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A more reasonable Requirements process

zen

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Part of the core problem in the UK is, beyond industrial capacity and capability issues, the process of drawing up requirements.
By the mid-50's this got into an extreme cycle of assuming equal capability Soviet equipment and thus requiring systems to counter them.
This in turn created assumptions of an equal Soviet counter, requiring it's own counter-counter system.
A spiral that created extreme requirements like OR.330 and F155/OR.329.
Which would ultimately provoke an equally extreme solution in D.Sandys White Paper of '57.

Partly this is down to the sheer absence of real information about Soviet equipment. Lack of real knowledge led to assumptions piled on assumptions.

Now the odd part of that is through this period there were daring and impressive efforts to gain information on Soviet systems.
But the reality they discover just doesn't seem to feed into the government machine.

Perhaps too much compartmental secrecy? Certainly an affliction in the UK back then.

But what then would be more reasonable an assessment and thus more reasonable a set of requirements?
 

zen

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To quote overscan...
In 1953, they expected a low level Mach 0.9 bomber as the 1960/1970 threat (DSIR23 22224 (Expected Air Threat 1960-1970)). A bit later it was Mach 1.3, then as OR.330 came along, Mach 2.0 at 70,000 ft.
What might be the outcome if they stuck to the 1953 assessment?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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A low-level Mach 0.9 bomber ("equivalent to Valiant Mk II") presents its own challenges in a pre-pulse-doppler radar era.

No-one would believe in 1954-55 that the BEAR would be a front line bomber for the next 70 years. In 1958, the US assessment was that the Soviets were probably working on supersonic, intercontinental bombers using nuclear power and / or exotic chemical fuels, probably going to take longer than 1962 for the nuclear version, and probably wouldn't have an operational hypersonic (Mach 5.0) glide vehicle before 1962.
 
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CNH

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And the Sandys response was that strategic bombers were becoming obsolete, both because of missile defences [Bloodhound etc] and the advent of the ballistic missile.
 

zen

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Except that Soviet ICBM was a highly limited force. The missile gap, as the US called it was in fact the other way around.
But the intelligence was doubted.
 

zen

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I think some posts on the P1121 thread are more appropriate here.

But if the Intel had been better, it's arguably the case a lot of spending wouldn't have occurred anyway.

Though a more reasonable requirement certainly should make it easier to achieve.

Which oddly can take us to the likes of Saro adding into their submission to F155 that if the armament and equipment requirements could be eased, much more achievable aircraft designs could result.
As I pondered in this thread.
 

Hood

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We should not forget that the Operational Requirements branch was understaffed and stretched by all these projects and ORs. They had shuffle staff around the sub-branches as priorities shifted.

For example some figures from minutes from file AIR 2/14385:
17/08/1960 - Wanted to increase OR.24 by 3 officers for TSR.2, but CAS wanted to trim OR branch officer numbers. Choices were; removing 1 officer from OR,14 (Blue Streak) or OR.1 (V-bombers, which still had 3 officers).

11/08/1960 - OR.24 has high workload on TSR.2, OR.357 MR Aircraft and Canberra. MoA Project Office has 4 staff doing the same role as 1 RAF officer in OR.24

25/08/1960 - Shorts Britannic officer for OR.2a (Sqn Ldr with transport experience) moved from recently disbanded OR.10a.

17/08/1959 - DDOR.7 and his staff working on OR.660, Britannic, some civil stuff, Rotodyne and helicopters. OR.10a needed helicopter experience too.


Between July 1956 and May 1959 12 posts had been deleted - 10 of them connected with aircraft programmes. In May 1959 ACAS(OR) was fighting to keep 3 senior posts overseeing 14 projects including OR.357 and Blue Streak.

