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  • Fedaykin
    Fueled by Tea
    • Dec 2005
    • 5295

    Interesting, I never considered that a Merlin MASC solution would end up in a competative tender.

    I would think the Thales solution is in a stronger position at the moment as it offers a very low risk (all the electronics are already in service) solution. On the other hand Lock Marts solution of conformal arrays potentially could offer superior performance not only in detection capability but also flight performance as it doesn't involve hanging a draggy bag off the airframe.
    Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

    Comment

    • Grim901
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • May 2009
      • 1143

      Originally posted by harryRIEDL View Post
      Hawk I believe much of its still subcontracted out to UK companies im not sure that the Hawk line is active in India either
      I think it might be, most of India's problems with the Hawk stemmed from forcing BAE to let HAL do most of the work, which it was incapable of doing in a timely manner.

      Comment

      • Grim901
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • May 2009
        • 1143

        Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
        Developments on MASC: Merlin based for sure, but there are two different proposals. Apparently, ten AEW platforms are planned/required.

        Link to the article: http://defensenews.com/blogs/farnbor...or-uk-carrier/
        Westland-Thales proposal seems the most likely to me, sincerely.

        Also, the Sea Skua replacement seems to go ahead smoothly and it is apparently not menaced by budget cuts on either side of the channel. http://defensenews.com/blogs/farnbor...design-review/
        Interesting. I don't really like the LockMart proposal and I doubt it will go too far. It'd be much more expensive and risky than the already top notch and reliable system we have.

        Good news on Sea Skua though.

        Comment

        • Bager1968
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • May 2005
          • 3635

          The one advantage the Lockheed proposal has is that it could use the 8 non-ramp-equipped HM1s that are not going to be upgraded to HM2, thus avoiding the cost of either new airframes or reducing availability of the current Merlin fleet.

          The Thales proposal requires either using existing HC3s (and thus reducing the number of those available for their primary troop-carrying role), or buying new ramp-equipped Merlins to maintain fleet numbers.

          The main question is, is there money available to maintain fleet numbers (for either the more expensive Lockheed electronics or the extra ramped Merlins), or will the budget force an addition of the ASaC role without providing more aircraft to carry out that new role.

          I strongly suspect the latter, which will see Thales win, and the RN lose (by having to "dual-role" some HC3s)!
          Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of the pub, when Serbia bumps into Austria, and spills Austria's pint.

          Comment

          • Liger30
            Armed Forces supporter
            • Jul 2010
            • 901

            Originally posted by Bager1968 View Post
            The one advantage the Lockheed proposal has is that it could use the 8 non-ramp-equipped HM1s that are not going to be upgraded to HM2, thus avoiding the cost of either new airframes or reducing availability of the current Merlin fleet.

            The Thales proposal requires either using existing HC3s (and thus reducing the number of those available for their primary troop-carrying role), or buying new ramp-equipped Merlins to maintain fleet numbers.

            The main question is, is there money available to maintain fleet numbers (for either the more expensive Lockheed electronics or the extra ramped Merlins), or will the budget force an addition of the ASaC role without providing more aircraft to carry out that new role.

            I strongly suspect the latter, which will see Thales win, and the RN lose (by having to "dual-role" some HC3s)!
            This is sadly very possible in a climate of "sacrificing capabilities we can see for things we can't see". I totally agree with mister Fox on the importance of cyberwarfare, but seriously. Seen the premises, it looks more like he's kidding us all with those words.

            The SDR is going to cut troops and equipment from already underfunded armed forces in order to allow for never-to-be-seen progresses in cyberwarfare, something people can't see, unlike a ship or something.

            Say it like it truly is: cuts come because they want to once more rob money from the armed forces, and it is easy to say that they are "adapting" and gearing for cyberwarfare. After all, no one could verify if it is true. And it is definitely not, with how ridiculously vulnerable MOD data systems already more than once proved to be.

            There's still a hope for using the non-upgraded Merlin HM1, however... when they are sent back to Agusta Westland to have the sonar dismantled, they could be very well fitted with a different rear with the ramp. After all, the Helicopter Strategy for the next ten years did not require Merlin HC3 to move to the navy after being navalized and equipped with folding tails and rotors?
            It would be a shame to waste 8 good airframes.

            This said... Original Merlins HM1 were 44, 42 should still being used. 30 upgraded with option for 8 more. In the worst case, the airframes "abandoned" should be 12, or am i missing something...?
            Last edited by Liger30; 21st July 2010, 20:05.
            "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

            Comment

            • Witcha
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jun 2010
              • 1241

              What about the Italian HEW Merlin? It requires the least modification since the Eliradar APS-784 only needs an enlarged nose radome.

