The new E-7 Wedgetail early warning aircraft will be based at RAF Lossiemouth, joining Typhoon fighter jets and P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft.

The first of the E-7 Wedgetail aircraft are expected to arrive in 2023.

Minister of State for Defence, Baroness Goldie said:

“Scotland’s proximity to the waters and skies of the North Atlantic is of crucial importance to the UK’s and Nato’s security – this is why important military bases such as HMNB Clyde and RAF Lossiemouth are located here. Defence’s latest decision to base the E-7 Wedgetail at RAF Lossiemouth demonstrates our commitment to investing in Scotland, and will complement and will complement and expand upon the success of Typhoon fast jet and submarine hunting Poseidon operations.”

What is Wedgetail?

The E-7 Wedgetail is an Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft with maritime search capabilities, the ability to control unmanned aircraft and intelligence gathering capabilities.

The E-7 provides one of the most advanced air battlespace management capabilities in the world and the Royal Air Force have just purchased five of them.

The Wedgetail is based on a Boeing 737-700, with the addition of an advanced Multi-Role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar and 10 mission crew console. They can cover four million square kilometres during a single 10 hour mission according to the Royal Australian Air Force.

You can read more about the aircraft by following the link below.

A guide to the E-7 Wedgetail

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Chris
Chris
6 months ago

Suppose it’s also probably helped by the fact that both the E-7 and P-8 share the same basic air frame (737 Next Gen) so basing them together would ease maintenance and logistics.

Nathan
Nathan
6 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Yep, just wish Airbus had gotten their act together so we could have used their airframe and gotten some workshare in their construction, albeit using Boeing systems.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Chris

No! Completely different roles.

A misguided decision!

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago

given the current problems with air travel, perhaps the UK could take advantage and purchase 8-12 nearly new 737’s and refit out as P8’s and E7’s

certainly for P8’s there is a stated requirement for 16 and a few more Wedgetails wouldn’t go amiss.

perhaps there is a deal to be done here with some cash strapped airlines or leasing companies.

David
David
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Sounds like a good idea in principle. However, the UK has a long and embarrasing history of modifying airframes in order to save money and then costing the earth when the cost of modding was higher than the new purchase price.

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago
Reply to  David

This is the model for both aircraft types. It’s all outsourced and the parts are inserted by Boeing for the P8 and a uk company for wedge tails I believe

virtually no additional risk as long as we get good base aircraft

James M
James M
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I’d put good money on the bulk of the cost being the systems rather than the airframes, so it’d likely still be hideously expensive.

Plus, isn’t P-8 built with new production airframes for the USN? Would it be possible to modify an existing airframe (IIRC the wings come from a different variant to the fuselage), and if it is would it even be worth it?

I do think it’d be worth picking up a couple for training to keep the hours down on the aircraft we do have though.

Longtime
Longtime
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Yes they are the base model but P8s have to be a brand new airframe due to the integral weapons bay location, the support structure can’t just be added as the wing root interacts with the same area. The P8 also uses a newer wing than its fuselage model.

E7s can be modified from any 800 or 900 model but not MAXs.

Longtime
Longtime
6 months ago
Reply to  David

Pretty sure we’re already on this approach with 2of the 5 E7s anyway

Mitchell Hall
Mitchell Hall
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

We could buy a couple just for training (touch & goes etc) to save the airframe’s of the p8 & e7’s.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Mitchell Hall

I had much the same thought Mitchell, 3 secondhand aircraft, bought for aircrew and ground crew training wouldn’t go a miss, the cost would be outweighed by saving hours on the P8 and E7 fleets.

