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SAR helicopter upgrade hits snag due to costs

CBH99

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I had a conversation with a sar tech at the Summerside air show around 10 years ago. He said he once had to "bag" (breathing bag) a guy while being winched up in the basket in high seas (very windy). How is a drone going to do that If sar techs won't get in the back of drones?
Perhaps drones should be a tool in the toolbox. Not appropriate for every mission, but could make sense where it mitigates some risk.
 

Skysix

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Perhaps drones should be a tool in the toolbox. Not appropriate for every mission, but could make sense where it mitigates some risk.
Assuming the potential rescue is self loading baggage willing to trust an RPV pilot with no skin in the game or worse an AI.

I have been following this for a number of years and while the concept eventually might be workable in areas with overwhelming air superiority or no credible opposition, even then it requires a LOT of additional developnent and parallel support aircraft development plus doctrine and real world training.

In the safe civilian world it MIGHT be an option by 2035 but I will take bets against the tech being mature enough by then. Techies tend to get emotionally invested in their projects potential and development to the detriment of real world honest impartial evaluation of its use and cost.

As an example, in 1980ish at the U. of Alberta I assisted with research on myoelectric control of prosthetics with feedback to the users surviving nerves. My paper was downgraded heavily as wishfull thinking and it did not even propose a timeline. Some 25-30 years later most of the tech was starting human trials but it is STILL not a non-experimental treatment option (although probably within another 5-10 years)
 
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Skysix

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Note to Pentagon: Good luck with that. Let us know how it turns out 😝

 

Colin Parkinson

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I can see unmmaned large drones to evacuate wounded from near the front lines, basically flying at 50' for a few km then dropping the patients off to a causality evacuation unit.
 

Skysix

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Well defined front lines with safe areas immediately behind them no longer exist. Ask the DPR/LPR.

NOE by a large AI drone or RPV is more risky than being tossed in the back of a soft ambulance. Not only the risk of CFIT but because of the attention it draws to itself.

Take a ride in a scout helicopter (or even a larger bird like a medevac 'Hawk) doing a fast low level transit in terrain other than a wide open field and then tell me how safe you would feel having the time lag of a remote pilot as you watch the disc shave the tips off bushes and feel the G's of rapidly sequential snap rolls to 60 degrees or more as you get thrown around in pain on litter (if humans on board) or roll/slide around on a bloody floor if not. Not to mention the negative then positive verticle g's of rapid ups and downs to avoid power lines etc.

x5 if under active fire from manpads and bullets, doubly so at night. And that is assuming the Wx is compatible with flying at all.

Ask any tactical RW pilot if they would ride unsecured in the back as a passenger of an AI drone or RPV on that casevac mission.
 
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Colin Parkinson

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Modern drones fly themselves, that collision avoidance will continue to get better and much of it is optical based, making it hard to jam, along with optical navigation. I can imagine the same thoughts when the first helicopters were used for evacuation, or snagging gliders full of wounded out of the jungle.

I have flown low in military copters, but done much more risky stuff in them in mining exploration and aerial geophysics. To be fair the bears wern't trying to shoot us down, but one deserving pilot did have his Hughes 500 mauled by a Grizzly he pissed off.
 

Spencer100

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So I am a bit lost here. I thought the Midlife upgrade (rebuild) for the CH148 was already awarded to Leonardo. Was it put on hold or cencelled?
 

kev994

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So I am a bit lost here. I thought the Midlife upgrade (rebuild) for the CH148 was already awarded to Leonardo. Was it put on hold or cencelled?
Here’s a link of the timeline

November 10, 2020
The proposal received was deemed unaffordable, and Leonardo was informed that the Government of Canada will be investigating alternative solutions.
 

suffolkowner

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Here’s a link of the timeline

November 10, 2020
The proposal received was deemed unaffordable, and Leonardo was informed that the Government of Canada will be investigating alternative solutions.
I wonder what the alternative solutions could be? Do nothing for another 5 years or 10?
 

Skysix

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Modern drones fly themselves, that collision avoidance will continue to get better and much of it is optical based, making it hard to jam, along with optical navigation
In the long term yes, I agree. But not in the near term (5-10 years). Not to the level needed for autonomous casevac.

And even then, not until operational for another 5+/- years will it be trusted and reliable enough to replace manned missions.

It took what, almost 30 years to debug the Osprey to become a reliable operational asset?

"To be fair the bears wern't trying to shoot us down, but one deserving pilot did have his Hughes 500 mauled by a Grizzly he pissed off" 😂
 

GR66

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In the long term yes, I agree. But not in the near term (5-10 years). Not to the level needed for autonomous casevac.

And even then, not until operational for another 5+/- years will it be trusted and reliable enough to replace manned missions.

It took what, almost 30 years to debug the Osprey to become a reliable operational asset?

"To be fair the bears wern't trying to shoot us down, but one deserving pilot did have his Hughes 500 mauled by a Grizzly he pissed off" 😂
The only caveat I'd put to that is that war drives innovation/adoption/acceptance of greater risks due to necessity. In a full-on conflict against China or Russia where manned casevac assets are attrited or simply insufficient to the need then you will quite possibly see UAVs/USVs/UGVs drafted into roles for which they were previously deemed as not being ready to fulfill.
 

Good2Golf

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Take a ride in a scout helicopter (or even a larger bird like a medevac 'Hawk) doing a fast low level transit in terrain other than a wide open field and then tell me how safe you would feel having the time lag of a remote pilot as you watch the disc shave the tips off bushes and feel the G's of rapidly sequential snap rolls to 60 degrees or more as you get thrown around in pain on litter (if humans on board) or roll/slide around on a bloody floor if not. Not to mention the negative then positive verticle g's of rapid ups and downs to avoid power lines etc.

Yeah, humans are always better…

 

Skysix

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Yeah, humans are always better…

(What I took away from that clip was that the humans who designed the Apache were smarter than the hunans flying it 🤣)

Not always. Humans are individually stupid at times. Machines are always limited by their programming - which is done by potentially stupid or shortsighted humans.

Even AI itself, while capable of machine learning, depends at its core foundation on human programming.

Cue Asimov's 4 laws....
 

GR66

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(What I took away from that clip was that the humane who designed the Apache were smarter than the hunans flying it 🤣)

Not always. Humans are individually stupid at times. Machines are always limited by their programming - which is done by potentially stupid or shortsighted humans.

Even AI itself, while capable of machine learning, depends at its core foundation on human programming.

Cue Asimov's 4 laws....
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