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Possible RN Purchase Of The Rafale  
User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3801 times:

Last month Defense Minister Ried made a verbal offer to buy up to 150 Rafale M for the Royal Navy. This of course would mean a big hit for the JSF. Can't say I blame them. With the way the DOD has screwed with the program if I were the British I would defenitly keep my options open as well. On a positive note this would open the door for a possible E-2D sale to the RN. Obviously since the Rafale would mean a return of tail hooks to the Royal Navy.

http://yahoo.reuters.com/stocks/Quot..._14-53-00_L26730600&symbol=AVMD.PA

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3792 times:

This has been around before because of the joint CV project for the RN and French Navy. France always only wanted the Rafale used on the CV, that will be built in a French shipyard. The RN wanted the F-35 for the CV, but have things changed?

User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3738 times:

Seems to me the RN is just trying to put a little pressure on the US, espescially after the RR engine option got canned.


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3726 times:

Why would they want 150 aircraft for 2 carriers. That would be 75 per carrier and more than the USN has on theirs, too.

I know you need reserve squadrons, but 150 sounds a bit excessive.

Also an odd statement seeing as the Rafale is a competitor to the Typhoon (even though there is no naval version of that).


User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 37
Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3629 times:

Quoting LMP737 (Thread starter):
Last month Defense Minister Ried made a verbal offer to buy up to 150 Rafale M for the Royal Navy. This of course would mean a big hit for the JSF. Can't say I blame them. With the way the DOD has screwed with the program if I were the British I would defenitly keep my options open as well.

On the other hand, running to the French doesn't help alleviate Congressional and DOD concerns about technology leakage.

Personally, I think the whole joint development program idea was flawed. It is difficult to work out a satisfactory arrangement when one country's investment is so much larger than the others, and the other wants/needs access to more of the technology than they paid for.

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 2):
Seems to me the RN is just trying to put a little pressure on the US, espescially after the RR engine option got canned.

There were rumors of this before the engine got canned. I wonder if the DOD was anticipating reduced orders from the UK and reducing the workshare accordingly.

Quoting A319XFW (Reply 3):
Also an odd statement seeing as the Rafale is a competitor to the Typhoon (even though there is no naval version of that).

They don't have any other reasonable choice that won't require a substantial investment. And I believe France relented on some aspect of the carrier tech transfer payments to the UK.



ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 5, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3509 times:

It's not about the GE engine, it's about the refusal, despite earlier pledges, to allow access to stuff like source codes, (you'd think the UK would learn from history on this).

Since they had put a lot of money into F-35, from the start, clearly R/R's long VSTOL experience was needed, BAE provided it's advanced production line technology as used in Typhoon to LM (like that would happen the other way around).

BAE has always been more than just a foreign subcontractor, indeed it's deep involvement was touted as a first for a US military aircraft programme, at least that was how it was understood, in 2001.

Also, UK F-35's will have different weapons and other equipment from US examples, the UK want like a production line, to aid in the support and UK specfic upgrades over decades.
LM is not responsible, more like Capitol Hill.

So other option have to be considered, F-35C would bring the same problems, F-18E/F is not new generation.
Leaving Rafale, but 150 is way over the top, more like 60-70.
But, UK spec equipment and weapons, would there be a UK line? What about larger offsets and French procurement of UK equipment?

The CVF carriers are VSTOL, though designed to be converted to CTOL.
However, no provision for steam catapults, so an electromagnetic one would be needed, implying a substantial programme delay.

It's unlikely, try getting past an additional, rather similar, new combat aircraft past the Treasury.
A carrier Typhoon has been studied, but the history of land based aircraft converted to carrier is not a good one, Typhoon would be no different and very expensive for a small production run.

But, the MoD has to make clear that alternatives are being looked at, to help get some honesty and common sense into some heads across the pond.


User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 37
Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3445 times:

I agree it is about more than the engines. But while the UK has made a substantial upfront investment in the JSF R&D, it is still a small percentage of the upfront R&D expenditures that the US made. I think all problems stem from that investment disparity, which of course was proportional to the planned acquisitions. If the UK planned on acquiring a proportionally similar number of JSFs to what US armed forces plan on acquiring on a population basis, and had increased investment accordingly, I think these problems would not be present to such a degree.


ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3319 times:

Yes, but involvement went way beyond the several billion £ invested.
UK test pilots were amongst the first to fly both the Boeing and LM VSTOL JSF competitors.

There is a backstory, in 2003, BAE unveiled Replica, a concept for a steathly strike fighter.
One picture, of it in a chamber to test radar returns, was released, though the actual concept was built in 1999.

Whilst it was a hollow shell, not a flyable aircraft, this was not an issue, since Replica was done to prove that BAE could produce a new generation low observable, with the potential to become an aircraft, structure wise. Replica was a sound basis for a flyer, it was beyond the usual mock-ups.
And it was done in secrecy.

This was BAE's 'buy in' beyond money, into JSF, with the understanding that they would be a full subcontractor, at the level of a major US one.

There is also precedent, the UK, bankrupt and damaged by WW2, with a new government with a landslide mandate for sweeping social change, started a UK Atomic weapon programme in 1945-some years before NATO was formed.
Why? Because the US had broken wartime pledges to share the technology with the UK, who had provided a substantial input of top scientists, in the Manhatten Project.
(Leslie Groves then reckoned they contributed little, then attempted to prevent them leaving the US!)

Fast forward just over a decade, the UK was conducting H-Bomb tests on Christmas Island.
A US delegation was invited, they flew in on a Pan Am Stratocruiser, to witness some tests, as planned they went away certain that the UK had a viable H-bomb programme.

As a result, also as planned, the restrictions on this technology was lifted.
Enabling the UK to productionise the weapons at a much lower cost, being based on US designs with all that extra experience the much bigger US programme enjoyed, but all UK weapons can, and were, built too.


User currently offlineAtmx2000 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4576 posts, RR: 37
Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
Why? Because the US had broken wartime pledges to share the technology with the UK, who had provided a substantial input of top scientists, in the Manhatten Project.

True, but a similar situation arose then financially. Manhattan project expenditures by US are pretty much in the same ball park as the JSF R&D investment the US has made after adjusting for inflation. Of course the former was a larger percentage of GDP than the JSF is. It's hard for some to justify giving access to the fruits of such a large investment when someone hasn't made anywhere near the same investment contribution and thus taken a similar financial risk. That's a problem in any R&D joint venture when one party is making a much, much larger investment than the other party. The larger party feels that they had more to lose if the project failed and should have a priviledged status. And naturally the smaller investor feels the larger investor doesn't appreciate their contributions.



ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13208 posts, RR: 77
Reply 9, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

True, but you had to see it in the WW2 context, with fears the Germans were not ignoring this technology.
Prior to WW2, the already strong UK science base in this field, was enhanced further by Jewish scientists fleeing the Nazis, some of these would be important for Manhatten, some were by now, British citizens.
Beyond this is the fact a pledge, undertaken in wartime, was broken by Capitol Hill.

The pioneering work on jet engines, in the UK, ahead of anything in the US, was handed over in WW2 as well, with the understanding of long term sharing of this technology.
Another pledge broken.

This is perhaps why the MoD should have been more aware that whatever LM and the DoD agreed, Capitol Hill could renege on.
Basically, their fears on technology transfer, are countered with a very blunt instrument.
Interesting to know if Israel has these problems, as they've been caught out spying in the past, sharing technology with China and others the US would not approve of.

However, it is more likely than not that this will be resolved, the UK pulling out of F-35 would be a blow, way beyond the 150 F-35B's planned to be procured (not counting a potential F-35C RAF buy later, as a partial Tornado GR.4 replacement).
Difficult to see a bigger F-35 sale outside the US, by anyone.

Imagine the signal it would send as well, even the apparently cloest US ally, with long links in areas like Nuclear technology, stealth (radar absorbing material was available for wartime fitment to RAF V-Bombers as long ago as the early 60's, RAF exchange pilots flew the F-117 well before it was made public), Re-entry vehicle/decoy technology (the UK's home grown 'Chevaline' Polaris A3 upgrade), a very close sharing of intelligence information, in particular in the electronic field.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3273 times:

I like the Rafale pesonally and I would have been happier to see the USN outfit them with what they needed rather than what they ended up doing by enlarging the losing bid to the LWF program and stuffing the latest high-tech goodies in it (wouldn't they have been better off just making new F-4's again?) If the B-1 only got as to so much love the B-52 could finally find it's way to the old-fart's home.

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