UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

KamenRiderBlade

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2639
  • Joined: 24 Nov 2012, 02:20
  • Location: USA

Unread post02 May 2014, 06:37

lookieloo wrote:
Corsair1963 wrote:The Queen Elizabeth maybe smaller than the Nimitz Class. Yet, the former could easily operate 40 F-35B's vs 20 F-35C and 20 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets! Of course the US Super Carrier has better support aircraft like the Hawkeye. Yet, based purely on striking power. The Queen Elizabeth may very well have the edge! :twisted:
Well, technically, the Nimitz can cram on a lot more TACAIR than that in a pinch; but it is interesting to note that the QEs will carry the more VLO airframes for quite some time (as will USMC amphibs). Rule Britannia!


According to research, the Nimitz class can fit ~130 F-18's at most if they were to pack them in.

However, since they never really bother to push the carry capacity that far, most Nimitz will only carry a fraction of the maximum load of combat aircraft.

Is there a logistical reason why the maximum number of aircraft is never really carried?

Besides the need for support aircraft such as AEW aircraft, Helicopters, EW aircraft, Cargo Transports?
Offline

delvo

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 690
  • Joined: 15 Aug 2011, 04:06

Unread post03 May 2014, 02:05

Also the ratio of planes to fuel, weapons, spare parts, and crew. Make that ratio too high, and you accelerate the rate at which those planes turn into paperweights waiting for something else to be replenished to make them usable again.
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2105
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post03 May 2014, 09:18

Carriers are designed to generate a certain number of sorties per day (fuel, parts, munitions etc requirements), even taking into account unrep assets. Assuming a fixed number of sorties e.g. 144. Once can have 48 aircraft can fly 3 sorties per day or have 144 flying 1 sortie per day. Clearly the latter is not as efficient use of aircraft than the former. Off the top of my head, Nimitz class CVNs can probably generate ~200 sorties a day in surge whilst the QE is designed for 150 max (110 F-35).
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 24118
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post03 May 2014, 09:46

Probably we need to have more detail about 'weasel1962' claims. For example what aircraft mix for CVNs - CVF mix is detailed. Given that we have this recent quote: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=20304&p=270623#p270623
"...Flight activities will be managed from the “flyco” flight operations centre, which is contained within the vessel’s aft of two islands. Simulation-based work has already demonstrated that the Queen Elizabeth-class ships will be able to “equal or better” the Ministry of Defence’s required sortie generation rate, says David Atkinson, who is responsible for aircraft to ship integration work on the F-35 for alliance member BAE Systems...."

Somewhere on the interbabble would be the CVF required sortie generation rate. Certainly there are KPPs which I should go check for sorties.....

This info may be out of date but for CVF here is some old stuff:
"...Supporting joint combat aircraft operations
The carrier will support joint combat aircraft carrying out up to 420 sorties over five days and be able to conduct day and night time operations. The maximum sortie rate is 110 joint combat aircraft sorties in a 24-hour period.

The standard airgroup of 40 aircraft includes the Lockheed Martin F-35B joint strike fighter, the EH101 Merlin helicopter and the maritime surveillance and control aircraft (MASC).

The maximum launch rate is 24 aircraft in 15 minutes and the maximum recovery rate is 24 aircraft in 24 minutes...."

SOURCE: http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/cvf/


ASD = Average Sortie Duration: http://www.scribd.com/document_download ... ension=pdf
Attachments
KPPsSortieGenRateSARdec2013.gif
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline

stobiewan

Senior member

Senior member

  • Posts: 310
  • Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 12:34
  • Location: UK

Unread post03 May 2014, 12:09

I get the impression from reading around that CVF's numbers were based around a comfortable operating regime, with all aircraft in the hangar, and enough room to work around them and move them under cover - the surge capacity is listed at 60 (from the ACA website) but the usual operating total would be 36 tops. The USN traditionally would run nearly twice that in a similar sized conventional carrier, but they'd be planning for higher attrition rates compared to current expectations and would expect the totals of aircraft to thin out a bit during combat ops.

