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  • Liger30
    Armed Forces supporter
    • Jul 2010
    • 901

    Technically, Venezuela has russian air defence systems claimed to be able to intercept cruise missiles. And 5 billion dollars in contracts for other russian gear, included, i think, the feared S300 SAM.
    So, yeah. Let's not downplay capabilities too happily. Realism work in both directions.
    "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

    Comment

    • John K
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jul 2010
      • 311

      Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
      If F35B is not adopted, the RAF loses STOVL capability. Simple like that.
      Yes, that is something which will have to be accepted. I notice that Beedall is talking about an order for F35s of about 50. I would prefer to see 60+, but that will only be enough for the Royal Navy.

      The latest reports that any new Trident decision will be put back after 2015 is welcome. We don't need to do it right now, so it will have to be postponed.

      I agree with much of Beedall's thoughts. The Royal Navy will shoot itself in the foot if it goes for a tiny number of high end escorts to replace the Type 23s. We have seen that six Type 45s will replace twelve Type 42s, and it is quite possible that six Type 26s will replace thirteen Type 23s. I wouldn't really want to see the Royal Navy reduced to a dozen surface escorts.

      Having Albion and Bulwark alternate in service makes sense, but it would be a terrible loss if the four Bay class were to be lost. Ocean will probably retire without replacement.

      The Royal Navy now is so small that maybe the RFA is not needed in its present form, but again, that would be a serious loss.

      The idea of transferring the Royal Marines to the army can only be called wrong. I sincerely hope it is canned.

      Overall, it is clear that this defence review is a travesty, a cuts exercise and nothing else. Nothing good will come of it, the only hope is that it is not as bad as it might be. A truly sorry state of affairs.

      Comment

      • nocutstoRAF
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • May 2010
        • 954

        Originally posted by Fedaykin View Post
        I would think any project to restart Harrier poduction would require Boeing support. A significant proportion of Harrier II structure came from MACAIR (now Boeing).

        Whilst there has been significant new structure work for the US AV8B remanufacturing program new build is another kettle of fish. I would think Boeing is in the Business of trying to sell new Super Hornet so it isn't going to help make new Harriers financially attractive.

        As for Bae Systems they would see any Harrier II construction as eating into potential F35 work...
        Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
        Anyway, about Harrier modernization ideas, they are old: in 1990 BAe had proposed the "Harrier III" and there was even suggestion of a largely re-engineered Super Harrier.

        From http://navy-matters.beedall.com/jca1-1.htm
        The reason I asked is, beyond a study which appears to be in excess of 20 years ago no-one appears to have looked at the possibility of new build Harriers for a while, and it seems timely to look at it again. All the talks about F-35B have made me realise that there are a number of countries where a STOL fighter would be of benefit, but who are unlikely to be considered for the F-35B. As I see it two of the benefits of STOL are the ability to operate smallish carriers and to be able to deploy to FOB's in the event an enemy launch’s all out attack to cripple your infrastructure with ballistic or cruise missiles. There is a reasonable sized un-tapped market and if Boeing and BAE could get one core order they could likely have a good opportunity for exports.

        For example if the USMC was to accept that they will not get F-35B's in service by 2012 they could order a small number of new Harriers to replace some of the older Harriers reaching the end of their service lives, likewise if UK follows the "road map" as laid out in the editorial on Navy Matters then it makes sense to buy new built Harriers rather than F-35B’s for QE and then if the idea is go CATOBAR with PoW they can choose F-35C then. Then once there was an initial order, we could try to sell them to Middle Eastern countries (like Saudi Arabia) who would not get F-35B, and be unlikely to be sold a ballistic missile defence system but who face an potential enemy who is building up their ballistic missile capabilities.

        Alternatively if BAE could pitch a 30,000 – 40,000 tonne carrier based around an air group of Harrier’s as well as smaller LHD with Harrier’s as there seems to be a reasonable market there, especially if you are going to transfer technology like the recent Brazil deal http://www.janes.com/news/defence/jn...0916_1_n.shtml

        My main doubts would be that changes to the air craft, such as introducing new materials, adding a more power APU to power the AESA radar, digital FBW, ORST, and the ECM systems, possible a more powerful engine, and the urge on the part of Boeing to tweak the aerodynamics based on lessoned learned during the JSF competition would result in enough changes that they would have to go through a full expensive development and testing programme. In addition in I would expect it to be hard for BAE to sell the smaller carrier without building one to prove it operationally, and I cannot see in the current situation that the UK would build a third small carrier just so that BAE could get export sales.
        Last edited by nocutstoRAF; 16th September 2010, 17:50.
        If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

        Comment

        • swerve
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jun 2005
          • 13612

          Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
          You never know what can happen. I totally agree it is higly unlikely... But i also have to say that any potential enemy, from Argentina to Lybia, would do its best to exploit the lack of BVR radar and air-to-air missiles.
          Agreed - but only in a full-scale war, or to start one.

