RAF 'offer to scrap £3.5 billion Nimrods'

Discussion in 'Royal Air Force' started by Semper_Flexibilis, Jul 20, 2010.

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  1. What will do ASW? because i don't know if anyone noticed we are an island nation and the russians are still ******* about.
  2. Don't be silly, there is no threat anymore.
    I know its true because somebody here on Arrse said so ages ago.
  3. God if it was only the Russians...but every Tom, Dick and hujoo is buying sub's these Days..
  4. Air Sea Rescue anyone? How many times have the Nimrods assisted in such work in deep waters ?
  5. This is yet another of the options discussed as a required piece of the SDSR. They will also have discussed the savings potential of cutting ASTOR, AWACS, C-130 etc. However, it doesn't mean it's going to happen.

    Moreover, Tim Ripley (the original author of this article) has a track record for placing his own opinions where facts cannot be ascertained.

    Nevertheless, it is true that many politicians ascribe the name Nimrod with doom and gloom. The RAF fought very hard to prevent the MR2 retirement being brought forward, not least because of the implications for the strategic deterrent. However, we lost. Nevertheless, the RAF Kipper fleet remains a powerful one in terms of influence.

    MRA4 is now finally coming good (despite the quite appalling project management of various parties) and will be superior to the USN P-8A in nearly every respect, particularly an ASW platform. If the UK does not possess fixed wing MPA, we do not possess a credible strategic deterrent.

    I do think the GR4 fleet will (and should) take a big hit however. I said several years ago that we should have bitten the bullet and binned the fleet to allow additional funds to be freed up for Typhoon (AESA/conformal fuel tanks etc) and F-35 (basic procurement!).

  6. Someone on pprune emailed Janes and got this back:

  7. Our new Type 45 destroyers of course. They can apparently do everything else so why not ASW. In fact, I'm told they can actually get airborne and fly around so who needs Nimrods?

    Failing that, the US Navy has a load of recently decommissioned S-3 Vikings that we could have at a knock down price.

    The Nimrod airframes were built by blokes with slide rules and sledge hammers. No two of them are identical in size or shape. Upgrading the wings has been a nightmare. Perhaps RAF want to dump Nimrod and buy some of the shiny, new maritime reconnaissance planes the US Navy is developing, or some of the even shinier maritime UAVs that are under development.
  8. Para,

    That kind of proves my point. Our journo friend goes to DCC and asks them to make a specific denial that MRA4 will NOT be cut in SDSR at a time when nothing (apart from Trident apparently!) can be excluded. As they understandably refuse to state that, he assumes that this means MRA4 is history!


    As someone who has been involved with ASW, and has flown on MR2 and an ES-3A (not the ASW variant I acknowledge but it had the same radar and EO), the S-3 is less capable (by a long way) than our MR2s.

    The Nimrod design remains the finest ASW/ASuW platform in the world due to a combination of wing loading, endurance and payload. Meanwhile, our ASW sensors remain superb. In the last ex conducted by the MR2, the RAF jets detected 8 subs for every one detected by the USN P-3Cs.

    The P-8A Programme is now making the MRA4 look like a well managed project. The airframe is unsuited to low altitude ID and a new system of dispensable mini-UAS are being developed which will be launched through the sonobuoy tubes to descend and ID radar contacts!!! Nor does it have a MAD capability and the weight issues are such that they have resorted to removing the co-pilot’s HUD.

    Meanwhile, the BAMS unmanned adjunct is limited to high level radar ASuW and is unable to conduct ASW. We can already do that with our AWACS. Indeed, if you are able to tell me of a RPAS/UAS capable of carrying and dispensing the large numbers of sonobuoys required to achieve a targeting solution on a modern SSN or SSK, I’d be delighted to hear about it.

  9. I suspect we'll be seeing a lot more of the 'we're doooooooomed' stories soon. Of course no one can gurantee anything, but this sort of option is on the table, as is various others. We're doing a root and branch review, and so its the time when every paper under the sun from 'disband the Brigade of Guards' thinkpiece to 'Replace all Regimental mascots with inflatable sheep to save on vets bills' study get dusted off and looked at.

    I would be very surprised if Nimrod does go under, unless we take some fairly serious decisions about scrapping the deterrent (not going to happen). Both the RN and RAF will be fighting tooth and nail to save this, so the question is, what will go instead? I'd agree with MM that GR4 is looking risky - but this is probably a realism measure given how shagged some of the frames are.

    If you believe whispers, then the AEW fleet is also looking risky, as is Harrier.

    Personally I think we'll see the RAF emerge as the big 'loser' from the SDSR - likely to see time called on GR4 and a transition more quickly than expected to a 2 jet type FJ force.
  10. I understood that the RAF had taken delivery of the first a/c in March, am I right in that understanding?

    MM, a couple of questions

    Will the MRA4 have the same ELINT capabilities and will Offshore Tapestry be resumed?
  11. We could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you.
  12. I believe France still has about 13 mothballed Atlantique 2 if you are interested....

  13. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    Hundreds of times a year.All Nimrods carry SAR kit as standard & the was at least two with a full SAR & Flare fit on standby at all times.My first posting was on Kinloss NLS (Nimrod Line) way back in 85...
  14. Whet,

    What ELINT capabilities? I think you're mistaking the maritime patrol variant with the R1 SIGINT Nimrod.

    MR2 had Yellowgate ESM. MRA4 has an infinitely superior ELTA system.

    As far as roles goes, with only 9 in service at best, I can't see it doing much more than the absolute minimum.