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What if: 2007 UK Military Expansion


Rod

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I think our government's response to military expansion in that region would be high-tech, self-funding and stealthy.

 

So be prepared to see British speed cameras being deployed to Iran soon.

 

 

 

:)

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Actually it's called Bulldog. Which is a bit of an improvement on its old name, FV432 (which sounds like a bad sci-fi movie).

 

IIRC, back in the 50s FV432 was originally to have been called 'Trojan', but this conflicted with the (then) car or motorcycle company of the same name, so the name was dropped. Annoyingly, on the MoD's own website they keep calling it 'AFV432' - I don't think there's anyone left on the team old enough to remember FV numbers.

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May well have been a super VC10 on reflection. I DO recall a diagram of something hung under a BAC111. Possibly skybolt might just have fit.

 

IIRC, lots of BAC-111s were retired because they didn't meet new noise regs & it wasn't thought worth re-certificating them with hushkits or new engines. But they still had loads of airframe hours, because the 111 was over engineered. I wonder if there are still any out there? An over-engineered airframe sounds just about right for turning into a missile carrier.

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One was still being used by Boscombe down, I think for radar work, and still might be. Im pretty sure none are still being used anywhere for commercial work sadly. I seem to recall there was a crash of one in Africa that put an end to that.

 

Trubshaw always said BAE were making a massive mistake building the BAE146 and not extending production of the BAC111. History has proven him right. Then again, Trident would have beaten the pants of the Boeing727 if only the design specs had allowed for bigger engines. In cruise it was apparently very efficient for the time.

 

Ah yes, I'd forgotten about that one. It was being used for testing the CAESAR AESA radar for Eurofighter this time last year.

 

I once found myself sitting next to a BAC-111 pilot on a plane, who grumbled about them being retired soon. From what he said, the only thing wrong with them was that they weren't being kept up to date. But he was probably biased.

Edited by swerve
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Ah yes, I'd forgotten about that one. It was being used for testing the CAESAR AESA radar for Eurofighter this time last year.

 

I once found myself sitting next to a BAC-111 pilot on a plane, who grumbled about them being retired soon. From what he said, the only thing wrong with them was that they weren't being kept up to date. But he was probably biased.

 

Still doing groovy stuff...

 

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceN...nWorldFirst.htm

 

Cheers

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Actually, I think the CVFs fall in somewhere between a post SCB Essex and a Midway in terms of displacement.

 

But I also think they are going with civvie hull/construction standards, getting a lot more deck acreage for their diplacement.

 

--Garth

 

Essex (after SCB27C) 43,600 tons (not sure about after SCB125 but probably not much more)

Midway (after SCB110) 63,500 tons

CVF ~70,000+ tons

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Actually it's called Bulldog. Which is a bit of an improvement on its old name, FV432 (which sounds like a bad sci-fi movie).

FV430 series with new Cummins diesel engine and Allison transmission = FV430 Mk3

FV430 Mk3 + extra armour (and various UORs) = Bulldog

 

Officially they're still FV432s, FV434s etc.

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The Bulldog is a step in the right direction. But remember that GKN mooted an APC variant of the warrior in the mid 80s Think how much better the Army would be off if they had bought that.

An APC like version of Warrior might yet happen depending on what comes of ABSV.

 

Bulldog has been universally praised by both the user and the MoD but it is still fundamentally 40+ years old and unlike the US, the UK doesn't put it's vehicles through a RESET programme (overhaul at ABRO could be best described as RESET lite B) )

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...

 

Certainly the noisy engines are what did for the BAC111. I do wonder if something like a high bypass turbofan would have been feasible to hand on it. I do know for some years a VC10 was flying as a testbed for one of the Trent turbofans in place of a pair of speys. All worked great until the engine failed and they overstressed the airframe trying to keep it in the air while they dumped fuel overboard...

...

 

I heard of a move to re-engine them with Tays, but nothing came of it. Rumours say that RRs commitments to supplying rivals got in the way, but I don't know if that's right.

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Alex, I did read somewhere a while ago that there were to be 90 warriors rebuilt as APCs after they came in for rework, but this was dropped in favor of reworking FV432s. Is the plan on going? Good news if it is, but I still wish someone would try and reopen the line and make some 120mm SP mortar carriers, as they mooted back in 1987.

The current plan seems to be to fit a new turret to only part of the Warrior fleet with some of the remainder being converted into 'Armoured Battlegroup Support Vehicles' (ABSV) including APC and and other support related roles. I'm not fully up to speed with this and can't say much more than that.

