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Time the UK goverment updated their airfleet?

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posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 10:44 AM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
There’s no stat that supports there’s been cuts? Are you talking in funding terms or physical?


- Well when someone posts a claim there have been spending cuts and I post up the financial stats that prove otherwise I think it's quite clear I'm talking about funding, aren't I?

The claim that British defence funding has been cut by this government is simply and absolutely false.

The rest is as I said, funding priorities are being altered.

But the physical capabilities are also being expanded in places and reduced in others.

For instance the navies' 2 enormous new carriers are quite obviously a massive expansion of current capability - as are the squadrons of ultra-high tech new and vastly more capable aircraft that will be operating from them.

But that's life, 'we' can't do everything at every point in time.
Resources are finite and the competition for them is great, so the old must make way for the new.

......unless you have found a way of enthusing the public to pay more taxes to bloat out our already enormously expensive military as you seem to desire?

That's life when you're a grown up.
Attempting to ignore this and just insist that 'we' can - somehow - always retain, if not also expand massively, the existing capabilities and capacity during a period of change is frankly the kind of rather short-sighted and irrational 'thinking' usually to be found amongst the 'teenage scribblers' of things like the Mail and Telegraph....oh and the 'points scorers' in tory party - until such time as they themselves get into government and are forced to face the spending realities and have to do the grown up prioritising themselves.

The fact remains that the UK spends (as 'we' have almost always done) vastly more money than any other comparable European and all the other NATO countries except for the USA.

But the idea that 'we' should be shovelling yet greater fortunes at the military is simply cloud-cuckoo land.
The public would never 'buy' it, literally.




posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 11:25 AM
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As I said I’m not disputing the fact there have been no overall financial cuts but there have been cuts.

While some capabilities have been expanded or created others are being cut. This is not a rebalancing as the comments of the First Sea Lord illustrate. You give the example of the CVFs and JCA but ignore the fact that the Harrier force that the latter is meant to replace has been reduced and cut resulting in a gap in capability in ship borne air defence which will remain for around eight or more years. The reason for this is that there is not enough money not because there is no requirement.


But that's life, 'we' can't do everything at every point in time.


Yeah but that’s exactly what the government is trying to do. We’ve got around 14000 troops in the Middle East alone (probably more); if the governments wants to do this then they have to provide adequate funding to support the forces. That isn’t what they’re doing.

If we were to end commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan and commit to never deploying more than 10000 troops for no longer than a year then fine but that is not the case.

The “oh well, resources are finite so what you going to do” kind of attitude is just apathetic; yes they are finite and they must be fought for. To do that the forces, in part, need public support. Just because the general public doesn’t care or we already spend more than others doesn’t mean that one should shut up and play along.

It’s clear that the armed forces need more money and this fact must be stated not shunned.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 12:10 PM
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Just because there are sometimes gaps in 'coverage' it does necessarily not mean there has been a cut; it comes with change and the fact that defence programs are so complex and vastly expensive and require depth of planning.

As is indisputably the case UK defence spending is greater than it has ever been, it has not been cut.

The loss of the Sea Harrier is a case in point.
Had they been continued with what, exactly, would they actually be doing (other than draining funds that could be better used elsewhere)?
They would have little or no place in deployments like Iraq or Afghanistan.

In anyevent the naval squadrons are now operating a more modern version of the Harrier from land in the mean-time.
It is not quite the 8yr gap you claim.

As for the idea that the demands on the forces are too great?
Well I refer back to the original quote posted by JAK.

The new head honcho of the BA says the forces can cope.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 12:51 PM
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A nearly ten year gap in a capability that the government has already conceded is vital is not due to changes it’s due to a lack of money.


The loss of the Sea Harrier is a case in point.
Had they been continued with what, exactly, would they actually be doing (other than draining funds that could be better used elsewhere)?
They would have little or no place in deployments like Iraq or Afghanistan.


By that logic the UK needs no air defence fighters, no ASW ships, no carriers, no air defence ships, no surface to air missiles, maritime patrol aircraft; any number of things can fit in there. The fact that a capability is used only rarely does not mean it is expendable, all it means is that it’s likely to be the first to be cut when things have to go just as has happened.

However the SHAR was a multirole aircraft capable of moving mud just as well as shooting down enemy fighters. It would have been a useful capability in current operations.


