Author Topic: M.A.D's 'Alternative Australian Defence Force Order of Battle' Questions please  (Read 29663 times)

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
G'day gents

I don't know if this is the right/best place to have this topic (apologies to admin, if it isn't!), but I've made a start on my 'Alternative Australian Defence Force Order of Battle' (henceforth denoted as 'Alternative ADF ORBAT')

I don't claim to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but its my hope to make this as realistic as possible (in terms of monetary and capability, as far as Australia is concerned!). So if the forum would allow me, I will be leaning on the knowledge, experience, and expertise of forum members for they're inputs please.

The compilation of my our work will be compiled and put up in a chronological dated order in a stand alone post titled 'Alternative ADF ORBAT'!

A few guiding points that I have enshrined in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT', is the ADF/Governments adherence to a non-risk approach to the selection and acquisition of weapons/weapons systems/weapons platforms (My continuous frustration and anger at the 'real world ADF/Governments unabated pathetic Post-WWII history of acquiring/committing to 'off the drawing board' weapons/weapons systems/weapons platforms... M60 GPMG, F-111, Collins Class sub, F-35 JSF...., I think Ive made quite clear and obvious!). So as much as I am happy to have a reasonable hybrid arrangement, I'd prefer my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT' not employing fictitious or drawing-board design proposals.

Geo-politically, I'll keep Australia in the Western sphere of influence (but not as in the pocket of Britain or America, as is the real-world case). So as much as I love Soviet/Russian weapons/weapons systems/weapons platforms, I'll have to forego big-ticket items like MBT, Kirov class battlecruisers and Typhoon SSBN's  ;)       

If I can I would like to start by asking the following first couple of questions:

Armoured Car
Im looking for advice ‘re an armoured car design of the early 1950’s era, for my ‘Alternative ADF ORBAT.’
Its principle role/mission being that of reconnaissance by force, direct fire support, and an anti-armour capability.
I perceive it needing to be wheeled for both endurance and cost effectiveness (both in terms of unit and running costs).
I perceive it having the minimum of a 75-76mm high-medium velocity gun, to perform all three of its principle combat roles/missions effectively, with equal emphasis on its HE and AT capability/performance!
Its armour needs only to resistant to 7.62mm – 12.7mm at best
It needs to have a realistic/sensible operational weight, as it will be the main component of the ADF’s RRF for the following two decades.
It will need good cross-country mobility, and be able to endure the hardships of the Australian outback, jungle/tropics environments.
Its not a necessity to be amphibious, although it would be advantageous.
Im locking forward to your input, suggestion and input.


Diesel Engine
Gents, I'm after a couple good, reliable and proven diesel engines immediately after the Second World War (excluding Soviet designs). Predominantly, I'll need one for tanks, SPH ..... and another smaller/less powerful diesel for the likes of APC's ...... (In particular something to power a tank the size and weight of say...a Centurion and one to power a vehicle the size and weight of say...a M3 Half track  ;D)

M.A.D   
 
« Last Edit: May 06, 2016, 08:00:23 PM by M.A.D »

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Armoured Car

Basically you have a choice of either ex-WWII stock such as the US M8 or Staghound armoured cars.  Alternatively, you have the British/South African Marmon-Harrington series.  Then you have the Australian Rhino armoured car.

From post-war developments you're faced with a choice of the following:

British - Saladin with 76mm gun.
French - Panhard (various models, mounting guns from 20mm up to 75mm)

There are no post-war WWII armoured cars (as in turreted vehicles) from the US.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 11:32:00 AM by Rickshaw »

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
I wonder how you would go having a developed version of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series?
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline apophenia

  • Patterns? What patterns?

The V-8 Meteorite was offered as a diesel. Why not just say that Rolls-Royce created a similar V-12 Meteor diesel adapation?

The only other British V-12 diesel I can think of was the 600 hp Paxman 12TPM ... but its a 58 litre brute! http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/paxeng34.htm#12tp

Greg's mention of the Sd.Kfz. 234 got me thinking German. How about the Daimler-Benz MB507 of 720-850 hp? I don't think DB ever restarted MB507 production but what if captured Schnellboote engines were reverse-engineering in postwar Australia? The MB507 is a little bigger than the Meteor but the Daimler's aluminum block would save weight.

