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Old 1st Dec 2011, 19:00   #1621 (permalink)
MG
 
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Get rid of MASC, get rid of our E3s, which are in need of major upgrade, and buy new E2s. That way you have a new AWACS capability with none of the limitations that come with RW and interoperability with the US and French. All we need now is the money - easy really!!
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Old 1st Dec 2011, 19:28   #1622 (permalink)
 
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I read a suggestion in an online paper a few months back that suggested reactivating some S-2 Trackers would be a lower risk and cheaper option than using the S-3
And that despite the need to re-engine with turboprops
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Old 1st Dec 2011, 21:40   #1623 (permalink)
 
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I read a post today that suggested replacing E3D with E2.......despite the massive gap in capability.

What's your point?
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Old 1st Dec 2011, 22:04   #1624 (permalink)
 
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the point is that there are multiple options available, given a bit of thought
S-3 is one, S-2 potentially another. And if you're looking for something cheap the S-2 may be the better option despite reduced capability. Note I say "may" not "is".

Just remember the USA tried to GIVE some of those S-3 airframes away, but the would-be recipients (Brazil?) jibbed at the cost of updating the avionics.
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Old 1st Dec 2011, 23:10   #1625 (permalink)
 
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But what if a crisis occurs this decade? What fallback capability do we have?

Last edited by WE Branch Fanatic; 1st Dec 2011 at 23:22.
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 05:32   #1626 (permalink)
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And there we were with a thread that had strayed into constructive......
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Old 2nd Dec 2011, 05:36   #1627 (permalink)
MG
 
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Quote:
I read a post today that suggested replacing E3D with E2.......despite the massive gap in capability.

What's your point?
the point is we need a capability far better and versatile than any that can be provided by RW and we can't afford to keep 2 fleets to do, effectively, the same job, so let's think ahead and equip for the carriers, knowing that those ac are an efficient solution to 2 problems.

Last edited by MG; 2nd Dec 2011 at 05:37. Reason: Apple induced spelling!
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Old 5th Dec 2011, 23:01   #1628 (permalink)
 
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Are you saying don't mention the war - any possible war in the next ten or so years? Do not think about any possible crisis?

As recent events shows, there seems to be a Persian Elephant in the room, and some thought has gone into what might happen, and how UK forces might be involved.

From the Guardian: UK military steps up plans for Iran attack amid fresh nuclear fears

The Ministry of Defence believes the US may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities. British officials say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, UK military help for any mission, despite some deep reservations within the coalition government.

In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air and sea campaign.

I suppose that fitting Tomahawk to (surface) ships would help make up the shortfall in force projection capability post Harrier - but it seems unlikely.

They also believe the US would ask permission to launch attacks from Diego Garcia, the British Indian ocean territory, which the Americans have used previously for conflicts in the Middle East.

I am sure that the possibility of Iranian reprisals (possibly from the air) against British flagged, registered, or owned merchant shipping (think of the 80s tanker war), or against RN vessels in the Gulf and Arabian Sea has been fully considered.

The Guardian has been told that planners expect any campaign to be predominantly waged from the air, with some naval involvement, using missiles such as the Tomahawks, which have a range of 800 miles (1,287 km). There are no plans for a ground invasion, but "a small number of special forces" may be needed on the ground, too.

I guess the US carriers will be busy. Perhaps too busy to provide defence for out forces, like our mines countermeasures force permanently based in that part of the world?

The RAF could also provide air-to-air refuelling and some surveillance capability, should they be required. British officials say any assistance would be cosmetic: the US could act on its own but would prefer not to.

Why no Tornados or Typhoons? Could it be that the planners are now looking at the possibility of the nearest airfield not being available to us?

jamesdevice et al

If we're now looking a regenerating aircraft in ten years' time, maybe we should consider other assets that could potentially be regenerated/purchased in a hurry should we find ourselves needing carrier air in a crisis?

The world now seems like a very different (and far less safe or predictable) place to how it was at the time of the SDSR. More money can still be found for the opening ceremony at the 2012 Olympics though.
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 07:28   #1629 (permalink)
 
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"maybe we should consider other assets that could potentially be regenerated/purchased in a hurry should we find ourselves needing carrier air in a crisis?"

