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    • Mike

      PhotoBucket are no longer permitting 3rd party hosting   01/07/17

      As most of you are now painfully aware, Photobucket (PB) are stopping/have stopped allowing their members to link their accumulated years of photos into forums and the like, which they call 3rd party linking.  You can give them a non-refundable $399 a year to allow links, but I doubt that many will be rushing to take them up on that offer.  If you've previously paid them for the Pro account, it looks like you've got until your renewal to find another place to host your files, but you too will be subject to this ban unless you fork over a lot of cash.   PB seem to be making a concerted move to another type of customer, having been the butt of much displeasure over the years of a constantly worsening user interface, sloth and advertising pop-ups, with the result that they clearly don't give a hoot about the free members anymore.  If you don't have web space included in your internet package, you need to start looking for another photo host, but choose carefully, as some may follow suit and ditch their "free" members at some point.  The lesson there is keep local backups on your hard drive of everything you upload, so you can walk away if the same thing happens.   There's a thread on the subject here, so please use that to curse them, look for solutions or generall grouse about their mental capacity.   Not a nice situation for the forum users that hosted all their photos there, and there will now be a host of useless threads that relied heavily on photos from PB, but as there's not much we can do other than petition for a more equitable solution, I suggest we make the best of what we have and move on.  One thing is for certain.  It won't win them any friends, but they may not care at this point.    Mike.
Slater

India wants France's old Jaguars

It may be a deal along the lines of the RAF's Harriers to the USMC - that the airframes are going to be used as a source of cheap spare parts, etc, to support the current Jag force.

 

That said, HAL has the ability to rework the airframes, as it's arguable that the Indian Jaguar programme is the most successful one they've undertaken to date. If the French Jags aren't too far gone in terms of their fatigue index, it might well be worthwhile subjecting them to the DARIN programme.

 

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We are not short of Jag airframes either. Perhaps they'll take ours too.

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Yup, spares ships. The basic airframe will be the same but engines, avionics etc will be different.

 

India missed a trick several years ago by not mopping up low hour Nigerian airframes which would have been much more compatible.

 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/beegeagle.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/how-nigeria-lost-the-use-of-her-jaguar-jets-without-most-of-them-logging-up-200-hours/amp/

 

Trevor

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55 minutes ago, Max Headroom said:

Yup, spares ships. The basic airframe will be the same but engines, avionics etc will be different.

 

India missed a trick several years ago by not mopping up low hour Nigerian airframes which would have been much more compatible.

 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/beegeagle.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/how-nigeria-lost-the-use-of-her-jaguar-jets-without-most-of-them-logging-up-200-hours/amp/

 

Trevor

I worked in the Jag Engineering Authority and we looked at using the very low life Nigerian wings on the RAF Jags back in the late 90s and they were too far gone even then to recover!

 

RAF Jags needed new wings by the time of retirement and the fuselages were also nearing the end of their fatigue life, so not much use to the IAF I'm afraid

 

John

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Maybe tie the Jag acquisition to the Rafale negotiation debacle? 

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On 7/17/2017 at 10:13 PM, 12jaguar said:

I worked in the Jag Engineering Authority and we looked at using the very low life Nigerian wings on the RAF Jags back in the late 90s and they were too far gone even then to recover!

 

RAF Jags needed new wings by the time of retirement and the fuselages were also nearing the end of their fatigue life, so not much use to the IAF I'm afraid

 

John

 

But think of all the airframe life left on those ex-RAF Germany Jaguars at Cosford. I believe some of them spent less than a decade in operational service before being grounded.

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5 hours ago, T7 Models said:

 

But think of all the airframe life left on those ex-RAF Germany Jaguars at Cosford. I believe some of them spent less than a decade in operational service before being grounded.

Yeah but think of all those baby mechanics wrecking them/learning ones craft.

I was in the first class to play with new to the skool wessie v....how times change

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15 hours ago, T7 Models said:

 

But think of all the airframe life left on those ex-RAF Germany Jaguars at Cosford. I believe some of them spent less than a decade in operational service before being grounded.

