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Harrier dispute between Navy and RAF chiefs sees Army 'marriage counsellor' called in

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Harrier dispute between Navy and RAF chiefs sees Army 'marriage counsellor' called in

Old 30th Mar 2009, 22:27
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Unity is strength

Not sure I understand this debate in its entirety. However if we believe that we may have to fight major regional powers (i.e. Russia and/or China) then we have to have carriers complete with fast jets. Whether they are RN or RAF is a matter for the experts but we will need them. What I worry about is that we spend too much time arguing about how big our slice of the pie is, rather than arguing about whether the pie is big enough to meet our needs.
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Old 31st Mar 2009, 06:25
  #202 (permalink)  
 
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OA,

Sadly I think you have missed the point on all counts. The simple fact is that this Government has decided that Carriers are the way forward for expeditionary Ops, as are the Amphibious Forces - this is why they were the central pillars of SDR. if this is the case then it is beholden on the Chiefs of Staff to ensure that the capability is delivered. In the case of CVF/JSF it is in ensuring there is a credible embarked aviation component capable of operating from the sea. If that means tough choices in other arms (in this case the GR4 force or Typhoon) then so be it. Your CAS/ACAS appears to have said "I don't care what SDR (ie the Government) says I am going to remove a pillar of Defence Policy because I want to". Well I am sorry CAS, but you can't.

There was mention above of the RN going to the US to train its FJ aircrew. Ifthis is the case then I feel sorry for the RAF as it is a direct indication that the flying training system they are in control of has failed. Under current policy there is a requirement to train RN aircrew.....so do it. If they are all trained in the US then the chances are that the RN pilots will be flying JSF first - for US units. they will also be operating JSF from the sea first. Where does this leave the RAF? I would suggest with a flying training system that may not be required as the RN will have proved that it can be done just as effectively by a third party country (as, interestingly lots of other nations have discovered).

Is this what we want? I say no. Let those serving in the RAF wake up and put things right and stop being so parochial about protecting "The Few" - there were plenty of other "Fews" in WW2, not least the brave Swordfish pilots at Taranto and in the Atlantic" - unfortunately Winston didn't make up such good words about them!
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Old 31st Mar 2009, 09:07
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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elderlypart-timer,

If you think that we are ever going to be fighting Russia and or China, and that that constitutes anything regional, then there's an awful lot more than this debate that you don't understand!
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Old 31st Mar 2009, 09:19
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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It would be an extraordinary outcome if SofS takes "the Harrier measure" this week in light of the advice he must have received from the marriage counsellor and 2 of the 3 service chiefs. Where does PUS sit in this debate? As long as he hasn't been coerced, surely common sense must prevail?
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Old 31st Mar 2009, 09:57
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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Pheasant,

OK, perhaps I have missed the point, because I don't seem to understand your post - it's almost as if you haven't read mine.

Yes, carriers and amphib forces are required as part of an expeditionary capability - I never said they weren't, and I'm not advocating getting rid of them - but this debate isn't about that. If you want to talk about the carriers, then perhaps you should be posting on the Future Carrier thread. I'm also not saying that we HAVE to cut Harrier - merely that there are tough choices and we can't exclude Harrier for the consideration - clearly we have a lot more Tornado and Typhoon, but as you will appreciate if you understand what has been going on in MoD and DE&S these past few years, cutting them wouldn't actually save us any money compared to Harrier. If we could come p with a practical way of making savings by reducing Tornado/Typhoon and still keep an embarked aviation capability, clearly that would be the best way to go - but carrier aviation is no more sacrosanct than than any other aspect of expeditionary capability (which, btw, isn't ALL from the sea). You can't just say "we must have this, and so if someone else has to take some pain, then so be it" - there's more to it than that. It is simplistic in the extreme to suggest that CAS is trying to remove a capability from defence just because he wants to - you are absolutely right when you say he can't.

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by
Under current policy there is a requirement to train RN aircrew.....so do it.
My understanding of current policy is that there is a requirement to train sufficient aircrew to fly the jets we as a nation need to operate. It doesn't actually say which service they have to come from, and while what is soon to be the contractorised, joint training system has its faults, it is again parochial and paranoid to blame "the RAF" for not training "enough" RN aircrew.