During the war, the US used twinned Detroit Diesel 6-71s - the Model 6046 - in tanks and tank destroyers. Not enough power for the Centurion but would suit your SPH. Then you could use single 7.0L Detroit Diesel 6-71 engines in your APCs, etc. (and possibly 4.7L 4-71s in support vehicles).
"And loot some for the old folks, Can't loot for themselves"

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Armoured Car

Basically you have a choice of either ex-WWII stock such as the US M8 or Staghound armoured cars.  Alternatively, you have the British/South African Marmon-Harrington desires.  Then you have the Australian Rhino armoured car.

From post-war developments you're faced with a choice of the following:

British - Saladin with 76mm gun.
French - Panhard (various models, mounting guns from 20mm up to 75mm)

There are no post-war WWII armoured cars (as in turreted vehicles) from the US.

For an early 1950s service entry, you're looking at the Panhard EBR-75 (available 1951) as the French choice (the lighter AML series didn't come in until 1960 for export):

Available: 1951
Weight:    13 tonnes (14 short tons; 13 long tons)
Length:    6.15 m (20 ft 2 in)
Width:    2.42 m (7 ft 11 in)
Height:     2.24 m (7 ft 4 in)
Crew:   4
Range:   630 km (390 mi)
Speed    100 km/h (62 mph)
Suspension :   8x8 wheel

Armament:  75 mm high velocity gun (90mm option from 1963), plus 3 or 4 rifle-calibre MGs

Engine:    12-cylinder engine 200 hp
(engine position is unusual: possible cooling issues in Aus? They were used in N.Africa though)

"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Aircraft-wise, the obvious What If is to have the Aus government follow the UK example and cancel the F-111. The RAAF then keeps the leased F-4s and buys more to go with them. They might also buy the Buccaneer and/or join in the Tornado program.

The next big What If if the Mirage replacement. Given the strategic situation, if they've gone for the Tornado IDS, them they might well be persuaded to go for the ADV as well, at least for part of the force.
The other possible alternatives to the F/A-18 would be the F-14 (too expensive?), F-15, F-16 or Mirage 2000. Given that the F-4s would be relatively young and capable of air defence as well as strike, that might well push them to a lighter, cheaper option such as the F-16 or Mirage 2000. In the early 1980s, the military trade-off between the F-16 and the Mirage 2000 was that the F-16 was more multi-role and had longer range, while the Mirage had better speed and climb rate and BVR missiles as standard. Of course, there are other political, financial and industrial factors to consider.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Going back further to the decision to buy the Mirage IIIs, the alternatives there would have been:

F-104 Starfighter
Lightning
F-8 Crusader
F-11F Super Tiger (J-79 or Avon engine)

The F-11F was developmental, but it had done a lot of successful test flying on company money and was being actively marketed.

RAAF interest could well have stimulated earlier development of a longer-ranged, more multi-role Lightning.

The Crusader is an interesting and often overlooked option. It had less speed than the rest, but considerably more range, and as subsequent developments showed, considerable weapons potential. The gun installation needed fixing, but the A-7D showed how to do that. I do know that in Phillippines service, the Metallite skinning (plywood bonded between thin aluminium layers) had problems with humidity, so I don't know if that would apply in some parts of Aus too. Having said that, Vought engineers worked out a solution for the PAF (local veneers that were better adapted to the environment) on a shoestring budget, so I'm sure something could have been done for the RAAF.

On the whole, I think they made the right call going with the Mirage III, but it would have been nice if they'd gone for the Avon-engined version: much better performance (if significantly dearer) from an RAAF point of view, plus some nice engine sales for RR and quite possibly more export sales for Dassault.

