A French Bomber

Does this mean the Marine Nationale now has a long-range bomber and the RAF doesn’t?

Ouch!

From Navy Recognition;

The French Navy (Marine Nationale) announced that on 18 June 2015, two Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol crews were qualified to GBU-12 Paveway II laser guided bomb shooting procedures with self-designation. This flight marked the end of a training course which confronted crews to modern technologies used in air-to-ground support missions thanks to the Wescam MX-20D electro-optical turret fitted on ATL2 Standard V.

What makes this interesting is that this was the first time they have self designated, the ATL has been used previously in the ground attack role over Mali but only with offboard designation.

AT2 GBU-12

Next step is the smaller GB-58

This continues to demonstrate the value of teaming up large aircraft and precision weapons.

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Martin
Martin
July 10, 2015 9:14 am

another capability lost with MRA4

Not the end of the world but I still would like to see a harvest hawk type program and a FOAS style capability for A400M.

The Other Chris
July 10, 2015 11:54 am

Wonder if they’ll look at their ASSM family as well?

Should that be GBU-58?

Vinny
Vinny
July 10, 2015 1:21 pm

Why shouldn’t the UK upgrade some of it’s C-130s with a similar capability as the French are doing?

Observer
Observer
July 10, 2015 2:27 pm

Is a GBU capability that good? It’s basically a freefalling bomb. An anti-ship bomber needs to have a bit more stand-off to survive.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
July 10, 2015 3:47 pm

…all seems to add to the argument for our having sufficient numbers of a big modern airframe set up for container-based modifications…MPA, Stand-Off Bomber, Gunship, Special Forces and more…

GNB

mike
mike
July 10, 2015 4:09 pm

Well, its more for endurance and bombing Toyotas/ragheads…. hardly the stuff for contested airspace of Vulcan fame ;)

Ahhh where is that pic of the MRA4 touting 4 Storm Shadows?

Observer
Observer
July 10, 2015 4:20 pm

Don’t think you can get “all of the above” Gloomy, the working altitude for many of those jobs are different, which means that you can’t really get good efficiency for all of them. IIRC engines are designed for specific oxygen mix levels at specific altitudes for “best effect”, so without specialization, you can’t get the best out of your system.

Ron5
Ron5
July 10, 2015 4:26 pm

With all due respect: this does NOT demonstrate the value of teaming up large aircraft and precision weapons. It merely demonstrates capability.

Personally I think the benefit of dropping an expensive precision weapon from an expensive platform onto a bunch of fuzzy wuzzies (hope that’s not racist) that can’t shoot back to be highly debatable. What do they own that’s worth it?

monkey
monkey
July 10, 2015 7:02 pm

@Ron5
“What do they own that’s worth it?”
Perhaps very little but if the situation occurs were a Atlantique spots an target of opportunity and THEN has to call in another asset to target it which has to be on patrol nearby ( at great cost) to do this. Or spots an enemy targeting a friendly but cannot strike instantly but has to wait , at the cost of lives, for CAS to arrive and deliver the coup de grace. A just nice to know if you need it function option freeing up CAS assets being tied to your coat tails. The cost aspect is endlessly debatable, a Hilux and a couple of brace of boys from ‘insert as required’ money well spent? A lot cheaper perhaps than when they return ‘home’ to Paris or Marseille?

Dangerous Dave
July 10, 2015 9:42 pm

So, it’s just a “colonial bomber” much like our Vickers Vildebeest and Wellesley and the Italian Caproni Ca. 101 between the world war’s then? ;-)

East_Anglian
East_Anglian
July 11, 2015 5:06 am

MPA as a Bomber you say? We did it it with our Shacks in the 60’s

Chuck Hill
July 11, 2015 5:47 am

If the UK gets the P-8 they will also get the ability to launch land attack missiles.

