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Ground Based Air Defence

Contains threads on British Army equipment of the past, present and future.
benny14
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby benny14 » 09 Mar 2018, 10:49

Sky Sabre and Starstreak are very capable systems, problem is they are short range and there is not enough of them. We need enough of these systems to protect all of our major assets and be able to protect deployed assets at the same time. This goal would be better achieved by investing in medium-long range AA that can cover whole regions.

For example, Russia could highly likely cripple our whole military complex in a small amount of strikes considering how tightly packed our assets are. Hit...

Royal Navy
HMNB Portsmouth, there goes the carriers, type 45s and type 23s GPs.
HMNB Devonport, there goes our type 23s ASW and our amphibious capacity.
HMNB Faslane, there goes our submarines.
RNAS Culdrose and RNAS Yeovilton, there goes all of our ASW helicopters and most of our helicopter fleet.

Royal Air Force
RAF Marham, whole F35 fleet.
RAF Lossiemouth and RAF Coningsby, whole Typhoon fleet.
RAF Waddington, whole ISTAR fleet,
RAF Brize Norton, whole transport fleet.
RAF Benson and RAF Odiham, helicopter transport fleet.

British Army
Much harder to hit the army but the majority of our 3rd Divison armoured assets are based around Tidworth, Bulford and Catterick

Does anyone know the positioning of the 16th Regiment Rapier batteries in the UK, and how long it would take them to get in to position?

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Mar 2018, 12:16

The UK has always had the advantage of its location to reduce its vulnerability to enemy attack, with the exception of missile attack. The obvious route for air attack is from the north but that is where the UK has always concentrated its Air defence fighter assets. I know I am stating the obvious, but to actually hit any of the locations mentioned would require a very substantial effort and cost the perpetrators enormously, and reaching the south coast more so.

I am happy with the range improvement of Sky Sabre over Rapier, and both systems, especially if more are obtained will serve the UK well. Updating the SP Starstreak to Thor allowing it to fire various missile types would be an advantage as it would become a true over watch platform.

Purchasing a medium to longer range SAM system would be nice but has to go on the "Nice to have", list along with a multitude of other things. Hopefully we will follow the US Army's reasoning that GBAD needs to be a higher priority, but we are going to need defence spending to increase to at least 2.5% to see any growth in this and many other areas of concern.

Ron5
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Ron5 » 09 Mar 2018, 12:38

Lord Jim wrote:Thing is with Both Sky Sabre (Assuming this becomes the default) and Star Streak we have two of the best missile systems available, just not enough of them.


Thing is they used to say the same about Rapier and Blowpipe but then Falklands...

benny14
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby benny14 » 09 Mar 2018, 14:57

Lord Jim wrote: I know I am stating the obvious, but to actually hit any of the locations mentioned would require a very substantial effort and cost the perpetrators enormously, and reaching the south coast more so.

I do agree than would be the case, the main assets in the south would be much harder to hit, and from what I can gather, most of our Rapiers are based there as well, so they could deploy to those locations faster, although not all of them because of the low number of batteries.

The two main northern bases would be the likely targets. Faslane would be a highly likely target, as they would want to cripple as many of our Vanguards and Asutes before they could get out to sea, as well as RAF Lossiemouth to take out the P8 fleet and as many Typhoons on the ground as possible. Leaving us with only 8 ASW frigates to both escort the carriers and patrol the Atlantic would give their submarines massive free reign.

Although I believe that our Typhoon force could fight of any likely threat, I still dont think we should be relying on it as much as we do. They are great, but they cant guarantee that a concentrated attack would not be able to launch a considerable amount of missiles at us, and due to only a couple sites been protected by short range AA, they could cause havoc. A certain nuclear power station comes to mind.

Also worth mentioning that the US has three F15 squadrons based at RAF Lakenheath.

indeid
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby indeid » 09 Mar 2018, 15:40

What is the point of deploying SHORAD to UK infrastructure if you think the threat is the Russians? Even a SU25 could fly over the Rapier MEZ to their hearts content if they had no other threats to consider.

Unless Doctrine has changed it takes 6-8 Fire Units per Defended Area (360degs, overlapping arcs etc) to push out to the line of weapon release, so you would be lucky to get a single site defended in the UK.

As with the Olympics if there is a 9/11 type threat then SHORAD may be a factor, since attacks like that have no choice but to go low(!), but unless you know the exact target is there just aren’t the assets.

If the UK moved into Ground LRSAM you could do ‘proper’ homeland defence, and maybe even BMD at the same time. Sky Sabre is a step in the right direction, and if moved to contingency, not just down south, also a useful addition to a coalition, but we are seriously lacking in range and combat mass.

