RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Red Dragon on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 3:21 pm

GertrudetheMerciless wrote: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!


The RAF high ups wouldn’t allow it. I well remember “yes, prime minister” when it was sugg stead moving the army barracks up north to unemployment blackspots to create jobs. “The generals would never allow it. It’s too far from Harrods”
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby FarnboroJohn on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 7:30 pm

Red Dragon wrote:
GertrudetheMerciless wrote: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!


The RAF high ups wouldn’t allow it. I well remember “yes, prime minister” when it was sugg stead moving the army barracks up north to unemployment blackspots to create jobs. “The generals would never allow it. It’s too far from Harrods”


Yeah, well, now the Army's in the late RAF Leuchars, right? Just remember who does the fighting and who does the talking these days. Senior officers wanting a K and a big pension know which side their bread is buttered.
FarnboroJohn

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Sun 24 Jun 2018, 10:01 pm

Red Dragon wrote:
GertrudetheMerciless wrote: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!


The RAF high ups wouldn’t allow it. I well remember “yes, prime minister” when it was sugg stead moving the army barracks up north to unemployment blackspots to create jobs. “The generals would never allow it. It’s too far from Harrods”


They said that about Poseidon, seeing as much of the maritime expertise had upped stocks to Lincolnshire!
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 29 Aug 2018, 3:40 pm

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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby ChrisWaddle on Wed 29 Aug 2018, 4:54 pm

What kind of feh, feh, feh, freak weirdo news site is that?
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 29 Aug 2018, 5:06 pm

That post probably means something to someone.........

Is the Torygraph more to your liking?
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/08/27/row-brewing-boeing-wedgetail-jets/
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Brevet Cable on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 12:52 pm

Bit of a thread resurrection, but....

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/wedgetail-is-on-the-radar-defence-secretary-announces-ahead-of-nato-conference
Speaking ahead of this week’s NATO conference, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that the Ministry of Defence is in discussion with Boeing and the Royal Australian Air Force about the potential for the E-7 Wedgetail radar aircraft to replace the current Sentry fleet.
(snip)
Further discussions are set to take place before any investment decision is made, as the MOD follows a stringent approvals process to ensure the aircraft meets the military requirement and represents value-for-money. If selected, UK industry could be involved significantly with the programme, from modification work to through life support.

Speaking ahead of the meeting of Defence Ministers in NATO, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

"The Wedgetail is the stand-out performer in our pursuit of a new battlespace surveillance aircraft, and has already proved itself in Iraq and Syria. Running air operations from the sky, it could be an excellent asset for the RAF and give us a real edge in this increasingly complex world.
Our future with Australia will already see us operate the same maritime patrol aircraft, world-class Type 26 warships and supersonic F-35 jets. Wedgetail may join that formidable armoury and help us work together to take on the global threats that we both face."

Following market analysis and discussions with other potential providers, the MOD has concluded that the potential procurement of the E-7 represents the best value for money option for the UK against need, whilst representing a significant opportunity for increased defence cooperation and collaboration with our key ally Australia.

The MOD will work closely with Boeing to ensure Britain’s leading defence industry could also benefit from any deal.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 2:54 pm

In short, it makes sense and there’s no need to struggle along with Sentry for a decade, or worse, take a Nimrodesque capability holiday whilst the slowcoaches (Airbus, Saab) catch up and actually build a working product.
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby cg_341 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 3:10 pm

Saab have a working product and have had since 1994. In fact, they've had quite a few!

Saab 340 AEW&C first delivered in 1994
Embraer 145 Erieye first delivered in 2001
Saab 2000 Erieye first delivered in 2010

GlobalEye is their latest product, using Erieye ER. Some people say it's a better product than the MESA system that the Wedgetail uses. Other say differently..!

Would a combined force of Sentinel and GlobalEye be better for the UK? I suppose it's horses for courses, either one would give us cost savings based on type commonality.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 3:20 pm

Saab have a working, operational product integrated into an intercontinental, 21st century, AAR (or very long range) capable aircraft?

If GlobalEye was so good they’d have put there money where their mouth is and had it in production. But they didn’t (although admittedly they are well ahead of Airbus).
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby cg_341 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 3:32 pm

GlobalEye is in the test and integration phase at moment - so they are putting their money where their mouth is. They're building something new, creating a viable and probably much lower cost alternative, on a trusted intercontinental (something the 737 is definitely not) platform.

Out of the box the 737-700 has a range of 3439nm. The Global 6000 has a range of 6150nm.