The wings on the Cosford aircraft were the one area under policy that the trainees were not allowed to do much to in case they were damaged in any way and theye were always kept wet to prevent the tank sealant from drying out. A number were removed from the GIA and brought up to the latest mod standard to eke out the fatigue life but the cost of modifying them proved not much less than getting brand new wings from the Indians (HAL). And cost was the issue as Jags were always the poor relation to the Tornado and Harrier fleets at the time and the money simply wasn't there :(. There was always 'talk' of recovering some low life airframes but the will was never there to see it through

Either way it was a criminal waste of the low life GR1s

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It does beg the question as to whether we actually needed the Jaguar. Heresy, I know, but when you consider that the Phantom was replaced by the Jaguar in the strike/attack role during the period 1974-1977, only to be replaced themselves by the Tornado in 1983-1986, it does make you wonder.

 

If we had not procured the Jaguar, the Phantom would instead have remained in the strike role until the 1980s, perhaps with air defence FG.1s only equipping the Leuchars wing and probably the Falklands Islands Flight. We would have retained the Lightning for much longer, however, as the Tornado F.3 still may not have been ready for service until the late 1980s, though the obsolescence of the type may have hastened the Tornado ADV programme, or even prompted procurement of the F-15. The home-based Phantom attack wing (Coningsby) may have been replaced by a further batch of Harrier IIs.

 

So:

 

-RAF Germany Phantoms at Bruggen replaced by Tornados in 1983-1986

 

-Strike Command Phantoms FGR.2s at Coningsby replaced by Harriers in 1990-1992

 

-Strike Command Phantom FG.1s at Leuchars replaced by Tornado/F-15 in early 1990s or disbanded

 

-RAF Germany Lightnings at Gutersloh either replaced by Tornado/F-15 at Wildenrath in late 1980s or run on until disbanding in 1992.

 

-Strike Command Lightnings at Wattisham/Coltishall/Binbrook replaced by Tornado/F-15 in mid-late 1980s

 

All maybes and possiblys undoubtedly, but it does prompt the question. And without the Jaguar being pushed by BAe in the marketplace, the Harrier and Tornado may have benefitted as a result. Who knows?

 

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Having worked with some ex Jag pilots their flight plan if it had come to a hot war with the Soviet Bloc was 'head east, drop bomb, and continue east until the fuel ran out and find a nice Siberian girl to settle down with as there would be nothing to return west for'.

So did we need the Jaguar? Yes if they were only going to do one trip.

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Wasn't that the same with the Vulcans?

 

Trevor

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Almost certainly but the Vulcan would have travelled much further East so there wouldn't be any fighting amongst the crews over the girl.

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12 hours ago, T7 Models said:

It does beg the question as to whether we actually needed the Jaguar. Heresy, I know, but when you consider that the Phantom was replaced by the Jaguar in the strike/attack role during the period 1974-1977, only to be replaced themselves by the Tornado in 1983-1986, it does make you wonder.

 

If we had not procured the Jaguar, the Phantom would instead have remained in the strike role until the 1980s, perhaps with air defence FG.1s only equipping the Leuchars wing and probably the Falklands Islands Flight. We would have retained the Lightning for much longer, however, as the Tornado F.3 still may not have been ready for service until the late 1980s, though the obsolescence of the type may have hastened the Tornado ADV programme, or even prompted procurement of the F-15. The home-based Phantom attack wing (Coningsby) may have been replaced by a further batch of Harrier IIs.

 

So:

 

-RAF Germany Phantoms at Bruggen replaced by Tornados in 1983-1986

 

-Strike Command Phantoms FGR.2s at Coningsby replaced by Harriers in 1990-1992

 

-Strike Command Phantom FG.1s at Leuchars replaced by Tornado/F-15 in early 1990s or disbanded

 

-RAF Germany Lightnings at Gutersloh either replaced by Tornado/F-15 at Wildenrath in late 1980s or run on until disbanding in 1992.

 

-Strike Command Lightnings at Wattisham/Coltishall/Binbrook replaced by Tornado/F-15 in mid-late 1980s

 

All maybes and possiblys undoubtedly, but it does prompt the question. And without the Jaguar being pushed by BAe in the marketplace, the Harrier and Tornado may have benefitted as a result. Who knows?

 

 

I think the answer to your opening question is 'yes'.

 

The reason being that it was pretty clear by the late 60s that we had to replace most of the Lightning force sooner rather than later, and the only viable options were the Phantom or the Buccaneer. Given the state of the economy at the time  - foreign exchange for the Phantom would've been tricky - and the political imperative to work with France to try to get them  - or more accurately, to begin with, DeGaulle - behind entry to the EEC, then the Jag was necessary under the fourth of Sir Sydney's aircraft dimensions.

