RAF " A little better than Belgiums"

#2
Well they have high opinions of theirselves don't they. :)
 
#4
Of course, there is a bit more to this = 2020 represents the weakest point in the plan, as JSF won't be there in any numbers, (even the case pre SDSR to be honest), and the GR4 is winding down (and would have been anyway without SDSR). We were always heading for a bit of a squeeze - its nice to see a Senior Officer be honest about it though.

As for Sqns - there are others more qualified than me on this, but I was under the impression that a Sqn was more of an admin hub, and organisational unit now, with the RAF deploying individual FE@R rather than X squadrons to a crisis?
 
#5
. . . We were always heading for a bit of a squeeze - its nice to see a Senior Officer be honest about it though. . . .
He is probably correct, but he had to “cover his ARRSE”, pretty quickly tho’ :) :)

The Telegraph on Sunday 19 December 2010 said:

RAF commander: our air force will be little better than Belgium’s


The head of the RAF’s fighter and bomber force has said that drastic cuts in the Government’s defence review “worry the hell out of me” and would leave the Air Force only “slightly above Belgium” in squadron numbers.

Ministry of Defence sources said that Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, Chief of the Air Staff, “did not share” Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell’s views.

An Ministry of Defence spokesman said that Sir Stephen and all the Service chiefs “stand by the decisions made” in the defence review, which were “collectively reached and supported”.

Air Vice-Marshal Bagwell insisted last night that his comments had not been “accurately portrayed or placed in context” and said the RAF would “absolutely meet the current task and operational priorities”.
 

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#6
Interesting that it only mentioned 6 Squadrons, as if the remaining ISTAR, Tpt, Helis didn't matter. Kind of sums up the RAF hierarchy doesn't it! Ripe for merging back into the Army and RN don't you think?
 
#7
Interesting that it only mentioned 6 Squadrons, as if the remaining ISTAR, Tpt, Helis didn't matter. Kind of sums up the RAF hierarchy doesn't it! Ripe for merging back into the Army and RN don't you think?
As it states in the article
Belgium no longer has a stand-alone air force, but an “air component”, with five fast-jet squadrons.
 
#8
I love the way that the article is illustrated with a photo of sixteen Harriers flying in formation, resplendent in Squadron colours last week before they were scrapped.

Typical of the RAF mindset that money is nothing and looking good in fast jets is everything. I wonder how much that little showboat event cost? Probably enough to buy a Chinook.
You actually think a Chinook costs 16 * 2hrs worth of Harrier fuel? Published flying hour costs are irrelevant in this case since they are at the end of service.

I'd be surprised any public money went into the paint jobs. Squadrons that I've served with who have had fancy paintwork for anniversaries and the like were charged the delta between standard paint job and the new one. That is financed by the guys and girls on the squadrons.

If this were a farewell world tour, I'd agree with you. I see no harm in 32 flying hour celebration of the achievements of the type with its long and distinguished record.

I'm impressed they managed to get 16 serviceable..I wonder how many standby aircraft they had.
 
#9
Interesting that it only mentioned 6 Squadrons, as if the remaining ISTAR, Tpt, Helis didn't matter. Kind of sums up the RAF hierarchy doesn't it! Ripe for merging back into the Army and RN don't you think?

Welll. you could argue that the RAF's raison d'etre was always shooting things down and taking pictures of things, which is what the RFC/RAF spent most of WWI doing. In which case everything is dependant on being able to shoot things down BEFORE they shoot your slower, lumbering transport planes, ISTAR platforms, Refueling planes and helicopters down.

And the man does have serious point. The total number of bomb dropping, missile firing planes available to the RAF will be only 135. That's it. The RAF struggled to provide a pathetically small enduring CAS operation in an Overseas Op with the larger numbers supposedly available last week...

JHF has been a fuckup of the first order as all 3 services relied on someone else to foot the bill as that fuckwit oaf Brown stole all the money to waste on his pet useless projects.

The PFI project to replace the AT fleet and other taskings is a pure scam, designed to rip as much money off MoD and RAF for fewer replacement planes than a SINGLE ANG USAF Transport squadron.

In short, we have been buttfucked and when it goes wrong, soldiers and sailors will die because the RAF will not be able to contest air space enough to hold the enemy off, whoever they are.

And don't try to tell me that we'll never fight another state against state war ever again. Cos I'll just ask you for the next 52 weeks worth of winning lottery numbers.
 
