Discussion in 'Aviation' started by conco, May 5, 2008.

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  1. This may have been said before and if it has sorry!

    Saw a Yank preditor up close on a taxi way the other day with loads of very dangerous (in yank hands) stuff under the wings.
    The sooner we get our kit with the same stuff the better. Oh hang on that means leaving the ordanance in the hands of drop shorts 8O

    Also saw the RA pilot the same day and he was a miget! (about 4 foot nothing) I suppose they have to be that hight to get in the cock pit 8)
  2. R-i-i-i-i-i-g-h-t.

    This wins 'Least Informed Post on ARRSE' which is an achievement all of its own in any event.

    1. Predator is flown by the RAF.
    2. We don't have any armed ones, merely the capability to do so.
    3. I presume you were in California when you saw this aircraft?

    Or were you looking at H450? Just possibly.
  3. Sorry, gotta bite...

    Why is this an uninformed post?

    1. I know the RAF are playing with Reapers, but I was not aware we were operating Predators? The only Preds I have seen were USAF ones..
    2. We may not, but other do as I understand..
    3. Why?

    Ok spelling is Mong, and the attempt at humour is a bit lame, but your response is a little harsh...(and wrong...)
  4. Ok then. We provide support to the Joint Predator Task Force.

    And I really can' be arrsed answering the rest on here - if you're as well informed as you are claiming, then you don't need me to.

    And if I was rude, then apologies all round, but I'm sure he could have taken that up with me on his own.

  5. The RAF UAV capability is based on 39 Sqn, administered by RAF Waddington but based at Creech AFB, Na. 39 Sqn includes a number of RN and Army personnel.

    39 Sqn A Flt operates USAF owned MQ-1 Predator As. B Flt operates the MQ-9 Reaper. Both are weaponised.

    The RAF has also operated other UAV types operationally via the AWC (note that stands for Air Warfare Centre not Air Force Warfare Centre) UAV Battlelab.

    I'm a strong believe in the Army having UAVs. However, I would agree that the RA retaining such influence is a major error and I believe operational experience so far supports that. In fact, about the only Army guys who believe the RA are right for the job seem to be RA. Hopefully, the increasing oversight by DAAvn will see the AAC gradually assume control of H450 and WK. By all means keep RA experience on the sqns, but use them as sensor operators not pilots.

    As I've said before, I think the AAC needs to have a review of where it wants to go to ensure that its rotary, fixed wing and unmanned potential is met, for the wider good of the Army and Joint community.

  6. Are your forces having the same disagreement that ours are concerning RPV's? The US Army has nco's (and occasionally lower enlisted) flying them while the USAF has actual pilots at the controls. Blue suiters are trying to force the Army to adopt thier method which is facing stiff resistance as putting extra bodies through formal flight school would up the cost of operating the drones.
  7. Khyros,

    Roughly yes. The RN and RAF use pilots for Pred A and Reaper ops. The RA use gunners for Hermes 450/WK.

    I don't think many in the RAF/RN/AAC advocate needing fully qualified military pilots long term. But you do have to understand the battlespace and the affect your actions have on others when operating UAVs probably above the size of Phoenix. The RA has not yet got that balance correct and neither have the US Army imho.

    When I can talk to an RA gunner and he understands that altimetry means that his UAV is possibly not flying at the altitude displayed on his screen. When I stop seeing US Warriors orbiting in the Basra approach without requesting permission or talking to anyone because they cannot read (let alone have access to) standard aviation charts, TAPs and SIDs. When I stop hearing gunners say things like 'it's not as if there are airliners operating over Afghanistan'. Then I’ll believe that the balance is correct. Certainly, any aspirations for the use of UAVs in non-segregated airspace alongside civilian users will not happen until UAV drivers have that awareness. The recent UAV thread on the gunners forum illustrated the amount of ignorance that exists.

    Out of interest, the USAF has recently established a new career stream for UAV ‘pilots’. This has lower medical requirements than those for airborne aircrew. They then complete an abbreviated 'under graduate pilot trg' (UPT) theory course on aerodynamics, avionics, comms, air law, met etc prior to conducting a largely synthetic practical UPT UAV course. Although based upon traditional USAF UPT, the entire course costs peanuts. I suspect that something similar will be adopted by the RAF and RN for its future UAV pilots.

    In short, you don’t necessarily need pilots to operate UAVs. Indeed, there is nothing to say the RA and current US Army operators couldn't do the job with the right trg. But you sure as hell need a better standard of air mindedness than that displayed by the RA and US Army right now. A Phoenix tooling around at 1000ft is not the same as a WK capable of flying in the same airspace as large manned ISTAR assets and airliners.

    Imho, WK should be operated by the AAC, as part of a formed AAC sqn, with AAC pilots operating them and RA/Int Corps/whatever acting as sensor ops. In fact, I’d go further and suggest that we should increase synergy by establishing a Joint UAV force along the lines of JFH or JHC. 8O

  8. Never a truer word spoken, on all levels
  9. Not at all sure what is being insinuated here.. 8O

    However there is an interesting debate about who flies what. For my twopence worth:

    1. Gunners really don't have the infrastructure to operate in civil airspace. They also are not really set up for operating armed aircraft in and around a congested runway. I really prefer them behind a well defined danger area (with me outside thanks :x ). They are culturally too arrogant to be let loose with this sort of capabilty.

    2. Air forces can operate armed platforms in controlled airspace, but they have a tendency to gold plate everything and have a structure that rotates too much around the pilot's arrse. This needs to change - the current air battle is a service industry - we need to lose the "battle of Britain" or "Marianas Turkey shoot" mindset and get with the programme. The current cost per kg of delivered terminal effect is too high.

    3. AAC are somewhere in the middle. I think they have got the response to the job in hand pretty much right, but their infrastructure is crap, and frankly they are dangerous to live with at times..

    There - upset everybody have I :D ?

    I suppose it is really about migration. Do we migrate any of the above to the UAV role, or do we do an Etch a Sketch and start again from scratch..?
  10. Do you want to qualify that? :roll:
  11. I suspect the airfarce and navy guys are looking forward to when the humble RPV becomes the UCAV, (unmanned combat aircraft) whc=ich will have all the capability of todays fast jet combat aircraft but the pilot will be in a nice airconditiond contro room on the ground. Aircraft like the JSF and the typhoon may well be the last piloted combat aircraft so these jet jockeys are going to adapt their skills. At the moment they are just flying model aeroplains but before too long these devices will become far more complex and their battle space will become far more complex.

  12. They said that about the Vulcan and Victor. :roll:
  13. Check you PMs...
  14. Checked. Nothing yet. :?
  15. Indeed, but that was mainly political speak, now they really are working on the idea, and lets face it isnt the cruise missile a single trip limited load bomber.