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
52%
Sikorsky S-70M Black Hawk
6
26%
Airbus H-175M
2
9%
Programme cancelled
2
9%
Puma kept in service till next-gen
1
4%
Boeing MH-139 (back from the dead?)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 23

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

Post by Little J »

I would assume an order of 25, with an often repeated suggestion of additional orders "later"...

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

Post by Tempest414 »

As I said up thread key words are up to
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by sol »

Tempest414 wrote: 26 Jul 2023, 14:56 Lets hope it is 44 as said I think it should 60+ and they also need to be Carrier capable with some form of folding rotor head
It would probably be less than 44. Number of platforms that NMH will replace (Puma, Bell 212 & 412, Dauphin) is around 35, maybe even less as seems like not all of 23 Pumas are in active service now. So 35 new helicopters would already be 1:1 replacement. Do not expect more than that, maybe even less. While we can argue how many helicopters the Army need (just like for any other piece of equipment) but 60+ is highly unlikely it would ever happen as it would require increase in number of pilots and crews and units ... basically it would require more money which, obviously, will not be available.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Tempest414 »

sol wrote: 27 Jul 2023, 08:28
Tempest414 wrote: 26 Jul 2023, 14:56 Lets hope it is 44 as said I think it should 60+ and they also need to be Carrier capable with some form of folding rotor head
It would probably be less than 44. Number of platforms that NMH will replace (Puma, Bell 212 & 412, Dauphin) is around 35, maybe even less as seems like not all of 23 Pumas are in active service now. So 35 new helicopters would already be 1:1 replacement. Do not expect more than that, maybe even less. While we can argue how many helicopters the Army need (just like for any other piece of equipment) but 60+ is highly unlikely it would ever happen as it would require increase in number of pilots and crews and units ... basically it would require more money which, obviously, will not be available.
in real terms 35 is the base line number needed and i don't think we will see more than 40 tops

When I talk of 60+ it would be in terms of the Army giving up Wildcat with both the Army and RAF taking on 25 of the new aircraft and 10 for a joint OCU the + would be a few more for maintenance the RN would take on 10 extra Wildcats with the remaining 24 going into storage to allow a good maintenance / upgrade program across the fleet maybe even sell say 10 on

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

Post by Jensy »

sol wrote: 27 Jul 2023, 08:28 but 60+ is highly unlikely it would ever happen as it would require increase in number of pilots and crews and units ... basically it would require more money which, obviously, will not be available.
AAC aircrew is alleviated slightly by Gazelle likely not being replaced (despite those five HC-135s being delivered). The RAF will also see a decline in Chinook numbers as the older airframes are replaced by fewer F models.

The budget is what will define NMH numbers more than most other factors. With FX rates and inflation likely limiting things further.

For what was always planned as an interim aircraft, to bridge to a common Merlin + NMH replacement in the 2040s, you would imagine a bit more creativity to finding a solution.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Little J »

Cut the number of troops we have to lift till the whole lot can fit into a Premiership football ground (Kenilworth Road)... Job Jobbed :thumbup:

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

Post by new guy »

SW1 wrote: 26 Jul 2023, 16:21 When was the last the UK procured something with an up to number that actually resulted in that up to number being procured?
T31 no?
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Ian Hall »

new guy wrote: 30 Jul 2023, 19:38
SW1 wrote: 26 Jul 2023, 16:21 When was the last the UK procured something with an up to number that actually resulted in that up to number being procured?
T31 no?
...and Boxer.

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

Post by SW1 »

If you ignore that type 31 came about because they couldn’t afford 13 type 26 because it massively blew the budget yes.

Likewise there was to be thousands of boxers ordered in 2003! The fact we procrastinated for 20 years before reordering is not optimal.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Jensy »

SW1 wrote: 31 Jul 2023, 07:46 If you ignore that type 31 came about because they couldn’t afford 13 type 26 because it massively blew the budget yes.

Likewise there was to be thousands of boxers ordered in 2003! The fact we procrastinated for 20 years before reordering is not optimal.
Indeed could say the same about Astute.

We ordered seven rather than the five planned but in doing so entirely ditched the MUFC programme (Trafalgar class replacement) of seven vessels that would follow on.

See also Tornado replacement.

In many ways the MoD has become highly talented at cynically spinning these massive reductions as either like-for-like replacements, or even increases in numbers.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by serge750 »

:thumbdown: Blooming short term thinking PR pennywise-pound foolish gits :thumbdown: winds me right up ! i understand some of it to do requirement changes etc

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

Post by Little J »

A couple of videos that might be of interest...



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

Post by mrclark303 »

Little J wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 12:37 A couple of videos that might be of interest...


How Tonka is it, not Tonka at all, end of.....

That fragile civilian derived helicopter would be broke and waiting for repairs within one week in the sandbox, just like Merlin was.....

