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N328KF
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Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:12 am

The Australian Army is buying 29 AH-64E Apache Guardians to replace the 22 Eurocopter Tigers. Recall that the Tiger IOC was just four years ago. Do the issues with the NH-90 relate to this at all?

lso under consideration for LAND 4503 and recently touted in some circles as a potential come-from-behind contender was the Bell AH-1Z Cobra ‘Viper’.

The Viper was seen by some as being a logical contender due to it being fully-marinised, and because of its commonality with US Marine Corp AH-1Zs that regularly deploy to our region and with which Australian forces are most likely to undertake combat operations. But the airframe upon which the Viper is based is older than the Apache, and was seen as being closer to the end of its growth potential.


https://www.minister.defence.gov.au/min ... capability

https://adbr.com.au/apache-confirmed-as ... placement/
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
Ozair
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:04 am

N328KF wrote:
The Australian Army is buying 29 AH-64E Apache Guardians to replace the 22 Eurocopter Tigers. Recall that the Tiger IOC was just four years ago. Do the issues with the NH-90 relate to this at all?

lso under consideration for LAND 4503 and recently touted in some circles as a potential come-from-behind contender was the Bell AH-1Z Cobra ‘Viper’.

The Viper was seen by some as being a logical contender due to it being fully-marinised, and because of its commonality with US Marine Corp AH-1Zs that regularly deploy to our region and with which Australian forces are most likely to undertake combat operations. But the airframe upon which the Viper is based is older than the Apache, and was seen as being closer to the end of its growth potential.


https://www.minister.defence.gov.au/min ... capability

https://adbr.com.au/apache-confirmed-as ... placement/


An expected decision and a good one. Really the Apache should have been chosen instead of the Tiger initially anyway (the Apache was the selection of the ADF but the Government of the day opted for the Tiger) and that would have resulted in less cost, more capability and Australian Attack helicopters being deployed in support of Australian troops in Afghanistan instead of being reliant of Coalition RW support.
 
bunumuring
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:45 am

Hey guys,
I heard about this a while ago but was hinted at that some ‘other types’ were in the mix as well to be ordered from the Americans !?!?
And what about the decision on the light helos for special forces? 16 plus 16 options I believe?!?!
Maybe ‘Covid’ budgetary casualties?
Take care,
Bunumuring
Last edited by bunumuring on Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:53 am, edited 3 times in total.
I just wanna live while I'm alive!
 
889091
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:57 am

What are they going to do with the Tigers? There would still be some market value left in them. Flog them off to Vietnam/India or perhaps Germany?

There seems to be a lot happening lately with Boeing in Australia - Loyal Wingman and now this. Will they be building the frames in Australia?
 
art
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:24 pm

Why do they need to replace Tiger 4 years after IOC? What is wrong with Tiger?
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Fri Jan 15, 2021 1:43 pm

There is a benefit to using the same hardware as the US Military (not necessarily US made).

You can piggy back on to any improvements that US R&D may have over the life of the program.

Case in point: E-7 vs P-8

Both are Boeing 737 derivatives.
However the E-7 is not used by the US Air Force. Ever since their inceptions the P-8A have had several large increment improvements that the RAAF will be able to incorporate for a small sum of money.

Where as the E-7, while capable, have only small improvements with each new customer and any that can be purchased by the small R&D budgets of the current customers.

From FlightGlobal quoting Boeing:

“The AH-64E Apache provides Australia with a low-risk, fully-integrated, battle-proven capability which is interoperable with Australia’s key allies. It is supported by an active production line and a US Army modernisation plan through the late 2040s, thereby ensuring the platform remains the leading attack reconnaissance capability through 2050 and beyond.”


bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
Ozair
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Fri Jan 15, 2021 8:35 pm

bunumuring wrote:
Hey guys,
I heard about this a while ago but was hinted at that some ‘other types’ were in the mix as well to be ordered from the Americans !?!?
And what about the decision on the light helos for special forces? 16 plus 16 options I believe?!?!
Maybe ‘Covid’ budgetary casualties?
Take care,
Bunumuring

The SOCOM helos are still happening but that is a very different program with a different intent. The RFP was only issued in Aug last year with the Bell 429 and the Airbus H145M as currently proposed options. I expect the MD500 may try to sneak in as well.

