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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 19th Feb 2009, 15:24
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Stirrup/Torpy and Anderson - interestingly all single seat jocks
Stirrup and Torpy have both flown two-seat FJ (Stirrup on Phantoms and Torpy the Tornado), while Anderson's flying career was entirely on on Tornado apart from his exchange tour with the RAAF on F-111s.

I am presuming that none of them flew with a sandbag in the rear Martin Baker...

I know that facts are a pain, but...
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 18:03
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Being both a ex Submariner and non aircrew unless you count cattle class on RyanAir may I input my tuppence worth.

1. Even if Carriers(CV's) are built and commissioned is the current or projected surface fleet able to protect the CV and its task force of Fleet Auxiliaries and Landing Ships. The Type 45 Daring is not fit for task in its current form and to date no suitable anti submarine surface units have been proposed. It is debatable if six Astute class SSN's are sufficient to give both Task Force protection and offensive patrols against both hostile SS and SSN's

2. Is the RAF capable of protecting maritime units world wide. Well history from WW11, Korea, Suez, and South Atlantic says no its not and still isn't.

3. Does UK PLC still need a independent nuclear deterrent other then to, as claimed by Pollies to keep us at the top table. Well, do we need to be at the top table? Is our nuclear deterrent really independent or are we the only ones in the club, France, USA, China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Israel, Iran, North Korea?, Brazil?, Terrorists? who would not be able to launch with out the nod from the Septics.

4. I am all for tactical nuclear weapons but see no point in Trident or any other similar weapon system for UK PLC. If we intend to have a World Wide influence that must also be capable to perform in a winter storm in the North Atlantic as well as sunny places with warm seas and blue sky. Just in AS capability we do not have that relying on helicopter assets alone.


Now you fly boys can continue to argue who should have the toys that are not fit for purpose as declared.

BobH
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 18:16
  #103 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
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Originally Posted by Pheasant View Post
But only if pain is being felt and the cost of converting a non-CAS a/c to a pseudo CAS role is actually affordable (and not at the cost of the current, designed-for-role CAS aircraft).
Is the pain not being felt?

The GR4 is a long range interdiction/strike aircraft and designed from the outset to be so;
True, and its previous role as AI is useful how exactly?

The fact that M hundreds are being spent to give GR4 even some CAS capability says it all.
No it doesn't. It says that it is better to upgrade two wings of GR4 as there is no quick end in sight for the CAS role.

How did Dii get into the discussion???
Easy. Its cost far outstrips anything else for what is essentially email and a wordprocessor.
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 22:07
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Pheasant wrote

The GR4 is a long range interdiction/strike aircraft and designed from the outset to be so; the GR9 is designed from the outset as a CAS aircraft. The fact that M hundreds are being spent to give GR4 even some CAS capability says it all.....surely this could be spent in more worthwhile areas?
What do you think the GR4s flying over Iraq since 2003 have been doing? The Urgent Operational Requirement for Afghanistan is to provide the GR4 with the capability to deploy the latest Paveways as per the GR.9s.

PICTURE: BAE Systems flies Paveway IV bombs on Tornado GR4

Operational Close Air Support Over Iraq

RAF - News by Date

RAF Marham - IX (B) Squadron Op TELIC Update - January 2009

RAF Operational Update - Op Update 08 June 2008

Multi-National Force - Iraq - Coalition airpower supports ground troops

RAF Tornado crews train for Afghanistan

RAF - News by Date

TJ

Last edited by TEEEJ; 19th Feb 2009 at 22:35.
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 10:46
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Royal Navy And Their Supposed FW Problem

Can someone explain to me what the problem really is for the Royal Navy.

IMMIC, recent history would tell them that this phenomenon is not new and that similar (nay, exact) circumstances existed under a Labour government in the 60s when the decision was taken to withdraw all bar one of the fixed wing carriers from service thereby leaving Ark Royal to plough the oceans with a diminished force (for the FAA) of FW aircrew on board. Similar prophets of doom then declared that this was the end of fixed-wing flying in the FAA and that it was scandalous that this was being allowed to happen. In their view, probably accurate at the time, power projection was reliant on having a force of FW assets afloat both for defence of the fleet and for strike/attack operations. Nonetheless, the decision was taken and, once Ark had been scrapped, land-based RAF squadrons provided significant AD and ASuW support to the fleet in the following years.

During the run-down of the carrier force, the RAF was tasked with providing manpower to support the FAA and many RAF Buccaneer and Phantom crews ground their teeth on board Ark Royal and thoroughly enjoyed the experience too.

There was then a significant gap before the Invincible Class through-deck cruisers were commissioned but this did not see the demise of FAA FW expertise as, in preparation for them and SHAR, FAA Bucc and Phantom pilots were seconded to RAF Harrier squadrons to retain a cadre of FW expertise and gain VTOL experience. Some of these guys, like Tony Ogilvy, eventually became SHAR sqn cdrs.

So what's different today? Well, OK, the RAF's proposal seems to be that we ditch Harrier but that doesn't mean that the RAF cannot assist the FAA with maintaining FW expertise on Tornado or Typhoon. Does it? Be honest, given the realistic timescales, it's not the guys flying Harrier now who are going to form the bulk of the future FAA FW corps. Is it?