« Last Edit: May 01, 2016, 08:00:04 PM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 

Both the Lightning and the Starfighter suffered from too short a range, compared to the other aircraft.   The Lightning and Starfighter were still in their early iterations.  As you note, the F11F wasn't in production.   Both the Crusader and the Super Tiger were naval aircraft and the RAAF was not interested in the weight penalties that naval aircraft suffered compared to land based ones.

So, out of the five the Mirage was really the only suitable Mach 2 aircraft to choose IMHO.

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Wow gents, I appreciate your reply, interest and input! ;)

Rickshaw your
Quote
US M8 or Staghound armoured cars
suggestion, I too seriously thought about these designs, but I was a little concerned with obsolescence, with the prospects of them having to serve up until the 1960's-70's.
 
Weaver, I like the idea of the Panhard EBR!! :P Its time frame is right on the money for what I want!!
But yes reading into its design/history, the location of its engine is unusual, and seemingly a nightmare to service, let alone replace (the entire turret needing to be removed first, before the engine can be replaced, is insane! :o)
But I just watched a youtube clip of the Panhard EBR, and noticed it has what seems a drivers position at both front and rear! So I'm wondering if it would not be to unfeasible to eliminate the rear drivers compartment and replace it with the "diesel" engine? I'm thinking of replacing its two retractable 'steel' wheels with rubber, so as to save overall weight. As a side note, when watching the youtube clips of the EBR, I noticed that the retracted 'steel' wheels seem to be constantly engaged. Does anyone know if they could be disengaged? They're constant running appears to induce unwarranted wear and tear on the running gear  ???
Oh and the French 75mm FL-10 gun is an impressive weapon, I would like included in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT'!! :-*
   
As for the diesel engine issue gents, thanks very much (I'm ignorant to the history of Western diesel engines and they're employment post-WWII).
GTX, I hear and like your suggestion of
Quote
a developed version of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series
, as I both like and greatly respect the German design philosophy! In truth, it appears that the West in many respects has done just what you've suggested. Let me ponder it a little more  :P
Regardless, I like apophenia notion of
Quote
the Daimler-Benz MB507 of 720-850 hp? Captured Schnellboote engines reverse-engineered in postwar Australia..
doesn't seem too far stretched, when one considers everything else the allies used/copied from German technology! There can be no denying my 'Buckethead' mates in armoured utmost respect for the MTU MB 838!! Its funny apophenia, the Detroit Diesel 6046 is the only Western WWII diesel I really know anything about, due to the then unusual fact that the USMC used it in they're M4A2 Sherman's and yet the U.S. army showed no real interest in adapting it  :o
Using the 6046 in the manner of
Quote
Not enough power for the Centurion but would suit your SPH. Then you could use single 7.0L Detroit Diesel 6-71 engines in your APCs, etc. (and possibly 4.7L 4-71s in support vehicles).
makes a lot of sense, but how do you think it would coup up until the 1960's?

Gent's if you don't take me for being rude, I'll take up your aircraft input and suggestions tomorrow, if that's ok? I'm knackered, after installing half of my (well the wife's  ;)) new kitchen, and am starting to see double :-\

Thanks again for your interest and input, and until tomorrow, good night!

M.A.D     

 


Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 

The RAAF's use of the Mirage was from 1964 to 1988, while Crusader production ended in 1964, so an RAAF buy would have followed on nicely from USN production. The high attrition rate of the Crusader in USN service was mostly down to it's difficult deck landing characteristics, something which wouldn't really apply to the RAAF. French Navy F-8E(FN)s served from 1964 to 2000, so there's nothing inherently short-lived about the design.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic

Weaver, I like the idea of the Panhard EBR!! :P Its time frame is right on the money for what I want!!
But yes reading into its design/history, the location of its engine is unusual, and seemingly a nightmare to service, let alone replace (the entire turret needing to be removed first, before the engine can be replaced, is insane! :o)

But I just watched a youtube clip of the Panhard EBR, and noticed it has what seems a drivers position at both front and rear! So I'm wondering if it would not be to unfeasible to eliminate the rear drivers compartment and replace it with the "diesel" engine? I'm thinking of replacing its two retractable 'steel' wheels with rubber, so as to save overall weight. As a side note, when watching the youtube clips of the EBR, I noticed that the retracted 'steel' wheels seem to be constantly engaged. Does anyone know if they could be disengaged? They're constant running appears to induce unwarranted wear and tear on the running gear  ???

