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Will Puma Survive?

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Will Puma Survive?

Old 12th Jan 2012, 18:15
  #161 (permalink)  
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Or are they the ex German Border Guard SA330J's?

So when is the Merlin allegedelly going to CHF?

if its soon why was the Seaking HC4 rebuilt?
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 19:55
  #162 (permalink)  
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if its soon why was the Seaking HC4 rebuilt?
Because our defence policy is in an incoherent state of constant crisis management.
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 20:08
  #163 (permalink)  
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I know it's now ancient history, but there's a great deal of error in people's view of our SH procurement history since 1978.... Blackhawk never won any assessment despite it's popularity, and in the competition that ended in the Merlin 3 buy of 1995 it was directly against the CH47 and nothing else. A part buy of 22 Merlins was politically directed. They were not fitted with folding tails and heads as in the early nineties they were being procured for overland ops primarily, and the extra weight of the folding mods precluded the ac being able to lift the maximum trrops stated as essential in the spec.... But then what do I know.
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 21:32
  #164 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by tallsar
But then what do I know.
From what you say, probably quite a lot. This thread is alien territory for me, but I am interested to learn more. I recognize a LOT of common themes here between the helo and FJ worlds. No matter which card you choose, we end up buying the hardware that "THEY" want us to pick. Why do we do COEIAs, studies, assessments, etc? I think I might know the answer.

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Old 12th Jan 2012, 21:36
  #165 (permalink)  
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15 mk2 chinooks, plus 10 free to enable Boeing to close the production line, plus spares thru life for free. That was Boeing's offer.

Our reply, "No thank you very much, Mr Boeing, we have the Merlin coming!"

The cost of all 25 chinnies?

Equivalent to 3 merlins.

Still, at least it kept some Brits employed.

Sorry, thread drift, back to the Pu2...
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 21:56
  #166 (permalink)  
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I seam to remember from dim and distant past that Sikorsky/westland put in an unsolicited proposal to replace wessex HC2's with WS60 Blackhawk westland produced 1 or 2.
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 22:10
  #167 (permalink)  
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Westland built one Blackhawk from a kit after Sikorsky took a stake in the company. The plan was to assemble aircraft at Yeovil for sale to the Arabs and so avoid the then boycott problems which stopped them buying direct. No business ever developed - possibly because the politocos were still more interested in developing a "European" solution to the Westland problem, despite Sikorsky baling the company out and keeping it alive (with Agusta's help). I don't remember a serious supply bid ever being for them to supply Westland Blackhawks to the UK
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 08:14
  #168 (permalink)  
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Part of any Defence procurement decision is the Industrial Impact. This is (or was) put together by the DTI or whatever it's called today and comes in at Ministerial level, at a relatively late stage. Politicians tend to listen to these more than the military because these directly involve jobs, votes and political heat.

It is always very hard to make a military case for an MOTS item if a UK company is saying 'We can make that for the same price' (or a bit more if loads of jobs are claimed to be at stake). Good Project Management, sensible procurement strategies and everything else that leads to a successful buy are, at this point, poor politics.

In the case of CH47 vs EHI 01 it came down to jobs in Yeovil and down the Yeovil supply chain so the RAF was told there had to be a mixed buy.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 09:39
  #169 (permalink)  
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There was talk a while ago about a replacement for the Puma and Sea King based on a New AW product I think it was the AW149 has this project disappeared?

There is also talk in the Daily Telegraph of further troop reductions could this be the reason why? there may no be the need for the puma to support a smaller army?
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 10:08
  #170 (permalink)  
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Regardless of all the bluff and bluster on here the RW review is still alive and well. There’s no ‘coming into service’ RW platforms that are safe and it must be logical to look at what we need; bang and bodies moved (alive and from place to place)! So the question is: which platforms can do this with the fewest bases, fewest bodies (regardless of beret) and most of importantly FOR WHO?
Not a difficult question and once the brass stop their pi***ng matches in the clubs, the purse strings will give what is required to whom it is required flown by those that can. Simples!!!

So Puma, Wildcat and 149 (but that was such a long shot I am not sure it should be in this list) are all doomed unless the strategic needs of UK change – regardless of how un-palatable some on here think losing their parochial little world is – or – how self-important they think they are.
Do the sums with the cash available and the Boeing deal would have been so sensible.
PS: I’m not looking for a job in Yeovil at the moment!!!!!
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 11:48
  #171 (permalink)  
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So Puma, Wildcat and 149 (but that was such a long shot I am not sure it should be in this list) are all doomed unless the strategic needs of UK change
I have a sneaking suspicion Wildcat will be safe - it's primary role isn't carrying pax or bang - have you seen how little room there is down the back? As such I would suggest that battlefield taxi comes well down the list of its roles, well behind ISTAR / C2. And given that every man and his dog seems to now have some variation of ISTAR or Information in their job titles, I would have thought that Wildcat should fit into that niche along with the escort role.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 12:10
  #172 (permalink)  
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Agree - and if Wildcat is axed along with Puma, then the only RW fleets which the UK will field (apart from a couple of niche outfits such as 25 Flt and 84 Sqn) will be Apache, Merlin and Chinook...surely this won't happen?
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 12:16
  #173 (permalink)  
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Melchette, I'm not questioning your analysis or the fact that Wildcat would be pretty poor as a battlefield taxi but is a fleet of light C2 / ISTAR helicopters what the green army needs given the cuts elsewhere?

