Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Helicopters mothballed without seeing any service.

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Helicopters mothballed without seeing any service.

Old 7th Feb 2023, 08:43
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: York
Posts: 568
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Helicopters mothballed without seeing any service.

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicop...151941.article
dctyke is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 10:00
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: england
Posts: 1,139
Received 17 Likes on 5 Posts
Behind a paywall for me, got a quote
pba_target is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 10:48
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 27,028
Received 338 Likes on 146 Posts
Re ‘Project Matcha Gotcha’
UK procurement officials are facing awkward questions over acquisition policy after it emerged that a fleet of Airbus Helicopters H135s purchased as replacements for the British Army’s elderly Gazelles has been mothballed before ever seeing active use.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) in October 2021 awarded Airbus Helicopters a contract for the “procurement of aircraft”, later confirmed to be for five H135 light-twins, all of which were delivered in 2022.



Source: AirTeamImages

H135s were due to replace elderly Gazelle fleet

Acquired under a requirement known as ‘Project Matcha’, the helicopters were due to replace the Gazelles being flown in Northern Ireland.

However, the H135s have never seen operational service and are instead being placed into long-term storage, two sources with knowledge of the matter have confirmed to FlightGlobal.

This is due to the improved security situation in Northern Ireland which has removed the requirement for helicopter flights, the sources indicate.

Defence officials are now considering a range of options for the H135s, which could include a sale or lease back to Airbus Helicopters or a transfer to the National Police Air Service, which already operates H135s.

The cost of the H135s has not been disclosed, nor if they have had any mission equipment installed.

The MoD declines to comment.
NutLoose is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 11:10
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wildest Surrey
Age: 74
Posts: 9,992
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
Might as well give 'em to Ukraine; they've got everything else.
Alternatively maybe 84 Sqdn could use them.
chevvron is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 12:16
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: GMT
Age: 52
Posts: 1,958
Received 57 Likes on 21 Posts
Where have the Australians sent all their partially used NH90 and Tigre to? maybe we can dump more airbus stuff there?
minigundiplomat is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 17:11
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: The Alps
Posts: 2,865
Likes: 0
Received 10 Likes on 6 Posts
Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Might as well give 'em to Ukraine; they've got everything else.
Alternatively maybe 84 Sqdn could use them.
According to RAF Benson FB page theres five Pumas from Benson replacing the 412

=AZXq6DdKBJYMp-3MjFYeUhd7iHh0boUOHq93U8xNDxWILjppA73GiHY72TVxpd9bpVB_YNN6de UCzyxaFFFKFXnxT9TeQiqSlQCWcz7fvP28z7iiFb1s7UZ1RcrBDr8bZFG4UZ 396GIFkexqskZz4UhZ_dE2fs8gWoQ9x-Hxyo4km353l6mKMsZH2vjorQDHUHw&__tn__=-UC%2CP-R]RAF Benson



