Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

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shark bait
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by shark bait »

serge750 wrote:Now if the E7 decision is above projected costs, would it be better to upgrade the E3 sentry force
Or put it out to competition, invite tenders for new build and upgrade. That's what should have been done in the first place, the decision to place purchase order on Boeing without a competitive process was highly dubious.

But the MOD can't run a competitive bid either, damned if you do and damned if you don't!
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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

@R686,
Thx for injecting the 'real' timeline:
2029 start
mid 30's start acceptance
end of decade operational
... us perhaps (though the airframes are used from get-go) extending from there by 5 yrs or so?
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-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

RetroSicotte wrote:Are there any tech specs on it? Ultimately if it's not as capable but just dirt cheap then that could be every bit as much a failure as less Wedgetails too.
All I have found so far is a few articles in the defence and aviation media on the Swedish platform UAE is starting to operate and that is being proposed to Finland. This points to the radar and that it is superior due to the use of Gallium Nitride for the individual cells making them more efficient. As for exact specs and costs, these I cannot find in the public domain.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

Lord Jim wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:Are there any tech specs on it? Ultimately if it's not as capable but just dirt cheap then that could be every bit as much a failure as less Wedgetails too.
All I have found so far is a few articles in the defence and aviation media on the Swedish platform UAE is starting to operate and that is being proposed to Finland. This points to the radar and that it is superior due to the use of Gallium Nitride for the individual cells making them more efficient. As for exact specs and costs, these I cannot find in the public domain.
This will give an overview https://saabgroup.com/globalassets/cisi ... baleye.pdf but it’s about as good as you’ll get. You could then go round in circles about is 5-7 people enough to do c2, what are the detection ranges against certain objects, how does it support a raid profile, will the US allow it access to certain things if it’s not a US product ect ect all of which cannot be known here.

It’s all academic if the people at the top don’t want to consider it then there will always be an excuse why not. However if you really are prepared to think/do differently than before be agile and adaptable think outside the box and actually consider you have purchase and support budget you need to stay within and an industrial long term strategy then perhaps go have a look I’m sure the UAE wouldn’t mind.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

SW1 wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:Not any strict similarity of solution; just tending towards forward-thinking. Whereas Wedgetail was just about buying into an "assured" upgrade path - allegedly. Again, just emphasising the mindset.
I never really understood the mindset to be honest for pushing the upgrade path with Australia especially when we are courting Saab so heavily in developing the future combat air system.
Because the Australian product was in service and the SAAB entry was a proposal? Of course that's changed a bit now.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

The only pricing I have seen is for the two additional SAAB aircraft for the UAE for $1 billion and the UK $2 billion for five E-7's.

That kindof makes the SAAB offering more expensive but its a rattlers nest comparing prices from contracts. But is that what folks are thinking?

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Ron5 wrote:two additional SAAB aircraft for the UAE for $1 billion and the UK $2 billion for five E-7's
Interesting as both are sort of building on top of what is in place, so 'set-up costs' play a lesser role (in fogging up the comparison)
- and the 'per piece' prices are not far off from each other
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-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

I saw a figure of about $250m quoted when the UAE took there 3 a/c as an option but I wouldn’t read much into those figures because it’s impossible to know what’s included. Beside thru supt cost will be the real difference.

But besides all that it’s not really what I’d consider. The best example is probably the Saab offer of the HX contract interns of fighters,EW and globaleye as a joined up system approach.

If we’re talking about about a new future air systems how does all the pieces join together should ours be following a similar path as above has the winds of tempest crystallised more since this initial decision.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

SW1 wrote:I saw a figure of about $250m quoted when the UAE took there 3 a/c as an option but I wouldn’t read much into those figures because it’s impossible to know what’s included. Beside thru supt cost will be the real difference.

But besides all that it’s not really what I’d consider. The best example is probably the Saab offer of the HX contract interns of fighters,EW and globaleye as a joined up system approach.

If we’re talking about about a new future air systems how does all the pieces join together should ours be following a similar path as above has the winds of tempest crystallised more since this initial decision.
Who knows how the MoD will or has decided, maybe they'll go with the airy fairy SAAB joined up approach or just plain hard cash. Or neither.

I wonder who the head of the AEW renewal project is? With British procurement probably an Army general or navy admiral. Anybody but a subject matter expert.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by topman »

Ron5 wrote:
SW1 wrote:I saw a figure of about $250m quoted when the UAE took there 3 a/c as an option but I wouldn’t read much into those figures because it’s impossible to know what’s included. Beside thru supt cost will be the real difference.

But besides all that it’s not really what I’d consider. The best example is probably the Saab offer of the HX contract interns of fighters,EW and globaleye as a joined up system approach.