Apache's sensors are very effective and its defensive aids, mixed weapons load and protective armour make it well suited to escort roles (nice if it was quicker though) as well as its originally envisaged role. Watchkeeper is also adding to the Army's organic ISTAR capability and the oft heard word from the infantry types around me is that we are now drowning in information but with dwindling ability to move boots around to exploit it.

With 100+ escort capable Army helicopters kicking around compared to what may be left of SH when CHF Merlins are embarked elsewhere, the Army could be doing an awful lot of walking with a constant chatter from their colleagues above telling them about the latest opportunity they have just missed.

Given the unpalatable structure and numbers we will be left with I am no longer convinced that Wildcat's predicted niche still exists. Clearly I would rather fund and fix the wider issues than bin Wildcat if we can extract the correct level of resource from the Treasury.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 12:33
  #174 (permalink)  
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given the numbers involved if the Army order for wildcat was abandoned is the Naval version viable?

Remember wildcat is for 2 services with 2 very different needs.

As to the future maybe the NH90 TTH should be looked at as the long term replacement for puma and the armed forces should be allowed to "Save" for this longer term plan! (Just like you and I would to buy a new car)

When is the Air sea rescue service being civilianised?
Could Puma HC1 stay in service till this date? and is there enough life left in the HAR3 fleet to allow them to serve as a stop gap transport helecopter for the RAF? some work would be needed and there is some Jobs for British workers.

There is a complete lack of long term thinking in the Amred forces and this is a direct result of political short termism spreading to the civil service

Last edited by NURSE; 15th Jan 2012 at 12:50.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 15:43
  #175 (permalink)  
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the Puma is not going to get axed people........
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 16:25
  #176 (permalink)  
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Of course it will................

But maybe not yet, who knows but all get axed eventually. Even the Wokka(cue sharp intake of breath) nothing lives forever!
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 17:11
  #177 (permalink)  
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all good things come to an end eh fireaxe?

This why we should be currently planning, first phase should look at going to CH-47F fleet unfortunatley this planning should have started about 5 years ago.

Puma end of life should also be currently being planned for with replacement being identified now.

But would also say plan B to current plans should be being considered
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 17:48
  #178 (permalink)  
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At the end of the day it is people that count, keeping fingers crossed for all who may be involved on Tuesday. May be an opportunity for some hoping all get what they want. For my 2p, hope 1 Merlin sqn stays SH, with other going CHF also colocating at Benson. Means infrastructure can remain at Benson, so save money. Handover can be gradual and gives CHF time to work up, again saving money. We retain a sqn and gain an opportunity to share and benefit from combined expertise. Could work well with retaining Puma and Wokka with their reduced buy. And a varied capability and career path could be retained. I know it probably costs more due to multiple platforms but as has been seen the differing capability works well in Herrick for the varied tasks including the upgraded Lynx. For once JHC complementing each other as a team.
Long live SH!!!!

Last edited by FireAxe; 15th Jan 2012 at 18:25.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 18:27
  #179 (permalink)  
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Maybe a chance to pause and re-set?

Rumour looks like Puma will stay for the short term.

I too would like a Joint Force Merlin, as when Puma does go eventually (and it will - even in 2025) then we are only left with a fleet of wokkas which will result in any hardly cockpits in comparison to what we used to have.

But, and this is where I am a realist and I find it difficult that others do not see it, but we are so broke as a nation with in excess of 6 years before we even begin to start to talking NH-90s, AW-149s and any other non-core fleet originally identified by the first version of the RWS back in 2009.

So we get new buy CH-47, the Army gets new buy Wildcat and the RN gets our second hand Merlins....

Please please please can we stop the cancer of negative bitching that has taken back Jointery many many years. Crew rooms from all 3 Services are full of anger, hate, selfishness and a raft of other negative emotions and feelings.

I know that our senior leadership has not been been entirely blameless in cultivating this culture of protecting our cockpits at all costs, but we cannot go on like this and as I have said it is now evidient around the table and ops.

It is messy, and there is much change ahead forced upon us by a combination of politicians and greedy bankers, not all good and yes sadly some (maybe me) will find that we are without employment in the coming years or at best forced into a non-flying job as there are no longer enough cockpits.

But we are eating ourselves up from the inside, and now is not the time (at all levels) to be stomping around with any single Service agendas trying to save your slice of the pie.

There is a plan, we can draw it out for as long we want and then continue to fight when we do not like the answer or the direction, but the more we do this the more we destroy the years of Jointery, good will and most importantly of all the mutual trust that has been built up through many operations and different theatres.

Enough is enough, now lets just get on with it.
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Old 15th Jan 2012, 19:31
  #180 (permalink)  
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The JFM concept will be intersting when you consider the rearcrew implications for several reasons:

1. Currently, CHF only operate with one cmn, so will need a reasonable uplift in manning.

2. Rank/Pay/Trg differences between WSOp and RM(Cmn) for the same job.

This is not insurmountable, but will be interesting to see what becomes the accepted..........
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