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AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Contains threads on Joint Service equipment of the past, present and future.
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Timmymagic
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Postby Timmymagic » 21 Apr 2019, 13:17

Caribbean wrote:Surely a navalised EC135/145 or AW109 (all of which we already use), equipped for SAR would be an ideal (and cheap) fit for this task.


Also makes an awful lot of sense as a Gazelle replacement on land. Simply put high ranking officers will always demand to be carried around...sometimes for good reason. At present we're going to be using one of our key battlefield ISTAR assets (if the reports are true) to do it, for want of anything else.

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RichardIC
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Postby RichardIC » 21 Apr 2019, 13:30

Dahedd wrote:I've no knowledge of this but ref the earlier discussions on the Lynx AH9 & the need for a light utility. We're the AH9 & the navy's lynx not rushed out of service too quickly to make way for the wildcat or were they all knackered . Would it not have made more sense to retain some for the above roles.

Using a wildcat or merlin as a plane guard is surely a waste of platform & likewise the AAC wildcats should be far heavier armed & keeping the tricycle equiped AH9 would free up wildcard for their recon role.


Spot on. The last AH9As was only upgraded in 2011. They could actually lift stuff and carry people. Simple, rugged and powerful.

Wildcat is great as a naval attack heli, but gives nothing to the AAC.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Postby Scimitar54 » 21 Apr 2019, 16:20

Nor does it do anything much for ASW in it's current under equipped state with insufficient numbers as well. :mrgreen:

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Apr 2019, 21:08

Looking at the list of Helicopter required by the CSG I think there are a few options we might look at. Having nine Merlin HM2s for ASW is obvious, but I have read elsewhere that there will only be a maximum of four Merlin/Crowsnest deployed at any one time given the small number actually being modified. As for the Merlin HC4s, why don't we look at a similar scheme to what the USNs auxiliary supply fleet does and use contracted helicopters to provide Vertrep, each vessels having one or two on a permanent basis when at sea. This surely has to be cheaper than allocating some of the HC4s from an already small pool of assets. However the opposite might be effective if one or two HC4s were on board the Carrier at all times for utility duties and plane guard. These would benefit form the existing support structure already on the Carrier. Add to the two to three Wildcats from the Escorts and there you have it in theory.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Apr 2019, 21:11

RichardIC wrote:pot on. The last AH9As was only upgraded in 2011. They could actually lift stuff and carry people. Simple, rugged and powerful.Wildcat is great as a naval attack heli, but goves nothing to the AAC.


Which is why I was proposing a stripped out Utility variants of the Wildcat to carry our the same role as the Lynx AH9 and give 16AA back its integral utility platforms. Their EO systems would be there to aid night and bad weather operations which is now an essential capability, but if this could be done by simply using NVGs and adapting the cockpit instrumentation then that works for me as well.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Postby Dahedd » 26 Apr 2019, 08:41

Double post

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Postby Dahedd » 26 Apr 2019, 08:43

What ever happened to the Sea King Commandos that had the major upgrade for Afghanistan? Didnt they get new engines, gear box & rotors? I assume we scrapped them or sold them cheap. Would a few of them not have worked for carrier vert rep & plane guard duties?

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Postby Timmymagic » 26 Apr 2019, 09:41

Dahedd wrote:What ever happened to the Sea King Commandos that had the major upgrade for Afghanistan? Didnt they get new engines, gear box & rotors? I assume we scrapped them or sold them cheap. Would a few of them not have worked for carrier vert rep & plane guard duties?


New Carter rotors, but I don't think much else. And even if they did have new engines and gearboxes operating down low in a sandy and dusty environment will have knackered them very soon. Which may be one of the reasons the AH.9A wasn't prolonged in service, it may have had new engines for Afghan, but after Afghan service they may have all been shagged.

Vertrep I wouldn't worry too much about. Any twin engined helo will be able to do some vertrep, but the RN going with Heavy RAS will minimise the need for major vertrep work. The real savings for a small helo would be all those mundane tasks, HDS, planeguard etc.


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