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Time the UK goverment updated their airfleet?

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posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 11:00 AM
What with the latest UK aircraft being lost ( a nimrod dating from 1979 iirc) and the fact that they have not long phased out the english electric canberra ( a 50 year old+ aircraft) isn't it time the Uk goverment seriously considered updating their airfleet? it's not only these reconnaissance aircraft that are getting long in the tooth but our fighters and bombers as well, while our goverment may be buying some typhoons ( i believe they have reduced the numbers from what they originally stated?) are these really going to be enough? given the number of conflicts that our goverment has thrown us into in recent years surely it is time our goverment gave our airfleet a total rethink/overhaul?

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 11:07 AM
No it is time they updated everything, Or give the UK Armed forces more of a Budget to work with rather than cut back on their budget over all.

It is ridiculous to expect Our armed forces to fight abroad, without having sufficient or equipment that works properly.

The deaths of these Guys lies at the Govs door, for the lack of resources they men and women have to work with in a extreme dangerous enviroment.

[edit on 4-9-2006 by spencerjohnstone]

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 11:12 AM
i totally i agree, when you take into acount that a lot of the middle eastern countries and even some of the african countries have newer and better aircraft than us if it wasn't so serious it would be a joke.

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 12:15 PM
The Nimrod MRA.4 is due to enter service soon, the Typhoon ( 232 of them - the most of any partner) is now replacing the Tornado F.3 and Jaguar plus some Harriers, the Lightning II is to replace the RAF's remaining front line jets (rest of the Harriers, Tornado GR.4, etc. The RAF is currently acquiring the Sentinel R.1 plus is considering a Global Hawk variant as the ultimate Canberra replacement.

Isn't that what you were asking for? What else is ageing and in need of replacement?

Oh yes, I forgot that the4 Hawk T.2 is being bought to replace the T.1A's currently in service.

Unfortunately all such acquisitions take time to implement and the Lightning is many years away from service, fortunately the Harrier isn't that old so its not urgent.

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 12:20 PM
This would all be great and very interesting if it wasn't for the fact that UK defence spending has not been cut back by Britain's (Labour) government.

It is in fact at the highest cash amount it has ever been.

The age in years has almost nothing to do with an aircraft's fitness for purpose, what counts is hours in the air and the type of use during those hours in the air.

Simplistic and sweeping notions made on the basis of the number of years since the very first examples of a type was first manufactured are just ignorant. are ludicrously politically loaded claims that "The deaths of these Guys lies at the Govs door, for the lack of resources they men and women have to work with in a extreme dangerous enviroment".

[edit on 4-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]


posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 12:26 PM
I thought this article might be of interest:

    Army 'just' coping, says general

    Monday, 4 September 2006

    The new head of the British Army, Sir Richard Dannatt, has warned that his soldiers can only "just" cope with the demands placed on them by ministers.

    Speaking before 14 personnel were killed in Afghanistan, he told the Guardian troops "are fighting at the limit of their capacity".

    Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells said he did not think that the British Army was overstretched.

    Meanwhile, one UK soldier was killed by a suspected suicide bomber in Kabul.

    Gen Dannatt, who took over from Sir Mike Jackson last week, said: "We are running hot, certainly running hot.

    "Can we cope? I pause. I say 'just'."

    Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 12:38 PM
It's classic stuff.

When asked if the demands of the current situation are being met the head of the BA says "yes"; a grudging "yes" admittedly but a "yes" nevertheless.

But, as is always the case (everywhere it seems), the military always want more from the public purse, that's the kind of 'public spending' those on the right-wing just can't get enough of and for which no 'limit' can be anything but the demand will always be insatiable.

'We' have had umteen defence spending reviews recently and never once have they ever said that UK defence spending is inadequate.

Not that it'll stop the usual and constant 'threadbare' or 'at risk' accusations and complaints (as anyone with even a cursory knowledge of British political and military history knows these are 'forever with us'
) .

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 01:16 PM
the UK armed forces is under major construction...

with the astutes subs/type45's/f-35's/typhoons/new carriers all in development:-

i think our armed forces is shaping up quite nicely, we have some niffty UCAV projects we are working on too.

trouble is our puny island is always getting compared to a massive continent such as the US! - americas defence budget is 8 times the amount of ours,

but look at the above projects we are working on (to other nations) and IMO the future of the british armed forces looks bright

[edit on 4-9-2006 by st3ve_o]

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 01:58 PM

Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
This would all be great and very interesting if it wasn't for the fact that UK defence spending has not been cut back by Britain's (Labour) government.

