Merlin won the competition for the US Presidential transport helo. Later politics overturned the decision tho.SW1 wrote:There’s a handful of countries that have bought it for search and rescue and vip transport due to long range as you say a niche product. There is 30 asw helicopters variants in the RN and 8 in the Italian navy and that’s about it compared to about 900 Seahawks worldwide.ArmChairCivvy wrote:The same qualities that the RN appreciates (in having a work horse for the middle of the Atlantic, in most weathers) has found quite a few customers in niche roles: CSAR, SAR...SW1 wrote: It doesn’t sell that well.Considering that the market (as per above) is also a niche, though a slightly bigger one... yes, this is the only realistic possibilityLord Jim wrote:Could it be a variant of the new European Future Medium Rotorcraft programme that has just got started?
- consider the Koreans buying the v expensive Wildcats as flying artillery for the Marines, and then buying Romeos for their Navy ASW
The Americans are playing around with firescout and Europeans by and large still bringing in nh90. So I guess there isn’t huge urgency out there at present. Between leonardo and Ultra the Uk certainly has the systems side covered from the platform is an open question. But I would say this if the leonardo went and designed an asw helicopter variant and the RN didn’t buy it, it won’t sell overseas as no one is buying something the home nation won’t.
What would u be looking for in something that sells? easier to operate, cheap to run easy to integrate things on are we willing to take the performance trade offs to make that happen I don’t know. If you wanted a suggestion a development of the aw149/189 airframe to an asw variant with Japan perhaps.
BTW The RAF hate Merlin. 99% because it's a navy machine Their assessments are not to be trusted.