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Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
dmereifield
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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby dmereifield » 19 Jun 2018, 16:04

shark bait wrote:
Both are flat panel arrays, but only the Boeing manages 360 degrees of coverage, global eye only has side panels resulting in 300 degrees of coverage.


So how do you work around the reduced coverage - does it require 2 on station instead of 1?

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby shark bait » 19 Jun 2018, 16:32

downsizer wrote:Lack of consoles.

Clearly that is a constraint the Boeing option doesn't have. I'm sure there are some novel work arounds that could be pitched again the larger solution.

dmereifield wrote:So how do you work around the reduced coverage

Saab suggest it has little operational effect (of course they would), which sounds reasonable because it's not often the aircraft would be flying directly along the threat axis.

At the end of the day it's another constraint the crew would have to work around.

It's a typical Saab solution, 80% perfect at much less cost.
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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Ron5 » 19 Jun 2018, 18:06

The Times article:

Britain is to announce plans to replace a fleet of ailing surveillance aircraft in a move that could cause a political row for Theresa May and an outcry from industry if a US model is selected without a competition, The Times understands.

The Royal Air Force is in favour of buying between four and six planes from the US aerospace giant Boeing at a cost of £2 billion to £3 billion. The aircraft will take over the specialist role of running air operations from the sky, according to industry sources.

A decision could be made in time for the international air show in Farnborough next month and after a trip to the UK by President Trump in an attempt to signal strong UK-US relations on defence and trade, they said.

An announcement on the general plan to replace the six Sentry E-3D airborne warning and control system aircraft will form part of the headline conclusions of a defence review that will be released by early next month. This is a change from a 2015 defence review, which had signalled that the aircraft would be upgraded to stretch out their lifetime until 2035.

A decision by the RAF to save money by not investing in support and maintenance for the Sentry fleet over the past ten to fifteen years meant that the aircraft were in a poor state of readiness, with only one or two available for operations at any one time, defence sources said.

The potential choice of Boeing’s E-7 Wedgetail as a replacement would receive a cool reception from the Democratic Unionist Party, which is propping up Mrs May’s government. The US aerospace company was accused last year of endangering 4,000 jobs at the Belfast plant of Bombardier, a smaller Canadian aerospace competitor, amid a row over subsidies that also pitched the UK government against the Trump administration.

Gavin Robinson, the DUP’s defence spokesman and a member of the Commons defence select committee, said that he would hold the government to its pledge that the American company would face consequences for its actions over Bombardier. “I can’t speak for the rest of the defence select committee, but to proceed [with the purchase] in the absence of a competition would be a grave error,” Mr Robinson said.

Airbus, which has a strong presence in the UK, would also be infuriated at a move to select Boeing without a competition, a second defence source said.

A Boeing spokesman said: “We would welcome any opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the government and our UK industry partners to provide this critical capability to the Royal Air Force.”

An MoD spokesman said of the plans: “This is pure speculation.”

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Halidon » 20 Jun 2018, 03:57

European industrial concerns aside, it's going to be interesting/embarrasing if the UK and NATO both end up moving away from E-3 while we're still faffing about with incremental upgrades and hoping drones can take up the slack.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Little J » 20 Jun 2018, 05:12

I think the DUP's grudge against Boeing is outdated now (but warranted at the time), the Cseries is in a better place now than its ever been. The threat against Boeing was made before Airbus brought into the programme and before the US reversed the 300% tariff.

(5+) Wedgetail would be a good buy for the UK... Then all they have to do is replace the vip 146's with bbj's like I suggested years ago :D

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Lord Jim » 20 Jun 2018, 10:22

Going down the 737 based platform route seems to make sense. They should also look longer term at a EC135 replacement and also developing a AAR capability, using date from the 707 configuration due to the similarities in fuselage and plumbing.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby gordon44 » 21 Jun 2018, 09:17

Makes sense having Wedgetail , commonality of parts with P8 Poseidon , on order . Australia operates exactly same duo , perhaps shared training too.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby topman » 21 Jun 2018, 10:07

I'd think looking properly at biz jets would be a good idea, yes they are compromised but they are available at a much lower cost and therefore more likely to be supported properly in the future. Which is something we have always struggled with or suffered from, usually from handwaveitis.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby shark bait » 21 Jun 2018, 10:27

What matters is does that lower cost enable new distributed methods? If it does the smaller platform is viable, if not it's difficult to see how it can fully replace the bigger platform,.
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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Little J » 21 Jun 2018, 15:11

topman wrote:I'd think looking properly at biz jets... they are available at a much lower cost and therefore more likely to be supported properly in the future.


"What's that? You've picked the cheapest option!?! Well done lad, we'll invest your savings for future upgrades" said no-one at the Treasury EVER. :silent: :D

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby dmereifield » 21 Jun 2018, 15:37

What is it that Sentry does (or does better) that the wedgetaill cannot do (or does worse)?