I was reading a post by an F8 driver who described leaving port with four more aircraft than they had room for and the CAG just kept spinning the plate until 48 hours in, with lots of coffee drunk, someone slammed into a six pack of air craft on deck. Problem solved...
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 24118
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post09 May 2014, 17:25

Good overview of UK involvement in the program with emphasis on training at Eglin AFB:
UK steps up F-35 preparations 8 May 2014 HOWARD WHEELDON

"...Two-year upgrade cycle
Following the well reasoned change back to the original decision that the UK would acquire the F-35B STOVL version of the aircraft (this followed realisation of potentially very high cost and large scale risk involved in fitting a system of electronic ‘cats and traps’ to the new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier) it seems to me that the principle remaining area of debate around the UK purchase of F-35s is centred on future aircraft upgrades. Back in 2006, the UK and US signed the ‘Production Sustainment and Follow-on Development (PSFD) agreement. This is the MoU governing how follow-on development and all future upgrades will work. It also includes scope and the full cost-sharing arrangements across the international partnership. The F-35 upgrade strategy has, in fact, been designed to field capability and sustainability improvements on the aircraft every two years with the scope of upgrades being jointly agreed by the international partnership. The UK Government can rightly claim that the PSFD MoU provides the UK with full visibility of cost and it in part explains too why UK personnel are embedded not only at Eglin AFB but in Washington DC as well....

... As mentioned, the UK has already received three of the four F-35Bs, as part of a well planned and co-ordinated pre-operational build up and training process. The UK aircraft, numbered BK1, BK2 and BK3, had, at the time of my recent visit to Eglin, already notched up 144, 158 and 98 hours, respectively. Three RAF and RN pilots have so far completed Lightning ll training and a fourth pilot is expected to complete the course shortly. In total, 44 UK military personnel are now embedded at Eglin. More UK military support engineers have begun the F-35 maintainer course and, on completion, some will be posted either to Edwards or the Marine Corp Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, South Carolina....

...The UK’s first squadron of Lightning lls is planned to stand up at RAF Marham as the revived 617 Squadron some time during 2018 when initial operational capability in a land based role has been completed. When not engaged in carrier strike operation all the UK’s F-35Bs will be based at RAF Marham. In the meantime the RN has resurrected 809 Naval Air Squadron as being the first formation to fly the aircraft. Lightning Academy UK involvement in the programme is growing and the F-35B variants already purchased and that will remain in the US as part of our training capability are all fully engaged in both the testing assessment and training programmes. The three UK pilots that fly the aircraft together with 13 maintenance engineers that support the UK’s Eglin- based aircraft do so under a partnership agreement with the USMC. The Lightning Academic Training Centre facility at Eglin currently supports all F-35 training activities. Designed and built for purely in connection with F-35 training, the impressive centre at Eglin currently houses six of an intended ten full mission simulators. Maintainers and engineers will spend a full five months at in the Lightning Academy being taught in classes of about 12. A further 12 UK engineers recently arrived at Eglin to begin the five month process of F-35 training and the numbers are likely to increase over the coming months."

SOURCE: http://www.aerosociety.com/News/Insight ... eparations
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 24118
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post14 May 2014, 01:49

F-35 May Fly At Queen Elizabeth Carrier Christening.... Colin Clark 13 May 2014

"WASHINGTON: The best Fourth of July celebrations this year may happen in the evil empire we cast out, if the F-35B flies at the christening of the United Kingdom’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The final details are still being hammered out, and it may all fall apart, but the official announcement is expected soon. Someone clearly thought this might happen — or was really smart — as the British Ministry of Defense had a new CGI-generated photo of an F-35B landing on the Queen Elizabeth posted on its web site. It’s likely the US Marine Corps is pushing for this to happen: Gen. James Amos, the first jet pilot to serve as Marine Commandant, has campaigned relentlessly for the Marine version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B, to be certified first for Initial Operating Capability and for the plane to be seen publicly as much as possible.

Whether or not it flies at the carrier christening, the F-35B will fly a week later at the Royal International Air Tattoo, where the world’s air chiefs all gather for the famous gala dinner on the Friday night before the Farnborough Air Show begins. And it will fly at Farnborough, arguably the world’s biggest air show. That will be remarkable exposure for an aircraft that has never flown outside the United States before and will be remembered in years to come — presuming all goes well — as a major turning point for the program, especially on the international scene...."

SOURCE: http://breakingdefense.com/2014/05/f-35 ... abilities/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 24118
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post17 May 2014, 06:46

F-35B To Fly At Christening Of Brits’ Newest Aircraft Carrier, If Weather OK 16 May 2014 Colin Clark

"WASHINGTON: Do not expect any official confirmation, but the British will allow Lockheed Martin’s F-35B to make its first flight outside of the United States on July 4 when the country’s newest aircraft carrier is christened by Her Majesty the Queen.

