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Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

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-Eddie-
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Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby -Eddie- » 22 Mar 2019, 12:38

The MoD will be procuring five E-7 Wedgetails on behalf of the RAF, which will replace the E-3D Sentry inventory like for like.



I wonder if the RAF will stick with the Australian name and we'll have Wedgetail AEW.1, or if it'll get a different name?

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby RetroSicotte » 22 Mar 2019, 12:45

Hardly like for like when it's going from 6 to 5...and 6 (even without the maintenance issues) was still below what was needed.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby -Eddie- » 22 Mar 2019, 12:52

To be fair number 6 wasn't just maintenance issues, it was in bits and didn't fly.

I'd agree that five is too few, but there's a strong suspicion that the weak value of Sterling has caused this. Hence the purchase price quoted by the MoD being given in $.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby Dahedd » 22 Mar 2019, 13:06

5 isnt ideal but it's better than most other NATO AF bar the US & possibly the French AF/Navy.

If you consider 5 E7, 3 Rivet Joint, 9 P8, 5 Sentinel & up to 8 Shadow R1 then I think the UK is doing pretty well on the surveillance front.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby RetroSicotte » 22 Mar 2019, 13:13

One way or another. This is a cut, and it should always be referred to as such.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby downsizer » 22 Mar 2019, 13:14

Good......

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby downsizer » 22 Mar 2019, 13:15

RetroSicotte wrote:One way or another. This is a cut, and it should always be referred to as such.


I get your point, but gayways availability was so shit that this might see an improvement in some respects.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby RetroSicotte » 22 Mar 2019, 13:19

downsizer wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:One way or another. This is a cut, and it should always be referred to as such.


I get your point, but gayways availability was so shit that this might see an improvement in some respects.

I don't disagree. But I feel a current capability should always be compared to the previous intended capability in my eyes. That was what the requirement was stated on. (In this case, 6-7 functioning AWACS platforms being the requirement.)

Seeking only to improve upon a horrendous situation that is an internal issue is setting the bar to pass ones own failures only, and not the absolute external needs.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby indeid » 22 Mar 2019, 13:25

downsizer wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:One way or another. This is a cut, and it should always be referred to as such.


I get your point, but gayways availability was so shit that this might see an improvement in some respects.


You could increase current availability if you bought two. I wouldn’t be surprised if a strength of 6 is on paper only and in reality it isn’t 3 or 4.

The E3 requirement was based on the Cold War and the NAEW contribution. That has changed and no doubt is now based on deployed orbits.

We might also be able to man five, which would be novel....

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby topman » 22 Mar 2019, 13:27

downsizer wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:One way or another. This is a cut, and it should always be referred to as such.


I get your point, but gayways availability was so shit that this might see an improvement in some respects.


It could hardly get any worse!

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby SW1 » 22 Mar 2019, 13:38

Hope they have maintenance budgets in place and it’s not a make it up as you go along like with E3 and especially Sentinel!

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby abc123 » 22 Mar 2019, 13:48

RetroSicotte wrote:One way or another. This is a cut, and it should always be referred to as such.


Agreed, but considering the current UK procurement climate, I think that 5 Wedgetails is plenty. If they install AAR gear on them, that should be a great thing...
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby -Eddie- » 22 Mar 2019, 13:55

abc123 wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:One way or another. This is a cut, and it should always be referred to as such.


Agreed, but considering the current UK procurement climate, I think that 5 Wedgetails is plenty. If they install AAR gear on them, that should be a great thing...


Given that we now have the Rivet Joint, Poseidon and Wedgetail I'd imagine it'd be far more desirable to equip some of the Vogagers with booms.

Also if the RAF does look at F-35A their refuelling needs would also add to the demand.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby abc123 » 22 Mar 2019, 14:00

-Eddie- wrote:
abc123 wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:One way or another. This is a cut, and it should always be referred to as such.


Agreed, but considering the current UK procurement climate, I think that 5 Wedgetails is plenty. If they install AAR gear on them, that should be a great thing...


Given that we now have the Rivet Joint, Poseidon and Wedgetail I'd imagine it'd be far more desirable to equip some of the Vogagers with booms.

Also if the RAF does look at F-35A their refuelling needs would also add to the demand.


Plus Globemasters.
But yes, both solutions are good IMHO.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
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Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby Clive F » 22 Mar 2019, 14:43

Could some one with the knowledge give us a "Janet and John" guide to the differences between E3 and E7?