In anyevent the naval squadrons are now operating a more modern version of the Harrier from land in the mean-time.
It is not quite the 8yr gap you claim.


No the JFH uses the GR7 and will move to the GR9 which is a more modern version of the GR7 which is itself an updated version of the GR3, all designed to provide an air to ground capability with no ability to engage air targets outside of Sidewinder/ASRAAM. The Harrier FA2 which has been taken out of service early was a multirole aircraft capable of both air to air and air to ground missions. Therefore the RN will have a gap in an air defence layer of around eight years between 2006 and 2014 or later.


The new head honcho of the BA says the forces can cope


He said “just cope”, that is not a good thing. It means they’re on there limited, there’s absolutely no room to take up other commitments. And again what do you expect him to say? Unless he feels like being dismissed he can’t just phone up the Sun and tell them he thinks Brown (Des or Gordon) is neglecting them.

You seriously think capability gaps and greater risk and little strategic depth is a good position to be in?



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 01:52 PM
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I'm not sure what you are suggesting. Do we keep an entire Armoured Brigade in Germany-just in case? Do we maintain current levels of surface ASW assets and if so why? I'm all for home defence but are you seriously saying that we need to keep UK based fighter cover at cold war levels?

As has been said before, there is a huge amount of inter service jockeying for position going on at present. The Navy in particular is desperately trying to re-define it's role, above simply being a Taxi service for the Army. So no one is pretending all the Joint Chiefs of Staff are delighted by the likely shape of things to come. But there does seem to be a remarkable degree of unanimity about what is required for the future.

I do agree that the relentless political demands being made on our armed forces during this period of transition is becoming dangerous. Let's take foreign policy out of Downing Street and give it back to the Foreign Office.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 02:56 PM
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No what I’m saying is the government has to provide the forces with what they need. With regard to the example I gave, the FA2 has been scrapped but this is despite the MoD accepting that the capability it provides is critical and it is going ahead with buying a replacement for this capability. When asked about the FA2 the standard answer is “yes we accept we’re losing a layer of defence but this will be covered in the short term by the Type 45 and then by the F35”. This is a capability we need but the MoD is going to have to endure a gap of eight years until it is provided. If there were enough resources provided to the MoD then why would they have this gap? They wouldn’t.

Cold war level UK fighter cover is not needed and no one suggests that it is but there are clear areas in which the forces are adamant that they need X capability but it isn’t being provided because there is not enough money.

If it’s deemed that the UK as a country can’t afford the required level of spending then deployments must be brought down to a fitting level.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 03:17 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
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.


Shouldn't they retire the Nimrod by now? It is a VERY OLD design from the 1950's modified of course but with the disadvantages of that old design such as small engines, limited range, etc.
How about upgrading the frame to a Boeing 737/767 or an Airbus A320/30. I know there is British pride in the way, but it cannot be more important than using a more capable plane...



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 03:31 PM
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I'm not going to go around in circles about this any longer but you are quite wrong about this -


Originally posted by Mike_A
No the JFH uses the GR7 and will move to the GR9 which is a more modern version of the GR7 which is itself an updated version of the GR3,


- The Harrier GR7 & 9 have nothing to do with the old GR3.
They are the British version of Harrier 2.
Not simply another development of the old Harrier GR1/3.

One might also point out the your rational would also apply to and describe the Sea Harrier deployment pre-amraam when the switch was made from naval Phantoms and their Sparrow/SkyFlash missiles.

You see, many years can go by with a so-called 'hole' in cover and the sky doesn't fall in.

The fact remains that we can't afford everthing all at once cos we live in the real world.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 03:32 PM
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Originally posted by carcharodon
Shouldn't they retire the Nimrod by now? It is a VERY OLD design from the 1950's modified of course but with the disadvantages of that old design such as small engines, limited range, etc.
How about upgrading the frame to a Boeing 737/767 or an Airbus A320/30. I know there is British pride in the way, but it cannot be more important than using a more capable plane...


Take a look at this site BAe Nimrod MR4A

I think you'll find that the aircraft, whilst looking the same, is a total rebuild and is for all intents and purposes 99% new.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 04:36 PM
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Well ok the GR7 isn’t a direct GR3 upgrade, nothing else is different, the RN is still losing a capability that it believes it needs.


