• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

RAF Puma Replacement?

bob225

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
122
Reaction score
86

Wyvern

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
618
Reaction score
670
So here's a what if:

The US marines are retiring 20+ young hueys, how about the RAF either loan or buy them for a short fill in, whilst waiting for V-280 or SB-1??

Although they'll come cheap, they wouldn't exactly be a direct replacement for the Puma. The RAF would essentially end up with another Wildcat and if a purchase of these surplus types were to occur, they would be most likely be operated by the AAC. Spares is another issue. Unless the RAF would wish to operate a large fleet of small helicopters, then I doubt a move would occur. That being said, the Bell 412 is already in use by the RAF, so maybe some UH-1Ys can operate with them? Weren't these supposed to be retired under the SDSR, or am I mixing something up?
 

zebedee

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
206
Reaction score
215
Website
www.flickr.com
If I remember correctly the Bell 212 & 412 airframes are all owned and maintained by Cobham/Draken Europe, although given Drakens ambitions since the takeover of Cobham Mission Systems it wouldn't surprise me if some sort of leasing deal turned up...

Zeb
 

Wyvern

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
618
Reaction score
670
The recent SDSR stated that the Pumas would be retired, but by what is not stated. We can only guess right now.
 

bob225

ACCESS: Confidential
Joined
Dec 12, 2009
Messages
122
Reaction score
86
A couple of articles:



 

zebedee

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
206
Reaction score
215
Website
www.flickr.com
Well that clears that up then...

The four in-service rotorcraft targeted for retirement are the Puma HC2, Bell 212s that are operated in Brunei, Bell 412s that fly from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, and Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) AS365 Dauphins flown by British Special Forces.

https://verticalmag.com/news/leonardo-to-pitch-aw149-for-raf-puma-replacement/

The rotorcraft referred to are understood to be the veteran Pumas, plus army-operated Bell 212 and 412 transports and Aerospatiale-built AS365 Dauphins which are used to support special forces personnel.

https://www.flightglobal.com/defenc...entials-as-uk-puma-replacement/143111.article

Zeb
 

shyab

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
if it is for short term buy till a new uk design just buy second hand blackhawks from the us or australia
 

Wyvern

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
618
Reaction score
670
It's been passed around numerous times before, all of which haven't succeeded. It does make some sense, but one must keep in mind that the Blackhawks are also ageing, and as outlined in one of the articles posted by our dear bob225, the Blackhawks themselves are in need of replacement, after having their ageing process accelerated by their use in various conflicts. The UK would want some decent aircraft, aircraft which will most probably still be wanted by their US operators.
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
14,046
Reaction score
3,854
Not to mention potential issues with the Civil Aviation Authority and such...
 

shyab

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Like I said short term say 10 to 15 years till they develop a new aircraft
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
14,046
Reaction score
3,854
Problem is, I don't think they have anywhere near that much time, the way things are going.
 

Wyvern

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
618
Reaction score
670
One also has to take into account that there could and probably would be delays to a new helicopter project. Therefore, it must be assumed that they will serve longer than that.

In all honesty, a Blackhawk purchase would make sense, but the chances of one happening are limited.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,610
Reaction score
1,762
Like I said short term say 10 to 15 years till they develop a new aircraft

The chance that the Puma replacement will be anything but an off-the-shelf procurement seems near zero. At best they'll be able to tweak the avionics a bit.

New build Black Hawks would make some sense (possibly with engines to match the Apaches) but AW149 is likely to be much cheaper.
 

Fluff

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Messages
487
Reaction score
267
Like I said short term say 10 to 15 years till they develop a new aircraft

The chance that the Puma replacement will be anything but an off-the-shelf procurement seems near zero. At best they'll be able to tweak the avionics a bit.

New build Black Hawks would make some sense (possibly with engines to match the Apaches) but AW149 is likely to be much cheaper.
YES! lets change the engines, what could possibly go wrong......
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,610
Reaction score
1,762
Like I said short term say 10 to 15 years till they develop a new aircraft

The chance that the Puma replacement will be anything but an off-the-shelf procurement seems near zero. At best they'll be able to tweak the avionics a bit.

New build Black Hawks would make some sense (possibly with engines to match the Apaches) but AW149 is likely to be much cheaper.
YES! lets change the engines, what could possibly go wrong......

The good news is they've already flown a Black Hawk with RTM322s. The bad news is that was 35 years ago.
 

TomS

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2008
Messages
4,610
Reaction score
1,762

shyab

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
it all depends what real capability they really want do they want a real millatery helicoper or a civil with lipstic
 

CJGibson

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,516
Reaction score
837
it all depends what real capability they really want do they want a real millatery helicoper or a civil with lipstic

Surely civil with camo cream?

