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Leonardo Lobbying for Puma Replacement to Secure Yeovil future

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Leonardo Lobbying for Puma Replacement to Secure Yeovil future

Old 21st Nov 2020, 15:50
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Originally Posted by Door Slider
£260 million for 24 aircraft but an absolute bargain.




“Probably” nope, would have been about 12 EC725s vice 24 Puma 2.
But that would have been 12 EC725s plus 24 unconverted Puma 1 still available to do whatever with.
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Old 22nd Nov 2020, 14:42
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
But that would have been 12 EC725s plus 24 unconverted Puma 1 still available to do whatever with.
Not so, for a few reasons Puma 1 was not legally allowed to fly, hence the upgrade.
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Old 22nd Nov 2020, 20:12
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Do Leonardo export helicopter components from the Yeovil site - things like rotors, rotorheads, rotor folding systems, and so on? I am sure these things were produced for export back in the GKN Westland days.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 19:38
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Originally Posted by Martin the Martian
I suspect the answer will end up being 'more Chinooks'.
For once, I think the answer will be 'fewer Chinooks'.
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Old 1st Dec 2020, 19:40
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin
They'd be better off figuring out how to supply 12-16 Merlin HM variants quickly and cost-effectively. Which might support export orders off the back of them. We need more Merlin - the case for Puma is less clear.
The case for a smaller simpler aircraft to replace Puma (and maybe the other ancient small twins dotted around the place) is fairly clear. This may or may not come to pass - but increasing the size of the Merlin fleet definitely won't!
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 08:33
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Originally Posted by TorqueOfTheDevil
The case for a smaller simpler aircraft to replace Puma (and maybe the other ancient small twins dotted around the place) is fairly clear. This may or may not come to pass - but increasing the size of the Merlin fleet definitely won't!
A couple of CSG deployments may just concentrate minds.....
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 09:30
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Surely MOD thinking will involve looking at the size of the average army squad then issuing a spec minus one of the optimum seat numbers required.
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 10:13
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‘A couple of CSG deployments may just concentrate minds....’

Not really. If Royal really needs to go somewhere and do something, rather than simply posturing, conducting TV friendly beach assaults and attending Cocker-Ps, the first thing that will occur will be 4-6 Chinooks arriving on board. Yes they can’t fold, but they offer about 3-4 times the punch per deck spot of the Merlin and, crucially, are capable of carrying the heavy kit (vehicles/guns) that Merlin simply cannot.

The proposed NGR is a ‘medium’ helicopter replacement. Merlin is only a ‘medium’ in terms of performance and lift, it is a ‘heavy’ in terms of space (wider / taller than a Chinook, almost as long and arguably with a worse downwash) and in cost to both buy and operate. It makes complete sense for Puma/Merlin (CHF) to be replaced by a common airframe. The French have been even more extreme, planning to replace 400+ Gazelles, Fennecs, Alouettes, Pumas, Dauphins, Panthers and Cougars with just over 160 H160Ms. IMHO, this bit of industrial protectionism sinks the Euro-NGR initiative. I simply can’t see there being enough demand to build a new type at an affordable price. NH-90 has produced a curate’s egg of a machine; highly sophisticated, but also fragile and expensive - especially when compared directly to later models of UH-60. Does Europe beat its chest and throw Billions at another political compromise or buy FLRAA off the shelf (or licence build it)?
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 10:30
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Wrong sort of Merlin. Royal isn't the user I'm thinking of, nor is tactical lift. If 60 Chinook, 25 Merlin and 20 or so Puma isn't enough to support future tactical lift, then we may be doing something wrong (even with some frames retiring with age).

The Merlins with mission systems are the ones we need more of - and despite some expectations, UAV will not replace them any time soon.
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 13:09
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin
A couple of CSG deployments may just concentrate minds.....
It may do. We'll see!
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 15:31
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin
Wrong sort of Merlin. Royal isn't the user I'm thinking of, nor is tactical lift. If 60 Chinook, 25 Merlin and 20 or so Puma isn't enough to support future tactical lift, then we may be doing something wrong (even with some frames retiring with age).

The Merlins with mission systems are the ones we need more of - and despite some expectations, UAV will not replace them any time soon.
Can you explain your rationale behind this please?
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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 15:59
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Go on, you know you want them, you really really want them,,,,

https://www.airandground.com/sikorsk...k-helicopters/

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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 16:17
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Originally Posted by heights good
Can you explain your rationale behind this please?
I assume you mean the rationale for more frames, rather than that UAV can't do the role.

When the CSG deploys it'll need somewhere between 8 and 12 Merlin HM2 spread across the group, 6-8 Pingers and 4 Baggers. That's from a forward fleet of 18-20 cabs which also have to provide training frames for 824NAS, support to Gannet, one for the TAPS and potentially another frigate. Once you factor in serviceability that's challenging.


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Old 2nd Dec 2020, 21:58
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Originally Posted by Evalu8ter
‘A couple of CSG deployments may just concentrate minds....’

Not really. If Royal really needs to go somewhere and do something, rather than simply posturing, conducting TV friendly beach assaults and attending Cocker-Ps, the first thing that will occur will be 4-6 Chinooks arriving on board. Yes they can’t fold, but they offer about 3-4 times the punch per deck spot of the Merlin and, crucially, are capable of carrying the heavy kit (vehicles/guns) that Merlin simply cannot.

