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RAF announces Puma Replacement plan

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RAF announces Puma Replacement plan

Old 1st Aug 2022, 19:29
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Originally Posted by chinook240 View Post
... ... comment on the effect on aiming when your whole body is out of the side door at 120 kts? Never mind windchill, rain, snow, etc. Most of our current types site the gunner inboard. What arc of fire forward would the gunner have?
USAF 56 Rescue used to share our hangar on visits so I got many chances to look at their Pavehawks. The gunner works from a seat inside the aircraft. The aircraft has a two-part sliding door that moves forward to provide a slightly wider and much deeper opening than shown on this 149. The gun pivot, on which several weapon types can be fitted, is closer to the fuselage than shown on this 149. M2 was usually fitted on the Pavehawks I was in or up close to. In most of their arcs no more than the Gunner's forearms would be outside the aircraft. Might need to lean out to fire forward. There are also quite a few videos on youtube of H-60 gunnery. What's this about aiming?

Overall, that AW149 set-up looks like the result of, "Oh sh1t, we need a gun on it. If I can find a gun can you mount it on there by tomorrow lunchtime?"
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Old 1st Aug 2022, 21:51
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Mid `60`s we had Whirlwinds fitted with Bren guns,one mounted in the cabin door,one in the port side cabin window,co-pilot carried a Sterling SMG. If you wanted to be really `tooled-up` ,some aircraft could be fitted with 4 X SS11 missiles,wear `flak-jackets` and stick a 1/4 inch steel plate under your seat cushion,and my trusty Walther P38.
I think the Brens were .303`s(RAF issue-Army were .762 ) and the door gun firing position was lying on the floor...good for shooting at old oil drums in the S China Sea,or scaring crocodiles in the rivers.....




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Old 24th Oct 2022, 08:10
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https://www.flightglobal.com/helicop...150661.article

UK delays tender process for Puma helicopter replacement

21 October 2022

However, under a revised timeline,
the MoD is now not expected to issue invitations to negotiate
– essentially the precise requirements for the programme –
to manufacturers until the first quarter of 2023,
according to two sources familiar with the matter.

NH Industries is also a potential candidate with its NH90 helicopter.

It is understood to have responded to the DPQQ despite the presence of shareholders Airbus and Leonardo in the contest.

But the Puma has been selected to take over the operations in Brunei and Cyprus on a temporary basis,
potentially extending the HC2’s retirement date to 2027,
one source has suggested.
https://www.flightglobal.com/helicop...150661.article
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 15:36
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Old design?

There are still Bell UH-1's flying but for those militaries that can afford newer aircraft they are usually replaced by Sikorsky Blackhawks.

Re the photos of the Gunner....tells me the aircraft is not designed for military use (Yes I know the USAF is buying some....but then recall the mission they are being used for....Missile Site Crew Transport).

The Gunner position in the photos is flat ridiculous and is only good for a laugh.

One thing that really stands out....is the empty brass collection bag (assuming that is what the OD thing on the right side of the door gun is just that...would be as useful as milk dispensers on a Bull.

As to aiming.....the short squirt and move the Tracers to the Target method works fine.....especially with a Mini-Gun.

Now...imagine what a Mini-Gun set up would look like on the side of that aircraft and how the Gunner would be limited in his ability to operate the weapon.

Then.....the most important issue...is the 139 built to a Military Combat Standard as is the Blackhawk?






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Old 24th Oct 2022, 17:00
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Quelle f*******g surprise....

We all know common sense prevailing the H-60 /70i airframe ticks the boxes, but politics may or may not dictate either Airbus or Leonardo as the solution

cheers
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 18:31
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2027? That means the RAF Pumas will have been in service for 56 years. Sceptics in 1971 said they wouldn’t last long compared to “proper” aircraft such as the Wessex.


P.S. Blackhawks would be nice….
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 19:27
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post

Then.....the most important issue...is the 139 built to a Military Combat Standard as is the Blackhawk?
It is not a AW139 SASless, it is a AW149, the AW149 was first designed for the military (don't know if this was build to Military Combat Standard which I assume is an USA military standard) and then they made the civilian version the AW189.
Blackhawks are fantastically capable aircraft and an upgraded, up to date version would be my choice but as you know it being the best isn't always the first priority when politicians are involved.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 21:16
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“ build to Military Combat Standard “ . But they don’t quote the standards to which the UH-60 had to meet. I did find a statement in an AW ad that cited the main blades were tested to accept hits from a 12.7mm projectile. The UH-60 was required to be flyable after main blade hits from various angles by 23MM HEI ammunition. When the new composite blades were introduced, those tests were repeated and the new blades passed. Big difference between those two projectiles. I’m just quoting one of multitudes of features required for the Army’s standard combat aircraft. If the AW 149 was built to the Army’s crashworthiness and ballistic survivability standards, AW would have said so.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 22:12
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It would also be nice if it had metal control rods,rather than the `plastic` ones in the -139.....
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 22:14
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Finals......I see there is the 139M....and the different Type 149....so two different versions.

The question raised by John Dixson is whether the US Army Design Spec's are met by the 149 is one that would bear answering as otherwise comparing the UH-60M to the 149 might be an Apples and Oranges comparison were that not the case.

The followup question would be which standard used....that by AW or the US Army is the superior set of critieria for a helicopter being built for use in combat.

Also....the final problem the RAF is going to have to confront is the lack of money considering the financial straits the UK Government thus the MoD finds itself confronting currently and for the foreseeable future.

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Old 25th Oct 2022, 10:25
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Finals......I see there is the 139M....and the different Type 149....so two different versions.

The question raised by John Dixson is whether the US Army Design Spec's are met by the 149 is one that would bear answering as otherwise comparing the UH-60M to the 149 might be an Apples and Oranges comparison were that not the case.

