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Australian Army Discussions and Updates

Discussion in 'Army & Security Forces' started by mickk, Nov 25, 2006.

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  1. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    I see it comming down to H135 or H145 v AH-6 with the AW-119 and Bell 407 the outsiders. The RFI calls for the ability to be able to deploy 3-4 Aircraft at short notice so i'm guessing we are looking at around 15-18 Aircraft total?
     
  2. PeterM

    PeterM Active Member

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    Syngery with the Tiger replacement is an interesting possibility (which both Bell and Boeing will be well aware). Either company can provide a proven solution with limited risk.

    My understanding is that Bell has already done an unsolicited proposal for the UH-1Y and AH 1Z for the light helicopter / Tiger ARH replacement. Presumably they will respond to the tender.

    As far as I am aware the AH-6 is not in production for the US so FMS is probably not an option, though the AH-6i is in production for Saudi Arabia.



    The US special forces do have a lot of experience with the AH-6/MH-6. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the leading contender, particularly if we are considering Apaches to replace the Tigers.
     
  3. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    Wasn’t thinking of commonality of Tiger replacement, being a light utility helecopter was think more along the lines of of the HATS EC135 T2 in service with the ADF by Boeing

    Boeing: Boeing Australia - Registered and ready to go: HATS Program off to a flying start
     
  4. oldsig127

    oldsig127 Active Member

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    Of course, all new Army and Navy helicopter pilots are trained using EC135 helicopters for the foreseeable future. If I recall correctly, the EC145 started out as the EC135 forward fuselage, controls and avionics with a new rear half. Some commonality of controls etc seems quite likely

    (Edit: Memo to self, don't type a response then send it 90 minutes later. Sorry T68. One point though, while Boeing has the contract, the helicopter is Airbus nee Eurocopter nee MBB)

    oldsig
     
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  5. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    Regarding the new light helicopter are there any more details.
    I would speculate a crew of two and carry 6 pax would be the about right.
    Going larger to carry more people may reflect in the aircraft's size and be a negative in it's ability to land in restrictive space and also the crafts deploy ability in numbers carried by a C-17.

    Thoughts

    Regards S
     
  6. pea032

    pea032 New Member

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  7. PeterM

    PeterM Active Member

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    I am curious what kind of systems, weapons etc that they are looking for in the light helicopter capability

    I had thought that the EC-135 or EC-145 may need more development to integrate the desired weapons and systems compared to an 'off the shelf" AT-6 or similar that has been used by the US special forces. Given the integration challenges that were experienced with the Tiger ARH, I expected there could be a preference for a known, proven option.

    After doing some research, it seems the development curve may not be as steep as I first thought. The UH-72A is based off the EC-145. It seems EADS likely have a solution with most (if not all) of the desired capabilities ready to go.

    "The Armed Scout 645 (EC645) was a proposed armed version of the UH-72 for the US Army's Armed Aerial Scout (AAS) program for an OH-58D replacement. On 4 May 2009, EADS and Lockheed Martin announced a teaming agreement for the 645. Three demonstrator AAS-72X aircraft were built and began flight testing in late 2010. In September 2012, EADS began voluntary flight demonstrations of both an AAS-72X and an EC145 T2 at high altitudes, reportedly meeting with performance requirements. Two versions were offered: the AAS-72X, an armed version of the UH-72; and the AAS-72X+, an armed militarized version of the EC-145T2. In late 2013, the US Army announced the termination of the AAS program.

    In May 2012, the UH-72A was submitted in the US Air Force's Common Vertical Life Support Platform (CVLSP) program for a UH-1N Twin Huey replacement. As with the US Army, the UH-72A can operate in permissive environments, such as ICBM site support and security under the Air Force Global Strike Command and personnel transport in the National Capital Region by the Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing. Advantages over the UH-1N include 30 percent more speed, range, and loiter time, enhanced reliability and crashworthiness, night vision compatibility, modern avionics, and being cheaper to operate. In August 2013, the USAF said it planned to sustain the UH-1N for six to ten more years. In September 2013, acting Air Force Secretary Eric Fanning received a letter from the CEO of EADS North America, arguing that to refit and maintain the Hueys costs more than to acquire and operate UH-72As; the letter also urged prompt action as Army orders were almost complete and production was winding down. The USAF said it had insufficient funding for such a procurement and can risk using Hueys for a while. EADS North America stated that the UH-72A "will lower the risk to the U.S. Air Force nuclear enterprise, and will save taxpayers the considerable cost of future recapitalization. "Reportedly, buying UH-72As would cost as much as upgrading 62 Hueys, but long-term operating costs would be much lower."

    Eurocopter UH-72 Lakota - Wikipedia

    It seems like EADS will have a very capable option on the table, particularly if there is the options of a local build.

