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RAF announces Puma Replacement plan

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RAF announces Puma Replacement plan

Old 24th Apr 2021, 19:47
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Hello Bayek. If I recall, the Army requirement for the UTTAS said that the entire vehicle had to be invulnerable to 7.65mm, while a lesser part of the vehicle to 12.7mm ( 51 cal ) and the blades and main shaft had to be able to take various angle hits from 23mm HEI and still fly home. The 23 mm requirement included live ammunition firing at real blade samples, which were then sent to the metal fatigue test stands and exercised at known flight loads to substantiate meeting the requirement. This series of tests was repeated, by the way, after the main blades were changed from a titanium spar based blade to a total composite structure blade. Pictures were impressive. I am sure our competitor Boeing went thru the same original design/test cycle for their fly-off prototypes.
You mentioned fuel tanks and in that area I just don’t recall the specifics re the ballistic survivability requirements for the tanks, but I do recall that there was a crash test requirement that in part, required the competitor to construct a test specimen that consisted of the fuel tank, its attached hardware and the fuselage structure immediately surrounding the tank, The test was to drop it from 65 feet and no leaks were allowed. We used a crane to do the test.

Last edited by JohnDixson; 24th Apr 2021 at 19:47. Reason: Typo
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Old 25th Apr 2021, 21:08
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Just so we are clear - from what I have seen so far - the build quality of the 175 has been very poor. Very poor.
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Old 30th Apr 2021, 13:46
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Hypothetically, if there are any Puma crews going through an Instructor course at a certain place in Alabama and have the weekend 'off'......they are very welcome to pop over to Guntersville where there could be an 'open' invite to get to grips with a possible contender, just saying. PM me for contact details
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Old 1st May 2021, 12:46
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone rough idea of annual hours being put on the Puma Mk2 since update - or at least 'best guess'? Interested to read the phrase 'Value for Money' in UK publications ;-)
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Old 6th May 2021, 14:50
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Now there's a pretty picture..

Last edited by EESDL; 7th May 2021 at 04:46.
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Old 9th May 2021, 22:21
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Now there's a pretty picture..[/QUOTE]

yep from my other neck of the woods Bundesheer …got to see them at Airpower 2019 my pics below







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Old 9th May 2021, 22:26
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by EESDL View Post

Now there's a pretty picture..
Also laughingly the photo reminds me of the end scene from Arnie film Eraser with the US Marshall’s (good guys and not James Caan iffy corrupt Witsec lot) exiting an A109A





Albeit in True Hollywood style …

cheers
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Old 21st May 2021, 20:54
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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as long as we stay away from the NH Naughty - 2 Cloggie examples now broken in Stornoway
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Old 22nd May 2021, 12:20
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Would any modern medium helicopter really meet the task? Modern types seem a little fragile in a lot of ways in comparison to some previous generation aircraft with software and sometimes hardware reliability being an issue with huge swathes of downtime.

AW149, H175, Bell 525, none with any real operational time under the belt with allied militaries and one that hasn’t even come to market yet.

NH90, not the most glowing of reports from current users

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Old 14th Jun 2021, 19:47
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.flightglobal.com/helicop...144144.article

Airbus Helicopters has revealed the first airframe of an H175 super-medium-twin which has been built entirely using European-sourced components to replace those previously provided by Chinese suppliers.

The product of a five-year initiative, the absence of Chinese content will remove a significant obstacle to development of a military variant of the 7.8t platform.



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Old 14th Jun 2021, 22:20
  #71 (permalink)  
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Any NATO procurement should be a ground-up program with full transparency and financially backed OEM performance guarantees on;
  • Configuration control with individual pricing for each capability or system
  • Design standards
  • Systems commonality
  • Configured helicopter price
  • Program price
  • Delivery schedule
  • In-service schedule
  • Operational hourly price
  • Flight Training
  • Maintenance Training
  • Support package pricing
  • Availability guarantees
  • Reliability guarantees
  • Helicopter operational performance guarantees
  • Unresolved AOG and non-availability penalties
  • Supportability and Obsolescence strategies
If this is to be a standardised NATO platform, there should be a single multi-nation NATO office to provide fleet management control and provide a sole point of contact with the selected OEM to manage every part of the fleet, including monitoring and controlling all of the above items. This doesn't stop the individual operating entity from engaging directly with the OEM, but does standardize configuration and option pricing and support so the ability to gouge or take advantage of individual customers with "special deals" which are rarely beneficial to the operator.

