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Baldeep Inminj 16th Jun 2021 18:25

I think this will quite quickly boil down to straight fight between BIH and Draken/Airbus. Airbus have a huge amount of innovation and 'novelty' that they can bring to the table, and Draken have a proven pedigree of delievering SAR training (as Cobham and now as Draken). However BIH have been providing a solid SAR service with a good rep (as far as I know). I think any bid involving Airbus will be difficult to beat on sheer price alone, but reputation counts for a lot and BIH have provided the service very well, which has to count for a lot (one would hope!).

My money is on Draken personally as I have a good idea (having worked with them several times) how Airbus think - they will have done their homework on this one. In any event, it will be a great watch...popcorn at the ready.

Ant T 17th Jun 2021 11:34


Originally Posted by rrekn (Post 11062894)
To be fair to BIH, who wants to keep heading to the Falklands....

The Falklands is not necessarily the problem. I know of many pilots and engineers who have enjoyed their time in the Falklands, both in the distant past (Bristow MOD contract 1983-1998), and Bristow oil contract 2015 - both of which I worked on. And I know of a good number of them now who would jump at the chance to come back here.

However, having also worked there in the past for BIH, over a total of 5 years, I can certainly say that the turnover of staff there was markedly higher than any of the other three organisations that I have flown for in my career. And I know of more than three local aircraft engineers, as well as base management staff, and at least one pilot (me), living in the Falklands, who chose to leave what on the face of it was an ideal job. (At the time I resigned, I did not have another job to go to).

It was the unhappiest workforce I have ever been part of.

However BIH have been providing a solid SAR service with a good rep (as far as I know). I think any bid involving Airbus will be difficult to beat on sheer price alone, but reputation counts for a lot and BIH have provided the service very well, which has to count for a lot (one would hope!)
That was not my experience. The dedication of the pilots, rear crew and engineers is without question, but the SAR aircraft spend what seems to me an astonishing amount of time unserviceable.

rogue leader 17th Jun 2021 14:11

Seems some possible confusion here:

BIH = British International Helicopters - Falklands SAR
BHL = Bristow Helicopters Limited - UK SAR

212man 17th Jun 2021 14:22


Originally Posted by rogue leader (Post 11063665)
Seems some possible confusion here:

BIH = British International Helicopters - Falklands SAR
BHL = Bristow Helicopters Limited - UK SAR

I don't think there is confusion - surely the Falkland contract is operated on their UK AOC, and the suggestion was that BIH will partner with SERCO?

rogue leader 17th Jun 2021 14:45

Well looks like BHL are out of the race then!

"I think this will quite quickly boil down to straight fight between BIH and Draken/Airbus"
"BIH have been providing a solid SAR service with a good rep (as far as I know)"

212man 17th Jun 2021 15:01


Originally Posted by rogue leader (Post 11063679)
Well looks like BHL are out of the race then!

"I think this will quite quickly boil down to straight fight between BIH and Draken/Airbus"
"BIH have been providing a solid SAR service with a good rep (as far as I know)"

Actually, re-reading the posts, maybe Balldeep is confused, but the initial comments about SERCO teaming with BIH seem reasonable. Bristow teamed up with SERCO once before for the DHFS contract, but separated (that's why it went from FBS to FBH). Not sure if the parting was amicable or not though.

finalchecksplease 17th Jun 2021 21:17


Originally Posted by rogue leader (Post 11063679)
Well looks like BHL are out of the race then!

"I think this will quite quickly boil down to straight fight between BIH and Draken/Airbus"
"BIH have been providing a solid SAR service with a good rep (as far as I know)"

What do you base that on, they are shortlisted for lot 1,2 & 4 (see link above) so still in it, not?

rogue leader 17th Jun 2021 22:17


Originally Posted by finalchecksplease (Post 11063847)
What do you base that on, they are shortlisted for lot 1,2 & 4 (see link above) so still in it, not?

