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Calling Kipper Fleet veterans - Nimrod query!

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Calling Kipper Fleet veterans - Nimrod query!

Old 8th Jun 2017, 01:33
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Jackonicko

I'd have thought you'd have known the MR2 stuff with your background.

But. I guess not. Fairly easy to get a 9 hour stretch out of a full tank of gas. Mission dependent, more.

With AAR crew fatigue was the issue.

P-8 is similar, however the intent is to ASW at higher altitudes, thereby saving even more gas.

I'm curious about your statement though.

Why are you "less and less impressed"?
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 07:46
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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The P-8 hasn't been to war yet so we haven't needed to work out how to eeek out every extra bit of mileage! Give it time (and a generation of GEs who know what leaks are acceptable).
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 09:47
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Originally Posted by YellowTom View Post
The P-8 hasn't been to war yet so we haven't needed to work out how to eeek out every extra bit of mileage! Give it time (and a generation of GEs who know what leaks are acceptable).
YT
What are you trying to say?
The aircraft performance is known to the last kg of fuel used / available. As for GEs and leaks, there are very few, and the GEs will have every tiny fault correctly sorted!
Or, if you are trying to make some very bad slur,.. I suggest you make yourself clear right now or, FO!

OAP
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Old 8th Jun 2017, 16:43
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by YellowTom View Post
The P-8 hasn't been to war yet so we haven't needed to work out how to eeek out every extra bit of mileage! Give it time (and a generation of GEs who know what leaks are acceptable).
MPA do their war role all the time. The P8 has completed several Ops already
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 08:20
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Got to say I like the look of the Saab Swordfish, especially with its trendy digital camouflage, but.......

Lets have a look at some of the claims in the glossy

Significant sonobuoy stowage
What is that number? What types of buoy? What is the usage rate against a modern submarine?

No external stores
What is the impact on range and endurance with external stores? How many torpedoes can be carried? How are those weapons kept conditioned in flight?

Superior working environment
In comparison to what? Nimrod? P-8A?

Galley
Well at least that's a step up from the P-8A!!

Swordfish might make a great peacetime platform, but not convinced of its viability in this role in wartime.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 11:14
  #26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by betty swallox View Post
Jackonicko
Why are you "less and less impressed"?
1) Cost
2) the inability to use anything but Size A buoys
3) Lack of MAD - still a useful confirmation sensor
4) Comparing the OEW with MTOW makes me suspect that payload/range will not be as impressive as the brochure suspects
5) I wonder whether the emphasis on (unproven) high altitude delivery of weapons and buoys is a matter of choice or whether it has been forced on the USN by platform limitations - fuel consumption, a relatively wide turn radius, fatigue, engine placement, etc.?
6) Lack of a 360 degree radar
7) Programmatically - the failure to integrate U.K. Weapon and buoy stocks - especially Stingray.
8) will demand massive investment in airfield infrastructure
9) fleet size. Two carriers, four SSBNs and a major maritime trading nation, with vital fisheries and EEZs and we're getting 9.Nine. Japan plans to get 70 P-1s.
10) I remain profoundly sceptical that one can accurately put a pattern of buoys in the water from FL nosebleed

I am sure that the P-8 will be a great maritime ISR platform, which is after all 90% of what the aircraft will do. In peacetime.

But I hear that a very senior Purple fellow revealed that the P-8 was not placed first in terms of ASW capability when the UK assessed competing MPAs.

And someone expressed the view that for ASW, alone and unafraid, he'd take an MRA4 over the P-8, while others aver that the P-8 "simply isn't an improvement over Nimrod...."
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 11:36
  #27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Roland Pulfrew View Post
Got to say I like the look of the Saab Swordfish, especially with its trendy digital camouflage, but.......

Lets have a look at some of the claims in the glossy
Saab's briefer on Swordfish at various press things (ex-Nimrod) is extremely compelling.

What is that number? What types of buoy? What is the usage rate against a modern submarine?
Two ten-shot rotary launchers and two pressurised single launchers for smoke floats, bathy buoys etc. Racks for 112 A size (224 G or 336 F) buoys.

What is the impact on range and endurance with external stores? How many torpedoes can be carried? How are those weapons kept conditioned in flight?
More than 5.5 hours with weapons. Six torpedos can be carried, or four big ASMs. Because the MU90 uses new technology silver oxide aluminium batteries they don't need to be carried in an internal bay.

In comparison to what? Nimrod? P-8A?
Saab claim better than P-8.

Well at least that's a step up from the P-8A!!
I think Saab fully appreciate the importance of a mug of tea or a plate of 'honkers'!!!

