no way should it get sh1t canned..... it's about time army aviation got something that could do the job.... look at the scout.... took longer to load 4 ss11 than it took to fly the sortie... lynx wasn't that much better... with wah64.... at least you get to fire 8 shots and get back for a reload cos you don't have to manually guide the weps
Ok..serious...its going to revolutionise the Army..providing it with round the clock, swift.manoueverable firepower.
The Groundcrew and Aircrew are going to need much better training as well as man management.
The biggest problem is going to be dealing with those within the corps that arent willing to change. No longer can the RSM expect a 100% parade whilst flying operations are finishing or just commencing.
There will also be a major need for MCM to post and promote carefully in order to maintain sustainability within Sqns.
Theres no hiding from it either as the future lynx will have an almost identical form of avionics and will require just as much concentrated and well trained manpower.
Its going to be a difficult but rewarding road ahead for the corps...with much more emphasis on specialisation within all the trades...
Im afraid its the beginning of the end for the "jack of all trades and master of none".....
I left a few years ago and my info is second hand and mostly ill informed, Muttley is clearly an authority on the cab and prividing we stay with in the boundaries if security etc etc, Im sure we can all learn a great deal.
I'd like this thread to remain serious and On topic, unless of course there is a gag that simply won't wait
The AH is the future of the Corps wether we like it or not, and the beast is here to stay
Not sure if your joking Gunny...but the AH lost in the recent fracas was not brought down by a farmer or indeed a shovel..think you might find it landed because of mechanical problems...which is why the crew had time to scarper..and indeed werent caught until later.
Oh and sorry porridge..not an authority...but by all means ask...and if i know and its ok to discuss etc etc
Your knowledge of the Scout AH1 is depolorable! To load 4xSS11 should take no longer that five minutes with a FARP crew on each boom. The aircraft could be de-boomed by the removal of three pit pins for trooping operations and the GPMG could either be strapped onto the skids in a fixed forward firing mode operated by the pilot or in the rear compartment operated by a door gunner.
What you must not lose sght of is at the time it was heralded as major advance for Army Aviation that will take the corps forward blah blah blah. It is all relative for the time as when Lynx was introduced it was a major advance for Army Aviation that will blah blah blah. The problem is that once we buy something we don't learn to throw it away when it is knackered but continue trying to keep it going for as long as possible.
Yes it's a fantastic aircraft and great that the AAC are getting them with the added bonus of pissing off the Crabs,but in all fairness surely the requirement for them has passed with the end of the Warsaw Pact and the threat of massed Tank formations rolling over the IGB?
Are there in fact,better ways of spending our over- stretched defence budget? I will now climb back into my revetted trench with full o/head protection and await incoming!
Not going to argue...just worth pointing out that the more recent conflicts would have benefited from a mobile detterrent such as the AH...Im sure that both the Tankies and the Infantry will agree (if not now..then the future) that its a comforting thought to have such aircraft on call...
When did you become the authority on the Apache AH Mk 1, mate, last I knew you were in a place where there are none.
Yes it's a stunning machine, no doubt about that, but have the powers that be worked out the effect on aviation operations that this beast is going to have.
Me thinks not.
Anyway Muttley, and I am being nice, get off your high horse!
As a Crab, I've only recently discovered this highly entertaining site. It is truly touching to note the respect and affection for my Service that is so evident in the many ARRSE threads!!
I'd also just like to point out that, far from Army AH ownership 'pissing us off', many of us Crabs heartily believe that the Apache should belong to the AAC. As an E-3D guy, I've worked quite a bit with Army Aviation in BH, Kosovo, Afghanistan and most recently on TELIC. I've also spent a fair bit of time with the Army in NI and BATUS.
Like many in the Junior Service, I have no doubt that the AAC will be able to operate AH in a highly effective manner and will no doubt be teaching the US Army some Top Tips very quickly. Likewise, I think that the REME will be able to maintain it in the field (as long as you buy enough black boxes!).
My one area of concern however is that I fear that the AAC hierarchy (let alone the Army as a whole) will take a long time to get their head around the potential of the Apache/Longbow mix. Comments such as Jaeger's regarding the need for AH having passed with the Cold War tanks frankly illustrate the mindset that needs to be overcome.
The AH-64D is far, far more than a tank killer. Like ATACM's, it has the potential to reach far beyond Div and even Corps boundaries. It will (rightly) expand the Corp's role and responsibilities, acting as your initiation into the Joint Digitised ops. Doctrinally, that needs to be grasped very quickly to ensure that your Service doesn't short change the AAC.
