RAF flies second wave of vehicles to French peacekeepers

You can’t do enough for a mate

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”https://www.gov.uk/government/news/raf-flies-second-wave-of-vehicles-to-french-peacekeepers”] [browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.raf.mod.uk/news/archive/raf-flies-second-wave-of-vehicles-to-french-peacekeepers-11122013″]

 

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x
x
December 15, 2013 6:14 pm

5 vehicles. Wow. That will tip the balance up country.

This is an interesting pic’………

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TNoJGCoLHhI/Ud6hm443zMI/AAAAAAAAB40/G-4Q_8d6Iao/s1600/range_rover_boeing_747.jpg

……..though not quite what it seems. :)

Topman
Topman
December 15, 2013 6:34 pm

They’ve kept themselves in the news with some high profile flights, not a bad thing to help keep the budget for them.

No not a huge amount, but in this case the mode of transport picked itself.

Nicky
Nicky
December 15, 2013 7:34 pm

This is why I think France needs a C-17. What they are getting the A-400M is months to years away, and they need something to transport their Military overseas.

Topman
Topman
December 15, 2013 8:31 pm

I think initally it will strenthen the case. we will be introducing new a AT type, it will only slowly get upto speed. During that time it will be the only real option for rapid moves around the world. I think the french are getting quite used to the capabilities of it. Any sniff of reducing numbers would i suspect would result in some cross channel phone calls. the pieces such as above are for internal and external audences. Also in this area is what affect will the a400m have on the 146s? i dont think they will last long post afghan. only way i see is if they used as part of an EAG assets full time in the middle east

dave haine
dave haine
December 15, 2013 8:41 pm

The 146 is such a handy sized aeroplane, i’d like to see more of the cargo variant as a sort of utility wagon to take smaller loads to save airframe hours for the larger aeroplanes.

Reality says not though….

TED
TED
December 15, 2013 8:51 pm

– What like the one they’ve got ;D

Nicky
Nicky
December 15, 2013 9:06 pm

Yes because a C-17 is way above the A-400M and the A-400M is really a more modernized C-141B

Opinion3
Opinion3
December 16, 2013 1:13 am

Another couple of C17s probably would be gratefully received by everyone, but an all large transport fleet would be a mistake.

martin
Editor
December 16, 2013 4:39 am

I would say this is a great model of European cooperation. France has the light wheeled troops that we don’t and we have the heavy strategic lifters to get them into place. Surely a win win. Why should France bother buying C17’s. Arguably A400M’s with AAR capability and lots of them are what they need.

We have 8 and the USA has 200+ and are both happy to help if it means not sending our own troops. They can have Sentinal as well and Reaper if they need them to.

martin
Editor
December 16, 2013 4:44 am

@ Nicky –

“Yes because a C-17 is way above the A-400M and the A-400M is really a more modernized C-141B”

If anything i would say the C17 is the modern C141. The A400M is quite unique offering near strategic lift with true tactical capability beyond what the C17 can produce not to mention a day one AAR capability with zero mod.

I think its a real game changer and I would not be suprised if the USAF comes knocking on EADS door one day for its own.

x
x
December 16, 2013 8:29 am

For the cost of two C17 we could have a brigades worth of our own “light wheeled” troops. That BTW is 155 vehicles more than a “wave”………. :)

martin
Editor
December 16, 2013 9:18 am

@ X – Yeah but we would have to run that brigade for ever which would cost allot more than the C17’s. However one might think that such light and rapidly deployable forces could be a job for the sustainment forces.

TED
TED
December 16, 2013 9:51 am

@x For the cost of two C17 we could have a brigades worth of our own “light wheeled” troops. That BTW is 155 vehicles more than a “wave”……….

Ahh for the cost of two C17 we could have a brigades worth of “light wheeled” troops but less two C17 to move them ._.

mike
mike
December 16, 2013 9:58 am

@ TED and X

And get there quickly without porting and driving them hundreds of miles…
Was gonna mention that.