Oh and the French 75mm FL-10 gun is an impressive weapon, I would like included in my 'Alternative ADF ORBAT'!! :-*
 

I don't see why not: there was an EBR-VTT troop carrier version that had a single-ended driver setup. The point of the rear driver position in a recce vehicle was to enable it to make a fast getaway at full speed, without having to do a three-point turn first. Interestingly, the Saladin was originally designed with a rear driving position (in front of the engine), but it was deleted when the gun was increased from 40mm to 76mm and the volume was needed for ammo.

Changing the engine locaction would be a major exercise though, and I thought you wanted to avoid developmental/paper projects?

Having the centre wheels permanently driven is a trade-off. Stopping them would reduce drive-train wear (although there's much less wear when they're raised: no load), but it would complicate the drive train with extra clutches etc... The point of them having steel wheels with ribs is that it gave them some of the enormous traction of tracks. At the point where you're stuck in the mud, traction is more important than ride quality.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
Wow gents, I appreciate your reply, interest and input! ;)

Rickshaw your
Quote
US M8 or Staghound armoured cars
suggestion, I too seriously thought about these designs, but I was a little concerned with obsolescence, with the prospects of them having to serve up until the 1960's-70's.

Both were in use until then in various Latin/Southern American and Middle-Eastern armies.  Australia utilised the Staghound until the early 1960s in the CMF.  Both were excellent vehicles and with proper care and attention, their maintenance was relatively easy.

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 


The RAAF's use of the Mirage was from 1964 to 1988, while Crusader production ended in 1964, so an RAAF buy would have followed on nicely from USN production. The high attrition rate of the Crusader in USN service was mostly down to it's difficult deck landing characteristics, something which wouldn't really apply to the RAAF. French Navy F-8E(FN)s served from 1964 to 2000, so there's nothing inherently short-lived about the design.


Speaking of RAF Crusaders, look here
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
 
As for the diesel engine issue gents, thanks very much (I'm ignorant to the history of Western diesel engines and they're employment post-WWII).
GTX, I hear and like your suggestion of
Quote
a developed version of the Sd.Kfz. 234 series
, as I both like and greatly respect the German design philosophy! In truth, it appears that the West in many respects has done just what you've suggested. Let me ponder it a little more  :P
 


Part of the reason why I suggested the Sd.Kfz. 234 series was that they were powered by a diesel engine - an air-cooled Tatra 103 V-12.  Looking at the variants used in the real world, you have:

234/1 - 1 x 2 cm KwK 38 L/55 autocannon, 1 x MG 34 machine gun



234/2 - 1 x 5 cm KwK 39 L/60 gun, 1 x MG 34 machine gun



234/3 - 1 x 7.5 cm K51 L/24 gun



234/4 "Pakwagen" - 1 x 7.5 cm PaK 40 L/46 gun



Now if you wanted to go further, you could develop further versions such as these (you can get kits of already):




Others might include an air-defence version with something like a Kugelblitz turret. ;)
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues

For an early 1950s service entry, you're looking at the Panhard EBR-75 (available 1951) as the French choice (the lighter AML series didn't come in until 1960 for export):

(engine position is unusual: possible cooling issues in Aus? They were used in N.Africa though)


I like the EBR-75 idea.  They were also used by Indonesia.  Maybe up-gun to the EBR-90 as well.


I don't see why not: there was an EBR-VTT troop carrier version that had a single-ended driver setup. The point of the rear driver position in a recce vehicle was to enable it to make a fast getaway at full speed, without having to do a three-point turn first.
.

The VTT version is little known:



The concept of a second driver was also later used in the Spähpanzer Luchs.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Rickshaw

  • "Of course, I could be talking out of my hat"
As the Mosquito experience showed, the RAAF had real problems with timber skinned/structured aircraft in the tropics, which was where it expected to do most of its operations under the strategic thinking of the day ("Forward Defence").  The Crusader had a short life in the US Navy.  It entered service in 1957 and left service in 1976.  I somehow doubt there were many F-8As still around in 1976. 

