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Military opts for US chopper

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Postby rath » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:00 pm

October 23, 2009


AUSTRALIA'S military chiefs favour the US over Europe in a planned $4 billion naval combat helicopter buy that is generating high-level concern among senior government ministers and local defence industry leaders.

In a classified submission sent to defence ministers John Faulkner and Greg Combet, the military chiefs have opted for the US Navy's MH-60R Seahawk as the best choice for the Royal Australian Navy's new rotary wing anti-submarine warfare platform.

The military chiefs favour an early decision on the Sikorsky MH-60R, arguing that it represents a cheaper, risk-free solution for Australia compared with its competitor, the European NH90 naval frigate helicopter.

The NH90 is a maritime version of the MRH90 now entering service with the Australian army. Its maker, European defence giant EADS, has established a strong industry presence locally with a workforce of 1000.

The clear military preference for a US solution troubles ministers, given the multi-billion-dollar investment in European combat helicopters by the Australian Defence Force in recent years.

Another concern is that selecting a new US helicopter will fly in the face of Defence's goal of reducing the types of helicopters flown by the ADF.

Senior Defence figures are querying the wisdom of a "sole source" decision in favour of the US in what will be the biggest defence purchase in the Rudd government's new defence capability plan, which details the main equipment proposals to be finalised over the next four years.

Mr Combet, the Defence Materiel Minister, said last night that the government would consider both options for the navy's new combat helicopters.

"This is an extremely important acquisition, one of the most significant in the DCP.

"The government would be concerned to approach such an acquisition after very carefully looking at the options which, at least, include both a US and a European capability."

At a media briefing yesterday Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin officials stressed their belief that the MH-60R represented the lowest possible risk as well as lowest cost solution for the RAN's naval helicopter arm.

They have also promised $1bn of investment in local industry if the deal goes through. Australian Aerospace, the local subsidiary of EADS which also supplies the army's Tiger helicopters, argues that big cost savings will be realised by a common baseline for the ADF's rotary wing, removing the need for multiple training and logistics systems.

Stung by the $1.4bn Seasprite helicopter procurement debacle, Defence chiefs want an accelerated purchase of the Sikorsky MH-60R in a foreign military sale purchase via the US Navy.

They believe there are clear advantages in buying proven American technology, including better interoperability between the two navies.

Sikorsky says it could deliver the first MH-60R to the RAN by late 2011 and points to four fleet squadrons already operating with the US Navy.

Cabinet's national security committee is expected to consider the Defence Department submission before Christmas as concerns mount in the navy about the run-down of the RAN's anti-submarine capability.

Not only did the RAN not get its now-junked Seasprite helicopters but the 16 elderly S-70B machines in service are not delivering the vital operational availability the navy needs.

The RAN wants to buy 24 helicopters that would enter operational service by 2014. They will be equipped with missiles and torpedoes, and perform both anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles.
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Postby mael » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:44 am

I would like to know if the American one is reliable. I have heard a lot of reports in recent years of US helicopters crashing due to mechanical malfunction.

Is the Sikorsky MH-60R only cheaper because of the weak dollar? Is it only cheaper in the initial purchase, but more expensive with (necessary ?) maintenance from non-Australian-based personell?

* Why is a cheaper ""risk-free"" solution? I don't understand. This is that it's 'risk-free' when compared to the Euro-based NH90, when the manufacturers have 1000 staff working in Oz, and Sikorsky have - what? ... none?

* Not that I know the first thing about helicopters - but I'd like to learn.

Will Rudd and his mates get a bigger under-the-table payment if the grease the palms of the US company?
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Postby Wing-Zero » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:47 pm

The SH-60 out-performs the NH90 in almost every way. The SH-60 is bigger, is able to carry more armaments and a greater diversity of said armaments, can take off with a heavier load, and can hold twice the amount of crew than the NH90.
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Economics and diplomacy are methods of securing resources used by humans.

Securing resources is the one necessary behavior for all living things.

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Postby MonarchSmile » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:18 pm

Wing-Zero wrote:The SH-60 out-performs the NH90 in almost every way. The SH-60 is bigger, is able to carry more armaments and a greater diversity of said armaments, can take off with a heavier load, and can hold twice the amount of crew than the NH90.


So, My dick's bigger than your's

rath and wing-zip arguing about penis size :lol:

and mael pissing into the wind ;)
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Postby Wing-Zero » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:22 pm

MonarchSmile wrote:rath and wing-zip arguing about penis size :lol:


Who's arguing? Mael asked a question and I answered.

Sheesh, calm it down turbo.
War is an extension of economics and diplomacy through other means.

Economics and diplomacy are methods of securing resources used by humans.

Securing resources is the one necessary behavior for all living things.

War = Life
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Postby rath » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:33 am

MonarchSmile wrote:
Wing-Zero wrote:The SH-60 out-performs the NH90 in almost every way. The SH-60 is bigger, is able to carry more armaments and a greater diversity of said armaments, can take off with a heavier load, and can hold twice the amount of crew than the NH90.


So, My dick's bigger than your's

rath and wing-zip arguing about penis size :lol:

and mael pissing into the wind ;)


:roll: :roll: :roll:

Dont you feel like a fool MonarchSmile.

