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UK requests Hellfires


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21 minutes ago, Slater said:

I'm guessing that these are less expensive than Brimstones?

Probably being procured for the new/remanufactured Apache helicopters which the British Army will be introducing into service in the near future,

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8 minutes ago, Slater said:

Can the UK's Reaper drones also use Hellfire?

Yes they can - I'd overlooked them :)

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I either fear for the Pentagon intelligence gathering and reporting capabilities or they have just copy/pasted a document from the last time we bought Hellfires

 

“... an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.“

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13 hours ago, LostCosmonauts said:

 

“... an important force for political stability and economic progress in Europe.“

Not sure, but Europe is a continent, everybody but the Britisch see the Britisch islands as a part of Europe.... :D

 

And relative to what is going on in the Greek/ Turkish area or Baltics, Belorussia or Ukraine, I'd say it is pretty stable, or at least I do hope so! even though some think a rather radical change will make all better... :(

 

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On 8/26/2020 at 10:20 PM, Richard E said:

Probably being procured for the new/remanufactured Apache helicopters which the British Army will be introducing into service in the near future,

Yep, the new Apache is "off-the-shelf" and isn't compatible with most current British weapons.

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I remember reading many years ago, that the UK Government could have bought its first batch of Apaches from the US for around $20 Million each. Instead, they insisted that they would be built-under-licence by Westland (now known as Leonardo?) and they cost the UK taxpayer nearly £50 Million each. Now, obviously buying direct from the yanks does not create or preserve any British jobs, but that seemed like a hell of a price difference to me. 

 

A similar thing happened when the Belgian government insisted in building all their air-force's F-16's "in house". Apparently, the aircraft cost so much to produce in Belgium that - for several years afterwards - they could barely afford to actually fly them.

 

Who said military expenditure has reached ridiculous levels...?

 

Chris.  

Edited by spruecutter96
Correcting a typo.
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On 8/29/2020 at 12:09 PM, spruecutter96 said:

I remember reading many years ago, that the UK Government could have bought its first batch of Apaches from the US for around $20 Million each. Instead, they insisted that they would be built-under-licence by Westland (now known as Leonardo?) and they cost the UK taxpayer nearly £50 Million each. Now, obviously buying direct from the yanks does not create or preserve any British jobs, but that seemed like a hell of a price difference to me. 

There is a significant performance difference between them, additional defensive suites added, etc.

Performance wise you can see photos from Afganistan where the US machines had to remove the Longbow radar pods from the masthead, to improve performace in the climate encountered there. The UK birds retained theirs...

 

 

As for reaching ridiculous spending levels, they can waste a whole lot more if given half a chance!

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On 29/08/2020 at 01:09, spruecutter96 said:

I remember reading many years ago, that the UK Government could have bought its first batch of Apaches from the US for around $20 Million each. Instead, they insisted that they would be built-under-licence by Westland (now known as Leonardo?) and they cost the UK taxpayer nearly £50 Million each. Now, obviously buying direct from the yanks does not create or preserve any British jobs, but that seemed like a hell of a price difference to me. 

 

A similar thing happened when the Belgian government insisted in building all their air-force's F-16's "in house". Apparently, the aircraft cost so much to produce in Belgium that - for several years afterwards - they could barely afford to actually fly them.

 

Who said military expenditure has reached ridiculous levels...?

 

Chris.  

Pretty much the same argument is made about replacing Trident and the jobs it'll create/protect - we'd save a lot of money by just paying off every worker with a generous gold plated lifetime pension to keep schtum and just say we built the thing but it is very very stealthy

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10 hours ago, hairystick said:

There is a significant performance difference between them, additional defensive suites added, etc.

Performance wise you can see photos from Afganistan where the US machines had to remove the Longbow radar pods from the masthead, to improve performace in the climate encountered there. The UK birds retained theirs...

 

 

As for reaching ridiculous spending levels, they can waste a whole lot more if given half a chance!

In theory at least, all US Apaches are to be re-engined with the GE T901 (with 50% more power). Presumably the UK will also go this route.

