chuchoteur
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UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:21 pm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...re-Britains-aircraft-carriers.html

Senior Downing Street sources say Mr Cameron has decided to follow the advice of military chiefs by abandoning plans to buy the conventional F-35C Joint Strike Fighter after costs soared by £1.8billion.
Instead, the Government will revert to the F-35B version which take off and land like the Harrier jump jet - a move they controversially axed in 2010.

No 10 officials said the rising cost of the aircraft and the fact that the conventional version of the aircraft is now badly delayed has forced the change of heart.
Pressing on with the refit could delay the £6.2billion HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales by another seven years - until 2027. This was considered ‘untenable, militarily and politically’, said one source.

The existing programme would also provide only one operable carrier, rather than two, because of the huge cost of installing an electromagnetic catapult system and arrester wires.
The F-35C warplanes are also too heavy to land on the deck of France’s Charles de Gaulle carrier. Compatibility with the French vessel was a key reason for ministers switching aircraft in the first place.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:40 pm

If this is confirmed to be the case, with exquisite timing, there is this milestone;

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...-uks-first-production-f-35-370710/
 
ThePointblank
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:18 am

Not surprising. The switch to the F-35C by the UK was a political one not a military decision. The military only found out about the decision when the PMO announced it in the media.

Buying the C would have been much more expensive for the UK in the long run, and the UK government knew this. However, in the SDSR, converting to the C gave a convenient excuse to kick the can down the road and delay the CVFs, which suited the powers that be just fine. They didn't expect the extra costs to convert the CVF's to cat and trap to show up so fast and so soon.
 
ebj1248650
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:21 am

Quoting chuchoteur (Thread starter):
The F-35C warplanes are also too heavy to land on the deck of France’s Charles de Gaulle carrier. Compatibility with the French vessel was a key reason for ministers switching aircraft in the first place.

Really? I find this very surprising.
Dare to dream; dream big!
 
chuchoteur
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:11 am

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 3):
Quoting chuchoteur (Thread starter):
The F-35C warplanes are also too heavy to land on the deck of France’s Charles de Gaulle carrier. Compatibility with the French vessel was a key reason for ministers switching aircraft in the first place.

Really? I find this very surprising.

...not my quote... from the article  

I'm also surprised!
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:19 pm

Quoting chuchoteur (Thread starter):
The F-35C warplanes are also too heavy to land on the deck of France’s Charles de Gaulle carrier. Compatibility with the French vessel was a key reason for ministers switching aircraft in the first place.
Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 3):
Really? I find this very surprising.
Quoting chuchoteur (Reply 4):
...not my quote... from the article

I'm also surprised!

That doesn't make any sense. The F-35C weighs less than the F/A-18E/F, which occasionally does operate from the deck of the Charles de Gaule during exercises with the USN.
 
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moo
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:24 pm

A little birdy has just told me that the UK is under tremendously massive pressure from the US to buy the F-35B over the C, and any decision will be on that basis rather than costs considerations.

There's no way the B is going to enter service and meet targets at current promises, it's not a great aircraft at all.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:36 pm

In 2010 the idea was to scrap Naval fast air for a decade, mothball one carrier building, convert the other during construction for the EM catapult - which was unproven, on a brand new vessel, with a complex new aircraft. Thus giving the RN a capability they last had in 1978.
Whatever could go wrong?

So the EM Cat conversion now looks more difficult, technically uncertain, much more risky and much more expensive. Along with at best, an IOC now at least in the middle of the next decade.

For all the difficulties of the F-35B, the UK knows VSTOL, the carriers building are ready for it, BOTH of them.
Even with the limitations, VSTOL at sea is by default simpler, safer, requires less crew, than CTOL.
F-35B has now done some successful sea trials, something some years away with the F-35C.
F-35C is no more certain than F-35B.
Both will most likely arrive, however, with F-35B some years before the other version.

The joint carrier idea with France was a political fix to justify the decisions in 2010 which angered many, bemused the rest.
I have seen F-35, that is one of the X-35B's, at the museum in Washington way back in 2004.
It was rather larger than I expected, perhaps you think that way with a single engined type.
How much of that crosses to the production F-35C I do not know, so I'm only a bit surprised about this issue with the French carrier.

