A series of assumptions: a Britwank on a budget?

Yes, but VC10 allready had about 3x longer range than Trident.

The OTL ones were yes, but both aircraft are considerably different ITTL, both much more efficient in commercial service and the range shortfall of the Medway-Trident isn't so significant as to make the bigger and more expensive VC10 Super 200 a better fit for a militarised maritime version.
 
I find the topic endlessly fascinating, particularly how many of the most damaging decisions were essentially a coin toss that could have easily gone the other way and be fully justified.
Yes, "random shit" is known for having a large impact on history.
Thanks, I enjoyed learning about these stories. The Trident and VC10 were some of the bigger surprises of the exercise, both cut down by stupid state owned airlines despite being on development paths that could have lead to much greater success than OTL.

I thought the VC10 Super 200, which was the only version in production from 1965/66 at 213 seats was too big for the job, being bigger than the 707 and DC8 ITTL. ITTL this size advantage over all other airliners for 4 years meant that it was able to sell over 100 units in contrast to the 22 shorter Super VC10 of OTL so was in much less need of state help.

ITTL the Trident had much more power from 3 Medways and had much more scope to carry more fuel to increase range for a bespoke version for the MR/ASW role.
If needed, it is possible to base tankers, AEW aircraft, maritime patrol aircraft, transports, and/or other aircraft on the same airframe to possibly save costs. So if the VC10 is already used for those roles, it could work, but using only one airframe would reduce the amount of manufacturers that can be propped up (worth it to me, but it may be different to other authors).
 
Thanks, I enjoyed learning about these stories. The Trident and VC10 were some of the bigger surprises of the exercise, both cut down by stupid state owned airlines despite being on development paths that could have lead to much greater success than OTL.

I thought the VC10 Super 200, which was the only version in production from 1965/66 at 213 seats was too big for the job, being bigger than the 707 and DC8 ITTL. ITTL this size advantage over all other airliners for 4 years meant that it was able to sell over 100 units in contrast to the 22 shorter Super VC10 of OTL so was in much less need of state help.

ITTL the Trident had much more power from 3 Medways and had much more scope to carry more fuel to increase range for a bespoke version for the MR/ASW role.

The bolded above is something you will never hear a maintenance person who has to DEAL with how the engineers crammed the needed gear into the space complain about BTW :) Having far to much experience crawling around the AWACS (707) airframe the ONE thing every tech could agree on when asked about the next generation platform was "make it bigger"!

Randy
 
The bolded above is something you will never hear a maintenance person who has to DEAL with how the engineers crammed the needed gear into the space complain about BTW :) Having far to much experience crawling around the AWACS (707) airframe the ONE thing every tech could agree on when asked about the next generation platform was "make it bigger"!

Randy

The VC10 was 50% longer, had 4 larger engines and weighed triple the Trident, and I'd guess cost considerably more. Dunno if the British taxpayer would bear this extra cost to save your skun knuckles.
 
IIRC that's what @Riain did. However, a boiler is a boiler regardless of its heat source and will still need to be re-lined several times during the life of the TTL CVA.01.

I just asked an ex-Navy colleague of mine about the boiler re-linings, he confirmed it was replacement of bricks and ceramic tiles in the 'firebox' and once they were replaced they threw everything out of whack and had to be re-calibrated. He also said that the steam was at such high pressure it would cut you in half.
 
I just asked an ex-Navy colleague of mine about the boiler re-linings, he confirmed it was replacement of bricks and ceramic tiles in the 'firebox' and once they were replaced they threw everything out of whack and had to be re-calibrated. He also said that the steam was at such high pressure it would cut you in half.
Yep, that’s about right. And anything over 1000 psi can cut off whatever passes in front of it. I have a buddy who can’t count to 10 for the same reason.
 
A question: When Britain selected C-160 Transall, couldn't they made a trade with France, so that France buys say 15 Belfasts from UK in return? Quid pro quo...
 
