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RAF transport fleet cuts

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RAF transport fleet cuts

Old 29th Aug 2021, 12:57
  #81 (permalink)  
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Sir Humphrey at TheThinPinstripedLine….

https://tinyurl.com/28n4xmkn

PITTING it all together - Thoughts on the Kabul Airlift
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Old 29th Aug 2021, 19:26
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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As usual, Sir Humphrey sums it up very well.
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Old 29th Aug 2021, 20:13
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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While there are many positives to draw from this operation, there are too some areas of mild, potentially growing, concern. The first is that PITTING highlighted the importance of the C130J as a key part of the RAF toolbox. The fact that this aircraft will leave service shortly, without replacement, some 10 years earlier than planned is of growing concern. It is reasonable to say that on current plans, in 2-3 years time, the RAF could not repeat the success of PITTING using its currently planned force.

He certainly reinforces much of what has been said on this thread.

My understanding is that the RAF argued very strongly to keep the J to its planned OSD but that the decision was taken at ministerial level to withdraw it from service early in 2023. Let us hope that the DefSec, having seen the importance of AT, is big enough to admit that he has made a mistake.

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Old 30th Aug 2021, 08:39
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Its the Chancellor of the Exchequer who calls the shots - not the Defence Secretary
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Old 30th Aug 2021, 17:48
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Its the Chancellor of the Exchequer who calls the shots - not the Defence Secretary
is (unfortunately) the correct answer.
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 07:26
  #86 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021...-retire-c-130/

After Afghanistan evacuation mission, UK air force still not reexamining plans to retire C-130

WASHINGTON — The arduous airlift demands of the Afghanistan evacuation mission haven’t changed the U.K. Royal Air Force’s plans to retire its C-130s by 2030, its top officer said Aug. 27.

“This is the first large-scale operation that we’ve done with our A400s, and it’s demonstrated that this is an aircraft with real potential and enormous capacity,” said RAF Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston in an interview with Defense News.

“It flies much higher and much faster and carries a greater payload than the C-130. So as every month goes by, my confidence in that decision increases.”……..

Despite the C-130s offering additional airlift capacity, Wigston said there’s no need for the RAF to revisit its current retirement plans.

“It will be with a heavy heart that we retire the C-130 in two years’ time because it’s been an absolute workhorse, but I have absolute confidence in the A400 and what that aircraft is able to do going forward,” he said……
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 09:05
  #87 (permalink)  

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U.K. Royal Air Force’s plans to retire its C-130s by 2030, its top officer said Aug. 27.

“It will be with a heavy heart that we retire the C-130 in two years’ time"

Maths not his strong suit perhaps?

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Old 31st Aug 2021, 09:14
  #88 (permalink)  
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He isn’t the one that said 2030, that was the journalist - and as post #83 says, it’s to be retired in 2023.
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 09:41
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A cynic might say that his position requires him to say that and he won’t have to deal with the consequences as he’ll have retired by the time they’re gone...
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 10:25
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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Spot on Ken Scott - that is exactly what I thought. Except it'll be backed up later on with a statement saying 'he never agreed with the initial decision to retire C130 in the first place........' of course he'll be in a job with Airbus by that time..............

