UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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steve2267

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Unread post24 Nov 2017, 15:11

How ironic, how sad 'twil be if Britain were to ultimately scrap her plans for the F-35 (highly highly unlikely (I hope)).

They would, no doubt, never let anyone forget that they invented the liftfan (NOT -- twas invented by LM / P&W / Allison -- mostly Allison, whom Rolls Royce then bought up) or at least build the liftfan -- even if they can't afford the aeroplane in which they put it.

But worse than that... they'd have two shiny new boats with no toys to put on them.

Hey, USMC! Want some light carriers? We'll drive the boat furr ya!

I sure hope they get their minds right and their finances sorted and buy the full 138, if not more.

Could any hemming / hawwing / cutting numbers be tea leaves pointing towards UK joining Germany & France and having a go at a European 5th gen?
Take an F-16, stir in a little A-7, bake, then sprinkle on a generous helping of F-117. What do you get? An F-35.
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neptune

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Unread post24 Nov 2017, 19:52

spazsinbad wrote:... (SDSR) reconfirmed the UK’s commitment to its full complement of 138 F-35s over the lifetime of the Joint Strike Fighter program. ...” Poffley said the UK had “in principle committed to 138,” but had contracted for 48 jets. He added that there was no recourse to “adjust those numbers.”.....


With the 78 Tornados winding down; 48 "Bees" for the RN and maybe 38 "Ayes" for the RAF/ Training???....but probably not 138 a/c as planned?
:|
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mas

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Unread post24 Nov 2017, 20:52

Enough will be bought to replace the Tornado squadrons unless they decide to drop a squadron. Dropping a squadron is a political matter in the UK which has local job implications not taken lightly by either party. So expect about 80 F-35Bs at least which would fill both carriers to the brim if needed and allow for natural attrition.

I don't expect any F-35As to be bought now but maybe later when the Typhoons are eventually retired and replaced. Basically the UK is going to spend 2% of its GDP on defense going forward but due to brexit devaluation by the markets there has been about a 10% devaluation against the dollar which makes the F-35 more expensive in pounds than before. How many F-35B are eventually bought depends on how much of that annual 2% they decide to allocate in total over the Tornado replacement lifetime but the new Trident nuclear submarine replacements are going to take a sizeable chunk of that annual 2% going forward which means less for conventional weapons like F-35.
Last edited by mas on 24 Nov 2017, 20:56, edited 2 times in total.
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krorvik

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Unread post24 Nov 2017, 20:53

Wouldn't it be funny if the RNoAF had more fighters than the RAF....

Just kidding. But the extreme end of this reporting ain't too far from that.
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Unread post24 Nov 2017, 21:49

mas wrote:Basically the UK is going to spend 2% of its GDP on defense going forward


It is oft mentioned, but it isn't true.

For 2016/17 the UK's defence budget amounted to around 1.8% of GDP.

The Tories made commitments on budget increases that haven't been delivered on & in truth they will struggle to deliver on.

The mention of a curtailment in F-35 purchases is part of a menu of cuts that are still demanded by the government, totaling some £20bn over the next several years.
The other menu items include retiring a few MCMs, early disposal of a few Type 23s, disposing of the LPDs, cancelling the Warrior upgrade programme & so on.

With the treasury demanding £20bn in cuts on an annual budget of £35bn, several things are going to have to give.
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neptune

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Unread post24 Nov 2017, 23:37

mas wrote:...I don't expect any F-35As to be bought now but maybe later when the Typhoons are eventually retired and replaced. ....


....from the expense point of view, there is a sizeable difference in cost/ maintenance (fewer moving parts) between the "Bee" and the "Aye", especially "if" it has a dual role of training and land assignments.
:)
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ricnunes

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Unread post25 Nov 2017, 01:47

neptune wrote:
mas wrote:...I don't expect any F-35As to be bought now but maybe later when the Typhoons are eventually retired and replaced. ....


....from the expense point of view, there is a sizeable difference in cost/ maintenance (fewer moving parts) between the "Bee" and the "Aye", especially "if" it has a dual role of training and land assignments.
:)


And moreover, the F-35A has a considerably longer range than the F-35B which would make the F-35A a better candidate for a Tornado and/or Typhoon replacement.
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neptune

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Unread post25 Nov 2017, 04:35

bojack_horseman wrote:
mas wrote:Basically the UK is going to spend 2% of its GDP on defense going forward


..
For 2016/17 the UK's defence budget amounted to around 1.8% of GDP.