When not needed, they could always be used as supplemental transports.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

There is a reason no modern air force takes this approach, it’s simply taking funds away from the things we need, and it’s never cheap, same reason we don’t keep reserve fleets.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I know we’ve you are coming from Robert, but we live in interesting times, 3 stored ex airline 737-700’s could be picked up for a very good price these days as large numbers of them are sat about all over the world, with nothing to do. I would guarantee lease companies would absolutely jump at the chance of a cheap sale. The cost of storing an airliner and keeping it airworthy is very expensive and the longer it’s on the ground, the more expensive it gets. As I said, they would be very useful indeed for training ground crew and… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hi John. Yes, but engineers and aircrew can practice that sort of thing in simulators these day’s. So if we have spare cash to buy aircraft, better to buy a couple more P8’s or E7’s fully fitted out. Once you have bought the 2nd hand aircraft, and all the associated maintenance contracts, ground equipment, extra engineers for maintenance, those cheap aircraft suddenly aren’t cheap anymore, and won’t provide any useful up take in capability.

Grubbie
Grubbie
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

The BAE 146 is extremely expensive to maintain and the maintenance contract is just about to end. 737 – 700 maintenance could easily be outsourced and parts will be cheap and easily available for decades.They would be extremely flexible for a variety of functions.
The only problem will be that they have their harts set on a couple of glamorous bi’s jets.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Morning Robert,

I’m sure you’re right and I’m probably over simplifying. Couldn’t the airframes be maintained by one of the civilian operators, regarding D checks?

Though simulation is a vital tool these days, there still has to be some hands on training and I would rather flog three secondhand ex easyJet machines with chewing gum stuck to the seats around the shop, air and ground crew training.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Afternoon John. Engineers and Aircrew have to qualify on aircraft types, and although the P8 & E7 is basically a 737 underneath, the vast difference in systems and handling qualities, makes them completely different aircraft from a normal holiday going 737. So to qualify on 2 types just for training purposes is a none starter. It’s never as simple as it seems. Synthetic training these day’s is very accurate, and all the basics can be achieved in the simulator, thus saving hours on the real aircraft. Thanks John.

Daveyb
Daveyb
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

The Indian Airforce are looking to purchase two A330 and a number of A320s. These will initially supplement the A50EI and EMB145s. But it is planned that they will eventually replace them. The A330s are going to be modified by Airbus with additional fuselage strengthening so the antenna can be mounted as per the A50EI. The A320s will have the antenna mounted as per the EMB145s. India is hoping to replace the radars with an indigenous radar. Choosing the A320 and A330 means they have a greater breadth of available spares and both have significantly more endurance than the aircraft… Read more »

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
6 months ago

Makes sense, the main threat to the UK airspace comes via the North from Russia.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

The Main threat can come from the East as well!

Pete
Pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

And the west… Day 1 scenario I suspect would be submarine launched cruise missiles from south west and west targeting south Coast naval bases and the Clyde bases as well as the likes of Lossie.

Often wondered why the likes of wedgetail dont have asraam or meteor for self defence purposes.

Read an interesting article over a decade ago about relative A2A capabilities and the article touched on the potential for future air dominance aircraft to be large (737scale) aircraft carrying dozens of extended range missiles… Must try and find it.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
6 months ago
Reply to  Pete

If an enemy gets within ASRAAM range of wedgetail it’s in trouble. I can see what you are getting at with extended range missiles but even Letting it get in Meteor range of the enemy is getting dodgy for something like a Wedgetail.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
6 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Lossiemouth is on the east coast, close to the Baltic. If you mean the threat of China, they can stage to an Op to the mid or far east from Lossie as easily as they can from England in the south.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
6 months ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

The main threat always comes from where you least expect it.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

That is certainly the most threatening threat!

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
6 months ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

So where else in the UK is a better location to combat these unexpected threats while still using the RAFs existing base infrastructure to locate the aircraft efficiently to face the known threats?

Nathan
Nathan
6 months ago

I would like to have seen Taranis become a force multiplier in this regard. A stealthy, passive surveillance platform and communications node that could penetrate into enemy territory and provide a “behind enemy lines” view of things, linking up with these “mother ships”, almost like sensor extensions for them. As it is P8 and Wedgetail don’t look very survivable and will need to keep a long way from battle lines in future conflicts. But what do I know.
Happy Christmas all.

