Author Topic: Operation Defend Yourselves!  (Read 1363 times)

Offline Klown

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Operation Defend Yourselves!
« on: April 24, 2017, 01:13:30 PM »
Real World inspiration: Prior to the latest American election, Donald Trump made various comments about pulling out of NATO and also implied at times that America might take a more isolationist approach. I read a few projections of this kind as well, about America pulling out of world affairs and taking a back seat. Obviously this recently has already gone out of the window given North Korea.

What If World: America has done it. They are pulling the plug! Slowly they will back away from NATO as well as seek a quicker end to the wars they are already involved in. They will not entirely forget their longest and most trusted allies however. A charity program of hand me downs has been established, nicknamed "Operation Defend Yourselves!".

America is offering older aircraft to select nations that want to bolster their defenses so that they are less reliant on America....

So, this has been a long time interest of mine and as I haven't done much modeling in the past year I thought it would be a fun place to start.

My list so far...

Australia

A-10 Thunderbolt II
Harrier
B-1

Building will commence soon...

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2017, 03:07:39 PM »
Nice!

Similar could also be done in the 70s with Nixon's Guam Doctrine forcing a number of nations to go it alone, maybe with the help of cheap ex US gear.

Online Logan Hartke

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2017, 03:04:26 AM »
Well, there's fun and there's practical. Were I a NATO or SEATO nation and wanting to bolster my air force, then I think there's two ways you could approach it. There's the "fun" and there's the practical.

"Fun" options that would be at the top of the list for me would be:

F-15C Eagle
U-2S Dragon Lady
CH-53E Super Stallion
AV-8B Harrier II
EA-6B Prowler
B-1B Lancer
C-5M Super Galaxy

I call them fun because I like them, but they're too old and/or big to be practical for most countries not operating the type in question. Examples of the latter would be Israel buying surplus F-15C/Ds or Italy buying some more Harriers and pushing back the F-35B purchase.



You'd see the same for other older airframes. Most of the customers lining up for "legacy" Hornets would be existing users. Malaysia, Finland, maybe even Canada, Spain, or Switzerland.

Realistically, the most popular older aircraft that I think "new" users would take an interest in are the ones with a wide user base and a substantial support network. Think things like the F-16C, P-3C, C-130H, UH-60, AH-64D, CH-47D. Boring, I know, but you might see some more unusual combinations if there were good enough deals on the market. Think stuff like Kazakh C-130s, Vietnamese P-3 Orions, and South African UH-60s or Chinooks.

Outside of F-16s and Apaches, most US combat aviation assets would not be practical for most users for one reason or another. Age, size, cost, complexity, airframe hours, etc. Besides, as was pointed out on this thread:

Every Single Plane in the U.S. Air Force in One Chart
(think of it like a shopping list!)
...the USAF is actually pretty light on combat assets, proportionally. And, in the stated scenario, the US isn't becoming pacifist, just isolationist, so most of the assets on offer would be those related to power projection.



In short, I think the sales catalog will be dominated by tankers, transports, and ISR assets. That should be fine, since those are the areas that US allies would find they are weakest in if they were to withdraw their support. So, you may see countries adding second-hand E-2 Hawkeye and E-3 AWACS assets, really cheap KC-135s getting snagged by fairly small air forces (like Chile's recent KC-135 buy), and anyone that was considering adding MPA picking up some well-used P-3 Orions. Far more in demand, however, would be the various airlift and transport aircraft that the US would be divesting themselves of. You'd see existing users bolstering their legacy C-130 fleets, other countries getting some used C-130Js with a lot of life and hours left in them, and—the big one—C-17s back on the market! I see a lot of countries that were kicking themselves for missing that opportunity when they were in production snatching up a handful, especially NATO and Gulf countries.



If the US permitted sale to civilian operators, you might see Antonov and Ilyushin hit hard as a ton of civilian C-17s and C-5s hitting the market, much like it was flooded with C-47s after WWII.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Kelmola

  • Seeking motivation to start buillding the stash
Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2017, 04:12:32 AM »
A-10's to Australia...? I can understand Poland calling eternal dibs on them (or if you really want to make things interesting, South Korea, Vietnam, or Taiwan), but one would think long-range strikers (like the B-1) and MPA's would be a higher priority for Australia.

Harriers could of course be operated from minimally modified Canberras (since they have the ski-jump already).

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2017, 04:23:27 AM »
Australia would have no real practical use for 30+yr old A-10s.  The RAAF was apparently offered some B-1Bs back in the early '90s but it was rejected due to the operational cost and wider impact on the ADF.  Harriers might be able to operate from the Canberra class LHDs for a short term but if planned to be located on the ship for any length of time much work would be needed for the ship.  Moreover, if we were to even look at anything like this, why not just get F-35Bs? 

