• Hi Guest! Forum rules have been updated. All users please read here.

RAF with TSR2 etc: But what Fighters?

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
1,450
Reaction score
95
As a devoted (sorry, fanatical) enthusiast of the RAF planned in the early 6os
for the 1970s (Hence UK 75) I have been well-served with info about the
TSR2, HS1154 and HS681.

Assuming the RAF had received the strike aircraft it wanted, there would have been
a notable requirement open by 1975. It was planned to equip the RAF Fighter squadrons
with variants (F3, F6) of the Lightning. But by 1975 these would have been long in the
tooth.

If the planned purchases of the TSR 2 (Strike) and HS 1154 (Close Support) had gone
ahead, there would have been precious little left in the planned budget. Especially if
HS 681 (Transport) and HS 801 (ASW Nimrod) had also gone ahead as planned.

Admittedly HS 1154 was expected to have a limited fighter capability, with Red Tops. But,
the lack of a serious fighter aircraft would have been noticable by 1975, especially as the USAF
would be on the verge of getting F15s and F16s.

I have not found any reference to RAF planning for its fighter requirement assuming the TSR2
had gone ahead. So, at the moment, we have to just guess what would have followed the Lightning.

UK 75
 

Michel Van

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
4,276
Reaction score
105
sadly already in 1957 Great Britain stop R&D on RAF Jet fighter
thanks Duncan Sandys "thank to guided missile, We don't nee a fighter" bla bla bla...

odd is that Royal Navy subsidise fighter studies after 1957
VG Lightning (phase III)
BAC Type 583
BAC Type 583V (VTOL)
Hawker P.1150
Hawker P.1154RN (VTOL and Supersonic !)

in the end it became McD Phantom FG Mk.1 and See Harrier FRS Mk.1(VTOL subsonic)
 

Thorvic

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
601
Reaction score
10
I suspect that had the carrier fleet not been earmarked for disposal then the RAF would have had like the FAA an Interceptor variant of the AFVG. So in effect something similar to the Tornado ADV we eventually got a decade later, however the AFVG was of course aimed as interceptor for both countries as the RAF version was intended to complement the F-111K rather than replace it as the Tornado evolved into.

G
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
94
It all depends really.

IF the RAF get the 155 single seater 'Harriers' (P1154) then the most likely effort is to develope the radar Red Top with the new rocket motor. Its quite plausable a further run would replace the Lightning.
This is probably cheaper than opting for a new design and simply extends the support of the existing fleet.Cheaper solution than buying some foreign machine with its attendant requirements for additional training and support.

The real problem is the new AI radar and missile combination. But IF the radar Red Top is persued then this is likely put back and probably becomes the Foxhunter we know, though the missile element is not so clear.

There is however the supersonic Trainer, which would not be the Jaguar, as theres no AFVG to draw out this concession and back door means to get a 'Harrier' alternative. So assuming one of the UKs supersonic trainer designs was persued this might become the 'de facto' fighter.
 

alertken

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Jan 20, 2007
Messages
535
Reaction score
33
What the new Govt. inherited, 10/64, to replace RAFG Lightning F.2A, Akrotiti/Tengah/UK F.6 was a plan for 175 straight J79 F-4D. That became 116 F-4M, interim Strike pending 165 Jaguar 'S', which, per zen, was a political imposition as price of UK lead on AFVG.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
94
So we have in effect a branching in this scenario, likely around the RN's AW406 requirement.
IF the RN still see's the P1154 dropped and the F4 ordered, THEN the answer is for the RAF the F4.
IF the RN are forced to the P1154 THEN that is the what the RAF get.

However if memory serves it was only 70 F4s that where tasked for MRI strike until the Jaguar came into operational service.

So a key question is WHEN do you UK75, want your point of departure from real history to begin?

But neither answer resolves the question of later acquisitions. UK is likely to soldier on with what it has while the US brings into service F15s and F16s.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
Ken,

What was the date that the original 175 Phantom order was first floated?

It would appear that this is actually the answer to the question and the RAF of the 1970s (depending on what week you look at the figures) would have been as follows:

TSR-2: 200 (158 actually planned, progressively reduced to 0)
F-4D: 200
P.1154: 155
Belfast: 30
AW.681: 30
Andover: 30
Nimrod: 46
Jaguar: 150 (trainer variants)
V-Bombers: However many were not falling apart that week / enough to carry 144 Skybolts (72 Vulcan B.2)
 

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
1,450
Reaction score
95
Alertken

The info about the plan to replace Lightnings with straightforward F4s is a bombshell

(to me at least). However, it does squarely answer my question. I had always assumed

that the 1963-4 plans simply left replacement of the Lightning force till the mid-70s.

Zen and others

Point about hypothetical replacements is well taken.

This subject has been well covered invarious threads. My intention was to try and find out more about actual planning up until the 1964 cancellations turn the RAF from a HS1154/TSR2/Lightning(or F4)/Supersonic trainer/light fighter force in the mid 70s to a Phantom/HS1127RAF/Vulcan/Lightning/Anglo French stuff/F111
force under 1964-5 plans.

My reason for this (helped by a useful account of the Nuclear Forces proposed before TSR 2 cancellation in Peter Hennessy's revised The Secret State) was to come as close as possible to what
the RAF hoped to have in 1975 under plans pre-TSR 2 cancel era.

Alertken's answer seems to fill my gap. It may also overlap with Canadian plans to purchase the Phantom which were mentioned at about the same time (1963-64) in magazines/books.

UK 75
 

PMN1

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
679
Reaction score
20
Out of interest, have you posted this elsewhere and if so have you got any other replies?
 

Hammer Birchgrove

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
586
Reaction score
1
sealordlawrence said:
Ken,

What was the date that the original 175 Phantom order was first floated?

It would appear that this is actually the answer to the question and the RAF of the 1970s (depending on what week you look at the figures) would have been as follows:

TSR-2: 200 (progressively reduced to 0)
F-4D: 175
P.1154: 155
Belfast: 30
AW.681: 30
Andover: 30
Nimrod: 46
V-Bombers: However many were not falling apart that week
I don't quite follow you there; are you referring only to the Vickers Valiants (metal fatigue, as I'm pretty sure you know) or to the V-bomber fleet as a whole? Because AFAIK the Avro Vulcans seems to have been able to cope with low altitudes pretty well, and when the Handley Page Victors was noticed to not cope well with low level flights, it got soon other tasks, right?

