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FLIGHTS OF FANTASY: What if the P.1216 went into production?

danielgrimes

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The landing gear (for rotation on horizontal take off), centre of gravity and centre of lift all need to be around the same place, (in the P1216 at about 50% chord) so heavy weapons couldn't go too far back as they would get in the way of the gear. Diagrams look like the booms open like a clamshell to accommodate the hefty gear, so no chance of weapons down the sides. The only reason to have the booms extending so far forwards would be to house weight (i.e. weapons) to keep the centre of gravity in the best place. The P1208 and P1214 with forward swept wings had their weapons even further forward.

So probably boom mounted weapons forwards, wing mounted rearwards...

p.s. the US Sea Control ships were designed in conjunction with the Mach 2.5 Rockwell XVF-12A which produced vertical thrust using an extreme version of blown flaps. The concept didn't work, but it would have been a formidable aircraft. IMHO vertical flight is 'overrated' - a carrier aircraft that could land at 50 knots would be far easier to build and just as flexible as Harriers.
 

Remko

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I've always preferred the FSW P.1214, but both are equally beautiful aircraft. Unfortunately to much ahead of their time.
The P.1214 is also featured on the cover of Terry Treadwell's STRIKE FROM BENEATH THE SEA

It's shown being launched from a SSBN sized submarine which looks a lot like the Vanguard class using Skyhook technology.



Anyway, I was just thinking about these designs last week. What if they would have been developed today. With current technology. A nice Hawker P.1216 or P.1214 STOVL with design elements from the JSF program (either Boeing or Lockheed). Anyone dare to give it a try? B) B)

I'm looking for a cool supersonic STOVL fighter to use on a large MPF-ship, but don't want to use the F-35B.

BTW, I've misplaced my "British Secret Projects" book in which these aircraft are featured. Could somebody post the main specifications (length/ wingspan / height) of the P.1216 & P.1214 double boom STOVL aircraft. Thanks!!
 

Triton

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Would the British Aerospace P.1214 and P.1216 have been named for birds of prey like the previous Kestrel, Osprey, and Harrier? Possible names being Peregrine, Falcon, Eagle, Raptor, Tercel?

Or do you believe that they would have named the aircraft for aircraft of World War II manufactured by Hawker such as Hurricane II, Tempest II, or Hotspur II?

Looks like Sentinel Chicken named it the British Aerospace Peregrine.
 

Triton

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Sentinel Chicken said:
simmie said:
Hi there

Just to say that I am getting red crosses for the mid 90's RAF (P.1, Reply#13)

and the US Marines (P.1, Reply#14).

sorry if this puts anybody out.
The 1995 Operation Deliberate Force RAF P.1216s have been fixed and added back to my original posting. Still have to dig up the USMC ones........
Were you ever able to find the P.1216 in USMC markings? Intersting to speculate whether they would be operated from Sea Control Ships or the VTOL carriers as part of Zumwalt's "High and Low" procurement policy.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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Article 9 of the Japanese constitution states:

"Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. 2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."

Enshrined in the postwar reconstruction of Japan, the more uncertain times after the end of the Cold War with the global war on terror, coalition actions in the Middle East, the 2006 and 2009 North Korean nuclear tests, and the rapid modernization of the armed forces of the People's Republic of China have blurred the line between the defensive posture of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and a taboo offensive capability that has become virtually present in practice but not in name. With a gradual shift in regional strategy and recognition of Japan's dependence on maritime trade for its economy, the JSDF since 2000 gradually increased its capabilities in power projection starting with air refueling exercises by it's F-15J Eagles with US tankers and the eventual purchase of the KC-767 to the launch of the DDH "helicopter destroyers" JS Hyuga in 2007 and its sistership, the JS Ise in 2009. Despite the designation of the Hyuga and Ise, they are very much aircraft carriers in the spirit of the Royal Navy's Invincible-class "through-deck cruisers" though lacking a VSTOL ski jump and operating an air wing of only Sikorsky SH-60 ASW helicopters. In fact, the Hyuga and Ise are the largest combatant vessels ever operated by the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) since it superseded the Imperial Japanese Navy at the end of the World War 2. Various sources I've read indicate that Japan's military budget is the fifth largest in the world.

