UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10288 times:
I really hope this means the Saudis will not be training their helicopter pilots in America, any longer. Better to train them in Russia, where they are more familiar with the -24 and -17's abilities.
I went to flight school with the Saudis, and I thoroughly did not care for them. Many of us didn't like their attitudes, their arrogance and their immunity to failing marks. Let them train their "princes" else where.
Hunterson From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 144 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 10281 times:
If this is confirmed, it would be a most interesting development, and with huge political and strategic significance.
In fact, this would be the first time that Saudi Arabia ever bought military hardware from Russia. They did it before with ]China , in the 1980s, when they purchased 4 batteries ( 12 launchers ) of CSS-2 MRBMs, with 48 rounds, as a deterrent against any potential Iranian ballistic missile attack on their oil fields during the Iraq-Iran War at the time. But they never before acquired (at least not officially ), any military equipment from either the Soviet Union ,or Russia.
I am sure we will be hearing more about this in the coming days and weeks.
As for the "quality" of the product, let us not underestimate the proven capabilities of both the Mil-24/35 gunship, and the
Mil-8/17 assault and multi-purpose medium transport helicopters. The two Russian types have long proven to be two of the most effective and reliable designs ,as well as most enduring, amongst modern helicopters in the world, especially in difficult and harsh operational and environmental conditions, let alone their relative ease of maintenance and support, something which thousands of them operating in Africa, Latin America , Asia and the Middle East testify to, and also something that the royal Saudi Air Force will obviously appreciate.
As for the French, I wonder what they will be saying , and how they will react, now that they have lost out on such an imprtant deal , and with such a crucial client for their defence industries like Saudi Arabia. Only the other day , the French defence minister was in Riyadh, where he admitted that the chance to sell Saudi Arabia the Rafalehas effectively gone, at least for the foreseeable future, after the Kingdom opted to buy 72 Eurofighter Typhoons from the UK.
Quote: "The article 'France Loses Out as Saudis Sign $2.2 Billion Deal for Russian Helos' discusses the new arrangements, and also ventures some explanations as to what went wrong. Partial answer: the biggest contributor has been far too much pressure from Chirac's administration to insist on linked bundles of equipment, rather than just accepting the client's money, giving them what they asked for, and saying 'thank you'."
From the D-A linked article.....
Quote: "Abdallah also is loosening arms ties with France because of its insistence on large, multiple-system packages, and its stubborn arm-twisting to include weapons that the Saudis do not want, like the Rafale combat aircraft, in these packages.
While the Saudis were willing as late as the fall of 2006 to sign two or three medium-sized helicopters deals, covering 42 Fennec light helicopters, 20 Cougar Combat Search and Rescue helicopters and 10 NFH-90 naval helicopters, sources say they indefinitely postponed these plans after French officials continued to insist that the package also include Rafales, several FREMM frigates and Gowind corvettes, and Leclerc tanks."
Quoting Hunterson (Reply 4):
As for the French, I wonder what they will be saying , and how they will react
Again from the link.....
Quote: "[France is hoping that Libya, which has contracted to upgrade its obsolete Dassault Mirage F-1 fighters, may also agree to buy the Rafale, and an agreement could be announced during Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forthcoming visit to Paris, possibly in December.]"
And should fortune again favor the Russians there.....
Rosoboronexport Presents Russian Aircraft Industry at LAVEX 2007 in the Libyan Capital
(Source: Rosoboronexport; issued Oct. 27, 2007)
....."If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them" could be the name of the game.....
Wvsuperhornet From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 516 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 10207 times:
I know at one time Russia had offered Lybia re-tooled Mig-31's due to the vastness of their borders, but gadafi is pretty pro France and has stated time and time again that he was very interested in the Rafale and the Eurocopter so I am not sure even France could screw that one up.
AirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2529 posts, RR: 6 Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10029 times:
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 3): I went to flight school with the Saudis, and I thoroughly did not care for them. Many of us didn't like their attitudes, their arrogance and their immunity to failing marks. Let them train their "princes" else where.
