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AH-64 Apache Projects

AN/AWW-14(V)

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Shephard understands that the German federal government has asked its US counterpart for information about the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.

 

GTX

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Shephard understands that the German federal government has asked its US counterpart for information about the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter.


Doesn't make sense given they have 50+ Tigers in service or are they looking at a replacement?
 

TomcatViP

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In service? Service means that you can serve a purpose. A tactical one for an attack helo...
All German Tigers are said to be brought to commune standards in an attempt to alleviate their poor serviceability.

So it does make sense to buy some Apaches. Just like Australia had to.
 

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VTOLicious

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So it does make sense to buy some Apaches. Just like Australia had to.

Err...you want to check your facts there.
?


Better have a look at that article (of the same website) ;)

https://australianaviation.com.au/2...at-the-armys-armed-reconnaissance-helicopter/
 

GTX

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Can someone elaborate what exactly is the problem with the Tigers? ...Do the French have the same issues?

Here are some of the reports I have seen:

 

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GTX

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I might not get you. What else did you want to tell me (post 126)?

Your original post # 126 where you stated "So it does make sense to buy some Apaches. Just like Australia had to."

Australia has not acquired Apaches. I challenged you on this and then the rest of your posts since have not made any sense in terms of validating your incorrect comment. If anything they are proving what I and others have said. Land 4503 has not yet been decided so posting stories or referencing them doesn't make any further sense.
 

Forest Green

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Can someone elaborate what exactly is the problem with the Tigers? ...Do the French have the same issues?
The Germans have a massive problem with the availability of all aircraft that other countries don't have. It's to do with lack of maintenance.
 
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TomcatViP

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Probably that's not the right time to have a conversation with you @GTX
...

I will delete my previous post as not to embarrass other with our meaninglessness exchange.
 

VTOLicious

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Doesn't make sense given they have 50+ Tigers in service or are they looking at a replacement?

most of them are not combat ready and Airbus can not fix the situation
Can someone elaborate what exactly is the problem with the Tigers? ...Do the French have the same issues?
"
"The French"? All of them? 67 million people flying Tiger helicopters? Whoa, that'a lot!

If what is meant is Armée de terre ALAT Tiger units, they are providing sterling service in the real war against terrorism in Sahel, including bringing back the crew of two of a crashed SA-342 Gazelle who braced themselves onto the Tiger sponsons. BTW the A400M is also giving very good service to Armée de l'Air in the same operation Barkhane (even if it's another story for Airbus : https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-s...chouchou-des-armees-cauchemar-dairbus-1171542).
Probably the difference between armies with a strong operational experience, and peace-time forces with very limited capabilities, including in maintenance and support.
So the answer is no, Monsieur Je-sais-tout?
 

yasotay

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I would comment that the Australian Forces very much have "a strong operational experience". I would agree that the German issue is that they did not invest in maintenance and support. I suspect that the Australian challenge has to do with supply issues more than anything else. As there are now something like 8-10 countries using AH64 there is a more robust supply distribution methodology that Airbus must challenge. Unfortunately for Airbus, right or wrong, Tigre has bad press these days. That does not help.
 

GTX

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Probably that's not the right time to have a conversation with you @GTX
...

I will delete my previous post as not to embarrass other with our meaninglessness exchange.

Your call. I only ask that people deal with facts, especially when they are very easily verified. If someone wants to post things that they either aren't able to verify or is something that is their opinion than please state as much.
 

TomcatViP

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No. You stop it now. I haven't said anything that was factually incorrect. Australia had to launch a new acquisition process after being dissatisfied with the Tiger drastic lack of performances. To the point that both the Cobra and the Apache, two designs that predate the Tiger by a decade at minimum, were the two main candidates in line. This is unique in mil aerospace history.

True that the competition is open for the Tiger that has not been officially barred to compete. But it's true also that my door stays open for my ex...
 

GTX

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I suspect that the Australian challenge has to do with supply issues more than anything else.

From what I understand (and it has been quite a few years now since I had any direct involvement on the Australian Tiger program so take this with a grain of salt), the problems experienced with Australian Tigers was partially Airbus and partially the Australian Govt (DMO/CASG/Army aviation) - as they sometimes say "it takes two to tango". The key issues have very much been logistics and maintenance but partially that was due, in my opinion, to rushing the initial contract around this aspect. There have been delays in achieving full operational capability and this is covered in an ANAO report (https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/tiger-armys-armed-reconnaissance-helicopter)

Some articles on both Australian and French experiences with their helicopters:


I'm not sure what the Spanish experience has been.