The RAAF's use of the Mirage was from 1964 to 1988, while Crusader production ended in 1964, so an RAAF buy would have followed on nicely from USN production. The high attrition rate of the Crusader in USN service was mostly down to it's difficult deck landing characteristics, something which wouldn't really apply to the RAAF. French Navy F-8E(FN)s served from 1964 to 2000, so there's nothing inherently short-lived about the design.

Except the environment in which it would be expected to operate in.  I've nothing against the F-8, other than what it is made of.  The tropics can have deleterious effects on timber structures in airframes, thats all, I am saying.  The F-8 is timber core skinned.  It _may_ have been bad for the RAAF to operate in tropical conditions... 

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Except the environment in which it would be expected to operate in.  I've nothing against the F-8, other than what it is made of.  The tropics can have deleterious effects on timber structures in airframes, thats all, I am saying.  The F-8 is timber core skinned.  It _may_ have been bad for the RAAF to operate in tropical conditions...

Oh I totally understand the problem, all I'm saying is that if Vought managed to fix it for the Phillippines, who were a small, underfunded, second-hand user, then I'm sure they could have come up with a solution sooner if the Australian ones started to give problems. Of course if the RAAF decides it's a deal-breaker during the selection process, then it's game over.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Online elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

Yeah that'd be good, plus the V-1000 had reduced fuel tankage to meet the export fighter requirement for a 'defense', 'non-provocative' type, but there's no reason an Aussie one would have to stick to that, so it could have impressive range.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

All things CAC would have been capable of doing had we gone for local production.  With an early 60s selection there could even have been synergies with the A-7, perhaps even the A-7D/E features of the Spey, M-61 and nav attack system for the late 60s attack variant.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Perhaps a redesign for a more corrosion-resistant skin as well as swapping out the engine for a lighter and smaller J79 (like the proposed V-1000 "International Crusader")?  I could see that being a good move for both an Australian sale as well as other export sales.

All things CAC would have been capable of doing had we gone for local production.  With an early 60s selection there could even have been synergies with the A-7, perhaps even the A-7D/E features of the Spey, M-61 and nav attack system for the late 60s attack variant.

The Spey is a major rebuild: an A-7 may look like an F-8, but it's almost wholly different in detail. I've heard it said that it'd be easier to stretch the A-7 and put a thin wing and an afterburner on it* than it would be to kipper an F-8 to get a Spey in after the fact.

The M-61 would be an excellent move. For all the 'Last Gunfighter' guff, the F-8's gun installation was actually pretty poor.

* As was done for real many years later, of course: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vought_YA-7F
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Online elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
You likely would need to enlarge the intake to fit the Spey, but I don't think an afterburning Spey is that much larger, if at all, than an afterburning J57.  You're one generation of engine technology later and there were improvements.  Too, it depends on whether you're using the same basic afterburning Spey of the British Phantoms or the afterburning TF41 that Allison/RR worked on in the mid-1960's (the latter would definitely see an increase in thrust).

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
My 2 cents re: aircraft options:

F-4 acquired in the '60's, rather than the Mirage, in the Interceptor/Air Superiority role - being replaced in the mid-70's with an F-15/16 mix.
A-7 acquired at the same time in the CAS role - being transfered to the RAN in the mid-70's & replaced with re-worked F-4's.
Buccaneer, also, acquired in that era for the Strike bomber role - being transfered to the RAN in the mid-70's & replaced with F-111's.

The latter 2 could also be operated by the RAN in that time period - giving logistics commonality.
The RAN could operate F-8's, CAC-modified as you've been discussing, in the CAG Interceptor/Air Superiority role.
S-2's could be purchased 6-or-7 years earlier than they were for ASW(&, possibly, C-1's & E-1's for COD & AEW respectively).
RAN would operate F-8, A-7, Buccaneer & S-2 variants into the mid-80's.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Back to the opening post for a second.  Among the high risk, poorly performing acquisitions you listed the Collins class submarine, this is actually a platform I have considerable real world experience with, not as a designer or builder but as a maintainers and upgrader, i.e. I worked on the solutions to the issues.