Baldeep's prediction above. I just tried to point out possibly he got BIH confused with BHL, but maybe he just has inside knowledge 👍

Medevac999 25th Jun 2021 12:50

i think someone mentioned that Bristow had picked up the Dutch SAR contract. I never saw a press release

Franks Town 25th Jun 2021 17:51

Rumour is Bristow won it but its being disputed. Didnt hear whos put in the complaint .

Medevac999 26th Jun 2021 09:13


Originally Posted by Franks Town (Post 11068267)
Rumour is Bristow won it but its being disputed. Didnt hear whos put in the complaint .

what reason could it be disputed?

detgnome 26th Jun 2021 09:18

I think it's standard practice to dispute the contract award. It will probably reveal additional information about the bid - it's a form of intelligence gathering.

jimf671 26th Jun 2021 19:26

Airbus Helicopters UK LTD
Only bidding for the whole thing (Lot 4). Do we take from this that such a big outfit is only interested in a contract of sufficient size to extract a decent amount of profit? Are we going to have to deal with a Super Puma public backlash? This time, is this more about recovering a battered reputation? Draken expected to provide some solid SAR skills.

Bristow Helicopters Ltd
The incumbent has won all but four of the twenty-odd UK SAR contracts and are providing a good service. They know how to do this. They have emerged from rough times and merged with ERA. Apparently undiminished in their SAR ambition. I wouldn't bet against them.

EEA Helicopters Operations B.V.
Parent of CHC who are a former UK SAR contractor. Also been down a rocky road and come out the other end. Current Irish Coastguard SAR incumbent. They know how to do this. Referred to the CMA over their purchase of part of Babcock's helicopter operation.

Serco Limited
One-time electronics company turned general government contractor perhaps in a similar vein to Babcock. Always had some aviation involvement, including aircraft maintenance and airfield support services for the RAF. Expected helicopter partner unconfirmed.


I know you'll all help me out if I got any of that wrong. :rolleyes:

Milo C 15th Jul 2021 11:24

Serco Out
 
https://helihub.com/2021/07/15/serco...pD1OzOssnfYJms

Jimmy does SAR 25th Aug 2021 11:03

Has anyone with SAR knowledge ever seen a recent UK HMCGs operational organisation chart, showing JRCC, NMOC, MRCCs etc, and how the organisation dovetails together?

Baldeep Inminj 1st Sep 2021 14:53

I hear that the Draken Academy at Newquay has just gone under. I wonder how this will affect the Draken/Airbus bid for UKSAR2G?...I am sure it won't help as it will hurt their reputation if nothing else. One of their selling points was the fact that they had a school where they could train new candidates and 'feed' the SAR contract from the bottom up. Sad news for the guys in Cornwall.

Medevac999 1st Sep 2021 17:04


Originally Posted by Baldeep Inminj (Post 11104738)
I hear that the Draken Academy at Newquay has just gone under. I wonder how this will affect the Draken/Airbus bid for UKSAR2G?...I am sure it won't help as it will hurt their reputation if nothing else. One of their selling points was the fact that they had a school where they could train new candidates and 'feed' the SAR contract from the bottom up. Sad news for the guys in Cornwall.

Sad for the team there!

TUPE 1st Sep 2021 17:50

Draken Europe has announced plans to close its UK-based Helicopter Academy at the end of this year

chopper2004 2nd Sep 2021 14:28

So is that the end of the Airbus bid? Or will someone else partner with Airbus Helicopters for this?

Thing is though whoever wins will have to provide some medium / long range SAR with a 92 airframe

cheers

FloaterNorthWest 2nd Sep 2021 15:45


Originally Posted by chopper2004 (Post 11105237)
Thing is though whoever wins will have to provide some medium / long range SAR with a 92 airframe

Why do you need a S92 airframe?

There are other aircraft which meet the requirements of Lot 2.

TUPE 2nd Sep 2021 17:24


Originally Posted by chopper2004 (Post 11105237)
So is that the end of the Airbus bid? Or will someone else partner with Airbus Helicopters for this?

Thing is though whoever wins will have to provide some medium / long range SAR with a 92 airframe

cheers

S92 won’t feature. Too expensive.

black.beard 3rd Sep 2021 09:19


Originally Posted by FloaterNorthWest (Post 11105266)
Why do you need a S92 airframe?

