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

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

Old 24th Jun 2012, 15:58
  #1241 (permalink)  
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What is an SDB?

No just remembered Small Diameter Bomb


what it the job needs a Large Diameter Bomb though?

Last edited by glad rag; 24th Jun 2012 at 16:04.
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Old 24th Jun 2012, 16:10
  #1242 (permalink)  

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Thanks again, ICBM. I hadn't seen that degree of detail on the internal loads. Even at only 250lbs each for the SDBs, that's quite a useful load. But what does it do to the range/radius of action?

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Old 24th Jun 2012, 16:22
  #1243 (permalink)  
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Lovely stuff, but when, apart from 1982, have we ever needed UK only full carrier air?
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Old 24th Jun 2012, 16:32
  #1244 (permalink)  
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You're right, I'm a simple chap. But perhaps my previous post was too obtuse for you. I'm not really interested in your bio, especially as you're so quick to discount my own experience (that you guessed at rather wrongly I might add). Put it in your profile if you're anxious for people to know it. And I'm not very interested in your photo album, your polarized subjective opinion and arbitrary statement of 'Widger-facts' that the QE cannot be operated part-time.

Do you have some hard facts and figures that show the accident/incident rate aboard shot up when JFH took to doing part-time naval ops? If the accident rate didn't go up and the boys still met their operational tasking, what's your point? I don't think we're in the business of perfecting carrier ops into an art form just for the sake of it. Good enough is all we're after i.e. good enough to achieve the planned operational tasking which, to my knowledge, it was.

Also how do you justify the fact that the USMC Harriers do manage to do part-time naval aviation rather well? What about the French, Spanish & Italians who all only have one deck and so are compelled to do part-time naval aviation to some extent? On what basis do you discount the Operational Capability of everyone who's not a SHar-boy from the 80s?
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Old 24th Jun 2012, 17:52
  #1245 (permalink)  
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Some stats as below:

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Old 24th Jun 2012, 18:03
  #1246 (permalink)  
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You are attacking the person here not the argument. My brief Bio was not to get some form of perverse praise but to emphasise, quite openly, that unlike some armchair strategists on this forum, I know what I am talking about, from experience. You are clearly of the type that requires a very high level of proof before you will ever be convinced of someone else's argument. I am also very much aware of some within the RN, that also don't get it!

With regard to you question about safety, I am sure the Wing Commander that planted his aircraft in the drink whilst trying to do visual circuits at night, in defiance of the advice of the 'naval' element speak volumes. Thankfully, in the latter stages of JFH, such bravado had gone and anyway, I am not here to knock the RAF, who I have much professional respect for and count many amongst my friends. The faults of JFH also lie at the feet of some in the RN as well. Credit should go to those at Squadron level of both cloths who tried their damnedest to make things work in the face of the awful politics of two Services publicly trying to tear each other apart. That is not to say that Naval Aviators are not immune from mistakes at sea, as they are not and are equally at the mercy of the elements and poorly trained crew as anyone else. We could start a whole new thread on safety at sea and pour over the stats for months and months in order to try and prove one service was better than the other but it would be of no merit.

You have clearly lost the point of my post in the noise. The aviation that took place during the days of JFH was not what I would call 'operational'. It largely consisted of visual and radar circuits with the occasional trip to a bombing range. The last time the RN operated fixed wing from the sea in anger, was over Bosnia, where they provided a significant capability in CAP, CAS and RECCE with the FA2 , often filling in for the F3 and others when Italy was clamped. The French also operated in the same space both ashore and afloat. The reason the CVS did not get involved in wider events was because the platform itself was/is compromised. It could not carry the required amount of aircraft and the method of launch plus the deck available limited weapon load, fuel and bring back capability. Were Ark Royal with Cats and Traps (what this whole thread is about) available over the last 30 years I am sure the 'maritime' contribution to both Gulf events, Afghanistan and the Balkan conflict would have been much greater. This is where QEC needs to get to, with an aircraft that has the potential to match the capability of the F4 and Buccaneer even in the Dave B model. A large platform with capable aircraft will provide the UK with a significant piece of mobile territory, that will be able to cover several military tasks in one platform. I care not, the colour of the uniform of those who will fly off QEC, just that those who do, spend a lot more time onboard than JFH did, becuase if they don't, the full capability potential of QEC will never be realised. Both Services need to understand that the other is not a threat. That there is a place for both land based and sea based air and that they are complimentary, not exclusive.

