Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 29 Jun 2019, 02:09
by weasel1962
RAF has smallest combat force in history with fewest fighter jets after shrinking by nearly half in just 12 years
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... e-low.html

Claims 102 Typhoon and 17 F-35B available.

Per Airbus military deliveries as at May 2019, 158 of 160 Typhoons delivered comprising 53 Tranche 1, 67 Tranche 2 and 38 Tranche 3A. 50+ are generally in sustainment.
Out of 17 F-35B, 8 are Blk 2B and before, remaining are currently blk 3F.

Squadron list
1 (F) Sqn - Typhoon FGR4 - QRA squadron stood up 2012
II (AC) Sqn - Typhoon FGR4 - QRA squadron stood up 2016
3 (F) Sqn - Typhoon FGR4 - QRA squadron stood up 2006
6 Sqn - Typhoon FGR4 - QRA squadron stood up 2010
IX (B) Sqn - Typhoon FGR4 - stood up 2019
XI (F) Sqn - Typhoon FGR4 - stood up 2007
29 Sqn - Typhoon OCU - stood up 2003
41 Sqn - Typhoon OTE - stood up 2006
17 Sqn - F-35B OTE - converted 2013
617 Sqn - F-35B - converted 2018
207 Sqn - F-35B OCU - stood up 1 Jul 2019

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 30 Jun 2019, 03:57
by weasel1962
RAF should have 35 F-35B by 2022.
https://des.mod.uk/f-35-fleet-17-jet-order/

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2019, 03:51
by weasel1962
6 RAF/RN F-35Bs have been deployed in combat. Originally deployed for training as part of Exercise Lightning Dawn, then alongside Typhoons as part of Operation Shader.

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... al-sorties

Below is the range circle representing the combat radius of F-35B from RAF Akrotiri.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2019, 15:55
by SpudmanWP
Keep in mind that the F-35B's range profile is based on STOVL operations. When they operate from traditional airstrips, their range is significantly more.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2019, 23:31
by quicksilver
SpudmanWP wrote:Keep in mind that the F-35B's range profile is based on STOVL operations. When they operate from traditional airstrips, their range is significantly more.


Hmmm. Help me understand that.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 01 Jul 2019, 23:37
by sprstdlyscottsmn
I honestly have a hard time picturing much savings for take off but landing at "idle" compared to landing at full power I can see getting some gains.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2019, 00:23
by quicksilver
sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:I honestly have a hard time picturing much savings for take off but landing at "idle" compared to landing at full power I can see getting some gains.


My bet is a couple hundred pounds...another 15-20 miles(ish). /2= 8-10 miles of radius.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2019, 00:50
by weasel1962
Making the range circle irrelevant...
https://www.raf.mod.uk/aircraft/voyager/

...and they only need 1, which was deployed, to support both F-35s and Typhoon.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 00:25
by blain
I clicked on this topic for a good laugh. Actually, it's very sad. They just sold off an "extra" C-130J to the Marines. I wonder if there will be a fire sale of F-35s at some point.

I believe they are down to one armored division. When you are down to only one armored division, what's the point? Why have any? Maybe it will pay for a few more hip surgeries for the NHS or maybe patients will only have to wait three months for an MRI instead of 6 months?

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 10 Jul 2019, 02:56
by weasel1962
Its worse when that sole armoured division won't have a full complement of tanks (only 148 to be upgraded under LEP?).
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... parts.html

and its not just the MBT fleet but the vehicle fleet in general as DN reports...
https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... ete-tanks/

On the transport front, the RAF has got 8 C-17s (s/no 171-178), 14 MRTT (6 KC3, 332-335, 337-338, 8 KC2 330-331, 339-343 and 336 configured for VIP with business class seats) and 20 out of 22 A400Ms (s/no 400-421). On C-130s, the RAF's plan is to keep the Hercules C4 (J-30, now 12 active, 1 stored, 2 w/o) and divest the C5s anyways (2 to Bahrain, 1 to Bangladesh, 1 to blue angels, 4 stored, 2 active).

RAF transport sqn
99 sqn - C-17
24 sqn - C130J C4/C5 - converting to A400 Atlas C1
47 sqn - C130J C4/C5
70 sqn - A400 Atlas C1
10 sqn - Voyager
101 sqn - Voyager

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 20 Jul 2019, 16:27
by weasel1962
A400M woes

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/0 ... keep-26bn/

"A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable."

