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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 14th Jul 2020, 17:59
  #5941 (permalink)  
 
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Which is why according to the old formula you need three ships to have one in peace time - 1 Operational, 1 in Refit ,1 Working up.in an emergency the work up can be curtailed to provide two - not possible if she is in pieces.

I don't see the parallel to the Java Sea they wouldn't be: lacking organic air power, lacking the weapon range to strike major opposing units, facing a vastly superior weapon and I suspect the PAN is a long way off obtaining the fighting efficiency of the IJN in 1942.

<RANT MODE ON>The UK ends up paying more for its ships and hence can't afford enough because it doesn't have a rolling ship building programme so can't improve incrementally and indulges in exceptionalism so can't share in international programmes. Look at the Wasps and Americas, major design changes over the lifetime of the programme in the case of the Wasps over 20 years (and the USN is big enough to stand alone), (Or the various incarnations of the Type 12 Whitby ordered 2/51 to Ariadne Laid Down 11/69) We may be getting it more right with aircraft though.<RANT MODE OFF>

Also Adm Radakin's priorities are fairly equal - he wasn't ranking them just saying what needs to be done.

I assume that QNLZ will get the Commando Mods in her first refit (assuming they are still required post SDSR)

Last edited by SLXOwft; 14th Jul 2020 at 18:09. Reason: Add QNLZ line
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 07:03
  #5942 (permalink)  
 
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Agreed - a good example are the Japanese and the Koreans - they go in for a rolling purchase of destroyers, frigates etc and aim for upgrades (rather than a complete redesign) every few ships. That way you get the advantages of a stable work force and supply chain and some economies of scale.

"I assume that QNLZ will get the Commando Mods in her first refit (assuming they are still required post SDSR)" - the same thought had occurred to me - post DC there may not be a role to fulfill there - and more easy savings!!!
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 09:15
  #5943 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
yeah but everything published states the QE will go into refit as soon as the PoW is fully operational "On 23 November 2015, the government published its 2015 Strategic Defence review which confirmed its plans to bring into service both Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, with one to be available at all times"
Nope. Does nothing of the sort. One available at all times is not the same as one in refit and one available at all times. It should be properly expressed as "at least one available at all times". All subject to ISR etc, obviously.
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 09:35
  #5944 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft View Post
<RANT MODE ON>The UK ends up paying more for its ships and hence can't afford enough because it doesn't have a rolling ship building programme so can't improve incrementally and indulges in exceptionalism so can't share in international programmes. Look at the Wasps and Americas, major design changes over the lifetime of the programme in the case of the Wasps over 20 years (and the USN is big enough to stand alone), (Or the various incarnations of the Type 12 Whitby ordered 2/51 to Ariadne Laid Down 11/69) We may be getting it more right with aircraft though.<RANT MODE OFF>
Be very careful what you wish for. Is that the USN that has not designed a successful surface combatant since the late 80s? That USN? The one that ended up with a class of 3 (should have been 32) "destroyers" that cost north of $5Bn each, displace 16000 tonnes and have large parts of their weapons systems mothballed because they can't afford the ammunition? That USN? Or the one that has had to get it's new frigate designed by Fincantieri, because institutionally it has forgotten how to design from first principles?

It's not quite as simple as forgetting - there are some organisational factors in play (as there are here). But fundamentally, if you do not exercise the front-end design skills required to understand why a particular ship is the way it is, they are lost. In the UK, we've struggled because the T23 was designed (by MoD) in the late 80s and then nothing until the early 2000s (T45) and then nothing again till the teens (T26), which means that the people leading the design have fifteen years before the next one. Which means they don't have sufficient expertise, which leads to design issues.

Design itself - at least to the contract design level - is relatively inexpensive, it's detail design with offices stuffed with draughtsmen that costs. Long runs of the same build don't really generate cost-savings beyond ships 3 or 4. Where you do get savings is in equipment items. Far better to do a new class of ship every 6-8 years, build 4-6 of them and do another. It carries an overhead, but means that you avoid block obsolescence, maintain your design skills base and are a bit more flexible in response to changing operational requirements.

The real issue is that contrary to the single most important recommendation in Sir John Parkers National Shipbuilding Strategy there is still no ring-fenced long-term capital budget for shipbuilding.
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 11:33
  #5945 (permalink)  
 
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"The real issue is that contrary to the single most important recommendation in Sir John Parkers National Shipbuilding Strategy there is still no ring-fenced long-term capital budget for shipbuilding."

Amen to that !!

It shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to look at the current fleet, figure out what and when you need replacements and then organise the flow of specify, design & order to match - but the Treasury apparently HATE that sort of long-term, hard to cancel , system. They want to be able to cut and change every year so they maintain "flexibility" in the overall budget - which is why it's such a mess.................. The submarine saga is just as you describe Boffin - long gaps and then people wondering why it takes so long and costs so much to get back up to speed.
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 12:23
  #5946 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
The submarine saga is just as you describe Boffin - long gaps and then people wondering why it takes so long and costs so much to get back up to speed.
Oh the submarine saga is infinitely worse than that. It supports a cast of thousands while certain critical path activities - where the real knowledge lies - are constrained by decision making problems and /or lack of SQEP.


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Old 15th Jul 2020, 16:30
  #5947 (permalink)  
 
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Not_a _Boffin - I bow to your superior knowledge, thought processes and ability to express them.

I think loss of skills was the point I was trying to make. Also I meant that industry should be certain the RN will purchase a ship every n years with a rolling equipment programme in parallel,

As Sir John Parker said:
3.The MOD Sponsor should establish a transparent Master Plan for naval shipbuilding that lays out Defence’s procurement plans for each series of naval ships over the next 30 years. This should be backed by “set and assured” capital budgets for each new series of ships. The Master Plan should be reviewed at each SDSR.
4.The MOD Sponsor should empower an RN-led Client Project Contracting Board to finalise design, cost and time for each class of ship procurement compatible with the Master Plan.
I referred to the Type 12 (one could even go back to the 41/61s) as I saw them as a paradigm for a basic design being modified as role, needs and technology chage. I assume the differences the Whitby, Rothesay and 3 Leander Classes were such that they required substantial design input.. We don't want to end up down the T21 route with no Board Margin for developments. Does a new class entail a new hull design or can it just mean a new weapon and/or sensor fit? The T23s are an exception to having differently hulled batches like T22 and T42 but have an ASW /GP role split. Also we have to include the upgrades to the ships major weapon systems including FW, RW piloted and pilotless aircraft going forward.

Wasn't FFG(X) a five existing design competition with the intention of tailoring to USN needs . Basing on an existing design seems to be the fashion with the USN developing the FREMM and the T31 based on the Iver Huitfeldts which were in turn based on the Abasalon hull. The Arleigh Burke Class in it's various variants will have had a building programme of well over 30 years are they really the same class? The Bay Class LSLs were based on the Dutch Enforcer design. The RAN and RCN are adapting the T26 - if we admit we aren't able to develop aircraft on our own why do we think we can with ships.

(Apologies for the low aviation content in this post)

Agreed the Zumwalts were an ummitigated disaster, IMHO it would have made more sense to test the technologies in existing hull designs before committing. Let's be honest they don't only look like a Monitor that's effectively what they were originally designed for, a role that maybe better suited to air to ground.

We mustn't forget a navy is buying weapons systems which will naturally evolve over the life of the progamme and each individual hull will need the capacity to evolve too.

You have to understand that in order to maintain the relevance of the combat system, you have to have a combat system that can evolve with the threat. If you integrate the ship so tightly that you have to take the ship apart in order to integrate the combat system -- then that adds significant cost to maintaining the relevance of the ship.
VAdm Tom Rowden USN discussing the Future Surface Combatant in 2014
Annuality has long been the curse of government with its use it or lose it philosophy. However, SSN20 wasn't the only casualty of the mythical peace dividend which is I believe the root of MoDs problems. Even so when the NATO average spending target was set at 2% of GDP the UK's level was 2.7% I assume the allies agreed to the target believing the UK would maintain its level to balance out theirs - the US is actually spending more than in 2002 in GDP tems - some how this has mysteriously been transformed into a minimum spend aspiration by a sucession of snake oil salesmen leading to the shortfall, all the while being committed to intensive operations. Furthermore the target is only met by some creative changes in how it's accounted for, SIPRI's baselined methodology makes Germany's budget larger than the UK's.

Last edited by SLXOwft; 15th Jul 2020 at 16:45.
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 17:16
  #5948 (permalink)  
 
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A problem is that the cost of kit has increased faster than the rise in tax income. Plus people in the UK paid a lot more of their income in tax in the 1950'to mid 1980's. The erosion of the tax take and the horror all politicians have to tell people that if they want more (schools, hospitals, armed forces) they have to be paid for is a long and unedifying story. The "Peace Dividend" was heaven sent chance for them to downplay defence and divert the cash to ... other things....