The failure of so many of these platforms is the completely failed procurement process utilized by individual governments filled with bureaucrats who have no idea what they are talking about, and get bamboozled by OEM salesmen who talk them into a never-ending list of idiotic concepts and requirements as they "shape" the procurement to meet their own product whether it meets the requirement or not. It doesn't matter if you are looking at the US Presidential VH-71, the NH90, CH-148 Cyclone or the MH-139A or any other programme - something is completely wrong with the process. It's time to take control of an essential airborne capability, that according to various published reports is so entirely dysfunctional that there are huge holes in strategic defence capabilities, leaving countries incapable of meeting their basic rotary wing requirements.

The OEM is quick to blame the operating entity, saying that they didn't procure adequate parts or services, which leaves them grounded because the parts aren't available because they didn't procure them, and the OEM doesn't stock them, and the lead time is 2 years (or whatever). This may well be correct, but the procurement should never have proceeded without full visibility to the primary acquisition cost, and full visibility to the sustainment costs and binding commitments from all parties to adequate sustainment planning and financing, and guarantees from the OEM to availability of parts and service, with controls on pricing. No aquisition should be permitted without an approved operating plan and fully funded budget. For anyone who doubts this might work, then take a look at the commercial world, where OEM provided PBH or equivalents have become the norm on modern platforms. If the helicopter fails to meet any of the required performance points, then start applying penalties. Really BIG penalties - that is the only way to get things done in this industry.

In the current market the Customer has complete control of the transaction and terms, lay them out and the OEM's will all still be there. There is nothing wrong with new platforms and technologies, but there needs to be an appropriate process to assign the risk (and expense) to the supplier who has committed to supplying it.

It's an embarrassment to the entire industry and as a taxpayer, it's a rip-off!
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Old 14th Jun 2021, 22:59
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Cyclic.....does all that translate to the RAF is buying Black Hawks to replace the Puma?
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 01:20
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
Cyclic.....does all that translate to the RAF is buying Black Hawks to replace the Puma?
What? A battle proven capable airframe, fully suited to the task? Available off the production line?

Ask the end users in the military, they’ll say ‘yes please.’

Ask the politicians and the procurement people, they’ll be designing you a camel before you can say ‘factory in my electorate.’
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 08:23
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Nescafe View Post
What? A battle proven capable airframe, fully suited to the task? Available off the production line?

Ask the end users in the military, they’ll say ‘yes please.’

Ask the politicians and the procurement people, they’ll be designing you a camel before you can say ‘factory in my electorate.’

Translate that to most militaries in Europe, very frustrating to see them invent the wheel over and over again.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 08:52
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Well that's one view....

With all due respect Cyclics post is b*******s

This is not a NATO procurement it is a bespoke requirement for a sovereign nation. If we follow his logic the only equipment in use by NATO would be US designed and built (surprise, surprise) as the US industry size and American procurement quantities would trump any one else's view leaving operators beholden to one foreign source of kit. The reality is that other considerations have (and should) always been a part of how kit is bought. The effect on your own industrial base, resultant tax revenues, ability to modify as necessary and sovereign security issues are equally as important to the decision makers as the effectivity of the kit itself.
Regarding obtaining an in service proven product using that logic the UH60 would never have been created as the in service UH1 met those parameters. Sometimes an improvement is required even over what appears to be a suitable solution, in the case of the Puma, why replace a design from the 1960s with one from the 1970s, there are much newer technologies available with minimal development costs, amazingly designed in Europe, not the assumed centre of the world the other side of the pond.
Not all posted is rubbish, the users DO need to properly engage with OEMs and be very clear what specs are mandatory and what are negotiable, realistic timescales need to be agreed by everyone along with an agreed relevant basis of qualification (in itself a huge issue for this industry), finally the user/procure must recognise that OEMs are not charities, but will not deliberately screw him over (because it is not in the OEMs interest to do so) and most importantly no one is allowed to change any requirements once agreed because that is the cause if most programme delays.
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 10:09
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by JulieAndrews View Post
Anyone rough idea of annual hours being put on the Puma Mk2 since update - or at least 'best guess'? Interested to read the phrase 'Value for Money' in UK publications ;-)
Janes, from Jan 2020:

RAF notes Puma milestone, with third of hours delivered on operations

Date Posted: 28-Jan-2020

Author: Gareth Jennings, London

Publication: Jane's Defence Weekly

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has flown 30,000 hours on its Westland-Aerospatiale SA 330E Puma HC2 medium-lift helicopters over the last five years, with 10,000 of these having been accrued on operations in Afghanistan.

