Panavia Tornado Without the UK

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Simon, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Simon Thread Killer Extraordinaire

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    Assuming that's correct would you happen to remember what the total development cost for the Tornado IDS was? I'm assuming that the UK shouldered the whole cost of the ADV since it was almost solely for them.

    Edit: A quick search has the RAF Historical Society's Birth of Tornado giving a cost of £345 million with the UK's share of that being £166 million according to a government statement in late 1974 shortly after the first prototype had flown.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  2. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    Ok refinement due to rereading .

    UKVG
    P.51
    Options on powerplants either RB.153 (versions already hardware) or BS.143 based off M.45H.
    In theory the original RB.172 (scaled down to make the Adour).

    Over a million pressure points in the tunnels , plus engineering rig tests.
    Main effort to fund is wing pivot for suitable fatigue life.
    Inboard swivelling wing hardpoints rated for drop tanks or triple rack of 1,000lb bombs.
    8 hardpoints on the fusilage for 1,000lb bomb each total
    Two 30mm ADEN

    An alternative with a fixed wing was available as a comparison study P.53
     
  3. MatthewB Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps without British funds and input the entire Panavia program collapses. France goes with something from Dassault, Germany likely buys more F-4s and maybe F-111. Can SAAB exploit this collapse to sell some Draken and Viggens?
     
  4. Riain Well-Known Member

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    No, the US forbade export of the engine despite it being a common commercial airline turbofan.
     
  5. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    Another reason why we should have stuck with the Medway.
     
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  6. MatthewB Well-Known Member

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    Sell it without the engine, customers can fit their own or buy from US.
     
  7. Not James Stockdale Those Protestants... Up to no good, as usual

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    Interdiction is a specific tactical ground attack role. The Tornado IDS (Interdictor/Strike) variant, along with other aircraft like the F-111, was designed for that role. The ADV was an interceptor, because it was designed to destroy enemy bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. You seem to be confusing the interceptor role of planes like the Tornado ADV and the MiG-31 with the air superiority role of aircraft like the F-15 and F-22, which are designed to destroy enemy fighters and thus require dogfighting maneuverability.
     
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  8. Riain Well-Known Member

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    That's not how fighter design works, the engine is as integral as the wings and the plane is closely designed around it; it can't be easily substituted.

    The US export ban means that a customer can't buy the plane and engine separately, because it can't buy the engine.
     
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  9. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

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    I was wrong. It wasn't 48%, it was 47.6%.

    I was thinking of the following quote from page 219 of the British Aircraft Corporation by Charles Gardner
    This is a précis of the preceding two and a half pages.

    On 14th May 1969 Dennis Healey announced in the House of Commons that the UK, West Germany and Italy had signed a Memorandum of Understanding and the hope was that the Dutch government would sign in a month or two. The countries co-operating were likely to require over 1,000 aircraft, of which the RAF stood to take about a third. He also said that it was proposed to introduce it in 1976.

    He then went to an unofficial press conference. He didn't say what the total R&D bill was estimated to be. However, he did say that the UK's share would be about £150 million, Germany's nearly £200 million, the Italian share would be less than that of the UK, and the Dutch very much smaller. The unit cost per aircraft would be a bit over £1.5 million for the RAF two-seater version (at this stage a single-seater and a two-seater were both proposed). If the Netherlands came in, the total initial production would be some 1,285 aircraft as follows:
    600 Germany
    385 UK
    200 Italy
    100 Netherlands
    By March 1970 the single-seat Panavia 100 had been abandoned and the numbers had been adjusted to 900 aircraft as follows:
    400 Germany
    400 RAF
    100 Italy
    Projected R&D cost had fallen from £410 million to £320 million, as there were now only 7 prototypes instead of 13 and 6 pre-production aircraft instead of 30. The initial shareholding of Panavia had been 49% Germany, 34% UK and 17% Italy. The new division became 42.5% Germany, 42.5% UK and 15% Italy.

    As the project progressed there were further changes in procurement as inflation stepped up the costs, and the "split" eventually became:
    385 UK (220 strike and 165 ADV)
    324 Germany (all strike)
    212 Luftwaffe
    112 Marineflieger​
    100 Italy (standard strike and air superiority)​
    This gives a total of 809 aircraft, 805 of them "new", and four being modified from pre-series aircraft.
     
