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NH-90 problems

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NH-90 problems

Old 25th Jan 2018, 19:48
  #61 (permalink)  
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I see a couple of issues bringing this programme back into the News again. In another post here on PPRuNe it was mentioned that the Belgian NH-90's will be grounded for a year for modifications, with the Sea_King resuming the SAR role. Sea Kings continue flying operations

Belgian NH90 NFH helos out of commission for radar repairs | Jane's 360

https://sputniknews.com/military/201...icopter-delay/

https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/3...ikopteret-NH90
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Old 8th Mar 2018, 11:53
  #62 (permalink)  
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Sweden is not pleased.

Sweden pointed out that its 18 NH90s cost over $24,000 an hour to operate while its American made UH-60s cost only $4,500 an hour. Moreover the Swedish NH90s had a low readiness rate, about half that of the UH-60. Sweden had similar experience to other NH90 users and, unlike the naval versions of the UH-60, the naval version of NH90 had even more problems. In desperation Sweden ordered 16 UH-60s to fill in until the NH90 is fixed. Getting the NH90 to be comparable in performance to the older UH-60 appears to be perpetual problem.
https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/ht.../20180308.aspx

Last edited by Cyclic Hotline; 8th Mar 2018 at 11:54. Reason: emphasis
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Old 8th Mar 2018, 16:07
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Can anyone offer a guesstimate on why $24,000 is needed for each flight hour? Fuel might account for $1,000-1,500 of the total. What is consuming the rest of the money?

Are manufacturers like NH Industries, Sikorsky (Canadian S-92) etc promising to deliver aircraft with outstanding performance and then failing to deliver a helicopter that will never, ever deliver on that promise?

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Old 8th Mar 2018, 17:50
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I don't think they're accurate with their costing at all. Are they taking the whole package (spares/training/machines) and dividing that up by how many hours they've flown?

Might even be counting wages for everybody associated with it! For whatever reason, it doesn't look like they're comparing the two machines properly.
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Old 8th Mar 2018, 18:41
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Have a good rummage through GKN's website as one of the major contractors for NH90 and tell me they seem adequately manned and fully up to speed on this. The fact they don't have anyone doing this job and are advertising it on their job portal shows they don't really have a clue.
https://careers.gkn.com/vacancies/va...acancyid=15591
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Old 8th Mar 2018, 20:02
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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I have heard the figure of $25,000 / hr from other countries as well. Just silly little things, like a 100 hr check taking weeks and weeks, stretching into months to accomplish. That is with numerous maintenance staff on the job, so if you take all those wages at $$$$/week divide out by 100 then you need to add that to the cost!

At that rate, you wouldn't actually want to go to war with them!!!
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Old 8th Mar 2018, 21:19
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Originally Posted by SuperF View Post
At that rate, you wouldn't actually want to go to war with them!!!
Well, quite frankly, it is THE machine I would want to go to war with. Far better mission integration systems than all other machines out there (specifically the US made ones). Great delight for pilots in adverse conditions regarding the sophisticated autopilot systems. I am not complaining with 200+ hours a year for the past 4 years.
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Old 21st Aug 2018, 17:47
  #68 (permalink)  
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https://www.dw.com/en/german-army-sh...ter/a-45149339

GERMANY

German army shows off ailing NATO helicopter

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is touring the ranks of the Bundeswehr this summer. But some of the military hardware she is admiring, like the NH90 helicopter, has seen more ground time than flight time.





Bundeswehr NH90 pilot Sven Messer with his chopper

When it comes to German military equipment, the German defense minister is getting a little more defensive.

Ursula von der Leyen, head of the German armed forces, is in the middle of her regular "summer tour" of Germany's military bases to take stock of military hardware and the state of the troops — and perhaps try to revive morale among soldiers hit by negative news reports about technical underpreparedness and shortages of personnel and hardware.

