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NH-90 Still Too Heavy For Dutch Frigates  
User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 10563 times:

What is the work around, if any? This doesn't sound too encouraging.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...-too-heavy-for-dutch-frigates.html

Quote:
The Netherlands decided in 1991 to participate in the NH-90 program, and ordered twenty [of the NFH-90 naval variant] which should have replaced the current Lynx ship-borne helicopters beginning in 2007.

However, because of the recurring weight issue, that date has been moved back several times. The latest date for their initial delivery has now been pushed back to 2011, de Vries said.

It is not possible to rule out further delays, nor to say what extra costs will arise from the delays, he added.




"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3959 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 10533 times:

It is overweight and thus underperforming, or is it too heavy for the helicopter plaforms to support its weight?


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7380 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 10507 times:



Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 1):
It is overweight and thus underperforming, or is it too heavy for the helicopter plaforms to support its weight?

1. Were the frigates designed before or after the purchase of the helicopters
2. Did the purchases of the helicopter know the specs of the ships as well as the frigate
3. Did the vendor agree to lower the weight to accomodate the frigate

Irrespective of the questions above, why would they still want the helicopter? To reduce the weight to allow operation on the ships may mean lower performance and capability, would be much easier to purchase another naval aircraft off the shelf within the design specs of their ships.


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 2 weeks ago) and read 10500 times:



Quoting Par13del (Reply 2):
would be much easier to purchase another naval aircraft off the shelf within the design specs of their ships.

One would certainly think so, but this may be part of some agreement or offset deal. Are the frigates in service?



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 10443 times:



Quoting Par13del (Reply 2):
Were the frigates designed before or after the purchase of the helicopters

Most frigates we have were designed around 30 years ago or are based on older ones designed that long ago.
So the specs of the decks were known at the time the chopper was ordered designed.

Of course when the chopper started design it was never thought the ships would last that long, they were slated for replacement around the time the chopper would enter service. Those new ships of course never appeared, victims of budget cuts.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 2):
why would they still want the helicopter

Because the Lynx is a 30 year old maintenance nightmare. They spend more time in the shop waiting for spare parts than they ever are ready to fly (let alone fly).

Quoting Par13del (Reply 2):
would be much easier to purchase another naval aircraft off the shelf within the design specs of their ships.

I don't think there is one. S-70/SH-60 is too American to be acceptable to our political leadership (let alone their overlords in Brussels), EH-101 is too large, Helix is too old and too Russian, anything else lacks the bluewater ASW function.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4689 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 10408 times:



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 4):
S-70/SH-60 is too American to be acceptable to our political leadership

Uh, what do you then call the F-35 your country is about to buy? (And don't tell me those few European, let alone Dutch parts in the JSF really make a difference).



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 10386 times:

Quoting A342 (Reply 5):
And don't tell me those few European, let alone Dutch parts in the JSF really make a difference).

Its debatable, but IMO, they have a considerable impact. Offsets are a fact of life in the defense business.

[Edited 2009-06-12 15:02:01]

[Edited 2009-06-12 15:03:03]


"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3959 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10365 times:

Dutch industry is involved in the NH-90, and there is thus a preference for this design, as would be the case in any country.
I can't answer the questions as to who is to blame for the current problem.
But before shooting down the NH-90 in general - it did take a long time to mature - please have a look at its order book.

Quote:
S-70/SH-60 is too American to be acceptable to our political leadership

That is utter nonsense. The Dutch armed forces always, blindly, ask for US equipment, and get it more often than not (F-104, F-5, F-16, F-35, AH-64, P-3 (some good buys there).

The Dutch Navy seems to make a a habit out of having problems with non-US aircraft, even when they seem to work well enough with other operators (Atlantic, Lynx).

Peter 

[Edited 2009-06-12 15:29:37]

[Edited 2009-06-12 15:30:02]


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 10299 times:

Sounds like an issue with deck strengthening; for Canada, with the new CH-148 Cyclones, the ship that is supposed to be carrying them, the Halifax-class frigates as part of their mid-life refit, will have the helicopter deck strengthened, and the landing system moved to accommodate the new helicopter. This was of course expected from the beginning.

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10255 times:



Quoting A342 (Reply 5):
what do you then call the F-35 your country is about to buy?

Under heavy opposition from a majority of parliament. The only reason it's not yet been cancelled is because the leading party would have a major bloody nose, they approved initial funding over opposition from the left because of the generated jobs.