Th current situation is 30 years in the making and we can now see that everything has been stretched, literally, to breaking point
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Old 15th Jul 2020, 23:45
  #5949 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=Asturias56;10838005]A problem is that the cost of kit has increased faster than the rise in tax income. /QUOTE]

Defence inflation
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Old 16th Jul 2020, 06:23
  #5950 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/w...ster-n2t6m3b8d

.....
In a speech to the MoD’s air and space power conference, Mr Wallace said that Britain should learn from Turkey, which had harnessed armed drones, electronic warfare and “smart ammunition”........

Unmanned aviation was a central theme at the conference, as the RAF announced that it was trialling flying drones from aircraft carriers and Mr Wallace announced that he had signed a £65 million contract for its first three Protector drones. The government is set to buy 20 of the drones, which are armed with Hellfire missiles.....
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Old 16th Jul 2020, 10:32
  #5951 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SLXOwft View Post
I referred to the Type 12 (one could even go back to the 41/61s) as I saw them as a paradigm for a basic design being modified as role, needs and technology chage. I assume the differences the Whitby, Rothesay and 3 Leander Classes were such that they required substantial design input.. We don't want to end up down the T21 route with no Board Margin for developments. Does a new class entail a new hull design or can it just mean a new weapon and/or sensor fit? The T23s are an exception to having differently hulled batches like T22 and T42 but have an ASW /GP role split. Also we have to include the upgrades to the ships major weapon systems including FW, RW piloted and pilotless aircraft going forward.

Wasn't FFG(X) a five existing design competition with the intention of tailoring to USN needs . Basing on an existing design seems to be the fashion with the USN developing the FREMM and the T31 based on the Iver Huitfeldts which were in turn based on the Abasalon hull. The Arleigh Burke Class in it's various variants will have had a building programme of well over 30 years are they really the same class? The Bay Class LSLs were based on the Dutch Enforcer design. The RAN and RCN are adapting the T26 - if we admit we aren't able to develop aircraft on our own why do we think we can with ships.

(Apologies for the low aviation content in this post)

Agreed the Zumwalts were an ummitigated disaster, IMHO it would have made more sense to test the technologies in existing hull designs before committing. Let's be honest they don't only look like a Monitor that's effectively what they were originally designed for, a role that maybe better suited to air to ground.
The T12-T61 hull was developed at AEW Haslar as the first real post-war hull optimised for NorthLant, but actually only lasted 15 years or so of build. The number of hulls just reflects the size of the fleet at the time. As soon as you had to start mounting guided weapons, or larger ops spaces etc, you ended up with a new design (T82/T42/T22).

The T23 GP/ASW role split is artificial. As designed and programmed, the ships were essentially identical - the difference came when the S2087 retrofit was applied to the youngest eight only.

The T22 and T42 were true batches where additional capability (CESM and later gun for T22) and more Sea Dart for T42 were added to the basic design. Interesting consequence of both stretches was that people forgot that the original hull structure was designed against a bending moment for the shorter hull, which had consequences - most visibly in the B3 T42.

The T45 hull is very different, not as often suggested because of the radar height (it is a factor), but largely because the accommodation standards were vastly improved from the preceding years (6 berth cabins for JRs instead of 30+ messes). That takes space - as does an IFEP plant, all of which means you're better starting anew. T26 had a set of requirements that also required a different hull design (as well as different systems).

The AB are essentially the same design, albeit with some differences at the aft end across Flights I to IIA. But that hull envelope - and the rationale for it - are rooted in the late 80s, which is why some of the things they've had to do for the Flt III are fairly dubious naval architecturally. They're also still using large messdecks, which will hit retention eventually. They would have been better to start anew, but have been frightened by the comedy that was Zumwalt and LCS. Hence also FFGX and to a lesser degree T31e in the UK. Decisions made from a combination of fear and expediency. Interestingly, the RAN are now finding that the changes they want to make to T26 are also having consequences which will be tricky to fix in a fixed hull envelope.

In terms of aircraft (to provide some minor relevance!) I personally think we may have talked ourselves out of the sole design game through a belief that collaboration is the only affordable way to go, possibly as a hangover from TSR2. In an overall programme, including all systems - scratch development probably is beyond national means. But does that hold true for airframe (standfast control system) and propulsion? EAP was done largely by BAe IIRC and while not a warplane as such, was definitely in the ballpark. Dassault are (or were) capable of doing their own thing with Rafale.

