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Author: Subject: ASW/ASuW Maritime Warfare helicopters
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[*] posted on 16-5-2018 at 11:21 PM


PLA Navy Tests Ship-Borne Choppers in S. China Sea Targets

(Source: Global Times; issued May 16, 2018)


A Z-9 helicopter attached to an aviation regiment of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet fires a missile during a live-fire training exercise in the South China Sea. (PLA photo)

A People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy flotilla recently conducted live-fire drills for ship-borne helicopters in the South China Sea to test attacking targets at sea, with a military expert saying that the exercises show an improvement in the PLA's ability to attack hostile ships.

Two helicopters flew at a low altitude to the target area to avoid radar detection. After reaching the area, the helicopters used radar to lock in on the target while waiting for attack orders, a China Central Television (CCTV) broadcast showed on Tuesday.

Equipped with special anti-ship missiles, the modified Z-9 anti-submarine helicopters provide a reliable method to handle approaching small high-speed warships and will offset the blind area of long-range anti-ship attacks, Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times.

Song said finding and targeting a rapidly moving vessel is not an easy task for helicopters, although they have greater flexibility.

"The helicopter will be exposed to the enemy's anti-aircraft fire when it hovers to launch attacks… Hence, the helicopter pilot must find, lock into and attack the target and quickly fly away… it is quite a test for the pilots," Song explained.

The live-fire drills also showed the PLA Navy's shortcomings in sea target attacks, which would require further actual combat training, Chen Jingguang, a leader of an aircraft battalion of the PLA's South China Sea Fleet, was quoted as saying by CCTV.

An improvement in the PLA Navy's sea target attack capability is aimed at, but not limited to, confronting the island of Taiwan and countries at the foot of the South China Sea, Song said.

Some countries and regions will attempt to siege the PLA Navy's large ships with wolf pack tactics using high-speed missile gunboats. However, the very agile anti-ship helicopters could completely counter this scheme, Song said.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 17-5-2018 at 08:18 AM


Quote: Originally posted by bug2  
PLA Navy Tests Ship-Borne Choppers in S. China Sea Targets

(Source: Global Times; issued May 16, 2018)


A Z-9 helicopter attached to an aviation regiment of the PLA Navy’s South China Sea Fleet fires a missile during a live-fire training exercise in the South China Sea. (PLA photo)


Is it just me, or does this look like a fairly scary weapon separation?
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[*] posted on 17-5-2018 at 08:49 AM


Yup! Or a photoshop.................
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[*] posted on 17-5-2018 at 09:26 AM


MH-60 Seahawk production winds down as international interest remains tenuous

16 May, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Garrett Reim Phoenix

Production of Sikorsky’s MH-60 Seahawk is set to conclude in the next 18 months as the US Navy tops off its fleet and potential international customers have yet to commit to buy additional aircraft.

The USN is set to receive the last of the 280 MH-60R variants in the programme of record this June and then another eight of the helicopters in 2019 – additions to the 2018 budget. The Saudi Royal Navy is to receive 10 MH-60Rs in July.

“The production line is still active. It is still operating. It is coming towards the end of its life,” said USN Capt Craig Grubb, who manages the MH-60 helicopter programme. “If you want to buy MH-60s this is the time to act.”

International customers are expressing interest in the MH-60R but have yet to make commitments, he added. The MH-60R is operated by Australia and Denmark, in addition to the United States and soon Saudi Arabia.

Seahawk helicopter missions include anti-surface warfare, combat support, humanitarian disaster relief, combat search and rescue, aero medical evacuation, special operations and organic airborne mine countermeasures, according to the USN.



In addition to the MH-60R, the USN also operates 275 MH-60S helicopters, which were delivered in 2016, and a small number of the MH-60H helicopters, one of the original Seahawk helicopter variants which was ordered in the 1980s.

The USN plans to retire the MH-60H in spring 2019, said Grubb.

“That will be the culmination of the helicopter master plan for naval aviation,” he said. “Going from a multitude of seven type model series to now end up with just two in the end: the MH-60S and MH-60R.”

The USN plans to operate the latest two variants of the MH-60 Seahawk for decades to come, said Grubb.

“We will operate these aircraft out into the 2030s, maybe even into the early 2040s,” he said.
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[*] posted on 22-5-2018 at 12:45 PM


New Russian Naval Helicopter Project Makes Progress

by Vladimir Karnozov - May 21, 2018, 6:01 AM


The Minoga configuration could be similar to this model of the Ka-92 high-speed helicopter that was displayed in 2007.

Russian Helicopters has provided an update on the next-generation naval helicopter project named Minoga. Company head Andrei Boginsky told journalists in Moscow that a mockup is being produced for inspection by the Russian Navy early next year. Russian Helicopters won an R&D contract from the Russian defense ministry in 2006 and has since conducted wind-tunnel testing. But Boginsky did not reveal many details of the proposed configuration.

Boginsky spoke shortly after the chief of the Russian navy fleet air arm, Gen. Igor Kozhin, said that work on the project is progressing well. He said, “The helicopter has been shaped and its main technical, economic, and operational performance targets set.” The maiden flight is planned for 2020.

