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RAF with TSR2 etc: But what Fighters?

zen

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Not that simple really.

Though HSA Brough did develope something along just these lines in the P141, NGTA.

Something better than Jaguar was achievable, and affordable.
 

JFC Fuller

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zen said:
Something better than Jaguar was achievable, and affordable.
Agreed.

Big losses = RR RB.106, EE P.8, Hawker P.1154, Radar Red Top and Red Top Mk2.
 

Abraham Gubler

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uk 75 said:
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.
Making the aircraft smaller would not have changed things too much. The UK just didn't have the budget to pay for development and production of a new generation of gear across all the force element groups. Something had to give and in the case of the 1960s it was aircraft development and carrier production programs.
 

JFC Fuller

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Hammer Birchgrove said:
What are the differences between EE P.8 and Lightning?
Full area ruling, new wing, undercarriage retracting into fuselage allowing for wing fuel tanks and much more fuel. It would also of had a larger radar scanner (27 instead of 24 inches). Wing tip missile pylons.
 

overscan

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P8 details:

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,2588.0.html
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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Thanks. When I've read about the EE P.8 before it just seemed liked a slightly better Lightning, and that would be the Lightning of 1957, not circa 1965. Now I see/think that the EE P.8, while no CF-105 Arrow or Fairey Delta III, was a major improvement.
 

danielgrimes

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sealordlawrence said:
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.
Merge the two sentences together and you've hit the nail on the head! The TSR.2/P1154/HS681 all to a greater or lesser extent required the invention of new technology, particularly in avionics and propulsion and manufacturing methods. The government defined requirements that necessitated technology that did not exist (even in the USA and USSR) and then didn't have the money to pay for the research and development. There are lots of incidents and anecdotes of poor projecft management and the iniability to get a broad base of military and politcal support behind projects, but these are a side show to the goivernemnt wantint the moon on a stick!!


I read Sharkey Ward's 'Sea Harrier over the Falklands a few years ago. He put much of the air to air success of the Sea Harrier down the the power of the pegasus and the capability of the aircraft to accellerate (throttle) and decellerate (viffing) rapidly. He also told that the Sea Harrier FA2 was considered in the RAF air defence role on its retirement as it had a quickter time to intercept than the Tornado ADV. Not sure by whom or how seriously this consideration was taken knowing the RAF!

Taking this air intercept capability into consideration, the P1154 may have been a very capabile MRCA in the cold war scenario?
 

royabulgaf

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I can see the HS 681 being too advanced, but the TSR.2 was flying, and the P.1154 at least in the RAF version, didn't seem that far ahead of the curve.
 

danielgrimes

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royabulgaf said:
but the TSR.2 was flying,
That's true, it did leave the ground under it's own power, but was not able to achieve it's operational mission. The navigation computer was years away from working. The working mockup of the Elliots/Verdun system was too big to fit in a plane, and if used, every time the plane would have passed a waypoint the system would have gone blank for several seconds (several miles at supersonic speeds) whilst the next leg was loaded.)

But that's going off on the TSR2 tangent so apologies!
 

Archibald

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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.
And there come Great Britain old nemesis - France ! :D
In the 60's the french had plenty of prototypes to share, although Dassault was not always easy to deal with in cooperation(that's a fact).

Let's say the Jaguar (by contrast with the "upper end" AFVG) worked because it did not involved Dassault, but old Breguet (by the way, Dassault ate Breguet after 1967).

Next question then: did Breguet had some decent fighter designs on the pipeline before the Jaguar ?

Breguet produced some decent fighter designs, starting with the 1000 / 1001 / 1100 TAON series to the Br.1210 that led to the Jaguar.
The 1120 Sirocco was essentially a Breguet, naval Mirage F1 in 1959.
This long-forgotten project certainly had great potential on both sides of the channel. The similar Mirage F1 was declined in turbofan, two seat, interceptor, ground attack, recon variants...

The thing here
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=142.0

This month issue of le Fana de l'aviation clearly show how public firms were forbidden to compete with Dassault over fighter aircrafts, after 1960. Breguet, by contrast, was a private firm... and the Jaguar story proved it did not *feared* Dassault.
Heck, if the Sirocco proves a success, maybe history could be reverted, and then Breguet would eat Dassault in 1967 !
 

