Eurofighter Tranche 3: Oh please, God, no

#1
Comment So the fix is in. The Treasury's attempt during recent weeks to kill off the final UK tranche of cripplingly expensive Eurofighter combat jets will be quashed, on the personal orders of Gordon Brown. Money will be taken from taxpayers, and lives will be lost among British troops, to buy aircraft which won't be any use - some may never even fly.
<snip>
The Register CLICKY

Question:

Why can't Harriers be fitted with canon or gatling gun to give us an A10 equivalent?

Harrier seems like an ideal platform for an A10 replacement, can be there faster than an Apache, but can then stand off and fire like an Apache.

Maybe I'm niave, but I can't see why this hasn't been implemented.
 
#2
Jobs, votes, cushy post-politics jobs in defence procurement.

And coz big shiny planes make politicians' willies go all hard.
 
#4
pcar964 said:
Comment So the fix is in. The Treasury's attempt during recent weeks to kill off the final UK tranche of cripplingly expensive Eurofighter combat jets will be quashed, on the personal orders of Gordon Brown. Money will be taken from taxpayers, and lives will be lost among British troops, to buy aircraft which won't be any use - some may never even fly.
<snip>
The Register CLICKY

Question:

Why can't Harriers be fitted with canon or gatling gun to give us an A10 equivalent?

Harrier seems like an ideal platform for an A10 replacement, can be there faster than an Apache, but can then stand off and fire like an Apache.

Maybe I'm niave, but I can't see why this hasn't been implemented.
My bold - because they're old? Knackered? Getting thrashed in afghanistan? 1 less of them as of this week?
 
#5
pcar964 said:
Comment So the fix is in. The Treasury's attempt during recent weeks to kill off the final UK tranche of cripplingly expensive Eurofighter combat jets will be quashed, on the personal orders of Gordon Brown. Money will be taken from taxpayers, and lives will be lost among British troops, to buy aircraft which won't be any use - some may never even fly.
<snip>
The Register CLICKY

Question:

Why can't Harriers be fitted with canon or gatling gun to give us an A10 equivalent?

Harrier seems like an ideal platform for an A10 replacement, can be there faster than an Apache, but can then stand off and fire like an Apache.

Maybe I'm niave, but I can't see why this hasn't been implemented.
Because we tied the boxheads in when they got wobbly a few years ago. Theres no way our of it without paying anyway.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Oh good, now we have a crate we can win the Cold war with.
 
#7
pcar964 said:
Comment So the fix is in. The Treasury's attempt during recent weeks to kill off the final UK tranche of cripplingly expensive Eurofighter combat jets will be quashed, on the personal orders of Gordon Brown. Money will be taken from taxpayers, and lives will be lost among British troops, to buy aircraft which won't be any use - some may never even fly.
<snip>
The Register CLICKY

Question:

Why can't Harriers be fitted with canon or gatling gun to give us an A10 equivalent?

Harrier seems like an ideal platform for an A10 replacement, can be there faster than an Apache, but can then stand off and fire like an Apache.

Maybe I'm niave, but I can't see why this hasn't been implemented.
Air frames don't last forever fella the only have so many hours left on them. The Eurofighter is not a replacement for the Harrier.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
Yes but Typhoon seems to me to be an extraordinarily risky and expensive way of delivering ground attack.
 
#9
pcar964 said:
Comment So the fix is in. The Treasury's attempt during recent weeks to kill off the final UK tranche of cripplingly expensive Eurofighter combat jets will be quashed, on the personal orders of Gordon Brown. Money will be taken from taxpayers, and lives will be lost among British troops, to buy aircraft which won't be any use - some may never even fly.
<snip>
The Register CLICKY

Question:

Why can't Harriers be fitted with canon or gatling gun to give us an A10 equivalent?

Harrier seems like an ideal platform for an A10 replacement, can be there faster than an Apache, but can then stand off and fire like an Apache.

Maybe I'm niave, but I can't see why this hasn't been implemented.
Harrier #1 had 30mm cannons, but our Harrier II's made half and half with Spams doesnt (ours are fitted for but not with, but US have 25mm M61?).

Harriers can only hover for 60 secs due to engine overheating, and i can tell you that it is not meant to operate like an apache!

