Author Topic: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!  (Read 5613 times)

Offline Volkodav

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2019, 03:28:47 AM »
The problems with the Tiger logistics support largely stem from the Defence Minister at the time of the acquisition.  I speak from direct experience.

I try to avoid delving into politics on here too much but I do recall many decisions from the ministers over the years, and even some almost decisions that were circumvented or redirected into less damaging forms.  The very worst were those relating to the exaggeration and even fabrication of problems with legacy projects to politically damage a leader of the opposition who was a former defmin. 

Having created the smoke, they then had to be seen to be fighting the fire they claimed was there and created an entire bureaucracy (DMO) and new procurement process (Kinard two pass system) to demonstrate they had fixed the problems "caused" by the leader of the opposition.  These new arrangements were the source of many of the legacy issues we are dealing with today, made even worse by the fact that we have a generation of 30 something technical military personnel who have only ever experienced the over regulated, risk adverse, overly punitive systems introduced under these regimes.  Also sadly, the general public believe many of our most successful programs and best capabilities have been wasteful failures that must not be repeated, while other projects that were in  reality more problematic, are politically insulated and seen as resounding success's.

These are the filters I see modern procurements through and have now applied to past ones with some interesting changes of opinion.

As I already mentioned the procurement strategy at the time would have screwed up Cobra or Apache as badly or worse than Tiger, a platform that is in many ways superior because it is a more modern and capable design. 

I used to love the F-111 but now realise that's it acquisition was a political stunt that left the ADF with a capability gap that spanned for more than a decade, i.e. the RAAF was flying Canberras and had pretty much no maritime strike capability to speak of, while Indonesia was flying Badgers (acquired specifically as a deterrent / counter to the Dutch carrier, not the RAN but in politics and the White Australia policy of the time what do facts matter).  The opportunity cost of the F-111 was in all probability a timely Canberra replacement, one fighter and one strike squadron, a replacement carrier (and its strike aircraft), a generation of fighter aircraft and a RAAF tanker capability.



Offline M.A.D

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2019, 09:24:54 AM »
The problems with the Tiger logistics support largely stem from the Defence Minister at the time of the acquisition.  I speak from direct experience.

I try to avoid delving into politics on here too much but I do recall many decisions from the ministers over the years, and even some almost decisions that were circumvented or redirected into less damaging forms.  The very worst were those relating to the exaggeration and even fabrication of problems with legacy projects to politically damage a leader of the opposition who was a former defmin. 

Having created the smoke, they then had to be seen to be fighting the fire they claimed was there and created an entire bureaucracy (DMO) and new procurement process (Kinard two pass system) to demonstrate they had fixed the problems "caused" by the leader of the opposition.  These new arrangements were the source of many of the legacy issues we are dealing with today, made even worse by the fact that we have a generation of 30 something technical military personnel who have only ever experienced the over regulated, risk adverse, overly punitive systems introduced under these regimes.  Also sadly, the general public believe many of our most successful programs and best capabilities have been wasteful failures that must not be repeated, while other projects that were in  reality more problematic, are politically insulated and seen as resounding success's.

These are the filters I see modern procurements through and have now applied to past ones with some interesting changes of opinion.

As I already mentioned the procurement strategy at the time would have screwed up Cobra or Apache as badly or worse than Tiger, a platform that is in many ways superior because it is a more modern and capable design. 

I used to love the F-111 but now realise that's it acquisition was a political stunt that left the ADF with a capability gap that spanned for more than a decade, i.e. the RAAF was flying Canberras and had pretty much no maritime strike capability to speak of, while Indonesia was flying Badgers (acquired specifically as a deterrent / counter to the Dutch carrier, not the RAN but in politics and the White Australia policy of the time what do facts matter).  The opportunity cost of the F-111 was in all probability a timely Canberra replacement, one fighter and one strike squadron, a replacement carrier (and its strike aircraft), a generation of fighter aircraft and a RAAF tanker capability.

Wisely stated my dear Volkodav, greatly appreciate your input!

