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Sikorsky S-61/SH-3s To Be Re-manufactured.  
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 13601 times:

It seems that the venerable Sikorsky S-61 or SH-3 Sea King is receiving a new lease on life via a State Department purchase. Sikorsky and a private contractor named Carson will update the S-61s to S-61T "Triton" standards (new glass cockpit, composite rotor blades, 1,200lb increase in lift capacity). Up to 110 of these helicopters will be delivered over the next five years via current State Department/Defense Department equipment and civilian purchases. Not bad to hear that "new" S-61s will be joining the worldwide fleet. Sikorsky and Carson are in talks to further update the design with a switch to GE's T-58-16 engines and a composite tail rotor. These upgrades could be offered to later production S-61Ts or offered as a "Block II" configuration.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...for-the-US-State-Department-06198/


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13488 times:

Well, there is nothing wrong with the basic S-61 airframe, it's apparently robust enough to have endured 50 years (in some cases) of use in a corrosion-rich environment. And, according to Sikorsky there are some 600 still in service, so there is obviously an infrastructure for overhauls/repairs. I suppose the question is: if I were offered a S-61T or a Mi-17 (which by default is of more current manufacture), what would I choose? If it were for service in say, Afghanistan, I'd think the proximity of MRO facilities to the area would be a plus for the Mi-17. Does anybody have a breakdown of the performance capibilities of the S-61T and the Mi-17?
As for the articles closing sentence; as stated, a Sikorsky statement:
"Providing an alternative to the Pentagons current purchase and use of Russian helicopters, Sikorskys American-made modernized S-61 aircraft is mission-ready now for deployment to Afghanistan and the surrounding regions."

OK, so if it's true, is it the better helicopter?

Discuss.  


User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13279 times:

For the long haul, I believe the State Dept is making the correct choice. The SH-3/S-61 airframes have been well maintained throughout their life and have a known maintenance program. 10th hand Mi-17s purchased from foreign operators do not have the same pedigree. This is not to say that the Mi helicopters are not reliable beasts but if you were building a long term fleet, the S-61 wins hands down. All the of the re-manufactured S-61Ts will be zero houred and for all intensive purposes, brand new. Rather than buying a hop scotch fleet of second hand birds, the State Dept will have a common helicopter that it operates throughout the world.

Supposedly, Carson already had 4 self owned and operated S-61Ts operating on a State Department contract in Afghanistan. The department was quite happy with Carson and the reliability of their machines. This led to talks on converting additional birds to the "T" standard.



"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4680 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 13149 times:

Quoting CX747 (Reply 2):
10th hand Mi-17s purchased from foreign operators do not have the same pedigree.

Many of the Mils are in fact brand new. See here for the details of one such acquisition:

http://www.navair.navy.mil/press_rel...w&Press_release_id=4223&site_id=29



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 13140 times:

Quoting A342 (Reply 3):
Many of the Mils are in fact brand new. See here for the details of one such acquisition:

http://www.navair.navy.mil/press_rel...id=29

Ah yes, they do indeed seem happy with how the acquisition program went, but they are not the ones flying the bird in service.  


User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4680 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 13083 times:

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 4):
Ah yes, they do indeed seem happy with how the acquisition program went, but they are not the ones flying the bird in service.

The fact that the Mi-8/Mi-17 has been in continous production for the last ~50 years speaks for itself. Heck, even Saudi-Arabia recently ordered a bunch!



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 13056 times:

That's true, I certainly will not belittle the Mi 8/17 series A/C. If the State Dept was to fly them exclusively in the Afghanistan-region, I'd go with the Mi-17 hands down due to the proximity of the MRO depots. However, it seems as if they want them for world-wide operations....which helo option would be easier to support worldwide, (with all other things being equal for this part of the discussion)?

User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2898 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 12995 times:

Quoting A342 (Reply 3):
Many of the Mils are in fact brand new. See here for the details of one such acquisition:

http://www.navair.navy.mil/press_rel...id=29

What the article doesn't say is that the USN also provided 4 Mils to Pakistan at that same time, which were used for a very short while before one crashed, and the others were rejected and returned due to safety concerns.



Copy of return press release in first post here:
http://www.defence.pk/forums/militar...n-returns-free-helicopters-us.html



The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4680 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12778 times:

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 7):
What the article doesn't say is that the USN also provided 4 Mils to Pakistan at that same time, which were used for a very short while before one crashed, and the others were rejected and returned due to safety concerns.

Apples and oranges:

"That crash prompted Pakistan to request that the helicopters, at least one of which was more than two decades old, be returned to the United States."

So these were used helos, maybe with an obscure history.
Why did they request those helos to be returned, while keeping others of the same type? It seems they still like the Mi-17, and the link confirms that.


And we don't know why the tail rotor problem occured. It might have been due to incorrect or lack of maintenance, who knows?



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12339 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 12730 times:

Quoting CX747 (Thread starter):
It seems that the venerable Sikorsky S-61 or SH-3 Sea King is receiving a new lease on life via a State Department purchase. Sikorsky and a private contractor named Carson will update the S-61s to S-61T "Triton" standards (new glass cockpit, composite rotor blades, 1,200lb increase in lift capacity). Up to 110 of these helicopters will be delivered over the next five years via current State Department/Defense Department equipment and civilian purchases.

Interesting article.

The article clearly says that DOS is the one who will be purchasing up to 110 updated updated S-61 helos.

