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E-3D Final Sortie

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E-3D Final Sortie

Old 5th Aug 2021, 16:09
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wensleydale View Post
There is no invoice.
Oh yes there is.
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 16:21
  #22 (permalink)  
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Why are our aircraft so rubbish that we have to get rid of them and rely on a fleet of older NATO operated aircraft?
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 16:34
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
Flight report that one has been bought by the US Navy for $15m as an E-6 trainer
That one's been in the States for some time, presumably to give the USN the chance to give it the once over.

Always a chance the other 2/3 remaining airworthy ones could be picked up by existing CFM-56 powered 707 operators for similar duties (France, Saudi) or perhaps for conversion!

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...r-force-rc-135
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 17:16
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Navaleye View Post
Why are our aircraft so rubbish that we have to get rid of them and rely on a fleet of older NATO operated aircraft?
lack of investment
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 17:25
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Navaleye View Post
Why are our aircraft so rubbish that we have to get rid of them and rely on a fleet of older NATO operated aircraft?
The UK aircraft may be "newer, but the mission system is much older in design with the NATO aircraft having received a mission system upgrade some years ago. The UK fleet was supposed to upgrade using the USAF E-3C Block 40-45 system. Unfortunately, at the time, the Block 40-45 system had technical problems and was slipping to the right and the MOD decided to wait and see. By the time the upgrade was "ready", it was deemed too expensive for our aircraft and the RAF's own upgrade would take place over a period of 10 years. Again, the austerity of SDR cancelled the project. By the time money was made available, it was deemed financially beneficial to buy a brand new fleet of newer aircraft rather than throw money at the old 1970s system.
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 17:38
  #26 (permalink)  
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Thank you, sounds like a typical UK procurement success
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 18:23
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Parts obsolescence is a huge problem with older aircraft - and with an electronics dominated asset like AWACS it's magnified many times.
In the 'good old days', military procurement was a major contributor to electronic components, and the component advancement wasn't nearly as rapid as today - so it was economically feasible to keep production going of otherwise obsolete components to support military and other aviation users. Today, the commercial market totally dominates the electronic component market - military and aviation are a tiny sliver of the market - and it no longer makes economic sense for a manufacturer to be making a few hundred of some obsolete component when they could be cranking out modern parts by the millions. Further, mil-spec electronics have become pretty few and far between - most military and aviation electronics use "COTS" - Commercial Off the Shelf parts that are simply screened to more rigid environmental requirements (e.g. temperature and vibration).
With something like AWACS, the cost of the electronics is actually a fairly small portion of the overall costs - it's the integration that's killer. Making all those boxes seamlessly talk to each other, while making sure the electromagnetic emissions don't interfere with other components is a massive task - made all the worse when you throw in high power radar systems.
No first hand knowledge of the E-3D, but I suspect they can no longer get the electronic bits to keep the AWACS functional, and it's cheaper to buy the Wedgetail 'off the shelf' than to create a new AWACS system from scratch.
Military aircraft seldom see 1,000 hrs/year of use, so 40 year old 707 airframes are maybe halfway through their available life, but all the AWACS systems are a different matter.
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 18:52
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
Flight report that one has been bought by the US Navy for $15m as an E-6 trainer
A Bounce Bird sure is nice to have, especially for the large crew, small fleet assets. I think the E-8 JSTARS got or gets their bounce bird back soon.

No sense having a full up crew and fully missionized aircraft banging circuits, although I'm sure the rear crew love doing touch and gos for the nugget co-pilots after a long mission...

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Old 5th Aug 2021, 19:32
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by sandiego89 View Post
No sense having a full up crew and fully missionized aircraft banging circuits, although I'm sure the rear crew love doing touch and gos for the nugget co-pilots after a long mission...
What does/did a 'full up ' crew consist of normally ?
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 20:38
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NRU74 View Post
What does/did a 'full up ' crew consist of normally ?
Usually 17-18 (depending upon the activity) although the aircraft can carry up to 34.

Flight Deck Crew:
Pilots x 2
Flight Engineer
Navigator

Mission Crew:
Tactical Director
Weapons team x 3 or 4 people
Surveillance Team x 5 People
Communications Operator
Communications Technician
Display Technician
Radar Technician


I will admit that pounding the circuit in an aluminium tube with no windows after a long sortie is not the most enjoyable pastime (also being bounced around behind a tanker for 20 minutes).
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 05:45
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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It has solved the problem of running out of Air Engs before the ac with them retired.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 11:52
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Not since the sad demise of the Nimrod MR2/R1 Fleet, has the term 'Formation Eating Team' been so callously responsible for a 75% reduction in Station Manning within Catering...
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 18:50
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by reds & greens View Post
t'Formation Eating Team'
There’s a term I’ve not heard since my last Honker’s stew…
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 22:12
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Yep, to see the rations being hauled onto the back of an R1 really was a sight to see!

29 crew for around 8 hours is a lot of food.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 23:19
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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USN buying one of the E-3Ds for $15M to use as a trainer for the E-6B fleet.

"The aircraft will help reduce an estimated 600 flight hours and 2,400 landings/cycles per year from the E-6 mission aircraft."

PMA-271 works quickly to purchase E-6B trainer aircraft | NAVAIR (navy.mil)
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 12:27
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Fortissimo View Post
… We will be buying Wedgetail because the UK believes it needs a national capability for AEW&C, not because of any contract with NATO ...
Is 3 jets really a National capability? Hardly. It’s just enough to satisfy the contract and to buy membership of a pooled club whereby we rely on other nations to dig us out of the doo doo by deploying assets to support us when required.

I really do despair at the way things are going. Sadly the Emperor really does think he’s wearing splendid new clothes.
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 08:08
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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It was originally going to be 5 Wedgetails IIRC - but then , once again, economic reality intervened

Of course the UK COULD afford 5 but then a sacred cow or three would have to suffer - say increase taxes, or do away withe pension triple lock, or cut funding for University expansion.......
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 20:12
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Wensleydale View Post
There is no invoice. The E-3D was part of the NATO AEW Force - the rest of that Force at Geilenkirchen will cover it.
Would the NATO force have been able to cover UK commitments like when the CSG21 group was in the Mediterranean? What about operations outside of the NATO area?
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 10:08
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Of course the UK COULD afford 5 but then a sacred cow or three would have to suffer - say increase taxes, or do away withe pension triple lock, or cut funding for University expansion.......
Or a certain ego stroking yacht....
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 10:44
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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"Would the NATO force have been able to cover UK commitments like when the CSG21 group was in the Mediterranean? What about operations outside of the NATO area?"

NATO covers NATO commitments - if anyone wants to go elsewhere they have to provide their own cover - if they can afford it of course
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