JFC Fuller

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Earlier in this thread I posted a couple of links with the original numbers of Phantoms planned for the RAF and RN, 200 and 143 respectively. I have just found those numbers in a 1967 edition of Flight Global:

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1967/1967%20-%200701.html

So, 110 F-111K, 200 F-4's and 144 Skybolts, the RAF would really have been a mini USAF.

Also worthy of note in relation to the AFVG is the following,

'One of the difficult features of the current negotiations to revise the specification is Britain's order for the F-111K, which the French feel is enabling Britain to "degrade" the performance of the AFVG'

This seems to have been picked up by at least one UK politician as well, see this interesting exchange: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1967/nov/08/f111k-aircraft

To me at least, this supports the idea that despite what was being said publicly the AFVG as not seen by the UK as a replacement for TSR-2 but rather as a replacement for the Hunter FGA-9 / FR-10 following the cancellation of the P.1154- a role ultimately fulfilled by the Jaguar and Harrier. It may seem excessive to use AFVG to replace the relatively lightweight and simple Hunter but it is worth noting the originally planned avionics fit for the P.1154 which included a terrain avoidance radar, digital moving map, inertial navigation and air data computer which would have allowed automatic terrain following, all in all a very impressive system, the aircraft itself was not exactly small and simple either.
 

alertken

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SLL: 72 Vulcans/144 Skybolts would not have been concurrent with 110 (TSR.2 or F-111K) or 200 F-4M or P.1154.
Moore's recent Nuclear Illusion has PM Macmillan happily planning to close AWRE after Skybolt and abandoning the Deterrent business. Even in 1960s politicians knew UK could not afford Big Bangs+Germany+East of Suez. The reason we keep finding different Force numbers in dusty documents is that no-one brought together military Plans+political readiness-to-spend. Much the same as today's speculation on numbers of Typhoons+Tornadoes+Lightning II+Reaper-things. What does Cabinet actually want to do? Er...pass.

F-4K was ordered by Tories intending to buy later batches for CVA-01 (..02..03), and P.1154 was funded into R&D by Tories intending to disperse it with Project 'E' tactical nukes all over the autobahn network. Moore has tentative contact for an Anglo-French nuke in the context of its replacement by AFVG.

Moving feast. I doubt there was ever a settled Plan in the mid-1960s.
 

JFC Fuller

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Ken,

I agree entirely, I was not suggesting that any of those plans ran concurrently, I was merely attempting to point out that extent to which the UK considered tapping US industry. However, circa 1960 there is clearly an ambition to replace the RAF almost 1 for 1 with new types (fulfilling roughly the same roles as the existing types) though you are quite right that in terms of which types there was never a settled plan.

Cabinet (rather cabinet office) influence on defence policy is a continuing problem, as Government becomes ever larger, defence becomes more complex and simultaneously shrinks in perceived importance the capacity for politicians- generally torn between health, education and welfare, to understand it progressively diminishes. Not helped by the belief that alliance with the global hegemony guarantees security. Perhaps we rightfully prefer health, education and welfare whilst nobody capable of real damage wishes to harm us?

Can you clarify, Moore is suggesting that P.1154 was to be replaced by AFVG as a programme?
 

Thorvic

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I got the impression that the F-111K was intended to replace the carrier Strike role East of Suez originally, using the Island bases to exert regional influence. The force would have been split with half in UK as OCU and UK based deep strike, with teh rest EoS using a joint RAAF/RAF base for regional support and maintenance.

The AFVG was intended to make up the strike shortfall in Europe with replacing the Hunter and Canberra as TSR2 and 1154 had been intended to do.

AFVG is a bit of strange program, UK literature tends to focus on the RAF strike role post TSR2, but the program was originally a Naval Interceptor/Strike fighter for both Navies, we could do with a translation of the french article in the Mirage F-1 book to understand the nature of the program.
 

