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.
The two year delay isn't on the start of the CVF program, it's on the completion dates, and in fact is just an admission that after the order for the ships was delayed by two years to start with the completion date had to be put back to fall into line with reality. Also the Defence Minister John Hutton stated in an interview that the withdrawal dates for the existing carriers would also be put back to match the completion of their replacements.
How about a Defence Helicopter Command run by just the RN and Army - they are the main users after all?
Have they got a few hundred aircrew and engineers going spare then?
The RAF element is just about coping, and changing services would speed those planning to stay on their way, recession or no recession.
I fail to see how this helps soldiers/marines in Helmand, and quite frankly they deserve better. Argue as much as you like about the Harrier/Naval Aviation, but as long as troops on the ground are relying on SH, lets not f##k around with it.
At last one pro-RAF supporter now understands what it could be like if the RAF were to lose just one of their aircraft types (Chinook) to the Army and what impact that may have on those depending on such resources at the sharp end! This is despite the fact that it would probably have made good sense to give the Army these aircraft in the first place because they are basically mainly used to carry out Army/RM related work! However, if they were now given to the AAC, and RAF crews were then asked to become AAC personnel (rather than RAF) how do you think the RAF crews would feel?)
As previously mentioned, this nation lost a lot of excellent FAA pilots when the pro-RAF brigade and short sighted MoD effectively killed off the Sea Harrier too early and also moved the FAA fixed-wing pilots away from their FAA base to an RAF base many miles away!
Perhaps some of the blinkered pro-RAF ‘One Air Force’ proposers can now begin to understand the true potential serious side effects of their proposal. Just as RAF personnel would no doubt not want to be made to become part of the AAC, neither do the Army/RN personnel want to become part of an enlarged RAF.
Please put the right aircraft and personnel with the right armed forces that need to operate them in their own specialist environments.
For example, if the RAF does not want Harriers anymore, please transfer some of them to the FAA who would gladly continue to operate them in a USMC type of supporting role for our own RM/Army. However, the blinkered pro-RAF supporters would then no doubt say that the RN would therefore need to lose all of its destroyer fleet to help pay for them! (Their usual rather selfish type of trump card that is continually being used to reduce the size, capability and influence of our once great Navy!) If our 'Nations' needs were put first (before the RAF’s aim to try and dominate everything aviation related) then perhaps the current excessive size of its RAF fighter/strike fleet could be reduced to help cover the cost of something that would make great sense for our 'Nations' benefit. The FAA would then also be able to maintain its excellent fixed-wing flying capability and experience until it gets the proper carriers (at long last) that this country and Europe does need. Having just one French catapult equipped aircraft carrier for the whole of Europe is unbelieveable. The world-wide maritime threats and conflict risks are still going to continue and Europe should not have to continue relying on the US to always provide aircraft carrier support.
neither do the Army/RN personnel want to become part of an enlarged RAF.
An element of bolleaux about that statement. We have large numbers of RN aircrew who have transferred, large numbers of AAC who have transferred, and more from both services applying to transfer.
Most of those who have, will tell you that life is no easier in the RAF than the AAC/RN.
I cannot think of a single member of the RAF aircrew fraternity who has left to join the RN.
However, I do take offence at your repeated assertion that the RN/AAC could do the job better.
We work our nads off to ensure Percy/Royal gets to go exactly where he wants to go, when he wants to go there. The fact that we don't love rum, bum and baccy makes no difference to the service the RM receives.
In fact, in 2002 when the O Boat was cruising around the N Arabian sea looking for a port (and none would take her) to deploy Royal to a landlocked country, an airbridge from the coast was seriously considered. I know this because myself and a few of my colleagues were dragged in after the Brigadier had asked how this would be completed, and his planning staff went very, very quiet.
In the end, the RAF deployed the Cdo's headshed in an epic tranist from the international limit across Pakistan and Afghanistan to Bagram. The remaining troops had to be floated to Oman and put onto C130.
You may wish to check with Royal before you tell him what he wants!
Your arguments are tired and witless. MiniGun (an experienced SH practitioner) is being uncharacteristically tolerant and kind in referring to an "element of bolleaux" in your posts, as they're way worse than that.
Please stop for Christmas, this inane nonsense is getting on my tits.
Of course the RAF should be able to take troops/equipment to places that are a ‘very’ long way from the sea!! Nobody is trying to take your large transport aircraft away from you! Please keep up such epic work! You are fantastic!
By the way, I have worked very closely with all of the forces so I do know what they like and dislike. (Including the Royals!)
Also if you and your RAF colleagues do not want to transfer to FAA roles then please tell your bosses ASAP to forget the ‘One Air Force’ super dream and stop progressively reducing the RN/FAA capability and morale. Let those who can (and who are willing) to carry out such specialist and difficult work get on with it without the RAF wanting to try and take them over.
Please do not use this website if you do not like to hear the other side of a discussion. You equally often drive people crazy but most of us try to politely tolerate the rubbish that you sometimes say.
Location: See that little island just above France? Yeah, there...
Jacko, please go away, i'm no aviaition expert but you're even annoying me, christ knows what the rest of the more aviation-savvy readers are thinking.
And abusing someone then saying 'merry christmas' doesn't work, its not big and its not clever and its ruining christmas for me! And as so many of you have pointed out (for some reason) i'm 'young' so it has a deep effect on me
On that line... this is a great discussion, exceptionally amusing, but lets not let it degenerate into a slagging match? Keep the informed debate alive....granted, that means kicking jacko off the thread but oh well
Location: See that little island just above France? Yeah, there...
