Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
J. Tattersall

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by J. Tattersall »

Ron5 wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:
Ron5 wrote: All UK transport helo's on ops carry guns. So clearly they expect to get shot at.
But that's not what dear Lord Jim was talking about. He was talking about offensive armament to 'soften up' the enemy. Presumably at or near LZs.

UK SH carry guns (primarily door & on Chinook ramp mounted) for defensive purposes, e.g. if engaged while committed to land (doors) or on exiting the LZ (ramp). If one wants an offensive capability to 'soften up' the LZ then forward firing arcs are needed. That's certainly not impossible but it's a technical (e.g CofG, integration) and financial ask. The addition of a few hundred Kg in mass is also going (for a given MTOW with knock-on effect on fuel carried) reduce payload/ range. So immediately there's an engineering / operational compromise. Would you rather use up the mass margin on heavy forward firing guns or on armoured/ crashing seats and a really good DASS?
So there are defensive guns and offensive guns. Good grief.

And the defensive guns can only be used when the ramp is down? And offensive guns have to point forwards? And armored seats & DASS are needed even though nobody will be shooting at them?

I think you are a tad confused on this.
Well if any SH full of troops decides to orbit a target, exposing its broadside, so it can use its door/ windows guns offensively then I expect its flight/ squadron commander would quite likely be sacked and sent home.

Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6286
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

J. Tattersall wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:
Ron5 wrote: All UK transport helo's on ops carry guns. So clearly they expect to get shot at.
But that's not what dear Lord Jim was talking about. He was talking about offensive armament to 'soften up' the enemy. Presumably at or near LZs.

UK SH carry guns (primarily door & on Chinook ramp mounted) for defensive purposes, e.g. if engaged while committed to land (doors) or on exiting the LZ (ramp). If one wants an offensive capability to 'soften up' the LZ then forward firing arcs are needed. That's certainly not impossible but it's a technical (e.g CofG, integration) and financial ask. The addition of a few hundred Kg in mass is also going (for a given MTOW with knock-on effect on fuel carried) reduce payload/ range. So immediately there's an engineering / operational compromise. Would you rather use up the mass margin on heavy forward firing guns or on armoured/ crashing seats and a really good DASS?
So there are defensive guns and offensive guns. Good grief.

And the defensive guns can only be used when the ramp is down? And offensive guns have to point forwards? And armored seats & DASS are needed even though nobody will be shooting at them?

I think you are a tad confused on this.
Well if any SH full of troops decides to orbit a target, exposing its broadside, so it can use its door/ windows guns offensively then I expect its flight/ squadron commander would quite likely be sacked and sent home.
If said commander refused to land in a defended site that had been deemed an operational imperative. He would be court martialled.

J. Tattersall

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by J. Tattersall »

Ron5 wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:
Ron5 wrote: All UK transport helo's on ops carry guns. So clearly they expect to get shot at.
But that's not what dear Lord Jim was talking about. He was talking about offensive armament to 'soften up' the enemy. Presumably at or near LZs.

UK SH carry guns (primarily door & on Chinook ramp mounted) for defensive purposes, e.g. if engaged while committed to land (doors) or on exiting the LZ (ramp). If one wants an offensive capability to 'soften up' the LZ then forward firing arcs are needed. That's certainly not impossible but it's a technical (e.g CofG, integration) and financial ask. The addition of a few hundred Kg in mass is also going (for a given MTOW with knock-on effect on fuel carried) reduce payload/ range. So immediately there's an engineering / operational compromise. Would you rather use up the mass margin on heavy forward firing guns or on armoured/ crashing seats and a really good DASS?
So there are defensive guns and offensive guns. Good grief.

And the defensive guns can only be used when the ramp is down? And offensive guns have to point forwards? And armored seats & DASS are needed even though nobody will be shooting at them?

I think you are a tad confused on this.
Well if any SH full of troops decides to orbit a target, exposing its broadside, so it can use its door/ windows guns offensively then I expect its flight/ squadron commander would quite likely be sacked and sent home.
If said commander refused to land in a defended site that had been deemed an operational imperative. He would be court martialled.
I think any superior commander who ordered it, other than in the most desperate of circumstances, would be removed from their post too.

