Author Topic: Attack Helicopters  (Read 17637 times)

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Offline Scotty

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Attack Helicopters
« on: December 21, 2003, 10:50:00 »
First, let me start by saying this isn‘t another thread about what things the CF should buy.  I just came across this on a site and I wanted to know what you guys think.  I‘m not saying we should buy it now, but it could be considered a few years down the road IF the government are serious about improving our combat ability.

It is the A129 International Multi-Role Combat Helicopter.  

 http://www.army-technology.com/projects/agusta/index.html

The americans don‘t use it and people talk about co-operation and inter-operability with the US, but it is being used by the Italian army and possibly other NATO countries.  

It is approx. $30million (US I think) The Italians have about 45 of them.  I assumed we are smaller than the italian army so I said around 30 would suit us just fine.  Maybe we would need more maybe less.  30 Helo‘s would cost about $900,000,000 which is alot of money but that would be spread out over a few years, after the government has increased our budget.

Just a thought of what we could be of use if the government is serious.  Take a look at the link and post your thoughts.

P.S. Im interested in the Italian one becuase it is used by NATO countries, and the American Apache‘s which I think most people would want if we get attack helo‘s are 75-100 million each.

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2003, 11:26:00 »
We need to look at areas like heavy/medium lift instead of looking at areas like gunships. Address our tactical lift first then maybe look at attack helos.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
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Offline BOOMER004

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2003, 11:46:00 »
I have to agree. Gunships would definately bring us into modern combat capabilities however, we have no way of getting any of our sexy new toys anywhere without some serious help. Just take a look at the gulf war in ‘91. The Canadian Gov. wanted to deploy the fourth Can Mech Brig.in Germany but had no way to get them there or supply them once they were in theatre. The U.S. was busy moving there own.But agreed to help because they needed the support of their allies. We need to purchase a few C-17‘s first, then look at the toys.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2003, 12:06:00 »
I agree with both of you, I don‘t think that this should be the first new big thing we buy there are other areas that need to be dealt with first, the seakings, medium lift helos etc.  This is just a thought of something maybe 5-10 years down the road if we are serious.  But there are many things we need first.

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2003, 15:03:00 »
Personnally, I believe the Canadian Army needs a dedicated attack and reconnaissance helicopter(ARH), now and not later, but fiscal contraints is a major constraint.  The need is highlighted even more so by the diminishing number of tactical fighter aircraft and the soon-to-be-retired Leopard 1 C2 tank.

The Army needs--not wants--a dedicated helicopter platform for armed reconnaissance, escort, anti-armour, and close air support purposes.  These capabilities are needed, more or less, at all levels of combat and peace support operations.  Dedicated attack and reconnaissance helicopters are far more useful--than a tank--across the spectrum of operations for a medium-light combat force.

The Apache is a very capable, extremely complex, but also the most expensive to procure, support and maintain; the AH-64 does not demonstrate best value for the Canada or its Army.  There are several high quality options that both fullfill requirements and are affordable.  The number one choice has to be the Eurocopter Tiger HAP, specifically the Aussie variant.  It is the most modern in-production ARH.  It can carry air-to-air and air-to-surface/ground missiles and rockets, in addition to a trainable 30mm cannon.  A close second--and number 1 politically--is the Bell AH-1Z King Cobra that is just beginning production for the USMC.  It an essentially brand new helicopter, but based on a highly modified and modern variant of the proven Huey Cobra that first saw service in Vietnam.  Despite, the original design‘s age, it is an ultra-modern helicopter that is second in terms of overall performance to the Apache, but at the same price level as the Tiger, which is about $60 million a helicopter with a comprehensive support package.  Not cheap, but far less costly than the $100 million for an Apache with similar support costs.  The final helicopter presently available is the A129I Scorpion.  A good little helicopter, but a little too small for Canada‘s needs and with only the Italian Army using it, and in small numbers, not the wisest buy.

Although the Tiger would be my personal preferance, the Bell AH-1Z is probably the best value.  Furthermore, an upgrade of the CH-146 UTTH to UH-1Y standard--a major upgrade that puts it in the Blackhawk class--would see the two helicopters have an 85% commonality, which would generate substanital savings.  Finally, only relatively small numbers are needed for the Canadian Army.  Four small operational and operational training squadrons 6 or 8 would fit the Canadian Army‘s needs perfectly.

