Project Valkyrie will procure aircraft to conduct “Close Air Support/Intelligence Surveillance and Recognisance emulation on collective training exercises enables Air Land Integration (ALI) training to occur”.

A contract tender notice has been posted for a £9m contract called ‘Project Valkyrie’, please note that the above image is a generic file photo of a drone and is not indicative of any specific plans.

The contract tender specifies that Air Land Integration training forms part of the mandatory ‘Collective Training Objectives’ that Field Army units are validated or certified against on collective training exercises in order to be assessed as capable of holding readiness or deploying on operations.

It’s stated that the requirement is for “a manned air platform or platforms and aircrew capable of operating to Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) by day or night whilst performing CAS/ISR tasks, to emulate existing and future military manned & unmanned capabilities, in support of exercising troops on CTG exercises, in the UK and overseas”.

The tendering deadline is the 15th of July 2022 and the delivery estimate is the 5th of June, 2023.

Project Valkyrie joins Project Vampire, a Royal Navy effort to deliver similar at sea but with drones.

Qinetiq was recently awarded a £6.7 million contract for Phase 1 of ‘Project Vampire’, a project aiming to procure low-cost fixed-wing drones for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance activities in addition to threat simulation. According to the contract award notice, the outline of the project is as follows.

Royal Navy awards contract for new ‘Vampire’ drones

“Project VAMPIRE sits within the Develop Directorate of Navy Command and aims to address a number of capability problem sets utilising a low-cost Fixed Wing Uncrewed Air Vehicle (UAV) as a means for the development of operational concepts, payload types, and associated communication and digital architecture.”

According to the contract notice, Phase 1 of project Vampire will run as a 4 year project with an option to extend by 1 year until 31 March 2026.

The project is being contracted to deliver the following:

  • Four Air Vehicles (In Royal Navy livery as agreed with the authority), with one additional per year in 2023-24 and 2024-25, with options to purchase up to 10 more and an option to extend the contract until 31/03/2026.
  • One Launcher with options to purchase up to 2 more.
  • One ground control station and aerials, with options to purchase up to 2 more.
  • Training for operators in 2022-23, with a repeat in 2024-25.
  • Maintainer training for first-line servicing in 2022-23, with a repeat in 2024-25.

You can read more about Project Vampire here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago

So reading the above and with the very short IOC I get the impression that the MOD is after a COTs solution along the lines of small quad UAV for the sneaky beaky role. Anyway I read this article the other week regards the much bigger scope the USN is looking at regards UAVs (Note it will delete after 7 days)
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Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 2:
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Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 3:
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Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 4:
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Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

What an interesting read. It really is an area that is exploding with possibilities. Drones are going to be doing everything we can think of. The navies look like they have a plan as does the RAF. Not sure about the army. From personal Drones carrying some of the kit to save a solider carrying so much weight,. Supply deliveries to teams, recon is a massive area. Ajax could do with a drone launcher/landing area or trailer etc. Until someone makes a weapon that can find and zap drones out the sky easily they are great area to get into.… Read more »

simon alexander
simon alexander
9 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

the proposed bell tilt rotor looks ideal for the UK carriers airborne early waring role.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
8 days ago

They are a capable aircraft, but I think its been stated before that the propeller rotors in their normal flight position create massive interference and clutter on the AEW radar, rendering the picture almost unreadable. Something like a marinised Protector drone would be another possibility.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
8 days ago

PC not sure where you are getting your info but as an existing helicopter is OK for this functionality and the manufacturer says it’s ok for this function someone is pulling your proverbial.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
8 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

It was actually one of the regular posters on this forum who mentioned it, I can’t remember who though and it seemed to make sense to me at the time. Not being smart but isn’t it the same reason why the likes of Protector and Bayratkar drones have a ‘ pusher’ arrangement of their propeller (s) so as to minimise potential interference with front mounted sensors? I could be wrong though.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
8 days ago

Well as the manufacturer has stated that it has been tested with underslung radar, I fear you are wrong. However, the expert on such topics seems to be DaveyB and he has given previous views on this if you do a search. I think we all agree that drones are the future, not if but when.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
8 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Yeah. In hindsight, I think it was the Osprey tilt rotor that was being referred to in the post I read.