Today RAF Benson waved goodbye to two of the Stationís Pumas as they began their journey to Akrotiri in Cyprus to join 84 Squadron. RAF Benson will soon have 3 Pumas in Cyprus conducting various air operations in the Mediterranean.
We will be reporting on their progress over the next few days as they complete the 2,000+ mile journey across Europe.
=AZXq6DdKBJYMp-3MjFYeUhd7iHh0boUOHq93U8xNDxWILjppA73GiHY72TVxpd9bpVB_YNN6de UCzyxaFFFKFXnxT9TeQiqSlQCWcz7fvP28z7iiFb1s7UZ1RcrBDr8bZFG4UZ 396GIFkexqskZz4UhZ_dE2fs8gWoQ9x-Hxyo4km353l6mKMsZH2vjorQDHUHw&__tn__=*NK-R]#Puma =AZXq6DdKBJYMp-3MjFYeUhd7iHh0boUOHq93U8xNDxWILjppA73GiHY72TVxpd9bpVB_YNN6de UCzyxaFFFKFXnxT9TeQiqSlQCWcz7fvP28z7iiFb1s7UZ1RcrBDr8bZFG4UZ 396GIFkexqskZz4UhZ_dE2fs8gWoQ9x-Hxyo4km353l6mKMsZH2vjorQDHUHw&__tn__=*NK-R]#TeamBenson =AZXq6DdKBJYMp-3MjFYeUhd7iHh0boUOHq93U8xNDxWILjppA73GiHY72TVxpd9bpVB_YNN6de UCzyxaFFFKFXnxT9TeQiqSlQCWcz7fvP28z7iiFb1s7UZ1RcrBDr8bZFG4UZ 396GIFkexqskZz4UhZ_dE2fs8gWoQ9x-Hxyo4km353l6mKMsZH2vjorQDHUHw&__tn__=*NK-R]#RAFAkrotiri =AZXq6DdKBJYMp-3MjFYeUhd7iHh0boUOHq93U8xNDxWILjppA73GiHY72TVxpd9bpVB_YNN6de UCzyxaFFFKFXnxT9TeQiqSlQCWcz7fvP28z7iiFb1s7UZ1RcrBDr8bZFG4UZ 396GIFkexqskZz4UhZ_dE2fs8gWoQ9x-Hxyo4km353l6mKMsZH2vjorQDHUHw&__tn__=*NK-R]#AcrossAllBoundaries
=AZXq6DdKBJYMp-3MjFYeUhd7iHh0boUOHq93U8xNDxWILjppA73GiHY72TVxpd9bpVB_YNN6de UCzyxaFFFKFXnxT9TeQiqSlQCWcz7fvP28z7iiFb1s7UZ1RcrBDr8bZFG4UZ 396GIFkexqskZz4UhZ_dE2fs8gWoQ9x-Hxyo4km353l6mKMsZH2vjorQDHUHw&__tn__=*bH-R]
=AZXq6DdKBJYMp-3MjFYeUhd7iHh0boUOHq93U8xNDxWILjppA73GiHY72TVxpd9bpVB_YNN6de UCzyxaFFFKFXnxT9TeQiqSlQCWcz7fvP28z7iiFb1s7UZ1RcrBDr8bZFG4UZ 396GIFkexqskZz4UhZ_dE2fs8gWoQ9x-Hxyo4km353l6mKMsZH2vjorQDHUHw&__tn__=*bH-R]
=AZXq6DdKBJYMp-3MjFYeUhd7iHh0boUOHq93U8xNDxWILjppA73GiHY72TVxpd9bpVB_YNN6de UCzyxaFFFKFXnxT9TeQiqSlQCWcz7fvP28z7iiFb1s7UZ1RcrBDr8bZFG4UZ 396GIFkexqskZz4UhZ_dE2fs8gWoQ9x-Hxyo4km353l6mKMsZH2vjorQDHUHw&__tn__=*bH-R]
[img]data:image/svg+xml,%3csvg xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg' xmlns:xlink='http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink' viewBox='0 0 16 16'%3e%3cdefs%3e%3clinearGradient id='a' x1='50%25' x2='50%25' y1='0%25' y2='100%25'%3e%3cstop offset='0%25' stop-color='%2318AFFF'/%3e%3cstop offset='100%25' stop-color='%230062DF'/%3e%3c/linearGradient%3e%3cfilter id='c' width='118.8%25' height='118.8%25' x='-9.4%25' y='-9.4%25' filterUnits='objectBoundingBox'%3e%3cfeGaussianBlur in='SourceAlpha' result='shadowBlurInner1' stdDeviation='1'/%3e%3cfeOffset dy='-1' in='shadowBlurInner1' result='shadowOffsetInner1'/%3e%3cfeComposite in='shadowOffsetInner1' in2='SourceAlpha' k2='-1' k3='1' operator='arithmetic' result='shadowInnerInner1'/%3e%3cfeColorMatrix