Ron
Ron
6 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

Nathan, I’m not a 100% but I think if the E7 was deployed in a peer to peer situation it would be escorted with some fighters possibly even a tanker would be somewhere close. AEW aircraft are normally well protected. As for the P8 in real operations I would imagine they would be out over the GIUK Gap on patrol. Its a big sky to find a single aircraft out in the middle of nowhere, especially one that does not want to be found. So they should be ok.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Correct! The E7 would most likely patrol over Eastern Europe.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
6 months ago
Reply to  Nathan

Difficult to remain stealthy while you are emitting active RADAR signals to monitor the battle space. And Taranis lacks the room for the 10 mission crew monitoring and controlling the air battle, so a high bandwidth means of transferring the data picked up by the RADAR back to a control would need to be developed, as well as a means to forward on the Mission Crew’s instructions back up the line to Taranis and then on to the allied fighters.

5 Wedgetails are a much cheaper and reliable option.

Patrick
Patrick
6 months ago

How many will tbe RAF be getting, five or a token force of 3?

Geoff
Geoff
6 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

Sounds like its still 5 (officially..)

David
David
6 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

I was asking myself that same question Patrick. I read the MoD still has to find 1Bn in efficiency savings this year even though the budget is set to rise over the next 4. One of the proposals touted was reducing Wedgetail from 5 to 3. Makes me wonder though; if the in-service date is 2023, wouldn’t we be paying for them starting then and not now? Admittedly, I’m not sure how MoD/defence accounting works soooooo I suppose we will have to wait for the defence review next month to find out but I do hope we keep the 5;… Read more »

Challenger
Challenger
6 months ago
Reply to  Patrick

5 is barely enough to sustain minimum operations. With 3 they’d struggle to provide QRA support in The UK, let alone have any capacity to deploy 1 overseas for stuff like Op Shader. May as well not bother!

George
George
6 months ago

Hi folks hope all is well.

Yes this is good news for UK Defence in that part of North Europe, and of course will help keep Rusia from poking around our territory.I supose the SNP will make a comment in a negative response from the first minister’s office.

Again, there is the question of what is going to happen if independence is achieved, where would the aircraft be stationed?
Cheers,
George

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  George

Probably at Waddington where the ASCS force is now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

I didn’t see this coming.

Lossi is going to be ridiculously busy.

I’d also wonder what else will go into Warrington to replace 8 Sqn? The station is the main RAF ISTAR hub.

Once the AWACS force moves and Sentinel retires, there’s wont be many aircraft left there apart from Shadows, the Reds, who’ve not moved in yet, and the Rivet Joints.

Maybe future RPAS?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

Delete please Mods. My first post which my phone renamed an RAF station as Warrington!

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
6 months ago

A pity to delete, Daniele, because there really ought to be an RAF station at Warrington!
Hope you are keeping well, my friend.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Ha! Hi Alan.

Thank you. We are. Keep safe too, and always a pleasure exchanging posts with you.

I guess our best bets would be Sealand or Woodvale!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago

Protector will be based at Waddington too.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Evening Robert.

Is that confirmed?

I did not include the RPAS fleet as no actual systems are there.

I assumed that even with Protector and its avoidance capabilities, they would just base the systems in the Middle East while keeping no actual hardware at Waddo apart from Sqn HQ and the GS.

I’m interested if this is confirmed and actual RPAS will be on station.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago

Hi Daniele Yes it’s confirmed. Protector will operate out of Waddington, in physical form, as well as systems deployed to the usual hot sandy parts of the world we love to play in.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

That is interesting. I will definitely be going up there to get a look.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

I didn’t see this coming.

Lossi is going to be ridiculously busy.

I’d also wonder what else will go into Waddington to replace 8 Sqn? The station is the main RAF ISTAR hub.

Once the AWACS force moves and Sentinel retires, there’s wont be many aircraft left there apart from Shadows, the Reds, who’ve not moved in yet, and the Rivet Joints.

