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Don't know how many of you guys where aware of this! but I have just come across this floating around the on the web!

Lets hope they sort this out when the time comes! and that it doesn't mean the demise of the worlds greatest display team!

personally I am afraid to say I`m feeling a bit pessimistic about it all! considering all the defence cuts and what money there is being spent on other more expensive projects!.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/66993

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Signed

But is it mooted that they won't replace them once the Hawk is out of service? I assume the later mark of Hawk would be capable of the same aerobatics?

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Signed

But is it mooted that they won't replace them once the Hawk is out of service? I assume the later mark of Hawk would be capable of the same aerobatics?

It is but the RAF don't own any!

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"It has come to light" - where, exactly? This must be the third or fourth recent claim of the retirement of the Dead Sparrows and they all turn out to be either baseless rumours or made up by someone with an axe to grind. Don't suppose anyone can lay hands on any evidence, can they?

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"It has come to light" - where, exactly? This must be the third or fourth recent claim of the retirement of the Dead Sparrows and they all turn out to be either baseless rumours or made up by someone with an axe to grind. Don't suppose anyone can lay hands on any evidence, can they?

Agreed, if they survived the massacre of the 2009 SDR theyll survive until at least the T1 goes out of service. Not really a fan of display teams full stop, if it was down to saving the Red Arrows or the Harrier I'd have gone with the tin winged machine!

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The petitioner states the 1A is to be withdrawn and assumes the end of the R.A.

If the T1A is withdrawn due to age, they might get 100s or any other current trainer.

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I was under the impression the T2's were owned by a private finance company like the Air Tankers, but looked it up and can't seem to find any info on it, if they do or don't the bottom line is there isnt any to spare. The MOD would require to purchase say 12 new Hawk T2's at a cost of (at a guess) £25 million each or pay to keep a single type going for purposes of PR.

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Cobblers.

There are extra servicing lines being brought on line at Marham, Boscombe & and I believe Valley to service the INCREASED number of Hawk T1's being brought out of Shawbury Storage.

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Watching the Waddo show yesterday, and the live link on Planes TV today, Red 10 made no mention about this, but was talking about the introduction of the new Hawks.

From what he said, there is no prospect of the team being disbanded.

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Right...

First, the Red Arrows weren't even included in considerations for cutting in SDSR10, since the Prime Minister made it clear that all staff work offering this as an option for cutting would be wasted as he would veto it without a second thought. A mixture of PR and a genuine sense that the team is worth affording appear to have gone into this, but let's leave the politics there.

Second - Hawk T1A Out of Service Date is 2020. So the notion that the type will 'shortly' be going out of service is the same as saying, on 3 September 1939 that 'the war will be over shortly'.

Third - As said above, there is no, repeat no suggestion that disbandment is automatic. There are several possible outcomes, although they all need careful thought. These include:

1. Hawk OSD is extended a few years and the problem goes into the mid-2020s. There are some issues here - will there be enough airframes with sufficient fatigue life left to equip the Reds, and if 100 Sqn re-equips (with what, though?) can keeping a fleet of aircraft solely for the use of the aerobatic team be justified given the costs that accrues?

2. Additional Hawk T2s are procured for the team. This might come as part of an extra buy of the model to equip both 100 Sqn and the Red Arrows; 100's role isn't going to go away, and it might be felt best to retain a small unit to deliver what they do, rather than go down the route of contracting the role out entirely. But that would represent

3. As part of the new MFTS, the provision of Beechcraft T-6C Texans (the replacement for the Tucano) is added to the contract - the contractors then work out how they're going to provide sufficient red-painted aircraft for every display - there may be a contractual clause saying that there must always be a minimum of (say) seven aircraft available so that no display is cancelled.

4. A contract is let for the provision of aircraft for the team for a period of (say) 25 years - as above, the contractor is paid a certain amount per year to provide the right number of airframes for each display under a contractor owned, military operated arrangement.

5. The team is re-equipped with Typhoons - probably resulting in a smaller team and greater sniping from certain quarters about the cost, since it would be rather more expensive to fly this type than a training aircraft.

But there are five possible outcomes after 2020, so the doom and gloom of the petition is over the top, IMO. Things may change after the next defence review, but we'll have to wait and see...

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It is but the RAF don't own any!

The Hawk T2s are government-owned. About 10 years ago, the 'cunning plan' was that BAE would own the airframes and the RAF would buy flying hours from them. That was dropped and the MOD ordered Hawk 128s (the T2), but no airframe support.

In essence, the RAF provides airframes and aircrew, while the MFTS contractor provides everything else needed to deliver the training outputs (that's something of a simplification, to put it mildly).

