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Old 7th Dec 2012, 17:47   #21 (permalink)
 
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There is a capability gap here that will need to be covered, but it is clear that is going to be at least one new government away.

How it will be addressed is conjecture, but it may not be in a single asset a la Nimrod. It may be in a range of different systems which could include 'drones' - surface and sub-surface as well as airborne, and maybe some sort of mid-sized manned platform on a smaller scale than Nimrod, of which many types are springing up in view of the capability requirement, but hard-pressed budgets that don't stretch to the full monty.

A few years from now Poseidon will be known quantity, and may or may not be cost effective for the UK. US unit price appears to be much lower than MRA4, but I am not sure if it is a fair comparison. Given the proposed unit numbers it ought to be competitive and with 20/20 hindsight it might have been better to join that programme than fund a customised development of a very few units - a perennial source of very expensive procurement decisions.

A maritime nation lacking MPA capability, or complementary suite of capabilities, is a situation best rectified as soon as possible.

LF
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 09:50   #22 (permalink)
 
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LF,

You don't need 20/20 hindsight to appreciate that the MRA4 vice a P3 option was daft; that was being said by operators in the '90s. I have no doubt that MRA4 was a purely political decision, for which we are reaping the rewards.

Duncs
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 10:14   #23 (permalink)
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MQ-4C Triton
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 11:42   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowe Flieger View Post
a range of different systems which could include 'drones' - surface and sub-surface as well as airborne, and maybe some sort of mid-sized manned platform on a smaller scale than Nimrod
Interesting economic argument here. Do we buy a very small number of 100% all singing all talking systems like the Type 45 or Nimrod or Challenger 2 (?) or nuclear boats or alternatively lots of less expensive (?) single mission systems such as fast patrol boat, coastal submarines, SRMPA etc?

As we have no track record for quantity over quality I suspect the range of systems will not happen; would it be cheaper?
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 13:31   #25 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
..I suspect the range of systems will not happen; would it be cheaper?
First up, my honest answer is I don't know. I'm sure the whole life operating cost comparisons could have financial planning software in meltdown. I was making an observation more than promoting the concept but one difference between a '100% capability' and '5x20%' sub-sytems, is that from a capital budgetary point of view, the quantity units can be acquired one at a time and the cost spread over mulitiple years. When it comes to cuts again (inevitable), you can chop some capability without cutting all capability. This is a reality-of-politics view rather than a military capability one, but like it or not (mostly not) that's the way things happen.

As to whether 'drones' are currently cheaper, again I don't have data, but I do recall reading somewhere that the number of people involved in operating UAV's was high - fewer soft-tissue units in the firing line, of course.

My own opinion is that 'drones' of all kinds (air/land/sea) are a very useful additional string to the military bow. But until they have autonomous control, which would entail a huge leap in technical capability as well as issues around ethics and acceptance, they are an adjunct and not a replacement. Maritime patrol could certainly benefit from the persistence available, but I see them as force multipliers or enhancers, acting in concert with a capable manned platform, for the foreseeable future.

But for now, if I were to read tomorrow's headlines and see that the UK was going to get back into the role seriously, using a single high value system, or several new-buy complementary sub-systems, I would feel more comfortable than I do now with the gap. But as the saying goes there are two hopes - Bob and No.

LF
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 14:18   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowe Flieger View Post
When it comes to cuts again (inevitable), you can chop some capability without cutting all capability.
Oddly enough this happened with the Mk 1 and early on with the Mk 2 Nimrods. The vertical cameras were withdrawn as their utility versus their maintenance costs made them ripe for a cost saving. The AS-12 was possibly another case in point with the threat from SAN greater than the capability of the AS-12 but now? The on-top drift sight and other goods were not procured or installed.

Other goods were of course installed in their stead, particularly on the comms fits.
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 14:29   #27 (permalink)
 
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ORAC

I suspect the key element in your article appears in the first paragraph

Quote:
The UAS will complement the navy's Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force
I don't know SofS but as the capability we are talking about hasn't been in service since he took the helm, I suspect that he is confusing Nimrod R1 and IRS capabilities with Nimrod MR2 and it's very different capabilities. If I were a cynic I would see the fingerprints of T*m M****e all over this article. I would just ask SofS one question: which UAS is going to provide you with a deep water ASW capability within the next 20 years?
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 19:18   #28 (permalink)
 
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http://www.baesystems.com/magazine/B...7xf2!791695071
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Old 8th Dec 2012, 21:24   #29 (permalink)
 
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Fantastic idea. We could then use the spare C130Js with a loadmaster to throw the sonobuoys out for the Jetstream to monitor.
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 07:10   #30 (permalink)
 
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DKB calm down dear. The Jetstream is to advance autonomous ops, nothing more.

Whether this results in an affordable, certificated and acceptable system is a different matter
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 09:04   #31 (permalink)
 
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Predator B Guardian anyone?

http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...guardian_b.pdf

Certainly capable of ASuW and with a couple of pods of sonobuoys (sp?) and a beyond line of sight system to support you might be in business. A newly designed long range dinghy drop system could also be used (you can hang at least 2,500lbs ofkit underneath.

Finally, a lot cheaper than MQ-4 Triton...

LJ

PS and we would start to get some capacity in the Pred B program after 2015...

Last edited by Leon Jabachjabicz; 9th Dec 2012 at 09:06.
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 09:08   #32 (permalink)
 
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And Kerry Katona can deliver all the Dairy Cream Sponges direct from Iceland's main depot.
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 12:04   #33 (permalink)
 
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come on now...

or you could just buy a handful of C-295's and do it the simple way...
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 12:41   #34 (permalink)
 
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It's a beautiful day where I am. Clear blue skies, cold, fab visibility. Then I read Leon's post, had a chuckle to myself, looked back to the sky and saw a squadron of flying pigs.
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 13:30   #35 (permalink)
 
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Luddite . . .
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 18:29   #36 (permalink)
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What sort of speed can these maritime UAVs achieve?
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 19:13   #37 (permalink)
 
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PN,

I don't know, but they are probably quicker than a submarine!

Duncs
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 19:27   #38 (permalink)
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Duncan, I think you know what I am getting at, like the ability to minimise time to datum etc.
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Old 9th Dec 2012, 19:58   #39 (permalink)
 
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Airships, that's what we need, long loiter time, good payload.


Last edited by Surplus; 9th Dec 2012 at 20:00.
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Old 10th Dec 2012, 06:12   #40 (permalink)
 
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Leon

Not a Luddite, just a realist, with a knowledge of what it really takes to do ASW. That is in understanding of what it actually requires using current and near term future ASW technologies. I could go into re-lay rates and times. Numbers of sonobuoys required - as a clue it's more than your little toy could carry - data processing and bandwidth.

UAVs are not, despite what SofS and CAS seem to think, a panacea, they are a bit of a trend. Sandys predicted the end of the manned bomber in the late 50s, and we arent there yet, almost 50 years on. UAVs undoubtedly have a place but there are just some things they aren't (yet) suitable for. And probably won't be for (at least) the next 20 years. It seems strange that none of the UAV fashionistas seem to be able to explain why the US, with all its access to technology, are investing in a fleet of P-8s? Have they got it wrong? And if I'm wrong I will gladly get out my gun and start shooting the flying pigs for the BBQ.

Last edited by Roland Pulfrew; 10th Dec 2012 at 06:20. Reason: Fat fingers and a small keyboard
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