Maybe future RPAS?

julian1
julian1
6 months ago

i think its crazy that too many key assets are stationed at one airbase. Half the RAF could be grounded by a couple of accurate missile strikes! Why oh why at least not use Kinloss if they have to be in the far north? Waddington will be nearly empty – especially if Sentinel goes.

Anyway, I’ve heard they may be cut which is utter stupidity too. Perhaps so stupid it won’t happen.

Paul42
Paul42
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

It really doesn’t make a lot of sense basing them at Lossiemouth? Waddington is home to ISTAR, and how often do we deploy AWACs in the North? Not often enough to justify the move. Its about
Logistics and making use of the brand new Boeing maintenance facility, not about operational requirements.

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

that’s the accountants answer. too much at one base and too much of a risk! at least move some Typhoon squadrons out, do we really need 4 squadrons there – they aren’t all on QRA

Paul42
Paul42
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

No we don’t. Move a couple of Squadrons to RAF Leeming, or is that considered a future F35 base?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

The fighter force was once nicely spread.

By no of Squadrons, early 2000s.
4 at Marham. 1 at Wittering. 2 at Cottesemore, 3 at Coltishall, 2 at Coningsby, 3 at Leeming, 2 at Leuchars, 3 at Lossimouth.

Ideally now Typhoon force should by 3 at Lossi and 2 each at Leeming, Coningsby.

Challenger
Challenger
6 months ago

Completely agree. Rationalization is sensible to a point and we’re not going to have 8 fast-jet stations for barely 9 squadrons these days, but equally assets still need to be spread out to a degree with not just alternative runways (the easier bit) but alternative and back-up station facilities (aircraft shelters, munitions, fuel tanks etc). Leeming would seem to be the obvious choice to add to Coningsby, Marham and Lossiemouth. Can maybe get away with centralizing training at Valley but two helicopter bases in the shape of Odiham and Benson is sensible and perhaps hiving some of the transport/tanker assets… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Why? it’s just wasting precious funds.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Well, there are several sites that could be used with that sort of infrastructure as back up stations. Boscombe. QRA capable / HAS / Fuel / munitions. Leeming. HAS / Fuel / munitions. Leuchars. Same. This was used recently. Wattisham. Same. Honington. Same. But don’t think the runway is usable? Kinloss. No HAS. Wittering and Cottesemore. No HAS and no idea what state Cottesemore’s runway is in. Yeovilton. Was QRA capable. Unsure now? St Mawgan. HAS / Fuel / munitions. Must be in state now and civvy airport. I had an interesting discussion with Dern some weeks back about using… Read more »

Ian
Ian
6 months ago

Morning Daniele
Is Scampton an option.. ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Morning Ian.

No, as Scamptons scheduled to close.

Reds are moving to Waddington down the road. No idea where the CRC is going.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

It’s more efficient to have a smaller number of larger bases. It means more funds are available for equipment, and not being wasted on a inefficient defence estate with ever ageing infrastructure. The USAF also operate multiple aircraft types from one base.

Challenger
Challenger
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

The RAF does arguably still have way too much of a physical footprint with a lot of real estate left over from The Cold War and a lot of rationlization decisions deferred for 20+ years.

That being said efficiency and cost can’t be the only considerations. Operational flexibility and redundancies need to feature and there comes a point where you don’t want to squeeze anymore assets into a single confined space.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

It makes perfect sense, because they will share the same resources and maintenance facilities as the P8’s. This is a wise way of saving money, and the defence estate is already taking up far to much of the defence budget. it’s more efficient to have a smaller number of larger base’s. Waddington is safe anyway. It still has the Shadow fleet, Protector on it’s way, the Red Arrows & Rivet Joint.