Observer
Observer
July 11, 2015 6:46 am
Reply to  Chuck Hill

@Chuck Hill

And people will then complain they can’t fire lasers. :)

John Hartley
John Hartley
July 11, 2015 7:48 am

Well I piped up in the MoD that MRA4 should get Storm Shadow at the SDR consultation day, so I was not best pleased when the MRA4 got chopped.
We still have those 10 short body RAF C-130J. Whether we buy the P1 or P8, we will not have enough for all tasks, so converting 6 existing C-130J to US Coastguard HC-130J standard would give us a means of ocean patrol/SAR while still keeping its transport capability. The remaining 4 could be converted to special forces use, a mixture of existing bits from US Marine Corps KC-130J & USAF also confusingly called HC-130J even though its a different spec. Say the ability to refuel helicopters, drop Hellfire missiles & MOAB bombs, deliver/retrieve special forces at night/bad weather.

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 7:56 am

@TD

Sigh. What could have been if the husks were something else! “Here’s what you could have won!”

Suppose we’d better look at what we’re probably going to end up with:

The below is the closest image I can find to a current alternative, a fully loaded Indian P-8I sporting 4 x Harpoon. Not a lovely head-on shot though.

I can’t find an images of the SLAM-ER testing going on for P-8A. It’s lighter than Storm Shadow but with a similar range and ability to engage land and surface targets.

The wing pylons are able to carry up to 3,000lbs though meaning 4 x SS is a possibility. You can see the two centreline pylon stubs in the underside shot as well.

http://defenceforumindia.com/jh4cz/assets/P-8I-Poseidon-09.jpg

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 7:58 am

Early checks for bomb fitting to the same pylons. Think these are Quickstrike Mine surrogates. Would welcome professional confirmation.

http://psk.blog.24heures.ch/media/01/01/714045630.jpg

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 7:58 am

Mk54 being fitted to the heated bay. Looks smaller than MRA4’s to me and doesn’t have the new innovative rotary launcher. The bay isn’t limited to Mk54’s or HAAWC stores:

http://kingsbayperiscope.jacksonville.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/superphoto/15aug13VP5safe-4.jpg

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 7:59 am

The two centreline pylons are used here to hold the AAS radar, which is intended to take over from the P-3C LSRS sensor, akin to a naval/littoral JSTARS/ASTOR.

You can also clearly see one of the larger generators housed in the bulge on the port nacelle:

http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–r7JK179K–/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_636/o04hgxhpn2u5f823tnme.jpg

Defiance
Defiance
July 11, 2015 8:20 am

My ideal would be a slightly enlarged P-8 fleet with a couple of AAS pods (if we can sweet talk the U.S. well enough to let us in which I accept is unlikely) to take the MPA role and the Sentinel role.

Mark
Mark
July 11, 2015 10:42 am

When you’ve sent your very limited number of and extremely expensive mpa aircraft off to Africa to sustain an pattern of life orbit and drop the occasion bomb on the terrorist who’s monitoring those pesky Russians from tracking your ssbn that was so crucial to defend that you bought the thing in the first place.

Answers to #should of sent a reaper!

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 10:59 am
Reply to  Mark

@Mark

Precisely, why do I want to use my expensive MPA in a very much secondary role with the maintenance and FP issues it brings when I have a drone that can do the job better and cheaper.
If my Maritime Patrol Aircraft is going to be engaging surface targets they should be floating ones and would far rather have an ASuW capability via JSM or LRASM than be able to drop bombs. An air carried ASuW capability actually offers something new to the Operational Commander rather than simply duplicating something we already have.

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 11:22 am

Plus ones.

We likely to purchase air launched Harpoon or the SLAM-ER derivative for anti surface work?

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 12:39 pm

Quick look at some of the payloads available on MQ-9.

