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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 4th Feb 2014, 19:12
  #221 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by CoffmanStarter View Post
Just to add to f4aviation's post @ #220 ... Interesting article in The Scotsman today.

Really ?
Yes really. I can't remember the Operation (it was 40 years ago) but there was a Freephone number for people to ring the Navy when sighting a Soviet vessel.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 19:33
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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Since the 1950s, trawler crews from Hull had been recruited by British intelligence to observe and photograph the Soviet Northern Fleet while they were fishing in the Barents Sea. It was called Operation Hornbeam, and crews were provided with cameras and training. Occasionally radio and signals specialists, including staff from the GCHQ site based at Irton Moor near Scarborough, would accompany the trawler crews.

Op HORNBEAM was still around in 1990s and members of the public could phone into a free phone number soviet maritime activity.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 19:38
  #223 (permalink)  
 
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Offshore Tapestry

My own experience of HORNBEAM and OFFSHORE TAPESTRY included a NATO exercise c.1985 (OCEAN SAFARI?) that involved an incident when I was flying from Inverness to Orkney in a Loganair Islander. I was sitting up front and discovered that the pilot was an ex-FAA Buccaneer pilot who specialised in 'dentology', i.e. the identification of Warsaw Pact ships from any obvious damage to their hulls and superstructure as they kept changing their pendant numbers.

We were south-east of Orkney when we spotted an 'ORANGE' German U-boat at PD (periscope depth) and he called it in to the control tower at Kirkwall. Within an hour, the control tower had contacted the Port HQ and a trio of 'BLUE' German frigates had sailed from their anchorage in Scapa Flow and 'sunk' their enemy countrymen.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 19:56
  #224 (permalink)  
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PT, that's the one.

I once called in a Bear D using it. The Bear was about 10 miles or so west of Ascension Island
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 23:02
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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I know people mock twitter, but until a few years ago, to know when the russians were sailing a task force and where it was going would have required a lot of sensitive assets doing very dangerous work and the results would have been classified with more prexifes and codewords than a bad tom clancy novel.

By contrast Twitter is a great example of how open source media use, properly analysed assessed and forming part of wider work can help us achieve the same effect in a fraction of the time and resource.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 23:19
  #226 (permalink)  
 
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Twitter's all well and good for source material if the ship sails into a harbor within sight of someone who has a Twitter account. It's unlikely that the presence of a Russian submarine at the same location would have appeared on Twitter.
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Old 4th Feb 2014, 23:36
  #227 (permalink)  
 
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Bloodhound Loose.

Thank you for...

Quote:
The Defence budget does not exist primarily to subsidise the Defence Industry or promote Defence exports. It exists to maximise Defence capability.

Exactly!!

I'm in your gang. I believe this has got to be the line to take after the MRA4 fiasco (which Stuffy thinks was not a good thing, to loose MRA4; thanks for that!!!)

BS
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 07:55
  #228 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by awblain View Post
Twitter's all well and good for source material if the ship sails into a harbor within sight of someone who has a Twitter account. It's unlikely that the presence of a Russian submarine at the same location would have appeared on Twitter.
Disingenuous. Read PhonyTony. He didn't say the observer had to be harbour bound.

On one occasion we were alerted by a North Sea helicopter to a camouflaged periscope. The ensuing period was good fun.

Just because a Certsub has to be identified by a qualified observer does not stop qualified observers happening to be on fishing boats and in civil helos. Our fisheries inspector at Kinloss at the time was also a Lt-Cdr RNR and I would guess a few fishermen too were also in the RNR.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 08:42
  #229 (permalink)  
 
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I know people mock twitter, but until a few years ago, to know when the russians were sailing a task force and where it was going would have required a lot of sensitive assets doing very dangerous work and the results would have been classified with more prexifes and codewords than a bad tom clancy novel.
Please don't tell the Govt. Cue huge cuts to GCHQ and Defence Intelligence!

