UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 03:27
by spazsinbad
Vagaries Continue To Cloud U.K. F-35 Agenda
Aug 12, 2011 By Robert Wall

"After years of suffering massive program delays and cost overruns, the U.K. Defense Ministry has set out an aggressive agenda to ensure procurement decisions are grounded in fiscal reality and based on program certainty.

However, in one of its first major modernization moves—choosing to buy the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter instead of the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) version—London acted without firmly grasping the associated operational and cost implications. It also appears to have committed to the procurement despite lacking the means to fully fund the program, violating another principle of its reform agenda.

[...]

For instance, the move to the carrier version (CV) has caused the Defense Ministry to explore air-to-air refueling capabilities in case of a disruption on the flight deck during recovery operations. The U.K. has asked Lockheed Martin to assess the feasibility of using the F-35C in a buddy-buddy refueling mode. Under rules of the JSF program, countries must themselves fund studies into unique capabilities they want for an aircraft. Since the U.S. can rely on F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as carrier-based refuelers, the U.K. has to finance the engineering assessment on its own.

[...]

Full article: http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... 352385.xml

RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 04:38
by madrat
So now they need a D-model which would be a B model that can do arrested landings and takeoff using the catapult?

RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 04:43
by spazsinbad
Huh?

RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 05:31
by madrat
They keep changing their minds.

RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 13 Aug 2011, 07:28
by spazsinbad
OK.

Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 12:57
by stobiewan
madrat wrote:So now they need a D-model which would be a B model that can do arrested landings and takeoff using the catapult?


No, we need F35C and that's about it. We're talking about swapping one of the 3 B models out to a C from LRIP, and keeping the other two B's already committed to for conversion and testing purposes.

We're buying F35C's for service use, which are available for production right now. This is the *only* change in order requirements in the history of the F35 order.


Ian

RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 13:28
by shep1978
From what I can gather from people who were involved in the F-35 for the new carriers the F-35C was always the one the Royal Navy wanted and the B model got pushed onto them by Geoff Hoon and his industry buddies from Rolls-Royce to help industry involvment and job creation. much like Typhoon for the RAF (RAF wanted F-15's, Hoon and friends thought otherwise) and the Wildcat for the Army (army wanted Blackhawk, ministers and ex politicians sat on company boards said otherwise).

Whats nice about the switch back to the C is that its good to see the UK armed services actaully getting what they wanted for a change!

RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 03:51
by geogen
One counter argument to the 'must now explore a buddy-tanker capability in case of recovery disruptions', would be that the extended operational range / endurance (and strategic ferry range, cough) of the CV over the STOVL variant could equally warrant 'buddy tanker capabilities' of the shorter legged and more tanker-dependent STOVL.

And on a strategic ferry flight to say oh, a south Atlantic region base for training, a 6-8 pack of STOVL would require how many more Strategic Tanker refuels over the round-trip?

Yet I guess even fewer tanking refuels would be required for say, a strategic ferrying Rafale than even the CV, so that could be up for greater 'exploration' as well?

RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 04:32
by spazsinbad
geogen, naval aircraft travel abroad :twisted: aboard flat deck ships - unlike airfarce jets. OK? And shirley it is clear from all your attentive reading of this forum that STOVL aircraft do not require tankers due landing guaranteed. Seems you have not been paying attention. :evil: (cough)

RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 05:19
by 1st503rdsgt
Switching to the F-35C was nothing more than a short-sighted accounting stunt by the MoD to gain some short-term cost-savings that they could show on their books, a poor decision by bureaucrats with little understanding of the domino effect such a change would have on the costs of their entire carrier program.

I can't wait to see what comes up next. I may be an old ground pounder, but isn't 25 kts a touch slow for CATOBAR operations with a 40-70,000 lb fighter plane? If not, then how is maintaining the speed necessary to launch/recover F-35Cs going to affect fuel consumption/range and was that factored into the original performance/cost projections?

Of course, the original concept of a conventionally-powered STOVL supercarrier was harebrained in the first place. The UK should have just kept their Invincible-class ships and upgraded them for F-35B operations.

Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 06:15
by geogen
spazsinbad wrote:geogen, naval aircraft travel abroad :twisted: aboard flat deck ships - unlike airfarce jets. OK? And shirley it is clear from all your attentive reading of this forum that STOVL aircraft do not require tankers due landing guaranteed. Seems you have not been paying attention. :evil: (cough)


LoL, thanks Spazs, too funny m8.

But last time I checked, STOVL F-35B is indeed designed to accept and require tankers (including cost-effective buddy-tanking) for any intended operational requirement which requires range/endurance greater than which internal fuel provides (especially when substantially less than operational range of the CV), no?

And here's an interesting pic, I'm not quite sure what it is... perhaps your technical insight might better clarify it :)

http://www.militaryfactory.com/imagevie ... g%20KC-135

Also, IIRC, MoD is considering deploying F-35 in some scenarios independent of the Carrier deck? The USN do in fact deploy deploy and operate assets in this respect during war time as well. Respects.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 06:37
by spazsinbad
geogen, you can roam all over the planet if you wish with tanking so what are you talking about. If you talk about carrier operations then the STOVL does not need tanking if their flat deck is within combat radius for outbound & inbound to vertical landing. Ordinarily this will likely be the case so 'tanking' as such - with STOVL especially - not required for landing back on - unlike F-35C which may have deck fouling issues as you well know by now. If you want to mix up land operations or other things then be clear what you are saying. Yes all the F-35s can air refuel but this is not the same as requiring a tanker at the carrier for a foul deck, poor weather which may be the case with the F-35C.

Recall the vertical landing ability of the Harrier in the south Atlantic during the Falklands War. Many commentators have made it clear that no conventional carrier aircraft could fly from a conventional carrier most times the STOVL Harriers were flying day and night. No worries with the F-35B though it is even easier to fly as has been recounted now many times on this forum via pilot comments.

You can fantasise about using carrier aircraft ashore but they work best from a carrier flat deck. This is how they will be used. How are the USN deployed ashore today? They fly from their carrier. That is what it is all about.

Flying naval aircraft from ashore is called airfarce.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 06:59
by geogen
The original argument being.. that MoD might further want to 'explore' buddy tanking as well for STOVL, if they assessed future operational requirements extending the combat radius of Carrier ops to the range CV could extend out to. i.e., the operational reach of STOVL might be assessed in the future to require CV-like radius capability via buddy-tanking (or accept a reduced operational capabilty in STOVL, compared to the CV). I'm just making that case. But yes, hypothetically speaking, if MoD wanted to strategically Ferry F-35 as part of an exercise or rapid reaction deployment in a 2019 scenario, the strategic Tanking requirements if tanking STOVL variant would be much more taxing than CV. That could be seen as an understated value when justifying the 'switch'... is all I'm suggesting.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 07:17
by spazsinbad
You can make your arguments as complicated as you wish. However when the CVF was being built for STOVL ops there was no consideration for 'tanking' AFAIK. The idea at the time was for 'expeditionary ops' or OMS Operational Maneuver from the Sea as the USMC now want to get back to doing rather than being another land army.

I think '1st503rdsgt' summarised my thinking about why the UK MoD made the change. But I guess we won't now for some years. It will not surprise me if the MoD 'discover' that changing to F-35C is just too expensive and they go back to F-35B. After all there is much more flexibility with the B model.

Changing to the C model requires thought for the 'tanker at the carrier' notwithstanding any other tanker usefulness. This latter will apply to B and C model. What is under discussion is the 'new' requirement now for some kind of tanking for the C model at the carrier.

The MoD have about one year apparently to sort out the details of the change over B to C. It just might be too expensive. Changing back to B still gives the required delay as an accounting stunt as indicated by '1st503rdsgt'.

However I must point out that I strongly disagree with his assertion that "Of course, the original concept of a conventionally-powered STOVL supercarrier was harebrained in the first place. The UK should have just kept their Invincible-class ships and upgraded them for F-35B operations."

Many years of effort produced the CVF designed for STOVL ops with many other websites explaining why the CVF is so large and whatnot (beedall is best for that). It is ludicrous to think that the 'through deck cruisers' could have been somehow modified for F-35B ops as required by the MoD.

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 07:38
by 1st503rdsgt
spazsinbad wrote:However I must point out that I strongly disagree with his assertion that "Of course, the original concept of a conventionally-powered STOVL supercarrier was harebrained in the first place. The UK should have just kept their Invincible-class ships and upgraded them for F-35B operations."

Many years of effort produced the CVF designed for STOVL ops with many other websites explaining why the CVF is so large and whatnot (beedall is best for that). It is ludicrous to think that the 'through deck cruisers' could have been somehow modified for F-35B ops as required by the MoD.


Hmmm, perhaps I misspoke on the Invincibles, but what could be more "ludicrous" than a 60,000+ ton supercarrier that carries mostly helicopters (yes, I've read the reasons given for that configuration)? FWIW, I actually feel that something like the new Italian carrier, Cavour, would have been a more realistic goal for the RN.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 07:47
by spazsinbad
Well the CVFs were designed to maximise F-35B ops. If any CVF now becomes a helo only carrier then that is a product of the SDSR but still unlikely if the changeover to F-35C goes according to recent reports where it has been pointed out on this forum that the two CVFs will eventually be modified for the F-35C. All these things have a degree of uncertainty however which suits the MoD as they play accounting games.

Go to the beedall.com website to find out why the CVF is not the size of the Cavour or go to the 'very long thread' perhaps where much the same information is to be gleaned. Calling the CVF a 'super carrier' is just wrong. It is not.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 09:21
by geogen
The F-35C could do excellently for RN's Expeditionary op requirement as part of a coalition. It would enable superior endurance and reach (arguably more valuable as a future asset than was perhaps being assessed 10 yrs ago) as well as arm a heavier internal load.

Nobody is saying CVF should be a Super Carrier performing Sea-lane control Carrier Battle Group deployments for the Queen, I agree with u Spazs. That mission requirement is an impractical and completely unsustainable notion to envision. But an F-35C in future coalition Exp ops would be arguably superior to the STOVL and as a force multiplier could joint operate from other future Coalition carriers (be they US, French, or Chinese(?) wtf, etc!). Alternatively, as others have suggested for that matter, a RN super Hornet and Rafale could suffice as well in exp ops, and at a discount.

One way of mitigating the the 'recovery disruption' risk, could conceivably be to restrict sortie radius of the F-35C (when operating away from friendly land bases or when independent of other fleet coalition Carriers) to a radius similar to the STOVL e.g.. That way there would be significant Reserve fuel in case of need to circle while the disruption was cleared. When operating with coalition Carriers in area, the range could then be extended (borrowing buddy-tankers in emergenices) and in case of disruption, the obvious option of a diverted deck landing could also be made at sea.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 09:44
by spazsinbad
geogen said: "...One way of mitigating the the 'recovery disruption' risk, could conceivably be to restrict sortie radius of the F-35C (when operating away from friendly land bases or when independent of other fleet coalition Carriers) to a radius similar to the STOVL e.g.. That way there would be significant Reserve fuel in case of need to circle while the disruption was cleared...."

Fundamentally geogen misunderstands the problem. A naval aircraft will return with the maximum amount of fuel possible (plus any unexpended stores) to trap at the maximum allowable landing/arrest weight. So there are variables in this equation with the limit being the max. arrest weight - a limit usually of the arresting gear and not always to the aircraft. Whatever - it is a limit.

If the USN have regular airborne carrier tankers then there is a reason for this. No? There are many variables in recovering a carrier aircraft, often unforseen until the aircraft bolters, is waved off due foul deck or deck motion excessive during approach and on and on; especially if night time recovery from a long approach at high power setting (albeit from a high altitude where fuel can be 'saved'). If there is no divert field then the 'bingo' requirements can be irrelevant and it comes down to a barricade arrest final approach perhaps or eject alongside the carrier with no fuel. It happens (or has happened in the past).

I myself have had to miss a landing cycle south of Hawaii unable to reach it in an A4G but thankfully at high altitude when told to wait - circling - for about an hour until able to land ('charlie' time disrupted due arrestor gear problems). Jet aircraft can 'loiter' at high altitude using minimum fuel but of course if the deck problem had not been solved it would have been as indicated - and it was daytime thank goodness. No tanker available and landed with plenty of fuel for at least another try if bolter. Many variables in carrier aviation that are never solved by simplistic plans such as 'carry more fuel'. Carrier pilots carry as much fuel as possible at all times to cater for contingencies as described.

Yes it would be nice to have carriers over the horizon but unlikely given there are so few to begin with. However if these same F-35Cs were actually F-35Bs then immediately there are many more flat decks available. No? :D

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 10:31
by spazsinbad
Shame tweren't Harriers on through deck cruisers to do it in a less over the top manner but youse knew that....

RAF Tornados In Long-Range Libya Mission 15 August 2011

http://www.raf.mod.uk/news/archive/long ... n-15082011

"On Wednesday night (10 Aug) RAF Tornado aircraft launched from RAF Marham in East Anglia to conduct 8-hour round-trip missions over Libya. Armed with state-of-the-art Storm Shadow missiles, the six GR4 aircraft flew long distance sorties from the Norfolk base to target elements of Colonel Qadhafi’s military command and control facilities and air defence infrastructure.

The jets, some from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and some from Marham, were playing a crucial role in protecting Libyan civilians as authorised under United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973.

The involvement of the Tornados, together with the Typhoon fighters forward located in Italy, means that the UK can strike both air and ground targets as required by NATO.

The Tornado Squadrons have played a leading role in the military operations in Libya since operations began in March, carrying out precision strikes, making use of the GR4’s high-tech Litening 3 targeting pods and a variety of highly precise guided munitions.

Group Captain Pete ‘Rocky’ Rochelle, Station Commander RAF Marham, said:

“This mission has, once again, proved the GR4’s capability at long range. The engineers and crews comprised of personnel from Marham and Lossiemouth. I feel great pride in having the opportunity to command such an adaptable and capable Tornado force that proves its agility time and time again.”

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 20:08
by spazsinbad
And as indicated on another neptune thread go here and here if youse wanna refuel your buds....

U.K. Audit on JSF: Concerns But No Calamities Scroll down for COBHAM

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... 89e#199838
____________________

F-35 Aerial Refuelling and landing/take off questions

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... 89e#190292

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 21:16
by geogen
Spazs i gotta hand it to ya, you are much more enlightening and interesting to read when you are articulating your deeper personal views and backing them up with experience and perspective. A good post there. I have high respects for you sir.

OK... based on your input, greater consideration and what I've gleaned on this point, I will concede the point that a RN F-35C should have a buddy-tanker on board.

My 'FUNDAMENTAL' intent was to press the issue whether or not certain flight rules or modified Carrier op methods could be employed - not relying on buddy-tanking capabilities - when a CVF was operating independently from Coalition Carriers in the area. While I think there will still be more flexibility with an F-35C compared to Super Hornets in terms of organic endurance (allowing for that extra hour of solo circling, in which a Super might otherwise require a buddy-tanker), it could indeed be determined that even F-35C will require buddy tanking capabilities on board for emergencies. Yes? ;)

But, this where the assessments and decision making can get tricky and diverse imho: Forinstance, can there be creative buddy tanking alternatives? Say, could 6-8 USN Super Hrnet tankers be based in UK and jointly operated and trained with RN crews? And when CVF makes a 3 mos deployment, could 4 Supers be 'leased' by RN for duty aboard CVF under RN crews? This way, one isn't tying down 3-4 $200m 5th gen assets as fuel mules!? Now what would be cool would be to have N-UCAS buddy-tanking F-35s as part of the mix, but dont think there's enough fuel on board for more than a quick sip? Just saying there might be some optional solutions. It's not like the RN will have a carrier at sea 12 months a year half way around the world.

Anyway, it's still 8 yrs away, so who knows maybe the USN will shift it's tactical review by then also (assuming things stay to course i.e. a costly and substantially shrunk F-35 force) and decide it wants a stealth-ier buddy-tanking capability afterall for future F-35 doctrine.

But again, the value of the F-35C + buddy tanker would enable a supreme strategic advantage over the STOVL variant (providing sheer Tornado-like reach (a la your 8 hr round-trip, etc)) something which MoD is apparently now requiring in capability in expanding the 'Carrier Strike' capability of the CVF. (a capability worth having if you're going to spend so many billions on it in the first place). So in this case, where 'Tankers' are much more than simple emergency buddy tankers... as they enable/force-multiply the actual 'strike capability' and other long-range ISR/CAP/relay node capabilities one might need to have to satisfy requirements, unlke a stand-alone STOVL making a 275-300nm radius sortie returning to carrier with max reserve fuel(?)... then the STOVL would ALSO REQUIRE a Buddy-Tanker! imho..

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 21:24
by spazsinbad
geogen I guess you did not grasp the sarcasm in the post about the 8 hour 'heavily refuelled' (of course not mentioned in the press release by RAF - they know how to make virtues out of vices for sure) Tornado voyagee (bugs bunny pronunciation). :D

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... chine.html

Here is a snippet from a previous mission explanation: "Shortly after 8pm on Saturday, at least three Tornados – capable of maximum speeds at sea level of Mach 1.3 or 980mph – roared into the skies of East Anglia.

The two crew members would usually carry a fearsome array of weapons capable of destroying enemy defences. On this occasion it was the Storm Shadow missile.

But the huge distances between the jet fighters’ bases and their targets in North Africa meant fuel was a considerable issue. And they were accompanied by two huge VC10 and Tristar air-to-air refuelling planes, to ensure that the fighters did not run out.

Three times in the darkness above Europe,
the Tornados performed the hazardous task of connecting to the air tankers using snake-like fuel lines."
&
"After releasing the missiles, the Tornados turned around and headed back to RAF Marham. They refuelled once more on the return leg, although they needed less fuel after firing their missiles. In total, some 60 tons of fuel were used."

You can rattle on about tankers being used in other scenarios but the post was about carrier based tankers for reasons described. Of course tanker assets are useful. Most airfarces have them by now or plan to have them. However if you have a big flat deck youse can go to 60% of earth surface as youse please and be close to the action. OK?

QUOTE from first post on this thread:
"For instance, the move to the carrier version (CV) has caused the Defense Ministry to explore air-to-air refueling capabilities in case of a disruption on the flight deck during recovery operations. The U.K. has asked Lockheed Martin to assess the feasibility of using the F-35C in a buddy-buddy refueling mode. Under rules of the JSF program, countries must themselves fund studies into unique capabilities they want for an aircraft. Since the U.S. can rely on F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as carrier-based refuelers, the U.K. has to finance the engineering assessment on its own."

Naval Aviation has a long tradition of 'buddy tanking' starting with the Skyhawk for reasons that have become obvious in this thread. However the Harrier and the F-35B do not need 'buddy tanking' for ordinary carrier operations. Any other benefit of 'tanking' is incidental and acknowledged.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 21:49
by geogen
YOu may downplay a buddy-tanked F-35C or Super hornet/Rafale for that matter (topped off out-bound and return-trip) as being 'incidental', but the reality is that you've just massively force-multiplied the capability of your multi-billion flat deck+ fighter investment in more than doubling the endurance and range.

This is something the MoD appears to be further 'exploring' as part of a greater Carrier capability. Without buddy-tanking, the STOVL F-35B will have significantly reduced mission parameters compared to buddy-tanked F-35C given reserve fuel requirements. Add to that a quick reaction Strategic Ferry capacity far greater than the STOVL - requiring fewer Strategic Tanker sorties - and the argument for a naval F-35C instead of STOVL is sound. imho.

BTW, what was the reserve fuel requirement for RN Harriers (or USMC harriers?) when operating from sea?? I'm just curious.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 21:59
by spazsinbad
geogen, as far as I'm concerned you are going around in circles. Yes having a carrier based tanker asset is useful. No argument. However originally the CVF with F-35Bs was not deemed to require such a carrier based asset. I hope that is clear. Yes having any kind of tanker asset either carrier based or land based is extremely useful. No argument from me. BTW 'sharkeyward' has some comments about RAF Libyan ops, here is onesuch: http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2011/07/jo ... angle.html

The Harrier reserve fuel has been covered in 'the very long thread' I believe. The amount of fuel from memory is roughly enough to carry out the first and only approach with enough fuel for 'a very quick circuit to land vertically with no fuel' if for some obscure reason the first attempt is botched by pilot. Otherwise a vertical landing from an astern approach in case of the RN or a circuit apparently in the USMC case is the way it is done. Landing guaranteed. No foul deck issues - not much fuel needed before final landing approach but what that is in hundreds of pounds my memory fails me. Why? Because it is "not me Chief".

Compared to a conventional carrier landing aircraft the amount of fuel a Harrier lands with is horrifying, much the same as for example the old RAAF Mirages (Miracles) would land on the smell of an oily rag - often flaming out whilst taxiing back to the line. :D However they did this with full knowledge the runway was not moving in time and space. :cheers:

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 22:50
by spazsinbad
Another comment on the WALL comment [start of this thread] (is this another brick in the wall?)...

UK to study F-35C ‘buddy’ refueling By Philip Ewing Monday, August 15th, 2011

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2011/08/15/uk-to ... refueling/

"Although U.S. Navy officials love to extol the wisdom of “necking down” to the fewest types of airframes possible, the introduction of the F-35C Lightning II may be a welcome exception: Rather than needing to use its brand-new, frontline fighters as stand-in tankers, as it must do with its F/A-18Es and Fs, the Navy will be able to use older Super Hornets to refuel new Lightning IIs, the way its retirement-age A-6 Intruders and S-3 Vikings once refueled newer fighters. Today, the Navy must use new and existing Super Hornets to refuel each other, meaning that for a given mission, some of the latest combat jets aren’t actually available for combat — and taxpayers are buying a full-up warplane but actually getting a part-time fuel mule.

The Royal Navy, however, effectively will be building its carrier aviation capabilities from scratch when it gets its Cs. It won’t have any existing 4th generation fighters that it can use as tankers. So, as Robert Wall reports in AvWeek, this is one of the may things the Brits have to figure out as they get closer to actually fielding these ships and aircraft:


"The Defense Ministry has since tried to address some of those uncertainties, although it may take another year to define future plans completely.

For instance, the move to the carrier version (CV) has caused the Defense Ministry to explore air-to-air refueling capabilities in case of a disruption on the flight deck during recovery operations. The U.K. has asked Lockheed Martin to assess the feasibility of using the F-35C in a buddy-buddy refueling mode. Under rules of the JSF program, countries must themselves fund studies into unique capabilities they want for an aircraft. Since the U.S. can rely on F/A-18E/F Super Hornets as carrier-based refuelers, the U.K. has to finance the engineering assessment on its own.

A U.S. military official says the engineering details and cost estimate of the upgrade should be ready “later this year.” But the U.K. may take longer to decide on its course of action. Peter Luff, the U.K.’s minister for defense equipment, support and technology, tells legislators that the assessment of how to provide “the most cost-effective means of providing an embarked air-to-air refueling capability in support of the department’s future Carrier Strike capability” should emerge around March 2012.


This isn’t only something you need in case of emergencies: On U.S. Navy carriers, the first aircraft to go off as part of flight operations is usually the tanker, loaded down with external tanks so that it can top off jets after they launch but before they actually set off on their missions. Fighter jets drink fuel like teenagers drink Mtn Dew.

This isn’t the F-35’s first international mid-air refueling confusion. Up in Canada, where the F-35 is consistently controversial, there was a kerfuffle back in February when somebody added 2 and 2 and came up with 4: Canada plans to buy A-model fighters, which are designed for U.S. Air Force-style boom refueling, but Canada’s tankers are set up for probe-and-drogue style refueling, to accommodate it existing fleet of CF-18 Hornets. So Canada will either have to modify its CC-150 Polaris tankers, or ask for its CF-35s to be modified for probe-and-drogue operations. Last we checked, the jury was still out on that."

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 15 Aug 2011, 23:03
by geogen
Yes Spazs, I'm aware the original CVF plan did not require a buddy-tanker for the originally envisioned STOVL requirement. 'Tanks' for the reminder though :)

However, it seems that MoD has slightly altered and expanded the Carrier mission requirement to now require something more than the original STOVL plan would envision. That seems pretty clear and very straight to the point, Spazs...

So to clear the muddle, it would appear logical, valid and safe to say that at some point over the next few years there will surface a finalized plan on how to enable buddy-tanking to task such 'expanded Carrier requirements' and what the final Carrier force structure will in fact comprise. UK/MoD has some time to decide.

True though, there will surely be more muddle to de bungle before that time... cheers

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 16 Aug 2011, 14:06
by muir
It can´t be a real problem, worst case scenario they realize they need buddy tankers aboard their carriers.

They can seek co-operation with the USN, as Geogen suggested, to base a few F/A-18´s in the UK.
They can seek to lease the same aircraft from the US.
They can buy a few outright, surely some Growlers would be useful aboard any carrier even if all the other aircraft are stealth ones? Though I am unsure about whether the Growler works as a tanker?
When the carriers are accepted into the RN somewhere in the 2020´s the Aussies will have 24 Superbugs they´ll be looking to offload assuming the F-35 works out as planned and they buy the projected 100 units of those, barring a stark need for larger numbers of aircraft. A transfer to the UK must be fairly uncontroversial.
The French might be interested in basing Rafeles on UK carriers while they wait for their second carrier to come online, if they ever get round to ordering one that is, which would at least by time for the MOD/RN to sort out other options.

Sure most of these options will cost money but it seems an even worse waste of money to buy carriers, fill them with air wings and then be in a situation where you can barely use them..

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35

Unread postPosted: 19 Aug 2011, 20:51
by quicksilver
geogen wrote:YOu may downplay a buddy-tanked F-35C or Super hornet/Rafale for that matter (topped off out-bound and return-trip) as being 'incidental', but the reality is that you've just massively force-multiplied the capability of your multi-billion flat deck+ fighter investment in more than doubling the endurance and range.

This is something the MoD appears to be further 'exploring' as part of a greater Carrier capability. Without buddy-tanking, the STOVL F-35B will have significantly reduced mission parameters compared to buddy-tanked F-35C given reserve fuel requirements. Add to that a quick reaction Strategic Ferry capacity far greater than the STOVL - requiring fewer Strategic Tanker sorties - and the argument for a naval F-35C instead of STOVL is sound. imho.

BTW, what was the reserve fuel requirement for RN Harriers (or USMC harriers?) when operating from sea?? I'm just curious.


Fuel reserves? Depends on day or night ops and the 'allowable risk' for any given operation. Many RN SHAR alums have vivid memories of flashers in the hover (which come on at 250# a side). They had so little VL performance near the end of the aircraft's active service that those kinds of margins were not unusual. But, there certainly have been occasions where the fuel was spent on a little extra range or TOS and thus similar margins were used as a matter of operational necessity. Rigorous pilot selection criteria and training allowed them to routinely work to these kind of margins with success.

IIRC, peacetime SOP for Marines typically "on deck with no less than 800#" but they have certainly stretched that on occasion.

Harrier burns roughly 200#/minute in jetborne flight. If one has the ship in sight, there is rarely a reason to wave off.

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35

Unread postPosted: 20 Aug 2011, 18:20
by neptune
muir wrote:.. somewhere in the 2020´s the Aussies will have 24 Superbugs they´ll be looking to offload .. A transfer to the UK must be fairly uncontroversial.....


By that time they should be quite good at "Buddy" tanking. Perhaps they can get better return on the investment by leasing crews (TDY) and a/c out as tankers/ Growlers (pretty awesome combination). That S.B. purchase is looking better every day.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over

Unread postPosted: 20 Aug 2011, 22:50
by geogen
Quicksilver -

Thanks sir, for that reply and very interesting info.

carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 20 Aug 2011, 23:04
by outlaw162
Harrier burns roughly 200#/minute in jetborne flight.


:shock:

RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 04:09
by dragorv
For those of us who are tired and not knowledgeable about such things... is that a :shock: for "wow that's a lot" or "wow that's not much"?

RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 04:35
by spazsinbad
Lockheed: Many F-35B landings won’t be vertical
From this thread: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-15671.html

A Skyhawk Pilots Guide to Sea Harrier by LCDR Dave Ramsay RAN 1983
“...The undercarriage arrangement of centreline mainwheels and wingtip outriggers is necessitated by the engine and nozzle positions....
...Our normal criteria is to land from a hover when the fuel low level warning flashes (at 500 lb) and to aim to be downwind with a minimum of 1,000 lbs so all pilots are used to flying with low fuel levels – and you don’t bolter in this aircraft....
...The way it works is this:- you drive on around the circuit and point at your landing pad at 165Kts, gear and flap down and 40° nozzles selected. Power will be about 65% and the hoons amongst us will drive on in like this until the very last possible moment, then use full braking stop to decelerate. I myself sedately take the hover stop at about 0.8Nm. So now all the thrust points down and the slick aerodynamic qualities of the Harrier manifest themselves as a marked deceleration. This in turn means wing lift is decreasing (attitude is held constant at 8 units AOA) so you increase power to keep the ground at bay. It is a fact of life that as you decellerate through 90Kts the lack of wing lift and the trim change induced control inputs require an engine power and therefore JPT that is pretty well just what you will have in a nice steady hover....”

RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 05:51
by spazsinbad
AV-8 TACTICAL MANUAL NWP 3-22.5-AV8B
VOLUME I | A1-AV8BB-TAC-000 AUG 2002

"Reserve of 800 pounds JP-5 and 245 pounds of water."

For each tactical profile: Reserve Fuel 800lbs with 245lbs of water

Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 16:20
by outlaw162
dragorv wrote:For those of us who are tired and not knowledgeable about such things... is that a :shock: for "wow that's a lot" or "wow that's not much"?


Sorry.

That's pretty much a "guzzle".

I think a clean Viper would probably be thru the Mach at 12,000 pph fuel flow somewhere between 10 & 20,000 feet, maybe lower depending on the day.

OL

(old, I think, is worse than tired and not knowledgeable)

RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 17:52
by LMAggie
I've said this before, but I think the UK politicians acted in haste and failed to realize the implications of the switch. I was astonished when they announced the switch. The fact that they are realizing this now is amusing.

RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 20:41
by spazsinbad
LMAggie, agree. But in a sad way. I weep for the RN FAA these days. Poor bastards. :D

Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 21:30
by Prinz_Eugn
LMAggie wrote:I've said this before, but I think the UK politicians acted in haste and failed to realize the implications of the switch. I was astonished when they announced the switch. The fact that they are realizing this now is amusing.


I know, right? Before they announced it, I thought the idea was too bad/ridiculous to be real.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 21 Aug 2011, 21:50
by spazsinbad
I believe the UK MoD is capable of all kinds of 'surprises'. It could get worse - not better.

Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 22 Aug 2011, 00:26
by quicksilver
outlaw162 wrote:
dragorv wrote:For those of us who are tired and not knowledgeable about such things... is that a :shock: for "wow that's a lot" or "wow that's not much"?


Sorry.

That's pretty much a "guzzle".

I think a clean Viper would probably be thru the Mach at 12,000 pph fuel flow somewhere between 10 & 20,000 feet, maybe lower depending on the day.

OL

(old, I think, is worse than tired and not knowledgeable)



'Jetborne' as opposed to 'wingborne' means flying essentially on propulsion system lift alone (e.g. in the hover).

Not sure how well a Viper hovers at any fuel burn rate but it will burn well in excess of 200#/min in max AB. :wink:

Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 22 Aug 2011, 00:27
by quicksilver
outlaw162 wrote:
dragorv wrote:For those of us who are tired and not knowledgeable about such things... is that a :shock: for "wow that's a lot" or "wow that's not much"?


Sorry.

That's pretty much a "guzzle".

I think a clean Viper would probably be thru the Mach at 12,000 pph fuel flow somewhere between 10 & 20,000 feet, maybe lower depending on the day.

OL

(old, I think, is worse than tired and not knowledgeable)



'Jetborne' as opposed to 'wingborne' means flying essentially on propulsion system lift alone (e.g. in the hover).

Not sure how well a Viper hovers at any fuel burn rate but it will burn well in excess of 200#/min in max AB. :wink:

RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 22 Aug 2011, 01:11
by geogen
OL -

You are hardly deficient in your elder age, sir. One's old age, as intelligent and witty as you were born with, will only get even with the know it all youngsters in the world... so I say let's just call it even and have a cold one together ;) Time is too short on space-ship Earth imho.

RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 22 Aug 2011, 03:48
by johnwill
Geogen,
May another old guy join you and OL for that cold one? I not sure what might be 45 km offshore New England (Nantucket?), but I'm a refugee from the Texas heat for the rest of the summer in Rockland, ME. Let me know if you are in the area.

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 22 Aug 2011, 04:32
by neptune
spazsinbad wrote:.. the UK MoD is capable of all kinds of ...
Totally agree! Another thought; the UK now, will have two similar carriers the Q.E. with CATOBAR. The P.W. (or both) should be upgraded to include the results from the Wasp test this fall. One (Q.E.) supporting the longer range F-35C "Sea" and the other (P.W.) could launch and recover the F-35B "Bee". The Q.E. is even discussed in joint opperations supporting the French Rafael. In a dire time when both carriers are required at sea, the UK may be asking to borrow/ loan of the "Bees"; that common parts thing, etc. LM claims that they both fly the same except for the STO and the VL (landing button). Sounds like a "Sea" chap could get qualified in the "Bee" rather quickly....just a thought! :!: :idea: :wink:

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 23 Aug 2011, 04:15
by spazsinbad
Neptune, All along F-35 pilots of all persuasions have been saying how easy it is to 'Vertically Land' the F-35B. The F-35C will be more demanding however. Frankly the sort of news report below will be repeated for the next four years in all kinds of 'black is white' variations and all shades of grey inbetween... Any MoD decision is never final until the fat lady sings...

Ministers reconsider mothballing carrier By Michael Powell 22 August 2011

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/local/ ... _1_2987052

"THE government aims to reverse its controversial decision to mothball the first of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers, The News can reveal.

Last year’s Strategic Defence and Security Review decided HMS Queen Elizabeth – the first of two new 65,000-tonne supercarriers being built for the navy – would be put into storage in Portsmouth to save cash when she arrives in 2016.

But defence minister Gerald Howarth hinted at a U-turn in the next defence review in 2015 – one year before the ship comes into service with the navy.

He told The News: ‘The SDSR concluded we needed one carrier but clearly that has its own limitations in availability and clearly the 2015 defence review gives us an opportunity to look again in the prevailing economic conditions and see where we go from there.

‘Clearly, all of us would like two aircraft carriers because that gives us the continuous at-sea capability.

‘We’ve had to take some pretty tough decisions but we’re hoping to be in a position to recover that one in 2015.’

Mr Howarth, who is the Minister for International Security Strategy, was speaking at Govan shipyard in Glasgow which – like Portsmouth – is one of six sites across the UK building the new carriers.

Paying tribute to the British shipbuilding industry, he said: ‘This carrier is stunning engineering.

‘It’s about time the UK woke up to the fact that we do have immense engineering skills in Britain and that the companies with those skills are world class – indeed they operate across the globe – and Britain’s future prosperity will not be found simply on the back of financial services.’

But the project to build the aircraft carriers has been branded ‘a shambles’ by Portsmouth MP Mike Hancock.

As previously reported, HMS Queen Elizabeth will not be kitted out to fly the navy’s latest jets when it comes into service.

Those building the carrier say it was ‘too late’ to alter the design to accommodate the type of plane the government wants for the new warships.

This means the £2.6bn ship will be left as a four-acre helicopter landing vessel when it comes into service.

The government will then have to stump up an estimated £1bn tearing the ship apart to fit catapult and arrestor gear – known as ‘cats and traps’ – to enable F-35C jets to fly from her flight deck.

Mr Hancock, who sits on the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, said: ‘If the first one does not have cats and traps then why are we building it?

‘It’s a complete shambles. Why are we spending more than £2bn for a helicopter landing ship?’

Originally, both carriers were going to have F-35B jump jets which, like the old Harrier jets they are replacing, are designed to take off and land vertically. :bang: [BRILL-YANT!] :roll:

But the government decided in the SSDR that Britain would instead buy cheaper F-35C jets, which require electro-magnetic cats and traps to be fitted for taking off and landing.

Last year’s decision was taken without knowing how much it would cost to change the design of the ships, which is now the subject of the 18-month cats and traps study that began in June.

While work on the second ship, HMS Prince of Wales, is at an early stage, construction of HMS Queen Elizabeth is past the point when cats and traps could be installed before her in-service date in 2016.


A recent report by the National Audit Office said fitting them to one of the carriers will increase the overall cost of the £5.2bn project by £1bn. Some analysts warn it will cost more.

A MoD spokesman confirmed: ‘Our current planning assumption is to convert HMS Prince of Wales in build but no firm decisions will be taken until late 2012.’


GOVERNMENT’S STRATEGY IS TO ‘MUDDLE ALONG’
DEFENCE experts have again criticised the plan to leave one of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers unable to launch jets.

Rear Admiral Chris Parry, from Drayton, in Portsmouth who is a respected defence analyst, said: ‘There are a lot of random decisions going on.

‘It seems to me that the current government’s strategy is to just muddle along whether it is with Libya, the new carriers or anything else.

‘This is another example of a lack of coherence in long-term planning that was introduced by the Strategic Defence and Security Review.’

Admiral Sir Jonathon Band called the current situation ‘untidy at best’.

He added: ‘It is a consequence of the government’s decision to change the type of aircraft.’

However, the former First Sea Lord argued the government’s plan has a silver lining.

He said: ‘This will allow the Queen Elizabeth to be commissioned, do all the deck trials and platform trials and make sure the design is fine.

‘Then when HMS Prince of Wales is built we can go straight in with flying trials.’"

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 23 Aug 2011, 22:59
by spazsinbad
Parliamentary Answers – to 21 August 2011 August 21, 2011

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/08/p ... Defence%29

"Question
Kevan Jones (North Durham, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of when the first Future Carrier will be operational; and when it will be able to deploy fast jet aircraft from its deck.

Answer
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

The date that the operational Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier enters service with the Royal Navy will depend on which ship will be converted to operate the carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter. This in turn will inform when fast jets will be deployed from the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. We expect firm decisions to be taken on carrier conversion in late 2012 and it remains our intent to deliver a carrier strike capability from around 2020.
______________________________________________

Question
Nick Smith (Blaenau Gwent, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether planned adjustments to the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers will make them compatible with French Rafale aircraft.

Answer
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

The conversion of the operational Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier will allow the more capable carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter to be operated. The change in aircraft launch and recovery equipment will offer improved levels of interoperability with our allies’ aircraft, including the French Rafale. Further work on interoperability will be undertaken as part of our conversion investigations, which are expected to conclude in late 2012."

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 24 Aug 2011, 09:03
by spazsinbad
UK launches carrier conversion studies 18 August 2011

http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... te?page=53
&
http://www4.janes.com/subscribe/idr/doc ... QueryText=

"The UK's Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA) - comprising BAE Systems, Babcock, Thales and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) - has commenced an incremental 18-month Conversion Development Phase (CDP) to explore options for the adaptation of at least one of its Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers to a 'cats and traps' configuration to enable the operation of the F-35C Carrier Variant (CV) of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Seed funding of about GBP5 million (USD8 million) is covering activity through to the end of October, with further contracts to be let in the near future to the ACA and the MoD-led Naval Design Partnering (NDP) team ."

first posted to http://idr.janes.com - 18 August 2011

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 06:53
by spazsinbad

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 07:06
by 1st503rdsgt


Royal Navy's reaction to the switch from B to C model. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w09rqkY0 ... ideo_title :lmao:

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 07:22
by spazsinbad
Aaaaaaahh the old 'spit the dummy' trick. Sharkey is good at that (have not read pt.1 yet)

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/search/lab ... %20Fighter

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 07:42
by SpudmanWP
Is it just me (with my lack of understanding "spit the dummy") or did Sharkey make all those factual errors and flat out bad assumptions on purpose (to make a point), or does he actually think that way?

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 07:46
by 1st503rdsgt
Come on dude, go easy on us Americans. I had to look up what "spit the dummy" meant. I thought it was actually putting an idiot on a spit and roasting him. Anyways, I thought you would find it funny.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 26 Aug 2011, 08:45
by spazsinbad
Yeah I used to get into trouble for telling youse USians that I was pissed when I was not angry - just drunk. OK? :D

SWP, Sharkey has become notorious for his selective or incorrect stating of 'facts'. He does this probably intentionally to make a point but I don't know one way or other. He was once sharp as a tack and argumentative as you can imagine but these days getting older has probably diminished his 'debating' skills that probably are not suited to online. Verbal arguments he would win every time as every good AWI (Air Warfare Instructor) would - by using the 'dummy spit' tactics as seen in the video. I believe a Marine argument means standing toe to toe with one's face pressed against the face of the other with both screaming obscenities and 'Sir, Yes, Sir' at one another. :D

So if one can go with the Sharkey flow (although as you point out we probably won't agree with him on some points) he does make a good 'argument'. Probably his broader point is to highlight the mendaciousness of the RAF and how they have managed to mess with the RN FAA far too much over the last few decades. I have already given an example of how the RAF are devious in their propaganda. Sharkey's website will give you any number of other recent or old examples.

