Disband the RAF?

It would be a hateful world without Crabair. Who would we look to for a better example of Conditions of Service? We may have taken the mighty p*** out of the light blue for their penchant for hotel accommodation, but it was really only because we thought that we should get the same. Their messes are almost always better appointed than ours and their married quarters usually bigger, better and more comfortable.

OK, so anytime you want to fly anywhere the crew are always "out of hours" and they will insist on wearing growbags in the messes, but that's a small price to pay for the entertainment value!
 
Just a reminder to Not a Boffin , reference Buccaneer and Phantoms, sorry mate they were crewed by the RN,or FAA if you like, the only RAF guys were on exchange ,as were some French and other Nationalities.They were Naval aircraft, not Crabair.
 

Not_a_boffin

War Hero
No mate. I know 809 and 892 were FAA with the odd crab supplement.

I was talking about the rest of the RAF that ended up flying naval aircraft as their much-vaunted procurements (TSR2, then F111) fell through and they had to buy and fly Phantom FGR2 and the Bucc S2 - both of which were eventually retired in the late 80s and early 90s. Not before the last of the Buccs had done a sterling job on Granby.

I forget the exact totals, but at one stage I think the RAF had at least 10 Phantom squadrons (they also absorbed the RN FG1 variant when 892 decommissioned) and another four or five Bucc sqds.

The initial crab Phantoms didn't have the extended nosegear to get sufficient AoA to use the cats on Ark & Eagle, but that would not have been a major drama to sort. The Buccs should have been fine from the off.

The point I was making is that back then, there was the possibility that (only!) if needed, a large proportion of crab aircraft could have been operated off a carrier (standfast carquals etc). Now, with the exception of GR7&9s (~50 airframes out of 300+), none of them can.
 
higthepig said:
Just a reminder to Not a Boffin , reference Buccaneer and Phantoms, sorry mate they were crewed by the RN,or FAA if you like, the only RAF guys were on exchange ,as were some French and other Nationalities.They were Naval aircraft, not Crabair.
So after the flat tops went, why did my brother, Pilot Crabair fly a Bucc all over Europe, Africa and Canada whilst part of the strangth of RAF Squadrons, Not on Exchange.

Because the Crabs took over the Bucc's so Not-a-Boff had his facts correct.

Nutty
 

Skunkmiester

Lantern Swinger
Errr the RAF are the best Airforce in the world? Don't think so ole' chap. They may be in spirit and they may have some top-hole chaps and chapesses in their ranks but seeing as Monsieur Bliar and his turds have cut them to ribbons in the last few years, they are hardly a force to be reckoned with.

It doesnt matter how good you are as a pilot, in the modern tecno world your dead without even seeing your enemy and we just don't have the bells and whistles to put up much of a fight against another major airpower.

Shame we just bought the Typhoon and forgot to put any guns in it, seems like the MOD has forgotten about Vietnam methinks.

Although I think it is absolute bollox that anyone should think of disbanding them. They should be getting more money and be given something that can mount a decent Close Air Support role....errrr like the Harrier.
 
Yes Nutty,until the flattops went,they were navy, after that the RAF took them over and flew them for over 25 years,buthey were navy first thats the point im trying to make. where could the navy use them without any carriers?It was originally the NA39(blackburn)NA standing for Naval Aircraft.
 

Not_a_boffin

War Hero
H-t-P

We're all agreeing furiously here. The reason the Phantom (Navy FG1 and RAF FGR2) and the Bucc could have been deployed aboard ship was that they were originally designed by McDonnell-Douglas to fly off carriers. The RN got about 30 Phantoms, the RAF got another 90-odd.

The Navy (or crabs for that matter) could use them aboard ship or from land - depends what the Op calls for at the time and is pretty much how the USMC operate their F-18s/Harriers and (when they had them Phantoms and A-6s). If the US Navy is short of a squadron to go on a carriers particular deployment, they can basically put a Marine squadron into the carrier air wing in no time at all. The converse is also true - the US Navy were operating EA6's out of Aviano airbase throughout the Balkans ops and the USN fighter squadrons were all flying ADIZ patrols on 9-12.

The lunacy of the current situation is that the UK will in effect run two parallel fast-jet fleets. The junior partner (Joint Force Harrier) gets a limited number of airframes to run four squadrons (including 800/801NAS) that can truly go anywhere - not because they're STOVL necessarily, but because they're carrier compatible. Even if we buy the F35C (the Proper variant of JSF) we'd still have the same situation. The rest of the RAF (likely to be upwards of 16 squadrons) will be running round in Typhoons and Tornados, capable of deploying shoreside only, with HNS. Why not make sure that any future RAF fast-jet is procured from the off to be at least carrier-compatible? As the F14, F18, Phantom and Bucc have shown - you don't get a low-performance aircraft from a naval spec.

I'm not suggesting for one moment that the FAA is subsumed into the RAF - we've been there before in the 30s and it was bollocks for a number of reasons (although the gradual slide of JFH into part of Strike Command gives cause for concern). Nor am I suggesting that all the crabs should be made to wear dark blue, it would lead to mass exodus, lower the tone in the wardroom and ACRB and cause a collapse in hoteliers share prices (had to get that one in!).

