Author Topic: Griffons Woes  (Read 6970 times)

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Brock

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Griffons Woes
« on: December 06, 2001, 17:50:00 »
I recently read an "Army Doctrine and Training Bulletin" report about expeirence in Kosovo essentially reporting the Griffon is essentially useless for airmobile warefare.  The report indicated that the Griffon can not operate carry more than 4 fully equipped troops if it is to fly a useful mission distance.  The reason being by the time the defensive warfare suite, cockpit armour, and crews weapons and equipment is added on the Griffon has to choose troops or fuel; the latter wins.
Even with the low troop load, the transport distance is still limited, about 100km radius.

Given the importance of support helicoter operations in peace support operations and low to mid-intensity conflicts, the CF desperately needs to build a better airlift capacity.  I suggest this options.  One the CF should buy 10-16 new-build or ex-US uupgraded Chinook heavy lift helicopters.  The cost is relatively low, $50-60 million a pop and the benefits are extremely advantageous.  In the mid-term, say next ten years, a major uprgade to UH-1Y standard is in order for the Griffons.  The UH-1Y program is currently being run for the USMC‘s basically similar UH-1N Twin Huey‘s.  The helicopter is stripped of all avionics, flight and engines systems and the airframe is retuned to zero hour status.  The helicopter is refitted with 2 GE-700-401C engines (twice the power of the current enginces), a passive and active defensive aids suite, a new "glass cockpit", a new four blade main and tail rotor system, and a strengthened and combat durable airframe is added.  The helicopter is now combat capable and can take battle damage and keep on flying at level comparable to a Sikorsky Blackhawk.  Most importantly the helicopter wouldl be capable of transporting an infantry "tactically "--unlike the current Griffon--and doing so at the current Griffon maximum flight speed at its maximum range with a full load.  The cost of an upgrade of this nature would be about $6-$10 million Canadian each.  Although this sound expensive it is relatively cheap compare to the $30 million for a new Blackhawk or $50 million for an EH-101 utility variant.  These are Canadian figures too with all the added political cost.  I would like to note that this option is politically acceptable, because both the Griffon upgrade and Chinook builiding could be done in Canada at Boeing‘s and Bell Heliocopters plants in Arnprior and Mirabel respectively.

Also the time is politically ripe to get upgrades of this sort on the go, because of the current war.

Just my thoughts.

fortuncookie5084

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2001, 20:44:00 »
Canada had Chinooks.  We sold them to the Dutch for next to nothing, right around the same time the Yanks offered to send lots of utility helicopters our way (post cold war downsizing).  Marcel Masse had us buy the Griffon instead.  Sucks, eh?

Meditations in Green

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2001, 15:04:00 »
Another option (I don‘t know about the cost for this one though) would be acquiring helicopters from Eurocopter ( www.eurocopter.ca ). They have a plant in Ft. Erie, which would address a lot of the politcal end job wise. Eurocopter makes the Super Puma and Super Couger transport helicopters and Tiger gunships. An example: the Super Couger AS532 U2 A2 can carry 29 troops or 12 stretchers and is armed with 20mm axial guns or 68mm rockets in addition to machineguns. The Eurocopter models have seen a lot of use with forces around the world, especially within NATO, with good results I understand.

Offline Soldier of Fortune

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2001, 20:59:00 »
Man...The CF is in a mess, I say they elect Generals and a Defence Ministers from the enlisted men. That oughta fix the problem.
:bullet:    Soldier of Fortune    :bullet:

Offline Gordon Angus Mackinlay

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2001, 21:33:00 »
Sir,

The Cougar has exactly the same problem as the Griffon, it may be able to have 29 lightly equipped troops in its hold.  Unfortunatley it cannot fly very far with them.  Even without the defence suite, any form of weapons system etc, they were in Bosnia/Kosovo only rostered to carry nine fully equipped troops.

Whilst the original Puma version was a manouverable helicopter, the Cougar is not.  It also has the disadvantage in that it is hard for fully ladened soldiers to climb onboard.