It is good that we have on this forum good sources of information and even criticism to help us 'see the light'. :devil: :inlove:

And remember Sharkey says he is the 'devil's advocate' some of the time but sometimes he is not sure (or we are'nt). :D

It is always good to think for oneself and what others may think is less interesting. Facts are good however. :cheers:

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2011, 04:35
by spazsinbad
Some SDSR 'wasting money to save money' info here:

SDSR write-offs to cost £6.3bn 30 August 2011

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=17281

"...The biggest losses outlined in the documents are still to come, however, with £6.6bn still to be written off.

The bulk of the total comes as a result of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, with the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4, Harrier jump jet and various Royal Navy ships costing billions of pounds.

Nimrod alone will result in an estimated write off of £3.6bn, with the Harriers losing the MoD £1.8bn...."

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2011, 10:04
by lb
The notion that MoD decided to go with the C before undertaking a carrier conversion study and thus having a clue what the true cost differential might be is really rather stunning. At the time of the decision various numbers were thrown around without detail but the main talking point was saving money by going with the C. It appeared that the "savings" were almost entirely due to simply planning to purchase fewer aircraft and the extra costs of conversion and operations ignored. Now it's clear they had little notion what these costs were as well.

It's fine if the whole matter rested on various capabilities of the B vs C but that's not exactly how the discussion was really framed in terms of cost. Going for the C was something that really should have decided years ago and changing this late in the game is rather problematic. One would be forgiven for thinking the whole thing is a charade to vastly cut down total buy for F-35 and cutting out one operational carrier after two were paid for.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2011, 10:27
by spazsinbad
Yep, it is all a charade until UK has some money - even then the ups and downs will be as dramatic as recent past. When carriers 'finished' with some aircraft bought then things might settle down.

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2011, 15:19
by stobiewan
SpudmanWP wrote:Is it just me (with my lack of understanding "spit the dummy") or did Sharkey make all those factual errors and flat out bad assumptions on purpose (to make a point), or does he actually think that way?


It's a howl a minute :) I loved the line "It should be noted that US$1.6 billion could be used to procure 27 F-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft to cover all the operational requirements required."

Someone should tell that to the Australians as they've just bought 24 SH for $3 billion, boy did they get ripped off...

Or " if a task force is opposed by a fighter air threat, the F-35 will have to use its air-to-air radar to detect and destroy enemy fighters and/or sea skimming missiles launched against the fleet. In such circumstances of radar usage, the aircraft’s stealth cover will be broken."

LPI radar, discuss...

This is all pants - we're converting both carriers to cat and trap, are buying at least 40 modern 5G aircraft. That's a *good* thing.

Ian

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 31 Aug 2011, 22:04
by geogen
Excellent discussion points, lb. Well summed up. Indeed, the strategic decisions should have been better calculated and adjusted by all sides of the pond years ago... instead of the tragic 'finger pointing, it wasn't me', last minute type policymaking charade.

The day there will be both career-advancement incentives (carrot) and career-accountability (stick), derived either from prudent long-range policymaking (or strategically miscalculated policy therein), there will finally be the day of more prudent, cost-effective acquisition processes.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2011, 10:18
by spazsinbad
More 'howls' from Sharkey at the URL but I'm more interested in 'facts' so to speak and this titbit is intriguing. Snippet will be posted on the F-35C 'approach speed/Optimum AoA' thread also.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Project: Part 3. Thursday, September 1, 2011

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2011/09/f- ... -part.html

“...Operations from a flat flight deck
58. The flight characteristics and landing speed of the F-35C Lightning II appear to have been designed specifically for operation from United States Navy nuclear powered strike carriers. These warships are capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. The design approach speed for the F-35C Lightning II aircraft returning on board in a typical combat configuration, with all its original weapon load, is understood to be such that in ‘still air conditions’ the carrier will need to maintain a speed of at least 32 knots through the water during deck-landing operations.

59. The Queen Elizabeth class carriers have a design top speed of 27 knots which is insufficient for recovery of the F-35C Lightning II aircraft in a combat configuration in ‘still air conditions’ or when the natural wind is ‘light and variable’. If there is any doubt that the wind may fall to less than 5 knots, planned aircraft operations might be restricted. This therefore represents an unacceptable shortfall in operational availability and an unacceptable cost in weapons that have to be ditched before attempting landing.

60. It is understood that attempts to reduce the landing speed of the aircraft by 5 knots utilising such devices as spoilers on the wing would have an unacceptably detrimental effect on the stealth qualities of the aircraft – and would increase costs significantly.

61. If this limitation proves to be correct, the F-35C will not be a sensible option for operation from our carriers. The matter requires very early clarification.

62. ‘Buddy-buddy’ Air-to-Air Refuelling Capability. As discussed in Part 1 and 2, the F-35C Lightning II is not fitted with a ‘buddy-buddy’ air-to-air refuelling system. Safe carrier deck operations rely upon the availability of this capability and should not be conducted without it. An embarked air-to-air refuelling capability is essential."

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2011, 12:44
by Maks
@ spaz.: to your stated "facts":
The USN publicly released the speed of the nuclear carriers in June 1999:
Enterprise 33.6 knots after last refit
Nimitz 31.5 knots
Theodore Roosevelt 31.3 knots
Harry S Truman 30.9 knots
"Source": http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-028.htm

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: carbon footprint

Unread postPosted: 02 Sep 2011, 13:40
by spazsinbad
People need to stop confusing me with the author of 'facts'. Thanks. Regularly I read that the CVN speeds are classified. Go to the other post and you will see that someone else says what you might be saying but I don't believe a word. We all do our best I'm sure in the circumstances. The 'facts' above are from SharkeyWard. His blog posts about the F-35 are ludicrous in some respects but I just wanted to highlight the CVF (potential AAG Advanced Arrestor Gear) carrier aspect and point out 'how could he know'. Whatever. Go here:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-30.html

stobiewan said: "Epic fact fail, the CVN's top out at 33 ish knots in the main, nowhere near 40 kts." I get it - but who knows.

As far as I'm concerned the top speed of a CVN is irrelevant. What is important for my point is what kind of advanced arrestor gear will be installed on the CVFs to take a max. landing weight F-35C at whatever carrier speed in nil wind that is deemed reasonable to achieve. I don't believe anyone knows that yet and perhaps we will know next year.

There would be other considerations tied to the parameters we know (CVF/F-35C) with unknowns (AAG) at this stage as mentioned. The Brits may invent their own arrestor gear or whatever. I hope they go back to STOVL. :twisted:
______________________

"Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG)

http://atg.ga.com/EM/defense/aag/index.php

The Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) program will retrofit and forward fit Navy aircraft carriers with an electric motor based system that will replace the current MK 7 hydraulic system for aircraft deceleration during recovery operations. AAG allows arrestment of a broader range of aircraft, reduces manning and maintenance, and provides higher reliability and safety margins. GA’s design replaces the mechanical hydraulic ram with rotary engines using simple, proven energy-absorbing water turbines coupled to a large induction motor, providing fine control of the arresting forces. ..."
______________________

N88-NTSP-A-50-0127/I | February 2002
ADVANCED ARRESTING GEAR ENGINE REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ ... i_2002.pdf

"...The AAG system consists of four units, where a unit is defined as a single recovery wire
and associated equipment. It is envisioned that the AAG deck configuration will utilize a “3 + 1”
recovery wire configuration, where a maximum of three recovery wires are rigged on three of the
units at any given time. The remaining unit may be utilized as a spare, enabling a recovery wire to
be rigged in the event one of the other units becomes unavailable...."
________________

Google: 'Advanced Arresting Gear AAG Information' for plenty of probably more up to date hits. Thanks. Here is one example:

http://apsd.cwfc.com/DefenseGov/spokes/01a_AAG.htm

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Unread postPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 11:17
by stobiewan
Well, from my point of view, AARG and EMALS would be the dream ticket for CVF - it *seems* to be the preferred option and gives us a shed load more flexibility.

Ian

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Unread postPosted: 05 Sep 2011, 22:08
by FlightDreamz
spazinbad
The Brits may invent their own arrestor gear or whatever. I hope they go back to STOVL.

I agree with you on that (still in shock they switched to the F-35B). It's not out of the question however, especially considering the Brit's first carrier is being finished as an oversized heli-carrier (oversized for helicopters anyway, not STOVL or conventional opps) because "it's cheaper than canceling it". I'm optimistic that once the F-35B works out it's problems that Britain might get back on board to fill out it's first carrier at least.

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Unread postPosted: 06 Sep 2011, 02:44
by 1st503rdsgt
I'm not concerned that the CVFs will be too slow. My concern is that the fuel consumption required to maintain speed for CATOBAR operations was not factored in to the original design, meaning reduced tactical flexibility (due to more frequent refueling) and higher operating costs.

What's the status on laying up the QE? Construction, sea-trials, commissioning, and mothballs all back to back? Britain is really streamlining the process. :lmao:

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/ind ... -comic-con

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Unread postPosted: 06 Sep 2011, 12:23
by stobiewan
1st503rdsgt wrote:I'm not concerned that the CVFs will be too slow. My concern is that the fuel consumption required to maintain speed for CATOBAR operations was not factored in to the original design, meaning reduced tactical flexibility (due to more frequent refueling) and higher operating costs.

What's the status on laying up the QE? Construction, sea-trials, commissioning, and mothballs all back to back? Britain is really streamlining the process. :lmao:

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/ind ... -comic-con


CVF was always built for CATOBAR ops from day one and the original assumptions at the core of the design was that at some stage, conversion to CATOBAR could occur. That's why space was reserved for either steam generators or additional GT's to provide electrical power for catapults. CATOBAR is not some new requirement that appeared from nowhere. The option was always there to be exercised either a decade or two in the future for other aircraft or from launch if Dave-B was cancelled or failed to meet requirements.


Where the surprise came is the coalition announced that this would be happening prior to commissioning, so late in the build cycle. I firmly believe that at least some of this was just to move the costs associated with fitout and commissioning out of the life of the current parliament (as was the Trident replacement)

QE will be completed with ski jump etc as it's apparently too late to change her construction to an angle deck - and as she's sitting right where the POW needs to be to be built, the quickest way to get to that is to float out the QE, and get that space free for the POW, which is assumed to be good to go with cats and arresting gear from day one.

It's not a case of it being too expensive to cancel her, it's just too late in her build cycle to match the change in requirements.

There's strong talk of both carriers being fully fitted out in time, to be revisited in 2015.

Hang in there, we'll get it sorted. It's not like we started designing and constructing a whole class of ships before defining requirements, like, say, DDG-1000. Or LCS...

Ian

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Unread postPosted: 07 Sep 2011, 01:11
by 1st503rdsgt
stobiewan wrote: Hang in there, we'll get it sorted. It's not like we started designing and constructing a whole class of ships before defining requirements, like, say, DDG-1000. Or LCS... Ian


Ouch! Burrrrrned! I hate those ships too, especially the LCS which has all the organic offensive/defensive weaponry that could be bolted onto a yacht, should have designed a new frigate instead.

:ontopic:
As for C vs. B, the C was never intended to be operated as a stand-alone fighter, especially without tanker support. Watch the PBS documentary "Carrier" to get an idea of why. In one of the last episodes, the skipper gets into a high sea-state on the way home and decides to run some pitching deck drills for the aircrews. After months in the glassy Persian Gulf, the pilots have so much trouble that a tanker has to be launched to keep everyone from ditching. It's not that the pilots were incompetent, these things just happen in CATOBAR operations, and if the UK wants to avoid needlessly putting fighters in the drink, they will have to spend money on either a separate tanker aircraft or turning a few F-35Cs into tankers themselves.

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Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 11:40
by stobiewan
The subject has already been raised in questions in Parliament and I suspect the only economical solution is buddy tanking kit - the F35 carries quite a bit of fuel internally so with external tanks and transfer kit, it should be quite useful in that role.

The extra cost of this plus the cats, traps and conversion of the carriers themselves to angle deck does kind of make a mockery of the whole cost benefits declared regarding moving from STOVL to CATOBAR mind :)

Ian

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Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 11:57
by lb
One might be forgiven for suspecting that the "savings" were merely due to lowered numbers of C's vs the original number of B's. Starting a study now of how much it will cost to refit for CATOBAR clearly indicates the real costs were never properly factored in.

Moreover, now there's no reason not operate the E-2 as well or is the RN going to operate a CATOBAR carrier with some helo carrying the latest Searchwater radar? One would be forgiven for thinking this hasn't been factored in either.

The costs for the UK to develop a buddy capability in the F-35C will be considerable. The C offers more capability but the argument that it was also a cost savings in some manner was mendacious.

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Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 12:42
by spazsinbad
Interesting various points raised about conventional carrier ops with the F-35C. However there are mitigating circumstances. As described by many pilots especially those testing the X-35C during some 250 FCLP landings, the C was very controllable in all kinds of difficult approach test situations (albeit to a stable runway). The F-35 will have amazing precision landing ability with JPALS. It may be very uncomfortable ride for a '6 Degrees of Motion' carrier landing but it will get the aircraft onboard. Probably too much is being made of the 'buddy fuelling requirement' by the UK but I'll go with it if only to get the F-35B chosen instead. :-)

Yes the decision to change from B-to C appears entirely political to somehow save money at the time, without knowing the consequences. Nothing new in that political process practice at all. There is time to get it all sorted and let us hope it is - whatever the outcome. Perhaps the USN will pitch in for 'buddy refuel' development costs but of course they have their own budget worries. Perhaps the USMC will pitch in with the excuse that their tranche of F-35Cs need that support? I dunno. UK politicians eh. Ya just gotta laugh.

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Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 12:58
by shep1978
lb wrote:Moreover, now there's no reason not operate the E-2 as well or is the RN going to operate a CATOBAR carrier with some helo carrying the latest Searchwater radar? One would be forgiven for thinking this hasn't been factored in either.



E-2 Hawkeye = By far the better capibility.
Searchwater mounted on a helo = Jobs for UK workers.

Which one do you think we'll go for...

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Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 16:55
by stobiewan
Searchwater won't generated any jobs so much - you might get a bit of work to palletise the SK kit into something that fits into a Merlin but they'd re-use the existing sets - that's the cheapest option by far, although it's not the best one. Cheapest for E2 would be to obtain some surplus E2-C's and stand up a shared capability with the French for maintenance, crewing and pilot conversion etc.

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Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 22:09
by spazsinbad
A nearby LIGHTNING Strike during a storm here took out my insightful comment about this excerpt so I'll leave this ironic comment as comment on my original missing comment. Don't get much better than that.... And don't put off until tomorrow what you can put off today in the UK neverneverland eh. :D

U.K. F-35 Work Expected To Remain Stable Sep 8, 2011 By Robert Wall

"...One of the issues for the U.K. remains how many fighters it will buy. The total procurement objective has not been defined since the government signaled in last year’s Strategic Defense and Security Review that it was backing off plans to buy 133 of the aircraft. Current plans call for only one deployable squadron, plus the necessary training and attrition reserve assets.

Fielding plans also are not fully spelled out yet, with the government saying it does not have an in-service date set and merely is committing to being able to deploy the aircraft on a future aircraft carrier in 2020."

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Unread postPosted: 08 Sep 2011, 23:41
by 1st503rdsgt
stobiewan wrote:The subject has already been raised in questions in Parliament and I suspect the only economical solution is buddy tanking kit - the F35 carries quite a bit of fuel internally so with external tanks and transfer kit, it should be quite useful in that role. Ian


I don't doubt that the F-35C will make a functional tanker, but remember, each one kitted up for buddy refueling will mean one less LO TACAIR fighter available for the high threat environment. Given that so few are to be purchased, it might be a better idea to look into other options.

Spaz: Given that the F-35C is shackled to the requirements of the USMC and the USAF, I have little faith that its landing characteristics will be significantly better than the Hornet. Besides, $hit happens in CATOBAR ops, and the F-35C is just as susceptible to circumstances as any other naval aircraft. The UK WILL need a tanker of some kind if it goes this route

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Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2011, 00:47
by spazsinbad
1st503rdsgt said: "Spaz: Given that the F-35C is shackled to the requirements of the USMC and the USAF, I have little faith that its landing characteristics will be significantly better than the Hornet. Besides, $hit happens in CATOBAR ops, and the F-35C is just as susceptible to circumstances as any other naval aircraft. The UK WILL need a tanker of some kind if it goes this route."

I'm not disagreeing with F-35C ops tanker requirement for any carrier operator of same. However I disagree with your statement about Hornet comparison. Just exactly what do you mean by what you have said?

These statements by F-35C pilots have been on several threads on this forum but gathered here for your reading delectation:

Pilot comments from PDF about X-35C FCLP testing:
Model-Based Development of X-35 Flight Control Software Greg Walker 2 May 2002
http://sstc-online.org/proceedings/2002 ... /p1417.pdf

"“IDLC Performance was Excellent.”(Throttle Bodes [probably typo for 'Modes')

“Crosswind Landing was Easily Controlled.”

“Airplane is Solid Through The Pattern. AOA Control is Solid. Good Control of Glideslope.”(Manual FCLPs)

“Use of APC Reduced Workload Significantly Throughout the Pattern.”
___________________________

Naval joint strike fighter: A glimpse into the future of naval aviation by Weatherspoon, Steve | Mid 2002

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_q ... _n9086493/

"...Up and away combat maneuverability and speed are in the F/A-18 and F-16 class. The Navy JSF corner speed is near 300 kts and top end speed is over 1.6 M at altitude. As noted earlier, the major deviation from commonality in the whole JSF family are design features for carrier suitability. The larger wing enables an approach speed of less than 140 knots with nearly 9,000 lbs of bringback. Just as importantly, the addition of ailerons, larger horizontal tails and rudders, and an innovative integrated direct lift control (IDLC) assure precise ball flying. The designers recognized early on that a relatively slick (due to stealth) configuration combined with a powerful, high rotational mass engine, could cause glide slope control problems. By integrating direct lift control (using drooped ailerons) with the throttle, the pilot is able to make near instantaneous glide slope corrections, using throttle only to precisely fly the ball. Full autothrottle and Mode I capabilities are also available. Outstanding results were demonstrated in 250 field carrier landing practice (FCLP) landings with contractor and Navy pilots in the X-35C Navy JSF test aircraft in the winter of 2001....”
AUTHOR:
“Steve Weatherspoon, Manager of Navy Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Business Development for the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company JSF Team, is a 1972 graduate of the Naval Academy. He received his MS in Engineering from Princeton in 1973, graduated from the USAF Test Pilot School in 1979, and completed the senior course of study at the Naval War College in 1990. In a 20 year Navy career he logged more than 3,500 F-14 hours and over 900 carrier landings. He completed three operational tours with F14 squadrons, culminating with command of VF-143 aboard USS Eisenhower. As a test pilot, Mr. Weatherspoon performed Navy RDT&E flight testing at the Pacific MissileTest Center This included F-14 software development testing as well as development testing of AIM-9M, AIM- 7M, AMRAAM and AIM-54C missile programs. Joining Lockheed Martin in 1992, he was responsible for a carrier suitable design for the Navy's AFX Program. He has been associated with the JAST/JSF Program since its inception in 1994, leading Innovative Strike Concepts studies, proposals, technology assessments, testing programs, and assuring JSF design carrier suitability.”
_____________________________

“...From October 2000 through August 2001, the JSF X-35 demonstrator aircraft established a number of flight-test standards. X-35C CV- demonstrated a high level of carrier suitability with 252 field carrier landing practice (FCLP) tests, extremely precise handling qualities, and prodigious power availability; first X-plane in history to complete a coast-to-coast flight (Edwards Air Force Base, California, to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland).

This variant of the Lockheed Martin JSF family first flew on 16 December 2000. Afterwards, the F-35C began a series of envelope-expansion flights & on 25 January 2001, the F-35C completed tanker qualification trials with a series of air-to-air refuelings behind an U.S. Air Force KC-10. The F-35C then completed its first supersonic flight on 31 January 2001 before being ferried from Edwards AFB, California to Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Maryland.

The X-35C touched down at Patuxent River NAS on 10 February 2001, completing the first-ever transcontinental flight of a JSF demonstrator aircraft and initiating a series of flight tests that demonstrated carrier suitability in sea-level conditions. The F-35C's flight-test program included a series of Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) tests to evaluate the aircraft's handling qualities and performance during carrier approaches and landings at an airfield, & also included up-and-away handling-quality tests and engine transients at varying speeds and altitudes....” http://sites.google.com/site/leesaircraft/f-35c-cv
______________________________

Lockheed Martin's Navy JSF Completes Historic Flight-Test Program PATUXENT RIVER, Md., 2001 March 12 /PRNewswire/

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Lockheed+ ... a071562471

"I could tell from the first flight that the X-35C was going to be representative of a very good carrier plane. When we began aggressive FCLPs (field carrier landing practices) the aircraft really showed off its superb responsiveness and controllability," said test pilot Joe Sweeney, a former U.S. Navy carrier pilot. "We deliberately forced errors in the glide slope, speed and line-up, challenging the plane's ability to respond, and it performed exceedingly well. I can't say enough about this engineering and flight test team."

During an FCLP FCLP Field Carrier Landing Practice the pilot shoots an approach exactly as he would on an aircraft carrier. The X-35C, which features a larger wing and control surfaces than the other JSF variants, completed 250 FCLPs during testing.

"We put the airplane through a battery of practice carrier approaches in a very short time. The airplane's performance was outstanding," said Lt. Cmdr. Greg Fenton, a U.S. Navy test pilot assigned to the X-35. "Several of Strike's Landing Signal Officers (LSOs) got an opportunity to observe the airplane 'on the ball', and were quite impressed with its ability to handle intentional deviations during the practice carrier landings."
____________________

X-35C FCLP graphic is from first URL in this post: http://sstc-online.org/proceedings/2002 ... /p1417.pdf

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Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2011, 01:10
by spazsinbad

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Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2011, 05:42
by 1st503rdsgt
Ok Spaz, you've made your point and convinced me that the F-35C MIGHT be slightly easier to land on a carrier deck than the Hornet. That still doesn't change the fact that CATOBAR ops are extremely challenging and more capital intensive when compared to running a STOVL carrier, and frankly, I question Britain's political commitment to pull this off. I thought the idea was to have two carriers in order to ensure that at least one would be combat ready at all times. The switch from B to C models of the F-35 has ensured that the first ship will be thoroughly useless by 60,000 ton standards until modifications (adding about another 1/3 to the ship's total cost) are completed. So far, I haven't heard of any real plan or timetable to accomplish this, and my guess is that the thing will be left to rot dockside after a few patrols as an overpriced helicopter barge for propriety's sake. Oh well, maybe Australia or Japan will buy the ship and put it to proper use with F-35Bs.

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Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2011, 09:22
by spazsinbad
1st503rdsgt we are in agreement about the Brits going back to STOVL but perhaps we have differences about the F-35C conventional carrier landing issues. The F-35C is going to be a lot easier to deck land day/night - not just 'slightly easier' as you put it. As you know from your PBS 'Carrier' TV series watching, day deck landings (pilots say) are mostly easy and a lot of fun. Sure the TV show made drama often where there was none and for sure the day the long rolling Pacific swells were evident - (s)well that can make deck landings difficult at any time. BUT it was the night time that was scary (at any time) for all. Even the veterans are careful about any night time ops and to see the CO take over the junior pilot duties at night, in those conditions, is what senior pilots are for. Newbies cannot learn if they die in an environment IF they do not have the experiece to cope with it.

After that long winded sentence I get to my point. As seen on this thread:

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... ght#202528
{SCROLL DOWN} for

"So now night landings on carriers are fully enabled. We show this stuff to Navy pilots and they’re just awestruck that they can even see the horizon, let alone the boat out there and the wake." An HUGE difference - believe you me. :D

The 'night vision view' is revolutionary for F-35C night time carrier ops. I would have to hold your hand to take you out to sea on a typical black moonless night without any visible horizon to carrier deck land. As many pilots state quite unashamedly 'it is no joke'. Here is a link to a recent onesuch: http://hamptonroads.com/2008/09/one-tin ... g-case-olf Sadly this link does not now work. I'll attempt to recover the .FLV video to attach here. Here is a precis: "Hornet Pilot Talks about Night Carrier Landings ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT Sep 2008" (it may be findable elsewhere on the interscrabble). 8Mb .WMV video now attached.

An aside for a giggle:
Landing on a carrier in a sand storm: “Persian Gulf in 2003”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvMqMIG81gw

EO/DAS trickery screenshot below

Image

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Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2011, 18:43
by stereospace
Night Carrier Approach and Landing:

http://youtu.be/vZQ9pS1b4R4

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Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2011, 22:07
by spazsinbad
Thanks stereospace. Excellent example of a night carrier landing video. Now imagine same same with the EO/DAS view as seen above in the F-35C. PHEW! Much more better. OK? :D

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Unread postPosted: 09 Sep 2011, 22:33
by spazsinbad
T-45C Goshawk Catapult and Arrest Video from HelmetCam - daytime:

Lap Around The Boat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw4dZ2bJnGI
_______________

VFA-195 "Pitching deck"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hw0Hks3 ... re=related

"aded by paraaviator on Feb 5, 2008
The USS Kittyhawk pitching greatly."

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Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 00:38
by popcorn
stereospace wrote:Night Carrier Approach and Landing:

http://youtu.be/vZQ9pS1b4R4

Riveting video. Now throw in rough seas and rain. Is that considered a "blacked out" carrier or would there even be any light visible in an actual combat scenario?

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Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 00:57
by spazsinbad
popcorn, perhaps you missed this 'terrifying day ride video' above?:

Landing on a carrier in a sand storm: “Persian Gulf in 2003”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvMqMIG81gw

popcorn, a night carrier landing is difficult enough without throwing in 'rough seas and rain'. There is an automatic landing option remember but seldom used because pilots like to do manual landings from at least the last quarter mile and I'm told that 'fully auto landings' are very rough to experience but often the last resort for a very tired pilot after a long multi-hour night mission. These fully auto landings are not counted as 'deck landings' AFAIK.

I think the night approach mentions the 'red light' on deck for the deck crew and taxiing pilot to see stuff (and not destroy their 'night vision' which will take about half an hour to come back if they go below to 'white light' so at least one deck below is also 'red lit' only). Otherwise 'moonlighting' is used to some extent which may or may not affect deck crew (I have not been on an USN carrier at night only the RAN's HMAS Melbourne).

The carrier has brightish navigation lights which are dimmed somewhat for night carrier ops. Combat scenarios could be anything but remember the deck crew need to see stuff and the carrier escorts probably need to see dim lights in 'no emission' scenarios.

For my purposes to illustrate the ease of night carrier landings - Hornet compared to Lightning II - it is the 'night vision' possible for F-35C via EO/DAS. Having a horizon and being able to see the ship is amazingly revolutionary at night as one can see from the otherwise 'completely black' videos. From about 3/4 of a mile one can see the deck edge lighting and the drop centreline lights.

[I'm told/read that today the USN pilots can see IFLOLS easily from closer than 1.5NM with the LRLS Long Range Lineup System making visual approaches at night (via an instrument approach - not via a day visual circuit) a lot easier.

Many years ago (1971-2) I did A4G Skyhawk night approaches via a CCA (GCA for carriers - Ground/Carrier Control Radar). There was no other landing aid except LSO and the CCA controller perhaps giving a few extra radio calls as need be from his usual cutoff point at 1NM at 1,000 feet or below descending 'on glidepath on centreline - look ahead and call the ball'. Yeah right. :D

All that could be seen was the extremely bright mirror lights with no definition possible at that distance and no centreline at all. Keeping one's nerve (with extra CCA radio call probably) continuing on to 3/4 of a NM or less one could then differentiate the 'meatball in the mirror with datum lights' and then discern the centreline. It is very difficult to remain on centreline without the horizon visible. The deck is moving away to the right constantly due to angle deck, so the approaching aircraft has to 'nibble' to the right constantly to stay on centreline.

I'll stress again: having that EO/DAS night view is so helpful it cannot be praised enough IMHO. :D

I'll add a GEOGENism 'Godspeed the F-35C night vision thing' HMDS development. :-)

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Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 01:45
by stereospace
spazsinbad wrote:Thanks stereospace. Excellent example of a night carrier landing video. Now imagine same same with the EO/DAS view as seen above in the F-35C. PHEW! Much more better. OK? :D


No problem. Thanks for all the informative and fascinating posts and replies you put up!

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Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 01:54
by spazsinbad
'stereospace' Thanks. No worries. There is a lot about naval aviation (not only of the A4G era - but USN up to today) at the second and third URLs in my sig. The first URL 'a4ghistory.com' is probably dead - has been dead for over one month now with no replies from host about future situation.

Because the main free download website is down I will work on adding more PDFs to this SkyDrive site:

http://alturl.com/4a4ko
SameSame
https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=cbcd63d6 ... 07E6%21116

Look in the 'My Documents' folder in a day or two for at least one or more 'Carrier Approach Details' PDFs (because file size limited to 100Mbs this can be tricky to excerpt material from a 4.4GB PDF otherwise found on this SkyDrive site).
__________

I guess my 'sig' should be updated to include this URL for A4G stuff including a Video DVD here:

http://www.adf-history.com/adf/?cat=7
&
http://www.adf-history.com/adf/?page_id=10
______________

Another 'bits & pieces' website: http://www.gamefront.com/files/user/SpazSinbad

My Favourite video 38Mb of A4G day deck ops:

http://www.gamefront.com/files/17362545 ... Q_TOOL_wmv

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 01:58
by stereospace
Did somebody say rough seas? PBS: Carrier - Landing on a Pitching Deck Pt. 1

http://youtu.be/4gGMI8d3vLs

Part 2 will be right there. That's the scary one.

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 02:00
by spazsinbad
SADLY PBS videos unviewable in Oz and probably elsewhere other than USofA (however I have the DVDs).

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 02:24
by stereospace
I got the impression that the guy piloting that last tanker down was, in the estimation of his crew mates, the best pilot aboard. There was no one left to back him up, he either got in or died trying. He landed on his first attempt.

Nothing like a combination of skill and experience to carry the day.

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 02:28
by spazsinbad
Not being able to see the videos mentioned - although having seen the CARRIER PBS series some time ago now on DVD - I recall as mentioned earlier that the CO of the squadron took the sortie at night in difficult conditions from the new pilot - which is a good thing. Is this the segment of which you speak?

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 02:32
by stereospace
spazsinbad wrote:SADLY PBS videos unviewable in Oz and probably elsewhere other than USofA (however I have the DVDs).


What do you mean unviewable? Are they blocked on youtube or what?

Maybe the problem is that when a video is posted above the equator in North America, and then it's viewed below the equator, in Oz, the signal is upside down and no longer works. Just speculating. :roll:

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 02:34
by spazsinbad
Probably. I'll post a screenshot of what I see...

Anyway here is a Utubby Fav. I think the AC/DC soundtrack has been changed though (can't tell now) but at least it shows the deck moving onboard HMAS Melbourne. A4G Super8 film taken late 1970s by Bob Stumpf USN (exchange) who went on to be CO Hornet Blue Angels later.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=ben ... O0vgV1h7r4

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 02:36
by stereospace
spazsinbad wrote:Not being able to see the videos mentioned - although having seen the CARRIER PBS series some time ago now on DVD - I recall as mentioned earlier that the CO of the squadron took the sortie at night in difficult conditions from the new pilot - which is a good thing. Is this the segment of which you speak?


That's the one. Good memory. :shock:

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 03:08
by stereospace
spazsinbad wrote:Probably. I'll post a screenshot of what I see...

Anyway here is a Utubby Fav. I think the AC/DC soundtrack has been changed though (can't tell now) but at least it shows the deck moving onboard HMAS Melbourne. A4G Super8 film taken late 1970s by Bob Stumpf USN (exchange) who went on to be CO Hornet Blue Angels later.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=ben ... O0vgV1h7r4


Wow. That's crazy.

Do I understand you flew the A4 off of carriers?

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 03:22
by spazsinbad
The Royal Australian Navy had at one time almost 3 aircraft carriers (HMS/HMAS Vengeance being on on loan from RN/UK whilst HMAS Melbourne was finished). Two were straight deck (Vengeance & HMAS Sydney which served in Korean War with Sea Furies and Fireflies). MELBOURNE was the first carrier complete with angle deck, mirror & steam catapult combination. Other carriers were usually modified after launch at some point. MELBOURNE's first aircraft in 1957 were Sea Venoms and Gannet ASW. These were replaced by A4Gs/S-2E then Gs in 1969 being their first cruise. My carrier time was around mid 1971 to mid 1971 with VF-805 using A4Gs as 'Fleet Defender' "poor man fighter" as the USN had done a few years earlier with CVS carriers but all that changed for them because of Vietnam War. My RAN time was beginning of 1966 to mid 1975 only.

My only carrier time was in that year. Otherwise I was in the Navy [first year not in the FAA] but learnt to fly with the RAAF Basic and Advanced (on Vampires) which were also in the RAN Fleet Air Arm as training aircraft and briefly in my time the Sea Venoms (1969-70) were only training aircraft. Story in the many variations of PDFs online (along with many more RAN FAA aircraft including all the Skyhawks - if only in brief).

IF you think daytime ops were something then night time was something else again with thankfully not the same amount of night flying onboard but we had to remain current if qualified. We did not have the same requirement to do night flying as the older Sea Venoms; which were F.A.W. Fighter All Weather, with an Observer in the RH seat using the onboard radar to guide the pilot to a close firing solution in any circumstances (initially guided at long range by ship radar).

HMAS Melbourne stopped ops in c.1982 subsequently being sold to China for scrap. The ten remaining A4Gs (out of original 2 batches of 10 each) were sold to New Zealand RNZAF to add to their A-4K fleet in mid-1984. Now the RAN FAA (or whatever it is called today) has helicopters only. However 2 LHDs are being built to be in service around 2014-5.

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 04:07
by stereospace
"Now the RAN FAA (or whatever it is called today) has helicopters only. However 2 LHDs are being built to be in service around 2014-5."

Then maybe Australia should order some Bees to fly off the LHDs! Say, an 80/20 split of CTOL and STOVL? What'd'ya think?

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 04:16
by spazsinbad
stereospace, we are starting to cover old topics now. There are a few threads about this issue:

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... lhd#199631

Search the forum for 'LHD' for a few more hits & misses....

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... lhd#199611
__________________

Which reminds me David Axe has a good article not mentioned so far:

America's Third Air Force: Future of the Marines By David Axe : June 17, 2011

http://defense.aol.com/2011/06/17/ameri ... e-marines/

"...When she arrived off the North African coast, Kearsarge functioned as an aircraft carrier, albeit a much smaller one than the Nimitz- and Enterprise-class supercarriers. Her four Harriers -- carrying camera pods, precision-guided bombs and air-to-air missiles -- flew some of the first aerial missions of the now two-month-old intervention. They comprised, in essence, a self-sufficient, miniature naval air force. Those capabilities might pale when compared to a super carrier's 50 fixed-wing warplanes, but they were there when they needed to be and they worked.

Kearsarge had departed her homeport of Norfolk, Virginia, as an amphibious assault ship; she returned in May as a de facto light aircraft carrier -- and a vision of the U.S. Marine Corps of the future."

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 04:19
by 1st503rdsgt
stereospace wrote:"Now the RAN FAA (or whatever it is called today) has helicopters only. However 2 LHDs are being built to be in service around 2014-5."

Then maybe Australia should order some Bees to fly off the LHDs! Say, an 80/20 split of CTOL and STOVL? What'd'ya think?


We've already beat that horse to death on Spaz's other thread.

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 04:59
by spazsinbad
Story about USN VSF Squadrons (HMAS Melbourne at beginning of A4G era was considered an ASW Carrier with Trackers and Wessex then Sea King ASW assets):

http://www.ebdir.net/vsf1/boom_powell_part_1.html

A4Gs were tasked with everything it could do with 4 X AIM-9Bs and whatever else available but also go out to attack a 'surfaced' sub also (already attacked/damaged by ASW assets) for example.

Unread postPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 23:45
by spazsinbad
How I can imagine what the HMDS F-35C 'NIGHT' Carrier Landing View might look like (of course this is day time view through a Hornet HUD). So use your own imagination. The 'actual' video shows carrier landing starting during base turn onto final - this is not likely to be allowed at night - but it just may be possible with HMDS EO/DAS - early days. Likely all night approaches will be via at least a long straight in... (which is useful today because of lack of horizon, keeping the wings level on a long straightaway really helps make the transition to the ball when possible to fly the last 3/4 to 1/4 NM to arrest).

F18 carrier landing {Imagine you are looking through HMDS instead - at night}

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVSyKEx0 ... r_embedded

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 00:54
by stereospace
Ran into this enjoyable little video and article at AOL Defense. It's from July, so apologies if it's been posted before.

A Trip To PAX:

http://defense.aol.com/2011/07/29/f-35b ... d=related1

(Looked like a fun day!)

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 01:14
by spazsinbad
Here ya go (search is a good way to find stuff that may have been posted earlier):

F-35B Decision Data Ready Next Summer; First Look at Plane in Flight
http://defense.aol.com/2011/07/29/f-35b ... ss-gets-f/
By Colin Clark Published: July 29, 2011
@
http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... ion#201677

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 12:12
by spazsinbad
Read the PDF to see how the current night vision degradation will be fixed...

New Sensor Aims to Give F-35 Pilots a ‘Window Into the Night’ August 2011 By Grace V. Jean

http://www.vsi-hmcs.com/files/VSI%20Nat ... ug2011.pdf

“F-35 fighter pilots will wear a helmet that allows them to peer into the darkness with ease — but only if a new digital sensor proves itself as capable as or better than existing night vision technology....

...“It really is a window into the night,”...

...The helmet-mounted display also incorporates night vision. But that part of the system is falling short of the program’s 20/20 resolution expectations, officials said.

When an F-35 pilot needs to land on the deck of an aircraft carrier or an amphibious ship at night, for example, there are certain functions he has to be able to perform in order to accomplish the lights-out touchdown safely.

“The challenge is making sure we provide that acuity, that sensitivity for him to be able to see in the dark,”
said Casey Contini, director of F-35 electro-optics and helmet systems at Lockheed Martin Corp., the prime contractor for the program.

The fighter’s main night vision capability originally was to be derived from the network of aircraft-mounted sensors called the distributed aperture system, or DAS. The six mid-wave infrared sensors would capture the exterior world in a 360-degree video that would be processed then piped into the helmet. But recent analysis has determined that the clarity of the resulting footage is less than what fighter pilots are accustomed to seeing with their current night vision goggles, said Brugal.

Experts attribute the degraded quality to the limited number of DAS sensors employed to cover the large fields of view necessary for a spherical representation of the airspace.

“If you take a sensor with a fixed number of pixels and you make the field of view too big, then that’s the same effect as having poor eyesight,” explained Bill Maffucci, managing director of Intevac Inc., which manufactures the night imaging sensor that has been embedded in the F-35 helmet. The camera’s primary function is to record missions for evaluation and to augment the head tracker. But it also serves as the F-35’s back-up night vision sensor. Officials have turned to it as a solution for the night acuity problem....”
______________

Earlier PDF outlining night vision problems.

Helmet Display Issues Challenge F-35 Night Vision Feb 17 , 2011 p. 07 Graham Warwick

http://www.vsi-hmcs.com/images/F35/VSI% ... eb2011.pdf
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As a matter of convenience - go here for more info PDF/articles re this issue:

http://www.vsi-hmcs.com/index.php/f-35/f-35-in-the-news

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 12:45
by spazsinbad
Some old HMDS info relevant to night vision & night carrier landings (if all goes well in development of same)

HELM

http://www.f35netherlands.nl/f-35-technische-data/helm/

"...The F-35 helmet provides pilots a unique ability to see through their aircraft. Even though the helmet doesn’t come equipped with x-ray vision, the HMD correlates images from a set of cameras, called the distributed aperture system, mounted on the outer surfaces of the jet. These cameras provide a constant 360-degree view of the aircraft’s surroundings. When a pilot looks down, the image of what is below the aircraft shows up on the HMD. This feature is helpful not only in combat, but also during carrier and vertical night landings with the Navy and Marine variants, respectively.

Through a night vision camera built into the front of the helmet, the F-35 HMD visor can also display flight and targeting information on top of night vision images. “No helmet provided the combination of night vision and symbology at the same time until now,” explains Beesley. “With legacy systems, pilots have to choose between the two capabilities.” This combination is a huge advantage for F-35 pilots because all night vision devices limit peripheral vision. The symbols help pilots interpret more of their environment than night vision capability alone.