The followup question would be which standard used....that by AW or the US Army is the superior set of critieria for a helicopter being built for use in combat.

Also....the final problem the RAF is going to have to confront is the lack of money considering the financial straits the UK Government thus the MoD finds itself confronting currently and for the foreseeable future.
I don’t know the answer off hand, but the 149 came first as a military aircraft and then the civil market as the 189. So, one would assume it certainly meets some military design requirements, for somebody!

Whereas, the 139M came after the 139 as a militarised version of the civilian aircraft. Whether there is much practical difference between these different sequences I couldn’t say.
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 14:16
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The proof is in the pudding as they say....which spec and what was in the spec if the spec used was not the US Army Spec that the H-60 had to meet.

Evidently the USAF did not consider the need for the Army Spec when it decided to by the MH-139 from Boeing/AW with the goal of replacing the Bell UH-1N helicopters used in physical security operations for missile sites and for VIP ops in the Washington DC area.

Funding for the acquisition of 84 Aircraft was omitted from the DOD FY-22 Budget.

Reasons for the delay in certification had to do with Weight and Engine Performance certifications required by the FAA.

The FY 23 Budget provides 174 Million USD for Five Aircraft and associated items.

Last edited by SASless; 25th Oct 2022 at 14:29.
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 16:25
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
The proof is in the pudding as they say....which spec and what was in the spec if the spec used was not the US Army Spec that the H-60 had to meet.

Evidently the USAF did not consider the need for the Army Spec when it decided to by the MH-139 from Boeing/AW with the goal of replacing the Bell UH-1N helicopters used in physical security operations for missile sites and for VIP ops in the Washington DC area.

Funding for the acquisition of 84 Aircraft was omitted from the DOD FY-22 Budget.

Reasons for the delay in certification had to do with Weight and Engine Performance certifications required by the FAA.

The FY 23 Budget provides 174 Million USD for Five Aircraft and associated items.
Also tbt when the 139M was looked at as Huey replacement for the army, (others were 412Ep, the winning UH-72A Lakota) , did hear a rumour that the 13M was close to be selected at the time (April 2006) but alas the Lakota was month later.

Laughingly or not first mil customer for the 139 is IAC

cheers

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Old 25th Oct 2022, 17:28
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Recall the US Army promised the Lakota would not be deployed into Combat areas or used for Combat Tactical Operations reserving it for use by the Army National Guard and Reserve and Flight Training primarily.

One would assume they would have made the same warranty re the 139M or whatever version was being offered.
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 19:35
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Has the RAF codified their requirements and missions so that competitors can respond accordingly? This discussion revolving around a civil machine or a combat ready machine, or a civil machine in combat drag could go on for awhile.
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 22:17
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JD, think of our procurement process as a `football field(soccer or rugby as well;the goalposts are usually at either end,midway between `corners`.Here we put them at opposing corners,and during any stoppage of `play(for money/change of PM/``woke recruitment`problems,etc) the Goalposts get moved anywhere along any of the limit lines of play......
forgot to add;they also change the size of the posts,from `ice-hockey ,to soccer ,to rugby,depending whether it`s between RAF v Navy /Army v Navy/or RAF v Army...
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Old 26th Oct 2022, 11:07
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Sycamore, having watched the US RAH-66 program at close hand, it is easy to sympathize.
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Old 1st Nov 2022, 19:14
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https://www.flightglobal.com/helicop...150779.article

Four firms to fight for UK’s New Medium Helicopter requirement

By Dominic Perry1 November 2022

Defence officials have whittled down the number of bidders for the UK’s New Medium Helicopter (NMH) contest to four companies following an initial selection process.

Airbus Helicopters, Boeing, Leonardo Helicopters and Sikorsky all successfully passed the dynamic pre-qualification questionnaire (DPQQ) issued to interested parties by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), FlightGlobal can reveal. Bidders were informed of their progress on 31 October.



Source: Crown Copyright

RAF’s Puma fleet will be replaced by NMH

None of the manufacturers wished to comment, save to confirm that they had cleared the DPQQ stage.
Airbus Helicopters is offering the H175M, Leonardo Helicopters the AW149 – to be built in Broughton and Yeovil, respectively – and Sikorsky the S-70M Black Hawk.Boeing’s interest in the requirement is unclear given the lack of a suitable aircraft in its range: the only medium helicopter it could offer is the MH-139, which is based on Leonardo’s best-selling AW139.

However, two sources suggest Boeing may instead be interested in the support and training elements of the procurement.

Seemingly dropping out of the race are Bell, NH Industries and AceHawk Aerospace, which was proposing the ML-70 – an upgraded pre-owned UH-60 Black Hawk.

The next step for the NMH programme will be the issuing of invitations to negotiate (ITN) to the shortlisted manufacturers – where the MoD sets out its precise requirements – a milestone likely to take place in early 2023.

Destined to replace the Royal Air Force’s fleet of 23 Puma HC2 helicopters, plus three other rotorcraft types in UK service, the NMH is slated to enter service in 2025. The MoD has previously indicated it could procure up to 44 aircraft.
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Old 1st Nov 2022, 20:47
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The only aircraft with proven battlefield ability is the Blackhawk. With the bigger engines it’s like a super Wessex and a superb aircraft. I’d be very pleased to see it in RAF service and the crews would love it (especially rear crew if of shorter stature).

Mind you, we were saying that in 1979!
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Old 1st Nov 2022, 22:09
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Just proves some folks are very hard headed.

Watch this competition wind up with a lesser capable and machine that cannot meet the US Army Spec....and cost far more and take longer to field than the Blackhawk that can be bought off the shelf.

Any wagers?
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