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  1. #176
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EUFighter View Post
    And?

    The point is MP-UAV are a much more cost effective way of providing maritime ISR, cheaper to procure, cheaper to operate, no need for expensive traditional pilot training etc. I just think that the option should have been explored.
    they are not multi role, they can only do ISTAR. They are cheaper to procure and operate but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still expensive. UAVs of that size still require certified pilots. There are also I believe, limitations on them for an airspace regulation point of view.

    The non-MPA tasks is the RFP are nice to haves, if they are core needs then there would be no reason why a tactical transport (or two) along side 3-4 MP-UAV could not be acquired. The cost should not be so much different as the cost of the kit to transform a platform such as the C-295 into a MPA is close to that of a MP-UAV.
    no they aren’t (they are roles assigned by Government) they may the CASA a multi-role more versatile and better VFM aircraft.

    Just thought the option should have been explored, Israel is replacing its Sea Scan MPAs with MP versions of their Heron UAV which will have a 45hr patrol endurance!
    who says it wasn’t ?

  2. #177
    C/S EUFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    they are not multi role, they can only do ISTAR. They are cheaper to procure and operate but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still expensive. UAVs of that size still require certified pilots.
    Everything is expensive depending on the point you view it from. Comparing a UAV to manned platform the UAV is the cheapest option. The airframe is smaller so cost less to buy, maintain and operate. There is no need for complex life support equipment and human comfort facilities etc. If VFM is the criteria then a UAV/dedicated transport will be the winner, even if it means two system. If the Don cannot handle it, then the UAV can be a fully NS asset.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    There are also I believe, limitations on them for an airspace regulation point of view.
    That was true but to a large extent the UAV industry has reacted to this and the latest offerings are for operation in controlled airspace. For the majority of our patrol area the UAV would be much much lower than civil traffic.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    no they aren’t (they are roles assigned by Government) they may the CASA a multi-role more versatile and better VFM aircraft.
    Lets be honest, the additional roles are because the current platform was able to perform these along side its primary roles. If we has a KingAir I doubt the RFP would require 6t or 20 troops as carrying capacity. Just like the Cessna/PC12NG, the requirement is tailored to an existing pre-selected solution. But having a split between UAV and manned platform would allow a better optimisation of both platforms. The UAV would perform the long range high endurance low level ISR missions while a dedicated manned transport would provide the rest of the requirements. You would still have a ramp to drop rafts, you still can do Medevac, you can still transport 20+ troops etc.

    Multi-roles does not always mean better VFM, "Jack of all trades/master of none!".

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  4. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Because they can’t do anything except surveillance (and possibly engagement)
    Though I would broaden "surveillance" into maritime ISR and at the higher end electronic air warfare capabilities, but I am imaging that you are pointing out the inability of generic RPAS not able to deploy a UNI-PAC II once it has located a vessel in distress.... though once located by the RPAS you can either call in a utility transport like a CASA and get the loadmaster to biff one out the back or if a light payload capable Rotary UAV is deployed off the OPV's once it is within tasking range it can transit to the distressed vessel and deploy a UNI-PAC II or similar.

    Realistically it is more prudent to consider maritime RPAS platforms as capability enablers that extend the prime manned platform rather than a silver bullet solution.

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  6. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anzac View Post
    ...Realistically it is more prudent to consider maritime RPAS platforms as capability enablers that extend the prime manned platform rather than a silver bullet solution.
    This.

    RPAS are a piece in the jigsaw, they don't replace everything.

    Interestingly, it takes more people to put an MQ-9 Reaper in the air than it does a Sentinel, Sentry or RIVET JOINT - cheaper to buy they may be, and long endurance they are, bit cheap to make operational they aren't.

    RPAS also don't do judgement calls 400 miles out into the Atlantic in a near hurricane force storm - people do that, and people who are there and can feel the pressures on the flight controls make much better ones than people watching it on TV.

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  8. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    This.

    RPAS are a piece in the jigsaw, they don't replace everything.
    That is right they extend the capability output beyond the reach of the primary manned platform. They are the finder and the manned platform is the keeper.

    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    Interestingly, it takes more people to put an MQ-9 Reaper in the air than it does a Sentinel, Sentry or RIVET JOINT - cheaper to buy they may be, and long endurance they are, bit cheap to make operational they aren't.
    Essentially because there are more shifts involved due to the flight endurance. Lets be honest here talking MQ-9's or god forbid Triton is a bit alternative universe with respect to Irelands conops when a Selex ES Falco or IAI Heron is more pragmatic and budget friendly. There is a quantum of difference between fairly modest RPAS platforms like Falco with limits to their datalink range and capacity compared to premium US kit that is WGS routed.

    Have to say whoever spun the meme about keeping Rivet Joint in the air being cheaper than a MQ-9 ... yeah right .. I'ii just leave it there.

    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    RPAS also don't do judgement calls 400 miles out into the Atlantic in a near hurricane force storm - people do that, and people who are there and can feel the pressures on the flight controls make much better ones than people watching it on TV.
    I wouldn't disagree with the people analogy though I would point out that it would be very marginal for an air component commander to authorise a SAR tasking using a crewed MPA asset during and into such conditions anyway.

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