The fifth of these 10 tour stops took von der Leyen to a base in Niederstetten, Baden-Württemberg on Monday, where she watched a display of some NH90 military transport helicopters that have been beset by problems in the past, causing many machines to be grounded and critics to question the effectiveness of Germany's military spending.

NH90: A 'highly respected' helicopter

Before answering three questions from reporters and then speaking to around 150 soldiers in private, von der Leyen was treated to a complex demonstration of the many purposes of the NH90 transport helicopter. In this case, the display involved six helicopters, four paratroopers, around 60 infantry soldiers, two military vehicles, and a Belgian shepherd dog (which was not to be petted, the minister was told).


The troops in Niederstetten demonstrated the capacity of the NH90 for von der Leyen

"We can say that the NH90 has proved its worth," von der Leyen said in a brief statement after the show. "It's good to hear from the soldiers that it's a helicopter that is highly respected, and has shown in operations what extraordinary capabilities it has."

Major Andre Benker, Bundeswehr PR officer for the press tour, expanded on the different ways that the helicopters could be used. "They're so important because they can transport personnel, drop off paratroopers, be used for search and rescue, and be used to provide protection to companies they accompany," he said.


Von der Leyen is touring bases across Germany in the annual summer tour. She stopped at a helicopter transport base in Niederstetten.

In the sky or on the ground?

Monday's praise for the transport chopper stands out, given that the machines and their widely publicized problems have been used to illustrate Germany's military shortfalls.

The NH90, which the Bundeswehr used for rescue operations as part of the United Nations mission in Mali, was briefly grounded in October last year when stress marks were found in the engine of one of the helicopters returning from Africa.

Around the same time, one helicopter was also forced into an emergency landing in the West African nation due to engine failure. All German NH90s were pulled out of Mali this July, along with their Belgian counterparts, when their 16-month deployment ended.

Read more: German army helicopter crashes in Mali on UN mission, two dead


German NH90s were used in a UN mission in Mali

According to regiment spokesman Lars Meinzer, currently around half of the 16 NH90s in Niederstetten are operational at any one time, though that figure changes from day to day. Thanks to a boost in the defense budget, the Niederstetten base is due to get another 18 NH90s by 2021 — though Meinzer said that production delays and increased costs mean it is unlikely that deadline will be met.

Last year, a Bundeswehr Armed Forces Commissioner report showed that out of the 40 NH90s the German military had in stock, only five were operational in 2016. In May the government also admitted that 19 out of 129 Bundeswehr helicopter pilots had lost their flying licenses in 2017 because they had not recorded enough flying hours.

Pilot Sven Messer, pictured above, who flew the NH90 in both Afghanistan and Mali, told DW, "Well, put it this way: when I was there it did everything it was supposed to do."

The rusty helicopter

Built by NHIndustries, a European manufacturing company specifically founded to provide NATO machines, the NH90 has often been considered a problematic case, with several succumbing to technical problems in the machine's 23-year history. First conceived in the early 1990s, the chopper was designed to be constantly adapted for new land and sea missions, but this perennial re-enhancement has led to many complex logistical challenges.

In 2010, a report by a German army expert panel was leaked to the German daily Bild. It listed several problems with the NH90's interior and concluded that it was not well-suited for transporting soldiers, especially if they were carrying heavy equipment. It added the worrying detail that there was not enough room to use the machine gun that was meant to be mounted inside.


Von der Leyen wants to increase German military spending and has defended upping the Bundeswehr's budget against critics

In response, the German Defense Ministry said that the report referred to a prototype, not to the finished model, and said such army-internal developmental criticisms were routine. Nevertheless, both the Australian and Dutch militaries, which use the NH90, have reported engine corrosion.

On Monday, von der Leyen acknowledged that the NH90 had had some "teething troubles," but that she had been told by Niederstetten's regiment commander, Peter Göhringer, that the "situation had improved," especially when it came to the constantly nagging problem of acquiring spare parts.

Mismanagement or routine problems?