#10
The problem I see here is that our politicians are placing Britains soil, it's population and it's interests abroad at a huge risk. The whole world is changing at a brisker pace than many people seem to realise and the the Governments response to that is to cut our capabilities to such a level that if something were to kick off, we actually would be unable to defend ourselves. As an old Soldier, it would be easy for me to say well if it's got to happen, better the RAF than the Army but modern conflict relies on maritime, ground and air supremacy. It's a mixture of all three that secures dominence and we are now facing a scenario where we cannot provide dominence in the air and to a large degree, at sea with the possible exception of submarines.

The Army is being whittled down extensively and is only now still at it's present level because of the conflict in Afghanistan. Even there in Afghanistan, there is a view that we have been operating on a shoestring and more British Troops and air assets would have led to more decisive gains and subsequently, a better security situation. A question to ask about the Army is what would it look like today if Iraq and Afghanistan had not taken place. The answer might scare the pants off of anybody who takes even a passing interest in the security and care of Britain. You can bet your last quid that those who might one day decide to become our open enemies are taking a good look.

The possibility of using French resources is a welcome plan but that should be an addition to our capabilities, not a reliance that if we need to get ourselves out of trouble, we must rely on French military might. Take for example the Falkland Islands. If Argentina pulled a rabbit out of the hat and we found ourselves faced with trying to send a task force "down south" again, would the french seriously say to us, ok lads take the carrier etc? I don't think they would for three reasons. Firstly, France has no interest in the Falklands other than supporting Britains interests if they want to. Secondly, a carrier is an expensive bit of kit to place in the firing line. What would the French electorate think of their Government if it lost a carrier fighting a war that wasn't a French war. Thirdly, what would the French electorate think of their Government if French lives were lost in a war that wasn't really a French war. Anglo-French co-operation may be fine for swanning around the mediterranean sea but, there is stuff the French wouldn't be interested in helping out with full stop. That's not a knock at the French who are our friends, neighbours and an important ally. It's an assessment based on what I think is real politics. If the French were embarking on something relevant entirely to their own particular interests, would the British electorate be happy for a British carrier (if we had one ) and British lives to be placed at grave risk and lost even.

So to see the RAF cut to this very small size is unacceptable. It places us at risk in the short, medium and longer term in the face of a world where there are some emerging powers who have hugh developing economies. These nations are not cutting their forces or, even sitting on their hands but are using the benefits of their wealth to seriously restructure their armies and re-arm them with some impressive kit. Our politicians need to take the blinkers off and open up their eyes. We don't want to be the worlds policemen or punch above our weight but we do need to be able to defend ourselves and our interests. That was hard enough to do with what we had up until now. With these latest cuts we can't do that any more and that's a disgrace.
 
#11
'If the French were embarking on something relevant entirely to their own particular interests, would the British electorate be happy for a British carrier (if we had one ) and British lives to be placed at grave risk and lost even.'

You've not been to Flanders, then? We had absolutely no need to get involved in the First World War. We didn't send an expeditionary force when the French got a dicking in the Franco-Prussian war and we didn't need to in 1914 - we were dragged in by alliances signed in a panic in the early 1900s and if we had to be allied to someone then Germany should have been the obvious choice.
 
#12
'If the French were embarking on something relevant entirely to their own particular interests, would the British electorate be happy for a British carrier (if we had one ) and British lives to be placed at grave risk and lost even.'

You've not been to Flanders, then? We had absolutely no need to get involved in the First World War. We didn't send an expeditionary force when the French got a dicking in the Franco-Prussian war and we didn't need to in 1914 - we were dragged in by alliances signed in a panic in the early 1900s and if we had to be allied to someone then Germany should have been the obvious choice.
Let's keep it current and topical rather than 90 odd years ago!
 
#14
I love the way that the article is illustrated with a photo of sixteen Harriers flying in formation, resplendent in Squadron colours last week before they were scrapped.

Typical of the RAF mindset that money is nothing and looking good in fast jets is everything. I wonder how much that little showboat event cost? Probably enough to buy a Chinook.
Hmmmmmm

So different from Wally Stewarts showboating in 1978 eh?
 
#15
You actually think a Chinook costs 16 * 2hrs worth of Harrier fuel? Published flying hour costs are irrelevant in this case since they are at the end of service.

I'd be surprised any public money went into the paint jobs. Squadrons that I've served with who have had fancy paintwork for anniversaries and the like were charged the delta between standard paint job and the new one. That is financed by the guys and girls on the squadrons.

If this were a farewell world tour, I'd agree with you. I see no harm in 32 flying hour celebration of the achievements of the type with its long and distinguished record.

I'm impressed they managed to get 16 serviceable..I wonder how many standby aircraft they had.
So the paint and hours put in by the painters was paid for by the SQN Leaders then - No I doubt it .

