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  • #16
    Originally posted by Anzac View Post
    The Huey is the still the greatest and yes maybe not the best but still the greatest. What other helicopter can you hear that distinct Whocka Whocka beat in the distance and you immediately get the Rolling Stones Paint it Black in your head.

    They built over 10000 of them and in Vietnam they flew 11 million hours combat flight time more than any other aircraft in the history of warfare.
    I hear you, just like the WIllys MB was the greatest jeep ever but it is not something I would want to ride into combat today.

    Just over a year ago we saw the large helicopter assault of Hostomel Airport using a fleet of Mi-8 and Ka-52 helicopters. And from the start even at these early stages of the war we saw losses of Mi-8s to MANPADS, most likely Igla missiles. An UH-1D would have suffered even worse in such an encounter due to its single engine. While the vast majority of military helicopters will never see the battlefield that is what they are designed for. To transport troops and equipment sometimes into contested ground. IMHO a modern helicopter such as the UH60M or NH90 stand a btter chance than a UH1D no matter what "street cred" it has. The NH90 with its armoured pilot seats, defensive aids suite and countermeasures has the edge. If that would be enough one can only speculate.

    If your military only wants something to fly around an island far from any conflict then a civil helicopter painted green will do. If on the other hand it might be needed fight against a near peer opponent (not COIN) then you need something designed for the job.

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    • #17
      You remember that the Early German NH90 had issues with the rear ramp being damaged by troops using it to enter, exit the aircraft... that the cargo floor was too weak to support the cargo. Also an engine exploded during a training mission, and other issues were reported too, ranging from the spontaneous activation of the windshield wipers to uncontrolled movement of the loading ramp—which can alter flight characteristics. The engine failure reportedly overloaded a control panel, causing the other malfunctions. The alterations made to strengthen the cargo deck in subsequent aircraft, meant the type was now too heavy to operate from Netherlands Naval Frigates.
      For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
        You remember that the Early German NH90 had issues with the rear ramp being damaged by troops using it to enter, exit the aircraft... that the cargo floor was too weak to support the cargo. Also an engine exploded during a training mission, and other issues were reported too, ranging from the spontaneous activation of the windshield wipers to uncontrolled movement of the loading ramp—which can alter flight characteristics. The engine failure reportedly overloaded a control panel, causing the other malfunctions. The alterations made to strengthen the cargo deck in subsequent aircraft, meant the type was now too heavy to operate from Netherlands Naval Frigates.
        As you mentioned "early German NH-90s" and it seems others have not had such issues. In terms of engines most seem to have involved the TRM332 rather than the T700. As the RTM332 is itself also a co-operative design this has many of the issues the overall aircraft has due to the organisation behind it. And then there is the issue of local certification; the Australians could not fast rope at a time other nations /France and Greece) were fast roping all the time. In Europe most of the existing fleet is now being rotated through an upgrade to a more common standard vased upon the Qatar standard. This hopefully will decrease cost while increasing availability,

        As for the Dutch frigates that does not add up. The NH.90 is designed as a 11t aircraft and the vessels were design to cope with a 11t helicopter. That the cargo deck gets a reinforcement does not mean the MTOW goes up, what it means is the payload goes down. This is that the MTOW always remains the same, that is why it is called maximum. BTW the MH-60R is also a 11t aircraft with a MTOW of 10,433kg. AFAIK the Dutch still operate their NH-90 off their frigates and OPVs. For the LPDs they are rated for the CH-47 which is a 23t helicopter.

        While many focus on the aircraft and the supply of spare it was the Belgium who gave a slightly different insight and that is lack of personnel to service the aircraft. The NH-90 is more complex, it has many more systems than a UH-1D. If people are missing then as we know ourselves it is difficult to keep a fleet operational. A less complex aircraft is just easier to keep flying.

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        • #19
          NH90 is specifically “designed” to allow differences (sometimes major) between different user’s models.

          inherit flaw as no 2 counties aircraft are the same

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          • #20
            Originally posted by EUFighter View Post



            While many focus on the aircraft and the supply of spare it was the Belgium who gave a slightly different insight and that is lack of personnel to service the aircraft. The NH-90 is more complex, it has many more systems than a UH-1D. If people are missing then as we know ourselves it is difficult to keep a fleet operational. A less complex aircraft is just easier to keep flying.
            That's a reflection of one of the other major criticisms of the NH90; that's it's not designed to be easily maintained and supported in a military operational setting, unlike the UH-60 for example. Perhaps the partners in NH Industries just didn't have a lot of experience in designing purpose built military helicopters?

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            • #21
              The Japanese have just reimagined the Huey with their Subaru UH-2 based on the Bell 412 airframe with Pratt & Whitney PT6T-9's. Its takes the virtues of a combat proven, tough, reliable, easily deployable and FOB maintainable utility helicopter with all the latest self protection and digital systems as found in the UH-60M.

