Panavia Tornado Without the UK

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

  1. merlin Well-Known Member

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    Britain to a certain extent went for multi-national projects - both to share costs, over a longer production run than could be justified for one country, and to inhibit interference from politicians. Makes it more difficult to cancel, if there's another Government to consider. I believe even the Eurofighter Typhoon's future was called into doubt at one point - because of the apparent end of the Cold War - 't's designed to combat Soviet incursions into our airspace, and we don't have that problem any more - we don't need it!'i
     
  2. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    Certainly international projects are harder to cancel. Even if over budget and late. At least they get there.

    The classic 'get something' was the Jaguar. A backdoor solution to the need for MRI.
     
  3. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I like the Jaguar, it appear to be the perfect solution to the Hunter replacement and apart from VTOL does everything the P1154 was expected to do for the RAF.
     
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  4. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I keep thinking about how the turn to US aircraft in 1965 (Phantom, F111k, C130) might have left the British uniquely vulnerable to the devaluation of the pound, which Labour resisted until November 1967. It was done in the hope of reducing costs but I can't help but think that if Britain was buying it's own planes in 1967 devaluation wouldn't have been so damaging.
     
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  5. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    I would say you're right there.
    It shot the developers fox....again for a number of systems, especially AI radar and AAMs.
     
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  6. Nicola Well-Known Member

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    it iis quite clear you do not understand the role ofthe Interdictor war plane

    the ADV is quite clearly an interceptor

    the IDS is quite clearly an interdictor especially when carrying a large tac nuke as the Tornado Gr 1 originally did
     
  7. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Trying to untangle this mess, in particular the period between the cancellation of the TSR2 and the joining of the MRCA. The 3 types that entered service in the immediate aftermath: Phantom (7 sqns) Harrier (4 sqns) and Buccaneer (4 sqns) replaced 8 sqns of Canberra and 7 sqns of Hunters with 1 indirect replacement of Vulcan, Victor and Bloodhound SAM sqn.
     
  8. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    It is a mess.
    It starts with the desire to replace the Canberra with this all singing and dancing GOR.339.
    Scale of numbers being large.
    Progressively as costs rise, the numbers get scaled back and ultimately it seems to dissolve into 50 F111K for EoS and a larger number of AFVG for European Theatre.
    The P1154 MRI numbers closely matches the later Jaguar.
    Interim we get 70 F4K (late and to the FAA's surprise) or about just under half the desired P1154/Jaguar figure.

    Harrier never could deliver MRI.
    CAS yes and BAI and at a stretch SRI.
    Fine as a Hunter GR successor and more flexible in basing than anything else.
    At least it was cleared to deliver tactical WE.177
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  9. Riain Well-Known Member

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    The TSR2 wasn't simply a replacement for Canberra, it was also a replacement for the V-Bombers but this isn't often talked about. The Buccaneer replaced a Victor and a Vulcan sqn which had been stood down and earmarked for the TSR2/F111K, and the Vulcan squadrons lingered in service longer than expected waiting for the Tornado to replace them. If the 193 TSR2 or thereabouts had been built they would have replaced the 6 Canberra squadrons that ITOL were replaced by the Phantom/Buccaneer/Harrier and the 9 V-bomber squadrons that ITOL were replaced by Buccaneer/Tornado. I don't think the TSR2 is all-singing/all-dancing, it was an increment better than the likes for the A5C Vigilante, Mirage IV and F4C that the RAAF looed at in late 1963, as it should be for a plane then expected to be in service in 1969, but otherwise an perfectly conventional aircraft.

    As for the Hunter replacement, there was the NMBR3a and 3b; the 3b was a subsonic VTOL attack aircraft perfectly suited to the already developed P1127. The 3a was all-singing/all-dancing supersonic VTOL fighter. The Harrier could have been put forward as NBMR3b and put into RAAF service to replace the 6 Hunter squadrons that IOTL were replaced by Phantom/Harrier/Buccaneer. With the TSR2 able to do so much the low performance of the Harrier will be accepted as the cost of such flexibility. This would leave the Jaguar as a trainer, or perhaps to wither on the vine like the AFVG and the Hawk still be developed.

    This leaves the RN Sea Vixen replacement, which on the face of it looks pretty bad. However with the arrival into service of the Jaguar in about 1974 Phantoms which had replaced Canberras and Hunters were re-roled and replaced Lightnings in the Air to Air role. Ideally someone with clout in the MoD could make the decision that the Sea Vixen replacement in the late 60s could also be the Lightning replacement of the early 70s. This would equal about 10 squadrons, and could be akin to OTL Phantom.

    This would leave Britain with a High programme - TSR2, low programme - P1127, shared programmes F4K/M and Jaguar.
     
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  10. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    It became so yes and frankly it was a bad move and incapable of the range.
    It's twin range spec of 600nm and 1000nm were defined when France was still viewed as providing airfields for the role.
     
  11. Riain Well-Known Member

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    From late 1962 the strategic role of the V-bombers was to be replaced by the Polaris SLBM, and the V force was to undertake tactical nuclear strike from 1969 or so. It's in these longer range tactical strike roles, beyond the range of the Canberra, that the TSR2 would replace the V-bombers rather than their strategic role.

    RAFG had bases in Germany in the early 60s, they could conduct shuttle bombing or forward basing from these bases in the event of war.

