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RAF Nimrods scrapped?

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posted on Jan, 27 2011 @ 08:27 PM

Originally posted by Aliensun

Originally posted by shauneastmond
they must have some top secret replacement surely.I cant belive they would just scrap the nimrod with no plans in place to replace it my veiw is there is something better they have built they just wont tell us about it

just found this though may be of some intrest
edit on 27-1-2011 by shauneastmond because: (no reason given)

You got that right! All of these beautiful old aircraft, with noise and dirty exhausts are going to be scrapped. Hopefully, they will send at least one to the US so we can have a "keepsake" of that particular style and era.

The replacement will be the new, general-purpose craft, the notoriously known in UFO circles but NEVER spoken about in conventional aviation circles, the so-

This whole episode is completely scandalous.

These are not the grand old noisy Nimrods of old that you imagine. They are BRAND NEW and UNUSED NImrod MRA.4's, the first of which had just been delivered to the RAF to replace the old Nimrods when the axe fell.

Not only is there NO replacement at all (the Boeing Rivet Joints Are only to replace the three specialist R.1's, not the main fleet) but the RAF is also to lose it's Sentinel ASTOR aircraft as soon as it is expedient to do so.

This will leave an island nation with NO maritime surveillance capability at all, which is an absolute outrage.

My own thinking is that when we realise what a monumental arse up we have created, we will hurriedly place an order for a stand in type that will either be inadequate (like my photoshpped RAF E-190MPA) or we will end up buying a small number of P-8's that will ultimately prove to be more expensive than the aircraft we have just thrown into the crusher.

Having built them, why not USE them?

Duncan Sandys, Dennis Healey, your successors ARE STILL MAKING THE MISTAKES THAT YOU DID!!

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 05:31 AM

Originally posted by waynos

Having built them, why not USE them?

The simple answer to that is ... cost. Thats all it boils down to.

The Government needs to save money, it needs to spend less while simultaneously coping with an economy which is producing less in tax revenue and paying off the debt that the last government ran up (and is continuing to run up through programmes they have committed the UK to even though they are no longer in power).

The Nimrod development costs are gone, already spent, there is no recouping them so they are not even considered.

The aircraft were developed for the UK specifically, they are highly customised and meant to be operated within an infrastructure which has already operated a similar type. They are a decade overdue, which means they are already out of date compared to whats on the market today. This means they are not going to sell on the open market, especially when such an open market is so small (the countries that want it we wouldnt sell to, and the countries that might buy it would have trouble supporting it).

So the only way to reduce the cost of the program is to cease it entirely. You cannot mothball an entire fleet for future use, because for it to ever be useful you also need to maintain the skills of the entire supply and operation chain, which comes with a considerable expense. Operational costs would be cut but mothballing costs would not be trivial. The aircraft would have to be maintained to a set standard while in storage, so the only costs you would really claw back would be fuel costs.

Yes, ceasing the program with no alternative is stupid and I am as upset at seeing the Nimrod going as the next person, but the Government is in a no-win situation. It cannot fix the problems left by the last government without some serious cuts, and that means something has to go. Should we have got rid of our nuclear deterrent instead? Maybe. Did the Harrier fleet deserve to go? Maybe not, but it was nearing life expiration anyway.

But where else do the cuts get to be made? More army jobs? Another RN ship or three? The NHS? Police? Public services? Overseas aid? Where?

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 06:23 AM
My only opinion on the defense cuts, is why so much so quickly. It seems as though things havn't been thought through and have been rushed decisions instead. This can be said about much of the cuts. Surely making such huge decisions effecting our defense and education should not just be thought up over night.

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 08:25 AM

Originally posted by woodwardjnr
My only opinion on the defense cuts, is why so much so quickly. It seems as though things havn't been thought through and have been rushed decisions instead. This can be said about much of the cuts. Surely making such huge decisions effecting our defense and education should not just be thought up over night.

A lot of people have said that the review was too quick, more time should have been spent on it - and I disagree with both of those sentiments.

It wasn't rushed, it was just brutal. You don't think that the Conservatives knew they had to have a drastic spending reduction plan in the months before the election? You don't think the Conservatives had already done a lot of investigation into costs and savings?

They needed immediate savings - cutting the Harrier force and the Nimrod force immediately achieved those goals. If they had taken another three or six months on it, then the savings would have been less (and perhaps even more costly) but the effects would still have been as brutal.

