The first British P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft has flown on a test flight.

The flight took place near Renton in the United States and the aircraft will be delivered in October this year.

Recently, we reported that aircrew have commenced the flying phase of training to fly the Poseidon MRA Mk1.

Pilots, Weapons System Officers and Weapons Systems Operators entered the simulator and flying phase of their six-month course.

The personnel, from CXX Squadron at RAF Lossiemouth, are being trained by a mix of US Navy and RAF P-8A ‘seedcorn’ one-way exchange instructors on a course which covers a substantial range of topics.

The Poseidon is based on the Boeing 737-800NG aircraft, the supply chain for which is already supported by UK industry, providing several hundred direct UK jobs. UK manufacturers also provide specialist sub-systems for the P-8A, for example Marshalls (auxiliary fuel tanks), Martin Baker (crew seats), GE (Weapon Pylons) and GKN Aerospace (windshields).

In January, Boeing was awarded an almost $2.5 billion contract to produce 19 P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for the US Navy, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Ten of the aircraft were for the US Navy, four for the UK and five for Norway.

The UK intends to procure 9 of the aircraft in total and had already ordered five. The January purchase brought the total UK order of P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft up to 9.

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Paul.P
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Paul.P

Well, after the death comes the resurrection…and it’s American. Bye bye euro projects. Hello Boeing.

Geoffrey Roach
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Geoffrey Roach

Hello Boeing because it works. Meanwhile Bae, GKN, Leonardo UK, MBDA, QinetiQ, Rolls Royce and others are all involved in European and international projects

Branaboy Young
Guest
Branaboy Young

I think the UK should have chosen the Japanese P1 and crammed it with the kit from the Nimrod MR4. I know the delivery dates would have been longer but I think the UK would have received a better maritime aircraft which it could modify extensively for other purposes such as the new AWACs contract. From what I have read about the 2 aircraft, the Boeing P8 and the Kawaski P1, the latter has been deemed by most reviewers as the better maritime anti-submarine aircraft. Anyway it’s good to see the UK back in the maritime patrol business once again.

Fedaykin
Guest
Fedaykin

So in other words another totally bespoke UK only solution…how did it work out the last time we tried that?! Sarcasm aside, the Boeing P-8a is going to be built in far greater numbers, operated by more of our close allies and is based upon the most common single aisle airliner in the world. It is clearly the far more sensible solution! It also happens to be the option that gives us the most financial return through UK industrial participation and even better uses a mission system that is derived from the one that was developed for the MR4A, so… Read more »

whlgrubber
Guest
whlgrubber

its only an aeroplane !! i still dont know what ASW kit it will have (AQS903?? ) It seems it will have usa torpedos and IFR. we have lost a whole generation of ASW capability, where we were the best. lets hope we can catch up.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Branaboy – the P1 makes an interesting comparison,from snippets of information released at the time I’m pretty sure the MOD were considering it,maybe as a sweetener for future trade deals with the Japanese if nothing else.But as things have panned out,with the decision to purchase the E7 Wedgetail AEW too it makes a lot of sense regarding operating costs/training and maintenance etc.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Deja vue all over again.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Just as BAE is ‘involved’ in the US. Is anyone involved in UK lead projects? Just asking….

Andy
Guest
Andy

Like type 26 or tempest?

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

I made a poke at the BBC for their anti brexit bias only to see my reply deleted twice by UKDJ, clearly someone there gets ‘triggered’ easily.
It was
“despite brexit planes are still flying” (this plane).
Must be very ‘offensive’ words i guess.
Freedom of speech being subverted? A simple tease?
Funny, i used to respect this so called ‘independent’ platform

Fen Tiger
Guest
Fen Tiger

Only 10 years (ish’) since Nimrod was scrapped and the UK lost the MPA capability.

Cam
Guest
Cam

The footage of nimrods being broken up for scrap really well peed me off. But Atleast Lossiemouth is having big investment, even Boeings spending a couple pound.

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

Nimrod MRA4 was deeply flawed as a project and aircraft.

It should have been cancelled in early 2000s.

Instead money was poured into to fix the unfixable.

