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S97 Raider

Old 24th Mar 2013, 11:35
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Sikorsky reveals S-97 price tag

Sikorsky has placed a $15 million price tag on its S97 Raider, as it attempts to convince the US Army that the aircraft is a low-risk replacement for the Kiowa Warrior.
Heli-Expo 2013: Sikorsky reveals S97 price tag - News - Shephard

The Pentagon has set a target range of $13 million to $15 million per aircraft for the AAS project.
For reference, a AH-64 Apache costs about three times as much. After many hundreds have been produced, for decades.

Real price, of course, depends on costs included, excluded, spare parts, training etc. etc. Still for a brand new innovative design $15 million seems on the optimistic side in my opinion.

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Old 24th Mar 2013, 12:02
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Yeah right! If they do sell for 15 million, I wouldn't like to see the spares and support costs...
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Old 24th Mar 2013, 20:19
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Obviously no avionics !
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 02:36
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$15 Million does seem a bit optimistic, especially considering the USAF (insert very reluctant US taxpayer here) is willing to give $20M+ per for either 20 of the Super Tucano or Beech's AT-6 Texan II turboprop for Afghanistan's Air Force, whenever that legal battle is over. (See beechcraft-sues-air-force-over-las-contract, if you've a mind to.)
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 03:55
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I've got my check book out to buy a dozen at that price.....
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 12:03
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Does the cost include the engines?
I've seen a few procurement documents from decades past that identify airframe cost and engine cost separately.

Is that bit of bookkeeping being resorted to here?

Is mission kit included?

What sized production run is that based upon, I wonder.
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 12:09
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especially considering the USAF (insert very reluctant US taxpayer here) is
willing to give $20M+ per for either 20 of the Super Tucano or Beech's AT-6
Texan II turboprop for Afghanistan's Air Force
20Mper copy for a single engined turbo prop...you have to be taking the piss...sure it has some extra gear but come on!!!
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 13:41
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$15 million must be for the green plywood and carboard mockup from the photo above.

Maybe they will throw in the blue painted PVC rocket tubes for an extra $50k
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 16:20
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Turkey Slapper, IIRC there is an armed variant, and support costs involved in that T-6 Texas II dust up. Recent article in the latest challenge in court from Beechcraft (Raytheon?, here.)
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Old 25th Mar 2013, 19:48
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What sized production run is that based upon, I wonder.
Well you could start by counting the number of OH-58 Kiowa’s the US Army has in inventory.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 00:18
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(supposed shell game of cost, mentioned by whoever)

What you're referring to is GFE (government funded equipment) if for example a certain engine is already in the government supply system and is directed to be used. As an example, one version of the UH-1 that the AF bought was directed to use the same engine as the HH-3, since there were already plenty of engines bought but the HH-3 was being phased out in favor of the HH-53.

Last edited by busdriver02; 26th Mar 2013 at 00:19.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 00:58
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Hilife

You would be able to buy 1000 advanced 58's for 125 of the 97's and with the 58 you can see behind you. Following the Comanche and Cyclone price escalation to the 100 to 200 mil range per the 97 will be unaffordable.

Just ask the Canadians.

The Sultan

Last edited by The Sultan; 26th Mar 2013 at 01:00.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 01:45
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Sultan, just how can you see behind you in the 58 any better than any other helicopter?
We'll see if Sikorsky can beat Bell to the bank accounts of the decision makers.

Let's get real, if it was for Bell we would still be flying UH-1Hs to a hot LZ, they would only cost 25 millions a pop.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 02:51
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I got out of the US Army in 1996. The prices I was aware of then was.

AH-1F $4 mil
OH-58D $4 mil
UH-60L $12 mil
AH-64 $18mil

So my guess 6 mil for a EC-135 and 4 mil for a 407 a S-97 sounds cheap.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 07:48
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Other, more conventional competitors in the Army's Armed Scout requirement


** EADS is offering a AAS-72X+ for the same competition. Build in Columbus, Mississippi and backed by LM



** A re-engined Bell OH-58F Block II



** A stretched Boeing AH-6S Little Bird


The OH-68F Block would offer the best commonality with the current Kiowa's and maybe be the cheapest (?)

EADS US Columbus shocked the DoD/Army by delivering the UH-72 Lakota's on spec, on price and slightly ahead of schedule and the pilots seem to like it. So they might have a chance.

