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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 16th Jul 2015, 07:15
  #1381 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by KPax
The P8 is scheduled to appear, hopefully they will park the P1 next to the P8 and then the future users can see which one has the biggest kitchen

If P8 is there, it looks like static only, not flying. P1 is definitely flying as well as static.
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Old 16th Jul 2015, 07:33
  #1382 (permalink)  
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As I understood it, it something to do with the aileron controls that had been placed at the back of the bomb bay. So if you opened the doors at speed and you took a big bird into it at speed then the control of ailerons could be lost? That was how it was explained to me at the time. Now you could probably still achieve some roll control with the secondary effect of rudder if your ailerons faailed but it might be a bit uncomfortable at 200ft!

As for Reaper. Please re-read my post. It clearly states Predator A that was flying operationally since the mid 90s. We had people on the Predator A program well before 2007 and our Reaper acquisition. If I recall correctly personnnel that went on to form 1115 Flt RAF were flying in 2003 (well before HERRICK started). i think we asked for a Foreign Military Sale (FMS) of MQ-9 Reaper in 2006 having evaluated that it was worth the wait over MQ-1. There were also other capabilities able to provide line of sight full motion video in manned overland ISR aircraft in theatre should we wanted to pay for it.

Sorry, unwilling to PM names to you as that is up to the individuals to come forward in the debate if they want to. However, I clearly remember one of the individuals stating that there was a rush to get the MRA4 into service and one of the options was for it to not have a sonobuoy clearance - with the comment of "they'll sort that out later, don't worry"!

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, as we all know. But from my viewpoint the MRA4 cancellation was the right decision - just several years too late after wasting a lot of cash IMHO. As others have said, when the first batch of wings were made that didn't fit the refurbed MR2 fuselages (because each was different as they were made on wooden jigs many years ago) then that should have stopped the project then. However, I too hope that Father Christmas brings us a shiny new 'turn key' MPA soon.

I agree with TOFO - let's please move on. The MR2 had a long and great service record. Let's leave her to those memories and move on.

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Old 16th Jul 2015, 07:47
  #1383 (permalink)  
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I'm frankly bored with the MRA4 rumour and innuendo but accept in good grace that this is a rumour network nonetheless. Lets await the post-project review on MRA4 to gain proper clarity on the real issues............... I suggest it will be along wait......

However, I find your comments regarding MR2 overland operations ill-informed and in poor taste. When the MR2 undertook the overland ISR roles in concurrent operational theatres, the UK had nothing else other than a begging bowl to our cousins.

If you wish to debate whether the platform played a key role in delivering truly strategic effect then I can assure you that there is a compelling case; I was there at the front line and in the PJHQ with a purview of exactly what was happening. The pull was from HQ to the Kipper fleet, not the other way around - fact!

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Old 16th Jul 2015, 09:41
  #1384 (permalink)  
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Anyhoo - back to the debate ....P8 or P1, there's only one way to find out...(C) Harry Hill

Well said old bean...
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Old 16th Jul 2015, 10:18
  #1385 (permalink)  
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LJ, bird strike in the bomb bay?

Do you have any experience or knowledge of that?

I don't know how much time I have spent dragging a hole around at high speed at low level, must be at least 5 minutes per sortie and probably more. Assuming two sorties per month that would be a very conservative 2 hours per year and never even a thought of catching a crab.
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Old 16th Jul 2015, 13:02
  #1386 (permalink)  
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Good to see Pompey survived. Although if it was carpet bombed it would be hard to notice the difference. I thank you.

US Matey in Virginia was very impressed.

Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises - News: Japanese P1 Flys at RAF Fairford


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Old 16th Jul 2015, 13:41
  #1387 (permalink)  
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Interesting twist on the old kipper fleet Japanese Airshow rumour
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Old 17th Jul 2015, 22:18
  #1388 (permalink)  
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Birdstrike in the Bomb Bay

Aye, those pesky ISIS trained seagulls who can sneak up on you when the bomb doors are open, fly around the weaponry inside and then manage to hit the flying controls. Bound to happen.


