RichardPrice
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UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:38 pm

The Minister for Defence Procurement Lord Drayson has publically stated that if the US does not change its stance toward the UK with regard to technology in the JSF, specifically in this case the computer management software that runs the fighters, then the UK will not be able to purchase the fighters.

Drayson is currently in Washington to discuss the JSF program, and has also revealed the much rumoured fact that the UK does have a Plan B if the JSF purchase was to be scrapped.

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2152035/joint-strike-fighter
 
RichardPrice
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:19 pm

Update -

Australia has issued pretty much the same ultimatum, in that if the US doesnt share the technology, they may pull out of the project.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/nation...rets/2006/03/15/1142098529632.html

I guess the Aussies are a bit peeved that the JSF has just had its low observability status downgraded.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/...ters/2006/03/13/1142098404532.html

[Edited 2006-03-16 10:25:38]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:38 pm

I guess that means the JSF deal with two of our most important allies is ours to loose?
 
TaromA380
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:51 pm

"Plan B" does mean french Rafale for the RN ? Holy cow !  Smile
 
CHRISBA777ER
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Thu Mar 16, 2006 11:13 pm

Well its Rafale or nothing really.

We wont be buying the Rhino anytime soon, and the Navalisation of the Typhoon will be extremely expensive and require adaptation, as the cockpit does not have the required forward view for Carrier ops.

Rafale is cheaper, and as capable as either as a Naval Strike Fighter IMHO. Fantastic piece of kit. Sexy too.
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
AirRyan
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:16 am

What did everyone ever expect, that the US would just give away the tech they spent BILLIONS on during ther F-22 program? To me, this entire multinational approach to R&D was a failure waiting to bust - you always get what you pay for and if your not willing to pay for it than don't expect it to happen.
 
kaitak
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:51 am

Didn't the RAF have a similar problem with the last Chinooks they bought? They bought the aircraft and because the US won't hand over the computer software to operate them, they're grounded. I don't know if it's that they won't operate or they can't, but they're not being used and that's quite a lot of kit to have lying around; you can also understand why they wouldn't want a repeat of that.

As for your comment, AirRyan, fair enough, but at the end of the day, the money for these acquisitions is coming out of UK (and Australian) taxpayers' money and Her Britannic Majesty's govt has a duty to ensure that what it buys is usable; 150 aircraft is a huge outlay and you really don't want to spend that amount without making sure the aircraft can be used.

I understand it comes down to independence of operation. What if, in 20 years time, the UK feels that it needs to engage in a military conflict with which the US disagrees; the US can then shut the aircraft down and deny use to the UK, which bought them.

It should also be said that if the UK and Australia pull out, it increases the unit costs for the US aircraft as well.

Finally, it occurs to me that since France is building the three aircraft carriers (two for the UK and one for France) and its own one will obviously be kitted out for the Rafale, it would make sense for the two UK ones to be similarly configured?

Finally, finally, what's a Rhino?
 
Thorny
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:00 am

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 6):
I understand it comes down to independence of operation. What if, in 20 years time, the UK feels that it needs to engage in a military conflict with which the US disagrees; the US can then shut the aircraft down and deny use to the UK, which bought them.

How so? The UK would still be able to use their JSFs, they just wouldn't have the ability to modify them for other weapons or avionics. At least, not cheaply.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 6):

Finally, finally, what's a Rhino?

F-18E/F, a name used to distinguish the plane from earlier Hornets (dubbed "Bugs".)
 
GDB
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:14 am

AirRyan, as mentioned before, JSF was NOT a one way street.
Lift engines, production line technology just to name two.
LM are not the problem, those who doubtless also made idiots of themselves on Capitol Hill with that whole ports saga, are.

The UK has sunk several billion £ into JSF, think the US would allow advanced production line technology to go on to a foreign programme?
But, the UK is partly to blame.

Not learning lessons.
The US broke promises over Manhatten Project, despite the large UK scientific contribution, only in the late 50's after the UK demonstated that the US had failed to prevent the UK developing comparable technology, did they suddenly remember their wartime pledges.

They attempted the same with the jet engine technology-where in WW2 the US was way behind.

The US was happy to take on board radar absorbing material technology from the UK in the late 50's/early 60's.
Think the reverse would have happened?

In the early 1980's, a deal was singned on AAM's, Europe would take AIM-120's, while the US would adopt the AIM-132 IR AAM, a Sidewinder replacement at last, guess who reneged there?
Small wonder many European nations are on the more advanced Meteor BVRAAM, who would trust supply or tech transfer on more advanced future AIM-120's.

The loss of the VSTOL technology/capability, once Harrier retired, would be regrettable, however if a suitable tech transfer/work package with Rafale can be worked out, maybe it's time to stop fooling ourseleves.

The US really only has one ally-Israel.
They might well want to buy F-35s in time, like the UK, they would want a lot of home grown equipment fitted.