There are 1161 737-700s since the first one was delivered at the end of 1997. Call it 1998 for ease. I calculate that at ~58 a year. There are 300 Global 6000s since the first one was slivered in January 2011. That's ~43 a year. Considering the Global 6000 is just an avionics and cabin upgrade on a BD700, those numbers become 614 since 2007; ~56 a year. Fairly even in that respect, both well utilised platforms in their respective fields.

I'm not saying the MOD should go with GlobalEye, only that it's wrong to say that Wedgetail is the only platform out there suited to the UK's needs.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 4:14 pm

But it is the only proven, AAR capable platform they could order tomorrow for delivery before 2025. The RAF have been bitten by a GlobalExpress based conversion before too.

An off the shelf, airliner sized aircraft (minor consideration that the crew’s comfort and space needs thinking about) is what is desperately needed ASAP.
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Wes_Howes on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 8:45 am

Let's face it though, once the MOD get their hands on it, it will be far from off the shelf.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Binbrook 01 on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 10:22 am

SAAB did say they could offer Globaleye on a bigger platform (even upto A330 size) I believe
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby boff180 on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 12:37 pm

Comparing the Erieye ER and the Wedgetail system is quite difficult as the exact information is highly classified.

From what is available, side-on performance seems similar however the Wedgetail has the edge in 360 degree coverage where it has dedicated radar antenna to provide forward and aft coverage.
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 1:48 pm

Binbrook 01 wrote:SAAB did say they could offer Globaleye on a bigger platform (even upto A330 size) I believe


But under what timescale? :smile:
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Binbrook 01 on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 4:59 pm

No idea, as I can't remember where I saw it.

Although I suspect the answer is most likely....Not very quickly ....
Binbrook 01

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby GertrudetheMerciless on Fri 05 Oct 2018, 7:18 pm

Binbrook 01 wrote:No idea, as I can't remember where I saw it.

Although I suspect the answer is most likely....Not very quickly ....


Maybe in time to compete to replace the NATO and USAF E-3s!
GertrudetheMerciless

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby Binbrook 01 on Sun 07 Oct 2018, 3:12 pm

Yes but sadly we know what happened last time the US wanted a system based on an A330 airframe.....
Binbrook 01

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby pb643 on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 8:49 am

Saab voices opposition to U.K. Wedgetail buy

24 October 2018

BY: Craig Hoyle
FlightGlobal

London — Rival producers of airborne early warning and control/battle management aircraft are stepping up their efforts to halt a non-competitive acquisition of the Boeing/Northrop Grumman E-7 Wedgetail system by the U.K.

In a letter to parliamentary Defence Committee chairman Julian Lewis on 15 October, Andrew Walton, head of Saab UK, outlined the company’s proposed solution for replacing the Royal Air Force’s E-3D Sentry fleet.

This would involve integrating Saab’s Erieye active electronically-scanned array radar and mission system equipment on board the service’s in-use Airbus A330 Voyager tanker/transports. It would also introduce Saab-developed electronic warfare equipment, “giving unparalleled levels of survivability in the most challenging of scenarios”.

Referring to “several thousand hours spent with Airbus to understand and analyse the work required”, Walton says, “Our evidence indicates that the A330 represents the least risk of any platform onto which we have integrated Erieye.”

While this would reduce programme costs by removing the need to acquire new aircraft to replace the six-strong Sentry fleet, he adds, “The A330 has ample power and range to be able to perform an E-3D function in addition to its existing transportation and refuelling roles.”

Saab’s studies indicate that a first aircraft could be modified within less than three years at Airbus Defence & Space’s Getafe facility near Madrid, with subsequent examples requiring nine months each for modification work performed in the U.K.

“In the expectation that a competition would take place, we have hosted a number of visits to our facilities in Gothenburg where officials have been briefed on Erieye capabilities. We have also taken part in multiple meetings with officials in the U.K.,” Walton reveals.

Following a request by the Ministry of Defence, the company also offered to provide classified data to its Defence Equipment and Support organisation and the RAF’s Air Command, but “both declined to take delivery”.

“Without examining the classified data, it is impossible to understand and judge the performance of the sensor and mission system,” Walton says.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson in early October confirmed that the U.K. is in early discussions with Boeing linked to a potential E-7 purchase, describing the 737-based system as “the stand-out performer in our pursuit of a new battlefield surveillance aircraft”.

Challenging this conclusion, Walton says, “MoD officials have been briefed on some of our capabilities, but at no time have we seen a U. K. requirement against which we can tailor our offer.” Additionally, “no analysis of how we integrate our system onto other aircraft has been conducted by the MoD,” he notes.