It is perhaps without coincidence that the last ships Japan operated named Hyuga and Ise were World War 2 battleships that were modified during the course of the war in 1943 with a partial flight deck, becoming hybrid battleship/aircraft carriers with a planned 22-aircraft air wing that never came to fruition due to a shortage of aircraft and pilots following the defeat at the Battle of Midway.

As early as 1983 Japan had called for a 20,000 ton aircraft carrier that could operate either 20 helicopters or 20 Harriers. But at the time the US Navy opposed the idea and encouraged Japan to build destroyers instead as the US Navy had a lack of modern destroyers to counter the Soviet Pacific Fleet but enough aircraft carriers. That didn't stop Japan for aspiring to have aircraft carriers, though. In 1988, the Director-General of the Japanese Defense Agency, Tsutomu Kawara, testified before the Japanese Diet that "the Self-Defense Forces are not allowed to possess ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missile), strategic bombers, or attack aircraft carriers." The key phrase here is "attack aircraft carriers". Up until the 1970s the US Navy had two classes of aircraft carrier, the larger attack carriers which were designated CVA/CVAN (depending upon if they were nuclear-powered or not) and smaller antisubmarine carriers designated CVS (which were the last of the modernized Essex-class carriers still in service). The general consensus of Director-General Kawara's statements was that it was permissible for Japan to have smaller aircraft carriers.

The first approvals came in 2000, but the original designs had a superstructure that bisected the flight deck. By 2003, the superstructure of the DDH was moved to starboard and the JDA stated that this redesign to an aircraft carrier-like configuration was consistent with the need for the DDH design to operate as a "flagship helicopter destroyer". I suppose it's at this point that the JDA looked at each other and went "wink-wink, nudge-nudge" and the Diet approved the budget appropriations and the start of construction on the Hyuga.

There is general acceptance that the current Hyuga and Ise could be easily modified to operate VSTOL aircraft, the Lockheed F-35B Lightning II being one of the prime candidates for a future air wing. In terms of size, the Hyuga and Ise have the same displacement fully-loaded as Britain's Invincible-class carriers. In fact, some of the artwork from the shipbuilder has even depicted F-35Bs operating from the deck!

Okay, now here's where the alternate history starts.......

Our point of divergence starts in 2009 when in the real world, the Hyuga is formally commissioned into the JMSDF and the Ise has just been launched. Let's assume that the P.1216/Peregrine is already in production and service with the UK (RAF/Royal Navy), United States (USMC), and Australia. There are several variants of the P.1216/Peregrine in service:

Peregrine FG.1
- first production model; used by the RAF, radar-equipped with twin 27mm Mauser cannon. Operational two seat version designated FG.1T.

Peregrine GR.1- used by the RAF, differs only from the FG.1 variant in that it has an ARBS-style sensor nose. Operational two seat version designated GR.1T. Approximately 1/3 of the RAF's Peregrine fleet are GR.1s, the other 2/3 are FG.1s.

Peregrine FA.2- naval variant used by the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Australian Navy- combines the radar nose with extended wing booms for additional fuel. Armed with a single 25mm Aden cannon. Originally named Sea Peregrine when it first entered service, it's universally referred to as just Peregrine. It was also to be designated FG.1N, but the differences were more than just minor modifications and warranted a new type designation. Operational two seat version designated FA.2T.

AV-19A Peregrine- US Marine Corps variant, essentially an FA.2 variant with the GR.1 variant's sensor nose. Contains some US-specific avionics and EW equipment. Fully operational two seat version designated AV-19B.

