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2 seat RAF Typhoons,...... why not convert them to Growlers??


tonyot
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Since they were withdrawn from service and converted into spare parts I`ve wondered why the RAF didn`t convert the two seat Tiffies into `Growlers',..... like the US & Aussie Super Hornets,.... to help escort and protect a strike package from the anti radar threat,...... any thoughts?

582281e8-040b-4bf4-8820-78bd159761cb.jpg

 

 

Edited by tonyot
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The 16 two seaters being scrapped, after stripping of all useful spares, were Typhoon IPA / Tranche 1 aircraft. IIRC these had different computer hardware and wiring from subsequent Tranches which made upgrading them a lot more difficult and expensive. With the various cutbacks the 33 single seaters were to go the same way but then back in 2015/2016 it was decided to keep them, but operate them in separate squadrons in the pure air defence role to simplify maintenance and support. As of May this year that plan seems to have changed again with the Tranche 1 aircraft being mixed with the later Tranche 2 & 3 aircraft on the squadrons. The current status of these aircraft is noted here ZJ800 onwards and some have now been scrapped:-

 

http://www.ukserials.com/

 

It is really confusing as all single seaters are designated FGR4 despite coming from distinct Tranches and batches, some of which have limited uses. I found this which may help everyone's understanding.

 

http://www.fast-air.co.uk/uk-typhoon-fleet-by-block/

 

The missing serials are

Block 11 ZK348

Block 15 ZK349-354

Block 20 ZK355-374

Block 25 ZK375-378 and ZK424-439.

 

The last of these was delivered to Coningsby last month.

 

Latest Typhoon plans

https://www.janes.com/article/88235/raf-stands-up-9-squadron-as-latest-typhoon-unit

 

12 squadron, the new joint UK/Qatari squadron at Coningsby got its first aircraft in July ZK436

 

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1 hour ago, EwenS said:

 

12 squadron, the new joint UK/Qatari squadron at Coningsby got its first aircraft in July ZK436

 

As if having to man a sqn jointly with the fisheads wasn’t bad enough for the RAF now they have to do it with a foreign Air Force! 

I’m  outraged 🤬🤮🤭 

(can’t find an emoji for tongue in cheek)

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13 hours ago, tonyot said:

Since they were withdrawn from service and converted into spare parts I`ve wondered why the RAF didn`t convert the two seat Tiffies into `Growlers',..... like the US & Aussie Super Hornets,.... to help escort and protect a strike package from the anti radar threat,...... any thoughts?

582281e8-040b-4bf4-8820-78bd159761cb.jpg

 

 

Had Indyref gone the SNP’s way they could have been sent north of the border. 

 

(Still can’t find a tongue in cheek emoji)😃

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10 hours ago, 1903flight said:

should have painted them red and issued them to the Red Arrows to replace the Hawks.

If we can afford to replace them at all I see red painted Grob 120's, probably reduced to five in number.

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On 9/6/2019 at 11:41 AM, Rickoshea52 said:

As if having to man a sqn jointly with the fisheads wasn’t bad enough for the RAF now they have to do it with a foreign Air Force! 

I’m  outraged 🤬🤮🤭 

(can’t find an emoji for tongue in cheek)

You're blooming outraged....how very dare you🤣

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Converting a two seat tactical aircraft into a capable Electronic Attack platform is a huge project. The actual airframe is the easy part. The system and associated pods is a much more major, complicated, and expensive development, which then would have to be integrated into the chosen airframe. Short term it would be smarter to buy the EA-18G, long term it would be smarter to start with a fresh sheet of paper.

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A couple of squadrons of EA-18s would be amazing, and given the increasing proliferation of tech threats I would suggest a capability that HM Govt may find very useful.

 

What a shame it would be too much to ask to stand up , say, numbers 25 and 360 Sqns with Growlers. 

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It may have been more logical to use these for lead in training before pilots flew the newer aircraft.

It would also have kept the hours down on the more recent ones.

However the people who run these things have never been logical.

Easy when it's not their money, only £65 million or so each.

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15 hours ago, camper1 said:

It may have been more logical to use these for lead in training before pilots flew the newer aircraft.

It would also have kept the hours down on the more recent ones.

However the people who run these things have never been logical.

Easy when it's not their money, only £65 million or so each.

