Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
Lord Jim
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

We can but hope that in a few years it is realised this was a mistake and the remaining two are ordered, possibly again using second hand airframes if new ones are not available in the timeframe.

Ron5
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

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Clive F wrote:Joined up thinking would have ordered 737 to replace 146'S not A321 giving common fleet. It strikes me as no planning and make it up as you go along.
So what are the RAF's tankers?

SW1
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

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There’s no pleasure in saying it but much like the army afv fleet this is an issues entirely of there own making. We know from the public select committee hearing on it it was the RAF and MOD who proclaimed the a deal /price that could not be beaten was what won it. Despite industry questioning it, despite no one having built one for years and the two companies both initially approached and one even selected and who had the hanger for the conversion overhauled and upgraded but still walked away because they believe the price was pie in the sky . Turned out it was.

It’s why the saab proposal was around fitment to voyager partly because some of the stuff coming out now with voyager was already being offered and mostly because there was no budget for buying aircraft as they calculated. If there were globaleye would of been offered. All dismissed because of the superior capability on deployed operations of e7 well something has to be there for there to be a capabilities and now beyond policing the national air defence region there won’t be.


But it goes back even further than that to the 2015 sdsr and ordering of p8. Another program selected on hopelessly financial accounting which most warned about and with no consideration for the infrastructure investment required never mind the manpower resulting in the rest of the manned being stripped and binned.
Airborne teaming with both manned and unmanned all option and all dismissed to ensure the option first thought off with no regard for the cost or what was to follow.

The question is will lessons be now finally learned and realism taken into account going fwd we will see.

SW1
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

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Clive F wrote:Joined up thinking would have ordered 737 to replace 146'S not A321 giving common fleet. It strikes me as no planning and make it up as you go along.
They’ve just announced a review where it made great play on show casing of uk design and manufactured technology.

Is your head of state or senior political leader going to turn up in some country championing your aerospace sector and airbus products in a Boeing with next to no UK content?

Lord Jim
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

But weren't we limited in both programmes to alternative, and in both cases these were under development whilst the Boeing offering were in service which must have made the RAF/MoD team leap to the conclusion that the latter would be an off the shelf purchase and cheaper, one of the reason we accepted not being able to refuel either platform using our Hose & Drogue tankers.

Despite that I do think the P-8 is probably the right choice for the UK but we simply haven't ordered enough. Regarding the E-7 I think the opposite, with the SAAB platform offering superior performance as both the UAE (I think) found out during their trials. Its standard sensor fit would make it able to compliment the P-8 in the maritime role and carry out some of the duties that were carried out by the Sentinel. And it can be refuelled by our Voyagers.

Of course if we had kept our E-3Ds up to date we could have joined the European led NATO E-3 successor programme and shared to cost of what is expected to be a platform based on the latest version of the A320/321.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

Lord Jim wrote:Of course if we had kept our E-3Ds up to date we could have joined the European led NATO E-3 successor programme and shared to cost of what is expected to be a platform based on the latest version of the A320/321.
That’s the root of all the evil. The e3 fleet has been in a hollowed out state for years it’s was the ultimate hanger queen thru lack of investment. The single best thing about this review is returns realism to force structure but this is the 2nd time in 10 years it’s had to be done.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

SW1 wrote:well something has to be there for there to be a capabilities and now beyond policing the national air defence region there won’t be.
As I said on some thread, we have chosen to be able to do one circuit
... were it to be somewhere else, then the national air defence would need to be 'denuded'.
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)

Dahedd
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Dahedd »

RichardIC wrote:
We know at least one of the second-hand aircraft has already been delivered. So does this mean the MoD is contractually tied into paying for five airframes but only putting three into service as E-7s?

Maybe the plan is 3 now, an additional 2 as & when funds become available :?:

Jdam
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Jdam »

Dahedd wrote:
Maybe the plan is 3 now, an additional 2 as & when funds become available :?:
I guess it depends on how easy they are to buy, if all we need to do is take a commercial aircraft and upgrade it with the required gear, the possibility is there. Its not like once the production line closes down thats it, it might be how we ended up here with 3.

tomuk
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by tomuk »

Jdam wrote:
Dahedd wrote:
Maybe the plan is 3 now, an additional 2 as & when funds become available :?:
I guess it depends on how easy they are to buy, if all we need to do is take a commercial aircraft and upgrade it with the required gear, the possibility is there. Its not like once the production line closes down thats it, it might be how we ended up here with 3.
The airframe isn't the problem they are just 737 BBJs. The issue would be Northrop Grumman being willing to build more radar sets.

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Mercator »

tomuk wrote:
Jdam wrote:
Dahedd wrote:
Maybe the plan is 3 now, an additional 2 as & when funds become available :?:
I guess it depends on how easy they are to buy, if all we need to do is take a commercial aircraft and upgrade it with the required gear, the possibility is there. Its not like once the production line closes down thats it, it might be how we ended up here with 3.
The airframe isn't the problem they are just 737 BBJs. The issue would be Northrop Grumman being willing to build more radar sets.
By the time the UK decides they want more E-7s, if ever, the Australian follow on project planned for the late 2020s will be underway. Almost certainly going to be new sensors at a minimum. Should be options. And that's without PACAF getting their wish...

