The UK had planned to retire the Hawk T1 fleet by 2025, this has now been brought forward.

Key.aero report here that the date is now March 2022.

“The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has since confirmed that the out-of-service date (OSD) for the type will now be March 31, 2022, although the likelihood is that they will stop flying the platform before then.”

The Defence Command Paper released earlier this year, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’, states:

“The Royal Air Force will retire equipment that has increasingly limited utility in the digital and future operating environment. This will include rationalising older fleets to improve
efficiency, retiring Typhoon Tranche 1 by 2025, and Hawk T1. We will enhance the new military flying training system with further investment in synthetic training that will deliver more capable pilots more quickly and more efficiently.”

Hawk T1 jets are used used in the aggressor role by No. 100 Squadron and famous as display aircraft by the Red Arrows. However it is understood that the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (the Red Arrows) Hawk T1 jets have been saved from the axe. According to the Express:

“Though Ministry of Defence insiders have confirmed that the iconic team will not be felled next week, RAF sources insisted its days were numbered unless other streams of financial support could be found urgently. The Red Arrows has arranged a raft of sponsorship deals with some blue-chip brands, ranging from BAE, Barbour and Breitling to Land Rover and Rolls Royce, worth just under a million pounds in total.”

 

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Harry Nelson
Harry Nelson
1 month ago

a sensible decision! Good news re sponsorship of the Red Arrows

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

So we are buying the RN new ships but reducing the ARMY and RAF (will only get planes that can be used on QE or PW).
what will next PW CSG tour sponsored by Tesla (PW), T45/26’s sponsored by BAE, T31 sponsored by Babcock?
get nice corporate logo painted on bows like Dragon?
If people aren’t afraid for our country they need to wake up. National pride has gone

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

It might have to come to that.

What I can’t work out is this government stated it has increased defence expenditure and yet pretty much every capability is being cut /reduced. Where is the money actually going?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

E7’s, P8’s, Protector UAV’s, Typhoon upgrades, new weapons, F35, Loyal wingman. New Medium lift helicopter, 50 new Apache gunships, more Chinooks. T26, T45 upgrades. Major uplift in cyber security. Dreadnought class nuclear deterrent. still delivering Astute class subs. The list could go on………And that’s just the RAF & RN. And it’s all very expensive.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

E7’s & P8 are good just not enoughthe Medium Helo will be off shelf so will probably happen but not in the timeframce originally state same as Protector. As for LANCA & Tempest i probalay have better chance of winning EuroMilllions than those happening before 2040 if at all, if they do will be less than half the number of Typhoons they replace with most of the capaibilities still ‘being developed’ at launch time. It all sounds great on ‘paper’ but i have zero trust in 1: politicians to actually go through with thier promises and 2: theability of industry… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I understand your pessimism Steve, we all do, we have seen promised kit, delayed and procured in smaller numbers than originally stated over the years, time and time again. However, I am actually quite optimistic for the future of the RAF, Tempest is still moving forward, closer collaboration with key enabling technology with the Japanese is a real boost for the programme. The fallback here is a future advanced F35 block 5 derivative, post 2030. I would prefer Tempest, but if it gets mired down, then a switch to F35A will certainly give us a very potent aircraft, with new… Read more »

Tony
Tony
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I notice that Tempest is planned to be a twin-engine, the same as Typhoon, whereas a switch to F-35A would mean we only run single-engine jets. Nowadays are there any good operational reasons why we would specifically want a twin-engine as a frontline RAF jet?

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony

I think its got more to do with the required max power output, probably in the region of 60,000lb of thrust for Tempest.

Its going to be a large aircraft, (often compared to raptor in size terms) with a large internal bay and a good range.

So developing an EJ200 sized power plant with 30,000lb of thrust is achievable, but a single engine, rated at 60,000lb of thrust would be very problematic for layout etc.

Tony
Tony
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

That was my thinking, which would cause some issues if we did end up with F-35A, which is somewhat smaller than a Raptor isn’t it?

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony

Well yes, it would be a lowering of our sights Tony, but by 2030, the F35 will be matured and capable. The engine upgrades/replacement and future avionic enhancements will make it an exceptionally capable fall back option.

I would rather Gen 6 Tempest proceeded, but either way, the RAF will be well catered for.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony

Twin Engined Jets are prefered due to Range,Payload and Systems Redundancy as they are usually operated over the Sea.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

errrrrr F35bs Harriers

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

The F35b and the Harrier are very role specific,there were no other options to suit STOL and Invincible/QE Carrier Ops – my interpretation of ‘RAF Frontline Jet’ is one primarily used for QRA – Lightning,Phantom,Tornado and Typhoon, all twin Engined .

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony

Its that, over the North Sea in a Winter storm at night, most pilots would be happier in a twin engine rather than a single engine jet.

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
1 month ago
Reply to  Tony

More power and better resilience. Single engine jet, loose 1 and you’re in deep trouble in a glider. Twin engine, loose one, ditch ordinance and you’ll probably make it home

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hear hear with Blackhawk.

Should have ordered that years ago and in numbers at the knock down prices offered.
With assembly in the UK.
But jobs for the boys whoever ex brass was on the board of Westland and the usual politics over sizes between services and wailing MPs who care not for military capability but only for a local factory meant the army got 34 Wildcat instead.
At over a billion pounds I believe
Replacing 100 plus helicopters.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago

Agree with BlackHawk only issue like Chinook won’t build in the UK.
But RAA/F Has 49 30-year-old Blackhawks for disposal with spares.
buy and upgrade in the UK could serve another 30 years and as Merlin has an out of service date of 2030.

