UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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stobiewan

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Unread post15 Jun 2012, 09:15

spazsinbad wrote:Misread your '1 CVF at sea at any one time' question 'weasel1962'. Apologies. I wonder if all the F-35Bs come under RN FAA control (albeit with some RAF pilots for the surges) with mostly RN FAA pilots onboard when 'not surged' what difference that might make to perception of overall numbers of F-35B required? It seemed that when the 'Joint Force Harrier' operated that not much 'deck time' was used with the RAF in charge, they wanted to be ashore. That was the impression I gained (when not really interested at the time - so perhaps that impression incorrect - I recall not many Harrier pilots were night qualified onboard for example).


Well, to be fair, JFH was in heavy use in Afghanistan during a large chunk of this time - so they were off doing useful stuff supporting troops in contact from a field that at the time, not a lot of allied aircraft could fly from.

Originally F35 was to be a "purple" asset but I wonder if we'll see a buy of 50ish B models and then, once in full rate production, whether the RAF will agitate for a purchase of A's to round things out as an FOAS requirement.

I can't see the RAF being too fussed about operating B at all to be honest but we'll see.
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Unread post15 Jun 2012, 09:47

'stobiewan' understand but as 'sharkeyward' and others reiterate the RAF Harriers did neglect to go aboard often as agreed. Sure at some times there were other things to do but with the RAF in charge of the JFH the sea aspect was forgotten apparently.

I like the plan to have two types of F-35s. From here on I hope that at least the 'CVFs and F-35s plan' is made clear. Probably too early I guess.

If all Bs then I see the RAF doing their thing ashore to surge onboard only when necessary. I hope that keeps em happy and let the RN FAA get on with it with their job lot of F-35Bs.
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Unread post15 Jun 2012, 10:15

spazsinbad wrote:'stobiewan' understand but as 'sharkeyward' and others reiterate the RAF Harriers did neglect to go aboard often as agreed. Sure at some times there were other things to do but with the RAF in charge of the JFH the sea aspect was forgotten apparently.

I like the plan to have two types of F-35s. From here on I hope that at least the 'CVFs and F-35s plan' is made clear. Probably too early I guess.

If all Bs then I see the RAF doing their thing ashore to surge onboard only when necessary. I hope that keeps em happy and let the RN FAA get on with it with their job lot of F-35Bs.



MMm...well, Ward is on record as claiming RAF pilots on board during the various exchanges were borderline capable of doing anything, a view contradicted by other serving FAA pilots at the time.

I read Ward's "Sea Harrier" and enjoyed it thoroughly but the man has committed so many distortions of the truth since that I'd treat any thing said by him with a pinch of salt til I'd verified it.

I guess it's by the by - neither of us have any great faith in the RAF putting those jets on a carrier unless directly instructed to do so, and would be much more comfortable if the whole thing were an FAA only deal.

There's been no indication of numbers and no hint of a buy of both A and B - I'm just thinking aloud here, I have no source to suggest such a thing would actually be done.
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Unread post15 Jun 2012, 10:26

Yes, agree about 'sharkeyward' fitting facts to his argument but his broad overview of RN/RAF co-operation/lack thereof over many decades/years holds merit. 'Engines' at Pprune has a good line on what he thinks the RAF is responsible for NOT doing over the last decade or so. See the 'cats & flaps' thread there.

What I'm suggesting is that the RN F-35Bs should operate onboard much the same as the USMC F-35Bs from their seabase. The RAF will want to go ashore (if they are onboard). :-) For an outsider in far off Oztralia all the hoo-haa between RN/RAF over the years has often been unfathomable; and obviously deleterious to the RN. Just look at them now.
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Unread post15 Jun 2012, 11:08

spazsinbad wrote:Yes, agree about 'sharkeyward' fitting facts to his argument but his broad overview of RN/RAF co-operation/lack thereof over many decades/years holds merit. 'Engines' at Pprune has a good line on what he thinks the RAF is responsible for NOT doing over the last decade or so. See the 'cats & flaps' thread there.

What I'm suggesting is that the RN F-35Bs should operate onboard much the same as the USMC F-35Bs from their seabase. The RAF will want to go ashore (if they are onboard). :-) For an outsider in far off Oztralia all the hoo-haa between RN/RAF over the years has often been unfathomable; and obviously deleterious to the RN. Just look at them now.


I think we're singing from the same hymn sheet- I'd sooner the F35B's were assigned as wings to the FAA and seen as Navy assets - it's the only model that's worked over the years, any situation where the RAF are in charge of the airframes, they'll end up any place else.

At a minimum I'd like a service level agreement of sorts guaranteeing some deliverable like "12 combat coded, current config F35B to be on deck at all times" but it makes more sense to just buy enough to get CVF topped off and paint them in FAA colours.


End of ...

Realistically, I don't think that'd happen however,

Ian
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Unread post02 Jul 2012, 23:43

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Unread post03 Jul 2012, 04:13

UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C, yes still muddling but not about the "Sea"; :lol: :cheers:
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Unread post03 Jul 2012, 05:57

Yeah and it gets tiresome but hey sure keeps the journos bashing the keyboard for some more muddying :-) .... A Wery Long Article at the JUMP me friends.

U.K. Muddies Waters With Its Carrier Decision By Francis Tusa | Aviation Week & Space Technology
02 July 2012

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 34.xml&p=1

"...What became apparent at a briefing held by the Defense Ministry in early May was that the cost estimates for fitting the ships with Emals and arrester gear had been either slapdash or wildly optimistic. The estimated cost of converting the second-in-class ship, HMS Prince of Wales, had more than doubled, from just under £1 billion ($1.5 billion) to £2 billion. The first-of-class ship, Queen Elizabeth II, which was more advanced in construction, would need £3 billion in modification costs. Modifications for both ships would cost £5 billion, close to what they had been expected to cost in total without them....

