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UK's Puma replacement


Slater
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49 minutes ago, exdraken said:

Don't you thing the replacement will be simply some Chinooks already in service? :(

 

Sledgehammer v toffee hammer .

Example.....whilst in Turkey 🇹🇷  I was running a FARP...FWD Arming and refuelling point .

Chinook dropped 6 fuel containers (they have a name) all upside down ...couldnt shift them .

Sea king came along and saved the day...we managed to get the 8 ft strop atached and pull them right way up....lesson everything has its role to play. Will the people who make decisions listen....im sure the junior service would like a new (and simple) medium support helo

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15 hours ago, Slater said:

 

I really hope so!

 

The AW149 is based on the incredibly successful AW139 (which is in service with civilian and military operators - even the US military bought it!), the AW149 is also already in service in Thailand and Egypt. It's civilian counterpart, the AW189 is proven in service in the SAR role with the UK coastguard.

 

Before anyone claims that this aircraft hasn't anything to do with design and manufacture in the UK/Yeovil - I can assure you, it really does (though I can't/won't go into more details). Ordering the AW149 would secure a lot of UK jobs and the Yeovil site would continue to support the aircraft for at least 3 decades.

 

Fortunately (in a way), the early retirement of the Puma means the FVL will no longer be a competitor (not to mention that the FVL with it's co-ax and pusher prop design will be hideously expensive to buy and operate) https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopters/uk-keeps-options-open-for-puma-replacement-but-deadline-will-be-too-early-for-fvl/142048.article

 

The competitors (that I can immediately think of) are;

  • AW149
  • NH90
  • H175M
  • Back Hawk

Only one of the offerings supports UK industry.

 

I'm sure the US government will offer the Black Hawk as a (effectively subsidised) foreign military sale, which may just prove too tempting for the accountants (see AH-64E Guardian).

 

And according to my employers new "social media guidelines", I have to explicitly state that these views are my own 🤣

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44 minutes ago, junglierating said:

Sea king came along and saved the day...we managed to get the 8 ft strop atached and pull them right way up....lesson everything has its role to play. Will the people who make decisions listen....im sure the junior service would like a new (and simple) medium support helo

 

Good old Sea King!

 

I know it's the wrong colour, but here's the most iconic Sea King moment for me. I slipped out of an A Level maths class early and ran down the the Cathedral to watch that rescue! (not my photo though). 

 

Wells-Cathedral.jpg

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1 hour ago, junglierating said:

....Wells?

Thats the one! 

 

It was quite the spectacle. An elderly tourist fell out the cathedral tower whilst on a guided tour (no idea how). 

 

The air ambulance couldnt do anything (so they sent a second air ambulance)?! Then the RAF turned up and plucked her off the roof!

 

 

It makes me wonder how good the Black Hawk would be in the SAR role... EDIT: forgive my ignorance, turns out the Black Hawk has been doing SAR forever. Although it only has 2/3 the range of the 149...

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I feel it is a shame that it takes the possibility of an order from the British armed forces for Leonardo to consider setting up an assembly line in Yeovil. As a production facility it seems woefully underused by Leonardo, which appears to want to keep most of its helicopter production in Italy.

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1 hour ago, Truro Model Builder said:

I feel it is a shame that it takes the possibility of an order from the British armed forces for Leonardo to consider setting up an assembly line in Yeovil. As a production facility it seems woefully underused by Leonardo, which appears to want to keep most of its helicopter production in Italy.

 

The assembly halls are packed, there isn't a single empty bay and the flight line is overcrowded too. I'm not sure the order book and deliveries are acutally published by the company, but I can assure you there's plenty to do still!

 

Manufacturing of the AW101 has moved to Yeovil and plenty of parts for the Italian company (as well as other major helicopter programmes) are made in Yeovil - there is an amount of commercial sensitivity, hence I can't be more specific. 

 

In the last couple years the Yeovil site has become a civilian aircraft service centre. The aircraft for the UK coast gaurd were made in Yeovil and there is a lot of upgrade activity going on.

