First, let me apologize (or as you guys say, ‘apologise’) for the “kid” and “youngster” comments. Even though I have seven or eight years
on you, us old pharts gotta stick together against these young punks out there!
why you don't like anything that's not made in America.
I try not to buy American or Japanese, I try to buy good.
I think everyone knows that there is only one country which knows how to build real motorcycles
, and I have owned three of them: a Triumph
Tiger Cub, BSA Road Rocket, and Royal Enfield Interceptor (and yes, I had the misfortune of owning an American Heavy-Dangerousone as well as about ten
Japanese bikes which are tremendously reliable but have no soul).
And, when everyone’s home, there’s a ’97 Nissan Sentra, ’99 Isuzu Trooper, and ’05 Scion tC in my driveway. No Detroit Iron there, thank
you very much.
And finally, when I want to seriously counsel
someone and it may involve high-velocity metatarsal-to-gluteus maximus interactions, you can bet
I’ll be wearing my Doc Martens!
Yes all those poor countries read all the sales blurb about Apache, but the after sales service. What's that all about.
A typical procurement takes about three years (and I have worked as Proposal Manager on two of them – Japan and the UK). You would not believe how
tremendously involved the questions and requirements are from potential customers. In the UKs case, we beat the Aerosplat Tiger, and in Japan’s
case we beat the Bell Whiskey Cobra. (In the case of Japan, there were others, like the Rooivalk, Agusta, and Kamov, but they were eliminated right
away due to inability to meet the requirements.)
Boeing (neé McDonnell Douglas) has always had a problem with support, although I think it’s a lot better than it was ten years ago. No one can
touch Bell for support, of course, since they’re all over the world. We were definitely the underdog in Japan, because they already built – under
Bell License -- the UH-1 and AH-1. The problem was that the Whiskey was late, and expensive, and it didn’t have the all-weather capabilities that
the Longbow did.
At least here in the UK, GKNWestland knows all about building propper helicopters…
When MD was negotiating with GKN, one of the deals being considered was that we’d build the MD-101 (an EH-101 with a different paint job). The fact
that we didn’t was, in my opinion, a big mistake. The EH-101 is one of the greatest transport helicopters made, and would’ve done a tremendous
service to expanding our product line. However, neither MD nor Boeing considered the helicopter as a major part of our product offering.
…'cause they're taking your basic Apaches - which you've very kindly assembled for us at your place - then rework them and bring them up
to what army calls A(W)H or AH(W) 1 standard. Something to do with rotors, avionics and weapon systems. We've also replaced your FFR's with our own
Until about six months ago, when I left International Programs, I worked on the Boeing-Westland SRP (Support Reappraisal Programme) effort. One of
the big things we do is to make sure that each team knew what the other team was doing, so that we’d eliminate redundancy in our upgrade paths. As
far as radios
, almost every customer uses their own gear, since it’s a major portion of the procurement, allows for domestic content (their
engineers, their products), and allows for their own unique interoperability needs. For instance, the Westland Longbows use Marconi radios, the Subaru
Longbows use Shin Yagai radios, the Israeli Longbows (which are built here) use their own proprietary electronics stuff, etc. As far as
, you guys have blade de-ice; we don’t. We just don’t see the need, not doing North Sea ops like you guys do. We have a”
blade-fold kit”, which I’m guessing you guys will get, too, since you use the C-17 to transport the Apache, and a blade-fold kit allows for much
faster deployment after the aircraft is unloaded from the C-17.
As far as weapons, I know that you use a different FFAR, and my guess is that you will probably be increasing the capability of your airplanes to fire
a wider range of guided missiles, too. I also guess (and this is just a guess) that the Japanese will be the first to really integrate ATAS
(air-to-air stingers) onto their airplanes. BTW, the Subarus have the capabilities for snow skis (Honest!)
One serious question though mate. Why such a small amount of ammo for the main gun? I've never understood that and on the same subject, can it
be reloaded during flight?
Answer to question number 1: Because the US Army (like the Brits and everyone else except the Germans in the 1930s, planned for the last
not the next
war. The Apache was supposed to fight and die in buying time for the allies by using its HELLFIREs to defeat Soviet BMP and
tanks as they came pouring through Fulda Gap at the onset of World War III. It didn’t happen, of course. And now it appears that, given the softer
targets in the modern battle environment, the HELLFIRE is overkill. My guess is that most planners would give up either some of the HELLFIREs or the
FFARs in order to double or triple their load of Chain gun ammunition.
Answer to question number 2; No, and that is a Bad Deal indeed! However, we have a semi-automated loader that permits the gun to be reloaded by one
person while they’re re-fueling the airplane in the FARP – in about five minutes.
Just heard on BBC News 24 that Canada has pulled out of the deal with your company. Bad news mate. Hope things get better for you. (Not taking
I got the news three days ago, and here’s our June 18th spin on it (www.boeing.com...
SEATTLE, June 18, 2005 -- We share Air Canada 's disappointment at today's developments because we are looking forward to being a part of Air
Canada 's vision for leadership. We are seeing very strong demand for the 777 and the 787, and we believe we will have many opportunities to place
these aircraft elsewhere.
What can I say? I guess I can take comfort in that we didn’t lose to Airbus; the Union just voted against the cost-cutting approach, and now
they’re not getting any airplanes at all AFAIK.