To answer uk 75's answer with a counter-question: what if RAF and the British Government actually follows Duncan Sandys' idea of missiles replacing manned aircrafts? Then we could see Bloodhound Mk 2 and nuclear tipped Mk 3 SAM's replacing interceptors, perhaps Lightnings would soldier on and get Sidewinders, and De Havilland Blue Streak* replaces the V-bomber fleet. TSR-2 could be seen as a carrier of English Electric Blue Water stand-off missiles (would also have been used as short range nuclear missiles on the ground).

* Armstrong Whitworth had an alternative design that would have longer range and also be able to launch satellites (like Black Arrow):
http://www.spaceuk.org/ba/siddeley.htm
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
94
IT all seems rather flawed if my memory is correct.

175 F4, get down to 112 and then only 70 for the MRI mission, replaced with Jaguar of which 200 are ordered (though I forget how many where single seaters). However in reality its 155 P1154 to start with moving to 70 F4 and then the Jaguar.
While the RN wants over 300 F4 and thinks its getting 129 but ends up loosing most to the RAF and ultimately all.

TSR.2 might have been 200 at one point, gets to 150 and progressively goes down, but 129 Buccaneers (of which I seem to reccal 62 where orderd by the RAF) eventualy transfer to RAF followed by 228 Tornado.

So it really does depend on when you want a POD. Because if say the P1154 carries on, there is no Jagaur and no need for the F4 to perform a interim MRI job.
Indeed pooring funds into the P1154 rather suggests the F4 order is going to be seriously questioned.
Similar with the TSR.2, numbers might fall, but could rise if funds are not being fittered away on AFVG, F111K and Tornado. But wheres cash for the spare for the F4?

It strikes me persuing working numbers of TSR.2 and P1154 leaves little spare cash for the F4 at all during this periode. Indeed to fund this lot and not change history rather requires something like the RAF and RN F4 order to be dropped along with the Carriers, possibly at an earlier date.
Considering the Harrier and Jaguar, it may well seem logical to expand the P1154 numbers at the expense of yet another type in service, especialy when the Lightning it there already. In which case the P1154 might see order numbers increase by almost double.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
Hammer Birchgrove said:
sealordlawrence said:
Ken,

What was the date that the original 175 Phantom order was first floated?

It would appear that this is actually the answer to the question and the RAF of the 1970s (depending on what week you look at the figures) would have been as follows:

TSR-2: 200 (progressively reduced to 0)
F-4D: 175
P.1154: 155
Belfast: 30
AW.681: 30
Andover: 30
Nimrod: 46
V-Bombers: However many were not falling apart that week
I don't quite follow you there; are you referring only to the Vickers Valiants (metal fatigue, as I'm pretty sure you know) or to the V-bomber fleet as a whole? Because AFAIK the Avro Vulcans seems to have been able to cope with low altitudes pretty well, and when the Handley Page Victors was noticed to not cope well with low level flights, it got soon other tasks, right?

To answer uk 75's answer with a counter-question: what if RAF and the British Government actually follows Duncan Sandys' idea of missiles replacing manned aircrafts? Then we could see Bloodhound Mk 2 and nuclear tipped Mk 3 SAM's replacing interceptors, perhaps Lightnings would soldier on and get Sidewinders, and De Havilland Blue Streak* replaces the V-bomber fleet. TSR-2 could be seen as a carrier of English Electric Blue Water stand-off missiles (would also have been used as short range nuclear missiles on the ground).

* Armstrong Whitworth had an alternative design that would have longer range and also be able to launch satellites (like Black Arrow):
http://www.spaceuk.org/ba/siddeley.htm
The missiles and munitions section of the forum has multiple threads relating to British rocketry, however that link is not a longer range Blue Streak, it is a Black Arrow competitor.

I was referring to the entire V-Bomber fleet. As you pointed out the Valiant force had to be retired and by the end of the 70s the resr of the V-Force was running out of flight hours.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
zen said:
IT all seems rather flawed if my memory is correct.

175 F4, get down to 112 and then only 70 for the MRI mission, replaced with Jaguar of which 200 are ordered (though I forget how many where single seaters). However in reality its 155 P1154 to start with moving to 70 F4 and then the Jaguar.
While the RN wants over 300 F4 and thinks its getting 129 but ends up loosing most to the RAF and ultimately all.

TSR.2 might have been 200 at one point, gets to 150 and progressively goes down, but 129 Buccaneers (of which I seem to reccal 62 where orderd by the RAF) eventualy transfer to RAF followed by 228 Tornado.

So it really does depend on when you want a POD. Because if say the P1154 carries on, there is no Jagaur and no need for the F4 to perform a interim MRI job.
Indeed pooring funds into the P1154 rather suggests the F4 order is going to be seriously questioned.
Similar with the TSR.2, numbers might fall, but could rise if funds are not being fittered away on AFVG, F111K and Tornado. But wheres cash for the spare for the F4?

It strikes me persuing working numbers of TSR.2 and P1154 leaves little spare cash for the F4 at all during this periode. Indeed to fund this lot and not change history rather requires something like the RAF and RN F4 order to be dropped along with the Carriers, possibly at an earlier date.
Considering the Harrier and Jaguar, it may well seem logical to expand the P1154 numbers at the expense of yet another type in service, especialy when the Lightning it there already. In which case the P1154 might see order numbers increase by almost double.
Bare in mind a number of things, it seems to me that this F-4 order was planned for after the rump of the spending on P.1154 and TSR-2 is over, the F-4 purchase would have been relatively cheap as ken seems to be suggesting it would have come straight from the US production line. Initially the RN would have had its requirements satisfied by P.1154.
 