Now, with nearly 1000 posts, it is quite easy to work out who I am, so how about you being a bit more clear on who you are and what your credentials are, so we can put your riposte (see I can use big words too) into context....with only 4 posts to your name, it is a bit more difficult for someone like me, who could never tell the difference between obtuse and acute (SL shag) to work it out you see!..........or were you once my boss? In which case...it all comes clear!

Last edited by Widger; 24th Jun 2012 at 18:10.
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Old 24th Jun 2012, 21:32
  #1247 (permalink)  
Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
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Thankfully, in the latter stages of JFH, such bravado had gone and anyway, I am not here to knock the RAF, who I have much professional respect for and count many amongst my friends.
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men.....
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Old 24th Jun 2012, 21:42
  #1248 (permalink)  
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often filling in for the F3 and others when Italy was clamped

If you want to get p!ssy, how about the F3s that flew escort for the rescue package to go and get one of your SHar boys (intials November Romeo flying in a FRS1) who had been shot down over Boz during a re-attack? FRS1 unable to provide effective sweep/escort for package due to being sidwinder-only capable against MiG 29 - so just how effective was that "filling in"!?. Also, in the summer when the sea-bean used to have to ditch weapons over the side when you couldn't land back on your through-deck-cruiser? There were lots of land based assets that could take a bigger load feet-dry and then return back to their base if they didn't drop.

There is a saying about glass houses and throwing stones...


Last edited by Lima Juliet; 24th Jun 2012 at 22:08.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 05:05
  #1249 (permalink)  
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During the Bosnia thing I certainly remember filling in for F3s when the weather was clamped in Italy, and on several occasions. I also remember what a joy it was to work the same CAP stations as F3s during Kosovo because AAR is so much easier at the low tanker heights they needed

(PS: I don't remember ever getting hauled off a mission for a Mig 29 threat either , and no-one ever ditched any weaponry over the side....not even in the summer. Great story though!)

Last edited by DBTW; 25th Jun 2012 at 05:08.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 06:01
  #1250 (permalink)  
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Yep, I'm one of those bluff old traditionalists that would like a decision that has significant cost implications to be made on facts and stats, and not on the feelings in someone's waters.

I get your point that JFH didn't do any embarked ops as exciting as Corporate or Bosnia in its latter years. But I reckon JFH was more than up to the job if they had been called upon to do so. Unfortunately there was an inconvenient ongoing commitment to ops in a land-locked country at the time that I think you'd have to be an extraordinary conspiracy theorist to believe was all part of an RAF plot to run down the FAA and the CVS.

You seem to miss or evade my point though. If every other nation (USMC, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, India, Thailand etc) manages to commit naval aviation on varying degrees of a part-time basis, does the UK have to pay to do full-time USN tailhook-style carrier ops? Does the UK really have a burning requirement to conduct sustained ops of 36 aircraft alpha strikes at night in sea state 6? If so, yes I can see the need for a significant amount of training and currency for all involved. But if the UK requirement is actually for days of 6 turn 6 then the deck dance is a whole lot less demanding for everyone concerned and the ship does become just another airfield.

As long as the UK has a tanker force, it can fly out F-35s to the ship with a few hours' notice wherever it is in the world - especially given the trivial training burden of F-35B STOVL ops. The QEC doesn't become useless as a political tool just because the full air wing isn't embarked. I just don't buy into your idea that the F-35s need to be on the deck of the ship at all times so the captain can look out at his flight deck every morning and feel a warm stirring in his loins. After all, the ship is rarely, if ever, the best place to conduct training from in all the roles that the F-35 is capable of performing. Splash bombing the raft (yet again) and BFM are not the reasons you buy the F-35.

