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Will Puma Survive?

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Will Puma Survive?

Old 31st Dec 2011, 06:25
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Is the Lynx / Wildcat family really so secure??

We must have enough of an Apache force to render Anti Tank Lynx redundant and carrying 7 pax (LBH) is nothing to right home about. The Puma as a mid sized but capable (12 pax) beast suitable for urban ops has a role to play and is very likely to be secure until at least 2014 which was its traditional exit date. Personally I would have liked to see BritMil engage in NH90 or Super Puma but will aways be in cuckoo land. Is Wildcat bought and paid for? ....or are they just keeping below the radar fully aware that they too are 'at risk'. P2 whilst not in any way a golden answer may just be cost effective to see endex at 2025; or another Governments problem!
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 09:39
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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The Puma as a mid sized but capable (12 pax) beast suitable for urban ops has a role to play and is very likely to be secure until at least 2014 which was its traditional exit date
TM,

Like most of us, I don't want to see any more fleets go the way of Harrier and Nimrod, but I worry that you're being a tad optimistic. Of course the Puma has a role to play - but it's not currently playing it, which means it could be disposed of without any impact to ongoing ops. The Govt is desperate to save money (having had to walk away from several previous ways of generating income/savings - selling forests, closing Coastguard centres etc) and the economic outlook has just got worse...If we look back to the indecent haste with which the Jaguar was disposed of (the Out Of Service date was brought forward by nearly 6 months at a very late stage, which surprised everyone, not least the Jag Mates who had already organized a big event to coincide with the planned retirement date), I think there is a real danger that the Puma may be removed very quickly to maximise the financial savings from getting rid, rather than leaving it in place until the previously agreed exit date. I just can't see us (ie JHC not RAF) hanging onto 4 SH types (if one can count Lynx/Wildcat - I'm not including Apache in this) in the current climate. Like it or not, the Wildcat is safe because of who makes it...

Now here's a crazy thought for you...if the Puma 2 is as good as everyone says (and I'm not in a position to know otherwise), its best hope for survival is for the green Merlin to be removed entirely (ie not given to the CHF). That way, we (JHC) have Chinook/'new' Puma/new Wildcat, and we'd be able to flog the Merlins to someone somewhere. Great shame for the Navy, of course.

Just before you dismiss me as a lunatic, think on this: the people who will make the decision are the same people who reckoned we could do without an MPA ever and without an aircraft carrier for 10 years or more. All they care about is money...so if it comes down to choosing between 27 (?) green Merlins, crew of 4, with no chance of selling mixed bag of Puma HC1s/half-built & untested Puma HC2s, or a smaller fleet of 3-crew Pumas with the chance of some income from selling relatively new green Merlin, the latter may not be quite as secure as everyone assumes...and the whole CHF/Lit Manoeuvre argument doesn't hold much water (pun intended) against a Govt hell-bent on savings at all costs (see Nimrod, carrier point above). After all, Chinook, Wildcat and even Apache can all go to sea...

Now, having finished reading my ramblings, you can dismiss me as the lunatic I am!

TOTD
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 10:22
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Sadly I am punch drunk with shock, bizarre decision making, and one wonders where the lunatics really are.

All they care about is money..
I have no argument with that statement at all.

I have had eyes on a letter from the last Defence Minister in which the 3 page ramble can be condensed to:

I will break apart the UK military until 2015 at which point I will rebuilt it with a target date of 2020 for UK Defence Plc. ....with hints that MPA will be part of the 2020 solution.

I heard a rumour of Pumas collectively becoming a reserve sqn which may then place it in somebody elses budget and therefore a possible stay of execution. Balanced by more contempory rumours that nobody has a clue what is happening; which is probably the truth of the matter. A factor maybe that the Olympics are to be followed by the UK holding another big games: European Championships? in a year or two which will need in-place security measures.