First up is the baseline RAF armed Reaper sporting a pair of Hellfire rails and a pair of Paveway II’s:

http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafwaddington/rafcms/mediafiles/0883FB8B_5056_A318_A81921EBEA6B077A.jpg

Brimstone 2 was integrated, tested and demonstrated at UK and MBDA expense with the US Big Safari team. You can see the pair of triple-rails on the outboard weapon pylons here:

http://www.ainonline.com/sites/default/files/uploads/brimstone-reaper-pre-flight-mix-of-missiles-1395333343.jpg

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 12:41 pm

Also of interest to the UK is the Selex Seaspray 7500E, the big brother of the unit fitted to Wildcat, equipped in a centreline pod during the Sovereign Payload Capability Demonstrator. I like this chase shot as it highlights some of the early Block 5 field upgrades and Certifiable Predator B work as well:

http://www.dmitryshulgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/MQ-9-Reaper-2.jpg

The UK has also trialled a Raptor pod:

http://www.spyflight.co.uk/images/JPGS%5Cuavs%5Cfalcon%20prowl/predator%20with%20raptor%20pod.jpg

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 12:44 pm

Not to be outdone, the US have recently released pictures of the formidably capable ARGUS-IS (Gorgon Stare II) dual pods:

http://theaviationist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Gorgon-Stare-II.jpg

Roll on Selex equipping their satellite-grade hyper-spectral imager onboard HAV-304 in the upcoming MOD demonstrations to show the Yanks how a real imaging device performs ;)

With regards to Certifiable Predator B, this shot clearly shows the bulge to accommodate the due-regard radar to assist with operating in non-segregated airspace.

What’s not so obvious are the change of materials and anti- as well as de-icing equipment:

http://defense-update.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/predator_b_ddr725.jpg

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 1:02 pm

As an aside, might be worth noting the 3,000lb external payload capability which is built into the Global Hawk platform, of which Triton and EuroHawk are built on.

The only real example of this being utilised is in Germany’s EuroHawk SIGINT payloads from EADS, which was meant to take over from their Atlantiques:

http://www.bredow-web.de/ILA_2010/Jagdflugzeuge/Northrop_Grumman_RQ-4_Euro_Hawk/RQ-4_Euro_Hawk.jpg

Tim
Tim
July 11, 2015 2:17 pm

Yet more MOD/Armed Forces lunacy looming. Hey lets spend 2B on 8 planes of which only 4 will be available at any one time. Clowns……..

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 2:27 pm

Beats zero planes of which none are available… ;)

What are your availability expectations, what do you estimate P-8A, P-1 or SC-130J availability to be like, do you assign credibility to the £2b budget rumours, do you expect this figure to be equipment only (in which case we’re talking closer to 20 P-8A’s) and what are your recommendations for a UK MPA capability moving forward?

All politicians are the Same
All politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 2:41 pm
Reply to  Tim

The 2015 P8 fly away cost 2015 at current exchange rates is £110 million pounds. So 8 x 110 equals £960 million. That is for a fully flying aircraft. we will want to do some mods and weapons work but minimal. I do not see how you get to £2 Billion for 8, i also see nothing to back up your 50% availability claim.We tend to back out rants up on this site.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 3:29 pm
Reply to  Think Defence

@TD

The Mk54 has almost exactly the same dimensions as stingray and operates in a very similar manner, we would not be paying to integrate it and our seed corn personnel already use it. it is use by the RAN and the Indian navy so it would be a MOTs purchase and utilisation of existing experience and those of of our friends and allies.
We would not be paying to integrate it nor introducing a new capability (those are where the major costs are generated).
I think £1.5Bn for a fully operational P8 Squadron would be 31.5BN well spent on closing a capability gap and if we were to integrate an AShM a capability growth.

monkey
monkey
July 11, 2015 3:52 pm

On 26th Feb 2014 the USN ordered 16 P8A , the first of batch of the normal production run after LRIP finishes for $2.4bn , granted we may need to adapt slightly an existing UK base to accept and service some 737 airliner based aircraft but not much I would hope. $2.4bn equates to about £1.5bn so we should get eight for the price of the sixteen the USN is getting ( I guess some intellectual property rights claw back will affect us ) 12 would better :-) we have a been woefully remiss in covering European airspace for a while now and picking up the slack whilst our neighbours bring their fleets back would be appreciated I would of thought.