As a side note to the 'politicsal saga'' of the F-111, I read some time ago, that we committed an additional Infantry Battalion to Vietnam, as a sweetener, so as to curtail development costs we otherwise would have incurred........ I'll attempt to find the source.

I too have grown a little more conscientious of the F-111 purchase by the then Australian government of the day, appreciating as I got older and sourced more in depth 'government' information.....I now feel confident that the RAAF could have/should have purchased North American A-5B (I would have preferred later A-5C) Vigilante's as originally suggested and supported by the 'fact-finding' group,; operating these until the more mature later variants of the F-111E (with the F-111D's TF30-P-9 engines) or the F-111F was developed.......(as I've done in my Alternative ADF ORBAT backstory.



M.A.D
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 09:52:51 AM by M.A.D »

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2019, 10:55:41 AM »
Quote
It's important, though, to remember that the USAF and RAF flew their bombers hard (many more flight hours than their Communist counterparts) and that the Badgers being flown today were built more recently.

Good and valid points Logan!!


M.A.D
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 11:50:26 AM by M.A.D »

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2019, 11:50:55 AM »
Dassault Mirage F1

I guess due to its overshadowing by the debut of the ultra modern, ultra sleek General Dynamics F-16 - in both terms of the 'NATO Fighter Competition', the numbers of airframe produced and the number of air forces that fielded it; as a kid, my impression and interpretation of the Mirage F1 was wrong and and misunderstood from the beginning.
Little did I appreciate or understand that the Mirage F1 was a leap ahead of the Mirage III in terms of performance and capabilities (I'm thinking this false impression of mine may also have been attributed by the fact that many nations/air forces continued to operate and develop the earlier Mirage III, which I think gave me the false notion that the Mirage III must have been just as good as the Mirage F1, if these countries/air force weren't replacing them with actual Mirage F1's!).
I attribute my turn around of opinion (and bias) of the Mirage F1 began to change when many an accounts of Mirage F1 combat episodes by otherwise (then) obscure air force (Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, South Africa, ....), which Western media didn't care to cover, or because of these regimes/nations/air forces sensorship weren't forward in divulging such sensitive information, alluded to the Mirage F1's excellent air to air and air to surface capabilities and strengths....
Quote
"The Iraqi F.1 largely neutralized the air superiority of Iran because it was too potent for either F-4 or F-14 pilots to risk a tangle with. The awg-9 was thwarted by the ecm pod. And the F.1 was too maneuverable for its Iranian counter parts."

Then with the advent of the internet, my access to indepth technical data/specifications not always available from my then limited book/magazine collection - like the Mirage F1 in fact contained 40% more internal fuel than the Mirage III; patrol endurance is trebled at high altitude, as is supersonic dash duration; the swept-back wing of the Mirage F1 gives a 20% decrease in approach speed and a 23% reduction in take-off length at maximum weight compared to the Mirage III; while the Mirage F1 swept-back wing gives it far greater manoverabilty capability and a smoother ride at low level than that of the Mirage III...Then there's the superior sensor/avionics of the THOMSON-CSF Cyrano IV radar over that of the Cyrano II fitted to the Mirage III.

All this said, I've come to the conclusion, that it was a grave pity that Dassault didn't persist with the SNECMA M53-powered Mirage F1E derivative.

So it has come to pass, that I've come to see the Mirage F1 in the following terms articulated by Schorsch [at keypublishing.com]:
Quote
"I guess the Mirage F1 excelled by being the best compromise between capability and cost (at its time)"
M.A.D
« Last Edit: February 03, 2019, 12:13:09 PM by M.A.D »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2019, 12:23:55 PM »
Regarding the RAAF's purchase of F-111s, an interesting perspective is contained in "Politics Over Strategy - Australia's Rejection of the TSR.2" contained in the RAF Historical Society publication TSR2 with Hindsight (a book I very highly recommend and which I believe is available in pdf form - see discussion on Secret Projects forum).

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #30 on: August 06, 2019, 11:32:20 AM »
Adding to my reflection on the Dassault Mirage F1..........

The thing that I've always loved ethtetically and appreciated operationally about the Mirage F1 is it's beautiful  and purposefully designed and presented landing gear. With the exception of SEPECAT Jaguar and the Sukhoi Su-24 'Fencer', I don't think a combat aircraft has such an intended and effective rough-field landing gear design.

