GDB
Posts: 12680
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Report: Third Of RAF Bomber Sqns "To Be Culled"

Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:45 pm

Quite possibly true, but a health warning.
The Daily Telegraph is no tabloid, but in recent years, it has gained a reputation for poor defence reporting, even by the dismal standards of the British press.
Last year, a large chunk of the Royal Navy was to be mothballed, but in truth, only the decommissioned carrier HMS Invincible was, or already had been.
There was no way Gordon Brown was ever, as Prime Minister, going to approve the CVF carriers, but he did.

What they do, is get hold of leaked position papers from the MoD, which outline scenarios within various budgets, (before they know how the spending cake is to be sliced).
Then only print the very worst case ones, which assumes it seems a significant drop in spending.

The government gets in trouble for announcing new initiatives twice, some time apart, the Telegraph does the same with it's previous stories, even if they've not actually come to pass.

The report is true that the RAF is overstretched, but it seems to have vastly over-simplified the effects of the Saudi deal (forgetting to mention that this order helps bring the price of the aircraft down).
The linking of a possibility that some Tornado F.3 units might run on a bit longer, with what they claim is a cut in 'bombers' seems a bit of a stretch to me.

The report does not mention that nos.11, then no.6 Sqn, are working up to Typhoon, that Typhoon will be operationally deployed to Afghanistan next year, and replace the Tornados in the Falklands, I guess because that would detract from the image the report is trying to project.
But the big giveaway is the response from 'furious Tory MP's', oh really?
It has long been said that the Telegraph was the in house paper of the Tory party. Of the old blimpish kind,

Going through various forums where UK service personnel post, there is no shortage of anger and concern about various defence issues, but there is also a lot a disdain for the Telegraph too.

There is uncertainty over the future size and shape of manned RAF strike aircraft in the future, because what will replace Tornado GR.4 is unclear, many could be replaced by a Tranche 3 buy of Typhoons, the balance later with a UCAV. Or maybe concentrate more on UCAV's, (where after seemingly being asleep on this subject for years, the MoD has more than woken up about more recently).
Almost certain I think that the more recce assigned GR.4 units, 2 and 13 Sqns, will be eventually replaced with a unmanned system.

My own view is that having all the years money and effort spent on it, the UK should order the full 232 Typhoons, with upper fuselage conformal tanks and if need be, twin seaters, replacing a chunk of the GR.4 force.
Or maybe, top up the F-35B buy, with some F-35C's for the RAF (longer range than a F-35A, also with a RAF compatible air to air refuelling
 
ebj1248650
Posts: 1517
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:17 am

RE: Report: Third Of RAF Bomber Sqns "To Be Culled"

Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:25 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 1):
My own view is that having all the years money and effort spent on it, the UK should order the full 232 Typhoons, with upper fuselage conformal tanks and if need be, twin seaters, replacing a chunk of the GR.4 force.
Or maybe, top up the F-35B buy, with some F-35C's for the RAF (longer range than a F-35A, also with a RAF compatible air to air refuelling

Won't the later Typhoons (with enhanced air-to-ground capability) replace the Tornados anyway, in the not too distant future?
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
GDB
Posts: 12680
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Report: Third Of RAF Bomber Sqns "To Be Culled"

Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:02 pm

Quite possibly EBJ, however until the full extent of the Typhoon buy is clear, there will be uncertainty.
I actually think that cash is not the major issue here, I really think the MoD are themselves still uncertain about the mix of manned/UCAV, what manned types, to replace GR.4's eventually.
 
PADSpot
Posts: 1637
Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:31 pm

RE: Report: Third Of RAF Bomber Sqns "To Be Culled"

Mon Oct 08, 2007 6:50 pm

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
Won't the later Typhoons (with enhanced air-to-ground capability) replace the Tornados anyway, in the not too distant future?

Officially the UK EFs replace the Tornado F.3 and the Jaguar.

BUT there were some rumors that the Typhoons that were ordered by Saudia Arabia were actually taken from the RAF frame order and that the RAF might not reorder those 72 frames in order to reach their original 235 EFs. BAe however denied that rumor, but among experts it is seen as likely.

In the end there were only 120-150 F.3 and Jaguars left and 235 EFs are lots of airplanes to replace just those. That because I think the EF will also replace some GR.4. As the F-35 will be a much more of an airplane than the Harrier it replaces the need for another medium Strike aircrafts like the GR.4 might further decrease. And finally the Tornado as such is not a really great strike aircraft. It was build for a different mission.

In Germany the EF will replace the Tornadoes in the Strike Wings, while the RECCE and ECR Tornadoes currently receive heavy upgrades and will eventually be replaced by an unmanned platform at the end of the next decade.
 
GDB
Posts: 12680
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Report: Third Of RAF Bomber Sqns "To Be Culled"

Tue Oct 09, 2007 6:36 am

What has been generally reported is that 24 RAF allocated frames would go to Saudi, then be replaced, the 24 being ultimately additional.
Jaguars have gone, the RAF do generally order many more airframes than at first sight they might need for the number of squadrons equipped, to allow airframe life overall to be kept down over 20+ years, swapping airframes around and also keeping force levels maintained as aircraft go in for upgrades, with Typhoon this has always been planned to be the case.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Report: Third Of RAF Bomber Sqns "To Be Culled"

Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:53 am

This thread title shocked me because I thought all of the RAF bomber squadrons where gone for the past ten years when the last Buccaneers where retired. Or if you count that frame as an attack aircraft not a bomber, since the Vulcans left over twenty years ago.....That was a real bomber.

A GR.4, Jaguar is just an attack airframe.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
GDB
Posts: 12680
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Report: Third Of RAF Bomber Sqns "To Be Culled"

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:29 pm

Maybe a Tornado GR.4 is really what it was originally called, back in the 70's, a Multi Role Combat Aircraft , but in truth, what is a Storm Shadow cruise missile and/or ALARM equipped RAF GR.4, but a strike aircraft, I think the term Bomber is just from the press reporting.
We could say a large multi engined machine is a Bomber, but no one ever called the Canberra a Strike Aircraft, but of course that was back in the 50's.
They did always call the Buccaneer a strike aircraft though.

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