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V-280 wins US ARMY FLRAA contract

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V-280 wins US ARMY FLRAA contract

Old 6th Dec 2022, 17:35
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As ever , I know little of this but I have some questions:
How much is the V-280 compared to a Blackhawk?
How many Blackhawks do the US Army have & do they plan to replace them 1 for 1 with the V-280?
If the V-280’s a great deal more $$$ per airframe , is there a chance of reluctance to risk them in real hot zones?
How are spares costs & will a new piece of kit cost WAY more to maintain?
Are the Army going to lose any of their present capability?
Logic dictates that if the new kit’s way more costly , they’ll buy fewer aircraft...
Is there a danger that ‘traditional’ helicopters will be seen as unsuitable for future roles as they’re not as ‘all singing & dancing’ as the V-280?
It’s apparently great but I think costs will have a great part to play.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 18:18
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With thousands of Black Hawks, the Army will have a mixed fleet for many years. The Army budget is tight. Possibly, FARA is sacrificed to fund Valor. So some high low mix will be the actuality, for many years to come. There will be no new orders for Black Hawk after the last multi year contract that was awarded.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 20:17
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Several other interesting considerations/observations I was thinking about:

logistically, parking pads at all US Army facilities will need modifications from 50 foot box to maybe 100 foot(?) to accommodate the nearly 81 foot width of Valor.

Currently the UH-60 Aircrew Training Manual has minimum crew of 2 pilots, would assume they would change to minimum crew of 3 with a Flight Engineer like CH-47? Would pilots qualify fixed wing first then transition to the Valor airframe?

The doctrine changes for the usage of the aircraft will be interesting as well, and with increased speed comes time compression when completing critical tasks.

A lot of learning to be done. Sure DES is salivating at the opportunity to reinvent all these wheels.

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Old 6th Dec 2022, 22:18
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V-280: costs way more to buy & run than a Blackhawk , needs more crew , can’t get into the space that a Blackhawk can , but it flies faster.
Forgive me folks , I can’t see anything but mainly DISadvantages.
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 22:48
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Given the volume likely to be needed, was there not a very strong argument for splitting this order between the two contenders? Best of both worlds?
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Old 6th Dec 2022, 22:51
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Anybody know if they plan to arm the 280 now that they have sliding doors again? Or will the new 60W Jolly Green II handle all the CSAR?
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 00:29
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Originally Posted by NWSRG View Post
Given the volume likely to be needed, was there not a very strong argument for splitting this order between the two contenders? Best of both worlds?
No, as there was nothing the Defiant was best at. It was significantly slower, had a laughably short range, might tear itself apart during aggressive maneuvering, and probably cost significantly more.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 11:06
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Originally Posted by The Sultan View Post
No, as there was nothing the Defiant was best at. It was significantly slower, had a laughably short range, might tear itself apart during aggressive maneuvering, and probably cost significantly more.
We all know you don't like anything that isn't a Bell. All the videos of V-22 Osprey we have seen so far show them doing slooooooow approaches to LZ. Is Valor going to be different? How that sedate rate is going to work at dynamic battlefield? Yeah, Valor will be great at covering distances, but if it can't do helicopter stuff when it's needed, we might as well use the airplanes. After all, they are faster than V-280.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 13:41
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Forgive me folks , I can’t see anything but mainly DISadvantages.
It meets the contract specification, which the Blackhawk doesn’t?

If you have an argument with the spec go back a decade or so and argue with those that wrote it….
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 15:14
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Originally Posted by admikar View Post
We all know you don't like anything that isn't a Bell. All the videos of V-22 Osprey we have seen so far show them doing slooooooow approaches to LZ. Is Valor going to be different? How that sedate rate is going to work at dynamic battlefield? Yeah, Valor will be great at covering distances, but if it can't do helicopter stuff when it's needed, we might as well use the airplanes. After all, they are faster than V-280.
Osprey had the rotor diameter limited by the Navy to fit on a carrier. Valor has no such restriction. Valor has a much nicer rotor diameter to aircraft weight ratio. A true hot rod.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 16:44
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A couple of questions come to mind, if you went to war again in, say as an example the Middle East.
How would you transport it, will it fit on a carriers lift and below decks? and bearing in mind the ability to fold the rotors and haul the likes of the Blackhawk into theater in a relatively short period of time if needed as C17 cargo.
How on earth would the Army move these half way across the world, will they fit in a roll on roll off?
I take it this was looked at, but just curious as it does seem to have disadvantages on transportation and time constraints over a conventional helicopter.

I have read they were looking at a modified version for naval use so it obviously has flaws as a carrier born asset.

.