"In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

207 sqn returns to UK with 6 F-35B

https://theaviationist.com/2019/07/17/r ... -markings/

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2019, 02:15
by weasel1962

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2019, 03:13
by weasel1962
RAF/RN inventory per flightglobal's World Air Forces 2019.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 23 Jul 2019, 00:46
by weasel1962
Royal Navy Marines helicopter force faces 'challenging' changes
The Commando Helicopter Force is the wings of the Royal Marines
By Max Channon

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/l ... ce-3122453

The Royal Navy's Commando Helicopter Force - the wings of the Royal Marines - has faced some challenging changes, its commanding officer has said.

The Wildcat and Merlin helicopters - and their crews - are in the process of being transformed into an amphibious operations outfit, after spending a decade in the dry dust of Iraq and Afghanistan.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: "The wings of the Royal Marines have taken a big step towards large-scale operations at sea after two action-packed months in the Baltic.

"Wildcat and Merlin helicopters were vital to the UK’s Baltic Protector deployment, which saw the helicopters spearhead amphibious assaults from the shores of Denmark to Estonia, with Plymouth-based flagship HMS Albion and RFA Argus at the heart of operations.

"After a decade of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and conversion to new helicopters – battlefield Merlins and Wildcats replacing Sea Kings and Lynx respectively – the squadrons have had relatively few opportunities to get to sea… and rarely on such large-scale exercises with so many nations.

"The two-month stint in the Baltic not only helped fliers and engineers get their sea legs back and hone their amphibious skills, but also demonstrated their ability to fight side-by-side with numerous allied forces and operate from bases they’ve never used before.

"The helicopters took part in three major exercises – in Denmark, in the central/eastern Baltic and, finally, in Latvia and Estonia – performing the basics of operating at sea (landing, launching, refueling) through to front-line combat missions (ferrying troops into battle, directing friendly air power, taking out threats)."

"The Wildcat proved that it can scout for ground troops and friendly air power, using its sensors to ‘lase’ targets for the Army’s Apache gunships to attack and support a night raid, dropping troops of 45 Commando behind ‘enemy’ lines in Latvia.

"And in neighbouring Estonia the Wildcats were used to guide HMS Kent’s main gun, shot up ‘enemy’ 4x4 vehicles, and provided key reconnaissance to Royal Marines on the ground of enemy movements, while the Merlin was a workhorse throughout the deployment, moving troops and equipment around and carrying them into ‘battle’ during the major raids."

Detachment commander Major Will Moore said the mission with the UK’s Joint Expeditionary Force task group marked a “successful return to amphibious operations” for the Commando Helicopter Force.

He continued: “Baltic Protector has been an excellent vehicle for Commando Helicopter Force’s air group to continue to refine its amphibious aviation skills and experience. The ingenuity, flexibility and professionalism of both the air group and RFA Argus’ crew has seen us overcome many hurdles to produce the effect required.”

Pilot Lieutenant Richard Burns said Baltic Protector had allowed crews of the new Merlin Mk4 – fully digital cockpit, folding rotor blades/tail for improved operations at sea – to prove the full range of the helicopter’s capabilities “from ‘helicasting’ [dropping Royal Marines into the water] to fast roping and conducting under slung loads to a moving deck.”

The detachment used aviation training/medical ship RFA Argus as its floating base for the deployment – turning the auxiliary into a makeshift aircraft carrier.

That could provide a useful pointer as to how a small detachment of helicopters could support the Royal Marines of tomorrow – the Future Commando Force being shaped for mid-21st-Century operations – and the planned ‘littoral strike ships’ they will use.

“The return to amphibious operations has provided the aircrew with many challenges, however it has shown that we are capable of deploying as an effective tailored air group in this role,” said Lieutenant Dominic Savage of 847 Naval Air Squadron, which flies Wildcats.

The regeneration of Commando Helicopter Force is not yet complete – Merlin Mk4s are still being handed over to replace the older Mk3s – but it is well on track to be fully ready for operations in all environments and scenarios as planned by 2023.

“The transformation with all our new aircraft is really going well,” said Royal Marines Colonel Steve Hussey MBE, Commanding Officer CHF.

“We’re about two thirds of the way through transition, and it’s been quite challenging, but the aircraft coming in are magnificent. Commando Merlin has delivered everything we could have asked for.”

The next major test for the Yeovilton-based force comes in the new year when it conducts its annual winter training in Norway and participates in NATO’s large-scale Cold Response exercise demonstrating how the alliance defends Europe’s northern flank against aggressors; the CHF helicopters are to base themselves on Dutch vessels.

