Old 30th Mar 2009, 22:08
  #200 (permalink)  
Occasional Aviator
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southern UK
Posts: 372
OK, perhaps I was a little hasty.

Point One: "Nobody in the RAF is trying to stop CVF" - well, I'm not, and I don't know anybody who is - although I can't say I know what everyone's agenda is. However, I was trying to point out that the pilot numbers were never set by SDR or the decision to buy CVF.

Point Two: So, you agree that the RN has been unable to sustain the Harrier force? Actually I don't care either way, but I'd like to see you substantiate your suggestion that
The only hurdle to our pilot numbers is the RAF training system
... Are you suggesting that the RAF system (which is the only one we (note we, as in defence, let's be joint) have, is unable to train enough fast-jet pilots? Or are you just trying to blame the RAF for all of the FAA's problems, again?

Point Three: Are you seriously suggesting that if Defence has too many fast jets, and we need to reduce some numbers, that we should exclude a type from consideration just because it's flown by the RN? I'm not saying Harrier is the one to cut, just that we should be considering it along with the other types. Let's make the decision by balancing the money we would save against the operational capability we would give up. That's what we did with the Jaguar (NB CAS is a Jaguar pilot, so I don't think personal agendas cut much ice here). The sad fact is that we wouldn't really save any money cutting Tornado or Typhoon, and the aircraft with the nearest out-of service date, the smallest fleet, the shortest range, smallest payload and smallest selection of weapons is the Harrier. I wouldn't want to see our carrier-borne FJ capabilities take a holiday, but then we're not using them at the moment anyway, are we? There's no painless answer here and petty, parochial, dying in a ditch over whether the RAF or the RN fly particular jets help no-one - and I'm not particularly proud of those in my Service who approach it that way either. Now if someone in the RN could explain why it's best value for defence to keep it dark blue, rather than just going off on one about how the crabs have always had it in for us and don't understand maritime stuff, then I'd be all ears.
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