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RAF with TSR2 etc: But what Fighters?

uk 75

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Harrier, Will

Thanks for the info and I will follow up.

On the Lightning I should have been more specific. As a hot rod
fighter the Lightning was probably never matched, but its weapons and
radar systems were never modernised sufficiently. Two Red Tops onl?
F15s were not around until later than 1975 but in the real world the RAF
did look closely at the F15 and the F14 in this period before settling on
Tornado in the UK and keeping F4s in Germany.

I am still fascinated by the notion that the RAF would have accepted straight
US build F4s, presumably because unlike the RN they did not need the extra
Spey thrust.

UK 75
 

zen

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Sadly the RAF would probably pile on a lot of UK kit to the F4 as it did in real life.

Lightning is....a problem. Would have been better to have bitten the bullet on a better nose and inlet configuration when it was still just a prototype. That would have opend to the door for more potent capabilites.
But the honest truth is those stacked engines make for a hell of a maintenence task.
 

alertken

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13/1/57: new PM Macmillan, defence cost-sceptic, appoints Sandys to slash. Plans he inherits for Air Defence include Fairey F.155T outfield, Saro/DH SR.177 infield, (20 devt.+)50 P.1B; Bloodhound Mk.1 SAM onway for 1958 deployment as 20 Sqdns/700 launchers, some to be long-range, stainless steel nuclear-tipped Blue Envoy; a scheme for Javelin/P.1B to lob Red Beard into bomber formations, climate-changing the Cairngorms, others to carry US nuclear-tipped Douglas Genie AAM.

4/4/57: SandysStorm chops all that except (to be) Lightning, which will acquire head-on capability (AI.23B+Red Top) to take down ASM warheads (not the platform, standing-off) for one purpose: to cover launch of the MBF from Main Bases and Dispersals. A couple of squadrons each at Leuchars, Binbrook, Wattisham will do nicely, plus Bloodhound 2 largely overseas.

During 1960: Skybolt ALBM to extend Mk.2 Vulcan through 1968-ish; presumption that SSBN (at sea 15/11/60) would then replace MBF. RAF sees Tactical TSR.2 as sole raison for an Independent Air Force, beyond Army Co-operation and starts the process of Spec./Mission creep that will kill it.

On to 1/9/63: new CAS Elworthy inherits TBF/MBF reliant on US Project 'E' stores, RN' SSBNs on schedule/cost for 1968 deployment, and TSR.2 on neither for any date. MoD's Chief Scientific Advisor briefs that the solo-UK Aero Programme is: “hopelessly overloaded (chaotic) frequent failure (P.1154:) a technological & economic impossibility” S.Zuckerman, Monkeys, Men and Missiles, Collins, 1988, P204/383 (SLL: I think the F-4D number 175 is in these Memoirs). He agrees and urges fixed-$ TFX on his Minister. M.Quinlan,RAFHist.Soc.Journal 24,2001,P.10.

8/64: TSR.2 replacement (?substitute) AST.355;BAC/Dassault and UK/France Staffs contact. "Strike Fighter".

16/10/64:Healey at Defence, 18/10/64 Jenkins at MoA; outgoing Chancellor tells Callaghan: “Sorry to leave such a mess, old cock” A.Marr,A History of Modern Britain,Mac,07,P241. 7-12/64, PM+Healey in Washington: ” (SecDef:US) “could not be the gendarmes of the universe. At heart (Americans) are isolationists (what) others are doing has a great effect on what(US can do. UK has a) multiplying effect on our own role”For.Relations,V.XII,W.Europe,UK236,Memo.,
Conversation,Defense Problems.N’nl Archives & Records Admin.,RG 59,Ball Papers:Lot 74 D272, MLF No.4.95/09/11;For.Relations,’64-68,Vol.XIII,W.Europe:pres./PM 7-9/12/
. MacNamara offers to construct a credit/fixed price+offset package around, well anything we wanted, really. Chiefs seek everything - torpedoes, Atomic Demolition Munitions, the schemed SSM that became Lance. Elworthy happily swapped P.1154 for F-4D. Jenkins extracted Cabinet Approval to change that to 118 F-4M with much UK work, and 66 P.1127 which CAS did not quite know how to task.

17/5/65: Memorandum of Understanding: AFVG:Ministers’ intent was to buy 175/RAF, 125 France (land and carrier-based) for Service from 1974; and ECAT, 150 RAF "B" trainers and 50 "S" Strike. Introduction of these new Strike types would release F-4 (now, M) to replace Lightning...if CAS could show any need, after RAF's reduction to an Army Co-operation Force, post-SSBN. He did so, with the sovereign airspace/identification Task.
 

zen

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Sandys requries limited ABM, to buy the time for V-force and IRBM launch. RAF cannot scramble fast enough to keep Soviet bombers from first strike takedown of Deterrent.

RAF push hard to make scramble of QRA and V-force, time is too tight. Ballistic missiles too fast, detection to impact too short.

Head requires SARH or ARH, IR is not good enough, stern chase is easy to compute but shortens the range from enemies intended target at interception. Head on = 60nm, stern chase = 30nm, RN wargaming shows this up by '55.

TSR.2 OR is not to kill it off, its unintended, creep is because its all thats left. P1127 funded, 'only if its not a fighter', government told 'its just for research'.

Andrew Marr?! This quote is well known for far longer.
MacNamara is a wizzkid loose cannon causing mayhem in the US military. TFX is a monster. The man has left a terrible legacy.

P1154 is driven by Sandys conclusions, NMBR.3 nonwithstanding. Dispersal of basing, delays strike to nuetralise them while RAF supports the BAOR and NATO holding the line against the Soviet hords. Secondary fighter role, because Lightnings will be destroyed either on the ground of trying to land at destroyed airfields. Day1 Lightning is a a one shot wonder luck will decide if any survive beyond that.

AFVG, French hypnotise senior cabinet figure. Incompatible requirements, unless RN stays in the game and RAF want a strikeFIGHTER. instead of STRIKEfighter. RN out, RAF have F4, no fighter needs, strike is all. ECAT is a sop to France. RAF see it as a back door to get something should the government scrap their desired machines yet again.
 