Feel that new Blackhawks will be outdated by the time they are delivered. and new types make it obsolete.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago

The real travesty of that is that Blackhawks off the shelf are $5.9 million (£4.3 million) each. For £1 billion spent on 34 Wildcats we could have had over 200 Blackhawks!

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yes the we don’t have sufficient obsolete equipment, so let’s buy some Blackhawks just as the US Army is evaluating which entry for the FLRAA – Boeing’s Defiant X or Bell’s V-280 Valor – will replace the Blackhawk.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Not sure where you are coming from Sean, so, we wait another 10-15 years then?? Blackhawk works, its matured, updated and available right now, at the right price… Obsolete is a slightly strange term to use with helicopters, the the Mi8/17 has been around since the 1960’s, still in production and working all over the world, as it has for the last 50 years, in what way is that obsolete? Also, don’t forget the Europeans are trying to get us involved in another expensive euro helicopter protect! But don’t take it from me, ask the people who will fly and… Read more »

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Why would we wait 10 to 15 years? The two options the US Army is considering have notched are both flying and either meeting or surpassing requirements. Maybe you should bother to Googling them 🤷‍♂️
You might dawdle doing things but US Army isn’t dawdling in sorting out the Blackhawk replacement. Maybe you should ask them why they think the Blackhawk is obsolete, but it probably has a great deal to do with improving the chances of crew and passengers surviving missions. Might not be important to you but it is to most militaries.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

“Why would we wait 10 to 15 years? The two options the US Army is considering have notched are both flying and either meeting or surpassing requirements. Maybe you should bother to Googling them” When you have been around for as long as many of us on here have been Sean and monitored defence projects over the decades, you will realise that these projects take many years to reach the front line. They haven’t even selected a winner yet from the prototypes, never mind tooled up for a finalised design… So yes, ‘at least’ 10 years from front line service.… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

How can it be obsolete? It’s a transport helicopter; it moves troops from 1 place to another. Surely as long as it still reliably and safely flies then it’s not obsolete.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

If it were that simple they wouldn’t be flying the Blackhawk and would have stuck to the Iroquois from the 1950’s… Except of course while your moving troops from one place to another you have an enemy trying to stop you, and the weaponry to do so has advanced a bit over the last 60 years 🤦‍♂️

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

USMC are still flying Hueys… I saw one along with 4 cobras on the flight deck of a San Antonio class LPD alongside on the Big Ship pier in BHR

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

There is no way that Blackhawks are obsolete, however. And I’d rather our forces spend £1 billion and get 200 Blackhawks, than spend the same amount of money here at home and get only a few dozen helicopters.

We could probably even get them built here under licence. Would increase the cost but if that resulted in 150 helicopters instead of 200+ then it’s still far better than what we got with Wildcat in terms of numbers.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

US Army thinks different, which is why they are testing the candidates for its replacement. I suspect they know more than you on the subject.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

I’m sure they do, but they also hae a budget many times that of ours.

As I said: what would you rather have honestly, if it were you choosing: approx. 200 Black Hawks or only a few dozen Wildcats?

I’m sure our soldiers and sailors would rather have more helicopters then fewer, even if the latter have more bells and whistles.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

I’d have 200 Defiants or Valors, which ever wins – personally I hope it’s the Valor…
Just like I’d choose F35Bs over Harriers, or Spitfires over Sopworth Camels.
Our limited budget means that whatever we buy has to last, not scrapped 10 years from now.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Except we couldn’t afford 200 of either. We could have afforded 200 Black Hawks. You didn’t answer my question: a few dozen of the latest design with all the bells and whistles, or 200 of a mature, proven helicopter? Our limited budget is also why we shouldn’t be trying to go gold-plated for absolutely everything, in this case helicopters whose primary job is troop transport. We should have gone with Black Hawks years ago instead of Wildcat. One of the big issues exposed in Iraq and Afghanistan was our lack of helicopters. That’s still an issue now and it will… Read more »

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

You’re assuming the Valor or Defiant are going to be more expensive than Black Hawks. We’ll probably, because they give far better protection to the servicemen on board. As for your facile question, let me rephrase it for you “buy 200 of an obsolete design or 12 of another newer design”… Nope I wouldn’t buy either. If the there was going to be a capability gap until Valor/Defiant entered service then I’d arrange a lease deal for some Black Hawks for a limited period. Probably as part of a larger deal joining the US Army in the selection process guaranteeing… Read more »

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The contract has already been awarded for the RAF’s LANCA demonstrator by 2023, so it won’t take until 2040. Either it’ll be in production before the end of this decade or cancelled. I’m optimistic.

The Aeralis’ programme is also quite exciting.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The issue with Tranche 1s is they are only CAP, yet need different missiles to Trans 3/4. we don’t have any and were going to buy a load. T1s Hawks offer very little and in the aggressor role, no glass cockpits and from a T1 To T2 requires simulator training. For T1 and Tranche 1s to be used as an aggressor squadron they also need another unit a E 3 Sentry, radars in the Ts are no longer suitable. 3 types all interlinked and required, to operate as a training program. E3s one sold to USAF for £15M. Better than… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

Johan , I believe the tranche 1 typhoons are to be be retried circa 2025. Going to be challenging to maintain 7 front line squadrons with reduced numbers. I suspect they’ll reduce the number of airframes assigned to each sqns.

