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AirRyan
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:03 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 99):
Economically? You must be joking.

In terms of associated costs per flight hour greatly attributed to it's lower maintenance costs, it's no joke. Very few H-3 parts available over the next ten years.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 99):
VXX will be rebid in the spring and surely a VH-71A Inc 1+ will be the favored entry - how could it not be, given how much money they've burned through to get it to this point?

That's what makes me so excited because at least now it still has a chance to be further considered and unless Ashton Carter tries to write a new RFP specifically saying they don't want a highly reliable, safe, proven, and capable helicopter, the VH-71A Increment 1 has to all but be the front runner. This funding by the way will be enough to finish the first 5 VH-71A's to Increment 1 operational status - even if it doesn't somehow win the next bid that would still be enough aircraft of equal and mostly superior capability to the existing VH-3D fleet, to seriously reconfigure the composition of HMX-1. The Marines intend to replace 11 VH-3D's and 8 VH-60N's with the VXX².

Now with VH-71A a viable contender for VXX², with the fiscal numbers and 5 operational aircraft ready and available, you may not even get others to compete; (a la NG and KC-X³.)

Quote:
Hinchey says Lockheed could have built 23 helicopters for the Marine Corps, which flies the "Marine One" presidential helicopter fleet, at the original $6.5 billion cost if the White House dropped some of its requirements and stuck to the initial Increment I version of the helicopter.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BB07U20091212?type=politicsNews

The fact is, there is nothing out there shy of literally putting a commercial VIP aircraft into service, other than the VH-71A that will be able to replace the VH-3D's before by Sikorsky's own admission, the aircraft will need to be replaced. Any other platform that may re-bid the second time around is going to have to take into account the cost of SLEP'ing the VH-3D's even further.

Quote:
Notwithstanding the white glove treatment, the VH-3D fleet is approaching the end of its service life, with all aircraft expected to retire by 2014

http://www.sikorsky.com/vgn-ext-temp...6c2e289110VgnVCM1000001382000aRCRD
 
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par13del
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:28 pm



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 100):
Any other platform that may re-bid the second time around is going to have to take into account the cost of SLEP'ing the VH-3D's even further.

Not really true, but if that's what they choose to say then fine, I could see some simple questions at a congressional hearing that would give them pause.

How many VH-60's are in the presidential fleet? A new presidential helicopter is being purchased, even the president should have to tighten his belt, so if he has to fly around in the VH-60's while his new a/c is flight tested for a year or so, that is cheaper than SLEP'ing the VH-3D.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 100):
The fact is, there is nothing out there shy of literally putting a commercial VIP aircraft into service, other than the VH-71A that will be able to replace the VH-3D's before by Sikorsky's own admission, the aircraft will need to be replaced

Let's see, buy some more UH-60M's, EH-101's, S-92's, JetRangers, etc. etc. etc. I list the EH-101 because purchasing a handful of them is probably cheaper than the current VH-71. Smile
 
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Revelation
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:51 pm



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 100):
In terms of associated costs per flight hour greatly attributed to it's lower maintenance costs, it's no joke. Very few H-3 parts available over the next ten years.

Even you must admit you can get lot of H-3 parts for $13B even if you have to make them by hand.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 100):
That's what makes me so excited because at least now it still has a chance to be further considered and unless Ashton Carter tries to write a new RFP specifically saying they don't want a highly reliable, safe, proven, and capable helicopter, the VH-71A Increment 1 has to all but be the front runner.

The Hill quotes Carter as saying:

Quote:

Pentagon and White House officials have reviewed 48 approaches to replacing the existing presidential helicopter fleet, so far whittling the list down to 17 possible alternatives, Carter said. Those approaches include using different helicopters to meet the mission, he said.

The Pentagon will periodically brief the White House on the possible solutions to make sure that officials there "are comfortable with a presidential helicopter for a lot less money than the canceled program would have cost had it continued," Carter said.

So, maybe VH-71 Inc 1 is a part of this solution space, but it seems damn clear to me that the VH-71 Inc 2 is not.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 100):
This funding by the way will be enough to finish the first 5 VH-71A's to Increment 1 operational status

I don't think so.

Quote:

House defense appropriators have been looking for a way to tap into the $3.2 billion already spent on the program. For 2010 they allocated $485 million to make operational five VH-71 helicopters that have already been delivered. The Senate did not include any funds to continue the work on the VH-71, but included $30 million for the development phase of a follow-on chopper.

Now, the agreed-on funds for VH-71 are close to $130 million. However, part of that money would go toward the termination costs of the VH-71.

The way I read this, it would have taken $485M to get the five VH-71s operational, yet all they have been given is $130M, some of which needs to go to VH-71 termination costs.

There will be enough money for LM to continue to develop mission systems, but not enough to make 5 VH-71 Inc 1s operational.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 100):
Now with VH-71A a viable contender for VXX², with the fiscal numbers and 5 operational aircraft ready and available, you may not even get others to compete; (a la NG and KC-X³.)

Wrong. As per above, you won't be having 5 operational aircraft ready and available, there just isn't the money present to do that and also pay down the VH-71 termination costs. Note also Hinchey's emphasis pn preserving jobs instead of buying hardware to make the 5 helos operational. What I think you'll see is a lot of engineers continuing to design the mission systems, and some work on prototypes being funded, but certainly not see the funds for bringing the five helos up to operational status, at least not in this budget.
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sasd209
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:00 pm



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 100):
Very few H-3 parts available over the next ten years.