There are other aircraft which meet the requirements of Lot 2.

What other aircraft are there which meet the requirements? the H175 is the same as the AW189. I agree that the S92 is expensive to buy and operate but those initial purchase costs are mitigated over time. It also has a well proven operational history and the BHL frames were all new
In my view a contributing factor as to why BHL won the UKSAR bid was to use the AW189 in the bid since A) it was a brand new frame; and B) it would be built in the UK at the Yeovil plant creating new jobs for AW and thus making the decision to award to a US company more politically palatable.
As for BHL not meeting the serviceable aircraft req's - thats a new one on me. Another consideration in the SAR2G contract award, is that BHL either own all or parts of some of the airports they operate from at the current locations; BHL lost the island SAR contract to CHC many years ago so learnt that lesson and have subsequently 'insulated' themselves from some of the risks this time around. I think BHL will take some beating, they provide a good service and are the current incumbent.

I mean 2XL?? come on the only reason they in there is due to the oil dispersal role with their ancient B727; their P31 Navajos are better placed in a museum, they'll be cheap for a reason

black.beard 3rd Sep 2021 21:49

ya can either have "good" but it won't be "cheap". Or "cheap" but it won't be "good".

As regards the 'more capable' argument I'm not aware of another current frame which can land a Mountain Rescue team up in the Cairngorms in sh1te weather, with all their kit to rescue casualties and bring them back safely as they have been doing - does anyone else know?

Aurora Australis 4th Sep 2021 10:07


Originally Posted by black.beard (Post 11105576)
…..As for BHL not meeting the serviceable aircraft req's - thats a new one on me. ……

Not sure which post you are referring to, but if it was mine above

“If so, I hope whoever is making the decisions on awarding contracts looks closely at the levels of service/reliability that they currently achieve on their one SAR contract!”

and



”Quote:

Originally Posted by Medevac999

viewpost.gif

They seem to have a high turnover of personnel

Yes. Engineers and pilots. And a lot of days with 0/2 serviceable.”

then I was referring to BIH, British International Helicopters, and their SAR contract in the Falklands, not to BHL, Bristow Helicopters.

black.beard 8th Sep 2021 21:44

Thank you, I think there was a little message crossing and/or confusion as regards the use of BIH and BHL to represent the 2 different operators. Too many TLAs.

I absolutely agree BIH have both a high turn-over of critical personnel (Crews & LAEs) and their 'S' record will raise eyebrows.

BHL (in my opinion) have - low staff turn-over and good frame 'S' record and a correspondingly good record at saving peoples lives ; but they will be relatively expensive

chcoffshore 9th Sep 2021 13:11


Originally Posted by chopper2004 (Post 11105237)
So is that the end of the Airbus bid? Or will someone else partner with Airbus Helicopters for this?

Thing is though whoever wins will have to provide some medium / long range SAR with a 92 airframe

cheers

So are Draken still in the game?

Aurora Australis 9th Sep 2021 14:47


Originally Posted by black.beard (Post 11108324)
BHL (in my opinion) have - low staff turn-over and good frame 'S' record and a correspondingly good record at saving peoples lives ; but they will be relatively expensive

Absolutely agree with that comment - but I think its a case of you get what you pay for, as the MOD in the Falklands have discovered!

Baldeep Inminj 9th Sep 2021 17:21


Originally Posted by chcoffshore (Post 11108759)
So are Draken still in the game?

Thats a really good question. AFAIK, the Newquay Academy and the SAR2G bid are complete separate things - one is not dependant on the other. As I understand it, the closure of the Academy is simply down to fact that paying customers are not coming through the door. This has nothing to do with whether Draken can support a bid for SAR2G as I see it as HMCG is already the customer. Airbus/Draken could easily put the provision of training services into their bid and outsource this if required - I do not see why the closure should have an impact on their ability to bid.