The problem for the Labour government in the 60s was affordability and that, to my mind, is the problem today. Having worked in procurement (OR as was) in MOD, I know only too well the pressures that the Treasury can and do bring to bear on projects (often specific projects of their choice rather than leaving MOD to decide which sacrificial lamb to offer up).

So, unless I have got this completely wrong, it's time for us all to stop whining and get on with it. We've been here before and we will be here again. It's all about money (or lack of it). The Navy did not lose its FW capability because of decisions made in the 60s and it won't lose it again as long as we all work together and support each other until Dave and its support vessel come along. Pragmatic solutions, albeit unpalatable to some, have to be taken and something has to give - we cannot afford everything! Better to take some pain today and protect the carrier project and thus the FAA FW future. If that has to be Harrier, which has a costly logistic support tail, and have FAA Harrier jocks trained on Tornado and Typhoon then so what!

I don't hold with the argument that Tornado can't do CAS - it can, we proved it when I flew them in Germany in the 80s and we learned the skills having also prepared for it with 3 different pre-planned options on the IGB whilst I was on Buccs in the 70s. It doesn't have to be a mini-jet to do CAS and again, based on my OR experience in weapons procurement, in these frugal days each of our air assets has to be capable of all roles - Harrier cannot carry/deliver the full weapon inventory so it would seem logical for it to be the sacrificial lamb.

The government will be quite content to 'divide and conquer' so get realistic folks, there is a place for all of us in the defence of this land - it's just a shame that some of us don't realise it and display our views publically so that those who don't understand (Journos, Joe Public and Government Ministers) can easily identify our weakness.

Now I'm off to make a curry!

Foldie
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 11:24
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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The RAF cannot provide air cover for ships at sea from land bases, unless the fleet stays in coastal waters. During the 70s it was proved that RAF Phantoms scrambled from the UK to intercept Russian Bombers heading for the Fleet in the middle of the Atlantic could do no more than photograph the aftermath two hours after the Russians had gone home. The RN was without FW air cover for about 18 months after Ark Royal decommissioned (last lauch of air group November 78 to Invincible becoming operational with her SHARs in spring 1980) and during this period the RN relied on the USN carriers for air cover in the North Atlantic. At least they would be in the same time zone.

'Doing without' the Harriers for a few years is dangerous ground, because it puts ideas in politicians heads. Putting Naval Aviation in the hands of the RAF is also a bad idea because they have NEVER been interested in Naval Aviation, just in transferring the budget for NA to fund their own pet projects. Flying from carriers is not a part time pastime for land based pilots, it is a specialist job and the skills base (not just the pilots, ground/deck crew, Flyco, fighter controllers etc) needs to be maintained. Just think if in the early 90s it had been seriously proposed to disband all the RAF's F3 sqns as there would be no credible threat to UK airspace until the Typhoon came online? What an uproar that would generate.
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 12:31
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Obi

Spot on Obi!

Basically, all of the armed forces need "more butter, or less bread to spread". As the polititians decide how big the loaf is, they must be made to also least give us enough butter to do the jobs they give us!

The CAS/CNS/CGS all stand to gain the serious respect of their airmen/sailors/troops by standing up when sustained ops are being demainded of their services and when "overstretch" is becoming accepted as the norm.

As Neville Shute said in his autobiography, Slide Rule, recalling his experience of wartime service in the RN, the best commanders were those with wealthy backgrounds, landed estates, family businesses etc. as they were willing to shoulder personal responsibility and could afford to do thair duty to the Navy in the highest sense......

When standards of administration decline, and expert opinions are ignored which lead to forced compromises being accepted in is perhaps no surprise when contracts go over-budget, fail to meet performance specs, or arrive late (or not at all). Look at MR4, A400M, Type 45, Astute, CVF, FLynx.

What we need are "top brass" who are not afraid to speak up when matters on which they are the professional experts are in the news or under a "political spotlight". It's all pretty simple really, we need more "butter", period. (And the need is compounded cumulatively by inadequate funding for the last 20 years, which in spite of past promises and by "savings" the armed forces have made by cuts in manpower and base closures......has left us with absolutely NO fat!)

MB

MB
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 13:18
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Stirrup and Torpy have both flown two-seat FJ (Stirrup on Phantoms and Torpy the Tornado), while Anderson's flying career was entirely on on Tornado apart from his exchange tour with the RAAF on F-111s.

I am presuming that none of them flew with a sandbag in the rear Martin Baker...

I know that facts are a pain, but...
Archimedes, Torpy was originally a Jaguar pilot.

I know that fact are a pain, but.....
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 13:34
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Barn Doors, yes, he, indeed he was. And if you wanted to be uber pedantic, Stirrup started life flying single seat in Strikemasters in Oman and did his squadron command on Jags.