in='shadowInnerInner1' values='0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.299356041 0 0 0 0 0.681187726 0 0 0 0.3495684 0'/%3e%3c/filter%3e%3cpath id='b' d='M8 0a8 8 0 00-8 8 8 8 0 1016 0 8 8 0 00-8-8z'/%3e%3c/defs%3e%3cg fill='none'%3e%3cuse fill='url(%23a)' xlink:href='%23b'/%3e%3cuse fill='black' filter='url(%23c)' xlink:href='%23b'/%3e%3cpath fill='white' d='M12.162 7.338c.176.123.338.245.338.674 0 .43-.229.604-.474.725a.73.73 0 01.089.546c-.077.344-.392.611-.672.69.121.194.159.385.015.62-.185.295-.346.407-1.058.407H7.5c-.988 0-1.5-.546-1.5-1V7.665c0-1.23 1.467-2.275 1.467-3.13L7.361 3.47c-.005-.065.008-.224.058-.27.08-.079.301-.2.635-.2.218 0 .363.041.534.123.581.277.732.978.732 1.542 0 .271-.414 1.083-.47 1.364 0 0 .867-.192 1.879-.199 1.061-.006 1.749.19 1.749.842 0 .261-.219.523-.316.666zM3.6 7h.8a.6.6 0 01.6.6v3.8a.6.6 0 01-.6.6h-.8a.6.6 0 01-.6-.6V7.6a.6.6 0 01.6-.6z'/%3e%3c/g%3e%3c/svg%3e[/img]
[img]data:image/svg+xml,%3csvg xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2000/svg' xmlns:xlink='http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink' viewBox='0 0 16 16'%3e%3cdefs%3e%3clinearGradient id='a' x1='50%25' x2='50%25' y1='0%25' y2='100%25'%3e%3cstop offset='0%25' stop-color='%23FF6680'/%3e%3cstop offset='100%25' stop-color='%23E61739'/%3e%3c/linearGradient%3e%3cfilter id='c' width='118.8%25' height='118.8%25' x='-9.4%25' y='-9.4%25' filterUnits='objectBoundingBox'%3e%3cfeGaussianBlur in='SourceAlpha' result='shadowBlurInner1' stdDeviation='1'/%3e%3cfeOffset dy='-1' in='shadowBlurInner1' result='shadowOffsetInner1'/%3e%3cfeComposite in='shadowOffsetInner1' in2='SourceAlpha' k2='-1' k3='1' operator='arithmetic' result='shadowInnerInner1'/%3e%3cfeColorMatrix in='shadowInnerInner1' values='0 0 0 0 0.710144928 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.117780134 0 0 0 0.349786932 0'/%3e%3c/filter%3e%3cpath id='b' d='M8 0a8 8 0 100 16A8 8 0 008 0z'/%3e%3c/defs%3e%3cg fill='none'%3e%3cuse fill='url(%23a)' xlink:href='%23b'/%3e%3cuse fill='black' filter='url(%23c)' xlink:href='%23b'/%3e%3cpath fill='white' d='M10.473 4C8.275 4 8 5.824 8 5.824S7.726 4 5.528 4c-2.114 0-2.73 2.222-2.472 3.41C3.736 10.55 8 12.75 8 12.75s4.265-2.2 4.945-5.34c.257-1.188-.36-3.41-2.472-3.41'/%3e%3c/g%3e%3c/svg%3e[/img]
All reactions:
372You and 371 others
chopper2004 is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 17:43
  #7 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Wandering the FIR and cyberspace often at highly unsociable times
Posts: 14,164
Received 89 Likes on 44 Posts
My first operational type, same squadron, too. Iíve undoubtedly flown some of those actual airframes.

