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Tornado to take over from Harrier in Afghanistan

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
Oil_Slick said:
Meanwhile, on a more positive front, the Yanks are seeking money to stuff our ASaC gear into a V-22 Osprey - BIt of a bugger if the AWACS problem with CVF is fixed just as the planes drop off the budgetary radar.

I'd be very surprised if the USN E-2D community allowed the proposed USMC V-22 Totally Organic Sensor System (TOSS (!!)) to survive. The cost of integrating it into an Osprey would be considerable, not least because the airframe would need to be heavily modified for pressurised ops.

If it did go ahead however, it would be an ideal C2ISR asset for CVF.

Regards,
MM
 

Oil_Slick

War Hero
Magic_Mushroom said:
Oil_Slick said:
Meanwhile, on a more positive front, the Yanks are seeking money to stuff our ASaC gear into a V-22 Osprey - BIt of a bugger if the AWACS problem with CVF is fixed just as the planes drop off the budgetary radar.

I'd be very surprised if the USN E-2D community allowed the proposed USMC V-22 Totally Organic Sensor System (TOSS (!!)) to survive. The cost of integrating it into an Osprey would be considerable, not least because the airframe would need to be heavily modified for pressurised ops.

If it did go ahead however, it would be an ideal C2ISR asset for CVF.

Regards,
MM


Methinks the Marines like it, gives them their own organic ASaC off their LPH's and LPD's and they can fly their own CAP courtesy of the (Radar equipped) Harriers and F-35's later on.
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
I'm sure they do like it.

However, they're not actually after it for organic AD; in any environment where an air threat exists LPH/D would always operate with CVN support. Rather, the USMC wants TOSS (I still can't believe they went for that acronym!!!) for its ground surveillance capabilities.

Regards,
MM
 

WhizzbangDai

War Hero
But MM the USMC is the darling of congress - I'd bet a fairly sustantial amount (I've just finished being a student so about £30) that if they want something, it'll be approved by congress, including the funding for it.....

Which is good for us.
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
WhizzbangDai said:
But MM the USMC is the darling of congress - I'd bet a fairly sustantial amount (I've just finished being a student so about £30) that if they want something, it'll be approved by congress, including the funding for it.....

Which is good for us.

That is a fair comment Whizz. The Marines are certainly the most strongly represented of the US forces in domestic political circles.

However, equally the USMC still take their budget from the Navy. More pertinently, the Marines have always had a somewhat ambiguous relationship with their air power and fly the oldest and least capable of fleets in many respects. Whilst the V-22 is the Corps’ primary focus, this is very much in the air mobility role.

Meanwhile the USN are struggling for their own funds, not least for the E-2D upgrade. Given the potential overlap in roles between the E-2D and TOSS, I still think the latter will face an uphill struggle to secure funding.

Nevertheless, V-22 undoubtedly has considerable potential as a C2ISR, tanker and COD asset. If the USMC can pay for the development of a pressurised Osprey that is good news. Whether the UK could afford it however is yet another matter. Personally, I feel a Merlin ASaC would be a better option, with the money saved being used to upgrade CVF C2 and J6 facilities.

Regards,
MM
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Magic_Mushroom said:
Code:
I didn’t suggest you were trying to sell it as a purely RN asset silverfox.  

My point is that you’re not really selling ‘It’ (and by ‘it’ I mean carrier air) at all but rather appear overly focused upon very specific aspects whilst neglecting others.  Even your latest Aviate magazine has an artist’s impression of a cat/trap CVF!!!  If you truly wish to project it as a Joint asset, where are the artists impressions of CVF with Chinooks, AH (and maybe even Islanders and Shadow), or of an ASTOR cabin strapped to the deck?[/quote]

That was the second half of my point - which I omitted.  You are absolutely right, the RN should be plastering such images everywhere and I agree completely.  The RN has acknowledged for a while that it has an external PR issue - why it then missies this simple and obvious trick is a bit beyond me - I shall ask First tomorrow!!