All this mess could have been predicted 18 months ago.
Many did just that.

Cameron wanted to axe the CVF's, however he was angered to find out the contracts meant no money would be saved, quite the opposite.
Presumably it was OK for his party to do the exact same thing when they ordered Trident in the 1980's?
As quite a few exchanges in the House Of Commons has shown, for all his general ease at being PM, Cameron can turn very nasty when challenged/caught out. Not just by members of the opposition either.

Hence I think that the axing of the Harriers and Ark Royal was an act of pure political spite when he could not get his way with CVF. It was a last minute decision too.
Had both required significant expenditure to reach their planned out of service dates and still be viable, it would have been perhaps from a pure budgetary view, understandable. But they did not.

I still think F-35C has a place, not least as a partial Tornado GR-4 replacement. It makes more sense for the RAF than F-35B does.
Once the EM cats have been proven, by the USN, there is a case for refitting one of the CVF's to operate it.

LM have publicly stated that they do not have any problem with the UK switching from F-35B to C, presumably they'll be equally relaxed if they revert back again!
After that though, they'd probably want that to be an end to it.

F-35B is much better than any Harrier could be, from a ship where, for perhaps the first time in RN history post WW2, space will not be at a premium! And steel is cheap, air is free.
It's way better than nothing at all, which is where the EM Cat/F-35C was headed.

(I've been watching the classic, beautifully filmed BBC series 'Sailor' with followed HMS Ark Royal - the one before last - on a deployment to the US in 1976. You are struck by just how small that 50,000 carrier still was to operate F-4K's. Buccaneers too, though this aircraft was designed to be able to operate from smaller 30-35,000 ton Carriers like Victorious and Hermes .
The F-4 was not because as designed for the USN, it did not have to!)

It might be that the Government will still press ahead with the F-35C, since a return to the CVF plan they so mocked in 2010, will be very embarrassing.
 
RaginMav
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:26 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
I still think F-35C has a place, not least as a partial Tornado GR-4 replacement. It makes more sense for the RAF than F-35B does.

Someone please educate me, why would the RAF not opt for the F-35A, ala USAF?
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:19 pm

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 8):
Someone please educate me, why would the RAF not opt for the F-35A, ala USAF?

Different in flight refuelling system - boom receptacle. Though I think a probe could also be fitted.
F-35C has the longest range, so as a premier strike aircraft makes more sense for the RAF.
There is a larger UK industrial stake in F-35C compared to the -A, though neither has as much as with F-35B.

Plus, as stated, if in time a CVF was to be converted to EM Cats - once the vastly bigger provisioned and CTOL experienced USN has proved them - having F-35C already makes sense.
Rather than adapting F-35A for the RAF, then also getting the -C, with, as it seems is possible now, also having the F-35B in the fleet as well.
 
RaginMav
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:44 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):

Got it. I forgot about the different method of in-flight refueling, and the longer range is a nice bonus as well!
Thanks!
 
ThePointblank
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:32 am

Quoting moo (Reply 6):
A little birdy has just told me that the UK is under tremendously massive pressure from the US to buy the F-35B over the C, and any decision will be on that basis rather than costs considerations.

There's no way the B is going to enter service and meet targets at current promises, it's not a great aircraft at all.

The problem was redesigning and the costs of the EMALS. Instead of the expected £400m, it is believed the conversion would cost about £1.8bn, excluding any other design changes that are required to change from STOVL to CATOBAR. Not to mention the major developmental risks involved with EMALS; the UK would be the first nation to implement EMALS on a carrier, with all of the resulting technical issues.

I could see why EMALS was so attractive over a more traditional steam catapult design from a capabilities standpoint; EMALS is an incredibly powerful system that could theoretically launch a fully laden F-35C with the ship standing still and with no headwinds.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):

That doesn't make any sense. The F-35C weighs less than the F/A-18E/F, which occasionally does operate from the deck of the Charles de Gaule during exercises with the USN.

