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RAF Nimrod - Final Goodbye  
User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Posted (3 years 8 months 3 hours ago) and read 6321 times:

A stupid decision IMO, and also I believe it to be a sad loss  

Work on the controversial scrapping of nine multimillion-pound Nimrod aircraft is under way....


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-12292390


Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineKPDX From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 2754 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 1 hour ago) and read 6269 times:

Maybe I am being sensationalist... but it seems the RAF is at this point, a sad shell of itself.  


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User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13210 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6235 times:

£4 Billion wasted - open letter in the press today against this 'perverse and dangerous' decision.
Which is putting it mildly.
An unforgivable move by the government.
Which one day this country will bitterly regret.


User currently offlinescouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 6185 times:

Let's not forget that this programme was originally called the "Nimrod 2000" which is a measure of how badly things have gone wrong. It is a terrible shame though to see the end of the Nimrod and the UK's Marine Reconnicense capability. Money spent in the past is not a test of whether you can afford something goings forwards.

With none of the 9 MRA4s being operational before they were scrapped have we already lost the MR2A birds and thus had no capability anyway or are they going to be broken up now too?


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3593 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6122 times:

When the previous Government withdrew the Nimrod MR2's prior to the introduction of the MRA4, IMO the subsequent cancellation of the MRA4 became far easier. We had no long range ASW capability before the cancellation of the MRA4, thus the situation didn't change after the decision.

Many lessons should be learnt from this fiasco, the major one of which is, forget trying to update/adapt ancient aircraft.

The MRA4 programme commenced in 1996, with an in service date of 2003. The prototype flew in 2004, production planes had been built and flown, but no flights took place in the 6 months prior to cancellation.

Costs had gone through the roof, yet the number of planes had gradually fallen from 21 to 9. Much play has been made about the technology the planes were going to carry, yet it appears to me that the extended development period would result in much of it being obsolete before its entry into service.

In the meantime there is a Tristar languishing in a hangar at Cambridge having a glass cockpit installed, in another programme which is running years late and hideously over budget. They haven't even managed to complete the 1st off yet, meanwhile the Tristar replacements are rolling off the line at Toulouse and being ferried to Spain for completion.


User currently offlinebtblue From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 578 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6107 times:

This doesn't surprise me. A waste of money - absolutely but probably a saving given the history of the programme...

A continuing increase in costs, sluggish progress, false promises and a project from yesteryear. I think the UK govt made the right decision in cancelling the aircraft, why continue to be at the mercy of BAE and throw cash at them. Sends a clear message to be honest.

I'm sad to see this plane be broken up like this, but would be more sad if the government continued to fund the badly managed project.



146/2/3 737/2/3/4/5/7/8/9 A320 1/2/18/19/21 DC9/40/50 DC10/30 A300/6 A330/2/3 A340/3/6 A380 757/2/3 747/4 767/3/4 787 77
User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3593 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 6101 times:

Its beats me that neither "British waste of space" nor the MOD, not the senior ranks of the RAF were aware that the existing fleet were hand built and no two were the same, thus making them very difficult and expensive to modify. I'm sure that much of the engineering staff at Kinloss would have been in possesion of this fact and woudl have informed them if asked.

User currently offlineN901WA From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 463 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6044 times:

Very sad to see the MRA4's being broken down. I wonder if they could have remarket the airframes to another goverment in need of a P-3 replacement. Or use the airframes for another task. very sad.

User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3593 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6015 times:

Quoting N901WA (Reply 7):
Very sad to see the MRA4's being broken down. I wonder if they could have remarket the airframes to another goverment in need of a P-3 replacement. Or use the airframes for another task. very sad.

Who would want 9 airframes, all to differing specifications, with a refurbished 50 year old fuselage holding it all together. It was stated that the wing attachment points varied by up to 4" from one plane to another.

We should either have bought the Orion from the US or started with a nice shiny new 737 or 320


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5948 times:

Well at least they are going to a proven and successful airframe. Capability is the question and they are only going to have 3 of them. Plus I guess the average Brit Aerospace worker is out in the cold since all support will come out of L3 at Greenville Texas.
http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/s...quire-its-own-rc-135-rivet-joints/



I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineajd1992 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5876 times:

Once again, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are really ConDemming this nation into a shadow of our former glory.

