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Old 7th Aug 2008, 01:15
  #25 (permalink)  
Mr Grim
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: The Meadows
Posts: 58

On some subjects you have decent knowledge for a journo, however on this subject you are so wide of the mark it is faintly amusing!

You clearly have no experience of current ops and how Air power is used in the stan and Iraq. 39 Sqn are flying missions that no other UK aircraft can currently do and certainly far beyond what a FJ can do. The FJ in afghanistan are being used in a certain way because of their inherent limitations, not because the army want to use them that way. You seem to be saying that 39 are flying short (FJ length) sorties. I suggest you check your sources - again in terms of time on task (which is what really counts) the "1 order of magnitude" factor is about right, more depending on which platform you are talking about.

UAS infrastructure is, as you say, far more than buying a few airframes, but it is at least 1 order of magnitude than, say the Harrier infrastructure, lets not even count the AAR assets required.

Loss rates depend on how you look at them. If you count RAF or RAF flown UAVs then 1 is not really staggering. I would actually suggest that it is statistically too early to tell. I think that you will find that we have lost the same number of harriers in the same timescale. If you count all the army operated small UAVs then the losses are much higher but that is a completely different story.

Your a, b and c are all completely wrong. In summary you are actually exactly the problem I was talking about. You have no idea of current UAV capability and missions, although you have an excuse as you are not in the military and cannot know. This is particularly highlighted by the fact that you don't think that UAVs are a game changer. Go ask the USAF why they are replacing F16 sqns with UAV sqns. Go ask the troops on the ground what they think of Reaper.

What? You don't actually have daily contact with the army on current ops.? I am surprised.
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