With the final delivery of Lightnings to Kuwait the Lightning production line went cold. For an aircraft that begrudgingly survived the 1957 White Paper as an interim aircraft because it was too far to cancel it had turned into a remarkable success. Production for the RAF amounted to 20 Mk1, 56 Mk1A, 66 Mk2, 253 Mk3 (5)(6) and 20 Mk4 and 22 Mk5 two seat trainers. New production for export amounted to 15+3 for South Africa(8), 34+6 for Saudi Arabia and 12+2 for Kuwait, all to Mk3 standard for a grand total of 456 single seater and 55 two seaters.(9) In addition ‘Lightning Diplomacy’ had delivered 10+2 Mk2 to Saudi Arabia and 12+2 Mk2 to Jordan(10). Yet the Lightning story was not finished, as the gradual rundown of the RAF meant that the almost 40 Mk2s leaving RAF service could be offered for export on the used weapons market like the Hunter was so successfully doing.
I think you were too conservative on the number of Lightnings that were exported. In OTL South Africa bought Mirage IIIs and was one of that aircraft's first customers. The other early Mirage III export sales were to Australia, Israel and Switzerland. I can easily see all three nations buying the Lightning ITTL.

I think the RAAF would like the extra reliability that the multi-role Lightning's extra engine had and the cost of building and operating a twin-engine aircraft would not be prohibitive. In common with the Australian Mirage IIIs the RAAF's Lightnings would have been built under licence by GAF. However, unlike OTL the engines would also be built in Australia because they built Avons under licence for their Canberras and Sabres. It might help the logistics of FEAF in the 1960s because the RAAF would have had 2 Lightning squadrons at Butterworth instead of 2 Mirage III squadrons and No. 20 Squadron, RAF at Tengah would have Lightnings instead of Hunters.

The Israelis bought large quantities of Centurion tanks from the UK in the first half of the 1960s. I can see them buying 77 multi-role Lightnings instead of the 77 Mirage IIIs that they bought IOTL and I think they'd place a follow-on order for 50 dedicated ground attack versions instead of the 50 Mirage 5s that they bought IOTL. In that case the TTL IAI Nesher and Kfir might be developments of the Lightning with Avons or even Speys instead of the Mirage III/5 family. However, that means that the IAI Daggers bought by Argentina and used against the British in the Falklands War would have been developments of the Lightning instead of the Mirage III/5.

I think selling Lightnings to the Swiss is what I believe Association Football fans call "An open goal" or a "Tap-in" because they bought large numbers of British jet fighters in the 1950s. However, a large number of them would be built under licence in Switzerland because most of the Swiss Mirages were IOTL. Furthermore, every silver lining has a cloud because the Swiss-built Lightnings are likely to have had the same cost overruns that the Swiss-built Mirges had IOTL.
  1. ITOL a Hunter FGA9 squadron was based at Aden
  2. IOTL no fighter-bomber Lightnings were acquired by the RAF, fighter only new build production was 28 F1A, 44 F2, 70 F3, 16 F3A, 39 F6.
  3. IOTL The RAF converted 138 Hunter F.6 into FGA9 and FR10s between 1960-63
  4. ITOL South Africa did not buy the Lightning
  5. IOTL the total was 263 single and 52 two seaters, plus many upgrade rebuilds
  6. IOTL the fighters at Aden were Hunter FGA9s and not transferred to Jordan
A bit of "positive nit picking". The figures that I have are 161 Hunter F.6 were converted to Mk 9 and 10 standard. That is 128 FGA Mk 9 and 33 FR Mk 10. There were also 24 F Mk 6 that were rebuilt to F Mk 6A standard by fitting the same Avon 207 engine as the Mk 9 & 10 and provision for big tanks.

Therefore, you've under counted the number of Lightings built for the RAF by as few as 23 and as many as 47. That increases the number of single-seat Lightnings built ITTL from 456 to 479 or 503.

Furthermore, you've increased the number of single-seat Lightnings considerably, but the number of two-seaters is the same as OTL. I think more two-seaters will be needed as conversion trainers for the pilots destined for the fighter-ground-attack and fighter-reconnaissance squadrons that have Lightnings instead of Hunters. I think you'll need another 40 two-seat Lightnings which will increase the number built ITTL from 55 to 95.

Re the Hunters at Aden IOTL.

