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Thread: What are they trying to do to the military!

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    Default What are they trying to do to the military!

    Fears for RAF as Tornados face axe. (from the Times on 30 July 2010)
    The RAF's Tornado jet fleet is expected to be grounded after an assessment by the Ministry of Defence leaked to The Times revealed that retiring the aircraft would yield cuts of 7.5billion.
    Scrapping the Tornado, which has been the mainstay of the RAF for more than 30 years, would save billions more than withdrawing the Harrier jet, which is used by the RAF and the Royal Navy, internal analysis found.
    Savings from scrappingthe Harrier Joint Strike Wing which includes both RAF and Fleet Air Arm squadrons would be slightly more than 1billion. The scenarios are understood to include savings from closing some bases. The loss of half of Britain's total fast jet fleet would raise questions about the long term viability of the RAF. However, sources close to Liam Fox, the Defence Secretary, said last night any suggestion of amalgamation of the RAF with any other service would be "a bridge too far for any government".
    The document has been drawn up under the Strategic Defence Spending Review (SDSR). The Treasury is demanding overall cost savings of between 10 and 20 per cent.
    At a meeting of the National Security Council last Saturday, service chiefs and ministers agreed that one of Britain's three fleets of fast jets would have to be sacrificed to achieve brutal savings demanded by the Treasury.
    The "work stream analysis" undertaken by the MoD makes a direct comparison of "through-life savings" that can be achieved by scappring either the Harrier GR9 or Tornado GR4 fleets. The third fleet, the Eurofighter Typhoon, is only just entering service and is not under consideration. While MoD insiders insist that no final decision has been made, one senior source told The Times that scapping the Tornado "could be said to be finding favour" with ministers and service chiefs. Britain currently retains just over 200 fast jets, including 120 Tornados, 45 Harriers and 42 of the incoming fleet of Typhoons.
    In a separate development, the Chancellor rebuffed an attempt to have the estimated 20billion cost of replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent removed from the core defence budget. The news removes any hopes the defence cuts could avoid the sacrifice of trophy assets. The MoD said in a statement: "We do not comment on the content of leaked documents. The SDSR is considering a wide range of far reaching options but no final decision has been made."
    previously the Harrier and Tornado fleets had been expected to carry on to their retirements in 2018 and 2025 respectively. A source in the MoD told the Times "If the Government decides to buy even one (aircraft) carrier there is no logic in taking Harrier out and then then waiting 10 years before we effectively get back the capability with the arrival of JCA". JCA is the British designation for the American-built F35 Joint Strike Fighter Programme, which is due to fly with the RAF and from the new Queen Elizabeth Class carriers now under construction. The F35 is a "fifth generation" aircraft-a carrier-borne strike aircraft that can penetrate the defences of advanced nations using stealth characteristics that it hard for radar to pinpoint. It would serve the RAF and Fleet Air Arm through to the 2050s.
    The MoD has already committed 1billion to the programme and has an order for 138 fighters at a total estimated cost of 10billion. The order is expected to be cut significantly. Service chiefs have clashed openly over the F35 programme. In speeches this year, General Sir David Richards, the head of the Army and soon to be the Chief of the Defence Staff, argued that wars like those in Afghanistan and Iraq were "signposts for the future" and offered little use for JSF. The RAF argues that the JSF offers a clear deterrent to would-be aggressors.
    Savings on fast jets are expected to be matched by swingeing cuts in manpower across the Armed Forces. An assessment by the Royal United Services Institute last month expects a reduction of about 25,000 servicemen and 15,000 MoD support staff by 2014. the Army is expected to offer to put much of its current heavy tank and artillery capability into long term storage, while the Navy will expect to see reductions in its current fleet and future orders for Type 45 destroyers and the Type 26 frigate which has not yet been built and is not expected to see service before 2021. The future of the Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers remains doubtful, according to MoD sources.
    Advances on onboard computer power of modern fighter jets has made the role of navigator/weapons operators increasingly redundant. Paul Beaver, a former editor of Jane's Aircraft, told The Times "There is more computer power in a modern mobile phone than on the Tornado GR4, which is why you need a navigator." The only remaining British aircraft to require a navigator/weapons operator are a small number of large transport carriers and the Awacs electronic warfare aircraft.

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    If this becomes a reality, it would almost certainly mean the end of 41 Squadron, which flies both the Harrier and the Tornado - a total of only seven aircraft. They only just survived the retirement of the Jaguars in April 2006! I hope, though, that as an Operational Evaluation Unit, they might still survive in some capacity, maybe with Eurofighters, which are also based at Coningsby.
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Yet again we are faced with the Whitehall Warriors making decisions that the front line troops have to cope with!

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    I am beginning to think that we may be looking at the start of the end of manned fighters, bombers, and recce a/c. As has been said, the Mud Movers may have a couple of crew up the front end, and one down the back end looking after the cargo or Self Loading Freight for a few more years.
    There is also the saving on aircrew training. The UAVs of the future will, of course, have to be "flown" by Pilots, etc, but the new generation of UAV pilots is already in training. Have you ever watched what 14-yr old children (male and female!) can do with fighters on a Flight Simulator?
    Glad I did my aviation career when flying was a 'team game'!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    I agree with you gents... I am reading a book called Right of the line at the moment and typically the governments of those days were cutting and cutting the military wont they learn from history!
    Dee

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    It is truly said, "Those who know no history are doomed to repeat it.

    Remember the 1930s? And probably the decade before every war we have ever fought.
    Alan Gordon,
    61st Entry, 3 Wing, A Squadron and later, Admiralty Ferry Crews.

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    Ladies and Gents,

    As a future policy topic I feel that it is more suited to resolution on boards such as PPruNe than here as a research topic.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2020 - All rights reserved.

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    Ross,
    It shall be so. Pity. Could have been an instructive debate!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    I have heard quite a unfavourable comments about Tornado from a RAF pilot, so perhaps it is not that bad at all.
    Nonetheless, as it is modern politics, so very touchy and emotional subject, perhaps we could switch to the past policy, both quantitative and qualitative. I have the feeling the RAF was marred with failures in the eve of the war, the greatest being the one of fighter aircraft, but there were substantial problems with the bombers as well.

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