Not sure why you're worried who I am or what relevance that has. Rest assured that one of my 'benign' (as you chose to call them) ship deployments saw my ship evading shore-based missile launches and I was cleaning my wings off in badlands twice a day for about 2 months. So I do feel somewhat qualified to comment, even if I don't post very often.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 06:18
  #1251 (permalink)  
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Then the LO at CAOC 5 in Vicenza (as it was) must have been telling "stories" to the General. i seem to remember the storyteller saying that if it got too hot in the summer whilst in a 2 bomb SCL, the aircraft could not land back on?

On the subject of MiG 29, here it is from one of your own:

At the time of the events described the Sea Harrier FRS1 was awaiting replacement by the FA2 mark, and was in many ways obsolescent. This showed in many ways, from the extraordinary multi-tasking required of the pilot of a single-seat aircraft with no auto-pilot - there is Richardson trying to fold his map with one hand and fly through turbulence with the other - and in its radar and weapons system, massively inferior in range and capability to its potential opponent over Bosnia, the MiG-29 Fulcrum with its Doppler radar. On the way to war 801 were able to sidestep to Decimomannu in Sardinia for much needed steep dive training, where there was also an opportunity to practice against German MiG-29s inherited from the DDR. The Sea Harrier FRS1ís deficiencies became blindingly obvious.
I know it was a long time ago now, but I can remember some bad times for RN aviation during those times...


Last edited by Lima Juliet; 25th Jun 2012 at 06:19.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 06:44
  #1252 (permalink)  
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Trying to get back......to..............the.................thread.....

Perhaps if 1SL was an aviator not a sub/frigate driver, JFH would still be grooming dark and light blue cloth for JCA. Celebrating a combined success in Libya with the rest of Combat Air and training for STOVL CEPP as we speak.

Equally, if 1SL was a FW FAA chap, perhaps we'd have sold 4 warships to the USN for 'spares' and for a paltry sum..

One does ponder....one path involved removal of an entire capability; the other, a reduction. When viewed that way I often wonder if the fish head side (who run the RN in effect) can be trusted with such important assets as they outwardly seem to 'not get it' too. Now, the FAA seniors certainly do but how many really have clout at the very top? Probably why CAS has always been a pilot.

Just a thought/opinion. Keen to hear other sides of this.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 07:47
  #1253 (permalink)  
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Good on you LJ, all great stuff. Of course a Sea Harrier could always carry bombs back to a shore base if needed, just like everyone else. Absolutely certain the 2 bomb SCL was never used in that particular theatre, although I am equally certain it was a declared config because the fit was launch-able and available if called upon.

If you remember when NR had his ejection event you will also remember that was on the third 6 month deployment of a RN carrier to the Adriatic and around 16 months into NATO participation. Mig 29s were not anticipated at that point, and Sea Harriers had been successfully operating various roles for at least the full 6 month deployment of the Invincible air group prior to 801's second arrival. Not sure where your excerpt comes from, but everyone who has read NR's book must know that it was enhanced in a historical sense to make it seem as though 801 were arriving on station as if they had been scrambled to war. This was simply not the case. The training 801 underwent en route was standard pre-operational routine by the time of the second arrival of Ark in the Adriatic theatre. And whilst things were increasingly hostile in a ground sense, the threat was familiar and very much stabilised in the air. The lesson learned by everyone with regards to the shoot down was the age old one about re-attacking alerted targets...and that lesson has absolutely nothing to do with the aircraft type or the nature of its basing.

ICBM, your point is very well made. At the beginning and the end of the story, it is admirals who put up Fleet Air Arm assets as costs savings measures, and it is former destroyer captains who generally become admirals. As they have dark ops rooms with big missile "fire" buttons, they often like to think they might get by without fighters. How many times did we hear Freddie say, "Haul off! Bird target!" In most instances this was not a wise call. Having said that, have you noticed ship's captains always like to keep helicopters? Because helos carry potatoes and mail!
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 09:05
  #1254 (permalink)  
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Fairy Nuff - it was nearly 20 years ago. I do remember that MiG 29 from Belgrade was briefed as a threat to HVAs when I was doing Op DF in 93 - a year prior to NR's event.

I guess it's back to the thread?

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Old 25th Jun 2012, 09:34
  #1255 (permalink)  
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I think that might have been some sort of veiled apology from LJ? Maybe not.

