SU-57 deployed to Syria

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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zero-one

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Unread post17 Apr 2018, 16:11

Well, I'm not going to argue with your hypothesis there. But at least its still an option on the table. The RAF really only has 2 types of combat aircraft. the Typhoon and the Tornado, both could theoretically carry out the strike.

If it really came down to a massive strike operation, the RAF could load them all with Storm Shadows, leave 1 or 2 squadrons of Typhoons for dedicated CAP.

They have no bombers, their entire combat aircraft fleet is made up of those 2 aircraft. Shes a far cry from her glory days of world war 2 where she was pretty much just 2nd to the USAF in overall strength, specially late in the game.

But they are still more capable than most air arms out there.
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marsavian

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Unread post17 Apr 2018, 16:50

I'm sure they could easily handle strikes in Syria with Typhoons flying from nearby Turkey or Italy.


UK Typhoons and Tornadoes are based in Akrotiri, Cyprus which is a UK sovereign base and is right next to Syria.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akrotiri_and_Dhekelia

However it is true that Eurofighter got the A-G hardpoint configuration seriously sub optimal and they almost need the CFTs just to recover parity. They probably concentrated too much on making it an intercepting dogfighting hot rod and left the strike role too much as an afterthought. One squadron of Tornadoes has already been retired due to the imminent squadron of F-35Bs coming online and the other two will be retired by 2019 so the Typhoon will have to take over the role of cruise missile strike by then.
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zero-one

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Unread post18 Apr 2018, 10:47

Thanks marsavian

Wow, once the Tornados are retired the entire RAF's combat capabilities will rest squarely on the shoulders of the Typhoon. And they only have around 120+ of those.

Yes they'll have F-35Bs on the QE class. But just considering the RAF alone, does anyone else feel they're no longer a top tier air force.

The Typhoon is one extremely capable air-air platform, probably top 4th gen air-superiority fighter, has okay strike capabilities, can probably perform SEAD or CAS if pushed.

But China, Israel, Japan, S.Korea, Russia and India may have a more complete combat aircraft force structure than they have even with the Tornado still in service.
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ricnunes

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Unread post18 Apr 2018, 11:24

zero-one wrote:Wow, once the Tornados are retired the entire RAF's combat capabilities will rest squarely on the shoulders of the Typhoon. And they only have around 120+ of those.

Yes they'll have F-35Bs on the QE class. But just considering the RAF alone, does anyone else feel they're no longer a top tier air force.


Well, as far as I know the UK is planning to order something like 138 F-35s. There are even some "rumours" that many of those 138 F-35s could end up being F-35As or resuming that the total order of 138 aircraft could be composed by F-35As and F-35Bs.
But even if that order ends up being 138 F-35Bs (solely) the combined RAF/FAA will have those 120+ Typhoons plus 138 F-35s. I would say that this would still be a very respectable air force and IMO the most powerful air force in Europe!
Heck, a fleet of 138 F-35s by itself would make any air force to become one of the most powerful and respected air forces in the world :wink:
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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zero-one

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Unread post18 Apr 2018, 12:58

But the FAA is part of the RN.
If they all happen to be B models under the RN's command, then the FAA could very well be the most combat capable air arm of the Royal armed forces.

Thats like saying the USN is better than the USAF in combat aircraft capability.
But hey back in the day the USN really believed they had the world's best air superiority fighter in the F-14
the world's best strike fighter in the F/A-18, and could match the USAF in other capabilities as well with their A-3 strategic bomber and E-3 AEWACs. The only thing they couldn't match was strategic air lift
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ricnunes

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Unread post18 Apr 2018, 16:46

zero-one wrote:But the FAA is part of the RN.
If they all happen to be B models under the RN's command, then the FAA could very well be the most combat capable air arm of the Royal armed forces.

Thats like saying the USN is better than the USAF in combat aircraft capability.


Actually the F-35Bs are both RN and RAF. They will operate from 2 operational squadrons, one being the no. 617 squadron which is RAF and the other the 809 NAS which is RN. On top of this there will be 2 more RAF squadrons, the no. 17 squadron (an Operational Evaluation Unit) and the no. 207 squadron (and Operational Conversion Unit).
So there will be more RAF F-35 squadrons than RN squadrons so this makes the F-35 at least as much but likely more a RAF aircraft than a RN one. :wink:
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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zero-one

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Unread post18 Apr 2018, 18:59

ricnunes wrote:
Actually the F-35Bs are both RN and RAF. They will operate from 2 operational squadrons, one being the no. 617 squadron which is RAF and the other the 809 NAS which is RN. On top of this there will be 2 more RAF squadrons, the no. 17 squadron (an Operational Evaluation Unit) and the no. 207 squadron (and Operational Conversion Unit).
So there will be more RAF F-35 squadrons than RN squadrons so this makes the F-35 at least as much but likely more a RAF aircraft than a RN one. :wink:


I see, but why then B models? They're more expensive and besides STOVL capability, less capable than the A model.
less maneuverable, less range, less payload, acceleration, in almost every aspect of direct combat, it is inferior to the other 2 models. And it cost more.