    The other side of the coin is that there is reasons (likely due to supporting the Huey production lines) that the EADS solution was not selected.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
  8. Stampede

    Stampede Active Member

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    Thanks for the update
    Four to a C-17 will certainly limit the potential field to a number of very small helicopters.
    Little bird / UH-72 ( maybe )

    That's about it.

    Regards S
     
  9. vonnoobie

    vonnoobie Active Member

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  10. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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  11. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    The E-550 based EW platform is not in US service but we still had to put it through a FMS application and any US developed Military Equipment fitted to a MD-540 would have to go through FMS.
     
  12. Redlands18

    Redlands18 Active Member

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    I think size is going to be very important in this competition and the RFI seems to be written around deploying up to 4 SF teams of 4 personnel by Helicopter using a single C-17. Can you fit 4 A-109s into a C-17? The A-109 is 11m long and 2.8T MTO and the AH-6 is 7m & 1.3T MTO
     
  13. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    I would have thought it was too big fot the Australian requirement but I notice the Brits have acquired additional Lynx Wildcats to support the SAS.

    AH-6, or similar is probably what the customer has in mind, otherwise the Sierra (Mike model Blackhawks) would have been acquired for 6AVN instead of reequiping with MRH, but if a larger type is suitable the Wildcat could be an outside chance.
     
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  14. Jezza

    Jezza Member

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    Nice video from MD with 5 loaded onto a C-17
     
  15. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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  16. vonnoobie

    vonnoobie Active Member

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    In regards to the AW109 and C-17 with dimensions in just pushing them straight in you will only get the 2 in.

    C-17 25.96 x 5.28 at the shortest and thinnest sections
    AW109 11.448 x 2.88m at the stabilizers

    That being said trying to think outside of the box and admittedly not knowing if this would be acceptable to the SF and RAAF you could have two side by side facing opposite directions as the with of them blades folded excluding the stabilizers is 2.15m.

    Looking at that it would be technically possible to fit 4 birds into the C-17 but I imagine it would be very cramped leaving little to no room for the aircrew let alone the SF teams. Fantasy land but shame we couldnt get our hands on a couple of C-5M's.
     
  17. 40 deg south

    40 deg south Well-Known Member

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    Australia issues RFI for SOF helos | Jane's 360

    Janes weighs in with their theories. They think the Airbus H145M, NorthStar/Bell 407 and UH1Y-Venom are all contenders.

    With regard to the AW109, I have been told that the UK seized a couple them as 'spoils of war' in the Falklands, and they were afterwards used with some success by the SAS. One of their attractions was that they weren't a type otherwise in UK military use, so they could easliy pass as regular civilian aircraft. Happy to have this confirmed (or otherwise) be someone with more knowledge.
     
  18. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    The downside for the SF is that having a unique type means that there’s never doubt about when the SF are on the move.
    I would think that being anonymous is one of the key requirements for SF operations but I’m happy to be told otherwise by those who know or am I overstating the case?
     
  19. htbrst

    htbrst Active Member

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    An A109 would also have a much greater range than an MD530 style helicopter so it would open up options of landing and basing much further away from the target area. I'm assuming they are offering the trekker with fixed skids so its both lighter (perhaps shorter height wise) and gives SF something to stand on for some requirements, but the wheeled version would as you say be more common and have handling advantages on ships and loading into aircraft. The RNZAF hava an A109 simulator which may be useful in the short term too.

    There are probably a lot of swings and roundabouts, including how fast they can get off the ground again after landing.
     
  20. vonnoobie

    vonnoobie Active Member

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    Thinking about it I'm wondering if they have some what limited them selves by wanting 4 birds into 1 C-17. With the size of most of the birds you would likely need a second aircraft just to transport the mission personal. Not necesarily a bad thing but if there is an issue with one of the transports then its a 100% loss in mission capability compared to say if they split the mission crew and birds equally (ie: 2 helicopter + associated crew's per each transport) would mean only a 50% loss in capability. Not saying 50% isn't a big hit but leaves some options rather then no options. Also allows you to go for a slightly more capable helicopter as well more easily able to load/unload when you don't have everything packed in so tight that one slip up could stuff everything up. Food for thought?

    In regards to the Venom, I honestly don't see that being a contender at all based on the current wording of the program, 4 birds to 1 C-17, The size of the Venom would only allow you to fit just 1 in there maybe 2 with work. With the wing box section in the hold the Venom in about half a meter too tall so at the very minimum blades will have to be removed, That aside they are also fairly long so the tail boom on one would also have to be removed. Not knowing anything about them I have no idea how much work would and time would be required in removing and fitting them, Is it straight forward, Is specialized equipment required,?? For what they want it for the Venom in any case appears to be a bit of overkill.