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    GR4 - I think it would make sense to get the marinised C and get conventional carriers. Indeed, the MOD are looking into this. I also believe that there's another 'can we marinise the Typhoon' feasibility study going on as it might be cheaper than buying C's.
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    I'd be happy with either - although we've ploughed enough into the JCA to justify a return, I think A's or C's are the way to go. Although this is a complete turn around in thinking from acouple of months ago before anyone blasts me for changing opinion.
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    (Original post by GR4pilot)
    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 The systems are outdated, the Airframes are streched.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.
    Also another point to consider, It was mooted in parliement about getting F16's which is a fine, aircraft, but it is america's yesterday aircraft and the UK want something that is highly upto date, better then the stock Boeing aircraft and to not be thought of as a customer country.

    Oh, in regard to the CVF's the plan is to use the ramp system with the F35 B spec and once that aircraft is phased out in the future to switch to some sort of aircraft that does use the CAT. It's probably a good thing the CVF is capable of both methods of take off so if the USA cancel the B the CVF can be switched to the convention Deck and Cat layout.

    With regard to the Typhoon, I understood there to have been a study on using it on carriers a while back, which found its air intake system dangerious towards Carrier borne operations
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    (Original post by Raptor)
    Yeah - Look carefully at your family history and see if you have any right to claim US Citizenship so you can join the USAF; it's the only way that you'll fly fighters as I doubt any of ours will still be flying by the time you're ready to apply.
    So jaded for one so young

    I think the Yanks will be running along the UCAV route long before we can afford anything to do with it. We've been flying Canberras for about 50 years, who's to say we won't keep Typhoon around for just as long?
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    (Original post by GR4pilot)
    Technically we don't fly any fighters now. I know I'm being a pedant but all our F3s are Weapons Systems Platforms, they get their butt kicked everytime they go into close combat with anything younger than a MiG21.
    You've been hanging around Harrier pilots too much. The F3's very capable in close; with two pairs of eyes, very good performance at low level, and ASRAAM, it puts up a very good fight. It won't out turn an F15 when you're competing for a guns kill, but that's not all air combat's about!
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    (Original post by Raptor)
    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.
    Inferior in what way to the banana jet? It's tricky to classify what makes an airframe "good," but I'd like to hear your opinion. It's a bit unfair to compare it to TSR2 considering only a couple of prototypes were built. TSR2 would have replaces the Buccaneer but was very similar to something like the F111; there's a fair bit the GR4 can do that it wouldn't.
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    I remember seeing the TSR2 as a 13 yr old cadet when i went flying at cosford (and everytime i went back)

    I thought it was an amazing looking aircraft
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    (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.
    Nonsense! It was planned from the outset to be a swing role jet. There's plenty in the original design that optimise elements of it for the ground attack role; it's not all "bolt on!"

    You need some very specific qualities of your airframe to fight. You need big wings, big engines, a few pylons, a gun, a decent radar, big control surfaces, manoeuvre flaps, a bubble canopy, etc etc. For ground attack, you could claim that there're less essentials. Hence it's easy to look at a jet like Typhoon; with big wings etc; and say "hey, it's designed to be a fighter!"

    It's very much swing role. The only thing it could do with is an in-built designator. I'm sure there was some sort of plan to use the PIRATE thing instead, or perhaps it wasn't considered essential because of the number of pods we have lying around.
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    (Original post by CKinnerley)
    Surely aren't attack helicopters far more effective and economical in terms of large scale elimination of armour anyway?
    Not really, no. We don't often find ourselves in the business of "large scale elimination of armour;" there's a lot more CAS and the suchlike to do. Helicopters can't go high enough, move fast enough, nor are they survivable enough. They've got their place, but it's not feasible to replace jets with them.
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    You're right it is a Harrier pilot's perspective, but I first heard it from an F3 pilot at Waddington. We were chatting about OASC whent the MiG-29 display came on and she told me that she'd been trainign with them; got her butt kicked evry time she was in close she said - although she did point out that there were more engagements from a distance so she had more kills on them
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    (Original post by JoeMason)
    A Gr4 is a very capable aircraft but as has been said, does not bode well aginst fighters,
    No-one's ever shot one down though, have they? It can fight. It's not a Typhoon, but it can fight!

    (Original post by JoeMason)
    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!
    They also do a bit of SEAD nowadays.

    (Original post by JoeMason)
    The modern Fast Jet aircraft has to be able to do both ground attack and fight.
    However, it's not that easy to get your modern fast jet aviator to do both. The Phantom was the last aircraft we had which bred multi-role pilots; since then we've divided everyone neatly so we have pools of ground attack and air defence experts. There're schools of thought that say you can't be as proficient at both as you can be at one; jack of all trades....?

