UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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mas

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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 13:57

The other long term political factor affecting the UK defence budget and how many F-35s are purchased eventually is whether the Labour leader Corbyn becomes Prime Minister in 2022 in the next general election. To those not familiar with the man here is the relevant foreign affairs piece from his Wiki and also be aware he and his party are currently a few points ahead in the polls over PM May and her Tory party so he does have a realistic chance of future electoral success.

Middle East

Corbyn has been vocal on Middle East foreign policy. He is a member of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign,[228]campaigning against conflict in Gaza and what the organisation considers to be "apartheid in Israel".[229] At a meeting hosted by Stop the War Coalition in 2009, Corbyn said he invited "friends" from Hamas and Hezbollah to an event in parliament, referred to Hamas as "an organisation dedicated towards the good of the Palestinian people," and said that the British government's labelling of Hamas as a terrorist organisation is "a big, big historical mistake."[230] Asked on Channel 4 News in July 2015 why he had called representatives from Hamas and Hezbollah "friends", Corbyn explained, "I use it in a collective way, saying our friends are prepared to talk," and that the specific occasion he used it was to introduce speakers from Hezbollah at a Parliamentary meeting about the Middle East. He said that he does not condone the actions of either organisation: "Does it mean I agree with Hamas and what it does? No. Does it mean I agree with Hezbollah and what they do? No. What it means is that I think to bring about a peace process, you have to talk to people with whom you may profoundly disagree … There is not going to be a peace process unless there is talks involving Israel, Hezbollah and Hamas and I think everyone knows that", he argued.[231] He has called for the lifting of sanctions as part of a negotiated full settlement of issues concerning the Iranian nuclear programme, and the starting of a political process to decommission Israel's nuclear arsenal.[232][233][234]

Corbyn has criticised Britain's close ties with Saudi Arabia and British involvement in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen. In January 2016, after a United Nations panel ruled Saudi-led bombing campaign of Yemen contravened international humanitarian law, Corbyn called for an independent inquiry into the UK's arms exports policy to Saudi Arabia. Corbyn and Hilary Benn wrote to David Cameron asking him to "set out the exact nature of the involvement of UK personnel working with the Saudi military".[235] Corbyn has constantly called for the British Government to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia to show that Britain wants a peace process in Yemen, "not an invasion by Saudi Arabia".[236]

NATO and nuclear weapons

Corbyn would like to pull the United Kingdom out of NATO,[237] but has acknowledged that there is not an appetite for it among the public and instead intends to push for NATO to "restrict its role".[238] In April 2014, Corbyn wrote an article for the Morning Star attributing the crisis in Ukraine to NATO. He said the "root of the crisis" lay in "the US drive to expand eastwards" and described Russia's actions as "not unprovoked".[239] He has said it "probably was" a mistake to allow former Warsaw Pact countries to join NATO.[239][240]

Corbyn is a longstanding supporter of unilateral nuclear disarmament,[241][242] although he has suggested a compromise of having submarines without nuclear weapons.[243][244] In June 2016, he agreed to allow Labour MPs a free vote on the replacement of Trident, and 140 Labour MPs voted with the government in favour of the new submarines, in line with party policy, and 47 joining Corbyn to vote against.[241]

Donald Trump

Following the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential elections, Jeremy Corbyn said that he believes that President Trump is not offering solutions to problems, but simply being divisive.[245] Corbyn also called for Trump to be prevented from visiting the UK over his executive order banning visitors from certain majority-Muslim countries from entering the US.[246]
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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 14:47

Corbyn is the type of person who I would love to go and piss on their grave after they thankfully die and go to hell. He is the type of degenerate scum who are leading the West to its downfall. He is a disgusting, terrorist supporting, pissant who tries to take the opposite position of anything rational and reasonable. I wish he'd go see what the Muslim terrorists are like firsthand, since he loves them and loves throwing Jews under the bus.

Corbyn, if you somehow managed in some alternate reality to read this, which you probably won't because you're reading the communist manifesto, rot in hell.

/end rant

I apologize to everyone for this off-topic response.
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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 15:07

'mas' the long post is irrelevant. Why? Corbyn is not in power no matter how much you want him to be. Just stop & think: What has this screed got to do with the topic of the thread? Nothing. You seem to want to be a troll - posting silly stuff.
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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 15:33

It has everything to do with the future UK defence budget and its total and composition including F-35s. I personally am not a fan of his pacifist foreign policy so try and concentrate on the subject of what I post not what you think my views or intentions could be. This guy could conceivably end UK F-35 total number at 48 his views on defense are that extreme as he would like everyone in the world to disarm not just nuclear but including conventional weapons.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/he ... ly-6438877
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Unread post01 Dec 2017, 16:10

Doubling down on your first irrelevant post is not a good move. STOP IT. Meanwhile.... 2 page PDF of article attached.
UK prepares the ground for its first Lightning IIs to strike
5-11 Dec 2017 CRAIG HOYLE

"...HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be commissioned by her namesake in Portsmouth on 7 December. The 65,000t vessel will go on to host the first landings by an F-35B in the second half of 2018, during trials conducted off the US east coast.

