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Mortyman
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Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:16 pm

Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American Blackhawk and Seahawks

The Australian Defence Force will ditch its entire fleet of troubled European-designed Taipan helicopters a decade earlier than scheduled, replacing them with new Black Hawks and Seahawks imported from the United States.


* Defence will scrap all 47 European-designed Taipans used by Army and Navy
* The ADF's Taipans have been plagued with poor availability and fleet-wide groundings
* The decision comes three months after Australia ditched the French submarine program


https://amp-abc-net-au.cdn.ampproject.o ... J6ypNwx9bY


Good on Australia. we've had nothing but problems with our NH-90's here in Norway also and we still haven't receaved all we ordered, even though the ordered helicopters were supposed to have been delivered completley by 2005, we still are waiting for the last 3 ...
 
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Dutchy
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Thu Dec 09, 2021 11:07 pm

interesting where these examples will end up.
 
LTEN11
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 12:12 am

This is on top of the Tigers being dumped for Apaches. Certainly hasn't turned out to be much of a purchase when the Government went with the Taipan and Tiger, they have both proven very disappointing.
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 12:47 am

An operator would persist with an aircraft that has a few problems. To fully replace an aircraft halfway through its service life the problems have to be extremely large. This is an extremely embarrassing moment for the European aerospace industry.

Russians equipment always had a reputation of over promising on performance with high maintenance cost and no spare parts. It seems Europe now has this reputation.

I think the Eurofighter and A400M will suffer the same fate. In 10 years time I could see the hourly operating cost being double the cost of today. They will both have accelerated retirements or super low availability due to increased cost and poor parts support.
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 12:59 am

Remember reading nasty reports in Finnish newspapers on the NH90 some years back!

Except New Zealand, is anyone else happy with the NH90?
 
A101
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 1:52 am

Mortyman wrote:
Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American Blackhawk and Seahawks

The Australian Defence Force will ditch its entire fleet of troubled European-designed Taipan helicopters a decade earlier than scheduled, replacing them with new Black Hawks and Seahawks imported from the United States.


* Defence will scrap all 47 European-designed Taipans used by Army and Navy
* The ADF's Taipans have been plagued with poor availability and fleet-wide groundings
* The decision comes three months after Australia ditched the French submarine program


https://amp-abc-net-au.cdn.ampproject.o ... J6ypNwx9bY


Good on Australia. we've had nothing but problems with our NH-90's here in Norway also and we still haven't receaved all we ordered, even though the ordered helicopters were supposed to have been delivered completley by 2005, we still are waiting for the last 3 ...


I have also mentioned this in the AUKUS thread, mods might want to move the posts to here

But wow you are still waiting on airframes that we’re supposed to be delivered in 2005!!

Wow just wow
 
johns624
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 2:10 am

According to Wiki, the RNZAF has 8, with a 9th cannibalized for parts. You shouldn't have to do that but it probably helps with keeping the others flying.
 
mig21umd
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 3:37 am

Australia has waisted so much money these past 30 years on choosing the wrong aircraft. Makes you wonder what the motivation was? Time for a Royal Commission, if they allow it.
 
A101
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:13 am

mig21umd wrote:
Australia has waisted so much money these past 30 years on choosing the wrong aircraft. Makes you wonder what the motivation was? Time for a Royal Commission, if they allow it.



From what I remember of the decision it was politically motivated, defence wanted Blackhawk but government went with NH90 for jobs reason even though the Blackhawks were cheaper to buy at the time

https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performanc ... er-program
 
A101
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 4:16 am

johns624 wrote:
According to Wiki, the RNZAF has 8, with a 9th cannibalized for parts. You shouldn't have to do that but it probably helps with keeping the others flying.



