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UK's Puma replacement


Slater
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The Airbus Helicopters H225M (28 troops; 11t fully loaded) is substantially larger than the SA330 Puma (16 troops; 7t fully loaded). Airbus is offering the H175 (18 troops; 7.5t fully loaded). Leonardo’s offering is a similar size. Looks to me like H225M is too big (and expensive?) for the role the RAF is trying to fill. 

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I think it depends on the seats; the H225 is generally a Super Puma/Cougar. If I remember correctly, in the military seating configuration it can carry 16 equipped soldiers. If you want to put in more people, you need an "airliner-like" seating, which makes loading/unloading quite cumbersome. So, 28 troops is not realistic for tactical use.

 

Alex

 

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Thanks, it looks like they really changed the layout and added more seats. Looks like the rear part has been lowered to add some cabin space, too. I was working on the Cougar in my military service, and we had a layout for 16 soldiers. They have a picture of the 19-pax-layout, I'm still wondering how they can put 28 people in that cabin: https://www.airbus.com/en/products-services/helicopters/civil-helicopters/h225/h225-technical-information

 

Must be quite crowded then. Especially if you take soldiers with relevant equipment and weapons.

 

ALex

 

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On 3/31/2021 at 7:14 AM, wellsprop said:

 

That would just be paying to switch from one out of date aircraft to another.

 

The requirement would still exist to upgrade to a modernised aircraft. 

A bit like the RAF's Rivet Joint purchase then..........

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On 4/16/2021 at 12:40 AM, junglierating said:

Agree 20 years late. Was Sk optimised for sea level hmm Afghanistan would say not ?

"SeaKing": you don't find many seas up mountains.🤣🤣🤣🤣

Seriously though, for a helicopter designed for a maritime environment the SeaKing and its crews have acquitted themselves very well in UK servicexal9ne over the years.

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45 minutes ago, stever219 said:

"SeaKing": you don't find many seas up mountains.🤣🤣🤣🤣

Seriously though, for a helicopter designed for a maritime environment the SeaKing and its crews have acquitted themselves very well in UK servicexal9ne over the years.

 

Gotta agree there! The Sea King did a damn good job and carried on serving even when it really was a bit tired. The poor aircraft had so many extra bits bolted onto it that it became an awful lot heavier and a lot less aerodynamic!

 

The Sea King and Lynx (much like the 101 and 159 that succeeded them) are designed as maritime platforms designed to operate in the North Atlantic, closing the GIUK gap to the Soviet navy - a job they all do very well. 

 

The AW149 is quite a departure from this design philosophy, it builds on the philosophy of the incredibly successful AW139 (which the USA has chosen to replace Hueys) and incorporates a lot of technological development.

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2 hours ago, wellsprop said:

The AW149 is quite a departure from this design philosophy, it builds on the philosophy of the incredibly successful AW139

Could you elaborate abut what that US in detail?

 

Curious, but not very knowledgeable in this field...

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51 minutes ago, exdraken said:

Could you elaborate abut what that US in detail?

 

Curious, but not very knowledgeable in this field...

 

Without going into deep detail, the design shares a lot in common with the AW139, it can be considered part of the same family (i.e. much like the Airbus A320 series). The AW139 has had worldwide success and is noted for its reliability and ease of maintenance - moreover, it can be easily configured to suit an intended role.

 

The AW149 has 4 large displays and a very clean cockpit (especially the overhead panel), this increases the pilots situational awareness and reduces their workload.

 

e369ef85692067c21edc4460bb58d1f8.jpg

 

Compared with the more crowded and busier S-70i cockpit

img_20160314_090856.jpg?w=625

 

Another massive change is the AFCS (Automatic Flight Control System) in the AW149 is significantly more modern and advanced than the Blackhawks.

 

Generally, comparing the AW149 with the Blackhawk is similar to comparing an Airbus A320 with a Boeing 737.

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On 15/06/2021 at 21:55, wellsprop said:

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopters/airbus-helicopters-showcases-westernised-h175-as-uk-puma-replacement-hots-up/144144.article

 

Airbus Helicopters are beginning their marketing pitch. 

 

Interestingly they are claiming they can make the aircraft in the UK, although I seriously doubt Airbus Helicopters UK designs/makes anywhere near as much of the H175M as the Leonardo Helicopters UK designs/makes of the AW149.

 

I feel politics and supporting UK industry will have a big role in the final deicision. Personally, I believe if the UK wants to support the UK helicopter industry, then there is only one company that can be chosen. 

