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Should the AAC take over the RAFs helos?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Gook, Aug 22, 2005.

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  1. On a pretty-recent exercise my unit (TA inf bn) was supposed to go through a movement by RAF helicopter. It didnt feel very well planned, at least not from where I was standing... All along this FTX it was "the helo lift is on, the helo lift is off" etc. First they were Pumas then they were Chinooks, ahha methinks, I'll believe this when I see it, we will probably end up with a heli-Bedford!

    But lo and behold, some form of aircraft actually arrived! Several hours late you understand, and only one Puma between god knows how many of us there waiting, but it being my first time around one I was suitably semi-impressed. Anyway so he goes and takes the first three chalks (or is it sticks? whatever it is anyhoo) and I'm in the last load to go. 3 loads in, and its only a 10 minute round trip, he fecks off for about 3 hours to "refuel" it transpires!

    Was thinking, the way the Spams do it is that all the battlefield helos belong to their Army, and their airforce is left to get on with fighters and bombers etc. Now I'm not one to change for changes sake but havent they got a point here? And isnt their Army aviation meant to be pretty damn effective?

    Look at the Navy, they dont get the RAF to fly off their ships, the RN has the Fleet Air Arm to do it themselves thankyou very much! And I can definitely see the point in having a guy from your OWN service flying the thing you are relying on, hell the USMC liked that idea so much their Marines have fighters! Okay maybe thats pushing it a bit far but you can see the point in all these.

    Why not give the RAF Chinooks and Merlins (and Pumas til they're replaced by Merlin and if they arent grounded after what happened to the Spaniards in Afghan) to the Army Air Corps? After all they serve the Army 99% of the time so thats the service they should be with, along with the Lynx, Apache and the UAVs. If every now and again they operate from ships with the RM in a landing then I'm sure the Army can work with the Navy just as well, if not better than the RAF can. I'm not on about giving the Army Tornados or anything, just what makes sense. And if the RAF didnt have helos they'd be more free to do their big-scale air combat with Eurofighters and Tornados and Sentries etc.

  2. An age old argument, Gook. I'm sure plenty will agree that it is almost a sensible idea that SHF (Support Heli Force) is operated by AAC. Afterall, the Army have ownership of the aircraft to a certain degree.

    Future plans may well see a slightly different 'service' but we will have to wait and see. :wink:
  3. I reckon that AAC should have all battlefield helos (Gazelle, Lynx, Apache, Merlin, Puma, Chinook) and UAVs, the FAA should have anything that flies from a ship, and the RAF should have the remainder, the kit for fighting an air war like Eurofighter, Tornado, Harrier (or JSF soon in the CAS role isn't it?), Sentry, Nimrod, transports and tankers etc. Would this be a fair way of looking at it?

    Why isnt it sorted out so? Is there any reasoning for it being the way it is, or is it all politics and interservice rivalry, who's strongest in Whitehall at any particular time?

    Don't the RM have their own squadrons too? I know RN pilots fly the junglies but I've heard of RM pilots flying the Army version of Lynx for landings and supporting 3 Cdo. Suppose they could do this alongside Army or Navy pilots, hell its the Navy's own Army's own Airforce as if that isnt confusing enough!

    Have also heard that due to Joint force Harrier, and the demise of the Sea Harrier, RAF pilots will embark on aircraft carriers in ever increasing numbers... Is this getting rid of the Fleet air arm by stealth?!

    Would be interesting to hear the other side of the argument from any crabs around here...

  4. Of course they should. It's bleeding obvious. For all the operational reasons, yes, we know those arguments, but also for the real reason. Just to see the look on those tragic crab faces when their big toys get took off them and they get a chance to re apply for their job. Only this time they can be a corporal and they have to do proper basic training instead of that schoolkids indoor camping trip the raf do.

    Jesus, their stupid moustaches would wilt on the spot. Fcuking hilarious.

    (guess whether I ever got to tab when the frigging Puma failed to show, again? Go on, guess. You can rely on a Lynx.)
  5. I doubt it will happen. The RAF get a huge budget and would like to hold on to it thank you very much. The heli fleet budget helps to pay for their cream cakes, nice bars and 5 star accomodation.
  6. Not for much longer. :roll:
  7. If the RAF didnt have the heli fleet they could concentrate on stuff like air supremacy and ground attack, they'd have to worry about Eurofighter, Tornado and JSF which is what they should be doing.

