RAF knew about Nimrod leaks before crash

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Blogg, Oct 27, 2007.

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  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/10/26/nnimrod126.xml

    Emails never go away. Which must be "inconvenient" for some senior beings now they are splashed in the press. Know this has been chewed over at length before but IMHO whole Nimrod/Nimrod replacement saga is beyond a total disgrace.

    Getting excited over at PPruNe


    in particular about spin/tinfoil hat interpretations being put on bits of leaked emails, i.e

    Sent: 2 Dec 2005

    "As you will be aware, XV230 and XV250 both have fuel leak issues that need to be rectified before the aircraft can be deployed into TELIC.

    "As XV250 is placing quite a burden of work onto RAMS, can we explore the possibility of CWP/FRA tank team taking on this ac [aircraft] as a priority fix. This then leaves the way clear for RAMS to progress XV230’s Primary and fuel leaks. At the moment we are in danger of spreading ourselves too thinly and achieving neither as a result."

    Sent: 15 February 2006, 17:01

    "Fuel leaks on the Nimrod MR2 aircraft are attracting considerable attention and now pose a significant threat to the force being able to meet PCF Commitments and Operational Tasking OOA."

    Sent: 15 February 2006, 17:17

    "...the age of the airframe ... combined with the aggressive tempo with which we are flying the jets in stark temperature shifts, is contributing to our leak headache."

    (XV230 exploded on 2 September 2006)
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    I'd also like to see some of the e-mail traffic about the Tristar and VC10 fleets. I'm sure that would be equally illuminating and worrying and highlight the same problems.

    Too much work, too few ac and no budget to be able to do anything more than to accept the risk of something going pear shaped......
  3. The same could be said for many other things within the forces unfortunately. Like with every thing else, it always seems to take a catastrophe and a whistle blow to get any thing done by the MOD / Parliment.
  4. A lot of Nimrod aircrew have left the service to join Netjets at Aberdeen as a result of the crash of aircraft XV230 on 2 September 2006 in Afghanistan

    Reputedly the RAF currently has no Nimrod instructers available until the end of the year.

    The remaining Nimrod MR.2 fleet are considered risky to fly by the aircrews.

    The Nimrod MRA.4 conversion programme is around 6 years late(and counting) and squillions over budget.Another British defence procurement sucess story.Not
  5. BOIs perhaps don't have the same level of confidence from the rank and file amongst the aviation community since the Mull of Kintyre Chinook crash...it is widely believed that the aircrew were postumously stitched up to carry the can for airframe failures which resulted in the tragedy.

    Nimrod MRA4 (formerly "Nimrod 2000") is a ludicrous waste of money, why support a legacy airframe at such a cost?
  6. Who are Netjets at Aberdeen???? are we paying BAe up front for the Nimrod??? are there any off the shelf systems we could buy instead???

  7. Netjets are a fractional operator of business jets currently operating around 130 of these aeroplanes in Europe,with loads more on order.Aircrews are based at locations all over Europe.

    Probably better paying than the RAF,and the chance to fly all over Europe and further afield.

    Safer too,no accidents since Netjets were set up in Europe around 10 years ago.

    There's currently a shortage of pilots,so the RAF could lose further pilots.

    The Nimrod MRA.4 ran into cost overruns around 5 years ago,and HMG(or to be more precise,the unfortunate UK taxpayers) agreed to an extra 750 million quid for this.(that's why the army go short of kit).

    No doubt more quiet bailouts are in the offing.The in serivce date for the re-built Nimrod was recently moved from 2009 to 2010.