Last edited by NutLoose; 7th Dec 2022 at 16:57.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 17:31
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
A couple of questions come to mind, if you went to war again in, say as an example the Middle East.
How would you transport it, will it fit on a carriers lift and below decks? and bearing in mind the ability to fold the rotors and haul the likes of the Blackhawk into theater in a relatively short period of time if needed as C17 cargo.
How on earth would the Army move these half way across the world, will they fit in a roll on roll off?
I take it this was looked at, but just curious as it does seem to have disadvantages on transportation and time constraints over a conventional helicopter.

I have read they were looking at a modified version for naval use so it obviously has flaws as a carrier born asset.

.
That is a damm good question but surely something that would have been considered throughout the process?
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 17:47
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Yeah, like military minds never had an uh-oh moment before
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 18:05
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
A couple of questions come to mind, if you went to war again in, say as an example the Middle East.
How would you transport it, will it fit on a carriers lift and below decks? and bearing in mind the ability to fold the rotors and haul the likes of the Blackhawk into theater in a relatively short period of time if needed as C17 cargo.
How on earth would the Army move these half way across the world, will they fit in a roll on roll off?
I take it this was looked at, but just curious as it does seem to have disadvantages on transportation and time constraints over a conventional helicopter.

I have read they were looking at a modified version for naval use so it obviously has flaws as a carrier born asset.

.
I would not use the word flaws. Carrier based has special requirements. The Army won't pay for navalized special features. Just like there is a Sikorsky Black Hawk and a Sikorsky Seahawk. A sea modified Valor wold fit on a carrier just as the Osprey does. Bell can readily supply a Marine Corps version. Valor was not designed to fit in a C-17, but blade fold and wing stow can be added if other services want this. Osprey has blade fold and wing stow.

Last edited by noneofyourbusiness; 7th Dec 2022 at 18:48.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 18:20
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From an article in 2018, head of Bell's tilt rotor division, "The V-280 is designed to be a multi-service, multi-mission aircraft capable of meeting shipboard compatibility requirements." Article also mentions the Valor can self-deploy around the world.

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Old 7th Dec 2022, 19:45
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Originally Posted by retoocs View Post
From an article in 2018, head of Bell's tilt rotor division, "The V-280 is designed to be a multi-service, multi-mission aircraft capable of meeting shipboard compatibility requirements." Article also mentions the Valor can self-deploy around the world.
so that is a no then.

The V-280 is designed to be a multi-service, multi-mission aircraft capable of meeting shipboard compatibility requirements. Those may differ between services. The Army may or may not have a shipboard requirement. However, the USMC will likely require shipboard compatibility and marinization.
Why would an air arm that doesn't plan on deploying an aircraft primarily in the shipboard environment buy the V-22 when they can wait and get the Valor?
"Being shipboard capable is really not a discriminator in this discussion. The bottom line is the two aircraft are different in terms of size and designed for different missions. The V-22 was originally designed to perform a ship to shore assault mission. The unique capabilities of the aircraft have expanded the mission sets. The V-22 is an extremely capable medium to heavy lift aircraft while the V-280 was purpose-built to support the medium lift and long-range assault mission in demanding environments. The V-280 was designed around the infantry squad.
Which I take it is a major mod in adding a wing stowage capability which will increase weight and reduce lift capability? So transporting them on a carrier would be as deck cargo unless they would fit inside a RoRo or having them fly half way across the world..

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...trotor-systems

Bar that it looks good and you do need to advance in design.

​​​​​​…

Last edited by NutLoose; 7th Dec 2022 at 19:59.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 20:16
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Range + Speed = Self Deploy = V-280

With the V-280 speed and range, why would you disassemble it, haul it piece by piece into a C-17, and then reassemble it? Like the V-22 tilt rotor the V-280 can self deployed to its destination any where in the world with ferry tanks and inflight refueling. And unlike conventional helicopters (or the Defiant), the V-280 risk of a rotor chopping off the refuel drogue, or its own refuel probe is far less. A cruise speed closer matching the refuel aircraft is also a big advantage.

Remember a primary goal of FLRAA is to give the US Army independence from the Air Force and Navy to deploy its aircraft.

Note, to get the Defiant into a C-17 for transport, the main rotor gearbox needs to be removed. Not a minor task. Not to mention having the hoist required to reassemble the aircraft, unless you plan to haul it in the C-17.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 20:23
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
How would you transport it, .
There are several spec sheets out there that state it was designed as self-deployable with a deploy range of approx. 2000nm on aux fuel. There are other notes that production models will have inflight refuel capability.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 21:55
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That’s ok if you have permission for overflights I suppose and is weather permitting.
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Old 7th Dec 2022, 23:29
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How cool are the fire bases going to look in 2050.
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