For the display to correlate with what direction the pilot is looking, a magnetic field in the cockpit senses the direction the helmet is pointing. A transmitter on the seat emits the field while a receiver on the helmet reads the magnetic flux as it moves in that field. “Most HMD systems require pilots to go through an alignment process before each flight,” explains Beesley. “They may have to realign the system several times during a flight because the systems can drift. This magnetic tracking system makes all the corrections itself, so that we pilots never have to adjust the alignment.”

Additionally, the night vision camera and a day camera right next to it ensure that the images and symbology correctly represent the direction the pilot is looking. “The helmet cameras look out at all times, take a picture of the outside scene, and relate that image to other images from the fixed camera on the glareshield to make sure the line of sight is correct,” says Perkins. “If the two images are even a little bit off, the system self-corrects....”

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 13:30
by spazsinbad
Futuristic fighter jet said to be game-changer August 16, 2011 By David Cenciotti

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/ ... 3104.shtml

“...Easier to fly than ever before
Some years ago, under the supervision of a Lockheed Martin test pilot, I had the opportunity to fly, hover and vertically land a F-35B jet in a military flight simulator. I was surprised to discover that the controls of the so-called Cockpit Demonstrator were not as alien or difficult to navigate as I expected. There was a big panoramic touch screen that can be configured at will by tapping the screen with fingers, like a tablet or a smartphone....

...All of this sensor information is sent to the pilot's helmet-mounted display system (HMDS), which combines it with images coming from a set of cameras mounted on the jet's outer surfaces. As a result, it seemed as if I had X-ray vision: I could see in all directions, and through any surface, and all the information I needed to fly the plane and to cue weapons was projected onto my visor.

"The helmet connects the pilot to the airplane," explained Jon Beesley, a former F-35 chief test pilot. "We've taken pieces that are essential for combat operations, such as targeting information, crucial flight measurements, and night vision capability, and merged them into the helmet to give the pilots more complete situational awareness."

Features like the helmet-mounted display system made a difficult maneuver like a vertical landing at night relatively easy. With the Joint Strike Fighter, transitioning from conventional flight to the hovering is done via a switch. The aircraft autonomously directs the engine nozzles and reduces the speed to the predefined value. Once in vertical mode, the aircraft is extremely simple to fly: if you move the stick forward or backward the aircraft climbs or descends; with the rudder, you can point the aircraft nose wherever you want.

Even a novice can fly and land an F-35 with some precision and without major problems. Just like in a flight simulator game....”

Unread postPosted: 11 Sep 2011, 23:25
by spazsinbad
Good although 1 year old article about HMDS GenII here:

Avionics Magazine July 2010 pp. 20-23

http://issuu.com/71003/docs/avionics-201007

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2011, 01:04
by spazsinbad
Interesting? EBAPS info mentioned above:

EBAPS®: Next Generation, Low Power, Digital Night Vision1 2005

http://www.intevac.com/files/EBAPS.pdf (2,8Mb)

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2011, 05:46
by spazsinbad
Good Hornet Night Carrier Approach Video Snippet from Pilot Perspective (over shoulder - not HUD).

Unread postPosted: 12 Sep 2011, 23:22
by spazsinbad
WELL, Well, well... 'Allo, Allo, Allo... Even before whatever review was being carried out to decide 'cats/traps' stuff for CVF due next year we have this news - must be next year now I guess? I dunno. UK just make up stuff as they go (see thread title).

UK carrier to receive second EMALS production shipset, Fox confirms By Peter Felstead 9/12/2011

{One has to be a subscriber to see more - and I ain't - so once again - I dunno nuffink. One might ask what is a shipset? 4 individual EMALS sets for 1 CVN? However text as seen says "POW & THE British carrier" thus implying only enough for 1 CVF wot is probably only 2 EMALS if previous predictions about number of CVF catapults is realised - details, details.}

http://www.janes.com/products/janes/def ... 1065930314

"The second production shipset of the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) being developed by General Atomics for the US Navy's upcoming Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carriers will be fitted to Prince of Wales, the British Queen Elizabeth (QE)-class carrier that will be configured for the F-35C carrier variant (CV) Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the UK Defence Secretary has confirmed.

Speaking to Jane's in the run-up to the Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi) exhibition, held in London from 13-16 September, Dr Liam Fox said: "We now have a slot for the EMALS catapult system being fitted. It will be fitted first of all to the Gerald R Ford , then the next slot will be for the British carrier and the next slot will be for the American John F Kennedy carrier. So we've got that confirmed from the Americans now; the Americans have successfully tested it."

The US Navy first used EMALS to launch a manned aircraft, an F/A-18E Super Hornet strike fighter, on 18 December 2010 at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) EMALS trials facility at Lakehurst, New Jersey."

Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2011, 01:10
by spazsinbad
Should start an 'F-35C Night Carrier Landing' thread I suppose but anyway...

http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... ations.pdf
OR
The Distributed Aperture System:
http://www.sldinfo.com/?p=12819
&
http://www.sldinfo.com/?p=10198

"Second Line of Defense [SLD] talked with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ Mark Rossi about the Distributed Aperture System (DAS) on the F-35, which together with the helmet provides 360-degree situational awareness for the F-35 pilot. Mark has served as the Director of the AN/AAQ-37 Electro-Optical Distributed Aperture System (EO DAS) for the F-35 platform, having management responsibility for the product development and production of the EO DAS hardware and software....

...Rossi: The biggest problem facing DAS is the fact that it is a complete unknown to most people. But as they become more familiar with its value, they will realize just how revolutionary this system will be for the warfighter. DAS changes the game....

...The capability DAS brings to the fight, however, is new and will significantly change the way the game is played. The services have never experienced anything like the unprecedented capability provided by DAS. While pilots who have witnessed demonstrations of our capability are typically wowed by our imagery and performance metrics, few have any real idea of the magnitude of the capability they are actually receiving with the DAS system.

The key discriminator that DAS brings to JSF is full, 360-degree spherical situational awareness.

We create this bubble around the airplane where we see everything of interest, all the time, simultaneously. Spherical situational awareness will significantly change the game.

SLD: Is this a man-machine interface we’re talking about?
Rossi: Yes, but we make it easy for him. From a situational awareness point of view, the pilot does absolutely nothing. We are monitoring the world around him all the time and then differentiating and reporting things that occur in that global scene that are important to the pilot. It’s only when we determine that something important has occurred that he’ll even know anything’s going on — except, of course, for day/night imagery that is presented to him continually on his Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD) and on his panoramic cockpit display....

...SLD: How does the new helmet for the F-35 interact with the DAS?
Rossi: The DAS provides a 360-degree NavFLIR (Navigation Forward Looking Infrared) capability that is projected on the helmet display. FLIR is an archaic term because FLIR stands for forward looking infrared. We’re not forward looking; we’re everywhere looking. But it’s a term that people are familiar with so we stick with it. So if you think about it, all the information is already being collected as part of the situational awareness and missile warning modes. We simply determine the line of sight of the pilot based on his head position and process the raw image data for enhanced display on the HMD. He can basically see anywhere he turns his head — even if he is looking right through the floor of the plane because we see everything in 360-degree spherical space!

We also provide a separate video feed to the Panoramic Cockpit Display that displays a pilot-selected line of sight, at his discretion. All of this functionality replaces bulky night vision goggles that are significantly challenged in urban lighting situations. When we have demonstrated our NavFLIR capability to Navy pilots, they tend to be awestruck at the possibility of even seeing the horizon clearly, let alone seeing the carrier and its wake.

DAS is going to revolutionize night landings on aircraft carriers
...."

http://attach.high-g.net/attachments/da ... ef_287.jpg

Image

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Unread postPosted: 16 Sep 2011, 03:34
by spazsinbad
oops - post deleted (JPALS USAF) too many windows open....

Unread postPosted: 17 Sep 2011, 10:46
by spazsinbad
Referencing a comment made at top of page 6 of this thread... Just to add some comparison (although F-35C performance in FCLP/Carrier Ops not officially known so far) here is an 'old' LSO view of the principal carrier landing features of the 'old' F/A-18A/B/C/D Hornet.

LANDING SIGNAL OFFICER REFERENCE MANUAL (REV. B) 1999

http://63.192.133.13/VMF-312/LSO.pdf (5.5Mb)

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Unread postPosted: 21 Sep 2011, 02:09
by spazsinbad
Further to '1st503rdsgt' (page 5 of this thread) quote: "...Spaz: Given that the F-35C is shackled to the requirements of the USMC and the USAF, I have little faith that its landing characteristics will be significantly better than the Hornet...."

Navy test pilot says JSF is ‘easy to fly’ By Joshua Stewart — Staff writer - Feb 20, 2011

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/02/n ... t-022011w/

"...Buss, who has spent nearly his entire career on F/A-18 Hornets, was the first Navy test pilot to fly both the F-35B... & F-35C... “One of the biggest things that jumps out to me is that it’s very easy to fly,” he said.
The thrust is good, and there’s no indication that the F-35 has only one engine, instead of two like on the Super Hornet, he said.
Compared to the Hornet, it seems “a bit more solid,” Buus said.
Other test pilots say the F-35 feels “stiff,” but no matter the adjective, Buus said its fly-by-wire controls and flight computers make it very responsive. The cockpit, which has its stick on the side instead of the center, is comfortable and has a large touch-screen display.
“I really like a lot of things they have done with this airplane,” he said...."

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Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2011, 08:48
by quicksilver
1st503rdsgt wrote: Given that the F-35C is shackled to the requirements of the USMC and the USAF, I have little faith that its landing characteristics will be significantly better than the Hornet. Besides, $hit happens in CATOBAR ops, and the F-35C is just as susceptible to circumstances as any other naval aircraft. The UK WILL need a tanker of some kind if it goes this route


The F-35C has an entirely different wing, tailplane and vertical stab than the A or the B, and its performance requirements around the ship are driven entirely by Navy knowledge and experience. Not sure how that gets it 'shackled' in some defeating way to the USAF and the Marine Corps variants.

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Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2011, 08:59
by quicksilver
For those so-inclined, a highly commendable document for your reading pleasure ref Navy performance requirements around the ship.

http://www.dept.aoe.vt.edu/~durham/2002-71.pdf

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Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2011, 09:42
by spazsinbad
Also always a good read for similar reasons....

The Influence of Ship Configuration on the Design of the Joint Strike Fighter
by Eric S. Ryberg 26 Feb 2002

http://dodreports.com/pdf/ada399988.pdf (1Mb)

ABSTRACT
"While the implications of shipboard compatibility have long influenced the design of maritime-based aircraft, the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is unique in that the program is centered on the concurrent development of a family of highly common aircraft variants, two of which are to operate from distinctly different ship types. This procurement strategy poses a formidable challenge to the aircraft designer: How to design an air system that meets the unique needs of its multiple warfighter customers while preserving enough commonality to reap the benefits of the "family" approach to design, manufacture, and operational sustainment. This paper describes how the configurations of the United States Navy's aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, as well as the United Kingdom Royal Navy's INVINCIBLE-class of carriers, have
influenced the basic configurations of the catapult launch / arrested landing (CV) and the short takeoff/ vertical landing (STOVL) variants of the JSF. From these discussions, the designers of future air capable ships can better understand which characteristics of current ship designs impose the most significant constraints for the aircraft based aboard them, and where ship/air interface considerations should play."
_____________________

As well as CV NATOPS or LSO NATOPS or LSO Reference Manual PDFs online there is....

Repository of Good NavAv Stuff: http://www.robertheffley.com/docs/CV_environ/
__________________________

My collection of 'How to Deck Land Material' will be uploaded in a day or two (yeah right) :D :devil:

Speak of the devil and his chains rattle... Just now the webmaster here (adf-history) promised to update/make available any files uploaded soon - so be tuned: http://www.adf-history.com/adf/?cat=7

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Unread postPosted: 22 Sep 2011, 23:27
by spazsinbad
CVF Building Blocks start Assembly with claim about number of F-35Cs to operate (not total - only onboard):

Assembly of New Royal Navy Aircraft Carriers Gets Underway In Fife
(Source: U.K Ministry of Defence; issued September 21, 2011)

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... erway.html

"...Chief of Defence Materiel, Bernard Gray, said:

...The Queen Elizabeth Class carriers will be the centrepiece of Britain's military capability and will routinely operate 12 of the carrier-variant Joint Strike Fighter jets, allowing for unparalleled interoperability with allied forces.

Each carrier will have nine decks, plus a flight deck the size of three football pitches, and two propellers weighing 33 tonnes - nearly two-and-a-half times as heavy as a double-decker bus - driving the ship at a maximum speed of over 25 knots (46km/h)...."

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Unread postPosted: 25 Sep 2011, 22:53
by spazsinbad
Clarification that only ONE CVF will be converted but elsewhere indications have been that the other (QE first in class) may be converted after it is launched - if money available:

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/09/p ... mber-2011/
from:
http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... set?page=5

"Question: Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost of fitting cats and traps to (a) one and (b) both Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers; whether he plans to fit cats and traps to (i) HMS Queen Elizabethand (ii) HMS Prince of Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Answer: Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
holding answer 12 September 2011
The Strategic Defence and Security Review called for one Queen Elizabeth (QE) class aircraft carrier to be converted to operate the more capable and cost-effective carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The National Audit Office’s report on Carrier Strike, published on 7 July 2011, estimated the cost of converting a single carrier at £800 million to £1.2 billion, a reasonable estimate based on the maturity of information currently available. We are developing more detailed cost estimates as part of our ongoing work.

A revised design is being developed to consider the cost differences between a post-build refit of the first in class, HMS Queen Elizabeth and an in-build conversion of the second, HMS Prince of Wales. On current plans, we expect to take firm decisions on the optimum conversion solution for the operational carrier in late 2012."

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Unread postPosted: 26 Sep 2011, 01:26
by spazsinbad
False alarm about availability of the 'how to deck land' PDF. sigh... :roll: Links don't work - webmaster informed. Maybe later this site will work with complete 2GB file:

http://www.adf-history.com/adf/?p=73
OR
Meanwhile this SkyDrive site has same file but in 20 downloadable segments that can be reassembled etc.: Look in the "'How to Deck Land’ Sept 2011 PDF 2GBs Total" folder

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=cbcd63d6 ... 07E6%21223

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Unread postPosted: 28 Sep 2011, 04:18
by spazsinbad
Have figured out why the 'adf-history.com' website links do not work but I cannot change the links on the page - only the webmaster can do that and he has gone walkabout. So to specifically download the 2GB PDF about how to deck land (same as the 2GB PDF at 'SkyDrive' above - just right mouse click to 'save target as' this URL (if you left click the PDF will start to download inside the PDF which may stop at some point - wasting your download. If you do use this method successfully [not recommended] then don't forget to 'SAVE AS' the PDF!):

http://www.adf-history.com/2011files/Ho ... p_2011.pdf [2GB] Right Mouse Click to 'Save target as...'
___________________

UPDATE: Latest links work: http://www.adf-history.com/adf/?cat=7

Sadly the older links - especially to the A4G Skyhawk Video DVD Ops onboard HMAS Melbourne still does not work although the files are there somewhere. I'll get the webmaster to fix the older links soonest. Meantime the SkyDrive website has it (in many parts):

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=cbcd63d6 ... 07E6%21244

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Unread postPosted: 02 Oct 2011, 08:12
by spazsinbad
This website 'HowDeckLand' [see above] working 'proper' now: http://www.adf-history.com/adf/?cat=7

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Unread postPosted: 04 Oct 2011, 00:23
by spazsinbad
I'm guessing have F-35Cs from USN cross-decking semi-permanently is one way for the UK to reduce own F-35C buy. And on the day the F-35B first lands aboard USS Wasp the Brits had to have something to deflect attention from that event. sigh :twisted:

UK planes to fly from US carrier Craig Woodhouse, Political Reporter 3 Oct 2011

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/ ... carrier.do

"Brtain [sic] could share an aircraft carrier with America under radical proposals being floated by ministers.

UK and US planes could operate jointly off the ship which would allow Britain to keep both of its new aircraft carriers rather than sell one.

Britain could still continue with its plans to co-ordinate with France over refitting carriers to ensure that one of the European fleet is always in service...."
LESS at the JUMP!

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Unread postPosted: 04 Oct 2011, 00:58
by spazsinbad
Latest USN LSO newsletter PDF Oct 2011 has a story about CVF change over to F-35Cs with RN staff getting the gen for the future:

http://www.hrana.org/documents/PaddlesM ... er2011.pdf (1.5Mb)

Building the Queen Elizabeth
"...Over the course of two weeks in September, officers from the Royal Navy and engineers from Air-craft Carrier Alliance (the company spearheading the design and development process) conducted a development seminar at the Landing Signal Officer School. In addition to the LSO School Staff, Captain Stoops (Former CVN-73 Air Boss) and CDR Bulis (Current CVN-75 Air Boss) were also in attendance to lend their expertise....

...After much debate and discussion, to include extensive LSO-related presentations by the LSO School Staff, the decision was made for the LSO Platform to be located at the exact same position in relation to the intended hook touchdown point as it is on our Nimitz class ships...."
MUCH MORE IN THE PDF!

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Unread postPosted: 04 Oct 2011, 04:47
by FlightDreamz
I'm sure it's been mentioned before but having a "conventional" carrier does have the advantage of allowing the use of an E-2D Hawkeye A.W.A.C. Britain payed dearly for that lack in the Falklands War (and yeah I know they have a radar mounted on a helicopter but still). And hopefully Britain's second heli-carrier might still fly F-35B's someday.
The cross cooperation with France makes it easier to keep at least one carrier at sea as well. Just my :2c:

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Unread postPosted: 04 Oct 2011, 08:27
by spazsinbad
The idea floated in the UKland today (probably to take attention away from the first F-35B VL aboard WASP) was this one (headline is a bit arseabout though?) See the last post on previous page of this thread. UK wants a cheap ride. IMHO they have made an huge mistake not proceeding with F-35Bs as planned. Still time to correct though - as always - watch this space.

We saw in the leadup to their momentous decision late last year that there was all kinds of speculation. This speculation will not stop. I don't believe anyone believes that the UKers have a clue about what they are doing. Their military - especially the RN FAA - does their best to keep up and to be flexible so I'm not knocking them at all. My tuppenceworth.

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Unread postPosted: 04 Oct 2011, 13:24
by madrat
No E-2 means carting around AEW on helicopters which was a failing proposition.

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Unread postPosted: 12 Oct 2011, 10:20
by spazsinbad

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Unread postPosted: 12 Oct 2011, 14:57
by neptune
As capable as we hope the JSF will be, the one thing no "fast mover" has is persistance. The E-2 is necessary to not only to protect the capital ships but to have the long view, far beyond visual range (fbvr). Trading the expense of several JSFs for the cost of an E-2 is very cost effective vs. losing one capital ship. Oh, and lest one try to defend the inferior helicopter radar, "egg beaters" lack persistence also. Get an E-2, it is the better idea.

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Unread postPosted: 12 Oct 2011, 22:43
by geogen
Neptune - You'd be surprised, RN won't actually have to trade too many 'several' F-35C for the acquisition of an E-2, maybe 2 jets?

But one might argue that it's probably more prudent and strategic to 'trade' something other than simply more tactical aviation shortfall than is already being piled on, over the next 10 yrs!? (what has it become now, the International Bank of JSF??) So, perhaps unless budget, I mean security requirements change to require fewer capital ships and less aviation off the top over the next 10 yrs, RN will probably want to find more creative and sustainable methods of acquiring/replacing core equipment and maintaining capabilities. imho.

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Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2011, 00:42
by stereospace
CVF Cat/Trap Deck Graphics from BAE:
I guess if you're only going to build two aircraft carriers, you might as build real ones!

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Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2011, 00:59
by stereospace
Wow. Those are really beautiful renderings! Kudos to the CG folks in the UK who put them together, top quality work. I'm guessing the RN FAA are salivating over the idea of those becoming reality.

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Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2011, 09:45
by spazsinbad
F-35 Makes First Carrier Landing; BAE Wins Alternative Helmet Contract 10 Oct 2011

http://www.ainonline.com/?q=aviation-ne ... t-contract

"...Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin UK market development manager Paul Livingston told AIN that the company is confident that the F-35C version can operate from the UK’s new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier without modifications...."

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Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2011, 12:30
by shep1978
stereospace wrote:Wow. Those are really beautiful renderings! Kudos to the CG folks in the UK who put them together, top quality work. I'm guessing the RN FAA are salivating over the idea of those becoming reality.


And i'm guessing our government are salivating over the thought of how much they can sell them off for too, afterall they've already done untold damage to the UK armed forces so selling the carriers off is the next logical step for them.

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Unread postPosted: 13 Oct 2011, 13:37
by spazsinbad
Nah - buying 'Mystical Norse' Sea Gripens for 'em is the next step in this sorry UK 'SAGO'. :D

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Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2011, 01:23
by 1st503rdsgt
madrat wrote:No E-2 means carting around AEW on helicopters which was a failing proposition.


What about a V-22 AEW variant? http://navy-matters.beedall.com/masc.htm

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Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2011, 02:07
by FlightDreamz
madrawrt
No E-2 means carting around AEW on helicopters which was a failing proposition.
1st503rdsqt replied
What about about a V-22 AEW variant? http://navy-matters.beedall.com/masc.htm

My guess is that it's cost prohibitive. :shrug: But it's definitely a better option than helicopter A.W.A.C.'s I would like to see that option explored further (but I'd be surprised to see that move past the concept phase).

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Unread postPosted: 14 Oct 2011, 05:16
by geogen
1st503rdsgt wrote:
madrat wrote:No E-2 means carting around AEW on helicopters which was a failing proposition.


What about a V-22 AEW variant? http://navy-matters.beedall.com/masc.htm


I'd rather advocate for an CH-53K AEW variant. Meet your new boss. Whatever the avionics an hypothetical V-22 AEW could lift, add 50% for the -53k. Then you would begin to have some competition for an E-2D+.

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Unread postPosted: 15 Oct 2011, 02:01
by FlightDreamz
Slower and shorter range that way geogen (lower altitude as well). :nono:

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Unread postPosted: 15 Oct 2011, 03:12
by geogen
Maybe you're right Flight Dreamz... no doubt - better to stick with the E-2. That, and perhaps either a tethered AEW aerostat of some kind or even an autonomous cruising fleet protection AEW based airship being part of the optimal, layered early warning and situational awareness mix?

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Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2011, 14:31
by spazsinbad
CONVERTING [CVF] CARRIERS TO BE CONVENTIONAL
By permission/courtesy of the Editor of the 'Marine Engineers Review', December 2010/January 2011

http://www.fleetairarmoa.org/pages/pdfs/1218.pdf (37Kb)

"...Launching
Today’s generation of aircraft, which typically weigh 20t upwards (the F35C carrier version of the Joint Strike Fighter has a maximum take-off weight of 31.8t) and has a stall speed of 140kts, require around 100MJ of energy to be launched off a carrier. Even with a wind over the deck of 30kts (from the weather conditions and/or vessel speed) this only reduces to 65MJ or so....

...Recovery
Modern US Navy aircraft carriers are currently equipped with the Mk 7 Mod 3 arrester gear which has the capability of recovering a 22.7t aircraft at an engaging speed of 130kts in a distance of 104m. The system is designed to absorb a theoretical maximum energy of 64.4MJ at maximum cable run-out...."
____________

All good stuff:

GENERAL ATOMICS ELECTROMAGNETICS DIVISION OVERVIEW

http://www.brandtelligence.com/Maglev/D ... ojects.pdf (3Mb)
___________________

Latest Arresting Gear stuff:

http://www.esco.zodiacaerospace.com/dow ... bility.pdf (1.7Mb)

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Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2011, 15:12
by spazsinbad
Royal Navy Chief visits NAVAIR Lakehurst Oct 18, 2011

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=4797

"First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope paid a visit to the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Lakehurst at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) on Monday, October 17th....

...EMALS delivers the necessary higher launch energy capacity as well as substantial improvements in system maintenance, efficiency, and more accurate end-speed control. The system’s technology allows for smooth acceleration at both high and low speeds, increasing the carrier’s ability to launch aircraft in support of the warfighter. The system will provide the capability for launching all current and future carrier air wing platforms – lightweight unmanned aircraft to heavy strike fighters.

AAG is a modular, integrated system consisting of energy absorbers, power conditioning equipment and digital controls that will also replace the Mk-7 arresting gear on all existing carriers. The Mk-7 system is a linear hydraulic machine that requires hands-on, aircraft specified tension adjustments for each landing. The AAG design is rotary-based and operates with a digital control system which provides greater control of the arresting forces. The aircraft energy is absorbed by a combination of hydraulic shock absorbers, water twisters, friction brakes and electric motors.

Admiral Stanhope’s visit to JB MDL is one in a series of visits by British naval officials to understand the working of these systems and determine if they will be compatible and cost effective for eventual procurement within the Royal Navy’s fleet.

According to Ms. Donnelly, “sharing technology and engineering concepts are key elements in maintaining good working relationships with close allies such as Great Britain. We are pleased to host Admiral Stanhope and his staff in discussing the advantages of EMALS and AAG.”

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Unread postPosted: 27 Oct 2011, 09:02
by spazsinbad
Ward has some incorrect or vague fudges (some not obvious to me though but suspected) in this long look at the F-35C for the RN CVF. Already I have pointed out the wrongness of the carrier approach 'light air' issue he has kept in this blog post, in previous pages on this forum F-35 Approach AoA.

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-30.html
&
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-45.html


This is a long post so the beginning Executive Summary will give a clue (watch for the light airs).

THE F-35C Lightning II: IS THIS THE CORRECT CHOICE FOR OUR NEW CARRIERS? October 26, 2011

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2011/10/f- ... l#comments

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
"i. This paper investigates the requirements for, the expected operational capability and the costs of the F-35C Lightning II Carrier Capable Strike/Air Defence Aircraft in the context of operations from the new Queen Elizabeth class carriers.
ii. It examines
a) The health of this Project,
b) The expected cost of this Project and
c) Shortfalls in aircraft capability that may have escaped the attention of the Government.
iii. In that process, it compares the F-35C Lightning II with the F/A-18 Super Hornet, an alternative option (whether interim or permanent), to establish their relative ability to meet the requirements of an effective Queen Elizabeth carrier air group in the
most cost-effective manner.
iv. It draws on well-established naval air warfare expertise, “hands-on” carrier deck landing and take-off expertise (both conventional and VSTOL).
v. The paper does not address the industrial impact of turning away from the F-35C Lightning II option. This has been mooted as being severe for British Aerospace Systems but an objective Inquiry into this matter has not been carried out. It is for
consideration that a formal Inquiry should be conducted with the following in mind:
a) The defence of the realm should not be arbitrarily subjugated to the interests of defence contractors.
b) British Aerospace Systems is already benefiting from its involvement with the F/A-18 Super Hornet project on several fronts including the manufacture of the associated deck training aircraft, the Goshawk. Such involvement would undoubtedly increase significantly if the Super Hornet were to replace the F-35C Lightning II (such benefits are now being realised in Australia).
c) British Aerospace Systems is already deeply involved with the F-35 Lightning II project and will continue to benefit from that involvement irrespective of the choice made by the UK government (albeit possibly at a lower level of financial return)."

Unread postPosted: 27 Oct 2011, 10:31
by stobiewan
His assumed flyaway cost for the F35C is 190 million, based on unreferenced table that presumably he pulled out of his @rse.

QED.

Unread postPosted: 27 Oct 2011, 12:44
by spazsinbad
stobiewan, weird huh. Must just rely on stuff given to him - then not checked - is all I can think. Some really old out of date data there AFAIK.

Unread postPosted: 27 Oct 2011, 15:20
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:stobiewan, weird huh. Must just rely on stuff given to him - then not checked - is all I can think. Some really old out of date data there AFAIK.


He also claims buddy buddy refuelling will cost 1.6 billion USD to make happen but doesn't reference this claim either. Given the kit already exists and will just need plumbing in and clearing for flight use, I'm wondering where that estimate comes from.

Recall Mr Ward spends a lot of time posting on a site that persistently claimed you can buy a SH for $45 million.

Hmmm..

Ah:

"78. At the end of the 70s, the F/A-18 Hornet unit price was US$24 million. Adjusted for inflation[10], this equates to a price today of US$89.5 million. The ‘Fly Away’ cost of the 4.5 generation F/A-18 Super Hornet today is US$58 million and the sophisticated E/A-18G Super Growler costs approximately US$90.00 million. In other words, capability has been significantly increased but real costs have been kept the same or reduced. As given at Table2, above, the projected total cost of this Project (for just 80 aircraft) is expected to be $US12.9 billion (£8 billion)."


Slight problem with that - and the hint is to look at inflation in the late 70's.

Worse, the figure for SH is still wrong - the last set sold were to Australia and that was $3bn for 24, which is nearer 127 million a copy, including support.

That plus the whole light airs thing...meh..

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2011, 02:13
by spazsinbad
Bit of RN FAA Olde Style Fixed Wing... RN Phantom (& Buccaneer) HMS Ark Royal CarQual nostalgia?


HMS Ark Royal aviation opération [sic]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv8prm4mGEQ

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2011, 02:22
by 1st503rdsgt
Great video, shame they let this capability laps. It would have made the Falklands War a lot easier (might not have taken place at all).

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2011, 20:02
by BigVette
Always been a big fan of at least two types of aircraft on a carrier flight deck. I remember in the Summer of 1999 when the East Coast Marine Harriers got stood down for a good six weeks while deployed (LHD-3 / 26th MEU) while they pulled the wing to inspect a cotter pin on the engine. Sure would suck if you only have one a/c type and you have a safety stand-down.

Unread postPosted: 30 Oct 2011, 21:44
by spazsinbad
A lot of words in this 1987 article but it gives a good overview of what the RN (and any other newbie) has to learn again about conventional carrier ops. It is not a 'how to' manual but gives an idea of the order of complexity of the task.

The Self-Designing High-Reliability Organization: Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations at Sea
By Gene I. Rochlin, Todd R. La Porte, and Karlene H. Roberts

The following article was originally published in the Autumn 1987 issue of Naval War College Review. Reprinted here with the kind permission of Naval War College Review.

"A hundred things I have no control over could go wrong and wreck my career . . . but wherever I go from here, I'll never have a better job than this. . . . This is the best job in the world." -- Carrier commanding officer

http://govleaders.org/reliability_print.htm

"...In an era of constant budgetary pressure, the Navy shares with other organizations the need to defend those factors most critical to maintaining performance without, at the same time, sacrificing either operational reliability or safety. Following many conversations with naval personnel of all ranks, we are convinced that the rules and procedures that make up those factors are reasonably well known internally, but are written down only in part and generally not expressed in a form that can be readily conveyed outside the confines of the Navy.

The purpose of this article is to report some of our more relevant findings and observations to our gracious host, the Navy community; to describe air operations through the eyes of informed, yet detached observers; and to use our preliminary findings to reflect upon why carriers work as well as they do.

Self-Design and Self-Replication
"So you want to understand an aircraft carrier? Well, just imagine that it's a busy day, and you shrink San Francisco Airport to only one short runway and one ramp and gate. Make planes take off and land at the same time, at half the present time interval, rock the runway from side to side, and require that everyone who leaves in the morning returns that same day. Make sure the equipment is so close to the edge of the envelope that it's fragile. Then turn off the radar to avoid detection, impose strict controls on radios, fuel the aircraft in place with their engines running, put an enemy in the air, and scatter live bombs and rockets around. Now wet the whole thing down with salt water and oil, and man it with 20-year-olds, half of whom have never seen an airplane close-up. Oh, and by the way, try not to kill anyone." -- Senior officer, Air Division...

...Some Preliminary Conclusions
"The job of this ship is to shoot the airplanes off the pointy end and catch them back on the blunt end. The rest is detail." -- Carrier commanding officer

Even though our research is far from complete, particularly with regard to comparisons with other organizations, several interesting observations and lessons have already been recorded.

First, the remarkable degree of personal and organizational flexibility we have observed is essential for performing operational tasks that continue to increase in complexity as technology advances. "Ordinary" organizational theory would characterize aircraft carrier operations as confusing and inefficient, especially for an organization with a strong and steep formal management hierarchy (i.e., any "quasi-military" organization). However, the resulting redundancy and flexibility are, in fact, remarkably efficient in terms of making the best use of space-limited personnel.

Second, an effective fighting carrier is not a passive weapon that can be kept on a shelf until it is needed. She is a living unit possessed of dynamic processes of self-replication and self-reconstruction that can only be nurtured by retaining experienced personnel, particularly among the chiefs, and by giving her sufficient operational time at sea. This implies a certain minimum budgetary cost for maintaining a first-line carrier force at the levels of operational capability and safety demanded of the U.S. Navy.

The potential risk of attempting to operate at present levels under increasing budgetary constraints arises because the Navy is a "can-do" organization, visibly reluctant to say "we're not ready" until the situation is far into the red zone. 37 In time of war, the trade-off point between safety and effectiveness moves, and certain risks must be taken to get units deployed where and when they are needed. In peacetime, the potential costs of deploying units that are less than fully trained are not so easily tolerated. If reductions in at-sea and flying time are to be taken out of workups to preserve operational time on deployment, training and evaluation procedures will have to be adapted to reduce stress--perhaps by overlapping final readiness evaluations into the beginning of the deployment period...."

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Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2011, 13:24
by 1st503rdsgt
stobiewan wrote:
1st503rdsgt wrote:I'm not concerned that the CVFs will be too slow. My concern is that the fuel consumption required to maintain speed for CATOBAR operations was not factored in to the original design, meaning reduced tactical flexibility (due to more frequent refueling) and higher operating costs.

What's the status on laying up the QE? Construction, sea-trials, commissioning, and mothballs all back to back? Britain is really streamlining the process. :lmao:

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/ind ... -comic-con


CVF was always built for CATOBAR ops from day one and the original assumptions at the core of the design was that at some stage, conversion to CATOBAR could occur. That's why space was reserved for either steam generators or additional GT's to provide electrical power for catapults. CATOBAR is not some new requirement that appeared from nowhere. The option was always there to be exercised either a decade or two in the future for other aircraft or from launch if Dave-B was cancelled or failed to meet requirements.


Where the surprise came is the coalition announced that this would be happening prior to commissioning, so late in the build cycle. I firmly believe that at least some of this was just to move the costs associated with fitout and commissioning out of the life of the current parliament (as was the Trident replacement)

QE will be completed with ski jump etc as it's apparently too late to change her construction to an angle deck - and as she's sitting right where the POW needs to be to be built, the quickest way to get to that is to float out the QE, and get that space free for the POW, which is assumed to be good to go with cats and arresting gear from day one.

It's not a case of it being too expensive to cancel her, it's just too late in her build cycle to match the change in requirements.

There's strong talk of both carriers being fully fitted out in time, to be revisited in 2015.

Hang in there, we'll get it sorted. It's not like we started designing and constructing a whole class of ships before defining requirements, like, say, DDG-1000. Or LCS...

Ian


Thought I would drag up this issue again with a new twist on the fuel consumption issue. Here's a congressional report stating that by 2040 (well within the QE class' lifespan), it may be more economical to operate many surface vessels (especially the larger ones) under nuclear power rather than with petroleum fuel.

http://www.cbo.gov/doc.cfm?index=12169

Any thoughts on the UK's decision to "go smokey"?

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2011, 14:10
by bjr1028
1st503rdsgt wrote:Great video, shame they let this capability laps. It would have made the Falklands War a lot easier (might not have taken place at all).


Falklands wouldn't have happened at all. The argies waited until Ark and Eagle were scrapped and took advantage of the Harrier's lack of range, BVR capability, and deep strike capability. Phantoms and Bucs would have been able to strike the FAA and Armada at their bases and the Phantom's cap would have been much more extensive.

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Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2011, 14:42
by neptune
[quote="1st503rdsgt...Any thoughts on the UK's decision to "go smokey"?[/quote]

More Romantic! :lol:

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Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2011, 15:01
by stereospace
Here's a congressional report stating that by 2040 (well within the QE class' lifespan), it may be more economical to operate many surface vessels (especially the larger ones) under nuclear power rather than with petroleum fuel.
It doesn't seem all that long ago the USA operated a small fleet of nuclear powered guided missile ships. I thought it was a mistake to move away from nuclear powered ships when they made that decision (What a waste of fuel!) and I look forward to the day when it comes back.

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Unread postPosted: 05 Nov 2011, 04:42
by spazsinbad
'1st503rdsgt' asked about 'smokey' - well here is 'the bear' answer: ['beedall' website would answer UK CVF question]: http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvf3-2.htm "Propulsion [10 years ago now]
Historically, all warship over about 20,000 tonnes have been driven by steam turbines fed by steam from either oil burning boilers or nuclear reactors. Nuclear propulsion was briefly considered by the DPA in very early CVF studies but was rapidly discarded as being completely uneconomic, and steam boilers have also never seemed likely."
___________________________

Russian Navy to be decked out with flattops 02 Nov 2011

http://rt.com/politics/aircraft-carrier ... fleet-369/

"The Russian Navy has reportedly agreed to build a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to expand the country’s influence in the world’s oceans. The decision though is yet to be approved by the president....

...For years it was debated as to whether the country needs more flattops or if having atomic subs and cruisers would be enough to face modern challenges....

...Currently the navy is finalizing the technical requirements for the new vessel. It has already been decided that the ship should be nuclear-powered since a diesel engine would require a cast [vast?] amount of fuel. The blueprint of Russia’s next-generation aircraft carrier is expected to be ready by 2017. It is planned that a first flattop will be launched in 2023....

...It is expected that by 2027 Russia will have two carrier battle groups – in the Pacific and Northern fleets."

More at the URL as always.

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Unread postPosted: 13 Nov 2011, 04:32
by spazsinbad
Comprehensive info about CVF & how it is being built and where with illustrationis etc.

UK Armed Forces Commentary - Carrier Vessel Future
Click on main - 1st URL below then a pic on page to view the complete slideshow:

http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot ... uture.html

PicBelowOrigin(don't click)
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ewrLaQ-nwPY/T ... thales.jpg

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Unread postPosted: 13 Nov 2011, 23:07
by FlightDreamz
Link doesn't bring up the slideshow you mentioned <b>spaz</b> all I get is a larger version of that JPEG (and when I click on it, a slightly larger one).:shrug:
On a sidenote, is Britain is still going to use that dual island/bridge design on it's two(?) carriers? Haven't kept up on that, I know the first one has been completed as a heli-carrier (hopefully in the future it might see some F-35B STOVL versions on it's decks).

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Unread postPosted: 13 Nov 2011, 23:20
by spazsinbad
As good a place as any to post this 'relevant' to the F-35B for USMC struggle news I guess:

Navy, Corps buying decommissioned U.K. Harriers By Christopher P. Cavas, Vago Muradian & Andrew Chuter | Nov 13, 2011

http://www.navytimes.com/news/2011/11/n ... s-111311w/

"The Navy and Marine Corps have agreed to buy Britain’s entire decommissioned fleet of 74 Harrier jump jets, along with engines and spare parts — a move expected to help the Corps operate Harriers into the mid-2020s and provide extra planes to replace aging two-seat F-18D Hornet strike fighters....

...Heinrich negotiated the $50 million purchase of all Harrier spare parts, while Rear Adm. Donald Gaddis, the Navy’s program executive officer for tactical aircraft, is overseeing discussions to buy the Harrier aircraft and their Rolls-Royce engines, Heinrich said....

...A British MoD source said Friday that he thought both deals could be signed in the next week or two. The MoD source confirmed that the entire fleet of 74 Harrier aircraft was involved in the sale....

...The Corps is planning on phasing out its Harriers by 2025, when replacement by F-35B Joint Strike Fighters should be complete.

Nordeen, however, said he expects the British Harriers to be used initially to replace two-seat Marine F-18D Hornet fighters now operated in the night attack role.

“The F-18Ds are more worn out than the Harriers,” Nordeen said. “Most of the conversions [of ex-British aircraft] early on will be to replace 18Ds and not Harriers.” He noted the first Marine F-35B squadron already is slated to replace an F-18D unit."

Bunches of Details back at the URL jump of course!

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Unread postPosted: 13 Nov 2011, 23:25
by spazsinbad
FlightDreamz, advice and main URL added to previous post re CVF abuildin' - let me know if it doan workie.

The CVF with angled deck illustrations are official graphics. This is how it will be for the second CVF 'PoW' HMS Prince of Wales' which is likely to be renamed 'Ark Royal' when the present 'Ark Royal' is officially decommissioned AFAIK at this point.