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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Mar 2018, 18:32

My worry with regards to the UK's GBAD is that we simply do not have or will not have enough of what we already in service or on order. The RAF Regiment losing its GBAD role was a serious error and with the Army only having four or five Sky Sabre batteries planned, with one destined for the Falklands I do not feel the gains in capabilities such as range counter the serious loss in numbers that has taken place. This is simply another case where the "Bean Counters", have stated a system is more effective so we need less of them to do the same job. As always this ignores the issue of not being in two or more places at once.

As for AMD, the best we can hope for is an upgrade to the T-45, but even that is unlikely. Like all things defence related it boils down to money. May be in another location, we should discuss a list of capabilities and their capacity people deem essential to the UK's security, not a "Wish list", and what capabilities etc. we can do without to partially balance this.

indeid
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby indeid » 09 Mar 2018, 20:56

Lord Jim wrote:The RAF Regiment losing its GBAD role was a serious error and with the Army only having four or five Sky Sabre batteries planned, with one destined for the Falklands I do not feel the gains in capabilities such as range counter the serious loss in numbers that has taken place. This is simply another case where the "Bean Counters", have stated a system is more effective so we need less of them to do the same job. As always this ignores the issue of not being in two or more places at once.


Just because 4 Batteries are going to be trained for Sky Sabre it doesn’t mean that you have 4 Batteries worth of Sky Sabre. With one on permanent rotation down the Falkland Islands, one recovering and another preparing to go, what spare is there?

Has the number been announced? If the G-AMB numbers are anything to go by it’s an operational fleet on the Islands and a training fleet in the UK. You could deploy that but then the cupboard is bare and no one does any training. Now is the time to buy more for contingent operatuons but unless you reduce the Falklands commitment the current single Regt cannot maintain two permanent Battery size deployments.

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Mar 2018, 21:54

Exactly, but as will everything until more NEW money is allocated to defence the MoD's hands are tied and it cannot afford even the existing ten year plan let alone expand things.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Mar 2018, 22:32

indeid wrote: 4 Batteries worth of Sky Sabre. With one on permanent rotation down the Falkland Islands, one recovering and another preparing to go, what spare is there?

- the one, for the one deployable bde (to cover its HQ; which in turn can only hop, in one go, a lesser distance than the missiles' range :D )

indeid
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby indeid » 09 Mar 2018, 23:20

ArmChairCivvy wrote:- the one, for the one deployable bde (to cover its HQ; which in turn can only hop, in one go, a lesser distance than the missiles' range :D )


So in one Regt you have 3 Batteries doing 6 months down the Falklands out of every 18 and the other two are on permanent readiness with no replacement in sight if they deploy with a bde?

You are obviously a people person.....

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Mar 2018, 07:15

I was riding with your 3 rotating; and one to spare
- let's work to the rule of 5, then :angel:
- but it will cost...

Reminds me of the MRBs that (had the plan not been stillborn) would have lumped the tax payer with an expensive army doing a police action somewhere on a "sustained" basis
- but in fact of no use in any "real" war dealing with existential threats

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 11 Mar 2018, 17:55

I suppose some bright spark will come up with the idea that because of its greater range, only three fire units are needed per battery or something along those lines to give the impression we have more. Mind you I think Starstreak is actually the more important system for the Army in both its forms and needs investment more. Moving the SP launchers onto either a Ajax or possibly a MIV chassis should be one thing seriously considered and also updating the launchers. The system is very good and far harder to decoy that traditional MANPADS.

benny14
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby benny14 » 18 Mar 2018, 05:06

Saw this tweet from 16 Reg RA. Seems they are a bit more active than I would have thought. 20Bty in Germany, 49Bty in the United States, 14Bty in the Falklands, 11Bty in Scotland and 30Bty in England.



11Bty are currently conducting training in preparation for taking over the Falklands deployment. This has saw them training in the OuterHebs conducting test firing and protecting an airfield in RAF Wittering, in recent weeks.





30Bty has also been conducting exercises on Salisbury.


Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 19 Mar 2018, 00:43

Part of me wonders if we shouldn't retain the Rapier FSC for point defence work of fixed sites.

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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Timmymagic » 19 Mar 2018, 08:47

Lord Jim wrote:Part of me wonders if we shouldn't retain the Rapier FSC for point defence work of fixed sites.


Lovely idea but realistically some of the components will be used with Land Ceptor. You also have to wonder about the expiry date on the missiles. Plus the stockpile must be dropping with 50 missiles recently fired!

