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NH-90 problems

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NH-90 problems

Old 7th Nov 2022, 08:32
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Originally Posted by Blackhawk9 View Post
And yet they aren't that happy with them, over operating budget, lower serviceability than expected, if this is the high time operator you can see how bad everyone else is with them.
Serviceability is 70% for us fella - not too bad. Yes they are expensive, and yes it is a concern that other operators are giving up on them. In saying that if you can't look after your things, you shouldn't get expensive toys..
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Old 15th Nov 2022, 12:52
  #242 (permalink)  
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https://www.flightglobal.com/helicop...150978.article

Why new NH Industries chief is upbeat, despite Swedish setback

By Dominic Perry15 November 2022
​​​​​​​The new president of NH Industries (NHI) believes three nations seeking to ditch their fleets of NH90 helicopters are abandoning the programme at the worst possible moment, arguing that long-sought availability improvements are just around the corner.

Axel Aloccio took over as the head of NHI in mid-September and, as has been the case throughout the manufacturer’s recent history, was immediately forced to deal with a crisis of sorts when Sweden announced on 1 November that it was proposing to replace its 18-strong NH90 fleet.



Source: NH Industries

Sweden announced on 1 November proposals that would see it phase out NH90 fleet

Stockholm joins Australia and Norway, which have revealed similar decisions over the last 12 months, in seeking to exit the military helicopter programme. Should all three proceed, that will represent a combined 79 NH90s removed from the active inventory – or around 15% of the total.

While each nation has specific complaints, the common thread linking their decisions is a continued dissatisfaction with availability rates.

But Aloccio, speaking exclusively to FlightGlobal, says improvements to that metric are within reach. “We feel that the timing is a bit unfortunate because we feel they have done most of the hard work.”

He points out that a customer does not acquire a platform and make the associated significant investment in training and support “just for 10 or 15 years – you do it for 50 years”.

The service-entry phase for a new aircraft – “the difficult part” – can take that long to work through, Aloccio adds. “So, they have done most of the hard work – and just when the system starts working they are about to, or at least they are considering, phasing out the NH90.”

Aloccio compares the situation to a mountain stage in the Tour de France cycle race where “there’s a big climb and it’s hard” but once you reach the summit “you know the most difficult part is done and then it starts to be flat or even downhill.

“But this is where they decide to get off the bike and give up.”

In recent months, availability rates in Australia and Sweden, at least for the latter’s nine anti-submarine warfare-roled examples, have been well above the global average, he adds.



Source: Commonwealth of Australia

Australia has seen recent improvement in availability rates

Aloccio also argues that “dropping the NH90 now” would not be the most cost-effective solution for the countries or their taxpayers given that billions of dollars will be required to bring alternative helicopters into service.

Instead, if “they invested even a very small fraction of that into further enhancing the NH90 support system”, additional pilots or technicians could be trained, or more spare parts procured, he says.

“We are offering them many things for a very small fraction of what they would invest in procuring new helicopters.”

But whatever direction those nations eventually choose – and Australia and Norway appear particularly intractable – Aloccio says NHI will “respect their decision” and will “support them until the end”.

Under Aloccio’s predecessor Nathalie Tarnaud Laude, NHI and its partner companies – Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo Helicopters and GKN/Fokker – launched a transformation plan called New Horizon, designed to deal with a range of issues that were hindering up-time improvements.

Speaking to FlightGlobal in December 2021, she promised that system-wide changes, such as better spare part availability and localisation of overhaul services, would drive average global fleet availability to 50-60% by the end of 2022.

However, Aloccio admits NHI has failed to reach that target, with average global fleet availability sitting at “a little bit above 40%”. Of course, an average figure disguises the extremes: at one end, some operators are hovering around 90%, while others are “achieving much less”.

The inability to achieve the promised increase is down to numerous factors. Some – the ongoing supply chain crunch, the war in Ukraine – are outside of NHI’s control, but Aloccio admits there has been a longer than hoped for period of “latency” – the time taken for any changes made to have an effect on averages taken over a six- or 12-month period.

Despite this, he is confident that progress will become apparent “over the next 12 to 18 months”, when “we will definitely see an improvement in the KPI, that’s for sure”.

The length of time it is taking to retrofit early-build aircraft to the latest standard – another source of complaint for operators – has also only improved slightly, from 24 months in late 2021, down to a minimum of 18 months at present.

Of course, other customers dissatisfied with these aspects of the NH90’s or NHI’s performance, emboldened by recent announcements, may feel that a year-and-a-half is too long to wait to see any improvement. Does Aloccio think that others will follow suit and exit the progamme? “I have no reason to believe that they will,” he says.



Source: NH Industries

Norway had 14 maritime NH90s on order

“But we are working very closely with all the other nations to tell them what we are doing. We also keep them informed of the status of our discussions with Australia, Sweden and Norway.”