Further testing will take place in 2019 using HMS Prince of Wales, which will be delivered with a so-called Bedford Array system installed, enabling pilots to employ a shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) technique....

...Development of a training syllabus has established a 50:50 split between live and synthetic flying – a shift which Bradshaw describes as “a completely different approach”.

“In the past, all of our training would have been airborne, with emergencies in the simulator,” he notes. “We are trying to make sure that we get the absolute most out of this aircraft.”

THIRD SQUADRON
The Lightning force OCU will move to RAF Marham in mid-2019, followed by a second frontline unit – 809 NAS – in 2023. Longer term, a third combat squadron could potentially be accommodated at the Norfolk base.

With the UK planning to operate F-35s until at least 2048, [UK Lightning force commander Air Cdre David] Bradshaw says it is likely to also consider acquiring the Lightning II in its conventional take-off and landing A variant. This has increased range and payload capability, increased manoeuvrability and a lower unit cost than the STOVL type.

“I’d be really surprised if the A is not part of our future force mix,” he notes."

Source: Flight International | 5-11 December 2017
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UK Prepares for F-35B Flight International 5-11 Dec 2017 pp2.pdf
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UK F-35B order history.gif
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Unread post04 Dec 2017, 17:52

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... al-443772/

ANALYSIS: UK preparing ground for F-35B's arrival

04 December, 2017
BY: Craig Hoyle


Sixteen years after signing up as a Level 1 partner on the US military's Joint Strike Fighter program, the UK is now just months (2018) away from welcoming its first examples of the Lockheed Martin F-35B to home shores.

Thirteen of the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) type have now been handed over to the UK military, with this total to increase to 14 by 2017 year-end.
- Ten aircraft are being used in support of pilot and maintainer training at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, with Royal Air Force and Royal Navy personnel working alongside the US Marine Corps' VMFAT-501 squadron.
- Three more are assigned to the UK's 17 Sqn operational evaluation unit at Edwards AFB in California, where its pilots are conducting operational testing, and developing tactics, techniques and procedures for the fifth-generation type.

Meanwhile, infrastructure work at RAF Marham in Norfolk – the future home base for the UK's Lightning IIs – has reached a key stage, under an investment worth more than £500 million ($672 million), launched in April 2016.
- Current work includes a complete resurfacing of the shorter of the base's two runways in advance of the new aircraft arriving, with the main runway to later undergo the same process.
- Three vertical-landing pads are at the start of their construction process.
- A new maintenance and finishing facility is already built, and will be capable of accommodating up to eight F-35Bs simultaneously for in-service support, plus another two in painting.
- Nearby, the UK's national operating center has been completed, with Lockheed's autonomic logistics information system equipment to be installed from late November. The facility will open early next year.
- The squadron house for the RAF's 617 Sqn – the first UK frontline unit to introduce the Lightning II – is also in construction,
- along with another for the 207 Sqn operational conversion unit (OCU). An integrated training center will from the middle of next year receive four full-motion simulators and additional training equipment.
- Elsewhere, 1980s-era hardened aircraft shelters built for the Panavia Tornado will be refurbished,
- and about 90% of existing taxiways resurfaced
– all without disrupting operations involving the RAF's remaining Tornado GR4s. To leave use in April 2019, the type has a key role in the UK's Operation Shader activity against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, being flown from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. UK Lightning force commander Air Cdre David Bradshaw – who also commands the RAF's Tornado operations – says the transition between the different generations of aircraft must be a seamless one.

Nine F-35Bs will arrive at RAF Marham in mid-2018, after making a transatlantic crossing accompanied by Airbus A330 Voyager tanker/transports. The STOVL aircraft will support the work-up process for the reformed 617 Sqn, which should achieve initial operational capability next December. Bradshaw says the unit will be cleared to deploy on international operations from early 2019, with its;
- Block 3F software-standard aircraft having a UK-specific weapons fit
- comprising Raytheon Systems Paveway IV precision-guided bombs,
- plus MBDA ASRAAM
- and Raytheon AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.

