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CH47 Chinook

MJP

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OldTanker said:
Not wanting to violate any OPSEC issues at all, but I'm wondering how the use and integration of the Chinooks is coming. Is 450 Sqn still doing acceptance and training or are the Chinooks being used by the brigades? Are they being used for troop movement or logistics? I'm just thinking back to the days when we had seven flying and have wondered how we would keep 15 gainfully employed. I'm sure they are an excellent resource to have, just an old soldier being curious and wondering what we are doing with them. Thanks if anyone can help.

We had a few out at 1 CMBG a few weeks back and wll have some for this year's iteration of MAPLE RESOLVE.  They looked good!
 

CougarKing

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More Chinooks for Aussie Army aviation?

Defense News

Australia Considers More Chinooks
By Nigel Pittaway 3:05 p.m. EST December 23, 2015

Melbourne, Australia — The Defense Security Co-operation Agency (DSCA) notified US Congress on Dec. 18 of a potential Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program sale of three Boeing CH-47F Chinook helicopters to Australia.

The three Chinooks are in addition to seven delivered this year under Project Air 9000 Phase 5C and now in service with the Australian Army’s 5th Aviation Regiment in Townsville, northern Queensland.

The possible sale involves Major Defence Equipment (MDE), including three CH-47F Chinooks; six Honeywell T55-GA-714A engines; three Force XXI Battle Command, Brigade and Below (FBCB2) Blue Force Tracking (BFT) systems; three Common Missile Warning Systems (CMWS); three Honeywell H-764 Embedded GPS/INS systems, and three Infra-red Signature Suppression systems.

(...SNIPPED)
 

Colin Parkinson

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Seriously NATO should have a number of airframes, engines, transmission and blades built, all boxed and properly mothballed and stored in Nevada. Don't worry to much about top line avionics as that will always be changing. This will be part of the NATO war stock and as various nations helo's start getting lot's of hours, then they can trade them in for a new airframe with the older one going through the upgrade/zero hour/preservation process.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Not when you need to replace combat losses in a hurry or ramp up in a hurry. Readiness comes with a price. Why do you think the Soviets kept everything, they would have just kept throwing everything at us till we ran out of ammo, tanks and aircraft. Even now a loss of a helicopter or a tank is a significant event, because there are so few of them. The airframe and drivetrains are the most labour intensive portion, you can run the helo on the bare minimum instruments. 
 

Loachman

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There is a big difference between parking obsolete and surplus machines out in the desert sun and putting brand-new machines there.

Seals break down. Plastic parts deterorate. Mods do not get done. Money is spent for things that may never be used, and there is little enough money for things that we need that would be used. It takes months to carry out major inspections on machines in use; more work would be required for machines that had been parked for years, plus mods would most likely be required which would take more time, money and effort.

What about spare crews for these machines? Where do we park them until needed?

What do you mean by "instruments"? We have a variety of sensor and survivability equipment on board that also require maintenance.

It is better to use equipment that has been bought. It is kept in serviceable order, then, and is ready for use quickly.

A lot of what the Soviets kept was just for show. Most of it would never move under its own power again.

There is no merit in this, which is why nobody does it.
 

PuckChaser

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Colin P said:
Not when you need to replace combat losses in a hurry or ramp up in a hurry. Readiness comes with a price. Why do you think the Soviets kept everything, they would have just kept throwing everything at us till we ran out of ammo, tanks and aircraft. Even now a loss of a helicopter or a tank is a significant event, because there are so few of them. The airframe and drivetrains are the most labour intensive portion, you can run the helo on the bare minimum instruments.

A B-52 is probably far more complex to inspect/certify than a Chinook, but here's a little bit of an idea on how long it takes to get one of those "boneyard" aircraft back into flying shape.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-ghost-rider-b-52-rises-from-the-grave-to-ride-aga-1686588702

Although "Type 1000" storage is the most ready state of storage for an aircraft that still will be stored for an unknown amount of time, many of the jet's systems were pulled, including much of its navigation equipment.

Type 1000 Aircraft stored in near-flyaway condition. Can be stored without re-preservation for a period of 4 years. Aircraft stored under this category may be downgraded to Type 2000.
Type 2000 Generally aircraft allocated for reclamation purposes. Aircraft stored under this category may be downgraded to Type 4000.
Type 3000 Flyable hold for 90 days or more, pending transfer, sale or disposition.
Type 4000 Minimal preservation. Generally aircraft stored in this category are awaiting disposal.

Even in Type 1000 storage, returning an aircraft to the air is no easy task. It took 70 days of constant work to get the Ghost Rider in a decent enough condition so that it could make its way to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. There, the 54-year-old jet would receive more of its missionized and navigational gear, much of it being cannibalized from the fire damaged 61-0049. In all, the process will cost around $13M according to the USAF.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Loachman said:
There is a big difference between parking obsolete and surplus machines out in the desert sun and putting brand-new machines there.

Seals break down. Plastic parts deterorate. Mods do not get done. Money is spent for things that may never be used, and there is little enough money for things that we need that would be used. It takes months to carry out major inspections on machines in use; more work would be required for machines that had been parked for years, plus mods would most likely be required which would take more time, money and effort.

What about spare crews for these machines? Where do we park them until needed?

What do you mean by "instruments"? We have a variety of sensor and survivability equipment on board that also require maintenance.

It is better to use equipment that has been bought. It is kept in serviceable order, then, and is ready for use quickly.

A lot of what the Soviets kept was just for show. Most of it would never move under its own power again.

