Blackprojects
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RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:02 pm

The two new RN Aircraft carriers have felt the effects of the recession with 1 being converted into a Commando carrier Assault ship with only Helicopters and no fighters and the JSF buy is being cut to from 138 for Naval use down to 60ish may go as low as 50!
 
GST
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:40 pm

Do you have a source for that?
 
Blackprojects
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:56 pm

This came to me in an email this morning!


Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battle
Michael Smith
25-10-2009
The Royal Navy has agreed to sacrifice one of its two new aircraft carriers
to save about £8.2 billion from the defence budget.
The admirals, who have battled for a decade to secure the two new 65,000-ton
carriers, have been forced to back down because of the soaring cost of the
American-produced Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft due to fly off them.
The move is a blow to the navy’s prestige and has come on the heels of
Gordon Brown’s announcement last month that he was axing one of the navy’s
four Trident nuclear deterrent submarines.
It is too late for the navy to renege on contracts to build the two
carriers, the Queen Elizabeth, due to go into service in 2016, and the
Prince of Wales, due to follow in 2018. Although the second carrier will be
built, it will be used as an amphibious commando ship, with only helicopters
on board instead of JSF aircraft.
The move will leave the navy without a carrier when the Queen Elizabeth goes
into refit, leaving open the possibility that it might have to borrow one
from the French navy. In a meeting with Brown last year, Nicolas Sarkozy,
the French president, had suggested that refits of French and British
aircraft carriers should be co-ordinated.
The decision to have only one new aircraft carrier will cut the number of
JSFs to be flown by RAF squadrons from 138 to about 50, saving £7.6 billion.
At current prices, the aircraft will cost close to £90m each, but this could
rise to more than £100m.
Using the Prince of Wales as a commando ship will save a further £600m, the
amount that would have been needed to replace the amphibious landing ship
Ocean, which is due to go out of service in 2018.
The decision to cut the number of JSF aircraft has been agreed by senior
navy and air force commanders in discussions preparing for the strategic
defence review.
Both Labour and the Conservatives are committed to conducting a strategic
defence review after the general election, which must be held by the late
spring.
A senior Royal Navy officer said: “We always knew that the real cost of the
carrier project is the JSF fleet to go on them. It would cost us at least
£12 billion if we bought all the aircraft we originally asked for. We are
waking up to the fact that all those planes are unaffordable. More than half
of the £5 billion contracts to build the two new carriers have been
contracted, so it is too late to get out of building the ships. This way at
least we are covered when Ocean goes out of service.”
Since both aircraft carriers will still be built, there are unlikely to be
job losses at the Rosyth ship yards, close to Brown’s constituency. The JSF
aircraft are being built in Fort Worth, Texas, with the involvement of BAE
Systems.
The RAF, which had been due to replace its Tornado aircraft with the JSF,
will now equip all its frontline squadrons with Eurofighter aircraft
instead.
The Conservatives said any decision to axe a carrier would be “absolutely
unacceptable” and typical of the government’s “chaotic, inconsistent and
incompetent defence procurement policy”.
Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said the move exposed the government’s
claim that it wanted a completely independent strategic defence review. “The
government is saying it is fully committed to the carriers while at the same
time forcing them to be cut,” he said.
“It is confusing for the navy, it is confusing for industry and it is
completely inconsistent with the whole concept of running an independent
defence review.”
The Ministry of Defence said Bob Ainsworth, the defence secretary, remained
100% committed to the carriers but “financial circumstances mean some
difficult decisions will have to be taken to prioritise our forces’ efforts
in Afghanistan”.
The Royal Navy currently has three smaller 20,600-ton carriers: Illustrious,
Ark Royal and Invincible. Illustrious is on a visit to Liverpool. Invincible
has already been mothballed.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:09 pm

Sounds like the RN should convert both carriers to CTOL, buy either the F35C, Rafale or Hornet, all cheaper than the F35B.

Bummer for the RN.

Since Labour will probably lose the leection next year and the Conservatives have said that cutting CVF isn't an option I doubt that the current decision will stand.

[Edited 2009-10-26 07:18:06]
Plus this isn't an official announcement and considering the paper it was printed in who are anti the current government I wouldn't take it too seriously.

[Edited 2009-10-26 07:27:12]
 
Blackprojects
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:56 pm

The way the F-35 is going the next UK government may well give the JSF the chop and go with CTOL navy Typhoons would be nice and E-2D with Merlins for heli support.

As the carriers would be able to have maglev Catapaults installed in the bow and a navalised typhoon or even raffalles which would mke the french jump for joy as the uk almost never buys French military aircraft.

[Edited 2009-10-26 07:57:31]
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:36 pm



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 3):
Sounds like the RN should convert both carriers to CTOL, buy either the F35C, Rafale or Hornet, all cheaper than the F35B.

Bummer for the RN.



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 4):
The way the F-35 is going the next UK government may well give the JSF the chop and go with CTOL navy Typhoons would be nice and E-2D with Merlins for heli support

I agree. If the F-35B is to expensive, look for another carrier capable airplane that is just as good, or better, and costs less. The RN really needs to have both CVFs.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 3):
Since Labour will probably lose the leection next year and the Conservatives have said that cutting CVF isn't an option I doubt that the current decision will stand.