Air Forces Middle East (AFME) had 36 Hunter FGA Mk 9 in 3 squadrons of 12 (Nos. 8, 43 and 208). AFAIK one squadron was at Eastleigh in Kenya until the withdrawal of British forces from that country in 1964 when it was transferred to Muharraq in Bahrain and remained there until British forces were withdrawn from the Persian Gulf in 1971. AFAIK the other 2 squadrons were normally at Khormaskar, Aden until the withdrawal of British forces from Aden in 1967 when one of them was disbanded and the other was transferred to Muharraq in Bahrain where it remained until the withdrawal of British forces from the Persian Gulf in 1971.

Rawlings on Page 262 of The History of the Royal Air Force wrote that the 2 Hunter squadrons at Muharraq from 1967 to 1971 were No. 8 (with 8 FGA Mk 9 and 4 FR Mk 10) and No. 208 (with 12 FGA Mk 9). He wrote that the last squadron to leave was No. 8; RAF Sharjah closed on 14th December 1971 and Muharraq a day later.

However, according to Flying Units of the RAF by Alan Lake:
  • No. 8 Squadron disbanded at Muharraq, Bahrain on 21st December 1967. (It was reformed on 1st January 1972 at Kinloss on AEW Shackletons.)
  • No. 43 Squadron disbanded at Khormaskar, Aden on 7th November 1967. (It was reformed on 1st September 1969 at Leuchars by re-designating the Phantom Conversion Flight. It was equipped with the F-4K Phantoms that became available in 1968 forllowing the cancellation of Eagle's Phantomisation.)
  • No. 208 Squadron disbanded at Muharraq Bahrain on 10th September 1971. (It was reformed on 1st July 1974 at Honnington on Buccaneers which it operated in the maritime strike role.)
I think Lake is wrong about No. 8 squadron. This is because of what Rawlings wrote. Also the RAF Museum website says that No. 8 squadron was disbanded at the end of 1971 and that it was the last operational Hunter FGA Mk 9 Squadron. Finally, Lee in Flight From the Middle East also says that the last 8 Hunters of No. 8 Squadron left Muharraq in December 1971.

There was also No. 1417 (Fighter Reconnaissance) Flight with 4 Hunter FR Mk 10, which was formed at Khormaskar, Aden on 1st March 1963 by re-designating the Reconnaissance Flight of No. 8 Squadron and disbanded at Muharraq, Bahrain on 8th September 1963 and absorbed into No. 8 Squadron.
 
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Relevant. It's interesting to see how close already the British were to a pseudo-Challenger 1. The amount of empty space at the bottom of some tanks begs a lot of questions though, it's as if they used torsion bars instead of hydro! The weird sloped sides and V-shaped bottom seem to play some role here. The driver's visibility and cutouts in the armor are very problematic.
 
A question: When Britain selected C-160 Transall, couldn't they made a trade with France, so that France buys say 15 Belfasts from UK in return? Quid pro quo...

It's something I had thought about, but IOTL France's initial Transall buy was 50 to Germany's 110 which in my mind made it difficult to justify them getting a batch of big, strategic airlifters.
 
I think you were too conservative on the number of Lightnings that were exported. In OTL South Africa bought Mirage IIIs and was one of that aircraft's first customers. The other early Mirage III export sales were to Australia, Israel and Switzerland. I can easily see all three nations buying the Lightning ITTL.

I think the RAAF would like the extra reliability that the multi-role Lightning's extra engine had and the cost of building and operating a twin-engine aircraft would not be prohibitive. In common with the Australian Mirage IIIs the RAAF's Lightnings would have been built under licence by GAF. However, unlike OTL the engines would also be built in Australia because they built Avons under licence for their Canberras and Sabres. It might help the logistics of FEAF in the 1960s because the RAAF would have had 2 Lightning squadrons at Butterworth instead of 2 Mirage III squadrons and No. 20 Squadron, RAF at Tengah would have Lightnings instead of Hunters.

