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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 29th Jan 2013, 19:01
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Mr Whirly:
I donít think that people are really missing the point......I think most of us realise the country are sourcing a SAR solution that itís able to afford at present. Do you buy a Ferrari every time you need a car for getting from A to B?....or do you like me charter a Saturn 5.


IFR piglet - if you read what I wrote, you would see I was comparing the 175/139 cabins in a VIP/corporate role in terms of headroom, not the SAR role
Crab:
Youíre quite right I didnít pay your post my fullest attention.......................pardon my piggy!
For this thread (and much too late anyways) whatís missing is a poster that operates the AW139 as a SAR crewman. If the AW139 is a real dog of a SAR aircraft they should say so. Perhaps the lack of a response in support of the AW139 already dose? Or maybe itís adequate for the job itís employed to carry out. I donít have a bias and wish Ė like crab Ė that the British public get the best solution available. Frankly there isnít an alternative to the S-92 that provides the same ergonomic benefits and therefore youíre wasting your breath touting the benefits of a mixed fleet if a deal breaker is a cab less roomy than the S-92. An EC175 or an AW189 is much better than nothing should the rest of the SAR fleet be grounded.......right? Or would you still advocate an all S-92 fleet?
On the subject of cabin space:
I wonder how the USCG has managed all these years with the HH-60 JayHawk. Did they get their SAR solution wrong? Theyíre not exactly roomy and they donít even have a 360 radar........but do they get the job done? Perhaps all this time theyíve just been.............lucky!
So why didnít Sik offer a SAR variant of the S70? To pricey perhaps or do Sik think itís too god damn small? See the attached link for the approx internal dimensions of a SAR aircraft operated by the USA. Quick somebody give me a high five!!!!
http://www.sikorsky.com/StaticFiles/...060_IBH_TI.pdf
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 19:05
  #1042 (permalink)  
 
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Snakepit - the voice of a realistic observer if I may say so! Well said, but falling on deaf ears I think.

Surely amongst many of the commentators here there must be an understanding of how these contracts play out - please tell me you aren't all green behind the ears????

This contract isn't based on holistics, it isn't based on a scientific research programme of the most optimised solution for UK SAR. It is "just" another government contract designed by governmental servants. It's like, say the HS2 project, a new runway and so on.
Anything that is dispensed by government already has a semi hidden agenda. The essence of the suggested programme is NOT the main issue. It's all about brownie points/assisting and supporting the economy or the currency or the politics of the country.

The 2 men dictating this project: One a Navy Commmodore and the other a senior DfT official will listen primarily to what is best for the country first and then look at what is best for UK SAR second. Please tell me you realise this - yes?

The job is a done deal. The DfT brief is: what can we do to maximise jobs for the Uk workforce for the optimum price (in today's climate).

All we can do here is second guess the outcome based on this remit. Thus I surmise S92's and AW189's first and foremost. Secondly, I will commit to it being Bristows (due to the profit warning on Avincis). Thirdly, I will conclude by saying that the winning bidder will be invited (no competition) to sweep up the Falklands (separate) option for an attractive sum. If they say no, then the existing contractor will probably be invited to stay on.

In summary:
NO-ONE cares about cabin height at the end of the day. It's a pathetic argument to put fwd. It is not a tie breaker. The cabs that have been put fwd for selection will fall within the 'acceptable' government limit.
JOE public - don't care a hoot about any of this. Not one hoot. Couldn't care less if UK SAR folded tomorrow. SeaFarers might be concerned but that's about it. How many people would die next year if SAR wound down completely: 100? 200? A pittance in the great scheme of things. 233 died last Monday in a night club in Brazil!
It's a pure luxury that we are having UK SAR and all the 'blather', froth, emotion is going to do nothing to change this for what it is: just another bleeding government contract. Let's be grateful for small mercies: It won't be a PFI

HEMS the world over are using some of the most compact airframes available - with great success. The 117, 135, 145, 902, 355,139 attest to that. Makes you think the 189 is a cavern compared to these!
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 19:16
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So in summary, a degraded level of service is acceptable. Thanks for clearing that up TC.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 19:21
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Thomas:
Good post and ditto; but how do you know Avincis are the lowest bidder? Why not Bristow?

The only company that really knows the true cost of modern SAR is CHC, and according to the rumour found out the hard way.

and in summary:
You can't keep everybody happy.

Last edited by IFR Piglet; 29th Jan 2013 at 19:25.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 19:51
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No high fiving for you today Piglet Iím afraid, as even if Sikorsky did float the idea, the H-60 is not an EASA certified platform, so a non-starter from the word go.

