Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
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Jensy
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

Well, having reverted back to Boxer... after all these years... (Zoom in on the lower cockpit)..

Image

We've always done very well from adapted Sikorsky designs...

Still given the opportunity I think AW149 is our best option.

Lord Jim
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Shame we never bought any for the AAC when we had the licence. Would have been ideal for 16AA as an integral platform, and very useful in Afghanistan, being used in roles such as those carrier out by the Lynx AH9 and Puma and complimenting the RAF's ,and FAA's larger platforms.

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

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You need to read all about the "Westland's Affair" to see how getting UK politicians involved in industrial decisions is invariably disastrous. I'd say they were all as think as pig shyt but pigs are quite intelligent.

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by marktigger »

Ron How many times have the UK rejected the Blackhawk even with it being manufactured under licence in the UK?

Lord Jim
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

I think cabin height has been seen as an issue with the Blackhawk,

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

I think the government forcing Westlands into European ownership against their wishes had more to do with Black Hawk being rejected than anything else. Well that and the general lack of money for anything new.

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

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Lord Jim
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Being able to carry two fully equipped infantry Section, means a full company could be carried by only six aircraft. Just what 16AA need, a Regiment of say 24 of these permanently part of the Aviation Brigade together with the two Apache Guardian Regiments and the Wild cat Regiment. Let the RAF concentrate on just the Chinook fleet moving forward. A second AAC Regiment could provide the detachments in Brunei and Cyprus as well as supporting other Squadron sized detachments in support of smaller deployments and exercises. That would require a total of 48.

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

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Lord Jim
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

What, if any, would the UK contribution be to an order for this platform?

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

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Lord Jim wrote:What, if any, would the UK contribution be to an order for this platform?
Leonardo says 60% of the AW169 would be sourced from UK companies and of course, it would be built at Westlands.

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Lord Jim wrote:Being able to carry two fully equipped infantry Section, means a full company could be carried by only six aircraft.
@SW1, thx for that walkaround as I have never realised how roomy the inside of the cabin on 149 is.

Two questions:
By adding survivability features, how much will that eat into the 16 troops capacity... or is there so much power reserve that hardly any effect?
And: is 169 any different as for how much it can carry?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Being able to carry two fully equipped infantry Section, means a full company could be carried by only six aircraft.
@SW1, thx for that walkaround as I have never realised how roomy the inside of the cabin on 149 is.

Two questions:
By adding survivability features, how much will that eat into the 16 troops capacity... or is there so much power reserve that hardly any effect?
And: is 169 any different as for how much it can carry?
This may answer some of your AW149 questions ..


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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

He maybe Leonardo's Test Pilot, but his descriptions of the AW149 shows it to be a very impressive platform, probably ticking all the boxes we have and then some. We just need to give them all to the AAC and leave the RAF with the Chinooks.

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Dahedd »

Lord Jim wrote:He maybe Leonardo's Test Pilot, but his descriptions of the AW149 shows it to be a very impressive platform, probably ticking all the boxes we have and then some. We just need to give them all to the AAC and leave the RAF with the Chinooks.
Agreed on both points. I reckon it'll be between this & the Blackhawk.

I cant see any advantage in the Airbus offering other than the flight controls being similar to the Juno & Jupiter trainers. The whole things compromised from the get go because of the large Chinese content.

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Jensy
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

Dahedd wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:He maybe Leonardo's Test Pilot, but his descriptions of the AW149 shows it to be a very impressive platform, probably ticking all the boxes we have and then some. We just need to give them all to the AAC and leave the RAF with the Chinooks.
Agreed on both points. I reckon it'll be between this & the Blackhawk.

I cant see any advantage in the Airbus offering other than the flight controls being similar to the Juno & Jupiter trainers. The whole things compromised from the get go because of the large Chinese content.
The strongest play that Airbus have for this competition is their large workforce at Broughton and their UK based supply chain for airliner production. No need for anything so extreme as blackmail, but their large presence here gives them considerable clout with government and could well be utilised to push the H-175. Not a long walk from their Strand offices to Whitehall....