 

Arguably, the alternative is an uplift in the Buccaneer buy, giving at least one extra squadron in Germany alongside 15 and 16, plus more Phantoms (most of the latter being obtained by the simple expedient of not cancelling them...). You might faff about a little more, by - say - two extra Buccaneer squadrons in RAFG, with one of those coming from re-equipping an RAFG FBSA¹ Phantom squadron and transferring the airframes to 11 Gp back in the UK, but you need 4 squadrons'-worth of Phantoms to re-equip the fighter force to make it credible for the environment predicted for the 1970s/early 1980s; while Lightnings could form part of the defences, an AD system based entirely on the Lighting by the late 1970s wasn't an AD system worthy of the name.


The complicating factor is that the RAFG Lightnings also have to go by the end of the 1970s.

 

That, in turn, means that you look at what might do the job out there - you're not going to get the MRCA ADV in time, so - do you (a.) buy a small number of F-15s, worrying that doing so may kill off your aircraft industry or (b.) say to hell with full sovereign design capacity for fighters, and buy the F-15 to do the full job in RAFG and the UK, despite concerns that it won't handle the anticipated  ECM environment in the UKADR as well as you'd like; will need to be the two-seater for that role; will require either a probe adding [more cost as its developed in lieu of the refuelling receptacle] or the purchase of boom-equipped tankers if used in the UK?

 

The answer, probably, is 'no' because of the cost, so you either buy a small number of F-15s (say 60) to do Germany, provide an OCU and a single squadron back in the UK for overseas deployment and supporting the UKADR QRA when not sent off overseas (and where do you base those, and if at an F-15 only airfield, which one, and how much is that extra airfield going to cost?)

 

The end result is that you probably look to have all your fighter, FBSA and FR squadrons equipped with Phantoms and all your attack squadrons equipped with Buccaneers, apart from the 4 (going down to three) Harriers which will provide a different form of offensive support and - if the balloon goes up - a few squadrons of Vulcans lobbing buckets of sunshine about.

 

 

So as well as that complexity, you also have the fact that the Jaguar was actually pretty good - the original plans, if you look at Flight from the time, had the Tornado GRs replacing the Vulcan squadrons and taking over the strike role in RAFG from the Buccs, thus freeing up airframes for 12, 208 and 216, and enabling the Bucc's service life to be stretched as far as possible.² Thus, our ORBAT by the late 80s under that plan (which didn't survive contact with the Treasury or the loss of Buccs which couldn't be repaired after the 1980 grounding) would've been:

 

1 - Harrier

2 - Jaguar

3 - Harrier

4 - Harrier

5 - Lightning

6 - Jaguar

9 - Tornado

11 - Lightning

12 - Buccaneer

[13 - no-one had really thought about a second TGR recce squadron simply because they'd not thought about a first one at that point]

14 - Jaguar

15 - Tornado

16 - Tornado

17 - Jaguar

19 - Phantom

20 - Jaguar

23 - Phantom

27 - Tornado

29 - Phantom

31 - Jaguar

35 - Tornado

41 - Jaguar

43 - Phantom

44 - Tornado

50 - Tornado

54 - Jaguar

56 - Phantom

64 - Phantom OCU

101 - Tornado

208 - Buccaneer

617 - Tornado

 

What happened, of course, was that the economy was such that the Vulcan squadrons couldn't be replaced - the RAF had to downsize, which meant that there were TGR airframes going spare, which meant that the least capable of the CTOL attack aircraft was always going to be vulnerable in RAFG. Replacing the Jag for nuclear strike with a more powerful aircraft with better avionics was always going to happen, not least since you then had the entire force using one airframe, which was good for maintenance (less good if that type was grounded, but hey-ho..).

 

Throw in the fact that the RAF was always mildly uncomfortable with the thought of part of the RAFG QRA force being maintained by a single-seater (without a navigator to ensure that he set his cockpit switches just so...), and taking the Jag out of service after a fairly short career in RAFG was always likely. Had the Vulcan squadrons re-equipped with the TGR, then I daresay that we'd have seen one of them move to RAFG with a Jag squadron returning to create a 4-squadron force at Coltishall, while the RAFG Jag force concentrated upon conventional weapons delivery and becoming more like the UK-based force. 

