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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 19th Nov 2020, 11:55
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Leonardo Lobbying for Puma Replacement to Secure Yeovil future

Telegraph 15NOV2020

Helicopter jobs fears as Leonardo lobbies for UK order

Leonardo highlights economic returns of buying from its Yeovil factory as it faces thinning order book

The long-term future of thousands of jobs building helicopters at Leonardo’s factory in Somerset hinges on the UK replacing its ageing fleet of medium helicopters, according to the defence company ...
Haven't seen this picked up elsewhere but it looks they are still pushing the AW149 as a replacement for the Puma fleet. Not sure if this a new story or a rehash of earlier ones. There is a perceived capability gap between the current Puma OSD of 2025 and any purchase resulting from the UK getting involved in the US FVL/FLRAA program(me). However, as I have said before my understanding was the UK Rotary Strategy included consolidating on fewer platforms. Following the AAC Apache D replacement decision does "The answer is Boeing what's the question?" now apply to RW. The RN won't be looking for a new platform until the mid 2030s so does this mean the end of UK OEM military RW is almost certain?

The new money isn't to fill the existing procurement budget shortfall but for Cyber and Space. So I don't see any funding for Puma replacement likely.
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 12:54
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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.
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 13:07
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I suspect the answer will end up being 'more Chinooks'.
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 13:14
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Surely the Pumas can't need replacing ALREADY?
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 13:18
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https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n...early-setbacks

If the AW149 is chosen by the MoD, production could be transferred to the legacy AgustaWestland factory in Yeovil, in southwest England, from the plant in Vergiate, Italy, and Leonardo hopes that a UK-buy could influence other possible buyers. “There are potential customers in the MENA region and in other areas. The truth is that if we can start to generate some interest from the UK customer they become a reference customer. A lot of countries follow what the UK does, which is why we see them as quite important at this time,” Whitney said.
But in the comments...


Ian Corrigible

November 18, 2019 - 8:29am

Didn't Leonardo already commit to building the AW149 in Yeovil back in 2006, when it appointed the site as the home of its military division in exchange for securing the Future Lynx order? Per the Rotorhub report on the announcement at the time:

Giuseppe Orsi, CEO of Agusta, said that an AgustaWestland military division would be based in UK and that the “design, development and manufacture of the company’s latest military helicopter, the AW149 would be located in Yeovil.”
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 13:32
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Originally Posted by Tashengurt View Post
Surely the Pumas can't need replacing ALREADY?
Yeah! The oldest is only a mere 50 years old!
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 14:41
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Surely there must be a few refurbished Wessex around.
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 14:59
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
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.
What happened to the 12 unconverted airframes? Pre-Covid were the RN still struggling with aircrew retention like five years ago?

Last edited by SLXOwft; 20th Nov 2020 at 13:09. Reason: Insufficient gs
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 15:28
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft View Post
What happened to the 12 unconverted airframes? Pre-Covid were the RN still strugling with aircrew retention like five years ago?
Four deregistered and in various locations (inc 2 at Yeovil apparently), plus eight in xmas-tree state in a Boscombe Down hangar. More trouble to rebuild rather than fix the systemic issues with new builds..
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 20:48
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[QUOTE=Jn14:6;10930240]Yeah! The oldest is only a mere 50 years old![/Q​​​​​​



The remaining fleet was upgraded to HC.2 standard, only within the last 10 years, at an exorbidant cost. Some sources suggest the OSD could 'slide' 10 extra years though!
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 21:16
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I think Leonardo may have played the same card too many times. The few marginal Limp Dumb constituencies are probably less valuable after the collapse of the red wall.
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Old 19th Nov 2020, 21:59
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This is what you get in supposed “mergers” the greater partner “home team” sooner or later disposes of their previous competition.
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Old 20th Nov 2020, 09:32
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I was the blade bay inspector at Middle Wallop. A team of 5 of us overhauled Lynx/Wildcat main & Tail blades (plus Gazelle) and we were churning out more blades than Yeovil site were/could. Out of the blue we got shut down and made redundant and “all work went to Yeovil”. One of the staff was an ex-Leonardos employee and kept in touch with his mates, who were still on the inside. They reported that there was a lot of sitting around by permies and the contractors picking up the workload.

I’m told it’s a strange place to work.
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Old 20th Nov 2020, 10:40
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They reported that there was a lot of sitting around by permies and the contractors picking up the workload.
Seen that happen in a major UK aircraft company, at the end they only had one aircraft in, a full workforce to work on it but were banned from doing so and a hangar full of connies brought in and doing the check... Turned out some accountant had figured out it was cheaper to have contractors do the work than their own staff, but never took into account the company staff were still being paid to do nothing on top of his cheaper labour..

It folded shortly afterwards.
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Old 20th Nov 2020, 10:43
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[QUOTE=BTC8183;10930479]
Originally Posted by Jn14:6 View Post
Yeah! The oldest is only a mere 50 years old![/Q​​​​​​



The remaining fleet was upgraded to HC.2 standard, only within the last 10 years, at an exorbidant cost. Some sources suggest the OSD could 'slide' 10 extra years though!
They could probably have done a total swap for EC725s for less!
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Old 20th Nov 2020, 12:03
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Originally Posted by NIREP reader View Post

I’m told it’s a strange place to work.
I worked on SKIOS for 7 months doing calcs to reinforce Aussie Sea King cabins for crashworthy seats amongst other things, as a young contracting stressman.

It was quite different to Filton...
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Old 21st Nov 2020, 02:22
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"The remaining fleet was upgraded to HC.2 standard, only within the last 10 years, at an exorbidant cost. Some sources suggest the OSD could 'slide' 10 extra years though!"

£400m for 20 aircraft which gave 10-14 yrs of extra service, whilst out-lifting the Merlin in Afghanistan was a bargain!

to re-engine the Merlin was around £800m...
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Old 21st Nov 2020, 07:06
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£400m for 20 aircraft which gave 10-14 yrs of extra service, whilst out-lifting the Merlin in Afghanistan was a bargain! Ok
£260 million for 24 aircraft but an absolute bargain.


They could probably have done a total swap for EC725s for less!
“Probably” nope, would have been about 12 EC725s vice 24 Puma 2.
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Old 21st Nov 2020, 12:43
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AST 404

Originally Posted by Door Slider View Post
£260 million for 24 aircraft but an absolute bargain.




“Probably” nope, would have been about 12 EC725s vice 24 Puma 2.
ASt404 Ring a Bell with anyone ? When the Super Puma offered back in the early 80S?

cheers
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Old 21st Nov 2020, 16:13
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Originally Posted by Door Slider View Post
£260 million for 24 aircraft but an absolute bargain.




“Probably” nope, would have been about 12 EC725s vice 24 Puma 2.
Pound and dollar faff 😀
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