J. Tattersall

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by J. Tattersall »

The crash a couple of weeks ago of a Mirage 2000D in Mali is instructive https://www.scramble.nl/military-news/f ... sh-in-mali. Rather than just use SH (2 x TTH90), AH (2 x Tiger) were also used. One can only assume that the French think SH delivering offensive fire is a tactically bad idea too.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 6209
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

I would think simply referring to the Puma and its replacements as "Support Helicopters" makes the conversation biased. Yes in small scale operation where you are able to deploy detachments for both these and attack helicopter the it is less of an issue. But we will only ever have fifty Apache Guardian airframes and all of these will never be available at all times. Having the ability to assault a position, suppressing ground based fire whilst others land is nothing new. Even then having the Apaches around to provide precision strikes complimenting the assault Helicopters. This is an option we should have, especially for 16XX, but only an option. Heavy kit would still be brought in by the true support helicopters the Chinooks, and the Assault Helicopters could even escort these. Our new Helicopter equipped brigade needs to shake off out traditional designations and even roles for the platform s it operates if it is to be at tis most capable. With a common replacement for Puma etc. we have an opportunity to evolve out capabilities.

jimthelad
Member
Posts: 450
Joined: 14 May 2015, 20:16
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by jimthelad »

Have any of you had any training in vertical assault?! If there is even the remotest chance there could be opfor in the area of the LZ then doctrine dictates in the absence of AH, initial assault by a limited number of SH using NOE insertion occurs with cover from the remaining force of SH, indirect fire, and ideally fast air. The more fire on any LZ the better, but hell, what the fuck would I know?

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 6209
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Well that is basically what I was aiming at, though the "SH" providing surprising fire for the initial landings would have more to offer than door or tail MGs. If AH are available then the "SH" can compliment them providing additional fire support for the landings as they rotate to land their troops, using NOE to avoid return fire where possible. I wasn't really thinking of an Apocalypse Now Air Cav type assault. Maybe I could have described it better but then again I haven't served in the Army and only flew in a Puma just after the OCU had formed at RAF Odiham in the early 1970s.

How we operate "SH" now does not mean we will not operate them differently in the future even having a completely different doctrine. I was looking ten or more years down the line once the Puma replacement and Guardians were in service and possibly been through a number of spiral upgrades together with Wildcat and the Chinooks. Fast Air will not be available like it has ben for the last two decades. against peer opposition or even less capable opponents the air will most likely be contested, and unless the Army really pulls its finger out our precision fires ability may also be reduced by enemy counter measures both hard and soft. Would we launch a heliborne attack in such an environment in the future? Quite possibly if it is a means to dislocate the enemy, and give an advantage to more conventional forces.

We have to train to fight peer level conflicts and aim to equip ourselves to do so. Lower level conflicts can still be dealt with and we will have the equipment to fight them, but how we have fought over the last two decades or more, whilst not to be forgotten should not influence how we plan to fight in the future. The need far more robust ROE and a willingness to take risks without always looking over our shoulders. We should trust the judgement of our soldiers.

The Army aims to transform itself over the next decade or more, and this transformation is to effect all aspects and doctrines and also impact the way the other services operate in the aim to provide a joined up military.

Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6286
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

J. Tattersall wrote:The crash a couple of weeks ago of a Mirage 2000D in Mali is instructive https://www.scramble.nl/military-news/f ... sh-in-mali. Rather than just use SH (2 x TTH90), AH (2 x Tiger) were also used. One can only assume that the French think SH delivering offensive fire is a tactically bad idea too.
If the Tigers were unavailable, do you think the mission would have been aborted?

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 6209
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Partly on topic, a nice video showing various aircraft including the Rafale and F-16, but from 7:12 you see Romanian Pumas in their fairly unique configuration with a chin mounted 20mm cannon and two hardpoints each side for rocket, gun pods or other loadouts.

Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6286
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

Idiots adding weapons to supply aircraft.

It would be like adding sideways firing cannon and howitzers to Hercules. Why on earth would anyone be that dumb?