[quote="Magic_Mushroom"]
I would suggest that there is plenty of expeditionary Air Power available even without F-35 and CVF silverfox.  Equally, it could be suggested that whilst CVS has been useful in recent conflicts, a carrier capability has not proved essential to UK military operations for over a generation during which land based assets have been to the fore.  Yes the RAF has been very focused upon Typhoon and F-35 (far too much imho) just as you have been on CVF.  The difference is, we have Typhoon which is already a very capable if immature asset in air-air and air-ground  roles (just ask some FACs).[/quote]

Well apart from Suez, the Falklands and TELIC you are absolutely right, there have been no requirements for an aircraft carrier. Much.

When I refer to expeditionary, I mean real expeditionary without HNS.  Just like TELIC.  The Typhoon may have a theoretical capability which is untested in operations so I don't know which FAC to ask.  The main question is over its deployability and without HNS, its a non starter.

This could go on forever.  Your support of the CVF and the strategic implications are acknowledged, and considerably more enlightened than a lot of your colleagues.  One ICSC(A) that I lectured suggested that if the CVF money was spent on an AAR fleet, then the capability would be more than matched.....  bless.......

If these implications are not understood then despite your confidence, I think you will be back to sitting on deck chairs outside dispersal at Tangmere, waiting for the suicidal airliners.

Whilst we'll be checking the catch of a belgian beam trawler with our  fleet of coastguard vessels.......
 

Oil_Slick

War Hero
silverfox said:
This could go on forever. Your support of the CVF and the strategic implications are acknowledged, and considerably more enlightened than a lot of your colleagues. One ICSC(A) that I lectured suggested that if the CVF money was spent on an AAR fleet, then the capability would be more than matched..... bless........


Sounds like 1966 all over again…
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
silverfox said:
Well apart from Suez, the Falklands and TELIC you are absolutely right, there have been no requirements for an aircraft carrier. Much.

When I refer to expeditionary, I mean real expeditionary without HNS. Just like TELIC. The Typhoon may have a theoretical capability which is untested in operations so I don't know which FAC to ask. The main question is over its deployability and without HNS, its a non starter.

I did say within a generation (essentially since the Falklands is what I meant). Even if Suez was within that timescale, the UK had not at that time developed aircraft with an AAR capability, hence the disproportionate use of FAA tacair and the RAF majoring on longer ranged assets such as the Canberra and Valiant.

I would take issue with your suggestion that carriers were essential to UK ops in TELIC however. The helos launched from the CVS utilised forward land bases heavily and could easily have been collocated with the US assets in Kuwait (where they FOB’d). Likewise, no UK tacair was employed from Ark.

This is not to suggest that a larger CVF carrier wouldn’t have had more utility to an amphib assault truly independent from land bases, or as a tacair platform. Far from it. However, CVS was not essential to TELIC.

However, although freedom from HNS is generally cited as the key drawback of land based ops, it has not been an issue since 1982. In Lebanon, GW1, the Balkans, Sierra Leone, GW2/TELIC and arguably even Afghanistan (although I acknowledge the enormous contribution made by the USN air assets in the early days of Afghanistan) either appropriate HNS was granted, it was available, or appropriate UK owned land bases were employed.

HNS is a factor that needs to be considered certainly. However, it is one which I personally believe is exaggerated somewhat.

silverfox said:
This could go on forever. Your support of the CVF and the strategic implications are acknowledged, and considerably more enlightened than a lot of your colleagues. One ICSC(A) that I lectured suggested that if the CVF money was spent on an AAR fleet, then the capability would be more than matched..... bless.......

I think we’re violently in agreement silverfox. Land based and carrier air is complimentary and we need both. I’d love to see 2 x CVF with an air wing of F-35C, V-22 TOSS, V-22 COD/AAR and Merlin. The issue is can we afford it?

My principle concern is that, whilst I maintain that carrier air has not been essential to UK ops since 1982, wider maritime support has been.

I worry greatly that if we’re not careful, the very maritime power which is so central to UK defence interests are being irrevocably compromised by CVF and the Trident replacement. By 2025, the RN could be reduced to a seagoing force of 1 x CVF, 4 x DDG, 1 x SSBN, 4 x SSN, 2 x LPDs and a handful of frigates and other surface combatants.