It is in fact at the highest cash amount it has ever been.

hmmm was sure they stated that there would be budget cuts of £40m+ linkeh

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 02:38 PM
I see, so even though this government has delivered -

the largest planned increase in defence spending in twenty years, with defence spending plans set to increase by £3.5 billion between this year (2002) and 2005-06.


the UK currently has a defense budget enormously greater than most comparable countries @ £32+ Billions (and the report you quote also talks of additional money in the form of an extra £1billion from the Treasury contingency reserve),
you cast up and quibble this on the basis of a media claim/report of some micro-management spending plans which show a reduction of some £40millions
(and further you wish to imply that that was ordered by central government Ministers, hmmm?)?! BUDGETS - NATO COMPARISON

......and in any case I thought the thread topic (a thread you began, no less) here was supposed to be about old aircraft and their replacement/renewal?


It's not exactly what you'd call overwhelming backing, proof or even having a little confidence in your original case if you immeadiately abandon it to make any old random bashing point you think you have laid your hands on is it, huh?

Maybe the facts quoted above and also the information about the major and very significant new aircraft purchases and thorough updates along with the other services' new kit (which updates and expands the UK's defence abilities greatly) knocked the wind out of your sails some, eh?

[edit on 4-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 05:38 PM
It’s all well and good to say they’re increasing funding by X amount but it doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t having the desired effect. You can talk about the much vaunted spending increase and “largest shipbuilding programme since WW2” but the fact is the forces have been cut drastically against the advice of senior personnel; we’ve got shortages of key equipment, future procurements are being cut or scaled back. Yes the government is increasing spending but it certainly isn’t enough given the kind and number of operations the forces are expected to conduct.

The forces need more money.

By the way, just for the record I also don’t agree that the age of aircraft is necessarily a problem.

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 05:59 PM
I"m not sure any cuts have taken place against the advice of "Senior Personnel". The last major review was endorsed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff who were also it's principle authors. That's why the Armed Forces are now in a period of transition from a Central European NATO, to an international expeditionary role. When the new carriers, assault ships destroyers and aircraft enter service The UK will have an impressive ability to project force internationally. More importantly, the armed forces deficiencies in digital technologies are now being addressed.

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 06:13 PM
One can debate the sufficiency or otherwise of the UK defence budget but that is surely another completely different topic?

The fact is that this thread was begun on the premise that the RAF had a fleet of ancient aircraft that were in dire need of replacing.
It was then backed by claims that the UK defence budget has been cut.

Both these specific points have been successfully challenged and IMO blown totally out of the water.

Whilst one can take a view on the matter of the funding level contrary to the current gov policy it has to be pointed out that the extensive and very recent reviews do not agree with or support the claim that UK forces have been cut to the point of an inability to perform the functions required of them.

Those reviews were conducted by experts in the field as well as being informed by serving and ex senior military staff....the last one by the Joint Chiefs - and there was absolutely no sign of your 'insufficient' claim there by the way.
Some may disagree but that is all it is, a disagreement amongst some but by no means all and certainly not the agreed conclusion of any serious review or report.

Whilst one can always turn up a tame journo in a 'newspaper' that claims 'senior sources said' I don't think there has yet been a case of senior personnel publicly saying what you have claimed Mike_A.

It's true that certain members from the ranks have privately said they felt let down by the lack of personal protective equipment for instance, but, seeing as the USA has had similar complaints whilst having a budget massively greater than anything 'we' could ever afford I don't think that is necessarily a matter that has anything to do with the total central government allocation/spend and is IMO far more likely to be about 'micro' spending priorities determined within the services themselves.

As is not unknown in the military arena there are many careers being built and protected and many private empires to be maintained......and if a word or two to the current pet journo on the Mail or Telegraph (or bonus if it's the Guardian sticking the boot in) then they are hardly above that as history shows only too clearly.

......but when it comes down to it, after all the debate and argument, someone has to finally decide and set the reasonable limit amongst a host of competing priorities set against a background of finite and limited resources.
Not everyone will agree, such is life.

But it is, quite rightly, the democratically elected government of this country that determines the level of spending in line with the nation's financial position, the duly elected program for government, the advice and representations they receive.
It is not for the military, not the 'military fans' nor any of their 'fans' in the press to decide for they are not responsible to 'the people' through the democratic process.

Thankfully in the UK the military (and the 'military-industrial complex') remain subordinate to the political leadership; they just like to get out and lobby noisily sometimes.

[edit on 4-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Sep, 4 2006 @ 07:22 PM
Yes I know this is off topic but as you said the discussion on the original premise seems to have died, so…

The cuts were only grudgingly accepted in order to secure future programmes, both General Jackson and Admiral West stated this, I’m not sure about Air Chief Marshal Stirrup. But what else can you expect, they’re told they have X budget and can’t afford what they deem required so what are they to do? There options are limited to cutting the capabilities that they think are least important or retire. They made it clear after the fact that the cuts were not meant to increase the capability of HM Armed Forces. You can’t ignore the fact for example that Admiral West said that the cuts to the RN would entail increased risks in current and future operations, risk is obviously not good.

Just because none of the whitepapers (that set out cuts btw) said they were bad doesn’t mean that they weren’t. Of course the recent papers fly in the face of the SDR as well so there you go.