This decision is all political with Labor saying "we cannot afford both CVFs, but we will build two ships anyway just to keep people working". Kind of talking out two sides of the same mouth, aren't they?

Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 4):
As the carriers would be able to have maglev Catapaults installed in the bow and a navalised typhoon or even raffalles which would mke the french jump for joy as the uk almost never buys French military aircraft.

At this point, a Navy version of Typhoon, or buying the French Rafale, or F/A-18E/Fs, or F-35Cs would be about the only decision left. As far as the E-2D goes, does the RN really need that capability? If they operate with USN CVNBGs they don't need it. Also the RAF flies the E-3D worldwide. Or, if the RN decided they really need an AWACS capability, they could opt for the much cheaper, but very capable E-2C.
 
LMP737
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:44 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
At this point, a Navy version of Typhoon

A naval version of the Typhoon would make the F-35B look economical.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
French Rafale, or F/A-18E/Fs, or F-35Cs would be about the only decision left

By default I guess. My opinion that te RN would be better off with cats and arresting gear on their carriers.* Then they would have an actual choice of the type of aircraft carried. Lets say either the Rafale or Hornet augmented by the F-35C.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
Or, if the RN decided they really need an AWACS capability, they could opt for the much cheaper, but very capable E-2C.

Northrup Grumman just delivered the last production E-2C. So I guess it would have to be the E-2D. Not that its going to happen.

http://www.irconnect.com/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=173789



* Yes, I know cats/arresting gear is more expensive than a ski jump.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
Lumberton
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:26 pm



Quoting GST (Reply 1):
Do you have a source for that?

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...fs-in-budget-battle%3A-report.html

Quote:
The Royal Navy has agreed to sacrifice one of its two new aircraft carriers to save about £8.2 billion from the defence budget.

The admirals, who have battled for a decade to secure the two new 65,000-ton carriers, have been forced to back down because of the soaring cost of the American-produced Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft due to fly off them.

The move is a blow to the navy’s prestige and has come on the heels of Gordon Brown’s announcement last month that he was axing one of the navy’s four Trident nuclear deterrent submarines.

It is too late for the navy to renege on contracts to build the two carriers, the Queen Elizabeth, due to go into service in 2016, and the Prince of Wales, due to follow in 2018. Although the second carrier will be built, it will be used as an amphibious commando ship, with only helicopters on board instead of JSF aircraft.

"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
GST
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:35 pm

I woulde dearly love to see a Fleet Air Arm Rafale, or a Joint Rafale Force, that is a hell of a capable aircraft, an all rounder. I dont see the UK buying into an airframe off the shelf though, unless they can get the computer codes etc, and all they need to make their own upgrades, I dont see it being even considered.

If they were going to go with a commando carrier I wonder if anyone has pondered the possibility of some new build, updated harriers, like as if the Sea Harrier was invented today. I know it would never happen, but the harrier is a very compact airframe, they could fit a good number on board to provide CAS and a credible air defence without overly reducing the commando lift capability.

I am certain the F35-B will prove a superb aircraft, but its capability just simply doesnt account for its price tag. The Eurofighter navalised has to be a nonstarter too IMO.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 5:46 pm



Quoting LMP737 (Reply 6):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
Or, if the RN decided they really need an AWACS capability, they could opt for the much cheaper, but very capable E-2C.

Northrup Grumman just delivered the last production E-2C. So I guess it would have to be the E-2D. Not that its going to happen.

That doesn't mean the "C" line cannot be restarted.
 
Blackprojects
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:21 pm

If a CVN option is the end for the UK Carrier force it would need its own AWACS as a CVN with an eye in the sky is just a big floating target.

Navy merlins could do some over the horizon snooping with the search radar but an e-2d would be the best option in the end.

Shame it is to late for a Navalised Tornado GR4!
 
Lumberton
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:34 pm

Is it possible this press report is a "gambit" of sorts? Why build a CV only to use it as an amphib? That defies logic and sense and would make the ship a very easy target, low hanging fruit in fact, for the next budget crisis.
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
GDB
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:35 pm

This article was a typically poorly written bit of 'wiki-google' type journalism.

There has always been a realistic intention of only operating one CVF at a time in the strike carrier role.
Meaning if the other vessel was available, it could cover, if need be, for the dedicated LPH HMS Ocean .
There is a question over Ocean after the 2020 period, officially it could operate to about 2023.
Current RN carriers do this, cover in the Commando Carrier role if Ocean is in refit, HMS Ark Royal most recently, though that vessel is after it's own refit, back in the strike carrier role.

So this arrangement for CVF, is in fact little different from today!

To the F-35B, the ultimate requirement is for 138 frames, which may or may not include the three evaluation examples already on order.

In the same way Typhoon, Rafale or F-22 are ordered in batches over years, to the ultimate planned force level, so too will be the F-35.
Sources indicate that the intial batch was for 66 F-35B, it's quite possible that this first batch has been cut, for short/medium term budgetary reasons, that may now be for 50.

Does not this sort of thing often happen in procurements for the types I mentioned above?
And others?

