Hey firstly it's fantastic to see the RNZAF finally getting a decent piece of true military kitKH-12 said:There has been talk of 6 aircraft being proposed for this role, most people are assuming it will be either the A109 or EC135, although I think that these aircraft will be very busy given the hourly operating cost of the NH90, can't imagine you would need more than a couple of airframes for the "training role" per se. Looks like 9 NH90 have been ordered rather than 8 as well. I think the real intention is to use them to complement the NH90 in operational tasks that don't require that size of aircraft , calling them training aircraft sounds like a bit of a rouse.
With regard to the LUH - the word on the street seems to be 6 is the number, but I've seen absolutely nothing anywhere official that indicates what types are shortvlisted - EC635 would be my 'dream machine' but it's all spec for now. Anyone with an ear truly close to the ground heard what shortlisted?
Okay so here's my pick (he says as he reaches for the crystal ball)... as Defence Minister states "operational funding will be tight..." which means in a few years we'll find we have 'em but can't afford to fly 'em - so takes arm-twisting from Aussie before we dust 'em off for E. Timor or whereever.
They find that the 6 LUH purchased were simply too few and are working damned hard to keep up with op demands. New Govt then decides it needs more of the cheaper LUH & suddenly we're faced with an excellent opportunity to go for an armed LUH/LOH chopper based on LUH design (EC635 - grunt, grunt!)! Finally the NZ Army get the air cover they've been needing in the field! Oh well, dreams are free!
I know when they first started looking at Sioux replacement the plan was for a civvy operator to maintain (& own?) the fleet - like the 42Sqn B200 fleet, that was unlikely to be overseas deployable. The requirements have obviously changed but will the new LUH be overseas deployable!?! Wherever you take an NH-90 you'll need a LUH for the smaller tasks so let's hope.
Hey here's a thought - it's been clearly stated that NH-90 will be 'stowed on the vehicle deck' of the MRV - how on earth do they intend to roll them on/off with the ramp angles that they'll have to contend with - I guess on the back of a flat deck truck!?! Imagine trying to unload them if they need to use the LCM's - would you dip an NH-90 toes in salt water??? The 'hatches' in the MRV deck do not constitute a lift as I understand it nor are they likely to be used to lift an NH-90 up to the flight deck. Oh so many questions....damn 0 I can't wait till 2010 to see these babies arrive!!!