Why Are We Buying Russian Helicopters?

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Mongo, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...1805630.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2010061805889

    I thought the H-47 was also working extremely well in Afghanistan.

    This doesn't sound good either:
     
  2. Maximus

    Maximus Member

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    I think it makes perfect sense, we might have to fight against this crap in the future :biggrin:
     
  3. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Good point. Hadn't thought of that. But still, I think I had rather fight against something where I control the spare parts (Iraq's and Iran's F-14s come to mind) than against something which, apparantly according to the article, can be kept flying with baling wire, chewing gum,and beer cans.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    You're looking at it the wrong way. For one, the CH-47 is a very complex aircraft, much more so than the Hip. Secondly, the world is not blessed with a plethora of extra Chinooks. They're in very limited supply and are mostly owned by the US and NATO militaries. The Hip is quite plentiful. It's quite rugged, comparatively cheap, and readily available everywhere from Africa to Russia. Replacement parts are plentiful and cheap. Even the US Army has trouble getting enough Chinook replacement parts. The Mi-17 has been used there for decades. It makes economic and practical sense to
    employ it for the Afghans. We did the same thing in Iraq. Though why we let the Air Force teach them is beyond me.
     
  5. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Boeing Vertol used to make one of the most straight forward simple airframes in the inventory. We wouldn't have to give them the latest model which, I am sure, is more complex.

    Part of my problem. Would not opening up the pipeline help alleviate this problem by producing a more even dependable flow of new aircraft?

    Another part of my problem. Would a greater spare parts demand not actually reduce the strain on the factory by allowing a more even flow for everyone who needs parts, including the US?

    Besides, Russian helicopters are built backwards.
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Actually, ours are backwards. The rest of the world's work the same. We are different. We don't have A, B, and C model chinooks around anymore. The were turned into D models and Super Ds, which are now becoming F models.

    Yes, Boeing USED to make that simple design. Ford used to make the Model T. You'd be hard pressed to get one from a Ford plant now.

    Yet, even the simplest dual rotor design is more complex than a single rotor design that fulfills the same role.

    I'm not quite sure how your logic works so that a factory that doesn't produce enough parts to sustain the fleet now would feel less strain if more output was demanded.
     
  7. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    I guess that if one considers Italy and France the rest of the world, you are probably correct.

    I would argue all day that a dual rotor is no more complicated than a single rotor. And probably easier to fly.

    There is an economy of production at a certain level where anything less will result in partially shutting down the line and anything greater will result in overtime,etc. Partial production is normally the least cost effective of the three. A higher production rate will allow for more cost saving flexability.

    I have no doubt that if a necessity for the Model T was created, someone in the automobile industry would respond. Remember all the aerospace advertisements over the past few years attempting to shore up the aviation industry? That the F-22 program would create a stimulus package for the economy? That Boeing's buy American tanker was putting bread on our tables? It just seems that we are letting one go here.
     
  8. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    As far as helicopter manufacturing goes, yes, Europe and Russia are the rest of the world.

    You can argue that all day if you like. At the end of the day, you'll be hoarse and still wrong. The Chinook has 7 transmissions. That's at least four more than a dual-engine single-rotor design will have. And no, they aren't easier to fly either.

    As to the sourcing idea, if we created a requirement for a pogo stick that could launch a man into orbit, someone could build it. But it would be cheaper to just use the space shuttle. Same idea. Why try to build them something new and great, when the world is awash in something that is proven and more than capable of meeting their needs?
     
  9. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    What are you comparing it to? The H-53 is the only free world aircraft of comparable performance. I don't even need a throat lozenge to argue that comparison. Nor one to argue that a neophyte pilot has less oportunities in a Chinook than H-53 to kill himself. Hot, heavy, at high altitudes, tandem rotors can be a godsend.

    You say Chinook. Why not the H-46? Both the Navy and the Marines are getting rid of a slew of those. A very simple easy to maintain aircraft.

    First, buying Russian helicopters does absolutely nothing for our aerospace industry and second, it does absolutely nothing for our economy which, from what I can tell, needs all the help it can get.
     
