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-   -   UKSAR2G - MCA CivSAR Second Generation (https://www.pprune.org/rotorheads/638366-uksar2g-mca-civsar-second-generation.html)

jimf671 29th Jan 2021 17:41

UKSAR2G - MCA CivSAR Second Generation
 
It looks like this month is the right time for a new thread where we can debate :8 and rumour :E about UK helicopter SAR and occasionally marvel at the durability and longevity of the RAF vs RN posh-hovering bitch-fest. :ugh:

The UKSAR2G contract process was due to kick off this week but the nominated date has come and gone without comment. :confused: Whatever happens, they need to get it moving in the next few weeks.

An engagement phase has been progressing since last spring involving interested parties in the industry and SAR stakeholders including police, MRT, lifeboats, ambulance, fire and others. That phase has included several online meetings with Q&A sessions and consultation on draught copies of key documents. :ok:

At an early stage in 2012 there emerged a technical requirement matrix that was largely inherited from SARH25. The approach this time moves towards 'effect-based requirements'. Qinetiq's Post Implementation Report in 2019 proposed the development of 'Measures of Effectiveness' and such measures are now set against each 'User Requirement' in the form of a Threshold value and an Objective value

The latest versions of the Lot descriptions appear in the recent Prior Information Notice and you may find those enlightening.

Here are the published dates for the contract process based on documents on the UKSAR2G webpage and the Prior Information Notice published last Wednesday.
Publication of Procurement Notice 25 Jan 2021
Publication of Selection Questionnaire & Memorandum Of Information 25 Jan 2021
Deadline for Submitting Clarification Question on MOI & SQ 1 Mar 2021
Deadline for responses to MOI &SQ 8 Mar 2021
SQ Evaluation & Shortlisting & Assurance 19 Apr 2021
Notification of Decision to Candidates 26 Apr 2021
Issue of ITT to Participants 4 May 2021
Deadline for Submission of Initial Tenders 9 July 2021
Evaluation … Shortlisting for Participation in Negotiation 20 Sep 2021
Negotiations 21 September to 29 November 2021
Issue of Invitation To Submit Final Tender (ITSFT) 29 Nov 2021
Deadline for Submission of Final Tenders 15 Jan 2022
Evaluation of Final Tenders 18 Feb 2022
Government Internal and Assurance Process 18 Feb 2022 to 4 Jul 2022
Award Decisions 5 Jul 2022
Standstill Letters Issued 5 Jul 2022
Contract(s) Completed With Supplier(s) 26 Jul 2022 :cool:
Contract extensions have recently been awarded for both rotary and fixed wing existing contracts. The mobilisation phase is now scheduled to run until 30th September 2024. (Originally, the current rotary contract had been due to start transitioning out in 2023.) The entire contract is due to be established in service by 31st December 2026. As I understand it, the latest date that any part of the current rotary contract can be extended to is 31st March 2028.

[email protected] 2nd Feb 2021 06:04

Could be a short thread Jim:)

Take the Bristow model and do it cheaper - contract won:ok:

jimf671 2nd Feb 2021 09:23

That might be a struggle. Let's remember that last time, the Contract Notice estimate was £2bn to £3.1bn. Then the competive dialogue cut it down to the 'Usual Suspects', B + B + C. Then, when price was examined, CHC (an incumbent!) was rejected because they were more than 20% higher than the cheapest bid. Then Bristow were awarded at 20% below the Contract Notice estimate for a contract that had probably become more expensive as the process had evolved.

How many companies really really want SAR? Is being short of oil crew change work really enough to turn you into a SAR-God?

Is a Parent Company Guarantee worth the paper it's written on?

The MCA seems currently obsessed with the mountain of data pointing at short, quick rescue jobs involving only one or two rescued persons. I don't think that scenario is a surprise to anyone on here. So that results in the new Lot 1 spec and people start asking themselves if they need a big expensive AW189 for these little jobs and can they do this with an AW139, Dauphin, 145, secondhand Alouette? Once they are deeper into this, that may not seem so simple though.