889091 wrote:
What are they going to do with the Tigers? There would still be some market value left in them. Flog them off to Vietnam/India or perhaps Germany?

No idea on the intent for the airframes, I'm not sure anyone would be interested in them but if there is some value to them second hand then perhaps Australia will try. There are often initial contractual obligations to a second hand sale though so

889091 wrote:
There seems to be a lot happening lately with Boeing in Australia - Loyal Wingman and now this. Will they be building the frames in Australia?
No Australian built airframes and this contract isn't related at all to the Loyal Wingman. That is run by Boeing Australia while these are being acquired via a FMS case from Boeing via the US Military.

art wrote:
Why do they need to replace Tiger 4 years after IOC? What is wrong with Tiger?

Where to start...

If you really want to know then read some of the ANAO reports on the Tiger program, for example here, https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performanc ... helicopter

Conclusion
6. The Tiger helicopter fleet has not yet delivered the original capability expected by the Australian Government, and continues to experience higher than expected sustainment costs and lower than expected aircraft availability.

- The Chief of Army declared Final Operational Capability for the Tiger on 14 April 2016, allowing the helicopter to be operationally employed. The declaration was seven years later than planned, and was accompanied by nine operational caveats.

- As at April 2016, the Tiger also had 76 capability deficiencies relating to Army’s current and future operational requirements, 60 of which were deemed by Defence to be critical. Other key limitations relate to shipborne operations, pilot flying hours, interoperability and communications, airworthiness, and the roof-mounted sight.

- To date, sustainment costs have exceeded the original contract value. The 15 year (2004–2019) sustainment contract provided for expenditure of $571 million.4 That sum was expended by June 2014, and expenditure as at June 2016 was $921 million.
As at June 2016, the cost per flying hour for the Tiger fleet was $30 335, compared to a target of $20 000. The long-term average was $39 472 per hour. Defence negotiated a cost cap to control sustainment cost growth in 2014.

- On average only 3.5 aircraft of the operational fleet (16 aircraft) were serviceable at 10am on any given day in 2015, against a target of 12 aircraft.

7. Defence’s internal lessons learned review of the Tiger program concluded that the ‘rushed’ nature of the initial Through-Life Support contract negotiations resulted in a flawed outcome for the fleet’s sustainment, and that Defence was ineffective in enforcing its contractual rights under the contract. These factors weakened Defence’s position in managing the fleet’s sustainment arrangements.

8. The 2016 Defence White Paper allocated $500–$750 million to address the current capability requirements of the Tiger platform with a view to replacing the platform mid next decade, at a cost of some $5–$6 billion. In effect, an upgrade is scheduled for consideration less than 12 months after the Tiger achieved Final Operational Capability. Defence should conduct a thorough analysis of the value-for-money of investing further in the Tiger, pending the introduction of a replacement capability.
 
texl1649
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:14 pm

James Bond movie plot casualty is sad, though.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sat Jan 16, 2021 10:14 am

How are other operators of the Tiger doing? An Australian issue or a Tiger issue?
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
889091
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:27 am

Dutchy wrote:
How are other operators of the Tiger doing? An Australian issue or a Tiger issue?


Article from Jan 2020 about the German Bundeswehr and their Tigers. Sorry, in German only..

https://www.bundeswehr-journal.de/2020/ ... atzbereit/
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:02 pm

Dutchy wrote:
How are other operators of the Tiger doing? An Australian issue or a Tiger issue?

Tiger issue.

They over promised and underdelivered. This is expected for a manufacturer who has never made an attack helicopter before. Australia will take this as a lesson learnt. Moving forward they will most likely stick to lower risk aircraft designs.

It is only during advanced training simulations does an air force realise how inferior their equipment is. This poor performance rarely gets made public. If they get detected first and they detect the enemy last then they are dead in actual combat. It doesn't matter what the manufacturer promised as the spec sheet rarely translates into combat performance.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sat Jan 16, 2021 2:31 pm

Dutchy wrote:
How are other operators of the Tiger doing? An Australian issue or a Tiger issue?

