Military is pulling choppers out of the bone yard

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  • #51
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Skyhunter said:
I don't know enough about the helicoptors to offer an opinion. The "Hill Billy Hummers" on the other hand are something else.
Why are the hummers something else? Because they don't look well? Do you have any experience with vehicle armour?
As I've said earlier, simply because it's not painted doesn't mean it doesn't work well. The armour on these things is not meant to absorb direct hits by 7.62mm rounds. If you try and arm it against that, you either get an extremely big bill or a very heavy hummer.
 
  • #52
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Townsend said:
I gather that their function would be more or less just to be operable. I don't expect they would be used in any kind of combat situation. Mostly just logistics...
Logistics can be just as dangerous. They will obviously be used to move troops and supplies in situations where it's preferrable not to use convoys. I don't think there's too many situations that answer this description that can not be described as combat.
 
  • #53
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Yonoz said:
Why are the hummers something else? The armour on these things is not meant to absorb direct hits by 7.62mm rounds. If you try and arm it against that, you either get an extremely big bill or a very heavy hummer.
They are something else because they are the main means of transportation for the military in Iraq. The soldiers themselves had to tack on any freaking piece of heavy metal plate that they could find just to survive. And they had a hell of A lot more than 7.2 mm rounds to worry about. They were being pelted with rocket propelled grenades, then the roadside bombs started.

I tip my hat to the soldiers involved. They used; sandbags, body armor left by the dead and wounded, and pieces of metal stripped off of destroyed vehicles, to make their own armor.

In the meantime a factory in the U.SA was turning out factory armored humvees at a very slow pace. The Bush administration waited until the press started releasing the soldiers feelings about the hillbilly armor until they finally asked the factory to increase it's output.

In the long run it took nearly two years to get 2000 armored humvees into Iraq. And yes they are heavy, very heavy.
 
  • #54
solutions in a box
Townsend said:
Thank you solutions in a box for demonstrating for everyone what is in fact a fallacious argument. Now you can put your dunce cap back on and sit in the corner....
I can't seem to find my dunce cap. Would you please send it back? And I will sit in my recliner thank you.
 
  • #55
kyleb
Exactly. My complaint does not have to do with the appearance of the equipment by any means. Rather, I am disappointed with the fact that the solders were compelled to personally modify the equipment we provided them with in order to feel safe in using it.
 
  • #56
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Yonoz said:
Logistics can be just as dangerous.
Sure, but it's just as dangerous no matter the equipment being used to do the job.

They will obviously be used to move troops and supplies in situations where it's preferrable not to use convoys. I don't think there's too many situations that answer this description that can not be described as combat.
Not necessarily....

They use helicopters to move things faster and for rescue missions and what not. Their use is not the same as what you would have for an offensive aircraft like the apache. The Marines have many options to use for offensive air support up to and including Navy aircraft.

The reason they are in this position has to due with that crap osprey and not with poor funding...(which I always felt the Marines were terribly under funded). The argument is that the republicans are not doing their part in buying the Marines new equipment do to their mistakes. This implies that these older helicopters cannot get the job done as well as a new bird could.

Why is it that these older helicopters cannot accomplish the job just as well as newer helicopters? Does anyone have any good reason to believe that they will not be able to accomplish there mission just as well as if they had brand new helicopters?

It seems to me that most of the avionics on that bird will be replaced with new avionics. The only thing old will be the airframe, which really has very little impact on mission performance. Perhaps the pilots will have a shorter bingo time...or other small differences but I really don't see how that would have much of an impact.

The biggest impact comes in the form of maintenance and parts availability. I can't say how maintenance friendly these older birds are compared to newer birds and I have no idea what the situation is on parts availablity. Those factors are likely to be the most important aspect of the effectiveness of these aircraft and not the age of the airframe....

In any case I think it's too early to say whether this was a bad decision or not. It may end up working out very well for all we know....
 
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  • #57
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kyleb said:
Exactly. My complaint does not have to do with the appearance of the equipment by any means. Rather, I am disappointed with the fact that the solders were compelled to personally modify the equipment we provided them with in order to feel safe in using it.
But this is not the same thing....

We will really have to wait and see what comes of this before we can draw such conclusions...wouldn't you agree?
 