Going back to the German experience and the initial post about potential AH-64s, and having thought about it a little more, I wonder if the original role requirements might be playing into this. The Germans were, IIRC, originally wanting something more of a dedicated anti-tank platform. With the end of the Cold War this then changed into something more multirole platform (and accordingly, it went from being referred to as PAH-2 Tiger (Panzerabwehrhubschrauber-2 Tiger, German: Anti-tank helicoper 2 Tiger), to being called UH Tiger (Unterstützungshubschrauber Tiger, German: Support helicopter Tiger)). Is it now the case that Germany, like many in the rest of the Western world (Australia included), is going 'heavy' again and thus wanting something more dedicated in the Anti-tank role and thus looking at the AH-64?

Interestingly, I do believe similar is occurring in Australia: the original AIR-87 project called for an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (hence the ARH Tiger name) which was primarily aimed at being a replacement for the Australian Army's Kiowa Reconnaissance helicopters with a fire support/escort ability to replace the UH-1H Bushrangers. Hence, one of the reasons the ARH Tiger was selected over the bigger AH-64 originally. In recent years though, Australia has adopted a 'heavier' equipment fit with the likes of M1A1 Abrams replacing Leopard 1s, Boxer CRVs replacing ASLAV, KF41 or AS21 replacing M113s etc. This in part may be also playing into the helicopter domain. anyway, just my thoughts...
 

GTX

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I haven't said anything that was factually incorrect.

What do you call your original post # 126 where you stated "So it does make sense to buy some Apaches. Just like Australia had to." then?

You implied that Australia had already bought Apaches. That is factually incorrect. It is easily verifiable. It is the issue I originally raised. Don't try to twist things now.
 

yasotay

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@GTX - a very good point that ought to be considered. There appears to be a renewed multipolar great power competition coming about. While I personally cannot see massed armor driving this way or that across the plains of Europe, Australia may feel compelled to concern themselves with the growing power in the orient. This may in fact be one of the drivers that leads to acquisition of heavier platforms designed for this form of combat, such as the Apache.

Please if anyone wants to take issue with the point above, let us do so in the bar.
 

VTOLicious

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@GTX - a very good point that ought to be considered. There appears to be a renewed multipolar great power competition coming about. While I personally cannot see massed armor driving this way or that across the plains of Europe, Australia may feel compelled to concern themselves with the growing power in the orient. This may in fact be one of the drivers that leads to acquisition of heavier platforms designed for this form of combat, such as the Apache.

Please if anyone wants to take issue with the point above, let us do so in the bar.

Indeed a good point! In that context:

Apache: MRD 48 ft (14.63 m), MTOM 23000 lb (10433 kg)
Tiger: MRD 42 ft 8 in (13m), MTOM 13228 lb (6000 kg)
 

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@GTX : this is not a Tupperware meeeing. Everybody here knows that no Apache are yet under Aussie services. The RFI ask for combat helo which is exemplified today by the Apache.

@VTOLicious : Except that the RFP is more balanced toward an armed reconnaissance aircraft if my memory stands right.
This is clearly a request to replace a system that has not met service expectations. This is not a change in doctrine.
 

VTOLicious

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On one hand (a) and on the other hand (b):

[Australianaviation.Com.Au, July 7, 2019]

(a)
"...The ANAO report also found that the helicopter continued to suffer from lower than expected serviceability rates, and that it faced growing obsolescence issues.
Interestingly, the ANAO report referred to a 2013 report by Defence’s Rapid Prototyping, Development and Evaluation (RPDE) organisation which found that upgrading the Tiger was a “high-risk activity” and that replacement alternatives should be considered.
One of the key recommendations of the ANAO report was “that Defence assesses, and advises government, on the value-for-money in investing further in the Tiger aircraft fleet for only a short period of improved performance, against other alternatives”.

Further, the report said this assessment should take into account the associated technical risks of upgrading an aircraft which has not fully delivered the level of capability originally expected by government..."

(b):
"...In July 2018, then Commander of Army’s 16th Aviation Brigade BRIG Steve Jobson wrote that he considered the Tiger a “truly world-class platform”. “We have driven health into our Tiger organisations, with improved facilities, maintenance processes, reorganised workforce and collaborative operations,” he said...
“This is no longer the system we acquired,” he added. “It is now modernised with next generation weapons, digitised connectivity, revolutionary tactics with unmanned aerial vehicles, and interoperability with the Royal Australian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force and our allies..."

And from the same article:

"...Whether BRIG Jobson was pushing the case to retain the Tiger beyond the 2025 timeframe, or whether he just wanted to publicly reassure the rest of the ADF that Tiger will retain a relevant capability right up until that time, is unclear.