Eurofighter fills the air defence role quite nicely, we probably dont need 212 BUT these Tranche 3 planes have full air to ground capability. Which is just what we need no?
 
#10
seaweed said:
Yes but Typhoon seems to me to be an extraordinarily risky and expensive way of delivering ground attack.
Dont think that Harriers are cheap either, £60,000 every flying hour was mentioned somewhere else i think?
 
#12
Or which, even without the full range of weapons clearances (something which could be rectified with more airframes and the cash to do this - you'd need the expenses claims of about a dozen MPs) could, if deployed to theatre* reach TIC quicker than anything else in the RAF orbat and then deliver more ordnance onto Mr T Taleban than anything else in the crab inventory (Harrier = 4 x PWIV, no gun/ GR4= 9 x Brimstone, or 2 x EPW or mix thereof plus 27mm/ Typhoon = 6 x EPW plus 27mm). Being newer, the chances of it aborting on the way

Deprive Mr Malik of his TV, Mr Hogg of his dredged moat, etc, etc to clear the beast for a wider range of weapons and a two ship could appear overhead with a mix of EPWII, PWIV, Brimstone and perhaps 1,000lb free fall (if required) plus cannon ammo between them and you have a wider variety of ways of allowing Terry to fulfil his wish for martyrdom.


And this is a bad thing how, exactly?

If Typhoon were operated by the RN, Page would be praising this decision to high heaven. His hatred of the crabs is posionous, and the sooner people stop taking him seriously about air power [and other military issues, for that matter] the better.

* Typhoon can't be deployed at the moment because if we deploy Typhoon we can't defend UK airspace thanks to the Treasury cutting the F3 fleet early (with more cuts to come, hurrah!), and to save money, 24 airframes which should've been with the RAF this year will be in Saudi Arabia.

Edit - Harrier won't get a gun now; the only item which could be procured in the short term would be the USMC GAU-12, which would leave the Harrier without the two fuselage stations which carry the Sniper pod and the counter-measures pod. They can use CRV-7 rockets with considerable accuracy; while I have not met a Harrier mate (light or dark blue) who wouldn't like a gun, they reckon that they can do pretty well with the rockets if the need arises.
 
#14
pcar964 said:
Comment So the fix is in. The Treasury's attempt during recent weeks to kill off the final UK tranche of cripplingly expensive Eurofighter combat jets will be quashed, on the personal orders of Gordon Brown. Money will be taken from taxpayers, and lives will be lost among British troops, to buy aircraft which won't be any use - some may never even fly.
<snip>
The Register CLICKY

Question:

Why can't Harriers be fitted with canon or gatling gun to give us an A10 equivalent?

Harrier seems like an ideal platform for an A10 replacement, can be there faster than an Apache, but can then stand off and fire like an Apache.

Maybe I'm niave, but I can't see why this hasn't been implemented.
It can but the MoD binned it.
BAE finally got it to work effectively, only for the MOD to cancel it as a cost saving measure as, following GWI, their view of the future of the Harrier was as a medium level bomber who didn't need a strafing capability!!!.
Cannon pods were fitted to the aircraft is they help improve hover performance in that they act as an air dam and trap a cushion of air under the fuselage, increasing lift slightly. The cannon pods were delivered empty as it was expected the aforementioned 25mm gun would be fitted when it was ready, but it was cancelled instead but the gun pods were retained as preference to the fuselage strakes or LIDS (lift improvement devices), of which only very small quantities were originally purchased/

When it was decided to take the GR7/9s aboard the RN aircraft carriers, and it was clear that the harrier would not be having a gun of any type, more of the fuselage strakes were bought as they provided a slightly greater performance boost than the gun pods, enabling better hover performance at high weights which meant greater bring back (fuel and weapons payload) to the carriers. So from 2001 onwards it became more common to see the strakes than the gun pods, and the pods are almost never carried these days as there are enough fuselage strakes to go around the serviceable airframes.
 
#15
Meridian - it's the old confusion between what it is capable of carrying and what it's cleared to carry at the moment (a distinction lost on the likes of Page and Sir Max Hastings).

At the moment, it is cleared to carry EPWII and 1,000lb freefall weapons, plus the Litening III pod.