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago

Gents, The Osprey was part of trial years (15+ years) ago, to see if it could do AEW as part of swing role, much like in same sense as Merlin does today with its Crowsnest kit or the then Sea King did. However, rather than borrowing the Sea King’s ASaC kit. They put together a Heath Robinson affair, using a mechanical scanned radar (from a S3 Viking if I remember correctly) mounted on the tail ramp, that then lowered the antenna, to rotate below the aircraft when in forward flight. It didn’t work that well, in part due to the… Read more »

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Daveyb…. the best minister for education we never had !!👍

Simon
Simon
8 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Very informative thank you

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
7 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

The Osprey radar from Leonardo is a good radar…

But they are not adding it to Italian Merlin to replace the AEW radar. Osprey has nowhere near the power or range, it is a very low power system whose utility is mainly as a conformal array.

Daveyb
Daveyb
7 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

From Leonardo’s website on the Osprey 30 AESA radar: Characteristics Frequency: X-Band Scan coverage: Installation dependant Maximum range: 200 NM Functions Track While Scan: Up to 1000 tracks, with Automatic Track Initiation (ATI) Track Identification: AIS and Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar (ISAR) Mode Interleaving: Simultaneous multi-mode operation Capabilities Maritime Surface Surveillance: Maritime surveillance, Small target mode Strip and Spot SAR Ground Mapping: High-resolution, wide-area ground mapping Moving target detection: Ground, Maritime, and Air MTI Air-to-Air Intercept Navigation: Landmass discrimination, Weather detection, Turbulence detection Beacon detection: Search and Rescue Transponder (SART) Target imaging/classification: ISAR, Range profiling The Italian Navy’s EH101 AEWs… Read more »

Jonno
Jonno
5 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

How about towing the Radar on a Glider aft of the towing a/c like VDS?

Daveyb
Daveyb
8 days ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Bugger, been mentioned again!

Jonno
Jonno
5 days ago

Fixed wing stol is a better way forward. Surprised they don’t trial a Pilatus Porter.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The army is not unfamiliar with drones, fielding the Canadair CL-89 Midge (Military Intelligence & Data Gathering Equipment) in 1969/70; the system was designed for information collecting at a divisional level. [The army’s first teleoperated ground vehicle was the EOD Wheelbarrow fielded from 1972]. The army of course has operated Watchkeeper from 2018 and has a number of small drones including Throw-bots.
Not sure about an army plan for future acquisition and use of drones (or UGVs).

Joe16
Joe16
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

I first saw the V-247 (the USMC tilt rotor) a while back and really liked the look of it. I could see it as an all-arms asset for manned/unmanned teaming: pair it with a manned helo (Wildcat or Merlin) on an escort; pair it with Apache for the AAC; not sure what the RAF may want it for, but maybe advance recon of landing zones and armed overwatch for medium lift ops? I think the airframe is big enough to take AEW systems, Stingray, sonobuoys, Martlet, probably a limited loadout of Brimstone, and USMC will almost certainly clear it for JAGM… Read more »

Simon
Simon
9 days ago
Reply to  Joe16

Agree, think it fits with uk f35b operations. Has range and loiter time. I’ve just seen the sales pitch so see what actually happens. The guy said they call it 247 as only needs 2 for 24hr cover.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
8 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Could it provide Air to Air refueling? If fitted with tanks and a probe/ drogue?
Would be a great force multiplier and extend F35B combat range and endurance.
Otherwise this will be a great addition to a carrier strike group.

Joe16
Joe16
8 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

It’s not noted as a mission set specifically in the same way the AEW etc. is. But it’s plumbed for drop tanks, so potentially could use similar refuelling pods to the ones that Super Hornets use.

Joe16
Joe16
8 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Yeah, sounds promising, doesn’t it?! That said, I doubt just 2 leaves a lot fo space for too much maintenance, so I’d go for 3-5 on a QE carrier if you want persistent AEW…

George Parker
George Parker
8 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Very interesting indeed.

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
9 days ago

The request reads ‘It’s stated that the requirement is for “a manned air platform ‘
So they are after a manned platform, with crew and support, to emulate an UAS for training purposes. Doesn’t look like they’re after the same thing as the Navy at all.

Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago

BDTP wrote:

The request reads ‘It’s stated that the requirement is for “a manned air platform ‘

This ticks all the boxes

Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Absolutely.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago

Might need a new pilot mind.

Jon
Jon
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

😄

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago

Yes, I think they are just looking for a light aircraft and aircrew to simulate drone attack profiles and equipment and that will then feed into specifying the performance requirements for the actual drone.

Jon
Jon
9 days ago

“please note that the above image is a generic file photo of a drone”

Not just any drone though. That’s a Kratos Valkyrie. They have to reuse the names for drones and drone related project, because all the other words beginning with v have been taken.

However I don’t get how a “manned air platform” with “aircrew” is best described as a drone?

Coll
Coll
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Drone with a base station and remote aircrew?

Mark
Mark
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Could it possibly refer to man in loop, as in controlled via a ground station for ground support missions.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

They want a manned air platform to simulate drone flights which will then build the specification requirements for the drone itself.

I think it will be a case of the troops on the ground practicing calling in drone strikes or recon which will be performed by a manned light aircraft and this will help develop the tactics of how the troops would C&C a real drone.

Jon
Jon
9 days ago

Off topic: while I was paging through the contracts (not sure if I’m bored or just nerdy), I noticed one to extend the life of the training ship TV Sir Tristram to 2026 and to add certain improvements. Tristram is the last of the Round Table logistics class, which preceeded the Bays. She served in the RFA in the Falklands, Gulf War, Iraq, Balkans, and the anti-invasion operation off British Honduras in the early 70s, and in 2026 she’ll be 60 years old. The improvements include “LED lighting with dimmer and adjustable light colour to green and red.” I realize… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Jon
David Lloyd
David Lloyd
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

“Smiles”
They might be giving Sir Tristram a make-over so they can flog it to the Brazilians. Contract value?

Jon
Jon
9 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Between £600,000 and £700,000.

She’s permanently moored off the coast these days as a special forces training vessel. Long past any trips to South America I’d have thought.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

She would be hard pressed to get outside the Portland breakwater!

Matt
Matt
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Newer than the Russky ships, then. The salvage ship they sent to the Moskva was of pre-WW1 vintage:

600px-Kommuna_rescue_ship_2008_G2.jpg
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  Matt

I had not heard of the salvage operation. What were the Russians seeking to recover from the wreck?

Matt
Matt
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Navigation lights so she can pretend to reverse direction instantly?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

There was an article on this a few weeks ago here on UKDJ.

Jon
Jon
8 days ago

Thanks. I missed it.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 days ago
Reply to  Jon

NVGs dont like red lighting so the ideal colour is green for NVG ops. RN flight deck lighting is green for this very reason. Putting red into the mix will allow better training as civvy ships and other nations vessels may not be NVG capable and have red lighting for night time. Its more realistic training …your NVG is degraded so its back to Mk 1 eyeball.

Jon
Jon
8 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Cool. Thanks. Sent me off down a Google rabbit hole I was previously unaware of, regarding red vs green light for low-light sensitivity.

John Hartley
John Hartley
9 days ago

Why not buy a complete Bayraktar TB2 drone set (6x drones + ground stations) for a reported $67 million? It is well proven & affordable.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
9 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

It’s Turkish. Maybe that’s the issue. Or it isn’t what they want.
I would be insistent that this capability has to be built in the U.K.
drones maybe needed to be bought and produced quickly to fill gaps and this will only get more so as time moves on. It has to be something that can be quickly replaced. Laser printed, modular or whatever buzz word is today.

Last edited 9 days ago by Monkey spanker
John Hartley
John Hartley
9 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

If you are going to buy hundreds, then yes UK build, but if you only want one mission set, then buy off the shelf.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Yes would have thought it would teach more about potential for a platform of this nature than what this plan seems to offer and closer to the actual technology involved surely. This plan seems to be 5 years too late and hardly suggests we will have something usable if an actual prototype and then production models are expected to follow as a result of any lessons learned much before the end of the decade. Unless of course by working out their strategy for such a platform they simply then buy something off the shelf, though we all know how they… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

John,
Hope you dont mind, But I read this the other month: (Note will self delete after 7 days)
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Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 2:
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Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 3:
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Farouk
Farouk
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Part 4:
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John Hartley
John Hartley
9 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Airforces monthly June 2022. That is where the $67m figure comes from. The price to Poland.

