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

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

Post by cyrilranch »

Lord Jim wrote:To be able to deliver in the same timeframe, SAAB basically need to get started on integrating their systems on an A330 now.
If reports are true,and and order is placed for 6 aircraft.
The Aussies i.e RAAF are willing to give 2 up two aircraft whilst new aircraft are beening built.
How's that for early delivery.

Source Airforce Monthly Nov iss.

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

Post by RichardIC »

SW1 wrote:Saab have a product flying in build now if they wanted to buy new a/c. There offering to integrate on a330 so as the RAF doesn’t not need to buy any new a/c.
The Saab offer is for integration on an A330. When the Defence Select Committee met last week that was also the option they were discussing - A330 with Erieye.

Are you suggesting Saab are offering to integrate the system onto part of the existing Voyager fleet? Or do you mean they won't have to introduce another new type to the fleet?

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

Post by Clive F »

Could a deal be done using the "surge A330's"

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

Post by RichardIC »

Clive F wrote:Could a deal be done using the "surge A330's"
Yeah, let's renegotiate the AirTanker PFI contract. What could possibly go wrong?

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

Post by SW1 »

There is an option to integrate onto current a330s. That is option with the least financial outlay as your buying no new aircraft and those currently used are under utilised.

There is a lot of precieved negatives with the tanker pfi which clouds people’s thinking on the issue.

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

Post by RetroSicotte »

SW1 wrote:There is an option to integrate onto current a330s. That is option with the least financial outlay as your buying no new aircraft and those currently used are under utilised.

There is a lot of precieved negatives with the tanker pfi which clouds people’s thinking on the issue.
Forcing your air force to cut their tanker/primary personnel airlifter fleet by a third just to get your AWACs in the air is a terrible idea, it's rightfully put down.

Too much requirement, too few platforms required to handle all three crucial roles. The tankers do their job, the AWACs do theirs, they must be separate fleets, not a further cut by asking them (and their crews!) to share duties.

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

Post by SW1 »

And who’s forcing them to do that then?


There’s 5 a/c not being used at all and rented out. Not to mention the addition of an aew capability to the mrtt would in no way affect its ability to aar. Indeed why the airforce has discussed in the past about adding istar capabilities to it.

So when you don’t have a budget at all to cover even what you currently have you need to think creatively.

So put down all you want maybe time for another gap.

Aar is done by a 3 man crew all in the cockpit.

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

Post by RichardIC »

SW1 wrote:There is an option to integrate onto current a330s. That is option with the least financial outlay as your buying no new aircraft and those currently used are under utilised.
SW1 wrote:There’s 5 a/c not being used at all and rented out. Not to mention the addition of an aew capability to the mrtt would in no way affect its ability to aar. Indeed why the airforce has discussed in the past about adding istar capabilities to it.
I agree that PFIs sometimes get a bad wrap that isn't fully justified.

But the aircraft are still owned by a consortium of publicly listed companies whose legal duty is to maximise the return for their shareholders, not provide military capability at the lowest possible cost.

Proposing using AirTanker owned Voyager, whether in the core fleet or not, would add a huge layer of complexity to the contract. If the proposal is for non-core aircraft AirTanker would want to be compensated in full for revenue lost from commercial charters.

If we're looking for a quick solution (and we clearly are), that wouldn't provide it, what with lawyers charging by the hour.

And it's impossible to tell from Saab's letter whether they are proposing new builds, second hand aircraft taken from the market, or AirTanker Voyager. They just talk of a "strategic reach platform already in RAF service".

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

Post by Lord Jim »

Trying to renegotiate the PFI is opening a can of works. AS for SAAB, in their letter, and I may have misread this, they seem to be offering to do the integration etc at their own expense to provide a proof of concept flying prototype. It may be worth the MoD examining this, stipulating to SAAB that they have to meet the RAF's delivery timeframe for delivery of the finished article, and see what they come up with. Airbus would probably chip in as having one of their airframes available for AEW&C contracts can only be of benefit to them and would give them something to shoot at any USAF requirement in the future.

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

Post by serge750 »

Does sound like a good idea in theory to intergrate onto a current platform, would get my vote if it could be done on time & in budget....hope Airbus would give all coperation aswell, makes sense for them for a possible future product to sell, if the intergration does work/get approval would it be a good idea to buy a few new build airframes as opposed to the ones on contract?

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

Post by SW1 »

In the letter they state they have already done several thousand hours work with airbus on this proposal. I suspect this have been round competition for the Indian Air Force contract.

They say it doesn’t impact on there current transport or aar role so there not proposing new builds. New build a330 would blow the MoDs budget out the water as there about 260m dollars each green.

Airtanker does have issues hiring out all the spare aircraft due to the significant call back restrictions. Added to that the more we use the cheaper the service gets. They would for example quite like mod to allow boom fitting to the aircraft to hire them out to european nato nations.


RichardIC

It does make money like any company but then the MoD does not provide military capability at the lowest possible cost on any of its programs so a phrase with glass houses comes to mind. Part of the problem with this pfi is no one knows what value of money is for providing a full end to end service eg maintenance, training, crews aircraft ect this coupled with people who just don’t think any military capable should be bought this way and other who just want it to fail. So it becomes contentious but after the inevitable teething issues the whole system is delivering.

The letter is however a damning indictment of a department that supposedly ran a competition and found wedgetail was the only solution. It clearly didn’t.