I also liked these couple of quotes in regards to the Mirage F1:

Quote
-”I guess the Mirage F.1 excelled by being the best compromise between capability and cost (at its time). It was supersonic, moderately agile, small, had a useful radar, could be used for ground attack. Compared to its American counterparts at that time (F-4, F-5) it was either clearly less expensive or clearly more capable.”
-Schorsch, 2005

Quote
-“The Mirage F1 was a very good multi-role fighter, a relatively cheap alternative to the late production F-4E, and altogether superior to any comtemporary Soviet fighter before the MiG-29.”
- TinWing, 2005


Talking about the Mirage F1, I've become more attuned to the knowledge that the RAAF evaluated and strongly supported the notion of purchasing the F1 in around 1971-73?
If anyone has anything on this RAAF evaluation/want of the F1, I'd much appreciate seeing what you've got.

M.A.D
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 11:41:45 AM by M.A.D »

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #31 on: August 07, 2019, 02:18:44 AM »
Talking about the Mirage F1, I've become more attuned to the knowledge that the RAAF evaluated and strongly supported the notion of purchasing the F1 in around 1971-73?
If anyone has anything on this RAAF evaluation/want of the F1, I'd much appreciate seeing what you've got.

I'm not sure that's entirely the case.  The Mirage F.1 was obviously one of the platforms looked at early on when the RAAF was starting to consider a Mirage III replacement (along with just about every other platform in development/in service at the time) however I don't believe there was any strong push for it from with thin the RAAF and certainly no official evaluations.  Dassault did apparently attempt to interest the RAAF/Australian Govt in the F.1 by offering a co-production deal whereby every Mirage F.1 produced would include Australian manufacturing content regardless of whether or not Australia actually acquired the type though nothing came of this.
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Offline Volkodav

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2019, 11:18:27 PM »
If I recall correctly both the Mirage F1 and HS Hawk (and possibly the Jaguar as well) were all offered to Australia (non solicited), with very generous coproduction and offset deals, during the early 70s and were ( in the case of the F1 at least) not dependent on Australia adopting the type.  Australia was seen as a key market and a very positive selling point to convince other buyers to order a type, so any incentive to get the "Australia bought, builds, operates them" tag was seen to be worth it.

My understanding is that the RAAF (or possibly the Def Dept) convinced the government not to go for any of these deals as they did not want to be pressured on future selections by industrial considerations.  Its not that they wanted something else, but rather they wanted to be able to choose on capability and value for money for defence, not for the Australian economy / defence industry.

If my understanding is correct, it could be argued that this tactical concentration of platform capability introduced an opportunity cost driven by strategic issues that were ignored by the desired acquisition processes.  A very generous offset deal with local production of the Mirage F1 for instance could have freed up enough money for the RAAF to retain four fighter and three strike squadrons and even supplement them with Jaguar, while adopting the Hawk decades earlier in the LIFT and fleet support roles.

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #33 on: August 12, 2019, 09:49:29 AM »
Talking about the Mirage F1, I've become more attuned to the knowledge that the RAAF evaluated and strongly supported the notion of purchasing the F1 in around 1971-73?
If anyone has anything on this RAAF evaluation/want of the F1, I'd much appreciate seeing what you've got.

I'm not sure that's entirely the case.  The Mirage F.1 was obviously one of the platforms looked at early on when the RAAF was starting to consider a Mirage III replacement (along with just about every other platform in development/in service at the time) however I don't believe there was any strong push for it from with thin the RAAF and certainly no official evaluations.  Dassault did apparently attempt to interest the RAAF/Australian Govt in the F.1 by offering a co-production deal whereby every Mirage F.1 produced would include Australian manufacturing content regardless of whether or not Australia actually acquired the type though nothing came of this.