Matt
Matt
9 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Is range an issue for the TB2?

IIRC it includes (included?) some reused-without-permission UK technology.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago
Reply to  Matt

It includes some licensed UK bomb rack technology though theres instances of crashed ones having been found using UK manufactured electronics as well. The Range issue for the TB2 is communication. It only has a radio range of 300km which limits how far it can fly from its departure point. The Turks have kind of got round recently for their own ones by relaying control signals from one of their commercial TV sats but that limits its operational footprint to Eastern Europe and the Middle East and utilizing a Sat TV channel for broadcasts wouldn’t be considered secure or unjammable… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Watcherzero
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Thought I read somewhere a new or greatly upgraded version is being launched for their own use at least.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yes, thats the piggybacking on TV sats version.

Julian
Julian
8 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

A big reason why I was less dismissive than some when the UK government bought a big stake in OneWeb. A lot of the mainstream media were reporting that acquisition as being aimed at proving a solution to the UK losing access to the EU Galileo GPS system where yes, there are potential technical issues to overcome to get the required accuracy, but as a high bandwidth low latency comms system with extremely wide planetary coverage once the constellation is fully built out it becomes an ideal platform for full 2-way near real-time (under 50mS latency) drone communications. Sadly (in… Read more »

Jay R
Jay R
9 days ago

We all need to change our viewpoint on warfare post Ukriane. The “drone” is the way forward, you get the same kinetic effect without the risk of losing aircrew. Drones are disposable and effective, rendering the tank obsolete. This is a major evolution, more significant than the horse to the combustion engine. But what is clear, absolutely clear, is manned fighters are still relevant. You need to dominant the airspace before you employ drones. Drones are simply force multipliers and extra persistent eyes. I would imagine most commercial and aar tanker flights will be completely unmanned by 2040. Time to… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

What will be interesting is the concept of small drones and swarming linked using things like quantum communication and quantum keys for secure very fast transmission of lots of data and using heuristic learning. It’s likely an human manned platforms could and would end up losing situational awareness in such an environment as well as suffer such one sided attrition. Give it 20 years and we are going to see traditional very expensive manned platforms as little more that a key node or oversight, that will be on land air and sea, even an infantry man or woman will inevitably… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I see the Army have ordered some quantum computers to test the possibilities for their tanks as a starter and beyond should they prove useful. Long term project mind as we are in the stone age of such technology presently.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Jay, how does a drone seize and hold ground, as a tank does, in concert with mounted infantry? How does a drone avoid being shot down or jammed? Can a drone dominate ground for days/weeks? John Hartley says: a Bayraktar TB2 drone set (6x drones + ground stations) would set you back $67 million? That would buy you about 7x Leo2A7s. Which is better? It has always been the case in warfare that you have multiple equipments that can do a similar job – there are many ways to kill or disable a tank or other AFV. Best to have… Read more »

David A
David A
9 days ago

What has been gained from the Ukraine war is the value of many super cheap drones not expensive hi tech UAV’s. Even if the enemy expend a SAM to take out a cheap drone, its an economic win and is one less SAM available for delivery to an F35 or similar. What happened to the swarming drone idea?

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 days ago
Reply to  David A

It’s all there David, spear 3 will effectively be a single use set of focused swarm drones.

John Clark
John Clark
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

It certainly will Jonathan, an absolute game changer… As we have discussed before, a Thypoon can apparently carry 16 Spear3 in a max load out, imagine 12 Typhoons, all geared up with Spear 3! Launching from a wide angle at 60 odd miles away ( or further) the missiles will de-conflict with each other hunting for high value targets and ignoring spoofing countermeasures, before diving vertically down on their targets. You can effectively destroy the combat capability of an entire Armoured Regiment, literally ripping it’s guts out, with just 12 fighters in one airstrike! So many will arrive over the… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Agreed but don’t tell the donkey wallopers.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yes interesting prospect. I guess the real question will be whether 60 mile or so range will be sufficient for that prospect to materialise or whether the parent aircraft especially if not stealthy will be too vulnerable, at least till air defences are greatly neutralised. All in the timing I guess. Now if you have parent drones firing them off (potentially loyal wingmen perhaps though not exclusively) that would truly be judgement day for the opposition ground forces. We need to get to that scenario asap. An important element however will be the prospective hostile Electronic Warfare defences they would… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
9 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Spear 3 is being considered for an EW variant. Built in Jammer with kamikaze option into the transmitter when its done its job.