At least that's what the TP told me.
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Old 17th Jul 2015, 22:44
  #1389 (permalink)  
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A pop song, don't watch if that offends

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Old 17th Jul 2015, 23:42
  #1390 (permalink)  
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Thanks glad rag
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Old 19th Jul 2015, 15:57
  #1391 (permalink)  
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Would that be a doughnut machine for the 24/7 armed cops?
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Old 19th Jul 2015, 18:37
  #1392 (permalink)  
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Phoney T, Leon J, Beagle et al

Whilst I concede that my comments re 'bullshit' do indeed come across as churlish, as betty well knows, they were brought about through a certain level of exasperation. The problems with the MRA4 project, whilst well documented on this site and others, are, on occasion, incorrectly 'reported and/or factually incorrect.

I have no agenda, axe to grind, or a myopic view on the need for, or even the platform required for a UK LRMPA. I, however, do feel the need to correct factual mistakes.

As said above, I concur that my professional demeanour was lacking, but the message re handling qualities is one that I have 'defended' in the past. Never underestimate the power of PPRuNe; during my time on the project, a stray line or 3 written on here resulted in phone calls and questions from the senior leadership trying and ascertain if the information written by an anonymous poster, based on what the cleaner told his sister, was indeed fact or fiction.

As people have said, more than once, the MRA4 is dead; my belief was the project should have been buried in 2005, but that's another story. I'll do my best to be a little less aggressive if I stick my head above the parapets in the future and maintain a healthy discussion rather than slinging mud.

To finish, I do need to argue again that Vmca and Vmcg do not define the 'handling qualities' of an aircraft. There are no handling qualities assigned to the ability to complete the test point to 'define' Vmca/Vmcl; they are just numbers that are defined based upon a set of criteria (5 degrees angle of bank, steady heading etc).

To try and explain: the MRA4 initially had dual aileron cables, however the increased friction in the cable runs resulted in poor harmonisation between the pitch and roll forces required to complete normal flying tasks. The handling qualities of the aircraft suffered as the pilot had to overly compensate for high friction forces resulting in poor fine tracking tasks and an increase in fatigue levels too; overall poor lateral flying qualities.

To improve the handling qualities, one of the cables was removed. This reduced the friction levels in the roll circuit and pitch and roll harmonisation was far better. Fine lateral tracking tasks were achieved with ease, fatigue was reduced and the overall feel of the aircraft was improved; good lateral flying qualities.

However, Vmca was exactly the same for both configurations. The amount of aileron authority, rudder authority, engine power etc was not changed, therefore the steady state at which the criteria was reached to define Vmca remained the same. Therefore you should not use Vmca as an indication of the handling qualities of the aircraft. Clear as mud I am sure, but I'm sure John F could give a far better explanation.

Last edited by MOA; 20th Jul 2015 at 11:36.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 10:05
  #1393 (permalink)  
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Some pages ago, AQAfive expressed that his fear was that:
the only people to be hosted will be the twin wing master race, as that's the only trade recognised by management, all the others having been made redundant. They will then be swayed by flashy flight deck displays and video, with the performance of the sensors left to chance.
The Japanese were scrupulous in not saying who they' d flown in the aircraft in their press conference later that day, despite being asked directly, and did a good job in not confirming whether RAF officers had been flown at all.

However, it is my understanding that a number of RAF personnel, including at least three Air Rank chaps who wear two-winged brevets, let's call them Gary, Jeff and 'Windy', were flown on the P-1 on Friday morning, on a reasonable length sortie from Fairford which went and did various things over the Castlemartin ranges (and quite probably elsewhere). We don't know who else was flown, nor do we know who was flown on the P-1 earlier this year in Japan - only that an RAF 'evaluation' of sorts was made in Japan about four months ago, where a very senior RAF officer was again among those flown.

KPax asked about crew composition. One of the TACCOs told me that the P-1 normally flies with an 11-man crew. Two pilots, a flight engineer, two TACCOs, four mission crew (the mix of acoustic/non-acoustic varying according to the mission) and two in-flight technicians/ordnancemen.

