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UK - More defence cuts

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UK - More defence cuts

Old 15th Feb 2018, 10:33
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mogwi View Post
I am reliably informed that the decision to chop Harrier vice Tornado was made by CAS only 3 days before the anouncement.
That is my understanding as well. Indeed my colleagues at Marham and Cott told me that "rumour control" was briefing that the Tonka fleet would be axed up until the friday afternoon. On the Sunday the press briefed leaks that the Harrier and Nimrod fleets were toast, and the official announcement to Parliament the following week confirmed the Harrier version, and the rest is history.

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Old 15th Feb 2018, 10:34
  #202 (permalink)  
 
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you have to remember the backdrop to the 2010 SDSR, the country was broke and on the verge of bankruptcy. There were no "nice to haves", that's why Nimrod, Harrier, Cottesmore, Leuchars all went.

Doesn't make it any more palatable, but it was probably the only course of action back then.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 10:42
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by andrewn View Post
you have to remember the backdrop to the 2010 SDSR, the country was broke and on the verge of bankruptcy. There were no "nice to haves", that's why Nimrod, Harrier, Cottesmore, Leuchars all went.

Doesn't make it any more palatable, but it was probably the only course of action back then.
We were admittedly in rather a tight spot, and as the PM kept noting difficult decisions had to be made. However, in the light of an ongoing COIN campaign in Afghanistan, the obvious need to maintain a fixed wing carrier capability for future, the requirement to guard sea lines of communication and support the deterrent and conduct northern UK ADR activities, all those decisions seem to be baffling rather than difficult.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 11:13
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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In hindsight, have they been proven correct though?

Could the Harrier Force (down to less than 60 airframes and two front line Squadrons) have been able to carry out operations in Libya and Afghanistan at the same time? Maritime currency had been lost whilst the HF was committed to Afghanistan and was only just being regained. The Tornado had already taken over the Herrick deployment.

Realistically, how many Harriers could you have deployed to a carrier off Libya? There were 16 Tornados deployed to Italy, as well as operations from the UK . Neither Harrier nor Typhoon could carry Storm Shadow at that time, so the stand off strikes would have been impossible, same for Brimstone.

How many times in the last 8 years have we been unable to do something because of a lack of ship board fast jet capability?

Harrier would have been a useful additional capability, but if they had to axe one type, I think they made the right decision. Maybe it was a gamble, but in this case I think they got lucky.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 11:31
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
In hindsight, have they been proven correct though?

Could the Harrier Force (down to less than 60 airframes and two front line Squadrons) have been able to carry out operations in Libya and Afghanistan at the same time?

Maritime currency had been lost whilst the HF was committed to Afghanistan and was only just being regained.
Huh? The Harrier deployment to Afghanistan was 8 aircraft (a mission requirement for six plus two attrition spares). Eight aircraft from a total of four front-line squadrons. How could that lead to a "loss of marritime currency"?

Neither Harrier nor Typhoon could carry Storm Shadow at that time, so the stand off strikes would have been impossible
HAH! Gerald Howarth said the same thing when he came to visit Farnborough (as a local MP) just after the SDSR. The assembled Harrier design team said "Oh yes it can!" He said "No, I assure you we have a detailed brief from Dr Fox explaining that Harrier is not cleared to carry Storm Shadow". At that point the relevant TA went to the filing cabinet and produced the signed master of the Storm Shadow DACPA document, whose front cover had a photo of a GR9 flying with them.

Because, of course, Gerald had been lied to by that centre of excellence for Mendacity and political B/S, Dr Fox. It seems that his lies still persist...

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Old 15th Feb 2018, 12:02
  #206 (permalink)  
 
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Cottesmore, Leuchars all went
They might have disappeared from RAF control, but both transferred to Army control, so still under MOD control.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 12:59
  #207 (permalink)  
 
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Pegasus,

Whats’s your point? They were no longer operational flying stations and therefore Air did not pick up the bill for them. That means savings on fire, medical, ATC, radar and comms coverage as well as lower infra maintenance costs for the HASs and hangars. Although the Army picked up the routine running costs (as you rightly say, the bases stayed in MOD ownership), they were already committed to the garrison costs for the units that went into both Leuchars and Cottesmore. Units that had to be housed somewhere (I think they were returning from Germany) so there WAS a significant saving to MOD.