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Unread postPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 04:38
by spazsinbad
UK order for EMALS/AAG with 200 Million Dollars up front:

United Kingdom – Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System Long Lead Sub-Assemblies
15 Nov 2011

http://www.dsca.osd.mil/PressReleases/3 ... _11-47.pdf (57Kb)

"WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2011 – The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of the United Kingdom for one long lead sub-assemblies for the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System/Advanced Arresting Gear (EMALS/AAG) and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $200 million.

The Government of the United Kingdom (UK) has requested the long lead sub-assemblies for the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System/Advanced Arresting Gear (EMALS/AAG). The EMALS long lead sub-assemblies include: Energy Storage System, Power Conditioning System, and Launch Control System. The AAG includes: Power Conditioning, Energy Absorption Subsystems, Shock Absorbers, and Drive Fairleads. Also proposed are other items for Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment, spare and repair parts, support equipment, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documentation, software support, U.S. Government and contractor engineering, technical, and logistics support services, and all other related elements of program support. The estimated cost is $200 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to maintain and improve the security of a key NATO ally that has been, and continues to be, an important force for major political stability and economic progress throughout Europe.

The proposed sale will improve the UK’s aircraft carrier capability to meet current and future threats of adversaries at sea. The sub-systems will introduce state-of-the-art technology in the areas of aircraft launch and recovery onboard the UK’s future aircraft carrier program. The UK will have no problem absorbing these additional sub-systems and support into its armed forces...."

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2011, 02:36
by stereospace
Jet commitment keeps carrier strategy alive
By Carola Hoyos and James Blitz
Britain’s commitment to buy the US-led Joint Strike Fighter combat aircraft and the diplomatic and commercial sensitivities surrounding the project were the prime factors that saved the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers last year, according to information released by the government on Monday.

A report by the National Audit Office, the government’s accountancy watchdog, shows that the Ministry of Defence’s determination to procure the Joint Strike Fighters was the biggest driver behind the decision to retain the carriers in the Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2010.

....

Commercial considerations would have played a particularly important role. Britain’s industrial stake in the JSF venture is estimated to be worth £100bn over the next 45 years, and the programme is forecast to create 25,000 jobs.

Read more: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/25cc4a80-19f6 ... z1f3L465Nf

Unread postPosted: 29 Nov 2011, 02:43
by spazsinbad
Here is the graphic from this report:

A Look Behind the U.K.'s JSF, Carrier Decision by Robert Wall Nov/28/2011

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

http://sitelife.aviationweek.com/ver1.0 ... 3.Full.jpg

Unread postPosted: 03 Dec 2011, 07:50
by spazsinbad
One may wonder how this applies to the F-35. Think about it. The RN FAA pilots have to get up to speed for conventional carrier landings with only a few currently with experience from either French or USN exchange experience. They will likely not have much LSO experience - if any (my guess). Anyway it shows some of the underlying work for F-35C ops on CVF.

U.S. Navy LSOs Pay a Visit to the UK

http://www.hrana.org/documents/PaddlesM ... er2011.pdf (2.3Mb)

"In previous editions of Paddles Monthly you have probably read about the growing involvement of U.S. Navy LSOs in the United Kingdom. The LSO School Staff continues to remain highly active in the development of the United Kingdom’s fixed wing carrier aviation program.

This past month, former CAG Paddles LCDR “HUDA” Stickney and LCDR “Trigger” Condon both traveled to the UK’s F-35C facility, to include the simulator facility in Warton, England. During the evolution, LSOs from the United States used the simulator to fly Case I and Case III approaches around a simulated HMS Queen Elizabeth (QEC). During this process, they were able to offer advice during the final evaluation of the QEC’s visual landing aids and flight deck layout. The QEC will be equipped with IFLOLS, MOVLAS, and landing area lights very similar to U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.

Some differences include a “solid white line” drop light system, six unique lights to highlight the LA at range, and additional wave-off lights on the round-down and the tower. Another portion of the project involved testing the Bedford Array (highlighted in a previous month’s Paddles Monthly) and Ship Referenced Velocity Vector (SRVV) landing aids. These systems, currently being developed at NAS Patuxent River, are able to operate in all wind conditions and sea states.

At the end of the trip, just before Trigger and HUDA’s last golf tee time, [tea time in UK has a completely different meaning] the Paddles evaluated BAE’s LSO simulator linked with the F-35C simulator. With Paddles help, two Royal Navy Harrier pilots successfully trapped on multiple approaches, proving again that paddles are invaluable." [some in the RN Vertical Landing community will be coughing and spluttering at that claim - but not moi.] :roll: :twisted: :lol:

Graphic shows a USN LSO Mini-Golf Rollup Turf Course.

Unread postPosted: 03 Dec 2011, 22:23
by spazsinbad
Excellent video about 24 hours on the golf course. Watch the bugs and grass beetles at work (and even a FOD walkdown). Just kiddin' of course. Everyone works very long hours expertly in difficult conditions most often. BZ!

24 Hours on an Aircraft Carrier

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... xJqmUX11PI

"Uploaded by TheSeventhMovement on Nov 12, 2011
On 11-11-11, Veteran's Day, a basketball court assembled on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson for the Carrier Classic basketball game. But the action on the hardwood between Michigan State and North Carolina is no comparison to the teamwork that's seen here on any given day.

An ESPN Feature - 24 Hours on an Aircraft Carrier - Produced by Sharon Kum-Matthews, ESPN. Filmed and Edited by The Seventh Movement espn.go.com/?video/?clip?id=7216645

ESPN Front Row - Behind the Scenes frontrow.espn.go.com/?2011/?11/?producer-chronicles-a-typical-24-hours-aboard-the-uss-carl-vinson/

Unread postPosted: 03 Dec 2011, 22:23
by spazsinbad
double post - sometimes this forum is just problematic - with error messages....

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 04:50
by spazsinbad
January 2012 issue of DTI has a one page story about both UK CVFs possibly being cat & trapped. Anyway one possible fly in ointment of co-operating with CdG with F-35Cs is this text snippet from story. No other details. Is this FUD? Of the Elmer kind. ;D

Cats in the Cradle Francis Tusa | London DTI Jan 2012 p.54

http://au.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416204141&p=44

"UK mulls fitting two carriers with 'cats and traps'...."

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 05:03
by spazsinbad
From same story.... [To keep the RAF happy]

Cats in the Cradle Francis Tusa | London DTI Jan 2012 p.54

http://au.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416204141&p=44

"UK mulls fitting two carriers with 'cats and traps'...."

Unread postPosted: 04 Jan 2012, 12:48
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:January 2012 issue of DTI has a one page story about both UK CVFs possibly being cat & trapped. Anyway one possible fly in ointment of co-operating with CdG with F-35Cs is this text snippet from story. No other details. Is this FUD? Of the Elmer kind. ;D

Cats in the Cradle Francis Tusa | London DTI Jan 2012 p.54

http://au.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416204141&p=44

"UK mulls fitting two carriers with 'cats and traps'...."


I shouldn't be surprised if it were true - F35C is possibly a bit heavy to get onto a smaller carrier. It's not likely to be so much of an issue as it's unlikely to be a frequent requirement. Getting Rafale onto CVF is more likely to happen (there's space!)

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2012, 05:42
by spazsinbad
Anyone for Stennis? First Sea Lord visits US carrier in Gulf 9 January 2012

http://www.navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/3211

"BRITAIN’S most senior sailor flew on to one of the most powerful warships in the world for a first-hand look at front-line carrier operations....

...The carrier is also home to one Fleet Air Arm aviator, Lt ‘LOThAR’ Collins (‘Loser of the American Revolution’, a callsign given him by his American comrades), who’s flying a single-seat F18 strike fighter from the Stennis’ deck with the ‘Tophatters’ (Strike Fighter Squadron 14) on missions over Afghanistan. Lt Collins is one of numerous Royal Navy pilots flying with the Americans. Their experiences will be crucial as the Senior Service looks to re-learn the art of carrier strike operations ahead of Her Majesty’s Ships Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales entering service later this decade....

...No aircraft carrier experience would be complete however without the live launch and recovery of fast jets, and what better way to gain a first hand perspective of the utility of carrier strike than from the cockpit?

In the experienced hands of Cdr Vorrice ‘Heavy’ Burks USN (Commanding Officer of the ‘Black Aces' – Strike Fighter Squadron 71) Admiral Stanhope proceeded to “kick the tyres and light the fires”, strap himself into the back of a twin-seat F18 and accelerate off the front end. Safely recovered, and having “buzzed the tower”, Admiral Stanhope reflected on his experiences aboard the flat-top:

Being catapulted from 0-150 knots in a couple of seconds is certainly a tick in the ‘Taskbook of Life’. “We know carrier aviation is a hugely-complex business and we will get there again; the Royal Navy will once more be able to project an unhindered fixed-wing strike capability anywhere that the government wants UK power and influence to be felt.”...

Unread postPosted: 26 Jan 2012, 18:44
by spazsinbad
I believe the MoD won't mind that their entire article is posted here (rather than just excerpt the good bits) because it is best to be read in entirety.

Leave The Landing Light On

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Defen ... ightOn.htm

The deck of the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers may be the size of four football pitches and supported by the best part of 65,000 tonnes of steel but, from three miles (5km) out, when viewed through the BAE Systems simulator at Warton, it's tiny and the target area for landing looks even smaller.

Add in your 150-knot (278km/h) speed, a keen wind, a rolling sea state, a touch of mist, a black night, and you can see why landing an aircraft on a ship is probably the most difficult task most pilots will ever face.

Welcome to the deck of one of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, due in service by the end of the decade. Well, not quite the real carrier, which is under construction at Rosyth. This is BAE Systems' simulator at Warton, the only one in the world where the F-35 aircraft meets the future pride of the 2020 Royal Navy.

But this is not about training pilots, nor honing the skills of the personnel whose deck-based task is to guide the aircraft in safely.

This is about designing the flight deck, making sure its massive array of coloured lights and lenses, deck markings and arrestor gear make for the safest environment for recovering the aircraft.

Tests are at an advanced stage using US Navy F-18 pilots, hugely experienced in taking off from and landing on carriers.

This is something new for the UK. Our carriers, remember, have operated the short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) Harriers for more than a generation. Skills in landings are, shall we say, a little rusty.

Tests will inform the Aircraft Carrier Alliance on design of the deck. With every simulated landing, Defence Equipment and Support's Joint Combat Aircraft Team learns more about the behaviour of the F-35's Carrier Variant (CV), the F-35C, which the UK will be operating - a decision firmed up by the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The simulator at BAE Systems in Warton is hosting tests to design the deck of the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers:

"Basically we are dealing with a completely different method of landing," said Pete Symonds of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance.

"With STOVL landing you stop and land; CV landing is land and stop. So it's a completely different set of lights in completely different positions. Then the aircraft is different. We've built a new model into the system as clearly the control laws are different with many different characteristics including an arrestor hook."

The team has adapted well to the changes though:

"From the ship point of view it has been an easier task to organise the lighting system as we are now following how the Americans do it. The American layouts have been our starting point and we're trying to improve on them," said Mr Symonds.

"And we're helped by the fact that the actual size of the carrier flight deck was driven by the requirement to be adaptable. The STOVL ship could have been smaller but the adaptable design was driven by the size of the runway, which was needed to recover the aircraft.

"We've taken the flight deck, and started again. After the decision was made to move to the Carrier Variant we had a period of looking at variable equipment selection before we started the work.

"We now have the flight deck at what we call level two maturity, so effectively the big bits are already fixed. The design of the flight deck is pretty well sorted."

Testing will soon move to other simulators to test recovery of helicopters to the carriers.

From the Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) Team's point of view the F-35C will be equally capable from sea or land:

"The current focus for the JCA Team is ensuring the aircraft is integrated onto the carrier in the most optimal way," said Wing Commander Willy Hackett, the team's UK Requirements Manager.

"This aircraft will be the first stealth platform to operate from an aircraft carrier, which will bring new challenges. Recovering an aircraft to a small moving airfield, especially at night or in poor weather, has always focused the mind of any pilot who has flown at sea.

"The F-35 will bring new technology which in time will make landing on an aircraft carrier just another routine part of the mission. On entry into service the aircraft will be equipped with the Joint Precision Approach and Landing System [JPALS] which will guide the aircraft down to a point where the pilot can take over and land the aircraft manually.

"Future upgrades intend to allow JPALS to actually land the aircraft without pilot input in very poor weather."

He added: "A new flight control system, combined with new symbology in the helmet-mounted display, looks to drastically reduce pilot workload on a manually flown approach.

"This technology is being investigated by the US and UK, and if successful will see a major reduction in the training required to keep pilots competent at landing on aircraft carriers from the middle of the next decade.

"Once this new technology is invested in the F-35C the pilot will be able to focus on the mission to an even greater extent than is possible now in the current generation of carrier variant aircraft.

"UK JCA squadrons will therefore be more operationally focused than current generation sea-based aircraft and will keep UK air power at the front rank of military powers."

So who benefits most from the current carrier testing? Back to Mr Symonds:

"Well actually it's both the Aircraft Carrier Alliance [ACA] and the Joint Combat Aircraft Team," he said. "From the aircraft side the team has to be satisfied it is safe to operate the aircraft at sea efficiently. So in terms of the JCA safety case, it is critical that we are able to demonstrate safe F-35C recovery operations.

"From the ACA perspective, we have to prove that the ship is safe to operate the aeroplane so we have to provide sufficient visual landing aids to demonstrate to our safety case that it works. Both teams must be confident that what we will be putting on the deck works. We will be making sure it is a win/win for both teams."

Landing on the new carriers - what the pilot sees
Aircraft approach the stern as the carrier steams into the wind. Pilots aim for the second or third of the arrestor wires - the safest, most effective target.

Aircraft are guided by deck personnel - the Landing Signal Officers - via radio and the collection of lights on deck.

When the aircraft has landed the pilot powers up the engines to make sure that, if the tailhook doesn't catch a wire, the plane is moving fast enough to take off again.

Pilots will look at the Improved Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System for guidance - a series of lights and lenses on a gyroscopically-stabilised platform.

Lenses focus light into narrow beams directed into the sky at various angles. Pilots will see different lights depending on the plane's angle of approach. On target, the pilot will see an amber light in line with a row of green lights.

If the amber light is above the green, the plane is too high; below green it is too low. Much too low and the pilot will see red lights.

So how did I do? My first attempt saw my F-35 scream way past the carrier, too fast, too high, and with no hope of landing. A second was just as wayward, overshooting and just missing the island superstructures, necessitating a stomach-churning go-around.

A third and final approach needed a last-second drop in height, allowing me to find the last of the arrestor wires, ending in a landing more akin to Fosbury than any of the elite pilots who have been using the simulator for their landings.

The flight deck has about 250 metres of runway distance for landing aircraft. A runway on land would be around 12 times longer. And doesn't move.

Landing on a carrier deck pitching up and down by up to 30 feet (9m) in a rough sea can be daunting enough. A pilot has to place the aircraft's tailhook in a precise part of the deck 150 feet (46m) long by 30 feet (9m) wide to catch the arrestor wires, and do it at night too.

The arresting wire system can stop a 25-tonne aircraft travelling at 150 miles per hour (240km/h) in just two seconds in a 300-feet (90m) landing area. Deceleration is up to 4Gs."

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/C6E9E956 ... rrier1.jpg

Unread postPosted: 26 Jan 2012, 22:38
by spazsinbad
IN FOCUS: Royal Navy chief looks to the future with carrier, F-35 programmes
? By: Craig Hoyle 26 Jan 2012 London

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... es-367441/

"..Due to be accepted during May, short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft BK-l and BK-2 will support the UK's participation in US-led initial operational test and evaluation activities at Edwards AFB, California. Another should follow in 2014, with the US Marine Corps having agreed in principle to swap a C-model carrier variant for London's originally intended third F-35B. This was requested after the UK swapped its interest to the largest version of the JSF, as part of the SDSR.

An in-service date for the F-35C will be defined as part of a Main Gate investment decision next year, although final numbers will not be determined before the UK's next defence review, planned for 2015.

The decision to jump from the STOVL version has prompted changes to the Queen Elizabeth design, with Stanhope now expecting second-of-class ship the Prince of Wales to gain an electromagnetic aircraft launch system/advanced arresting gear, for "cat and trap" operations....

...Specification changes should be finalised by the end of 2012, when the UK will also confirm the expected in-service dates for its largest ever warships. This was originally targeted for around 2020, but Stanhope noted: "The big question is what happens to the Queen Elizabeth."...

SELL IT TO OZ your Great Pillock! AND THEN take the bugga back like youse did with INVINCIBLE youse IndianGivers! :D

Unread postPosted: 30 Jan 2012, 20:42
by spazsinbad
Another puzzled writer has a British dumm spit in two places: (which leads into his following story in next entry)
The Strange Story of Britain's Joint Strike Fighter January 29, 2012 by Angus Batey

http://www.angusbatey.com/index.php?id= ... egory=blog

"...However, the history of changed minds among those in the UK whose job is to procure defence systems for the nation does not appear to be helping the test team, or Lockheed, to get the aircraft ready. Britain has gone from a position that was clear and, while the aircraft was always likely to cost more and arrive later than hoped, made strategic sense. The Coalition government's change of the order from the B to the C appeared rushed; and as the true costs of re-engineering the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers to fit catapults become clearer, and are added to the costs that will be caused by the work lost to British industry if the government sticks to their Strategic Defence and Security Review's promised reduction in the size of its F-35 order, the idea that much money is going to be saved seems to be disappearing before our eyes...."

Unread postPosted: 30 Jan 2012, 20:44
by spazsinbad
The F-35 could soon be Britain's most awe-inspiring fighter plane...if the budget, design flaws and delays get sorted out 28 Jan 2012 by Angus Batey

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/home/mosl ... lane-.html

"...the UK is about to take delivery of its first stealth fighter, and an RAF Squadron Leader is already test-flying them in the U.S.

‘This aircraft will provide the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy with an unprecedented capability, both from land and sea,’ says Squadron Leader Jim Schofield.

‘The stealth is one reason. But the handling and performance mean I’m able to devote more of my mental resources to the mission.

‘Information is presented in front of me seamlessly. I’ve got visual, radar, infra-red, and to a large extent wherever I look I can see what’s out there.

'It’s unparalleled. It means the next generation of pilots who fly these will be able to come home. Before, they’d have at least got very scared, if not actually shot down.’

The aircraft Schofield is talking about is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. He’s part of a 22-strong team of pilots, commanders and engineers currently embedded within the U.S.-led F-35 test team at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland...."
&
"...Discussions have taken place between UK and U.S. governments about the possibility of swapping the third British jet from a B to a C, but a decision has not yet been reached.

It is still not known how much money the switch will actually save. The one carrier we will use will have to have catapults and arrestor gear inserted – current estimates suggest this will add at least £800 million to the cost. The UK may also have to buy new missiles to use inside the F-35C, because the C cannot accommodate some of Britain’s current weaponry.

Yet extraordinarily, Live has discovered that despite what was published in the SDSR, the UK Government is still telling Lockheed it intends to buy 138 F-35s....

...Some have been here for over two years and the switch from the B to the C version was a surprise to them too.

‘As I understand it, the decision was made pretty much in the minister’s office,’ says Commander Bow Wheaton, the Royal Navy officer in charge of the British test team.

Did he find out about it at the same time as the rest of us?

‘You bet we did,’ he says.

‘We were watching the - when the Prime Minister stood up and came out with it.’

The similarities between the two jets do at least mean that working on one helps you understand and work better on the other...."

Another LONG article - as always best to read it at original URL above....

caption: Instrumentation inside the cockpit of an F-35 simulator
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/01/ ... 34x445.jpg

Unread postPosted: 30 Jan 2012, 22:17
by maus92
Lord Alexander Hesketh, UKIP's (an opposition party?) defence spokesman wants the government to scrap the F-35C and develop a naval Typhoon instead:

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=18574

Unread postPosted: 30 Jan 2012, 22:45
by hb_pencil
maus92 wrote:Lord Alexander Hesketh, UKIP's (an opposition party?) defence spokesman wants the government to scrap the F-35C and develop a naval Typhoon instead:

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=18574


UKIP? You might as well just go ask some random guy on the street and report back what he said.

Unread postPosted: 30 Jan 2012, 22:48
by spazsinbad
"...UKIP holds 11 seats in the European Parliament (down from 13 won due to defections) and two in the [UK] House of Lords (both due to defections from Conservative peers). UKIP has never won a seat in the [UK] House of Commons...."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_Independence_Party

Not much clout for this chap eh. About equal to an USMC C-130 pilot bitchin' 'bout the F-35B recently. :D
___________

OOPS! I see 'hb_pencil' has beat me to a good punch line. Perhaps this little overview from same URL will give a flavour of the UKIP:

"...Defence
The UK Independence Party claims that the Armed Forces are 'starved' of money, insufficient resources, equipment and expensive, wasteful military operations. On the War in Afghanistan, UKIP aims to create a single, clear objective or look to negotiate a withdrawal from the area. The party is also committed to NATO and is fully against the creation of a European Army: Eurocorps. UKIP also agrees that defence spending should be increased; the party believes that the structure of the Ministry of Defence is bureaucratic and wasteful. UKIP plans to cut bureaucracy and waste but increase spending in the Armed Forces and improve equipment. UKIP also pledges to:[47]

Spend an extra 40% on defence annually, another 1% of GDP.
Expand the Army by 25% to 125,000 personnel and double the size of the Territorial Army.

On naval affairs; UKIP wishes to restore the Royal Navy to its 2001 strength with three new aircraft carriers and nearly 70 other ships, at the same time guaranteeing the future of the Plymouth, Portsmouth and Rosyth naval bases.

On air force affairs; UKIP plans on increasing the Royal Air Force's capability by buying more essential helicopters, transport aircraft and 50 extra Joint Strike Fighter Lightning aircraft.

Cut the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Defence, which has one civil servant for every two military personnel.

UKIP aims to introduce better pay, conditions and medical care for the British Armed Forces personnel and their families."
______________

I like this 'dummy spit' quote from the 'maus92' referred article above:

"...Lord Hesketh, who resigned from Babcock in 2010 after saying the QE-class carrier programme was making the country a "laughing stock",..."

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 01:02
by flighthawk
hb_pencil wrote:
maus92 wrote:Lord Alexander Hesketh, UKIP's (an opposition party?) defence spokesman wants the government to scrap the F-35C and develop a naval Typhoon instead:

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=18574


UKIP? You might as well just go ask some random guy on the street and report back what he said.


:lol:

There is more chance of me getting in and introducing the Naval F-16 than UKIP ever being anything.

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 01:11
by spazsinbad
The USN used to have F-16N?s as 'aggressor/adversary' aircraft. I was pleased to see that these birds (do all F-16s?) have AoA indexers. That is a start! :D Graphic to follow - what else? :twisted: From: http://www.scribd.com/doc/26400980/F-16 ... ght-Manual

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 04:17
by spazsinbad
Not having been an F-16 pilot nor having used a HUD I have a question about the 'HUD Display' as shown in the above graphic: Should not the HUD 'bracket & ball' simple graphic be reversed so that for 'fast indication' for example the HUD indicator should match the 'fast AoA' indexer to be at bottom of HUD bracket? In effect the AoA Indexer Arrow and HUD bracket indicator should match so that as in Naval Aircraft - when fast - the AoA Indexer arrow is pointing UP. This is what the nose needs to do - be pulled up - to stop being fast (if otherwise aircraft kept on glideslope during carrier approach by reducing power also perhaps - a different technique but standard for NavAv).

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 06:40
by johnwill
spazinbad, until someone who really knows comes along, my non-expert opinion is that the HUD display is not an AOA indicator, but is a flight path marker. For the top graphic (high AOA) your flight path will be relatively low compared to optimum. The center graphic shows a flight path in line with optimum AOA, while the bottom graphic (low AOA) shows a flight path above optimum. This works for the F-16 because the FPM is also used in normal up and away flying on what is called a pitch ladder, which is a series of lines in the HUD parallel to the ground plane 10 degrees apart. The pitch ladder shows your climb and dive angles. As you roll the airplane, the pitch ladder stays parallel to the ground. Sideslip angle also causes the FPM to displace laterally on the pitch ladder.

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 08:55
by spazsinbad
'johnwill', perhaps I have mislead by my interchangeable random use of 'indexer and indicator' when I have always meant to use ONLY 'Indexer' as seen in the diagram above which is straight out of that F-16C/D flight manual. I have not looked at the 'Indicator' on the far left of that diagram so apologies. Always my reference is to the middle 'indexer' with the doughnut and arrows up/down and the 'Hud Display' on the right of the illustration of three columns. I guess I should amend the diagram to illustrate what I mean.

Could well be that the original flight manual illustration is correct. However Naval Aviators would find that initially confusing (another issue about colours which I think was covered some years back). Anyway my amended illustration harmonises the INDEXER and HUD INDICATOR as shown.

In this fashion when slow in F=16 (RED) push the nose down according to RED DOWN ARROW etc.

AFAIK RED - for FAST - is used in Naval Aircraft because being too fast into the arrestor gear will break the gear and aircraft. Otherwise GREEN is used for SLOW and ORANGE for Optimum AoA. Arrows indicate what to do with nose UP/DOWN.

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 18:08
by johnwill
No apologies required. I got your meaning from the start, and I was indeed referring to the "HUD DISPLAY" that you were addressing. Please go back and re-read my post and see if it makes more sense. An F-16 pilot could probably describe it better in language more familiar to you.

I think the manual is correct, and it is not confusing if you understand it is FPM, especially since FPM is a normal display in the HUD for up and away flight.

The key point is the icon in the HUD DISPLAY is not an indexer or AoA indicator, but is a flight path marker (that's where the flight path will take you). In case you are not familiar with FPM, consider climbing flight with airplane pitch angle of 45 degrees and an AoA of 5 degrees. Your actual climb angle (flight path) is 40 degrees, and that is what the FPM will show in the HUD. So, FPM = pitch angle - AoA.

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 19:46
by outlaw162
The Navy A-7E had the same HUD bracket functionality as the USAF A-7D which was the same as the F-16 is now, 16N or otherwise, as displayed in the first diagram.

However, the service pilots do wear different dress uniforms. :D


(edit: If you think about it Spaz, the bracket is a thrust command, on a constant flight path as indicated by the FPM, which is more Navy than the Navy.)

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 20:05
by spazsinbad
johnwill, thanks for explanation. I have to download the F-16D flight manual PDF again to see what it might say.

outlaw162 is saying the opposite - that the HUD DISPLAY with the AoA bracket indication is the same as the AoA INDEXER - if I have read his terse explanation correctly.

My question remains: Should not the (AoA) INDEXER be reflected by the HUD DISPLAY as shown in my amended graphic?

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 20:19
by outlaw162
You mis-read me.

The HUD bracket can be thought of as a visual thrust command indication in relation to flight path that is held constant using the FPM (a velocity vector symbol).

The indexer chevrons are referenced to pitch direction not throttle movement direction, even though primarily thrust with minimal pitch change may be used to get back on the indexer donut, or make flight path adjustments.

In comparison, in my opionion, the best system was the F-4 aural AOA.

No, your graphic is not correct. (Two countries separated by a common language. :D )

Unread postPosted: 31 Jan 2012, 21:10
by spazsinbad
'outlaw162' fair enough. Hence my question - completely separated by Navy - Air Force. :D

I'll have to think about this all (and investigate for myself) but I certainly don't comprehend the way the F-16 HUD DISPLAY is set up that way. Perhaps a quick guess is that for a Naval Aircraft on Carrier Approach the throttle controls glideslope/rate of descent whilst pitch/nose attitude controls AoA/Airspeed. Is this how you landed the aircraft? I guess not.

The Brits AFAIK invented the aural headset tone but quickly went to other indications similar to what the USN eventually decided upon the AoA Indexer. I wonder if the USN/USMC F-4s also used the tone or the AoA Indexer from the start of their ops? I have no idea. However I have an USMC RF-4 NATOPS to check out. Here is an excerpt from same:

"LANDING TECHNIQUE: [FCLP] (NATOPS RF-4B)
“For a normal field landing with a gross weight of approximately 31,000 pounds, fly the pattern as illustrated in figure 3-4, Enter the pattern as local course rules dictate, utilizing the throttles and speed brakes, as necessary, to maintain pattern altitude and airspeed. At the break, reduce thrust and extend the speed brakes (if required), As the airspeed decreases through 250 knots lAS, lower the landing gear and extend the wing flaps. Retract the speed brakes to decrease buffet, however, some buffet and noise will come from the nose wheel well as the landing gear extends. This noise and buffet will disappear as approach speeds are reached, Continue to decelerate to, and maintain, 150 Knots IAS. After the gear and flaps have been checked and reported, roll into the base leg and establish a mild rate of descent, maintaining an "on speed" angle of attack indexer light (140 to 150 knots lAS). Use the angle-of-attack indexer and maintain the "ON speed" indication except that 125 knots will be the minimum final approach speed, When on final approach, utilize a power setting of 84 to 86% rpm, This will provide an "on speed" angle of attack indexer light with a 2 1/2° to 30 glide slope and a rate of descent of approximately 700 fpm. Attempt to land within the first 1000 feet of runway whenever possible, however, do not chop power prior to crossing the end of the runway. The sudden loss of boundary layer control air will cause the airplane to settle immediately. At touchdown, retard the throttles to IDLE and deploy the drag chute,...”

CARRIER LANDING PATTERN [RF- 4B]:
“The carrier pattern (figure 3-6) starts with the break at 600 feet, 250-300 knots IAS maximum on the star-board bow of the ship. The break interval will be one-half of the desired ramp interval time.... Fly the pattern at 600 feet above mean sea level. The 180 turn is commenced when abeam the LSO platform, On rollout to final, slightly overshoot the ships wake. GLIDE SLOPE: The technique of flying the glide slope is the same as FCLP except that more power may be required and line-up will be much harder to maintain. With rough seas and subsequent pitching decks, some erratic meatball movements may be encountered. If this is the case, average out the "bouncing ball" to maintain a smooth and safe rate of descent. In no case overcorrect if the ball moves to a high indication....”

Unread postPosted: 02 Feb 2012, 21:29
by maus92
The Royal Air Force it seems is worried about a Royal Navy contingency plan to acquire F/A-18s seems to have favor with politicians:

"There is an emerging debate between the RAF, which is keen to get its hands on the JSF’s stealth capabilities, and some Royal Navy officers and planners, who are beginning to look at the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet as a “bird-in-the-hand” solution. RAF sources see the politicians—alarmed by the idea of empty decks—as leaning in the navy’s direction."

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... ll&next=10

Unread postPosted: 02 Feb 2012, 22:13
by spazsinbad
For sure the muddle will continue for some time yet. All sorts of options will appear and disappear from one day to the next in daily UK papers and elsewhere. Probably best to wait for official announcements I reckon but then again they will change with the wind.

Unread postPosted: 02 Feb 2012, 22:58
by spazsinbad
'outlaw162' said above: "...The indexer chevrons are referenced to pitch direction not throttle movement direction..."

That would be the same as the AoA Indexer chevrons/arrows pointing in the direction that the nose should go to stop being fast or slow by increasing/decreasing AoA. Arrow/Chevron points down - put nose down. But of course flying an accurate glideslope for carrier landing is not that simple. Perhaps it will be with the new 'carrier landing software' under development (mentioned elsewhere) perhaps to be used with a 'Bedford Array' setup as well as the IFLOLS. I digress.

Still and all in a carrier approach: Throttle controls glideslope/height and AoA controls airspeed but Optimally. This would be where Air Force landings and Navy landings fundamentally disagree (having been trained basic/advanced by RAAF then gone back to RAN to learn 'carrier approaches at Optimum AoA). It is interesting to me how the Air Force cope with the Navy aircraft AoA Indexers and HUD displays. For example the RNZAF had A-4Ks and they did not have any land based mirrors but flew Optimum Angle of Attack till touchdown using a visual glideslope (some said they often might cushion the landing and they had also a brake parachute etc.). Then when the KAHU upgrade provided a HUD display with similar AoA bracket some of these older chaps were a bit flummoxed by it - one touched down short to break off a wheel necessitating a 'short field arrest' on empty drop tanks.

Unread postPosted: 02 Feb 2012, 23:46
by spazsinbad
Assembling a Carrier Aviation Program

http://www.hrana.org/documents/PaddlesM ... ry2012.pdf

"Regular readers of Paddles Monthly are familiar with the ongoing role that the U.S. Navy’s LSO community has played in the development of the Royal Navy’s fixed-wing carrier aviation program. Back in September of 2011, a group of engineers from the prime contractor building the HMS Queen Elizabeth (Aircraft Carrier Alliance), as well as several representatives from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force convened a week-long meeting at the LSO School to discuss many details of the QEC’s construction.

In January 2012, the same group reassembled in the LSO School’s classroom to begin working out the actual deck and flight procedures that British F-35s will use while embarked. This included everything from taxi, launch, pattern entry, and recovery. Special care was taken to evaluate how standing U.S. Navy carrier procedures would fit in with some of the unique design aspects of both the QEC (As well as the follow-on HMS Prince of Wales) and the F-35C.

While the LSO School staff can offer plenty of insight when it comes to waving a safe recovery and landing, additional assistance was solicited from many other players involved in carrier based aviation to include Shooters, ALRE (Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment) Experts, Handlers, and the Air Boss and Mini-Boss from the USS Harry Truman (CVN-75).

Keeping in mind the desire to avoid ‘re-inventing the wheel’ for the U.K.’s carrier program, the most significant challenge of the weeklong conference was to adapt long-established U.S. Navy procedures to the unique operating environment aboard the QEC. One example that required a rather lengthy discussion was the issue of the weight board. Because the QEC’s flight deck was originally designed to accommodate the VSTOL F-35B, no deck crewman had yet been designated to be the weight board operator. In order to avoid overtasking the currently-allotted deck positions - as well as avoiding the addition of another sailor to an already-crowded flight deck - the decision was made that launch weight information will instead be shown to the pilot via a digital display on the applicable catapult’s ICCS [Integrated Catapult Control Station] bubble. This particular method - while modified from the U.S. Navy method - satisfies both the requirement to avoid the addition of flight deck personnel and ensures pilots will be able to verify that they will receive the appropriate catapult shot.

Occupying much of the week was a series of roleplaying exercises designed to test and then modify U.S. procedures to some of the design-driven differences between the QEC and a Nimitz-class. With different players playing the various roles - including the Boss, Mini-Boss, Handler, Shooter, Flight Deck Chief, CATCC, and Paddles - many different procedures and evolutions were acted out in order to determine what would work most effectively given the layout of the new U.K. carriers. These exercises consisted of walking through everything from starting an aircraft, to taxiing that aircraft, and eventually shooting the aircraft. Even the necessary radio communications and hand signals were discussed in great detail.

In addition to assisting with the general standup of the UK’s fixed-wing CV program, the U.S. Navy representatives at the conference were also interested in establishing a certain level of continuity between both nation’s carrier procedures. Should joint operations be necessary sometime in the future, this will minimize the amount of training necessary for U.S. Navy pilots to operate aboard British carriers (and vice versa)."

Unread postPosted: 03 Feb 2012, 12:13
by stobiewan
I can't tell you how happy I am that we're working this closely with the USN on getting those QE's into operation - they're the best at carrier ops by far and having this kind of exchange is superbly helpful,

Ian

Unread postPosted: 07 Feb 2012, 15:06
by spazsinbad
Britain won't decide on [FINAL] F-35 fighter numbers till 2015 By Rhys Jones LONDON Feb 7, 2012

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/02/0 ... YZ20120207

"LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has deferred to 2015 a firm commitment on how many Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets it will buy, adding to uncertainties over the multinational programme which has recently been questioned in the U.S. Congress.

"We will not make final decisions on the overall number of aircraft we will order before the next planned Strategic Defence Review (in 2015)," a Ministry of Defence MoD spokeswoman said on Tuesday, adding an initial order would be placed next year [2013]...

...A spokesman for Lockheed, the top U.S. defence contractor, said Britain's total order had not been revised down and remained at 138. Britain was due to receive its first F-35 in June....

...While there have been reports Britain will cut its order to 50 F-35s, the MoD said it did not recognise that figure.

Expectations for the number of F-35s Britain will eventually order have been curtailed since the MoD's decision to use only one aircraft carrier, which will routinely have 12 fast jets embarked for operations, while retaining a capacity to deploy up to 36...."

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2012, 04:12
by FlightDreamz
spazsinbad
MoD's decision to use only one aircraft carrier, which will routinely have 12 fast jets embarked for operations, while retaining a capacity to deploy up to 36...."

Is Britain still keeping the first carrier built as a "heli-carrier" and the second as a conventional carrier? At least the heli-carrier has the potential to use F-35B's that way....

Unread postPosted: 08 Feb 2012, 04:40
by spazsinbad
Yes the first in class Queen Elizabeth is 'too far gone' to convert during build to cat/trap. However... there is plenty of speculation that when money found the first in class will be converted to cat/trap also. In the meantime it will serve as a 'rubber wing' carrier but also more importantly work up ship crews in general CVF ops - this crew would then transition to first cat/trap PoW with perhaps QE being converted to cat/trap when next refit is due? Early days.

And for sure the original ski jump QE will have F-35B potential. There will be studies also in how to operate USMC F-35Bs from the modified cat/trap CVFs also. Watch for the USMC F-35Bs belting aboard the ski jump QE to have a go. The SKI JUMP at Pax River is a CVF replica.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 06:40
by lb
Right then so let's build a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier and then decide to maybe operate it marginally, or not at all, perhaps sell it eventually, or try and find the money someday to rebuild it, say 10 to 15 years after it's completed.

One might be forgiven for suspecting that switching to the F-35C was a smoke screen for cutting the total buy to around 50 and going from two to a single carrier. It's rather telling that the decision was made before anyone did any serious analysis of the costs of converting the carriers.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 07:39
by spazsinbad
lb, your theory is probably one held by the RAF in their long term work to get rid of the RN FAA. I would suggest that the UK politicians are not smart enough to have such a 'plan'; but over the decades since WWII (when just before the RN took back the FAA from the RAF) that the RAF have been attempting to be the only air power in the UK. The sleight of hand performed at the last moment by the RAF (in discussions with Brit PM) to see the end of the Harrier is tellingly told by 'Sharkey' Ward. I'll look for a link.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 07:40
by 1st503rdsgt
lb wrote:Right then so let's build a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier and then decide to maybe operate it marginally, or not at all, perhaps sell it eventually, or try and find the money someday to rebuild it, say 10 to 15 years after it's completed.

One might be forgiven for suspecting that switching to the F-35C was a smoke screen for cutting the total buy to around 50 and going from two to a single carrier. It's rather telling that the decision was made before anyone did any serious analysis of the costs of converting the carriers.


Actually, the switch was probably just a shortsighted accounting stunt by the MoD to show some quick savings on the books (fewer planes are necessary with the C model), more bureaucratic incompetence than a smokescreen, as they utterly failed to account for the ancillary costs of switching to a CATOBAR deck arrangement.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 07:47
by spazsinbad
Yep, incompetence always trumps conspiracy in my book but I will insist that the RAF have a long term game plan to get rid of the RN FAA (can I prove that? - check how well the RN FAA goes in relation to the RAF since WWII - despite the Falklands War for example [which the RAF claim always that they won]). Anyway here is the info mentioned immediately above:

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/search/lab ... r%20Debate[

YEAR 2010
"...56. The National Security Council came to the conclusion that Harrier and HMS Ark Royal should be retained in service and the Tornado GR4 fleet should be withdrawn from service in its entirety. Prior to this conclusion being confirmed within SDSR 2010 final recommendations, the Chief of the Defence Staff (Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup) intervened and (in private discussions, reportedly at Brize Norton) persuaded the Prime Minister to reverse this decision and to withdraw Harrier and HMS Ark Royal from service, while retaining the obsolescent Tornado. At that juncture, it is beyond doubt that false arguments and statistics must have been presented to the Prime Minister. [Stage 5 complete.]

57. Apparently, it was claimed that: (my emphasis)

a) The expected in service life of the Tornado GR4 was greater than that of the Harrier – with the planned operational life of the Harrier being up to 2018 and the Tornado being several years longer. It now transpires that Tornado GR4 has serious fatigue and airworthiness problems and it is understood that it may not be supportable by British Aerospace Systems much beyond 2015.

b) The Tornado was a better close air support aircraft than the Harrier for Afghanistan operations. This is not the case. The Tornado does not respond adequately to urgent close air support requests from ground forces in need, as did the Harrier, and as a result of Tornado’s poor performance in theatre, the main UK air vehicle that delivers such support to our ground forces is now the Apache Attack Helicopter of the Army Air Corps.

