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Defence review 2021 (was - RAF Hercules to be withdrawn?)


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I've also just realised we (including my above comments) have deviated somewhat from the original thread!

 

Back on topic, is there any plan for the Out of Service Date for the Hercs now?

 

Unfortunately, I think this will be a hit to Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge - they have an active role supporting the Hercules fleet in an engineering capacity.

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1 hour ago, wellsprop said:

I've also just realised we (including my above comments) have deviated somewhat from the original thread!

 

Back on topic, is there any plan for the Out of Service Date for the Hercs now?

 

Unfortunately, I think this will be a hit to Marshall Aerospace in Cambridge - they have an active role supporting the Hercules fleet in an engineering capacity.

Hercules to be out of service by 2023 per the Report.

 

Marshalls had begun putting new centre wing boxes into the fleet. Began in 2019 and was due to run until 2027. The first aircraft was returned to the RAF last August with a second then well advanced. But it was being done while the aircraft were in for scheduled maintenance. Theoretically money saved by cancelling the work. But wonder what the cancellation fees are?

 

Marshalls were appointed an approved centre wing box replacement centre by Lockheed Martin so all may not be lost on that front.

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That's sounds not too gloomy for Marshalls then. I know they do an awful lot of Boeing parts there, I assume they will still have some support for the European operators.

 

Quite possibly P8 work too. 

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I cant belive some of the coments on this thread,some people are very naive.🤨

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23 hours ago, Agent K said:

 

ASTORS?

Dont  forget the naval aircraft (as everyone on here seems to do)

...Hawks and less F35 for the floating car parks 

Edited by junglierating
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8 hours ago, Beermonster1958 said:

Agreed. 

It's a fantasy project anyway. The cost of developing such an aircraft would be hideous and, probably beyond our means anyway.

There are far better uses for our money then this silly, paper project.

I think the reality is that the number of F-35 procured will not increase beyond 48 and, Tempest was dropped into the hat as a kind of sop to opinion. To make it look as if the cuts were not as bad as some feared.

After a year or two, the whole idea will be quietly dropped.

 

John.

I can say from the Avionic perspectives its defo not fantasy ....no idea what the prime are up to but id imagine the same

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On 3/23/2021 at 4:19 PM, Agent K said:

 

ASTORS?

Dont  forget the naval aircraft (as people do on here....dont get me on gash barges) ...Hawks and less F35 for the floating car parks 

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4 hours ago, jenko said:

First it was Nimrod now Hercules.

 

The gods aren't with us any more. 😂

But at least the government is now leasing an A321 from Titan!

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2 hours ago, Dave Swindell said:

But at least the government is now leasing an A321 from Titan!

 

Thats good, given the cuts, the military will be hoping for divine intervention if things get hot! 

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On 3/23/2021 at 1:36 AM, fatalbert said:

How the Red Arrows keep surviving is beyond me,surely a display team is a luxury,and am suprised the BBMF hasnt gone the same way as the RNHF.

 

All three UK Services have a budget allocation for a recognised "Legacy Unit" - for the RAF it is the BBMF, for the Royal Navy it is HMS Victory and for the Army it is the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

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On 3/23/2021 at 8:18 PM, Robert said:

The Tempest project will be interesting to see what we actually get out of it. 

That’s the nub of it.  We are ditching real extant kit now (Type 23s, Typhoons, Hawks) now against vague promises of vapourware projects, which may or may not work/be affordable, at some point in the future.  

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Please keep this thread on topic and away from politics or it will be closed,

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Fingers crossed Marshalls will receive the old airframes and have some work overhauling them for a new operator... 

 

https://www.flightglobal.com/defence/marshall-expects-strong-demand-for-surplus-uk-hercules/143003.article

 

The Cambridge local news isn't so optimistic however

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambridge-jobs-risk-government-scraps-20236725.amp

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On 3/22/2021 at 8:19 PM, Seahawk said:

I'm with you.  In my experience the kit being "replaced" disappears overnight but its replacement perpetually recedes into the distant future: the requirement gets reappraised (=cut or descoped) or even dropped when they think no-one is looking.  I foresee long "capability holidays" until someone is able to say the capability is no longer required anyway.

 

And what use are 3 Wedgetails?

The not quite but nearly the same as 4 E-3Fs that France bought... Luckily we took an option on E-3D no 7 but not 8.

 

And as ours do I believe (or did) more for NATO ops

 

Aside from the It stated somewhere the options for the other 2 are there

 

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First Sea Lord was apparently on somewhere earlier this week stating 80 or 90  F-35s eventually....

 

The Tranche 1 Typhoons were never getting the modest upgrade the Spanish are apparently giving theirs. Which would mean they could at least use Storm Shadow. Where as Germany is also replacing its Tranche 1s with the new Tranche 4s.

 

I suspect the RAF jets will either go to RTP or Cosford as GIAs

 

Whatever way you look at it Hawk T.1 has done well having entered service in 1976.  Even if it has been a bit of a triggers broom, some got new wings and I assume almost all the surviving fliers got the replacement fuselage. As for Hercs Given they are puttng new Wing boxes on I suspect they have been flogging them a bit (Iraq Afghanistan Libya) etc etc. As for the E-3Ds....

