Most expensive RAF aircraft ever takes to the skies

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by NotmeChief, Sep 15, 2009.

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  1. 9 Nimrod MRA4s to cost same as 3½ Space Shuttles

    The most expensive aircraft ever built for the British armed forces, a painstakingly-restored De Havilland Comet airliner outfitted as an anti-submarine patrol plane, has made its first flight.

    As a result the cost per plane has actually quadrupled: each MRA4 will now have cost the taxpayers a cool £400m, better than $660m at current rates. And this is without allowing for the fact that the original planes, supplied for upgrade by the government, had already cost a substantial sum. This makes the Nimrod MRA4 not only the most expensive British military aircraft ever made but one of the most expensive aircraft in the world: you could buy a fleet of space shuttles or stealth bombers for the price Blighty is paying to have restored 1950s-vintage airliners.

    Article here
  2. And what is wrong with 1950s vintage? I'll have you know I am 1950s vintage myself and doing very nicely on it thank you (though I do creak a bit in the mornings ... and sometimes during the daytime ... and I have a bit of difficulty staying awake in the early evening ... though absolutely no problem being wide awake at stupid o'clock when I should be sleeping ... drone, drone, drone)
  3. the_matelot

    the_matelot War Hero Moderator

    As it's written by Lewis Page who holds zero credibility with serving members of the RN and the Armed Forces, I think it's very safe to say that the article is complete and utter bull!

    Have a read (or just take my word that it is gash) of Lions, Donkeys & Dinosaurs if you don't believe me.

    He's an ex Clearance Diving Officer who threw his toys out of his pram when he was told he'd have to serve on a FF/DD in order to further his career and stuck his notice in. I worked with one of his oppos before and he assured me that he was a complete and utter chopper of the highest order.

    Page's problem is that he proclaims to be a Tri-Service Defence 'Expert' when in real life, his experience of Defence is non existant outside of the MCD world.
  4. Having served on a ship with Lewis Page I can confirm all of the above, his only interest was the diving store when he was supposed to be the ops officer. A whinging chopper of the highest order
  5. You may not like the colour of his underpants, but that, non-the-less, doesn't make the figures wrong.
  6. Quite so but it is the way in which the figures are presented. For example whilst the Comets were designed in the late 40s early 50s the Nimrod programme did not start till the mid 60s with the first aircraft being delivered in 69, so his comments on the aircraft age are not 100% accurate, and as he very well knows the airframes for the MR4 are zero life so have a full flying life ahead of them rather than being clapped out old 1950 built plane as he suggests.

    When one finds one flaw in the argument one starts to question the whole article.

    Mr Page has made a name for producing distorted and inflamatory representations of reality. The real problem is that whilst there are in my opinion serious problems with our procurement innacurate sensationalism such as that practices here does not help the cause of sensible change in procurement rather it will tend to perpetuate the present programme.
  7. So are these airframes built from scratch then or not? If not, which bits are "vintage"
  8. Certainly none of them are 50s as Mr Page pretends. Zero Life is not new but simply good for the standard working life of the plane. A lot is new, the engines have been replaces as has all the wiring and electronics. All of the air frame has been surveyed and checked with parts replaced as required.

    I do not work for BAe but it certainly was not a case of fitting a new radio and giving the plane a quick service and shampoo and polish.

    A few years back I was at a project managment seminar and it was very interesting to listen to the MOD project manager for the Nimrod programme go through the list of MOD failures that helped the programme to overspend so badly, and the BAe one do the same.

    I would add that I suspect the price the Indians are paying claimed my Mr Price is not the final bill either, and in reality may be as wildly out as the original Nimrod estimate, though the Indians can be tough cookies when negotiating.
  9. LOL thats alot of money, i think some Spectra Gunships would be nice , as it would be money well spend to provide CAS to our troops on the ground.
    I wonder how much repairs, maintance and servicing going to cost ?
  10. The reworked tube is the original. The hydraulics, wings, engines, mission system, electrical system, avionics suite, undercarriage and self defence and other gizmos are all new...ish.

    I was led to believe that the reason they didnt rejig for a completely new airframe is down to the level of testing and certification required on a new hindsight it would've been cheaper because the wing could have been made to a common standard rather than a custom fit.
  11. Can the RAF register them as 1950's and therefore get one of those Timeless number plates....or will it have to have an 09 registered plate? :wink:
  12. Good plan on the 50's model option - that should also mean they can show them at enthusiasts fairs etc and also won't have to pay road tax BUT, I suspect they won't be allowed to get away with that for reasons of national pride... and worse yet it will be a "10" plate because the Crabs won't get to register them until next year!

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