JFC Fuller

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TSR-2;

Nobody knows what it is, it starts of as a European tactical strike aircraft to replace the Canberra. Clue is in the name, Tactical Strike and Reconnaissance and in the store, the bomb bay is designed around Red Beard not any British strategic weapon. Long before it is cancelled the decision is taken that it will not replace the European Canberra's and the opinion is formed that it will be a Global power projection asset. Indeed Healey states during the TSR-2 debates that: '[TSR-2/F-111] would have no requirements if Britain were to withdraw from East of Suez'.

At the time of Skybolt cancellation there is flirtation with giving the type a strategic role, the results of this are crude to say the least and culminate in a notion of strapping a rocket motor to the back of a WE.177 and firing it in the general direction of the target.......thank god for Polaris. However, Healey was correct (and hence the RAF Island plan), the type was regarded as a power projection asset later, a tactical bomber first and never a strategic asset beyond general musings. At best the type may be regarded as a theatre bomber but it is certainly no true strategic platform.

The problem with Kew is that you can find whatever you want, the skill is to put it into context. I think the defence minister of the time is the best person to provide that context.

Zen,

Something has to give, you are right, it does, that is why today we have no P.1154, only prototype TSR-2, no CVA-01 and no AW.681. The entire plan gave way.

Back to the root of the thread, the Lightning is a problem, its a limited fighter (little more than an interceptor) with some key weaknesses. The Phantom is the perfect solution, it is off the shelf (thus circumventing the dire state of the UK guided weapons and fire control industry) and does not strain the aircraft industry any further as well as hopefully avoiding an extravagant development programme.

From the perspective of an alternative history, devoid of economic reality, it is interesting to lay the pre 1964-66 plans over the top of the pre-57 plans. Of course this requires some knowledge of the numbers planned for the F.155T platform, and the Avro 730 which I currently do not have. Buttler suggests that the RAF was, pre-57, pursuing 300 fighters in the form of 150 SR.177 and 150 Lightnings. The original target for V-Bombers was 240 but this was scaled back to 180 (itself a number that was never achieved). Whilst prior to that I did once see a suggestion (long since forgotten where) that 500 Swifts and 500 Hunters were desired.
 

zen

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Lightning could be said to be the problem. Had they opted for one of Fairey's Delta II designs, Or Hawkers ideas, there'd be space in the nose for the development of the AI.23/Firestreak combination and development potential in the airframe for much improvement later on.

Still not a carrier plane, but as far as the RAF could have been concerned there was the failure. Their wonderfighter was nothing more than a interim type, and could'nt not easily be developed further, was not that viable for Attack or Recce let alone Strike.

IF things had been different, with some Delta II type it would have been an easier task for Recce and Attack types. Pullsa lot of the rug out from TSR.2.

Consider Camm thought the P1121 was the way to go, for a fighter, attack, recce and strike roles (not necessarily all in the same machine but certainly variants of it) thats no fools opinion but a leading figure in the industry.
Even Brough, when they looked at a Next Generation Tactical Aircraft came up with a basic core and variants from it, ditching super long range.

There was money clearly to produce the Lightning and get quite some distance on the TSR.2. A more deveoplable first effort and a more modest second would stand a fair chance of both making it to service and probably be rather successful machines.
 

JFC Fuller

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Zen,

Absolutely agree, I think we have discussed the P.1121 (still looking forward to the book on that subject!) to death and we have definitely discussed the prospect of a solid nose Lightining as investigated early in the programme by EE, I am still hoping that an image of the P.3 design will emerge one day.
 

zen

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Can we extrapolate forward?

Fairey Delta II.
Assuming for the moment the Ministry realised that the concept can be developed to meet substantialy F.23 (OR.268) on a single engine and proceeds along those lines.
We can imagine it may well be one of Fairey's early proposals such as ER.103C.

Engine being a critical issue alas, this might scupper the effort. Perhaps an Olympus for the prototype?

As an interime type it preceeds F.155T, but development from this machine to that, seems a much shorter step. Time being a critical factor the attractiveness of the option would rise compared to the real world preference for the Delta III.
I might add it would be a logical step to make Fairey the authority over the missile for that too, thus favouring SARW and seeing a J-band AI.18 produced. Curious question there is will it be just a direct shift over or a transistorised development?

We might also presume that slapping a rocket motor and tank along the belly could fullfill F177D (OR.337) at least for the RAF. Further bolstering the focus on the basics common to all these Fairey delta winged tailless fighters.

This make its the survivor of Sandys review and fastest route to a Recce platform to succeed the Swift and Hunter, possibly the Canberra if it totes enough fuel. If that can be resolved, possibly using the F.155T variant airframe as a basis, then a limited Attack machine could be forthcomming.
None of these are the same machine precisely, but center around a great deal of commonality in airframe and aeordynamics. Export potential of such is more likely to be in greater numbers than the Lightning.
This leaverages off those elements of OR.339, which shorn of such is free to focus on the low level transonic cruise and burst of supersonic speed it intialy had. I'm tempted to suggest the Vickers Supermarine Type 571 single engine design meets this and is again likely to be produced in a series of variants, rather than trying to squeeze the lot into one.

This does'nt resolve the saga of the P1127 and P1154, both of which may well be persued and follow the same history as before. The primary shift is we see Delta IIs instead of F4s and Lightnings in the fighter/attack roles, and Type571 succeeding the Buccaneer and Canberra. The F4 could still be the RN machine, this side following similar lines to real history.
But there is scope here for a new wing fitted to the Delta II fusilage to produce some sort of carrier fighter. Paralleling the Mirage-G, maybe at an earlier time though.
Alternatively they may try to modify the wing and drooping nose for carrier landings.
 

JFC Fuller

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From: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10671.15.html

From about Jan 1965 it was decided that there would not be any TSR.2s in RAFG, and planned orders went from 158 to 110.
Yes, so prior to that the TSR-2 was the proposed replacement for the B(I)8.