“It will be demanding but an excellent and challenging time and we will rise to the occasion,” Colonel Hussey added.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 24 Jul 2019, 04:27
by weasel1962
RAF seeks hypersonic weapons and propulsions systems

https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... s-systems/

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has announced a £10m contract to develop hypersonic weapons and propulsion systems that would make the RAF the world’s fastest air force.

The systems are set to be integrated with current and future aircraft and would make them capable of flying at more than Mach 5, five times the speed of sound. They are being developed by Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines and BAE Systems under the direction of the Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO).

The plans were revealed by senior RAF officials at the Chief of the Air Staff’s Air & Space Power Conference (ASPC). The RAF wants the systems to be used with 4th, 5th and 6th generation fighters.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) chief of staff for capability and force development Air Vice-Marshal Simon Rochelle said: “In 2030, more than 80% of the NATO ORBAT [Order of Battle] will be made up of 4th Generation aircraft.

“Now, imagine all those aircraft firing thousands of Mach 5 missiles into the fight!”

The hypersonic weaponry will allow ageing 4th generation fighters like the British Aerospace Hawk 200 and Eurofighter Typhoon to keep pace with advanced surface-to-air and air-to-air systems. The weapons will also enhance the capabilities of the RAF’s newly operational F-35B fleet.

Chief of the air staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier said: “These will be designed and tested over the next two years, paving the way for the UK to become a centre of excellence in this technology and contribute to meeting future UK defence needs.”

He added: “This is not an idea, a lot of this technology now exists. What we are doing is providing additional investment and additional focus for that project so that we can deliver a military utility out of it.”

Mach 5, around 4,000 mph, is the lower threshold for hypersonic speeds. The new systems would allow the RAF to outpace other countries’ munitions. The current fastest missile in use is the Indian and Russian made BrahMos which travels at between Mach 2 and Mach 3, or2,200 mph.

Hillier said: “They [Russia and China] are able to move forward in generations of capability much more quickly. If we are going to maintain our competitive advantage, we are going to have to move faster.”

Rolls-Royce director of business development and future programmes Alex Zino said: “Rolls-Royce will work closely with the UK MOD and our partners BAE Systems and Reaction Engines to conduct and coordinate research into high Mach advanced propulsion systems.

“Going forward, this collaboration will allow us to focus on enabling innovative technologies for increased aircraft performance and capability.”

Sharing a joint-statement Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines and BAE Systems said: “By bringing together acknowledged aerospace innovation capability from British companies, Rolls-Royce, Reaction Engines and BAE Systems, critical high Mach propulsion technology elements will be developed over the next 2 years, paving the way for a UK centre of excellence in this technology and contributing to meeting UK MOD future defence needs.

“This work highlights the importance of collaboration with our partners and will allow us to focus on developing innovative technologies for increased aircraft performance and capability.”

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is also looking into hypersonic weaponry, recently awarding a $930m contract to Lockheed Martin to develop the systems. Russia and China are also looking to develop hypersonic systems.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 26 Jul 2019, 01:45
by weasel1962
David Axe's take on how RAF can get 138 F-35s. Strangely logical.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/here’s-how-uk-could-get-its-138-stealth-fighters-69242


Basic premise: 60 F-35Bs in the 4 planned sqns for the CVs. 30 F-35Bs as attrition reserve. Remaining 40 F-35As to replace the Typhoon tranche 1s.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 28 Jul 2019, 15:31
by mixelflick
weasel1962 wrote:A400M woes

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/0 ... keep-26bn/

"A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable."

"In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

207 sqn returns to UK with 6 F-35B

https://theaviationist.com/2019/07/17/r ... -markings/


Damn, that's too bad about the A-400M. Always liked its design, carbon fiber wing and ability so far above and beyond the C-130. All of that doesn't matter though, if it's a hanger queen. I hope the Luftwaffe's experience with it has been better, but it doesn't sound like it.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 17 Oct 2019, 01:09
by weasel1962
Attached is what the UK reported for the UN arms register relating to year 2018 in terms of military holdings.

Summarised below.
20 Tornadoes
140 Typhoons
9 reapers (for armed UAVs)
52 Apache Mk 1s
62 Wildcats
55 Merlins

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2019, 03:45
by boilermaker
mixelflick wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:A400M woes

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/0 ... keep-26bn/

"A recent Defence Select Committee was told that engineering staff at RAF Brize Norton called the aircraft “a dog” and that on occasion only two out of the fleet of 20 aircraft were serviceable."