Where are we

Myself ...... wing-zero & mael aren't arguing about penis size ...... :roll:

Where are we arguing.

Where not arguing ............ :roll:

There is no argument .........

Coz we all know that it is ( I ) who has the largest penis. :mrgreen:
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Postby rath » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:58 am

rath wrote:Stung by the $1.4bn Seasprite helicopter procurement debacle, Defence chiefs want an accelerated purchase of the Sikorsky MH-60R in a foreign military sale purchase via the US Navy.

They believe there are clear advantages in buying proven American technology, including better interoperability between the two navies.

Sikorsky says it could deliver the first MH-60R to the RAN by late 2011 and points to four fleet squadrons already operating with the US Navy.

Cabinet's national security committee is expected to consider the Defence Department submission before Christmas as concerns mount in the navy about the run-down of the RAN's anti-submarine capability.

Not only did the RAN not get its now-junked Seasprite helicopters but the 16 elderly S-70B machines in service are not delivering the vital operational availability the navy needs.

The RAN wants to buy 24 helicopters that would enter operational service by 2014. They will be equipped with missiles and torpedoes, and perform both anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare roles.




The Australian Federal Government will cancel the troubled $1 billion U.S Seasprite helicopter project, Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon announced today. (March 05, 2008)


Mr Fitzgibbon said the decision was not taken easily but the new Labor Government was left with little option other than to cancel the U.S contract.

The Government launched a review of the project late last year, shortly after winning the November 24 election.

"After careful consideration of all the issues involved, the government has decided that it intends to cancel the project," Mr Fitzgibbon said in a statement.

"Discussions will be commenced immediately with the contractor in relation to the legal and financial arrangements to facilitate this."

Details of arrangements with the contractor Kaman will be announced once mutual agreement has been reached, subject to any confidentiality issues.


Under a contract signed in 1997 and now worth about $1 billion, the Australian navy was to acquire from the USA' 11 Kaman Seasprites, each equipped with an advanced radar, datalinks and combat system, allowing it to serve as the eyes of a warship 50km away.

They were scheduled to enter service around 2001-02.

A Senate estimates committee heard last month the helicopters were still three years from service and might never meet aviation safety standards.

Seasprites topped a list of troublesome defence procurement projects but last year the then defence minister Brendan Nelson gave the project one last chance to come good - a move backed by Labor.

Mr Fitzgibbon said today the Government had decided on two measures to ensure the navy maintained an effective naval aviation capability.

As an interim approach, the operational availability of the current Seahawk helicopter fleet would be improved.

The Government will also investigate the Seahawk's planned replacement as part of its defence White Paper.

Mr Fitzgibbon said today's decision demonstrated the government's determination to make tough decisions.

"The decision taken by the Rudd Labor Government is one that should have been taken by ... (Dr) Nelson when he had the opportunity last year," he said.

"But his government decided to put its own political interests ahead of the national interest. Consequently, the responsibility of cleaning up the mess they created falls to us."

Parliamentary secretary Greg Combet, in his responsibility for defence procurement, reviewed the Seasprite project and reported back to the minister.

He said he sought detailed briefings from the navy, Kaman and the Defence Materiel Organisation as well as visiting the Seasprite base at HMAS Albatross at Nowra in NSW.

"This is a decision that the former government failed to make, instead focusing on the politics of an election year rather than our long-term strategic and capability needs," Mr Combet said in a statement.

Kaman president and chief executive Neal Keating said the Government had informed the company of its decision.

"We have received a communication from the commonwealth that we are reviewing at this time with the expectation that we will enter a constructive process with the commonwealth in order to arrive at a mutually agreeable conclusion to the Seasprite program," he said in a statement.




The USA has a long history of incompetence & inferiority' when it comes to U.S military hardware.


rath wrote:The American built F-22 & F-35 are both a heap of shiit.

Australia should not buy such inferior rubbish.

The Russian-built Sukhoi fighter Jet is vastly superior to the U.S built JSF.


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Postby mael » Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:57 pm

Wing-Zero wrote:The SH-60 out-performs the NH90 in almost every way. The SH-60 is bigger, is able to carry more armaments and a greater diversity of said armaments, can take off with a heavier load, and can hold twice the amount of crew than the NH90.


* Thank you.

* What would be any advantage with the NH90? Just that there are some maintenance people there in Oz? ie - better stereo and cup-holders as standard?
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Postby frrostedman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:54 pm

Hey mael, maybe the Japanese should be opting for US destroyer ships...

Image
Smoke billows from the bow of
Japanese navy destroyer
JS Kurama after it collided with
a commercial vessel in Kanmon
strait, off southern Japan,
Tuesday, Oct. 27
Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein
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Postby mael » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:41 am

frrostedman wrote:Hey mael, maybe the Japanese should be opting for US destroyer ships...

Image
Smoke billows from the bow of
Japanese navy destroyer
JS Kurama after it collided with
a commercial vessel in Kanmon
strait, off southern Japan,
Tuesday, Oct. 27


* Yeah! Maybe they should. WTF happened there??? :o
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