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future attack helicopter?

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posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 05:59 PM
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The comanche was cancelled, and the apache is not going to last for ever. So I was wondering does anybody have any info about a future attack helicopter?




posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 06:50 PM
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The speculation I've heard is that UCAV's are going to assume a lot of the roles attack helo's have carried in the past.
The Apache has found itself more vulnerable to small SAM's in Iraq than was expected, while Preditors can spend more time on station with Hellfires at the ready, with no pilot at risk.



posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 07:25 PM
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I must agree that drones are the future, not new helicopter desingns. Anything that hovers over its enemies is going to be extremely vulnerable. Sure, helicopters would be very useful in jungle warfare or transporting troops back and forth in an already cleared area, but that's about all that can be done with them now.

Luckily though, the lack of helicopter usage in the future won't make our soldiers have to walk any further. Ground-based troop transports will do just fine. In todays world, helicopters are just becoming obsolete. I mean, could you imagine trying to field a sqadron of Comanches in Baghdad? I wouldn't be able to come up with anything for them to do as long as any real fighting is going on. They'd stay grounded until the tanks and foot-soldiers sweep the city.

No use in sending up a bird just so that the enemy can shoot it down.



posted on Jan, 5 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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What if we used advanced electro-chromatic panels then they wouldn't even be able to see it? But that's way in the future, in least as far as we know.



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 02:00 AM
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Speaking for the RAH-66 (or LHX as I refer to it), was started some time in the 70's. After my father joined Sikorsky, there was alot of work going into the development of the project. Due to the ever changing requirements placed on the program (which started in the 80's), various configurations and weight were altered.

With the trend towards UCAV with VSTOL capablilites, I do not see a totally unmanned attack role. However a mixed attack package maybe in the future. With the loss of the LHX, I feel we have thrown away valuable research that was done over many years at Sikorsky. Granted the Apache Longbow is an effective platform for the short term military confilcts, it will not last forever. We as a nation need to keep our armed forces on the cutting edge not the bleeding edge (except in specific roles).

Regarding the fiscal impact, I understand we as a nation (USA) are spread very thin these days. With new programs comming to operational status [F-22. F-35, CVN-X to mention a few], we need to keep in mind that its our military who needs the tools to do there jobs. Remember back in the 80's-90's scandal of the expensive toilet seat? Its fiscal responsiblity that will keep the US up to date, but done with effective spending.

=-Rich



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 02:54 AM
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drones are relatively cheap and disposable.

I pilot is not.

The only time attack helicopters would be advantageous is in a large conflict between major powers... not when your hunting small scale insurgents in a nest of buildings.

The apache is a product of the cold war



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 02:34 PM
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Originally posted by Lucretius
drones are relatively cheap and disposable.

I pilot is not.

The only time attack helicopters would be advantageous is in a large conflict between major powers... not when your hunting small scale insurgents in a nest of buildings.

The apache is a product of the cold war


I agree with you on that, but what If we did go against a major power you never know. It would be good to have a powerful and advanced attack helicopter that could smash enemy armor effectively. Maybe with advances in armor and glass it could be able to take hit's from missile's, and don't forget there testing electro-chromatic panels at area 51. So with advance's in that the helicopter could be invisble. But for taking out insurgents I would use a mini rotorcraft drone equiped with a 25MM gun and possibly rockets. Something this small can be highly maneuvarble and can fit in small places, a valuble asset in urban warfare.



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 02:49 PM
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Future helicopter should have no vulnerable tail rotor (I think Boeing NOTAR system is great), better armor and reduced visibility (IR and vizual). I don't believe helicopters will need radar stealth, because they are flying so low that it is not required.

About unmanned projects - I think they will be not succesfull. The whole UCAR program has no future. The main problem is AI - it is much more difficult to pilot a helo than a plane. It is much more difficult to detect a tank or enemy soldier than drop a bomb on some coordinates. Maybe some UCARs will be used in antiinsurgent operations like Fallujah, but they will not become widespread - at least until 2050.

[edit on 6-1-2005 by longbow]



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 02:51 PM
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Manned attack helicopters have immense value in conjunction with ground troos in open, conventional battles. Even though "conventional" battles are giving way to more urban type combat, it would be foolish to think open battles will never happen again. I dont know about you, But id rather have an Apache manned with two highly trained people in it above my head armed to the teeth taking out enemy tanks just over the horizon than a fixed wing drone a mile up taking video armed with one or two missiles and thats it.



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 02:58 PM
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rvfried says:

"Speaking for the RAH-66 (or LHX as I refer to it), was started some time in the 70's. After my father joined Sikorsky, there was alot of work going into the development of the project. Due to the ever changing requirements placed on the program (which started in the 80's), various configurations and weight were altered."