Several opposition politicians have read the NH90's troubles as a sign of von der Leyen's mismanagement. Green Party defense spokesman Tobias Lindner said last year that the incidents in Mali "showed that the NH90 remains unreliable for use."

More recently, Left party parliamentary representative Matthias Höhn condemned the endless readaptation of Germany's military equipment.

"It's longer than we expected," von der Leyen countered on Monday, "but then we also started much later than planned." She argued that, "When a new system is started, we have to slowly improve the infrastructure that goes with it that means that the technology, the training, the simulators. This successive development and improvement has a purpose."

Read more: Germany struggles to step up cyberdefense



Watch video42:38

New challenges for the German army

These delays, Höhn told the socialist newspaper Neues Deutschland this week, have only enriched defense contractors at the expense of taxpayers. Höhn argued that throwing more money at the military did more for arms companies than it did for national security.

But von der Leyen is unlikely to be interested in a socialist's calls for defense cutbacks. The German government has come under pressure from US President Donald Trump over its defense spending, and like many European NATO members, is currently boosting its budget in response to a perceived increased threat from Russia in Eastern Europe.

Germany is to spend €42.9 billion ($47.5 billion) on defense in 2019, up from €38.5 billion this year, and €32.4 billion in 2014, a figure that will only go up in years to come.
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Old 29th Jan 2019, 03:51
  #69 (permalink)  
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What an absolute farce. What is it about new Helicopter procurements that continually produces these wholly predictable outcomes?
https://www.newsinenglish.no/2019/01...opter-scandal/

Grilling begins over helicopter scandal

January 28, 2019
No fewer than seven Norwegian defense ministers plus top military brass were facing lots of questions this week, over yet another scandal involving faulty and highly expensive equipment procurement. It’s not just Norway’s frigates that have been troublesome: Helicopters ordered back in 2001 and costing NOK 11 billion won’t be in full service until 2025.

Here’s one of the troublesome NH90 helicopters in Bodø in 2017. Only nine have been delivered since they were ordered in 2001, and they’re mostly out of service. PHOTO: Forsvaret/Marius Vågenes Villanger

Three days of open hearings at the Parliament began Monday into the helicopters that have been plaguing Norway’s governments since 2000. That’s when Defense Minister Bjørn Tore Godal of the Labour Party was supposed to have finished negotiations for and quality-checked the purchase of 14 NH90 “multi-purpose” helicopters.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported Monday that 19 years later, only nine of the helicopters have materialized and they’re mostly grounded because of “enormous maintenance needs and a severe shortage of reserve parts.”

Godal’s staff, according to a highly critical report on the helicopter scandal by the state auditor general’s office (Riksrevisjonen), was supposed to have selected helicopters with known technology. Instead they chose what in practice was a helicopter being developed at an “experimental stage” and when not a single one had yet been produced.

High expectations
The NH90 was developed by four European countries and produced in Italy, designed to carry as many as 16 passengers for up to four hours at a max speed of 300 kilometers per hour. The plan was to place eight NH90s on Norwegian coast guard vessels, to replace their old Lynx helicopters. They would be used for search and rescue operations and fisheries monitoring.

The Coast Guard, however, has in practice had to sail without helicopters since 2014. The Navy’s troubled frigates were supposed to get six of the NH90s, making it possible for them to track submarines. Norway’s frigates (now missing one because of the collision and sinking of the Helge Ingstad) are still sailing without operative NH90 helicopters.

It remains unclear why the Norwegian military, back in 2000-2001, chose to purchase the helicopters from the jointly owned producer NHI, which had no production experience at the time. After Godal’s colleagues apparently laid the groundwork, his Labour Party government (led at the time by the now-NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg) lost the election to a conservative coalition led by the Christian Democrats. Kristin Krohn Devold of the Conservative Party took over after Godal in October 2001 and the contract with NHI was signed a month later.

