Re: Oooh. Italian maintenance!
But also the gearbox for the Merlin helicopter. Again, this was political as Westlands had already made a perfectly good gearbox that was then scrapped.
27 posts • joined 17 Aug 2010
As the FAA expert here please explain how many harriers and crew you would need to sustain a 24 hrs cap plus limited offensive role using a carrier for a 45 day period?
Selective context again, the entire MOD neglected AEW due to the cold war fixed bases mentality. Im also pretty sure that the E3Ds were not cut during the resent review either so was it the navy the decided that as the RAF only ever want fast noisy things?
What part of Land own the Chinook (and Merlin) dont you understand? They pay for Benson and Odiham including wages, infrastructure and so on. If you dont believe me put an FOI into JHC. Here is the address which may give you a clue to who owns it:
Joint Helicopter Command Headquarters
Headquarters Land Command
Why dont you understand that it is the MOD and ultimately MPs that decide where the money goes? Even Lewis Page seems to understand that!
Skippy I did not know that the RAF has so much power over the MOD/government. You say that all the CAS has to do is click his fingers and MOD will chop whatever aircraft the RAF wants even if the RAF dont own them. Its am amazing story but it is just a story.
How well did the FAA do at AEW in 1982? Dont tell me that was the RAFs fault.
The RAF do not own and fricking Chinooks!!! They are paid for by land, the army!!!!
You really do not have a clue about how the services run, are funded etc etc.
Skippy, you are changing context to suite your argument. Pre WW2 the government and all 3 services were not thinking very far ahead at all. To blame the issues of the FAA on the RAF is absurd when all 3 services plus government lacked aim and organisation. The army still wanted to go to battle on horses for f##ks sake!
Just because RAF Harriers fell under 3 Gp and then 1 Gp does not mean that the RAF had the power to chop them. Right now the Chinooks and Merlins fall under RAF 1 Gp but they are managed by Joint Helicopter Command and are paid for my HQ Land. Its complicated hence why we just had the Levene report to try and sort it out.
There is no such thing a airpower for airpower's sake. Of course all 3 services have different priorities and different needs and that is why we have joint HQs to control operations. Air, Land and Sea are all vital parts of the war hence why you need specialists pushing each area. This is exactly why the RAF was created!!!!! Without that the Navy would just want carriers and the army would just want helicopters.
Give it up Lewis, you are like a broken record. You have ZERO evidence to suggest these tanks were not in use, you simply made it up to add weight to a very flimsy article.
You also conveniently forget the Typhoon was always meant to be a swing role aircraft but the priority was for it to replace the F3, which is has done (last F3 Sqn was disbanded last month) hence why the priority was given to the A2A role.
You also forget that despite its age the Gr4 has modern avionics so there is no shame in Typhoon not being up to standard yet as they are still working on the relevant clearances. As the Typhoon and Tornado are made by the same company then the avionics are actually quite similar so if it works on the GR4 it will work on the Typhoon. Arguably this real issue is the sheer amount of testing, signatures etc required to get the Typhoon cleared but that is sadly the modern risk adverse culture we live in.
As some of the more intelligent people have already commented buying out of date F18 with worse avionics would not work out cheaper. But I suppose “buy American” is your default answer to everything until you get that PR job for Boeing you have been chasing for years.
The simple fact is the Typhoon is doing an excellent job and functioning as a swing role aircraft that is capable of matching anything that can Libya throw at it in the air and is taking out tanks for fun on the ground. You can argue it worked out expensively due to all the political garbage but you can not argue that it is a bad aircraft. Politicians would happily mess up any procurement so blame them not the Typhoon.
This has to be the worst article Lewis has written, and that is saying something.
He has been saying for years that the Typhoon will never get to do its job and now it is doing what it is good at he is saying it could be done by something cheaper!! No aircraft can live up to ever changing goal posts like this.
He says that the long range missions flown by the Tornado were wrong and expensive because you could use a carrier + harriers but then you have to have the carrier in the correct place at the correct time!! The Tornado was able to provide an immediate affect; the carrier could take weeks to arrive and of course still costs money (which he always forgets).
The Harrier can not carry RAPTOR or Storm Shadow.
The Harrier can not carry max payload and still take off from a carrier without reducing fuel meaning it will still need the tanker!! Even then it can’t land back on the carrier if still has all it’s weapons.
His knowledge of Stormshadow is way off.
To launch tomahawks you have to have a submarine which costs money!!
Too many errors, lies etc to comment on in this article.
I would hardly call this smashing a ring. Yes they removed a medium for sharing child porn but it is not difficult to use another. In fact the article states that all the illegal stuff was going on outside of the forum anyway.