It's been the same with pretty much every purchase of US equipment.
The F-16 was chosen over Mirage 2000 and Viggen because the rest of the countries in the program favoured it, and going it alone would be too expensive.

Similar stories can be told about pretty much every other US purchase where there was a European competitor, certainly within the last 25 years or so (when EU control really started to take off).

The Cougar (really a Super Puma with a glass cockpit) was chosen for purely political reasons. The armed forces wanted the UH-60, everyone outside politics wanted it in fact, but Cougar was chosen solely because the French president offered the then-PM (Lubbers) a nice cushy job at the UN for after his retirement from Dutch politics.

Similarly now with the F-16 replacement some of the politicos pushing hardest for the Gripen and Rafale (Eurofighter is too expensive) almost certainly have personal interest resting on the decision, bribes or promises of no-work high-pay jobs.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7078 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10200 times:

Interesting the German Navy is right now evaluating if they should order the MH 90 or look for another alternative. Does anybody know if the German frigates are similar to the Dutch ones and if there would be similar problems ?

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 4):
Because the Lynx is a 30 year old maintenance nightmare. They spend more time in the shop waiting for spare parts than they ever are ready to fly (let alone fly).

The German navy seems to be quite happy with the Lynx the pressing need would be a Seaking replacement our Lynxs are doing fine.



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 10168 times:

Dutch Lynxes have always had reliability problems, don't ask me why.
Same as the German F-104s which were always in trouble, while the Dutch 104s (ouf of the same assembly line) were among the most reliable in NATO.

Some of the German frigattes are the exact same type as some of the Dutch ones, but we do have others as well.
Could be the newer ships were for some obscure reason designed with smaller flightdecks and/or hangars (more cost cutting?).
Of course the Dutch ships have a Goalkeeper gun mount on the top of the hangar, which might mean there's less headroom if they had to lower the ceiling.

German SeaKings are also not ship-based, and thus the size restrictions of a shipboard heli hangar wouldn't be so much of a factor.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7078 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10140 times:



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 11):
German SeaKings are also not ship-based, and thus the size restrictions of a shipboard heli hangar wouldn't be so much of a factor.

There are shipbased with the "Frankfurt" and "Berlin". They have been on missons abroad (Somalia etc..)



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3959 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10125 times:



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 11):
Dutch Lynxes have always had reliability problems, don't ask me why.

This is true. The Dutch Navy also always had problems with the Atlantic (even crashing three out of nine I believe).

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 8):
Sounds like an issue with deck strengthening;

Doesn't sound too difficult, does it? I always thought size was an issue for frigate helicopters, but weight..



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3376 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 10114 times:



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 4):
Most frigates we have were designed around 30 years ago or are based on older ones designed that long ago.
So the specs of the decks were known at the time the chopper was ordered designed.

That is bull shit and you know it. The Navy only has five or six frigates. One or two M-class frigates, the oldest still in use with the Netherlands Navy is the "Van Amstel" which entered service in 1993. The oldest entered service in 1991, so the max weight of the helicopter deck was well known. The M-class frigates are slated for replacement by four new corvettes the first one started construction only a few months ago.
The main component of the navy are four 7-Provincien class frigates. These are among, if not the, most advanced frigates worldwide. The first one entered service in 2002. The last one entered service in 2005.

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 7):
The Dutch Navy seems to make a a habit out of having problems with non-US aircraft, even when they seem to work well enough with other operators (Atlantic, Lynx).

Really, when was the last time the Navy operated a US aircraft? The Orion was retired a few years ago and the last US build helicopter goes back decades.



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 10039 times:



Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 13):

Doesn't sound too difficult, does it? I always thought size was an issue for frigate helicopters, but weight..

The ships will need go into a major refit that would take them out of service for a couple of months. Furthermore, they will need to check the dimensions of the hangar door to ensure that the new helicopters will fit.


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 10023 times:

Modifying the ships is not as easy as it sounds. Additional weight could affect the sea keeping characteristics of the vessels, particularly if its the main deck. This has an impact on the righting arm and affects the way the ship rolls--particularly in rough sea states.


"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3959 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 9938 times:



Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 14):

Really, when was the last time the Navy operated a US aircraft?