X is grumpy at something.

TED
TED
December 16, 2013 11:25 am

If I was playing fanatasy fleet here I would get at least 2 more C17 and maybe even look at replacing the old airframes. To have at lest ten C17 would make us a huge asset.

Then revert to our original A400m order. In doing so make airbus happy and get the to tear up the cluase in the contract whereby we can only refuel from them.

Then Get 30 odd C295. Buy the palletised MPA kit, the you have a fleet of aircraft that are capable of transpot and PA duties. You also have a special forces insertion option.

You UK has an opportunity here to lead europes strategic airlift capabilities and then still have a toe hole in tactical airlift. A400m will be good for this but in many cases may just be too big.

I think we are not just looking at France here but the whole of western europe. Who else has C17?

Peter Elliott
December 16, 2013 11:39 am

@TED

I see what you are doing with C295 to coplement Atlas as a small tacitcal transport.

But I have doubts about its effectiveness as a true sub hunting ASW aircraft. Does it have all the weapons and sensors? Could it carry a viable war-load of both? Is its range and endurance up to the job?

If the Airbus and the EU had their arses in gear they would be developing an Atlas ASW. But they haven’t, they aren’t, and we can’t afford either politically or economicially to be the sole luanch customer for something like that, awesome though its range and endurance would be.

My preference would therfore be go with P8 for MPA/ASW and rely on our comparitively large and modernised Chinook fleet to provide the small scale tacitcal airlift in the few cases where Atlas can’t.

x
x
December 16, 2013 11:42 am

@ TED

Using every C17 we have it would take 7 to 8 flights per plane. The USAF say on average they get 16 hours of use per day out of C17. Remember the more it is flown the longer the maintenance hours become. ( And don’t forget that is just the wheeled vehicles, never mind all the other kit, munitions, and the troops. And not forgetting the 10,000s of tons of stores per month to support a brigade. But that’s another story. ) You are looking at what £1.4 to £1.6 billion of aircraft taking nearly 10 to 14 days.

Now if we spent £270 million on a single 24kt ship (say something similar to the USN MSC Bob Hope) you could go from say Southampton to Freetown in 5 to 6 days and move a thousand vehicles (including clanky tankys). That is 6 times the number of vehicles. Remember the further out you fly the longer the aeroplane spends in maintenance. That would still give you a week to move them into theatre.

@ Mike

No I am not grumpy. I haven’t started substituting foods for expletives yet. It was just the headline that tickled me. :)

mickp
mickp
December 16, 2013 12:22 pm

@TED – a (refreshed as necessary) fleet of 10 C17s feels about right, but no more given our post Afghan deployment and the A400M buy. Stick at 22 A400M for now but wouldn’t rule out more in future. As for the C295 or similar types – yes three roles to consider, SF ops, CG style MPA, and light(er) tactical transport. Not sure if the 295 is the best or C27 or even C130J. P8 is a must have in my view for high end MPA / ASW

martin
Editor
December 16, 2013 1:01 pm

@ X

“Now if we spent £270 million on a single 24kt ship (say something similar to the USN MSC Bob Hope) you could go from say Southampton to Freetown in 5 to 6 days and move a thousand vehicles (including clanky tankys).”

How do you move your thousand vehicles from Sierra Leone to the central african republic? Its along way down dirt roads with no infrastructure to support them.

martin
Editor
December 16, 2013 1:03 pm

@ Ted

“Who else has C17?”

NATO have four I think

Challenger
Challenger
December 16, 2013 1:20 pm

@TED

‘If I was playing fantasy fleet here I would get at least 2 more C17 and maybe even look at replacing the old air-frames. To have at lest ten C17 would make us a huge asset.

Then revert to our original A400m order. In doing so make airbus happy’

Agreed on C17, 10 is what the RAF originally said it needed and sounds about right.