  10. linkgmr

    linkgmr Old Grad

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    Ah, the science of "good enough" in action.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    So tell me why you think a Chinook driver faces fewer risks than a 53 guy at a given Temp/DA combination.

    Why the 46? The Hip does everything the Afghanis need, and isn't subject to a slew of foreign military sales laws.

    Also remember that A-Stan is full of guys who, in the Soviet years, were trained to fly and fix Soviet bloc helicopters.
     
  12. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    The wind envelope to start with. Landing/maneuvering outside the wind envelope is probably the number one cause of mishaps in most single rotor aircraft. It is basically immaterial in a tandem rotor.

    It will give Americans jobs and support our aircraft manufacturing industry.

    And every one of them is approaching retirement age. They are too set in their ways, which also happen to be outdated. Have a new cockpit that they cannot get into and wrongly influence the younger pilots against night flying, IFR flyhing,etc etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  13. scoutpilot

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    I'll grant you the better wind performance, but that's a poor excuse for giving them a helicopter whose complexity and flight characteristics greatly exceed the capability of a fledgling cadre of pilots and maintainers from a technologically bankrupt country. The Chinook would cause more problems than its performance potential would solve. Ramp ops, AFCS, three hooks...I've worked around jundees enough to know that that's almost an impossible order to fill.

    The Hip makes the most sense.
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    It's not just a matter of technical aptitude. It's a matter of the logistical facilities and equipment needed to pull mainenanxe on an aircraft of that size and complexity. The Hip, like most Soviet airframes, is extremely rugged and overbuilt, and designed to be maintained less frequently and by less trained soldiers (AKA conscripts). Teaching the muj to cool the seeker, superelevate, and get a tone is far different from inculcating the culture of accountability required to maintain our exceedingly complex airframes, let alone the knowledge.

    As for the idea of supporting our industry with the meager fleet of the afghan air corps...that's not possible in any sense.
     
  15. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Which is the only flaw in my scenario to give them H-46s. It would mean that we had gotten rid of them in favor of the Osprey. The Osprey, and maybe tilt rotor in general, has some serious design flaws and, just like the Harrier, is going to kill a lot of good Marines before they come to terms with it.

    US military aviation maintenance is very check-and-balance conscious. Maybe too much so. A legacy from our conscript days. Some other cultures don't buy into this. Maybe they have more faith in Allah, Buddah, etc. Anyway, it's kind of like my grandma eating crabs. It wasn't pretty, you might not want to watch, but she got the job done.

    Of course , but cannot I fault our aerospace industry just a little bit for not at least raising some token resistance?
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    30 years ago, there was a Soviet Union and we weren't drowning in debt.

    I said from the very beginning in this thread that it's simply a matter of the cheapest thing that will get the job done. Moreover, I think it's a not-so-sly vote on our belief that they'll be stable and viable. Why give them better stuff just to have it all co-opted or destroyed when Karzai's people can't hold the place together?

    The truth is that they don't need airframes like 47s, 53s, or 46s. They're not doing anything that requires those capabilities. We're talking about delivering crates of food and ammo and kicking jundees off the ramp on a mountainside. We were lucky if those guys had all their **** with them, so I think they'll be just fine with a fleet of dependable, rugged, simple, and CHEAP Mi-8/17 series.
     
  17. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Does it take someone whose career spanned most of the cold war and who saw first hand how the strength of our military industrial complex contributed to our success to appreciate the irony of this situation?



    Ever hear of self-fulfilling prophecy? I am sure that if you think it, they probably do also.
     
  18. kpforson

    kpforson Parent

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  19. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Thanks for posting. Where did you see the performance data?

    It was originally designed for sea level in a sand and dust free envirionment.

    I would like to think there is some overlap between this contract and the Soviet acquisition.

    The S-61 is a workhorse. Very dependable. Very very glad to see it get another life.

    I flew it on and off my entire career. Wonder if the State Department is looking for any old blind deaf pilots?
     
  20. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    And how long did it take you to validate the military's posture on the services, especially the grunt work, being for young people? About 10 yrs ago, the Navy came to me to help them civilianize some helo units. After a few days of excitement, I realized that I would be doing full time at 55 yrs old on a daily basis what used to scare the crap out of me as a 25 yr old once a month or so. It is tempting though.
     

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