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Thread: Uk F4 Phantoms being tested on HMS Eagle 1969

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  1. #11
    Contributing Member Gil Boyd's Avatar
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    I have mentioned on here before about Abbey Wood MOD laying off 5,000 staff some years ago now, and just goes to show, they clearly were seen for what they were, the majority, a waste of space, literally!!.

    As they do, a new manager comes in and brings in loads of staff so he can relax a bit, to a point where nobody does anything fast, and really sits and twiddles their thumbs and does very little , whilst a long a corridor one person is working like a dog.........odd!

    I remember how this was all exposed. It was to do with a catapult system that was fitted to the then new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth and cost millions, which after installation, they realised a procurement person had bought a catapult system for an American jet we didn't, and were not going to use in the Royal Navy.

    The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder • The Register

    I had a friend, whose sole job was to fly around the world buying up all the spares for the VC10 aircraft's we had to keep them flying. She told me that her first class seat was always booked for her and the best hotels on arrival!!!

    Every day, I get a link to a webiste in the UKicon, where an MOD clearance site sells "brand new" Range Rovers, some armoured which cost millions to produce for sale. They currently have hundreds of Catapillar generators all boxed all new unused.....................how can procurement people get that so wrong!
    I developed and manufacturerd a torch, which MOD bought after it saved two EOD lads lives as it was so powerful if fopund trip wires in bunkers in Iraq. They would order them say 100 at a time, then I would see brand new ones exactly the same unused for sale on this particular website at a fraction of the cost WTF!!!Nuff said!!
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

  3. #12
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    It's the age old issue of zero accountability Gil in a bloated civil service, unfit for the task and successive governments ordering equipment to appease constituencies and prop up arms companies...

    I think I mentioned this before, a friend of mine works for an engineering company in Gloucestershire, supplying high end measuring and calibration kit to industry and defence.

    One of the companies they deal with supplied certain equipment to the RAF in relation to Tornado overhaul. 12 pieces of equipment were ordered by someone in Abbey wood, at a cost of over 1 million, never delivered, despite constant chasing by the company.

    A year later a repeat order was placed, when informed about previous equipment in store, the 'new' Abbey Wood drone, just said " not my problem, make 12 more"!

    Another great Abby wood case, another mate owned a small courier company. Back in the early 2000's he had a regular job, taking a sealed envelope from a General based at Abbey wood to Portsmouth, FAO a certain Admiral.

    This was twice a month on Avarage and a good little earner for his business ... Turns out they were sending chess moves to each other and discussing sandwich choices for there next meeting.....

    You couldn't make this sh*it up and this is just the tip of the waste, they throw away billions in poor planning and implementation every year.....

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  5. #13
    Legacy Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gil Boyd View Post
    It was to do with a catapult system that was fitted to the then new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth and cost millions, which after installation, they realised a procurement person had bought a catapult system for an American jet we didn't, and were not going to use in the Royal Navy.
    Not quite.

    There was always the option during build to make the carriers cat n trap, which is what we should have done from day one, but dithering and the lack of steam generation for traditional catapaults (and the Harrier mafia within the RAF) pushed the no cats route, and then a change of mind in Govt and the announcement we would change the F-35B order for F-35C and fit the EMALS system that was being fitted to the new US carriers.
    Then they changed their mind again, and went back to the B and no cats n traps.

    We should have stayed with cats n traps and cancelled the ludicrously expensive not so stealthy jets and bought some new Super Hornets instead (just as USN are now doing) the money saved would have more than paid for the EMALS cat system and redesign of the carriers to accommodate them. This would have also allowed a much cheaper off the shelf buy of E-2D AEW aircraft (just as the Frenchicon have done) and shaved a fortune and time with all the Crowsnest fiasco. Which would have also allowed much better cross decking options with the USN as well as the French rather than only the USMC (which doesnt have organic AEW as they rely on the USN CBG's)

    As usual HMG wants to give the impression to the rest of the world we still deserve a place at the top table, but not wanting to actually spend the money to do it properly, and expect our wonderful Armed Forces to get on with it and make do.

  6. #14
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    I'm not so sure about cats and traps, they are a great option for a country like the US, who can afford to have a lot of fleet carriers and multiple air wings cycling in and out of operations and training.

    It's a real problem if you only have a few squadrons of fast jets and a couple of carriers.

    Keeping aircrew current and carrier qualified is nightmare, the pressure on the handful of qualified aircrew and there families would be enormous, probably enough for very high turnover and subsequently more strain on training.

    The B model F35 isn't as capable as the A or C sure, but it's a quantum leap up from Harrier and once it's been fully debugged, it will serve us well.

    The flexibility of our big deck STOVOL carriers, with the ease of getting new pilots Carrier qualified and lower costs of operation all round, is a very good fit for the UKicon.

    'If' they are properly funded to operate as intended, with four front line Lightening squadrons etc. A buy of the COD variant of the V22 for COD and AAR would be a massive force multiplier and close the gap between CTOL and STOVOL carriers.

    If we were ever able to put 36 fully supported jets on board a fully supported carrier (looking remote) they would be a highly visible and capable deterrent.

  7. #15
    Contributing Member Gil Boyd's Avatar
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    Ah...........it won't be long John, they'll be building a creche on board for the young families and their kids so there's no upset, they could also lend a hand as they are so short of crew anyway!!
    Lord Horatio Nelson will be turning in his grave........."What women onboard warships bah"
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

  8. #16
    Legacy Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post
    I'm not so sure about cats and traps, they are a great option for a country like the US, who can afford to have a lot of fleet carriers and multiple air wings cycling in and out of operations and training.