Swordfish might make a great peacetime platform, but not convinced of its viability in this role in wartime.
Less than two thirds of the acquisition cost and half the Life Cycle Cost.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 16:05
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920ATCs?

Originally Posted by baigar View Post
Was there still the original computing hardware (Elliott 900 series computer) on board the MR2
as it went out of service?
Think that the CTS still had 920ATC. Acoustics system replaced by then with Ultra kit.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 16:07
  #29 (permalink)  
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J, MAD is a two edged weapon. The greater the detection range, the less precise the fix. Counter detection would alert the target which can make considerable distance before the MPA can make a second pass, although good against a steel conventional.

MAD would enable an upgrade in detection probability and that a target was probably present at weapon release.

So yes, it does have its uses

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 9th Jun 2017 at 20:25.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 20:11
  #30 (permalink)  
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And you can now have MAD without the weight and cost penalty it used to impose....
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 20:29
  #31 (permalink)  
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J, you can never remove cost. We had useful kit removed from the Nimrod as we needed to save money. Removing the cameras from the Nimrod meant the camera bay could be closed and the aircraft maintenance removed.

Adding MAD requires a MAD bay (infrastructure), engineers (establishment), training, etc.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 20:35
  #32 (permalink)  
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Yes of course I just meant that the kit is now cheaper and lighter
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 20:59
  #33 (permalink)  
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So it comes down to cost benefit. MAD is really only a confirmation aid where better aids might obviate the need for MAD. That said we once caught a submarine where MAD was the initial sensor. We were investigating a radar contact when we got a MAD mark. The JEZ buoy picked up noise, a second MAD was gained and the sub confirmed. Pure luck, but crews used to make their own luck.
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Old 9th Jun 2017, 22:58
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jackonicko View Post
1) Cost
2) the inability to use anything but Size A buoys
3) Lack of MAD - still a useful confirmation sensor
4) Comparing the OEW with MTOW makes me suspect that payload/range will not be as impressive as the brochure suspects
5) I wonder whether the emphasis on (unproven) high altitude delivery of weapons and buoys is a matter of choice or whether it has been forced on the USN by platform limitations - fuel consumption, a relatively wide turn radius, fatigue, engine placement, etc.?
6) Lack of a 360 degree radar
7) Programmatically - the failure to integrate U.K. Weapon and buoy stocks - especially Stingray.
8) will demand massive investment in airfield infrastructure
9) fleet size. Two carriers, four SSBNs and a major maritime trading nation, with vital fisheries and EEZs and we're getting 9.Nine. Japan plans to get 70 P-1s.
10) I remain profoundly sceptical that one can accurately put a pattern of buoys in the water from FL nosebleed
"
Range has a number of variables, but assuming still air, no AAR in flight and LL 'turning and burning on-station', I'd plump for MR2 = 2 hours at 1200nm, MRA4 = 6 hours at 1200nm

2) Not really sure why that's important; you worried about running out of buoys? The P8 is very spacious inside. I am convinced you could put extra racks in and carry enough buoys to ensure you'd run out of fuel before sonobuoys.

3) MAD is desirable but not essential. Multi-Statics is a game-changer.

4) 4 hours at 1200nm was a key performance measure at initial test. It met the requirement.

5) The driver to operate at higher than traditional altitudes was nothing to do with ac limitations. Indeed, the increment 1 P-8A had to be able to operate at low level and it can. I hear a lot about how the 737 was not designed to operate at LL, but then neither was the comet or the Lockheed Electra. The first couple of P8 ac were used for flight envelope expansion. They had a whole raft of instrumentation devices attached all over the ac. This was then fed back into extremely accurate computer modeling so there is a deep understanding of fatigue issues during LL manouvre - this technology didn't exist when Nimrod and P3 ac were being developed.

6) Depends what you're trying to do with the mission. BAMS is seen as a partner of the P8 in terms of USN CONOPS for ASuW mission. The USN is also hanging its hat on multi static ASW in preference to radar detections.

7) Stingray was the only weapon planned and funded for MRA4. The P8 has a much broader suite of weapons. The databus/wing hard points on P8 offer significant weapon delivery options over the MRA4. You could try to put Stingray on it, but why? Buying off the shelf is cheaper to the taxpayer than making bespoke UK requirements - good enough is good enough.

10) I think you're looking at the problem through an old 'cold war' lens. Multi-statics is a game-changer. Maybe you don't need to drop a sonobuoy on 'a dime' anymore?

