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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

Old 8th Sep 2020, 19:36
  #421 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Easy Street View Post
'Export' is an easy thing for politicians to aspire to in throwaway sound bites but the practicality is another matter. Building something which can be sold cheaply enough to be competitive is likely to entail compromising on our own requirements due to our disadvantages of scale (low) and labour cost (high), while developing separate export variants adds cost and (if disclosed) introduces an awkward 'second-class customer' consideration which needs a certain amount of un-British arrogance to brazen out. If we tried to sell properly cutting-edge kit, you can bet your life that the US would manage to 'acquire' a supplier of vital washers and screws and slap on ITAR restrictions to protect its own interests. That's assuming we could even get close to ITAR-freedom without losing the US interoperability which is so central to our own operating concepts, especially in the air. And that's before we get to domestic and international partner opposition to exports to certain countries... countries upon which our industries have come to rely. I am bemused by the Swedish angle to Tempest: what chance of them associating themselves with exports to KSA? Finally our 'baggage' - of Empire and now in Europe, too - doesn't help; we're not always easy for foreign governments to associate themselves with.

Better IMHO to accept that maintaining a domestic industry comes at eye-watering cost. Build what you need, otherwise what is the point, beyond being an inefficient alternative to cash handouts to workers? Treat any exports as a bonus. Basing industrial strategy on them will lead to disappointment. That £34bn would probably look a lot less attractive if spread over the appropriate time period and offset against associated costs, tangible and otherwise.
Dassault essentially designed Mirages for export - the French Air Force got a much cheaper but less capable machines.

Compare to say the Lightning

You could argue we managed to get the the worst of both worlds with our multi national projects.
Tornado was a long way from what the RAF wanted

And Typhoon is a model of how to not run an aircraft program
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 07:35
  #422 (permalink)  
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54126146

Defence secretary denies plan to mothball British army tanks

By Jonathan Beale Defence correspondent, BBC News

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has quashed speculation that the Army will mothball all its tanks.Last month, the Times reported military chiefs were considering the idea, under plans to modernise the armed forces. But Mr Wallace told the BBC "the idea that tanks won't be there for the Army, upgraded and modernised, is wrong". However, he admitted a government review would mean "letting go" of some military equipment to invest in cyber, space and other new technologies.

Speaking on a visit to the Middle East, Mr Wallace said there would be a shift to forward-deploy British military forces around the world to protect UK interests and its allies. Mr Wallace said a joint squadron of RAF and Qatar Typhoon jets would be based in Qatar for football's 2022 World Cup. He announced a £23.8m investment in a UK logistics hub in the Port of Duqm to support more British army training in Oman, and which could be used to base the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers. He also confirmed that RAF jets would continue to target the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, with 23 strikes against extremist targets since March 2020.

'Overmatched by adversaries'

Last month, the Times reported on plans to mothball the Army's ageing 227 Challenger tanks as part of the government's integrated defence and security review - described as the most important defence review since the end of the Cold War. Mr Wallace confirmed the review would mean "letting go of some equipment that isn't serving any purpose or overmatched by adversaries". He said that would mean investing in new equipment for the RAF, Royal Navy and the Army. But he signalled that any cuts would not be as dramatic as some have reported.

That still leaves open the possibility of a reduction in the number of tanks. But Mr Wallace said that getting rid of all of them was not going to happen. "We're going to make sure we have an armed forces fit for the 21st Century and meets our obligations to Nato and elsewhere… "We are not scrapping all the British army's tanks and we will make sure the ones we maintain are up to date, lethal and defendable." Mr Wallace said Britain also needed to meet the threat of long-range artillery and drones, which have recently been used by Russia against Ukraine to destroy its heavy armour.

The new port facilities at Duqm will triple the size of the existing UK base in Oman. They will also be used for British army training in Oman.There's been speculation that the Army could switch its training for tanks from Canada to the Gulf state. While in Qatar, Mr Wallace also visited the US-led coalition headquarters co-ordinating the air campaign against the group calling itself the Islamic State. Despite IS losing most of its territory in Iraq and Syria, Mr Wallace said the threat was "not going to go away".

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Old 12th Sep 2020, 08:28
  #423 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
You could argue we managed to get the the worst of both worlds with our multi national projects.
Tornado was a long way from what the RAF wanted
In what way? they got the all-weather Strike aircraft which is what was primarily what they were looking for? Unless you mean performance wise it could have been better!?

