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Australia dumps Tiger

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Australia dumps Tiger

Old 29th Feb 2016, 00:36
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Australia dumps Tiger

Yet another failed military acquisition!

I'm never sure if you blame the Politicians, the Military procurement process or the Manufacturer. Either way, there is a consistent theme of modern military products (not just helicopters) that fail to meet their basic operational capability, are unreliable, inadequately supported and are potentially a major threat to the National security of whoever brings them into service.

What will be the outcome of this, after all, they spent billions getting it to this place?

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...-2020s-422375/
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 02:20
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Unfortunately I don't think we'll ever get to see an Australian Tiger shoot a rocket at a bad guy who might deserve being on the receiving end of such a rocket.

Plenty of rockets should have been shot at certain friendlies for choosing Tiger over Apache. They were just too gullible and overwhelmed with all the French inspired promises. But the Tiger is very crash-worthy. They proved that spectacularly.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 02:56
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gulliBell, given the Oz military knack for ruining perfectly good aircraft that are very capable of doing the task that they are designed for, I wouldn't be out there saying that the Apache would have been better for them. I'm sure they would have screwed that up as well!

Just look at the Billions Oz wasted on the Seasprite, then NZ snaps them up and happily operates them from day one!

Don't blame the machine. The Tiger is a very capable aircraft. You need to look at what was being asked of it and how much of what they were asking for was not "off the shelf". That is what undid the Seasprite. Same as Canada with the S-92. All the goodies they've asked for have killed it.

Tight military budgets are forcing countries to try and but a one type does all solution, and that is no solution at all. Just the beginning of some very large and expensive headaches.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 04:40
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From one report - "Australia’s annual defense report showed that its Tigers had flown 3,000 hours in the 12-month period, well under the 6,000 hours sought. The Army further said the helicopter’s twin Turbomeca MTR 390s have the highest operating cost of any helicopter engine in its inventory. The service has two squadrons based at Darwin in the far north of Australia. It is concerned about the time it takes for components sent to Europe to be returned, as well as with many unreliabilities. A cabin filling with smoke has caused several forced landings. The first Tiger was delivered in 2004 and the last in 2011 but the type has still not achieved full operational capability. This has now been delayed again, from this year to next.

This sounds like typical Defence Dept - equipment ordered by clowns who have no experience in using it - competing requirements by various depts and sections means they end up with a camel instead of a horse - and a supplier who happens to see Defence Dept orders as a licence to print money, and to load up every component with massive, obscene, and opaque charges.

I can remember one ex-employee telling me how he was involved in the early 1970's with an Indian Air Force contract when he worked for a British aerospace company. Parts that cost the company something like 14, were invoiced out at 1000 to the IAF.

Another factor that grates with me is how all British and European purchases from Australia include the local VAT - in some Euro states, I understand that is around 20%.
Yet, anyone who buys Australian products from an overseas location, gets them completely Australian-tax (GST) free.
20% hidden tax on top of multi-million dollar engines and overhaul costs would be a pretty sizeable additional Defence burden, annually.

I think Malcolm would be well-advised to drop the GST-free status for overseas purchasers of Australian products, to assist in balancing the books.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 07:06
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Being ex-Australian Army myself, and knowing some of the guys involved in the Tiger selection process, they told me, in hind-sight, that the French bamboozled them with candy coated b_s_ promises, and if they had the time again they would have chosen an off-the-shelf helicopter that could shoot stuff on day 1. I don't recall whether Apache was mentioned in this context because it was a long time ago, but the sentiment certainly was they made a bad choice.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 09:05
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Exports to Australia from the EU are ZERO rated for VAT, so no European tax. All goods sold in Europe are taxed at the point of sale. If you want to add Australian tax to goods sold in Europe feel free every other exporter in the world will be grateful.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 10:49
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gulliBell,
Have a look on the Military Aviation forum and under that you'll see the Australian Defence Expansion thread.
On post #10, TBM-legend has provided a link to the Australian National Audit Office's report on the Management of the Tiger ARH project.
I commend it to you.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts after you've read and digested it.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 12:12
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gulliBell,
your username already sounds with an orientation to a certain helicopter company!!!
This acquisition was another one ruins gmobally speaking by the department of Defence considering the specific added requirements and burden added post contact. Furthermore some individuals were not in favour of the choice and did everything possible to delay the operational capability eg: how to explain night flight was not granted while at the same time Tiger was deeply engaged in Afghanistan by the French mainly at night with a lot of success? same thing for flying over water while the operation in Lybia was done from platform assault...
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 13:36
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Yeah, I was aware of the audit report previously. The simple truth of the matter, they got double whamied: being out manouevered by all the French promises that ended up with the predictable outcome which we now have, and shooting themselves in the foot, actually in both feet. Those involved in the process who spoke to me about it years later freely admit this.

