F-35B (Non-US) Pocket Carriers

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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Corsair1963

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Unread post07 Sep 2020, 04:44

South Korea to Double Down on F-35 and Procure STOVL Variant for LPX-II

20 F-35B STOVL aircraft will be procured for the ROK Navy's future light aircraft carrier.

The South Korean Ministry of National Defense (MND) has decided in August to double its fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets. A total of forty additional "Joint Strike Fighters" will be procured, including 20 F-35B short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant for its light aircraft carrier project known as LPX-II.


According to multiple local media reports quoting officials, South Korean military authorities plan to acquire an additional 40 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, among which 20 F-35B will be acquired by the Republic of Korea Navy (ROK Navy). The transfer of F-35B data and technology is seen as essential for designing the future 30,000-tons LPX-II vessel, which should be operational by 2033:


“Detailed information of the F-35B is absolutely necessary for the design of the main parts of the ship such as the deck,”

South Korea military official

In parallel, the Republic of Korea Air Force will order 20 additional F-35A variant aircraft to fulfill its requirement for 60 5th generation fighters. South Korea green lighted an initial procurement of 40 F-35A on 24 September 2014. About a dozen of F-35A from this first batch entered operational service with the Air Force in December 2019.


Although the F-35B are set to be procured by the ROK Navy’s budget, Naval News understands that the aircraft will be flown by ROK Air Force pilots. While ROK Navy personnel flies fixed wing aircraft (P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircrafts, to be replaced by the P-8A Poseidon), it lacks pilots with experience with fast jets.

An initial power struggle between the Air Force and Navy was resolved by granting wishes of both branches: The ROK Navy will receive the F-35B first to accommodate the LPX-II program. The ROK Air Force will operate the Navy’s F-35B while also getting their own additional F-35A after the F-35B are delivered. In the end, South Korea will operate a total of 80 F-35 (60 A variants and 20 B variants).


The final approval is expected during a Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting held in October 2020. The contract is expected to be signed between 2021 and 2022 with delivery beginning around 2025.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... yl5k6JQpXA
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Unread post26 Sep 2020, 21:39

Lockheed Martin to perform ‘unique sea trials' of F-35 for non-US customers
25 Sep 2020 Gareth Jennings

"The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has contracted Lockheed Martin to conduct aircraft carrier trials of its F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) for potential international operators. The award, announced on 24 September, is part of a wider USD245.5 million developmental support contract for DoD and international operators of the F-35 that will run through to March 2022.

“[Additional to the wider developmental support work], this modification provides unique sea trials on aircraft carriers for non-DoD participants,” the contract notification stated. Though no further details pertaining to the aircraft carrier trials were disclosed, they are likely to relate to the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B variant of the aircraft.

To date, the US Marine Corps (USMC), United Kingdom Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Air Force (RAF), and Italian Navy (Marina Militare Italiana: MMI) have procured the F-35B to equip their respective amphibious assault ships and aircraft carriers, while current F-35A customers, Australia [? bollocks], Japan, Singapore, Spain, and South Korea, have all expressed interest in the STOVL jet’s carrier capabilities over recent years...."

Source: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... -customers
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element1loop

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Unread post27 Sep 2020, 02:25

F-35B makes more sense to me for Island hopping distributed ops in E Asia and the SE Asian context. If opposing force HF/VHF radars and sats are on the blink, can you imagine the difficulty of locating and successfully interdicting VLO F-35B operating from any of thousands of Islands in SEA or EA? Or say from literally anywhere on Luzon? The chances of stopping them are low, and their strike/attack reach is extraordinary with a standoff VLO anti-ship and land-attack missile like JSM. Talk about area denial.

No subs involved either, no torpedoes, no antiship weapons to degrade capability fast, no sea mines, no allied SSN support needed, no fleet support required, no sailors in harms way on ships, when they don't have to be.

F-35B is a no-brainer for giving PLA a big problem fast, with no easy solutions. PLAN can build all the boxy amphibs they want, they'll just be destroyed by JSM and some glide-bombs. And are providing regional ISR on the OPFOR doorstep the whole time.

Bs still have utility for supporting LHD operations and small fleet SA and targeting for defence needs as well, but I don't think that's the main game for the F-35B in an Indo-Pac fight.
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Unread post28 Sep 2020, 14:31

The B really is shining, at least insofar as getting smaller countries into the carrier business. I wonder if China/Russia will try to do the same. I don't think it's happening with the J-31, likely a clean sheet design just for their Navy. I see no way in hell the SU-57 goes to sea, but they do like fantasizing about it. IF it happens, it will have to be a clean sheet design there too..
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Unread post28 Sep 2020, 19:11

How's that liftfan working on J-31. I heard it wasn't adequate. /sarcasm
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Unread post30 Sep 2020, 13:13

madrat wrote:How's that liftfan working on J-31. I heard it wasn't adequate. /sarcasm


Really though, how many states in China's sphere of influence have ships capable of supporting an STOVL jet? Not many that I can think of. They also appear to be going all in with big deck carriers, complete with catapaults and arresting gear vs. "helicopter assault" type ships.