However, I agree that the Jayhawk would have made a great Lot 2 solution and is highly regarded on the other side of the Pond, although Iím not so sure what our Old World crews would have made of operating without floats.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:02
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Iím not so sure what our Old World crews would have made of operating without floats.
Perhaps why Sik couldn't float the idea? Sometimes pointing out the obvious isn't a bad thing.......so they forgot the floats. I'm sure that could happen to any OEM.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:08
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VSF: What qualifies you to 'assume' the future Long SAR will be degraded, then?
Surely that is a very subjective response?
Degraded where? Why?

Modern safety systems. Fact.
Faster response times. Fact.
Cheaper to maintain and operate. Fact.
Currently being flown and accepted globally. Fact
Same quality of staff (don't even go there, or you'll get a: ). Fact
Lots of civilian jobs available. {No mil will be hurt in the making of this project!}. Fact


So, based on facts only - where will it be degraded?
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:16
  #1048 (permalink)  
 
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IFR
I think most of us realise the country are sourcing a SAR solution that itís able to afford at present. Do you buy a Ferrari every time you need a car for getting from A to B?
And you are comparing and S92 and AW189 against a 1970ish Seaking? Exactly which one do you think is the Ferrari?

Vie sf
So in summary, a degraded level of service is acceptable. Thanks for clearing that up TC.
I think if you read the post in question he did not say anything of the sort. Merely that the country will get what the government deems acceptable at a price it wants to pay because there is no alternative. Why do you infer that he is personally responsable for what is happening because he is stating the truth?

IFR
but how do you know Avincis are the lowest bidder? Why not Bristow?
I am not sure he ever said or inferred that? He did say that their (bond) parent company (Avincis) was under a profit warning. A totally different issue as to who may or may not be the lowest bidder for the UK SAR bid.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:22
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a degraded level of service is acceptable
He didn't say that, but it's probably inevitable. Just read the NPAS thread on UK Police Air Support.

how the air ambulances cope with their patients? Also how they justify EC135
HEMS: aircraft, small, because that's all they can afford. One patient, generally on a stretcher, usually in a stable condition(AFAIK, I'm sure jayteeto will correct me), terrain and weather usually fairly benign(day vmc, non mountainous, overland).

SAR: often multiple casualties, various injuries needing attention, extreme weather and terrain(plus over water), long transits.

Obviously something a bit bigger needed.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:24
  #1050 (permalink)  
 
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It won't be 'degraded' because no one will be allow to say it has been degraded - that is the same reason that no-one here who is 139 rearcrew posts - its the sort of thing that gets you sacked if the management find out.

So, once the contract is in place there will always be positive PR from the contractor, the MCA and the govt because no one will be allowed to admit mistakes had been made.

The crews putting their lives on the lines will have to put up with the terms and conditions and especially the equipment they are given.

TC by your logic you must fully agree with NPAS then since it is 'cheaper' and what the govt wants, despite great concerns from the operators that the quality and effectiveness of the service is being reduced?
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:35
  #1051 (permalink)  
 
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Degraded where? Why?

Modern safety systems. Fact.
Faster response times. Fact.
Cheaper to maintain and operate. Fact.
Currently being flown and accepted globally. Fact
Same quality of staff (don't even go there, or you'll get a: ). Fact
Lots of civilian jobs available. {No mil will be hurt in the making of this project!}. Fact

So, based on facts only - where will it be degraded?
Good one TC.


Where will it be degraded?

There is a long way to go yet (30th June 2017). Lot's of work and lot's of collaboration is necessary if this is going to be a world-class service.


"Honi soit qui mal y pense"
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:37
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TC

Same quality of staff (don't even go there, or you'll get a: ). Fact
A bold statement methinks. Have you seen the minimum hours requirements for potential Co-Pilots and Rear-Crew? I think there is plenty of scope for debate on that one.
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 20:38
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Snakepit:

Forget about the Ferrari and consider "the country is sourcing a SAR solution that itís able to afford at present". My Ferrari comment was possibly an unrefined way of making the same point after Mr Whirls last post. The only thing I would like to add is blah blah blah.

I am not sure he ever said or inferred that? He did say that their (bond) parent company (Avincis) was under a profit warning. A totally different issue as to who may or may not be the lowest bidder for the UK SAR bid.
You have a point there.....albeit an unlikely one and I will have to fish some place else....Cheers!
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 21:43
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Crab,

You accused me of rose tinted specks?