 

https://www.geaviation.com/military/engines/t901-turboshaft-engine

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I recall a comment that by ordering our F-4 Phantoms with the Spey engine and larger intakes we got the most expensive and slowest F-4’s built. Not sure how true or what difference it made operationally but I do suspect buying kit off the peg rather than made to measure saves money. Whether you then get the right kit might be another matter. 
 

I see there is speculation that the UK army might end up with no tanks and no Warriors either as seemingly these are no longer fitted to present threat scenarios. Back to 1959 perhaps?  Or even 1929?  I sleep so well at night knowing that the MOD can entirely predict with 100% accuracy the next conflict we will get engaged in. Presumably a staff change from 1982, Gulf1 etc 

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On 8/30/2020 at 10:52 PM, JohnT said:

 I sleep so well at night knowing that the MOD can entirely predict with 100% accuracy the next conflict we will get engaged in.


You’ll be fine.

 

All citizens will be issued pikes (archery equipment for the more dextrous) and are required to present to their town hall for drill every Tuesday night at 7:30.

 

In this manner, preparedness is assured. Cheaply.

Edited by Blimpyboy
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22 hours ago, JohnT said:

I recall a comment that by ordering our F-4 Phantoms with the Spey engine and larger intakes we got the most expensive and slowest F-4’s built. Not sure how true or what difference it made operationally but I do suspect buying kit off the peg rather than made to measure saves money. Whether you then get the right kit might be another matter. 
 

 

The fuselage of the F-4K/M had to be widened to enable the much heavier Spey to fit, which increased the drag and weight and made it slower and less manoeuvrable. The Spey provided the extra thrust to get the aircraft away from our smaller decks, of course, and at high altitude it had a better overall performance than the J79-powered F-4s. Swings and roundabouts, but when 74 had their ex-USN F-4Js it was where most RAF Phantom pilots wanted to go.

 

With regard to the Apache, I used to know a former AAC Apache technician. The US airframe was designed in feet and inches, while the British-French engine was designed in metric. That used to cause a few problems by all account.

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2 hours ago, Truro Model Builder said:

British-French engine was designed in metric. That used to cause a few problems by all account

Quite possibly however it is the better engine in hot and high conditions and once the installation is designed then as far as I am aware from my time at Wattisham getting the donkey in and out was a doddle.

All a mute point as the E model will have GE .Additionally it looks as if Merlin may go that way eventually. 

I note that NH 90 and its derivatives will continue to use the RTM

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On 8/29/2020 at 1:09 AM, spruecutter96 said:

I remember reading many years ago, that the UK Government could have bought its first batch of Apaches from the US for around $20 Million each. Instead, they insisted that they would be built-under-licence by Westland (now known as Leonardo?) and they cost the UK taxpayer nearly £50 Million each. Now, obviously buying direct from the yanks does not create or preserve any British jobs, but that seemed like a hell of a price difference to me. 

 

A similar thing happened when the Belgian government insisted in building all their air-force's F-16's "in house". Apparently, the aircraft cost so much to produce in Belgium that - for several years afterwards - they could barely afford to actually fly them.

 

Who said military expenditure has reached ridiculous levels...?

 

Chris.  

 

On 8/30/2020 at 2:54 AM, hairystick said:

There is a significant performance difference between them, additional defensive suites added, etc.

Performance wise you can see photos from Afganistan where the US machines had to remove the Longbow radar pods from the masthead, to improve performace in the climate encountered there. The UK birds retained theirs...

 

 

As for reaching ridiculous spending levels, they can waste a whole lot more if given half a chance!

 

This isn't a million miles from the truth, the difference in price isn't as much, but it's significant.

 

The difference in performance and capability (for the UK) is massive. The WAH 64D Apache Mk I had been specifically modified for UK requirements and integrated well with UK systems, the defensive aids suite is superior to the US one.

 

The AH-64E guardian is on par with the WAH-64D, however it lacks a significant amount of integration with UK systems and there is little to no operational engineering support (specific for the UK requirements).