Ultimately the interdictor Canberras (and a squadron of recce ones IIRC) were replaced by Phantoms, and the order for F-4Ms was based on this plan. Of course F-4Ms and P.1127s also replaced the P.1154, so it is conceivable that the P.1154 could have replaced the interdictors (they had the range) in RAFG, but as things were all up in the air in the first few months of 1965 it was never put into any firm plan.
Not really. The Phantom was only ever an interim aircraft in the strike role pending the arrival of the Jaguar (to an extent AFVG up to 1967) and others. This is why it was never cleared for WE.177 and the UK used US Mk43 and Mk57 through to 1976 when the Jaguars with WE.177 replaced them, in no way shape or form was it or can it be considered a genuine replacement for the Interdictor Canberras which were SACEUR assets meaning they were nuclear equipped. Furthermore the Canberra squadrons were not directly replaced with Phantoms, 3 Squadron went from Canberra B(I)8 to Harriers, 16 Squadron went from B(I)8 to the Buccaneer, only 14 Squadron took the Phantom and they had it for less than five years before taking the Jaguar. Furthermore of the 136 Phantoms acquired by the RAF (prior to the later transfers after the demise of the fleet carriers) only 70 were ever tasked for Ground Attack and Recce (of which only 30 were wired for the Camera pods and they actually replaced Hunter FR.10 squadron as well, 33 Hunter FR-10s were built) even the recce Phantoms served just 5 years until Jaguar arrival.

In fact that further rounds the numbers for the P.1154 being a direct Hunter replacement, 128 Hunter FGA-9 + 33 FR-10 gives a total fleet of 161, that is just 4 airframes short of the 157 P.1154s planned. The fact is (IMO) that the Phantom was procured as a fighter but it was forced to take a limited interim role as A strike platform prior to the arrival of the Jaguar. The real Canberra replacement in the SACEUR theatre role being the Buccaneer once the TSR-2 was terminated. The Phantom could never have been that aircraft as it was not WE.177 cleared.

That said, the lecture this thread is for will be about discussing what did happen to the P.1154 (it was mentioned as a Lightning replacement in 1962, but not pursued far - Bill Gunston's Harrier book shows a GA for this, an RAF single-seat aircraft with a large radar).
The P.1154 was never seriously considered as a Lightning replacement, is there any evidence that it was even considered by the ministry or was it just an idea from the manufacturer? To my knowledge it was never a programme of record and was never a serious prospect.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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If the (super-sonic VSTOL combat aircraft) Hawker Siddeley P.1154 had been constructed and ordered, would RAF (and RN, if interest in the P.1154N naval two-seater had been kept) still order the sub-sonic Kestrel and Harrier?

Or would there still be interest in RAF for SEPECAT Jaguar? (Thus RAF combining P.1154 and Jaguars, like how Harriers and Jaguars have been combined in OTL.)

If RN still won't order P.1154N, would RN order (sub-sonic) Harrier (as in OTL)?

Those are events I haven't yet got a clear picture of in discussions about the P.1154.
 

JFC Fuller

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Hammer Birchgrove said:
If the (super-sonic VSTOL combat aircraft) Hawker Siddeley P.1154 had been constructed and ordered, would RAF (and RN, if interest in the naval two-seater had been kept) still order the sub-sonic Kestrel and Harrier?

Or would there still be interest in RAF for SEPECAT Jaguar? (Thus RAF combining P.1154 and Jaguars, like how Harriers and Jaguars have been combined in OTL.)

If RN still won't order P.1154, would RN order Harrier?

Those are events I haven't yet got a clear picture of in discussions about the P.1154.
Certainly for the RAF, if the P.1154 had been a success it would have been the Harrier and there would have been no subsonic version for the RAF. The navy is more interesting, I would question how easy it would be to operate an aircraft of the P.1154 size and weight of an Invincible, so they may have taken a navalised P.1127, possibly, who knows, the RAF P.1154 may have worked with those ships.

The Jaguar starts life as a supersonic trainer for the RAF (light attack for the French) and I suspect that had the RAF got all the P.1154's AND TSR-2's it was expecting that is how it would have stayed as far as the RAF was concerned. The original RAF Jaguar requirement being for 150 supersonic trainers only.
 

Michel Van

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during reading of post, I had a thought:

Why not use the TSR2 as Fighter !
send the Bomber with escort TRS2's armed with Air-Air missiles and ECM systems

good idea or just flash in pan ?
 

shedofdread

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Michel Van said:
during reading of post, I had a thought:

Why not use the TSR2 as Fighter !
I believe that was the idea behind the plan to resurect TSR2 in the early 80s

S
 

alertken

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The exact A to Thread Q is: UK funded no real work on a bespoke-interceptor/fighter after 1963 (Lightning F.2A/F.6), before 1972 (Tornado ADV). The role rolled in 1965 onto F-4M and on to F-4/K(RAF)/J(RAF) because that was cheap. Why did Ministers do what they did? Start from PM Macmillan's experience at Defence and Treasury.

PM 10/1/57-18/10/63; at Defence he had chopped Swifts, arranged to chop RAuxAF; at Treasury: “It is defence (spend) that has broken our backs. We also know that we get no defence from it”; it is “little more than a façade” joint memo with Sec.of Def. Monckton, 20/3/56, Horne, Macmillan/1,P.390. However, his man Sandys retained the 11/56 order for P1B: in all at MoD, then MoA till 27/7/60, he bought 47 F.1/1A, 44 F.2, 20 T.4, and 70 F.3, to replace (some of the) Javelins in UK/RAFG. (Why so few? We were doing all the paying; Javelins and F. Hunters enjoyed many MSP-$).