Lesson to be learnt there, just like Nimrod AEW3.

Equipment should be affordable and capable.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Yeah but Atleast we had them m8. The sight of a nimrod flying low over head when in the middle of the ocean thinking your going to die in an emergency must have been an amazing sight, saved many lives and a beuitiful aircraft I think. I’m sure some almost finished mra4s were saved weren’t they? Or sold? Im next to old base at Ex RAF Kinloss today fishing and hoped to see a full nimrod but there’s only 40ft of one it’s Nimrod Xv240! Shame we couldn’t keep the whole aircraft up here!. It’ll be nice watching the new… Read more »

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

you are referring to the MRA2 which had a long list of safety faults and had to be withdrawn from service. We should not expect our service personnel to use equipment that is not safe.

The situation should never have arisen, once it was determined that MRA4 was a failure alternatives should be found.

The lack of MRA cover is inexcusable for the UK, however the defence budget is finite and decisions were made to withdraw MRA2 and cancel MRA4.

James M
Guest
James M

The Nimrod was a deathtrap, and should never have been in service with the number of dangerous issues it had. 23 service personnel were killed in 3 separate incidents, of the 5 total involving the aircraft. Part of the reason military aviation today is as safe as it is, and the reason the MAA exists, is because of the 2006 crash in Kandahar. The coroner involved ruled that it had “never been airworthy from the first time it was released to the service nearly 40 years ago”. If that was true of one aircraft, it was likely true of the… Read more »

The Big Man
Guest
The Big Man

Yes, but I do miss the Comet when I fly transatlantic. Wish BA would bring it back.
These 787’s are so modern.

Douglas Newell
Guest
Douglas Newell

Some deathtrap – it ran for 40 years until fatigue got it!
There were some brand spanking new Boeings crashing lately as well. Go figure.

James M
Guest
James M

Honestly, it’s a miracle that only 5 crashed, the thing was riddled with dangerous design flaws (fuel tank overflow valves with the output in the wing next to the jet engine, among others) although that’s understandable considering it was based on an aircraft that first flew in 1949. It’s a shame really, Nimrods and their crews were in a league of their own with sub hunting, and if those flaws had been found and fixed it could’ve been flying for another few decades. Those 737MAX crashes were because it turns out that letting a company self-certify its aircraft with minimal… Read more »

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

James, I knew a senior RAF technician who worked on the Nimrod at Lossiemouth during the 1990s, he would not have sent crews up in “deathtraps”. As you state, only five losses in 40 years of service at low-level over the inhospitable North Atlantic, including aircraft lost to bird-strikes, the ignition of a flare in the bomb-bay, and a crash at an air-show. The MR1, MR2 and R1 were aircraft of their time, and the flight-record compares favourably with a contemporary like the much loved Vulcan – which experienced about 15 losses in under thirty years in service. You state… Read more »

HF
Guest
HF

Expected attrition rates used to account for about a third of an aircraft’s orders

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

How many 737Max’s flew happily before 2 crashed and was exposed as a deathtrap. How many people gaily got into their lifts before they realised that Grenfill Tower was exposed as a deathtrap?

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Trevor, You can always post on PPRUNE – and ask some of the Nimrod veterans on that site if they believed they flew and maintained “deathtraps”.
https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation-57/
Or perhaps contact the good folks at the AVRO Heritage Museum for their view.
http://avroheritagemuseum.co.uk/
You’ll also find Tony Blackman (a retired Nimrod test pilot) a good authority on the subject.
Best Regards, Alan
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nimrod-Rise-Fall-Tony-Blackman/dp/1909166022/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=tony+blackman&qid=1563287518&s=gateway&sr=8-3

Douglas Newell
Guest
Douglas Newell

In fairness not long, deliveries started in 2017 –but two crashes since them is blooming abysmal. The Nimrod, on the otherhand flew for a very long time and had an excellent safety record until the crash in Afghanistan. The MRA4 was essentially a new system re-using mainly the main fuselage … whichg was its biggest problem. I had a colleague to who worked at BAe for a while and the main issues derived for the re-winging. Turns out that back in the early days each aircraft was essentially bespoke, so when they came to fit the new wings, they didn’t… Read more »

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

The nimrod had maintenance issues. Fuel leaks. Sadly they had issues and a tragic disaster happened. This disaster was something waiting to happen. A big mistake was made to replace it with another of based on the same. Tragic.