With A400m I think seen as the Spanish and Germans have made it quite clear they want to shed some of theirs after not much service it makes more sense for us to stick to our order of 22 and then see if we can pick up some cheaper ‘good as new’ second hand air-frames a little way down the road if/when we feel like it.

Oh and I couldn’t care less what makes Airbus happy!

Mark
Mark
December 16, 2013 1:40 pm

As the tanker contract is with airtanker I’m sure airbus wouldn’t care that much either!

TED
TED
December 16, 2013 2:28 pm

The c17 question was a genuine one. Anyroad up we still have the biggest C17 fleet in europe.

@x This is just difference between sea and air power. Speed is a key feature of airpower whilst efficency is more sea power. Anyway how much does your boat cost?
Also I really don’t get what your trying to tell me or someone. I was saying if you buy your lovely wheeled blokes with guns you haven’t got two more C17 to move ’em.

Would love to see an A400 MPA but as there is only the 295 I would go for that. Yes it has its flaws but the key is that it need not just be an MPA, they have developed an AEWC variant, you could also have a battlefield control variant with cameras. With a few modifications it could do the roles of Shadow and Nimrod from pallets and Sentry with a dedicated airframe. To be honest I wouldn’t be worried about the AEWC variant if commanality is not important for one key reason. I see it like this you have 10 odd MPA. Then you go to war with a land locked country. 10 of your MPA fleet can then convert to airlifters and start moving things. We can’t do that with the P8 however I agree it has the high end capability. Now if they could palletise all this kit and stick it on an A400 thats cool but we then have a diminshed lift fleet with no core tactical airlift. For lots of cash you might even be able to put ASTOR on some airframes.

As for using chinooks its a great plan if and only if we can air refuel these ones. Anyone know for sure?

@Mark “As the tanker contract is with airtanker I’m sure airbus wouldn’t care that much either!”
I was pretty sure they were connected even if very loosely. I think if you said to airbus we would buy more of your A400 or C295 if we could only get rid of this bit of the contract they could well apply some pressure.

Cheaper good as new 400 sounds good to me but only if my air tanker plan will not work.

C295 will not be high end MPA but I’m not 100% sure that the P8 will be either it just doesn’t look convincing, maybe thats cause MRA4 did. The 737 was made for Fl300+ whereas in an MPA role you are looking more at FL010. Boeings answer to this was we will fly higher and drop stuff. I don’t buy that I’m afraid.

“see what you are doing with C295 to coplement Atlas as a small tacitcal transport.”
Yep. But I think the key is you have a small tactical airlifter for day one ops, then if you need it you can use it for other aspect such as battlefield control or surveilance. The multicrews are an example of where we should be aiming for more commanality and palletising roles is a nice way of doing that and retaining their core capability.

C295 isn’t the only option like someone said we have C27 I have talked enough about my key aim if anyone thinks there aircraft is better but does the same stuff shout out!

As for 10 C17, I want 10 reasonable airframes and take the old tired ones and keep them as spares.

mike
mike
December 16, 2013 3:32 pm

@X

Ahhh the seasonal period of “baby-jesus-and-buy-things” got you in a jovial spirit? ;)

We need a healthy mix of transports; C-17 certainly gives us that rapid response, to hold out until sea-based transport can get the bulk into theater… the RAF should be focusing more on its support like this, and ISTAR…. and the RN should indeed focus a bit more on logistics/amphibians too… rather than the big shiny warships.

Oh and if you want another good joke;
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25398608

x
x
December 16, 2013 3:33 pm

@ Martin

First I made a small mistake in that I thought this “wave” of vehicles were going to Mali. But it makes little difference if the ship went to Cameroon instead to support the campaign in CAR.