I worked for a retired USAF pilot in college who used to be a flight instructor at one point during his flying career - his sentiments were exactly the same in regard to the Saudi's. Lazy and pompous are two adjectives I have heard used to describe the Saudi pilots on many occassions and from a variety of people.
Quoting N74jw (Reply 7): What are you basing that observation? Regardless of where the helicopter was designed, the Mi-8/17 and Mi-24/35 series of helicopters has proven itself in almost every major conflict in the world.
Soviet technology has simply not kept pace with that of the West over the last ten years and I believe that even the French technology would have provided for a more powerful package than the Russians; not that it does a whole lot of good because the Saudi's have a penchant for operating front line equipment with a less than stellar force - if it ever came down to a real fight I would liken the Saudi military to a big tough who once they got hit in the lip and that taste of blood set in, they'd fold like a deck of cards.
Acheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1415 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10006 times:
Quoting AirRyan (Reply 8): Soviet technology has simply not kept pace with that of the West over the last ten years and I believe that even the French technology would have provided for a more powerful package than the Russians
Don't understimate the latest Russian beasts, specially the Mi-35M since probably the only thing in common with the Mi-24 is the fuselage and shape.
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29349 posts, RR: 62 Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 9998 times:
Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 5): The article 'France Loses Out as Saudis Sign $2.2 Billion Deal for Russian Helos' discusses the new arrangements, and also ventures some explanations as to what went wrong. Partial answer: the biggest contributor has been far too much pressure from Chirac's administration to insist on linked bundles of equipment, rather than just accepting the client's money, giving them what they asked for, and saying 'thank you'
Wouldn't be the first time.
Sounds a lot like those Nordatlases that the French made the Israeli's buy back in the 1950's. France wouldn't sell them Mystere unless they also bought the transport.
Looks like this time it bit them right in the arse.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
Hunterson From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 144 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 9990 times:
I find it hard to believe, and sometimes quite funny, to see and hear the way some people still deal with anything and everything that happens to be "Russian".
Is it possible, even for just a moment, to forget the politics, the Cold War, the Russian Menace, the "Red Bear" (which is no longer there anyway! ) , and try to deal with this matter away from narrow, jingoistic, uber-nationalistic prejudices, and instead look at it from a purely professional ,objective, rational and impartial view?
Not all Russian equipment is bad, and neither is any Russian product is ,by definition, lagging behind in terms of technological or operational standards. Equally, a lot of Russian products are actually below par , in exactly the same way other products are , whether they happen to be British,French,German, Japanese or even American!
i believe that it is vital for all of us to provide the most balanced and agenda-free assessment and analysis to the best of our ability, whenrver we are trying to make a point about this or that weapon system, regardless of how one might feel bout the country, or political system where that weapon had originated from. indeed, if we fail to do that we would be doing a disserviceto ourselves, and to the whole purpose of the debate.
So please let us stop under-estimating russian equipment which has proven its worth world-wide simply because it happens to be Russian, or because we happen to dislike Russia ( or France, or Japan, or Germany etc...)
Just like we would say with no difficulty that aircraft such as the F-15 or F-16 or F-22 are the best in the world (not because they are American, but because they are the best) , i think it would only be proper to say that aircraft such as the Sukhoi-27/30/35, and helicopters such as the Mil-8/17/171 and Mil-24/25/35, are also some of the best that the world has seen , and indeed as has been proven over and over again in numerous theatres of operation world-wide.
F27Friendship From Netherlands, joined Jul 2007, 1113 posts, RR: 5 Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 9907 times:
Quoting AirRyan (Reply 8): Soviet technology has simply not kept pace with that of the West over the last ten years
well, I have a nice story on that one: engineer I know who worked for shell was on an Russian oil platform somewhere (don't remember where it was) and their insurance stated they could only fly Western helicopters. Then the weather got bad and cold, and they needed to get off the rig. The only choppers capable of getting off where Russian, as they have rotor-head-heating.
I agree with hunterson. Getting a bit tired of this cliche dismissing Russian equipement as inferior.
BTW, I don't understand how France can be so unethical and stupid to sell Moamar all those high-tech weapons?! He even fired SCUDS and France in the past?!
