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Red Arrows - Hawk replacement

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Red Arrows - Hawk replacement

Old 15th Oct 2017, 07:34
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Red Arrows - Hawk replacement

Jets flown by RAF Red Arrows could be built OVERSEAS | Daily Mail Online

Allegedly a letter signed by 142 MPs has asked Teresa May to order replacement Hawks for the Red Arrows.
If the current Hawks continue until 2030 the replacements will most likely be foreign aircraft and more jobs will be lost at BAe

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Old 15th Oct 2017, 07:51
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Given the benefits that BAE would gain, and if they want to stay in the business, perhaps a PFI?
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 08:38
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What benefits would those be?

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Old 15th Oct 2017, 09:08
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Surely any expenditure should be targeted at the front line and supporting/training the front line. I love watching the Red Arrows as much of the next guy but having 10 dedicated display aircraft might have been fine when we had a fast jet fleet of over 1000 aircraft..... not so much now IMO.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 09:22
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It would make sense to buy more T2s. With only 28 on the books for Valley then there is little reslience for the future if we bend or write some off. However, painting them Red and dedicating them to a 9-ship aerobatic team would seem a little crazy and they would need to be a common pool. Although the Hawk is an old design, the T2 refresh has brought it up to date with a few curious limitations (one of which is the extraordinarily low boarding mass for the T2 bang seats which is roughly 25kgs less than Typhoon, Tornado or Lightning! Even between T1 and T2 there is a 13kg difference (details from AP1269 available on the interrnet)). That said we are still selling - the latest being to Qatar and the Kuwaitis are looking at them as well. Fundamentally a good aircraft.

So if we did buy more T2s - say another 16 - they should probably remain black and we have to turn the Red Arrows clock back 60 years and rename them the Black Arrows. Still it would save money on flying suits! With 100 Sqn/JFACTSU needing to be replaced as well, then putting a bigger fleet of 28 at Leeming would make the ultimate sense with the RAFAT joining them. However, who is going to pay for it? Maybe BAES could part sponsor but the MOD is skint (again) so we would need to cancel/chop another capability to pay for it - crowdfunding anyone?
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 09:40
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LJ, the Reds don't like sharing air space.

As for 2030, we had a presentation by the Reds possibly 10 years or more ago, they were unsure of their future then with the prospective 128 buy. I don't think they expected T2 then even.

Maybe the old T1s are available for spares.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 09:49
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PN, I didnít say share airspace, I said share airfield. Around Leeming there are plenty of other locations to practice if allocated with a suitable airspace reservation. Topcliffe would be my first suggestion?
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 10:11
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Even sharing the airfield is too disruptive for all the other users.

When they were at Cranwell but training in R313 at Scampton, the pain for the all other airfield users was most counter-productive. No-one could start, taxi, take off etc. from the moment the Reds checked in for start until they'd cleared the circuit. Several times every day. It was a happy day when Scampton re-opened.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 10:21
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This is the reality of 'The Peace Dividend' and successive governments' policy of decimating the Armed Services.

Get used to it . . . .
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 10:49
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Originally Posted by Brian W May View Post
This is the reality of 'The Peace Dividend' and successive governments' policy of decimating the Armed Services.

Get used to it . . . .
If it was built in the PM's constituency, the ink would be dry on the contract already, along with replacements for 100's aircraft. Politics my dear chap, politics.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 10:57
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Originally Posted by Melchett01 View Post
If it was built in the PM's constituency, the ink would be dry on the contract already, along with replacements for 100's aircraft. Politics my dear chap, politics.
If 1000 RM posts are likely to be cut, posts that have delivered lots of military capability over the last 20 years, then it really is time to have a long hard think about whether a replacement is needed.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 10:58
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Originally Posted by camelspyyder View Post
Even sharing the airfield is too disruptive for all the other users.

When they were at Cranwell but training in R313 at Scampton, the pain for the all other airfield users was most counter-productive. No-one could start, taxi, take off etc. from the moment the Reds checked in for start until they'd cleared the circuit. Several times every day. It was a happy day when Scampton re-opened.
IIRC the MATZ was 'sterilised' and there were to be no ground movements from 15 mins before the Reds startup to 15 mins after their departure and vice versa for their return from R313.

They often did 2 sorties per day which meant that the other flypros were generally horlicksed. Not so much a problem for us on 55(R) with our 3 hr sorties, but it royally screwed 45(R).
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 11:06
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The RAFAT task is as much political for the nation as it is for the RAF. If the nation wishes to have a rapidly deployable, flexible tool for international influence, as well as advertising the current capability of British industry, to the hopeful benefit of the nation, then having them operating a Hawk which represents the current capability of both the platform and British industry would make sense: RAFAT could be using the latest mark of Hawk, with slats and T2-like cockpit and mission computer.

This could increase the performance of the aircraft for air shows, and show potential customers what they could be buying today or tomorrow, not how great a platform was available from 1976 onwards amongst rather different competition of the day.