    I don't have a problem with the performance goals set for the TSR2.
     

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  12. Simon Thread Killer Extraordinaire

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    I have vague memories of reading either on here or elsewhere online of a study being done, or possibly even an experimental aircraft model built, on Jaguar with relaxed stability/fly-by-wire. It would of course move it even further away from the cheap and cheerful Hunter replacement than they already did by adding NAVWASS. I've always had a soft spot for the Jaguar as well.
     
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  13. Riain Well-Known Member

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    Yes a Jaguar was fitted with a big wing and FBW.

    I don't think any Hunter replacement was going to be cheap and cheerful, the P1154-RAF had an extensive suite of avionics, nothing like the TSR2 of course but capable of operations at night and in adverse weather.
     
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  14. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

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    The TSR.2 was to replace some of the V-bombers, because some of the V-bombers had replaced some of the Canberras.

    In 1960 Bomber Command had 64 Canberra bombers in 4 squadrons, which were assigned to SACEUR. It was decided to replace them with 24 Valiants in 3 squadrons, which were due to disband, because the Valiants had all-weather capability. The SACEUR assigned Valiants became known as the Tactical Bomber Force (TBF) and I've seen RAF documents which show that the plan was to replace them with TSR.2s on a one-to-one basis.

    In the early 1950s the plan was for 320 V-bombers in 40 squadrons (38 Medium Bomber and 2 Long Range Photographic Reconnaissance) of 8 to be completed in 1958. The size of the Medium Bomber Force (MBF) was constantly reduced. By 1964 the plan was to maintain a MBF of 88 aircraft (72 Vulcan Mk 2 and 16 Victor Mk 2) in 11 squadrons plus 8 Victor Mk 2s in one LRPR squadron until Polaris became operational.

    After that the V-Force was to be reduced to 16 medium bombers in 2 squadrons and 8 LRPR aircraft in one squadron. I don't know what their planned retirement date was in 1964, but the spreadsheets stop at 31st March 1975. I don't have time to check my documents, but from what I remember the 2 MBF squadrons were to be retained to reinforce the overseas commands because they could carry a heavy load of H.E. ordnance, which would be useful for counter-insurgency and in limited wars. IIRC there was a detachment of V-bombers in FEAF which took part in the confrontation with Indonesia. I also half-remember reading a document saying that the plan was to keep 3 V-bomber squadrons in case of a war against China.
     
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  15. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

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    Here's one I did for another thread...

    Plan P March 1964.png
     
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  16. Simon Thread Killer Extraordinaire

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    Doing a quick search it was apparently an experimental aircraft to help with developing Eurofighter – looks as though they added fly-by-wire, added large leading edge strakes, and added weights/moved things about to modify the centre of gravity. IIRC there was a separate proposal floated at some point to fit larger wings to the Jaguar to help with wing loading issues but the more powerful engines was decided to be sufficient. I know that they chose to go with high wing loading in the Jaguar's design in part to help lower gust response since it was meant to operate lower down, but now I'm wondering if fly-by-wire would have allowed for larger wings with the flight control computers being able to smooth out the extra bumpiness.


    Oh agreed, it's all very much comparative. Especially once you start adding in things like NAVWASS or other electronics – if you want the increase in capability you have to pay the increased price.
     
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  17. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

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    My guess is that the Belgians, as well as the Dutch would stay in, but the resulting aircraft wouldn't be the OTL Tornado IDS. I also think that the Danes and Norwegians would join later on, which would effectively turn it into a"Greater Sale of the Century."

    Or the Starfighter replacement group would break up in 1969 and a few years later be reformed in all but name as the Sale of the Century, which ITTL would include German and Italy. The Germans might prefer a twin-engine aircraft, but IOTL the Northrop YF-17 fell out of the competition when the USAF chose the F-16. So, I think it's still the F-16 by default.
     
  18. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    The French had a variant of the F1 offered to replace the Starfighter.

    I seem to recall reading that the Italians had few designs up their sleeves.
     
  19. Zen9 Well-Known Member

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    The logical successor to the Hunter is really the HS.1173 to the supersonic trainer requirement.

    Though the Brough studies B.141 NGTA and the lighter B.146 are very attractive. A shame the B.146 wasn't produced earlier.

    Actually the B.141 would be a good alternative to the MRCA VG effort.
     
  20. NOMISYRRUC He isn't the best, but he is in the top one...

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    Yes, they did. IIRC it had the M53 engine instead of the Atar.

    I found a WGBH documentary about the Sale of the Century on the internet. According to that the serious contenders were:
    • Mirage F-1E
    • SAAB Viggen
    • General Dynamics YF-16
    • Northrop YF-17
    It was reduced to one of the American aircraft because the Belgians and Dutch wouldn't buy Swedish, while the Danes and Norwegians were reluctant to buy French. Furthermore, the all of them would only buy an American aircraft if it was used by the USAF, which eliminated the YF-17 after it lost the LWF competition. It also helped that General Dynamics' offer was more attractive in terms of price and work-share than Dassault's and SAAB's.

    The Belgians were the last to decide to buy F-16. Apparently the Walloons wanted the Mirage and the Flemings the F-16. The Belgian Government's decided to by the latter because the American Government promised to buy $30 millions worth of machine guns from FN if they did. That changed the minds of the Walloons because most of the $30 million was spent in their part of Belgium.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019