Actually, design efforts were started early on, but the actual LHX program was awarded to the 1st Team (Boeing/Sikorsky) over the Superteam (McDonnell Douglas/Bell) in 1991. Ironically, I was a sub-volume proposal manager for the losing McDonnell Douglas/Bell effort; when we merged with Boeing in the late 90's, we inherited the Comanche, only to lose it later to changing requirements and its loss of effectiveness.

What killed the Coomanche, besides its inability to keep its weight down, was the AH-64D Apache Longbow. The upgrade to the Longbow configuration, using a glass cockpit, a MIL-1553 bus, millimeter wave fire control radar, high-speed data modem, improved ASE, Comm and just about everything else, gave the D-model all of the putative benefits of the Comanche -- with the ability to carry a lot more armament and armor, an airframe that was proven, and an aircraft flying now.

The US Apaches are undergoing constant block mods, and, in most cases, those mods will be incorporated (to maintain configuration and interoperability) by the Apaches built by Westland and Subaru as well.

While the A-model was designed as a stopgap method to slow the armored Soviet armies rolling through the Fulda Gap (which, of course, never happened), their incorporation of additional assets and tactics have provided them with quite a few roles.

One of the most memorable was the midnight attack and silencing of the Iraqi early wrning radar installations at the outbreak of the Kuwait War in 1990. By the time that Iraqi central command reallized that they weren't getting any reports from their early warning pickets, the sky belonged to the allied air forces and the war was, for all practical purposes, over.

In any event, while there are a series of other US military acquisition efforts underway for many different assets, some of those acquisition efforts incorporate several manned rotorcraft assets.

Besides, we need the Apache for those midnight "chem-trail" spraying missions.



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 06:28 PM
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why was the comanche canccled?
the design of it is good and so on
......................................................



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 06:35 PM
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Originally posted by bodrul
why was the comanche canccled?
the design of it is good and so on
......................................................


Because if $10 million apache's are being shot down by $100 dollar rocket launchers in iraq... losing a $20 million commanche is only going to make things worse.

There are cheaper and more effective options these day's



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 06:53 PM
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LongBow
I don't believe helicopters will need radar stealth, because they are flying so low that it is not required.

(some) Helicopters can fly over 20,000ft, so stealth is something you want. One of the biggest causes of helo crashes while in combat was the pilot who was basically overloaded was focusing on to much and flew it into the ground. So staying that close isn't something you always want to do, the ability to go up out of the range of people with rpg's or (normal) guns, but remain radar stealthy is a good thing.


Longbow
Future helicopter should have no vulnerable tail rotor (I think Boeing NOTAR system is great)

I also like the the notar, but remember, that if an rpg hit its tail it would have the same effect. But for other reasons (like maintainence) its a good choice.


skippytjc
id rather have an Apache manned with two highly trained people in it above my head armed to the teeth taking out enemy tanks just over the horizon than a fixed wing drone a mile up taking video armed with one or two missiles and thats it.

Of course during an all-out assault you would prefer the choice with the most weapons, a predator A, is not made for that. Its more of a recon, but in case you get lucky and see something going down you dont need to call for an airstrike by some-other means because you have a couple silver bullets yourself.


Longbow
About unmanned projects - I think they will be not succesfull. The whole UCAR program has no future.

I'm assuming you only refering to unmanned helos, with that remark.
I partially agree with you on the UCAR, I like it, but I also liked the Comanche, and I dont know if it has a very big role for something that will cost so much.

I think instead of developing an all new unmanned helicopter, they will put that money towards arming the ones that they allready have or are still in there testing phases, like the Fire Scout & Hummingbird.

Fire Scout (RQ-8A) is a Navy Unmanned Helo (but will probably also go Army), they have tested it with (unguided) rockets, but have future plans to put a heat seekin head on it. and also give it other options like laser guided and imaging guided missiles. It will be stationed on the LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) and other then recon will be used to protect the LCS, by fast moving small boats and/or ships.


(A-160) Hummingbird is more for long endurance (24 hours). But I think it will be getting harded to compete in the market unless your UAV is armed. As far as I know there has being no armed Hummingbird, but its probably going to happen.



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 08:51 PM
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Just clearing some things up.

The RQ-8A has yet to do a weapons test. They were going to shoot some rockets off, but the tests were cancelled three times due to flight clearance issues. The whole weapons shoot has been put on hold.

The RQ-8B (new model) is already being implemented with the Army's FCS program.

The reason why it is going on the LCS is for relay purposes.

The UCAR program funded by DARPA is not funded for 2005.






Originally posted by Murcielago

LongBow
I don't believe helicopters will need radar stealth, because they are flying so low that it is not required.

