Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 12th May 2015, 15:37
  #1181 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Here
Posts: 1,280
I suppose it depend on whether MMA means Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft or Multi-Mission Aircraft...

Davef68 is offline  
Old 12th May 2015, 15:40
  #1182 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Age: 66
Posts: 1,954
It's my understanding that with the A400M coming on line with the RAF, that the RAF's C-130Js will be retired. If that is true and there are still a lot hours available on those airframes, how about putting an MPA/MMA suite in those airframes? A Herc has more cabin volume than a P-3 or P-1 so you can theoretically put a lot of good stuff in there. And it should have pretty good range/endurance, albeit a bit slow.
KenV is offline  
Old 12th May 2015, 16:06
  #1183 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,549
Puzzled by all this MMA vs MPA talk.

As I understand it, MRA4 was only budgeted to be armed with torpedoes. The P-8A is designed to carry Harpoon, JSOW and mines, not to mention the AAS, which is presumably where the MMA name justifies itself.

However, any MPA will have a radar, ESM, EO/IR, extensive comms and flexible workstations, and will be able to do overland ISR, SAR support and the other things that we expect MPA to do.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 12th May 2015, 19:36
  #1184 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The back of beyond
Posts: 1,610
I suppose it depend on whether MMA means Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft or Multi-Mission Aircraft...
Ah, yes indeed Davef68. It would seem perhaps there was some confusion as to what exactly what folks were meaning when referring to MMA.
melmothtw is offline  
Old 12th May 2015, 19:38
  #1185 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
I don't know the mission details, but I think the lack of submarines and the deployment of Nimrod in Afg suggests a non-maritime role, more a MMA role perhaps?
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 12th May 2015, 21:52
  #1186 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Here
Posts: 1,280
Originally Posted by LowObservable View Post
As I understand it, MRA4 was only budgeted to be armed with torpedoes. The P-8A is designed to carry Harpoon, JSOW and mines, not to mention the AAS, which is presumably where the MMA name justifies itself.
.
The MRA4 was designed to carry a lot more than torpedos -what we budgetted for may be different, but I recall late in the programme BAE touting it as an overland bomber armed with LGBs
Davef68 is offline  
Old 12th May 2015, 22:24
  #1187 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: West Midlands
Posts: 239
Originally Posted by AQAfive View Post
Bigbux

I take your point but it's been my experience of Boeing that they promise everything and when it falls short in a particular department it points out that that part wasn't specified in the contract.

In my opinion, the only reason airliners of the 60's made good maritime ac, was due to the fact they were built using slide rules and were over-engineered. I have no doubt that an A319/320 maritime ac would suffer similar issues, my beef is that instead of fixing the ac, like Kawasaki will no doubt do, Boeing remove the capability.
AQA5 - fair point.
Bigbux is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 14:57
  #1188 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Guernsey
Posts: 109
Alright I'll bite,

From my limited experience, (after all I didn't even make a year in the air on MR2)

Let's face reality. Despite the glossy brochures and ex multi-star 'consultants' on the euro turbo-props. Despite the quirky Japanese solution.

If we really want to be in LRMP/MMA (by that I mean both).

P8 is the only game in town.
Guernsey Girl II is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 15:27
  #1189 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,549
But nobody here has been clear about what the the difference is between an MPA and MMA.

If it's the ability to carry a giant radar, or ASuW with ASMs, someone should say so. If it's something else that distinguishes the P-8 from everything else, I'd love to know what it is.

Likewise, the importance of speed. Until there is a sub that goes at 300 knots, what defines the necessary speed? The P-3 was originally defined as an interceptor to go out and prosecute contacts picked up by SOSUS (open source), hence the choice of a platform much faster than the P-2; but that was in the era of noisy Soviet hardware and I am unaware of any substitute cueing system.

It seems to me that a lot of people have decided that the only way is the P-8 and are otherwise going LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 15:36
  #1190 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: A lot closer to the sea
Posts: 665
We have invested quite heavily in gaining experienced and qualified personnel on P-8, so it would seem odd to suddenly switch focus completely to another platform in my opinion. The P-8 programme has also benefitted massively from ex-MR2 and MRA4 crews joining the testing and fielding teams; hence if I was at High Wycombe I would want to capitilise on that US goodwill fairly quickly.

Where the money is going to come from is perhaps the major sticking point....
WhiteOvies is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 15:40
  #1191 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: 119K East of SARDOT
Posts: 146
RAF to get 2billion fleet of jets to spot Putin's nuclear submarines off British coast.

BRITAIN'S defences are to get a 2billion boost in a bid to counter the ongoing threat from Russian armed forced.

Russian nuclear submarine threat to see 2billion to be invested in RAF jets | UK | News | Daily Express

Is this just journalistic dribble from Rob Virtue (11 May 15) - any other source?

Do I need to exercise my 'Get out of Jail Free' card option?
Sand4Gold is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 16:21
  #1192 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
LO, you are right in that a higher transit speed equated to a faster reaction time but in the case you cited it would only apply to the first aircraft in a patrol cycle. Suffice to say, the case you cited was rarely the case.

