Little birds

ZW Clanger

Clanker
Always been intrigued with these...a fave of USSF and I see that the Philippines have just received an offer from Boeing for a AH-6i variant.

Question is wouldn’t these provide a light attack option for the AAC at a significantly reduced cost to the Lynx sorry I mean Wildcat?

Alternatively a replacement for the aged Gazelle?
 

Bad CO

Admin
Famously the Gp Capt Air Advisor in DSF was visiting an AAC unit operating in Baghdad in about 2006/7. They were all stood round the ops room table and he told them that if the AAC didn't get Little Bird under a UOR then he'd eat the table.

No little birds and the table remains unconsumed.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Famously the Gp Capt Air Advisor in DSF was visiting an AAC unit operating in Baghdad in about 2006/7. They were all stood round the ops room table and he told them that if the AAC didn't get Little Bird under a UOR then he'd eat the table.

No little birds and the table remains unconsumed.
I bet the Gp Capt substituted the table for a Michelin starred dinner, on expenses.
 
They're small, quick and quite quiet but are basically a 60 year old design that has been tweaked to its optimum.

They're not really any more advanced than the Gazelle, which had a more capable rotor and was more agile. Except they're about a zillion times quieter than a Gaz.
 
I always wondered why the Israelis ditched theirs fairly quickly.
 
Question is wouldn’t these provide a light attack option for the AAC at a significantly reduced cost to the Lynx sorry I mean Wildcat?
What's the AH-64 for? And could you run a full-life maint, training & support package cost-comparison between Wildcat & AH6.
 
Always been intrigued with these...a fave of USSF and I see that the Philippines have just received an offer from Boeing for a AH-6i variant.

Question is wouldn’t these provide a light attack option for the AAC at a significantly reduced cost to the Lynx sorry I mean Wildcat?

Alternatively a replacement for the aged Gazelle?

Whats wrong with the Dauphin 2's?
 
They're small, quick and quite quiet but are basically a 60 year old design that has been tweaked to its optimum.

They're not really any more advanced than the Gazelle, which had a more capable rotor and was more agile. Except they're about a zillion times quieter than a Gaz.
How olds the Chinook or a Gazelle design?
 
How olds the Chinook or a Gazelle design?
Well that's kinda my point: the Little Birds aren't anything particularly magic, they're just a workmanlike 1960s design. Very innovative for their time admittedly, but still of their time. Not much point replacing a Gaz with one, performance is pretty much identical.

They just have a macho aura because SOCOM, which compensates for their post-Vietnam image as fragile glassboxes; nearly 900 were lost there.

If I was in the market for that class of machine I'd be looking towards something with a degree of ballistic tolerance and probably a coaxial rotor for compactness and agility.
 
Last edited:

ZW Clanger

Clanker
Enter Sikorsky stage left

I hear all that but we couldn’t afford such a machine.
The Little bird may be an old design but it certainly offers a platform ideal for recon, insertion and light attack.
Something that if looking at costs involved would be likely be considerably cheaper and offer more units per cost than wildcat or a gazelle upgrade.
 
I hear all that but we couldn’t afford such a machine.
The Little bird may be an old design but it certainly offers a platform ideal for recon, insertion and light attack.
Something that if looking at costs involved would be likely be considerably cheaper and offer more units per cost than wildcat or a gazelle upgrade.

AH-6's are 'cheap'?

Thais got billed $400 million for 8 all in.
Thats a very expensive (and very fragile ) toy helicopter.
 
Well that's kinda my point: the Little Birds aren't anything particularly magic, they're just a workmanlike 1960s design. Very innovative for their time admittedly, but still of their time. Not much point replacing a Gaz with one, performance is pretty much identical.

They just have a macho aura because SOCOM, which compensates for their post-Vietnam image as fragile glassboxes; nearly 900 were lost there.

If I was in the market for that class of machine I'd be looking towards something with a degree of ballistic tolerance and probably a coaxial rotor for compactness and agility.
Due to their mission flying literally treetop level drawing fire for Cobras and Huey Hogs

 
AH-6's are 'cheap'?

Thais got billed $400 million for 8 all in.
Thats a very expensive (and very fragile ) toy helicopter.
And of course thats all the Thais got in the deal right?


In addition to the eight aircraft, the government of Thailand requested to buy 10 M299 Longbow Hellfire Launchers and 50 AGM-114R Hellfire missiles, along with 10 M260 rocket launchers and 200 Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) guided rockets.

The M299 launcher missile launcher carries four Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and can launch AGM-114R “Romeo” missiles equipped with semi-active laser seeker and a K-charge multi-purpose warhead, as well as AGM-114L “Longbow Hellfire” millimeter-wave radar seeker-equipped fire-and-forget and lock-on after launch capable missiles.