Its all about sustaining a design base (something an international programme doesn't do) which actually means aiming for shorter service lives with potentially incremental system upgrades. A cost benefit analysis of that option vs current long-service life (and hence additional costs incurred re-learning) would be an interesting exercise..
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 04:11
  #5952 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
Interestingly, the RAN are now finding that the changes they want to make to T26 are also having consequences which will be tricky to fix in a fixed hull envelope.
Could you expand on that a little?
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 07:44
  #5953 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/t...sion-jgsf29rc2

Top armed forces officers gagged by defence secretary Ben Wallace over aircraft carrier discussion

The head of the Royal Navy has been admonished and all senior armed forces officers have been gagged after military proposals to station an aircraft carrier in the Far East were reported in The Timesthis week.

Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, has banned officers at one-star rank and above from giving public speeches or appearing at think tank events. The “pause” in external engagement, as it has been labelled by the Ministry of Defence, will remain until further notice.

Ministers want to stop senior officers making public pitches designed to influence the government’s integrated review of foreign policy, defence and security, due to report this autumn. Boris Johnson has said it will be the most sweeping and comprehensive rethink of Britain’s approach to the world since the end of the Cold War.

The Times reported on Tuesday that military chiefs had drawn up an option to station one of the UK’s £3.1 billion aircraft carriers in the Far East as part of an international alliance to counter China. Another proposal involved “forward-basing” a frigate, a smaller warship, in the region. Comments on the subject were made publicly at a think tank webinar by senior personnel from the Royal Navy and the RAF.

Details of the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden grand voyage to the Indo-Pacific early next year also emerged, although the Ministry of Defence insisted that no final decision on its route had been taken.

Admiral Tony Radakin, the first sea lord, was called in to see Mr Wallace to discuss the reports. Mr Wallace is thought to have become concerned about message discipline in the forces.


A defence source said last night that the ban would not last for ever. “The people who know best about what the armed forces need are those serving or in charge of the single services,” they said. "We absolutely want to use their expertise and stories in a way that supports the integrated review, once this [ban] is unpaused and we are ready to re-engage.”

The proposal to send the Queen Elizabeth to the Far East was backed by senior China hawks in parliament but Tobias Ellwood, Tory chairman of the Commons defence select committee, said that discussing it around the time of the decision to ban Huawei from Britain’s 5G network was “reckless”.

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Old 17th Jul 2020, 11:09
  #5954 (permalink)  
 
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Apologies for the lack of aviation content in the following lengthy response.

Kiwi, there has been "media speculation" which ASC Shipbuilding / BAE Systems Australia have denied. Some of the reaction is that "they doth protest too much", I am not so sure.

There have been a number of articles in Australian Financial Review e.g.
https://www.afr.com/politics/federal...0200713-p55bi4

Frigates added to Defence watch list of troubled watch list of troubled projects
The navy's $45 billion future frigate project has been added to a Defence Department watch list because of emerging concerns over its design.The frigate's inclusion as a Project of Interest comes as the principal engineer overseeing the design work quit the department, with sources attributing it to frustration.
Source: Australian Financial Review 14JUL2020
https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/ma...class-concerns

BAE sets the record straight on Hunter Class concerns
It seems as though the Royal Australian Navyís big-ticket acquisition projects canít seem to catch a break with concerns about the $35 billion SEA 5000 Hunter Class frigate program now coming to the surface, however, how accurate are the concerns?

When the Commonwealth announced in June 2018, it would be partnering with BAE Systems Australia as the successful tender for the $35 billion SEA 5000 Future Frigate program, it seemed as if the pieces were finally falling into place for the government's signature $95 billion naval shipbuilding plan.

Despite the well documented challenges facing the Future Submarine Program, the Hunter Class appears to have be progressing well, at least until now, with Andrew Tillet of The Australian Financial Review reporting on a series of concerns stemming from within industry and Defence in an article titled 'Sinking feeling: Frigate heads back to drawing board'.

In this piece, Tillet quoting the Department of Defence confirmed that the dimensions of the Hunter Class frigates have grown as part of the design phase in order to accommodate Australian specific requirements, ranging from radars and computers, through to the American-designed Aegis combat system.

Tillet stated, "BAE Systems conceded the frigate may have to swell in size but insisted it would still meet the Navy's requirements.
"The Australian Financial Review understands senior naval officers are beginning to have misgivings, although the relationship is nowhere near as strained as it is with the French submarine designer Naval Group."Tillet added, "The initial design, as pitched to the government, gave the frigate a weight of 8800 tonnes when fully loaded and length of 149.9 metres.

"The winning bid deviated from the base UK design because it was required to include the Australian developed CEA phased array radar, the American Aegis combat system and an Australian developed combat tactical interface by SAAB."

This recognition appears to make a mountain out of a molehill, at a time when concerns about the value for money proposition presented by major defence acquisition program is increasingly in the spotlight.