Most African states have good roads, by that I mean tarmacked or at least well graded, connecting major cities and towns, which are oddly mostly transport hubs such as ports and regional capitals; some may have one of those of convenient airfields so beloved of TD near by. (What is often not mentioned here is often there is a convenient port and or beach nearby too……)

Oddly military vehicles are designed to be driven off road, therefore a clear track though difficult going in places would be fairly easy to tackled. Not saying it would be easy. But with engineering support and planning not impossible. If the vehicles can’t make a trip such as this, acknowledging the need for additional maintenance, then they shouldn’t have been purchased. as they would be of little us in a campaign. Once the way has been cleared it becomes a supply route that can be used again and again. How do you think vehicles get in Afghanistan? Do you think they were all flown in? Consider also these littoral (stable) states want troubled quelled across the border. As indeed do many within those trouble states.

A picture or two for you……..

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/in-pictures-french-troops-in-bangui-as-nearly-400-killed-8992966.html?action=gallery&ino=9

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/French_VAB_in_Afghanistan.JPG

(Oddly I used the word oddly twice; is that 4 times now? :) )

x
x
December 16, 2013 3:39 pm

@ Martin

Note that the Véhicule de l’Avant Blindé has a range of 750 miles. I wouldn’t like to drive that far in one go in an armoured vehicle but Le French must have decided it needs that sort of range for something. Transiting across African states with poor infrastructure may be?

dave haine
dave haine
December 16, 2013 4:19 pm

@ X

“Remember the more the hours flown, the longer the maintenance hours become”….”Remember the further out you fly the longer the aeroplane spends in maintenance”

Errr, no…that is incorrect.
The C17 is one of the first military aircraft to be designed for a airline type M/X (maintenance) schedule… In simple terms, there is a set number of flying hours or cycles (a cycle being a take-off, followed by a landing- if the landing doesn’t follow a take-off, or another condition follows, then all bets are off) between checks.

The airline and design authority can set the hours and cycles between checks, depending on the type of flying…and the airlines competence as an M/X authority.

From memory, (and on Boeing 737-200) the ‘A’ check was every 500 hrs, or 300 cycles, which ever came first, took abour 8hrs with two blokes. The ‘B’ check roughly 1000 hrs or 6 monthly and takes 2days. A ‘C’ check, is the only one I can’t remember the hours for, but it was generally performed every 18months, took about a week. The ‘D’ check is every 5yrs, could take a month.

All the checks need hanger input, apart from the ‘A’ check. For airframes under a certain age, the B check could be incorporated in the A check.

So the length of time on M/X doesn’t change, only the time interval between checks. And with CAMP (continuous airworthiness maintenance programme) the airframe hours are forecast, and an individual aircraft M/X schedule built around it’s planned flying. Any unplanned flying can be incorporated, because ‘slack’ is built into the schedule. And the regulatory authority allows the good boys a degree of latitude, and you can always apply for an extension.

The RAF are very experienced in this sort of M/X programme…. they introduced it when they bought the Tristars…Some bright spark even got BA to throw in the M/X scheduling software they used, with a spot of training too.

I would be surprised if the Atlas wasn’t designed to this programme too…it is a very resource efficient way of managing aircraft M/X. Especially as efficient M/X is one of Airbuses strengths.

Mark
Mark
December 16, 2013 5:52 pm

Dave

A400m is to msg3 logic with a checks about every 5 months and c checks every 20 months on average.

dave haine
dave haine
December 16, 2013 6:33 pm

@ Mark

Even better then…in fact then, C17 must be MSG3 too (Memory a bit hazy on dates)

my civvie experience was on B737-200/300, which was MSG2 and B757/767, which were MSG3… I suspect my airline called the C-light a ‘B’ check in its OAMP- to keep consistent terminology.
However I think we initially started the B737’s on a block check programme, whilst the B75/76 was on phased.

Anyway my basic premise is still correct, M/X hours aren’t dependant on flying hours, just the interval between checks.

x
x
December 16, 2013 6:45 pm

@ Dave Haine

Even after an austere landing or a landing at maximum weight?