The crews putting their lives on the lines will have to put up with the terms and conditions and especially the equipment they are given.
After 22 years in the military never once did i see a piece of equipment or terms of service change in regards to actual need except in times of war under UOR!
Where is the alpha helmet after 15 years? How can a steel karabiner cost 20 times what it should after 10 years of waiting. Don't try and hold the military up a a bastion of all that is good when things at home are in such disarray! Even a full and frank report by Betts made no change except for cherry picking.
Please wake up!
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Old 29th Jan 2013, 21:50
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Crab: NPAS:
I hope you understand that Long SAR Vs NPAS is comparing oranges with bananas!

NPAS remit is to take an existing structure and nationalise it. The governments SOLE advertised objective was to save £15 million. Nothing else. Slash and burn. I would agree the service here is most certainly 'degraded' (Even the most stalwart are beginning to smell a rat)
Long SAR is a complete ground up systemic review of the operation. Modernisation / optimisation / commercialisation. The opposite of nationalisation. The opposite of NPAS.
I haven't lost sight of what I said in my previous post where I commented on the politics of this process either.
Compared to SARH where it was COMO (predominently) and by definition prohibitively expensive (because any mil input is going to cost an arm and a leg); Long SAR (COCO) is surely the better option for the tax payer.

Britain has to accept it can no longer flash the cash. We are on the verge of losing our triple A rating and everyone still wants their gold plated pensions.

Britain will get what it can afford - let's work together to minimise the withdrawal symptoms.

JIM671: June 2017???????

Last edited by Thomas coupling; 29th Jan 2013 at 21:52.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 00:05
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JIM671: June 2017???????
Yes.

The Gap contract runs until 30th June 2017. On the 1st July 2017 the Main contract starts at Stornoway.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 05:12
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Yes.

The Gap contract runs until 30th June 2017. On the 1st July 2017 the Main contract starts at Stornoway.
Do pay attention Jim. The OSD for the entire fleet of RAF/RN Sea King Mk 3/3A and Mk 5 (I suspect Mk 7ís too) helicopters is scheduled by 31st March 2016, which would bring a new meaning to GAP SAR by your accounts.

Allowing for commencement of the base transitioning, the first of which is scheduled for around April 2015, I would suggest that the first of the winning bidders UK SAR platforms will start arriving in-country around December 2014.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 07:05
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The final base to transfer to the main contract will be Stornoway.

Main contract operations are scheduled to start at Stornoway on 1st July 2017 and only then will contract implementation/transition be complete.


I would suggest that the first of the winning bidders UK SAR platforms will start arriving in-country around December 2014.
I expect Highland sunshine to warm Italian Aluminium maybe a little earlier on that contract timescale.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 07:13
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TC they are not as different animals (NPAS and SARH) as you believe - they are both state functions where aircraft and crews are provided by a civilian contractor and they are both about saving money and empire building.

On one hand you have senior police chiefs and on the other the chief CG - they are equally ambitious animals and all want to be seen to save money without anyone noticing a reduction in service capability.

The CG have tried for the last 10 years to build themselves into the 4th military service with the sort of extensive air power boasted by the USCG.

Not only are they prepared to compromise on the air capability for the sake of control, they are also pursuing the 'less assets give better concentration of effort' bollocks that is closing many CG stations.

It's not about what the country can afford - the govt are still spending money like water but they don't see police and SAR as important in their bigger, grander, 'posturing on the world stage' view of the world.

If you believe all the PR from DfT and MCA about how good this is all going to be, just because they say so, then don't be surprised in a couple of years time when we in the SAR world (I know no-one cares about us) will be saying the same as those in police aviation or Virgin trains after the recent contract fiasco - "hang on there's something wrong here" - as it will all be too late to change.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 07:30
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So you want to change the way we do this kind of thing?

Then have a read of Nicholas Saxton's book "Treasure Islands - tax havens and the men who stole the world".

This detailed insight into the history of corruption in government and finance is eyewateringly sad insofar as those countries who count themselves as leaders of the free world are in fact the worst proponents of financial chicanery and depend on their lack of transparency to survive.

Which governments are top of the list in this respect, you may be surprised to learn that it is the US and the UK.

If you want to understand the SAR-H programme in a context that embraces 'the big picture' then I recommend you read this book but be sure you are sitting down as you will be learning some unhappy truths about the way we do business.

G.

Last edited by Geoffersincornwall; 30th Jan 2013 at 08:56. Reason: punctuation
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