MCH101

Yokel

LE
Whilst looking at news stories via Google on my mobile phone, I saw a news story that a Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force MCH101 had made a landing aboard a destroyer (or frigate). I understand Japan was interested in using the aircraft for transport and airborne mines counter measures, but not ASW, despite the fact the AH101/AW101/Marlin has a significant greater range and endurance than the MH-60R or the NH90.

I wonder:

1. Is the aircraft entirely licence built?
2. Are they are parts sourced in the UK?
3. Has Kawasaki Heavy Industries redesigned the gearbox with allegedly causes reliability issues?
4. Can we do something to boost Merlin HM2 numbers, as the submarine threat is not going away anytime soon?
 

PhotEx

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Whilst looking at news stories via Google on my mobile phone, I saw a news story that a Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force MCH101 had made a landing aboard a destroyer (or frigate). I understand Japan was interested in using the aircraft for transport and airborne mines counter measures, but not ASW, despite the fact the AH101/AW101/Marlin has a significant greater range and endurance than the MH-60R or the NH90.

I wonder:

1. Is the aircraft entirely licence built?
2. Are they are parts sourced in the UK?
3. Has Kawasaki Heavy Industries redesigned the gearbox with allegedly causes reliability issues?
4. Can we do something to boost Merlin HM2 numbers, as the submarine threat is not going away anytime soon?

yes
yes
no
no
 

Yokel

LE
That was a very quick reply. Answering 'yes' to both the first two questions seems mutually exclusive. You have said 'no' about the gearbox, which suggests they are using the same design as us. Perhaps the correct answer to the fourth question would be 'if only'.

If the Merlin gearbox is so bad then why are they using it?

Why pick the design over MH-60 if not for the extra range and endurance (five hours instead of three and a half)?

Are JMSDF warships mostly of an American design (or American influenced), and are designed for MH-60 integration and operations?
 

PhotEx

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That was a very quick reply. Answering 'yes' to both the first two questions seems mutually exclusive. You have said 'no' about the gearbox, which suggests they are using the same design as us. Perhaps the correct answer to the fourth question would be 'if only'.

If the Merlin gearbox is so bad then why are they using it?

Why pick the design over MH-60 if not for the extra range and endurance (five hours instead of three and a half)?

Are JMSDF warships mostly of an American design (or American influenced), and are designed for MH-60 integration and operations?

they uses it as a minesweeping sledge tug, they just needed a powerful medium range helo with long legs.

yes the gearbox could be redesigned, but it’s the perfect, if I wanted to get there, I wouldnt start from here.

all the Merlins ills stem from it being a helicopter that grew substantially from its original design when they grafted on the Italian desire for a troop transport, but the rotor disk diameter was fixed... no bigger than a Sea Kings.

bigger box, bigger engines, a bigger rotor, so a longer tail boom, and now its a new helicopter.


Merlins, we actually build them, but since the original launch orders over 20 years ago, haven't bought a single one. That should tell you something.
 
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Yokel

LE
The rotor disc diameter was surely dictated by the intention to operate it from frigates and RFAs as well as carriers. The fact that the UK has not orded additional ones simply tells me our politicians have not considered ASW to be a priority. No alternative ASW helicopter has been ordered either.

The JMSDF cabs presumably have a rear ramp for towing the MCM sled. Meanwhile the USN is abandoning helicopter towed MCM sleds in favour of smaller AMCM aircraft.

@Raven2008 - comments?
 

PhotEx

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Politicians don’t dictate equipment orders, Admirals sick to the back teeth of a helicopter that studiously refuses to stop being exquisitely fragile or get its availability much above 50% do.
The Navy is desperately short of helicopters, but cuts up Merlins for spares, while studiously refusing to spend a penny on new ones,
transferring all the Army's Wildcats to the Navy would certainly help, and would not be an ‘unexpected’ development..
 
