Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
In respect of the RN you stated, "There is only one navy on the planet with a capability and a capacity that exceeds the above...."
While to a certain extent it is comparing apples and pears, I am afraid I would have to say that your statement is incorrect. Obviously the capability and capacity of the USN exceeds that of the RN, but what about the rest of the world?
Looking at current forces:
36,000 2 x LPH 2 x LPD 6 x DD 13 x FF 7 x SSN 4 x SSBN
Well, ownership of SSBNs is a fairly select club, but lets look at other nations:
46,000 4 x LPD 8 x DD 29 x DD/FF 16 x SSK
58,000 1 x CVS 1 x LPD 8 x DD 12 x FF 24 Corvettes 29 Patrol vessels 15 SSK
44,000 1 x CVN 3 x LPH 1 x LPD 4 x DD 19 x FF 6 x SSN 4 x SSBN
1 x CV 6 x CG/CGN 15 x DD 4 x FF 17 x SSN 13 x SSK 5 x SSGN 10 x SSBN
1 x CV?? 3 x LPD 25 x DD 47 x FF 63 Subs, including 6 SSN and 4 SSBN
I would say at least a couple of those nations have a capability and capacity that exceeds that of the RN. As I said to start with, we are discussing apple and pears in a way. We can also throw serviceablity, availability, quality of training, etc, into the mix in any debate. Yes, the RN is due to launch 2 carriers in the years to come, which will provide a massive increase in capability. When they will arrive, how many will see service, and what will fly off them is still to be confirmed, as will whether any other RN hulls have to be given up as a trade off. However, by 2020 other nations will also have new hulls in the water, and some of them have ambitious plans and pockets to match...
It's not a wi*#y waving competition. Nor do I think that we should have the second biggest navy in the world. All I'm trying to do is point out that your comment is at the very least highly debatable, and more likely simply incorrect...
I'm new to this thread and must admit have only got through the first couple of pages so far. WEBF you are spot on when you talk about poor PR. You can see from my own thread where I am trying to write a book about AEW&C and put some historical accurate and RAF promoting gen into my book, I have been virtually ignored by the RAF Media people, it seems that they just don't want to know and are still enveloped in their Cold War - can't tell anyone anything because of the OSA, even historical stuff that has no bearing on today's Ops.
Have ago at trying to find out any data or stories of 1453 Vanguard Flt of 1953 which flew Neptune AEW Mk1 aircraft, developing AEW for the RAF and you hit a brick wall and that was 59 years ago !
While I am loathe to defend a system I know to normally be at fault, I would offer the following observations:
Who exactly do you mean by "RAF PR"? The PR machine at an airbase, e.g Waddington?
Would information from 1953 still be stored at airbase/Command level, or would it all be in historical records?
Don't underestimate how much fell between the cracks when HQSTC was replaced by HQ Air, and the amount of specialist staff in Groups was reduced across the board.
In recent years a move has been made away from storing via traditional media methods into digital storage. This has also created its own issues with being able to retrieve more elderly data!
Everyone in the RAF are very busy as the numbers reduce still further! FOI requests from the latest MP trying to prove a point take up a massive amount of time and effort, and are given a high priority.
Have you considered getting the information you require via FOI? There is a legal requirement to respond in a fairly short time scale, which may be of benefit in your case.
Having said all that, good luck with your project!
The site seems to have become infested with ship spotters!
So, some of the world's largest nations have a tonnage and headcount that exceeds the RN, when the size of these nations and associated tasks are taken into account I still see no one other than the US who has a capability that exceeds the RN.
After all, I posted on this thread in reply to someone who claimed that the RN was is, or is about to become "third world" which is clearly palpable nonsense.
As to the rather strange claim about RAF PR and the Neptune AEW flight, surely the fact that very little historical data is around on this particular unit is because it was a very small unit and only existed for a very short period of time?
Hey, I've just got it. pr00ne is really Jeremy Clarkson. No, really. Read the last bit of his post again and imagine it's JC speaking. It's Him!!! And it works on all his other posts too!!!! Like the show!
I agree fully. Actually HQ STC went though a phase of deliberately weeding out any unnecessary archived material on the basis that anything kept could end up as meterial in a FOI response.
With a readjustment of pilot training following the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the commitment of front line jets to operations over Libya and a general shortfall in JTAC currency, training using the Tucano for a task previously reserved for jets has proven an ideal solution for all concerned.
The Tucano does a very good impression of a Reaper unmanned air vehicle (UAV)
...oh really! No MTS-B (the EO turret), no SAR/GMTI, none of the other sensors, no link into Blue Force Tracker or Link 16, no weapons simulation, no ROVER 3, no BLOS video feed, and it has a pilot! Yes, a very convincing impression I'm sure!!!
I guess it has a turbo-prop engine and 2 wings, though...
What a load of tripe
Last edited by Leon Jabachjabicz; 26th May 2012 at 12:23.
It was the way the story was sold as a positive story that struck me. I realise that this is understandable that everyone wants to be as positive as possible, but it risks confusing the public with the idea that the SDSR (and other cuts) had little impact, or that there is merit in the idea, put forward by some, that an armed Tucano could do the same job as a Tornado. Similarly PR stories about RFAs undertaking what ought to be done by frigates.
It could be a positive thing to an extent. JTAC training has to be phased, in the same way that flying training is. So at the end of the training, you need a pair of jets with pods, working ROVER capability, LTM at night, etc etc. You need to finish your training working with the aircraft you'll actually control for real, using realistic target sets and realistic concerns.
