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.
So we have no money yet we think being the lead customer for something that does not exist anywhere else on the planet (a very large RPAS capable of carrying multiple buoys, torpedos and missiles) together with a high bandwidth satellite network is a good idea???
Philip Hammond the defence secretary, said using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would be cheaper and less risky than developing an expensive new version of Nimrod.
No doubt, every word of that statement is true but…No one expects a high risk high end capability like the Nimrod MRA Mark 4 is something we can now afford. What we need is an affordable effective Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft.
"It may well be the case that the development of unmanned aerial vehicle technology means that there will not be another generation, for us at least, of manned maritime patrol aircraft."It may well be that we will move straight to unmanned reconnaissance vehicles that can do the task at lower cost and much less risk to the crew."
Equally IT MAY WELL BE that he has been convinced by UAV manufacturers that every other nation in the world with manned MPA’s is wrong and that the UK alone are going to do it the unmanned way.
The first and more positive is that at least he is talking about MPA, even though unmanned vehicles are entirely inappropriate for this task, assuming we are looking at a traditional MPA role. He just needs educating and steering away from whatever muppet at BAE is trying to sell him some wonder UAV.
The second way of interpreting it is, we are going to buy an unmanned MPA, when one is developed. As has been pointed out, this would be many many years away, given this governments likely short tenure, it becomes pretty much irrelevant to the current Minister of Defence.
"We are managing at the moment using a combination of other assets, occasionally using assets owned by allies to perform specific Nato tasks. It is clear in the medium term we will have to address that gap."