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RAF Problems with Airbridge acknowledged

#2
It has taken them long enough to notice; maybe the AFPRB's experience at the hands of us Crabs when they visited Iraq last year has helped matters!

Our AT fleet has been on its last legs for years, the A400M is not a direct replacement for the C130K (it sits somewhere between the C130J and the C17), despite Lord Drayson's comments, we are only gaining one more C17 in addition to the four we have had on lease for the past 5 years and FSTA will be as much use as a Tristar in getting troops into theatre (i.e. not much) because it is unlikely to be fitted with defensive aids.

Unfortunately the senior leadership of the RAF is more concerned about Typhoon than AT and appears incapable of realising that the RAF's major effort in current operations is transporting the Army fom one place to another, not maintaining air supremecy with an all singing, all dancing new air combat aircraft :roll:
 
#3
Bat_Crab said:
It has taken them long enough to notice; maybe the AFPRB's experience at the hands of us Crabs when they visited Iraq last year has helped matters!

Our AT fleet has been on its last legs for years, the A400M is not a direct replacement for the C130K (it sits somewhere between the C130J and the C17), despite Lord Drayson's comments, we are only gaining one more C17 in addition to the four we have had on lease for the past 5 years and FSTA will be as much use as a Tristar in getting troops into theatre (i.e. not much) because it is unlikely to be fitted with defensive aids.

Unfortunately the senior leadership of the RAF is more concerned about Typhoon than AT and appears incapable of realising that the RAF's major effort in current operations is transporting the Army fom one place to another, not maintaining air supremecy with an all singing, all dancing new air combat aircraft :roll:
And this is precisely the reason why the RAF has a poor reputation with the Army, and why comments such as 'utterly, utterly useless' come to light. Top tip to RAF 'Top Brass', sort out your AT and the Army will like you a whole lot more!
 
#4
The FTSA will have DAS according to what is written on the air tanker website. Agree though that the gap in capability is unacceptable. There were reports that Marshall's had offered to procure for the MOD some Tristars from storage and refit them as an urgent project. Maybe they should be taking up that offer, as FTSA is taking an age.
 
#5
Recruiting_Office_reject said:
The FTSA will have DAS according to what is written on the air tanker website. Agree though that the gap in capability is unacceptable. There were reports that Marshall's had offered to procure for the MOD some Tristars from storage and refit them as an urgent project. Maybe they should be taking up that offer, as FTSA is taking an age.
I think I'd rather wait for FSTA than let Marshall's loose on another bunch of Tristars! We still haven't forgiven them for the K1.

I had been led to believe that there were issues over the fitting of DAS on FSTA because the civilian company involved wouldn't be able to maintain the DAS suite whilst the aircraft was being used to transport the general public to Malaga and Magaluf. The security classification of the DAS might also require extra security measures for the ac whilst parked up in the Balearics - unless they perfect a DAS that can be removed and replaced with ease!
 
#6
Bat_Crab said:
It has taken them long enough to notice
I believe the iron chancellor new this was on the cards but now he is in the frame the thought of stuff falling from the sky full of warm bodies on his watch is starting too bite .... or an i just being :x
 
#7
Latest Private Eye mentions the rather lengthy procurement of 'new' air to air tankers, points out that nothing has materialised yet. Has the first replacement machine been tested, has it flown? The RAF tanker fleet has a mix of VC10s, from the late 1960s, DC10s and Tristars from the mid 1970s. Is this another of Milord Drayson's responsibilities? On the other hand McStalin Broon and Twa Jobs Broone don't seem to be busting their guts to sort this mess out, after all they have had a hand in it.

Have a think about the helicopter fleets for the services, Sea Kings, Lynes, Pumas, Gazelles are essentially throw backs to the late 1960s. When will they be replaced? Broon, Blair and Co like the power, but shy away from responsibilities to the forces.
 
#8
The politicians must take some blame, however successive CsAS have failed to identify that something needs to be done. Procurement of new AT and SH should have started in the late 80s. GW1 at least should have shown us that our AT was getting a bit long in the tooth, we have spent too much time and money on Typhoon.
 
#9
This is a good one. I was involved on the edge of the FSTA and the C-17/Antonov projects in the late 90's. It has taken far too long to get to where we are now - still flying around in the Antiques Road Show. Bottom line:

We need to buy quickly and more C-17s, less A400m, more hercs, suitable tankers and passenger aircraft with DAS - in fact all fitted with DAS. Less Typhoon.

And while we are at it - how about an updated A10?! Perhaps flown by the AAC?! And more helicopters - more Chinook.

In fact lets have an RAF that is equipped to support good old expeditionary warfare in far flung and remote/nasty places.

All comments by Ministers are spun and while not unture, they do not explain the whole situation. And Lord Drayson is brighter and more capable than most - his civilian record proves that.
 
#10
hamster_man said:
This is a good one. I was involved on the edge of the FSTA and the C-17/Antonov projects in the late 90's. It has taken far too long to get to where we are now - still flying around in the Antiques Road Show. Bottom line:

We need to buy quickly and more C-17s, less A400m, more hercs, suitable tankers and passenger aircraft with DAS - in fact all fitted with DAS. Less Typhoon.

And while we are at it - how about an updated A10?! Perhaps flown by the AAC?! And more helicopters - more Chinook.

In fact lets have an RAF that is equipped to support good old expeditionary warfare in far flung and remote/nasty places.

All comments by Ministers are spun and while not unture, they do not explain the whole situation. And Lord Drayson is brighter and more capable than most - his civilian record proves that.
Unfortunately this is the case, but it still doesn't say much for him. On those times I have met him he has appeared more interested in enjoying corporate hospitality from BAE, Westland etc than talking with service personnel. I suspect he is only still in the job because no-one else wants to do it.
 
