Post by ngatimozart on Apr 17, 2013 20:45:40 GMT 12
The govt still haven't announced the decision on the 11 SH2G(I) yet. Wonder if they are waiting to announce in the budget or around budget time. Must be interesting negotiations when you think about it. On one side Kaman really wanting to sell them and on the other, the NZG desperately wanting to buy them as cheaply as possible because they know if they don't, they are up for either a billion dollar MOTS* buy or they kill the naval helo capability which in NZs case kills the RNZN ASW capability.
surely they have made a decision by now. and surely they know they won't and cannot afford to be spending close to a billion of a new naval Helo. Do you know how many loaves of top quality Tip Top bread that is to help nourish school kids
Post by ngatimozart on Apr 17, 2013 21:09:13 GMT 12
I know Beagle and it's frustrating because this has been going on since, what September last year. But there will be no leaks especially from the NZ side of negotiations so we just have to wait. Originally they said they'd spring for $150 milllion and if I remember correctly it was thought that the Kaman was after around US$250 million for them so. I think Kaman have to front up with half that money to the Aussie govt. It could be over any rectifications the NZG want made to the aircraft at the vendors expense or customisations the NZG want. For example, is it possible the NZG wants the aircraft reverted to 2 x pilots in front? Who knows and we won't until an announcement is made regarding the purchase and what is being purchased plus the outfitting of the aircraft.
One consolation it aint anywhere near as bad as the Canadian ASW helo procurement project. Haven't yet figured out which is the worse project that one or the RAN Seasprite one.
Even as Kaman churns out parts for Sikorsky and anticipates other big projects, however, the company is struggling to resell a batch of its own helicopters, 11 sophisticated, just-barely secondhand SH-2G Super Seasprites. Today, ten of the submarine-hunting aircraft rest side by side in a warehouse on Kaman's 200-acre Bloomfield campus, their 44-foot main rotors stowed in airtight canisters and other parts packed and neatly stacked beside them. (The 11th, a demonstration aircraft, is kept elsewhere on the campus.)
"They're available now," Neal Keating, Kaman's chief executive, said last week.It's a rare case in which a global aerospace supplier is marketing the same military equipment a second time — after the government of Australia backed out of a long-sealed deal — and can offer it almost immediately.Sal Bordonaro, president of Kaman's helicopters division, put the price at "one-third the cost of a comparable aircraft." Industry analysts estimate a resale price in a range of $8 million to $15 million.
The Australians paid about $600 million for the aircraft, including spare parts, a flight simulator, service support and other materials. But after a long dispute, Australia reached a settlement in early 2008 to return all 11 aircraft — without recouping much of its investment.The aircraft themselves were originally valued at $40 million each, including software development costs, according to Kaman."Fifteen million would be a heck of a bargain, " said Mark Bobbi, an aerospace analyst in Florida.
Intended to operate from ships, the twin-engine Super Seasprites can be equipped with missiles, torpedoes, depth charges and machine guns, and can carry up to six passengers. Designed for maritime surveillance, submarine warfare, search-and-rescue missions and other naval operations, they fly at a top speed of 173 mph. Advanced touch-screen controls enable two people to operate the aircraft, down from three for a traditional Seasprite.
One full-motion flight simulator is also available.In all, Kaman says it lost — and has already written off — about $100 million on the program.The company remains solidly profitable, and its financial health does not depend on a resale. (For its fiscal third quarter ended Oct. 2, the company reported operating earnings of $14.7 million.) But reselling the Super Seasprites could help the company save some face after the failed Australia deal, one that Teal Group, a Virgina-based aerospace consultant, called "disastrous."
"Any time you have a program that is terminated, there's still some stigma associated with it," said Keating, the Kaman CEO.So Kaman, which remanufactures but has not lately made and sold new helicopters, continues to scour the earth for a nation eager to buy its souped-up Seasprites. The aircraft are descendants of a helicopter first manufactured in the 1960s that Teal Group has called "a legendary rotorcraft."
Reselling them hasn't proved easy, and it could take several more years. Navies haven't been burning through helicopters as fast as land-based forces. And 11 helicopters is a small lot for buyers looking for decades of use."Somebody who already has an existing fleet — that's exactly what you want," Teal Group analyst Richard Aboulafia said of Kaman's best option.
