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ARMY LUH & ARH, can they be combined??

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posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 05:12 PM
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I am an intern and I just got tasked with writing a research paper on whether the ARMY LUH UH-72A, UH-145, EC-145 (whatever you want to call it) can be armed and thus "merge" with the requirements for the ARMY ARH. I don't think it's a strange concept that the Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) of both programs could be satisfied with one airframe, under the assumption that you mount Hellfire missiles, 7-shot rocket pods, and .50cal machine gun on the EADS EUROCOPTER UH-72A platform. Can that be done? If so what steps would have to be taken?

I started my googling today and was trying to look up the history behind how an unarmed platform like the original BO-105 becomes an armed platform BO-105P/PAH and then evolves to BK-117 and then to EC-145 (if this is an incorrect sequence please let me know). Is this the "right" path to conducting research? Can you recommend an alternate path that will lead me to some relevant hits?

I do not have a security clearance (yet) and cannot access .mil websites but any unclassified websites that are relevant would be MUCH APPRECIATED. I am looking for a range of help/answers but do not want responses that address the bureaucracy behind why these programs are separated. I am not interested in the politics; only the ability to arm the LUH.




posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 07:31 PM
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Originally posted by Silly_Intern
I am an intern and I just got tasked with writing a research paper on whether the ARMY LUH UH-72A, UH-145, EC-145 (whatever you want to call it)...

Lets call it UH-72(A), since the helicopter, as per requirement, is built to a significant amount with american parts


... can be armed and thus "merge" with the requirements for the ARMY ARH. I don't think it's a strange concept that the Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) of both programs could be satisfied with one airframe, under the assumption that you mount Hellfire missiles, 7-shot rocket pods, and .50cal machine gun on the EADS EUROCOPTER UH-72A platform. Can that be done? If so what steps would have to be taken?


Certainly it can be armed. Being a COTS aircraft, the ARH-70 is also nothing else than a modified Bell 407 with the appropiate parts "bolted on"; put the same stuff on the U-72 and you have an armed recon platform.

Look up the EC 635, a recent armed and strengthened version of the EC 135. The EC 145 is an even better basis for arming because of its higher load capavity (the middle number of Eurocopter three-digit designations is the approximate total weight in tons).

Actually, the UH-72 outperforms the Bell 407 in most areas while staying in a similar class. Same could be true when you pit the ARH-70 against a combat version of the UH-72.


I started my googling today and was trying to look up the history behind how an unarmed platform like the original BO-105 becomes an armed platform BO-105P/PAH and then evolves to BK-117 and then to EC-145 (if this is an incorrect sequence please let me know).


Basically thats correct, en detail its more like:



BK 117
/ \
/ ] EC 145 (BK 117-C2)
/ /
BO 105 ---- EC 135 (BO 108 A1)


The BK 117 adapted some features of the BO 105, but has various differencies. The EC 135 is a direct child of the BO 105. The EC 145 is a direct descendant of the BK 117, but with considerable influence by the EC 135.


Is this the "right" path to conducting research? Can you recommend an alternate path that will lead me to some relevant hits?

Very important differences between these helicopters are the different rotor and driveshaft technologies used. But I`m no expert.



[edit on 13/12/2006 by Lonestar24]



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 03:09 PM
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Thank you for your insightful information. I was unaware of the EC-145's link to the EC-135 (I heard these terms for the first time yesterday, about 2 hours prior to my first post).

I have started my paper with background tech specs of the BO-105, BK-117, and the EC-135. You provided an interesting thought with the EC-635. This is an armed version of the EC-135 and may be able to meet the specifications of both the LUH and ARH programs.

I wrote an email to a representative of Eurocopter (who then referenced me to EADS North America) and was told that there was no customer requirement to arm the LUH. This would explain why EADS never proposed/bidded the EC-635 to answer the LUH requirement. After some number crunching this may turn out easier than I thought.

Other posts are more than welcome and appreciated



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 06:08 PM
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Careful with using the EC-635 for comparison, it is nowhere near as combat capable as the ARH-70, mainly missing the advanced recon/guided weapons electronics (which undoubtly CAN be easily added, but were not intended to by the customers). It still serves as a good example to the capabilities of the ECs 135/145.

Still, there is a main difference between the ARH and LUH program. While both were crafted onto the principle of COTS and NDI (Commercially, off the shelf / non-developmental item), the ARH prog. definately emphasized small-frame lightweight helicopters. The LUH trials however consisted of aircraft ranging from 2500kg MTOW to 7500kg MTOW (maximum take-off weight), and most candidates had two turbines, improving safety.

Additionally, the ARH seemed to have had an eye on the possibility to use existing facilities and crew training routines, as both entries were basically models already in use; one of the main focuses of the LUH program however were the overall lifecycle costs, at which Eurocopters apparently tend to excel.

EDIT: www.globalsecurity.org is always a good and extensive resources for such programs.

[edit on 14/12/2006 by Lonestar24]



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 10:33 AM
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I am starting to stray away from the idea of having the EC-635 serve as a one platform do it all ARLUH, even though its performance specifications are fairly impressive (from what little knowledge I have of aviation, but hey that's why I joined this message board).

I think the other idea of arming the UH-72A may be simpler, faster, cheaper, and be less susceptible to opening the project back up for competition.

I wish there was more information on the BK-117M and how it went from a civil platform to a military platform, and/or what testing and fielding this platform has gone thru.



posted on Apr, 8 2007 @ 07:51 AM
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Yes the EC 145 could perform both roles. The problem is not in the aircraft but in the supply system. There are alot of articles that say the UH-72 is a militarized version of the Ec145 wich is not true the aircraft is not militarized and is being maintained to FAA standards which allows it to use an open commercials supply system. Once you put guns on it then it will become militarized and the army would have to buy and maintain all components needed for the aircraft and those parts would never be able to be reintroduced to the commercial market.

Being in an open supply chain the LUH can pull from recourses worldwide which will give them a larger parts pool alowing for a better operational readiness rate.

The army could arm the LUH but it would have to maintain the closed supply system and ensure civilian and military parts were never mixed in storage or swapped between the LUH and ARH variant aircraft.

[edit on 8-4-2007 by freefaller120]



posted on Dec, 8 2008 @ 07:38 AM
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I am a UH 72 pilot that has recently graduated from the factory school. Some quick blurts from my prospective...

WRT parts: The UH-72 is being maintained IAW civilian regulations so the parts issue may not be a factor. (E.g. all maintainers must have an A&P license and documentation is going to be per the FARs.)

WRT usability as a combat platform: The uH-72 is a civilian aircraft. Currently it is limited to non hostile areas due to its lack of ASE (Aircraft Survivability Equipment). Yes that could be added but at a weight cost to an aircraft that I believe is already short of power for extreme conditions. Additionally, the aircraft was designed as a civilian aircraft. It will not perform in extreme conditions, it does not have the redundancy required for a military helicopter, and once your start throwing on devices that will allow for military operations you will lose significant performance due to weight cost. I am a maintenance pilot in different types of military aircraft. Military aircraft are designed for combat. A simple description of this is that military aircraft place the pressure sensor for the caution light for the engine oil and transmission separate from the pressure transducer for the gage. This is to provide an indication of pressure incase you catch a round that takes one out. On the UH-72 they are collocated. There are many other examples of this design fundamental. It is also designed to be maintained as a civilian aircraft. (i.e. Protected areas with access to service shops.)

My opinion is yes the UH-72 could serve as a platform for the ARH, but the weight cost to add the requirement for a military aircraft would tax the performance enough to make it inefficient.



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