russian Aircraft of any kind being brought into service with the Air Corp in the near future. Though it is good to have such idea suggested. The Air Corp still has a requirement for 2-3 Medium Lift Helicopters (MLH) in the class of the Agusta Westland EH101 as the Air Corp and the Army have an requirement for rear ramp capable rotary aircraft capable of carrying a defender sized ARW jeep or similliar. I think the Air Corps Preference is for the EH101 but this aircraft still is not perfected and will need several more years servive to get rid of all problems. So in a sense we are lucky to have time to build up a capabilty on modern helicopters such as the EC-135/AB139.
        British officer: You're seven minutes late, Mr. Collins.
        Michael Collins: You've kept us waiting 700 years. You can have your seven minutes.

        [As the British flag comes down]

        Michael Collins: So that's what all the bother was about.


        • #5
          Good points BM. I too am fond of the Merlin Mk3, and expect the upgraded Mk3 proposed by Agusta Westland for the soon-to-be-selected RAF/RN Battlefield Support/Commando helicopter will be a terrific machine incorporating lessons learned with the Merlin thus far. A prime candidate to satisfy the IAC's requirement to be sure, alongside the NH-90. Depends on what the Government is willing to spend.

          The Mi-171Sh only becomes an option if cash is a problem. This is why the 139 options have yet to be taken up - keeping additional 139's as an affordable option. Of course four Merlins/NH-90's would be ideal, but four Mi-171Sh's would provide more capability than four more AB-139's. Don't misunderstand, the 139 is a superb machine and a good choice for domestic/national tasks, and would be fine for international missions as well, just not as capable as a larger, ramped battlefield helicopter, as you pointed out.


          • #6
            Hi there
            Given that Russian-made equipment has the lowest overhaul life of any kind for it's engines and equipment,what would be the point? Secondly,because the Czechs are not the original manufacturer of Mil helicopters,there might be certification issues. The Air Corps' fleet is already confusing enough,spares-wise,without adding another supply source to it.


            • #7
              Deadline Extended For Light Utility Helicopter Proposals
              10/14/2005 10:27:24 AM
              By Marc Selinger

              The U.S. Army has briefly extended the deadline for contractors to submit proposals for the Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) program, following a request for more time from one of the competitors.

              The Army originally asked for all contractors proposals to be turned in by Oct. 12, but it recently agreed to delay the cutoff by eight days, to Oct. 20, after MD Helicopters requested an extension. MD Helicopters revealed Oct. 6 that it was parting ways with its major teammate, Lockheed Martin, for economic reasons.

              MD Helicopters spokesman Ken Jensen said Oct. 13 that his company had hoped to make the original deadline but eventually realized it would need more time to revise its proposal to reflect Lockheed Martin's departure. The response to the Army's request for proposals (RFP) is expected to be more than 400 pages and be filled with technical information.

              Lockheed Martin's pull-out "obviously created a disruption in completing the answer to the RFP, and it just took a little bit longer than we hoped to get everything down on paper," Jensen told The DAILY. "We wanted the opportunity to submit the very best possible response to the Army, and that's why we requested" an extension.

              Jensen said he does not expect the extension request to hurt MD Helicopters' chances in the competition. The company believes its helicopter, the MD Explorer, is the only one that meets the Army's performance and price specifications.

              "We feel very good about our chances," he said.


              • #8
                Re Russian helicopters the future Mi-38, the Mi-17 replacement, shall be along in a few years (2007 alledgedly). Built to all appropriate European safety specifications etc it will come with a pair of Pratt and Whitney engines and a Eurocopter designed cockpit. It would fill many countries medium transport needs that can't afford an EH101 or S92.
                Si vis pacem para bellum