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Old 21st Jan 2016, 07:31   #41 (permalink)
 
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You'd want to be careful giving any money to the Europeans to develop this given the experience so far with the MH90/MRH90.
I wonder if it wouldn't end up cheaper and a lot faster to buy off the shelf MH-47G if US will sell them. US procurement of MOTS has been so much less painful, and we also get better interoperabilty and support with US.

Last edited by rjtjrt; 25th Jan 2016 at 08:35. Reason: Typo
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Old 21st Jan 2016, 13:16   #42 (permalink)
 
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Given the success of the Romeo purchase, I'd place a bet on the AAA opting for M's.
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Old 25th Jan 2016, 07:52   #43 (permalink)
 
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Good money after bad again if they do that, but many in the Army know they are stuck with the MRH 90 and trying to make the best of it, my opinion , after the last MRH 90 is accepted and all the who wha has died down a quiet order for about a dozen MH-60M's will slip in and replace the S-70A-9's.
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Old 25th Jan 2016, 08:40   #44 (permalink)
 
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On another forum, it was suggested an order for MH-60S would be sensible as a special forces helicopter to replace Blackhaks.
Makes a lot of sense to me - commonality with the Romeo in RAN, USN use them for CSAR and presumably special forces, marinised for use on RAN.
Equally useful on land.
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Old 24th Apr 2017, 16:50   #45 (permalink)
 
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RNZAF NH90's grounded. One had a big engine failure and put in a paddock returning from Omaka...

Oz Navy MRH90 Taipan's availability ~ 55% while MH-60R Romeo approaches 90%. That says it all. Army struggles with theirs..

Buying off the shelf proven kit is the way to go...
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Old 24th Apr 2017, 22:14   #46 (permalink)
 
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I wouldn't blame the machine for the Aussie MRH-90 availability, I'd blame Australia.

Look at the Seasprite. An absolute disaster in Australia (did it EVER go into service?) and a star in NZ with good availability and a good reputation.

Not sure about the big engine failure, it was an engine failure. Cause unknown as yet. Happens in airliners too. It is standard practice in many military forces to ground the machines if there is a failure that cannot be determined quickly.

And the availability of the RNZAF NH-90's seems to be fine too. Except when they are hit by lightning or hit vegetation in confined areas
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 03:49   #47 (permalink)
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OK, I'll bite. Let's put some numbers into it so that it's a real comparison. Seeing as the Seasprite came up, let's throw it into the mix as well.

Number of aircraft in fleet?
Number of Operational aircraft in fleet?
Annual utilization?
Availability?
Hourly operating cost or annual budget per fleet?
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 08:34   #48 (permalink)
 
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Number of aircraft in fleet?
Number of Operational aircraft in fleet?
Annual utilization?
Availability?
Hourly operating cost or annual budget per fleet?
Zero is the answer to all the above as the SeaSprite never entered service in Australia.
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 11:16   #49 (permalink)
 
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It would be interesting to know where the availability stats were sourced from. FWIW, Av Week last month quoted the overall MRH90 (i.e. Navy and Army) availability rate as being “just under 70%,” though this was an Airbus number, not an ADF metric.

Re: buying off-the-shelf proven kit being the way to go, the Australian National Audit Office belatedly agrees with TBM. From the latest 2015-16 Major Projects Report (issued in February), here’s the commentary on the MRH90’s OTS status:

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The MRH Program was incorrectly viewed as a Military off-the-Shelf (MOTS) acquisition. Lessons associated with intended MOTS procurements include: that it is essential that the maturity of any offered product be clearly assessed and understood; and that elements of a chosen off-the-shelf solution may not meet the user requirement.
And the same report’s lesson’s learned conclusion on the MH-60R’s MOTS status:

Quote:
By procuring MOTS equipment, adhering to the project’s clearly defined scope as detailed by government at Second Pass, and effectively using the Program Management Steering Group to prevent potential scope creep, the project has been able to meet or exceed its financial and schedule obligations as detailed within the project’s Materiel Acquisition Agreement.
I/C
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Old 25th Apr 2017, 11:58   #50 (permalink)
 
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There is a logical fallacy concerning everyone only buying proven Off The Shelf.
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Old 16th May 2017, 21:17   #51 (permalink)
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This article contains some utterly appalling statistics and makes you wonder what part of the programme is at fault? Surely someone is responsible for this atrocious availability record and cost - and I don't mean the French taxpayer! Too many modern products consistently fail completely to meet their design specifications, availability and budgetary goals and yet no-one ever seems to be held accountable?

