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Will Puma Survive?

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Will Puma Survive?

Old 15th Dec 2011, 10:33
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Will Puma Survive?

Lots of rumours out there, anyone in the know?
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 11:30
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The government's got no money and its not currently deployed on Operations, what would your guess be ?
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 11:36
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Indeed. If we think the cuts have finished yet, we're dreaming. It might be more a case of when than if. But you could probably say that for all sorts of things at the moment.

However, to answer your question, no, I'm not in the know.

Courtney
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 11:47
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I see the blinkered thinking of HMG is rubbing off on those in 'town' as well. Nice to see we're structuring ourselves with a well-balanced force for the future, or b)?
The country isn't totally broke, plenty out there are. Brainwashing the population to believe it is is a very convenient way to get people to roll over and accept any decision made by our glorious leaders.
I feel deep sympathy for the many aircrew and support staff who will be without a job in the very near future in an ever more competetive job market.
Obviously it's still only a rumour though.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 12:00
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Well if Puma gets axed and Merlin goes to the Navy, the RAF will have a totally unbalanced capability which won't be FCOC compliant. Given that the doctrine wallahs are predicting a future of complex interventions in littoral / urban environments, that is going to need at least some relatively small, flexible RW assets if the RAF wants to operate SH in that context.

As we found all too often in the early days of HERRICK, trying to get CH-47 into small compounds doesn't always work, and you either end up a) trashing the cab b) trashing the compound or c) doing an insert to an offset HLS and having to fight your way in and out - which is just about fine in a relatively open area, but do you really want to do that in an urban environment?

Unfortunately, much of this seems to have been overlooked and hasn't been helped by the Chinook mafia dominating the RAF's RW decision making and planning processes. So now, given that we are skint and that Puma isn't on ops, regardless of the capability requirement for a reasonably small and flexible platform capable of operating in all environments, anything we might say will just be seen as a fighting a rear-guard action by the Army and RN who will quite happily see Puma go.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 12:04
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I think it's always been a bit like that, Llama. Perhaps (partly) because the guys in town see the severity of the cuts "close-up" and have to act on them. I agree with you about aircrew and support staff who will be without a job in the very near future.

I think it's also going to be very difficult for those still serving who find themselves deployed more and more frequently and trying to do more with less. Ops aren't over yet and there will always be more to come. Trick is, the politicians need to decide what they want to do in the world and then equip and man (sorry, person) the armed forces accordingly. They cannot keep cutting and expecting to keep being big actors on the world stage.

Courtney
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 13:41
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regardless of the capability requirement for a reasonably small and flexible platform capable of operating in all environments
Sorry, but it still won't work on a ship!

Don't get me wrong but I have the ultimate respect for gold old 'Percy' but I'm afraid the glory days of AMF heroically galavanting across land-locked Europe to only worry about keeping the 'Reds' in check are long gone.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 13:44
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I've been put onto a ship by one. Seemed to work OK then!

P.S. Before you say anything, yes I know!
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 13:51
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dc1968,

I really don't have any personal loyalty to the Puma - I do not, never have and never will fly it, so my comments were not driven out of any sense of loyalty to the platform. I was merely arguing that whilst the CH-47 is a good ac, having nothing but CH-47 will leave the RAF's rotary fleet unbalanced, potentially putting the RAF at a disadvantage if the future operating environment does indeed develop in the way Defence seems to think it will.

Plus, if you can't get a Puma on a ship, you're going to have even more problems with a Merlin!
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 13:54
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if you can't get a Puma on a ship, you're going to have even more problems with a Merlin!
It's not a matter of size for the ship. Your comments regarding size with respect to in-theatre requirements are spot on though
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 14:37
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llamaman,

As to how broke the government is, try looking at this...

UK National Debt | Economics Blog


We may not be as "broke" as some other countries, but we are still broke, and still borrowing 140Bn odd each year to make ends meet (despite the "massive cuts" Labour keep referring to), so continually increasing the size of the overall national debt. Indeed, when the coalition talked about getting rid of the deficit by 2015 (which they probably won't now be able to do), as opposed to Labour which planned to half it, they were talking about the ANNUAL deficit, not the overall one.

