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CH-148 Cyclone Progress

Eye In The Sky

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Came across a few pics of the interior "tac compartment" of the Cyclone:

One in this article; good pic of the tac compartment facing aft (with a TACCO in what is normally the SENSO seat). The big piece of kit to his left is part of the dipping sonar system.



Another similar one, but with both TACCO and SENSO seats manned, pic is towards the bottom of the article.



From the back looking forward; dipping sonar is not installed.

 

KevinB

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Came across a few pics of the interior "tac compartment" of the Cyclone:

One in this article; good pic of the tac compartment facing aft (with a TACCO in what is normally the SENSO seat). The big piece of kit to his left is part of the dipping sonar system.



Another similar one, but with both TACCO and SENSO seats manned, pic is towards the bottom of the article.



From the back looking forward; dipping sonar is not installed.

Am I the only one disappointed they don't have Miniguns? I see 4 good mounting spots for door gunners
 

SeaKingTacco

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But I'm sure could come in handy against anything that isn't under the surface...
It should probably go without saying that everything in a helicopter is a weight penalty. You want more door guns, to carry less (or no) torpedoes, sonobuoys or fuel.

There is also the mission set. What in the current mission set of a Canadian Maritime Helicopter would require 1-4 miniguns?

I will wait…
 

GR66

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It should probably go without saying that everything in a helicopter is a weight penalty. You want more door guns, to carry less (or no) torpedoes, sonobuoys or fuel.

There is also the mission set. What in the current mission set of a Canadian Maritime Helicopter would require 1-4 miniguns?

I will wait…
Anti-piracy operations? Emergency transport of troops/personnel from ship-to-shore or shore-to-ship for evacuation of embassy personnel, etc?

This certainly isn't my issue and I'm not going to lose a minute's sleep because our MH fleet isn't armed with mini-guns, hellfires or rockets. They do stellar work for their primary purposes just as currently equipped.

That being said, I think that it would be wrong to suggest that there would be ZERO potential benefit to being able to mount some type of gun in the doors if and when required by circumstances which your initial response seemed to suggest.

Again, probably number 1,523,476 on my priority list of capability shortcomings for the CF so I'll just leave it at that.
 

SupersonicMax

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Anti-piracy operations? Emergency transport of troops/personnel from ship-to-shore or shore-to-ship for evacuation of embassy personnel, etc?

This certainly isn't my issue and I'm not going to lose a minute's sleep because our MH fleet isn't armed with mini-guns, hellfires or rockets. They do stellar work for their primary purposes just as currently equipped.

That being said, I think that it would be wrong to suggest that there would be ZERO potential benefit to being able to mount some type of gun in the doors if and when required by circumstances which your initial response seemed to suggest.

Again, probably number 1,523,476 on my priority list of capability shortcomings for the CF so I'll just leave it at that.
The effort required to certify and qualify the installation of those (we’re talking in terms of years and millions, taking assets away from their main task) would need to be outweigh by the benefits and likelihood of needing it. If it is not in the statement of operating intent of the Cyclone, there is probably a good reason for it. We, the RCAF, are in no position to entertain “nice to have” at the moment.
 

SeaKingTacco

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The effort required to certify and qualify the installation of those (we’re talking in terms of years and millions, taking assets away from their main task) would need to be outweigh by the benefits and likelihood of needing it. If it is not in the statement of operating intent of the Cyclone, there is probably a good reason for it. We, the RCAF, are in no position to entertain “nice to have” at the moment.
Hell, we are having a hard time entertaining “must have” at the moment.
 

KevinB

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It should probably go without saying that everything in a helicopter is a weight penalty. You want more door guns, to carry less (or no) torpedoes, sonobuoys or fuel.

There is also the mission set. What in the current mission set of a Canadian Maritime Helicopter would require 1-4 miniguns?

I will wait…
The issue I see is simply that due to the # (or lack thereof of #'s) of MH, means the MH assets there are will be used for more than just the intended role. If you only have 1 Helo on the ship, it needs to be able to do any of the Rotary Wing tasks that come up. CR66 hit on a few that theoretically should be within the mandate for a MH role.

I like Miniguns way better on helicopter than much slower ROF GPMG's as they can saturate the target much better.

The Cyclone is a pretty big bird with a decent payload, I'm honestly confused that ~200lbs of weapons and ammo and 2 additional crew at ~200 each would cause it to need to reduce anything its carrying for ASW - it was supposed to have 2xC6 anyway (or allow for it).
 

h3tacco

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The issue I see is simply that due to the # (or lack thereof of #'s) of MH, means the MH assets there are will be used for more than just the intended role. If you only have 1 Helo on the ship, it needs to be able to do any of the Rotary Wing tasks that come up. CR66 hit on a few that theoretically should be within the mandate for a MH role.

I like Miniguns way better on helicopter than much slower ROF GPMG's as they can saturate the target much better.

The Cyclone is a pretty big bird with a decent payload, I'm honestly confused that ~200lbs of weapons and ammo and 2 additional crew at ~200 each would cause it to need to reduce anything its carrying for ASW - it was supposed to have 2xC6 anyway (or allow for it).

