GDB
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Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:39 pm

Today, 31 March, sees the end of RAF Nimrod MR.2 operations and a 2 year 'capability gap' (Capability chasm?) prior to Nimrod MRA.4 operations in 2012.

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/De...stics/LastFlightOfTheNimrodMr2.htm

Though other systems have taken on the role in Afghanistan, UAV's, Sentinel R.1's, Sea King ASc.7's, there will be for 24 months no means to conduct long range maritime patrol ops around the UK coasts and it's busy shipping lanes.

The RAF will use C-130's (already heavily used in the transport role) and Merlin helicopters operated by the RN, the latter for ASW the formed for SAR support.
These Herks are not fitted out like US Coast Guard examples though, so they are banking on no major maritime incidents where the Nimrod has been so vital in it's 40 year life.

The retirement was brought forward a year and the MRA.4 introduction put back 12 months, to save money, (just after £16 million was spent of the Nimrod safety mods after the example was lost in Afghanistan in 2006).

Not quite the end of the Nimrod legacy airframe story though, the R.1 ELINT aircraft have another year before they are retired, before a 36 month gap whilst the RAF's own Rivet Joint examples are prepared, with (presumably) a similar standard of equipment fit and CFM-56 engines.
This gap will be, it is said, filled by RAF personnel on USAF examples, with 'operational sovereignty' (I doubt it, nothing against the USAF but in this instance it is their aircraft for those 3 years).

Not a good day.
There is having priority on Afghanistan, understandably, but this should only be taken so far.

Mind you, had the top brass of the RAF been smarter, they could have used the recent diplomatic row with Argentina, to base some Nimrods down in the Falklands, thus requiring a Nimrod MR.2 presence to be retained at home too.
Too busy trying to get other services programs cancelled maybe?
 
L-188
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:59 am

Well I guess it isn't like the old days when we pulled some F4J's out of the desert for you for coverage until the Tornado F.3's came around.

You would think if the British asked nicely we could find some P-3 or S-3 airframes in Arizona for lease.
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sasd209
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:37 am

This may sound ignorant, so I apologise in advance..

How active were the Nimrod squadrons in let's say, patrolling the North Sea and around the Isles? Without getting into anything classified or secret, did they perform daily patrols, 24/7 patrols, or just 'as needed'. I should have no idea what is an accepted practice when patrolling ones waters, and I am curious. I see that the Merlins and Hercules A/C will be 'filling in' so to say for the next 2 years..... are they really capable of conducting the missions the Nimrods did?

-SASD209
 
GDB
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Thu Apr 01, 2010 5:19 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 1):
You would think if the British asked nicely we could find some P-3 or S-3 airframes in Arizona for lease.

Would cost money, an unknown type in RAF service.
(Now if there were a few spare USCG Herk's available - they probably would not have taken them up either! Since that's admitting a gap is more serious than claimed).

sasd209, while of course the primary role, hunting Russian subs, which the aircraft was built for, has hugely diminished, the role in more general maritime patrol was a major tasking for the force, with it's sensors, command and control, ability to drop SAR gear like rafts.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:34 am

Many people forget that the Nimrod is based of the old DeHavilland Comet - a 60+ year-old design. Is there any large plane in the world that was in service for that long?
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L-188
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:48 am

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):

Many people forget that the Nimrod is based of the old DeHavilland Comet - a 60+ year-old design. Is there any large plane in the world that was in service for that long?

C-130
B-52
KC-135
707/E-3
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sasd209
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:58 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 5):
C-130
B-52
KC-135
707/E-3

Haha, well played, sir!!  
 
GDB
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:10 am

The Comet's first flight (in the original prototype of the Comet 1) was in 1949, before the other types mentioned.

Though it was really the grandfather of the Nimrod, the Comet 4 being the father.

Of course the Nimrod MRA.4 is so heavily modified from the MR.2, only the fuselage pressure shell being retained, each example getting new serial numbers, that is a new generation rather than a modification/upgrade.
So the Comet 1 is the great grandfather?
 
red329
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:47 pm

What does the RAF do with their retired planes that don't go into museums? Do they have a similar storage facility as AMARC?

Thanks
 
GDB
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:59 pm

Quoting Red329 (Reply 8):
What does the RAF do with their retired planes that don't go into museums? Do they have a similar storage facility as AMARC?

Certainly nothing so centralized, or as sunny!

I imagine some will end up as technical training frames.
 
a380heavy
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:21 pm

Quoting Red329 (Reply 8):
What does the RAF do with their retired planes that don't go into museums? Do they have a similar storage facility as AMARC?

I heard that one is earmarked for Elvington and another for Bruntingthorpe where Vulcan XH558 was based until fairly recently. Not sure about the rest though.
Flown in:732,733,734,738,742,752,763,772,F27,DC9,MD-11,A300,A332,ATR72,DHC-6,Bell206,C172,Auster,PA-28
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:58 pm

Quoting L-188 (Reply 5):
C-130
B-52
KC-135
707/E-3

Hardly. Those designs all came 5-10 years later.
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MEA-707
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:46 pm

I heared rumors the UK government wanted to scrap the MRA4 program too in the new budget cuts announced by the new Carmeron governement. But I can't find anything on the net or here on the forum, can anyone comment on that?
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
bennett123
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:10 pm

It is no rumour.

It was in the papers last week.

I was reading about it in RAF News as well.

It says that "the 9 Nimrod MRA4 aircraft planned for the RAF will now not be brought into service".

The article is not explicit about the fate of the aircraft, however "this coincides with the announcement that the home of the Nimrod force, RAF Kinloss, will be closed towards the end of 2011".

Also the Harrier GR9 will be retired by April 2011.

The Tornado GR4 fleet will be reduced, (to 5 Sqns + an OCU). These will be retired progressively and replaced by Typhoon and F35, at end of this decade (the Carrier varient not STOVL).

C17 number 7 next year.

VC10/Tristar replaced by KC330 from 2013.

22 A400M to replace C130K in 2013 and C130J by the early 2020's.

12 more Chinook's + upgrade of 24 Puma.
 
hka098
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RE: Last Flight Of Nimrod MR.2

Mon Nov 01, 2010 7:49 pm

When are the RC-135's scheduled to join the RAF?

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