New(46 year old) RAF spy planes

#1
The secretary of State for defence Bob Ainsworth confirmed on March 22 that the RAF are getting three new "Rivet Joint " spyplanes KC-135Rs 64-14835, 64-14836, 64-14840 al built in fiscal year 1964 which are older than the Nimrod R1s they replace
 
#4
tropper66 said:
The secretary of State for defence Bob Ainsworth confirmed on March 22 that the RAF are getting three new "Rivet Joint " spyplanes KC-135Rs 64-14835, 64-14836, 64-14840 al built in fiscal year 1964 which are older than the Nimrod R1s they replace
The "R" model KC-135s are ones that were extensively rebuilt in the late 70s/early 80s- new engines (the same CFM56s that the RAFs E-3Ds have) and practically new wings too.
 
#5
baboon6 said:
tropper66 said:
The secretary of State for defence Bob Ainsworth confirmed on March 22 that the RAF are getting three new "Rivet Joint " spyplanes KC-135Rs 64-14835, 64-14836, 64-14840 al built in fiscal year 1964 which are older than the Nimrod R1s they replace
The "R" model KC-135s are ones that were extensively rebuilt in the late 70s/early 80s- new engines (the same CFM56s that the RAFs E-3Ds have) and practically new wings too.
Of the 5 RAF E-3Ds only 4 are in forward fleet and 2 in Active service( FOI act January 10)
 
#6
Of the 5 RAF E-3Ds only 4 are in forward fleet (FF) and 2 in Active service( FOI act January 10)



Right am either dense or pishpoor at maths

5 = 5
4 FF= 1 missing
2AS = 3 where

Or is it 5-1= 4FF of which 4-2 = 2AS

Waits for Magic Mushroom to explain.
 
#7
Gentlemen,

Trust me when I state that the RJ procurement is an all time good deal for the UK.

In a perfect world, we’d have procured (as opposed to leased) new build A330 for strat AT, AAR and SIGINT. Common airframe, common engines, common trg and logs etc. Sadly, we don’t live in that world and the cost of designing, trialling and installing a bespoke SIGINT kit on a small fleet of aircraft unique to the RAF would have been prohibitive.

BAeS attempted to sell the 3 development Nimrod MRA4s to us as ‘flatbeds’ for conversion to ‘R5’ standard. Thankfully, that option was killed off as all 3 airframes are in a fairly poor state after several years of trials, testing and test equipment added and removed; they’ve got patches all over them and would have required significant work. Moreover, we’d have still been faced with the technical challenge of installing and calibrating the SIGINT mission system.

RJ is tried and trusted with a very capable mission system. The airframes have effectively been ‘zero houred’ in a similar way to MR2 fuselages converted to MRA4 standard.

My only concern is that we now face a over 3 years where we’ll essentially lack a sovereign manned SIGINT asset once the Nimrod R1 leaves service next year. Not an issue for Afghanistan, but it is if we want to do anything else with them.

However, I reiterate, RJ is a VERY good deal and we owe the US a lot for letting us jump on board when the alternative was losing the capability altogether.

Regards,
MM

PS…The RAF has 7 E-3Ds although 6 have only ever been ‘supported’. Some are now in reserve, but they’re all available at Waddo as a spares pool or reactivation which is why the engine choice is relevant. To be precise, the engines are a diferent variant of the CFM-56 as they lack the E-3D's thrust reversers. However, there's still plenty of logs commonality to be had.

PPS...and before some bright spark suggests it, no, UAVs couldn't have filled the SIGINT role!
 
#9
Magic_Mushroom said:
Gentlemen,

Trust me when I state that the RJ procurement is an all time good deal for the UK.

In a perfect world, we’d have procured (as opposed to leased) new build A330 for strat AT, AAR and SIGINT. Common airframe, common engines, common trg and logs etc. Sadly, we don’t live in that world and the cost of designing, trialling and installing a bespoke SIGINT kit on a small fleet of aircraft unique to the RAF would have been prohibitive.

BAeS attempted to sell the 3 development Nimrod MRA4s to us as ‘flatbeds’ for conversion to ‘R5’ standard. Thankfully, that option was killed off as all 3 airframes are in a fairly poor state after several years of trials, testing and test equipment added and removed; they’ve got patches all over them and would have required significant work. Moreover, we’d have still been faced with the technical challenge of installing and calibrating the SIGINT mission system.

RJ is tried and trusted with a very capable mission system. The airframes have effectively been ‘zero houred’ in a similar way to MR2 fuselages converted to MRA4 standard.

My only concern is that we now face a over 3 years where we’ll essentially lack a sovereign manned SIGINT asset once the Nimrod R1 leaves service next year. Not an issue for Afghanistan, but it is if we want to do anything else with them.

However, I reiterate, RJ is a VERY good deal and we owe the US a lot for letting us jump on board when the alternative was losing the capability altogether.