It could be the ultimate final number of UK F-35B's reduces, 110 has been quoted.
That could support one full CVF air-group and allow the normal training, evaluation, maintenance and attrition requirements.
I reckon the ultimate level of F-35B procurement rests with how many the RAF take.
Two squadrons, now operating Harriers, are the natural homes for RAF F-35B's.

Any savings on F-35C would more than be swallowed up by the need to modify CVF's, plus the cat and trap operation would have to be relearned, on a new, sophisticated type, 35 years after the RN last done it.
CVF has to have EMALS catapults, it cannot use any other type, EMALS is still under development for the USN, so the RN would be tied to developments there.

Long term, F-35C could see UK service, as a partial Tornado GR.4 replacement.
Having the longest range, compatible in flight refueling systems.
It could be the RAF might be cooling on the F-35B since they may see the C version as more in tune to their longer term requirements.
But, the issue of Tornado GR.4 replacement is a 2018-2025 thing, even with the earilest dates this is beyond the main hump of CVF/F-35B spending.

Remember too, F-35's will be in mass production for 3 US services and a number of nations, of which the UK is the second biggest customer.
The costs will decrease as production ramps up, simple economies of scale.

As the debate on future requirements heats up, we are going to hear a lot of stuff like this.
Some might happen, others might be as reliable as the e-mails some get, taken from poor media reporting, that the RAF's Red Arrows display team are for the chop, this one comes around every 2-3 years, but there has never been a shred of evidence and they are of course, still flying.
 
LMP737
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:18 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 9):
That doesn't mean the "C" line cannot be restarted.

Of course not, however it would make absolutely no sense to do so. The costs of doing it would make it more expensive than the D model. A less capable aircraft at a higher cost that one day will be gone from the USN inventory which means your support costs would go up as well.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:36 am



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 4):
The way the F-35 is going the next UK government may well give the JSF the chop and go with CTOL navy Typhoons would be nice and E-2D with Merlins for heli support.

As the carriers would be able to have maglev Catapaults installed in the bow and a navalised typhoon or even raffalles which would mke the french jump for joy as the uk almost never buys French military aircraft.

[Edited 2009-10-26 07:57:31]

I can see your only options would be to either supplement with the superhornet like the US navy does or purchase some rafale fighters, the typhoon was never designed to be a naval fighter and maybe just as costly to make it that was as it would be to purchase the JSF. The superhornet would probably be the cheapest and most cost effective choise due to there being so many in the US and Australian inventories parts would not be a problem and they do have good range and have been reliant so far in battle.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:38 am

It's interesting that the alleged plan is now to equip all of the RAF's front line squadrons with Typhoons when, for a spell, that didn't appear to be anywhere near the plan. Might this carrier/F-35B thing be a way to put more Typhoons into service rather than a genuine "we ain't got the money" kind of issue?
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:50 pm



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 10):
Shame it is to late for a Navalised Tornado GR4!

 bigthumbsup  That would have been a very good CV aircraft.

It seems that you Brits think this is all just poor news reporting, and may never happen?
 
na
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:36 pm

Thats quite big news, but not totally unexpected as the F35 cost has been rising all the time, long since going through the ceiling already. As both carriers will be built as sisterships I guess that the Air Wing of QE can rather easily be transferred to Prince of Wales once the former has to go to a major refit. These ships will be very similar to each other whatever basic use they will have in future.
I´m suprised that PoW shall replace Ocean. For one Ocean is still a rather young ship, 11 years if I remember right? On the other hand PoW will be 3 times bigger, the biggest helicopter carrier by far worldwide.
For me this whole thing sounds like a temporary measure owing to the crisis and the JSF cost overrun. The decision for this fighter put the Admiralty in a dead end street. I expect PoW will in the end be a true a/c carrier with more economical aircraft once they are available.
This decision could probably also mean that Ark Royal might be kept in active reserve for a longer period after PoW is commisioned and the former decomissioned.

As for a tighter partnership with France, the Grand Nation is down to one carrier already. Has the plan to have a French sistership to QE and PoW been cancelled alltogether? That ship could be ready by 2020. By around 2025-30 France needs to replace Charles de Gaulle.

Good that both British ships will be build anyway. They will by far be the biggest and most powerful ships Britain has ever had and certainly cool looking Royal Navy flagships. Btw any news on the future frigate class for the RN which needs to be decided upon rather soon?
 
GST
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:35 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 17):

As for a tighter partnership with France, the Grand Nation is down to one carrier already. Has the plan to have a French sistership to QE and PoW been cancelled alltogether? That ship could be ready by 2020. By around 2025-30 France needs to replace Charles de Gaulle.

Ooooh, now that would be a gem! It might even provide the political justification for buying french by ordering some Rafales for a carrier air wing, if the flip side is an enormous ammount of British jobs preserved to build the third QE class dinghy.

Again, I am dreaming, but lets imagine the Navy's portion of the F35 cake is halved, with the Prince going back to being a full fleet carrier (which seems highly likely). You then have 2 half air wings made up of F35s, providing stealthy fighters, with reasonable strike capability. Make up the other half of the air wings with Rafales, excellent strike aircraft with reasonable fighter capability, cheap as chips (well, relatively speaking) to boot! Add in some Merlins for the helicopter portion, and you're sweet! I would love to see some radarplanes too, but I just dont see the RN shelling out for D's, and they will see the woes of restarting C production.
 