£4 Billion could have done a lot of things for this country that desperately need changing, but no, they decide to basically burn it.

Thanks, idiots.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3593 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5845 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 10):
Once again, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are really ConDemming this nation into a shadow of our former glory.

£4 Billion could have done a lot of things for this country that desperately need changing, but no, they decide to basically burn it.

Thanks, idiots.

If they were so good, why was the programme running nearly ten years late, and why had there been no flights since last Spring ? The £4 billion was spent long before Cameron & Clegg came to power.


User currently offlinertfm From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 425 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5843 times:

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 10):
Once again, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are really ConDemming this nation into a shadow of our former glory.

Well that's a nice political rant but if anyone thinks that the blame for this lies at the feet of the current political leadership they probably need to take a more sober look at the recent history of British defence procurement in general, and certainly the Nimrod MRA4 fiasco. As has been pointed out, it was started 18 years ago with a target date of 11 years ago. And even at the start there were questions about the viability of updating an aircraft type that had originally entered service in 1969 (and itself based on a commercial aircraft from the 50s).

Remember that we had already had the equal fiasco of the AEW Nimrod (10 years in development before being wisely cancelled and replaced with a far more capable AEW platform).

Yes, in a way it is sad to see the demise of an aircraft with an honourable operational history and the loss of a dedicated maritime patrol capability but I don't think that anyone should be too surprised and perhaps a few more of these might serve as a lesson for the forces leadership, MOD procurement and contractors.   


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9109 posts, RR: 75
Reply 13, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5730 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 8):
We should either have bought the Orion from the US or started with a nice shiny new 737 or 320

They also have the option of putting the modular Fully Integrated Tactical System (FITS) that EADS uses on the Cv295/CN235/CN232/A319MPA and P3 updates onto the RAF A330s. The FSTA aircraft already have a lot of the addition radio links installed.

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 9):
Well at least they are going to a proven and successful airframe.

They have been seen operational from time o time, suddessful ...I reserve my comments.

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 9):
Capability is the question and they are only going to have 3 of them.

Which in RAF service, should mean zero operational.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13210 posts, RR: 77
Reply 14, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5720 times:

£200 million to scrap and pay cancellation costs, enough to put them into service.
They will save £2 billion over 10 years, which in the scheme of things, not a lot, considering the capability lost

NO ability to track subs and surface vessels with a long range aircraft.
NO ability to provide support to SAR ops - as done many times in the past, for events such as the disasters of the Fastnet Race and the Piper Alpha oil platform.
NO ability to provide airborne command/control/comms relay for major security operations - as done before, those charged with securing the 2012 Olympics are worried about this.

Last time I looked Britain was an island - do they teach this at Eton?
With the world's busiest shipping lanes, with all those gas and oil installations.
Even much smaller nations such as New Zealand and Portugal think they need a long range MPA.

Yes, the programme was managed badly, yes the numbers would have been too small - a damn sight better than none though.
Yes, the original project should have been a total new build, blame Treasury insistence in the mid 1990's to not fund a new MPA but rather a conversion.

Question - are all that army of RAF top brass all keeping their jobs?
Fewer and fewer squadrons, will that be matched by reductions there?

If I was the Al Queda boys, I'd be dusting off plans to use say a LPG laden ship as a huge bomb, or similar as plotted in the past.

Just short of 30 years ago, another Tory government thought saving £2 million then, by withdrawing the Antarctic Patrol Ship, HMS Endurance , was a good idea, despite all the warnings made by those in the know about how this would appear to that hostile Junta - who had they waited another year, could have kept the Falklands since the other cuts would by then have made recovery impossible - rather than as happened, very difficult.
I'm not equating the loss of MPA capability with the situation down there now, which is very different, it is though a warning from history.


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 15, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5629 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 2):
£4 Billion wasted - open letter in the press today against this 'perverse and dangerous' decision.
Which is putting it mildly.
An unforgivable move by the government.
Which one day this country will bitterly regret.

Watching the video footage of the planes being chopped up on the news this morning, I couldn't believe it.  

How utterly stupid. If anything, it looks like grandstanding by the new government, trying to beat up on the projects of the old Labor government. So utterly typical.

Quoting GDB (Reply 14):
Question - are all that army of RAF top brass all keeping their jobs?
Fewer and fewer squadrons, will that be matched by reductions there?