The Israelis bought large quantities of Centurion tanks from the UK in the first half of the 1960s. I can see them buying 77 multi-role Lightnings instead of the 77 Mirage IIIs that they bought IOTL and I think they'd place a follow-on order for 50 dedicated ground attack versions instead of the 50 Mirage 5s that they bought IOTL. In that case the TTL IAI Nesher and Kfir might be developments of the Lightning with Avons or even Speys instead of the Mirage III/5 family. However, that means that the IAI Daggers bought by Argentina and used against the British in the Falklands War would have been developments of the Lightning instead of the Mirage III/5.

I think selling Lightnings to the Swiss is what I believe Association Football fans call "An open goal" or a "Tap-in" because they bought large numbers of British jet fighters in the 1950s. However, a large number of them would be built under licence in Switzerland because most of the Swiss Mirages were IOTL. Furthermore, every silver lining has a cloud because the Swiss-built Lightnings are likely to have had the same cost overruns that the Swiss-built Mirges had IOTL.

A bit of "positive nit picking". The figures that I have are 161 Hunter F.6 were converted to Mk 9 and 10 standard. That is 128 FGA Mk 9 and 33 FR Mk 10. There were also 24 F Mk 6 that were rebuilt to F Mk 6A standard by fitting the same Avon 207 engine as the Mk 9 & 10 and provision for big tanks.

Therefore, you've under counted the number of Lightings built for the RAF by as few as 23 and as many as 47. That increases the number of single-seat Lightnings built ITTL from 456 to 479 or 503.

Furthermore, you've increased the number of single-seat Lightnings considerably, but the number of two-seaters is the same as OTL. I think more two-seaters will be needed as conversion trainers for the pilots destined for the fighter-ground-attack and fighter-reconnaissance squadrons that have Lightnings instead of Hunters. I think you'll need another 40 two-seat Lightnings which will increase the number built ITTL from 55 to 95.

Re the Hunters at Aden IOTL.

Air Forces Middle East (AFME) had 36 Hunter FGA Mk 9 in 3 squadrons of 12 (Nos. 8, 43 and 208). AFAIK one squadron was at Eastleigh in Kenya until the withdrawal of British forces from that country in 1964 when it was transferred to Muharraq in Bahrain and remained there until British forces were withdrawn from the Persian Gulf in 1971. AFAIK the other 2 squadrons were normally at Khormaskar, Aden until the withdrawal of British forces from Aden in 1967 when one of them was disbanded and the other was transferred to Muharraq in Bahrain where it remained until the withdrawal of British forces from the Persian Gulf in 1971.

Rawlings on Page 262 of The History of the Royal Air Force wrote that the 2 Hunter squadrons at Muharraq from 1967 to 1971 were No. 8 (with 8 FGA Mk 9 and 4 FR Mk 10) and No. 208 (with 12 FGA Mk 9). He wrote that the last squadron to leave was No. 8; RAF Sharjah closed on 14th December 1971 and Muharraq a day later.

However, according to Flying Units of the RAF by Alan Lake:
  • No. 8 Squadron disbanded at Muharraq, Bahrain on 21st December 1967. (It was reformed on 1st January 1972 at Kinloss on AEW Shackletons.)
  • No. 43 Squadron disbanded at Khormaskar, Aden on 7th November 1967. (It was reformed on 1st September 1969 at Leuchars by re-designating the Phantom Conversion Flight. It was equipped with the F-4K Phantoms that became available in 1968 forllowing the cancellation of Eagle's Phantomisation.)
  • No. 208 Squadron disbanded at Muharraq Bahrain on 10th September 1971. (It was reformed on 1st July 1974 at Honnington on Buccaneers which it operated in the maritime strike role.)
I think Lake is wrong about No. 8 squadron. This is because of what Rawlings wrote. Also the RAF Museum website says that No. 8 squadron was disbanded at the end of 1971 and that it was the last operational Hunter FGA Mk 9 Squadron. Finally, Lee in Flight From the Middle East also says that the last 8 Hunters of No. 8 Squadron left Muharraq in December 1971.

There was also No. 1417 (Fighter Reconnaissance) Flight with 4 Hunter FR Mk 10, which was formed at Khormaskar, Aden on 1st March 1963 by re-designating the Reconnaissance Flight of No. 8 Squadron and disbanded at Muharraq, Bahrain on 8th September 1963 and absorbed into No. 8 Squadron.