Abraham Gubler

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,559
Reaction score
24
Zen is right of course to say the cash wouldn’t be there for a third major RAF/RN project/acquisition in the 1960/70s (on top of TSR.2 and P.1154), not to mention the workforce to advance the project (if domestic). Besides the P.1154 should have been – like the Sea Harrier – a superb air to air platform. If the RAF was unmotivated to order copies of the RN’s P.1154 (and with TSR.2 going ahead would never have had to bite the bullet on Buccaneer) then a jazzed up all-interceptor Block II of the RAF’s P.1154 could have been available in the late 70s, early 80s to replace the Lightning. That is of course if you don’t start your alternate history scenario at F.115T in which case replacing it rather than the Lightning would be something altogether different. Especially if it was one of the more exotic designs like the Saro P.187 that wouldn’t look - and perform - out of place in Star Wars.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
94
Bare in mind a number of things, it seems to me that this F-4 order was planned for after the rump of the spending on P.1154 and TSR-2 is over, the F-4 purchase would have been relatively cheap as ken seems to be suggesting it would have come straight from the US production line. Initially the RN would have had its requirements satisfied by P.1154.
Not cheap enough IMO.

RN forced to take the P1154 is really before 1964. Whats left after that is some marine features left on the RAF machine by HSA in the hope they can sell the type to the RN later on.
At that time its 1.2 million for the F4 and 1.5 million for the P1154. Even if the F4K ends up around 3 million and more than a year late.

Take a look at the numbers.
200 TSR.2 roughly corresponds to the Tornado numbers.
155 'Harrier' (P1154) roughly corresponds to the Jaguar numbers
175 F4 RAF? The number is familier for the AD requirements as a simialr figure crops up now and again. Take a look at the ADV Tornado or indeed the Javelin previously.
And 129 F4K for the RN.
To come as a purchase after the P1154 and TSR.2 pushes this purchase back to the 1970s.
Post 1965 money gets ever tighter until 1967 when the RN side of things collapses.

Reality is the RN's machines majoritively go to the RAF, and a cheap and cheerful order for some 62 additonal Buccaneers comes forward. While the P1127 Harrier is introduced (cheap and nasty with '1154 avionics) and the Jaguar is persued, F4s cover the role until its ready.
Lightnings soldier on into the 1980s to make up the numbers and keep some fast climbers in service. Cheaper than any new purchase, andnasty because they where never really updated in any serious way, "a few years from replacement" for 20 years or more.

IF the P1154 comes in and is the chosen machine for what we see as Harrier and Jaguar operations, then its logical to presume that the 155 figure is not enough. More will be needed, and once in service its easier and cheaper to expand the logicistical tail from existing than introduce a totaly different machine.
I would guess that the F4 figure is the most likely to be cut IF the P1154 was successful. Its already cut severely if we factor in the RNs machines.


I just don't see that somehow it can all happen as planned in 1964. Every time we discuss rather more moderate numbers of UK designed machines in comes some downbeat chap to poor acid on the idea that its not affordable, so frankly I see its time for some payback.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
Zen,

I think you are looking at this with hind sight, in 1962-4, without the knowledge of what was to come, it probably did look affordable, as you point out after this it becomes unaffordable.
 

harrier

BAe P.1216 book: harrier.org.uk/P1216.htm
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
50
"in comes some downbeat chap"

Is this me? I'll try not to be.

In all of the above it needs to be remembered that there were two fundamental shifts in 1968 - NATO went from nuclear 'tripwire' to Flexible Response (so more conventional strike, air defence etc. in place of nuclear 'eye for an eye') and the UK gave up on 'East of Suez'. This is behind the re-roleing of the Phantoms into AD, the change of Jaguar from a trainer to a strike aircraft for RAF, Buccaneer purchase etc. All driven by being skint.

Would P.1154RAF have worked? Probably, given a couple of extra years. Was it a 'fighter'? No, just had tertiary air to air capabilities for East of Suez (shooting down the odd Tu-16 over Indonesia). Was it intended for the RN? No, it had no marine features as such, but was designed to fit on carriers for RAF deployments to support East of Suez amphib ops., and maybe a few sales to countries with small carriers.

The UK did carry out an extensive study for a 1975 AD aircraft, led by RV Jones, in the early 1960s. It concluded that a VG aircraft would be needed, and fed into the AFVG.

The RAF Phantom was intended as a Hunter replacement in the GA role, and after Jan 1965 as a replacement for RAF Germany TSR.2s as well, not as an AD aircraft to replace Lightnings. However, the RAF were well aware of the Lightning's deficiencies, and this no doubt lay in the back of some minds. All RAF thinking was driven by a desire to preserve TSR.2/F-111, with other purchases based on lowest cost to enable this. Then came 1968 and the changes. Money was very tight - if ever at Kew, dig out 'Plan Brutus', which shows just how stuffed the UK was financially - the government were going to ban foreign travel completely!
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
That is the premise under which we were operating anyway.

The cancellation of AW.681, Belfast and TSR-2 (P.1154 to a much lesser extent) are inextricably linked to withdrawal from EoS and the collapsing fiscal situation in a rather elegant triad.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
94
P1154 RAF has a Ferranti radar, presumably some derivative of the AI.23, so Red Top intigration was problably envisioned. That rather gives it similar levels of capability to the Lightning or Sea Vixen.

Its because of the lack of AI.23 toting aircraft with enough space in the nose that various radar Red Top developments are excluded, alter the situation on platforms and you alter that decision process.

P1154RN required the Aspinal CW set and the new radar guided AAM, ISD for the set was the chief problem irrespective of the AAM itself. Indeed irrespective of the platform itself, so it does'nt matter whether we're talking the OR346 monsters, the Type 583 to AW406 or the P1154RN. This being at best 1972. The Red Top with a new motor was aimed for 1968, likely the seeker could be ISD before that.

Thus the F4's chief selling point is that radar/missile combination for the RN, now factor in its Attack and nuclear delivery capabilities and we can see why the RAF opt for it.
But once you say the P1154 is in service in the numbers planned for the RAF all these calculations are altered. Easier to foist the P1154 on the RN and thus produce some mad effort to leaverage in enough AD capability to make it work. Likely arpound radar Red Top and a developed AI.23. But doing that pulls the rug from out of the F4, no RN order and you're left with the RAF order.
And why order the F4 if its not for strike (as the 1154 does that) and is not the RN's AD fighter. You've just pushed the RN to the P1154 and they've demanded decent AD capabilities, so the logic of the F4 is now deeply suspect. Why introduce 'yet another type' with all the extra costs associated with that? Cheaper to now turn the tables and foist the RN's 'fighter' on the RAF.

