RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby boff180 on Tue 19 Jun 2018, 4:26 pm

The Times are reporting that we are about to place an order prior to FIA for the E-7 as it is cheaper than upgrading the E-3D. The report is that the order will annoy Airbus/SAAB/Bombardier as there will be no competition.

Bringing in yet another type the RAF can’t refuel mid air.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Brevet Cable on Tue 19 Jun 2018, 5:23 pm

That should cause some fun with the DUP.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Amp on Tue 19 Jun 2018, 6:11 pm

Happy to be corrected, but I understood that the PM just allocated all the cash for the next few years to the NHS with no growth for other departments. So, can we acquire E-7 aircraft with the existing budget and terminating the E-3 fleet? Such an announcement at Farnborough would be great though!
Amp

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Tue 19 Jun 2018, 10:19 pm

Amp wrote:So, can we acquire E-7 aircraft with the existing budget and terminating the E-3 fleet? !


Depends on the sums. Old aircraft, realistically requiring upgrades to keep it able to operate in European airspace perhaps, with all the issues of a legacy platform (there aren't many 707s about anymore) to hoover up cash.

On the flip side, you get a combat proven, off the shelf 737 (ooh, haven't we just bought another 737 based ISTAR platform) based Boeing product.

Alternatively you can put it to tender, have the Wedgetail (combat proven, available) compete against "paper aeroplanes" and the fact anything linked to BAES will be 5 years late and at least 3x over budget (they didn't do well with Nimrod AEW or 2000/MRA4 did they?).
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby f4phixeruk on Tue 19 Jun 2018, 10:55 pm

Could be after all the money spent on Nimrod, that HM Government dont want to boost BAe senior managements pension fund again.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby verreli on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 12:51 am

It's more a question of do the UK want to retain that skill set as a strategic capability. If we buy Boeing, the answer is no, but it may grease the tracks towards a future trade deal.
verreli

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby boff180 on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 4:02 am

If there was a tender I cannot see how or what BAE would bid with.

The main contenders would be...

Boeing E-7 (parts commonality with the P-8)
Boeing E-767 (using second hand donor aircraft)
Saab/Bombardier GlobalEye (parts commonality with the Sentinel)
Gulfstream/IAI G550 Eitam
Airbus C-295 AWACS (just ordered by Bangladesh, drogue AAR capable)
Airbus A330 AWACS (being developed by the Indians to be a dual role AWACS and Tanker)

The SAAB aircraft doesn’t have 360 degree coverage (300) and I’m not sure about the Eitam’s spec. The E-7 is claimed to have 360 degree coverage but as the AESA is mounted sideways i struggle to see how - one to ask the Australians in a few weeks :-)
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 6:37 am

verreli wrote:It's more a question of do the UK want to retain that skill set as a strategic capability. If we buy Boeing, the answer is no, but it may grease the tracks towards a future trade deal.


Do we even have that skill set. Any tender would likely result in a Nimrod like capability gap as any other a U.K. based bid would probably take a decade at least to produce a functioning product.

Don’t faff, buy off the shelf.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby capercaillie on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 8:15 am

Are the USAF looking to replace their E-3s which are considerably older than ours? They are upgrading them to the E-3G with new avionics and hardware/software and their airframes are up to 40 years old, around 15 years older than ours. Theirs have also been extensively used around the world so I can't imagine the flight hours would be any less than ours, they only had 34 themselves.

Presumably someone has done the sums of upgrade of 5/6 Sentries against purchasing new Wedgetails over x number of years?

It would have never happened if we had just kept the upgrades on the Shackleton going at regular intervals. :tongue:
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby st24 on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 8:35 am

capercaillie wrote:Are the USAF looking to replace their E-3s which are considerably older than ours? They are upgrading them to the E-3G with new avionics and hardware/software and their airframes are up to 40 years old, around 15 years older than ours. Theirs have also been extensively used around the world so I can't imagine the flight hours would be any less than ours, they only had 34 themselves.

Presumably someone has done the sums of upgrade of 5/6 Sentries against purchasing new Wedgetails over x number of years?

It would have never happened if we had just kept the upgrades on the Shackleton going at regular intervals. :tongue:

It is quite bizarre how only the RAF appear to be in a bit of a panic over replacement. NATO and USAF jets are of a similar age and have had the extra stresses of being lugged around by 4 ancient TF33s rather than "modern" CFM56s. Saudi and French ones are older than ours too. Just smacks of yet another MoD procurement muppet fest...

