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ThePointblank
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UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:13 pm

Plans are to replace the oldest Chinooks in the fleet via tranche one, and the remainder of the 60 odd Chinooks will be replaced at a later date. The article notes that the majority of the RAF's Chinook fleet is well on its way to fly beyond 10,000 hours per frame by 2034:

https://www.flightglobal.com/defence/uk ... 42.article

The UK may replace all of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF’s) current 60-strong fleet of Boeing CH-47 Chinooks with new-build examples to enable the operation of the tandem-rotor type well into the future.

London has already signaled its interest in acquiring 16 F-model Chinooks, likely the long-range MH-47G variant, but has not previously indicated a wider requirement. US approval for a potential $3.5 billion deal was granted in 2018.
 
744SPX
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:53 pm

Maybe this will move forward the re-engine idea?
 
johns624
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:56 am

ThePointblank wrote:
Plans are to replace the oldest Chinooks in the fleet via tranche one, and the remainder of the 60 odd Chinooks will be replaced at a later date. The article notes that the majority of the RAF's Chinook fleet is well on its way to fly beyond 10,000 hours per frame by 2034:

https://www.flightglobal.com/defence/uk ... 42.article

US approval for a potential $3.5 billion deal was granted in 2018.
Sounds like they're kicking the can down the road.
 
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N328KF
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sat Jan 23, 2021 8:29 am

In related news, they are looking to replace their Pumas. FVL would be the prime candidate if the timing works out, but sounds like it won't.

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 48.article
 
texl1649
Posts: 1898
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:36 pm

Would the AW609 be too small for the Puma role? I know Leonardo had discussed at one point larger derivatives in the 2020s.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/tokyo-e ... tiltrotor/

https://www.flightglobal.com/helicopter ... 81.article

Of course, I’d assume the AW149 or Airbus would be favored there (cheaper than AW609, same size vs. the puma). Both seem like good options. There really isn’t a true competitor still on the drawing board to be certified/available in production by 2030 though for the Chinooks.
 
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N328KF
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:23 pm

texl1649 wrote:

Of course, I’d assume the AW149 or Airbus would be favored there (cheaper than AW609, same size vs. the puma). Both seem like good options. There really isn’t a true competitor still on the drawing board to be certified/available in production by 2030 though for the Chinooks.


Anything from AW would probably have some sort of leg up due to local workshare (AW still being sort of perceived as British) but I don't see how Eurocopter would have any sort of advantage. The fact that FVL is what they want clearly means that they're willing to consider US options and let's be frank, the US is picking up more and and more of their procurement recently.

With that said, I wonder if the US could sell them FVL with some sort of interim option to cover the worst-hit airframes.

Could we retitle this theead "Future UK vertical lift?"
 
GDB
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:37 pm

For the Pumas, this could be an option, it's already in service in it's civil form with HM Coastguard and built for them at Yeovil;
https://www.leonardocompany.com/en/prod ... s/military

Or a top up order of Merlins.

With the Chinooks, it's been a long journey with some procurement bumps along the way, though as you can see they have been everywhere and done everything.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Ch ... K_variants)

At the RAF100 event in London in 2018, there was one of static display, interesting conversation with a crewman who noted that RAF Chinook crews have won more decorations than all other RAF aircrew combined since WW2.
He pointed to a middle aged colleague also talking to the public, 'he's retiring soon, won multiple decorations', many of them not well known if at all since they were in support of covert operations, some not officially recorded.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1898
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:19 pm

N328KF wrote:
texl1649 wrote:

Of course, I’d assume the AW149 or Airbus would be favored there (cheaper than AW609, same size vs. the puma). Both seem like good options. There really isn’t a true competitor still on the drawing board to be certified/available in production by 2030 though for the Chinooks.


Anything from AW would probably have some sort of leg up due to local workshare (AW still being sort of perceived as British) but I don't see how Eurocopter would have any sort of advantage. The fact that FVL is what they want clearly means that they're willing to consider US options and let's be frank, the US is picking up more and and more of their procurement recently.

With that said, I wonder if the US could sell them FVL with some sort of interim option to cover the worst-hit airframes.

Could we retitle this theead "Future UK vertical lift?"