Even if all 70k user were full blown child molesters and regularly committing illegal acts this is a small number for a world wide problem. I am not belittling paedophilia as it is a discussing act, however it does not appear to be as big a problem (in terms of numbers) as often implied. News articles like this are exactly why Brass Eye made their spoof documentary and got into all that trouble.
What a surprise, Lewis writes an anti-RAF article that also claims US made kit is brilliant!! Lewis just face it, Boeing are not going to give you a job so quit the PR!!
The Tranche 1 aircraft issue is a red herring and I am sure Lewis knows this. Due to the lack of aircraft those early jets have been thrashed and therefore will be worn out by the time they are being scrapped, that is why they are being scrapped!!!
The Typhoon is fully operational and can drop bombs already. The only thing holding things back is money for flying hours and therefore manpower (not enough crews trained etc). There is no money and that would be no different if we had bough US kit.
There is no doubt the MOD has bodged up the procurement but the Typhoon is a highly capable aircraft that this country needs. The F35 has been slated and is in trouble, running late etc so we can not rely on it turning up on time and being able to do what it is supposed to do (F35= jack of all trades, master of none). The F22 is also not working as planned, is stupidly expensive to operate and knowing the USAF they will not send it anywhere dangerous anyway (too expensive when you have cheap F15s, F16s, F18s etc).
That £10,000 or whatever it really cost is already paid for. It is not as if the Navy would hand back the ammo, fuel etc if it was not used at the end of the year.
I am more amazed the lawyers actually let the Navy shoot at someone!!
Back to the subject,
The MOD needs to be ripped apart and then start again from scratch. Quite why so many people are needed to waste so much money is a mystery to me. How can there be more people in the MOD than the RAF?
Richard you have offered ZERO in this debate. Lewis Page has offered ZERO actual facts or even common sense. Lord Gilbert was part of the Labour government that originally bought the C130 and in doing so bowed to pressure from the US to reduce the order for the Belfast (the A400 of its day). Later as head of the MOD Lord Gilbert sold the 10 Belfast we did buy forcing us to lease them back at extortionate costs for the Falklands War. The last Labour Government had 13 years to cancel the A400 so if he felt so strongly about it he had time to do something but instead they kept on signing those agreements. So Gilberts track record of supporting the US economy at the expense British/European Economy and allowing the MOD to not have the right equipment for the job is pretty good.
1. The A400 is replacing the C130 so will operate in a similar manner which mean lots short in theatre trips at lower levels were the speed difference between props and fans is less relevant and fans can be of an advantage.
2. You can not buy the C130K new any more and if we bought them second hand the costs of bringing them up to standard would be too high (total costs may be higher than buying new A400ms). It is more likely that the RAF will keep hold of a few old C130Ks for this purpose. Plus we don’t know how robust the A400m is at rough strips yet, it may be fine.
3. The A400 is to replace the C130 therefore it will do the jobs currently done by the C130, para dropping etc etc. You argue that we don’t know that the A400 will be cheaper but we don’t know it will be more expensive either!! That is the whole point of why the article is so useless is that is does not use facts or relevant information. It is just Lewis trying to get a PR job for Boeing again.
4. Nor is it a negative.
5. It is not a question about whether the parts fit!! It is about contracts, control, parts tracking, budgets etc etc. You cannot just bolt any old part to an aircraft regardless of whether it fits or not.
6. How is the C17 over hyped? How is the Russian kit cheaper and better?
7. Who cares what the USAF average load is? We are in Afghanistan TFN so as long as an A400 can fly a Chinook to Afghanistan then all is well beyond that who knows. You also forget the A400 is replacing the C130 not the C17. It is there mainly for the in theatre stuff the fact that it will be better at the long distance stuff than the C130J is a positive not a negative.
8. The A400 will suffer from different issues because it is a different aircraft. It may be built in such a way that maintaining it is cheaper, quicker and easier, the spares supply may be faster. The point is we don’t know but everyone is assuming that it will be bad because it suites their blinkered view.
2. What world do you live in? Have you written a FOI request asking the government for the costs of each A400? The reality is that the probably do not even know. These things are ridiculously complicated. However, we do live in modern country and the facts will come out. Like I said the National Audit Office regularly reviews these sorts things and is always happy to give the government hell in it’s reports.
3. In English please?
4. Why would they schedule more freight than an aircraft can carry? The schedule runs regularly at the same time etc etc to make is easy to coordinate and you have to take into account Slot times at Brize Norton and the destination. Importantly, you have to take into account the over flight clearance needed for the countries en-route which can be a nightmare/impossible to change short notice. You can not just send 2 aircraft although it sometimes possible to swap aircraft types. When there are surges, roulements etc they will schedule extra aircraft in advance. Or do you believe it is cost effective to send the biggest aircraft in the fleet on every flight on the off chance something heavy needs to be carried?
