UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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quicksilver

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Unread post23 May 2014, 02:06

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"setting out concerns that the aircraft is designed on outdated ideas for air warfare, so will not be sufficiently stealthy, has too low a payload"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


My favorite is from his footnotes --

"A fifth-generation penetrating force is not necessary to produce coercive effects
against a large, maritime-dependent nation. Approaches used against Japan in early and
mid-World War II are but one example of an effective strategy that can be conducted with
airpower and operated at a distance without the need for mass penetration of air defenses."

Say, what???

Sooo bad one doesn't quite know where to start... :shock:
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Unread post23 May 2014, 05:40

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"setting out concerns that the aircraft is designed on outdated ideas for air warfare, so will not be sufficiently stealthy, has too low a payload"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


My favorite is from his footnotes --

"A fifth-generation penetrating force is not necessary to produce coercive effects
against a large, maritime-dependent nation. Approaches used against Japan in early and
mid-World War II are but one example of an effective strategy that can be conducted with
airpower and operated at a distance without the need for mass penetration of air defenses."

Say, what???

Sooo bad one doesn't quite know where to start... :shock:


If its so bad, it should be easy to explain why a stealth aircraft is pre-requisite to carry out an effective maritime blockade. That's a capability the USN has had for last 50 years without any stealth aircraft. In simple terms, does it mean stealth aircraft = the rest of your non-stealth fleet suddenly useless? If not, then why does the USAF, USN and USMC still maintain F-16s, F-15s and F-18s. Last I heard CVNs will still be equipped with F-18s. Those aircraft are still going to be in service for the next 2 decades at least. Stealth alone will not confer victory. It will be objective, intelligent use of stealth rather than blind faith in its capabilities that renders the aircraft effective.
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Unread post23 May 2014, 08:42

His arguments are those of the classic polemicist -- ultimately, the logical extension of the absurd.

We didn't need stealth for maritime blockades in the Pacific during WWII therefore we don't need it for much of anything 70 years later.

I'll go one better -- the Union blockade of the South during the U.S. Civil War didn't even require aircraft...let's just sh-t can the whole idea of air power...

:roll:
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XanderCrews

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Unread post23 May 2014, 15:22

weasel1962 wrote:
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.


At no point does the colonel give cost comparative numbers for what he proposes. Putting F-35 capability into an F-16 would mean gutting the entire aircraft and basically starting from scratch. These aren't like Legos. You can't just add bricks to bricks. Avionics need power, cooling, proper placement etc. in other words its completely unrealistic, as it would be cost prohibitive if not downright impossible to retrofit JSF capability into a legacy platform, which is why we invented the JSF in the first place.

This was not written with cost in mind. its simply an imaginary order of battle featuring aircraft not even invented yet, using options that would cost more than the JSF when included (which is why he didn't include them)

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.


increasing cockpits (you would never guess this was written by a pilot at the dawn of the UAV age) carries the cost penalty of support, logistics, infrastructure and personnel.

This was not written with cost in mind.

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.
[/quote]

More, less capable, cockpits flying from more vulnerable bases is not a solution. using the F-35 in the context of not having enough airfields is foolhardy as the airfield number remains the same unless you build more airfields, and has nothing to do with aircraft selection from the USAF stand point.
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Unread post24 May 2014, 10:00

Aircraft carriers given 'red' warning in Government audit 23 May 2014 Peter Dominiczak, Assistant Political Editor

"Two aircraft carriers costing taxpayers £6 billion are at risk of being late and over-budget, the Government has admitted.

The delivery of the two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers was given a “red” rating by the Major Projects Authority (MPA) for the second year in a row.

It means the defence project, which has been heavily criticised, is at risk of failure unless action is taken....

...The “red” rating for the aircraft carriers project will embarrass defence chiefs.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, last year suggested that he wants Britain to use both of the new aircraft carriers.

Defence cuts had meant that one of the new £3 billion carriers would never enter active service with the Royal Navy.

Under previous cost-cutting proposals, HMS Prince of Wales was set to be mothballed on completion and used as a reserve vessel.

The final decision on the future of the carriers is due to be made in next the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2015.