That was deliberate on the Kiwis part the 9 was always to be a spares mule, it’s actually a good way to get in front of the spare inventory with such a small fleet

From what I gather part of the problem was that a lot of the spares have to go back to Europe for refurbishment and long turn around times
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 5:05 am

mig21umd wrote:
Australia has waisted so much money these past 30 years on choosing the wrong aircraft. Makes you wonder what the motivation was? Time for a Royal Commission, if they allow it.

Politics my friend.

Every country should buy the best value, most reliable and highest capability military equipment. But that would mean 95+% of the military equipment purchased in the world would be made in the USA.

That creates a problem as the US would have a monopoly and the prices would then increase. So we want Europe to make equipment to keep the US prices down. We then need countries to still buy the European equipment regardless of quality so they stay in business.

A country buying European equipment is effectively helping a country that buys US only equipment.
 
LTEN11
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Fri Dec 10, 2021 10:43 am

There is a good article from The Strategist and it mentions the historical push to get rid of the MRH-90 and the extraordinary costs involved now to operate them. In the last 12 months, the hourly costs to operate the MRH-90 for the ADF has gone from an already high AUD $35000, to a ridiculous AUD $50000. People on here are claiming the F-35 is expensive to operate ! It also gives a bit of history on the acquisition.

Link : https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/dumpi ... t-why-now/
 
Noray
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Sun Dec 12, 2021 6:27 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
An operator would persist with an aircraft that has a few problems. To fully replace an aircraft halfway through its service life the problems have to be extremely large. This is an extremely embarrassing moment for the European aerospace industry.

Russians equipment always had a reputation of over promising on performance with high maintenance cost and no spare parts. It seems Europe now has this reputation.

I think the Eurofighter and A400M will suffer the same fate. In 10 years time I could see the hourly operating cost being double the cost of today. They will both have accelerated retirements or super low availability due to increased cost and poor parts support.

This ignores the fact that European programmes have evolved to avoid earlier mistakes that plagued the NH90, Tiger and EF with their individualized national subfleets that are hard to maintain. The commercial approach was chosen for the A400M in reaction to these problems: There is one basic A400M type with individual configuration items to be selected by the customers, but all of that controlled by Airbus.
 
GDB
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Sun Dec 12, 2021 7:07 pm

Noray wrote:
RJMAZ wrote:
An operator would persist with an aircraft that has a few problems. To fully replace an aircraft halfway through its service life the problems have to be extremely large. This is an extremely embarrassing moment for the European aerospace industry.

Russians equipment always had a reputation of over promising on performance with high maintenance cost and no spare parts. It seems Europe now has this reputation.

I think the Eurofighter and A400M will suffer the same fate. In 10 years time I could see the hourly operating cost being double the cost of today. They will both have accelerated retirements or super low availability due to increased cost and poor parts support.

This ignores the fact that European programmes have evolved to avoid earlier mistakes that plagued the NH90, Tiger and EF with their individualized subfleets that are hard to maintain. The commercial approach was chosen for the A400M in reaction to these problems: There is one basic A400M type with individual configuration items to be selected by the customers, but all of that controlled by Airbus.


There is also the issue of how France has operated both types, in the hostile environment of the Mali region, in combat operations, since 2013, Italy the NH-90 in Afghanistan. So the issue seems to be one of technical support as well as the specialized local mods.
France, as shown by the purchase for SF support of C-130J, shows for a perceived urgent need, they won’t hang around for local industry, so these choppers must have performed with at least reasonable levels of serviceability.
Guess what they have recently ordered for modernising their rotary wing SF support? Improved NH-90’s.
It is perhaps not surprising that these NH-90’s are used by the armed forces of two of the major industrial partners, who also do a lot of operational use, often in tough conditions.

