17 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RW
RW
April 11, 2012 4:43 pm

Looks like computer controlled link up as per some Cobham work with Bristol university, but obviously Qinetiq got there first (the wave motion of the drogue capture)

UAV stuff etc

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts
April 11, 2012 4:48 pm

Voyager has always been a disaster. Sanctioned by Gormless; “funded” by RBS.

Just another excuse for a defence-cut for a useful piece of kit. MoD, pfft!

paul g
April 11, 2012 5:20 pm

oh i thought you meant the tanker drivers weren’t on strike!

STV
STV
April 11, 2012 6:56 pm

The voyager is an appalling piece of procurement. Whoever decided on that one should be shot, sacked then shot again.

If atleast it had a boom we could get away with ordering the F-35A and saving ourselves a lot of money (never mind the fact that we already have aircraft in service that need boom refuelling).

Topman
Topman
April 11, 2012 7:07 pm

What about the rest that need a probe and basket set up?

jackstaff
jackstaff
April 11, 2012 7:54 pm

STV,

You left out the part with the specially-trained weasels ….

Topman,

I would imagine AirTanker just told them, “don’t worry about the basket, sir, it’ll ride up with wear.” Glass of water for the Air Chief Marshal….

STV
STV
April 11, 2012 8:36 pm

Apologies. I thought ‘operation trouser weasel’ was a given and had already been put in place, so to speak.

Jackstaff
Jackstaff
April 11, 2012 8:50 pm

STV,

:)

I was thinking more of Frank Zappa’s flesh-ripping variety but yes, trouser weasels (or, if Spinal Tap are to be believed, armadillos) and bar stewards are thick ’round FSTA.

The Oncoming Storm
The Oncoming Storm
April 11, 2012 10:09 pm

I don’t think the Voyager in itself is bad, the deal that the MoD signed and the failure to specify a boom or a cargo hatch and the other things was simply inexcusable. Is it possible to retrofit them and how much would it cost?

Mark
Mark
April 11, 2012 10:45 pm

RAF a330 at singapore 2012

maybe one of these would be better

Hope the US remembers when frankintanker arrive in over budget and late

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno
April 12, 2012 4:13 am

STV, at the moment the super dooper software controlled boom isn’t cleared for use. The RAAF and Airbus Defence are still playing with the Human Machine Interface to try and prevent repeats of the F-16 break away incident. Apparently no real machanical changes on the boom are possible so the boom is getting a stick shaker to tell the operator when the boom is approaching its movement limits and the software is also being modified to overlay boom movement limits on the operator’s video screens. Good huh?

STV
STV
April 12, 2012 5:38 pm

Aussie Johnno, I had read about some of the teething troubles and I think your point highlights one of the most glaring problems with defence contractors and military procurement in general, the hi-tech fetish.

I’m all for hi-tech when it’s there to give you a qualitative edge over an opponent but it seems that with a lot of the equipment being sold to us they include features that are simply frivolities.

I understand Airbus went two years behind schedule trying to get the boom to work not to mention writing the aircraft’s manuals which only suggests that there are other surprises lurking around the corner.

The fact is they could have saved a lot of money and a lot of time simply by installing a boom that works the same way they have worked for over 60 years.

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno
April 13, 2012 5:21 am

It does sometime seem we are seduced by high tech.
The A330 tankers are closing in on 3 years late. The boom has been the issue in the papers but the aircraft was provisionally accepted by the RAAF with the defensive aids suit incomplete (more the US’s doing) and with some of the more important comms a work in progress. Ofcourse the RAAF did order the aircraft with all the goodies. It would be lower risk to order a basic capability and then do upgrades, but the ADF doesn’t trust government’s to fund the upgrades so they go for the big bang and too often get BOOM…..

R L-C
R L-C
April 13, 2012 12:27 pm

would some please explain to me the problem of this aircraft, as it looks pretty good and the air-frame will be new unlike other aircraft this size we use(VC10).

Topman
Topman
April 13, 2012 4:58 pm

It’s an AAR problem at the moment, it’s not working as required or expected.

STV
STV
April 14, 2012 12:24 am

RLC, there are numerous issues with the aircraft that make it a pretty poor acquisition.

A brief list includes- Lack of a cargo door, lack of a boom, lack of a refuelling probe, range issues, a questionable defensive suite situation and a contract that makes the usefulness of the aircraft in certain situations debatable to say the least- all tied into a 27 year contract.

Mark
Mark
April 17, 2012 5:54 pm

1st Voyager Takes Flight With Royal Air Force

Voyager will be unable to perform the highest threat missions until its directional infrared countermeasure systems are increased from the current two units to three, after the U.K. Ministry of Defence mandated a late upgrade of defensive capabilities.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120410/DEFREG01/304100005/1st-Voyager-Takes-Flight-Royal-Air-Force?odyssey=mod|nextstory