Harrier Woe

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posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 08:08 AM
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I see that the USMC is buying up the UK's Harrier GR.7 and GR.9 fleet in order to provide spares for their own AV-8B's

This simple little story stirs up a whole range of emotions from me, several of which are remarkably close to anger.

A reason that has been cited is in order to maintain the AV-8B fleet for longer, at reduced cost, due to delays to the F-35 programme. Is this the same F-35 that we claim is a Harrier replacement for us?


The aircraft involved recently went through a £1.5bn+ upgrade programme and we are selling the lot, for spares, for a reported £55m.


It brings to the surface, once more, memories of how we were told that the withdrawal and scrapping of the Sea Harrier FA.2 in 2007 (some of which were only built in 2004) was in order to allow us to operate a more affordable, common, though less able, Harrier fleet until the F-35 arrived.


My head hurts, and my heart is heavy.
edit on 30-6-2011 by waynos because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 08:39 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


In addition to that, we have just scapped the Nimrod R1 fleet in order to use the Joint Rivet with the Americans. So basically we are replacing an airframe that was built in 1974 with one that was built in 1962 and losing a more superior platform.

I do not see how we are saving money, but I do see how we are dimishing our capability.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 10:08 AM
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reply to post by TheLoneArcher
 



I'm with you folks in being sad to see the apparent stock of military hardware decline, especially, when it seems to come with false assurances and outright disinformation. I suggest these moves should give you cause and pause to seriously wonder about what is the full scope of what is going on. Yes, there are their excuses and reasoning for the actions that they trot out—but some explanations seem entirely UNreasonable. So what is really happening?

Look over here to the US and NASA getting ready to fire up its last shuttle. For about forty years the shuttle has been in the design, building and in use stages. And yet, they have nothing to show us as a replacement. Nothing! Realistically, after this next launch we will have no way to put a human in orbit. Worse, the ISS is rotating up there and we, the US, will have to rely on Russian rockets to move our folks back and forth. Does this make sense either? No. Something is fishy here.

It does only makes sense if you can accept that this is all a charade. The UK (and Oz) are virtually our only trustworthy partners in how we perceive the balance of the world. And the US is virtually driving the bus. So we look for an explanation here primarily and we can look for signs of that partnership in the UK and Oz.

If you can accept thousands and thousands of reports, the answer is as plain as the nose on your face. The answer is that we, the US, has and is sharing its ultra-top secret devices with the UK and Oz. These are the triangle, and why the sightings of which are virtually confined to these countries. In short, they give every evidence of being wondercraft, capable of eliminating about anything that literally uses air for lift or propulsion. Not only do they replace aircraft, but they replace the shuttle and probably any spacecraft that we would use within the local area of the Moon and Mars.

If you believe in any way that aliens/UFOs/flying saucers have some credibility, then you must make the jump to accepting that we have developed similar hardware and are starting to turn a crucial corner in the advancement of moving material and humans around Earth and in near space. And that secret would be a important as the origins of the UFO themselves.

Now, if you can't allow yourself to believe in triangle technology and while believing that the UK and US governments are incredibly short-sighted and downright stupid with their military readiness and space craft plans, then you must concede that the F-35 is the best thing we have on the drawing boards even if you may wonder why we are already wanting to sell it to some not-so-friendly countries. As long as we keep dangling the F-35 out there for friend and foe, those folks must attempt to compete with it and devote huge resources to do that. Of course they know that we have the triangles. They are not fools, but they have no choice to play a part in the game being played.

And that about sums it up except to say that obviously the triangles will be revealed shortly.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 12:34 PM
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The real story is likely more like this....

You give us those two Harrier Squadrons so we can use them for parts......or you don't get any oil to keep warm this winter.....

The reason everyone's military is being cut is because the days of oil are OVER.

Besides...you Europeans threw the bank at that big collider that was supposed to make you a new energy source.

So far it appears that was a big waste.



posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by TheLoneArcher
reply to post by waynos
 


In addition to that, we have just scapped the Nimrod R1 fleet in order to use the Joint Rivet with the Americans. So basically we are replacing an airframe that was built in 1974 with one that was built in 1962 and losing a more superior platform.

I do not see how we are saving money, but I do see how we are dimishing our capability.


Running small fleets of large jet aircraft is incredibly expensive - only 3 R1's were ever built and maintianing them must cost a fortune - the number of specialised equipment and staff that have to be kept at 100% ability to service them could probably service 10 such aircraft without much more effort.

there will still be only 3 a/c operated by the RAF, but the fact that the US operates another 30 or so means that the RAF will be able to tap into US spares holdings and probably heavy overhaul facilites rather than having to establish completely seperate ones of their own.