This is rough list of the OR branch sub-branches as of 1959:
OR.1 - V-bombers
OR.2 - transports and helicopters
OR.3 - training aircraft
OR.6 - conventional weapons and chemical warfare
OR.7 - navigation & bomb aiming equipment
OR.8 - electronics requirements
OR.10 - fighters
OR.11 - Army Air Corps aircraft
OR.12 - engineering
OR.14 - ballistic missiles
OR.18 - electronics for bombers & strike aircraft
OR.19 - nuclear bombs
OR.20 - Lightning and flight instruments & control systems
OR.21 - equipment (ejection seats etc.)
OR.24
OR.25 - aircraft weapons
OR.26 - guided weapons
OR.27 - other nuclear weapons
OR.28 - Project 'E'
 

zen

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Hmmmm is it me or is there duplication going on here?

OR.2 could merge with Army Air Corps
OR.20 ought to be part of OR.10 as ought to be OR.25 and OR.21
OR.14, OR.19 and OR.27 are so deeply bound together.
OR.7 and OR.1

Separation seems to produce a great deal of problems here.
 

edwest

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Widening the picture a bit, the US, UK and Canada system was already in place during World War II. Intelligence was good about the Soviet Union by the end of the war. Along with knowing what the US had sent the Russians and the surrender of Reinhard Gehlen, head of Foreign Armies East, and part of his staff to the Americans. They would form the core of West German intelligence under CIA direction and control (Partners at the Creation by James Critchfield).

Let's now go over the problem areas. The Russians, Americans and British had German jet fighters, bombers, V-1s and V-2s plus nerve gas. Three types: Sarin, Soman and Tabun. I have seen two photos of German artillery shells filled with nerve gas recovered from boxcars by the Americans. The British found some as well and they were identified by an additional colored ring by British bomb disposal. They acquired an unknown number. Tests on live subjects began at Porton Down. Meanwhile, recovered documents, equipment and personnel were being gone over with a fine-toothed comb. The Russians had captured the almost complete DFS 346 supersonic aircraft, which they would test fly using an interned American bomber in much the same way the Germans had air-launched V-1s during the war.

Great Britain had no capability for testing long-range systems in the UK. That would be handed off to Canada and Australia. The Americans would offer limited assistance except in the area of atomic/nuclear weapons. In May 1946, one year after the end of the war in Europe, and supposedly, with no money, the US would start the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft program. A report would also be issued the same month titled Guided Missiles and Pilotless Aircraft which stated, in part, that developments that would normally take years would now have to be completed in months. Why the rush? Development and testing of the X211 engine continued throughout the 1950s with successful operation.

Any good ideas the Germans had, along with setting up the White Sands site in the US, with German help, meant that 'other ideas' could be explored. The Russians were also doing all of the above. That is where the parity idea comes from. And though information is incomplete, Russian spies were well placed in the United States. They would at least notice unusual activity, the movement of heavy equipment, and new construction, especially at restricted sites.
 

pathology_doc

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And the Sandys response was that strategic bombers were becoming obsolete, both because of missile defences [Bloodhound etc] and the advent of the ballistic missile.
In terms of the Soviet strategic nuclear threat he was right. However, his big mistake was to assume that the only major war he had to prepare for after Korea was the massive nuclear exchange scenario and the only thing the RAF would have to do is to defend the V-bomber bases long enough for the bombers themselves to nuke Russia. Hence the concentration on the one interceptor too far along to cancel and, later, the Canberra replacement (which completely blew out in complexity because it was permitted to mutate into a vaguely semi-strategic nuclear delivery mission).

Eventually the question always comes back to "Which, out of all the British cancelled projects, would you have paid for?" My answer keeps changing after every re-read of Buttler's and Burke's works, and now comes down to this:

Lightning is indeed too far along to cancel. Proceed.

F.155T is asking too much. Scrap it. The Avro-Canada Arrow is capable of nearly the same performance and exists in steel; partner with the Canadians and develop it for both nations, possibly bringing Australia in as well. Arrow is probably large enough that unlike the Lightning, it will not be flying every QRA snooper-investigating mission with one eye on the fuel gauge and the other on the nearest tanker.

Developing Arrow to production status with a full suite of SARH and IR missiles and a radar to match will allow Lightning to shift to being a point-defence interceptor in the European Theatre and no further development work need be done beyond F.2 or maybe F.3.