Not sure where the DOD and civilian stuff you mention factors in.

The article mentions "The State Department regularly leases helicopters for this purpose; as one example, the helicopter that spirited Rep. Alan Grayson [D-FL] out of Niger during the 2010 coup was flown by Blackwater/Xe’s Presidential Airways."

So I guess these purchased ships will replace ships they currently lease?

Are they all flown by contractors (like Blackwater, ugh)?

I wonder where all these ships are based?

Do our larger embassies have heliports and hangars for them?

I wonder how did that helo happen to be in the right place at the right time to fly the Congressman out of the Niger?

Is there any linkage between this program and the upgrades the "Marine One" SH-3s were going to get after the VH-71 fiasco?

One would hope we aren't paying for the same thing in two different ways.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 12535 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
Is there any linkage between this program and the upgrades the "Marine One" SH-3s were going to get after the VH-71 fiasco?

Ahh....and that is the question. While the Navy waits for a replacement for the VH-3D fleet, could the composite blades, uprated engines, and glass cockpit be a realistic upgrade option to extend their life? As far as I know the "S-61T" has only recently been introduced into service and I thought that the Navy required an A/C for VH use be in service for "X" number of years before being considered for Executive use....


User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2424 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 12443 times:

New "Marine One"?   


Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12339 posts, RR: 25
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 12384 times:

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 10):
Ahh....and that is the question. While the Navy waits for a replacement for the VH-3D fleet, could the composite blades, uprated engines, and glass cockpit be a realistic upgrade option to extend their life? As far as I know the "S-61T" has only recently been introduced into service and I thought that the Navy required an A/C for VH use be in service for "X" number of years before being considered for Executive use....
Quoting PC12Fan (Reply 11):
New "Marine One"?

Well if Barack thought the old helos were just fine, ones with better blades, better engines and better cockpits should be even better.

And the VP, SecNav and other Cabinet officers all have Marine One privs.

I think we should stick with the SH-3s for all these porkers and maybe build up a much smaller fleet of VH-71s/VH-92s for just the President.

Even better yet, drive anyone in the chain of succession around in the Beast, and the rest get rides in armoured Suburbans. Still a much nicer ride than us taxpayers get.

It's still dumbfounding to see that DOS thinks it needs 100+ helos for its own use, and on top of that DOD thinks it needs 20+ helos to support the Marine One mission.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 11622 times:

Looks like the US State Dept accepted their first 2 S-61T's today:

http://boston.bizjournals.com/prnews...es/Pennsylvania/2010/06/02/NE14382


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8403 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 11583 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
It's still dumbfounding to see that DOS thinks it needs 100+ helos for its own use, and on top of that DOD thinks it needs 20+ helos to support the Marine One mission.

The US government needs a lot of helicopters. What it doesn't need, IMO is a $200 million white elephant custom project when there are plenty of good options (including this thread topic) .


User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 11435 times:

Are the customers not satisfied with the end product?

User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7057 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 11272 times:

Would that be an option for the German navy ? It was in the papers last week that there will be no successor for the Sea Kings for the time being due to financial problems.


It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 11240 times:

Quoting columba (Reply 16):
Would that be an option for the German navy ?

I should hope not....it's a 60 year old design and these are used frames, not new A/C. Does anybody know how many more hours are left on them? With the long list of options for newer A/C, the S-61T should be way down there for a replacement ASW/ASuW/SAR A/C. The NH-90 is out there as are used Lynxes, SeaSprites; new SIK Seahawk and H-92's, KA-27's, EH-101's and I'm quite sure I'm missing others. Even if money is tight, surely there are other A/C at least a generation newer with less hours on them out there looking for 'new' owners..


User currently offlinecolumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7057 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 11194 times:

Quoting sasd209 (Reply 17):
The NH-90 is out there as are used Lynxes, SeaSprites; new SIK Seahawk and H-92's, KA-27's, EH-101's and I'm quite sure I'm missing others. Even if money is tight, surely there are other A/C at least a generation newer with less hours on them out there looking for 'new' owners..

The decision of either acquiring CH 148s or MH 90s is postponed, the Sea Kings will stay for the time being. Therefore an upgrade of the airframe would be a good solution if the aircraft will stay for another 10 years.



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11041 times:

Well, in that case then I guess this upgrade could be a good option for Germany. Do we know how long this upgrade takes? I assume this would also involve a complex overhaul at the same time..

User currently offlinen901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 11026 times:

I am glad the Sea Kings are still going to be around for a while. I Love those things   The SH-60 is so small compaired to a SH-3.

User currently offlinesasd209 From British Indian Ocean Territory, joined Oct 2007, 642 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 11023 times:

Well, according to Sikorsky (source in the press release above) there are around 400 S61/H-3 aircrafts still in service as of Dec '09 so I think we shall see them for a while more.  

[Edited 2010-06-05 21:08:57]

User currently offlineLarshjort From Denmark, joined Dec 2007, 1434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4708 times:

I know this is an old thread I am reviving,

But I want to know if anybody has some new information on how the S-61T programme is coming along? I have not been able to find any information newer than 2010.'

The following Danish S-61A-1/-5's were sold in 2010 for conversion to S-61T status to be delivered to Iraq as VIP transports. I haven't been able to find any information on whether that has happened or not.
61-275/U-275
61-276/U-276
61-277/U-277
61-278/U-278
61-279/U-279
61-280/U-280
61-481/U-481

Best regards

Lars Hjort



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