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  • swerve
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jun 2005
    • 13612

    Originally posted by Geoff_B View Post
    Plus there was a rumour on the UK Switch to F-35C thread about leasing Hornets (could be superbugs ?) so they may be possibly looking at providing the FAA with some as part of the training deal with the USN.
    No doubt these would probably stay in the US, to provide us with a number of fully carrier qualified pilots who can then probably join in with the F-35C induction unit in the US. ....
    Leasing F-18s is illogical. There isn't a single argument in favour, & many arguments against.

    Training? Not needed. We can do that by putting our pilots through USN training, & then lending them to the USN to increase proficiency & gain experience.

    For FAA use? Silly. We don't & won't have anything for them to fly off. By the time QE is ready for aircraft, we'll have F-35C.

    For the RAF? What can they do that Tornado & Typhoon can't?

    It's an additional type, at a time when we're disposing of Harriers (which can do things neither Tornado nor Typhoon can) mostly to reduce the number of types in the inventory.


    On anther tack, I see on the Naval News thread that the French are continuing to fiddle around with the PA2 design, & it's getting further & further from CVF. It's shrunk to 60000 tons, & a single island.
    Last edited by swerve; 27th October 2010, 09:10.
    Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
    Justinian

    Comment

    • 19kilo10
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Sep 2010
      • 770

      Wow......after last week people here STILL believe that Britain is going to end up with an aircraft carrier. Its actualy nice to see such misplaced optimism.

      Comment

      • 90inFIRST
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Oct 2008
        • 240

        On anther tack, I see on the Naval News thread that the French are continuing to fiddle around with the PA2 design, & it's getting further & further from CVF. It's shrunk to 60000 tons, & a single island.[/QUOTE]

        And three shafts, so different hull.

        I must say that I find some of the comments on this forum intresting.....

        All RN carriers to be scrapped not even mothballed, all aircraft scrapped immediatly, merlins to be retained by RAF for current use so nothing to fly off the sole surviving LPH, so guess how long that will last after the next SDR

        CVF only to be built according to Osborn and camclegg because they can't get out of doing so and the idiots want to sell one as soon as possible, remember neither of these three wanted any carrier built

        With this background a suprising number of forum members only want to dream about purchases of Hawkeye (you can't be serious) a couple of shiny new LPH, a helicopter purchase to go on them, 10xtype 26, loads of C2 and C3 ect ect.

        The outlook for the RN is extremly serious and it is more than likely they won't survive the next SDR in any form currently recognisable to us. If they get the carriers and enough aircraft to be meaningfull than that will cost the navy the bulk of the surface fleet to pay for them.

        It would be nice to discuss serious options and time lines to achieve them.

        Comment

        • Fedaykin
          Fueled by Tea
          • Dec 2005
          • 5295

          Well at the moment the UK is getting the carriers so I would rather like many here look at what would be required to get them into service then focus on the negative. I don't see that as particularly misplaced optimism...

          As for Hawkeye as I stated in my earlier post I still think that the solution will be Merlin/Cerberus/Searchwater2000AEW for MASC and the only way Hawkeye will enter service is if its via some kind of pooling deal with the French.

          Until the carrier alliance reschedule the build and declare what changes will be made to accomodate CATOBAR operations we are all stabbing in the dark.

          All we do know is the RN have 12 pilots in the US doing a full CAT-1 and CAT-2 training syllabus for deck landings which gives me some hope that we will have some sort of corp of pilots available for the F35C testing program and a future reforming of either 800 or 801 NAS. Actually some of the pilots could be really busy as they will also have to go to test pilot school to help out with the development program.
          Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

          Comment

          • swerve
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jun 2005
            • 13612

            Originally posted by 19kilo10 View Post
            Wow......after last week people here STILL believe that Britain is going to end up with an aircraft carrier. Its actualy nice to see such misplaced optimism.
            If you don't have any contribution to make except repeating the same gibberish, I suggest you refrain from wasting bandwidth.
            Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
            Justinian

            Comment

            • Geoff_B
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Jul 2010
              • 507

              Originally posted by swerve View Post
              Leasing F-18s is illogical. There isn't a single argument in favour, & many arguments against.

              Training? Not needed. We can do that by putting our pilots through USN training, & then lending them to the USN to increase proficiency & gain experience.

