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Bring Back the Carrier

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Bring Back the Carrier

Old 18th Mar 2011, 13:49
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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The things the NFZ are likely to demonstrate are :

1. Need a SEAD capability, which UK is ill-equipped to provide and if the boxheads aren't playing leaves us waiting for the nearest sqn of Prowler/Growler.

2. Depending on what FOB is used, the number of cabs required (even with tanking) to maintain a mere two-ship CAP is going to be eye-watering - my bet is 8 cabs per two-ship station for any length of time. Ark plus GR9 unlikely to be able to do much to support this. Even with FA2, would have struggled to do much more than a couple of CAP stations for any sustained period. BUT

3. That's why you buy bigger carriers with the ability to run multiple CAP stations and do SEAD/strike from the same airwing. Can get closer therefore getting away from the two hours lost transit to station & return. Would still need AAR & probably AWAC, but much less demanding than filling CAP stns.

Sharkey Ward is also giving his opinion, which apart from the (surprisingly!?!) one-eyed statement on AAR, isn't a million miles away.

Fleet Air Arm Officers' Association, FAAOA News
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 14:53
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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If the Italians decide to join they can provide SEAD with their HARM equipped Tornado ECR, same capability as Germany.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 15:22
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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According to BBC Look East, GR4's from Marham will be providing SEAD and have been working with the French for 3 days at a North Sea range.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 15:36
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Now that the Colonel has declared a ceasefire, I would guess that many Nations on the point of offering HNS will stall to see how things pan out and/or get their politics sorted out.

Training may continue over the weekend just in case!
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 15:59
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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ECM01 - had forgotten the Italian ECR. But didn't they abstain in the UN vote along with Frau Merkel?

Wasn't aware that Alarmed GR4 were fully SEAD capable against any IADS.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 16:07
  #26 (permalink)  
AR1
 
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bet that will suprise the Libyan Air Force to see several Tiffies taxying in
They'll be ok provided they take Amex for the landing fees.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 16:16
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Ward is still thinking in 1982 terms, I see:

The Harrier GR9 is extremely well equipped for ground target interdiction and, fitted as it is with the Sidewinder AIM-9L/M missile would provide an adequate fighter combat capability and deterrence against Libyan air force pilots.
Provided that the weather stays nice......

Although a Link16-enabled Sea Harrier FA2 force with AMRAAM and ASRAAM could certainly have provided a more than 'adequate' interceptor capability.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 16:19
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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The Ardvarks from Upper Heyford nearly got him on Op Eldorado Canyon...

"The attacks failed to kill Gaddafi. Forewarned by a telephone call from Malta's Prime Minister, Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, that unauthorized aircraft were flying over Maltese airspace heading south towards Tripoli, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his family rushed out of their residence in the Bab al-Azizia compound moments before the bombs dropped. According to Giulio Andreotti (the 42nd Prime Minister of Italy) and Abdel Rahman Shalgham (Libya's Foreign Minister from 2000 until 2009), Italian politician Bettino Craxi was the person who actually warned Gaddafi."
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 16:31
  #29 (permalink)  
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Worth bearing in mind that one of the F1-11's didn't come back.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 17:54
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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orca - correct.

Charles de Gaulle to deploy on Monday according to certain sources.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 18:11
  #31 (permalink)  
MG
 
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Draken55

I'm only fixated on the Harrier/carrier issue because that's what the article mentioned!
Secondly, who says we can't launch Apache from a warship? We do still have Ocean and Lusty; even if they are alongside (I'm not sure as to their exact status) we have never lost, nor do we plan to lose, the capability to deploy a tailored air group from an LPD or equivalent.
Finally, just because Gaddafi as said he's going to have a ceasefire, do you think all of those likely to offer HNS will just fall into line and turn us away? Hmmm?!

Not a Boffin: some very good points re the need for a proper carrier and why we need a range of capabilities.
I've just read Sharky Ward's ditty. Why did he bother? We all know that if he was el Presidente, the Forces would all wear dark blue. Where did he get the availability of E3 from? And aren't SKaSACs in theatre? If so, how come they can be called on and not the E3s?? Is it time for his tablets yet?!

Now, all, can we just, for once, pretend that we don't have Harriers anymore and talk about what we do have? Capable Tornados and Typhoons.

Last edited by MG; 18th Mar 2011 at 18:28.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 18:28
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Gaddafi's so-called ceasefire will last as long as it takes to get his troops, tanks and artillery close to Benghazi. He would then launch a pre-emptive strike at dawn with ground-attack aircraft and everything else at his disposal. He will then call for a second cease-fire.