But where is the money comming from to fund that F4 when you have precious funds drawn to the P1154, whose numbers could expand by another 100 or more considering the combined Jaguar Harrer numbers and the driving factors behind that. Irrespective of any figher purchases.

More likely to see F4 orders in the 1970's. Defering the pruchase until necessity drives it. Assuming no AD variant of the P1154. At which point the question is "why are we opting for the old F4 when theres these new US aircraft"?

Can the P1154 and hold onto the TSR.2 and maybe it will all work and be affordable.

Type 583 solves a lot of problems really, not just for the RN but also for the RAF once you drop the VTOL requirements or pass it over to a CAS/BAI type like the P1127.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
Because there is a requirement to replace the Lightning fleet in the A2A role, and that is the role for which the F-4 is designed.

Given that by 1964 TSR-2 and P.1154 are well under way it is clear that the F.4 requirement is intended to kick in once the rump of spending has been completed on the indigenous programmes. RAF P.1154 are not fighters, they are strike aircraft intended to replace the Hunter FGA-9. TSR-2 as a Canberra replacement and as the original post in this forum indicates, this raises the obvious question of what the Lightning replacement would be, Ken provides the answer with the Phantom purchase.

Now the fact that the RN Sea Vixen and RAF Lightning replacement requirements are not rolled into one under the P.1154 banner may potentially be a political oversight or the product of some other factor. Let us not forget that the P.1154RN was not a Mach 2 platform for instance. The RN does everything in its power to shed the P.1154 (ironic given what happens later) and only gets Phantoms after it has gotten rid of the P.1154. I also suspect that timing is an issue and I remain of the opinion that the RAF was intending to start procuring its Phantoms after the P.1154 and TSR-2 programmes. As we have discussed elsewhere the RN was in dire need of new fighters, the RAF had more room for manoeuvre.

Just my opinion, I am hoping that ken will post his source at some point.
 

Thorvic

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
601
Reaction score
10
Think Zen has a better grasp on this than me but i got the impression the FAA wanted an aircraft of equal capability to the Phantom to replace its Sea Vixens, but were holding out for a more suitable airframe as by the early 60's the true capability of the F-4 were starting to become known rather than the hyped perception.

Both the Vickers 583 and the similar AFVG were envisaged as Carrier based Interceptors with a later strike variant planned to replace the Buccaneer in the 70's. Of note is that both designs were aimed at full compatibility with the current UK carriers so the era of the rather large and heavy 50's designs were replaced with more compact and capable 60's designs making the most of the advances in technology.

The Phantom was seen initially more as a stopgap airframe to replace the dated early 50's designs whilst new designs were developed.

Going off the french book on the Mirage F1 development the FAA AFVG was sized for all the current RN Carriers and CVA-01, plus would have carried Sparrow (or equivalent) semi recessed or on pylons and with the capability to carry Martel.

G
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
Thorvic said:
Think Zen has a better grasp on this than me but i got the impression the FAA wanted an aircraft of equal capability to the Phantom to replace its Sea Vixens, but were holding out for a more suitable airframe as by the early 60's the true capability of the F-4 were starting to become known rather than the hyped perception.

Both the Vickers 583 and the similar AFVG were envisaged as Carrier based Interceptors with a later strike variant planned to replace the Buccaneer in the 70's. Of note is that both designs were aimed at full compatibility with the current UK carriers so the era of the rather large and heavy 50's designs were replaced with more compact and capable 60's designs making the most of the advances in technology.

The Phantom was seen initially more as a stopgap airframe to replace the dated early 50's designs whilst new designs were developed.

Going off the french book on the Mirage F1 development the FAA AFVG was sized for all the current RN Carriers and CVA-01, plus would have carried Sparrow (or equivalent) semi recessed or on pylons and with the capability to carry Martel.

G
The Vickers Type 583 was offered to the same naval requirement as the P.1154 (OR.356) it was suggested for the earlier but never likely to happen OR.346 Buccaneer replacement), the P.1154 was selected as a joint RAF/RN project to satisfy the RN requirement for a heavy fighter (OR.356) and the RAF requirement for a tactical strike aircraft (NBMR3 at the time). Thus the P.1154 is your RN aircraft.

Until of course the RN finally gets its P.1154 variant cancelled (with the protestation that it requires a twin spey swing wing 50,000lb aircraft - your Type 583), the unfortunate result of this is that the RN briefly gets to operate the bastardised spey Phantom of a single bastardised carrier in what is best described as an awkward arrangement before being left with a subsonic single seat day fighter variant of the original P.1154 that it so despised - it even had the same name 'Harrier'. Amusingly enough the Air Ministry had stated that the P.1127 (the technology demonstrator for the single engined VSTOL configuration from which the Sea Harrier was devised) would not meet its needs in 1961.............
 

Hammer Birchgrove

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
586
Reaction score
1
sealordlawrence said:
Hammer Birchgrove said:
sealordlawrence said:
Ken,

What was the date that the original 175 Phantom order was first floated?

It would appear that this is actually the answer to the question and the RAF of the 1970s (depending on what week you look at the figures) would have been as follows:

TSR-2: 200 (progressively reduced to 0)
F-4D: 175
P.1154: 155
Belfast: 30
AW.681: 30
Andover: 30
Nimrod: 46
V-Bombers: However many were not falling apart that week
I don't quite follow you there; are you referring only to the Vickers Valiants (metal fatigue, as I'm pretty sure you know) or to the V-bomber fleet as a whole? Because AFAIK the Avro Vulcans seems to have been able to cope with low altitudes pretty well, and when the Handley Page Victors was noticed to not cope well with low level flights, it got soon other tasks, right?

To answer uk 75's answer with a counter-question: what if RAF and the British Government actually follows Duncan Sandys' idea of missiles replacing manned aircrafts? Then we could see Bloodhound Mk 2 and nuclear tipped Mk 3 SAM's replacing interceptors, perhaps Lightnings would soldier on and get Sidewinders, and De Havilland Blue Streak* replaces the V-bomber fleet. TSR-2 could be seen as a carrier of English Electric Blue Water stand-off missiles (would also have been used as short range nuclear missiles on the ground).

