Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Decision to axe Harrier is "bonkers".

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Decision to axe Harrier is "bonkers".

Old 29th Oct 2010, 13:16
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 1,545
1. Close enough for Gordon to give a sh1t.
2. The issue with deck paint is the erosion rate of CAMREX under that sort of concentrated jetblast. F135 would make the current issues with 3 & 4 spots on CVS look like trivia.
Not_a_boffin is online now  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 15:20
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,543
Mr Boffin

Excellent stuff as always. Clearly being free of certain previous commitments and statements relative to Ms Widdecombe and SRVL has lightened your spirits.

The issue of thermal and mechanical damage related to F-35B VL operations remains unresolved. The JPO and LockMart say "no significant difference from Harrier" while the people responsible for the flat bits that the jet will land on are calling for 100-foot-square pads of continuously reinforced high-temperature concrete (the stuff you make pizza ovens from) on land, and magic cooling pads on decks.

Meanwhile, the people that should be providing adult supervision over all the above groups are not banging heads together and telling people to come up with a single consistent answer.

I suspect that is because they are afraid that the correct answer is the wrong one, which would mean that F-35B would be as welcome on a CVN as an outbreak of plague, and that any effort to operate austere-base from anywhere ending in -stan would come to an abrupt halt in a cloud of molten asphalt and supersonic chips of concrete.

And if it turns out that an attempt to assuage the Guadalcanal complex of the Navy's army's air force was a technical nonstarter from the beginning (at least with stealth added to the equation) then we have invested a good deal for a negative return. And when I say "a good deal" I mean two new engines, the entire CDA X-plane program, the weight-reduction effort, the manufacturing complexities and delays arising therefrom, and the performance compromises inherent from trying to stuff the ten pounds of USAF/Navy requirements into the five-pound sack labeled STOVL.

Not to mention the fate of the pilots who, somewhere along the line, will have to eject when the engine quits.

/weeps softly, bangs head on desk
LowObservable is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 16:01
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Virginia
Age: 75
Posts: 2
Carriers and Strategic Purpose

The decision tree for a modern Carrier Force has got to be more then "we just want a carrier" for the simple reason the "what kind" part of the answer no longer is small, not to complex, or cheap, perhaps even affordable considering today's budgets. All of our countries now have much smaller armed forces but still retain the same numbers of generals and admirals who only think on the scale of their own rank based on World War II force structures. Navy's change, and just as the aircraft carrier edged out the battleship after Pearl Harbor the modern Nuclear CVN BattleGroup has come to a point where you need so much organic to the formation just to survive the hordes of potential land-sea-air launched cruise missiles and asymmetric fast-movers along with real anti-carrier aircraft and submarines that no treasury has enough gold to sustain even a properly configured "one and only". Modern, right now and beyond, strategic naval warfare has moved its center-of-gravity and critical importance to the submarine force, especially the ones like the Virginia Class in production with the USN. The naval forces do not need more Admirals, it does not require larger staffs, but it needs a strategic undersea component if for no other reason short of deep space, it is the only real environment that "stealth" can play a reasonable and affordable role. The "Admiral factor" alone prevents the US Navy and the Royal Navy from making that transition because the knowledge necessary to make such a decision has been there for some time now. And nothing - really nothing else, would scare the bejeezus out of the Chinese, North Koreans, or Iranians more if they knew un-detectable Wolf-Packs of Virginia Class boats were patrolling along with Boomers well within range of their leadership bunkers.

Now all that said - the surface Navy needs to be interoperable with allies and littoral in composition and weaponry simply because there is still need of such capability - and focused on the COIN warfare realities not to be confused or diluted by some dream of World War conventional warfare force structures at a time when most countries are broke. The CVN strategic force was best served with the F-14 and A-6, there was at least a hint of a 1000 NM, but even that became unsustainable. The F-35 is not only a "joke" to our citizens it is a criminal malfeasance against the honor and integrity of the sworn oath of our governments to protect us in the most sensible way. When will we wake up.
etartar is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 16:32
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 1,545
Not a fan of F35 then etartar? Or Admirals for that matter?

Undetectable SSN may well be this very minute lurking in the oceans around the world, but they don't appear to be stopping NK and Iran from their ongoing level of mischief........
Not_a_boffin is online now  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 16:40
  #45 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,646
Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
Not a fan of F35 then etartar? Or Admirals for that matter?

Undetectable SSN may well be this very minute lurking in the oceans around the world, but they don't appear to be stopping NK and Iran from their ongoing level of mischief........
And the CVN group do?

As both exist which actually creates that deterrence?

Indeed are either NK or Iran deterred?
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 18:34
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh
Posts: 460
The sound of chickens coming home to roost around the Naval Staff must be deafening! I'm no expert in maritime force projection but I'd have thought a slightly larger number of DD/FF would give ones Navy a better all round and balanced capability, greater relevence and utility than one in service CVS (with or without F35). All this bunk about not needing basing rights or overflight rights is just horse. Unless your prospective enemy has a coastline you need overflight rights for a TLAM let alone an aeroplane. Ships need dip clear for passage through certain waters and I recall the Naval commander from Gulf War II saying he couldn't have sustained his force without the berthing rights in the Gulf or the airbridge (which yes needed dip clear). I'm sorry matelots but you've sold your souls for a grand gesture of the most foolhardy kind.
Impiger is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 20:17
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 1,545
PN - my point was not that NK or Iran are deterred, merely that SSN clearly don't do that alone.