And yeh, just imagine those Shacks cruising around with A400M engines and upgraded H2S radar.. :win: :grin:
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Binbrook 01 on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 10:30 am

Have you been to Waddington lately st24 ?

Can you say how many are active/not active.

And if so let me know, Living less than 3 miles from ISTAR central shows something you probably don't see :tumbleweed:

Oh by the way the French jets were built about the same time as ours, for whoever said they were older. ZH107 was the last off the production line
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 10:58 am

st24 wrote:
capercaillie wrote:Are the USAF looking to replace their E-3s which are considerably older than ours? They are upgrading them to the E-3G with new avionics and hardware/software and their airframes are up to 40 years old, around 15 years older than ours. Theirs have also been extensively used around the world so I can't imagine the flight hours would be any less than ours, they only had 34 themselves.

Presumably someone has done the sums of upgrade of 5/6 Sentries against purchasing new Wedgetails over x number of years?

It would have never happened if we had just kept the upgrades on the Shackleton going at regular intervals. :tongue:

It is quite bizarre how only the RAF appear to be in a bit of a panic over replacement. NATO and USAF jets are of a similar age and have had the extra stresses of being lugged around by 4 ancient TF33s rather than "modern" CFM56s. Saudi and French ones are older than ours too. Just smacks of yet another MoD procurement muppet fest...



Not that simple. For a start it’s arguably easier to maintain a larger fleet. The RAF examples aren’t in the same upgrade spec as the others, partly as money had to be thrown at other areas of defence 10 years ago. The US E-3G upgrade has been a success in some areas but they drastically cut the size of their fleet and ultimately still suffer some of the issues suffered by a 60+ year old airframe design. Yeah, the E-3D has CFMs, but other than the fact they’re quieter and a bit more efficient, they’re still bolted to an airframe that has systems designed in the 1940s.

Far from a “muppet fest”, this is a very sensible piece of procurement if it does go ahead.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby st24 on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 11:05 am

Binbrook 01 wrote:Have you been to Waddington lately st24 ?

Can you say how many are active/not active.

And if so let me know, Living less than 3 miles from ISTAR central shows something you probably don't see :tumbleweed:

Oh by the way the French jets were built about the same time as ours, for whoever said they were older. ZH107 was the last off the production line

Thats a fairly irrelevant post really as the fact remains all other said countries are busying themselves updating/upgrading theirs yet we are saying its not worth it and we need new toys.... :snack:

And since the demise of the show and ACMI I have virtually zero interest in hanging around Waddington.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby capercaillie on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 11:11 am

Drastically reduced? 34 originally procured, one at Boeing for testing, two written off = 31, 24 being upgraded, wouldn't say its a drastic reduction by modern standards.

What we are really saying is over the course of 27 years of being in RAF service, the RAF haven't done anything to keep them up to date like all other E-3 operators, because of lack of money being spent, leaving them now obsolete compared to the rest of the operators, so its bad management at the top? Therefore rather than spending one big load in one go to bring them up to spec, we'll have something newer but possibly less suitable in the long term but its all that is available off the shelf at the moment.

And come on Gerty, do you want to get any further back, yes the original 707 may have flown in the 1950s, but the way you're talking there is though we've got bits on them fitted by Monsieurs Montgolfier, they were all delivered in the 1990s.

We were happy to acquire equally vintage designed RC-135s that were actually built on airframes thirty years older than our E-3Ds. :dunno:
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Binbrook 01 on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 11:14 am

Not quite irrelevant actually, and its not just the RAF that are struggling with their airframes, and that includes upgraded jets.
Binbrook 01

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Binbrook 01 on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 11:53 am

Well maybe a trip to Waddington might actually teach you something :wink: .

Oh for the days of working on World Air Power Journal when the world was more knowledgeable! :wink:

TTFE
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 11:58 am

capercaillie wrote:
And come on Gerty, do you want to get any further back, yes the original 707 may have flown in the 1950s, but the way you're talking there is though we've got bits on them fitted by Monsieurs Montgolfier, they were all delivered in the 1990s.

:


New bits maybe, and yes they were delivered, but the original airframe they are strapped into isn’t technologically much more advanced than a WW2 bomber. No one suddenly made it more modern in the sense of a 747-400/800 or an 737NG.

Gawd, even the flying controls are fly by wire.

And yes, a cut 24 is quite a drastic reduction to be fair.
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby st24 on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 12:41 pm

Binbrook 01 wrote:Well maybe a trip to Waddington might actually teach you something :wink: .