I tend to agree with what Logan has said above.  Platforms such as transporters etc would be in demand, provided they were supportable.  For instance, the C-17s around the world (not just USAF ones) are sustained under the "C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership" program.  If that were taken away things might get difficult (or it might offer opportunities - sorry BD part of my mind kicked in).  I know the RNZAF would love about 2 C-17s if they were available.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline kerick

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2017, 11:30:29 AM »
IIRC South Korea was ready to jump on excess A-10s the first time USAF seriously considered getting rid of them.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2017, 12:21:08 PM »
A-10's to Australia...? I can understand Poland calling eternal dibs on them (or if you really want to make things interesting, South Korea, Vietnam, or Taiwan), but one would think long-range strikers (like the B-1) and MPA's would be a higher priority for Australia.

Harriers could of course be operated from minimally modified Canberras (since they have the ski-jump already).

Except both Canberra and Adelaide are stuck in port, apparently because BAE used the wrong lube oil and has damaged the propulsion diesels  :-[

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2017, 12:22:52 PM »
Australia would have no real practical use for 30+yr old A-10s.  The RAAF was apparently offered some B-1Bs back in the early '90s but it was rejected due to the operational cost and wider impact on the ADF.  Harriers might be able to operate from the Canberra class LHDs for a short term but if planned to be located on the ship for any length of time much work would be needed for the ship.  Moreover, if we were to even look at anything like this, why not just get F-35Bs? 

I tend to agree with what Logan has said above.  Platforms such as transporters etc would be in demand, provided they were supportable.  For instance, the C-17s around the world (not just USAF ones) are sustained under the "C-17 Globemaster III Sustainment Partnership" program.  If that were taken away things might get difficult (or it might offer opportunities - sorry BD part of my mind kicked in).  I know the RNZAF would love about 2 C-17s if they were available.

I wonder if the B-1Bs would have worked out cheaper than the F-111C AUP, F-111G buy and the F/A-18F interim buy when the F-111 escape pods ran out of life?

Offline jcf

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2017, 01:12:55 PM »
Trump and Cos' version of "Isolationism" wouldn't include transfering any 'power assets' to
anyone, any notion that they would is as big a wank as Trump's 'Foreign Policy'.
 :icon_zombie: :icon_twisted: :icon_fsm:
"Evil our grandsires were, our fathers worse;
And we, till now unmatched in ill,
Must leave successors more corrupted still."
Horace, 65BC - 8BC. Marsh translation.

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2017, 02:47:15 PM »
Isolationism is the friend of totalitarianism, when you scratch an isolationist you often find something very unpleasant underneath.

Online Logan Hartke

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2017, 08:39:26 PM »
Can people save that debate for the Sparring Room? That's clearly not the discussion the OP was looking for.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Klown

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2017, 12:10:55 AM »
Trump and Cos' version of "Isolationism" wouldn't include transfering any 'power assets' to
anyone, any notion that they would is as big a wank as Trump's 'Foreign Policy'.
 :icon_zombie: :icon_twisted: :icon_fsm:

Well been fun so far. Speculation not allowed. Got it.

@Logan - Yep I was just having some fun with the idea. I figured even if the USA did become isolationist they would still have a vested interest in keeping the free world free. And you are right, I wasn't looking for a political debate.

@Kelmola - The A-10's will look so cool in the Australian Army camo scheme. Even though I was thinking of navalizing them as well. Make them a jack of all trades aircraft, Aussies have a reputation for tinkering anyway.

@Volkodav - Not sure if the B-1's would work out cheaper. I know the B-47 was considered as an interim replacement while the RAAF waited for the F-111's. The way I see it even 6 B-1's would scare the bejesus out of Indonesia, who were also terrified of the F-111.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 12:21:31 AM by Klown »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2017, 02:15:29 AM »
The A-10's will look so cool in the Australian Army camo scheme. Even though I was thinking of navalizing them as well. Make them a jack of all trades aircraft, Aussies have a reputation for tinkering anyway.



Probably not quite what you were thinking but close:



From here
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: Operation Defend Yourselves!
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2017, 12:45:11 PM »
Trump and Cos' version of "Isolationism" wouldn't include transfering any 'power assets' to
anyone, any notion that they would is as big a wank as Trump's 'Foreign Policy'.
 :icon_zombie: :icon_twisted: :icon_fsm:

Well been fun so far. Speculation not allowed. Got it.

@Logan - Yep I was just having some fun with the idea. I figured even if the USA did become isolationist they would still have a vested interest in keeping the free world free. And you are right, I wasn't looking for a political debate.

@Kelmola - The A-10's will look so cool in the Australian Army camo scheme. Even though I was thinking of navalizing them as well. Make them a jack of all trades aircraft, Aussies have a reputation for tinkering anyway.

@Volkodav - Not sure if the B-1's would work out cheaper. I know the B-47 was considered as an interim replacement while the RAAF waited for the F-111's. The way I see it even 6 B-1's would scare the bejesus out of Indonesia, who were also terrified of the F-111.

There is a story of a senior public servant you was actively campaigning to retire the F-111 in the 90s as it was in his opinion out dated and useless, he changed his opinion when provided with a "gun camera" image from a Pavetac pod with the cross hairs over his office window.