France has been using theirs heavily and they've been deployed abroad multiple times. An upgrade package 'Mark III' is scheduled for Germany, France and Spain, which was also offered as a competitor to the now selected AH-64 in Australia (to replace, augment or upgrade the current fleet).

https://verticalmag.com/news/airbus-set ... e-program/
https://www.latribune.fr/entreprises-fi ... 77763.html

I've found some reports claiming that Spain is less than satisfied with the reliability, as well as complaints about slow development and delivery.
The reality is that there is no money to modernize 6 Tigre helicopters. But the issue is even more serious, because what emerges from the note is that there is not enough to maintain the fleet of 24 specimens and the 6 PAH will be used to feed the rest with spare parts .

https://www.elconfidencial.com/tecnolog ... 5_2464963/
It is worth remembering the words of the then Secretary of State for Defense (SEDEF) Agustín Conde in 2017 when he stated that the Tigre helicopters of the Army had a "high number of technological obsolescence", being "a development of the decade of the nineties ”, hence it was necessary to improve them by incorporating current technologies

https://www.defensa.com/espana/indra-me ... ero-ataque

The AH-64 is a significantly larger and by design more capable aircraft. The Tiger has also been very slow to move from program launch to assembly, to testing, to delivery, to in-service upgrades. Sounds similar to other European programs of the late 80s & early 90s?
 
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N328KF
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:00 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
How are other operators of the Tiger doing? An Australian issue or a Tiger issue?

Tiger issue.

They over promised and underdelivered. This is expected for a manufacturer who has never made an attack helicopter before. Australia will take this as a lesson learnt. Moving forward they will most likely stick to lower risk aircraft designs.


I just want to point out that the Apache was Hughes' first attack helicopter to reach production. The bulk of their previous production had been helos related to the MD-500. With that said, it's clear that they knocked that first effort out of the park. In the West, Bell was the clear pioneer on this front. with about a ten year head-start. But the Apache is what everyone sought to emulate in the rush to bring attack helicopters to the market, with varied results.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
889091
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:34 pm

N328KF wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
How are other operators of the Tiger doing? An Australian issue or a Tiger issue?

Tiger issue.

They over promised and underdelivered. This is expected for a manufacturer who has never made an attack helicopter before. Australia will take this as a lesson learnt. Moving forward they will most likely stick to lower risk aircraft designs.


I just want to point out that the Apache was Hughes' first attack helicopter to reach production. The bulk of their previous production had been helos related to the MD-500. With that said, it's clear that they knocked that first effort out of the park. In the West, Bell was the clear pioneer on this front. with about a ten year head-start. But the Apache is what everyone sought to emulate in the rush to bring attack helicopters to the market, with varied results.


:thumbsup:
cue the Rooivalk, Tiger and Kamov
 
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N328KF
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:52 am

889091 wrote:
:thumbsup:
cue the Rooivalk, Tiger and Kamov


Agusta(Westland) Mangusta as well. The Mangusta has done so well (sarcasm) that its successor is near (AW429.)
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:53 am

N328KF wrote:
I just want to point out that the Apache was Hughes' first attack helicopter to reach production. The bulk of their previous production had been helos related to the MD-500. With that said, it's clear that they knocked that first effort out of the park. In the West, Bell was the clear pioneer on this front. with about a ten year head-start. But the Apache is what everyone sought to emulate in the rush to bring attack helicopters to the market, with varied results.

The original AH-64A was actually underpowered. It has the highest rotor disc loading and the least engine power relative to the empty weight. Hot high performance was actually poor during desert storm.

The Apache flew 16 years before the Tiger so the design has had more time to mature. All the high maintenance parts have been improved in the newer Apache models and the increased engine power has fixed the hot/high performance problem.

It is the shame Eurocopter made promises they couldn't keep with the Tiger. I am sure future contracts will have strict penalties which will cause only US aircraft to be purchased moving forward.

