New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Contains threads on Joint Service equipment of the past, present and future.

It's February 2024 - Which way is NMH going to go?

Please note that results are sorted by decreasing number of votes received.

Leonardo AW-149
12
46%
Sikorsky S-70M Black Hawk
6
23%
Programme cancelled
3
12%
Airbus H-175M
2
8%
Puma kept in service till next-gen
2
8%
Boeing MH-139 (back from the dead?)
1
4%
 
Total votes: 26

SW1
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by SW1 »

mrclark303 wrote: 05 Mar 2024, 09:20
SW1 wrote: 04 Mar 2024, 15:57
Ron5 wrote: 04 Mar 2024, 14:46 @SW1 forgot to show the last paragraph in the article:
That many accidents during a collective 1.7 million flight hours gave a rate of .87 class A mishaps per 100,000 flight hours, lower than the Army’s overall rate of 1.03 and lower than the H-60’s previous five-year rate of 1.04. Flightfax’s review of the period between 2016 and 2020 shows human error was the primary cause factor in 83 percent of the mishaps with the remaining 17 percent attributed to mechanical failure.
Still don’t get it I see, it’s not the accidents it’s the why it happened in the first place!

“ NCMAS members found that pilots were not flying enough hours to remain proficient, maintenance personnel were insufficiently trained and suffered from low morale, and that supply chains lacked adequate throughput to keep aircraft in flying shape”

It’s not unique to European helicopters and what mrclarke303 and his buy American cheer leaders ignore. It doesn’t matter who you buy the helicopter from, if you don’t put in place the spares holdings and parts managements systems to control configuration you get shit results even in the good old us of a because your pilots can’t fly the helicopters! It’s helps if you supply changes are as short as possible
"mrclark303 and his buy American cheer leaders"

Sounds like a great band, I'll get my guitar out 😂

Seriously, I'm not sure your fixation on this buy American comes from?

I could mention your buy Italian fixation....

Why do I want Blackhawk.... As Ron put it, it's the only Helicopter designed from the ground up to be a Tonka tough battlefield helicopter, specifically designed from Vietnam UH1 experience to absorb battlefield damage.

The other options are adjusted Civilian helicopters.

Oh, the armed forces have wanted them 'for years', but let's not have what the Army and RAF actually want get in the way of future juicy non executive board positions on the Leonardo board....
Not sure why you think I want the aw149. It’s not the only other option.


Yeah load of nonsense. But then the army does have a love of ancient vehicles maybe it wants ancient helicopters too.

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Scimitar54 »

Did not know that they were considering the Bristol Sycamore!
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by mrclark303 »

Scimitar54 wrote: 05 Mar 2024, 11:21 Did not know that they were considering the Bristol Sycamore!
Well there is one in the Bristol collection and one at Western helicopter collection, I doubt we can afford more than that, so best get cracking with refurb.....

How about we throw in a Belvedere....
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by mrclark303 »

SW1 wrote: 05 Mar 2024, 11:11
mrclark303 wrote: 05 Mar 2024, 09:20
SW1 wrote: 04 Mar 2024, 15:57
Ron5 wrote: 04 Mar 2024, 14:46 @SW1 forgot to show the last paragraph in the article:
That many accidents during a collective 1.7 million flight hours gave a rate of .87 class A mishaps per 100,000 flight hours, lower than the Army’s overall rate of 1.03 and lower than the H-60’s previous five-year rate of 1.04. Flightfax’s review of the period between 2016 and 2020 shows human error was the primary cause factor in 83 percent of the mishaps with the remaining 17 percent attributed to mechanical failure.
Still don’t get it I see, it’s not the accidents it’s the why it happened in the first place!

“ NCMAS members found that pilots were not flying enough hours to remain proficient, maintenance personnel were insufficiently trained and suffered from low morale, and that supply chains lacked adequate throughput to keep aircraft in flying shape”

It’s not unique to European helicopters and what mrclarke303 and his buy American cheer leaders ignore. It doesn’t matter who you buy the helicopter from, if you don’t put in place the spares holdings and parts managements systems to control configuration you get shit results even in the good old us of a because your pilots can’t fly the helicopters! It’s helps if you supply changes are as short as possible
"mrclark303 and his buy American cheer leaders"

Sounds like a great band, I'll get my guitar out 😂

Seriously, I'm not sure your fixation on this buy American comes from?