This happens all the time in Defence. Defence procurement is like spending Monopoly money, made worse by the fact that those spending it aren't the ones who earned it. Nobody steps back to think, does spending $1+ billion dollars on 22 helicopters represent good value for money?

No surprise about the cost and other problems associated with operating French built helicopter engines. Those in the civilian helicopter space have known all about this since way before Air 87.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 16:57
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Yep, agree.
As I remarked on the other thread, there's enough good material in there to provide a script for a tragi-comedy.
Accountability, what's that?

In my younger days, I was fortunate enough to have a mentor who advised .. "Under-promise and over-deliver".
Worked for us, it did.
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 18:04
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Stanwell

your posts always catch my eye because I grew up in the village of the same name in UK-a village that adjoins LHRs terminal 5 and rwy 27L/09R.

i share your sentiments about under and over but in today's world where MBA kids (the business version of the flight decks children of the magenta line) take completely the opposite view, over promise and under perform is the way to make a decent profit on a project/product/service. By the time the disparity is discovered they will be long gone bonus secured and 'following their career path'

Shame about 'progress' sometimes isnt it.
Cheres
PB
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Old 29th Feb 2016, 18:58
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Originally Posted by gulliBell
French built helicopter engines
Actually a British / French / German engine (with Spanish involvement in the growth version thrown-in for good measure). Not that that's much consolation to the ADF (or the Australian taxpayer).

The original promise of "low cost of ownership" was probably a victim of the reduction in home nation orders from 902 installed engines (F: 430, G: 424, S: 48) to 296 (F: 134, G: 114, S: 48).

I/C
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Old 1st Mar 2016, 01:02
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Ah, an engine designed by a committee and needing to provide a profit margin for all concerned. That's a real winning concept!
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 09:39
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I have not seen this report but I have just seen a Facebook posting reporting this "discarding" of the Tiger and stating that [far from it being dumped with immediate effect] the type will be taken out of service "in the mid-2020s."

I know stuff stays in service for a long time these days but this is TEN years away...... and it has not actually happened yet anyway. It may not be popular because of a lack of spares provision but it isn't actually being thrown on the scrapheap as this thread suggests!

More a decision not to keep a type with a severely limited flexibility in role in extended service.

Or am I missing something?
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 11:18
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"Actually a British / French / German (project) with Spanish involvement in the growth version thrown-in for good measure). "


"designed by a committee and needing to provide a profit margin for all concerned. That's a real winning concept!"



Ah yes the AIRBUS familly of aircraft, they will never sell any!!!!!!
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 20:52
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Originally Posted by PANews View Post
I have not seen this report but I have just seen a Facebook posting reporting this "discarding" of the Tiger and stating that [far from it being dumped with immediate effect] the type will be taken out of service "in the mid-2020s."

I know stuff stays in service for a long time these days but this is TEN years away...... and it has not actually happened yet anyway. It may not be popular because of a lack of spares provision but it isn't actually being thrown on the scrapheap as this thread suggests!

More a decision not to keep a type with a severely limited flexibility in role in extended service.

Or am I missing something?
Yes, I think you missed one thing.
The decision is to reluctantly live with the Tiger till it was due for mid life update, and replace it rather than throw a lot more money into the hole.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 00:27
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The military procurement cycle will take 10 years to deliver a replacement product. Initiating the program, establishing and approving a budget, identifying a replacement product, determining the specific configuration for the application, getting additional funding because they have just outspent the original provision, delivery delays, more budget, testing, then commissioning into service. Then, fingers crossed!

There's 10 years for you. And in the meantime they still don't have the capabilities with the product that they have already paid for.

If I was a taxpayer, I would be demanding some answers.
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Old 7th Mar 2016, 03:04
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It only involves 22 aircraft that will be replaced by FY20. The FG article linked in the OP also states they will be looking for an aircraft that has long-range capability for SAR missions. This might indicate the use of a tilt rotor rather than a conventional helicopter.
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Old 14th Oct 2020, 23:06
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Not much to be added to this story. There is a whole range of options to "save loadsamoney" and get free aircraft form other operators in all the proposals and talk. However, decades later from the various published reports, the customer still doesn't seem to believe they have got what they paid for.