If all you go by is what the officials in the MoD say then you’re never going to get the truth, they are not about to say that there policies are based on crap. Everyone’s got there careers to think about. I mean do you really think that the retirement of the SHARs was a good move? According to the MoD it was but what do you think? What about the capability gaps that have been created? Surely you don’t think that these are not a problem, I mean if they weren’t then one has to ask why we’re not scrapping the capabilities altogether since we can do without them now why not in the future?

There’s far more complaints coming from the armed forces at all levels than “a lack of body armour”.

It is not for the military, not the 'military fans' nor any of their 'fans' in the press to decide for they are not responsible to 'the people' through the democratic process.

In other words it’s not the right of the general public to determine whether the government is doing its job properly? I always thought that was the principle of democracy.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 04:41 AM

Originally posted by Mike_A
The forces need more money.


They should get out of where they are not wanted and then the government could spend the money on something useful, like the NHS, or our infrastructure.

The last thing the military needs is yet more money to waste.

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 05:24 AM
Thought I'd do a comparison between us and the Americans, as they are considerede to have the best "death tech".

First flight speaks for itself. Introduced to service means the date that the first aircraft were handed over for training and conversion purposes.


F-15 - First Flight 1972, introduced to service 1976
F-16 - First Flight 1974, introduced to service 1978
F-18 - First Flight 1978, introduced to service 1983
B-52 - First Flight 1952, introduced to service 1955. (last delivery date 1962, meaning the youngest models are 44years old)
F-22 - First flight 1990, introduced to service 2005


Tornado GR1 - first flight 1974 - introduced to service 1979
Tornado F-3 - first flight 1979 - introduced to service 1985
Hawk T-1 - first flight 1974 - Introduced to service 1976
Sepecat Jaguar -first flight 1968, introduced to service 1973
Nimrod - First Flight 1967, Introduced to service 1969
Eurofighter - First flight 1994, introduced to service 2003

Looks comparable to me. Upgrades are ongoing, so the answer to the original question is not really, but it would be nice.

[edit on 5-9-2006 by neformore]

[edit on 5-9-2006 by neformore]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 06:49 AM

Originally posted by kilcoo316

Originally posted by Mike_A
The forces need more money.


They should get out of where they are not wanted and then the government could spend the money on something useful, like the NHS, or our infrastructure.

The last thing the military needs is yet more money to waste.

i think you'll find it isn't the troops that are wasteing the money but goverment ministers who keep ordering stuff like the uniforms (from a german company iirc) that fell apart soon after delivery or the radio systems that are miles behind schedule ect ect....

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 06:55 AM
Interesting also to note the time between first flight and service entry for the UK only Hawk and Nimrod compared to the collaborative programmes we were involved with

[edit on 5-9-2006 by waynos]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 07:35 AM
Very true Waynos, but as you know these programs have often been 'throttled back' by the political end of the equation saving Xmillions this year even when it is known that the cost overall will rise.

But as that little example alone shows the initial premise of this thread is simply wrong by any reasonable standard.

But as for these so-called 'defence cuts'?

There's not a single official stat that supports this and I don't believe it.

Sadly this is a typical example of those who want it all ways around.

In actual fact funding has risen, markedly. There are no cuts.
However, there are altered spending objectives and new operational strategies, they win and the more traditional loses (and so the resulting switch in priorities and funding can be twisted and claimed to be a 'defence cut').

It is a fact that the strategy, task and therefore planned capacity has changed radically and meeting this new and different series of objectives will result in funding changes with funds going to the new priorities and less to the old.

This is what the current critics and careerists and their media pals are really moaning about
(as always happens every time the strategic objectives change.....
.....anyone might get the idea this kind of thing is something new!

The UK's defence capacity is being massively updated and expanded, to claim this means cuts overall is just not true.

To recognise that this means change and that some of the more traditional 'elements' will lose out is not only true but quite a different matter.

......and as said totally off topic.

[edit on 5-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 09:45 AM
But as for these so-called 'defence cuts'?

There's not a single official stat that supports this and I don't believe it.

There’s no stat that supports there’s been cuts? Are you talking in funding terms or physical? I hope the former, if not your name wouldn’t happen to be Geoff Hoon would it?

Again if the forces aren’t under financial pressure and being cut then why are we having capability gaps? If we can do with a gap we can do with a total loss surely. Why did Admiral West say that the cuts would increase risk in RN operations, or is increased risk a symptom of massively increased capability?

It’s pure complacency to accept the official line without question. It’s clear that the cuts (which is what they were) were accepted only to safeguard more important capabilities.

The strategic situation hasn’t changed, the SDR planned for a flexible expeditionary capability and set out what the armed forces at the time deemed necessary and it was praised by pretty much everyone. Nothing has changed since September 11 except that we actually have to put this expeditionary capability into action. Despite that the SDR has been all but torn apart.

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