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Nimrod MRA4 Being Broken Up

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Nimrod MRA4 Being Broken Up

Old 28th Jan 2011, 14:59
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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You seem to be missing a key fact here, MRA4 was months away from service and would have cost the tax payer nothing more, scrapping it cost another £200 million....how is that cost effective? Its not only about the airframe either, vital skills will be lost not only in aircraft manufacturing but more importantly MPA experience.

Anyway your a troll so go peddle your shit somewhere else.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 15:04
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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"We are now reaching a position where, to put it brutally, the British aircraft industry is destroying our military air power"

- Julian Amery, Minister of Aviation, January 1964.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose... perhaps we should cooperate with the French on building a new MPA.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 15:05
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Graham O

The services do not purchase any equipment, nor do they decide what is cancelled. Perhaps you should invite the previous government and the bankers round to every house first.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 15:31
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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GrahamO,

Possibly against my better judgement, I'll take on your arguments, for whatever reason I can't sit back and let them go without reply.

1. the aircraft has yet to fly effectively - its removal is not creating a gap, its failing to fill one which the service appears to be quite happy having for the last decade while ir prevaricates and messes around.
No real problem with the first part (although much of this depends upon your definition of effective), although it has certainly demonstrated much of its capability. However it is fundamentally incorrect to say that we have been without the capability for the last ten years. It is only in the last twelve months that the Nimrod MR2 was removed from service. We have now created a permanent hole in our capability.

2. It was a project based upon reuse of failed bits, adding more unproven bits and generally wasting billions by building upon failure after failure. By scrapping it fully, we prevent the future creation of the next failure, the Nimrod 5 which would the RAF's next late project.
Any evidence to back up this sweeping statement? The reused MR2 fuselages had never failed. As to the adding of "unproven" bits, where possible proven airliner technology was used in MRA4. However you can not build a new military aircraft, years ahead of what any other nation currently operates by using totally proven technology in its sensor and tactical suite. Yes there were issues, but it worked, and improvements were constantly being made. This is no different to any other military project.

3. the RAF should look to itself for the failure. If they had delivered to time and budget and not kept messing around, they would have had their toys by now. Its difficult to justify billions and billions of overspend money being wasted to keep Nimrod going when history suggest that the RAF cannot be trusted to get the project off the ground. Meanwhile soldiers on the ground are dying due to lack of appropriate vehicles. Which do you spend money on - vehicles which will clearly save lives, or spend it on more delays on Nimrod. Its a no brainer.
I'll happily concede that there have been major issues within this project, and that I don't know enough about what went on to discuss it. It is interesting though that no-one in government/MoD has yet countered the argument that these aircraft were paid for, and therefore the savings, if any, are minimal. WRT your point about the vehicles, I don't have a problem with that requirement, but it sums up the entire SDSR. We have traded our overall military capability in order to support this particular conflict. Whilst this may be fine in the short time, the issue is that capabilities such as this can not be resurrected in short order in terms of either hardware or trained personnel.

Whilst requirement is a subjective argument I still can not get my head around that we should get rid of the only asset that could investigate anything in our vast maritime area of responsibility in a matter of minutes/hours.

Last edited by My T Hunter; 28th Jan 2011 at 16:00.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 15:40
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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You seem to be missing a key fact here, MRA4 was months away from service and would have cost the tax payer nothing more, scrapping it cost another £200 million....how is that cost effective?
I believe the savings quoted are the through-life operating costs.

BTW, I'm not agreeing with GrahamO, his type of ill-informed opinion is of no relevance as his knowledge of the facts is at error and his tainted opinions of the MoD (RAF) procurement process are clear, though I do tend to agree that it was a tad expensive. Doesn't take away from the illogicality of cutting it just as all that investment was coming to fruition.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 15:59
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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The issue that has vexed so many observers is that MRA4 was cut just as it was about (there may be various views on what 'about' means) to become operational.