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 3:56 pm

Push for the original 21 planned for MRA4.

APATS – would you mind loaning some out for Storm Shadow delivery with those numbers? ;)

Ron5
Ron5
July 11, 2015 3:57 pm

In Feb, the Australians signed a US$3.7 billion contract for 8 P-8’s. Can’t see the UK getting a better deal. Isn’t that about 2.5 billion pounds? Their deal included initial support, spares etc.

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 4:00 pm

@Ron5

Around £3b for 15 aircraft (8 x P-8A and 7 x MQ-4C), 4 options on additional Poseidon’s, plus new runways and facilities.

Ron5
Ron5
July 11, 2015 4:26 pm

@TOC Thanks. Sounds a pretty good offer but does the MOD have that down the back of its sofa?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 11, 2015 4:33 pm

Isn’t close to billion Aus $ for infrastructure? A good comparison for us would be how much the infrastructure for the Voyagers cost.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 11, 2015 4:49 pm

@APATS

‘Precisely, why do I want to use my expensive MPA in a very much secondary role with the maintenance and FP issues it brings’

I’m not advocating using an MPA in the same role as the French are doing but are we not going to have problems with our MPA fleet when Sentinel and Shadow R1 are still withdrawn in 3 years time and the MPA used as their replacements?

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 4:50 pm

@TD

Feels like 0.5 at times!

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 4:53 pm

@TD Actually no it does not and especially not given our recent slight improvement in acquisition. We are also looking at Foreign purchase prices.

@DN

If we withdraw Sentinel and Shadow and MPA can be utilised for surveillance but even then it is a job that can be done by a drone far more cheaply and safely against a few guys in a technical.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 11, 2015 5:14 pm

Since the Mali intervention, French forces have received
– this “emgaging targets of opportunity” capability on a platform that is used anyway (how is their Harfang & al capability? Are they using MPAs in want of anything else?)
– they also received KingAirs not for wide area surveillance as we have them, but as flying command and observation posts for air-landed ops, but with better persistance (and speed) than if you were using helos for this function as well. In addition to landing your troops and providing direct fire support, at least initially.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 5:41 pm
Reply to  Think Defence

$300 million in 2012 which when you take this into account “The FY2010 appropriation of $2.5B “for the procurement of ten C-17 aircraft, associated spares, support equipment and training equipment as required” is not sufficient for this requirement. Shortfall estimated at $530M.” from the USAF does not exactly give us a 1 to 1 does it?

Mark
Mark
July 11, 2015 5:54 pm

Any likely UK buy of p8 will be along the lines of 6 a/c with 6 options it will require infastructure as no UK airbase currently supports 737 a/c and will req facilities to support torpeados and acoustics as these won’t be based at RNASs. It will be in the ball park of the austrailan buy from cost.

The interesting part is the uav you could get sigint, sentinel like and U2 like recon capability on the global hawk platform. Would you do it on reaper or keep it as a strike option making up shortfall for fast jets or maybe decide these lower level conflicts that reaper and shadow support maybe easier using something like the textron scorpion. that’s just the collection assets the networks to support I’m sure more interesting still. Its bigger that p8 mpa. There’s plenty of fast jets available from all sorts of regional allies to support operations very very few have those sort of istar assets or people to interpret it.

Davidiven
Davidiven
July 11, 2015 5:59 pm

@APATS

A drone is the best platform for persistent surveillance and limited strike capability for situations like Mali, Iraq etc but are there any ‘funded’ plans to procure a few more to keep a capability such as sentinel?

HannY
HannY
July 11, 2015 6:02 pm

As a FMS sale we’re likely to be paying 10-20% above the USN price even before we start buying support equipment, spares, flight manuals etc.

Then there’s likely a couple of hundred million per year in operating costs, which also needs to be found.