Boertjie
Junior Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 27 May 2015, 09:24
South Africa

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Boertjie »

That "Armed" Puma is nothing but a dream boat.
Can someone explain to me how that nose canon gets it's ammo fed to it? Through the cockpit where the pilots sits?? Really!!
Also, how many troops can be carried when both hardpoints an each side have attached ordinance?
Anything more than a side firing masjien gun is simply not practical. The US also used a heavily modified S70 with lots of fancy hardpoints and stuff. That is not used in force, because when the hardpoints and arms are carried you basically sit with an inferior attach hello and when you remove them, to carry troops, you have a lot of additional weight you cannot remove that limits the amount of troop you can carry. Its simply does not work.
The most practical of these, are side firing light masjien guns to support a landing or defend during an extraction. Anything more than that requires dedicated attack options like Attack Hello's, fast jets or indirect artillery!
The closest anyone came to a mix of the AH and the Utility helicopter is the Mi-24. That can only carry 6 troops in very cramped conditions.
Dream on!!!

Boertjie
Junior Member
Posts: 5
Joined: 27 May 2015, 09:24
South Africa

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Boertjie »

@ Ron5
Those Hercs proofed themselves many times over. That said, how many troops can be carried?
Those modified gun-ships are dedicated heave assault platforms used against poorly armed targets with very little Air defense. I do not see them being used against a sophisticated ground force in force....

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 6209
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Unfortunately that "Armed" Puma is in general service with the Romanian Army, they were able to develop it as they have the licence to produce the Puma, one of the reasons they upgraded our Pumas and not Airbus elsewhere. The "Armed" version has been around for over ten years, being a cheaper option for them than ordering a western design. I believe they had Israeli help with some of the systems, like they did with their Mig-21 "Lancers". It is not designed as a full on Gunship but more along the lines of the armed Mi-8 that are still used by the Russians in large numbers. Their doctrine now seems to be a mix of Russian and western ideas when it comes to air assault, using a mix of unarmed and armed Pumas.

We have the luxury of having Apache Guardians and Wildcats in addition to our Pumas and will retain that capability once the Puma's successor arrives. Something Romania dies not have. I am not even sure they still have flying examples of the Mi-24. But having the option to arm the successor to Puma for when it might be needed, would be a useful option to have. Leonardo have already shown that both the 149 and 139 can have this capability whilst still being able to carry the same number of troops, though underslung loads may be restricted. I would say such a platform would compliment both the Guardian and Wildcat, whilst providing close fire support to their unarmed siblings.

All of this is just an option, as I stated at the beginning, which in my opinion should be looked at. If we do not adopt such a capability then fine, but we are planning to send assets all over the place and an Armed 149 would be effective in certain types of operations, where a Guardian may to too much or not available.

An example would be where a Ranger Company was training and supporting a friendly nations military and had a detachment of 149s to aid mobility and logistics due to the poor infrastructure. Things could hot up and the Rangers become involved in actual combat. The 149s are there to provide fire support form the start whilst other units are prepared and sent out from the UK if that is deemed necessary. All 149s will be fitted with defensive aids to deal with MANPADS, or at least I truly hope so, and such a force would be a great help say in southern Kenya to bolster the local forces in tackling Islamic Insurgents.

SW1
Senior Member
Posts: 2674
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by SW1 »


SW1
Senior Member
Posts: 2674
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by SW1 »


Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6286
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

Would be par for the course for the MoD chose a helicopter to be built at a location that's never built a helicopter at the expense of a UK based location that's been building them for generations and would probably have to close as a result.

This isn't very hard. The winner is effing obvious. Just get on with it.


Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 6209
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Isn't that still the civil version with a few mods? Is there room in the cabin of the AW149 for self defence options like a door gunner(s)?

SD67
Member
Posts: 329
Joined: 23 Jul 2019, 09:49
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by SD67 »

Ron5 wrote:Would be par for the course for the MoD chose a helicopter to be built at a location that's never built a helicopter .
You forgot to mention "in Wales" after "location" ;-0

SW1
Senior Member
Posts: 2674
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

I wouldn’t be so dismissive of the Airbus broughton plan there is a number of political and industrial consolidation benefits especially in the context of the future medium nato helicopter program not mention certain other defence programs fragility in wales that May see it as an option.