The Bell FVL bid would be a lot more capability, is my rationale. I don't know that recent past really is a precursor of future performance as politics evolves, respectively, but I do think the AW149 as it is being bid apparently by Leonardo is a logical successor if acquisitions are to be made in the next 10 years. Airbus has a quite strong relationship with UK industrially, and offering a potential production line of H175 domestically built (though Avicopter/China as a partner is a deterrent), along with the capacity to perhaps bundle Puma sustainment thru 2035 seems like a possibly good fit. The H175 in any case is a very strong competitor technically...yet Leonardo needs something to do at Yeovil/Somerset.

I don't know/judge the politics, sitting across the pond, but find it interesting.
 
giblets
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:34 pm

Hopefully that will mean ZA718 heads to a good museum!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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bikerthai
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:40 am

GDB wrote:
With the Chinooks, it's been a long journey with some procurement bumps along the way, though as you can see they have been everywhere and done everything.


The French sure appreciated those UK Chinooks during their Mali operations. So much so they are also considering getting some themselves.

bt
 
bennett123
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:35 am

No only is there a 5 year gap between when the FVL will be needed and when it will be available, there are two other factors.

1. Will EIS be delayed.

2. If EIS is in 2030, the first ones will be for the US military. How soon before any are available for export?.
 
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N328KF
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:32 pm

bennett123 wrote:
No only is there a 5 year gap between when the FVL will be needed and when it will be available, there are two other factors.

1. Will EIS be delayed.

2. If EIS is in 2030, the first ones will be for the US military. How soon before any are available for export?.


RAF had good access to F-35, but your points have merit.
 
IADFCO
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:31 pm

Before thinking about FVL as Puma replacements, I'd be curious to find out whether the US itself will be willing to pay the huge price (both monetary and technical) required to go past 200-250 kts. Then we'd have to see whether the UK really needs that speed and is willing to pay for it.
 
GDB
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:59 pm

giblets wrote:
Hopefully that will mean ZA718 heads to a good museum!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I mentioned that at the RAF100 event, the Chinook there was a ZA series, 3rd delivered the crewman said and that it is expected that Bravo November has a place reserved at the RAF Museum, Hendon.
On discussing the many upgrades, I did ask if it was a case of the older one's being like Trigger's Broom!

For those the outside the UK, 'Trigger' was a dim character in the sitcom 'Only Fools And Horses';
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAh8HryVaeY
 
Myv40
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:32 pm

bikerthai wrote:
GDB wrote:
With the Chinooks, it's been a long journey with some procurement bumps along the way, though as you can see they have been everywhere and done everything.


The French sure appreciated those UK Chinooks during their Mali operations. So much so they are also considering getting some themselves.

bt

And RAF C17's to get their APC's to theatre! I find it astonishing that the French military with its reasonably large standing army and Legacy colonial commitments (like Mali) lacks both heavy tactical airlift and heavy rotor lift capability!
 
texl1649
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Wed Jan 27, 2021 8:57 pm

Myv40 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
GDB wrote:
With the Chinooks, it's been a long journey with some procurement bumps along the way, though as you can see they have been everywhere and done everything.


The French sure appreciated those UK Chinooks during their Mali operations. So much so they are also considering getting some themselves.

bt

And RAF C17's to get their APC's to theatre! I find it astonishing that the French military with its reasonably large standing army and Legacy colonial commitments (like Mali) lacks both heavy tactical airlift and heavy rotor lift capability!


Maybe, but being the French, they're apparently thinking about renting a couple for a few years, then buying them if it works out after 2025. Kinda crazy really, but perhaps by then a re-engined Chinook will also be on offer. I'd think they could come up with some sort of a joint squadron so they don't have to ever admit to buying US helo's.

https://www.meta-defense.fr/en/2020/02/ ... licopters/
 
GDB
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:18 am

texl1649 wrote:
Myv40 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:

The French sure appreciated those UK Chinooks during their Mali operations. So much so they are also considering getting some themselves.

bt

And RAF C17's to get their APC's to theatre! I find it astonishing that the French military with its reasonably large standing army and Legacy colonial commitments (like Mali) lacks both heavy tactical airlift and heavy rotor lift capability!