MPs have previously warned that trying to rely on a single carrier would undermine the UK’s ability to cope with international crises.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "In November 2013, the Defence Secretary announced that MoD and industry had renegotiated the contract for the QE Carriers. Based on a realistic cost structure for the first time, the contract now includes better cost sharing arrangements to help keep the programme on budget and on track.

“The Queen Elizabeth will be launched in July ahead of her sea trials in 2017 and flight trials in 2018.”...

SOURCE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... audit.html
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Unread post24 May 2014, 14:46

quicksilver wrote:His arguments are those of the classic polemicist -- ultimately, the logical extension of the absurd.

We didn't need stealth for maritime blockades in the Pacific during WWII therefore we don't need it for much of anything 70 years later.

I'll go one better -- the Union blockade of the South during the U.S. Civil War didn't even require aircraft...let's just sh-t can the whole idea of air power...

:roll:

Nice try but you're talking to a weasel so trying weasel tactics cuts no ice. The pacific in WW2 required air power and it did the trick. Today the pacific needs airpower too so no one including the colonel claims its not needed. Despite that you still haven't explained how stealth aircraft actually contributes adds value that does the trick for maritime blockade that existing aircraft can't perform. That's your dodge and the contention which you need to validate or your claimed criticism are really clueless (In any case, I really didn't expect an objective response since you don't have any basis).
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Unread post24 May 2014, 15:08

XanderCrews wrote:At no point does the colonel give cost comparative numbers for what he proposes. Putting F-35 capability into an F-16 would mean gutting the entire aircraft and basically starting from scratch. These aren't like Legos. You can't just add bricks to bricks. Avionics need power, cooling, proper placement etc. in other words its completely unrealistic, as it would be cost prohibitive if not downright impossible to retrofit JSF capability into a legacy platform, which is why we invented the JSF in the first place.

This was not written with cost in mind. its simply an imaginary order of battle featuring aircraft not even invented yet, using options that would cost more than the JSF when included (which is why he didn't include them)


Agreed. LM's consistent refrain has always been you can't built stealth into a 3G platform despite Boeing's F-15SE. So the F-35 (other than restarting the F-22 or designing a new a/c) is really the only realistic option today. Having said that, beyond stealth, a lot of technologies e.g. involving situational awareness (datalinks, AESA, sensor fusion etc) does exist in 4G platforms (F-16 CAPES). Looking more closely, what the colonel's imaginery orbat really entails is buying more F-16Es or F-15SEs in place of F-35s. For USAF's case, it may have been prudent a few years back but imho its too late today. Its not too late for some other air forces though who have the option to compare existing gen vs F-35s. The selection by Israel,Korea and Japan are just examples where the selection process found in favor of the F-35. Canada is perhaps one of the few who have 2nd thoughts.

increasing cockpits (you would never guess this was written by a pilot at the dawn of the UAV age) carries the cost penalty of support, logistics, infrastructure and personnel.

This was not written with cost in mind.


I disagree on the cost comment depending on what really is the OA-X envisaged. The LAS program is a real one albeit in a little limbo at the moment.

More, less capable, cockpits flying from more vulnerable bases is not a solution. using the F-35 in the context of not having enough airfields is foolhardy as the airfield number remains the same unless you build more airfields, and has nothing to do with aircraft selection from the USAF stand point.


Yup, and do you really know how many PACAF airfields can support F-35s and in what numbers plus sorties rates depending on the range of the F-35 and how many vulnerable tankers is needed for the farther air bases vis a vis how many China can actually put into the target space? Its not exactly US sovereign soil where america can just build more airfields to house USAF aircraft. I think there's a lot to cover and that's precisely why objective analyses are needed.

Flying F-35As from vulnerable bases is not a very good option either (as the Colonel points out). If one tracks the PLAAF strategy, the PLAAF does not intend to fight the USAF in the air where stealth has an advantage. One major focus is on taking out the air base where the aircraft (stealth or otherwise) are vulnerable.
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Unread post25 May 2014, 23:57

The interoperability of future UK air power, afloat and ashore - a historical analysis Jan 2014
Tim Benbow and James Bosbotinis

"Key Points
Carrier-based aircraft have on many times successfully operated from bases ashore when this was beneficial; there are relatively very few occasions on which land-based aircraft have operated from carriers. This is due less to the technical modifications to aircraft required for such operation than the specialised training for personnel required to be fully capable (including night operations).

