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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

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UK Maritime Patrol Aircraft - An Urgent Requirement

Old 21st Jul 2015, 21:59
  #1441 (permalink)  
 
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120 K a year for a sensor operator?????
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Old 21st Jul 2015, 22:28
  #1442 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jayand View Post
120 K a year for a sensor operator?????
Capitation rates as opposed to actual pay. It's a scam to make service personnel look more expensive than contractors or civil servants as it includes a bit of cash because the service provides us with SFA/SLA/messes, a bit of cash because the service provides doctors, dentists and medics etc, a bit of cash for our pension - suddenly a military employee capitates at 75K PA when a contractor can do it for 40K or a civil servant for 35K because their capitation rate includes different things(these figures were for a flt lt and are some years old so will have changed) but you can see why contractorisation appears to be a good deal - never mind the loss of flexibility, failure to deliver and loss of service ethos.
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Old 21st Jul 2015, 23:28
  #1443 (permalink)  
O-P
 
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At one point in my RAF time I life, I was transferred on "loan duty" to another government organization. That organization had to pay my wages AND the wages for the guy that replaced me on the front-line, PLUS 45% training costs.


Soon adds up!
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 00:02
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I'm led to believe that the sensor operators on board a Merlin 2 are RN Leading Hands at the entry level. Don't they operate all the sensors? Radar,Sonar,Acoustics,ESM,Datalink,EO\IR and conduct other tasks such as SAR and winching. They've got to be significantly cheaper than the figures that have be mentioned.They also have a current training path and a queue at the careers office? Increase their manning liability and turn on the tap.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 02:56
  #1445 (permalink)  
 
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Much as this debate is interesting it would be naive in the extreme to think any of it new or innovative.

Any diehard of a maritime scruffs bar will have all of this a thousand times before, putting the world to rights over a post flight bevvy.

Leading hands/corporals as sensor operators...versus all officer crews. Constituted crews or a pool of aircrew. Cross trained operators (something we had in the past and stopped doing). And so on.

It's worth remembering that we used to be pretty good at this stuff, back in the good ol cold war days. It's also worth remembering that technology never quite lives up to marketing hype (and in the case of a few bits of expensive kit we all know and "love", never came close!). What starts out to deskill the job, somehow usually ends up making twice as hard with a commensurate increase in the training burden.

I'm all for progress and, in fact, I was always vocal in my criticism of the amount of technical bumf we expected operators to hoist on board, purely, IMHO, for the purposes of competitive catergorisation. Now would be a good time to lighten up and streamline the training requirements of some aircrew elements, but cautiously I would counsel. There are a lot of skills that we will need to reacquire and we cannot afford to sidestep any of the crucial ones.

As for non-constituted crews...a lot of us will have flown with non-constituted foreign MPA crews during ops and exercises. Fundamentally, they sucked.

Last edited by The Old Fat One; 22nd Jul 2015 at 03:08.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 08:10
  #1446 (permalink)  
 
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Returning to the MMA discussion. P8 is not a Multi Mission Aircraft. It is defined by the DoD as a Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft. Not just a play on words but a specific definition of a platform procured by a Navy for maritime tasks. Sensor have been optimised for maritime ops and the add on QRCs are defined as ASW SIGINT etc. The DoD is very specific because to say anything else would cause arguments with the army/ marines/ airforce

Sure you can use many of the P8's sensors in other environments but the USN has no requirement to do so. For the UK to deviate from the baseline AC will be very difficult but very lucrative for Boeing.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 08:46
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Originally Posted by Jet In Vitro View Post

Sure you can use many of the P8's sensors in other environments but the USN has no requirement to do so. For the UK to deviate from the baseline AC will be very difficult but very lucrative for Boeing.
Last I saw, at least 3 variants of USN P-3 aircraft were flying operational missions, and nowhere near the sea. I am sure that the P-8 will look to take on those roles in the near future, already there are pictures 'out there' showing the P-8 with various appendages underneath the aircraft.

Y_G
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 08:49
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One wonders how amenable Kawasaki would be to tailoring the equipment suite to MoD requirements (assuming it isn't in the ballpark already). Submitting a realistically priced bid could be a deal clincher.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 09:20
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Thumbs up

UK MPA / MMA?


No formal requirement from the MOD yet so lots of contractors eagerly waiting to see of they meet the spec for a competition - if there is going to be one.....


I accept that this is based on almost non-existent assumptions, apart from long-range and payload which discounts some of the smaller options. Here are my runners:


P8 - Yes If time is the most pressing issue. No if cost, ITAR, lack of UK jobs and control of future development are important.


P1 - Yes if time is the most pressing issue. No if interoperability and wider use (MMA) are the issue. It is also manpower intensive - where do they come from?


C-130J - Yes if cost, UK jobs and control of future growth is most pressing issue. No if time is the biggest constraint.


