RAF : Officer / Pilot Entry Watch

Raptor
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#4481
Report 13 years ago
#4481
(Original post by GR4pilot)
yea, it's F2 - does anyone know if they're going to label the multirole varients differently FG perhaps - I'm just biased towards the Tornado GR4
The GR4 and indeed also vaiants of the MRCA are relative heaps of sh*t (if you believe what is said about them). Apparantly as an airframe is was and is still inferior to the Bucaneer and as a bombe it's inferior to the TSR2, which was designed 20 years earlier.

It would be unfair to label the Typhoon as anything other than a pure fighter. Sure, it can cary a few ground attack weapons (can't remember names), but then again so could a 737 or any other ac.
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BlackHawk
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#4482
Report 13 years ago
#4482
Mmmm the TSR, now that is something we should have picked up.
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GR4pilot
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#4483
Report 13 years ago
#4483
Whilst in all rational argument you're right, the GR4 has more flaws than you could shake a stick at; but everyone with any interest has an affinity with one type or another for varying reasons. I like the GR4s cause I was at Marham during the refit in '00 and the pilots were all buzzing over the new gadgets they had.

Your comment about the typhoon is seriously flawed though, why should it only be denoted purely as a fighter when it's a swing role type? Would you say that the Hornet should drop it F/A for a pure A just because that's it's primary focus (or was until the departure of the F-14 last month). In addition if it being able to 'carry a few attack weapons' was the role it was taking on you'd be absolutely right, but if you think that that's the future role for much of the Typhoon force you need to do some more research. In the squadrons that are replacing the Jaguar the role will be multi; we're not paying millions for Trance 2 and 3 software and hardware for nothing.
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Raptor
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#4484
Report 13 years ago
#4484
The Typhoon is a pure fighter - it was designed for that reason alone.

The current Politico's are trying to save face by saying that it's a swing role aicraft fit for the 21st century. Boll*x. Look past all the political bullsh*t and look at the real intentions of the aircraft designers - to defeat Mig 29's or whatever was around at the time. The bolt on bombs afterthought is purely to limit the uselessness of the project.
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CKinnerley
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#4485
Report 13 years ago
#4485
Surely aren't attack helicopters far more effective and economical in terms of large scale elimination of armour anyway? Use the jets to gain air superiority and then once the way is clear let the Army do the tank killing. Of course there's the Harrier/Joint Strike Fighter and you'll always need high altitude fighter-bombers for anti-radar/communications/in-depth targets, but aren't platforms like the Apache superior to any 1 or 2 man jet when it comes to destruction of ground forces? Or am I way off the mark?
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Raptor
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#4486
Report 13 years ago
#4486
(Original post by CKinnerley)
Surely aren't attack helicopters far more effective and economical in terms of large scale elimination of armour anyway? Use the jets to gain air superiority and then once the way is clear let the Army do the tank killing. Of course there's the Harrier/Joint Strike Fighter and you'll always need high altitude fighter-bombers for anti-radar/communications/in-depth targets, but aren't platforms like the Apache superior to any 1 or 2 man jet when it comes to destruction of ground forces? Or am I way off the mark?
Rotorcraft are inherently more vulnerable due to there slow speed and operation close to the ground. Look how many US Apaches have been wasted by insurgent blokes with old russian SAMs or even Kalashnikovs apparantly! I'd much rather be in a jet than can bugger off at a decent speed that a helicopter that has to 'evade' its way out.
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halloweenjack
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#4487
Report 13 years ago
#4487
Yep, helicopters of the gunship kind get torn to pieces if they go anywhere near a built up area that is hostile. Mostly this is due to rotor blades being shredded by small arms fire however some penetrations of crew compartments did happen during the early part of the gulf war. 11th Regt 101st Air Assault Division lost quite a few to this in their assault around Najaf, although nearly all made it back to base, most were out of service for sometime afterwards.

This coupled with the continuing insurgancy has resulted the americans now relying on the smaller AH-6 little birds which are too small and fast to actually hit with non guided weapons.
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GR4pilot
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#4488
Report 13 years ago
#4488
Raptor - I think you're viewpoint is far too narrow on this issue. Perhaps the initial intentions were for it to be a fighter, however they didn't just 'bolt bombs' on, there are significant differences in the internal systems, and why not - the basic airframe that underlies the F3/GR4 or MR2/R1 proves that different roles don't neccesarily require a different airframe.

