Army Rumour Service

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

CVF and Carrier Strike thread

“The Royal Navy’s Merlin Mark 2 and Mark 4/4A helicopters are currently planned to go out of service in 2029 and 2030 respectively.”

SH-60 or NH-90, Pick one.

Neither - by that point we should be looking at next gen platforms coming into service
 
“The Royal Navy’s Merlin Mark 2 and Mark 4/4A helicopters are currently planned to go out of service in 2029 and 2030 respectively.”

SH-60 or NH-90, Pick one.

Things change - once upon a time the T23s were planned to leave service from 2010. In any case, picking between airframe designs that are both over twenty (one nearly forty) years old that don't meet the requirement may not be the smartest choice.

I would concede that buying a twenty year old design that does meet the requirement is also sub-optimal - particularly without addressing the known frailties and the ILS.
 
“The Royal Navy’s Merlin Mark 2 and Mark 4/4A helicopters are currently planned to go out of service in 2029 and 2030 respectively.”

SH-60 or NH-90, Pick one.
Life extension.
 
You can make a Lada ’reliable’ if you keep a mountain of every conceivable spares to hand.

the claims they are ‘reliable’ are false. They are ‘reliable’ due to insane levels of fleet cannibalism to keep the ones on point turning and burning, leaving the user with none for any surge need. When the Falklands kicked off, the RN was able to roll large numbers of Sea Kings cooling their heels out of hangers and deploy them as they weren’t all being used as parts kits.

20 years of constant work has failed to get fleet availability above 50%.

When the main user refuses to buy any more, and the very buoyant international medium lift helicopter market refuses to buy them, it’s a Gods way of telling you it’s not a Hawk, it’s a Turkey.
Lewis?
 

Mattb

LE
If only the 60R was capable of meeting the requirement for ASW. Having a dipping sonar and being able to carry a torpedo is not necessarily meeting the requirement.
No, being US-made is the requirement.

In Meerkatz’ mind.
 

FEASG

LE
“The Royal Navy’s Merlin Mark 2 and Mark 4/4A helicopters are currently planned to go out of service in 2029 and 2030 respectively.”

SH-60 or NH-90, Pick one.
Well we wont have to even think about any can kicking until at least 2025 then.
 
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.
That's roughly correct. The original Merlin cancellation however was more driven by the helicopters being a victim of austerity, as the country was in dire financial straights at the time.

Following a decade of austerity, the books were in good enough shape to start spending money again. New SAR helicopters had been bought and they were based on the same aircraft as the Merlin. They were seen as successful, and the logical choice was seen as buying the planned Merlins.

However, picking the Merlin this time was not on for what were alleged to be political reasons. Allegedly having cancelled the contract, it would look bad on some people to turn around and buy the same helicopter after all.

So, a different helicopter had to be found. Aside from the Merlin there was whatever the Americans were using, but I understand that was seen to be somewhat unimpressive. I'm not an ASW expert, and detailed information of what is a very sensitive set of technologies never really makes it into the newspapers, but I get the general impression that Canada has seen recent generations of American ASW helicopters as lacking in capability, and we wanted top of the line performance. You can think of it as like with fixed wing MPAs, not all platforms are created equal and different countries are satisfied with different levels of performance.

Sikorsky offered their product, in what was supposed to be a low risk oft the shelf purchase. It was "off the shelf" in the sense that it was an existing helicopter, but it was new in the ASW role. Canada specified all the kit, and Sikorsky fitted it into the aircraft.

There have been no complaints in the press that I am aware of about the performance of the ASW kit in the helicopter.

Sikorsky's end of things though was a disaster from start to finish, with the problems starting with the project being massively late and then after delivery there being multiple problems, mainly relating to safety. The aircraft spent the first part of its life with Sikorsky being unable to have it rated as safe to fly over water, which is somewhat of a disadvantage for an ASW helicopter. They got past that hurdle eventually, but there have been several safety problems since, including the recent crash over the Mediterranean which killed all the crew.

The Sikorsky contract could have been cancelled by the government without penalty due to non-compliance by Sikorsky, but the government decided to persevere anyway, perhaps for reasons of saving face.

This saga was discussed somewhere here on ARRSE, and at the time I believe I said I had the impression that it was highly likely the contract would be cancelled for non-compliance. The most likely alternative was apparently the Merlin, although I suspect the ASW kit would have been that which Canada specified for the Cyclone.
 
Last edited:
Well as we are out of the Helicopter game, seems like European Trash or American.

Which is a shame because our capability specifications and requirements probably make for the best theoretical platforms in class.

For example, as much as the Airframe disaster on MRA4 - its mission system based on U.K. requirements now sits in some form in the P-8.

Sounds like the Merlin, in a better platform, could also be the ASW helo of choice and some of our naval vessels are pretty shit hot too?

