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RUSI: Typhoon Force "completely overstretched and worn out"

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RUSI: Typhoon Force "completely overstretched and worn out"

Old 10th Feb 2023, 07:08
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RUSI: Typhoon Force "completely overstretched and worn out"

Justin Bronk is usually well informed, so one has to wonder why more was not made of the issues in his latest paper by CAS in his recent Defence Committee appearance. How quickly his confidence in the Service's sustainability has resulted in yet more tasking in the shape of the PM's commitments to Ukraine!

[Posted outside the Ukraine thread with the intent of discussing RAF matters]
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 07:52
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A sensible, informed analysis of the issue which makes a refreshing change. And it’s not only engineers who are unavailable due to “burnout”.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 08:03
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My mistake - I misread the headline. When I saw the phrase 'completely overstretched and worn out' I thought it was an Odiham thread outlining Ops normal.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 09:25
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The aircraft has underslung air intakes that make it susceptible to engine damage from foreign object debris (FOD), which is common on the relatively austere dispersed airbases that the Ukrainian Air Force has been using to avoid being targeted by Russian strikes.
Erm, so has the Mig 29 and SU 27

The fact it gives a damning reading on the Typhoons capabilites in support of it's operations, requiring extensive and fixed bases and then gives glowing reports on the Gripens capabilities off base, sort of makes it read like the RAF have the wrong type of fighter for the coming Cold War part deux
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 09:46
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Erm, so has the Mig 29 and SU 27

I seem to remember that the Mig 29 has intake doors that close on the ground and the donk’s take their air from auxiliary doors on top of the intakes. Not sure about the Su 27.

Mog

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Old 10th Feb 2023, 09:49
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Originally Posted by NutLoose
Erm, so has the Mig 29 and SU 27

The fact it gives a damning reading on the Typhoons capabilites in support of it's operations, requiring extensive and fixed bases and then gives glowing reports on the Gripens capabilities off base, sort of makes it read like the RAF have the wrong type of fighter for the coming Cold War part deux
True, though both the MiG and the Sukhoi have intake gates that can be closed when taxiing to protect against FOD ingestion. That said, I think the underslung intake position of both the F-16 and Eurofighter is being oversold as an inhibitor of austere operations. As has been pointed out elsewhere on Twitter, the F-16 has been used off base by the Norwegians and Singaporeans with no problems, and the Eurofighter's intakes are as high off the ground as the Gripen's.


It seems that everyone is too concerned with looking for reason why an aircraft type can't be sent to Ukraine. They don't need a 100% solution - they need a fieldable capability and they need it now. The can work out the details as to how best to employ whichever aircraft type they receive just fine.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 10:21
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Originally Posted by melmothtw
True, though both the MiG and the Sukhoi have intake gates that can be closed when taxiing to protect against FOD ingestion. That said, I think the underslung intake position of both the F-16 and Eurofighter is being oversold as an inhibitor of austere operations. As has been pointed out elsewhere on Twitter, the F-16 has been used off base by the Norwegians and Singaporeans with no problems, and the Eurofighter's intakes are as high off the ground as the Gripen's. https://twitter.com/GarethJennings3/...74584733024267 It seems that everyone is too concerned with looking for reason why an aircraft type can't be sent to Ukraine. They don't need a 100% solution - they need a fieldable capability and they need it now. The can work out the details as to how best to employ whichever aircraft type they receive just fine.
No country in Europe has the capability gap to donate aircraft anywhere. Those being retired at present have to have a manufacturer's agreement to send them anywhere. Retired F16s, Tranche 1 Typhoons etc are going nowhere.​​​​​​​Why he asked the UK for aircraft is beyond me. It can barely defend itself and that will only get worse. He obviously did not like the feedback when he asked the same question of the USA, they are the only country remotely capable of supplying free aircraft, that would arrive as ever, with there own agenda.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 10:25
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Originally Posted by Skeleton
No country in Europe has the capability gap to donate aircraft anywhere. Those being retired at present have to have a manufacturer's agreement to send them anywhere. Retired F16s, Tranche 1 Typhoons etc are going nowhere.Why he asked the UK for aircraft is beyond me. It can barely defend itself and that will only get worse. He obviously did not like the feedback when he asked the same question of the USA, they are the only country remotely capable of supplying free aircraft, that would arrive as ever, with there own agenda.
Donating aircraft doesn't necessarily result in a capability gap if those aircraft are either already retired (Norwegian F-16s, French Mirage 2000s) or very soon will be retired (Dutch F-16s, Polish and Slovakian MiG-29s, German and UK Tranche 1s).
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 10:50
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Originally Posted by melmothtw
Donating aircraft doesn't necessarily result in a capability gap if those aircraft are either already retired (Norwegian F-16s, French Mirage 2000s) or very soon will be retired (Dutch F-16s, Polish and Slovakian MiG-29s, German and UK Tranche 1s).
Not to mention those 96 x Gripen C/D's that the Swedish MOD were rumoured to be considering scrapping just a few years ago......after it placed an order for 60 new E's?