Their purpose was: J.Amery,SecState for Air,10/60 briefed (by RAF) “we needed a Fighter Command to police the skies against intruders (not) much more" The Move to the Sandys White Paper,M.D.Kandiah/G.Staerck(Eds),ICBH/KCL Seminar 7/88 pub.2002,Pp44/5. In 10/60: "Lightning was very politically vulnerable (Genie US nuke-armed AAM in competiton with nuke-armed Bloodhound 3 SAM: that lapsed and Red Top/Lightning) survived 'for the prevention of (minor probing) intrusion and (EW) jamming'" Ministers of Defence and for Air: R.Moore, Nuclear Illusion, Nuclear Reality,Palgrave,2010,P.127. F-2A/F-6 then followed, to include replacing Javelins in NEAF/FEAF...because the type's R&D and its general inventory infrastructure was sunk. Air Defence was (nearly) "free".

Moore, P.238/P.296 discusses overload in UK AW production, Polaris + TSR.2 WE177, whose planned numbers were reduced 4/3/63 to 53 "strategic" WE177B (ken says: for the 48 Vulcan B.2s) and 31 "tactical" WE177A (ken says: on TSR.2 to replace the 32 NEAF Canberra B.15/16); TSR.2/WE177 were no longer for RAFG. P.1154(RAF), R&D funded 18/2/63, was now RAFG's sole new Strike type and had no weapon. 1/9/63: what a mess for new CAS Elworthy. 27/2/64 RN moved from P.1154 to F-4K. From mid-1964 BAC was talking VG to Dassault.

16/10/64 Healey SecState for Defence: his Chief Scientific Adviser believed the Aero programme to be incapable of achievement. PM Wilson's policies included: reduction in Defence spend, and smooching France to let us into EEC. On 9/12/64 LBJ offered a 10-year-deferred credit/fixed price Defence package with hefty offsets. The wonder is that any-UK-thing survived. (IIRC Zuckerman's Memoirs) has an RAF bid for 175 F-4D to replace P.1154 which he dubbed "a technological & economic impossibility” SZ,P204/383: now we may bemoan that advice, but do recall the pain of the simple 1950s' programmes - (nearly) all late, over-cost and under-Spec.

Minister of Aviation Jenkins on 9 & 19/2/65 caused RAF to receive instead 118 F-4M (ken says: 64, RAFG strike, 24 vice Canberra PR.7) + 66 P.1127 (ken says: vice 38Gp. Hunter FGA9/RAFG FR10). (ken believes:) no nukes on P.1127 (no payload/range), RAFG Canberra Project 'E' stores rolled onto F-4M. TSR.2 (till 6/4/65) or F-111K/WE177 East of Suez. Lightning to pootle on till dotage.

Between death of TSR.2, 6/4/65, and signing the UK/France MoU, 17/5/65, Elworthy:
- pitched F-111K/WE177 against CVA-01/Buccaneer S.2/WE177A(N) as the East of Suez Strike capability;
- accepted 48 deployed Jaguar 'S' as quickest/cheapest way to replace 48 Waddington/Vulcan B.1 and Cottesmore/Vulcan B.2 Yellow Sun Mk.2 covering Saceur's Valiant Tactical Bomber Force (24x2xB-43), grounded 9/12/64;
- agreed to take (to be) AFVG to replace Vulcans, Canberra PR9 and (to match France's asserted production offtake:) the F-4Ms, which could take over Lightning's AD, "free". Sold.

After France reneged on AFVG, 25/7/67, it was more Jaguar GR.1 that released F-4M to AD: UK redefined its 200 as 165 'S'/35 'B' and bought Hawk as the advanced trainer.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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sealordlawrence said:
Hammer Birchgrove said:
If the (super-sonic VSTOL combat aircraft) Hawker Siddeley P.1154 had been constructed and ordered, would RAF (and RN, if interest in the naval two-seater had been kept) still order the sub-sonic Kestrel and Harrier?

Or would there still be interest in RAF for SEPECAT Jaguar? (Thus RAF combining P.1154 and Jaguars, like how Harriers and Jaguars have been combined in OTL.)

If RN still won't order P.1154, would RN order Harrier?

Those are events I haven't yet got a clear picture of in discussions about the P.1154.
Certainly for the RAF, if the P.1154 had been a success it would have been the Harrier and there would have been no subsonic version for the RAF. The navy is more interesting, I would question how easy it would be to operate an aircraft of the P.1154 size and weight of an Invincible, so they may have taken a navalised P.1127, possibly, who knows, the RAF P.1154 may have worked with those ships.

The Jaguar starts life as a supersonic trainer for the RAF (light attack for the French) and I suspect that had the RAF got all the P.1154's AND TSR-2's it was expecting that is how it would have stayed as far as the RAF was concerned. The original RAF Jaguar requirement being for 150 supersonic trainers only.
I wonder were that leaves AFVG (proto-Tornado). I assume buying AFVG when you have 200 TSR-2 would be redundant, but what if there are "only" 50-60 TSR-2 ordered? After all, UK planned to have both 50 F-111K and a number of AFVG (I don't re-call how many).

Of course, cost would still be an issue, as well as French interest. (Perhaps buying Mirage IIIK instead of F-4K Phantom II would make France more interested?) :-\
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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Michel Van said:
during reading of post, I had a thought:

Why not use the TSR2 as Fighter !
send the Bomber with escort TRS2's armed with Air-Air missiles and ECM systems

good idea or just flash in pan ?
ZING! ;)

As for the TSR2 itself, for the first time there is detailed coverage of the complete design process, leading the reader on from the very first attempts at combining the P.17 and Type 571 to the final(ish) TSR2 design, then on to the build and flight test programme and taking in engine development on the way. There is also coverage of RAF service plans, the cancellation and reasons behind it (prepare for some surprises), and a complete chapter on unbuilt versions of the TSR2 - none of which has appeared in print before to the best of my knowledge. You're gonna love the fighter version...
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10221.0.html
 

JFC Fuller

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Ken,

Broadly I agree, I do however stick to my own analysis regarding fleet replacements, the numbers work perfectly as do many of the squadron histories. The incredibly short time the Phantom spends as strike aircraft as well as the small number that actually perform that role, plus the RAF's preference for the J79 over the Spey, suggests to me that it was never considered a long term Hunter FGA-9 and, certainly not Canberra (no WE.177 clearance) replacement.