              This is from a highly advanced major industrial country that soon will have the 3rd largest Defence budget in the world and essentially could have selected any chopper it wanted for the next 30 years. The first six rolled of the low rate production line for Eur $100m. The UH-2 will be used by both the JGDF and the Japanese Coast Guard with 150 to be built and they are looking for export orders.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by SouthernOne View Post

                That's a reflection of one of the other major criticisms of the NH90; that's it's not designed to be easily maintained and supported in a military operational setting, unlike the UH-60 for example. Perhaps the partners in NH Industries just didn't have a lot of experience in designing purpose built military helicopters?
                Some did, but not the ones who's idea it was. Some could suggest that Airbus(Eurocppter) & Leonardo(Agusta) designed it to fail, and not compete with its own military line, the EC225/725 & the EH101.
                For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                  How many US Army Huey were lost to enemy fire as opposed to mechanical failure/accidents? It was reported to have been a sturdy aircraft, given it was one of the first TP Helis in frontline service. Most of its Vietnam era pilots would have trained on piston powered helis.
                  The thing about Huey operations in Vietnam is that it essentially stripped home and European based units of every available spare part but they had depot level repair facilities in Thailand and Japan and aircraft were routinely rebuilt to new standards and sent back into operations. In the field, they consumed vast quantities of rotor blades, engines, fuel tanks, weapons, flight instruments, windscreens, doors, tailbooms and so on, from battle damage and accidents but they also had huge amounts of trained repairmen at home and in the field, who kept the aircraft going and maintenance personnel had wide latitude to keep them flying, so aircraft were often simply patched up and sent back out, to a standard that would horrify today's aircraft legislators. Hueys were also relatively easy to fix and they were often patched on the ramp with sheet metal and sent out in short order. Do Western armies even practise battle damage repair anymore?
                  Current operators of the NH90 are chronically short of repair staff, spares (especially expensive computers) and all the cool toys like FLIR and NVGs are very expensive and built in too few numbers so operators are trying to maintain Huey reliability and availability with aircraft that are at least as sophisticated as the latest Airbus or Boeing big jet. It doesnt help when the individual countries insist that "their" aircraft has features that are unlike every other operator. A lot of this is down to pressure from home industries on the Militaries to accept their products over the standard. That's one of the reasons why contracts are written to limit annual flight hours, because the manufacturers want to keep a tight rein on supply and don't want to have to build stock that will sit on a shelf and cost them money.
                  As for Ukrainian operations being detrimental to Russian made helicopters, I'd wager that if you had a sky full of NH 90s and Airbus 139s, they'd get shot down just the same. A significant amount of the losses are gun kills and a lot of the losses are down to poor tactics by the crews. That's on both sides. No-one knows what the accident rate is, either, as every loss is put to down to enemy action, unless it is seen to happen.

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                  • #24
                    The issues that the NH90 has suffered are not unique to it, look at the Puma IFV, all failed in a recent test. Then there is the Prince of Wales carrier which fail apart anytime it see the open sea, same with the Type 45 destroyer and the Ford class. And it is not just in the West, what has happened to the Su-57, T14 and all the other wonder weapons from the Red Square parades?

                    And these complaints are not new, when the Tornado entered service there was criticism; too costly, too much maintenance, same with the Abrams and Bradley. Even the UH-60 was complained about that it was much more expensive to operate than the UH-1. And we should not forget there were plenty of different platforms around as well as more moeny and people. More money meant that there were more spares, conscription meant that there were more specialist (you got sent where you were needed). We should not forget that most countries spent nearly 20% of the budgets on defence. As that got cut the bean counters on both sides looked how to reduce costs. This meant less spares and overall production numbers.

                    And lastly is the industrial set-up of NHI, owned mainly by Airbus and Leonardo both of which similar product offers. Thus in the medium helicopter competitions over the past few years no NH-90 has been offered. Airbus offers the H225M or H175M for medium lift uses while Leonardo pushes the AW149M. WHy try and fix a product with a bad image when you can push your 100% own product which does not suffer from this poor image?

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                    • #25
                      Interesting view points on why Australia has had NH90 issues and New Zealand hasn’t

                      https://asiapacificdefencereporter.c...nce-logistics/

                      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/...atives#new_tab

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                      • #26
                        Interesting background on NZ project background (under equivalent to FOI)

                        https://www.nzdf.mil.nz/assets/Uploa...rocurement.pdf

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by DeV View Post
                          Interesting view points on why Australia has had NH90 issues and New Zealand hasn’t

                          https://asiapacificdefencereporter.c...nce-logistics/
                          That has been rebutted so many times, it's a little monotonous. Why would the NH90 be the only platform in ADF service to be supposedly affected in this way?

                          The ADF has been operating the NH90 alongside UH-60s and MH-60s for a long period of time, and knows full well which platform better suits its needs, and what it costs to operate both.

                          Other than the NH90, the Kiwis only have experience with the old UH-1 and AW109, which is not really a military helo.
                          Last edited by SouthernOne; 3 July 2023, 05:01.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by SouthernOne View Post

                            Other than the NH90, the Kiwis only have experience with the old UH-1 and AW109, which is not really a military helo.
                            SH-2F and SH2G as well.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by DeV View Post
                              Interesting view points on why Australia has had NH90 issues and New Zealand hasn’t

                              https://asiapacificdefencereporter.c...nce-logistics/

                              https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/...atives#new_tab
                              The NZDF has had issues. A 2012 Auditor Generals Report was scathing on the NH90 acquisition.

                              Southern One is right in that the ADF had a benchmark to judge the NH90 against in the UH60 which in hindsight for both Forces was the MUH that they both should have bought right from the get go.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Anzac View Post

                                The NZDF has had issues. A 2012 Auditor Generals Report was scathing on the NH90 acquisition.

                                Southern One is right in that the ADF had a benchmark to judge the NH90 against in the UH60 which in hindsight for both Forces was the MUH that they both should have bought right from the get go.
                                It's a similar story with Sweden. Initially they purchased a small number of UH60s for "interim" use. Fast forward a decade and they have decided to walk away from the NH90 and apparantly plan to acquire additional UH60s and potentially MH-60s.
                                Last edited by SouthernOne; 3 July 2023, 23:32.

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