No, people just want to put the doubt on the Government, pushing the view that the cuts were reactionary and unnecessary. They were neither.

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 08:30 AM
On top of the Nimrod issue is the more immediate issue of whether or not the RAF will retire the 50 Tranche 1 Eurofighters they have rather than upgrade them to later specs - because Labour never budgeted for the upgrades within the purchases.

This means we could have one of three outcomes:

1. We could end up with a sub-fleet of 50 Eurofighters that have rudimentary air-to-ground capabilities, reduced capability air-to-air capabilities (as they would not be upgraded to the AESA radar, instead only having CAPTOR) and no mid-life extensions.

2. We could end up with the 50 Tranche 1 aircraft being retired, meaning the RAF front line capabilities reduce to less than that of some USAF training squadrons!

3. We have to find several billion pounds to upgrade them.

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 01:41 PM
Just a thank you all for your replies and your stars and flags. Some interesting stuff and im quite glad how this thread turned out even though its a short one

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 01:45 PM
The government is saying that we can make all these defence cuts because we have allies that have weapons, planes etc that we can use. Trouble is our allies are making as many cuts.

If we ever needed to defend ourselves then I could see a day when there's an almighty argument as each ally says it thought the other was bringing the weapons.

It's also interesting to see how the argument has shifted over the years from 'we shouldn't be spending so much on defence' to 'we shouldn't be cutting our defence budget so much'

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 01:59 PM
Another excellent waste of our money. These thieving lying politiciens should have their tongues ripped out and their hands chopped off. Public servants. Either they have their hands in the till, or they are abusing us with powers that we gave them. Whats wrong with selling the Nimrods? Rather than scrap them?

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 02:45 PM

Originally posted by illuminnaughty
Another excellent waste of our money. These thieving lying politiciens should have their tongues ripped out and their hands chopped off. Public servants. Either they have their hands in the till, or they are abusing us with powers that we gave them. Whats wrong with selling the Nimrods? Rather than scrap them?

As I said above - they are too bespoke to the UK, too old (already), too expensive for their capabilities, and too small a fleet.

They were literally built around systems the RAF and RN specced, systems we probably don't want to part with anyway just due to their secrecy. They were built to be in service at the start of the last decade, not the start of this one. They are a trivially small fleet of 9 aircraft, highly specialised aircraft - these would be the *only* 9 Nimrods flying anywhere in the world, as no one else bought them the first time round, and no one operates the Comet any more - the RAF managed to operate and maintain them due to literally on-site help from BAE and a well proven supply chain, which a purchasing country would have neither of.

Today, it would be cheaper for a purchasing nation to buy a Boeing 767 or Airbus A330 off the shelf and kit it out from scratch than it would be to buy and operate the Nimrod fleet. That is why they are being scrapped - the operating costs are horrendous.

The US wouldnt buy them, they have the Boeing alternative which is cheaper. The Indians wouldn't buy them, they can get it cheaper from the US, Israel or the Russians. No one in South America could afford them. No one in NATO would want them. There is no market for them.

They were one hell of an aircraft, but they came at a price - literally. A price that no one else could afford, one which we could barely afford originally.

I am sad to see them go, but after my initial shock, Im not at all surprised.

posted on Jan, 28 2011 @ 05:31 PM
Hi Richard, nice to see you again.

The answer that I personally would have chosen was contained within your first post. 

having a nuclear deterrent is an expensive luxury that i feel this country simply cannot afford. The way we are going our only military option may well end up being to nuke or accept whatever situation is causing us anxiety. We will obviously never, ever resort to nuking anyone except in a situation where our own puny stockpile will make no difference. So why do we cripple ourselves hanging on to this 'capability' which, in truth, is no capability at all.

Given that we ARE going to hang on to the nuclear option for as long as we can I still think HMG picked the wrong option.

Any maritime country surely MUST maintain the sort of capability that Nimrod provides. To me this is a no brainer and the retirement of the Tornado fleet would have made more sense than scrapping Nimrod. Tornado is ageing, vulnerable and short legged. The RAF is already committed, correctly in my opinion, to operating a two-type fast jet fleet consisting of he Typhoon and Lightning around a decade hence, so what would be the net loss overall? We have seen similar cuts get rid of the Jaguar and Sea Harrier already. Despite my natural affection and admiration for it, I also feel the Harrier was right to be axed. lacking a radar, such as is fitted to some USMC and Italian Harriers means its capabilities were severely and stupidly restricted anyway. Especially in its enforced role as a Shar stand-in.

