back to article UK MoD tries to resell surplus Eurofighters to India, Japan

Reports indicate that British officials have been in talks with several far-flung nations with a view to offloading scores of enormously expensive Eurofighter jets which the MoD has ordered but cannot pay for - or even use. The Financial Times this morning says that unnamed "defence officials have confirmed" that the UK has held …

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Anonymous Coward

Tornado

The Tornado was an international collaboration as well. You would have thought that one euro-cock-up would've been sufficient really.

How about forming a large mercenary force and renting them out to Georgia for a bit? A hundred high-tech fighters with British trained pilots should liven up things in caucasus a bit.

..and we'd get combat proven pilots back.. some of them possibly alive.

It'd save on pensions too.

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Coat

A surfiet of hydrogen and stupidity.

...There's always eBay! :-)

... mine's the one with the last-second sniper bid in the pocket.

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Dead Vulture

3bn only?

What's that, a pocket change? ID cards anybody? New Communications Silo?

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Paris Hilton

Can't pay for or use?

"Reports indicate that British officials have been in talks with several far-flung nations with a view to offloading scores of enormously expensive Eurofighter jets which the MoD has ordered but cannot pay for - or even use."

What's the point?

I suppose i'll just go on Amazon and place an order for something.

"Oh sorry, I can't afford it!"

See how muh of an idiot you look like?

Paris because the MoD can't afford her either.

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nice try but

"Perhaps, in fact, the MoD ought to be focusing more on its negotiations in Italy, Germany and Spain "

the Germans and the Spanish want all their jets so a non starter im afraid

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Coat

Minor corrections

The headline - should be "Supersonic chickens coming home to roost and having diarrhea".

Instead of "Perhaps, in fact, the MoD ought to be focusing more on its negotiations in Italy, Germany and Spain - not those in Japan, India and Saudi."

It should be "Perhaps, in fact, the MoD ought to be focusing more on bribing the appropriate people in Italy, Germany and Spain - not those in Japan, India and Saudi". Everything else aside as the recent investigations into Lichtenstein accounts have shown prodotti di Berlusconi and their German counterparts are much CHEAPER than Saudi princes.

Me coat please...

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Database??

"The cash-strapped MoD could really use that £3bn"

The "Snooping Silo" http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/19/ukgov_uber_database/

Fuc*k me sideways - that's what they want the money for. Never saw that one coming. Gives them some small change to replace all those nicked laptops...

What a Cupid Stunt not to realise earlier.

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Alien

the Reg defence desk

you have such a desk? Surely it's more a corner - tiny at that - scrounged from the BOFH

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@Vincent

This would be more akin to ordering something from Amazon only to find that after you've placed the order the company that made the product has decided to put the price up and charge you, won't actually deliver the product for 20 years, and when you do get it it'll be completely different to what you actually wanted anyway.

Tornado was great as a mud-mover. Typhoon is a fairly good air superiority fighter designed to defend against the Russians - suddenly not such a distant prospect, it seems. Unfortunately they're trying to turn it into a carrier-launched craft and a bomber, neither of which is particularly suitable as a role for this plane. As the article said, you'd think they would have learned from the F3 debacle but no, it seems they haven't.

Meanwhile the French built their own, the Dassault Rafale, and it seems remarkbly similar to what the Eurofighter Typhoon was *meant* to be. C'est la guerre, as they say.

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Anonymous Coward

Send them to Georgia

The Russian army has still not withdrawn, have done prisoner exchanges and promptly recaptured Georgian soldiers once they got their prisoners back. Sank another Georgian ship, staged a few tank withdrawals photo-ops and promptly moved right back afterwards.

They're amassing more troops just north of the mountains, which isn't consistent with a withdrawal, more like a regrouping prior to grabbing Tibilisi and the oil pipeline.

They're fooking liars, old style empire builders out grabbing oil.

So why not send your existing planes to Georgia (with freedom loving volunteer heros/pilots) help out one of your allies against an aggressive invader and use the new Eurofighters instead to replace them as they are delivered.