GDB
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:34 pm

KC-135, hard to tell, since almost all non specialist defence reporting is so poor, the article (from the unreliable defence wise The Times ), shows no sign of the writer having a real handle on the subject.
Most likely discussions about the first F-35B batch has been taken as the ultimate number, for which final ordering is years away.
2 + 2 = 5 might be the best way of thinking about it.

One thing is for sure, for the RN, F-35B is the only game in town, that's realistic.
The only possible alternative being F-35C, if it was decided to move eventually to CTOL, after a CVF refit, since doing so at this stage would mean unacceptable and politically dangerous delays, plus the extra funds needed, which a cheaper F-35C would only offset some years later, maybe.

A scroll of boards that have RN members plus those with knowledge of the industry, so far don't give this story much credence.
 
Lumberton
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:07 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 19):
A scroll of boards that have RN members plus those with knowledge of the industry, so far don't give this story much credence.

I'm quite glad to hear that. Does it matter if the government changes? What's the impact if Labor loses? I ask because of this quip from the article I posted earlier in the thread:

Quote:
Both Labour and the Conservatives are committed to conducting a strategic defence review after the general election, which must be held by the late spring.


Would they acquire the aircraft to make both carriers true CVs?

[Edited 2009-10-27 15:10:44]

[Edited 2009-10-27 15:29:47]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
ThePointblank
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:15 am



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 20):

Would they acquire the aircraft to make both carriers true CVs?

They might; the UK tends to buy their aircraft in increments, and it might be the case that they cut the number they plan on buying now down, but later on, they will buy another batch to fill the fleet.
 
Blackprojects
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:43 pm

If a CVN was buit instead of CVF

The re-design has already been done as lots of Navy Carrier designs were looked at Also as modern warships are constructed in the Modular construction process any thing is possible to build and fit to the ship.

With MAGLEV being the preferd option for the CAT sytem if fitted.

No large steam boilers would be required as MAGLEV = Magnetic Levitation just a large system of Superconducting Magnets and an Electrical charge pushing the Cat stroke towards the Bow.
 
GDB
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:06 pm

Lumbetown, Shadow Chancellor George Osbourne has signaled his displeasure at the CVF contract, or rather all the clauses that make cancellation or one or both difficult and expensive.
But it's not up to him, even next year when he's likely to be the actual Chancellor.
Such as decision would go the Prime Minister ultimately, the metal is being cut, much of the contracts are awarded, many jobs would be lost and not just in shipyards.

In truth, the two parties differ little on defence.
 
astuteman
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:03 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
This decision is all political with Labor saying "we cannot afford both CVFs, but we will build two ships anyway just to keep people working". Kind of talking out two sides of the same mouth, aren't they?

Don't really think that's the case. The bulk of the money has already been committed, and completing the second vessel is in effect cost-neutral, as it saves us having to replace HMS Ocean with YET another ship.....

Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 22):
Also as modern warships are constructed in the Modular construction process any thing is possible to build and fit to the ship.

They may be constructed in a modular manner, but I can assure you that once the sections are welded up, it's a single entity. Fitting an NSRP would require carving the hull apart. They don't just "unclip".
It could be done, though.  Smile

Rgds
 
Lumberton
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:26 pm



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 24):
The bulk of the money has already been committed, and completing the second vessel is in effect cost-neutral, as it saves us having to replace HMS Ocean with YET another ship...

It maybe cost-neutral, but will it be an effective amphibious warfare platform, or a large deck carrying helicopters? If the latter, what will substitute for Ocean's capability to carry landing craft. Or maybe this won't be important?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:13 pm

Maybe I don't have this right, but IIRC, the two CVFs were proposed under Blair, and construction began under Brown, is that correct? Now the Labor party wants to cancel same JSF, and convert on CVF to a LHD. But, isn't both Blair and Brown tthe head (former head for Blair) of the Labor party? Now Brown wants to put one SSBN into storage as a budget cut?

Can social programs be cut, as opposed to defense programs?

But in the next election, the Conservitives could take power? Aren't the Conservitive party pushing a strong defense position?
 
evomutant
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:55 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
Can social programs be cut, as opposed to defense programs?

I guess they could. But in the middle of a recession (which the UK, unlike most of Europe is still in) that would go down like a lead baloon.

And remember, that there have been murmurings of discontent about the carriers from the British Army, that they are too big a drain on the budget and divert funds from equipping themselves (already stretched badly) adequately. With the losses the army have been taking in Afghanistan over the last year, they are very much flavor of the month with the British people. A government could probably ditch one of the carriers or downgrade it significantly if they spun it as freeing up more cash for the army, even if much of the money saved (to the extent there is any) doesn't actually go there.
 
astuteman
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:12 am



Quoting Lumberton (Reply 25):
It maybe cost-neutral, but will it be an effective amphibious warfare platform, or a large deck carrying helicopters? If the latter, what will substitute for Ocean's capability to carry landing craft. Or maybe this won't be important?

Ocean isn't an LPD, Lumberton - she doesn't dock.
She carries 4 LCVP in davits and that's your lot.
I would expect it to be fairly straightforward to adapt a CVF to carry LCVP's....