 

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No.8 Squadron was fully declared to the NATO AEW Force as its E-3D component, in effect becoming its fourth operational squadron. Henceforth it has been widely used in support of NATO operations. France's E-3Fs only have a national obligation.

 

With that in mind it is even more remarkable of the neglect the RAF's Sentries have received. US, NATO and French E-3s have all been extensively upgraded in the last couple of decades. The E-3D fleet was to have received some of the same upgrades until the UK withdrew from the programme. Henceforth interoperability has become more and more difficult and the Sentry AEW.1 more and more obsolescent.

 

And now even the decision to replace it with the most capable possible option has been fudged and neutered.

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I commented somewhere previously that the U.K. procurement of AEW platforms is now well out of step with that of the major players. 

 

The E-7 is not a new system. It is a decade or more old. RAAF, the initial acquirers and developers, spending on it is only supposed to go on until the end of this decade, when they plan to switch spending to procure a replacement. Turkey and South Korea are the only other users. The worldwide fleet is 14 airframes at present plus the RAF 3 and maybe 3-4 more for South Korea. So just how long will it’s development continue to be funded. I always felt it wasn’t the right aircraft for the RAF due to that timing (more of a panic buy) but it was/is almost the only game in town at the higher end of the market without incurring development costs to put another radar (Eyrie?) into a bigger airframe for a very limited market to last a longer time, with the worries of another Nimrod AEW 3 disaster.

 

The worldwide E-3 fleet needs replaced by the middle of the 2030s at the latest. Our mistake was in 2010 not funding the upgrade package. But that is water under the bridge and we are where we are.

 

A small purchase of E-7 now which get worked to death for a decade then a move to the standardised world platform, whatever it is to be, might actually make more sense. And if that means leaving the AEW function in worldwide NATO policing to others in the short/medium term then so be it. We simply have to accept we can’t afford to be involved in everything all the time. All this COVID spending will sooner or later have to be repaid. Trump also had a point. There are countries in Europe that need to be spending more on their own defence, without relying on capabilities provided by others.

 

The danger of course is that new platform doesn’t get funded. 

 

Collects hat, coat and wellies and runs for the door!!!

 

 

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Are there any reasons why the AEW tasks can’t be performed by satellites? 

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On 3/23/2021 at 4:23 PM, canberraman said:

The five Sentinel R.1 aircraft that were announced for the chop in the 2015 SDSR and which finally retired last week.

 

Mark

Clear out the gubbins from inside, put some seats in and give them to 32 Sqn for executive jollies.

 

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

 

Trevor

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9 minutes ago, Max Headroom said:

Clear out the gubbins from inside, put some seats in and give them to 32 Sqn for executive jollies.

 

Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

 

Trevor

That was my initial thought, but too much sense I suppose.

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41 minutes ago, Lord Riot said:

Are there any reasons why the AEW tasks can’t be performed by satellites? 

Most satellite orbits only pass over an area every so many hours. Bit of a problem if your satellite disappears over the horizon in the middle of an intercept!. So unless you have multiple satellites orbiting over the same patch of airspace in staggered orbits you can’t get continuous coverage. They will also burn fuel being repositioned to cover different areas necessitating replacement.

 

In an aircraft the radar and the controllers are in the same place. Using satellites means the data has to be transmitted to controllers on the ground. More complications = more to go wrong.

 

There is a bit here on what each level of orbit is used for.

https://www.esa.int/Enabling_Support/Space_Transportation/Types_of_orbits

 

 

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I don't think the USAF knows what an E-3 replacement is going to look like yet. For all we know, it may be a drone, an upgraded E-7, or something else. 

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1 hour ago, Slater said:

I don't think the USAF knows what an E-3 replacement is going to look like yet. For all we know, it may be a drone, an upgraded E-7, or something else. 

 

And everyone who is keeping them has a looming problem with these aircraft, age.

 

USA - first delivery 1976, operational 1977. there are 31 still in service with an average age of 42.

NATO - first delivery Jan 1982 14 in service

Saudi Arabia - first delivery 1983 5 in service

UK - first delivery 1990

France - first delivery 1991

 

The British and French aircraft were the last off the line. So everyone else has aircraft that are between 31 and 44 years of age. The US has been scrapping some to harvest out of production components and keep the others going having completed its latest upgrade program. NATO is engaged in an upgrade program to extend its aircraft life to 2035. So decisions will have to be made in the not too distant furure about a replacement. Some in the USAF are touting the E-7 as the replacement but only because of the servicability issues with the E-3 and the E-7 being available now. I could see the US buying a few E-7 but only as a stop-gap until something better comes along. Without the US making a major purchase I don't see the E-7 having a life beyond the end of the decade simply because no one will be willing to pay for the cost of developing the necessary upgrades.

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  • Paul821 changed the title to Defence review 2021 (was - RAF Hercules to be withdrawn?)

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