NHI is sharing “in full transparency”, all the changes it is implementing to the supply chain and support system, as well as longer-term enhancements to the helicopter itself.

Although you can divide NHI’s strategy into short- and long-term actions, Aloccio argues that even those designed to drive up availability today will have a lasting impact on the programme.

“We are convinced that in the long run we will have an extremely robust support system that will work, and that will more importantly be able to cater to the needs of all the nations in terms of achieving their flight-hour targets.”

As an example, he points out that maintenance inspections have been extended from 600 to 900 flight hours – a 50% increase – and the time before overhaul for dynamic components has been extended from 1,200h to 1,800h. Crucially the new figure is a multiple of 900, so the maintenance inspection and overhaul activity can be synchronised.

Additionally, Aloccio sees a performance-based support contract, launched by France and Germany during the summer, as a blueprint for future sustainment activities: “The same discussion now is also being extended to other NH90 nations which have shown some interest in such contracts.”

Aloccio declines to say precisely which customers are interested but notes that they are all members of NAHEMA, which, besides the two nations above, also includes Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands.

These long-term actions are key, he argues, as based on the current backlog and the likelihood of further orders taking production out to 2030, plus a life-extension, the NH90 will probably be in operation until 2070 or 2080.

To achieve that seemingly distant goal, NHI is carrying out a study of the composite fuselage to ensure it will last for 50 years, two decades beyond the previous limit. Aloccio hesitates to prejudge the results of that research, which are due in early 2023, but says: “We already know the study should be positive.”



Source: Leonardo Helicopters

Qatar is latest export customer for the NH90

That should provide operators with a “long-term perspective”, allowing them to consider other future upgrades of mission equipment or weapons. “But the foundation is to really have the core vehicle last 50 years – and this should be confirmed early next year.”

There are around 110 NH90s still to be delivered, including examples to core nations France, Germany, Italy and Spain, plus to Qatar, the latest export customer; by year-end, NHI will have delivered the 500th helicopter. Aloccio remains confident that top-up orders from existing operators alongside those from nations new to the programme can still be secured.

“The NH90 story didn’t start and will not end with Australia and Sweden, and we will continue to support these five, six hundred, maybe seven hundred aircraft in the long run,” he says.

“And we are investing together with all the partner companies of NHI… into making sure that we will have a support system that is able to respond to the needs of those aircraft.”

The content of a potential mid-life upgrade is also being discussed with operators, although Aloccio stresses there is “no rush” to decide on its content as it will not be implemented until the mid-2030s – around 30 years since the first NH90 was delivered.

He is also anxious to clear up what he feels is a misconception about – or at least mischaracterisation of – the NH90: “On social media you often see people saying the NH90 is a peacetime helicopter, not one for wartime and this is something that annoys me,” he says.

He points to deployments in “high-intensity conflicts” in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Mali, and to anti-piracy and anti-smuggling missions off the Somali coast and in the Caribbean, where, despite harsh operating environments and logistical challenges, “each time the helicopter has performed extremely well in terms of mission capability and maintenance.

“When deployed the NH90 has always had between 70-80% availability – even when it’s been in theatre without the support of industry,” he says.

“The NH90 is not just for disaster relief or training – it’s a military helicopter for wartime. We know this is what our customers expect. We want to support them deploying the NH90 in theatres of operations everywhere.”
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Old 15th Nov 2022, 17:57
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ginty79 View Post
Serviceability is 70% for us fella - not too bad. Yes they are expensive, and yes it is a concern that other operators are giving up on them. In saying that if you can't look after your things, you shouldn't get expensive toys..
When we received the Gazelle in Germany 1974 serviceabilty rate was under 35%. Spares were a big problem. At times we swopped parts with the German police at Dortmund to keep ours and their aircraft in the air.
The biggest improvement was the arrival of a certain sergeant A.G who had been on the trials squadron. Serviceability doubled in a few months.
Over the following year the rate went to figure way above the Scout.
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Old 16th Nov 2022, 01:21
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ginty79 View Post
Serviceability is 70% for us fella - not too bad. Yes they are expensive, and yes it is a concern that other operators are giving up on them. In saying that if you can't look after your things, you shouldn't get expensive toys..
As I said you are the high time operator , if your at 70% everyone else goes down from there which isn't great.
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 07:45
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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Australia confirms order for 40 x UH-60M's to replace the MRH-90, many in the ADF feared Labor would not go ahead with the UH-60M order and they would be stuck with the MRH-90, luckily Labor went ahead with the order, Mates in AAVN very happy .
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 09:31
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Now tell the rest of the story about the 75% rate....hours flown per month per aircraft, percentage of time each aircraft was deployed on operational duty away from main base facilities, what do you use to define that 75% number....flyable, operationally capable, there is a lot more to the story than a simple single metric.