I doubt Capitol Hill would object, despite Israel having been caught conducting spying against the US more than once, despite having aided Chinese weapon programmes (deafening silence on that from the US when very, very modest Chinese links were mooted by EADS), having supplied rogue states like Apartied South Africa-possibly to the level of nuclear weaponary even.

Unfortunate for the good folks at LM and others, those from the UK too who have worked for over 5 years on this, but you seemingly cannot do honest business with a nation who seem to have so many politicians who are only semi rational at the best of times, then totally paranoid and idiotic every two year election cycle, which enough of the populace laps up to make it worthwhile.

It would also be a severe blow to F-35, I doubt there are many other 150 (UK) and 75-100 (Australia) customers out there.
F-35C might have been a partial Tornado GR.4 replacement too, beyond the 150 F-35B models.
 
11Bravo
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:46 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
What did everyone ever expect, that the US would just give away the tech they spent BILLIONS on during ther F-22 program? To me, this entire multinational approach to R&D was a failure waiting to bust - you always get what you pay for and if your not willing to pay for it than don't expect it to happen.

Both the UK and Australia have, or will, pay significant amounts of the R&D cost. I wouldn't be too supportive of F-35 tech transfer to some countries, but that's not the case with these two. They are our closest allies and it's completely inappropriate and foolish for the US Congress to impose these conditions.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
GDB
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:57 am

Agree 11Bravo, I don't doubt many Americans in this industry, find all this as objectionable as the UK does.

To correct an earlier point, the UK will build 2 60,000 ton CVF carriers, though VSTOL, apparently easily to mod for cat launch.
It is a Thales/BAE project, BAE having pissed off government with screw ups elsewhere when this was decided in 2003.
Though the UK did not want a steam plant, so wait for electromagnetic catapults?
A bit risky.

Enter France, who seem not to want to build a sister to CDG, rather they are looking to adapt the CVF design, to be built in France, in a roughly similar timeframe to the UK ships, for Rafale/E-2C.
Could this be a path to getting a steam plant aboard?
Could Rafale 'RN', be a part of this?

However, I think everyone would like to see the F-35 issue sorted.
A RAF/FAA Harrier replacement, a modern 'first day of the war' aircraft, unless the US downgrades non US frames.

The UK, even from the start, wants different, non US, weapons fitted, to give just one example.

That 'Special Forces' HC.3 Chinook story, incredibly, is true.
The US wants allies to fight with them, they bitch if the equipment is not up to what they think is needed, yet denies the SAS, who these choppers would largely carry, a key capability to aid this.
They would be really handy on this new, large, UK Afghan deployment happening now. Madness.
How long does the UK want to be in this abusive relationship?

Reckon an Israeli buy of similar machines, if they wanted them, would have these problems?
 
dl021
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:03 am

We do expect this technology transfer to take place. But if it does not take place we will not be able to purchase these aircraft," said Lord Drayson.
They expect to work this out. The problem lies with US law and they are working on changing that law as regards allies. There was a similar problem prior to the F-16 deal with the UAE and Oman. They had problems with us releasing the source codes, and it got worked out. I really don't see us killing this deal over cutting out two of our prime allies.

They'll get this handled, or I wouldn't blame the British and Australians for buying something else.

Congress needs simply to be made to understand that a law must be written to exclude these two nations from the restrictions as long as they agree to keep it close hold and not export the technology in a way that violates US law.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
TheSonntag
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:40 am

How is the know-how shared between the Eurofighter countries, btw? Does every EF producing country have full access to the complete EF technology? I know that different parts were developed in different countries, but does every country have access to all secrets? What if a conflict occurred, could the UK use the EF without support from Germany and Italy (such a situation would not occur, but what if it did)?
 
atmx2000
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:14 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 12):
How is the know-how shared between the Eurofighter countries, btw? Does every EF producing country have full access to the complete EF technology? I know that different parts were developed in different countries, but does every country have access to all secrets? What if a conflict occurred, could the UK use the EF without support from Germany and Italy (such a situation would not occur, but what if it did)?

I would be surprised if there wasn't plenty of tech sharing. It seems easier to me to mandate that kind of sharing when everyone is roughly the same size, and invests rather similar amounts of money and takes similar financial risks. In the case of the JSF, the US invests somewhere around 75-80% of the R&D funds, and will take a similar fraction of the planes for all planes sold to development partners. IHMO, this makes the relationship with the smaller partners difficult to handle.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
RichardPrice
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:33 am

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 12):
How is the know-how shared between the Eurofighter countries, btw? Does every EF producing country have full access to the complete EF technology? I know that different parts were developed in different countries, but does every country have access to all secrets? What if a conflict occurred, could the UK use the EF without support from Germany and Italy (such a situation would not occur, but what if it did)?