  • #58
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edward said:
They are something else because they are the main means of transportation for the military in Iraq.
I understood the context of "somethings else" in regards to Skyhunter commenting he does not know enough about helicopters to form an opinion. Thus I meant "in what way are the hummers something else [than the helicopters, so that you may form an opinion about the hummers and not the nelicopters]". This is also why I asked whether he had any experience dealing with vehicle armour.
edward said:
The soldiers themselves had to tack on any freaking piece of heavy metal plate that they could find just to survive. And they had a hell of A lot more than 7.2 mm rounds to worry about. They were being pelted with rocket propelled grenades, then the roadside bombs started.

I tip my hat to the soldiers involved. They used; sandbags, body armor left by the dead and wounded, and pieces of metal stripped off of destroyed vehicles, to make their own armor.

In the meantime a factory in the U.SA was turning out factory armored humvees at a very slow pace. The Bush administration waited until the press started releasing the soldiers feelings about the hillbilly armor until they finally asked the factory to increase it's output.

In the long run it took nearly two years to get 2000 armored humvees into Iraq. And yes they are heavy, very heavy.
Arming a vehicle against those types of weapons is either extremely expensive or so heavy it necessitates a stronger propulsion, thereby increasing the size of the vehicle until you end up with a tank with no gun. Even then, that armour can be penetrated by seemingly simple, however large, devices.
Since a direct hit by anything stronger than a bullet is nearly impossible to arm against, and the weight/propulsion problem, the level of protection is usually that of armour capable of stopping shrapnel. Sandbags really are great - they're cheap and effective.
In this type of asymetric conflict the US military needs to exhibit creativity and resourcefulness, on all levels - and mounting armour on non-armoured vehicles in the field is exactly that.
Perhaps there should have been a higher rate of production of the factory armoured hummers, but I do not see anything wrong with that pictured hummer. It would have been worse if they hadn't the resourcefulness and creativity to do it.
Military history has many stories of improvisations turning the tide of battle.
 
  • #59
loseyourname
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kyleb said:
I'm fairly confident that the equipment will be restored to meet those guidelines, but I am still rather disappointed to see us digging though our junkyards to equip our military personal.
Do you honestly want to see a military budget ten times the size of any other in the world increased further? At least we're doing one thing in a cost-efficient fashion. Spending money doesn't solve everything. Look at the insurgents. What do you think their military budget is? They aren't exactly losing.

This reminds me of a passage from Apocalypse Now in which Willard notes the reason the US couldn't win in Vietnam. US troops were busy ogling playmates at USO parties, while "Charlie's" idea of R&R was cold rice and rat meat. One army was worried about maintaining some semblance of their civilized luxuries while the other was worried about nothing but winning.
 
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  • #60
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kyleb said:
Exactly. My complaint does not have to do with the appearance of the equipment by any means. Rather, I am disappointed with the fact that the solders were compelled to personally modify the equipment we provided them with in order to feel safe in using it.
Those vehicles were not designed for this type of conflict.
It takes time to armour soft vehicles. It may be a little unusual for such a well-supplied military to have to resort to non-industrialised, non-out-of-the-box solutions but that's the kind of thinking needed to fight this type of conflict.
Maybe these preparations should have been done earlier, but there's nothing wrong with armouring a vehicle in the field from scrap metal.
 
  • #61
kyleb
Townsend said:
But this is not the same thing....

We will really have to wait and see what comes of this before we can draw such conclusions...wouldn't you agree?
It seems you have underestimated my abilities in logic; I wasn't talking about anything we have yet to send over but rather the afformentioned Humvees which are already there.
loseyourname said:
Do you honestly want to see a military budget ten times the size of any other in the world increased further? At least we're doing one thing in a cost-efficient fashion. Spending money doesn't solve everything. Look at the insurgents. What do you think their military budget is? They aren't exactly losing.
I am not asking for more money to be spent, but rather expressing my disappointment with what we have failed to accomplish with what we already have spent.
loseyourname said:
This reminds me of a passage from Apocalypse Now in which Willard notes the reason the US couldn't win in Vietnam. US troops were busy ogling playmates at USO parties, while "Charlie's" idea of R&R was cold rice and rat meat. One army was worried about maintaining some semblance of their civilized luxuries while the other was worried about nothing but winning.
I don't follow your corrilation between "ogling playmates" and providing our troops with equipment suited for the task at hand.
Yonoz said:
Those vehicles were not designed for this type of conflict.
It takes time to armour soft vehicles. It may be a little unusual for such a well-supplied military to have to resort to non-industrialised, non-out-of-the-box solutions but that's the kind of thinking needed to fight this type of conflict.
Maybe these preparations should have been done earlier, but there's nothing wrong with armouring a vehicle in the field from scrap metal.
Armoring the vehicles in the field is obviously the smart thing to do at this point, my complaint is that we put our troops in the situation where that is necessary.
 