Douglas Newell
Guest
Douglas Newell

Yup and I’m sure BAe recognised that when they were rebuilding the aircraft from the ground up and dealt with those issues for the MRA4.

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

If they did recognise it then they did not do a very good job of it. The go ahead to design and build it started in 1996. It spent the entire period designing and redesigning it all through the period of Blairs administration and on to 2012. And it was still not right.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Trevor
Reading your comments, one would think the MRA4 never actually flew!
Here’s one at RIAT in 2007. One of the five examples that took to the skies.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWU0MsRxZSY

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

of course it flew in 2007. That’s the point. It still was not signed off in 2012 and at that point in time none were fit to fly.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

https://www.baesystems.com/en/article/nimrod-mra4-declared-ready-to-train “Group Captain George Martin, the UK MoD’s Nimrod MRA4 Operations Manager said: “Today sees the end of the acceptance process for MRA4, namely type, production and last, but by no means least, that of capability. The acceptance journey over the last two weeks marks a key milestone in the delivery of the first MRA4 for service use. It is a great privilege to have been involved over the past few years in seeing all aspects of the programme being drawn together and indeed today to see my customer accept the aircraft from me”. Before cancellation in October 2010, the… Read more »

HF
Guest
HF

Eventually a new Conservative Goverment under pressure bailing out the entire UK banking system that the previous goverment had royally screwed decided to cancel. Actually the people who screwed the banking system – including across the western financial system were the bankers themselves. Labour might have continued the deregulation begun under Thatcher (remember ‘the big bang’ in 1986) but Cameron and the tories said it hadn’t gone far enough. Things were stable and beginning to recover before tory austerity, imposed for the ‘small state, trickle down’ ideology threw things in reverse. Here’s the incompetent Osborne claiming credit for Labour policies… Read more »

Expat
Guest
Expat

The biggest problem was the use of an old arirframe. If the A320 or A330 had been selected it could have been different proposition. We could have been exporting a MPA instead of buying foreign.

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

There has been talk of a Airbus 319/320 MPA variant for over 20 years.

Two big factors against is cost and risk.

After wasting £4bn on MRA4 we needed certainty not another project which would taken over decade to deliver at an unknown cost.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I’m very surprised that France haven’t pushed Airbus for a MRA solution. Their Atlantics are now pretty long in the tooth. It could have been a golden opportunity to co-develop a MRA using the A320 platform. Mind you its taken quite a few years to get the A400M right, and they’re still ironing out the bugs on a comparatively simple aircraft compared to a MRA. There are quite a few countries still using Atlantics and the P3 that have not signed up to the Poseidon, so perhaps there is a market for a European MRA.

James M
Guest
James M

Agreed. While we did already have the airframes, the difficulty of modernising such old, hand built airframes should have been realised much sooner and a more modern platform chosen. Then we wouldn’t have been in this mess and could’ve afforded more aircraft and possibly even exported them as you said.

HF
Guest
HF

You are wrong about Nimrod as this shows:-
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmdfence/761/761vw15.htm

It was scrapped for ideological reasons. Complete, bare faced lies were told about the status of the project. As a result of it the UK has been left without a vital capability for over a decade.

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

It was not scrapped for ideological reasons.

It was scrapped for both safety and cost reasons.

The whole was several years late, had a very long list of faults, was unsafe to fly and the costs to fix those faults and ongoing support costs were unknown.

It was a simple project that went very badly wrong from the start, the scandal was that the project wasn’t terminated by 2005 at the latest.

HF
Guest
HF

Mike – all those points are addressed in the written answer I posted the link to.

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

The opinion of one person, who I am sure is very knowledgeable but she is just one person with only exposure to the data that was available in the public.

No where in her statement did she refer to the actual costs of fixing and supporting the MRA4.

Which is no surprise because BAE was
not prepared to give or know of the costs involved.

