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Will Puma Survive?

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Will Puma Survive?

Old 11th Jan 2012, 08:37
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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So, Puma axed, and Merlin to CHF? Hmm - the redundancy fields announcement on the 17th might have room for a LOT of aircrew...
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 11:17
  #142 (permalink)  
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Blatant puff-piece by the Sun. Or do you actually take predictive reporting from newspapers (if we can call this rag that) as some form of evidence of what the government are actually going to do?
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 12:05
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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I hope you're right. The alternative is too bad to contemplate... Puma scrapped and Merlin to CHF. Then SAR goes civvy in 2016 (a done'ish deal), leaving an RAF Rotary force of Wokkas. (yes, ok, 84 Sqn and 32 as well - that's what...6 cabs?). How long before the Army say 'Oh you have 1 type, whose purpose is to support the Army - you know what...we'll have that, thanks a lot!'
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 12:19
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder if the press are aware that we will lose net 2 entire helicopter fleets by 2015 with the demise of Sea King Mk 4if this cut goes ahead. How many helicopters? Circa 60 plus at a guess.

Pretty shabby thing to do in light of headlines about a lack of troop carrying helicopters only 2 years ago......


So put upgrade money into the HC4s which are already more capable than Puma (if equally aged), but are sufficiently smaller than Chinook & Merlin to meet the claimed differential for Puma. Benson keeps its Merlins, bin the Puma. Or is that the wrong answer as CHF survives?

And as posted earlier, it wasn't so much lack of actual cabs, more deployable in theatre and funded cabs that was the issue.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 13:53
  #145 (permalink)  
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HC4s which are already more capable than Puma
But not more capable than Puma 2, which is what you actually need to compare with.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 14:10
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder if the decision on the Puma's future will be released before, after or on the same day as Tranche2 is announced???? Or is HMG still waiting for some 'proper' bad news to bury it all under????
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 16:15
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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But not more capable than Puma 2, which is what you actually need to compare with.

The Carson upgrade to HC4+ adds quite a bit to the top end of performance. Compare that with HC2 and I doubt there's much difference except possibly in speed.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 17:00
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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HC4 vs Puma 1 & 2

Having never flown it, I can't say for sure how a Carson blade HC4 would perform directly against Puma 1 or 2. My educated guess, not as good as Puma 2, but better than Puma 1.

However, the HC4 still has only 1 door through which to get on/off - bit of a design flaw for a support helicopter. From what i've seen of it, it's also painfully slow in the cruise/climb.

In summary, Puma Mk2 gives you better range and performance, hot & high,... than a Merlin.

Fact.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 17:09
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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Or maybe Merlin stays with RAF and the HC4 fleet gets some refurbishment considering the difficulties in converting Merlin HC3 (due to the RAF specifications) to maritime capable and the sudden increase in available Sea King spares. The HC4 fleet is younger than most of the Puma fleet. Would be logical but then when have the MoD ever used Logic?
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 18:21
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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This bit is true,

The Sun understands that military top brass, under massive financial pressure,
This bit is untrue

but the word is that actual work has ground to a halt
Puma, which is seen as a low priority as it's not due to serve in Afghanistan.
either is the Wildcat?

military top brass, under massive financial pressure, volunteered Pumas for the chop to free cash for other projects
and so was the Wildcat a couple of years ago.

I'm not Wildcat bashing, I would love to see all the RW types survive. I'm just pointing out that things change and even with their 'inside expert man' I will only believe it when its offiicially announced.

A bit of a non story to be honest, until it is official of course!
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 21:08
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Nursey,

(due to the RAF specifications)
I can assure you matey, if the Merlin had been designed to RAF specifications it would have come with 2 rotor heads and been able to lift 24.5T!

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Old 11th Jan 2012, 22:05
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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And maybe if the RAF had learnt a lesson in 82 no helicoper would have been procured unless it had a folding rotor heads and tail booms!
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 23:45
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Nurse. Folding heads and tail booms are a red herring...we cannot afford to fight those kind of wars!

As far as Puma goes...if it is under threat, the fact that there have been multiple accidents in the latter half of 2000 might not help its case!

Why keep a fleet which has had so many accidents?.....contentious or not, its a fair question from a Tax payer.
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Old 11th Jan 2012, 23:49
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Arguably, it's also a good reason to upgrade the aircraft, in order to help prevent said accidents?
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 07:57
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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We now cannot afford to fight those sorts of wars. But everything for options for change to SDSR has put the UK armed forces onto a footing were all our rotary wing fleet should be capable of operating from ships. And I would sugest that's going to be the picture for a long time to come.

And totally agree about Puma accident rate and lack of refurbishment when money was available. The South Africans have been operating upgraded pumas for years so why was it left till now to upgrade ours? Might have prevented the accidents and deaths!
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 08:04
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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[quoteI can assure you matey, if the Merlin had been designed to RAF specifications it would have come with 2 rotor heads and been able to lift 24.5T!
][/quote] CrabInCab

I seam to remember in the run up to merlin procurment that the main alternitive being sugested to Merlin wasn't Chinook at all but Cougar. It was only when Merlin was the chosen that the Chinook started being mentioned. But you may get your wish for an all chinook fleet. Just a pity that there will be some loss in flexibility. Would be interesting if 1563 was still working in Belize to see the ammount of work needed to make the HLS's capable of taking chinook.
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 08:39
  #157 (permalink)  
 
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NURSE

Not quite. In the run-off to see what the new frame was, the winner was Blackhawk. When the RAF was told it could not have it (even looked at Wastelands building under licence), then the RAF was told that Merlin was in fact the winner. At this point, Chinook was mooted. Effectively, and quite understandably, the RAF was prepared to do a lot of horse trading to not get stuck with the Merlin.
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 11:44
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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saw a couple of US civil registered Pumas operating of a USNS Robert E Peary combat support ship in the Gulf the other night on the box. It was used for Vertrep.

Last edited by TBM-Legend; 12th Jan 2012 at 13:26.
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 18:12
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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my money (and I will put my pension on this) is on Puma staying and Merlin going to RN......but you aint seen me right?
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 18:48
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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saw a couple of US civil registered Pumas operating of a USNS Robert E Peary
That's where the Bristow UK/Aus machines were retired to.
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