Having received the first of 24 upgraded Pumas from Airbus Helicopters in 2015, the RAF announced on 28 January that it had achieved the almost unheard of feat of amassing a third of its hours on the type during real-world combat operations.

“A third of all flying done on operations is quite unprecedented. I don’t think, to my knowledge, there is another platform in our inventory that has completed a third of its total flying hours on operations,” Group Captain Adam Wardrope, Station Commander RAF Benson and Puma Force Commander, was quoted as saying.

The United Kingdom deployed three Puma HC2 helicopters (crewed by personnel from 33 Squadron and 230 Squadron from RAF Benson) to Afghanistan in March 2015, taking over from the Boeing Chinooks that had been flying in support of the Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) and Afghan Security Ministries in Kabul since late 2014. One Puma HC2 helicopter crashed in October 2015 with the loss of five of the nine personnel on board but was replaced in-theatre.

“The Puma has been in Afghanistan for nearly five years and we have two aircraft out of three flying on a daily basis so 10,000 hours in five years is impressive,” Gp Capt Wardrope said. “The real statistic that shows the capability of the Puma for me, and what really drives home the serviceability and the spares and everything else that keeps the aircraft going, is that we’ve met over 95% of our flying task. We have never failed to deliver on operations in that entire five years. We’ve never been let down by the logistics or the engineering because we’ve always had a robust method in place to get any problem solved, which is a significant achievement on top of the 10,000 hours as well.”

As noted by Gp Capt Wardrope, the Puma ...
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Old 15th Jun 2021, 22:25
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding obtaining an in service proven product using that logic the UH60 would never have been created as the in service UH1 met those parameters. Sometimes an improvement is required even over what appears to be a suitable solution, in the case of the Puma, why replace a design from the 1960s with one from the 1970s, there are much newer technologies available with minimal development costs, amazingly designed in Europe, not the assumed centre of the world the other side of the pond
Well from what I’ve read here and elsewhere, it appears the ideal replacement for the current Puma is a new build version of the current Puma, it’s known it operates well, it’s reliable, years of operations have wrinkled out any problems and parts must be still in production for it to keep existing fleets operational, so surely an order for replacements in sufficient numbers would put it back in production.

Failing that the Blackhawk, a younger helicopter design that is again proven and has had all the gremlins ironed out of the design and more importantly they are still in production, so you have had the US do all the shakedown and development cost, also both carry 12 fully equipped troops. When was the last time an RAF Puma carried 16 pax?
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Old 16th Jun 2021, 06:29
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dangermouse View Post
Not all posted is rubbish, the users DO need to properly engage with OEMs and be very , finally the user/procure must recognise that OEMs are not charities, but will not deliberately screw him over (because it is not in the OEMs interest to do so) and most importantly no one is allowed to change any requirements once agreed because that is the cause if most programme delays.
​​​​​​The first and last parts of that paragraph are absolutely true. The middle bit had me rolling around on the floor laughing! I've seen plenty of OEMs deliberately throw the end user under the bus for the sake of an extra 1% on their (usually already considerable) profit margin.

The issue is normally not the engineering/design teams fwiw though!
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Old 18th Jun 2021, 07:55
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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When I was in Norway 20 years ago and RAF Puma crews came over for the sim all they wanted was Blackhawks and I don't think they have changed since then, but the UK Govt will buy something the boys don't want and is less capable.
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Old 18th Jun 2021, 09:29
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Originally Posted by Cyclic Hotline View Post
Any NATO procurement should be a ground-up program with full transparency and financially backed OEM performance guarantees
That's exactly what NH90 is. Yeah some breakdown but there are also 400+ in service with >250,000 hours between them now.

No doubt that, like Boxer, we'll go back to a programme we never should have left.
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