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

DingDong

Lantern Swinger
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!
 

greenking

Banned
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.

GK
 
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!
 

codbutt

Midshipman
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.
 

Not_a_boffin

War Hero
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........
 

greenking

Banned
One could say there are similar comparisons with giving the junglies away to JHC boffin. Who, in Fleet, is responsible for this? Hmmmmm.....
 

chockhead819

War Hero
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..
 

Not_a_boffin

War Hero
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???
 

DingDong

Lantern Swinger
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
 

slim

War Hero
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
 

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!
 

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