I also suspect that the operational costs will be a lot less - the US planes use relatively modern CFM high bypass turbofans of which there are many thousands in service, whereas the R1 uses low bypass Speys, which are significantly older, probably use a lot more gas, and of which there are only relatively few in service, mainly in military and very old airliners - again the maintenance costs will be vastly lower for the newer engines.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:06 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
I see that the USMC is buying up the UK's Harrier GR.7 and GR.9 fleet in order to provide spares for their own AV-8B's

This simple little story stirs up a whole range of emotions from me, several of which are remarkably close to anger.

A reason that has been cited is in order to maintain the AV-8B fleet for longer, at reduced cost, due to delays to the F-35 programme. Is this the same F-35 that we claim is a Harrier replacement for us?


The aircraft involved recently went through a £1.5bn+ upgrade programme and we are selling the lot, for spares, for a reported £55m.



It must be the emotion speaking, because I never thought I would see you fall into the sunk cost trap Waynos


The US doesn't give a damn how much we spent upgrading and maintaining our fleet, because its not their concern - they are willing to pay X for the fleet, for their own purposes, and thats that. The fact that we spent £1.5B on them recently is neither here nor there, they won't be using the planes as they are.

Also note that he USMC are in a seriously worse hole than we are, because they *need* the F-35B VSTOL variant, which is almost certainly going to be cancelled - the other F-35 variants cannot be operated off of their command carriers, which puts them in an interesting place once the F-35B gets cancelled. No planes for their carriers, no replacement carriers in sight with the capability for the other variants.

The USMC is going to lose their own carrier capability, at least for fixed wing aircraft. Mark my words.

This RAF Harrier buy is only a stop gap.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:09 AM
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Originally posted by TheLoneArcher
reply to post by waynos
 


In addition to that, we have just scapped the Nimrod R1 fleet in order to use the Joint Rivet with the Americans. So basically we are replacing an airframe that was built in 1974 with one that was built in 1962 and losing a more superior platform.

I do not see how we are saving money, but I do see how we are dimishing our capability.


The R1 was planned to be retired in March 2011 for several years, well before the recent budget cuts.

The RC-135W is a much better and more capable aircraft - forget the point that its based on an older airframe, thats neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things as the planes are stripped and rebuilt. They are cheaper to operate, cheaper to maintain and cheaper to upgrade - its a definite win.



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:15 AM
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Originally posted by Aliensun

Look over here to the US and NASA getting ready to fire up its last shuttle. For about forty years the shuttle has been in the design, building and in use stages. And yet, they have nothing to show us as a replacement. Nothing! Realistically, after this next launch we will have no way to put a human in orbit. Worse, the ISS is rotating up there and we, the US, will have to rely on Russian rockets to move our folks back and forth. Does this make sense either? No. Something is fishy here.

It does only makes sense if you can accept that this is all a charade.



Quite the charade, if you ignore the fact that there are at least three NASA funded man-rated capsules currently under development:

1. The SpaceX Dragon capsule
2. Lockheed Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle
3. Boeing CST-100



posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 03:18 AM
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Originally posted by Pervius

Besides...you Europeans threw the bank at that big collider that was supposed to make you a new energy source.

So far it appears that was a big waste.


The LHC was never supposed to "make us a new energy source", its a pure research project with hundreds of goals - its the type of science we should be funding.



posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 07:47 AM
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reply to post by RichardPrice
 
No Richard I think you misread Waynos's anger.
I dont believe he was falling into the sunk cost trap at all. He is merely pointing out, and quite rightly that governments have an onus of responsibility to firstly, NOT waste taxpayers money. And second to recover all reasonable monies from taxpayer funded assets when disposed of. Spending 1.5 billion pounds and then selling the entire lot for 55 million not long after is in no way responsible or excusable using the "oh its just a sunk cost" get out clause. I find it difficult to believe that in the short time that the Harriers have been grounded that an exhaustive search of potential other operators was conducted and no possible purchasers of the aircraft as a going concern could be found. Are we to believe that nobody be they India or Israel was in any way interested in a late model STOVL jet fleet with the latest upgrades that was willing to pay more than 55 million pounds? It is exactly this kind of idiotic accounting irresponsibility that leads to governments finding themselves in these situations in the first place. Just because the money has been spent doesn't mean it has just disappeared with nothing to show, any more than a governments responsibility. I simply do not believe any realistic attempt was made to sell them to anyone other than the USMC as parts. There seems to be a rather bizarre English tradition that continues to this day which says, "If we cant afford them then none shall have them, and we will prove that by running an axe through them, regardless of the loss and how stupid it is". In the nigh on 5 years since the retirement of the Sea Harriers, exactly how much effort has gone into selling them as a going concern to other current harrier operators? Can we seriously say that India would in no way be interested in some very low time very well updated airframes to bolster there accident depleted force? I dont believe any effort has been put in at all. In fact I think quite a few bureaucrats have very likely hampered such efforts in order to simply make the problem go away for ever. Out of sight, out of mind.

