AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

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J. Tattersall
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by J. Tattersall »

Ron5 wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:
Ron5 wrote:Still think a navalized AW149 (Puma replacement candidate) would make a great ships helicopter to supplement RN Wildcat.
Interesting point, does anyone know if Leonardo has proposed a navalised version? Not a trivial task, but interesting none the less.
Long time ago they said they wanted to do that but the challenge was adding navalized kit such as folding rotors and tail might hike the price up to where it competes with NH90.

Not a trivial task true, but not that hard either. The AW149 composite body and the firms expertise greatly helps. AW claim very few components are not seawater resistant. Interestingly, Egypt bought some unmodified to operate from their gater navy.
Of course as soon as you change the rotor head for a folding version (and not quite sure if a cab that size could be manually folded at sea, i.e. powered head) then you're into time consuming and very expensive flight test to requalify the aircraft.

Also not sure whether the current oleos are qualified for higher vertical loads for naval ops, and if operated from DD/FF or smaller then deck lock system probably needed. Also not sure if the current land based version comes with flot gear, life-raft, SARbe, appropriate crew emergency egress etc. etc. Clearly none of this impossible but time, cost and all racking up the empty mass of the aircraft.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Lord Jim »

Does the Wildcat have flotation gear? Adding a folding rotor, powered or manual would also help when flying the platform out of area in a C-17 or Atlas. If the AW149 is in line to be operated by the SF and the SFSG then having it marinized, or at least some of them, makes sense. I wonder if an AW149 could carry four Sea Venom?

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

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Ron5
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Ron5 »

Lord Jim wrote:Does the Wildcat have flotation gear? Adding a folding rotor, powered or manual would also help when flying the platform out of area in a C-17 or Atlas. If the AW149 is in line to be operated by the SF and the SFSG then having it marinized, or at least some of them, makes sense. I wonder if an AW149 could carry four Sea Venom?
Yes
Yes, would probably also need a folding tail
Yes, and apparently not much would need regarding salt water corrosion resistance. J Tatersall in a comment above listed most of the other needs. Not technically difficult but does eat into payload and would take time & money to develop and test.
Yes, well within load limits. Brimstone has also been shown attached previously ...

Image

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

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Lord Jim
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Lord Jim »

Ron5 wrote: 25 Oct 2021, 11:30
Lord Jim wrote:Does the Wildcat have flotation gear? Adding a folding rotor, powered or manual would also help when flying the platform out of area in a C-17 or Atlas. If the AW149 is in line to be operated by the SF and the SFSG then having it marinized, or at least some of them, makes sense. I wonder if an AW149 could carry four Sea Venom?
Yes
Yes, would probably also need a folding tail
Yes, and apparently not much would need regarding salt water corrosion resistance. J Tatersall in a comment above listed most of the other needs. Not technically difficult but does eat into payload and would take time & money to develop and test.
Yes, well within load limits. Brimstone has also been shown attached previously ...

Image
Being able to use Brimstone or the same weapon as is being purchased for the Apache Guardians would be very useful covering both land and sea targets if needed. Yes it would eat into payload but I am sure there will be times where that will both be acceptable and necessary.

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Jensy
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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Jensy »

Ron5 wrote: 25 Oct 2021, 11:30
Yes, would probably also need a folding tail
Yes, and apparently not much would need regarding salt water corrosion resistance. J Tatersall in a comment above listed most of the other needs. Not technically difficult but does eat into payload and would take time & money to develop and test.
Yes, well within load limits. Brimstone has also been shown attached previously ...

Image
Apologies, I'm a bit late to the party! However was having similar thoughts earlier about eventually replacing the Wildcat fleet with NMH,

I think AW149 could, like Wildcat, get away with lacking a folding tail. Thanks to the RN having Merlin sized hangars.

Folded Merlin is 15.75m long, with another metre roughly for access to the radar.

AW149 should be roughly equivalent, or shorter than that, if fitted with a folding main rotor. I presume Leonardo have adequate experience integrating such onto an otherwise mature platform.

Image

Speculation: Quite a chunky bird around the waist, the AW149, but you might just squeeze two of them into a hangar that could take two Wildcats (3.05m wide without the weapons wing).

At present, the largest AW149 user is the Egyptian Navy, though I'm unsure if they asked Leonardo for any specific further marinisation. Also not sure if they're shore based or on their Mistral-ski class...

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Lord Jim »

I am of the opinion the whatever is selected for the NMH, should be allocated to the AAC. They would then be able to form two Regiments, which would also provide the detachments in Brunei and Cyprus and one Squadron could be dedicated to support of SF. The remainder would be available if not permanently part of 16 AA. The AAC Wildcats should be retained as well as they are starting to prove themselves as very good scouts for the Apaches, and possible future upgrades should make them even more so.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by Timmymagic »

Jensy wrote: 20 Dec 2021, 01:22 Apologies, I'm a bit late to the party! However was having similar thoughts earlier about eventually replacing the Wildcat fleet with NMH,
To be honest we should never have built Wildcat in the first place. AW139 was available years before, and AW149 at the same time, and addressed all of Lynx's shortcomings (limited cabin and lifting capacity). A powered blade fold would be comparatively straightforward for AW and even a limited tail fold of just the empennage would have been really beneficial, not just for shipboard use, but air transport.

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Re: AW159 Wildcat Helicopter (RN & AAC)

Post by SW1 »

Main Blade folding I can see for boats but can’t see why you would want to add the complexity or weight to fold the tail on the aw series.

They usually take the blades off anyway for air transport.

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