CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1954 times:
As you know Portuguese Air Force has an order for 12 EH101's, just to let you know that the first one will be delivered by June 2004. Hopefully during the Air Force Day that takes place in the first days of July we'll see the first EH101 in Portuguese Air Force colours. Regarding the rest of the pending projects for Portugal, the NH90 is also in line to be delivered but no dates yet, no news regarding the order for the C-130J or the A400M and no choise yet maded for the sucessor for the good old C-212 Aviocar!
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12956 posts, RR: 79 Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1859 times:
Are these Merlins all for SAR, or are some for troop transport too?
Pricey bird, but you get a lot of helicopter for your money.
(About time the Royal Navy ordered some more Merlins-troop carriers this time to replace the hard worked Westland Sea King HC.4s, the RAF SAR Sea King HAR.3s won't last forever either, plus a top up of Merlin HC.2s for the RAF wouldn't be a bad idea either).
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 1850 times:
Yes the EH101 is a pricey bird indeed..... but we deserve it! We operated the SA330 Puma since 1969!?!?! Can you imagine how tired our Puma's are? But we must bow our heads not only to the helicopter itself but also to Portugal mechanic workshops, they did miracles with them!
Now the 12 EH101 will be numbered this way:
4 will be exclusively SAR Mission
6 will be a mix SAR/Combat transport
2 Fishing surveillance/ Control ( these are economically supported by EU )
I guess Portugal waited very long but finnally they got the best in this class. I saw one from Royal Navy flying in Portugal Air Force day at BA11 Beja and I was quite impressed, it's very powerfull and very silent too!
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12956 posts, RR: 79 Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1838 times:
The RAF has some old Puma's too, but the oldest date back from 1971, the FAP ones must be amongst the oldest in service if they date from 1969.
I think the RAF got 8 more in 1980, adding to the 41 delivered in the early 70's, those original batch were some of the last airframes assembled at Westlands in Hayes, not far from me now and where I grew up, (fuselages were assembled at this West London plant, near to LHR, the transported to Yeovil in the West Country for final assembly and flight test, where they still build choppers today, including the EH-101's).
Westlands at Hayes, formerly Fairey Aviation, (where aircraft were built in WW2), shut in the early 70's, later the site became offices and warehousing for Hitachi and Mercedes, then Marks and Spencers and now the site is largely derelict, a not uncommon chain of events for UK manufacturing sites.
In service, RAF Pumas have been given several upgrades, mostly avionic in nature.
If further Merlins for the RAF are ordered, (probably in conjunction with a RN Sea King HC.4 replacement), then the remaining Pumas will be retired.
But one Puma entered RAF service only a couple of years ago, it was an ex-Argentine AF example captured in the Falklands war and eventually sent back to the UK for re-building.
RAF Puma's have seen action in Northern Ireland, Rhodesia, The Gulf War, the former Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone.
Those Combat SAR birds will give the FAP a good special ops insertion capability, something needed in today's world.
After buying those Navy Lynx's, it's good to see the FAP continuing to be a good Westland (or GKN Agusta-Westland) customer.
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1831 times:
If we look closely to Portugal in helicopters matter, they always had a tendency to buy european stuff. The only outstanding example was the very first helicopter that Portugal had and that was a Sikorsky UH-19, but only ONE! After that Portugal bought the Alouette II/III and finnally the PUMA. When Portuguese Navy ordered the MEKO frigates the contenters were the Westland Lynx and the Kaman Seasprite, the frontrunner at that time was the Seasprite but in the very end Westland came with a great offer, they would sale 3 new Lynx and offer another 2 refurbished ones to Portugal standards, and that's why Portugal got their first english helicopters. Now I think after that and because the Lynx has been quite a great helicopter in Navty hands oppened the doors to the purchase of the EH101 and also the NH90!
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1815 times:
Good to know that you're from California, I'll be moving to Fresno/CA on the 16th. December 2002 and stay there during 1 year studying. I'll arrive on SWISS flight LX40 / MD11 at 1:00 pm/LAX. Perhaps one day we'll meet together somewere in an aviation event in sunny California!!!
Now about the Alenia C-27J, yes infact Portugal is evaluating this model and also the CASA 235. In my opinion there're some points in favour the Alenia and others in CASA, if for example the succession of the C-130H by the new J model is quite a smooth one, with the Alenia it's a completely new model arriving to Portugal, this could point agains't it, in the other way I agree with you about the same engines and avionics, this could be a good advantage. With CASA it's a long relation that started when the Aviocar was born, Portugal at that time was the first air force in the world to go ahead with a brand new design by Spain, and we must admit that during all these years ( almost 30 years ) the C-212 as been a great airplane for Portugal needs, so in this way CASA as an advantage because everybody know them and know how reliable their aircraft are, so this is a great and very competitive issue, I think the winner will be the one that gives a better financial/economic/benefits package to Portugal.
LMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1811 times:
Sounds like you're going to be down the road from NAS Lemoore home of the the F/A-18E/F. In 1991 my squadron went there for a week for some DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training). Fresno is in the middle of the San Joaquin valley which is mainly farm country. However you're not far from places like Yosemite and Mammoth. Which school are you attending?