JFC Fuller

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The TSR-2 / Carrier thing is part myth, they were really cooperative capabilities, ie; ideally you would have both. The problem that the RAF had was that sometime prior to the end of the programme it was decided that TSR-2 would have no European (Jan 1965, no TSR-2 for RAFG) role and was an EoS asset, thus the numbers were reduced. The problem then became that as the EoS role was reduced so the need for theatre bombers (TSR-2 then F-111K) declined.

AFVG is strange for a number of reasons, firstly because it lasted such a short amount of time, meaning very little actual history was ever generated and secondly because despite the British trying to convince the French (and possibly the British public) that it was a TSR-2 replacement, the numbers involved, the time line of other types then under development (see earlier in this thread) as well as the capabilities for the aircraft that the British were pushing suggest it was actually a replacement for the P.1154 programme.
 

alertken

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SLL: Can you clarify, Moore is suggesting that P.1154 was to be replaced by AFVG as a programme? No, apologies if I confused (I do so to myself). Moore reminds us of the Euro-Anglo-French thread through 1960s' policy-making: P.198: (supportive of Macmillan's application to join EEC) Anglo-French nuclear co-operation (as) quid pro quo...Pres.Kennedy reminded (Mac) "not all British nuclear secrets were his to pass on".

I have, as AFVG production offtake when the MoU was signed, 17/5/65: 200 RAF/RN (corrected, #98: 175), 125 AdlA/AN. I have no note of what RAF quantity UK asserted after chop of CVA-01, 2/66, when RN interest (is reported to have) lapsed: between then and France's AFVG chop, 29/6/67, RN was still funded to continue operate Ark+Eagle+Victorious, all just/shortly refitted, for tasks various. It was only the nuclear mission from the Indian O. that had passed to F-111K. RN wanted real F-4K, not paper swingers.

Jaguar (200 RAF B+S), airframe lead, Breguet, had been the price paid by Healey for AFVG, airframe lead, BAC. After that lapsed Healey stayed in Jaguar, but shifted to 165 "S", the combat trainer becoming Hawk, Nov.1970. So, the sequence was:
RAF: Hunter FGA.9/FR.10 replacement, 18/2/63: P.1154(RAF); instead, 9/2/65: F-4M, intended till 1974, then (signed 17/5/65:) AFVG(RAF); instead, in 1970: Jaguar "S" (F-4M to replace Lightning), and that happened;
RAF: Hunter T.7/Gnat replacement: 17/5/65: Jaguar "B"; instead, 1970: Hawk (165 of the Jaguars to replace F-4M), and that happened;
RN: Sea Vixen replacement: 18/2/63: P.1154(RN); instead, 27/2/64: F-4K; 17/5/65, intended from 1974 to replace F-4K, on CVA-01, if not on residual ancients: AFVG(RN); 29/6/67-16/1/68 (when we chopped Strike carriers bar Ark): RN to muddle through with its 52 F-4K, maybe 20 at sea concurrently. Eagle was de-commissioned 1/1972, still enVixened; Victorious fortuitously burned, 11/1967; Ark did so muddle, gloriously, to 12/78.
 

JFC Fuller

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Ken,

That is exactly my theory so as I am sure you can imagine I agree entirely. My understanding is that the RN was uninterested in AFVG, as you rightly say they preferred the Phantom. I do not remember the source but I have the RAF being assigned 100 AFVG, + the original order for Harrier (60) that is almost a perfect match for the planned P.1154 purchase.
 

alertken

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(Correcting my #96): my note is of 175 UK AFVG, 17/5/65: entirely consistent with SLL would be c.75 RN for CVA-01 +2 more, and c.100 RAF.

I omitted the brief UKVG inter-regnum (AFVG chop, 26/6/67-17/7/68, Healey puts UK into NKF-75). My sense of that time was that this was a paper exercise to keep a team-in-being: no Minister or Marshal had any yen to buy solo-British. Dished by TSR.2's drift and cost-bloat. No R&D contracts into the equipment/avionics sectors; nor into a real engine: BSEL had been junior to SNECMA on M45G: RR had bought BSEL, 7/10/66, but had not yet declared Patchway to be Military Centre of Excellence. Dribble MinTech funding for hot rig work.

