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Typhoon declared Combat-Ready

#2
I think they've just gone through RED FLAG or whatever they call it these days , so that's the Hot and Arid conditions done, so I guess they will be available for CAS shortly?

MM is the man in the know on these things.
 
#3
The SoS recently announced that Tornado (GRF) was taking over the role of Harrier in Afghanistan. This is in addition to the standing commitment for Iraq (although the size of that commitment may be reduced). This is because Typhoon is nowhere near ready for an ops deployment in the CAS/Air-to-Ground role. There's a big RAF push from high up to get Typhoon on ops in the Gulf (to prove it isn't the huge waste of money everybody knows it is), but realistically don't expect to see it for a couple of years. At best, they might scrape a short term deployment as a kind of PR thing, but I doubt even that.
 
#4
Usual sub standard of reporting, Commander Gav Parker. I can't view the video here at work, but I assume he meant an RAF officer and not an RN officer.
 
#5
Of course their combat ready...they better be considering we sold 72 to Saudi Arabia a few weeks a go, then again I wouldnt lose any sleep if theirs did breakdown in the desert.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
Seems that the Air Force loves it, the septics are well impressed with it, and it's a good bit of kit. As a multi-role fighter-bomber, it's the dog's nads, and we're getting the septic Vstol for dedicated ground attack.

Pims all-round! Hooraah!

Of course, it's not yet going to Afghan, but I'm sure it will soon enough.
 
#8
kevster said:
I'd be more concerned about Tornado taking up the mantle of CAS in Afghanistan if I was a boot on the ground, to be honest.
Oh really? What is your qualified opinion then? The Mud Movers have a solid reputation and I see no reason for them not to continue that.

Biped - I think we're going for the STOVL version aren't we?

[/pedant]
 
#10
More endurance, more load carrying, 2 man crew. By the time they get there Paveway 4 and data link should be on the frame....


Ooohhhh - and a gun! 8O
 
#11
Ord_Sgt said:
Mr C, why would they deploy Tornado IDS for CAS when thats what the Harrier is for? Genuine question.
GR4/A,IDS is used by the other nations & the weapon systems used on our Tornado's are different than those used by Germany ect.For one,our's are Nuclear Capable (or was when it was GR1 standard)
The Tornado will be able to replace the Harrier when/if the Brimstone missile (our version of the Maverick AGM)comes into service.

The Typhoon was declaired combat ready around June 09 during Excersise Green Flag;

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/D...tics/TyphoonProvesItsAirsurfaceCapability.htm
 
#13
The reason that Typhoon isn't going to Afg as planned and the GR4 fleet is doing that task is thanks to Gordon and his government, nothing to do with the aircraft's capabilities, or the RAF.

The decision - for financial reasons - to slightly speed up the reduction in the Tornado F3 fleet while pushing Typhoon deliveries off to the right means that 11 Squadron is needed to help support the AD of the UK task at the moment. Typhoon is likely to be a splendid multi-role aircraft, but even it can't be in two places at once.

Now, if the govt hadn't allowed the Saudis to take 24 slots out of the Tranche 2 line, thus reducing the pace of deliveries to the RAF, 6 Squadron would be on the verge (or possibly be in the process) of reforming, which would have allowed 11 Sqn to deploy overseas...

Drlligaf - Gav Parker is, as you suspect, a Wing Commander...
 
#14
Mr_C_Hinecap said:
kevster said:
I'd be more concerned about Tornado taking up the mantle of CAS in Afghanistan if I was a boot on the ground, to be honest.
Oh really? What is your qualified opinion then? The Mud Movers have a solid reputation and I see no reason for them not to continue that.

Biped - I think we're going for the STOVL version aren't we?

[/pedant]
Same reasons as the vast majority of the rest of the armed forces I'd imagine. The TGRF suffers from poor leadership and man-management both at a strategic and local level, under resourced with regards to spares, manpower and experience. However, compared to Harrier, the Tornado GR is a much older, more complex and generally more unreliable machine. So any problems particulary with the logistics and experience side will have a greater 'knock on' efect with regards to aircraft availability IMHO. And I can only see things getting worse with two simultaneous ops draining resources and causing more people to PVR.
 
