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Julien

UK purchases five Boeing E-7 early warning aircraft

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4 hours ago, Truro Model Builder said:

 

And yet every other air force that operates such aircraft is willing to shoulder the burden. Strange, that.

I doubt the RAF can do much if the Treasury decides it won't provide the necessary funding.

 

Mike.

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20 hours ago, Truro Model Builder said:

 

And yet every other air force that operates such aircraft is willing to shoulder the burden. Strange, that.

 

How many other forces (outwith the USA) operate multiple tanker types? Or have a type just to cover one operatinal requirement (Falklands in this case)

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21 hours ago, Truro Model Builder said:

 

And yet every other air force that operates such aircraft is willing to shoulder the burden. Strange, that.

Sorry chap, don't get what you are trying to say here.

 

Defence were told to buy Tankers through PFI and the AirTanker Consortium by the Treasurey and Mr Brown.  PFI or lose the capability was the bottom line.   I seem to remember there was not an option to buy the aircraft built as A330 Tankers from the start of the build as per other users, the MoD/Consortium brought standard A330's which were then converted at a greater cost.                                                                                  

 

I am guessing the Airtanker consortium sell a lump of guaranteed flying hours to the RAF per annum and any hours above that lump cost £XXXXXX.  Therefore it would be in Airtankers  interest to specify that only their aircraft provide the RAF Tanker capability.  

 

In my view, another poor Defence deal created by the poor Politicians this country has been saddled with.

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On ‎6‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 2:34 PM, junglierating said:

Really? Four foot snakes wonder what the bigger picture was for that decision 😬

Maybe the RAF did not want or need the A400, and only wanted a two Aircraft fleet of C17s and C-130J.   I would hazard a punt that given the opportunity that they would be cancelling their orders and selling the delivered examples but unfortunately the Germans have beaten us to  it.  

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1 hour ago, PLC1966 said:

Maybe the RAF did not want or need the A400, and only wanted a two Aircraft fleet of C17s and C-130J.   I would hazard a punt that given the opportunity that they would be cancelling their orders and selling the delivered examples but unfortunately the Germans have beaten us to  it.  

What have the germans done?

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1 hour ago, junglierating said:

What have the germans done?

 

Apparently they tried to sell off the last thirteen of their order, but couldn't find any buyers. They're now going to be allocated to a "multinational airlift wing" (probably EU defence cooperation) to be based at Lechfeld.

 

For the moment anyway.....

 

Mike.

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On 6/16/2019 at 1:37 PM, Truro Model Builder said:

 

And yet every other air force that operates such aircraft is willing to shoulder the burden. Strange, that.

 

Several countries operate small fleets of A330 or B767 strategic tanker aircraft:

 

Australia -owns its tankers outright

France -owns its tankers outright

Italy -owns its tankers outright

Japan -owns its tankers outright

Saudi Arabia -owns its tankers outright

Singapore -owns its tankers outright

South Korea -owns its tankers outright

UAE -owns its tankers outright

UK -will be paying through the nose for 25 years to have the services of tankers it does not own and is not allowed to make use of other platforms.

 

The RAF could have ordered A330s to replace first the VC10 and then the Tristar in two tranches. They could have been owned out right, allowing full flexibility for the service to add other assets as required. Instead the MoD pressed ahead with the biggest PFI* scheme any government department signed a contract for, at a time when other departments were doing everything to avoid PFIs as realisation was dawning that they were not quite the value for the taxpayer everybody thought. And that is as far into the politics as I am going.

 

*Private Finance Initiative. Google it and see how ridiculous the idea is.

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30 minutes ago, Truro Model Builder said:

 

Several countries operate small fleets of A330 or B767 strategic tanker aircraft:

 

Australia -owns its tankers outright

France -owns its tankers outright

Italy -owns its tankers outright

Japan -owns its tankers outright

Saudi Arabia -owns its tankers outright

Singapore -owns its tankers outright

South Korea -owns its tankers outright

UAE -owns its tankers outright

UK -will be paying through the nose for 25 years to have the services of tankers it does not own and is not allowed to make use of other platforms.

 

The RAF could have ordered A330s to replace first the VC10 and then the Tristar in two tranches. They could have been owned out right, allowing full flexibility for the service to add other assets as required. Instead the MoD pressed ahead with the biggest PFI* scheme any government department signed a contract for, at a time when other departments were doing everything to avoid PFIs as realisation was dawning that they were not quite the value for the taxpayer everybody thought. And that is as far into the politics as I am going.