The arguments for COTS are well rehearsed. You buy 'off the shelf' you accept you're getting something that meets the host nation's requirements and CONOPS. As long as your requirements and CONOPS are not too different then you can get a product without having to fork out all the R&D costs - good enough is good enough.

The fact is that P8 is an on-time, on-budget, high-end war fighting platform that has achieved impressive maturity in the 7 years since first flight - look at platform and squadron numbers, number of nations flying the aircraft and the maturity of the training system in just 7 years; then compare that to MRA4 program. P8 development has been staggering.

IMHO, the P8 is a great buy for UK Defence that will fill a capability gap relatively quickly.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 14:33
  #35 (permalink)  
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Thanks very much for a considered, informative and lengthy reply, Bloodhound.

I don't dismiss the P-8, and the enthusiasm of chaps like you for the aircraft is naturally extremely persuasive.

It's clearly a very compelling maritime ISR aircraft, and an impressive performer.

In the light of a procurement that gave every appearance of having been a 'done and dusted' deal (even if that's a false impression), it is the journo's responsibility to ask questions and to try and struggle towards a proper understanding - and I'm grateful to all of those who are prepared to facilitate that.

I have to say that I remain slightly concerned about the cost/force size equation (though I am aware at the same time that manning considerations and the eventual MRA4 fleet size impose their own constraints).

I am also slightly concerned that the P-8 MAY have been selected without an exhaustive enough evaluation of alternatives, and especially of cheaper alternatives, some of which might, perhaps, have lived up to Bloodhound's phrase: "good enough is good enough"?

I also remain unconvinced that the P-8 would not be an even better (and more cost-effective and value-for-money) solution were it to be able to use existing UK sonobuoy stocks, by being able to use F and G sized buoys, and by being able to use the apparently highly regarded StingRay torpedo.

I appreciate that Multi-Statics is a game-changer, but was under the impression that:

a) this is not a unique-to-the-P-8A capability
and b) that while it is a game-changer, it should not be the only club in the capability golf bag, and that search radar, MAD, passive buoys, etc. all continue to have a role to play

I am afraid I do not understand modern ASW well enough to really appreciate the significance or otherwise of accurate sonobuoy placement, and of maintaining 'security of pattern', though naturally these concerns are not my own, but ones that people I've spoken to have raised. I would welcome any guidance on this.

Two questions:

4) 4 hours at 1200nm was a key performance measure at initial test. It met the requirement.
With what kind of weapon load? Did this include descents to low level to prosecute contacts?

5) The driver to operate at higher than traditional altitudes was nothing to do with ac limitations.
What was the driver, then?

I may very well be looking at the problem through an old 'cold war' lens. I haven't flown on an MPA sortie since the Nimrod MR.Mk 1.
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Old 13th Jun 2017, 20:30
  #36 (permalink)  
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Sonobuoy placement, or rather misplacement is simple maths. With a not unrealistic 36 kt wind a sonobuoy will drift 20 yards per second. Dropped from height it could be a mile away from the computer mark. Adjacent buoys might be subject to slightly different wind speed or direction. A neat and evenly spaced line on the tac display would be anything but.

Accurate post drop determination of position, without on topping each buoy, will reveal any gaps.

Once at low level errors are smaller but without accurate location a torpedo might be dropped outside target acquisition range.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 14th Jun 2017 at 17:01. Reason: Drated spill chucker
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 11:35
  #37 (permalink)  
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That doesn't sound like "dropping a sonobuoy on 'a dime'", PN!

As a lay-person it sounds pretty significant……

What am I not getting, P-8A defenders?
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 12:18
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Things change.

I haven't flown Maritime for 10 years, but I'm a damn sight more current than PN. Jeez, GPS hadn't even been rolled out when he was a lad.

If the RAF guys that I know have been flying P-8 for the last 6 years tell me it's the best aircraft for the job, I'm happy to believe them.

Given that it is a current platform, how it goes about it's business maybe just too classified for Jacko, me or any of the other pundits on here.

It's certainly going to be a lot more advanced than the 40's airframe with 60's kit that was our last operational MPA.
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 15:04
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It'll never catch on.....

Jeez Camel-Toe - listening to the people who have current, first-hand knowledge of the topic/aircraft/capability under discussion ?!?!?!? Are you some kind of anarchist ?! It'll NEVER catch on here !
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Old 14th Jun 2017, 17:00
  #40 (permalink)  
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CS, I was commenting on the need to know where your sonobuoy actually was rather than where you thought it was. That has nothing to do with currency.

Certainly, once you are drawing on one buoy it matters not where it actually is, what you do know is where the submarine is.
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