              For FAA use? Silly. We don't & won't have anything for them to fly off. By the time QE is ready for aircraft, we'll have F-35C.

              For the RAF? What can they do that Tornado & Typhoon can't?

              It's an additional type, at a time when we're disposing of Harriers (which can do things neither Tornado nor Typhoon can) mostly to reduce the number of types in the inventory.


              On anther tack, I see on the Naval News thread that the French are continuing to fiddle around with the PA2 design, & it's getting further & further from CVF. It's shrunk to 60000 tons, & a single island.
              Swerve

              I think you'll find the idea is to lease them for Carrier training in the US, maintained and supported by the USN in the USA. Probably something on similar lines to the RAF Predators of 39 Sqdn which is embedded in a US unit. No doubt it will only be for a dozen aircraft at most

              Afterall we can't exactly embed FAA crew in the USN & RAF and then expect them to magically reform in to a squadron ready to jump into F-35C's in 2019/20 !.
              We will need to borrow aircraft at some stage for testing and proving the CATOBAR systems and its unlikley to be an F-35C as they too will need to be tested and approved.

              I rather doubt they would be used as an operational front line unit so would be no threat to the RAF, although i suppose they could do an exercise deployed aboard a USN CVN for the experience.

              BTW PA2 is the French 2nd Carrier requirement, there were two designs, the Juliet from DCN and CVF from Thales. Like the UK Thales were asked to work with the loosing bidder to develop the design. Sounds like since the project was put in limbo, DCN have taken leadership and incorporated the elements of the Thales design into their Juliet design rather than the other way round.
              However they still have to wait on if the PA2 will be funded or not in their next (5yr) defence budget.

              Comment

              • nocutstoRAF
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • May 2010
                • 954

                Originally posted by 90inFIRST View Post

                I must say that I find some of the comments on this forum intresting.....

                All RN carriers to be scrapped not even mothballed, all aircraft scrapped immediatly, merlins to be retained by RAF for current use so nothing to fly off the sole surviving LPH, so guess how long that will last after the next SDR

                CVF only to be built according to Osborn and camclegg because they can't get out of doing so and the idiots want to sell one as soon as possible, remember neither of these three wanted any carrier built

                The outlook for the RN is extremly serious and it is more than likely they won't survive the next SDR in any form currently recognisable to us. If they get the carriers and enough aircraft to be meaningfull than that will cost the navy the bulk of the surface fleet to pay for them.

                It would be nice to discuss serious options and time lines to achieve them.
                I think you are making some unfounded assumptions - 1) that the next SDSR will seen a further large reduction in the overall budget, while I for one doubt it will increase, you only have to look at Canada to see a country which is re-investing in its military after making massive cuts to get out of debt crisis, and 2) that the cuts will mainly fall on the RN, when if the Army is out of Afghanistan, politically we are going to be looking at ways to make it impossible to ever be dragged into a similar campaign in the future - easiest way is to cut the Army and then cut the Army some more.

                So I fully expect that 2015 the SDSR will see cuts of around 20% to the Army, but the RAF and Navy to get budget increases, just not enough to really make a difference. Obviously most of the Navy's money will be spent on Trident, and the RAF's on F-35C but there should be some spent on cheap bits of other kit, and a off the shelf LHD for example will likely cost the same as one T26.

                Of course the Army has some massive re-capitalisation to undergo between 2015 - 2020, new bases, warrior upgrade, FRES Scout, FRES Utility, they will likely have to bring forward the replacement of the SA80.
                Last edited by nocutstoRAF; 27th October 2010, 14:20.
                If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                Comment

                • swerve
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jun 2005
                  • 13612

                  Geoff_b,

                  you're ignoring almost everything that's been said to you.

                  You've not actually addressed the arguments against leasing vs just putting pilots into the USN pipeline.

                  We wouldn't have to suddenly pull a squadron of pilots out of the USN & RAF, & there'd be no magical reforming of a squadron. Squadrons are re-formed all the time, & there's a procedure for it. It doesn't happen 'magically', it takes time, & pilot numbers are built up, not all transferred in suddenly. They wouldn't suddenly leap into F-35C in 2019/20, they'd have trained on it (as I said, & you ignored) beforehand, & then worked up into an FAA squadron over a couple of years prior to 2019.