Has any company produced a dedicated assault helicopter a la UH-60 since the UH-60?

Chris
 

shyab

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
it all depends what real capability they really want do they want a real millatery helicoper or a civil with lipstic

Surely civil with camo cream?

Has any company produced a dedicated assault helicopter a la UH-60 since the UH-60?

Chris
Nh90 which Australia brought and has had contestant delays would not buy anything from airbus look what happened to Australia with the tiger and nh90 years of delays and low avalabilty
 

CJGibson

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,516
Reaction score
837
From Wiki (my emphasis) - In 1985, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom teamed to develop a NATO battlefield transport and anti-ship/anti-submarine helicopter for the 1990s

Not dedicated, but it meant well.

Chris
 

Grey Havoc

The path not taken.
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
14,046
Reaction score
3,854
Has any company produced a dedicated assault helicopter a la UH-60 since the UH-60?
Leaving aside for the moment that Chinese Blackhawk copy, the Kamov Ka-60 could be said to be in this category, but that program is way behind schedule thanks to engine troubles, with a lot of the recent progress being with the ostensibly 'civil' Ka-62 variant using French Turbomeca (now Safran) engines.
 

Wyvern

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
618
Reaction score
670
Here is the weaponised AW149, taken from the Royal Aeronautical Society's article.

This does show that the company is taken this initiative quite seriously, and that they are willing to put some effort into it.

Seeing this concept does beg the question, do the Pumas carry any weapons other than machine guns? Did the WG.30 carry any at all?



Wyvern
 

Attachments

  • Agusta Westland AW149 armed.jpg
    Agusta Westland AW149 armed.jpg
    30.8 KB · Views: 24

shyab

ACCESS: Restricted
Joined
Jul 1, 2020
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Has any company produced a dedicated assault helicopter a la UH-60 since the UH-60?
Leaving aside for the moment that Chinese Blackhawk copy, the Kamov Ka-60 could be said to be in this category, but that program is way behind schedule thanks to engine troubles, with a lot of the recent progress being with the ostensibly 'civil' Ka-62 variant using French Turbomeca (now Safran) engines.
From Wiki (my emphasis) - In 1985, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom teamed to develop a NATO battlefield transport and anti-ship/anti-submarine helicopter for the 1990s

Not dedicated, but it meant well.

Chris
What is the difference are you splitting hairs
 

TomcatViP

Hellcat
Joined
Feb 12, 2017
Messages
3,363
Reaction score
2,148
Tragedy like what just happened in Mozambic sadly show that the 1980's force structure of aeromobility has been outpaced by militants ability to redeploy faster than what traditional helicopters can offer to armed forces...
KPI should be seen in term of deployability and availability (the number of airframe you can put into the air where they are needed without delay).
If countries like the USA or Australia with vast geographic zones have been aware of that point earlier than most (someone already commented on that point earlier), European airforces are now exposed daily on that point: hostage crisis, civilian slaughtering, Special ops ; the reality of the apparent gaps in the force structure has stained badly the capacity of their force to operate according to what is forced on them.

IMOHO replacing the Pumas won't make much senses if those points are not taken into account. It should not be about a search for similar capabilities in a modern airframe (new Puma are available with production lines open by the way) but patching the daily tragedy that promise to be if armed services are restrained in their ability to adapt to the new face of modern warfare.

Long range robotic deployement should be a priority (and adapted to all airframe type (conventional or not)) and range should be a priority and only compromised when Agility close to the ground dictates it: a combination of airframe is hence needed.

To me it's not about AW149, Airbus H-175 or new built Pumas but what combinations the service should buy: V280 and H175? V-22 and AW149? Puma and SB-1?

Makes them interoperable.
 
Last edited:

CJGibson

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
1,516
Reaction score
837
Not splitting hairs. NH90 programme was launched for both roles whereas the UH-60 came out of UTTAS - a dedicated army support (i.e. assault) helicopter.

Chris
 

yasotay

ACCESS: Top Secret
Top Contributor
Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2006
Messages
2,538
Reaction score
805
I suspect that Lockheed-Martin is all about making a sweetheart deal to the UK for new UH-60M in order to keep production going. However I imagine from a political perspective the AW-149 is the likely front runner. Bell 525 I would look at as a distant prospect, unless there is some UK facility associated with Textron. I'll ask this as a question, since I am inadequately informed on UK defense trends, would the UK consider "leasing" new aircraft as an interim while debating how best to meet their requirement?
My concern for the 149 is: What is the weight bogey to armor the critical components to make the platform combat survivable? Are the other military operators using military grade aircraft or are they camouflaged civil helicopters?
While I philosophically agree with TomcatViP, I very much doubt the decision makers are that far sighted.
 

