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Long Range SAR

Old 18th Dec 2012, 07:39
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Long Range SAR

A year or so ago we were, after the demise of Nimrod, discussing the lack of capability to provide any SAR support out around the 20/25W area. It was only a matter of time before such a lack would come back and bite us.

I, (and others) pointed out that in the past all C130 crews did SAR training on PRT. Crews sent to MPA did fairly extensive SAR training and often carried out SAR standby and Missions.

It would be perfectly possible and practical to equip and train a small number of J crews to do mission until a more suitable MPA aircraft was available.

Does anyone know if we are making any efforts to reintroduce a credible long range SAR capability?
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 07:51
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I believe the answer is no although I'm sure it would be a requirement for any future MPA.

Cue for LJ to open up on how we could strap 3 ASRA kits underneath Reaper!!
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 09:15
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I believe the Americans no longer run permanent P3 detachments at Bermuda, Keflavik and Lajes.
So it would seem the North Atlantic nations are reducing there capability of intervening in a North Atlantic disaster at exactly the same time as there is a massive increase in passenger traffic.

Good plan. I wonder who will get the blame when the inevitable happens?
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 09:41
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Maritime Environment Training

I’m fairly sure that SAR training is not currently high on the agenda of the Herc fleet.

Sometime last year a Maritime sortie was flown by a Herc with some former Nimrod crew as observers on board. It became apparent that the C-130 crew needed some training at least in recognising different ship types. Their reliance on the ‘Shipspot’ system is not enough. A training package was made and this now sits in the Falkland Islands pre-deployment training box. As far as I know it is not routinely taught to all C-130 crews.

Not their fault but without training and experience they will struggle to understand the Maritime environment. They already have a full time task supporting our current Afghan adventure and everything else.

If we were to only train a ‘small number’ of crews in the role how would you manage those ‘few’ to always be ‘on call’? To do the job properly to achieve around the clock cover you would need to train a lot of already overstretched crews for a role they may never need to be called on.
There is little or no corporate knowledge of the maritime environment in their fleet to call on.
They are already doing a first class professional job it seems unfair to ask them to take on another one without any training.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 09:49
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There is presently NO long range SAR asset. The end..
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 09:53
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HAS 59

Good answer. We will live to regret this.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 12:13
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I don't think there has been a requirement in the past 12 months for a long range SAROP in the Atlantic, and i guess that until there is one, our politicians will keep their heads in the sand (or up their arses) over the issue.

dalek
Whilst I agree with you about traffic across the pond increasing, the hard fact is that it is a great deal safer than it probably ever used to be. I don't cite that as an excuse or a reason NOT to have a LRSAR capability, but those at the top undoubtedly will.

The C-130 guys are overstretched and whilst the concept is plausable, it is really a non-starter for long range SAROPS. The Hercules is a great aircraft, but it is not a SAR platform frankly, and it never will be and to further burden the truckie fleet with another 'add on' tasking should not even be considered. The FIs Herc's are however a different matter, and I'm sure they provide a first class, if limited SAR cover.

Unfortunately it won't be until there is some major disaster involving a cruise ship, or a bunch of yachts or something of that nature that requires urgent SAR assistance, that the case for answering the long range SAR asset problem will rear its head again. Until then, we are simply riding our luck! However............the day will arrive when.......................

Merry Christmas to all
Winco
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 12:41
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People who argue the case for an MPA based on "SAR" are delusional.

We desperately need an MPA for military reasons, but the the SAR idea is silly.
The same money the Nimrod would have cost if spent in the NHS would save vastly more lives, even if you lost a cruise liner every month.

There is a price on life, as every reasoning adult/NICE knows, and the price per life saved by long range SAR is staggering.

Argue on the basis of warfighting/defense of the realm, not silliness. It just makes it easier to dismiss all your arguments.

Incidentally, the argument also goes for rotary SAR. Just silly, really, but lots of fun.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 12:53
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Tourist,

People who argue the case for an MPA based on "SAR" are delusional.

Don't think you will find many in the maritime world who argue for an MPA based on SAR. What you will find is those who argue for an MPA for the ASW/ASuW/ISR reasons with the 'bonus' of being able to conduct SAROPs somewhere down the line in the mission set.

Betty,

There is presently NO long range SAR asset. The end..
Yes there is. They are called ships.

But I'm sure you meant to say No long range airborne SAR asset....

Last edited by Party Animal; 18th Dec 2012 at 14:16.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 12:58
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We have never had a long range airborne SAR asset.

Only a Search asset.
Rescue needs a helicopter, or yes a ship.

...and don't make me laugh that dropping a life raft is a "rescue".

You get rescued in most cases from a liferaft, not into one.


Yes I would agree that that is the way to describe the SAR aspects of an MPA, as a freebie bonus if you have the aircraft.

Last edited by Tourist; 18th Dec 2012 at 12:59.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 13:02
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Party Animal, I concur. However, this thread is about the airborne "bit". I thought that was obvious.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 15:12
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betty,

Since when has anything on here been obvious?

Duncs
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 17:12
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Originally Posted by Tourist
Rescue needs a helicopter, or yes a ship.