Apparently eager not to disappoint Queen Elizabeth, should the plane not be able to fly in the Scottish weather, and desirous of keeping the media’s focus on the majestic carrier upon which she will be cracking a bottle of Champagne open, the powers that be have decided not to confirm or deny that the aircraft will be on hand. (Could the Queen Elizabeth be christened with a good single malt Scotch, given the locale? Also, the Royal Navy no longer calls them christenings; it’s officially a naming ceremony. Sigh.)...

...What are the odds for the christening flight? I checked weather statistics for July in Rosyth and they aren’t too gloomy. The month of July has an average of 10.4 rainy days. You can bet the Met will keep an especially close eye on the weather in Rosyth this July 4...."

SOURCE: http://breakingdefense.com/2014/05/f-35 ... eather-ok/
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 24118
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post17 May 2014, 06:59

An OLD story I do not recall seeing before?
Royal Navy Widening Scope Of Carrier Use 11 Sep 2013 Anthony Osborne

"The U.K. Royal Navy is broadening the scope of how it might use its future fleet of Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

The first of the two ships, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is 80% complete internally according to Rear Admiral Russell Harding, the head of the U.K. Fleet Air Arm, speaking at the Defence Services Equipment International (DSEI) exhibition in London Sept. 10. The vessel is due to be launched “some time in 2014” while work on the sister ship, the HMS Prince of Wales, is proceeding apace.

The carriers will form the centerpiece of the Responsive Force Task Group (RFTG), capable of embarking a wide variety of rotary-wing platforms as well as a squadron of the U.K.’s planned F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters. Although the last Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) called for an embarked complement of 12 JSFs on the ship, Harding suggested that a new Joint Air Maneuver Package could be developed in support of amphibious operations.

A surge force of up to 24 JSFs could deploy on the ship along with what he described as a Maritime Force Protection package of nine Merlin Mk. 2 helicopters equipped for the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission, while a further four or five would be available to provide an airborne early warning capability. A littoral maneuver package also is envisaged, potentially using the Royal Air Force’s Chinooks, the upgraded Merlin Mk. 4, Army Apache attack helicopters and the Wildcat helicopter.

Studies are being carried out by the U.K. Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to see if the ship can operate safely with more landing spots than the six currently planned. Harding suggests that by adding a further four landing spots, the ship will be able to lift a company-sized unit of troops (up to 250 soldiers) in a single group lift using medium helicopters. “This is possible,” Harding said. “We just need to decide how we paint the lines on the flight deck.”...

...The future of the HMS Prince of Wales is currently unclear. In the 2010 SDSR, it was decided that the ship would go into “extended reserve.” Harding told delegates that the final decision would be made during SDSR 2015 but said that with the money spent on the ship, retaining it as a backup to the Queen Elizabeth on an extended readiness might be a cost-effective solution."

SOURCE: http://aviationweek.com/defense/royal-n ... arrier-use
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2105
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post21 May 2014, 03:05

Another clueless article, this time quoting an ex-USAF col.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ghter.html

To be fair, the colonel was writing in a US context (and of the F-35A) but as usual a clueless journo misreads it to bring it into a UK context.

What the journo doesn't understand is if you cancel the F-35, the 2 CVF will become 6 billion quid of useless scrap steel. DUH. btw, that's something the col also doesn't realise when asking for the F-35 cancellation. imho, its 6 years too late to consider this.
Offline
User avatar

spazsinbad

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 24118
  • Joined: 05 May 2009, 21:31
  • Location: ɐıןɐɹʇsn∀¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Warnings: -2

Unread post21 May 2014, 03:43

This is what the MOD UK had to say about it....
Criticisms of Britain's Stealth Fighter Programme Ill-Informed (Source: UK Ministry of Defence; issued May 19, 2014)

"The Sunday Telegraph yesterday reported that Britain's stealth fighter programme may have to be cancelled because of poor performance and technical issues with the aircraft. The article carried comments by a senior US Air Force officer that appeared in the Air and Space Power Journal setting out concerns that the aircraft is designed on outdated ideas for air warfare, so will not be sufficiently stealthy, has too low a payload and will be too expensive to run.

The article fails to recognise that Lightning II has been specifically designed to be updated throughout its lifetime so it can benefit from new technology to counter emerging threats and keep ahead of our enemies. It is the most advanced combat jet in the world, with unprecedented stealth capability as well as state-of-the-art sensors and weapons.

