U.S. Army officials said to back new scout helicopter

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posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:01 PM
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U.S. Army officials this week backed a plan to buy new armed scout helicopters instead of extending the life of the Army's aging fleet of OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters, sources familiar with the Army's plans told Reuters on Friday.


Source


Well, this will be the Army's third attempt at replacing the Vietnam era OH58 light helo a unit of the bell/textron frame.
If successful, it saddens me to see them go, having flown the upgraded 58's I found them quite predictable, reliable, and almost bullet proof in many ways. (Nothing to the likes of the 407's I've had the pleasure mind you.)



A host of weapon maker's bidding for dibs on the new scout could bring a contract worth $6-8 Billion.
Oh this is going to be fun:


Boeing Co has said it plans to offer a version of its AH-6 Little Bird if the competition is launched, as an armed scout, while Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp and the North American unit of Europe's EADS, have each invested heavily to develop new, more capable helicopters for a possible competition. Bell Helicopter; AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica SpA; MD Helicopters; and AVX Aircraft are also interested in the program.

..Boeing Co has said it plans to offer a version of its AH-6 Little Bird if the competition is launched, as an armed scout,.



BOEING AH-6

Reminds me of the Hughes 500, come guys lets lose that tail rotor already.


It may depend on whether U.S. lawmakers are able to avert an additional $500 billion in defense spending cuts over 10 years that are slated to start taking effect on January 2., although confident that the program could be funded regardless.


If the new program survives the budget process, it would be the latest in a string of Army efforts to buy a new fleet of armed light helicopters that began in 2004 after cancellation of the Comanche helicopter program.

What happened to the unmanned scout helicopter concept? Wouldn't that be cheaper and avoid obvious pilot deaths, or capture, which could lead to televised propaganda?

Either way it should be fun to watch the demonstrations of what manufacturers will come up with.
the Army was not expected to announce a decision until next year.
edit on 1-12-2012 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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reply to post by Lonewulph
 


That's a nice looking bird! I hope they get them.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 12:57 PM
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What's the point? The higher-ups will just stab this project in the back, like they did with the Comanche.



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by Lonewulph

U.S. Army officials this week backed a plan to buy new armed scout helicopters instead of extending the life of the Army's aging fleet of OH-58 Kiowa Warrior helicopters, sources familiar with the Army's plans told Reuters on Friday.


Source


Well, this will be the Army's third attempt at replacing the Vietnam era OH58 light helo a unit of the bell/textron frame.
If successful, it saddens me to see them go, having flown the upgraded 58's I found them quite predictable, reliable, and almost bullet proof in many ways. (Nothing to the likes of the 407's I've had the pleasure mind you.)



A host of weapon maker's bidding for dibs on the new scout could bring a contract worth $6-8 Billion.
Oh this is going to be fun:


Boeing Co has said it plans to offer a version of its AH-6 Little Bird if the competition is launched, as an armed scout, while Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp and the North American unit of Europe's EADS, have each invested heavily to develop new, more capable helicopters for a possible competition. Bell Helicopter; AgustaWestland, a unit of Italy's Finmeccanica SpA; MD Helicopters; and AVX Aircraft are also interested in the program.

..Boeing Co has said it plans to offer a version of its AH-6 Little Bird if the competition is launched, as an armed scout,.



BOEING AH-6

Reminds me of the Hughes 500, come guys lets lose that tail rotor already.


It may depend on whether U.S. lawmakers are able to avert an additional $500 billion in defense spending cuts over 10 years that are slated to start taking effect on January 2., although confident that the program could be funded regardless.


If the new program survives the budget process, it would be the latest in a string of Army efforts to buy a new fleet of armed light helicopters that began in 2004 after cancellation of the Comanche helicopter program.

What happened to the unmanned scout helicopter concept? Wouldn't that be cheaper and avoid obvious pilot deaths, or capture, which could lead to televised propaganda?

Either way it should be fun to watch the demonstrations of what manufacturers will come up with.
the Army was not expected to announce a decision until next year.
edit on 1-12-2012 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)

Until we have robot soldiers, Delta Operators still need a way to ride in, although am I correct in reading they are keeping the Little Birds?



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 02:07 PM
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reply to post by steppenwolf86
 


The Little Birds aren't going anywhere. Boeing has been developing an optionally piloted version to offer as the Kiowa replacement. They've been performing manned and unmanned flights with it in testing. They started out manned, then went to a pilot riding in the cockpit but as a passenger, and I believe now they have flown a full up unmanned flight with it.