Regards,
MM

PS…The RAF has 7 E-3Ds although 6 have only ever been ‘supported’. Some are now in reserve, but they’re all available at Waddo as a spares pool or reactivation which is why the engine choice is relevant. To be precise, the engines are a diferent variant of the CFM-56 as they lack the E-3D's thrust reversers. However, there's still plenty of logs commonality to be had.

In Jauary they had 5 and only 2 in active condition, it also states that at least six Typhoons have been cannibalised for spares already
 
#10
OK MM, you sold it to me, I'm more than happy to accept your expert opinion, not that my agreement matters!!!

(Good luck getting Tropper to agree, though!)
 
#11
flamingo said:
OK MM, you sold it to me, I'm more than happy to accept your expert opinion, not that my agreement matters!!!

(Good luck getting Tropper to agree, though!)
Come come, Flamingo. You know Tropper has unimpeachable sources that allow him to correct the poor misinformed on the site.

Listen and learn! :D
 
#12
flamingo said:
OK MM, you sold it to me, I'm more than happy to accept your expert opinion, not that my agreement matters!!!

(Good luck getting Tropper to agree, though!)
I do agree, Rivet Joint is a great bit of kit but you might have thought that the MOD could have seen this coming at the moment we dont have any Elint/sigint/SAR/Maritime/ fixed wing aircraft and in the FOI request put in by AFmonthly we really are in the crap, of the C130Js only 12 were active and only 5 of the 130Ks, 4 C17s,6 VC10s,3 Tristars. How they manage to keep the airbridge going beggers beliefe. they must be working their arrse off to keep them all in the air, but for how long can this f**k up go on.

another point that came to light is that every time a C17 lands at Lynham they shut the base down for about four hours,for the repatriation service, and without wishing to sound heartless this is causing massive disruption to the servicing of the C130 fleet as these events are now happening almost twice a week
 
#13
Nimrod R1 is in service for another 12 months so we do have SIGINT for a bit longer.

Regrettably the MR2 and MRA4 is not involved in Afghanistan so HMT aren’t interested in it, despite the implications for our strategic deterrent.

Similarly, the AT fleet is being thrashed yet attrition replacements for C-130s have not been forthcoming.

In short, everyone’s seen this issue coming for a long time. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, HMT has not fronted up the cash to resolve them in a timely manner.

Regards,
MM
 
#14
Just noticed your edit tropper,

tropper66 said:
Magic_Mushroom said:
The RAF has 7 E-3Ds although 6 have only ever been ‘supported’. Some are now in reserve, but they’re all available at Waddo as a spares pool or reactivation which is why the engine choice is relevant.
In Jauary they had 5 and only 2 in active condition...
Come to Waddo and I'll show you all 7! Seven were procured (ZH101-107), one was never formally funded in terms of support costs and was classed as an 'in-use reserve'. This effectively meant that whilst all 7 were employed for ops, only 6 were ever available at any one time.

Not sure about what has been officially stated so I won't give current numbers. However, suffice to say that more than 2 are in an 'active' condition.

Regards,
MM
 
#16
I've been a lurker for quite some time on all things Air/ aviation on this site. I'm aware of MM and we have met in the past , so for myself MM word on these topics is pretty much gospel. However I have noted Tropper has a lot to say and it seems to come from Air forces monthly and other magazines. I'm just waiting for the classic"Tucano as a CAS platform" topic to fire up.
 
#17
Widow_69 said:
I've been a lurker for quite some time on all things Air/ aviation on this site. I'm aware of MM and we have met in the past , so for myself MM word on these topics is pretty much gospel. However I have noted Tropper has a lot to say and it seems to come from Air forces monthly and other magazines. I'm just waiting for the classic"Tucano as a CAS platform" topic to fire up.
You are quite right I do get my info from a number of aviation magazines, and have said so a number of times, and the figures I quoted were from the FoI Question answered by Bill Bramell in the House of Commons on March 17 so its hardly a rumour, and I still think the fact that there are 40 Tucanos sitting in Shawbury,doing nothing, a disgrace, and massive waste of money, if they are not going to use them then sell them.
 
#19
Yes I agree sell the Tucanos or at least a number of them. Not too sure how much money the RAF would let alone gain from the sale. RJ is a good bet for Brit PLC , no point in getting all romantic about Brit kit when we can get a tip top platform from USAF.Should have kept them Canberras running for a few more years as well.
 
#20
Widow_69 said:
Yes I agree sell the Tucanos or at least a number of them. Not too sure how much money the RAF would let alone gain from the sale. RJ is a good bet for Brit PLC , no point in getting all romantic about Brit kit when we can get a tip top platform from USAF.Should have kept them Canberras running for a few more years as well.[/quote

They also have 35 Hawks stored
 

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