Good point re the Hercs! Quantity has a quality of it’s own. Mind you, a dozen hers can’t be seen as quantity.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Of that only the e7 is new expenditure, the rest has been in the budget for years. The medium lift helicopters are currently a vague statement, no details of which helicopter/when or how many etc. Same with loyal wingman, no actual details. The major uplift in cyber is the curious part, as it’s a vague topic, with no details or even figures of expenditure. Is the money going on cyber security experts, if so how many. Is the money going on hardware, if so what hardware to counter what types of threat etc. It’s like the government announced we are… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I think it’s a good the details of cyber security are not shared openly, kinda defeates the idea of keeping it under wraps. We don’t know what tech MI5/MI6 use. Or the real name of SIS. Or GCHQ. and I’m happy for it to stay that way.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

We don’t? I’ve never heard it said those are not their real names.

The cyber security is understandable but frustrating as HMG use expansions of it to justify cuts elsewhere. Being classified it’s impossible to then judge.

Same goes for UKSF improvements. They highlight that all the time and we only see aviation assets in the form of Lynx and Hercs getting cut. So difficult to assess.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago

SIS or Secret Intelligence Service. MI6 is like a public name that has stuck over the years.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I know, mate! You said we dont know SIS real name. SIS IS their name!

MI6 MI5 go back to WW2 and are indeed not their official names.

We don’t know the carpet colour in VXs offices, though I believe it’s royal blue!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago

Yeah my sentence didn’t really make sense 😄 Never mind, you get my drift.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Oh for the sixties when they were DI5 & DI6!

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

I still miss the Special Intelligence Directorate founded in 1914.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

They were?
Never heard of that. I think you may be getting confused with the DIS, John.

The Defence Intelligence Staff. Which is the intelligence organisation of the MoD headed by the CDI.

Now renamed DI. Defence Intelligence

Their constituent parts include many “DI’s” including DI55 as one example.

DI5 and DI6 were / are ( unless their names have changed again ) the liaison sections of DI with MI5 and MI6.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago

Michael Tregenza wrote a slim book on espionage in 1974. His chart showed that MI5 & MI6 changed to DI5 & DI6 in 1965. Wilson’s Labour government was abolishing the death penalty, legalising abortion & homosexuality. Military Intelligence did not fit the progressive agenda, so Directorate of Intelligence sounded better. According to this 1974 book, the official name of DI5/MI5 is Directorate-General of the Security Service. I suspect that MI5/6 were so ingrained in public spy books/tv/films, that after Wilson was gone, they went back to the MI5/6.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

How curious. I read lots on the intelligence community and never came across this claim.
Very confusing, especially as the DG of the SS is the Director General in charge where you say he says it’s it’s official name.
My official histories of SS and SIS should give some clues, I must have a look.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago

SIS also has a nice careers website if you fancy it 😄 I bet the selection procedure is pretty nails.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I can imagine. I’ve never tried! Though I did apply for the SS once!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

The German SS? I’m presuming you mean something else or it’s a joke lol. Or ur really old and of the blonde German variety.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The Security Service, other wise known as MI5.
So SS and SIS.

😆

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

After a while of thinking I thought you might have meant the submarine service. Perhaps In a different career your name would have been James Bond, Q, moneypenny or m. Will wave it up to you to pick your fave

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Why thank you. None, as they are all SIS. Let me see. James Bond in reality is military. Not me. In any shape or form!! Q exists, but he or she is not from Q branch, which was post office jargon for hush hush. I’m hopeless at science, so no. Moneypenny, wrong sex!! M is actually a C. Are you joking!!? Most jobs in the SS are actually something like an mundane office worker, but in an interesting environment with very interesting data. What I applied for was none of those. Others on this site would have had a much… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Daniele Mandelli
Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

And the 190Bn equipment budget is for the next 10 years. The increase in defence spending still isn’t enough to fill the black hole’s. Hence why some old kit has to go now. I’d like to see defence spending go up to 3% of GDP, but it’s probably not going to happen. Especially now we have a pandemic recovery to pay for. Typhoon upgrades are expensive, retiring the Tranche 1 fleet goes a long way to pay for those upgrades. And the radar 2 will transform Typhoon capability. We need to buy more F35’s and fund Tempest. So ultimately, the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Agreed on transports but as was said F-35 Block5 in 2030’s would be good. It was sid on another thread that the bulk of cost for a project is the R&D so surely it would be better to go for F-35A’s now and use the Tempest R&D to buy more airframes and also be able to draw on the huge F-35 spares pool globally if we want to play far a feild? It sounds wonderful blowing uk trumpet look at we have built but if nobody else buys we will have limited airecraft even less spares and huge logistics train… Read more »

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

From a military capability point of view it makes sense, but would obliterate our domestic aerospace industry and leave us reliant on the US in the future. Most of these decisions are made with domestic industry in mind which is why Tempest will be delivered even if it is much more expensive and in smaller numbers.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

While I agree there are many question marks over Tempest. And everyone will have a bit more faith in this project once we get closer to a flying demonstrator. But to shelve it completely would be at the cost of UK industrial capacity to design and build such systems. If we don’t, we will be 100% reliant on buying American. Future variants of the F35 will probably realistically provide all the capability we will ever really need. Russia and China are still many years behind the west in this area despite the J20 and SU57.They are no F22 or Typhoon… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

More worried about a change of government in future. The powers that be should lock in the contracts like they did with carriers so not worth cancelling, never know the Europeans (France+Germany) may decide they don’t want to pay for their new plane as Germany been dithering snd come in on ours. We could buy their helicopter in return?