Another aspect of possibly using a more diverse fleet for a diverse range of sizes of job is that the right aircraft will rarely be in the right place at the right time. The stats show that Inverness have been most of the way to Denmark and most of the way to Rockall in their 189s which I think is an indicator that these things do not always turn out as you expect.

So, as it currently stands, this is not same-old-same-old and there are lots of new ideas splashing around. It is going to be interesting to see what emerges once all the new ideas are thrashed out during months of interaction between the MCA and the bidders. Could still end up as same-old-same-old with the usual suspects in the frame by this time next year. Who knows?!

[email protected] 2nd Feb 2021 16:58

Lies, damn lies and statistics Jim - the stats said we needed faster helicopters with fewer bases the last time and now they are saying we need short range, rapid response which must equate to more bases..

Variable Load 2nd Feb 2021 22:08

I've lost interest already.

jimf671 3rd Feb 2021 02:25


Originally Posted by [email protected] (Post 10981906)
Lies, damn lies and statistics Jim - the stats said we needed faster helicopters with fewer bases the last time and now they are saying we need short range, rapid response which must equate to more bases..

It does seem a bit nuts to me. If you put a SAR helicopter base somewhere, I think its likely that the nature of things will tend to produce lots of short range small quick jobs. And if you go back far enough, they were all jobs like that when helicopters could barely go 30 miles without breaking down.

My hope is that during the summer when they have to sit down to talk about this with people who have put the hours in, they will be introduced to the practical realities.

We currently have one of the best services in the world. There is ambition in several quarters to make it even better. Not all of the ambitious ideas will work. And in the background is a government that is not known for its competency.

Oops, oh look, the Contract Notice is delayed over a week already when it gets handed upstairs to the Government of the day. Surprise!




[email protected] 3rd Feb 2021 11:07

The simple fact that the money-tree is bare after Covid and Brexit means that any ambitious plans will be sidelined by financial scrutiny and the need to look competent but at a reduced cost.

jimf671 3rd Feb 2021 18:26

They are basing their cost evaluation on every life saved being worth £2M. That is a figure arrived at independently by myself for Kintail MRT and stated by MCA Aviation recently in relation to this contract process. (Some involved in the last contract process say that £4M was being used previously, so maybe brexit has devalued British life by 50%?) On the basis of the £2M, any likely charging outcome is good value. And worth remembering that we have just been through a 10 month demonstration of how people ARE the economy and with every life lost a little part of the economy dies. Whether those in the present Government are capable of absorbing that lesson does remain to be seen.

jimf671 15th Feb 2021 10:47

MCA Aviation have issued another Industry Update, dated Friday and posted on the USAR2G web page this morning.
Youtube location:

This update is presented by Damien Oliver, Commercial and Programmes Director, senior responsible owner for the UKSAR2G programme. The core message is as follows.

"We would dearly love to have by now been able to launch the selection questionnaire for UKSAR2G. We still have one or two questions that we need to address that are posed to us by others elsewhere and we're busily doing that right now. Please again rest assured that this is not a sign of change or things to worry about; simply the nature of a complex programme like UKSAR2G in this kind of situation that we're in right now.

We expect to be able to launch the tender earliest we suspect the beginning of March so we are very grateful for your patience while we work through what we're dealing with at the moment."



jimf671 15th Feb 2021 10:54


Originally Posted by Variable Load (Post 10982105)
I've lost interest already.

Don't wander off yet. I was thinking of running a comedy competition on the basis of what changes to the Selection Questionnaire are being proposed by the current UK cabinet.

