Royal Australian Navy Discussions and Updates

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
Yes, it’s wonderful how clear hindsight can be, particularly when those employing it have no responsibilities for the outcome.
One thing that the report mentions, was that in 2003 Defence's preference was for for the S-70M Black Hawk for Phases 2 & 4, yet in 2004 the MRH90 was selected for Phase 2 by gov't due to "other" considerations. I would be very curious to know what those other considerations were, and whether they proved accurate. One I do recall is that the MRH90's were built (assembled, really) in Australia by the Eurocopter subsidiary Australian Aerospace from full kits provided by Eurocopter.

Having checked recently to confirm, Australian Aerospace is still around, but does not seem to be in the business of building helicopters. Instead it seems to operate as an MRO and parts/component supplier for aviation. Which does sort of illustrate an issue I have with some countries wanting to do domestic aircraft builds. Unless the country manages to get enough demand for their aircraft, once the national order is completed the capability fades away, with all the resources building the infrastructure and skilling the workforce getting squandered.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
One thing that the report mentions, was that in 2003 Defence's preference was for for the S-70M Black Hawk for Phases 2 & 4, yet in 2004 the MRH90 was selected for Phase 2 by gov't due to "other" considerations. I would be very curious to know what those other considerations were, and whether they proved accurate. One I do recall is that the MRH90's were built (assembled, really) in Australia by the Eurocopter subsidiary Australian Aerospace from full kits provided by Eurocopter.

Having checked recently to confirm, Australian Aerospace is still around, but does not seem to be in the business of building helicopters. Instead it seems to operate as an MRO and parts/component supplier for aviation. Which does sort of illustrate an issue I have with some countries wanting to do domestic aircraft builds. Unless the country manages to get enough demand for their aircraft, once the national order is completed the capability fades away, with all the resources building the infrastructure and skilling the workforce getting squandered.
The majority of Both the Tiger 18/22 and MRH-90 42/47* were assembled in Australia, and that would definitely come under other consideration.
* A 47th Aircraft was added to the fleet at no further expense to Australia as reparations for ongoing problems, but don’t know where it was assembled.
For a country that has quite a relatively large number of Civil Aircraft, we have a pretty poor record when it comes to designing and building Aircraft.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
The majority of Both the Tiger 18/22 and MRH-90 42/47* were assembled in Australia, and that would definitely come under other consideration.
* A 47th Aircraft was added to the fleet at no further expense to Australia as reparations for ongoing problems, but don’t know where it was assembled.
For a country that has quite a relatively large number of Civil Aircraft, we have a pretty poor record when it comes to designing and building Aircraft.
The 47th was also assembled by Australian Aerospace. I seriously question whether or not that was value for Australia though. I suspect it might have been better to take a reduction in cost instead of an additional helicopter which Australia would need to pay to operate and sustain.

Both Tiger and the MRH90 had domestic Australian assembly, but what is the status of that capability, the infrastructure/plant where the assembly and testing took place, and the workforce involved in doing it? Unless it still is around, then IMO Australia did not get much more out of the selection than it would have had the order been a straight import. As it was, the components assembled by Australian Aerospace were exported to Australia, which would suggest to me that while there likely was some Australian content, and certainly Australian labour involved, but I have doubts on whether that amount would be sufficient to make up for the increased costs to acquire and sustain.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
The 47th was also assembled by Australian Aerospace. I seriously question whether or not that was value for Australia though. I suspect it might have been better to take a reduction in cost instead of an additional helicopter which Australia would need to pay to operate and sustain.

Both Tiger and the MRH90 had domestic Australian assembly, but what is the status of that capability, the infrastructure/plant where the assembly and testing took place, and the workforce involved in doing it? Unless it still is around, then IMO Australia did not get much more out of the selection than it would have had the order been a straight import. As it was, the components assembled by Australian Aerospace were exported to Australia, which would suggest to me that while there likely was some Australian content, and certainly Australian labour involved, but I have doubts on whether that amount would be sufficient to make up for the increased costs to acquire and sustain.
The 47th MRH-90 would only be about extending the overall Fleet life more then adding extra capability, increasing Aircraft availability, the planned number of hours the fleet as a whole spend operating and in maintenance wouldn’t change.

You would definitely have to question the viability of assembling 61 Helicopters over a 10 year period, i think there were plans to assemble some for export if the orders had come in but even NZ said no to having their’s assembled in Brisbane.

The issue is building or assembling in Australia is expensive up front, Australian Governments get some of that money back in Taxes and money going back into the Australian economy, but that does nothing for export orders.
 
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swerve

Super Moderator
Sort of like the H-92/ CH-148 Cyclone which didn’t even need to look good on paper as the sole criterion was no EH101 which would have embarrassed Chrétien. When it comes to horrible helicopter acquisition, Canada takes a back seat to no country. :mad:
The UK can at least get a dishonourable mention for the Chinook Mk 3 fiasco. Eight SF Chinooks bought, to have British software unique to them. Couldn't be certified. Entirely foreseeable. Spent over 10 years in storage IIRC. Ended up being downgraded to standard utility CH-47s, & a load of brand-new CH-47s bought for SF.