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

F35As are a RAF DREAM never showed any interest in the As untill the Bs capabilities were proven. F35A is not a out and out fighter more of an all-rounder. long range interceptor but not great if someone gets close…

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Agreed re Hawks and Atlas, Hercs.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Just on a side note regarding the RAF Typhoon radar upgrade and I am just thinking hypothetical here. I read recently in the media that the new AESA radar planned will have additional – and very powerful – jamming technology; would this mean Typhoon would be able to survive the S300/400 missile threat? From what I read – and again, take that for what’s worth – Typhoon currently would struggle operating against the S300/400 – even with DASS (and I understand the RAF has the most effective DASS of all the Typhoon operating countries). What makes the S300/400 so good… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Radar 2 for Typhoon will have electronic attack capability, and will provide a considerable increase In situational awareness and allow Typhoon to operate in much more heavily defended airspace, especially once its,armed with SPEAR 3 and SPEAR EW. And also pass huge amounts of data to other aircraft in the battle space. I can send you a link to a very interesting article about radar 2 if you are interested? Typhoon with DASS is capable of protecting against S300/400. It’s more the politicians don’t want to take the risk. A 5th gen platform does have a greater level of survivability,… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  David
David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Hi Robert – thank you for the link! I have some ‘bedtime’ reading’ to do :-). Correct me if I am wrong but RADAR 2 for the RAF is considered better that the AESA radar planned for Italy/Germany (actually, I’m not sure the Germans are upgrading their Typhoons)/Spain – correct? I also read that the RAF will only be upgrading Tranche 3 Typhoons with the RADAR 2 and the new all glass cockpit? That would mean only ~ 40+ aircraft would actually be upgraded. I assume, any money that would have upgraded Tranche 2s will be funneled to Tempest instead?… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  David

That’s correct. Radar 2 is different from the Mk1 radar. Radar 2 is the only variant with electronic attack capability. So far only Tranche 3 aircraft, but a decision will be made about tranche 2 at a later date. Enjoy the read, it has a lot of interesting detail.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  David
David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Thank you for the articles Robert – very kind of you to send and they are a great read!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  David

You are very welcome David 👍 Some exciting capabilities coming to Typhoon.

Julian1
Julian1
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Eventually we will have 20 planes, 10 ships, 20,000 servicemen, 50 tanks/artillery pieces, 100 robots and drones and 100 computer programmers. But it will all be very high tech.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian1

So what would you do about it then Julian??

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I know what I would do. Get a balance of quality with quantity. Which we have never gone for since the 80s.

That means “some” cheaper assets in certain areas where good enough is OK and can do a job.

Example. Blackhawk. You just know the Future Medium Support Helicopter will end up in small numbers of high tech, vast cost airframes that have to be built here rather than getting the numbers the military need to carry out the tasks allocated them by HMG.

Biggest issue as always, CASD purchase costs in core budget.

julian1
julian1
1 month ago

I agree – high tech wizardry is pointless if there is so few that the asset can be taken out in one place. Perhaps put more faith in the people and the training which has always served us so well and made up for shortfalls in quality or currency

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago

I agree mate. I think what we are doing with T31 and the new Apache purchase is a good example of a new way of thinking. The problem we have always had is trying to get value for money, and protecting British industries and jobs. Just we have never committed enough cash to do it properly. I genuinely think the penny is starting to drop. T31 being a good example, and so far the talk around Tempest seems to be going in the right direction. But many question marks remain. Time will tell. 👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

and protecting British industries and jobs”

Key line there mate.

Should the Defence budget be used for that to the detriment of the military by them not getting the numbers they need to do taskings HMG require of them?

While I support Tempest, I see that in a similar vein. Billions going to fat cat BAE while the military is cut now.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago

It’s a very tricky balancing act. But imagine the outcry if BAE Systems or Rolls Royce went under with thousands of redundancies because we bought off the shelf to save money. I wouldn’t want to be the one making the decisions that’s for sure.

Phil Wyld
Phil Wyld
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

BAES is not British..its been American controlled for years. And the bigger question is why can little Sweden have its own design kit..but we can’t? Hagglunds have a factory there that’s supplies vehicles that competed directly with Warrior. Yet BAES owned both. But the Hagglunds factory got the sales because even if someone wanted Warrior they couldn’t buy them. Millions were spent to update Switzerlands brand new CV90 to bring it up to the standard Warrior2000 already achieved Because Hagglunds has a poisoned chalice..the company cannot be reduced or closed without the agreement of Swedish government. Defence is a dirty… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Robert, I missed that. How are the procurement thought processes for T31 and the new Apache similar?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

They are very different. But we are buying Apache pretty much off the shelf, and not adapting it with lots of British kit. Something we haven’t done very often. T31 is being developed to a budget cap, and it’s been left to industry to see what they can come up with for the fixed price, avoiding costly delays and requirement changes. So we get the vessels pretty quickly, and on budget. Something that’s also hasn’t happened very often in the past. Then T31 can be upgraded once in service if we need too.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Thx. I was current with the two strategies but interpreted your comment to mean congruence when in fact what you were saying was that ( what they have in common) they have broken the mould of a tech requirements>quotes>cost plus rinse and repeat cycle into faster non recursive good enough alternatives. Since time is money I agree this is good.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Couldn’t have said it better myself 😄

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

We need it to. T31 weapons fit is paltry as is. If the plan is to maintain it as such then that’s fine but don’t call it a frigate. There are better armed corvettes out there.