What ever happened with that situation...?

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Old 10th Feb 2023, 10:54
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Originally Posted by GeeRam
Not to mention those 96 x Gripen C/D's that the Swedish MOD were rumoured to be considering scrapping just a few years ago......after it placed an order for 60 new E's?

What ever happened with that situation...?
Sweden is keeping 60 Gripen C/Ds (the breakdown of how many C and how many Ds hasn't yet been confirmed) to add to the 60 Gripen Es for a total of 120 Gipen C/D/Es.

That would leave about 40 C/Ds shortly to be retired, plus an undisclosed number of A/Bs that remain in storage.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 11:21
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In his paper Bronk also says "...Russian fighters to patrol at high altitudes and relatively high speeds on the Russian side of the frontlines." my emphasis

That says something about the effectiveness of Ukraine Air Defence that, nearly a year into the war, the much larger Russian Air Force hasn't been able to gain air superiority over Ukraine.

Imperial War Museum has some ideas why....
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 11:59
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The issue of intakes and runway availability is a red herring. Ukraine has plenty of available airfields and Russian hasn’t displayed any ability to be able to close a runway for any sustained period - the inaccuracy of their remaining cruise and ballistic missiles means their chances of cutting a runway or denying a MOS is negligible.

The problems of airframe and crew fatigue won’t be affected by retiring the F2s early - the air and ground crews can be spread elsewhere and the total numbers won’t change and the aircraft were only going to be flown until March 2025 before being stripped for spares. The F4 and F3 were operated under FI reduction programmes for many years and that was when operating low level rather than at altitude.

The F2s are/were going to be stripped for spares, but as the paper says new spares packages can be purchased as an offset instead. If the army can buy new artillery the RAF can buy spares.

The Typhoon may not be optimised for low altitude, but don’t compare it to aircraft that are, compare it to the Mig-29 it will augment/replace which sucks fuel like pig - the Typhoon will have about 4 times the endurance.

As to weapons, the F2 can carry Paveway 2 which can be ground lazed. If they can toss HARM they can toss Paveway. I’m sure they can also quickly fit a TB2 or simile with a designator. Brimstone also fits on the common launcher and, as with HARM, a fix to fire using A pre-programmed mode won’t take long to sort out.

It seems Wallace and Sunak are now backing hastily away from their promise of aircraft in the short term - and talk of Storm Shadow also seems to fading - it seems because of American pressure where they don’t want anyone providing anything with greater range than themselves.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 12:06
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Originally Posted by melmothtw
Sweden is keeping 60 Gripen C/Ds (the breakdown of how many C and how many Ds hasn't yet been confirmed) to add to the 60 Gripen Es for a total of 120 Gipen C/D/Es.

That would leave about 40 C/Ds shortly to be retired, plus an undisclosed number of A/Bs that remain in storage.
All those retired and in storage A/B's which must 30+ if not more, would be the best bet for sending to Ukraine.....in terms of operation etc.
Politically how that could be achieved is another matter of course...
At least the Czech's could assist with training/support as well, given they operate them. I doubt the Hungarians would do so given their pro-Pootin stance.

How far have the French got to handing over those very recently retired Mirage 2000's which was the other rumour?
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 12:59
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What units are the instruments in on various types being discussed. How about captions and displays?.
I have flown to odd ac where the dials were in apples and pears. it was distracting doing the conversion in my head so I settled for keeping the needles in the right places most of the time.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 13:50
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The relationship with intake height v FOD is not linear, and can be mitigated by taking some care in thrust setting at low speed. The nose wheel location on the Typhoon is preferable to the MiG-29's geometry, and a smart engineer from the land that gave us Isambard Kingdom Brunel and other innovative engineers can probably come up with a CFRP wheel spat for the nose tyre to stop any debris deflection to avoid excitement and attendant disappointment after the hubcaps have stopped spinning in the wreckage.