P-8 definitely isn’t a cheap option, but it might be the most cost effective

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 6:05 pm
Reply to  Mark

So you think the Australians get 8P8 and 7 MQ4-C and runways and infrastructure whilst we spend the same money and get 6 aircraft with 6 options? Bollocks!
Yo are trying to tell me the RAF are going to spend more than double the cost of modifying HMNB Portsmouth to receive QEC to support one of the most widely flown aircraft in the world and build an air weapons mag. as for acoustic support it all happens up on Portsdown hill now anyway and the Rn will be there to support.
Interestingly enough on the acoustic front a good friend of mine is OIC of the acoustic intel team that sea rides UK/US assets on sneaky ops and he is trying to get a combined a acoustic intel centre set up to combine MPA/SSN/SSBN/FF TAS intel in one shop.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 6:09 pm
Reply to  Davidiven

@DN
I do not know but would hope so.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 11, 2015 6:15 pm

@APATS

I do too, my biggest fear with the MPA purchase is that we buy a small fleet that just about covers the maritime role and then we start over stretching the fleet with other ISTAR roles. I hope there is coordinated plan for our ISTAR needs.

Mark
Mark
July 11, 2015 6:18 pm

Apas

No not bollocks do you think we’ll order the p8 at price less than austraila paid for the aircraft no chance when we weren’t in from the start when they forked out some development cash. They haven’t ordered triton yet not even sure they will yet.

https://www.pm.gov.au/media/2014-02-21/p-8a-poseidon-aircraft-boost-australias-maritime-surveillance-capabilities

You can argue if we need all of 1b dollars there spending on infastructure if you like but don’t be expecting it to come in much less that what the Aussies have ordered here.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 11, 2015 6:25 pm

@Mark

I think the infrastructure costs would be very close to £1b, construction costs in the UK are not cheap.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 6:26 pm
Reply to  Mark

I apologise for the mis understanding on the MQ4 but they are still paying 4 billion Australian which is under £2billion Uk and they are spending in excess of $1 Billion of that on support and new infrastructure, including an entire new base.
The 737 is one of the most widely flown aircraft in the world and we are not exactly short of runways and hangars. An air weapons mag is not expensive and acoustic support is centralised on Portsdown Hill, I understand you are fundamentally opposed to a P8 purchase but some of your figures are extreme.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 6:31 pm
Reply to  Mark

Why can I not edit anymore. I posted earlier that i thought that a squadron of 8 for 1.5BN would be money well spent and nothing I have seen since makes me think it is any less achievable or any less value for money.
The elephant in the room of your argument is the known fly away cost 2015 clearly listed at $171.57 million and the Indian order which got 8 for $2 Billion, the Australian order is complicated hugely by the support elements which a little birdy tells me also involve some MQ-4 stuff and the exact split is not being released between purchase and infrastructure.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 6:33 pm
Reply to  DavidNiven

What exactly are you planning on building?

Mark
Mark
July 11, 2015 6:45 pm

Apas

All I said was it would be close to what the Australia is paying for its aircraft. An upper limit of 2billion pounds I think will be close to what it is. No I’m not fundamentally opposed to the purchase of p8. It’s very good at what it does but there’s far to much wishful thinking about the cost of capabilities wed love to see back in the fold. We should be on high side when budgeting for capability and be plesantly surprised when have some left over no the way the mods worked for decades, Norway are actually very good at doing this.

Yes the 737 is very widely used and supported but not by the UK military, a330 voyager is also widely used and supported but it got a new hanger at brize.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 6:52 pm
Reply to  Mark

@ Mark

A whole new hangar? One just for it :) My point is that building a hangar, 737 is a fair bit smaller than an A330 which may have got a new hangar due to its size does not cost a fortune and there is so much world wide support infrastructure in place for 737 that spares and courses are wide spread. The only bespoke kit would be currently in service sensors, DAS and comms with the possibility of MK54 which can quite happily live in Stingray storage with a new safety case and we know how to build them.