* Armstrong Whitworth had an alternative design that would have longer range and also be able to launch satellites (like Black Arrow):
http://www.spaceuk.org/ba/siddeley.htm
The missiles and munitions section of the forum has multiple threads relating to British rocketry, however that link is not a longer range Blue Streak, it is a Black Arrow competitor.
The text in the page clearly states the project begun as an alternative to the Blue Streak. ???

I was referring to the entire V-Bomber fleet. As you pointed out the Valiant force had to be retired and by the end of the 70s the rest of the V-Force was running out of flight hours.
OK, I see now. Thanks.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
586
Reaction score
1
I've read somewhere, Wikipedia perhaps, that there were plans to make an interceptor version of TSR-2 for Canada (as replacement for the not bought CF-105 Arrow).
 

PMN1

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2006
Messages
679
Reaction score
20
With the Type 583, presumably all 4 missiles were pylon mounted?

Would there have been any opportunity for semi-recessed storage with the AAM being considered?
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
The text in the page clearly states the project begun as an alternative to the Blue Streak. ???
It actually says that it was conceived as an IRBM in 1958, but it was revived after the cancellation of Blue Streak, by the company and not by the government as an alternative- for which there was no interest. As a system that proposal is far smaller and less capable than Blue Streak- all the details of all of this are available elsewhere on this forum, just search Blue Streak - it is a truly fascinating subject.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
94
First Type 583 is not a twin Spey powered machine, that would be some flavour of the Type 589/590. Its that latter machine thats the Twin Spey 50,000lb beast a certain Admiral bursts out with during the P154RN effort.

The 1963 paper is clearly baised in favour of the bigger VG machine, even though this RAE circulated paper clearly shows the scaled machine (not quite a Type 583 but certainly a lot closer) fits the RN carriers perfectly including the 4 hour CAP. Something close is shown by the Mirage G performance figures even though thats more comparable with the Type 584 or Type 585.

Type 583 is firstly the product of a need for a research machine into VG wings. BAC saw the potential and offered it as a Sea Vixen replacement as well as a research machine for the heavier VG offering to Or.346. So NO its not offered to OR.346, but rather seen as a stepping stone to that.
Thats why its rejected first, focus is on OR.346 at the time. LAter on its offered to AW.406 and is clearly the better option, but its doubted it will get into service soon, eyes are still on OR.346 and the quicker route of the F8 or F4.
Had if been ordered in 63 they might have made the projected '68 ISD, though not with the Aspinal CW set.

Speaking of which the Type 583 won't fit the John Forbat Vickers AAM, though it might handle one or two of the smaller of the 'Faimly' series.

Carridge would be two bombs in recess along the centerline, or two AAMs, but these AAMs cannot be the Fobat type, becuase it either makes it impossible to land on a CV without buiitng the missile's wings or it's undercarrige is blocked. Depending on how the missiles are oriented in the recess. Presumably more carried either onwing pylons or on the wing glove.

Now if memory serves we have Harrier (P1127) and Jaguar, which means over 300 airframes ordered. That does'nt equate to the 155 planned in '64, so assuming the P1154 comes into service and works as advertised numbers are set to increase or else P1127 Kestrals are orderd as well. Theres no scope in that for the F4. Cheaper to cover any gap with the Buccaneer.

Even if theres only 50 TSR.2 theres no scope for the F4 here. The alternative if the F111.

AS was, the Lightning was required to soldier on, no scope for F4 there no matter what was planned in '64, its going to hit the buffers or defered until later. F4 in the 60's looks dead, unless you have a miracle to make the '64 plans come real. Any F4 order is likely to be subeject to change once we're past the completion of P1154 and TSR.2 orders. Where by that time things like the F14, F15 and !16 are on the horizon. Of which the F15 is the more attractive as a fighter and the F14 as a bomber destroyer.

My guess is money is more likely to be spent expanding the TSR.2 numbers until we're at Tornado IDS levels than on the F4. A deferal for either the more modern US types or some new project.

What might be ordered is the F5 as a cheaper route to the supersonic trainer. Possibly killing off the Hawk as a knock on effect.
 

harrier

BAe P.1216 book: harrier.org.uk/P1216.htm
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
50
The cancellation of AW.681, Belfast and TSR-2 (P.1154 to a much lesser extent) are inextricably linked to withdrawal from EoS and the collapsing fiscal situation in a rather elegant triad.
Well yes, to the collapsing financial situation anyway. The cancellations were part of an attempt to keep East of Suez, but on the cheap. The Americans desperately wanted to keep the UK East of Suez too, hence the very generous (by the standards of these things) credit terms they gave on C-130, F-4M and F-111. Spreading the payments over 15 years (IIRC) eased the financial challenge of staying East of Suez, at least until the 1967 devaluation of the pound.

P1154 RAF has a Ferranti radar, presumably some derivative of the AI.23
Not a derivative, an all-new set based on later (transistor!) technology. No search capability, and limited angular coverage. Had ranging for missiles/guns only, plus manual terrain following guidance.

A bigger radar would have needed a new nose, and in a supersonic V/STOL aircraft that is more of a challenge than a subsonic one (wave drag/area rule/inlet distortion) or a conventional aircraft (balance).

Without a new wing too P.1154RAF was not a contender for major A-A work. New wing/new nose/tail mods = new aircraft.

Regarding the Phantom replacing the Lightning, things are complex. E.g. for 'East of Suez' the Lightnings of 74 Sqn only arrived at Tengah in 1967 (also 56 Sqn to Akrotiri that year). They were able to do this thanks to the imminent (eventually 1969 - another story!) arrival of the Royal Navy's second squadron of F-4Ks in RAF service after CVA-01 was cancelled and it was decided to run down the carrier force. So the Phantom allowed an expanded role for the Lightning, and a last gasp bolstering of AD at Singapore before the whole East of Suez scenario became untenable.

