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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 13th Jul 2015, 07:36
  #1321 (permalink)  
 
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Hanfimar

Out of interest how many people have been lost who might have been saved at sea in the past 5 years by LRSAR (ie. over 200+ miles from a helo SAR base)? How much extra smuggling has gone on in British inland coastal waters than usual? That is the question the bean-counters will ask. They will also be asking about the real reason for a UK MPA, in providing a layer of protection for the IND; as we know, that is the real capability gap and you're unlikely to have any realistic data on that. However, that will be the main reason for justifying a MPA procurement.

I personally think it was the right decision to cancel MRA4 - the wrong decision was to let it go on for so long and not getting P3 Orion 2000 (or whatever it was called). I very much doubt that if MRA4 had come into Service whether it would still not be plagued with cost over-runs and capability/design issues that lead to its scrapping - previous performance of the program suggests it would have!

Let's hope that the SDSR takes us forward rather than regurgitating letters from 5 years ago, that only serve to weaken the case in my humble opinion. Also, let's chime on about the real requirement for a UK MPA:

1: Protecting the IND.
2: Protecting the new QE and PoW (or other such large vessels)
3: Contributing to the real-time surface/sub-surface picture across a wide area.

Please, let's stop going on about the SAR element which is really only using up spare capacity from a MPA's key roles outline above, and let's lets remember the Nimrod for its great service over the last 40 years or so and let her rest in peace.

Like many, my fingers are crossed for an off the shelf MPA that works!

LJ
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:17
  #1322 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bigbux View Post
As a tax-payer I would be livid if the MoD even considered a non-competitive award for a £1bn contract; but if you look at past performance.....
Like Airseeker you mean?
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:18
  #1323 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Genstabler View Post
For the money we could have half as many again of P1s, which are smaller,

Umm, have a look at the pic above!
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 10:22
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Like Airseeker you mean?
You can just see the beancounters' thought process:

P-8=737 airframe... lots of older 737s stored around the world... I know! We'll save money by buying them up and fitting the electronics stuff. Easy! Where's my gong?
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 13:32
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Davef68
The photo is misleading, mainly because of the huge cockpit windows. I think you will find that the P1 has lower base and AUW, smaller wingspan and is shorter despite the MAD. Payload is the same.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 15:16
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..and doesn't need as much runway as a P8 at max AUW. Quite A crucial point when considering basing and FOBs.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 15:49
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camelspyyder: .....the other is based on an aircraft which has had notorious crashes following structural failures of the vertical tail.
Do you perhaps mean rudder control issues on the 737? Yes there were some very high profile rudder related crashes, and some structural issues with some very high cycle aircraft, but I am not aware of structural failures in the tail. Interested to hear more.


Bannock ..and doesn't need as much runway as a P8 at max AUW. Quite A crucial point when considering basing and FOBs
Crucial? Really? I think there are quite a few 737/P8 capable air fields, and surely not an issue for runways/hangars/aprons/bases that operated Nimrod....

Shorter field capable is nice yes, but perhaps not crucial in my view...
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 16:29
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Leon's MPA requirements:

1: Protecting the IND.
2: Protecting the new QE and PoW (or other such large vessels)
3: Contributing to the real-time surface/sub-surface picture across a wide area,

emphasise to me the validity of the argument that they should belong to the RN rather than to the RAF.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 17:25
  #1329 (permalink)  
 
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Davef68
The photo is misleading, mainly because of the huge cockpit windows. I think you will find that the P1 has lower base and AUW, smaller wingspan and is shorter despite the MAD. Payload is the same.
P-1 is indeed smaller, but not that much smaller. 5' shorter, 9' less span, 3' lower (solely due to a shorter fin), 13,000lb lighter. But, a bulkier fuselage by the looks of it, and designed for a mission crew of 11 vice 7(?) for the P-8.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 18:35
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Anyway, apart from the fact that P1 looks visibly bigger, has some nice windows and a galley, what is the actual requirement to fill this gap? Can all the contenders do it? I would include P1,P8,C295,SeaHerc any others? This is a fair fight yes? Not just P8 because there are embedded crews?
Seems as though there are some very different views out there. As for training we all converted iPhone to HTC to Samsung OK? Once you know the task the change to a different operating system is easy right?
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 20:13
  #1331 (permalink)  
 
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Leon's MPA requirements:

1: Protecting the IND.
2: Protecting the new QE and PoW (or other such large vessels)
3: Contributing to the real-time surface/sub-surface picture across a wide area,

emphasise to me the validity of the argument that they should belong to the RN rather than to the RAF.
I'd agree with you if it wasn't an AIRcraft providing that capability. If it floats it should be RN, if it sits on the ground it should be Army (and yes, I would include the RAF Regt role in that and all lamd based SHORAD) and if it flies it should be RAF. I think for too long we have allowed a blurring around the edges of all 3 Services - it wasn't that long ago (in my current Service career span) that we had a RAF Marine Branch - FFS, why? I know it was a legacy of Air Sea Rescue, but even then that task should have been left to the RN. The rot also set in when the 'FAA of the RAF' went dark blue and Teeny Weeny Airways (AAC) started thinning out as the RAF AOP sqns went to the Army.

Rant over and out...

