ASTOR Enters Service

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Magic_Mushroom, Dec 2, 2008.

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  1. One little snippet of news which barely warranted a mention on the MoD website was that the UK’s Airborne Stand Off Radar (ASTOR) system has formerly been accepted into service.

    Having been involved in the Project, it’s been at times a troubled gestation. However, I think it deserves flagging up as one very good piece of news amongst the oft highlighted procurement gloom. Although the website inevitably focuses on the airborne ‘segment’ of ASTOR, 5(AC) Sqn is of course a Joint RAF and Army unit (with a smattering of RN types for good measure).

    ASTOR has excellent potential and introduces an entirely new dimension to the UK’s Battlespace awareness. Feedback from the customer so far has been excellent so well done to all for their efforts.

    More information here.


  2. How long was the delay of it coming into service?,and how much over budget was it?
  3. It's a few years late from the originally stated date but is not overbudget.
  4. I'd heard that the project was underbudget. Or was this just heresay?
  5. Any AAR Capability...........

    And why this with rivet joint????
  6. Few years or decades late? A bit out of touch but isnt this CASTOR from the 1 (BR) Corps days - I seem to remember it was due in the late 80s.

    I am sure MM will educate me
  7. Technically I believe that it may just be under budget yes.

    As far as AAR goes, unfortunately not. It was removed to reduce weight at a time when the Sentinel was struggling to stay under Max All Up Weight. Falure to achieve that would have had significant implications for certification (which was accomplished on the back of the civilian aircraft on which it is based, the Global Express) and therefore costs.

    To be honest, I think that the lack of AAR is manageable (if not ideal) as the aircraft has fantastic engines and an exceptional performance due to its supercritical wing. It has a very creditable endurance at a pretty high level and its operating altitude improves the sensor grazing angle (and therefore line of sight range and Synthetic Aperture Radar image quality) in comparison to the 707 based E-8C JSTARS.

  8. 9 Hrs Airborne I understand..

    How about at high altitude in afghan.

    How does this compare to the R1/MR2
  9. Not a wah, but was is the airframe?
  10. Cheers instinct.
  11. It's likely to be a success so the papers don't care and the RAF doesn't need to unleash its feeble publicity machine and the world's shortest 4* to tell everyone how great it is. Just like Nimrod R1 it will do its job well and it will do it quietly unless, heaven forbid, something goes wrong.
  12. Like XV230
  13. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    Indeed, a genuine success story if with some big bumps along the way

    Hopefully as the weight of the sensors and computers come down as they inevitably will do it will be able to get the refueling system.

    Are there any plans to put the ground station capability into any RN ships?

    I also think it would be ideal Canberra PR9 replacement, take out the radar/mission systems and the weight and space saved could be used for optics, other sensors and communications equipment.

    Do the Swedes have a SIGINT version. would that be of any use?
  14. So when will the IAs necessary to analyse the take should it be used be trained ? It's not as if we have them standing around idle these days. Indeed, is the plan still to rely on reservists ? It might be an idea to train a few if it is, although probably best to start by letting them know it's on their To-Do list.

    The cynic might define "into service" in this case as the provision of airframes and qualification for flying pay; not as the provision of a capability.