I wonder if we would ever get back into rotary wing?
 

riksavage

Old-Salt
Is the answer - anything US Built because that will do the job regardless of specs far better than anything built by a European country be it ships, RW, FW, Armour, missiles, cannon, bombs,
Unless it’s called Zumwalt DDG or LCS. Two programmes that put the Indian procurement process to shame. USN already decommissioning LCS that are less than six years old yet are still ordering new hulls, go figure?

 
Last edited:
Merlins are typically Italian, just like my Vespa PX, (that was made by an Italian aircraft company too, Piaggio), looks beautiful, handles like a dream, but allergic to water, bits keep dropping off and always breaking down.
There cars always seem to work best in reverse gear for some reason.
 
Nobody has told them they were meant to do this.
Who? The Russians? Their numbers have dropped but the submarine forces have had better investment than everyone else.
 

Yokel

LE
I keep promising myself that I will stop posting on this thread until there is significant news - STDE21 perhaps?

However:

a. @Not a Boffin can probably answer this. When the requirements were written for the Sea King ASW replacement, did that include increased range and endurance over the Sea King, and also MH-60/NH-90? That of course increases mass and cost, but is worth it if you can provide the same level of coverage (time on station/in the dip) with six aircraft instead of nine. With Junglies now going to sea routinely they can pick up many of the SAR/VERTREP type jobs.

Someone with greater mathematical modelling experience (@jrwlynch perhaps?) can answer that. My mental queuing theory calculation says that you need less transits to or from the carrier. The key metric is not the number of launches, it it time on station. Little's theorem anyone? This is PWO(U)/FASWC type stuff - clever people like @alfred_the_great and others.

b. Was the greater endurance the reason for Canada's preference? @terminal

c. Is the UK out of the Rotary Wing game? Since when?

d. Poland ordered Merlin for ASW/CSAR not so long ago - see here. I presume that they are still on the production line. Can NATO have a whip-round and buy them a few more, as they are on NATO's front line?

e. The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force has started operating the MCH-01. I am not sure if this includes Yeovil made parts as well as a licence. @Raven2008 might now.

f. Leonardo at Yeovil are working on Crowsnest, and has very productive workers according to this:

independent analysis from experts at Oxford Economics revealed that employees at Leonardo are 80% more productive than the national average, largely because the company’s highly-skilled engineers generate high-tech IP the UK, which can be exported globally.
-----
Producing the UK’s next military helicopter on-shore is seen as a way of preserving high-value design and manufacturing jobs and boosting the economy, with every £1 invested in Leonardo putting £2.40 back into the economy, the firm said.


g. The global role of the carriers includes the carriers and a commitment to NATO. In the event of a major crisis in the NATO theatre...

h. Not only is Russia building and updating its submarines, they are exporting them, as are China. Iran and North Korea are happy to share submarine technology. They are other producers, and the threat for submarines and aircraft poses a threat to crisis response shipping, amphibious forces, and even peacetime shipping.

i. The carrier is about sea control as much as power projection.
 
Last edited:

bob231

War Hero
Who? The Russians? Their numbers have dropped but the submarine forces have had better investment than everyone else.
This was my point (clearly clarity suffered for comedy). The Russians have reduced their submarine fleet but it's still active and does enough to make it of significance to NATO.
 
This was my point (clearly clarity suffered for comedy). The Russians have reduced their submarine fleet but it's still active and does enough to make it of significance to NATO.
Yeah, it had dropped off though and didn't wander far from home port. Back to the good old days now. Russia Stronk after all.
 
I keep promising myself that I will stop posting on this thread until there is significant news - STDE21 perhaps?

However:

a. @Not a Boffin can probably answer this. When the requirements were written for the Sea King ASW replacement, did that include increased range and endurance over the Sea King, and also MH-60/NH-90? That of course increases mass and cost, but is worth it if you can provide the same level of coverage (time on station/in the dip) with six aircraft instead of nine. With Junglies now going to sea routinely they can pick up many of the SAR/VERTREP type jobs.

Someone with greater mathematical modelling experience (@jrwlynch perhaps?) can answer that. My mental queuing theory calculation says that you need less transits to or from the carrier. The key metric is not the number of launches, it it time on station. Little's theorem anyone? This is PWO(U)/FASWC type stuff - clever people like @alfred_the_great and others.

b. Was the greater endurance the reason for Canada's preference? @terminal

c. Is the UK out of the Rotary Wing game? Since when?

d. Poland ordered Merlin for ASW/CSAR not so long ago - see here. I presume that they are still on the production line. Can NATO have a whip-round and buy them a few more, as they are on NATO's front line?

e. The Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force has started operating the MCH-01. I am not sure if this includes Yeovil made parts as well as a licence. @Raven2008 might now.

