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XV107

No.11 Group Reformation

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A couple of snippets from the Air Power Conference today:

 

1. No. 11 Group is to be reformed as a 'multi-domain operations group'. That means all the UK's military space activities and cyber-security elements will be under the auspices of this group so that these can be combined with the usual use of aircraft on operations. The Air Battle Staff, the air and space ops centre and put the operational intelligence capabilities under a single commander (not a new post, but one of the current senior officers in the Air Battle Staff/ASOC or similar will become AOC 11 Group)

 

2. IX(B) Squadron, after retiring the Tornado, will reform as a Typhoon squadron later this year

 

3. 31 Squadron, after retiring the Tornado, will reform as the first Protector RPAS (yes, 'drone') squadron

 

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Will IX(B) sqn get full spec FGR4's or are they the first designated squadron of the tranche 1 air defence only airframes?

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On 7/12/2018 at 1:50 AM, Phone Phixer said:

Will IX(B) sqn get full spec FGR4's or are they the first designated squadron of the tranche 1 air defence only airframes?

Good question. Seems like a looong time ago that that announcement was made.  I'd still like to see a 'proper' fighter numberplate get those jobs (19, 43, 56, 74, 92, 111 etc.)

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On 7/11/2018 at 10:13 PM, XV107 said:

A couple of snippets from the Air Power Conference today:

 

1. No. 11 Group is to be reformed as a 'multi-domain operations group'. That means all the UK's military space activities and cyber-security elements will be under the auspices of this group so that these can be combined with the usual use of aircraft on operations. The Air Battle Staff, the air and space ops centre and put the operational intelligence capabilities under a single commander (not a new post, but one of the current senior officers in the Air Battle Staff/ASOC or similar will become AOC 11 Group)

 

2. IX(B) Squadron, after retiring the Tornado, will reform as a Typhoon squadron later this year

 

3. 31 Squadron, after retiring the Tornado, will reform as the first Protector RPAS (yes, 'drone') squadron

 

Isn't the Protector replacing the Reaper?  What will happen to 39 and 13 squadrons?  

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The plan - at least in outline form - is that Protector will have a national (i..e UK) OCU, thus one of the squadrons will serve in that capacity, and the two current Reaper squadrons will re-equip. The Protector force is meant to be about twice the size of the current RAF RPAS force,  so the provision of a third squadron makes sense. Dependent upon a host of things (politics, economics, etc, etc), it could well be that we end up with more than three squadrons, although if that transpires, it'll be at the end of the 2020s.

 

The announcement, by the by, removes from circulation the two numberplates which would have been in the running to be the third front-line F-35 squadron [if Sentinel goes, then there's a fair chance it'll be 5, but not necessarily]

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17 hours ago, Meatbox8 said:

Good question. Seems like a looong time ago that that announcement was made.  I'd still like to see a 'proper' fighter numberplate get those jobs (19, 43, 56, 74, 92, 111 etc.)

Definitely. As one of my past squadrons, I would love to see 19(F) reformed.

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4 hours ago, Phone Phixer said:

Definitely. As one of my past squadrons, I would love to see 19(F) reformed.

Well since the tranche 1 are supposed to be air defence and the FGR4 is swing role then I would imagine it would be a attack / bomber plate

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19 could be in the mix for the F-35 - its background covers both interception and attack, starting with when the BE12 was re-roled for a period prior to the arrival of the squadron's SPADs (when it became clear the BE12 couldn't be used as a fighter), running through the use of the Mustang in WW2. It's a senior numberplate and won't have fallen that far down the seniority list.

 

Although role association comes into it, we now know that the Typhoon squadrons will be 1, 2, 3, 6, IX, XI, 12 (plus 29) - there may be room for one extra numberplate if the suggestion that there should be eight front line squadrons is followed up, but there are issues in terms of having enough people to maintain and fly them...

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Sad that a proper squadron like 31 is reduced to using drones. Similarly 13 and 39 squadrons. Oh to have these units flying proper aircraft like Tornados and Canberras. 

 

Drones indeed. May as well give a squadron number to a deskful of computers.

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On 20/07/2018 at 10:36, Meatbox8 said:

Isn't the Protector replacing the Reaper?  What will happen to 39 and 13 squadrons?  

both will transition to Protector RG.1 as the MQ-9 Reaper is phased out. to say 31 will be the first Sqn might be a slightly misleading statement. XIII will start the transition with 39 utilising Reaper until its put out of service and then they will move over to Protector. 

 

On 17/08/2018 at 21:25, Lord Riot said:

Sad that a proper squadron like 31 is reduced to using drones. Similarly 13 and 39 squadrons. Oh to have these units flying proper aircraft like Tornados and Canberras. 

 

Drones indeed. May as well give a squadron number to a deskful of computers.

reduced??? RPAS are the future for CAS and I can tell you, XIII and 39 certainly don't consider themselves 'reduced' to the ISR/Strike role flying the MQ-9.    

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MQ-9s might be doing a valuable job but drones are so dull compared to proper jets, you have to admit. If there were only drones at Lakenheath or Coningsby I bet no-one would be sat at the fence with cameras.

 

I just hanker for the good old days of the sound of freedom at low level; Warthogs, Jags, Harriers, Tornados screaming over East Anglia. One of my favourite hobbies is being digitised, there'll be nothing worth watching soon. 

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4 hours ago, Roland Pulfrew said:

Only in a benign AD environment 😈

Aren’t they all these days?!? And in the future, if it isn’t, even better as there isn’t any pink bits inside so becomes a little easier to take when one spanks in. 

 

Dont get me wrong, there will always be a need for manned assets and I grew up loving a Phantom and a spit. But I also embrace a new technology too. And I think they are beautiful aircraft as well. But I’m biased!! 

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