So Whats the Light Assault Helicopter Then

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by meridian, Nov 17, 2011.

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  1. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    The NAO MAjor Projects Report 2011 had this information on Wildcat

    Ministry of Defence: The Major Projects Report 2011 - National Audit Office

    Is it a normal Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopter variant with a few clever bits removed and a stores rail for LMM and Hellfire (maybe) or is it something more. or less, exotic like a basic airframe with a GPMG!

    Anyone know

    The report also pegs the production (not programme) cost of a Wildcat at £13m each
  2. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    thanks VG, bet you are right, can the 9a have a stores rail fitted?

    The report says it is a variant of BRH though
  3. This Tribe

    This Tribe Sponsor

    Nope, this requirement is a bit more exotic than that.

    The 'Little Bird' UOR didn't make it through the Treasury so its been reinvented as some role equipment for Future Lynx. Or so my mate tells me.
  4. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Exotic or not, its gonna have to be cheap

    The way the report reads, its a swap of 4 BRH for 8 LAH
  5. This Tribe

    This Tribe Sponsor

    I very much doubt that it will be cheap, especially at this stage of the project.

    Lets disect this remark:
    • "Options" implies more than one
    • "introduce funding for the Light Assault Helicopter role equipment" - this must have been an enhancement/transfer
    • "as well as descoping the Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopter requirement by 4 aircraft" - this was a saving
    So they ran enhancements (successful) for the LAH role but failed to defend the full fleet from savings options or decided to pay for the role equipment. Fairly standard stuff for the PR but no indication whatsoever that it had to be cost neutral ... ...... although that doesn't mean it wasn't. If it was a transfer then it is worth noting that 4 BRH didn't buy 8 LAH, it bought 8 sets of role equipment which is a big difference!
  6. This Tribe

    This Tribe Sponsor

    The LAH role equipment of course! So my guess is that they'll be getting 8 cabs (6+2, 7+1?).

    As for the rest I'd exect them to be managed in the same way that the RAF & AH do, i.e Sqns don't have dedicated aircraft. Instead they are resourced for a number of crews who are trained/kept current using a central pool of aircraft.
  7. Porridge_gun

    Porridge_gun LE Good Egg (charities)

    The historic flight are having SNEB and SS11 rails fitted.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Whats the likelyhood of these LAH's being destined for the Navy?
    As a practical alternative to embarking Apache
  9. No, its not a 9A. We have LAH variants of 9A and they are a completely separate entity to the Wildcat programme. There will be an LAH version of Wildcat AH1. Actual config hasn't been finalised yet.

    Meridian. No, 9A cannot have 'stores rail' fitted. Despite us retro-fitting the NATO flange back on to Mk9s, its not able to carry stuff other than MX15. Not only that, 9A does not and probably never will have a SHOL (Ship Helicopter Operating Limitations) so that counts it out of the Lit-M role.

    This Tribe; yep, big pool of aircraft as opposed to sqn ownership. One of the original aspirations was to pool all SCMR and BRH and it would be 'lucky dip' which aircraft you went training in (because of the fleet commonality). In reality, the SCMRs tend to have the left hand flying controls fitted only as role kit (Observer isnt clever enough to have sticks ;) ) and very doubtful the FAA would be happy for a pongo to take a radar equipped aircraft away just to do circuits at Merryfield. Good job they'll all be painted two tone grey though. At least the AH1's will have ARMY written in small letters on the side so everyone will know the AAC still operate them....on an RNAS.

    'Wildcat. Yet again, the AAC will be flying the worlds best small naval aircraft'
    • Like Like x 1
  10. The way things are going, we'll be handing Apache to the Navy as well as getting them to man our Wildcat Sqns....

    For the navy, quite a lot hangs on the approval of FASGW.
  11. What's the point of a Battlefield Reconnaissance Helicopters when we have Apache in the ISTR role is there anything on rotary wing side other than the Sea Kings with AEW capacity
  12. Hmm, let me know when you have an answer.....

    (Industry driving 'requirement and capability'?)

    Yes. RN Wildcat would be an excellent battlefield ISTAR asset. Brilliant SAR. Plus it'll have some good weapons attached to it too. The RN Wildcat will be an awesome battlefield heli!

    BTW, Apaches primary role isn't ISTAR. Its sort of been lumbered with it. Not a hugely efficient way of using that asset.
  13. Ahh commanders and operators have been excluded from the discussions
  14. No, Commanders and operators couldnt make their minds up so whilst that was happening, a decision was made anyway. Its not always industry's fault.

    Yep, the 'Baggers'. Its a sad state of affairs when we still have to rely on a piece of Fleet hardware to cover the land battlespace. Any idea what will replace the Sea King ASaC7's?....