Hammer Birchgrove,

Of late I have actually come to see AFVG not as part of the Canberra replacement time line but as part of the Hunter replacement time line. The dates make little sense for it to be a TSR-2 replacement. AFVG MoU is signed whilst the UK is still dreaming of 110 F-111K but only after the P.1154 cancellation. The RAF then only changes the Jaguar (the true spiritual and actual Hunter replacement) MoU to order Strike Jaguars after AFVG dies. Let us also not forget that in AFVG's brief existence the UK had scaled back its EoS commitments (the role for which the F-111K was intended), NATO had yet to adopt flexible response and many decision makers were questioning the need for 110 F-111K. In that paradigm I believe F-111K was the TSR-2 replacement with AFVG taking the role ultimately fulfilled by the Jaguar (initially 90 aircraft [not until 1970 is the MoU signed for 165 Jaguar S] replacing the foreseen 100 AFVG) and previously undertaken by the Hunter FGA-9 and FR10 with a brief interlude for 70 Phantoms.

There is a political motive for politicians to imply that AFVG was part of the TSR-2 replacement, the French were informed that the primary reason for cancelling TSR-2 was to allow more money to be provided for joint Franco-British programmes. The TSR-2 cancellation actually being revealed to France as a budget secret. By implying that AFVG is a TSR-2 replacement one reinforces that viewpoint. A skilled politician would likely see a chance to declare "158 replaced by 150" when in reality 110 was already the dreamed about number and even that was in free-fall. Indeed later parliamentary debates relating to the AFVG and the F-111 show a distinct awkwardness in explaining quite how the AFVG functions as a supplement to the F-111K with the former having no greater projected range than the Phantom. My answer being that AFVG is intended to replace the Phantoms taking on the mud moving role in the interim so they can go for their originally intended air defence function. Cancelled AFVG being replaced by Strike Jaguars which BAC has helpfully turned into a relatively heavy strike aircraft from the original French light attacker.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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sealordlawrence said:
Hammer Birchgrove,

Of late I have actually come to see AFVG not as part of the Canberra replacement time line but as part of the Hunter replacement time line. The dates make little sense for it to be a TSR-2 replacement. AFVG MoU is signed whilst the UK is still dreaming of 110 F-111K but only after the P.1154 cancellation. The RAF then only changes the Jaguar (the true spiritual and actual Hunter replacement) MoU to order Strike Jaguars after AFVG dies. Let us also not forget that in AFVG's brief existence the UK had scaled back its EoS commitments (the role for which the F-111K was intended), NATO had yet to adopt flexible response and many decision makers were questioning the need for 110 F-111K. In that paradigm I believe F-111K was the TSR-2 replacement with AFVG taking the role ultimately fulfilled by the Jaguar (initially 90 aircraft [not until 1970 is the MoU signed for 165 Jaguar S] replacing the foreseen 100 AFVG) and previously undertaken by the Hunter FGA-9 and FR10 with a brief interlude for 70 Phantoms.

There is a political motive for politicians to imply that AFVG was part of the TSR-2 replacement, the French were informed that the primary reason for cancelling TSR-2 was to allow more money to be provided for joint Franco-British programmes. The TSR-2 cancellation actually being revealed to France as a budget secret. By implying that AFVG is a TSR-2 replacement one reinforces that viewpoint. A skilled politician would likely see a chance to declare "158 replaced by 150" when in reality 110 was already the dreamed about number and even that was in free-fall. Indeed later parliamentary debates relating to the AFVG and the F-111 show a distinct awkwardness in explaining quite how the AFVG functions as a supplement to the F-111K with the former having no greater projected range than the Phantom. My answer being that AFVG is intended to replace the Phantoms taking on the mud moving role in the interim so they can go for their originally intended air defence function. Cancelled AFVG being replaced by Strike Jaguars which BAC has helpfully turned into a relatively heavy strike aircraft from the original French light attacker.
Wow. Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense... but I'm still just as surprised.
 

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Wow. Thanks for the explanation. It makes sense... but I'm still just as surprised.
Dont get too excited, its just a theory and I am sure some more knowledgeable than myself will correct me!
 

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sealordlawrence said:
I would question how easy it would be to operate an aircraft of the P.1154 size and weight of an Invincible, so they may have taken a navalised P.1127, possibly, who knows, the RAF P.1154 may have worked with those ships.
The lifts on the Invincible class were designed for the P.1154. Despite the latter being cancelled years before, the ship's designers wanted to make it able to operate a Harrier successor, and therefore they used the P.1154 as the closest idea of what such a design would look like.
 

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sealordlawrence said:
That said, the lecture this thread is for will be about discussing what did happen to the P.1154 (it was mentioned as a Lightning replacement in 1962, but not pursued far - Bill Gunston's Harrier book shows a GA for this, an RAF single-seat aircraft with a large radar).
The P.1154 was never seriously considered as a Lightning replacement, is there any evidence that it was even considered by the ministry or was it just an idea from the manufacturer? To my knowledge it was never a programme of record and was never a serious prospect.
The RAF had a 'quick look' at the P.1154 as a Lightning successor as part of joint RAF/RN studies into what might succeed the Sea Vixen and Lightning in 1962. The RAF's problem was that two-shock inlets, AA radar etc. reduced low level radius of action in the strike role even with a second seat removed, so they quickly decided against it as it would not be the same aircraft they needed for GA missions. It was during these studies that the RN started to lobby for the Phantom, and the RAF could see merit in this. But the RN's main concern was to ensure CVA-01 was ordered, and V/STOL threatened that in principle, but also offered to free-up R&D funds to pay for it (but so did a Phantom purchase). Plus the 'Phantom-like' P.1154RN was a difficult beast to design and retain any commonality with the RAF version. This is the simple version of the story - the RN thrashed around saying they could use the Sea Vixen into the 1970s, or that they could update it with 'AI25' radar (long before Foxhunter became AI.24! - maybe a typo in the minutes?), that they would prefer various Vickers VG types etc. But none of these options were ever what would be called a 'programme of record', a modern Americanism which would translate to the 1960s UK as 'Cabinet approved' I suppose.
 