However, to my mind, where the jet was in the procurement cycle is completely irrelevant. The fact was that an MPA capability was going to cost the country £2Bn over the next 10 years. The question for SDSR was: Is an MPA capability for the next decade worth £2Bn? The answer, ultimately, was 'No'.

Now we can debate whether 'No' was the right answer, but if for a second we assume it WAS the right answer, then whether the jet was brand new or 10, 20 or 30 years old, then scrapping it was the correct thing to do. The only follow up question is then: Why the hell didn't we scrap it years ago????

Or else 'No', isn't the right answer....
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 17:16
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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So, our service chiefs have written a letter explaining that the scrapping of the MRA4 leaves a major gap in capability. Wow! a newsflash indeed. How very strange that this should be released when they knew when the airframes were due to be cut up. I can only assume that it's a last-ditch attempt to regain respect from anyone who still cares. Spineless.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 18:44
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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The Nimrod fiasco is the result of a series of bad decisions made over a number of years by the MOD, RAF?, Labour and Conservative governments and BAE.
Was it the right decision to rebuild a 40 year old aircraft based on an aircraft designed in the 1940s? - no
Did BAE make promises on the time scale, costs etc. which could not be fulfilled? - yes
Were the Labour party / MOD right to believe BAE when they signed a contract to build these aircraft? - no
Were the Labour party wrong in reducing the order from 21 to 9 aircraft making the project even less cost effective - yes
Was the Conservative party wrong to allow Britain to lose such a vital asset and cancel the aircraft just before they were to enter service - yes.
Was scrapping the aircraft so quickly for £200m a mistake - yes
I'm only an armchair expert who never supported the Nimrod re-build who thought it was madness to build aircraft with absolutely no chance of been exported when a MPA based on the A320? would have been a better proposal but the Nimrod is better than nothing.
The people who I feel are the biggest losers are the people who have lost their jobs because of so many people in Government and BAE management letting them down.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 20:20
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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I think you missed...

Were theTories right in signing the original contract in 1996 and not ensuring that it was sufficiently and legally watertight that it left this monstrous fiasco hapen in the first place?

Not wishing to defend ZNL, but credit where credit is due.

Kinda makes you wonder why the Tories want this gone now as well?
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 20:40
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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I have just been Googling to see what was in the press about the competition in 1996.

It seems that there was more than an odd bit of political motivation involved in the decision.

Race for pounds 2bn Nimrod contract enters last lap - News - The Independent
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 20:40
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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while ir [sic] prevaricates [sic] and messes around
Oh dear. Someone else who uses long words without knowing what they mean. Such a shame because the thrust of your argument was sooo convincing...Tr
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 21:07
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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One hears that the reason for the indecent haste to destroy the Nimrod 2000 was "The Americans not wanting a non-NATO country to get hold of all the kit inside"....

Of course, any such American pressure (which frankly I do not believe) would simply be smoke and mirrors. Knowing that Tory Boy might one day realise what an utter ar$e he's been listening to moaning sandaholic pongos and that we actually do need an MPA capability, they know that, without any Nimrod 2000s in mothballs, the only realistic option would be Boeing's P-8A Poseidon:


Incidentally, I was told this week that the US Navy 'didn't know' that large aircraft can happily use probe and drogue refuelling - hence the P-8A will need a boom-equipped tanker. Which is a capability the UK doesn't have.

Last edited by BEagle; 28th Jan 2011 at 21:41.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 21:07
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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What I don't understand is this,
Cameron is PM, he's meant to deal with broad brush strategies, passing these on to those below to implement and work out the details. Binning specific platforms is like the boss of Ford motors popping down to the assembly line to bang roof linings in for a morning... not what he is paid for.

PM says 'I want to be able to do this', service chiefs outline what is needed, CS and services hash over cash to manage it, if it can't be done PM is told he must reduce policy requirements (for example "let's not invade Iraq" and suchlike) or stump up more cash. The PM simply ought not to be concerned with the nitty gritty of the kit supplied to the forces - not least because, like all other MPs, he has no specialist knowledge to allow him to make a good decision (even if he had a decent brain, which mostly they don't). I mean, I wouldn't let him fit a new kitchen, change my car's oil filter, or replace a tap... so why let him fiddle with things he is equally uneducated on?

