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Australia Begins Looking For Tiger Replacement


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#21 R011

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 0348 AM

Ironically, one of the proposed replacements for this mid eighties helicopter dates from the late sixties!
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#22 BansheeOne

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 0403 AM

In fact there is no newer Western attack helicopter design. Which might actually be the problem - after the impact of the Cold War's end which also delayed or outright killed so many other 80s projects, Tiger has yet to see any major updates. Even the next-youngest Mangusta has evolved quite a bit over its life by now.
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#23 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 0423 AM

The problem with the attack helicopter, it was built for vietnam with the premise that a Helicopter, with armour, could survive over enemy forces. And that worked fine, till the MANPAD came out. In fact, its questionable how great a concept it ever really was. You only have to look at that Aviation Brigade that was shot to bits over the skies over Iraq, the premise of operating rotory wing aircraft deep inenemy terrain is not a particularly great one. At night, well maybe its pardonable, but with the 24 hour concept of warfare, who these days is willing to wait till it gets dark?

 

It all looks a bit out of date now we have predator drones. Its surely only a matter of time before someone comes up with an armed gunship that is a drone, which is surely a much better option.


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#24 JW Collins

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 0738 AM

That mission in Iraq gets a lot of focus but it was a horribly planned route determined by artillery and fixed wing operations elsewhere and the intelligence was so out of date they were flying over suburbs that were supposed to be open desert IIRC. I don't think it is fair to dismiss the entire attack helicopter concept based on that incident.

Seems like the RAH-66 might have been a good fit for the Australians had that program not been canned.
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#25 JasonJ

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 0921 AM

There are different design roles within the attack helicopter category. The Apache was primarily anti-tank thus not likely born out of Vietnam War experience. Russia used helicopters quite extensively in Syria.


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#26 Dawes

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 0930 AM

What is it about the Tiger that is so unsatisfactory/defective? Avionics? Weapons? Engines?


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#27 seahawk

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 0953 AM

The problem with the attack helicopter, it was built for vietnam with the premise that a Helicopter, with armour, could survive over enemy forces. And that worked fine, till the MANPAD came out. In fact, its questionable how great a concept it ever really was. You only have to look at that Aviation Brigade that was shot to bits over the skies over Iraq, the premise of operating rotory wing aircraft deep inenemy terrain is not a particularly great one. At night, well maybe its pardonable, but with the 24 hour concept of warfare, who these days is willing to wait till it gets dark?

 

It all looks a bit out of date now we have predator drones. Its surely only a matter of time before someone comes up with an armed gunship that is a drone, which is surely a much better option.

 

The Tiger is different in that regard, which makes it different to the Viper and Guardian. Both nations developing the Tiger operated rather simple helicopters (Bo105, Gazelle) armed with AT missiles as highly mobile anti tank units. The French HAD is bit more multi-role than the German UHT, but both are more light than the flying artillery of the Americans of flying tanks of the Russians.

 

And while the German UHT has some obvious deficiencies for today´s world, any tank force that has met them during exercises will agree that they are really deadly at doing what they were meant to do, which is tank hunting in European terrain. It is small, quite silent and due to the mast mounted sights, nearly invisible when in position. In addition all sensors are passive.

 

It is much less stellar when escorting Chinooks into contested landing zones in Afghanistan.


Edited by seahawk, 12 July 2019 - 0953 AM.

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#28 bd1

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 1139 AM

deleted


Edited by bd1, 12 July 2019 - 1140 AM.

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#29 Panzermann

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 1150 AM

In fact there is no newer Western attack helicopter design. Which might actually be the problem - after the impact of the Cold War's end which also delayed or outright killed so many other 80s projects, Tiger has yet to see any major updates. Even the next-youngest Mangusta has evolved quite a bit over its life by now.

