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

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

Post by Jensy »

The New Medium Helicopter (NMH) is a British military programme to procure a new medium-lift support helicopter to replace several existing helicopters operated by the Royal Air Force and British Army. It is expected the new aircraft will enter service during the mid-2020s.
- Wikipedia
For the NMH requirement, the MoD is looking to replace the Westland-Aerospatiale SA 330E Puma HC2, as well as the Bell 212, Bell 412, and Airbus Dauphin. -Janes
Thought it was time to start a new thread, rather than using those of the platforms to be replaced for news. (Presuming Mods are happy :angel: )

As of February 2022 the publicly announced firms planning bids for the NMH requirement are:

- Leonardo with the AW149
Image

- Airbus Helicopters with the H175M
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- Lockheed Martin with the Sikorsky S-70M Black Hawk
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Background Links:

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... ement-plan

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/blade- ... -2040plus/

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... ngs-for-uk

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

Post by Jensy »

A good piece in FG from an interview with Mike Morrisroe, head of UK campaigns at Leonardo.

Plenty of salesman banter about their competitors but also a few snippets about the wider programme, particularly a second Black Hawk bidder.

Article (£):

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 78.article
Leonardo Helicopters has taken a swipe at what it dismisses as the “pop-up assembly lines” proposed by rivals for the UK’s forthcoming New Medium Helicopter (NMH) contest.

Highlighting the “end-to-end” helicopter capability offered by its existing Yeovil plant in Somerset, southwest England, the Anglo-Italian airframer says no other manufacturer will be able to quickly replicate its expertise.
The AW149 faces competition from the Airbus Helicopters H175M, which would be assembled at a new line in Broughton, North Wales, and the Sikorsky S-70M, which, although Polish-built, would be completed in-country. A fourth company is proposing upgraded ex-US Army Black Hawks, with the modernisation work to be carried out at Teesside airport.
Thought the above was noteworthy. Both Draken and Thales have sites there. Not sure either of them are in the Black Hawk refurbishment game..
Morrisroe also underscores Leonardo Helicopters’ export ambitions for Yeovil-built AW149s in the event that it wins the NMH contract.

“It can’t just be about a transient capability and then everything gets stood down. We recognise that our offer is not just about building 36-44 aircraft for the MoD – it’s about that customer capability and about exports from Yeovil.

“Our CEO has made the commitment that those exports in future will be from the UK,” he says. “We will be held accountable to deliver against that promise.”

A similar promise was made when the related AW189 was selected by Bristow Helicopters for the UK’s current search and rescue contract, but aside from two helicopters for the Falkland Islands, no rotorcraft for export were assembled in Yeovil.
Something else worth noting, alongside previous promises to build various other AgustaWestland aircraft at Yeovil that never fully transpired....

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Thx Jensy, though I have moved over to 'more' geopolitical sites, trying to keep tabs on the major equipment prgrms.

Learning from 'Land' mistakes re:pop-up factories and whether skills can be regenerated at the pace that a new prgrm would require is certainly a worthwhile thought. Tarzan is still around, perhaps (at he age of 88) he could be engaged and be very effective in shooting down he (industrially) unrealistic proposals... with the MoD and this Gvmnt every little bit helps 8-)
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Cooper »

Blackhawks should be disqualified from the competition on the grounds that they're just so FUGLY compared to its rivals :lol:

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

Post by Jensy »

ArmChairCivvy wrote: 14 Feb 2022, 06:53 Tarzan is still around, perhaps (at he age of 88) he could be engaged and be very effective in shooting down he (industrially) unrealistic proposals... with the MoD and this Gvmnt every little bit helps 8-)
Serial dog murderer! :D Many moons ago I nearly wrote my Masters dissertation on that topic...

If we finally end up with Black Hawk now, it will be one of the finest examples of our procurement mismanagement. 30 years to replace Puma by which time Westland is very nearly expunged like a Heseltine hound... Even if it's the best platform by far.

Good to see you pop back in!

New piece from the RAeS:

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/a-lynx ... -clothing/

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

Post by Jensy »

Looks like Bell are going to bid for NMH.

Paywalled:
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defe ... 25-for-nmh

Image

This is Bell, who only in 2016:
Mitch Snyder, the chief executive of Bell Helicopter, does not imagine the company offering any future conventional clean-sheet helicopter to the US military after completing delivery of the AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom.
Not entirely sure if that would be a positive or a negative for the UK. Would we get better industrial benefits if they have no intention of bidding a military 525 for US contracts?