The Minoga will be a fourth-generation of Russian naval deck helicopters, following the Kamov Ka-15, Ka-25, and Ka-27. They all featured coaxial main rotors, but although Kamov leads design work on the project, it is not yet clear whether the Minoga would keep this characteristic Kamov layout. Some sources suggest that the new helicopter design is based on the Ka-90/92 concept of the early 2000s, when Kamov competed with Mil to design a high-speed helicopter for the civilian market.

Boginsky did say that some findings made during the high-speed helicopter research programs are being applied to new designs for the military. “The company decided in 2015 to halt the work on the commercial helicopter because our studies indicated the price of speed was going to be too expensive for commercial operators,” he said.

The Minoga will be powered by a pair of Klimov TV7-117V turboshaft engines interchangeable with their predecessor VK-2500. This indicates that the new rotorcraft will be made larger when initially planned in 2015, when the NPO Saturn RD-600V was being considered. Weighing 380 kg (772 lb), the TV7-117V develops 3,500-3,750 hp in emergencies; 2,500-3,000 at maximum takeoff weight; and 1,650 hp during a typical cruise.

However, the new naval helicopter must be compact enough for a pair of them to be stored in a standard ship hangar that is designed to house a single Ka-27. Kamov has previously studied a lightweight deck helicopter in the four-five metric-ton class.

Later, the gross weight grew to some seven-eight metric tons, yet significantly under the figure for the long-serving Ka-27, which is 12 metric tons.

The primary role for the Minoga will be antisubmarine warfare, but unlike its predecessors, it will also be required to carry out other tasks. Of note, the Kamov Ka-52K Katran is already in flight tests, but its missions are limited to electronic reconnaissance and strike.

NPP Polet is reported to be heading the work on the Minoga’s mission equipment. Its parent organization Rostec says that the Russian navy is seeking “an intelligent command/control system." A life-long after-sales support commitment from the industry is another navy requirement.

Boginsky also mentioned the flying laboratory based on the Mi-24 attack helicopter. It is testing new engineering solutions for main rotor blades. Boginsky said that some good results had been obtained, and he urged the defense ministry to provide extra funding for R&D work on shaping next-generation combat rotorcraft.
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[*] posted on 22-5-2018 at 08:11 PM


Leonardo postpones delivery of modernised Super Lynx helos to Brazil

Victor Barreira, Lisbon - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

22 May 2018

Leonardo has postponed delivery of the first Super Lynx AH-11B naval helicopters to the Brazilian Navy, Jane’s has learned.

The first two helicopters were scheduled for delivery in May and a third was due for delivery in August, but this timeline will not now be met.

The delivery schedule update was requested by Leonardo, the Brazilian Navy told Jane’s , though no reason was given. Despite the delay, all three aircraft will be received before the end of the year.

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[*] posted on 19-6-2018 at 08:26 PM


South Korea Opens Tender for 12 More ROK Navy ASW Helicopters

Posted On Tuesday, 19 June 2018 11:31

South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) announced this week that a tender for twelve naval helicopters for the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy) has been issued. DAPA said that it will receive proposals from potential bidders until September 28, 2018.


A ROK Navy AW159 Wildcat maritime helicopter conducting an ASW exercise for the first time with Incheon-class frigate Gwangju. Picture: ROK Navy

The ROK Navy acquired eight AW159 in 2016 in two batches. The first four were deployed in February 2017 with Incheon-class frigates.

According to DAPA, the contract vallue for the 12 new helicopters will be approximately 400 million Dollars. They are expected to be operational with the ROK Navy by 2020.
The candidates for the tender are set to be Leonardo Helicopters, the manufacturer of the AW159, Sikorsky's MH-60R and NHIndustries' NH-90NFH.

Those 12 helicopters will likely be deployed with the future surface combatants of the ROK Navy such as the FFX Batch II and Batch III frigates, the upcomming KDX III Batch II destroyers as well as the KDDX down the road.


The Wildcat deploying the Thales FLASH dipping sonar

All 8 ROK Navy Wildcat helicopters became operational in July 2017.

According to the ROK Navy the deployment of the Wildcat in operation is expected to further enhance its ability to counter North Korean submarine threats, thereby enhancing its three-dimensional operational capability.

The AW159 is a new generation multi-role military helicopter that has now replaced Lynx helicopters in service with the Royal Navy and British Army. The Wildcat has been ordered by the Philippine Navy as well.

ROK Navy Wildcats are fitted with a Seaspray 7400E radar offering 360 degrees coverage, Thales FLASH dipping sonar, sonobuys, Blue Shark lightweight torpedoes and 12.7mm machine guns. In January 2014, DAPA announced it will equip its Wildcat helicopters with Spike NLOS missiles to provide a stand-off attack capability for engaging targets such as ground artillery and small vessels. The helicopters are expected to operate from the ROK Navy's Incheon-class guided missile / coastal defense frigates. These will be used for search-and-rescue missions, anti-submarine warfare and surveillance.
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[*] posted on 16-7-2018 at 03:09 PM


Airbus Helicopters Starts NH90 Sea Lion Qualification Phase

Posted On Sunday, 15 July 2018 09:52

No mention anywhere that these are years late, and not well regarded by its own Users.................:no:

The second prototype of the NH90 Sea Lion has performed its first flight in serial configuration on July 10. This event marks the beginning of the helicopter’s qualification phase together with the customer’s official authorities. When the qualification phase is finished, the German customer will release the military type certificate to allow the first serial delivery, which is scheduled for end of 2019. Altogether 18 helicopters are on order.