As far as I know, all countries have full access to technology and all countries have their own complete support system in place for the aircraft, exactly the same as the Tornado. Only in the most severe cases will an aircraft require return to a factory.

No permission is needed for each countries individual usage of the aircraft.
 
strudders
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:57 am

As I see it.....

You let us buy your nuclear deterents including delivery systems, You let our airman fly your most secret planes (B2 and F117) , we gave you our jet engines, and a whole load of other stuff, so up to now its been a two way thing.

I love the US, however this is poor friendship. Yes your tax dollas I am sure paid for the orginal stelth technology and a ROI must be expected, however we are not about to sell you down the river. This will only isolate the US, force more technology to be developed in European colaborations, and I know that scares you, not in a materialistic way but a lack of control way.

Why the US has become paranoid is beyond me, and its a real pitty as we are willing to stand and die next to you at any cost to our small nation.

Flame away, I dont care.

My 2 cents.

Struds
 
TheSonntag
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:53 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 13):
HMO, this makes the relationship with the smaller partners difficult to handle.

Very true. This is actually one reason why projects like the Tornado, Airbus or Eurofighter have been launched. In projects like the JSF, the European allies are "junior partners", which hampers the development of own technology... On the other hand, getting a share in one of the best plane in existance can have its own benefits...
 
AirRyan
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:26 am

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 6):
As for your comment, AirRyan, fair enough, but at the end of the day, the money for these acquisitions is coming out of UK (and Australian) taxpayers' money and Her Britannic Majesty's govt has a duty to ensure that what it buys is usable; 150 aircraft is a huge outlay and you really don't want to spend that amount without making sure the aircraft can be used.



Quoting Kaitak (Reply 6):
I understand it comes down to independence of operation. What if, in 20 years time, the UK feels that it needs to engage in a military conflict with which the US disagrees; the US can then shut the aircraft down and deny use to the UK, which bought them.

Which is why I am steadfast against the US going into cooperation with any foreign nation, even the UK or Australia, to develop the fighter jet to replace the F-16.

Quoting Kaitak (Reply 6):
It should also be said that if the UK and Australia pull out, it increases the unit costs for the US aircraft as well.

Perhaps I'm biased here but the US just does not need the JSF right now. Late model F-16E/F's are just fine to counter the majority of the threats of out there today and for those where something more is needed, that is why the USAF just bought the F-22. For just a fraction of what it's going to cost the US alone in just R&D of the JSF, they could replace every single current F-16 with the latest and greatest tech (a la Super Hornet) and have a much better return on investment than what the JSF is going to provide.

And let's be brutally honest here - the Harrier always was and always will be nothing more than a gimmick of impracticality.

The Marines simply were never able to validate the existance of their Harrier fleet in the first place (because the planes are relatively worthless fast moving attack helos - I'm a former Marine and used to work every day with the Harriers in the field - if I needed CAS I'd rather call in a Longbow Apache than a Harrier anyday) and so the entire premise that the USMC thinks they need something to replace their Harriers with is invalid on it's premise. All the Marines need are Super Hornets operating off large deck CVN's and with the extra space provided for in the aft by the departure of the Harriers the USMC would be better off with AH-1Z's parked there.

If the Super Hornet is good enough for the USN, than why is it not good enough for the Royal Navy? Too expensive you say? It certainly cannot be any less expensive to contribute to the development of the JSF and than purchase them compared to that of what it would be just to buy the relatively low number of Super Hornets for the new carriers.

If anything, the USN is the only ones who need a replacement for their legacy Hornets and even that is debatable since they are so in love with the Super Hornet and how vastly better off they are than if they had modernized Grumman Tomcats and Intruders. What the USN really needs is an A-12 type bomb truck to replace the long-range strike capability that the USN previously enjoyed going back all the way to even before Vietnam.

So you see, the JSF is really a money pit for the defense contractors and we would all be better off waiting one more generation until we begin to plan that alledged "last manned fighter jet."
 
dl021
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:49 am

If the choice ended up being between the F-22 and F-35 then I'd say go with the F-22. But the F-35 is not going to be that much more than an F-16 and they need replacement. The idea is to stay ahead of the potential enemies, not keep even with them.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
AirRyan
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:00 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 18):
If the choice ended up being between the F-22 and F-35 then I'd say go with the F-22. But the F-35 is not going to be that much more than an F-16 and they need replacement. The idea is to stay ahead of the potential enemies, not keep even with them.

But the F-16's rolling out of Ft. Worth today (and heading to places like Israel and the UAE) are so far superior in performance to what originally was sold to the USAF that the increase in performance versus the price is just not worth it. What we need is F-22's in numbers to replace the F-15's and the last thing the USAF needs is a new place to replace the F-16 when they cannot even afford to replace all of their F-15's.
 
atmx2000
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:00 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 16):
Very true. This is actually one reason why projects like the Tornado, Airbus or Eurofighter have been launched. In projects like the JSF, the European allies are "junior partners", which hampers the development of own technology... On the other hand, getting a share in one of the best plane in existance can have its own benefits...

