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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 8th Feb 2013, 14:50
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Your best comment yet Crab!!!
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 07:36
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Should the UK SAR deals be confirmed, AgustaWestland will build the SAR helicopters at its Yeovil facility, and might consider shifting some production of the oil and gas models there as well.
might consider.............yeah right!

Shock horror - UK Govt shores up Westlands again but is surprised when possible jobs don't materialise!
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 09:26
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Interesting angle within two of those FT links

If one lesson is clear from the G4S Olympic security scandal, it is that private companies should tread warily when bidding to run high-profile, high-risk services that governments might ordinarily handle. A botched job could throw up as much grief as a security breach at the Olympics
“This is a trophy contract,” says Mr Tusa at Echelon.
But a trophy contract with risks attached: “Once a capability becomes contractorised, the public becomes more critical and demanding,” he says, adding that the government is asking a lot of companies both in terms of complexity and efficiency. “This is very high risk if something goes wrong.”
Was the Olympics originally a trophy contract for G4S I wonder? Is it really worth the risk?

Then in another article

They will be looking for savings in the way they run bases, for example, or on whether training is conducted in or out of house and in the way pilots’ employment contracts are structured.

Moreover, because the DfT did not specify how many aircraft it would require to replace the Sea King fleet retiring in 2016, some operators may have submitted plans that use fewer helicopters, bringing down annual costs.
If this kind of prediction has already found its way into the wider public domain, what hope is there that it will become anything other than another Olympics when the lesser product that some foresee becomes reality a few months or years down the line?

Last edited by onesquaremetre; 9th Feb 2013 at 10:11.
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 09:49
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As I understand it, the AW189 is the civil variant of the military AW149 (this being a stretched AW139) and like the AW139, the fuselage is being built by PZL-Świdnik in Poland, so not sure as to which part in percentage terms of AW’s claim that “The AW189 Search and Rescue variant is being designed, developed and built in the UK” reflects the truth?

To quote AW’s CEO Bruno Spagnolini. “Only full final assembly of SAR-configured AW189s will be established in the UK should the aircraft be selected for the Long SAR requirement.”

Just what does ‘full final assembly’ actually mean, SAR completions and a lick of paint perhaps?
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Old 9th Feb 2013, 12:24
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Hilife,
From official AgustaWestland press release of last July:

"AgustaWestland’s Yeovil facility has already been playing an important role in the design and development of the AW189. Activities undertaken preliminary design of the overall architecture; design and development of dynamic components and vibration analysis. Manufacturing activities for the development aircraft have included critical components such as rotor blades, gearboxes and drive shafts"
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 11:53
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So AW are multinational. So the Italians are good at some bits, the Brits good at others and the Poles good at other bits.

The aircraft will be a little bit Italian, a little bit British, and a little bit Polish.

In the case of the UK SAR Helicopter Service, the press releases have been a little bit Italian, a little bit Polish and a BIG bit of British. Meanwhile in Italy ...

Oops!
AgustaWestland deal: Finmeccanica CEO Giuseppe Orsi arrested for paying bribes to sell choppers to India

No, this new joint British-Polish helicopter ...



(I declare that this post was written while sipping Italian coffee from a PZL-Swidnik mug and that there is no conflict of interest.) :-)

Last edited by jimf671; 12th Feb 2013 at 17:59. Reason: Orsi news.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 12:41
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Surely this cannot be true

An Italian boss suspected of corruption...surely zees eez a meest ache - no?
Unheard of.

The boss of Agusta Westland on the fiddle - apparently they found a spare AW101 in his garage???
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 12:53
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Surely this cannot be true

An Italian boss suspected of corruption ...
Shocking! What will Silvio think?

Will he want a cut?


(Only asking.)
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 15:15
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It won't make any difference because there are those (including the MCA and DfT) who think the answer to everything is technology - even if they don't understand it.

Apparently there are those who still think you can search into wind in a big sea state to locate a casualty with a weather radar just because it is new and shiny! Quite how the new technology sees through the big walls of water in a SS 6 plus is something of a mystery - but not to some, they know that because it is new it must be better

We will get what we will get and just have to make the best of it.
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Old 12th Feb 2013, 17:33
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Crab radar?