          Other major warships sail around the oceans all the time without cover from fighters with radar & BVR AAMs. They only avoid doing so when & where there is a significant risk of attack by someone with the ability to overcome their defences. In practice that means that they can & do go almost anywhere, almost all the time. What was said was that QE will be in so much danger if she ventures out of home waters that it would be too dangerous to risk, which is obviously ridiculous.

          As for Libya: it may shoot at an occasional fishing boat suspected of encroachment on its EEZ, but that is hardly comparable to launching an all-out attack on NATO, which is what is proposed. The Mediterranean - all of it - is within the NATO area.

          Iran? Unlikely to want to start a war, but even if it did, QE wouldn't be wandering around within reach of its air force alone. She'd only be there as part of an international task force, because it's a dangerous area.

          Venezuela? Well, I can't imagine Venezuela deciding to attack a British warship on a friendly visit to one of its neighbours, or on exercises with regional navies (e.g. the USN). Can you? Why would Venezuela start a suicidal war, out of the blue, with a country which has no quarrel with Venezuela? If there was any tension, e.g. over the Dutch Caribbean islands, QE would have cover.

          But in any case, these few examples only cover a tiny part of the worlds oceans, thus highlighting the absurdity of the original post.
          Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
          Justinian

          Comment

          • swerve
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jun 2005
            • 13612

            Originally posted by John K View Post
            Yes, that is something which will have to be accepted. I notice that Beedall is talking about an order for F35s of about 50. I would prefer to see 60+, but that will only be enough for the Royal Navy.
            Time, time, time!

            We can order another 60 or 70 in 10 years. Or are you assuming that we'll still be broke then?
            Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
            Justinian

            Comment

            • Jonesy
              Neo-conversative
              • Jan 2000
              • 5097

              Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
              Technically, Venezuela has russian air defence systems claimed to be able to intercept cruise missiles. And 5 billion dollars in contracts for other russian gear, included, i think, the feared S300 SAM.
              So, yeah. Let's not downplay capabilities too happily. Realism work in both directions.
              What is with this forum these days?.

              Liger I hate to break this to you but having a few SAM batteries doesn't mean anything if there isn't an IADS feeding them!. A couple of batteries of even excellent SAM's are just going to buy a little extra time for the targets further down the list ok.

              Comment

              • Liger30
                Armed Forces supporter
                • Jul 2010
                • 901

                So a battery of S300 deployed to guard the airport you need to hit with Tomahawk is no problem?
                God bless optimism! They may not have AWACS, nor a air defence network comparable to western countries (in terms of SAMs, they beat UK 10 - 0 however, thanks god for Sentry and Typhoons!), but the batteries of good SAM are going to make at least a good few targets very hard to hit. And those targets will be the one you NEED to hit.

                But of course, there's no way russian missiles can hit an american, non-stealth subsonic missile coming at them, right...?
                Optimism.
                It is a good thing we never have had to discover what S300, S400 and in future S500 are like when you face them for real. And even better that we had not to pitch Phalanx CIWS against Kitchen anti-ship missiles...
                We may have found that Tom Clancy was a bit of an optimist in his evaluation of russian weaponry.
                "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                Comment

                • mrmalaya
                  Generation 4.75+++
                  • Jan 2010
                  • 4664

                  obviously there is a mystical quality to the works of Beedall, but i still don't follow the arguement (sorry).

                  The F35B is canned so the RN can carry on with RAF harriers on deck until the F35C (the spiritual successor to FAA Phantoms and Bucaneers it seems) appears much to the chagrine of RAF planners?

                  is that right? i'm not saying its crazy, i just want to understand if its suggesting the total demise of the F35B in UK colours (which I'm sure i read on the earlier version of the site was not rightl for the RN in the view of the mystical Beedals).

                  Comment

                  • nocutstoRAF
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • May 2010
                    • 954

                    The bit that is logical is that is to late to change QE to CATOBAR if they where planning to.

                    It is also logical to assume they are not going to both operate F-35B and C due to the cost, though I would like to see both and a larger navy with the two CVF's and one or two LHD's.