    An easier move would have been to purchase new-build P-3 Orion turboprops from Lockheed,but this was ruled out on political grounds by the last conservative government.Just goes to show Neu liarbore do not have a monopoly on stupid decisions.
  8. well knew politics had to come into it somewhere, but we should have set a figure on the price first and let Bae sort out the rest, unless of course the MOD keeps changing the requirements for what they want so the costs over run

  9. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Never flown in a Nimrod so don't know about air to air refueliing in it
    However had the miss fortune to refuel them on the ground a few times and they always p1ssed fuel everywhere
    No body wanted to refuel them you always came back stinking and you had to practically put it in by the cup full
    I remember in ASI a techie jumping up and down on the wing to try and get air out of it
    It's an old design must be pushing 50 - 60 years now
    How many upgrades has it had plus that aew version in the 80's
    Once refuelled a comet that flew out of Farnbrough with the test bods now that did leak fuel
  10. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    My first posting from training was Kinloss where i worked on the Nimrod line as a armourer . The jet was a good bit of kit in its day & was still good for its intended role of a sub hunter. I remember reading of possibly buying the p3 orion or taking a airframe of a newer jet & modifying it.
  11. looks like we on here seem to know what is broke and how to fix it, however the MOD and politicans seem to be blind to it, is that an unfair comment???

  12. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    It is a fair comment mate
    Unfortuately it's now (IMHO) past the stage were throwing money at it will sort it
    Aircrew are leaving
    Techies are leaving
    The VC10 and Tristar are old frames to how long can they be kept safely flying ?
    If one of them goes in it will be a lot more than the poor 14 bods who were in the Nimrod

    BTW all this in the media is probably not helping the families of the 14 people on board that aircraft
  13. the_boy_syrup, yes I think this is in the media, and your right the families maybe hurting right now having this dragged out in to the open again and my heart goes out to them....

    However can we let this go on???? I need to right to liam fox again I think, formulate a plan to start trying to get things like this changed

  14. Hello Le_addeur_noir,

    not buying Orions was a very good idea.
    It is as almost as old as the Comet/Nimrod,the Americans are currently replacing their's with a turbofan powered converted airliner and the production line shut down long ago.
    Had we bought Orions,we would have been single handedly supporting a foreign defence program,that would cost far more even than singehandedly supporting a domestic program.
    Bear in mind that the treasury get most of the money spent on domestic programs back in taxes.

    There are two real problems with the Nimrod upgrade.
    The first is that we tried to save money by refurbishing fuselages,which are one of the cheapest parts of an airframe.
    Consequently we suffered all the design limitations of the old fuselage as well as the extra cost of them not all being the same size.

    The second problem was that we spent almost the cost of developing a new aircraft and then only bought twelve.
    The sensible thing would have been to develop a single aircraft to perform a variety of roles instead of the Nimrod,Sentinel,Sentry and various others,including Naval requirements and then buy an economic number of airframes.
    This would require what the government call "joined up thinking" linking a variety of air force and navy projects,including the future carriers.
    In the long run it would have saved a substantial amout of money which would have allowed us to maintain larger force size.

  15. Agreed. While BAE (rightly) gets it in the neck for an awful lot of things, AIUI, they suggested that complete new-build airframes might be rather less troublesome and the MoD were the ones who pooh-poohed the idea.

    This, of course, meant that the possibility of the MRA 4 being adopted as the USN's replacement for the P-3 disappeared completely. While there'd have been an inevitable degree of 'not invented here' in some cirlces, Boeing 's involvement in the MRA 4 programme might have made a difference.

    I have heard a USN chap express the view that that Boeing would quite happily have taken the lead on the 'Boeing/BAE Systems P-8 Nimrod', since they'd not have had to set about redesigning the 737-800 for the MPA role (US airframes built in US to keep Congress happy, but some UK involvement in construction somewhere not impossible).

    However, by ensuring that we could at most build just over 20 of the MRA 4 by reusing the fuselages, the MoD guaranteed that the prospect of new-build Nimrods was dead. Along with the prospect of cheaper unit costs for RAF airframes because of a much larger build and some increased income via BAE's taxes because of the fact that a rather large number of current P-3 users are likely to select the same replacement as the US.

    What in fact happened was that the cost of a fleet of 21 (original plan) would've bankrupted BAE because of the way the contract was framed; the order was then cut to 18 and was then chopped further by TCH because, apparently, we don't need as many...