                  We don't need to lease a squadron of F-18Es for a decade at a cost of billions to test our catapults, we need to rent an aircraft or two for a short time, for a few million.

                  The Reapers (not Predators) are controlled from the USA for most of their time in the air because we don't want to pay for our own satellite comms. Not relevant in this case. They're not leased, they're owned.

                  You're proposing an unprecedented course of action, which is vastly more expensive than a known, tested, proven course. Why? And why will you not even discuss the cost?
                  Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                  Justinian

                  Comment

                  • Liger30
                    Armed Forces supporter
                    • Jul 2010
                    • 901

                    I must say that I find some of the comments on this forum intresting.....

                    All RN carriers to be scrapped not even mothballed, all aircraft scrapped immediatly, merlins to be retained by RAF for current use so nothing to fly off the sole surviving LPH, so guess how long that will last after the next SDR

                    CVF only to be built according to Osborn and camclegg because they can't get out of doing so and the idiots want to sell one as soon as possible, remember neither of these three wanted any carrier built

                    With this background a suprising number of forum members only want to dream about purchases of Hawkeye (you can't be serious) a couple of shiny new LPH, a helicopter purchase to go on them, 10xtype 26, loads of C2 and C3 ect ect.

                    The outlook for the RN is extremly serious and it is more than likely they won't survive the next SDR in any form currently recognisable to us. If they get the carriers and enough aircraft to be meaningfull than that will cost the navy the bulk of the surface fleet to pay for them.

                    It would be nice to discuss serious options and time lines to achieve them.
                    I want to be rude, but i'll try not to.
                    Months ago, and many of the ones that regularly write on this forum, i was forecasting many of the nasty decisions we saw in the SDSR 2010. What i got from many people back then was "drama" easy accusations.

                    Now i get accused of being overly optimistic, but i think i am not.
                    The dream to see Mistrals acquired to replace Ocean is a dream, but if the LPH is to survive, a replacement has to be sought.
                    Hawkeye. We are talking of 2020. The decision is either to do without an AEW platform at all, modify a number of Merlin helos, buy new Merlins or lease a number of Hawkeyes in cooperation with the French who would love to get a forth one themselves. There is space for cooperation, and a joint leasing with pooling of the fleet may be cheaper even than modifying Merlin helos.

                    It is true, the Navy is in the worst state EVER and the future is not an happy one.
                    But, for now at least, i try to be at least positive enough to recognize that two carriers ARE being built and will be there.
                    The fight is not over, but honestly, even with most of the british public being addicted to NHS alone, i think that any government would be destroyed by certain absurd decisions like selling a NEW carrier for bargain price. No matter to who.

                    Also, i refuse to accept that the RN surface fleet can be allowed by any government to fall on even smaller numbers.
                    The RN is going to be forced to drop a Standing Commitment from next year already. We have arguably hit the point of non return for real this time.
                    If the Type 23 is not adequately replaced, on a 1-for-1 base, the fleet will simply cease to exist, and with it the capability of the UK to appear in the world.
                    Militarily, it will be an invisible nation, and it will be the end of the "special relationships" with US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and whoever else.
                    Similarly, the amphibious fleet can't be shrunken any smaller without a complete pulling out from the business. Cameron had a carcrash against the Harrier Pilot question.
                    Figure what would happen to who kills the Royal Navy and closes Devonport. You ever asked yourself why the crazy idea of closing Devonport was abandoned...?

                    The government, whoever will be in power, will have a VERY hard time killing the little that's left.

                    And if they don't get a hard time and finally destroy it all, well... blame the Britons.
                    This is called Self-Destruction. It certainly won't be my fault.

                    You can't run the budget of a nation on the cuts to the defence budget. If the growth of expenditure on welfare and NHS is too great to be managed, it must be reduced and slowed down.
                    Otherwise, at one point, Britain will truly be broke. Now it is not, despite what some crazy guys declare.
                    But if the economy of the nation is to always be "saved" by breaking down defence, you have 30 billions left to recover over the next years to throw them at Aid, Welfare and NHS.

                    Then there will be nothing else to cut, and it'll be the end of the expenditure growth, or simply bankrupt.

                    This is not just sea-blindness. It is blindness pure and simple.