AL1. 2017 World Athletics Championships to be hosted by London.
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 11:58
  #104 (permalink)  
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Now here's a crazy thought for you...if the Puma 2 is as good as everyone says (and I'm not in a position to know otherwise), its best hope for survival is for the green Merlin to be removed entirely (ie not given to the CHF). That way, we (JHC) have Chinook/'new' Puma/new Wildcat, and we'd be able to flog the Merlins to someone somewhere. Great shame for the Navy, of course.
What role does green Merlin have that Chinook can't do?
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 14:52
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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If this is being looked at purely from a finance point of view then apparently the only way to save money is to remove an entire platform (harrier, tornado argument).

We have around 60 chinook, merlin, apache and wildcat and 24 puma. Can 2 wildcat deliver the same number of pax into a urban environment as a single puma possibly? Can puma do the wildcat job on ships no. Chinook does heavy lift and merlin stays as its the only asw a/c we have left and both are currently in afghan.

IF we have to lose one for financial reasons next year then puma looks vulnerable unfortunately any subtle capability argument doesn't seem to matter all that much to those in whitehall.
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 16:08
  #106 (permalink)  
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Can 2 wildcat deliver the same number of pax into a urban environment as a single puma possibly?
By that argument we may as well use squirrels and drop them off in pairs

Clearly the aim is to get as many boots on the ground as possible at the start, and I think that when dropping into a hostile urban environment into a landing site which is too restrictive to fit a Chinook into that most commanders would prefer to get 16 troops on the ground than 8(?) then another 8. And then there's the hot/high performance, where Puma 2 outstrips just about anything apart from Chinook (yes, including the woefully underpowered Merlin).

Can puma do the wildcat job on ships no.
What job? What ships?
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 16:52
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tiger Mate
Anti Tank Lynx
went out several years ago, when the UK stock of TOW and its variants was lifex. Since then, AH7 has been used in the utility and obs roles.
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 17:09
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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What role does green Merlin have that Chinook can't do?
It's keeps Yeovil's finest spares supplier in business. But this would still be the case if we flogged them to another country...

merlin stays as its the only asw a/c we have left and both are currently in afghan
Most people (including the RN and probably even the Govt) treat the grey and green Merlins as different beasts entirely, so the fact that the grey Merlin is safe (surely?!) may not mean that much for the Mk 3/3As.
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 17:33
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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PTT

Puma 2 looks like it could have some nice capabilities but if the only way to make real savings is to remove a platform entirely as this government has already stated and done and is its aim with helicopters then which of the five helicopters do you remove?

Bearing in mind merlin and Apache use similar engines and the wildcat buy has been increased slightly and we'll be out of afghan by the time of any likely puma 2 deployment to me purely from a finance position puma 2 looks vulnerable.

I guess what im driving at is this could the capability of puma 2 be replaced with a merlin/wildcat combination? could puma 2 replace either wildcat or merlin in all there roles in a similar combination?

Torqueofthedevil what the betting the RN position would change on merlin if they're all in the RN and used by the Marines.
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 17:36
  #110 (permalink)  
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could the capability of puma 2 be replaced with a merlin/wildcat combination? could puma 2 replace either wildcat or merlin in all there roles in a similar combination?
No to both questions. Green Merlin, though, could be replaced entirely by Chinook/Puma.
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 19:54
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Bearing in mind the less interventionist approach that HMG seems to be heading for with FF2020 or what ever it is called is AH really safe? It would appear that nothing is safe from the treasury at the moment after all.

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Old 31st Dec 2011, 20:10
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Must confess that, even after a decade on Pumas, that I had some reservations about upgrading a 40-year-old airframe. However, the feedback from QHIs/QHCIs who've recently completed Puma 2 groundschool has been overwhelmingly positive; its performance - particularly hot and high - is a quantum leap ahead of the HC.1, whilst the cockpit makes old technophobes like me just a tad nervous!