I had backed off from this thread because of too much utter sh1te being postulated by idiots. However, I'll lob the next bit in to stir the pot again

The following item of news has been updated on your ParliamentToday website...
Oral Answers to Questions: Defence - Feb 3
Tuesday, 4 February 2014 08:57

Russian Naval Ships

1. Mr James Gray (North Wiltshire) (Con): Whether the UK received advance notice of the recent deployment of Russian naval ships to the north of Scotland. [902313]
The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Philip Hammond): The Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov passed through the UK’s area of interest, en route to the Mediterranean, between 28 December 2013 and 10 January 2014. The carrier task group had openly declared its planned deployment on social media sites. Its progress was monitored from the point of its deployment from Russia, and it informed NATO before it commenced routine flying operations.
Once it became apparent that the task group was indeed likely to enter the UK’s area of interest, HMS Defender, as the fleet ready escort ship, was ordered to sail from Portsmouth to meet and escort the group through the UK’s area of interest. This was several days before the task group’s arrival to the north of Scotland. The Russian task group operated in international waters off the coast of Scotland and followed international protocols to arrange their flying exercises. Their contact with HMS Defender was highly professional and cordial throughout.
I am glad to be able to tell the House that the idea that we were caught unawares by this deployment is entirely false, as is any suggestion that there was some kind of stand-off between HMS Defender and the Russian vessels.
Mr Gray: We are wholeheartedly relieved to hear that the episode passed off so peacefully and so cordially, and that the relations between the Kuznetsov and HMS Defender remain as strong as they are. Does the Secretary of State not agree in looking to the future—given that 48 ships have gone through the North sea shipping route to the far east this year, and that there is increasing fishing and increasing drilling for oil and minerals in the Arctic—that it is terribly important for our armed services to have first-class relations with those of Russia? I hope that this episode will be the beginning of such relations.
Mr Hammond: My hon. Friend is absolutely right. The fact is that we have very cordial relationships with the Russians and good working relationships with the Russian armed forces, but we should not lose sight of the fact that we cannot be confident that our strategic interests will always align with those of Russia. We should therefore engage and work together with them when we can, but, frankly, we should recognise that our strategic interests may differ at times.
Angus Robertson (Moray) (SNP): The arrival of the Russian navy off the Scottish coast was the second time in two years that this has happened, yet the Royal Navy does not have a single frigate or destroyer based in Scotland for such eventualities. Last week, the Ministry of Defence confirmed that the fleet ready escort has been gapped for 37 days in recent years. Why has there been a gap to the fleet ready escort?
3 Feb 2014 : Column 3
Mr Hammond: The hon. Gentleman is flogging a dead horse, frankly. We do not need a frigate stationed in Scottish waters; we need good intelligence about the intentions of vessels approaching the UK’s area of interest, and we have that good intelligence. He talks about the number of frigates and destroyers available. He might like to tell the House how many frigates and destroyers his Scottish navy would have available within its extremely limited budget.
The hon. Gentleman also talks about the gapping of the fleet ready escort, which has occurred for 37 days in the past five years. During that period, there was no specific vessel designated as the fleet ready escort, but that does not mean that there were no royal naval vessels available to respond in case of necessity. In addition to the fleet ready escort, royal naval vessels are usually available to be tasked, as necessary.
Sir Peter Tapsell (Louth and Horncastle) (Con): If it is safe to assume that these Russian warships were not planning to bombard Mr Salmond, may we assume that they were there to establish the unimpeded rights of Russia to exploit oil in the Arctic? If so, will we have reciprocal rights to look for oil in the Russian Arctic?
Mr Hammond: The clear stated intention, which was subsequently borne out by events, was that the Kuznetsov carrier task group would proceed from Russia to the eastern Mediterranean, where it currently is. In accordance with the pattern of its last deployment, it stopped in the relatively sheltered waters of the Moray firth to re-oil on its way to the eastern Mediterranean. This is all perfectly normal procedure, and it was notified to NATO in advance.
John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness) (Lab/Co-op): Does not the debate on this issue underline the importance of our combined—UK—Royal Navy, and also the potential in the strategic NATO alliance? Does the Secretary of State not agree that, in the words of another political figure, it would be “unpardonable folly” to put at risk that NATO alliance by disavowing the very strategic nuclear concept on which it is based?
Mr Hammond: The hon. Gentleman is right on all counts. NATO’s strategic nuclear concept of course provides protection for the whole of the United Kingdom. Our very close relationship with our NATO allies—in this case, specifically with Norway—ensures that we have good visibility and good intelligence about Russian vessels and, indeed, Russian aircraft approaching the UK’s area of interest.
Sir Gerald Howarth (Aldershot) (Con): I am sure that all Members are immensely grateful for the part played by social media in providing the United Kingdom with intelligence in advance of the Kuznetsov’s arrival in the UK’s area of interest. To put a serious point to my right hon. Friend, surely this incident underlines the need for this Government and this country to have a successor to the Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft, and shows that until we get such a successor aircraft, we will be at risk.
Mr Hammond: I do not disagree with my hon. Friend’s assertion that we need to look at how we provide maritime surveillance cover. That will be part of the strategic defence and security review in 2015. However,
3 Feb 2014 : Column 4
I am afraid that he cannot argue that this incident demonstrates that need. In fact, this incident shows that we are perfectly capable of maintaining an intelligence picture through imagery, signals intelligence and reports from our NATO allies of movements of Russian ships without having access to maritime patrol aircraft.
Mr Kevan Jones (North Durham) (Lab): In the light of this incident, will the Secretary of State tell the House what he is going to do to plug the capability gap in maritime surveillance that has been created by his Government, apart from relying on Twitter?
Mr Hammond: I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman did not have time to amend his question following my last answer. We will review the provision of maritime patrol cover in the strategic defence and security review in 2015. We will look at the need for it and at how it could be provided, including the possibility that it could be provided through the use of unmanned aerial systems. It is a bit rich for him to say that the gap in maritime patrol cover was created by this Government. What this Government did was to recognise the reality that his Government had been investing in aircraft that would never fly, would never be certified and would never be able to deliver a capability.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 14:19
  #230 (permalink)  
 
