mmm much lower hours ok they were rebuilds of one staken out of the desert, but i have seen drawing etc of what parts of the originals they kept and it was not much. quite a bit of them is new esp the avionics. full digital flight deck. How much digital in ours.
Hi Calum Hey - forget the Lynx mate - it's not an option now - and wasn't selected back then ... I disagree with your opinions on Lynx - which is fine as your points are well made - pretty sure you feel the same - but surely you agree any debate on Lynx / Seasprite is purely academic now ?
Yeah, I guess it is. Still if replacement ever becomes an option then Lynx will be a contender
The real debate should be on how the RNZAF / RNZN operate the aircraft for the foreseeable future - what balance of in-house and Kaman work is the best option to keep them going - or should money be 'found' to replace them. I'm advocating doing the max in-house - because simply put, there is no money to replace them - and if they are not maintained in house at a reasonable price - the role will be lost due to cost reasons - the politicians would love to axe an 'expensive' aircraft. I'd say negotiate very hard, knock the price of the Aussie ones down to 'scrap' value - buy them - strip them down .... and then boost up the Safe Air Team who does the heavy maintenance on them - with the clear understanding that they will be in service for another 15 years.
They aren’t Aussie ones anymore. They belong to Kaman. But I agree with your reasoning.
Any avionics update should be done in-house in NZ as well - money spent on this sort of thing in NZ is - in my opinion - well spent. ( Sending the damaged Seasprite back to Kaman in 2002 for a $7.4m rebuild was a poor decision when the job could have been done in NZ cheaper and boosted our in-house capability. ) The other reason to go down this road I think - is the same situation will arise with the newly modified C-130s & P-3s...both orphans .... Rgds Hvd1041
I can’t argue with much of the above. With orphan platforms you have no choice to do most things yourself.
Personally, I think both NZ and Aust likely got screwed by Kaman! I still can't see for either country what the particular appeal was, in buying what is at its core, an aged piece of flying technology. For some mad reason we in Australia then decided, "hey into this old frame we can stuff every mod piece of tech possible and it'll all just work" - ok, maybe fine in theory, but the reality was somewhat different. The Romeo will be a much better buy.
RNZAF won't buy the Aussie Seasprites, too many incompatibility issues with avionics and structurally. Ask the Safe Air guys; they went to Connecticut to build them. The Aussie ones are quite different. So much for a P-3/S-3 in a helo airframe, then. (Although that could change with the short sighted MoD thinking it might be a good cheap idea...groan)
The airframes at WB are different also, being earlier SH-2F models, so no scavenging, also they are u/s airframes for training only.
Both ANZACs and Canterbury are capable of embarking the SH60, RAN currently operates seahawks off its ANZAC class FFGs. The contract for the seasprites was around $275 million NZ in the late 1990s. Brazilian Navy package was around $300 million US for 6 SH70B spare engines ,spares training etc.
There were a number of other fundamental issues with the ADF Seasprites other than the avionics, which would make them an unattractive buy. I know of one issue that was of some concern; the centre console took up so much space in the cockpit that the left seat pilot's seat was too small for your average size person. Apparently the collective could not be operated safely through full and free movement because of this. I can recall reading a headline or something to the effect that there were to be no fat Seasprite No.2 pilots in the RAN!