Impiger - A fleet of DD/FF has little in terms of balanced capability because it cannot go anywhere where there is an air threat, unless it has maritime air cover - something that has proved virtually impossible to supply from land cost-effectively. That air threat could be as low capability as a Thai carrier with AV8As, but because (relatively) it can command the maritime airspace, it trumps a T45 or a helo carrier because it can hold the helo at threat. A DD/FF force is therefore limited to an area of influence not much further than the horizon. There is no use for a DD/FF heavy force with no maritime air. The nearest example is the JMSDF and they are structured to defend the sea of Japan and not much else. We (allegedly) don't have a threat to home waters anymore, certainly not one that justifies hordes of DD/FF.

LBL - I don't think the basics quite stack up like that - we had that attitude in the 30s and it didn't work then either. Largely for the reasons outlined above. Works on a simplistic level, but falls apart when you ask questions like "OK air type, how long do you want to spend at sea?" or, "OK Jack, it's Firebase f8ckwit for you for the next five years".
Not_a_boffin is online now  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 20:35
  #48 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,646
Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
PN - my point was not that NK or Iran are deterred, merely that SSN clearly don't do that alone.
You might be correct but you have no evidence that SSNs alone are not deterring them, or that they are being deterred at all.
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 20:57
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Portsmouth
Posts: 1,545
I don't doubt for a moment that the crevice (a filthy word) that the RN finds itself in wrt the FAA is exercising many minds in Fleet HQ and elsewhere. I think if the RN had retained the budget to order F35, it would have done so in a heartbeat - but remember where JCA came from. The original designation was FCBA (Future Carrier-Borne Aircraft) which was eventually canned and combined with FOAS to produce JCA -principally because Typhoon (and admittedly Astute) was gobbling up the procurement budget in the early noughties (a pretend filthy word), leaving no room for anything else.
Not_a_boffin is online now  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 21:43
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Devon
Posts: 2,456
Impiger

Unless your prospective enemy has a coastline you need overflight rights for a TLAM let alone an aeroplane. Ships need dip clear for passage through certain waters and I recall the Naval commander from Gulf War II saying he couldn't have sustained his force without the berthing rights in the Gulf or the airbridge (which yes needed dip clear). I'm sorry matelots but you've sold your souls for a grand gesture of the most foolhardy kind.

Really?

In any case, a quick Google search reveals that there are 47 landlocked nations in the world, and the majority of course do have coastlines. Here are some fun links:

List of countries by length of coastline

List of landlocked countries

LBL

I think that the RN did lobby hard to retain Harrier. Remember, a previous attempt was made to scupper it by certain senior RAF bods. I actually think the loss of Harrier took Their Lordships by suprise.

....together with the necessary forward thinking of retaining the highly skilled maritime airmen and ground trades until it arrives). Has the RN done this-no. The RN just sees a really big surface vessel that could be used for lots of useful stuff. Hence the RN(highest ranks) don't give a [email protected] about harrier.
i think they have not thought this through at all-and even worse have forgotten the people and specialists that will be lost as a result. The RN may then have to turn to the RAF to provide the necessary tradesmen/handlers/pilots?


Thy won't have the right skill set, not being used to working on a moving carrier deck. Both the First Sea Lord and CINCFLEET have commanded a CVS, and I am unwilling to accept that anyone who has experienced the inique environment of a carrier who think that you can not use that skill set for the best part of a decade and then pick up the baton and carry on. I wonder who suggested that it was? Ignorance wins...

The message sent by 1SL to all personnel last week acknowledged the challenge.

N_a_b

I don't doubt for a moment that the crevice (a filthy word) that the RN finds itself in wrt the FAA is exercising many minds in Fleet HQ and elsewhere.

I expect it is! I think crevice is puting it mildly. Who was it who wrote the review? Did any naval aviation profesionals get consulted?
WE Branch Fanatic is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:00
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Devon
Posts: 2,456
WE-not sure what you are saying. Are you saying that the RN personnel, not having utilised and practised the seagoing ac handling skills and anomolies would not be able to pick up where they left off(or their replacements)?

Not easily, they won't.

Or are you saying that the RAF crews wouldn't be able to learn that trade craft as well as the RN new recruits(?)

They would have to start from scratch too!
WE Branch Fanatic is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:21
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 358
But it really isn't that hard flying off a deck. No crosswind, no need to worry about divs, and if the weather is poor - ask the driver to go somewhere else. As for the engineers - it's just like working on land except a bit more cramped. All your spares etc are located within a 400yd radius, as is all your team and pretty much everything else you need. The aircraft parkers can practice on a dummy deck if they want. It really is not that hard.
LateArmLive is offline  
Old 29th Oct 2010, 22:59
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: I wish someone would tell me
Age: 43
Posts: 31
Wah!!!

