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Serbian Air Force acquisitions...


bojan

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First reports were published in 2021, Cyprus wanted to get rid of them because the fleed needed 100 million investment in 2 phases for overhaul, and it was difficult to maintain them in current circumstances. It will be interesting to see if Serbia can keep them in service because of same factors. 

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1. Serbian AF officially has no need for a real attack hello (official 2010 study*, still relevant AFAIK) and there are way more important acquisitions than those. Ofc, AF is not going to say no to the helos once those are acquired, but those were, just like Mi-35M before pure "dog and pony show" acquisition. Because of Mi-35Ms no forther Mi-171 were acquired after initial 4.

2. Maintenance of second hand Mi-35s when no parts can be acquired from either Russia or Ukraine is going to be problematic

3. There is no fully localized maintenance for Mi-24/35.

 

*AF stated in 2010 that it needs, in order of urgency:

- transport helicopter, preferably Mi-171 - 4 were acquired, but goal was 12. Now those have became unobtanium...

- smaller transport helicopter (H-145M was acquired)

- small attack hello with long range ATGMs, replacement for armed Gazelles - mid term acquisition. It seems that there are some talks going on with Airbus about armed version of H-125.

- training helicopter, preferably same or highly compatible airframe as light attack.

 

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On 2/28/2022 at 9:10 PM, bojan said:

I think that everyone fell in love with 295 during Batajnica 2009. air show, Spanish pilot (IIRC female) put all fighter aircrafts to shame.

Someone in twitter was wondering if the fact that Spain has not recognised Kovoso's independence played a role. Do you think it was a factor? Did Serbia look at other types? Slovenia has acquired a couple of C-27J from Italy.

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On 7/30/2023 at 2:56 PM, Colin said:

Better than our C295 SAR boondoggle

Still worse, the USAF screwing over the Army in the C-27 mess...

In a nutshell--

ARMY: We are going to buy a light transport!

AF: We want in!

ARMY: OK, that will help spread the cost!

AF: Cool! Hey, since we're the airplane experts, let us manage the program!

ARMY: Well, all right...

AF: HAHA, the program is ours now!

ARMY: Wha-??

AF: Nobody needs this dinky little plane, so we'll cancel the program; never mind that we bought 38 of them...

Edited by shep854
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2 hours ago, alejandro_ said:

Someone in twitter was wondering if the fact that Spain has not recognised Kovoso's independence played a role. Do you think it was a factor? Did Serbia look at other types? Slovenia has acquired a couple of C-27J from Italy.

Yes, An-32B* from Ukraine, back in 2008-9-10, but it did not go well as it was found out that it does not fulfill all requirements (no specifics). Then it was C295 or C-27 decision, and C295 was both cheaper and claimed to be less maintenance intensive. Who recognized Kosovo plays very little if any acquisition, as evidenced by H-145M, Thales radars, Mistral and Super Puma and very likely future Rafale and military version of H-125 acquisitions.

*An-32 was original plan in 1990. for replacement of An-26.

Edited by bojan
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21 hours ago, bojan said:

Yes, An-32B* from Ukraine, back in 2008-9-10, but it did not go well as it was found out that it does not fulfill all requirements (no specifics). Then it was C295 or C-27 decision, and C295 was both cheaper and claimed to be less maintenance intensive.

Thank you, by 2010 An-32B was getting long in the tooth. Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to develop and improved variant named An-132, which had new avionics and P&W150A engines. Project was then cancelled for some reason.

C-27 has better performance at altitude and bigger payload, but it is more expensive. It's not really in the C295 class, but somehwere in between C295 and C-130.
 

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On 11/21/2023 at 9:54 PM, bojan said:

1. Serbian AF officially has no need for a real attack hello (official 2010 study*, still relevant AFAIK) and there are way more important acquisitions than those. Ofc, AF is not going to say no to the helos once those are acquired, but those were, just like Mi-35M before pure "dog and pony show" acquisition. Because of Mi-35Ms no further Mi-171 were acquired after initial 4.

Okay, that is pretty weird prioritization. Even though Hind has little carrying capacity, but it's not economical as transport.

Is current Wiki listing accurate?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_equipment_of_the_Serbian_Armed_Forces#Aircraft

 

On 11/21/2023 at 9:54 PM, bojan said:

-transport helicopter, preferably Mi-171 - 4 were acquired, but goal was 12. Now those have became unobtanium...

Hmmm...plenty of used NH90's coming to market? :)

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Yama said:

...Is current Wiki listing accurate?...

+/- to a quick glance, but not everything listed is operational ATM.

Quote

Hmmm...plenty of used NH90's coming to market? :)

Guess we could get Australians Tigers also, to became hello junkyard of the Europe? :)

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I am not sure. Yugoslavia had Mi-2s (Polish made... :) ), which were acquired in 1969. relatively cheaply (through some "offset" type deal) for helicopter pilot training and for outfitting as mobile command post for army. But it sucked in both roles - payload was too low for command post*,  and it has also suffered from vibrations which messed with navigation and comm equipment, while it was way different (and quite nasty - IIRC 5/15 were lost in crashes) to fly than anything else in inventory to be used as training helo. So in less than 5 years (as soon as first Gazelles arrived, in second half of 1973.) army dumped those to police, which did not know what to do with them (already had much better Bell 206 and 212), so they dumped them to AMSJ ("road assistance" org) as medevac hello. Where they were hated by both pilots and maintenance crews. They were actually retired before Yugoslavia fell apart, in 1989. with most helos not even reaching half of the guaranteed flying hours.

*Additional problem was extremely hot temperature of exaust gasses, which meant extreme vulnerary to any sort of heat seeking missiles - even early SA-7 could acquire those from practically any aspect.

Says all that needs to be said about it. For some reason Soviets sucked with lighter hellos. Mi-8 was, and in improved version still is one of the best medium helos, they had good heavy ones(Mi-6/26), good attack hello with Mi-24, excellent ship based helos (Ka series), but when Iraq and Syria asked for light reconnaissance hello in the late '70s Soviets honestly told them that they should get Gazelle...

 

Edited by bojan
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On 11/25/2023 at 3:46 AM, bojan said:

Says all that needs to be said about it. For some reason Soviets sucked with lighter hellos. Mi-8 was, and in improved version still is one of the best medium helos, they had good heavy ones(Mi-6/26), good attack hello with Mi-24, excellent ship based helos (Ka series), but when Iraq and Syria asked for light reconnaissance hello in the late '70s Soviets honestly told them that they should get Gazelle...

I think they had no good engines in light category. Perhaps lack of commercial demand meant there was little interest developing lightweight things. Finland never had Mi-2, but we had Mi-1 (Polish made... :)) and Mi-4. Latter was fine, but Mi-1 was fairly terrible, engine troubles frequently leading to forced landings. Once they hit the mid-life refurb milestone, it was decided that it was not worth the bother to ship them to Soviet Union, so they were just unceremoniously retired.

Same thing with utility jets/turboprops...when FAF was looking for light jet for target towing and other things (Learjet was eventually chosen), Soviet response was "Oh, wanna buy Su-22? That's what we use for target towing!".

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