The production line is (mostly) still there but I can't see any possibility of it being re-opened this side of WWIII. BAES LS has too many other IFV designs to sell to people.

 

There was a documentary on Discovery covering the rework the Abrams go through after returning from the gulf. Quite remarkable, the line even includes a 50 foot tall sandblasting machine to get every last grain of paint off the tank. Something like that for Warrior and FV432 would be highly welcome.

I saw that too - very interesting, if a little full of 'Abrams is god' rhetoric. The part about re-commissioning the weapon system and bore-sighting was laughably over the top (ooh, they have a short range accuracy board - what cutting edge technology! :rolleyes:).

Challenger 2s go through the 'Base Inspection & Repair' programme at ABRO Bovington but that concentrates on finding and replacing the worn-out parts only. The need for similar repair for Warriors at least, has not gone unnoticed but I'm not aware of any plans at the moment.

Edited by AlexW
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Apart from what Stuart said, I doubt we could recruit enough troops to man the number of shiny new toys you could buy with that much money.

 

Naah. What we need is a relatively modest increase, to

1) bring what we have up to spec. Maintenance, troop accomodation, medical services, personal equipment, comms, etc., fully manned units (easier to recruit if troops have better conditions), maybe a little pay boost, especially for lower ranks.

2) fund what we're already supposed to be buying, without having to cut elsewhere or do funny financial tricks like PFI (just buy the bloody tankers!).

3) some gap filling: more helicopters for the army, then maybe a few more C-17s, a few spec ops transports to replace recent losses & their soon-to-give-up-because-overworked old Hercs - C-27J?

4) R&D uncut, so things like CAESAR stop languishing on the back burner.

 

No 100K ton nuclear carriers, no indigenous B-2 clones (though I did once have a fantasy about a modern Vulcan clone, modified to be LO, with nice new efficient turbofans & lighter structure to give it much greater range :lol: ), no doubling of spending.

with slanted v tails in place of the vertical tail, and the exterior covered with the newer radar absorbent coatings....

 

I wonder what would be the best engines for the purpose... Heck, it would probably be "possible" to replace the 4 engines, iirc 16 or 20klbs thrust each? with 2 modern engines. I am not certain that would be the best option though.

 

Hmm, I wonder just what kind of performance increase it would get if it had say 100klbs thrust, and thrust diverting nozzles... It might be able to do without the vertical tail.

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Isn't XH558 just about ready to take to the air again? IIRC the "Vulcan to the Sky" project was supposed to have her ready to be the star attraction at the Falklands 25th Anniversary flypast over London.

 

Might send a nice little message if they were to hang HARMS (edit: er, ALARMS ...) off of one of the wing station pylons, and put a TIALD on the other.

 

--Garth

 

 

I like the Way you think! :lol: Or start the Blue Steel II project...

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with slanted v tails in place of the vertical tail, and the exterior covered with the newer radar absorbent coatings....

 

I wonder what would be the best engines for the purpose... Heck, it would probably be "possible" to replace the 4 engines, iirc 16 or 20klbs thrust each? with 2 modern engines. I am not certain that would be the best option though.

 

Hmm, I wonder just what kind of performance increase it would get if it had say 100klbs thrust, and thrust diverting nozzles... It might be able to do without the vertical tail.

 

Sounds good . . .

 

The engines started out something like 10K lbs, & ended up ca 20K lbs. There are modern engines in the same thrust class, but much more efficient, e.g. BR710/BR715. Perhaps a tweaked version of something like that, & keep the 4 engines? Would be easier to fit in than 2 big fat ones.

 

You'd want to make some changes to the shape (but subtle ones, I hope) to reduce reflections. I'm sure there are inlet changes which would also help, & detailing (look at the edges on the windows! Ugh!).

 

I reckon the bomb load is adequate, but it could do with more range. How much do you think could be achieved by more efficient engines, a lighter structure, & replacing saved weight (& filling saved space - e.g. 3 of the crew) with fuel? Could it be doubled, or is that wildly optimistic?

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Sounds good . . .

 

The engines started out something like 10K lbs, & ended up ca 20K lbs. There are modern engines in the same thrust class, but much more efficient, e.g. BR710/BR715. Perhaps a tweaked version of something like that, & keep the 4 engines? Would be easier to fit in than 2 big fat ones.

 

You'd want to make some changes to the shape (but subtle ones, I hope) to reduce reflections. I'm sure there are inlet changes which would also help, & detailing (look at the edges on the windows! Ugh!).

 

I reckon the bomb load is adequate, but it could do with more range. How much do you think could be achieved by more efficient engines, a lighter structure, & replacing saved weight (& filling saved space - e.g. 3 of the crew) with fuel? Could it be doubled, or is that wildly optimistic?

