MH-60R beats NH90 for Australia Navy contract
On June 16 the US Navy announced that the Australia has chosen a fleet of 24
MH-60R Seahawks for its navy.
Jerry Gunner - 17-Jun-2011
In what might be seen as another blow to the troubled NH90 programme the Australian Defence Force’s AIR 9000 Phase 8 requirement for a fleet of 24 new-generation, multi-role naval combat aircraft will be filled by the MH-60R Seahawk. The new helicopters will be supplied in a package including associated training and logistical support via the United States' Government’s Foreign Military Sales programme. With the whole deal valued at US$3.16 billion it is expected that the Australian economy will benefit to the tune of US$1.5 billion as a result of work arising from it. Delivery of the first two aircraft, the first of the type to be sold outside the United States, is expected to take place in 2014.
mike yates said on the 17-Jun-2011 at 22:18
First it was a fleet of F18`s instead of F35`s now a new fleet of Seahawks instead of NH90. At last a defence department with its finger on the pulse. Buying off the shelf, tried and tested and trusted aircraft is what the UK should be doing as a matter of course. New technology is ok but not when it is way over budget and way out of timeframe. Oz is buying whats right for itself at this time, something the UK could learn from, instead of leaving us weak in numbers of aircraft. Europe has been found wanting now with the A400-Eurocopter Tigre- who the Oz`s have suffered to their expense and now the NH90, no wonder they are unimpressed. I`ve said for a long while now, if we`re not building in the UK we should be beating a path to the Americans, Boeing and Sikorsky in particular.
Kev said on the 18-Jun-2011 at 02:51
My only concern is that the MH-60R doesn't carry a long range anti-ship missile. The Hellfire is all good and well but I think a helo would get nailed before it had a chance to use it.
Ryan Adams said on the 18-Jun-2011 at 04:00
Fully agree with Mike, what u need right now is proven air frames. Look at A400M air lifter, so much spent unnecessarily when they could've used C-130J and C-17, both great air frames, same goes for NH-90 too.If you don't have enough orders (at least 300 plus) what's the point bothering to build a new air frame without opting to buy off the shelf. After all, NATO should operate similar air frames.
Kev said on the 18-Jun-2011 at 12:27
Well, considering the NH-90 TTH and NH-90 NFH is ordered or entering service with France (34 TTH +34, 27NFH), Germany (122 TTH +12), Italy (71 TTH, 46NFH), Finland (20 TTH), Sweden (18), Australia (46 MRH), Norway (14 NFH), Netherlands (20), Greece (20+14), New Zealand (8 TTH), Oman (20 TTH), Saudi Arabia (64), Belgium (4 NFH,4 TTH +2), Spain (76 TTH, 26 NFH) and Portugal (10 TTH)for a total of 572 ordered well exceeds 300+ airframes and judging by the list covers most of the European NATO countries.
The ADF is trying to rationalise their helicopter fleet so with the S-70A-9 and S-70B-2 on the way out and the MRH-90 coming in (in larger numbers than the Blackhawk)it would make more sense IMHO to go with the NFH and have 2 helos from the same manufacturer rather than just the MH-60R from Sikorsky.
I do agree with Mike though, the NH-90 has no track record yet but the MH-60R does and if that was the main reason I can't disagree with that.
michael said on the 18-Jun-2011 at 13:17
You know as well as anyone that the buy of F18's is only to keep the RAAF up to scratch until the arrival of F35 which they have confirmed that they are buying.The Seahawk buy I agree with you is the right one for Australia.
I must say though that with all the recent well recorded failures in the Australian defence dept i.e. Collins class submarines in a critical state and only two at the most fit for sea. The building of the new AWD is a complete disaster and it has only just begun. The amphibious ships are falling to pieces and cannot carry out their jobs.The Seasprite saga was another unmitigated disaster,and the Wedgetail programme is way behind schedule. You then come up with 'at last a defence department with its finger on the pulse'
Are you having a laugh?
As far as you and other posters on here slating the A400,IMHO this aircrafts troubled past is well behind it and it is going to be one big success story. You are going to eat your words.
mike yates said on the 18-Jun-2011 at 17:22
I didn`t go through all that GUFF about AWD and Largs Bay aquisition and all the other FAILURES and then come up with "at last etc. etc.". I actually said the purchase of F18`s and Seahawk were made with someone with its finger on the pulse...NOW.. RIGHT NOW, with these 2 purchases. There is a difference Michael. The other projects were sanctioned by someone else years ago, they NOW seem to have someone there who knows what they are talking about.