It's very easy to make these comments but unless you're involved in the strategy and planning within a finite budget, they are actually very logical.

 

Yes I'd like to see more aircraft flying, and a larger air force, it's been trimmed far too much, but blame the government that sets the budget.

 

The rationale, of course, to reduce the 2-seater fleet is that more training is done on simulators (synthetic training I believe they call it) now meaning a decreased requirement for 2-seaters, hence RTP and sustain the combat fleet. Hours will be managed and this is not a problem.

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20 hours ago, Lord Riot said:

A couple of squadrons of EA-18s would be amazing, and given the increasing proliferation of tech threats I would suggest a capability that HM Govt may find very useful.

 

What a shame it would be too much to ask to stand up , say, numbers 25 and 360 Sqns with Growlers. 

25 Squadron are already "stood up" they fly Hawk T2's at Valley.

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2 hours ago, Agent K said:

It's very easy to make these comments but unless you're involved in the strategy and planning within a finite budget, they are actually very logical.

The point I was trying to make is that the RAF has history of breaking up aircraft with plenty of flying hours left on the airframe.

This of course solves the problem of buying the required spares to maintain the fleet, which has happened many times in the past.

On visits to the MU's in years gone by there were plenty on aircraft sitting in the hangers with a list of parts removed, some of these lists ran to two and three pages, effectively RTP.

So the question still remains why break up a good aircraft costing around £65 million to recover maybe around £8-£10 million at most.

 

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Cost is at the core of all these decisions.  All these options cost money.  Not just the basic kit, but the support in terms of parts, time, manpower, training, accomodation.  Where are the additional operational bases?  Where are the trained men to operate and support them?  The Services are having considerable difficulties in recruiting sufficient suitable personnel as it is.  Yes it would be nice to have X Y and Z.  And while you're at it lower taxes too please.

 

Getting back to the Typhoons, I suspect that so much work would be involved in reworking them that it would be cheaper to build new were they required.  But are they?  Would that be sufficient to match what the US would pour into such operations in order to get the required effect?  How much more electronic support would be needed?  When are we likely to need such without the US being involved?

 

Behind all this, we do not know just what is already in hand behind the scenes.  Sorry if we are getting into politics, but they are behind all such high cost military expenditures.

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Agreed, I'd also add, to the above, that the F35 has, I believe a decent amount of "electronic wizardry" on board and stealthiness and therefore wouldn't need, quite so much, to have a dedicated EW aircraft (which is something the UK has never had anyway).

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3 hours ago, camper1 said:

The point I was trying to make is that the RAF has history of breaking up aircraft with plenty of flying hours left on the airframe.

This of course solves the problem of buying the required spares to maintain the fleet, which has happened many times in the past.

On visits to the MU's in years gone by there were plenty on aircraft sitting in the hangers with a list of parts removed, some of these lists ran to two and three pages, effectively RTP.

So the question still remains why break up a good aircraft costing around £65 million to recover maybe around £8-£10 million at most.

 

It all comes down to cost and the complication of having a non standard batch of aircraft that either were not modified to later Y standards through planned obsolescence or not enough money to upgrade the batch.

An example is the orphan 8 Mk1 merlins....cannibalized to provide parts for active fleet.The cost of bringing these to mk2 standard should there be a drive for that would be enormous.

The most economical method available to the service is to RTP....that way the money saved if you like can be used  for more cost effective projects.

As for growler that I guess depends on our defence policy and doctrine 

Edited by junglierating
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The RAF has never operated any specifically designed SEAD aircraft and instead relied on pods and missiles fitted to otherwise standard fighter-bomber types when needed since the technology began developing in the late 1960s (Martel seemingly did not cope with extended exposure to extended 'cold soaking' so Shrike was borrowed for the Falklands and the later UK built ALARM has now been withdrawn) but in the main the UK now relies on the US to provide such specialist capability and for all the reasons given above that is how it will continue for the foreseeable future.

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On ‎9‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 11:44 AM, Rickoshea52 said:

Had Indyref gone the SNP’s way they could have been sent north of the border. 

 

(Still can’t find a tongue in cheek emoji)😃

Nah! We wouldn't want their second hand rejects!!.  On the other hand, we could charge the RAF  for using  Lossiemouth!!:whistle::tease:

 

Allan

 

ps - might make nice "what if" though.

Edited by Albeback52
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