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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

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The future of UK SAR, post SAR-H

Old 26th Dec 2012, 19:59
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Lexus or Lada?

Police, hospitals, doctors, firemen, ambulance, military, binmen, schools, highways, coastguard and many more have been done at the knees. Tell me why SAR is more deserving than a cancer unit or a childrens ward?
[S92] airframes are around $35 million (in SAR fit)
Accepting that times are a little tight for George Osborne and the rest of us, do we really need to purchase helicopters that cost 22 million? I'm no accountant but if we bought the Lada rather than the Lexus, would that not free up funds to ensure that sufficient training hours are available each month for all aircrew to maintain the skill and competence levels that the people of Britain have come to expect? Defence procurement has a history of late and over budget projects, due in part to boys wanting the best toys on the market. With such constrained finances and with the contract only being 10 years long, shouldn't SAR-H avoid falling into the same trap and just get something good enough to do the fundamentals? The core requirement of the project is that civil aviation successfully takes over SAR from the military. Does it really need to be with the smartest new toy in the shop?
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Old 26th Dec 2012, 20:58
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22 million? Chickenfeed.

5 x 22 million plus spares plus 5 x 15 million plus spares. Still chickenfeed.

Airframes aren't the big issue here.
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Old 26th Dec 2012, 21:00
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Ambulance service now buying Skodas.
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Old 26th Dec 2012, 21:23
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Nothing wrong with Skoda's. I got an Octavia Estate and its great
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 07:03
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I know, they are the same as Vw's, I was highlighting that you can't always have the BMW option........ you just have to live with what you get......
Ambulances up here used to be Mercedes Benz. Now they are Ford and even worse Fiat, often breaking down. The crews just come to work as normal and do their best to go out and save lives with what they have......

Last edited by jayteeto; 27th Dec 2012 at 07:06.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 09:27
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The core requirement of the project is that civil aviation successfully takes over SAR from the military. Does it really need to be with the smartest new toy in the shop?
the core requirement was to produce a service that was no less capable than that which it replaced - that requirement is being compromised on a regular basis because no one seems able to build anything better than the Sea King for all-round UKSAR.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 09:40
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CHC out of UK Long SAR

Can someone please confirm that CHC have only pulled out of long SAR (option 1) and they are still in the running for short range SAR (option 2)?

Merry Chrimbo!!
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 10:56
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Trouser Leg SAR

Merry Christmas, one and all!

It's all a bit of a farce, isn't it, this discussion about economics and SAR? Do we really need any SAR helicopters at all, economically speaking? How many specialist children's units could we buy for the price of the complete SAR operation? Why not get rid of it altogether? Put the money into road ambulances or volunteer MRT or RNLI stations? How many lives will be lost as a result? I doubt there would be many.

Yes, I know, thousands of people winched, blaa, blaa. But, realistically, how many of those would have died without a helicopter ie been rescued by other means? How many of those rescued had inadequate equipment or skills to do what they were doing? How did our great nations survive before the second world war when there were far more ships and no helicopters?

My point is, what are we doing getting rid of a SAR bidder based on PRICE when PRICE is the one thing that doesn't make sense when talking about SAR? All that will happen with a cheaper service is the personnel operating the machines will have to put up with equipment less than the best available, with less training time than possible on less pay. Reducing price will reduce quality, there's no doubt about it.

Why can't the UK government choose on quality, especially for what is by its nature, a highly 'inefficient' rescue service?

People who talk about Brunel and Telford with their chests puffed with admiration and pride often forget that many of their most amazing projects were economic disasters.

And a Happy New Year!
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 11:06
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Senior pilot must be on a spot of leave - we need to merge these threads SP?

Helimed - CHC didn't pull out??? They were told to pull out because their prices were too high.

500: There won't be additional trng for the RN/RAF after UK SAR goes civvy. RN training for SAR goes with carrier ops - the end. It has nothing to do with a European mandate for each country to provide civvy SAR.

