Replacement AWACS

Yes, but, the UK government has complete contempt for any kind of in depth technical knowledge and the possibility that people working in a field might know what they are doing. As a result, any view that the RAF might take will be seen as 'partial', in both senses, and therefore provide an opportunity for an 'open' competitive process which in theory delivers the best value, whilst in reality providing opportunities for prevarication, procrastination, pork barrel lobbying and lucrative directorships.
 
We normally do...but that doesn’t mean we’ll get it.

Regards,
MM
I suspect the UK government has not yet decided how to proceed on this. The problem with making it a sole source purchase is that it removes any negotiating leverage with respect to commercial terms. Given that the UK MoD doesn't have bags of money to throw around at this time, that isn't a minor consideration.
 
I suspect the UK government has not yet decided how to proceed on this. The problem with making it a sole source purchase is that it removes any negotiating leverage with respect to commercial terms. Given that the UK MoD doesn't have bags of money to throw around at this time, that isn't a minor consideration.
As CC states above, while there are some drawbacks in sole-source, the E-7 is the ONLY available option which meets requirements now for a wide area C2 asset while producing accurate air, maritime and EW situational awareness. There are upgrades in the pipeline which will keep it competitive and it’s operated by one of our closest allies, with whom development costs can potentially be shared.

In contrast, Saab have bizarrely chosen to offer their Erieye on an A330; the only reason I can think for this is that they’re suggesting we use some of our ‘surplus’ Air Tanker Voyagers. However, given the size of that aircraft, it would be limited in where it could operate in and out of and is really too big for the role. Although they state it can be mounted on any aircraft, it would still require the UK to absorb all development costs - and risk - for integrating the sensors, C2 systems and all related power and airframe mods. Then we’d also have to gain certification for it.

Meanwhile, Elta have still seemingly only offered their system on a G550 jet which lacks the C2 capacity we require.

In both cases, I’d suggest that development and integration of an entirely new type, which would then probably only be operated in small numbers by the RAF, would not be available for a good 7-8 years, even if there were no development issues. As a result, there would also be a further requirement to invest in ‘bridging’ upgrades to our E-3Ds if we were to avoid a capability gap. Longer term, the RAF would have to bear all upgrade costs as it’s doubtful anyone else would buy the system.

All of this results in a timeline well after when we could expect to have E-7s flying in RAF colours.

Regards,
MM
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
As CC states above, while there are some drawbacks in sole-source, the E-7 is the ONLY available option which meets requirements now for a wide area C2 asset while producing accurate air, maritime and EW situational awareness. There are upgrades in the pipeline which will keep it competitive and it’s operated by one of our closest allies, with whom development costs can potentially be shared.

In contrast, Saab have bizarrely chosen to offer their Erieye on an A330; the only reason I can think for this is that they’re suggesting we use some of our ‘surplus’ Air Tanker Voyagers. However, given the size of that aircraft, it would be limited in where it could operate in and out of and is really too big for the role. Although they state it can be mounted on any aircraft, it would still require the UK to absorb all development costs - and risk - for integrating the sensors, C2 systems and all related power and airframe mods. Then we’d also have to gain certification for it.

Meanwhile, Elta have still seemingly only offered their system on a G550 jet which lacks the C2 capacity we require.

In both cases, I’d suggest that development and integration of an entirely new type, which would then probably only be operated in small numbers by the RAF, would not be available for a good 7-8 years, even if there were no development issues. As a result, there would also be a further requirement to invest in ‘bridging’ upgrades to our E-3Ds if we were to avoid a capability gap. Longer term, the RAF would have to bear all upgrade costs as it’s doubtful anyone else would buy the system.

All of this results in a timeline well after when we could expect to have E-7s flying in RAF colours.

Regards,
MM
Does that mean grey or that weird beige colour???
 
Hopefully the MoD has learned its lesson from last time around... the RAF wanted E-3s

Fast forward lots of years, and lots of billions spent on Nimrod AEW, and eventually, the MoD orders E-3s
That generation of civil servants are long gone. The ones currently in post know what's best. For them.
 
Does Qatar really require the E7 when something like the GlobalEye AEW which the UAE has on order. Given that Qatar is unlikely to deploy out of region if at all, would not the E7 be overkill.
Qatar has deployed to several theatres in the last decade, notably Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Regards,
MM
 

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