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Harrier,

I should qualify why I use the phrase 'programme of record' I am well aware that it is a US term but I find it useful for distinguishing between designs actually pursued and the myriad of vague design studies and manufacturer brochure porn. All too often such distinctions are not made and it only muddies the water.

As for the Invincibles, the lift design is an interesting fact of which I was not aware although I understtod that they were very close to those planned for CVA-01 so it makes sense.

As for the RN's attitude to P.1154, I do not take sides in the argument between the two, during this period they both resorted to dirty tricks but the RN seems to have developed a pathological hatred for the P.1154 (I dispute that the type would have undermined the CVA-01 programme) and I think they had a point in going after the Phantom. However, if you are aware of details of the planned avionics fit for the P.1154RN it would answer a lot of questions here. Your remark about the RAF seeing the merit in the phantom further reinforces my belief that the RAF never saw it as long term platform for the strike requirement.
 

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Odd really my understanding is the RN saw some merit in the P1154, but not for the OR346 roles. Since their focuse is on OR.346 and AW.406 is an 'interim' solution, P1154 is a diversion they don't want on reflection.

Likely this is pre-1963 or even 1962. In which I suspect they might have viewed the P1154 as a good Attack type for the short range missions in the TAU. Once they ditch the short range aircraft requirement on the realisation that most short range missions will take place after the majority of the long range missions, their focus is on OR.346 Cab Rank capability, rather than dividig funds and precious carrier space on the less capable machine. Thus the rise from 57 long range strike aircraft to 64, on the assumption they can do the short ranged missions as well.

RN studies examine the Offshore Support Ship. four P1154 and two helicopters. This as an alternative to CVA-01 and Carriers in general. This provides one available at any hour, likely for the offensive role rather than defensive. Though it must be said P1154 is a far superior Anti-Fleet Shadower, since its speed permits a more fuel efficient and rapid overtake of tracking MPA aircraft. Invincibles 5 Shar may bear some relationship to this figure.

Circumstances of the P1154 commong to service make it unlikely the RAF will gain the P1127, though there is an argument for both at this time, its likely to fail due to financial constraints.
 

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Zen,

I think what you have underlined is the fact that the P.1154 does not represent a threat to the CVA-01 project in any way. Ultimately it is as much about the number of aircraft as it is the capability of the aircraft and the more you need the bigger the ship has to be and CVA-01 was already dock constrained. My theory as the RN's displeasure with P.1154 is the state of the UK guided weapons and A2A radar industry, that is why I am curious to know if Harrier has any specifics regarding the proposed avionics and A2A weapons fit for the P.1154RN.
 

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Peter Hennessy uses a briefing paper in his Secret State new edition which is quite
specific about the nuclear roles of the TSR 2 and the HS 1154.

As mentioned in other sources, the TSR2s allocated to SACEUR (48 aircraft based in the UK)
would be replacements for the Canberra and Valiant squadrons based in the UK and at that
time allocated US weapons.
Absolutely as expected, TSR-2 was always a Canberra replacement, it was a theatre asset.

What is interesting about the HS 1154s is that they are listed as nuclear capable, but no specific
weapons are allocated to them. The 2 Germany based squadrons are allocated to SACEUR but the UK, Middle East and Far East squadrons (all replacing Hunters as well) are national units.
Given the relatively limited number of nuclear weapons the UK procured this is hardly surprising, even in the 70s/80s most nuclear assigned squadrons had less bombs than they had planes, ultimately they probably would have been assigned WE.177 as the Jaguars were.

Although Mike and I disagree on this, I have always seen Jaguar as the closest aircraft to 1154 in the
70s RAF.
Absolutely agree, as I have explained above I dont really see any other aircraft that fulfils this role in the 70s RAF, for 5 years the Phantoms do it but only for as long as it takes the Jaguar to come into service. The Buccaneer ultimately fulfils the Canberra replacement requirement. I regard the P.1154 and the Jaguar as part of the Hunter FGA-9/FR-10 replacement effort.
 

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Certainly on the one level P1154 was not a threat. If anything it was an opportunity, and one the RN missed. Carrington was right in that something around 40,000tons for 24 fast jets now and P1154 later was both easier to get past the Cabinet and yet still held some potential for CATOBAR beyond the SeaVixen and Buccaneer.

In fact one could say that retaining the light Attack, Recce platform as seperate from the Long Range Strike, could even ease the demands on the CVs running the TAU. Especialy if they can perform DLI as well, even though DLI was offialy no longer needed, the RN full knew it was a necessity.

Back to the plot however, the RNs opposition is that the P1154 detracts from OR.346 and does'nt quite meet their desires on AW.406 though on that front it does represent a more achievable step and does meet the basic requirements. The main issue there is the RN is still thinking about OR.346 and judges AW.406 submissions in that light. SO even when a design meets the basic minimums, their eyes are on far higher targets to achieve.
Example CAP endurance was to be above 2.5 hours, predicted endurance of the P1154 was 2.7, their favouretism is for the VG desgins of 3.5 to 4.5 hours.

We know what the weapons system was expected to be, Aspinal CW set and a new AAM to go with it. But the dates for the set are simply too late (1972) no matter the aircraft it was fitted to and fitting the new missiles to the P1154 indeed even to the OR.346 types was no easy task. In this I rate HSA above BAC, the Forbat AAM is quite a monster to fit to a pylon, and lets not speak about CF299 SeaDart!
 

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I think the real reason for the RN's dislike of the P.1154 is obvious, the utter lack of any timely offering by UK industry of an A2A weapon and missile, what is your source for the aspinall set being planned for the P.1154?
 

