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RAF Start Talks on E-3D Replacement

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RAF Start Talks on E-3D Replacement

Old 20th May 2018, 11:36
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The first NATO E-3 was delivered in January 1982, the remainder by the end of 1985 after fitting out at Oberpfaffenhofen.
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Old 20th May 2018, 12:33
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Apologies, I stand corrected..
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Old 20th May 2018, 13:12
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Easy enough mistake to make, especially as the NAEWF was established with the status of an HQ in 1980.
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Old 20th May 2018, 13:21
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Wedgetail is coming back to RIAT for 2nd time in a row

https://www.airtattoo.com/airshow/ai...irmed-aircraft
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Old 20th May 2018, 22:45
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With all the comments about whether ground branch personnel are or are not aircrew.... it is interesting to read Wg Cdr Jefford's excellent book about rear crew training through the ages. It seems that flying badges should be submitted to the Palace for approval by the Sovereign, but the last flying badge to be so approved was the "AE" flying badge in 1957. Flying badges since then have not gone through the correct approval and a state of confusion now exists as to whether the QM, LM, FC, and AT badges are indeed authorised for wear on uniform. This progresses further to the WSO/WSOp flying badge which also has not been correctly authorised. Indeed, at the time of the first award of the FC Brevet at Lossiemouth, responsibility for awarding flying badges was held by Air Officer Training at HQ Support Command and his feathers were ruffled when it was learned that AOC 11 Gp had been pinning an unknown variety of badge on chests at Lossiemouth. (As said by a reporter at the first FC badge award ceremony..."Is this FC Brevet an Italian football team?"). Jefford also states that when the RPAS "pilot wings" were considered, it would seem that having neglected to follow correct procedure since the 1960s, the RAF no longer had any idea of how to go about this. Even after the College of Arms became involved, a procedure was just made up by Air Command. A FOI request to the RAF stated that the "paperwork authorising the flying badges does not exist". At the end of the day, the RAF High Command stated that the badge was to be worn without the required approval. It is still all as clear as mud as evidenced by the two sides of A4 that Jefford uses to describe the total confusion and (in some cases) pig headedness) as to who authorises the badges and indeed if they are official at all.
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Old 21st May 2018, 21:20
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The way things are going with regard to Rear Crew training, it might be that the only "aircrew" in the future will be the Pilot, with personnel filling flying duties in the other roles in the aircraft based on specialist knowledge from ground trades. Harks back to the early days of the RAF, where the chap that fired the guns was an armourer who happened to be flying that day. It'll save on pay and training costs; the Bean Counters will love it even though it will mean a drop in effectiveness.
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Old 21st May 2018, 22:55
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Nice post Wensleydale - all except for the word “Brevet”. As you will know in Jeff Jefford’s excellent book, the use of the word “Flying Badge” is the correct term; the “brevet” is actually the certificate that goes with the Flying Badge! We’ve been getting that wrong too, for years!
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Old 22nd May 2018, 08:04
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Thanks TBW. I tried to be careful but one slipped through! Perhaps though this is the RAF plan - by calling it a Brevet rather than a Flying Badge then it does not have to follow Flying Badge rules for approval?
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Old 23rd May 2018, 16:32
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Only really three options - upgrade Sentry, possibly reducing number of airframes to save costs, buy Wedgetail, or get out the AEW&C game.

Other options (e.g. RPV/UAV, CN235 etc are probably either too far in the future or too much a drop in capability)
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Old 23rd May 2018, 20:23
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"Only really three options"

You forgot the fourth option which is to cancel the Sentry and join the NATO Component of the AEW&C Force by sending crews to Geilenkirchen (Which is where we were going to be in the late 70s, although the aircraft would not have been at GK).
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Old 25th May 2018, 18:43
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Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic View Post
Over on the Royal Air Force forum on ARRSE there is a thread about this.

Replacement AWACS

See the input of a certain well known RAF PPRuNer who is seldom seen in these parts due to trolling and whataboutery.
ARRSE forum has been offline / down most of this week. Laughingly with costs in mind, ones thoughts are wondering with smaller platforms such as Saab GlobalEye (well several platforms) but lest with today's technology "less is more".


However our mission workloads demand a lot more......maybe the easy answer is Wedgetail based on commonality?

cheers
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Old 27th May 2018, 17:14
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Originally Posted by GlosMikeP View Post
Cutting up ZH105 was a seriously bad decision. https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/full_si...2838-large.jpg

That aircraft cost around £150m when it arrived in 1993. How anyone came to the conclusion it was better as scrap after minor damage than be fixed and returned to service is beyond comprehension. I'm amazed it hasn't been raised by the Defence Select Committee as a point of egregious, shocking waste for which someone should be held accountable.

