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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 29th May 2015, 22:41
  #1221 (permalink)  
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Nimrod cuts 'have allowed Russian submarines to spy on Trident' - Telegraph
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Old 30th May 2015, 06:25
  #1222 (permalink)  
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On the major programmes in which I was involved, the contracts allowed us a specified maximum percentage profit, the MOD audited our books and any excess profit would be recovered. How many other industries have their costs analysed by their customers who can then refuse to pay ?
Quite right. One of the most robust MoD policies. And everything is (or was) transparent in the QMAC schedules.

The problem is variable implementation of policy, whereby MoD allows unqualified staff to self-delegate, and they are encouraged to sign off and make payment before the job is complete if it means meeting the Time and Cost elements of Time, Cost and Performance. Further down the line their successors have to ask for more money and delay occurs....... The worst example of this was the Nimrod MRA4 2 Star condoning it. It's one of the reasons why MoD and Government don't want a public inquiry.

The main problem with the Telegraph article is he doesn't know why MRA4 was cancelled. On the other hand, if he did he probably wouldn't be allowed to publish!
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Old 2nd Jun 2015, 12:12
  #1223 (permalink)  
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Big article on MPA in the latest Jane's Navy International (June) for anyone that has access to it or can find a copy in the crewroom. Does that mean that Flt Lt T*** gets slabbed again?
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Old 4th Jun 2015, 07:07
  #1224 (permalink)  
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Do you have a link?
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Old 8th Jun 2015, 22:38
  #1225 (permalink)  
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Regarding the P1/P8 debate, I hadn't realised the P1 was physically as big as it is:

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Old 15th Jun 2015, 17:35
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ith only a few months to go before the results of its latest Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) will be announced, the UK government is facing fresh calls to reinstate its military's lapsed maritime patrol aircraft capability.

Responding to questions in the House of Lords on 4 June, minister of state Earl Howe said the forthcoming SDSR is "the right point to look again at the requirement for a maritime patrol aircraft".

A two-and-a-half-year study has already been conducted, which he says has allowed the Ministry of Defence "to understand better the nature of the platforms in existence, as well as the timeframe in which novel technologies are likely to mature".

Around 30 personnel from the UK's earlier British Aerospace Nimrod MR2 community are maintaining their skills via a Project "Seedcorn" arrangement with four allied nations, which is intended to "reduce the time and risks associated with regenerating a capability", he adds.

Likely candidates for a new maritime patrol aircraft requirement include Airbus C295, Boeing 737-based P-8 and refurbished Lockheed Martin C-130J tactical transports.

Lord Empey of the Ulster Unionist Party describes the question of whether to re-establish such a capability as being a "no-brainer". This, he says, is due to the need to protect the UK's sea lanes against "an increasingly aggressive Russian naval force", and also to ensure that it has the "adequate protection" for its submarine-based nuclear deterrent.

But Lord West of Spithead a former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy cautions: "If we are going to provide this capability, what capabilities are going to be removed because there is just not enough money to do the things we need to do?"

The UK has been without a dedicated maritime patrol aircraft capability since the Royal Air Force retired its last Nimrod MR2s (below) in 2010. Their planned replacement BAE Systems' Nimrod MRA4 was cancelled in an SDSR later the same year.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 15:13
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C-130 anyone?

A new article on using the C-130J for MPA. Notes that everyone seems to have concluded that P-8 is the answer for the UK, but with with the planned drawdown of the J, thre will be some airframes around.....And roll-on, roll-off pallets allows for repurposing.

Note the comments on torpedos, which they say could be fitted.

Paris Air Show 2015: Lockheed Martin says maritime C-130 offering for UK has international potential - IHS Jane's 360
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 17:55
  #1228 (permalink)  
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Re C130 anyone

It's an interesting and obvious idea I'd have thought, from an LM point of view, or a similar idea for the A400, but whether it's the right idea and can deliver the right capability I will leave to those better qualified to comment

Last edited by andyy; 18th Jun 2015 at 19:55.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 18:21
  #1229 (permalink)  
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LM have been touting a Sea Herc for some time but it only exists on paper. To get serious interest they need to actually come up with a prototype.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 18:52
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The USMC have already fielded the Harvest HAWK RO/RO package.