While I would be the first to admit that the RAF has an unhealthy emphasis on fast jets, I also think some in the RN need to grow up and start thinking about what's best for defence, rather than how they can keep as much capability organic 'dark blue' as possible regardless of whether it's best value or not. The RAF is not whiter than white in this regard either; but let's all concentrate on getting the job done. If we are to have carrier air power, then the important thing is that it is delivered most effectively and efficiently - and whether it has 'RAF' or 'RN' painted on the fin makes not a jot of difference to that. If it turns out that the best value for defence is to get the USN to train RN pilots then fine, but by the same token it might be best value for the RAF to run it all. I can contemplate both possibilities; if you feel your blood rising at the suggestion then you may be allowing emotion to cloud your judgement.
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Old 1st Apr 2009, 17:58
  #206 (permalink)  
 
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OA - trying not too let my "blood rise" (pressure's too high already...), technical points well made, but are we denying that:
this was a battle started solely by CDS/CAS/ACAS.
or,as the good Inspector puts it:
Have some people only just noticed that there is a tad of prejudice knocking around the air force? Not a surprise surely? Maybe that's why we come across as complete c***s at time to the other Services.
I, like many others I suspect (and know), are pretty upset by this perception and particularly by CAS's formal remarks about a very large (and equally important) percentage of the RAF's intellectual capacity. Engines speaks for many:
the remarks by CAS makes me sad - and a little angry.
So what - will he apologise or withdraw the remarks - or are we all to be treated as the "pond life" so eloquently suggested by FINNPOG (cheers FP for the love)....or maybe he should just go (and take ACAS with him) now!! We all deserve better H-W
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 10:54
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for the chance to clarify.

I don't think it was a battle started solely by CAS/ACAS. If the reported comments are true, then I'm pretty ashamed of them; I don't think it should be anybody's aim to take over bits of defence 'just because'.

However, there is clearly a debate to be had here - and why shouldn't we discuss whether it makes sense to cut Harrier, or who should fly JSF? These are issues that need to be debated - and from the point of view of what's best for Defence, rather than "We want all that" versus "You've always been out to get us" - some fault on both sides I feel. Yes, predjudice on the part of the RAF, but also a measure of paranoia by the RN.

My own feeling is that, sadly, the biggest threat to the carrier capability is not the RAF, but the legacy of being over-committed to two campaigns and chronic underfunding and over-ambitious programmes across the board. The recent decision to take UOR funding from the core programme exacerbates this - it means that any capabilities we aren't using right now are at risk. I would dearly love to see a credible carrier air capability (OK, so I have an opinion/predudice that it might be more efficient if the RAF flew the jets - but that's not important at the moment), but I can see the Harrier going simply as it's next down the list of belt-tightening measures now we've decimated FRES, not bought enough T45s or ASTUTE, retired Jaguar early, not been able to afford the SH uplifts we really need, taken too much risk in the medium-weight capability etc etc. There might be more to it than just trying to emasculate the 10% of the FAA that flies fixed-wing. It would make regenerating carrier capability that bit harder, but there are things we can do about it, such as the afore-mentioned sending more pilots (of whatever cloth) to work with the USN (out of interest, the RAF has more conventional deck experience than the RN at the moment due to our routine exchanges). However, it's by no means the only area in which we have taken a 'capability holiday' and need not signal the killing off of the carriers which I do think we need.
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 10:57
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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That is, I think we need the carriers, not the killing off!
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 12:37
  #209 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think it was a battle started solely by CAS/ACAS. If the reported comments are true, then I'm pretty ashamed of them; I don't think it should be anybody's aim to take over bits of defence 'just because'.
I think you will find it was (but probably led by CDS when he was CAS).