Do you have a source for this?
 
AirRyan
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Tue Dec 15, 2009 11:37 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 102):
Wrong. As per above, you won't be having 5 operational aircraft ready and available, there just isn't the money present to do that and also pay down the VH-71 termination costs.

No, you're right - that was the original language out of the House bill, in which they were to appropriate $435m; some of the different articles began to blend together and I got ahead of myself.

And you're also right in the regard that with this agreement, nothing is determined yet as how to best get all the money invested out of the program, so who knows for sure what exactly will happen if this does get through. Long story short, hopefully it will keep the VH-71 alive just long enough so as to be further considered when they rebid.

Quoting Sasd209 (Reply 103):
Do you have a source for this?

Source? Are you being facetious? Just making a logical deduction since the aircraft are out of production for what, a couple of decades now? I'm sure Sikorsky could always re-open the line, but please tell me where I'm wrong. Sikorsky with the aforementioned link has already said the current VH-3D's will reach the end of their useful service lives around 2014; the clock is ticking...
 
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Revelation
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:14 am



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 104):
Long story short, hopefully it will keep the VH-71 alive just long enough so as to be further considered when they rebid.

I'm so glad we've come to agreement!  bigthumbsup 

I think the money that was allocated will prevent a lot of the key people from scattering, and that the payments for cancellation are only a first installment so I doubt it'd be too hard to restart VH-71 if that's what we decide to do. Also it is of course in LM's and AW's best interest to not let the program go to seed as well, so they'll also do the best they can do to keep things together.

I could very easily see a VH-71 Inc 1+ helo winning a large part of the rebid if not the entire thing.

But I really do doubt we'll see anything like VH-71 Inc 2 in the near to mid term future.

Let's just get ourselves something modern, with a bit more capacity than the current ones have, and not push out the envelope with the flying kitchen, TV studio, bathrooms, etc that VH-71 Inc 2 was struggling to ingest. Let's get the POTUS from point A to point B as safely as possible, with decent levels of comfort, and not try to indulge every possible whim that one can think of.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
ThePointblank
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:59 am



Quoting Sasd209 (Reply 103):
Do you have a source for this?

We are struggling to keep our CH-124 Sea King's airborne and ours are among the more modern version as they have been upgraded extensively.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 101):
How many VH-60's are in the presidential fleet? A new presidential helicopter is being purchased, even the president should have to tighten his belt, so if he has to fly around in the VH-60's while his new a/c is flight tested for a year or so, that is cheaper than SLEP'ing the VH-3D.

It's not just the Sea King's that need a SLEP; it's the VH-60's as well.
 
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par13del
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:00 am



Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 106):
It's not just the Sea King's that need a SLEP; it's the VH-60's as well.

Agree but not at the same time, so since a new a/c is being bought, use the VH-60's until the replacement comes online then dump them.
Playing with numbers is getting to be a military speciality especially when it comes to purchasing a/c, so I'm sure the hours and time can be found for the VH-60's. Smile
 
AirRyan
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:05 am

The VH-3D/60N's had a survivability upgrade in FY05 that consisted of adding TCAS for the VH-3D, updates for both aircraft's simulators, a VH-60N maintenance trainer, a MAGR 2000 GPS, and TACAN replacement.

For FY09, the VH-3D's were due to get a Carson rotor blade "lift upgrade," as well as an entire communications suite upgrade for both VH-3D/60N that consisted of DAMA SATCOM, and Digital FM 1&2 radios with Advanced Encryption.

On the horizon, to be completed by FY2012, the VH-60N are due for a cockpit upgrade to a variant of the Rockwell Collins CH-60 Common Avionics Architecture System, or CAAS, as well as other structural enhancements that would correct structural cracks in the upper cabin.

Of course, this was all the case when HMX-1 was still anticipating three VH-71's in FY2010, so I'm sure they will need to make a decision as to the future replacement as soon as possible in order to avoid even further costs associated with extended the service life of the existing aircraft; if they haven't already done so now. Avionics can transfer, but airframe structures are sort of inherent to each specific airframe!
 
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Revelation
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RE: Last Chance For The VH-71?

Sat Dec 19, 2009 9:46 pm

Two different spins:

Quote:

In a victory for the Obama administration, the legislation doesn’t require the Pentagon to continue the canceled Lockheed VH-71 presidential helicopter, which the White House and Pentagon have sought to terminate.

Ref: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aXweGzTkFKyo&pos=8

Quote:

OWEGO — A total of 250 jobs at Lockheed Martin’s plant here have been saved after the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday approved $100 million for the company to continue developing the technology for a new presidential helicopter fleet.



Quote:

The funds included within the defense appropriations bill will allow Lockheed Martin to continue developing communications equipment and computer software that will be used in the next fleet of presidential helicopter, Hinchey explained.



Quote:

Regardless of that, the $100 million included in the bill approved Wednesday will be used for technology that can be used in the next fleet of presidential helicopters, regardless of which company constructs the actual helicopters, said Hinchey.



Quote:

“This $100 million allocation will continue work at Lockheed Martin’s Owego branch and position the company to continue its involvement as the lead company involved in producing the next presidential helicopter fleet,” he said.

Ref: http://www.morning-times.com/article...news/doc4b2a2ff215782202556356.txt

So much spin it makes me dizzy...
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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