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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; Hasn't boeing already started work on a 6th generation fighter to replace the f-18e. there have been a few artists ...


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Old February 4th, 2012   #76
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Hasn't boeing already started work on a 6th generation fighter to replace the f-18e. there have been a few artists impressions in airforces monthly.
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Old February 4th, 2012   #77
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I did mention money when i said "There is a reason why T45 is a more expensive ship (excluding poor management decisions) after all", if i didn't make it clear then i apologise.

What i'm trying to get across is whilst FREMM for what it is, is a perfectly capable platform BUT as a dedicated AAW destroyer the T45 does come out on top, whilst the radar on FREDA has a range of around 250km (i think?) SAMPSON has one of 400km which I believe would make the T45 more effective with dealing with airbourne threats than FREDA. True, France has carrier bourne AEW however i'm of the opinion that for AAW a destroyer should be able to act relatively independantly and as such have the best sensors mounted as possible and because of this can currently track more inbound targets from a longer range and destroy the threat faster than FREDA can currently do.

Plus, looking at Wiki FREMM is generally a 2000 ton smaller ship with about 1000nm less range than the T45. The T45 program recieved flak from the media about "only" carrying 48 Asters compared to the capacity of the Burke class so imagine how a 32-capacity ship would have done.

The issue is essentially FREMM is a multipurpose frigate, and while it may be a very capable AAW system it still isn't going to be as effective as a dedicated AAW destroyer, FREMM is more along the lines of the T26 in its philosophy.

Don't get me wrong, FREDA is a decent capability ship but compared to the T45 it isn't as effective. Plus the kick-backs from BAE building them in British shipyards is relevant.
Sorry, you did mention the money.

Look, the ASTER30 has a range of about 120km, whether your radar is good out to 250 (hearakles) or 400 (sampson) won't make much of a difference in combatting an air threath using ASTER. The range difference is most likely due to the VSR (a version of the Smart-L from Thales Nl, as far as I know) part of the Sampson system, that Herakles lacks. But BAe have themselves called the VSR radar "superfluous" and there for "historical reasons".
How the Herakles stack up to the APAR and Sampson APAR/AESA radar at practical ranges, us ordinarry people just don't know, As far as I can see the power of the herakles is 50Kw while Sampson is a 25Kw radar. Thales claims in their sales speech, that the special construction of the radar, allows it to be an ideal compromise between the complex active phazed array and the simpler passive phazed array. The point likely being that the Herakles is a mulitbeam radar (like APAR) and can thus operate in different modes simultaniously (attack, search etc).
Anyway the french defense selected it (no strings, the herakles was a private project (actually from a dutch outfit, as far as I know) and singapore was the first customer).


" AAW system it still isn't going to be as effective as a dedicated AAW "

No, but what's the operational difference? I am putting to you that a TYPE45 is not twice as effective as the future FREDA - far from. But the Type45 is twice as expensive. And that's the problem with the T45, bad value for money.
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Old February 4th, 2012   #78
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Sorry, you did mention the money.

Look, the ASTER30 has a range of about 120km, whether your radar is good out to 250 (hearakles) or 400 (sampson) won't make much of a difference in combatting an air threath using ASTER. The range difference is most likely due to the VSR (a version of the Smart-L from Thales Nl, as far as I know) part of the Sampson system, that Herakles lacks. But BAe have themselves called the VSR radar "superfluous" and there for "historical reasons".
Whilst that is completely true, the longer range radar would give the T45 a better 'situational awareness' in theatre meaning it could act as an early warning for the rest of the fleet as AFAIK these will be the only ships to operate SAMPSON and i can't remember if the UK will be getting an AEW system (someone correct me please?). Then there's the issue of the height of the T45, its radar is placed higher than on FREDA meaning it has a better ability to track sea-skimming missiles.

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How the Herakles stack up to the APAR and Sampson APAR/AESA radar at practical ranges, us ordinarry people just don't know, As far as I can see the power of the herakles is 50Kw while Sampson is a 25Kw radar. Thales claims in their sales speech, that the special construction of the radar, allows it to be an ideal compromise between the complex active phazed array and the simpler passive phazed array. The point likely being that the Herakles is a mulitbeam radar (like APAR) and can thus operate in different modes simultaniously (attack, search etc).
Anyway the french defense selected it (no strings, the herakles was a private project (actually from a dutch outfit, as far as I know) and singapore was the first customer).
I wouldn't listen too much about what the sales people claim to be possible, they're naturally going to want to back up all their decisions but i'll take some documented material over the reps SAMPSON can also operate in simultaneous modes but you probably knew that anyway. IIRC the Italian AAW variant has EMPAR mounted higher than the MN equivalent which gives it more time to deal with airbourne threats, so surely the MN had an option for a higher mounted radar too? Plus has the MN invested in a CEC suite for FREDA?

