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Author Topic: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme  (Read 6575 times)

Offline tigershark

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Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« on: March 06, 2008, 01:54:40 AM »
Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
Australia's recently elected Rudd government is to cancel the long-troubled Kaman SH-2G(A) Super Seasprite naval helicopter programme. 
"After careful consideration of all the issues involved, the government has decided that it intends to cancel the project," defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon says in a statement issued on 5 March.
"Discussions will be commenced immediately with the contrator in relation to the legal and financial arrangements to facilitate [the cancellation]," he says.
n the interim, the Royal Australian Navy will focus on improving the availability of its Sikorsky S-70B Seahawks while the government investigates their replacement in its defence White Paper deliberations.

Kaman says it has been notified by the Australian goverment that it wants to negotiate to end the Seasprite programe and the company expects "to arrive at a mutually agreeable conclusion to the Seasprite programme".

Australia ordered 11 Super Seasprites – upgraded ex-US Navy SH-2Fs – in 1997, with deliveries planned to begin in 2001. But ongoing problems with the helicopter’s avionics have delayed full functionality to 2010-11.

The previous government reviewed the Seasprite programme in 2007, but opted to continue amid concerns over possible legal action by Kaman, lack of a suitable replacement and sunk costs of A$1 billion ($920 million).

Link to story
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2008/03/05/221994/australia-to-cancel-kaman-seasprite-helicopter-programme.html

Offline RecceJet

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Re: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2008, 10:02:49 AM »
Just thinking... the designation UH-1 for the Iroquois basically reveals its age right? the 1 is because it's one of those first helicopters, etc. Doesn't someone in this stupid Seasprite procurement program notice something strange about the designation of Kaman's helicopter? Not exactly the latest design... by a long shot!

Offline tigershark

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Re: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2008, 04:07:38 PM »
The Kaman company has a long history and have produced a lot of good helicopters.  The program was canceled so they must like what they saw at one point right?  Other types come out, other deals are made, politics shift a little, it could many reasons why it was dropped.   It could be there are better helicopters out as well to.  Helicopter business is very cut throat as well with many companies providing similar products more so then the aircraft industry really. 

Link is interesting
Quote
Quote
Kaman was able to generate enough capital to build a new helicopter, the K-190, by 1948. It incorporated a dual-rotor system (but no tail rotor) and was touted as the most stable, easy-to-fly helicopter ever built.

http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/97/Kaman-Corporation.html

Offline Webmaster

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Re: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2008, 05:20:24 PM »
Just thinking... the designation UH-1 for the Iroquois basically reveals its age right? the 1 is because it's one of those first helicopters, etc. Doesn't someone in this stupid Seasprite procurement program notice something strange about the designation of Kaman's helicopter? Not exactly the latest design... by a long shot!

Nah, the US services have UH-1Y and AH-1W on order remember. The problem is not basing it on an old design, but converting very old airframes. They should have checked the USN retirement date for those helicopters, plus consider the stress they've endured, not just take Kaman's word for it. Then again the NZ and Polish ones are also ex-USN and they don't seem to have these stress/fatigue cracks? More issues were involved though, software and integration issues iirc. In the end, I'd say, it's Kaman who failed to deliver. Let's get some heads rolling?
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Offline Gripen

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Re: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2008, 06:12:20 AM »
Stupid Defence Minister Goldfish  >:(

Why can't we buy our stuff off of someone who isnt American?

Like, why not the Super Puma, or Mi-something?

Gah  >:(  >:(  >:(

Offline Webmaster

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Re: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 02:12:58 PM »
Australia is buying MRH90s, an Australian multi-role version of the NH90 tactical transport helicopters. The other leg of the NH90 program is the NATO Frigate Helicopter, which would be perfect instead of the SH-2G, it's just that work on the NFH has suffered some delay and cost overruns for existing customers. And purely looking at the specification/performance, I'd recommend the EH101/AW101 Merlin instead for transport, but as a frigate helicopter the NH90 seems more promosing.
I think the NH90 is the best option for the RAN, especially for platform commonality with the army/airforce.

I'm thinking MH-60R/S's though...the "Super Seahawk".  ;)

Like, why not the Super Puma, or Mi-something?

Both lack maritime systems & armament options. Mil hasn't produced a proper naval helicopter since the Mi-14, afaik. The options are NH90 NFH, Super Lynx, MH-60R/S, Panther, Merlin HM.1 (if not too big), or some developments of the Puma, Cougar, S-92, or the smaller AW and EC platforms, but I think they'll pick one of the shelf options.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2008, 02:26:35 PM by Webmaster »
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Offline Globetrotter

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Re: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2008, 10:34:31 PM »
We have some Fennecs (french) for maritime pourposes...
"Ad Astra Per Aspera"   (5º Grupo de Caza ≈ A-4AR Fightinghawk)

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Re: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2008, 12:04:51 AM »
That's a lighter class.  ;)
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Offline RecceJet

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Re: Australia to cancel Kaman Seasprite helicopter programme
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2008, 12:32:22 PM »
Stupid Defence Minister Goldfish  >:(

Why can't we buy our stuff off of someone who isnt American?

Like, why not the Super Puma, or Mi-something?

Gah  >:(  >:(  >:(
I've always thought the Flanker is an aesthetically pleasing airframe, I wouldn't mind seeing the Red Rat on that and flying over this country. The problem with buying platforms like these is that it's not just a question of teaching air crew a new aircraft. It also involves integrating the weapon systems and various other electronics and avionics with the current support infrastructure. Then integrating the platform into the networked order of battle.

When you do all the sums and weigh an American or European (NATO-friendly) platform against a Russian or Chinese platform, the cheaper Russian or Chinese aircraft will quickly turn out to be expensive. You need to look at integrating the new equipment alongside what you already have in place with the people you already have trained.

 



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