If the USAF move anything above 60 tons in one of their C17s it will spend two weeks being x-rayed for micro-fractures.

They would still only get 16.5 hours flying time in per day. And it would still take all the RAF’s C17 well over a week to move 160 protected vehicles at cost in terms of airframes on the high side of £1.4 billion. What ever way you play with the figures it is inefficient. To be honest M/X smells of shenanigans and voodoo. You will be telling me next they glue the wings on………. ;)

@ Martin

You should note that the South Africans also preferred wheeled vehicles and they ranged all over south west Africa from the north of South Africa deep into Angola.

http://www.volkstaat.net/images/focus/angola/southern_africa_map_1994-2010.gif

PS: I will give a house point to the first of you who finds a source suggesting South Africa should be remained Mandelaland. Make it two house points as it is nearly Christmas……

Mark
Mark
December 16, 2013 6:52 pm

Dave

No wasn’t disagreeing just thought I’d add that in for reference.

dave haine
dave haine
December 16, 2013 6:55 pm

@ Mark

Apologies, mark, if thats how my last came across…it certainly wasn’t meant that way.

dave haine
dave haine
December 16, 2013 7:06 pm

@ WiseApe
You know what struck me about me about that article?….

How many times did Cameron, Brown, Or Blair, or indeed, any member of our government pay their respects to our dead as they returned to their native soil…

I can’t remember one time…

Topman
Topman
December 16, 2013 8:01 pm

@ Mark

As we are talking about A400M, how is it’s reliability so far? I remember reading about it hopping around various cities with near 100% servicability. Now all manufacturers like to waffle on about low cost, high servicability etc. How true is it with Atlas? How much maint is required (pre planned) in between the scheduled maintaince checks? How much of Atlas’s support programs use it’s civilian support packages. Things like parts, supply, mission planning, maint documents, how much parts commonality with the civvy aircraft? Sorry for the all the questions, it caught my mind today as I saw the first few posts are popping up at Brize.

H_K
H_K
December 16, 2013 8:26 pm

Among those who are surely applauding these “waves” of UK support:

– Argentina
– Russia
– China

… because the next time any European country does the rounds begging its neighbours for support in some land near or far (possibly right on our borders – e.g. Ukraine), our common enemies will be able to just sit back, relax and snicker in the comforting certainty that nothing will come out of it… except for a trickle of symbolic aid here and hypocritical verbal support there.

If that’s the best the Lancaster agreements can produce, imagine the sliding scale of “help” from smaller Euro partners… hey, Belgium just pitched in 4 A330 rotations, to a nearby country (god forbid they’d actually land in Bangui… too dangerous… better leave that to civilian carriers like Air France). Hurray!

x
x
December 16, 2013 8:31 pm

My reply re maintenance of C17 seems to have be consumed by Spamzilla. I will wait to see if it de-clokes before retyping.

H_K
H_K
December 16, 2013 8:53 pm

The New York Times pretty much summed it up:

“Follow M…”

http://www.courrierinternational.com/files/imagecache/dessin_656x/2013/12/1612-dessin.gif

WiseApe
December 16, 2013 9:10 pm

Whatever happened to that EU battlegroup the French and Germans are always sprouting about?

dave haine
dave haine
December 16, 2013 9:40 pm

@ X
TBH, I don’t know why they do that- civvie aeroplanes are coming on at max landing weight all the time, and apart from emptying the kharzi nothing else happens…
As for an austere landing, why don’t they just fit a gravel kit like civvie boys?- the canucks have B737’s and Bae146’s operating schedules off gravel runways, in fact I can’t think of a civvie jet that doesn’t have a gravel kit available as an optional extra….oh…. apart from the Yak-42, Tu154 and Il-76, 86 & 96 which had them fitted as standard.

When the RAF were operating Alberts in Ethiopia, they just speedtaped the delicate bits and wrapped foam around the arials, and trundled around quite happily.