I am sure if Eurocopter made a Tiger 2 helicopter the maintenance would be significantly reduced and the reliability significantly improved. This will always be a problem in Europe when they try to produce a state of the art aircraft where they have little or outdated experience in the technology used. The F-22 is a good US example of this happening.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:14 am

The Tiger was meant as a light armed anti-tank and recce helicopter for use in Europe. It never saw that use. But in exercises the Tiger UHT is really great at doing that job. Even more deadly than any AH-64. But the mission has largely changed.
 
mxaxai
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:50 pm

Dutchy wrote:
How are other operators of the Tiger doing? An Australian issue or a Tiger issue?

So I just stumbled across some numbers for availability in France, if anyone's curious:

According to the latest figures available, the availability of ALAT [French Army] Tigers stood at 31% in 2020, up from 26% three years earlier.

http://www.opex360.com/2021/02/18/berli ... and-tigre/ [French]
 
acecrackshot
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:23 pm

art wrote:
Why do they need to replace Tiger 4 years after IOC? What is wrong with Tiger?


Standard terrible Euro military product support.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:31 pm

acecrackshot wrote:
art wrote:
Why do they need to replace Tiger 4 years after IOC? What is wrong with Tiger?


Standard terrible Euro military product support.


Please explain it a bit further, perhaps some examples would help.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
acecrackshot
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:58 pm

Dutchy wrote:

Please explain it a bit further, perhaps some examples would help.


In the ADF context? Collins, MEKO, NH-90, and obviously Tiger for starters. I'd argue AUSteyr as well, though its not a compete fiasco. Just kind of a yesterday's news rifle.

Australian Defense procurement is driven by getting jobs for Victoria, and on the political Left, a perennial desire of showing "independence of the US." What that gets Australia is kind of amorphous, but there it is.

It is rarely about either the best solution. That's OK, as far as it goes, as the US has its multiple procurement fiascos that are complete own goals, but it does come with tremendous opportunity cost for more boutique sized users as dollars are flushed down the drain to try to make less than optimum weapons work as designed, or older but capable systems are kept in service and their life-cycles get shortened (see the S-70 in ADF service.) Americans have the luxury for now of shoveling resources at poorly executed designs like the F-35. Euros don't have that luxury, so half baked stays half baked.

As pointed out, both spiral development and product support are functions of economies of scale. Its just difficult for cashed strapped Euro countries to buy the spares, so the spares aren't bought. Comparing the product support of the Mirage III and F-18 from the perspective of the RAAF guys was apples and oranges. Low usage/high impact parts could and would be cannibalized from US stocks. and delivered via overnight freight for example, where Dassault and Eurocopter had a far more Just-In-Time view, and often the wait for spares was measured in weeks or months.

Even as far as the requirements for weapons goes, the analysis driving what the actual requirements are in the European context are FAR more nationally driven by non-military factors than in the US (for example, the A400M engine) and this has knock on effects to cost to acquire, performance and sustainment.

Honestly, I think one thing that the EU would be well advised to do for lots of their defense procurement would be to hire Americans (especially former inhabitants of the Military Industrial Complex) to act as an honest broker.

Again, look at the A400M. Its a fantastic design, if your requirements are to sustain the French defense industrial base and support French style rapid intervention operations. For other stuff, it was really less than adequate, and its performing far more poorly than its pedigree should suggest. Honestly, I had high hopes for the C-390 to break the American monopoly on defense tactical airlift (monopolies are never good) with a company that has international presence for support, an understanding of militaries that don't have unlimited resources (the American money machine goes BRRRRRR!!!) and price point that makes good enough, good enough.
 
acecrackshot
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Re: Australia officially picks Apache to replace Tiger

Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:03 pm

seahawk wrote:
The Tiger was meant as a light armed anti-tank and recce helicopter for use in Europe. It never saw that use. But in exercises the Tiger UHT is really great at doing that job. Even more deadly than any AH-64. But the mission has largely changed.


Really, from the ADF context, they got that. But they were told, "buy Euro."

Additionally, manned helo recce is really becoming a high risk/low reward mission. I didn't like seeing the US Army divest of the -58 fleet, as it was a standout performer in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, in major combat operations, a 1000 cheap UAVs are likely more of a force enabler than one rotary wing asset. If its got people in it, it needs to be a heavily armed fires asset.

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