John Hartley
John Hartley
July 11, 2015 6:57 pm

Well the Boeing 707 & 737 have some commonality in nose & fuselage, so could P-8 be based alongside RAF E-3D at Waddington? They both share CFM engines as well (though different marks).
As an aside & I know its not in the same league as some on here, the Open University sent me an email asking me to accept a BSc Open degree today. Which I did. After five years of “Blood, sweat, toil & tears” its nice to think I have an up to date qualification, as the others were (many) decades ago.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective
July 11, 2015 7:01 pm
Reply to  John Hartley

@JH – congrats on the degree – did the same myself – it’s a long slog isn’t it? Been thinking about going again, but they’ve changed all the rules and made it a lot more expensive :(

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 7:02 pm
Reply to  John Hartley

@JH

Well done. I think Mark protests too much, only ever offers problems rather than solutions ref MPA.

Mark
Mark
July 11, 2015 7:19 pm

Nah A bigger formation pie eating team in the p8 than a330 will add the extra cost to the kitchens in the hanger of the p8.

Well fair enough problems all go away if we had some money! I hear were more than taken with the global hawk ourselves so maybe we’ll be making a purchase too.

John Hartley
John Hartley
July 11, 2015 7:28 pm

ACP & APATS. Many thanks. Yes if I was starting now, it would be £5000 a year at the OU! Plus the last module did not have books. You are supposed to have a Kindle or an Ipad. Being a luddite, I nearly blew up my printer with the long chapters it had to chug out. Thank God, for the cheap generic inks on Amazon.
Getting back to defence, is there one last whitetail C-17 left. Do we think we could persuade Gideon to buy it for the RAF?

The Other Chris
July 11, 2015 7:39 pm

The Australian Triton purchase waters being muddied will be my fault, apologies.

So to clarify, Australia’s AIR 7000 program is currently split into three significant parts:

1b: MQ-4C Triton
2b: P-8A to Increment 2
2c: Increment 3 updates

Timeline for establishment to conclude in 2022. LOT planned for is 30 years. No MLU’s scheduled at this point. Sustainment includes Roadmap, Australia are partnering with the USN.

The program is listed in total budget i.e. in terms of funds available and is not listed in terms of committed or spent funds. The latter so far have had to be pieced together publicly from the US FMS dockets.

AU$ 5.3b to AU$ 8.5b

This allocated budget is intended to purchase, broadly:

8 x P-8A Poseidon
4 x Options
7 x MQ-4C
4 x Airbase upgrades
Establishment, sustainment and logistics for same

The not-so-glamorous work necessary for AIR 7000 2b Scheme, the largest program, is fairly well described at the below site, the Australians are really taking it seriously and I encourage everyone to take a look:

http://www.defence.gov.au/id/Air7000Phase2B/Default.asp

They are currently under budget.

With todays exchange rate, the figures in Sterling would be:

£2.5b – £4.0b

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 11, 2015 10:56 pm

‘A whole new hangar?’

The whole new hangar cost £39million and the design and supervisor fees for the resurfacing of the runway at Brize Norton cost £25million, not the actual physical work just the design and overseeing of the project. Kinlos and Leuchars are army bases with Lossiemouth having infrastructure for FJ. Housing extra personnel will not be cheap plus the extra facilities to cope. Has anyone got any idea where we will base an MPA sqn?

All politicians are the Same
All politicians are the Same
July 11, 2015 11:34 pm

‘DN

Could you source the resurfacing figures please as someone who knew what the MPC figures were that sounds ludicrous. even then we have 339 million for a hangar a ludicrous quote for re surfacing an air weapons mag and have you ever even been to Lossie?
Come on guys lets work harder spending this £600 million pound the RAF seem to need to support the worlds most commonly flown aircraft.