The Boeing AH-6S Little Bird, while a capable aircraft seems small to me, limited for future derivatives and moving people (inside).

Last edited by keesje; 26th Mar 2013 at 10:45.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 14:03
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Let's get real, if it was for Bell we would still be flying UH-1Hs to a hot LZ, they would only cost 25 millions a pop.
You mean like the USMC who fly the UH-1Y into hot LZ on a daily baisis? Or maybe the most technologically advanced rotorcraft in service in the V22?

I don't see your point here, just self-contradicting Bell-bashing.

Sultan factually pointed out that Sikorsky has a very recent history of going way overbudget with what was supposed to be a low cost OTS option for the MoD in Canada. Not to mention that the CH53K is already late and overbudget as well.

Anyone in the Army needs to look at that $15 million S-97 quote with a 5 pound bag of salt.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 15:01
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Well you could start by counting the number of OH-58 Kiowa’s the US Army has in inventory.
No, I don't think you could. I don't think Army and NG are merely replacing one for one if you look at out years. More likely reducing pilot manpower and airframes by the time IOC arrives.

On the other hand, a decent ball park figure to work with/form.

With potential conversion of some A/C to F without stopping at D ... not sure how tired those airframes are ... about 600. If only assuming the D, 350 or so.
Originally Posted by busdriver2
What you're referring to is GFE (government funded equipment) if for example a certain engine is already in the government supply system and is directed to be used.
Thanks, that rings a bell.
Sultan, I am not sure what you mean by this.
Following the Comanche and Cyclone price escalation to the 100 to 200 mil range per the 97 will be unaffordable.
Do you refer to unit cost, or cost with 20 years of support and spares?

robin:
numbers look close to what I remember. Thanks for the refresh.

keesje:
None of the other three have the S-97's speed feature. That appears to be Sikorsky's ace in the whole, in terms of "what I offer you now, while your OH-58 fleet matures and heads to 2025 retirement, is speed that none of the others can offer." Not sure how that sales pitch would go down with the Army. The Marines went with it for V-22. This isn't as technologically risky. (Well, I don't think it is. I may be wrong.)

Consider this: can S-97 answer the mail on who is fast enough from an amphib to fly armed escort for Marine V-22? Think Joint Ops and the Special Ops angle. They have CV-22's that may need escort ... for certain missions ...

If the Army chooses S-97 ... a big IF ... might not the Marines/Navy eventually order (Block II, or Lot 8, or whatever) a "marinized" version?

They did it with the Cobra, way back when.

Given the comparatively small buy of the AH-1Z ... It's not beyond reason.

But I doubt it. AHIPs worked on some USN vessels, so maybe for special missions a detachment of Army might embark ... and learn how to do actual corrosion control if they want to keep their birds flying!

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 26th Mar 2013 at 15:05.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 16:25
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The problem with that mentality is that the AAS platform isn't in need of a "speed transformation". Sikorsky answered a call no one placed for this particular contract, and it will undoubtedly cost far more than $15 million a copy.

With OTH (as has been discussed ad nauseum in the V22 threads), the speed of a tiltrotor was key to that paradigm.

Recall Sikorsky used to show marketing videos of the X2 (before they started trying to shoehorn it into something for AAS) escorting V22s in flight in airplane mode. Seems the timing of everything is a bit off for those chaps, and offering the S-97 for AAS was just what was on the table at the time.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 18:15
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Lonewolf_50, the S-97 is no doubt the game changer, but also the most expensive and risky option.

In one of the last big competitions (KC-X), congress changed the selection requirements (after EADS won) into meeting minimum requirements (~767 capabilities) at minimal costs, to sideline the better value for money KC30.

Wonder what congress members will try come up with, to steer the deal away from the AAS-72X+, without disqualifying the Boeing and Bell offerings, apart from the usual national interests/ jobs.

Last edited by keesje; 26th Mar 2013 at 18:18.
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Old 26th Mar 2013, 20:11
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keesje, you need to learn something. American military aircraft are no longer assigned a bureau number or tail number, they are assigned a zip code.

It is more politically practical to support a program that fills jobs in America than to quibble over a marginal performance advantage. In rotary wing, engineers have been pushing back the performance margins inch by inch for the last twenty years, with diminishing returns.

What makes the Sikorsky sales pitch difficult is that even their low ball cost estimate puts them well out of either domestic option's range, so their major advantage is performance.

The ball is still in play ...

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 26th Mar 2013 at 20:12.
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