So, Q: how did maybe 100 AFVG(RAF) and some orphaned Buccaneers become 385 Tornadoes? A: because UK wanted project stature alongside FRG whose intent was 322, Luftwaffe+Marineflieger. UK's motive was only in part to equip RAF: it was also that: “We must build (up) entry into Europe via Defence” Healey,2/69 (CDG resigned 28/4/69), P380,Crossman,Diaries/3. If UK had got in earlier, F.2/F.3 would not have been invented to make up the numbers, F-4M would have longer been the Air Defence type until a couple of policing Sqdns. of F-15 might have been bought.
 

JFC Fuller

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From the RAF perspective my understanding is that 225 Tornado became the replacement for everything that dropped bombs (Jaguar, Vulcan, Buccaneer) except Harrier (following the increase in numbers that seems to have come with flexible response) with the F-4 fleet to remain until whenever what became Typhoon entered service to shoot down Migs? Wheels start falling off long before the wall fell leaving Jaguar hanging around until Typhoon turned up and a Saudi air force with some shiny tornadoes they never really knew they needed. Then came the 165 ADV to replace dilapidated barely useful Lightning's.

RAF of 1990's:

225 Tornado IDS
165 Tornado ADV
96 Harrier Gen 2
Typhoon (to replace Phantom + Tornado ADV? + Ultimately 75 Jaguar)

Certainly, Justifying a lead UK position in Panavia needed more commitment than the UK needed or could afford so larger numbers for that, absolutely.
 

JFC Fuller

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Ken,

I have checked my notes and consequently I am revising the above, I have:

225 Tornado IDS; replacing, in order, 57 Vulcan B.2, approximately 80 Buccaneers and approximately 80 Jaguar- leaving 75 Jaguar GR1A/T2A
165 Tornado ADV; replacing Lightning F.6 and 'some' Phantoms
250 MRCA; replacing, in order, 75 Jaguar GR1A/T2A and approximately 170 Phantoms K/M
96 Harrier to replace 78 Harrier

Phantom programme shows that UK over-optimism in defence procurement (especially aircraft?) seems to be systemic and not necessarily related to a desire to buy into the continental club?
 

JFC Fuller

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Regarding the desired 200 Phantoms,

Let us not forget the Javelin fleet which remains in service through to 1967.

Does anybody have the details of the numbers reductions on the RAF fleet resulting from the 1957 review?

I have the fighter numbers planned under Plan H and the RAF's desired numbers for the Lightning and SR.177 and Javelin prior to that (though not the official decided numbers) but I dont have the reduction resulting from the 57 review.

Plan H, to be implemented by 1955:

264 Night Fighters
484 Day Fighters
160 Auxiliary Day Fighters

C in C Fighter Command, as of 1953 wanted for 1957+:

200 Javelin (seems to have been met)
400 F.23 class fighters (ultimately Lightning- not even that many of all variant manufactured)
200 Rocket Fighters (SR.177) - Buttler has 150 planned for the RAF.

For missiles, alertken stated earlier in the thread: Bloodhound Mk.1 SAM onway for 1958 deployment as 20 Sqdns/700 launchers, some to be long-range, stainless steel nuclear-tipped Blue Envoy - what is the source for that?
 

alertken

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UK SAGW: M S Navias, Nuclear Weapons and British Strategic Planning,1955-1958, Clarendon,1991,P.173: 3/4/57 memo Air Minister to Defence Secretary: "By Apriil,1963 it was planned to have 13 SAGW stations with 672 launchers and 825 missiles...Stage 1 1/2 Green Flax (ak: nuke-tipped) would be deployed by the end of 1962". That memo did not survive the Sandys storm. (I can't now find my, earlier, number of 700 launchers for 1958)

I, like you, have attempted a neat table of 1950s' Plans, trying to match 1930s' Expansion Plans. I suggest we are wasting our time. Each 1930s' Plan was: UK solo-sovereign; put to Cabinet for funding, and many were indeed passed into the procurement process. 1950s' Plans were: in a context of NATO Task-sharing, NATO Forces competing for Super Priority materials, all subject to bidding for US MSP $, which included meeting some of our ambition with finished articles (Sabres, Neptunes et al et al). Just which of them had a life outside the minds of some of their Airships is not clear. $ dried in 1954; Macmillan at Defence, then Treasury lost patience with Defence and especially with Air. We never set about pouring concrete even for what was actually ordered - say Swift+Hunter, assuming some would either fail or be chopped. No bodies to maintain them post-conscription.
 