Thanks for your feedback Greg.
If anything, I think both the RAAF and Australian Aviation Manufacturing Industry could have benefited in a Mirage F1 M-53 (or better Spey-powered derivative 😯)

M.A.D

Offline M.A.D

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #34 on: August 12, 2019, 09:51:45 AM »
If I recall correctly both the Mirage F1 and HS Hawk (and possibly the Jaguar as well) were all offered to Australia (non solicited), with very generous coproduction and offset deals, during the early 70s and were ( in the case of the F1 at least) not dependent on Australia adopting the type.  Australia was seen as a key market and a very positive selling point to convince other buyers to order a type, so any incentive to get the "Australia bought, builds, operates them" tag was seen to be worth it.

My understanding is that the RAAF (or possibly the Def Dept) convinced the government not to go for any of these deals as they did not want to be pressured on future selections by industrial considerations.  Its not that they wanted something else, but rather they wanted to be able to choose on capability and value for money for defence, not for the Australian economy / defence industry.

If my understanding is correct, it could be argued that this tactical concentration of platform capability introduced an opportunity cost driven by strategic issues that were ignored by the desired acquisition processes.  A very generous offset deal with local production of the Mirage F1 for instance could have freed up enough money for the RAAF to retain four fighter and three strike squadrons and even supplement them with Jaguar, while adopting the Hawk decades earlier in the LIFT and fleet support roles.

Thanks for your opinion/view Volkodav - interesting!!

M.A.D

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2019, 02:23:29 AM »

If anything, I think both the RAAF and Australian Aviation Manufacturing Industry could have benefited in a Mirage F1 M-53 (or better Spey-powered derivative 😯)


Not denying that but the reality was that it never went anywhere.  Out of interest, I have done a story based around this scenario playing out.  It has just never been published due to lack of supporting profiles.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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Offline Jonesthetank

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2019, 04:03:59 AM »
Greg,

I'd be happy to have a bash at some RAAF Mirage F1s, what ever engine configuration.  Love a back story!

Cheers

Mark

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2019, 01:16:19 AM »
Greg,

I'd be happy to have a bash at some RAAF Mirage F1s, what ever engine configuration.  Love a back story!

Cheers

Mark

Email inbound
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 01:35:37 AM by GTX_Admin »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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

Offline M.A.D

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  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2019, 04:15:22 AM »
Greg,

I'd be happy to have a bash at some RAAF Mirage F1s, what ever engine configuration.  Love a back story!

Cheers

Mark
Sounds good, and the right man for the job 👍

M.A.D

Offline M.A.D

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  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2019, 04:16:48 AM »
Greg,

I'd be happy to have a bash at some RAAF Mirage F1s, what ever engine configuration.  Love a back story!

Cheers

Mark

Email inbound

😯, can't wait for both backstory and profiles alike 👍


M.A.D

Offline The Rat

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2020, 09:36:40 AM »
One that should be on this list is the Supermarine Swift. Utter failure in its intended role as a high-altitude fighter. Issues with the afterburner, fat fuselage preventing high speed (its progenitors were originally designed around a centrifugal-flow engine), constant hydraulic problems, the list is long.

But...

At low level it was absolutely superb. For a while the FR5 may have been the best of its kind in NATO. Steady as a rock while brushing the treetops, pilots flying the Hunter in similar situations sometimes got airsick. Combined with the excellent Vinten F.95 camera, it found its true role at last.

Also, what if the RAF had realised its low level capabilities much earlier? Could it have been a good ground attack platform? The whiffing possibilities are there, for anyone to run with. I've been slowly (translation: started a few years ago!) working on a Royal Navy attack version, complete with folding wings.

I can recommend the book Swift Justice, by Nigel Walpole, an RAF pilot with a lot of experience on the type. Despite the shortcomings, he and others remember it fondly.
"Man, if you gotta ask, you ain't never gonna know!" - Louis Armstrong, when asked "What is jazz?"

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Redemption – Military planes you were wrong about in hindsight!
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2020, 03:30:07 AM »
I can recommend the book Swift Justice, by Nigel Walpole, an RAF pilot with a lot of experience on the type. Despite the shortcomings, he and others remember it fondly.

Seconded.

Looking forward to your RN version.  I have a 1/48 one in the stash which I was thinking of doing as a RNZAF bird or perhaps someone such as a Belgian bird.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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