    The original manning plans for Typhoon were that some squadrons would be air defence squadrons. They'd still learn how to do ground attack work, but wouldn't necessarily practice the full suite of Typhoon ground tactics; they'd concentrate on the AD stuff. Likewise, a squadron looking at air-to-ground would still have to learn to fight their Typhoons; but they wouldn't spend ages learning the interception techniques, CAP profiles, etc etc.

    As you've quoted with the F/A-18, there's a lot to be said for a ground-attack aircraft which is agile and well-equipped enough to fight; that's the sort of swing-role thing we're looking at, I believe. The opposite, a fighter which happens to have some bombs, is less likely. You rarely get targets of opportunity on the ground.

    However, what you can end up with is a fighter on CAP with a couple of PGMs which can respond to CAS requests. You won't have a Typhoon pilot who does CAPping and intercepts one day, then the next day leads a package off to do laser guided bombing.
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    (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 ??!!
    Well, 12 years as a helicopter pilot doesn't necessarily equate to a free 767 seat at the end. Nor would 12 years as a Harrier pilot; the only "easy" way to do it would be to get into a heavy multi engine multi crew aeroplane, and you're not guaranteed that.

    Also, crashing your GR4 and dying wouldn't help. Nor would being shot down in Iran or something. Think about the job, not the next job you want.

    Nothing wrong with serving out your PC and doing the bridging package stuff to get an ATPL then applying for airline jobs when you're 40. If you're always looking at what you're going to be doing in 12 years, you won't enjoy what you're doing now as much. It's not an easy job, so I wouldn't say it should be looked at as a free ticket to an ATPL.

    If you want to be an airline pilot, go see your bank manager for a career development loan, and crack on.
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    (Original post by Raptor)
    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.
    Sure there is; and not just for the CAP + CAS suggestion I made earlier. We've lost some capability with the Jag fleet disappearing, so we don't have enough GR4/7/9 crews to cover everything; so an agile aeroplane with a good war load and most of the capability of something like a GR4 which can fight if someone spots it on its way to a target is a superb idea. Going to war with two seats and a mate is nice, but if you have to do it on your own you want a jet that's going to kill things if anyone spots you.

    (Original post by Raptor)
    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.
    I understood that congress wanted to cancel a variant, but hadn't as of yet. There's so much commonality between the A and the B that it wouldn't be as big a saving as canning the C. However, the Navy need the C, and the thinking was that the B was most vulnerable; however, both us and the Italians are interested in it which helps and.... well, we'll see.
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    [QUOTE=Wzz]Well, 12 years as a helicopter pilot doesn't necessarily equate to a free 767 seat at the end. Nor would 12 years as a Harrier pilot; the only "easy" way to do it would be to get into a heavy multi engine multi crew aeroplane, and you're not guaranteed that.Also, crashing your GR4 and dying wouldn't help. Nor would being shot down in Iran or something. Think about the job, not the next job you



    I GENUINELY want to be an officer/pilot in the raf while having the possible experience of fast jet. Anyway i am not looking for the 'EASY' route, im looking at serving my country and enjoying what im doing. I mean really i dont want to be at 26 or so (After training) flying people who dont want to go upside down from bristol to malaga !! All i want to do is live my life to the full and flying fast jet would most certainly accomplish that side of it.
    I know i might be sounding very idealistic, as the chances of getting fast jet anyway are very slim. However if id didnt get fast jet i would want to go commercial instead. ( I know a bit of a contadiction) I dont want to join the raf to get to the airlines, i want to join the raf to be in the raf, to have the chance of flying fast jet for 12 years or so, then after that if i would want to at that stage then move on to commercial. ( I would not use RAF as a stepping stone, it may sound like thats what im getting at, but im not)
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    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!
    Yeah, guess your right there mate. All I was getting at was that we are not going to be a defending force, i.e intercepting ME109s over the channel or Russian Fighters over the north sea that are attacking our country. We are more likely going to be on the offensive, i.e invading Afganistan, IRAQ, IRAN-ohhhh controversial!!
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    It's Blackhawk, sorry I'm under Wzz's name....

    It's nice to have goals and something to aim for, however saying that you're joining just to go fast jet is just a bit more than idealistic.

    The modern RAF is moving towards being a rotary and multi RAF. FJs aren't being phased out, but we'll be seeing fewer types doing more swing role activities. When you're at IOT you are given a branch brief. Currently pilots are being told not to expect to go FJ as the RAF needs them in the RW and ME world.

