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I'm talking about CHF as a whole. Is it not 4 sqns? It looks quite a large organisation for one, maybe 2 pretend aircraft carriers...
I can't see your point. CHF comprises only 2 x SK4 Front Line Sqns (845 & 846), 1 x SK4 Training Sqn (848) and 1 x Lynx Mk7 Armed Reconnaissance Sqn (847).
Possible operating platforms/lily pads include 2 x LPH (OCEAN & ILLUSTRIOUS), 2 x LPD (BULWARK & ALBION), 3 x RFA BAY CLASS LSDs (LYME BAY, MOUNTS BAY & CARDIGAN BAY) and 6 x RFA POINT CLASS sealift ships (HURST POINT, HARTLAND POINT, EDDYSTONE, ANVIL POINT, LONGSTONE, BEACHY HEAD) plus any other RN warships/RFAs of course.
I think what high spirits is trying to make clear is that if Mk 3 remains so, and it can't be folded up to put on a ship, then why go to the expense of retraining 2 sets of crews when you could possibly retrain CHF onto the new Chinooks ? Gives them a new aircraft and a frame that will do everything they need - ok, the numbers are less but the lift capacity evens it all out. I read somewhere that the lifts on the new carriers are to be big enough for a Chinook anyway, if this is true then there is no requirement for a Merlin Mk4.
I'm sure it wasnt you FOD, but one of your RN cohorts said on a similar thread that lily padding doesn't count(or some such words). 1 LPH and a legacy CVS. That is all you can embark on for a sustained period. LPD has no hangar, the rest are just the hanger-on vessels....
Fact, you have less ships you can embark on for a sustained period, but just as many sqns. Fact, the marinisation is not yet funded(and may not be). Fact, the Mk3 will rot if not put down below. Fact the mk3 isn't very suitable for the proposed role (at the moment).
"but just as many sqns" But thats where the statistics get distorted During the Falklands war the navy was able to send around 55 Wessex 5 south, plus they had enough for at least a 12-strong "squadron" still at Yeovilton (admittedly two were gaily-painted admirals barges, and one was still in 1960's brown/green camouflage). At the same time, the SK4 fleet would have been around 23 - not including the two Mk4X trials aircraft. (Contrary to what I thought earlier, the last 18 were built after the Falklands) So, around 100 available CHF aircraft, for a nominal strength of two squadrons (845 & 846) though as we know, a number of "extra" squadrons were created overnight. Thats rather a lot more than a few hand-me-down Merlins. For the same number of cut-down carriers (two) , 2x LPD amd Engadine (plus whatever the RFAs could carry)
Last edited by jamesdevice; 18th Oct 2011 at 20:33.
you're changing the argument Your implication was that the same number of current CHF squadrons as in the past implied the same number of aircraft, and the same capability. Far from it: the actual number of helicopters has dropped. Yet the load they are supposed to lift - 3 Commando Brigade - hasn't really shrunk in size.
How many RAF Merlins are there? 28? When transferred to the Navy, what does that translate to in terms of front-line aircraft?
James, No, you simply make mine and the argument of Unchecked quite clear. Less platforms to embark sustained ops on, but the same load, ie 3Cdo = a better cab with greater lift capacity. It comes with a tandem rotor and is not a Merlin Mk3.
so who pays to design and engineer the folding rotor blades? and presumably it would also need full marinisation - just as required by the Merlins. The Chinook is no more marine capable than the Merlin Mk3 - and at least converting that is (or should be) a known quantity
Now if cost is a problem, maybe someone could ask Columbia Helicopters to knock up a quick batch of updated new-build Sea Knights. Columbia now own the construction rights.
If the lifts are big enough on CVF, they could take a fully spread chinook or Merlin as they are almost the same length and rotor diameter. But less chinook needed for lift = less cabs in the hangar below. At least the chinook (x4)could do a company lift in a oner. I don't see a wheezing Marinised Merlin (or six) being able to achieve the same capability.
LPH can't take either below without ripping blades or pitot tubes off.
The CH47 is without a doubt one of the most capable and versatile helicopters ever devised but the danger here is that after 10 years of Afghan we have ended up in the corporate position of the the answer is always chinook. Experience from a numerous ops over the past 20 years shows that there is a clear requirement for medium lift ... even on todays Afghan centric (necessarily) force there are times when CH47 is not the answer and something smaller is required.
Jungliebeefer Agreed. Use the money to convert Mk2 Merlin cockpit to NVD, or upgrade the 12 mk 1 orphans, rather than marinise Mk3=cheaper. After all, mk1 mates talk about a 16 seat capability for anti piracy. Launch mk2 from LPH and chinook and or merlin from CVF. Lynx can launch from either.