If RJMAZ wants to perpetuate his idea that everything American is great and everything European is useless, despite it’s laughable lack of historical perspective nor knowledge of actual military operations, (y’know, what they are designed and built for), I would suggest a look at the UK’s buy in the mid 1990’s of 8 SF support CH-47’s. A well proven, beloved even machine, already with a long and extensive use with the RAF.
The parallels with the debarcle down under of this thread are compelling, speaking of that region, remember the RAN’s experience with those Kamen choppers?
And what became of those CH-47’s? The foolish UK industry of RJMAZ’s imagination, modded them for service over a decade after delivery, off they went for service including in Afghanistan.
Nothing wrong with the design in both cases, the issues were with bad contracts, poor customer support, compounded by local issues, political/industrial
What goes for Boeing and Kamen then should also apply to the NH-90 and Tiger.
 
A101
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:55 pm

GDB wrote:


There is also the issue of how France has operated both types, in the hostile environment of the Mali region, in combat operations, since 2013, Italy the NH-90 in Afghanistan. So the issue seems to be one of technical support as well as the specialized local mods.


Yes it certainly is an issue of technical support and FCPH, it’s not that much better for the French either, I can’t read French but google translate says this

In 2018, the availability rate of NH-90 TTH of ALT was 30.4% while that of NH-90 NFH reached 35.5%'.



Availability rate of NH-90 Cayman helicopters remains 'particularly worrying' - Military Zone (opex360.com)


https://www.aerotime.aero/27385-will-ge ... helicopter

As for the Germans Tigre the German Defense Ministry revealed that on average only 11.6 out of its 53 Tiger helicopters were operational.

So it’s just not an ADF problem, on paper the NH90 is a better helicopter than the Blackhawk just a pity it did not turn out that way

GDB wrote:

remember the RAN’s experience with those Kamen choppers?



Yes that was because the Sea Sprite was designed as a crew of 3, the RAN tried to up date the flight controls down to two

https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performanc ... -seasprite

Australian Defence Magazine – November 2008
INTRO: The problems with the Super Seasprite program were designed into the project from the outset. By the time they had become obvious Defence had reached the classic point of no return: it would have cost more to cancel the project and acquire a new aircraft than to proceed with it. But the history of the project shows that Defence was anything but a ‘smart buyer’.
Gregor Ferguson and Max Blenkin Sydney and Canberra


http://rumourcontrol.com.au/super-seasp ... ent-wrong/


Not all the ADF projects hit problems

The S-70B2 was a heavily modified variant of the SH-60F Seahawk helicopter already in service with the US Navy, but featured a unique mission system designed by Rockwell Collins for the RAN’s quite different cockpit and crewing philosophy. The RAN also examined the SH-60B LAMPS (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System) II variant and rejected it because this was considered not to have the operating autonomy required by the RAN; this view ignores the cycle of capability upgrades introduced by the US Navy over the years which the RAN could also have implemented if it had selected a similar mission system.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Mon Dec 13, 2021 7:57 am

The US Navy bought a frigate whose parent design is the FREMM, which is in service with France and Italy. Leonardo has two different helo's entering DOD service. The F-35 has parts from everywhere it seems.

Instead of local building of each type of equipment, it would be better if Australia was selling to the US say a "Loyal Wingman" in comparable value to the black hawks here. A win-win on efficiency. Japan found that assembling in country their F-35's wasn't worth it, rather use that capacity for support of the fleet and save a lot of yen per copy.
 
A101
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:36 am

JayinKitsap wrote:
The US Navy bought a frigate whose parent design is the FREMM, which is in service with France and Italy. Leonardo has two different helo's entering DOD service. The F-35 has parts from everywhere it seems.

Instead of local building of each type of equipment, it would be better if Australia was selling to the US say a "Loyal Wingman" in comparable value to the black hawks here. A win-win on efficiency. Japan found that assembling in country their F-35's wasn't worth it, rather use that capacity for support of the fleet and save a lot of yen per copy.