Or would you rather Putin holds all the pipelines to Europe and fight Russia on the outskirts of Berlin or even Paris?

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Paris Hilton

@ Vincent

"Paris because the MoD can't afford her either"

But they could use her!

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Stop

Sigh...

The Tornado F3 production run of 170 wasn't particularly excessive for the number of squadrons expected to use it - it was only after the downsizing of the RAF in the 1990s that they started ending up in storage in large numbers. As previously mentioned, both the Tornado and Typhoon were/are international collaborations, in which BAe/BAE Warton played a major part in both design and manufacturing, so I'm not sure what point Lewis is trying to make here.

The current plan for the Typhoon is to rotate the surplus planes through the squadrons to prolong the life of the fleet.... but given that the RAF's Tornado GR4 fleet are around 25 years old now with no replacement programme in place, a bit of engineering work to produce a 2-seat strike-optimised Typhoon variant for Tranche 3 might avoid the GR4s having to soldier on for another 25...

...and anyway, isn't the Cold War starting again???

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Pirate

Surplus Typhoons!..

get 'em while there 'ot!

At this price I'm cuttin' me own throat too!

(Copyright CMOT Dibbler / T.Pratchett)

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Stop

We always sell off surplus...

so whats different, we always knew this was going to happen, it was just who's going to buy them...if we create a little bidding war its all good.

I think that some parts of the media want the Eurofighter to fail no matter what, and everyone just stands in awe of the Raptor whereas that costs almost twice as much and only performs one role (I agree focus in that sense could be better though).

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Black Helicopters

Maybe we could stop jumping into war zones

and save ourselves countless billions.

'Ministry of Defence' my arse - when was the last time Britain was seriously under attack?

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@ Graham

Sorry just a quick correction the Eurofighter Tyhphoon will not be a carrier based craft and is no longer (if ever) being looked into. Instead we are buying the F35 Lightening II for that capability.

Note to all...that aspect of Defence is not for discussion today...please.

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@ Sigh...

and just to add to that, the Tornado F3 wasn't 'comical' at what it was built to do, which was knock down Soviet bombers in the Iceland - Faroes gap. It was much better for that than anything the Yanks had at that time, except maybe the F-14, but that would have been much more expensive than the Tornado option.

Surely what's happening in Georgia is enough warning as to the fluid nature of the kind of threats we might face in the future? It's in our interests for (European) NATO to have an aircraft that can gain air superiority against any opponent and I doubt the US would sell us F-22s, given their reluctance to pony up details of the F-35 program that we're helping to pay for.

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@ Graeme

What the frig do Germany, and particularly SPAIN need bloody fighter aircraft for??

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Hack Attack

"They're fooking liars, old style empire builders out grabbing oil." .... By Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 20th August 2008 10:23 GMT

Hit them with a Western Patent/Copyright infringement, AC, that'll show them who's boss. The bloody cheek of them, eh? Or how about insisting that pay a Windows Style License Fee for the Operating System.

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Black Helicopters

Think ahead

Am I the only one who thinks it is a good idea for our Armed Forces to have a few spares? Of everything? Do the Infantry only get issued with one bullet per soldier?

Does anyone remember the Navy complaining about having too many Sea Harriers when they went down to the Falklands - they certainly weren't when they came back.

Finally, at the end of the day, a substantial chunk of that £3bn quid comes straight back to the government as tax, so stop pretending that this is a massive amount - the septics have already spent in excess of 3 trillion dollars on the Iraq war alone.

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Coat

the Reg defence desk

is that the one with the usb missile launcher on it?

ok ok I am going put the light gun down

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Anonymous Coward

supporting Georgia

If Nato were to directly support Georgia militarily now it would mean Nato were going to war with Russia. Russia and Georgia being at war, ceasefires meaning they've just stopped shooting at each other - for now.

Possible extreme options would be for the Georgian government to disolve and Nato Annex it, however Russian troops are a bit closer then Nato.