But, as long as we keep Wastelands open, that's all that matters... Same old...

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

Post by Little J »

Sikorsky is king, Leo and Airbus are a waste of time, money, energy, human resources, etc ;)
That fragile civilian derived helicopter would be broke and waiting for repairs within one week in the sandbox, just like Merlin was.....
This confused me, since when was the Merlin a "civilian derived helicopter"?


Now that all that's out of the way, I found it quite interesting with the first video referring to the "onion" design philosophy (this applies to all designs, from all manufactures, from all countries), having someone explain them - or remind us of them.

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

Post by mrclark303 »

Little J wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 18:39 Sikorsky is king, Leo and Airbus are a waste of time, money, energy, human resources, etc ;)
That fragile civilian derived helicopter would be broke and waiting for repairs within one week in the sandbox, just like Merlin was.....
This confused me, since when was the Merlin a "civilian derived helicopter"?


Now that all that's out of the way, I found it quite interesting with the first video referring to the "onion" design philosophy (this applies to all designs, from all manufactures, from all countries), having someone explain them - or remind us of them.
Evening, my poor explanation.... Merlin ended up sat about waiting repairs as it's composite structures were found to be difficult to patch, requiring specialist advice and company engineering support on occasion..

In a similar way, the 149 is just the same, overly complex, composite and fragile, even worse it comes from a civilian based platform!

It will sit about broken while patched up Blackhawks and Chinooks head back into the fight!

It's not Tonka toy tough, it's that simple....

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

Post by Little J »

You realise that everything nowadays (and in the future) is composite? Unless you don't want anyone to buy anything designed after the 1970's ever again :lol:

And just out of curiosity, how do you know how fragile the 149 or 175 are?

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

Post by mrclark303 »

Little J wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 20:11 You realise that everything nowadays (and in the future) is composite? Unless you don't want anyone to buy anything designed after the 1970's ever again :lol:

And just out of curiosity, how do you know how fragile the 149 or 175 are?
Because they are composite, just ask anyone who had to use Blackhawk and Chinook and Merlin, guess how often Melin was actually out of action in comparison to Blackhawk and Chinook....

Answer, most of the time......

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

Post by topman »

mrclark303 wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 20:44
Little J wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 20:11 You realise that everything nowadays (and in the future) is composite? Unless you don't want anyone to buy anything designed after the 1970's ever again :lol:

And just out of curiosity, how do you know how fragile the 149 or 175 are?
Because they are composite, just ask anyone who had to use Blackhawk and Chinook and Merlin, guess how often Melin was actually out of action in comparison to Blackhawk and Chinook....

Answer, most of the time......
Because it has a composite airframe, in part?

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

Post by SW1 »

mrclark303 wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 20:44
Little J wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 20:11 You realise that everything nowadays (and in the future) is composite? Unless you don't want anyone to buy anything designed after the 1970's ever again :lol:

And just out of curiosity, how do you know how fragile the 149 or 175 are?
Because they are composite, just ask anyone who had to use Blackhawk and Chinook and Merlin, guess how often Melin was actually out of action in comparison to Blackhawk and Chinook....

Answer, most of the time......
Which composite parts were the issue? What type of composite structure do u have issue with going fwd.

The fuselage frames on merlin are predominantly machined 8000 series aluminium so I assume you don’t have issues there.

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

Post by Scimitar54 »

Regarding the recent “Anti-Composite” comments:-
So, in a similar vein, the Spitfire would have been rejected due to the specialist repairs required to rectify battle damage and we would then have relied on the more resilient Hurricane! ………. A good job that those who made that decision were not of similar views! :mrgreen:
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Little J »

mrclark303 wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 20:44
Little J wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 20:11 You realise that everything nowadays (and in the future) is composite? Unless you don't want anyone to buy anything designed after the 1970's ever again :lol:

And just out of curiosity, how do you know how fragile the 149 or 175 are?
Because they are composite, just ask anyone who had to use Blackhawk and Chinook and Merlin, guess how often Merlin was actually out of action in comparison to Blackhawk and Chinook....

Answer, most of the time......
If you are that scared of composites, do you hide behind the sofa every time the V-280 gets mentioned? ... Sorry, just had visions of you hiding like i used to when a Dalek would come on Doctor Who as a kid :mrgreen:

I think you are mixing fragility with ease of repair, are you not? Everyone makes their rotor blades out of composites, they wouldn't do that if they were fragile (they are kind of important for keeping the whirly birds whirling). The ability to repair them will improve... Necessity is the mother of invention after all.

Civilian helicopters are not that fragile anymore either, crash survivability, engine/gearbox robustness, day-2-day availability rates, all have had to improve since the (military) Blackhawk was designed 50+ years ago.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by Jensy »

At the risk of walking into the crossfire:

The U.S. military learnt an awful lot of valuable and costly lessons in Vietnam, and other places, about rotary lift for infantry in war zones. Those lessons have shaped their current and future equipment, operating models and upgrades. We'd be wise to, at a minimum, take note.