Adding to his concerns, Tillet quoted an 'industry source', who said: "One industry source said the frigate's weight was on track to exceed 10,000 tonnes, necessitating the need for the hull to become bigger, which could affect its speed, acoustic performance and ability to conduct stealthy anti-submarine warfare operations.

"A larger vessel has several flow-on costs, including construction, needing extra fuel for sailing and the provision of wharf infrastructure."

Craig Lockhart, managing director of BAE subsidiary ASC Shipbuilding, countered the concerns raised by both Tillet and the unnamed industry source, telling Defence Connect, "ASC Shipbuilding is currently going through the normal naval design process for the Hunter Class frigate and is working collaboratively with the Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group and the Royal Australian Navy to design a ship that meets Australiaís capability and performance requirements.

"This design work involves understanding the impact of the Australian-specific systems and equipment, and incorporating the agreed design activities which have occurred as the first of class Type 26 Global Combat Ship design matures. Contrary to the suggestion made in the article (AFR 26 June 2020), Hunter is not being redesigned, but instead our team is right in the middle of a normal naval ship design process for Hunter."
Source: Defence Connect 26JUN2020
Similar article on Janes.com - but you need to be a subscriber to see it all (which I am not)
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/n...class-frigates
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 16:08
  #5955 (permalink)  
 
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"dimensions of the Hunter Class frigates have grown as part of the design phase in order to accommodate Australian specific requirements,"

always the same - people buy a decent piece of kit and then "just need to make a few changes " - Spey Phantoms anyone?
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Old 17th Jul 2020, 19:13
  #5956 (permalink)  
 
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people buy a decent piece of kit and then "just need to make a few changes " - Spey Phantoms anyone?
Once again you prove your utter ignorance.....
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 17:05
  #5957 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
Once again you prove your utter ignorance.....
oh sorry - they were a successful mod. then? I'm sure I read they cost 2x or 3x the cost of a standard F-4J????
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Old 18th Jul 2020, 19:37
  #5958 (permalink)  
 
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The F-4K (FG1) and F-4M (FGR2) did indeed end up costing 2-3 x the cost of a F-4J.

However:

- The F-4K could not have operated from HMS Ark Royal and HMS Eagle without the more powerful Spey engine - 2 x 20,500 lbf vs 2 x 17,900 lbf of the J79 (the HMS Eagle refit to carry the F-4K was subsequently cancelled).

- The UK government of the day insisted on over 50% of the manufacturing work going to UK industry which had just suffered the cancellation of P1154, HS 681 and TSR2.

- The Spey turbofan - as opposed to the J79 turbojet - was also the better choice for the low level nuclear strike / attack / recce role the F-4M was originally employed in.

- The government had fixed the funds available for F-4K/M procurement - originally 400 were planned - but when the costs rose numbers were cut to 170 - which in turn drove the unit cost up even further.

- Had the original 400 been procured, the unit cost would have been much lower and the RAF probably wouldn't have had to make the retrograde step of turning the Pussycat advanced trainer (by flip flopping the relative production numbers for planned 2-seat / single-seat variants) into a less capable pseudo strike / attack / recce aircraft to "replace" the F-4M to free up the numbers required to replace the Lightning for UK AD !
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 00:00
  #5959 (permalink)  
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Whilst lazily looking on the net, courtesy of Google, I found this old (late seventies) report from the US Congressional Budget Office:

Congressional Budget Office - the US Sea Control Mission

This looked at the problem of maintaining US and NATO Sea Control in the North Atlantic, GIUK gap, and Norwegian waters. It discussed the naval and air forces needed, Of particular note:

1. Equations are given for the size of a fighter force expected to achieve a certain response time and level of coverage.
2. Equations are given for aircraft numbers needed for 24/7 AEW coverage.
3. Equations are given for the costs of projects and programmes.
4. The need to put carriers in the Atlantic to defend reinforcement convoys is mentioned.
5. In addition to the carriers, convoys, amphibious forces, and underway replenishment ships are listed as things that need defending (including by carrier aircraft).

We seem to be going back to those times.

Last edited by WE Branch Fanatic; 14th Aug 2020 at 16:43.
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Old 12th Aug 2020, 09:09
  #5960 (permalink)  
 
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One of the benefits of the Mil Aviation section of Prune is that it provides the public with a comprehensive 50 year history of MOD procurement cock ups which have wasted £ Billions for little benefit other than to the shareholders of the military industrial complex and of course the recruitment/reward of retired officers and civil servants who were strangely offered defence consultancy jobs with contractors despite CVs chock full of poor procurement decisions which damaged the fighting efficiency of HM Armed Forces. Strange world.
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