Looking at the aircraft in the flesh, I was struck (as I had been when seeing photos) by the sheer ugliness of the design, but also by the way in which it had clearly been optimised for the role from the ground up - with the big flight deck windows, the bubble observation windows, the wing, the four engines, and the MAD boom, and it certainly seems agile in flight. More interestingly, its crew all seemed to be really experienced operators of the P-3C, and were able to convincingly talk about the many ways in which both the aircraft and its sensors and systems marked a major improvement over the older type.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 11:08
  #1394 (permalink)  
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Good to see you back posting again Jackonicko. Your mature, balanced and informative posts raise the tone of PPRuNe and are always worth reading.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 14:39
  #1395 (permalink)  
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Lockheed Martin To Offer Converted C-130Js As Maritime Patrollers

Martin is to offer a U.K-specific variant of its
SC-130J Sea Hercules to Britain, as the U.K. looks to
re-generate a maritime patrol capability.
The company says it could convert the U.K. Royal
Air Force’s existing fleet of C-130J airlifters into SC-
130Js, reducing procurement costs and technical risks,
company officials told Aviation Week on the eve of the
RNAS Yeovilton Air Day.
The company plans to formally announce its plans in
the coming weeks.
If selected, the British Sea Hercules’ would be fitted
with the same mission system fitted to the Royal Navy’s
AgustaWestland EH101 Merlin Mk. 2 helicopters,
which were upgraded by Lockheed Martin as part of
the U.K. defense ministry’s Merlin Capability Sustainment
Program. Currently the Sea Herc is being offered
to international customers with Lockheed’s Artamis
mission system, which was developed for use on the
P-3 Orion.
Lockheed says it could convert either the long-fuselage
C-130J-30s or the standard-length short-fuselage
C-130Js currently in service with the RAF, but officials
point out that the short-fuselage ones have a range
and endurance advantage. Procurement officials are
studying options to keep a handful of long-fuselage
aircraft in service to support special operations forces,
which could limit access to the short-fuselage aircraft.
The Sea Herc features a 360-deg. surface search radar
under the central fuselage, and lengthened landing
gear sponsons, which are extended forward of the main
landing gear and configured to carry air-dropped torpedoes.
Anti-ship missiles would be carried on pylons
under the outer wing. In the rear of cabin, the company
would fit a carousal system allowing for the delivery of
sonobuoys. Development of the extended sponson and
weapon bay is already “highly advanced,” the officials
stated, with work on the development carried out by
the company’s Aeronautics division. Options also exist
for the integration of a magnetic anomaly detector.
The aircraft also will be fitted with a satellite communications
system and an electronic support measures
“Much depends on what the requirements will be. If
there is a need for an advanced overland surveillance
capability, like that provided by Astor [Raytheon’s Sentinel
reconnaissance aircraft], we have some ideas how
to address that,” Lockheed Martin officials stated.
Conversion work from airlifter to maritime patroller
could also be performed in the U.K., with company officials
stating that Marshall Aerospace – which has supported
the U.K. Hercules fleet for decades – would be
ideally positioned for such work. Given the heavy use
inflicted on the Hercules fleet by operations in Afghanistan,
the C-130Js would likely need a life extension,
perhaps through a wingbox replacement program.
Several defense companies are now lining up to offer
a maritime patrol or multi-mission aircraft in expectation
of a U.K. requirement emerging from the upcoming
Strategic Defense and Security Review, which could
be published towards the end of this year. Widely seen
as a frontrunner is Boeing’s P-8 Poseidon; however,
L-3 Communications and partners Selex ES and Ultra
Electronics are offering a conversion of the Bombardier
Q400 regional airliner. Airbus Defense and Space will
offer a version of the C295 twin-turboprop transport.
Japan’s Kawasaki is offering its P-1 four-engined maritime
patroller, developed to replace the P-3 Orion in
Japanese service.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 15:01
  #1396 (permalink)  
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Sub - contracted to Marshalls?
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 16:06
  #1397 (permalink)  
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re P1 crew requirement

Better re-open Air Eng training as well as Nav training then.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 16:40
  #1398 (permalink)  
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You know, a rather large chunk of me would love to see the Japanese get the business.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 16:45
  #1399 (permalink)  
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...and how the nationalist press would howl.
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Old 20th Jul 2015, 16:58
  #1400 (permalink)  
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Not the first time that a C-130J solution has been mentioned by LM in relation to the UK Paris Air Show 2015: Lockheed Martin says maritime C-130 offering for UK has international potential - IHS Jane's 360

Seems they're pitching it beyond the UK also.
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