BR710 is wider than the Olympus, I believe - 48 inches compared to 40-ish. the wings are already thick enough.

 

I would hope that the Olympus 593 would be more efficient than the 301s in the Vulcan - they're later in development and had FADEC control. A little money spent on these might be enough for the range improvement you want, the extra dry thrust would be good for greater MTOW.

 

You'd be looking at totally new build airframes, so a bit of modern materials use and computer modelling analysis would likely reduce the airframe dry weight by a significant amount (in the past, airframes were cleared for greater weights by improvements in analysis techniques rather than changes in construction).

 

As mentioned, tweaks in the basic design should be able to significantly improve LO (which was apparently not bad to begin with), and aerodynamic efficiency should be improved also.

 

If a baseline B.2A was capable of carrying 21 x 1000lb bombs with a range of 4600nm, a modern version would seem likely to have a similar payload for a much greater range.

 

If you could package them, then something like 40 or more SDB would be a very useful payload.

 

David

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Didnt the Victor use RR Conways ? Howsabout re-engining the blighters ?

The Victor looked more sci-fi than the Vulcan, I'll grant. I remember reading somewhere that it came at a price - summat about requiring some oscillating mass to damp out oscillations - or was that one too many pints of old Peculier ?

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in true British style it would be called Trevor. Or something equally uninspiring .

Absolutely ... names like Spitfire, Hurricane, Typhoon, Warrior, Centurion, Chieftan, Scimitar, Sabre, Scorpion, Shielder, Conqueror, Tornado, Lightning, Meteor, Lynx, TROJAN and TITAN are so uninspired and effeminate they make me laugh.

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Much as I love the Vulcan, if you were looking for pure payload ability, you would probably be much better off using a victor as a basis. The high altitude cruise was better as well, though the aircraft wasnt as manoeuvreable or as stealthy. Or as good looking, come to that. :)

 

Yes, the Victor was undoubtedly superior in many ways (& I loved its looks). But not RCS, which was why I picked the Vulcan as the basis for my fantasy bomber. Tweaking the Victor to give it a really low RCS would seem to be rather too much to ask.

 

David - I presume you mean the Olympus 593 without afterburners, & some modifications to optimise it for efficient subsonic rather than supersonic cruise. It could be significantly simpler than the Concordes versions, non? But might be easier to produce a modified version of a commercial engine (lower bypass ratio?) than put it back into production.

 

Doug - quite. What about Vindictive? Or Vengeance? Sound a bit Navy, but hey, we can be inclusive.

Edited by swerve
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Doug - quite. What about Vindictive? Or Vengeance? Sound a bit Navy, but hey, we can be inclusive.

No way, I think we should name them after leaders ... Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama ... now THOSE are names to remember!

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No way, I think we should name them after leaders ... Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama ... now THOSE are names to remember!

 

Thatcher? We're talking British here, remember! :D

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Yes, the Victor was undoubtedly superior in many ways (& I loved its looks). But not RCS, which was why I picked the Vulcan as the basis for my fantasy bomber. Tweaking the Victor to give it a really low RCS would seem to be rather too much to ask.

 

David - I presume you mean the Olympus 593 without afterburners, & some modifications to optimise it for efficient subsonic rather than supersonic cruise. It could be significantly simpler than the Concordes versions, non? But might be easier to produce a modified version of a commercial engine (lower bypass ratio?) than put it back into production.

 

Doug - quite. What about Vindictive? Or Vengeance? Sound a bit Navy, but hey, we can be inclusive.

 

Yes, un-augmented 593s would be the idea. the main improvement from a complexity point of view would be the elimination of the inlet ramps, which are insanely complicated.

 

A few tweaks with more modern materials could make the Olympus quite different - an upgrade rather than a replacement.

 

Victor B.2 had Conways, the B.1 had Sapphires, I think.

 

Conway was 20,000lb thrust class, and Damien Burke's Thunder & Lightnings site suggests that Victor was mildly supersonic in a shallow dive.

 

David

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Absolutely ... names like Spitfire, Hurricane, Typhoon, Warrior, Centurion, Chieftan, Scimitar, Sabre, Scorpion, Shielder, Conqueror, Tornado, Lightning, Meteor, Lynx, TROJAN and TITAN are so uninspired and effeminate they make me laugh.

 

Is there not a brand of condoms called Trojan

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But in the British tradition it would probably be "Iron Lady"...

 

No, in keeping with tradition, it should really begin with V - and I have the perfect name!

 

The VIRAGO !!!!

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