 

from the top of my head a market survey:

 

AH-64 Apache

AH-1Z Viper (or some other Super Cobra)

Tiger in all its different flavours

A129 Mangusta

T129 ATAK (turkish Mangusta)

Rooivalk (uncertain if South Africa could actually deliver numbers, also lost against the Tiger last time)

Leonardo develops the AW249 (basically a Super Mangusta)

 

Otherwise there are the ever popular soviet vintage models from Mil and Kamow. the PRc has a few new designs like the Z-10 or WZ-19. But those all are dead from the start for Austrlalia I think.

 

 

So not really much to choose from. Of course there are various offerings of armed normal helicopters.


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#30 bd1

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 1422 PM

 

 

 

 

So not really much to choose from. Of course there are various offerings of armed normal helicopters.

 

 

 

giphy.gif

 

 

 

all they need and local too


Edited by bd1, 12 July 2019 - 1423 PM.

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#31 Adam_S

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 1916 PM



What is it about the Tiger that is so unsatisfactory/defective? Avionics? Weapons? Engines?

 

What they seem to have done is order an extremely small number of airframes with significant modifications to the existing design. There appears to have been a great deal of optimism bordering on naivety about the ability of the contractor and probably the government to deliver the promised capability on time and on budget. As a result the type was introduced into service before it was ready leading to poor performance and availability. It looks like things are slowly improving but the type is also starting to look a little basic compared to the latest and greatest from the US. Trying to upgrade the Tiger to somewhere close to the capability of, say, an AH-64E is, based on past performance, going to be a massive disaster so the ADF seems have decided to stop throwing good money after bad and start looking for a replacement.

 

As mentioned previously, the ADF has prior form with this sort of thing with, among others, the failed Super Seasprite program. It was decided to acquire 11 of these helicopters for the Navy but instead of going with an off the shelf design like the Lynx or Seahawk, it was decided to develop an upgraded version of the venerable Seasprite instead. The whole program failed miserably and was eventually cancelled after over a billion dollars had been spent on it.

 

I think the real lesson is that with the massive costs and complexity involved in developing these systems, going it alone on an order of at most a couple dozen airframes really isn't a good idea in the long run.


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#32 Corinthian

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 0203 AM

That mission in Iraq gets a lot of focus but it was a horribly planned route determined by artillery and fixed wing operations elsewhere and the intelligence was so out of date they were flying over suburbs that were supposed to be open desert IIRC. I don't think it is fair to dismiss the entire attack helicopter concept based on that incident.

 

This. And AFAIK, while a lot of Apaches were shot up, they were repaired and were flying again days after. Goes to show how tough those things are.


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#33 Corinthian

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 0207 AM

The Tiger has always struck me as a helicopter that tries very hard to be an attack helicopter. It looks so half-assed.


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#34 Panzermann

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 0356 AM

 

That mission in Iraq gets a lot of focus but it was a horribly planned route determined by artillery and fixed wing operations elsewhere and the intelligence was so out of date they were flying over suburbs that were supposed to be open desert IIRC. I don't think it is fair to dismiss the entire attack helicopter concept based on that incident.

 

This. And AFAIK, while a lot of Apaches were shot up, they were repaired and were flying again days after. Goes to show how tough those things are.

 

 

And that the iraqis shooting at them did not have proper AAA in place. That is, missiles and machine cannons.

 

The Tiger has always struck me as a helicopter that tries very hard to be an attack helicopter. It looks so half-assed.

 

Conceptualized as a small nimble tank hunter for the cold war it made sense to make it smaller. Notethat it replaced the PAH-1 (BO-105) and the french Gazelle. The french for their colonial frivolities opted for an escort and a combat version, whereas the german version focuses more on tank killing. Hence the mast mounted optronics for example. Though later a belly mounted low recoil machinecannon was developed to make it more multi purpose, but not put into service. 

 

Sizewise it is about the size of the italian Mangusta or the US Cobra. Not every combat helicopter has to be as big as a Hind or Apache.