However, there is clearly a debate to be had here - and why shouldn't we discuss whether it makes sense to cut Harrier, or who should fly JSF? These are issues that need to be debated - and from the point of view of what's best for Defence, rather than "We want all that" versus "You've always been out to get us" - some fault on both sides I feel. Yes, predjudice on the part of the RAF, but also a measure of paranoia by the RN.
Why should there be a debate?

out of interest, the RAF has more conventional deck experience than the RN at the moment due to our routine exchanges
Flying from the sea is not just about a few pilots doing deck landings, it is about an ethos and culture that wants to fly from the sea (aircrew, engineers, ATCOs, navigators (navy), chockheads, support structures, standards, SOPs etc etc).
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 17:52
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Flying from the sea is not just about a few pilots doing deck landings, it is about an ethos and culture that wants to fly from the sea (aircrew, engineers, ATCOs, navigators (navy), chockheads, support structures, standards, SOPs etc etc).
Agree Pheasant and although the RAF may lack a "want" to be at sea, vice the RN's "A day not at sea is a day wasted" mentality, I would suggest that what is important, over and above the more spiritual aspects you mention (ethos and want), is knowledge, experience and [relative] currency in all aspects of flying from a carrier. Furthermore I argue that proficiency in these 3 areas is pretty evenly spread across JFH right now, with absolutely no uniform colour involved in the equation whatsoever - the parity is directly attributable to the RN's decision to scrap the SHar and a subsequent loss of people (culture/ethos/knowledge et al)unwilling to move to Rutland.

Simply put, the RN hemorrhaged people after the SHar's demise, it now doesn't have the numbers to man two GR9 squadrons' worth of FE and things aren't on the up. Assuming the RN stand-up their JCA Sqn after 2015 do you think that bolt-holing Valley graduates into F/A-18 jobs to maintain FJ stats is fostering the ethos and culture of being at sea that your refer to? I think not....
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Old 2nd Apr 2009, 22:38
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Blah blah, economic crisis, blah oil, blah, minerals, blah deposits, blah extension of territorial claims, blah, Tristan da Cunha blah, South Georgia, blah, British Antarctic Territory, blah, competing claims, blah Madrid protocol, resource conflict, blah emergent Russia, blah, hungry China already expanding influence in Africa, blah, deepwater ports, blah Ascension, blah MPA, blah blue water navy, blah force projection, blah protection of Britain's territorial, economic and resource interests at the same time as combatting the emergence of a failed state in the Sub continent!

Skeleton argument for SDR 2010


Oh and by the way, if you have a look at the early pages of "Why house price wont go down" on Jet Blast you will see that I was right then as well.

No I am not an economist but I find it incredulous to claim that just because the Financial sector is in health, that things are OK. Today's Torygraph..Millions hit by record gas prices. Editorial...Britons feel poorer because they are poorer. The financial sector will not be in as good health when the great unwashed stop paying their debts. 1200 Billion pounds of personal debt, Spending down in the high street...this will lead to more job losses, Taxed to high heaven! The Nationwide has already seen the light and stop authorising 100% mortgages. The great scourge of self-certification will come back to haunt those who have taken out mortgages, 6 -7 times their salaries. The average wage in Portsmouth is about 25 000 so how can the average house be almost 200 000? Anatole Kaletsky is living in cloud cookoo land and is probably one of the few who are making money at the moment. He is obviously talking things up to stop his shares crashing through the floor. This is going to be an interesting winter!
28 July 2006

Trouble is, that although we now have the requirement to protect our interests, security and resources, we cannot afford to do so. If we do not protect them, someone else will and the oil etc, that has made this country so wealthy over the last 30 years will fill someone else's coffers. There is immense resource in the antarctic and South Atlantic and indeed around many of the UKs remote territories. We can only protect these interests with airfields (with the airframes), deep water ports or mobile deep water forces or a combination of all. With all the will in the world, neither the RAF , Navy or Army is big enough to do it all on their own.

Last edited by Widger; 2nd Apr 2009 at 22:54.
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Old 3rd Apr 2009, 01:16
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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prOOne

We fought the allies of the Chinese Govt in Malaysia and won. We spent the entire Cold War preparing to fight the Russians. Do you think that was a mistake or that we should leave it to the US to take them on? Do you think the recent Russian naval exercises in the Norwegian Sea which forced the Norwegians to ground their offshore oil rig resupply helicopters was something we don't have to worry about?
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Old 3rd Apr 2009, 06:07
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Assuming the RN stand-up their JCA Sqn after 2015 do you think that bolt-holing Valley graduates into F/A-18 jobs to maintain FJ stats is fostering the ethos and culture of being at sea that your refer to? I think not....
You'll have to ask those still in the mob but I'm guessing that these guys and girls will spend more time at sea, on big carriers and will migrate straight into JSF.

it now doesn't have the numbers to man two GR9 squadrons' worth of FE and things aren't on the up
Are you sure? Or is the term Naval Strike Wing deemed more powerful in today's climate than Sqn numbers?