I don't see what Airbus has to do with this topic. There isn't anything incredibly sensitive about commercial aircraft, except manufacturing prowess, and Boeing certainly strong relationships with European aerospace firms like Alenia involving plenty of tech transfer.

And it isn't just technology, but workshare and jobs that led to some of the projects you mentioned. And fights over the economic benefits have caused all sorts of conflicts in the Eurofighter project, especially when some countries talk about cutting down their purchases. And don't forget France pulling out of the project to pursue the Rafale for the lack of naval capability.

Quoting Strudders (Reply 15):
Yes your tax dollas I am sure paid for the orginal stelth technology and a ROI must be expected, however we are not about to sell you down the river.

I don't think the concern is that there is high level intent to do any such thing, but rather the uncertainty of what European defense integration is going to mean for technology transfered to the UK. The hazier the boundaries become between UK forces and other European forces as well as UK defense companies and European defense companies, the more chances for technology to seap out.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
GDB
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:57 am

AirRyan, that 'gimmick' we found rather important, and more impressive than expected, in a certain war in 1982.
Your own former service seems to have put the Harrier to very good use in the 1991 Gulf War, seen the sortie rate stats for CAS?
Your own former service had to fight some really bone headed NIH to get them in the first place.

Maybe it's me, but my understanding of the USMC mission, could mean in some circumstances having to fight without nice, long, paved runways, maybe at great distance from CVNs.
A rapid deployed, highly mobile, versatile force after all, is the reason for the USMC's allowed independence.

I don't see how in the absence of a VSTOL capability, the USMC can possibly now justify ANY fast jets.
What's wrong the the CVN based USN fleets?
If they feel the need, stick a FAC specialist in the rear seat of a F-18D or F, as part of a USN squadron.

Then the USAF, who seem to want around 200 F-35B's.
Surprising I know, but just maybe, the emergence of F-35B, with far fewer performance restrictions than the basically 40 year old Harrier, might fill a requirement maybe in the works for years.

That is, what if a future adversary, does a much better job of putting a SCUD descendant or similar, in numbers, more accurately, on to huge airbases lined with all those aircraft, which Iraq tried but failed to do in 1991.

If your attitude towards international co-operation prevailed, why should those shut out buy any US defence products, or as absolutely few as possible?
I imagine the insults and sulks would fly from Capitol Hill then, better yet, this attitude is just what the US accuses the French of.
I'd imagine the US Aerospace sector would not be pleased either, the US home market is not what is was up to 15-20 years ago, and never will be again.

I note no answer to the seeming US tolerance of real, not imagined, Israeli spying against you, in the recent past, of their tech transfer to China.
Mind you, it's a bit embarrasing, best not mentioned!
 
bennett123
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sat Mar 18, 2006 5:18 am

Perhaps the best solution is for the US and Europe to develop their own weapons.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:26 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 22):
Perhaps the best solution is for the US and Europe to develop their own weapons.

That would be sad, because it would widen the gap between the USA and Europe even more... I think the key lies in fair trans-national cooperation. To me it sounds understandable that the US is concerned about technology transfer in some sectors, but shouldn't these issues have been discussed BEFORE the development process was started?
 
Lumberton
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:51 am

Prediction: it'll be worked out. The JSF is too important a project. I suspect that the GE/RR engine will go ahead for those that want it and a compromise of sorts will be reached on the technology issues.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
dl021
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:40 am

For the record, the short take off ability of the Harriers gives us a fast jet asset that can strike with precision weapons deeper and farther than a helo can. The Army has so many aircraft because it's philosophy is different. The USMC will not always be within the cover range of a carrier group (remember the ops off the West African coast to evac civilians? CAP was being flown by Harriers who could either repel any potential air threat put up by some yahoo, or provide quick ground support). During the Gulf War we used a soccer stadium as a Harrier airfield, and the abilities of the Harrier allowed us to have a smaller amphib (I think it was the Tarawa) that served as a Harrier carrier with a full squadron of 20 aircraft from it's decks plus the regular complement of ASW/CSAR helos. That's flexible firepower that the USMC needs and should not give up.

The Super Hornet is only being raved about in reference to it's serviceability and it's radar. It's not as fast or maneuverable as the smaller Hornet models, and it's not as long legged or mission capable as the A-6s that it's supposed to help replace. It's a compromise aircraft and most pilots accept it because it's all that's left in the pipeline for new airplanes until JSF comes in for the USMC. Which has nothing else to replace the Harriers/Hornets and other aircraft it's lost over the years.

