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CVF and Carrier Strike thread

As an ex Merlin maintainer I do have my views on what it is like to work with.

The avionics are very good however as mentioned it is let down by the spares support.
I cannot prove it however I have always suspected that some parts contracts have been neglected and at times we had to wait until we placed an urgent aircraft on ground demand before we could get the parts which then strangely was available but at a much higher unit price.
At one stage we had to cannibalise a main rotor head as none were available. The one we robbed only had just over 100 hours left on it before it needed to be replaced .

Edit. Spelling
 
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As an ex Merlin maintainer I do have my views on what it is like to work with.

The avionics are very good however as mentioned it is let down by the spares support.
I cannot proof it however I have always suspected that some parts contracts have been neglected and at times we had to wait until we placed an urgent aircraft on ground demand before we could get the parts which then strangely was available but at a much higher unit price.
At one stage we had to cannibalise a main rotor head as none were available. The one we robbed only had just over 100 hours left on it before it needed to be replaced .

We "took risk" on stores. It's badly bitten us on the arse.
 

Yokel

LE
We "took risk" on stores. It's badly bitten us on the arse.

Spoiling the ship for a ha'penny's worth of tar - a curse we have suffered since the days of Pepys.

I wonder if certain posters think that if 814, 820, and 824 were equipped with the MH-60R then there would be spares aplenty?

Spares mean resilience. RAB has a lot to answer for.
 
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Mattb

LE
Spoiling the ship for a ha'penny's worth of tar - a curse we have suffered since the days of Pepys.

I wonder if certain posters think that if 814, 820, and 824 were equipped with the MH-50R then there would be spares aplenty?

Spares mean resilience. RAB has a lot to answer for.
No need, US-made kit never goes wrong or wears out - it’s perfect and infallible in every way.
 
.............
I cannot prove it however I have always suspected that some parts contracts have been neglected and at times we had to wait until we placed an urgent aircraft on ground demand before we could get the parts which then strangely was available but at a much higher unit price...........
T'was ever thus. I can't think of one aircraft type which was never a flying diversion order.
 
Spoiling the ship for a ha'penny's worth of tar - a curse we have suffered since the days of Pepys.

I wonder if certain posters think that if 814, 820, and 824 were equipped with the MH-60R then there would be spares aplenty?

Spares mean resilience. RAB has a lot to answer for.

Might have been able to buy three times the amount of spares for the same budget though?

Are we looking at a ASW future capability post Merlin yet?
 
Might have been able to buy three times the amount of spares for the same budget though?

Are we looking at a ASW future capability post Merlin yet?
Probably drones.
 
Underwater drones or like that UAV Firestrike chopper the us trialled
First I think something along the lines of a UAV chopper (possibly fixed wing from the carriers) then surface drones then underwater drones.
 
Might have been able to buy three times the amount of spares for the same budget though?

Are we looking at a ASW future capability post Merlin yet?
Can't remember the price difference between Aden 30mm and the M61A 20mm but the latter was massively more expensive. The US don't do cheap spares.
 
............ The US don't do cheap spares.
Too bloody true. I had to do a course at SM45 at Carlisle to learn the vagaries of the US system for the supply of F4 spares. One item that was given as an example as typical of the inflated cost of the spares was a hexagonal nut that was used to help keep the mainwheel attached to the rest of the undercarriage. At 1974 prices, each nut cost more than $250.

Other nuts, bolts, fasteners, etc weren't much cheaper. That said, Hawker Siddeley, Shorts, Rolls-Royce and Blackburn weren't shy when it came to pricing the spares that they were contracted to produce as part of the F4 programme.

Another item was an 'O' ring seal for the hot air bleed ducts(?). The same item (it was a Spey part) was fitted to the Buccaneer, yet when it was for the F4 it cost four times as much. Even more ridiculous, the part had separate NSNs depending which aircraft it was for, and the engineering rules wouldn't allow them to be interchangeable between the two aircraft even though they were identical in every respect. Guess which item was never available whilst the place was awash with the Buccaneer's NSN.
 
Too bloody true. I had to do a course at SM45 at Carlisle to learn the vagaries of the US system for the supply of F4 spares. One item that was given as an example as typical of the inflated cost of the spares was a hexagonal nut that was used to help keep the mainwheel attached to the rest of the undercarriage. At 1974 prices, each nut cost more than $250.

Other nuts, bolts, fasteners, etc weren't much cheaper. That said, Hawker Siddeley, Shorts, Rolls-Royce and Blackburn weren't shy when it came to pricing the spares that they were contracted to produce as part of the F4 programme.

Another item was an 'O' ring seal for the hot air bleed ducts(?). The same item (it was a Spey part) was fitted to the Buccaneer, yet when it was for the F4 it cost four times as much. Even more ridiculous, the part had separate NSNs depending which aircraft it was for, and the engineering rules wouldn't allow them to be interchangeable between the two aircraft even though they were identical in every respect. Guess which item was never available whilst the place was awash with the Buccaneer's NSN.
Don't suppose you ever looked at Martin Baker split pin prices?
 