Unfortunately now this is largely irrelevant, as it appears the Tiger’s fate has been sealed.

When asked on the sidelines of the 2019 Avalon Airshow about these positive statements and the encouraging direction in which the Tiger capability had been heading in recent years, Army’s Director General Aviation BRIG John Fenwick told Australian Aviation:

“The White Paper is very clear, we need to start preparing to replace the aircraft in the mid 2025s.”..."
 

GTX

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As with all major acquisitions, there is quite a bit of politics going on behind the scenes, some of which is displayed above. Some in Army are definitely in the "the answer is Apache, no other needs to look beyond" camp (similar to the RAN were with replacing the S-70Bs with MH-60R under AIR9000 Ph8) but others are more circumspect. Each of the 3 contenders, Boeing with the AH-64 Apache, Bell Aerospace offering the AH-1Z Viper and Airbus with updated ARH Tigers is also obviously pushing their solutions and influencing when/where they can, including very obviously in the media. Also complicating things will be financial drivers including costs of acquisition (remembering that staying with a Tiger solution allows much use of existing logistics systems, spares, infrastructure etc), exchange rates etc etc.
 

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I know the UK has operated Apache's from Carriers and Amphibious ships. To what extent are they marinized? I ask because being able to operate from Canberra and Adelaide would be useful, which could the AH-1Z more versatile.
 

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WAH-64s are marinised for offshore operations and include folding main rotor blades. Probably take up not much more space on deck/or when struck down than an AH-1Z.

Chris
 

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Unless specified by the customer, AH-64 (any variant), is not designed or plumbed for continuous "at sea" operations. Not sure that the UK AH-64E will retain their ability to operate from a sea platform for extended periods. For sure Bell Flight is using the marinization of AH-1Z and the close cooperation between the USMC and the Australian military to pursue a sale.
 

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Unless specified by the customer, AH-64 (any variant), is not designed or plumbed for continuous "at sea" operations. Not sure that the UK AH-64E will retain their ability to operate from a sea platform for extended periods. For sure Bell Flight is using the marinization of AH-1Z and the close cooperation between the USMC and the Australian military to pursue a sale.
The D variant purchased by the UK had some modifications that were made by Westland when they built it under license, one of which was folding blades to allow the use of ship hangars. They'll probably do something similar with new purchases.
 

yasotay

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Unless specified by the customer, AH-64 (any variant), is not designed or plumbed for continuous "at sea" operations. Not sure that the UK AH-64E will retain their ability to operate from a sea platform for extended periods. For sure Bell Flight is using the marinization of AH-1Z and the close cooperation between the USMC and the Australian military to pursue a sale.
The D variant purchased by the UK had some modifications that were made by Westland when they built it under license, one of which was folding blades to allow the use of ship hangars. They'll probably do something similar with new purchases.
The biggest challenge will likely be securing the electronics in the aircraft. Corrosion can be treated, salt water on cards and circuits not so much.
 

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Unless specified by the customer, AH-64 (any variant), is not designed or plumbed for continuous "at sea" operations. Not sure that the UK AH-64E will retain their ability to operate from a sea platform for extended periods. For sure Bell Flight is using the marinization of AH-1Z and the close cooperation between the USMC and the Australian military to pursue a sale.
The D variant purchased by the UK had some modifications that were made by Westland when they built it under license, one of which was folding blades to allow the use of ship hangars. They'll probably do something similar with new purchases.

As I recall it, provision for marinisation of the new 'Made in America' Apaches for the RAF was specifically dropped from the finalised contract, as a cost saving measure. HM Treasury at work.
 

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The biggest challenge will likely be securing the electronics in the aircraft. Corrosion can be treated, salt water on cards and circuits not so much.
They probably do that stuff in the hangars with the existing WAH-64s.
 

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RavenOne

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Which us Brits did during Op Ellamy flying AAC WAH-64D off HMS Ocean and prior to that were already basing them as part of Tailored Air Group......(, Fleet Air Arm Merlin, Sea King ASaC, Commando, RAF Chinook and AAC WAH-64D at the time)

Cheers
 

Grey Havoc

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The U.S. are likely going to have some interesting maintenance issues with the AH-64Es assigned to the exercise.
 

yasotay

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US Apaches have trained for, and executed littoral operations for over a decade. That said there is a recognition that the aircraft will require more maintenance for the effort.
 

Grey Havoc

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I have heard though that the AH-64E's are maintenance hogs, verging on (and sometimes going over) the edge of becoming hanger queens. They are certainly quite reliant on COTS components and associated Just In Time supply chains. And that's even before you get near a maritime environment, with all that entails.
 

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