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 Post subject: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:43 pm 
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A small piece of news to start the New Year has had a very small band of defence analysts and journalists intrigued. This is the winner of the light air support (LAS) competition to supply ground attack aircraft to the Afghan Air Force.

The winner was the hot favourite, the Super Tucano, of which 20 examples have been purchased for sums variously described as $355 and $950 million. The competitive Hawker Beechcraft AT-6B Texan II having been ruled out last November.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:18 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:28 am
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Always puzzled me why the RAf didn't use their Hawk T1 - 30 mm Aden on centreline and two pylons for small bombs/rocket packs. Export marks of Hawk have been upgraded to carry up to 6,800lb underwing. Add to that good endurance, good speed, low maintenance per flying hour and two seats with very good visibility the aircraft would be ideal for use in the forward air control/CAS role in Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps they were worried the Treasury wouldn't pay for expensive stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:54 pm 
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Brian wrote:
Always puzzled me why the RAf didn't use their Hawk T1 - 30 mm Aden on centreline and two pylons for small bombs/rocket packs. Export marks of Hawk have been upgraded to carry up to 6,800lb underwing. Add to that good endurance, good speed, low maintenance per flying hour and two seats with very good visibility the aircraft would be ideal for use in the forward air control/CAS role in Iraq and Afghanistan. Perhaps they were worried the Treasury wouldn't pay for expensive stuff.



It has to be that ... once it is realised that cheap toys can do the job, no chance of getting CAS Eurofighter.

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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:10 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:52 pm
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ITN still talking about Cameron's veto at 10pm.
The msm agenda holds.
There was a veto - we reported it, so it MUST have happened.


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:18 pm 
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Jonathan wrote:
ITN still talking about Cameron's veto at 10pm.
The msm agenda holds.
There was a veto - we reported it, so it MUST have happened.



Classic ... what we report is news ... and what we don't report doesn't exist.

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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:45 am 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:09 pm
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Location: Stroud Gloucestershire UK
Having a low tech close support aircraft in large numbers able to support small numbers of troops has been a perennial theme since the end of the Second World War. During the Korean War despite the move to Jets it was aircraft such as the Corsair (still then in production) Skyraider, Seafury and Mustang that did much of the close air support. Again during Vietnam the Skyraider was bought out of retirement for particular tasks. It would have been used a lot more if greater numbers had been built and still been available. During this time various conversions of the Mustang were built in small numbers, but it wasn't an F15 or F16 and attracted no interest.

A single seat Hawk has existed for some years and should have joined the ranks of the RAF. It would have provided a low cost option for many of the low tech operations that the RAF have engaged in in recent times. An armed Tucano just goes all the way back to the Vietnam war and calls for more Skyraiders, although if I was a Pilot a Skyraider may be a better bet than the Tucano. Our air force needs to be able to match its equipment to the threat rather than always pitching in with a high tech high cost equipment.

We do have to be cautious though, as the lessons of the loss of unmanned drones over Iran demonstrate. Its not always a bad thing to a) have a human in charge, and b) be a tad over spec'd if only to get our service personnel the feeling they have the edge.


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:48 am 

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Interestingly, a Brasilian aircraft. The country maybe has a better appreciation of limited budgets and maximum effectiveness. Brasil is also rather big in UAVs.


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:18 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:27 pm
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Location: Oxford, UK
Just for interest, one of the aircraft magazines, can't remember which, has a current issue with the story of the selection of the Tucano for the RAF. General tone is that the Tucano was not the technical choice, but was shoehorned into winning because of the Shorts/Belfast connection. Or, to put it differently, the supposed competition was a farce. Your defence pounds at work.


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:12 pm 

Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 12:41 pm
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the links were very interesting Hawker Beechcraft Corporation the loser is taking court action,despite the fact their plane violates the competition guidelines as hasn't even been certified with bombs or guns

where am i going with this well one cannot help feeling from past performance in procurement if it had been an RAF competition the Hawker entry would have Won!


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:26 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:28 am
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PeterMG wrote:
Having a low tech close support aircraft in large numbers able to support small numbers of troops has been a perennial theme since the end of the Second World War. During the Korean War despite the move to Jets it was aircraft such as the Corsair (still then in production) Skyraider, Seafury and Mustang that did much of the close air support. Again during Vietnam the Skyraider was bought out of retirement for particular tasks. It would have been used a lot more if greater numbers had been built and still been available. During this time various conversions of the Mustang were built in small numbers, but it wasn't an F15 or F16 and attracted no interest.


The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk and North Amemican OV-10 were excellent COIN aircraft. Unfortunately, inter-service rivalry (trade unions have nothing on military dinosaurs) prevented the Army-flown Mohawk being armed because killing people from the air was a USAAF job. Wouldn't it be nice if the armed services concentrated on fighting the enemy? The French produced a prototype COIN aircraft, the Potez 75 that is a contender for the world's ugliest aircraft and held a competition in 1961 for specialist COIN designs but decided to spend their Francs on jets instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Brian wrote:
PeterMG wrote:
Having a low tech close support aircraft in large numbers able to support small numbers of troops has been a perennial theme since the end of the Second World War. During the Korean War despite the move to Jets it was aircraft such as the Corsair (still then in production) Skyraider, Seafury and Mustang that did much of the close air support. Again during Vietnam the Skyraider was bought out of retirement for particular tasks. It would have been used a lot more if greater numbers had been built and still been available. During this time various conversions of the Mustang were built in small numbers, but it wasn't an F15 or F16 and attracted no interest.


