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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 09:07 am 
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If the Tornado GR4 was not available, which aircraft could be used to fulfil the same role? There being no restriction based on source/manufacturer. I fancy doing a 'similar aircraft' theme using two or three kits of which the principal comparator would be the GR4. I'm intrigued to know whether the aircraft is in fact suited to the role-the obvious answer being yes as the RAF wouldn't have adopted it otherwise. But I thought I'd ask!


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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 10:32 am 
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I think you need to be a bit more specific about 'when' you want the alternative solution to apply. If it were today, the obvious answer is Typhoon, which like Tornado (Multi Role Combat Aircraft) is designed for both ground attack and air defence (albeit it has suffered a few problems in developing the attack ability). On the other hand, if you look back to the start of Tornado's career, it might have been a mix of running on the Phantom, then keeping the Jaguar and maybe Harrier longer, or it could have been the buy of F111K that many people wanted. But my favoured suggestion for a 'through life' alternative would be an aircraft that has just disappeared from the skies here, and is much missed (by me at least) - the Mirage F1.

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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 17:58 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 18:23 pm 
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Ratch beat me to it, (TSR 2).
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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 18:25 pm 
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For the GR4 Tonka I think the Buccaneer would have stayed around

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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 18:32 pm 
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If just the ground attack role, how about the proposed Buccaneer upgrade, the P150? Friend of mine was an RAF Nav who did the aerosystems course (back seat equivalent - almost - of Empire Test Pilots School) and was involved in early Tornado trials. They fitted a Buccaneer with the Tornado avionics and back seat and it out performed the aircraft that was coming in to replace it in every aspect until it got to 550kts when the Tornado's supersonic capability gave it the edge. But the proposed stretched P150 would have had upgraded engines, a stretched fuselage, revised wings and a genuine Mach 1.8 sea level capability.

If you want a true multi role (which of course the GR4 isn't) then I'd consider the F/A 18E. In exercises with the Tornadoes it consistently outperforms them in the ground attack role and almost as good as the Typhoon in the air defence role. Plus their less than a third of the price of the Typhoon.


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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 19:37 pm 
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The TSR2's a non-starter because it was cancelled for compelling reasons- obsolete before finished development. But yes, the 'what if' scenario is always conditioned by what else you assume (hence my initial query about timescale) and since there was good reason for combining the GA/Recon/Interdiction roles in one airframe, you have to reckon if no GR4 then no F3 and hence an AD capability gap. F/A 18 I reckon was a bit late on the scene (first production 1980, was it, after Tornado was already in service?) and there was no need for navalisation, so the 'off the shelf' options would have been the F16, or the F15 if its supposed GA ability had been developed before the Strike Eagle programme belatedly came along. Given deep-seated growbag preferences for two engines, I suspect the F15 would have won out over the F16, but I do like the idea of a stretched P150, far more character. As for costs, I find it best to ignore any 'headline' figures altogether, because one of my biggest shocks when being inducted into official procurement finance was to discover the difference between the quoted and true costs of - wait for it - the mighty Tonka/Flying Flicknife.

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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 23:09 pm 
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Aerospace journalist Donald Lake has mentioned in his history of the F-15, that the MOD were considering leasing up to 50 early block F-15A to replace the Lightning from around 1980 as the Tornado F2 development dragged on. These airframes were transferred/leased to Israel instead.

Getting back to the Tornado. TSR2 would never had entered service. F-111K would have entered service instead of been turned into FB-111A's for SAC and stayed in service with upgrades to around 2010 (similar to the F-111C in RAAF service) More than the 50 originally ordered would be bought before the production line closed. Additional Cheaper Harriers, Jaguars or Phantoms would be bought to bolster the ground attack quota.

ACA or the Typhoon would replace it from 2010 depending where our industry had got to or the F-18F if it had imploded.


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PostPosted: Sun 12 Feb 2017 23:38 pm 
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It depends on when and why Tornado was cancelled as to what would replace it.