                    Also, i am hoping that the economy in 2015 won't be in the same crappy state as now. While i'm expecting another year of weakness (if not plain recession) after the job losses from the budget cuts really smash into effect, the budget deficit will be massively reduced by 2015, and the need for so massive downscaling of the military will be arguably gone, which will make further downsizing even harder to justify.
                    As the budget deficit is reduced, interests payments will also grow smaller and free money. Currently, least we forget, nearly 50 billions (well more than the whole defence budget) are wasted paying interests.
                    Last edited by Liger30; 27th October 2010, 13:05.
                    "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

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

                      Originally posted by 90inFIRST View Post
                      On anther tack, I see on the Naval News thread that the French are continuing to fiddle around with the PA2 design, & it's getting further & further from CVF. It's shrunk to 60000 tons, & a single island.

                      And three shafts, so different hull.

                      I must say that I find some of the comments on this forum intresting.....

                      All RN carriers to be scrapped not even mothballed, all aircraft scrapped immediatly, merlins to be retained by RAF for current use so nothing to fly off the sole surviving LPH, so guess how long that will last after the next SDR

                      CVF only to be built according to Osborn and camclegg because they can't get out of doing so and the idiots want to sell one as soon as possible, remember neither of these three wanted any carrier built

                      With this background a suprising number of forum members only want to dream about purchases of Hawkeye (you can't be serious) a couple of shiny new LPH, a helicopter purchase to go on them, 10xtype 26, loads of C2 and C3 ect ect.

                      The outlook for the RN is extremly serious and it is more than likely they won't survive the next SDR in any form currently recognisable to us. If they get the carriers and enough aircraft to be meaningfull than that will cost the navy the bulk of the surface fleet to pay for them.

                      It would be nice to discuss serious options and time lines to achieve them.
                      My standard answer to this is either to cut back on your ambitions, end the aspiration of being a (near) full spectrum force, do not engage in colonial adventures that don't pay (like they did in the old times), in short be content with being a medium power (that includes the question of Trident, btw). Or the other option, become part of something larger, where you can focus your resources on some core areas, with somebody else doing the other jobs. That "something larger" could be a European force, or the U.S. armed forces.


                      Regarding the CVF: Without a proper air wing setup, meaning including Hawkeye-class early warning, these carriers would be in quite severe danger against any half-capable opponent.

                      The AEW sensors just has to be able to look out those 250+ nm from the task group. And with ballistic anti-ship missiles possibly coming online soon 1000nm and a good high-flying IR-eye would be even more desirable. Could it be done with RP-UAV? Perhaps. But I doubt it would be cheaper on a system level. Also the question of wide-area ASW. The USN thinks they can do it with land-based P-8. Ha! Wait and see ... But the RN doesn't have P-8 (yet). AW101 are a suboptimal choice, but better than nothing and part of a helicopter purchase would have to fill a carrier-borne ASW squadron.

                      Cause first spending all the money on the carrier, the surface escorts, the sub escorts, the fleet replenishers and not equip that carrier with a proper air group would be more than wasteful. Outright idiotic. But who knows. The whole RN is really close to a point where the acceptable threat threshold is so very low that it ceased to be a useful tool of foreign policy. Only have-nots will still be impressed.

                      The cuts in the amphib capability are rather dramatic. And I don't see that capability coming back. The best chance probably is to do away with any pretension of the capaility of forcable entry amphib operations, and focus on commando style ops. Just a question of time then till the Ro/Ro fleet auxiliaries are sold off.

                      In a couple of years it will be one carrier group available (CVF, T45, in the best case T45/AAW + T45/ASW), maybe 8 Astutes, a dozen patrol & presence frigates. And a lot of soul-searching whether the SSBN programme is really needed and affordable.
                      "Distiller ... arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming"

                      Comment

                      • Liger30
                        Armed Forces supporter
                        • Jul 2010
                        • 901

                        Is anyone able to confirm that HMS Illustrious is currently undergoing a 40 million pounds refit in No.2 Dock at Rosyth, alongside No.1 Dock where Babcock will be undertaking the assembly and integration of the massive new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers?

                        I read that she entered Rosyth in february and is expected to be out for sea trials in spring 2011: http://www.maritimejournal.com/news1...-navy-flagship

                        If it is true, HMS Ocean is dead.