Knuckle down and ask the RAF what it really wants out of GOR.339. If it wants a tactical bomber, the Buccaneer is good enough. If what it actually wants is a "short-range strategic" nuclear bomber (i.e. what it eventually asked TSR.2 to do), then it has to accept that that mission will be flown ONCE, from paved runways, at the start of a general nuclear exchange - and in that case, maybe what the RAF really needs is something closer to the Avro 730 but with the technology requirements brought closer to Mach 2 than to Mach 3.

At the end of the day, I'm no longer sure the Government even wanted an airplane out of GOR.339 or cared if they got it, so much as they wanted to use the process to reshape the industry. Maybe TSR.2 would always have been doomed, even if everything had gone right, and it was a miracle BAC even got the thing into the sky.
 

CNH

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TSr2 was all things to all men. But it was optimised as a one strike with WE177 against the Warsaw Pact. So why did it need to be supersonic?
 

red admiral

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But what would having Arrows achieved that Lightnings would not? Wouldn't you still replace them with much better Phantoms in not many years? This basically just costs more money.
 

zen

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And the Sandys response was that strategic bombers were becoming obsolete, both because of missile defences [Bloodhound etc] and the advent of the ballistic missile.
In terms of the Soviet strategic nuclear threat he was right. However, his big mistake was to assume that the only major war he had to prepare for after Korea was the massive nuclear exchange scenario and the only thing the RAF would have to do is to defend the V-bomber bases long enough for the bombers themselves to nuke Russia. Hence the concentration on the one interceptor too far along to cancel and, later, the Canberra replacement (which completely blew out in complexity because it was permitted to mutate into a vaguely semi-strategic nuclear delivery mission).

Eventually the question always comes back to "Which, out of all the British cancelled projects, would you have paid for?" My answer keeps changing after every re-read of Buttler's and Burke's works, and now comes down to this:

Lightning is indeed too far along to cancel. Proceed.

F.155T is asking too much. Scrap it. The Avro-Canada Arrow is capable of nearly the same performance and exists in steel; partner with the Canadians and develop it for both nations, possibly bringing Australia in as well. Arrow is probably large enough that unlike the Lightning, it will not be flying every QRA snooper-investigating mission with one eye on the fuel gauge and the other on the nearest tanker.

Developing Arrow to production status with a full suite of SARH and IR missiles and a radar to match will allow Lightning to shift to being a point-defence interceptor in the European Theatre and no further development work need be done beyond F.2 or maybe F.3.

Knuckle down and ask the RAF what it really wants out of GOR.339. If it wants a tactical bomber, the Buccaneer is good enough. If what it actually wants is a "short-range strategic" nuclear bomber (i.e. what it eventually asked TSR.2 to do), then it has to accept that that mission will be flown ONCE, from paved runways, at the start of a general nuclear exchange - and in that case, maybe what the RAF really needs is something closer to the Avro 730 but with the technology requirements brought closer to Mach 2 than to Mach 3.

At the end of the day, I'm no longer sure the Government even wanted an airplane out of GOR.339 or cared if they got it, so much as they wanted to use the process to reshape the industry. Maybe TSR.2 would always have been doomed, even if everything had gone right, and it was a miracle BAC even got the thing into the sky.
Essentially this seems a valid solution.

Though the Valient B mk2 Pathfinder is the best option for fitting the complete avionics system and getting flying in roughly the right regime.

I could say something about the Arrow too......about the UK components likely to end up in this Arrow......
 

zen

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But what would having Arrows achieved that Lightnings would not? Wouldn't you still replace them with much better Phantoms in not many years? This basically just costs more money.
Oh the perfection of the F4...
What does the F4 deliver as a Fighter that the Arrow couldn't?
 

Mike Pryce

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Oh the perfection of the F4...
What does the F4 deliver as a Fighter that the Arrow couldn't?
A credible head on and/or BVR engagement capability?
A phat load of phugliness!

But yes, the Phantom was a phenomenon compared to other things. Same thrust as a Lightning F.6. Did much more.

