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 19th Jun 2015, 16:56
  #1241 (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: 16,680
RAFEng, by module I meant a self contained cabin, roof,walls, floor and environmental system rather than a pallet with all the attendant issues of conditioning, noise, etc.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 17:33
  #1242 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Washington.
Age: 70
Posts: 523
P8, really?

Not a Naval aviator, but compared to the P-3 and the like, I can hardly imagine a 2-engine turbo jet airliner flying around at low altitude chasing submarines. Nothing like the P-3 with turbo props, two temporarily secured.

New paradigm I suppose. I get the faster response time, greater payload capacity and all that, but loiter time, maneuverability? How about one-engine inop? Never happen of course in the beautiful weather conditions such planes fly in.

The die is cast, of course and smarter people than I made the choice. Hard to picture though.
GlobalNav is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 17:35
  #1243 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: virginia, USA
Age: 53
Posts: 799
I agree that the C-130J that the US Coast Guard is flying is pretty close to a "Sea Herk" MPA, minus the weapons of course.

The operator stations are on pallets and are are well forward in the cargo bay allowing plenty of space for still hauling trash- or the pallets can be removed. Plug and play. Plenty of cargo capabililty remains.

USCG have also been testing bulged windows on the side doors for the Mk.1 eyeball optical system. The bigger fuselage windows on earlier HH-130's are a bit missed.

And we now have the Harvest Hawk KC-130J with weapons fit, and room for expansion- and the ability to pass gas to other aircraft, including helos.

Not sure the UK would have to "buy" more airframes with this idea in the LockMart proposal. Some UK J's will be slated for retirement in the early 2020's when the A400 come on in strength- this could be a conversion.

I do think a demonstrator with the the best of the Coast Guard and Marine equipment, including the drouges, would be quite attractive. Still a MPA though, not a true MMA- that is a a bigger leap and more money with all the additonal sensors, operator stations, weapons, MAD etc. I agree that would likely result in a more dedicated MMA Herk.

Unsure if you would really need an isolated, sound proofed "box" or trailer to do MMA work in a HERC. Plenty of MPA, ASW, ELINT, SIGINT and other work have been done in some quite noisy aircraft. Say again over???

P-8 is attractive as it is closer to MMA. If you can only afford one, there might be desire to go higher end.
sandiego89 is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 17:39
  #1244 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 264
[QUOTE=...we put in place a lease/buy deal on 5 x P8s (offsetting pretty much all capital costs until after 2020)... [/QUOTE]

I don't think the capital cost is the problem, there's an unallocated pot that would cover the upfront cost of 5 or 6 P8s with some left over. On the other hand a lease deal would squeeze further an already squeezed running costs budget. Not saying a buy/lease wont happen, it might, but contrary to what many believe the money to buy them upfront is there. For now...
Frostchamber is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 18:29
  #1245 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: at the behest of the Queen of Canada.
Posts: 808
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kawasaki_P-1

It's even got 4 engines so you switch some off!
Hueymeister is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 19:34
  #1246 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Next door
Posts: 74
Not saying that the whole combined capability and joint servicing we would benefit from in joining the P8 MMA programme would not be great, but if the Kawasaki P1 is a bespoke maritime aircraft, with the undoubted high grade mission kit the Japanese would use (also compatible with previous P-3s), then it would get my vote.
The thought of a 2 engined commercial airliner, designed for high level cruising, albeit heavily modified, operating in a maritime environment, would not fill me with much hope for its long term durability. Having to achieve accuracy when dropping sonobuoys means low level, which means corrosion.
I would love to get a look at the P1, and wonder how much of a multi mission development is planned, or is possible.
Small Spinner is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 19:43
  #1247 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 893
KC-130J HARVEST HAWK

Sandy Parts,

The total USMC fleet of KC-130J is planned to be 47 aircraft out of 104 aircraft for the USN + USMC - deliveries are ongoing.

The latest plan is for 10 aircraft (5 per MAW) to be modified to accept 6 kits (3 per MAW) so I assume the kits will usually only be changed over when required by the aircraft maintenance plot.

The Right to Bear Arms: Gunship Kits for America?s C-130s

I don't imagine there is too much to connect up between the removable kit and the aircraft once it has been modified for the HARVEST HAWK role with pre-installed wiring and junction boxes / connectors - presumably connect the WSO pallet wiring to a point, the Gunslinger launcher on the ramp to a point, and the sensor ball and the Hellfire pylons to the aircraft (but I'm just guessing).
RAFEngO74to09 is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 21:44
  #1248 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Waiting to return to the Loire.
Age: 50
Posts: 386
I think that the 'plug & play' nature of the Harvest Hawk concept is where flexibility / agility could come into play.

Thinking about the modules which XIII & 39 Squadrons fly from - IF there was the money to go the way of the Sea Herk, which could be swapped out with a HH kit (Sounding like a Gerry Anderson creation here... Thunderbird 2 / Space 1999 Eagle) - then there could be a way to use the existing fleet in a multi-role manner.

Would it be a dedicated LRMPA? Not the same way that the Nimrod was, clearly.
But paired with an ISTAR enabled RPAS, it could provide a chain from detection, location, ID & prosection.

Pipe dreaming I know. Sorry.
Finnpog is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 21:46
  #1249 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: where-ever nav's chooses....
Posts: 663
Or we could buy the in-service, well developed, flying, P-8 or P-1.
alfred_the_great is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 22:02
  #1250 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 893
P-8A - Interior View

Some good shots of the interior of a P-8A in these videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IRMFRZZUJ4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH9ZrvKOiWo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zlU_syd__c

Looks like a very nice working environment with excellent use of space to maximize the number and size of mission equipment console screens in front of each operator.