Other surface and sub-surface combatants have been essential to UK ops in recent ops. So I wonder if pursuing CVF (and SSBN(F)) at the expense of maintaining a more balanced RN surface, sub-surface, littoral and amphibious capabilities is correct. Sadly, I think we’re almost at the point of asking do we want CVF or do we want a credible RN.

Regards,
MM
 

silverfox

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
The availability of HNS will never be resolved - the Light Blue can't do without it and will therefore always assume it to be feasible - GW1, where the CO of Ark was desperate to get out of the Med but was not needed as everyone was managing quite nicely thank you.

The Dark Blue will always insist on planning without it as it means they have a job - as in TELIC, when it wans't - at least I don't remember combat missions being flown by the RAF during the invasion.

But thats semantics, and all part of the fun.

But as to your point here.....

[quote="Magic_Mushroom] Sadly, I think we’re almost at the point of asking do we want CVF or do we want a credible RN.

Regards,
MM[/quote]

THAT is the $64M question. And one to which I would love to hear the honest answer from the Navy Board if Chatham House rules were in force.

'A dozen extra escorts or 2 CVS....... '
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
silverfox said:
The Dark Blue will always insist on planning without it [HNS] as it means they have a job - as in TELIC, when it wans't - at least I don't remember combat missions being flown by the RAF during the invasion.

I would argue that the RN and FAA will often have a job to do even when HNS is present and perhaps both services get a little too wrapped around the axle on the likelihood or otherwise of obtaining it.

As far as the actual invasion of Iraq goes, numerous RAF combat ops were flown from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and one other ME location throughout the Campaign by Harrier GR7s, Tornado GR4s, and Tornado F3s.

Combat support ops were flown from several locations but principally Saudi Arabia by RAF E-3D, Nimrod R1, Nimrod MR2, Canberra PR9, VC10, Tristar and C-130s. RAF Chinooks and Pumas were also deployed forward as part of JHC.

Other support ops were conducted by C-130s, Tristars, VC10s and HS125 based in Theatre.

Regards,
MM
 

off_les_aura

War Hero
Magic_Mushroom said:
My principle concern is that, whilst I maintain that carrier air has not been essential to UK ops since 1982, wider maritime support has been.

So the fact that SDR 1998 acknowledged the contribution that carrier air made during the Balkan/FY ops, and thus gave birth to CVF, means nothing?

I'd agree with you MM that we have been too focused on CVF as a MARSTRIKE asset and not a Joint Platform capable of operating a wide variety of aircraft. This would make CVF more palatable to the Army.

But banter aside, for the first time I am seriously worried about where the UK Armed Forces will be in 10 years time. From a personal perspective, I am due to join Dartmouth in Feb 10 to begin my second life as an MEO Submariner. (Reckon I'll be the only Deeps with 16 years Harrier experience and full membership of the FAAA!) At the moment I have not accepted because I am holding out for selection as an AE purely because I want to bring F-35 into service. I'm beginning to think I might be chasing a dream job that won't exist by the time I'd be in the frame for it :( Did someone mention "cut and run" on another forum post?
 

scouse

War Hero
off_les_aura said:
Magic_Mushroom said:
My principle concern is that, whilst I maintain that carrier air has not been essential to UK ops since 1982, wider maritime support has been.

So the fact that SDR 1998 acknowledged the contribution that carrier air made during the Balkan/FY ops, and thus gave birth to CVF, means nothing?

I'd agree with you MM that we have been too focused on CVF as a MARSTRIKE asset and not a Joint Platform capable of operating a wide variety of aircraft. This would make CVF more palatable to the Army.

But banter aside, for the first time I am seriously worried about where the UK Armed Forces will be in 10 years time. From a personal perspective, I am due to join Dartmouth in Feb 10 to begin my second life as an MEO Submariner. (Reckon I'll be the only Deeps with 16 years Harrier experience and full membership of the FAAA!) At the moment I have not accepted because I am holding out for selection as an AE purely because I want to bring F-35 into service. I'm beginning to think I might be chasing a dream job that won't exist by the time I'd be in the frame for it :( Did someone mention "cut and run" on another forum post?
8O Got to be a WAFU till i die, Scramble the wessex / dunk the 194, we will find you, dont go deeps!!!!!!!
 

off_les_aura

War Hero
scouse said:
8O Got to be a WAFU till i die, Scramble the wessex / dunk the 194, we will find you, dont go deeps!!!!!!!