Nice idea Sam, but just how many Phantoms, Vixens, Buccs and Gannets are there lying around in museums that could be regenerated, even assuming the parts are available? And what use wold they be anyway?
I guess you could try with the Sea Harriers - but how many are there still in military hands and not smashed up? Ten? And even then you'd have to do it with minimal or no support from BAE
As for the Harrier - its the wrong aircraft to take to sea anyway. Its a CAS airframe, not an all-weather fighter / stirke design ,which is what is required. Great for expeditionary campaigns as flying artillery, not much use for anything else. And anyway we've sold them
What we need to do are buy a fleet of F/A-18s to serve short-term and back them up with suitable support aircraft - tankers (S-3 or F/A-18 buddies) replacement AWACS (which has to be Hawkeye) and then hang on until the UAV carrier aircraft come into service. The F-35 is going to be too little, too late, and superceded technology when it comes into volume service
Or if we can't get F?A-18s cheap enough, maybe the French could knock up a squadron of Rafale-M out of spare bits in a hurry. Or maybe not...

Last edited by jamesdevice; 6th Dec 2011 at 08:26.
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 08:44   #1630 (permalink)
 
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Respect to the United States for buying our fleet of harriers as this will give them a few more years of fixed wing capability.

If we were to buy F-18's as a stop gap cover then does anyone seriously believe it would only be a temporary solution? My thoughts are that once we purchase those aircraft then they will be on our carriers until such time as they wear out, so if we opt to go down that avenue then would we be better off buying the latest state of art Super Hornets. Who in their right mind would want to sell perfectly good, but older second-hand F-18's?

If history is anything to go by then I guess our politicians have signed a contract to give away our harrier fleet at that ridiculously cheap price and that deal is irreversible. We can bleat, we can whine, we can moan, we can even cry but my thoughts are that nothing, NOTHING is going to give us a Naval fixed wing, capability any time soon. (By soon I mean much nearer 2030 than 2020)

Do we try begging India to loan or sell us their worn out SHAR harrier fleet? Should we offer to buy those aircraft at say £10m each having just sold our own low mileage one owner fleet of aircraft for just £1.6m each?

It is over and is India already trying to negotiate with Russia to buy more MIG 29k's to replace these old worn out aircraft that are obsolete?

I am guessing the Fairey Swordfish might be able to both take off and land from Illustrious but would it have the power to negotiate the Ski slope? We might have to install a ski lift to help it get to the peak!!

Great Britain Aircraft Carriers 0
India Aircraft Carriers THREE!!

How much Foreign Aid do we give India?


.
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 11:22   #1631 (permalink)
 
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"How much Foreign Aid do we give India"

£295 million

whats the annual cost of a carrier and air wing?
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Old 6th Dec 2011, 12:47   #1632 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
whats the annual cost of a carrier and air wing?
Difficult to quantify, we had the harriers, all paid for and sitting in a hanger, we still have the ship, manpower etc. The ship is sailing the high seas doing absolutely NOTHING but still incurring costs to we the tax payer so does it incur extra cost by being off the cost of Libya as opposed to off the coast of Torquay?!!

Plus what was the cost of NOT having that air wing when we look at Tornado aircraft diverting to Malta, sometimes even blocking its main civilian runway and then what is the cost of having to fly out the support required to get these defective aircraft back to Italy.

Servicing would be another issue and is it cost effective to fly an aircraft for EIGHT hours to perhaps only be over target for a few minutes compared to the carrier only being a few minutes from the target?

Well done to the RAF for the role they carried out and well done to those that maintained these aircraft but that deployment cost well over £1billion and was it the best use of tax payers money when we had the Harriers and we had the carrier?

Yes it would take time to work-up those assets but we were aware of this situation, we drew up ultimatums way back in 2010 which would have given us ample opportunity to get organised and operational. (We do have previous experience of doing this)

Yes Ocean was on station with four Apache aircraft but was that a good alternative?

Quote:
British attack helicopters were not decisive whereas French choppers were crucial. Flying in pairs, the British Apaches on board HMS Ocean completed roughly 50 combat sorties striking 100 targets in the coastal areas of Brega and Tripoli. On the other side, the French combat helicopters flew around 300 combat sorties and destroyed more than 500 targets.

The French choppers flew within strike packages that consisted of 2-6 Gazelles armed with HOT-ATGMs, 2 Tigers and 2 Puma, in cooperation with maritime gunfire support. The French usually deployed their helicopters within the frame of tightly-integrated strike packages, usually consisting of between 2 and 6 HOT ATGM-armed Gazelles, 2 Tigres and 2 Pumas (flying-CP and for CSAR), and in cooperation with naval gunfire support (100 and 76mm calibre rounds). “They have destroyed most of what was left of the regime’s armoured and mechanized forces (what was left after the wholesale destruction of the 32AB near Benghazi, on 19-21 March, and after the failure of assaults on Misurata
No matter what our boys in light blue keep saying... An aircraft carrier would have been a far, far better option and if our little country wants to play with the big boys then the decisions that were made regarding this valuable asset were indeed bonkers.