Op Deny Flight was an interesting one as it did demonstrate the complimentary nature of martime and land based air power. The F3 was mostly used at night as one of the few night capable AD assets. SHAR did not only do CAP but significant amounts of RECCE and CAS sorties day and night. I was one of the LOs in the CAOC and sat feet away from General 'Bear' Chambers and his Colonel Mary who made him blueberry muffins. I personally used to phone the ship asking them to fill in a sortie at often very short notice because Italy was clamped. The ships came up with the goods every time, and the General was particularly grateful. So what I say was not horse poo LJ. (Were you one of the crews that used to fly up for a day or two from GDC to Vicenza to get better rates, as the hotel you were staying in didn't earn you enough money?)

Last edited by Widger; 25th Jun 2012 at 10:54.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 09:53
  #1256 (permalink)  
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Sorry, Sorry,

That last comment was below the belt I know and very hurtful for a crab. I must be turning into Tourist!
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 09:57
  #1257 (permalink)  
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As far as I am aware there is not one single senior Naval officer that has had any experience of serving aboard a conventional aircraft carrier? (question) yes we have pilots who are fortunate enough to deploy on US carriers but have any of these reached the dizzy heights of flag rank? I am CERTAIN that no Royal Air Force pilot has served on a conventional carrier and they will definitely have no idea of what this type of ship can bring to both the military and political table.

I have an open mind on who should command these vessels be they ex aviators or not as this decision is not as straight forward as it might first appear. A US carrier group will always have an experienced Admiral in command, this person is responsible for 'spreading the word and political power of the United States of America'. British carriers do sometimes embark a flag officer but there are times when the captain is in sole command of the carrier and its Air Group, so this officer has to be an all round switched on kiddy, both militarily and politically. If it is an ex aviator, then so be it, but it has to be the very best man for the job, be they ex wafoo, ex submariner or current General Service.

The other point I find boring is this sensitive skin that is continually cropping up on here and other threads. Every single Royal Navy contributor of any substance has to a man recognized the professionalism of their light blue counter part, every single man jack of them has said this. BUT they have also quite correctly pointed out that the nitty gritty air combat has been fought from our carriers! They have never and will never say it has been the sole domain of the Fleet Air Arm, they are simply saying that the pilots have been embarked aboard a floating airfield and boy has this fact caused issues.

The conventional carrier is not cheap, no one has pretended otherwise but as I keep saying, how many operational fast jet squadrons are there in the UK and what are they doing? Can it be a total ignorance of what the conventional carrier brings to the table that has seen these recent decisions being made in the way they have?
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 10:11
  #1258 (permalink)  
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I am CERTAIN that no Royal Air Force pilot has served on a conventional carrier
What, not even the ones who did exchange tours on USN Prowlers and USN F18?

fast jet squadrons are there in the UK and what are they doing
UK QRA. Training to support operations (FI QRA, AFG). Maintaining readiness to deploy on 'Call Me Dave's' next big adventure.

And one small FJ is helping to raise awareness, and money, for the RAFBF.

Edited to add:

Just seen this -

The F3 was mostly used at night as one of the few night capable CAS assets.

Last edited by Wrathmonk; 25th Jun 2012 at 10:14.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 10:53
  #1259 (permalink)  
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Edited, thank you for highlighting my mistook as my spillong is alwoos going wroong!
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 11:30
  #1260 (permalink)  
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Apologies for that short post which I might delete .

If we are having RAF pilots deploy onto US carriers for the full deployments, lerarning the full skills of operating from the decks of these carriers including night flying etc then hats off to them. The shore based operational RAF squadrons are arguably an expensive way to use those resources and why not have them operate from carriers but of course retain one for the duties you have outlined. Far better to deploy from a fully equipped mobile airfield as opposed to what we saw over Libya?

And one small FJ is helping to raise awareness, and money, for the RAFBF

Get a blooming great windsock to drag behind the thing and let the general public KNOW what it is!!! Instead of looking like an escaped 'Loveheart' (As a homophobic recipient of aid from the RNBT I am fully supportive of these Trusts)
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