Look at who we are likely to fight in the next ten years, conflicts like Desert Storm, Kosovo etc show that an Air Superiority AC is of little use to coalition operations (not to say we should get rid of them by any means, but they take a back seat compared to what there role would have been in a conventional conflict during the 2nd Cold War). Swing Role is for 100'000 reasons a better use of an extremely expensive project than a pure fighter.

As for the politics, if you think it's 'Boll*x' you're looking at the wrong job.

Oh, and with all due respect, the intention to combat MiG-29s had already been realised in the better BVR missiles and E3 overwatch capabilities.
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Officerwannabe
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#4489
Report 13 years ago
#4489
I think fighters aren't as much use as they were during the cold war. For instance, the Tornado F3, the RAf's only pure fighter, is being phased out in favour of the Eurofighter, (what's the official name; Eurofighter or Typhoon?) which is a "swing role" aircraft.
And, amazingly, the only aircraft in current RAF service that has shot down another aircraft in anger is one of the BBMF's Spitfires!
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JoeMason
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#4490
Report 13 years ago
#4490
Personally I think that attack aircraft and fighters are just as important as each other in any conflict, in past, present or the future.

An attacking force, which is what we are most likely to be in the near future, is only going to need air superiority so that it can effectivly attack ground targets. A war is always won or lost on the ground. Therefore a fighter is needed to provide the protection to ground attack aircraft and establish air superiority in the first place. During the Second World War, huge fleets of Bombers were sent escorted by hundreds of fighters inorder to bomb a target. However with the advent of smart attack weaponary it became possible for less ordenance to be carried to effectively destroy a target, therefor a smaller aircraft is required (Fighter jet sized). Thereafter the "swing-role" capability was born. The modern "fighter" is not what it once was, the term fighter now describes an aircraft that can "fight" its way to a target, bomb it and then "fight" its way home again! This was well demonstrated in the first gulf war when USN Hornets shot down two MiGs when en-route to a ground target, they then destroyed the target and flew home agian.

A Gr4 is a very capable aircraft but as has been said, does not bode well aginst fighters, the F3 is a very capable aircraft but again, as has been said, takes a back seat when all the aircraft have been shot down. They find them selves sat on CAP waiting to intercept enemy aircraft that are attacking Gr4s! The modern Fast Jet aircraft has to be able to do both ground attack and fight.

So in my opinion, the Typhoon is not a pure fighter and was not designed with for that reason alone. As I am sure the designers were well aware of the need for it to have an effectve ground attack capability. Also, fighters are just as important as they were during all wars, its just the role has been incorporated with the ground attack role.

Phew, i'll take my anorak off now!!
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Richard525
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#4491
Report 13 years ago
#4491
I know we are supposed to be cost cutting BUT in the world where we need very affective ground attack, why dont we buy the american A-10's, they are arguably the best ground attack aircraft in the world. Double team tht with the eurofighter and f-35 and you have an extremely affective fighting force!

Anyhow, does having a degree and or a Private Pilots Liscense increase your chances of being selected for a pilot in the RAF??
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threeportdrift
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#4492
Report 13 years ago
#4492
(Original post by JoeMason)
An attacking force, which is what we are most likely to be in the near future, is only going to need air superiority so that it can effectivly attack ground targets.
Joe

Why do you think that we are most likely to be an attacking force in the near future? Who do you think we are going to have an offensive war against? I would have thought that this was the least likely of scenarios at the moment, barring another Iraq/Kuwait type incident. Do you not think that the focus of most (not all I grant you) military operations in the future is going to be 'humanitarian' based, for want of a better description, ie peace making, peacekeeping, humanitarian intervention, aid, medical and evacuation ops. In which case, pointy nosed fast jets have a very limited role, whereas transport aircraft and rotary assets come into their own and are crucial to the succesful conduct of these sort of ops.

Out of the entire duration of the current Gulf conflict, for how long were the fast jets the key players and how long have the Hercs and Helicopters been keeping the combat ops supported?

I'm not saying that we aren't still a fast jet oriented force, but there are changes afoot. 15 years ago it was nearly unthinkable that a multi-engine or rotary guy would get to the top of the RAF. Take a look now and you will see several reaching the lofty heights, and with operational experience as long as your arm and more.

I think that suggesting in your OASC interview that the time of the fast jet was past, and that Tac Hercs/A400M/C17s or Merlin/Chinook were the 'fighting' force of the future would be a bold move, but one that you could provide a credible and well thought out arguement for.

Now shoot me down from BVR!
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Alexio
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#4493
Report 13 years ago
#4493
(Original post by Raptor)
The Typhoon is a pure fighter - it was designed for that reason alone.