Something that really surprised me working on the class was how far off the mark the public reports were, for example a news paper report would state that only one boat was in service when I knew for fact it was two and the boat they said was at sea was actually in the shed being stripped for its MCD (mid cycle docking or two yearly refit and upgrade).  Working where I did provided some insight to the actual performance and availability of the class, if when and why they were unavailable, for example two boats were pulled from service early  for their FCDs during the mid to late 2000s because efficiency drives within naval engineering had resulted in insufficient qualified crews (technical sailors specifically) being available to have more than three submarines in service.  To see the company I proudly worked for slandered weekly or more often in the media and even parliament for issues that were caused directly by government policy was beyond demoralising.

Another little known, but actually public domain, issue was that much of the bad news was deliberately engineered for political and capability reasons.  On the political side the entire project was seen as the baby of the then leader of the opposition when he was defence minister, though he had moved on to another role before steel was cut perceived problems with the project were seen as a very convenient tool to discredit him with. 

On the capability side the was a very influential senior officer who was responsible for "fixing the boats".  He was a talented career submariner who took the opportunity to not just fix the teething problems but to upgrade them with the latest and greatest capabilities.  The original combat system by Rockwell was a mess and a perfectly good enough German system was selected to replace it but the Admiral was able to convince the government that the vastly more expensive USN AN/BYG-1 from the Virginia class, even though it entailed very challenging integration issues, was the only way to go.  This was something he admitted to in his interviews for the book "The Collins Class Submarine Story: Steel, Spies and Spin" by Peter Yule and Derek Woolner, he would of state problems or even create them to justify fitting the submarines with new capabilities that didn't even exist when the type was designed, they were in actual fact upgrades not fixes.

What is not well know or understood is the class actually had higher levels of availability then the majority of foreign designs, longer range, greater stealth (at patrol speeds they were undetectable) and ironically the issue with their noise levels at high speed was actually a factor of them being capable of higher speeds than the hull was designed to be silent at i.e. the bow cylindrical array sonar was raised to provide greater coverage which forced a compromise in water flow over the hull, the powers that be conveniently forgetting the agreed compromise when it suited them.  Even then this was addressed through using USN tech from the Virginia class meaning that this much maligned type that was "as loud as a rock concert" went from meeting or exceeding requirements to absolutely smashing them.  The majority of issues encountered on the first of class had been addressed by the time the second boat commissioned with the third being even better, the next two were completed with many improvements and upgrades lifted from the USN that effectively made them an improved sub class until this mods were fitted to the earlier boats during FCD and the final boat was improved further again.  Even so boat two and three, in their initial configuration performed exceptionally on exercise with the USN, boat three even being lost by a SH-60F Oceanhawk that followed it out of Pearl Harbour (in violation of the exercise rules) once it dived they lost it. 

Over all the project has been a political football and a media circus with very little fact ever seeing the light of day.  Most issues reported today or old news and totally irrelevant as they were fixed years ago, most new issues are due to it being an aging platform with the associated wear and tear as well as obsolescence issues.  If someone other than the former defmin had been leader of the opposition  or something else had come up at the time there would never have been the bad press and all else being the same people would see the project for the success it has been.

Offline Old Wombat

  • "We'll see when I've finished whether I'm showing off or simply embarrassing myself."
  • "Define 'interesting'?"
Amen!

My wife was a "bus buddy" of one of the (I think) design & development team. I was told that he was, pretty much, the only person in the world with his qualifications.  He took early retirement, I believe, a some years ago. He was adamant that the boats were amongst the best in the world for purpose, which was more than he could say for politicians & "journalists/reporters".

Maybe you knew him - short; darkish grey hair; travelled a lot; was a uni lecturer on the side; bit of a drinker; Glen? ???
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."