The Tories made commitments on budget increases that haven't been delivered on & in truth they will struggle to deliver on.

The mention of a curtailment in F-35 purchases is part of a menu of cuts that are still demanded by the government, totaling some £20bn over the next several years...

With the treasury demanding £20bn in cuts on an annual budget of £35bn, several things are going to have to give.


....for reference of the 1.8% GDP, a few NATO numbers ala internet;

Ctry ;Pop-16 ;GDP-15 ;Milt$-15 ;Milt$-16,%GDP ;Milt$-14/Cap ;Deploy Milt
UK ;64.4m ;$2.9T ;$60B ;2.21 ;$952 ;161K
Fr ;66.8m ;$2.4T ;$49.7B ;1.78 ;$964 ;207K
:)

....until someone else can provide a better reference!
:wink:
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mas

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Unread post25 Nov 2017, 05:57

ricnunes wrote:
neptune wrote:
mas wrote:...I don't expect any F-35As to be bought now but maybe later when the Typhoons are eventually retired and replaced. ....


....from the expense point of view, there is a sizeable difference in cost/ maintenance (fewer moving parts) between the "Bee" and the "Aye", especially "if" it has a dual role of training and land assignments.
:)


And moreover, the F-35A has a considerably longer range than the F-35B which would make the F-35A a better candidate for a Tornado and/or Typhoon replacement.


All true but there still have to be enough Bs over the next 50 years to adequately staff both carriers and allow for attrition. About 140 Typhoons will eventually need replacing which would be a substantial A order if it came about and A would be chosen over B as the best performance and range possible would be needed to take over the air defense role of Typhoon. This current budget review has basically been forced on the UK Govt by devaluation but currencies go up and down and down the stretch maybe all 138 could be afforded, certainty the current 48 stretch out to 2023 and by then Brexit will be done and the Markets can then take another look at the proper value of Pound Sterling in the post Brexit environment.
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Unread post25 Nov 2017, 11:44

neptune wrote:until someone else can provide a better reference!


The "reference" is the Treasury.

You are confusing the MoD budget with the defence budget.
They are not the same.

For 2017 the MoD budget allocation was £45.6bn.
However a large chunk of this is redirected to other departmental budgets, primarily foreign aid.

The actual defence budget for 2016/17 was £34bn.
This is expected to rise to £35.3bn for 2017/18, but there hasn't been confirmation yet...... as a % of GDP this will be roughly 1.75%.... though it obviously isn't known what the GDP will be ahead of time other than an estimate.

It is also important to note for non-GB readers that this modest 34/35bn also has to cover more than it used to.
And primarily that is the nuclear deterrent.
Up to a few years ago, this cost game from the central treasury however it now falls on the defence budget....
I expect a lot to be sacrificed from defence acquisition... especially the F-35 in order to keep the new 'Dreadnought' class SSBNs on schedule.

Because it is hard to get proper numbers from the Byzantine government, a terrific reference is this:
https://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/year ... 30#ukgs302
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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 00:27

:doh: :devil: I cain't gets no more but the headline is riveting - no?! :devil: I yam an unworthy NONsubscryber - hot diggitydog! :mrgreen:
Britain Spending £500 million To Develop F-35 Main Operating Base
01 Dec 2017 Tony Osborne | Aviation Week & Space Technology

"Britain is gearing up to receive the first of its Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in-country during the summer of 2018. Nine of the fighters should arrive just in time for the Royal Air Force (RAF) to mark its centenary during official celebrations in July—a feel-good moment for the RAF and the Royal Navy, which have teamed to operate the F-35 jointly. But the UK Defense Ministry is facing scrutiny about whether it can fully afford the commitments it made during the..."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/aviation-week-s ... ating-base
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rheonomic

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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 02:39

Aviation Leak wrote:Britain is gearing up to receive the first of its Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in-country during the summer of 2018.

Nine of the fighters should arrive just in time for the Royal Air Force (RAF) to mark its centenary during official celebrations in July—a feel-good moment for the RAF and the Royal Navy, which have teamed to operate the F-35 jointly.

But the UK Defense Ministry is facing scrutiny about whether it can fully afford the commitments it made during the last Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) in late 2015. Britain said at the time it would commit to its full complement of 138 F-35s.