HF
Guest
HF

True she doesn’t mention costs but she has a lot more knowledge than was available to the public:- “I was until October 2010 the Subject Matter Expert on the Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system for the Nimrod MRA4. I worked, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, on the evaluation of the system and advised on changes to the system”. Just like the RAF had to choose between the Tornado and Harrier to cut costs so Fox, Osborne, & Cameron could pretend that it all because of ‘socialist overspending’. Anyway, let’s not bang on about it just now. I’m sure… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Cutting the Harrier fleet was one of the worst decisions of the 2010 defence review. Not only did we loose an aircraft for the carriers, but more importantly it sped up the airframe usage of the Tornados. The GR4s were supposed to go out of service in 2025 with a gradual phase in of the F35s. Because Tornado had to take up the roles previously done by Harrier it significantly shortened the life span of the aircraft. This has also had a knock on effect for the Typhoons, as it has had to take over the Tornado’s role before the… Read more »

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Mike, Anecdotally, an ex-RAF pilot with connections to the flight test-crew told me that MRA4 was performing well at the time of cancellation. No one disputes it was a troubled programme, plagued with bad decision-making, but in typical Brit fashion – we cancelled it after £4B had been spent, and the aircraft was on the verge of entering service! Cameron often boasted he was a Prime Minister who made “tough decisions”, but cancelling Nimrod MRA4, as part of a panicked round of defence cuts, was an easy option – a tough decision would have been to see off demands to… Read more »

HF
Guest
HF

They did bear down on other areas, with the results we see and are living with now. They put slashing defence ahead of national security to reinforce the lie that socialist ‘overspending’ was the cause of the western financial crash.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Mike, I believe it cost the MoD £50M per annum to run RAF Kinloss. Closing the airbase gave the Treasury the savings it was after. But even at a time of reduced Russian naval activity, the MoD knew withdrawing from the MPA business would be a controversial decision, hence the “spin” to blame the aircraft, and not government policy. Oh, and they quickly chopped-up the MRA4 with JCBs to avoid the decision being reviewed – and reversed. In 2003, on the verge of entering service, Typhoon was a troubled programme, late and over-budget – and its potential questioned. Sounds a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Thanks for this Alan.

Lets hope the old skills are still there in Seedcorn.

Mike Saul
Guest
Mike Saul

Most modern projects do have a troubled development.

The point about MRA4 was that only nine airframes were going to be completed and there was no viable cost and time estimate to fix it’s outstanding faults to receive safety certification.

Of course Typhoon had a production run of 700 lined up, so costs were bearable.

Give the costs of MRA4 and faults the correct decision was to cancel.

Herodotus
Guest

There is something quite obscene about deliberately destroying tax-payers property in order to cover politicians’ backsides. Cameron should be held accountable for wanton vandalism…no better than Isis in Palmira or the Taliban in Bamyan! Thousands of hours of work destroyed on the whim of an over-promoted schoolboy.
Still, they have been doing this for a long time. I am old enough to remember the chopping up of TSR2 prototypes; it was Dennis Healey that time. Lets buy American in the shape of the F111….did we get it…of course not! Remind you of anything?

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Absolutely Mike, we have debated the Nimrod MR4A many times here in the past. The sight of those 12 airframes being scrapped at Warton, should be seared into people’s memories. The programme was an absolute folly and a shocking waste of pulic money. The P 8 is absolutely the right aircraft for the job, it’s a very capable aircraft that uncle Sam has invested a huge amount of time and money getting right. We plug directly into US future upgrades too. Hopefully in time, we can buy more than 9, I would like to see 25, with overland strike missions… Read more »

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Folks, For me – what was an absolute folly was the cancellation of an aircraft in 2010 which was working, and after £4B had been sunk into the project, then opting out of a vital strategic capability for over ten years, before deciding to reconstitute it with an aircraft with some performance inferiorities to MRA4, and spending additional billions in doing so. But the shareholders of Boeing are no doubt chuffed to bits …. There are strong opinions on both sides of this argument, and no doubt we will revisit them again after the next P8 post ……. !… Read more »

john Clark
Guest
john Clark

Hi Alan,

There is no doubt that had the next gen “mighty hunter” actually entered service, it would have been streets ahead of the of the rest.