If we don't put our own house in order, and end up going cap in hand to the IMF, then any cuts undertaken nationally will be as nothing to any imposed on us externally - external ones will be far more draconian.

As a country we are living beyond our means, and it cannot continue indefinitely.

Cuts in government spending are necessary, where they are made, welfare, defence, education, NHS, etc are decided by the people that our supposed democratic system placed in power.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 15:24
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Biggus

Your words are music to the ears of the Chinese. The Chinese government, in 1998, asked their military leaders as to how they could best defeat the West. Their Generals said that the West should first be defeated economically; our glorious leaders have, of course, fallen headlong into that trap.
In my view they now have the money, the military hardware, the manpower and the will to, well......do what they like

Anyway, back to the thread: Maybe the Puma is being mothballed because 1. it is French, and 2. it is made of plastic.

Incoming, Tin hat on, straps tightened

Last edited by tramps; 15th Dec 2011 at 16:01.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 15:35
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The RAF and helicopters

having nothing but CH-47 will leave the RAF's rotary fleet unbalanced,
the RAF will have a totally unbalanced capability which won't be FCOC compliant. Given that the doctrine wallahs are predicting a future of complex interventions in littoral / urban environments, that is going to need at least some relatively small, flexible RW assets if the RAF wants to operate SH in that context
But why does the RAF need a balanced capability? Surely as long as JHC or Defence has a balanced capability then that ought to suffice?

Nick
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 15:41
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Biggus,

Thanks for the lecture in Thatcherite economics. I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for a balanced Armed Forces (across the board) that is properly equipped to adequately defend UK interests and support a realistic foreign policy. You can't save huge sums of cash that quickly if you have a Bullish administration who consider themselves a world player and pander to the beck and call of our American friends.

I'm not arguing that Puma is necessarily the best solution but the Chinook is not the answer to everything. Unless you're a Chinook driver.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 16:05
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So if the Puma doesn't survive PR12, and the Merlin goes to the RN, why not give the CH47 to the Army? No requirement for JHC as the main users have their own assets and can utilise them as they see fit.

Save a fortune....... Simples!
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 16:18
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But why does the RAF need a balanced capability? Surely as long as JHC or Defence has a balanced capability then that ought to suffice?
Nick - because JHC is effectively an administrative arrangement designed to reduce the costs by minimising duplication and procedures. However, the single services still retain Full Command of their assets and personnel. So whilst JHC may operate the ac, they are still the RAF's.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 16:21
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Mel

, the single services still retain Full Command of their assets and personnel. So whilst JHC may operate the ac, they are still the RAF's.
Understood, but that doesn't quite answer why the RAF needs a balanced (whatever that means) SH force.

Nick
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 16:25
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tramps

In my view they now have the money
Thread drift, I know, and perhaps irrelevant to the 'here and now', but I think China may have their own problems just around the corner - clicky.
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 17:03
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But why does the RAF need a balanced capability? Surely as long as JHC or Defence has a balanced capability then that ought to suffice?
But will JHC have a balanced capability if there is nothing in size between Wildcat and Merlin?

Just came across this...doesn't make happy reading for Puma folks... Ministry of Defence | About Defence | People | Speeches | Minister for International Security Strategy Speeches | 2011/10/19 - Heli-Power Conference & Exhibition

Last edited by TorqueOfTheDevil; 15th Dec 2011 at 17:16. Reason: Addition
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 17:08
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Understood, but that doesn't quite answer why the RAF needs a balanced (whatever that means) SH force.
Because like it or not, the RAF is still the primary operator of SH in Defence. The CHF have a very good, albeit relatively small SH capability to support 3 Cdo, but by and large, SH is still an RAF function. Just as AH and LUH is still an Army function.

And by balanced I mean that to guarantee operational flexibility, you might want something other than a 100ft x 60ft ac weighing in at smidge over 10 tons. There are times when size really does matter - regardless of what CinC Home Command tells you - and there are times when small really is better. But if all you have is a CH-47, you could well be operationally limited which you wouldn't necessarily be with a balanced force of large and small SH.
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