We need to see you guys getting into more Flag type exercices, so that you become familiar with working routinely with ISTAR assets such as AWACS, SIGINT, JSTARS, ASTOR and UAV's. I just hope that inter-Service rivalry doesn't hinder good sense.
What do you mean,"mindset" If you take the trouble to read my posting again you'll note that I was actually posing a question with the intention of starting a debate, not stating an opinion!!!Arrogant git.
No wonder we hate you.
I'm not too sure why you take offence to the word 'mindset'. My comments were not intended as a personal insult, just a general comment that the Apache will need to challenge the traditional thinking within some sections of the Army (and for that matter all 3 servcies) as to how Aviation should be used. However, I've re-read your post and you do seem to be suggesting that the Apache order is questionable given that we no longer face massed formations of Soviet armour.
I've heard numerous AAC personnel themselves refer to such 'mindsets' as being one of the chief problems facing the AH-64's introduction to service. We continue to have similar problems with our AWACS because even some high ranking light blue still consider it as an AD platform, when in reality it is so much more.
I think that the numbers of AH-64D's that the AAC are getting is both realistic and correct, although I was surprised that the Corps did not take less Longbow's to ensure that you got a few more airframes. If you wish to start a debate on other ways to spend funding rather than the assets such as the Apache, my suggestion would be on assets such as more capable UAV's and better data link connectivity with the ISTAR community.
Magic Mush..mmm dont think we would have ever guessed you were Boeing Formation Eating Team with a handle like that But your post is refreshing for a sidey walking crustacean.
Good to see that the Lt Blue have pinged some of the key issues..not so much the machine itself (although the Army could have done better, but hey..dont let jobs for Somerset East and politics get in the way of military procurement), but the inability of the wider Army to grasp the potential, as you rightly state.
If it is to be utilised correctly..the AAC must form a stand alone Attack Bde within JHC...especially if that formation (JHC) is to have any credability in the future. To place a Tri - Service capability (the AH) into a retrospective Bde (who have yet to Air Assault anything yet!) in order to justify the continued existance of the Parachute Regt, will stifle its potential. The system is much larger than a "useful airborne firepower platform for softning up DZ's"! It's mission must come from at least Corps...Div exceptionally and Bdes / BG's might see it as it supports them or flys by.
If structured correctly JHC could then fully C3, integrate and mix, BLUH, LBH, SABR, SCMR, CH47E & Merlin with the AH to "golf bag" a force that meets the requirement of the JFCC. But available to ALL Field Army / Commando / Air formations.
As you keenly point out, this would make integration of UAV, ISR, AEW, EW, SEAD etc, assets a lot easier..all of one mind shall we say. Sadly, Bde structures are not able to cope with the planning for these higher assets and their function.."too difficult....we do logs and bergans...besides all the baggage that comes with helos is not light enough for us".
Just clock the recent event...dedicated 16 AAB Avn and SH assets were OPCOM 1 (UK) Armd Div..(which has its own organic aircraft....eerr, but didnt take them...no TOW kit doh!), proving that heli assets (and bear in mind they will become a premium) do not need to be embedded in the traditional formations. Get them under one roof who fully understand their needs and utility.
MM - I do agree 100% with you on a couple of areas..the Army (as opposed to the AAC...if it is to be an Army asset after all) must invest big £ in areas like Red Flag, realistic EW / Weapons trg and joint UK / US exercises for AH and BLUH. This is not a machine for flying circuits at Dishcloth and certainly not an aircraft you can just have a jolly in after the 3 x weekly bergan runs before lunch. I would be surprised to see either; a solo aircraft leaving base, all serials should be at least at Patrol strength and in never in daylight, unless its on Airtest! No sense in buying a system that is designed for 100% night capability and spend 95% of the AFTR in daylight ???
I would add a caution caption to all the "gung ho" bits though..the "beyond Div / Corps boundries bit". Great, if you have (e.g. for Op Normandy Gulf 1) Air Supremacy / Dominance, sh*t loads of CAP / Sweep / SEAD / AEW support..but also lots of AH (US Army has about 750 - minus trashed from Afghanistan and Iraq2). There will only be 48 at front line (take about 6-8 away for 300 / 600 hr servicings at any one time), leaves about 40 minus U/S cabs on the day..call it 35 to play with. Start playing any attritional deep operations and the loss of aircraft on a piecemeal basis, will soon bite into the force.