The issue from my understanding has to do with CdG's design issues. CdG cannot launch a fully laden Rafale under a number of conditions, and since F-35C weights more than Rafale, this will pose a problem. CdG C-13 catapult isn't as capable as the USN versions are in terms of launch power and it will pose problems for F-35C operations. It is very likely that because too many compromises were made in CdG's design (such as propulsion, etc), she might be retired early and a replacement carrier sought.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:18 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
CdG C-13 catapult isn't as capable as the USN versions are in terms of launch power and it will pose problems for F-35C operations.

Maybe that vessel should get EMALS, at mid life refit?
 
Eagleboy
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:55 am

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
The issue from my understanding has to do with CdG's design issues................................................It is very likely that because too many compromises were made in CdG's design (such as propulsion, etc), she might be retired early and a replacement carrier sought.
Quoting GDB (Reply 12):
Maybe that vessel should get EMALS, at mid life refit?

It had been planned that the French would take a carrier with the same design as the 2 UK CVF's. This wou;ld have reduced overall unit costs and helped interoperability. However the French didn't sign up in the end.
 
connies4ever
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:43 pm

Quoting chuchoteur (Thread starter):
Pressing on with the refit could delay the £6.2billion HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales by another seven years - until 2027. This was considered ‘untenable, militarily and politically’, said one source.

Have read recently that the program cost has risen well above GBP $10B. In fact I think that's in my latest AIR Internatioonal.

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
So the EM Cat conversion now looks more difficult, technically uncertain, much more risky and much more expensive. Along with at best, an IOC now at least in the middle of the next decade.

But was all demo'd at Pax River in the last decade. ??

Quoting GDB (Reply 7):
All this mess could have been predicted 18 months ago.
Many did just that.

Quite.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Oroka
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:17 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
Different in flight refuelling system - boom receptacle. Though I think a probe could also be fitted.

The RAF could always get CF-35s with the refueling probe and drag chute.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:19 am

My understanding of the situation is that BAE did a lot of pressuring of the UK govt to go with the B model. This was not because it would personally make much difference to its income directly, but more a case of deferring the F-35 as a catapult capable aircraft carrier could take F-18 or Rafale (either likely loaned/leased on very generous terms) for the next 10 years. Having a more capable carrier (as a catapult carrier would be) also would mean less need for other warships potentially damaging sales for BAE. The reason being that a catapult allows for AWACS (E-2C etc) aircraft and the F-35C is a much more capable aircraft overall (except the vertical side of things). It has greater range, greater payload, and better performance overall not too mention costing less and requiring less maintenance downtime/costs.
I found this article (whilst a bit tongue and cheek) to be quite an interesting read: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04.../f35_carriers_plot_by_bae_and_raf/
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
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kanban
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:48 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 16):
I found this article (whilst a bit tongue and cheek) to be quite an interesting read:


Refreshing .. thanks for posting...
 
Max Q
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 2:08 am

What a joke.


Typical British military cock up.



What is the point of having a large deck Carrier with this compromised F35 ?



In fact, what is the point of the F35 ?



The most expensive, complicated, least capable, slowest lemon ever made.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:50 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 16):
My understanding of the situation is that BAE did a lot of pressuring of the UK govt to go with the B model. This was not because it would personally make much difference to its income directly, but more a case of deferring the F-35 as a catapult capable aircraft carrier could take F-18 or Rafale (either likely loaned/leased on very generous terms) for the next 10 years.

Reports here say it's being driven by the service chiefs concerned at the costs and technical risks, they are angry and never thought the revised CVF and move to F-35C was as easy and quick as the government seemed to make out. Now they are getting more evidence to support this. The extra costs just cannot be absorbed in the current and likely future budgets without even more cuts elsewhere.

In any case, other types from a CTOL carrier is just out of the question.
EMALS is unproved, F-35C is some years behind the F-35B, a report by a Commons Defence Committee not long ago raised serious concerns about just when CTOL CVF and F-35C would actually become operational.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:54 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 18):
Typical British military cock up.