#15
Ord_Sgt - Harrier can't sustain the sort of hammering it is getting out there. It needs a break as the spares, airframes, manpower etc are getting worn thin. Remember - it is only Cottesmore that runs operational Harrier now, so a small pool of dwindling resources has been drained. The GR is a capable airframe with capable operators on board.
 
#16
It’s a shame that the normal ill informed comments by individuals such as kevster always pop up in these debates. I remember similar ‘cold war waste of money’ comments about Apache a few years back.

As Archie has implied, the decision not to deploy Typhoon on HERRICK was taken for a variety of reasons, non of them related to the aircraft’s capabilities. Certainly, the Typhoon is now more than ready for deployment in an operational CAS/ISTAR role. It offers an excellent performance/payload/endurance combination as a CAS asset in the conditions experienced in Afghanistan and has proved very easy to maintain during fairly austere deployments thus far. Some of ARRSE’s FAC experts such as Johnny Paveway have been very enthusiastic regarding Typhoon’s A-G role. In short, it could deploy now and be a very useful asset. Sadly, the desire to retire the F3 fleet more rapidly than planned, combined with an increase in Russian Long Range Aviation activity and the Saudis jumping the Typhoon OCU and spares queue has delayed the formation of the RAF’s third operational sqn.

As far as the GR4 deployment to HERRICK goes, the aircraft is of course also a key provider of CAS/ISTAR and has been doing so in Iraq for many years. It also has the ability to carry the superb RAPTOR recce pod which rivals the U-2 for image quality and can be downlinked in real time (although I suspect Litening III down link will remain the more usual EO sensor). However, its payload and performance will suffer in the Afghan summer months in comparison to the Harrier GR7/9. Kevster is correct that the GR4 tends to be needier in terms of support. However, the Harrier fleet is hurting severely with carrier skills particularly being eroded. Most notably, they’re using up airframe hours rapidly when there’s not much flex available to absorb further F-35 delays.

Finally, Brimstone is already operational on the GR4 (although watch this space for further enhancements!) and is a heavily modified Hellfire missile rather than a Maverick.

Mr D,

Nice pic! :D However, I would suggest the Hawker Typhoon of 1944 would be of little value given the distances and climate involved with ops over Afghanistan!

Regards,
MM
 
#17
MM

Brimstone enhancements done, but a test firing went awry. Should be sorted soon...

Be interesting to see how the load out changes for AFG, GR4 is now capable of mixed loads of "things"!
 
#18
Ugly,

Nice pic!

Mr D,

Early Tiffs had the unfortunate habit of parting company with their tail planes when diving at high speed!

Reference drop tanks: Speed is a bigger issue, overlay a map of Afghanistan with one of the UK. It's a big place and remember that the CAS/ISTAR assets are utilised across the region by different RCs. An RAF/RN Harrier can be providing recce over RC(N) one moment and then be providing CAS to UK troops in Helmand a few mins later. Having flown in a C2 role over the Stan, even the A-10 was sometimes of no use when a TiC kicked off simply because it would take too long to get there. Drop tanks also don't help much in over coming the topography and climate of Afghanistan.

For instance, a modern turbo prop type such as a Super Tucano (STuc) would have been unable to provide CAS for the majority of the last winter because of the appalling weather experienced. However, I think a STuc could be a useful option to AH being constantly tasked for escort duties with the SH boys, especially as the Apache can't keep up!!

Regards,
MM
 
#19
Magic_Mushroom said:
.

Finally, Brimstone is already operational on the GR4 (although watch this space for further enhancements!) and is a heavily modified Hellfire missile rather than a Maverick.

Mr D,

Nice pic! :D However, I would suggest the Hawker Typhoon of 1944 would be of little value given the distances and climate involved with ops over Afghanistan!

Regards,
MM
Hellfire! FFS,I always get them & Mavricks confused.Did'nt think Brimstone had gone op yet min you the weapons available to the Tornado have doubled since I left!The main weapons we practiced on regular basis (apart from specials!) was JP233,ALARM,1000Lb'ers & BL755's!
 

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