Decommissioning of the FA2: Justified yes or no? Discuss.

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by DingDong, Feb 21, 2007.

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  1. Given that the Topic of no RN Fixed wing at the 25th annevessary of the Falklands has ressurrected the topic of the demise of the SHAR, i thought is useful to create this post. Now we can re-debate the merits or pitfalls of this decision. Crabs are invited as it seems that E-Goat is not that interesting and they seem to be on here increasingly!
  2. It was justified because the cost of upgrading the airframes to accept the bigger engine (a la GR7/9) was prohibitive. Remember, although they may look similar, these airframes are completely different. Without the bigger engine, the SHAR remained at best asthmatic despite the brilliant radar and weapon system.

    The only contentious bit about decommissioning them was the timing......although forced into it somewhat I believe the RN may yet regret hacking them earlier than planned.

  3. Re: Decommissioning of the FA2: Justified yes or no? Discuss

    Agree with Ding Dong. Not happy with the lack of top cover now (from Navy assets). Rather not rely on the Yanks, even though they should know the difference between a pusser's grey and an Iraqi fast patrol boat!
  4. the FA2:

    It was a cr*p decision, and we learn nothing.

    The FA2 was a very good bit of kit. We took Sea Dart off our carriers, so we rely for air defence on our fleet of Type 42 and whatever air defence the Air Force provides - which, usually, is none.

    We had a fighter that was so flexible, a mate of mine who flew them once took over from an E-3 on an exercise. Yes, they put the radar in look-down mode, datalinked the info down to a ship, and with two jets in racetrack pattern they were handling all the incoming raid info very nicely between them. Magic.

    I suppose the chances of us coming up against an opponent with significant anti-ship capability before we get F-35 is pretty limited, but I daresay people thought like that in 1981 as well.
  5. Sh1te decision, but inevitable considering the earlier decisions taken which were sh1ter than a big bucket of sh1te in a sh1te factory.

    Sh1te decision the first - failure to align the Blue Vixen / FA2 upgrade with the Crab Air GR3 to GR5 migration. Had we binned the SHAR airframe, but integrated Blue Vixen with the Harrier II airframe (which should be marinised as it's a USMC requirement), then the retirement of the air defence capability (which is the problem , not retiring the SHAR) would not have occurred.

    Sh1te decision the second - forming JFH and allowing Opcom to transfer to 3Grp RAF, rather than Fleet. Allowed the crab air dominated command structure (and yes I know there was significant dark blue command element at first - where is it now?) to force the debate.

    Let's just hope that F35 comes off and that its requirement doesn't get descoped to air to mud only........
  6. One could say there are similar comparisons with giving the junglies away to JHC boffin. Who, in Fleet, is responsible for this? Hmmmmm.....
  7. Re: Decommissioning of the FA2: Justified yes or no? Discuss

    as someone who thought we would be f**ked 25 years ago, Any version of SHAR is more viable than none, The concept of sea dart / sea wolf didnt work then & as for converting Ark Royal to a commando carrier is beyond me.
    Lessons not learnt we need a CAP capability end of..
  8. Oh yeah - fully agree. CHF gets to soldier on with SK4 and CR6 while the "other" part of JHC busies itself trying to work out how to buy more CH47 without letting anyone notice just how impractical they are for sustained shipboard operations.......

    Meantime airframe hours on CHF carry on mounting, weight climbs, performance drops off. How many more years before FRC achieves ISD???
  9. I recently worked woth Italian AV-8BII+, superb aircraft. can you imagine the Italians and Spanish and even the French having better Fleet AD than us? Shocking, pure shocking
  10. In the second world war the Fleet Air Arm did a fantastic job with out of date aircraft at a place in Italy called Taranto.
    Seems that the politicians have heard about this and think we can do the same today
  11. I was at my first taranto night last year, superb.
  12. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Re: Decommissioning of the FA2: Justified yes or no? Discuss

    I think we have debated this to death in the thread you mention Ding_Dong, however for my two penneth worth I see it like this: In terms of the greater good of "defence" and in keeping with our current expeditionary attitude and the purpose of carrying out the will of our political masters NO. In light of the shrinking defence budget and ever increasing pull on that budget I don't think there was much choice, by the time the whole thing actually became an issue it was too late to defend the FA2 on a cost basis. I honestly believe some lies were told at this stage with regard to the costs of retrofitting Peg 107 to FA2, but will never be able to prove it, ho hum! BAe have their feet firmly planted at Cottesmore and all of the money is now committed to GR9 and it's capability upgrades.

    In hindsight (although we all knew this would happen) JCA is not now due in service until 2015 as opposed to 2012, we aren't getting all of the planned Type 45's and the Carrier design is still pretty soft in detail, we have been left in the shite!
  13. Some of those scrapped airframes only had 600-700 hours on them (ZH Numbers) bit like the mk6's at Sultan!!. Granted the older ones were getting old, more sense would have been scrap the older ones robb the airframes to death and you would have a nice surplus of stores. The FA2 was scrapped due to imense influence from a BAE/Rolls Royce budgeted defence secretary. Dont forget Rolls Royce brought in the FOD tolerant LP Fan at the end of it's life at shit loads of cost only to find out it was made of substandard material (sub contracted out). Did the company get investigated.NO. Just given more money to help the RAF.How many ex senior RAF officers work for Rolls/BAE. UHMMM Someone somewhere had a big company bonus that year
  14. What a load of rubbish! The FOD tolerant fan (Mod 3830) was introduced to the RN/ RAF at a similar time following the loss of the T8 and T10 at Wittering (late 2002, early 2003). At first, the Mod 3830 RN probs were put down to slightly undersized blades but when replaced with correctly sized blades the problem was still present. The RAF had the same undersized blades but not the same probs. RN prob put down to intake/ running range differences between FA2/GR7. No time to redesign fan in final year of FA2 ops hence large numbers of engine changes and money thrown at replacement blades instead. (lots of detail left out for brevity)

    But it sounds better to blame the crabs! :wink:
  15. Effing crabs!!
  16. yep, blame the crabs
  17. they're gits and are clearly dull as dishwater otherwise they'd be on e-goat. Being able to quote blade sizes and mods is very dull.

    Poor johnny crab
  18. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    just because your answer is correct doesn't mean it wasn't your fault :lol:
  19. Re: Decommissioning of the FA2: Justified yes or no? Discuss

    I've yet to hear a reason why when they were designing this GR9 upgrade years ago, they couldn't incorporate our now surplus Blue Vixens and AMRAAM!!

    The USMC managed it with their surplus APG-65 off the older F/A 18's.

    At least then we'd still have a BVR capability even if the dogfighting was lost with the 'big wing'.
  20. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    A_A, nice Avatar, wonder where you got that?

    Ayway think: Fibre optics, incompatible databus, redistribution of existing avionics eqpt, weight & moment, carbon fibre, weight and moment again......... theoretically none of these are insurmountable, but then think cost!

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