But two years on, the positive language of the SDSR has become more uncertain.

Lt. Gen. Mark Poffley, deputy chief of the UK general staff, told a Parliamentary defense committee on Nov. 21 that he was “sympathetic” to the idea that the overall number of F-35s being purchased by Britain could fall. “This is the reality of the world we are living in,” he said.

The uncertainty over the number of F-35s emerges as the Defense Ministry braces itself for a so-called “refresh” of the decisions taken during the SDSR. The reassessment, announced by the Cabinet Office in July and expected to come out in early 2018, is being conducted by Mark Sedwill, Britain’s national security advisor.

It is expected to result in additional defense cuts to close an independently estimated £20 billion ($27 billion) black hole in the ministry’s finances, caused in part by the weakening of the British pound due to the UK’s decision to exit the European Union.

With the F-35 now the second-largest procurement program in the Defense Ministry after the renewal of the nuclear deterrent, the uncertainty around foreign exchange rates could be a factor in any future buys.

But this new report looks unlikely to impact Britain’s initial F-35 requirements. The UK is planning to purchase an initial batch of 48 F-35Bs to support its carrier-enabled power projection ambitions.

From these 48 aircraft will emerge two front-line units, each equipped with 12 aircraft and an operational conversion unit—the British term for a training squadron—also with 10-12 aircraft. The first front-line unit, 617 Sqdn.—The Dambusters—will reform early in 2018 at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, where British pilots have been training with the U.S. Marine Corps. The operational conversion unit, 207 Sqdn., will form later in 2018 at Beaufort and return to the UK during 2019.

In the summer of 2018, the squadron will fly nine of its aircraft back to what will become the UK F-35 main operating base at RAF Marham, England, to begin training in readiness to declare an initial operational capability (IOC) from land in early 2019. Then it will train to operate from the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, with an IOC planned for naval operations in early 2020.

The first carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is due to be commissioned into Royal Navy service by its namesake on Dec. 7.

One of the key tasks for 617 Sqdn. after the aircraft arrive in the UK will be to “operationally work up to deploy in early 2019 as required,” says Air Cdre. David Bradshaw, the UK Lightning Force commander.

Bradshaw, whose joint force includes 58% RAF personnel and 42% from the Royal Navy, will have 14 F-35s under his command by year-end. With nine jets coming to the UK, that will leave three to support operational testing at Edwards AFB, California, and two to form the embryonic operational conversion unit.

“When 207 [Sqdn.] returns to Marham, it will become the engine for creating new personnel,” adds Bradshaw.

The Defense Ministry is expected to announce in December that the RAF’s first ab initio pilots, flying the F-35 straight from the BAE Systems Hawk jet trainer, have performed their first solo flights. This follows the ministry’s award in February of the F-35’s initial release to service documentation, detailing the envelope limits for the aircraft for peacetime training, exercises, threat and war conditions.

The release to service will be progressively updated as new capabilities are introduced to the aircraft. Significant work is already underway at Marham to pave the way for the F-35’s arrival, with many Cold War-era buildings demolished, to be replaced by modern infrastructure.

Under the £500 million Project Anvil—named after a type of lightning discharge—the first facility to open will be the National Operating Center, which will act as the headquarters for the Lightning Force, housing Bradshaw, the F-35 project team and industry partners BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin.

Builders are also putting the finishing touches on a new maintenance hangar, complete with eight repair bays and a two-aircraft finishing facility that will apply the aircraft’s paint and low-observable coatings. The maintenance and finishing facility is considered a “must-have” for the British government to maintain sovereign control over the fleet, a so-called “freedom of action” capability. Not all F-35 operating nations will have access to such a capability, at least on their own soil. Also under construction is a spares warehouse, which will be supplied by a facility in the Netherlands.

On the south side of the airfield, work has begun on transforming one of two existing hardened aircraft shelter areas into a new building that will house 617 Sqdn. Nearby, the Integrated Training Center being constructed will house the training systems for pilots and maintainers. This facility will feature four full-mission simulators (FMS). The UK is also purchasing several Deployable Mission Rehearsal Trainers (DMRT), two of which will be installed in each Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.

Along with supporting training, the FMS and DMRT devices will be used to practice the more classified capabilities of the aircraft without potentially exposing them during live flying, notes Bradshaw.

British personnel are also in the process of designing a UK-only training syllabus for the F-35 that will be phased in once the UK gains more experience on the aircraft, particularly with flying on this side of the Atlantic.