Someone also said there would still be an element of RAF trng going on after long SAR: No there won't be any training for RAF crews (there could/should be some for third party like algeria and others using Griffin/109 etc). But RAF SAR trng for RAF pilots will be as dead as a dodo.

Puma for SAR - c'mon lads, wake up. This is the 21st century. It's bad enough 'trimming down' the new SAR service (as some would say), but for christ's sake, chucking in a 30yr old airframe to boot, which has absloutely NOTHING in common with maritime ops is taking the pi*s. And don't blab on about glass cockpit and upragted engines and this and that. The airframe is ergonomically unfit for (sar) purpose.

What is happening as we speak is the 'advisers' to the Government [DfT and RN] will be topping and tailing their operational requirements (probably by the year end) and then the government will move the goal posts to ensure the short list fit as neatly as possible into the real requirements which are jobs for the industry here in the UK, bargain job lot purchase prices for tranches of the contract (spares / maintenance, etc).
Now who are the government most in favour of:
Bristows (US owned):
The Bristow safety vision, Target Zero. It aims to achieve Zero Accidents, Zero Harm to People and Zero Harm to the Environment. It goes beyond Safety Management Systems to involve Safety Culture & Safety Leadership
.

or

Bond[Uk owned,Avincis].

Mmmm, six of one, etc. Until:

Moody's downgrades Avincis Mission Critical Services Group, S.A.U. to B2 from B1; outlook negative.

Cameron ain't going to like this. Will he take the risk that 6 or 12 months into the new contract, the successful candidate goes ti*s up???

I don't think so.

Bristows -
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 12:25
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Remind us TC,

1) How many contractors were chosen for GAP?

2) Who does SAR maintenance now?
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:03
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TC
500: There won't be additional trng for the RN/RAF after UK SAR goes civvy. RN training for SAR goes with carrier ops - the end. It has nothing to do with a European mandate for each country to provide civvy SAR.


So there is ongoing training for Mill SAR, I never said additional money for RN RAF I said why split a budget as you say RN training will still be require, personally I don't care who pulls me out, RN RAF Civy SAR but why split budget so both ways are loosing out.
We have seen some real good examples of the government privatising services with poor results, & escalating cost, some on balance sheet other off, train Co. walking from franchises, Old folk homes leveraged beyond belief, want another chair in the office that's another on cost. The cost pushed forward for someone else to worry about, why should Civy SAR be any different.
The company's are clever at leaving themselves a loop hole to crawl out of, a cynic maybe but tot up government waste Give you a start Computer contracts
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 17:10
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500e - you don't seem to understand what TC is saying - the RN will provide SAR from their carriers, wherever in the world they may be - not in UK. They will only do a the minimum amount of training required to call themselves a maritime SAR asset - again not extensive or enough for UK SAR.

The military training system (DHFS) encompasses SARTU and as such all mil crews will receive some BASIC SAR training ie hovering over the water in Holyhead Harbour and some mountain flying - again insufficient to be regarded as a proper UK SAR asset.

The SARH contract will have to generate its own training system unless it takes on fully trained and current crews from existing civ or milSAR flights.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 21:17
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Thank you Crab.
So the Mil will have its own downgraded service in both scope & training the rest an unknown civilian service, that may or may be as good as previous.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 21:24
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That pretty much sums it up and is mostly why I have been against the whole plan from the start - and why so many don't like my posts - because they refuse to face the truth.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 22:23
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500e - For me, you have hit the nail on the head.

Using the earlier Ambulance analogy: You cannot compare a Merc to a Skoda or a Skoda to a FIAT. All may do the same job, but in slightly different ways. All are likely to be successful and all may be subject to failures in various modes. The drift from the original thread is a pointless and circular argument.

Crabs' main argument seems to be that, because no-one makes S61's anymore, the current service cannot be replaced like for like. I agree.

But just who is trying to replace the current service? Answer: Nobody.

