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Apache Dusk?

#1
Telegraph article:

British Army's fleet of Apache helicopters 'could be scrapped' - Telegraph

Probably overstating the case re scrapping them but the fact remains that the UK paid something like 3 times the price for 'W'AH64 than if we'd just bought AH64D straight off the Mesa production line in a pathetic and patronising attempt to pretend we still have a helicopter industry. And now those very expensive 'W'AH64D's are looking pretty outdated:

US Army Prepares for Full-Rate AH-64E Production | Military.com
 
#3
...
the fact remains that the UK paid something like 3 times the price for 'W'AH64 than if we'd just bought AH64D straight off the Mesa production line in a pathetic and patronising attempt to pretend we still have a helicopter industry.
That's not a fact, it is a load of bollocks. The UK bought a load of flat-packed AH which were assembled by Westland, with a far better engine slapped in.

Assembling in the UK was cheaper than not.
 
#4
Well it was a British Army Apache pilot who told me they cost 3 times as much and that wasn't justified by the performance benefits. So make of that what you will.
 
#6
Everything I'm told indicates that the engine is much better than that available to other users but it is simply inconceivable that this didn't make them more expensive than the standard aircraft.

What that article does though is provide ample (further) evidence that standards at the Telegraph are pretty abysmal. Just a few errors:


  • "Britain’s Apache gunships have been in use since 2001"
  • "said Col Cash, the commanding officer of 16 Air Assault Brigade."


 
#9
OK can someone please explain how a bespoke version of an aircraft from a production line set up to produce just 59 aircraft can NOT be considerably more expensive than purchasing a 'vanilla' version from a production line which has produced over 1000?
 
#10
I know very little of procurement, but I believe that when the Phantom was bought, using Spey engines was a good idea, higher performance, home built jets, local jobs, but by the time the fuselage had been modified, and extra steel incorporated into the air frame to cope with higher jet temperatures, we were back where we started from performance wise and had added cost to no great advantage to ourselves. That was in a model magazine, so was/is likely to be more accurate, as the model world is full of anoraks.

I can't see that the Apache story would be much different. Nimrod worked out well as against the Boeing AWACS didn't it?

Could we not buy up some pre-owned Hinds? At least the locals could indulge in some lamp swinging nostalgia with their young folk.
 
#13
Everything I'm told indicates that the engine is much better than that available to other users but it is simply inconceivable that this didn't make them more expensive than the standard aircraft.
Quite. They'd still have been three times as much even if they'd been stock airframes with nothing added. The MoDPE could pay Saville Row prices at ******* Primark!
 
#14
OK can someone please explain how a bespoke version of an aircraft from a production line set up to produce just 59 aircraft can NOT be considerably more expensive than purchasing a 'vanilla' version from a production line which has produced over 1000?

UK apaches, better engines, better DASS and some other bespoke mods compared with basic US Army ones.
Could have been done on the line by Boeing, but Wastelands must be kept in the game no matter the cost.
 
#15
They're not the same aircraft. They might look the same but it's not only the engines that are significantly better than the US version.

If we had have purchased the "vanilla" version you describe then we would have had a much poorer piece of equipment in the hands of our lads, with significantly poorer abilities.
Would that be the triumph of quality over quantity then? Not winding you up, but surely three or so 'vanilla' aircraft are going to present a slightly bigger footprint than one all singing, all dancing, helicopter? Going on the prices of £35,000,000, as opposed to $18,000,000. Even allowing for the exchange rate, that's an awful lot to pay for an improved capability, isn't it?
 
#16
The thing I find hard to comprehend is despite all the naysayers about AH - mainly internally from the MoD(RAF) who spent ages telling us how we couldn't use it, how shit it would be, how overpriced it was, how we wouldn't do anything useful with it - out of all of it, the Apache is one of the few MoD procurement success stories of the last twenty years, when measured empirically (ie: has the thing done the job it was bought for at a reasonable cost).

Why are people still knocking the Apache buy? It's been a great success, despite the best efforts of the RAF and their PR machine.

While the Apache is indeed a magnificent beast, it was like buying Ferrari to fetch the milk, and has Ferrari running costs to match.
AH-1W was not only significantly cheaper to buy, was also significantly cheaper to operate and was fully navalized, and considering that Apache is now our sole 'naval' offensive air power, that would have been rather a good thing.
Apache stems from a rush of blood to the head with visions of sweeping majestically along the IGB laying waste to the 3rd Shock Army rather the reality of shooting up shouty blokes with beards and donkeys.
 
#17
All the above posts are largely correct. The MOD paid about three to four times over the odds for a standard Apache Longbow as sold to the Israelis (Subsidies etc taken into account). It is also true that our model is considerably more capable than the standard model.

We could actually have bought the same number of standards from the yanks (assuming we got the same deal as Israel) and given all the people employed to build our model under the defence industrial strategy 1,000,000 GBP and still had change from building them ourselves.

My question is that whilst our model is definitely more capable. And bearing in mind that the Apache was designed to deal with high intensity warfare over western Germany. How much of the increased capability have we actually used. Having worked with both UK Apache and US Cobra we noticed no diference of capability on the ground in Afghanistan.

So yes ours is better but what is the point? Please educate me as a lowly Cbt Arm officer that this capability is designed to support/enhance.
 
#18
You have to take into account the costs of fielding and flying the things.

It's not like buying a load of Ford Focuses and driving down the M1. Would we have been able to afford and support 180 "vanilla" ones, law of diminishing returns steps in rather quickly when you don't have the pilots nor the infrastructure to actually use them.

So bang for buck, was it the correct choice? I would say yes.


Well, if we'd bought something a bit cheaper, the Royal Marines would have gotten the couple if Sqns of proper attack helicopters they'd been promised, instead of limping on with Lynx.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#20
Because basing your capability solely on the war your currently fighting is inherently stupid?

Didn't the Americans introduce the new type cobra as a UOR to reduce apache costs in afghan?




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No the AH-1Z is derived from the AH-1W put forward for the UK comp which was won by the Apache, the USMC agreed for Bell to begin the upgrades back in 1996.
 

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