Some might even consider that these platforms are jeopardizing the National Security of the Nations involved, and that is the primary motivation in procuring them in the first place. So who's to blame? The procurement organizations, the military operators, the politicians or the manufacturers? More importantly, where's the solution and when will there be some commitment to action and enforcement of the deliverables. All anyone seems to want to do anymore is write down the order, take the money and see you later!

It's totally pathetic and ranks on the incompetent.

French military helicopter readiness? Depends on the fleet

French military helicopter readiness? Depends on the fleet

By: Pierre Tran, May 16, 2017
PARIS — The latest official update on readiness of French military helicopters show an average availability less than 50 percent, with the Tiger attack helicopter only ready for operations a quarter of the time.

The French Army fleet of 59 Tiger attack helicopters was last year ready for operations an average 25.6 percent at a total annual maintenance cost of €88.61 million (U.S. $98.2 million), the Defence Ministry said in response to a written question from Member of Parliament François Cornut-Gentille.

The Tiger’s 2016 availability compares with 21.4 percent in the previous year and is based on an average age of 5.5 years.

A low availability of French military helicopters and high cost of maintenance have sparked concern, leading Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to pledge last November an availability boost to an average 50 percent across the fleets, with special attention paid to the Tiger.

“Topics such as a second aircraft carrier and cybersecurity grab the public limelight, but maintenance lacks that nice image,” Cornut-Gentille said.

The French Navy’s 15-strong fleet of NH90 Caïman helicopters had an availability of 38.4 percent, up from 32 percent, at an annual maintenance cost of €47 million, with an average age of 3.4 years.

The 17 NH90s flown by the Army were available 41.4 percent, down from 47.6 percent, with an annual cost of €61.53 million and average age of three years.

The Cougar, with an average age of 26.3 years, was available 9.9 percent, down from 12.2 percent, with a bill of €40.27 million.

“Our essential capabilities are much constrained by the very low rate of availability of our helicopters, on average 38 percent,” MP François Lamy said of Army helicopters in a Nov. 2 lower house debate on the 2017 defense budget, reported business magazine Challenges.

“The Navy has 17 helicopters, 10 of which are in maintenance,” said parliamentarian Gwendal Rouillard, who was referring to the NH90 and pointed out that the 17th was at the time grounded due to a mechanical problem.

That lack of availability was largely due to an unduly complex system of maintenance shared out between government offices including the Direction Générale de l’Armement procurement office; two service wings of the Defence Ministry, namely Integrated Structure for Aeronautic Maintenance, and the Industrial Aeronautics Service; and private sector operators, Lamy said.

Airbus Helicopters supplied the Tiger, and NHIndustries — a joint venture held by Airbus, Leonardo and Fokker — delivered the NH90.

“Basically, this system does not work,” Lamy said. To underline the impracticality, he pointed to the Tiger’s routine service lasting 183 days, when the actual average period was 383 days.

Le Drian said he had launched an emergency plan to boost availability to average 50 percent in 2019, and to increase the readiness of the Tiger, which has seen a faster rate of wear and tear due to a damaging fine sand encountered in sub-Saharan Africa on the Barkhane mission.