The USAF and the USN need replacements for their older aircraft as well, and the F-35 is the only viable option on the horizon for us. We definitely need more F-22's and if it takes killing the C-17 to do it (as long as we purchase cargo capable jumbo tankers to replace the KC-135Es) then that's it. Just don't destroy the tooling. It may come in handy later. If we end up with less than 380 F-22's we're making a large mistake. I almost saw the force makeup with 279 (as long as we didn't wear them out in combat, and they are definitely deterrents to enemy air), but the idea that we can get by with less than 200 is lunacy.

So....we need the RAF/RN and the RAAF to continue to participate in JSF, and we need to make sure that we keep the involvement of the other air forces in this project to keep our costs down, and make sure there is sufficient support for the airplane around the world where we may deploy it. We also need to sell the F-22 to the Japanese and, if possible to someone who wants 18-20 as a silver bullet strike force (RAAF to replace the Vaarks? Israel?) so we can lower the unit cost even incrementally so we can afford to purchase more of them. Controlling the skies gives us an incredible advantage since in future wars we'll be fighting with generally fewer troops on the ground than our adversaries.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
11Bravo
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:55 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 25):
So....we need the RAF/RN and the RAAF to continue to participate in JSF

Not to mention the probability that these aircraft would very likely end up fighting along USAF/USN/USMC aircraft in future conflicts thereby complementing our own force structure. It is clearly in the interest of the United States to have our two most important allies, and most likely partners in defense, equipped with the finest and most capable combat aircraft.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
GDB
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:23 am

Totally agree with the last two posts, the UK really wants F-35, it solves the issue of both RN and RAF Harrier replacement, with a new generation, versatile 'first day of the war' aircraft.

It will lengthen the RN's fixed wing combat capability by 30-40 years, this is seen as a vital component of UK out of area operations, many in the US, often quite rightly, question if some allies are pulling anything like their weight, I don't mean in very controversial conflicts like Iraq, but more generally.

Denying quite reasonable tech transfers, to a couple of allies who are noted for 'doing the right thing' as far as the majority of the US populace is concerned, would send a very bad signal beyond the US.

Australia is a long trusted US ally, privy through intel, actual operations, and US facilites in country, to much sensitive informantion.
With the UK, it's the above multiplied many times over.
Plus much more, for example, the shape and existence of the F-117 was not revealed, before the US chose to, by having RAF pilots on exchange fly it before 1988, or by occasional forward deployment to UK bases.

The UK basically took the Polaris A3 RV vehicle, and upgraded it with a degree of manoevering ability, as well as extensive decoys, to beat the Moscow ABM system, under project Chevaline.
Though this highly classified programme, (started 1973, not revealed, even to some Government Cabinet Ministers, until 1980), must have involved some exchange of information between Aldermarston in the UK, and Los Alamos, comparisons with Posiden, maybe even work on Trident, for reference, as well as access to supercomputer time.
Were US nuclear secrets ever compromised?

I could search for, look up, and provide pages of similar examples, that's the thing about issues now, they are so minor, so petty, in the scheme of things.
They bear all the hallmarks of political posturing, I very much doubt senior members of the US administration, right up to POTUS, will want such minor issues to cloud the big picture.

Another more close to home issue too, simply put, the F-35 is the US export possibility post 2012, the only one.
Yeah F-18E/F might get some small orders, F-22 as pointed out above, might go in some numbers to very close allies, but in the main, the F-35 is the only game in town, or will be soon enough.
 
AirRyan
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sun Mar 19, 2006 2:45 am

Quoting DL021 (Reply 25):
For the record, the short take off ability of the Harriers gives us a fast jet asset that can strike with precision weapons deeper and farther than a helo can. The Army has so many aircraft because it's philosophy is different. The USMC will not always be within the cover range of a carrier group (remember the ops off the West African coast to evac civilians? CAP was being flown by Harriers who could either repel any potential air threat put up by some yahoo, or provide quick ground support).

You won't need "precision weapons" from a fast-moving VTOL (the F-35B is only classified as STOVL, btw) when you have UCAVs and cruise missiles at your disposal, something that was not available when the original Harrier was designed. When the USMC is out of range of a carrier group, and please provide for an example in which this was the case because about the only time I remember anything significant as to when the USMC left their ships for dry land far enough outside of the CVN battle group might have been in Kosovo in '99 in which the UN told the Harriers not to bother and they ended up going over to Israel for an eventual safety standown due to a certain cotter pin missing from their RR engines. And even then we had GE powered Tom's able to make the journey from the boats that the Super Hornets with the same ordinance couldn't have without first refueling, so with aerial refueling it's really a mute point anyways. Throw into the bag a B-52, B-1, or F-15E on station for hours on end with numerous multiple "precision munitions" the simple reality is that Harriers are no longer nescessary. Fast moving attack helos with not much more in ordinance and that is all they are.

