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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 4th Feb 2009, 16:03
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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..... and whilst we bicker amongst ourselves the cash gets less and less ......
That was pretty much my thoughts on the matter, surely the root cause of all this is an ever diminishing pot, and one that seems to indicate that we are a 'spent' force.
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Old 4th Feb 2009, 17:02
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Finnpog for next CDS!

Sounds like a sensible plan and everyone gets their own toys to put back in their pram.
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Old 4th Feb 2009, 17:14
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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First of all nothing anybody says on this thread will make any difference to the eventual outcome......





However, having said that.....

I presume we all agree that all 3 armed services are having to face cuts. The RAF wants to get rid of the Harrier, to save money, the Navy doesn't. Simple solution, transfer as many Harrier Sqns to the Navy as they want, but JFH (or whatever you call it) becomes paid for out of the RN budget. If they want it that badly they can pay for it...!!
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Old 4th Feb 2009, 17:34
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Onevan wrote

If you get rid of the Harrier GR9, what has the same capability to assist our troops on the ground in Afgan? Get rid of the GR4, that will save even more money as it will need alot of investment to bring it up to the same capability as the Harrier.
I take it that you are aware that in a few months the GR.4 will replace the GR.9 in Afghanistan? Would you care to elaborate why the Tornado GR.4 can't provide CAS up to the standard of the Harrier? Please explain why the GR.4 requires an upgrade?
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Old 4th Feb 2009, 18:51
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Surprised the distressed couple weren't referred to you Inspector D - I thought you were a CR Marriage Guidance Counsellor

BM

Last edited by Bunker Mentality; 4th Feb 2009 at 18:55. Reason: Mong Spolling
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Old 4th Feb 2009, 18:57
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I take it that you are aware that in a few months the GR.4 will replace the GR.9 in Afghanistan? Would you care to elaborate why the Tornado GR.4 can't provide CAS up to the standard of the Harrier? Please explain why the GR.4 requires an upgrade?
Well from open sources the GR-4 cannot carry a particular guided weapon of which we have/are purchasing many and which are forward deployed to Afghanistan. If it goes there now it will cost a fortune in logistics to bring back the one out there and send out the older generation system the GR 4 needs to operate. BTW the deployment has been delayed due to "ramp" space issues...

flight
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Old 4th Feb 2009, 19:09
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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There really is some utter drivel in the newspapers, and on this thread! Why would loss of the harrier mean 'The end of the Fleet Air Arm', when its fixed-wing element is only some 15% of its strength?

And, thinking joint, we all know we probably have a bit too much fast-jet capability in the UK forces. If we need to scrap a fleet, the Harrier's a no-brainer. It's the smallest fleet, is due out of service first, doesn't have the capability of Tornado, and probably most importantly is the only one that will save any money, as we've (foolishly IMHO) signed great long 30-year support contracts for the others that we'd still have to pay for. BTW, these were the arguments for scrapping the jaguar early and nobody got nearly so upset about that.

It doesn't necessarily mean the end of RN fast-jet aviation - after all, the pilots are trained, equipped and sustained by the RAF and they could be employed by the RAF on other types, as many have been - and meanwhile we have a fair bit of deck experience in the RAF from our exchanges with the USN/USMC. Yes, it might be quite difficult keeping the flame alive, but there are plenty of other capabilities we could say that about - just ask the Army about regenerating the ability to fight a divisional battle.

In any case, if anyone starts talking about having carrier air to 'defend the fleet', they haven't grasped the concept of Carrier Strike that the RN are pursuing - I recommend a thorough reading of the Future Maritime Operational Concept paper, or the Future Navy Vision - it's about providing strike effect. The fleet is already better defended against air attack than any other element of the UK forces, what with T45 - and yes, we'd all like to have layered defences with the ability to VID, but to be frank the amount of risk we're taking against air threats in the land and air environments, it would be a pretty thin case to say that RN AD aircraft should take priority over, say FRES.

And anyway, it wasn't Australia that was 'moved'. It was a much smaller island, in an area where current UK defence policy says we don't have much of an interest.....
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Old 4th Feb 2009, 22:36
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Angry Grrrrrrrr

The main enemy is Broon and his bl00dy treasury. Divide and conquer and all that. As a miserable little civvy all I can see at times are different services at war with each other. Cut through that for heavens sake. Billions of tax payers pounds have been given to banks who've totally f.....d things up. Millions are given to Brussels every day, similar ammounts to immigrants who've never contributed a ruddy penny to this country.
My dear old dad died on Jan 14th. He had been ill with heart failure for a while. Amongst the statements that he made before his death was that "this bl00dy country's finished boy". Pretty profound from a naturally quiet man. He meant it too. Put the inter service bickering aside, don't get divided and conquered. Stand up to Broon and is bean counters. They're on borrowed time in any case.