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Ron5 »

tomuk wrote:The issue would be Northrop Grumman being willing to build more radar sets.
Just write a check dude.

Lord Jim
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Lord Jim »

Or see the order as an interim one to retain the capability whilst we join the European E-3 replacement programme aimed at replacing both the NATO E-3As and the French E-3Fs with a european platform that would also provide the basis for a MPA to replace the Atlantique and Orion. We could even purchase the latter further down the line and I am sure there will be a pretty vibrant market for Second hand P-8s of that was the way we went. We will probably be manufacturing the wings and engines for the platforms anyhow.

serge750
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by serge750 »

Lord Jim wrote:Or see the order as an interim one to retain the capability whilst we join the European E-3 replacement programme aimed at replacing both the NATO E-3As and the French E-3Fs with a european platform that would also provide the basis for a MPA to replace the Atlantique and Orion. We could even purchase the latter further down the line and I am sure there will be a pretty vibrant market for Second hand P-8s of that was the way we went. We will probably be manufacturing the wings and engines for the platforms anyhow.
I think you may have hit the nail on the head ! maybe a bit of long term thinking by the MOD?...

Probably not though :mrgreen: just penny pinchers ( pound foolish ) kicking decisions down the road :lol:

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Mercator »

serge750 wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Or see the order as an interim one to retain the capability whilst we join the European E-3 replacement programme aimed at replacing both the NATO E-3As and the French E-3Fs with a european platform that would also provide the basis for a MPA to replace the Atlantique and Orion. We could even purchase the latter further down the line and I am sure there will be a pretty vibrant market for Second hand P-8s of that was the way we went. We will probably be manufacturing the wings and engines for the platforms anyhow.
I think you may have hit the nail on the head ! maybe a bit of long term thinking by the MOD?...

Probably not though :mrgreen: just penny pinchers ( pound foolish ) kicking decisions down the road :lol:
Nah. C'mon guys, you want 9 MPA and 3 AEWC. Of course you are buying off the shelf. It's going your own way on every damn program that got you into this mess. Pick your battles.

SW1
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by SW1 »

https://www.flightglobal.com/defence/na ... PM.twitter

The UK will use its position within the multinational NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force to cover for the retirement of its remaining Boeing E-3D Sentry aircraft later this year.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Sounds like a repeat of the Poseidon (gap) story
... nothing wrong with it; that's what alliances are for
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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RichardIC
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by RichardIC »

Ho hum. Slow news day.


Mercator
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Mercator »

UK Exchange personnel on exercise in Australia.

'International exchange for exercise'
https://news.defence.gov.au/capability/ ... e-exercise
Exercise Arnhem Thunder saw personnel on exchange from the Royal Air Force (RAF) fill key positions on Australia’s E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Positions included aircraft captain and senior surveillance and control officer, the two most senior roles on board.

But this mixed nationality situation wasn’t unique to Arnhem Thunder. RAF personnel have been on exchange with No. 2 Squadron (2SQN) for the past few years, gaining valuable experience on Australia’s E-7A Wedgetail in preparation for the introduction of a UK variant...
Image

'Exercise Arnhem Thunder completes in the Top End'
https://news.defence.gov.au/service/exe ... es-top-end

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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Mercator »

"If anybody asked me what’s my priority in the ISR portfolio, I have to say the AWACS. We frankly have to be wide-eyed. We have to acknowledge that unlike our closest treaty allies — the Australians and the [U.K. Royal Air Force]— we do not field a cutting-edge, air moving target indicator, or AMTI, capability like they do with their E-7A Wedgetail..."

Four questions with the head of Air Combat Command
https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... t-command/

Jdam
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Jdam »

I wonder if the US Air force would go for new air frames?

marktigger
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by marktigger »

SW1 wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Of course if we had kept our E-3Ds up to date we could have joined the European led NATO E-3 successor programme and shared to cost of what is expected to be a platform based on the latest version of the A320/321.
That’s the root of all the evil. The e3 fleet has been in a hollowed out state for years it’s was the ultimate hanger queen thru lack of investment. The single best thing about this review is returns realism to force structure but this is the 2nd time in 10 years it’s had to be done.
Like MPA's, Artillery, Armour, Frigates, MCMV,Patrol ships, MBT's It wasn't needed in Afghan therefore why waste money on it seamed the mantra.

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Jensy
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by Jensy »

USAF "Looking Seriously" at E-7
“We are doing internal analysis,” Chief of Staff CQ Brown told reporters today here at the Air Force Foundation’s annual Air, Space & Cyber conference. “The E-7 is a good platform. It’s flown by the Royal Australian Air Force, and the Royal Air Force is getting ready to procure some as well.”
https://breakingdefense.com/2021/09/bro ... wedgetail/



Judging by the numbers needed to replace E-3, and the 737NG line dead, am curious whether they go for pre-owned airliners/BBJ, the MAX, or adapt a P-8 airframe.

tomuk
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by tomuk »

Ease of conversion would be used BBJ but there just aren't the number available. Next best would be P8.

seaspear
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Re: Boeing E-7 Wedgetail (RAF)

Post by seaspear »

There is an article in here pages 23 and 24 detailing the R.A.A.Fs updates to their Wedgetails not sure how applicable to the R.A.F but could be of interest
https://asiapacificdefencereporter.com/ ... ighRes.pdf

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