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NH-90 problems

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NH-90 problems

Old 25th Apr 2021, 14:02
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KiwiNedNZ View Post
I would assume that these big European countries would have a MUCH BIGGER budget than a tiny little country here at the bottom of the world
@Casper64 summed it up perfectly at least for Germany. In Germany since the end of the cold war, the Defense Budget was always considered as the first option for executing cuts if money was tight. Since procurement numbers are typically contractually fixed, the cut- backs first hit maintenance and spare parts. Same applies if procurement programs exceed their defined budget. Only when it exceeds extreme thresholds this will result in procurement of lower quantities. Up to that point the money is squeezed out of the defence budget in other corners. Again Spare Parts and Maintenace being a cheap target.
All this results in catastrophic readiness rates across almost all sophisticated systems. In the last two decades adventures in foreign Countries also grabbed lots of defence money and at the same time put excessive load on equipment deployed. Bottom line: Even in bigger and rather rich countries depending on priorities money can be very short for keeping military equipment serviceable.
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 22:55
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe good news for the NH90 operators..

https://www-helis-com.cdn.ampproject...tomer-support/
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Old 1st May 2021, 14:25
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Originally Posted by casper64 View Post
Maybe good news for the NH90 operators..

https://www-helis-com.cdn.ampproject...tomer-support/
Anything would help , talked to a mate in Townsville, first AW139 on lease has arrived to enable aircrew to keep current as at present 16 MRH90's are parked up U/S with no projected serviceability date.
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Old 25th May 2021, 14:05
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Hi, I'm looking for a few NFH Instructors for a 3 year contract in the Middle East starting sometime in 2022. I'm not an employment agency, I work directly for the man that wants them. Only NFH Instructors required at the moment. No package details are offered as yet but the standard package in this area would be around US $18k per month, you find your own housing and transport, 45 days leave per year. If you are ex-mil NFH or plan to be ex-mil NFH, feel free to send me a PM if interested.
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Old 18th Jun 2021, 16:26
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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The ADF has just grounded their MRH-90 fleet with Army and Navy over maintenance and safety concerns, Chinook , Black Hawk and Seahawk fleets making up shortfalls (approx 1/3 of fleet was already grounded because of spares issues) .
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 18:23
  #126 (permalink)  
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Does anyone have more information as to what is happening here? What is the actual transmission overhaul period?

https://www.news.com.au/technology/i...fba910#new_tab

Army helicopters grounded due to safety issues, ADF insiders reveal

Army insiders have revealed that an entire fleet of helicopters are “no longer safe to fly” – and safety has already been compromised
Kate Banville
44 comments
JUNE 21, 20211:50PMDefence insiders claim the Australian Army’s Taipan helicopters are “no longer safe to fly”, revealing “potentially catastrophic” maintenance issues behind their suspension.

The MRH-90 Taipan fleet is used to transport troops and provide fire protection during special operations and counter-terrorism missions. But the entire fleet has been out of action and grounded since the beginning of June.

Australia’s defence department confirmed an investigation has been launched into the reasons behind the maintenance faults, suspending 47 helicopters from flying as a “precaution”.

“Defence has temporarily suspended flying operations of the MRH-90 helicopter fleet,” a defence spokesman said.

“The fleet was suspended as a safety precaution. The issue relates to the application of the helicopter’s maintenance policy in the helicopter’s IT support system.

“Defence and Airbus Australia Pacific are currently working collaboratively to remediate this issue.”

RELATED: Army quizzed over British concerns
The Army’s MRH-90 Taipan fleet has been deemed ‘no longer safe to fly’.Source:News Corp Australia

Speaking to news.com.au on the grounds of anonymity, multiple MRH-90 trained aviators claimed the cause of data mismatches was far worse than a software glitch.

“The aircraft transmission is required to undergo a complete overhaul on every second major servicing,” an insider said.

“That is meant to occur by Airbus in France but there is a global transmissions shortage so they’ve been rotating spare parts and refitting them as zero hours.

“That means there are aircraft flying as if they’re brand new which is a huge issue because there’s no accurate way of ensuring its safety.