The thing is, without a VSR is seems FREDA

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" AAW system it still isn't going to be as effective as a dedicated AAW "

No, but what's the operational difference? I am putting to you that a TYPE45 is not twice as effective as the future FREDA - far from. But the Type45 is twice as expensive. And that's the problem with the T45, bad value for money.
Nowhere did I say the T45 is good value for money nor did I put that the T45 is 2x capable. What I have said is its a more capable ship (which is fair to say) and offers an extreme improvement over our previous ship the T42 and provides work the British shipbuilding and defence industry (and the kick backs resulted from that).

Spiralling costs for the T45 resulted from poor management, not any design flaws or whatever.

EDIT: One of the things i really like about FREDA is they come with 8 Exocet MM40 block 3 missiles compared to the T45's "fitted for, but not with" Harpoon.
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Old February 4th, 2012   #79
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Then there's the issue of the height of the T45, its radar is placed higher than on FREDA meaning it has a better ability to track sea-skimming missiles.
In theory, yes. In practize, depends on the radar can detect the missile that far out. I have my reservations, and many navies look like they aren't soo keen with getting the radar elevated as much as possible. I take that as an indication that the radars any way can't detect the LO surface skimmer that far out - but that's a guess.

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SAMPSON can also operate in simultaneous modes
Yes, going free from memory on antenna theory, the Sampson and Thales's APAR radars (the two top european active phazed array radars, which is the same as an active electronical scanned array) works by emmitting EM-radiation from a vast array of small transmitters. These are independent, frequvency agile and can be controlled individually. Via interference etc. you, by controlling the individual emissions of the antenna elements, can create really complex emission fields, like steering (one or more) narrow "beams" etc.
A passive array has a central EM source, so there is less control over the emission field (the antenna elements are not individually frequvency agile). Still you can steer it etc. but not to the same degree of freedom as an active one. It's a more simple design, but still highly usefull.
Now, as I understand it the herakles is of the passive type, but they have made a trick (I didn't understand the short explaniation, I found) that anyway allow the radar to work somewhat as an active one.

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Spiralling costs for the T45 resulted from poor management, not any design flaws or whatever.
I think that's debatable, or rather it depends on what one means by design and mangement. Many technical aspects of the T45 seems to have been quite ambitious, new stuff and technology that the manufacturer hadn't much experience with etc. and seems to have injected risc into the project.
Compare that to projects where there have been an emphazies on reducing risc by choosing well known and tested solutions and always hiring in experts to take care of problems that the yard didn't have strong expertize in.

Last edited by Palnatoke; February 4th, 2012 at 07:17 AM.
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Old February 4th, 2012   #80
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I, for one am very glad we didn't participate in FREMM as we ultimately came out with a more capable (vastly more capable compared to T42 and cheaper to run) ship than we would have done with FREMM. There is a reason why T45 is a more expensive ship (excluding poor management decisions) after all.
FREMM wasn't an alternative to Type 45. T45 was what we developed after abandoning the joint project from which the French & Italians got Horizon. We kept PAAMS from that project, though with SAMPSON instead of EMPAR.

By the time FREMM started, Type 45 & Horizon were already well under way, with three T45s building when the first FREMM development & production contract was awarded. Our participation would have been in place of developing Type 26.
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Old February 4th, 2012   #81
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Thanks for the missile count and I agree that it looks like Herakles is a passive phazed array. It is also a top radar by one of the leaders in the field, and nothing suggests that it's a bad or inferior radar. It's obvious that a ship needs the radar that can surport and match it's cababilities and intended use, and given that the french navy, unlike the italien and english got carrier borne AEW, maybe the long range surveliance aspect is not as important for the intended use. As to the ability of the radar to detect and react on/to realworld threaths (like low altitude stealthy objects), we don't know how it meassures up against other radars. But aparently the french are content with the performance, else they would probably have got a better radar. F.ex. Signaal (now thales) also offers the APAR-Smart-L radars, which is in use by a number of navies.
And anyway a 3D air range of 250km and an ability to track more than 400 targets, sounds as "enough".

As I read the specs of the FREDA, this ship can combat air threats to the full potential of the ASTER15/30 missile, which incidentially is (exactly) the same missile as the horizon and T45 is equipped with and thus limited by. That FREDA carries 32 ASTERS doesn't seem so low, compared to T45's 48 missiles (according to wiki). If the marginal cost (because the FREEM sisters are being builded regardless) is good, then I have a very hard time seeing why this shouldn't be a very good ship for the french navy.
The French decision not to buy more than two Horizons has always officially been stated as for budgetary reasons. Horizon has S1850M - i.e. SMART-L. The decision to develop FREDA, instead of buying those extra Horizons has always been admitted to have been a financial decision. The lower performance of FREDA compared to Horizon was accepted because a political decision was taken that more Horizons were unaffordable.

At the same time as FREDA was approved, France cut planned FREMM numbers from 17 to 11 - including FREDA. Again, that was a financial decision. Total planned escort numbers were cut from 26 to 18 (both including 5 La Fayette).