However, if you read the accusation made against the three officers in full:

Stirrup/Torpy and Anderson - interestingly all single seat jocks who do not understand CRM (ie take the team with you).
What I thought should be obvious was that contrary to Pheasant's assertion, all of them (esp. Anderson, who's never done anything else) have a deal of experience of flying two seat FJ and thus cannot be described exclusively as single-seat FJ drivers in the way in which, say, Sir Peter Squire could be.

However, as it clearly isn't obvious, let me phrase it differently:

Contrary to Pheasant's assertions about the three officers, Anderson has never flown front line on anything other than two seaters, Stirrup spent a reasonably significant proportion of his career on two seaters (including an exchange on F-4s with the USMC, IIRC) and Torpy did his squadron command on Tornados, and was Staish at Bruggen when it had Tornados.

Therefore, none of them can be accused of having no idea at all about CRM, since all of them have flown two-seat FJ and did not have flying careers exclusively on single-seat aircraft as Pheasant wishes us to infer from his posting.


Happy now?
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 13:48
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I alway thought that the MRCA (aka Tornado) was supposed to be a CAS platform as well as everything else?
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 13:59
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Depends on what you call CAS. Dropping precision weapons very close to your own troops from on high (through cloud, at night, as required) is CAS. Strafing the enemy very close to your own troops (CRV7 rockets or gun) is CAS. Flying very low over the enemy to scare them off is CAS.
Throw in a bit of photo recce/NTISR from Raptor, DJRP, Litening 3, Sniper to see what is ahead of your own troops, can be counted as CAS.

Tornado and Harrier can both do the above. The question is: is it worth the expense to make sure that Tornado can do everything in the future that Harrier is doing at the moment? Will the handover lead to a capability gap in the sky over Helmand? (I sincerely hope not - hence the delay whilst more Tornado are made PW4 capable).

Discuss ad nauseum.
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 14:04
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WO, It was meant to be a "tongue in cheek" comment.
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 15:22
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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Anderson - interestingly all single seat jocks
Sheeit! Then who was that in my front seat throughout my tour on 17? Is it permissible to claim solo hours from the back?

Foldie
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 15:30
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Andyy,
Apologies, I bit rather harder than intended!

The RAF has a history of scrapping aircraft just as they get decent capabilities - check out Jag (and possibly SHAR). Maybe the Helmet Mounted Sight is the kiss of death to ground attack platforms?
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 15:32
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It's Not Just The Jets

Obi is spot on - it is not just about the jets and the aircrew. Operating jets from sea, whatever their mission, is an activity that involves the whole ship. Kidding ourselves that 3 jets onboard every now and again to maintain currency is a fig leaf that will ultimately risk lives. Flying at sea is something that requires a whole ship focus and awareness to keep it safe, hence the fact all other carrier operating navies own their own assets and pound the deck constantly when the ships are at sea. If we pursue the pre-postioned airfield or a/c ferry logic, we stand to look very foolish at best when, god forbid, the inevitable happens.
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 15:44
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AWACS over the Falklands

Slightly off topic I know, but apropos of carrier aviation...

Just been reading Andrew Marr's "History of Modern Britain" and in the section on the Thatcher Years he states that:

had the British Harrier jets not been equipped with the latest US missiles and helped by the secret provision of American AWACS radar cover...
Now I know all about the AIM-9L, but this is the first I've heard of the American AWACS. I know the Nimrod ventured down South (and was not appreciated by Ward or Woodward according to their books), but I don't recall seeing any other comments over US AWACS.

Anyone out there got any light they can shed on this?

Of course, the hurried introduction of the SKAEW ought to tell us something about the whole CVF/JSF/masc balance of investment, but that's another debate.

Nick
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 15:52
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it is a specialist job and the skills base (not just the pilots, ground/deck crew, Flyco, fighter controllers etc) needs to be maintained.
it is not just about the jets and the aircrew. Operating jets from sea, whatever their mission, is an activity that involves the whole ship. Kidding ourselves that 3 jets onboard every now and again to maintain currency is a fig leaf that will ultimately risk lives. Flying at sea is something that requires a whole ship focus and awareness to keep it safe
Didn't seem to matter during the gap between Ark out & Invincible in and just like the mini-jet pilots the 'experience' will have moved on by the time the new carriers come along anyway.

Anyway, why are you Navy types here on PPRuNe whilst the RAF guys are obviously already in the bar for Happy Hour?

My excuse? I'm retired and the pub ain't open yet.

Foldie
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 16:50
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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..... (and possibly SHAR).
WO - Are you suggesting the RAF scrapped the Sea Harrier? Now that really is tin foil hat wearing territory.
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Old 22nd Feb 2009, 15:08
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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Censorship!

Who is removing comments from this thread and why?

Jindabyne's comment of Friday night has somehow vanished!
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Old 22nd Feb 2009, 21:11
  #120 (permalink)  
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There was no american direct involvement, Full stop. None. I spoke to Casper Weinberger personally (on the QE2) about this years later. He told me what the US was willing to offer over and above AIM9s and intel. It was not taken up.Yes they did help, and it did make a huge difference, but had no difference to the outcome. BTW an American carrier stored for war and was due to be sent down on June 1. I believe it was the Kitty Hawk but it was not needed.
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