The Grumman OV-1 Mohawk and North Amemican OV-10 were excellent COIN aircraft. Unfortunately, inter-service rivalry (trade unions have nothing on military dinosaurs) prevented the Army-flown Mohawk being armed because killing people from the air was a USAAF job. Wouldn't it be nice if the armed services concentrated on fighting the enemy? The French produced a prototype COIN aircraft, the Potez 75 that is a contender for the world's ugliest aircraft and held a competition in 1961 for specialist COIN designs but decided to spend their Francs on jets instead.



Sadly, the real enemies are usually on our own side. The shooting enemy is often just the rationale.

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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:34 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 11:04 am
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I have just been reading a very interesting book on the history of dive bombing by Peter Smith. One thing which comes over loud and clear is that close air support has always been looked at with disdain by the RAF, who see their job as the strategic bombing of the enemy's homeland rather than messing around helping the army. During WWII, despite the success of the Stuka in the Battle of France and many other campaigns, the RAF's high command was resolute in its opposition to dive bombing, coming out with ever more bizarre reasons why dive bombing was not an effective weapon. The Royal Navy did realise the value of dive bombing, but could never get hold of the Curtiss Helldivers they wanted because the US Navy valued them so highly they kept them all for themselves.

It is clear that this attitude still holds in the RAF, which is why they made sure that the Tornado, a long range bomber by any standards, was kept at the expense of the Harrier, one of the best close support aircraft in the business. If the RAF brass hats turn their noses up at the Harrier, there is no way they would accept an aircraft such as the Tucano doing a job which they can instead do worse at a hundred times the cost with a Tornado. The ghost of Bomber Harris still stalks the corridors of the Air Ministry, it seems.


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:52 pm 
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JohnFSK wrote:
I have just been reading a very interesting book on the history of dive bombing by Peter Smith. One thing which comes over loud and clear is that close air support has always been looked at with disdain by the RAF, who see their job as the strategic bombing of the enemy's homeland rather than messing around helping the army. During WWII, despite the success of the Stuka in the Battle of France and many other campaigns, the RAF's high command was resolute in its opposition to dive bombing, coming out with ever more bizarre reasons why dive bombing was not an effective weapon. The Royal Navy did realise the value of dive bombing, but could never get hold of the Curtiss Helldivers they wanted because the US Navy valued them so highly they kept them all for themselves.

It is clear that this attitude still holds in the RAF, which is why they made sure that the Tornado, a long range bomber by any standards, was kept at the expense of the Harrier, one of the best close support aircraft in the business. If the RAF brass hats turn their noses up at the Harrier, there is no way they would accept an aircraft such as the Tucano doing a job which they can instead do worse at a hundred times the cost with a Tornado. The ghost of Bomber Harris still stalks the corridors of the Air Ministry, it seems.


Don't forget that the RAF's idea of a ground support aircraft was the Lysander. And the grief spread beyond the Army. There was major competition between Bomber and Coastal Command for resources ... particularly long range aircraft and milimetric radar. And despite the massive shipping losses and the desperate need for air support, the resources went to Bomber Command.

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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:21 pm 

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RAENORTH wrote:
[Don't forget that the RAF's idea of a ground support aircraft was the Lysander. And the grief spread beyond the Army. There was major competition between Bomber and Coastal Command for resources ... particularly long range aircraft and milimetric radar. And despite the massive shipping losses and the desperate need for air support, the resources went to Bomber Command.


The Luftwaffe had the equivalent Henschel Hs126 and the Fairey Battle was similar in performance (except dive-bombing) to the Ju87. All four types suffered heavily in the Battle of France. The Luftwaffe did army cooperation closer to the battlefront (aerial artillery) than the RAF's Advanced Striking Force in France which acted more as interdictors behind the lines.
The RAF's USP had been the strategic bomber since the RFC established the Independent Air Force in WWI although the limitations of technology constrained proper strategic bombing by all air forces until towards the end of WW2. Without the theory of strategic bombers the RAF would have been broken up again, primarily for cost-saving reasons, after WWI into its constituent RFC and RNAS as it would have been more logical for fighters and light bombers to be controlled by the Army and maritime patrol aircraft by the Admiralty - at least Navy ships wouldn't have tried to shoot down all approaching aircraft if that had been the case.


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 Post subject: Re: Agendas come first
PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:27 pm
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Location: Oxford, UK
In all fairness everybody, inter-war, thought any future war was going to need the equivalent of the BE2 and the RE8, army co-op aircraft. Every power fielded squadrons of Lysanders, Hs126, Polikarpov R5, Curtiss O-52, Ki-51 and so on. All of them got shot to bits, wherever they appeared. As did unescorted bombers by day, even my illustrious namesake on occasion. The conclusion: That is how it's supposed to be. And that is how you justify spending the most money on the best fighter. You need it to fight the hardest war. Just saying, that's how the logic works. Any old thing will do as a bomb truck. Just go down to the shop and buy a few.


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