Arrow in ground attack role?
 

zen

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Oh the perfection of the F4...
What does the F4 deliver as a Fighter that the Arrow couldn't?
A credible head on and/or BVR engagement capability?
Well you don't develop the radar missile combination unless you have something to fit it in.
Cancelling everything means you definitely have no choice.
It also means you never get to prove your own technology or learn from it's flaws.
 

zen

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Oh the perfection of the F4...
What does the F4 deliver as a Fighter that the Arrow couldn't?
A credible head on and/or BVR engagement capability?
A phat load of phugliness!

But yes, the Phantom was a phenomenon compared to other things. Same thrust as a Lightning F.6. Did much more.

Arrow in ground attack role?
Didn't climb like a Lightning, didn't cost as little as a Lightning and wasn't really available outside the US until the 60's.

Attack? Possibly at altitude and speed. An ECM option perhaps.
But I wouldn't think it that ideal for going down low.
 

galgot

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Widening the picture a bit, the US, UK and Canada system was already in place during World War II. Intelligence was good about the Soviet Union by the end of the war. Along with knowing what the US had sent the Russians and the surrender of Reinhard Gehlen, head of Foreign Armies East, and part of his staff to the Americans. They would form the core of West German intelligence under CIA direction and control (Partners at the Creation by James Critchfield).

Let's now go over the problem areas. The Russians, Americans and British had German jet fighters, bombers, V-1s and V-2s plus nerve gas. Three types: Sarin, Soman and Tabun. I have seen two photos of German artillery shells filled with nerve gas recovered from boxcars by the Americans. The British found some as well and they were identified by an additional colored ring by British bomb disposal. They acquired an unknown number. Tests on live subjects began at Porton Down. Meanwhile, recovered documents, equipment and personnel were being gone over with a fine-toothed comb. The Russians had captured the almost complete DFS 346 supersonic aircraft, which they would test fly using an interned American bomber in much the same way the Germans had air-launched V-1s during the war.

Great Britain had no capability for testing long-range systems in the UK. That would be handed off to Canada and Australia. The Americans would offer limited assistance except in the area of atomic/nuclear weapons. In May 1946, one year after the end of the war in Europe, and supposedly, with no money, the US would start the Nuclear Energy for the Propulsion of Aircraft program. A report would also be issued the same month titled Guided Missiles and Pilotless Aircraft which stated, in part, that developments that would normally take years would now have to be completed in months. Why the rush? Development and testing of the X211 engine continued throughout the 1950s with successful operation.

Any good ideas the Germans had, along with setting up the White Sands site in the US, with German help, meant that 'other ideas' could be explored. The Russians were also doing all of the above. That is where the parity idea comes from. And though information is incomplete, Russian spies were well placed in the United States. They would at least notice unusual activity, the movement of heavy equipment, and new construction, especially at restricted sites.
It is now known that what Gal Gehlen « sold » to the US as the best intelligence on the Soviet Army was a lot of bulls…
I already posted this in another thread :
Reinhard Gehlen overgrown the infos and network he had in the east to get large funds and support from the OSS after the war.
Indeed, some well placed peoples where thinking of how to do after the disaster.
“The Agency loved Gehlen because he fed us what we wanted to hear. We used his stuff constantly, and we fed it to everyone else—the Pentagon, the White House, the newspapers. They loved it, too. But it was hyped-up Russian bogeyman junk, and it did a lot of damage to this country.”
from:
https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/military-history/cold-war-spies-general-reinhard-gehlen/

Matter of fact German intelligence was badly informed about the Soviet tactics and strategies during most of the war… and they lost.
Thing is the US had almost nothing in term of intel about the Soviets at the end of the war, and there a German general appear and tell them he still has an whole effective network in soviet controlled territory. They had nothing, they took that. Balooned bad Intel from an ex-ennemy, defeated in good part because he didn't had good intel .

To stay on topic. If the British Requirements were done according to bad intel on Soviet counterpart , no surprise they were not reasonable.
 
