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Thread: NH90, yay or nay?

  1. #1
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    NH90, yay or nay?

    a few years have passed since it entered service and what say ye?

    great looking helicopter but seems to be plagued with ongoing teething issues, improper layout placements, and high costs seemingly make it seem that the Blackhawks, Hips, and Merlins to be a better value for operators.

  2. #2
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    It had potential but was ultimately sabotaged by poor reliability and spares that cost to much.

    Apaches had a similar problem but once US got involved in Iraq and Afghanistan in early 2000s they were fixed.

    A similar transformation for NH90 is possible but unlikely given the bad taste the NH90 has left in all the customer mouth.

  3. #3
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    I seem to recall that the floor was too weak for certain loads (and damaged by guests in high heels at airshows), and the fuselage too delicate for austere landings- not so good for a battlefield utility helo....

  4. #4
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    It seems that the corrosion problems that the Dutch naval NH90s suffered from have been solved:

    http://www.lieuwedevries.com/?page_id=2891#.WkVOvN-nGUl

    You don't really hear many problems about the NH90 today - I suppose they have 'resolved' many of the other problems it suffered. Germany has recently taken delivery of some new example recently.

  5. #5
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    The high heels thing was real AFAIK - the floor panels are composite skin over honeycomb core and naturally not very good at bearing highly concentrated loads if they happen to align with one of the holes in the honeycomb. Embarrassing, but not sure if it's such a big problem for the job it was designed to do.

  6. #6
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    I found the older article that indicated that the floor damage was not just high heels (which came at a later airshow), but boots:

    "Clearance is so limited that soldiers have trouble getting in and out of the helicopter; the rear ramp is too weak to support fully equipped soldiers; the plane's floor is so sensitive that it can be cracked by boots; and the seats are unable to accommodate more than 240 pounds".

    https://www.upi.com/Germany-not-happ...8161267127259/

    Guess this has been addressed.

  7. #7
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    With some of those you have to wonder if the problem wasn't so much the engineering as the specs from the armed forces which it was then faithfully designed to meet. It's a late Cold War project at heart, and I can see how a modern soldier might carry a lot more gear than envisioned back then - much like up-armoured AFVs have outgrown the cross section and payload weight of the C-130J.

  8. #8
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    I found the older article that indicated that the floor damage was not just high heels (which came at a later airshow), but boots:
    The Australian Department of Defence found similar issues. Essentially the helicopter was not equipped for battlefield conditions and none of the systems were currently capable of operating in a high threat scenario. Some of that blame lies with the Aus DoD who demonstrated some poor project management and requirements definition (although in their defence they recommended the UH-60 and were overruled by the Government of the day) but also the immaturity of the design, even in 2014, was pretty clear.

    During the audit, the MRH90 Program was dealing with a range of challenges related to immaturity in the MRH90 system design and the support system. The challenges include:

    resolving MRH90 cabin and role equipment design issues so that operational test and evaluation validates the MRH90 aircraft’s ability to satisfy Operational Capability Milestones set by Army and Navy;
    the continuing need to conduct a wide range of verification and validation activities on problematic or deficient aircraft systems;
    increasing the reliability, maintainability and flying rate of effort of the MRH90 aircraft;
    embedding revised sustainment arrangements directed toward improving the value for money of these arrangements;
    establishing a revised Australian industry activities plan, including performance metrics;
    funding and managing the extended concurrent operation of the Army S‑70A‑9 Black Hawk and MRH90 aircraft fleets; and
    managing a Navy capability gap following the retirement of the RAN Sea King aircraft in December 2011.
    https://www.anao.gov.au/work/perform...copter-program

  9. #9
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    Certainly, if you would have to designate an Yaysayer Lead Nation, we Italians are the natural candidate for it.

    No main problem ever detected, all deliveries in the correct timing, performance surpassing several requisites, first ones to declare them (TTH version)operative (and this directly in Afghanistan!) although having received them after Germany and France.
    So, if your own ones are giving you problems you can freely give the poor puppies to us, at a simbolic price obviously!