Sea-basing offers many advantages over operating from land bases, not least in terms of mobility, flexibility and the freedom from dependence on the permission of other states for basing and overflight. It also avoids the significant recurring cost of building or adapting air bases, which is all the more burdensome for the most modern aircraft.

Of the two models proposed for the air group of the UK’s Queen Elizabeth-class carriers, the option for a fully worked up force that is routinely deployed with the carrier is vastly preferable to the option where the air group is merely an occasional visitor and configured principally to operate from ashore.

The reducing number of combat aircraft available to the UK place considerable value on the interoperability of those that remain. In future aircraft procurement decisions, the ability of any proposed system to operate from carriers must be an important factor.

Dr Tim Benbow is a Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London, at the Defence Academy of the UK. His research interests lie primarily in naval strategy, the recent history of the Royal Navy, and British strategy and defence policy. He is currently writing a book on the Royal Navy and the aircraft carrier question in the post-1945 period.

James Bosbotinis is currently reading for a PhD at King’s College London on the debate concerning Britain’s future aircraft carrier programme and British maritime strategy. His research focuses on British strategy, military and strategic trends, in particular with regard to Russia and China, and maritime strategy.

The analysis, opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the JSCSC, the UK MOD, The Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies or King’s College London...."

SOURCE: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/d ... aper13.pdf (0.6Mb)
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Unread post07 Jun 2014, 19:29

A scaley pic for the barnacles innit: http://i.imgur.com/2fyGxQg.jpg Two Type 23 Frigates in HANGAR!
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CVF Hangar Size 2 Type 23 Frigates Inside  2fyGxQg.jpg
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Unread post07 Jun 2014, 20:44

Me thinks it will have a bit of trouble launching those off the ramp... :D
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Unread post07 Jun 2014, 20:47

:devil: Stealth Destroyers. Wot a payload. BattleShipGalackackackA :devil:
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Unread post14 Jun 2014, 04:04

FWIW - the most bland questions and answers in all of the UK about the CVF - EVER! :mrgreen:

[CVF] Commons written answers
12th June 2014 Column 238W

"...Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what modifications to the original design of the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers were necessary to accommodate repeated vertical landings by the Joint Strike Fighter; what estimate he has made of the heat produced by vertical landing by the Joint Strike Fighter which has the heaviest safe configuration to allow the procedure; and whether vertical landings can take place on any flat area of the carrier deck. [199115]
Mr Dunne: The ability of the ship to support F-35B vertical landings has been incorporated into the design of Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) aircraft carrier from the outset. Environmental considerations including heat generation and dissipation have been thoroughly evaluated, including assessments from trials on the USS Wasp. UK assessments have covered all necessary aircraft configurations.

The QEC Flight Deck has been designed with specific operating spots for vertical landing to deliver maximum Sortie Generation Rate. These are the spots where the F-35B will plan to land vertically on a routine basis. If required, in the event of an emergency the whole flight deck can support vertical landing.
________________

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence at which RAF bases the Joint Strike Fighter can regularly land vertically. [199116]
Mr Dunne: RAF Marham is planned to be the only RAF base in the UK at which the Joint Strike Fighter can conduct vertical landings regularly. [Where THREE Hi Temp Concrete Pads will be built for such a long term (30 year?) purpose.] The Joint Strike Fighter will of course be able to land conventionally and conduct slow landings at other RAF bases."

Source: http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... ply-403669
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Unread post14 Jun 2014, 05:43

weasel1962 wrote:
XanderCrews wrote:At no point does the colonel give cost comparative numbers for what he proposes. Putting F-35 capability into an F-16 would mean gutting the entire aircraft and basically starting from scratch. These aren't like Legos. You can't just add bricks to bricks. Avionics need power, cooling, proper placement etc. in other words its completely unrealistic, as it would be cost prohibitive if not downright impossible to retrofit JSF capability into a legacy platform, which is why we invented the JSF in the first place.