JFC Fuller

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Ken,

I dont have the exact figures with me right now but I have roughly the same numbers for missiles but significantly less launchers. Based on my reading so far I have the notion of defending the entire UK vanishing as early as 1953, from then on the air defence network is dedicated to defending the V-Bomber bases and gets caught in a death spiral with the V-force (described elsewhere) culminating in 1960 with plans for 12 Lightning F.3 Squadrons and 12 Bloodhound squadrons at 6 sites. This also impacts the various schemes for ground based radars and control centres.

Interestingly, 200 Phantoms would nicely fill 12 Squadrons. The actual 150 F-4M order is just 6 airframes short of the 156 Lightning F.2A/F.3/F.3A/F.6 procured...

I agree we may be wasting our time trying to make a neat table, I however feel there is some merit in attempting to construct a slightly more vague time line using strategic context and economic reality to explain each major development. I am not yet a aware of a single work that attempts to do such a thing. Eric Grove did naval history a great service with Vanguard to Trident; no such thing has been achieved for the RAF (to my knowledge).


I will update this post later with some figures and dates.
 

JFC Fuller

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Numbers,

Jack Gough, 'Watching the Skys' has the 1958 review as the year of annihilation for the SAM force. He states,

Bloodhound; original order 800 missiles, cut to 300 by the 1958 review
Thunderbird; 150 missiles approved in June 1957 but cut back to 60 in early 1958

Bloodhound organisation was as follows, the 800 missile order would give 18 fire units, 2 fire units would be deployed to each site. Each fire unit consisted of one launch control post, two yellow river directors, and 18 missiles on launchers. There would be 8 reserve missiles at each site. However, I think Gough actually means 18 sites, not fire units, as the maths just does not work otherwise.

18 x 20 = 360
36 x 20 = 720 and that would give your 700 launchers, give or take

How your numbers tie with Gough I just dont know at this stage.
 

JFC Fuller

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To add another number to this healthy mix, 60 Buccaneer were to be upgraded in late 80s as near dedicated AShM carriers to serve until 1995-2000-beyond.
 

zen

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RN wanted real F-4K, not paper swingers.
Nope they wanted a valid fighter for defence of the Fleet, after the Soviets show new anti-ship missiles, circa 1963. Range and speed of the weapons make SeaVixen far too marginal even with AEW. Upgrades might have changed that, but the basic platform was too slow.
Hence they look at Crusader but prefer Phantom (two engines, better Attack capability) and why they don't wait for anything else.
P1154 would look like an expensive Crusader. They had it forced on them.

F4K is sold as quick and cheap. They had no idea of the delays and peformance drop that could occure, though on straight line speed, the cockpit transparency is thermaly limited such as Mach 2 flight requires the piece to be replaced. That comes from an USN F4 pilot, they were'nt permitted to go over Mach 1.8 unless it was either time to get a new windscreen anyway or they where in a hot war.
Spey was necessary for the Ark Royal and Eagle, USN F4s did cross deck but where highly weight limited, especialy for launch. CVA-01 with longer stroke catapults would've not needed them and could manage with J79 powered versions.
Do remeber how much the costs of F4K increased from sales blurb, to final product.
 

JFC Fuller

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zen said:
Nope they wanted a valid fighter for defence of the Fleet, after the Soviets show new anti-ship missiles, circa 1963. Range and speed of the weapons make SeaVixen far too marginal even with AEW. Upgrades might have changed that, but the basic platform was too slow.
Hence they look at Crusader but prefer Phantom (two engines, better Attack capability) and why they don't wait for anything else.
P1154 would look like an expensive Crusader. They had it forced on them.