#11
raf will burble on about in depth strike capability and air superiorty etc etc.
truth at the moment and for the forseeable future
hm forces need a long range airliner and removal service
a shorter range taxi service
and an aerial survey service
and the ablity to drop death from a great height on bad people
the ablity to check 6 and shoot down other moustacheod egomaniacs not on the agenda.
unfortunatly if we lose typhoon we loose typhoon and get nothing in exchange :cry:
 
#12
a bliar said:
Latest Private Eye mentions the rather lengthy procurement of 'new' air to air tankers, points out that nothing has materialised yet. Has the first replacement machine been tested, has it flown? The RAF tanker fleet has a mix of VC10s, from the late 1960s, DC10s and Tristars from the mid 1970s. Is this another of Milord Drayson's responsibilities? On the other hand McStalin Broon and Twa Jobs Broone don't seem to be busting their guts to sort this mess out, after all they have had a hand in it.

Have a think about the helicopter fleets for the services, Sea Kings, Lynes, Pumas, Gazelles are essentially throw backs to the late 1960s. When will they be replaced? Broon, Blair and Co like the power, but shy away from responsibilities to the forces.
We have DC-10s? Fcuking hell. I wouldn't like to be the bloke with them on my inventory! :wink:
 
#13
As I understood it, the RAF is currently in the process of a massive overhaul to gear it towards expeditionary warfare.

Is this incorrect?
 
#14
The_Goon said:
As I understood it, the RAF is currently in the process of a massive overhaul to gear it towards expeditionary warfare.

Is this incorrect?
Organisationally - yes. Equipment wise - no.

RAF Stns have been reorganised and allocated to Expeditionary Air Wings, but this is more to aid our deployment than any support to the Army. In short we need more AT, more Movers and better attitude towards the essentials of expeditionary support to our sister services.

Edited for mongish spelling.
 
#16
Yes, I was under the impression that the RAF was lacking in the essential equipment of the trade.

I've often thought, and discussed with friends and colleagues (both Mil and non-Mil), that the RAF seems to be purchasing somewhat unnecessary bits of kit (see typhoon and JSF).

Can anyone shed light on why the RAF is procuring fighter aircraft at great expense, with apparent disregard for the actual need of the PBI's on the ground i.e. Helicopters and Strategic Lift capability?
 
#17
The_Goon said:
Yes, I was under the impression that the RAF was lacking in the essential equipment of the trade.

I've often thought, and discussed with friends and colleagues (both Mil and non-Mil), that the RAF seems to be purchasing somewhat unnecessary bits of kit (see typhoon and JSF).

Can anyone shed light on why the RAF is procuring fighter aircraft at great expense, with apparent disregard for the actual need of the PBI's on the ground i.e. Helicopters and Strategic Lift capability?
JSF should fulfil a necessary role as the successor to the Harrier. Typhoon was first agreed, in concept, after the Falklands war when it was decided that the RAF needed a world beating air-to-air combat aircraft. During the course of its procurement, it became so mired in problems that it became a political necessity to get it into service in order to save face. The honourable thing would have been to put our hands up, admit the program was failing, reduce our order and invest in AT and SH. But since when did we do the honourable thing? We ploughed more money into it at the expense of other platforms.

In essence, we have been given Typhoon based on 20 year old requirement - albeit with some recent changes. I look forward to it being deployed, as has been promised, to Afghanistan in 2008; it requires an enormous amount of ground equipment and the position of the air intake is hardly ideal for dusty environments. I also suspect its CAS capability will be rather lower than Harrier's and it will be resigned to medium level bombing missions.

If it's any consolation, Typhoon is a world beating air superiority fighter and better than almost anything else in service in the world - we just don't need it!
 
#18
'Cause procurement is a decade* behind strategy, doctrine and our commitments....

Oh and Typhoon looks so much better than an Albert on the brochure cover.

:roll:

(* give or take a decade.)
 
#19
DPM_Sheep said:
'Cause procurement is a decade behind strategy, doctrine and our commitments....
Indeed it is, but Typhoon is designed to operate from large, well supported airbases, such as we had during the cold war, it is not designed to be easily deployable or to work in more austere environments. No-one realised that an aircraft designed to work in an austere environment can also work from a Main Operating Base, but the reverse is not true. Ironically, ten years ago we had a bloody good idea that our future conflicts would be expeditionary, but Typhoon was too big a snowball to deal with by then.
 
#20
The_Goon said:
Can anyone shed light on why the RAF is procuring fighter aircraft at great expense, with apparent disregard for the actual need of the PBI's on the ground i.e. Helicopters and Strategic Lift capability?
Air forces exist as independent services because of missions that are not land- and sea-related. This is why Western air forces (led by the Americans) have established BAI and AI doctrinally as the high-value aspects of air power as opposed to CAS. There's no reason for forces conducting AT or CAS to be in an independent service with only fractionally more aircraft than air marshals. There is a reason for people flying fast jets in enemy operational depth far, far away from friendly land forces to be an independent service.

Once you understand this about air forces, then you can understand why the USAF has wiped the A10 off of its boots as though it were dog poo, and why air forces pretend that a mach 2.2 a/c is well-suited to CAS missions.

Why do air forces maintain the AT role at all? A certain economy of scale (air forces pay for fixed-wing training anyway -- they might as well control fixed-wing aviation), but also empire-building. The fast-jet pilots who end up as air marshals need to have something other than a few hundred fast jets to command. Otherwise they start looking like an AAC regiment instead of a service all on their own.

It's noteworthy that the Israelis have pulled their air force firmly back under army control.
 
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