Later, Block 4 additions will include;
- MBDA's Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and
- its extended-range Spear ground-attack weapon.

Bradshaw says 2018 "is going to be momentous", noting that the new type's introduction will occur during the centenary year of the RAF's formation. The F-35B will, however, be a shared asset in UK service. "This is a joint enterprise: at every level, every rank, every trade, there will be a mix," Bradshaw says. The balance is set at 58% RAF personnel and 42% RN, with the senior and deputy command posts to always be held by officers from the services in that order. Frontline squadron leadership posts will, however, alternate between the services on each staff rotation to enforce the joint ethos. Nowhere will this be more evident than at sea, with the F-35B to combine with two new RN aircraft carriers to reinstate the UK's carrier strike role: lapsed since the early retirement of the Joint Force Harrier-operated BAE Systems Harrier GR9.

The RN's new flagship, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be commissioned by her namesake in Portsmouth on 7 December. The 65,000t vessel will go on to host the first landings by an F-35B in the second half of 2018, during trials conducted off the US East Coast. Further testing will be conducted in 2019 using the HMS Prince of Wales, which will be delivered with a so-called Bedford Array system installed, enabling pilots to employ a shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) technique. This will reduce wear and tear on the F-35's Pratt & Whitney F-135 engine and LiftFan vertical landing system, and enable the aircraft to return to the ship at a heavier weight. "By the end of 2020, the F-35B will be operational off the aircraft carriers," Bradshaw says. "It is at the very heart of the Lightning force to operate from land or sea – we will pick what is most appropriate at the time." Capt Adam Clink, deputy Lightning force commander, notes that the use of SRVL will restore a "big-deck" carrier capability not seen since the HMS Ark Royal left service in 1979. "It is a significant change from a ship safety point of view," he notes.

The UK has so far committed to acquiring 48 F-35Bs for delivery by 2024, under an allocation totaling £9.1 billion. However, the nation's formal requirement over the life of the program remains for 138 aircraft. In written evidence submitted to the House of Commons Defense Select Committee in mid-November, Lockheed said the unit recurring flyaway cost for the UK's early F-35Bs has dropped from $161 million during LRIP-3 in 2009 to just over $122 million in LRIP-10: a fall of 24%. Its target is to reduce this to $105 million by the time of an LRIP-14 award.

In addition to the 14 aircraft in its fleet by 2017 year-end,
- its firm backlog totals another three examples, ordered last year 2016 as part of the US program's 10th lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP 10).
- Lockheed and several international customers – including the UK – are in favor of the US Department of Defense agreeing to a first multiple-year contract for a total of 440 aircraft through LRIP lots 12 to 14, to benefit from cost savings ahead of the program entering full-rate production. The proposed three-year deal remains the subject of discussion between Lockheed and the F-35 Joint Program Office. The UK currently plans to order 17 aircraft through this period,
after a single unit during LRIP-11.
- Another 13 would be added through a proposed second multiple-year arrangement covering orders in 2021-2022.
- This would complete the initial 48 aircraft orders.

About 150 UK Lightning force personnel are currently in the USA, including pilots, engineers and mission support specialists. At MCAS Beaufort, the detachment represents "the kernel of what will become 617 Sqn", Bradshaw notes.
The UK's F-35 pilots hail from the RAF's Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado GR4 communities, and the former Joint Force Harrier organization. Clink notes that the RN has maintained skills following the Harrier GR9's retirement via a long-lead specialist skills program which saw its pilots take exchange posts flying Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets with the US Navy. In a significant milestone, the first of four ab initio pilots – two RAF and two RN – was expected to perform a debut flight in the F-35B around late November 2017. The first UK aircraft to receive Block 3F software has already been flown from Edwards AFB, and ski-jump testing has been completed at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, where the UK has four test pilots assigned to an integrated test force.

Development of a training syllabus has established a 50:50 split between live and synthetic flying – a shift which Bradshaw describes as "a completely different approach". "In the past, all of our training would have been airborne, with emergencies in the simulator," he notes. "We are trying to make sure that we get the absolute most out of this aircraft."
- The Lightning force OCU 207 Sqn operational conversion unit will move to RAF Marham in mid-2019,
- followed by a second frontline unit – 809 NAS – in 2023.
- Longer term, a third combat squadron could potentially be accommodated at the Norfolk base.