Rgds
 
Lumberton
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:13 am



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 28):
Ocean isn't an LPD, Lumberton - she doesn't dock.

Well, that does make things easier, doesn't it?  yes 
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
connies4ever
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:41 am

Just a random thought here @ 0530: if one of the drivers behind converting PoW from CVF role to amphibious assault is the soaring cost of the F-35, is this going to cause any/many of the partner nations in the program to re-evaluate their continuing participation ? Does this point make potential competitors, particularly F-18E/F, more attractive in terms of bang for buck ?
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:20 pm



Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 30):
Just a random thought here @ 0530: if one of the drivers behind converting PoW from CVF role to amphibious assault is the soaring cost of the F-35, is this going to cause any/many of the partner nations in the program to re-evaluate their continuing participation ? Does this point make potential competitors, particularly F-18E/F, more attractive in terms of bang for buck ?

It could, but who really knows right not? Austrailia is getting both the F-35A and F/A-18E/F, and probibly the EA-18G, too.
 
GDB
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:54 pm

KC-135, where are you getting this 'cancel CVF' stuff?

As I said before, the report that is the subject of this thread, is an unsubstantiated, badly written press cutting that shows the writer did not know the subject.

If you have an understanding of just how much our press puts out on defence, that is rumour, polemic, wish fulfillment (in a negative way), you'll understand why I'm so skeptical.

We get enough on the civil forum of badly 'researched', sensationalist stuff about aviation, military is no better at least in the British press.
Why are we taking this piece that seriously?
 
astuteman
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Thu Oct 29, 2009 7:59 pm



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 2):
Using the Prince of Wales as a commando ship will save a further £600m, the amount that would have been needed to replace the amphibious landing ship
Ocean, which is due to go out of service in 2018.

Funny isn't it? Ocean didn't cost much more than £150m when she was completed in 1998 (even though she was bid at a lot less than that....)

Rgds
 
GDB
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:45 am

Ocean , to save money when it was ordered in 1993, was not built for a long service life, however I note that the original 2018 out of service date seems to advanced some 5 years after it's latest refit.

A further trawl of informed forums still finds those more likely to be 'in the know' rubbishing this report, the MoD have officially denied it too.
Given the real budget pressures, there will be reams of options going around the MoD, some will be leaked, most will be, like in a union negotiation, take the most extreme stance and work backwards to a more realistic agreement.

Some of the options will come to pass, but if the press reports one of them it will be more a case of 'even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day' than any great insight, given that they will have reported many others as 'fact'.

One fact is that the F-35B's will be ordered in batches perhaps as far out as the 2020's.
Given the massive production for all those customers this will be easier to do than restarting any lapsed production line.

But the state of the economy means that you can forget any new major procurements before 2014/15.
So if there was a plan to replace Ocean before 2020, that will have gone.
However, what about a version of CVF, with one super block module less, smaller but still a large warship by any standards.

Not designed for F-35B operation, though like a USN LPH it could do, with a much smaller air-group, such a ship would by avoiding an all new design, capitalize on the CVF program so have savings there, it would not need to be ordered until about 2018, it could look like this;
http://s90.photobucket.com/albums/k2...on=view¤t=GBLPHRF1AU.gif

[Edited 2009-10-30 01:54:41 by ]

[Edited 2009-10-30 01:57:00]
 
na
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:52 pm



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 33):


Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 2):
Using the Prince of Wales as a commando ship will save a further £600m, the amount that would have been needed to replace the amphibious landing ship
Ocean, which is due to go out of service in 2018.

Funny isn't it? Ocean didn't cost much more than £150m when she was completed in 1998 (even though she was bid at a lot less than that....)

Rgds

The QE and PofW are built to last much longer than Ocean and they are 3 times bigger. Also, the pound Sterling of the mid 90s is someting different to the pound of 201X.
 
ANZUS340
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:26 pm

I am curious and more than just a little ignorant, but why did the UK decide they needed large flattops? If only using STOVL, why did they not go for carriers of around 30-35 tonnes? Would those ships have not been cheaper to build and operate? It seems to me that the HMS Invincible and her sisters have performed quite well over the past 20 years. How are 2 large STOVL carrier significantly more capable than 2-3 smaller 30K tonne STOVL ships, especially if only 1 (at least initially) will carry JSF?

Am I correct in undestanding that these ships will not carry fixed wing AEW aircraft? What new capabilities does a large STOVL carrier have over a smaller one other than numbers of aircraft carried?

I would prefer to see 2-3 smaller carriers, more Astutes and the maintaining of a 4th SSBN instead of 2 massive STOVL carriers, only one of which is going to carry fighters.

Finally is the Royal Navy having any sort of manning crisis at the moment? I ask as it seems to me that the RN is cutting back on the number of hulls in service. Even a few relatively young Type 23s are now in the service of the navies of other nations. What kind of impact will these 2 large carriers have on manpower?
 
AirRyan
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:41 pm



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 3):
Sounds like the RN should convert both carriers to CTOL, buy either the F35C, Rafale or Hornet, all cheaper than the F35B.

That's exactly what they should do, the F-35B is going to be a joke, especially when the US Marines will be operating them off of USN CVN's along side USN F-35C's carrying more fuel and more payload.
 