 

In terms of production, the Yeovil site is busy.

 

The AW149 would mean that there would be secure orders for production to start once the current batch of orders are complete. It wouldn't increase production, rather just change production to a different aircraft.

 

The other good thing about the Yeovil site is it provides key design and manufacturing capabilities for the company, all AW aircraft use parts made in Yeovil (again, I can't be more specific).

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12 hours ago, exdraken said:

Don't you thing the replacement will be simply some Chinooks already in service? :(

 

Isn't Chinook considered a heavy-lift helicopter vs the medium-lift AW149? 

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8 hours ago, Slater said:

Isn't Chinook considered a heavy-lift helicopter vs the medium-lift AW149? 

tell that those in procurement!  they might tell you "so what?" if a medium one can lift it, a heavy one can as well.... and then the CH-47 is considered "medium" to "heavy" as well (Boeing)

 

let's hope you get your medium replacements... but buying new and expensive stuff does not go down well with cash strapped governments :(

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1 hour ago, exdraken said:

tell that those in procurement!  they might tell you "so what?" if a medium one can lift it, a heavy one can as well.... and then the CH-47 is considered "medium" to "heavy" as well (Boeing)

 

Haha, yes I struggle to see the Chinook being classed as "Medium". The Chinook is the best heavy lift helicopter, there's no questioning that!

 

The Chinook's strength and weakness is it's size - it's massive.

 

The new medium lift helicopter will replace the Bell 212, Bell 412, Puma and Dauphin, therefore it needs to be able to do the following roles;

  • SAR (Bell 412)
  • Troop transport (Puma)
  • Operate in confines (Bell 212)
  • Special Forces insertion covert/semi-cover (Dauphin)

The AW149 fits all these roles. It particularly benefits over a Chinook or Black Hawk in the special forces role, currently some civilian-looking Dauphins are used, the 149 is (at a glance) identical to a 189. Neither the Chinook nor Black Hawk are very subtle. I certainly don't see a Chinook ever performing an SAR role - in fact, I've never seen a Chinook winching.

 

Another significant difference between the Black Hawk and the AW149 is the operating cost. The AW149 has specifically been designed as a modern aircraft with a lower operating costs. On top of that, if the 149 was purchased, the aircraft would be able to be serviced in Yeovil and the Yeovil site would be providing support to the MoD as the main customer (unlike US companies, where the UK is low down the list of customers.

 

The AW149 would also be easily tailored to MoD requirements, whereas generally you get what you're given with off the shelf US aircraft (I believe this would be the case with the S-70i, the Polish built international military variant of the Black Hawk).

 

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45 minutes ago, wellsprop said:

The Chinook's strength and weakness is it's size - it's massive.

See my dit in the thread yesterday....btw Merlin utility i reckon would have delivery snags also but I cant say from a load lifting team experience on that particular paraffin parrot 

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Possibly slightly off-topic, do you have ay first hand experience of the downwash from a Chinook and how it compares to a Sea King (or other medium types), for example?

 

I've been very close to a hovering Sea King and it was rather blowy.

 

The AW149 MTOW is 8600kg, the Chinook BEW is over 11000 kg, so the Chinook is possibly too drafty for a lot of landing sites.

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Surely the most prudent purchase would be Black Hawks. Proven, already in service with our allies, and probably enough available to buy some today so there’s no capability gap. 

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Am I imagining it or did Westland assemble a batch of UH-60’s for Saudi Arabia as part of the Magic Carpet deal in the hope that it would also be chosen by the RAF?

 

Trevor

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54 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:

Surely the most prudent purchase would be Black Hawks. Proven, already in service with our allies, and probably enough available to buy some today so there’s no capability gap. 

 

I'm not sure they produce "white tails" in in the military aircraft production world, I can't imagine any would be available for immediate purchase today and would have to be manufactured just like any of the other options.

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1 hour ago, Lord Riot said:

Surely the most prudent purchase would be Black Hawks. Proven, already in service with our allies, and probably enough available to buy some today so there’s no capability gap. 