Of course not, they'll keep their own cosy and nicely feathered nests.

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 10):
Once again, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are really ConDemming this nation into a shadow of our former glory.

Britain voted for them, so it has to live with the consequences.

With all the cuts going on, why don't they just disband the entire RAF and pay France to protect Britain?

[Edited 2011-01-27 15:29:38]

User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13210 posts, RR: 77
Reply 16, posted (3 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5377 times:

Quoting cpd (Reply 15):
Britain voted for them, so it has to live with the consequences.

Another interpretation was that despite the recession, despite Gordon Brown's unsuitability as PM, despite that any party after 13 years in power is fraying, the Tories did NOT get a majority - in fact they fell quite a way short, hence the first Coalition since WW2.

These are cuts through choice, while Defence Secretary Liam Fox did mitigate the scale of the cuts Chancellor George Osborne wanted at defence, in the end it was around a 8% cut.
Police/prisons/justice are facing a 5% cut, both them and the MoD are charged with protecting the nation, so why not also a 5% cut at defence?
(You watch - at the first reshuffle Fox will be shunted off elsewhere, if he stays in the Cabinet at all).


User currently offlineebj1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5091 times:

What will the RAF use for maritime surveillancenow? As best I can remember, they're not ordering the P-8 and they haven't asked for Orions. Do they no longer have a need for a maritime surveillance aircraft?


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User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5016 times:

I hearing rumors that some of the E-3D'swill be parked, any truth to that rumor?


I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13210 posts, RR: 77
Reply 19, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4993 times:

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 17):
What will the RAF use for maritime surveillancenow? As best I can remember, they're not ordering the P-8 and they haven't asked for Orions. Do they no longer have a need for a maritime surveillance aircraft?

They might have a need, as I mentioned above, it seems though that the government does not think so and the Air Staff think that clinging on to a few more Tornado GR.4 squadrons for longer is more important, within the financial limits they face.
So do not expect a P-8 order or indeed any MPA, unless circumstances prove the obvious!
Now that really would be expensive - hope it does not end up being lethal too.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3593 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4955 times:

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 18):
I hearing rumors that some of the E-3D'swill be parked, any truth to that rumor?

One E3D was stood down in 2010, this decision was made in 2009.

With regard to the Nimrod MRA4, it appears that todays Sunday Times carries an article which mentions the vast number of outstanding issues which were unresolved with the MRA4, one being the inability of the nosewheel to retract, and another being that it would have been impossible to open the bomb bay doors on the intitial production machines.


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4879 posts, RR: 38
Reply 21, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 4769 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 19):
Staff think that clinging on to a few more Tornado GR.4 squadrons for longer is more important, within the financial limits they face.

Unless those get chopped too (literally chopped up). How much more can they chop?

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 20):
With regard to the Nimrod MRA4, it appears that todays Sunday Times carries an article which mentions the vast number of outstanding issues which were unresolved with the MRA4, one being the inability of the nosewheel to retract, and another being that it would have been impossible to open the bomb bay doors on the intitial production machines.

If that's for real - then the plane is essentially useless. But papers aren't always trustworthy.


User currently offlinescouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4729 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 8):
Who would want 9 airframes, all to differing specifications, with a refurbished 50 year old fuselage holding it all together. It was stated that the wing attachment points varied by up to 4" from one plane to another.

We should either have bought the Orion from the US or started with a nice shiny new 737 or 320

Wasn't there a proposal from BAe to do a completly new plane for this as only the fuse was surviving from the original planes and, if they'd known the costs of the non-standard bodies then this would of been cheaper.

Quoting cpd (Reply 15):
How utterly stupid. If anything, it looks like grandstanding by the new government, trying to beat up on the projects of the old Labor government. So utterly typical.

Except this was a bird ordered by the previous Conservative government of John Major who left office in 1997 - it was that late! All Labour did to the project was keep reducing the number of planes to be delivered.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13210 posts, RR: 77
Reply 23, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4660 times:

Quoting scouseflyer (Reply 22):
Wasn't there a proposal from BAe to do a completely new plane for this as only the fuse was surviving from the original planes and, if they'd known the costs of the non-standard bodies then this would of been cheaper.

Yes, though the wise men of the Treasury would not approve a 'new' MPA in 1996!