FB
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 08:55
  #424 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy View Post
In what way? they got the all-weather Strike aircraft which is what was primarily what they were looking for? Unless you mean performance wise it could have been better!?

FB
The RAF wanted a bigger aircraft - something to fill the hole from TSR-2, F-111, AFVG . The Germans wanted something with the performance/size of a Jaguar.

Tornado was best compromise between the two.

and then someone thought what a great platform to make an Air Defence fighter.



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Old 12th Sep 2020, 11:54
  #425 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
The RAF wanted a bigger aircraft - something to fill the hole from TSR-2, F-111, AFVG . The Germans wanted something with the performance/size of a Jaguar.

Tornado was best compromise between the two.

and then someone thought what a great platform to make an Air Defence fighter.
Indeed, but what were the Italians looking for? I'll wager they got the best out of the whole exercise, I understand the Germans merely wanted to glean the technology from the involvement of BAC and then were hoping to go away ad do their own thing? Also, of course, the Canadians and Dutch were involved early on as well.

FB
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 17:18
  #426 (permalink)  
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If we take Wallace at his word it looks liek another salami slicing exercise - we'll keep "some tanks" but we'll also " shift to forward-deploy British military forces around the world to protect UK interest"

""letting go of some equipment that isn't serving any purpose or overmatched by adversaries" is an interesting metric......... what kit (and he's talking kit not roles here) is he thinking of? We've just bought the F35 and the Poseidons, the Typhoons are pretty necessary, the recce and sigint is needed more than ever, as are the tankers . Hard to be "forward deployed" without transports & helicopters. He must mean the BoB Flight......

As for the Navy - the old Argos could go but again getting rid of the Assault craft would seem to go against "forward deployment"

The Army - other than tanks there's the GRMLS and lots of transport and Rapier is due to be replaced but otherwise...

I just can't see enough savings here to do all the nice new shiny tasks people like Cummings seem to want.
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Old 12th Sep 2020, 20:20
  #427 (permalink)  
 
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Apart from the financial implications, does there not need to be a framework for a strategic review to have any utility?
Given the current Brexit mess, plus the parlous state of NATO, is such a framework even plausible?
In the financial community, investing under uncertainty is a well studied topic. The recommendations are usually to sell the losses and let the winners run. Sadly in things military that is just 100% wrong, weaknesses must be fixed.
Translating that into the national context, border control would seem to be an obvious weak point, while the front line military are excessively capable.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 09:15
  #428 (permalink)  
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Buying a lot more patrol boats from UK builders would be a cheap winner - crewing them??? Maybe just expand the Border Force. Maybe another Poseidon or two and more drones... again not too expensive.

I think you're asking too much of the UK Govt to come up with a plan - sorry "a World Beating Plan" - as all plans are these days - and then sticking to it...................
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 14:48
  #429 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
The RAF wanted a bigger aircraft - something to fill the hole from TSR-2, F-111, AFVG . The Germans wanted something with the performance/size of a Jaguar.

Tornado was best compromise between the two.

and then someone thought what a great platform to make an Air Defence fighter.
Typerated,

Just to further back up what Finningley Boy said earlier, the RAF got exactly what they wanted in MRCA/Tornado. The range issue concerned the TSR-2 and F-111K, and was predicated round the Far East requirement, not Europe. Even after the pull out from Singapore and Malaysia was announced, Healey was talking about basing long range strike aircraft (TSR-2 then F-111K) on islands in the Indian ocean or even in Australia.
The MRCA as was was conceived in a post Far East era and that long range requirement was no longer there. The idea of the RAF striking Moscow went with the end of the V-Bomber deterrent, and the tactical requirement was to strike Eastern Europe and the Kola peninsular, which is what Tornado was actually designed for.
It was THE best solution to this need, and gave the RAF the fast, low level, two seat radar equipped well defended strike aircraft it had sought to replace Canberra from the late 50's on. Buccaneer was an interim replacement, never really up to the job, and as for Jaguar...
The MRCA was in fact the REAL replacement for the Jaguar's predecessor, the Phantom FGR2, the aircraft I flew in Germany. This was the fast, low level two seat well equipped and versatile radar equipped strike aircraft that the RAF needed in Europe. Just so ironic that it had actually been a planned purchase to replace Lightning in the AD role. The fact that the RN no longer had a requirement for their FG1 fleet beyond the 28 they eventually took, meant that some one in the ivory towers realised just what they could do in Germany with the FGR2, especially as NATO had adopted flexible response and a conventional period of warfare, as opposed to the all out nuclear retaliation that the TSR-2 was designed for.