That said, there is no doubt that it looks bad. Draken only purchased and rebranded the Academy recently from Cobham and have already closed it. Did they do their due diligence? I don't know, but I have to say that on the face of it, it does not inspire confidence. I think the real question is not whether Draken are still part of the bid, but whether Airbus still want them to be.

chcoffshore 10th Sep 2021 06:44


Originally Posted by Baldeep Inminj (Post 11108879)
Thats a really good question. AFAIK, the Newquay Academy and the SAR2G bid are complete separate things - one is not dependant on the other. As I understand it, the closure of the Academy is simply down to fact that paying customers are not coming through the door. This has nothing to do with whether Draken can support a bid for SAR2G as I see it as HMCG is already the customer. Airbus/Draken could easily put the provision of training services into their bid and outsource this if required - I do not see why the closure should have an impact on their ability to bid.

That said, there is no doubt that it looks bad. Draken only purchased and rebranded the Academy recently from Cobham and have already closed it. Did they do their due diligence? I don't know, but I have to say that on the face of it, it does not inspire confidence. I think the real question is not whether Draken are still part of the bid, but whether Airbus still want them to be.

Yes it will be interesting to see which direction Airbus go in, also apart from the academy their Middle East contract also went down the pan. If you don't have one then obviously you don't need the other............

Baldeep Inminj 11th Sep 2021 11:39

A usually reliable source tells me Draken will no longer be part of a bid for UKSAR2G. Unclear if Airbus will look for a new partner.

This is a RUMOUR and NOT confirmed, but hes in a position to know.

chcoffshore 13th Sep 2021 05:55


Originally Posted by Baldeep Inminj (Post 11109657)
A usually reliable source tells me Draken will no longer be part of a bid for UKSAR2G. Unclear if Airbus will look for a new partner.

This is a RUMOUR and NOT confirmed, but hes in a position to know.

If its not a rumour then it will be announced soon enough.

Medevac999 23rd Sep 2021 06:48


Originally Posted by Baldeep Inminj (Post 11109657)
A usually reliable source tells me Draken will no longer be part of a bid for UKSAR2G. Unclear if Airbus will look for a new partner.

This is a RUMOUR and NOT confirmed, but hes in a position to know.

No announcements then

jimf671 23rd Sep 2021 14:08

My estimate of the programme timeline expects "Deadline for Submission of Initial Tenders" about now and the "Shortlisting for Participation in Negotiation" about 6 to 8 weeks hence. So I expect this is a period when there is an opportunity for the great ego that is Airbus to disappear from the process without fanfare and with minimum embarrassment.

On the helicopter side of things, we would then be left with 'the usual suspects', unless one of them does something strange in which case it would all be over.

helihub 24th Sep 2021 08:01

It was indeed just a rumour. The Airbus/Draken teaming is still very much alive in UKSAR2G after checking with the right people :ok:

jimf671 24th Sep 2021 12:33

In that case it becomes more interesting to observe whether, with 3 bidders still in the game for the helicopter lots, there will be a down-seletion in November-ish. Invitation to Submit Final Tender will only go to those that MCA Aviation judge can do a proper job.

Baldeep Inminj 27th Sep 2021 11:52


Originally Posted by helihub (Post 11115887)
It was indeed just a rumour. The Airbus/Draken teaming is still very much alive in UKSAR2G after checking with the right people :ok:

This is great news - healthy competition is rarely a bad thing!

_SpinFlight_ 8th Oct 2021 08:35

Rumour has it that Airbus Helicopters will be no-bidding UKSAR2G citing "commercial reasons" following the supposed break up in early September with Draken Europe.

Medevac999 9th Oct 2021 05:59


Originally Posted by _SpinFlight_ (Post 11123096)
Rumour has it that Airbus Helicopters will be no-bidding UKSAR2G citing "commercial reasons" following the supposed break up in early September with Draken Europe.

yes there is a official confirmation on Twitter of all places

SimonK 9th Oct 2021 07:16


Originally Posted by Medevac999 (Post 11123524)
yes there is a official confirmation on Twitter of all places

Im not disagreeing with you by the way, but a quick look through Airbus tweets over last week and I couldnt find anything. Have you got the link?

rrekn 9th Oct 2021 11:18



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