Offline Scotty

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2003, 20:04:00 »
Here‘s just another idea, the strykers were purchased to provide fire support to the infantry.  Attack helicopters can provide fire support and be used in many other roles the Stryker can‘t.  Who here would prefer to scrap the $600 million Stryker program in favour of some form of Attack Helo, for maybe an extra $100-200 million?

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2003, 06:58:00 »
So you scrap the Stryker program what then?? The army is still getting rid of the Leopard, are you going to leave the infantry guys without any direct fire support, cause helos are not going to be on station 24/7 and you know the CF would not get enough to be able to do that. 25mm on the LAV3 and Coyotes and the few TUA we are going to retain won‘t do the job.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
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jrhume

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2003, 09:05:00 »
Attack helos alone cannot meet a combat unit‘s fire support needs.  Even the most sophisticated air assets are compromised by bad weather and environmental hazards (sand, dust, humidity, etc).

Both fixed wing and rotary wing attack aircraft should be part of a layered support plan, but the primary elements of the plan are direct and indirect fires.  

It‘s been mentioned before on this forum and the concept makes sense to me -- that Canada might be well-advised to model it‘s armed force on the US Marines.  They combine sealift capability with lift and attack aircraft, medium lift and attack helos, organic direct fire support and at least two artillery systems (105 howitzer and 155).  Of course, Canada would have to add naval escort units to make it work.

Ex-D is right.  Attack helos can‘t do the job all by themselves.

Jim

Offline Gunnar

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2003, 12:18:00 »
Quote
The final helicopter presently available is the A129I Scorpion. A good little helicopter, but a little too small for Canada‘s needs and with only the Italian Army using it, and in small numbers, not the wisest buy.
So, basically we‘re going to be getting the Scorpion it seems.  The gov‘t has a history of buying inadequate equipment that isn‘t the wisest buy...So this is what I expect we‘ll get.
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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2003, 12:48:00 »
scm77:

Scrapping the direct fire support vehicle project in favour of an attack and reconnaissance helicopter (ARH) is not a solution.  Indeed, the Canadian Army needs both, but if I had to make a choice, I would choose a direct fire support vehicle over a helicopter.  Ex-Dragoon is right, the army needs a big gun cannon for direct fire support; a 25mm and/or missile system alone will not suffice.  Furthermore, I agree with "Old Guy" to some extent that the USMC would be a very good organization to mimic--at least a modified variant.  I have some thoughts on a multi-layered indirect fire support system that meets the needs of the Canadian Army in a manner that is both combat and cost effective.  This is under the Artillery topics.

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2003, 13:14:00 »
Gunnar we are getting no such helo.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2003, 13:31:00 »
Yeah gunnar, we aren‘t getting anything as of now, I was just throwing around ideas.  

I didn‘t think about the problem that helo‘s can‘t fly in all conditions so obviously my idea of replacing the strykers with helos won‘t work.

Mogrok

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2003, 23:51:00 »
Instead of the USMC although a very viable organizatoin maybe more basing our combat brigades around the Armoured Cavalry Regiments of the USARMY.  They combine infantry, armour, artillery, and air support all into one unit for Command and Control purposes and train year round as a combined arms formation.  Although this would lead to an end to the Historic Regimental System and a lot of historical Regiments would be rerolled.

Offline RECON-MAN

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2003, 01:04:00 »
The South Africa ROOIVALK Attack Helicopter would fit in nicely.It was a runner up for the British before they decided to get the Eurotiger It would also be a lot cheaper
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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2003, 23:28:00 »
Recon-Man:

The British Army does not operate the "Eurotiger"--there is also no helicopter named that either.  You must be confused with the helicopter company "Eurocopter" which is producing the Tiger/Tigre for the French, German, Australian and Spanish armies.  The British Army is in early years of operating a heavily modified variant of the Boeing AH-64D Longbow Apache.  It is called the WAH-64 or Apache AH MK.1; it is built by Westland helicopters in the UK.  Check out the www.mod.uk and follow the Brit Army links to its equipment info or check Westland‘s website at www.gkn-whl.co.uk

Offline Mountie

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #15 on: September 29, 2004, 14:42:59 »
In defence of RECON MAN, I have seen the Tiger referred to as the Euro-Tiger a few times.  It has also been referred to as the Aussie-Tiger.  I assume just a nick name to differentiate between the two versions.  But you are right the official name is just Tiger, built by Eurocopter.