I realise that the MRCA range was woeful compared to that of the Vulcan, but in fact there never actually WAS a Vulcan replacement in the RAF, as the bulk of the RAF Tornado fleet was committed to Germany, thus restoring a level of credibility to the strike attack role lost when the Jaguar replaced the FGR2 in Germany. When the RAFG Jaguar squadrons re-equipped with Tornado the Vulcan squadrons just withered on the vine and were disbanded one after the other. The TRUE Vulcan replacement of course was Polaris, THIS was the UK threat to Moscow and other points east. The remaining Vulcans post 1969 being committed to theatre nuclear strike, the conventional capability also being left to wither on the vine, hence the hasty rushing around to resurrect it in 1982!

In fact, talking of the post 1969 theatre nuclear Vulcans, I always wondered at some of my allocated strike targets in RAFG. SAM sites and similar in Eastern Germany, they always to me looked like we were blasting a path for someone else...

And as for your snipe at the F3, it was NOT a fighter designed to mix it with Migs and Sukhois, it was a long range autonomous interceptor designed to loiter 400 miles off the UK coast at low level at night or in a snow storm and take out Regimental sized Backfire raids heading for the UK. NO other aircraft of the day, with the possible exception of the AIM-54 equipped F-14, came anywhere near meeting that requirement. It wasn't the fault of the F3 that the world changed in 1989.
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 16:45
  #430 (permalink)  
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I think we should take the detailed Tornado history discussion somewhere else TBH - it has little to do with the future..............

I'm sure we can make new mistakes at least as bad as any old ones...................
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 16:57
  #431 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
I think we should take the detailed Tornado history discussion somewhere else TBH - it has little to do with the future..............

I'm sure we can make new mistakes at least as bad as any old ones...................
How about, return of the Tonka!

FB
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 18:13
  #432 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
I think we should take the detailed Tornado history discussion somewhere else TBH - it has little to do with the future..............

I'm sure we can make new mistakes at least as bad as any old ones...................
Upgrade the radar and the engines, sure to be a lot cheaper than the Tempest.
Do I see a political platform emerging??
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Old 13th Sep 2020, 19:28
  #433 (permalink)  
 
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At the risk of further thread drift.

Although the roles may to a have differed the first the first three Tornado sqns had ex-Vulcan number plates 9, 27, and 617, 9 of course later shifted to RAFG.
Prior to 1990 in addition to RAFG there were six 1 Group squadrons (including 45/TWCU) with a nuclear strike role.

Whatever the original intentions, to a greater or lesser extent the MRCA ended up successfully replacing Vulcan, Canberra, Jaguar, Buccaneer, even Harrier in nuclear, conventional and maritime strike roles plus Phantoms and Lightnings in AD roles.

By force of circumstance Typhoon, F-35 and Reaper, in very limited numbers, have been adapted to plug the Tornado hole and that of (Sea) Harrier. Maybe Tempest will have a better chance of being designed to fill its actual rather than initially unintended roles.

As I may have said before governments of all hues have ransacked the defence budget for short term gain in short sighted reaction to economic and political events. Wellington said if the government hadn't disbanded his Peninsular army in 1814 to save money, he could have taken the offensive in 1815 and not fought the close run thing that was Waterloo, with an army largely composed of raw recruits. The CFE treaty and the collapse of the Soviet Union allowed a succession of governments to shrink the pot. Ironically while they were knackering the country's military assets by fighting a succession of conflicts.

In despite of a bankrupt economy the post war governments raised the taxes to pay for the welfare state and the nuclear deterrent. Like aerial warfare in WW1 the cyber threat is new and additional and needs additional funds to meet it as the non-cyber threat hasn't vanished. Unfortunately a combination of Covid and a generation of politicos who have made overt additional taxation suicidally toxic mean the funds won't be provided.