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Yokel

LE
Politicians don’t dictate equipment orders, Admirals sick to the back teeth of a helicopter that studiously refuses to stop being exquisitely fragile or get its availability much above 50% do.
The Navy is desperately short of helicopters, but cuts up Merlins for spares, while studiously refusing to spend a penny on new ones,
transferring all the Army's Wildcats to the Navy would certainly help, and would not be an ‘unexpected’ development..

With a defence review coming up, is it worth using your predictions and taking a trip to the bookies? Are you suggesting converted Wildcat AH1s to augment the Merlin HM2? The Republic of Korea uses the Wildcat with FLASH dipping sonar for ASW.

Does the Navy really have funds to be spent as the Admirals please? Would they have spent the money for the Batch Two RCOPVs for something else?
 

PhotEx

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The rotor disc diameter was surely dictated by the intention to operate it from frigates


yes, but while the original design envisioned a Sea King sized twin engined helo, by the time it had the Italian requirement to be a troop transport grafted on, the hull was a LOT bigger, but with the rotor sized fixed, the solution was an extra engine and drive the disc faster. There simply wasn’t the money, or time, to start again and do it right. Merlins live their lives running flat out just to stand still, there is no stretch left in the transmission, not a single bhp or pound of lift, it’s maxed right out.
 

PhotEx

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With a defence review coming up, is it worth using your predictions and taking a trip to the bookies? Are you suggesting converted Wildcat AH1s to augment the Merlin HM2? The Republic of Korea uses the Wildcat with FLASH dipping sonar for ASW.

Does the Navy really have funds to be spent as the Admirals please? Would they have spent the money for the Batch Two RCOPVs for something else?

at the moment, Junglies Merlins are Doing all the dogsbody jobs, there are no spare run arounds.
the Army hasn’t even bothered to arm its Wildcats with anything bar a door gun.

no, the PM doesn’t ring up 1SL and dictate things like the number of ASW cabs he can have.
if it wasn't for the politics, Wastelands would bitch like whiney schoolgirls, he could buy 24 SH-60 Romeos for £800 million if he wanted to allocate that money and cut something else.
 

Yokel

LE
at the moment, Junglies Merlins are Doing all the dogsbody jobs, there are no spare run arounds.
the Army hasn’t even bothered to arm its Wildcats with anything bar a door gun.

no, the PM doesn’t ring up 1SL and dictate things like the number of ASW cabs he can have.
if it wasn't for the politics, Wastelands would bitch like whiney schoolgirls, he could buy 24 SH-60 Romeos for £800 million if he wanted to allocate that money and cut something else.

Could we ask for them to be given to us for free in lieu of the MV-22? I presume by dogsbody jobs you mean like the ones in the Caribbean. There is a lack of hostile submarines there - and experience of recent HADR operations show that lift capability is needed.

As for Merlin HM2 versus MH-60R, does the extra ninety minutes on station not make a difference? I am sure @alfred_the_great stated that his preference was Merlin. Maybe that is why?

What do you propose 1SL cuts?

Golden rule of arrse never engage with meerkatz/photex/spunksoakedspitroastedstackeroneclone ;)

I was hoping for sensible replies from people like @Not a Boffin.

As for reliability, I guess we will see how many cabs deploy for the upcoming GROUPEX aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.
 

PhotEx

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Could we ask for them to be given to us for free in lieu of the MV-22? I presume by dogsbody jobs you mean like the ones in the Caribbean. There is a lack of hostile submarines there - and experience of recent HADR operations show that lift capability is needed.

ask for free?
well, they offered to sell us 60 brand new straight off the line and US Arny delivery lot UH-60 Lima’s for peanuts, and we blew them off and bought the Army half the number of Wildcats for twice the money.

We don’t have enough helicopters for the teeny weenie airways, ASuW job.
Merlins can do the runaround job, but they are armed with diddly for defending the boat. Second role taskings always had lots of older Lynx etc to do them. We’re all sexy now, no old girls showing their age.