I would assume that if a decision to leave the AD of the UK in the hands of a few F3s, one squadron of Typhoons, the Red Arrows, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Bicester Windrushers Flying Club (that is not an idea, Mr Hutton) and deploy 11 Sqn were taken this year, then PWIV at least would be cleared under a UOR, and possibly Brimstone too.

In due course, the aircraft is meant to be cleared for Storm Shadow, and the 2,000lb PWIII; it is capable of carrying ALARM, but things seem to have gone strangely quiet in press releases as to whether it'll take on a SEAD role as well. It could also carry Maverick and CRV-7 if needed and funded (CRV-7 keeps getting caught in the 'Oh, rockets are so passe /oh heck, we've nearly run out of them and they're vital' merry-go-round at the moment).
 
#16
I keep hearing and seeing the term "cost saving". But against what? I mean, have the defence criteria altered?
 
#17
spike7451 said:
pcar964 said:
Question:

Why can't Harriers be fitted with canon or gatling gun to give us an A10 equivalent?
It can but the MoD binned it.
BAE finally got it to work effectively, only for the MOD to cancel it as a cost saving measure as, following GWI, their view of the future of the Harrier was as a medium level bomber who didn't need a strafing capability!!!.
Cannon pods were fitted to the aircraft is they help improve hover performance in that they act as an air dam and trap a cushion of air under the fuselage, increasing lift slightly. The cannon pods were delivered empty as it was expected the aforementioned 25mm gun would be fitted when it was ready, but it was cancelled instead but the gun pods were retained as preference to the fuselage strakes or LIDS (lift improvement devices), of which only very small quantities were originally purchased/

When it was decided to take the GR7/9s aboard the RN aircraft carriers, and it was clear that the harrier would not be having a gun of any type, more of the fuselage strakes were bought as they provided a slightly greater performance boost than the gun pods, enabling better hover performance at high weights which meant greater bring back (fuel and weapons payload) to the carriers. So from 2001 onwards it became more common to see the strakes than the gun pods, and the pods are almost never carried these days as there are enough fuselage strakes to go around the serviceable airframes.
Thanks for replies everyone.

From what Spike posted, Harrier could even should have had A10 capabilities which would have been a great help in Poppystan.

No idea of costs of adding now, but imho MOD should do it so we have proper air defence support.
 
#18
Page is a knob and should be beaten to death with a brick!
 
#19
Thanks Archi, couple more questions if you get 5

1.
Would it be fair to say that certification is more 'process' than 'technology' and bunging a bit of cash in the pot would enable certification of Paveway IV and Brimstone so it could get out to theatre. What is a realistic timescale for certification, given resources are made available

2.
Does the Harrier use CRV-7 very often these days or is it more used by Apache?

3.
If it were cleared for Brimstone would it need Maverick if the new seeker heads for Brimstone were obtained or is TV guidance still of use (is it a bit niche)

Thanks in advance
 
#20
meridian said:
1.
Would it be fair to say that certification is more 'process' than 'technology' and bunging a bit of cash in the pot would enable certification of Paveway IV and Brimstone so it could get out to theatre. What is a realistic timescale for certification, given resources are made available
Not sure about timescale, but it hasn't taken that long to get PWIV onto the GR4. From what I gather from a mix of Boscombe Down and 17R and 29R types, as long as nothing unpleasant comes up - for instance with regard to the effect the ordnance has on aircraft handling, it is a relatively [stress that word] straightforward process.

meridian said:
2.
Does the Harrier use CRV-7 very often these days or is it more used by Apache?
Still carried by the GR9 and used; the latest shots released by the MoD show GR9s with a mix of 19-round CRV-7 pods and PWIV.

meridian said:
3.
If it were cleared for Brimstone would it need Maverick if the new seeker heads for Brimstone were obtained or is TV guidance still of use (is it a bit niche)
Different sorts of weapon, I'd say. Again, no direct knowledge, but my understanding (and like Sir Humphrey Appleby, I may have misunderstood it) is that there are certain target sets against which you might prefer to employ a Maverick if that option were available. I can't remember off the top of my head, but I think that we only use the G-model AGM-65, and that's an Imaging Infra-Red guidance system, rather than TV.
 

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