In my humble opinion 🙂

julian1
julian1
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

A number of things Robert, most discussed to death on this forum. In no particular order:

  1. Increase budgets, 2. increase efficiencies (and reduce mismanagement), 3. Not always be so fixated with “cutting edge” tech – sometimes spending a little less for something not at the bleeding edge of technology means we can have more. How many of our adversaries since WW2 have been peer?
Adrian Palmer
Adrian Palmer
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Expensive but is it worth it?
6 state of the art expensive T45s replaced 12 T42s.
The current reliability fiasco of the T45s merely reinforces the fact that one ship can only be in one place at one time.
Out of 4 T45s in the UK, only 1 is operational

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Palmer

Of course they are worth it. They are world class destroyers. The US Navy us more than happy to have them along to look after a CVN, because they have capabilities the US escorts don’t. And when you look at the deployment schedule these vessels have had over the last few years, they have been very reliable. And after PIP and the weapon upgrade they will be even better. What happened the HMS Diamond could have happened to a T23 or a Aleigh Burke class. This stuff happens. The Invincible class broke down from time to time, so did the… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Adrian Palmer

Don’t use the term operational. That is not something the RN uses as a metric.
Operational Capability is the important metric.
Diamond had a duff engine but was still operationally capable and could do its job if needed but with only one engine so no redundancy.
T45 that has just crewed up has Operational Capability but at a lower level. It can go to sea, it can fight if needed but having to do it would be a risk.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The stuff that is being replaced is anything from 20-40 years old, costs of cutting edge kit are vastly more now as a % than the increase in spending.

Unless we start buying out of date kit numbers are never going to increase are they unless the budget increases in line with cost increases which it hasnt.

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The details of the 10 year equipment plan have been published and the NAO report provides further analysis of major projects. The costs are daunting with the budget black hole arising out of some massive cost overruns. The carriers cost nearly double the original forecast [email protected]£7b. Astute and Dreadnought are also way over budget. Buying and supporting(not whole cost of operating) just 48 F35s up to 2030 costs £9b. Then we have @£500m on Warrior for nothing and £3.5b to date on Ajax which is not fit for use.We have committed £1.2b to upgrade just 148 Challengers. The £16 b… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

It’s a fair point on the budget whole although it was meant to be under £1b a year based on the NAO realistic estimate (not worse case which was commonly reported), so an annual increase of more than the hole and yet more capability had to be cut, it doesn’t add up, which was my point. It seems to me France is a bit more pragmatic also. We seem obsessed with being a mini US down to the ranger/strike setup and going absolute top end on everything. France seems to be more focused on getting a balanced build that works… Read more »

Phil Wyld
Phil Wyld
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Well it could be being spent bringing our forces better housing..top of the range equipment..First rate catering And decent pay
So I guess they’re spazzing it up the wall ( copyright B Johnson) on buying out of date tat and wasting the rest on failed procurement or repair contracts.
Because a nice new hanger is much more important than an actual flying aircraft
.and virtual training will be great till they have a 737 Max moment

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

‘The Army and RAF will only get planes that can be used on QE or PW’ Like Tempest, Poseidon, Protector ?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

It’s a 40 year old training aircraft that isn’t used for traning anymore, and we less than 30 in service. We have 28 Hawk Mk2’s that will be around for many years to come. And the Reds will use the T1 until at least 2030.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

It certainly leaves a good stock of T1’s and parts for the Reds for the foreseeable future.

Considering the amount of sales the Red Arrows have raised for BAE Systems over the years, they should write the cheques to keep them flying…

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

who is to say that we won’t dispose of the airframes/much of the parts? Other people fly (or might like to) Hawks.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

BAEs put something back…..PMSL

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

I had to look PMSL, to see what you meant, spot on……

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Sad days, and the adage of boots on the ground still holds.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago

£1m is a paltry for the effort alone in cadging it. RAF would have done better buying Eurolottery tickets.

And what exactly does the money earn? Anyone know the running costs for the Red Arrows?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

About 13M a year to run the whole team in 2020 money.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Wont cover there dye costs

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago

This acceleration was in the news a few weeks back.

Hopefully the Red Arrows will be able to use sponsorship to invest in new jets. It’s probably a sensible way to go to avoid them being potentially on the chopping block during every defence review!

Really intrigued to know what will fill the aggressor role. Presumably it’s not something that can be easily gapped?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Well there are still the Hawk T2’s..

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

The 28 T2’s will be pretty busy with their training duties.

Marked
Marked
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

Well the tranche 1 typhoons were flying in that role. But they are being cut as well.
As usual the replacement will be a big fat nothing.

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

I think a few weeks back, an article on this site was posted about a new British fighter design to be unveiled at DESI 2021 – looked like fast jet trainer to me.