As for Merlin HM2 versus MH-60R, does the extra ninety minutes on station not make a difference? I am sure @alfred_the_great stated that his preference was Merlin. Maybe that is why?

their is a huge shipboard market, Sikorsky, Airbus etc are selling hundreds of helos, but Leonardo can’t sell any Merlins, theres a reason for that. You May prefer a Merlin, but you look at the eye watering cost and terrible availability and say.... Hmmmmm, the SH-60R is cheaper and has a great reputation for reliability.... a helicopter that’s a bit technically better is useless if it’s sitting dead in the hanger. Merlins other issue is also it’s a one trick pony, it’s all ASW, nothing else. You cant hang a load of anti ship missiles off it and go smite an annoying surface contact.

As for reliability, I guess we will see how many cabs deploy for the upcoming GROUPEX aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.

the real question you need to ask is, how many Merlins will be left for everyone outside the QE deployment, and will there be any spares left on the shelves for them? You can always make a set piece work if you are willing to cut everything to ensure its all right on the night.

Merlin will soon enough go quietly and not terribly missed into the good night.

“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”

The Helicopter futures bright, but it’s not EUropean. MOD are kicking the tyres of the two new American options.
 
13 x JMSDF Leonardo MCH101 came into service to replace the Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon for the MCM mission and Arctic support . The JMSDF MH-53E was Retired in 2017 finally.


at the moment, Junglies Merlins are Doing all the dogsbody jobs, there are no spare run arounds.
the Army hasn’t even bothered to arm its Wildcats with anything bar a door gun.

no, the PM doesn’t ring up 1SL and dictate things like the number of ASW cabs he can have.
if it wasn't for the politics, Wastelands would bitch like whiney schoolgirls, he could buy 24 SH-60 Romeos for £800 million if he wanted to allocate that money and cut something else.



More than door gun I think you find


ask for free?
well, they offered to sell us 60 brand new straight off the line and US Arny delivery lot UH-60 Lima’s for peanuts, and we blew them off and bought the Army half the number of Wildcats for twice the money.

We don’t have enough helicopters for the teeny weenie airways, ASuW job.
Merlins can do the runaround job, but they are armed with diddly for defending the boat. Second role taskings always had lots of older Lynx etc to do them. We’re all sexy now, no old girls showing their age.



their is a huge shipboard market, Sikorsky, Airbus etc are selling hundreds of helos, but Leonardo can’t sell any Merlins, theres a reason for that. You May prefer a Merlin, but you look at the eye watering cost and terrible availability and say.... Hmmmmm, the SH-60R is cheaper and has a great reputation for reliability.... a helicopter that’s a bit technically better is useless if it’s sitting dead in the hanger. Merlins other issue is also it’s a one trick pony, it’s all ASW, nothing else. You cant hang a load of anti ship missiles off it and go smite an annoying surface contact.



the real question you need to ask is, how many Merlins will be left for everyone outside the QE deployment, and will there be any spares left on the shelves for them? You can always make a set piece work if you are willing to cut everything to ensure its all right on the night.

Merlin will soon enough go quietly and not terribly missed into the good night.

“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”

The Helicopter futures bright, but it’s not EUropean. MOD are kicking the tyres of the two new American options.

It can carry ASMs, my pic from Le Bourget 2003 of Italian marina HAEW variant

1597901849691.png



But not on ours ...

cheers
 
The rotor disc diameter was surely dictated by the intention to operate it from frigates and RFAs as well as carriers. The fact that the UK has not orded additional ones simply tells me our politicians have not considered ASW to be a priority. No alternative ASW helicopter has been ordered either.

The JMSDF cabs presumably have a rear ramp for towing the MCM sled. Meanwhile the USN is abandoning helicopter towed MCM sleds in favour of smaller AMCM aircraft.

@Raven2008 - comments?