None of this means that I think that Herakles isn't a good radar, nor that FREDA is a bad ship, only that one shouldn't think that the choice had anything to do with a perception of operational effectiveness. It was absolutely, 100%, purely, to save money. It was decided that FREDA is the best that could be afforded, although it is not as good as the MN wanted.
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Old February 4th, 2012   #82
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Hasn't boeing already started work on a 6th generation fighter to replace the f-18e. there have been a few artists impressions in airforces monthly.
Have a look at when the first concept art for the eventual F22 started appearing vs when the ISD happened and you'll have some idea why I'm intensely skeptical of it appearing in ten or fifteen years.

Boeing will be super keen to promote the idea of a sixth generation fighter as they're effectively out of the market once their F15 and F18 lines close - they need to find something to sell, hence their promoting various warmed over versions of those two products.

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Old February 6th, 2012   #83
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Totally agree that the french looked at their wallets and aligned/optimized their plans to that, I find that very prudent.

I also believe that in a cost benefit analysis the FREDA will be the far better choise than horison/T45: Perhaps not that effective in primary role (though I belive that the differens, looking at the spec list, isn't that big) but much cheaper.
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Old February 8th, 2012   #84
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But on average, much more capable transports. France has C-130, Transall, & CN-235. The UK has C-17, C-130J & some older C-130. One C-17 carry more load than all 14 AdlA CN-235s combined, & even if you disregard the CN-235s, you need to adjust for payload/range. The Transall was a very clever design, maximising payload & volume in proportion to aircraft size (80% of C-130 payload on half the engines), but that was done at the expense of range. For use within Europe, that was not an important limitation, but it is now, when transport fleets are being used over much longer ranges.

You never miss a chance to knock the British forces, do you?
I am not knocking nobody, british politicians are knocking the armed forces, they are scrapping them , here another example.
‘Second Libya’ would stretch Britain, say MPs | Defense & Security News at DefenceTalk
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Old February 8th, 2012   #85
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I am not knocking nobody, british politicians are knocking the armed forces, they are scrapping them , here another example.
‘Second Libya’ would stretch Britain, say MPs | Defense & Security News at DefenceTalk
British politicians have always downplayed the capability of the UKs armed forces, always have and always will.

However in relation to your specific comment about reducing the Hercules fleet

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In the wikipedia I have read that the force of hercules tramsport aircraft have been reduced to 30 ?? , they were originallly nearly 55, so habe been reduced to nearly half bringing the total numers of RAF transport planes to only 30 nearly half the numbers in the french air force
You are only comparing quantity, not capacity/quality. The RAF has a larger cargo capacity than the French air force, then when some C-130s get replaced by the 25ish A400Ms (which in turn have a larger capacity than the C-130s) it'll if anything probably increase the RAFs transport capability.

If you were trying to complete an objective analysis of the reduction of the Hercules fleet you would have gone further than just saying "well the French have 2x as many planes" and would have given the RAF a fair acknowledgement in that it has a larger capacity as a transport fleet.

Sure, "quantity is a quality all of its own" and all that, but it's not completely down to the size of a transport fleet that makes it "better", its how much stuff it can carry.
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Old February 8th, 2012   #86
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Hi all , I see the RAF are getting another c17 this is good news its a very good aircraft it does a great job a real trooper so this brings the number in RAF service to 8 (some more please DC oh and some more 45s and astutes)
Any way just a thought on the A400m , Britain signed up to 22 aircraft for the purpose of replacing the older hercules Ks , but i was wondering how are the Js doing there airframes must be taking a hammering in on going operations. these were not to be replaced untill the 2030s at current rate they will never get anywhere near the late 2020s so will the 22 A400m replace the whole hercules fleet that would be a real drop in numbers even though the A400ms carry much more and alot further they can not be in two places at once ,,,,,,,,,,, any thoughts
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Old February 9th, 2012   #87
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AFAIK we don't have many C-130Ks left, & the A400M will also be replacing worn-out C-130J.
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Old February 9th, 2012   #88
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i have been trying to get some up to date hercules fleet numbers and they range from 32-50 mixed Ks and Js but your right there arent many Ks left 8-10 i think
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Old February 9th, 2012   #89
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when the A-400m's come on line what are the chances of putting a few of the C-130'S through and update and give them to the special forces. Maybe and i know i'm wishing put say 4 of them into AC_130 spectres which is what we have needed for years especialy in conflicts like afghanistan
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Old February 9th, 2012   #90
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Now theres an idea a few spectres would be very useful , im sure the lads on the ground in operations would think so to, would the MOD put money in to doing this i dont know, but i dont think it would ever happen,
I think if any money is available it must go to other programs to help in the recovery of some of the lost UK defence capabilities MPA for example and getting are 45s which are fitted for fitted with what they should have/
Im really hoping the defence budget will be shorted out .for the 2015 defence review so we can start to up are game defence wise and get what the armed services need even if its off the self, i think 2015 will be a big year for UK defence,

Last edited by Astute; February 10th, 2012 at 06:42 AM.
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