Plans to resurrect the TSR.2, of varying degrees of credibility, were raised during the 1970's. But with the Tornado, just coming into service there was no role for the TSR.2 to fill. Without Tornado the TSR.2 could have filled the gap but cost, the main reason it was cancelled in 1965, would have counted against it. It would also have been politically unacceptable for Germany to deploy a nuclear capable bomber capable of reaching Moscow. It's likely Germany and Italy would have purchased Mirage F.1. and/or 2000. UK might have purchased the F-111K but more probably upgraded the Buccaneer.
The F4K/M Phantoms were getting a bit long in the tooth by 1980 but might have been purchased as a stop gap in the IDS role and not replaced by the F.3 in the Interceptor role.

Saab Viggen is another possible to replace the Italian and German Tornadoes.

The F-14 Tomcat was suggested for the ADV role but was too expensive.

F-15E Strike Eagle or the F/A-18 Super Hornet would be the more likely substitutes for the Tornado GR 4. If upgrading the Buccaneer wasn't practical.

B1 Lancer as a V-bomber replacement instead of Tornado in the nuclear strike role.

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Feb 2017 01:56 am 
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When the Tornado was being developed it was just known as the M.R.C.A.
Due to the many stops 'n' starts in its programme to us in RAF it was refered to as 'Must Revamp Canberra Again' :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Feb 2017 06:10 am 
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Of the suggestions made (and thanks - it has been interesting to read them), I especially noted the F111. Knowing that this aircraft was touted as the TSR2 replacement but that this never came off but for pricing [cost] issues, and that they are still in service, I am tempted to model one in tandem with the GR4. I propose to use the Australian version as (a) it might well have ended up in RAF service and may well have still in [upgraded] service (b) I've got an Academy kit somewhere. I was thinking that the airframe would be painted and marked as per current GR4s. I have never been a Canberra fan, so discounted that. The Viggen and Mirage suggestions caught my eye - these aircraft had never crossed my mind. Timing was a good point, and as I had in mind current aircraft, the Buccaneer was discounted as it was an unlikely contemporary substitute. The Gripen was an intriguing suggestion in that I had assumed it was a Fighter with limited ground attack potential. But the most likely suggestions where the F15 'Strike Eagle' and F16. But I'm not a great fan of these types when 'bombed up'. So, FIII it is. I shall start on the FIII soon - my 1/24th Spitfire Mk.VA is nearly finished, hence the question.
Thanks!


Last edited by inkpen on Mon 13 Feb 2017 07:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Feb 2017 06:24 am 
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Do show us how you get on with it.
We have a vested interest in seeing the outcome :lol:

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Feb 2017 12:46 pm 
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Semi-serious answer: The Typhoon has been or is being cleared for more or less every weapon type that the Tornado is cleared for.

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PostPosted: Mon 13 Feb 2017 23:42 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Feb 2017 23:04 pm 
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Discount the Viggen. It's too short legged. The R.A.F. should have bought the F-15E to replace the Phantom mud movers and then the Gripen for air defence work.

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PostPosted: Thu 09 Mar 2017 22:44 pm 
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Su 27 for me one of the best fighters ever and no doubt would move earth as well


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PostPosted: Fri 10 Mar 2017 03:02 am 
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AlvertonPhil wrote:
Discount the Viggen. It's too short legged. The R.A.F. should have bought the F-15E to replace the Phantom mud movers and then the Gripen for air defence work.

You don't think that the Eagle is good enough for both roles?

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PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar 2017 16:10 pm 
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Something else :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun 12 Mar 2017 19:33 pm 
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F-15... we would have improved it like most US imports with our avionics and then shown the yanks how to fly it....maybe even some F-16s and F-18s as things developed and once we were locked into the US option the British bit of the Eurofighter would have faded away
Then the F35....sounds familiar

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PostPosted: Sat 18 Mar 2017 01:46 am 
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Brews wrote:
AlvertonPhil wrote:
Discount the Viggen. It's too short legged. The R.A.F. should have bought the F-15E to replace the Phantom mud movers and then the Gripen for air defence work.
You don't think that the Eagle is good enough for both roles?
Ye-es. But I'm mean, I was trying to save money.

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