Thinking about it, the deal included an option for 24 more T2s, so dependent upon the contract and when the option expires, etc, etc, there may lie the solution to this...

Edited by XV107
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1. Hawk OSD is extended a few years and the problem goes into the mid-2020s. There are some issues here - will there be enough airframes with sufficient fatigue life left to equip the Reds, and if 100 Sqn re-equips (with what, though?) can keeping a fleet of aircraft solely for the use of the aerobatic team be justified given the costs that accrues?

Canada somehow seems to make that work with the Snowbirds team.

The CT-114 Tutor jets they fly were last produced in 1966 and are, with the exception of some test aircraft, the only Tutors left in Canadian service. The bulk of the Tutor fleet was retired 14 or 15 years ago and replaced with the Hawk 155 and Beechcraft T-6 Texan II.

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4. A contract is let for the provision of aircraft for the team for a period of (say) 25 years - as above, the contractor is paid a certain amount per year to provide the right number of airframes for each display under a contractor owned, military operated arrangement.

Actually I can see this as the probable outcome. Or, with BAE supplying new Hawks to Saudi there could be an option to buy back some of their existing Mk65/65As -all of which are much newer than the T.1- and re-equip the team with those.

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I was speaking to a member of the ground crew about this very matter last year. He was saying they were looking at 2018 when they would replace the T1s with T2s, but it may need some rejigging of the formations

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Actually, this is more concerning, particularly the part I have put in red:

MESSAGE FROM THE STATION COMMANDER RAF WADDINGTON
9th July 2014
The RAF Waddington International Air Show is a unique opportunity for the Station to engage with our visitors to showcase the work, people and capability of the RAF and its partner organisations. I am immensely proud of the effort Station personnel have contribute to this year’s Air Show both in the months leading up to the event and on the day. It is very much regretted that due to essential work due to be undertaken to refurbish the runway at RAF Waddington, the Station will be unable to put on an Air Show next year (2015). Due to this work and the movement of the RAF from our other air show location (RAF Leuchars in Scotland), the RAF has decided to complete a full review of its air show commitments; the results of the review will be announced in due course.
Thank you for your support.
R P Barrow
Group Captain
Station Commander
RAF Waddington
I fear that any future RAF involvement in air shows is going to be very minor, which means that the Reds, the BBMF and the Falcons are likely to become the only public face of the RAF.
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I dont think any govt would be able to cut the Reds for the PR reasons if nothing else.

They will find a way around it.

I am sure the RAF in someway or another trot the rumour out from time to time, especially when its SDR time.

I would not like to see the Reds go, but ultimately if its a choice between the Reds and the right kit for some bloke stuck in a war zone somewhere what would you choose? though in reality its never that simple when it comes to defense spending.

Julien

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They can cut the Typhoons, Tornados, Hawks, Tucanos everything operational and I wouldn't be TOO upset.

If they take the Reds or the BBMF, then that's a national loss.

Ben

Edited by wellsprop
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Actually, this is more concerning, particularly the part I have put in red:

MESSAGE FROM THE STATION COMMANDER RAF WADDINGTON
9th July 2014
The RAF Waddington International Air Show is a unique opportunity for the Station to engage with our visitors to showcase the work, people and capability of the RAF and its partner organisations. I am immensely proud of the effort Station personnel have contribute to this year’s Air Show both in the months leading up to the event and on the day. It is very much regretted that due to essential work due to be undertaken to refurbish the runway at RAF Waddington, the Station will be unable to put on an Air Show next year (2015). Due to this work and the movement of the RAF from our other air show location (RAF Leuchars in Scotland), the RAF has decided to complete a full review of its air show commitments; the results of the review will be announced in due course.
Thank you for your support.
R P Barrow
Group Captain
Station Commander
RAF Waddington
I fear that any future RAF involvement in air shows is going to be very minor, which means that the Reds, the BBMF and the Falcons are likely to become the only public face of the RAF.

an interesting comment that could be read in several different ways. My interpretation is that a review of RAF Air Show commitments for the year 2015 will take place, given that RAF Waddington will be closed for runway refurbishment and as the Station Commander has said, RAF Leuchars is no longer an RAF station. This may mean there is no venue for an RAF Airshow next year but I would be very surprised if RAF Waddington gives up it's commitment permanently since the regular and volunteer staff have worked extremely hard over the last 20 years to make this show one of the highlights of the UK Airshow calendar. There may be a plan to utilize RAF Coningsby or Marham for a show next year…the latter has hosted big events such as the last Queens Jubilee review so it's not beyond the realms of possibility but it will all be down to wider commitments and what with current events in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine that could be anyone's guess.

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