              Comment

              • Liger30
                Armed Forces supporter
                • Jul 2010
                • 901

                Originally posted by Witcha View Post
                What about the Italian HEW Merlin? It requires the least modification since the Eliradar APS-784 only needs an enlarged nose radome.

                It is not what the RN wants. It is quite less capable, and was never really considered for the RN.
                "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                Comment

                • Witcha
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jun 2010
                  • 1241

                  ^ It's capable enough that the Italian Navy is using it to replace their old Sea King AEWs. How exactly are the Thales and Lockheed systems superior?

                  Comment

                  • Liger30
                    Armed Forces supporter
                    • Jul 2010
                    • 901

                    Originally posted by Witcha View Post
                    ^ It's capable enough that the Italian Navy is using it to replace their old Sea King AEWs. How exactly are the Thales and Lockheed systems superior?
                    It is in service from quite some time already, and i don't think the italian navy ever had Sea King AEW choppers to start with.
                    As to capability, its radar and data elaboration performance are fine for the italian navy, but the RN considers it not sufficient for its own requirements and mandates a more powerful radar and, almost surely, would not step away from the proven Cerberus mission system.
                    "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                    Comment

                    • pjhydro
                      Rank 4 Registered User
                      • Apr 2009
                      • 886

                      To be honest the ramped ASaC kit might actually be a good value for money sytem. At anyone time we will need perhaps up to five-six airframes, based on 3-4 on the active QE and 2-3 for training. The other airframes can then be used in the utility role, switched over if we need more ASaC etc. The pallet based kit not fitted can still be used for ground instruction and training.

                      Also means you could send out ASaC capability in the back of a C17 (or Grizzly/Herc???) For instance we have HC3 already in Afghan, we judge we need ASaC so very quickly the pallet is wheeled into a C17. flown where it s needed and fitted to the back of a HC3. Think HMS Ocean on the otherside of the world, crisis arises, we can have improved survalliance kit flown out to it....actually this could be a genius piece of kit and great value.

                      Comment

                      • StevoJH
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jun 2008
                        • 1024

                        Originally posted by pjhydro View Post
                        To be honest the ramped ASaC kit might actually be a good value for money sytem. At anyone time we will need perhaps up to five-six airframes, based on 3-4 on the active QE and 2-3 for training. The other airframes can then be used in the utility role, switched over if we need more ASaC etc. The pallet based kit not fitted can still be used for ground instruction and training.

                        Also means you could send out ASaC capability in the back of a C17 (or Grizzly/Herc???) For instance we have HC3 already in Afghan, we judge we need ASaC so very quickly the pallet is wheeled into a C17. flown where it s needed and fitted to the back of a HC3. Think HMS Ocean on the otherside of the world, crisis arises, we can have improved survalliance kit flown out to it....actually this could be a genius piece of kit and great value.
                        If you need to have the ramp open to operate it, I would not want to be in that helicopter at altitude.
                        Can't wait to join the 'real' world. Hopefully only one week to go....

                        Comment

                        • Liger30
                          Armed Forces supporter
                          • Jul 2010
                          • 901

                          Originally posted by pjhydro View Post
                          To be honest the ramped ASaC kit might actually be a good value for money sytem. At anyone time we will need perhaps up to five-six airframes, based on 3-4 on the active QE and 2-3 for training. The other airframes can then be used in the utility role, switched over if we need more ASaC etc. The pallet based kit not fitted can still be used for ground instruction and training.

                          Also means you could send out ASaC capability in the back of a C17 (or Grizzly/Herc???) For instance we have HC3 already in Afghan, we judge we need ASaC so very quickly the pallet is wheeled into a C17. flown where it s needed and fitted to the back of a HC3. Think HMS Ocean on the otherside of the world, crisis arises, we can have improved survalliance kit flown out to it....actually this could be a genius piece of kit and great value.
                          Very true, but i think that, if it can be managed, the HC3 will be used in tactical transport role. There are just 26 airframes, so the Commando Helicopter Force will need them all badly.
                          The plan was to convert 8/10 of the Merlin HM1 airframes that won't be upgraded with the CSP program, and i hope it can be done, because doing differently would be a major waste.
                          "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                          Comment

                          • kev 99
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Aug 2008
                            • 1535

                            Originally posted by StevoJH View Post
                            If you need to have the ramp open to operate it, I would not want to be in that helicopter at altitude.
                            Sounds a bit parky doesn't it.

                            Comment

                            • swerve
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Jun 2005
                              • 13612

                              Originally posted by Grim901 View Post
                              I think it might be, most of India's problems with the Hawk stemmed from forcing BAE to let HAL do most of the work, which it was incapable of doing in a timely manner.
                              At one point the Indians were blaming non-completion of aircraft on BAe not delivering parts according to the agreed schedule. The BAe response was "We have delivered all the parts that we have received orders for".