Why is it that the US are not purchasing the wedgetail?

Thanks

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby SKB » 21 Jun 2018, 16:49

Sentry's big saucer kills more birds and insects than the wedgetail (!).

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Jun 2018, 18:27

So who would pay for an Airbus based platform to be developed. Unless NATO and France also decide to replace their E-3 AWACS in the same timeframe it should be a non starter for the UK. Politics and defence procurement together always ends is an expensive disaster.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby topman » 22 Jun 2018, 06:30

Little J wrote:
topman wrote:I'd think looking properly at biz jets... they are available at a much lower cost and therefore more likely to be supported properly in the future.


"What's that? You've picked the cheapest option!?! Well done lad, we'll invest your savings for future upgrades" said no-one at the Treasury EVER. :silent: :D


Yes, I mean who'd want something that we could afford to operate and get the most out of and not have to scrimp and save to get any future upgrades.
I know I'd best go have a lie down in a darkened room for such crazy ideas.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby indeid » 22 Jun 2018, 12:00

shark bait wrote:What matters is does that lower cost enable new distributed methods? If it does the smaller platform is viable, if not it's difficult to see how it can fully replace the bigger platform,.


This buoy is gone round repeatedly. The issue is that due to the large areas it covers Air C2 is already decentralised, so you’re looking at dividing up an individual Tac C2 unit, not a command function. It’s already communication heavy, so adding intra-unit systems makes it worse. Losing the ability to see and talk to your crew is really valuable when it gets busy.

I love the idea of multiple smaller systems combining to replace a larger platform, I just don’t see it on the horizon.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby indeid » 22 Jun 2018, 12:07

topman wrote:
Little J wrote:
topman wrote:I'd think looking properly at biz jets... they are available at a much lower cost and therefore more likely to be supported properly in the future.


"What's that? You've picked the cheapest option!?! Well done lad, we'll invest your savings for future upgrades" said no-one at the Treasury EVER. :silent: :D


Yes, I mean who'd want something that we could afford to operate and get the most out of and not have to scrimp and save to get any future upgrades.
I know I'd best go have a lie down in a darkened room for such crazy ideas.


You’re happy to lose the control function? Five consoles will give you one control channel, two if you drop another task.

We might be able to help out a proper C2 platform by picking up some easy jobs like controlling a few towlines I suppose.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby topman » 22 Jun 2018, 16:42

Happy wouldn't be the best way of describing this particular option. However it is budget realistic, looking right across the whole of the MoD. Some tough choices are here and now although with ones in the near future.

Having an idea of the state of the sentry fleet and a few of the local issues surrounding it, it's not the worst choice. Is it compromised, of course but what choice isn't?

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Timmymagic » 13 Jul 2018, 12:46

https://uk.reuters.com/article/britain- ... KL8N1U86BN

Reuters aren't renowned for jumping the gun on these types of things either...looks like its close...4-6 Wedgetails is a pretty big improvement on what we've got now.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby shark bait » 13 Jul 2018, 17:40

Good news replacement over upgrade being taken seriously.

I guess if the RAF really want a big AEW aircraft there is only one option, so why bother with a competition. They might be missing an opportunity though, a fly off with the Global Eye is preferable.
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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby PapaGolf » 13 Jul 2018, 18:20

Wedgetail was probably part of the T26 deal. No bad thing in my book.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby shark bait » 13 Jul 2018, 18:29

That would be all well and good, but isn't this an American aircraft with an American radar on top?
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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Ron5 » 13 Jul 2018, 18:59

shark bait wrote:That would be all well and good, but isn't this an American aircraft with an American radar on top?


So the best then?

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby abc123 » 13 Jul 2018, 19:25

Would be a nice thing to have them ( especially Wedgetail ) equipped for AAR, if possible probe and drogue...
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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Timmymagic » 13 Jul 2018, 22:58

abc123 wrote:Would be a nice thing to have them ( especially Wedgetail ) equipped for AAR, if possible probe and drogue...


There's always the possibility that if its only boom equipped that with P-8, C-17, RC-135 and E-7A all boom only that the RAF might finally get a boom on Voyager...in terms of capability boost, and interoperability with allies that would be a great benefit.

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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Postby Dahedd » 14 Jul 2018, 00:17

Timmymagic wrote:
abc123 wrote:Would be a nice thing to have them ( especially Wedgetail ) equipped for AAR, if possible probe and drogue...


There's always the possibility that if its only boom equipped that with P-8, C-17, RC-135 and E-7A all boom only that the RAF might finally get a boom on Voyager...in terms of capability boost, and interoperability with allies that would be a great benefit.


am I right in thinking that while most of the Voyagers have 3 drogues some only have the 2? make sense if nothing else to convert the 2 drogue Voyagers to carry a boom.


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