The proposed NGR is a ‘medium’ helicopter replacement. Merlin is only a ‘medium’ in terms of performance and lift, it is a ‘heavy’ in terms of space (wider / taller than a Chinook, almost as long and arguably with a worse downwash) and in cost to both buy and operate. It makes complete sense for Puma/Merlin (CHF) to be replaced by a common airframe. The French have been even more extreme, planning to replace 400+ Gazelles, Fennecs, Alouettes, Pumas, Dauphins, Panthers and Cougars with just over 160 H160Ms. IMHO, this bit of industrial protectionism sinks the Euro-NGR initiative. I simply can’t see there being enough demand to build a new type at an affordable price. NH-90 has produced a curate’s egg of a machine; highly sophisticated, but also fragile and expensive - especially when compared directly to later models of UH-60. Does Europe beat its chest and throw Billions at another political compromise or buy FLRAA off the shelf (or licence build it)?
Puma isn’t on the list as one of the airframes replaced by H160M, as i spoke to couple of DGa personnel and one Armee de l‘Air pilot with the H160M mock up at Le Bourget last year. Think it was penned in but the Armee de l’Air will probably order more H225M CSAR to replace the Puma. However the Armee de l’Air H160M will be AAR capable, probably making it the smallest helo to be refuelled in flight like the HH-60G/HH-60W/MH-60K.

But I do agree with you 400 into 100 airframes is ambitious lest it offset costs for the technology. Then again look at how small the RAF is compared to 2 decades ago and 3 and 4...

cheers
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Old 3rd Dec 2020, 06:53
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Chopper, the Puma is being replaced in the short term by some leased H225s IIRC. I spoke to the head of the H160M project last week and he stated that the aircraft is seen as the Puma replacement for escorting the CSAR recovery birds, as well as other Air Force roles such as replacing the Fennecs in the slow mover AI task. As always, lots can change between now and ISD......
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Old 3rd Dec 2020, 09:05
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I thought the French were looking at Chinook as well after the use of the RAF ones in Africa and their participation in the Bastille Day parade?

https://www.overtdefense.com/2019/07...k-helicopters/
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Old 3rd Dec 2020, 10:49
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
Go on, you know you want them, you really really want them,,,,

https://www.airandground.com/sikorsk...k-helicopters/
Think you may have found the winner there! However, if this was to go ahead, would the Government insist that they are built in the UK, making them more expensive than needed. There does seem to be a bit of a track record of UK jobs before the right kit!
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Old 3rd Dec 2020, 11:00
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
Go on, you know you want them, you really really want them,,,,

https://www.airandground.com/sikorsk...k-helicopters/
With a mission system unique to the original owner, from a supplier with no real knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the DA , or whatever they are called today, and where the support facility was on the far side of the world.
The basic air frame is probably fine, but otherwise, thank you, but no, thanks.
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 21:12
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Originally Posted by Evalu8ter
‘A couple of CSG deployments may just concentrate minds....’

Not really. If Royal really needs to go somewhere and do something, rather than simply posturing, conducting TV friendly beach assaults and attending Cocker-Ps, the first thing that will occur will be 4-6 Chinooks arriving on board. Yes they can’t fold, but they offer about 3-4 times the punch per deck spot of the Merlin and, crucially, are capable of carrying the heavy kit (vehicles/guns) that Merlin simply cannot.

The proposed NGR is a ‘medium’ helicopter replacement. Merlin is only a ‘medium’ in terms of performance and lift, it is a ‘heavy’ in terms of space (wider / taller than a Chinook, almost as long and arguably with a worse downwash) and in cost to both buy and operate. It makes complete sense for Puma/Merlin (CHF) to be replaced by a common airframe. The French have been even more extreme, planning to replace 400+ Gazelles, Fennecs, Alouettes, Pumas, Dauphins, Panthers and Cougars with just over 160 H160Ms. IMHO, this bit of industrial protectionism sinks the Euro-NGR initiative. I simply can’t see there being enough demand to build a new type at an affordable price. NH-90 has produced a curate’s egg of a machine; highly sophisticated, but also fragile and expensive - especially when compared directly to later models of UH-60. Does Europe beat its chest and throw Billions at another political compromise or buy FLRAA off the shelf (or licence build it)?
I really do think that when you see terms like levelling up being expected in business case that the solution will be a UK product, yo just need to work out what it looks like.

We've sold our soul to the FMS system and I think we may regret that in years to come. We're dependent on the U.S and importantly the leader of it and his/her goodwill.

If Puma is replaced it will be an LH product. A basic Merlin keeps the most of UK money inside the UK. 189 is the traditional FAL and keeps Italy happy. I want a solution where UK PLC benefits and not the U.S or Italy.
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Old 4th Dec 2020, 21:53
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If Puma is replaced it will be an LH product. A basic Merlin keeps the most of UK money inside the UK. 189 is the traditional FAL and keeps Italy happy. I want a solution where UK PLC benefits and not the U.S or Italy.
OMG nooo, don’t resurrect the WG.30 again
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