Two of the platforms being replaced by NMH are Bell derived designs though.

https://www.flightglobal.com/heli-expo- ... 22.article

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

Post by Lord Jim »

Imagine if Bell can persuade the MoD to delay the contest and then bid the Valour for the NMH! IF we could get a workshare on this platform given the amount the US Military intend to buy it would be a real boost to the UK. I wonder if Leonardo would be willing to partner Bell? Future replacement for the Commando Merlin HC4 anyone?
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Lord Jim »

It appears that as of last month the British and US Army's are now looking to collaborate on their future vertical lift programmes. The isintal agreement that has been signed is to work out the parameters of this collaboration, but the British Army's requirements are remarkably similar to that of the US Army for not just the Rotorcraft but also the related technologies and systems. As with most existing Army programmes this is a long term affair not due to reach fruition until the latter half of the 2030s as the earliest.

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Lord Jim wrote: 03 Mar 2022, 23:33 this is a long term affair
Perhaps our prgrm should have the call sign IMH... Interim Medium Helicopter
- would not be much liked by the accountants as the name implies that you would write them off earlier than what their accounting rules would dictate
- did anyone ask 8-) the sharp pencils when the idea of selling T31s early (and building new) was put into circulation
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

I hope we don't go for any of the pop up manufacturing options. I like the look of AW149.

Joint program with US sounds great from the point of vuew of sharing costs and risks, so long as we get the specs that WE want as opposed to what US wants.

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

Post by mr.fred »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 04 Mar 2022, 18:01 Joint program with US sounds great from the point of vuew of sharing costs and risks, so long as we get the specs that WE want as opposed to what US wants.
Since we can guarantee that the specs will be what the US wants, we'd either align our wants to theirs or try elsewhere
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by TSharpe28 »

Lost my free subscription but the first part says

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 64.article

A surprise contender for the UK’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) requirement has broken cover, pitching pre-owned Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks that would be extensively upgraded at a new facility in the northeast of England.

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

Post by Repulse »

One thing that Ukraine has already reminded us is that the follow of weapons and support from other countries during conflicts is far from guaranteed. The UK should have a level of coverage for all critical capabilities - for me, the ability to design and build manned and unmanned helicopters is one of them.

In the current situation, only a Leonardo option supports this.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Lord Jim »

In my view, the current conflict has shown that besides Infantry weapons such as NLW, Stinger or Javelin, you fight with what you have. Even if you can build Helicopters or Tanks, the lead time is too great. Having a better set of assumptions to base your forward planning on, and having more of the right kit in service or held in storage is what is needed.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Lord Jim wrote: 20 Mar 2022, 13:24 In my view, the current conflict has shown that besides Infantry weapons such as NLW, Stinger or Javelin, you fight with what you have. Even if you can build Helicopters or Tanks, the lead time is too great. Having a better set of assumptions to base your forward planning on, and having more of the right kit in service or held in storage is what is needed.
That is one conclusion.

Another is to consider that despite the significant investment in new hardware and equipment, that the Russians neglected their communications and logistics and equipement maintenance, with units not training in combined arms operations and that aircraft and helicopter pilots in particular lacked the requisite number of annual hours flying, both live and on simulators, and what little training they had focussed on single unit operations rather than practicing combined arms.....

Specifically for UK NMH, would I be right in thinking that they use medium-lift support helicopters mainly for moving troops and light supplies around? So if they were not available then the main affect would presumably be to reduce British Armies' tactical mobility around the battlefield, getting troops into right positions?

What I am trying to say is that Ukraine have shown us one way to fight a defensive war, expertly using local terrain and preying on the aforementioned Russian weaknesses. We need to learn from this to ensure that our own infantry have sufficent anti-tank and anti-air missiles, with a mix of man-portable, AFV mounted and area defence to get the layers of coverage. But crucially just because Ukraine have nt been able to use some equipment to good effect, does nt mean that we should ignore it if we feel it can add to our armed forces capabilities.


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

Post by Lord Jim »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 20 Mar 2022, 20:26
Lord Jim wrote: 20 Mar 2022, 13:24 In my view, the current conflict has shown that besides Infantry weapons such as NLW, Stinger or Javelin, you fight with what you have. Even if you can build Helicopters or Tanks, the lead time is too great. Having a better set of assumptions to base your forward planning on, and having more of the right kit in service or held in storage is what is needed.
That is one conclusion.