58. Stirrup’s private advice to the Prime Minister appears also to have ignored the fact that the full withdrawal of the Tornado from service would have saved the nation £7.5 billion whereas withdrawal of the Harrier and HMS Ark Royal from service would save the nation only £1.5 billion...."

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 10:26
by stobiewan
1st503rdsgt wrote:
lb wrote:Right then so let's build a 65,000 ton aircraft carrier and then decide to maybe operate it marginally, or not at all, perhaps sell it eventually, or try and find the money someday to rebuild it, say 10 to 15 years after it's completed.

One might be forgiven for suspecting that switching to the F-35C was a smoke screen for cutting the total buy to around 50 and going from two to a single carrier. It's rather telling that the decision was made before anyone did any serious analysis of the costs of converting the carriers.


Actually, the switch was probably just a shortsighted accounting stunt by the MoD to show some quick savings on the books (fewer planes are necessary with the C model), more bureaucratic incompetence than a smokescreen, as they utterly failed to account for the ancillary costs of switching to a CATOBAR deck arrangement.



Works for me - I firmly believe the sole driver for the decision was to move the larger chunk of expense involved in CVF outside the life of the incoming government. There's not a lot of evidence that the decision was carefully thought through at all. On the plus side, C is probably a better bird for the *country* as it's got longer legs and more weapons capacity internally - and of course, it's probable that the thing will now replace Tornado in RAF service.

It'll come good, it's just been a pain that the damn things have had such a protracted and winding path to the sea.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 13:53
by madrat
It's a brilliant move over their previous shortsighted decision. They get a much better platform and a better price, even taking adding changes to the carriers.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 13:59
by madrat
It's a brilliant move over their previous shortsighted decision. They get a much better platform and a better price, even taking adding changes to the carriers.

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 18:37
by spazsinbad
Yeah brilliance by whatever means eh. Here is some idea of the cost but true cost of change may not be known for some time.

One CVF to be converted to EMALS

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2011/09/p ... mber-2011/

Question: Penny Mordaunt (Portsmouth North, Conservative)
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost of fitting cats and traps to (a) one and (b) both Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers; whether he plans to fit cats and traps to (i) HMS Queen Elizabeth and (ii) HMS Prince of Wales; and if he will make a statement.”

Answer: Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

holding answer 12 September 2011
“The Strategic Defence and Security Review called for one Queen Elizabeth (QE) class aircraft carrier to be converted to operate the more capable and cost-effective carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The National Audit Office’s report on Carrier Strike, published on 7 July 2011, estimated the cost of converting a single carrier at £800 million to £1.2 billion, a reasonable estimate based on the maturity of information currently available. We are developing more detailed cost estimates as part of our on-going work.

A revised design is being developed to consider the cost differences between a post-build refit of the first in class, HMS Queen Elizabeth and an in-build conversion of the second, HMS Prince of Wales. On current plans, we expect to take firm decisions on the optimum conversion solution for the operational carrier [POW?] in late 2012.”

Unread postPosted: 09 Feb 2012, 22:58
by lb
"Better price" of what? The entire matter is smoke and mirrors in that instead of buying 100+ B's they can buy 50 C's and only operate a single carrier. If however they do one day decide to rebuild the QE and buy more C's they will have ended up spending significantly more than just sticking with the B.

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 04:27
by spazsinbad
Here is another viewpoint - notice the ratcunning of the RAF AVM Bagwell (named for NOT 'bagging' carrier landings but probably flying hours). :D

Aircraft carriers with no aircraft….. December 22, 2010

http://theaviationist.com/2010/12/22/ai ... -aircraft/
&
http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i= ... =EUR&s=TOP

RAF: Harrier Retirement Won’t Hurt F-35C Skills By ANDREW CHUTER 17 Dec 2010
Long Quote from this article follows:
"...“Effectively, we need to build the skill sets for the new aircraft and carrier configuration from scratch. We all ready have plans in place to begin that build up over the next 10 years with our allies and partners.” He said it was a “tall order,” but regaining carrier skills is a problem Britain had previously faced and overcome. One senior Royal Navy commander agreed with Bagwell’s assessment and said there was a much bigger question mark over regaining deck skills than the capabilities of pilots Bagwell, who commands all of Britain’s fast jet operations, said the RAF and the RN “have 10 years to get our act in gear and understand what operating the F-35C variant means for training and other preparation. Some we will have to learn from the USA and France,” he said. The British already have a pilot exchange program with the U.S. with officers flying carrier operations with the F-18. Bagwell said he was confident British pilots would also be flying French Navy jets as well “We will be flying Rafales from French carriers within a few years. I’m sure of it,” he said.

The British are targeting the availability of a single squadron of F-35Cs by 2020 to equip a joint RAF/RN operation. Briefing reporters last week, Bagwell said that would require an initial order for about 40 aircraft. How the aircraft will be employed in the future has yet to be worked out, but said he thought the aircraft would not be tied to the aircraft carrier. “They are there to project air power. It’s irrelevant where they are launched from. The Royal Navy will hate me for this, but sometimes they will be launched from the deck of an aircraft carrier for good reason. Other times it will be in-country closer to the problem,” he said. Either way, he said the F-35C gave the British better deep penetration, ISTAR and other capabilities than the more limited STOVL F-35B.

Cenciotti says:
"Anything weird? Apparently, not. As Bagwell affirms, the Harrier could not contribute to generate the skills required to fly the F-35C since the conventional carrier variant has not a STOVL (Short Take Off Vertical Landing) capability. Right. Unfortunately, what must be underlined is that Britain had originally chosen the STOVL variant before the Strategic Defense and Security Review in October deciced to switch to the C variant making the Harrier GR9s APPARENTLY useless. It’s a matter of logic: the Harrier was not scrapped because of the C variant; the C variant was chosen because the Harrier was sacrificed (along with the Ark Royal aircraft carrier). With this decision, UK will not have aircraft to equip aircraft carriers until 2020. Since the development of the F-35 is taking more than expected in both terms of time and costs, was this the right pick? I don’t think so."

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 05:26
by maus92
Buy some F-18Fs with EA wiring as an interim solution. Train the aircrews on carrier ops with the Supers, and when the F-35Cs come online, convert the -Fs to Growlers. Bang. You get an EW capability, and then all you have to do is buy some E-2s, and you get a proper air wing. Can't do that with a skijump.

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 05:39
by 1st503rdsgt
maus92 wrote:Buy some F-18Fs with EA wiring as an interim solution. Train the aircrews on carrier ops with the Supers, and when the F-35Cs come online, convert the -Fs to Growlers. Bang. You get an EW capability,


Not to mention tanker a capability.

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 05:39
by spazsinbad
OR the alternative with F-35Bs which the UK/RN FAA was pursuing before the change. Yes the details did not get worked out due to the change but no details exist for an alternative scenario with the F-35C at moment. I think the UK likes to live in this 'fix it tomorrow land'. Or pass the parcel (of problems to solve) down to the next government.

I note the extra cost of 'maus92' proposals also. Cost to operate two fast carrier jet types as well as EW aircraft. Whereas STOVL had F-35Bs and a EW solution of some unknown kind - in the wings.
___________

I note '1st503rdsgt' comment entry about tankers as I typed. IF the F-35B solution followed then - no need for tankers. No need for a second fast jet type to support.

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 05:50
by 1st503rdsgt
spazsinbad wrote:I note '1st503rdsgt' comment entry about tankers as I typed. IF the F-35B solution followed then - no need for tankers. No need for a second fast jet type to support.


Pretty sure I already mentioned that before, sheeeesh. :roll:

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 05:54
by spazsinbad
I think many people mention many of the same things over and over on this forum. :D

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 08:49
by Conan
spazsinbad wrote:I think many people mention many of the same things over and over on this forum. :D


I think Australia should operate F-35B's off it's LHD's...

:lmao:

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 09:25
by 1st503rdsgt
Conan wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:I think many people mention many of the same things over and over on this forum. :D


I think Australia should operate F-35B's off it's LHD's...

:lmao:


And that they should use an AWACS version of the V-22 :wink:

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 09:45
by spazsinbad
Youse funny guys should STFU! :D

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 12:57
by stobiewan
lb wrote:"Better price" of what? The entire matter is smoke and mirrors in that instead of buying 100+ B's they can buy 50 C's and only operate a single carrier. If however they do one day decide to rebuild the QE and buy more C's they will have ended up spending significantly more than just sticking with the B.


Mm...no, the F35 will be a "purple" asset - so they'd run between the RAF and FAA so as far as numbers go, the F35C decision has no bearing on how large a buy is required. Some will be on the active carrier, some will be in RAF hands doing land based tasks.

From that perspective, F35C makes a lot of sense for the total user base - the RAF get a longer ranged striker with more punch, the FAA get a carrier capable of operating various types of CATOBAR aircraft, including UAV's.

Remember, these two will be in service for something like 50 years - going CATOBAR now is just bringing forward a task which was assumed to be happening at some point in the future.

It's definitely not a case of "well, we're getting C, so we can buy less B - that's not related in any sense to the situation. Recall, that decision was made while the F35B was struggling as a program and subsequently was put into "probation" - with the very real chance of the B being canned or badly delayed. Switching to C gave us an escape route - if the F35 fell over, we still had options.


Ian

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 13:27
by spazsinbad
It amuses me immensely why the UK Guvmnt agonise over everything. For example the F-35B decision was made a decade? or so ago after much agonising? Then many years developing CVF for F-35B ops with everything else that goes with it. Why? Why if the F-35C was always a better choice? I have read lots of reasons why which may not be applicable today but still and all. Why?

What a demoralising waste of effort and money for the STOVL experts (RN/RAF). Waste money to save money - always a good strategy.

Sure the F-35C has longer range and more internal weapon payload capacity but only in that respect does it differ from the F-35B - unlike the assertions of the BAGwell above. Early days as always. I'll repeat myself - it will not surprise me at all if the Lightning II UK course goes jagged again.

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 13:44
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:It amuses me immensely why the UK Guvmnt agonise over everything. For example the F-35B decision was made a decade? or so ago after much agonising? Then many years developing CVF for F-35B ops with everything else that goes with it. Why? Why if the F-35C was always a better choice? I have read lots of reasons why which may not be applicable today but still and all. Why?

What a demoralising waste of effort and money for the STOVL experts (RN/RAF). Waste money to save money - always a good strategy.

Sure the F-35C has longer range and more internal weapon payload capacity but only in that respect does it differ from the F-35B - unlike the assertions of the BAGwell above. Early days as always. I'll repeat myself - it will not surprise me at all if the Lightning II UK course goes jagged again.


Mate, if you have a read through the history of our post war involvement with carriers, this one is running so smoothly by comparison, it's a dream :)

Seriously, read the faffing around with post war conversions, including one carrier that was 80% complete on her refit, at which point they decided new steam plant might be a good idea and pulled her apart again..

Some of the stuff in there, you couldn't make up.

I totally take your point about how it's taken so long and cost so much to get to this position and it's been painful for me to watch. However, I note you're still focussed on the F35 as being solely for the carrier - they're not - they're effectively now the replacement for Tornado as well as Harrier in the strike role.

From that point of view, for the *UK* F35C makes more sense. The B decision was taken originally in the belief that a joint force of B would replace the Harrier force and Tornado would be replaced by FOAS.

Given the current position, a single common airframe with reasonable legs and payload makes more sense.

I was never a big fan of the B anyways - STOVL is something you do if you *have* to - with a 65Kt carrier, we don't...

Ian

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 14:21
by maus92
spazsinbad wrote:
I note the extra cost of 'maus92' proposals also. Cost to operate two fast carrier jet types as well as EW aircraft. Whereas STOVL had F-35Bs and a EW solution of some unknown kind - in the wings.


Added capability adds cost, no argument there. Hey, if the French can (afford to) operate multiple types, surely the Brits can manage... Plus they seem to working towards greater cooperation and interoperability.

As far as NJG / wideband EW systems, it seems the latest plan is not to integrate any on F-35 (excepting what the Israelis might do...), instead using EA-18 for the near term, and a TBD UAV later (~2030.)

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 14:47
by Conan
spazsinbad wrote:Youse funny guys should STFU! :D


I was just funnin ya...

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 15:28
by spazsinbad
'maus92' said: "...As far as NJG / wideband EW systems, it seems the latest plan is not to integrate any on F-35 (excepting what the Israelis might do...), instead using EA-18 for the near term, and a TBD UAV later (~2030.)" You refer to USN? How is this relevant to UK (except for UAVs)?

As for changing to F-35C for RN/RAF. Why not do it much earlier if it is so much more useful? QUE?

Conan said: "I was just funnin ya..." Yup and I'll return the favour for this item that is not oft repeated <ironic> (and I give a reference - ain't I a good boybli). <ironic>

Going vertical Developing a short take-off, vertical landing system by JOHN HUTCHINSON

http://www.ingenia.org.uk/ingenia/issue ... hinson.pdf

"...By 1995, both Lockheed Martin and Boeing had made excellent progress and were selected to continue (as ASTOVL eventually evolved into Joint Strike Fighter). The DOD, in fact, added the requirement for CTOL and carrier versions of the same aircraft to be developed with minimum change from the STOVL version needed by the US and UK...."

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2012, 16:20
by spazsinbad
This quote is long but from a long post about EUROPE/US/NATO/OTAN so I don't feel bad quoting the relevant to this thread bit:

Transatlantic Defense and the New US-UK Partnership By Dr. Richard Weitz 08 Feb 2012

http://www.sldinfo.com/transatlantic-de ... rtnership/

"...Hammond’s [Briish Secretary of State for Defense] visit provides some indication of how the United States might support the new sub-alliance defense agreements.

When they met at the Pentagon on January 6, Panetta and Hammond signed a “Statement of Intent on Carrier Cooperation and Maritime Power Projection” that will provide a framework for increased U.S.-UK cooperation and interoperability in the use and development of aircraft carriers.

DoD Pentagon spokesman George Little described this agreement as “a cutting-edge example of close allies working together in a time of fiscal austerity to deliver a capability needed to maintain our global military edge.”

The intent is to help mitigate the adverse effects on allied naval capabilities due to the major cutbacks in British naval shipbuilding capabilities in recent years. By encouraging U.S. sharing of insights and technologies, the British should be able to save time and money building their future carriers.

The two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers now under construction, which is scheduled to enter service in 2016 and 2018, will see the Royal Navy adopt expensive but necessary changes to maintain their power projection viability. For example, the British Navy is installing catapults and arrestor gear on the vessels and replacing the VSTOL capable Harriers on current carriers in favor of the catapult-launched F-35Cs used by U.S. Navy carriers.

But it is certainly conceivable the UK could reverse this decision and go back to the F-35B and avoid the costs of transforming their carrier. This would also assist the UK special forces in being able to make more effective use of carrier deck space.

(See also, http://www.sldinfo.com/an-update-on-the ... -carriers/ and http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... 352385.xml.)

At the Atlantic Council, Hammond reaffirmed the United Kingdom’s commitment to acquiring the F-35: “We are committed to purchasing the carrier variant, and the regeneration of carrier strike force is at the heart of our defense strategy, and we believe will be – bring a big gain for NATO, and potentially a big relief to U.S. effort in the European sphere.”

Ideally, the U.S.-UK carrier construction cooperation arrangement will extend some sharing to France through the existing British-French carrier cooperation agreement so that the United States, Britain, and France can share insights, technologies, and costs. And the current Bold Alligator 2012 exercise certainly supports such an approach, as the French are heavily engaged in the exercise, and indeed are leading the initial insertion of ground forces...."

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2012, 09:24
by spazsinbad
Some perhaps interesting bits of info in this French - GOOGLE translated - page:

Update on the program of future British aircraft carrier

http://translate.google.com/translate?s ... 08&act=url

Some relevant text retranslated by BabelFish [which seems to have a sense of humour]:

"The design changes involves big changes
To see reappearing British embarked hunting, it will thus be necessary to await off the delivery of the HMS Prince Wales, at best in 2019. To see the rebirth off the British board range, we will cuts to wait off for delivery HMS Prince off Wales, At best in 2019. Compared to initial planning, l' completion of this building was delayed three years, that of its elder being one year old of delay. Compared to the initial schedule, the completion off this building was delayed for three years, that off his senior with has year late. A time made profitable of the industrialists carrying out project (BAE Systems, Thalès and Babcock, joined together with the British ministry of defense within l' Aircraft Carrier Alliance - ACA) to modify off the plans of Prince Wales. With delay in favor off leading industrial project (BAE Systems, Thalès and Babcock, together with the U.K. Ministry off Defence in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance - ACA) to changes the off plane Prince off Wales. The replacement of the F-35B by the F-35C implies, indeed, of heavy modifications compared to the initial design. The replacement off the F-35B F-35C implies, indeed, heavy exchanges from the initial design. For this reason, the British undoubtedly could profit from the work completed between 2006 and 2008 with the French, who then projected to carry out a version with catapults of the CVF, whose design had slightly evolved/moved (with reserves d' spaces in particular) to meet the needs for the National marine. Ace such, the British may cuts benefited from work gives between 2006 and 2008 with the French, who planned so that has off version CVF to catapults, whose design was changed slightly (with reservations including spaces) for meet the needs off the Navy. Despite everything, the passage of Queen Elizabeth to Prince off Wales remains a true technical challenge. Nevertheless, the transition from Queen Elizabeth to the Prince off Wales remains has real technical challenge.

We must, indeed, remove the platform and long set up two catapults to 90 meters, while installing year obliques track with three strands stop and has crash landing barrier. This equipment requires a refitting of the buildings located under the bridge d' take-off so d' to install the associated machinery, for example presses of brakes. Thesis facilities require has redesign off the spaces below the flight deck to install the associated machinery, such ace brake presses. Compared to Queen Elizabeth, Prince off Wales will ask also more for power, in particular because of the catapults, which will not be with vapor but electromagnetic, like those of the new American aircraft carriers of the class Gerald R. Compared to Queen Elizabeth, Prince off Wales also require more power, particularly because off the catapults, that will not steam goal electromagnetic, such ace new aircraft carrier class American Gerald R. Ford (standard CVN 21). Ford (standard CVN 21). By chance, the British had chosen from the beginning the new gas turbine MT30 of the Rolls-Royce, most powerful of the market, which develops 36MW with, according to the British motor mechanic, of the appreciable margins of progression. Luckily, the British had decided from the start to the new MT30 gas turbine from Rolls-Royce, the most powerful market that develops with 36MW, according to the British engine, significant room for improvement. Apart from its two gas turbines, the aircraft carrier will lay out d' an all-electric integrated propulsion (IFEP) developed by Converteam, the two lines d' trees equipped d' a propeller of 33 tons being involved each one by two asynchronous motors. Apart from its two gas turbines, the carrier will cuts year alelectric propulsion integrated (IFEP) developed by Converteam, the two shafts fitted with has propeller 33 tons each being driven by two induction motors. L' together of l' propelling apparatus will develop 80MW, that is to say approximately 50.000 cv on each of the two lines d' trees, the speed of the building having to be able to reach 25 nodes. The entire propulsion develop 80MW, butt 50,000 CVs one each off two shafts, the speed off the vessel must able Be off 25 knots.

Concerning the modification of the bridge d' take-off, BAE Systems developed in Warton a simulator making it possible to validate off the new design of Prince Wales, in particular for l' landing of the F-35C. Butt editing the flight deck, BAE Systems At Warton has developed has simulator to validate the new design off Prince off Wales, including the landing off the F-35C. Tests, in particular, are carried out with pilots of American F/A-18, broken with the operations d' approaches and d' landing on the equipped aircraft carriers d' an oblique track and bits d' stop. Tests are, in particular, made with American F/A-18 piles, trained to approach maneuvers and landing one aircraft carriers with have track oblique strands and stop…."

Unread postPosted: 17 Feb 2012, 23:54
by spazsinbad
New UK/France Defense Agreement by Christina Mackenzie at Feb/17/2012

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/de ... d=blogDest

"Today is the first anniversary of the Libyan uprising in which Britain and France put the bilateral defense and security cooperation agreement they reached in November 2010 to practical testing. Coincidentally a UK-French defense and security summit was held in Paris today at which British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy said they were “determined to sustain a high level of defense spending, flexible and rapidly deployable forces, interoperability with our Allies and a solid industrial basis.”...

...No doubt frustrated at the lack of any notable progress that has been made in building up the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy and its related institutions since Catherine Ashton took over the job of EU High Representative from former NATO Secretary General Javier Solana in December 2009, Cameron and Sarkozy today also agreed to go-it alone and set concrete ambitions for the combined Joint expeditionary Force (CJEF) that they had agreed to set up in November 2010. The force will be an early entry force which should be fully operational in 2016 and available to confront all levels of threat in bilateral, NATO, EU, UN or other operations....

...They also agreed to establish a deployable Combined Joint Force Headquarters by 2016 using existing French and UK high-readiness national Force Headquarters staff but that can be extended to include staff from other nations participating in a multinational operation....

...There are 37 separate points in today's document. You can read a full version of it here:

http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/uk-fran ... -security/

UK-France declaration on security and defence 17 February 2012

"New declaration agreed at the UK-France Summit.

...13. On aircraft Carrier cooperation, we will continue to build a joint maritime task group force. The UK and France aim to have, by the early 2020s, the ability to deploy a UK-French integrated carrier strike group incorporating assets owned by both countries...."

Unread postPosted: 20 Feb 2012, 05:40
by lb
Assuming the two nations have the political will and both agree on the same objective then this might actually have some significance. That said the notion that France would get involved in say a hypothetical Falklands operation is absurd. Frankly the whole matter is about joint political cover over France only having one carrier and the RN not having one the rest of this decade. Cooperation is not actually a substitute for lack of capability. The cost sharing on nuclear weapons and other matters are far more significant than the hypothetical joint carrier task force operations.

Unread postPosted: 22 Feb 2012, 18:09
by spazsinbad
First F-35C flight for the United Kingdom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeAIdpsb ... r_embedded

"Uploaded by NAVAIRSYSCOM on Feb 22, 2012
Quick footage of the first flight, with aero-braking landing, by a Royal Air Force test pilot in the carrier variant of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. Squadron Leader Jim Schofield flew CF-2 (the second F-35C test aircraft) on Feb. 21, 2012. The F-35 will be known as the Joint Combat Aircraft in the United Kingdom. The UK was the first international partner to join the multinational F-35 program."

Unread postPosted: 25 Feb 2012, 08:57
by spazsinbad
British Test Pilot Marks Milestone In The Joint Combat Aircraft
(NAVY NEWS SERVICE 22 FEB 12) ... Victor Chen, F-35 Integrated Test Force Public Affairs

http://www.hrana.org/news.asp#BritishTestPilot

"..."The F-35 has the best handling of any jet I've flown, which means it's going to be easier to land on a ship than current aircraft. And pilots can devote all of their attention to the mission," said Jim Schofield, RAF squadron leader.

"Combined with the world's best sensors which allow the pilot to find and target anything that's out there, and a stealthy signature, which means the enemy can't do the same to you, this is exactly the aircraft the UK needs to provide the best protection for our soldiers, sailors and airmen for the next 35 years," he further explained.

Schofield's flight is the latest in a series of milestones for the UK's JCA program, which included the first F-35C launch on the test electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) Nov. 18, 2011, and the rollout of the first UK F-35 from the production line four days later. EMALS is the current launching system of record for the future HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, currently under construction.

"This is another major step forward for the UK's Joint Combat Aircraft programme," said Group Capt. Harv Smyth, the UK's JSF national deputy. "Squadron Leader Schofield is now test-flying both the [short takeoff and vertical landing] and carrier variants of the F-35, which affords the UK unprecedented early learning regarding this 5th-generation air system. This is a very exciting period for JCA, as not only are we now testing both the B and the C variants, but we look forward to taking delivery of our first production F-35 aircraft later this year."...

Unread postPosted: 01 Mar 2012, 23:52
by spazsinbad
Told ya this thread is aptly titled and there will be more of this stuff in the years and months ahead... There is a lot of junk in the article not repeated below but others may find that junk useful. Perhaps the entire article is junk like most of any reporting from UK these days but then again - what do I know. :roll:

UK aircraft carrier plans in confusion as ministers revisit square one
Decision expected by Easter [brought to you by the BUNNY!] on which US joint strike fighter Britain will buy: ministers now want to revert to original choice

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/0 ... ke-fighter

"...The government announced in last autumn's strategic defence review that it had decided to buy the "cats and flaps" [are you kidding me!] (catapults and arrester gear) version of the US joint strike fighter....

....Now, in an extraordinary volte-face, the Ministry of Defence says the "cats and flaps" planes may well be cheaper but it would be too expensive to redesign a carrier – more than £1bn – to accommodate them. The ministry is thus faced with the prospect of renegotiating a deal with the US, reverting to its original plan – namely buying the short take-off and vertical landing version of the aircraft, even though it is acknowledged to be less effective and more expensive.

The latest chapter in the troubled saga of Britain's future aircraft carriers – whose own estimated costs have soared – was raised on Thursday in a letter to the defence secretary, Philip Hammond, from Jim Murphy, his Labour opposite number.

Murphy referred to "worrying suggestions" that the government was about to change its mind about the kind of aircraft to buy from the US. "It is vital that there is now clarity on the government's plans for this vital area of the defence equipment programme," he wrote.

Murphy said the decision in the defence review to scrap the Harrier fleet meant the UK would have no carrier aircraft capability until 2020 – and then only one carrier would be operational.

Defence officials said that the government was "re-assessing" its earlier decision because, they indicated, of pressures on the defence budget.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first carrier, will be mothballed immediately it is launched in 2016, according to existing plans. The second, HMS Prince of Wales, will be able to put to sea by 2020, but it is not known how many planes will be able to fly from it – nor what kind.

The two carriers, originally priced at £3.5bn, are now estimated to cost £6.2bn. According to the Commons public accounts committee, the cost is likely to icrease to as much as £12bn...."

Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2012, 02:56
by madrat
Perhaps they could lease it to the USN and have it manned by a joint US-UK crew. The USN could supply the F/A-18's and would save the UK the need to buy a transition capability.

Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2012, 03:08
by spazsinbad
Transition to what? I don't understand 'madrat'. Thanks for explaining.

The article is a bit jumbled (all of it at the URL) however I read it saying that converting even one carrier to 'cat/trap' will be too expensive so the thinking is to revert to F-35Bs. The first carrier Queen Elizabeth is not going to be converted to cat/trap (not sure if the ski jump will be removed or has been removed by now) but anyway having both carriers as ski jumpers saves money and the F-35Bs come along whenever.

This is NOT the last word though. Even if the EasterBunny says to go skijump for both with F-35Bs don't be surprised if by 2015 or later some other decision is made. The MoD are notorious for this humbug decision making.

Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2012, 10:35
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:Transition to what? I don't understand 'madrat'. Thanks for explaining.

The article is a bit jumbled (all of it at the URL) however I read it saying that converting even one carrier to 'cat/trap' will be too expensive so the thinking is to revert to F-35Bs. The first carrier Queen Elizabeth is not going to be converted to cat/trap (not sure if the ski jump will be removed or has been removed by now) but anyway having both carriers as ski jumpers saves money and the F-35Bs come along whenever.

This is NOT the last word though. Even if the EasterBunny says to go skijump for both with F-35Bs don't be surprised if by 2015 or later some other decision is made. The MoD are notorious for this humbug decision making.


The Guardian spent four years reporting that the carriers were being sold off, and were contradicted by the MOD almost weekly. Given the amount of factual errors in that article, I'm not going to get excited.

Ian

Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2012, 19:40
by duplex
RN opting for the Rafale Marine and Britain pulling out of this ridiculous F-35 project is very very realistic .. US/UK relations have reached all time low . Obama described France as the closest ally and supports Argentina in Falkland conflict.

Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2012, 20:33
by madrat
The F-35C will not be ready for the QE, so it either launches without or it uses a transitional choice like the Rafale or Rhino.

Unread postPosted: 02 Mar 2012, 20:35
by spazsinbad
'duplex' have any proof for this statement? Thanks. "...US/UK relations have reached all time low . Obama described France as the closest ally and supports Argentina in Falkland conflict."

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 08:29
by bjr1028
madrat wrote:Perhaps they could lease it to the USN and have it manned by a joint US-UK crew. The USN could supply the F/A-18's and would save the UK the need to buy a transition capability.


Right because we have tons of extra aircraft and crew just lying around for this.

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 10:00
by river_otter
madrat wrote:The F-35C will not be ready for the QE, so it either launches without or it uses a transitional choice like the Rafale or Rhino.


QE will not have CATOBAR equipment because it's too far along in construction to convert. Both Rafale and Rhino require CATOBAR operations on a carrier, or at least a larger ski jump carrier than QE. QE either can field F-35B, can field helicopters and be very expensive to operate for very little actual capability (but some shakedown and learning can take place ahead of Prince of Wales), they can restart the Harrier line and it can field new-build Harriers (probably more expensive and longer delay than waiting for F-35B), or they can leave out the actual mothballs and it can field a whole bunch of moths while it's mothballed.

I think the sensible choice is put it on shakedown cruises fielding only helicopters and periodically LRIP F-35B to work on STOVL and ship-handling operations until the F-35B is ready for service. Or if that's just too expensive for what amounts to a prolonged training cruise, mothball it until PoW puts to sea, by which time the F-35B and C will be ready. At which point the UK can decide whether to convert it to CATOBAR and put F-35C on it, scrap it, or keep it as an F-35B carrier with lesser capabilities vs. PoW. If they do have it at sea with F-35B onboard, and eventually it does get converted, both carriers can field mixed wings of B and C. B would have a mix of small advantages and small disadvantages for air superiority, while C would have huge advantages for strike. By that point they may have just decided it's cheaper to build PoW without CATOBAR and go with all F-35B.

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 10:25
by spazsinbad
'river_otter' OH NO! Not more choices. Please don't confuse them any further. :D I predict this kerfuffle about what to do will go on and on and on and on....

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 14:19
by duplex
spazsinbad wrote:'duplex' have any proof for this statement? Thanks. "...US/UK relations have reached all time low . Obama described France as the closest ally and supports Argentina in Falkland conflict."



http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... itain.html

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 17:29
by maus92
Speculation about reverting to the F-35B contained in a letter to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond:

"In the letter, [Labour’s shadow defense minister Jim] Murphy asks whether the government is considering abandoning its decision, made in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), to introduce “the [F-35C] carrier variant of the JSF in 2020 and whether any consideration is being given to reversing the decision to abandon the short-takeoff and vertical landing [F-35B] version.”

Murphy said there had been “worrying suggestions” about the F-35C variant of the JSF and its possible impact on the construction of the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier scheduled to carry them.

A spokeswoman at the MoD admitted a review of the carrier and other programs was underway as part of the planning round for the 2012-13 financial year, but didn’t directly address whether another JSF change was in the offing."

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... CFRONTPAGE

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 17:37
by maus92
Change to F-35B fueled by cost considerations over converting to CATOBAR:

"The UK may have to scrap plans to purchase the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and instead revert to ordering the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant due to a lack of funds to redesign the decks of Britain's aircraft carriers, it has been reported."

"While the F-35C airframes are likely to be cheaper and more effective than the F-35B, the estimated £1bn cost of converting the flight deck of the carriers and purchasing EMALS equipment could be too expensive for the Ministry of Defence to afford, according to a report in The Guardian.

Although it has a greater range and the ability to carry a heavier payload, the F-35C design is also said to have suffered from some potentially significant design flaws early in its testing programme, which may push up costs. Late last year a Pentagon report cited concerns at the positioning of the F-35C's arrestor hook and its ability to withstand buffeting, amongst other problems, as a "concern".

Switching away from cat and trap system would also damage Britain's ability to interoperate from French aircraft carriers, as set out in a UK/France defence cooperation treaty and later agreed by the French President and UK Prime Minister David Cameron."

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19037

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 17:44
by slowman2
The solution to the Royal Navy's problem is to go STOBAR like the Admiral Kuznetsov, the Vayarg, and the Vikramaditya.

There are three western jets for STOBAR operation, the Naval Typhoon(STOBAR only, no CATOBAR), the Super/Silent Hornet with upgraded EPE engines, or the Sea Gripen. Going STOBAR is more realistic and financially viable than to wait for either F-35B/C.

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 19:12
by river_otter
slowman2 wrote:The solution to the Royal Navy's problem is to go STOBAR like the Admiral Kuznetsov, the Vayarg, and the Vikramaditya.

There are three western jets for STOBAR operation, the Naval Typhoon(STOBAR only, no CATOBAR), the Super/Silent Hornet with upgraded EPE engines, or the Sea Gripen. Going STOBAR is more realistic and financially viable than to wait for either F-35B/C.


Not one of the three exists as even a flying prototype, much less a production aircraft. :lmao: So "There are..." is a baldfaced lie. There are proposed concepts that maybe in the future there could be three western jets heavily modified, including components not yet even started in development, such that if everything worked exactly as advertised, maybe they could use STOBAR operations. They're farther behind on that than the F-35C by far, and will be grossly inferior to the F-35 even if produced exactly as designed. Plus no guarantee they won't rack up the same cost overruns and delays as every jet since before even the F-111, and wind up even farther behind by the time the F-35B and C reach IOC. The Typhoon at least will be more expensive than the F-35C (it is already), and the Silent Hornet might be as well. The Sea Gripen might be cheaper, but it's the clearest example of "you get what you pay for" out of the three. Not to mention there's a reason CATOBAR carriers are the world's platinum standard. Using more of the deck as a runway means using less of the deck for staging operations, and thus slower operational tempo.

And STOBAR mods, while clearly cheaper than CATOBAR mods, are still not free or instantaneous. By the time they could retrofit the QE with arresting cables, a second work crew could have installed catapults in the other end. All that money and downtime in the dock, to still wind up with no capability to fly the E-3C or inter-operate with French Navy Rafales or USN Hornets, Super Hornets, and Lightning II-Cs.

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 21:30
by slowman2
river_otter wrote:Not one of the three exists as even a flying prototype, much less a production aircraft.

The Super Hornet does short takeoff just fine, and the EPE would cut the take-off distance further. The EPE engine swap requires no airframe shape modification and was indeed offered to the Indians as a part of Boeing MRCA bid package for a delivery in 2015.

The fact that the four Royal Navy aviators embedded to the US Navy to preserve the British naval aviation skills currently fly Super Hornets also helps.

Unread postPosted: 03 Mar 2012, 21:36
by spazsinbad
'duplex' history URL link describes why the UK govmnt/RN have agreements (mentioned in this thread) with USN about developing their carrier capability (I guess these will include either/or options for either/or F-35B/Cs if needed).

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 03:51
by delvo
If the carriers they already have are big enough for a catapult and arresting cables, why weren't they built with them in the first place?

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 04:08
by spazsinbad
'delvo' the history of CVF development is long and tortuous. Probably the BEEDALL website has the most comprehensive overview. Needless to say some years ago a decision was made to purchase the F-35B to continue STOVL ops on CVFs with ski jumps with the capacity for future change as described. It seems clear that conditions changed along with the political winds including a change of government that took a new tack. Now it looks like another tack into the wind of change. :D

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvf1-01.htm

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 07:10
by aaam
slowman2 wrote:
river_otter wrote:Not one of the three exists as even a flying prototype, much less a production aircraft.

The Super Hornet does short takeoff just fine, and the EPE would cut the take-off distance further. The EPE engine swap requires no airframe shape modification and was indeed offered to the Indians as a part of Boeing MRCA bid package for a delivery in 2015.

The fact that the four Royal Navy aviators embedded to the US Navy to preserve the British naval aviation skills currently fly Super Hornets also helps.


Problem is, can the UK afford to fund the development of EPE (possibly only for themselves), since USN apparently is only interested in the EDE?

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 07:36
by aaam
maus92 wrote:Change to F-35B fueled by cost considerations over converting to CATOBAR:

"The UK may have to scrap plans to purchase the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and instead revert to ordering the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant due to a lack of funds to redesign the decks of Britain's aircraft carriers, it has been reported."

"While the F-35C airframes are likely to be cheaper and more effective than the F-35B, the estimated £1bn cost of converting the flight deck of the carriers and purchasing EMALS equipment could be too expensive for the Ministry of Defence to afford, according to a report in The Guardian.

Although it has a greater range and the ability to carry a heavier payload, the F-35C design is also said to have suffered from some potentially significant design flaws early in its testing programme, which may push up costs. Late last year a Pentagon report cited concerns at the positioning of the F-35C's arrestor hook and its ability to withstand buffeting, amongst other problems, as a "concern".

Switching away from cat and trap system would also damage Britain's ability to interoperate from French aircraft carriers, as set out in a UK/France defence cooperation treaty and later agreed by the French President and UK Prime Minister David Cameron."

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19037



Some thoughts on the above:

First, I believe that until USMC was directed to buy some F-35Cs instead of some of the Bs it wanted, the C was more expensive than the B.

The range difference s isn't as big as you'd think, because a CTOL has to carry a much larger fuel reserve in shipboard operations than a STOVL a/c. The CTOLs also wear out faster. The B and C have the same avionics, but the C can carry, ~3,000 lbs. more weapons for a max loadout. OTOH, the B has a better thrust/weight ratio.

I don't see how going to the F-35B would prevent the British from operating from French carriers, but it sure would prevent the French from operating from British ones.

AS far as the costs of converting, they were known at the time of the SDSR, but part of the objective of that exercise was to have an excuse to push the carriers out into the future (and maybe get rid of RN fixed wing altogether). After all, it was known that the UK ships would have no organic tanker capability, a must-have for full deep water operations with CTOLs.

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 07:58
by slowman2
aaam wrote:Problem is, can the UK afford to fund the development of EPE (possibly only for themselves), since USN apparently is only interested in the EDE?

GE renamed EDE to EPE. They are the same thing.

There are three possible applications for the EPE engine.

Super/Silent Hornet : The optional engine available to customers right now.
Gripen E/F :
KFX : The EPE is competing against the EJ230. A design win would mean an order of at least 700 engines minimum + spare engines, so the competition for this contract is fierce.

aaam wrote:First, I believe that until USMC was directed to buy some F-35Cs instead of some of the Bs it wanted, the C was more expensive than the B.

That's for the airframe cost only. F-35B's propulsion is a killer at more than $100 million each right now, which makes F-35B much more expensive than even the F-22.

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 13:22
by stobiewan
Guys, can we just stop giving this article about switching back to STOVL any credence? It's driven by a singularly misinformed letter by the shadow defence minister to the actual people in charge of the country.

There's *nothing* at all of any substance in the article or the letter, by anyone with access to any of the decision making process. All that's happened is that a member of the opposition party has written to the incumbent government asking for clarification on progress with the carrier program.

That clarification will centre around which of the carriers will be fitted out with EMALS/AARG (almost certainly the Prince of Wales) - and to confirm that the existing arrangements will proceed as discussed.

There's no chance at all of the UK withdrawing from the F35 program - F35 is in the air, it's flying, it's meeting targets, the test pilots are very enthusiastic about it, and we've got a very healthy workshare in it.

The only question marks are around how expensive the UFR cost for the airframes we end up buying will be, now that the LRIP phases have been "moved to the right" by displacing 120 of the US buy into the future, and what impact that will have on delivery schedules.

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 13:33
by stobiewan
aaam wrote:
maus92 wrote:Change to F-35B fueled by cost considerations over converting to CATOBAR:

"The UK may have to scrap plans to purchase the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and instead revert to ordering the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant due to a lack of funds to redesign the decks of Britain's aircraft carriers, it has been reported."

"While the F-35C airframes are likely to be cheaper and more effective than the F-35B, the estimated £1bn cost of converting the flight deck of the carriers and purchasing EMALS equipment could be too expensive for the Ministry of Defence to afford, according to a report in The Guardian.

Although it has a greater range and the ability to carry a heavier payload, the F-35C design is also said to have suffered from some potentially significant design flaws early in its testing programme, which may push up costs. Late last year a Pentagon report cited concerns at the positioning of the F-35C's arrestor hook and its ability to withstand buffeting, amongst other problems, as a "concern".

Switching away from cat and trap system would also damage Britain's ability to interoperate from French aircraft carriers, as set out in a UK/France defence cooperation treaty and later agreed by the French President and UK Prime Minister David Cameron."

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19037



Some thoughts on the above:

First, I believe that until USMC was directed to buy some F-35Cs instead of some of the Bs it wanted, the C was more expensive than the B.

The range difference s isn't as big as you'd think, because a CTOL has to carry a much larger fuel reserve in shipboard operations than a STOVL a/c. The CTOLs also wear out faster. The B and C have the same avionics, but the C can carry, ~3,000 lbs. more weapons for a max loadout. OTOH, the B has a better thrust/weight ratio.

I don't see how going to the F-35B would prevent the British from operating from French carriers, but it sure would prevent the French from operating from British ones.