 

*Private Finance Initiative. Google it and see how ridiculous the idea is.

I am well aware and agree with all of the above regarding other nations Tanker Fleet, indeed you could have added the RAF to the list when they had the 10's and Tristars.

 

However, the RAF could not have ordered the Tanker replacement in two tranches.  The Treasury told the MoD it was PFI or nothing.  Have a mooch around PRUNE, there was a thread on there about the sound of silence when the decision was announced. 

 

I am sure the stupidity of PFI is fully understood by the various Councils and Departments who have vast sums of money tied up in Hospitals and Schools projects for years to come as do the MoD have with Airtanker and the Colchester Army Garrison rebuild amongst others. 

 

The stupidity of PFI was there for all to see at the time, I do not need Google for that.  It was always obvious no Private business would go in on a project unless they were expecting to make good profits out of the 'partnerships'.

 

Why the Politicians ever thought it was the way ahead is frankly bazaar, sorry, no it's not, it is because every Politician is only capable of planning until the next election rather than what is needed for the good of the country in ten years time whoever is in power. (And that is applicable to Politicians of all hues).

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7 hours ago, PLC1966 said:

 

 I  seem to remember there was not an option to buy the aircraft built as A330 Tankers from the start of the build as per other users, the MoD/Consortium brought standard A330's which were then converted at a greater cost.                                                                                  

 

 

All A330-based tankers start life as green A330s. They’re then flown to Getafe, Spain, for conversion to tankers. I was fortunate to be hosted at Getafe in 2010 and toured a RAAF KC-30 that was in the process of being converted, as well as one that had been finished that was about to undergo flight testing. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, MikeR said:

 

Apparently they tried to sell off the last thirteen of their order, but couldn't find any buyers. They're now going to be allocated to a "multinational airlift wing" (probably EU defence cooperation) to be based at Lechfeld.

 

For the moment anyway.....

 

Mike.

Is this the same thing as the NATO E-3’s and C-17’s?

 

Trevor

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4 hours ago, PLC1966 said:

Why the Politicians ever thought it was the way ahead is frankly bazaar

The reason is alluringly simple.  Buy now, pay later. Think of the Voyager as a DFS sofa being bought on hire purchase. You avoid the upfront cost and pay in ‘easy monthly instalments’. Of course you pay over the odds in the long run and eventually you will run out of slack in the budget because of the cumulative payments for all the co-running PFI’s.

 

Trevor

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The suggestion is that Airbus offered the RAF something like 20 A310 MRTT to replace the Tri* and VC10 fleets at a very good price. The RAF was then told that it was either keeping the money off the books via a PFI - and there are suggestions that Gordon Brown ignored the rules over PFI which, in essence, allowed the RAF to say 'Er, hang on... capability can't be provided in the manner needed via a PFI' when the RAF said 'Er, hang on...' and given a choice of maintaining the Tri* and VC10 in service for the foreseeable future, went with the PFI deal. Which, of course, ended up being almost late enough for the RAF to have been able to have gone to Mr Osborne, said 'Er, hang on...' and seen our former Chancellor delight in the 'easy win' of buying the RAF new kit and rubbing his predecessor's nose in it for denying vital capability, making sure troops returned late because the airbridge was always broken, etc, etc, etc.

 

The RAF also wanted to have  C-130J and C-17 fleet, which is why we have Atlas...

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The C-17 was originally a lease to buy. Of course the RAF exceeded the agreed flying hours allowance and paid through the nose accordingly (Afghanistan?). Fortunately we now own them outright.

 

The Hawk T.2’s were also going to be a PFI, but in a rare outbreak of common sense were bought straight off.

 

Trevor

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On 6/16/2019 at 1:37 PM, Truro Model Builder said:

 

And yet every other air force that operates such aircraft is willing to shoulder the burden. Strange, that.

Which air forces are those? We have a very limited budget and the strain on flying ours to cover normal training is very limited over most, if not all, front line fleets.

 

And to be honest, other than maybe in the Falklands, we don't need it. That said, having the tanker (VC10/Tristar/A330) and Herc/A400M in theatre has worked very well for over 25 years and offers decent versatility of tasking.

 

But what do the MOD know?

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9 hours ago, Truro Model Builder said:

 

 

*Private Finance Initiative. Google it and see how ridiculous the idea is.