As for the vaunted West African air forces potentially sending up Su-27's piloted by what are essentially "bounty hunters," a Harrier with sidewinders will have about as much a chance at defending those threats as would an AH-1Z with AIM-9X. Again, not reason enough to justify the need for the STOVL/VSTOL aircraft in the modern battlefield. When a JSF slings external ordinance as will most often be the case in any signficant engagement beyond the first day of the battle, we would be much better off with saving the JSF money and buying late-model Vipers and with the savings from the JSF program buy more F-22's. We are all familiar with the economy and the odds of the JSF panning out on time and on budget let alone at a per unit cost anywhere near what they are currently dreaming of, well after the V-22 and F-22 program battles I think those odds are really slim to none. Political bureacracy has gone the order of the day and the days of taking an F-14 from paper to the air in less than what, a year (1969 to Dec 1970 for it's first flight?) are over.

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
Totally agree with the last two posts, the UK really wants F-35, it solves the issue of both RN and RAF Harrier replacement, with a new generation, versatile 'first day of the war' aircraft.

If they really want it than are their threats to pull out of the program merely hollow? (In which case the US needs alter nothing.)
 
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:02 am

Yes, but there is an alternative, not the favoured one, but for the RN, in the shape of the Rafale N.
The RAF would just buy more Typhoons.
The point is, yet again, agreements, understandings, promises are being broken.
You hear a lot in the US about 'unrealiable Europeans', well from this side of the pond, guess who looks that way?

Don't think axing F-35 would give the latest, warmed up F-18E/F, more exports, the UK would not want it for CVF, (and why reward those who have just screwed you over), when the newer generation Rafale is available, the RAAF would likely buy Typhoons to replace F-18C.

The USMC thinks it needs new generation VSTOL, with the extra cost burdens, the specialisation, lack of commilarity with other F-35s, political capitol to spend, I doubt they thought this because they think VSTOL looks cool to show off at air displays.
They clearly see a need for it, it would be much easier to stick to F-18s.
(Until one day, the inevitable happens and someone says 'why do the USMC need the same aircraft, using the same platforms, as the navy?')

Isn't the point of the USMC to be flexible enough to respond to the unexpected?
Citing recent conflicts (and the Harrier can also do so in it's favour), as a template for the future, sort of goes against the idea of the Corps.

If you want an example of a disfunctional system tying up resources, V-22.
How late? Over a decade?
I guess there is a need for it, but this concept is not without problems, just how are the yet again rebuilt AH-1's going to keep pace when escort is needed?
 
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sun Mar 19, 2006 8:30 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
The UK basically took the Polaris A3 RV vehicle, and upgraded it with a degree of manoevering ability, as well as extensive decoys, to beat the Moscow ABM system, under project Chevaline.
Though this highly classified programme, (started 1973, not revealed, even to some Government Cabinet Ministers, until 1980), must have involved some exchange of information between Aldermarston in the UK, and Los Alamos, comparisons with Posiden, maybe even work on Trident, for reference, as well as access to supercomputer time.
Were US nuclear secrets ever compromised?

Though it should be noted at that time the UK's defense industry was intact and home controlled. But since then intra-European cooperation has increased and with defense mergers and buyouts taking place in the EU including the UK, the ability for the UK to shield information on such projects is increasingly limited.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 28):
Political bureacracy has gone the order of the day and the days of taking an F-14 from paper to the air in less than what, a year (1969 to Dec 1970 for it's first flight?) are over.

It's not just bureacracy. Software development and systems integration for ever more complex systems takes a long time.
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Stealthz
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:03 pm

I fear the JSF story is far from over and is heading towards one without a happy ending.

Whilst airframes and systems become more complex and the need for multinational copoeration becomes increasingly desirable sadly the political climate is working against this.

The USA is becoming increasingly isolationist, turning their back on those countries that have been their staunchest allies,whilst bending over backwards to do whatever is asked by a small nation that has shown their relationship to be opportunistic at best and by most measures traitorous.

The USA expects their allies to stand beside them in times of crisis and the two we are discussing here could be said to do that. It is sad that those same overly influential and underinformed politicians(both in the Capitol and the Pentagon) expect those allies to stand shoulder to shoulder with them using substandard weapons systems.

Perhaps it is time for the USA to stand beside her allies, now that would be a refreshing change.

Likely won't happen.. not a lot of Pork Barrel votes in that!

C

[Edited 2006-03-19 13:11:37]
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:24 pm

The most surprising thing about a lot of the comments in this thread, is that people that are surprised that the US is shafting its allies. Again. no 
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:24 am

Despite the offer/alternative offer of Rafale N, a UK F-35B pullout would likely end the whole CVF programme.
It's already two years behind, very expensive.
On the other hand, though the rises in public spending is to slow down post 2008, whilst health and education are not likely to suffer cuts, other departments probably are, though it is thought that Defence will be ring fenced too.

