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Thread: UH-60Ms for CSAR-X

  1. #1
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    UH-60Ms for CSAR-X

    112 UH-60Ms for USAF combat search and rescue. They've ditched the 'silver bullet' approach and went for an upgrade to a proven platform.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...uying-112.html

    USAF abandons large helicopter for rescue mission, proposes buying 112 UH-60Ms
    By Stephen Trimble

    The US Air Force has decided to buy 112 Sikorsky UH-60Ms to recapitalise its ageing combat search and rescue fleet, despite a standing requirement for a larger helicopter.

    Sikorsky will modify the M-model aircraft to the HH-60L configuration, replacing a fleet of HH-60G Pave Hawks ....

    ... but fall short of plans to broaden the mission with a larger and more capable aircraft.

    Under the CSAR-X programme, the USAF envisaged not only rescuing downed airmen, but also picking up small units behind enemy lines, or even ferrying cargo or passengers during natural disasters. That requirement drove it to ask bidders to provide a medium or heavylift helicopter.

    The requirement for "personnel recovery" still stands, Shackelford says, and will be addressed by the USAF in the future. But for now it is focused on ensuring that downed aircrews will not lack a helicopter force ready to retrieve them.

  2. #2
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    what a friggin disappointment

  3. #3
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    I did think the Chinook was a bit big for a combat SAR aircraft.
    Aircrews aren't that big and Special Ops have their own assets, so I (like the USAF Chief oif staff at the time) was a bit surprised with the Chinook selection.

    I'd like to see an S-92 get the job. A nice size between the Blackhawk and now-retired USAF HH-53s.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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    Personally, a modern version of the HH-3E would be perfect.

    Yes, the H-60 replaced the HH-3 for USAF CSAR & USCG SAR, but the HH-3 had a greater passenger number and weight capacity. And one other thing... (see 2nd pic below)
    The main advantages for H-60 were speed, better reliability (modern engines & systems), and that the HH-3 airframes were getting worn out.

    Build new ones with modern, more powerful/fuel-efficient/reliable engines, up-to-date blades & transmission, composite materials replacing non-critical structures to reduce weight, etc... and it would meet what the USAF wants.




    Last edited by Bager1968; 26th February 2010 at 00:50.

  5. #5
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    Mhm. Nothing wrong with the UH-60M as CSAR platform, as long as the Air Force also goes for a CV-22 CSAR version (or be it a H-53K version) for long range work. Otherwise, with only a H-60 available, there won't be much Air Force CSAR beyond 250nm penetration depth.
    "Distiller ... arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming"

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    Here is the solution, the best of both worlds. Piasecki Homepage



    According to this site:

    Weight added to the X-49A YSH-60F will be about 1,600 lb (725 kg). It will have an unrefuelled combat radius of 1,411km following a rolling take-off, and 963km after a vertical take-off, representing a three-fold increase over the standard H-60.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

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    Yip, would probably be a good basis. And could be realized within reasonable time.
    "Distiller ... arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Distiller View Post
    Yip, would probably be a good basis. And could be realized within reasonable time.
    I agree too, but I would like the wings over the cabin, so the crew can access/exit easier & extra streamline covering for IF-probe, sensors and front carriage.
    Last edited by fightingirish; 26th February 2010 at 21:03.
    Slán, fightingirish
    Avatar: Ho-Yeol Ryu, Flughafen (Airport), Hannover [HAJ / EDDV] 2005

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bager1968 View Post
    Personally, a modern version of the HH-3E would be perfect.

    Yes, the H-60 replaced the HH-3 for USAF CSAR & USCG SAR, but the HH-3 had a greater passenger number and weight capacity. And one other thing... (see 2nd pic below)
    The main advantages for H-60 were speed, better reliability (modern engines & systems), and that the HH-3 airframes were getting worn out.

    Build new ones with modern, more powerful/fuel-efficient/reliable engines, up-to-date blades & transmission, composite materials replacing non-critical structures to reduce weight, etc... and it would meet what the USAF wants.

    You need to find the photo of an HH-3 flying with only 3 rotor blades. Thalk about rugged!
    The last of the famous international playboys

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Distiller View Post
    Otherwise, with only a H-60 available, there won't be much Air Force CSAR beyond 250nm penetration depth.
    I'll never knock the work of the ARS or Special Ops, but I can't imagine many scenarios where anything more than a 250 mile depth would be feasable.
    That far from the front (or a safe refueling zone) would be too deep into enemy territory for any helicopter to survive.

    I agree with the other comments, I love the HH-3 it always seemed to be a nice size..and that's what I see the S-92 as replacing.
    I haven't compared the numbers, so I might be off there.
    Who knows, maybe some of the S-61T technology will rub off and they'll make a new batch...I don't think there are many left at AMARC, so they'd probably have to be new-build.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  11. #11
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    While the compound technology hoped for in the Piasecki Speedhawk (YH-60F) could be very useful, keep in mind that only one of these has made it into the air and in flight tests since 2007 has yet to demonstrate speeds in level flight greater than an unmodified H-60 can achieve. And, there is the question of decreased hover efficiency due to the making effect of the wing.