Britain plans to house its F-35s in Marham’s existing Hardened Aircraft Shelters (HAS), which are being refurbished with new environmental systems and lighting. Two F-35s can be squeezed into each shelter. During flight operations, the aircraft will be towed to a flight line and operated from U.S.-style sun shelters. These are being colloquially described as rain shelters, given Britain’s often unpredictable weather.

About 90% of the airfield’s operating surfaces have been overhauled as part of the refurbishment as well. Marham’s second runway is being opened as a short-takeoff-and-landing strip that will feature an outline of the aircraft carrier’s deck markings. In between the runways, a trio of vertical landing pads are being constructed (see diagram). There are no plans for a ski-jump ramp; such takeoffs will only be practiced in the simulator.

Security has also been a key factor in designing the new facilities, says Group Capt. Anne Gibson, the Lightning Force basing team leader. Lockheed and the F-35 Joint Program Office have been reviewing and accrediting the planned security arrangements throughout the building process. Project Anvil also includes new facilities to house security personnel to guard the aircraft.

All this work, which has turned much of the base into a construction site, has had to take place without affecting the operations of the RAF’s Panavia Tornado force, which remains on a war footing supporting the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group. Three squadrons are currently based at Marham, and the type is due to bow out at the end of March 2019. One of the three squadrons will bow out during 2018.

Project Anvil will support the arrival of 617 Sqdn. and the operational conversion unit, but to cater to the second front-line squadron—due to be formed in 2023—a second phase is being analyzed, with planning expected to get underway in early 2018. This work will focus on Marham’s second hardened aircraft shelter site, where the Tornado squadrons are currently housed and which will be empty in early 2019.

“At its peak, Marham housed four Tornado squadrons and a single Canberra unit,” says Gibson, “There is plenty of room, depending on how the F-35 force grows.”

Officials say the two hardened air shelter sites at Marham could easily handle two squadrons each, a hint perhaps that the Lightning force would likely grow again in the mid-2020s or 2030s.

It is unlikely that the UK would operate a fleet of 138 F-35s concurrently, but there appears to be a growing consensus that the UK will operate other derivatives of the aircraft. Poffley told members of Pariliament that judgment on the potential future mix of the F-35 fleet would be “taken later.”

The out-of-service date for the F-35 is currently 2048, but the aircraft is expected to be in service for much longer.

Britain plans to take delivery of its 14th aircraft by the end of this year and to receive three additional aircraft in 2018 and a single aircraft in 2019. Britain wants to purchase 17 F-35s in Lockheed Martin’s anticipated three-year block buy, and another 13 in a second two-year block buy as part of low-rate, initial-production batches 15 and 16.
u = (CB)⁻¹(cvdt_des - CAx)
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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 03:03

Anvil - "type of lightning discharge"? WTF. This is the ANVIL baby: Many Many Many ANVIL SHAPED Thunderstorm TOPS:
https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Thun ... IMqKf7z5oM:

http://player.slideplayer.com/35/10323188/ attached http://images.slideplayer.com/35/103231 ... lide_5.jpg

The Anvil Rule: How NASA Keeps Its Shuttles Thunderstorm Safe https://www.thoughtco.com/anvil-cloud-rule-3444263

https://fthmb.tqn.com/XfagJqxlLzLE8OJ24 ... o_upscale()/182176731-56a9e2a65f9b58b7d0ffac3d.jpg

Image
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Last edited by spazsinbad on 01 Dec 2017, 03:16, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 03:12

Thanks for the text 'rheonomic' :applause: :thanks: I stand corrected on 'ANVIL LIGHTNING' - so shoot me. :twisted: 8)
"Types of Lightning
...Anvil Lightning: A positive lightning bolt which develops in the anvil, or top of the thunderstorm cloud, and travels generally straight down to strike the ground...." https://www.weather.gov/media/pah/Weath ... safety.pdf (338Kb)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 07:28

Windows 10 now has some 3D folderol but I don't know if this program 'Sketchup' is part of it. Anyway FREE 3D objects such as the CVF can be downloaded whilst there is a FREE Sketchup viewer at URL. This 'CVF' is the best found I quickly.

3D Object CVF QE
https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model/ ... -Elizabeth

Free Viewer: https://www.sketchup.com/download/sketc ... /thank-you
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