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  10. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

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    Yes, my apologies. Being a member of the mud-moving Tonka fraternity, the long nose was always sneered at. I was confusing interceptor with air superiority, you are quite correct.
     
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  11. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Its amazing how many plans and decisions there were in Britain between 1965 and 1970 concerning RAF strike aircraft alone.

    Cancel TSR2
    Buy F111k
    Buy F4M (replaced 5 Canberra sqns)
    Buy Harrier
    Buy AFVG
    Cancel F111k
    Change AFVG to UKVG
    Buy/transfer Buccaneer
    Change UKVG to MRCA
    Buy Jaguar

    Its like no plans or decision lasted for more than a few months.
     
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  12. Stenz Don't judge the past by the standards of today... Monthly Donor

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    A lot of that blame can be put on financial and political instability. Mainly financial.

    In an ideal world (IMHO) the list above would have stopped just before point 1 and the TSR2 would have gone into production.

    But which Major Power doesn’t have its own version of this kind of list? The post-War period was incredibly difficult to plan for and the rapidly advancing levels of technology made almost every design look obsolete far too quickly for cash-conscious politicians.

    FWIW, the list could continue as well. I believe getting rid of Harrier was too early. But that’s another discussion entirely.
     
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  13. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    I'd say it's worse....
    Low level pathfinder V-Bomber
    Supersonic recce-strike
    Type 556 FAW
    Thin Wing Javelin FAW
    F155 Delta III FAW
    TSR.2 a.k.a OR.339
    F111K
    OR.346
    NMBR.3 P1154 FGR
    Common MPA
    AFVG to UKVG

    It really goes back to '45 and certainly after Korea.

    In hindsight it was too much and unsustainable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  14. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I'd blame political before financial, British governments wanted a world role and it had a sustainable amount of popular support. But they wanted it on the cheap, in addition Labour wanted to stave off devaluation so tried to have its cake and eat it too.

    I agree with the TSR2, it could not have been more expensive than the path that was taken.

    While all countries have aborted military projects few have gone in a great, world power and come out the other side a permanently diminished and damaged regional power. The French recovered from the F2-F3 by building the F1 and the USN recovered from the F111B-VFAX with the F14 and A7E but the British didn't recover, they dropped down the rungs while not receiving any commensurate rewards.

    There were important fleet ownership problems with the RAF Harrier fleet, including that there were a bunch of configurations that couldn't be easily standardized. I agree that it was the right direction for the RAF but was wrong for the RN and Britain as a whole.
     
  15. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Sure a lot of projects were cancelled, but until the mid 60s the British were still able to field modern weapons despite these cancellations. In the early 60s the rot set in permanently with the stupid P1154 and AW681, but it was the hit parade of constant changes in the late 60s that ruined hope of recovery.
     
  16. b0ned0me Well-Known Member

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    Doesn’t this apply to the other services as well? It seems like a spiral of ever decreasing competence towards the current nadir of FRES and QE/F-35 bumbling. So things are supposed to be better AND cheaper AND quicker to field AND develop new wizard new technology AND create jobs. Then they usually get cancelled after much time and money have been spent to find this is unrealistic.
     
  17. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    While I think the P1154 is overly ambitious, and would suffer some operational constraints.
    It's not stupid.
    The obsession with V/STOL is quite rational and both sides became very interested in just such capabilities.

    Hindsight suggests STOL would do.
     
  18. Riain Well-Known Member

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    The RN copped it bad in the 60s, worse than the RAF, the CVA01 saga is the perfect example.

    The big thing is that trying to do expensive things on the cheap; things costs what they cost, buy cheap buy twice.
     
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  19. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Nobody else bought VTOL aircraft and it wasn't a problem in 50 years of warfare, although perhaps in WW3 it would be seen as valuable.

    However the big problem with the P1154 was political; trying to stuff 2 entirely different capabilities into one airframe that was set out in a NBMR that no other country pursued with similar enthusiasm. Adding insult to injury is the pursuit of the VTOL transport aircraft to support the VTOL fighter that nobody bought.
     
  20. Peg Leg Pom Well-Known Member

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    Usually cancelled after spending three or four times the original development budget and just as it becomes practical produce the things.
     
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