Another is to consider that despite the significant investment in new hardware and equipment, that the Russians neglected their communications and logistics and equipement maintenance, with units not training in combined arms operations and that aircraft and helicopter pilots in particular lacked the requisite number of annual hours flying, both live and on simulators, and what little training they had focussed on single unit operations rather than practicing combined arms.....

Specifically for UK NMH, would I be right in thinking that they use medium-lift support helicopters mainly for moving troops and light supplies around? So if they were not available then the main affect would presumably be to reduce British Armies' tactical mobility around the battlefield, getting troops into right positions?

What I am trying to say is that Ukraine have shown us one way to fight a defensive war, expertly using local terrain and preying on the aforementioned Russian weaknesses. We need to learn from this to ensure that our own infantry have sufficent anti-tank and anti-air missiles, with a mix of man-portable, AFV mounted and area defence to get the layers of coverage. But crucially just because Ukraine have nt been able to use some equipment to good effect, does nt mean that we should ignore it if we feel it can add to our armed forces capabilities.
I think we are basically saying the same thing. It is no good working from the assumption that one will haver time to correct capability gaps of shortages of existing equipment with say UORs. A future Peer level conflict will have a warning period of a few weeks if not days, so you have to fight with what you have got. This means the British Army's re equipment plan needs to be both accelerated and expanded.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

That I definitely agree with.We have to assume that we can only fight with what has been already delivered - even if ordered there is no guarantee of being delivered

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

Post by Jensy »

Safran pushes UK-built Aneto engines for UK NMH contest - Flight Global (£)
[Safran] is convinced its proposal offers the biggest benefit to the UK: it promises that should the Aneto-equipped AW149 win the NMH contest then it will build and overhaul the 2,500shp (1,840kW)-class powerplants for the UK, and any for AW149 export sales, at its site in Fareham in southern England. In addition, the helicopter’s eAPU60 auxiliary power unit would also be manufactured and maintained at the plant.
Should Leonardo Helicopters and SHE be successful with their respective bids, then the UK site would become the “lead capability” for the Aneto across the company, initially for the -1K model but potentially covering all variants, depending on the overall success of the engine programme, says Earl.
https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 66.article
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by EESDL »

Some amusing comments here - someone even said that the 149 ‘looked nice’! I guess that is important as it’s going to have to spend a lot of time sat by a C17 wondering how it will fit inside without taking-up most of REME dismantling it ;-). Selecting the AW149/189 will ensure, once and for all, that UK does not have any current or future rotary expertise. With funding pulled from the AW139 Grey Wolf due to issues with trying to make a military aircraft from a civilian one you can be assured that Leonardo will be too busy with the NMH than ensuring that they are in a good position to be NGR contenders. The recent narrative from Leonardo has changed significantly - they are now talking about a ‘final assembly line’; ie, bolting on the blades and filling the tank (although I would ‘dip’ it). Leonardo have ‘form’ which works against them. Bristow SAR 189 debacle - Leonardo promising a UK production line - which never materialised. With their deep Russian joint ventures and brown paper bag dealings they could be seen as too toxic? There’ll always be the ‘Leonardo at any cost’ fraternity but let’s face it, majority of engineers are contractors and will just move to where the work is - like they have always done.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

EESDL wrote: 11 Apr 2022, 09:13 Some amusing comments here - someone even said that the 149 ‘looked nice’! I guess that is important as it’s going to have to spend a lot of time sat by a C17 wondering how it will fit inside without taking-up most of REME dismantling it ;-). Selecting the AW149/189 will ensure, once and for all, that UK does not have any current or future rotary expertise. With funding pulled from the AW139 Grey Wolf due to issues with trying to make a military aircraft from a civilian one you can be assured that Leonardo will be too busy with the NMH than ensuring that they are in a good position to be NGR contenders. The recent narrative from Leonardo has changed significantly - they are now talking about a ‘final assembly line’; ie, bolting on the blades and filling the tank (although I would ‘dip’ it). Leonardo have ‘form’ which works against them. Bristow SAR 189 debacle - Leonardo promising a UK production line - which never materialised. With their deep Russian joint ventures and brown paper bag dealings they could be seen as too toxic? There’ll always be the ‘Leonardo at any cost’ fraternity but let’s face it, majority of engineers are contractors and will just move to where the work is - like they have always done.
NE of England is beautiful - they’ll enjoy it ;-)
Curious what your preferred option then to ensure UK's "current and future rotor expertise"?