My own wild speculation is that if the RAF had got the P.1154 and the RN the F-4K (e.g if things stayed the same post-1964) then in 1975 the Lightning would have been replaced by the F-15 Eagle (maybe as a quid pro quo for a USMC purchase of P.1154s?!). Had P.1154/TSR.2/HS681 continued, production costs would have taken the RAF procurement budget until 1972/3 at least, even with no financial crisis, and that is in the files at Kew. So no more money for new projects in the UK until too late for a 1975 Lightning replacement.

Of course, in the end, the UK did get the F-15 defending its skies, but on the US taxpayer's dime!
 

Abraham Gubler

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,559
Reaction score
24
Any alternate history scenario needs an established point of divergence because events happen in such an inter-related way. This doesn’t mean you have to track the flapping of every butterfly wing in the Amazon but it helps to have a starting point. Especially since the end point being the 1960s crop of British aviation projects (TSR.2, P.1154, AW.681) being released requires a big spend of money that has to come from somewhere.

Without a major restructure of the British economy this money has to come from within the defence allotment. Unless the British Army or the Royal Navy were to be disbanded the best place for this money to come from is the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent. This does not mean a UK without nuclear weapons but just one without the British bomb, long range bombers and ballistic missiles. The US would likely supply tactical nuclear weapons technology in the 50s when they reversed their policy.

Without Hurricane, V-Bomber, Polaris, et al, the UK would have considerable additional money from 1948-65 to spend on the fleet and air force as well as the engineers to realise these projects. The money spent on the V-Bombers could go on a new carrier fleet including a class of three Forrestal type carriers. The engineering effort that went into the V-Bombers could have been placed into new commercial aircraft putting the UK in a competitive position with the US industry into the 1960s. Without a nuclear centered force the philosophy that underpins the 1957 Defence White Paper would not be as strong so ‘no new manned aircraft’ could never be taken seriously. Later in the early 1960s without the fleet needing a new carrier there would be less competition for the Canberra replacement bomber allowing TSR.2 to progress. The stronger position of the British aviation industry would also encourage more international interest. Without being stuffed around over the nuclear program Australia would be very keen to sign up for the TSR.2 over the TFX.

Come the mid 60s and the UK financial crisis and the aviation industry and forces are in a much better position to weather it. The ongoing projects like P.1154, AW.681, Blue Water, PT.428 and Type 82 would be in trouble regardless but the carrier fleet would survive at the cost of the war built ships (Eagle, Ark Royal, Victorious) being retired. The RAF would keep TSR.2 in production, have the SR.177 (as the common European fighter?), F.155T and the VC.10 would be a mass production commercial aircraft thanks to the stronger market position of the UK industry.
 

JFC Fuller

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Messages
3,220
Reaction score
99
Zen,

Spey / Type 583: You are nitpicking, my point was simple and two fold, it was the aircraft that the RN wanted (albeit with Spey rather than RB.153) and secondly it was never a programme of record for any RAF or RN requirement, the P.1154 was.

I think you are trying to compare two different situations, you are assuming that numbers over the years stay the same, which clearly they do not. Planning between 1957 - 1964 is going to be considerably different to planning between 1966 and 1970+

The Phantom point makes sense when looked at in that earlier paradigm, we know that the TSR-2 is a Canberra replacement, we know that P.1154 is the Hunter FGA-9 replacement and that leads to the obvious question as what replaces the Lightning, the subject of this thread.

After February 1964 the fighter P.1154 is dead, very dead, as a consequence of the single service decision. The F-4C is then chosen as the navy fighter and it makes logical sense for the RAF to acquire the F-4D to fulfill its fighter requirement. This has the nice side effect of side stepping the unfortunate state of UK guided weapons and radar development at the time.

Just because after 1964, and especially after 1966 this plan collapses into a malaise of Speys and Jaguars it does not mean that prior to this the fleet based approach does not work, in fact it actually seems entirely logical. And we know the numbers, 200 TSR-2 (depending on what day of the week it is), 155 P.1154 and 175 F-4C.

As already stated trying to use the reality of the 1970s to explain the 1960s paradigm is utterly flawed as so much changed in the intermediate period. Also, you should check your numbers, as late as 1970 the RAF requirement for Jaguar S is just 96 and the RAF received just 78 Mk1's, against an original order of just 60!

Harrier,

If you want to trash this thread by pursing the internets nth discussion about the WoS withdrawal be my guest, I will happily engage with you, and in that vein I will present the reality:

The situation is circular: EoS becomes unaffordable as for a variety of reasons the systems intended to enforce that presence become unaffordable (as well as the basic running costs of being their), so as EoS is recognised as unaffordable the systems and their associated force structure become strategically obsolete, and thus they are cancelled for both being unaffordable and strategically obsolete. It is a frequently ignored fact that one of the reasons for TSR-2's demise is its lack of a European role.

UK Defence policy, in a 60,000ft view, in the cold war goes something like this:

to 1957: War with Russia in Europe, 1957 is the year of maximum danger
1957 - 1966: Global presence, containing communism around the world and generally being a great power
1966 onwards: Europe and war with Russia focussed once again

Now I suggest that we call an end to this particular tangent before this thread descends into yet another useless wreck.

alertken: could you provide a source for the RAF F-4D plan in 1964? thank you.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
94
There is no way the '64 plans are going to be realised in full. Something has to give and once you set the parameters as the planned numbers of P1154, HS.681, and TSR.2 the F4 numbers are all thats left for a cut. Indeed Abraham is proably correct that more would be needed to be cut to fuel this effort.

Spey / Type 583: You are nitpicking, my point was simple and two fold, it was the aircraft that the RN wanted (albeit with Spey rather than RB.153) and secondly it was never a programme of record for any RAF or RN requirement, the P.1154 was.
Type 590. And while it was indeed not ordered, it was the desired machine.
However in context of the RN and the RAF the Type 583 is the machine they should have seen as fullfilling reasonably expectations which they did not have.

Now a reminder of the intial post that started this thread. Which is asking about what is happening in 1975 over the issue of a lightning replacement and fighters in general. So what happens after 1964 is indeed of major relevence to the topic of this thread.