Also, the Americans I think have just put a new jet trainer into service – the T-7 Red Hawk

Cheers, Goldilocks

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

You’d think whilst increasingly outdated for front line duties the Typhoon T1’s would still be a big leap forwards from the Hawks.

I’m sure there are plenty of private companies that could provide aggressor aircraft & pilots but I would much rather see a few of those Typhoons moved across to 100 Squadron and used out to 2030 so we properly sweat the assets we’ve paid for!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Tranche 1 Typhoons are not used for out of area operations. And would be very costly to upgrade. The money saved willin part pay for upgrades to the T2/3 fleet including radar 2, which will be a very special bit of kit. Striker 2 helmet, wide area display. And a lot lot more.

Ian Skinner
Ian Skinner
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

I believe they are looking at using private companies.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Skinner

I thought that the competition for this had been scrapped….

Mikem
Mikem
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

The aggressor role will be contracted out, the “Top Aces” just took delivery of ex-Israeli F-16s. A number of NATO countries are contracting out the aggressor training. Canada has contracted out not only the aggressor training but also the fast jet pilot training with the CT-155 Hawk. Contracting out seems to be the way in the future for many countries.

Marked
Marked
1 month ago

Awesome, bye bye aggressors.

Raf pilots now fitted for but not with in cockpit training.

People have hung for treason for doing less damage to the countries defences than this government.

Angus
Angus
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

RAF’s days numbered since they have given up flying. Modern Tech to win wars, only if you have numbers and know how to fight them. Sim’s can teach in part but are not real and never give your the edge of really doing it. Hope they cut the flying pay too as if your at a desk your not flying are you? The Service Chiefs are as much to blame, wasting so much cash and not looking after the kit they have already, something the RN does and has always done. Global Britain? Only the RN will be outside the… Read more »

Anon
Anon
1 month ago
Reply to  Angus

You’re so wrong, simulators are the future for Defence training. You can’t go around firing missiles in real life just to practice, they cost hundreds of thousands of pounds each. In a simulator you can train the skills to react to different threats and act accordingly. The added advantage of using tech is you can’t be watched. The hands and feet skills (flying the aircraft) will still be taught in a real aircraft.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Aggressor training will be contracted out, plenty of companies offering the service these days with Skyhawks etc…..

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

This government, what about all the previous ones since WW2?

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

every Government before it DID THE SAME nothing new

Steve Salt
Steve Salt
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Who and when ?………just asking.

Felix
Felix
1 month ago

The RAF needs operational numbers. A typhoon can target over 50 aircraft but can engage, what 16? A couple of loyal wingman will allow the pilot to engage them all. Same with Protector in Sea guardian configuration for the p8. Simulated training allows more aircraft for operations less airframe wear. US already contracts out adversaries and are developing VR headset so pilots in real aircraft can go up against virtual enemy. It’s called the future!

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Felix

The RAF needs operational numbers. A typhoon can target over 50 aircraft but can engage, what 16? Indeed, and it’s unlikely that every missile fired would actually hit its target, furthermore all the branches of the armed services have been hollowed out numbers-wise. Capability is one thing but the reality is that in war time casualties are to be expected. The ability to continue fighting effectively despite losses is essential to winning and our assets increasingly thinly spread. The fact that we couldn’t continue evacuation operations at Kabul airport is a case in point. We simply don’t have the resources… Read more »

Felix
Felix
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

I think the thought process is that uncrewed systems will take the casualties. Provide logistics and resupply roles. So there are less remfs and less dangerous roles(mine clearing,) carried out by people.

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Been through this before but what has U.K. not got that stopped us holding Kabul airport? Nothing it was totally different reasons ie so we put 7000 pax on ground, every other country leaves, we only have light infantry as no way to get rest in and out on other side of world. Taliban or isis attack, end of story. Next thing we have hostages and a nightmare. They didn’t hold off cos they were scared of US capabilities on ground which were very limited. They held of cos they wanted us to leave. We could have entire air assault… Read more »

Farouk
Farouk
1 month ago

Didn’t see that coming, I wonder what the Government will get rid of next in which to fund their woke social warrior programs.

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Don’t mention the yaught !

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Pete

I see Boris was visiting ‘the West Country’ this week. Appledore for the yacht then….?

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/boris-johnson-devon-today-live-4454709

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul.P
Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

Boris Johnson, woke social warrior. Who’d have thought it!

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Farouk

“We’re all in it together”, but subsidised meals etc & MPs rises remain untouched.
Meanwhile the nations defences are made ever more fragile in the naive belief our technology can be in several places at once & no enemy would be unsporting & exploit all our many vulnerabilities.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Are the Royal Navy keeping their T1s flying?

According to the wiki the UK has, between the RAF (81) and the RN (17), 98 Hawk T1s, plus the 28 T2s. So we’re losing ~ 70 airframes? Plus the loss of tranche 1 Typhoons which, presumably, wont be replace numbers wise either?

I wish they’d quit with the patronising language they use to couch cuts in. “Rationalisation” – total BS. It’s a cut, plane (see what I did there) and simple.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Agreed. The language stinks, and always has.

On the Hawks, those 80 or so on strength only furnish a couple of Squadrons in the RAF, 100 Sqn plus the Reds.
No real surprise they are going as we don’t need that many for the squadron sizes we have.
It’s sad but cutting operational, deployable assets like the Hercules and Sentinel are the worst.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

How much was spent on the A400?