There is no merit in this, which is why nobody does it.

As I said airframe and major components all sealed in their containers. Basically what parts take the longest to construct and are the chokepoint to rapidly increasing your fleet as required. Just imagine if in a conflict or just before, you lost 3-6 Chinooks in one event, how are you going to replace that capacity in a hurry? Other than the US every NATO military is at the bare bones of what it needs, the loss of 1-2 aircraft is a significant crisis, where are you going to get the surge capacity for such a critical element as heavy lift helicopters? Even if the production line is open, you may be not first on the list. My idea may not be the best, but NATO needs to add more meat to the bone, having mothballed equipment that can be rapidly reset can help add that meat with less impact on the economic costs of maintaining equipment.
 

Loachman

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And how do we replace the crews?

How do we replace any personnel losses?

The only worthwhile option is to increase the number of active personnel and all associated required equipment. Buying stuff and packing it away "just in case" really does not make a lot of sense.
 

Good2Golf

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High-readiness storage would tie up capital funds without the immediate capability available, and as Loachman queries, the personnel are a far more valuable and hard-to-replace resource.  If things are so bad that we would need attrition aircraft to replace ours, we'd likely do what we did before, buy some used machines to fill in the gap in months, vice years, but it would still take more time than it seems the idea of reserve/depth/reconstition/reach-back is looking for. 

...and what about additional frigates if we lose one or two, and what about additional tanks and LAVs and support vehicles and a C-17...and...and...and...

In the end, it will likely be "run what ya brung" and nothing more.  Losses = less capacity.

:2c:

Cheers
G2G
 

Kirkhill

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The end game of every war, once all the toys and technology have disappeared.

hand-to-hand-combat.jpg


How badly do you want to win?  Or better how important is it that you don't lose?
 

PuckChaser

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Good2Golf said:
In the end, it will likely be "run what ya brung" and nothing more.  Losses = less capacity.

I think every other Army/Navy/Air Force in the world is going to have the same issues, other than the US due to its boneyard, but those airframes are 2-3 months away at best. That's a long time in a near-peer environment.
 

quadrapiper

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PuckChaser said:
I think every other Army/Navy/Air Force in the world is going to have the same issues, other than the US due to its boneyard, but those airframes are 2-3 months away at best. That's a long time in a near-peer environment.
Expect "we" can discount those in any sort of serious fight; assuming the US flying forces would be losing the same sort of (and probably more) airframes as Canada.
 

Loachman

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It would make more sense to raid the civil aviation fleet, but that would bring a mishmash of types and would only solve the pure transport problem - the least-likely priority for us.

That's all that we currently have anyway, in either a cold weather scenario or a real shooting war.

Armed Griffons were alright in Afghanistan, but against an Inuit uprising or the Russians or Chinese, not so much.
 

Scoobs

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Inuit uprising?  :christmas happy:

Colin P,

I'm an Aerospace Engineer (AERE) that worked in the Chinook program.  In case you don't know what an AERE is, we're the guys that tell the pilots, "No helicopter for you!".  But seriously, the Officer Commanding Maintenance Flight at a Squadron is an AERE.  We also work in many other jobs, such as Project Offices, Technical Airworthiness Authorities, etc.  Basically, we're the guys that would have to look after the stuff that you propose to put in Nevada in, I assume, long term storage.

I'm not going to go in depth as to the many reasons why your plan is unrealistic, but I will say that it would be cheaper and more operationally effective to just buy more aircraft and keep them at 450 Sqn (with additional hangars being needed).  Then the question would be, where are you going to find more techs to maintain these additional aircraft?  See, just like the other posters stated, a simple statement like getting more parts, airframes, etc. isn't so simple after all.

We always had the problem of explaining to the Army folks that a helicopter is not a tank or Iltus.  You can't just buy parts and plop them in the desert, leave them there, and then go grab them when you need them.  It's way more complicated than that.

 

Colin Parkinson

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Scoobs I would love to see a hanger with about 4-5 extra airframes per type undergoing long term storage/overhauls.  I proposed airframes and main components to reduce initial costs and to avoid some of the political issues. I was also thinking about the  VH-71s as basis for this idea.
 

Loachman

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Long-term storage is a waste of resources.

You can consider some of those Chinooks to be "spares". They are just in use in the meantime, as that keeps the fleet healthy.

We had to "war-stock"/"spare" Kiowas in 444 Squadron. They, too, were in constant use, for the same reason.

Consider tires. Now, many vehicles have compact spares, but many still have full-sized ones. Does it make sense to keep that spare fifth tire in one's trunk, never used, until one in use bursts, or to rotate all five to keep the wear even?
 

Colin Parkinson

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I would be more happy with that solution, but everything I have seen in my time was a 1 for 2 replacements. so i assume that what we have now is at best about 75% of what we need.
 

Loachman

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We bought eight Chinooks in 1975. One was lost - with all aboard - on its delivery flight and replaced by Boeing. Another was lost in a taxiing accident up north and burned with three lives lost and another three people badly burned.

We now have fifteen.

We did not have adequate doctrinal employment for the first batch. By the doctrine of the time, they were a corps-level resource, with an occasional requirement at division level.

Now we have twice as many, but at least we have several more divisions.

These were bought for Afghanistan. Had we never become involved there, we would never have bought them.

For conventional warfare, we have a much greater need for reconnaissance and attack - capabilities that we really lack.

So you should be happy - we did a two-for-one replacement, and have, doctrinally, 100% more than what we need, at least as far as Chinook is concerned.
 
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