Despite everything, who would want to have the hugely dysfunctional procurements - or attempted procurements, the US, in particular the USAF has got now?
CASR, the 'Tanker Wars', now they cannot even get just 20 armed trainers for someone else without it all going wrong.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:42 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):
Reports here say it's being driven by the service chiefs concerned at the costs and technical risks, they are angry and never thought the revised CVF and move to F-35C was as easy and quick as the government seemed to make out. Now they are getting more evidence to support this. The extra costs just cannot be absorbed in the current and likely future budgets without even more cuts elsewhere.

Agreed. It was going to be cost prohibitive to alter the 2nd CV - let alone altering the 1st CVF. And even if they were going to convert PoW, that would leave Queen Elizabeth out, and since there would be no fighter aircraft to operate off QE, she would be in fact the world's biggest LPH. Absolute and complete lunacy.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 18):

What is the point of having a large deck Carrier with this compromised F35 ?

F-35B is more capable than the aircraft it replaces and has the performance that is comparable to the F-16 or the F/A-18. In fact, many experts have argued it is the F-35C that is more compromised than the F-35B for a variety of technical reasons.

Furthermore, steel is cheap. A larger carrier allows for more aircraft to be carried, and allows for a higher sortie generation rate.

Quoting GDB (Reply 12):
Maybe that vessel should get EMALS, at mid life refit?

The problem lies within the length of the catapult. It's too short to launch fully laden Rafale's (I believe CdG's C13 catapult is shorter than the USN's catapult by 15m). EMALS would require extensive modifications, and I'm not certain that CdE has the electrical power available for EMALS. EMALS is also much longer; it's 103m, 28m longer than the CdG's catapults. It really shows how compromised the CdG is.

[Edited 2012-04-18 23:51:17]
 
Max Q
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:24 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):

Despite everything, who would want to have the hugely dysfunctional procurements - or attempted procurements, the US, in particular the USAF has got now?
CASR, the 'Tanker Wars', now they cannot even get just 20 armed trainers for someone else without it all going wr

No argument there, it's the same on this side of the pond.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:24 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
hat would leave Queen Elizabeth out, and since there would be no fighter aircraft to operate off QE, she would be in fact the world's biggest LPH. Absolute and complete lunacy.

Not even in service as a LPH, just mothballed!

I don't mind the CVF's having a secondary LPH role, that was always an intention. Though you could have a flight of F-35B's and still do that. The USN does with their Harriers, later F-35B's on LHD's not as large as the CVF'

I think there has long been an impression that the RN, with CVF, with the F-35B, was trying to replicate a USN Carrier Battle Group.
But that was not the case, it was always seen as being more flexible than that.
If this combination saw active operations, much more likely to be a littoral style mission, rather than a 21st Century Battle Of Midway.
Is the range of the F-35B really THAT critical? Set against the costs and risks of F-35C/CTOL EMCAT?

Even so, a CVF with an air-group of F-35B's, Merlins carrying the 'Cerebus' system now in Sea King AEW's, ASW/SAR Merlins, maybe also Lynx Wildcats and WAH-64D's, with a couple of Type 45 Destroyers and 2 or 3 Frigates as escorts, along with a Astute Class sub or two (with up to 38 Tomahawks in each) , will be a very formidable package indeed.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:36 pm

Quoting Eagleboy (Reply 13):
It had been planned that the French would take a carrier with the same design as the 2 UK CVF's. This wou;ld have reduced overall unit costs and helped interoperability. However the French didn't sign up in the end.

The French PA2 was a CTOL carrier not STOVL, she was also going to be slightly bigger. The French also wanted to build all the carriers in Toulouse, this was not politically acceptable to the British.
 
chuchoteur
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:21 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
The French also wanted to build all the carriers in Toulouse

A bit big for the Garonne river no?
 
 
Kiwirob
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:55 pm

woops I meant Toulon, there are two massive drydocks which would have been used for construction.
 
chuchoteur
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:18 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 26):
woops I meant Toulon, there are two massive drydocks which would have been used for construction.