5. Not at all. But just assuming there is some sort of conspiracy/cover-up when there is not proof is just stupid. However, I am not so ignorant think that supplying finance to the EU and UK is a bad thing as we will recycle some of the money back as tax. It is also important the UK/EU retains the skilled workforce to work on projects such as this as not only will we be forced to buy aircraft from the US we will also have to send them to the USA for servicing.
Everyone also forgets the A400 can do something the C17 can not, Air to Air Refuel which will allow the RAF to replace the Vc10 and C130 in the Falklands with one aircraft. Cheap and simple. It should also allow, if money can be found, the RAF to use the AAR capability of the Merlins and possibly Chinooks.
Anyway the whole point of my replies is not to be pro-A400 or pro-C17. The simple fact that you conveniently ignore is none of know how good, or bad the A400 will be. It might be brilliant, it might be rubbish we simply do not have the data we need to make an informed opinion. Lord Gilbert clearly has 2nd and 3rd agenda’s in writing what he did as does Page. There is absolutely nothing in what Page and Gilbert have stated that can be taken as fact or as a valid opinion. Sadly, this is common with all the articles Mr Page writes, they are all meaningless opinion dressed up as facts. Top Trumps Air Power. So, as my first line I wrote states the article is dribble.
I will leave you with this link:
Richard you are just a WUM. You are offering nothing to this argument except childish swearing and baseless conspiracy/cover up theories. When you finish school you can join the RAF and start watching the grown up news and reading grown up newspapers and learn about life in the real world.
Either counter the arguments I have made or go and finish your homework.
So you agree that the article says nothing in terms of facts and is just opinion? If you read any of the articles, books etc by Lewis Page you will see he is very, very pro US equipment and completely against UK/European equipment but rarely, if ever backs this up with facts. I do not believe his military knowledge is as bad as his articles suggest so he clearly dumbs it down to the mainly non-military readership.
Governments always keep the costs of new contracts secret; it is just the same as large commercial companies. You are implying some sort of cover up. When the time comes the National Audit Office will review the contracts and may offer criticism if it is justified. This is the way it works there is no conspiracy!!
Both Lord Gilbert and Page do not use any real facts to support their argument and what facts that are used there are no sources. It is total garbage and there is also a complete lack of common sense and logic. The argument that the A400 is slower than the C17 so therefore the A400 is rubbish is completely void. The speed of a cargo aircraft is irrelevant in real terms. Now if the argument went on to say that the A400 has a higher hourly servicing rate and the servicing is more expensive that that would be a valid argument but as usual Page does not go into the real detail. This is Top Trumps Air Power where faster is always best!! The sustainability is the important factor so as long as the aircraft can arrive at 1600 each and every day, for example, it does not matter that it took off 30 mins before a C17 would have.
The payload argument is equally void. You need to work out what the maximum and average payload is before you start looking and what aircraft you need. For example, if you rarely carry more than 20 tons then there is no need to have lots of aircraft that can carry 50 tons. If you regularly carry big, but light equipment such as helicopters then the size of the cargo area is important and the A400 is pretty big. What wikipedia and Mr Page wont tell you is the RAF work a simple schedule with their cargo aircraft and will fly into whatever FOB that is in use at regular and set intervals be it every day, 5 days or week or so on. The aircraft will still depart whether it is empty or full and it will come back at the same time whether it is empty or full. The reality is the C17 will rarely be anywhere near it’s maximum payload so the A400 can easily do the regular scheduled flights (if that is what the RAF wants) and leave the C17 free to do the heavy stuff if and when it comes up. All the really heavy stuff (tanks etc) is sent out by boat as it is a lot cheaper, aircraft are only used when the equipment is needed in theatre (or back from theatre) quickly.
The bottom line is none of us know exactly what the A400 can and can not do at this time. It might end up being an expensive white elephant or it might end up being a flexible and capable aircraft. What Gilbert, Page and the other wikipedia Top Trumps Air Power experts should not being doing is passing judgement until they have the facts and knowledge to make a valid argument.
Yet again Lewis states opinion as fact and tries to trick the non-military readers into believing his half truths. Lewis either you really are ignorant of the military or you are deliberately spouting this rubbish to try and get a job with one of your beloved US military companies.
- The C130J was sold to the RAF without long range tanks as it can cruise higher than the C130K and therefore use less fuel. However, as it is too slow the civilian ATC will not let it fly high enough (it gets in the way of the civilian traffic that can fly faster) therefore flys lower and uses up its fuel faster!! Not exactly brilliant from your friends at Boeing Lewis? Even the C17 is not as fast as the airliners because that was the way it was designed.