As of June the contenders were the:

AgustaWestland AW139
Boeing AH-6
EADS AAS-72X
OH-58 Block II
Sikorsky S-97 Raider
MD-540F



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by steppenwolf86
 


The Little Birds aren't going anywhere. Boeing has been developing an optionally piloted version to offer as the Kiowa replacement. They've been performing manned and unmanned flights with it in testing. They started out manned, then went to a pilot riding in the cockpit but as a passenger, and I believe now they have flown a full up unmanned flight with it.

As of June the contenders were the:

AgustaWestland AW139
Boeing AH-6
EADS AAS-72X
OH-58 Block II
Sikorsky S-97 Raider
MD-540F


I got to sit in that Sikorsky (and make helicopter sounds with my mouth) while it on display here at NBAA, not too long after setting the new record. Well, it wasn't the Raider but the X2,...hot rod. I'd like to think they are a promising contender.
edit on 1-12-2012 by Lonewulph because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 02:17 PM
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reply to post by Lonewulph
 


I would too, just because it's a hell of a neat looking beast. I'd love to see them flying around just from the looks standpoint.



posted on Dec, 5 2012 @ 06:00 PM
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This topic and thread has been chosen to be discussed by the ATS LIVE crew this Saturday between 6-9pm pst as part of this weeks Turbo Topics segment.

 

LOW BANDWIDTH STREAM NOW AVAILABLE - We now run a 32kbps stream for those of you with slower connections. You can connect to the low bandwidth stream by clicking here.

www.shoutcast.com...

We are still running at 256kbps through the ATS Player, and there are also options to listen via other players on our relay site at www.illustrial.net...
 



Hope you'll listen in!
Johnny



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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"A perfectly executed autorotation only gives you a glide ratio slightly better than that of a cement building block." Unknown Helicopter Pilot.

If something new comes along that might lower the price of the 500MD on the civilian market.



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 07:05 PM
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I just read somewhere that after the eval the Army was leaning towards piggybacking on the FVL program, and not acquiring existing airframes. Which means the acquisition will cost a lot of money and go nowhere. They're suffering from the same delusions as the Air Force.



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 08:13 PM
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I'm proud to say I was a Helicopter Crew Chief in a unit that was the test bed for the OH58 light attack helicopter concept. I was stationed at Ft Lewis Wa. C troop 3/5 cav from 1983 - 1986. We had 6 helicopters designated as JOH-58C which were used as the test bed conceptions built on the typical scout helicopter platform. Each helicopter had one or more of the following configurations, some had FlIR's mounted not on the mast but on the roof above the pilots head, some had DVO's (Direct Vision Optics) which were basically zoom-able telescopes, some had the Collapsible landing gear deigned to lower the helicopters height to enable loading on to C130's, some had Hud's (Heads Up Displays, some had 5.56 mini guns, some had 2.75 rocket pods.
The concept was to produce a fast light attack helicopter that was collapsible, being able to collapse and load onto a C130 in 10 min and off load and have flying in 15 min..The skids were designed to attach jack screws and lower the helicopter, the main rotor blades were designed to fold back along the tail boom, the tail vertical fin would rotate to the horizontal position.
I also spent 2 months TDY at Fort Hunter Liggett Ca. where we tested the concept of using Stinger Air to Air Missiles on the helicopters. We never had live tests but attached a Stingers with guidance instrumentation intact but no launch capabilities. During testing the Stingers could pick up and lock on a Coleman heater from 5 miles out.

That's me on the far left:
edit on 6-12-2012 by RocksFromSpace because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by _Del_
 


They haven't even decided if they're going to do it yet. But if they do then we'll just have another repeat of the Comanche program, and end up with the same helicopters that we have now in 15 years.



posted on Dec, 6 2012 @ 10:14 PM
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If procurement wasn't broken, someone would step in and make them build Block II's and/or SLEP the existing OH-58A's to -F's. There is no reason to waste money on a program that isn't off the shelf. And they'll save money on commonality for maintenance, training, transition, etc.
Instead, (like you said) someone will want to pad their resume with a brand new program. They'll end up sinking billions and end up with nothing in the end. You can always go with a FVL derivative later if/when the program matures, but attrition is eating up the current fleet. They cannot (or should not) wait 15 years for a program to develop.









 
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