Maybe, but being the French, they're apparently thinking about renting a couple for a few years, then buying them if it works out after 2025. Kinda crazy really, but perhaps by then a re-engined Chinook will also be on offer. I'd think they could come up with some sort of a joint squadron so they don't have to ever admit to buying US helo's.

https://www.meta-defense.fr/en/2020/02/ ... licopters/


When they've had capability gaps which it makes no economic sense to try and deal with locally, they've 'admitted' to F-8 Crusaders, E-2C's, C-130H/J and some KC's for the latter, Predator Drones, E-3F's, SM-1 SAMs, ditto Hawk on land.
All but one of these, F-8's, being post CDG's 1966 NATO hissy fit (to the horror of his general staff and intel people).

We in the UK, after that botched 2010 Defence Review and the 'holiday' an island nation had from MPA's, at times they provided Atlantiques for training and likely some SAR support.
Plus in the history of the RAF CH-47, there was a similar break in initially ordering it, so the requirement was identified, cancelled due to a balance of payments crisis, then in 1978 really ordering.

Ironically, they did build a chopper, which while not of CH-47 nor CH-53 capability, was more than they had for Puma's/Super Pumas.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%C3%A9ro ... per_Frelon

Mainly used by them in the Naval role, utility ones were exported, here's an export one (Israel) from the underrated 1980's Afghanistan set movie The Beast'.
(Israel later upgraded their fleet with US engines, France could have done the same with local powerplants);

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y03YxzyKsWk

There is a better quality clip but this shows the utility version better.
(A few years later, the filmmakers could have got a Mi-8 rather than using this chopper as a stand in).

Back to RAF CH-47's, you have to wonder if it was known just how many the RAF would end up ordering past the original 33, whether a UK line would have been set up, like the Italians did.
However back then, when a MoD under-spend and the same year's pledge to 3% annual spending upgrade across NATO, the RAF saw their chance and got their long wished for heavy lift choppers.
 
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GCT64
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Thu Jan 28, 2021 8:53 pm

GDB wrote:
Ironically, they [The French] did build a chopper, which while not of CH-47 nor CH-53 capability, was more than they had for Puma's/Super Pumas.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%C3%A9ro ... per_Frelon

Mainly used by them in the Naval role, utility ones were exported, here's an export one (Israel) from the underrated 1980's Afghanistan set movie The Beast'.
(Israel later upgraded their fleet with US engines, France could have done the same with local powerplants);

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y03YxzyKsWk

There is a better quality clip but this shows the utility version better.
(A few years later, the filmmakers could have got a Mi-8 rather than using this chopper as a stand in).
.


The French could stick with the Super Frelon by going for the Avicopter AC313 / Changhe Z-18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicopter_AC313
 
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N328KF
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:29 am

GCT64 wrote:
The French could stick with the Super Frelon by going for the Avicopter AC313 / Changhe Z-18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicopter_AC313


Do you really see a chance of that happening? There would be so many things wrong with going this route.
 
Ozair
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Fri Jan 29, 2021 2:27 am

N328KF wrote:
GCT64 wrote:
The French could stick with the Super Frelon by going for the Avicopter AC313 / Changhe Z-18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicopter_AC313


Do you really see a chance of that happening? There would be so many things wrong with going this route.

I think he was joking...
 
ThePointblank
Topic Author
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:12 am

Contract signed for 14 Chinooks, with a contract value of $2 billion USD:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... elicopters

The U.K. and the Pentagon reached agreement on a $2 billion sale of 14 Chinook helicopters built by Boeing Co., as well as engines, machine guns, radar and missile-jamming equipment for the choppers, according to officials and documents.

The agreement was confirmed in a previously undisclosed March 25 letter from the U.K.’s embassy in Washington that paves the way for signed contracts. But the letter also indicates that the U.K. wants to delay delivery of the helicopters by as much as three years, in part due to impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic.


Of note, the article is indicating they are of an extended range variant, with enlarged external fuel tanks.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:06 pm

Wonder if this domino will influence the Germans or even the French. If the US is asking allies to keep the production line going untill they make their own buy decision, maybe there are concessions there to be had.

bt
 
acecrackshot
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:06 pm

Myv40 wrote:
bikerthai wrote:
GDB wrote:
With the Chinooks, it's been a long journey with some procurement bumps along the way, though as you can see they have been everywhere and done everything.