Libya made it back into the "respected country list" and the first thing he does is modernize his military with western (read French) equipement!
N74jw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9899 times:
I have worked with both sides of the discussion. If I had to take a helicopter to war in the desert, it would be the Mi-17 over the UH-60. Sorry 60 drivers... The hip is not as fast, and not as modern, but the clamshell door in the back is awfully useful. The hydraulic nightmare of maintenance is not as present in the Mi-8 series choppers as it is in the UH-60 or CH-47. I saw a crew chief filter over a pound of sand from a Mi-24 tail-rotor gear box. That is not a great deal of sand, but it would have red x'd a UH-60, or UH-1.
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 9852 times:
Quoting N74jw (Reply 13): I have worked with both sides of the discussion. If I had to take a helicopter to war in the desert, it would be the Mi-17 over the UH-60. Sorry 60 drivers... The hip is not as fast, and not as modern, but the clamshell door in the back is awfully useful.
Oh come'on. What a ridiculous comparison. I'd want a Mi-17 over a UH-60, as well... if the mission needed an aircraft of that size! If not, then I'd go with the UH-60. You certainly cannot create some blanket statement of which one is better. Especially when they are two totally different classes and capabilities.
You're talking about comparing a helicopter that carries 13 soldiers, to one that carries 35. One aircraft that grosses out ar 22,000lbs, and another that grosses out at 28,500. One aircraft with a range of 250nm, and another with 580nm.
If you were going to even make a comparison, go with the CH-47, not the UH-60.
Quoting N74jw (Reply 13): The hydraulic nightmare of maintenance is not as present in the Mi-8 series choppers as it is in the UH-60 or CH-47.
Maybe you worked in a jacked-up unit, who wasn't squared away. But hydraulics was never a huge issue for us, in Iraq. In fact... the hydraulics of a -60 is fairly straight forward. I don't know of any Black Bird that has been downed by a complete hydraulics failure.
If anything, our biggest issue in the desert was engines. The sand was harsh to them. But any squared away unit knew how to keep on top of this. And with the new Main Engine Filtration System, even this problem has become less of a headache.
Quoting N74jw (Reply 13): I saw a crew chief filter over a pound of sand from a Mi-24 tail-rotor gear box. That is not a great deal of sand, but it would have red x'd a UH-60, or UH-1.
Yeah, and we poured over 500lbs of sand out of our helicopters when we did our phase maintenance after the deployment.
I am probably going to re-ignite a very old Mil-Av war, but I simply do not agree that the Mi-24 is such an amazing helicopter.
It's a beast of a helicopter. However, I think it's highly overrated. Remember back in the good ole days of the Cold War... when the Soviet tanks were feared? And remember how the Gulf War showed us the truth? It's the same way with the Hind. The West grossly over-estimated it's abilities.
She's very fast on a straight dash... but it really doesn't have the agility I would expect from an attack helicopter. The power lag was significant and the xmission energy loss would be totally unacceptable in western helicopters. Their IR signature is totally unacceptable and offers very little protection against IR homing threats. It has some heavy armor for a helicopter... but at what point do you go overboard? One of my biggest complaints was the cockpit visibility, especially the front seat. Having sat in an Apache, and then a Hind, I was shocked. The armored tub the pilots sit in extends too high and interferes with seeing anything beyond the 4 and 8 o'clock positions. The window structural beams were fat, and created sizable blind spots... and when IR missiles are such a threat to this helicopter, the last thing I'd want is restricted visibility. The cockpit layout was inefficient. Cluttered with hundreds of small buttons, pressure gauges, dials, etc... And again... as a helicopter pilot, you need to know where EVERYTHING around you is.
The flight control system is antiquated. When you're handling such a beast, the last thing you want to do is waste energy manipulating the controls. The UH-60 and the AH-64 have SAS, FPS, Trim, and Boost to all aid the pilot in reducing the workload. When you're heavy with troops, or lining up on a gun run, you can't be focusing on the controls - that needs to come naturally.
It is very vulnerable to heat-seeking manpads.