GST
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Fri Oct 30, 2009 5:53 pm



Quoting ANZUS340 (Reply 36):

As far as I am aware, the precent company on an Invincible class is over 1000, the new QE class is to be just over 600. Half as many ships = massive manpower savings to put elsewhere.
 
ANZUS340
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:33 pm



Quoting GST (Reply 38):
As far as I am aware, the precent company on an Invincible class is over 1000, the new QE class is to be just over 600. Half as many ships = massive manpower savings to put elsewhere.

That's certainly a very small crew for a very large ship. Surely that does not include the airwing and associated personnel too? I always thought that part of the reason warships traditionally carry a large ship' company is for damage control and even ships husbandry reasons? Anyway I wonder what a new Invincible carrier would need ships company wise. Perhaps 400-500 sailors?
 
GST
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:59 pm

Going by memory, the Invincible company is around 800 without air wing. I am unsure if the QE company inclusdes air wing personnel, but I would guess not. Personnel reduction is mainly due to automation. Factor 1200 inc air wing personnel for the new class, and you are still near enough halving the number of employed personnel, with a big increase in carrier capability.
 
GDB
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:16 am

You might think F-35B is a joke Air Ryan, but the USMC, RAF, RN and Italians don't.

ANZUS340, the size of CVF is a reflection that at last, the RN (or in truth the Treasury), recognize that 'steel is cheap, air is free'.
Too many previous RN ships had size limits dictated by the Treasury in all their ignorance, such as the Type 42 Batch 1 and 2's, even the Invincibles (though the need to claim this new class of carrier was a 'Crusier' to prevent the Treasury not approving a new 'aircraft carrier' was a factor here).

Extensive studies done by the RN when an Invincible class replacement was first mooted around 1998, and for several years after, found that smaller carriers are not cheaper, since two would likely only ever be approved, it was a false economy, going for 30-40,000 ton ships when the JSF, as it was then, was not well defined, of if a conventional carrier, an automatic limit on air-group and sortie rates would be built in.

The only way to get three ships, perhaps, would be a design not much bigger than the vessels being replaced, which given the likely size and weight of the JSF, was a serious limitation.
If the RN were going to stay in the carrier game, they wanted a fixed wing air-group of 24-36 aircraft.

But it's not about just the size of the air wing embarked, sortie rates, sustainability too, (the Invincibles , being originally ASW helicopter carriers, had magazines sized to accommodate torpedoes and depth charges, so adding the stores to be carried by Harriers was an issue).

VSTOL operations in war, i.e. the Falklands, found that VSTOL aircraft have higher sortie rates than conventional carrier ops, since by definition they are much simpler, no catapults or arrestor wires.
So a new carrier with a larger air group needs to be able to sustain this by having the space to carry all the fuel, stores, weapons, spares etc.
Plus the new carriers always would have a secondary helicopter assault capability, which just shows how wrong headed the news report this thread is about is, as in no shit Sherlock! .
 
na
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:04 pm



Quoting GST (Reply 38):
As far as I am aware, the precent company on an Invincible class is over 1000, the new QE class is to be just over 600. Half as many ships = massive manpower savings to put elsewhere.

According to the RN the QE will have a crew of 1450 including air crew - which in comparison to a 1 1/2 times larger US Navy CVN is a very small crew. Even the future CVN-78, which will be ready at the same time as QE, will need three times as many men and women.
Sounds like the Royal Navy is planning a very, very effective ship here. I wonder why per ton displacement the future US carriers need more than twice as many men and women. In that aspect the future RN carriers seem to be much more advanced than the US competition. And indeed that will save billions over the intended 50 years lifespan.
 
GST
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:52 pm



Quoting NA (Reply 42):

Fascinating. Well, the main reason that the QE class has such a low crew per ton is mainly due to increased automation, at least from the RN sources I have seen. Just look at the D class for how much computers can achieve there. As ANZUS340 pointed out, Damage Control is a fiarly hefty reason for large crews. The RN still has a few top brass that served through the Falklands campaign, so I doubt the lessons learned about damage control and ship design have been forgotten by the people drafting requirements for the QE.

I would expect to see much of the damage control measures to be in the form of multiple redundancies for key systems (more than is currently the norm), so flooding areas of the ship can be sealed off and power cut, with their functions taken over from elsewhere. Add in automated and remotely controlled firefighting systems etc, and much of the damage control efforts will not require crew in the compartment, allowing you to slim down on the manpower, whilst keeping the numbers of fingers on triggers high, and hands on bandages low.
 
GDB
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sat Oct 31, 2009 4:29 pm

Factor in too that the USN carriers are larger, though nowhere near proportionally in relation to crew size, have all the catapults and arrestor wires plus are nuclear powered.

One thing is clear, the time taken in properly defining and designing CVF, (originally first metal was to be cut in 2004), has allowed a very through look at all aspects of design, this also will have helped reduce crew size.

What a contrast to the last RN ship due to be called Queen Elizabeth , the planned CVA-01 carrier of the 1960's.
Treasury pressure, size/displacement limits, propulsion that would likely be obsolete not long after service entry, a crew size which even the head of the naval staff reckoned would be very difficult to man without serious effects elsewhere in the fleet.