AS far as the costs of converting, they were known at the time of the SDSR, but part of the objective of that exercise was to have an excuse to push the carriers out into the future (and maybe get rid of RN fixed wing altogether). After all, it was known that the UK ships would have no organic tanker capability, a must-have for full deep water operations with CTOLs.



The article is junk - the reference to damaging the ability of the UK to operate from French carriers is a nonsense in that the B model would in fact be far easier to operate off the CdG than F35C, which would almost certainly be unable to operate from the French carrier at anything like a combat weight due to the shorter deck, and the shorter, less powerful cats.

Range difference on the C for the UK is, in RAF hands, considerable - and it's important to recognise that the F35 will end up being a significant chunk of the UK's strike capability - both from land and sea.

From the carriers, yes, we need to sort out something for tanker support - Cobb do something that works, and the F35 has two wet hard points easily capable of taking their kit so it's just a case of clearing the kit for use on F35, not inventing anything new.

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 13:42
by stobiewan
aaam wrote:
slowman2 wrote:
river_otter wrote:Not one of the three exists as even a flying prototype, much less a production aircraft.

The Super Hornet does short takeoff just fine, and the EPE would cut the take-off distance further. The EPE engine swap requires no airframe shape modification and was indeed offered to the Indians as a part of Boeing MRCA bid package for a delivery in 2015.

The fact that the four Royal Navy aviators embedded to the US Navy to preserve the British naval aviation skills currently fly Super Hornets also helps.


Problem is, can the UK afford to fund the development of EPE (possibly only for themselves), since USN apparently is only interested in the EDE?


There's no need for us to do anything of the sort - going STOBAR with SH makes no sense - we've ordered long lead items for at least one launch and arresting gear set, work is underway to convert both carriers to angle deck configuration at launch, the ski jump required to support STOBAR has been deleted and in short, we're too far down the line to switch to "worst of all worlds" STOBAR work for no good reason.

If F35 died a death then there are at least two proven CATOBAR aircraft available, off the shelf, and which are combat proven.

STOBAR on a 65Kt carrier is just a daft situation.

Unread postPosted: 04 Mar 2012, 23:53
by aaam
slowman2 wrote:
aaam wrote:Problem is, can the UK afford to fund the development of EPE (possibly only for themselves), since USN apparently is only interested in the EDE?

GE renamed EDE to EPE. They are the same thing.

There are three possible applications for the EPE engine.

Super/Silent Hornet : The optional engine available to customers right now.
Gripen E/F :
KFX : The EPE is competing against the EJ230. A design win would mean an order of at least 700 engines minimum + spare engines, so the competition for this contract is fierce.

aaam wrote:First, I believe that until USMC was directed to buy some F-35Cs instead of some of the Bs it wanted, the C was more expensive than the B.

That's for the airframe cost only. F-35B's propulsion is a killer at more than $100 million each right now, which makes F-35B much more expensive than even the F-22.



The F414 EDE and EPE are not the same thing, although they share a common core and Genesis. The EDE has a new high-pressure turbine and new six-stage, high-pressure compressor. These will increase the durability of the engine (hence the name) and reduce life cycle costs. USN is very interested in this and is funding development (if it doesn't get cut). The EPE, which GE itself differentiates, adds a new fan design featuring greater air flow to the EDE core which gives you the up to 20% increase in thrust at higher speeds, and that's what the customer has to fund, because apparently USN is satisfied with the F414 thrust as it is. Note that in the MMRCA competition India did not give credit to SH for the performance it might achieve with EPE specifically because EPE was not a funded development and would require India to foot the bill for its development.

I'd like to see where it says that the lift mechanism on the F-35B adds an additional $100 million per aircraft. The F-35B is essentially an A with the lift mechanism (same basic airframe, same wings, same aft control surfaces, etc.), whereas the C incorporates significant changes (wing and empennage, strong hook and support structure, new nose gear and strengthening to transmit catapult load, reinforced main gear, stronger structure). Prices advertised (for what they're worth) don't have, AFAIK, an asterisk after the B with a footnote that says "doesn't include lift system", but I'm willing to be convinced.

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 00:01
by aaam
stobiewan wrote:
aaam wrote:
maus92 wrote:Change to F-35B fueled by cost considerations over converting to CATOBAR:

"The UK may have to scrap plans to purchase the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and instead revert to ordering the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant due to a lack of funds to redesign the decks of Britain's aircraft carriers, it has been reported."

"While the F-35C airframes are likely to be cheaper and more effective than the F-35B, the estimated £1bn cost of converting the flight deck of the carriers and purchasing EMALS equipment could be too expensive for the Ministry of Defence to afford, according to a report in The Guardian.

Although it has a greater range and the ability to carry a heavier payload, the F-35C design is also said to have suffered from some potentially significant design flaws early in its testing programme, which may push up costs. Late last year a Pentagon report cited concerns at the positioning of the F-35C's arrestor hook and its ability to withstand buffeting, amongst other problems, as a "concern".

Switching away from cat and trap system would also damage Britain's ability to interoperate from French aircraft carriers, as set out in a UK/France defence cooperation treaty and later agreed by the French President and UK Prime Minister David Cameron."

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19037



Some thoughts on the above:

First, I believe that until USMC was directed to buy some F-35Cs instead of some of the Bs it wanted, the C was more expensive than the B.

The range difference s isn't as big as you'd think, because a CTOL has to carry a much larger fuel reserve in shipboard operations than a STOVL a/c. The CTOLs also wear out faster. The B and C have the same avionics, but the C can carry, ~3,000 lbs. more weapons for a max loadout. OTOH, the B has a better thrust/weight ratio.

I don't see how going to the F-35B would prevent the British from operating from French carriers, but it sure would prevent the French from operating from British ones.

AS far as the costs of converting, they were known at the time of the SDSR, but part of the objective of that exercise was to have an excuse to push the carriers out into the future (and maybe get rid of RN fixed wing altogether). After all, it was known that the UK ships would have no organic tanker capability, a must-have for full deep water operations with CTOLs.



The article is junk - the reference to damaging the ability of the UK to operate from French carriers is a nonsense in that the B model would in fact be far easier to operate off the CdG than F35C, which would almost certainly be unable to operate from the French carrier at anything like a combat weight due to the shorter deck, and the shorter, less powerful cats.

Range difference on the C for the UK is, in RAF hands, considerable - and it's important to recognise that the F35 will end up being a significant chunk of the UK's strike capability - both from land and sea.

From the carriers, yes, we need to sort out something for tanker support - Cobb do something that works, and the F35 has two wet hard points easily capable of taking their kit so it's just a case of clearing the kit for use on F35, not inventing anything new.


The C unquestionably has a substantially greater range when operating from land, but it narrows considerably when operating from sea, which is what the discussion is addressing--unless you're of the RAF camp that would be happiest if Britain builds the world's largest helicopter carriers.

Regarding the tankers and the F-35, yes you could set up a a buddy refueling operation, the development of which the UK would have to fund and for which the USN would definitely be grateful. To set it up as on the SH where the a/c itself can draw from this fuel or give part of its own fuel away would add even more R&D costs for a semi-unique version of the -35C. You got the bucks (pounds, euros, whatever)?

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 00:12
by spazsinbad
'aaam' I'm not following your last sentence: "...To set it up as on the SH where the a/c itself can draw from this fuel or give part of its own fuel away would add even more R&D costs for a semi-unique version of the -35C. You got the bucks (pounds, euros, whatever)?"

Do you mean use the Super Hornet (SH) as a tanker for F-35C? Or something else that is not clear to me. Thanks.

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 00:52
by quicksilver
Gents, what was painfully overlooked in the SDSR -- and to some degree in this thread -- is the cost of converting the ships to cats and traps (something on the order of $3B US). Anything that requires a launch bar and a tailhook to get off the ship and back aboard imposes those costs. Thus, particularly in this economic climate, we now see consideration of previous alternatives. The other unspoken piece is that F-35A range/radius is very comparable to the 'C' for land-based operations and thus an A/B UK mix will likely get some scrutiny.

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 00:58
by spazsinbad
'quicksilver' I don't believe the cost of converting CVF(s) has been overlooked but perhaps minimised [on this thread] because that cost is not known yet. Yes there are guesses. I believe cost will be known later this year. Though like everything to do with CVF and F-35s everything moves to the right - unknown - constantly. One day it will be sorted - then unsorted - then sorted. Hence the title of this thread. :D

Another factor to consider are the extra personnel required for cat/traps (or 'flaps' as so quaintly described by a funnyarseBrit) and the tankers of whatever persuasion and so on. It is clear that the RAF cannot help but meddle in the RN FAA. It is a pity the RN does not better deal with this interference. Apparently the British PM is aware now of the false last minute brief he was given by RAF at SDSR eve that made such dramatic change to RN/FAA to their detriment.

AND I forgot to add the extra maintenance cost of the cat/'flap' gear to be included over a long time of use one presumes.

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 01:25
by maus92
The question is do you want to spend the money up front to enable full interoperability with French and American CVs - with the tankers and AEW platforms that it brings to the table - or live with STOVL ops for the next 50 or so years.

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 01:33
by spazsinbad
There is already a question mark about what 'full interoperability' means in regard to the CdeG F-35C ops by USN/RN FAA. Perhaps they will do lightly loaded ops but yes the French aircraft can cross deck it would seem OK.

Yeah those tankers and AEW aircraft are a cost and so on and so on. Lotsa variables there and still not sorted by the goodly MoD.

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 02:47
by aaam
spazsinbad wrote:'aaam' I'm not following your last sentence: "...To set it up as on the SH where the a/c itself can draw from this fuel or give part of its own fuel away would add even more R&D costs for a semi-unique version of the -35C. You got the bucks (pounds, euros, whatever)?"

Do you mean use the Super Hornet (SH) as a tanker for F-35C? Or something else that is not clear to me. Thanks.



You are exactly right, sir. The USN plan is to use the F/A-18E/F, which is apparently supposed to do everything ever envisioned for an aircraft (I'm still waiting for the CF/A-18 and the VF/A-18) as its tanker. I hope SH does go beyond the normal buddy refueling role in that it can draw on is external fuel or give its internal fuel away.

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 03:12
by spazsinbad
'buddy refuelling' has always meant that the tanker can give away as much fuel as it can spare. A-4s were the first to buddy refuel. There are several old Naval Aviation News amongst other sources about this development in the mid-1950s. The easiest to access online would be Wikipedia or Skyhawk Association so here is one example: [to be clear 'the same type' also means other drogue/probe aircraft].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_A-4_Skyhawk

"...The A-4 pioneered the concept of "buddy" air-to-air refueling. This allows the aircraft to supply others of the same type, eliminating the need of dedicated tanker aircraft—a particular advantage for small air arms or when operating in remote locations. This allows for greatly improved operational flexibility and reassurance against the loss or malfunction of tanker aircraft, though this procedure reduces the effective combat force on board the carrier. A designated supply A-4 would mount a center-mounted "buddy store", a large external fuel tank with a hose reel in the aft section and an extensible drogue refueling bucket. This aircraft was fueled up without armament and launched first. Attack aircraft would be armed to the maximum and given as much fuel as was allowable by maximum takeoff weight limits, far less than a full tank. Once airborne, they would then proceed to top off their fuel tanks from the tanker using the A-4's fixed refueling probe on the starboard side of the aircraft nose. They could then sortie with both full armament and fuel loads. While rarely used in U.S. service since the KA-3 Skywarrior tanker became available, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet includes this capability...."
______________

Depending on internal fuel that could be transferred (say 3,000lbs of 5,200lbs) an A-4 with three external 2,000lb drop tanks (one being the centreline buddy store) could give away 8-9,000 lbs depending on requirements/conditions.

There are many photo examples of A-4s 'buddy refuelling' much larger aircraft such as this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A4_RF8A_1960.jpeg
__________________

More A-4 Buddy Store info here: http://a4skyhawk.org/2c/a4parts/html/buddy-store.htm

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 09:25
by aaam
spazsinbad wrote:'buddy refuelling' has always meant that the tanker can give away as much fuel as it can spare. A-4s were the first to buddy refuel. There are several old Naval Aviation News amongst other sources about this development in the mid-1950s. The easiest to access online would be Wikipedia or Skyhawk Association so here is one example: [to be clear 'the same type' also means other drogue/probe aircraft].

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_A-4_Skyhawk

"...The A-4 pioneered the concept of "buddy" air-to-air refueling. This allows the aircraft to supply others of the same type, eliminating the need of dedicated tanker aircraft—a particular advantage for small air arms or when operating in remote locations. This allows for greatly improved operational flexibility and reassurance against the loss or malfunction of tanker aircraft, though this procedure reduces the effective combat force on board the carrier. A designated supply A-4 would mount a center-mounted "buddy store", a large external fuel tank with a hose reel in the aft section and an extensible drogue refueling bucket. This aircraft was fueled up without armament and launched first. Attack aircraft would be armed to the maximum and given as much fuel as was allowable by maximum takeoff weight limits, far less than a full tank. Once airborne, they would then proceed to top off their fuel tanks from the tanker using the A-4's fixed refueling probe on the starboard side of the aircraft nose. They could then sortie with both full armament and fuel loads. While rarely used in U.S. service since the KA-3 Skywarrior tanker became available, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet includes this capability...."
______________

Depending on internal fuel that could be transferred (say 3,000lbs of 5,200lbs) an A-4 with three external 2,000lb drop tanks (one being the centreline buddy store) could give away 8-9,000 lbs depending on requirements/conditions.

There are many photo examples of A-4s 'buddy refuelling' much larger aircraft such as this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:A4_RF8A_1960.jpeg
__________________

More A-4 Buddy Store info here: http://a4skyhawk.org/2c/a4parts/html/buddy-store.htm



Almost anything can be set up for buddy store refueling, with a self contained store. A-7s for example were used repeatedly in this role because they were so miserly with their internal fuel, they could hang around with the buddy store for a long time. The KA-3 actually carried an internal fuel tank for "giveaway", but interestingly enough could not use this fuel itself. This caused some awkward situations where a KA-3 would have to declare a low fuel emergency even though it had tons of fuel aboard. There is even a case where a F-8, I believe, about to flame out was plugged into a KA-3 about to flame out when the duo managed to reach a KC-135 which refueled the KA-3 that was refueling the F-8! The later KA-6D could give away its internal fuel and tap its externals, but I'm not sure whether an unmodified A-4 could give away its own internal fuel or tap any of its external tanks for giveaway besides the buddy store itself. As I understand it, its buddy store contained 300 gallons of giveaway fuel, and could transfer at up to 180 gallons /min. This is also the same info given in your skyhawk.org reference, they refer only to the 300 gallons (1908-2040 lbs depending whether you're talking JP 4 or 5) in the buddy store itself. I know someone who absolutely would know and I can contact him if necessary.

In any case, much has been made (by SH proponents) of how the Super Bug has the "added" capability of serving as a tanker. I hope this means it can transfer amongst external tanks and also give away some of its internal fuel. Otherwise it's like any other buddy refueler.

I suspect that since the plumbing and bidirectional pumping equipment isn't there, an F-35 would be just like any other regular aircraft carrying a buddy store, possibly the Cobham 31-301.

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 09:43
by spazsinbad
'aam' said: "...but I'm not sure whether an unmodified A-4 could give away its own internal fuel or tap any of its external tanks for giveaway besides the buddy store itself. As I understand it, its buddy store contained 300 gallons of giveaway fuel, and could transfer at up to 180 gallons /min. This is also the same info given in your skyhawk.org reference, they refer only to the 300 gallons (1908-2040 lbs depending whether you're talking JP 4 or 5) in the buddy store itself. I know someone who absolutely would know and I can contact him if necessary...."

There is a 4.4GB PDF available that has not only most of the 'how to deck land' info but also a bunch of stuff about Skyhawks, particularly the A4G (RAN FAA version). That PDF has a lot of information about aerial/buddy refuelling with excerpts from an A-4E/F/G NATOPS. As a now very old former A4G pilot (early 1970s) am I expert enough to assure you that the A-4 could transfer internal fuel from wing tanks but not from the fuselage tank which held something like 1,500lbs and a lesser amount in the trainer version. I don't know why that is an issue for you but you have mentioned it. What I have indicated earlier is correct. You can download a free A-4E/F/G NATOPS if you don't want to check my PDFs mentioned. This free NATOPS is my own version scanned by me here:

http://www.gamefront.com/files/user/SpazSinbad
specifically:
http://www.gamefront.com/files/11615952 ... kyhawk_pdf (63Mb)
_______________

04 March 2012 a new version of the 4.4GB PDF about the A4G and RAN FAA aircraft was uploaded to SkyDrive (sadly the file size limit of 100Mb means there are 46 parts):

Folder name is: '__04mar12 A4G FAA 4.4GB Scrapbook PDF'

Copy / Paste the long complete URL below - thanks:

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=cbcd63d6 ... L0I/TQDzM7 MkWvmGlpc=1&jsref=1&id=CBCD63D6340707E6%21174
OR
SHORT URL: http://alturl.com/z5apg
_______________________________

There is a free Super Hornet NATOPS available for download, I'm not sure at moment if there is much about air refuelling/buddy stores in that PDF. I'll go and check it later tonight. Meanwhile here is a text snippet from the A-4 NATOPS.
_________

Here is an interesting (to me) early refuelling pic from those mid 1950s (AFAIK).

http://collections.naval.aviation.museu ... n=16002423

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 10:02
by spazsinbad
F/A-18-E/F NATOPS may be downloaded here (as well as F/A-18A/B/C/D version:

http://publicintelligence.net/u-s-navy- ... t-manuals/

Unread postPosted: 05 Mar 2012, 12:09
by stobiewan
aaam wrote:
stobiewan wrote:
aaam wrote:
maus92 wrote:Change to F-35B fueled by cost considerations over converting to CATOBAR:

"The UK may have to scrap plans to purchase the carrier variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and instead revert to ordering the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant due to a lack of funds to redesign the decks of Britain's aircraft carriers, it has been reported."

"While the F-35C airframes are likely to be cheaper and more effective than the F-35B, the estimated £1bn cost of converting the flight deck of the carriers and purchasing EMALS equipment could be too expensive for the Ministry of Defence to afford, according to a report in The Guardian.

Although it has a greater range and the ability to carry a heavier payload, the F-35C design is also said to have suffered from some potentially significant design flaws early in its testing programme, which may push up costs. Late last year a Pentagon report cited concerns at the positioning of the F-35C's arrestor hook and its ability to withstand buffeting, amongst other problems, as a "concern".

Switching away from cat and trap system would also damage Britain's ability to interoperate from French aircraft carriers, as set out in a UK/France defence cooperation treaty and later agreed by the French President and UK Prime Minister David Cameron."

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19037



Some thoughts on the above:

First, I believe that until USMC was directed to buy some F-35Cs instead of some of the Bs it wanted, the C was more expensive than the B.

The range difference s isn't as big as you'd think, because a CTOL has to carry a much larger fuel reserve in shipboard operations than a STOVL a/c. The CTOLs also wear out faster. The B and C have the same avionics, but the C can carry, ~3,000 lbs. more weapons for a max loadout. OTOH, the B has a better thrust/weight ratio.

I don't see how going to the F-35B would prevent the British from operating from French carriers, but it sure would prevent the French from operating from British ones.

AS far as the costs of converting, they were known at the time of the SDSR, but part of the objective of that exercise was to have an excuse to push the carriers out into the future (and maybe get rid of RN fixed wing altogether). After all, it was known that the UK ships would have no organic tanker capability, a must-have for full deep water operations with CTOLs.



The article is junk - the reference to damaging the ability of the UK to operate from French carriers is a nonsense in that the B model would in fact be far easier to operate off the CdG than F35C, which would almost certainly be unable to operate from the French carrier at anything like a combat weight due to the shorter deck, and the shorter, less powerful cats.

Range difference on the C for the UK is, in RAF hands, considerable - and it's important to recognise that the F35 will end up being a significant chunk of the UK's strike capability - both from land and sea.

From the carriers, yes, we need to sort out something for tanker support - Cobb do something that works, and the F35 has two wet hard points easily capable of taking their kit so it's just a case of clearing the kit for use on F35, not inventing anything new.


The C unquestionably has a substantially greater range when operating from land, but it narrows considerably when operating from sea, which is what the discussion is addressing--unless you're of the RAF camp that would be happiest if Britain builds the world's largest helicopter carriers.

Regarding the tankers and the F-35, yes you could set up a a buddy refueling operation, the development of which the UK would have to fund and for which the USN would definitely be grateful. To set it up as on the SH where the a/c itself can draw from this fuel or give part of its own fuel away would add even more R&D costs for a semi-unique version of the -35C. You got the bucks (pounds, euros, whatever)?


Tanker wise, the F35C has two external hardpoints capable of carrying the existing Cobb buddy/buddy systems used by the F18, the hard points are wet.

That leaves the question as to if the UAI system can define fuel flow on the F35, and allow it to both flow from and into tanks, or if the existing management systems already does that.


If it didn't and the tanker had to troll around with only the fuel in the stores, that'd give them about 6,000 lbs to give away.

In other words, the stores exist, F35 can technically carry them - that leaves the task of clearing them for flight and testing them.

Unread postPosted: 06 Mar 2012, 09:59
by spazsinbad
Written Answers to Questions Tuesday 10 January 2012 Defence

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... 0w0001.htm

Aircraft Carriers
Angus Robertson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the current catapult and trap design for the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers and the compatibility of the F-35C aircraft with its main 7.1 foot landing gear to arrestor hook distance. [87594]

Peter Luff: Our investigations into the conversion of the operational Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier are still ongoing, but it remains our intent that the catapult and arrestor gear equipment to be installed will be fully compatible with the more capable F-35C strike fighters.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what comparison he has made of the size of the traps planned for the (a) Queen Elizabeth class and (b) Gerald Ford class aircraft carriers. [87595]

Peter Luff: Our investigations into the conversion of the operational Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier are still ongoing, but at this stage, the arrangement and size of the arrestor gear system is the same as that used in the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier. However, the exact arrangement of components and sub-systems will differ due to the differences in ship size and compartment layout.

10 Jan 2012 : Column 7W
Alison Seabeck:
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has received an interim report on the carrier variant conversion investigation; and if not, when he expects to receive such a report. [88562]

Peter Luff: Investigations into the conversion of the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carrier to operate the Carrier Variant of the Joint Strike Fighter are due to conclude in December 2012. The project team is continuing to mature and develop information, in conjunction with UK industry, which will be used to inform decisions on the final conversion solution. Ministers are routinely updated on the progress of this investigation.

As part of the Ministry of Defence approvals process, Ministers will be presented with the Department's full findings to allow them to consider the conversion options and take final decisions."

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2012, 06:02
by bjr1028
aaam wrote:I suspect that since the plumbing and bidirectional pumping equipment isn't there, an F-35 would be just like any other regular aircraft carrying a buddy store, possibly the Cobham 31-301.


The one that always perplexed me about the f-35 is why nobody thought to fit the centerline and bay pylons for fuel piping. With only two wet pylons, it severely limits the F-35's usefulness for buddy tanking.

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2012, 06:33
by SpudmanWP
The centerline capability is too small due to the opening bay doors. The outer wing pylon are also limited to 2500 lbs (too small for a 450 gal tank) .

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2012, 08:36
by spazsinbad
I have no idea about how the F-35 might be able to transfer fuel for buddy fuelling (how much internal fuel could be transferred for example) but anyway here is an idea for the F-16 which may have an application for F-35?

Extra fuel on weapon stations By Arie Egozi on August 8, 2011

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/ariel ... tions.html

"An Israeli company has developed a concept that it claims will allow fighter aircraft to carry additional fuel tanks on their weapon stations.

The FAR Technologies concept is based on utilizing military aircraft weapon stations (on the F-16: stations 3 and 7), and adapting them to carry fuel tanks.

Through this the aircraft's mission envelope is extended, and its operational capabilities expanded...."

MORE at the JUMP!

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2012, 08:59
by spazsinbad
Interesting factoid (a not so good version of Windows?):

Sargent Fletcher ART/S Pod – F-16 VISTA

http://airrefuelingarchive.wordpress.co ... -16-vista/

"...The program was also notable for the development of Direct Voice Input and the “Virtual HUD”, which were both eventually to be incorporated into the cockpit design for the F-35 Lightning II. The STOVL F-35 variants also incorporate MATV [Multi-Axis Thrust-Vectoring (MATV)] while hovering to provide attitude control."

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2012, 10:09
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:I have no idea about how the F-35 might be able to transfer fuel for buddy fuelling (how much internal fuel could be transferred for example) but anyway here is an idea for the F-16 which may have an application for F-35?

Extra fuel on weapon stations By Arie Egozi on August 8, 2011

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/ariel ... tions.html

"An Israeli company has developed a concept that it claims will allow fighter aircraft to carry additional fuel tanks on their weapon stations.

The FAR Technologies concept is based on utilizing military aircraft weapon stations (on the F-16: stations 3 and 7), and adapting them to carry fuel tanks.

Through this the aircraft's mission envelope is extended, and its operational capabilities expanded...."

MORE at the JUMP!



Well, clean, an F35 is carrying more fuel than an F16 with two external drop tanks. That's 18,000 lbs of fuel - and remember, most of what the UK wants will be a quick hit to provide an aircraft time to go around, wait for the decks to clear, and the very occasional divert if the decks are totally fouled.

I think the 31-301 store carries 1,136 litres of fuel, so that's what, 4000 lbs of fuel in total plus the internal 18,000 on tap? You need a chunk of it for flying the tanker and landing it again but the total fuel is more than the EF/18 which is currently doing the job on USN carriers right now.

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2012, 10:44
by spazsinbad
I think what is not clear is the question whether some of the F-35C internal fuel is available for transfer to another aircraft. Perhaps it is and that will be good.

Possibly an X-47B will have tanker capability by the time the CVF/F-35C combo requires them.

Unread postPosted: 09 Mar 2012, 19:55
by maus92
U.K. Reviewing Lockheed’s F-35B Model, U.S. Official Says

By Tony Capaccio and Gopal Ratnam - Mar 9, 2012 | Bloomberg

"The U.K. is reconsidering its 2010 decision not to buy Lockheed (LMT) Martin Corp.’s F-35B jet, said U.S. Navy Vice Admiral David Venlet, program manager for the Joint Strike Fighter.

Asked in an interview if the U.K. is again interested in the F-35’s short-takeoff and vertical landing model, Venlet replied: “That is under consideration.”"

"The U.K.’s reconsideration of the F-35B model is a “relatively new development” driven by “national U.K. financial constraints and what it costs” to modify its two future Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers so they could carry the U.S. Navy’s F-35C, Venlet said after a presentation to a Credit Suisse conference on defense programs yesterday in Arlington, Virginia."

"Those modifications to the carriers may include adding catapults, arresting gear and other equipment needed to operate the F-35C, he said. “There is a cost” to making those changes “and I think they are re-analyzing” if they should buy the short-takeoff model instead, Venlet said.

“I have told them at various levels of the government, we are with you whatever you need,” Venlet said."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-0 ... ys-1-.html

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2012, 00:00
by quicksilver
"...a cost..." -- yeah like ~$3B US not including life cycle O&S etc.

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2012, 02:43
by FlightDreamz
I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that the U.K. will go back to F-35B S.T.O.V.L. on the first (helicopter) carrier completed. But trying to switch from S.T.O.V.L. to catapults back to S.T.O.V.L. again seems foolhardy to me at this point. And no ones taking into account that the catapult carrier can launch E-2D Hawkeyes easily. The E-2's have been launched off of ski-jumps but I'm not sure how well that well work over the long term on a STOVL carrier. :shrug:

Unread postPosted: 10 Mar 2012, 22:42
by bjr1028
SpudmanWP wrote:The centerline capability is too small due to the opening bay doors. The outer wing pylon are also limited to 2500 lbs (too small for a 450 gal tank) .


Too small for a large fuel tank, but not for a buddy hose dispenser.

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2012, 06:02
by spazsinbad
Don't know what can be gleaned from this F-35 simulator view of the fuel quantity in a scenario. The website makes a note about the JP-4. Anyway here it is: http://cencio4.files.wordpress.com/2012 ... ockpit.jpg

Touch screen, voice activated commands, portal. A new smartphone or tablet? No, the Lockheed Martin F-35?s glass cockpit. January 19, 2012 by David Cenciotti

http://theaviationist.com/2012/01/19/sneak-preview-f35/

Just to be clear here are some definintions for words seen (perhaps not totally accurate but good enough):

http://www.christianfighterpilot.com/fi ... .htm#joker

"Joker: Pre-briefed fuel state above bingo at which maneuvering should be terminated or separation/bug-out begun. Joker may be understood as a 'pad' above bingo that allows for a certain amount of maneuvering before finally reaching bingo.
&
Bingo: The pre-briefed fuel state at which an aircraft needs to begin its return to base in order to land with the pre-planned fuel."

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2012, 06:03
by spazsinbad
Words have appeared above - MAGIC! :shock: :D

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2012, 16:20
by johnwill
Uh, where is the other 400 pounds? The totalizer shows 18200 pounds, but summing the individual tanks gives 17800 pounds. Maybe the "Feed' designation means two engine feed tanks with 200 pounds each.

Unread postPosted: 11 Mar 2012, 19:27
by neptune
FlightDreamz wrote:... the U.K. will go back to F-35B.... taking into account that the catapult carrier can launch E-2D Hawkeyes ....:


Brits, "Go Figure??" :roll: ;

Bees-

- Will the Brits go back to the "Bee", yes. :) Do they want a helo-carrier, emphatically "NO!" :lol: ; it brings no prestige and no national prominenece.
- Will they fly the "Bees" STOVL off the QE, undoubtedly. 8)
-Will they fly both "Bees" STOVL and "Seas" CV, yes :D ; but off different carriers.

Seas-

- Will they convert the PW to CV, yes.
- Will both the "Seas" and Rafaels fly CV off the PW, yes.
- Will the Brits/ French joint venture require a new ship name, yes.
- Will the French share ship conversion cost to CV, yes.
- Will the E-2 fly CV off the PW, yes.

Bees & Seas-

In the end, the Brits will initially buy fewer of each type until the LM production cycle produces the "cheaper" sticker price. Buying both types benefits from the common design/ parts. Having CV allows them to share the cost of the PW with the French and thus retain the image of a "CARRIER NAVY"!

We have bantered-about in this web site on the subject of the Brits F-35s, but recently there has been strong discussion about the Brits sharing equipment/ sites with the French. This sharing seems to be the least expensive approach to both the Brit and French economic difficulties. My only question is that since aviation is predominantly common English, will the ship's signs be bi-lingual?? :poke: :salute:

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2012, 03:55
by spazsinbad
Cost of refitting Royal Navy aircraft carrier trebles By Thomas Harding, Def Corr 12 Mar 2012

"The costs of refitting a Royal Navy aircraft carrier so it can be used by a new generation of fighter jets have more than trebled, defence sources have told The Daily Telegraph."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... ebles.html

"Estimates for adapting HMS Prince of Wales so that it can be used by the Joint Strike Fighter are understood have risen from £500 million to £1.8 billion.

Millions have already been spent on studies to look at how to convert the ship after ministers decided to scrap the jump-jet variant of the plane in favour of a conventional take-off and landing model. But so great is the rise in total costs, ministers are considering abandoning the plan and reverting to the Ministry of Defence’s original proposals.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, believes there is not enough money in the budget to afford the £300 million a year to carry out the work over six years....

...The MoD has earmarked up to £80 million for the conversion feasibility study and half the money has been spent.

Pressure is mounting on ministers to make a decision because of the time it will take to refit the carrier. More than 200 Navy sailors and fliers are about to begin training on US and French carriers to ensure the British ships have qualified crews when launched. Mr Hammond’s decision, expected at the end of this month, could be helped after manufacturers said technical problems with the jump-jet fighter were largely resolved."

Much more babble at the URL JUMP!

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2012, 11:58
by spazsinbad
Lots of speculative 'what ifs' in this article that may not happen for UK but anyway interesting twist as some have suggested already that UK may go F-35A/F-35B mix similar to Italian Air Force/Navy mix perhaps. And it is back to Expeditionary Ops in Med for UK in near future most likely (with the possibility of Falklands as required)....

The UK, Allies and Re-thinking the F-35C by Robbin Laird

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-uk-allies-an ... the-f-35c/

"...The Brits are not likely in any case to follow the con-ops of the Carrier Battle Group; they will be evolving the con-ops of the ESG. Whether with their own ships and air assets, or those of allies – American or not – the Queen Elizabeth with F-35Bs on board can operate as an ESG focal point. And because of the deck flexibility, they will be able to mix and match helos with airplanes, unmanned and manned or whatever evolves over the next 40 years of the life of the ship.

The RAF buying F-35As makes inherently good sense because it will be the cheapest of the F-35s and be produced in large numbers over the course of the program. And the shared combat systems means that the F-35Bs operating off of the carrier can work inseparably with the RAF or ANY other land-based F-35s which the Brits will need to work with.

The implications for the UK’s coalition approach are significant. The inherent flexibility of the F-35B enabled deck means that the British can lead an operation, can contribute to an operation, or support an operation. A distributed sea base is made up of a variety of platforms, ranging from patrol boats, frigates, destroyers, submarines, etc. The F-35B can put a cover over the distributed seabase, providing air cover, seamless transition from air-to-air to close combat support, and can connect through MADL with whatever F-35 assets are available from the RAF or allies. Remembering that allies in Europe and the Middle East are buying F-35As in decent numbers, this means a significant expansion of what the F-35Bs aboard the carrier CAN DO. No platform fights alone in the F-35 world.

It also means that the Royal Navy can operate Special Forces off of the Queen Elizabeth along with the Bs. Deck spotting and deck management are an important part of mission management and mission success. This means as well, that coalition assets can land on the carrier and leverage the sea-base while the F-35B is flying its C4ISR D mission sets.

There is also a special relationship, which can be developed with the Italians, and their new F-35B enabled carrier. In discussions with Italians, it is clear that their carrier not only is built for F-35Bs as the enabler but that the way ahead is a mix of Bs and As. And the Italians are starting down the road thinking of some innovative approaches to combing them into an integrated strike force for operations throughout their areas of interest...."

Best to read the entire long article at the URL above. PLUS another good STO Harrier pic here: http://www.sldinfo.com/wp-content/uploa ... /03/14.jpg

Cropped variation below from same source: "The USMC operated 16 Harriers off of the Large Deck Amphib the USS Kearsarge presaging what they intend to do when they have the F-35Bs. In this picture, An AV-8B Harrier takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) during Bold Alligator 2012. Credit: USN"

Unread postPosted: 13 Mar 2012, 17:58
by maus92
Lockheed could accommodate UK reversal on F-35 variant
Craig Hoyle | London

"A possible UK decision to reverse a variant switch on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would not cause a problem for Lockheed Martin, according to one of the company's senior programme officials."

"While deferring any comment on the likelihood of a reversal of the decision to the company's UK customer, Lockheed vice-president F-35 programme integration and business development Stephen O'Bryan says: "We have the [production] capacity if the UK went B. We are agnostic on the platform and our supply chain could handle a switch back.""

"Defence secretary Philip Hammond will announce the outcome of this [budget / review of programs] process before Parliament's Easter recess starts on 27 March, but the MoD says the government remains committed to fielding a new carrier strike capability as part of its "Future Force 2020" plans."

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... nt-369443/

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2012, 16:18
by spazsinbad
Long list of various issues to do with changing from F-35C to B on CVFs on this blog post. One day it will get sorted. Then resorted. Then resorted sorted resorted. I think I want to go to a resort... :D This is a long post with only some of it excepted here below.

Forward to Plan B March 14, 2012

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2012/03/f ... Defence%29

"...Depending on your view point you might see the Short Take off and Vertical Landing capability of the F35B to be operationally useful or a gimmick but it is really not the issue, it’s a pros and cons type situation with no right or wrong answer, there are implications though.

Regardless of the performance benefits, what were these extra costs and risks associated with going back to having ‘proper carriers’

Deck Crew; estimates vary but a solid assumption is that conventional carrier operations need more deck crew that STOVL; shore accommodation, welfare, pensions, pay and all the other capitation costs we know about. Some of these can be mitigated with sharing arrangements but fundamentally, it is an additional cost.

Flight Crew; although synthetic environments and the F35’s flight control systems hold a great deal of promise, the assumption must be that maintaining carrier qualifications will require more aircraft, more aircrew and more time. This drives up cost or reduces availability. Where that relationship settles is open for discussion but the basic assumption should be we will need more time/crew or accept less mission availability and reduce the ability to rapidly surge in a crisis.

Catapults and Arrestor Gear; no sensible option exists other than the US EMAL’s and associated recovery equipment which is an additional capital cost and significant through life cost. Certainly cheaper than steam but still a considerable extra cost although the risk of it failing to deliver seems remote.

Doubts on the second carrier; by putting additional costs and delay into the programme something had to give and that something was the second carrier. Operating one carrier with F35C’s might provide a performance uplift over F35B’s but if our loan carrier is in refit or has an accident it doesn’t matter what performance advantage there is. Relying on the French might seem a reasonable option if one’s head is firmly in the sand but does anyone else think will see Rafale’s providing cover for a UK only operation?

Deck Handling and the CEPP; carrier strike has morphed into Carrier Enabled Power Projection (who thinks these up by the way, is there a training course one attends?) which is a blend of carrier borne fast jets, helicopters and in the future UAV’s, supported by other capabilities and force elements. The Royal Navy openly admit that the move to conventional aircraft handling will complicate matters in this regard, noting in evidence to a House of Commons Select Committee that no other maritime force will be doing this and that the challenges are significant. With STOVL aircraft the deck movement challenges are much fewer and we have a deep well of experience from which to draw.

Recovery Refuelling; if we operate the CTOL F35C we need a means of safely providing emergency recovery refuelling but given that no customer exists for the F35C except the USN and they have plenty of other options we would have to fund that ourselves. This would not be an insurmountable problem but at what cost?

Interoperability; the SDSR made great play of interoperability but this only means the US and French maritime forces, the F35B allows us to work with the USMC, Italian and Spanish forces, maybe Australians in the future, in addition to the US and French Navies, plus a number of other prospective F35B buyers and at the very least we would be able to carry out an emergency recovery of an F35B on almost any vessel in the fleet.

I would also ask whether the performance difference between the F35C and F35B is in a REALISTIC operational context are really that significant.

I personally don’t think they are so in light of the extra costs and other risks; simply don’t think it was worth it...."

There is a lot more of the total blog post at the URL.

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2012, 05:43
by popcorn
Is the extra range and internal payload afforded by the C really worth the conversion cost, specially if this means that in all likelihood that the 2nd carrier goes to waste? By going STOVL, the 2 carriers provide mutual backup capability. A mixed force comprising F-35 CTOL and STOVL jets seems appealing.

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2012, 06:34
by spazsinbad
Agree popcorn! Not certain if the ski jump has not already been removed from the first in class. I guess it can be done without if the ski jump can be added later in more cashed up times. Politics will decide the situation most likely rather than our good ideas. :D

Unread postPosted: 16 Mar 2012, 10:59
by popcorn
The timing of BA2012 may turn out to be fortuitous for the proponents of the B and how it could contribute in an ESG environment. The UK carriers may yet morph into LHAs on steroids..

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 02:11
by spazsinbad
'Sharkey' Ward is not happy. Britain has to decide what ConOps are appropriate for whatever reason (it seems to me that short term budget issues drive their policy nowadays). There is a new twist (to me anyway) reason why F-35Bs were chosen in the first instance. Have not see that theory before.

Reversion to the F-35B would be wrong for Britain. March 15, 2012
Short-Term Expediency could destroy Britain's ability to Project Power and Influence

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2012/03/re ... g-for.html

"...Moving F-35 Goal Posts – Vested Interest and Short Term Expediency.
2002 - Vested Interest.
12.
The initial choice of variant of the F-35 was driven by the strong voice of MoD/RAF who insisted that the STOVL F-35B version should be selected - countering the advice of the then Chief Scientific Officer to select the Carrier variant . The RAF view was contrary to the wishes of the Royal Navy but the latter were overruled in Committee. The reason behind the RAF choice had nothing whatsoever to do with operations from an aircraft carrier. It was because they, the RAF, had a private agenda which was referred to as the Deep Penetration Offensive Craft (DPOC).

13. DPOC was envisaged as a long-range, land based bomber and would have provided the RAF with a deep strike capability that could not be achieved by either Tornado the Eurofighter Typhoon.

14. Of the three F-35 variants, the STOVL ‘B’ version had the shortest strike range and the RAF could see therefore that if the land-based ‘A’ version or the carrier-based ‘C’ version was chosen, the deep strike capability of either aircraft would mitigate against any thought of approving the DPOC project...."