Offline FOO TECH G11

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #16 on: September 29, 2004, 19:53:15 »
From an Arty Guy's point of view, the Attack Helo, although nice could not replace the 105mm cannon of the Stryker (or whatever we finally decide on). As stated the helo is not an all weather 24/7 piece that will be there when the combat team needs it. And as a forward observer, I know all to well how our resources (Artillery / CAS etc) can get re-allocated at the last moment and leave the Combat Team with out anything to soften up the target before they go in other than the resources they come with (their Direct Fire Weapons). I hope the government gets off there #$^ and figures out what they are going to do with the missing armour capability.
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Offline Mountie

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #17 on: November 04, 2004, 00:23:43 »
How about an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter based on an improved Griffon?  Upgrade the Griffon to the UH-1Y Twin Huey level, and equip it with a FLIR sensor system and weapons pylons.  The upgraded Griffon could carry mini-guns and either 70mm rocket pods or hellfire missiles on each weapons pylon.  This would be something similar to the British Lynx AH9.  This would be a much cheaper way of equipping the Tac Hel squadrons with an ARH.

Offline nULL

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #18 on: November 04, 2004, 01:13:27 »
I think the problem with that is that the Griffin's poweplant is not sufficient to mount both sufficient armour (which I'm assuming is a necessity in that role) and weapons systems.

Best get a pilot to clarify though. I think they would have tried that were it a possibility - wasn't there talk a while ago of mounting some sort of missile system on one?

Offline Inch

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #19 on: November 04, 2004, 06:12:05 »
That's why he stated upgrade to UH-1Y, in that scenario it'd be the main gear box and other associated parts replaced.  The engines are fine, it's the gear box that can't handle the power and the torque required to lift more.


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lfejoel25

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #20 on: November 04, 2004, 08:00:07 »
heres an idea, take the iltis, duct-tape a 105mm cannon on the top, scrap the stryker, and use the money saved to transform the sea-king into  a new attack helo!  ...damn, that's a good idea.... i should run for prime minister.... ;D

Offline carpediem

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2004, 12:19:39 »
heres an idea, take the iltis, duct-tape a 105mm cannon on the top, scrap the stryker, and use the money saved to transform the sea-king into  a new attack helo!  ...darn, that's a good idea.... i should run for prime minister.... ;D

Been done... when I first joined the reserves in the mid-'80s some units had 106mm Recoiless Rifle mounted on the old 1/4 ton jeep. Good picture of one here http://www.lssr.ca/f_today.htm

Maybe they could mount one on the Sea-king sort of like a C-130 Gunship, bet we still have the 106s in storage... :warstory:
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lfejoel25

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2004, 12:30:07 »
HOLY CRAP DUDE!!!
I was only joking!  did that really work?  or was it something that somebody was embarrased about trying afterwards?

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Attack Helicopters
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2004, 14:07:22 »
A few lateral moves here:

a. Replace or supplement the Griffin with the Blackhawk. The new Cyclone is derived from the Blackhawk rotor and drivetrain, so we get some logistics benefits as well. (Yes you read that right. The Cyclone is a new airframe hung under a Blackhawk rotor.)

b. Blackhawks have enough power and lift capability to at least be upgraded to escort gunships (like the Viet-Nam era "Huey Hogs") for self defense and to help shoot in an airmobile operation. They could provide some attack helicopter support for combined arms operations.

c. UAVs are becoming sophisticated enough to act as "gunships" and in the recce role (think of the "Predator" UAV's patrolling with a brace of Hellfire missiles), and are more acceptable because they are smaller, cheaper and don't cost an aircrew if they go down.

We are all clear that these are supplementary to ground based direct and indirect fire assets, not replacements.
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