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zen

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A reasonable process for instance might have prioritised the Type 556 over the DH110 by 1955. Just get reheated Avons in to Supermarine for a prototype. Frankly just get that twin seater, for Fighter-Attack-Strike it would be a better machine than the F1.
Cancelling the 556 for the mature DH110 Sea Vixen was frankly a mistake.

Equally a reasonable process might correctly prioritised the BE.33 or P.151 over the scaled Gyron that became the Gyron Junior. Had they done so, the likes of Lightning, F.177, T.188 and the Buccaneer etc would have strongly benefited.
A reasonable process might say lets get Red Dean to live fire trials and build up some real live experience of radar guided AAMs Ideally flying different seeker heads in the process.
But then Fairey had experience was rejected for Vickers in the next generation radar guided AAM that became Red Hebe.
It might have been much more reasonable to let the company with actual experience from Fireflash have a go.

Frankly a reasonable process would ask EE to design a side-by-side engined version of the P.1.
A reasonable process might say Scimitar delays the need for NA.39 so why not take the risk with Shorts DP.13?

And having chosen the B.103, a reasonable process would tell the RAF this is your best option and it's affordable.
 

Hood

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We should not forget the activities of the British Commander-in-Chief's Mission to the Soviet Forces of Occupation in Germany (BRIXMIS). With guile and cunning they were able to get hold of useful intelligence of new equipment as it reach units stationed in East Germany. One of the biggest scoops being when a Yak-28 crashed into Lake Havel in the British sector on 6 April 1966. Despite Russian protests the aircraft was salvaged and stripped, the engines were buried in the mud but also recovered and samples of the blades taken for metallurgical testing. Even personal effects of the crew were photographed after recovery.

Some aviation highpoints were:
1955 - the RP-6 Sokol radar was photographed inside an open radome on a Yak-25
1959 - 85% of 24 Air Army's aircraft were photographed (later 100%)
1959 - maps and items taken from a crashed Il-28
1959 - soil and material samples taken from runways to help in the design of anti-runway ordnance
1962 - first SA-2 SAMs in East Germany photographed
1962 - P-30 'Big Mesh' radar photographed (had entered service in 1955 so not a new item of kit)
1966 - Havel crash enabled analysis of the Oriol-D radar, airframe and the Tumansky R-11 engines
August 1968 - invasion of Czechoslovakia enabled photographs of P-40 'Long Track' search radar and 'Thick Skin-B' height-finding radar
1970 - SA-4 SAM system photographed
1970 - 23mm and 30mm spent cannon shells collected from a practice range
1970 - details of SA-2 system noted
1970 - soil samples taken from a new airfield
1970 - MiG-21 EW pod photographed
1970 - Su-17 with ASM photographed
1971 - A Su-17 seen practising low-level nuclear air-burst delivery
1971 - first Kh-66 (AS-7 'Kerry') firing from a MiG-21PFS/PFM 'Fishbed-F' seen
1971 - first sighting of GSh-23 being fired from a MiG-21
1973 - SA-6 SAM system photographed
1974 - MiG-23, Tu-22M, Mi-24D, R-23 'Apex' AAM and R-60 'Aphid' photographed
1977 - new SA-8 seen on railway flatbed wagons
1977-78 winter - Mi-24s seen for first time flying in 'unflyable' weather conditions
1978 - SA-6 and SA-9 buildup observed
1978 - DR-3 drone and aerial minelaying Mi-8 spotted
1978 - An-26 EW variant spotted
1979 - photographs of 'Fitter-G' obtained for the first time (described as a reconnaissance aircraft but was in fact a trainer)
1979 - Mi-24V spotted, 'Fitter-H' identified
1980 - close observation of fighters using an autobahn for dispersed operations
1980 - photographs of recon pods on Su-17 and MiG-23
1980-82 - new airfields at Laage and Hohenmoisen for helicopters and Holzdorf for fighters seen under construction, photos of HASs under construction and concrete samples taken, samples of runway concrete too, measurements of earth levels
1981 - SA-13 spotted
1982 - 'Fencer-C', 'Foxbat-E' and 'Fitter-K' seen
1982 - 'End Curve' radar for SA-3 modernisation seen
1983 - Mi-24P seen for first time and thought intended for a deep anti-armour assault role
1984 - 'Fitter-K' seen practising 'toss' manoeuvre
1984 - Su-25 first spotted
1984 - Mi-24RKhR spotted
1985 - first photo of An-26 with external bombs
1985 - TV camera seen fitted to 'Fan Song'
1986 - SA-11 seen
1986 - first photos of MiG-29
1988 - first sighting of A-50 'Mainstay' AEW in East Germany
1988 - new recon pod for MiG-27 seen
 