I also dont believe that the USMC is in a worse hole than the RN. I think you are both in the same hole, except that one of you is still operating a force of Harriers, the other has simply given up, but decided to spend billions on a couple of shiny new carriers anyway. Granted the QE class will potentially be able to operate far more easily some other types like Rafale, Super Hornet, or a Typhoon/Gripen naval derivative ( I dont believe they will ever operate F-35's of any flavour). But dont discount the USMC as they have several choices. Firstly there are a bunch of big deck carriers with far to few assets on them already so they could just purchase SH or (and I try not to smirk here) F-35C and operate them from there as they have in the past. Or they could operate SH's off of their new LHA-6 carriers if they were to fit either catapults or a ski jump. It's certainly possible to do this down to carriers of around 25,000 tons, far less than the LHA-6's 45,000 tons.

LEE.

edit on 3-7-2011 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 05:59 PM
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Thats right, I dont for a second think that the USA can be expected to let us recover the sunk costs. My dismay is more at the waste of it all.

We appear to be in an endless procession of scrap A to afford B which is essential, useful and vital, two years later scrap B to keep C which is even more vital to our long term future plans than we thought B was, two years on scrap C as it is now not vital, but a luxury we cannot afford, but we must maintain D and so on and so forth, ad nauseum.

How can anyone have any faith in the "long term planning" of a department that has fundamentally changed its 'long term goals' three times in less than a decade? Meanwhile, as the barely-at-all disguised cost cutting runs rampant, creating the farcical situation of an island nation with no fixed wing maritime capability of any sort, we are procuring comedy forces, such as nuclear weapons we 'must have' but will never use (and EVERYONE knows it) and 'rent-a-carrier' whose sole function is set to be for OTHER countries air arms to use as a floating lay by, at great expense. Its insane, isn't it?

Meanwhile we are trying to fight a war with squadrons being decommissioned and aircraft scrapped in the middle of it! Was it 13 Sqn who completed their recent deployment to Afghanistan by flying their aircraft straight to the breakers yard? I believe it may have been. Unlucky for some.

The sad part for me is that when these capabilities are gone, they are gone forever and I'm not at all sure any of it has been thought through logically. Something might be expensive to maintain, but its as nothing compared to the cost of trying to create a capability from scratch.

Two cases in point are that we want to scrap the Nimrod R.1 and Sentinel,and have made announcements to this effect, but cant cos we need to use them. That is crazy, isnt it? (I have heard whispers that the Sentinel decision may be reversed, grudgingly)

Can someone make sense of it for me? Cos everything I've read smells like brown stuff.
edit on 3-7-2011 by waynos because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 04:39 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


I was really off on one last night wasn't I?


I think more explanation and less rant may have been better, but I can do that if anyone asks.



posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 06:38 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


Nope , I think you are spot on .....

we seem to have a history of decisions like these. in my area of work `hardened underground structures` you would not believe the amount of money that was spent then scrapped, in some case only months after completion !! at a cost sometimes of 34 million a unit.

snoopyuk



posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by thebozeian
reply to post by RichardPrice
 
No Richard I think you misread Waynos's anger.
I dont believe he was falling into the sunk cost trap at all. He is merely pointing out, and quite rightly that governments have an onus of responsibility to firstly, NOT waste taxpayers money. And second to recover all reasonable monies from taxpayer funded assets when disposed of. Spending 1.5 billion pounds and then selling the entire lot for 55 million not long after is in no way responsible or excusable using the "oh its just a sunk cost" get out clause.


But that is precisely the sunk cost issue - the RAF/RN upgraded the Harriers based on *their* requirements, *their* needs, *their* wants, and any purchaser isn't going to want an RAF Harrier, they are going to want a Harrier for their own requirements, needs and wants.

The £1.5B isn't indicative of market price, its indicative of the cost of fulfilling the RAFs requirements - thats it.