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Nothing direct, just a piece about the P1154 (possibly by Gunston so it may be suspect, but to be honest its all photocopied out of a book that I forget the name of) that covers the history of the thing a little.
It implies the radar would be used on the P1154RN and is part of the reason for the lack of commonality between RAF and RN types, causing HSA all sorts of headaches with the gymnastics they had to try to get thing 'common'.
This does mate with BSP.1
This would tally in that if the P1154 was to be forced into RN service instead of their preferences, then they'd want the same AI/missile systems. And yes, what stands against it is the likely delivery time for the set and missile.

It does also deal with RR's Spey and how they had taken all the supersonic components out to lower the weight in a vein attempt to make it more attractive than the BS.100. Sadly that had some favouretism among some in the RN until RR was exposed, supposdly it wasted some time and effort and Hawkers never favoured the idea (a legacy of Camm?).

The logical speculation is that IF the P1154RN continues AND it stays on track to meet the ISD desired, THEN they would have to use the AI.23/Red Top combo, AND probably develope it for SARH.
That or buy in a US system, such as used on the F104 for example.
 

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I dont think radar type was the main driver behind the differences between the RN and RAF types, just the sheer presence of a radar in the RN version and the sheer size of the dish they were after. Ultimately the two aircraft were being built for completely different roles and any commonality was going to be difficult to achieve. Rolls Royces efforts to get in on the action certainly didnt help things but I remain of the opinion that a driving force for the RN (and later the RAF) pursuing the Phantom was the shabby state of the UK guided weapons and A2A radar industry. At the time when the RN withdrew from P.1154 the Aspinall set was, at best, nearly a decade away.
 

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Indeed.
Its the lack of progress on earlier systems that leave things in such a poor state.

Though it must be said the RAF machine was getting a set, its not in the same league as what the RN wanted.
Factor in the RN desire for Mach2 speed, their insistance of catapult and arrestor features, wingfold and hey presto comonality goes out the window.
Likely your right on the why.
Come 1963 when the USSR displays its new anti-ship missiles and the need gets more pressing for what the RN want.
 

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sealordlawrence said:
I dont think radar type was the main driver behind the differences between the RN and RAF types, just the sheer presence of a radar in the RN version and the sheer size of the dish they were after. Ultimately the two aircraft were being built for completely different roles and any commonality was going to be difficult to achieve. Rolls Royces efforts to get in on the action certainly didnt help things but I remain of the opinion that a driving force for the RN (and later the RAF) pursuing the Phantom was the shabby state of the UK guided weapons and A2A radar industry. At the time when the RN withdrew from P.1154 the Aspinall set was, at best, nearly a decade away.
I agree with all this. The original P.1127/P.1154 designer, Ralph Hooper, met with an RN delegation in 1962 (including 'Winkle ' Brown) to see what they wanted. He left the room clear that with the the spec. they had it was not the P.1154 (then designed to NBMR.3). Both chalk and cheese contain calcium, but they are different in every other way. Trying to make a chalk sandwich that the RN could digest lasted two more years, and they came close to an acceptable design, but a cheese sandwich for the RAF was far simpler and more sensible. Sense won in the end, well, for a while at least.
 

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One of the problems in the period 1965 to 1975 is the change in requirement for the
TSR2-HS1154-HS681 combo.
We know a lot about the East of Suez issue and the arguments about how to provide
adequate UK forces in the area between the Navy and the RAF. This is well rehearsed
in this and other threads.
However, we know less about what NATO in the form of its Military Command in Europe
(SACEUR) wanted from the UK after 1965. Up until 1965 it seems clear cut:

A proportion of the UK-based TSR 2 force (48 planes) to replace the Valiants in the UK
and the Canberras in Germany. In addition 2 squadrons of HS1154s based forward in Germany
with others in the UK (1 plus squadrons).

However, with the relinquishing of nuclear response in favour of the more graduated flexible response, the requirement for theatre forces remains (The UK meets this by running on its Vulcans into the 80s, a force similar to the TSR2 force (and which would presumably have lapsed once TSR2 entered service) Conventional close air support and tactical strike both for use on NATO's flanks(3 sqns in the UK) and RAF Germany (2 sqns of Harriers and the Buccaneers in UK and Germany (these latter replace the Canberra in both its conventional and nuclear roles).

It would be interesting to know what the NATO Force Questionnaires for the period 1963 to 1968 ask the UK to provide. We know that the incoming Connservative Government in 1970 has to order more Jaguar Ss, presumably in response to the post 1968 Czech Invasion requirement for NATO airpower.

All in all if TSR2 and HS 1154 had been successful programmes the UK would have been well placed to meet this new NATO requirement from its own resources by increasing the numbers of the latter, and possibly even the former.

UK 75
 

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If the TSR.2 had been built, I think the P.1121 would have been built and the UK would not have required a replacement until the 80's. Based on the design studies for the late 70's early 80's time frame, I think you would have then seen something similar to the ACA/EAP as the P.1121 replacement.

Now, assuming it would have been the TSR.2 and no new fighter until the mid to late 70's to replace the Lightning, I think you would be looking at something like the P.96, AST 403 (original single tail chin inlet layout), or P.158, something like a twin engine version of what was popular back then as seen in those designs.

As for a fighter version of the TSR.2, I just don't see that. I do see it getting a bigger wing and being used as an interceptor. The bigger wing would be basically to increase it's high altitude performance when chasing down Bison and Bear and give it more fuel capacity while operating out over the North Sea. Possibly an engine change as well, optimized for altitude performance. In lieu of this, I could see an Arrow being used, had it gone into production. However, given the time frame, if they were going to use the Arrow in this role they would already have had it.

As for the P.1154, I could see the RAF getting it as a replacement for the Harrier, but only if they still felt VSTOL was worth the penalty.

As for the RN, I really don't know of any developments for them in the time frame given other than the P.1154RN. Although, I think they would have more likely gone with a navalized variant of the P.96/AST 403 design if they kept the work in the U.K. Barring that, I see either the big wing Phantom, or the F-14 becoming the aircraft of choice in the mid to late '70's for UK Carriers. I choose the F-14, simply because it would have looked just as cool in RN colors. :D

I should add, due to the problems with the TF-30s, the UK F-14 probably would have had Speys as well.
 