This was not written with cost in mind. its simply an imaginary order of battle featuring aircraft not even invented yet, using options that would cost more than the JSF when included (which is why he didn't include them)


Agreed. LM's consistent refrain has always been you can't built stealth into a 3G platform despite Boeing's F-15SE. So the F-35 (other than restarting the F-22 or designing a new a/c) is really the only realistic option today. Having said that, beyond stealth, a lot of technologies e.g. involving situational awareness (datalinks, AESA, sensor fusion etc) does exist in 4G platforms (F-16 CAPES). Looking more closely, what the colonel's imaginery orbat really entails is buying more F-16Es or F-15SEs in place of F-35s. For USAF's case, it may have been prudent a few years back but imho its too late today. Its not too late for some other air forces though who have the option to compare existing gen vs F-35s. The selection by Israel,Korea and Japan are just examples where the selection process found in favor of the F-35. Canada is perhaps one of the few who have 2nd thoughts.

increasing cockpits (you would never guess this was written by a pilot at the dawn of the UAV age) carries the cost penalty of support, logistics, infrastructure and personnel.

This was not written with cost in mind.


I disagree on the cost comment depending on what really is the OA-X envisaged. The LAS program is a real one albeit in a little limbo at the moment.

More, less capable, cockpits flying from more vulnerable bases is not a solution. using the F-35 in the context of not having enough airfields is foolhardy as the airfield number remains the same unless you build more airfields, and has nothing to do with aircraft selection from the USAF stand point.


Yup, and do you really know how many PACAF airfields can support F-35s and in what numbers plus sorties rates depending on the range of the F-35 and how many vulnerable tankers is needed for the farther air bases vis a vis how many China can actually put into the target space? Its not exactly US sovereign soil where america can just build more airfields to house USAF aircraft. I think there's a lot to cover and that's precisely why objective analyses are needed.

Flying F-35As from vulnerable bases is not a very good option either (as the Colonel points out). If one tracks the PLAAF strategy, the PLAAF does not intend to fight the USAF in the air where stealth has an advantage. One major focus is on taking out the air base where the aircraft (stealth or otherwise) are vulnerable.


How about putting appropriate missile defenses and radars at bases so that it doesn't become easy to launch an attack without being ready to sortie at a moments notice and intercept.
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Unread post14 Jun 2014, 08:13

Does anyone understand in context below what this sentence is about: "...the Short Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) technique being developed for the F-35B is not a requirement for land-based operations, and so should not result in damage to runways...."? I think because the writer has misnamed SRVL as SHORT.... that it misses the point as being actually the SHIPBORNE ROLLING VERTICAL LANDING whilst there are many many varieties of STOVL landings available to the F-35B, along with a conventional landing, according to the length/type of landing surface.

UK to construct heat-resistant landing pads for F-35B
11 June 2014 Gareth Jennings, London - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly

"...Answering questions in the House of Commons from Angus Robertson, defence spokesperson for the Scottish National Party, Dunne disclosed that the three pads would be built at Royal Air Force (RAF) Marham for an estimated GBP7.5 million, though this figure will be refined as planning progresses....

...the potential for these effects has been known about since the beginning of the F-35 programme, based largely on the UK's and US Marine Corps' (USMC) experience of more than 40 years of Harrier jump-jet operations. As such, VLs were never part of the either's requirements for the F-35B, except when landing the aircraft on a ship at sea (the deck of which will be treated with special heat-resistant coating in the necessary spots). Also, the Short Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) technique being developed for the F-35B is not a requirement for land-based operations, and so should not result in damage to runways....

...Given that neither the UK (nor the USMC) has any operational utility for VL beyond recovering the aircraft at sea, the three concrete pads to be constructed at RAF Marham will likely be used for training purposes only."

Source: http://www.janes.com/article/39094/uk-t ... -for-f-35b
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Unread post14 Jun 2014, 11:47

A fair article that went off the rails when he got SRVL wrong. Unfortunately says something about those who get by-lines these days.

Over 50 years of P1127, Kestrel, Harrier, Sea Harrier, AV-8A/B/C and now F-35, and they still don't understand this stuff.

An SRVL is just an RVL aboard a ship. Didn't need its own unique identification, but I suspect some engineer someplace decided otherwise. CVL (creeping VL...like 10-20 its) is emerging in use which will further confuse things.
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