What are the chances that one of them has a mate who has a PPL(H) and reckons he could cover Lot 1 at weekends, with his Robbie, except during the flat season. :E

[email protected] 15th Feb 2021 12:12

And they'll put Dido Harding in charge:):)

cyclic 15th Feb 2021 18:19


simply the nature of a complex programme like UKSAR2G
If you add the cost of this amazingly complex tender process to that of the contract, I reckon Crab could be back in light blue doing it cheaper with a few N3s - short range and certainly innovative.

jimf671 16th Feb 2021 12:34

Yellow 365?

OO! Now you're scaring me. :eek:

[email protected] 17th Feb 2021 07:27

It was always a myth that civSAR was going to be cheaper than Mil - it has worked well, primarily due to brand new aircraft and well trained crews but has it been cheaper? And will it be cheaper in the future?

I'm not defending for an instant the p*ss-poor procurement processes of MoD that allowed milSAR to get to such a parlous state with aircraft availability btw.

jimf671 9th Mar 2021 12:41

Last night, the MCA published the Contract Notice for a new aviation contract on gov.uk.
https://www.find-tender.service.gov....rchResults&p=1

The Notice doesn't tell us much. The is no estimated value stated. The contract period is 144 months with options for 24 month extension.

The runners and riders will now be accessing the selection questionnaire and the race is on.

Meanwhile, we await the equivalent notice for the Irish coastguard helicopter contract that has been delayed several months and has been due to follow a very similar timeline.

Medevac999 9th Mar 2021 14:19

The Dutch CG contract must be announced soon?

jimf671 9th Mar 2021 14:52

Loads of them.

European Search and Rescue (SAR) Competition Bonanza: Northern Norway SAR, Netherlands SARHC, Ireland SAR Aviation and UK's UKSAR2G - Aerossurance

EESDL 9th Mar 2021 17:49

I see what y-oo did there - maybe missed by s-oome ;-)

Baldeep Inminj 16th Mar 2021 12:05

Draaken Partner with Airbus for SAR2G bid
 
This will upset the apple cart! I am delighted to see a new player in the mix. BHL will need to work hard to retain this contract, although everything I hear is that they are doing a good job. Draaken are a serious outfit and with the might of Airbus on their side, they must be serious contenders.






Baldeep Inminj 16th Mar 2021 14:57

Draken/Airbus press release to Heli.com showing H145 and H175 specs...

jimf671 16th Mar 2021 15:47

Sitting on the door sill as we hover next to a cliff at 3500' in a howling gale I want to be in a AW189K or a S-92B.

Just saying.

Baldeep Inminj 16th Mar 2021 16:17


Originally Posted by jimf671 (Post 11009972)
Sitting on the door sill as we hover next to a cliff at 3500' in a howling gale I want to be in a AW189K or a S-92B.

Just saying.

But your budget manager would much prefer you to be in a 145...after you have explained why all of those operators in the Alps have got it wrong...at 10,000ft...

Just sayin’ 😉

jimf671 16th Mar 2021 17:42

It's not to say that there is nothing to learn from the Alpine experience but so many things are different. Distances, population densities, weather conditions. The economics are not what they first appear. A friend of mine in Austria turned up at a job where there were 11 helicopters. The same job here would be attended by one or two helicopters. To replicate the alpine situation, we'd have a 145 in Inverness, Fort William, Lossiemouth, Plockton, Wick, ... and so on: definitely no budget for that!

Baldeep Inminj 16th Mar 2021 18:15

All valid points but of course the Alpine service operates in a fundamentally different way - a new UK model would be custom built. At ‘List’ price you can purchase somewhere between 3 and 5 H145 for the price of an S92, and they cost a fraction of the price to operate.

It has a range of just under 400 miles at 140 kts and plenty of power and control authority. I would take it over a ‘92 in the hills any day. Now pair that with H175 for long range work (remember the UK is tiny). Even with having to open a few more locations, the savings over the contract life are enormous. Then add Airbus’s drone/UAV knowledge for Search and maritime patrol etc...🤔

I suspect BHL will have one hell of a fight to keep this contract with the corporate resources of Draken and Airbus ranged against them...

but never say never.

hargreaves99 16th Mar 2021 18:38

This is all a wasted exercise. It's pretty obvious that Bristow are going to retain the UK SAR contract. UK Gov has no currently appetite for change/risk, and Bristow are so broke that they will probably run the contract with tiny margins, just to retain it. All the staff/infrastructure/procedures/bases/know-how etc is already in place.