The second prototype of the NH90 Sea Lion Helicopter has performed its first flight in serial configuration. Picture: Airbus Helicopters

About NH90 Sea Lion

Deliveries of NH90 Sea Lions to the Navy will start at the end of 2019. When deployed, it will take on a range of roles including search and rescue (SAR) missions, maritime reconnaissance, special forces missions as well as personnel and materiel transportation tasks. The German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) have ordered 18 of these helicopters altogether, with the last due to go into service in 2022.

In addition to its land-based use in SAR missions, the NH90 Sea Lion is also intended to operate on Type 702 (Berlin class) combat support ships.

Thanks to its multi-role capability and future proofing, the Sea Lion will not merely replace the Bundeswehr’s Sea King Mk41 fleet but significantly enhance the Navy’s operational capabilities. The electronic fly-by-wire flight controls of the NH90 Sea Lion reduce the crew’s workload. Other benefits of this control system are its high precision and ease of use, which particularly come to the fore in over-water hovering, even in poor weather conditions.

The NH90 Sea Lion shell is manufactured from advanced, high-strength composite materials. This offers optimum protection for the crew thanks to its excellent crash behaviour.

Five nations are already using the naval NH90 NFH (NATO Frigate Helicopter). They have already completed more than 30,000 flying hours with the 69 helicopters delivered so far: in humanitarian and SAR and military missions on land and on board naval vessels. The German NH90 Sea Lion programme has greatly benefited from the experience gained from these operations. Altogether 129 NH90 NFH helicopters have been ordered; the total for all NH90 models comes to 515. The whole NH90 fleet comprising 296 helicopters delivered so far has already completed over 120,000 flying hours.
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[*] posted on 16-7-2018 at 08:32 PM


Northrop Grumman shows off Fire Scout’s anti-submarine capabilities

15 July, 2018 SOURCE: Flight Daily News BY: Garrett Reim Farnborough

Northrop Grumman displayed a model of the MQ-8C Fire Scout at the Royal International Air Tattoo fitted with an Ultra Electronics sonobuoy mission pod, a little over a week after the unmanned helicopter completed initial operational test and evaluation on board the USS Coronado.

Northrop would not comment on the pairing, but the introduction of the pod appears to indicate that the helicopter's mission has been expanded to anti-submarine warfare. UK-based Ultra Electronics' pods carry between 25 to 63 sonobuoys of the G-Size and F-Size configurations.


Craig Hoyle/FlightGlobal

Thus far, the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned air vehicle, with its ability to hover at an operating ceiling of 16,000ft and fly 12h missions, has been pitched as a high watch tower for littoral combat ships.

The Fire Scout is a Bell 407 commercial helicopter that is stripped down, stuffed with extra fuel tanks, equipped with a phalanx of sensors. The aircraft is larger and has double the endurance of its predecessor, the MQ-8B, which is a converted Schweizer 330 commercial helicopter.

"It flies significantly higher, giving you significantly longer line of sight and sensor capability," says Fire Scout programme manager Jack Thomas. "It's going to fundamentally change the way the navy operates smaller aircraft from smaller ships."

The company says the Fire Scout's surveillance capabilities will be further enhanced by the addition of the Leonardo Osprey radar. That sensor is planned for initial fielding in late 2020.

"It’s going to give that helicopter an amazing ability to detect a large area and a huge number of contacts for littoral ships," says Thomas.

Northrop says it also plans to conduct a Link 16 demonstration with the unmanned helicopter by the end of this year.

The US Navy has 19 MQ-8C Fire Scouts, and Grumman is on contract for an additional 14.
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[*] posted on 19-9-2018 at 09:43 AM


Norway persists with NH90 helicopters for coastguard missions

18 September, 2018 SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com BY: Dominic Perry London

Norway has reversed course and determined that it will be able to use its fleet of NH Industries NH90 helicopters for both naval and coastguard operations, following a volte-face by the country's FFI defence research institute.

Earlier this year, the FFI concluded that the Royal Norwegian Air Force's eventual fleet of 14 NH90 NFHs would only generate 2,100h flight hours per year, rather than the 5,400h required to support both anti-submarine warfare and fisheries and border protection missions.

Instead of splitting the fleet – six for ASW operations and the remainder for the coastguard – the FFI recommend that all 14 should be used in the naval support role.

However, an updated study conducted by the FFI has determined that "under certain conditions" the fleet will be able to produce up to 5,400h per year.

Those conditions include good spare part availability, sufficient aircraft for maintenance scheduling and a sufficiently large overhaul capacity.

Defence minister Frank Bakke-Jensen says that based on the new report Norway aims to be operating the NH90 for both missions by early next decade.


Norwegian defence ministry

"The inauguration of the NH90 helicopter on coastguards and frigates is challenging, but we hold on to the ambition that phasing in will be completed by 2022," he says.