While the Nimrod ( begun as the Nimrod 2000 programme, rather tellingly) was indeed a decade late, I disagree that it was out of date. As with the Typhoon and other programmes, the capability of the type comes mainly from the on board systems it is equipped with. This is a relatively fluid situation compared to the airframe and the singe Nimrod MRA.4 that the RAF had actually received was the most modern maritime type in the sky and contained much that wasnt even envisaged when the aircraft was ordered. remember also the 'A'  element of 'MRA.4'  for attack, meaning the RAF came within an ace of acquiring a genuine long range strike capability with the Nimrod and its cruise missile systems, this is a grievous loss being, as it was, a capability borne out of the analysis of the operational needs highlighted during the Gulf War and he current conflict in Afghanistan. This stand-off strike capability, curiously unmentioned in all press reports i've seen, is in no way covered by the retention of near time-expired, short range Tornadoes dependent on forward basing and in flight refuelling to carry out the mission.

An RAF fleet of Sentry, Sentinel, Nimrod 4, Typhoon and Lightning would, i feel, be of far greater value to the country in the long term than an unusable nuclear force. of that list, numbers 2 & 3 are already doomed and number 5 has a long way to go to reach safety.

The worry is what do we chop next time? Previous cuts of Jaguars and Sea Harriers were meant to preserve core capabilities ( of which Maritime patrol was one). The RAF originally bought and operated 385 Tornadoes, that number is now down to 96 with none of those withdrawn having been replaced by another type and this is our main operational strike aircraft. If we cannot afford to operate a fleet of Maritime patrol aircraft with enhanced other capabilities, i feel we have no right to even try to afford a nuclear deterrent. We have our priorites wrong. 

I'll stop now as I appear to be on the verge of rambling.
edit on 28-1-2011 by waynos because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 10:23 PM
Can NATO provide a maritime patrol for its members with a split cost between them? NATO could buy P8A Poseidon or an Airbus variant and operate them to protect the coast from the North Atlantic to the Mediterranean.
Maybe if you implemented something like this the UK can have a secure maritime border and save money

posted on Feb, 1 2011 @ 04:49 AM
reply to post by carcharodon

That may well be what HMG is hoping for, similar to the NATO AEW fleet, there is already some talk of a NATO wide transport fleet of C-17's

The existing maritime forces of France and Germany are ageing so it may well prove to be te answer.

posted on Feb, 1 2011 @ 03:01 PM
My feelings about the scrapping of the Nimrods were of shock, disgust at the outrageous waste of money and concern about the gaping capability cap this left.

However, I've been spending some time trawling through the Nimrod thread in the Military Aircrew section of PPruNe. There is some truly fascinating stuff there, much of which has been posted by people who appear to have been involved with or have a close knowledge of, the Nimrod MR4A project. Many have been quite cryptic, suggesting they have security obligations causing them to limit the detail of their posts. One claims to have been involved in the test flights of the production prototype.

In essence, many are claiming that the Nimrods were far from service ready and that a lot more work and money was needed to bring them up to a state where they would be accepted by The RAF.There is talk off 'hundreds' of non-compliance issues. Of shoddy workmanship (fuel lines too short and too stressed that they spring apart when uncoupled), poor and dangerous design compromises (an avionics control box situated in the bomb bay vulnerable to a bird-strike when the doors are open). A potential inability to deploy weapons. The list goes on and on.

To be fair, there are many who counter these claims, arguing that much of it is government spin designed to justify the unjustifiable. I have to say though that It has given me cause for thought. Was this a project that had run out of control. A project which would never deliver the required capability, safely or effectively?

posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 07:39 AM
Two Nimrods are still operational. Catch them while you can as they are due to retire on 31st March 2011. Nimrod R1s serials XV249 and XW664 are based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. XV249 is currently flying at the moment over the UK and XW664 is deployed for Afghan ops.

Nimrod XW664 is featured in the Operational Updates for January 2011.

RAF Waddington has a public viewing area called the WAVE (Waddington Aircraft Viewing Enclosure)

See map for those wanting to catch the retirement of the Nimrod on 31st March 2011.

edit on 2-2-2011 by tommyjo because: Additional info added

posted on Feb, 2 2011 @ 07:49 AM
raf harrier now nimrod hmmm

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