                        No way the RN is allowed to keep her, refit her as planned next year, while scrapping a shiny, just-refitted HMS Illustrious...
                        But HMS Illustrious IS NOT and never will be a LPH adequate for amphibious ops, differently from Ocean.
                        Another totally non strategic decision coming along...

                        In 2008, OSD dates were as follows:

                        HMS Ark Royal 2012
                        HMS Illustrious 2015
                        This however is more recent, being dated 11 october 2010: Peter Luff - Two Invincible Class aircraft carriers currently remain in service with the Royal Navy, HM Ships Ark Royal and Illustrious. HMS Ark Royal is currently planned to be taken out of service in the third quarter of 2014, while HMS Illustrious will reach her out of service date in the second quarter of 2016.
                        HMS Invincible 2010 [gone]

                        HMS Ocean 2022

                        HMS Albion 2033 ----> Most likely the one that gets put in reserve since Bulwark has just come out of refit and is a "new" ship, which besides is now cleared to operate 2 Chinooks on deck instead of one.
                        HMS Bulwark 2034

                        Also, i read an amazing 2036 OSD date for HMS St Albans XD

                        Oh, hell, i'd like people to give answers when the SDR documents come out, not fancy words that hide the ultimate truths.
                        Refit considerations suggest HMS Illustrious might come out on top.
                        Military and OSD considerations give HMS Ocean as winner.
                        Oh, how i crave answers...

                        Another interesting fact i found, anyway:

                        Nick Harvey - Since 2003, UK pilots have not attended pilot training programmes in France. UK pilots have attended training courses in the US, where suitable training facilities exist, for the following aircraft types:

                        MQ-1 Predator

                        MQ-9 Reaper

                        T45C Goshawk

                        F18 Hornet

                        AV8B Harrier

                        C17 Globemaster

                        King Air 350ER

                        Erase the Harrier, and we have the plan for the coming years too. More pilots will train on F18 and Goshawk for obvious reasons.
                        One day, we'll see F35C in there as well. Let's hope we are saved from the RAF desire to own its own OCU for the F35C, or really there will be no active warplanes but just a training formation...
                        Last edited by Liger30; 27th October 2010, 15:22.
                        "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

                        • Al.
                          Al.
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Nov 2008
                          • 1005

                          In my view its entirely reasonable to query cunning plans which involve spending lots of money now in order to potentially save in the future, and sad to say at the moment E2s don't seem likely.

                          But .......... ONE of the reasons that we are in this hole is a lack of systemic forward planning.

                          No low-cost patrol vessels means expensive and expensive to run front line warships being used. I remember options for change leading to such a reduction in budget that a number of skimmers were alongside as the RN could not afford the fuel to send them to sea.

                          Big break in boat construction led to loss of design and management skills and hence cost overuns and need to buy in expertise for Astutes.

                          Constant short run and knee jerk (sorry UOR) procurement has led to use spending lots of money on what we do get.

                          Overspending (whatever the course) has led to entire capabilities being cut.

                          Mapping out a medium to long term procurement strategy seems eminently sensible to me.

                          This being amateur corner I'd have thought that anyone pointing out facts about any of the contracts already signed and costs already sunk would be most welcome. On which note: do we have any facts about MR4, what's the big nasty in the future which has led to its cancellation whilst almost paid for and buying older platforms for SIGINT?
                          Rule zero: don't be on fire

                          Comment

                          • Al.
                            Al.
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Nov 2008
                            • 1005

                            As an side I'd query blaming NHS spending for the failure to fund two wars seperate to defence budget. The US government spends twice as much per head on helathcare as the UK (and then US citizens pay on top) and US armed forces have plenty of kit.
                            Rule zero: don't be on fire

                            Comment

                            • Liger30
                              Armed Forces supporter
                              • Jul 2010
                              • 901

                              sad to say at the moment E2s don't seem likely.
                              Jesus Mary... not now, in 2020, when the Carrier Strike will have to operate. "Now" or anyway in five years time, i'm pretty much expecting to see Sea King ASaC killed. At the moment there's no need, no money, nor any sense in procuring E2Ds. But by 2020 MASC requirement will be back in full force.
                              Politicians may have forgotten the consequences of lack of proper AEW in the Falklands War, but the Navy will do its best to remind them.
                              Why everyone goes about "now"...? Now for sure it is not likely. It is not. Simply not, without even the likely. But by 2020 a MASC platform will be needed anyway, and i see Hawkeye in a very strong position for that day supported by: superior performances, availability of cats and traps, support from French and willingness to joint procurement, and the chance to get a good price for what could be a lease, not even a buy, from the US.

