New carriers will not have Airborne Early Warning - Falklands lesson forgotten?

#1
Just scanning through the various documents that have come my way over SDSR - in it, the way is clear that in 2016 the RN loses all Seaking aircraft. In other words, at this point, we lose our 3 AEW squadrons, and will be putting our brand new and jolly expensive aircraft carrier to sea without any AEW.

There appears to be a growing 'ISTAR gap' post HERRICK - we're losing Sentinel, Nimrod, Sk AEW, it looks like Predator won't be put into the Core EP and in return we're gaining err, well, err nothing in return.

AEW was identified as a critical gap in the Falklands, and now we're putting out a white elephant of a carrier without AEW, without any ASW helos and with only 12 aircraft onboard. Remind me again what we're getting for 5.2 billion?
 
#2
Presumably the 2015 SDSR will announce that we don't need a navy after all.

More seriously, I can't believe that MOD or the RN would accept an AEW gap, after the lessons of 1982. I was under the impression from the SDSR document, that the RN will operate Wildcat and Merlin on a scale to fit the size of the fleet- I'd have thought that would include the need to replace SkASAC.
 

jim24

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
In September Agusta Westland/Thales unvieled a proposal to fit a palatised Searchwater 2000 Radar system that could just be slotted into any Aw101 through the rear ramp, with the raydome deployed through the rear door when in flight, Don't know if this idea has been taken up by the RN
 

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#5
In September Agusta Westland/Thales unvieled a proposal to fit a palatised Searchwater 2000 Radar system that could just be slotted into any Aw101 through the rear ramp, with the raydome deployed through the rear door when in flight, Don't know if this idea has been taken up by the RN
I know the RAF rear ramp Merlins don't fit on the current aircraft lifts without removing rotor blades, so this wouldn't work at the moment. Maybe they've planned this into the future carriers, but knowing the Navy procurement system I doubt it...
 
#7
I know the RAF rear ramp Merlins don't fit on the current aircraft lifts without removing rotor blades, so this wouldn't work at the moment. Maybe they've planned this into the future carriers, but knowing the Navy procurement system I doubt it...


Merlin ASaC is for the future carriers
 
#8
jim30 said:
Just scanning through the various documents that have come my way over SDSR - in it, the way is clear that in 2016 the RN loses all Seaking aircraft. In other words, at this point, we lose our 3 AEW squadrons, and will be putting our brand new and jolly expensive aircraft carrier to sea without any AEW.

There appears to be a growing 'ISTAR gap' post HERRICK - we're losing Sentinel, Nimrod, Sk AEW, it looks like Predator won't be put into the Core EP and in return we're gaining err, well, err nothing in return.

AEW was identified as a critical gap in the Falklands, and now we're putting out a white elephant of a carrier without AEW, without any ASW helos and with only 12 aircraft onboard. Remind me again what we're getting for 5.2 billion?
SDSR indicates carriers now costed at £20 billion. Suggest that includes the MASC R&D and procurement ready for service in 2020. :wink:
 
#9
SDSR indicates carriers now costed at £20 billion. Suggest that includes the MASC R&D and procurement ready for service in 2020. :wink:
Oh goody. That must mean we are getting 150 JSF(B) for them too:
SDSR 2010 said:
Aircraft carriers

Decisions on defence equipment require judgements on what our Armed Forces will need 20 to 30 years from now. That is particularly true for large warships like carriers and the fast jets that fly off them. The previous Administration ordered two new carriers three times the size of our existing ones. It planned to equip them from a combat air fleet of around 150 fifth generation Joint Strike Fighters. This £20 billion programme was crowding out other important investment in the Armed Forces.
The carriers themselves will cost nearer £5bn for the pair and at least £1bn of this is due to the procrastination of the last government:
Robert Peston on BBC website 29 Jun 2009 said:
A £1bn cost over-run is threatening the future of the publicly funded project to build Britain's biggest ever warships. I have obtained a memorandum written by the lead contractors for the two 65,000 tonne aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Price of Wales, known as QE Class carriers. Written earlier this month, the memo says:

"The MOD [Ministry of Defence] will publish its annual report and accounts in July; these will show c£1 billion of QE Class cost growth and the project will come under severe pressure through the opposition and the media".

It continues: "this is a very real fight for the programme's survival".

The original budget for the two carriers was £3.9bn. That was the price when the MoD signed the contract for the project with the Aircraft Carrier Alliance last July. In other words, in just 12 months the cost of these enormous ships - which will be 280m long and 70m wide, or the size of almost three full-size football pitches - has risen by 25% to around £5bn...

Here is a statement by Babcock, one of the members of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance:


"The increase in cost of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers is a direct result of the Equipment Examination review carried out by the MoD earlier this year. The review sought to balance the spend profile on major defence projects over the next few years and in the case of the new carriers it was decided to extend the length of time taken to complete the build programme. This has the effect of reducing the spend in the next four year period but will result in an increase in the overall cost of the project."

A Babcock spokesman said that this increase in cost was purely the result of an internal MoD "resource re-profiling exercise" and was not due to design or manufacturing cost escalation. The spokesman went on to stress that the Alliance industrial partners, BAE, BVT, Thales and Babcock continued to work closely with the MoD and were fully committed to achieving the lowest possible cost outturn for the project.

You do like alarming people with inflated figures, don't you? So do the media.
 
#10
Whitecity - now is not the time to attempt smugness
 
#11
SDSR indicates carriers now costed at £20 billion. Suggest that includes the MASC R&D and procurement ready for service in 2020. :wink:
And the main cost here is the hugely expensive F35 aircraft (at some £100 m each). Anyone for the Goshawk? At least the navy would not lose its skill-base, and could provide some sort of deterrent.
McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

.

And as for AEW, there are a couple of barrage balloons still at Duxford. Seriously, if you need a cheap over the horizon radar system, a barrage balloon on a picket would be better than nothing.

A ship 20m tall can see 16 km to the horizon
A barrage balloon 600m up can see 88km
A barrage balloon 1000m up can see 114km

The 1000m balloon would give you:
7 minutes instead of 1 minutes, for tracking a subsonic sea-skimming missile
3 minutes instead of 0.5 minute, for tracking a supersonic sea-skimming missile

Just don't ask me to inflate it in a 10m swell and a 30 knot wind... ;-)

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