Julian1
Julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I get the efficiency argument and concentrating resources but at some point the risks start to outweigh the benefits. A single, concerted terrorist attack could immobilise MPA, AEW and half the Typhoon fleet. That could be done in peace time without any warning. One upside though: 15,000 jobs relying on a super-sized Lossiemouth together with Coulport complex supporting a similar number could make an independence vote a very bitter pill to swallow in the case of indyref2. The US too has supersize bases, but they must have about 50 of them. There’s literally 1000s of civvy airfields with asphalt runways… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  Julian1

All though you can never rule out terrorist attacks, pulling one off in mainland UK against a large military complex, that puts aircraft and capability at risk is highly unlikely. You simply cannot organise a large scale attack without intelligence getting wind of something being planned. Not even the IRA could pull off a large scale attack on a UK RAF station. And the threat is constantly monitored. I don’t think another independence referendum is going to happen anytime soon, we have bigger problems to sort out.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

I totally Agree!

Ron
Ron
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

I agree Lossie need a surface to air defence system. Reason is that it is fairly isolated and has or will have many of the AEW/Anti Sub assets of the RAF. Possibly a battery of Land Ceptor would be useful, Im not sure if the Aster 30 could be used from land but if so then the combination could be useful for Lossie. If I remember correctly the Army, it could have been the US Army had also truck mounted Phalex. I am not sure what happened to these but if they are still either operational or in storage they… Read more »

DFJ123
DFJ123
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

My thoughts exactly. Either a standoff hypersonic missile or sub-launched cruise missile attack could take out the QRA and the entirety of the Wedgetail and P-8 fleet. Ideally, they could use the site (or nearby) as a test-bed for anti-ballistic missile asters and a battery of Sky Sabre. There’s no way they’ll commit a T45 or T26 to guard an airbase. One of my pet ideas, when everyone was talking about up-arming the River Class though, was to turn them into littoral air defence corvettes. Replace the 30mm with Phalanx and fit containerised Sea Ceptor along with a better radar.… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  DFJ123

Yes, unless the Russians are invading the UK and all out WW3 has started, then it’s a total waste of money that could be much better spent on equipment we actually need.

Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

What’s a Phalex Ron….and as it can be truck mounted, it must be an enormous one:). On a serious note, if the balloon were to go up, would not the RAF disperse its assets to rehional airports around the silands?

Ron
Ron
6 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Whoops finger trouble Phalanx CIWS I think the army called it LPWS, I think the US Army deployed it in 2005 in Iraq as part of the Centurion program. If the balloon did go up I’m not sure if the E-7s and P-8s could be dispersed, as the repair facilities are also in Lossie. It seems that we have put all our importants eggs in one basket. Thats ok as long as the basket is rapped in cotton wool and placed in a soft room. Lossie needs protection, my suggestion is to have systems that the Army has or will/could… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

I agree. With Land Ceptor the base is pretty safe.m from the air. I don’t know if Giraffe would even be needed as on UK mainland there is good coverage from fixed radar heads. It would be interesting to know, but will obviously never be disclosed, wether a full synthetic picture can be used for the Aster/Ceptor family as per Cooperative Engagement?? I’d me more concerned about Little Green Men pretending to be terrorists TBH. As with Falklands the issue will arise as Putin or his successors get desperate as the Russian petro/klepto economy self implodes. Silly things happen out… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Are we expecting the Russians to invaded or something.

Ron
Ron
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

No ,but can you tell me what will happen at 05:00 tomorrow morning. No. It is simple the armed forces need to be equipped and prepared to move out from peace to war in a single command. What is the point if let me give an example Russia is holding a major land exersise in W. Russia, 2 TU160 each with 12 Kh55s flys into the N.Atlantic, the RAF send the normal 2-4 Typhoons to escort them away from UK airspace. Kh55s are launched and the Tu160s turn for home. Lossie now has 24 incoming missiles. your method of defence… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

These examples were during the cold War, and very different times. Global politics, the Global economy, and intelligence/diplomatic services that operate 24/7 monitoring all potential threats. Countries just don’t launch conventional strikes on western countries out of the blue, let alone Russia. Terrorist threats, yes. But Massive political fall out would have to take place before anyone even thinks about firing a missile on our side of the North Sea. Cyber defense is more of a concern then any old Russia bBear bomber

James M
James M
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Aster 30 absolutely can be used from land, as can Aster 15, using SAMP/T. France, Italy, and Singapore all have them.