                              About MR4, what's the big nasty in the future which has led to its cancellation whilst almost paid for and buying older platforms for SIGINT?
                              Reply With Quote
                              Older Rivet Joint arriving in 2015 are handy for the current government to say: look! We are giving the right kit to the forces! Just in time for the elections. Also, the RIvet Joint makes US industry happy, and US troops happy too since they'll benefit from UK using them in theater.
                              Nimrod instead is "labour shameful management". See the difference between the two?

                              Other than this, i really don't see any other acceptable explanation.
                              Last edited by Liger30; 27th October 2010, 16:48.
                              "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

                              • 90inFIRST
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Oct 2008
                                • 240

                                Yes Illustrious is in refit.......other wise she would be gone too

                                Liger no offence was intended so take none. Posting is like texting, people have to guess at your tone, carry on with your dreams and ignor me.

                                I was trying to convay Distiller's thoughts, if we go the way of CVF which I believe is the right direction, than much must be sacrificed, do you buy a ocean capable OPV or a Merlin, 10 F35C or 2 type 26. lets discuss
                                If you think the French would give us to mistrals or pool hawkeyes and let us thrash the living daylights out of their aircraft then say how you think it would work.
                                If you add up the cost of buying 2xCVF, F35, AEW, Type 26, C2, C3, LPH, trident and the rest in the 20 year time frame required, how do you pay for it. If you cant what do you drop?

                                Comment

                                • Liger30
                                  Armed Forces supporter
                                  • Jul 2010
                                  • 901

                                  If you think the French would give us to mistrals or pool hawkeyes and let us thrash the living daylights out of their aircraft then say how you think it would work.
                                  Pool Hawkeyes is feasible because it would benefit both countries. A single, larger fleet from where to pick up planes to ensure the french and the UK carrier have 3 Hawkeye on board when they deploy is no so big deal.
                                  Crews would train in the US with a trinational agreement. Mainteinance costs would be shared like it'll be done with A400.

                                  The French are going to buy hours off the new RAF tankers for a good few years. They might also be cleared to benefit by UK carrier by deploying Rafales on it when CdG is out, allowing them to suffer less the lack of PA2 (i don't believe they can build that). The UK in such a collaborative climate could certainly get a bargain price to buy a Mistral-class LHD in the future, when Ocean needs replacing.
                                  We are talking about 2020, possibly, with the latest planned OSD date of Ocean being 2022, you know... it is a long term possibility.

                                  If you add up the cost of buying 2xCVF, F35, AEW, Type 26, C2, C3, LPH, trident and the rest in the 20 year time frame required, how do you pay for it. If you cant what do you drop?
                                  Reply With Quote
                                  CVFs will be paid for by 2020 when they will be commissioned. By then, they'll have costed 6 billions or so on... countless years. 600 millions a year from now to 2020? It is probably a lot less, but let's assume this.
                                  The last of the Astutes will hopefully be commissioned in 2022, in time to replace the last retiring Trafalgar. At around 1 billion each since price for the single boats drop slightly along the production time, they are paid spread on a long period: long lead orders for HMS Agamemnon, the A05, have been placed this year, but it will be 2013 before work for building it starts, so the expense is spread on years too.
                                  Anyway, let's assume 580 millions a year for the Astute programme up to 2022.

                                  Type 26 could easily cost 400 millions each (i believe it could be done cheaper since most of the weapon system won't be new but migrate from Type 23, but let's stick to this MOD estimate) and be, in a happy world, launched one for year from 2021 onwards.
                                  The 124 millions design programme will be over in 2014.