I could mention your buy Italian fixation....

Why do I want Blackhawk.... As Ron put it, it's the only Helicopter designed from the ground up to be a Tonka tough battlefield helicopter, specifically designed from Vietnam UH1 experience to absorb battlefield damage.

The other options are adjusted Civilian helicopters.

Oh, the armed forces have wanted them 'for years', but let's not have what the Army and RAF actually want get in the way of future juicy non executive board positions on the Leonardo board....
Not sure why you think I want the aw149. It’s not the only other option.


Yeah load of nonsense. But then the army does have a love of ancient vehicles maybe it wants ancient helicopters too.
And yet the Chinook is a design 20 years older than the Blackhawk SW1, what must you think of that antique 🫣😵‍💫....

You do know your position re the age of the original design is total nonsense I'm sure, you're just having a bit of fun.....

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Ron5 »

mrclark303 wrote: 05 Mar 2024, 13:51 You do know your position re the age of the original design is total nonsense I'm sure, you're just having a bit of fun.....
He lost the plot several pages ago, he's been posting contradictory things ever since :cry:
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by sol »

Not directly connected with NMH but contract for 6 H-145 for Cyprus and Brunei is signed, value of the contract is £122 million
No delivery timeline for the German-built helicopters has been disclosed, but the MoD says it expects the Jupiter HC2s to “take over aviation duties in Brunei and on Cyprus during 2026”.
Baseline H145s are being acquired rather than the dedicated military M-model variant which is capable of being armed. Modifications for the Brunei and Cyprus missions will be carried out at Airbus Helicopters UK’s site at Oxford airport.
https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 89.article

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by sol »

Article from flightglobal, but keep in mind it i not officially confirmed
In February this year, the MoD published its long-awaited invitation to negotiate (ITN) document which laid out the exact requirements for the procurement, including quantity, pricing and aircraft specifications.

Although there had been hints last year that the number of helicopters being sought had fallen to the 25-35 range, the ITN now calls for between 23 and 32 airframes, according to people familiar with the document.
Despite the lower quantity of aircraft being sought, the budget has only shifted slightly. In its original tender notice, the MoD said the budget for the procurement – including training, spares and an initial five-year period of in-service support – was £900 million to £1.2 billion ($1.1-1.5 billion), excluding Value Added Tax (VAT) at 20%.

That figure has now fallen to a maximum of £1 billion, and now includes VAT, according to people familiar with the ITN.

However, the MoD insists none of its parameters have moved. “There has been no change to the NMH scope as advertised in the contract notice and the competition needs to conclude before contract deliverables and delivery dates can be confirmed,” it says.
One interesting thing in article is this one
The exact specifications of the NMH are still undisclosed, but sources indicate a dedicated battlefield transport helicopter is being sought. In addition, the MoD is actively considering the potential to arm the platform beyond standard door guns, FlightGlobal understands.
https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 96.article
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by mrclark303 »

sol wrote: 01 May 2024, 18:35 Article from flightglobal, but keep in mind it i not officially confirmed
In February this year, the MoD published its long-awaited invitation to negotiate (ITN) document which laid out the exact requirements for the procurement, including quantity, pricing and aircraft specifications.

Although there had been hints last year that the number of helicopters being sought had fallen to the 25-35 range, the ITN now calls for between 23 and 32 airframes, according to people familiar with the document.
Despite the lower quantity of aircraft being sought, the budget has only shifted slightly. In its original tender notice, the MoD said the budget for the procurement – including training, spares and an initial five-year period of in-service support – was £900 million to £1.2 billion ($1.1-1.5 billion), excluding Value Added Tax (VAT) at 20%.

That figure has now fallen to a maximum of £1 billion, and now includes VAT, according to people familiar with the ITN.

However, the MoD insists none of its parameters have moved. “There has been no change to the NMH scope as advertised in the contract notice and the competition needs to conclude before contract deliverables and delivery dates can be confirmed,” it says.
One interesting thing in article is this one
The exact specifications of the NMH are still undisclosed, but sources indicate a dedicated battlefield transport helicopter is being sought. In addition, the MoD is actively considering the potential to arm the platform beyond standard door guns, FlightGlobal understands.
https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 96.article
While it seems counterintuitive and against my personal favourite, the Blackhawk.

If we are only going to buy a handful of airframes, we may as well buy another 20 odd Merlin HC4.

