Merlin,most preferred battle taxi,or not?

So is it really a good cab

  • Yes, even George Dubya loves it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, its crappier than a v22

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Bring back the Huey with optional Wagner

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wots a Merlin?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
Had a senior crab from JHF come down to the garage door factory, telling us that the Merlin is the most preferred battle taxi in our inventory. Is it true or is there a distinct whiff of bovine faeces in the air ?
Thought it would be better to hear from the pax for a change :D
 
#5
I am hoping that it gets the CSARX contract to keep me in beer chits for a few more months :)
 
#6
I used to be fairly dubious about the Merlin and felt that we'd have been better off buying more Chinooks. However, it's proved an exceptionally versatile and reliable SH cab in Iraq. It's also very useful in the JPR/CSAR role.

My only complaint is that we should have paid for folding blades and tail (a la RN HM1s)on the HC3s to make it easier to operate from afloat. It would certainly make sense for the RN Cdo force to migrate onto Merlin to allow comonality with the RN ASW and RAF Merlin fleets. Unfortunately, HM Treasury will ensure we are forced to squeeze every last flying hr out of the Sea King HC4s before they'll stump up cash for replacements.

As far as the Army flying them Blobmeister, this has been mentioned many times on this forum and even I used to be fairly sanguine about the issue of SH ownership. However, having seen the poor employment of them by the Army at first hand in Iraq last year, and noted the way funding priority for helicopters has dropped considerably since RAF and RN BH came under Land budgetary control via JHC, I firmly believe that they're in the correct place.

The problem is not so much with the AAC operating such assets, but more with how the green Army view and manage such assets. Finally, I'd suggest that Joint ops in Afghanistan in particular has greatly improved mutual understanding and respect between RAF and AAC aircrew in particular.

I shall now walk sideways out of the firing line and await incoming!!

Regards,
MM
 

Ralf

War Hero
#7
[
quote="Magic_Mushroom"]I.

As far as the Army flying them Blobmeister, this has been mentioned many times on this forum and even I used to be fairly sanguine about the issue of SH ownership. However, having seen the poor employment of them by the Army at first hand in Iraq last year, and noted the way funding priority for helicopters has dropped considerably since RAF and RN BH came under Land budgetary control via JHC, I firmly believe that they're in the correct place.

The problem is not so much with the AAC operating such assets, but more with how the green Army view and manage such assets. Finally, I'd suggest that Joint ops in Afghanistan in particular has greatly improved mutual understanding and respect between RAF and AAC aircrew in particular.

I shall now walk sideways out of the firing line and await incoming!!

Regards,
MM[/quote
MM I have read many of your posts and you do speak sence but I must admit that you are wrong in this case. One bad tour with one bad Air LO or what ever he/she be and it's the AAC can't do it. After all, who/what do the CH47/Puma/Merlin mostly support?........Did you say the Army? Thought so.

Well if it is with the right service then maybe it's time for them to start getting amongst it all......Goes back to time in NI, in a room with Crab pilots....Raining Mortars....Crab pilot says "Your in the Army, what do we do"?.........Please, dont get me wrong, your boys do a good job when the weather is nice and a Hotel nearby but put them in the field without silverware and ceramic and just listen to them bleet. Time to wake up and smell the coffee.
 
#8
Ralf,
I'm not suggesting the AAC couldn't do it if left to their own devices. I'm suggesting that the AAC are hampered by the Army as a whole. The requirement to push AAC officers along the Service's career conveyor belt at the expense of building operational and flying experience within your Corps' middle management. The fact that even the Army has formally recognised its uneconomic employment of BH on ops in its own studies. Army (not necessarily AAC) involvement in ASTOR and other fixed wing projects recently. They all colour my judgement.

My comments are not based purely on my time in the Div/Bde HQ, they are based upon a wide range of experience in a wide variety of locations. With respect, I'd also suggest your '5* hotel/mortar attack' argument is somewhat disingenuous and hardly borne out by current ops.

Like any large organisation, none of the 3 services are perfect, and they never will be. Each can learn off the others. I certainly learnt much from my various experiences with the Army as I hope some of you did from myself. My point is that the AAC is hampered by lack of Joint appreciation in the wider Army, especially at the SO2/SO1 level and a career structure which still appears to fail to acknowledge the significance of air assets.

I would therefore respectfully suggest that it is the wider Field Army who needs to wake up, sniff the decaff and recognise that the AAC are no longer operating Sioux and Scout.

Regards,
MM
 
#9
blobmeister said:
I think it's an awesome aircraft, so much so that the yanks have brought it for the Presidential Aircraft. Just nees to be manned by men!!


*cough*. I dont think it won completely on merit. More to do with a favour returned for us standing by GWBs magical mystery tours around certain deserts across the globe.

There is a rumour that the US senate or congress (which ever one has the power to) is thinking of cutting the project due to costs, over run and Westlands having problems making it do as the yanks have asked it to plus it having gained weight like a Lynx pilot on leave. (2000kg so I've heard).

Link 1
Link 2

What the feck is so hard about sticking leather seats in a bus for gods sake?

The rate its going, the yanks will wish they went to Mil for a cab.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#10
Magic_Mushroom said:
I'm suggesting that the AAC are hampered by the Army as a whole.
and
I would therefore respectfully suggest that it is the wider Field Army who needs to wake up, sniff the decaff and recognise that the AAC are no longer operating Sioux and Scout.
And therein lies the rub, despite people like Dannett et al wearing the Army Flying Badge.
 