...and don't make me laugh that dropping a life raft is a "rescue".

You get rescued in most cases from a liferaft, not into one.

Yes I would agree that that is the way to describe the SAR aspects of an MPA, as a freebie bonus if you have the aircraft.
Pardon me for being pedantic, but...
Originally Posted by Wikipedia

...Fulton first used instrumented dummies as he prepared for a live pickup. He next used a pig, as pigs have nervous systems close to humans. Lifted off the ground, the pig began to spin as it flew through the air at 125 mph (200 km/h). It arrived on board uninjured but in a disoriented state. Once it recovered, it attacked the crew.[2]

The acceleration experienced by the pickup was 7 g's.[3]

Later the US Navy tested the Fulton system fitted to modified S-2 Trackers carrier based antisubmarine patrol aircraft for use in rescuing downed pilots. It is unknown whether a Fulton equipped S-2 was ever used on a combat mission...
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 17:34
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We have never had a long range airborne SAR asset.
Tourist, I would offer that there may be a few Sunderland and Catalina crews from WWII who would take issue with that statement.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 17:44
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FODPlod:

I'm pretty certain that Fulton has not been used in maritime SAR, and is pretty unlikely to be used ever again. That's what I was told in a brief at Eglin AFB in 1985
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 20:25
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I agree with the cost:benefit analysis. Just how many ASRA sets have done what they were designed to do?

I always believed that if I jumped out over the ocean, I would probably call it a day, open the goon suit zip and join the Titanic. Either that or get bonked on the head by a ruddy great dinghy!

LJ

PS - anyone ever though about putting ASRA on a UAV?

Last edited by Lima Juliet; 18th Dec 2012 at 20:25.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 21:09
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LJ

"Just how many ASRA sets have done what they were designed to do?"

If you're going to make that argument then presumably you agree with the logical conclusion of the comment the FAA guys love making on PPRuNe to wind up the RAF, how many aircraft have the RAF shot down since 1945? Given the answer, and the logic of your argument, presumably we can scrap the RAF AD fleet, we'll save much more money than the cost of a few ASRA kits.

Then again, how many RN SSNs have ever sunk a hostile vessel, one I think, so, using the logic of your argument, let's get rid of of RN SSNs, we'll save a fortune!.

The purpose of an ASRA is to preserve the life of the casualty until a permanent rescue can be effected by means of ship or helo. Carrying ASRA kit in a suitable aircraft usually involves no cost penalty in terms of drag, fuel available, etc. If you have a long range search asset, equipping it with ASRA is normally a very low cost option which may, or may not, make the difference between life and death. To a certain extent it's a freebie...

Of course if you don't have a long range search asset...

Last edited by Biggus; 18th Dec 2012 at 21:10.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 21:20
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Well I know at least one that did!

During the preparations to abandon ship using the 20 man inflatable liferaft
stowed on the boat deck - portside - the 2nd Engineer's wife (the
supernumerary), the Chief Officer and a GP seaman were washed overboard.
Fortunately an RAF Nimrod aircraft had arrived over the ship at this crucial
time and they dropped an air-sea rescue pack including two inflatable liferafts,
one of which the three persons in the sea eventually boarded.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 22:19
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And one that didn't!

M.V. Dara was a British Indian Steam Navigation Company liner, built in 1948, Barclay, Curle and Co; 5,030 tons 398.7 x 54.8; 14 knots; oil engines.

Dara mostly travelled between the Arabian Gulf and the Indian continent, carrying expatriate passengers who had employment in the Gulf States. She had accomodation for 20 1st Class, 54 2nd Class and 1377 deck passengers.


A bomb exploded on board, while off the coast of Dubai, on the 8th April 1961 which caused the vessel to eventually sink. It was never clearly established who planted the bomb, or why, but there was a high loss of life attributed to the incident, despite the fact that no one was on board when it sank. At the time, it was the worst peace time disasters on the high seas, second to the Titanic. There is some conjecture that, due to the circumstances, the perpetrator of the crime may also have been on board at the time of the explosion. Captained by Charles Elson, there was a total of 819 on board, including 19 officers and 113 crew; 238 died from burns or drowning.
RAF Search and Rescue: -

The following message was left in the guest book by Jack Frith on the 21/10/04. He has kindly agreed for me to repeat the message here, (thanks Jack).

I was the captain of the Search and Rescue Shackleton that was sent from Aden to search for and aid the Dara. The photograph that you are using was taken by one of my crew from the beam position on the aircraft when we arrived on scene. I dropped a Lindholm rescue gear (contained a dingy, food, water etc) to what appeared to be some surviviors in the water but since no effort was made to reach the gear it had to be assumed that we were too late. Seems a long time ago now.
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Old 18th Dec 2012, 22:24
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Biggus

I've no doubt it is a freebie, but we shouldn't use LRSAR as the justification for the UK's ASW/ASuW capability gap. It would seem to be a bit of an 'also ran' in the justification process.

Also...
presumably we can scrap the RAF AD fleet
...we just did!

We only have requirements and plans for swing-role FJs these days (Typhoon II and Lightning II).

LJ
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