UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post05 Apr 2012, 04:49

Here is a good PDF precis of the situation from the Brit Parliament (only my excerpts below - best to read the entire 9 pages). Has accurate data methinks unlike the 'thunktank' above - on previous page of this thread.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
Standard Note: SN06278
Last updated: 29 March 2012
Author: Louisa Brooke-Holland
Section International Affairs and Defence

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06278.pdf [PDF (200Kb)]

"...The current Government switched to the F-35C Carrier Variant of the JSF in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). In announcing the change, David Cameron blamed the previous government for ordering the “more expensive, less capable version of the Joint Strike Fighter to fly off the carriers.” He argued the carrier version is “more capable, less expensive, has a longer range and carries more weapons.” The SDSR said: “overall, the carrier-variant of the JSF will be cheaper, reducing through-life costs by around 25%.”

The SDSR states that the Government’s intention is “to operate a single model of JSF, instead of different land and naval variants.”...

...2.1 How many, when and how much?
The planning assumption has been for up to 150 Joint Combat Aircraft but the Government said in January 2012 that no decision on the overall numbers will be made before the next planned Strategic Defence and Security Review, which is not expected until after the next election.8 The SDSR states that it expects the Carrier to have 12 JSF routinely on board while retaining the capacity to deploy up to the 36 aircraft previously planned for. These will be operated by both Royal Navy and RAF pilots.

The Government also said it will not set a firm in-service date for the aircraft until after the next Main Gate decision, currently planned for 2013. The Government has stated its intention to deliver a carrier strike capability from around 2020. The decision to switch to the Carrier Variant, and the subsequent need to adapt the flight deck, means the Carrier will not be operational until 2020, four years later than originally intended....

...The Government says it is not expecting to make a decision on the actual catapults and arrestor gear system until late 2012. The Government said in May 2011:

'Investigations into the aircraft launch and recovery systems—and a wide range of other factors—are under way. At this stage, the US Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) catapult and the US Advanced Arrestor Gear (AAG) recovery system appears to be the most promising solution, though we have not ruled out steam catapults or MK7 arrestor gear. We currently expect to take firm decisions on the overall conversion strategy in late 2012.

The PAC warned that not knowing the conversion costs leaves “the project at risk of cost growth and slippage, and there are new technical risks and challenges integrating the new aircraft with the carriers.”'
&
2.3 Interoperability
"...However, the National Audit Office July 2011 report on Carrier Strike notes that “the feasibility of flying the JSF carrier variant from the French carrier and the French aircraft (the Rafale) from the United Kingdom carrier is as yet unclear.” The Secretary of Defence told the Commons in March 2012 that the collaboration with the French is more about carrier deployment and “not about interoperability of aircraft as such.”...

...2.4 Reverting back to the STOVL?
"...The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, confirmed that the government is reviewing all equipment programmes and has not ruled out reverting to the STOVL variant, saying “if the facts change, we will, if necessary, change our plans”. The Treasury is leading a Major Project Review Group and will submit a report on 16 April, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The costs of adapting the carrier flight deck, which Daily Telegraph reports have “risen from £500 million to £1.8 billion”25, is cited by the media as a factor in the debate over which variant to purchase. The NAO Carrier Strike report of July 2011 suggested the cost range for converting one carrier of £800 million to £1.2 million...."
Last edited by spazsinbad on 05 Apr 2012, 05:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post05 Apr 2012, 04:56

bjr1028 wrote:I hope to god that chart is completely inaccurate because its showing a 16,000lbs reduction in max takeoff and a 48% reduction in range for the F-35B compared to the C.
Obviously.. 4500 lbs is the VLBB, not takeoff weight.
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 03:50

Earlier on this thread we have Sharkey Ward claiming that an F-35C on CVF would require some enormous speed from said CVF to get aboard - now we have this (no reference to where the suspect DSTL claims can be sourced though - as usual). DSTL = Defence Science Technology Laboratory (UK government, part of the MoD, formally DERA)

A Critical Decision for Carrier Configuration. April 7, 2012 by 'Sharkey' Ward
‘Angled Deck’ or ‘Ramp’ for our Queen Elizabeth class Carriers.