So, whether Puma 2 survives or not, massive credit is definitely due to the Puma 2 Fielding Team, who've clearly performed miracles within very tight financial and technical constraints. Cheers, ladies and gents... Oh, and - please - no more of this ridiculous talk of Wildcat being a suitable partial replacement. In terms of interior space and usable payload - forget it!
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Old 31st Dec 2011, 22:23
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Sadly...

The point was made earlier.
From the Treasury POV- Not on Ops therefore not needed in the OrBat.

Not saying I agree. Maybe it is too easy to oversimplify the civil service / politico mindset.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 09:25
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Aaah, I see now....

But although I agree the sound of getting rid of the Merlin (and CHF) in favour of Puma would go some way to stopping the Pongos from taking all RW (and might even lead to a strong argument for all helicopters back to the 'Air Domain') I think we will have to be careful as we have only just finished arguing that we should retain Merlin and not let the Fisheads have it.

Presentationally it doesn't look very good to one moment say we want Merlin, then when we find that we have lost it, suddenly present an argument to say that it wasn't cost effective anyway, and actually Puma all along was the cheapest option to Defence.

But if our airships can sell it, then brilliant and although I have no idea what a Puma can do, then if it can do more than the Wildcat and Merlin, let's keep the Puma (AH will just have to work a bit harder on the recce tasks that Wildcat was to do in the future, while Puma more than makes up for the Lift requirement). If cheaper to run and operate then we will win hands down. Not being on Ops to being on Ops - especially after 2015, is not a big resource bill I would imagine.

The only negative bit of this (through hard experience in suffering on the O boat-i.e. I have scared myself on a few occasions) is the Chinook, Apache and any other non core maritime aircraft do not just pitch up, do stuff and go home. I will subscribe to a lot of things, but if you really want Chinook (and Puma) to embark to do amphib ops then train me and my crews properly, with the correct teams embarked to do the planning and integrate with grey funnel lines.

The only thing that is trumping the bean counters at the moment is the safety/MAA line and I for one (as authoriser and aircraft captain) do not want to volunteer for time at sea full stop, but if I am forced to go to sea at short notice untrained and with low currency is far worse. As I have said before, a few day/night deck landings does not make me or my crew competent in amphibious operations.

But if I understand the posts above correctly and I am led to believe that we within the light blue are seriously presenting a case that we believe that we can deliver a cheaper RW programme with Puma and Chinook (probably resulting in efficiencies downstream that could result in absorbing AH in due course) then that is music to my ears, as at the moment we are currently staring the barrel of being forced to amalgamate with the Army and all that it entails.

Like many others on this thread, if I have to become a brown job I will, but I really would rather not!!

So a future JHC of Puma, Chinook and AH (3 core types for DE&S) =
No CHF, no Army Wildcat = secure future for us

Capability retained, cost reduced - win win.

Last edited by MaroonMan4; 1st Jan 2012 at 09:52.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 20:53
  #115 (permalink)  
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Wildcat 1st course 8 weeks and counting (cash in AW bank) - only 3 RAF through RW training this year (see you in Nov!!!), when do you want your new uniform????

Oh and the new MinDP bringing in Civies so the RAF can't wine and stamp there feet in the battles to come!!!
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 21:16
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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They may 'wine and stamp there feet'......

But at least they paid attention during basic spelling at school.





Thick tosser.
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 22:38
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Indeed...
Furthermore, I can recall numerous ex-AAC pilots with whom I've flown on RAF SH over the years; very few (if any) pilots seem to transfer the other way. These individuals, to a man, made informed decisions - so please form your own conclusions about which service it is preferable to serve in!
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Old 1st Jan 2012, 23:33
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by high spirits
Thick tosser.
If that's the best you can come up with I surmise you weren't educated by the State.
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 06:56
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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Digin

I had to speak the language of the gutter to get my point across to an individual who is still stuck in the dark ages.....


He deserved no less of a strong rebuke, and no more of an effort on my part.
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Old 2nd Jan 2012, 08:53
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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Well, come March (or so), it will be CAS' decision if Puma survives. We'll then see how much importance your 'Mates' put on SH.....
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