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texl1649
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Should RAF replace Sentinels with more P-8’s

Wed May 13, 2020 12:36 pm

Some seem to think it’s a decent idea, with some caveats;

https://rusi.org/publication/rusi-defen ... lacing-raf’s-sentinel-r1-fleet-additional-p-8a-poseidon#.Xru8Woo6s4c.twitter

It is thus a fair assumption that the RAF’s P-8A Poseidon fleet will find itself heavily utilised, and with only nine aircraft there will be an inherent and inescapable trade-off between the capacity and crew proficiency for the core (and critical) ASW mission set, and other global surveillance and enabler missions. This brings us to the central point. If the UK can buy its way into the highly capable AAS radar programme, which is not a certainty but there are multiple historical precedents for, then the RAF could replace the remaining Sentinel R.1s one for one with additional P-8As equipped with the AAS pod.

...

It would also give the RAF commonality with the US Navy on a system which sits at the heart of the latter’s naval integrated fire control – counter-air (NIFC-CA) construct for advanced networked warfighting, and provide an additional tool for enabling UK joint force integration at the tactical level. AESA radars such as the AAS are potentially extremely effective electronic warfare and high-bandwidth communications tools in addition to their role as sensors, and the AAS will be progressively upgraded by the US Navy for decades with such capabilities. Whilst the additional aircraft would be expensive to procure, the fixed costs for P-8A operations have already been paid by the UK, and additional aircraft will be significantly cheaper than those bought already. With the RAF’s E-3D Sentry AWACS fleet being replaced by the E-7A Wedgetail based on the same 737-NG airframe as the P-8, replacing Sentinel with additional P-8s with AAS would also allow the RAF to fully exploit the efficiencies of standardising most of its fixed-wing ISTAR fleets on one airframe. Finally, additional P-8As with AAS to replace the Sentinel fleet would add sorely needed resilience to the ASW capabilities of the UK as a whole, as aircraft equipped with the radar pod could also perform other MPA tasks if demand for overland missions is lower – and at the very least will reduce the otherwise almost inevitable tendency for the existing P-8 fleet to be drawn off its core mission by other commitments.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Should RAF replace Sentinels with more P-8’s

Thu May 14, 2020 12:32 pm

The AAS feature is an add on that can be purchased later. The UK frame has all the provision installed. So when the time comes, they just need to buy the kit and add it on.

Also, the AAS kit is not a permanent kit. It can be pulled off one plane and put on another as situation requires

I'm pretty sure both the UK and AUS will be able to purchase this option if they want. I believe Boeing may have a second configuration for export if if someone is willing to pay for the development.

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
744SPX
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Re: Should RAF replace Sentinels with more P-8’s

Mon May 18, 2020 8:45 pm

Replace a newer generation aircraft (Global Express) with an older one (737)? One that is significantly slower, has a much lower service ceiling and is way more airplane than what is needed for the role? Seems like a step backwards to me.

I think the use of high-performance large bizjets is a much better idea for these types of civilian-to-military-conversion programs. Significantly superior flexibility and survivability. Why go back to commercial passenger jet conversions if you don't have to?
 
texl1649
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Re: Should RAF replace Sentinels with more P-8’s

Mon May 18, 2020 10:09 pm

744SPX wrote:
Replace a newer generation aircraft (Global Express) with an older one (737)? One that is significantly slower, has a much lower service ceiling and is way more airplane than what is needed for the role? Seems like a step backwards to me.

I think the use of high-performance large bizjets is a much better idea for these types of civilian-to-military-conversion programs. Significantly superior flexibility and survivability. Why go back to commercial passenger jet conversions if you don't have to?


I don’t have a strong opinion either way, as the Sentinels are great aircraft, but they are being phased out over the next 18 months, which will lead to stress per the original link on the P-8 fleet, with or without the additional AAS capability. A top up on the P-8 fleet seems like per the link above (not below) might make sense.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/1 ... dar-planes
 
Ozair
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Re: Should RAF replace Sentinels with more P-8’s

Mon May 18, 2020 11:30 pm

744SPX wrote:
Replace a newer generation aircraft (Global Express) with an older one (737)? One that is significantly slower, has a much lower service ceiling and is way more airplane than what is needed for the role? Seems like a step backwards to me.

I think the use of high-performance large bizjets is a much better idea for these types of civilian-to-military-conversion programs. Significantly superior flexibility and survivability. Why go back to commercial passenger jet conversions if you don't have to?

I agree it appears to buck the emerging trend for bizjets in these roles, such as the G550 being used for the Globaleye, the MC-55 and for AEW but I can also see how a single fleet may be cheaper and easier to sustain.

I’ve also never understood the lack of enthusiasm the RAF or more specifically the UK Government has had for the Sentinel aircraft. They seem to have perpetually been on the chopping block since they were first introduced into service. Perhaps it is a cost thing for such a small fleet but I would be interested in any info anyone has.
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Should RAF replace Sentinels with more P-8’s

Tue May 19, 2020 1:51 pm

744SPX wrote:
Replace a newer generation aircraft (Global Express) with an older one (737)? One that is significantly slower, has a much lower service ceiling and is way more airplane than what is needed for the role? Seems like a step backwards to me.

I think the use of high-performance large bizjets is a much better idea for these types of civilian-to-military-conversion programs. Significantly superior flexibility and survivability. Why go back to commercial passenger jet conversions if you don't have to?


Not sure if it is the case here, but there are some factors that would make one better than the other.

The radar performance is size dependent. A longer radar will give you better resolution, thus a longer airframe is better. The better resolution also allow you to be farther away from the target.

How it is mounted (above, in, under) provide better field of view.

Speed is not necessary once you are on station, loiter time is more important.

And there's always politics. Not only national but corporate as well

bt

bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
 
SuperiorPilotMe
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Re: Should RAF replace Sentinels with more P-8’s

Thu May 21, 2020 7:04 pm

744SPX wrote:
Replace a newer generation aircraft (Global Express) with an older one (737)?


That's quite a fallacy as these are effectively 737NGs with 1990s technology era wings, empennage, at least 80s (really, again, 90s) era engines and a slew of other "invisible" components. And that's not on top of additional product enhancements introduced during the P-8 design process.

Effectively, the Global Express and 737NG are same-generation airframes.

As for Sentinels vs P-8s, there are going to be tradeoffs. Sentinels likely have lower operating costs but you're trading that in for a fleet that can amortize operating costs over a larger spread, likely will have greater range by virtue if nothing else by being larger aircraft, will be able to conduct ASW surveillance simultaneously and of course bring with it heavy offensive firepower, although unless you're specifically in WWIII that latter point isn't going to be a particularly helpful added bonus strictly to the MPA (as opposed to ASW) mission.

Do these tradeoffs make sense? I don't know, that's up for the Ministry of Defense to decide. Although they might not ever be in a position to make that decision since everyone is dying anyway. At least we'll have global peace and a clean environment finally.
Stop the stupids!- Claus Kellerman
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Should RAF replace Sentinels with more P-8’s

Fri May 22, 2020 1:30 pm

For a while, Boeing was promoting the detect--target-kill chain in one platform with the AAS an P-8A weapon load for the J-STAR recapitalization. But the USAF prefer to have their attack aircraft do that job.

For anti insurgency, the ability to detect and deploy SDB's in a timely manner, without having to wait for the attack aircraft or having those attack aircraft buzzing on station, can be useful.


bt
Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.

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