The current Politico's are trying to save face by saying that it's a swing role aicraft fit for the 21st century. Boll*x. Look past all the political bullsh*t and look at the real intentions of the aircraft designers - to defeat Mig 29's or whatever was around at the time. The bolt on bombs afterthought is purely to limit the uselessness of the project.

http://www.eurofighter.com/Typhoon/SwingRole/

This shows what it can do, pretty capable at any of it really...
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BlackHawk
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#4494
Report 13 years ago
#4494
Try convincing the government that we need more aircraft. It was hard enough to push the F-35 through

You've asked a very common question and my usual response is something along the lines of this:

(Original post by Blackhawk)
The RAF prefer to take on the applicants who are most suited to the job! There are advantages and disadvatages to both DE and graduate entry.

If you go graduate then you have a degree to fall back on if you decide the RAF is not for you, you get a higher pay and rank after IOT, you are better developed mentally, and more mature. Therefore perhaps able to deal with problems more effectivly.

You can join the RAF up to the age of 23 starting IOT by the time you are 23.5. Why rush? Go out for a year or two and get some experience. Get a proper full time job, get involved in sports and get yourself into the ideal candidate. OASC see thousands of candidates every year so try to make time to make sure you stand out. After all, you may only get once chance at it.
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Richard525
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#4495
Report 13 years ago
#4495
the problem often seems to be the government always buying patriotic goods, i know governments obviously like to support local industry but come on we are talking our defence force here not some government company car !!
The F-35 is a great plane and so is the eurofighter but instead of the eurofighter why dont we buy some F16D or F15E's not to mention the warthog. The same applies once again to the SA80, SAS opted for the M4, if anyone you should listen to them the ones using the guns.
Anyhow we cant change anything so just sit back and enjoy the show!

I often hear people saying dont bother going RAF to get to commercial but if you genuinely want to serve in the RAF and then move over to commercal after 12 years surely cant be a bad move . . . or can it and why ??!!

Thanks
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BlackHawk
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#4496
Report 13 years ago
#4496
Theres a major difference there. People say don't join the RAF to get commercial as the RAF is a major commitment that you have to be prepared for. You can't just look at it as a stepping stone in your flying career. You may end up doing the job a long time.

However, if you're coming to the end of your service then why not apply? Plently of RAF pilots go on to a rewarding commercial career with airlines. It is something they will have thought about for a long time, but they didn't just join the RAF to get there.
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threeportdrift
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#4497
Report 13 years ago
#4497
(Original post by Richard525)
I often hear people saying dont bother going RAF to get to commercial but if you genuinely want to serve in the RAF and then move over to commercal after 12 years surely cant be a bad move . . . or can it and why ??!!

Thanks
As usual, the real answer to both the degree and the PPL is - it depends. There are pro's and cons for both. I had both before I joined and I would offer the following:

A degree shows a level of academic achievement that indicates, regardless of subject, that you are likely to be able to keep up with the academic demands of a flying career (perhaps less necessary for ATC/Supply type jobs, but if you are offering, why would the RAF turn it down). In comparison, the A level candidate may well have the academic capability, but cannot provide proof at that stage. Over the last 10 or so years the RAF has been trying to increase the proportion of its officers that have degrees, but it realised that this has a knock on effect on its traditional career profiles, because 3 years at Uni, combined with the now frequent gap year, means that its officer cadre are relatively older than they had previously been. So the RAF tried to start/have started an In-Service degree scheme, to try and get people in at a younger age, but still offer them degree prospects. No idea if this went ahead and/or is working I'm afraid - but from what I heard it sounded like a really lousy option, the worst of both worlds - Maybe someone out there has some experience and can comment more.

There is also the 'maturity' factor, the RAF is going to invest a lot of responsibility in you, very early on in your career. 3 years at Uni is likely to invest an individual with a bit more life experience than someone straight out of school. However, this is a very individual thing, you have to be honest with yourself on this one. The RAF sure as hell will be when they see you at OASC!

In summary, a degree helps but is not a requirement, and keep an eye on the age limits.

The PPL is a very tricky issue that I had to negotiate as well. On the one hand the RAF hates PPL holders, RAF flying training is very different from civvy training, and the RAF want a 'clean slate' to teach from, not some jumped up little johnie who thinks he knows everything and is always trying to get one step ahead of the instructor (their perception, they know they are recruiting highly competitive personalities). On the other hand a PPL does indicate some level of flying ability (though note Wzz's earlier comments about civvy v mil standards) and you are likely to find the pressure slightly less during the first few weeks of basic flying training if you already have some light ac flying experience. My advice would be, it's a good thing, but keep quiet about it, be modest, don't be fooled into thinking it means you will ace the course, but if you get to the stage of flying training, use your limited experience wisely.