What that means is that the £1.5B doesn't mean anything to a third party, unless they are looking for precisely those aircraft, those requirements and those capabilities - and I'm afraid that the British Harrier force isn't what people are looking for.

The sunk cost fallacy is continuing to operate something on the basis of "oh, we spent money on it last year, so we have to spend money on it this year". Thats it right there - it doesn't matter if this means that last years expense was "wasted", what matters today is how much you spend tomorrow, and whether that is good value for money.

The British government is never going to recoup their £1.5B, its gone, never to return. If you asked for £1.5B for the fleet, they would continue to sit wherever it is they are currently sitting, deteriorating in condition (unless of course *more* money is spent on maintaining them in storage).



I find it difficult to believe that in the short time that the Harriers have been grounded that an exhaustive search of potential other operators was conducted and no possible purchasers of the aircraft as a going concern could be found. Are we to believe that nobody be they India or Israel was in any way interested in a late model STOVL jet fleet with the latest upgrades that was willing to pay more than 55 million pounds?


The list of potential operators is small, and getting smaller:

1. India, currently operating the FRS.1 Sea Harrier, walked away from a deal to buy 8 FA.2 models in 2006, which were to be stripped for spares. They have never operated the Harrier II.
2. Spain, currently operating the Harrier II.
3. Italy, currently operating the Harrier II.
4. The USMC, currently operating the Harrier II.

The problem is, the RAF don't operate the Harrier II, we operate the GR7 and GR9, which although based on the Harrier II are not the same beast - different avionics, different electronics, different software etc.

Anyone buying the RAFs fleet to fly will have to operate them as a separate fleet from the Harrier II, and the cost of heavy training requirements for the Harrier II family puts the price above that for a new operator this late in the game (who would buy into a type today that is going to retired from all other operators by 2020 or so? The fleet maintenance cost would skyrocket...)

So the other option is to buy them for mechanical spares - and thats a buyers market. The RAF doesn't want to spend any more money on these aircraft, they aren't going to get £1.5B for them, so its best offer only.



It is exactly this kind of idiotic accounting irresponsibility that leads to governments finding themselves in these situations in the first place. Just because the money has been spent doesn't mean it has just disappeared with nothing to show, any more than a governments responsibility. I simply do not believe any realistic attempt was made to sell them to anyone other than the USMC as parts.


I can disagree with the last point first - the feelers have been out since the FA.2 retirement, no one is interested in them.

And no, the money doesn't just disappear, but as to whether someone else values the expenditure as much as you did when you spent the money...? Thats where the difference comes in. You can spend thousands of pounds painting your house bright pink, but will that improve the market value? Its all up to how much the buyer values the changes - they don't care how much you spend, its whether the item as it currently is matches their requirements.


There seems to be a rather bizarre English tradition that continues to this day which says, "If we cant afford them then none shall have them, and we will prove that by running an axe through them, regardless of the loss and how stupid it is". In the nigh on 5 years since the retirement of the Sea Harriers, exactly how much effort has gone into selling them as a going concern to other current harrier operators? Can we seriously say that India would in no way be interested in some very low time very well updated airframes to bolster there accident depleted force? I dont believe any effort has been put in at all. In fact I think quite a few bureaucrats have very likely hampered such efforts in order to simply make the problem go away for ever. Out of sight, out of mind.


As I noted above, India was approached regarding the Sea Harrier fleet, a deal was agreed in principle for 8 frames, and a number of engines, and in the end India walked away because they operate the FRS.1 and bringing the FA.2 into their fleet would have been cost prohibitive for them.

So yes, efforts were made to sell the airframes, but no one is buying (apart from museums and private investors. And probably Iran.)




I also dont believe that the USMC is in a worse hole than the RN. I think you are both in the same hole, except that one of you is still operating a force of Harriers, the other has simply given up, but decided to spend billions on a couple of shiny new carriers anyway.


Well, with the carriers its either build them or spend the money anyways in cancellation repayments. The contractors on that job were, this time round, quite astute in their contracts - having been screwed over time and again with regard to governments signing up for something, making them hire a huge workforce to do the work, getting a short way down the line on the project, and then canceling - its the contractors that suffer the bad will from the workforce and other contractors in that case.

So this time round they made sure they got their money. Hate to say this, but well done them.


( I dont believe they will ever operate F-35's of any flavour)


I'm hoping they don't, they are overpriced and seriously late - but I'm about to post an article on that.



But dont discount the USMC as they have several choices. Firstly there are a bunch of big deck carriers with far to few assets on them already so they could just purchase SH or (and I try not to smirk here) F-35C and operate them from there as they have in the past.