So do we need Harriers, yes we do. The only reason for considering their demise is to save money. Save, save , save. . Get rid of that blasted scotsman asap!!
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 02:53
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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It is the capability we need not the colour of the uniform.
FFS it always amazes me the obtusenesss of some folk wrt the RAF serving at sea. It also worries me that these same people are by in large commissioned that comment on it on this forum. Take a look at the link below and start talking to your own people.


Jointery - Going to Sea



Sell all the Harriers to the Navy and make them pay the bill!! Why should the RAF budget support naval assets? If they insist on keeping a fastjet capability then maybe they should purchase an interim aircraft ie RAF Harriers!
Your right - the RAf shouldn't have to pay for the support of these a/c if the RN want them.

BUT
If the RN hadn't got into bed with the RAF wrt JFH then Shar would be costing them 109Million to 2012. Also why should the RN "Purchase" RAF Harriers? - I dont recall the RAF "Purchasing" RN Buccaneers. And anyway they dont belong to the RAF, They belong to HMG and paid for by the UK tax burden.
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 07:00
  #30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soddim View Post
Strikes me that the argument should never have become public because there is absolutely nothing to be gained from this discussion or any others that concentrate on the personal relationship issues of the two Service chiefs.
There is nothing like keeping the arguemtent in-house. And this is nothing like keeping it in-house. Whowever sanctioned the release of the story needs his . . .
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 07:48
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Occasional Aviator

Do you honestly believe that we can keep a credible maritime FJ force if we get rid of the FAA capability?

You need to praxctise the art continually - it's all very well having crews rotate onboard for a stint every now and again, but you need a backbone of continual maritime service to maintain the required standards, skills and practices - if for no more reason than to make sure that RAF crews who rotate onboard have a good support and training infrastructure.

...and meanwhile we have a fair bit of deck experience in the RAF from our exchanges with the USN/USMC
Do you honestly think a few exchange jobs are enough to maintain standards?

Do you envisage a group of pilots within the RAF who will mainly fly from carriers in the future? Will they be happy with that idea of being RAF (Seagoing), with maybe the occasional 'exchange' with a lad based RAF squadron?

How long do you think it would take crews to start complaining (quite rightly) about lack of adequate training and experience etc??

If we get the carriers, there is no point in doing things half cocked and having crews whose skills diminish year on year because there is no deep experience and continuity.

I does not matter what uniform that experience comes from, but it needs to be gained through continual exposure... it can't be maintained by handing over the reins every 3 or 4 months!

You talk about layered defence - do we need it if we bin the carriers? There is no real point in keeping carriers if we do not maintain the skills to the highest degree...
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 09:02
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If the FAA goes so will the remaining Vinis. With them will go the 2000 or so sailors and all their skills. We'll also have a pilot exodus.

Some would suggest that from this zero base (which will require us to re-recruit and train 2000 sailors maintenance engineers etc) we'll be able to run a super carrier with 36 F35s in 10 years time. What tosh. Once its gone its gone forever.

With that, we might as well get rid of the expensively purchased amphib fleet and associated escorts. Bring the army home and train it for home guard. Retain a few OPVs for fisheries and smuggling work.

We'll all be safe because no doubt we'll have the tranche 5 Typhoons protecting us by then.
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 11:50
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Alternatively, now the top RAF bod is in charge of the whole lot, could he just be getting his own back for Mountbatten killing TSR2 so he could have more Buccanneers?

Just wondered.

Doc C
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 11:59
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Is there a compromise around shrinking the Harrier fleet and consolidating round a core force of GR9As? Would provide sufficient airframes to deploy on a CVS, provide some inital deck handling practice on CVF if necessary and generally keep the STOVL flame alive pending JSF introduction. Wouldn't save nearly as much as scrapping the whole fleet and infrastructure but would save some. I'm also conscious that once spending has ratcheted down it's not easy to ratchet it up again, eg when JSF is introduced. First post, but happy to accept any incoming I may be due...
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 14:14
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Would you care to elaborate why the Tornado GR.4 can't provide CAS up to the standard of the Harrier?
Where to begin?

Lack of payload, performance, reaction time, serviceability, ability
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 15:33
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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LOL! Looks like I've unintentionally opened up that old can of worms!

Daysleeper,
Thanks for the reply. I'm fully aware of the integration of Paveway IV that is covered under the Urgent Operational Requirement. Having re-read the following link I can see the justification of Paveway IV use in Afghanstan. It would appear that the flexibility of the weapon is ideally suited to ops in Afghanistan.

RAF - Paveway IV
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 20:28
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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I'm in the light blue FJ camp so am accutely aware of the lack of everything!

In my mind, the UK faces some tough choices. Do we maintain a capability for the unexpected, or simply concentrate on the here and now? Personally, I think the latter is extremely short-sighted. Afghanistan is obviously the focus right now. But what about in 5, 10 or 20 yrs time? Capabilities like seaborne FJ aviation cannot be hibernated; they require experience and training for any sort of credibility.