- Just because the C17 can do rough strip landings does not mean you can do it. First you have to train the crews and the RAF has no spare capacity. Secondly, you need the spares to support and to fix the aircraft afterwards. Rough strip landings + big jet engines = lots of FOD damage = fan blade changes = money the RAF does not have!!! The best rough strip ac the RAF have is the C130k as it has metal props that can take far more punishment than the composite blades on the C130j and A400.
- Just because the C17 can do para dropping, low level etc etc does not mean you can do it. All the low level stuff adds to the airframe fatigue and therefore servicing costs (hence why the RAF has retired some older C130s and paid a fortune for some to have new wings). The question is whether the A400 will suffer from fatigue more than the C17/C130J and how expensive the engineering aspect is to replace wings etc. So Lewis why don’t you research this instead of making up facts to support your articles? What are the servicing/hour rates costs for these aircraft Lewis? Oh, and of course you need to train all the crews to do all this.
- The idea that the USAF and RAF etc share spares is a good one but not true. They should be able to share stuff, beg and borrow but the RAF can not and will not. When aircraft deploy they take a certain amount of spares with them and if they need anything else it comes from the UK. The A400 will not change this and it would be no different if we had 30 C17s!
- “Interoperability” is an aspiration that the militaries have. Different air forces using the same aircraft does not automatically give you interoperability. While Boeing will make you a C130j it is up to the buyer to choose what radios, avionics etc it wants on it. When the RAF bought the C17 it also bought the radio fit direct from the USAF in order to achieve some interoperability but there are still differences between the UK C17 and the USAF ones. That is sadly life but blame the politicians not the military as the sign the contracts.
- Don’t forget the C17 project was nearly cancelled and was late. That is sadly life when making military aircraft so just because the A400 is behind schedule does not automatically mean the aircraft will be a bad one.
- Stating that the C17 can carry double what the A400 can is also largely irrelevant. A C17 can be filled by one Chinook because there is no more space despite it having the power to carry significantly more weight. An A400 would also be filled by one Chinook so in practical terms there is no real difference between the 2 aircraft. So you would need to research how many times the C17 is operated with a larger payload than the A400 is capable of which is probably not that many. Did you research this Lewis or is it easier to use dodgy math and reasoning?
- To all the wikipedia aircraft experts please stop comparing stats of different aircraft it is meaningless in real terms. There are so many variables that effect aircraft/weapon performance etc your analysis means nothing. A big issues often ignored on these boards is the fact the capability of aircraft is determined not just by what the aircraft can do but the competence of the crew and costs of providing (for enough hours with all the relevant systems working at 100%) that aircraft to the crew. So Aircraft X may be able to do capability Z but it needs a trained crew, engineers, spares and importantly finance to do it. This is the main limiting factor for most military forces these days, including the USAF.
So in summary another article of dribble and armchair aviation facts by a man who is desperate for a PR job with Boeing.
Yet again Lewis presents opinion as fact and gets the basics wrong.
The reduction of the Chinook order is irrelevant as the order will not be completed before 2015 when we pull out of Afghanistan!!! And it will take longer still to complete all the testing, training and integration. The upgrades to the Mk 2 Chinooks is still going ahead as is the much needed and cheap upgrade to the Puma. So in the event of us staying longer in Afghanistan we will have better helicopters ready to go.
While Typhoon could do the job in Afghanistan they do not have enough aircraft or crews to deploy. It is that simple. Even the larger GR4 force is struggling to support Afghanistan along with UK training, exercise etc.
Harrier is an expensive relic with far too high a training burden to be cost effective.
As Lewis knows, and forgets to mention, the Nimrod MRA4 would have been a spy plane with an ISTAR capability. It would have been far more than just a sub-hunter.
What a surprise, an anti-RAF article by LP!! He really can’t let the fact that the RAF would not hire him as a pilot go can he.
The RAF does not care if the Navy get some good toys like the FA18 (the F35 is over hyped and will be a jack of all trades, master of none) as they will love to fly against modern aircraft like that. By the time whatever new carrier aircraft come into service (assuming they don’t get cut) the Typhoon will be in full serivce, even if in reduced number, and capable of both Air Defence and Ground Attack above the standards of the F18 anyway.
The worry should be the skill fade inflicted on all the Navy fast jet pilots who no longer fly air defence aircraft or associated missions. The Navy will be reliant on the RAF re-teaching them those skills which I have no doubts the RAF will be happy to oblige as the petty inter service squabbles are mostly in LPs head.
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