Any private company worth its weight will not bid to use the present systems or even properties unless there are freely given for the contract (check out BAE's maintenance manpower and facilities and AirTankers rent free location for instance). And even then they will cost it all up properly and (if they have any sense at all) without any costing information supplied from MOD.

Different platforms have different training needs, crew needs and operational properties and capabilities. None will be the same as the old S61's.

The current system is going to die off. Get used to it. A new system will either be as good as the old or near enough to work in some fashion. It will not be military and it probably will not fly the same way as the military does now, but it will be the new system and Crabs is possibly unlikely to be a part of it.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 22:27
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The SARH contract will have to generate its own training system unless it takes on fully trained and current crews from existing civ or milSAR flights
DfT specifies the previous experience requirements for pilots and rearcrew. You can argue whether they are 'fully trained', but assuming a new type for most, then there won't be any that are fully trained...but I don't think there will be much ab-initio training going on for pilots.

It's worth remembering that the 50hrs for training is specified by DfT, not the bidders ('twas 70hrs under old SARH). The bidders will do whatever you ask, no less (that would trigger a penalty) and no more ('cos that costs money). Specify the contract correctly in the first place.....

Last edited by detgnome; 27th Dec 2012 at 22:28.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 06:56
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Crabs' main argument seems to be that, because no-one makes S61's anymore, the current service cannot be replaced like for like. I agree.
it has nothing to do with the fact that no-one makes S61s - it is all about capability and the new service is supposed to be at least as capable, not
near enough to work in some fashion.
This whole process has already cost the taxpayer a great deal of money, if it does not offer the required level of capability (and the DfT really don't understand that word in the SAR context) then what is the point? Why replace a system that only needs new aircraft with a whole new service - it is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The oil and gas industry has shown how the helicopter operators will cut each other's throats to get the contract and then squeeze the pips out of the operation to make a profit - why should we be surprised if those same operators apply the same modus operandi to SAR?

Contractor Owned and Military Operated new aircraft (to the right spec) would have been a far better option in the first place and cost considerably less than this ongoing fiasco. Unfortunately, empire building and politics have got in the way!

Those of us in the mil who end up in the new service will be no less dedicated and professional than we are now and will bring a great deal more to the party than many of the naysayers believe.

Last edited by [email protected]; 28th Dec 2012 at 06:57.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 15:21
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"Those of us in the mil who end up in the new service will be no less dedicated and professional than we are now and will bring a great deal more to the party than many of the naysayers believe."

Will any mil personnel end up in the civil SAR service? Likely as EX-mil personnel I'd think.

I also think that no-one goes out their front doors in the morning to do a bad job - not even a theif goes out to fail. And the attitude you portray here to non-mil aviation is both haughty and deplorable.
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 16:54
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I have to agree with Rigga's sentiment. Crab it seems that you refuse to accept that any organisation could possibly provide a service as capable as the RAF. Having worked in or around all current providers of SAR in the UK I can state that they are all equally capable. All three current providers share one valuable asset - aircrew both front and back who are dedicated to this most honourable of tasks.

The impression you leave on this network is that of an individual who
believes that the RAF SAR Force is a far superior practitioner of the art than any other organisation is or could be. This arrogance immediately turns many away from your other better presented and valid points.

You have no experience of operating in the civilian SAR world, yet criticise it from a distance. Ultimately the success of future SAR will not be down to the aircraft or the SOPs used (RN, Civ, RAF they all work), but will be due to the hard work and fortitude of the pilots and rear crew that man it. Whether they come from the RN, RAF or a Civ background is unimportant - as they do now, there hard work will forge future success.

In any process such as this there is always a place for constructive discussion - this is how the future shape of SAR will be decided, unfortunately you are now coming across as arrogant and wishing to be a part of the problem as opposed to the solution. I realise the issues (many you have raised), but none are insurmountable and having left the military I realise that the civilian solution is equally viable.

JB
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Old 28th Dec 2012, 17:11
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Hear, hear JunglieBeefer!
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