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Ships & SF Helos to be scrapped in new defence cuts

True, but how different do the RAF SF fleet have to be in terms of flying instrumentation from the Julius standard ? The Julius cockpit is nvg compatible, and night time insertions and pickups are well practiced.
In terms of things like DASS, in flight refuelling probes, extra tankage etc I can see where there would be differences, but that doesn't require a whole new cockpit.
My point is this: if we go down the path of using the Julius cockpit, then we once again go down the path of creating a small number of airframes to a unique standard.

I'm not disputing that the Julius cockpit is NVG-compatible, etc. I'm focusing on the point that we would be having to develop something new and therefore incur expense. Also, at some point it will need updating and, because we'd have gone bespoke, that whole process - and its cost burden - would rest on us.

If we buy wholesale the US solution, we effectively have our SF asset become a sub-fleet of the US one. That makes it a sub-fleet of a much larger one than we sustain, or can ever hope to sustain, and it keeps development paths open while removing or reducing the cost burden to the UK (the US will evolve its fleet regardless of us; whether we simply buy the end result or pay in is the debate, but that will still cost less than going it alone).

I'd use the AH-64 as an example here. We've - quite rightly - gone with the 'E' version rather than try to do something with the WAH-64.

Again, I'd come back to our SF ones being a sub-fleet of the US fleet. Looking at it like that, for me it's a no-brainer.

Sorry but I still have the HC.3 debacle in my mind.

I see no sense in developing a unique variant where a perfectly good solution already exists. I'm not against us having unique variants where the need is warranted. However, I'd be interested to see what warrants that uniqueness. 'Unique' too often means trying to do it on the cheap, or somehow trying to prop up UK industry with workshare.

As the HC.3 proved, I doubt we'd save money by pimping the Julius, I don't think we'd end up with a comparable let alone a superior asset, and I don't feel that there's enough slack in the defence budget to be needlessly propping up UK plc.
 
Julius , or Thales topdeck, was installed on 14 mk6 new builds on the production line by Boeing , it's wasn't just a retrofit to standardise a gamut of different cockpits. Boeing can stick it in whatever version of Chinook we want as part of "standard" build. It's also certified for operation in European airspace. Not sure if the alternative US cockpit in the proposed SF jobs is. No doubt it will eventually happen. Interestingly, worldwide there's quite a few different cockpit standards. The latest Dutch Ch47f use a different one to the US standard.
 
Julius , or Thales topdeck, was installed on 14 mk6 new builds on the production line by Boeing , it's wasn't just a retrofit to standardise a gamut of different cockpits. Boeing can stick it in whatever version of Chinook we want as part of "standard" build. It's also certified for operation in European airspace. Not sure if the alternative US cockpit in the proposed SF jobs is. No doubt it will eventually happen. Interestingly, worldwide there's quite a few different cockpit standards. The latest Dutch Ch47f use a different one to the US standard.
No, I get that. I'd be surprised if the US SF one is certified, mind - that would be a hell of a gap in operating area.

But there's another point. When I said 'develop' I included (in my mind, at least) such as certification. And you're still then back to cost, time and bespoke.
 
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No, I get that. I'd be surprised if the US SF one is certified, mind - that would be a hell of a gap I operating area.

But there's another point. When I said 'develop' I included (in my mind, at least) such as certification. And you're still then back to cost, time and bespoke.
I would be happy with 6 MH47 bought to go to 7 Sqn, for JPR, SF support. Nothing bespoke off the shelf.
 

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