JFC Fuller

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A reasonable process for instance might have prioritised the Type 556 over the DH110 by 1955. Just get reheated Avons in to Supermarine for a prototype. Frankly just get that twin seater, for Fighter-Attack-Strike it would be a better machine than the F1.
Cancelling the 556 for the mature DH110 Sea Vixen was frankly a mistake.

Equally a reasonable process might correctly prioritised the BE.33 or P.151 over the scaled Gyron that became the Gyron Junior. Had they done so, the likes of Lightning, F.177, T.188 and the Buccaneer etc would have strongly benefited.
A reasonable process might say lets get Red Dean to live fire trials and build up some real live experience of radar guided AAMs Ideally flying different seeker heads in the process.
But then Fairey had experience was rejected for Vickers in the next generation radar guided AAM that became Red Hebe.
It might have been much more reasonable to let the company with actual experience from Fireflash have a go.

Frankly a reasonable process would ask EE to design a side-by-side engined version of the P.1.
A reasonable process might say Scimitar delays the need for NA.39 so why not take the risk with Shorts DP.13?

And having chosen the B.103, a reasonable process would tell the RAF this is your best option and it's affordable.
These are not requirements decisions, they are R&D investment decisions. The requirements process lays out what is thought to be needed in terms of capability, e.g. a bomber needs to cruise at mach 2.5 at 70,000ft for 2,500 miles whilst carry x payload. What you are describing above is decisions that would be taken about how to meet the requirement, which platform, with which engine, etc. I have some sympathy for the Type 556 but all it does is replace the Sea Vixen in meeting the same requirement, probably with a superior solution but a bit later.
 
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CNH

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But in all of this, we must not forget that what is now known to us was not known them.

Be careful of becoming an armchair general.
 

Hood

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As has been said elsewhere, the Operational Requirements branch was just as subject to personal opinions and analysis just as much as all of the other branches of the Air Ministry, its top brass and the MoS.

But they sometimes had a sound grasp, as early as October 1946 one committee mused that improved AA defences might one day force jet-bombers back to low altitudes - and B.35/46 was barely out of the draft stage. It took 17 years before the V-Force moved back down low, but as CNH has reminded us, the Air Ministry never lost sight of low-altitude bombing.
I think with hindsight, the Air Ministry was quick to grasp new technology and how it might be used - I might say too quick, being easily seduced by the possibilities of the new. They knew progress in aviation was racing ahead (the B-58 Hustler made its first flight as the Vulcan and Victor entered service) and perhaps worried by the resources the UK had they knew if they didn't aim high that the results might fall consistently short of US and Soviet efforts. It was up to the Ministry of Supply to try and match these cutting edge requirements with what the industry could realistically achieve and here the MoS had the tougher job and its clear this soon led to a breakdown in relations and trust.

I have noticed that the finance branch, in particular the F.6 position, were just as tough as the Treasury and demanding the retention of old kit and being just as loath to spend out more on running costs.
 

zen

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The fact is Vickers was driven to produce the Valiant B mk2 Pathfinder. Presumably peoples eyes were already on the possible switch to low level flight. Which makes the lack of orders, of even a limited number all the more galling. As even a small force of such would help develop the concept further and prepare for a potential mass shift to low level flight.

All that said this seems separate thinking from the realm of electronic warfare.

Oddly that takes one's mind back to Blue Boar TV Guided weapon. Potentially the first step in SEAD/DEAD.