"In Parliament this week Mark Francois, a former Defence Minister, said: “We have paid £2.6 billion for an aircraft with appalling reliability, bad engines, a virtually broken gearbox, problem propellers, massive vibration problems and an inability to deliver paratroops.”

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

207 sqn returns to UK with 6 F-35B

https://theaviationist.com/2019/07/17/r ... -markings/


Damn, that's too bad about the A-400M. Always liked its design, carbon fiber wing and ability so far above and beyond the C-130. All of that doesn't matter though, if it's a hanger queen. I hope the Luftwaffe's experience with it has been better, but it doesn't sound like it.


Lmao.They should have contracted Russian turbo prop designers at that rate. Their stuff seem pretty reliable and proven.

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2019, 06:49
by weasel1962
RAF received its 160th and final typhoon on 30 Sep 2019.
https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... on-combat/

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2020, 01:01
by weasel1962
216 Squadron to be reformed on 1 April 2020 to operate/test swarming drones.
https://www.airforce-technology.com/new ... ng-drones/

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 23 Jan 2020, 10:38
by weasel1962
617 squadron sending 5 Bees to Red Flag. Will they sting the opposition? Dam, they may.

https://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/f-35-li ... e-9097193/

Re: Royal Air Force orbat

Unread postPosted: 29 Jan 2020, 02:26
by weasel1962
824 sqn (merlins)... Royal Navy's airborne submarine hunters of future get sea legs on HMS Queen Elizabeth as F-35s arrive - Future 824 Naval Air Squadron aircrews usually train on RFA Argus

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/l ... rs-3784966

The Royal Navy's airborne submarine hunters of the future have been earning their sea legs on the £3bn warship they will be tasked with protecting.

Trainee Fleet Air Arm helicopter pilots, weapons experts and engineers from RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall are spending a month aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth in the North Sea to get used to living, working and flying at sea.

And they've had the future flagship flightdeck to themselves until today, when the F-35B Ligntning II jets from RAF 207 Squadron arrived onboard the carrier today from their home at RAF Marham in Norfolk.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: "The Trainees from 824 Naval Air Squadron usually earn their 'sea legs' on aviation training ship RFA Argus – which the RN very useful, but 40 years old, and with a rather cluttered flight deck which can only accommodate three helicopters simultaneously.

"But with the 65,000-tonne new carrier available – she’s conducting her first training in home waters with F-35 Lightning jets embarked off the eastern seaboard of the UK – the Merlin Mk2 fliers from Culdrose are exploiting the Portsmouth-based warship, her cavernous hangar and four-and-a-half-acre flight deck.

"The successful pilots, observers (who are the Merlin’s weapons/sub-hunting specialists and navigators) and aircrewmen (sub-hunting specialists/winch operators) will earn their coveted Wings and go on to operate front-line Merlins from either 814 Squadron (performing general sub-hunting/maritime security duties and supplying frigates with helicopters) or 820 Squadron (permanently assigned to the carriers).

"Either way, they’ll end up safeguarding Queen Elizabeth or her younger sister HMS Prince of Wales: a Type 23 – or in the future Type 26 – frigate will be assigned to the carrier task group

"Students will use all the skills that they have learned so far during their intensive course – giving them real conditions to train in following the many hours of instructions they have already gone through in hi-tech simulators back in Cornwall."

"During their time aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, the fliers will complete deck landings/take offs and perfect similarly vital skills essential to operating a state-of-the-art helicopter at sea: ferrying supplies in giant sacks slung beneath the Merlin and refuelling while hovering.

"They will take part in simulated attacks posed by surface and underwater threats and learn the art of working safely on a busy flight deck simultaneously with fast jets.

"And trainee air engineers and technicians also have their own baptism of fire, learning how to look after a state-of-the-art aircraft in a hangar onboard a pitching, rolling ship."

"The Merlins have had the flight deck all to themselves for the past four days; the F-35s from RAF 207 Squadron – flown and maintained by both RN and air force personnel – are due to fly aboard the carrier today from their home at RAF Marham in Norfolk."

Commander Martin Russell, 824 Squadron’s Commanding Officer, said: “Our students are trained to hunt submarines in the Merlin Mk2, and the culmination of this training is to do this by day and night from a ship.

“To conduct that training in HMS Queen Elizabeth is both an excellent opportunity and an honour. The ship's company of the future flagship have been very welcoming – and we have already achieved a good amount of flying."