It will not happen, but this could supplement or privide added flexibility to this as a concept.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 20:49
  #1231 (permalink)  
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A Herc mission module system, for instance ABCCC or VIP fit was mooted decades ago. Has any air force ever used a module system?
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 21:01
  #1232 (permalink)  
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I remember hearing at the time that Margaret Thatcher flew from Ascension to the Falklands in a sound-proofed VIP ISO container on board a C-130.
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Old 18th Jun 2015, 23:26
  #1233 (permalink)  
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As already stated, the USMC has RO/RO HARVEST HAWK kits for the KC-130J fleet. The main components are: an internally fitted pallet with WSO control consoles, a Gunslinger launcher for Griffin missiles on the ramp, Hellfire missiles on an under wing pylon, and a sensor ball as used on the AH-1Z mounted below an under wing fuel tank. Used in Afghanistan to effect.

Control Module:

Gunslinger Launcher:

Hellfire Pylon:

Sensor Ball:

HARVEST HAWK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERzT8KoVY7k

Gunslinger launched Griffin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mk1Me_AKxxU
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Old 19th Jun 2015, 09:58
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The U.S. had C130 ABCCC for many years, also SENIOR SCOUT is still around. Both modular the SS is normally taken up from a normal AT ac. The ABCCC, when it was in service, stayed on one platform as it was too expensive to swap over all the comms, however, now that would not be such a problem with small satcom antenna which fit into escape hatches etc. Other nations also have C130 special fits which role in roll out.

Seems to me to be a good idea which allows for flexibility. Buying the P8 does not have this option.
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Old 19th Jun 2015, 10:28
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1 point - how many C130 frames do the USMC have? Looks like they are the guys using the above kit. I suspect they don't 'role on / role off' (sic) this capability - the wiring looms alone must add a significant payload to the frame as well as the time in depth to fit. I guess if needed to, they could revert to cargo use but given how many frames they have - would they need to?
UK RAF on the other hand - could we tie up frames getting the conversion done and then manage their use among the cargo/pax taskings? I would seriously doubt it. If we had the spare capacity in the lifter fleet, I'd be guessing that is being swiftly allocated to avoid looking like 'surplus' come SDSR. More likely, there is no spare capacity for the palleted option.
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Old 19th Jun 2015, 10:37
  #1236 (permalink)  
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I'm not sure the flexibility you quote will bring the advantages and savings you expect. For such a critical capability as LRMPA, a dedicated, specialised platform is the only sensible solution. A C130 bodge up would be just that.
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Old 19th Jun 2015, 11:14
  #1237 (permalink)  
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Not a "Herc mate", but from what I have read here and elsewhere, night not internal noise in the Herc be significant factor
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Old 19th Jun 2015, 11:33
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The US Coast Guard have used C-130s for long range ops for decades, so there is a precedent, and one or two other nations have also undertaken MR/SAR duties. I think Indonesia and Brazil have.

As for VIP duties, the Saudis have at least one configured, as far as I am aware.

With the P-3 no longer in production I would have thought that Lockheed Martin would be really pushing a 'PC-130'. There are a lot of nations out there that cannot afford the Poseidon but will want something more than a C.295.
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Old 19th Jun 2015, 11:56
  #1239 (permalink)  
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Surely it's the kit and the operators that are the most important thing, so in the absence of many alternatives to a P8 perhaps equipping the C130 or A400 with the appropriate kit is a possible. I'm not talking about role equipment, I'm talking about permanent installations in noise resistent cabins for a dedicated LRMPA aircraft. I don't think that the Harvest Hawk kit is really relevant for a true MPA.

Lots of compromises, I know, but the P8 is also a compromise.
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Old 19th Jun 2015, 16:43
  #1240 (permalink)  
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Just my view (as ex-UK MPA) - a C130J/A400 fit is possible of course but the only 'realistic' (read affordable) option for the UK in this area would be the existing USMC package. Now - how may frames do you convert? Do you buy those frames or lose them from the lifter world? You then also have the 'fleet within a fleet' issues.
Far more 'realistic' (see above) is to just accept that:
1. UK Gov has scraped by without MPA for nearly 5 years now - they need cash in the piggy bank to look good at budget time - not expensive MPA that "we don't really need" (not me saying that - but I suspect the view of 90% of Joe Public?)
2. If really, really, really pushed (RN get a Russian email with a nice pic of the arse end of the deploying V-boat?) - we put in place a lease/buy deal on 5 x P8s (offsetting pretty much all capital costs until after 2020). Also keeps USA happy - we play with them again and we buy their kit. Of course, this means someone has to swallow the pain elsewhere - maybe tied into the deterrent replacement program?
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