f. Leonardo at Yeovil are working on Crowsnest, and has very productive workers according to this:

independent analysis from experts at Oxford Economics revealed that employees at Leonardo are 80% more productive than the national average, largely because the company’s highly-skilled engineers generate high-tech IP the UK, which can be exported globally.
-----
Producing the UK’s next military helicopter on-shore is seen as a way of preserving high-value design and manufacturing jobs and boosting the economy, with every £1 invested in Leonardo putting £2.40 back into the economy, the firm said.


g. The global role of the carriers includes the carriers and a commitment to NATO. In the event of a major crisis in the NATO theatre...

h. Not only is Russia building and updating its submarines, they are exporting them, as are China. Iran and North Korea are happy to share submarine technology. They are other producers, and the threat for submarines and aircraft poses a threat to crisis response shipping, amphibious forces, and even peacetime shipping.

i. The carrier is about sea control as much as power projection.

i could probably answer most of these

Re JMSDF MCH101 info below


Re Poland AW101 purchase of x 4 : they be delivered in 2022, as they started to lay the airframe tooling. in support also Military Aviation Works No. 1 (WZL-1) in Łódź (Poland), where a helicopter operation support center will Be set up. Gdansk Uni Center of Maritime Military Technologies is somewhere involved. Leonardo sub over there PZL Swidnik is also manufacturing some parts of the airframe.

The Merlin is a complex expensivel platform with very small users ...sure got Aeronautica Militare Italiana and Marina, RNoAF NAWSARH (Norwegian All Weather SAR Helo), and RDAF and RCAF already using for SAr and trooping (Danes) but as an ASW/ASUW platform its out of reach. First off all look at how much physical and technical infrastructure is needed to support our s and Italians and the cost. Also look the hangarage and size of other average NATO warship. We did fine on our Type 23 to handle and hangar the Merlins.
Hence why likes of Spain, Greece, Denmark happy with SH-60/MH-60 as it’s small, effective, and cheaper than Merlin. French Aeronavale, Norway having the NH90 NFH for their Coast Guard / Navy is simply replacement for Lynx likewise with German Navy NH90 NFH Sea Tiger. Forgetting the tech and other issues surrounding the NH90 ..on paper it’s acceptable. Rumor has it Spain is eyeing the MH-60R to replace the SH-60B even though speakign to a Spanish delegate at military helicopter conference he said the NH90 NFH slated for SH-60B replacement.

At the end of the day is about cost, convenience , infrastructure thrown in with politics.

Canada is a funny one, as originally Merlin was slated as Sea Kong replacement as well as AS532UT Cougar but as it happens politics etc etc went in our out then damn near 2 decades later after pressure to replace the aging SK Fleet..the CH-148 is selected ...and takes few years in service.

Cormorant as SAR platform for them works with long range and covering remote areas..however speaking to few Canucks, with the extended contract and modification for the Cormorant for next fe decades...there’s a bit of ummming and agghing perhaps they like some comepttiveness with the other OEMs...

Problem is no one apart from Sikorsky and Airbus Helicopters that has similar airframes for the task.

We are not really out of the helicopter business just being Part and Part of a parcel re Development ...cant do it on our own.

cheers
 
(...) b. Was the greater endurance the reason for Canada's preference? @terminal (...)
Defence procurement tends to be very opaque in Canada. It is very rare that any sorts of details about requirements are ever made public, except in the most general terms, and specifications are generally made public again only in very general terms and after all decisions have been made. The government does not welcome public debate on these sorts of details, and generally the public don't push these issues. Debates in parliament tend to centre around how many are needed, when they are delivered, and how much they cost.

The Sikorsky Cyclone has only been making the news in Canada because of the project being massively late and there being major safety problems with the aircraft after it did reach service.

The DND web site gives basic aircraft specs, including a range of 740 km. If Wikipedia's numbers are correct (this is always a risk), then the Cyclone has considerably less range than the Sea King did (998 km). How well range figures translate into endurance on ASW operations is something that I can't answer.



The different sizes of the various helicopters out there are worth noting. The numbers are again from Wikipedia, and so the usual caveats apply. However, if they are correct then it's notable that the Merlin and Cyclone are considerably larger than the American MH-60R or European NH90. I assume that something extra worth paying for is going into that additional size or else they would have used smaller helicopters and saved money. It's particularly worth noting that both the Cyclone and MH-60R were built by Sikorsky, so it's not as if Sikorsky didn't have an existing off the shelf airframe to offer Canada.
  • Sikorsky Cyclone: 13,290 kg
  • Merlin: 14,600 kg
  • Sikorsky MH-60R: 10,433 kg
  • NH90: 10,600 kg

I don't know if you're going to get a clear answer from anyone as to why some countries feel they need ASW helicopters which are 40% larger than what some other countries are using. ASW is one of those areas of defence where not a lot of reliable information gets published in places accessible to the public.
 

Latest Threads

Top