I will get off my soapbox now.
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Old 14th Sep 2020, 06:50
  #434 (permalink)  
 
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SLXowft,

Your last paragraph is spot on, Cybre, AI and Space are, as you say, the new aeroplane and indeed, the new Tank and Submarine, but the vital point is that these were then and are now, additional strands to the defence spectrum, not developments to replace the obsolescent. Too many in the political world see the comparison in terms of Tanks versus Cavalrymen with Sabres etc rather than the Tank will support the Infantry, as does the Artillery already. The Submarine will help protect the, Carriers, Cruisers, Destroyers and Frigates etc. The aeroplane contested other aeroplanes and provided long-range strike which we ultimately rely on Submarines for, the latter being the earlier patented invention. But for throughout, aeroplanes have supported sea and land operations, even though as pr00ne would point out, the RAF lost a hell of a lot of its CAS/BAI capability from 1957 onwards until the advent of the Harrier/Jaguar etc.

FB


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Old 14th Sep 2020, 07:04
  #435 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
Typerated,

Just to further back up what Finningley Boy said earlier, the RAF got exactly what they wanted in MRCA/Tornado. The range issue concerned the TSR-2 and F-111K, and was predicated round the Far East requirement, not Europe. Even after the pull out from Singapore and Malaysia was announced, Healey was talking about basing long range strike aircraft (TSR-2 then F-111K) on islands in the Indian ocean or even in Australia.
The MRCA as was was conceived in a post Far East era and that long range requirement was no longer there. The idea of the RAF striking Moscow went with the end of the V-Bomber deterrent, and the tactical requirement was to strike Eastern Europe and the Kola peninsular, which is what Tornado was actually designed for.
It was THE best solution to this need, and gave the RAF the fast, low level, two seat radar equipped well defended strike aircraft it had sought to replace Canberra from the late 50's on. Buccaneer was an interim replacement, never really up to the job, and as for Jaguar...
The MRCA was in fact the REAL replacement for the Jaguar's predecessor, the Phantom FGR2, the aircraft I flew in Germany. This was the fast, low level two seat well equipped and versatile radar equipped strike aircraft that the RAF needed in Europe. Just so ironic that it had actually been a planned purchase to replace Lightning in the AD role. The fact that the RN no longer had a requirement for their FG1 fleet beyond the 28 they eventually took, meant that some one in the ivory towers realised just what they could do in Germany with the FGR2, especially as NATO had adopted flexible response and a conventional period of warfare, as opposed to the all out nuclear retaliation that the TSR-2 was designed for.

I realise that the MRCA range was woeful compared to that of the Vulcan, but in fact there never actually WAS a Vulcan replacement in the RAF, as the bulk of the RAF Tornado fleet was committed to Germany, thus restoring a level of credibility to the strike attack role lost when the Jaguar replaced the FGR2 in Germany. When the RAFG Jaguar squadrons re-equipped with Tornado the Vulcan squadrons just withered on the vine and were disbanded one after the other. The TRUE Vulcan replacement of course was Polaris, THIS was the UK threat to Moscow and other points east. The remaining Vulcans post 1969 being committed to theatre nuclear strike, the conventional capability also being left to wither on the vine, hence the hasty rushing around to resurrect it in 1982!

In fact, talking of the post 1969 theatre nuclear Vulcans, I always wondered at some of my allocated strike targets in RAFG. SAM sites and similar in Eastern Germany, they always to me looked like we were blasting a path for someone else...

And as for your snipe at the F3, it was NOT a fighter designed to mix it with Migs and Sukhois, it was a long range autonomous interceptor designed to loiter 400 miles off the UK coast at low level at night or in a snow storm and take out Regimental sized Backfire raids heading for the UK. NO other aircraft of the day, with the possible exception of the AIM-54 equipped F-14, came anywhere near meeting that requirement. It wasn't the fault of the F3 that the world changed in 1989.
Depends I suppose by when you are looking at the RAF' requirements - in 1968 for the "Future Aircraft Study" this was for an aircraft with strategic range and with the range for operation outside of the Central Front.
But as the other 5 nations (initially) for MCRA were after a single seat F-104 replacement the RAF requirement was whittle away. From 1000 miles radius for F-111 and TSR_2 down to 700 ish for AFVG Tornado radius was heading south in order to secure collaboration.
It might be what they wanted when they got them but it was not what the started the exercise wanting - not even close!

As an aside to the RAF 60/early 70s purchasing fun and games to buy the Harrier/Jaguar /F-4/ Buccaneer/ Tornado - they will come in useful we just don't know where yet philosophy!
The Tornado requirement for the Germans was impacted by the Luftwaffe wanting to buy the Jaguar to replace the F-104 but being lent on to buy the F-4F (to offset the cost of US troops in Germany - echos of today!) the F-4 was then more used as a fighter.