Hundreds of millions of quid thrown away.
 

Redlands18

Well-Known Member
The UK can at least get a dishonourable mention for the Chinook Mk 3 fiasco. Eight SF Chinooks bought, to have British software unique to them. Couldn't be certified. Entirely foreseeable. Spent over 10 years in storage IIRC. Ended up being downgraded to standard utility CH-47s, & a load of brand-new CH-47s bought for SF.

Hundreds of millions of quid thrown away.
Of course the worst bad procurement for Australia is not the MRH-90 but the Seasprite which ended up being cancelled and left the RAN low on Helicopter numbers until the MH-60R was procured.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Of course the worst bad procurement for Australia is not the MRH-90 but the Seasprite which ended up being cancelled and left the RAN low on Helicopter numbers until the MH-60R was procured.
Which the RNZN thank you kindly for. Sweetest deal we ever got.

Hmmm but where do we start? HMNZS Charles Upham would have to be up there. HMNZS Canterbury L421, NH90TTH - lack of marinisation and to few numbers.
 

protoplasm

Member
Which the RNZN thank you kindly for. Sweetest deal we ever got.

Hmmm but where do we start? HMNZS Charles Upham would have to be up there. HMNZS Canterbury L421, NH90TTH - lack of marinisation and to few numbers.
Seasprite was a massive stuffup from beginning to end, with billions wasted, but I reckon Canada still has to be the winner with Cyclone.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Actually the total spent on Seasprite was just under $1 billion AUD. Still intensely annoying, particularly as the Kiwis are now flying those self same aircraft, but not “billions”.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Seasprite was a massive stuffup from beginning to end, with billions wasted, but I reckon Canada still has to be the winner with Cyclone.
Absolutely, especially when the half billion cancellation fee for the EH101 that occurred before the Cyclone order happened.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
You need to net that out by the amount recovered from Kaman and the resale of the helos, missiles, spares etc if you are going to include the associated expenses in the project cost.
 

protoplasm

Member
You need to net that out by the amount recovered from Kaman and the resale of the helos, missiles, spares etc if you are going to include the associated expenses in the project cost.
Ahh, I get it. Didn’t realise we recovered as much from the sales
 

seaspear

Active Member
With the fire on the U.S.S Bonnehommerichard how likely is the R.A.N to reassess damage and fire response in its larger ships as a review process
 

DDG38

Defense Professional
Verified Defense Pro
With the fire on the U.S.S Bonnehommerichard how likely is the R.A.N to reassess damage and fire response in its larger ships as a review process
Of course it's likely, but not until several investigations into the onboard fire have been completed. The issue will be how to manage alongside manning balanced against leave/maintenance/training requirements for every fleet unit and if current procedures for fires while berthed are still appropriate.
 

Todjaeger

Potstirrer
With the fire on the U.S.S Bonnehommerichard how likely is the R.A.N to reassess damage and fire response in its larger ships as a review process
Not sure that situation with the still ongoing fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard is necessarily all that applicable to the RAN. The RAN might re-examine and re-evaluate processes, procedures and policies in terms of crewing during and after maintenance and upgrade periods, but current information regarding the fire suggests that a number of factors came together which is why it has been such an issue.

The RAN would most likely respond best by working to ensure that the factors which contributed to the shipboard fire, as well as the difficulties in fighting/containing it are at least minimized if not eliminated.
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
Ahh, I get it. Didn’t realise we recovered as much from the sales
NZ paid NZ$241 million for the ex RAN Seasprites from Kaman and that included modifications, spares etc., so you wouldn't have got much back from the sale of the aircraft. Also the actual Australian problems with the aircraft were self inflicted caused by unrealistic expectations of a software solution for a crewing decision that was unworkable at the time.
 

t68

Well-Known Member
NZ paid NZ$241 million for the ex RAN Seasprites from Kaman and that included modifications, spares etc., so you wouldn't have got much back from the sale of the aircraft. Also the actual Australian problems with the aircraft were self inflicted caused by unrealistic expectations of a software solution for a crewing decision that was unworkable at the time.

Yes from an outsiders point of view it seemed like they were trying to reinvent the wheel, but I’m also lead to believe that Sikorsky priced themselves out of a deal when things started to go pear shaped, inthat it was cheaper to continue with the SeaSprites

But as they say hindsight is a wonderfull thing
 

aussienscale

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
NZ paid NZ$241 million for the ex RAN Seasprites from Kaman and that included modifications, spares etc., so you wouldn't have got much back from the sale of the aircraft. Also the actual Australian problems with the aircraft were self inflicted caused by unrealistic expectations of a software solution for a crewing decision that was unworkable at the time.
And the funny thing is that those issues were actually all but sorted and had been overcome and the canning of the program was more of a political decision ! There in lays the real waste because if it were not for the political interference it is a capability that we would actually have today which would not look so bad when you look at it :)

Great bargain for NZ though :)

Cheers
 
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