Airbus calls for open ARH replacement competition

By Nigel Pittaway and Ewen Levick | Melbourne and Sydney | 15 October 2020
Comments 0 Comments https://www.australiandefence.com.au...nt-competition

Airbus Australia Pacific managing director Andrew Mathewson last week called for an open competition to fulfil Defence’s requirement for 29 replacement armed reconnaissance helicopters, to be acquired under Land 4503.

Mathewson’s comments follow recent reports in some sections of the media that Defence is negotiating a sole-source acquisition of 29 Boeing AH-64E Apache helicopters, via the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process.

Companies vying for the $4-5 billion project to replace the Australian Army’s current Airbus Helicopters Tiger ARH, with a proven, mature and off the shelf armed reconnaissance helicopter platform, include Boeing (AH-64E) and a Bell/BAE Systems Australia teaming arrangement (offering the Bell AH-1Z Viper).

Airbus in turn is proposing an upgrade to the incumbent Tiger platform. Late last year it presented an unsolicited bid to Government, leveraging the ‘Smart Buyer’ methodology, to upgrade the 22 existing Tigers and supply seven new H145M light helicopters. It claimed that under a deal, Defence would save around $3 billion out to 2040.

Mathewson confirmed last week that Defence has rejected the Airbus proposal and the company is now offering a more comprehensive Tiger upgrade, including seven additional airframes (for a total of 29), which he says can still realise a saving of up to $3 billion, in a bid based on “capability, jobs and savings”.

“Last week we received a letter from the Minister of Defence confirming our (original) bid had been rejected, but we also understand that times have moved on and our objective today is just to compete,” Mathewson said on October 7. “We’ll be offering an upgraded Tiger with a more extensive upgrade than the one we proposed in our previous campaign. We know we can save them around $3 billion, even with a more extensive upgrade, and we will work hard to find seven additional Tigers.”

The European Tiger production line is now closed and while Mathewson says he can’t confirm where the additional seven airframes will be coming from, he says work has already been undertaken to source them.

“I wouldn’t like to disclose specifically which nation would be able to support us in that, but we wouldn’t be making these comments without having done some homework in Europe,” he said.

Besides the Australian Army the Tiger is operated by the armed forces of France, Germany and Spain.

Mathewson also declined to provide specific details of the wider ranging upgrade that now forms part of the new proposal, other than to say that it would include a Link 16 tactical data link (either fully integrated with the helicopter, or a federated system, depending on customer requirements) and would leverage the proposed European Tiger Mk.III upgrades as much as possible.

Eighteen of the Army’s 22 Tigers were assembled by Airbus (as Australian Aerospace) in Brisbane and Mathewson says the upgrades, including the seven additional airframes, will also be done in Australia, using the company’s local workforce and supplier base.

“Right now, we have 496 Australians whose job directly or indirectly supports the Tiger capability, and that’s because we have been able to flow the supply chain from Europe to Australia in a very effective way,” he said.

While the origin of the reports of an Apache sole-source FMS buy cannot be confirmed, Defence is seemingly awash with cash at the present time. As ADM’s managing editor Katherine Ziesing observed in her analysis of last week’s federal budget: “Defence’s biggest problem will be getting the money out the door fast enough.”

There has also been speculation that a defence underspend in the near-term could be at least partially addressed by acquiring capability via the relatively quick and straightforward FMS process, but a Defence spokesperson confirmed to ADM on Friday that a Land 4503 acquisition strategy is yet to be decided upon.

“A Request for Information (RFI) was released to market in July 2019, seeking information in support of the development of options for Land 4503,” the spokesperson said. “No procurement pathway has been decided at this point in time. Defence continues to co-operatively consult with industry and engage with other defence forces to fully understand options for the Land 4503 project.”

In a further statement at the end of last week, a Defence spokesperson confirmed that an FMS purchase of Apache had not even been discussed at the recent AUSMIN talks, held in the US in July, and Boeing Defence Australia also declined to comment on the media reports.

“Boeing respects that this is a decision that will be made by the Australian government,” a BDA spokesperson told ADM late last week. “Boeing stands ready to support Australia with Apache’s proven, reliable and value-for-money capability.”
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Old 14th Oct 2020, 23:49
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As per what I suggested at post #2. I should send them my consultants fee, which would be an appropriately big number.
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