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No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?

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No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?

Old 22nd Jun 2012, 16:04
  #1201 (permalink)  
 
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Brilliant post Widger with some VERY salient points indeed.

Can I ask when was the last single engined FJ embarked on a RN carrier?
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 16:11
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Was it in November 2010 on HMS Ark Royal?
And (from the internet) it was in 2007 when 14 USMC AV8Bs embarked on Illustrious.

IIRC, the USN's last single engined FW to embarked would have been the A-7, retired in 1991.

Last edited by Finnpog; 22nd Jun 2012 at 16:18.
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 16:31
  #1203 (permalink)  
 
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With all due respect, the RN & FAA do like to bang on and self-promote about how naval aviation requires a lifetime of dedication. We all have our pet loves. Out of curiosity then, was there a significant increase in incidents/accidents whenever the RAF embarked their Harriers? To my knowledge, there wasn't - whether you talk about the GR3s in the Falklands, or the GR7s and 9s later. It would seem that if you put the emotions to one side, the numerical facts and figures are that you can actually do naval aviation part-time. As a die-hard land-lubber, I've done 9 months aboard carriers and couldn't see what all the fuss is about.

If you like, take a look at the USMC. Whenever they're due to do a boat det they do a couple of weeks of workups, read all the old manuals & briefs, and go off on a 6 month cruise, come back and forget all about it until the next time they need to deploy. So if both the RAF and the USMC have managed to do part-time naval aviation with the legacy aircraft, isn't it reasonable to assume that it might be even easier with a more advanced replacement? Just asking.
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 16:39
  #1204 (permalink)  
 
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FYI - Another F35B gun pod pic

http://defensetech.org/2012/06/22/pi...f-its-gun-pod/
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 17:00
  #1205 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you Tourist and Engines for making me laugh..

I have been in awful pain all day and reading your contributions has cheered me up no end..

Is it Tourist and Engines or is it Tourist masquerading as Engines or...

Engines masquerading as Tourist??

Regarding the question about single engined fast jets operating from a proper RN carrier, would that be the Vampire?

Slightly before my time though..
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 17:24
  #1206 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding the question about single engined fast jets operating from a proper RN carrier, would that be the Vampire?

Slightly before my time though..
There where these that visited ARK ROYAL back in 76
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 17:32
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glojo - I think the single-engined Sea Venom and Sea Hawk came after Sea Vampire as did the Sea Harrier of course. Sea Vixen, Scimitar, Buccaneer and Phantom were all twin-engined.
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 17:43
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For those that want a better picture of that 35B exposing herself . Click
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 17:51
  #1209 (permalink)  
 
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kbrockman:

They may well have visited Ark Royal in 76, but that picture is Victorious in 66 I believe.
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 18:04
  #1210 (permalink)  
 
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Nice picture Kbrockman but the date is actually 1966. The RN carrier is Victorious operating in the Far East with a Crusader and Skyhawks from the USS Oriskany clearly taking the opportunity to cross deck with another SEATO Nation. The Buccaneer S2's of 801 Naval Air Squadron had just been introduced to service in the initial Dark Sea Grey and White paint job.

It's still hard to believe that Vic got chopped not too long after with the run down of the carrier force.
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 18:26
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For what it's worth, the photo's URL states "F8-Crusader-On-board-Victorious-1967".
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 18:40
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Oops my bad, made 76 from 67 it seems.
On a related note, anybody know if the French and their Etendards and Crusaders ever operated from a RN carrier ?
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 18:57
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FODPlod

Noted but the photo was taken during Exercise Swordhilt in late September 1966.

Last edited by draken55; 22nd Jun 2012 at 19:38.
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 23:01
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Ah Widger, you remind me of many a fine time aboard doing exactly what you wrote. Thanks for the nostalgia; though I never had the pleasure of going to a hotel except when Ex Hairy Funnel involved a run ashore to Edinburgh and the Irish Pub!!

Ivor, ironically, and compared to some of the comments made on anticipated time aboard in the future, the RN FAA were also part time 'embarkers' for around 2/3rds of the period 2000-2010 both in SHar and in GR7/9 as they did the same time at sea as the rest of JFH. Of course that was because the RAF wouldn't let the RN Sqn go to sea more often - because there was an Op on perhaps?! One where land-based ops were more appropriate. I couldn't agree more with you on training and gaining the skill to go to sea safely. Now that we are buying -B we can train more akin to how it was done on Harrier and not in the way the USN does with such devotion to FCLP.

Will a bigger ship require more personnel to run? Likely, yes. Will it be a cramped flight deck? Initially, no, and not for at least 10 years or so after FOC of QE. Later, yes but then everyone would have had time to work up to that level.

The dream of angled decks and cats and traps is now just that. We're buying two expensive floating airfields that will go someway to compensating for a lack of range and/or host nation support. They will be fantastical to see in operation and very useful for projecting influence far from home shores. Training to fly on and from them will be easier than flying Harrier from CVS so I simply do not buy any hint of an increased training burden at all.

Good luck to the RN and RAF pilots who will do it.