Worth reading up on the 101st Airborne's brief on AH ops in Gulf 2...about 1000 odd Hellfires let off...500 - 800 odd targets claimed. But 1 lost ..the TV star ...ran out of fuel..2 cat 5 ..heavy landing in sand out...but 27 shot to f**k..unable to return fire due to ROE in built up areas. And who was that AH MANPAD target in the free air hover over Fajullah doing overwatch with DVO ..hardly a role for a tank killer. Worth noting the last 2 points...future NATO doctrine believes that conflict for the will be more "low intensity and mainly in urban areas"..so Jaeger has a valid point. The Longbow system was a US upgrade planned in the late 80's to fully integrate the A models weapons "in order to achieve an increased capability to destroy mass on the battlefield". The ISR capability is therefore a by product and very limited.
With hindsight perhaps the UK should have gone for 1/3 D and 2/3 A model or 1/2 Apache and 1/2 AH 1 W (which appears to have out performed the AH in Gulf 2 in many areas)..but hey....thats another debate.
Good to see some ideas thrashed around though and glad to see that AH is attracting healthy debate from our comrades in Lt Blue...I too will now dive down below the parapet and wait for the incoming..this is one debate that is bound to roll on......INCOMING
Thanks for your comments, which interested me greatly (I must get out more!).
I must say that the idea of a dedicated JHC AH Bde is an excellent one. Arguably this may be the only way in which to give the AH sufficient political clout to develop doctrine and tactics commensurate with it's capabilities. Perhaps in the future such an AH Bde may also be allowed to obtain some armed Extendor UAV's (please correct me if I am wrong in thinking that this is the current name for the next generation Brit UAV! I lost track when the 'Captor' name was dropped). An MQ-9G Predator type capability would be an outstanding asset with which to improve comm/data link connectivity and locate/designate targets for AH. I would see a Longbow as an excellent package commander's platform for JHC ops also. I understand that there are thoughts being given to you guys developing a Lynx (AH9?) as a package commander/ACE type platform. Personally, I'd have thought that the comms/IDM capabilities of the Apache or ASTOR would be better suited.
I accept your comments about AH beyond Corps/Div boundaries given the fact that your Apache's will essentially be HVAA due to their small numbers. Hopefully however, you will not often have to work without the support of a robust AWACS/SIGINT/JSTARS or ASTOR umbrella. Therefore, I hope that AH may yet be employed in occasional deep ops (eg the first shots of GW1). However, maybe such things are best left to the RN TLAMs.
I agree whole heartedly with your comments regarding trg and exercises. Right now, there is a lamentable lack of coord within the UK regarding day-day trg. Almost every day, there are sufficient assets to be able to conduct excellent joint trg if coord and corporate knowledge could be improved (how many of you guys are aware that you can often get AWACS support by calling 'Any Magic' on 364.2?). With a bit of coord, it should be possible to combine TACP's, AH and fast movers with OCA going against DCA into Spade or any of the OTA's with E-3D and maybe even Nimrod R1 support. Right now however, all 3 services are largely tooling along either unwilling or unable to produce excellent trg opportunities due to lack of coord. The High Wycombe CAOC needs to sort it's life out!
Having been heavily involved in Afghanistan and GW2 more recently, it is clear to me that we need to move considerably closer in how we train. And I'd certainly agree that night ops should become the norm rather than the exception.
As far as exercises for you guys, I'd heartily recommend Cope Thunder in Alaska due to the terrain and HUGE range area. The EW emulators are not as good as Nellis, but they're getting better. Similarly, Maple Flag is top value. Maybe someone could combine either or both of those with the BATUS programme, or is that being too sensible. You never know, you may soon get to stay in hotels with us in Las Vegas if you get to some Flags!!!!!
I'd be very interested to read up on the US GW2 report that you mentioned, any idea where I could get my hands on a copy? Us RAF AWACS types worked closely with some of the US helo's during TELIC, so it would be great to hear some feedback on their ops.
As I mentioned, I really do think that the Army as a whole will have to revisit how they view Aviation once AH gets established however. One thing that did strike me very strongly viewing Ex Iron Hawk at BATUS in Oct 00, was the fact that the final 2 options ever considered by the commander seemed to be Aviation and CAS. I sincerely hope that this will change once your Apache's get up and running. I also gained the impression that there was a lack of support for the AAC in the upper echelons of the Army. Now I don't want you Brown Jobs ripping into me over these opinions. They were snapshots, and I am quite possibly wrong. However, do you think that with the advent of AH, the Corps needs to more closely consider Lt Col sqn cdrs (like us Crabs dare I say it), and the aircrew cadre being more of a long term career option. This latter point I make as I understand that a proportion of AAC aircrew are not actually 'badged' and spend only a relatively short period as pilots before returning to their original regiments. I'd be interested to here the AAC perspective on this.
Anyway, it's getting late and I have to go and wash my polyester trousers and white socks for tomorrows hotel reunion!