Milo C 16th Mar 2021 18:55

Airbus tried the same a decade ago in Spain with Maritime SAR. It turned into an absolute failure.
it's still weird, that an OEM, in order to sell helicopters, becomes the operator itself.

Medevac999 16th Mar 2021 19:14


Originally Posted by Baldeep Inminj (Post 11010086)
All valid points but of course the Alpine service operates in a fundamentally different way - a new UK model would be custom built. At ‘List’ price you can purchase somewhere between 3 and 5 H145 for the price of an S92, and they cost a fraction of the price to operate.

It has a range of just under 400 miles at 140 kts and plenty of power and control authority. I would take it over a ‘92 in the hills any day. Now pair that with H175 for long range work (remember the UK is tiny). Even with having to open a few more locations, the savings over the contract life are enormous. Then add Airbus’s drone/UAV knowledge for Search and maritime patrol etc...🤔

I suspect BHL will have one hell of a fight to keep this contract with the corporate resources of Draken and Airbus ranged against them...

but never say never.

sounds like you work for Draken.

Baldeep Inminj 16th Mar 2021 20:11


Originally Posted by Medevac999 (Post 11010118)
sounds like you work for Draken.

Or Airbus...don’t forget them!

Anyone remember DHFS? FBH/Cobham ran it very successfully and everyone thought they were a dead cert. for the MFTS contract.

Until Airbus stole it from under their noses.

Anyone who thinks BHL are going to win because they run it now is deluded. Airbus’ BD team, lawyers and political movers will have done their due diligence in this. They partner with Draken who have just bought Cobham and gained a SAR school...

Coincidence? I doubt it- this plan has been cooking for a while. Airbus believe they can win.

And I do not work for Airbus, Draken or Bristow.

jimf671 16th Mar 2021 21:01

Historically, the UK government has let about 20 contracts for helicopter SAR and 4 of those have been won by companies NOT called Bristow.

Why might that pattern continue?

Bristow know and understand the associated landscape pretty well.

At a time when O&G is in turmoil and trying to work out how to operate without a stupid amount of cash splashing around, having a government cheque coming in every month is really nice. This has worked well for Bristow during a difficult period and they need it to continue.

Era have been doing SAR and the merger has not in any way diluted the Bristow approach to SAR. The reverse perhaps. Bristow internal organisation appears to have been re-arranged for the purpose of taking over the world of SAR.

Baldeep Inminj 16th Mar 2021 21:19


Originally Posted by jimf671 (Post 11010179)
Historically, the UK government has let about 20 contracts for helicopter SAR and 4 of those have been won by companies NOT called Bristow.

Why might that pattern continue?

Bristow know and understand the associated landscape pretty well.

At a time when O&G is in turmoil and trying to work out how to operate without a stupid amount of cash splashing around, having a government cheque coming in every month is really nice. This has worked well for Bristow during a difficult period and they need it to continue.

Era have been doing SAR and the merger has not in any way diluted the Bristow approach to SAR. The reverse perhaps. Bristow internal organisation appears to have been re-arranged for the purpose of taking over the world of SAR.

I agree with everything you say, without reservation. As I said earlier, my understanding is that the current contract is working well and providing an excellent service (with all of the fully trained SAR crews that Bristow inherited from the RAF/RN).

Bristow promised to set up a SAR school to train new crews, but has not done it. Draken already have one. They know the landscape, as you put it.

Airbus will make sure the aircraft costs are rock-bottom. The wider Bristow group are fighting bankruptcy....