LateArmLive, I call your Wah!

Seriously, have you ever embarked on a Carrier? The JEngO of the RAF Harrier Squadron that embarked when i was part of the ships company tried to call a halt to proceedings as he was concerned that the aircraft were parked too close together, and was supported by his senior NCOs! (That was 4 years ago, well after the RAF first started embarking for short periods).

In the current mantra of crawl, walk, run, we have never seriously got above a jog wrt to GR7/9 embarkations.

Still, the Government have made their decision, we just have to find the way to keep the skills needed to do it again. That isn't going to be easy!
colonel cluster is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 08:01
  #54 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: wherever will have me
Posts: 708
Based on what I saw at COT earlier this year (late spring) I'd say that the Harrier fleet was on the bare bones of its arse then. Hangars full of very broken jets that everyone agreed were only good enough for scrap having come back from theatre. 12-15 airframes that were considered bust beyond economical repair... Given the small fleet size compared to GR4 and all of the other capability arguments (not least being Storm Shadow) losing Harrier was an easy choice. It's [email protected] but there you are. We now need to hope that our lords and masters are making the right decisions about HQ structures etc so that we can make the best of what we've got!
whowhenwhy is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 10:22
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 1,120

Does anyone know what our published [email protected] is to be post SDSR? I remember from my days at Gp that it used to be sub 90. But then we got rid (sort of) of F3 and reduced Harrier to 10, now zero. Has the Typhoon compensated for this, or are we somewhere in the fifty to sixty ball park?

Also, has anyone seen any figures on force structure? I am guessing that having four times as many Cdres as operational hulls, or 20 plus Wg Cdrs for every deployable FJ might be over egging things somewhat.
orca is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 13:12
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 29
[email protected] will be 46 - 16 Typhoon and 30 GR4, although I'll be amazed if this can actually be achieved...
BrakingStop is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 13:17
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,543
Mr Boffin

Interesting reasoning. Perhaps the naming of the second CVF is a reminder of the negative consequences of relying on land-based air cover.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 17:08
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Devon
Posts: 2,456
But it really isn't that hard flying off a deck. No crosswind, no need to worry about divs, and if the weather is poor - ask the driver to go somewhere else. As for the engineers - it's just like working on land except a bit more cramped. All your spares etc are located within a 400yd radius, as is all your team and pretty much everything else you need. The aircraft parkers can practice on a dummy deck if they want. It really is not that hard.
Maybe it isn't that hard because of all the experience? The Dummy Deck at Culdrose can simulate the deck, however they cannot simulate the motion of the deck at sea or the ship steaming into the wind - which is what flight deck crews need to be able to deal with. What about other parts of the ship that are involved? From the bridge to the watchkeepers in the ship control centre, or the operators and maintainers of various sensors, communications systems, and landing aids, how will the hard won corporate experience be maintained?

Last edited by WE Branch Fanatic; 28th Dec 2010 at 22:27.
WE Branch Fanatic is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 17:20
  #59 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Lincolnshire
Posts: 476
Whowhenwhy - the aircraft in the hangar at Cott were not worn out from Afgahnistan -if anything the experience updated and prolonged the fleet.
A small number of aircraft in the hangar you saw were stored but some of these machines were not continued with on the Jump line because of the withdrawl of aircraft from the fleet last year.
People are quick to spout utter nonsence about how the aircraft were worn out -nothing could be further from the truth -some of the machines having done sub 3000 hrs -lower than the GR.3s that they replaced .
RileyDove is offline  
Old 30th Oct 2010, 19:00
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 1,335
N-a-B

A fleet of DD/FF [destroyers/frigates] has little in terms of balanced capability because it cannot go anywhere where there is an air threat, unless it has maritime air cover
Isn't air defence the primary role of the Type 45? Isn't it part of the requirement to protect the Carrier? As I understood it the JSFs [Joint Strike Fighter aka Dave] primary role, as far as the UK was concerned, was ground attack and that all its embarked FE @ R [Force Elements at Readiness] would be assigned missions to meet that assumption (particularly if only 12 are being embarked at anyone time ). So if the Type 45 is good enough to protect the carrier without a traditional flying AD [air defence] assets available then why can a DD/FF mix (without the carrier) not go anywhere there is an air threat?

Have I missed something? I appreciate you do expand on it further but (given the assumed role of Dave) does this mean that an

air threat ... as low capability as a Thai carrier with AV8As, ... can command the maritime airspace, it trumps a T45 or a helo [read JSF] carrier because it can hold the helo at threat
Surely a helo carrier or carrier with JSF in the ground attack role are no different (in that they offer no additional AD to the Type 45). Again, I appreciate the JSF is multi role but if they've got to maintain deck alert 24/7, sufficient to deter even a limited threat, there ain't going to be much left over for ground attack.

PS - not a fishing expedition, I am genuinely puzzled (not difficult).

PPS - Abbreviations expanded on for fear of flaming by the Abbreviation Police .....
Wrathmonk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.