                                  By then the Type 45 procurement expenditure will be over. However, around 2015 the RFA need for new fleet tankers will have become desperate with the MARPOL regulation going into being and the UK embarassed at asking to keep going with single-hulled tankers for some more.
                                  800 millions was the cost of 6 full-military specs tankers. Now, with the shrinking fleet, we can safely assume that a 540 millions, 4 ships deal would be more than adequate, especially if they are built to good specs and take over the Auxiliary Oiler role of the two Oiler Forts too.
                                  The Fleet Solid Replenisher Forts instead would go along for quite a lot still, for much longer than foreseen.
                                  This requirement could be covered in 2/3 years, replace the 3 tankers that survived the SDSR and the Fort Oiler remaining (since one is going, it seems).

                                  The RFA would for now renounce to the Joint Sea Based Logistic ships and the new Solid Replenishers too, doing with four tankers, 2 Fort of the Stores kind and the Waves.
                                  Diligence and Argus would carry on for long, indefinite time.

                                  The RN would then fund the MASC. Possibly starting from 2016, so that by 2020 a flight of 3 Hawkeyes with crews could be provided to the Strike Carrier. (The french do with 3 Hawkeyes. 3 they have, 3 they deploy on carrier. The UK should be able to do the same, and there could always be a joint management of the small fleet, possibly with an additional plane jointly funded too.
                                  At 80 millions dollar apiece, 4 Hawkwyes would cost 320 million dollars. Want to be more realistic/pessimistic? 500 millions dollars with training, spares and all. Today, that would still be a 316 millions order once in pounds.

                                  From 2016 onwards, possibly up to 200 millions a year would go in Trident replacement design and preparation work if Main Gate decision stays in 2016. But still, with the first in-service date being 2028 in the review, the thick of expenditure would not start before 2020 at the earliest.

                                  This would give some hope to the navy to fund Ocean's replacement. A couple of Mistrals come at 600-some millions dollars.
                                  The RN could get rid of RFA Argus if two were procured, and cover both LPH and ASS and JCTS requirements with the twin LHDs.
                                  This could be covered in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024, with a rough expenditure of 150 millions a year.

                                  C3 is well far away in time, and likely to be pushed even further ahead with current minesweepers enjoying a long, long life.


                                  F35C are going to be financed from RAF budget, for the most part if not entirely. Even in the worst case of paying each 150 million dollars, (95 million pounds at today pound's value) the order will come at the very earlier in 2015, and only an handful of planes would be ordered, year for year, with the aim of having 12 ready for operation by 2020.
                                  8 billions were planned for acquiring F35C a few years ago, then it was "virtually" raised to 10. I hope that at least half of that amount will still managed by the RAF and Navy by then! It is going to be the only major RAF programme in the next decade, after all.
                                  You have to consider that, in this time, Typhoon expenditure will go shrinking and then will vanish. A400M will also have been paid for by then.
                                  400 millions will be the PFI tanker year cost, but once Typhoon and A400M are handed over, the RAF will only have F35C as major programme to care about and fund, apart from (hopefully) work on drones.

                                  The Army will also spend a lot less than envisaged up to recently.
                                  FIST kits are now unlikely to be more than 30.000, down from a starting point of 35.000 "with more to follow". Cost for FIST is not known, so i can't quantify the savings. There was a very vague "15.000 pounds per soldier" around the net, but since there's not even a final configuration for the kit, the value of the assumption is low. It would be a 75 millions saving, but still it would give the 30.000 kits needed for a planned "deployable strenght for major ops" of 30.000 men set in the SDSR, so it would be optimal in its way.
                                  449 Warriors were to be upgunned and upgraded for a billion or so, but now, with one armored infantry battalion in each of the Five Multi-Role brigades, that shrinks to 290 or so, possibly nearly halving the costs.
                                  Similarly, FRES Scout will equip five recce formations, with possibly as few as 180 Scouts (plus of course the other Protected Mobility, Recovery and other versions, but total numbers will be much lower than earlier planned)
                                  Even FRES UV might revolve around 290 or so wheeled IFV (Nexter VBCI thanks to closer links with France? Possibility not to undervalue... but not bad either) plus the usual special-variants vehicles.
                                  Down from over 3000 "planned" and a FRES budget reported in 16 billions! A realistic cost for a 8x8 advanced IFV is 6/7 million euro. The whole FRES UV might become no more than 3 billions worth of programme, perhaps 6 with FRES SV included.