The Chief Designer of CVA-01 would call the day of it's cancellation, the happiest of my life.
I don't think it's too much to say that the lessons of that project have been absorbed this time around.
It also helps to the post Cold War requirements now favour a large carrier, unlike in the mid 60's when the pending withdraw 'East Of Suez' stripped CVA-01 of it's main role.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:55 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 32):
KC-135, where are you getting this 'cancel CVF' stuff?

I didn't say any CVF was canceled, but apoligise if it was interpeted that way.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
Maybe I don't have this right, but IIRC, the two CVFs were proposed under Blair, and construction began under Brown, is that correct? Now the Labor party wants to cancel same JSF, and convert on CVF to a LHD.



Quoting GDB (Reply 32):
We get enough on the civil forum of badly 'researched', sensationalist stuff about aviation, military is no better at least in the British press.
Why are we taking this piece that seriously?

We have the same problem on this side of the pond, too.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 37):
That's exactly what they should do, the F-35B is going to be a joke, especially when the US Marines will be operating them off of USN CVN's along side USN F-35C's carrying more fuel and more payload.

No, AirRyan, the USMC is not going to operate the F-35B from USN CVNs along side of the F-35C. What the Marines are going to do is put one F/A-18C/D squadron abaord a CVN to operate with USN squadrons of F/A-18E/Fs.
 
AirRyan
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:55 am



Quoting GDB (Reply 41):
You might think F-35B is a joke Air Ryan, but the USMC, RAF, RN and Italians don't.

Say the F-35A costs 1.00, the F-35C would be about 1.10, and the F-35B is probably going to be around 1.25 - whatever the actual numbers, the exorbitant cost of the F-35B coupled with reduced range and payload of the F-35C makes for it a joke when you are the USN (or the USMC under the same umbrella) and operating 10-12 1,100' long, nuclear powered, 103k ton aircraft carriers. Oh wow, so the USMC can bring their F-35B's further inland like in Afghanistan; coupled with A/A refueling and longer loiter times, I'll take F-35C's off of CVN's and be just fine because well, that's what I'm supposed to have "competent" attack helicopters for, right?

Quoting GDB (Reply 41):
VSTOL operations in war, i.e. the Falklands, found that VSTOL aircraft have higher sortie rates than conventional carrier ops, since by definition they are much simpler, no catapults or arrestor wires.

You could outfit a USN CVN with 75 AV-8B+ Harriers and they still couldn't match the potency of a modern Super Hornet CVW air wing, let alone even an older Tomcat/Intruder/Hornet CVW of the same size.

Quoting GDB (Reply 41):
So a new carrier with a larger air group needs to be able to sustain this by having the space to carry all the fuel, stores, weapons, spares etc.

If the RN is so confident in it's ski jump and F-35B's, than why are they making it so it can later be removed and still have catapults installed? Get with the program, a RN carrier air wing of F-35C's and catapults would be much more potent than F-35B's and a ski jump.

Plus, if you went with "real" or conventional carriers, you could then add a second type of combat aircraft such as Super Hornets or navalized Rafales for increased efficiencies and effectiveness (I've been deployed on a med cruise before when all of our AV-8B+ Harriers were grounded and had to have their engines inspected for a potential missing cotter pin, which pretty much means they had to have their entire wings removed for those of you familiar with Harriers,) so there is a lot of wisdom with outfitting your multi-billion dollar aircraft carrier with at least two types of combat aircraft. Also, going with a conventional carrier could mean better AWACS in E-2D Hawkeyes as opposed to Merlin variants.

Quoting GDB (Reply 41):
Plus the new carriers always would have a secondary helicopter assault capability, which just shows how wrong headed the news report this thread is about is, as in no shit Sherlock! .

Any large ship would have a secondary helo assault capability.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
No, AirRyan, the USMC is not going to operate the F-35B from USN CVNs along side of the F-35C. What the Marines are going to do is put one F/A-18C/D squadron abaord a CVN to operate with USN squadrons of F/A-18E/Fs.

And I addressed this in the other post, but that is the issue that no one seems to recognize or address: you can't take 350 Marine Hornets and replace them with 350 F-35B's without continuing to operate at least some of them off of USN CVN's. Also, what is the USN going to do, add more squadrons to their own ranks so they can float as many CVW's as they need to? Plus, throw into the equation that the Marines budget cannot continue to over-spend as they have done recently, they just aren't that large percentage wise, let alone take into the effect that the DOD budget isn't going to be anywhere near what it was in the first decade of the 21st century for quite some time now.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:56 pm



Quoting AirRyan (Reply 46):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 45):
No, AirRyan, the USMC is not going to operate the F-35B from USN CVNs along side of the F-35C. What the Marines are going to do is put one F/A-18C/D squadron abaord a CVN to operate with USN squadrons of F/A-18E/Fs.

And I addressed this in the other post, but that is the issue that no one seems to recognize or address: you can't take 350 Marine Hornets and replace them with 350 F-35B's without continuing to operate at least some of them off of USN CVN's. Also, what is the USN going to do, add more squadrons to their own ranks so they can float as many CVW's as they need to? Plus, throw into the equation that the Marines budget cannot continue to over-spend as they have done recently, they just aren't that large percentage wise, let alone take into the effect that the DOD budget isn't going to be anywhere near what it was in the first decade of the 21st century for quite some time now.