That there is sufficient FI in the fleet to get the T1 to 2030 isn't really the issue: the ever-recurring question of replacement has merely been kicked further down the road. Other nations with very junior aerospace sectors are pushing hard to develop them, but the UK does not appear to have the political will to push such a strategic industrial capability.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 11:21
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Camelspyder

The difference between Cranwell with what was elementary and basic flying trg, nav trg, NCA trg and ME trg plus CFS compared to Leemingís 100 Sqn and weekend-heavy UAS/AEF is hugely differrent. Further, the Reds operated from Kemble for many a year. Everyone will have to put their glass slippers and sequinned handbags away and come up with a plan to work together. Itís a bit like the recent squabbling at Valley over MFTSís Hawks and Texans - if you canít operate a maximum of 28 Hawks and 10 Texans on a 5-day a week basis to output ~40 pilots a year then there is something wrong.

Unfortunately, sometimes the RAF forgets what busy used to look like! There used to be 4FTS (25+ Hawks), 74 Sqn (12+ Hawks), 19 Sqn (12+ Hawks) and CFS plus STCAAME (usually a 6 ship detachment of FJs work missile firings) plus SARTU (at least 3 helos) - that was in my time there and we were downsizing!
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 11:30
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Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
If 1000 RM posts are likely to be cut....
...then we should also have a long hard look at the need for military bands, horse drawn guns and any other 'unit' that is solely designed for the 'public attention'.

And before you start on the 'stretcher bearer' argument remember the Reds are all very able front line pilots who could be back doing the front line job with a minimum of an on-type refresher.

Good to see the 'disband the Reds' discussion has started long before the annual SDSR though. Soon be time for the annual 'end the 100 year experiment' early and disband the RAF lunacy (although from what I can gather it is other air arms that seem to be in the process of disbandment and transfer to the RAF - who would have thunk it!)
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 11:33
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Originally Posted by Lima Juliet View Post
Camelspyder

The difference between Cranwell with what was elementary and basic flying trg, nav trg, NCA trg and ME trg plus CFS
Not strictly true. There was no BFTS; EFTS was at Barkston.

Primarily it was 55(R) (Dominies), 45(R) Jetstreams, and CFS Bulldogs / Fireflies.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 11:48
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EA

Yes, you are correct although with effectively adjoining ATZs (yes the 2nm ones) then when the Reds joined circuit flying at Barkston it all got a bit tight for EFT as well IIRC?
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 11:51
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The T1 fleet must be reaching end of useful life by now. Realise that various parts have been replaced / re-lifed, etc but it really does not owe us anything. I also think it's noticeable that the REDS are finding it more difficult to generate 9 serviceable jets on a consistent basis, plus as raised above it seems counter-productive to conduct "flag waving" and sales tours with a 40yr old jet!

So, yes, for a multitude of reasons the right answer is to cough up for a few more T2's and secure the REDS future for the next 30yrs (hopefully).

I also love the frequent disband the REDS requests, purely from an economic point of view it's nonsense as (1) the annual running cost of them is minute compared to "more front line jets", "more blah, blah, blah", and (2) you can only "save" the money once - so once you've disbanded them and realised that all it gets you is a fifth of one Typhoon, you then have to scrap a full squadron of Typhoon's or something else to meet the Treasurys latest "efficiency saving".
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 11:57
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Originally Posted by gijoe View Post
If 1000 RM posts are likely to be cut, posts that have delivered lots of military capability over the last 20 years, then it really is time to have a long hard think about whether a replacement is needed.
Given that resource decisions have now been pushed down to the Service Chiefs and HQs, I doubt that any decision on Hawks would read across to resourcing for other Services' capabilities.

FWIW, other than the Reds filling that overseas influence role, I've long wondered whether there wasn't a role for a few sqns of cheaper aircraft such as the Hawk T2 that could flex across a large proportion of the operational spectrum. In which case, the Reds' aircraft would be just one part of the overall deal and could be used as wargoers should the situation demand.
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Old 15th Oct 2017, 12:29
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Originally Posted by andrewn View Post
The T1 fleet must be reaching end of useful life by now. Realise that various parts have been replaced / re-lifed, etc but it really does not owe us anything. I also think it's noticeable that the REDS are finding it more difficult to generate 9 serviceable jets on a consistent basis, plus as raised above it seems counter-productive to conduct "flag waving" and sales tours with a 40yr old jet!

So, yes, for a multitude of reasons the right answer is to cough up for a few more T2's and secure the REDS future for the next 30yrs (hopefully).

I also love the frequent disband the REDS requests, purely from an economic point of view it's nonsense as (1) the annual running cost of them is minute compared to "more front line jets", "more blah, blah, blah", and (2) you can only "save" the money once - so once you've disbanded them and realised that all it gets you is a fifth of one Typhoon, you then have to scrap a full squadron of Typhoon's or something else to meet the Treasurys latest "efficiency saving".
I disagree. Disbanding the Reds right now might not save a huge amount of money but you were also talking about buying more T2's which will cost a lot. You talk about the savings in relation to the cost of a Typhoon but perhaps you should think about that money being spent on decent accommodation or station facilities or other things which cost less than a new Typhoon.
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