                              The parts had to be ordered batch by batch, by officials in the central administration, who were completely unconnected to the production process. They weren't sending in orders for each batch on time. Without the orders, BAe had no guarantee of payment, so wouldn't send the parts.
                              Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                              Justinian

                              Comment

                              • pjhydro
                                Rank 4 Registered User
                                • Apr 2009
                                • 886

                                Originally posted by StevoJH View Post
                                If you need to have the ramp open to operate it, I would not want to be in that helicopter at altitude.
                                I think the idea is the ramp is removed and what is essentially a sealed unit is plugged into the back.

                                Comment

                                • pjhydro
                                  Rank 4 Registered User
                                  • Apr 2009
                                  • 886

                                  Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                                  Very true, but i think that, if it can be managed, the HC3 will be used in tactical transport role. There are just 26 airframes, so the Commando Helicopter Force will need them all badly.
                                  The plan was to convert 8/10 of the Merlin HM1 airframes that won't be upgraded with the CSP program, and i hope it can be done, because doing differently would be a major waste.
                                  All the talk is of the HC3 airframes being used, I think the spare HM1 airframes are going to be just that, spares. At an outside they may be given over to Utility role or used for aircrew training.

                                  Comment

                                  • Liger30
                                    Armed Forces supporter
                                    • Jul 2010
                                    • 901

                                    Originally posted by pjhydro View Post
                                    All the talk is of the HC3 airframes being used, I think the spare HM1 airframes are going to be just that, spares. At an outside they may be given over to Utility role or used for aircrew training.
                                    Where did you read about planning to use HC3 airframes, may i ask?
                                    "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                                    Comment

                                    • pjhydro
                                      Rank 4 Registered User
                                      • Apr 2009
                                      • 886

                                      Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                                      Where did you read about planning to use HC3 airframes, may i ask?
                                      Funnily enough I'm looking for the quote and having trouble finding it...did I imagine it? I am sure when the Helicopter review was announced that was what was said.....maybe i'm wrong?

                                      Comment

                                      • Liger30
                                        Armed Forces supporter
                                        • Jul 2010
                                        • 901

                                        Originally posted by pjhydro View Post
                                        Funnily enough I'm looking for the quote and having trouble finding it...did I imagine it? I am sure when the Helicopter review was announced that was what was said.....maybe i'm wrong?
                                        A precise statement, for what i know, was never made, and the possibility of having a bunch of new Merlins bought for the ASaC role was never ruled out officially. Of course, it is likely to never happen a buy of 8/10 new airframes, but no one ruled it out at least.

                                        As to the platform, in the article i provided the link to, it is merely said that the Thales proposal based on the pallet-radar suite can be easily integrated on all Utility configurations of the AW101, nothing more.
                                        While in other articles over the internet it was suggested that the Merlin HM1 not updated would be used.

                                        New bought airframes would be the best choice, but if not, i hope the HM1 are used. With as many as 28 Utility Merlin for the navy, having 8 in AEW role would leave just 20 airframes or less for training and transport duty.
                                        The Commando helicopter force would almost die. 12 Merlins and 6 Apaches/Lynx are the load of HMS Ocean, and it would take the whole fleet to deploy a miserable 12 choppers. It is pretty ridiculous, sincerely, compensated only in part by the (hoped for) increase in the availability of Chinook frames.

                                        The RN choppers fleet shouldn't be allowed to drop under 30 upgraded (HM2) Merlins, 28 Merlin HC3 (will they become HC4 when they are marinized and "commandoed"?) 8/10 Merlin AEW and the 28 Lynx Wildcat on order, which are not that many to start with.
                                        If 8 of the HC3 have to go from the start to be used as AEW platforms, i'm at least hoping that the 8 (possibly 12, the Merlins were 42, i'm missing 4 airframes which are never mentioned) HM1 that aren't upgraded can be used for training purpose to allow the 20 remaining utility frames to work full time.

                                        70 Chinooks... i keep thinking that, from buying none to buying this much, there was a bit of an excessive jump, if the Chinooks arrive at the cost of all the rest. A bit too costly, you know.
                                        "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                                        Comment

                                        • Witcha
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Jun 2010
                                          • 1241

                                          Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                                          It is in service from quite some time already, and i don't think the italian navy ever had Sea King AEW choppers to start with.
                                          As to capability, its radar and data elaboration performance are fine for the italian navy, but the RN considers it not sufficient for its own requirements and mandates a more powerful radar and, almost surely, would not step away from the proven Cerberus mission system.
                                          The APS-784 has been has a quoted range 150-200km for missile detection(and probably far more for aircraft). I don't see why it wouldn't qualify. And if the Lockheed Martin proposal is willing to incorporate the Cereberus I don't see why the HEW team wouldn't.

                                          Comment

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