As I recall, the plan was for the french to build the hulls and for the british to equip them, which always seemed a bit strange to me... a bit of a no go really.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:16 pm

A fair deal might have been France has one CTOL CVF - built in France, equipped with standard French Navy equipment/systems, though not a huge change like replacing the RR powerplant, while the UK built say two Mistral Class, again with certain standard RN systems for standardisation.

Result - by 2020 the RN has 4 flat tops, two VSTOL CVF's, two Mistral (UK) LHD's.
The 2nd CVF having effectively replaced HMS Ocean .
 
ThePointblank
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:03 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 23):
Not even in service as a LPH, just mothballed!

I don't mind the CVF's having a secondary LPH role, that was always an intention. Though you could have a flight of F-35B's and still do that. The USN does with their Harriers, later F-35B's on LHD's not as large as the CVF'

I think there has long been an impression that the RN, with CVF, with the F-35B, was trying to replicate a USN Carrier Battle Group.
But that was not the case, it was always seen as being more flexible than that.
If this combination saw active operations, much more likely to be a littoral style mission, rather than a 21st Century Battle Of Midway.
Is the range of the F-35B really THAT critical? Set against the costs and risks of F-35C/CTOL EMCAT?

With the size of CVF, mission planners and the military realized that they could get a much more capable ship if they allowed the design to grow to its current dimensions, and that one large carrier was better than 3 small ones. You can look at the old Audacious class Ark Royal as an example; on displacement of 53,950 tons full load, Ark Royal could only carry a mixture of no more 40 rotary wing and fixed wing aircraft. With the continued growth in size of combat aircraft, restricting CVF's size at the same level would have resulted in a much smaller airgroup, and a much less capable carrier.

The F-35B's range is actually very good for a STOVL fighter. It matches the typical combat radius of the F-16 and the F/A-18. It's considerably better than the Harrier ever was in all respects.
 
Gingersnap
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:57 pm

Here we go again...

Quote:
Military planners have raised concerns ministers may order inferior jets for the navy's new generation of aircraft carrier, in order to save money.

Classified Ministry of Defence papers seen by the Daily Telegraph suggest doubts about the capabilities of the jump jets ministers are considering.

The government had previously signalled its intention to buy the carrier version of the Joint Strike Fighter - felt to be the superior one.

The MoD said no decision had been made.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17795126
Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:15 pm

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 30):
Military planners have raised concerns ministers may order inferior jets for the navy's new generation of aircraft carrier, in order to save money.

If true, they should make their minds up! Since they have also been the ones pushing to abandon the current plan for CVF CTOL/F-35C due to the cost and technical reasons we've discussed on here.
Or maybe this new 'concern' comes from wholly RAF planners, who would prefer F-35C - fair enough and rightly for the RAF - though are really motivated by fears that the far more practical CVF/F-35B might be resurrected.

Really, they just want the CVF to just go away.
Since the issues around CTOL CVF - with just one active carrier - was making the post 2010 review plan look increasingly vulnerable from a cost and technical perspective, with IOC dates going further back to point of becoming politically unacceptable, they might have thought the whole project was terminally ill.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu May 10, 2012 8:34 pm

Official;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18013638

Defence Secretary - an improvement on his ousted predecessor - who drove this and had to get it past his berk of a boss;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18020972

[Edited 2012-05-10 13:37:43]

The Shadow Defence Secretary responds, who has a right to be smug since he did warn of the risks of changes the government made to the CVF in 2010;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18020976

At least there is no reason mothball the first CVF, since it will now be able to operate fast jets.

As I mentioned before, there is a case for RAF F-35C's, maybe later convert a CVF for them, once the EM Cats have been developed and proven. Or if the risks to the whole F-35C are too great, maybe have a F-35A (UK), with hose in flight refuelling.

But what a shambles this whole exercise has been, they were warned this might have to happen, not just by the opposition either.


[Edited 2012-05-10 13:45:01]
 
connies4ever
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Thu May 10, 2012 9:34 pm

.

