posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 07:47 AM
I came across this and wondered what you guys thought.
Utter waste of money and time.
The Tornado /retracts/ wing area to maintain cruise Mach point and so ends up with 150-200lb wingloading by the time it reaches medium altitude.
If it doesn't have 'adjustments' made to the centerline pylons, it cannot carry the three JDAM which are it's sole superiority over an F-16 with
the APG-68V(9) and without winged/boosted IAM of /some/ kind, the ability to do longrange SAR mapping is kinda pointless.
The old TI GMR/TFR combination is dated. So too is the ENTIRE mission concept behind which the Tornado was created. We don't go in lolo anymore.
And when we do, at night, the squint lines and LOS inhibits most of the functionality of the long range patch mapping modes anyway.
I would DITCH the Fin, as fast as possible, getting the retirement costs out of the way now, so as to be able to look at whatever combination of:
1. Big Wing Flubber + Rafale M/N
2. Big Wing Flubber + CORAX
3. Flubber + F-35C
4. F-35C + Flubber (reduced buy, ADF only) + CORAX/A-45
Combination I could afford to gain a real ability to hostage a 700-900nm radius with a weapons system that /started out/ as being compatible with
longrange munitions. If you can't repackage ARTS into an XTRA type (conformal array) system for the next gen UCAV, it's worth little more than a
COTS comparitive source for 'how the real world does things' on AMSAR which is developmental for Flubber 'some day' anyway.
i.e. ARTS stands to as a potential cost-cap pricing control alternative and/or (depending on who owns what) a means to secure AMSAR from the French.
But it is not worth the effort to stuff it into an aging platform that was never _physically_ compatible with the medium altitude standoff role now
seen as "Heck, maybe the Amis /were/ right..." standard.
Tornado is a pocket-111. Since the 111 is long gone _for cause_ (14,000ft ceiling with full weapons/fuel load) you might think about whether you want
to play the 'five types for one AF' game with a state economy the size of California bankrolling your warchest.