Last edited by RAFEngO74to09; 19th Jun 2015 at 22:13.
RAFEngO74to09 is offline  
Old 19th Jun 2015, 22:06
  #1251 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Far North of Watford
Age: 78
Posts: 541
I'm with Small Spinner. I hope we look at the P1 and don't automatically go Yank, for the reasons he gives.
Genstabler is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2015, 12:02
  #1252 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: E MIDLANDS
Posts: 284
P8A is a compromise because it's wing is not optimised for low level ops, it will have to deploy sonar buoys from higher altitude, it's doesn't have a MAD and only 2 engines (although is less of a compromise).
andyy is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2015, 12:11
  #1253 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Blighty
Posts: 177
Hang on, let me get my popcorn, this is getting good!

P8A is a compromise because it's wing is not optimised for low level ops, it will have to deploy sonar buoys from higher altitude, it's doesn't have a MAD and only 2 engines (although is less of a compromise).
Surely a wing designed for low level ops would then be poor at long range/high level ops...

And I doubt your credibility is doing very well when you're making statements based on MPA designed pre-2000... Perhaps nowadays we should be looking at different tactics for finding and tracking metal objects at sea...
getsometimein is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2015, 14:53
  #1254 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: various
Posts: 72
Andyy.

All aircraft design is a compromise. Optimise for one particular flight regime and there will be a cost in another part of the envelope.

Just out of interest, what would you consider to be the features of a wing that is optimised to operate at low level? What would you then think are the negative points of such a design when said wing has to operate at high level for other tasking/transit?

Dont get drawn into MAD (at least in the traditional sense). The technology of submarine detection from aircraft and the design of modern subs to avoid detection by such a sensor has moved on considerably in the last decade.

To state that P-8 "will have to deploy (I think you mean sono) buoys from higher altitude" is 100% wrong and an opinion not based on anything.
RandomBlah is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2015, 18:58
  #1255 (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: 16,680
Originally Posted by RandomBlah View Post

To state that P-8 "will have to deploy (I think you mean sono) buoys from higher altitude" is 100% wrong and an opinion not based on anything.
Dropping buoys from height has never been an issue apart from the fact that they weren't where you dropped them and it was assumed that they were in the relative positions intended. Didn't stop us find subs. I believe improvements over 3 decades ago over came that problem.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2015, 19:08
  #1256 (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: 16,680
Now I can speculate on the ideal system:

Drop a pattern of buoys and determine their positions and correct the data plot. Detect your target and determine its geographical position. Programme the position in the underwater attack system. Let system calculate assumed target position for intercept.

Release weapon system with its in-flight guidance system to the appropriate point for parachute regarding system so that the warhead enters the water at the correct position.

As the system would have improved on over legacy systems fewer would need to be carried. Given fewer a larger warhead and larger power unit could be embodied.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2015, 19:37
  #1257 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK/ USA
Posts: 111
Great plan PN. Unfortunately, being able to place sonobuoys close to the tgt is still required. This drives the requirement for sonobuoys which can be guided or can guide themselves. Your weapon system relies upon being able to guide itself or be guided to the the ideal splash point.

Such systems are being developed by the USN. The cost of development is significant. If there isn't a problem with the P8 at low level then why do this?

If the UK acquires the P8 I suspect we would have to do a significant amount of work to certify a UK weapon as the current USN weapon is not acceptable under current UK rules. I also understand USN sonobuoys are not interoperable with the RN and othe NATO ac.

The MTOC which supports the P8 is massive and manpower intensive. Another hidden cost.
Jet In Vitro is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2015, 20:49
  #1258 (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: 16,680
Originally Posted by Jet In Vitro View Post

If there isn't a problem with the P8 at low level then why do this?
.
Low level flight by an MPA is in itself a compromise. It is useful for a visual search and also for lobe avoidance, but has been necessary for localisation and weapons delivery criteria. The tactical disadvantages are significant. The aircraft is open to visual detection if a submarine is sufficiently incautious as to look but it can also be heard.

A submarine could also deploy a SAM which could spoil your day.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 20th Jun 2015, 22:28
  #1259 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: various
Posts: 72
PN,

I suggest you re-read my post. At no point did I either state or imply that dropping buoys from height was an issue.
RandomBlah is offline  
Old 21st Jun 2015, 07:47
  #1260 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: UK/ USA
Posts: 111
PN, submarine launch of a SAM requires a long time at PD to acquire and track before launch. I suspect the balance of probability of a successful attack remains with the MPA.

Counter detection is an issue but good awareness of tgt position and ac positioning goes a long way to mitigating this.

A sub launched GPS jammer could easily screw up a many systems.

Also, in the littoral, RFI becomes a significant issue as sonobuoy RF channels are shared with other users. Indeed in the UK they are not supposed to be used within 50nm of the coast. This comes as a surprise to most. The way to mitigate RFI is ac positioning, directional receivers and operating as low as possible.

Compromise will always be a factor in any MPA design. The UK needs to ensure it truly understands its requirements and the cost benefit of each solution. Platform performance must be matched to sensor performance. Radar performance at high level will have significant issues, especially detections close in.

Visual ID and inspection is important in peacetime and in war. 8/8 of cloud drives MPA below the cloud base. Radar imagining will not show the detail required. Can you see if a fishing boat is fishing, can you see ladders and weapons associated with piracy etc.

The ability to operate at low level is really important, so is speed, range and endurance, but so are cost of ownership, op sovereignty, the ability to quickly add UOR capability, flexibility of operating base, interoperability, etc etc. Of all the factors listed above cost is unfortunately the biggest factor, a fleet of less than 12 ac will just be tokenism.

Last edited by Jet In Vitro; 21st Jun 2015 at 10:29.
Jet In Vitro 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.