Quoting GDB (Reply 32):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18013638

Defence Secretary - an improvement on his ousted predecessor - who drove this and had to get it past his berk of a boss;

What a balls up, GDB. But the biggest berk might be Cameron himself. I'm starting to get the impression that the coalition is not long for the world, so you may have the delicious pleasure of an election during the Olys. What fun ! I saw the low turnout in local elections recently, so that means an election upset is more likely than it might have been. I'm thinking Miliband might actually win an election this year.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 11, 2012 4:30 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 32):
Official;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18013638

Defence Secretary - an improvement on his ousted predecessor - who drove this and had to get it past his berk of a boss;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18020972

[Edited 2012-05-10 13:37:43]

The Shadow Defence Secretary responds, who has a right to be smug since he did warn of the risks of changes the government made to the CVF in 2010;

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18020976

At least there is no reason mothball the first CVF, since it will now be able to operate fast jets.

As I mentioned before, there is a case for RAF F-35C's, maybe later convert a CVF for them, once the EM Cats have been developed and proven. Or if the risks to the whole F-35C are too great, maybe have a F-35A (UK), with hose in flight refuelling.

But what a shambles this whole exercise has been, they were warned this might have to happen, not just by the opposition either.

[Edited 2012-05-10 13:45:01]

Realistically, everyone knew that the UK was going to switch back to the B since last year. There were major issues with the original switch to the C that were not considered by those in power when they made the decision.
 
bennett123
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 11, 2012 6:51 am

Miliband as PM really would be wacky.

At present the labour approach, (just like Greece it seems) is stop nasty spending cuts, back to Whisky Galore.

Just where is the money going to come from?.
 
sweair
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 11, 2012 11:06 am

How much would a Gerald Ford class carrier cost and would US sell it? Being nuke powered only a few nations would take it, like the French. Would it even be possible for the french to go this route politically? It maybe a bit too big? But it would be able to launch anything EU has for naval air.

Maybe just a hull and then equipped in France? Or would it be cheaper to build and design one on their own?

A cooperation with USN would probably bring more business for France as well.
 
scouseflyer
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 11, 2012 12:12 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 35):
Miliband as PM really would be wacky.

At present the labour approach, (just like Greece it seems) is stop nasty spending cuts, back to Whisky Galore.

Just where is the money going to come from?.

Quite, imagine Red Ed and Balls up in charge of the nation's coffers - they'd order a whole pile of stuff and just keep putting it on the credit card - we'd end up with no Navy at rather than the tiny one that we're heading for!

Back to the F35!

Am I missing something as to why the first one for the RN is already flying but they're not going to be operational for another 8 years?
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 11, 2012 4:39 pm

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 35):
Miliband as PM really would be wacky.

At present the labour approach, (just like Greece it seems) is stop nasty spending cuts, back to Whisky Galore.

Just where is the money going to come from?.

Well that might be what the Daily Mail etc say, from they've actually said it seems to be more like stretching out the deficit reduction a year or two, with more infrastructure spending. (Which the Government seem to be thinking aloud on,) indeed, they've had to move their own reduction target from 2015 to 2017 and of course, as many economists warned, we are back in recession.
What's needed is keyhole surgery on the economic patient, not slapping on leeches as we've seen since 2010.

And since we are not in the Euro, the Greek analogy seems mad, if you are not Nick Clegg that is.

Quoting scouseflyer (Reply 37):
Am I missing something as to why the first one for the RN is already flying but they're not going to be operational for another 8 years?

Operational? As in first OCU formed up, or first front line squadron, or a full complement on an operational cruise?
2018 seems to be the consensus for I.O.C.
F-35C was at least 2023 and going further backwards.

I am not going to defend the previous government on all things, however they were right about F-35B, plenty of serious analysts warned this government on the risks of their plan, which has come true. No amount of spin will change that.
 
scouseflyer
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 11, 2012 11:03 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 38):
I am not going to defend the previous government on all things, however they were right about F-35B, plenty of serious analysts warned this government on the risks of their plan, which has come true. No amount of spin will change that.

Well at least they've had the balls to make a u-turn.