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2012/04/cr ... rrier.html

I missed this paragraph immediately before quote below:

"...d) The National Security Council may also have included in their deliberations that our carrier decks, being much thinner than those of US Marine Corps amphibious carriers, may be unable to withstand the excessive heat created by F-35B vertical landing." WOT? So these same thin decks can take an F-35C 'crashing and dashing' yet the self same CVF was initially designed to deal with the F-35B? What a load of old bollocks! :D Anyway - back to the contentious quote.... :-)

..."DSTL Analysis
10. DSTL analysis has also demonstrated that the F-35B would not be able to launch at all from a flat deck [with or without ski jump?] in the extremely hot climates that will be experienced East of Suez. And, critically, it may well not be able to recover on board at all to a flat deck or a ramp-fitted deck in such climates without ditching ordnance and expensive stores. (See paragraph 35, below for more detail.)

34. Deck operations - Launch. DSTL analysis has shown that for the F-35B the deck run required for a flat deck launch increases significantly in high sea states, high temperatures and with low wind over the deck - to an extent that often the aircraft will not be able to launch in the conditions to be expected East of Suez. [Looks like Mr.Sharkey completely relies on others and does not even bother to peruse the KPPs which enable such launches - about 'high sea states' well that is anyone's guess at this point and just a misdirection] The ‘C’ is not affected by this. Therefore, in switching to the ‘B’ the UK is considering reverting to an aircraft which does not deliver carrier strike, has less endurance, carries less payload and which cannot launch from a flat deck under the very climatic conditions expected to be experienced during power projection carrier strike operations.

35. Deck Operations - Recovery. In the same conditions referred to at paragraph 34, above (high ambient temperatures and sea states), the weight of the ‘B’ and its limited available thrust is likely to prevent it from being able to hover before landing. In order to get back on board ship it will therefore need to conduct a new flight procedure known as Ship Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL). This is ‘un-cleared and unfunded’ [and being investigated under contract] and the landing systems required to enable this have not been fully tested and developed. Indeed at night this is expected to be more challenging than a vertical or arrested recovery. This must be considered a very high risk area for the ‘B’ - and possibly high extra cost...."
_________________

KPP for F-35B performance has only changed in respect to the flat deck (no ski jump) distance of 550 to 600 feet recently so perhaps with ski jump the KPP distance of 450 feet is perhaps 480 feet now at a guesstimate?

"The USMC has added STOVL performance as a service specific key performance parameter. The requirement is listed as follows: With two 1000# JDAMs and two internal AIM-120s, full expend-ables, execute a 550 [now 600] foot (450 UK STOVL) STO from LHA, LHD, and aircraft carriers (sea level, tropical day, 10 kts operational WOD) & with a combat radius of 450 nm (STOVL profile). Also must perform STOVL vertical landing with two 1000# JDAMs and two internal AIM-120s, full expendables, and fuel to fly the STOVL Recovery profile. The Marine Corps has used the more limiting deck launch, rather than a simple expeditionary airfield, to frame its requirement."
from: Scorecard: A Case study of the Joint Strike Fighter Program
by Geoffrey P. Bowman, LCDR, USN — 2008 April — [PDF 325Kb 'bowman0558.pdf']
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-14791.html
____________

Sharkey blog references this one also I think:

Short-Term Expediency could destroy Britain’s ability to Project Power and Influence. By EAO On 03/24/2012
“Reversion to the F-35B would be wrong for Britain.”

http://www.phoenixthinktank.org/2012/03 ... influence/

This is their (above) range quote but again unsourced other than "Figures supplied in graphic form by Lockheed Martin.":

"a) F-35C – 760 nautical miles. [where does the magic extra range come from?]

b) F-35B – 420 nautical miles.

c) F-35A – 600 nautical miles."
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 08:42

I agree with the summary that C would be better for the country but wish Mr Ward would stop making stuff up.

Not sure where the range figure for C comes from as I thought the difference from A to C was about 10-20 miles?
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 15:47

Whatever the outcome C or B it is always good to know that the B (via VACC Harrier) will be competent in SEA STATE 6 according to....

From 'very long fred':
http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... c&p=172178


Preparing for take-off: UK ramps up F-35 carrier integration effort | 11-Dec-2008 International Defence Review

http://militarynuts.com/index.php?showt ... amp;st=120

"...Two separate simulation trials were conducted at BAE Systems' Warton facility using a representative CVF ship model and a F-35 representative air and ground model. The results indicated that, at night or in higher sea states (above Sea State 3), an SRVL-specific approach aid was desirable, and Ship Referenced Velocity Vector (SRVV) symbology in the pilot's helmet-mounted display was an enhancing feature.

One significant outcome of the JCA Review Note promulgated by the IAB in July 2006 was the decision to add an SRVL capability into the overall SDD programme. Significant work has been performed since then, including land-based flight trials and extensive simulator-based development and evaluation.