If there had been any logical choice, it would have been the Merlin (EH-101) in its utility, naval, SAR versions for the Canadian Forces.  This will however never be (apart from the Comorant), the Griffons are relatively young aircraft, and it is quite obvious that the Sea Kings will fly for ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your,
Jock in SYdney
Jock

Offline MCG

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2001, 20:48:00 »
Quote
Originally posted by Gordon Angus Mackinlay:
[qb] . . . it is quite obvious that the Sea Kings will fly for ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [/qb]

Haven‘t they already flown  forever?

fortuncookie5084

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2001, 23:22:00 »
I don‘t think it is too far fetched to say that we‘ll lose them all through attrition---their recent crash record is terrible and sad.  But would they be replaced??

Offline bossi

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2001, 04:52:00 »
Only if it suits the agenda of the Liberal party (i.e. if they can be made in a riding with a Liberal Member of Parliament)

Ooops ... did I say that out loud?
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-Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883

Yard Ape

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2001, 07:25:00 »
Well, they certainly proved that they don‘t really care.  After yesterday‘s budget.  I guess our SF guys will have to ride into battle on some other country‘s birds.

   Yard Ape

Brock

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2001, 11:49:00 »
In regard to the "Super Cougar" it is actually called the Coulgar Mk.1, Cougar Mk.2, and/or EC 725.  The Super Puma is a civillian version of the Cougar Mk.1/2.  The Mk. 1/2 stand for short fuselage length (Mk.1) and long fuselage length (Mk.2).  There are also a variety of sub-variants that denoted armed and unarmed capabilities for both utility and maritime roles.  In response to Angus MacKinlay.  The Cougar Mk.2 used by the Dutch in Bosnia/Kosovo carries 13-16 fully loaded troops not nine, the nine would be based on increased fuel requirements for an extremely long range flight (see. Jane‘s International Defence Review August 2001 for more info.).  The EC 725 is essentially a Cougar Mk.2 with new more powerful and fuel efficient engines, a better all new rotor system, a new cockpit, and the ability to be fit with a wide range of standard add-on kits for Combat SAR.  It essentially rectifies existing problems with Cougar Mk.2.  If one want to go with Eurocopter, one should look at its sister company‘s NH-90 form NAHEMA Helicopter Industries (NHI).  NHI is a company owned by Eurocopter France, Portugal, and Germany; Agusta of Italy, and Fokker of the Netherlands.  The NH-90 is an excellent helicopter for both maritme roles and land support roles.  It is produced in two basic variants: the Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) and the NATO Frigate Helicopter (NFH) variants.  Both are extremely capabale 10 ton class helicopters.  The TTH can transport 16 fully equipped troops and four crew.  The TTH has two sliding cargo doors to port and starboard and a rear ramp.  The NFH variant is fully equipped for anti-submarine and anti-surface vessel warfare (ASW/ASVW).  Both helicopter are exceptional in terms of performance.  The NH-90 came to late to participate in the Search and Rescue Helicopter replacement project, but likely would have won, had it been available.  Concerns about its lower cabin height (160cm) have been addressed by producing a version with a 183cm cabin.  The NH-90 is truly an excellent all around helicopter and it is set to succeed the Super Puma/Cougar line.    If you want to know more see www.eurocopter.com and follow the links to the products page.

Meditations in Green

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Re: Griffons Woes
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2001, 13:53:00 »
The main reason I had for suggesting Eurocopter as an alternative to the Blackhawk or the EH 101 is the political end of things. The politics will outweigh any operational considerations, especially with our current administration.

I did some looking around on the net. The NH-90 sounds like it‘ll be a pretty good helicopter. From the looks of things there is quite a bit of interest in the NH-90 from countries around the world.

A gut feeling tells me that even if they did buy new helicopters they‘d still end up making a questionable choice - and with the new budget I‘d be surprised if they even made any significant upgrades to existing choppers. As for the Sea "Kings" (they‘re Paupers now), who knows what they‘ll actually do outside of a report or commitee.