That way they can at least be used as a force multiplier for the Commando squadrons, without having yet another bespoke small fleet to support...

Seems the only way of getting maximum bang out of this dwindling buck.....

We all just knew this would shrink to a pointless token order didn't we.....
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by new guy »

Time will tell.
24 is a 1 for 1 replacement, so in that way, it hasn't gotten worse...

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by GarethDavies1 »

But will 24 last 20 plus years

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Poiuytrewq »

mrclark303 wrote: 01 May 2024, 20:40 We all just knew this would shrink to a pointless token order didn't we.....
Surely the entire helicopter plan needs a rethink in SDSR25.

There are lots of available options and current planning appears to be the worst option of all.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by mrclark303 »

new guy wrote: 01 May 2024, 21:26 Time will tell.
24 is a 1 for 1 replacement, so in that way, it hasn't gotten worse...
I suppose that depends how you cut the cards.

The Puma purchase was originally 50 units, back in the early 1970's. This was always supposed to go hand in hand with a Chinook purchase, that was repeatedly kicked down the road until eventually ordered in 78??

While the Army was double the size in this period, Helicopters were a lower priority as we faced the Warsaw pact, the priority being ground based manoeuvring and transport.

You could argue that our far smaller army today requires increased air mobility to maximise its effect, particularly with our of area operations.

If we only order 20 ish, then despite it's limitations, I think a top up order to create two Army Merlin HC4 squadrons is the way to go, it's far from a perfect solution, but it would at least provide two fleets of support helicopter that would be available in reasonable numbers.

It would also throw a bone to Leonardo, that's so important to many folks...

UK assembly of a handful of anything else is crazy, it's just chucking money away.

Order 40 plus and the dynamic shifts, then have a proper open fly off competition and look at UK assembly of the winner.

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by mrclark303 »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 02 May 2024, 09:30
mrclark303 wrote: 01 May 2024, 20:40 We all just knew this would shrink to a pointless token order didn't we.....
Surely the entire helicopter plan needs a rethink in SDSR25.

There are lots of available options and current planning appears to be the worst option of all.
I'm sure you're right mate, there's a good deal of deliberate foot dragging going on, I can't see any order before the election and then it will be further paused for consideration in SDSR25.

The Pumas got to go on for a good few years yet, unless it's simply withdrawn without replacement?

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Poiuytrewq »

mrclark303 wrote: 02 May 2024, 09:53 I'm sure you're right mate, there's a good deal of deliberate foot dragging going on, I can't see any order before the election and then it will be further paused for consideration in SDSR25.

The Pumas got to go on for a good few years yet, unless it's simply withdrawn without replacement?
Introducing 20 or so of a new type seems totally unjustifiable. Around 30 or 40 may be justified but it really needs to be 50-70 to make sense for U.K. PLC. If the funding can’t be secured for that then better to expand numbers of what is already in place IMO.

Arming the NMH seems like more illogical reasoning. Why have the Wildcat AH1, NMH, Chinook and Apache with only the Apache and NMH offensively armed? Bonkers.

Would it not make more sense to properly arm the Wildcat AH1 which is perfectly suited to become close air for the FCF, Rangers, 16AAB etc rather than add that capability to the NMH? Adding Brimstone, LMM, Sea Venom and forward firing 20mm would give the Wildcat a real strategic value which at the moment isn’t clear.

The Merlin’s future is interesting. No one seems to have considered that adding another 5x Frigates to the escort fleet by 2030 will require more helicopters. The 3x FSS will require more helos as will the 6x MRSS and if the CVFs are going to operate simultaneously then that’s even more strain on the Merlin numbers. IMO there is clear justification now for all Merlin’s to be upgraded to Mk2 ideally with LMM, Sea Venom and Sting Ray. If RN is to grow then the helo numbers will have to grow too.

Therefore if only £1bn is available then procuring another 25 Chinook is probably the best option available provided then are fully marinised with auto folding rotors.

Upgrading the Wildcat and Merlin would give UK PLC plenty of work until the 2030s at which time a proper NMH design can be finalised and the funding secured to procure 50-70.