LONG Post at URL above and excerpt is only a small part of it.

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 03:19
by popcorn
The article overstates the combat radius of the C as 760 nautical miles. It also seems to portray the B as being more problematic than it's successes over the past year culminating in the lifting of probation. It will be a relief to hear which jet finally gets the nod.

I need clarification though on what roe the RAF will play, if any, when the F-35 is acquired. Will they jointly operate the jet along with the RN?

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 09:20
by delvo
What's this about a second ship going to waste if they get C? Is conversion for C too expensive or impossible for that ship, so it's stuck with B or nothing? If so, why couldn't they get B for one ship and C for the other(s)?

(It would become a great case study for comparing the implications of the two methods of launching & landing.)

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 10:33
by spazsinbad
Until final decision made the question about 2nd CVF (first in class) being converted to cat/trap is not certain and of course the actual aircraft type and numbers are also undecided.

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 13:57
by maus92
popcorn wrote:The article overstates the combat radius of the C as 760 nautical miles.


The combat radius of the F-35C is indeed overstated. The 760nm number is close to the SAR Baseline Development Estimate of 730nm mentioned in the 2010 SAR. The most current published estimate is 615nm, but this number is over a year old. Perhaps the method / parameters used to calculate range will be modified - like what was done with the F-35A - to increase the radius estimate somewhat.

For reference, the SAR Baseline Development Estimate for the F-35B is 550nm, and the current published estimate is 469nm. Both numbers come from the same 2010 SAR.

Using the current estimates from the 2010 SAR, the combat radius of the -C is about 25% greater than the -B.

The 2011 SAR should be available (leaked?) shortly.

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 14:18
by stobiewan
Ah, bless Mr Ward.

"40. The F-35A is configured for "boom" refuelling and is therefore incompatible with the drogue-configured FSTA."

I'd best ring round the rest of the A model customers and give them the bad news right this second I guess. No air to air refuelling for you guys, suckers!

It's basically a re-iteration of the suggestion we bin the lot and buy F18 on the basis that F35 is $190 million a copy.

Same bullshit, different day.

F35 is best for the RAF in any event as it's got longer legs and better payload. Let's stop fecking around and buy the bloody thing...

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 14:39
by bjr1028
spazsinbad wrote:Agree popcorn! Not certain if the ski jump has not already been removed from the first in class. I guess it can be done without if the ski jump can be added later in more cashed up times. Politics will decide the situation most likely rather than our good ideas. :D


The ski-jump is bolted on to the flight deck instead actually being part of the bow, so adding it on is no big deal.

stobiewan wrote:Ah, bless Mr Ward.

"40. The F-35A is configured for "boom" refuelling and is therefore incompatible with the drogue-configured FSTA."

I'd best ring round the rest of the A model customers and give them the bad news right this second I guess. No air to air refuelling for you guys, suckers!

It's basically a re-iteration of the suggestion we bin the lot and buy F18 on the basis that F35 is $190 million a copy.

Same bullshit, different day.

F35 is best for the RAF in any event as it's got longer legs and better payload. Let's stop fecking around and buy the bloody thing...


The Standard F-35A is configured with a receptacle for USAF Boom. It can be ordered with the probe from the bravo and charlie models for export though.

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 15:31
by stobiewan
I know - it stands to reason that the A model would have to be available with the probe option or they'd never be able to export it - but there's Mr Ward claiming quite definitely otherwise. I'll file that under "USN carriers recover aircraft at 45 knots" I think.

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 16:03
by m
stobiewan wrote:I know - it stands to reason that the A model would have to be available with the probe option or they'd never be able to export it - but there's Mr Ward claiming quite definitely otherwise. I'll file that under "USN carriers recover aircraft at 45 knots" I think.


No probe and drogue has never been much of a problem exporting the F16.

Concerning the EPAF countries, pilots are trained in the US (except for Belgium). On missions they always operated where the US was flying as well.

Concerning there own capabilities, no probe and droque, in case the F35, there is no problem.
The Dutch ordered two KDC-10’s, boom system, in 1992 for the F16. On missions, together with Norway, Denmark or Belgium, these countries are able to use this boom system, without the assistance of allies or the US.
http://www.defensie.nl/english/subjects ... -10__dc-10

Since 2012 the Dutch Royal Airforce has got 2 full flight simulators ( KDC-10 and Hercules C130) and does not have to train with simulators at Tampa or London anymore.


As reported, it’s no problem for a country, when needed, to order probe and drogue for the F35A.
Canada intends to order probe and drogue.

Curious, in that case, both systems will be on board?

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 16:35
by m
UK Typhoon costs compared with a F35C (or F35 A)

Source: 2010-2011
Lord Astor of Hever
Conservative Peer
Whip, House of Lords (since 14 May 2010)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Defence

Flying costs per hour: Rate: 17 march 2012

o Typhoon: £70,000 = €110,84.19 = $136,685.67


Source: (UK) Public Accounts Committee - Thirtieth Report
Management of the Typhoon Project (2011)

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /86002.htm

o The project began in the 1980s and the Department was over-optimistic on costs. In particular, it failed to anticipate significant cost increases and delays from the rigid and complex collaborative arrangements. Overall, it is costing the Department £20.2 billion, £3.5 billion more than it first expected, to buy a third fewer aircraft.
This is equivalent to the purchase cost of each aircraft rising by 75%, from £72 million to £126 million.

2011 Typhoon: purchase cost of each aircraft (Rate: 17 march 2012)

o £126 million = € 151.9 million = $199.23 million

* Multirole in 2018


Suppose in case a developed aircraft carrier Typhoon would cost a hell a lot of money.

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 19:29
by spazsinbad
'bjr1028 said: "...The ski-jump is bolted on to the flight deck instead actually being part of the bow, so adding it on is no big deal..." Do you have a reference for that claim please? Thanks.

Yes the whatever range/combat radius claims can be all over the place. I prefer the nebulous but offficial for LM anyway info as stated: [respectively A/B/C] from: http://f-35.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/ ... 6-2012.pdf
06 Feb 2012
"Combat radius (internal fuel)
F-35A >590 nm / 1,093 km; F-35B >450 nm / 833 km; F-35C >600 n.mi / 1,100 km
Range (internal fuel)
F-35A >1,200 nm / 2,200 km; F-35B >900 nm / 1,667 km; F-35C >1,200 n.mi / 2,200 km"

And as 'stobiewan' says Mr.Sharkey is a tad careless with the facts - and as he points out sometimes hilariously so.

I think one of the Canadian Air Refuel Drogue Brake Chute threads has an LM claim that there is space in the F-35A model airframe to install drogue/probe also but I think they state also that those requiring such a dual air refuel arrangement will have to pay for development etc.

Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 19:44
by stobiewan
1st503rdsgt wrote:Switching to the F-35C was nothing more than a short-sighted accounting stunt by the MoD to gain some short-term cost-savings that they could show on their books, a poor decision by bureaucrats with little understanding of the domino effect such a change would have on the costs of their entire carrier program.

I can't wait to see what comes up next. I may be an old ground pounder, but isn't 25 kts a touch slow for CATOBAR operations with a 40-70,000 lb fighter plane? If not, then how is maintaining the speed necessary to launch/recover F-35Cs going to affect fuel consumption/range and was that factored into the original performance/cost projections?

Of course, the original concept of a conventionally-powered STOVL supercarrier was harebrained in the first place. The UK should have just kept their Invincible-class ships and upgraded them for F-35B operations.



I think you're correct in saying it was a decision calculated to put some costs outside the life of the government - although given the delays in F35, it's now obvious that either model would still have been available too late to get into service on launch with the carriers.

25 knots would be plenty for F35C - it's KPP for wind over deck in most situations is alleged to be 15 knots. It's possible in some very odd circumstances (very heavy weapons and fuel loads plus total calm and an urgent need to recover that precluded simply dumping fuel) that CVF would have to pour on the coals but I'm pressed to think of anything that would cause a major problem.

There was nothing wrong with the concept of building a large, capable STOVL carrier - CVF was always intended to be converted to CATOBAR at some point in their lives, and 65Kt was about the right size to support a reasonable air wing of any sort with enough fuel and munitions to pound the snot out of most third and more than a few second world countries without breaking sweat.

There's no way CVS could have soldiered on with F35B on the decks - they were too small and needed replacement.

I think if we'd realised what a total clusterf*ck the actual procurement would have been, we might have been better off going for three 40Kt CVS replacements but that's hindsight.

They'll be fine ships in service and hopefully once we've got one in the water with aircraft flying off it, we'll all nationally breathe a bit easier.

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 20:18
by SpudmanWP
Ask and ye shall receive:

Image

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 20:36
by cynical175
Can anybody enlighting this guy about the fuel consunption rate in lb/min in both modes for the JSF-35 (forget the B). Normal flight and in afterburner.
I know there will be many variable possible but we should be able to come up with some kind of an avareege.

Also what would or could it have been for the other engine that was stopped dead in its tracks.

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 20:49
by spazsinbad
'popcorn' asked: "...I need clarification though on what roe the RAF will play, if any, when the F-35 is acquired. Will they jointly operate the jet along with the RN?"

Mr.Beedall is usually correct with any assertions but of course which aircraft and how many will be important but anyway...

Libya Saves Carrier Strike 30 August 2011

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/

"...Even the RAF seems to have reconciled itself to the fact that Carrier Strike will happen, and has agreed that the manning of the F-35C squadrons will be shared 60:40 with the Fleet Air Arm. The problem now is to buy enough F-35C’s to form the three front-line squadrons of 12 aircraft that are needed to fill the decks of a QE in a crisis, and for once the RN and RAF will present a unified front!"

Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:13
by m
SpudmanWP wrote:Ask and ye shall receive:

Image


Amen ..... :D

Thanks, was curious about a dual refueling capability. A dual refueling capability seems to me, operational, quite an advantage.

Drag chute installation … multi-national development beginning soon?
Some particular countries are known? Thought Norway seemed not interested anymore?

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:13
by stobiewan
m wrote:
stobiewan wrote:I know - it stands to reason that the A model would have to be available with the probe option or they'd never be able to export it - but there's Mr Ward claiming quite definitely otherwise. I'll file that under "USN carriers recover aircraft at 45 knots" I think.


No probe and drogue has never been much of a problem exporting the F16.


Yes, but two of the major partners in the program fly CF-18 and SuperHornets (Canada and Australia) which would mean that no probe arrangements would kick those two in the nuts. As you say, any former F16 customer buying 'em in will be status quo. Actually, if they wanted, it looks like they're one up with the A model as you can apparently (according to that spiffing slide Spudman just posted) have both.

This is what I mean about Ward - it's blindingly obvious that a probe would have to be an option for the A model but he doesn't even check his facts before posting. Honestly..

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:29
by spazsinbad
Oz RAAF Tankers are able to refuel all types: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A330_MRTT

"The A330 MRTT is a military derivative of the Airbus A330-200 airliner. It is designed as a dual-role air-to-air refuelling and transport aircraft. For air-to-air refuelling missions the A330 MRTT can be equipped with a combination of any of the following systems:[citation needed]

Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) for receptacle-equipped receiver aircraft.
Cobham 905E under-wing refuelling pods for probe-equipped receiver aircraft.
Cobham 805E Fuselage Refuelling Unit (FRU) for probe-equipped receiver aircraft
Universal Aerial Refuelling Receptacle System Installation (UARRSI) for self-refuelling."
&
Australia
"The refueling aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) will be equipped with both an Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) and two Cobham 905E under-wing refuelling pods."

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:36
by SpudmanWP
Since the A was designed from the beginning (at least post SWAT) to have a dual-fueling capability and that all Partner nations are part of the JPO and therefore have access to all the info therein, Canada has known from the beginning that this ability existed.

The slide above was from a PUBLIC presentation in May of 2009 given by Keith P. Knotts (F-35 International Business Development).

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 21:56
by m
Concerning capabilities, each country, Canada as well, could bring in what capabilities etc. would be commonly required for the F35 when the project started.
As well as each country, depending on what level, a certain amount of dollars to be used for developments. Dutch for example, projects, till up to some $50 million.

Either, no probe and drogue is not that much of problem for Australia, their tankers are dual equipped with both systems:

Quote: Developed in a $100 million EADS self-funded research and development effort, the ARBS provides highly accurate, reliable in-flight refueling — taking full advantage of modern fly-by-wire technology. With a maximum nominal fuel flow rate of 1,200 U.S. gallons per minute, the advanced boom features an automatic load alleviation system that provides a larger refueling envelope and enhanced controllability. The system’s all-electric design significantly reduces traditional failure rates and subsequent down times. Using a 3D-vision surveillance system, the boom operator remotely controls ARBS operations from the cockpit during air-to-air refueling.

The Royal Australian Air Force’s first KC-30B Multi-Role Tanker Transport currently is undergoing its outfitting process, and has now been equipped with the centerline ARBS, along with a pair of under-wing hose and drogue refueling pods. The KC-30B also will carry an electronic warfare self-protection suite for defense against surface-to-air missiles.
http://www.redorbit.com/news/business/9 ... 70_flight/

Spasnaz: probably did send at about the same time as you did.

Unread postPosted: 17 Mar 2012, 23:57
by stobiewan
One more time for the gallery, Mr Ward claimed that the A model will not be able to refuel from a probe and drogue tanking arrangement. This is provably incorrect, with minimal research.

*That's* my point...

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 02:46
by popcorn
The decision should month right? Anyone willing to go on the record with their prediction?
I'm guessing they go for the B.

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 03:49
by spazsinbad
What decision? :-) There are many decisions to make - and unmake - and remake - down this long muddled road. :-)

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 04:33
by spazsinbad
Some claim that the ski jump is bolted on from my travels around the interbabble to find this. Which can suggest that the ski jump is still there but whatever. If any other info found it will be posted here.

desider - Issue 43 - December 2011 PDF [4.3 MB] page 10

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/BC92C2AF ... er2011.pdf

Quote: Ramp off
"Removal of the take-off ramp on the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers is expected to be captured in a contract amendment early next year with further changes arising from decisions on the carriers to be captured in 2013, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Peter Luff has said. This comes from the decision to fly the Carrier Variant of the Joint Strike Fighter."

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 04:35
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:What decision? :-) There are many decisions to make - and unmake - and remake - down this long muddled road. :-)



The results of the UK Budget Review will be available by end-March.. this should end the speculation.(hopefully and finally? :D )

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 06:16
by spazsinbad
"The results of the UK Budget Review will be available by end-March.. this should end the speculation.(hopefully and finally? :D )" said.

Now that is a good wager for and against? :-)

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 18:47
by spazsinbad
I'd take this story with a 'pinch of salt'. If an announcement is made in a week then that will be itself interesting. And then wait for further speculation and announcements....

Liam Fox jet fighter error costs UK millions Mark Leftly Sunday 18 March 2012

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/ho ... 76420.html

"David Cameron will rubber stamp an embarrassing U-turn over the Government's £5.2bn super aircraft carrier programme this week to avoid "a floating white elephant".

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has been warned by officials that his predecessor, Liam Fox, made a massive mistake when he decided to change the jets that should be used on the new carriers.

Mr Fox switched from Lockheed Martin's F35 B class to its supposedly cheaper C variant, a move that was criticised because the planes were not going to be ready until a few years after the ships were launched. The new planes also required changes to the carrier design, costing up to £2bn – with the first ship too far developed to make the changes possible.

Mr Hammond will advise that the Government must switch back to the more conventional B-class jets, [what does that phrase even mean? It makes more sense if 'B' is replaced by 'C' suggesting that the reporter has no clue whatsoever - yet contradicted by earlier sentence - whatever] which are still expected to cost around $10bn, and has pencilled in an announcement for one week tomorrow.

It is believed that £30m has been spent on designs to accommodate the C class...."

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 19:24
by spazsinbad
This story makes a claim about DefSec recommending switch back but ultimately he is not the one...

Government plans U-turn on aircraft carriers as catapult costs spiral Nick Hopkins 18 March 2012
"Defence secretary wants to switch back to version of Joint Strike Fighter ministers dismissed as more costly and less effective"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012 ... iers-costs

"Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, has recommended a U-turn on one of the most controversial proposals of the cost-cutting armed forces reforms, the Guardian has learned....

...the Guardian has been told the cost of the modification has spiralled out of control – to between £1.9 and £2bn....

..."There will be short-term pain for the government, but in the long run, it is by far the best option," said a Whitehall source. "Adapting the carriers is skewing the defence budget out of shape, and there is every likelihood the costs will continue to rise. It has to be Cameron's [Prime Minister] decision, but the military advice is clear."...

...the National Audit Office expressed deep concern about the cost of fitting capapults. This expense contributed to the government's decision to deploy only one of the two carriers being built, with the second being put at "extended readiness" – in effect, mothballed.

If Downing Street sanctions the U-turn, it may try to blame the former defence secretary, Liam Fox, who championed the decision in the SDSR in September 2010.

The MoD hopes the savings from abandoning catapults could allow the second Queen Elizabeth class carrier to be put to proper use after all, sources said. However, that is not without its problems. One of the two is being fitted to take helicopters [first in class Queen Elizabeth which may have the ski jump removed, as well as other mods, by now]....

...Admiral Lord West, a former first sea lord and security minister, said: "I am slightly amazed at the costs of adapting the carriers, but if they are of that order then you can understand why they are considering this change.

"You have to make the best of a bad job. The navy wanted the capability of the carrier version of the JSF, but the other version is still a good aircraft. And if the navy gets a second carrier operational, then some good will have come of it."

An MoD spokesman said no decisions had been taken.

"We are currently finalising the 2012-13 budget and balancing the equipment plan. As part of this process we are reviewing all programmes, including elements of the carrier strike programme, to validate costs and ensure risks are properly managed. The defence secretary expects to announce the outcome of this process to parliament before Easter."

As always best to read complete article at the jump URL.

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 20:31
by 1st503rdsgt
The MoD hopes the savings from abandoning catapults could allow the second Queen Elizabeth class carrier to be put to proper use after all,


This keeps coming up and confusing me. I thought it was the 1st carrier (HMS Queen Elizabeth) that couldn't be "put to proper use" under the current plan due to its being too far along in construction to incorporate EMALS, while the 2nd carrier (HMS Prince of Wales) would be built from the ground up as a CATOBAR ship. Are they saying that the QE can't operate ANY variant of the F-35 no matter what they do now? If that's the case, then wow, this is a worse "muddle" than I thought.

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 20:40
by spazsinbad
Either through plain ignorance or wilful obsfucation or downright contempt for their readers the reporter uses silly terms for the situation. I suspect ignorance but whatever. I think over time it has been made clear that the 'first in class' 'the too be named "Queen Elisabeth"' is being built without a ski jump; but not as a cat/trap carrier; but as an eventual (at moment) 'helo carrier' only. Later (depending on what is decided at some point) this flat deck will be converted to cat/trap. The current 'before Easter' plan - after the SDSR - is that the 'second in class' PoW (to be named Prince of Wales but perhaps something else [Ark Royal?]) will be built as a cat/trap carrier. When it is in service the QE will be put into reserve and/or converted as described. Think of any combination of above for the future. :-)

However every plan ever brought forward will be decided again before Easter. After Easter the plan will be decided again. Hence the title of this thread. It ain't over until it is over. :D

The 'helo carrier' may be modified or has been already modified to exclude some or all F-35B features planned (such as but not only the 'ski jump'). What these might be at this stage I have no idea but the possibility is mentioned. However it would be possible to operate F-35Bs off any suitable sized flat deck but may be more problematic from the 'heavily modified helo only CVF first in class' if all of those 'helo only CVF' modifications go ahead.

I'll imagine if the [temporary :-)] decision is taken to go back to an all F-35B solution then if the ski jump has already been removed and it is easy to re-install then that will happen and any 'helo only' modifications will be reversed. If that costs too much then 'watch this thread'. 'Muddle' is the word.

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 21:15
by 1st503rdsgt
The 'helo carrier' may be modified or has been already modified to exclude some or all F-35B features planned


Why in God's name would the MoD deliberately limit this expensive asset in such a matter? Did they not think that there would ever be a need over an entire 40 year service life to operate USMC or Italian F-35Bs off of the thing, or were they just trying to burn their bridges behind them in order to make their stupid decision more costly and embarrassing to reverse?

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 21:30
by spazsinbad
I'm guessing that apart from removing the ski jump (it may still be there however) and some specific to F-35B ops equipment then the 'helo only' mods may be minor in comparison. However if these other 'helo only mods' are major then they may not have been made yet due to the other considerations of 'will this first CVF be modified to cat/trap later). It is clear that this first CVF is too far into the build to be modified to cat/trap before being completed.

It takes nothing much to allow F-35Bs to 'cross deck' on any flat deck to be refuelled. Re-arming requires armaments to be there etc. The CVF has special features to make re-arming easier personnel and otherwise. Probably these features will not be removed if they can be used for helos. The UK right now is in a very complicated situation entirely of their own making with decisions made for apparent short term monetary gain.

Burning bridges will come over time.... :D Currently there are TWO Islands on CVFs with potentially TWO Bridges. Which one? :twisted:

Unread postPosted: 18 Mar 2012, 21:48
by 1st503rdsgt
spazsinbad wrote: After Easter the plan will be decided again.


*Sigh* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un5uZDVFu3s

Unread postPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 12:17
by popcorn
http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19200
Another report suggesting the switch back to the B.

Unread postPosted: 19 Mar 2012, 21:49
by spazsinbad
Astonishing quarter billion pounds to undo 'work already done'... OMG!

David Cameron is advised to ditch jet fighter plan By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent 19 Mar 2012
"David Cameron is to decide whether to approve one of the biggest policy reversals of the coalition, as he is asked to abandon a new generation [misleading] of fighter jets that formed the cornerstone of the defence review."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/news ... -plan.html

"Defence ministers are recommending that the Government scrap its previous decision to back a conventional aircraft carrier and jets - in favour of a Labour plan for jump-jet fighters and ships.

The Prime Minister is being asked to act after the costs of converting the carrier to carry [F-35C instead of F-35B] Joint Strike Fighters trebled to £1.8billion.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, requested an an emergency meeting with Mr Cameron today to seek final decision.

It will cost more than £250 million to reverse the work already done, according to defence industry sources....

...A MoD spokesman said: “The intention to move to a conventional carrier was always subject to a detailed piece of work to asses [sic] the costs and risks involved in converting a Queen Elizabeth class carrier. That work is ongoing.”

While an embarrassing U-turn, this is substantially less than it would cost to push ahead with the conversions, which could also delay the carrier programme until as late as 2027."

Unread postPosted: 20 Mar 2012, 01:40
by popcorn
If they do make it official and buy the B, they can use BA 2012 as a fig leaf citing the versatility inherent with operating the carriers in the ESG model rather than the traditional strike carrier mode.

Unread postPosted: 20 Mar 2012, 02:40
by spazsinbad
popcorn said: "...versatility inherent with operating the carriers in the ESG model rather than the traditional strike carrier mode." This was the idea at least before the 2010 SDSR about face. I guess it was not a big enough role for the new government. It seems ludicrous to make the changes at least without knowing the cost but that's the UK for ya.

On another note the ADF/RAN have bought another small offshore support vessel for our amphibious fleet 'Skandi Bergen'. [I wonder how all the plans go?] At least the Oz changes go in a positive direction. Why? Because we have money to do so. Makes all the difference to meet perceived need.

Unread postPosted: 20 Mar 2012, 03:01
by spazsinbad
popcorn, this is the new UK buzzword to get around the ESG/carrier strike acronyms. UK is good for new acronyms - probably like most armed forces I guess. :-) 'Carrier Enabled Power Projection' CEPP. Not the same as CEP (Circular Error Probable) :D

Unread postPosted: 20 Mar 2012, 03:35
by popcorn
Indeed, the CEPP concept as originally conceived seems destined to be resurrected.. at least now the politicians can spin it up for all it's worth in the context of where amphibious/littoral warfare appears to be headed on the other side of the pond. A 65K ton LHA offers a lot of interesting possibilities, double the fun if they use both.

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2012, 08:19
by spazsinbad
Another WTF moment.... :wtf:

Rethink defence cuts, US tells govt London Evening Standard/London 21 March 2012

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/a ... rent_id=20

"Barack Obama’s officials raised concerns over Britain’s defence capability during David Cameron’s visit to Washington, the Standard revealed....

...With the spiralling cost of the catapult apparatus, the [UK] Navy switched back to the Stovl or “jump jet version” — grandson of the Harrier — for the new plane. Although the plane is very limited in range and payload, it might enable the Navy to afford both carriers to be fully equipped.

This was to be explained to President Obama. However, voices from Washington suggest that the president said this was no option at all, and he wants the British to reconsider and go with the more powerful “C” version of the F-35.

It is being circulated that the US is now likely to order only four squadrons of the jump-jet “B” version for the US Marine Corps. Since this would be a maximum of about 65 planes, it is now thought in Washington that this is all a preliminary to cancelling the “B” version altogether.

The defence ministry was expected to announce that the Navy would buy F-35 jump jets sometime this week. This was heavily leaked in the press, led by the Guardian, at the weekend. But Defence Secretary Philip Hammond appears to have been asked by Cameron “to go through the figures again” with a view to buying the more expensive “B” F-35 and more expensive carrier with “cats and traps” for the aircraft. No announcement is expected before Easter...."

This report is a bit garbled so best to read entire thingo at above URL.

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2012, 10:57
by 1st503rdsgt
:wtf: indeed.
However, it's not unheard of for heads of state to be a little behind or ill-informed regarding specific weapons systems, especially when they don't have any military background. As for the 65 plane order and threat of cancellation, it may be possible that this mid-east publication has gotten one North American nation mixed up with another; reporters aren't known for their acumen on military programs. Given the "garbled" nature of the article, I'm guessing some wires got crossed somewhere... I hope.

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2012, 11:43
by spazsinbad
Yep, had that Canadian thought also. Weird huh. Reporters - but that is all we have as well as press releases.... Sorry.... then we have the people who don't just mix things up but MAKE THINGS UP! :D

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2012, 12:56
by southernphantom
spazsinbad wrote:Another WTF moment.... :wtf:

This was to be explained to President Obama. However, voices from Washington suggest that the president said this was no option at all, and he wants the British to reconsider and go with the more powerful “C” version of the F-35.


Did he actually understand what was being explained to him? If so, that would be the first time for an administration that seems hopeless in the defense arena.

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2012, 13:06
by spazsinbad
I think you should be more 'worried' about the reporter's understanding but I guess that matters less. President Obama's understanding at least will be corrected (by all and sundry) unlike the reporter's understanding. Dumb as - most likely.

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2012, 13:15
by southernphantom
spazsinbad wrote:I think you should be more 'worried' about the reporter's understanding but I guess that matters less. President Obama's understanding at least will be corrected (by all and sundry) unlike the reporter's understanding. Dumb as - most likely.


Sad but true. The mainstream media just doesn't have the knowledge to report accurately on this kind of thing.

Unread postPosted: 21 Mar 2012, 22:31
by stobiewan
I'm not sure where this £250 million wasted effort comes from - the ACA has been tossed £80 million to perform a study as to what's what, and has spent about half that. Unless they're counting the long lead items for the EMALS buy?

I dunno, I suppose we get an announcement shortly but this is getting depressing. We'll have to go back to Lockmart and ask them nicely if that C model we said we'd be buying can be swapped out for a B like we ordered in the first place etc etc.

Just imagine, if we'd ordered for CATOBAR in the first place and never tinkered with the schedule, we could have had both carriers done and dusted and saved enough to pay for about forty aircraft.

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 01:03
by popcorn
I doubt that Obama would involve himself in the UK's F-35 strategy, much more express a preference for a particular variant.

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 02:08
by 1st503rdsgt
popcorn wrote:I doubt that Obama would involve himself in the UK's F-35 strategy, much more express a preference for a particular variant.


Well, all outside factors aside, I think most of us (including Obama) would *like* to see the British operating 2 full-on CATOBAR carriers with all the trimmings. My criticism of the original switch to the F-35C stemmed from:

* the MoD's claim that it would lower costs,

* the shear lack of thought that went into that decision making process, and

* the fact that the Queen Elizabeth was already too far along in its build to be changed over (leaving the UK with a 60,000 ton paperweight).

The President may have just simply spoken his mind on the matter (CATOBAR is better), and there's no way he's as well informed on the CVF project as us fanboys off the top of his head (though he could learn a lot more than us if he wanted to).

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 02:12
by archeman
RE: Budding Tanking:
Is buddy tanking really that effective compared to developing an aircraft specifically designed for the task?
There are some examples out there I suppose but it always seemed like if you need a fleet tanker you would be better off designing an aircraft that is fit for that purpose rather than drag along all the extra gear needed for a fullup attack aircraft.
Wouldn't such a craft be far cheaper and effective than committing one of your attack aircraft to that purpose?

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 02:21
by 1st503rdsgt
archeman wrote:RE: Budding Tanking:
Is buddy tanking really that effective compared to developing an aircraft specifically designed for the task?
There are some examples out there I suppose but it always seemed like if you need a fleet tanker you would be better off designing an aircraft that is fit for that purpose rather than drag along all the extra gear needed for a fullup attack aircraft.
Wouldn't such a craft be far cheaper and effective than committing one of your attack aircraft to that purpose?


It's almost always more expensive to operate an extra type of aircraft. The USN has been reducing the biodiversity of its flightdecks for decades. It might be better to operate the old S-3s or KA-3Bs in the role, but not cheaper.

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 02:33
by outlaw162
biodiversity??

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 02:54
by 1st503rdsgt
outlaw162 wrote:biodiversity??


Well, I thought it was funny.

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 02:56
by spazsinbad
It is a 'birdfarm' after all. :D http://www.combat.ws/S4/SAILOR/SAILOR.HTM

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 03:20
by outlaw162
I had this vision of tons of plankton washing across the deck in heavy seas (sea state 9) and being caught here and there in nooks and crannies.....

never to fulfill their intended existence as food for the whales and penguins. :shock:

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 04:10
by spazsinbad
They could build an RAF Carrier complete with Golf Course? There is a version on the forum somewhere. Plankton could nourish the grass (for softer VLs). Any holes burnt in the deck could become sand traps etc. :-)

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 05:07
by 1st503rdsgt
I thought golf courses were a USAF thing.

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 05:24
by spazsinbad
Both... :D

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 13:53
by sufaviper
And on a similar note, you know how to tell the difference between a USAF and a USMC base durring construction?

USAF builds the Golf Course, Pool, and other fun stuff first
USMC base builds the runway, hanger and other necessities first

Why?
USAF knows that they can get more funds to build the runways and hangers, but they will not get more money for the fun stuff.

(At least that is what a Marine buddy told me)

Sufa Viper

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 15:10
by maus92
1st503rdsgt wrote:
archeman wrote:RE: Budding Tanking:
Is buddy tanking really that effective compared to developing an aircraft specifically designed for the task?
There are some examples out there I suppose but it always seemed like if you need a fleet tanker you would be better off designing an aircraft that is fit for that purpose rather than drag along all the extra gear needed for a fullup attack aircraft.
Wouldn't such a craft be far cheaper and effective than committing one of your attack aircraft to that purpose?


It's almost always more expensive to operate an extra type of aircraft. The USN has been reducing the biodiversity of its flightdecks for decades. It might be better to operate the old S-3s or KA-3Bs in the role, but not cheaper.


The rumor mill has the KS-3Bs coming back (again.) Although they pass about the same amount of gas as a Super Hornet, the Hoovers have better endurance.

http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2012/ ... f-day.html

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2012, 15:36
by spazsinbad
SelfSameSalamanderSays This: "...Without Flag Support, sponsorship, and in the face of funding challenges - do I think it will happen? No, very small to zero odds...." So WhY Bother in an UK thread after all?

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 01:24
by spazsinbad
'The government only has itself to blame for any carrier strike U-turn' 23 March 2012

http://www.defencemanagement.com/featur ... p?id=19130

"...It now looks very likely that we are going to see what can only be described as a major U-turn by the government and a reversion to the plane which Labour recommended. The Secretary of State for Defence is going to have to explain exactly why he has made this volte face and at what additional cost. He needs to explain exactly how, should a 'Falklands type scenario' happen where we do not have access to a land-based airfield, and in South America the options are reducing, he intends to project the appropriate force without a strong carrier capability.

The government were so confident of their decision to switch to the C variant that they sold the Harriers for spare parts to the United States leaving us with a carrier strike gap for a decade. Ministers must now say whether this was justified given we are likely to procure a STOVL aircraft in the F-35B and so could have retained the necessary skills and transitioned between planes smoothly. The principal argument for deleting the Harriers and foregoing carrier strike capability will be lost if the government do U-turn, since interoperability with the US and France will be far harder to achieve and limited, if not lost altogether. Britain will potentially be left with one carrier at sea for 200 days a year with no cover.

It is hard to believe that such a strategically important programme, both in terms of our national security and national economy, would be subject to such poor decision-making. The Defence Secretary needs to be able to tell us the total cost of this programme, dates of entry, how much time and money has been spent to date and to what end and precisely what capability benefits this government has brought to the programme.

The government has acknowledged the importance of carrier strike but ministerial rhetoric is not being matched by the reality of their actions."

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 03:59
by aaam
maus92 wrote:
1st503rdsgt wrote:
archeman wrote:RE: Budding Tanking:
Is buddy tanking really that effective compared to developing an aircraft specifically designed for the task?
There are some examples out there I suppose but it always seemed like if you need a fleet tanker you would be better off designing an aircraft that is fit for that purpose rather than drag along all the extra gear needed for a fullup attack aircraft.
Wouldn't such a craft be far cheaper and effective than committing one of your attack aircraft to that purpose?


It's almost always more expensive to operate an extra type of aircraft. The USN has been reducing the biodiversity of its flightdecks for decades. It might be better to operate the old S-3s or KA-3Bs in the role, but not cheaper.


The rumor mill has the KS-3Bs coming back (again.) Although they pass about the same amount of gas as a Super Hornet, the Hoovers have better endurance.

http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com/2012/ ... f-day.html



There are no A-3s left to even consider for this role and they always had a big Achilles heel: They could not tap their giveaway fuel for their own use, and the situation could and did occur where KA-3s were about to flame out from fuel starvation even when they had tons of fuel aboard.

No KS-3Bs were ever built. One S-3A was modified as a tanker using buddy refueling, but was eventually converted to s US-3A. The proposed KS-3B never came to fruition. There were a number of reasons for this, but one big one was that while it would make a fantastic recovery tanker, it would not work as a strike tanker, as it was too slow. The actual bestest thing would have been to convert A-6Es to tanker config, as they could keep up with a strike group and could give away much more fuel than a SH. This got shot down when people started asking, if you were going to use A-6s to refuel the SH, why not just leave the bombs on the A-6. Now, of course, there are no A-6Es left coonvert.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 04:20
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:'The government only has itself to blame for any carrier strike U-turn' 23 March 2012

http://www.defencemanagement.com/featur ... p?id=19130

".... He needs to explain exactly how, should a 'Falklands type scenario' happen where we do not have access to a land-based airfield, and in South America the options are reducing, he intends to project the appropriate force without a strong carrier capability."

The F-35B is very capable of dealing with such a scenario.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 11:57
by spazsinbad
I was looking forward to Monday 26th March 2012 UK time so I'm glad I dinna hold me breath.... So breath in before youse start reading this improbable story (probably only half true - but which half?). I think the talk about EMALS and AAG is correct but 'wot about the cost of all the other allterations and fittings for change from STOVLie CVF to CatFlap CVF? Errmmm.....

Aircraft carrier costs will be half what you think, US tells ministers By Thomas Harding, DefCorr 24Mar 2012


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... sters.html

"The US Navy has intervened over the adaptation of a British aircraft carrier for a new generation of fighter jets, to assure ministers that the cost will be less than half the Ministry of Defence’s estimate.

Converting HMS Prince of Wales so that it can be used by the Joint Strike Fighter will require significantly less than the £2 billion quoted by officials, the assistant secretary of the US Navy, Sean J Stackley, insisted.

In a letter seen by The Daily Telegraph, he told Peter Luff, the defence procurement minister, that the necessary equipment would cost £458 million before installation. Defence experts estimate the installation cost at £400? million....

...Following the intervention by the US Navy, David Cameron has ordered a Treasury-led re-examination of the project.

The Major Project Review Group will submit a report on April 16 which it is understood will be considered by the National Security Council the next day....

...Reverting to jump jets for both of them would not help American military planners, who want to be able to base a squadron of their own jets on a British carrier.

Separate accommodation is being built on board HMS Prince of Wales with communications facilities that would be for “US Eyes Only”. [Wot a bleedin' Liberty! :D ]...

...“This letter could be a warning shot saying if you Brits go back to jump jet carriers then there might be no planes to fly off it,” said a defence source...."

Best to read the entire story because it is confusing to say the least (see my comment above the headline). Tah.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 12:46
by popcorn
Assumng this is legitimate and the Yanks are pushing for a CATOBAR capability, maybe we can infer a possible reduction in the US CVN fleet with the 2 RAN CVFs on-call if needed? Perhaps the next 2 Nimitz-class ships due for new nuke cores get retired early or the 3rd Ford-class CVN never gets built? Potential savings would be in the billions.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 12:53
by spazsinbad
RN CVFs. Yes there is potential for a lot of mix 'n match of flat decks, including the French. It is odd though in that story that there is no mention of the extra cost of changing the CVFs to 'cat/flaps'. It is a weird saga and we have to wait some more now.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 13:20
by stobiewan
popcorn wrote:Assumng this is legitimate and the Yanks are pushing for a CATOBAR capability, maybe we can infer a possible reduction in the US CVN fleet with the 2 RAN CVFs on-call if needed? Perhaps the next 2 Nimitz-class ships due for new nuke cores get retired early or the 3rd Ford-class CVN never gets built? Potential savings would be in the billions.


I doubt it - it's more likely that they're simply naturally keen to see Europe get off it's a$$ and provide more for it's own defence. Which is fair enough..

Another article from the Telegraph here..

More "he said/she said" in terms of sourcing but it's an interesting counterpoint.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... sters.html

$400 million in conversion costs sounds more like it to be honest, plus the EMALS/AARG cost.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 13:26
by spazsinbad
That TELE article is mentioned at the end of previous page with some excerpts. The KITE FLYING about what to do is par for the course I guess but it can get tedious AND if only the reporters could be more definitive rather than vague but I guess that is too much to ask. Speculation sells.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 13:33
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:That TELE article is mentioned at the end of previous page with some excerpts. The KITE FLYING about what to do is par for the course I guess but it can get tedious AND if only the reporters could be more definitive rather than vague but I guess that is too much to ask. Speculation sells.


Sorry - I'd missed that. Hey ho. No surprise I just want C selected and stuff to HAPPEN!

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 18:04
by spazsinbad
Even when whenever the announcement is announced and annunciated it ain't over 'till it is over. There will be more unnunciated announcements for the good of all until one day there can be no more and whatever state the CVFs are in with whatever aircraft will be final because that is the way it is. :D

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 18:56
by maus92
popcorn wrote:Assumng this is legitimate and the Yanks are pushing for a CATOBAR capability, maybe we can infer a possible reduction in the US CVN fleet with the 2 RAN CVFs on-call if needed? Perhaps the next 2 Nimitz-class ships due for new nuke cores get retired early or the 3rd Ford-class CVN never gets built? Potential savings would be in the billions.


I don't think so, but with sequestration anything can happen. The CVFs that the UK are building will only have a few aircraft embarked, thus are far less capable than a US CVN - they are more akin to a US LHA. But if the US did reduce its carrier fleet, the Atlantic AOR would see the reduction, and that is where the CVFs could fill in.

Mothballing Nimitz class carriers due for refueling is the probably the best way to reduce the the carrier fleet. The Ford class allegedly will have lower operating costs, and will not require modification to operate UASs. Plus it keeps the Norfolk shipyard operating.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 19:00
by spazsinbad
I see a Pprune rumour that CVF power supplies need to be changed (at great expense) if CVF goes 'cat/flap' but probably just a rumour - so please disregard. :devil:

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 19:43
by stobiewan
Seems a bit odd if so, as the whole ship is IFEP and the EMALS power was due to be coming out of a spare GT that there's room for.

But hey, it's a Brit carrier, nothing should surprise me :)

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 19:46
by spazsinbad
H/T to SNAFU's 'solomon' (his idea for USMC) perhaps the UK will go feral wid dese BeHeMoths? :roll: :P

MAERSK Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn5v7tEB ... r_embedded

"Uploaded by mechsimdotcom on Jul 12, 2011
Maersk Lines Limited owns and operates commercial containerships around the world. The AFSB is an advanced design concept from Maersk. Based on data and discussions with Maersk, MECHSIM developed this video to show how a converted containership could act as a forward staging base for military (or humanitarian relief) operations."