On face value I'd agree with your F3 comments - the F-15 was rejected as single seat design and the need was seen for a 2 seater interceptor to find the Backfires behind lots of ECM.
But I'd also suggest it did not need too much imagination to envisage an Air-Air only F-15E variant - I might be wrong but I'm sure Warton did!
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Old 14th Sep 2020, 16:38
  #436 (permalink)  
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"the vital point is that these were then and are now, additional strands to the defence spectrum, not developments to replace the obsolescent."

FB - I take your point but surely Tanks replaced Cavalry - who were obsolescent - and Submarines, like aircraft, were a completely new type of warfare which did do things like protect Carriers but that is not and never was their main aim or use.
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Old 15th Sep 2020, 11:13
  #437 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"the vital point is that these were then and are now, additional strands to the defence spectrum, not developments to replace the obsolescent."

FB - I take your point but surely Tanks replaced Cavalry - who were obsolescent - and Submarines, like aircraft, were a completely new type of warfare which did do things like protect Carriers but that is not and never was their main aim or use.
Yes, my point being that the danger is Wallace & Cummings and co will take the view that Cybre and AI are the 21st Century tank to replace everything as if as obsolete as the Cavalry. But tanks support the old as stone age man infantry!

FB
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Old 15th Sep 2020, 11:37
  #438 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...tary-tech.html

Ok, here we jolly well go! Sorry its reported in the Daily Mail, I understand how many are put off by that but...

FB
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Old 15th Sep 2020, 17:34
  #439 (permalink)  
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project Artemis

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/n...tter-5zpxq83w2

Dominic Cummings flaunts historic defence innovation letter


Dominic Cummings has been seen clutching an archive letter from a former US general who railed against defence procurement red tape and was a champion of technology in the military. The letter, written by the former US air force commander General Bernard Schriever, complained of a “blizzard of legislation” around defence procurement and a system “inhibiting technological innovation”.

Boris Johnson’s chief adviser is likely to have been aware that the text of the document would be captured by photographers as he walked into Downing Street this morning.......

The letter was written in 1986 to the architect of an American defence spending review conducted during Ronald Reagan’s presidency..... A pioneer of missiles that ushered in the space age, he had been quick to spot the growing importance of the domain beyond Earth’s atmosphere, remarking in 1957: “In the long haul, our safety as a nation may depend on our achieving space superiority.”

It was a sentiment echoed in a modern context today by the head of the RAF, who served notice that space is now a “contested war-fighting domain” in which attacks on satellites could have a “disastrous effect” on people’s lives......

Air Chief Marshal Michael Wigston declared that the UK “can no longer assume the unchallenged access to air or space that we have enjoyed for the last three decades”.

“We are critically dependent on space, so we must ensure the safety and security of the space domain,” the chief of the air staff said during a speech at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. “Our access to space is fundamental to national security and any loss or disruption to our satellite services would have a disastrous effect on people’s day-to-day lives. We are working closely with international allies, including the US, to reinforce responsible and safe behaviours in space and to build expertise, understanding of what others are doing in space.”

Last year Britain became the first formal partner in the US-led Operation Olympic Defender, a multinational military coalition formed to deter hostile actors against causing trouble in space.

The Ministry of Defence is pursuing its ambition to send into low Earth orbit a constellation of responsive small satellites, which are cheaper than previous generation satellites and easier to launch*. Codenamed Artemis, the programme aims eventually to beam live, high-resolution video imagery directly into the cockpits of the RAF’s fighter jet fleet.

The RAF will increasingly turn to unmanned drones rather than piloted aircraft. By 2040 drones will make up 90 per cent of the service’s fleet, with combat jets accounting for the remaining 10 per cent, Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, has said.

At present Britain has nine Reaper drones compared with 137 Typhoon fighter jets and 18 F-35 fighter jets......



*The real reason behind buying a controlling interest in OneWeb perhaps?


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Old 18th Sep 2020, 20:37
  #440 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by typerated View Post
Tornado was a long way from what the RAF wanted

And Typhoon is a model of how to not run an aircraft program
Compared to, say, the F-35 programme, which is of course a shining example of how to run a programme?
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