It's too late to do it in this generation for the UK, but next time round, IF we're still putting men in fast-jets, then it should be considered. Don't know whether the French Air Force variant of Rafale is carrier capable, but they're much closer to that ideal than we are.
 

CheefTiff

Lantern Swinger
having read the article now I can see the logic of some of their argument for disbanding the RAF. For instance they could lose a few unneeded senior officers I guess and I doubt anyone would notice.

As for the RN taking over the aircraft and air/ground crew I am not so sure. Wafu's please - would we actually want to ?

After all, what use is a Typhoon right now - can it land on a CVS ?

As for giving the helos' to the Army - well damned fine idea as long as the RN can keep its own - on its own bases.

far more radical I feel though would be to keep the RAF and transfer all the ships and submarines to them, then they can be Senior Service at last a privilege I know the "boys in blue" have craved for years.
 

Welbexian_RN

Badgeman
What we need for all services is more funding, thats it. It wouldn't make much difference if they did disband the RAF, they'd probably use it as an excuse for more defence cut-backs. What we need is a defence minister who was in one of the services!
 

Deckhead_Inspector

Lantern Swinger
Gets my vote. The only reason we needed an "Independent Air Force" post 1918 was to prevent our air power from being reduced to practically nothing at the expense of ships and an army lage enough to police the Empire. Trenchard fought his corner brilliantly only relinquishing control of the Fleet Air Arm back to the RN just in time for the Second World War.Of course he hung onto Coastal Command. Well the time has come to go down the US route and put the MPAs back into the Dark Blue and call them MMAs.(Buy 737s not Comets )Then the rest of the RAF could be divided up between Dark Blue and Brown, depending on the intended theatre of operations. Unpopular but economic.
 

FlagWagger

GCM
Book Reviewer
Skunkmiester said:
Shame we just bought the Typhoon and forgot to put any guns in it, seems like the MOD has forgotten about Vietnam methinks.
But there is a gun on the Typhoon ...

... it just can't be used!

When the requirement for the gun was deleted, there was then a requirement to substitute appropriate ballast to counter the loss of the "un-wanted" gun. So, thought the boffins, what's gun-shaped and weights the same as a gun? Yes, you've guessed it - a G-U-N! :)
 

CheefTiff

Lantern Swinger
FlagWagger said:
Skunkmiester said:
Shame we just bought the Typhoon and forgot to put any guns in it, seems like the MOD has forgotten about Vietnam methinks.
But there is a gun on the Typhoon ...

... it just can't be used!

When the requirement for the gun was deleted, there was then a requirement to substitute appropriate ballast to counter the loss of the "un-wanted" gun. So, thought the boffins, what's gun-shaped and weights the same as a gun? Yes, you've guessed it - a G-U-N! :)
Makes sense to me. Why can't they just wire the darn thing up again then ?
 

Skunkmiester

Lantern Swinger
I know that FW but it still can't be used in battle can it. The moron that made the gun decision probably needs help breathing and eating.

On a serious note though I personaly think that The best thing would be as follows.

Keep the RAF, but take all of their helicopter capability from them. Give the helo's to the FAA (they are the only ones who know how to operate the damn things in rough weather). Take fast jets from FAA and leave the RAF to play with them and the troop transports.

Army and RM only get scouts and Apache so they can give CAS.

So RM/Army CAS for troops and tank busting.

RAF for fast jets/bombers, troop transport and cargo.

RN for Sub hunting/SAR/Troop deployment (note to crabs, this also means pickup)

Clear borders for all services and no doubling up on roles. RAF get aircraft and training to deploy on carriers regularly (so they can do some weekend work for once) RN and Army work close together on Joint ops SUPPORTING each other.

Everyones a big happy family.


Or we go the route of the USMC. Disband the RAF and Army, kick out everyone who is not good enough to wear the Green Beret 99.9% and let Royal play with all of the toys. If Royal can manage to do so well with crap kit, just imagine what we could achieve with a good budget and nice shiny whizz bangs.
 
Deckhead_Inspector said:
SM you are a true genius!
SM for Minister of War (Sorry not PC) Minister of Defence best lateral thinking I have heard for years. Must be a bootie.

Nutty
 

Skunkmiester

Lantern Swinger
Oh yeah and all enlisted ranks should have a big pay increase.

£25-30,000 minimum. Then at least we could retain people instead of them thinning out to high paid civvie jobs.
 
If the RAF were to be disbanded, they'd only move across into British Aerospace.
I met more crabs (ex and serving) in that company than I ever did in the service!!
 

FlagWagger

GCM
Book Reviewer
CheefTiff said:
Makes sense to me. Why can't they just wire the darn thing up again then ?
Because none of the aircraft weapon systems have been designed to support it. However, you can bet your bottom dollar that as soon as Typhoon deploys to a theatre which requires a cheap way to conduct air-to-surface interdiction type operations where a missile would be too expensive, then the bean counters will be hitting the defence contractors with a UOR!
 

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