However, operating a bespoke fleet of 9 aircraft, baring in mind, all 9 have different dimensions to each other, so it is in fact a fleet of 9 bespoke aircraft!

The cost of keeping such a small fleet operational and upgraded would have probably cost the same amount again over the next 20 years.

Totally unaffordable.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi John, In 2010, the cost to run Nimrod MRA4 was estimated at £200M per annum – that would have included a support contract of about £70M from BAE, and the cost of RAF Kinloss (which I’ve read was about £50M). The source of that £200M figure is those well-informed people at PPRUNE. Is £200M “totally unaffordable” to run a vital strategic capability? Up until cancellation, from leaked documents in the press at that time, it appears Liam Fox (then Sec of State) was arguing that it was – and likewise the Chief of the Air Staff! One of the… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

It does make for interesting different point of view. Especially as at time it was widely published that the aircraft was costing too much to build and get up and running. If this was down to the Treasury insisting on the massive defence cuts, its worse than obscene. We have been very lucky in the intervening years that Nimrod wasn’t need in anger to either protect the nukes or go sub-hunting. I do welcome the P8, but would like to know why it was better than the P1? What really puts things into perspective is that Japan are ordering 60… Read more »

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Davey Thanks for understanding my comments, because what I should have written was – “Is £200M totally unaffordable to run a vital strategic capability? Up until cancellation, from leaked documents in the press at that time, it appears Liam Fox (then Sec of State) was arguing that it WASN’T (unaffordable)– and likewise the Chief of the Air Staff!” Duh! There’s never an edit button when you need it! LOL Nimrod MRA4 always gets the juices of contributors flowing, and there have been some good counter-points from John, Mike and Fedaykin. I agree with you that since the MRA4 cancellation,… Read more »

HF
Guest
HF

‘ I would argue the MRA4 was simply cancelled because of the Treasury’s insistence on about 10% being slashed from the defence budget – and panicked horse-trading between the services’ – exactly so

HF
Guest
HF
HF
Guest
HF

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmdfence/761/761vw15.htm

read this expose of the lies of Fox (how unusual !) and others, and weep.

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Many thanks HF, a very authoritative and “myth busting” contribution by Doctor Robertson.
From the same Select Committee report, see also –
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmdfence/761/761vw29.htm

HF
Guest
HF

Interesting further evidence

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

Yes … I agree.

Helions
Guest
Helions

Lovely photo. Please order 15 more now…

#Weneedembad… (idea stolen from another poster)

Cheers!

Rob Collinson
Guest
Rob Collinson

Nine does seem to be a threadbare amount. By the rule of three nine does seem somewhat thin, but they will be very, very welcome.

We need more!

We can’t wait for them all to arrive!

Russ
Guest
Russ

Fantastic to see that .gov.uk is back in the saddle – doing what it do w best , buying last gen tech

James M
Guest
James M

The P-8 is one of the newest and most capable maritime patrol aircraft in the world. Hardly “last gen tech” by any means. Developing a new MPA would only serve to increase cost and increase the amount of time we don’t have the capability for, while we can get the P-8 now, and take advantage of the USN’s upgrade plans which will give us a high-end capability for at least the next 25 years.

dan
Guest
dan

Last gen tech such as?? You do know it takes years to develop a complete system like the P-8A, right? And the P-8A is already receiving updates and add-ons just like most military aircraft. There is no better MPA in the world today that does everything this 1 does hence the big orders from so many countries.

Liam
Guest
Liam

This is not a rhetorical question but is it any good? From what I have read the range is average; it has no MAD; and uses sonarboys that are not as good as UK produced. The radar looks average also, but I know little about that.

Rob Collinson
Guest
Rob Collinson

Whatever, it is better than what we already have! Zip!!

Liam
Guest
Liam

Not so sure about that. We have the A400m which has some maritime capability; Merlins and the Astute subs. Anyway it’s academic as we have ordered them and perhaps capability will grow over time.