Contract kept being upheld
Devold was in charge until 2005, a period described by the state auditor general as full of problems with the contract that were met with “a long series of problematic, strange solutions.” The first helicopters were due for delivery in 2005, but NHI wasn’t even close to being finished with them. The contract, however, was maintained.

Stoltenberg won back government power in 2005 and hung on to it for the next eight years, but problems with the helicopters continued. Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen took over as defense minister for the Labour Party and was supposed to take delivery of all 14 helicopters. By the time she was temporarily relieved of her duties in 2009, none were in her possession. It was clear that NHI was not delivering on its contract, yet it was extended once again.

Grete Faremo, also of the Labour Party, took over from Strøm-Erichsen until 2011 and the first NH90 finally came to Norway, but the state auditor writes how the ministry and military lacked management and coordination of the phase-in. A new agreement was written for training versions of the helicopter and final versions, but there was a lack of clear decision-making.

Contract unbreakable
Espen Barth Eide of the Labour Party succeeded Faremo in November 2011 and then Norway finally sent a delegation to NHI. Eide was reportedly close to breaking the contract and replacing the NH90s with American Seahawks, only to find out that it reportedly would cost almost as much to break the contract as to retain it. Aftenposten’s request for insight into the contract was denied.

Strøm-Erichsen returned as defense minister in 2012 after being replaced by Jonas Gahr Støre as health minister, but only for a year, since Labour lost the election in 2013. She took delivery of a third helicopter, but still only a training version.

Ine Eriksen Søreide of the Conservative Party took over as defense minister in 2013, and received four more helicopters, including the first in a so-called “full” version. Problems continued to mount, however, on the technical front and even on the personnel side, since frustrated pilots quit or reported for duty elsewhere. The last of the Lyux helicopters were retired in 2014, meaning that fully operational helicopters have been lacking ever since.

This week’s hearings aim to chart what happened, when and why, who failed to step in and demand improvements and whether the contract could have or should have been broken. Of four Nordic countries that agreed to buy the NH90, only Denmark opted out, ordering American Seahawks instead in 2012. They were available to put into full service in 2017-2018.

Aftenposten reported that the scandal exploded after Frank Bakke-Jensen took over for Søreide in October 2017, when she became foreign minister. That’s when it became clear that the helicopters are only capable of flying 90 hours a year, and all that must be reserved for the frigates. Norway’s coast guard, meanwhile, remains without operative helicopters.

newsinenglish.no/[email protected]

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Old 31st Jan 2019, 02:42
  #70 (permalink)  

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The Norwegian helicopters are estimated to cost $30,000 per hour to operate as per Aftenposten, a leading Norwegian newspaper:

. Skyhøy pris for norsk skandalehelikopter: Vil koste 260.000 pr. flytime
WTF, is any other country or operator even close to 1/4 of that ridiculous hourly cost?
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 07:39
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The Norwegians have been able to compare operating costs directly with Danish MH-60R (Naval) and Swedish UH-60M (Land) with the UH-60 slightly cheaper obviously which are about a 1/4 of the Norwegian NH-90 cost , the Swedish NH-90 (Land version) is quoted as "significantly" more than the UH-60M but can't find a figure.
Have not heard anything good about NH-90 with Unserviceability's , maintenance and spares costing all blowing out.
Australia has 47 MRH-90 land versions, with a few aircraft parked up in hangars as tail pylons , MGB's etc all having to be sent back to Europe for repair/overhaul. Lucky to make 50% serv rate. And that's almost 10 years after the first one was introduced. 30 year old Black Hawks have a better serviceability rate at the end of their service life than the "new" MRH-90.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 07:40
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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In Sweden the cost is reported ”well over” €20 000 per hour....