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whitelancer
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby whitelancer » 19 Mar 2018, 19:00

I think it would be a good idea to keep hold of Rapier at least in the reserves as it doesn't seem we are going to get an adequate number of CAMM. Unfortunately the MOD seems to not believe in keeping anything for a rainy day, indeed they seem hell bent on getting rid of stuff as quickly as possible. But then they don't believe in keeping adequate spares or even ammunition so their is no chance of them keeping hold of Rapier.
A Batter firing 50+ missiles certainly looks like they are trying to get rid of surplus missiles ready for the introduction of CAMM. Probably the cheapest way of disposing of them!

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 19 Mar 2018, 21:07

Keeping things for a rainy day causes the MoD to be subject to penalty payment they have to make to the Treasury under the RAB accounting scheme.

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whitelancer
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby whitelancer » 19 Mar 2018, 21:57

Lord Jim wrote:Keeping things for a rainy day causes the MoD to be subject to penalty payment they have to make to the Treasury under the RAB accounting scheme.

I wish someone could explain to me why that should be the case. Treating the MOD as though it was a business I assume has something to do with it, even though its obviously not a business and shouldn't be treated as though it is. More of this Head Office and Fulfilment centre nonsense!

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Mar 2018, 00:25

RAB was Gordon Brown's creation, to facilitate micro management of the budgets of all departments. Everyone had a ledger of assets, form land to toilet paper. The total value of this was compared to an agreed quantity and if exceeded then a penalty, based on the value of the excess was imposed. That is the greatly simplified version, but the whole scheme caused the Financial branches within all Government departments to quadruple in size to deal with the mountain of paperwork and the workload of all branches increased as all staff had to input data regarding RAB in addition to their main tasks..

RunningStrong
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby RunningStrong » 23 Mar 2018, 08:38

whitelancer wrote:I think it would be a good idea to keep hold of Rapier at least in the reserves as it doesn't seem we are going to get an adequate number of CAMM.

Giving the reserves older kit is one thing, but giving them kit that isn't fielded by the regulars makes their ability support regular units far more difficult and pushed up the cost of the reserve unit exponentially.

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Mar 2018, 20:21

In the 1980s I am pretty sure it was RAF Regiment Reserves who manned the Rapiers allocated for defence of USAF bases in the UK. Also didn't, in the distant past, the Yeomanry operate the Fox whereas the regulars operated the CVR(T).

What has been suggested is that one or Two Royal Artillery or RAF Regiment Reserve units are equipped with Rapier FSC when it is replaced in the Regulars, and these units allocated the task of GBAD of key sites. They wouldn't be attached to the Regular Sky Sabre Regiment but deployed as independent formations where needed in wartime.

indeid
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby indeid » 23 Mar 2018, 20:47

I’m not sure a reserve regiment operating a independent complex weapon system and fleet is a goer. The training burden, let alone the maintenance would be way in excess of what I’ve seen the reserves be able to manage as a former unit with the time that they have available.

With Rapier being a manually tracked system live firing has a currency and qualification requirement which would burn through missiles. A support contract would still be needed along with regulars and training staff. That’s before any obselence issues need to be resolved. All need cash.

Ironically the move to Sky Sabre will reduce the live firing requirement, and therefore cost, and could actually be more reserve friendly.

Lord Jim
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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby Lord Jim » 24 Mar 2018, 23:53

Reserves frequently operated complex weapons such as Rapier, Milan, Fox CVR(W), 105mm LG as independent units in the past and can easily do so now. Reserves and I am including he TA and other service equivalents here are not simply manpower pool to fill to regular formations, or at the very least did not used to be. Yes some were the additional battalions for a regular Regiment but other were independent formations.

In addition Rapier FSC is far more than a manually tracked system, and far from removed form the original standard.

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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby S M H » 25 Mar 2018, 12:39

The retention of Rapier for point defence of airfield defence would be sensible given that the concentration of assist at relatively few airfields. Especially with the low procurement numbers for its replacement. The elephant in the room for this is the life remaining on the missiles themselves. The system it self would be relatively easy for the Air force personnel to maintain and operate. But this is unlikely as long as the M. O. D. is handcuffed by the R.A.B. accounting system the Monk of Dunfermline bequeathed on us when he was resident in number 11.

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Re: Ground Based Air Defence

Postby NickC » 26 Mar 2018, 13:22

Yesterday, seven Iranian Burkan H2missiles, a member of the Scud family, fired by the Yemen Houthi at Saudi Arabia. Three of the missiles were fired toward Riyadh, targeting the prestigious Yamama Palace hotel in the Saudi capital and King Khalid International Airport, two toward Jazan, and one each toward Khamis Mushayt and Najran. One dead and pictures of missile debris in street.

Its said the multi billion $s Patriot missiles fired in defence missed, though Saudi claimed a hit.





http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/19 ... azy-videos


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