“We are concerned by the lack of competition and the lack of dialogue and response from MoD,” says Walton, who notes that Saab’s “significant investment in the U.K.” is premised on an understanding that the nation is committed to “fair and transparent free-market competition”.

Saab points to the proven performance of its radar design, noting, “We underwrite 98.5% availability of Erieye.” The sensor is currently operated by eight nations on the Embraer EMB-145, Saab 340, and Saab 2000 platforms.

Walton also highlights its in-development Erieye ER version, which will be used on three heavily-adapted Bombardier Global 6000 business jets on order for GlobalEye launch customer the United Arab Emirates Air Force. He a lso reveals that Saab is “in advanced stages of negotiation” with a second buyer for the radar.

Speaking during a third-quarter results briefing on 23 October, Saab chief executive Håkan Buskhe described the GlobalEye programme as “going extremely well”, with recent work including test flights conducted in Granada, Spain.

Meanwhile, Israel Aerospace Industries is also pushing for a competition in the UK, with its Elta Systems subsidiary promoting a Gulfstream G550-based conformal AEW product. This is already operational with the air forces of Israel and Singapore and deliveries have also begun for the Italian Air Force.

“With over 10 years of operational experience, CAEW offers the highest level of reliability, with lower acquisition and operation costs than commercial jets,” IAI claims, while describing its system as “fully interoperable with NATO communications, data link, and interrogation friend-or-foe s tandards”.

“Elta is well positioned to provide the U.K. with a mature, off-the-shelf, NATO-compliant AEW&C solution,” it says. “Elta plans to work with local integrators and suppliers to ensure the success of the programme and shorten the delivery schedule. Transfer of technology and know-how to U.K. industry will generate opportunities and employment for the U.K. market.”

The RAF’s 707-based E-3Ds are home-based at its Waddington site in Lincolnshire. Flight Fleets Analyzer shows these as being aged between 27 and 29 years.

FlightGlobal understands that factors behind the U.K.’s preference for the E-7 system stem from a reluctance to invest in a potentially risky development activity, with an acquisition to instead draw on Australia’s large investment in and operational experience with the Wedgetail’s capability.

The use of an adapted 737 will also provide commonality with the RAF ’s on-order P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and enable more onboard mission system operators to be accommodated than if using a modified business jet.


I am not sure what sort of excess capacity there is on the Airtanker fleet, but clearly should be cheaper without having to buy new airframes. But as I understood it the Voyager fleet are on a PFI, what effect would that have? Of course, you would also be up against the problem that one airframe cannot be in two or three places at once conducting different role.
pb643

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby boff180 on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 9:00 am

It strikes me whether this is putting all your eggs in one basket especially as they’re also looking at fitting a boom to some Voyagers to compensate for the growing fleet of aircraft we can’t currently refuel. Then also put into the mix it’s passenger/troop transport role, where is the equipment going to go?

Put this together the other day from MoD reports saying it would need a double radar unit to work properly....

ImageWhat If A330 Voyager AWACS and Tanker by Andrew Evans, on Flickr
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby starbuck on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 9:02 am

If an A330 has a dual role and then the airframe goes tech you then have 2 holes in your overall capability rather than just 1 surely? Not so much of an issue if you have more airframes but I don't believe SAAB are suggesting that are they?
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby boff180 on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 9:06 am

Yeah the SAAB proposal is to fit the equipment to a number of existing Voyagers
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Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby cg_341 on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 9:06 am

I don't think SAAB are suggesting that the same airframe is used for AEW&C and AAR at the same time, but rather it's possible to have one airframe that can swing between the two - which makes sense!

I'm not sure the radar unit would need to be that big, I'd expect something more along the lines of the Globaleye which has a fairing under the fuselage too.
cg_341

Re: RAF E-7 Wedgetails?

Postby boff180 on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 9:23 am

The MoD have gone on record saying that two radar antenna are required on top of the A330 in order for the SAAB system to work, that WhatIf is a double length radar pod to fit the two antenna, the usual system has a single antenna system in the pod.

Air Vice Marshal Knighton, the assistant chief of Defence Staff for capability and force design, told the committee that the A330/Erieye combination experienced integration challenges.

“Because of the size of the wing, the A330 requires two radar antenna on top of the aircraft [rather than one]. It’s going to require complex integration to ensure you can unmask the radar from the wings; none of this has been done before," he told the committee. "The risk isn’t in the aircraft, but the integration — that’s the challenge.”


https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/10 ... avoritism/
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