One might also point out the your rational would also apply to and describe the Sea Harrier deployment pre-amraam when the switch was made from naval Phantoms and their Sparrow/SkyFlash missiles.


One might also point out that this was not a very good situation either and was driven by budget constraints which cut the CVA-01. Just because it’s been like this for a while doesn’t mean it should go on.

Personally I think the UK can afford to spend more on defence and indeed should, regardless of whether we spend more than everyone else. It should not be tolerated to have an armed forces that is facing routine, prolonged deployments while also having to face increased risks and cutbacks in capability. You may be happy with this but I think there are too many cases littering history of an unforeseen crisis or an invasion there.

By the way I never said I want the UK to have everything, had I said that I’d be advocating strategic bombers and land based ICBMs.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 05:13 PM
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The EE Canberra & Nimrod are two of the finest aircraft in the British inventory & their long service records testament to excellent design. The shortfall in aircraft is due to more to politics in the 70's which could have given us the TSR 2, Hawker 1129, Gloster P386 & a supersonic Harrier to name but a few. I think the airforce is in a better situation now & into the near future than we have been for a long time & resent accusations are represented well in the Merlin, Typhoon & Apache. With future aircraft such as the Nimrod MRA4, Future lynx, F35 & several unnamed aircraft types like UAV's, Hercules replacement & a replacement for the Sea King ASAC pending decisions. If anything I would say Britain need to slow down the rate at which we retire our old designs, an upgraded Vulcan / Victor Phase 6 could have given us an ability to command a low cost per weight strategic presence not dissimilar to the B52's.



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 05:17 PM
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....as 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".


How is it Ludicruos? The Government sent those troops in knowing fine what would happend when they got there, it doesnt take a freakin scientist to wrok out how dangerous it was there. So Mutch for them being there as a peaceforce, helping and aiding the Gov of afghanistan with rebuilding their roads and infrastructure.


There have been concerns that British troops will be involved in the US' 'search and destroy' mission to hunt down members of al-Qaida in Afghanistan, but Mr Reid has insisted their main work will be in reconstruction


Link



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 06:21 PM
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Originally posted by spencerjohnstone
How is it Ludicruos? The Government sent those troops in knowing fine what would happend when they got there, it doesnt take a freakin scientist to wrok out how dangerous it was there.


- Yeah and that's exactly the point at which this wooly-headed 'thinking' finally peaks out.

'Join the British armed forces for a life on the public payroll, play with the latest 'cool' war-tech at no serious risk and never worry about facing any danger, ever.'



'Our forces' are too small; really?
Er, how large is the BA?
How large are the current deployments?

How come the head of the BA has only recently said perfectly sufficient to meet the demand(s)?

I suppose they should never actually do anything hazardous at all, pull up the drawbridge and hide away from that dangerous world until the day finally dawns when it comes to bite us at home, eh?

[edit on 5-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 06:22 PM
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Carch, your critique of the Nimrod goes a bit awry when you get on about its small engines and limited range. The MRA.4 uses the latest technology turbofans and its range and endurance is greater than the Boeing P-8's will be. Have you actually looked at the Nimrods capabilities or are you simply assuming its a Comet in RAF markngs?

Similarly, why does 'British pride' always get dragged up? Is it so impossible that we might actually build a plane that is perfectly suited to its job? Or do you perhaps think it is this 'British pride' that led us to deduce that the C-17, C-130, Boeing Sentry, Raytheon Sentinel etc (all American btw) are the best planes for their particular job and order them for the RAF? See how the logic in that argument you posted falls down?



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 01:31 AM
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Well I have looked at your points and the links provided and I stand on my point. It is an almost new plane with 717 engines A340 digital cockpit, but in the end it is still a Comet. Various articles mention the immense amount of problems encountered by BAE to rebuilt the MR3's into the MR4's and the excessive costs in developing and maintenance, such as working on four engines (when 2 are enough) that are inside the wing, which like I said seems that using off the shelf A330's and modifying them was a better idea. And about the wings the can be new, but they are for an old fuselage, is like making a spare part for an old car. the piece might be brand new, but the car is still old and will perform like an old car. The wing had to fit the comet, you couldn't design a 777 type wing and fitted there...