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#35 Panzermann

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 0359 AM

 

In fact there is no newer Western attack helicopter design. Which might actually be the problem - after the impact of the Cold War's end which also delayed or outright killed so many other 80s projects, Tiger has yet to see any major updates. Even the next-youngest Mangusta has evolved quite a bit over its life by now.

 

from the top of my head a market survey:

 

AH-64 Apache

AH-1Z Viper (or some other Super Cobra)

Tiger in all its different flavours

A129 Mangusta

T129 ATAK (turkish Mangusta)

Rooivalk (uncertain if South Africa could actually deliver numbers, also lost against the Tiger last time)

Leonardo develops the AW249 (basically a Super Mangusta)

 

Otherwise there are the ever popular soviet vintage models from Mil and Kamow. the PRc has a few new designs like the Z-10 or WZ-19. But those all are dead from the start for Austrlalia I think.

 

 

So not really much to choose from. Of course there are various offerings of armed normal helicopters.

 

 

 

I forgot the 

 

HAL Light Combat Helicopter (India...)

OH-1 from Kawasaki of which there was also an AH variant on the drawing boards

 

That is pretty much it.


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#36 DougRichards

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Posted 15 July 2019 - 0522 AM

Ironically, one of the proposed replacements for this mid eighties helicopter dates from the late sixties!

 

Would not be the first time for Australia. The RAN replaced the Gannet (turbo-prop etc) with a piston engined aircraft that had first flown before the Gannet - the Grumman Tracker.


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#37 Panzermann

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 0950 AM

 

Ironically, one of the proposed replacements for this mid eighties helicopter dates from the late sixties!

 

Would not be the first time for Australia. The RAN replaced the Gannet (turbo-prop etc) with a piston engined aircraft that had first flown before the Gannet - the Grumman Tracker.

 

 

The argentine Navy has Turbo Trackers with a trubo prop conversion. And i think the california forestry department flies a turbo conversion as well. But even with the piston engines, the TRacker was still in service with the USn and had future support.

 

 

 

As weird ways as autralian procurements go sometimes I would not be too surprised when they decide to replace their Tigers with other Tigers. 


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#38 2805662

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 1958 PM


 


Ironically, one of the proposed replacements for this mid eighties helicopter dates from the late sixties!

 
Would not be the first time for Australia. The RAN replaced the Gannet (turbo-prop etc) with a piston engined aircraft that had first flown before the Gannet - the Grumman Tracker.
 
 

As weird ways as autralian procurements go sometimes I would not be too surprised when they decide to replace their Tigers with other Tigers. 

Thats certainly what Airbus are pushing. Hopefully saner heads will prevail. Theres a lot to be said for buying a platform thats either part of a larger, standardised global fleet, or is at least operated by a major partner with a history of long-term investment in their platforms. Most of the time, that means US platforms.
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#39 Chris Werb

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Posted 27 July 2019 - 2034 PM

 

 

Ironically, one of the proposed replacements for this mid eighties helicopter dates from the late sixties!

 

Would not be the first time for Australia. The RAN replaced the Gannet (turbo-prop etc) with a piston engined aircraft that had first flown before the Gannet - the Grumman Tracker.

 

 

The argentine Navy has Turbo Trackers with a trubo prop conversion. 

 

I hadn't seen these before. Apparently Taiwain had something similar too, but replaced them with rebuilt ex USN P-3Cs some time ago.
 

Argentine_S-2T_landing_on_carrier_Sao_Pa​


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#40 Panzermann

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Posted 28 July 2019 - 1536 PM



As weird ways as autralian procurements go sometimes I would not be too surprised when they decide to replace their Tigers with other Tigers. 

Thats certainly what Airbus are pushing. Hopefully saner heads will prevail. Theres a lot to be said for buying a platform thats either part of a larger, standardised global fleet, or is at least operated by a major partner with a history of long-term investment in their platforms. Most of the time, that means US platforms.

 

 

Airbus has nothing else to offer other than the Tiger helicopters in one flavour or another.


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