Now that Dave is looking increasing unpopular…

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by Oil_Slick, Nov 24, 2008.

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  1. …with Crab Air and the Treasury thanks to it's ever increasing cost.

    What is 'Plan B' to fly off the new Great White Hopes of the Navy?
  2. Buy Sea Harriers from the Indians
  3. Err, why is F-35 less popular with the RAF? Granted we have less pinned on it's future than the FAA, but we still need to replace our Harriers.

  4. What do you need Harriers for! Replaced in the "Stan" by Tonka's, Tyhoons next!!
    Disband the front line harrier squadron's reform 3 Navy harrier squadron and hand them over. RN already have HMS Cottesmore tally's made. Keep the crabs away from sea, after all you moan about it enough!!!!!!
  5. You'll find the Spanish ones better maintained I think. Santander will be pleased to rid itself of the ongoing financial burden. Buy one get one free!

  6. Because it doesn't do much a Typhoon already does and its slower so it's not going to be a stellar fighter.

    Typhoons are already committed to, and you have more than you need, Dave is becoming an increasing expensive (Isrealis are in a state of shock after finding the 'cheap' F-35's they wanted are going to cost @$200M a pop with all the bells and whistles), luxury.

    STVOL is a busted flush for land ops, it's a 'solution' to a problem that doesn't really exist in the real world. The Harrier is one of the most pointless planes ever fielded since WWII. No speed, no range, no weapons load.

    Now back to the question… As the Dave purchase is looking likely to be cut back significantly, (if not cancelled), what are we going to park on those 4 acre flight decks?
  7. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Spot on, Oilslick, the Harrier was only needed by the RN becauise it wasn't allowed to have proper aircraft carriers, only mini ones. With a decent size carrier the RN doesn't need VSTOL at all. Proper aircraft would give the FAA a much longer reach/punch and the Govt some options for ops which didn't depend on static airfields in hortile lands (bad news for the RAF Regt).
  8. Mmm, a somewhat interesting interpretation of the facts OS! :roll:

    Harrier is a first class CAS/recce asset which is ideal for deployment to austere locations. Its unique capabilities were certainly exploited when we first deployed them to Afghanistan and it was able to deploy with lower manpower requirements and operate from a smaller piece of real estate than the GR4. Meanwhile, STOVL potentially enables RN TAG to be rapidly augmented by RAF assets when required.

    Whilst its speed does create some issues when integrating into a COMAO, it's fine for current ops, as is its range and cruise altitude. Indeed, the GR7/9's speed provides specific advantages in other tasks such as CSAR RESCORT. As for weapons load, I would firstly suggest you need to open your mind and consider aspects beyond kinetic effect. The GR9 has one of the most flexible load options of any of our fast air and includes a wide variety of recce as well as weapons. Particularly useful is the ‘escalatory’ abilities a 2 ship of Harriers can carry in a single sortie of CRV-7/Mav/540lb/1000lb weapons.

    To suggest it is 'one of the most pointless planes [sic] since WWII' I would suggest demonstrates considerable ignorance of its utility. You may wish to speak with people who have operated it or been supported by the Harrier GR7 and 9 on ops to further your education regarding Air Power. It has and continues to do the RAF and RN sqns who operate it proud.

    Meanwhile, I have certainly not seen any evidence of a reduction in enthusiasm for F-35 within the RAF.

    If the UK's procurement of the F-35 is cancelled, I would suggest that our options are realistically limited to FA-18E/F or Rafale M. Both are fairly underpowered and have a far from stellar performance (to use OS's words!) but have some Gucci toys. My preference would be for the Super Hornet due to its AESA radar’s potential in terms of recce and EA and the aircraft’s decent payload.

    There are a few other comedy options such as MiG-29K or Su-33 but I think they can be discounted. Sea Typhoon meanwhile is utterly unrealistic unless of course you happen to work for BAeS.

  9. MM >>>>>>>>> excellent critique ..........
  10. Jaguar was a better CAS plane than a Harrier. Harrier is and always was a cute toy that was produced as a warplane because we could. It trades too much performance for it's trick, a trick that is largely redundent as they usually do rolling take offs and a modern fast movers can take off in much the same distance when running as light.

    Both the RAF and RN have had to make a virtue out of the Harriers actual and very real limitations and our woefully misguided procurement decisons over decades. It's just a rather slow light bomber with a small weapons load at the end of the day. If we'd ever had to go toe to toe with grown ups it would have, and would be, been in a very hard place.

    Now back to the options…

    Block 3 F/A-18 will have @ 25% more power, more fuel, more stealth and that should solve the thrust issue that has always been the Hornets achilles heel.

    Which takes us back smartly to the original downselect, F/18 vs F-35 that the F-35 won with it's promise of here soon, stealthy and cheaper than competing fighters.

    A decade later it's still not here and it's sticker price it becoming somewhat 'exciting'.

    Another example of MoD being dazzled by the shiny new toy promised 'coming soon' rather than the perfectly good toy available off the shelf.
  11. Well Oily, it seems to be a cute toy that has performed extremely well over Bosnia, Kosovo, the Northern and Southern Iraqi NFZs during RESONATE, Iraq during the invasion, and Afghanistan. It’s operated from land bases as well as arguably ensuring the relevance of the FAA fixed wing community was retained on current ops (to quote one senior RN GR9 pilot). I quite like cute toys like that.

    The Jag was a very capable CAS asset but each had advantages and disadvantages over the other. Both could be deployed with a pretty small logs and manning footprint. However, the Jag had a very limited payload that, even over Bosnia often limited it to a single bomb with the wingman spiking (and therefore only having guns or rockets). This was largely due to its performance and small wing which also hindered its maximum operating altitude in comparison to the Harrier.

    By the time of its demise, the Jag had the advantage of an integrated data link and helmet mounted sight because the RAF had obtained design authority and could conduct upgrades without recourse to BAeS (they’ll never make that mistake again!). However, the GR7/9 also now has link, a better night capability as well as greater payload and payload versatility and a whole batch of other upgrades. Swings and roundabouts.

    Again, the GR7 has operated against some very capable threats (IR, EO and RF) in the ops mentioned above and done pretty well.

    The improvements to the Super Hornet will address the majority of the aircraft’s weaknesses, although the increased ‘stealth’ is a bit of a comedy sales pitch. AESA is its main advantage.

  12. I don't believe that the RAF have EVER deployed with a small manning footprint. :)
  13. Ironic banter from the FAA given the comedy manning recently staffed for a certain asset to deploy on a certain op!!!!! :thumright:

  14. Care to elaborate?
  15. Perhaps not on Rum Ration JD!!
  16. Ironic that the Jag should be brought up as the French Aeronavale intended to use it as a carrier bourne strike aircraft. So can anyone tell me this...

    1- was the RAF variant carrier capable.
    2- Are they still in storage
  17. No Jags other than the small number (there may only ever have been one iirc) of prototype Aeronavale Jaguar Ms were carrier capable. The Jaguar M had different undercarriage and numerous other structural changes and one was trialed from the Foch. The Jag M was binned in favour of the Super Etendard.



    A few RAF Jags may remain in storage I think, but not many.

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