Old 13th Jun 2017, 14:33
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Just behind the back of beyond....
Posts: 3,911
Thanks very much for a considered, informative and lengthy reply, Bloodhound.

I don't dismiss the P-8, and the enthusiasm of chaps like you for the aircraft is naturally extremely persuasive.

It's clearly a very compelling maritime ISR aircraft, and an impressive performer.

In the light of a procurement that gave every appearance of having been a 'done and dusted' deal (even if that's a false impression), it is the journo's responsibility to ask questions and to try and struggle towards a proper understanding - and I'm grateful to all of those who are prepared to facilitate that.

I have to say that I remain slightly concerned about the cost/force size equation (though I am aware at the same time that manning considerations and the eventual MRA4 fleet size impose their own constraints).

I am also slightly concerned that the P-8 MAY have been selected without an exhaustive enough evaluation of alternatives, and especially of cheaper alternatives, some of which might, perhaps, have lived up to Bloodhound's phrase: "good enough is good enough"?

I also remain unconvinced that the P-8 would not be an even better (and more cost-effective and value-for-money) solution were it to be able to use existing UK sonobuoy stocks, by being able to use F and G sized buoys, and by being able to use the apparently highly regarded StingRay torpedo.

I appreciate that Multi-Statics is a game-changer, but was under the impression that:

a) this is not a unique-to-the-P-8A capability
and b) that while it is a game-changer, it should not be the only club in the capability golf bag, and that search radar, MAD, passive buoys, etc. all continue to have a role to play

I am afraid I do not understand modern ASW well enough to really appreciate the significance or otherwise of accurate sonobuoy placement, and of maintaining 'security of pattern', though naturally these concerns are not my own, but ones that people I've spoken to have raised. I would welcome any guidance on this.

Two questions:

4) 4 hours at 1200nm was a key performance measure at initial test. It met the requirement.
With what kind of weapon load? Did this include descents to low level to prosecute contacts?

5) The driver to operate at higher than traditional altitudes was nothing to do with ac limitations.
What was the driver, then?

I may very well be looking at the problem through an old 'cold war' lens. I haven't flown on an MPA sortie since the Nimrod MR.Mk 1.
Jackonicko is offline