Yokel

LE
First I think something along the lines of a UAV chopper (possibly fixed wing from the carriers) then surface drones then underwater drones.

But you need a substantial rotary wing aircraft to haul a dipping sonar in and out of the water, hovering close to the sea is tricky for anything but aircraft with sophisticated controls supervised by a pilot, and you need human operators to deal with the huge amount of data coming from the dipping sonar, sonar buoys, radar, electronic warfare, Electro-optical cameras...

You need to cut it down before you can think about sending it to a ship or another aircraft..... Just the same as the way AEW aircraft have human operators. Unlike an AEW aircraft, an helicopter in the dip will be at very low altitude, and perhaps 100nm from the carrier, so the only way to communicate is via HF, which cannot provide the bandwidth for all that unprocessed sensor data.

Then there are all the other roles. The Americans once has a remotely controlled aircraft to drop a torpedo or depth charge on a submarine detected by a surface warship, but it had nowhere near the flexibility of the RN's Wasp.

Not until there's been a fairly significant change in how data is handled and or transmitted.

The Shannon Hartley law remains in force. So do the principles of Electromagnetic Propagation. Physics and Geography are relatively stable.

As an ex Merlin maintainer I do have my views on what it is like to work with.

The avionics are very good however as mentioned it is let down by the spares support.
I cannot prove it however I have always suspected that some parts contracts have been neglected and at times we had to wait until we placed an urgent aircraft on ground demand before we could get the parts which then strangely was available but at a much higher unit price.
At one stage we had to cannibalise a main rotor head as none were available. The one we robbed only had just over 100 hours left on it before it needed to be replaced .

Edit. Spelling

I thought as much. I have flagged up the lack of spare for key systems on my Improving National Resilience thread.

Back to taking a break from this thread....
 
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Mattb

LE
But you need a substantial rotary wing aircraft to haul a dipping sonar in and out of the water, hovering close to the sea is tricky for anything but aircraft with sophisticated controls supervised by a pilot, and you need human operators to deal with the huge amount of data coming from the dipping sonar, sonar buoys, radar, electronic warfare, Electro-optical cameras,

You need to cut it down before you can think about sending it to a ship or another aircraft..... Just the same as the way AEW aircraft have human operators. Unlike an AEW aircraft, an helicopter in the dipping will be a very low altitude, and perhaps 100nm from the carrier, so the only way to communicate is via HF, which cannot provide the bandwidth for all that unprocessed sensor data.

Then there are all the other roles. The Americans once has a remotely controlled aircraft to drop a torpedo or depth charge on a submarine detected by a surface warship, but it had nowhere near the flexibility of the RN's Wasp.



The Shannon Hartley law remains in force. So do the principles of Electromagnetic Propagation. Physics and Geography are relatively stable.



I thought as much. I have flagged up the lack of spare for key systems on my Improving National Resilience thread.

Back to taking a break from this thread....
Agreed - I think it’ll still be a medium helicopter or a tiltrotor. The only big advantage of a UAV would be size, insofar as you could carry lots of cabs - but I suspect that airframe costs are going to be the limiter on how many a ship carries, not space.

For example, the Type 26 should be able to carry two Merlins but if you look at the floorplan of the multi-mission bay, it’s not far off of being able to carry four.
 
Merlins are fine for reliability; we just didn't buy enough spares to suppprt them in 3rd line maintenance. That it turn just extends the timelines to get anything done.

Like most helicopters, they work best when they're flown pretty intensively.
Canada uses a version of the same aircraft as the Merlin for SAR duties, and I've not heard anything bad about it in the press. All the news reports have been fairly positive. One got damaged by a polar bear, but that's not the helicopter's fault.

The Sikorsky Cyclone ASW helicopter though has been called Canada's worst ever procurement, and that's not an easy trophy to win. According to press reprots we were at one point seriously considering cancelling the Sikorsky Cyclone contract and buying Merlins instead.
 

Yokel

LE
Canada uses a version of the same aircraft as the Merlin for SAR duties, and I've not heard anything bad about it in the press. All the news reports have been fairly positive. One got damaged by a polar bear, but that's not the helicopter's fault.

The Sikorsky Cyclone ASW helicopter though has been called Canada's worst ever procurement, and that's not an easy trophy to win. According to press reprots we were at one point seriously considering cancelling the Sikorsky Cyclone contract and buying Merlins instead.

If I remember correctly, Canada did intend to procure the ASW Merlin (possibly with a local name) as a Sea King replacement, but with the end of the Cold War the ordered was cancelled and the replacement ASW helicopter was kicked into the long grass.

I am from the part of the UK where helicopter orders or cancellations count as local news.
 

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