Room for 2 door gunners available in aw149 apparently

Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6286
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

SD67 wrote:
Ron5 wrote:Would be par for the course for the MoD chose a helicopter to be built at a location that's never built a helicopter .
You forgot to mention "in Wales" after "location" ;-0
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I'm half welsh so I'm allowed to laff. Dad was born in the Swansea Valley.

Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6286
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

SW1 wrote:... future medium nato helicopter program ...
News reports that the US is muscling in on that program.

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4630
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
United Kingdom

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by marktigger »

so what are the current runners and riders for the Puma replacement?

Airbus H175
Leanardo AW149

Is sikorsky going to offer S-60 or S-92, Or NH industries the NH90?


or will it be gapped?

Ron5
Donator
Posts: 6286
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
United States of America

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

marktigger wrote:so what are the current runners and riders for the Puma replacement?

Airbus H175
Leanardo AW149

Is sikorsky going to offer S-60 or S-92, Or NH industries the NH90?


or will it be gapped?
Welcome back!!!

Sikorsky is trying to make it a 3 horse race. From today's Flight ..
Sikorsky could complete Black Hawks in the UK as it eyes NMH bid
By Dominic Perry16 September 2021

Sikorsky remains confident that its “combat-proven” UH-60 Black Hawk can see off the competition for the UK’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) programme and does not rule out completing the rotorcraft in the country – potentially alongside a rival bidder – if selected.

With UK industrial concerns likely to play a key role in the procurement, Airbus Helicopters and Leonardo Helicopters have set out the plans for domestic assembly and increasing UK content on their respective H175M and AW149 platforms. However, the US airframer continues to stay silent on its strategy.

Airframer argues UH-60M is only ‘combat-proven’ helicopter in contest

Robert Mathers, Sikorsky regional manager, Europe and Eurasia, strategy and business development, acknowledges the “strong pressure for UK industrial participation in any helicopter procurement” and says it is going into the contest with “open eyes and open ears”.

“If the customer wants a Black Hawk then we’ll give them a Black Hawk,” he says.

He notes that in the past Sikorsky “successfully produced several hundred helicopters in the UK at Yeovil” under an agreement that saw the then Westland Helicopters – a forerunner of Leonardo Helicopters – produce several types under licence.

But even though Leonardo Helicopters is lined up against Sikorsky for the NMH contest, Mather says the company is “not ruling anything out” when it comes to reviving its past collaboration.

While declining to be drawn on its precise strategy, Mather adds: “We hope to be able to give [the Ministry of Defence] a combat-proven, reliable platform that also has an economic benefit for the UK.

“We have open eyes and open ears. We are not going to rule anything out. It can be UK product. We would look to do something that the political leadership can say ‘this is made in the UK’.”

It is possible that Sikorsky would look to replicate its proposal for the Romanian ministry of the interior, which would see Black Hawks partially built at its PZL Mielec subsidiary in Poland and then shipped to the customer for local completion. Mather declines to comment.

PZL Mielec facility builds Black Hawks for the international market

However, with the Mielec production line already assembling the S-70i variant of the Black Hawk, plus Turkish Aerospace also able to sell its licence-built T-70 internationally, it is uncertain what export opportunities there would be for UK-produced examples.

It is also doubtful whether the UK could take advantage of the cost savings offered by the US Foreign Military Sales process if it required the helicopters to be finished locally.

Regardless of the domestic industrial arguments, Mather contends that the Black Hawk is the strongest contender from an operational perspective.

“Just because you paint something green does not make it a military helicopter,” says Mather, offering a sideswipe at the two rival platforms, both of which have strong commonality with their civil variants.

“The Black Hawk was designed from the beginning as a military helicopter.

“There’s superficial clean lines and nice design but then what do you actually need? There’s a reason why our special operations community still fly the Black Hawk.”

And responding the frequent jibe that the Black Hawk does not offer a ‘modern’ solution, he adds: “They have obviously never been inside an M-model UH-60.”

The NMH will replace the Royal Air Force’s fleet of Puma HC2 transports from mid-decade, plus three other types operated by the British Army.

Details of the NMH requirements have yet to be released by the Ministry of Defence.

serge750
Member
Posts: 823
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:34

Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by serge750 »

Had to happen really...maybe the Romeo version for the RN .. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Post Reply