“Supporting the French armed forces is a top priority for Airbus Helicopters, and we are working closely with our customers to meet their operational needs,” an Airbus Helicopters spokesperson said.
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Old 16th May 2017, 21:31   #52 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dClbydalpha View Post
There is a logical fallacy concerning everyone only buying proven Off The Shelf.
I'm not sure that I understand that statement. Could you amplify it a little?
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Old 16th May 2017, 22:33   #53 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Cyclic Hotline View Post
I'm not sure that I understand that statement. Could you amplify it a little?
Obviously there needs to be someone who buys the unproven product initially...
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Old 17th May 2017, 08:31   #54 (permalink)
 
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I'm not sure that I understand that statement. Could you amplify it a little?
As Henra says someone has to be first. If not then there is no advancing of capability.

When someone does take the first step it will be designed, developed, tested and proven for their requirements and procedures. If someone else then takes that product then they must stick to exactly the same regime of operation, regulations and maintenance else it isn't really OTS. I have seen small "tweaks" to an existing design have far reaching and unforeseen consequences - only to have everyone shout "but it was off the shelf!"
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Old 17th May 2017, 10:27   #55 (permalink)
 
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9.9% for the cougar and trending down, what is the size of the fleet . Funny that the NH90 is the best of the bunch . I wonder what the Lynx figures were.
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Old 17th May 2017, 16:14   #56 (permalink)
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As Henra says someone has to be first. If not then there is no advancing of capability.

When someone does take the first step it will be designed, developed, tested and proven for their requirements and procedures. If someone else then takes that product then they must stick to exactly the same regime of operation, regulations and maintenance else it isn't really OTS. I have seen small "tweaks" to an existing design have far reaching and unforeseen consequences - only to have everyone shout "but it was off the shelf!"
Yes, I agree completely with you on this. However, the system seems broken and no-one is ever held to account, I make that statement based upon procurement involving every OEM, not specifically the subject here. If a fresh start procurement involves technology, design or manufacturing techniques that are unproven, then why should the tax-payer assume the risk (and expense) of it not functioning in accordance with the contractual specifications? It seems to me that there is a need to interject some commercial reality and sanity checks into the procurement process everywhere.

Many of the technological advancements are defined by the contracting entity, but originate from the supplier convincing them that it will be a great idea. The evolution cycle and lifespan of a basic platform design certainly needs to incorporate as many achievable technological advances as possible, based upon realistic budgeting and deliverables. Procurement agencies need to ensure that an effective team involving all parties are essentially going to be involved through the entire cycle and also that they are going to be held accountable for the outcome.

Instead, we continually see programmes that never deliver on time and budget and often are incapable of meeting the original contract requirements and then fail to meet any realistic (or acceptable) operational availability goals. It is a backward move to procure a supposedly more capable platform replacing an existing one, only to discover that it can't meet operational availabilty, performance or capability goals.

Something is very wrong with this model and it is seriously diminishing the effectiveness of militaries all over the World to field aviation assets to meet their requirements and commitments.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 18th May 2017, 10:23   #57 (permalink)
 
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we continually see programmes that never deliver on time and budget
The F-35 is setting never-thought-possible new benchmarks in this area. It makes this program look like a winner.

The people I spoke to at Avalon this year seemed to be much "happier" with their NH-90's, particularly with the current old gear becoming a handful to maintain.
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Old 18th May 2017, 18:49   #58 (permalink)
 
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There are a couple of points to look after- not only who is the manufacture!

How many trained staff is there for the work?
Are spares ordered in advance?
What planning is done between the flightline and the maitainance?
Lots of levers to play with - or to spoil readyness....
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Old 20th May 2017, 07:40   #59 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Bull View Post
There are a couple of points to look after- not only who is the manufacture!

How many trained staff is there for the work?
Are spares ordered in advance?
What planning is done between the flightline and the maitainance?
Lots of levers to play with - or to spoil readyness....
Who are you referring to in these questions, would also like to see some serviceability % for all the NH90 operators.
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Old 20th May 2017, 10:47   #60 (permalink)
 
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Hi DHC4,

just generally speaking...
Throwing numbers into a room without further information about why - or as you rightly ask, numbers at other operators, it´s just bending the statistics in favour of the one, who shows them.....
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