There are three current users — Egypt, New Zealand and Poland, which together operate 18. Kaman executives said they're focused on them and three other unnamed potential buyers, but also marketing to a broader group that includes NATO and undisclosed nations in South Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. Kaman is now overhauling Egypt's fleet of nine.Australia complained that Kaman failed to deliver the aircraft's advanced software systems on schedule. Kaman acknowledges this, attributing the delay to a subcontractor, and says the work has since been completed.
The company denies that the aircraft were ever unsafe, as some in Australia alleged, and Kaman said the U.S. military operated an earlier version for decades without any serious problems. The company also pointed out that Australia never acquired the type of naval ships that were to serve as the Seasprites' platform.As part of the 2008 settlement, Kaman forgave more than $30 million that Australia still owed, and promised to pay the nation about $25 million regardless of whether Kaman is able to resell the aircraft.
Kaman took a Seasprite to the Black Sea Defense and Aerospace Exhibition and Conference in Bucharest, Romania, in the fall of 2008 to advertise its availability, and has since entertained potential buyers in Bloomfield for test flights.There's no binding deal yet, but Bordonaro said he's years away from selling them for scrap."We have always believed that re-marketing the SH-2G(I)s as a cost-effective, highly capable solution to foreign militaries would be a multiyear effort," he said."
I still strongly feel that NZDF is the play thing of SSC, Treasury & MFAT with none of those interested in or caring about NZDFs issues or requirements. The SSC shouldn't have control over the senior officer corp promotions and appointments nor should MFAT have a large say in where and what NZDF does, especially in capability. Treasury needs to take two very large steps back and undertstand the uniqueness that are military forces and their operation requirements, culture and needs. MFAT is trying to neuter NZDF as much as it can - it is enamoured with Clarks and Goffs world view, even after 4 years of Key.
Sounds like typical bureaucracy to me. Rampant wastage, empire building, nepotism and cronyism is not limited to my little corner of the civil sector it seems.
If at first you don't succeed, then Skydiving is not for you...
Post by ngatimozart on Apr 18, 2013 16:23:55 GMT 12
Still don't think it's anywhere as bad as the Canadian S92 purchase. It started in 2004 with the simple (so it was thought) of putting ASW sensors on helo and gear in the back of the aircraft. Sikorsky are the main contractor. It has gone the way the RAN Seasprite did except Sikorsky haven't met the contract deadlines after a number of revised targets. So the Canadian Public Works and Building Department who are managing the project have pinged Sikorsky with a $ 8 million cash penalty and Silorsky have said that they won't have the helo ready until 2015 which has made the Canadians even more unhappy. The Canadians thought that it should be a relatively simple project for Sikorsky considering there expertise in maritime helos.
@ Dave - All (4) Frigates and OPV's are either on deployment (Te Mana) or back from deployment (Otago) or being worked up (Te Kaha has emerged from her refit and Wellington is about to deploy to the SWP). HMNZS Canterbury has had its remedial work completed.
8 is a good number. When I was at ^we had issues but it was common for aircraft to comeout of phase servicing, then go away on board for 4-5 months and come back with only a few hours leftbefore the next phase was due. Meanwhile back at WP it was s truggle getting others serviceable so that training could be done. 8 frames means 2 away, 2 on phase servicing, leaving 4 available for local tasking and training.
Post by ngatimozart on Apr 19, 2013 14:11:06 GMT 12
Because Dave they found that five were not enough aircaft. It's th old military multiples of three. 1 x fully operational, 1 x doing training minor maintenace and can be bought into action at short notice. 1 x in dep maintenace. Which. So that gives us 2 helos availlable 10% of the time plus another 2 or 3 at around 75 - 90% of the time. Now we don't have all Seasprites aboard all capable ships at all teh time, which in the RNZN is the 2 x FFH, 2 x OPV and Canterbury which can take from memory at least 5 seasprites. They are not operating the Seasprite off the Endeavour for some reason. So you might only have say three Seasprites at sea at any one time. The simulator will mean less flying hours used for training.
Ok now to answer your question. These Seasprites are going to be operational until around 2025 - 2027. That was the plan last year. The current situations with ships on minimal crewing alongside will not last forever especially with Jack Steer as CN. Canterbury has just come out of rectification of builders stuff ups. I think it is Te Mana heading to South China seas for exercises with USN, RAN, JMSDF. Vietnmese Navy and PLA Navy. Te Kaha is going into upgrade. Crewing wise things will get better. Funding wise, the IPVs and OPVs do inter agency work so part of their funding comes from other agencies.
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