Airbus A321 (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
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The Armchair Soldier
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Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by The Armchair Soldier »

A photo of the A321 slated to replace the BAe 146 in the VIP transport role.

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Taken by nt639

Little J
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Little J »

.............

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SKB
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SKB »

The A321neoLR (neo= New Engine Option, LR= Long Range) is a stretched version of the A320. Its also has the longest range of any single aisle airliner.

Link to A321 Wikipedia page

dmereifield
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by dmereifield »

Does having that livery equate to being the BAE146 replacement?

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

If this really is legit, it's the long-range version and looked like this until a few weeks ago.

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On 26 October, Titan Airways took delivery of their first of two A321neoLRs. G-XATW, c/n 10150, was flown from Hamburg-Finkenwerder to London-Stansted on this date. It is painted all-black without titles.

Both new A321s are leased via lessor ALC and will replace the company's two B757-200s. One of the new Airbuses will be outfitted with a 16 Business Class and 168 Economy Class-seats, while the other will feature 52 Business Class-seats.

Titan Airways, which is named after their first aircraft, a Cessna 404 Titan, was founded in 1988 and is specialized in (ad-hoc) charter and ACMI-operations. It currently has a fleet of twelve aircraft consisting of one A318, two A320s, five A321s (including the new LR), two B737-400s and two B757-200s.
https://www.scramble.nl/civil-news/tita ... -a321neolr

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

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Jensy
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

As fond as I might be of the BAE-146, this is a big improvement in terms of comfort, range and capacity. An A321LR NEO can happily fly from London to anywhere on the US East Coast. Though it will likely not get the defence aids/countermeasures needed for operating in higher risk locations (which the Voyager fleet does).

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Source: https://www.skyliner-aviation.de/viewph ... icid=10678

It would appear to be G-XATW:

Image

Was flown down from Norwich on Friday, so it's likely the paint job was done by Satys Air Livery ltd. based there: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/g-xatw

Some seem to think it was originally intended for the private airline of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. If that's the case, and it was outfitted for such, then the interior will be the most luxurious any UK government plane has ever had:

Image

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

I do wonder how we will end moving senior political and military people in and around places like the Middle East where defensive systems are a pre requisite if they don’t. The VIP 146s did much much more that just flying the queen!.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

And the added a/c could be installed with defensive aids that had already been worked out
- the 'cargo' variants, too, took around other things than just Xmas cards from back home
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

RunningStrong
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RunningStrong »

Can't wait for the piece of bad news that will be used to smoke screen this announcement...

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Jensy
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

Apparently there will be a second A321LR, to be registered as G-GBNI(rather good reg). Sounds like it's coming straight off the line at Hamburg.

Source:
https://www.scramble.nl/military-news/r ... an-airways

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

Speculation now that these (two of them) will be contractor-operated, not RAF. The last image lacks an RAF roundel and still carries civilian registration.

Lord Jim
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

I really do not like the United Kingdom paint scheme. Bring back the white and silver with the thin blue line and roundels.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by cyrilranch »

RichardIC wrote:Speculation now that these (two of them) will be contractor-operated, not RAF. The last image lacks an RAF roundel and still carries civilian registration.
As they are contractor ownership and run.
Will they have defensive aids fixed to them as they are most likely carrying high value vips?

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RichardIC
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

cyrilranch wrote:As they are contractor ownership and run.
Will they have defensive aids fixed to them as they are most likely carrying high value vips?
That's just speculation on the original Pprune thread. But it would be an obvious issue which is one reason I'm unsure whether it's true.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by topman »

cyrilranch wrote:
RichardIC wrote:Speculation now that these (two of them) will be contractor-operated, not RAF. The last image lacks an RAF roundel and still carries civilian registration.
As they are contractor ownership and run.
Will they have defensive aids fixed to them as they are most likely carrying high value vips?
They could of course just be used to operate into countries where the use of such add ons is highly unlikely to be required.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

If you deem someone from the state important enough to be allowed to fly in such aircraft then no matter how unlikely it’s use i think it should have the defensive systems in place. We hear a lot about non state groups getting access to ever more sophisticated weapons.

Could you imagine the ramifications and reputations damage if one of these went dwn with someone important onboard.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by andrew98 »

If it goes down with a load of politicians on if we may then get some MoD funding?

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SKB »

After leasing two A321's, what was the point of repainting the leased VIP Voyager ZZ336 "Vespina" ?! :mrgreen:

topman
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by topman »

SW1 wrote:If you deem someone from the state important enough to be allowed to fly in such aircraft then no matter how unlikely it’s use i think it should have the defensive systems in place. We hear a lot about non state groups getting access to ever more sophisticated weapons.

Could you imagine the ramifications and reputations damage if one of these went dwn with someone important onboard.

There's an argument for that, and we don't know what the future will be like. However for years the PM used chartered flights all over, therefore I don't think it's impossible that they may use a regular unmodified aircraft on safe routes.

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Jensy
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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

cyrilranch wrote:
RichardIC wrote:Speculation now that these (two of them) will be contractor-operated, not RAF. The last image lacks an RAF roundel and still carries civilian registration.
As they are contractor ownership and run.
Will they have defensive aids fixed to them as they are most likely carrying high value vips?
If (as has been reported in Scramble and mentioned by Richard above) the fleet is to be wet-leased, either from Titan or another contractor, there's nothing to stop them having defensive aids installed, apart from money.

El Al, the Israeli nation carrier, installs a variety of active and passive defensive aids on its entire fleet, a mixture of aircraft that include wet-leased, partially leased and fully owned. Elbit has recently been installing its IR countermeasure suite, C-MUSIC on all current aircraft.

Whether such aids are installed, depends on how the A321s are going to be utilised. On short and medium trips, there's not many high-risk destinations they're going to be flying to. If going further afield, Vespina might still be the first choice.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

andrew98 wrote:If it goes down with a load of politicians on if we may then get some MoD funding?
He said "somebody important".

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by serge750 »

andrew98 wrote:If it goes down with a load of politicians on if we may then get some MoD funding?

Once again i shouldn't laugh .....not sure who i trust more politicians, lawyers or salesman....

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by SKB »

I'm thinking that the VVIP Voyager in its "UK" livery only retained the RAF roundels because it still has the duties of an RAF tanker and transport plane. As the A321 is a leased private non-RAF plane, it doesnt have the roles of a Voyager, so the RAF roundels on a "UK" A321 are unneccessary.

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Re: Airbus A321 (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

SKB wrote:I'm thinking that the VVIP Voyager in its "UK" livery only retained the RAF roundels because it still has the duties of an RAF tanker and transport plane. As the A321 is a leased private non-RAF plane, it doesnt have the roles of a Voyager, so the RAF roundels on a "UK" A321 are unneccessary.
When you've got a bloody great union jack on the tail, roundels are hardly necessary. Nobody is going to be in any doubt.

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