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X

And we’re back! 🙂

Now can we have 9 more please?

Last edited 1 month ago by X
Cam

And two more E7s please.

To think how many great assets the Uk has lost recently!! Sentinel, sentry, islander, defender, and I wonder if shadow will get a replacement.

X

Exactly.

Meirion x

I agree, that more E7s is a priority, than more P8’s.

Challenger

Shadow is around for a while yet and has recently had money spent on upgrades.

Baffling that there seems to be no plan to mitigate the loss of Sentinel. Rather than having lots of very small fleets one would think procuring a handful of extra P8’s with a ISTAR fit would make sense.

Anyone know why the Islanders and Defenders have been retired so quickly after moving across from the AAC?

Cam

Did the islanders and defenders still have decent life left in them or were they retired allot earlier than planned?.

And I’m sick of us scrapping without replacements. It’s making us far weaker and more vulnerable as a nation. We can’t go down the road where we will always need to rely on other nations for key assets! but looks like that’s what they are planning for us unfortunately….

Deep32

Personally would have preferred it if we had gone for the Kawasaki P1 when the Japanese offered it to us in the mid 2010s. Purpose built low level MPA, just the thing to take up where the Nimrod left off!
Unfortunately they haven’t had any export success for it, so probably never a realistic option, but, you’ve got to start somewhere!

X

Yes it is the much better plane. Low level performance. The engines give you options too. Chunky bit of kit…….
comment image

Cam

Japan has 27 p1s on order with 33 in service. We don’t need that many but 20 is where we should be.

X

Twenty seems a sensible number on 5 for 1.

We need enough to have one available (all the time) for the UK, one to follow the carrier, one to float (say Falklands, Gib, Cyprus, anywhere), and one for trial / OCU / technical.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
Duker

The Nimrod numbers were for a cold war scenario and vastly greater numbers of Soviet submarines. Not the case anymore.
I remember bringing up the late 70s defence spending compared to NHS. Defence was around 4.6% of GDP and the NHS was 5.2% or similar. Nott was on a mission to cut Defence in early 80s.
Now Defence is 2% with creative accounting and actually lower, with the NHS at 11%.
The countries priorities have changed over the decades. I was just the other reading some specialist aviation magazine from the late 50s around the time of major defence cuts.
The RAF had 220,000 members , with 70,000 National service, the cuts by 1962 still would leave them with 150,000.
The RN hardly used NS at all, but what was their numbers at that time – 150,000 ?
These sort of things arent coming back ( even though the numbers that were trained above school leaver level even if it was admin work let alone technical trades must have been a great benefit to the country overall)

Last edited 1 month ago by Duker
X

The equipment isn’t getting any more reliable. And an aeroplane can only be in one place. The UK is just about a global player still.

We need at least one for the UK.

One to support the carrier.

One available for use elsewhere to support security of overseas territory.

And one for other work (and even attrition).

20 air frames isn’t unreasonable.

Are you suggesting we should become Norway?

Duker

Unless they are getting 2 carriers, nuclear SSN and SSBN, not at all.
The P-8 production is closing soon, the most that can be hoped is 2-3 and as always the MoD would ask what will be dropped in return.

Deep32

Whilst all you have posted above is pertinent, UK Place defence requirements haven’t changed much, indeed we are expanding their remit with Indo-Pacific deployments. You ask someone to do more, you need more kit!
Both the Chinese and Russians are building up their respective navies, especially their SM fleets, as @X pointed out, a asset can only be in one place at a time. If we want to continue to be a player, we need the budget to match.

X

Thank you yes. The government chooses to spend our money in other areas. If the government decided to spend on defence we could afford 20 MPA easily. If we only talked about the reality of UK defence there really isn’t much to talk about nor would it be very positive conversation.

Bloke at the bog

There is no bloody money and resources to buy more planes unless you want to pay more income taxes?
Countries like Japan, Australia and India could afford to buy more planes.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bloke at the bog
Cam

Japan has over 100 MPA Planes! With 70 Orions and 33 Kawasaki’s p1s and 27 p1s on order! That puts our 9 total p8s to shame! And It makes you realise 9 is not enough..

it’s a shame we couldn’t keep our numbers up around 20 ish. It’s a capability the uk was great at and we are a perfect location too!!…9 is too few for a country like UK with global commitments.