Unfortunately, apart from the photos, the above post showed up as many lines of gobbledygook.
ShyTorque is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 18:03
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,484
Received 18 Likes on 9 Posts
Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
Unfortunately, apart from the photos, the above post showed up as many lines of gobbledygook.
ďThatís a good word, Darling. Remind me to use it more often:Ē
MPN11 is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 18:29
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 27,028
Received 338 Likes on 146 Posts
You two need to get a room
NutLoose is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 18:40
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wildest Surrey
Age: 74
Posts: 9,992
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
My first operational type, same squadron, too. Iíve undoubtedly flown some of those actual airframes.
Might get diverted to Turkey.
chevvron is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Old 7th Feb 2023, 19:24
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 14,778
Received 34 Likes on 15 Posts
Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
My first operational type, same squadron, too. Iíve undoubtedly flown some of those actual airframes.

Unfortunately, apart from the photos, the above post showed up as many lines of gobbledygook.
If only PPRuNe gave one the ability to edit one's post after the event to improve its readability ...
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 19:50
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Gerloz
Posts: 822
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Might get diverted to Turkey.
From an RAF base in Greek Cyprus to Turkey ? I suppose stranger things have happened. Live in hope.
MENELAUS is online now  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 19:55
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 27,028
Received 338 Likes on 146 Posts
As they are enroute that might not matter?
NutLoose is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 19:58
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Den Haag/Constanta
Age: 56
Posts: 5,657
Received 96 Likes on 60 Posts
Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
As they are enroute that might not matter?
en-route is a bit grandiose - one night stop, surely?
212man is online now  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 20:23
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wildest Surrey
Age: 74
Posts: 9,992
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
So what's happened to the 412's; contract run out?
chevvron is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2023, 21:51
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 249
Received 35 Likes on 17 Posts
Yes, 412 contract has run it's course. The H135's that are mothballed are (I believe) ones that were 'sold' from MFTS at Shawbury to be replaced by more H145. This is because some complete morons (Ascent) thought they were suitable for rearcrew training, which they clearly are not. As a result, they also completely unsuitable for SAR Ops on 84 Sqn.

It has been well known for decades that SAR in Cyprus is surprisingly tricky, with glassy seas, horrendous storms and serious performance issues whilst live winching in the hills at altitude. I am very glad to see that the new Puma crews that are going to 84 are first going to 202 for a proper SAR course with overwater, wet winching and deck training as per the old SAR course, emergencies whilst live winching etc - the things that the ex-SAR crews on 84 all had, and which kept them alive. It takes a long time to learn and years to master. They will be doing the SAR role, so they need the skills to achieve the job and to stay alive.

Oh sorry, I forgot myself for a moment - of course they aren't. A quick winching famil and they are off. I appeal to the wives/partners of the 84 Sqn crews - when they splash a Puma in glassy conditions or at night, ask the Coroner what SAR, overwater, low reference training they received, because the military know it is a requirement for safe operation, but won't pay for it.
Puma to Cyprus - sure, I have no issue with that, but the Military are rapidly forgetting the skills required to operate safely over water, low references - it kills people. There is a unit at RAF Valley (202 Sqn) that still retains some true experts from the SAR days - for the love of God, use them properly and train properly, if not the consequences will be squarely on the heads of thiose that chose the easy option.

The MoD have a unit that can properly train all crews going to 84 to ensure they have a chance to survive the surprisingly dangerous environment they are going to, but they won't use it properly.

202 Sqn should train, test and approve every single aircrew member for Cyprus. Anything else is a dereliction of Duty by 22 Gp, JHC and the MAA.
Baldeep Inminj is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by Baldeep Inminj:
Old 8th Feb 2023, 00:05
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Wildest Surrey
Age: 74
Posts: 9,992
Received 14 Likes on 11 Posts
I had a short flight with 84 Sqdn when I was at Akrotiri for easter camp back in 1986; course they were flying Wessex in those days.(Yes I did see the knickers)
Can't help thinking it might have been easier to stick the Puma(s) in a C17 rather than fly them all the way to Cyprus; that last leg (overwater avoiding Turkish airspace) could be a bit dodgy.
I have a great affection for Pumas; I did a flight out of Farnborough in a Puma with Andy Warner (who later became CTP of Eurocopter) in the right hand seat (I was left hand seat) low level around Salisbury Plain in one below the treetops.
chevvron is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2023, 00:20
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London/Oxford/New York
Posts: 2,758
Received 42 Likes on 19 Posts
Originally Posted by Baldeep Inminj View Post
Yes, 412 contract has run it's course. The H135's that are mothballed are (I believe) ones that were 'sold' from MFTS at Shawbury to be replaced by more H145. This is because some complete morons (Ascent) thought they were suitable for rearcrew training, which they clearly are not. As a result, they also completely unsuitable for SAR Ops on 84 Sqn.

