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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 26th Jul 2014, 13:17
  #501 (permalink)  
 
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JTO - That's what I thought for a long time - and I am not casting doubt on the aircraft being able to operate at low altitude, but wondering how long you can do that and still make 4h/1200nm, and suspecting that the answer is "somewhat less than the original -700 based design". Meanwhile I will have to root around for the origin of the strange OEW number.
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 15:30
  #502 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps we will lease or buy P8, who knows. Who will crew it tho?
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 15:46
  #503 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps we will lease or buy P8, who knows. Who will crew it tho?
With a drum roll, the magician pulls from the hat............

Seedcorn personnel,

(not a full complement of crews, but enough to startup the training.)
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 16:16
  #504 (permalink)  
 
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Do,we have Seedcorn mission support personnel, engineering support personnel?
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 18:01
  #505 (permalink)  
 
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The persistent message here is "we are going to buy P-8s and crew them with Seedcorn."

Fine. Low risk. The alternatives are very different to, and smaller than, P-8/MRA4 and they involve development. And a cynic might look at that and argue that the P-8 is the only solution that the requirements writers, competition managers, industry and MAA can't and won't screw up.

However..

You're paying a lot to support US missions that UK does not need (ASuW, APS-154) and US technology (radar) and more. You need to buy US torpedoes and (probably) sonobuoys. With a handful of jets to the USN's 100+, you are locked into US support and (importantly) the upgrade path, which you cannot fall behind. (See AWACS, impending obsolescence of.) It is a big jet and the currently favorable support economics will take a dive at mid-life as the commercial fleet retires the 737NG platform.

And all this without a competition...
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 18:24
  #506 (permalink)  
 
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If the UK does want the P8, there is the argument that to lease at least initially is best as this means that the MOD cannot at least initially that all the systems are British or European, this model seems to have worked with the C17s.

Can the UK really justify having the required infrastructure to support under say a dozen aircraft, I would have thought not.
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 18:38
  #507 (permalink)  
 
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LO notes:

And all this without a competition...
Amen! A competition means that you're sure you've got the best answer to the question you've asked (and actually having to formulate the question is a good start), and it also makes sure you've got the best price.

I'm hearing good things about P-8, especially spiral II onwards. But to go for it without a spec and a competition would "be very courageous, Minister". All of this CADMID / DLOD stuff does actually matter, people.

S41
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 18:44
  #508 (permalink)  
 
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Rather than spraff about hypothetical details, why don't chaps in the know enlighten us who have interest but no longer an ear in the bar as to the basic questions....

When?

Will the decision be taken at the next SDSR (late 2015) or is there any reliable scuttlebutt, that somehow it will come sooner?

How?

Aside from the cost of the platform, the entire capability has to be re-established. This will be a significant bite out of the defence budget, so...

Will the defence budget be increased
Or, what capability will be cut to make way for the return of maritime patrol.

Who?

Assuming it comes back, who gets it

RAF
RN
Joint

My answers, not that anybody cares...

not holding my breath, but if it happens...

Late 2015 (hope I'm wrong)
Zero chance of an increase in the defence budget, no idea what will be cut. (hope I'm wrong)
Joint (hope I'm right)
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 19:15
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Very soon.

Sun.
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 19:37
  #510 (permalink)  
 
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well since you are in the know, perhaps you can take an educated stab at the other two questions...

What's being cut and who will operate it?
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 20:17
  #511 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
Perhaps we will lease or buy P8, who knows. Who will crew it tho?
With a drum roll, the magician pulls from the hat............

Seedcorn personnel,

(not a full complement of crews, but enough to startup the training.)
Not enough sweetcorn folk to man it ( maybe one aircraft) no where near enough to restart an OCU and years before a full compliment of crews would be available, never mind engineering and support folk.
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 20:49
  #512 (permalink)  
 
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LO

You need to buy US torpedoes
So why would you need to buy US torpedoes?
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 21:02
  #513 (permalink)  
 
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Because if all the other kit on Increment 2 and onwards has to do with high-alt ASW, are you going to adapt wing-kits to Stingray, and do integration, or buy Mk54 off the shelf?
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 21:11
  #514 (permalink)  
 
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LO, or stoof around at low level and run the risk of knackering the airframe in years few.

Either way, the UK presumably faces a tasty bill if it wants to integrate Stingray and UK sonobuoys /systems.

S41
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Old 26th Jul 2014, 22:21
  #515 (permalink)  
 
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And we are back to the hypothetical detail again....never I mind I'll pop back on here this time next year and we will see where we are then.

And no sweat, in the unlikely event it is signed off before then, I'll be delighted to be wrong and I'll be straight back to acknowledge the error of my ways.
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 08:46
  #516 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The Old Fat One View Post
Rather than spraff about hypothetical details, why don't chaps in the know enlighten us who have interest but no longer an ear in the bar as to the basic questions....

When?

Will the decision be taken at the next SDSR (late 2015) or is there any reliable scuttlebutt, that somehow it will come sooner?

How?

Aside from the cost of the platform, the entire capability has to be re-established. This will be a significant bite out of the defence budget, so...

Will the defence budget be increased
Or, what capability will be cut to make way for the return of maritime patrol.

Who?

Assuming it comes back, who gets it

RAF
RN
Joint

My answers, not that anybody cares...

not holding my breath, but if it happens...

Late 2015 (hope I'm wrong)
Zero chance of an increase in the defence budget, no idea what will be cut. (hope I'm wrong)
Joint (hope I'm right)



Why does it have to be military?

At the moment Maritime surveillance is carried out very successfully by civilian companies. Why change ?
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 10:12
  #517 (permalink)  
 
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Why does it have to be military?
You are fishing aren't you? That's not a serious question, is it?

Simply because no civvie companies do long range deep water ASW, even if they might do some medium range above surface surveillance.

But most importantly, the UK isn't in the game of using mercenaries to do the Finish part of Find, Fix AND Finish! (Is that the latest doctrine term or am I out of date again?).
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 10:24
  #518 (permalink)  
 
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Roland, I'm with you on the crying need for a MPA, but sinking submarines is only a bit of that. And it's a bit that we're not doing AT ALL right now, so is this really such a daft question? After all, many countries have long taken for granted that maritime patrol is a civilian task, or at least that of a semi-civilian coastguard.
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 13:21
  #519 (permalink)  
 
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For comparison, given the issues that the army is now facing with Challenger 2, obsolescence and a lack of an affordable upgrade path, I can't help thinking that being locked into someone else's upgrade path is a distinct advantage, rather than a disadvantage... we're very, very good at kicking cans along the road and letting design and manufacture capabilities die just to make year-ends balance, only to then have to pay fortunes to start from scratch when we really, really can't put things off any longer.
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Old 27th Jul 2014, 14:25
  #520 (permalink)  
 
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CC - That's sad. It implies that UK can't manage itself so has to be tied to someone else's plans.

Although, considering that the UK defense budget is 10 x Sweden's and the RAF will be lucky to have 2 x the fighters in the 2020s...
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