Regards to all,
walks sideways out of the firing line....
At last....at last....the first sensible discussion on the UK AH that I have seen on both PPRUNE and ARRSE. Thank you Reality Check and Magic. What is slightly heartening is that Reality, you obviously know your stuff and I hazard a guess are in a position to do someting about it. Magic - thank you for some well balanced and researched/experienced comments. At last a crab that responds to banter - there is a future for jointery once we get rid of the tribal dinosaurs!
Firstly, how do we get this thread either onto or linked to PPRUNE (I could dream that hits CDS' desk to give him a flavour of his grass roots feeling on the subject!) as I believe that we would all benefit from a wider audience and I am sure that we have hit the crest of the 'willy' wave (ing) and realise whether it is rounds down range or a Joint Personnel Recovery task - we all need AH and its obvious capability should shorten any future conflict, which means we get home to family sooner!
Secondly, as to the digitization issues. I believe that the Corps is on the case - but it could improve if some people actually tried to read into and understand the issues. ***** (fast software protocol) rather than the Jags ******* (slower software protocol) must surely be the way ahead, especially as we will not be able to afford **** (very fast US software protocol) for a while (unless Gordon realises exactly how important this network centric thingy is and handsover the dosh to the DECs!).
Naturally, I do not want to 'beadwindow' myself, but lets get the GR7 mates IDM'd and the Jags off their poxy slow software protocol (equivalent to an A road) and onto fast protocol (8 lane motorway). The depth fire MLRS boys can actually know their system and realise that they do have the capability (albeit only slow protocol at the moment) and maybe look inside the box in their wagons!
However, I totally agree with both RC and MM - it has to be co-ordinated from the highest level (DECs and CDS) to ensure that 'peeing on fires' does not take place by those 'career chasers' that believe that they are defending their 'Service' corner. AH is virtually already swept up digitally (as a platform), but even this aircraft cannot fight alone and requires Joint and Combined integration (50% of 101 st's kicking). Someone please tell me why there isn't a DEC co-ordinating all of the mission planning equipment - MPS, TAMPA , HAMPA and the future BISAs?
Other points - at last the penny has dropped! 3 Shock Army are not coming through the ******* Gap! If they are it will take a long Transition To War to achieve. Therefore, lets look at the capability and the effect required. Sorry 16 AAB - your good, but you are not the only 'boys in town'. Obviously the SF boys will need support and also the Royal Marines - and these cannot be done on the usual AAC shoe string, lets not train with them, or vary the environment and try and cuff it on the day routine....(mirror and then lets look at ourselves). There needs to be regular training in these special/different environments (i.e. put your hands in your pockets and fork out for exercises in the jungle, snow, desert, mountains, red air/helo, EW etc). If not, another Task Force Hawk could lose some of our limited precious aircraft in a theatre, not due to hostile fire - but accidents as untrained crews get a grip with recirculation, hot and high, night flight over the sea/deck landings etc. Lets allow the civvies to do a Risk Assesment prior to operations if we do not train - and then lets allow the wives/families to sue as a proper duty of care has not been conducted in allowing crews to conduct tasks that they have not been properly trained for. Gosh was that a pig flying by with an AR5 on - surely not, as we don't train with AR5 as they will be replaced!
Possible suggestion - 3+4 Regt remain with Wattisham, 9 Regt close - 1 x AH Sqn (with IDM capable BLUH) to Yeovilton and 1 x AH Sqn to wherever the SF boys are? : The people that you are most likely to work with are on your doorstep, not only for flying training, exercises, but the often forgotten ethos, esprit de corps, loyalty, intimate knowledge of SOPs/SOIs etc. Wattisham can then become the AH training location and also provide the 16 AAB High Readiness force (plus back fill from the training set up if required - all on the door step).
Training is everything (just look at the SF boys) and MM it is music to my ears to hear you say lets sort it out. You are so right, how many cabs get airborne in UK of all 3 services and of all types and just turn AVTUR into fumes. Does PJHQ have a J7 training function that can knock Fleet, Land and Strike's heads together to put out a Joint flypro! The annual NITEX/JMCs/QHTI courses can't be the only opportunity for this. How many tanks (sorry targets) rumble across Salisbury Plain that with no extra effort could be used by the other Arms/Services?
What a ramble I know - but at last, instead of mindless drivel about 'I can fly better than you' some people are obviously on the case. Great news - lets keep it that way.
Oh and by the way crabbo - if we share a hotel your mini-bar will be the first casualty of war. You will be calling 'tumbleweed' and 'bogey dope' before you know it and your picture will certainly not be clara!