    This may work out to be a good thing, but it's a long way away from being "ready for prime time". USAF and our pilots need something now.

  12. #12
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    A few clarifications on the X-49.

    1. The phase one tests were only cleared for the existing flight envelope of the H-60.

    2. It still achieved a top speed of 165 kts in level flight and 177kts in a slight decent. This is above the top listed speed of the blackhawk (159kts).

    3. The wing was from an existing Aerostar FJ-100 business jet. A purpose built wing (and new ring hopefully from carbon fiber) will be much lighter.

    4. The existing benefit is more about range than top speed.
    "The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacepope View Post
    You need to find the photo of an HH-3 flying with only 3 rotor blades. Thalk about rugged!
    http://www.popasmoke.com/visions/image.php?source=4225

    That was a CH-53A or D model, which started with a 6-blade main rotor.

    HH-3, like its Navy cousin CH-3 Sea King, had a 5-bladed main rotor.

    Note that the CH-53E has a 7-blade main rotor.
    Last edited by Bager1968; 27th February 2010 at 06:26.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bager1968 View Post
    http://www.popasmoke.com/visions/image.php?source=4225

    That was a CH-53A or D model, which started with a 6-blade main rotor.

    HH-3, like its Navy cousin CH-3 Sea King, had a 5-bladed main rotor.

    Note that the CH-53E has a 7-blade main rotor.
    Doh! you're absolutely right.
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Boyle View Post
    I agree with the other comments, I love the HH-3 it always seemed to be a nice size..and that's what I see the S-92 as replacing.
    I haven't compared the numbers, so I might be off there.
    Who knows, maybe some of the S-61T technology will rub off and they'll make a new batch...I don't think there are many left at AMARC, so they'd probably have to be new-build.
    Yes, the S-92 was aimed at the CH-3/HH-3/Sea Knight (CH-46) replacement category... but just seems (from all I have read) to be less rugged and more fragile than those earlier helicopters... better suited to non-demanding civilian operations than to military ops.

    Perhaps a re-designed, beefier version...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bager1968 View Post
    Yes, the S-92 was aimed at the CH-3/HH-3/Sea Knight (CH-46) replacement category.
    The USMC went with the V-22 Osprey to replace the Sea Knights. Could be an option for CSAR to work with UH-60s if range is an issue.

    Osprey can self deploy. Deployability was a contentious issue during CSAR-X.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacepope View Post
    You need to find the photo of an HH-3 flying with only 3 rotor blades. Thalk about rugged!
    That was a test run on the HH-53, and it proved that the vibrations could destroy the aircraft.

  18. #18
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    It did? The caption on the photo of the aircraft in flight indicated it was a successful test.

    This comment was also attached to the photo in the website:
    Comment by: Nikolaos I. Hantzis on Apr 6, 2006 04:44 AM
    Yep, this is true. I was lucky to work at Sikorsky in Stratford C.T. from 1987 to 1989. Jimmy Kay was the Sikorsky test pilot who was flying at the time this photo was taken ( I have a signed black and white copy at home) He said that they had a slight vibration @80knts and around 110 knts but everything else was smooth flying.

    Care to share your source for your comment?

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    Quote Originally Posted by irtusk View Post
    what a friggin disappointment
    I agree


    ***


    Quote Originally Posted by J Boyle View Post
    I did think the Chinook was a bit big for a combat SAR aircraft.
    Aircrews aren't that big and Special Ops have their own assets, so I (like the USAF Chief oif staff at the time) was a bit surprised with the Chinook selection.

    I'd like to see an S-92 get the job. A nice size between the Blackhawk and now-retired USAF HH-53s
    The Chinook isn't that big. And as you yourself stated, the HH-53 (significantly bigger than the Chinook) have been retired. Does it no make sense to replace THAT lost capability.

    I too wood like to see an S-92 get the job of replacing the HH-60 BUT there is still a need for something MORE (range, capacity et cetera) to replace the HH-53.

  20. #20
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    Is the purchase of 112 UH-60Ms definitely going on? I am doing some research into the CSAR-X program and have lost it a bit to be honest.

    An article on Flightglobal (Feb 2010) says: "The US Air Force has decided to buy 112 Sikorsky UH-60Ms to recapitalise its ageing combat search and rescue fleet(..)".

    Another article by Key Publishing (Jul 2010) says: "Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin are to team up for the contract to replace the US Air Force’s fleet of HH-60G (..). An advanced version of Sikorsky’s UH-60M Black Hawk will be offered as a solution for the USAF’s HH-60 Personnel Recovery Recapitalisation programme (..)"

    Which of these stories is right?