Ok fair point, it all adds to the debate. However, I maintain abuse is not relaly informed discussion is it? You &*^% &&£((" "^^^&($)$*!!!
As it is however.... I have to point out Gullwing, that the RAF doesn't want to get rid of their Harrriers, their just offering them up to try save themselves in the current 'we've lost £2billion and need to find it somewhere.
It's still a stupid place to find the money, when you have units like the RAF regiment (designed to defend airfields against Spetanaz deep-penetration raids in the Cold War) and an oversized F3 fleet, or even the ridiculously top-heavy officer corps of all three services (athough it has to be admitted, especially the RAF)
Hows that for devils advocate Awaiting incoming from minigun and jacko
I really had intended to avoid serious input on this thread at Christmas, since the more sensitive do get upset by what they see as 'Navy bashing'. And I wouldn't want to give any of those with whom I disagree on a friendly fashion indigestion at this time of year. Taking pot shots at weak minded newbies is just too tempting to avoid, however, which is why I've laughed at GullibleWings.
Scrapping Harrier is not a "stupid place to find the money."
It nets huge savings (as long as you get rid of the whole lot, and all the support costs) just as binning SHar and Jaguar did. Nor was the sudden OSD extension from 2015 to 2018 ever credible - I had detailed discussions with the IPT years ago, and Harrier rear fuselages will be critical before then.
Jokes about Rocks apart (and I do like those!) the RAF Regiment continues to demonstrate its usefulness, and in an era of deployed operations and expeditionary warfare continue to justify what is a relatively modest price tag.
I'd be all in favour of dumping the "oversized F3 fleet". There are just two squadrons but I'd accept that is two squadrons too many. Unfortunately, though, you need five full-time AD squadrons to provide QRA and AD of the Falklands, so until we have more Typhoon squadrons (and since you want to use Typhoons for multi role and deployed ops, you want more than five squadrons) the poor old F3 is a necessary evil.
When the 'cannon fodder' in the Army are not commissioned, and are (in some areas) relatively unskilled, the pyramid is a full one, and the ratio of privates to Generals will be low. But the "ridiculously top-heavy officer corps" of the RAF exists because the 'cannon fodder' are aircrew - mainly officers, while the bulk of the NCOs in this technocratic service are highly skilled and educated. In such an organisation, you effectively just have the top part of the pyramid, so ratios are different.
There are a number of reasons why the 'One Nation, One Air Force' model makes sense.
The core business of the RAF is air power. Flying and delivering effect by air is the raison d'etre of the air force, and are the key skills/knowledge areas demanded in its leaders. In both the Army and the Navy, air power is peripheral, and aviation experience and expertise is viewed as being less important than cabbage-eating or ship-driving. There is little career progression for dedicated aviators, and though there are plenty of high calibre RN and AAC people who opt to stay aviating (many of them to be found here on PPRuNe), there is inevitably a dilution of experience and expertise as some of the highest calibre blokes leave to go and drive ships or do whatever the cabbage eaters do.
The chain of command understands and knows how to use air power. It does not mis-use assets, and does not allow aircraft to be diverted to act as the Colonel's taxi.
The RAF has the support and engineering infrastructure required to get the most out of the most complex platforms, and to train their aircrew.
You suggest that: "If our 'Nations' needs were put first (before the RAF’s aim to try and dominate everything aviation related) then perhaps the current excessive size of its RAF fighter/strike fleet could be reduced to help cover the cost of something that would make great sense for our 'Nations' benefit."
1) I'd suggest that our nation's needs should be put ahead of narrow RN interests, and that the RN should concentrate its efforts on its core activity of delivering effect by sea. The RN made its choice to retain the strategic deterrent. The country cannot afford for it to have carriers as well, and especially not since carriers represent an expensive, inefficient, niche capability - a nice to have rather than a must have.
2) With just 13 fast jet squadrons, I'd suggest to you that the RAF fleet is anything but excessive. It has been cut harder and further since the Cold War than any part of the RN's front line, despite being a more useful, more cost effective and more versatile means of projecting power.
You say: "It would probably have made good sense to give the Army these aircraft in the first place because they are basically mainly used to carry out Army/RM related work!" - and delivering fuel for Harriers in the field, and, and, and ..... Support helicopters are not, and should not be a pure Army asset, and in the UK's case, could not be. The AAC simply does not have the resources, infrastructure, or experience to operate larger support helicopters.
You say: "This nation lost a lot of excellent FAA pilots when the pro-RAF brigade and short sighted MoD effectively killed off the Sea Harrier too early." The RN struggled to man its two tiny frontline SHar squadrons, and, in the post Cold War world, the SHar was an expensive and rarely needed asset. In an ideal world I'd have kept it (and Jag too!) but this was a sensible cut.
You whine about having: "moved the FAA fixed-wing pilots away from their FAA base to an RAF base many miles away!" They joined a service, and presumably accepted that they would be posted wherever the exigencies of the service required. The tragedy of Joint Force Harrier was that the RN (who provided far less than 1/3 of the personnel) demanded and received half of the key posts, and two of the four squadrons, and then failed to deliver.
All this emotive bol.locks about "our once great Navy" tells me all I need to know about you, I'm afraid. Dry your eyes, Princess, and welcome to the 21st Century, where tough choices have to be made.