Nato or America form alliances with Russian border states and deploy troops.

Georgia? Well, their only hope is that Russia decides on a peace treaty. This isn't like Korea or Vietnam, it isn't a sattelite conflict, going to the aid of Georgia (militarily) means war with Russia. So it just isn't going to happen.

Even with Afghanistan (Russian conflict) all the Americans mostly did was provide money, training and special forces support, not a conventional military deployment.

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JonB

Tornado + state of the art SAM = no Tornado and dead crewmen. Bad idea.

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Anonymous Coward

>F35 Lightening II

That must be the reduced weight version of the F35?

@goggyturk The F15 was around as well. By the time the bodge job converting a bomber to a fighter that was the F3 conversion the US F16 was about, a superb strike fighter and also quite cheap.

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@David Cornes

I think Germany need them because they are still flying Vietnam-era Phantoms and they are a hell of lot closer to Russia than we are!

Given the way Russia is acting these days I think we need those Tranche 3 Typhoons and quickly. How Russia has the gall to say it is standing up for the interests of the separatists in Georgia when one of the Russian regions that borders Georgia is Chechnya, I don't know. Pot, Kettle?

Shame the Government won't/can't get rid of some other spending, ID cards, NHS IT shambles, face & iris scanning at airports, this

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/19/ukgov_uber_database/

The budget for the first two alone is 24bn, two thirds of the annual defense budget. But apparently the government has written the terms of the contracts so it is too expensive to do so...Hang on...

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Anonymous Coward

Honesty

Lets go back to calling the MoD what they used to be called - The Ministry for War. The problem of course with that is of course nobody except politicians actually wants war.

Easy to sell "defence" to the sheep, not so easy to sell "war". We haven't "defended" the UK from a credible threat in 60 years!

Having worked on god knows how many bits of the F3, I can categorically state that it was NEVER fit for purpose - although the "purpose" of the F3 changed every couple of years anyway, ending up being something that even the Iraqis could shoot down with ease in 1990. We tried telling the fucktards in MoD/RAF that their insane low-level tactics went out with the ark, but they knew better, didn't they?

Nor will the "Eurofighter" (or whatever the fuck they're calling it this year) ever be fit for purpose but at least the Eurofighter has an ESM/ECM system that does more than alert everyone inside 200 nm that an attack is in progress involving Tornados, unlike the F3. NB - I'm not saying the "Eurofighter" ECM actually works or anything optimistic like that ;-)

What the fuck does Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan/Georgia/wherever have to do with the UK anyway?

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Pirate

@Jonb

@jonb nice try but alas RAF pilots are not exactly noted for either their ability to fly in straight lines without hitting the nearest hillsides or hit any designated target with any degree of accuracy of the usual plus or minus five mile radius(didn't read that paper about the daily inability of RAF to track and target planes called "Speedbird 1 & 2 flying on fixed tracks , AKA BA Concorde SST transit inbound to Londinium from the Atlantic Ocean going from supersonic to subsonic ) !

@AC since we have been spoon fed so much BS and crap propaganda about the latest epic of a dumb and stupid moron who poked a bear with a short stick considering the over abundant Russian Military strength in near by Grozny and we all know the wankees and it's numerous close supporters(two arrogant ones disgraced themselves in public , but a lot more need to go to the wall though or direct to prison for war crimes) have not told a single truth to the world at large since January 10th 2001 , just where be the real truth is the question that remains unanswered , but sadly as in all wars the very first casualty is the truth and new war crimes abound thereafter even after the alleged cease fire arrives on our doorstep !

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Anonymous Coward

More MOD bashing from the reg.

Alot of this money goes back to the economy and the public.

Lets not have the same situation where our military industry was cancelled to save money and it all went under

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Bronze badge

billionaires

if all goes to plan with the new social benefit test. all the fraudsters will be saving a few billion that can go straight back to defense

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@ JonB

True, but I wasn't suggesting the F3 was designed for the same job as the F-15 or F-16. Both of these would have been inferior to the F3 for the long-range interceptor role as originally intended. The ability to loiter for long periods, deal with a heavy ECM environment, sometimes operate without AWACS support, against lots of quick, low level targets... the F3 was better at all these things. Maybe the F-14 would have edged it out, purely because of its longer range missile / radar combo.