All the committed UN forces need to be close by, on immediate readiness and with a 24-hour CAP. Anything less just will not do.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 19:11
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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MG

My earlier post mentioned that Ark has gone (no engines, six months to bring back, CIWS removed etc) and Illustrious is in refit. Ocean might be available. Ark had worked with Apache last Autumn Ocean had not.

The point about the Colonel's ceasefire was that it delayed the UN taking action. If he is daft enough to carry on he will be clobbered. If he sits tight or withdraws to his heartland will the UN still take pre-emptive action to degrade his AD capability anyway?

So whilst the threat of action has had an impact, he has thrown the ball back into our court with the risk of now having to maintain a NFZ for some time or try to force the issue on Regime change. Note that Germany has already said no thanks to any involvement as has Tunisia. And whilst Italy appears willing it wants it's MP's to give formal approval to the use of airfields. Spain and France are as far away as Cyprus. I have no idea what Malta is thinking but it might stay quiet until things pan out.

Lets just wait and see if Tornados and Typhoons depart and where they end up at

Last edited by draken55; 18th Mar 2011 at 20:06.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 20:03
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Part of a post I just made on the Libya NFZ thread:

At 7nm per minute:

Sigonella - Tripoli 280nm = 40 mins
Luqa - Tripoli 195nm = 27 mins
Sigonella or Luqa - Benghazi 330nm = 47 mins
Souda Bay - Benghazi 280nm = 40 mins

Given that Tornado used to take part in Op TELIC from Qatar, over 1 hour's flying time from Basra, you can see that land basing is perfectly feasible in this case. Operating in concert with Nimrod R1, it brings a decent SEAD capability to the table, as well as the overwatch and low-collateral precision attack currently being practised on Op HERRICK.
Sorry, carrier fans - this conflict in no way proves that we need a carrier-borne attack capability. Especially when it was based on a short-ranged aircraft with no SEAD capability and no long-range weapons for IADS rollback.

Air defence is a different argument and being carrier-based would allow quicker regen times and a decent QRA location. But, as stated many times above, an AIM-9L- (or even ASRAAM-) equipped GR9 would not constitute a decent air defence capability when compared to any radar-equipped aircraft. Move along.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 20:14
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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one wonders if SENTINEL retirement will be given a second thought??
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 20:17
  #36 (permalink)  
MG
 
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Easy Street - thank you for that, you put the point well and certainly better than I attempted. This really is the wrong action with which to try to raise the carrier argument. Try another one Sharky, it doesn't work this time.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 20:29
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Whats the problem with ALARM equiped GR4s? Or don't we do that anymore?
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 21:10
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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President Obama made it clear that the UK and France and others will be in the van on this one. How long might we have to provide a NFZ if the Colonel does as he is told? What impact could this have on the RAF?

With Libya land basing is feasible but as of now, we do not know where Tornado and Typhoon will be based with certainty? Could be right to assume Crete and Italy but we do not know for sure. Easy Streets flight times reflect the best case scenario.

There is no carrier argument. We are building two! The issue was would Ark Royal have been useful and in view of events can we still do without any Strike Carrier capability for a period of 10 years. In my view when deleting Ark Royal we took a risk and will get away with it this time. However looking ahead, Illustrious could offer more than just a platform for helos if at least some GR9's are reactivated for use in the intervening period with QE becoming available circa 2015 and POW with "cats and traps" later.

And please no more about how we are broke and Defence needs to share the pain. If HMG wants to play at the top table it now needs to find the cash! If it continues as if nothing has happened since October last we are simply asking for trouble.
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 21:30
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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MG

"do you think all of those likely to offer HNS will just fall into line and turn us away? Hmmm?!"

The Mediterranean island of Malta grants use of its air space to enforce a no-fly zone on Libya. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi however says that Malta "will not be used as a military base for the enforcement of the no-fly zone."

Italian MP's should vote to allow the use of bases but nothing is ever certain until it happens!
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Old 18th Mar 2011, 21:45
  #40 (permalink)  
MG
 
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There's still no compelling argument for the use of our retired carriers and their non-air defence Harriers to implement a no-fly zone. Yes, of course they would have been of use but they wouldn't have been essential and the job would have always needed HNS, regardless; the enablers were always going to be shore-based. The carrier argument, as I have said on every post here, is misplaced in this situation.
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