...One reason that the cost and time for the conversion had been so badly underestimated was a miscalculation of the impact of the modifications on the ships. At first it was hoped to confine the changes to 80 compartments (out of about 1,200), but real engineering work showed that major modifications to over 290 compartments would be required, with 250 more needing smaller modifications.

On top of this, assumptions about the cost of Emals turned out to be wide of the mark. U.K. planners had assumed that since the Emals used on the Ford-class carriers includes four catapults, and the U.K. would only need two, the cost would be half the U.S. Navy's. But as a senior ministry official said, “the cost of breaking out common systems [from Emals] turned out to be more expensive than had been thought.” ...

...in May, a senior ministry officer said that, “there are some issues about the physical cross-decking [of the F-35C] with France,” and went on to explain that the F-35C is too heavy to operate from the carrier Charles de Gaulle. This in itself is not surprising —the F-35C's empty weight is almost 60% more than that of France's Rafale M. What is surprising is that nobody saw the problem in 2010....

...Some people have suggested that the F-35 itself could perform the AEW role. “There is an awful lot of talk about whether the F-35 will be able to do everything, and how many you would need for it to be able to do everything,” says Lt. Cmdr. Simon Flynn, executive officer of the frontline SKASaC unit, 854 Naval Air Sqdn., who has also worked in the carrier strike team at navy command. “I've not seen all the data from F-35, but I know how carrier strike works and how the jets are integrated, and I know that the Americans firmly believe that they still need all the supporting assets, specifically the E-2D.”

As for inflight refueling, the current plan to use RAF assets will keep the carriers close to friendly host base— but the point of an aircraft carrier is that it is not tied to land bases. The U.S. Navy will use F/A-18s as tankers well into the 2030s, and there no plans for a “buddy store” refueling pod for the F-35. In any case, the jet's capability as a tanker (with only two “wet” stores stations) is limited...."

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Unread post03 Jul 2012, 11:53

Meant to ask - is the presence of "only" two wet points "limiting" as a tanker ? F18 has three but seems to commonly fly buddy tanking missions with a single centre line store. Could the C model even get airborne with three full 754's ?
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Unread post03 Jul 2012, 13:46

Q: "Could the C model even get airborne with three full 754's ?" What is the weight of all that.

If the F-35C is below max. takeoff weight then it can always be catapulted. This is a feature of 'ship designed F-35B/Cs' that can be utilised with existing flat decks. USN catapults are MASSIVE. They can launch going astern/at anchor/you name it they can do it. :D However I don't know if the F-35B/C centreline can be plumbed for an external fuel tank. It seems the two wing stations are OK. Anyway the tanker is used as an overhead recovery tanker - not usually some kind of mission tanker. Would not that 'tanking' role be taken by the Hornets/Shornets? I guess you are thinking of UK F-35Bs. I would suggest that UK won't bother with tanking for the F-35Bs for whatever reason. We will see I guess.
_______________

Discussion from beginning of this year regarding external F-35 fuel tanks:

F-35 External Fuel Tanks?
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-16656.html
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Unread post05 Jul 2012, 05:53

Aviation Week & Space Technology Relaunches: July 2nd Issue Features Expanded Defense Technology...

http://www.finanznachrichten.de/nachric ... nt-008.htm

"NEW YORK - July 3, 2012 - The new issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology (AW&ST) marks the flagship brand's relaunch, intensifying the focus on technology, business and operations that has long been the brand's hallmark...

...Expanded coverage in the July 2nd relaunch issue also includes:

Defense Technology Edition feature: This feature explores the UK's aircraft carrier saga, and how the defense ministry's dramatic flip-flop on the type of Joint Strike Fighter to be used on the carriers has refocused attention on the plan...."

Anyone seen this feature? I'm not buying it. :D
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Unread post05 Jul 2012, 11:52

Considering the RAF was willing to send 11 victor tankers put to support two Vulcans in a black buck mission just to put a stick of Mk-82s onto an unused runway on a 4 thousands of nautical miles trip (8k round trip)....

The FSTAs are longer-legged. I think when the MoD says they're going to rely on land-based tanking to support the CVFs, I might just take them at their word.
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Unread post05 Jul 2012, 12:37

Sounds unlikely to me but then again what scenario is envisaged? RAF have talked about support RN for years and it is difficult to see evidence of that. The Vulcan raid was a joke. Are you serious?
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Unread post06 Jul 2012, 02:18

spazsinbad wrote:Sounds unlikely to me but then again what scenario is envisaged? RAF have talked about support RN for years and it is difficult to see evidence of that.


That's the point, isn't it. Years of harrier usage and no dedicated naval air tankers. Now with longer ranged F-35Bs, suddenly air tanking becomes an issue? I don't think so.

spazsinbad wrote:The Vulcan raid was a joke. Are you serious?


Its not about me. Its about the mindset of UK planners. If they spot an opportunity for its use, they'd use it if only to show up the critics. If air assets are under a single command eg RAF, it does reduce issues of cross service asset use/support.
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Unread post06 Jul 2012, 02:54

'weasel1962' said: "...If air assets are under a single command eg RAF, it does reduce issues of cross service asset use/support." Good for the RAF - not good for the RN FAA (or Royal Naval Air Service as some would have it).
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