                    Could Richard Beedell have some inside information? Does he have the kind of background that would see him consulted on SDSR?
                    If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                    Comment

                    • mrmalaya
                      Generation 4.75+++
                      • Jan 2010
                      • 4664

                      well he is consistent in playing down the F35B and calling for the f35C, and he has said that prior to the SDSR, so i don't think its magyk

                      If you think that the F35B is not good enough then the idea that the PoW is the ultimate carrier and the QE was an unfortunate and very expensive moment of RAF driven madness (bizarre?!) would have some currency.

                      I'm not saying it has no value, but it is another strand in what appears to be a fight over which aircraft should operate on the decks of the carriers, with the f35B and VSTOL operations being a symbol of RAF interference.

                      Is this because people never forgave the through deck cruiser thing? Are there those out there who resent the fact that the RN ever had to operate the harrier (despite the fuss they made over its combat success)?

                      Comment

                      • Jonesy
                        Neo-conversative
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 5097

                        Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                        So a battery of S300 deployed to guard the airport you need to hit with Tomahawk is no problem?
                        God bless optimism! They may not have AWACS, nor a air defence network comparable to western countries (in terms of SAMs, they beat UK 10 - 0 however, thanks god for Sentry and Typhoons!), but the batteries of good SAM are going to make at least a good few targets very hard to hit. And those targets will be the one you NEED to hit.

                        But of course, there's no way russian missiles can hit an american, non-stealth subsonic missile coming at them, right...?
                        Optimism.
                        It is a good thing we never have had to discover what S300, S400 and in future S500 are like when you face them for real. And even better that we had not to pitch Phalanx CIWS against Kitchen anti-ship missiles...
                        We may have found that Tom Clancy was a bit of an optimist in his evaluation of russian weaponry.
                        Liger do you know how much strike planning goes into TLAM shots?. You know what terrain masking is?

                        Without an IADS the SAM battery, however flashy, is just doing point defence. Thats a waste of an area missile constraining it to pop up and very short exposure targets!

                        Then we have the small issue of ready-to-fire missiles in the battery. One battery, as fielded by Venezuela, has 16 ready rounds yes?. What happens when those rounds are fired?. If you have no IADS you have little in the way of raid assessment!.
                        I know that SA-10 is considered magical to all, but, it cant engage more targets than it has missiles to launch!. You think SA-10 is going to have a 100% kill rate against TLAM?. If 20 are fired at the battery and the airfield its protecting its guaranteed some will get through!

                        Still want to use words like optimistic and cite Clancy?.

                        Comment

                        • AegisFC
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Nov 2006
                          • 135

                          Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                          We may have found that Tom Clancy was a bit of an optimist in his evaluation of russian weaponry.
                          Clancy is full of crap, best to take ANYTHING he writes with a grain of salt.

                          Comment

                          • Bager1968
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • May 2005
                            • 3635

                            For the "new production Harrier II" crowd...

                            Between 1969 and 2003, 824 Harrier variants were delivered. While manufacture of new Harriers concluded in 1997, the last remanufactured aircraft (Harrier II Plus configuration) was delivered in December 2003 which ended the Harrier production line.


                            13 years since the last new whole airframes were produced, and 7 years since the last new airframe components were produced (the remanufacture hung a new fuselage under overhauled main wings & tail structures, with refurbished engines stuffed into them).


                            All the subcontractors who built the airframe components have long since gone to building other things (and some have likely gone out of business), and the production jigs, etc have been scrapped (unless the government paid for them to be stored... and is still paying the storage fees).

                            Likewise, McDD (bought by Boeing) will have disposed of anything required solely for "whole-aircraft" manufacture (again, unless the government is paying them to store them).


                            The possibility of re-starting production of new Harriers is very unlikely... unless a large sum of money is spent up-front to re-establish the capability to build them.
                            Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of the pub, when Serbia bumps into Austria, and spills Austria's pint.

                            Comment

                            • Liger30
                              Armed Forces supporter
                              • Jul 2010
                              • 901

                              Why worry about SAM then? Why the US is so touchy when S300 batteries get exported? Why the military planners (that hopefully know more than me and you combined) take the presence of SAMs in extremely high regard?
                              Planning for the worst comes to mind at the very least.

