Petition to Save the Harrier

Discussion in 'Royal Navy' started by IronDuke99, Oct 31, 2010.

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  1. Admiral Woodward & Sharkey Ward Petition to save the Harrier

    After the Prime Minister made public the appalling decision to withdraw the Harrier from Naval and RAF service, my son Kris managed to raise the issue with him and in doing so hit the headlines. We wish to put pressure on the Prime Minister and the government to reverse this dreadful decision and I am now writing to you with some urgency to ask your assistance by signing the petition online at:

    Saving the Harrier

    If we do not retain the Harrier in service we shall lose all the expertise that is so necessary for operating from an aircraft carrier (over 90 years of dedication, huge combat success and the loss of countless lives in peace time and in war will have been in vain). Such expertise cannot be “reinvented” overnight. It would probably take decades to achieve this.
    Hopefully, you will feel it appropriate to help publicise this petition request as a matter of urgency and pass it on to all your friends and colleagues and ask them to do the same.
  2. Signed bump
  3. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    I think the Harrier is a lovely bird and everything should be done to preserve the species.
  4. Signed, I think they have a point.
  5. actually i thought he raised the point about him losing his job, selfish arse, and in doing so in public knowing the media were there, to me, as he was an officer was bad form.
    before anyone starts about capabilities etc i think it is a bad decision
    tin hat on!!
  6. Useful and innovative as the Harrier is/was, does anyone think that an e-petition is going to make the blindest bit of difference? Is the MoD going to be swayed by 300 'Mickey Mouse' and 200 'Donald Duck' e-signatures on a website?

    Show me one substantial e-petition that has made the slightest difference, and a £10 pledge will be on the way to Hols4Heros.

    I might be just having a Sunday night attack of apathy though.
  7. I believe the Digital Economy Bill (Now the DE Act) was tweaked due to an e-petition. Although I don't know how significantly, and whether you view that as substantial. It also bore no military link. In main, I agree about e-petitions not helping much, but it's got to be worth a shot - and seniority will have more of an impact than numbers.

    50 of the UK's most senior, most highly paid names will be much more likely to have an impact than 50,000 Joe Smith's.
  8. msr

    msr LE

  9. Whatever your attitude to the e-petition thing, you can't knock the speed at which they reply only last week I got a reply from them reference the TA petition I signed last November which is quicker than my mobile network has been at refunding overcharges.

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  10. So they planned to send an e-mail saying why they wanted to do something.
    So the answer to the petition was: "This is what we're doing, and we're not going to give in to you". So you must agree that the petition made no difference.
  11. Some might like to try sending a letter or e-mail to their MP.

    -Getting rid of the carriers (and Harriers) and amphibious assets – but retaininhg 60% of heavy armour etc suggests a total lack of balance

    -The skills need to run a fixed wing flying at sea (not just the aircrew but flight deck crews and the rest of the ship) will be lost after a ten year gap

    -Retaining ILLUSTRIOUS instead of OCEAN will allow us to embark US, Italian, and Spanish Harriers and maintain some of those skills. She is also the faster and more robustly built of the two ships, doesn’t need a refit and has done the LPH role before. She is also just about to come out of refit, and has a better suite of sensors

    -The Harrier is more flexible than Tornado, doesn’t need a long runway, needs less maintenance and logistics and recently had a support contract awarded to keep it flying this decade. It is better than Tornado GR4 for close air support

    -Retaining a small number of Harriers will kep our options open in the event of unexpected events (the ones that dominate history).

    Also – don’t forget that the Harrier Out of Service date was meant to be 2018, according to: International Institute for Strategic Studies UK air force may have its wings clipped
  12. The GR4 and GR9 each have pros and cons.

    The GR9 is cheaper to operate than the GR4, can undoubtedly operate with greater ease from more austere locations and its STO capabilities were very useful when we first went into KAF. Most obviously, the GR9 is of course carrier capable.

    Equally, it is simplistic to suggest that the GR9 is the superior CAS asset. Both GR4 and GR9 are highly effective in the CAS role; despite doubts regarding availability when it replaced the Harrier, the GR4 has matched the excellent deployed serviceability of its predecessor in HERRICK.