Dave
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 21:32
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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US drive to get rid quickly - naah.

As I've suggested before, DE&S have money this FY to pay for disposal, and nothing next. PR11 is a mess already, and if MRA4 is not 'cleared' this FY, then something else would have to be cut to pay for it.

Also as I said before, 'you could not make this up'.
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 21:54
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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Nimrod replacement

Time to bring back the Elizabethan Beacon Lighters!
Always on watch from our shores searching for any attacking Armada, ready to light the fire and raise a Hew and cry.










Not that we have anything much to fight them with any more but still.
Dad's Army stopped Hitler invading, just think what effect an Army of Victor Meldrews and Ann Widdecombes could have defending our shores!
Whats that you say, were not interested in defending OUR shores any more, only getting involved in other peoples battles. Oh sorry, my mistake. I got it wrong, again. Hat.........Coat........
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Old 28th Jan 2011, 22:14
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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If...

The P8s are so much cheaper, can we order twice as many and rename the Kipper Fleet the Arbroath Smokies?
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Old 29th Jan 2011, 01:50
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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Was any attempt made to find a buyer for the aircraft (Saudi, perhaps?)

Was any consideration given to providing aircraft to Boscombe to replace their BAC One Elevens and other large aircraft types?

Was any consideration given (at this late stage) to migrating the R.Mk 1 kit over to three of the airframes, which would surely have been cheaper than the RC-135 scheme, and would have given an autonomous national capability 'no worse' that R.Mk 1?

Why wasn't an MPA capability felt to be worth the uncommitted money?
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Old 29th Jan 2011, 09:13
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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Is the P8 really a suitable aircraft?

My commiserations to all who have been kicked in the teeth by the cancellation of the MRA4, but it has irreversibly gone now and we have to look forward to when our ill-informed masters realise what type of dog up they have made.

That's a great picture of the P8 , but would it be able to perform all the roles that the MRA4 was planned to do?

Those long thin wings say great at high altitude and high Mach Number cruise, not so good when having to manoeuvre at low level in foul weather with ice building up on the external stores and the high lift devices that have to be deployed.

I wonder if it doesn't have a MAD stinger because it can't fly low enough to effectively use one and what would severe aerodynamic and structural limitations on low level operation mean for its ability to drop life rafts, sonobuoys and torpedoes?

Have you seen any pictures showing the size and position of the bomb bay, as Boeing seem to be remarkably coy about this. It makes you wonder whether the design also suffers from CG problems.

The only modern design that looks half decent is the Japanese XP-1 (which also has four engines!), but I hate to say it, the only option we may have is zero lifed P3s with updated avionics.
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Old 29th Jan 2011, 11:05
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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Jacko

Was any attempt made to find a buyer for the aircraft (Saudi, perhaps?)
Without a domestic user, it'll be near impossible to sell the MRA4s to anyone.

Was any consideration given to providing aircraft to Boscombe to replace their BAC One Elevens and other large aircraft types?
No idea on this one. But without an MAR or CAA certification, what could Boscombe do with it? And why would MRA4 be a better platform than the 1-11s? And if the 1-11s are to be replaced, is MRA4 the correct platform? The fact they're being chopped up suggests that the answer is "No".

Was any consideration given (at this late stage) to migrating the R.Mk 1 kit over to three of the airframes, which would surely have been cheaper than the RC-135 scheme, and would have given an autonomous national capability 'no worse' that R.Mk 1?
Jacko, give it up. People who know far more about this than either of us are convinced that the RJ option is the right one. Let it go!

Why wasn't an MPA capability felt to be worth the uncommitted money?
What uncommitted money? MoD would be fascinated to hear about this!

S41
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Old 29th Jan 2011, 11:22
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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I wonder how much current decision making is based on experience and knowledge, and how much is based on ignorance and a certain defence advisor who seems to disregard things outside his field of expertise?
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