The benefits would be game changing:

• RN would have around 50x Merlin Mk2 with LMM, Sea Venom and Sting Ray
• RN would have around 35x Wildcat HMA2
• RN would have access to 25x marinised Chinook for the FCF
• The Army would have access to around 75x Chinook in total
• The Army would gain 25x highly potent Battlefield Wildcats replacing by upgrading the AH1 which could be fully marinised for joint use.
• The NMH could be postponed until the 2030s when the increase in funding to 2.5% starts to allow for a £2-£3bn NMH procurement.

It’s not perfect but it’s a better outcome than current planning IMO.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by mrclark303 »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 02 May 2024, 11:05
mrclark303 wrote: 02 May 2024, 09:53 I'm sure you're right mate, there's a good deal of deliberate foot dragging going on, I can't see any order before the election and then it will be further paused for consideration in SDSR25.

The Pumas got to go on for a good few years yet, unless it's simply withdrawn without replacement?
Introducing 20 or so of a new type seems totally unjustifiable. Around 30 or 40 may be justified but it really needs to be 50-70 to make sense for U.K. PLC. If the funding can’t be secured for that then better to expand numbers of what is already in place IMO.

Arming the NMH seems like more illogical reasoning. Why have the Wildcat AH1, NMH, Chinook and Apache with only the Apache and NMH offensively armed? Bonkers.

Would it not make more sense to properly arm the Wildcat AH1 which is perfectly suited to become close air for the FCF, Rangers, 16AAB etc rather than add that capability to the NMH? Adding Brimstone, LMM, Sea Venom and forward firing 20mm would give the Wildcat a real strategic value which at the moment isn’t clear.

The Merlin’s future is interesting. No one seems to have considered that adding another 5x Frigates to the escort fleet by 2030 will require more helicopters. The 3x FSS will require more helos as will the 6x MRSS and if the CVFs are going to operate simultaneously then that’s even more strain on the Merlin numbers. IMO there is clear justification now for all Merlin’s to be upgraded to Mk2 ideally with LMM, Sea Venom and Sting Ray. If RN is to grow then the helo numbers will have to grow too.

Therefore if only £1bn is available then procuring another 25 Chinook is probably the best option available provided then are fully marinised with auto folding rotors.

Upgrading the Wildcat and Merlin would give UK PLC plenty of work until the 2030s at which time a proper NMH design can be finalised and the funding secured to procure 50-70.

The benefits would be game changing:

• RN would have around 50x Merlin Mk2 with LMM, Sea Venom and Sting Ray
• RN would have around 35x Wildcat HMA2
• RN would have access to 25x marinised Chinook for the FCF
• The Army would have access to around 75x Chinook in total
• The Army would gain 25x highly potent Battlefield Wildcats replacing by upgrading the AH1 which could be fully marinised for joint use.
• The NMH could be postponed until the 2030s when the increase in funding to 2.5% starts to allow for a £2-£3bn NMH procurement.

It’s not perfect but it’s a better outcome than current planning IMO.
10/10, I totally concur.....

The only possible change I would make is minimum maritime compatibility for the Chinook, manual folding blades, tie down points, shipboard avionics compatibility, corrosion resistance etc, or as we know, the conversion costs will go through the roof.

As you say, get the Army Wildcat armed to give it an actual job other than ferrying officers around as an expensive taxi service.

If we then move to a new NMH design down the road, it should be fully maritime and capable and able to be armed, as the situation demands....

One point, I think about 8 Merlin HM1 remain in store in various states of Christmas tree ' robbed out' condition.

It's debatable if they can be resurrected and converted to MK2 standard without massive cost implications unfortunately....
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by SD67 »

My take - somebody needs to bash the Service Chiefs Heads together and insist on either uniformity across the board, or abolish the whole concept of JFH and let them go their separate ways. Either get married or get divorced I'm tired of this soap opera.


Divorce Option :
- All Wildcat transferred to the navy where they serve as an 80% AH64 substitute for Littoral strike
- New build Merlins ordered to equip T26 expansion
- Forget about attempting to Marinise Chinook, just but a few more Merlin
- Army can finally consummate their 40 year forbidden lover affair with the Blackhawk - but only if taken from the Polish Production line

Marriage Option :
EVERYTHING must be marinised. Only exception is AH64 because it's already bought. CH53 not Chinook. The Army becomes the USMC.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by SD67 »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 02 May 2024, 11:05
mrclark303 wrote: 02 May 2024, 09:53 I'm sure you're right mate, there's a good deal of deliberate foot dragging going on, I can't see any order before the election and then it will be further paused for consideration in SDSR25.