If we’re talking about about a new future air systems how does all the pieces join together should ours be following a similar path as above has the winds of tempest crystallised more since this initial decision.
Who knows how the MoD will or has decided, maybe they'll go with the airy fairy SAAB joined up approach or just plain hard cash. Or neither.

I wonder who the head of the AEW renewal project is? With British procurement probably an Army general or navy admiral. Anybody but a subject matter expert.
I think the idea is to get away from a group think or the idea of 'here's the answer what's the question' etc.
Whether it happens, I guess that's another question.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Ron5 wrote:two additional SAAB aircraft for the UAE for $1 billion and the UK $2 billion for five E-7's
Interesting as both are sort of building on top of what is in place, so 'set-up costs' play a lesser role (in fogging up the comparison)
- and the 'per piece' prices are not far off from each other
The Israeli, Gulfstream-based IAI EL/W-2085, offering comes in at similar prices:

Italy x2 - €750-850m (€375-425 each)
Singapore x4 - €1.5bn (€375 each)

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by R686 »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:@R686,
Thx for injecting the 'real' timeline:
2029 start
mid 30's start acceptance
end of decade operational
... us perhaps (though the airframes are used from get-go) extending from there by 5 yrs or so?
Well all that will depend on the condition of the aircraft from acceptance and it’s cycles, I’m lead to believe it’s the number of take offs/landings that determine the timeframe of replacement aircraft in the civilian world not necessarily hours flown

But in saying that the replacement could be a collaborative effort between all existing users plus the US as the E3 will eventually have to be replace and the demise of E-10 MC2A

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

R686 wrote:number of take offs/landings that determine the timeframe of replacement aircraft in the civilian world
Especially for 737s and the like, because in short haul the numbers accumulates fast; cfr. long-haul Jumbos, some real dinosaurs (amongst them) are still flying.
- AEW tasks might be tending towards the latter, and hence the converting of used airframes is not as crazy as it might sound
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-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by jonas »

Parliamentary written answers 25th Sept :- It's obviously on the cards.


AWACS: Procurement
Show full question
Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 93542, tabled on 22 September 2020
Question
Mr Kevan Jones
Labour
North Durham
Commons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost to public purse would be of cancelling the E-7 Wedgetail contract.
Answer
Jeremy Quin
Conservative
Horsham
Commons
Answered on

25 September 2020

If any decision was taken to cancel the E-7 Wedgetail contract, financial implications and further liabilities would be subject to commercial negotiations in accordance with normal practice.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

topman wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
SW1 wrote:I saw a figure of about $250m quoted when the UAE took there 3 a/c as an option but I wouldn’t read much into those figures because it’s impossible to know what’s included. Beside thru supt cost will be the real difference.

But besides all that it’s not really what I’d consider. The best example is probably the Saab offer of the HX contract interns of fighters,EW and globaleye as a joined up system approach.

If we’re talking about about a new future air systems how does all the pieces join together should ours be following a similar path as above has the winds of tempest crystallised more since this initial decision.
Who knows how the MoD will or has decided, maybe they'll go with the airy fairy SAAB joined up approach or just plain hard cash. Or neither.

I wonder who the head of the AEW renewal project is? With British procurement probably an Army general or navy admiral. Anybody but a subject matter expert.
I think the idea is to get away from a group think or the idea of 'here's the answer what's the question' etc.
Whether it happens, I guess that's another question.
Fastest way to a bad contract is a dumb customer. Army generals making decisions about frigates is dumb.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by topman »

Ron5 wrote:
topman wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
SW1 wrote:I saw a figure of about $250m quoted when the UAE took there 3 a/c as an option but I wouldn’t read much into those figures because it’s impossible to know what’s included. Beside thru supt cost will be the real difference.

But besides all that it’s not really what I’d consider. The best example is probably the Saab offer of the HX contract interns of fighters,EW and globaleye as a joined up system approach.

If we’re talking about about a new future air systems how does all the pieces join together should ours be following a similar path as above has the winds of tempest crystallised more since this initial decision.
Who knows how the MoD will or has decided, maybe they'll go with the airy fairy SAAB joined up approach or just plain hard cash. Or neither.

I wonder who the head of the AEW renewal project is? With British procurement probably an Army general or navy admiral. Anybody but a subject matter expert.
I think the idea is to get away from a group think or the idea of 'here's the answer what's the question' etc.
Whether it happens, I guess that's another question.
Fastest way to a bad contract is a dumb customer. Army generals making decisions about frigates is dumb.
There is an element of that, I think your first sentence is the issue in a lot of cases.
You only have to look at the army and its vehicle fleet. In that farce it wouldn't have been worse if they'd put the navy in charge.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by AndyC »

If you look back over past year’s Equipment Plans it soon becomes clear that there was never a budget line for a significant E-7 Wedgetail purchase.