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

Post by shark bait »

RetroSicotte wrote:Forcing your air force to cut their tanker/primary personnel airlifter fleet by a third just to get your AWACs in the air is a terrible idea, it's rightfully put down.
Maybe. Then consider the 'RAF' have 4 available that they don't use...

Still not buying into the A330 thing, its too big. I don't expect the commonality benefits will offset the larger operational costs.
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Re: Boeing E-3D Sentry AEW.1 (AWACS) (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Ok the letter from SAAB mentioned the A330 but there are other Airbus Platforms with both the A220 and A320neo as alternative options. But could Airbus do the integration within the timeframe.

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

Post by ~UNiOnJaCk~ »

Sacrificing our tanker "surge" capability in order to convert them to AWACs is a terrible idea, all the more so if it is being done simply to appease a stropping Airbus. You have to be in it to win it, so they say. If they felt that have been cheated, maybe they should consider their product portfolio a little more before a tender is actually released next time round...

Back to the tanker point, NATO's main players are looking to expand their tanker capacity. France has recently expanded its MRTT order, for example. It would be insane to lose our surge capacity when it is already a resource that is such a premium. If anything, we should be looking to expand our tanking capacity further to my mind.

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

Post by SW1 »

LJ

You can integrate it on any platform and both Saab and airbus have done this before no platform outlay cost is the basis of this proposal. On time scales Saab will have developed, integrated and delivered the first globaleye to UAE before we receive our first p8 and both contracts were initiated within a month of each other. Other huge benefit no ITAR.

Unionjack

This is a Saab proposal, also it doesn’t impact on the aar capability of the a/c. So your surge fleet would actual be in service rather than on 60 day notice to return to service. We already have an under utilised tanker fleet never mind worrying about the surge fleet. The joys of having a significantly reduced fast jet fleet since contract of capability with zero chance of it expanding.

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

Post by Little J »

I love how only a few months ago, x was arguing with y, that the 737 was to big and we should be going for a biz jet based solution. Roll on to the present day, and a is arguing with z, that we should be looking at an A330 :wtf: :angel:

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

Post by SW1 »

And it should still be on a biz jet platform. 737 is too big as is a330.

As all other proposals requires new aircraft to be bought integrating onto existing a/c is appealing from a budget perspective.

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

Post by RichardIC »

SW1 wrote:And it should still be on a biz jet platform. 737 is too big as is a330.
But the Saab proposal is integration on an A330.

However this whole conversation seems to be missing the point. And that is that E-3D is on life-support. It needs a replacement that will deliver ASAP.

Both Saab or Boeing are probably capable of coming up with a solution.

But the one thing that an open competition guarantees, absolutely guarantees, is that it will add time to finding it (but is probably what we'll end up with anyway).

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

Post by SW1 »

Richard

As they pointed out they haven’t seen the requirements against which there being asked to offer a option. There offering a like for like option to e3d without the need to buy new a/c up front to keep dwn cost.

The point of a competition. Awac is in need of a systems update but it’s not critcal it’s only a year or so ago they extended the support contract on sentry and rivetjoint out to 2035. It’s becoming more expensive to support and the real issue is the a/c on which wedgetail is based is going out of production in about a year or so and slots are drying up.

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

Post by RichardIC »

I'd refer you to Mark Francois' comments at Defence Select last week - he used the phrase "life support" I believe. Or it was something very similar. Regardless of the reality, the perception is that E-3D is now a basket case.

And if Boeing hold a support contract out to 2035, that may explain why E-7 is a fait accompli. Could the MoD afford to buy Saab and pay off Boeing?

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

Post by RichardIC »

I should practice what I preach and do my research before making assertions. "Busted flush" was what he said:

http://data.parliament.uk/writteneviden ... /91467.pdf

Q15 Mr Francois: Look, when I was Minister for the Armed Forces, I put the
E-3 fleet in special measures because their availability was appalling.
They had to ring my office every morning and tell us how many were on
the line and ready to go. On average, they managed one out of six and
on a number of days there were none. I need no convincing that the E-3D
is a busted flush. I am still reaching for how you can afford this
multibillion-pound programme when you are massively over-programmed
at the moment. Let me have another crack at it: if we decided to go
single-source, did you ask Airbus for a best and final offer?

and also of direct relevance:

Lieutenant General Sir Mark Poffley: Currently we are looking at
something around ’22 or ’23 onwards, because we believe that the threat
will have morphed to the point where it is questionable whether E-3 can
continue in that guise, around about that period.
But that is the sort of
target to start the conversation. Clearly, there are judgments to be taken
as we start to really understand the offer in terms of Wedgetail. I think
there is an opportunity, particularly for this Committee—I know that that
offer has already been made—for a more classified briefing.

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

Post by SW1 »

Richard

It’s not a secret we don’t fund support and maintenance properly (perhaps why voyager appears expensive to some) and that a 4 engined heavy is an expensive a/c to maintain, but it isn’t Boeing it’s northrup Grumman who are the main support providers to e3d, along with a few others.

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

around ’22 or ’23 onwards, because we believe that the threat
will have morphed to the point
where it is questionable whether E-3 can
continue in that guise
This (from a general) is much more interesting than the cost of flying X or Y fleet
... of course, he did not elaborate as to what would make the difference :?
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)

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

Post by SW1 »

ACC

I would suggest from that time frame you would want to be flying an AESA radar!

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

SW1 wrote: you would want to be flying an AESA radar
Yes, as of today, plenty on offer.

Blindspots, though. How do they compare with that big 'raised thingy' in that respect?

And what kind of AESA? As in band, for the stealth or near-stealth threats?
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)

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