I actually believe that like the UK, OZ will reduce the numbers of F35`s ordered and rely on F18`s for their future defence needs (Rightly).
I also actually believe the A400 is a machine to do the RAF heavylift role, but compared to C17 its expensive and you must admit it was very, very long in getting here, so NO I don`t slate the aircraft but the project was flawed. I still also think there is a place for the smaller Herc, or Spartan cos you`re not always needing a larger airlifter for every job.
The mistake with the wedgetail was the choice of aircraft. They should have gone with 767 the same as the Japanese. I would like to see the UK looking in this direction soon.
michael said on the 18-Jun-2011 at 19:43
I don't think I was talking GUFF as you put it by pointing out these FAILURES.
'They now seem to have someone who knows what they are talking about' and pray who is that,come on now it's a fact the australians are going for more and more US equipment because the US makes it worth their while.
The US needs Australia onside more than ever in this current power shift from Europe to Asia/Pacific.
You are also suggesting that we completely throw away our skills base which is being upheld by co-operation with Europe via Typhoon and A400,and now the tie up by BAE and Dassault,soley because 'we are not building in the UK' sounds a bit like cutting of your nose to spite your face.
So you are an advocate of complete reliance on the US for our military aircraft needs,don't say that i'm taking you out of context,it's there in your first post.
'If we're not building in the UK,we should be beating a path to the Americans'
'How very supportive of you'
mike yates said on the 18-Jun-2011 at 20:38
You seem to have an insite into what I`m thinking and yet miss the point of everything I do say. And yes you DO take things I write out of context. Putting Oz aside I am NOT suggesting we throw away our skills base, yet I have made the observation that we don`t build aeroplanes any more. Its a fact! Where`s the Jag-Harrier-Buccanear-Sea Vixen Canberra of today. We don`t build these type of planes anymore. How we could do with a few Andovers for maritime patrol, but we don`t make them though do we, because our aerospace industry has been decimated. As for not being supportive you are again very wide of the mark as usual. I have even suggested a National Military Aircraft industry through previous pages (Because we don`t build anything) I would definately support that, hows that unsupportive, you can`t support what ain`t there. And NO I don`t advocate complete reliance on the US for our military needs but YOU scoffed at my idea of buying Russian in an unconnected post so Yes,(at the moment) I would buy from America. Not Chinese not Russian then, and not European. American....Who else is there, realistically. But only because we don`t build aeroplanes in the UK any more. Have I made my point now?
michael said on the 18-Jun-2011 at 22:50
Sorry but yes throwing away our skills base is exactly what your are suggesting.
I am quite aware of the fact we dont build aircraft any longer have have not done for some time and yes our indigenious aircraft industry has been decimated,you still don't answer though our colaborative ventures with Europe which as I have already said keep our skills alive.
A National Military Aircaft industry you would definately support. Do tell the minor things like how it is to be financed,what firms would make it up who would run it,and how do we go about getting orders for an aircraft to build,that is just an idea. I assume your wish this company to make a profit,therefore it needs orders.
mike yates said on the 19-Jun-2011 at 01:05
I have now said twice that I would not dream of throwing away our aero-skills.Tell me where I`ve said I don`t want us to keep our skills. I don`t believe we get enough out of collaberations with EADS for instance at the moment and am hoping this will change. Thats a fact. With your posts I don`t cherry pick, I go through them para by para attempting to put right your way off assumptions of what my comments actually mean. I can`t help it if you can`t understand whats written down. You say I want to throw away our skills. WRONG. I am saying I want us to keep those skills and build aircraft for us.
How can I possibly tell how a National Aircraft Industry would be financed. Other than we used to do it and other countries still do it ,so it can be done. If its National then it does NOT need to make an out and out profit, it just needs to cover costs, and yes of course it IS just an idea but one that I think deserves consideration. I haven`t gone and set it all up just for something to do, its just an idea. The orders would just be from the UK Mod,at first, if other countries liked what they saw they could buy.