Deep32

Wouldn’t disagree with you on the numbers front, as we always had several squadrons of Nimrod MPAs back then.

Makes you wonder given relative costs if some of the new Protector UAVs we are getting might be used to support our P-8 fleet? Would be a cost effective way to lesson the load on the P-8s.

Cam

Well Norway and USA p8s are certainly going to also be using Lossiemouth with all the new P8 facility’s , maybe why they think 9 is a fine number. But would USA permanently base P8s here all the time?..

Deep32

TBH Cam, don’t know, but personally doubt it. They can FWD base out of Keflavik, so short duration visiting is probably all we will see. Same goes for the Norwegians too. When the Germans eventually receive theirs, I expect we will see them up in Lossiemouth as well.

Jamie

Hasn’t there been a number of US Navy P8s at Lossiemouth for over a year now?

https://twitter.com/AlMarshallRAF/status/1339598624427188229/photo/1

https://twitter.com/Rotorfocus/status/1349854514166321153

From what I can find they left in March this year.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jamie
Michael

American VP squadrons have always been expedionary , that is, detachment s sent on deployment for several months. Lossiemouth may see this in the future, but there will be no American P-8 squadrons permanently assigned there.

Esteban

Perhaps they have better things to do in the Pacific?

Glass Half Full

Per attached slide from March 2021, it seems RN plans include Protector, whether it includes (presumably) SeaGuardian Protector spec. variants within the current Protector commitment, which is 16 IIRC, or acquiring additional SeaGuardian Protector variants.

Future Maritime Aviation Force - 2030.jpg
Tim Hirst

I suspect the cost would have been massive compared to the P8. Plus lots of our allies have chosen the P8 so interoperability and support is much better.

Deep32

Without a shadow of doubt that money was the prime driver behind the selection of the P-8.
However, not necessarily the best choice. Back in the day when everyone and his dog jumped on the P-3 bandwagon (France & Germany exception), we went for the Nimrod, arguably the best MPA at the time. Fast forward several decades, we’ve now jumped on the bandwagon, primarily due to poor fiscal policy WRT financing the armed forces, and no doubt the bad press from some shocking procurement decisions over the last few decades!

X

Just for interest P1 is $10 million per unit than P8. And with an additional order(s) would have been cheaper still. Of course there are other costs.

Tim Hirst

I’d be very surprised if the real cost of the P1on an identical basis is only $10m more than the P8. An extra pair of poded engines would take up most of that.

X

Could be. Or are you saying Boeing or US tech always give excellent value for money?

Tim Hirst

Not always but given the much much higher production of the base aircraft, two less engines (~$7\10M) and the higher production of the military systems the P8 will be a fundamentally substantially cheaper system.
With the US, India, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Norway and Germany as well as the U.K. operating or going to operate the type and thousands of 737’s active support and upgrades will be easily available for a very long time likely at a lower cost than for the P1.

Duker

Canada seems to have decided its not for them, or decided not to decide at all.

Deep32

The Canadian decision is interesting, they have also now gone for a contest for their F18 hornet replacement after initially selecting the F35 as it’s replacement!
Just wandering if they aren’t necessarily impressed by all things US?

Tim Hirst

Canada has a problem with Boeing. The legal issues (which Canada unexpectedly won) around the C Series were blamed for the distruction of Bombardier. You can argue that the real problem was the incompetence of the development process. The legal issues didn’t help and are a convenient scapegoat for the deeper problems. The F35 is tied up in national politics.

Esteban

Canada does not want to spend anything on anything resembling defense. They just rely on the big neighbor.

Sunmack

Is the ASW detection capability solely reliant on dropped sonar bouys? Am I right in understanding that the P8 doesn’t have a Magnetic Anomaly Detector?

X

I think so. I know the India P8 is getting a MAD.

Meirion x

A P,8 would need to fly very low to make use of MAD. And become vulnerable to SAM’s.

Duker

Open ocean or in protected areas of say Baltic or North Sea you wouldnt be in range of hostile SAM systems.

David

Er… Baltic? Kaliningrad?

Just me

Oh yes you would be

Duker

I said ‘protected areas’ for a reason, they should be searching around your own coastline and areas to protect your own sub bases and sanctuaries. Open ocean is exactly that.

Deep32

Believe that part of the reason for not having this capability is that the P-8 is designed to fly at height (civil airliner conversion), not really great low down in the weeds where MAD needs to be!