RavenOne

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
405
Reaction score
576
I suspect that Lockheed-Martin is all about making a sweetheart deal to the UK for new UH-60M in order to keep production going. However I imagine from a political perspective the AW-149 is the likely front runner. Bell 525 I would look at as a distant prospect, unless there is some UK facility associated with Textron. I'll ask this as a question, since I am inadequately informed on UK defense trends, would the UK consider "leasing" new aircraft as an interim while debating how best to meet their requirement?
My concern for the 149 is: What is the weight bogey to armor the critical components to make the platform combat survivable? Are the other military operators using military grade aircraft or are they camouflaged civil helicopters?
While I philosophically agree with TomcatViP, I very much doubt the decision makers are that far sighted.

AW149 only mil operator at this time is Egypt (their aircraft was being tested in Verigiate last year) . Mil a/c tend to be built and assembled ground up specifically for mil uses.

Leasing only works with likes of COMR (Commercial Operated Military Registered ) such as the Cobham Helicopter Services providing the Bell 412 for 84 Sqn at RAF Akrotiri or AAC Bell 212 based at Brunei these helos will never see action in a battlefield because they are civilian initally.

cheers
 

zebedee

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Mar 18, 2007
Messages
206
Reaction score
215
Website
www.flickr.com
And now a vague possibility of Boeing joining the fray...


One wonders how that sits with Leonardo...?

I've been wondering whether we'll see a split buy, for example AW139 or H175 for the Special Forces/Cyprus/Brunei operations and AW149/H225 as a more direct Puma replacement...

Zen
 

Wyvern

ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
618
Reaction score
670
I personally doubt it as the SDSR stated (mind you, in all its unclear glory) that a single type is to replace the Dauphins, Pumas, Bell 212s and Bell 412s. I doubt whether the MH-139 is being considered, due to its small size, and it is essentially just an AW139. If the British wanted the AW139, wouldn't they just order it directly from Leonardo? That would make more sense, considering that it could be manufactured in Britain. Either way, unless the RAF wants to operate more helicopters than it already does, the AW139 makes no sense, and the AW149 is a more sensible option. This is based purely on opinion, however.
 

RavenOne

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
405
Reaction score
576
I personally doubt it as the SDSR stated (mind you, in all its unclear glory) that a single type is to replace the Dauphins, Pumas, Bell 212s and Bell 412s. I doubt whether the MH-139 is being considered, due to its small size, and it is essentially just an AW139. If the British wanted the AW139, wouldn't they just order it directly from Leonardo? That would make more sense, considering that it could be manufactured in Britain. Either way, unless the RAF wants to operate more helicopters than it already does, the AW139 makes no sense, and the AW149 is a more sensible option. This is based purely on opinion, however.
The AAC Bell 212 and RAF 84 Sqn Bell 412 are whole different kettle of fish they are COMR (Commercially Operated Military Registered) as in not front line battlefield helos and are supplied by CObham Helicopter Services (formerly FB Heliservices). The Army Bell 212 are used for Jungle support in Brunei of our Ghurka troops there, and also used for some trianing conversion at Middle Wallop 84 Sqn Bell 412 are providing SAR and other utility tasks for British Forces Cyprus. My photos below of both 84 Sqn Bell 412 and AAC bell 212 at Helitech Exhibtion 2011 in my neck of the woods at Imperial War Museum Duxford.

11896112_10154106709906490_205033640146664844_n.jpg 10414879_10154106709861490_2305540217380674990_n.jpg 11836842_10154106709856490_2800453411998286317_n.jpg 11949328_10154106709786490_5723807737170838635_n.jpg 11149457_10154106709761490_1672096371179483939_n.jpg 11058649_10154106711196490_1430561749438297992_n.jpg 11885227_10154106711121490_4158620929695382237_n.jpg 11924919_10154106710966490_7346679059344723105_n.jpg

There is some replacement for the 84 Sqn Bell 412 contract or was last year but because of covid, I guess, its been put on hold as the Cobham contract should have ended this year.

Cheers
 

RavenOne

ACCESS: Secret
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
405
Reaction score
576
And now a vague possibility of Boeing joining the fray...


One wonders how that sits with Leonardo...?

I've been wondering whether we'll see a split buy, for example AW139 or H175 for the Special Forces/Cyprus/Brunei operations and AW149/H225 as a more direct Puma replacement...

Zen

The Cyprus and Brunei ops a/c are not batttlefield front line helos plus I cannot honestly (even though I would love to) see a proposed H175M operating in the jungle environment. In saying that it could do ok for SAR tasks at RAF Akrotiri but its not just SAR, 84 Sqn does they do utlity and troop carrying, underlsung loads and they even gone as far as Jordan for exercises.

Cheers
 

Similar threads

Top