However, when it comes to the first stages, just talking to the aircraft, managing deconfliction, and doing talk-ons to help get eyes on, there's no harm at all in using a Tucano and it strikes me as a very smart move.
Your Tucano, flown by an ex-GR4 pilot, can stay on task for ages, and there are loads of them. No advanced capability, but the ideal training mule to allow a JTAC to practice controlling aircraft and airspace for real. Hard work for the crews to simulate having the appropriate kit to punch coordinates into, but a lot of the concepts are still valid.
Ideal stepping-stone to the Hawk and then Tornado, and a sensible use of under-used assets now that student numbers are lower? The PR fluff piece is a bit silly, as it's obviously never going to replace a Tornado and I can't imagine for a second how it'll imitate a Reaper in any way, but still a smart move.
Despite the predictions of some, the Armed Forces did play a major security role during the Olympics, and will do so during the Paralympics. The MOD link is here. In time there will be statistics of numbers of personnel involved, also ships/aircraft/missiles deployed.
Unlike many of those who got pinged at the last minute, I knew I was going, having had the mobilisation papers several months ago. As such, I had decent accommodation, no tents and thunderboxes for me. I must admit to having personal doubts about the Olympics - both because of the cost and disruption involved, and due to philosophical issues. Nonetheless, it was an opportunity to portray the UK in a positive light, with visitors from all sorts of places. In the week before the games, I read a newspaper article that claimed that the Government saw it as an opportunity to help do some business deals, so in that sense it hopefully contributed to national objectives.
Generating so many personnel at short notice may have been a pain, but did it impress anyone? It impressed me, and I wonder did it help influence or deter anyone? The General who visited my site told me that the whole thing had given HM Forces a more positive public image than at any time since the Falklands War. Personally I found this to be slightly worrying given the involvement in various theatres in the last twenty or so years, as well as continuing operations, which sadly involved loss of life during the time of the Games.
The Government is grateful too for being bailed out - will this result in any leverage for the Service Chiefs? Certain aspects of post SDSR policy are in an incoherent mess but could easily be made into a success story - if only the politicians would listen to the advice offered. Does the deployment of HMS Ocean with embarked helicopters for possible use against light aircraft, or HMS Bulwark off the coast of Dorset (with several Lynx as well as various small craft) strengthen the hand of the First Sea Lord? Will the use of ISTAR assets such as the ASaCs Sea King or Merlin help preserve ISTAR assets that SDSR decided were no longer needed? Will the case for the RAF having some sort of maritime surveillance capability be boosted (I popped into a newsagents and saw a magazine talking about some proposal to fit some sort of sensor payload into the back of a Herc)? Will the use of Typhoon help safeguard aircraft numbers? Does the involvement of so many personnel indicate a continuing need to be ready for contingencies?
During the period of the Games, other international news stories were pushed far away from the front pages, yet the ongoing situation in Syria, and continued tensions over Iran's nuclear programme are of greater long term importance than a sporting event.
Last edited by WE Branch Fanatic; 18th Aug 2012 at 14:18.
"The Government is grateful too for being bailed out"
"Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs" - JV Stalin
I'm sure they'll be saying to themselves that the Armed Forces had nothing else to do for 17 days and so we, the politicians, not only gave them an interesting job instead of all that marching & polishing and playing rugby that they normally do but they also got free tickets to the events!!!
HM Forces a more positive public image than at any time since the Falklands War. Personally I found this to be slightly worrying given the involvement in various theatres in the last twenty or so years, as well as continuing operations, which sadly involved loss of life during the time of the Games.
Is the lesson learned that every now and then troops should be seen to be protecting/helping the public in more direct ways than fighting offshore?
Should they be issued with a more appropriate civilian battledress for such occasions? or does desert compfague highlight the point and thus the deterrent, that these boys have seen action?
Not sure what we can learn from this, apart from being reminded of the fickle nature of public and media opinion.
As for uniform, if MTP is working dress then I guess that is what is worn, remember LOCOG wanted the service personnel to wear the same gear as volunteers. The naval contingent (with exceptions) stayed clear of MTP, and were easily recognised in our no3s. If you were not deterred by the large numbers of armed police, then I think a few guys/girls on uniform would not put you off.
I think it would be fair to say that the majority of the public do support the people of the Armed Forces.
But what we have little time for is the expanding budget, which has grown to contain an ever increasing proportion of 'remedial programmes' due to incompetence and overspends. The public does not see the Armed Forces as one homogenous unit, but sees it as a myriad of parts, which, like the Curates Egg, is good in parts.
If, and I know its a big if, the MOD had spent its budget more wisely, and not wasted so much of it, I suspect people would be less critical. I don;t think the public bemoan one £ of money spent on active operations and would support more being spent in theatre, but debacles like Nimrod do wear the patience thin and we are a fickle lot. I know there will be those who claim industry is to blame, but it has ever been that OR change their minds regularly, the specification is incomplete and plain old wrong and the buck does stop with the client to say what they want in enough details for the supply chain to deliver.
Its not a case of us public wanting our cake and eat it, but we would quite like that if the MOD asks for money to develop capability, that it does what every other walk of life does - deliver that capability to time, cost and quality.
Sure, we want protection, but its hard to take some parts of the overall MOD seriously when we might conclude that stuff is being made up as they go along.