Cost is obviously the driving factor. We've already taken a 'repayment holiday' with AD (both RAF and FAA); now it would appear that we're going to take a break form any sort of independent power projection. It's a political decision, but one that requires our Military Lords and Masters to show some backbone and foresight. People in the highest ranks have a duty to speak out for the rest of us; to make the point that UK defence can no longer aspire to what our politicians want without the money to make it happen.

Oh, as to the nonsence I've read here about the UK having a carrier-borne AD capability.........
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 21:49
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Has anyone read history ?

It may be a case of avoiding the 'fighting the last war' syndrome, but a huge lesson in my little opinion ( and I suspect others ) is that the RAF tried hard to emasculate the Fleet Air Arm between the wars, and managed it - right up to the early stages of WWII when they suddenly found they required it badly, in a hurry.

Joint Force Harrier is an RAF driven farce, and we need RN pilots not only motivated but recruited !

The FAA is historically used to being s~~t upon then doing the business - this won't happen with some politician's magic waving a flag when something nasty hits the fan, we need trained sea-going pilots NOW, not on an occasional basis.

I and the public appreciate the effort in Afghanistan ( I've been told by someone who should know, a very large percentage of FAA air & groundcrew are there ) but we need a carrier force.

I've said it time & again ( from my armchair aged 47 but ask and I'd happily be there, like a lot of more experienced others ) - get a few Harrier 2+ and a true FAA, to perform fleet defence along with - gosh, all six - of the Type 45 destroyers, then the GR9 mud movers can do their bit without being embarassingly taken out.

Tornados & Typhoons have no part to play unless we're fighting off the Isle of Wight or a REALLY friendly country - we're relying on that, are we ? Despite in-flight refuelling.

When I see in flight re-arming and changing fatigued pilots, I'll be impressed.
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 21:52
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I am a former member of HM Forces who flew in the first Gulf War in the same unit as the then Wg Cdr Torpy (a top bloke much loved by his guys I should say). I was a junior officer while Messrs Torpy and Stirrup where advancing up the system! The slight snag is they are both old recce mates who have done a lot of mutual back scratching along the way. The problem with that is yer man Jock will back his mate Glenn to the hilt in any dispute with the Navy - or indeed anyone else. All very touching as that is, it does not mean the best interests of the UK are met.

Having long retired, I have become acutely aware of the alarmingly parochial and 'small picture' view of the world taken by nearly all senior officers in our Armed Forces. Loathe as I am to admit it, there is an infinitely greater chance of a politician taking the right decision than high ranking officers who will invariably make bad decisions based on local interests. How did decisions ever get made, for example, to leave a cannon out of the Typhoon (since recinded I believe), guns off a ground-attack Harrier or ECM off a Tornado F3? These were all decisions taken by senior RAF Officers which anyone with a brain in their head could see were incredibly foolish. It is equally foolish to remove carrier-based fast jets off our inventory. No one knows where the next conflict will be, but we can say with absolute certainty that we will have the wrong equipment to fight it. It would be good to see that trend reversed if at all possible. Let Torps resign but keep the carrier-based capability.
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Old 5th Feb 2009, 22:16
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Top post there Fletch (from HMP Slade no doubt?).

It's a shame when a CDS is not totally 'purple' but is tinted (tainted perhaps?) with their former hue of blue or green. The shame of publicly having 'Perce' act as referee actually undermines both Service Chiefs and the CDS.

Crikey - the politicoes and madarins need fighting with a united front...and surely this is where the CDS should have brought things together, and it seems has been found lacking in impartiality.

If the Secretary of State for Defence has been presented with a number of Billions to save, then there may be no way to 'magic' more pounds into the budget - therefore it is a battle that can never be won. This is happening right now with the Police through the Home Office.

This leaves no choice but to make some tough choices about what we can no longer afford to do courtesy of HMG.

Fine! The proposal to axe the Harrier might save some cash - but the decision making behind it was so clearly blatant with looking after 'their' own thinking and the 'One Nation - One Air Force' blah was an arrogant turn of phrase at best.

If we as a nation can no longer afford 'n' billions - then we will need to cut something, but if I remember correctly, the reason that the Harrier went into KAF was because nothing else was able to. To then propose axing the only platform that offers that expeditionary ability seems farcical when the nature of threat is as it is now.

Even suggesting chopping the Harrier after the capability that the GR1s & 3s were able to provide the RAF from Forward Operating Locations in the face of the Red Army coming over the hill seems arse - particularly if Russia is talked up as being the next threat.

(Shall we re-start the "Why the JSF instead of the Hornet / Rafale?" thread now.)

Last edited by Finnpog; 5th Feb 2009 at 22:37.
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