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

Post by EESDL »

How about Leonardo (UK) spend the next 10-years developing their autonomous UAS's expertise for RN etc and to position themselves for the NGR? If I'm not mistaken, NMH is a 'stop-gap' measure 'til the NGR options are ready? If we're not careful Leonardo will be spending the next 5-10 years trying to deliver the aw149 (a machine already proven unsuitable for the battlefield - apparently it was developed for the Turkish contract but they selected UH60?) - look at the 'Boeing'/Leonardo issues with Grey Wolf - we would then not be in a position to offer any worthwhile UK direction/input for NGR. Or will Leonardo try and do both and I wonder which project will suffer?
Revamped UH60s with COTS avionics and equipment already proven and available/approved makes sense - at a pricepoint allowing maximum use of diminishing budget. I understand MOD have already been presented a pathway which involves healthy UK content and social values. Tried and tested - just ask the Austrians.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Little J »

What are the issues with the Grey Wolf?

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

Post by Lord Jim »

I must admit the idea of revamped Blackhawks with zeroed airframes is appealing as an interim platform if the price is right.

I strongly believe that a company has to produce the right product at the right price should still be the key marker of any programmes. If it is offical Governmental policy to buy british due to the social benefits gained then the budgets of other Government Department's should be used to compliment the Defence Budget to cover any saving buying from abroad would have brought.

As for retaining skills, if UK companies do not have enough work through lack of orders, such orders should not be simply placed for kit unless it is what is actually needed by the Armed Forces and the cost to the MoD is both affordable and cost effective.

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

Post by EESDL »

Little J - Google is your friend.....
1. New 20220 DOT&E report redacted:
https://breakingdefense.com/2022/01/new ... nce-flaws/

While sections of the report on the Air Force’s KC-46A tanker, MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopter and HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopter contain some details about technical issues, certain information is now only available in the CUI version.

The section on MH-139 notes concerns about the cabin layout and that flight manual restrictions could adversely impact “takeoffs in crosswinds, near obstacles, in degraded visual environments, and austere landings.” But other challenges pertaining to the aircraft’s suitability and survivability are only available in the CUI version.

2. 2021 Janes article:
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... e-progress

3. GAO in 2020:
https://www.helis.com/database/news/gao ... f/?noamp=1
The program completed its critical design review in June 2019, 5 months ahead of schedule. However, the helicopter, as it is currently designed, may not be able to meet all performance requirements if the final weight of the aircraft exceeds design parameters. If an appropriate weight is not achieved, the aircraft may not be able to meet requirements for speed or range. Air Force officials stated that they expect to determine the final weight of the aircraft in December 2019.

4. 2020 DOT&E report:
https://www.dote.osd.mil/Portals/97/pub ... tVHQ%3D%3D
Assessment
• The revised test strategy increases risk to the program.
The current STC schedule delays the MFR causing a subsequent delay to the majority of government weapons, defensive systems, and envelope expansion flight test events. This delay will limit the test data available to inform the scheduled Milestone C decision.
•Use of civil certifications instead of government developmental testing may not adequately inform some areas of military utility. For example:
- Aircraft performance and handling qualities at high altitude, hot temperatures, and heavy weight for 202 MH-139A airworthiness and certification may not accurately represent the capability of the aircraft to conduct military flight profiles at these demanding conditions.
- Contractor testing of emergency crew egress from the MH-139A-configured cabin may not reveal obstacles encountered by a fully equipped security force in the operational environment.
• Reliance on contractor data during developmental testing risks increasing the scope of the IOT&E unless conducted during military utility events.
•AFOTEC periodic reports highlighted several areas of risk in the system design:
- Expansion of the flight performance envelope is likely to stress engine components and increase maintenance requirements.
-The MH-139A cabin configuration is different than the legacy UH-1N and the layout presents challenges to the employment of a security force.
- The commercial landing gear design may not support tactical landings on unprepared surfaces in austere locations.
-The commercial aircraft’s flight manual includes restrictions on takeoffs in crosswinds or near obstacles that hinder military operations.
•Contractor testing of the gun mount has revealed multiple design deficiencies that must be corrected to ensure safe operation of the gun weapon system.
•For most expected engagement conditions, the cabin and cockpit armor did not provide the required protection against the specification threat. The armor also did not provide adequate protection against another, operationally representative small arms threat at all relevant ranges.
•The Air Force has a requirement for the MH-139A to include infrared signature suppression that is currently not part of the aircraft design.

5. …and looking back to 2018 and the collective surprise after the award, and anticipation of these risks even then:
https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org ... copter-win

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