    Moreover, the greater variety of GR4 weapons options has brought specific advantages in HERRICK, especially regarding low collateral, precision strike (principally employing Dual Mode Seeker Brimstone and cannon, both of which the GR9 lacks). This has proved very important given the well publicised direction from ISAF leadership on CAS RoE.

    The greatest advantage over the GR9 offered by the Tornado however is its ISR capabilities; a role conveniently ignored by Mr Ward et al and arguably of far greater relevance in COIN. In this respect, the GR9 has SNIPER and the Digital Joint Recce Pod (DJRP). In contrast, the GR4 is equipped with the Litening III (broadly comparable to the excellent SNIPER) and RAPTOR. The latter is an exceptionally capable wide area EO/IR recce system which allows significant UK influence within the ISR community. Indeed, the USAF view RAPTOR product on a par with U-2 imagery and it is heavily utilised by UK and Coalition troops for many roles including CIED (although troops may not realise the origin). Unlike DJRP, RAPTOR product can also be datalinked to the ground (as opposed to waiting for the aircraft to land prior to exploitation) and has several other key advantages regarding how it can be passed around the J2 and C2 networks. RAPTOR also provides a degree of strategic IMINT via its stand off capability, a key factor since the retirement of the Canberra PR9.

    CAS aside, the GR4 is also more credible in a wider variety of roles than Harrier due to its greater range, higher cruising speed, avionics and additional weapons options (ALARM, Storm Shadow and RF Brimstone,) in comparison to the Harrier. The GR4 is therefore more able to integrate into coalition COMAO and penetrate contested air environments consisting of IADS, fighters, SAM and AAA.

    In short, it is extremely disappointing that we’ve lost the carrier capable Harrier. However, the harsh fact is that carrier air has not been essential to UK ops since 1982. In comparison, the Tornado GR1 and GR4 have (contrary to Mr Ward’s statements) operated in strike, CAS, SEAD and recce roles in GW1, Kosovo, Northern and Southern Iraqi NFZs, GW2 and HERRICK and been highly valued by the US.

    Faced with the fact that one of the 2 had to go, the options were therefore:

    1. Harrier GR9. Excellent CAS asset with limited ISR but capable of operating of carriers.
    2. Tornado GR4. A very good CAS asset with far superior ISR capacity and greater versatility to contribute more widely to a variety of scenarios such as strike and SEAD.

    Finally, in all the hyperbole about the RAF having escaped cuts, let’s not forget that the GR4 is still deleted in 2016. That will mean that in little over a decade, the RAF will have lost the Jaguar (early), Canberra PR9, Tornado F3 (early), Tornado GR4 (early) and Harrier GR9 (early) as well as having its Typhoon purchase significantly reduced and badly affected by export sales support.

  13. uhh...hang on a minute. If the RAF don't have F35 until around 2020 then surely that leaves us with a 4 year gap in our ability to provide CAS in the form of anything larger than the last minute CAS upgrades to the Typhoons which have poor deployability.

    Now I can see the government arguing that carrier air can wait and that our warfighting ability won't suffer unduly from the period where we won't have any but if we get into a serious shooting war with poor CAS, few tanks and artillery pieces and no carrier air then we may just be staring defeat in the face. I believe this government is living in lalaland if they're seriously assuming:

    A) We'll always be in a coalition against a serious enemy.
    B) We can solve our problems by putting financial pressure on potential enemies.

    Their continuation of the decimation of the armed forces leads me to seriously believe that are no better than Labour.
  14. Err, why does the Typhoon have poor deployability?

    Moreover, the Tiff A-G capability is not 'last minute'; it was designed in from the very outset of the Programme. The principle issue with Typhoon is that it's being pulled in all directions (QRA, Falklands AD, CAS/multi-role sqn work up) with an increasingly small fleet.

  15. Then the government will have to seriously look at seriously increasing the size of the Typhoon fleet with the intention of having both an AD dedicated platform as well as a platform to provide CAS more than half-heartedly. With the intention of also buying F35 as a replacement for Harrier.