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RAF Start Talks on E-3D Replacement

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RAF Start Talks on E-3D Replacement

Old 29th May 2018, 19:04
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I'd be more than happy to evaluate a British or European design that could step in as a true Sentry replacement. The naked truth is precisely zero manufacturers would be be prepared to fund, develop, mature and prove such a capability. What they are happy to do is to spend MoDs money to fund/develop/mature their platform over an extended period whilst we continue to spend more MoD money sustaining the current platform.

The UK MoD just does not have the funds to support domestic industry and HM Treasury will not pay extra to do so.
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Old 30th May 2018, 12:39
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wensleydale View Post
"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).
I kind of included that in the 'Get out of the AEW&C' option - whilst maintaining expertise, we would lose the option to deploy an asset in a non-NATO situation
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Old 30th May 2018, 12:43
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
ďItís looking like the P-8 Poseidon all over again,Ē said one industry source. ď
You mean the UK not having the capacity to deliver the capability on time and on budget, so we have to buy American?

Maybe we have learnt from Nimrod AEW and MRA4....
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Old 30th May 2018, 12:44
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
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.
Well, if Mohammed wont go to the mountain...

About time we re-considered whether the RAF needs to only consider pointy fast things from an enduring/reach capability perspective. And whether we need 2 boomers to cover off the requirement (Maybe 2 point with boom, one covering the depth requirement).
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Old 30th May 2018, 22:53
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by melmothtw View Post
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.
Just a small point-the Voyager canít receive from any tanker type.
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Old 31st May 2018, 05:14
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting spec for the RAF Voyagers. I guess they didn't consider coalition ops. Our RAAF KC-30A's [MRTT] can feed both ways and receive through boom from anyone with a boom. The RAAF E-7A, C-17A and P-8A all take the boom as do our F-35A's while the Super Hornet, Hornet and Growler fleets take the hose. I note Singapore, Korea, Saudi MRTT's all do both....
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Old 31st May 2018, 08:31
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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voyagerrrr spec

........
That’s all down-under dandy TBM, but I bet your Caseys can’t be hired out on long term civvie contract, redecorated inside and out, with the mil seats and all the mission equipment removed and gathering dust at the back of the hangar, on a six-month recall in case of gnashional emergency ? ...... Gotcha there sport !

Oh, and if we run short of tanker capacity or need something the voyagerrrrs can’t provide, we pay monopoly money corkage to the voyagerrrr contractor as well as paying the provider for the extra service. .......... Betcha didn’t think of that either ?

None of your colonial cheapskate stuff, where only the military benefit from military contracts - back here in the old country everybody wins, except the losers. ...........Yeee - haaaah !
....
LFH

...................
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Old 31st May 2018, 08:49
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TBM-Legend View Post
Interesting spec for the RAF Voyagers. I guess they didn't consider coalition ops. Our RAAF KC-30A's [MRTT] can feed both ways and receive through boom from anyone with a boom. The RAAF E-7A, C-17A and P-8A all take the boom as do our F-35A's while the Super Hornet, Hornet and Growler fleets take the hose. I note Singapore, Korea, Saudi MRTT's all do both....
I suspect that the Voyager config had just a little to do with the PFI-ie the ability to reconfigure at relatively low cost in man hours etc. Still it wouldnít be the first time the RAF ended up with the most expensive option would it?
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Old 31st May 2018, 09:08
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vascodegama View Post


I suspect that the Voyager config had just a little to do with the PFI-ie the ability to reconfigure at relatively low cost in man hours etc. Still it wouldnít be the first time the RAF ended up with the most expensive option would it?
the PFI must surely have figured into it; as well as total cost. It is a great shame, as well as extremely short sighted on the RAFís part to not have a boom tanker - as much for RAF assets but also for the interoperability/value adding to a coalition. Itís not like in current ops the RAF fighters are not routinely refueled by an assortment of Coalition assets such as KC135/10/30ís as well as other drogue only tankers.

Anyhow, back to AWACS - hopefully there is an announcement at RIAT!

Last edited by flighthappens; 31st May 2018 at 09:09. Reason: Last sentence
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Old 31st May 2018, 13:31
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Back when Voyager was still FSTA, the RAF was trying to see whether the aircraft (whether B767, A310 or A330) could be operated with a 2-person crew. After several expensive and pointless investigative sessions, the decision was made to use a 2 person crew for AT, 'augmented' by a food-powered pump attendant for AAR. Whereas more sensible nations listened to those with experience and settled on a 3-person crew for their new tanker fleets, so that the pilots' workload wouldn't be increased trying to manage AAR dynamics as there would be an ex-Tornado / F-4E / C-130 navigator in the 3rd seat with a fit-for-purpose AAR mission planning and management system at his/her disposal.

It was even recommended that FSTA should have a boom "If only to guarantee a 3-person crew"! 20 years ago, BAE's A310MRTT was also offered with a boom.

