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RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Ghost from above » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:55 pm

filmman I think you will find that they do pay something. I came across this which shows Visiting forces pay £15.96 million in 15-16
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/539544/HC413_-_MNDRA_Web.pdf__Amended_.pdf
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby filmman » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:45 pm

With regard to rent and infrastructure costs I was merely quoting from briefing given by the USAF to visiting Senators and Congressmen.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby filmman » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:08 am

With regard to the £15.96 million it said " contributions in aid of visiting forces exempt property". It didn't give further details, and I do not know whether normal RAF bases pay rates. Paid in aid sounds like HMG Departments moving money around to make up for the money not paid by exempted property to local authorities. The fact they are exempt seems to confirm that rent is not being paid.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Agent K » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:34 am

filmman wrote:...With regard to the Rivet Joints did not the USA reduce their fleet by 3, as we boughht 3 "new" ones; I was surprised we did not use new airframes. ......


I don't think so, these airframes were ones from long term staorage and (re)built for the RAF (MoD).

New airframes?, the KC135 hasn't been produced for half a CENTURY or more, so new airframes are not available????!!! if you mean a new type, you just wouldn't do it, for 3 airframes?!, the design, development, certification and operational costs would be hugely prohibitive for very little gain, a crazy idea, especially when a good design and airframe was already available.
Last edited by Agent K on Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Nighthawke » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:38 pm

Or even half a century :whistle:
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Agent K » Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:01 pm

Nighthawke wrote:Or even half a century :whistle:


Good spot and of course I meant half century! given that I visited the Boeing production lines in the mid 80's (30 years ago... and the tooling was long gone even then!) duly corrected...... :thumb:
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby filmman » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:26 pm

Precisely, I know the c 17 has a design life of 100 years but what is it for the KC 135 and derivatives. What is its fatigue life and what about structural spares. Say a seat broke you could machine a new one with computerised machine tools. I understand that our old Nimrod RC equivalents had less electronic kits than airframes and aerials because they were so expensive. They were swapped into the active airframes. At some point RC135s will be scrapped and replaced by possibly a derivative of their new tanker; a smart move would have been to use the RAF order to launch a new programme.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby EGVP » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:41 pm

filmman wrote:Precisely, I know the c 17 has a design life of 100 years but what is it for the KC 135 and derivatives.

It's worth remembering that many KC-135Rs have undergone re-skinning and had new wing spars installed, effectively zeroing their fatigue life.

The Air Force projected that E and R models have lifetime flying hours limits of 36,000 and 39,000 hours, respectively. According to the Air Force, only a few KC-135s would reach these limits before 2040, but at that time some of the aircraft would be about 80 years old. The Air Force estimates that their current fleet of KC-135s have between 12,000 to 14,000 flying hours on them-only 33 percent of the lifetime flying hour limit and no KC-135E's will meet the limit until 2040. Flying hours for the KC-135s averaged about 300 hours per year between 1995 and September 2001. Since then, utilization is averaging about 435 hours per year.

Only six KC-135s would need to be retired by 2040 because they would exceed their airframe life. According to 1996 letter from the defense secretary's office, the planes still had 35 years left in them.

From: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... c-135e.htm

So, you're looking at around 80 years for the KC-135 fleet, assuming they're not replaced beforehand. RC-135s probably somewhat longer, as they've likely been stripped down and rebuilt at least once, and fly less hours and cycles compared to KC-135s.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby markranger » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:12 pm

Yes KC-135s are a bit like Triggers Broom in Fools and Horses.
It's the Original Broom but has had 5 new heads and 3 new Handles. :D
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Thunder » Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:32 pm

The RAF's three RC-135's were all converted KC-135's and have been returned to 'zero' hour status.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby page_verify » Sun Nov 13, 2016 3:09 pm

The KC and RC's biggest issue in the future won't be physical but a lack of audit trail. I still haven't read how the MAA got around that when the RAF aircraft arrived.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Seahornet1 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:24 am

filmman wrote: ...I understand that our old Nimrod RC equivalents had less electronic kits than airframes and aerials because they were so expensive. They were swapped into the active airframes... Fimman


We only had a total of 3 Nimrod R1 airframes - did they really only have (literally!) 1 or 2 sets of electronics to share amongst them...?
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby plmc135 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:34 am

I think you will find that the simple answer to your query about Nimrod R.1's is yes. If memory serves me correctly when XW666 splashed down on an air test from Kinloss they had to take all the equipment out and refit it into what became the replacement XV249.

However as each Nimrod was hand built, not two of them were identical, meaning what fitted on one might not fit on the other. That was one of the big problems they came to realise with the infamous MRA.4 version and the fitting of the wings.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Seahornet1 » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:05 pm

plmc135 wrote:I think you will find that the simple answer to your query about Nimrod R.1's is yes. If memory serves me correctly when XW666 splashed down on an air test from Kinloss they had to take all the equipment out and refit it into what became the replacement XV249...


Not quite the same issue, though. They used kit from one of the three R1s, to fit out a replacement (fourth) airframe. It doesn't show that there were fewer than three sets of gear altogether.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby tm74sqn » Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:56 pm

My memory of the incident is that the R.1 that crashed was on a post-maintenance test flight and that, as part of the maintenance process, the specialist equipment had been removed but not yet re-fitted. Thus it was available for the replacement airframe. Only a small addition to what has already been said, but really proves nothing!
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby filmman » Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:07 am

The specialist electronic gear was very expensive. As one plane was usually in maintenance there was no need for three kits. So the gear was designed for easy removal. Unlike the USA we were short of cash. For instance, the type 42 destroyers were designed for two twin Sea Dart launchers, HM Treasury said no, only one and insisted that the hull was shortened to prevent retro fitting the second. The shortened less efficient hull design increased fuel burn and made its ride through waves worse. End result fatigue cracks across the fore deck, which nearly sunk one ship during the Falklands War.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Snoop 95 » Sat Dec 10, 2016 4:06 pm

RAF Sculthorpe is used extensively by the SOG from Mildenhall as a DZ, but is it technically leased to the Americans? If it is I guess that it will go when they leave Mildenhall, but if not it seems likely to become even more desolate and crumbling.
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby skysearcher » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:02 am

Hi all

Snoop I dont think Sculthorpe is leased to USAF, but maintained by MoD?

Interesting article re mildenhall here http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... inish.aspx
suggests missions slated to be re-based remain at Mildy until 2022 (currently), can anyone corroborate the end date?

Thanks in advance,
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby skysearcher » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:40 am

more.. an interesting piece about LKs current mission here http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArch ... les%20nest
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Re: RAF Mildenhall to close. Lakenheath to get F-35 by 2020

Postby Snoop 95 » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:17 am

Interesting indeed, Skysearcher. I note that the Mildenhall Commander says in the first article, that "nothing irreversible has been done (at Mildenhall)" re the closure, although he does then mention further-on that plans for re-location of the tankers are advanced.
Lakenheath's future still looks bright and it seems that there will be "over 100" jets there; a figure not seen since the days of the F111F (and I am not sure that they had more than 100 even then).
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