Yes, I should have doubled the number of 2 seat trainers, but not doing a 1 for 1 Hunter F6-Lightning FGA/FR build can be explained by the extra cost of the Lightning.

The RAAF evaluated the Lightning F2 in 1959-61, at the same time as the F104G, F4 and F5A and selected the multi-role Mirage IIIE. Once it was selected there was some political to and fro with Roll Royce Australia using their political clout to get the Avon installed in the Mirage. I don't know where the Lightning F2 would fit into this, it would be more expensive but with the Avon RR's political clout would be behind the Lightning.
 
If you can shoehorn in some sort of Commonwealth defense and trade agreement giving members preferential pricing and industrial benefits then I think it could make a RAAF Lightning buy a much more likely proposition.
 
He also said that the steam was at such high pressure it would cut you in half.
The real fun is when you start dealing with steam that is saturated and therefore invisible, unlike the wet steam you see with kettles. There are stories of boilers suffering damage and stokers moving about the engineering space holding a broom out in front of them so that any invisible leaks would cut through the head or handle rather than them.
 
It's something I had thought about, but IOTL France's initial Transall buy was 50 to Germany's 110 which in my mind made it difficult to justify them getting a batch of big, strategic airlifters.
Au contraire, France has out of area operations (Africa mostly), while Germany does not.

Also, Britain can say to the French, we have no reason to buy your aircraft instead of Hercules (OK, RR make's the engined, but 100 more engines won't neither save or break the RR), unless you buy something from us too. Or C-160 was produced in the UK?
 
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The RAAF evaluated the Lightning F2 in 1959-61, at the same time as the F104G, F4 and F5A and selected the multi-role Mirage IIIE. Once it was selected there was some political to and fro with Roll Royce Australia using their political clout to get the Avon installed in the Mirage. I don't know where the Lightning F2 would fit into this, it would be more expensive but with the Avon RR's political clout would be behind the Lightning.
On the subject of the Australian Mirages... Paul Jackson in Modern Combat Aircraft 23 Mirage wrote that the Australians evaluated a Mirage IIIA prototype in June, 1960 and they evaluated a Mirage III fitted with a RB.146 Avon Mk 67. This aircraft made its first flight on 13th February 1961. Its engine produced 12,000lb of dry thrust and 16,000lb with afterburning which was considerably more that the 9,430lb dry thrust and 12,230 with reheat produced by the Atar 09C. The book says that no major surgery was involved in fitting the new engine and with its greater power yet lower specific fuel consumption than the Atar 09C the Avon appeared to be the logical choice for all export Mirages. However, the Australians opted for the standard model as the performance if its rival was deemed insufficient to warrant its extra expense.

30 Mirage IIIO and 10 Mirage IIID were ordered in October 1960. The 2 Mirage IIIOs were built by Dassault and the first one was handed over on 9th April 1963. The next 2 were assembled by Commonwealth from major components supplied by Dassault. The first of these flew on 16th November 1963 and was taken on charge on 20th December 1963. The next 6 had French fuselages and a further 5 featured a small number of critical components from Dassault. Thereafter, production was from local resources. Follow-up orders for 32 and 38 aircraft increased the total of single-seat Mirages built for the RAAF to 100 and the last aircraft was delivered to the RAAF in December 1968. All 10 Mirage IIID were built by GAF. The first aircraft flew on 6th October 1966 and was delivered on 10th November 1966. Australian production of the Mirage came to a temporary halt in July 1967 when the 10th two-seater was delivered. However a follow-up contract for 6 Mirage IIID was placed in October 1970 and they were completed in 1972.

According to an article about the RNZAF written by William Green that I have used as a source for other recent posts New Zealand was looking for an aircraft to replace its Canberras in 1966. The Phantom and Australian-built Mirage IIIs were amongst the aircraft considered. However, nothing happened. They went on to buy 14 Skyhawks in 1968 that were delivered in 1970.

