Possible new RAN Helo's

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MikeJames
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Possible new RAN Helo's

Postby MikeJames » 18 Oct 2016 16:00

Talking to a mate in the grey sponge and the word is that Navy is not happy with the allocation of seven MRH-90 Taipans they've been given to operate in the transport lift capacity to replace the Sea Kings.

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MRH-90 Taipan

Really not happy, to the point that there is a project in the formative state to do a FMS sale with the US for up to 12x MH-60S Seahawk Sierra's (the transport version of the Seahawk, basically a Black Hawk with a Seahawk body) to replace the MRH-90s currently allocated to the Navy.

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MH-60S Seahawk Sierra

This would allow the Navy's MRH-90 allocation to be returned to Army to allow them to meet the needs they have, with the five additional Sierra's (over the seven Taipans Navy's currently allocated) to meet the demand for helos on the LHD's, Choules, and the future AORs Supply and Stalwart (Supposedly the two names deemed most likely for the replacement for Success and Sirius)

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SH-60R Seahawk Romeo

Apparently the Taipan's are too fragile for sea-borne operations and have a host of avionic and mechanical limitations operating from marine platforms for any length of time. It seems the long deployment to Hawaii for RIMPAC brought a lot of these issues to the fore.

The designers, Airbus Helicopters, claim they can fix the issues, however Navy's trust in them isn't all that high, especially after the Tiger fiasco (the same company designed both helicopters)

Mike
Last edited by MikeJames on 20 Oct 2016 11:58, edited 2 times in total.
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BsHvyCgn9
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Re: Possible new RAN Helo's

Postby BsHvyCgn9 » 18 Oct 2016 19:01

the MH60S is unofficially known (as far as I have read) as the Knighthawk replacing the CH46 Seaknight in the USN vertrep and SAR roles....it can also run around with 8 Hellfires and various machineguns hanging out the doors (see pics)
As Mike said it is essentially a Blackhawk with SH60 Avionics, engines etc, and marinised airframe.
I have been slowly building one out of two kits....

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glenhowells
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Re: Possible new RAN Helo's

Postby glenhowells » 19 Oct 2016 14:43

I don't know to much about our current fleet of military helos. What is the caring capacity of stores/ cargo/ persons of this seahawk/blackhawk version. It seems to me a bit small for a heavy lift large work horse. What other models are on offer may be merlin or similar just a thought.

Cheers Glen
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MikeJames
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Re: Possible new RAN Helo's

Postby MikeJames » 20 Oct 2016 12:09

The ADF Helicopter plan was supposed to reduce the number of platforms in operation, not increase them.

Seahawk Sierra would see basically the same avionics, power plant and mechanicals as the Seahawk Romeo, so it would have minimal impact on the ADF's operational costs. Adding a new type such as Merlin would add vast acquisition, training, spares inventory and maintenance costs to the operator, plus ongoing operational costs.

In answer to your question, the Sierra has a useful lift of just over 3,000 KG or 3 tonnes. The Sea King had a useful lift of 3,200 KG.

By comparison, the MRH-90 Taipan has a useful lift of 4,000 KG.

For heavy lift off the amphibs, the RAN / Army use the Chinook which has a useful lift of 11,000 KG.

The alternatives would be the Merlin with a useful lift of 9,000 KG and the CH-53E Super Sea Stallion with a useful lift of 14,000 KG. The new CH_53K King Stallion under development will lift 15,900 KG.

If the ADF goes down the path of acquiring the Osprey (as has been hinted at for Special Operations), the V-22 has a useful lift of 6,000 KG but carries it much faster and over greater ranges than helicopters..

Useful lift is defined as the optimum trade off between range and payload. A Chinook could carry more than the 11,000 KG it is rated for, but range would fall off horribly.

Mike

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