 

The versatility of the Jag was such that the retention of the three UK squadrons was not in doubt. If the Jag GR3 had materialised in the early 1980s with something like the RB409 (an RB199 derivative which Tony Buttler mentions in the 2nd edition of the British Secret Projects book on fighters), thus giving it more Oomph than the Adour possessed... we can but wonder.

 

 

¹ FBSA = Fighter Bomber Strike Attack

² 12 and 216 were the maritime strike squadrons, while 208 had an overland strike capability for the northern flank; to meet (in theory, whether this would have happened in reality is open to question) this, we'd have sent a squadron of Harriers (1 Sqn) to Norway/Denmark, plus some or all of 6, 41 and 54 Sqns, plus 208

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Very interesting post, XV107. I certainly agree with you over the impracticalities of buying the F-15 and the RAF's preference for two-seat combat aircraft. At the time it would have been the only viable alternative to the ADV; I think the F-14 -albeit with two seats and a probe-and-drogue system- would have been well out of the MoD's price range.

 

I admit I had committed the crime of not taking politics into account, though there may have been compelling reasons for maintaining the Phantom buy in the 1960s to partially replace the Lightning in No.11 Group. I am currently reading Dominic Sandbrook's White Heat, about the UK during the latter half of the 1960s. The Americans were very unhappy with the Wilson Government over (a) cancelling the F-111K, (b) withdrawing from east of Suez, and (c) not supporting the war in Vietnam, the first two of which Denis Healey as SoS for Defence was also unhappy about. A decision then to keep the full RAF order for Phantoms, which was 152, along with the 20 FG.1s diverted from the RN and converting the FAA's option for a further seven would have seen the RAF receiving just over 180 aircraft. Knowing that the RAF would receive the balance of the RN's aircraft in the 1970s, this would have been just sufficient to have allowed the conversion of the two Wattisham Squadrons (Nos. 29 and 111) and possibly No.23 Squadron at Leuchars. Replacing the existing Phantom ground attack squadrons at Coningsby (Nos.6 and 54) with a further Harrier buy would then have allowed replacement of the Lightning squadrons in Germany. You would have ended up with the following fast jet wings in the RAF by the mid-1970s:

 

Binbrook: 2x Lightning (5, 11) and OCU if Coltishall was closed

Coningsby: 2x Harrier (6, 54), 1x Phantom R (41)

Honington: 2x Buccaneer (12, 208) and OCU

Leuchars: 2x Phantom AD (23, 43) OR 1x Phantom AD (43) and 1x Lightning (23) pending delivery of ex-RN Phantoms 

Wattisham: 2x Phantom AD (29, 111)

Wittering: 1x Harrier (1) and OCU, 2x Hunter (45, 58)

 

Bruggen: 3x Phantom FG (14, 17, 31)

Gutersloh: 3x Harrier (3, 4, 20)

Laarbruch: 2x Buccaneer (15, 16), 1x Phantom R (2)

Wildenrath: 2x Phantom AD (19, 92)

 

This would have provided an effective combat force into the 1980s, and the Tornado GR.1 would then have entered service in much the same way as it did in reality, though possibly re-equipping No.41 Sqdn at Coningsby instead of a reformed No.2 Sqdn. There would also have had to have been an increased buy of Harrier GR.5/7s to re-equip the Coningsby squadrons, while the Binbrook wing could have re-equipped in the early 1980s with Phantoms and there would not have been a need to buy ex-USN F-4Js. The Tornado F.3 would have entered service as it did in reality.

 

So where might this have left the Jaguar? If, as XV107 suggests, it would have been politically advantageous to work with the French on the project and commit to 200 aircraft, where could we have put them? The Jaguar's original requirement was as an advanced trainer, though this was abandoned by both partners in favour of a pure combat aircraft. We could have operated it in that role, replacing the Gnat and Hunter at Valley and also using it for tactical weapons (and thereby negating the need for the Hawk) as well as using some to re-equip the two Phantom reconnaissance squadrons. With the ex-RN Phantoms, this could have allowed the re-equipping of the two Binbrook Lightning squadrons in the late 1970s, phasing the type out completely. Alternatively a reduced commitment could have been negotiated, perhaps leaving the pure training role to the Gnat, had the UK then agreed to work with the French and the Germans on what became the Alpha Jet.

 

And I have to say, I've always liked the Jaguar. I'm just putting forward a little whiffery hopefully based on logic.

Edited by T7 Models
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