In the summer of 2010 a third North Korean nuclear test further erodes the long taboo on power projection capability by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Intelligence analysts in Tokyo and Washington were concerned that the third nuclear test was an attempt by an ailing Kim Jong-Il to placate the hard-line military elite in his government who were concerned with the possibility of losing their privileged status in North Korean society. Their paranoia grew with the South Korean Assembly and leadership firmly in the hands of the conservative Grand National Party since the 2008 elections. With an essential part of the GNP's policy built on a strong relationship with the United States and Japan and criticism of the North Korean regime, hard-liners in North Korea perceived the new South Korean government as the greatest looming threat to their existence since the Korean War. Furthermore, there were some in JDA (Japanese Defense Agency) and the Pentagon that were concerned that China was not doing enough to pressure North Korea to comply with the Six-Party talks on nuclear issues as a means of distracting the United States and the region from China's military ambitions.

After a contentious political debate, in a special national referendum held in November 2010, a measure was passed by a narrow 52% to 48% margin that amended Article 9 with the following statement:

"3) As the only nation in history to have been subject to attack by weapons of mass destruction, the Japanese people have an obligation to never let this happen again. 4) Should all peaceful and diplomatic measures fail to secure the peace, and only within the framework of the international community of nations shall extreme measures be taken to secure that peace."

In January 2011 the Hyuga returned to drydock at the port of Yokosuka for the fitting of a 12-degree bow ski jump (similar to that fitted to the HMS Ark Royal). As the JMSDF felt time was of the essence in getting a VSTOL air wing operational, waiting for the Lockheed F-35B to become available was out of the question. The most capable VSTOL aircraft available was the BAe Peregrine already in use with the RAF, Royal Navy, US Marine Corps and Royal Australian Navy. In order to obtain VSTOL experience, a deal was arranged where the RAF would lease 10 FG.1s to the JMSDF for operational testing, training and evaluation. There were insufficient numbers of the other variants available and Japan planned to license produce a version of the FA.2 from kits supplied by BAe that would feature some of the US systems used on the AV-19A Marine Corps version.

After completing flight training in the UK, the first group of JMSDF pilots returned with the first FG.1s aboard RAF C-17 transports in March 2011 to Atsugi, where the JMSDF's 31 Kokugun/51 Kokutai was based. This unit was the main testing organization of the Fleet Air Forces of the JMSDF and they were the natural choice to begin VSTOL operations with the ex-RAF Peregrine fighters. Since the Hyuga was still in drydock, to gain experience at sea until the conversion work on the Hyuga was finished, some of 51 Kokutai's pilots did short exchange postings with the Royal Australian Navy's Peregrine squadrons aboard the HMAS Australia as well as conducting flight operations off the US Navy's Wasp-class LHDs when they were in the area. In addition, a ground-based ski jump was installed at the joint JMSDF/USMC air base at Iwakuni where the air space was less congested than the Tokyo metropolitan area where Atsugi was located. In addition, the presence of Marine Corps units versed in shipboard operations at Iwakuni benefited the 51 Kokutai crews deployed to Iwakuni for field carrier practice.


Above shows the ex-RAF FG.1 Peregrines in the colors and markings of the 51 Kokutai. The FG.1s wore the same two-tone blue camouflage used on the JASDF's Mitsubishi F-2s only with dayglo orange markings for visibility on the tailplane, wings and intake befitting the testing role of 51 Kokutai, even though the first cadre of operational pilots were being trained as well by the squadron. The tail fin markings are unique to 51 Kokutai. With the Hyuga coming out of drydock, the first group of JMSDF Peregrine pilots were now able to practice aboard their own ship. Rather than set up a new squadron, though, 51 Kokutai set up a detachment at MCAS Iwakuni where 8 of the FG.1s were based while 2 FG.1s remained at Atsugi for testing roles and clear some Japanese specific weapons for the Peregrine. The Iwakuni-based detachment was simply referred to as Det. A (Detachment Alpha). Of the 8 aircraft detached to Iwakuni, five were sent to sea aboard the Hyuga as Det. B (Detachment Beta).


This profile shows the new Japanese version of the Peregrine- it combines FA.2 airframe with many of the same electronic warfare equipment used on the Marine Corps' AV-19A/Bs. In addition, this version (provisionally designated FA.2J) has been cleared for several Japanese missiles, this example being armed with the Mitsubishi AAM-3 IR-homing missile in addition to the AIM-120. In my alternate timeline, the first FA.2Js are assembled by Kawasaki from knock-down kits from the UK, similar to how the the first F-15Js were built by Mitsubishi in the early 1980s. After the first production block of 12 FA.2Js were built from the BAe-supplied knock-down kits, the second production block were built entirely by Kawasaki as license-builds.