  10. #10
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    In Norways case, the NH-90 has been a huge disaster. A few month ago, the news(****) hit the fan, and it was the NH-90 cannot operate out from our Frigates and Coastguard assets.

    Like how is this possible, the NH-90 has been severely delayed over the years, and now that we received the very first of em, they cannot operate as we planned.
    Its not just the NH-90 fault here.. its our MoD as well.
    Thanks

  11. #11
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    maybe Norway should look at AW159 Wildcat if the UK are dumb enough to get rid of them

  12. #12
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    @ Haavarla
    What is exactly the reason because they cannot operate from them? They lack some components for operating the helicopters or just they do not fit into?

  13. #13
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    Not sure, but the general issue is the NH-90 can't handle the stress, tear nd wear when stationed on our Frigates. Its especial in medium and bad weather.
    Thanks

  14. #14
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    Is it something specific for Norwegian Kystvakt or maritime conditions, in general?

  15. #15
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    Not a clue. Yes we have pretty ****ty conditions out in open Northern Atlantic and Barent Sea.
    I just read somewhere our MoD could not certify the NH-90 Maritime operation, at least not the way they hoped for. We can ofcource fly them for other missions.
    Thanks

  16. #16
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    This article from about 11 month ago indicates that the Norwegian NH-90's had issues with ship decks rolls greater than 20 degrees.

    https://sputniknews.com/military/201...icopter-flaws/

    So not rugged enough for Army field use, and not maritime enough for maritime use???? Not much utility in that....

  17. #17
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    Sputniknews , really ?

  18. #18
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    And what?

  19. #19
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    So it seems that issues sprung from them being used in certain extreme weather conditions: being a multinational programme (and a relevant commercial success) it can surely be that some peculiar scenarios, like a 20° ship deck rolls, were just not taken into consideration.
    Also because forecasting moisture problems for a Netherland's helo in the carribeans would have been a feat also for Nostradamus...

  20. #20
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    Schedule delays were embarrassing, Finnish Army had to send some old Mi-8's to Russia for refurbishment so the Army would have at least some flyable helicopters while listening to manufacturers latest list of excuses why the wunderchopper wasn't going to make it. FOC variant should become operational this year, only 10 years behind schedule.
    Manufacturer paid compensation but has taken it all back in form of spares which cost an arm & leg, CPFH is whopping 7000 euros (!!) higher than F/A-18.

    Reportedly, when the copter works, it works well and cold of winter has not caused any troubles. Seems the chief problem is NHIndustries which probably should have seen some sort of all-inclusive management purge ca. 2005.

    Oh well, could be worse. Could be Cyclone.

  21. #21
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    Issue is the NH is much bigger than the legacy Lynx . Tolerances in the hangar on ships that used to operate the lynx are subsequently much less than it used to be, which is a concern when the NH is parked in those hangar in rough seas. The Norwegian are requesting the supplier to certify those tolerances.
    Am not sure how valid a demand that is, might be depending on the contract I guess. But obviously the earlier delays make relationship to supplier quiet tense.

    https://www.aftenposten.no/norge/i/y...y-i-darlig-var

  22. #22
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    wow, problems both at sea and on land.

    this begs the question, didn't those forces who procured them carefully examine it?

    examine the structural quality of the floor
    the accessibility of its doors
    its compatibility with ships?

    it seems a lot of these things could have been avoided

  23. #23
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    Sadly, our Norwegian MoD gets an class A for bad @ss work and this for a whole range of procurements.
    Look no further than our Frigates, prior Generation Army artillary, cost allocated to the F-35, our Base structure planning.
    And lord behold, i predict a colossal cost overrun when our new Subs gets on the table.