The Pumas got to go on for a good few years yet, unless it's simply withdrawn without replacement?
Introducing 20 or so of a new type seems totally unjustifiable. Around 30 or 40 may be justified but it really needs to be 50-70 to make sense for U.K. PLC. If the funding can’t be secured for that then better to expand numbers of what is already in place IMO.
If this were France the Government ie the MOD would sign a 20 year partnering agreement with Leonardo to build 120 AW149s or their commercial cousins on a regular drumbeat to be used for everything from SAR, VIP transport, Army, Navy, fisheries, whatever and any surplus units go into a central contingency pool with future role TBD or get leased out to the oil industry. Any department/service chief who whinges about preferring an American option gets given a P45 and a Pension.
Seems to work out well for them
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Caribbean »

SD67 wrote: 03 May 2024, 11:01 Divorce Option :
- All Wildcat transferred to the navy where they serve as an 80% AH64 substitute for Littoral strike
- New build Merlins ordered to equip T26 expansion
- Forget about attempting to Marinise Chinook, just but a few more Merlin
- Army can finally consummate their 40 year forbidden lover affair with the Blackhawk - but only if taken from the Polish Production line
Some sense in that option, but cash, as always is the sticking point

I would keep half of the ex-Army Wildcat fairly basic & add a winch, stabilised sniper mount & external fuel tanks - use with the RFAs, patrol boats & as plane guard for the carriers. Convert the rest to HMA2 standard

AW101 is an extremely expensive aircraft - they were nicknamed the "Flying frigate" not because they were so effective, but because they cost nearly as much as a frigate!

RN stays Merlin and Wildcat
Army gets AH64 and Blackhawk (or whatever) plus the small AH145 HC2 flight in Cyprus/ Brunei
RAF gets Chinook and Puma replacement
Training ends up with AH135/145

Any odds and sods (AW109s etc) can revert to direct MOD control or be replaced by one of the "standard" models
SF can do their own thing
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Ron5 »

Caribbean wrote: 03 May 2024, 14:04 I would keep half of the ex-Army Wildcat fairly basic & add a winch, stabilised sniper mount & external fuel tanks
Are external fuel tanks an option on Wildcat? I know internal extra tanks are, but I've not seen any external that I can remember.

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Caribbean »

Ron5 wrote: 03 May 2024, 14:35
Caribbean wrote: 03 May 2024, 14:04 I would keep half of the ex-Army Wildcat fairly basic & add a winch, stabilised sniper mount & external fuel tanks
Are external fuel tanks an option on Wildcat? I know internal extra tanks are, but I've not seen any external that I can remember.
Oops. Mea culpa. Should have been auxiliary fuel tanks. I think I was wittering about not needing external weapons mounts before I (mis-)edited it all out for brevity
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by mrclark303 »

We've certainly come up with a broad view of different viable options here between us, if only someone in MOD procurement would take a look!

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by new guy »

It would be funny if the Army and RAF combined end up with an equal amount of transport helicopters as the RM's alone.

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by leonard »

Some have rightfully pointed out the recent news from the ILA2024 air show.
https://x.com/FennellJW/status/17987507 ... -ohjA&s=19

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by new guy »

leonard wrote: 07 Jun 2024, 17:56 Some have rightfully pointed out the recent news from the ILA2024 air show.
Yeah compare that to the UK's Police fleet, contracted fire fighting, contracted coast guard, need for police SF , e.c.t
add in the difference between the UK's needs / requirements vs Germans.

Germany is an outlier too. Bundespolizei is one of the largest non-military governmental helicopter operators in the world.

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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Jensy »

From Flight Global (£):
Lockheed wavering over NMH bid, sources suggest

Lockheed Martin appears to be on the verge of walking away from the UK’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) contest without submitting the Sikorsky S-70M Black Hawk for the final stage of the procurement.

Despite being one of the frontrunners for the competition, multiple sources have told FlightGlobal that the US defence giant does not intend to submit a final proposal for NMH.

Launching the invitation to negotiate (ITN) stage of the acquisition in February, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) set a 30 August deadline for the receipt of final offers.

Lockheed declines to address the issue directly, simply saying that it “continues its dialogue on the invitation to negotiate with the Ministry of Defence”.



https://www.flightglobal.com/defence/lo ... 73.article
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