Is it true that the Australians wanted to send the Mirages to Vietnam and the French used a clause in the licencing agreement to prevent them from doing that? If that's true, do you think that the British Government would have allowed the RAAF to send its Lightnings to Vietnam had they built them under licence instead of the Mirage? I think they would because the Australian-built Canberras of No. 2 Squadron, RAAF served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1971.
 
All weapon sales after about 1960 have become increasingly governed by more and more complex "end user agreements". The Australians were caught twice - once by the Swedes with the 84mm Recoilless Rifle, Carl Gustav and the French and the Mirage III. In both cases the original builders of the equipment didn't agree with the US and Australians' involvement in the second Indochina war. They forbade them being used their. The Swedes by refusing to supply ammunition, which the Australians at this stage didn't manufacture and the French by refusing spare parts necessary for the safe operation of the aircraft.

The Mirage IIIO was specifically optimised as an interceptor when purchased and later rebuilt to become a fighter-bomber. It would not have been much use in Vietnam because it's range was relatively short and it didn't have inflight refueling fitted. It wouldn't have been able to operate over North Vietnam and it's operations over the south would have been limited.

The 84mm Carl Gustav was missed by the Australian infantry. However, instead of it, they decided dogs would be more useful and the anti-tank platoon of each battalion had dogs substituted for the recoilless rifles. They proved particularly useful during the COIN operations undertake by the ATF (Australian Task Force) in South Vietnam and are remembered with fondness by all who came into contact with them. Some anti-tank platoons also used US 90mm Recoilless Rifles instead of the Carl Gustav as well.

The Mirage with the Avon was found to be appreciably more expensive than the Mirage fitted with the Atar engine. The Australian Government chose the Atar over the Avon purely on cost and maintenance grounds. Dassault wanted the Avon engine, preferring it because of it's increased power but the Australian decision put paid to it's adoption.
 
Yes, I should have doubled the number of 2 seat trainers, but not doing a 1 for 1 Hunter F6-Lightning FGA/FR build can be explained by the extra cost of the Lightning.
However, as you've used the C-word...

Fair enough about not substituting substituting the Lightnings one-to-one. However, I think you could have got away with it because I think economies of scale would have reduced the unit costs of building the aircraft. 286 airworthy Lightnings of all types (including prototypes and pre-production aircraft but not static test articles) were built IOTL. If another 160 single-seaters are built (instead of the 128 Hunter FGA Mk 9 and 33 FR Mk 10) and 40 extra two-seat trainers are built for the RAF that increases the total to 486.

Furthermore, if that does reduce the unit cost it would make the multi-role Lightning more competitive on the export market. However, it would still cost more to operate than the Hunters of OTL on account of having 2 engines so double the fuel bill and AIUI the Lightning was very difficult to maintain.

If the extra cost of the multi-role Lightning is the why the Australians, Israelis and Swiss still buy the Mirage III ITTL the South Africans would still have bought the Mirage III too. Therefore, I think the it would have been "all or nothing" for the multi-role Lightning on the export market ITTL. That is it takes all the early Mirage III export orders of OTL (that is Australia, Israel South Africa and Switzerland) or none of them.

However, its you thread, not mine.
 
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The Mirage with the Avon was found to be appreciably more expensive than the Mirage fitted with the Atar engine. The Australian Government chose the Atar over the Avon purely on cost and maintenance grounds. Dassault wanted the Avon engine, preferring it because of it's increased power but the Australian decision put paid to it's adoption.
Yes.
The book says that ... the Avon appeared to be the logical choice for all export Mirages. However, the Australians opted for the standard model as the performance if its rival was deemed insufficient to warrant its extra expense.
 
Au contraire, France has out of area operations (Africa mostly), while Germany does not.

Also, Britain can say to the French, we have no reason to buy your aircraft instead of Hercules (OK, RR make's the engined, but 100 more engines won't neither save or break the RR), unless you buy something from us too. Or C-160 was produced in the UK?

The out of area commitments is why I considered France as a Belfast user, but with only 50 Transalls on order there didn't seem to be enough scope to introduce a bunch of extra strategic transports into the mix. In any case I mainly wanted to focus on Britain rather than export customers.
 
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