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

That will be where the quantum communication comes into effect. In theory present EW would not be able to impact on quantum communication as you need to depolarise the transmitted entangled photons, which you can only do by directly impacting on those photons with a barrier between the transmitting unit and receiving unit that effects the visible light spectrum, as the Chinese have sent entangled particles 1200km down through the vacuum atmosphere interface and experimental work cross the air water and cross water ( modelling suggest you can prevent depolarisation of the photons across around 900meters of water). EW Impacts… Read more »

Armchair Admiral
Armchair Admiral
9 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Perhaps the integration of Spear3 should be prioritised on multiple platforms before spending yet more money on yet more “proofs of concept”? Effectively Spear3 IS a drone, but there doesn’t seem to be the rush to get it into service like there is on more experiments. Even Brimstone 2 or 3 is of the same ilk as Spear3, and should haven fitted to almost everything by now? Don’t forget the Aeralis concept aircraft…unmanned options…modular…likely agile and blah blah, what’s become of that. So many U.k options out there. Even the Humble Banshee drone, a workmanlike proven UAV, perhaps with a… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
8 days ago

There is absolutely tremendous capability with this system, no doubt. As Gunbuster mentioned, the co developed EW variant, launched with a swarm of Spear3 will cut a swathe through anyone’s defences in depth. The UK apparently has no plans to reverse the SDSR 2021 force structure, so what can we extrapolate from that? First option, the next SDSR will be in the next parliament, so they kick it into the long grass for the next PM to try and figure it out, absolutely typical political manoeuvring…. Second option, they ‘tweak’ SDSR21 and ensure large numbers of Spear3/EW are available and… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by John Clark
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

John,

After 9/11 the previous SDR was revised with a ‘New Chapter’ added. I wonder if this will happen after the current Russo-Ukraine war(the tweak you mention), as many things have changed. After all, the tank and other AFVs are clearly obsolete and all armies must now re-equip with thousands of nice and cheap drones instead!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That new chapter in 2004 involved the reduction of the RN from 31 to 25 escorts and the chopping of several RAF fast jet squadrons, and much more. Armour and artillery was all cut from the army as 4th Armoured Bde became 4th Mechanized Bde and 19th Mechanized Bde ended up as 19th Light then was cut completely years later. The numerous UOR’s at the time were a panicked reaction to a shortage of everything from suitable rapidly deployable armoured vehicles to support helicopters ( 6 Danish Merlins ) If there is a “new chapter” then God help us. At… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago

Seems a bizarre rationale to cut the armed forces because The Global War on Terror started.
We need an awful lot of Boxers to replace remaining FV430s (not just Bulldogs) and Warriors. Anything less than a 30-40mm stabilised cannon on each Infantry troop-carrying Boxer would be a seriously retrograde step.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

If massed armoured formations are obsolete, what does the army (any army) replace its heavy, medium and light AFVs with?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

A mix of manned ( Boxer ) and the greater amount unmanned vehicles, which the army keeps experimenting with but no sign of any orders yet despite their own Concept 2035 force having 3 divisions of the things!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago

I was SO2(W) at RARDE’s VT4 (Unmanned Vehicles) branch in 1989-90. We had so many functional Technology Demonstrator vehicles in R&D development, some of it 15-20 years ahead of civilian R&D, ranging up to a tele-operated MBT. Can’t think why the army still needs to be faffing about in 2022!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
9 days ago
Reply to  David A

I agree if the Russians are showing us anything it’s that they will generally lose the technology war ( certainly against NATO on a day to day basis but if they can stay in the battle long enough they may just be able to win with ancient kit simply because the opposition eventually runs out of its superior kit while they store Soviet era ‘rubbish’ in almost endless supply. That said they no longer have the manpower they once had to lose over a long drawn out conflict.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
9 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Let’s see how long their munitions tail holds up for!