The French sure appreciated those UK Chinooks during their Mali operations. So much so they are also considering getting some themselves.

bt

And RAF C17's to get their APC's to theatre! I find it astonishing that the French military with its reasonably large standing army and Legacy colonial commitments (like Mali) lacks both heavy tactical airlift and heavy rotor lift capability!


What? They have both. Dial 001!
 
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kitplane01
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Fri Apr 23, 2021 6:18 pm

N328KF wrote:
texl1649 wrote:

Of course, I’d assume the AW149 or Airbus would be favored there (cheaper than AW609, same size vs. the puma). Both seem like good options. There really isn’t a true competitor still on the drawing board to be certified/available in production by 2030 though for the Chinooks.


Anything from AW would probably have some sort of leg up due to local workshare (AW still being sort of perceived as British) but I don't see how Eurocopter would have any sort of advantage. The fact that FVL is what they want clearly means that they're willing to consider US options and let's be frank, the US is picking up more and and more of their procurement recently.

With that said, I wonder if the US could sell them FVL with some sort of interim option to cover the worst-hit airframes.

Could we retitle this theead "Future UK vertical lift?"


It's not obvious that the UK could/should afford the FVL. If it costs 2x or 3x as much as a conventional helicopter (with 2x or 3x increase in running costs too), maybe the UK would do better buying a conventional helicopter.
 
texl1649
Posts: 1898
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:28 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
N328KF wrote:
texl1649 wrote:

Of course, I’d assume the AW149 or Airbus would be favored there (cheaper than AW609, same size vs. the puma). Both seem like good options. There really isn’t a true competitor still on the drawing board to be certified/available in production by 2030 though for the Chinooks.


Anything from AW would probably have some sort of leg up due to local workshare (AW still being sort of perceived as British) but I don't see how Eurocopter would have any sort of advantage. The fact that FVL is what they want clearly means that they're willing to consider US options and let's be frank, the US is picking up more and and more of their procurement recently.

With that said, I wonder if the US could sell them FVL with some sort of interim option to cover the worst-hit airframes.

Could we retitle this theead "Future UK vertical lift?"


It's not obvious that the UK could/should afford the FVL. If it costs 2x or 3x as much as a conventional helicopter (with 2x or 3x increase in running costs too), maybe the UK would do better buying a conventional helicopter.


I know I am skeptical but Bell claims to have an ability to build and sell V-280’s for $20 million each. I don’t think it is likely to cost significantly more to operate than a conventional helicopter, unless the final engines do in fact cause a lot of maintenance/reliability issues. If the Lockheed/Sikorsky wins, I think we all expect that to cost a fortune, LOL.

https://www.wired.com/2016/07/bell-v280 ... placement/
 
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kitplane01
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Re: UK looking to update Chinook fleet

Tue Apr 27, 2021 1:42 am

texl1649 wrote:
kitplane01 wrote:
N328KF wrote:

Anything from AW would probably have some sort of leg up due to local workshare (AW still being sort of perceived as British) but I don't see how Eurocopter would have any sort of advantage. The fact that FVL is what they want clearly means that they're willing to consider US options and let's be frank, the US is picking up more and and more of their procurement recently.

With that said, I wonder if the US could sell them FVL with some sort of interim option to cover the worst-hit airframes.

Could we retitle this theead "Future UK vertical lift?"


It's not obvious that the UK could/should afford the FVL. If it costs 2x or 3x as much as a conventional helicopter (with 2x or 3x increase in running costs too), maybe the UK would do better buying a conventional helicopter.


I know I am skeptical but Bell claims to have an ability to build and sell V-280’s for $20 million each. I don’t think it is likely to cost significantly more to operate than a conventional helicopter, unless the final engines do in fact cause a lot of maintenance/reliability issues. If the Lockheed/Sikorsky wins, I think we all expect that to cost a fortune, LOL.

https://www.wired.com/2016/07/bell-v280 ... placement/


If Bell offers to sell a V280 at half the cost of a UH-60, we should sign a very large fixed price contract immediately. Oh wait, Bell won't sign that contract yet. Geee...

(My sarcasm is not at you, but at Bell.)

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