Leonardo of course in a similar position but they have a greater synergy with nearly every UK defence sector.

P.S: There is something to be said for keeping both companies happy with a purchase of AW149 to replace Puma and the assorted other small-mid helos, whilst buying some H-135 to replace Gazelle. Though Rishi won't like it.

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Jensy wrote:whilst buying some H-135 to replace Gazelle
The longevity of Gazelle is a mystery to me... while the Army has loadsa Wildcats that they supposedly have no real use for??
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Jensy
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Jensy wrote:whilst buying some H-135 to replace Gazelle
The longevity of Gazelle is a mystery to me... while the Army has loadsa Wildcats that they supposedly have no real use for??
I've seen it suggested that the RN wanted more Merlins, the Army wanted Blackhawks, plus there's AW who clearly just wanted to stay in the business of building helicopters at Yeovil. Instead, all three ended up compromising.

When I visited the factory in 2014 there were Super Lynx being built for export, alongside Wildcat, which I felt was an indication that existing customers weren't overly ecstatic about Wildcat or its sticker price.

Consolidating types seems the only hope of sustaining, much less growing, the UK helicopter fleet. At present the situation is pretty disparate (sic).

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Increasing the number of Merlins for the Navy, both HM2 and HC4 would be a good decision as both are in high demand, but I cannot see it happening. The decision to buy additional Chinooks to start renewing the fleet was probably the final nail in the coffin.

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Jensy wrote:Wildcat or its sticker price.

Consolidating types seems the only hope of sustaining, much less growing, the UK helicopter fleet. At present the situation is pretty disparate (sic).
The price tag, then, was £ 27m per piece... I wonder (adjusted for inflation) if these runners up for a much more capable medium helo would come for abt the same?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Jensy wrote:Wildcat or its sticker price.

Consolidating types seems the only hope of sustaining, much less growing, the UK helicopter fleet. At present the situation is pretty disparate (sic).
The price tag, then, was £ 27m per piece... I wonder (adjusted for inflation) if these runners up for a much more capable medium helo would come for abt the same?
No pricey radars or E/O systems, I would have thought they'd be cheaper.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Ron5 wrote:would have thought they'd be cheaper.
Are there any recent yard sticks for Blackhawk or Leonardo (military spec) sales?
- btw, when did UH change for a 'medium' designation, or is that just a US/UK difference
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

The £27m per aircraft include the design and development of the aircraft. It will always be unfavourable to compare with a aircraft off a hot production line provided you don’t wish to modify said aircraft in any meaningful way. It always costs money to develop something new so when you do, make sure it’s targeted in national industrial priorities, covers the requirements with cold harder trade offs, is productionised properly and used across the max possible roles.

It however still means it costs defence 1.7b to buy 62 a/c and it is expensive for what it is. But we get to configuration and trade offs for a proper medium helicopter fleet that’s is almost as bad as the army’s vehicle procurement over a very long time.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

SW1 wrote:configuration and trade offs for a proper medium helicopter fleet [that’s is] almost as bad as the army’s vehicle procurement over a very long time.
Top
The difference being that the helos have a decision point - to get it right - in the next few years
... whereas for the Army they can only start to think in those terms sometime in the next decade

Anyway, confessing will deliver - not forgiveness, but loss of face and even worse (from the public, and the MPs as their voice waking up he the stark truths)
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

SW1
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Re: Puma Helicopter (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
SW1 wrote:configuration and trade offs for a proper medium helicopter fleet [that’s is] almost as bad as the army’s vehicle procurement over a very long time.
Top
The difference being that the helos have a decision point - to get it right - in the next few years
... whereas for the Army they can only start to think in those terms sometime in the next decade

Anyway, confessing will deliver - not forgiveness, but loss of face and even worse (from the public, and the MPs as their voice waking up he the stark truths)
That is true the Puma replacement should be the beginning of a long term strategy but I’m not hopeful.

Indeed the army will be like the navy after the carrier debacle on the naughty step of special fiscal measures for 10 years.

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