As for the fleet being, perhaps, too far gone; I doubt it. If we can bring 50+ year old Airseeker airframes back from the boneyard to airworthy condition, and that the 6 remaining E-3Ds are still flying, there's not much that can't be fixed. Certainly the Block 40/45 upgrade would rejuvenate the fleet for another 20-30 years - and would also do as we said we would at the outset: keep our aircraft aligned with the global fleet and so save on development and upgrade costs. Someone forgot that bit by the look of it when they cancelled our Project Eagle (40/45 upgrade).

Crackers!
Sadly, a 40/45 update would not make the aircraft anymore serviceable or, available. The USAF are having the same old airframe issues with their E-3Gs.

Wedgtail or bust. It’s a great capability and would take us forward with airborne C2 until 2045.
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Old 27th May 2018, 17:51
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Could the Wedgetail 737 airframe and systems be updated to also carry the AN/APS-154 the P-8 has been carrying in trials in addition to the standard fit?
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Old 27th May 2018, 23:11
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Why not use it with P8 instead?
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Old 28th May 2018, 08:22
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Originally Posted by VinRouge View Post
Why not use it with P8 instead?
Lets just say the cost and time to refit one or the other would be large and long ... and the record of such attempts is littered with expensive mistakes

Far better to bite the bullet and get something off the shelf that you know works and you can get quickly

Which is pretty much what we did with the E3, the Rivet Joint & the P-8 - no-one wants to risk another Nimrod fiasco....................
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Old 29th May 2018, 00:32
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RAAF Boeing E-7A Wedgetail recently conducted the longest mission of the type in the ME Theatre. Launched for a four [4+] hour plus sortie and wound up flying with multiple IFR's for more than nineteen [19+] hours straight....
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Old 29th May 2018, 11:15
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https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business...jets-deal-raf/

Don't freeze UK defence sector out of Sentry contract, ministers warned

A battle is brewing between defence companies and government over upgrading or replacing the RAF’s fleet of airborne early warning “Sentry” jets.

The E-3D Awacs aircraft are used to detect enemy aircraft and guide fighters to intercept them. The ones currently in service were built by Boeing and first began protecting Britain’s skies in the Nineties. With the heavy demands placed on them the RAF’s Sentries are worn out, with maintenance on the ageing aircraft becoming prohibitively expensive. It has been argued that rather than spend an estimated £2bn on upgrades, it would be cheaper to replace them in the long term.

However, fears are growing that a contract for new aircraft will be handed to US defence giant Boeing without a competitive process, freezing out companies in the UK. This could be the latest in a series of multi-billion arms contracts handed to US and other foreign manufacturers at the expensive of companies in the UK. Recent examples include the MoD’s agreements with Boeing to buy P-8 Poseidon maritime spyplanes and Apache attack helicopters. Last month MPs heard the MoD had awarded a £4.4bn deal to a German-led consortium for new armoured vehicles for the Army without a full competition.

MP Madeleine Moon, a member of the defence select committee, has called for any Sentry contract to be bid for in an “open and transparent” way. She said: “Buying from Boeing forgets the importance of British defence jobs and maintaining this country’s defence industry’s capabilities. By buying off the shelf without an open competition how will we know we will be getting not only the best deal but also the best equipment?”

The MP also claimed Boeing has a "poor record" in the UK for “offsetting” defence deals. Offsetting is the process where companies agree to build or maintain equipment in the country which is buying it, keeping some of the value of a defence order within the economy making the purchases.

Defence industry insiders say that UK and European companies - and even US groups with a UK footprint - are preparing for battle with Whitehall to have an open competition held over renewing the Sentry fleet. “It’s looking like the P-8 Poseidon all over again,” said one industry source. “We’re ready to fight to have a chance to take part.”

Companies likely to offer their version of the Sentry include Airbus, using a design based on it A330 airliner whose wings are made in company’s factory in North Wales. Sweden’s SAAB could also be a contender. Rival bids are likely to pledge to offset as much work in the UK with subcontractors as they can to secure the deal.

Answering parliamentary questions on Sentry, Guto Bebb, defence procurement minister, said: “No decision has been made with regard to the future delivery of the UK’s airborne warning and control capabilities, although a range of options are being explored.”

Last edited by ORAC; 29th May 2018 at 11:58.
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Old 29th May 2018, 11:29
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It's déja vu all over again innit..
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Old 29th May 2018, 11:47
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Wedgetail or GlobalEye. it will be yet another type that can't be aerial refuelled with the Voyager.

With the prospect of an RAF F-35A buy in the offing also, we must be close to the point where the UK has as many types that it can't refuel as it can - F-35A (maybe); Wedgetail / GlobalEye (maybe); C-17; Voyager; P-8; RC-135; and Sentinel just off the top of my head. Sure there are others to add.
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Old 29th May 2018, 12:45
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Ultimately, we have to go for an option that can be built, tested, proven and then delivered in a realistic timeframe. I can’t see the MoD going for an Airbus ‘concept’ in any way shape or form. The development costings and time in order to get it to where we would need it to be would be massive.

Wedgtail works....
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