I will watch this with interest, but my money is not on Bristow.


jimf671 17th Mar 2021 01:14

There's probably about 190 operational aircrew plus some standards folks. I know 78 of those came across through managed transition and a few other military were already Bristow/CHC or whatever and a few dozen civilian background. Stornoway was supposed to be the S-92 training base with the spare aircraft and Inverness for AW189 with sims at Dyce. The Inverness thing never worked out because of the 189 delay and it looked like Lee-on-Solent took that role. I know they have been recruiting ab-initio rear crew but I don't know where they have been doing the training.

Some management musical chairs and retirements are already starting to eat into the numbers. However, a few SAR-experienced crew have continued to leave the military and find their way into Bristow SAR.

Three years from now,
SCENARIO ONE - LIMITED CHANGE
Bristow or CHC or A N Other get Lots 1 & 2 and continue to use S-92 and AW189 in the ten base solution.
Everybody TUPE over and job done.
SCENARIO TWO - RADICAL
Two different new contractors get Lots 1 & 2 with an accountant's wet dream using H175 and H160 at 14 bases.
Oh dear. Where are all these SAR aircrew coming from? Where are suitably qualified transition crew coming from?

[email protected] 17th Mar 2021 07:25


Everybody TUPE over and job done.
that same TUPE that was summarily ignored when the military crews moved to Bristow?


Oh dear. Where are all these SAR aircrew coming from? Where are suitably qualified transition crew coming from?
The same place as last time, the incumbent service provided most of both.

lowfat 17th Mar 2021 08:59

LOL 145.. can you remember all the bitching and moaning about the aw 189 god it'll be unbearable on here if airbus get a foot in the door.

Baldeep Inminj 17th Mar 2021 12:09

Jimf671

Where will the crews come from? Really?

If Bristow lose the contract, do you seriously not believe that their SAR crews will be banging at the door of the winning bidder - honestly?

If company ‘X’ win (where ‘X’ is not Bristow), then finding crews will be the least of their problems as the current crews will pile across, TUPE or not.

jimf671 17th Mar 2021 13:29

I have pointed out what I expect might be the minimum and maximum mobilisation training load. I have considered what was happening in 2013-19 and I think that's fair.

rotor-rooter 17th Mar 2021 16:19

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicop...142922.article

Airbus Helicopters has only one long-range rotorcraft in its line-up: the H225 heavy-twin. However the Super Puma’s reputation in the UK has never fully recovered from the effects of a fatal crash caused by a gearbox failure in 2016.

While the company declines to say whether or not it will propose the type, it adds: “The issues, such as they were, have been extensively addressed and explained to the whole community.”
“The issues, such as they were, have been extensively addressed and explained to the whole community.” I must have missed this explanation, can anyone enlighten me? I was aware that the failure mode had been determined, but have never seen it published anywhere.

hargreaves99 17th Mar 2021 17:02

Airbus won't get UK SAR, their reputation has been trashed by the 225 debacle and their poor response to it.

The AW139/AW169 has triumphed over Airbus/Eurocopter


Baldeep Inminj 17th Mar 2021 18:26


Originally Posted by hargreaves99 (Post 11010716)
Airbus won't get UK SAR, their reputation has been trashed by the 225 debacle and their poor response to it.

The AW139/AW169 has triumphed over Airbus/Eurocopter

A very good point. They certainly have some work to regain confidence but any bid from them simply cannot include the 225, that would kill them.

jimf671 17th Mar 2021 19:31

The H225 is optimised for long crew change flights over the sea. The published 800m HOGE figure doesn't make me optimistic about its suitability for a LandSAR-dominated deployment in rocky western and northern corners of the kingdom.

Maybe someone with H225 experience can enlighten us regarding real-world mountain performance?

[email protected] 17th Mar 2021 19:58

I suspect you will need to analyse the statistics to see just how often that very long range capability was needed since 2015 - perhaps you don't need so many big helos and could concentrate the smaller ones with better hover performance where they are needed.


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