And no Waynos, I don't have anything about British pride, and after reading the articles, this probably was a case of saving a few pounds to make politicians happy...




The most controversial decision taken by BAe in their study to determine the design for the MRA4, was to refurbish and reuse the fuselages of a number of old Nimrods for the new aircraft. To some extent this decision was driven by the desire of the MOD to procure a derivative of an existing aircraft. Although this decision probably enabled BAe to lower their overall bid for the contract, whilst probably also appearing to be really efficient to some Treasury bean-counter, in the event this decision created some unforeseen problems and has contributed significantly to the long delay in the aircraft entering service.

www.spyflight.co.uk...

The example that you can go with a frame so much, is the decision of the USAF to replace their KC135/KC10 Extender tankers. They know that the 707 and DC-10 have reached their maximum capacity and that they cannot modify them more, so instead of fixing something old again and again and again they decided to replace them with new aircraft, and that was my point, I believe the Nimrod should be replaced, maybe instead of buying Blair Force One they could afford a couple of new frames, where you would get better economy, cheaper maintenance, more space and greater reliability. I would prefer a Boeing plane since they tend to perform better in extreme circumstances but that is just me...

Here is an example of the engines i am talking about, just from GE Aviation (Im sure RR have equivalent ones)
GE CF-6
Found on these aircraft:
Airbus
A300/A310/A330
Boeing 767
Boeing 747
MD-11
DC-10
E-4
KC-10
Boeing 767 Tanker
Boeing 767 AWACS
Airbus 330 Tanker
CX Japanese Transport

CF6-80E1 - Airbus A330-200/-300 A330 Tanker
Specific Fuel Consumption at Maximum power: 0.332 - 0.345
Max. Power at Sea Level (Lb.): 67,500 - 72,000
Overall Pressure ratio at Maximum Power: 32.4 - 34.8
Bypass Ratio: 5 - 5.1

CF6-80C2
Airbus A300-600/R/F, A310-200/-300
Boeing 767-200/200ER, 767-300/-300ER, 767-400ER, 767 AWACS, 767 Tanker
747-300, 747-400/-400ER
MD-11
Specific Fuel Consumption at Maximum power: 0.307 - 0.344
Max. Power at Sea Level (Lb.): 52,500 - 63,500
Overall Pressure ratio at Maximum Power: 27.1 - 31.8
Bypass Ratio: 5 - 5.31


Source GE Aviation

[edit on 6-9-2006 by carcharodon]



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 10:24 AM
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Yeah and that's exactly the point at which this wooly-headed 'thinking' finally peaks out.

'Join the British armed forces for a life on the public payroll, play with the latest 'cool' war-tech at no serious risk and never worry about facing any danger, ever.'



Yeah I would rather listen to An ex Commander of the Desert rats who has more Military experience than some Politician anyday.

Lol at the latest cool war - tech, yeah it is that cool that a soldier is being killed nearly every single day. hmmmmmmmms.




I suppose they should never actually do anything hazardous at all, pull up the drawbridge and hide away from that dangerous world until the day finally dawns when it comes to bite us at home, eh?


And when did I actually turn round and say that? Stop twisting my comments thank you very much.

If lies were not told in the first place and those guys who went out their were given a mandate rather than a peacful one, which was a load off crap in the first place. The they would not have been unerresourced on manpower and essential equipement in the first place.

Who would you rather listen to? A commander of the forces on the Ground there or some politician who sits in a comfy office every day not having to worry about his head being blown off.

[edit on 6-9-2006 by spencerjohnstone]

[edit on 6-9-2006 by spencerjohnstone]



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 10:50 AM
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Originally posted by spencerjohnstone
Yeah I would rather listen to An ex Commander of the Desert rats who has more Military experience than some Politician anyday.


- Well of course, ex-senior military personnel, I assume that is your definition of a totally non-interested party?


Get real.


is that cool that a soldier is being killed nearly every single day.


- Hardly.

It would seem consistent with your apparant view that they never be put 'in harms way' by the democratically elected political leadership of this country tho.


Stop twisting my comments thank you very much.


- Sorry, your original comments actually were
"Or give the UK Armed forces more of a Budget to work with rather than cut back on their budget over all."

- Which turned out to be wholly false in the light of the facts of the matter.