But back then, no-one ever thought that the RAF would have quite so many receivers which require boom AAR - and if a decision to change the F-35 order were to mean half F-35A and half F-35B, unless the UK is stupid enough to sign a blank cheque for UK-bespoke F-35A + probe mods, that number will only increase.
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Old 31st May 2018, 14:02
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Wasn't the boom option dropped early in FSTA as a cost saver (as only C17 was boom only in the inventory at that time, and it didn't need IFR for airhead to airhead operations)?
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Old 31st May 2018, 14:04
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Just a small point-the Voyager canít receive from any tanker type
Only because we requested it that way, and only because we don't have boomer tankers.
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Old 31st May 2018, 14:53
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Originally Posted by BEagle View Post
Back when Voyager was still FSTA, the RAF was trying to see whether the aircraft (whether B767, A310 or A330) could be operated with a 2-person crew. After several expensive and pointless investigative sessions, the decision was made to use a 2 person crew for AT, 'augmented' by a food-powered pump attendant for AAR. Whereas more sensible nations listened to those with experience and settled on a 3-person crew for their new tanker fleets, so that the pilots' workload wouldn't be increased trying to manage AAR dynamics as there would be an ex-Tornado / F-4E / C-130 navigator in the 3rd seat with a fit-for-purpose AAR mission planning and management system at his/her disposal.

It was even recommended that FSTA should have a boom "If only to guarantee a 3-person crew"! 20 years ago, BAE's A310MRTT was also offered with a boom.

But back then, no-one ever thought that the RAF would have quite so many receivers which require boom AAR - and if a decision to change the F-35 order were to mean half F-35A and half F-35B, unless the UK is stupid enough to sign a blank cheque for UK-bespoke F-35A + probe mods, that number will only increase.
the point as far as I am concerned is not so much that the RAF was never thinking they would have so many boom receivers, itís more that they exist. The RAF doesnít really think they are going to end up in a serious fight by themselves, yet they bought a tanker which is of no use to most of their NATO allies and coalition partners. It was an inwards looking decision that currently limits the flexibility and effectiveness of Voyager in coalition operations and will increasingly affect the usefulness for the RAF.

Last edited by flighthappens; 31st May 2018 at 15:07.
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Old 31st May 2018, 16:03
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by flighthappens View Post


the point as far as I am concerned is not so much that the RAF was never thinking they would have so many boom receivers, itís more that they exist. The RAF doesnít really think they are going to end up in a serious fight by themselves, yet they bought a tanker which is of no use to most of their NATO allies and coalition partners. It was an inwards looking decision that currently limits the flexibility and effectiveness of Voyager in coalition operations and will increasingly affect the usefulness for the RAF.
A bit harsh-the ac can and does refuel probe and drogue rx of various nations. The big loss as you say is in flexibility such as the option of consolidation to make better use of assets. The US obviously learnt that lesson when they made their specification for KC-X. Still it will be a while til all their non rx capable KC135s are gone!
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Old 31st May 2018, 19:55
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The USAF learned the lesson way back with the KC-10, which has a UARRSI on top and a proper centerline hose and drogue to complement the boom. The last batch gained wing pods too.

The KC-135 can still act as a receiver though, typically taking fuel from KC-10s as and when required.
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Old 31st May 2018, 20:41
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Originally Posted by vascodegama View Post


Still it wouldnít be the first time the RAF ended up with the most expensive, yet least capable option would it?
Fixed it for you.
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Old 31st May 2018, 21:27
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Originally Posted by Just This Once... View Post
The USAF learned the lesson way back with the KC-10, which has a UARRSI on top and a proper centerline hose and drogue to complement the boom. The last batch gained wing pods too.

The KC-135 can still act as a receiver though, typically taking fuel from KC-10s as and when required.
I await correction from a 135 driver but my understanding is that the vast majority of 135s are not Rx capable. Also I thought that all KC10s could be fitted with wing pods -just the USAF didnít buy enough kits.




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Old 31st May 2018, 22:29
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The KC-135 can receive fuel via the boom - it's a big pipe that works both ways. It can collect spare fuel from a returning package and distribute it to those in need. For bigger uplifts a KC-10 plugged in the back can provide a lot of fuel. Our own Rivet Joint could (as an example) pump fuel back to the tanker to trade unused contingency fuel for a reduced landing weight.
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Old 1st Jun 2018, 17:06
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Just This Once... View Post
The KC-135 can receive fuel via the boom - it's a big pipe that works both ways. It can collect spare fuel from a returning package and distribute it to those in need. For bigger uplifts a KC-10 plugged in the back can provide a lot of fuel. Our own Rivet Joint could (as an example) pump fuel back to the tanker to trade unused contingency fuel for a reduced landing weight.
The US SRD suggests that very few 135 ac can Rx via reverse pump method. Perhaps a current 135 driver can enlighten us.
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Old 2nd Jun 2018, 03:52
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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"'augmented' by a food-powered pump attendant for AAR"
MSO Nice to feel appreciated!!
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