Last edited by ICBM; 22nd Jun 2012 at 23:23.
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Old 22nd Jun 2012, 23:51
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For those that want a better picture of that 35B exposing herself . Click

The Tart!
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Old 23rd Jun 2012, 00:00
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Let us not forget that the success of the JFH embarkations was done with a legacy of supervision and, in the main, in fairly benign conditions. The 'pitch up and make it work' technique only really works if you have a 'socket' into which to 'plug' and without significant investment in embarked time the socket is impossible to create.

Exam question. Which JFH senior officers could truly supervise deck ops/ Answer - two or three.

Let us also be clear about one thing. The pilot hands/ eyes/ controls in whatever sea state and whatever emcon state and in whatever NBCD condition are fairly straight forward. What 'certain people' have to get their heads around is that the aircrew are at times a training audience (as has been described) and at times a training tool. If the TAG leaves with the requisite number of bounces to call itself current - but not all the armourers loaded weapons in a swell, not all the freddies checked people in and out through 'force marshal' and not all the air traffickers conducted a four ball CCA - well the system has failed. Full stop.

This is what the JFH embarkation cycle did not achieve - and even at the end of the Harrier life (for example) we had never exercised bomb prep for a surge op using PW4...so didn't know if our assumptions would in any way hold up.

Producing OC from Maritime aviation is about creating a full-up system of systems amongst which the pilot him or herself is almost irrelevant - and which requires the TAG to be embarked for extended periods, over and above when the pilots feel comfortable.

And yes I are one, and yes I have 'a modicum' of experience.
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Old 23rd Jun 2012, 00:12
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So JFH never produced OC for the period 2000-2010 then? Ah, does that mean UK has been without a capable carrier force since the 90s and arguably earlier?

With no real QE capability coming to the fore until 2020+ that could mean UK will have survived without OC for nearly 20 years then.

That won't look good in SDSR-15

Last edited by ICBM; 23rd Jun 2012 at 00:13.
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Old 23rd Jun 2012, 00:58
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That's not what I said.

But we never exercised at surge because the 1 Gp maths pretty much stated that a squadron with average competences could be up and running within three weeks. If you look at what HEPC/ JFHPC actually gave the embarking squadrons to work with it was never a huge amount of jets.

NSW that became 800 NAS produced some good stuff in 2009 into 2010 and 1(F) did very well on Auriga. At the end 'the whole team' had Red Crown, Green Crown up to speed etc and were working well with dynamic targeting from the boat as well. In short the investment was paying off.

Did we achieve OC. Yes. Anything JFH did from KAF it could do from the boat. Did it achieve FOC? No. Why? Because FOC was a 20 sortie per day surge and that could require upwards of 80 PW4 in 24 hours and we never, ever, even attempted it.

And you're right, ICBM. It would look ridiculous in a SDSR just as it looked ridiculous in 2010. We should have put ten jets on the boat and seen what we could achieve. The fact we never did is ridiculous. At the very death of the Harrier we had no idea where the pinch points were in sortie generation from the deck.

If I recall correctly Auriga/ 1(F) was given six aeroplanes (with a certain DCINC displaying surprise it wasn't four) and at the same time JFH was putting fourteen up every afternoon at CQWI. A great effort, but a picture that illustrates where the priorities lay.
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Old 23rd Jun 2012, 07:09
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You're absolutely correct that there's more to it than just aircrew currency & quals, but I still don't see it as a major issue. Military folks are quite capable of just getting on and making things work when required.

For example, the USMC had never dreamed of operating 24 Harriers off an LHD's deck before 2003. No one in the Gator Navy had ever operated the deck with much more than 6 jets before, but both the USS Bataan and the Bonhomme Richard figured it out and made it happen during sustained combat ops for Iraqi Freedom.

Flexibility is the mantra of all modern armed forces so I just don't buy into the notion that the only possible way the UK can have a capability to operate aircraft from a carrier is to have a force that significantly biases its training regime to that end. The carrier is an undeniably unforgiving environment, but so too are the snow-covered runways of Norway & Canada or all the world's hot & high airfields or, dare I suggest it but it is a capability that the -B has, expeditionary airfields etc.

For me, pilots should have a good understanding of the issues relevant to operating from any surface that they are required to, but the overwhelming majority of their time has to be spent figuring out how to break other peoples' stuff. They shouldn't be condemned to a life on the ocean waves just because it warms the cockles of some folks in the RN who are still bitter that the RAF moved Australia in the 60s.
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Old 23rd Jun 2012, 07:35
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Orca,

We both know that the work that was done for 2010 was commendable and accurate but amounted to nothing because it 'wasn't the right answer'. If we've anything to learn from that cost-cutting exercise it's that the next SDSR will be no different.

I feel that for many a year to come, the boys and girls on QEC will look around and say 'this could have been so much more'; sure, most things can when money is no object. However, the RN will get big carriers (if it is the right answer); the FAA and RAF will get F-35B (if it is the right answer) and MASC will become much more than a requirement (if it is the right answer). Put together they will be a significant capability for the UK; much more than we have ever fielded at the forefront of technology.

Yes, I ask the difficult question or push the controversial issue but fundamentally know that the FAA and RAF will both have to be one voice in 2014 for F-35B to survive to ever be flown by both Services. No bickering, no blame. Those still crying into their pints over the change back to -B, arguing on the basis of a little range/loiter and half a 'g' are missing the big picture IMHO.
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