News story: British Army’s new air defence missile blasts airborne target by Baltic Sea

#29
Rapier FSC was a very good system when it came into service; it is still capable now but it is too short-ranged to be truly effective.
FSC is 26 years old, Rapier dates back 47 years and the technology is older still and the missiles are not very reliable and were coming to the end of their shelf life with no option to buy more.

It’s a pig to set up, frequently breaks down and any non radar engagement relies on the skills of a young gunner, which are at best adequate because of a lack of realistic training.

Rapier will still easily take on threats from all but the most technologically advanced countries and we are likely to be able to sell the systems and shed loads of missiles we have left to the Arabs.

I was involved (in a small way) in the sale of the last mk1 missiles. I was under strict instruction not to mention the missiles were fucked (they had been on the beams in the Falklands for about 6 years).
 
#30
That would be the Norway off to the East of Scotland yeah?
You're looking at a flat map but, you see, the actual Earth is not flat; it's a slightly-squashed sphere and that makes the direct route one down our west coast, once Biggleski has got his knackered old Bear or Backfire around the corner past those pesky Norse NATO members. And why hang a left at Måløy only to get pinched between the RNAF, RAF, RDAF, KLu, BAC and AdAF in a sky full of warm-bloodied jet-jockeys all itching for the chance to paint an air-intercept splash on their cockpit sill?

Much better to tool down to sunny Cornwall trailing Vlad's coat - with the added bonus of a nearby militarily-neutral country to bail out over if it all gets a bit tasty.

30-05-2018 23-06-23.jpg
 
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#31
FSC is 26 years old, Rapier dates back 47 years and the technology is older still and the missiles are not very reliable and were coming to the end of their shelf life with no option to buy more.

It’s a pig to set up, frequently breaks down and any non radar engagement relies on the skills of a young gunner, which are at best adequate because of a lack of realistic training.

Rapier will still easily take on threats from all but the most technologically advanced countries and we are likely to be able to sell the systems and shed loads of missiles we have left to the Arabs.

I was involved (in a small way) in the sale of the last mk1 missiles. I was under strict instruction not to mention the missiles were fucked (they had been on the beams in the Falklands for about 6 years).
I had the dubious privilege of going to the Hebrides in 1998 to live fire Rapier as FSC was coming into service. Some 'interesting' results with the Mk2A and B missiles.
 
#32
I had the dubious privilege of going to the Hebrides in 1998 to live fire Rapier as FSC was coming into service. Some 'interesting' results with the Mk2A and B missiles.
They were that bad that BAe agreed that they would compensate for any missile failures (as opposed to operator or ground equipment failure).

And it was an Ammo Tech who made the final decision.
 
#33
FSC is 26 years old, Rapier dates back 47 years and the technology is older still and the missiles are not very reliable and were coming to the end of their shelf life with no option to buy more.

It’s a pig to set up, frequently breaks down and any non radar engagement relies on the skills of a young gunner, which are at best adequate because of a lack of realistic training.

Rapier will still easily take on threats from all but the most technologically advanced countries and we are likely to be able to sell the systems and shed loads of missiles we have left to the Arabs.

I was involved (in a small way) in the sale of the last mk1 missiles. I was under strict instruction not to mention the missiles were fucked (they had been on the beams in the Falklands for about 6 years).
I watched Rapier being fired many times in the FI a lifetime ago, I had absolutely no faith in its ability to kill anything other than the sea and its operators following that. Said missiles had been on the beams 3-4 years.
 

Goatman

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#34
At a unit cost three times that of HARM it bloody well ought to.
To be fair, it also has three times the range of HARM, thus keeping your expensively trained warm bodied jet jockeys out of the way of stuff like this

 
#35
You're looking at a flat map but, you see, the actual Earth is not flat; it's a slightly-squashed sphere and that makes the direct route one down our west coast, once Biggleski has got his knackered old Bear or Backfire around the corner past those pesky Norse NATO members. And why hang a right at Måløy only to get pinched between the RNAF, RAF, RDAF, KLu, BAC and AdAF in a sky full of warm-bloodied jet-jockeys all itching for the chance to paint an air-intercept splash on their cockpit sill?

Much better to tool down to sunny Cornwall trailing Vlad's coat - with the added bonus of a nearby militarily-neutral country to bail out over if it all gets a bit tasty.

View attachment 336389
Again, one hates to be technical, but wouldn't it be a left at Måløy to come down the North Sea?

I understand great circle routes, the shape of the earth and the inherent limitations of conformal projections. I started out trying to be light-hearted but I'm beginning to think I'm in a thread full of Ruperts.
 
#36
Interesting to contrast some of the comments here with some of the observations made on the F-35 thread. In particular, @Magic_Mushroom's response to the inevitable question about the Su-57 versus, say, the F-22 - that a direct comparison is perhaps inappropriate because the Su-57 is seen as part of a layered system which includes SAMs, etc.

Ultimately, we bailed out of having a SAM belt because of money. I can still remember going past the fields of Bloodhounds on the bus to school at RAF Bruggen back in the mid-70s. We now go 'up' as far as Rapier, and no further. It's not because we couldn't use or don't need a system such as Patriot. It's because the lack of money has led us to decide that we 'don't' need one.
Not 'don't need', more 'lost as excess, under ever closer trimming'.
 
#37
Again, one hates to be technical, but wouldn't it be a left at Måløy to come down the North Sea?

I understand great circle routes, the shape of the earth and the inherent limitations of conformal projections. I started out trying to be light-hearted but I'm beginning to think I'm in a thread full of Ruperts.
Ha! Hoist on my own petard!! That's always happening when I look at south-bound stuff on a north-up map!

And I make the bloody things for a living!
 
#38
...it has to be cheaper to put them along the west coast to keep the russians away than it is to send up typhoons every time they get close

I am obviously, missing some vital piece of information because even the French have a decent SAM shield, i dont understand why we dont have / need one
While I don't disagree that it's an increasingly relevant gap in our capabilities, we do have Sea Viper on our T45s.

However, SAMs have almost zero relevance to Air Policing. Firstly, the Russians could merely choose to conduct their business out of range of any land based SAMs. Secondly, missiles cannot identify, photograph and escort Russian aircraft out of the UKADR, let alone interrogate possible 9/11 scenario threats (for which our Typhoons are scrambled regularly).

The RAF Bloodhound SAMs were withdrawn from service in 1991. A LTC Option was raised to replace them with Patriots, but the end of the Cold War and the desire for a peace dividend put a stop to that. If the Bloodhounds had gone a few years earlier we would probably have got a replacement. A contributory factor is that the SAMS were operated by Engineers, rather than GD Branch. At the time I did ask CAS if the SAM capability would have been retained if it was run by GD's. He was not impressed.
Bloodhound Engagement Controllers (ECs) were members of the then GD(G) Fighter Controller Branch not engineers. There were also SAM Voice Controllers (VC) and SAM Allocators (SA) at RAF Neatishead who would manage the wider C2 of the then extensive 'LOMEZ' which covered most of Eastern England south of Yorkshire; these guys were also FCs who dicharged the VC and SA roles in addition to other CRC qualifications.

As you say, there was a replacement programme but I don't think anything would've kept the capability in the heady days of 'Front Line First' and 'Defence Costs Study'.

Regards,
MM
 
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#39

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