I would be surprised if they get through the ancient ammunition that is still serviceable pretty quickly.

Then you are down to unmotivated and poorly lead men with AK47’s.
As the Ukrainians say if they could get rid of the last bits of Russian armour then they could roll up the troops quite fast.

Jonathan
Jonathan
8 days ago

I think it will come down to bodies and national will at the end of it.

John Clark
John Clark
8 days ago

Also, the creeping Russian advance has ground to a virtual halt. That must be making little big man Putin sweat, because the Ukrainian summer is hot and short, come early October, the temperature will rapidly slide and mud will return. At this point, the Ukrainians will revert to their previous operating procedures and attack in depth, via small agile mobile units, decimating Russian supply lines and wearing down the enemy battalions. I personally think it’s what they are waiting for, the newly rebuilt Armoured formations and new Western 155mm Artillery, plus MLRS can be used to full effect…. Russian losses… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The Russians could generate manpower by formally declaring war and mobilising the Reserves – or use tactical nukes.

John Hartley
John Hartley
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Chinese have been doing military exercises close to the Russian border. If all Russian forces move to Ukraine, it leaves the back door in Siberia wide open. China has long wanted the raw materials/resources of Siberia.

Jim Camm
Jim Camm
8 days ago
Reply to  David A

I would be hesitant at using any conflict as a prescription for the future of warfare because that relies on the other side not developing effective counters in response to the weaknesses exposed through their use in action. In the case of cheap drones such as the TB2 used very successfully by Ukraine, I’m sure in the next 5 years, we’ll have far better anti-UAV as well as loitering munitions weapons. Plus, we also don’t know how much of that was because of ineptitude on the Russian side, and how well that would translate to other conflicts (eg is a… Read more »

Matt
Matt
9 days ago

Are they going to look like bats?

😎

David Steeper
David Steeper
9 days ago
Reply to  Matt

That looks nothing like a cricket bat !

Fury
Fury
9 days ago

Feels pretty obvious this is to buy one or more of something like the Diamond DA2 with EO/IR turret for use in training as a Watchkeeper/TB2 surrogate that can be safely used in UK airspace (e.g. over Salisbury Plain) for training.

This contract is not acquiring an operational system.

expat
expat
9 days ago

I see Aeralis now has a vtail option. they appear to be increasing their offering

https://aeralis.com/
https://youtu.be/Hn-_zmJAScM

Last edited 9 days ago by expat
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
Uninformed Civvy Lurker
8 days ago
Reply to  expat

You mean they have added another picture to their PowerPoint Presentation – I couldn’t see it in the link you posted though.

Maybe it is just another line on their Word Document and hasn’t made it as far as the PowerPoint phase yet.

expat
expat
8 days ago

They now have a factory in Bristol to make said powerpoint items :). Found a screen grab for you.

Aeralis 2.jpg
expat
expat
8 days ago

Best way to approach these type of projects is the same as the software industry. You go agile, do a couple of design sprints to spec a minimum viable product then build in sprints. You can then enhance through more sprints.

You can also learn quicker, fly fail fix approach when you haven’t invested much. OK you’ll start with something like a TB2 to start but that’s better than waiting years for a gold plated drone that ends up over priced and niche to UK or worse still gets canned and we end up with a foreign product.

JamesF
JamesF
8 days ago

These contracts are all flowing from the retirement of Hawk. FAC training, target emulation, aggressor are all roles the old bird carried out.

John Hartley
John Hartley
8 days ago
Reply to  JamesF

Are those ex S Korean Hawk MK 67 still for sale? Would fill the gap cheaply.

John Hartley
John Hartley
8 days ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Still listed on globalplanesearch.

Steve M
Steve M
8 days ago

It Says ‘Manned’ so why simulate, why not buy PC-21 or A-29 can be used to train/simulate CAS and if required actualy shoot stuff both should be able to mount 4 of the triple brimstone launchers under wings?