As a devoted (sorry, fanatical) enthusiast of the RAF planned in the early 6os
for the 1970s (Hence UK 75) I have been well-served with info about the
TSR2, HS1154 and HS681.

Assuming the RAF had received the strike aircraft it wanted, there would have been
a notable requirement open by 1975. It was planned to equip the RAF Fighter squadrons
with variants (F3, F6) of the Lightning. But by 1975 these would have been long in the
tooth.

If the planned purchases of the TSR 2 (Strike) and HS 1154 (Close Support) had gone
ahead, there would have been precious little left in the planned budget. Especially if
HS 681 (Transport) and HS 801 (ASW Nimrod) had also gone ahead as planned.

Admittedly HS 1154 was expected to have a limited fighter capability, with Red Tops. But,
the lack of a serious fighter aircraft would have been noticable by 1975, especially as the USAF
would be on the verge of getting F15s and F16s.

I have not found any reference to RAF planning for its fighter requirement assuming the TSR2
had gone ahead. So, at the moment, we have to just guess what would have followed the Lightning.

UK 75
 

Hammer Birchgrove

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
586
Reaction score
1
sealordlawrence said:
The text in the page clearly states the project begun as an alternative to the Blue Streak. ???
It actually says that it was conceived as an IRBM in 1958, but it was revived after the cancellation of Blue Streak, by the company and not by the government as an alternative- for which there was no interest. As a system that proposal is far smaller and less capable than Blue Streak- all the details of all of this are available elsewhere on this forum, just search Blue Streak - it is a truly fascinating subject.
OK thanks, I'll try remember this.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
586
Reaction score
1
Abraham Gubler said:
Any alternate history scenario needs an established point of divergence because events happen in such an inter-related way. This doesn’t mean you have to track the flapping of every butterfly wing in the Amazon but it helps to have a starting point. Especially since the end point being the 1960s crop of British aviation projects (TSR.2, P.1154, AW.681) being released requires a big spend of money that has to come from somewhere.

Without a major restructure of the British economy this money has to come from within the defence allotment. Unless the British Army or the Royal Navy were to be disbanded the best place for this money to come from is the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent. This does not mean a UK without nuclear weapons but just one without the British bomb, long range bombers and ballistic missiles. The US would likely supply tactical nuclear weapons technology in the 50s when they reversed their policy.

Without Hurricane, V-Bomber, Polaris, et al, the UK would have considerable additional money from 1948-65 to spend on the fleet and air force as well as the engineers to realise these projects. The money spent on the V-Bombers could go on a new carrier fleet including a class of three Forrestal type carriers. The engineering effort that went into the V-Bombers could have been placed into new commercial aircraft putting the UK in a competitive position with the US industry into the 1960s. Without a nuclear centered force the philosophy that underpins the 1957 Defence White Paper would not be as strong so ‘no new manned aircraft’ could never be taken seriously. Later in the early 1960s without the fleet needing a new carrier there would be less competition for the Canberra replacement bomber allowing TSR.2 to progress. The stronger position of the British aviation industry would also encourage more international interest. Without being stuffed around over the nuclear program Australia would be very keen to sign up for the TSR.2 over the TFX.

Come the mid 60s and the UK financial crisis and the aviation industry and forces are in a much better position to weather it. The ongoing projects like P.1154, AW.681, Blue Water, PT.428 and Type 82 would be in trouble regardless but the carrier fleet would survive at the cost of the war built ships (Eagle, Ark Royal, Victorious) being retired. The RAF would keep TSR.2 in production, have the SR.177 (as the common European fighter?), F.155T and the VC.10 would be a mass production commercial aircraft thanks to the stronger market position of the UK industry.
I'm not saying you are wrong, but...

The *problem* is that UK invested in nukes and V-bombers because they would mean less number of units to buy, and by that logic be less costly than conventional forces. Kinda like how Khrushchev wanted to invest in ICBM's so he could make cuts in the conventional forces.
 

Abraham Gubler

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
3,559
Reaction score
24
Hammer Birchgrove said:
The *problem* is that UK invested in nukes and V-bombers because they would mean less number of units to buy, and by that logic be less costly than conventional forces. Kinda like how Khrushchev wanted to invest in ICBM's so he could make cuts in the conventional forces.
Yeah sure. I'm not trying to say that the British Bomb/V-Force was a bad idea or made under flawed premises. Just saying that for whatever reason (and there were many) that the British Government back in the late 40s decided that the American nuclear umbrella would be sufficient and any further British nuclear development would be for energy purposes and that they would modernise their conventional forces.

Interestingly if following such a scenario further the key effects of not having a ’57 White Paper would mean that the P.1154 would be unlikely to be born. The RAF and RN would have the SR.177 in production during the 1960s for the tactical fighter role and with TSR.2 and F.115T following there would be little room for anything more until the SR.177 and Buccaneer need replacement. With the advent of the sea skimming missile (meaning no need for naval low altitude penetration) could mean a common aircraft in the class of the F-15 and around its timeframe or later (downselect around 1970). With HS, BAC, Saro and Gloster (if the last two survive the 60s independent) offering aircraft it could be quite interesting.
 

harrier

BAe P.1216 book: harrier.org.uk/P1216.htm
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
50
Harrier,

If you want to trash this thread by pursing the internets nth discussion about the WoS withdrawal be my guest, I will happily engage with you, and in that vein I will present the reality:

The situation is circular: EoS becomes unaffordable as for a variety of reasons the systems intended to enforce that presence become unaffordable (as well as the basic running costs of being their), so as EoS is recognised as unaffordable the systems and their associated force structure become strategically obsolete, and thus they are cancelled for both being unaffordable and strategically obsolete. It is a frequently ignored fact that one of the reasons for TSR-2's demise is its lack of a European role.

UK Defence policy, in a 60,000ft view, in the cold war goes something like this:

to 1957: War with Russia in Europe, 1957 is the year of maximum danger
1957 - 1966: Global presence, containing communism around the world and generally being a great power
1966 onwards: Europe and war with Russia focussed once again

Now I suggest that we call an end to this particular tangent before this thread descends into yet another useless wreck.

alertken: could you provide a source for the RAF F-4D plan in 1964? thank you.
SLL - How'd I trash this thread? By making a contribution of a few facts plus speculation? And there was I thinking that was what a forum is for! I'll let UK75 decide if I have added anything to answering his question (F15 was my eventual answer!).