No matter what you say about current equality of experience in the Harrier force, and I agree with you, the RAF don't want to do it - it is in their culture not to want to go to sea, they want to operate from a DOB. The RN culture is very different, they join to go to sea and t operate from ships (albeit then to step ashore at the right time).
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Old 3rd Apr 2009, 06:39
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Thumbs up Great News for Us!!!!

It would be great to face out the Harrier GR9.
It would be even greater if you did not have any more aircraft carrier.


We can take care of your colonies posetions in the South Atlantic any time so your government can save even more money.
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Old 12th Apr 2009, 18:08
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Sunday Express | City & Business :: Navy ready for battle over RAF bid to drop carriers




OMG
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Old 12th Apr 2009, 18:22
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Spheroid...

Interesting, but the "Sunday Express"? Really? I'm surprised that the "Sunday Express" knows what an aircraft carrier is, given that they have a picture of Endurance being sealifted back to the UK.... what this has to do with a story on CVF is completely beyond me.

I can't see it myself - there's precious little to be saved from buying only one CVF, and given that the stated reason for their procurement is world-wide power projection, you need to have two to make sure you can deploy one - ask the French how things are going with a single carrier.....

S41
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Old 12th Apr 2009, 18:51
  #217 (permalink)  
 
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I have a question for someone in the know. Will 66 JSF be enough to equip 2 carrier air wings plus extra jets for the RAF? I heard that each carrier would carry between 30 and 40 jets each. I know only one carrier would be at sea normally but even so it won't leave us many spare jets!
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Old 12th Apr 2009, 19:05
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Pheasant,

A small but important point; ' The Few ' of the Battle of Britain included Fleet Air Arm pilots, among other non-RAF types.

I am pro' both forces, but I agree about the 'ethos' point of the Fleet Air Arm, and was disgusted to see history repeating itself and the FAA being shafted by the RAF for all the wrong reasons.

As for the loss of the Sea Harriers, well it's happened, mainly I suspect because Admirals don't fly, then again if we lose any more hulls they won't sail either !

Still say a few Harrier 2+ with AMRAAM would be extremely worthwhile, and very compatible.

I agree with a relatively small fleet of aircraft & crew all ought to be trained to hopefully the same level in all skills; however if the FAA is given a chance, you might be surprised at the improved recruiting...
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Old 12th Apr 2009, 21:11
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A small but important point; ' The Few ' of the Battle of Britain included Fleet Air Arm pilots, among other non-RAF types.
We all know that the battle of Britain was won at sea..... any scholar would tell you that
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Old 12th Apr 2009, 23:04
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Gr-9/gr-4

Well I have just returned from Herrick after a tasty 6 month tour as a JTAC/FAC. Without getting into the politics crap,at grassroots level in Afghanistan a GR-9 is king. No disrespect to GR-4 I am sure GR-4 crews are very good,however when your in a TIC and you here on TACSAT that you are about to be supported by a pair of GR-9's you know you are going to get the best CAS available. Us FAC's train train train with GR-4 all the time when in UK,however its not until you get a GR-9 that you realise how good a Harrier is. Surely its about supporting our guys on the ground now that matters.If the powers that be are going to play with ''joe squaddie's '' lives with all of this political crap,something is massively wrong. I know I have an un-complicated outlook on all of this.My point is a GR-9 is a much more capable CAS aircraft than a GR-4,it's not just about 27mm guns etc its about a whole host of reasons that this forum is really the place to discuss.When GR-9 eventually leaves KAF(if GR-4 ever deploys) the RAF's ability to support British soldiers in contact on the ground will diminish FACT!!!!!
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