As for the daily utilisation, that depends on the length of the sectors and I suspect it’s more about crew rest and similar, maybe even making sure the aircraft don’t stage overnight in Bangui. In fact I’m pretty sure that the RAF, generally, achieve more utilisation than that.

But ships do lots, aeroplanes do fast…

For your education vis-a-vis aircraft maintenance:
http://www.aircraftmonitor.com/uploads/1/5/9/9/15993320/basics_of_aircraft_maintenance_programs_for_financiers___v1.pdf

BTW, that’s another british innovation for you… First done for the Victor, which in fact had composite parts, made of a honeycomb structure sandwiched between two layers of a resined fibre. Even the 146, with its glued metal wings…

H_K
H_K
December 16, 2013 9:51 pm

WiseApe, the EU battlegroup is currently led by the UK (with contributions from the Netherlands and Baltic states).

The PM vetoed even having discussions about using any part of this force, UK or otherwise, despite the government’s official support (on record) for the modular use of battlegroup elements and greater involvement in conflict preservation.

Who needs enemies when you’ve got friends like that eh? The French will certainly remember to return the favor one day.

Mark
Mark
December 16, 2013 9:53 pm

Topman

From what I’ve heard is going ok the first 4 aircraft have had some known issues which I think will require a retro of certain things at some point in the future. But they’ve now retire msn 1 and stored msn 3 as there part in test program is finished so they must be happy enough with were its at. Most of the major mods on the aircraft were due at msn 21 as the incorporation point. There very much hoping for a320 type reliability for normal ops but I’m not close enough anymore to know if that what’s there seeing but I wouldn’t necessarily expect that out of the box may take 6-12 months to build up to that. There will no doubt be some pain at the beginning but hopefully the French will be sorting out most of that. The uk will have to clear uk specific requirements away from baseline configure so that may take time depending on how quick boscome are. They were due to go to Qatar for some rough field testing don’t know if that’s happened yet, but production is certainly ramping up. Heard a whisper the delivery schedule may have changed slightly and we may get a couple of aircraft sooner than expected.

As for support packages they vary with increasing and decreasing level of oem support depending on what package is selected by the customers I don’t know which model the uk has choosen. There will be normal preventive maintenance and airline style health monitoring very much like what airbus offers to the airlines. The whole design leaned heavily on airbus civil works. Deployment packs are available but I guess its up to what we budget for or if this will be a joint effort with other countries.

x
x
December 16, 2013 10:01 pm

@ David Haine

It is a 6.5/7 hour (Sierra Leone) or 8 hour (Cameroon) flight to central Africa. I doubt there would be a push to fly back home straight away most of the time.

Topman would know about how many spare C17 pilots are available. I doubt there are any spare.

WiseApe
December 16, 2013 10:05 pm

We’re in charge of the battlegroup? Splendid. Off to Gibraltar it is then.

Really does make a mockery of this EU joint defence nonsense when the best we do for one another is to offer a lift to the fight. Designated drivers.

paul g
December 16, 2013 10:10 pm

we’ve discussed this before, and yes, I know airtanker have a ducks arse watertight contract, however £5m to convert an aircraft we already own. I suppose a sweetner for the civvies would be one less big passenger jet that you can lease out up here rather than “down south” just think this is a cracking solution for a cracking little aircraft, better than scrapping it for buttons post 2014.

http://www.airforce-technology.com/news/newsbae-plans-146avro-air-to-air-refuelling-variant-development

(I realise being semi sensible would put me on the MOD naughty step)

TED
TED
December 16, 2013 10:38 pm

@ Dave Haine “But ships do lots, aeroplanes do fast…” +1 And places far from the sea!

@paul g The 146 is nice but we don’t need an air refuel type. What we need is probes fitted to voyager and the ability to use A400 without getting sued. Did I mention something about companies running the world on the Typhoon thread? What about saying we will but the surge aircraft and our aircraft outright if they tear up the contract. Can anyone sense I don’t like it. Who the frick signed that?