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"aircraft that would never fly" - oh really? All those spectators at Fairford who watched it flypast over the static MR2 must have been imagining it? Cock - as James May would so rightly say.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 14:39
  #231 (permalink)  
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What the Minister really meant to say was "aircraft that would never fly operationally."
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 16:05
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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"The carrier task group had openly declared its planned deployment on social media sites."

Comrade Stalin is spinning in his urn as we speak.................. I'm sure he would have had a robust view of things like Twitter
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 17:04
  #233 (permalink)  
 
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Devil

Bloodhound loose,

That indeed has been my intention.

To create debate.

One cannot do that by patting people on the back and agreeing with them.

My intention is to be a 'Devil's Advocate'.

As yet I have not seen a solution suitable for the UK.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 17:32
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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would never be certified
I'd like the Government to explain this statement rather than us having to reply on PPRuNe for the answer!
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 18:20
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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Pontius,

Trained eyes on boats are sure to be useful, but fishing boats aren't as common as they once were.

On the other hand, space-based assets for looking at the sea are more common than they once were. The need for patrols and eyes to seek things out may have abated in the last few decades, as has the number of things to seek out.

Although... what is to be done promptly about any things that are found in the absence of any MPAs?
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 18:50
  #236 (permalink)  
 
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dervish,

Why don't you just write to your MP and ask him to get a further explanation of the Ministers comment? It's part of what your MP is paid for!
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 18:58
  #237 (permalink)  
 
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Question

Let us assume, an unforseen crisis has occurred.

A stop gap MPA is needed almost immediately.

What would be your solution?

I suggest Anglo-French joint operations with ATL2 Atlantiques. Probably from two UK bases?
They have built 28 ATL2's, probably about 20 are available?

I may have missed it. What are the parameters for a UK MPA. Range, low level endurance, necessary equipment ?
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 19:09
  #238 (permalink)  
 
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Why don't you just write to your MP and ask him to get a further explanation of the Ministers comment? It's part of what your MP is paid for!
Well Hammond confirmed what PPRuNe revealed a long time ago, but what I'd like is for them to be that honest up front, not long after the media have lost interest.
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 19:21
  #239 (permalink)  
 
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Wa-hey. Stuffy's back. Beer and peanuts for one please; this should be good
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Old 5th Feb 2014, 19:36
  #240 (permalink)  
 
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Talking

Well I prefer Real Ale or Guinness.

Thank heaven for Wetherspoons.

Other pubs a mortgage is necessary.
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