                                  I already offered a rough saving of 15/16 billions or more over the "38 billions overspend" figure, already reduced by cancellation of Nimrod, base closures and other measures already taken by SDSR, while still facturing long term programmes envisaging Hawkeye, 50 F35C and two Mistrals plus 4 desperately needed tankers to cover a greatly scaled-back MARS requirement, while keeping faith to the levels of force set with the SDSR2010.

                                  I would have still totally trashed Rivet Joint over Nimrod MRA4 myself, too.

                                  It is not impossible.
                                  Of course, if the MOD budget is to be always robbed, no matter what, and be reduced even further, and again by massive levels, this can't be done... but this SHOULD be done. It is totally feasible for a country like the UK.

                                  And if i have to cut back further, my first target is Trident. Submarines down to 3, coordinated CASD with french to ensure that one submarine is at sea at every one time, be it french or british. Cruises for year halved, along with costs, launch tubes down to 6 or even 4 on each submarine, only 12 missiles, with all the savings coming from this.
                                  Last edited by Liger30; 27th October 2010, 18:27.
                                  "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

                                  • graeme65
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Nov 2008
                                    • 63

                                    There are missiles widely available today that make helicopter AEW near pointless. To make CVF deployable anywhere near a capable threat fixed wing AEW will be essential. There is no advantage to pointing this out to a Prime Minister who is still probably still angry that he could not cancel the ships just yet. The push will come from 2015 onwards.

                                    Pooling with the French Navy means a 2 or 3 aircraft purchase by the UK giving a 5-6 Anglo-French pool. Enough for two deployed peacetime and four on a war footing. That is affordable and the support will be helped by leaning on the MN and USN. It also fits the allied interoperability test.

                                    Comment

                                    • Al.
                                      Al.
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Nov 2008
                                      • 1005

                                      I like the idea of E2s on CVF (I'm sure I've even posted to that effect on previous what if musings about CVF equipment) and the pooling with France thing sounds sensible (is that not what mainland Europe did with E3?) its just that I cannot see it happening in the medium term.

                                      The problem with aiming for 2020 is that is when we will need to pony up for JCA.

                                      Likewise the joint FAA and coastal command S3s make all kinds of sense. But will cost money.

                                      All that said. I go back to my recent point. All of this planning ahead is exactly what is required. Its required in main building mind though rather than here.

                                      As to Rivet Joint making the spams happy. Great. And as a slap in the face to previous administration. Also great. But TSR2 was cancelled for technical reasons (as much as we might wish it were not) and I wonder whether MR4 has a similar issue behind the scenes.
                                      Rule zero: don't be on fire

                                      Comment

                                      • swerve
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Jun 2005
                                        • 13612

                                        Originally posted by Al. View Post
                                        On which note: do we have any facts about MR4, what's the big nasty in the future which has led to its cancellation whilst almost paid for and buying older platforms for SIGINT?
                                        Nobody has come up with any nasty facts, only dark mutterings.

                                        Nimrod is a dirty word to politicians since the MR2 crash in 2006, & subsequent investigations uncovering various safety issues. The fact that they were due to cost-cutting, & addressable, doesn't seem to have registered.

                                        MRA4 is now seen as a failure, because it is so late & over cost.

                                        Rivet Joint is seen as keeping up with the Joneses, & enabling us to be taken seriously by the USA. The aeroplanes are older than the Nimrods they'll replace? Unimportant, because they've been upgraded, & will be thoroughly overhauled. The fact that we could have done that to the existing Nimrods for less? "Don't annoy the minister."
                                        Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                        Justinian

                                        Comment

                                        • nocutstoRAF
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • May 2010
                                          • 954

                                          What's really annoying about the MRA4 debacle is that from the hints I have read on PPRUNE by what appears to be the test pilots, the MRA4 was going to be cutting edge, multi-role and way more than just a replacement for MR2, and they cancelled it and now we have situation that in space of two weeks we have had to rely on US P-3's to track a Russian sub for us and for a French SAR aircraft to cover the rescue off the isle of Scilly. At this rate both France and the US will be putting us under pressure to at least fit a Selex AESA Seaspary radar to our C-130's and more likely push us to buy new MPA platforms (such as the Italian ATR 72 ASW) which can at least do the bread and butter roles like ASW patrols and SAR.
                                          If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                                          Comment

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