As to the reported problems, well I've suspect we've all seen MRA.4 development aircraft flying will all the gears up, the other sounds like the sort of issues addressed when clearing them for service, insurmountable?
(A couple of years ago RAF Typhoons could not release LGB's, a software glitch, which if still existing would no doubt also have gained press attention by now).

None of this though addresses the issue of the RAF now having NO MPA capability, the Swiss AF does not have either but then they've no need!
What to do? Despite their loud denunciations of lack of support helicopters when in opposition, the government have cut the 22 extra Chinooks ordered about a year ago, to 12.
More sensibly, they have announced greater co-operation with France. Unusually France does not have a support chopper in the class of the Chinook/CH-53, quite a gap.
Why not give those missing 10 Chinooks to France and in return the RAF lease a small number of Atlantique 2 aircraft to maintain at least a semblance of MPA capability?
Not a large number but a lot better than nothing.

They are seeking a potential replacement for them, an A320 adaptation being one solution mooted, won't be cheap, France too have budget issues, so why not have the UK enter such a program as a partner to develop and build such an aircraft?
If they are to co-operate on carriers, tankers, an advanced UCAV, why not extend this further?

Once A400M deliveries begin, the RAF is to sell it's C-130J fleet. Why not sell just the J-30 long body ones and retain the 10 short body versions, some converted to a standard similar to US Coast Guard Hercs?
Operated by an expanded UK Coast Guard with some RAF support and in turn part funded by the Dept of Environment, Fisheries and Food - whose responsibility extends to both offshore oil and gas as well as fishery protection - all former parts of the RAF Nimrod's mission too.
Allowing a small number of leased Atlantiques to concentrate of the more overtly military roles and just as important, retain crew and institutional currency in these tasks.
Say 6 of the 10 C-130J's with the rest for Special Forces support until, hopefully at the end of the decade in better times, replace these with a top up order of A400M's.


User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4607 times:

Quoting scouseflyer (Reply 22):
Wasn't there a proposal from BAe to do a completly new plane for this as only the fuse was surviving from the original planes and, if they'd known the costs of the non-standard bodies then this would of been cheaper.

USAF ran into this with the E-8 JSTARS, all different 707-300's.

Quoting GDB (Reply 23):
Once A400M deliveries begin, the RAF is to sell it's C-130J fleet. Why not sell just the J-30 long body ones and retain the 10 short body versions, some converted to a standard similar to US Coast Guard Hercs?
Operated by an expanded UK Coast Guard with some RAF support and in turn part funded by the Dept of Environment, Fisheries and Food - whose responsibility extends to both offshore oil and gas as well as fishery protection - all former parts of the RAF Nimrod's mission too.
Allowing a small number of leased Atlantiques to concentrate of the more overtly military roles and just as important, retain crew and institutional currency in these tasks.
Say 6 of the 10 C-130J's with the rest for Special Forces support until, hopefully at the end of the decade in better times, replace these with a top up order of A400M's.

Sir, you have too much common sense to work in government service.



I would help you but it is not in the contract
25 highlander0 : Rather a piecemeal approach, but wanting to clear a couple of things up; apologies if it looks like an assault, trust me- it's not. First off: False.
26 antidote : Are any frames being preserved for display? I was a boy in Toronto when the Conservative government cancelled the Avro Arrow and remember they went ou
27 ThePointblank : The entire Arrow was chopped up because there were fears from the RCMP that the Soviets had penetrated the project, and those fears were unfortunatel
28 antidote : It's odd that the US was able to preserve all the same-era X-plane aircraft for eventual display but Canada couldn't find a single secure military ai
29 GDB : If press reports today are true, the RAF won't even get those Chinooks. Like to see the 'party of strong defence' justify that one, after all the noi
30 CPDC10-30 : Sad indeed, and a waste of money, but I'm afraid it was a necessity. There's no point in continuing with something only because you have made a huge i
31 GDB : The MRA.4 was effectively a new aircraft, though no doubt the issues that hit the MR.2's was a convenient excuse for the Treasury. (We should remembe
32 Post contains images BMIFlyer : There's one at the MAN aviation viewing park
33 ThePointblank : The issues with the MRA4 fleet was exaberated by the fact that there are only a handful of unique aircraft. When you operate small orphan fleets, it
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