Repulse
July 12, 2015 6:54 am

Agree with APATs that any MPAs should be armed for anti ship/sub warfare than stretching them into an unassisted role. As part of the SDSR we should push harder on UAVs – I’d like to see maritime upgrades to the current Predator UAVs to improve sensors and range to complement a small purchase of P8s. In parallel, I’d like to push the BAE Mantis programme (what is the latest?) with a buy of say 10 Avengers to replace the current Reapers with longer legs and more payload to fulfill the bomber requirement.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 12, 2015 7:02 am

I don’t necessarily agree with everything said in this piece, but at least it is quite thorough
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmdfence/110/110vw10.htm expert evidence piece on MPA/ ELINT/SIGINT/ ISTAR as to where synergies could be found, without going for gold plating

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 12, 2015 8:08 am

@APATS

Here is the source
http://www.capitaproperty.co.uk/our_expertise/all_projects/raf_brize_norton_-_runway.aspx

My error It was design and supervisory services to £25m contract, but that is still £25million to improve the runway. I have been to Lossie amongst most other FJ stations including Germany when they were operating, do you know the Pavement classification number of the runway, taxiway’s and apron of Lossie? Here is an idea of the extra costs that can occur if we have to enlarge the paved areas and subsequently the surface water run off volume to accommodate the P8.

http://www.capitaproperty.co.uk/our_expertise/all_projects/brize_norton_-_storm_water_dra.aspx

‘Project construction value: £45m’

Simon257
Simon257
July 12, 2015 11:06 am

Would it not be easier to move the Army out of Kinloss. There are plenty of bases in the south of the UK, where you could base 39 Regiment RE.

The Airfield is still operational. If I remember right, it’s the alternate runway for Lossiemouth. If we had not gone down the MRA4 route and just gone for the P8. Kinloss would have to be refurbished or updated anyway. In the same way RAF Marham is going to upgraded, ready for the arrival of the F35.

I have to ask, did the RAF strip Kinloss bare, when they moved out?

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 12, 2015 12:29 pm

I think the reason for moving 39 (air spt) Engr Regt was due to it’s role. It was formerly based at Waterbeach Bks which was a former airfield which allowed all the training for airfield damage repair to be done, the hangars and aprons also allowed for the storage of the large plant and ancillary fleet in terms of both numbers and individual size such as airfield specific bucket loaders and dynamic compactors, plus 71 Engr Regt was all ready located in that neck of the woods which is the reserve unit they are paired with and has a similar role.

Topman
Topman
July 12, 2015 12:40 pm

I think they moved from Waterbeach because it’s near Cambridge and can be sold off for a good price, north of Scotland less. They’ve got other options, Saint Athan springs to mind, loads of space there. I always thought it odd to move them up there.

DavidNiven
DavidNiven
July 12, 2015 1:28 pm

@Topman

That was probably the main reason for moving to begin with but once the decision to move was taken an airfield would of had to be found. The real question is how much joined up thinking was there between the RAF and the Army and whether the decision was taken out of their hands by politics. I don’t really see why the MPA cannot go back to Kinlos TBH, RE and RAF units have cohabited on active airfields before.

Which comes back to, do we know where the MPA units are going to be stationed?

Topman
Topman
July 12, 2015 1:32 pm

I don’t know what the RE would need from the station in terms of buildings, hangers etc. But I think it would be safe to assume you could fit a few a/c in there as well. Options will be looked at, but there won’t be anything firm right now. There’s a review so some decision will come off that.

Nick Sills
Nick Sills
July 14, 2015 8:25 pm
Reply to  DavidNiven

In a couple of years RAF Mildenhall will be free and they have the US Navy stationed there as well , seems a logical choice

ChrisM
ChrisM
July 15, 2015 10:34 am

I would have thought Culdrose would be first choice. Get all the big ASW in the same place.
If it is better in Scotland then I would have thought Kinloss would be the most sensible (I assume that Lossiemouth is too busy???). They are maintaining the runway as operational anyway, and it is secure as a military base.

Stu W
July 19, 2015 8:26 am

If we’re just after a cheap bomb truck why not hack around the BAE 146m’s. The US and Canadians seem very adapt at hacking around the airframe for Fire Fighting role (fire bomber). With the Tornados retiring in a few years we’ll have some targeting pods and other mission system kicking around. Heath Robinson I know but with our next strike aircraft costing 31000 usd per hour perhaps a cheaper alternative is required for uncontested airspace.