It makes a crappy troop transport. (I know, that's not it's primary mission). You can't do efficient fast rope or rappelling insertions. You cannot do SPIE or FRIE extractions. You can't use a bambi bucket or hoist. You cannot perform paradrops. And the troop doors are cumbersome and do not allow for quick exit, when such is needed in a hot LZ. As a former crew chief - I especially did not like the Mi-24. When you were coming into a tight LZ/PZ you cannot stick your head out and monitor the tail. It is very easy for the pilots to stick that tail rotor into a tree or building.
Also the avionics and weapons packages were subpar. I was very disappointed to say the least. HOWEVER, I was VERY impressed by the Pols. Outstanding pilots and they really knew how to sap every bit of performance out of that turkey. I would trust them with my life any day.
AirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2529 posts, RR: 6 Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9826 times:
Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 12): I agree with hunterson. Getting a bit tired of this cliche dismissing Russian equipement as inferior.
You are getting very sleepy...
I worked avionics in the Marines and that is in great part where I find the moden Russian equipment severely lacking in comparison to their Western counterparts - in the cockpits and on the flightdecks. Situational awareness is so key as H60Rucker points out, and even the most moden Russian equipment can't even come close as to the level of technology in the electronics available in the West and in particular the US equipment.
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 14): You're talking about comparing a helicopter that carries 13 soldiers, to one that carries 35. One aircraft that grosses out ar 22,000lbs, and another that grosses out at 28,500. One aircraft with a range of 250nm, and another with 580nm.
I agree they are in different classes. Not particularly comparable.
But don't worrry, the last Blackhawk is still going to be taken to DM as a sling load under a Huey!
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
Hunterson From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 144 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9768 times:
It is just great that we are now having such a serious and meaningful debate about Russian vs. Western ( or is it really US) equipment.
The fact of the matter is that "nobody is perfect" . Like everything else in this world, we have to admit that some things are better than others in certain aspects, while others are better in other aspects.
Now, the Saudis have been operating the UH-60 since the early 90s. I actually flew in one of the RSAF Blackhawks into Kuwait during operation "Desert Storm " in 1991. Also, the Saudis have been operating numerous French(European) helicopters for many many years, such as the Super Puma ( which I also had the chance to fly during the same conflict) , as well as the Dauphin( which is operated by the US Coast Guard as the Dolphin). They of course also rely on many US-designed but Italian-built types, such as the Agusta-Bell-205/212 family.
If we agree that "money" is no problem for a very rich country like Saudi Arabia, and if we also agree that for well knwn reasons , that particular country has no problem in obtaining whatever military equipment it fancies from wherever it chooses, be it the US, the UK, France, Russia or any other source, then the reason for the Saudis to select a Russian package this time must mean something.
At the end of the day, I do not think that these guys are out there wasting their money. They could have easily selected the French package of Cougars and Tigres which was offered to tham. Or they could have, equally easily asked the US to supply thnem with a combination of UH-60/ CH-47/ AH-64s in preference to the French offer.
As it happened , they opted for the Russian offer of Mil-17/ Mil-35s.
So, it could have been a politically-motivated move. Who knows, may be they want to "buy" the Russian vote, by trying to show Mr, Putin that Russia does not have to put all its Middle East eggs in the Iranian and Syrian basket, especially at such a crucial time when Moscow seems to be heading towards becoming the main "ally" of Tehran and Damascus, and when the US, the UK, and even France , are getting ready for a possible showdwn with Iran (and probably its ally Syria, over its nuclear programme).
but whatever the strategic and political considerations may have been, the Saudis could not have bought some "useless", or even "inferior" products, simply because they just have no reson what-so-ever to do so. Just as they had previuosly selected the best that is available on the world market, and paid for it, from the F-15C/D, to the F-15E, and from the Tornado-IDS, to the Tornado-ADV, and now the Eurofighter Typhoon, not to mention the E-3 AWACS, the M-1 Abrams and the Patriot AD system, they obviously now decided to select what they probably think is the best helicopter cmbination on offer, namely the Mil-17/Mil-35 from Russia.
Acheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1415 posts, RR: 1 Reply 19, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 9749 times:
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 14): Remember back in the good ole days of the Cold War... when the Soviet tanks were feared? And remember how the Gulf War showed us the truth? It's the same way with the Hind. T
I don't think how an Army with a subpar training in said equipment its an objective assesment of the Tanks capabilities.
The only way would have been to see it in operation under soviet crews and tactics.
UH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 21, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 9716 times:
Quoting Acheron (Reply 19): I don't think how an Army with a subpar training in said equipment its an objective assesment of the Tanks capabilities.
Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 20): How are a bunch of conscripted, scared shitless, poorly trained Iraqi's representative for the capabilities of Russian tank design?
Both of you totally failed to comprehend my point.
I never said anything about Iraqi tactics or fighting ability. I specifically kept it to just the tanks - Soviet supplied tanks. It was the quality of those tanks, which surprised us. One of the reasons they could build the T-72 and T-60 in such numbers, was because quality was not a primary objective.
After the Gulf War, we were able to take a lot of captured equipment home for study. What the Army found was that it had overestimated Soviet tank abilities. The insides were cramped, inefficiently laid out, and lacked zero crew comfort. The tanks had poor fuel efficiency. The tanks were underpowered and had poor single track turning radius. Targeting abilities, navigation abilities, communication abilities, etc... were all sub par. I am going to invite ANCFlyer (who was a former tanker, l himself) to add more to this point, he can no doubt better articulate these points.
ANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 23, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9701 times:
Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 21): I am going to invite ANCFlyer (who was a former tanker, l himself) to add more to this point, he can no doubt better articulate these points.
Quoting F27Friendship (Reply 20): How are a bunch of conscripted, scared shitless, poorly trained Iraqi's representative for the capabilities of Russian tank design?
I can attest - first hand - that the T-72 is a POS. Having killed several of them in my former career I can assure you, they are NO match for an Abrams . . .
During Desert Storm killing Russian Armor was like a turkey shoot . . . it was more like going to gunnery practice than combat . . . the POS T-72 was absolutely NO match for an Abrams. Anyone thinking it is has been smoking crack, heavily.
It doesn't matter WHO is manning the turret, Iraqi, Soviet, Syrian, doesn't matter. A poor tank design is a poor tank design is a poor tank design. Period. Underpowered, extremely substandard Fire Control System, poor turret design, auto-loader sucks, etc.
I'd be happy to expound on anything regarding the T-72 if anyone cares. Regardless, UH-60s points are spot on. The T-72 is garbage.
Now, I didn't think that way until I killed a few of them. The sheer number of tanks the Soviets possessed would have made them obviously formidible back in the day. However, couple a lousy tank with an inadequate crew (Desert Storm) - even the Republican Guard crews - and you've got a recipe for a slaughter.
Those poor bastards in the Soviet made tanks couldn't track and close to even attempt a shot at the US tanks. 1500 meters perhaps was prime range for their cannon . . . unfortunately - for them - by the time you get that close to an Abrams, you're fodder. Especially if it's a M1A2 with the dual thermals, capable of tracking more than one target at a time - AND getting a Fire Control System lock on all of them simultaneously.
The day a T-72 outguns/outmaneuvers/out-'tanks' ANY Abrams I'll eat my shorts.
N74jw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9694 times:
Quoting L-188 (Reply 17): I'll go a step farther and say that from what I understand of the beast with that big wing and the hover restrictions, it isn't an actually helicopter, but some sort of hybrid autogyro.
During certain flight conditions, while turning the Mi-24 pilot would have to be careful and not stall the winglet, leading into the turn. If this happens, the other winglet could flip the Mi-24 over on it's back.
The winglets account for more than 25% of the Mi-24's total lift in horizontal flight.
25 F27Friendship: I guess there are Russian tanks out there with adequate fire control systems. what is your experience with the Kuwaiti M-84's (Yugoslav T-72 derivati
26 ANCFlyer: Not to my knowledge . . . As I mentioned, if they got to within 1500 meters, they stood a decent chance at making a clean shot. Problem is, we were t