As for Harrier carrying Storm Shadow, PDR, it’s all very well having some piccys of a jet carrying drill weapons, but did Harrier have the RTS to carry, fire and jettison the live weapon? Did it have the mission planning tool, the on-board software, the pylons and the test equipment? Were the aircrew and groundcrew trained and have 7 years of experience with loading, flying with, firing, downloading and dealing with weapon misfires? Did it have the same combat radius with the weapon as Tornado did, or did the carrier, (if you presume that it would be used aboard) have the magazine, the lifts, the procedures to handle the weapon? And was Harrier cleared to use the ski-jump with the weapon? Did it have all of the bring-back trials completed and cleared? Maybe Fox wasn’t such a liar after all....

It’s a little pointless trying to re-fight a battle that was decided 8 years ago. But having been there at the time, please do not think that this decision was the work of a single mendacious individual. Lots of debate was had, with various degrees of impartiality, by people who were honestly trying to do their best for Defence at a difficult time. To reduce it to accusations of simple bias and ignorance is purile.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 13:49
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Simple, they do not buy everyone else's crap, the French buy and operate French aircraft.

Which is what I said earlier, start buying the likes of US aircraft at the detriment to you're home built product and your industry must shrink as orders dry up and you lose the technology battle...

Happened Civi wise with the UK airlines buying 707 and the Governments misshanding over the Tridents technical data by gifting it to Boeing thus solving Boeings intake issues and allowing the 727 to flood the markets.


..
Absolutely.

Now with BAe decimating it's blue collar workforce you have a company staffed with clever suits and PC's [and all working to process of course]..
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 14:16
  #209 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Vendee View Post
I beg to differ. I work on them daily. The airframes are in relatively good condition and they have fairly low airframe hours. They don't actually fly a lot these days.
I was trying to work out how they could be "worn out" unless boing have a cunning plan....
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 14:30
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by glad rag View Post
I was trying to work out how they could be "worn out" unless boing have a cunning plan....
Good God, I was following the thread as it talked about Tonkas and Harriers and then you drag that quote from the past I wrote it and even I couldn't figure out what I was talking about back then and how it was relevant to Tonkas and Harriers...... then it dawned on me that the quote was originally made about the Apache
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 14:35
  #211 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Red Line Entry View Post
As for Harrier carrying Storm Shadow, PDR, it’s all very well having some piccys of a jet carrying drill weapons, but did Harrier have the RTS to carry, fire and jettison the live weapon?
Yes. It was a long time ago, but IIRC STorm Shadow was part of GR9/9A Cap D.

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Old 15th Feb 2018, 14:55
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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Pretty sure it was never in the RTS. And the idea of flying with one and a cbu/540 on the other sideas ballast was barking. And it barely fit!
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 15:18
  #213 (permalink)  
 
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Crown Jewel Giveaways.

Ministers did what seemed a good idea at the time.

- Whittles to US (and radar and more...) In1940/41 UK needed US industry for 2 reasons: to wean US from isolationism towards our side, denying kit to the Axis; and to supplement Home industry, being bombed. Step 1 was the Lend/Lease Act, 3/41; Step 2 was US/UK Patent Interchange Agreement, 24/8/42, which deferred royalty/licence fees while we did other things. All of this was settled in US Reconstruction Loan to UK, 15/7/46, $3.75Bn (cleared 5/07). That extinguished charges from US-UK Lend/Lease, Reverse Lend/Lease, UK-US and the Patent Agreement. J.M.Keynes led the negotiation for UK. The sum taken into the deal for Whittles to GE/Allison was $800K.

- Derwent/Nene to USSR. Before the 7/46 Loan, UK was broke. was Exchange Controlled (and would remain so to 24/10/79!). Few Nations cared to sell to us except for $ and we had none. Canada gave us a C$ Loan parallel to US', used for timber (and for BOAC's C-4M Argonaut airframes). What could we sell/barter? Ah: Aero! Our Prime Customer for some years was that nice J.Peron, who bartered Fray Bentos corned beef 5/47 for 100 Meteor F.4 and Lincolns and lots more. We did not fear reverse engineering there, to undercut us with Third Parties, but we did with our valiant Ally's request for Derwents, Nenes and Meteors. So 10/46 we bartered Ukraine wheat and timber for 10 each engines (3/47 to total 30 Derwent/25 Nene: $600K). These centrifugal engines 11/47 were moved from Unclassified to Restricted after Uncle Joe was seen no longer to be our valiant Ally.

- F-111K/East of Suez Withdrawal. F-111K was cancelled after collapsed again, and Ministers chose to permit petro-economies/emerging Tigers to spend their own money on their own defence.