The last RAF painter I new at Dechi was busy as ****, he was painting the dive clubs tanks every day:)

Just like the last exercise for the Jaguar, a nice little jolly out to OMAN to do low level flying. Now that did cost a few 100 thou and wasa total waste as the Jag was taken out of sevice months later, as was known years prior.
 
#16
'If the French were embarking on something relevant entirely to their own particular interests, would the British electorate be happy for a British carrier (if we had one ) and British lives to be placed at grave risk and lost even.'

You've not been to Flanders, then? We had absolutely no need to get involved in the First World War. We didn't send an expeditionary force when the French got a dicking in the Franco-Prussian war and we didn't need to in 1914 - we were dragged in by alliances signed in a panic in the early 1900s and if we had to be allied to someone then Germany should have been the obvious choice.
It was the German invasion of Belgium which brought Britain into WWI. Keeping the low countries from being controlled by a major European power has been English policy since Queen Bess supported the Dutch rebellion against King Philip II of Spain. So perhaps the obvious solution is to share the RAF with the Belgians -- a combined air force: the RBBAF, the Royal British and Belgium Air Force. Not many aircraft but great beer!
 
#17
I suppose that a number of Air Commodes and above will be being laid up along with the Harriers. More unemployment.
 
#18
Bit harsh on the Belgians!

They always manage to send a C-130 on time. Even though they've only got two of them.

No doubt the Belgian Air Force is mightily pissed off at being directly compared to our shower of shit.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
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#19
'If the French were embarking on something relevant entirely to their own particular interests, would the British electorate be happy for a British carrier (if we had one ) and British lives to be placed at grave risk and lost even.'

You've not been to Flanders, then? We had absolutely no need to get involved in the First World War. We didn't send an expeditionary force when the French got a dicking in the Franco-Prussian war and we didn't need to in 1914 - we were dragged in by alliances signed in a panic in the early 1900s and if we had to be allied to someone then Germany should have been the obvious choice.
That was because it was the Franco-Prussian War and at the time Germany was still a collection of disparate states and not a single unified State/Empire and therefore not a threat to the balance of power on the continent which was still prior to that little fracas held between the French, Russian and Austro-Hungarians. It was following the 1871 conflict that Bismarck, quite brilliant managed to unifiy the German States into one single Empire under the Hohenzollerns of Prussia, that wonderful family that gave us the somewhat unstable Willy II.

This was to prove aproblem as the constitution of the time included the derisively weak Bundesrat, which was dominated by the Prussians. Whislt at the Imperial level the Chancellor was appointed by the Emperor which meant he chose the Prussian Primeminister, the Chancellor controlled the Imperial Budget, and did not require the consent of the Reichstag for its amount or how it was spent, neither did he need its approval to enact certain legislation, though that said the Reichstag too, was dominated by the Prussians. The ministries were all appointed by the Emperor under advisement of the Chancellor.

The old willy fox, Bismarck was dismissed by Willy at the age of 75, in 1890, he would later die in 1898, however this marked a turning point in the Imperial Chancellry as the subsequent Chancellors had neither the influence over Willy that Otto had over his Monarchs, or they were equally seduced by the expansionist dream of Empire. One should alos remeber that the Emperor and the Military Cabinets held complete dominance in foreign policy at this time. Willy bought wholesale into the dream of Empire, Germany deserved her place in the sun (big beach towels in those days, and by that point we and the French had most of the sun loungers anyways) and a navy to emulate Britannia's

Moreover Germany had as far back as 1871 started plans for a war on two fronts under von Moltke, but his plans were limited, his successor Waldersee was keen to strike at Russia but was reined in by Bismarck. Schlieffen refined the plans of Moltke, includeing the violation of neutrality by strike through Begium and the Netherlands, von Moltke the Younger tweaked it further. Corrigan posits that by 1906 Germany's plans were in place and she would strike when the time was right.

Documents published in Ludendorffs post war "The General Staff and Its Problems" revealed that Germany was war-gaming and organising for war againts France Germany and the UK.

War was coming and the series of alliances meant the whole continet would go cablooee we were not tied to affirmative alliances but, our traditional foreign policy of prevent any single power dominanting the continent, we were however the gurantor of Belgium's neutrality, German refusal to accpet that neutrality and invade France through Belgium was the tipping point. Up till then who knows, but we could not stand by as Germany removed a vital economic strategic access point through the Rhine Delta and subjugated a country that we had promised to care for.
 
#20
Silence with your pragmatic historical analysis; there's moral chest-puffing to be done!
 

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