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Old 31st Aug 2021, 10:32
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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KS,a cynic might also ask if the A400 has done any serious operational `off-roading` yet....?
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 17:38
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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bit like your Range Rover - it CAN get down in the dirt I'm sure but would you risk your £100k ++ joy & delight doing it ?
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 20:06
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Pitting was not a good example of why C-130 should be kept, all it demonstrated was that a mass of mobility assets is occasionally useful.
Pitting was also not a good example of how good the A400M is. It demonstrated great success taking off and landing from large international airfields carry well below its max all-up. Op RUMAN proved it can take off and land successfully in vaguely austere airports years ago, so where's the progress? Hats off the to the crews flying the things for being able to cope with the air situation, but none of this has anything to do with how good the A400M is as a tactical air lifter. The same job on PITTING was being done by airliners.
You'll note that the TLZ activity that we have been told about was done by a C-130, and that we can all probably agree that it should have been done by an A400M for credibility since it can supposedly do the same things as C-130.
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Old 31st Aug 2021, 22:03
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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it can supposedly do the same things as C-130
’Supposedly’ being the operative word here...
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Old 1st Sep 2021, 08:01
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As an afterthought (and to address the posters in this thread gleefully posting footage and pics of Atlas doing natural surface Ops, dropping 24 CDS containers, and banging out flares) clearly there is a world of difference between a test pilot doing a controlled demo of a capability in a field on Salisbury plain - all the footage - and a 70 / 30 squadron junior pilot doing the same thing in theatre - which is what everyone seems to think that footage means.

What the aircraft is cleared to do and what the front line and training system can develop and sustain so that its crews and instructors are capable and competent is another matter entirely and is likely the sticking point in moving forward.

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Old 1st Sep 2021, 13:51
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What the aircraft is cleared to do and what the front line and training system can develop and sustain so that its crews and instructors are capable and competent is another matter entirely and is likely the sticking point in moving forward.
Surely that's a limiting factor for all aircraft types, and not intrinsic to the A400M. I'm not sure how that observation either advances or negates the case for retaining or getting rid of the C-130Js.
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Old 1st Sep 2021, 14:57
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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My two penn’th.

As a FJ guy I have mostly just read this thread and not felt qualified to comment. However, I can see an obvious parallel.

Typhoon was touted to replace Jaguar, F3 and GR4 and, to a lesser extent, Harrier.

You can see what a Politician will think. “Why did you ask for all that money for a new jet if you’re still flying all the old ones?”

The bottom line is that, sooner or later, you have to grasp the nettle.

Typhoon took some serious effort and money to get it to where it is now but, we can all agree, it is doing pretty bloody well (yes I know there are other improvements still to happen).

I have spoken with guys from the A400 fleet so I am aware of the issues. Is it possible though, that A400 will be very good (eventually) but that nobody is enjoying the nettle grasping that will shortly happen?

From a Politicians point of view you can see why the C130 is ripe for the chop. “Why do you need Voyager, C17, A400 and C130?”

Despite all I have just said, I personally can still see a case for the C130 but I’m afraid my budget just won’t stretch that far. And nobody really cares what I think!

BV
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Old 2nd Sep 2021, 04:33
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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But surely there is a 'need' for a small fixed wing tactical aircraft which can operate in/out of much smaller sites such as those already mentioned from CASA or Aeritalia (Leonardo?) and would be much more economical to operate compared with the Chinook.
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Old 2nd Sep 2021, 06:33
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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Typhoon was touted to replace Jaguar, F3 and GR4 and, to a lesser extent, Harrier.
The Typhoon can perform all of those aircraft missions though (to a lesser extent the Harrier, as you say).

The C-130 cannot do what the C-17 does, and vice versa. The three transport types aren't duplicating each other, they are providing their own niche capabilities (arguably, the A400M less so as it can do a bit of both).

Australia has it right, with a mix of C-27J, C-130J and C-17.
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Old 2nd Sep 2021, 07:12
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Originally Posted by Mil-26Man View Post
The Typhoon can perform all of those aircraft missions though (to a lesser extent the Harrier, as you say).

The C-130 cannot do what the C-17 does, and vice versa. The three transport types aren't duplicating each other, they are providing their own niche capabilities (arguably, the A400M less so as it can do a bit of both).

Australia has it right, with a mix of C-27J, C-130J and C-17.
Typhoon can't do all-weather low level attack: that was a niche role that was give up. I commented up thread that the choice in capability terms should really be between A400 and C17, but neither is politically 'choppable' so the poor old C130 gets it by default.

Australia doesn't operate a fleet of SSBN or aircraft carriers... you pays your money and takes your choice.
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