Curiously I'm a little lacking in knowledge of EW requirements and the intelligence reports on Soviet radar. A lot can be deduced by signals interception and matching to photographs of the radar.
 

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The Valiant B.2 is a fascinating aircraft, not least because it got one of the most awesome paint schemes ever applied to an aircraft. Multiple books state that the 17 production machines were to have received an early Conway variant that would have given them substantially more range and further emphasised their low level role compared to the B.1. The planned seventeen aircraft order would have been sufficient to reequip the two Canberra Target Marker squadrons (No.109 and No.139 at Hemswell) at the standard V-Force Unit Establishment of 8 aircraft per squadron.

The Handley Page HP.99, the picture of which CNH posted above, is also interesting, albeit because it demonstrates the difficulty of achieving a long-range, low level, high speed penetrator with early/mid-1950s technology. It would likely have not been able to get off the ground with a 100% fuel load necessitating the development of a special high capacity aerial refuelling system (Flight Refuelling Ltd's Mk.XIX) that could deliver 1,000 imperial gallons a minute to allow the transfer of 11,250 gallons (90,000lbs) in a single aerial refuelling operation. It also didn't have much in the way navigation equipment. I do wonder why Handley Page chose the Avon over the Conway for the design though, perhaps for the high speed they were after?
 
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zen

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The order for 17 Valiant B mk2 was cancelled even before the prototype flew on 4 Sept 1953.
Which is perhaps the major mistake here.
As if there's any aircraft in which one would want to try to fit low level avionics. Then this was it.
And once you have the factory set up to build them.....it's arguable that more could be built.
The real question there is how long before the lack of such orders makes it increasingly hard to resurrect production?

How long would it take to deliver those 17?
By '58 the process of focusing on low level was well in progress.

Working through the low level regime and trialling avionics for this would permit a well reasoned OR for strategic strike of this sort.
 

CNH

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The more interesting point about the HP99 is the use of podded engines under the wing.
 

zen

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The more interesting point about the HP99 is the use of podded engines under the wing.
However the use of main gear in the pods wasn't very attractive.
And the issues relating to thrust lines makes even the pylons potentially specific to the engine.
Frankly Avro had the more attractive scheme and could have theoretically rolled off a parallel civil feeder airliner.
 

Archibald

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The Arrow is such an oddball... it is no surprise so many wild speculations happened about this one (here's to you, Randall Withcomb...)
It is now proven its analog FBW was very similar to a F-16 or Mirage 2000 15 to 20 years in advance. A remarquable feat of engineering, although the real breakthrough was DIGITAL fly-by-wire from the Lunar Module.
The Iroquois was an awesome engine but drank a lot of fuel.
The delta wing had the usual pros and cons.

Main issues that doomed a pretty good airframe / FBW / engine combination, were
- radar/missile waaaaaay too ambitious and expensive
- probably too big and specialized as an interceptor.

The Phantom had a different history, was much more versatile with a more robust aircraft industry behind it.

The RAF considered the Arrow as an interim type for F-155T and maintained its performance did not matched the OR (facepalm).
 
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Archibald

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Except that Soviet ICBM was a highly limited force. The missile gap, as the US called it was in fact the other way around.
But the intelligence was doubted.
Bingo. The first two Soviet ICBMs were Korolev R-7 (a.k.a Vostok, Semiorka, Molniya, Soyuz...) and Yangel R-16.
The R-7 was ill-adapted to fast reaction because LOX.
As for R-16... BOOM did it went, incinerating that idiot Nedelin seating next to it on a wooden chair (!!) plus 100 unfortunate souls around it.
Ok, there was also the R-9 that wasn't too bad.

Except it got its own Nedelin disaster, three years later to the day.


After the delays associated with the deaths of many people working on the project, the first flight of the missile took place on 2 February 1961. Initial operational capability was achieved on 1 November 1961. The missile continued to serve until 1976, with maximum deployment numbers reached in 1965 with 202 missiles deployed. The Soviets had fewer than 50 of these missiles deployed in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is possible that only around 20 interim R-16 launchers were operational during the height of the crisis.
 
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