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Sundog said:
If the TSR.2 had been built, I think the P.1121 would have been built and the UK would not have required a replacement until the 80's. Based on the design studies for the late 70's early 80's time frame, I think you would have then seen something similar to the ACA/EAP as the P.1121 replacement.
On what basis? There was never any serious interest in the P.1121 even whilst the TSR-2 was being built and Hawker would have had their hands full with the P.1154 for the RAF.

Now, assuming it would have been the TSR.2 and no new fighter until the mid to late 70's to replace the Lightning, I think you would be looking at something like the P.96, AST 403 (original single tail chin inlet layout), or P.158, something like a twin engine version of what was popular back then as seen in those designs.

As for a fighter version of the TSR.2, I just don't see that. I do see it getting a bigger wing and being used as an interceptor. The bigger wing would be basically to increase it's high altitude performance when chasing down Bison and Bear and give it more fuel capacity while operating out over the North Sea. Possibly an engine change as well, optimized for altitude performance. In lieu of this, I could see an Arrow being used, had it gone into production. However, given the time frame, if they were going to use the Arrow in this role they would already have had it.
The big interceptor programme for the RAF dies in 1957 never to be revived. No requirement for UK Mig-31 in this paradigm.

As for the P.1154, I could see the RAF getting it as a replacement for the Harrier, but only if they still felt VSTOL was worth the penalty.
The P.1154 WAS the Harrier, what we call the Harrier today is simply an evolved version of the original Kestrel technology demonstrator and was only procured because the P.1154 was cancelled.

As for the RN, I really don't know of any developments for them in the time frame given other than the P.1154RN. Although, I think they would have more likely gone with a navalized variant of the P.96/AST 403 design if they kept the work in the U.K. Barring that, I see either the big wing Phantom, or the F-14 becoming the aircraft of choice in the mid to late '70's for UK Carriers. I choose the F-14, simply because it would have looked just as cool in RN colors. :D

I should add, due to the problems with the TF-30s, the UK F-14 probably would have had Speys as well.
I think it is pretty obvious by now that the aircraft both services wanted in the A2A role was the Phantom, the RN pursued the type relentlessly and it appears to have been the Air Staff who convinced the government to order it for the RAF.

Apparently it was orIginally planned that the RAF would get 200 Phantoms and the RN would get 143 though this was gradually scaled back.

http://www.f-4.nl/f4_22.html

http://www.f-4.nl/f4_24.html
 

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sealordlawrence said:
The P.1154 WAS the Harrier, what we call the Harrier today is simply an evolved version of the original Kestrel technology demonstrator and was only procured because the P.1154 was cancelled.
I had forgotten that, good point. Although I still preferred the RN version based on aesthitics, as limited as it would have been. ;)

As for the RN, I really don't know of any developments for them in the time frame given other than the P.1154RN. Although, I think they would have more likely gone with a navalized variant of the P.96/AST 403 design if they kept the work in the U.K. Barring that, I see either the big wing Phantom, or the F-14 becoming the aircraft of choice in the mid to late '70's for UK Carriers. I choose the F-14, simply because it would have looked just as cool in RN colors. :D

I should add, due to the problems with the TF-30s, the UK F-14 probably would have had Speys as well.
I think it is pretty obvious by now that the aircraft both services wanted in the A2A role was the Phantom, the RN pursued the type relentlessly and it appears to have been the Air Staff who convinced the government to order it for the RAF.

Apparently it was orIginally planned that the RAF would get 200 Phantoms and the RN would get 143 though this was gradually scaled back.

http://www.f-4.nl/f4_22.html

http://www.f-4.nl/f4_24.html
That's true at the time they were buying them, but had they been a little a later, I think they would have opted for the F-14. I'll also have to check the time frame on the big wing F-4. I can't remember if it was originally offered to the U.K. or Germany.
 

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P.1154RN was designed to do something completely different to the RAF version, the former being a heavy interceptor the latter being a tactical strike aircraft.

The first flight of the F-14 is a full 6 years after the RN is first interested in the F-4. The dates do not work and the carriers probably would not have been big enough.
 

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CVA-01 timeline suggests F111B, and consequently its not really viable, if at all.

F14 is theoreticaly something CVA-01 could handle, but the swept width of the plane means a complete reworking of the 'island' elsewhere on the deck and possibly the precise angle of the bow catapult. Tomcat-isation, would be an expensive option. More likely is improved avionics for the F4 or a naval VG strike machine reworked for ADV much as we've seen with Tornado.

All this said RN would view the GAR-9/AIM-54 (designatin/acronym memory failure (DAM-F), its too late to look it up tonight/this morning) combination as something desireable. But the RAF could'nt get it, and settled for the AI.24/Skyflash combination instead.
 

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One of the things that comes out clearly from this thread and others is that the UK was far too
ambitious with its limited resources in the period 1960 to 1970.

What emerges is that a straightforward Jaguar sized aircraft to replace a variety of aircraft in RAF and RN service from about 1968 would have been a better bet than the over elaborate HS 1154 and the various BAC/Vickers swing wing designs. One could argue that even the 1127 RAF was a dead end as it took up valuable resources which could have been used to procure more tactical strike or close air support aircraft with better payload and other capabilities.

If the RAF had not skewed TSR 2 to the Vulcan-end of the Canberra replacement programme (2 bombs rather than one and little conventional capability) a more realistic Canberra replacement like the Buccaneer ( 1 bomb and better conventional capacity) could have been in service earlier and at lower cost.

Much as I love the vision involved in 1154-TSR 2-681 the answer to the question was in fact something more like Jaguar-Buccaneer-C130. Equally the RN could have got a carrier if like France it had settled for Etendard/F8 capability rather than F4/Buccaneer. Perhaps the message to today's planners is go with the affortdable and the feasible rather than the vision thing.

UK 75
 

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There are a multitude of problems that undermine the UK procurement programme, over-ambition being just one of them.

Even trying to pin the problems with TSR-2 to anyone area is impossible.
 
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