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USAF Chooses AW-139 To Replace UH-1H

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USAF Chooses AW-139 To Replace UH-1H

Old 25th Sep 2018, 00:56
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USAF Chooses AW-139 To Replace UH-1H

Seems the Boeing folks teamed up with Agusta-Westland and won the contract for 84 aircraft to replace the USAF Contract to replace its current fleet of UH-1 Hueys.

I suppose there shall be some sort of challenge by one or both of the competitors that were offering UH-60 Blackhawks of various models.


https://www.defensenews.com/breaking...pter-contract/
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Old 25th Sep 2018, 12:38
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What a boost for Leonardo. The 139 certainly is a lovely machine to fly.
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Old 25th Sep 2018, 12:56
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I don't think they will challenge again (Sikorsky already did) as the AW139 (or MH-139 as Boeing called it) was substantially cheaper thank the UH-60s offered by Sikorsky (even with the commonality), and the refurbished machines offered by Sierra Nervada Corp.

The most interesting thing about this is that Bell and Airbus didn't bid.
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Old 25th Sep 2018, 14:19
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Bell should have bid, they had the perfect machine for the job.
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Old 25th Sep 2018, 15:37
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EPI, that heavy underpowered beast? "It's not old, it's proven" is getting really old, really fast.
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Old 25th Sep 2018, 22:23
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or how happy (Bell) must be (again) of dropping the AB139 project some years ago...
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 11:16
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How effective is AW/Leonardo at controlling costs on such Contracts/Programs?

Did they not have problems with the Sikorsky S-70 effort they had where they were to build and sell Licensed Blackhawks?

I do not recall that being a stellar success.

Then there is the 101 program and its cost over time.

Did not the RAF and Canadians have to cough up shed loads of money as a result of the pricing and cost over-runs or am I misunderstanding what transpired?

They were unsuccessful in the US Presidential VIP Helicopter bid either.

The USAF sure doesn't have an admirable ability to deliver aircraft programs on time and within budget do they?

Does the 139 still have CG issues in certain configurations?
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 13:16
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Will be interesting how the 139 will hold up on the mx and support side under the AF mission profiles. With the 139 Ch 4 requirements a little more complex/detailed than the N models, it could make for a bit of culture shock. I just hope the AF gets their own direct line to AW support/spares when the need arises.
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 13:19
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SAS, you are making a mess of several different programs jumbled together.
1) Westland alone was involved in the S-70 program.
2) The Canadian Cormorant has been an expensive yet successful program
3) We all know why the costs escalated in the original VH-71 program, and it was not because of the manufacturer.
4) The 139 does not have CG issues more than any other helicopter in commercial service today.
5) Boeing is the prime contractor in the MH-139 program.
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 13:40
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So Boeing and AW team up with the USAF and we can expect on budget and on time performance?

I am looking out the window for some flying pigs to present themselves.
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 14:04
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SASless, please, allow us to celebrate for a while. Besides, if more than 1000 AW139s have been sold, I think there is some merit also on this bird...
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 14:19
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Large Glasses of Wine at Lunch in the Company Mess at Gallarate over the news?
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 14:21
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SAS, They should have gone for those good old "All American" aircraft, such as the SK-76 made in....China, or those with engines made in.... France, Canada etc.
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 14:30
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Large Glasses of Wine at Lunch in the Company Mess at Gallarate over the news?
Alcohol is prohibited. Only water and soft drinks
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 14:42
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Large Glasses of Wine at Lunch in the Company Mess at Gallarate over the news?
The whole deal is done through Philly. Philly is the sub-contractor for Boeing. Philly is making all the aircraft. Philly had already reserved the slots on the production line well ahead of any decision so that they would be ready if they needed to be. And let's face it, it's not like O&G is taking up many slots on production lines these days. There is spare capacity.

I would imagine SK had done all the same things in case they won. Making sure there were production slots available so that aircraft were delivered on time and on budget.

No wine in the lunch room in Philly either!
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 16:37
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Not Only Cost, Perhaps?

With Sierra Nevada upgrading/remanufacturing UH-60A’s, adding new engines and a new cockpit, it is curious that they didn’t win, going by my assumption that price was the weightiest factor ( from some of the USAF post decision comment ).

One might assume that the USAF had misgivings re the upgrade process but if their process were to mimic the VH-3 periodic SPAR ( Special Progressive Aircraft Rework-accomplished every 1200 hours on the 3D ), they would be in an as new condition when finished. The VH-3Ds certainly are.

Would be interesting to see the pricing data.

Last edited by JohnDixson; 26th Sep 2018 at 16:41. Reason: additional thought
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Old 26th Sep 2018, 17:45
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Lockheed stepped in the doodoo with their typical whining over contract terms. The only diff in this case is that they couldn't even wait until the RFP was done and awarded before whining:

Then, in February, Lockheed Martin filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office over a disagreement over technical data rights—a rare legal dispute filed before the service had decided on the winner. Lockheed argued that, in its solicitation, the Air Force used too broad a definition of “operations, maintenance, installation and training data,” which by statute is turned over to the government for its unlimited use.

Which anyone who knows Lockheed can decode as; "the customer ignored our pre-written RFQ we gave them that only Lockheed could source". Glad I don't work for them anymore, and congrats to the winning team. I hope it's a success. I've never flown the 139(way after my stick time) but have heard good things.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 08:23
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
So Boeing and AW team up with the USAF and we can expect on budget and on time performance?

I am looking out the window for some flying pigs to present themselves.
Lots of those flying around in helicopters every day of the week.
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 20:52
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And I thought it was Bruce Willis that was going to save us from Armageddon - so much for that nonsense.

www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/09/27/meet-new-air-force-helicopters-that-can-defy-armageddon.html

(As before, my PPRuNe TS still isn't active so y'all will have to deal with the link in your own way)
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Old 27th Sep 2018, 23:56
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SB, that article is TOO GOOD not to circulate:

Meet the new Air Force helicopters that can 'defy Armageddon' | Fox News

You get a feel for what is coming after the writer has the Huey carrying 10,500 lbs, then puts you on the edge of your sofa when you read about the “ nifty new advances to enhance “survivability” in the 139. Alas, the article concludes prior to any news at all about either ballistic survivability or crashworthiness.
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