Pray tell, when was your last search in SS6+ and what was the target?
Better still did you find it?
120 degrees will do, it has to since the country doesn't have the spare zillions for your wish list yellow dream machines.
You won't need the radar in SH......rubbish in the mountains anyway
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Old 13th Feb 2013, 09:41
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NRDK, you obviously don't understand the question either. There is a very good reason why we search crosswind in a big sea and that is because the target can be hidden in the troughs. The same is true of visual searching.

The advantage of the 350 radar is that you don't have to point where you are searching so you can fly your search box in almost any direction and still look effectively for the target.

Even in a moderate SS, searching downwind with radar is far better than into wind because the radar returns from the sea are reduced but again a 120 radar forces you to point where you are searching.

I won't even go into the advantages of having a dedicated Radop carrying out the radar search instead of the co pilot, especially at night or in IMC. I guess the DfT answer is such searches just won't get done or the asset will be launched knowing that the probability of detection is very low but launching makes the stats look good.
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Old 13th Feb 2013, 11:43
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Crab, not convinced

Sorry, question not answered about the searches.

That said, one would normally fly about during these searches, sector, expanding square etc, radar pointing in the search area as it progresses. Not sure why you think it won't get a look in? Normally does.

So what's the next gripe to throw this way in an attempt to keep the 70+ RAF/RN assigned to each SAR unit with their golden mod pensions & perks.
Wish I could have kept them
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Old 13th Feb 2013, 16:46
  #1133 (permalink)  
 
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Is it the case that one of the answers to Crab's concern on this one is that the DfT's Specification asks for modern aircraft capabilities and that in SS6 and the accompanying wind you may have limited choice in where you point the aircraft if you are flying an older and curiously much-loved aircraft type?
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Old 13th Feb 2013, 17:05
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A sector search or expanding square are most likely to be used based a on a known datum - a sector search saturates the datum and the expanding square works outwards from that area.

With a missing or damaged vessel (the type of scenario we are looking at here) where an exact position is not known (hence the need for a search) the CG will normally allocate a search box which will be covered using a creeping line ahead style search - up the stairs and along the corridor, repeat at the other end of the box style if you will.

If you only have a 120 radar, you can only search in the direction you are travelling - if you have a 350 radar you are searching all around. Which do you think gives the best ie most effective and efficient search?
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 09:18
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As I understand it, the issue with the searching is not that you cannot point the radar where you want it to search, because you can, but the thoroughness of the search.

To carry out a thorough search, the best way to minimise the sea clutter is to look downwind, which minimises sea returns. Generally, rough seas are accompanied by strong winds, so looking downwind will require the aircraft to be flying downwind, meaning a much higher groundspeed, and a reduced time searching a specific area.

60 kt airspeed with with a 30 kt wind would mean a groundspeed of 90 kts searching, as opposed to 30 kts if flying into wind/looking downwind as they do now. That's seems quite a difference to me?
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 10:21
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I did wonder why Mr J Crab was banging on now about the Radar then I read this Bristow Group In The News - bristowgroup.com and realized that his other big issue NVG has been put to bed.
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 12:35
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That's a very encouraging sign. I thought that the Gap SAR contract was going to be a goggle-free affair and that NVGs would only be brought in when Longsar became a reality. If Bristows are going over and above the stipulated requirement of the contract (limited overland capability wasn't it? ie no night overland rescue) then that's to be commended. Too many times we read that a company will provide what's stipulated in the contract and nothing more so this augurs well for SAR if Bristows are providing a capability that isn't actually required by the contract.

Or have I got it completely wrong and NVGs have been part of the requirement for Gap SAR all along?
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 13:06
  #1138 (permalink)  
 
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You raise a very interesting point osm.

Those in MCA aviation were saying 15 months ago that the Gap spec was similar to the spec for the 2007 contract. Now that the outline kit list is published, we can see that there is a big difference (compared to the CHC aircraft which have some difficulty with seeing and hearing). This difference is not just with NVIS but also the comms spec which is very near, or maybe the same as, the Main contract.

The big question is whether this move forward is actually in the Gap contract or a case of contractor intelligence overcoming customer ignorance.
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 15:54
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Devil

Different company different spec perhaps?

Difficulty hearing?
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Old 16th Feb 2013, 15:58
  #1140 (permalink)  
 
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Difficulty hearing?
There is no HF.
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