During the first year of operation, FFI believes that 3,900 flight hours will be possible, costing some NKr470 million ($57 million) more than forecast.

The defence ministry describes deliveries of the NH90s – which were ordered in 2001 – as "significantly delayed". Flight Fleets Analyzer records six examples in service, with eight more on order.

In addition, the ministry says: "Experience so far shows that operating costs are far higher than planned."

Nonetheless, Norway shows no sign of wanting to ditch the 11t-class helicopters: "The NH90 is customised for Norwegian conditions and tailor-made for the needs of the coastguard and the navy," says Bakke-Jensen.

"There is no other helicopter on the market today that will provide us with equivalent capacity. The expected increased operating costs and the need for the armed forces must be addressed in connection with the next long-term plan."
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[*] posted on 23-10-2018 at 09:50 AM


Chernyakhovsk Airfield Holds First-Ever Trial Flight of Updated Ka-27M

(Source: Russian Ministry of Defence; issued Oct 18, 2018)


Last week, five upgraded Ka-27M naval helicopters arrived at one of the Kaliningrad Region’s airfields, where industry and technical staff are carrying out servicing and seasonal maintenance. (RU MoD photo)

Today, the Ka-27M helicopter flew over to its permanent stationing site at the Donskoye airfield, where its crew was met by the squadron command and the air unit personnel.

The next step in training the helicopter pilots is to be fulfilling combat training tasks at the Baltic Sea’s training ranges.

Last week, five updated Ka-27M helicopters arrived at one of the Kaliningrad Region’s airfields. Representatives of the industry and technical staff are currently conducting service works and seasonal maintenance of the updated rotorcrafts.

Their onboard electronic equipment was modernised, new search system and radio acoustic equipment were also installed. All this together allows helicopter crews to significantly improve performing tasks on searching and detecting the enemy’s submarines.

The helicopters were updated by specialists of the Kumertau Aviation Production Enterprise (Bashkiria), which is a part of the ‘Russian Helicopters’ holding. The goal of this modernisation is to improve the operational capabilities of copters, in particular, by means of transmitting information in real time both to ground and shipborne command posts, as well as to other helicopters.

The Ka-27M is equipped with a new “radar command-and-tactical system”, including a new acoustic and magneto metric system, a radio reconnaissance system, an information computing system, and an onboard Kopyo radar station with an active phased antenna array.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 27-10-2018 at 07:49 PM


The Acquisition of New Helicopters for the Navy Has Failed In Several Areas

(Source: Norway Auditor-General, Riksrevisjonen; issued Oct 25, 2018)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

The supplier of new helicopters to the Armed Forces Coast Guard and for the frigates has a great deal of responsibility for the delays, but the Ministry of Defense, Defense and Defense has not followed up the procurement well enough.

The delivery of the NH90 helicopters appears to be taking 14 years longer than agreed. "There have been shortcomings in the contract, poor planning and lack of coordination and governance for long periods," says Per-Kristian Foss, the auditor-general.

The Office of the Auditor General's investigation of the acquisition of maritime helicopters to the Armed Forces (NH90) (Document 3: 3 (2018-2019) was handed over to the Storting on 25 October.

The Storting's assumptions with the decisions of several propositions regarding the acquisition in the period 2000-2012 have not been met. This is also true for the 14 helicopters being delivered during 2008 and their operational capability. So far, eight helicopters have been delivered, six of which are in an interim version. The final delivery is expected to be in 2022, but there is still great uncertainty about delivery and phasing-in.

Those who have been delivered have so far provided few hours of flight, are significantly less accessible than planned, and have had very limited operating activities. In 2017, only one helicopter was available - the rest were waiting for spare parts and maintenance. Maintenance needs have been found to be about 15 times greater than expected for final version. Operating costs appear to be very high.

It was assumed that a helicopter should be chosen with known technology and proven operational reliability. The contract, concluded in 2001, was owned by four companies in four countries, the NATO Helicopter Industries (NHI), without production experience and with a new, untested helicopter.

"NHI obviously has a lot of responsibility for delays. At the same time, important prerequisites for the acquisition have not been followed up well enough on the Norwegian side. The Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces did not go into the basis for choosing NH90 more seriously, and did not take the risk seriously," said Foss.

The contract was not sufficiently quality-assured and has been shown to have too low a daily penalty to avoid delays, and a low maintenance guarantee. This has given the supplier weak incentives to comply with delivery obligations. The contract has also not ensured stable supply of spare parts.

"In the Armed Forces, neither the planning, the staffing nor the coordination of the parties involved has been good enough," says Foss. There have been no basic plans for the maintenance, supply and operation of the equipment. A draft plan for material was only available in July 2017 and was recently approved.

The need for coordination of many actors in a highly complex and comprehensive process has been underestimated.

"Weak planning of such a large project with so many players, partial deliveries and the great need for coordination has been an important reason for the weak progress. Insufficient staffing in both maintenance, spare parts and procurement has also contributed to the delays, Foss notes.

The NH90 project has lacked one owner, standing above all others, to take responsibility for effective coordination and decision-making. The Ministry of Defense has been distant and unclear as project owners, and has not had enough management to capture the challenges, so measures were not taken on time, the OAG points out.