That might be a mistake in the SCS, where the US and China fight over man made Chinese islands. Likely with runways that look like swiss cheese, at least until air superiority can be assured and the engineers have patched the holes up. Even then, the threat from stealthy cruise missiles/IRBM's will likely keep them busy..
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Unread post09 Oct 2020, 20:30

South Korean military aiming to speed up acquisition of light aircraft carrier
08 Oct 2020 Gabriel Dominguez

"Amid the growing naval capabilities of neighbouring countries, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) have requested that construction plans for the Republic of Korea Navy’s (RoKN’s) next-generation light aircraft carrier be brought forward.

Officials from the Ministry of National Defense (MND) in Seoul told Janes on 8 October that the JCS want the carrier’s basic design to be included in the MND’s Defense Mid-Term Plan covering the period from 2021–25, meaning that design work could start as early as next year.

According to RoKN data, completion of the basic design will take about three years, with a further seven years required for the detailed design and construction, meaning that the carrier could be ready for delivery as early as 2031. Depending on how long the sea trials period takes, the carrier could be operational between one and two years earlier than initially planned.

The 30,000–35,000 tonne carrier, which is being acquired under the LPX-II project, is expected to support operations of helicopters and short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft such as the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

This means that the MND will also try to speed up the introduction of STOVL fighter aircraft, with MND officials telling Janes that the procurement process for the fighters is expected to begin “in earnest” next year. The RoKN is believed to have an initial requirement for about 20 such aircraft.

While the exact type of STOVL aircraft has yet to be determined, the Yonhap News Agency reported in August that it is likely to be the F-35B, adding that it is the only model that meets the RoKN’s requirement." [duh]

Graphic: [conceptual only - not the real deal] "A CGI showing the conceptual design of the RoKN’s future light aircraft carrier. (RoKN)" https://www.janes.com/images/default-so ... w-8392.jpg


Source: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... ft-carrier
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Unread post11 Oct 2020, 04:17

Japan's converted Izumo-class carriers will not feature a ‘ski-jump' ramp for F-35B operations

by Kosuke Takahashi

The Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) has decided that its two Izumo-class helicopter carriers will not be fitted with a ‘ski-jump’ ramp to facilitate operations of the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, Janes has learnt.

Instead, each vessel will have the bow section of its flight deck, which is currently trapezoidal, modified into a square shape, similar to that found on the United States Navy’s Wasp- and America-class amphibious assault ships.

This change will enable the ship to safely operate the F-35Bs by mitigating turbulence during take-offs and enabling the aircraft to take off and land on the port side of the flight deck, maintaining a safe distance from the ship’s island, a JMSDF spokesperson told Janes on 8 October.

He also confirmed that the modifications to JS Izumo and JS Kaga will be made in two main stages to coincide with the vessels’ periodic refit and overhaul program, which take place every five years

As Janes reported in June, the service has already begun the process of converting Izumo.


https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... 6zrwITQLzU
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Unread post11 Oct 2020, 05:50

Pitcha from post above: https://www.janes.com/images/default-so ... w-8395.jpg
"JMSDF helicopter carrier JS Izumo (shown here) is currently undergoing the first stage of conversion into an aircraft carrier capable of supporting F-35B operations. The JMSDF recently decided that neither JS Izumo nor JS Kaga will be fitted with a ‘ski-jump’ ramp but will instead have the bow section of their respective flight decks, which is currently trapezoidal, modified into a square shape. (JMSDF)"
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Unread post12 Oct 2020, 20:50

Salute!

errrr....., Aye aye!

I am not too woried about the gator navy light boats with the F-35B or equivalent of potential hostile navies. It's the Nimitz class that should wake us up. And forget anything like the new Ford boats. BTW, I say "boats" as the USN refers to subs and carrriers as "boats".

The ability to "project power" is a good thing to have in your aresenal. But it requires more than a big boat or two. They need a bunch of support ships. Then there's the Aegis clones and great, silent attack subs in the vicinity. For a long time, I am not real worried about any arena with naval forces except maybe the South China Sea, and there are other threats there besides bad guy carriers.

Good to see some friendly folks taking care of their business and not us.

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Unread post12 Oct 2020, 21:24

Gums wrote:
The ability to "project power" is a good thing to have in your aresenal. But it requires more than a big boat or two. They need a bunch of support ships.



But their pocket carriers could very well be built to support the surface ships and not the other way around.

The US is rather unique in having its carriers as the foundation for its sea control, ASuW, ASW, and land attack
capability.
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element1loop

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Unread post14 Oct 2020, 00:33

Gums wrote: ... Good to see some friendly folks taking care of their business and not us. ...


Definitely. Going to be much more allied naval capability later this decade, on top of what USN and also USMC are straining to produce. PLAN can forget about Lording it over anyone, or dictating who owns what.
Accel + Alt + VLO + DAS + MDF + Radial Distance = LIFE . . . Always choose Stealth
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