The early Typhoons have other issues, which probably the pollies are now becoming aware of, defence cuts like health and education cuts take a long time to heal and occasionally fester.

F-16, after using them for 40 odd years we are going to get worried about... FOD?

There is an easy and timely fix. drive a couple of hundred A-10s from DMAFB and around the traps, unless Joe B is planning another sideshow somewhere, grab a few from MHAFB, Martin field and various other ANG units, and get them over to Ukraine, as the forecast is for meatballs with the odd occasional mass of targets heading westbound under threat of execution.

This is a land war, as most of them have been over history, and weapons that can reduce the effectiveness of Count Dracula's Zombie force would be very much appreciated by the long suffering Ukrainian troops that are fighting the war that has arisen from the negligence of the UNSC in reading their own rules, and the disinterest by the west in the reconstruction of the USSR post 1991.

IMHO.

PS: even Trafalgar was in essence a subset of a land war, as was Coral Sea, Midway, and even Pearl in it's own way. Plinking boats and "plains" doesn't often achieve the policy outcome of foreign policy, which in Russia's case is, "we have never signed a treaty that we were not prepared to use as a thoroughly absorbent bathroom tissue".

"Airwar" is a misnomer, WW2, VN, etc, GW1, GW2, the "airwar" was conducted to achieve the land battle needs. Air superiority is and always was a component of the land war, a step to achieve dominance of the battle space.

Ukraine can use tactical assets that don't take rocket scientists to flick switches on... and I have great respect for my hog driver friends, (not the Harley kind so much)
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 14:55
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Originally Posted by Brewster Buffalo
In his paper Bronk also says "...Russian fighters to patrol at high altitudes and relatively high speeds on the Russian side of the frontlines." my emphasis

That says something about the effectiveness of Ukraine Air Defence that, nearly a year into the war, the much larger Russian Air Force hasn't been able to gain air superiority over Ukraine.
It says something about GBAD in general, and it's not good news for air forces. Even operating close to the ground line of contact is a good effort in the contemporary context, and as the article makes clear, Russian fighters with long ranged missiles and no ROE worries can dominate the ground battle area from high altitude on their side of the line and prevent Ukraine carrying out effective CAS without much fear of retribution. That means the Russians can be less reliant on SHORAD, whereas the Ukrainians are completely dependent on it. Long range AAMs really don't like being launched from the low altitudes necessary to stay beneath Russian long-ranged GBAD coverage.

Anyway, as this was my thread, and I posted it separately from the Ukraine thread to focus on the RAF sustainability issue, let's do that! Does anyone know a Typhoon mate who disagrees with the article?
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 15:32
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The US military have hundreds of aircraft in open storage at Davis-Monthan in Arizona. This will include the aforementioned A10's and F16's, many of which are in protected storage/spraylat.
Surely these are the best source for what Ukraine needs? Thinking back to the 1980's didn't we get our F4J(UK)s from there?

Just a thought from an old spotter. Over to you.
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 18:16
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Originally Posted by bobward
Thinking back to the 1980's didn't we get our F4J(UK)s from there?
.
The F-4J(UK) fleet came from storage/depth servicing at North Island
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 19:08
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Originally Posted by bobward
The US military have hundreds of aircraft in open storage at Davis-Monthan in Arizona. This will include the aforementioned A10's and F16's, many of which are in protected storage/spraylat.
Surely these are the best source for what Ukraine needs? Thinking back to the 1980's didn't we get our F4J(UK)s from there?

Just a thought from an old spotter. Over to you.
100% correct...it's really simple. As the world knows there's loads of stuff in Arizona. over to the politicians to have the large testicles to make the wrong or right decision?
Even the bronco OV-10 must be there somewhere
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Old 10th Feb 2023, 19:15
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Originally Posted by bobward
The US military have hundreds of aircraft in open storage at Davis-Monthan in Arizona. This will include the aforementioned A10's and F16's,
Pretty sure for the F-16's they dont. All/most the F-16 left at Davis Monthan are allocated to be converted into QF-16's by boeing. They have a contract to convert 210 aircraft by 2025 into QF-16's to replace the QF-4's

Theres a LOT less avialable F-16's around than you would suspect when you really drill down the numbers
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