    Whereas the FAA should be worrying about flying from ships and the AAC should be worrying about supporting the troops. The RAFs trying to displace both from their own jobs aren't they?

    Can you imagine what would happen if the Army started buying fighter jets and tried to push the RAF out of that role, there'd be outrage, so why is it okay the other way round?

    Anyway if the RAF has got to lose so many thousand bods (10 000 out of a total 50 000 isnt it?) then unloading the heli fleet to the AAC would free up some manpower for the other things they must do, whilst the heli job would still get done by the lads in green...
  8. This is probably due to the weight of your TM, or whoever when it comes to bidding for assets.

    Ah, to be in the TA and the bottom of the pile. Well I was, once.
    We had much the same problem finding the enemy!
  9. Mmm the really startling thing was though that we were in STANTA, Thetford, not 5 mins down the road there is RAF Honington, Mildenhall and Lakenheath, the home of the RAF Regt and 2 massive sprawling USAF aerodromes, due to the sheer number of aircraft around it looked like we had constant low-level Combat air patrol over us from flights of Spam F15s, you couldnt get away from the damn things if you wanted to!

    Yet we get the carry-on we did when we actually request something... Do the RAF view carrying troops around as a chore, because if they do isnt that the Pumas role, it was just down the road not 5 hrs flight away from them so what gives?! Argh!!!

    Enemy is not so much a problem there are plenty of clerks biffs storemen etc but curiously rather less in the rifle coys, pltns and sects and amongst those like MG and recce who must work closely with them, wonder why this is??!

  10. Do you really want an answer to that?

    Also, who's going to pay for the fuel and maintenance etc.? We live in a time of budgets and the TA never get much of that.

    Off-topic, but 1 lives in the field and gets wet, the other lives in a tent and gets cheap beer.

    Cynical and bitter, me?

    Edited to correct piss poor grammar and spelling.
  11. Well really I knew the answers to those, but I mean if the RAF are going to have helos then its pointless them doing it half-hearted, and also biffing out of everything is most jack!

    Anyhoo I suppose the RAF is just too powerful to give up its helos to the AAC where they would be better used and kept. Oh well I thought it wasnt a bad idea whilst it lasted, at least as far as my ideas go!

  12. Wait out on this, Gook, not a bad idea at all.

    It'll be interesting to see what the Crabs have to say in the morning. You can't exect to find one in front of a PC after about 17:30.

  13. In the early 80s when the Director AAC was Gen W. ex R.E. good bloke, he came on a tour of NI and drinks where hosted in Sgts Mess.
    I was in a small goup chatting with one of his staff who told us that it had been agreed that AAC would take over all Support Helis bar Chinhook. The reasoning was that over 80% of all operational flying was done by RAF for Army.
    The agreement came undon when the RAF where told by the exchquer, they would lose the X millions of £s allocated to S.P.Helis. RAF had been planning a couple of extra sqds of real cabs.
    Memory fails but I think the 80 was nearer to 90 %
  14. YES.

    RN should take over maritime patrol and ALL fast jet.

    Bin TYPHOON and use JSF as the way forward. Its going to be the airframe in common usage in a few years and it was extremely farsighted of the RN to invest £1 bn at the design/planning/prototype to save costs and create employment down the line. RAF still tied to 20 year old obsolete designs.

    RN are used to expeditionary warfare. So are Army.

    Army should take all Rotary for the Land Battle, and also fixed wing multi engine troop transport.


    ALL SUPPORT STAFF THAT ARE ACTUALLY NEEDED TO DO SAME. But they must be capable of passing CFT and BPFA, which means 90% of RAF will be sacked.

    No more Senior Officers pensions to pay. No more service to 55 sitting on your fat shiny arses.



    The RAF were formed only because IN WW1 the Admiralty and General Staff were ignorant of the concept of Air Power, nowadays no commander would dream of not having CAP as force protection/projection.


    WE need an Army for defence and to pursue our foreign policy objectives. We need a Navy because we are an Island nation, with 90% plus, of our trade imported/exported via seaports.

    We do not need a separate service to provide Airpower. SIMPLE.

  15. I vote olddearhunter for CGS, Sec. of State for Defence, Director Manning and Records and Prime Minister.