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Old 18th Jan 2023, 13:32
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Originally Posted by Blackhawk9 View Post
Australia confirms order for 40 x UH-60M's to replace the MRH-90, many in the ADF feared Labor would not go ahead with the UH-60M order and they would be stuck with the MRH-90, luckily Labor went ahead with the order, Mates in AAVN very happy .
That's great news. Thanks for the update.
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Old 18th Jan 2023, 13:32
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Lonewolf_50 View Post
You mean like how the UH-60 wasn't chosen by the Spanish (back in the 90's or late 80's) despite winning the fly off, after the French forwarded a few Basque separatists to Spain?
(Memory vague, believe extradition was involved)
Is that the kind of thing you are referring to?
(Granted, I got that second hand - there may be some more missing pieces to that story)
(This is not to be confused with the Seahawks which were in fact bought by the Spanish Navy)
Funny you should mention that as just picked up (and dusted off!!) my copy of Paul Beaver's 'Modern Military Helicopters' published 1987 and in the section about the Sikorsky S-70A series he mentions that not only Spain but Switzerland chose the Blackhawk but for political reasons, it never went through!




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Old 19th Jan 2023, 04:42
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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Yes when I was at Flight Safety several Austrian Techo's were there doing a Black Hawk course they said when Austria ordered Black Hawk they were under immense pressure by Eurocopter (then) and European Govt's to buy 332 or NH-90, they stuck to their guns and got Black Hawk.
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 13:03
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All Female Kiwi crew

They look happy enough..nice pics KiwiNedNZ

https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/s..._aK-xWUlFJdaPo







cheers

Last edited by chopper2004; 30th Jan 2023 at 13:23.
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Old 30th Jan 2023, 19:16
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Great bunch of ladies - flew with them down to Dip Flat for Ex Blackbird. Nix is married to another NH90 captain and Hayley Vincent comes from a family who is well known in Kiwi aviation.
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Old 31st Jan 2023, 11:45
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Didn't expect to be able to see pics of amazing NZ scenery in this thread - lovely shots, Ned. Any sandflies in that part of the world?

Back on topic: does anyone know how the Omanis have been getting on with their NH90s? Must be someone with Loan Service experience lurking somewhere near this thread - or do they not have any Brits on those Sqns any more?
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Old 31st Jan 2023, 22:12
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chopper2004 View Post
They look happy enough..nice pics KiwiNedNZ

https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/s..._aK-xWUlFJdaPo







cheers
Seems they DO know how to operate themů. Maybe sell the Austrian NH and Tigers to them? 🤔
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 09:13
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I note all those pictures are on the ground.........
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 09:56
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Originally Posted by Thud_and_Blunder View Post
Didn't expect to be able to see pics of amazing NZ scenery in this thread - lovely shots, Ned. Any sandflies in that part of the world?

Back on topic: does anyone know how the Omanis have been getting on with their NH90s? Must be someone with Loan Service experience lurking somewhere near this thread - or do they not have any Brits on those Sqns any more?
Not sure now but Airbus had a very large maintenance team for the 20 x NH-90's in Oman to keep them flying .
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 17:11
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I note all those pictures are on the ground.........
I shot the pics before we took off for the south island. During the flight I was sitting in one of the seats in the back so couldn't just get up and wander around.

Last edited by KiwiNedNZ; 1st Feb 2023 at 21:13.
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Old 1st Feb 2023, 19:17
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What a moron with your insinuations.
Or he has what is quite common in aviation circles, and that is a robust sense of humour? You should try it.
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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 12:17
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Spanish

x 11 Spanish FAMET in formation carrying 253 troops


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Old 2nd Feb 2023, 14:10
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Or he has what is quite common in aviation circles, and that is a robust sense of humour? You should try it.
Sadly, far too. many folks try their absolute best to take the fun and humor out of helicopter flying.....as they seem to be the ones that seem to think far more of themselves than they should.

Somehow I find myself smiling as I think of Ned in an airborne helicopter and NOT being able to shoot any photos....that is a very unusual and uncomfortable experience for him I am t thinking.

He does truly outstanding work that takes him all over this Blue and Green Orb we inhabit.

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Old 3rd Feb 2023, 04:18
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Sadly, far too. many folks try their absolute best to take the fun and humor out of helicopter flying.....as they seem to be the ones that seem to think far more of themselves than they should.

Somehow I find myself smiling as I think of Ned in an airborne helicopter and NOT being able to shoot any photos....that is a very unusual and uncomfortable experience for him I am t thinking.

He does truly outstanding work that takes him all over this Blue and Green Orb we inhabit.
Yes Mil loadmasters get a bit anal now with rules, and it doesn't matter who you are or your background, common sense ain't so common. Couple of years ago C Sqn 5 Avn the Chinook Sqn was taking a group of ex12 Sqn RAAF (ex chinook sqn) reunion members for a ride , the ex RAAFies after take off all gut up and started moving around the back of Chinook when Army loadmaster told them to sit down and strap in they told him to go far away! , Loady complained to Pilot who said leave them alone they have more Chinook time than all them combined.
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