  21. #21
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    Why not use the HH-60M as a the short and a CV-22 as the long range option? And you don't add another type to the inventory to support with spares and training. The Osprey does everything required by the CSAR requirement. Ship capable, self-deployable, long range, cargo capacity, in flight refueling.

    Why is this such a hard decision?

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    Apparently the competition (like the KC-X competition) has been reset... new bids and new competitors as well as the old ones:

    http://defense-update.com/wp/20100913_hh71_csar.html

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    I know it would never happen due to political reasons, but I always thought that perhaps a variant of the Mi-17 Hip would have been perfect for the CSAR-X program. It is larger than a Blackhawk, yet it has proven high-altitude performance (as shown in Afghanistan both in the 80's and much more recently).

    I know it's crazy, but am I the only one who thinks the Hip would've been a rather good choice?
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    IIRC, didn't the EH101 win out first time around?

    Anyone got any links to the history of the CSAR-X program?

    That said, if the USAF wants something bigger, the HH-71 or an S-92 variant looks like the right size, and the winner of these two would be a sure winner of the VXX competition.
    "Quicquid agas age"

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhantomII View Post
    I know it would never happen due to political reasons, but I always thought that perhaps a variant of the Mi-17 Hip would have been perfect for the CSAR-X program. It is larger than a Blackhawk, yet it has proven high-altitude performance (as shown in Afghanistan both in the 80's and much more recently).

    I know it's crazy, but am I the only one who thinks the Hip would've been a rather good choice?
    Everything seems great about it, but the all-weather capability just wasn't there (just to name one thing). The Pakistani Hips have to be stripped down to absolutely nothing to to medivacs in the mountains. The Indians have the same problem, which is what sent them shopping for Chinooks. I'm unconvinced that Blackhawks are the right choice, but they're better than the venerable Hip would be. Just look at the Chinese. They operate hundreds of Mi-17s, including the very latest and greatest models. What do they use in the mountainous regions of China? S-70 Blackhawks that were delivered when the first "Back to the Future" was in theaters!

    As a side note, I love the Mi-17 and I think it's the best all-around military helicopter in the world. Certainly a better value than the UH-60 in most respects. It's just not the best CSAR platform.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbritchford View Post
    IIRC, didn't the EH101 win out first time around?

    Anyone got any links to the history of the CSAR-X program?

    That said, if the USAF wants something bigger, the HH-71 or an S-92 variant looks like the right size, and the winner of these two would be a sure winner of the VXX competition.
    Nope, that was the Marine One replacement. The last winner of this competition was the HH-47 Chinook. Everyone threw a fit, the USAF got egg on its face (again), and here we are.

    Cheers,

    Logan

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbritchford View Post
    IIRC, didn't the EH101 win out first time around?

    Anyone got any links to the history of the CSAR-X program?

    That said, if the USAF wants something bigger, the HH-71 or an S-92 variant looks like the right size, and the winner of these two would be a sure winner of the VXX competition.
    Um... you are confusing programs. And you are several years out of date.

    CSAR-X (Combat Search and Rescue) was won on 09 November 2006 by the HH-47 (an updated version of the MH-47G helicopter).

    Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky subsequently filed and won two rounds of protests with the Government Accountability Office (GAO). Sikorsky and LMSI challenged the evaluation of proposals and resulting source selection.

    On 26 February 2007, GAO found that the Air Force’s evaluation of operations and support (O&S) costs was inconsistent with the RFP.

    The USAF proposed corrective action in response to GAO's decision of 26 February 2007, but Lockheed Martin Systems Integration-Owego (LMSI) and Sikorsky Aircraft Company protested the corrective action.

    On 30 August 2007 GAO sustained the protest, basically forcing the USAF to allow the entrants to submit revised bids.

    After several revisions of program requirements, including removing the requirement for troop insertion/extraction, the revised competition still has not selected a new "winner".
    CSAR-X Program



    The VXX program for a new Presidential helicopter was won on 28 January 2005 by the US101 (a joint AgustaWestland/Sikorsky proposal for a US-assembled EH101 Merlin variant), which was then designated VH-71 Kestrel.

    Under the proposed Defense budget announced by Secretary Gates 6 April 2009, the VH-71 funding would no longer be included. On 1 June 2009, the United States Navy announced that the contract, signed in 2004, was officially canceled and funds will be reinvested in upgrades to the existing fleet of VH-3D and VH-60N helicopters.

    In 2010 an US$8.4 billion contract was issued for upgrade and overhaul of the existing Presidential helicopter fleet, ending any possible revival of the VH-71.
    Last edited by Bager1968; 6th January 2011 at 21:09.

  27. #27
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    CH-71 would have been an excellent CSAR bird.

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    Thanks to Logan and Badger, I was clearly getting the two programs confused!

    What with all the USAF programs and protests I lose track sometimes!
    "Quicquid agas age"

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbritchford View Post
    What with all the USAF programs and protests I lose track sometimes!
    VXX wasn't USAF

    Cheers,

    Logan

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    Yep... VXX was a USN project (for the USMC).

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