Yep...the Sikorsky Mh-60S carries AMCM


Hang it on the ESSS pylon where they can also hang Hellfires and Rocket pods when supporting SEALS etc (my pics from Dubai 2017)

8DE71A4C-54ED-4AC1-ABA6-A72BCBE2D8CE.jpeg
E3420F87-0004-4FAF-A072-EFD93E116C8C.jpeg
4ADACB90-802D-4D80-B913-2FB6E5DD89A7.jpeg
DC96ABCB-42B6-4E53-B77C-37B2141ED6EF.jpeg


btw here are the ins and outs of a MH-53E Sea Dragon (my photos from Dubai 2019)..
B8EED78D-ABE2-44F2-847C-AC2317E05BC8.jpeg

519F55DE-14D7-4618-A9D2-BA097F60C062.jpeg

9E0EC655-4805-4C27-926D-956243067FBC.jpeg
 
ask for free?
well, they offered to sell us 60 brand new straight off the line and US Arny delivery lot UH-60 Lima’s for peanuts, and we blew them off and bought the Army half the number of Wildcats for twice the money.

We don’t have enough helicopters for the teeny weenie airways, ASuW job.
Merlins can do the runaround job, but they are armed with diddly for defending the boat. Second role taskings always had lots of older Lynx etc to do them. We’re all sexy now, no old girls showing their age.



their is a huge shipboard market, Sikorsky, Airbus etc are selling hundreds of helos, but Leonardo can’t sell any Merlins, theres a reason for that. You May prefer a Merlin, but you look at the eye watering cost and terrible availability and say.... Hmmmmm, the SH-60R is cheaper and has a great reputation for reliability.... a helicopter that’s a bit technically better is useless if it’s sitting dead in the hanger. Merlins other issue is also it’s a one trick pony, it’s all ASW, nothing else. You cant hang a load of anti ship missiles off it and go smite an annoying surface contact.



the real question you need to ask is, how many Merlins will be left for everyone outside the QE deployment, and will there be any spares left on the shelves for them? You can always make a set piece work if you are willing to cut everything to ensure its all right on the night.

Merlin will soon enough go quietly and not terribly missed into the good night.

“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”

The Helicopter futures bright, but it’s not EUropean. MOD are kicking the tyres of the two new American options.

Where’s the link for usa Selling us 60 off the production line? Are you going back 3.5 decades to the WS-70 and the scandal?

Conceivably if RAF SHF could operated WS-70 if it weren’t for scandal and also Westlands got panicky and offered the Merlin to RAF in case all hell broke loose with keeping jobs and production line so I heard. Also pre JHC days, there was musings about transferring all battlefield support rotorcraft from RAF to AAC but would not happen for the Blatantly obvious reasons.

and w.r.t in a decade when Merlin supposed to go and from 2035 when Wildcat supposedly is gonna go...what options are available ..unmanned platform possibly, or whatever the states are looking at as they looking at MH-60 replacing tooo.

cheers
 
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PhotEx

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On ROPs
13 x JMSDF Leonardo MCH101 came into service to replace the Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon for the MCM mission and Arctic support . The JMSDF MH-53E was Retired in 2017 finally.


Our Merlins will not be carrying the Martlet, basically a lasted guided 70mm rocket, nor are they cleared for any other air to ground missiles and rocketry. It’s a door gun, and thats your lot.
 
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PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Where’s the link for usa Selling us 60 off the production line? Are you going back 3.5 decades to the WS-70 and the scandal?