Much as PFIs are a ridiculous idea in general, it can't be ignored that had we not gone for a PFI, the A330 MRTTs would probably be under a rubbish servicing contract, have servicing performed at great cost by and external contractor, the aircrew would still be operating in the 20th century out of the back of a crumbling C-type hangar and I could go on. At the end we'd have been left with a dozen or so second hand A330 or B767 which would have been sold off for scrap and even more dilapidated infrastructure.

 

What we have got in return for the PFI is a very very swept up and modern operation in modern - brand new - buildings, run to civilian standards of operating efficiency compared to many corners of the military.

 

And of all those listed using the KC-767/KC46 or whatever they're calling it these days, they have a far inferior tanker. The US DOD got the correct answer the first time, but it helps when the President is from Boeing's home city.

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1 hour ago, Vickers McFunbus said:

.

 

And of all those listed using the KC-767/KC46 or whatever they're calling it these days, they have a far inferior tanker. The US DOD got the correct answer the first time, but it helps when the President is from Boeing's home city.

?? Obama was from Hawaii, Trump from New York

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And the politics is creeping towards the lock level. Dial it back please Gents.

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5 hours ago, Vickers McFunbus said:

...those listed using the KC-767/KC46 or whatever they're calling it these days, 

Though both based on the 767 airframe, the KC-767 is very different to the KC-46A. Both names are used because both variants are different beasts. 

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12 hours ago, Max Headroom said:

Is this the same thing as the NATO E-3’s and C-17’s?

 

Trevor

If I was naughty I would say that NATO got the E-3 and C-17 because they wanted them whereas they may end up with A-400 because no-one else wanted them.  

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9 hours ago, GMK said:

Though both based on the 767 airframe, the KC-767 is very different to the KC-46A. Both names are used because both variants are different beasts. 

Yep,but not a factor in my point though; all round the A330 is arguably a more versatile tanking platform...

 

...Hence chosen by the impartial experts of the world’s biggest AAR user!😁

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On 6/17/2019 at 9:13 PM, Max Headroom said:

The C-17 was originally a lease to buy. Of course the RAF exceeded the agreed flying hours allowance and paid through the nose accordingly (Afghanistan?). Fortunately we now own them outright.

 

The Hawk T.2’s were also going to be a PFI, but in a rare outbreak of common sense were bought straight off.

 

Trevor

Trevor

 

Not strictly true on either part. The RAF wanted C-17, but the Govt of the day wanted to be good Europeans, so wanted the RAF to buy the untried and untested A400M. The C-17 lease was just that, purely a lease, at the time there were no plans to buy. It was a stopgap until A400 arrived, that’s why we couldn’t use them for tac work or refuel them in flight.

 

As for Hawk, actually the MoD wanted M346, but No 10 said no (remember whose constituency the Hawk factory was in?). The only option available was to buy the T2s, instantly creating a xx million £ hole in the budget.

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On 6/17/2019 at 3:20 PM, PLC1966 said:

However, the RAF could not have ordered the Tanker replacement in two tranches.  The Treasury told the MoD it was PFI or nothing. 

Not strictly true. The PFI had to prove affordability and “value for money” against a ‘public sector comparator’ to win - not sure it ever did.  There were other options looked at, including more Tristars, second-hand 767s etc etc for the ‘public sector comparator’ (but there is a whole different story in there). Not in the PSC were new build KC-30s owned and operated by the RAF; remember the RAF is/was the lead customer for the KA330/A330K, even if it was ultimately the second operator after the RAAF. 

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I think, people, that unless you've had access to the contract framework and contract schedules, then you cannot possibly comment on whether it's good, bad or indifferent, especially the services (delivered) and finance schedules. I wouldn't be prepared to comment one way or another.

 

As someone has pointed to here, it's not just "buying" or supplying tankers, it's buying a package, a service, to a requirement, and that includes not only the aircraft but the infrastructure, the hangar, the support and logistics chain, training etc etc. and believe me (I operate in the civilian sector and have experience here) that is a sizeable cost, if you have to set it all up yourself.

 

So PFI changes the balance of financing such a procurement, avoiding the heavy frontloading of procuring and setting up with your own financing, and spreading the cost more evenly, over the duration of the project, and it's a valid financing option. Who here leases a car? with a maintenance package?, or HPA's a sofa etc. for the same reasons? Airlines will mix and match leased and procured aircraft giving an amount of operational and financial flexibility.

 

Ultimately how the contract is written and negotiated, and that's where the experience and efforts pays off, dictates the service.

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