Seems like keeping the 25 Hercules and ordering a few more C-17’s would have saved some serious cash. Can the A400 even do paradrops?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

I have no idea.

Para trials have been done by France.

The Atlas is far more capable than the Hercules but for a smaller transport that supports UKSF the Herc has done that well over the years. The RAF has vast experience in using it on rough strips of desert and DSF like the aircraft.

My beef with their planned demise is that there is no replacement bar existing Atlas, which number just 20 at this time.

As ever, same commitments, less airframes.

If they ordered more Atlas in the Hercs place there would be less of an issue.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Spot on mate. In regard to the Atlas, if they need to chuck blokes out at 500 feet they could, as long as the operation is a must go. The blokes can handle the twists and occasional entanglement/collision/air steal. You know that in peacetime trials like this takes years, but days in wartime. As for the numbers game, again mate we are on the same song sheet. Get another 8 Atlas and I will shut up, otherwise keep the hercs, they are essentially not gold plated like the Atlas and push comes to shove, can be risked and more expendable… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Bang on. There are 2 camps on this site. I’m in yours!

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

I’m thinking the Afghan air bridge experience would give the MOD reason to pause and re-think air lift capacity. The RAF needs a surge capability. I wonder if the MOD ever plans/models for crisis scenarios? Goodbye hercs – you will be missed in many ways.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago

I think the MOD could actually be quite cute regarding the Atlas – the Luftwaffe are committed to way more than they actually need,maybe some will be offloaded at Bargain Bin prices.

Phil Wyld
Phil Wyld
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

MOD? Quite cute? Example of cute. Navy needed a flywheel for an engine on its destroyers. One that’s only used in an emergency, hence the starter ring had worn away They have 6 of these ships..so six engines. Its the same base engine as CV8 so I was asked to check what could be done. By good fortune, although the old flywheel was obsolete there were 6 old pattern flywheels awaiting scrapping as no one wanted any. So I passed the good news..theyre free if you collect them. Now Cute steps in..We only want one…but you’ve got 6 boats (just… Read more »

Johan
Johan
1 month ago

UK-NAO has a paper on file regarding the current resale of the existing Herc and spares fleet. and the re-use of this income with other Ex kit sales to offset against bridging gaps in support fleets. the issue is A400m still doesn’t do what it said on the Tin.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Parts of the A400m made in the UK. £s in worker’s pockets. we dont like change and all grew up with Hercs, But they are little outdated and dare i say small. cannot fit a puma in a Herc, only found that out the other day.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago

Hi Daniele Classic narrative spin from the “MOD” Can they explain how retiring Tranche 1 typhoons will “enhance the new military flying training system with further investment in synthetic training that will deliver more capable pilots more quickly and more efficiently.” utter dros. My concern is the impact on frontline sgns. No doubt 12sqn will quietly disappear once the Qatar air force Typhoon sqn is operational . We’ll be lucky to end up with 5 sgns. I liked the idea of using 41 sqn Typhoon (the test & evaluation unit) as an aggressor unit. Real useful as a reserve surge… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Morning mate.

I know. It is tragic what has been done to the military by the last 7 governments. Most of the public either don’t have a clue or don’t care.

I still remember to 30 plus we had. Then the 23, then the 12!!

And while they may have been less advanced than now they could be in two places at once and had redundancy.

It is what it is and I for one am proud of what the RAF still is, a modern, well trained air force with few peers.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

RAF only currently has 28 T1As flying (100Sqn & RAFAT), all the T1s are retired. 736 NAS is due to disband 30/9/21.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Upgrade a couple of dozen to deliver laser guided rockets and sell them Nigeria.
Ditto Kenya.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago

I don’t suppose there is any chance of sticking the Hawk Is, Typhoon is, or Hercs in long-term storage for a rainy day (war losses)? Strength in depth and all that. Nah, thought not. That would require long-term strategic thinking by somebody.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago

The MOD historically aren’t always keen on Long Term Storage of Equipment due to costs etc but as always there are exceptions – as far as Typhoon goes many are stored at RAF Shawbury i believe.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 month ago

what do you plan on using the Hawk T1s for in a war? Only T1As can use an air-air missile & then only AIM-9 (& probably not the latest versions of those). Heavily outranged by any peer air force fighter. Similarly, Typhoon Tranche 1s wouldn’t be able to use much of the current weapons fit for FGR4.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

…well for starters AIM-9s would do, or just plonk a Vulcan underneath ’em, and just send them in to mix it, whilst more capable fighters stand-off and pick off the bigger targets. It’s worked in training as the Hawks are relatively small and agile. Fit a Futaba r/c and and a few servos and you get a low-cost drone to act as a decoy or give someone a bad day. As for Typhoon 1s not being of much use…then what did we pay all the money for originally! Why does everything need to be so costly and fully capable? Sometimes… Read more »

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 month ago

to repeat, the Hawk T1As would be heavily outranged by any modern fighter with radar guided missiles (& many heat-seeking) – the chance of them getting to a merge is approaching nil. Back when the Iron Curtain fell the RAF & German AF ran exercises with Tornado F3 against former East German Mig29s – if the Mig29s got to the merge their manoeuvrability allowed them to heavily defeat the Tornados, problem was that unless that was the ROE the MIG29s rarely made it to the merge being “killed” BVR by the Tornado’s missiles with longer range. The gun pod for… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Heidfirst
AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
1 month ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

…you might want to watch this YouTube aircrew interview with Phil Keeble where he talks about the stunning success rate when flying a mixed formation of Hawks and F3s against American F18s in training.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eM-1gBW4Ng0

As to Vulcan v Aden: you’re taking my comments a tad too literally as they were meant to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and just as a general concept as response to your question.