If lies were not told in the first place and those guys who went out their were given a mandate rather than a peacful one, which was a load off crap in the first place.


- Irrespective of how you believe they went out there the fact is that they are now out there (in both Iraq and Afghanistan) under formal and agreed UN mandate.

Now what?

As for who I'd listen to?

Well coming from a 'military family' of several generations myself I am well aware that there is a grave risk in this repeated nonsense that the only voice that should count is a military one.
They aren't exactly what you call impartial.
Their proper place is to advise the political leadership, nothing more.

Tough luck if you don't like it but that is how it works in a genuine democracy, anything else is verging on the tin-pot Military junta
(but maybe some would prefer that state of affairs given the earlier risible comment about African military spending).



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 11:15 AM
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By the reasoning of some in this thread, where we should spend spend spend to meet every possible threat - why are we not spending trillions of pounds to develop X-wings and star destroyers to meet any alien threat?


Damn those military cuts eh?



Ultimately its the same as anything in life, you must prioritise and concentrate your resources where they will give you the greatest return.



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 11:22 AM
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It's funny reading some comments on here about the doom and gloom of HM Forces.

I cant quote everybody, so I'll just pick up on some salient points:

Retirement of the Sea Harrier. The aircraft has been retired, yes, because they are not needed now and funding could be better spent elsehwere, but they havent just been thrown in the bin.

They will be put into storage, just like the Chally's that were drawn down when the armoured brigades where reduced.

IF a need for them arises between now and the introduction of the F-35 and new carriers, then they can easily be reactivated. Same with all the other "retired" equipment.

The Navy has AA cover in the form of the soon to be introduced Type-45. Nuff said.

It also has new attack submarines soming in the form of the Astute Class.

The Army has a whole Plethora of projects ongoing at the moment. The RAF, I think we all know about them too.

There has never been as much funding now (in relation of GDP %) for HM Forces as at any other time, bar maybe when we had the Empire. Procurements are at an all time high, with a new "SMART" procurement process put in to enable things to be delivered at a lower cost.

What your getting confused over are the Tabloid (mail/sun) scare stories that claim that "lack of funding" causes equipment shortages.

Most of the equipment shortages at the beggining of the invasion were down to logistical problems, not funding problems.

Simple really, they just f**ked up when sending the supplies over (Civil Servants and the Army, not Government). These issues were resolved quickly, but were picked up by the press and blown out of all proportion.

No doubt this Nimrod crash will be picked up as a result of "funding issues", which would be false. Planes crash. When a British Airways plane, or Lufthansa plane has an accident, do we balme it on funding? No, we will blame it on what actually causes the accident.

Honestly, you are all hyped up about nothing. By 2012-15, HM Forces will be well on the way to having transformed into a 21st century fighting force (sound a bit like a Government Ad there...urrgh...)

EDIT: Forgot to add my last point.

Whoever is crying over soldiers getting killed is way off target. Yes, it's sad, but it's what they volunteered for (and volunteering in record numbers Army recruiting record numbers)

You don't join the Army to have a cushy life and maybe once a year parade around in front of the Queen, you join to fight.

Now, having said that, I think the War is BS and we should never have gone, but that doesn't take away from the fact that Soldiers are Soldiers, not social workers.

[edit on 6/9/06 by stumason]



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 11:50 AM
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Yeah but Stuey (how ya doin, keepin well?) you have to remember that when it comes to the military all the rules that normally apply to any other branch of the public sector simply stop applying, apparantly.

All it takes is for those top-knobs involved (or recently retired from) the services to start squalking about 'needing' more public cash and voila!
People given half a chance would start falling over themselves in their rush to spray public money around.

Pity it doesn't work that way with them with the other areas of 'public' activity, eh?

Doctors, nurses and hospitals say they need more money?
Pah! Bottomless pit, waste.
Social workers and educationalists claim they need more funding?
Get lost unnecessary 'socialist do-gooders'.

When it's almost anyone else (excepting maybe spending public dosh out on Royalty) it's dismissed as mere vested interests grasping for more 'because they would wouldn't they?'
but
when it's the military there suddenly descends this almost Holy-like reverence and they should get anything their little hearts desire.
Weird.

.......and why is this clearly (and has been for a long time) UK politics thread still in ATS?



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