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Nimrod Mk 2s To Be Withdrawn From Service  
User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Posted (5 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 5863 times:

And there will be a gap until the MRA4s are introduced.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6957920.ece

Quote:
The RAF’s fleet of 11 Nimrod surveillance aircraft, one of which catastrophically burst into flames, killing 14 servicemen in Afghanistan in 2006, is to be withdrawn from service by March as part of a range of defence cuts announced yesterday. Bob Ainsworth, the Defence Secretary, denied that the decision to axe the Nimrod Mark 2s a year earlier than planned had anything to do with the crash of Nimrod XV230, which was caused by leaking fuel, and he insisted that it was still safe to fly. He told the Commons that the decision was purely for financial reasons.

He said that the decision was unconnected to the devastatingly critical official report published in October by Charles Haddon-Cave, QC, who accused the Ministry of Defence of sacrificing safety to save money on maintenance of the Nimrod fleet. Several senior military officers were criticised in his report.

Mr Ainsworth also announced that the programme to introduce a replacement, the Nimrod MRA4, was going to be delayed.

With the Mark 2s scrapped by the end of March, this will leave a capability gap, defence sources confirmed.

The first MRA4, one of nine ordered, will be delivered to RAF Kinloss in Morayshire, home of the Nimrods, in February but it will not be operational for a long time because the crews will have to carry out lengthy flight training. “It is a brand new aircraft, so it will take time,” a defence official said.

Very tough decisions are being made by the UK forces.

[Edited 2009-12-16 14:24:57]


"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMetroliner From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 1067 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5728 times:



Quoting Lumberton (Thread starter):
Very tough decisions are being made by the UK forces.

Shame - I had a flight on an MR2 in the Air Cadets - XV232 out of Kinloss. A remarkable aircraft. Even got half an hour in the left hand seat... what a dream!

Why aren't the RAF considering replacing them with something more modern? The newer 737s adapted for this role look rather purposeful (Poseidons??).

Cheers,

Toni



Set the controls for the heart of the Sun
User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1444 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5655 times:

Have seen other threads that the RAF is going to get another C-17, park some E-3D's,Harriers,Tornado's. With all these cuts to the bone will they still pursuing their own RC-135 fleet to replace recce Nimrods or are they getting out of the airborne signint, elint game completely?


I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 938 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5648 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 2):
Have seen other threads that the RAF is going to get another C-17, park some E-3D's,Harriers,Tornado's. With all these cuts to the bone will they still pursuing their own RC-135 fleet to replace recce Nimrods or are they getting out of the airborne signint, elint game completely?

Well they have just brought fully operational the new sneaky beaky Sentinel R1's.


User currently offlineKennyK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5544 times:

Why the hell didn't the MOD bin the idea of the MK4 nimrod and go with the 737 development the USN are getting. Yet again industry said they could produce a good product, we could have had a good aircraft for half the cost of the MK4. Memories of the AEW3 fiasco. Hindsight eh Sad

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13252 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (5 years 11 hours ago) and read 5367 times:

There is nothing wrong at all with the MRA.4, except in the way it was done.

A rebuild so extensive, the aircraft get new serials.
This rebuild ran into problems, with epic delays and cost escalations.
Largely down to early mismanagement by BAE and the MoD.

It would have been cheaper, easier and quicker to build all new MRA.4's, but back in 1996 when the project was approved, you would never have got 'all new maritime aircraft' past the Treasury.

Besides, the P.8 Poseidon won't and never could be in service any sooner than MRA.4

With the premature retirement of the MR.2's I worry about another capability gap.
Many times in it's career, the Nimrod has been an important part of major search and rescue operations around the UK and Eastern Atlantic.
Providing search, communications, dropping survival equipment.
For an island nation with some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world around it, to lose for at least two years, it's maritime patrol capability is deeply perverse and potentially very dangerous.

I don't think money had much to do with this at all.
Rather political fallout from the Nimrod loss over Afghanistan in 2006.
I hope the gap can be filled there too, UAV's, the Sentinels, the shadowy Beech King Air platforms, the Sea King Mark 7's?
All are and have been deployed there.
And if it is, why not have some of the running costs for the MR.2's, until MRA.4 comes on line, contributed from other departments that have had cause to require the aircraft, such as the Coastguard Agency, Ministry Of Agriculture Fisheries and Foods, Environment Agency?


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12179 posts, RR: 51
Reply 6, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 5184 times:



Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 2):
Have seen other threads that the RAF is going to get another C-17, park some E-3D's,Harriers,Tornado's. With all these cuts to the bone will they still pursuing their own RC-135 fleet to replace recce Nimrods

This is the first I have heard the RAF will park some of their E-3D AWACS. The (K)RC-135s will not replace all the Nimrod Mk. 2s.

Quoting KennyK (Reply 4):
Why the hell didn't the MOD bin the idea of the MK4 nimrod and go with the 737 development the USN are getting.

I don't think the USN P-8A will have the same capabilities as the Nimrod MRA4s will eventually have. But the RAF would have saved money (as we now know, we didn't know that in 1997) had they installed the MRA4 equipment on a new build airframe, like a B-767-300ERF or A-330-200.


User currently offlineJackonicko From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2008, 472 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (4 years 12 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5141 times:

The point is that the Nimrod configuration (like that of the P-3) is better suited than an airliner configuration with underslung nacelles and only two engines.

MRA4 has been a major cluster****, but will eventually result in a better ASW aircraft than the 737-based P-8.

Their mission systems are similar, but the Nimrod does have MAD and many of the items P-8 won't get til Spiral 2/Increment 3, and can carry more kit further, and can stay on station longer. On station, Nimrod can turn better low down, and can shut down two engines to loiter longer. It can prosecute traditional ASW attacks (MAD cloverleafs, etc.) like a P-3 or a legacy Nimrod, where the P-8 cannot, and will prosecute attacks from higher, dropping torpedos from considerably greater height.

The ideal solution would have been to build brand new airframes, or even to purpose design a new platform altogether.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12179 posts, RR: 51
Reply 8, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5028 times:



Quoting Jackonicko (Reply 7):
The point is that the Nimrod configuration (like that of the P-3) is better suited than an airliner configuration with underslung nacelles and only two engines.

MRA4 has been a major cluster****, but will eventually result in a better ASW aircraft than the 737-based P-8.

Their mission systems are similar, but the Nimrod does have MAD and many of the items P-8 won't get til Spiral 2/Increment 3, and can carry more kit further, and can stay on station longer. On station, Nimrod can turn better low down, and can shut down two engines to loiter longer. It can prosecute traditional ASW attacks (MAD cloverleafs, etc.) like a P-3 or a legacy Nimrod, where the P-8 cannot, and will prosecute attacks from higher, dropping torpedos from considerably greater height.

The ideal solution would have been to build brand new airframes, or even to purpose design a new platform altogether.

Then, as you said, it would have been much better to build new Comet/Nimrod airframes with updated engines, avionics, etc. Or even better yet, new build Vulcan Bomber airframes, but instead of dropping bombs, doing the ELINT/ASW/RECCE mission. The Vulcan is much more manuverable than Nimrod is, at low and high altitudes.


User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 938 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 12 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4960 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 8):

I am sure that i am mistaken and that someone will correct me, but if you took a Vulcan hull, arent you essentially shortening the fuselage that you can put all your techies in by almost 10m, taking a usable diameter cut, and doing so would require cutting out a large portion of the bomb bay, meaning less torpedoes / buoys can be carried? I would have thought that the stores volume available over other options would be the major draw for a Vulcan platform.


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