“Obviously Defence isn’t getting what they paid for, but a main transmission failure is potentially catastrophic.”

RELATED: Shock advice to ‘attractive’ ADF cadets
The MRH-90 Taipan helicopters are used to transport troops and provide fire protection during special operations and counter-terrorism missions.Source:Supplied

MRH-90 Taipan helicopters no longer being used

A Defence spokesman confirmed members of Townsville-based 5 Aviation Regiment were no longer expected to be flying the MRH-90 Taipan in Australia’s largest bilateral war games with the US, after also missing out on this week’s Exercise Sea Explorer.

The spokesman said army and navy aviation would “continue to support their exercise and operational commitments with Tiger, Chinook, Black Hawk and Sea Hawk helicopters”.

The latest incident comes as defence officials concede a fault found in one of the helicopters in 2019 amid serious concerns about the tail rotor blades – when it was on its way to pick up the Australian Defence Force chief, Angus Campbell – could have led to “catastrophic consequences” if left unfixed.

A spokesperson for Airbus Helicopters said it is working closely with Australia to resolve the situation and end the suspension as soon as possible. They said the integrity and safety of the MRH-90 fleet and the members of the ADF operating them remain their priority.
Townsville-based 5 Aviation Regiment missed out on Exercise Sea Explorer.Source:Supplied

Taipan brought in to replace Black Hawk

The Taipan was introduced into the army and navy in 2004 as a replacement for the Black Hawk helicopter which was expected to begin being phased out from August this year. The navy has already moved to offload its share of the aircraft to the army due to lack of spare parts availability and running costs.

Defence sources say that was now unlikely given the Sydney-based 6 Aviation Regiment was already experiencing delays in incorporating the Taipan into its dedicated special forces support role.

“Defence has already begun advertising to sell off Black Hawk which are due to be gone by the end of the year so that leaves no troop airlift capability for Special Operations Command,” the source said.

“That has massive implications on our Special Forces to deliver a counter-terrorism capability domestically.”

Previous figures provided by the Defence Department estimates the total cost of the MRH-90 Taipan program will be $15 billion by the time the helicopters are due to be withdrawn from service in 2037, including $3.7 billion for the purchase and $11.3 billion to sustain them.

Defence has also begun flying two Leonardo AW139 helicopters in Townsville after a contract was signed to lease from Helicorp, known as Toll Helicopters, as an interim measure to ensure pilots remain up to date with flight hours.

“The total cost of the contract, until June 30, 2023, is $37 million,” the department said in questions on notice from Senate estimates hearings earlier this year.

Kate Banville is a freelance writer.
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 19:16
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting as I was chatting with someone in the know on this the other day and they said the issue is entirely the ADFs own fault. Apparently when parts were moved from one aircraft to another while one was in deep maintenance and they needed the parts for another airframe the record keeping wasnt up to scratch - not sure if thats electronic or paper versions and now when they did an audit the problems arose.

Someone here might know if this is correct or not.
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 22:30
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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They should be sourcing parts off the shelf, not off other helicopters.
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Old 23rd Jun 2021, 23:38
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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I presume they would if they had them.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 00:19
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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$15B for 47 helicopters is a lot of money to have been spent on the NH90 program not to have parts sitting on the shelf.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 03:30
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gulliBell View Post
$15B for 47 helicopters is a lot of money to have been spent on the NH90 program not to have parts sitting on the shelf.