It's interesting that it's being reported as UK gov has spent £100m on changing the flavour of F35 when it's looking like they're avoiding having to pay £2B by doing the switch. Whether they should be in this place anyway is a whole differant question....
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 11, 2012 11:15 pm

Quoting scouseflyer (Reply 39):
It's interesting that it's being reported as UK gov has spent £100m on changing the flavour of F35 when it's looking like they're avoiding having to pay £2B by doing the switch. Whether they should be in this place anyway is a whole differant question....

Yes, at least £2B but also the sheer technical risk. If EMCats were operational now on USN carriers this would not be the case, it's one thing to do again what the RN last did in 1978, adding a whole new cat system into that?
The whole 'interoperability with allies' thing was a sham too, maybe Cameron, who in ridiculing the F-35B back in 2010 made much of, was not aware of the USMC's large fleet of VSTOL jets?
Aware enough to sell the Harriers to them for a pittance though.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 18, 2012 4:24 am

Not surprising: the original decision to switch to F-35C was a rush job and ill-conceived:
http://defencereport.com/uk-mod-admi...-overturned-f-35-recommendation-2/

Quote:
Explaining carrier strike cost increases

The MoD has outlined four areas where they say programme cost increases originated:

installation of ‘cats and traps’ was more invasive than originally thought with 290 major modifications required instead of the original estimate of 80
the number of systems that were needed to be brought over from the US to operate the catapult and arresting gear was more than expected
the routing of the procurement process through the US’ Foreign Military Sales programme instead of direct from manufacturers has added to ancillary costs
production and manufacturing time delays have inflated original cost projections

...

While senior officials at the MoD confirmed that errors made in assessing and selecting the F-35C were a result of hurrying the decision process at the time of SDSR, sources have not indicated how much time would have been required to conduct a correct cost assessment.
 
sweair
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 18, 2012 9:51 am

So what will France do, their carrier seems to be a bit unsuccessful? Will they go and build 1 on their own or get close to the Americans? Maybe the Americans build too big carriers for Europeans? But it certainly is a big stick to have  
 
scouseflyer
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 18, 2012 12:50 pm

Quoting sweair (Reply 42):
So what will France do, their carrier seems to be a bit unsuccessful? Will they go and build 1 on their own or get close to the Americans? Maybe the Americans build too big carriers for Europeans? But it certainly is a big stick to have

I don't think that the US has current capacity to build more than one super large carrier at a time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_R._Ford_class_aircraft_carrier

Maybe the UK could sell the second carrier and order a third one (I dont' want that to happen through as it'll never get ordered!)
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 18, 2012 5:16 pm

Given the budgetary situation in France, the idea of a French CVF, with stream plant and cata, is dead. They are not going to do a CDG version 2 either.
CDG can handle Rafales, F-18's (including the E/F), E-2C's - after mods it did anyway.
The whole 'interoperability' thing, not bad as an idea in itself, was as regards CVF/F-35C just an ill-informed bit of political spin.
 
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Aesma
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Fri May 18, 2012 7:48 pm

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 21):
Furthermore, steel is cheap. A larger carrier allows for more aircraft to be carried, and allows for a higher sortie generation rate.

Steel is cheap, but oil isn't, and the UK boats run on oil, right ?

Quoting sweair (Reply 36):
How much would a Gerald Ford class carrier cost and would US sell it? Being nuke powered only a few nations would take it, like the French. Would it even be possible for the french to go this route politically? It maybe a bit too big? But it would be able to launch anything EU has for naval air.

Maybe just a hull and then equipped in France? Or would it be cheaper to build and design one on their own?

A cooperation with USN would probably bring more business for France as well.
Quoting sweair (Reply 42):
So what will France do, their carrier seems to be a bit unsuccessful? Will they go and build 1 on their own or get close to the Americans? Maybe the Americans build too big carriers for Europeans? But it certainly is a big stick to have

With the current economic situation, no French government is going to order anything expensive for the military. A 2nd CDG class boat has been a red herring for almost ten years already. Now with the socialists in power, allied with the anti-military and anti-nuclear greens and supported by the communists (now also quite green), talking about buying a carrier would be foolish. Talking about procuring it from another country, and especially the US, would be instant political suicide.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
ThePointblank
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Sat May 19, 2012 4:15 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 45):
Steel is cheap, but oil isn't, and the UK boats run on oil, right ?