Don't ever, ever mention at OASC or during flying training that you are using the RAF as a means to getting into the airlines or even that you would give airline flying the slightest consideration as a career. It is like saying 'I'd like you to give me 3 million pounds of training (or is it nearer 5 now?) I'm going to use it for the minimum possible time, then b*gger off to where life is more comfortable'. It's not that pilots don't do it, but you just don't mention it until you are at least CR on a Sqn. If truth be told, most pilots do it, depending on the airline recruiting position, but at the recruiting/OASC/flying training stage you have to believe/act as though it's the last thing on your mind.
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Raptor
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#4498
Report 13 years ago
#4498
GR4 - I don't think I'm looking at the wrong job, I just don't believe all the Political ******** that goes with it, nor half the rubbish you have to read and immerse yourself in to tell them what they want to hear at OASC. EADS may very well claim the Typhoon is a true 'Swing role' aircraft but that doesn't change the fact that it was designed to be an out and out conventional air superiority fighter. In fact, as I stated before, 'Swing role' is a term simply to try a give Typhoon some credibility so it's not a complete 'White Elephant'. There's no need at all for Typhoon to be a 'bomber' or 'ground attack' aircraft at all when there are aircraft that can do that job just as well already - namely GR4's and GR7/9's. The only advantage is that Typhoon can runaway faster if required but it's no better at delivering the sunshine.

Regarding the F-35B I wouldn't hold your breath. It looks like Congress will cancel the STOVL variant and concentrate on the marinised C version for the US marines which the USAF will be forced to accept.
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BlackHawk
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#4499
Report 13 years ago
#4499
In 2000 the RAF stated that it's intentions were to have 7 sqns of Typhoons. 4 air defense, 2 multi role and 1 fighter bomber. This was due to the fact that the RAF wanted an aircraft that could provide ground attack and recce capabilities while maintaing the title of a multi role fighter aircraft.

The GR4 won't be around forever and the F-35 will be replacing the Harrier by 2012. The RAF will eventually have the F2 and the F-35 as it's frontline FJs. They will both be multirole aircraft and as TPD said, the RAF will be moving away from having numerous frontline FJs as the need fades out in favor of defense, humaritian and peacekeeping efforts.

Raptor, I've heard nothing of the US pulling out of the F-35B, a fairly big story there. Are you sure you're not thinking of the US pulling out of the alternate engine for the JSF which the UK is planning to use for all the JSFs.
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GR4pilot
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#4500
Report 13 years ago
#4500
No Raptor's right, Congress is trying to chop the B. Air Forces Monthly had a good article on it last month. The UK was quoted as sayin that 'they trusted the US decision making' on this point - which basically means we can't do a lot about it.

A note for those advocating the A-10; don't. It is a last generation attack A/C, as good as it is, it's destined for the second hand Airforces like Indonesia etc, not for a technological AF like the RAF. The systems are outdated, the Airframes are streched.
As with the GR4s they need replacing because the airframes are going to be shot in a few years, the condtions in which we operate now are not condusive to good maintainability - for example the C130J Airframes are showing stress levels that they should not be showing for another 10 years as the deserts rip into them.

As for the F-16s etc that some are asking why don't we get? the answer is plain, we don't want US equipment, most good Airforces in the world use US stuff, Austrailia, most of Western Europe, Canada, NZ, Japan etc however, we are the best Airforce in the world, we can develop ou own technologies and (as that's proving too expensive at the moment) pick and choose who we research with. The Govt is dedicated to moving to closer ties with the EU countries for defence weps research; hence the Typhoon. And even wth the JCA we chose to work with the US, we didn't buy after they'd finished. US law is very clever about purchases of weapons, you do not get the whole article if you buy a completed project, for instance once the JCA is complete it will be put up for tender to all allied and most neutral nations, but they cannot buy versions with Reduced Radar Crossection or Radar Absorbing Material. In addition the price of software upgrades are phenominal.

--------------

Just one more point, I was looking at some mock ups of the future carriers yesterday and noticed they had CATs, why can't we purchance the A or C because (as Wzz pointed out a good few months ago) they have more fuel and armaments bcause of the lack of a fan.
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