If the UK wants to give our armed forces the best option is Blackhawk hands down.... andthe Army wants Blackhawk

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20 minutes ago, Whitewolf said:

If the UK wants to give our armed forces the best option is Blackhawk hands down.... andthe Army wants Blackhawk

 

That's your problem: if.  Governments (of whatever colour) are only interested in doing the minimum they can get past the voters (who overwhelmingly don't care at all) at the cheapest possible price.  How else can one explain recent ludicrous penny-packet procurements (Wedgetail, Type 26)?

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6 hours ago, Seahawk said:

 

That's your problem: if.  Governments (of whatever colour) are only interested in doing the minimum they can get past the voters (who overwhelmingly don't care at all) at the cheapest possible price.  How else can one explain recent ludicrous penny-packet procurements (Wedgetail, Type 26)?

Getting the best is always a problem as like you say penny pinching governments always seek the cheapest deal, although in this case that would actually be Blackhawk with the bonus that we already have a good number of pilots trained to fly it after exchange postings with the US. E7 is currently the best AEW aircraft, but we need 5 as opposed to the 3. Type 26, yes we need more than 8....

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On 21/05/2022 at 20:32, Slater said:

Weren't Sweden's Blackhawks only intended to be a gap-filler until their preferred aircraft was ready? 

 

Not quite, Sweden bought the NH90, which is so terribly unserviceable and delayed that they then bought Blackhawks. Australia did the same.

 

Don't buy an NH90.

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On 5/21/2022 at 1:14 PM, Whitewolf said:

If the UK wants to give our armed forces the best option is Blackhawk hands down.... andthe Army wants Blackhawk

 

Is it though? and who is "the Army"? the Chiefs of staff, the troops? all? and what about the RAF that will operate and fly it? and it depends of course on your measures to deem what is the best?, it's all subjective........

 

I guess if you get the RFP right, and be detailed and specific on the requirement for performance, cost, training, operational costs, build offset, maintenance, etc etc etc then the best is what wins that competition, and if it's the Blackhawk then good, if not then good too.

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Well, if you can wait for the Blackhawk's supposed replacement (the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, prototypes which are flying) you'll get a substantially more capable helicopter. Of course, it's probably priced accordingly.

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48 minutes ago, Slater said:

Well, if you can wait for the Blackhawk's supposed replacement (the Future Long Range Assault Aircraft, prototypes which are flying) you'll get a substantially more capable helicopter. Of course, it's probably priced accordingly.

 

FLRAA is of pretty much no use to European militaries - no one in Europe is interested in it, tilt-rotors, coaxials with pushers and compound helicopters. The US has a requirement to fly small groups of people, very very long distances, pretty quickly - the US moves loads of airborne troops with vast quantities of blackhawks (as they did in the Iraq war), European militaries simply don't do this, because they don't operate hundreds of helicopters.

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/11/20/five-european-allies-sign-on-to-build-natos-next-medium-lift-helicopter/

 

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Blah blah blackhawk the UK didnt want it in the 80/90s so not sure why they might now.

In my opinion too much relience on one countries kit is expensive and not always the best solution. 

Besides whilst performance is of upmost importance so is maintainabilty and the right amount of logistics....trust me buy USA is great but.....the repair loop is enormous. 

Mind you now we are no longer part of mainland Europe import export controls are an absolute nightmare...just me gobbing off/ fourpennyworth.😁

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47 minutes ago, junglierating said:

Blah blah blackhawk the UK didnt want it in the 80/90s so not sure why they might now.

 

Don't know if the requirement has changed, but the Blackhawk was always too small for the UK requirements. it couldn't carry the number of trooops in a single lift - fine for the US which had plenty of them (and pilots)

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  • 2 weeks later...
44 minutes ago, wellsprop said:

Poland order the AW149 for their military - assumes 32 aircraft.

 

https://defence24.com/armed-forces/poland-procures-the-aw149-in-its-perkoz-programme

Ooh 5 fully equipped troops ....thats kinda useless then thats not even a section ...even puma can do that ....is that the a/c LHels are pushing for Puma replacement?

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On 14/06/2022 at 17:20, junglierating said:

Ooh 5 fully equipped troops ....thats kinda useless then thats not even a section ...even puma can do that ....is that the a/c LHels are pushing for Puma replacement?

 

It is, the AW149 vastly surpasses the 5 fully loaded troops requirement (really vastly).

 

Things like the, avionics, training capability and gearbox dry run times are what really set the AW149 apart from the rest of the competition.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Zombie thread revival. Latest edition of Air Forces Monthly has a piece on this and seems to think the 149 to be the right choice.

 

Trevor

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