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Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

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Gary
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Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by Gary » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:56 am

Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail AEW Mk1 aircraft purchase “terrible portent for the UK Armed Forces” say experts.

The Human Security Centre say they are alarmed by the apparent decision to reduce the planned fleet of UK Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) aircraft from five to three.

Senior Fellow and Security and Defence team leader, Dr Rowan Allport, said:

“When Russian aircraft are probing UK and NATO air defences on a regular basis, one of the primary conventional wartime threat to the British mainland comes from low-flying cruise missiles which are difficult to detect using ground-based radar, and the complexity of the air environment facing deployed UK forces is greater than ever, the decision to reduce the purchase of E-7 Wedgetail aircraft below the already bare-bones planned fleet of five is very difficult to justify. Arguments that these platforms are vulnerable to modern long-range air defence missiles and low-observation fighters have merit, but the choice right now is either an adequate fleet of traditional airborne early warning and control aircraft or accepting a significant capability gap until more robust uncrewed systems of a type that are not yet in service anywhere in the world become available. The proposed cuts also set a terrible portent for the UK Armed Forces regarding the wider outcome of the current Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. There is no route to a Global Britain if we are unable to even provide adequate radar coverage over the North Sea.”

Senior Fellow Simon Schofield added:

“The decision to reduce the number of E-7 Wedgetails raises serious questions as to whether the UK will be able to maintain its NATO commitments. The proposed cut also ignores the critical role such aircraft have in generating situational awareness and providing air asset coordination in peacetime and during less intense conflicts – the latter including the ongoing effort against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. It is vital that the MoD reconsider this decision.”
https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/cut-of- ... -aircraft/

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by ColintheCaterpillar » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:19 am

I suspect someone has looked at the project, then asked why we need 5 when we manage and RJ fleet of 3 and a Sentry fleet of 3.

When your current fleets give the appearance of working with that number, it’ll be hard to argue with a professional bean-counter.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by reaper493 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:33 am

At the moment, it seems there is only 1 active E3 at any one time.
103 hasn't flown since December 19, 106 hasnt flown in September either.
So I guess if we are replacing 1 active E3 with 3 active E7s thats a win right?

Would think the E7 would have a much higher serviceability rate as well.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by welshandy » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:12 am

And it continues.
F35 possible reduction in order.
Challenger Main Battle tank cut back or scrapped altogether.
Navy not enough Ships to protect our Carriers.
Surprised they have not tried to do the same to the P8.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by ColintheCaterpillar » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:25 am

reaper493 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 9:33 am
At the moment, it seems there is only 1 active E3 at any one time.
103 hasn't flown since December 19, 106 hasnt flown in September either.
So I guess if we are replacing 1 active E3 with 3 active E7s thats a win right?

Would think the E7 would have a much higher serviceability rate as well.
There were two active during the summer. I guess it comes down the servicing schedules etc, and sometimes a bit of overlap “in the shed”.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by Vulcan74 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:46 am

Now there's a surprize not!!

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by reaper493 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:47 am

There was only one week in August where both 101 and 106 flew.

When 101 was on TDY in the Med early Sept 106 didn't move.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by Agent K » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:14 am

It would be almost be realistic to cut AEW/AWACS from RAF capability and join the NATO AWACS team instead.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by ColintheCaterpillar » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:28 am

reaper493 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 10:47 am
There was only one week in August where both 101 and 106 flew.

When 101 was on TDY in the Med early Sept 106 didn't move.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t serviceable. Just maybe wasn’t tasked. :)

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by Vulcan74 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:29 am

If they want to save more money then, why don't they scrap plans for a new E-7 complex on the eastern side of the airfield & use the alpha hangar instead!!

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by ColintheCaterpillar » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:30 am

Agent K wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:14 am
It would be almost be realistic to cut AEW/AWACS from RAF capability and join the NATO AWACS team instead.
Not sure that’d be a good idea in the long term. NATO’s fleet is older than the RAF’s and there’d be a lot of political ramifications to deal with which probably makes it unrealistic.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by ColintheCaterpillar » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:32 am

Vulcan74 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:29 am
If they want to save more money then, why don't they scrap plans for a new E-7 complex on the eastern side of the airfield & use the alpha hangar instead!!
The new complex is a 21st century facility for multiple ISTAR types.