The F-15 was more designed for swatting massive numbers of MiGs out of the skies above Germany and there's no doubt it was better than the F3 at that. As for the F-16, no all weather capability would have left it severely crippled in the strike role over Europe. The GR.x Tornado was way better in that respect.

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Pirate

@Vincent

Putin or Bush holding all the pipelines?

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Anonymous Coward

NATO and Georgia.

Well, NATO could go in to assist Georgian security and ensure the safety of the Russians as they carry out their agreed withdrawal.

Then French peacekeepers could assume the role of the Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia and South Ossetia by UNSC mandate (they're neutral, being outside NATO).

End result, Georgia stuffed to the gunwhales with western military hardware. Should teach the Ruskies a thing or two about diplomacy and all without fighting any wars at all. Or the Russians might be dumb enough to push the Americans too far and get shown what a modern army actually looks like.

Only time will tell.

@Frank Bough

I was thinking of the spare eurofighters, I should put more effort into proof reading.

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Bleh..

More of the same total lack of understanding from our favourite MoD hating, Yank blowing Reg-Hack.

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Boffin

Tranche 3 a nice commodity?

IIRC, the only reason Singapore didn't choose the Eurofighter was the cloud over when Tranche 3 would be deliverable.

So presumably that means Tranche 3 actually delivers something useful. As it is, it lost out to the F15.

There's an explanation of what the various tranches entail here....

http://www.vectorsite.net/aveuro.html

FYI: I have no idea what difference between a Tranche 1 limited Ground to Air capability and a Tranche 3 Full capability is!

So if someone would like to post the tranche 3 explanation here for all to peruse and enthuse over that would be good. I have an idea that it involves laser guided bombs.

But I thought green lasers were FTW in air defence. So does anyone know if Tranche 3 is Green Laser Hardened?

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Stop

Useless

Slight digression, but

1) The MOD consistently blocks the building of windfarms in the UK because they interfere with radar and generally get in the way of our fighters

2) This means our pilots have not been trained in areas with windfarms

3) It implies the radar can't cope with windfarms

So, as most of Europe now has windfarms spread across it, there's really no point in us getting them - we won't be able to use them anywhere outside the UK. Great for defense, but that's about it as far as I can tell.

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Flame

"money back to the public"

Public where? What proportion of these things isn't almost immediately subbed out to the American equivalents of BAe and their suppliers (Raytheon etc)?

Not saying we don't need some of them mind you, need something to encourage the Russkies and the Libyans not to cut off our gas (and thus electricity) supplies... y'know, like the Russkies did with one of their satellite nations a year or so back.

Which Bond movie was based on this "cut the pipeline from the East" kind of theme, and when was it written? Has anyone in UK plc HQ ever seen it, or were they asleep?

Flame, because we'll need them (but they won't be gas) to keep us warm once the Russkies turn off the gas tap at their end. Winter's coming, and it could be a long one.

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@windfarms

windfarms get in the way of ATC rader no plane rader, which is a simple factor of military bases having smaller and lower towers probaly

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Alert

India?

Erm, this isn't a good idea. India is next to Pakistan who possess nukes. Indian EF flies over/into Pakistan, this is then declared as an act of war etc.

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"They're fooking liars, old style empire builders out grabbing oil."

Oh, you mean the Yanks then.

BTW Anyone thinking of going to war with Russia should remember that they are no longer poor, are highly motivated to defend those they see as their own citizens and will use all means necessary to defend Russia. One of their top generals reinforced this point a few days ago and made it clear that nuclear weapons would be used if Russia was threatened. It is a pity that the Yanks didn't ensure that the Georgian government went to the peace talks in S.Ossetia on 7th August instead of shelling it.