 

The purchase price isn't the significant factor, the support cost is. With the US built AH-64Es, the only support available is what Boeing give, I.e. it's not tailored for UK requirements and there is limited scope to incorporate operational requirements.

 

Engineering (operational or otherwise) issues with the UK built Apaches can be resolved reasonably quickly by the MoD and UK based manufacturer. If it has to go to Boeing, it takes forever and costs loads (trust me, it's part of what I do for a living), the charge from Boeing for a simple engineering question is more than my annual salary....

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On 8/28/2020 at 4:34 PM, wellsprop said:

Yep, the new Apache is "off-the-shelf" and isn't compatible with most current British weapons.

Never has been matey....but and he says through gritted teeth you do get a superb attack helicopter which for 18 months I enjoyed working on 

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12 minutes ago, junglierating said:

Never has been matey....but and he says through gritted teeth you do get a superb attack helicopter which for 18 months I enjoyed working on 

Oops I forgot the Brimstone and Starstreak were never fitted. Despite a huge amount of work being done to make it possible.

 

The CRV7s did replace the Hydras however.

 

I'm lucky enough to work on the Apache and I can't fault it. It's the best attack helicopter ever built both in design and systems. The Apache WAH-64D Mk I was even superior to the AH-64D with improved engines and defensive aids.

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On 8/30/2020 at 2:33 PM, Slater said:

In theory at least, all US Apaches are to be re-engined with the GE T901 (with 50% more power). Presumably the UK will also go this route.

 

https://www.geaviation.com/military/engines/t901-turboshaft-engine

that is an interesting fact I was not aware of!

we already some discussion here:

 

definitely makes some more sense now!

 

 

3 minutes ago, wellsprop said:

 

The CRV7s did replace the Hydras however.

 

I'm lucky enough to work on the Apache and I can't fault it. It's the best attack helicopter ever built both in design and systems. The Apache WAH-64D Mk I was even superior to the AH-64D with improved engines and defensive aids.

is E model Apache better full filling  the UK requirements compared to the WAH-64 from back then?

is it a technical  upgrade or only a cost reduction measure?

 

wonder what are the plans from and for RR if all engine related  is going to be procured from elsewhere....

if I understand correctly, the Italians use a different engine on their Eh-101 (GE?! as well)

 

 

 

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The AH-64E features upgraded defensive systems and engines (among other things), it is also modified for marine environments. That essentially being it to the same capability as the UK's WAH-64D, however, it is not going to be modified to integrate with UK defense infrastructure.

 

The MoD used to have a design time specifically for modifying the Apache to suit UK requirements (marine and arctic come to mind) - the MoD no longer has this capability. With a foreign military sale from the US government, the ability to the buyer to work with the manufacturer to customise and provide bespoke support to an aircraft type is lost. It is cheaper, however.

 

The Italians used T700s and TC7s on their AW101s.

 

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Pardon my ignorance, but what does ‘integrating With the U.K. defence structure mean’? I hope at the very least pilots can talk to their controller and data can be uploaded and downloaded?

 

Trevor

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2 hours ago, wellsprop said:

Oops I forgot the Brimstone and Starstreak were never fitted. Despite a huge amount of work being done to make it possible.

 

The CRV7s did replace the Hydras however.

 

I'm lucky enough to work on the Apache and I can't fault it. It's the best attack helicopter ever built both in design and systems. The Apache WAH-64D Mk I was even superior to the AH-64D with improved engines and defensive aids.

Concur👍

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At this point I will interject with the Boeing Chinook HC3 saga- a direct buy, straight from the manufacturer, who supplied exactly what was asked for. 

10 Years from delivery to entering service, and massive cost over runs.  I propose that If they had been Westland products, or licence built in Yeovil, that Westland would have moved heaven and earth to get them into service quickly. It's what you do for your prime customer.

The UK order of 50 or so E models is a very small drop in the ocean, so we will be well behind the like of Israel and Japan in terms of clout, and we will get exactly what we pay for, no more, no less. 

 

 

 

 

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