Here we go again. America builds what most governments want, militarily. I say the Aussies were right to choose them for the F18 and Seahawk because they were the best at what the Aussies wanted. Who else makes a two engined Mach2 carrier fighter at this price, and even if there were another frame to choose it would be a matter of preference as to what was ordered. Who else builds a helo gunship with the reliable seahawk/blackhawk pedigree. My preference would be Lynx but I`m not buying for Oz.
Peter Bos said on the 19-Jun-2011 at 10:42
The point that Australia bought the american competitor is relevant in the Netherlands. The NH90 is getting bad press here for not meeting design criteria. Since we sent a obsolete Lynx into Libya focus on the aircraft that had a better chance of pulling it of has amplified.
Germany has had issues with the NH90 and now Australia has decided not to even bother.
There have been rumours that Holland is looking to Sikorsy products by now. Just recently Sweden, a established NH90 customer, opted for UH60's because they needed a dependable helicopter now.
michael said on the 19-Jun-2011 at 11:48
Which is why I said in my first post on this thread, 'The Seahawk buy I agree with you is the right one for Australia'
XV571 said on the 21-Jun-2011 at 16:57
Anyone any info on whether the Merlin or Lynx/Wildcat were considered in this procurement decision ?
mike yates said on the 21-Jun-2011 at 22:51
Agusta Westland were part of the consortium that offered the Eurocopter NH90 for the Oz requirement. The AW Merlin is a larger machine than the NH90 so although it seems a conflict of interest for AW it was in fact NOT.
Oz have chosen the MH60R because this is multirole, to compliment their MH60S which they use more in the utility role. Many of the Uniforms preferred the one source (Sikorsky) purchase and its reliability. But more important
it was available now with no teething problems to sort out.
XV571 said on the 21-Jun-2011 at 22:55
pmm said on the 21-Jun-2011 at 23:45
Xv, pete, mike y
i looked up some photos for invincible to see how the scrapping was going. She's cut back to her second funnel now. Another nail in the harriers coffin. A really sad site.
Pete, rumour has it that you're taller and more important than me. ;)
peter bos said on the 22-Jun-2011 at 08:29
It sadly only matters when applying for a F16 training course. They do not like hair product stains on the inside of their canopys.
@ Mike, that also explains why Lynx wasn't in the selection. Perhaps besides being a rather small platform. Couldn't find any publications on the original RFP though. Rather few serious contestants then. Only AW and Sikorsky to turn to
mike yates said on the 22-Jun-2011 at 11:17
Just to CORRECT a small point, the Australian designation for the Blackhawk is of course S70 and then the type designation like S70A for eg.and then -9 as a model number. Like I say, used for mobility, some though were fitted with door guns and some used with Special Forces from 171 squadron. Hope that helped.
mike yates said on the 22-Jun-2011 at 11:54
At least(if rumours are true) we shall still see the ARK as a helipad on the Thames? rather this than scrapping it, but the Harrier I don`t know. A prudent Mod would mothball ours to compliment the F 35c on the QE. If its all about flying costs, its gonna cost a hell of a lot more to train pilots to land and take off time and time again to get it right, and thats without accidental loss. We know the Gr9 is nowhere near as capable as the F35, but it IS still a potent aircraft, worth keeping I say. Ask the Yanks..
PMM said on the 24-Jun-2011 at 00:19
The way the top brass are kicking off, i wouldn't be surprised if the Harrier is kept in some form. The rumour of a sale to the US at less than £1m per plane makes it cheap to keep compared with £100M each for typhoon. Would you swap 60 harriers for 1 typhoon. Now that's a no brainer. You'd still have 40M to pay for the pilots and running costs.
I know this thread is about helos, but they both take off vertically.
mike yates said on the 25-Jun-2011 at 01:29
You`re maybe right about the Lynx. Not for the hight of the pilot though. Its strange to me that AW didn`t make a mid sized 10 tonne troop carrier/gunship with pylons rockets missiles and gun pods a la Blackhawk, able to carry a full squad of soldiers. The 149 might be the right tool for the job if they get the armament right. Guns and rockets, the more the better, and skids of course like the AH7, not wheels. Hope the Mod get some spending money soon.
Lionel M said on the 25-Jun-2011 at 03:52
The MRH-90 problems probably didn't help the NH-90 either...
michael said on the 25-Jun-2011 at 16:11
'I wouldn't be surprised if the harrier is kept in some form'
For goodness sake give up,the harrier is finished in UK service,to say otherwise is nonsense.