I bet Eddie Stobart and his drivers were laughing all the way to the bank, this whole defence review has been one big lash up!! Reduce the Army make redundant hundreds of truck drivers and then charter fleets of very nice looking Eddie Stobart vehicles.

I'm sorry but I served on a carrier that was involved in quelling civil unrest, rescuing passengers from a sinking cruise liner and showing the flag in numerous foreign ports. These ships are far more than a floating airfield, they are ambassadors of our proud nation, they are the ultimate power projection as well as a brilliant advert for our military.

If we cannot afford this type of asset then get off the stage and join the audience.

I am NOT saying we must have a carrier, I am saying we are wrong to play games with the lives of extremely professional, extremely dedicated hard working, conscientious men and women that would NEVER hesitate to put themselves in harms way. If we want to be on that stage then make sure we have the right props for the right show.
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 09:28   #1633 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesdevice
Nice idea Sam, but just how many Phantoms, Vixens, Buccs and Gannets are there lying around in museums that could be regenerated, even assuming the parts are available? And what use wold they be anyway?
I guess you could try with the Sea Harriers - but how many are there still in military hands and not smashed up? Ten? And even then you'd have to do it with minimal or no support from BAE
I am not Sam - and certainly not SAMXXV!

No point in trying to put old conventional carrier aircraft on a ship without catapults and arresting gear - so these are not relevant to this decade. BAE Systems etc will support whatever they get paid to. As for the number of intact Sea Harriers, try looking at Target Lock or Demobbed Aircraft. Parts are still exported to India, both by BAE Systems and under licence.

Regenerating the Sea Harrier did get mentioned on the Sea Jet thread (particularly from page 100 onwards), although this was pre SDSR and assumed that both RN and RAF would continue Harrier flying. I think it is interesting that Art Nalls has proved that an AV8B simulator can be used to simulate Sea Harrier. If the RNR Harrier proposal mentioned some pages back failed on cost grounds (fixed support costs etc) then what about a capability at reduced readiness with regenerated Sea Harriers? Obviously it would be hard to regenerate the AMRAAM capability, but the radar (again unlikely to be as good as when properly in service as some work be needed to produce a working system - but better than the GR9's radar), Sidewinders etc would allow a fleet defence role, visual identification of unknown aircraft etc.

Since NFSF(FW) still fly Hawks (privately maintained), and (at least until recently) they were/are RNR as well as RN Pilots flying them, just a PAIR of regenerated Sea Jets could maintain some core expertise needed for a larger regeneration in a crisis - as well as allowing jets to still embark aboard Lusty/QE.

If Art Nalls can do it, why can't we? Whole force concept, retaining capabilities, maintaining corporate experience....why can we not piggy back a limited (Reserve led) capability onto NFSF(FW)?

I also note the comments here.

This idea would need some serious outside of the box thinking - including intelligent use of Reserve personnel and contractors, using contractors to assist with some aspects of operations, and using companies to produce spares on a build to print basis. But it would provide that "just in case" capability. It would also allow reducing the risk in moving to F35C operations at the end of the decade.

To my mind this would represent better value for money than £80 million for the opening ceremony for the Olympics. Probably cheaper too - and would not involve taking thousands and service personnel (including mobilised Reservists) and Police Officers from their normal duties.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glojo
Do we try begging India to loan or sell us their worn out SHAR harrier fleet? Should we offer to buy those aircraft at say £10m each having just sold our own low mileage one owner fleet of aircraft for just £1.6m each?
No, they tried to buy some of ours back in 2009 and HMG said no. At least the Indians must have thought that they would still be airworthy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glojo
Difficult to quantify, we had the harriers, all paid for and sitting in a hanger, we still have the ship, manpower etc. The ship is sailing the high seas doing absolutely NOTHING but still incurring costs to we the tax payer so does it incur extra cost by being off the cost of Libya as opposed to off the coast of Torquay?!!
Not quite nothing, Lusty has been doing amphibious work ups for the LPH role. But some of your comments could apply to other things (people and machines) mentioned in the above paragraphs.

To be honest, my question was not fishing for SHAR related suggestions, or ideas of leasing AV8Bs, or anything like that. It was a reflection on the view stated by the Government that the issue of crises this decade does not exist, despite the fact we can see the inexorable slide towards conflict with Iran, continued terrorism related activity in Yemen, and renewed Argentine belligerence in the South Atlantic...

They won't even say that the shipboard deployment of Apache will help fill the gap. To the closed mind of the politician, the issue simply does not exist. I suspect that relying on our Europeans allies is now less of an option. Declining SSN numbers mean that relying on TLAM too much may also be unwise.