@x I listened to someone who works in the industry talking about this m/x scheme and it sounds good. After a hard landing or emergency they would have to get the aircraft inspected. Yes they would have to do before flights etc but then that’s normal. If you take a ship through ice I’m sure you would have to check that. Same thing really.
I just don’t get what your trying to say. No one is disagreeing with you, are you disagreeing with anyone? Are you agreeing with anyone? Whats happening here? Are those curtains? :D

x
x
December 17, 2013 9:32 am

@ TED

No they are vertical blinds actually. (x puts tape over webcam just in case)

I will break it down for you………….

1) Some here think that mass movements of equipment can be performed by air. They can’t. We don’t have enough large lifters. And lifting vehicles is only part of the story anyway as vehicles like men sit at the end of very long (and wide) logistics chain.

2) There are some here who know, and indeed are paid to know, that air and sea complement each other seriously underestimate how quickly things can be moved by sea and down play the overheads and complications of air transport alluding to it being more akin to a 40 ton artic’ than something costing several hundred more times than a lorry and probably a similar factor more complicated. And sort of never acknowledging that some of these aircraft cost as much as some ship, and that two of them cost as much as buying the ship and filling it with vehicles, (Can’t complain really there as the Army would rather spend £1 billion on trying to fit a vehicle into an aeroplane than buying a few brigades worth of vehicle off the shelf that were if they were to be used in anger seriously would have to go by sea anyway.)

3) I was a bit annoyed at the suggestion we needed to move stuff by air because large vehicles designed to go “off road” couldn’t cope with Third World infrastructure. One because it showed whoever what was made the statement hadn’t bothered to look at Third World infrastructure. Or had looked at French or South African vehicle development, looked at the size of Africa, and hadn’t put two and two together that a off one trip into theatre was doable. Or they weren’t aware that how silly it was suggesting that a tough off road vehicle costing at best 2 million or so was dependent on a plane costing £200 million to move into theatre because the vehicle wasn’t up to driving from the port when the off road vehicle was going to spend the foreseeable in tough Third World conditions.

4) But what really ground my gears was the RAF selling moving a few vehicles by air as akin to relief of Mafeking and Arnhem all rolled into one. “Wave” of vehicles indeed. I don’t know which is worse RN touchy-feely-PC-You-Tube videos or RAF hyperbole and oversell. Why does it annoy me? Because the British public buy it. And worse, much worse, and really do mean worse, is that many who are actually genuinely interested in defence matters buy it. Air transport is vital and important. And I would really like the UK to have a good selection of C17, A400m/C130, and a goodly number of the smaller planes (146s, C27s) but it isn’t the panacea. Similarly when we talk about amphibious operations the discussion always ends up discussing helicopters and troop lifts. Again wonderful vehicles. But when they have deposited their combat load into the LZ the marine or soldier is reduced to 5 miles per hour carrying a lot of weight. £20 to £30 million so the important can walk. Now that is a slight distortion if you know what you are talking about. But I sincerely think some here just see the movement from ship to shore, or base to LZ, and don’t think beyond it.

dave haine
dave haine
December 17, 2013 8:48 pm

@ X

Your Para 2- hits the nail on the head…The two are complimentary, not mutually exclusive…

Air can put a small force in V. quickly, but it will need the main force bringing in by large boat, you can re-supply by air- but bulk loads need to be brought in by large boat.

Topman
Topman
December 17, 2013 9:23 pm

@ mark

Thanks for that, very interesting.

@ x
No I’m afraid I don’t know about spare aircrew numbers on C17.

I wouldn’t read too much into the ‘hyperbole’ you read too much into it. We hardly need to sell AT. We are well aware of it’s limitations. Infact you’d be surprised how much and how often we use sea transport.

TED
TED
December 17, 2013 9:44 pm

@x Fair dos. I am in complete agreement with you!!!