#11
But the Navy's goal was to build a flying Oval Office with communications rivaling those in Air Force One, the president's Boeing 747. The Navy also demanded state-of-the-art missile defenses and protection against a nuclear blast, more engine power and range than the European version, and a 14-person cabin with an executive bathroom.
What the fcuking fcuk?

OK, I can perhaps understand the desire for the comms suite. Shouldn't be too hard to chuck in the back. But the thunderbox? The trip from the Rose Garden to the Pan where Air Force One sits is about 11 miles. Even the trip to Camp David can be done in about 30 minutes- and Marine One doesn't go much farther than that. Surely the presidential bladder isn't that slack. What's next? If John McCain gets elected is he going to use an up-armoured "Straight Talk Express" campaign bus instead of a limo, FFS?

My guess is that someone in the Navy procurement office is nearing retirement or is signing off and has a nice little number at Sikorsky waiting for him.
 
#12
crabtastic said:
My guess is that someone in the Navy procurement office is nearing retirement or is signing off and has a nice little number at Sikorsky waiting for him.
Kind of hard - apparently there are some severe problems on the Sikorsky rival. The Canadians have had a 34-month delay announced on the arrival of their CH-148 (the H-92 that Sikorsky had bid for the job).

Oh, and the S-92 is smaller than EH-101, so as someone pointed out elsewhere, the leather seats, lavvy, and extra comms kit would have caused Sikorsky even more of a problem.
 
#13
Always found the Merlin to be an Exceptional Airframe very reliable and the Air Crew always helpful and switched on whether as a Taxi between bases or being used on Ops.

Also v comfortable and safe
 
#14
rockhoppercrab said:
Had a senior crab from JHF come down to the garage door factory, telling us that the Merlin is the most preferred battle taxi in our inventory.
O-hoho! Can just imagine the reaction to that at Odious. :D

The-Lord-Flasheart said:
What the feck is so hard about sticking leather seats in a bus for gods sake?

The rate its going, the yanks will wish they went to Mil for a cab.
To be fair to AW, (I know I know), the Marine One board have shifted the goalposts more times than MDM trying to get up-the-skirt shots of the local girl's U21 hockey team.
 
#15
Like MM i agree that it is mad that it doesn't have a folding tail and blades. Complete and utter madness.
 
#16
From what I've read it SHOULD be good after all the money and years spent developing the thing.
Wasn't there a weight thing involved that stipulated that all aircraft over a certain weight had to be operated by the RAF? IMHO as an outsider it seems to make sense that these aircraft should be operated by the Army as their the ones that need it!
 
#17
trackbasher said:
Wasn't there a weight thing involved that stipulated that all aircraft over a certain weight had to be operated by the RAF?

That was a wartime/post war 'restriction' but doesn't apply today. If it were the case, the crabs would by flying Apaches and we'd be flying Tucanos, Pumas, Harriers, Griffins and Hawks. ;)
 
#18
trackbasher said:
From what I've read it SHOULD be good after all the money and years spent developing the thing.
What Like Bowman?
The SA80? (okay i'm being harsh)
The Eurofighter?

Hmm i'll leave you to mull that lot over.
 
#19
Hello,

I also agree with Magic_Mushroom about the folding blades and tail.
Someone probably thought they could save some weight without the foldability,afterall,what kind of fool would ever want to fly off a ship?

Politically,economically and in terms of security (and priority) of supply more Merlins make sense.
Buying more Merlins also minimises the money spent on development,support costs and infrastructure to maximise money spent on buying and operating aircraft.
With a long term need for both the Navy and Air Force to replace so many other helicopters in this class we could acheive economies both of scale and of continuity of production with a large,long term order for Merlins.

Operationally,we would be able to do some things with Merlins we cannot do now with Lynxes.
But we would be unable to do other things with Merlins which we can now do with Lynxes.
I will defer to those here with experience on whether that is a good thing or not but I think overall we would be better off.

On the subject of funding,is it not proper that the Army decides whether funding for land operations is spent on Merlins or Mastiffs,Chinooks or Challengers?
It is the Army after all which has to deal with the consequences of those spending decisions,good or bad.
I will leave discussion of who best operates helicopters to those who know about such things.

The American version of the Merlin is very interesting.
Buy an off the shelf design and gold plate it until it is vastly over budget and behind schedule.
Why didn't we think of that?
With two thousand design changes including new engines,transmission and rotors,they clearly do not do things by halves.

tangosix.
 
#20
Gravelbelly said:
crabtastic said:
My guess is that someone in the Navy procurement office is nearing retirement or is signing off and has a nice little number at Sikorsky waiting for him.
Kind of hard - apparently there are some severe problems on the Sikorsky rival. The Canadians have had a 34-month delay announced on the arrival of their CH-148 (the H-92 that Sikorsky had bid for the job).

Oh, and the S-92 is smaller than EH-101, so as someone pointed out elsewhere, the leather seats, lavvy, and extra comms kit would have caused Sikorsky even more of a problem.
Logical points, all. However, I think you'll find that if you look at the way business is done, you'll find that congressional appropriations and Dod procurement have the square-root of fcuk all to do with logic. They make the UK system seem like the very model of efficiency.

$486 hammer, anyone? How about a $7,600 coffee maker?
 

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