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RAF to keep all their E-3Ds but...

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RAF to keep all their E-3Ds but...

Old 2nd Aug 2008, 14:32
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RAF to keep all their E-3Ds but...

they are to cut the aircrew.

A report from Flight International.

The UK Royal Air Force has decided against mothballing two of its seven
Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne warning and control system aircraft (AWACS), and
will instead look to cut costs and hours flown by reducing the number of
aircrews assigned to the type.
According to John Parker, who as whole-life support team director for
Northrop Grumman is based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire, along with the
aircraft, the air force has decided that mothballing aircraft was a more
expensive option.
Northrop in 2005 was awarded a 20-year, 529 million ($1.06 billion)
support and maintenance contract for the E-3D (one pictured above, during
last month's Waddington air show), including spares but excluding engines,
auxiliary power units and mission software. The availability-based deal is
designed to save the RAF 80 million over its course, says Parker, whose
team consists of 150 staff.
A mission system upgrade to transform the E-3D - which is based on Boeing's
commercial 707-320B - into a hub for UK network-centric warfare capability
is meanwhile under consideration by the Ministry of Defence. One proposal,
from Boeing Defence UK, is based on Boeing's Block 40/45 upgrade for the US
Air Force's 32-strong AWACS fleet.
If advanced, the project would represents the first major upgrade for the
E-3D's 1970s-vintage mainframe-based mission system. It would introduce new
operator consoles with flat-panel displays, and open-architecture computing
using commercial off-the-shelf equipment for lower through-life support
Meanwhile, NATO's military committee on 29 July discussed a request by the
alliance's senior commander in Afghanistan to deploy some of its E-3As to
manage air traffic movements within the country.
Razor61 is offline  
Old 2nd Aug 2008, 16:28
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In the grand scheme of things, 80 million doesn't seem that much ( so please PM me for details of my account to send it to ).

I doubt there are many hangers-on in a Sentry, so how are the cost reductions as in less crew going to work unless the new no doubt VERY expensive - but essential - kit is fitted ?

Even with the fanciest kit, these things are up for long periods and people get tired - I doubt reducing crew is a sensible idea, except to accountants on the ground, and not even to them if looking ahead more than the next month, as such creatures tend to do.
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 17:35
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Old News. Guess what has been postponed to save money....
Wensleydale is offline  
Old 2nd Aug 2008, 22:55
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Can't you see? Cut the number of crews and it's cheaper - simple!

The added benefit is that then the number of crews is self depleting as the remainder get cheesed off and shagged out doing the work of many with a few - even more cash saved - Gleaming!

This is after all the principle that HM Forces have been run on for some time now and no one can argue it doesn't work... apart from any other consideration, to argue there needs to be someone to listen and they've solved that problem too!
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Old 2nd Aug 2008, 23:04
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Seven E3-D's??????

I thought the RAF only had 6 E3-Ds & a formation of assembled spares bins.

So is this a reduction to 4 or 5 E3-Ds???? (plus/including a formation of assembled spares bins)

1970's vintage???????
Weren't they the last of the B707 line delivered in 1991???
Maybe 1970's design, but would have also included all mods upto and including 1990 at least before delivery, and have then been upgraded since then.
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 00:13
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Do you have trouble reading?

No reduction in airframe numbers but a cut in allocated flying hours and numbers of aircrew assigned to the Sentry fleet, which will remain at seven aircraft.

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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 00:48
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Well lets face it what purpose have they got for now in todays climate , do we need Airborne early warning?

Rather than cut down the red arrors we have the MOD cutting the AWACS that does nothing really

good move and for once a good decision
All i seen in the gulf was the awacs fleet transiting through on there way to excercises in India/ malaysia in nice hotels while others suffer the crap , also nice dets to red flag and all that . If the AWACS done a real job (and not even in the carribean can they do that ) then they might be considered by the rest of the air force to have a case, now the C17 is here they not the golden balls of the RAF now
Old 3rd Aug 2008, 01:33
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Reduce the crews and save money? Utter bks.

How many af the crews are going to get a P45 and redundancy? None. So the defence budget will still be paying out.

It does not save money at all - it is an excel spreadsheet exercise to shuffle some numbers around. In the meantime the lower number of personnel left on the airframe will get higher tasking and more p!ssed off.
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 07:06
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Pr00ne said:

'No reduction in airframe numbers but a cut in allocated flying hours'

(Can't get it to 'quote'!)

If my colleagues and I get any less flying hours we'll be classed as groundcrew soon....
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 07:20
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pr00ne, unclenelli is sort of right. Go back a few years (I think about 15 or so) and the RAF 'reduced' the E3D fleet from 7 airframes to 6. They just happened to keep the seventh as a rolling spare. I don't know whether it was subsequently reinstated.
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 09:10
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Although all 7 are still declared to NATO!
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 10:04
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Wasn't the airframe which had a run in with a 'rolling' object declared to expensive to repair or is it/was it sent back to the USA to be repaired eventually?
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 10:32
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No...It's being repaired at the moment at Waddington. It's not a quick fix though.
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 11:05
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my last comment was a slight cock up, can't really fly back the E-3D to the states in the state it is in...so it was obviously going to stay at Waddington.

Thanks for the reply though, i thought they may have wrote it off and just used it for spares.
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 14:59
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Regarding the date of the E-3 (AWACS) design - the biggest part of the design was done about 1970. Boeing beat McD-D (DC-8 based machine) in part because of Boeing's plan to use eight TF34 engines in B-52-style nacelles. This increased the loiter time substantially.

Of course, after winning the AWACS contract, Boeing dropped the TF34 idea and reverted to JT3D donks. Lower cost, you know.
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 17:26
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6 for NATO and 1 for National Tasking is how I remember the split of the 7 when I saw a brief in the late 90s...
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Old 3rd Aug 2008, 19:11
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wrong thread sorry
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Old 4th Aug 2008, 01:31
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KeepitTidy -

What utter

You must have a very short memory - up until the end of 2003 the jets had been continiously employed on operations since their purchase. Balkans, Afghanistan & Iraq.

Not all items in the toolbox need to be used for every job - to throw them out as a result is to court disaster.

Have you thought about a career in politics?

"You only want a lifeboat when you are drowning!" - unfortunately by then it is too late.

The Sentry is a remarkably versatile platform that can be used in a variety of roles, AEW being just one.

You never know what is round the corner.
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Old 4th Aug 2008, 08:45
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I can see your point sonic however, as the rest of the RAF are spending more and more time away on Ops with little resources it is a little bit annoying to see a fleet not doing anything except swanning around doing nice sunny dets. One only has to look at the shortage of helicopter crews to know that there is a real imbalance in defence spending at the moment.
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Old 4th Aug 2008, 09:44
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What a change

My how times have changed; I was getting 600hrs a year in the late 90s, and we were more concerned with fatique use than anything else. I do remember the Boeing man saying that these frames would last us 80yrs, looks like it maybe a bit longer at this rate
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