At the same time there's some good reasons to be concerned about buying a European combat helicopter after NH-90 and Tiger. Neither of which are a poster child for 'doing things differently'.

Of the remaining NMH options we have: an unbuilt military adaption of a half Chinese civilian aircraft; a modestly successful, military adaption of a smaller civilian model and... the best selling, modern battlefield helicopter in the Western World.

Now industrial matters and politics make things more complex (as they did the first time we nearly bought Black Hawk) but that Airbus bid had better be something spectacular if AceHawk didn't make the cut.
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Re: New Medium Helicopter [NMH] - (RAF & AAC)

Post by mrclark303 »

Jensy wrote: 01 Aug 2023, 23:22 At the risk of walking into the crossfire:

The U.S. military learnt an awful lot of valuable and costly lessons in Vietnam, and other places, about rotary lift for infantry in war zones. Those lessons have shaped their current and future equipment, operating models and upgrades. We'd be wise to, at a minimum, take note.

At the same time there's some good reasons to be concerned about buying a European combat helicopter after NH-90 and Tiger. Neither of which are a poster child for 'doing things differently'.

Of the remaining NMH options we have: an unbuilt military adaption of a half Chinese civilian aircraft; a modestly successful, military adaption of a smaller civilian model and... the best selling, modern battlefield helicopter in the Western World.

Now industrial matters and politics make things more complex (as they did the first time we nearly bought Black Hawk) but that Airbus bid had better be something spectacular if AceHawk didn't make the cut.

Morning all, I can answer all the above with a simply, the Blackhawk was designed from the ground up with Vietnam experience in mind, that is to land in a hot LZ, get shot up and still get the job done.

Modern designs are not, re Merlin, ask anyone that had use them in Afghanistan, they fell to bits!

It's a fact it was grounded a lot awaiting specialist repairs, Blackhawk and Chinook were not.

Merlin is a military Maritime helicopter ( something it excel at), but was forced on the Army as an adapted transport. They were never that happy with it.

The 149 is an adapted civilian helicopter, features like retractable undercarriage just add to complexity.

It's not Tonka

It's really very simple, the Army and RAF want Blackhawk, ever wondered why?

Like Blackhawk, it's tough and capable of receiving small arms fire and keeping going....

We need an airborne builders van, not a Lamborghini...

If you can't see the glaring simple fact that this Helicopter will likely get shot at due to its job of dropping/ extracting troops under fire, I don't know what else to say....

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

Post by SW1 »

Will this is an interesting take the only reliable aircraft designs are ones from 60 years ago. There has been no progression in aircraft safety, design knowledge or the like.

If you want old helicopters just keep puma then.

The only reason people are clambering for Blackhawk is they assume they don’t need to fund a supply chain or maintenance budget they just use the Americans typical!


There is zero point trying to muddy waters with
With nh90 or tiger neither are in U.K. service or being offered

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

Post by mrclark303 »

SW1 wrote: 02 Aug 2023, 09:06 Will this is an interesting take the only reliable aircraft designs are ones from 60 years ago. There has been no progression in aircraft safety, design knowledge or the like.

If you want old helicopters just keep puma then.

The only reason people are clambering for Blackhawk is they assume they don’t need to fund a supply chain or maintenance budget they just use the Americans typical!


There is zero point trying to muddy waters with
With nh90 or tiger neither are in U.K. service or being offered
SW1, we can go round and round with this one all day...

I've tried to put this as simple as possible, ask people who have actually used support Helicopters in combat, they will tell you Chinook and Blackhawk are the winning team, why, because they are fully developed and work, easy ( in comparison) to maintain and use conventional construction, that's easy to patch.

Simply put, Tonka toy tough....
They do exactly what's printed on tin and just work....

It's really that simple.

Retain Puma, righto, retain a helicopter that has limited utility, can't be maritime deployed due to its dangerously high center of gravity on a pitching deck etc.

If you can't be pursaded by the argument that you will not find a single serving ( or ex) soldier that will say anything but good things about the ruggedness and life saving 'Tonka' of the Blackhawk and Chinook team, but deride fragile composite helos.

Ignore the fact that the RAF and ARMY both want Blackhawk (design age dosen't seem to worry them with Chinook either), then there's nothing more I can say, other than perhaps you or family work for Leonardo or have shares in Company.

If we do (we obviously will) go for the 149, expect a lot of ' I told you so' from me, when we can only afford 25, it's late, costs double and we end up relying on Uncle Sam's Blackhawks again in the next bun fight as 149's are grounded because of a few bullet holes....

The mission is to keep Wastelands open at any cost clearly and the tail is wagging the defence dog so vigorously, it's likely to take off like a medium support helicopter!😂

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