In the ASW config, with full fuel, weapon and stores load (2xMk46 + 22 Sonobuoy, CMs etc) the CH148 is pretty much taking off at Max GW. I think you are under estimating the weight of the ASW config. This is more or the less the with the MH-60R btw. An aircraft like the AW101 is really the size of aircraft you need to accomplish the mission with spare capacity. The RN Merlin Mk2 can be equipped with both a door mounted M134 or .50 (M3M?) while retaining the ASW kit.

The CH148 is funded, designed and will field two GPMG (C-6); one in the Cabin Door and one on the Ramp. The C-6s generally will be used for the all the previously mentioned mission sets (counter piracy, limited NEO missions, etc..) While it is technically possible to replace those weapons with miniguns or .50 cal there would be significant cost in resources to acquire, design, test and field them that really is the primary limiting factor. The way MH dets deploy you really couldn't practically deploy with two extra dedicated door gunners. If needed the crew would be adapted with the existing complement of SENSOs/TACCOs to fulfill the door gunner role when required. This is the common method amongst allies as well (USN, RN, RAN etc..).

As well , the MH community has a laundry list of capability deficiencies (which I believe improved ASuW weaponry is already on the list) that need to be addressed before it got to miniguns.

Finally, the RCN or larger RCAF has never been a big supporter of the requirement for an improved armed MH helo. For better or worse, the RCN/RCAF doesn't see it as a priority. Other the last 30+ years there have been various efforts to improve the armament of both the CH124 and CH148 that have largely failed due to lack of interest by the RCN/RCAF. At one time, this included arming the CH124 with the M134 and we even had a mock up of it. ASuW weapons were looked at for the CH124 at various times including a study to integrate the AGM-65 on the CH124. At one point, a feasibility study was conducted by industry looking at various armed helo approaches for the CH148 (this included common missiles AGM-114, AGM-65, AGM-119 etc). Everything is in the realm of possibility but none of these concept have ever reach the point where they were high enough priority to be actioned. Probably similar reasons why the CP140 was never armed with AGM-84 or 65.

Finally, (though I have been out of the loop for a couple years), in its current state the MH community doesn't have the capacity to take on any additional training, equipment or missions. Again I could be wrong but I think "treading water"/"staying afloat" would be an overly optimistic view of the current state of the community.
 

KevinB

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In the ASW config, with full fuel, weapon and stores load (2xMk46 + 22 Sonobuoy, CMs etc) the CH148 is pretty much taking off at Max GW. I think you are under estimating the weight of the ASW config. This is more or the less the with the MH-60R btw. An aircraft like the AW101 is really the size of aircraft you need to accomplish the mission with spare capacity. The RN Merlin Mk2 can be equipped with both a door mounted M134 or .50 (M3M?) while retaining the ASW kit.

The CH148 is funded, designed and will field two GPMG (C-6); one in the Cabin Door and one on the Ramp. The C-6s generally will be used for the all the previously mentioned mission sets (counter piracy, limited NEO missions, etc..) While it is technically possible to replace those weapons with miniguns or .50 cal there would be significant cost in resources to acquire, design, test and field them that really is the primary limiting factor. The way MH dets deploy you really couldn't practically deploy with two extra dedicated door gunners. If needed the crew would be adapted with the existing complement of SENSOs/TACCOs to fulfill the door gunner role when required. This is the common method amongst allies as well (USN, RN, RAN etc..).

As well , the MH community has a laundry list of capability deficiencies (which I believe improved ASuW weaponry is already on the list) that need to be addressed before it got to miniguns.

Finally, the RCN or larger RCAF has never been a big supporter of the requirement for an improved armed MH helo. For better or worse, the RCN/RCAF doesn't see it as a priority. Other the last 30+ years there have been various efforts to improve the armament of both the CH124 and CH148 that have largely failed due to lack of interest by the RCN/RCAF. At one time, this included arming the CH124 with the M134 and we even had a mock up of it. ASuW weapons were looked at for the CH124 at various times including a study to integrate the AGM-65 on the CH124. At one point, a feasibility study was conducted by industry looking at various armed helo approaches for the CH148 (this included common missiles AGM-114, AGM-65, AGM-119 etc). Everything is in the realm of possibility but none of these concept have ever reach the point where they were high enough priority to be actioned. Probably similar reasons why the CP140 was never armed with AGM-84 or 65.

Finally, (though I have been out of the loop for a couple years), in its current state the MH community doesn't have the capacity to take on any additional training, equipment or missions. Again I could be wrong but I think "treading water"/"staying afloat" would be an overly optimistic view of the current state of the community.
Thanks for the insight -
 

KevinB

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KevinB how do expect them to get miniguns when they can't even get a decent F@#$%^g pistol ;)
The BHP isn't a bad gun - the CAF No2 Mk1* suffers from poor sights, a small awkward manual safety, and the utterly useless magazine safety, and the lack of a light rail, or a method of affixing a MRDS.

However the RCN and the RCAF are much more on the ball for most things than the CA.
If the CA was in charge of Rotary Wing - the Bell 47G would be standard and the only weapon would be the pilots No2 Mk1* ;)
The Dipping Sonar - would be the co-pilot with a rope out the window with a hook to see if they catch any subs...
 

Retired AF Guy

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But I'm sure could come in handy against anything that isn't under the surface...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but during the first Gulf War wasn't it a door gunner on a Canadian Sea King that shot up an Iraqi gunboat?
 
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