As 51 Kokutai was more of a testing and operational evaluation squadron, it wasn't planned to be the definitive JMSDF Peregrine operator. Once the first FA.2Js came off Kawasaki's lines, the leased ex-RAF FG.1s were returned to the UK for refurbishment and return to service with the RAF. Only three FA.2Js were assigned to 51 Kokutai in Atsugi for continued development work while the balance of the first production block were to go to a new operational squadron that would be assigned to the Ise. The JDA had decided in January 2011 that rather than establish a new squadron, an existing JMSDF squadron would be used- it was really more a piece of political fiction to assuage the concerns of Japan's neighbors that the military wasn't actually expanding. The unit selected was 2 Kokugun/2 Kokutai at Hachinohe AB near Hiroshima, a P-3 Orion operator. The unit's Orions were to be dispersed amongst the other JMSDF Orion squadrons and the ground and support personnel undergoing conversion to the Peregrine were transferred to MCAS Iwakuni where they took over from 51 Kokutai's Detachment Alpha.

This Peregrine wears the trident tail markings that were used when 2 Kokugun/2 Kokutai flew the P-3 Orion. Coincidentally, the three-pronged trident logo was well-suited to the trident-shaped layout of the Peregrine although the selection of 2 Kokutai had nothing to do with the squadron's logo! The squadron reached IOC in November 2011 and went to sea for the first time in late January 2012 on the Ise (which had also been retrofitted with a 12 degree ski jump like the Hyuga), participating in joint exercises in Guam with the US Pacific Fleet and conducting cross-decking operations with the Marine Corps AV-19A Peregrines during Exercise Valiant Shield 2012.
 

Triton

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I cannot seem to find the reference, but wasn't the USS Midway offered for sale to the United Kingdom? Does anyone recall when this offer was made?
 

tubtattoo

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Inspired by the amazing work of Sentinel Chicken (doffs proverbial cap) I've knocked up my own little P-1216.

Not a scale drawing nor really a caricature I hope you enjoy my interpretation of a most wonderful design. I don't have a great graphics package and the shadowing etc is a little basic but it was fun to do. And being a Jock I fancied depicting it in the imaginary markings of my homelands own air force...

thanks :)

Malky
 

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Hano

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Triton said:
I cannot seem to find the reference, but wasn't the USS Midway offered for sale to the United Kingdom? Does anyone recall when this offer was made?
(sorry to resurrect an old thread but happened to come across this question by chance)
Not quite. Healey and MoD directed the RN to investigate the possibility of acquiring ex USN CVAs at the height of the CVA-01 fight in mid '65. Enquiries were made and the USN tentatively suggested the USS Shangri-La a late WW2 long-hulled Essex commisioned in late 1944. An RN team did go and evaluate her, but concluded that converting her to RN specs wasn't worth it given the time and expense involved and the idea was quietly dropped.
Interestingly, Shangri-La was badly damaged in a collision with an escort destroyer. I've never been able to establish whether the offer to sell her was made before or after the accident...
cheers
H
PS I can dig out the references to the relevant files at Kew if people want.
 

RobertWL

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It' I seem to recall reading that we offered some sort of flat-tops to the British during the onset of the Falklands. And it being the Midway does seem to jive with my faded memory. I wish I could remember when, where and what exactly I read. Its been years ago though. Could be complete bunk but.. *shrug*
 

Hano

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I don't know about a Midway, but there was a classified US offer to lend the RN the LPH USS Iwo Jima in the event of them losing a deck. If memory serves the idea was to crew it with a mixture of RN personnel and 'US contractors' - former USN men who knew their way round the ship and its systems. Obviously it never came to anything but it was kept very quiet even within the US administration, Reagan didn't want Kirkpatrick to know about it and didn't even tell the State Department. USNI Proceedings had an article about it a few years back.
 
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