 

Depends, would you rather have however many millions re-invested in UK jobs or just send the cash straight out the country?

 

The AW149 (and AW189) is in service currently and available to purchase.

 

Buying from a UK company means all the in-service support and upgrades can be done in the UK (lower cost and less time to carry out work). There is also a lot more flexibility for customisation if ordering from Yeovil, it is unlikely that Sikorsky will want to do any re-design work to sell a few aircraft to the UK.

 

The Black Hawk isn't exactly an upgrade from a Puma.

 

1 hour ago, Max Headroom said:

Am I imagining it or did Westland assemble a batch of UH-60’s for Saudi Arabia as part of the Magic Carpet deal in the hope that it would also be chosen by the RAF?

 

Trevor

 

They did, following the 'Westland Affair'. I think only one was built https://hushkit.net/2021/02/12/whatever-happened-to-the-westland-ws-70-blackhawk/

 

In fact, the situation is very similar. The UK had a medium lift helicopter requirement and US proposed a Foreign Military Sale (effectively subsidising the cost) and undercutting UK industry.

 

47 minutes ago, Agent K said:

 

I'm not sure they produce "white tails" in in the military aircraft production world, I can't imagine any would be available for immediate purchase today and would have to be manufactured just like any of the other options.

 

Correct, the order would just get stuck on the end of Poland's order.

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2 hours ago, wellsprop said:

Possibly slightly off-topic, do you have ay first hand experience of the downwash from a Chinook and how it compares to a Sea King (or other medium types), for example?

 

I've been very close to a hovering Sea King and it was rather blowy.

 

The AW149 MTOW is 8600kg, the Chinook BEW is over 11000 kg, so the Chinook is possibly too drafty for a lot of landing sites.

On your ‘rather blowy’ ratchet that up to VERY VERY blowy under a Chinook😂

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3 hours ago, wellsprop said:

 

The Chinook's strength and weakness is it's size - it's massive.

 

 

Even at low level you can hear a Chinook coming a long time before you see it.  The performance of the Puma is still impressive and surprisingly stealthy (agility and noise) , I assume the performance of the AW149 would be similar although I've yet to see / hear one.  

 

  

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2 hours ago, Evalman said:

 

Even at low level you can hear a Chinook coming a long time before you see it.  The performance of the Puma is still impressive and surprisingly stealthy (agility and noise) , I assume the performance of the AW149 would be similar although I've yet to see / hear one.  

 

  

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣the performance of a Puma .....oh my word that has to be the joke of the year.....Dunno if you are ex RAF but your light blue PR team played a blinder..to be fair the RN PR is pretty dire but getting better? 

 

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4 hours ago, Evalman said:

The performance of the Puma is still impressive and surprisingly stealthy (agility and noise) , I assume the performance of the AW149 would be similar although I've yet to see / hear one. 

 

Im not sure this is correct.

 

The Puma is showing its age and is fairly slow, it was designed using 1970s technology and it shows. The AW149 is aerodynamically vastly superior and far more efficient.

 

The Puma can carry 16 passengers or 2t slung load. 

 

The AW149 can carry 18 passengers or 2.7t slung load.

 

Not to mention the avionics, systems and flight control system of the AW149 are decades newer than the Puma.

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1 hour ago, wellsprop said:

 

Im not sure this is correct.

 

The Puma is showing its age and is fairly slow, it was designed using 1970s technology and it shows. The AW149 is aerodynamically vastly superior and far more efficient.

 

The Puma can carry 16 passengers or 2t slung load. 

 

The AW149 can carry 18 passengers or 2.7t slung load.

 

Not to mention the avionics, systems and flight control system of the AW149 are decades newer than the Puma.

 

More like 1960s tech. First flew 1965. The first ones arrived in the RAF in 1971.

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8 hours ago, Agent K said:

 

I'm not sure they produce "white tails" in in the military aircraft production world, I can't imagine any would be available for immediate purchase today and would have to be manufactured just like any of the other options.


I was thinking more along the lines of second hand US ones, even cheaper. A quick refurb and off you go.

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