    Well i kind of like our Skjold Corvettes, but them too was shocking expensive to both Develop and operate.
    When you have a certain small Defense budget, you have to play by the numbers,, and our MoD does not.
    Thanks

  24. #24
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    we don't agree on a few things Harvey, but definitely agree with you on Norway.

    what do you think they should've purchased instead (for those bad acquisitions you've listed)

  25. #25
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    Cap F-35 at 28 airframes. Forego any Sub capability. We simply can'T afford it. The new SK Artilery looks good. Order more! Shift funding for upgrade MBT Leo and buy new. Trash the NH-90 already and order something.. anything else. Shift funding to better anti air system. Get an extra Army brigade up ASAP!
    Thanks

  26. #26
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    As of 2016 the RNZAF had the best reliability rate of all NH90 operators in the mid 60 % range while the worst operator reliability was something like 30 % or less.
    Apparently the NHI management culture is a problem as they were reluctant to be the bearer of bad news to the next layer of management, so often the RNZAF work their way down the management chain when seeking solutions.

  27. #27
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    So, it's a problem given by BOTH extreme weather conditions and too small spaces aboard.

    Certainly there is a big difference between putting it in an Hangar intended for a Lynx instead, just as an example, on an ORIZZONTE or FREEM, built for hosting a EH-101.
    .

  28. #28
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    Not sure if it is wise for Norway to give up its submarine fleet given its key position in the northern Atlantic. Should cut funds elsewhere to support the subs (like F-35 as mentioned).
    South Korean stuff are good enough and affordable

    speaking of reliability..ive found this

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nati...5e097c5eacbd1b

    The unreliability and under-*performance of two of Australia’s military helicopter fleets has caused a lack of jobs for pilots and a reduction in training operations at Army Aviation.

    These are the latest problems to be associated with the Tiger attack and reconnaissance helicopter and the troop transport MRH-90 Taipan, according to notes in the Defence Department’s annual *report.

    Both helicopter fleets, which together cost more than $5 billion, have been notoriously unreliable, with the Taipan running five years behind to reach final operational capability due next year and the Tiger reaching FOC last year — seven years late and then only with a number of caveats.

    The annual report says there has been reduced overall training due to the ability to absorb pilots into units as a flow-on from the *choppers’ underperformance.

    “High maintenance liability continues to impact rate-of-effort achievement,” it says. “There was reduced training at the Army Aviation Training Centre due to the ability to absorb pilots into the operational unit.”

    The report singles out the MRH-90, saying “reliability, availability and maintainability deficiencies continued to impact the fleet”.

    “Availability levels have not yet been achieved for transition of the MRH-90 into the Special Forces support role,’’ it said. “Flying was suspended twice during 2016-17 due to technical information management issues, with corresponding rate-of-effort achievement.”

    Among the roles the Taipans were supposed to undertake was as a replacement for the ageing Black Hawk helicopters flying special forces.

    The report said the Tigers’ rate of effort had been estimated to fly 4800 hours over the year but attained 3971 while the Taipans were due 7000 but only managed 5348.

    It revealed the MH-60R Seahawk had been estimated to fly 4800 hours but only managed 4037 because of a lack of crew.
    it only confirms my theory that whenever the Germans and French collaborate on something, the end product isn't that great.
    better to go full French or full German.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Y-20 Bacon View Post
    speaking of reliability..ive found this

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nati...5e097c5eacbd1b
    None of that is surprising. As I alluded to earlier the Aus DoD recommended the AH-64 and the UH-60M as the most mature, capable and lowest risk options for the respective helicopter tenders but they were overruled by the Government of the day who wanted to cosy up to Europe. Had the original American options been selected then both would have served with Australian forces in Afghanistan, significantly improving Australian operations, and likely reducing Australian and local population casualties, in Tarin Kowt.

  30. #30
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    AlphaJet, everlasting C-160s are there to balance your hard thoughts

    It's not about any mix of nationalities, it's about doing a job fine. No more, no less.

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