(some) Helicopters can fly over 20,000ft, so stealth is something you want. One of the biggest causes of helo crashes while in combat was the pilot who was basically overloaded was focusing on to much and flew it into the ground. So staying that close isn't something you always want to do, the ability to go up out of the range of people with rpg's or (normal) guns, but remain radar stealthy is a good thing.


Longbow
Future helicopter should have no vulnerable tail rotor (I think Boeing NOTAR system is great)

I also like the the notar, but remember, that if an rpg hit its tail it would have the same effect. But for other reasons (like maintainence) its a good choice.


skippytjc
id rather have an Apache manned with two highly trained people in it above my head armed to the teeth taking out enemy tanks just over the horizon than a fixed wing drone a mile up taking video armed with one or two missiles and thats it.

Of course during an all-out assault you would prefer the choice with the most weapons, a predator A, is not made for that. Its more of a recon, but in case you get lucky and see something going down you dont need to call for an airstrike by some-other means because you have a couple silver bullets yourself.


Longbow
About unmanned projects - I think they will be not succesfull. The whole UCAR program has no future.

I'm assuming you only refering to unmanned helos, with that remark.
I partially agree with you on the UCAR, I like it, but I also liked the Comanche, and I dont know if it has a very big role for something that will cost so much.

I think instead of developing an all new unmanned helicopter, they will put that money towards arming the ones that they allready have or are still in there testing phases, like the Fire Scout & Hummingbird.

Fire Scout (RQ-8A) is a Navy Unmanned Helo (but will probably also go Army), they have tested it with (unguided) rockets, but have future plans to put a heat seekin head on it. and also give it other options like laser guided and imaging guided missiles. It will be stationed on the LCS (Littoral Combat Ship) and other then recon will be used to protect the LCS, by fast moving small boats and/or ships.


(A-160) Hummingbird is more for long endurance (24 hours). But I think it will be getting harded to compete in the market unless your UAV is armed. As far as I know there has being no armed Hummingbird, but its probably going to happen.


[edit on 6-1-2005 by ignorance is a plenty]



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 09:38 PM
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ignorance is a plenty
The RQ-8B (new model) is already being implemented with the Army's FCS program.

The Army is doing more and more backing away from there FCS initiative. The war in Iraq is a big reason, they just dont have the money. Instead they are moving it more to the back burner, while they focus on more important things like vehicle armor.

I like the whole "everyones connected" thing, but it will be longer then people think before its reality.



The reason why it is going on the LCS is for relay purposes.

In 2004 the Navy added that it wanted the ability for it to be able to take out fast boats.



The UCAR program funded by DARPA is not funded for 2005.

- Any Links? Because as far as i'm aware of Darpa will be moving on to Phase III in early 2005, which will cut it down from the 3 contenders (Lockheed, Northrop, Boeing) and will pick only one to continue there R&D.



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 11:00 PM
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Not to sound boastfull, but you could say I have the "inside" track on whats going on.

Everything I previously wrote is current some very current as of today the 6th of January.



Originally posted by Murcielago

ignorance is a plenty
The RQ-8B (new model) is already being implemented with the Army's FCS program.

The Army is doing more and more backing away from there FCS initiative. The war in Iraq is a big reason, they just dont have the money. Instead they are moving it more to the back burner, while they focus on more important things like vehicle armor.

I like the whole "everyones connected" thing, but it will be longer then people think before its reality.



The reason why it is going on the LCS is for relay purposes.

In 2004 the Navy added that it wanted the ability for it to be able to take out fast boats.



The UCAR program funded by DARPA is not funded for 2005.

- Any Links? Because as far as i'm aware of Darpa will be moving on to Phase III in early 2005, which will cut it down from the 3 contenders (Lockheed, Northrop, Boeing) and will pick only one to continue there R&D.



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 11:00 PM
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Mods, please delete ...got too happy with my left click.

[edit on 6-1-2005 by ignorance is a plenty]



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 11:13 PM
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Murcielago I just got to say great pics
I really like the first pic with the armed one and is that a JSF in the background?



posted on Jan, 6 2005 @ 11:20 PM
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ignorance is a plenty
Not to sound boastfull, but you could say I have the "inside" track on whats going on.

no offense, BUT, everyone & anyone who says things like that, I dont believe.

Because I cant tell if you a 50 year old USAF general, or a 13 year old kid trying to sound important. (thats the downside of text)

So in otherwords you dont have any proof?



posted on Jan, 7 2005 @ 07:16 AM
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It will be URAV (Unmanned Rotor Aerial Vehicle), picture at:

www.hitechweb.szm.sk/helicoptersA4.htm

... or stopped rotor aircraft derived from unmanned Boeing X-50. Picutre at:

www.hitechweb.szm.sk/x50.htm



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