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RAF Start Talks on E-3D Replacement

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RAF Start Talks on E-3D Replacement

Old 2nd Jun 2018, 05:31
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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The role of the 3rd seat crewmember should have been far more than that! But the 2-pilot mafia at Airbus wanted the pilots to do everything. So the workload allocation is as you see it today....

I have no criticism of the actual crews, just of the design and ConOps.
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Old 2nd Jun 2018, 09:24
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Beagle - that pass was sold decades ago................

As for the replacement if we go back to the OP quoting Janes " replacing rather than upgrading them might be the most cost-effective option" - note the MIGHT.

I suspect a straight request to upgrade would be throttled at birth by the Treasury so we start by building a campaign that the current airframes are very expensive to maintain (altho everyone else seems to manage OK), then we have to spec & cost a replacement

Oh My GOD!! The Co$t!!!!!!

but we can upgrade them for , well....... almost washers TBH... I mean - reluctantly, we'll accept second best in the National Interest etc etc etc
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Old 2nd Jun 2018, 10:17
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Wasn't £2bn mentioned as the likely budget for the required upgrade? From what I've seen publicly on Wedgetail costs, we could have half a dozen for that price or close to it - brand new and with nicely matured systems, the Aussies having spent the last few years ironing the bugs out for us.
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Old 2nd Jun 2018, 18:59
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BigGreenGilbert View Post
Perhaps JTO can enlighten us on whether it is actually authorised for use - on either the US or UK fleets.
Yes, authorised and used and for the US cleared on all UAARSI equipped -135 variants too. We (the UK) did not clear it for UK RJ as part of the initial RTS (this may have changed now), but the USAF clearance remained in place. The details of what pumps can be used and the rest of the procedures are all in the aircrew manual.
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Old 3rd Jun 2018, 16:19
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Frostchamber View Post
Wasn't £2bn mentioned as the likely budget for the required upgrade? From what I've seen publicly on Wedgetail costs, we could have half a dozen for that price or close to it - brand new and with nicely matured systems, the Aussies having spent the last few years ironing the bugs out for us.
You'll never get a post on the Board of BAe posting stuff like that.....................
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Old 4th Jun 2018, 13:19
  #66 (permalink)  
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the service’s ageing and unreliable fleet of Boeing E-3D Sentry...
In airline service the B707 series aircraft were kept in reliable, profitable service for more than 25 years. Some of those I worked on were 27 years old when i moved on. They were replaced by B757s that are still in service as freighter conversions to day, more than 30 years later. Aircraft I am presently working with include a fleet of B767-200s that were delivered in 1983. With 85,000+ hours on them they are still meeting reliability targets of 98% despatch within 15 minutes of scheduled departure time. Quite what the age of the E3-Ds has to do with it I don't understand. Why can't the Royal Air Force keep them in reliable operation?
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Old 4th Jun 2018, 13:38
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Blacksheep,
The B707 and the E-3D are quite different beasts, especially when it comes to complexity. The basic E-3D airframe would probably still achieve high-90s reliability rates but it is all the add-ons that hurt. When the B707 was in full airline service there were no restriction or difficulties with things like the toxic insulation on Kapton wiring, multiple aerial fixings, the small matter of a rather large radome, klystrons, IFF interrogators, data links, EW kit, refuelling systems, etc.. Supply chains were full, whereas now most 707 spares are need specialist procurement from diminishing manufacturing sources. The biggest issue will be airworthiness, as policy, practices and attitudes have changed markedly since the 2006 Nimrod accident, and the Design Authority is no longer Boeing for the RAF fleet.

A like-for-like comparison doesn't work.
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Old 4th Jun 2018, 15:24
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by GlosMikeP View Post

Cutting up ZH105 was a seriously bad decision....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.....
Crackers!
What was the damage to ZH105?
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Old 4th Jun 2018, 15:26
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Aircraft steps blew into and punctured the skin IIRC.
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Old 4th Jun 2018, 15:33
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Originally Posted by downsizer View Post
Aircraft steps blew into and punctured the skin IIRC.
I bet they have used the spares well though. I reckon probably saved a fortune in support costs when considered against residual value.
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Old 4th Jun 2018, 18:31
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
Beagle - that pass was sold decades ago................

As for the replacement if we go back to the OP quoting Janes " replacing rather than upgrading them might be the most cost-effective option" - note the MIGHT.

I suspect a straight request to upgrade would be throttled at birth by the Treasury so we start by building a campaign that the current airframes are very expensive to maintain (altho everyone else seems to manage OK), then we have to spec & cost a replacement

Oh My GOD!! The Co$t!!!!!!

but we can upgrade them for , well....... almost washers TBH... I mean - reluctantly, we'll accept second best in the National Interest etc etc etc
The cost for the E-3D CSP is, infact, rather more than £2bn and was approved by the Treasury in 2015. Furthermore, the purchase of a new airframe like a Wedgetail offers significant savings over 25 years. Smaller crew, smaller eng team and a much, much cheaper running cost. Crazy, but, it is actually cheaper to go out and get a new car sometimes!