LJ
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 20:26
  #1332 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by whitenoise
Can all the contenders do it? I would include P1,P8,C295,SeaHerc any others? This is a fair fight yes? Not just P8 because there are embedded crews?
I'm sure that the likes of Hercules and C295 are capable in itself but they are in a different league, no?

The P8 and P1 are also considerably quicker (time to reach station), can cover a lot more square kilometres and have much more range.
Also due to their size they are real NIMROD-like successors and probably have a lot more room for growth (other systems and tasks) I would imagine.
Maybe an A400 type or A320-esque might be more likewise competitors but they'll have to be developed, as an MPA, from the ground up and I don't see that as being a cheap and quick solution
Frankly if you're in the market for a P8 type of MPA only the KAWASAKI seems a reasonable alternative, no?
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 20:52
  #1333 (permalink)  
 
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LJ
Your argument has an element of logic but is fundamentally flawed. I'm sure you wouldn't want the Army owning and operating all RAF vehicle fleets while the RAF own and operate all Army and RN helicopters. Or would you?
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 21:19
  #1334 (permalink)  
 
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Surely the best option for any future MPA force would be a RAF/RN organisation a'la 360 Sqn?

Given the likely size of such a future force how would the RN alone effectively man just the pointy end of such a/c? How many pilots would be required for, say, a 12 a/c Sqn (including OCU)? 40 or so? Where would their career progression be with no alternative multi-engine force to move to?

Wouldn't it make sense to man the pointy bit with RAF crews and man the back end with a mix of RAF and RN systems operators? Front end have some degree of career progression within a wider multi-engine world and back end benefit from cross-pollination of experience between airborne, surface and sub-surface specialists.

Of course this could be just a pipedream, in which case I'll batten down the hatches and await "shut up ex-stacker/Auggie nurse, what would you know?"
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 22:10
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What is important is not the colour of uniform of the crew in the short term. It is who owns the capability, holds the budget and develops the operational concept.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 22:48
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Your argument has an element of logic but is fundamentally flawed. I'm sure you wouldn't want the Army owning and operating all RAF vehicle fleets while the RAF own and operate all Army and RN helicopters. Or would you?
Why not? Unless it is a refueller or tug or runway caravan or other aircraft-specific support vehicle then why not? Most of the RAF's fleet is 'white fleet' anyway and hired in via LEX or other such hire companies. In fact, thinking about it, why not give all airfield/aircraft-specific vehicles to the Army (RCT - Radio Cabs and Taxis) as well and we will ask them to provide when needed - simple arrangement would be 'no support vehicles then no flying for Pongos' - simples!

The REME should be looking after all military vehicles - it's what they're best at. The RAF Techies should be looking after all military aircraft and the RN Techies should be looking after all military vessels - likewise, it's what they're best at. It's so frighteningly easy and would make the management of today's small numbers of skill types easier by pooling them by type of vehicle/vessel to each Service.

LJ
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 22:55
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Leon
"Unless it is ......" There's the rub. I hope you are not responsible for any important decision making as your views reveal a charming naivety, simplistic lack of judgement and remoteness from the real world. Either that or you are amusing yourself by winding Genstabler up. I so hope it's the latter.
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 23:01
  #1338 (permalink)  
 
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It's alright Mr Mouse. It is part of a cunning MOD Masterplan to keep expenditure off the balance sheets.
After all, these pesky aircraft spend the majority of their time on terra firma - so owned by the Land Army.

Once they become airborne - ownership & operating costs transfer to Air Force.

If you keep up enough of an Op Tempo, the good folk in accounting will never be able to pin down who owns what.

Perhaps Air could re-charge Land for the transport costs to deliver A2G weapons from the ground to the ground.

They will be making a 'negative profit' once again. (c) David Gunson
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Old 13th Jul 2015, 23:07
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Ah, that explains it. Let me give you another example of creative accounting.

Some years ago a small rural town in Spain was twinned with a similar town in Greece.

The mayor of the Greek town visited the Spanish town. When he saw the palatial mansion belonging to the Spanish mayor, he wondered aloud how on earth he could afford such a house.

The Spaniard replied: ‘You see that bridge over there? The EU gave us a grant to construct a two-lane bridge, but by building a single lane bridge with traffic lights at either end, I could build this place.’

The following year the Spaniard visited the Greek town. He was simply amazed at the Greek mayor's house: gold taps, marble floors, diamond doorknobs, it was marvellous.

When he asked how he’d raised the money to build this incredible house, the Greek mayor said: ‘You see that bridge over there?’

The Spaniard replied: ‘No.’
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Old 14th Jul 2015, 07:03
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Having been part of a Purple Sqn, it was clear that the RAF and the RN usually have few difficulties getting on with the job and working together. It would seem logical for the Navy to provide expertise amongst the mission crew. However, the RN have limited numbers of multi engined pilots, and for any that moved to P1/8, it would be the only option in that career stream for them and therefore career limiting and unlikely to happen. So RAF to operate it for me, with RN helping if they can!

The Army though.....they always wanted to maintain their own chain of command, systems and structures - less working with, more working alongside!!! Any savings from them maintaining RAF/RN vehicles would soon evaporate as they posted in their own paymasters, RSMs, Adjutants etc!!!!
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