TSR.2 was intended for Europe, which was always the focus of the aircraft in its nuclear role, though latterly not RAFG (post Jan 65). The attack profiles (e.g. UK-France-Switzerland-Austria-Hungary-Ukraine-big bang and back) held at Kew tell the story clearly. It was to replace the Valiant force's role for SACEUR. Of course, NEAF (replacing Canberras at Akrotiri) and FEAF would have used it too. The Valiant fatigue issue just led to a 'gap' that made cancellation more justifiable. It was the F-111 that was later mainly for EoS (oops, I said it, am I trashing?).

BTW, I am giving a history lecture in November at RAeS in London on the P.1154 if anyone wants to come. Draft flyer attached. Date /time to be confirmed. I will mention East of Suez too!
 

Attachments

uk 75

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
Sep 27, 2006
Messages
1,450
Reaction score
95
Thanks to all for the amounts of new info you have provided to this thread.

As I said at the beginning, I was interested to know what the planners in 1963-4
who drew up such detailed tables of future 1154-TSR 2-681 strengths had in mind
for the fighter force. My reading of published sources was always that until 1975 or so,
the order of battle would remain an all Lightning force, with only the RN operating its F4s.
Events served to make these plans redundant as contributors have explained in helpful detail.
Perhaps the best summary of what the planned forces would have had to be reduced to was in an
RAF Historical Association seminar on TSR2 where 1154 and 681 were written off straight away as unrealistic but the RAF persisted with TSR2s. The contributor noted that this would have meant an RAF in the late 70s made up of TSR2s, Lightnings and Hunters, all of which would be in declining numbers and condition.
A word on what-if scenarios raised. Planning papers for an RAF with Avro 730 or with missiles in greater numbers are hard to find? Also plans post TSR2-1154 frontline never really gelled, as TSR2-1154 proved to big to swallow. I do try to keep to what was actually planned.
 

harrier

BAe P.1216 book: harrier.org.uk/P1216.htm
Senior Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
1,014
Reaction score
50
Ralph,

The nearest thing to an 'answer' would be in AIR 2/17068 at Kew - it covers the RV Jones work I mentioned above. There is a memo in there 'Requirements for a Future Fighter' (ADCWP/P(64)5. The main 'proposal' is the 50,000 lb F.1 fighter scheme from RAE, plus BAC Warton's work around it (including P.45). The range of schemes looked at went from a 300,000 lb (not a typo!) 'flying 'battleship' to a 35,000 lb VG aircraft. Plus V/STOL options (why not?!).

The main thrust of the work was to see if the Sandys' assumptions still held. They didn't. So the quest for a new fighter began, but before this work it was still assumed the Lightning was the end of the line.

Mike
 

willwilliams

CLEARANCE: Restricted
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
uk 75 said:
Alertken

The info about the plan to replace Lightnings with straightforward F4s is a bombshell

(to me at least). However, it does squarely answer my question. I had always assumed

that the 1963-4 plans simply left replacement of the Lightning force till the mid-70s.

Zen and others

Point about hypothetical replacements is well taken.


This subject has been well covered invarious threads. My intention was to try and find out more about actual planning up until the 1964 cancellations turn the RAF from a HS1154/TSR2/Lightning(or F4)/Supersonic trainer/light fighter force in the mid 70s to a Phantom/HS1127RAF/Vulcan/Lightning/Anglo French stuff/F111
force under 1964-5 plans.

My reason for this (helped by a useful account of the Nuclear Forces proposed before TSR 2 cancellation in Peter Hennessy's revised The Secret State) was to come as close as possible to what
the RAF hoped to have in 1975 under plans pre-TSR 2 cancel era.

Alertken's answer seems to fill my gap. It may also overlap with Canadian plans to purchase the Phantom which were mentioned at about the same time (1963-64) in magazines/books.

UK 75
Hi,

Small point. I'm not sure the RAF would have ever had the view that the Lightning was long in the tooth by 1975. The newest RAF aircraft were delivered in 1967 and more were made for Saudi Arabia and Kuwait after then. It may not have been cutting edge but it was still respectable, compared to its peers. The F-15 was not in service with the USAF in 1975.

Regards
Will
 

Hammer Birchgrove

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
586
Reaction score
1
Abraham Gubler said:
Hammer Birchgrove said:
The *problem* is that UK invested in nukes and V-bombers because they would mean less number of units to buy, and by that logic be less costly than conventional forces. Kinda like how Khrushchev wanted to invest in ICBM's so he could make cuts in the conventional forces.
Yeah sure. I'm not trying to say that the British Bomb/V-Force was a bad idea or made under flawed premises. Just saying that for whatever reason (and there were many) that the British Government back in the late 40s decided that the American nuclear umbrella would be sufficient and any further British nuclear development would be for energy purposes and that they would modernise their conventional forces.
I see, thanks.

Interestingly if following such a scenario further the key effects of not having a ’57 White Paper would mean that the P.1154 would be unlikely to be born. The RAF and RN would have the SR.177 in production during the 1960s for the tactical fighter role and with TSR.2 and F.115T following there would be little room for anything more until the SR.177 and Buccaneer need replacement. With the advent of the sea skimming missile (meaning no need for naval low altitude penetration) could mean a common aircraft in the class of the F-15 and around its timeframe or later (downselect around 1970). With HS, BAC, Saro and Gloster (if the last two survive the 60s independent) offering aircraft it could be quite interesting.
Indeed it would be! :)

I've always assumed that a supersonic VTOL-fighter would be "worthy" simply for being supersonic and VTOL, especially if it would be sold to other NATO-nations. It do fits the NATO idea of surviving a first strike against the airstrips; I've read somewhere that the Harrier in OTL has been misused in that regard.
 

zen

CLEARANCE: Top Secret
Senior Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2007
Messages
1,076
Reaction score
94
During the CVA-01 process, the RN was musing over comparative studies for different options. One was the all-missile fleet the other was the 'offshore support ship' carrying two helicopters and four P1154 armed with anti-ship missiles.
 
Top