Conceivably if RAF SHF could operated WS-70 if it weren’t for scandal and also Westlands got panicky and offered the Merlin to RAF in case all hell broke loose with keeping jobs and production line so I heard. Also pre JHC days, there was musings about transferring all battlefield support rotorcraft from RAF to AAC but would not happen for the Blatantly obvious reasons.

and w.r.t in a decade when Merlin supposed to go and foe cem frither 2035 when Wildcat supposedly is gonna go...what options are available ..unmanned platform possibly, or whatever the states are looking at as they looking at MH-60 replacing tooo.

cheers

During the Afghan business, we received an offer of 60 UH-60’s.

if you want to go back even further, Merlin was a political decision, forced on HM armed forces by Heseltine an ardent EUrophile who had visions of taking over the medium helicopter market from Sikorsky. The Blackhawk was expected to be a shoo in, so much so that Westland had bought a licence and tooled up for production.
well, 200 Merlins and 5,000 Blackhawks later, that didn’t work out quite as Heseltine hoped.


and the JMSDF Merlins? A strange decision, mired in controversy and corruption.
the SH-60 met the requirement, but lost out when a VSO started pushing for the EH101.
 

Yokel

LE
Our Merlins will not be carrying the Martlet, basically a lasted guided 70mm rocket, nor are they cleared for any other air to ground rocketry. It’s a door gun, and thats your lot.

1. Arming Junglies? With the exception of 847 NAS with Lynx AH and TOW, this has not been done since the Wessex. But could the Jungly Wessex carry troops and missiles in the same sortie?

Do RAF and other support helicopters carry rockets or missiles? Why not?

Incidentally before the post 2000 obsession with sandy places, was it not normal to send Junglies to sea about CVS/LPD/RFA?

2. The Pinger Merlin carries torpedos and depth charges, as well as GPMG/HMG. Not to mention an extra ninety minutes on station compared to MH-60R or NH90.

During the Afghan business, we received an offer of 60 UH-60’s.

if you want to go back even further, Merlin was a political decision, forced on HM armed forces by Heseltine an ardent EUrophile who had visions of taking over the medium helicopter market from Sikorsky. The Blackhawk was expected to be a shoo in, so much so that Westland had bought a licence and tooled up for production.
well, 200 Merlins and 5,000 Blackhawks later, that didn’t work out quite as Heseltine hoped.


and the JMSDF Merlins? A strange decision, mired in controversy and corruption.
the SH-60 met the requirement, but lost out when a VSO started pushing for the EH101.

You said the MCH101 existed to pull a mine sweeping sled. The SH-60 has no rear ramp.
 
if you want to go back even further, Merlin was a political decision, forced on HM armed forces by Heseltine an ardent EUrophile who had visions of taking over the medium helicopter market from Sikorsky. The Blackhawk was expected to be a shoo in, so much so that Westland had bought a licence and tooled up for production.

Except that the Blackhawk thing was always about Puma/Wessex replacement to lift Percy Pongo tactically in Europe. It was never, ever about a long-range, long endurance ASW cab that could localise and prosecute RBNF submarines at long range from mother. Nor would it be capable of replacing Junglies in a Coy group lift, as it would take too many spots - you needed a bigger cab than that.

It will be interesting to see where ASW aviation goes from here. Pretty sure that the secure data bandwidth and processing isn't there to support unmanned at decent range, which almost certainly means a follow-on manned helicopter, capable of dipping and carrying multiple torpedoes. I doubt those requirements will suit a 60-frame. Question is, how big is big enough?

There may yet be a niche place for a redesigned Merlin frame with the gearbox weakness removed through redesign. That won't stop folk flapping around to try and avoid that though.....
 

Yokel

LE
The Americans once had a remotely controlled rotorcraft for operating from small flight decks and delivering homing torpedos/depth charges/NDB. We used the manned Wasp and got more utility.

The problem is not so much weapon delivery, as what do you do with the data from dipping sonar, sonobouys, radar, ESM, electro-optical sensors etc, without an Observer and Aircrewman to deal with it. Also the Pinger in the dip will be quite low, and communicating using HF (bandwidth limitations) or another aircraft acting as Comms relay.

It is a bit like the reasons AEW/AWACS aircraft are manned, but with greater technical issues due to low altitude and a greater number of sensors.
 
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