X

Yes. If you look up the page I have posted a pic of a Japanese P1. Designed to fly low and you can see the MAD aft.

The Indians stipulated it.

Duker

The 737 with its small wings from the short haul design and airport wing gate size isnt that good at high altitudes.
Boeing has made many changes over the decades so its now almost as many passengers and can do North Atlantic but its wing area is way smaller than the ‘equivalent’ 757 and the runway performance for a fully loaded P-8 is not great.

Deep32

Like I posted above, should have gone for the P-1, designed from the outset as a Maritime ASW aircraft, ticks all the boxes, well more than the P-8 does in this role.

Warren

I think the Indian p8’s have mad, but they use an operating system closer to the P3 than the P8’s operated by other nations. That’s if what I read is correct, can’t remember where exactly, possibly ukdj.

Last edited 1 month ago by Warren
Just me

The MAD sting is pointless

Duker

I see what you are doing , but I understand on ASW helicopters they no longer trail a MAD device but its on the underside of the tail boom.

Gunbuster

So we have replaced the late 1960s Nimrod with a modern ASW aircraft but we are now arming that aircraft with a Mk54 torpedo who’s propulsion system and warhead first flew on a 1960s Nimrod as a Mk46Torpedo…

Does anyone else have an issue with that?

David

Yes, the budget was spaffed on other programmes like Ajax, study on fitting cats and traps, Batch 2s etc etc…

Deep32

Barking I know! A bit like the decision not to integrate Brimestone2 on our new Apaches, instead spend several hundred million procuring a missile that’s inferior to B2, so now we need a second longer ranged missiles to arm the Apaches, when B2 covers all of it??? Barking!!!

Duker

Once the UK could do its own integration later on but I think IP rules all now and they wont let you near the source codes ( unless you are Israel)

Deep32

Yes, it appears to be all about integration these days, and it also appears you can charge a fortune for it!!! Read somewhere that it was approx. £70 million to get B2 integrated on the Apache (if true!).

X

Not the engine or the warhead. Software and sensors seem to be problematic.

Gunbuster

I know what the speed and depth performance specs for a Mk46 and those of a MK75 Sting Ray are.
In the deep blue against a Nuk boat a Mk54 would need to be dropped right on top of a shallow sub and the Capt would need to mess up the evasion for it to hit.

X

As I said software and sensors are problematic……..

Never said it was the best choice.

But they run. And the difference in the weight of the warhead is neither here nor there.

Warren

How likely is it that a submarine would escape an attack by a sting ray?

Arjun

Falklands war – ARA San Luis as the single Argentine warship at sea for most of the war. Despite facing the entire British task force on its own, the San Luis completed a five-week patrol unscathed.
She staged attacks on British warships but missed each time because of torpedo system malfunctions
Meanwhile, British ASW efforts against that single target proved futile. The British fired an astonishing 200 torpedoes at false contacts over five weeks, rapidly depleting their inventory.
As Sir Lawrence Freedman dryly wrote in the conflict’s official history, because of ASW anxieties,
“the Atlantic whale population suffered badly during the course of the campaign.”

“https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2019/december/fighting-along-knife-edge-falklands”

Last edited 1 month ago by Arjun
Glass Half Full

Perhaps the plan is to save the integration costs of Sting Ray and instead down the road integrate the Future Lightweight Torpedo (FLT) that BAES seem to be working on?

This would particularly make sense if the FLT uses a similar smaller form factor to that of Northrup’s VLWT at about 1/3 the weight of Sting Ray. This smaller form factor seems to also support a possible wider use including Maritime Protector/SeaGuardian, longer range VLA, ship tube launched anti-torpedo, VTOL UAV, in addition to P8, Wildcat and Merlin, including glide kits as well as parachute delivery from air; at least according to BAES.

I haven’t seen a timeline for the BAES FLT but presume it would heavily leverage Sting Ray technology where appropriate to reduce cost and development time, while perhaps taking advantage of advances in explosives technology to deliver similar effects to Sting Ray with a smaller warhead.

AlexS

Integration costs are being a real bottleneck to get the best weapons.
I wonder if some are not made on propose.

X

Without a doubt.

argie-bargie

are still some argentine bombs logged in your brain? or brainless?

GBNL

The issues of integration costs for weaponry on weapon systems are so debilitating that they almost constitute a security risk.