                              And anyway, the RN couldn't afford to have all those Tomahawk shot down to hit its targets. The Service has a quite limited stock of Tomahawks. Around 65 Tomahawk III were bought, and many of these have been used.
                              Despite the RN asking continuously for more (the Armed Forces as a whole have been requiring more Tomahawk and more diverse launching platforms es. Type 45, being obviously always turned down for money reasons) and buying a stock of TacTom IV (thanks God the americans developed an initially unfunded torpedo-launched version, to remedy to the demented absence of VLS tubes on even the new Astutes) there are serious doubts over the stated required consistence of the stock stated in 65 Tomahawks.
                              Also, we are limited in launching platforms. It may be a single Astute with 12 Tomahawks or so that makes the opening shots of a (hypotetic!) campaign, with many different targets to hit.

                              65 are few. And probably the UK does not have 65 missiles at the moment. Again, i think all the Tomahawk the Royal Navy has are single-warhead ones. To truly put an airport out of use, the submunitions-dispenser variant would be immensely better.
                              One single warhead won't do much against a large-area target like an air base.
                              So there are limits in every direction. For them as well as for UK forces.

                              Also, i'd like to know what the hell do you know about the number of missiles Venezuela bought together with the launching systems, and what kind of radars they have requested too. The numbers of S300 batteries was never disclosed so far, and certainly they won't disclose even more sensitive info about number of rounds.
                              As a loose review of the latest known shopping of Venezuela in Russia:
                              Putin, speaking at a government meeting in Moscow after visiting Venezuela on April 2, said the purchase would include $2.2 billion that Moscow offered as a loan.

                              When Caracas asked for the $2.2 billion loan in September, Chavez said he intended to buy 92 T-72 tanks and several T-90 tanks as well as S-300, Buk-M2 and Pechora anti-aircraft missile systems. The S-300 system (NATO codename SA-20 Gargoyle) is capable of tracking up to 100 targets, including cruise missiles, while engaging six of them simultaneously at a range of 200 kilometers.

                              The Venezuelan president also said that Caracas would buy Russia's Smerch multiple launch rocket systems.

                              Venezuela has already bought $4.4 billion worth of weapons from Russia since 2005. The purchases include 24 Su-30MK2 fighters, more than 50 Mi-17V, Mi-35M and Mi-26T helicopters, 12 Tor-M1 missile systems and 100,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles.

                              In 2006, Moscow and Caracas signed a separate contract to build a plant producing Kalashnikovs in Venezuela under Russian license.
                              http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4571124

                              This said, we are not saying the UK will be at war with Venezuela. But since Chavez was very vocal in his pro-argentina babblings, probably because he dreams to get a damn ample share of the oil of the Falklands if they ever are to change their sovereignity, it can't be entirely ruled out for the future either.
                              The subject here was merely about setting a tone to optimistic assumptions in which S300 batteries, Su30 fighters, Mig29 and other stuff always seem to be "not a problem".

                              A larger RN once had nightmares with a bunch of Exocet. Now, at least in terms of technology, the armed forces are light-years more advanced than back then.

                              But the rivals also have got better stuff in most cases, and this shouldn't be happily overlooked every time.
                              "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

                              Comment

                              • nocutstoRAF
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • May 2010
                                • 954

                                Originally posted by Bager1968 View Post
                                For the "new production Harrier II" crowd...


                                13 years since the last new whole airframes were produced, and 7 years since the last new airframe components were produced

                                All the subcontractors who built the airframe components have long since gone to building other things....
                                Sigh - I kinda knew that, but it still seems to me that there is still a market for a basic STOL fighter given the fact that the US is a) going to be careful who they allow to buy the F-35B and b) the cost of modern top spec planes is out of a lot of buyer's pockets.
                                If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                                Comment

                                • nocutstoRAF
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • May 2010
                                  • 954

                                  Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                                  A larger RN once had nightmares with a bunch of Exocet. Now, at least in terms of technology, the armed forces are light-years more advanced than back then.

                                  But the rivals also have got better stuff in most cases, and this shouldn't be happily overlooked every time.
                                  While I admire your passion for the RN to be adequately equipped is there not a danger of turning this thread into a RN versus Venezuela shouting match? I have seen similar things happen with Falklands threads.

                                  Can we not just conclude that the RN needs more kit but is pretty better than 90% of the world's Navies? Yes it is a shame the retired Sea Harrier, and it is shame that the GR7/9's do not carry radar. It will be interesting (in the meaning of the Chinese Proverb) to see what happens with Harrier post SDSR - I suspect that the RAF might try to transfer ownership so that the high operating costs fall on the FAA, the question becomes then if FAA gets ownership is there anything they can afford to do to remedy the lack of a radar.