    If you want to join the RAF to be in the RAF then do it, if you only want to join to fly FJ then prepare to be disappointed. Joining the RAF is not always about what job you do. If you do end up flying a Typhoon on the frontline then you'll be flying for about 2-3 hours a day. The rest of the time you're an Officer in the RAF with other duties to do. You may say now 'Yep fine, I can hack it' but as the saying goes, you rarely seen a happy FJ pilot, and you see plently of happy RW and ME pilots. The stress and pressure is immense, it isn't all about looking good, throwing a great piece of kit around the sky and getting home in time for happy hour.

    I suggest that you go on a base visit for a week and talk to the people in the job. Let them tell you what it's like to go on deployment away from their families, what the pay is like, what they do outside of flying, what sort of secondary duties they do, how stressful training is/was, etc etc. Your AFCO will issue you a rail warrant to get to a base close to you and you will be put up by the RAF in the Mess, so by all means go and visit a FJ training base, but I would also suggest going to either a ME or RW base and seeing the other side of the coin as it were.
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    ... and this is me under my own name.

    BH's right; as she says, if you only want to be a FJ pilot, then you're in a sticky situation. At some streaming boards now you might get 20% FJ, 50% RW, 30% ME; so you really need to be great to get a FJ seat.

    To get to streaming, you'll have done 9 months of officer training, maybe a 6 month hold, then another 6-9 months of EFT. By that stage, will you really want to jack it all in just because you're off to Shawbury?
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    In response to the people asking about A-10s. The A-10 is a very good ground attack A/C but it hasnt got a Radar and is not supersonic. Therefor, can't really fight, so is not multi-role.

    Note about F-15s-well the USAF use two varients, ground attack, and air defence, therefor, again, is not multi role.

    Did no one read my post yesterday , as I said, we need multi-role aircraft, its quite possible to have a Gr4 attack a ground target and an F3 to provide air protection, but why not have an aircraft that can do both-its alot cheaper!

    Note about JCA-we could build carriers that use CATS and thus are able to operate conventional fighters, but they cost more! We are looking at afew options should the JCA fall through-the US F/A18E super hornet, a naval Typhoon, JCA A or C and somthing else-I can't remember! The ideal option is the STOVL JCA B, simply because its cheaper.

    Also in answer to peoples comments regarding buying american hardwear, you must remember that the goverment is very much interested in saving as much money as possible and defence is not what the voters really want in times of peace. So they get fleeced, if we can have an AC for £30Million that will create jobs in the UK or an AC for £10million that will create jobs in America, which one are they going to choose?! Also, we dont want to relly on foreign technology, it is far more benificial to us if we have, and understand the technology.
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    Plus, your 2-3 hours of flying a day mean a 6-8 hour briefing/debriefing cycle. It's feasible to get in at 7, brief, get airborne by 10, land at 1130-12, debrief until 1400. So you've got to fit in all those secondary duties around that!
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    (Original post by Wzz)
    It's Blackhawk, sorry I'm under Wzz's name....

    It's nice to have goals and something to aim for, however saying that you're joining just to go fast jet is just a bit more than idealistic.

    The modern RAF is moving towards being a rotary and multi RAF. FJs aren't being phased out, but we'll be seeing fewer types doing more swing role activities. When you're at IOT you are given a branch brief. Currently pilots are being told not to expect to go FJ as the RAF needs them in the RW and ME world.

    If you want to join the RAF to be in the RAF then do it, if you only want to join to fly FJ then prepare to be disappointed. Joining the RAF is not always about what job you do. If you do end up flying a Typhoon on the frontline then you'll be flying for about 2-3 hours a day. The rest of the time you're an Officer in the RAF with other duties to do. You may say now 'Yep fine, I can hack it' but as the saying goes, you rarely seen a happy FJ pilot, and you see plently of happy RW and ME pilots. The stress and pressure is immense, it isn't all about looking good, throwing a great piece of kit around the sky and getting home in time for happy hour.

    I suggest that you go on a base visit for a week and talk to the people in the job. Let them tell you what it's like to go on deployment away from their families, what the pay is like, what they do outside of flying, what sort of secondary duties they do, how stressful training is/was, etc etc. Your AFCO will issue you a rail warrant to get to a base close to you and you will be put up by the RAF in the Mess, so by all means go and visit a FJ training base, but I would also suggest going to either a ME or RW base and seeing the other side of the coin as it were.
    Good post.
 
 
 
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