USAF have the same issues with all of their E-3 variants, slightly disguised by the fact that they have a few more than the RAF does. FAF struggle too so, it’s actually a fleet wide issue.

NATO fair rather better with a superior spares and support package.
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Old 5th Jun 2018, 10:24
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
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.”
Yes, of course Mrs Moon. The last time we gave THAT particular job to BAE, before having to buy the E3, it all went so swimmingly well, didnt it?? *eyeroll*
And she's seriously part of the Defence Select Committee??
Have a (surviving for now) BAE plant in her constituency, does she?
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 05:50
  #73 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...tion-36b2drlhm

RAF risks row over £3bn US Boeing deal without a competition

Britain is to announce plans to replace a fleet of ailing surveillance aircraft in a move that could cause a political row for Theresa May and an outcry from industry if a US model is selected without a competition, The Times understands.

The Royal Air Force is in favour of buying between four and six planes from the US aerospace giant Boeing at a cost of £2 billion to £3 billion. The aircraft will take over the specialist role of running air operations from the sky, according to industry sources. A decision could be made in time for the international air show in Farnborough next month and after a trip to the UK by President Trump in an attempt to signal strong UK-US relations on defence and trade, they said.

An announcement on the general plan to replace the six Sentry E-3D airborne warning and control system aircraft will form part of the headline conclusions of a defence review that will be released by early next month. This is a change from a 2015 defence review, which had signalled that the aircraft would be upgraded to stretch out their lifetime until 2035. A decision by the RAF to save money by not investing in support and maintenance for the Sentry fleet over the past ten to fifteen years meant that the aircraft were in a poor state of readiness, with only one or two available for operations at any one time, defence sources said.

The potential choice of Boeing’s E-7 Wedgetail as a replacement would receive a cool reception from the Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up Mrs May’s government. The US aerospace company was accused last year of endangering 4,000 jobs at the Belfast plant of Bombardier, a smaller Canadian aerospace competitor, amid a row over subsidies that also pitched the UK government against the Trump administration. Gavin Robinson, the DUP’s defence spokesman and a member of the Commons defence select committee, said that he would hold the government to its pledge that the American company would face consequences for its actions over Bombardier. “I can’t speak for the rest of the defence select committee, but to proceed [with the purchase] in the absence of a competition would be a grave error,” Mr Robinson said.

Airbus, which has a strong presence in the UK, would also be infuriated at a move to select Boeing without a competition, a second defence source said.

A Boeing spokesman said: “We would welcome any opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the government and our UK industry partners to provide this critical capability to the Royal Air Force.”

An MoD spokesman said of the plans: “This is pure speculation.”

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Old 19th Jun 2018, 11:27
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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How much did we save by not taking the maintenance and upgrade option??
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 12:40
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Bear with me on this, I have an idea.

The outdated concept of having a huge rotating dish mounted astride the airframe results in considerable aerodynamic penalties.
Likewise, the rigid mounted scanner atop the airframe is all very well for minor air arms, but we are above all that and see ourselves as leaders in the field.
So, what is needed here is a new approach that embraces advances in computing technology, particularly the ability to have a networked solution, by producing a screen image formed from more than one radar array.
So, here's what we could do: Have two radars mounted at the fore and aft extremities of the airframe, in aerodynamic fairings which give a much improved drag factor, thus improving endurance. This could be achieved by adapting an existing type. It could be argued that we have managed without any long range maritime patrol capability for a long time and that nine airframes is more than we need. So, we can divert three P8s, strip the MP kit from them to sustain the remaining six and convert three to AEW.
I know this is rather unorthodox and nobody has tried anything like this before, but I believe it has potential.
Politically, this could be a welcome boost to UK industry and job creation.
What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 18:32
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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I think it should have 4 engines....
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Old 19th Jun 2018, 19:04
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Sounds like the Nimrod AEW3

Hat, Coat, Etc...….
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 00:23
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Two radars mounted fore and aft is fine.

It's when you have one radar in the middle, connected to the nose and tail by waveguides like tree-roots....

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Old 20th Jun 2018, 15:43
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Nimrod AEW3

You could track an SR71 taking off from an USAF airfield in the east of England or was it that ice cream van, sorry DJ.
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Old 20th Jun 2018, 18:23
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Hmm, competition. What serious rivals to the Wedgetail are there? Saab-Ericsson, IAI and Boeing E767. Or vapourware from Airbus, with attendant R&D risks
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