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Report Casts Doubt On F-35B For UK Carriers

Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:04 am

Brief report from Press Association:

"The Ministry of Defence is poised to drop a Rolls-Royce engine in favour of an American alternative, potentially putting hundreds of jobs at risk, it has been reported.

The Daily Telegraph claimed defence officials were preparing to reject the jump-jet version of the Joint Strike Fighter, which uses a UK-built Rolls-Royce engine."
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Report Casts Doubt On F-35B For UK Carriers

Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:03 am

Thanks for posting this, however I must warn than when a report is sourced from the Daily Telegraph then it's almost certainly a) just made up, or b) a years old 'reheated' one, or c) exaggerated.

I'll go with b) for this one,with some added c). But I think I know what this is really about.

GE with R/R have been promoting a second engine for the F-35, the F-136.
Many in the DoD, citing the cost savings that dual engine sourcing for the F-16 in the 1980's, want this second option.
It would be the preferred one for the UK too.
Others see it as a wasteful duplication.

This report seems to be mixing up the issue of these engines, with the separate issue of the F-35B and C versions.
The report implies that R/R job losses are likely, from the lift fan engine.
But the Lift Fan for the F-35B is an entirely separate issue from the two alternate main engines for all three F-35 variants. Either in the F-35B could use lift fan.

Since metal is being cut on the first of the two carriers now, since any catapult for a UK F-35C would mean waiting for someone (the USN) to develop and deploy an electo magnetic catapult, since there is no provision for s steam one on the CVF carriers, changing from F-35B to F-35C would be costly, delaying and risky.
It's not impossible, it could happen, but if it DID happen, (through the US canceling F-35B and/or RAF pressure), it would, even as construction is underway, probably kill the CVF.
Which would not displease some in the RAF.

You may think that being a broadsheet newspaper would mean on defence matters, it would be better than a tabloid.
It isn't though, even when as in the case of the Telegraph, a Tory supporting paper that runs probably more stories than others about defence matters, it would be popular with service personnel.
It isn't though, more often it's the object of ridicule from them.

A couple of years ago they ran a story of how cuts in the Navy meant that Argentina could virtually walk in again to the Falklands, they missed out the fact that a small but powerful UK forces presence was there, including jet fighters, SAM's etc unlike 1982, but the inventory of the Argentine forces they reported was fantasy.
That's when I (and it seems from scanning sites that have plenty of UK forces and interested parties as members) gave up on them.

[Edited 2009-08-06 03:19:45]

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