ASTOR the £5Bn White Elephant?

#2
#3
Yes it is a direct replacement for the Nimrod R1.
And arguably a less capable replacement.

The Sentinel binning is almost as farcical as the MRA4 cancellation.
 
#4
Concur.

ASTOR and MRA4 have both had their issues but both are/were excellent and highly relevant capabilities.

I'm just thankful that RJ wasn't binned. I also hope that the RN manage to get MASC to replace SKASaC.

Regards,
MM
 
#5
I'm just thankful that RJ wasn't binned. I also hope that the RN manage to get MASC to replace SKASaC.
Was reading the other day that the V-22 Osprey was being put forward by Boeing. The aircraft will carry a palletised electronics suite, so technically any osprey could carry out this function... the pallet is reffered to as 'TOSS' :D
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
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#7
Was reading the other day that the V-22 Osprey was being put forward by Boeing. The aircraft will carry a palletised electronics suite, so technically any osprey could carry out this function... the pallet is reffered to as 'TOSS' :D
6969

Noooo not Osprey, be safer to bring back the S-69.
 
#8
Totally Organic Sensor System (TOSS(!!!!)) would be ideal for CVF but is simply not affordable.

Regards,
MM
 
#10
Lets be honest the RAF would have done anything to save Typhoooooooooooon!
Typhoon was never under threat as it's more or less our current primary Air Defence fighter (F3's almost gone), plus it will cover in the ground to air role. Had to laugh at Cameron telling that Navy harrier pilot that Typhoon was in Afghan covering ground attack roles! - err NO. As for Astor / Sentinel I'm sure we'll be able to sell them onto someone else along with most of the other kit the forces are going to lose.
 
#11
WokkaWarrior said:
Typhoon was never under threat as it's more or less our current primary Air Defence fighter (F3's almost gone), plus it will cover in the ground to air role. Had to laugh at Cameron telling that Navy harrier pilot that Typhoon was in Afghan covering ground attack roles! - err NO. As for Astor / Sentinel I'm sure we'll be able to sell them onto someone else along with most of the other kit the forces are going to lose.
Can it drop 500lbrs yet or are the lads going to have to get used to 1000lbrs?
 
#12
"As for Astor / Sentinel I'm sure we'll be able to sell them onto someone else along with most of the other kit the forces are going to lose."'

I'm not sure the 1980s are in the market for a wide area radar any more, but we can hope.
 
#13
"As for Astor / Sentinel I'm sure we'll be able to sell them onto someone else along with most of the other kit the forces are going to lose."'

I'm not sure the 1980s are in the market for a wide area radar any more, but we can hope.
How can you say that ? Surely it's a key capability we should hang onto ... just in case we need to keep track of 3 Shock Army again. You can never be too careful. That said, the Russians need wide area coverage (big country after all) so they might be interested.

Personally I'm surprised the RAF hasn't yet called it a Non-Traditional ISTAR asset - after all, that's what they usually do when they use a hugely expensive legacy manned platform to do what something far, far cheaper could.
 
#14
I heard a rumour that 3SA had turned right out of Magdeburg and gone home, does this mean I can get rid of my much envied collection of the Threat Magazine with it's dazzling semi naked heroine of the Soviet Union?
 
#16
Soprano54 said:
Lets be honest the RAF would have done anything to save Typhoooooooooooon!
I bet we still hear such dribbling in 30 years time!

For the umpteenth time, Typhoon is largely paid for. It could deploy to Afghanistan tomorrow and conduct a decent CAS/ISR role. However, the more astute will have noticed that the premature retirement of the F3 (at a time when Russian Long Range Aviation activity is rising and Falklands AD is of increased interest) has left us slightly short of AD assets.

So, perhaps you would recommend that GR4 assuming QRA and we should move the Tiff into Afghanistan? Tiff can do A-A and A-G. GR4 can only do A-G. Go figure.

Afghanistan is not the only op in town.

How can you say that ? Surely it's a key capability we should hang onto ... just in case we need to keep track of 3 Shock Army again. You can never be too careful. That said, the Russians need wide area coverage (big country after all) so they might be interested.

Soprano54 said:
Personally I'm surprised the RAF hasn't yet called it a Non-Traditional ISTAR asset - after all, that's what they usually do when they use a hugely expensive legacy manned platform to do what something far, far cheaper could.
What an incredibly ignorant post oots. Clearly, you have no idea of the utility of SAR/GMTI on current ops.

It may also be worthy of note that ASTOR arose from a Joint AIR/LAND requirement.

Regards,
MM
 
#17
6969

Noooo not Osprey, be safer to bring back the S-69.
What is the drama with the V-22? I had a few flights in them in Afghan, and didn't see a prob. It flys fast, has VTOL and can undsling...
 
#18
MM old chap, I'm not doubting the utility of SAR/GMTI - merely the value for money of the current solution. Failure to understand that distinction is - as far as I can see - one of the reasons the RAF is getting hit. Ditto NT-ISTAR, you say "flexible use of existing assets", the accountant says "vastly overpriced UAV substitute".

And I know where ASTOR comes from - son of CASTOR if I recall, needed to track 3 Shock Army. But times have changed.

Besides, how many fast jets would the RAF sacrifice to save ASTOR and Nimrod ? Exactly.
 
#19
Interesting that you raise the value of UAVs. Their cost effectiveness is far from clear and they are unable to replicate the CAS effects offered by FJ. For similar reasons, the USAF have just extended the service life of their U-2Ss because Global Hawk is more expensive, more limited, and requires more people to carry less payload than a manned airframe with its origins in the 1950s. The '...the answer is unmanned, now what's the question?' mantra is, imho, one of the most dangerous in UK defence right now. Unmanned have some very significant advantages, but they are far from a panacea.

In terms of ASTOR, its ironically been flagged up recently by the NAO as an example of a legacy programme which has proved extremely versatile on ops. Moreover, it gains significant leverage in the coalition because it very ably augments (and exceeds the performance of in some areas) the very small US SAR/GMTI fleet. ASTOR, JSTARS et al can do a lot more than track tanks.

Meanwhile, the tired old 'RAF are only interested in FJ' mantra wears a tad thin considering we've lost GR9, a large proportion of GR4 and F-35 is delayed and reduced. I can assure you that the principle ISR assets were central to RAF SDSR posture.

Hence we kept AWACS, RIVET JOINT, Reaper, SCAVENGER etc.

Sadly, MRA4 was doomed from a political level from the outset I suspect.

Regards,
MM
 

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