Who said that it might not in the future,the ADF has had Nulka sales for some time
 
GDB
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Mon Dec 13, 2021 3:02 pm

My point remains, when these types have been deployed operationally, they worked, is it not surprising that the whole fleet suffers from availability, if you want an extreme example go back 30 years. In 1990/91 the UK deployed initially an armoured brigade, then beefed up to a full division, to the Persian Gulf for Desert Shield, then the war itself.
The Cold War was ended but the drawdown in British forces in Germany had yet to begin.
Nonetheless, to equip the force gathering in the Gulf, just about everything was stripped from remaining assets, in Germany, the UK, probably even the training facility in Canada too. Though some NATO partners did not contribute forces they did provide some compatible spares and artillery ammo.
This included equipment in service for decades as well as newer stuff, from forces set up for a full scale war with the Warsaw Pact over decades.

I would be interested in what the availabilty the RAF had away from the Gulf at the time too.

Back to these choppers, poor contracts, poor support, though it’s not directly linked, the whole submarine issue I think was 75% change in defence requirements, 25% ‘are we going to be screwed again with poor contracts, rows over workshare, cost escalation, huge delays, like with those bloody choppers?’
 
A101
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Mon Dec 13, 2021 10:52 pm

GDB wrote:

My point remains, when these types have been deployed operationally, they worked,



Of course they actually did the job, you could still use a H-19 Chickasaw today and they would work in moving troops around

But the question would be at what expenses in terms of cost and concurrent training at home if all the spares inventory end up in the operational zone

GDB wrote:

Back to these choppers, poor contracts, poor support, though it’s not directly linked, the whole submarine issue I think was 75% change in defence requirements, 25% ‘are we going to be screwed again with poor contracts, rows over workshare, cost escalation, huge delays, like with those bloody choppers?’


Every country has different needs different conops which would have been in place within the RFT now if you win a contract based on those RFT and then sign a contract the company is obligated to meet those benchmarks, if that does not happen it’s up to the powers to be to be either scrap the contract make work arounds or just accept it as is

The ARH and Taipan were sold as MOTS when clearly they were still developing aircraft at the time. Clearly there were issues from the beginning as the AusGov of the day were going to at one time hit the prime contractor with contract penalties embedded with the contract. In May 2013, AusGov agreed to an offer of an additional MRH90 aircraft, the 47th, as part of a negotiated settlement and release of commercial, technical and schedule issues with the MRH90 Prime Contractor. This shows that AusGov were prepared to allow a saving grace to the project now obviously this was done in an era of budgetary constraints. What we are now seeing is that the strategic environment that AusGov now see’s themselves they are showing it is not above making hard decisions and wants equipment that will be suit its conops and in a surprising twist it seems even though they will spend a 7b AUD on Blackhawks it will actually be a saving of 1.5b in maintenance and flying costs overall so I actually see it as a win- win for AusGov and the ADF overall

If the aircraft is not meeting it’s milestones in contract terms and in vital training hours then that is lost proficiency for crews and troops whom rely on the equipment in the heat of battle in the end it could cost lives and for a small defence force that is not acceptable

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/4 ... elicopters

Furthermore, it’s been said that the new Black Hawk would provide savings to the taxpayer of around US$1.8 billion through 2037.


Dutton as having said. “The Taipan is unreliable, there’s a lot of money that’s spent on maintenance and a lot of downtime of our pilots and aircrews who should be up training and they should be flying these helicopters, and at the moment, in many cases, they just can’t.”
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:57 pm

I’m sure the NZ MoD and NZDF will take a look to see if we can snag some cheap spare parts. It worked for the Seasprites after all. :p
 
A101
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Re: Australia dumps and retires European Taipan helicopter for American

Tue Dec 14, 2021 12:46 am

ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:
I’m sure the NZ MoD and NZDF will take a look to see if we can snag some cheap spare parts. It worked for the Seasprites after all. :p


Yeah that’s was because the new builds you bought at nearly the same time as the ADF got there’s, like usual the NZGov cheaped out and there were not enough airframes bought to which which they were flogged to death, just as the NH90 are, I can almost guarantee that RNZAF will pick some up

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