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UK Attracting interest on new MPA

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posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:06 AM
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Three years after discarding the Nimrod programme the UK is now starting to move towards acquiring a new maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), hopefully a move that will allow us to relieve the Hercules of this totally unsuited role.

The industry is catching on to the fact that the govt may be about to reverse the decision and, mindful no doubt of tightened budgets these days, apart from the obvious candidtate which is the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, manufacturers are also making their case for smaller and cheaper options.

Airbus Military is starting to press for the C-295MPA to be shortlisted by the RAF, seemingly having given up any hope long ago that its P-8-like A320MPA will ever be adopted by anybody. It would certainly be a massive shock if the Airbus twin was selected over the P-8 as it is not yet even developed. The C-295 however must be seen as a realistic alternative being both cheap and in service already. Here is a model and some artwork Airbus have prepared to hammer home the point;





www.flightglobal.com...

Along similar lines is a proposal from SAAB. This is called the Swordfish (a Royal Navy name, but hey ho) and is based on the SAAB 2000 regional airliner. A SAAB stand at the (SAAB sponsored!) Waddington show I attended earlier this month featured this proposal along with SAAB's other military turboprops and a flying display from SAAB jet fighters from the J-29 to the JAS-39, as if to emphasise how great at planes they are, here is the SAAB 2000 demonstrator as displayed;



I think these are the most realistic options for an RAF MPA these days, which is a shame from the country that was able to boast for over 30 years that it had the most capable and ONLY jet powered MPA in the world in the Nimrod.

For my own opinion I would also like to see us evaluate the Japanese Kawasaki P-1, which I am sure would be far cheaper than the P-8 and far more capable than either of the turboprops. With a BAE Systems tie in and Rolls Royce engines we could hardly go wrong.



Finally, in an idle moment last year, I mocked up this MPA from a photo of an Air Canada Embraer ERJ, I just hope we get SOMETHING, soon.





posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


You really do need something. The problem with any of those choices is that they're still either in development, or only just approaching or hit IOC. The P-8 won't be fully capable for several more years, although of all of them, I believe it's the closest to operational.
edit on 7/24/2013 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:29 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


The C-295 is currently in service with the Portuguese AF and senior RAF officers were given a tour of one of their aircraft at RIAT. Do you know how far off from service the P-1 is?

Also found these C-295 operators.





This makes me think it may be seen as the easy option.
edit on 24-7-2013 by waynos because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:32 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


Ah cool, I couldn't remember if they had any operational yet.

The P-1 is having....issues. They had delivered 4 XP-1s for ground testing, after which two of them developed "tears" in the center wing tank, and fuselage area. There are two P-1s that were delivered for two years of flight testing, but they were grounded earlier this year due to "unstable combustion in some of its engines" during a test flight.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:37 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Ooh, thats sounds bad. Is the programme in danger of cancellation?



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


As far as I've heard to date, no, they're still planning on continuing with it.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 12:52 PM
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LockMart has pushed the dedicated SeaHerc pretty heavily at the regional shows the last year or two as an Orion replacement.





It's range and versatility might make some sense as a less expensive, but more capable MPA for the UK.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 01:02 PM
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Good thread.

It depends how they define the role requirement. Of the available options only the P-8 could grow to take over everything that MR2 did and MRA4 would have done.

I believe the P-8 mission system is related in some degree to that which was in MRA4. How closely related I don't know.

Although the P-8 is undoubtedly more expensive upfront we'd be foolish to overlook the advantages of interoperability and ability to ride on the back of the USN block upgrades.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 02:47 PM
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What about reconfiguring the Sentinels as a possibility?

Shame to lose good airframes.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by neformore
What about reconfiguring the Sentinels as a possibility?

Shame to lose good airframes.


I suspect that would be a money pit. By the time you've replaced the mission kit and found somewhere to fit the sonobuoys torps (if you can) and then addressed fatigue life issues that'll arise by changing the usage profile, it'll be an expensive bespoke bodge.

What am I saying, on that basis its surely what we will do




posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by neformore
 


AFAIK nef the Sentinel is not now to be retired.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 11:19 PM
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reply to post by waynos
 


To expand a little bit, they reinforced the fuselage and the tank after they repaired the tears. One of the two P-1s lost 2,000 meters of altitude during a flight before getting the engines going again. Kawasaki is working the problem and trying to determine what happened. It's gonna depend on what happened, and how easy it will be to fix it.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 08:08 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


Here's another option for you:


Alenia Aermacchi has delivered its first of two ATR 72-600 utility aircraft to the Turkish navy, as part of a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft acquisition revised by the service earlier this year.

The first Turkish instructor pilots have already completed training on the adapted regional aircraft at the Italian company's Turin-Caselle site in northern Italy, and the remaining transport will be handed over by mid-August.

www.flightglobal.com...

The first two will only be used for cargo and passenger movement, the first MPA configured aircraft will be delivered in 2017.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 03:57 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Maybe with Airbus offering the C-295 the ATR isn't really an option? It would be odd if they were to compete with themselves and perhaps allow a third party in.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 07:08 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


Maybe not, but personally, I think the ATR might be a better option.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 09:51 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


I agree, I much prefer the ATR72, but Airbus seems to have made its choice. Out of those in my OP, I would prefer the SAAB if we were going with props.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


I don't know. If you're going to go prop, I'm torn. Is the SAAB in service with anyone? If not, I think the C295 is your better option. It might be in service in the ASW role, but it's at least in service with some in a patrol type role, which should be a fairly easy step to go to ASW. It might be better to go that route.


RAB

posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 05:47 PM
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Well it'll be interesting to see if the MPA role shows up in the 2015 Defence review. Assuming it indeed shows up then 2/3 years of review before selection then a maingate in 2020. the P8 should be rolling off the lines at a pace by then.. Hmm 8 P8's please :-) O scrap that make it 6 :-) RAB



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 07:34 PM
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Assuming you squeeze that much out of the budget, and you're going to be able to spend that much, why not get more airframes than 8? I'd buy the SeaHerc; you would get almost double the airframes for the price, and the lion's share of your logistical/training structure is already existing in the RAF C-130J's. It also maintains full cargo capability.



posted on Aug, 9 2013 @ 11:02 PM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


If they have huge engine problems then they could just put some CF34s on it,



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