Alpha isn’t. :)

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by Agent K » Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:55 am

ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:30 am
Agent K wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:14 am
It would be almost be realistic to cut AEW/AWACS from RAF capability and join the NATO AWACS team instead.
Not sure that’d be a good idea in the long term. NATO’s fleet is older than the RAF’s and there’d be a lot of political ramifications to deal with which probably makes it unrealistic.
Agreed, it was said slightly tongue in cheek but I'm almost at the state where I feel the military should say to the government (Cummings) that no we can't do Syria, no we can't do our own AWACS, Mali, Eastern Europe unless you fund us appropriately. It's a death by a thousand cuts that has gone on for decades.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by ColintheCaterpillar » Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:02 pm

Agent K wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:55 am
ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:30 am
Agent K wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:14 am
It would be almost be realistic to cut AEW/AWACS from RAF capability and join the NATO AWACS team instead.
Not sure that’d be a good idea in the long term. NATO’s fleet is older than the RAF’s and there’d be a lot of political ramifications to deal with which probably makes it unrealistic.
Agreed, it was said slightly tongue in cheek but I'm almost at the state where I feel the military should say to the government (Cummings) that no we can't do Syria, no we can't do our own AWACS, Mali, Eastern Europe unless you fund us appropriately. It's a death by a thousand cuts that has gone on for decades.
I think the alternative from Cummings could be worse!

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by TonyO » Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:47 pm

ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:30 am
Agent K wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:14 am
It would be almost be realistic to cut AEW/AWACS from RAF capability and join the NATO AWACS team instead.
Not sure that’d be a good idea in the long term. NATO’s fleet is older than the RAF’s and there’d be a lot of political ramifications to deal with which probably makes it unrealistic.
Our fleet forms part the NATO E-3 Component, the E-3D force was the NATO E-3D component. Fewer Wedgetails means fewer AEW platforms generally in Europe at a time when they are urgently needed.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by Thor » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:37 pm

ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:30 am
NATO’s fleet is older than the RAF’s
In airframe/engine terms, yes. In fit standards, upgrade levels and capability, quite the opposite.

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paulk
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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by paulk » Tue Sep 22, 2020 3:50 pm

The French have managed with a fleet of 4 E3s for a very long time. In reality the RAF have probably had a fleet of between 2-3 aircraft for some time and their capabilities are nowhere near that of most other E3 operators.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by f-4 » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:14 pm

TonyO wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:47 pm
ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:30 am
Agent K wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:14 am
It would be almost be realistic to cut AEW/AWACS from RAF capability and join the NATO AWACS team instead.
Not sure that’d be a good idea in the long term. NATO’s fleet is older than the RAF’s and there’d be a lot of political ramifications to deal with which probably makes it unrealistic.
Our fleet forms part the NATO E-3 Component, the E-3D force was the NATO E-3D component. Fewer Wedgetails means fewer AEW platforms generally in Europe at a time when they are urgently needed.
Since when did we care about Europe, eh Tony!

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by Richard B » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:25 pm

Are the likes of the F35 reliant on these like the Typhoon. Also the Navy.

Will be pushed to maintain a mission covering the Navy task force. Plus battle field and cover aircraft cover in a warzone.

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Re: Cuts to the RAF’s E-7 Wedgetail Fleet now only 3?

Post by TonyO » Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:25 pm

f-4 wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 4:14 pm
TonyO wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 2:47 pm
ColintheCaterpillar wrote:
Tue Sep 22, 2020 11:30 am


Not sure that’d be a good idea in the long term. NATO’s fleet is older than the RAF’s and there’d be a lot of political ramifications to deal with which probably makes it unrealistic.
Our fleet forms part the NATO E-3 Component, the E-3D force was the NATO E-3D component. Fewer Wedgetails means fewer AEW platforms generally in Europe at a time when they are urgently needed.
Since when did we care about Europe, eh Tony!
Increasingly true, sadly. Not just Wedgetails being salami-sliced, I am increasingly hearing.

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