Likely soon to be PM Gordon Brown, might be tempted to axe CVF, however a lot of the work will be done in his backyard, seeing how in a recent byelection saw an unexpected Lib Dem win in the seat next to his, where he actually lives when not in London, with some damage to his political base and prestige, ending CVF would have a far worse political effect.

In other words, there is no burning desire to axe the project, unless effectively forced to.

Switching to Rafale N, with all the cat launch stuff, an aircraft only for the RN but not the RAF, the no steam plant design issue, will seriously undermine the project.
The RAF have gone along with CVF as they were getting the state of the art F-35 too.

This would mean no UK carrier capability in about a decades time.
Building small VSTOL decks is pointless, no F-35B, no point in putting some kind of upgraded new Harrier back in production-it's already at the end of it's development life, not really an option for another 30 years.

This would blow a hole in the whole UK defence strategy, the part about out of area deployments, the very thing the US thinks Europe should have more capability in.

I don't think the potential of more European defence convergence is a serious issue in witholding the required info, some things are still ring fenced, by the UK, by France.
In any case, we are still talking about US allies here, including France.

The whole Chinook HC.3 issue is unforgiveable, here the UK is, short of enough modern choppers, choppers being used in support of US forces, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, yet a batch are stuck on the ground!
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:31 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 33):
In any case, we are still talking about US allies here, including France.

France is no doubt a key issue. And they have increased cooperation with Russia on military aviation technology. Who sells to everyone else in the world.
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STT757
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Tue Mar 28, 2006 1:34 pm

Quote:
U.S. official sees F-35 deal with UK by mid-June
By Andrea Shalal-Esa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Deputy Defence Secretary Gordon England on Monday said he expects the United States and Britain to work out differences over technology transfer issues related to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter by mid-June.

"We are within 1 percent of one another," England told reporters after a speech to a Defence Security Cooperation Agency conference, in which he underscored the U.S. administration's commitment to strengthening cooperation with international partners.

"My objective is to have it resolved by the middle of June," he said.



Quote:
British officials were now more upbeat about prospects for buying the radar-evading fighter jet, which is being built by Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed Martin Corp., after what they called Drayson's "extremely constructive" talks with England and other top U.S. officials

.

http://business.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=476282006
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:24 am

Indeed STT757, it's in no ones serious interest for this (and the Chinook HC.3's), to not be resolved properly.
I don't count posturing on Capitol Hill to be in anyone's serious interest, aside from those doing this.
 
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:05 am

Also the GE-RR F-136 engine has received funding from Congress for another year. But going forward with the 2nd engine will depend on whether there is any real benefit from having a 2nd offering.
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Phantomphixer
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:06 am

Quoting RichardPrice (Thread starter):
and has also revealed the much rumoured fact that the UK does have a Plan B if the JSF purchase was to be scrapped.

Can we please have the Phantoms back? In their early colour scheme? Please?  pray 

Oh well... it was worth a try  Smile
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dl021
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:52 am

OK...first there are no West African air forces flying the SU-27 that I know of, the air threat during the evacuation (minimal that it was) was from aircraft that would not have any BVR capability. A Harrier with it's guns, speed, VIFF capability, and IR missiles...when used with the proper tactics....is more than capable against any non-BVR capable aircraft. I do believe the USMC should be given the ability to put AIM-120s on their Harriers, but that's a budget issue as well as an internal political issue since they don't want to be told that they don't need the F-35s.

The USMC doesn't need F/A-18s more than it needs the F-35 and that plays a part in capability upgrade decisions to existing aircraft.

The F/A-18E is not that appealing to other air forces who have similarly priced aircraft that are more capable (albeit not carrier capable, but who cares?) and not subject to the parts/spares/service limitations they may be subject to with US political swings.

The Harrier is an excellent aircraft for our current force structure, and offers us capability not present elsewhere. You can't operate Rhinos or any other conventional jet from the LHA/Ds, but you do get fast mover capability from them.

The UK, as an ally, deserves the most consideration, as long as they're willing to guarantee that the technology is not shared with their EU partners who aren't cleared to the same extent. The issue was not with whether we could trust the UK, but whether US law allowed for tech transfer to a foreign nation that was obligated under other treaties, or allowed by internal law, to transfer that information forward. It's worth working out to make sure it happens properly, since the laws were designed to protect US interests.....where we are concerned first and foremost.

Quoting GDB (Reply 33):
In any case, we are still talking about US allies here, including France.

France has made itself more of a competitor than an ally when it comes to their foreign policy and economic efforting.
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Apr 14, 2006 2:34 am

That's all true DL021, but I think the record of US/UK cooperation on a range of often highly sensitive projects, speaks for itself.

IMHO, it's the Israeli record of tech transfer and other bad behavior, that should be a concern, much more than France.

