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The Future of Britain.

This is a discussion on The Future of Britain. within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by swerve There wasn't any P-8 when MRA4 began. The USN had cancelled P-7. There was no off ...


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Old October 12th, 2012   #181
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There wasn't any P-8 when MRA4 began. The USN had cancelled P-7. There was no off the shelf MPA available. P-3 & Atlantique were out of production.

The logical options were re-opening the production line for P-3 or Atlantique to build some just for the UK, refurbishing ex-USN P-3s (all offered), refurbishing Nimrods, or new-build Nimrods.

What was chosen was a new-build Nimrod derivative incorporating fuselage parts from old airframes.

The chief engineer on the project refused to sign off the risk assessment, because it was so flawed, & was sacked for his honesty. This didn't come out until too late.

I'd heard that on the engineer side of things - I hope he got a large wodge of cash for unfair dismissal when this all came out. I actually wish they'd gone new-build MRA4 as it'd have been a great platform but I realise that'd have been unpalatable, so instead we end up with the Trigger's broom approach, two new handles, four heads, still going strong. It's crying shame as there have been several perfectly well run P3 refurbs. And besides, things were so far along that scrapping the airframes was "poor value for the taxpayer" as the NAO put it.
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Old October 12th, 2012   #182
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Could the capability be regenerated the MR4 avionics must be able to be produced Ithink we would have to write off the lost 70 years of maritime patrol experience but we still have sentinel and AWAC so large multi engined operations haven't been totally abandoned is there a suitable airframe? such as a commercial airliner that could be adapted to fit the role? after all isn't it sensible to buy new commercial planes in a down turn because you get such good prices? It seems nuts to have just written off maritime patrol by air craft which must be cheaper than having a helicopter frigate plodding around the north Atlantic/ north sea.
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Old October 13th, 2012   #183
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We've been maintaining the crew experience by lending them to other countries, & unless it's been scrapped, we have the equipment (e.g. sensors) bought for at least the first few MRA4s. We could probably slap the main sensors on smaller, cheaper aircraft such C-295 MPAs & regenerate a modest capability quickly.

But if it's gapped too long, the crews will retire & there'll be nobody qualified to train replacements. Then, we have to rebuild, either slowly & painfully from scratch or (more likely) with foreign help to get it going quicker. And the equipment is getting older.

There are many airframes which could be used. Boeing 737 (AKA P-8), C-295, CN-235, ATR-42, ATR-72, C-130 - all adapted to MPAs already. There are also proposals for A320, SAAB 340/2000, & IIRC BAe 146 MPAs.

For pure surface surveillance (no weapons, no underwater detection) Raytheon has proposed a software modification to the Sentinel's radar to give it very good over-water capabilities. We have the aircraft & crews already.

There are many options. But no money allocated.
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Old March 8th, 2013   #184
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Massive cuts in the army with 40 % reductions in tanks numbers, the navy with only 19 escorts and now only 6 submarines operatuional at the moment due to problems in the trafalgar class , the air force with only 100 eurofighters and tornado squadrons being reduced, the carriers building but with uncertain about the number of fighters they will equip being only 12 per ship announced.
I think that if British politicians are not able to spend enoungh money to maintain Britain in the main league they have to make much more reductions such as selling 1 carrier, reducing even more the air force and the army and leave Britain with similar military power as Italy or Spain, otherwise the pressure in budget will remain forever.
not to mention to reduce the numbers of soldiers in operations outside, if not all time will be the same "I want but I can,t"
Not to mention the moral in the armed forces personnel as they don,t know what will be the next cut in servicemen or equipment.
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Old March 8th, 2013   #185
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12 fighters as a peacetime complement as part of a tailored air group, NOT the entire air group. This will be expanded depending on the type of operation.

Sell the carriers to who? Nobody wants it & it's not for sale.
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Old March 8th, 2013   #186
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Here he goes again. Overlander has an obsession with running down the British armed forces. We're never going to get any aircraft carriers, we're only going to get one, that one's going to be sold, we're not going to have any aircraft for it, we're only going to have 12 aircraft on it . . . . .

He always predicts the worst, & never admits it when reality turns out better than his prediction.
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Old March 8th, 2013   #187
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Yeah, fifth or sixth biggest Navy in the world, one of only five operators of nuclear submarines *AT ALL*, about to commission two of the largest non nuclear carriers in existence and soon to be the only non US user of a fifth generation jet at sea.

Still one of the few armed forces in the world capable of deploying a large ground force and sustaining this at global ranges...

We suck.
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Old March 8th, 2013   #188
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Massive cuts in the army with 40 % reductions in tanks numbers, the navy with only 19 escorts and now only 6 submarines operatuional at the moment due to problems in the trafalgar class , the air force with only 100 eurofighters and tornado squadrons being reduced, the carriers building but with uncertain about the number of fighters they will equip being only 12 per ship announced.
I think that if British politicians are not able to spend enoungh money to maintain Britain in the main league they have to make much more reductions such as selling 1 carrier, reducing even more the air force and the army and leave Britain with similar military power as Italy or Spain, otherwise the pressure in budget will remain forever.
not to mention to reduce the numbers of soldiers in operations outside, if not all time will be the same "I want but I can,t"
Not to mention the moral in the armed forces personnel as they don,t know what will be the next cut in servicemen or equipment.
I take it as a political maturity by British leadership. They have to plan the defense budget keeping in mind the role UK can play in the future of world politics within the economic framework of the country. I think, UK fully understands that it is no more a hard power in the global affairs and should maneuver with soft power.
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Old March 8th, 2013   #189
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I think, UK fully understands that it is no more a hard power in the global affairs and should maneuver with soft power.
That's a big call and i tend to dis agree.UK can project force with all 3 services.
As stobieWan has commented ,one of the biggest Navy's in the world.
They have cutting edge equipment ,well trained people and last time i checked its not just the UK who are cutting defence budgets,all countries are belt tightening.
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Old March 9th, 2013   #190
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That's a big call and i tend to dis agree.UK can project force with all 3 services.
As stobieWan has commented ,one of the biggest Navy's in the world.
They have cutting edge equipment ,well trained people and last time i checked its not just the UK who are cutting defence budgets,all countries are belt tightening.
United Kingdom is a receding power and the most intelligent amongst all the European powers as, she knows her role, responsibility and limitations in the fast changing global order. As i said before, UK is trying to create the precise equilibrium, “and rightly so” between the hard power and the soft power.

China, Russia, India, South Korea, Turkey all these countries are consecutively increasing their defense budget since the beginning of 21st century. Now there are more players to divide the Geostrategic and Geoeconomics pie and the division is only doable to the expense of relatively weaker
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Old March 9th, 2013   #191
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... soon to be the only non US user of a fifth generation jet at sea.....
Apart from Italy, & (if they get their budget back on track one day) Spain.
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Old March 9th, 2013   #192
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Apart from Italy, & (if they get their budget back on track one day) Spain.
We'll likely get there first so we'll have bragging rights for a week or two And given the way Italy and Spain are going, I'll kind of hang on and see if anything gets delivered. We're certainly doing better than Overlander credits us with.

We're struggling to balance the cheque book and undergoing a period of cuts and realignment - but so is almost everyone else. We're still a big dog on the block however - and when the economy turns around (as it inevitably will) we'll have a core capability to build on that will be, literally, world class.
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