When the fleet carriers got the axe in the 60s, Exocet missiles were fitted to destroyers and frigates to make up for the loss of the anti ship abilities of the Buccaneer.

Meanwhile, Navy News reports a reception at No10 for personnel involved in Libya operations:

“I can’t tell you what a thrill it is having sat, day after day – 68 meetings – in some bunker and we were talking about ‘will the minesweeper get through to Misrata?’ Well, I’ve now met the people that were sailing on it.

Will the Prime Minister have similar concerns if faced by a more difficult opponent? One with aircraft and not subject to a no fly zone, perhaps? Or where there is no friendly nation offering their airfields for us to use?

Last edited by WE Branch Fanatic; 27th Jan 2012 at 15:43. Reason: Posted in a hurry - opps!
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 09:51   #1634 (permalink)
 
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OK,I make it 19 Sea Harriers still in UK military hands when that list was complied. Some of those are museum pieces, gate guardians, or bomb damage repair training frames. Maybe you could get ten composite examples by mix n matching.
Thats assuming any spares are actually available - which I doubt. BAE shut down most of the SHAR support some time ago, with staff shifting to other roles or becoming redundant. They're not going to restart just for ten (at most) part-time airframes. Inital lead in costs would be too high - and the MOD would never pay.
Forget it WEBF, it really isn't going to happen. You'd do better trying to convince someone to get some hooked Hunters back into the air so that current pilots can get used to landings on a mock carrier deck (Does a training deck still exist at Yeovilton or Culdrose?)

PS apologies for calling you SAM, but I trust you appreciate its an easy mistake to make
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Old 10th Dec 2011, 19:27   #1635 (permalink)
 
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Quite frankly this looks to me like this thread has finally descended into Spotters' fantasy world. Regenerating SHar?

Is there not another forum on Prune where this might be more appropriate?
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Old 12th Dec 2011, 09:16   #1636 (permalink)
 
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Yes, surely now it is time to finally give it up.

They have been sold, a load of them are currently sitting on the dockside at Southampton ready to be shipped (seemingly indecent haste, reminiscent of the chopping of Nimrod), there is no repreive.

At least the USMC are winners in this.
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Old 12th Dec 2011, 10:28   #1637 (permalink)
 
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Indect haste? The aircraft have been sat in the hangers at Cottesmore for a year! The hangers need to be emptied by 31st March -and I guess if you stake them apart as is currently happening there needs to be a bigger end game other than leaving them sat in ISO's at Cottesmore! The RAF pool flight there want to get it done and be off to other stations rather tahn be the forgotten people farmed out to other projects as needed!
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Old 14th Dec 2011, 12:17   #1638 (permalink)
 
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Although you do have a point regarding Cottesmore, I think some may consider the Harrier disposal to be rather hasty (the UK does have a record of selling things and then realising that we actually do need them) for several reasons:

1. There are still great uncertainties over the retention and development of skills needed for CVF and F35C. It was only a couple of years ago I heard the Fleet Air Arm Command Warrant Officer describing how much practice would be needed to build up the skills levels of hundreds of people - the majority of whom cannot be sent on exchange.

2. There seems to be no answer to the question of what we do should a crisis occur in which we need maritime force projection (beyond the limited range of Apache, the range of the 4.5" gun, or limited numbers of TLAM - the launch platforms for which will be in short supply in a few years time).

3. There is no answer to what we do in a crisis involving the need to have defence for a maritime task force beyond the range of shipborne weapons/sensors, particularly if we need to intercept and visually identify aircraft in a situation that is less than all out war. What will we do? Perhaps consider thinking outside the box (see my previous comments)?

4. The world SDSR foresaw does not exist, but we seem to be pretending that it does. Is there an Iranian Elephant in the room?

Consider these two papers:

Closing Time

US-Iranian Confrontation At Sea

5. Not everyone agrees with the SDSR outcomes (which appear to have been changed at the last minute to fit the views of the then CGS).

6. The fight against Al Qaeda is now moving into Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

7. If the Government are proved right, then this might be seen as an astute decision that saved money. If they are proved wrong, then the price will not simply financial, but also blood and fire.

Last edited by WE Branch Fanatic; 15th Dec 2011 at 10:13.
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Old 14th Dec 2011, 22:06   #1639 (permalink)
 
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Reported on another board that about a dozen Harriers are at Southampton Docks, well covered up, I am not sure where they have come from?
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Old 15th Dec 2011, 00:00   #1640 (permalink)
 
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"I am not sure where they have come from?"

Cottesmore perhaps?
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