But as yet, the IDAF/AF has not ordered the F-35, it is a moot point so far.
 
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Apr 14, 2006 8:08 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 40):
That's all true DL021, but I think the record of US/UK cooperation on a range of often highly sensitive projects, speaks for itself.

IMHO, it's the Israeli record of tech transfer and other bad behavior, that should be a concern, much more than France.

But as yet, the IDAF/AF has not ordered the F-35, it is a moot point so far.

Israel is involved though, and was in fact booted from F-35 development for their past indiscretions for a time last year.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...n-out-of-f35-development/index.php

They were subsequently allowed back in, though I don't know what the terms are.
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dl021
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:30 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 40):
IMHO, it's the Israeli record of tech transfer and other bad behavior, that should be a concern, much more than France

Yeah, well they were slapped pretty hard on the AEW/C Phalcon tech they wanted to sell to the PRC.

Israel has a tendency to want to improve on stuff they buy or develop their own using knowhow they acquired elsewhere through purchase or espionage/theft (known tactics.... not casting aspersions) and then selling to anyone with cash. Sort of like the French.
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GDB
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:11 am

I think the French have 'cleaned up' in who gets arms in more recent times. It must have been fustrating for French AF Mirage F.1CR recce/strike pilots in Desert Storm, to have to wait until the Iraqi AF had been almost totally removed from the battle, before they could operate, for obvious reasons with such a large Iraqi AF Mirage F.1 fleet.

One thing which was in short supply in 1991, was enough tac recce, you had a few USN pods on F-14's, some USAF RF-4C's, the capable Mirage F-1CRs and the very capable, but barely in service RAF Tornado GR.1A's.

Though most Iraqi SAM's were USSR sourced, I bet French AF pilots were also less than happy with the knowledge that the most capable Iraqi SAM's were Franco-German Rolands.
But the French arms largesse to Iraq in the 1980's, was hardly then in controvention of US interests, with the Iran-Iraq war, quite the opposite in fact.

Imagine the shitstorm if another AM-39 had hit another Coalition (including possibly a French) warship.
(As it was, a few Chinese 'Silkworms' were fired, one was headed for a major USN unit, but the escorting HMS Gloucester, shot it down with a Sea Dart SAM).

The most controversial French arms deal since was with Taiwan, with the PRC that is, the US could hardly object too much to that one!
 
fvtu134
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:05 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 39):
OK...first there are no West African air forces flying the SU-27 that I know of,

Algeria (which is pretty western - Northwest actually) recently ordered a bunch of Su-30's and Yak130 trainers. The order also included some (uninteresting) land stuff.

Not to bitch around but just thought I'd add this little piece of information.
FVTu134
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dl021
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:33 am

Quoting FVTu134 (Reply 44):
Algeria (which is pretty western - Northwest actually) recently ordered a bunch of Su-30's and Yak130 trainers. The order also included some (uninteresting) land stuff.

Yeah, but it's not a west African nation. It's in North Africa.

Quoting GDB (Reply 43):
The most controversial French arms deal since was with Taiwan, with the PRC that is, the US could hardly object too much to that one!

That was one hellacious deal for the French. Do you know how pissed the ROC was when they found out how much more they paid for those fighters and frigates?
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Lumberton
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Thu May 04, 2006 10:58 pm

U.S. House panel poised to restore 2nd F-35 engine

When all the indignation and outrage over the second sourced engine and technology sharing issues is spent (especially here on a.net!), look for this to be worked out to everyone's satisfaction. This program is just too important.

Quote:
The U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee is expected to approve on Wednesday a measure to restore funding for a second engine for the Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a panel spokesman said.


[Edited 2006-05-04 16:23:31]
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GDB
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri May 05, 2006 2:06 am

I agree Lumbertown, it is in no ones interest to let this fester.

I may have bored some of you with a list of previous US-UK defence project issues, but they were usually worked out in the end, to mutual satisfaction.
 
checksixx
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Fri May 05, 2006 11:04 pm

Quoting DL021 (Reply 25):
The Super Hornet is only being raved about in reference to it's serviceability and it's radar. It's not as fast or maneuverable as the smaller Hornet models, and it's not as long legged or mission capable as the A-6s that it's supposed to help replace.

**Okay, gotta chime in on this comment. While the Superhornet is slower than a legacy Hornet by 0.2 Mach, it can out accelerate a legacy Hornet any day. As far a maneuverability is concerned the Superhornet is FAR more maneuverable than a legacy Hornet...not to mention the awesome AOA authority advantage the Superhornet has over the legacy Hornet!**
 
MigFan
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RE: UK Issues Ultimatum Over JSF

Thu May 11, 2006 10:09 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 8):
The US really only has one ally-Israel.

Would you really call Israel an ally? I have worked with the Israelis and that is not the impression I got. Plus, their close ties with China.

/M
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