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Royal Air Force [RAF] discussions and updates

Discussion in 'Air Force & Aviation' started by neil, Oct 14, 2007.

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  1. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    The numbers are lifetime, & the F-35's expected to be in service for a very long time. Yes, attrition is very low nowadays, not like the massive loss & death rates of the 1950s, but it's not zero, & when an aircraft type is in service for a long time, there'll be a few losses, even airframes wearing out. The intention isn't to buy 'em all in one go, or even to have 138 in service simultaneously.

    If we're not going to buy the planned number, surely the chance of buying some A as well as B goes down. Would we want just a handful of A?
     
  2. StobieWan

    StobieWan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect a single supply chain plus a single training and conversion path might generate some savings however - as you say, the B has a fair few bits different to the A and while the A is definitely cheaper to buy and fly, there's some money to be clawed back by having that single chain - not enough to entirely offset the savings from a partial A fleet, but enough to at least be considered.

    What we're all worried about is basically, not getting enough B to keep cabs on deck for the RN - I don't have any real ambitions as to having both carriers at sea with fixed wing assets however. I suspect if the balloon had gone up, we'd either be flying rotary assets off one carrier or invite the USMC aboard. The only scenario requiring the UK to stand alone vs an enemy would be FI 2.0, which I don't believe is worth staying awake at night over.
     
  3. south

    south Active Member

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    The Tornado GR4 retires from service with the RAF. The significance of this aircraft to the RAF cannot be understated - it served in ops in GW1 (as the GR1), Former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Kosovo, GW2, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and has been continuously deployed in one scrap or another executing British Foreign Policy for 25 years.



     
  4. south

    south Active Member

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    Sorry forgot to add Libya to the above.
     
  5. hauritz

    hauritz Well-Known Member

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    I have wondered the same myself. The current plans seem to be to operate 24 to 36 F-35B for each carrier. Even allowing for a fairly high attrition rate it seems that 138 B models might be overkill. Surely there should be enough for a couple of squadrons of A models as well.
     
  6. swerve

    swerve Super Moderator

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    They're not just for the carriers. They'll also be flown by the RAF from land bases. Some will probably never see a carrier.
     
  7. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Interesting BBC article about problems within the RAF pilot training program. It appears that the time taken for a trainee pilot to progress from starting abinito training to being fully qualified in their specialist field has doubled from 3 years to 6 - 7 years since 2016 due to problems within the contracted company, Ascent, that provides the training. IMHO, outsourcing of such training may not have been such a bright idea, because the problems appear to be a shortage of aircraft and instructors, plus the contractors are being paid for courses that they didn't conduct.

    Hundreds of trainee RAF pilots not flying

    My own personal view. There needs to be a wholesale clean out of the UK MOD from top to bottom, a modern professional system instituted with outside personnel bought in and civil servants banned from the MOD or applying for any positions within it. A modern professional procurement system should be stood up as soon as possible. Then maybe, just maybe, they might be able to sort out the current shambles.
     
  8. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Contractors for flight screening fine and some niche areas, but not for the training of a professional military pilot and air warfare crew in a 1st World military.

    There probably needs to be a wholesale clean out of in probably every nook and cranny of the current British government the way(ward) its going of late starting with their current PM.
     
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  9. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    I can just see the look of horror on Sir Humphrey's face to both of our suggestions. I suspect that he would need a defib. :D

     
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  10. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    If a new election results in a Corbyn victory, it might be an extinction event as opposed to wholesale clean out for MOD. I really can’t see a decent Brexit solution at this point.
     
  11. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Neither can I and it's a self inflicted wound for the current PM. There are some crucial RAF acquisitions in the pipeline and any greater political destabilisation than now will have the potential to derail them. The two I am thinking of are the P-8 and the E-7A AEW&C acquisitions, presuming that the E-7A is chosen as the E-3 AEW replacement.
     
  12. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    The future of the PoW along with the Dreadnaught program could be on the rocks as well. This mess was started by Cameron. If you are not 100% certain you are going to get the result from a referendum that you want, don’t hold one!
     
  13. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    Or at least stack it in your favour with a double majority like the Australian model, 50%+1 is always a risky adventure
     
  14. Whiplash34

    Whiplash34 New Member

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    Had some downtime away from work due to injury recently...I’ve watched every episode of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister...one of THE best shows IMHO....sums up Pollies and their support staff / civil servants so aptly...!

    “...Who should lie?.....Sleeping dogs Minister.....”
    “...a basic rule of Government is never look into anything you don’t have to...”
    “....never set up an enquiry unless you know in advance what it’s findings will be...”

    Just gold.

    Sorry, off topic...
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  15. t68

    t68 Well-Known Member

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    Well I wonder what they say about Cameron, breaking all the cardinals rules of politics
     
  16. John Fedup

    John Fedup Well-Known Member

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    Saying anything at this point would just remind voters how badly he screwed up, would just enhance a Corbyn victory outcome. The armed services in the UK must be cringing.
     
  17. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Back on topic please.
     
  18. south

    south Active Member

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    Good and bad news:

    First to comment on the above - this pilot training issue has the ability to really cripple the RAF (and wider Uk MOD air arms) long term. The implications will be felt for years to come. Recruits come in keen and motivated, and after witnessing such a poor system are frustrated and cynical about the training system before they begin their first tour. It also drives problems regarding their initial ROSO - many people are eligible to leave after their first tour because of the extended time taken in training; this means they can leave without having to become instructors asked giving back to the system.

    Good news though Multi-billion-pound deal for early warning radar aircraft

    Finally signed a deal for 5 Wedgetail. Though 5 is a bit short the leap in capability and reliability over their current E3D fleet will be welcome.
     
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  19. StobieWan

    StobieWan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd have liked six but the reality of it is that of the seven they have right now, two are parts hulks anyway I believe so we're getting five brand new cabs with those lovely little dinky paper mats and plastic liners over the seats plus a bouquet of flowers from the dealer (I'm sure that's how military jet procurement works..)

    Best decision they could announce and I'm super excited to be honest.

    Social media has some truly galactically idiotic comments, like "why can't we build something with two Sampson radar for all around coverage ?" etc

    I may troll them and suggest dusting off the Concorde blueprints so we can have a SUPERSONIC AEW.
     
  20. Jack Wyatt

    Jack Wyatt Member

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