As ever, when you go from the drawing board to practical tests with a highly complex jet, there will always be some technical development and fine-tuning needed along the way. Indeed, the very purpose of testing is to identify potential problems and the proper solutions.

We are confident that the development tests will not hold up delivery of our Lightning II aircraft, that any issues will be resolved by the time our operational aircraft arrive, and that our armed forces will receive the very best aircraft possible.

This summer the British public will see Lightning II fly in the UK for the first time, and steady delivery of the operational fleet is planned to start in 2015, with the first land-based operational flights expected in the UK in 2018. We are on track for carrier-based flight trials to start in the same year."

SOURCE: http://www.blogs.mod.uk/defence_news/20 ... -2014.html
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
Offline

mk82

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 849
  • Joined: 15 Oct 2009, 18:43
  • Location: Australia

Unread post21 May 2014, 04:33

Hmm....I see that chicken littles and brain dead journos (who can't research properly to save their cat/dog/whatever takes their fancy) are still sprouting like mushrooms.
Offline

lookieloo

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1244
  • Joined: 16 Feb 2013, 08:04

Unread post22 May 2014, 23:28

weasel1962 wrote:Another clueless article, this time quoting an ex-USAF col.
Funny how easy it is to find broke-a$$ former Colonels to criticize any program.
Offline

weasel1962

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2105
  • Joined: 07 Jun 2012, 02:41
  • Location: Singapore

Unread post23 May 2014, 01:14

lookieloo wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Another clueless article, this time quoting an ex-USAF col.
Funny how easy it is to find broke-a$$ former Colonels to criticize any program.


I found this ex-Colonel's article thought-provoking and not unrealistic. The underlying constraints are a limited budget which forces choices. In an unlimited budget world, the USAF force size is not an issue. Under sequestration conditions, its a worthy attempt to change the narrative i.e. slaughter a sacred cow. imho, courageous moves with the right intent should be applauded not denigraded.

The underlying argument is whether a fully stealth program that delivers lower numbers of stealth fighters is more cost-effective than higher numbers of 4G+ fighters. Operationally, the Colonel provides strong evidence to support this. The majority of roles in the past have been overmatched by using fighters to perform which could be met by cheaper platforms. Introducing a OA-X allows these roles to be performed and thus free up the remaining 4G fighters for the duties that it was designed for e.g. matching China's air force etc. Considering that existing fighters already overmatch China or any other potential aggressor, increasing number of cockpits provides greater firepower compared to the F-35A. It would be contradictory of me to disagree having argued in ROK's case that an F-15SE acquisition would have benefited ROK more as compared to the 50% drop in fighter numbers by buying the F-35A. The difference between my view and the colonel's is a timing issue. The Colonel as a result advocates cancellation. I advocate acquisition delay rather than cancellation in the understanding that a stealth platform would eventually be required considering possible aggressor platform development e.g. J-20. This view is supported by the issues facing premature acquisition that has increased cost significant for the USAF and the F-35 program (arguments are not new). Just for the record, in my view cancellation is no longer an option.

Beyond that, the Colonel does raise other valid points supported by his experience e.g. PACAF deployment. The F-35A's limitation in a PACAF environment has not been fully discussed and any discourse is unlikely to be objectively useful as many supporters and opponents have very entrenched views of the aircraft. The lack of availability and vulnerability of air bases in the pacific region for a China scenario is not a new revelation but a literature review would show its discussion in the context of the F-35 has been limited. The article does however ignore other arms e.g. USMC's considerable F-35B inventory but the Colonel was writing from an air force perspective so that should be read in that light.
Offline
User avatar

sferrin

Elite 5K

Elite 5K

  • Posts: 5532
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post23 May 2014, 01:48

weasel1962 wrote:
lookieloo wrote:
weasel1962 wrote:Another clueless article, this time quoting an ex-USAF col.
Funny how easy it is to find broke-a$$ former Colonels to criticize any program.


I found this ex-Colonel's article thought-provoking and not unrealistic.


"setting out concerns that the aircraft is designed on outdated ideas for air warfare, so will not be sufficiently stealthy, has too low a payload"

Tells you all you really need to know about the "quality" of the article. :lol:
"There I was. . ."
PreviousNext

Return to Program and politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: magitsu and 14 guests