Given that NATO can't get enough resources together to deal with the taleban, taking on Russia at the same time would seem to be a really stupid idea.

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Alert

Deja Vu all over again

Lewis complains about Eurofighter being too expensive and then complains that troops need helicopters. Why has he never said this before?

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Go

Resurgent Russia

The way things are going, defence budgets are going to have to be increased anyway. Time to get those RAF squadrons binned a few years ago back in the air.

Funnily enough I see a world where the BAOR etc. will have to come back perhaps on the Oder instead(!).

Obviously Russia want to re-absorb their old satellite states (most of whom suffered brutally under Russian occupation). Remember after all that Russian and Norway should absolutely NOT share a land border but for land stolen from Finland.

The Russian government, Russian Mafia etc. are all brutal and will stop at nothing to assert themselves. We can only be glad that their equipment is mostly crap and that there are only around 150 million of them.

Anyway, back to Eurofighters - keep them and rotate them as originally planned and stop doing the silly modification thing like carrier borne.

By the way, Afghanistan won't last much longer there will be a face saving way out negotiated with the Taliban as the voters won't have the stomach. Only the UK, Canada and the US are really doing any actual fighting (French casualties aside - but in a safer area). The rest of NATO are busy doing their 1930s thing and playing hide in the sand. Might as well declare themselves neutral while they're at it (and hand over the Czech Republic to the Russians this time 1938 .... 2008 who knows).

Also, Boeing-Vertol or whatever they're called are flat out and don't have much space for the RAF to build new 'copters.

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Paris Hilton

@goggyturk

@goggyturk , you are a true optimist and a comedian indeed and a true believer of that comedy propaganda joke film from Fakewood starring Tom from the very wooden dyslexic school of acting(even a dense lump of unformed lump of clay has more emotion then that silly twat at the best of times) called laughingly "Top Gun" made so last century ago , but with the US DOD supplying the expensive hi tech obsolete play toys truth has never been the first option post Korea 1952 anyway !

I love your patriotic propaganda , for in real life things have been much different as many war games post 1989 have shown to the real world we live in and not that one you choose to haunt !

Do much armchair keyboard and kite flying on some unidentifiable white powder I see , like a well known socialite ?

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Silver badge

Georgia has a pipeline

That could provide cheap oil to the west (read USA), an important part of US national security. That is why Bush has pushed NATO into an alliance with Georgia. If the situation was a little different he would be quoting that the Georgians have WMDs and we should invade to save the world ( and the oil). President Saakashvili is a despot and is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people, but their lives are easily tradeable for access to cheap oil. I am not saying that Russia is right in this but they are no more wrong than the USA and the west, Georgia is just `piggy in the middle´this is not about saving them from the nasty Russians it's about using them. The US runs around the world trying to dictate the price that oil is going to be sold to them for, such as in Venezuela when it doesn't happen the way they want it they try anything else, such as allowing a dump like Georgia into NATO. Regarding Georgia as a serious member of NATO is laughable. The only reason Saakashvili has been strutting around the way he has is because he thinks his buddy Bush will back him up all the way, some how I don't think so.

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@ Chris G

Agree totally with the analysis. My fear is that Bush actually wants a war with Russia (or, more likely, wants to get them to back down to avoid such a war). That, together with the apparent desire of some of the commenters here for at least a face-off with Russia, makes me very afraid.

Georgia is very like Iraq, pre Gulf War 1. At that point Saddam was our friend despite the fact he was killing his own citizens. Then he went and invaded Kuwait. And we all know how well that turned out for the West, don't we?

Saakashvili is another evil murderer of his own people, which NATO is courting only to provoke the Russians. Unless someone hits NATO with a damn big clue stick sometime soon, we WILL be at war with Russia, and this one will be short and nasty.

And JonB - you're an idiot. Do you make defence policy for NATO by any chance? If so, we are all doomed.

For God's sake let's stop supporting evil regimes just because it suits us today, becasue tomorrow things will be very different.

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