                                  As for Venezuela, I am more worried about Venezuela causing an arm's race in South America and a more assertive Venezuela causing trouble in the Caribbean than them backing up Argentina.
                                  If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                                  Comment

                                  • swerve
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Jun 2005
                                    • 13612

                                    Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
                                    Sigh - I kinda knew that, but it still seems to me that there is still a market for a basic STOL fighter given the fact that the US is a) going to be careful who they allow to buy the F-35B and b) the cost of modern top spec planes is out of a lot of buyer's pockets.
                                    Probably not. Look at how many Harriers were sold, & to who. The USMC bought more than everyone else combined. The RAF & FAA bought the majority of the rest. Italy, Spain & India modest numbers, & Thailand a handful.

                                    All of the above except India & Thailand are actual or likely F-35B customers, & Thailand only bought secondhand.

                                    You're assuming that there is a new market for the Harrier, in addition to what there has been up to now. I don't see any evidence for it. What other countries do you think might buy it?
                                    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                    Justinian

                                    Comment

                                    • swerve
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Jun 2005
                                      • 13612

                                      Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                                      Also, i'd like to know what the hell do you know about the number of missiles Venezuela bought together with the launching systems, and what kind of radars they have requested too. .
                                      He's not said anything about the number of missiles, but only the number ready to fire. Once they are fired, the launchers need to be reloaded, & that's a fairly slow process, & leaves an opening for an air raid on both the missile batteries & whatever they're protecting.

                                      Nor has he said anything about the type of radars, but only that he believes Venezuela lacks an IADS.

                                      None of this, though, is relevant to the suggestion that Venezuela will present a permanent threat from the air (not including submarines or surface ships) to Queen Elizabeth which is so great, even when there is no war, threat of war, or even international tension, that it will be too dangerous for QE to venture outside British home waters. That idea is ridiculous.
                                      Last edited by swerve; 17th September 2010, 07:57.
                                      Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                      Justinian

                                      Comment

                                      • nocutstoRAF
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • May 2010
                                        • 954

                                        I think that the emergent arms race in South American might see an ambition for certain countries to field large LHD or small carriers with new build Harriers.

                                        While I am not saying that Israel will buy Harriers, but they have stated they might consider the F-35B to allow them to disperse them to FOB's, a option which they must have developed in response to Iran. If this holds true for Israel then it must hold true to a lesser extent to other Middle Eastern countries and they are unlikely to be sold F-35B's but they might also like the ability to disperse fighters to FOB in the event that their air fields are damaged.

                                        I do not think India will buy new Harriers as they invested too much in LCA (N) and want to move away from STOL's, and I cannot say if other Asian countries might not also see the value of LHD's carrying Harriers - but if the price was right I guess they might be interested.
                                        If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                                        Comment

                                        • Distiller
                                          Talent on Loan from God
                                          • Oct 2003
                                          • 4760

                                          If anyone is looking for realistic potential ops areas for the RN and the CVF I'd look at the Indian Ocean, East Africa, and the southern Arabian peninsula. And even if currently nobody around there could seriously endanger a CVF with a multiple Daring escort, till the first CVF is ready for action the Chinese might have a stable presence in that theatre and provide their clients with nasty new toys.

                                          The question of "fleet carrier" vs. "strike carrier" is really artificial. With only two carriers available they will do any job a carrier is needed for. Politics will not make the fine distinction of what job they carriers have originally been "thought for". The will say we spent x billion on the stuff, now go and perform.


                                          Re New Harriers.
                                          The airframe is aluminum, and was hopefully already digitized when the AV-8B was built. And there should be some airframes around still that could be zero'd. That would be the easiest part.
                                          But engines - I think the Pegasus as a whole is not in production any more, only performance enhancing subassemblies and replacement parts. Long lead items are down for years already. Not impossible to re-start, but a cost issue.
                                          Systems and mission avionics might be a problem. Any re-start of production would be a major cost factor, plus it might well be that certain obsolete subsystems need full replacement, with integration, tests, &c. Major cost factor, and a problem for logistics.


                                          But another thing: Nobody mentioned STOBAR here for some time. It's an issue of upfront costs - politicians @ work. Non-STOVL aircraft = cheaper than STOVL aircraft. Check. Ski-jump on ship = cheaper than catapult on ship. Check. Makes lend-lease of a couple of SHornets attractive till times get better?
                                          "Distiller ... arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming"

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