F4K is sold as quick and cheap. They had no idea of the delays and peformance drop that could occure, though on straight line speed, the cockpit transparency is thermaly limited such as Mach 2 flight requires the piece to be replaced. That comes from an USN F4 pilot, they were'nt permitted to go over Mach 1.8 unless it was either time to get a new windscreen anyway or they where in a hot war.
Spey was necessary for the Ark Royal and Eagle, USN F4s did cross deck but where highly weight limited, especialy for launch. CVA-01 with longer stroke catapults would've not needed them and could manage with J79 powered versions.
Do remeber how much the costs of F4K increased from sales blurb, to final product.
What were they going to wait for? After P.1154 the only things that were going to be in service before 1970 were a Crusader or a Phantom- swing-wing Vickers designs look great as line drawings but in 1964 (when the Phantom FG1 was ordered), even if they had been funded were probably still ten years away from flying in anything near an operation configuration. As for Phantom cost overruns, sure it went over estimate- do you really think Vickers swing-wing would not have?

The Phantom was not "forced" on the RN, it was simply the best option available. Unless you have a source saying it was forced?
 

zen

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What were they going to wait for?
Suddenly your calling them competant?
They were still thinking of OR.346 in '62. AW.406 choice was 'interim'. Get something now because the wonderweapon is going to be a long time comming.

As for Phantom cost overruns, sure it went over estimate- do you really think Vickers swing-wing would not have?
Where did I say it would be any cheaper?
Where did I say it would be any sooner?

On this thread perhaps? If its here quote me.

The Phantom was not "forced" on the RN, it was simply the best option available. Unless you have a source saying it was forced?
Forced as in circumstances, not government meddling as with P1154.
The forcing is because the threat is shifting to something that needs something like an F4 or at minimum an F8 to deal with.
And yes, at the time it (F4) looked the best option and seemed cheaper, and faster to service. The fact its costs overran to more than double price per plane and began delivery in the year after it was supposed to finnish delivery is just a sign or how even the mighty US aviation industry can get it wrong. As we might say the UK MoD as well.

In retrospect one might argue the F8 'Twosader' was the simpler case for fitting a Spey and a faster to service product. This in no small part due to a twin seater turbofan powered Crusader having flown and being touted around by Vought.
Thus France rather liked the idea of the thing, though in the end stuck with single seaters.

All that said the F4 seems a more prescient and shrewd choice in terms of its capability, keeping it relevent deep into the future (when the decision was made).

Hmmm....let me see now, is'nt this the Alternative History and Future Speculation section?
 

JFC Fuller

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zen said:
Suddenly your calling them competant?
In selecting the F-4, most certainly.

On this thread perhaps? If its here quote me.
A warm drink and an early night may be appropriate.

Forced as in circumstances, not government meddling as with P1154.
By which definition every aircraft ever procured was forced, aircraft are not designed or acquired in vacuums, they are the product of circumstance- just with variances in weightings to particular circumstances.
 

zen

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In selecting the F-4, most certainly.
Well for the RN it may well have made sense, but then the requirements to operate it helped to end the FAA's possesion of it as it did the RN of its CATOBAR carrier fleet.

Looks more like a lucky strike if we take it in the round.

A warm drink and an early night may be appropriate.
I looked for where on this thread I might have suggested any of the VG 'paper planes' (since we're now using derogatory language towards the UK aviation firms and their efforts) and strangely enough I can't find an instance of it.
Rather insulting to come up with such a glib remark, sealordlawrence, but then if your making stuff up about what other people said on a thread and thinking thats not insulting I guess you would'nt think such a remark is either.

By which definition every aircraft ever procured was forced, aircraft are not designed or acquired in vacuums, they are the product of circumstance- just with variances in weightings to particular circumstances.
I fail to see why we're going over this ground again sealordlawrence. The facts are the Soviets display new anti-ship missiles in 1963 and the conclusion is that Vixen won't 'cut it'. RN have no time to wait for 'paper planes', even if they had the money (which they did'nt). So they have to choose between the F8 and F4. They choose the F4 and price and capability is why.
That it turns out late and overbudget is also fact, and from a rough figure of 1.2 million per plane at the start, they end up paying about 3 million per plane. Had they known that and the eventual cost to the CV fleet, they might have chosen the F8

P1154 was not what the RN wanted, especialy if it detracted from what they thought they ought to be focusing on.
What about this do you so disagree with?
Do you now have perhaps, records from the periode that contradict this?