It's still head and shoulders above almost anything else but hopefully they give A models to the RAF
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post18 Apr 2018, 19:32

It makes every F-35 in UK service carrier & austere-basing capable.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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ricnunes

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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 11:06

zero-one wrote:I see, but why then B models? They're more expensive and besides STOVL capability, less capable than the A model.
less maneuverable, less range, less payload, acceleration, in almost every aspect of direct combat, it is inferior to the other 2 models. And it cost more.


Basically (and simplifying) the F-35Bs are meant to replace both the RAF Harrier GR9 and the RN Sea Harrier FA.2

Apparently (and like SpudmanWP said), the RAF still wants to operate aircraft capable of operating on UK/RN carriers and austere/makeshift/improved forward "bases" like they did during the cold war and in actual wars like the Falklands. And the F-35B fills this role nicely.

zero-one wrote:It's still head and shoulders above almost anything else but hopefully they give A models to the RAF


Like I previously mentioned, there seems to be some serious discussions withing the UK's Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces to modify the planned order of 138 F-35Bs into a mixed/combined F-35B and F-35A order. Now if this will actually happen or not, one can only guess/speculate... :wink:
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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mixelflick

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Unread post20 Apr 2018, 15:13

I think they'll do just fine with 138 B's, if that's what they ultimately choose.

But I would prefer an A/B mix, no question about it. The UK is always right by our side whenever military action is taken, as seen most recently in Syria. The A's would have greater range, better all around performance and most importantly - hit harder given the ability to carry 2,000lb JDAM's internally.

Other than the carrier scenario, I fail to see any conflict where runways were so damaged that CTOL aircraft couldn't operate. At least until they patched the runway and resumed operations. Hell the Iraqi's used taxiways as runways after we cratered them, still getting some aircraft airborne in DS1.

That may not hold true to future combat, but historically it looks like CTOL aircraft do just fine in wartime. And although the B is the worst performing of the bunch, I think it's safe to say it's head and shoulders over any harrier variant. I don't think it has the range of a Tornado, but then again can be based closer to the front. It still has what... 14,000lbs of internal fuel? That's double that of the F-16...
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ricnunes

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Unread post20 Apr 2018, 16:18

Also don't forget that the F-35A is also considerable cheaper than the F-35B, which is very important nowadays.

And of course the bigger range of the F-35A makes it a better and a fine replacement for the Tornado compared to the F-35B.

So I guess that a A/B mix would make sense but then again, only time will tell if this will happen or not.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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marsavian

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Unread post20 Apr 2018, 17:34

48 UK F-35Bs are set in stone. The MOD sees the operational fleet of F-35Bs as eventually totally about 63 with 138 being ordered in total to cover for attrition/maintenance/sustainment.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/governm ... 48-f-35bs/

I would be very surprised if the RAF don't eventually convince the MOD to give them two squadrons of F-35A (30 to 40 aircraft of the 138 total).

As for the Typhoons there will eventually be about 140+ aircraft, 37 tranche 1 single seaters, 67 tranche 2 and 40 tranche 3 not including attrition losses of which there has been at least 1 IIRC. The tranche 2/3 are the only ones who will receive major future enhancements like AESA and possibly CFTs. The F-35 fleet should therefore grow to rough parity over time.
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ricnunes

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Unread post20 Apr 2018, 22:50

marsavian wrote:As for the Typhoons there will eventually be about 140+ aircraft, 37 tranche 1 single seaters, 67 tranche 2 and 40 tranche 3 not including attrition losses of which there has been at least 1 IIRC. The tranche 2/3 are the only ones who will receive major future enhancements like AESA and possibly CFTs. The F-35 fleet should therefore grow to rough parity over time.


If I'm not mistaken the RAF plans to retire all their Tranche 1 Typhoons soon and so if this is the case than you should consider the RAF fleet of Typhoons to be about 120+ aircraft (which was the number that zero-one came up with).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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marsavian

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Unread post21 Apr 2018, 05:12

No they are keeping the single seaters as specified in the 2015 SDSR to equip two legacy air alert defense squadrons.

https://fightersweep.com/4988/tranche-1 ... ert-force/
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ricnunes

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Unread post21 Apr 2018, 13:11

marsavian wrote:No they are keeping the single seaters as specified in the 2015 SDSR to equip two legacy air alert defense squadrons.

https://fightersweep.com/4988/tranche-1 ... ert-force/


Ok, thanks
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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