OK, then read my post as follows: They often seem to have problems with aircraft that other operators are fine with.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 15):
they will need to check the dimensions of the hangar door to ensure that the new helicopters will fit.

That sounds like an brilliant idea Smile



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 9918 times:



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 16):
Modifying the ships is not as easy as it sounds. Additional weight could affect the sea keeping characteristics of the vessels, particularly if its the main deck. This has an impact on the righting arm and affects the way the ship rolls--particularly in rough sea states.

The De Zeven Provinciën class frigates are big ships; 6,000 tons full load. Considerably bigger than the US Perry class frigates, and technically, would be small destroyers. The old Karel Doorman class frigates are a little smaller, so for them, it may be more of a problem.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9875 times:



Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 14):
That is bull shit and you know it. The Navy only has five or six frigates.

we've degenerated that much? The M class entered service in the early-mid 1980s btw.
The S class (which I thought were still in service, at least some of them, and with Germany too) for which the Lynx was purchased are of 1970s vintage.

Guess I'm stuck with an old image of a fleet of some 20 frigates, like we used to have until a few years ago.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3959 posts, RR: 18
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 9735 times:

I found some useful facts in a Volkskrant newspaper article from May 30, in Dutch only:
http://www.volkskrant.nl/archief_gra...e_zwaar_voor_Nederlandse_fregatten

Abstract in English:

Both the weight and vibration problems have been worrying both the Dutch and other NH-90 partners for years. In addition to cracks in the tail, cracks have apparently now been found in the part [bulkhead?] between the cabin and tail. The manufcaturer recently attempted to fix the problem by adding weight, without much avail, and this has also made the NH-90 500 kg heavier [seems excessive, perhaps an all-in figure for all weight overruns?] It now weighs in slighty over 10 tonnes. The M class frigates [Karel Doorman class] have not been designed for helos of over 10 tonnes. Earlier, NHI tried to solve the vibrations by fitting a sizeable disc [flinke schijf] near the rotor. However, this made the NH-90 too tall for the hangar doors of the eight [Doorman class] frigates.



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4840 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 9591 times:

The NH-90 is an excellent helo, however for naval use aboard a frigate it is a very large helo compared to most types typically operated. What do the Dutch intend to do with such a large helo?? The only reason why you would need a helo that big aboard a frigate is to be able to carry a large number of people onboard (ie rescue off an oilrig) or to tow something large through the water. Carrying the likes of torpedos, ASM etc does not require such a large helo.


56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9452 times:



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 21):
The NH-90 is an excellent helo, however for naval use aboard a frigate it is a very large helo compared to most types typically operated. What do the Dutch intend to do with such a large helo?? The only reason why you would need a helo that big aboard a frigate is to be able to carry a large number of people onboard (ie rescue off an oilrig) or to tow something large through the water. Carrying the likes of torpedos, ASM etc does not require such a large helo.

Not as big as some of the other competitors; the AW101 is a even bigger helicopter, and so is the Eurocopter EC225 and the Sikorsky S-92.

Bigger is at times better; bigger means more room for the crew inside to work in, bigger means more sensors, and of course, bigger means more range.


User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4787 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 9217 times:
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Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 20):
has also made the NH-90 500 kg heavier [seems excessive, perhaps an all-in figure for all weight overruns?] It now weighs in slighty over 10 tonnes. The M class frigates [Karel Doorman class] have not been designed for helos of over 10 tonnes.

what idiot in the Koninklijke Marine chose a 10 tonne chopper to fly off decks designed only for 10 tonnes??


User currently offlineLifelinerOne From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1923 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 8880 times:



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 9):
The Cougar (really a Super Puma with a glass cockpit) was chosen for purely political reasons. The armed forces wanted the UH-60, everyone outside politics wanted it in fact, but Cougar was chosen solely because the French president offered the then-PM (Lubbers) a nice cushy job at the UN for after his retirement from Dutch politics.

There was also the little fact that the Cougars were waaaay cheaper to buy than the Black Hawks...

Cheers!  wave 



Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
25 Trex8 : Kaman have a nice bunch of smaller choppers which are hardly used which may be just what is needed here!
26 Kennyk : What about the next generation SuperLynx that the UK Royal Navy are to get to replace their older Lynxes from 2015?
27 Post contains links ArniePie : That must be one of the most blatant twisting of facts if I ever seen one, the F-16 was chosen by then MoD Henk Vredeling in stead of the F-18 pushed
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