It seems to me that the RAF were on a bit of a high after being the clear political winners in SDSR15 and they decided to push their luck a bit further!

To be fair they could point to a clear need to replace the E-3 Sentry, which is almost literally falling apart, and there needed to be more effective radar coverage to keep a better eye on what the Russians are up to and to make QRA effective.

By advocating an “off the shelf” solution the Air Chiefs would have believed they were on safe ground and for a newly appointed Defence Secretary (the ever ambitious Gavin Williamson) it was an early political win.

However, for the bean counters this pushed the Air Command budget around £2 billion into the red where it remains today. Maybe that wouldn’t have been a problem if there was any political stability but Williamson was soon out of this job and then there was a new Prime Minister and naturally a new defence review!

And a deficit of £2 billion is not a good place to start if the review is meant to be saving significant money.

So naturally Boeing get the call from the MoD – is there anything we can do to reduce costs?

The first step is to replace Marshall’s with the virtually unknown STS Aviation. My guess is that the second step was for the MoD to propose that all five aircraft be purchased secondhand as there are an awful lot of Boeing 737s sitting around becoming worthless. But Boeing are in dire financial straights and definitely don’t want to see the order for three new aircraft cancelled at a time when any orders are thin on the ground.

So Boeing resist and the MoD proposes cutting the total order from five to three and leak this to the media. Boeing, however, realise that this isn’t a militarily realistic option and don’t play ball. So the MoD go to the next level and tell Boeing they might well cancel the whole order, which handily gets raised in a Parliamentary Question. But again, is it realistic to cancel the contract, pay compensation and then buy another system (Saab’s Globaleye?) and still expect any sort of saving?

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

AndyC wrote:If you look back over past year’s Equipment Plans it soon becomes clear that there was never a budget line for a significant E-7 Wedgetail purchase.

It seems to me that the RAF were on a bit of a high after being the clear political winners in SDSR15 and they decided to push their luck a bit further!

To be fair they could point to a clear need to replace the E-3 Sentry, which is almost literally falling apart, and there needed to be more effective radar coverage to keep a better eye on what the Russians are up to and to make QRA effective.

By advocating an “off the shelf” solution the Air Chiefs would have believed they were on safe ground and for a newly appointed Defence Secretary (the ever ambitious Gavin Williamson) it was an early political win.

However, for the bean counters this pushed the Air Command budget around £2 billion into the red where it remains today. Maybe that wouldn’t have been a problem if there was any political stability but Williamson was soon out of this job and then there was a new Prime Minister and naturally a new defence review!

And a deficit of £2 billion is not a good place to start if the review is meant to be saving significant money.

So naturally Boeing get the call from the MoD – is there anything we can do to reduce costs?

The first step is to replace Marshall’s with the virtually unknown STS Aviation. My guess is that the second step was for the MoD to propose that all five aircraft be purchased secondhand as there are an awful lot of Boeing 737s sitting around becoming worthless. But Boeing are in dire financial straights and definitely don’t want to see the order for three new aircraft cancelled at a time when any orders are thin on the ground.

So Boeing resist and the MoD proposes cutting the total order from five to three and leak this to the media. Boeing, however, realise that this isn’t a militarily realistic option and don’t play ball. So the MoD go to the next level and tell Boeing they might well cancel the whole order, which handily gets raised in a Parliamentary Question. But again, is it realistic to cancel the contract, pay compensation and then buy another system (Saab’s Goldeneye?) and still expect any sort of saving?
Interesting analysis. Thanks.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Mercator »

probably relevant to UK as well:


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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by SKB »

Daft idea, but has anyone thought of sticking the Wedgetail antenna on the top of a Poseidon fuselage?! They are both 737's and could be a two-for-one solution! :mrgreen:

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by bobp »

SKB wrote:Daft idea, but has anyone thought of sticking the Wedgetail antenna on the top of a Poseidon fuselage?! They are both 737's and could be a two-for-one solution!
There is an awful lot of equipment inside the E7, including the radar, mission systems and computers and consoles. So the 737 would not be big enough for it all.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by SKB »

British Airways have some spare 747's....

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

And there are plenty of Airbus 330s out there, the same plane the Voyager was based on :D

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Lord Jim wrote:And there are plenty of Airbus 330s out there, the same plane the Voyager was based on :D
Germany was playing with the idea of a large, stand-off EW plane
... but is buying Growlers instead. The penetrating air can't be supported from a 1000 km away
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-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

But you can have bunk beds and TVs on an Airbus for the crew and in flight meals. :D :D

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