"The department's late involvement is serious in our opinion, especially given the economic size and the major operational consequences for our ships," says Foss.

The Ministry of Defense has also given the Storting little information, the OAG considers.

"This applies, among other things, to the fact that the conditions of the Armed Forces and Defense Matériels, not just the supplier, have contributed to the delays; that it has not been informed of the very low number of flight lessons that have been possible with the helicopters, information about the phase-in on the vessels, and little about the serious consequences for the coast guards' ability to carry out their tasks, "says Foss.

Click here for the full report (38 PDF pages) on the Riksrevisjonen website.

https://www.riksrevisjonen.no/rapporter/Documents/2018-2019/...

(ends)

Using the Auditor-General’s Recommendations to Improve

(Source: Norway Ministry of Defense; issued Oct 25, 2018)

(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)

The Office of the Auditor General has examined the procurement and phasing-in of the NH90 helicopter to the Armed Forces. "I am familiar with the issues, largely agree with the production, and we will follow up the recommendations," said Frank Bakke-Jensen, Defense Minister.

“The report of the Office of the Auditor General is useful. It provides a thorough review of the current issues of the NH90 project related to the procurement under several governments going back to 2001,” says the Minister of Defense.

The report of the Office of the Auditor General indicates that the Storting's decision and prerequisites for the acquisition of NH90 were not met. According to the original contract, the Armed Forces should have received 14 NH90 by 2008. The status today is that the Armed Forces have received eight machines: six in an interim version and two in the final configuration.

The supplier's shortcomings and delays are identified as significant causes of the delays, but both the Office of the Auditor General and the Minister for Defense agree on the risk that the purchase was not sufficiently considered when the decision to choose NH90 was taken.

The Office of the Auditor General's investigation shows that phasing-in and commissioning of the NH90 has been challenging. The Defense Minister says that these are matters that are subject to specific follow-up for the NH90 procurement and that both the Armed Forces and Defense Matériel have established closer cooperation through the establishment of a joint program board for the NH90.

"NH90 was chosen in 2001, and part of the challenges the OAG observes are much more taken into consideration in today's routines for project planning and implementation. We have learned the NH90 acquisition and the experience is being used in the sector to learn and to further develop the materials investment methods, "said the Minister of Defense.

Information to the Storting

The Office of the Auditor General points out that the information to the Storting could be better.

"We have provided detailed information about NH90's operational capability to the Storting through established channels. Also, budget proposals to the Storting have for several years informed about the NH90. In Prop 1 S (2018-2019) I have also expanded the NH90 project deal," said the Minister of Defense.

Maintenance requirement

The Defense Minister shares the OAG's concern regarding NH90's maintenance needs. However, it is too early to conclude what the load is, or whether it is possible to correct claims against the supplier in this context. It is only when NH90 in the final version has been put through an operating period in Norway will it be possible to know how much maintenance will be needed.

“The Office of the Auditor General points out that the NH90 would originally be a unit helicopter and thus reduce operating costs by using the same helicopter type in many functions. But already in 2007 it became clear that the NH90 would not replace Sea King as a rescue helicopter. In addition, the plan was also that cooperation with other nations would bring savings, but it has turned out that the nations have so different needs and requirements that the cooperation was not as extensive as hopes," said Defense Minister Bakke-Jensen.

Auditor-General's recommendations

The OAG's recommendations include ensuring that basic assumptions are clearly defined and taken care of throughout the procurement process, including in quality assurance of the contract. Assessing measures that ensure that plans are made for phasing in material on time, especially when many units and these are involved depend on each other to achieve effective phasing-in. Such a practice would improve substantial procurement, ensuring clear division of responsibilities and clear governance and authority relationships between the Ministry of Defense, Defense Matériel, Defense Staff and the relevant manufacturers.

“These are recommendations that we will listen to and include in our efforts to further develop framework, methods and processes for investment activities. Several steps have already been taken since the NH90 acquisition was initiated, and these largely respect the recommendations of the Office of the Auditor General.

“One step I would especially like to draw is the creation of Defense Materials in 2016 as a separate agency under the Ministry of Defense to strengthen strategic management of material investment and material management in the defense sector," said the Minister of Defense.

NH90 is customized for Norwegian requirements and is tailored to the needs of the Navy. There is no other helicopter on the market today that will provide equivalent capacity. Assessments have been made on several occasions of the possibility of terminating the NH90 contract, most recently after the Storting requested a review of the contract in 2017. Following overall assessments, it was concluded that continuing the NH90 procurement is the best way to meet the Armed Forces needs for maritime helicopters.

"It is possible to cover Defense's needs for flight hours, but it will cost significantly more than expected. However, I have stated that both frigates and coastguards will have the number of flight hours with the NH90 as we determined in the last long-term plan. The need for more money and the Armed Forces' need for flight hours beyond today's ambition will be addressed in the next long-term plan, and we are working on measures to reduce operating costs," said the Minister of Defense.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 31-10-2018 at 11:04 PM


Colombian Navy reinforces helicopter fleet

Santiago Rivas, Buenos Ares - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

31 October 2018

The Colombian Navy is strengthening its rotary-winged capabilities with the procurement of new helicopters.

