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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 14th Sep 2014, 17:02
  #621 (permalink)  
 
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Is the rwy at STM long enough for a P8 now?
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 17:19
  #622 (permalink)  
 
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Well with the shortening of Waddington's runway Newquay's 2744m will be longer.

Not exactly a struggle for a P8.
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 17:34
  #623 (permalink)  
 
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No RAF airbase is going to be economically viable with just 4 aircraft based there - please use some common sense people!! They're shoving 50+ into Brize eventually for goodness sake...

Indeed I was once told by a 4* that Kinloss wouldn't be economically viable if we bought less than 12 MRA4s.

Last edited by Biggus; 14th Sep 2014 at 17:51.
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 18:16
  #624 (permalink)  
 
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Indeed, after a short study it will be decided that a refurbished hangar 2 at Waddington will be the ideal home.

After an intolerable DIO delay and an even shorter study they will actually move into the accommodation vacated by 5 Sqn.

Meanwhile someone will get around to refurbishing Waddington's bomb dump.
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 19:55
  #625 (permalink)  
 
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No RAF airbase is going to be economically viable with just 4 aircraft based there - please use some common sense people!!
No fleet of 4 MPA/MMA/LRMP (what ever you want to call them today) is viable anyway. The whole thing is a total joke - the emperor's clothes gentlemen, the emperor's clothes.
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 20:15
  #626 (permalink)  
 
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So why were 4 x C-17 viable* but not 4 x P-8?


*They must be, they were flying for 8 years as a foursome.
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 20:29
  #627 (permalink)  
 
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ATG,

A very good example, even if the MoD is looking at a number greater than 4!

A small unique fleet is not viable as training, maintenance and development overheads would eliminate any realistic capability.

A cooperative program such as the original C-17 program can punch above its weight as the wider program can absorb the training, development, weapons and major maintenance overhead. Adopting a type from a larger production run can also allow the UK to be more selective in its spending profile. Finding the money to buy aircraft every so often is just not possible with a unique fleet off a dedicated production line.

A future conflict where the UK can contribute a small number of P8s to augment the exact same type operated by the US and Aus sounds quite attractive to the UK right now. Pitching up at the last minute and buying a bunch of the exact weapons needed for that particular scenario direct from the US Navy sounds attractive to those who hold the purse strings.

None of this will be easy given the mess we are in, but it is far from impossible.
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 20:38
  #628 (permalink)  
 
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Because C-17 is one of a number of transport aircraft types flying from A to B. The P-8 will be required to be on station over an area of interest (whether over land or sea). Assuming that there are on average 3 aircraft available for tasking, one could not keep 24 hour coverage in one area let alone two or three. Additionally looking over a history of operational Nimrod deployments, there were frequently 5 or 6 airframes deployed. The P-8 may well be more capable than Nimrod MR2, but it still cant be in two (or more) places at one time.
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 20:52
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The idea, presumably, is that there will come a day when more P-8s can be acquired. However... the whole idea seems to be based on (1) minimizing upfront cash, the LCC and (2) a perhaps well-founded fear that if we try something new it will turn into a gigantic cockup. Sad, in a way, because there is likely to be a nice little global market for MPA/ASW and not everyone will want to spring for the P-8A and its US-priced upgrade packages.
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Old 14th Sep 2014, 21:19
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Perhaps worth reminding ourselves at this point that the suggestion of a lease of 4 P8s came from a PQ which got a "no comment" reply. The questioner may have got duff or partial info and it's quite possible, or even likely, that a range of options are being explored, with the potential lease of 4 (and maybe other numbers too) being among them.
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Old 15th Sep 2014, 09:28
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Rumours of an announcement of an intent to fill the MPA gap before christmas are fading fast. If the scots go their own way then then we will have to wait for SDSR 15, 16 ......! The window of opportunity to easily lease P8s will have passed as the USN will resume acceptance of ac at their desired rate.
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Old 15th Sep 2014, 12:05
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Good point PT - forgot about the hole in the P-8 line.
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Old 15th Sep 2014, 13:20
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"there is likely to be a nice little global market for MPA/ASW and not everyone will want to spring for the P-8A and its US-priced upgrade packages."

I hope you're not suggesting that BAe take a hand? We're in this hole because of gross over-spend (and probably gross over-complication) on a UK solution
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Old 15th Sep 2014, 14:44
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I do not think BAE are interested in building big planes any more.
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Old 15th Sep 2014, 23:29
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I hope you're not suggesting that BAe take a hand? We're in this hole because of gross over-spend (and probably gross over-complication) on a UK solution
It is all too easy to blame industry - one could argue that 'gross overspend' equates to lack of project management by Procurement, and that 'gross over-complication' equates to an over ambitious requirement. Neither the fault of industry. Throw a few political directives into the melting pot and we have the usual cock-up.
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Old 16th Sep 2014, 01:06
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nimbev,

Without reopening all the old wounds and whilst agreeing you make a valid point, BAe will always carry a large part of the blame, not least for pitching up at Kinloss in the mid nineties and promising something they knew full well they did not have a snowball's chance in hell of delivering on time and on budget...and that was with no "goalpost moving" by anybody. That said, they were my no means the only villain in the piece.
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Old 16th Sep 2014, 10:48
  #637 (permalink)  
 
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Too big to comprehend !

The BAe management of the Nimrod project is almost too big and complicated to fully understand and it is complicated by other party's inputs, but at the end of the day it was the attitude that the govenment had an unlimited ability to fund the project that resulted BAe thinking they could get away with anything.

Much smaller was the Buldog life extension program, it was quite clear to see that with the price quoted for the work BAe was under the misaprihention that they could charge sky high prices for a comparitvly simple job, I don't think this was coruption so much as institutional torpa and incompetence ......... Fortunatly the simplicity of the job resulted in the govenment getting wise and not giving BAe the contract.

Their are a lot of fine people working for BAe but collectively they don't work well within that system and BAe as a company has proved itself unfit to run any big contract at a reasonable price.

The idea that BAe should in any way be involved in any future large aviation project should be resisted otherwise we will have a rerun of the two Nimrod failures.
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Old 16th Sep 2014, 12:04
  #638 (permalink)  
 
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before this goes once again down the BAE / contract issuers bashing route, I don't think there is any suggestion of them being involved in any way (happy to be corrected)? Therefore, we can focus on the POSSIBILITY of P8s? I still have the question - who is giving up what to get the money freed up? Even a lease deal will cost millions - and from where in the MoD will that pot of cash come?
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Old 16th Sep 2014, 12:38
  #639 (permalink)  
 
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I can put this to bed. After MRA4, BAE SYSTEMS, have publicly said, they have NO wish to ever be involved in a large aircraft project.

The end.
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Old 16th Sep 2014, 21:45
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SP - there is an unallocated pot of money amounting to several billion, one of the legacies of Philip Hammond's time at the helm. Although there's also a queue of unfunded wishlist items. It's possible, given hints that have been dropped, that MPA has worked its way towards the top of that list. But whether the rules allow it to be used to fund a lease deal, as opposed to outright purchase of a slack handful, I don't know.
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