Scouse, the money is too good to pass up - and no Wrens :D

Whatever happens, I'll always be a WAFU at heart
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
off_les_aura said:
Magic_Mushroom said:
My principle concern is that, whilst I maintain that carrier air has not been essential to UK ops since 1982, wider maritime support has been.

So the fact that SDR 1998 acknowledged the contribution that carrier air made during the Balkan/FY ops, and thus gave birth to CVF, means nothing?

I flew throughout the Balkan ops off les and experienced Croatia, Bosnia, UNTAES missions, Albania and finally Allied Force in 99. During this period, USN, French and RN carrier assets made varying contributions.

But no. CVS wasn’t essential to those ops; even the CVN weren’t. They were useful in augmenting the ATO, particularly so when parts of Italy were weathered out. But essential to NATO, much less UK ops? No.

off_les_aura said:
But banter aside, for the first time I am seriously worried about where the UK Armed Forces will be in 10 years time…I am holding out for selection as an AE purely because I want to bring F-35 into service. I'm beginning to think I might be chasing a dream job that won't exist by the time I'd be in the frame for it…

I too am very worried off les and I fear we’re about to be hit with unprecedented cuts and a defence policy shift in the order of magnitude of the ‘East of Suez’ shift in focus. I’m not sure what stage you’re at in your career off les. But I agree that F-35 is starting to look very dodgy.

Sadly there is enough money, even in the current budget, to not only maintain current capabilities, but also to expand them. However, we first need to divorce UK Defence Procurement from political interference regarding what it is we buy and what capabilities we need.

Good luck in whichever career path you choose incidentally of les.

Regards,
MM
 

redassnotdragass

Lantern Swinger
The question do we want CVF or do we want a credible RN has a simple answer,

without air cover the RN will have no credibility- we will be the only major Navy without our own air - even the French will have 2 strike carriers, one of which (if not both) will be nuclear. If the cheese eating surrender monkeys can manage it then why can't we?
 

off_les_aura

War Hero
Magic_Mushroom said:
I’m not sure what stage you’re at in your career off les. But I agree that F-35 is starting to look very dodgy.

Good luck in whichever career path you choose incidentally of les.

Regards,
MM

Thanks MM and I've thoroughly enjoyed the verbal exhanges on this website. Inter-service banter encourages healthy debate. But I have lived and breathed the FAA from an early age - my Great-Grandfather was commissioned from the ranks as an Engineer into the RNAS during the Great War, I sailed out with HMS Eagle on her way to the breakers yard in 1978 (aged 5) and one of my earliest memories is being lifted into the back of a Wessex Mk1 on HMS Ark Royal at Devonport Navy Days in 1977. You're never going to win me over on any FAA/RAF debate!

I'm at the 20 year point MM and have worked hard to get from AEM to the dizzy heights of Scale A Chief Tiff. I've wanted to be part of JCA from way back in 96 when we first briefed on what was then FJCA. And now I've finally been selected for extraction to the Dark Side, I am seriously wondering if there is any future for the FAA or indeed the RN at large. Figures... :(
 

WhizzbangDai

War Hero
The French have them because they are more european in their international outlook, and expend a lot of energy and funds making sure they can match anything the US can. This is the traditional stance, with us being more US leaning and Germany taking the middle line. Things are a-changing, but the French will never allow themselves to slip, although with Sarkozeys sucking up to the US administration it could change.


Sorry thats pretty vague, I could have given you more a few months ago, but since i've left uni my degree (International Politics) is fading fast. Well spent £16000 I feel....
 

redassnotdragass

Lantern Swinger
I agree, I chose France spefically for reasons of comparability in terms of populace, economy and military history - not to mention that they are the first Navy that the British press will compare us to.

Do we have any standing NATO commitment to provide air in the same way we are committed to providing 2 LPDs?
 

WhizzbangDai

War Hero
No, although we have the dual commitment to the ERRC - European Rapid Reaction Force - of which 3 Commando Brigade is a large part along with the dutch, and i'd say the carries are pretty critical to that end
 
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