I think you misunderstand my point - currently the USMC operates several command carriers independently of the USN, they have complete autonomy - they lose that autonomy when the Harrier goes, if the F-35B is scrapped.

Thats quite a big loss in capability for them.


Or they could operate SH's off of their new LHA-6 carriers if they were to fit either catapults or a ski jump. It's certainly possible to do this down to carriers of around 25,000 tons, far less than the LHA-6's 45,000 tons.


Something thats already been completely rejected by the USMC as a possibility - they have already shifted some of their F-35 buy to the F-35C, for operating off the USN carriers, and are considering an interim purchase of SHs to do the same.

The LHA-6 class is under threat itself, and is one of the "linked projects" that will live or die based on the success of the F-35B. No one is fitting ski ramps and arrestor gear to them, not even the USMC are.



posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
Can someone make sense of it for me? Cos everything I've read smells like brown stuff.
edit on 3-7-2011 by waynos because: (no reason given)


The "sense" of it, currently, is simply that we cannot afford to be the nation that we, the public, and the government want us to be.

We cannot be the "Great" Britain that we used to be, because we cannot afford it.



posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 09:36 AM
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Originally posted by TheLoneArcher
reply to post by waynos
 


I do not see how we are saving money, but I do see how we are dimishing our capability.


More than likely it is to diminish the capability because a Unified Europe will not need such a huge military force.

I read the Scots are looking for independence, well, the majority aren't, but the media are portraying it as if they are.
A weakened, non-existent UK is ripe for being swallowed up by the EU.

You could also add in the open borders policy, this allows the non-natives to freely move into a country, therefore 'diluting' the population, reducing the national identity - who are you? You are Europeans of course.

But that's getting off topic.

RIP Harrier, you may not have been the fastest, but you were way ahead of your time.

st.



posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 03:22 PM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice

Originally posted by waynos
Can someone make sense of it for me? Cos everything I've read smells like brown stuff.
edit on 3-7-2011 by waynos because: (no reason given)


The "sense" of it, currently, is simply that we cannot afford to be the nation that we, the public, and the government want us to be.

We cannot be the "Great" Britain that we used to be, because we cannot afford it.


And yet, in a pathetically desperate desire to be somebody, to be a contender, we are starving our conventional capabilities to the point of extinction in order to pay for our previously mentioned nuclear capability.

So, can't we be Germany instead? They do ok without them, as do so many others,
edit on 5-7-2011 by waynos because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 6 2011 @ 05:38 AM
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Originally posted by waynos

And yet, in a pathetically desperate desire to be somebody, to be a contender, we are starving our conventional capabilities to the point of extinction in order to pay for our previously mentioned nuclear capability.

So, can't we be Germany instead? They do ok without them, as do so many others,
edit on 5-7-2011 by waynos because: (no reason given)


Heh, my grand plan for that was, if I were ever to sweep to power, was to publicly renew the programme at a cost of several billion GBP, while secretly just sticking a polystyrene mockup on top of cardboard tube missile. Spend the money elsewhere and still get to parade a public deterrent to the world.



posted on Jul, 7 2011 @ 04:49 AM
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Originally posted by waynos

Two cases in point are that we want to scrap the Nimrod R.1 and Sentinel,and have made announcements to this effect, but cant cos we need to use them. That is crazy, isnt it? (I have heard whispers that the Sentinel decision may be reversed, grudgingly)


Waynos, perhaps I can shed some light on this - the R.1 decision was made ages ago, before the current governments SDSR was even started. It was made because the aircrew (including the ops crew) are needed for conversion to the Air Seeker programme.

Yes, they could train up completely new crew in tandem, but the ops crew are very highly skilled and having them undergo conversion to the new platform is a considerable cost saving over training up new crew (plus it takes a fraction of the time).

The Sentinel, so I have been told, is a maintenance nightmare - no one wants to operate it, only the upper management want to retain it for its capabilities.



posted on Jul, 8 2011 @ 01:53 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


I have no issue with us maintaining a nuclear deterrent, its this obsession with SSBNs which irritates me. The fact is that countries like Iran, Syria and N.Korea can afford to develop nuclear programmes, the only way which we make it so unaffordable is that we insist on placing them inside gigantic black tubes who's sole purpose in life would be to create and then survive a nuclear apocalypse.
Why not do like the French and keep them air launched so that they can be tactically deployed if needed, other wise stored happily in a shed on the outskirts of Yorkshire


Jensy





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