As part of this work, QinetiQ was in 2007 contracted to use its Harrier T.4 Vectored-thrust Advanced Aircraft Control (VAAC) testbed to perform representative land-based flight trials and a ship-based SRVL demonstration. The latter saw the VAAC aircraft perform a series of SRVL recoveries aboard the French carrier Charles de Gaulle in June 2007.

According to the MoD, these flight trials "demonstrated that SRVL was a safe recovery method to the ship at Sea State 6 in day, visual conditions", although it added that Charles de Gaulle is a "particularly stable ship" and there is "no ship motion data to enable comparison to how CVF will react in the same sea conditions".

Other forthcoming work will include further investigations on an SRVL clearance aboard CVF, optimisation of the approach profile, reaching an agreement on the optimal post-touchdown technique, and mitigation for failure cases such as a burst tyre on touchdown...."
_____________

Sea State Table: http://www.syqwestinc.com/support/Sea%2 ... 0Table.htm
OR
One definition of Sea State Six: "4 to 6 metres wave height - Very rough"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_state & Surface Wind speed from Table can be from 27-33 knots
Last edited by spazsinbad on 10 Apr 2012, 17:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 16:12

All of the dissembling about the variants misses the reality. The 'potential' reversion to STOVL is about the cost, schedule and technical risks connected with conversion of the ship to cats and traps.

Quibble about the numbers but the bottom line is the 'C' flies farther than the 'B', its weapons bays are large enough to accommodate 2K class weapons, it has more bring-back etc etc. But, will the technical risks of EMALS be resolved sufficiently ahead of the envisioned ship conversion schedule and does anyone have any confidence in the costs necessary for the conversion? Those are the operative issues at the heart of the matter.
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 16:25

Yep there is a lot of QUIBBLING going on. :D

Here is some more info conveniently forgotten by Mr. Sharkey (The Bedford Array):

QinetiQ solution for F-35B ‘rolling landings’ 27 Jan 2009

http://www.defensefile.com/Customisatio ... ndings.asp

"...QinetiQ’s new Bedford Array visual landing aid system was conceived, developed and fully tested in around a year in direct response to MOD requirements. The system ensures that the pilot flying the ‘rolling landings’ makes an accurate approach to the deck, even in rough sea conditions. It takes inputs from external passive references and when combined with information in the pilot’s Helmet Mounted Display, allows for a low workload, stabilised pilot approach in even the worst conditions...."

My hope for the RN is that a decision is made on aircraft F35B or F-35C and that they stick with it from now on. Yeah some hope eh. :twisted:
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 17:12

In a nutshell - Carrier Aviation is difficult (but youse knew that - right?) :D An overview of what it will take for UK.

IN FOCUS: Why the UK's carriers will not be 'airfields at sea' 11 April 2012 Peter Collins

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ea-370186/
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 17:14

spazsinbad wrote:"a) F-35C – 760 nautical miles. [where does the magic extra range come from?]


Combination of extra lift and fuel in the larger wings.
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 17:18

Yeah but that must be unofficial (nudge nudge wink wink) because LM state that it is 600NM for F-35C similar to F-35A at now 590NM with the F-35B at 450NM. Fudging figures seems to be a sharkey speciality. These figures are stated and restated many times on this forum.
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Unread post10 Apr 2012, 23:04

If they do revert to F-35B then it seems like retiring Harrier GR was dumber in hindsight. Its hard to believe they would revert when F-35C is the best fit.
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Unread post11 Apr 2012, 00:26

Speaking of high sea states, does anyone know why no country has build a SWATH (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWATH) carrier?
Those are supposed to be vary stable in high sea states.
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Unread post11 Apr 2012, 01:38

I have counted to ten and how about not starting this SWATHy discussion on this thread please. Thanks. SWATH has no bearing on this thread topic - speaking of it or otherwise.
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Unread post11 Apr 2012, 01:47

spazsinbad wrote:I have counted to ten and how about not starting this SWATHy discussion on this thread please. Thanks. SWATH has no bearing on this thread topic - speaking of it or otherwise.

Point taken.
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Unread post11 Apr 2012, 03:31

bjr1028 wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:"a) F-35C – 760 nautical miles. [where does the magic extra range come from?]


Combination of extra lift and fuel in the larger wings.


Perhaps, but the F-35C is also considerably heavier and the larger wings are added drag. The additional 2k of fuel just barely compensates for this.

So the F-35C's range should be comparable to that of the F-35A.
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