Support Helicopters

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by irlsgt, Dec 28, 2008.

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  1. I was flicking though the "Armed Forces of the UK" book, there is a large variety of medium lift helicopters (including specialist versions):

    The RN operates 4 different versions of Sea King for anti-submarine, AEW, SAR & troop transport. The RAF use 2 different versions of Sea King for SAR and Puma for troop transport.

    Not sure about the AEW role but it would be a hell of a lot cheaper (in the long run) to replace all Sea Kings & Pumas with Merlin. A lot more capable aircraft - longer legs, faster, larger etc

    Eg with a full load Puma can only carry 16 troops, Merlin can carry 24, that would nearly have the number of lifts required.
  2. ahh theres the problem £££
  3. Anti Electronic Warfare AEW
  4. It would be cheaper and easier to replace everything with blackhawks at a special discount price, from uncle Sam...
  5. It'd be even cheaper to but the Mi17 from the Ulan Ude Aviation plant ! Ain't gonna happen !

    More Merlins and/or Chinooks definitely ! Ain't gonna happen either !

    The spare government cash has gone to the banks so they can still pay outrageous bonuses for their failures !
  6. Discounted? You mean buy a pile of crap thats been sat in the desert for god knows how long, robbed blind of anything thats actually useful, used as a home to all the wildlife in the locality, not up to UK spec so requires a large mod and servicing package to get flyable (thanks i need the money), then theres the training package for pilots and engineers not to mention spares and documentation. Looks like a real bargain :roll: oh and who is it that wouldn't release the source code to integrate the avionics on the Chinooks? Our greatest "ally". Can't complain though, its keeping me in beer chits.
  7. The Merlin Mk3 is the RAF troop carrying variant, the Navy have the Mk1 which does all the sub hunting and could well do the AEW role, although the sea-king are doing that role well at present.

    There was a purchase of more Mk3 helicopters last year, when the UK bought 6 Merlin off the Danish, although this means that the UK pay for 6 new build Merlins for the Danish.

    Helicopters aren't easy to just buy in, places like Westlands have an order book and production lines, so the lead time can be quite long, changing over to something like the blackhawk/seahawk would also bring in a whole new nightmare of new logistics, new publications, new tooling, new training, etc, etc so it's not just a case of buying 20 blackhawks and sending them over, they'd have to go through somewhere like Westlands or DARA for refit, crews would need training and so on.
  8. Cost per cab of a Merlin is about 27Mil (and those prices are old) Number needed to replace ASaC, Jungly and 2 Puma Sqn? 96

    Throw in the extra loggie chain, sim hours, conversion courses for groundies and aircrew and you get....

    "Hi, is that Alistair Darling? oh good... the MoD here, you don't happen to have 3 billion pounds lying around by any chance....?"
  9. The cost for the basic Mk3 is around £19 million, but that's not the problem, it's the actual cost of flying them that's restrictive compared to other helicopters, i can see more Merlins being purchased as they're Westland designed and built, but i do think there needs to be another helicopter brought into the forces, something that is basically designed to get from A to B without the advanced technology, materials, etc that the Merlin has, then fit it out with the UK kit, so maybe something like the blackhawk, but if we were to sign a contract tomorrow to purchase 20 we'd still not see them used in anger for another 3 or 4 years.
  10. And a blackhawk is $10 million. So you get the vehicle, the training and the refit - and cash to spare...
  11. And the Blackhawk carries only 11 pax versus 24 seated in the Merlin. So you need at least twice as many to lift the same, plus the additional trg, logistics and sp costs. Not such a good deal!
  12. We had the chance to buy Wastelands Blackhawks, but lost it years ago.
    Mind you I would have gone down the 205 and 214 route but then I was a Spanner bender.
  13. The Pentagon not long ago (was posted somewhere on arrse) placed an order for 500+ UH-60Ms (the newest variant). Why not buy some off the production line? Similar arrangement to the C-17. "Can you spare some production slots?" Though the opportunity has probably passed. It's more 'upgrades' and life-extensions.

    Current medium/support fleet: lynx+412+puma+merlin+sea king
  14. Is part of the problem the fact we have so few of each type mentioned? With the exception of perhaps the AEW, each is often expected to supplement the others in varying degrees, in roles they were not really designed for. Also, the concepts of use would seem to be different, in that some aircraft are mere taxis crammed with very high tech kit (AEW, ASW??) where the "important" people are rear cabin operators, others like Chinook and Merlin are empty spaces for taxiing troops, with relatively simple equiment fitted. In some cases the money quoted gets you the full capability. In other cases, it gets you a basic air vehicle and the techy kit costs twice as much again.

    The other obvious point is we didn't buy all these aircraft at the same time. If you buy a Puma with 25 years life expectancy, and a few years later a potential replacement comes along you just don't scrap Puma and buy new each time. At least, not with our defence budget. Interesting discussion though.