Last edited by tornadoken; 20th Feb 2018 at 08:29.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 17:04
  #214 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PDR1 View Post
Huh? The Harrier deployment to Afghanistan was 8 aircraft (a mission requirement for six plus two attrition spares). Eight aircraft from a total of four front-line squadrons. How could that lead to a "loss of marritime currency"?
There were in reality only three frontline Squadrons (1,4 and NSW) with a nominal complement of (I think) 10 airframes per squadron, plus the OCU. So those 8 airframes were immediately almost a third of your frontline strength. Add in the manpower requirements for Herrick, which saw a constant cycle of training and preparation for deployment, deployment and leave and recuperation/ training periods after deployment, and there was no room to fit in anything other than occasional carrier deployments of small numbers of aircraft in that period.

To quote Lt Cmdr James Blackmore , just a few days before the axe fell:

OVER THE PAST 12 months we have started a period of regeneration where the force focuses on regaining many of the skills that were put on the backburner. For example, Night Low Level Flying, consolidated periods on board the CVS and Operational Low Level Flying at 100ft to name but a few.
https://forums.flyer.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=67373

When searching for the above, I also found this, which gives a good outline of the situation - the part on the comments on the resources needed to sustain an 8 aircraft deployment for a year

https://thinpinstripedline.********....rawing+harrier

Missing part is PPRuNe's refusal to link to blog s p o t

In an ideal world we would have kept both Harrier and Tornado, especially after the GR9 update, as they offered different capabilities,

Storm Shadow as a Harrier capability had been cancelled aorund 2003/4 if my memory is bearing up. Something to do with weight constraints on VL on carriers. Torndado could use it for Land ops.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 17:51
  #215 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by downsizer View Post
Pretty sure it was never in the RTS. And the idea of flying with one and a cbu/540 on the other sideas ballast was barking. And it barely fit!
Barking you say, I remember the Jag and seem to remember because it was costing to much money and we were running out of ECM pods they removed the carts so the crew couldn't clear the aircraft totally in an emergency, I did think at the time the possibility existed that the aircraft could be lost and the ECM for that matter simply because they couldn't get rid of it.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 17:58
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Have you ever been in a command role? If so, you would know exactly why he praised those boys and girls -
RLE I do not have a problem with praising them, simply the way he did it, in front of the worlds. press and cameras, he might not have known what type was going out, but he would know one would and would have known the carrier was going.

Last edited by NutLoose; 16th Feb 2018 at 12:02.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 18:36
  #217 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post

In an ideal world we would have kept both Harrier and Tornado, especially after the GR9 update, as they offered different capabilities,

Storm Shadow as a Harrier capability had been cancelled aorund 2003/4 if my memory is bearing up. Something to do with weight constraints on VL on carriers. Torndado could use it for Land ops.
Don't ignore the massive benefits of RAPTor reconaissance capabilities in particular combating IED threats.
Harrier was indeed a fine aircraft but it simply did not poses the flexibility and capabilities that the GR4 did and still has.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 22:49
  #218 (permalink)  
 
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PDR

If I recall correctly the Cap D was for Brimstone integration?

The Harrier integration of SS was to be on the inboard pylons - the same ones used for the big fuel tanks? There were worries about vibration and thermal damage from the nozzles. Whilst it was doubtful if Harrier could take a pair of SSs off of a short CVS with a ski jump with the required EW Countermeasures and air-air weapons, there were more doubts as to whether it could bring them back on board (they are expensive and we don’t want to throw them away so that others can round them up off of the sea bed!).

Anyhow, the carriage of SS on Harrier had been pushed back on so many occasions due to the expense required that even if we had kept it over Tornado then SS probably would not have been integrated before OSD and the arrival of Lightning in 2018. The ground fitment trials were as far as it ever got and there was a long and expensive road ahead, due to a number of issues, that meant it probably only ever sat upon a dream sheet along with some photos of the dummies on a jet.

Last edited by Lima Juliet; 15th Feb 2018 at 23:15.
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Old 16th Feb 2018, 07:35
  #219 (permalink)  
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Thanks Tornadoken - I'd forgotten just how strapped we were for cash immediately after WW2

Winning both WW's really finished us of economically...................
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Old 16th Feb 2018, 07:43
  #220 (permalink)  
 
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Ditching the excellent SHAR 2 with its AMRAAM / Blue Vixen / JTIDS capabilities denied the fleet any viable medium range AD assets - the plastic bomber was barely any better than the Scimitar in that respect....

Mud moving was better left to the Tornado as the Harrier GR9 didn't really have any USP in that respect.
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