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RAF announces Puma Replacement plan

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RAF announces Puma Replacement plan

Old 16th Sep 2023, 13:18
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The UK never does an OTS purchase (at least to my memory re helicopter purchases) as they always have to UK-ize whatever they buy.

Examples....Westland S-70's, Chinooks, and Apaches.

How off the shelf can the UK purchase of say.....the Sikorsky UH-60M be in reality and what would need to be UK specific differences?
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 15:15
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 17:20
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SAS, I’d guess that there are folks still in harness that recall the previous Westland UH-60 effort aimed at the Saudi requirement. The Saudi’s ended up buying straight off the line UH-60s at FMS ( Foreign Military Sales ) pricing-essentially what the US Army was paying. One would assume this could be one option here, and then, if the RAF needed some specific radio gear for instance, they could do it themselves. I’m not at all plugged in to the specific RAF requirements, thus my suggestion may be at odds with RAF needs.
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 17:30
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Originally Posted by SASless
The UK never does an OTS purchase (at least to my memory re helicopter purchases) as they always have to UK-ize whatever they buy.

Examples....Westland S-70's, Chinooks, and Apaches.

How off the shelf can the UK purchase of say.....the Sikorsky UH-60M be in reality and what would need to be UK specific differences?
64E is pretty off the shelf iirc, as is the apparently stalled CH-47 fleet expansion. We've gotten a lot better at OTS since we realised we are broke!
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 19:20
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An FMS UH-60M solution does not make sense for the UK, as the Mike is uniquely US Army specific, particularly on the COMM’s front, so the UK would just end up stripping out very expensive hardware and placing it on a shelf marked ‘Not for Use’ to gather dust, before it eventually ends up in a landfill site….or on eBay.

Better to purchase a baseline S-70M, which is cheaper, would also offer better weight margins for additional UK specific options, and also better performance than the 60M in a Baseline configuration side-by-side fly-off.

Regarding previous comments, I don’t see the YT706 as a realistic option, as this is not something Sikorsky offers customers, as it is a post-delivery modification (UH-60M to MH-60M upgrade) installed by LM and unique to the 160th.

The above PR photo is of an S-70M. The Baseline 70M does not include IRS exhausts or swivel gunner seats, as they are options, so I suspect LMUK are just sticking to the script on any PR photos.

Shame about the bitching comment, very unprofessional.

Oh, and yes I am well aware that the A series of this model is long gone, especially when the OEM is currently building Mike’s & Whiskey’s.
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 22:35
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Oh, and yes I am well aware that the A series of this model is long gone, especially when the OEM is currently building Mike’s & Whiskey’s.
So what was the point of your earlier comments?
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Old 23rd Sep 2023, 13:54
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Talking of OTS purchases - How are the 100+ EC145 (UH-71?) fleet coping in the US? Are they still the Bee's Knees?
I'm interested because they're made of tinsel and honeycomb compared to brick 'sheds' such as Hueys, Chinooks and Blackhawks.
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Old 23rd Sep 2023, 14:18
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Originally Posted by Rigga
Talking of OTS purchases - How are the 100+ EC145 (UH-71?) fleet coping in the US? Are they still the Bee's Knees?
I'm interested because they're made of tinsel and honeycomb compared to brick 'sheds' such as Hueys, Chinooks and Blackhawks.
there are about 500 UH72 in the US Army now but you can’t compare them with Blackhawks or Chinooks because they perform only logistics,support and now training missions.
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Old 1st Oct 2023, 12:24
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Seems the Australians have figured it out and are going to Blackhawks while grounding the existing fleet currently doing the tasks following two accidents one of them being a fatal crash that killed four people.

That is a voter of confidence in the Blackhawk M model as I see it.
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Old 1st Oct 2023, 15:51
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Originally Posted by SASless
Seems the Australians have figured it out and are going to Blackhawks while grounding the existing fleet currently doing the tasks following two accidents one of them being a fatal crash that killed four people.

That is a voter of confidence in the Blackhawk M model as I see it.
Slightly different situation as they have had BH previously so there is corporate knowledge there.

For the British, I'm yet to be convinced it's not a political decision, regardless of what the MoD advise/request/need.
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Old 1st Oct 2023, 17:02
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Originally Posted by trim it out
Slightly different situation as they have had BH previously so there is corporate knowledge there.

For the British, I'm yet to be convinced it's not a political decision, regardless of what the MoD advise/request/need.
Unfortunately it is a purely political decision and I suspect that is why it has been delayed. Everything points to the Blackhawk being the best aircraft for the NMH program- proven, reliable and capable. However, the Government want the answer to be AW149. They are now panicking as there is no reasonable question for NMH to which 149 is the answer. They have now delayed the program so they can look for a way to slant the requirements so that the plastic non-troop carrier with no combat record can somehow be considered the answer.
As long as the Blackhawk is the clear answer to the question, the Government will not formally ask it.
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 15:44
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If political is not a factor, they did be flying S Pumas since a decade ago. Why bother with BH?
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 15:51
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Originally Posted by Mee3
If political is not a factor, they did be flying S Pumas since a decade ago. Why bother with BH?
You're confusing politics with "no money" there!
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 18:44
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Originally Posted by Mee3
If political is not a factor, they did be flying S Pumas since a decade ago. Why bother with BH?
Who is flying S (Super?) Pumas?
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Old 2nd Oct 2023, 18:56
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With the Australian Army just announcing the permanent grounding/retirement of the Taipan fleet, am I the only person concerned that an NH90 fleet has become available at the same time the UK look for a new medium-lift helicopter? How may Taipans do the Aussies have? I know the running costs are astronomical, and the support is comical, but a 'fire sale' price might just attract the bean-counters in MoD to make yet another galactically stupid decision.

Last edited by Lucifer Morningstar; 3rd Oct 2023 at 20:22.
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 01:30
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Originally Posted by Lucifer Morningstar
With the RAAF just announcing the permanent grounding/retirement of the Taipan fleet, am I the only person concerned that an NH90 fleet has become available at the same time the UK look for a new medium-lift helicopter? How may Taipans do the Aussies have? I know the running costs are astronomical, and the support is comical, but a 'fire sale' price might just attract the bean-counters in MoD to make yet another galactically stupid decision.
Its the Army not RAAF, RAAF haven't had choppers since late 80's and evidently the UK MD have already been approached and they are not interested.
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 07:10
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If our Govt can kick the HS2 can down the road with impunity, what chance does NMH have of seeing the light of day?
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 12:40
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The UK MoD does make some interesting decisions re buying, servicing, and operating fleets of aircraft don't they?

Not that the US DoD is much better but at least we do come up with some fit for purpose aircraft designs then keep them flying (although some decisions do. make one's hair itch).

How many times have the fighter mafia tried to kill off the A-10 Wart Hog?

Sometimes one just. has admit reality and go with a proven design that is entirely fit for purpose. and gain benefits due that product line being mature and well supported (if national pride and politics can be overcome).

Westlands might very well be able to build the UK 60M's under license from Sikorsky and the decision to do that can be inoculated against bone headed thinking at the Mod and Westlands.
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 14:43
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Westlands might very well be able to build the UK 60M's under license from Sikorsky and the decision to do that can be inoculated against bone headed thinking at the Mod and Westlands.
That's just rehashing the 40 year-old plan of Michael Heseltine and it hasn't got any better with age....
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Old 3rd Oct 2023, 14:50
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RAF / NAVY / Merlins……only two (fairly) careful previous owners?
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