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby Timmymagic » 22 Mar 2019, 15:05

-Eddie- wrote:Also if the RAF does look at F-35A their refuelling needs would also add to the demand.


I think the arrival of Tempest and the momentum building around it, plus the ongoing issues with F-35 have killed that stone dead. We're not going to just buy 48 F-35B. CEPP will need more than that to be credible. But we're also not going to get 138 F-35 in total either. At that point the rationale, which is already shaky, for having a split fleet between the A and B variants disappears. I'd say the smart money would be on 80-90 F-35B maximum at the moment.

As to booms on Voyager....one thing everyone seems to miss is that the Airtanker PFI only runs up to 2035. C-17 doesn't really need air refuelling. RC-135 could but there seems to be an arrangement with the USAF for it. P-7 could do with it as could E-7....but is that enough to justify it? By the time these aircraft get delivered and you could get booms fitted, procedures, safety cases and training completed we'd be looking at c2025 (even if there was money). Just 10 years of the contract left. Given that the Gov has said no more PFI ever I'd suspect that the RAF will purchase the Airtanker assets in 2035, but if you were Airtanker and the RAF approached you to add a new capability with 10 years left on a contract that won't be extended you would want to absolutely rinse them for cash. It's your last chance to get a good earn out as the likelihood is the PFI included an asset buyout clause with terms for the end of the agreement. I suspect that there is zero chance of booms once the commercials are looked into, unless Airtanker played very nice and the RAF had a pot of (non-existent) money.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby RichardIC » 22 Mar 2019, 15:18

Clive F wrote:Could some one with the knowledge give us a "Janet and John" guide to the differences between E3 and E7?


RAF E-3 is old and knackered and hasn't been upgraded in line with US, French, NATO and other examples. E-7 should be serviceable and if Aus and UK get their shit sorted properly, should be upgradable. Five of something that work is infinitely preferable to any number that don't.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby Lord Jim » 22 Mar 2019, 16:29

-Eddie- wrote:lso if the RAF does look at F-35A their refuelling needs would also add to the demand.


That would be part of any assessment of whether the RAF should continue to procure the F-35B past the initial 48 or switch to the F-35A. As for the E-7, P-8 and Globemaster routine operations will not require AAR as the range of the platforms is sufficient, and even then we should be able to depend on allies for those times it is really needed.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby topman » 22 Mar 2019, 17:23

SW1 wrote:Hope they have maintenance budgets in place and it’s not a make it up as you go along like with E3 and especially Sentinel!


Pfft, handwavitis will sort out all those grubby little issues.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 Mar 2019, 19:59

Dahedd wrote: consider 5 E7, 3 Rivet Joint, 9 P8, 5 Sentinel & up to 8 Shadow R1 then I think the UK is doing pretty well on the surveillance front.

Yep, but as for E-3s Project Eagle never got off the ground
- is there any such capability coming now, with E-7s?

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby indeid » 22 Mar 2019, 20:33

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Yep, but as for E-3s Project Eagle never got off the ground
- is there any such capability coming now, with E-7s?


Eagle would likely have ended up with the Ds being at Block 40/45 standard, in line with the Gs.

Considering the troubles that upgrade has had, not doing it and buying new now might be the better end result.

Both the US and NATO are withdrawing airframes during the upgrade to reclaim the spares. Supply is only going to get more difficult.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 Mar 2019, 20:35

indeid wrote:Considering the troubles that upgrade has had, not doing it and buying new now might be the better end result.


I fully agree with that, but:
- the question I asked stands (btw: I don't know the answer, so this is not a trick question)

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby Tinman » 22 Mar 2019, 21:51

RetroSicotte wrote:Hardly like for like when it's going from 6 to 5...and 6 (even without the maintenance issues) was still below what was needed.

Considering two were grounded and hanger queens it seems an improvement.

5 will generate one on station, two at a push 24 hours every day if the U.K. requires it.

Also Boeing have invested heavily in the support infrastructure, P8 maintenance hub etc.

I see it as a win win for the RAF and a massive capability improvement on the E3.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby SW1 » 22 Mar 2019, 22:06

Does this mean we will be taking part in the billion dollar + mid life upgrade that Australia has been been mulling to begin this year to see there a/c to the 2035 OSD.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Postby Timmymagic » 22 Mar 2019, 23:19

SW1 wrote:Does this mean we will be taking part in the billion dollar + mid life upgrade that Australia has been been mulling to begin this year to see there a/c to the 2035 OSD.


You'd rather hope that those upgrades are incorporated into the new production....otherwise we're just storing up issues for the future.


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