  • #62
loseyourname
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kyleb said:
I don't follow your corrilation between "ogling playmates" and providing our troops with equipment suited for the task at hand.
Correlation? It's just an example of US entitlement. When one army is concerned about whether or not their helicopters are hand-me-downs and the other is concerned about who gets to commit suicide today and take 25 of the enemy with him, who do you think is going to win? This goes all the way back to the American revolution, when the British had far better equipment, including modern cannons and rifles and a navy and nice heated camps and stone fortresses. They kept their new uniforms looking bright red and marched in tight formation. Meanwhile, the colonials were sleeping in the snow, tramping around in the mud in their torn shirts and boots that didn't fit, making surprise attacks on holidays. That American army would have had this war won in six months. Americans today seem to think that technology and money solves everything. You win a war with hardened, dedicated men on the ground and good leadership.

We've become the Redcoats.
 
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  • #63
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Our biggest one day loss of lives in Iraq was when a super Stallion which was transporting troops went down in western Iraq last January.

Since the tracked landing vehicles in Iraq have proven that they are very vulnerable to anything but small arms fire, the Super Stallions will be most likely used to transport large numbers of Marine personnel.

The craft has three turbine engines that produce hurricane force winds on the ground. This is not good in the desert. Before any of the choppers from the bone yard can be used they will have to be thoroughly rebuilt and have the airframes X-rayed for cracks.

Then since they have sat in the desert for the last ten years all of electronics will have to be removed and modernized.

I can find no link on the time frame to do all of this. I would presume that the time necessary would be in excess of one year. Most of the F-16s that have come out of the bone yard went to foreign countries. And I do know that the time involved in preparing the F-16s for sale was almost two years.

Are we getting ready for an extended stay in Iraq that will require the transportation of large numbers of troops? Or are we getting ready for Syria and Iraq?? I hope that for the next stage of the Rumsfeld dog and pony show, the military will have the proper equipment.
 
  • #64
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edward said:
Before any of the choppers from the bone yard can be used they will have to be thoroughly rebuilt and have the airframes X-rayed for cracks.
I doubt it....the main concern will be from corrosion and not stress related cracks. I imagine the hard cards for these aircraft are maintained and will be gone through before they ever start worrying about fixing them up. I imagine during the depot level maintenance they will do all the NDI work (non-destructive inspections, mostly eddy current) on landing gear and high stress areas. The airframe itself is likely a semi-monocoque (does anyone know for sure?) construction which means they will likely only have to NDI the longerons. However like I said the biggest concern comes from that of corrosion and not stress cracks.
 
  • #65
Skyhunter
Townsend said:
I gather that their function would be more or less just to be operable. I don't expect they would be used in any kind of combat situation. Mostly just logistics...
If it means that the troops will do less driving around in Hummers I am all for it. Helicoptors are not exposed to roadside IED's.

I understand improvisation, I have to improvise everyday in my line of work. Still doesn't excuse the fact that the Pentagon has not provided Armored Hummers.

I don't need to be an armor expert, if the soldiers are complaining that is good enough for me. They are over there under false pretenses, the least the administration can do is provide the best equipment.
 
  • #66
kyleb
loseyourname said:
Correlation? It's just an example of US entitlement. When one army is concerned about whether or not their helicopters are hand-me-downs and the other is concerned about who gets to commit suicide today and take 25 of the enemy with him, who do you think is going to win? This goes all the way back to the American revolution, when the British had far better equipment, including modern cannons and rifles and a navy and nice heated camps and stone fortresses. They kept their new uniforms looking bright red and marched in tight formation. Meanwhile, the colonials were sleeping in the snow, tramping around in the mud in their torn shirts and boots that didn't fit, making surprise attacks on holidays. That American army would have had this war won in six months. Americans today seem to think that technology and money solves everything. You win a war with hardened, dedicated men on the ground and good leadership.

We've become the Redcoats.
I understand your position but I tend to think there the issue of entitlement runs deeper than what you have mentioned. To clarify; the colonial revolutionaries had an undeniable jusfication for their strife, while our motives in Iraq have been far more questionable.
 