Oh for the days of working on World Air Power Journal when the world was more knowledgeable! :wink:

TTFE

:grin: They were indeed great days...!

And I'm already quite well versed in being able to sit at the end of a runway looking at nothing happening for days on end thanks! :tumbleweed: :up:
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby verreli on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 12:55 pm

GertrudetheMerciless wrote:Do we even have that skill set. Any tender would likely result in a Nimrod like capability gap as any other a U.K. based bid would probably take a decade at least to produce a functioning product.

Don’t faff, buy off the shelf.


True. It's quite possible that after the Nimrod, UK plc decided to lose that capability. Eurofighter Captor-e aesa has been developed by Selex ES, Thales and Airbus so not many UK jobs there. The market is small so it's probably not a great loss.
verreli

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby capercaillie on Wed 20 Jun 2018, 1:05 pm

GertrudetheMerciless wrote:And yes, a cut 24 is quite a drastic reduction to be fair.


Your definition of drastic is going to have to remain very different to mine I'm afraid then.

31 to 24 of which probably 3 or 4 have already been sidelined as spares sources, is very reasonable in this day and age.

Now our original planned 21 Nimrod MRA4 fleet turning into 9 P-8 Poseidons, that is a drastic reduction, especially as we've had nothing since 2011. Our force of nearly 80 Harriers being axed in one foul swoop, that was also a drastic reduction.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby spellow3010 on Fri 22 Jun 2018, 9:45 am

Off topic... but didn't see it mentioned in the RAF 100 thread... but have any of our (as in RAF) E3s been given the red sticker treatment?

Back on topic... I quite like the look of the Wedgetail... It's a downsize obviously, and if we do purchase it, I will equally miss the large rotating mushroom of the E3. But... progress etc... I assume it is progress?
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby McG on Fri 22 Jun 2018, 12:21 pm

verreli wrote:
GertrudetheMerciless wrote:Do we even have that skill set. Any tender would likely result in a Nimrod like capability gap as any other a U.K. based bid would probably take a decade at least to produce a functioning product.

Don’t faff, buy off the shelf.


True. It's quite possible that after the Nimrod, UK plc decided to lose that capability. Eurofighter Captor-e aesa has been developed by Selex ES, Thales and Airbus so not many UK jobs there. The market is small so it's probably not a great loss.


Captor E was developed by Ferranti (now Selex ES) in Edinburgh. Plenty of highly skilled UK jobs involved in Captor-e.
McG

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Fri 22 Jun 2018, 2:14 pm

McG wrote:
verreli wrote:
GertrudetheMerciless wrote:Do we even have that skill set. Any tender would likely result in a Nimrod like capability gap as any other a U.K. based bid would probably take a decade at least to produce a functioning product.

Don’t faff, buy off the shelf.


True. It's quite possible that after the Nimrod, UK plc decided to lose that capability. Eurofighter Captor-e aesa has been developed by Selex ES, Thales and Airbus so not many UK jobs there. The market is small so it's probably not a great loss.


Captor E was developed by Ferranti (now Selex ES) in Edinburgh. Plenty of highly skilled UK jobs involved in Captor-e.


The fact remains, integrating any indigenous system into a platform would be at least a decade away and cost billions (to quote someone on another forum "vapourware" :lol: ). Keeping Sentry that long would probably run into billions with the support investment and regulatory based upgrades required.

There's a sensible answer around somewhere. :smile:
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby andrewn on Sat 23 Jun 2018, 11:10 pm

The RAF Sentry fleet has been consistently, and knowingly, underfunded for the last 15yrs (at least), and that's what has got us into the present situation where they are now too costly to keep.

Going forwards though it's difficult to argue against an E-7 buy, given the commonality with P-8 on all number of levels, and no doubt, an attractive proprosition from Boeing.

If I was in MOD(PE) I'd be thinking very seriously about it as well. Any hoo-ha about tendering vs sole source is just political gamesmanship, because we all know there aren't any plausible OTS alternatives.

E-7 is a "future proof" solution, unlike an E-3D upgrade which merely buys us time.

Of course it then raises another interesting question about why invest so much in Lossie, when Waddo could likely house the combined P-8/E-7 fleet, and arguably was always a much more sensible base for P-8 in the first place :)
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 11:24 am

The worry of course is that having broken ground on a 737 facility at Lossiemouth, they’ll put a smaller AEW fleet at Lossie too. Nothing like moving a fleet away from an area that it’s core manpower is in!
GertrudetheMerciless

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