Whoa, hold on my Marine friend. I don't think the F-35B is replacing the USMC F/A-18A/B/C/Ds. I believe they are replacing the AV-8Bs with the 350 F-35Bs. The AV-8B is long over due for a replacement, and the USMC kept it because of its unique capabilities and can be posititioned just minutes from the grunts. The Marines MAY replace their F/A-18A/B/C/Ds with F-35Cs, but that decision will not be made for years. All the Corp is doing right now is looking to replace Harrier.

As far as the USMC squadrons deploying on the CVNs goes, that is to keep up the strenght of the CVNBG while the USN squadrons transistion to either the F/A-18E/F or the F-35C from the current F/A-18A/B/C/Ds.
 
AirRyan
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:57 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Whoa, hold on my Marine friend. I don't think the F-35B is replacing the USMC F/A-18A/B/C/Ds. I believe they are replacing the AV-8Bs with the 350 F-35Bs. The AV-8B is long over due for a replacement, and the USMC kept it because of its unique capabilities and can be posititioned just minutes from the grunts. The Marines MAY replace their F/A-18A/B/C/Ds with F-35Cs, but that decision will not be made for years. All the Corp is doing right now is looking to replace Harrier.

No, no that's just it - and this was why I was wondering if we have heard anything further about the Marines JSF aspirations, because the Marines only have about 175 Harriers, but they want 350 F-35B's to replace not just their Harriers, but all of their Honrets as well! I kid you not. They say they want an all F-35B fleet for commonality, but no they have yet to address the issues I speak of, or at least publically.

I have no issue with F-35B's replacing Harriers, but I do when it comes to repalacing F-18's with F-35B's.

There really has been no word other than "we're not interested in Super Hornets" about their AW squadrons operating F/A-18D's, but obviously two to four squadrons of F/A-18F's would be the logical replacement, AND allow them to deploy on NAnd of course the Marines think they can continue to be the sole operator of the EA-6B, even when the USN parks their last one in favor of EA-18G Growlers. I contest that the Marines can't afford to be that stupid, that they ought to go with the Navy and thir Growlers for if for no other reason other than to save money! A single seat EAW F-35B is just way too bizarre, they shouldn't even be given the green light to spend money seriously thinking about that.

As a former Marine Air Winger, that will always be my passion but in turn, I'll always be it's sharpest critic. My MAW would look like this if it were up to me, and I'd have a more potent and capable Wing and have BILLIONS left over to show for it. :

F/A-18C - Super Hornets or F-35C depending upon cost/schedule, operate off CVN's
F/A-18D - F/A-18F
EA-6B - EA-18G
AV-8B+ - F-35B

CH-46E - replaced with HH-71's in the late 1990's (V-22 is a waste - hurry up and wait for everyone else in you're entire Wing; I might have considred a small buy to augment the fleet, but not to make it the bulk of my fleet!)
CH-53E - CH-53K
AH-1W - New Build AH-1Z's or AH-64D's depending upon which ever one was cheaper
UH-1N - MH-60S (UH-1Y is a joke - a Bell bailout and a free-rider to the AH-1Z)

C-130H - C-130J

Would can the USS America (LHA-6,) or at least put the well deck back in it; I can't beelive the USN did not fight this more than they did because it is a serious and direct attack on their CVN's!
 
GDB
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RE: RN Carriers And JSF Get Slashed

Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:48 pm

Air Ryan, the ability of the CVF to in the future be converted to an (EMAL) catapult config, is 'future proofing', for most likely a time when UCAV's provide the striking force.
These ships are designed for 40-50 year service lifes, so it's too hard to see how say 25 years from now, UCAV's are the most prominent airborne air combat platform, including air defence as well as strike/recce.

There was probably also a near term insurance idea behind a possible F-35B cancellation, but the truth is that a switch to conventional carrier ops would in delays and cost escalations seriously threaten the whole program.

The RN are not trying to replicate a USN carrier battle group, what they want is a flexible platform that reduces as much risk as possible in an inherently challenging program.
And cost too.
Hence the secondary roles such as a Commando Carrier.

The most likely combat scenario for a CVF would be supporting ground operations, not just amphibious ones either.
Including moving some of the F-35B's to austere shore strips/potentailly damaged airfields as they become available
That's another thing the RN/RAF Harriers did back in '82.
Really, the CVF in this instance will be like a USMC style F-35B operation, but on steroids.
Here the simplicity of VSTOL and the high sortie rates come into play.

If the RN choose, they could perhaps, for more 'blue water' operations, have a 'buddy-buddy' refueling ability, either from pods on the F-35B, or to maximize their combat use, retain say half a dozen of the current UK fleet of Twin Seater Harriers, built in the mid/late 1990's.
Plumb all but the outer wing pylons from fuel tanks, fit a hose unit on both the outer plyons, meaning a spare is available in the other fails in the air.
Add 4 of them to a 24-36 strong F-35B air-group.

Sure the F-35B costs more, since it can operate from land and sea platforms the other versions cannot, what costs a lot more, is not having the ability to operate any F-35A's due to lack of suitable bases/sea platforms.
And there could be a situation where the action is out of range of even carrier borne F-35C's.

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