In a similar timeframe, the RAN are looking at F4s from a modernised Essex and the French are selecting the F8. If memory serves the RCN drop the fighters from Bonnie in this periode too.
 

JFC Fuller

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zen said:
Well for the RN it may well have made sense, but then the requirements to operate it helped to end the FAA's possesion of it as it did the RN of its CATOBAR carrier fleet.
No more so than any other factor. Th RN would have lost its CATOBAR fleet with or without the F-4.

Rather insulting to come up with such a glib remark, sealordlawrence,
Only if one is remarkably easily offended.

I fail to see why we're going over this ground again sealordlawrence. The facts are the Soviets display new anti-ship missiles in 1963 and the conclusion is that Vixen won't 'cut it'. RN have no time to wait for 'paper planes', even if they had the money (which they did'nt). So they have to choose between the F8 and F4. They choose the F4 and price and capability is why.
That it turns out late and overbudget is also fact, and from a rough figure of 1.2 million per plane at the start, they end up paying about 3 million per plane. Had they known that and the eventual cost to the CV fleet, they might have chosen the F8

P1154 was not what the RN wanted, especialy if it detracted from what they thought they ought to be focusing on.
What about this do you so disagree with?
Do you now have perhaps, records from the periode that contradict this?

In a similar timeframe, the RAN are looking at F4s from a modernised Essex and the French are selecting the F8. If memory serves the RCN drop the fighters from Bonnie in this periode too.
And? How does this make it any more or less forced than any other aircraft ever acquired by the RN/RAF?

And how does it justify shouting "No" at ken? You have yet to provide a single source suggesting that the RN did not want the F4.
 

zen

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Its a factor, just one of many. Denying its a factor is no better than overblowing its importance.

Your still insulting, is it deliberate, or are you just blundering on?

Where did I say the RN did'nt want the F4?
 

alertken

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(My recollection from those days. I am very old). When Medway (first) died, RR got on with (to be) Spey. RR had a junior reputation, in MoS, on reheat than did Bristol, ASM, which was a factor in MoS imposing B.Ol on (to be) TSR.2 and encouraging formation of BSEL. By mid-1959 RR had only modest forward business. They came up with reheated Spey-in-F-4B. CVA-01 was not then budgeted, so FAA's future would be on Ark/Eagle/Victorious. During the time of MSP-munificence, US had funded Gannets, Sea Hawks, Sea Venoms, but had not pressed various Demons on UK. We had duplicated USN types, buying Vixens and Scimitars, in part because of perceived operational issues on our mini-tops (A-4s were fine on RAN/RCN Majestics; ho-hum). RN/RR failed to interest Macmillan's Govt., 1959/60, in Spey/F-4B. RR pressed on and sold Spey civilly.

18/2/1963: V/STOL's the thing. P.1154(RN) and (RAF). RR tried hard to displace BS.100 with deflected thrust/reheated Twin Spey. The window in which Govt. succeeded in imposing P.1154(RN) was brief -18/2/63 - 27/2/64, when Minister Thorneycroft bought 52 F-4K. RN's reasons for pressing to exit P.1154 vary per the book you read. RN's reason for putting Spey in were, not to win political support for work for RR, but was the bolter case off our minitops: the assessment was that J79 was not grunty enough. RR committed to 0.5sec. slam reheat. Though CVA-01 was by then budgetted, (-02/-03 never were) E/R/V would bridge into early-1970s.

Standard F-8, presumably, was assumed to have practical issues (yes, I know FN resolved that, but somewhat later). So it was F-4K or nothing. The criticism of higher cost/lower performance, F-4K vs. F-4B is without merit if you accept the bolter issue. There was never the slightest interest in MoA in pursuing (ex-VS) swingers for RN: low volume, grotesque cost/time, distraction to the already drifting effort on TSR.2.
 