Cheaper than running 3-4 smaller aircraft carriers in terms of manpower, support, and operations cost. Smaller isn't always better.
 
GDB
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Sun May 20, 2012 12:23 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 45):
Steel is cheap, but oil isn't, and the UK boats run on oil, right ?

Do you mean the nuclear alternative?

Both with the abortive CVA program of the 1960's and in the initial planning for what became CVF, nuclear propulsion was considered. Then rejected.
Really, it only works when you have the economy of scale, that big fleet, that the USN has with it's carriers.

For nations like the UK and France, though they may have nuclear subs, which by having more than one or two of them, do have this economy of scale - aside also from, with their origins in the Cold War being seen as essential, both for the deterrent SSBN's and for attack subs to protect them, there just is not the same justification for one or two nuclear carriers.

France has found this out the hard way, the 1970's vintage nuclear powered PA75 helicopter carrier never happened, largely due to cost, then CDG. Which adapted sub power plants, which led to technical difficulties, which took time, effort and money to alleviate.
That the cost of a dedicated plant for the carrier could not be justified, demonstrates this.

Maybe if in the early 1990's the UK and France has come together to jointly development two nuclear carriers for each navy, the cost of dedicated nuke plants for them could have been justified.
But, serious thinking about a new, larger class of RN carrier only got under way from 1998, by then, CDG was under construction.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Mon May 21, 2012 5:03 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 45):
A 2nd CDG class boat has been a red herring for almost ten years already.

They have never intended to build a second CDG, the French do have a design for PA2, which is essentially the CAT and TRAP version of CVF, the one the British should have built right from the start.
 
ThePointblank
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RE: UK To Revert To F35B Fighter For RN

Mon May 13, 2013 5:02 am

Back to this topic: Remember when I said this?

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 11):
The problem was redesigning and the costs of the EMALS. Instead of the expected £400m, it is believed the conversion would cost about £1.8bn, excluding any other design changes that are required to change from STOVL to CATOBAR.

Well, the UK's National Accounting Office came out with a report on the flip-flop, and pretty much confirmed what everyone thought:
http://www.defensenews.com/article/2...ta-Drove-F-35-Choices-New-Carriers

The Janet and John bits:

Quote:
Flawed assumptions and immature data were behind a 150 percent rise in the estimated cost of Britain switching its planned carrier strike aircraft force from the STOVL F-35B to the conventional takeoff F-35C, says a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) here..
Quote:
The NAO said part of the blame for the failure to understand the issues properly was a decision by the administration “not to involve commercial and industrial partners in the process.”

One analyst here said the assumptions were in part the result of a rushed government strategic defense and security review that mandated the change in JSF type without testing the quality of the data.

The only saving grace is this part here:

Quote:
The report did praise the MoD for acting quickly once it realized the assumptions and data were questionable.

“It was a big strategic decision taken with poor information. Once it became clear how bad a decision it was the government deserves credit for acting swiftly even if it was politically embarrassing. Having [Philip] Hammond as defense secretary made it easier as his predecessor [Liam Fox] had been more wedded to the carrier variant,” said one executive who asked not to be named.

The whole report from the NAO is here:
http://www.nao.org.uk/report/carrier...trike-the-2012-reversion-decision/

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 48):
They have never intended to build a second CDG, the French do have a design for PA2, which is essentially the CAT and TRAP version of CVF, the one the British should have built right from the start.





On the topic of a potential French carrier, DCNS unveiled a model of a carrier they are intending to pitch to Brazil:

http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/de...-reveals-brazilian-carrier-design/


Brazil is talking about at least one carrier, maybe two for to replace their current carrier, the NAe São Paulo (ex French carrier, Foch). This is a large, 60,000 ton CATOBAR carrier, and will be a massive upgrade over what they have right now. Conceivability, the French could order an additional hull for themselves to reduce their own costs for a second carrier.

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