A more important factor is reach and endurance. Given equal endurance, say 10 hours, where one aircraft could transit for 2 hrs and be on task for 6,the other might transit for 3 and be on task for 4. You need more airframes and crews in the latter case.

Then take a patrol box 120 across. The Nimrod could dash in about 15 minutes whereas your slower aircraft might take 20-25 minutes. Time late at datum is a critical factor.

Then another need for speed may be less obvious - the need to run in the case of a hostile threat. Running bravely away at 400 kts or more feels much better than running at 200 kts.

Been there, done that. It was not very comfortable sitting a 100 miles off when a fighter was launched against us.
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 13th May 2015, 16:24
  #1193 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: where-ever nav's chooses....
Posts: 674
LO - until the MPA can take off from the back of my frigate, speed will get the team on task quicker. If I'm 150nm+ offshore, and then a further 200nm+ from your airbase, an extra 300kts might get me an extra hour on task from each aircraft, reducing the resultant loading on the MPA Sqn in a sustained operation.
alfred_the_great is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 16:26
  #1194 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 93
A light hearted ASW themed interlude: Swedish peace group trolls Russian submarines with gay defence system | Technology | The Guardian
ion_berkley is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 17:22
  #1195 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,549
Unfortunately the engineering reality is that speed and endurance (particularly at low altitude) pull in opposite directions. I believe that at best the P-8A equals the TOS-at-radius of the P-3 despite being much bigger.

One problem (if the USN's own numbers are correct) is that the P-8A can barely take off with full tanks, even with no weapons on board, and appears to have a fuel fraction lower than that of the P-3C (that's a bit of a squishy number because the P-3C would have gained weight during its career). That will tend to mean less range and endurance, particularly at low altitude.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 18:05
  #1196 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: where-ever nav's chooses....
Posts: 674
But it won't be spending all its time at low altitude. Transit out is made at an economical height, and the mission may not need low altitude most (or some of the time). Is it perfect? No? Is it in service, right now, with UK personnel trained on it? Hell, yes!
alfred_the_great is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 18:09
  #1197 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 77
Posts: 16,696
LO, now that is different. I can't speak for the P3/8 but the Nimrod would remain high as long as it could but once it descended it would generally remain low trading climb fuel against higher fuel burn. I don't recall being low as having a particularly high fuel penalty.

I recall a particular Cat check when I was presented with the Met charts and asked what level I would use on RTB. The standard reply would be 370.

Being given the Met charts I suspected the better answer was different. I eyeballs the charts and selected 180 - low burn to cruise, higher cruise burn, lower head wind component. My checker was surprised but accepted my logic. Later he worked it out accurately and confirmed 180 was the best height.

In short, there is rarely a one size suits all but quality every time. If the P3 was so much better than the P8, why not upgrade the P3?
Pontius Navigator is online now  
Old 13th May 2015, 19:16
  #1198 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,549
There are people who wish it had been done - but after the P-7A LRAACA debacle and the subsequent delay, the P-3 went out of production so a Super P-3 looked expensive in 2003.
LowObservable is offline  
Old 13th May 2015, 19:42
  #1199 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: New Braunfels, TX
Age: 66
Posts: 1,954
Unfortunately the engineering reality is that speed and endurance (particularly at low altitude) pull in opposite directions. I believe that at best the P-8A equals the TOS-at-radius of the P-3 despite being much bigger.
This is mostly true but does not provide a complete picture. Yes, the ToS at radius of the P-8 is similar to P-3, and P-8 is bigger than P-3, but its bigger for a reason. The Navy wanted lots more "stuff" on station. If you look at Lockheed's proposal that lost against Boeing's, Lockheed's solution was not merely an upgraded P-3, but an entirely new aircraft significantly larger and MUCH more powerful than the P-3. Nimrod was bigger than Orion also, and for good reason. It was a superbly equipped and capable aircraft.

One problem (if the USN's own numbers are correct) is that the P-8A can barely take off with full tanks, even with no weapons on board, and appears to have a fuel fraction lower than that of the P-3C (that's a bit of a squishy number because the P-3C would have gained weight during its career).
USN specified additional tankage to the P-8 sufficient to reach MTOGW with a light weapons load. As for the "lower" fuel fraction, that was driven by the equipment USN added to the P-8. If the P-8's full mission suite had been added to a P-3, the P-3's Operating Empty Weight would by very high and its fuel fraction would have been laughably low. Basically you can't really compare a P-8 to a P-3 (just as you can't really compare a Nimrod to a P-3, or a P-3 to C-295) because they are very different aircraft with quite different mission suites.
KenV is offline  
Old 14th May 2015, 00:34
  #1200 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Far West Wessex
Posts: 2,549
BS - Empty weight from the USN, MTOW and fuel cap from Boeing.

Of course I don't know if the USN definition of OEW. Could be +-5,000 pounds or so depending on whether they include the pies.
LowObservable is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.