Genuine question here. I asked a colleague when I was in AFG why we were still operating chinooks 50 Years after they first flew. His response was ‘how many different ways can you invent a flying box.Nope again ...for US won’t buy From abroad ...the UH-72A Lakota and MH-65D Dolphin dont necessarily count as frontline types if you get my drift.
New kid on the blockH160M Naval variant will replace the French Aeronavale AS565 Panther but that won’t happen for another decade and cannot see that in USN service.
NH90 is good but has issues
H225M too big and tech isn’t evolving , yes there are customers in the next 5-10 years gonna buy , I suspect more of Latin American and / or Mid East customers
i saw the 15rh or 16th H225M for Brazilian Navy albeit more support fo their Marines at Paris Air Show 2015 (my pics below)
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With upgrades of rotors, engines, avionics. All of which are becoming lighter and more efficient and therefore better fuel economy.
Does there come a stage when people go full design of a new helicopter = X.
Upgrade of components to an existing design = Y
If X is greater than Y, upgrade. When does X become less than Y.
432 for example. How many times can you design an armoured box? Upgraded to Bulldog and it does the job.
I mean, ultimately, the navy’s after a flying fuel tank that can plop things into the water, lift people out of the water or land on the water/ship/land to transfer people.
I’ll accept that product life cycles mean that if you don’t design new things, you loose the design capability.