APKWS upgrades 2.75-inch (70 mm) rockets to a semi-active laser guided precision weapon. The system is a design conversion for Hydra 70 unguided rockets turning them into low-yield precision-guided munitions to help avoid collateral damage.

The proposed sale also includes eight L3 Wescam MX-10Di sensor turrets that can include laser designators, 10 M134 Mini Guns, four GAU-19/B .50 calibre machine guns and 500 Hydra 70 rockets, along with night vision goggles, communications and navigation equipment, an Aircrew Trainer, a Pilot Desktop Trainer, and a Virtual Maintenance Trainer, training, and other program support.



 
Always been intrigued with these...a fave of USSF and I see that the Philippines have just received an offer from Boeing for a AH-6i variant.

Question is wouldn’t these provide a light attack option for the AAC at a significantly reduced cost to the Lynx sorry I mean Wildcat?

Alternatively a replacement for the aged Gazelle?
Philippine Air Force operate the MD530 gunship anyway (Bought when McDonnell Douglas was still McDonnell Douglas Helicopters and not part of Boeing).

Think it was in sept 2016, anyone based oop north would seen pair of Nightstalkers finest MH-6B MELB (Mission Enhanced Little Birds) flying around the Moors as they were at RAF Leeming for Exercise Jaded Thunder (first time this annual exercise took place out of CONUS and in UK). It was supported by Warthogs, the 352nd SOW CV-22B/MC-130J, one an AC-130U from Hulbert, Leeming’s own Pirate HawkT.1 Etc.

Slightly digressing say across the road/street to MD Helicopters (separate from the Boeing side 2 decades ago and owned by Herk Schaken and RDM Holdings BV bow owned by Lynn Tilton’s empire even though she’s quit). Over the years at Heli Expo I’ve seen MD530F/G attack helicopters. Recently at Heli Expo 2020 in Anaheim back in Jan, here are my photos of Block II

(Block II has Ccentric Integrated Weapons Systems(IWS) from Elbit Systems Ltd, includes an advanced Weapons and Mission Management System (WMS/MMS) and a Helmet Display and Tracking System (HDTS), significantly expanding the airborne combat capabilities of this proven platform).

BBDBF36B-3BB1-42E6-A247-F3CC072E3CC3.jpeg
5ABDA10E-4EA9-4E0E-A353-E272E195501F.jpeg
5F6C89E5-ACA3-4B53-996E-4151602F7A8E.jpeg
F2B6EE33-D6B8-4ED2-B41C-CA27B774E57A.jpeg
B762C4A9-ACA4-4560-BAE4-C878E1FA1A32.jpeg
46F2947A-D6C4-4E01-AFD6-51BE5C4B0D59.jpeg
B3874E04-D1C1-49A8-972A-AB96DCA96370.jpeg


The Afghan Army Aviation Corps are largest customers of the MD530F , with Kenya and Lebanon ordered MD530F.

Malaysia was supposed to be launch customer for the improved 530G back in 2014 but never happened.

Australians were interested in MDH MD530 for spec ops SAS support (I did see an Oz army officer from their MoD spending a lot of time at MDH booth few years back at Heli Expo).

Anyway back to Boeing AH-6i


The Boeing AH-6i notable customer are the Saudis with 24 x a/c. Also there is possible sale to the Royal Thai Army



cheers
 
A dit from 1968 about these choppers.

I was down in Vung Tau day on a convoy escort from Nui Dat.
We arrived at approximately 1100hrs and had a few hours to kill before we went back to Nui Dat at 1530hrs.
After checking our weapons in at the Aussie guardhouse we were free to do what we wanted.
I headed off to an American R&C center called the Beachcomber Club which was located on the front beach and proceeded to get pissed.
After a while, I noticed two yanks standing next to me and one of them decided to talk to me.
I was wearing Aussie greens with black and white NZ insignia on the epaulets. I was so pissed that I could barely talk and he eventually said 'say you guys speak English'.
This made me break out into uncontrollable laughter and I got my voice back.
It turned out that they were both chopper pilots in Vung Tau on a transition course from the Huey onto what was called at that time the Cayuse. One was a 1st Lt and the other was a Warrant Officer. They had one final flight to do that night to finish the course and then back to their units as scout pilots.
Anyway, I was invited along for the flight which I gratefully accepted.
As it turned out I ended up spending two days with them, flying all around VN seeing things that I never knew existed.
Eventually, it was time to return and face the music. One of them flew me back to Nui Dat via Vung Tau so that I could recover my weapon from the armourey.
I was AWOL for 48 hours and ended up being charged as was expected. Loss of two days pay a severe reprimand, and a $30.00 fine later, as far as I was concerned it was money well spent to see and do the things that I did, which I would never have done if I had not run into those two in a bar.
 

Latest Threads

Top