As to where are all the pilots coming from(?). Have you never seen ‘Independence Day’?  🙂 

Peace and love.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
1 month ago

Talking about experience over 30 years ago though … modern radars & missiles have much improved capabilities. The first 2 minutes basically explain what I believe would happen with Hawks T1As today v a modern-ish fighter – simply outranged. Thereafter in the video, if they were allowed to get to 12 miles or less then obviously the ROE were ignoring the BVR capabilities of the Tomcat/legacy Hornet.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

They will paint them a different colour and fit a remote radio control receiver – hey presto Tempest Loyal Winghawk.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago

F18s and T1s and Tran 1 Typs are the same era aircraft, The F35 kill ratio on all generation 4 fighters is 15 to 1 untill the fighter fighter gets up close to the F35s. Radar power alone is the factor.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

correct old out dated and able to be upgraded….

Johan
Johan
1 month ago

Not All hawks were wired for AAC 89 Airframes and we don’t use the missiles they fired anymore. no upgraded electronics. Tran 1 Typhoons have the same problem we don’t have missiles for them anymore as they cannot fire Meteors. Radars on the 2 need a AEW Control and command to direct flight operations. like an E-3s which we just grounded, due to airframe hours. its old kit T1s date back from 1976, Tran 1 Typhoon dated from 1998, how old is your family car ?????? they are not cost-effective to upgrade the entire Tran 1s as they would need… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

We could use T1a with cannon and bombs to smash isis at huge savings on using tempest!

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

Tranche 1 Typhoons are wired for AMRAAM and ASRAAM which they use ,the former not as good as Meteor but effective nonetheless.

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

Maybe we should have used them to bomb isis? Probably 1/4 of cost to fly

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago

You also need qualified pilots and engineers to fly and maintain those rainy day aircraft. You can bring an aircraft out of storage in weeks. It takes 4 years to train the aircrew.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago

To repeat. At the globalplanesearch website you will find the advert for 1992 BAE Hawk MK67. 8x flyable at $2m each. 2 parts birds at $500k. Loads of spares including tanks, weapons, engines. For $17m the RAF/RN could get a single sqn of something newer/better than T1 Hawk. These MK67 have more than 1000 hours+ each remaining.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Ex-South Korean, issue it they are export aircraft and would need updating to RAF spec. and cost a stupid amount. BAEs would see to that, these were purchased for an aggressor contractor, and don’t meet the required levels.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

Why update them? They are already far more capable than T1 Hawk.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley
Joshua McAlinden
Joshua McAlinden
1 month ago

They can’t retire the hawk T1 because the Red Arrows use that jet they will have to train on a completely new jet and pay more for them to be painted and then fitted with the smock machine and diy tank

PG
PG
1 month ago

Talk of using old aircraft…
https://twitter.com/AmzJS13/status/1433060134679371777
pic4 – There’s a Harrier cab next to the island – any ideas?

Phil
Phil
1 month ago

Perhaps it would be better if the Red Arrows were updated to use the latest aircraft, Typhoon/F35B, that way the public (and others) would see our latest kit on public display on a regular basis in the skies and the money would be better spent. There’s nothing “special” about the Hawk after all. The RAF display teams always used to use the latest most exciting planes in their inventory. If they just want to do “twiddly-bits” with non-frontline aircraft, why not use something much cheaper than a jet, like a prop-job. (Ducks & Covers)

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil

The Typhoon would make a brilliant Display Aircraft for the Red Arrows i agree,the F35b not so much apart from being very loud. But the costs would be prohibitive,Typhoon is displayed as a Single Ship probably for that reason.Don’t forget that before the Hawk the Red’s used the Gnat- similar situation as they could have chosen the Lightning or the Phantom.

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago

I know the hawk t1 can carry missles guns and 500lb for a tactical or training use, how are we to do close air support training now? Always liked the idea we could use them in a pinch when we needed more air frames

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

So what are we replacing them with apart from simulators?

Plenty of more up to date jet trainers aout there.

STEVE
STEVE
1 month ago

I under stand that its the T 1 that are to be retired that leaves us with 28 T 2 for training or will they go and the squadron will stand down as from march 2022 the trouble we have is this government is robbing peter to pay Paul and the ARMY and RAF are being cut back how the hell can we be a global force as Boris wants because any new equipment will take years to come thru or the contracts put back for years still we can always ask the US to help us out ,

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago
Reply to  STEVE

The value of 100 squadron and the RN Hawk T1 squadron is two-fold. The first, obviously, is real combat training against adversary aircraft. The second, strategic, long term and so not on HMG’s radar, is the pool of well trained fast-jet aircrew available in wartime, able to move seamlessly into Typhoon and F-35 OCUs as new aircraft come off the production lines. The 2 squadrons and Red Arrows should be equipped with new-build Hawk T2s or, at the least, serviceable used Hawks from overseas. Not replacing the T1s is a relatively small saving. Farming the aggressor role out in a… Read more »