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US Army leaning towards new scout

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US Army leaning towards new scout

Old 13th Dec 2012, 13:59
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Post US Army leaning towards new scout

Reuters reports that the US Army are reported to be leaning towards looking for a new scout. It will be the army's 3rd attempt.

Army Reportedly Leaning Towards New Scout Helicopter | Aero-News Network

Big money for whoever wins.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 15:32
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Big money for whoever wins.
The idea that US defense budgets will allow for a new scout helicopter in the near term is pretty preposterous. The Kiowa is averaging over 90% readiness and is dirt cheap to operate. I dont see a situation where a case can be made to make the huge investment required to proceeed with a "new" design.

I believe this announcement, along with a recent release by the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics that he wanted to maintain the industrial base by funding X-project helicopters, is just a way to stir the defense budget conversation to keep it in the foreground with looming sequestration.

Even pre-Obama, how could they realistically hope to fund CSAR-X, VXX, FVL, JSF, KCX, and a new light scout?

With an already well-performing Kiowa that can be modernized cheaply, that seems lowest on the totem poll.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 15:43
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The 540/little bird would be a natural choice. Better speed mobility sling load capacity etc. They will need to increase the fuel capacity though.
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 16:14
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Better speed mobility sling load capacity etc.
Better than what? OH-58F? Block II?
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 17:56
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How would you know that at this stage of the game?
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Old 13th Dec 2012, 19:06
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Me thinks

I can now see why MDHI and Boeing may be getting into a spat over the 540F being armed if the government are talking about a new scout.

The contract would be a golden goose for the 2 main MD share holders, the loud one in the US, and the other one in the Netherlands.

I'm surprised Sikorsky haven't come up with a good small aircraft like a mini blackhawk, as they build good aircraft for the military and have been around for years.
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 13:32
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Sans,

A big part of the reason why the Army is now reportedly leaning towards a new-build approach is cost growth of the OH-58F effort. The idea of a further D upgrade was floated shortly after the Arapaho was scalped, with the goal of a couple of million bucks per aircraft (i.e. less than a billion for the entire fleet).

By the time CASUP formally become the F the budget was up to $1.98 billion.

At the AUSA's Army aviation summit in January, Lt. Gen. Robert Lennox, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army (G-8), stated that the F upgrade program would now cost between $2.98 and $4.1 billion, with a follow-on SLEP (with new-build metal cabins) potentially growing this figure further still.

With Sikorsky now claiming that Raider would only cost "mid teens" and EADS floating the commonality argument for AAS-72X, it's not surprising that the Army is considering whether a new-build option might offer better bang for the buck.

I/C
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Old 14th Dec 2012, 20:37
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Don't forget the article written 2 weeks ago about the US Army wanting to buy a new helicopter "to keep the US helicopter industry capable of designing new helicopters". A small scout helicopter makes sense as it would probably be the cheapest investment. Remember, that last US newly designed and built helicopter was designed in 1970. That would be the UH-60 and the AH-64 both. Everything since the 60A and 64A has been an upgrade to an existing platform. There was a good try with LHX, but there was not a good focus and it grew, the perceived threat went away, and it became unaffordable. 2 of the 3 mainstay's of the Special Operations Forces are developments of 1960s helicopters with only the UH-60 being much younger (10 years younger). I am really curious if US manufacturers have the ability to design from scratch, I know they do not have the willingness to bear the cost of development from scratch.
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 11:22
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Well in the US it used to be civilian helicopters came from military contract offshoots, 204,205,206,407,MD500, FH1100, S70, B234 etc etc
That way the costs were shared.
Now it's going the other way a little bit.

If you're wondering why there haven't been any "new designed" aircraft since the 70s it's because between uprated engines and huge developments in avionics and weapon systems there wasn't a need for a new airframe.
That's where the missing link is, the technology is in the systems not the airframe..
Just look at some of the European junk being touted as next generation..NH-90 anyone..
Apache is still the best attack helicopter in the world, better than "newer designed" Eurocopter Tigers and Agusta Mangustas. Why is that? Because of avionics, weapon systems and power.
The UH60 is still the industry standard in medium size troop transport.