James M
Guest
James M

Realistically, none of those compare to the P-8. The Merlin, while a good bit of kit, doesn’t have the speed, range, or cargo capacity (weapons and buoys) of a fixed-wing MPA, and the Astutes fill a different role – hunter-killer – that isn’t designed for patrol as much as it is for finding, following, and destroying enemy assets like SSNs and SSBNs.
Have you got more info about the A400M capability? I couldn’t find anything in my quick search.

Liam
Guest
Liam

The info on the A400 came from the latest issue of Air International. There’s an article about the A400 and how the UK wanted a maritime capability to its version. The piece goes on to talk about that being used in the Falklands. I had a look after reading that to see if there was anything specific out there about perhaps a particular radar fit (sea spray for example) but could find nothing.

James M
Guest
James M

Thanks, I’ll have a look at that.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I believe the base version of the A400M uses the Northrop Grumman AN/APN-241E radar. This is a standard mechanically scanned pulse doppler radar, it is currently fitted to our Hercs. It is primarily a terrain avoidance and weather radar. However, it does have a good synthetic aperture mode and can do maritime surface search. It’s not quite periscope spotting Sea Spray league, but sufficient for for small craft searching.

dan
Guest
dan
Liam
Guest
Liam

Thank you.

James M
Guest
James M

Hopefully the Poseidon will get UK kit installed at some point, but until then, the US kit will do the job well, and if the USN with their virtually unlimited budget decided that they didn’t need MAD, it’s probably not vital to the aircraft’s performance. IIRC it’s because it flies higher than older MPAs did, so the boom is less useful. That said, India have it on their variant, so it can probably be added in the future if it’s really wanted/needed. The combat radius is definitely a weak area though – 1200nmi with 4 hours on station, compared to… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Japan are buying a total of 60 P1’s, they are more expensive than the P8 of which we are only buying 9. Both aircraft have a bomb bay a 1/3 the size of a Nimrod are slower and don’t have a comparable range. It would have been interesting to see how the MR4 would have compared to these two aircraft. But the decision to update the Nimrod with new engines and wings, whilst on paper seemed right in reality was a poor choice. Each aircraft was hand built, so had slightly different configurations but more importantly build differences. The correct… Read more »

Jack
Guest
Jack

If it isn’t that good !I am then why are so many other countries buying it ?

Liam
Guest
Liam

Thanks for all the interesting replies.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Excellent news.

I echo other posters. Is the ideal solution to the UKs needs for a whole host of reasons.

More are needed. But something may have to go to fund them to make that a reality.

Jack
Guest
Jack

Boeing have invested substantially in the UK.
The high tech factory they opened in Sheffield is the first manufacturing facility they built outside the US.
It will good to see the P8’s arrive here. Gap plugged.

Expat
Guest
Expat

Funny isn’t it, complex war ships have to built in the UK, many poster on here also support a non competitive build of SSS. Yet aircraft there’s almost no appetite to consider anything UK based other than a fighter.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Expat – maybe its because the Ghost of TSR2 still haunts the upper echelons of Government even to this day.

Terrence Bettesworth
Guest
Terrence Bettesworth

why oh why buy American, getting too locked in with them

Trevor
Guest
Trevor

7 countries all told, to date.

John Clark
Guest
John Clark

Why buy American? It’s the right decision for our MPA requirements, bog standard US Navy spec, upgrades as and when Uncle Sam has them ready, US Navy stock weapons and bouys … It’s a high end capability that we can afford on our 2% defence budget. A European solution based on a handful of A320 derived platforms is simply re inventing the wheel, at enormous expense and the French and German defence budget can’t afford to write the cheques… Pie in the shy thinking guys… We have to make our 2% budget go as far as it can, that means… Read more »

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

Agreed!

Helions
Guest
Helions
John Clark
Guest
John Clark

As a bit of a ‘what if’, can you imagine a couple of Nimrod MR4’s operating from Cyprus and loitering over Syria for hours with a belly full of 500lb LGB’s.

It would have excelled at this sort of mission with its avionics…

Helions
Guest
Helions

That’s what the BOnes and Buffs were doing. Long endurance and LOTS of ordnance.

Cheers!