That, combined with Land Ceptor, would make for a potent air defence system.

Grubbie
Grubbie
6 months ago

This would be the perfect opportunity to snap up a couple of filthy cheap low mileage 737-700s to replace the BAE 146.This would be the logical thing to do. We won’t be doing that then.

Challenger
Challenger
6 months ago

I guess the thinking may be that’s it’s good to house them at the busier of the 2 QRA stations as supporting Typhoons interdicting Russian aircraft will continue to be their primary domestic role.

Bit odd to take them away from the primary ISTAR hub at Waddington though, plus Lossiemouth is going to be very crowded with 3 types in 6 or 7 squadrons!

Andrew dyson
Andrew dyson
6 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

Totally agree,

time for a rebalance of air assets with 2 typhoon squadrons moving to leeming and at least one astute sub based at devonport as a contingency.

Also the P8 basing including one at Culdrose and Belfast as detachments

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew dyson

What’s a P8’s runway requirements?

I have Culdrose’s runways as 6,006 Ft, 3,420 Ft, 3,455 Ft

Maybe St Mawgan better if dispersal to the SW was necessary.

Challenger
Challenger
6 months ago

St Mawgan was the Nimrod OCU base until the 90’s wasn’t it? So you’d assume the runway is suitable, if not the rest of the base infrastructure.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Challenger

You’re right.

JohnN
JohnN
6 months ago

The article above mentions 10 hour missions by RAAF Wedgetail, in fact numerous missions over Iraq and Syria have exceeded 17 hours:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bstlk9rj4X0

Cheers,

TwinTiger
TwinTiger
6 months ago
Reply to  JohnN

For the RAF Wedgetails to undertake the longer missions they will have to rely on NATO air tanker support as the RAF Voyager air tankers do not have a boom refuelling capability.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  TwinTiger

It is unlikely the 2nd hand Wedgetails will get the brooms.

JohnN
JohnN
6 months ago
Reply to  TwinTiger

Mate, yes I’m aware the RAF tanker fleet is ‘missing’ the boom, and that all other A330MRTT/KC-30A aircraft do.

Certainly a bit of a short sighted decision by a previous UK Government. Having both options available is not only good for the owner of the aircraft, but also makes for a good coalition partner too.

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
6 months ago

Lossiemouth? talk about putting all your eggs in one Basket ! that place is already struggling with all the extra personnel up there (i’m in the RAF), why don’t they just give Kinloss back to the RAF, that has a handful of engineers, an excellent airfield, loads of underused facilities.. I can understand keeping 737 platforms together for ease of servicing, but it will cost a lot of money to further upgrade the station.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

I would agree Jason, shift the heavies over to Kinloss, or have the Army buggered up the infrastructure too badly?

Make it a shared base perhaps…..

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

No the camp is as good as it was when I was based there, but no idea if the unused parts are in good state, the royal engineers there are a pretty small unit for the size of the camp, when I got there in 2003 it had 20+ Nimrods there and a lot of people. Not sure the size of the current RE unit, but the car parks were largely empty, the junior rates blocks looked empty too. Sad really as it was one of the best bases the RAF had, wonderful location

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

Still cheaper than operating two stations though.

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Not really, Kinross has recently been used due to Lossiemouth resurfacing.

I think this makes perfect sense as it gives us another set of infrastructure as we pivot north.

i am a big fan of super bases but do believe the uk should have a ballistic defence shield. that would not only cover these but the whole of the uk.

Meirion X
Meirion X
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

A ballistic defence shield would need to be positioned well to the East of UK. Easier to destroy missiles in the Boost stage of ascent.

Captain P Wash
Captain P Wash
6 months ago

WOW…… This thread has everything ! Reckon we could fight and win any war thrown at us…..

Herodotus
6 months ago
Reply to  Captain P Wash

Yes, similar things were said by representatives of our government throughout the war against Covid-19. World beating….so I understand! Better to keep mum and get on with it!