JFC Fuller

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zen said:
Its a factor, just one of many. Denying its a factor is no better than overblowing its importance.
Nobody is denying anything was a factor- but the carriers would have gone whether they were flying Phantoms or not.

Your still insulting, is it deliberate, or are you just blundering on?
Neither.

Where did I say the RN did'nt want the F4?
Right here:

zen said:
RN wanted real F-4K, not paper swingers.
Nope
 

harrier

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Standard F-8, presumably, was assumed to have practical issues (yes, I know FN resolved that, but somewhat later). So it was F-4K or nothing.
I seem to recall seeing in the P.1154 files at Kew mention of a possible Spey F-8 to meet 'bolter' needs. I doubt it went far (and only one engine vs. two, so RR would prefer the Spey F-4!).

What was clear was that there were many discussions of possible Sea Vixen replacements. P.1154 was never liked by the RN (leadership or procurement) from April 1962, when Eric 'Winkle' Brown showed up at Hawkers and made it clear he was only looking at the P.1154 as his masters bade him to. And it is clear that the RN leadership played along with Thorneycroft as the potential 'saving' of a joint service P.1154 would help pay for CVA.01.

The main issue was that there was not money for a new carrier force and the development of an all-new RN fighter. If there had been money the RN would have liked a VG, 'super fighter' as in OR.346. They looked at ways to still get this, e.g. develop a 'Mark 3' Sea Vixen to hold the line until 1972 when a new VG aircraft could enter service, but the need to keep some existing carriers meant they needed something able to fly off them.

This was where the P.1154 had a case - it could operate from all the carriers. But once the Spey promised the F-4 could do this, and the P.1154RN was already a different plane from the P.1154RAF so development costs looked high, the F-4 choice made sense, and so was ordered.

As with the Aussie Avon Sabre, putting an existing engine into an existing airframe sounded cheap but turned out not to be, but that was not understood when the decision was made.
 

zen

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sealordlawrence your rather reading a lot into a snappy retort to a sloppy statement.

RN wanted a fleet defence fighter, with limited attack capability and drew that up in AW.406, they wanted it as soon as they could arrange. Their eyes and prejudices where on the earlier OR.346 with a preference for four hours CAP among other things.
So in the round they wanted OR.346, could'nt afford it and had to settle for something less, wrote AW.406 and in the selection, had P1154 forced on them. All the time their eyes where on longterm VG machines that were clearly beyond the timescales or budgets they had. Settling for the F4 instead. Not a bad outcome from their perspective at the time.

Ergo the error in the statement the RN wanted the F4K, they wanted it at a specific time and in a periode prior to that they did'nt, they wanted something better.
The statement ought to be "they wanted F4K in 1964 and after", what I've read suggests they wanted the VG machine in '63, because they knew what the F4 imposed, a limitation to just Eagle and Ark Royal, upgraded to handle them.

If they could have had something better they would have opted for it. We should probably be thankfull in that such an alternative never happend as we'd would've seen them looking at the F111B.
 

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zen said:
sealordlawrence your rather reading a lot into a snappy retort to a sloppy statement.
To qoute yourself "Nope", but based on your rather detailed self justification I would suggest that you are. Perhaps ken should also have stated that the RN did not want the Phantom in 1940? or 2010? or 1805?
 

Thorvic

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Well by 1964 the RN already knew the USN was looking at a Phantom replacement in the form of bigger and heavier TFX, so The Phantom was only seen as a stop gap to take them into the 70's.

Although regarding AW406 people are forgetting that after the Phantom was ordered the UK was still looking at the AFVG for both the FAA & RAF, with an eye to replacing both the Phantom & Buccaneer with a smaller more advanced aircraft. It doesn't show up that well in history as with the cancellation of CVA-01 and later the Carrier Fleet together with the RAF looking to make up the loss of the TSR2 in the strike role it tends to be rolled in as a forefather of the Tornado, but it was primarily a Naval Interceptor to begin with !.
 
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