Having recently procured two Airbus AS365N3 Dauphin helicopters, which should arrive in the country in December, the service is finalising the purchase of another two to arrive in mid-2019, the commander of the Grupo Aeronaval del Caribe, Capitán de Fragata Ramsés Ramírez, told Jane’s .

The new aircraft will replace the navy’s Aerospatiale AS555 Fennec helicopters, one of which was lost in an accident, with the other being non-operational. These helicopters will operate off the Almirante Padilla-class frigates and the 20 de Julio-class offshore patrol vessels.

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[*] posted on 7-11-2018 at 10:10 PM


Flight trials begin for Philippine Lynx Wildcats

Gareth Jennings, London - Jane's Navy International

07 November 2018


Seen here in UK Royal Navy service, the Lynx Wildcat is being acquired by the Philippine Navy to fulfil its anti-submarine requirement. Source: Leonardo

Leonardo has begun flight trials at its Yeovil production facility in southern England on the first of two AgustaWestland AW159 Lynx Wildcat maritime helicopters destined for the Philippines.

The start of the trials, which was announced by the Philippine Department of National Defense (DND) on 6 November, comes 32 months after the Philippine Navy announced that it had selected the Lynx Wildcat to fulfil its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter requirement.

Shortly after this selection, the DND signed a PHP5.4 billion (USD114 million at the time) contract that included the two helicopters, munitions, mission equipment, and support. This first helicopter will be handed over to the country once flight trials are complete, with the second to follow shortly after. The DND did not provide any information on when these handovers would take place.

In the ASW role the Lynx Wildcat can be configured to carry active dipping sonar (ADS), sonobuoys, and torpedoes, while for the anti-surface warfare role it can be armed with anti-ship missiles, rockets, and guns.

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[*] posted on 17-11-2018 at 12:53 PM


India fast-tracks purchase of MH-60R helicopters

Rahul Bedi, New Delhi - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

16 November 2018

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued a letter of request (LOR) to the US government on 15 November regarding the intended purchase of 24 Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk multirole naval helicopters for the Indian Navy (IN).

IN officials told Jane’s that the long-delayed request to acquire the platforms for an estimated INR135 billion (USD1.88 billion) – under the US Foreign Military Sales programme – is likely to be signed within a year.

The IN anticipates the delivery of the MH-60Rs, which are intended to replace the service’s fleet of Sea King Mk 42B/C and Ka-28 helicopters, to begin around 2020 and be completed 48 months later.

(130 of 355 words)
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[*] posted on 18-11-2018 at 08:10 AM


Nice to see a small piece of common sense prevail in Indian Defence Procurement.



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[*] posted on 18-11-2018 at 01:58 PM


I'll be astounded if the SeaKing fleet make until 2020................the Russian stuff is not much better. This fleet replacement is super urgent!
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[*] posted on 22-11-2018 at 09:57 AM


Sea Lion Takes Next Steps Towards First Delivery

(Source: Airbus; issued Nov 21, 2018)


The Sea Lion variant of the NH90 helicopter recently completed its German Navy qualification trials, and the Electrical Power-On for the first production aircraft took place in October, bringing it closer to its first delivery in late 2019. (Airbus photo)

No mention of how many years late these are..........:no:

DONAUWÖRTH, Germany --- The NH90 Sea Lion has recently taken two important milestones towards the first delivery at the end of 2019.

Completion of the German Navy Sea Lion Qualification tests

In the beginning of November, all ground and flight tests for the qualification of the new NH90 variant for the German Navy, the NH90 Sea Lion, were concluded. The formal closure of the qualification is expected in the first quarter of 2019, followed by the military type certification by the German authorities in the second quarter of 2019.

The qualification aircraft, the second Sea Lion prototype, is now entering the lay-up phase for upgrading the helicopter to serial configuration and preparing it for delivery to the Bundeswehr. A total of 18 helicopters are on order.

Electrical Power-On of first serial German Navy

On 24 October 2018, the first serial German Navy Sea Lion helicopter successfully completed the first power-on of all electrical systems in the final assembly line at Airbus Helicopters in Donauwörth.

This milestone marks an important step towards the first contractual delivery in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 22-11-2018 at 10:54 AM


It’s NOT Airbus’s fault! Alright? Sure they can’t produce a spare part to save their lives and integration isn’t a word they’d even heard of when they starting building these, but it’s normal to be a decade or more late and over-charge and under-deliver in business.

You’ve got to focus on how great these things are for a pilot to fly. THAT is what matters most on Airbus products, apparently. Not what capability they deliver at what cost...




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 11-12-2018 at 09:45 AM


Airbus H160M: Alongside the French Armed Forces

(Source: Airbus Helicopters; issued Dec 7, 2018)

By Alexandre Marchand


A model of the H160M’s naval version, intended to replace the French Navy’s Dauphins and support its NH90s. It will be fitted with folding main rotor, and will be armed with lightweight torpedoes and light anti-ship missiles. (AHC image)

The H160M, the military version of the H160, was chosen in 2017 to be the standard aircraft for the French armed forces’ Light Interservice Helicopter (Hélicoptère Interarmées Léger – HIL) programme—a significant choice in renewing and streamlining the fleet of the French State, Airbus Helicopters’ biggest customer in number of aircraft.