Oh yeah and an EC225 is developed from a SA330, an EC130 is a late model Astar, an EC155 is a SA360 and an EC145 is a BO105.
1960 and 70s technology designs..
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Old 15th Dec 2012, 16:10
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well does a new airframe mean it is better than an old one ? Take the Sa341 gazelle versus its replacement the EC120. Gazelle will outperform the EC120 in just about every department, one designed in the 1960's one in the 1990's !!!!
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Old 16th Dec 2012, 23:59
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Speed, agility, endurance, sensors, firepower....that's whats important!!

Retired enlisted man here, not since the US Army was flying the OH-58Cs have I seen or heard of a scout helicopter sling loading anything...please show me a picture of an operational "line" unit performing this mission with a D model 58. With so much jee wiz electronics on board, there is no back seat let alone the ability to sling load. Plus the primary mission of the airframe is to locate, target, report enemy formations w/aerial gunnery support second. That is what the "O" means...observation!!!! NOT utility. Please don't send argue that Task Force 160 will us its little birds (OH-6) to sling load from time to time...they are an entirely different animal and their mission is very different hence the different airframe altogether.
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 14:48
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I/C

New program and upgrade costs notwithstanding, surely there are training, logistic, and supply chain aspects of the existing OH-58 into an upgraded model that factor into a real total cost assessment.

As far as the raider costing mid-teens...
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 15:05
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Oh yeah and an EC225 is developed from a SA330, an EC130 is a late model Astar, an EC155 is a SA360 and an EC145 is a BO105.
1960 and 70s technology designs..
True, but, Eurocopter is currently long term designing replacements for all these aircraft and a few "specials", because they realise that, no matter how great a design is, you can't plod on with it forever. How many other manufacturers have replacements in the pipeline for the bulk of their current production models?
Take the Sa341 gazelle versus its replacement the EC120.
The EC120 designed for the civil market was never a replacement for the SA341, which was designed for the military market.
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Old 17th Dec 2012, 17:24
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Skysports

Doesnt really matter that 314 was a mil design, in the 1960's all helicopters were, point is 341 is in both mil and civil clothes. EC 120 which is the equivlent in the Eurocopter line up is crap in comparision
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 19:55
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D.C. analyst predicts "no competition" for the Kiowa

Sky Talk: D.C. analyst predicts "no competition" for the Kiowa


EADS North America spokesman stated.
"The Army turned the tables on the industry," Darcy said. "They said, 'We're not going to have a competition unless you spend your money and energy to prove to us that we need a competition."
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 22:44
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Tuk Tuk, "newer designed"? the A-129 first flew in 1983, hardly a new design. Its weight half of the AH-64 hardly puts it in the same category. For your information, the Apache entered IOC with the Army about 1985.
The EC-145 is not a 105, more like a 117 soon to have a five bladed main rotor, courtesy the US ARMY money.
And you forget the biggest crap of them all, the Sikorsky S-92. Just ask the Canadian armed forces.

Last edited by tottigol; 6th Jan 2013 at 22:53.
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Old 6th Jan 2013, 23:28
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Apache "newer design"?

I seem to recall Apache flying out of Hughes Airfield in Culver in the mid '70s. Still a ponderous old beast.

"Newer design" compared with a B47 I guess.
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Old 7th Jan 2013, 00:29
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I am sure they can dust off the Comanche, have another go........

Flufffy
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Old 7th Jan 2013, 01:38
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Comanche Redux?

Good point, Fluffy5. I dare say that if one canvassed those who have substantial time flying the Comanche, they would advise that as a flight vehicle, it certainly was superior to the ships mentioned in these posts. My guess would be however, that the mere mention of that name would automatically raise all of the questions re why the total program was cancelled, when the flying vehicle part was so extraordinary, and thus constitute a proposal that would be DOA.
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Old 7th Jan 2013, 02:42
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What beggars belief is why on earth anyone would bother!!

The US has the largest and most technically equipped military machine on earth and for what? The combined NATO forces are still being outwitted by a group of armed goat herders.

The amount of money being poured down the drain on a daily basis is sickening, whether anyone believes the war is just or not, it has acheived nothing! To then go and want to waste billions more borrowed money to produce an aircraft capable of doing the same job as the technically superior equipment currently operated is ridiculous.

Those who came up with the preposterous idea should hang their heads in shame!!!
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