It has been well known for decades that SAR in Cyprus is surprisingly tricky, with glassy seas, horrendous storms and serious performance issues whilst live winching in the hills at altitude. I am very glad to see that the new Puma crews that are going to 84 are first going to 202 for a proper SAR course with overwater, wet winching and deck training as per the old SAR course, emergencies whilst live winching etc - the things that the ex-SAR crews on 84 all had, and which kept them alive. It takes a long time to learn and years to master. They will be doing the SAR role, so they need the skills to achieve the job and to stay alive.

Oh sorry, I forgot myself for a moment - of course they aren't. A quick winching famil and they are off. I appeal to the wives/partners of the 84 Sqn crews - when they splash a Puma in glassy conditions or at night, ask the Coroner what SAR, overwater, low reference training they received, because the military know it is a requirement for safe operation, but won't pay for it.
Puma to Cyprus - sure, I have no issue with that, but the Military are rapidly forgetting the skills required to operate safely over water, low references - it kills people. There is a unit at RAF Valley (202 Sqn) that still retains some true experts from the SAR days - for the love of God, use them properly and train properly, if not the consequences will be squarely on the heads of thiose that chose the easy option.

The MoD have a unit that can properly train all crews going to 84 to ensure they have a chance to survive the surprisingly dangerous environment they are going to, but they won't use it properly.

202 Sqn should train, test and approve every single aircrew member for Cyprus. Anything else is a dereliction of Duty by 22 Gp, JHC and the MAA.
Wrong. The H135 in storage are the new build bought direct from Airbus to replace the AAC Gazelles used by 5 Rgt at Aldergrove.

The extra helicopters bought by Ascent were for use by No. 1 FTS to support an increased throughput.


pr00ne is online now  
Old 8th Feb 2023, 01:44
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 249
Received 35 Likes on 17 Posts
Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Wrong. The H135 in storage are the new build bought direct from Airbus to replace the AAC Gazelles used by 5 Rgt at Aldergrove.

The extra helicopters bought by Ascent were for use by No. 1 FTS to support an increased throughput.

Thanks for the clarification - so the 1st sentence I wrote, in which I clearly said 'I believe' because I was not sure, is incorrect, hence why I said 'I believe' and not 'I know'. You have been very helpful.

However, your statement is misleading. The extra 145's were bought because Ascent selected the H135 for rearcrew training, despite people informing them at them that it was unfit for purpose. They then needed to buy additional H145's to train rearcrew as they finally were forced to admit, after many months of insisting the H135 was suitable, that it was not. The H145's were needed so that Ascent could actually train rearcrew.

The H145's were bought so Ascent could actually meet the contract they had signed and this demonstrated beyond doubt the utter incompetence of the Ascent model.


Last edited by Baldeep Inminj; 8th Feb 2023 at 10:56.
Baldeep Inminj is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2023, 16:02
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Liverpool based Geordie, so calm down, calm down kidda!!
Age: 59
Posts: 2,045
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
I have nearly 4K hours on 135. It’s a fabulous aircraft, but has limits to its mission capabilities. You COULD fit a winch, but the single engine performance is not “all that”.
it excels as a police/AA platform and is reasonable as a corporate machine.
jayteeto is offline  
The following users liked this post:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.