Guardian: "Cuts Could Cost RAF Its Fleet Of Tornados"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Tomahawk, Feb 21, 2011.

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  1. Cuts could cost RAF its fleet of Tornados | Politics | The Guardian

    I thought the whole purpose of getting rid of the Harrier is that the Tornado's could provide CAS to the troops until we pull out of Afghanistan? Now we're getting rid of the Tornado as well? This seems just total bloody madness. What will we do for CAS if they do go? Rely on the US/French/other Coalition nations to provide it for us? Or will they rush Typhoon into service?
  2. I think it might be a little difficult to describe 14 years after the original planned in-service date as "rushing" Typhoon into service, but other than that I quite agree... scrapping first the most versatile aircraft in UK service, followed by the second most useful, in favour of an aircraft with the ordnance carrying capability of a sparrow's handbag does seem a... courageous decision.
  3. Sorry, by "rushing" I didn't mean into its planned role but into the CAS role. I'm not quite up to date with how the aircraft is going but last time I checked, there were still problems getting AGM munitions integrated with the plane.
  4. Typhoon could provide CAS in Afghanistan tomorrow. Unfortunately, what it couldn't do is UK and Falklands AD as well.

    Sadly, I suspect that these latest rumours are an indication of the financial straights we're in.

  5. Why is this?
  6. M_M I'm not a major Aviation buff so I dont know too much about Typhoon beyond what I'v read in the media, on Wikipaedia etc.....

    What sort of capability does it have regarding an Air to Ground role in support of trrops and also in a sort of interdiction role against enemy emplacements etc?

    I know Tornado was used successfully in the 1st Gulf and Harrier also had long proven itself in the ground attack role so is Typhoon able to come close or is it as TR suggested...... as dangerous as a sparrows handbag?
  7. The Tiff is already cleared for various A-G precision weapons, as well as the Litening III pod for target designation and FMV downlink. It is cannon equipped and the Army Forward Air Controllers who have worked with it on training say it's very impressive in the CAS role, not least because of its high manoeuvrability and excellent general performance in hot and high conditions.

    In a strike role, it can supercruise at medium-high altitude and self defend itself.

    Meanwhile, the radar and overall sensor/data link integration is very nice and better than anything the GR4 has and certainly the GR9 (obviously given it was a lead nose!) had.

    The only down side is that retirement of the Tornado F3 and wider training hours reductions means that it’s been forced to concentrate on AD (that’s offset somewhat by the large number of experienced Jaguar and GR9 dudes now flying it). Moreover, the money to complete integration of the full scope of A-G weapons is no longer available. Is it ideal? No. Would I like Brimstone, smaller weapons, Storm Shadow and a modern recce pod integrated? Yes. However, Typhoon is in reality a versatile and capable jet which has a lot of growth potential.

    Finally, Tranche 1 were interim capability jets which were never going to stay around for long. The same thing was done with Harrier GR5 (not all of which were upgraded to GR7 and subsequently GR9) and Tornado F2 (which was retired once the F3 started coming off the production line).

    I’d be surprised if the GR4 was deleted immediately, not least because of the enormous value RAPTOR is held in by the IJC. However, I fear that by 2016, the UK will only have a single fast jet type.

  8. Informative post and very enlightening. Thanks buddy
  9. Thanks for that MM and I stand corrected.

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