CB
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 15:46
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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2002 NSHP Decided

The Nordic Standard helicopter Program (NSHP) was decided in the spring of 2002 with Norway, Sweden and Finland selecting variants of the NH-90 over variants of the S-92. Denmark was never truly part of the program going it alone for the EH-101. At the time, Sikorsky’s H-60 was never considered by any country due to its perceived maturity. (the design was not state of the art enough). Hindsight is always 20/20 and we will never know if Sikorsky could have delivered aircraft that met the specific requirements of the 4 countries. Issues with the Canadian S-92 program may have provided some insight in to how difficult a task it would have been.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 18:47
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Originally Posted by TowerDog View Post
The Norwegian helicopters are estimated to cost $30,000 per hour to operate as per Aftenposten, a leading Norwegian newspaper:



WTF, is any other country or operator even close to 1/4 of that ridiculous hourly cost?
In Sweden there was a lot of media last year abiut the swedish NH90 costs, Sweden calulation says 254.000sek( 28.000usd).

The finnish collegues where quoting about the same numbers recently for their NH90

I did read some reports a few years back about Australian NH90, then the direct conversion from AUD made almost exactly the same number.

I’d think thats what the other countries costs to...
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 19:29
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Originally Posted by TowerDog View Post
The Norwegian helicopters are estimated to cost $30,000 per hour to operate as per Aftenposten, a leading Norwegian newspaper:



WTF, is any other country or operator even close to 1/4 of that ridiculous hourly cost?
Is there any details of the breakdown (no pun intended) of these rediculously high cost per flying hour.
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 21:56
  #76 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by Buster15 View Post
Is there any details of the breakdown (no pun intended) of these rediculously high cost per flying hour.
Not sure, but one of the reasons for the high cost was operations from ships rather than dry land according to the news paper article.
Either way it comes out of the tax payers pockets. (I used to be one of those Norwegian Tax Payers before I discovered sunshine and palmtrees and moved to Florida, highly recommend, cheaper hourly rates in the colonies)
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Old 31st Jan 2019, 23:08
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Originally Posted by Buster15 View Post
Is there any details of the breakdown (no pun intended) of these rediculously high cost per flying hour.
you can probably work out any hourly cost you want. Low annual hours across a small number of airframes supported by a full military background support of an airfield with ATC, admin block and staff, security, maintenance (civil work), high number of technicians per airframe, married quarters, officers’ mess, NCO’s mess, junior ranks’ mess etc, Padre, medical center , maybe a primary school..., through in actual gross employee costs in a 50+% tax environment. Through life costs, development costs for a bespoke airframe. It soon rises above oil and fuel and pilot salary!
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 05:33
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I believe the approx. Hrly costs for NH-90 variants to S-70 variants using Denmark , Norway and Sweden costing are approx. :
Denmark MH-60R ship based $9,000 USD Hr
Norway NH90 ship based $30, 000 USD Hr
Sweden UH-60M Land based Army support $8,000 USD Hr
Sweden NH-90 Land based Army support and ASW version $25-28,000 USD Hr

How is that sustainable ??
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 12:13
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The whole NH 90 programme is an absolute scandal. It should by now be a mature, tested and reliable platform.
I’ll make it simple for governments and procurement people. You need 3 helicopters in your arsenal.
CH47
UH60
AH64
done. ( maybe EC135/145 for trg and LUH)
questions?
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Old 1st Feb 2019, 18:19
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dingo9 View Post
The whole NH 90 programme is an absolute scandal. It should by now be a mature, tested and reliable platform.
I’ll make it simple for governments and procurement people. You need 3 helicopters in your arsenal.
CH47
UH60
AH64
done. ( maybe EC135/145 for trg and LUH)
questions?
I do think it is a bit unfair to compare the NH90 with fully mature airframes (+30 years of service). For land based operations you might have a point, however for naval operations both the French and Dutch have made a lot of progress and consider the NH90 unmatched by their American rivals. One reason is that they take their programs serious, what cannot be said about their Scandinavian colleagues (especially Norway). The Merlin and NH90 are currently the top performers considering ASuW/ASW.
So forget the TTH indeed, but cherish the NFH for her top notch performance and over water capabilities (e.g., sophisticated AFCS, integrated mission systems, SAR++ capable).
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