  • #67
loseyourname
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kyleb said:
I understand your position but I tend to think there the issue of entitlement runs deeper than what you have mentioned. To clarify; the colonial revolutionaries had an undeniable jusfication for their strife, while our motives in Iraq have been far more questionable.
A discussion of military motivation is another thing entirely. I'm only commenting on their ability to win. You get the feeling Bush, and half the command structure for that matter, just thinks that because we're the US we can march in anywhere and take over immediately. I get the feeling that with a guy like Washington or Lee in charge, this wouldn't be happening.

You have a point, though. The colonials were defending their homes, whereas half the people in Iraq (maybe more) don't even want to be there. Going back to Apocalypse Now, one of Kurtz's complaints was about the short tours of duty and conscripts. The Viet Cong were fighting to win, at any and all costs, whereas most of the US troops were just trying to stay alive long enough to get back home. A war is hard to win with apathetic soldiers, and our leadership these days isn't exactly inspiring much of a following.
 
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  • #68
Skyhunter
loseyourname said:
The Viet Cong were fighting to win, at any and all costs, whereas most of the US troops were just trying to stay alive long enough to get back home. A war is hard to win with apathetic soldiers, and our leadership these days isn't exactly inspiring much of a following.
Especially when the best way to opt out during Vietnam was the National Guard. But hey, the Commander in Chief knows that loophole very well.

Is that why he closed it?
 
  • #69
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loseyourname said:
The colonials were defending their homes, whereas half the people in Iraq (maybe more) don't even want to be there.
What do you mean?
 
  • #70
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Townsend said:
I doubt it....the main concern will be from corrosion and not stress related cracks. I imagine the hard cards for these aircraft are maintained and will be gone through before they ever start worrying about fixing them up. I imagine during the depot level maintenance they will do all the NDI work (non-destructive inspections, mostly eddy current) on landing gear and high stress areas. The airframe itself is likely a semi-monocoque (does anyone know for sure?) construction which means they will likely only have to NDI the longerons. However like I said the biggest concern comes from that of corrosion and not stress cracks.
You are correct sir, corrosion is always a problem on any vehicle especially craft used near salt water. I have even seen corrosion related stress cracks.
Stress cracks are always a problem in components such as turbine blades, rotors and drive shafts.

There is a new system being used for taking X rays of large components. It is actually an offshoot of the method used to test oil pipe lines for cracks. There is no film used. The X ray images are digital. Then again even most medical X rays are currently digital. (poor Kodak)
 
  • #71
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Skyhunter said:
If it means that the troops will do less driving around in Hummers I am all for it. Helicoptors are not exposed to roadside IED's.
While minimizing logistical convoys' risks would be smart use of modern military power in an asymetric conflict, there is no substitute for actual presence on the ground. You can't move everything in helicopters. You can't stop suspicious people and vehicles in helicopters. You can't defend bases with helicopters.
Procedures for dealing with this threat need to be thought up and implemented. It is not something that can be avoided.

Skyhunter said:
I understand improvisation, I have to improvise everyday in my line of work. Still doesn't excuse the fact that the Pentagon has not provided Armored Hummers.
As I've said, that takes time: the hummer has to be taken away from the unit, transported to the factory, stripped down, the armour needs to be installed, the hummer is put back and then sent back. It is quite an expenditure of time and money.
Perhaps had the hummer not been such an expensive vehicle, more could be made and armoured easier. The IDF uses the cheaper, smaller http://www.ail.co.il/storm_v.htm [Broken], that has a factory-armoured version but many were armoured during their service. The hummer was not designed to be an armoured vehicle and is big and heavy - making it harder to transport and armour.
Perhaps the design specifications of the hummer should have been different. Perhaps the American love of bigger, stronger, heavier vehicles is something that will hinder success in this conflict.

Skyhunter said:
I don't need to be an armor expert, if the soldiers are complaining that is good enough for me. They are over there under false pretenses, the least the administration can do is provide the best equipment.
Soldiers do not really see things in a system-wider perspective. No one is contending the fact that it would have been better for them had the hummers been armoured in the first place, but the reasons for that. What should the military have sacrificed to armour them? Don't forget it's not just the armouring that costs money. It makes them heavier thus more expensive to transport, use and maintain, and more dangerous to drive in many circumstances.
 
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  • #72
loseyourname
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Smurf said:
What do you mean?
That many of the American soldiers in Iraq don't want to be there. I don't think I was very ambiguous. If you're talking about the first clause, I said that the American colonials were defending their homeland. I hope you aren't trying to argue semantics because the British may not have attacked first (who fired the first shot at Lexington isn't really known). The mindset was that the Americans were defending themselves from oppression and their land from occupation.
 

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