    It's a real problem if you only have a few squadrons of fast jets and a couple of carriers.

    Keeping aircrew current and carrier qualified is nightmare, the pressure on the handful of qualified aircrew and there families would be enormous, probably enough for very high turnover and subsequently more strain on training.
    We managed for nearly a decade with just the one carrier after Eagle was decommisioned.
    And the Frenchicon are managing it as well with just one, and doing cat n trap as well, and they developed their own fighter to fly off of it...! and that's why I think we've missed a trick by jumping into bed with the USMC rather than shared carrier support with an European ally.
    Are we really going to do USMC style expedition warfare?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post
    'If' they are properly funded to operate as intended, with four front line Lightening squadrons etc. A buy of the COD variant of the V22 for COD and AAR would be a massive force multiplier and close the gap between CTOL and STOVOL carriers.
    We are never going to buy V22 for the UKicon........have you seen the costs of those things......!
    The cost per per flying hour is even more than a F-22 Raptor.....!!
    Only stuff like the C5 Galaxy, B52, B1B etc cost more per flying hour than a V22...!!

  9. #17
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
    We managed for nearly a decade with just the one carrier after Eagle was decommisioned.
    And the Frenchicon are managing it as well with just one, and doing cat n trap as well, and they developed their own fighter to fly off of it...! and that's why I think we've missed a trick by jumping into bed with the USMC rather than shared carrier support with an European ally.
    Are we really going to do USMC style expedition warfare?



    We are never going to buy V22 for the UKicon........have you seen the costs of those things......!
    The cost per per flying hour is even more than a F-22 Raptor.....!!
    Only stuff like the C5 Galaxy, B52, B1B etc cost more per flying hour than a V22...!!
    Well yes, just my rose tinted glasses version of what's possible if properly funded...

    You can't really compare the fleet air arm of the 1970's with today, they spent the last 10 years of fast jet carriers operations with the best of the best, the stripped out core of the Fleet air arms finest, supported by excellent pilots on secondment from the RAF.

    The French, I hear fro friends, are struggling to maintain carrier aviation with high turn over of pilots, condensed into a small corps of carrier qualified personnel.

    Just my opinion, but it's not a good fit for a small Navy.

    If the government want properly funded Carrier Strike, then something else will have to go to free up funding and personnel, Royal Marines full spectrum capability (Albion and Bulwark specifically), with a reduction to a dedicated raiding force and Special forces support.

    Then we have Dreadnought coming along sucking up the funds too with each passing year....

    Something has to give!

  10. #18
    Legacy Member GeeRam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post
    The Frenchicon, I hear fro friends, are struggling to maintain carrier aviation with high turn over of pilots, condensed into a small corps of carrier qualified personnel.

    Just my opinion, but it's not a good fit for a small Navy.

    If the government want properly funded Carrier Strike, then something else will have to go to free up funding and personnel, Royal Marines full spectrum capability (Albion and Bulwark specifically), with a reduction to a dedicated raiding force and Special forces support.
    But they were due to go anyway.....as part of the cost saving to fund the carriers, a decision that was reversed 18 months ago by DefSec.......but, as you say, that may well get reversed back again, especially with the recent announcement about the RM's new uniform and new Commando role, closer to the WW2 roots of the Commando's.

    Which then begs the question, what the hell do we need the carriers for now, as they were there for amphib assault support?

    As you say about the French, its hard doing it properly, unless you fund it properly.
    Which is why in my view we shouldn't have built the carriers, as we just won't fund it properly. If you do it, do it properly to allow maximum cross-decking with others, and that means cat n trap....with stand off capability, and organic AAR and AEW capability. Even the USN are now struggling with the decision to retire the Tomcat early as the Super Hornet and F-35C don't have the long range fleet protection ability that the F-14 was designed to offer, and that means the carriers have to be closer to the risk zone. Ours will be even closer.....as we can only cross deck with the USMC, and 20 years after that Blair/Bush sponsored inflexible decision, we are living in a different world.

    Sadly I fear these two carriers may turn out to be the most expensive white elephants in MOD history.

  11. #19
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    "Sadly I fear these two carriers may turn out to be the most expensive white elephants in MOD history".

    A very good chance of that!

    Underutilised and not properly supported.

    It's like our Thypoon fleet, the idea in principle of a single multirole fighter shared across the squadrons is predictively turning into a fleets within fleets situation, with retrospective rework to the current build standard,
    (batch 1 aside) either watered down, or probably, just outright abandoned.

    Another waisted opportunity.

    Don't get me started on Tempest, more chance of me being the first man on Mars than that ever getting wind under its wings.....

    Re the Frenchicon Navy fast jet pilots, they are very highly regarded and sought after in industry.

    A friend used to work for a defence contractor and virtually all their pilots, were ex French Navy, the intense stress ( professional and family) on such a small group, made them easy to lure into the private sector by all accounts!
    Last edited by mrclark303; 07-12-2020 at 08:33 AM.

  12. #20
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    I expect that the solution that will be "found" is to use one of the carriers as a commando carrier thus reducing the requirement for fixed wing aircraft by 50% and delivering a ship that is completely impractical for the task for what it is now required to do.

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