Apparently that is the problem. The magical Australian maintenance management system, was not logging life, when the parts were on the shelf. Here is hoping that an appropriate Senate's Estimate occurs and people are held accountable.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 03:41
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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There is a lot to be said for buying an off-the-shelf helicopter and not messing with it (UH-1H, UH-60, Kiowa all had very long relatively drama free service life). Look what happens when they buy the plastic fantastics built to a one-off specification (Seasprite, Tiger, Taipan).
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 09:08
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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They should just replace the whole lot with MOTS UH-60Ms.The MH60-R program has gone well, the C17 program has gone well. Our biggest ally is the USA, interoperability would be improved by buying UH-60s via FMS. Its hard to think of an Airbus Helicopter product purchased by the ADF using our money that has actually worked operationally as advertised.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 12:45
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by industry insider View Post
They should just replace the whole lot with MOTS UH-60Ms.The MH60-R program has gone well, the C17 program has gone well. Our biggest ally is the USA, interoperability would be improved by buying UH-60s via FMS. Its hard to think of an Airbus Helicopter product purchased by the ADF using our money that has actually worked operationally as advertised.
Mís didnít exist when 90 did. Iím an Airbus lover, so Iíll declare that however, ADF and operations - stop and think, do some research out of the self loving Oz bubble and yea shall soon discover that other nations have (and still do) deploy the same platforms (Airbus) into real combat operations. Is it Airbus, or is it ineptitude inside of the Australian operator? Much easier to blame the manufacturer than accept responsibility for incompetence.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 14:48
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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UH-60M was available when the NH-90 was ordered (saw production versions at Sikorsky in US in 2004), Aust Army already had guy's in US to train on the Mike when the decision as made politely to buy the NH-90 (Wheat deal with France one of the big incentives , deal fell thru after NH-90 ordered), no one in Army wanted NH-90 ,Navy were the ones who pushed for it and are now getting rid of them, to be replaced with a Sikorsky product but Army stuck with it, reason ADF looking at little birds for Spec ops as the MRH can't do it properly , if we had 60M's wouldn't need to acquire little bird.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 20:39
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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reason ADF looking at little birds for Spec ops as the MRH can't do it properly
Short list is H145 and Bell 429 no littlebirds in the mix.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 22:27
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Originally Posted by Blackhawk9 View Post
UH-60M was available when the NH-90 was ordered (saw production versions at Sikorsky in US in 2004), Aust Army already had guy's in US to train on the Mike when the decision as made politely to buy the NH-90 (Wheat deal with France one of the big incentives , deal fell thru after NH-90 ordered), no one in Army wanted NH-90 ,Navy were the ones who pushed for it and are now getting rid of them, to be replaced with a Sikorsky product but Army stuck with it, reason ADF looking at little birds for Spec ops as the MRH can't do it properly , if we had 60M's wouldn't need to acquire little bird.
What, so the Australian Army had a squadron, 2 squadronís a regimentís worth of guys in the US ready to train on an aircraft that didnít exist in 2004? The US didnít even award a contract to Sikorsky for UH60M for itís own forces until late 2007. But letís not let facts get in the road of a good story. From the situation you are painting, it appears that the answer is the V280 or Defiant - itís flying now and Iím sure there is an Australian in the US who could fly it and bring it to Oz.

Iím confused by the reasoning you provide in relation to ďLittle BirdsĒ which Ned has pointed out, will be either H145M or 429. Is the reason the US use little birds because the UH60M canít do the job properly?

Back to the thread though. I feel for the maintainers and aircrew in Oz Army Aviation who canít practice their skill sets whilst their aircraft are grounded. Hopefully, as a tax payer, the maintenance system issues are resolved and they get airborne again soon.
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Old 24th Jun 2021, 23:04
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I wonder if this would have happened if the ADF had kept the helicopters under RAAF command. Air Forces are set up for the purpose of air operations and have a better grip on general airworthiness .

In saying that the RAAF might have some input in the way things are run. I don't know the in's and outs of the ADF system.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 02:11
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'Little Bird" just a nick name for small twin I should have been specific (407, MH-6 etc in original mix now down to the two twins) . Mike model first flew in 2003, low rate production 2005, first 22 delivered 2006. Several pilots and fitters were in US to get a heads up on what was "hoped" to be the new helo, as far as I know (and remember) no one was in Europe to get a heads up on the NH-90.

Last edited by Blackhawk9; 25th Jun 2021 at 04:04.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 10:42
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In saying that the RAAF might have some input in the way things are run. I don't know the in's and outs of the ADF system.
ISTR that when the RAAF helicopters were transferred to the Army, many of the experienced engineers chose not to go as they didn't want to be treated like grunts.
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