Happy to be shot down; would not be the first time............
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 09:28
  #1450 (permalink)  
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JiV has the size of it. The issue will be budget driven rather than cost driven. How are the transport aircraft and sentinel funded? Does the Army fund part of these forces?

Logically, for a maritime role, the aircraft would be funded from the RN budget. If the RN can't fund, and own it, and the Air Force wants to return to an historic maritime role, then the Air Force must find the budget for a P8.

They cannot man it with naval ratings unless they pay the Navy for them or the Navy agrees to supply and pay.

They will not fit, say Army mission equipment, unless the Army is prepared to pay.

To get an RAF platform then the maritime mafia has to get the funds from the FJ mafia.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 09:38
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PN,

What RAF "maritime mafia"? Most of the worker bee level were made redundant, and a quick look at linked in will show you that most of the ex maritime senior officers have retired to civilian life and are now working as "consultants", many in the defence sector.....
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 10:52
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Crew composition.

Good point Biggus. The old saying "jack of all trades, master of none" springs to mind. Acoustic analysis and operating acoustic systems is complex and takes a while to become competent. If you add the other functionalities to the workload you will sacrifice expertise. Similarly radar and ESM/ECM specialists have enough to do without trying to become acoustic operators in addition.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 11:26
  #1453 (permalink)  
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Biggus, quite. What I was implying was that without a maritime mafia or a direction from CMD, that there was only a slim choice of the Air Force lobbying (outside PPRuNe) for an MMA.

Then there would be little enthusiasm for equipment and personnel dedicated to an Army or Navy mission unless they contributed to the costs.

Brutally, I fear a new MMA/MPA could still fall to the bean counters.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 22nd Jul 2015 at 13:48. Reason: don't you love predictive text
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 12:28
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Talking of crew size, I believe the P1 has a Flight Engineer, I was working at RIAT last week and definitely noted a third head on the flight deck as it taxied past me, I assumed it was a FE similar to the layout on a P3, Pilots driving and FE working the throttles.

If we bought them where would we get our FEs from
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 12:48
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Last I saw, at least 3 variants of USN P-3 aircraft were flying operational missions, and nowhere near the sea. I am sure that the P-8 will look to take on those roles in the near future, already there are pictures 'out there' showing the P-8 with various appendages underneath the aircraft.
P-8s have built-in provisions for installing the AAC (Advanced Airborne Sensor). This would give the P-8 an advanced E-8/JSTARS capability. These provisions are one reason why the weapon bay was moved aft of the wing, to provide an unobstructed area forward of the wing for the sensor and so that installation of the sensor does not eliminate use of the weapon bay. And USN is planning on phasing out the various versions of the EP-3 in favor of the P-8. In short, there's a heavy emphasis on multi-mission built into the airframe.

Perhaps we should also consider the E-7 Wedgetail. Between the P-8 and E-7 the basic 737 airframe covers a very wide mission spectrum. And with multiple customers from multiple nations for both aircraft, it would seem that both are going to be upgraded/updated for a long time to come, spreading the upgrade development costs over more airframes and across more national budgets.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 13:08
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Issue back on the newsfeeds again - due to speech by Angus Robertson MP (SNP) at RUSI - MoD relies on fishermen for intelligence, says SNP - BBC News
Obviously using it for his own nationalist purposes but at least he gets the MoD to have to respond, even if it is the same bland response....
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 17:36
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Can't find any information that suggest that a FE is required, only that the crew consists of 2 pilots and 11 mission crew. Nothing to suggest that it needs all 11 either.

It would seem unusual for a brand new design to require a 3(+) person flight deck, perhaps th 3rd head was merely a 'guest' or extra pilot along for a 'jolly' - wouldn't exactly be unusual for a visiting a/c from far afield.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 18:12
  #1458 (permalink)  
 
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Crew Manning issue is a non issue!
There is no requirement for an FE on the P1. The jump seat seen occupied at RIAT had a 3rd pilot along for the long transit and there was a Chief Tech ( They call them FEs )along with his guys to look after the birds.
As for two extra guys down the back to handle stores, that is a legacy P3 thing.
That role was always fulfilled in The Kipper fleet by any member of the crew not doing anything and that includes Pilots when on transit to the Op area. Its not rocket science. Even AEOs could prep a buoy.
And another thing, The Kipper fleet managed quite well with internal stores launchers. P1 has belly stores. Luxury I tell you , luxury.
P1 and P8 crew requirements are exactly the same.
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 20:08
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P-1 display @ RIAT - weapons bay

Here's two of my close up photos of the weapons bay of the P-1 flying at RIAT on Sunday. Commentator mentioned just before the flyby, that the FLIR turret be extended as well as weapon bay doors open





Any thoughts in comparison with the P-8?

Cheers
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Old 22nd Jul 2015, 20:29
  #1460 (permalink)  
 
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Showing my ignorance of things maritime, but what's with the cheese-grater cover aft of the main-gear doors?
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