A fundamental need

The French State has a large fleet of helicopters, with a total of 578 helicopters, 480 of which are in the service of the Ministry of Defence and 98 with the Ministry of the Interior. However, over the years, the increasingly wide range of missions entrusted to helicopters has led to several families of specialised aircraft, resulting in a heterogeneous fleet. Some of the State’s ageing fleet require a greater amount of maintenance, especially as field operations, which are both numerous and long, have a significant negative impact on the fleet’s state of repair.

A modern response

The French Military Planning Act (LPM) of 2019-2025 states that the future Light Interservice Helicopter programme (HIL) shall replace five fleets among the three armed services with a standard platform, the H160M. This programme is due to be launched in 2022 and is expected to have numerous benefits: gains in terms of capacity, fleet standardisation, reduced operating costs, reduced logistical footprint and increased operational availability. Modular and versatile, the H160M can be used for a wide range of missions, from training to light transport, including surveillance, armed reconnaissance and intervention, alongside specialised aircraft including the Tiger and the NH90.

Revolutionary support

With the benefits of the H160’s digitised development, the simplification of maintenance was prioritised from the aircraft’s early design phases, ensuring better accessibility to each area of the aircraft and focusing on the idea of maintenance “in the field.” On each occasion, tests were carried out on test benches, prototypes and with the “operator zero” concept in order to check the operational success of maintenance tasks. This work will ensure the aircraft’s maturity when it launches on the civil aviation market and, a few years later, when the H160M is first used by France’s armed forces.

Operational gains

The embedded “testability” concept, digital ground tools, and data recording capacities will make it easier to diagnose and manage the fleet’s airworthiness. Benefiting from EASA certification on the civil variant, the H160M will ensure lower support costs, based on the requirements of civil aviation operators.
Within the armed forces, a single fleet will also make it possible to combine efforts in terms of training, technical support and spare parts management. All of these features are currently being discussed by the French State and Airbus in order to quantify the expected gains while optimising availability. This work will lead to a review of the support chain in its entirety from next year, with the aim of providing a real departure from previous ideas.

Military Fleets after 2025

The first H160M orders as part of the HIL programme are expected in 2022; orders will be delivered after 2025. The current target is around 180 aircraft. The H160M’s speed, autonomy and planned configurations ensure its ability to work in close collaboration with more specialised aircraft, including Tigers and NH90s. The H160M’s level of performance and the inclusion of new equipment will also enable the armed forces to develop innovative uses for their aircraft.

-ends-
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[*] posted on 18-1-2019 at 12:08 AM


Brazil to receive first modernised Super Lynx helicopters

Victor Barreira, Rio de Janeiro - Jane's Defence Weekly

17 January 2019

The Brazilian Navy will receive the first two upgraded AgustaWestland Super Lynx AH-11B naval helicopters in February, the service told Jane’s on 16 January.

Leonardo Helicopters is modernising eight Super Lynx AH-11As under a June 2014 contract issued by the Brazilian Navy Aeronautical Directorate (DAerM) for about EUR117 million (USD113 million).

The initial three helicopters were due for delivery in 2018 but were postponed due to the management of the programme by Leonardo Helicopters, the navy said.

Another two modernised helicopters are due for delivery later in 2019, with deliveries to be complete in 2022.

Comment

The programme includes installing LHTEC CTS800-4N engines; integrating Leonardo radar warning receiver (RWR) and electronic support measures systems (ESM) with Thales Vicon XF countermeasures dispensers; electrically powered rescue hoists; night-vision-goggle compatible glass cockpits featuring three large area displays; navigation and communication systems; software configurable air data units (SCADU); traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS); and tactical processors.

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[*] posted on 14-2-2019 at 08:58 PM


Greece looks to procure MH-60R maritime helo

Gareth Jennings, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

13 February 2019


The Hellenic Navy is considering the procurement of four MH-60R maritime helicopters to augment and replace current types. Source: US Navy

Greece is considering the procurement of the Lockheed Martin MH-60R Seahawk maritime multimission helicopter to augment and replace current platforms, the country's government announced on 12 February.

The Hellenic Navy is looking at acquiring four MH-60Rs to augment its 11 Sikorsky S-70B-6 Aegean Hawk helicopters and replace seven Agusta-Bell AB-212 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters that are still in service but reaching their retirement date.

The helicopters would be bought from the United States under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, and are being sought as part of a wider procurement approved in early January by the Hellenic Armed Forces' Council of Chiefs of the General Staff (SAGE) that also includes the acquisition of new heavyweight torpedoes. The procurement has first to be signed-off by the Defence Council and the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence before a contract can be signed.

The MH-60R is equipped with the Thales/Raytheon AQS-22 Airborne Low-Frequency Sonar (ALFS) and previous FMS of the type have included torpedoes, 12.7 mm GAU-21 (M3M) and 7.62 mm M240 (FN MAG) machine guns, AGM-114 Hellfire laser-guided missiles, and 70 mm rockets that have been upgraded with BAE's Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System laser guidance kit.