With the UK planning to operate F-35s until at least 2048, Bradshaw says it is likely to also consider acquiring the Lightning II in its conventional take-off and landing variant. This has increased range and payload capability, increased maneuverability and a lower unit cost than the STOVL type. "I'd be really surprised if the A is not part of our future force mix," he notes.
:)

....IMHO a better (more comprehensive) well written article
... with the split 58% RAF and 42% RN, will both fly off the QEs?, or will the RAF command the land bases and perhaps focus on the F-35A?
:wink:
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Unread post04 Dec 2017, 18:45

this split buy nonsense idea is really going to be a reality isn't it?

what's the point of a joint force if they operate different aircraft and in reality none of them get sufficient resources to operate or share.
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Unread post04 Dec 2017, 21:57

CRABS at work - DO NOT CO-OPERATE - they learn that early and stick to it - despite what they say - look at what they do.
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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 19:35

Britain moves to restore carrier strike capability with warship commissioning
07 Dec 2017 Andrew Chuter

"LONDON ― Britain moved a step closer to restoring it’s carrier strike capability Thursday when the 65,000-ton aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth was formally commissioned during a ceremony at the Royal Navy base at Portsmouth, southern England....

...Only one carrier will be operational at any given time, as Britain doesn’t have the manpower or other resources to simultaneously operate the two warships....

...The commissioning of Queen Elizabeth formally restores a carrier strike capability lost by the Royal Navy when a Conservative-led British government axed the Royal Navy’s Invincible-class light carrier fleet in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.

For several years now, British pilots and naval personnel have been maintaining their skills by operating with their U.S. counterparts. That close association is expected to continue with U.S. Marine Corp F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing jets flying from the deck of the Queen Elizabeth....

...When the Queen Elizabeth reaches full operational capability toward the back end of the next decade, the British plan to have two squadrons embarked, 24 aircraft in total. The warship has the ability to handle 36 fighters, although Royal Navy officers have said the carrier could operate with considerably more jets if required. Government ministers have hinted some of those later jets could be F-35As for the Royal Air Force.

Ever since Britain opted to leave the European Union last year, the weakness of the pound against the dollar has threatened to hit an already overstretched defense budget. There is concern over whether that could have an impact on the F-35 effort — the UK’s second-largest defense program.

One estimate reckons British purchases of U.S. military equipment could eventually account for a quarter of every pound spent on defense procurement...."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2017/ ... issioning/
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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 19:59

Only one carrier will be operational at any given time, as Britain doesn’t have the manpower or other resources to simultaneously operate the two warships

It's more the minumum requirement but two could be operated together in (war) emergencies. The idea is that the two will rotate port maintenance time with each other. The UK has 4 trident nuclear submarines yet the minimum requirement is only one has to be at sea permanently providing nuclear deterence. Apparently you need 4 trident submarines to do this as 3 can't do it according to cost cutting surveys done by opposition politicians. Submarines less reliable/robust than aircraft carriers ?
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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 20:21

'mas' why do you pollute threads with irrelevant notions? What do the subs have to do with the CVFs & F-35Bs of the UK?
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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 20:46

It is an extreme example of needing more of 1 vessel type to ensure one of them is always at sea. I thought that would have been patently obvious ...
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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 20:48

If I may...

One reason that has been stated or published as to why the UK may not be able to afford 138 F-35's is because of the cost of the nuclear deterrent (i.e. ballistic missile submarine) update which plans on replacing all of Her Majesty's Trident subs. Certainly if just one sub could be cut (i.e. build three instead of four), the £ saved should certainly more than pay for any shortfall in F-35 funds, one would surmise.

So... if the Brits are hard over on building ALL the subs, and three won't do... then the funding has to come from somewhere... hence the Lightning might be in danger.

So it's a funding thing that could affect the Lightning procurement. Capiche?
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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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 21:04

AND SO IT STARTS... now we are discussing SUBS & reliability or purchase of same in a thread about CVFs. CAPICHE?

I get that cutting one of four Tridents may save some F-35Bs but so what - speculate on thread topics - not irrelevancies.

& this is irrelevant notion: "...Apparently you need 4 trident submarines to do this as 3 can't do it according to cost cutting surveys done by opposition politicians. Submarines less reliable/robust than aircraft carriers ?"

Does anyone feel the need to answer that question. There are two CVFs - much has been said about them in this thread.
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Unread post07 Dec 2017, 21:47

No capiche. Nope. Nadda. No kandooo. :drool:

Frankly, I thought to keep one carrier at sea, ready to go to war at all times, one would need 3-4 carriers. One at sea, one doing workups. One undergoing maintenance. And one doing... ??? dunno. A spare, I guess. But I figggerred, the Brits could only afford two, so they will make do with what they can afford. Discussing CVF... floating base for F-35B. Hope that's OK? :mrgreen:
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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