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[*] posted on 3-4-2019 at 01:45 PM


India MH-60R Multi-Mission Helicopters

Interesting to see India appear keen to put NSM onto their MH-60R's. Would be happy to see these on the RAN's too.... I wonder if that has anything to do with the recent announcement about HMAS Sydney and her 'hangar' upgrades?

PDF Version:
PDF icon india_19-15.pdf
Media/Public Contact:
pm-cpa@state.gov
Transmittal No:
19-15

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2019 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to India of twenty-four (24) MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters for an estimated cost of $2.6 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale today.

The Government of India has requested to buy twenty-four (24) MH-60R Multi-Mission helicopters, equipped with the following: thirty (30) APS-153(V) Multi-Mode radars (24 installed, 6 spares); sixty (60) T700-GE-401C engines (48 installed and 12 spares); twenty-four (24) Airborne Low Frequency System (ALFS) (20 installed, 4 spares); thirty (30) AN/AAS-44C(V) Multi-Spectral Targeting System (24 installed, 6 spares); fifty-four (54) Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation Systems (EGI) with Selective Availability/Anti-Spoofing Module (SAASM) (48 installed, 6 spares); one thousand (1,000) AN/SSQ-36/53/62 sonobuoys; ten (10) AGM-114 Hellfire missiles; five (5) AGM-114 M36-E9 Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM); four (4) AGM-114Q Hellfire Training missiles; thirty-eight (38) Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS) rockets; thirty (30) MK 54 torpedoes; twelve (12) M-240D Crew Served guns; twelve (12) GAU-21 Crew Served guns;two (2) Naval Strike Missile Emulators; four (4) Naval Strike Missile Captive Inert Training missiles; one (1) MH-60B/R Excess Defense Article (EDA) USN legacy aircraft. Also included are seventy (70) AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Devices; fifty-four (54) AN/ARC-210 RT-1990A(C) radios with COMSEC (48 installed, 6 spares); thirty (30) AN/ARC-220 High Frequency radios (24 installed, 6 spares); thirty (30) AN/APX-123 Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) transponders (24 installed, 6 spares); spare engine containers; facilities study, design, and construction; spare and repair parts; support and test equipment; communication equipment; ferry support; publications and technical documentation; personnel training and training equipment; U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services; and other related elements of logistical and program support. The total estimated cost is $2.6 billion.

This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to strengthen the U.S.-Indian strategic relationship and to improve the security of a major defensive partner which continues to be an important force for political stability, peace, and economic progress in the Indo-Pacific and South Asia region.

The proposed sale will provide India the capability to perform anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare missions along with the ability to perform secondary missions including vertical replenishment, search and rescue, and communications relay. India will use the enhanced capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. India will have no difficulty absorbing these helicopters into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractor will be Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, Owego, New York. The purchaser typically requests offsets. Any offset agreement will be defined in negotiations between the purchaser and the contractor.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of 20-30 U.S. Government and/or contractor representatives to India.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

All questions regarding this proposed Foreign Military Sale should be directed to the State Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, pm-cpa@state.gov.

-30-




In a low speed post-merge manoeuvring fight, with a high off-boresight 4th generation missile and Helmet Mounted Display, the Super Hornet will be a very difficult opponent for any current Russian fighter, even the Su-27/30
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[*] posted on 9-4-2019 at 09:32 AM


Poland to acquire AW101 helicopters for anti-submarine duties

08 APRIL, 2019 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: CRAIG HOYLE LONDON

Warsaw will sign a production contract with Leonardo Helicopters later this month covering its purchase of AW101s configured for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) duties with the Polish navy.

Polish defence minister Mariusz Blaszczak confirmed the planned buy on 8 April, stating that Warsaw intends to finalise an order during April. The acquisition is believed to include four AW101s.


Crown Copyright

Ahead of the deal being finalised, Leonardo Helicopters and Poland's defence ministry have signed an offset agreement worth Z400 million ($106 million) in relation to the order.

"The offset agreement provides the Polish Ministry of National Defence with the commitment for establishing in the Military Aviation Works No 1 in Lodz critical maintenance capabilities for the AW101 helicopter and its dedicated mission equipment," the company says. This confirms "Leonardo's commitment to a solid and long-term co-operation with the Polish armed forces and Polish industry," it adds.

In addition to meeting Warsaw's airborne ASW requirements, the 15t-class AW101s will also will be capable of performing combat search and rescue (CSAR) tasks, Blaszczak says.

Leonardo Helicopters confirms that the rotorcraft will be assembled at its Yeovil manufacturing site in Somerset, the UK.

Warsaw had previously indicated that its naval helicopter requirement would be for up to eight aircraft configured for ASW and CSAR missions.

Poland early this year also confirmed an order to acquire four S-70i Black Hawk helicopters from Sikorsky, with the armed rotorcraft to be used in support of special forces operations.

Cirium's Fleets Analyzer records a current active fleet of 149 AW101s, with the type flown by military and government operators in Algeria, Canada, Denmark, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan and the UK.
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[*] posted on 9-4-2019 at 01:02 PM


Interesting choice, the Poles have no ships capable of effectively operating something that big, so I presume they will be shore-based.

Wonder why they didn't buy Romeos?

If it was ASW, the Romeo's are just as good and cheaper to operate, if it's for SAR, then there are civilian helicopters that are also cheaper to operate.




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