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 20:14
by aaam
maus92 wrote:
popcorn wrote:Assumng this is legitimate and the Yanks are pushing for a CATOBAR capability, maybe we can infer a possible reduction in the US CVN fleet with the 2 RAN CVFs on-call if needed? Perhaps the next 2 Nimitz-class ships due for new nuke cores get retired early or the 3rd Ford-class CVN never gets built? Potential savings would be in the billions.


I don't think so, but with sequestration anything can happen. The CVFs that the UK are building will only have a few aircraft embarked, thus are far less capable than a US CVN - they are more akin to a US LHA. But if the US did reduce its carrier fleet, the Atlantic AOR would see the reduction, and that is where the CVFs could fill in.

Mothballing Nimitz class carriers due for refueling is the probably the best way to reduce the the carrier fleet. The Ford class allegedly will have lower operating costs, and will not require modification to operate UASs. Plus it keeps the Norfolk shipyard operating.



Couple of things here:

You can't mothball a nuke. You either keep it in service or totally retire it. This is the downside of the technology that gives so many advantages and allows you to run the ship for 50 years. The Nimitz carriers get refueled once during their careers, and the Fords run on the fuel they're built with their whole life.

We probably will see a Nimitz retired early, either George Washington or the Stennis. This is partly because defense is not a particularly high priority to the current Administration, and to make "room" for the next Ford carrier. Not building the next Ford really isn't an option if you want to keep carrier capability, and I'd close overseas bases before I gave that up.

The problem is that the US essentially has no major shipbuilding capability anymore except for what's built for the USN. In addition, many of the skills and technologies needed to build warships, especially carriers and subs, are unique and perishable. If you don't maintain the knowledge, personnel and workflow building carriers you lose the ability to do so and to reconstitute it becomes hideously expensive. For example the Administrations decision to delay CVN-79 by a year and CVN-80 by two (making it the next Administration's problem) will raise the cost of each ship by billions. If they aren't built, or delayed more than that, they likely will never be built.

While we certainly want to be able to interoperate with the nation that is (despite what the Administration says) our closest ally, it would be incredibly chauvinistic and presumptuous of us to assume that their needs will always coincide with ours and that they will always make their CVF(s) available to fill in whenever we want them. Despite how we sometimes act, the RN is not one of the USN's fleets.

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2012, 22:13
by stobiewan
Good answer - we had the same issue when the Astute program got delayed to save money in the shorter term, meaning our sub design skills had atrophied a bit and our currency with the design tools was almost nil.

We were lucky, we had an ally (that's you, Mr United States) to go to and the Astutes turned out just fine with a lot of help.

Start tinkering with build cycles on CVN's and you'd have something very hard to recover from.

Unread postPosted: 25 Mar 2012, 21:19
by spazsinbad
No Easter Bunny (CVF mod announcement) but again here is more news...

New delay over fighter jet choice By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent. 25 Mar 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... hoice.html

"A decision on the choice of the Royal Navy's new combat jet has been delayed yet again following disagreements between senior officers and defence ministers....

...Commanders have formally recommended that the Government buy the F-35B, which operates like a Harrier jump jet, and Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has asked the Prime Minister to "sign off" the proposal.

But the disagreements between commanders and ministers were so protracted that there is no longer enough time left in the parliamentary calendar to make the announcement before Easter....

Not much more at the jump which has not been said only recently in the other URLs above.

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 02:55
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:No Easter Bunny (CVF mod announcement) but again here is more news...

New delay over fighter jet choice By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent. 25 Mar 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... hoice.html

"A decision on the choice of the Royal Navy's new combat jet has been delayed yet again following disagreements between senior officers and defence ministers....

...Commanders have formally recommended that the Government buy the F-35B, which operates like a Harrier jump jet, and Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has asked the Prime Minister to "sign off" the proposal.

But the disagreements between commanders and ministers were so protracted that there is no jlonger enough time left in the parliamentary calendar to make the announcement before Easter....

Not much more at the jump which has not been said only recently in the other URLs above.


The USN intervention doesn't seem to have swayed the guys in uniform but has breathed some energy into the politicians seeking to justify the earlier decision to switch.

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 14:15
by stobiewan
I'm not personally convinced the guys in uniform want B however :)

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 14:42
by spazsinbad
If all UK is hot for the C then why was it not picked in the first instance? I just don't get it at all. And I'll insist no matter what is selected soon - it ain't over 'til it's over. :D

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 15:44
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:If all UK is hot for the C then why was it not picked in the first instance? I just don't get it at all. And I'll insist no matter what is selected soon - it ain't over 'til it's over. :D


I don't get it, you don't get it, none of us get it. How on earth such a catastrophic clutterfluff can be made of a set of core decisions, I cannot explain.

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 18:13
by popcorn
http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/2012/ ... ell-f.html

Why is the US Navy so desperate to sell the F-35C to the RN???

Reports have surfaced that the Ministry of Defense in the UK is vacillating between buying the F-35B and F-35C. Proponents of the both airplanes have been very vocal in their support of their particular airplane.

Critics of course have been heard too. Those "flat earthers" want the Royal Navy to buy a non-stealth airplane. Doesn't matter which one as long as it isn't the F-35.

But check out these photos from JeffHead.com...and the potential F-35B customers worldwide. Make note of all the LHA's that are being developed/constructed/planned in the pacific region. Understand that this list isn't complete either. Singapore has announced that its working on the Endurance 1600, an LHA class warship.

The US Navy is realizing too late that its concept of operation----the big deck carrier is facing a period of transformation. The F-35B will outsell the F-35C.

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 19:26
by maus92
aaam wrote:
You can't mothball a nuke. You either keep it in service or totally retire it. This is the downside of the technology that gives so many advantages and allows you to run the ship for 50 years. The Nimitz carriers get refueled once during their careers, and the Fords run on the fuel they're built with their whole life.


I'm not a nuke, so I have absolutely no understanding of the issues surrounding the mothballing or refueling a reactor, other than looking at the gaping holes in CVNs that are in the process of refueling. Can you provide some insight as to why it is impossible to "mothball" a CVN? Would it be possible to minimally man the ship, keeping its reactor in some sort of "standby" mode until it becomes feasible to reactivate and refuel the ship? Or would that be incredibly expensive?

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 19:41
by maus92
popcorn wrote:
Why is the US Navy so desperate to sell the F-35C to the RN???



Maybe it's not about the plane, but the cats:

"Well, the U.S. Navy — who is spearheading development on the new catapults, known as EMALS for its Ford class aircraft carriers — has assured London that it will cost way less than the Biritish bean counters think it will to equip the Royal Navy’s new carriers with cats and traps. The best part, if the effort to develop the EMALS falters, the U.S. will foot the bill, not the Brits."

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2012/03/26/uk-mi ... z1qFVcsx1I
Defense.org

Besides, VAdm. Venlet says he will support the Brits with any model they choose to acquire.

Unread postPosted: 26 Mar 2012, 19:50
by fat_cat
spazsinbad wrote:If all UK is hot for the C then why was it not picked in the first instance? I just don't get it at all.


It's because Big And Expensive Systems (or BAE Systems as its otherwise known as) make more components for the B than they do the C. Follow the money.

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2012, 00:23
by aaam
maus92 wrote:
aaam wrote:
You can't mothball a nuke. You either keep it in service or totally retire it. This is the downside of the technology that gives so many advantages and allows you to run the ship for 50 years. The Nimitz carriers get refueled once during their careers, and the Fords run on the fuel they're built with their whole life.


I'm not a nuke, so I have absolutely no understanding of the issues surrounding the mothballing or refueling a reactor, other than looking at the gaping holes in CVNs that are in the process of refueling. Can you provide some insight as to why it is impossible to "mothball" a CVN? Would it be possible to minimally man the ship, keeping its reactor in some sort of "standby" mode until it becomes feasible to reactivate and refuel the ship? Or would that be incredibly expensive?


Perhaps to be more accurate I should have said it is horribly, horribly expensive to mothball a nuke. With enough money you can do anything.

As I understand it, the entire reactor deteriorates over time, even faster when it's powered down, to the point where it won't go critical anymore. It can be shut down, but must be brought back up periodically to preserve the functionality. Eventually it still deteriorates. When a carrier goes through RCOH, you're basically rebuilding and relining the reactor. Enterprise was the only CVN that was designed to be regularly refueled, reflecting its older technology. Nimitz class ships get refueled once, timed to coincide with their major mid life overhaul. That's why you'll might see either Washington or Stennis retired at what would be their scheduled RCOH. Once you've spent all the money for an RCOH, you might as well keep running the ship for another 25 years. Fords, will not be refueled, they'll run on their initial fuel load and by the time that runs out the ship itself will be too old to keep functioning economically.

To my knowledge, no nuclear powered ship in the West has ever been mothballed. It make take a few years before they're scrapped, and they're preserved until then but once they're powered down for the last time, they deteriorate to the point where they can't be brought back.

Taking "advantage" of this was one way the Clinton Administration tried to triangulate the conversion of four SSBNs to SSGNs. The program made too much sense and was too popular both in the military and in Congress to come right out and cancel, so the tactic was to delay the refueling of the four Trident boats involved. Then, later on when it was time to proceed, it would be "discovered" that the reactors had deteriorated to the point where it was no longer feasible to perform the conversion. "We didn't cancel it; oh we were all for it. But you know what? It just didn't work out. Who'd a thunk it"?. This tactic was spotted and Congress blocked it.


When a nuke is retired, we cut out the reactor compartment and bury it and scrap or reuse the rest. Here's a shot of where our reactors go.

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2012, 00:30
by aaam
fat_cat wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:If all UK is hot for the C then why was it not picked in the first instance? I just don't get it at all.


It's because Big And Expensive Systems (or BAE Systems as its otherwise known as) make more components for the B than they do the C. Follow the money.


Buying the C would have been much more expensive for the UK in the long run (discussed elsewhere), and they knew this. However, in the SDSR, converting to the C gave a convenient excuse to kick the can down the road and delay the CVFs, which suited the powers that be just fine (somebody else's problem), including the RAF. The latter hoping that RN fixed wing would disappear altogether (one of the reasons the Harrier was retired as well) and they'd become the world's largest helicopter carriers. They didn't expect the extra costs to show up so fast.

Unread postPosted: 28 Mar 2012, 21:17
by spazsinbad
Odd phrase in this report but I guess there are many and have been many and will be many odd phrases to come in this SAGO of a SAGA Arrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh! :D

PM calls for more checks on Joint Strike Fighter contract 28 March 2012 Gary Gibbon Political Editor

http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-o ... ract/18700

"...The problem was that Liam Fox’s preferred jet, the F35-C, which would land with the help of a catapult and wire or “cat and trap,” was discovered to be bad value, probably too slow in delivery, not compatible with allies [WOT?] and over-priced....

...David Cameron is sympathetic but is so stung by previous MoD twists and turns on this one he said he wanted to be utterly confident that they weren’t about to lead him up the garden path again. So he’s ordered five separate work streams double/triple checking that this time, the government is definitely taking the right decision. A few civil servants’ Easter breaks have disappeared and the decision, it is hoped, will be made when Parliament comes back. Not exactly a vote of confidence in the MoD, but David Cameron judges that it’s a lot better than having to U-turn for a third time."

Unread postPosted: 28 Mar 2012, 21:29
by fat_cat
spazsinbad wrote:Odd phrase in this report but I guess there are many and have been many and will be many odd phrases to come in this SAGO of a SAGA Arrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh! :D

PM calls for more checks on Joint Strike Fighter contract 28 March 2012 Gary Gibbon Political Editor

http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-o ... ract/18700

"...The problem was that Liam Fox’s preferred jet, the F35-C, which would land with the help of a catapult and wire or “cat and trap,” was discovered to be bad value, probably too slow in delivery, not compatible with allies [WOT?] and over-priced....

...David Cameron is sympathetic


Just a heads up for non UK folk. Channel 4 news is a thinly veiled left wing anti military set-up, do not expect honest or accurate reporting from them on any matters involving the military or armed conflicts. (And Camerons a prize plonker who can't be trusted either.)

Unread postPosted: 31 Mar 2012, 22:37
by spazsinbad
Cameron orders independent review into F-35 decision By Richard Scott March/30/2012

http://www.janes.com/products/janes/def ... l=business

"Prime Minister David Cameron has asked the UK Treasury to conduct an independent assessment of the costs associated with converting one of the two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers to operate the F-35C: the carrier variant (CV) of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Cameron's intervention follows a meeting with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond on 19 March, during which Hammond is believed to have recommended backtracking on the CV acquisition plan because of the costs of carrier conversion. He is thought to have instead advocated the purchase of the F-35B, the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of JSF.

The prime minister's decision to seek an independent review is thought to reflect two principal concerns. First, the political embarrassment resulting from a U-turn on one of the central components of the coalition government's October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR); second, the possible adverse reaction from the US government and the US Navy (USN)...."

160 of 500 words So get a subscription or GO HOME! - I went home.... :D

Unread postPosted: 02 Apr 2012, 23:08
by spazsinbad
Sharkey criticises RUSI (pot calls kettle black). I'm interested in some of his facts but there is no indication where they come from. Sad but true and I won't guess. :D

Does anyone have any data on F-35B STO performance other than required KPP (full internal load with now 600 foot T/O run?). For example what is load capacity with longest available run? I guess info is classified eh.

RUSI advice on F-35 Choice is Flawed 25 March 2012
“Choosing Plan B”: A Research Paper That Lacks Objectivity"

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2012/03/ru ... lawed.html

Sharkey must have missed all the USS Wasp/F-35B movies:
QUOTE:
"...Implications of STOVL operations on flight deck activity.
The jet efflux from a Harrier landing vertically has enormous power (it is keeping more than eight tons of aircraft airborne). The jet efflux from a ‘B’ STOVL aircraft landing vertically has more than twice that power and much more heat. If not understood and properly catered for on the flight deck during recovery operations, this jet efflux represents an extreme hazard to flight deck personnel, other aircraft and flight deck equipment.

If not properly managed, the 16 tonnes of vertical thrust associated with the STOVL aircraft would blow personnel and equipment overboard or into the superstructure of the island causing inestimable damage, death and destruction...."

POINTS TO:

Choosing Plan B: Reviewing the UK's Choice of Joint Strike Fighter By Elizabeth Quintana, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI March 2012 I guess.

http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... C9D5A2F291

"As the full ramifications of the austerity measures become clear, the UK may be reconsidering the choice of F-35 variant which it will buy under its Joint Combat Aircraft programme. For costs and operational reasons, Variant B is the logical choice...."
&
"...However, delays to the Ford Class carrier mean that the UK will be the first country to integrate EMALS onto a ship, with all the technical problems and costs associated with it. This may explain in part why the UK's initial estimate of £400m cost has already escalated to £1.8 billion. Interestingly, the UK has not committed to spend any money on the new EMALS system. Although it has issued an official request for the system, no contract has yet been signed...."

Interesting if true but I don't claim to know - I thought EMALS & Ford were going OK?

There are some way weird facts in this report. Check out the details in graphic comparing the F-35B/C - Research? Bugga All. :-)

ONly TeXt portion EdiTeD/aLmaLgamateD attached from two graphics here:
http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... C9D5A2F291

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2012, 11:29
by spazsinbad
A nice poster added missing text from above truncated post (when I went home)...

JDW: Cameron orders independent review into F-35 decision 30 March 2012 By Richard Scott

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/ ... 5b-19.html (SCROLL DOWN)
&
http://www.janes.com/products/janes/def ... l=business

"Prime Minister David Cameron has asked the UK Treasury to conduct an independent assessment of the costs associated with converting one of the two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers to operate the F-35C: the carrier variant (CV) of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Cameron's intervention follows a meeting with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond on 19 March, during which Hammond is believed to have recommended backtracking on the CV acquisition plan because of the costs of carrier conversion. He is thought to have instead advocated the purchase of the F-35B, the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of JSF.

The prime minister's decision to seek an independent review is thought to reflect two principal concerns. First, the political embarrassment resulting from a U-turn on one of the central components of the coalition government's October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR); second, the possible adverse reaction from the US government and the US Navy (USN)....

...Meanwhile, a letter sent by US Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development & Acquisition, Sean J Stackley, to the UK's Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Minister, Peter Luff, in mid-March has provided insight into the projected cost of the US-supplied aircraft launch and recovery equipment (ALRE) earmarked for Prince of Wales.

According to Stackley, the current estimate is in the range of USD733 million to USD840 million. This accounts for USD156 million in non-recurring engineering, plus the costs associated with the procurement of ALRE, including a two-track EMALS system and three-wire AAG configuration."

Unread postPosted: 03 Apr 2012, 11:43
by stobiewan
I'm actually genuinely surprised on reading Cdr Ward's analysis that he doesn't then recommend SuperBug (as he routinely does!)

Progress of sorts :)

I'm not aware of any major issues with Ford or the EMALS/AARG and RUSI don't reference any comments which is a bit naughty professionally.

Unread postPosted: 05 Apr 2012, 04:30
by bjr1028
spazsinbad wrote:Sharkey criticises RUSI (pot calls kettle black). I'm interested in some of his facts but there is no indication where they come from. Sad but true and I won't guess. :D

Does anyone have any data on F-35B STO performance other than required KPP (full internal load with now 600 foot T/O run?). For example what is load capacity with longest available run? I guess info is classified eh.

RUSI advice on F-35 Choice is Flawed 25 March 2012
“Choosing Plan B”: A Research Paper That Lacks Objectivity"

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2012/03/ru ... lawed.html

Sharkey must have missed all the USS Wasp/F-35B movies:
QUOTE:
"...Implications of STOVL operations on flight deck activity.
The jet efflux from a Harrier landing vertically has enormous power (it is keeping more than eight tons of aircraft airborne). The jet efflux from a ‘B’ STOVL aircraft landing vertically has more than twice that power and much more heat. If not understood and properly catered for on the flight deck during recovery operations, this jet efflux represents an extreme hazard to flight deck personnel, other aircraft and flight deck equipment.

If not properly managed, the 16 tonnes of vertical thrust associated with the STOVL aircraft would blow personnel and equipment overboard or into the superstructure of the island causing inestimable damage, death and destruction...."

POINTS TO:

Choosing Plan B: Reviewing the UK's Choice of Joint Strike Fighter By Elizabeth Quintana, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI March 2012 I guess.

http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... C9D5A2F291

"As the full ramifications of the austerity measures become clear, the UK may be reconsidering the choice of F-35 variant which it will buy under its Joint Combat Aircraft programme. For costs and operational reasons, Variant B is the logical choice...."
&
"...However, delays to the Ford Class carrier mean that the UK will be the first country to integrate EMALS onto a ship, with all the technical problems and costs associated with it. This may explain in part why the UK's initial estimate of £400m cost has already escalated to £1.8 billion. Interestingly, the UK has not committed to spend any money on the new EMALS system. Although it has issued an official request for the system, no contract has yet been signed...."

Interesting if true but I don't claim to know - I thought EMALS & Ford were going OK?

There are some way weird facts in this report. Check out the details in graphic comparing the F-35B/C - Research? Bugga All. :-)

ONly TeXt portion EdiTeD/aLmaLgamateD attached from two graphics here:
http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... C9D5A2F291


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.

Unread postPosted: 05 Apr 2012, 04:49
by spazsinbad
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...."

Unread postPosted: 05 Apr 2012, 04:56
by SpudmanWP
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.

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 03:50
by spazsinbad
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."

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 08:42
by stobiewan
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?

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 15:47
by spazsinbad
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

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 16:12
by quicksilver
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.

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 16:25
by spazsinbad
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:

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 17:12
by spazsinbad
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/

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 17:14
by bjr1028
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.

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 17:18
by spazsinbad
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.

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2012, 23:04
by madrat
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.

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 00:26
by count_to_10
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.

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 01:38
by spazsinbad
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.

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 01:47
by count_to_10
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.

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 03:31
by battleshipagincourt
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.

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 03:54
by 1st503rdsgt
battleshipagincourt wrote: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.


F-35C will have a longer range than the F-35A; how much longer really depends on the degree to which its mission profile takes advantage of that larger wing. However, the F-35C is still quite a ways off at this point, so it's gonna be awhile before we have a clear picture.

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2012, 04:32
by spazsinbad
In my book it is best to stick to the official LM combat radius figures because anything else is just speculation. Yes there are ways that loadout and flight profile may enhance the radius but once again that becomes even more nebulous speculation.

Nothing but the 13 March 2012 LM Fast Facts: http://f-35.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/ ... 3-2012.pdf

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 00:54
by bjr1028
madrat wrote: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.


Never underestimate stupidity in UK defense procurement.

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 04:49
by popcorn
The F-35B KPPs specify a 600-ft. STO distance and a VLBB of 2 x 1000lb JDAMs, 2 x AMRAAMs and reserve fuel. Assuming full internl fuel and aforementioned internal weapons, how much more payload can you hang under the wings and still do a STO? Obviously you could achieve the MTOW given a long enough runway on land.

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 05:09
by popcorn
The F-35B KPPs specify a 600-ft. STO distance and a VLBB of 2 x 1000lb JDAMs, 2 x AMRAAMs and reserve fuel. Assuming full internl fuel and aforementioned internal weapons, how much more payload can you hang under the wings and still do a STO? Obviously you could achieve the MTOW given a long enough runway on land.

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 06:57
by spazsinbad
'popcorn' asked: ".... how much more payload can you hang under the wings and still do a STO?..."

This would be the 64K Question eh. :D Send me the NATOPS and I'll figure it out for ya! :D However increasing the WOD, decreasing the temperature and increasing the T/O distance available will make the answer easily known to those with the figures (but not me). :-(

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 11:15
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:'popcorn' asked: ".... how much more payload can you hang under the wings and still do a STO?..."

This would be the 64K Question eh. :D Send me the NATOPS and I'll figure it out for ya! :D However increasing the WOD, decreasing the temperature and increasing the T/O distance available will make the answer easily known to those with the figures (but not me). :-(


Oh, OK.. I was just wondering if it was public knowledge and I ad missed it somehow.. we'll get an idea eventually..

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 13:14
by madrat
Take off in STO form will vary from deck to deck for other reasons, too. There is no magic deck length or width. Clearance between objects on the deck affect takeoff.

With the reduced internal dimensions the actual maximum payload probably will not matter so much as the fuel.

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 14:12
by spazsinbad
What are you implying here 'madrat'? "...There is no magic deck length or width. Clearance between objects on the deck affect takeoff...." What clearance between objects, what objects?

The KPP states full fuel load [or enough to achieve the required KPP combat radius of 450NM) as well as full internal load so I'm not sure what you mean by 'will not matter so much as the fuel'. Please explain.

There are several [identical almost] versions of the KPP for F-35B with this one having the most detail while others (SAR) suggest 'enough fuel to fulfil KPP'; but anyway I'll repeat:

Scorecard: A Case study of the Joint Strike Fighter Program
by Geoffrey P. Bowman, LCDR, USN — 2008 April

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-14791.html

"...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 expendables, 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...."

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 23:56
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:What are you implying here 'madrat'? "...There is no magic deck length or width. Clearance between objects on the deck affect takeoff...." What clearance between objects, what objects?

The KPP states full fuel load [or enough to achieve the required KPP combat radius of 450NM) as well as full internal load so I'm not sure what you mean by 'will not matter so much as the fuel'. Please explain.

There are several [identical almost] versions of the KPP for F-35B with this one having the most detail while others (SAR) suggest 'enough fuel to fulfil KPP'; but anyway I'll repeat:

Scorecard: A Case study of the Joint Strike Fighter Program
by Geoffrey P. Bowman, LCDR, USN — 2008 April

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-14791.html
In
"...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 expendables, 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...."


What are "full expendables"?

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2012, 23:57
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:What are you implying here 'madrat'? "...There is no magic deck length or width. Clearance between objects on the deck affect takeoff...." What clearance between objects, what objects?

The KPP states full fuel load [or enough to achieve the required KPP combat radius of 450NM) as well as full internal load so I'm not sure what you mean by 'will not matter so much as the fuel'. Please explain.

There are several [identical almost] versions of the KPP for F-35B with this one having the most detail while others (SAR) suggest 'enough fuel to fulfil KPP'; but anyway I'll repeat:

Scorecard: A Case study of the Joint Strike Fighter Program
by Geoffrey P. Bowman, LCDR, USN — 2008 April

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-14791.html
In
"...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 expendables, 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...."


What are "full expendables"?

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2012, 00:24
by count_to_10
Are "expendables" ammo, flares, and chafe?

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2012, 01:12
by spazsinbad
Whatever else 'full expendables' includes it would be also FUEL and OIL/Liquids of all types required. There was a thread about weight which had a definition of various weights - empty or whatever. I'll look to see what 'full expendables' might be officially.

Whether the pilot is counted as 'expendable' I don't know although some seem to think that they have that attribution. :D

Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms 2001

http://jitc.fhu.disa.mil/jitc_dri/pdfs/jp1_02.pdf (3Mb)

"expendable supplies and materiel — Supplies that are consumed in use, such as ammunition, paint, fuel, cleaning and preserving materials, surgical dressings, drugs, medicines, etc., or that lose their identity, such as spare parts, etc. Also called consumable supplies and materiel."

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2012, 05:46
by popcorn
So, in theory, expendables could include a couple of JASSMs on external pylons..,or a pair of 2000lb JDAMs..

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2012, 05:51
by spazsinbad
I guess the KPPs refer to a minimum requirement to be met. Some readings suggest that only enough fuel needs to be carried to go the required distance (450NM) or get airborne within required distance with required load. One day all will be revealed. [Great line from a Led Zepplin song BTW.] :D

http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/ ... 870004A244

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2012, 17:56
by quicksilver
'Expendables' in this context are expendable countermeasures -- i.e. chaff and flares.

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2012, 20:37
by spazsinbad
And why fuel/oil as indicated in official definition? Do you have a reference to your contention 'quicksilver' please? Thanks.

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2012, 22:12
by quicksilver
KPP details are not public data. But, don't over-think this -- 'expendables' is the common reference in US service for chaff/flares. Oil is a consumable (not an expendable) and accounted for elsewhere in the GR&A.

Unread postPosted: 13 Apr 2012, 22:44
by spazsinbad
Thanks. How about fuel then? Fuel is mentioned in official definition on previous page:

"expendable supplies and materiel — Supplies that are consumed in use, such as ammunition, paint, fuel, cleaning and preserving materials, surgical dressings, drugs, medicines, etc., or that lose their identity, such as spare parts, etc. Also called consumable supplies and materiel."

BTW the 'Scorecard' reveals some extra data about KPPs plus SAR definitions over the years (not just bland KPPs otherwise in LM PPT slides).

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 03:35
by quicksilver
Context Spaz, context -- it's not that hard. Jeez. The KPPs were written by pilots not engineers.

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 03:53
by spazsinbad
'quicksilver' you make claims - that is all. I'll attempt to have backup for my claims. Claims don't add much. And why do pilots matter over engineers and why does any of that matter in reference to KPPs? I just want to clarify what is included.

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 06:28
by spazsinbad
From an accumulation of 'SARs over time' PDF document, starting from 1996, here is one example of part of KPP info relevant: [note 'fuel required' for F-35B] Way Back in Dec 2001 note how figures similar today with the notable exception noted... :roll:

For comparison thn 2007 version is presented. I'll look for latest version.

http://www.dod.gov/pubs/foi/logistics_m ... resent.pdf (3.2Mb)

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 06:28
by popcorn
FWIW, the Feb. 16, 2012 CRS Report including KPPs in appendix B.. note still 550-ft STO.
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=ca ... 1vwL-wzggw

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 06:31
by spazsinbad
'popcorn' it must be noted that afterward that 550 feet was changed to 600 feet.

Pentagon Slackens Difficult-To-Achieve JSF Performance Requirements J. Sherman Mar 1, 2012

http://insidedefense.com/20120301239200 ... d-926.html

“...The short-take-off-and-landing KPP before the JROC review last month was 550 feet. In April 2011, the Pentagon estimated that the STOVL variant could execute a short take-off in 544 feet while carrying two Joint Direct Attack Munitions and two AIM-120 missiles internally, as well as enough fuel to fly 450 nautical miles. By last month, that take-off distance estimate grew to 568 feet, according to DOD sources. The JROC, accordingly, agreed to extend the required take-off distance to 600 feet, according to DOD officials....”
&
DefenseAlert, March 9, 2012 -- With the Joint Strike Fighter aircraft-carrier variant expected to miss a key performance parameter related to its maximum allowable landing speed, the Pentagon recently adjusted F-35C fuel storage calculations to ensure the aircraft met a critical operational requirement, according to Defense Department officials.

Tweaks Allow Navy To Meet JSF Aircraft-Carrier Landing Speed Target

http://insidedefense.com/index.php?opti ... EuaHRtbA==

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 08:36
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:'popcorn' it must be noted that afterward that 550 feet was changed to 600 feet.

Noted, Spaz.. it's not an updated chart.

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 13:52
by spazsinbad
SAR explanation for 550 to 600 foot F-35B STO distance in March 2012.

AND... HooHaaa... We can see where Mr.SharkeyWard gets BODGY Figures, mixing 'em up mightily (check range figures bottom of graphic etc.)! Funny AS... :twisted: :D :roll: :shock:

SAR for F-35 | As of December 31, 2011

http://www.aviationweek.com/media/pdf/F ... 9-2012.pdf (0.7Mb)

page 6:
"...On February 14, 2012, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC) met and made some important decisions regarding the F-35 Key Performance Parameters (KPPs). The impetus for these changes was guidance from the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who chairs the JROC. The VCJCS asked programs to examine portfolios for KPPs that could potentially be modified based on observed performance or changes in concepts of operation with minimal or no impact on the warfighter that could substantially reduce the cost of a program. This effort is in keeping with the JROC’s statutory requirement to consider cost, schedule and performance. Agreement was reached to modify the following: a) revise a Ground Rule and Assumption (GR&A) for the F-35A Combat Radius. The GR&As underpinning the KPP were updated to reflect the aircraft optimum airspeed and altitude, values that have been obtained through testing. Once these values were applied to the mission profile, the performance of the aircraft exceeded the original, unchanged KPP value, and b) approved a change to the F-35B Short Takeoff distance KPP from 550ft to 600ft. The STOVL variant (F-35B) 550ft short takeoff KPP was based on a four-ship simultaneous launch concept, formerly planned for use by the AV-8B. This concept is no longer in use. Planned F-35B operations (and the way AV-8B’s currently operate) are for a maximum of two aircraft to depart from the ship, and increase the length of useable flight deck. This increased distance facilitated the addition of 50ft to the original, no-longer-relevant 550ft requirement, resulting in significant savings to the taxpayer. Attempting to achieve the original requirement would have required significant resources (e.g. more engine thrust or significant weight reductions), and would have resulted in excessive cost growth. The JROC Memorandum (040-12) that approved these changes was signed on March 16, 2012. Current estimates for all KPP are now within threshold requirements.

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 14:15
by madrat
The spacing of aircraft on the deck has a direct impact on the tempo of take offs. By dropping to two ship departures they dramatically shift room for use on the deck and have added space for each aircraft to takeoff. It's all a shell game of give and take.

Unread postPosted: 14 Apr 2012, 14:34
by spazsinbad
Welcome to the NATOPS shell-game of all the variables, WOD, Temperature, T/O distance available, possible maximum loadout, range required. WX on return to ship and on and on and on and on and on. Nothing up my sleeve.... :D Watch me pull a wabbit outta my hat! :devil:

Unread postPosted: 16 Apr 2012, 06:42
by spazsinbad
Chiefs order Cameron to retreat over fighter jets By Tom Coghlan | April 16 2012

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/

"David Cameron is due to be presented with what officials believe is an overwhelming case for a change of policy on Britain’s troubled aircraft carrier programme. The Times has learnt that Forces chiefs will unanimously advocate that the Government should abandon plans to buy the conventional carrier version of the American Joint Strike Fighter — the F35C. Instead, a reassessment of the carrier programme will advise the Government to revert to the plans of the previous Labour administration to buy the STOVL (short take-off, vertical landing) F35B version of the Joint Strike Fighter. The findings could be presented to the Prime Minister as early as this week. It will be another headache for Mr Cameron as he returns to Parliament after an Easter dominated by negative headlines about the Budget...."
____________

More of the same hoo-haa as above with this addition.... What a master stroke of planning.

Defence chiefs rethink carrier plan (UKPA) 16 April 2012

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpres ... 542135494A

"The Ministry of Defence is reconsidering changes to Britain's aircraft carrier programme, it has been reported.

Armed Forces chiefs will advocate the Government drop plans to buy the F35C, the conventional carrier version of the American Joint Strike Fighter, and revert to the previous Labour government's plans to buy the short take-off, vertical landing (STOVL) F35B version of the aircraft, The Times reported....

"...A reassessment of the programme, ordered by the Prime Minister, found the F35C would only provide one operable carrier, rather than two, and would carry an extra cost of up to £1.8billion, the Times reported. The review also found the programme would not be compatible with France's aircraft carrier and the new vessel would not be likely to come into service until 2025."

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 00:13
by maus92
Umm, any ideas why the -C would be incompatible with French carriers? That would affect the USN cross decking as well.

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 00:23
by count_to_10
maus92 wrote:Umm, any ideas why the -C would be incompatible with French carriers? That would affect the USN as well.

Good question:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_air ... _%28R91%29

Unless this is mistaken, the French use CATOB CVs.

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 00:34
by spazsinbad
'maus92' British newspapers have a habit of being imprecise (remember 'cats 'n flaps'?). However this is one reason:

EXCLUSIVE: Cameron in humiliating u-turn on future of Britain's aircraft carriers with return of the jump jet
By Tim Shipman and Ian Drury [& the BLOCKHEADS] :D PUBLISHED: 17:45 GMT, 16 April 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... riers.html

"The F-35C warplanes are also too heavy to land on the deck of France’s Charles de Gaulle carrier."

Later perhaps more detail will emerge so I can only speculate what 'too heavy' means. Reasons would be the arrestor gear and catapult cannot deal with a Maximum Landing Weight F-35C or Maximum Weight for catapult. If the deck itself is too thin then that is another matter altogether. There is a thread about the CdeG and Rafale with weight issues.

Times: U.K. Reverting to STOVL JSF for its Carriers

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 00:39
by maus92
Times via Defense News:

"Britain’s military chiefs have unanimously backed a plan to switch back to the short take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to equip its aircraft carriers, a report in The Times newspaper said April 16.

The newspaper quotes unnamed officials as saying the “overwhelming case” from military chiefs for a change from the catapult-launched F-35C to the F-35B STOVL version could land on Prime Minister David Cameron’s desk this week."

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... /304160002

RE: Times: U.K. Reverting to STOVL JSF for its Carriers

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 01:02
by spazsinbad
Thread about CdeG and WEIGHTS [Heavy!]

F-35C maximum takeoff weight question

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... c&p=207412

Re: Times: U.K. Reverting to STOVL JSF for its Carriers

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 02:03
by bumtish
maus92 wrote:Times via Defense News:

"Britain’s military chiefs have unanimously backed a plan to switch back to the short take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to equip its aircraft carriers, a report in The Times newspaper said April 16.

The newspaper quotes unnamed officials as saying the “overwhelming case” from military chiefs for a change from the catapult-launched F-35C to the F-35B STOVL version could land on Prime Minister David Cameron’s desk this week."

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... /304160002


Always seemed odd to me that when the RN had designed their entire operational concept of their new carriers on STOVL - workup periods, maintenance, sortie generation - they then found the C to be cheaper. I have this suspicion that the C was a poorly thought out idea by the Treasury.

RE: Re: Times: U.K. Reverting to STOVL JSF for its Carriers

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 09:32
by spazsinbad
As I recall the decade old decision to operate the F-35B was not only for reasons 'bumtish' cites above (expeditionary force) but also to ease the training load on the RAF/RN pilots as described the other week herein: SLOGAN? 'STOP & LAND' not 'LAND & then STOP'! :twisted:

UK’s delayed decision on F-35 purchase may be too little, too late 7 April 2012

http://defencereport.com/uks-delayed-de ... -too-late/
-
“...capability has been augmented by reducing aircrew task saturation in managing transitions to and from critical phases of STOVL flight, according to BAE F-35 test pilot Pete Kosogorin.

Kosogorin, a former Royal Navy Harrier pilot, told DefenceReport that reinventing cockpit management in the F-35B has been a primary design goal, with a focus on automating power plant management and control surfaces during transitions from conventional flight.

These automated systems, Kosogorin said, reduce pilot input to a fraction of what was required to transition the Harrier from shipboard landing and takeoff, which would likely translate to faster training for student pilots and the ability to broaden F-35B training to RAF and Navy aircrew – advantages that would not cross over with the F-35C....”

Re: RE: Times: U.K. Reverting to STOVL JSF for its Carriers

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 13:06
by emc2
spazsinbad wrote:Thread about CdeG and WEIGHTS [Heavy!]

F-35C maximum takeoff weight question



The French operate the Hawkeye, which almost as heavy as the F-35C.

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 13:10
by popcorn
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/f276fbaa-87e4-1 ... i_referer=

Aircraft carriers will not be reconfigured for French

By Carola Hoyos in LondonThe UK will not reconfigure its aircraft carriers so that French fighter jets can land on them, senior government officials have told their French counterparts.

The move, confirmed by parliamentary officials, makes it increasingly unlikely David Cameron, the prime minister, will avoid an awkward U-turn in announcing the UK will buy the Stovl B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the version of the aircraft that can land on British carriers without the catapult and trap needed by French planes.

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 13:30
by spazsinbad
'emc2' we have only hints about 'heaviness'. A heavy Hawkeye lands slower (less ground speed compared to an F-35C) into the arrestor gear thus putting less 'weight' into the arrest I'll presume; whilst the 'deck hitting' will be lessened by decreased rate of descent compared to an F-35C at Max Landing Weight? But I'm only guessing. This is just supposition until detailed reasons are given. The 'too heavy' F-35C on CdeG might just be 'code' for some other complicated reason that either the reporter does not understand, or cannot explain in two words. Or both.

BTW that TIMES report two paragraphs is a very complicated way to say something really simple - but that's the times I guess. :roll: :shock: :D

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 16:01
by river_otter
spazsinbad wrote:'emc2' we have only hints about 'heaviness'. A heavy Hawkeye lands slower (less ground speed compared to an F-35C) into the arrestor gear thus putting less 'weight' into the arrest I'll presume; whilst the 'deck hitting' will be lessened by decreased rate of descent compared to an F-35C at Max Landing Weight? But I'm only guessing. This is just supposition until detailed reasons are given. ...


Very likely this. Possibly also its mirror image with respect to the ability of the catapults to impart the necessary take-off speed for either plane.

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 16:27
by spazsinbad
EMALS has no troubles, I think the CdeG catapult situation is covered here: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-p-207412.html

Scroll down to the CdeG C-13 catapult capabilities and why the RafaleM cannot carry same Max.Wt. as an Rafale.

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 19:15
by SpudmanWP
Official -- It's back to the F-35B for the UK

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19482

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 20:05
by bumtish
@ Spaz

Thought that was included in "workup period." I may have been to generous to include it in there...

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 23:10
by spazsinbad
'bumtish' I think the point being made by the test pilot above is that every vertical landing in the F-35B ashore is the same as one on a flat deck at sea (more or less) allowing the F-35B pilot (RAF/RN) to remain 'deck current' if they remain 'VL current' (remembering that most F-35B landings will be RVL due to the ease of them with wide conventional undercarriage with less wear and tear all round).

Even though an F-35C pilot will use the IFLOLS or whatever 'mirror equivalent' is used on the carrier to land ashore when possible this is never the same as an actual carrier landing, thus requiring the workup period. If the RN use similar RN/RAF Harrier workup period this time will be minimal. Do a few landings on the carrier and that is that. However the USMC have used a different regime for their Harriers as described in another thread - so I'm not talking about them - just the potential RN/RAF operations of the F-35B.

Unread postPosted: 17 Apr 2012, 23:49
by spazsinbad
More excerpts from 'The Times' article above from: http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... 79?page=20
OR
http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... 35?page=39

"Aircraft Carriers Will Not Be Reconfigured for French (excerpt)
(Source: Financial Times; published April 16, 2012)

The first F-35 for the United Kingdom, a STOVL “B” variant, has made its first flight. (LM photo) The UK will not reconfigure its aircraft carriers so that French fighter jets can land on them, senior government officials have told their French counterparts.

The move, confirmed by parliamentary officials, makes it increasingly unlikely David Cameron, the prime minister, will avoid an awkward U-turn in announcing the UK will buy the Stovl B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the version of the aircraft that can land on British carriers without the catapult and trap needed by French planes.

In the 2010 strategic defence and security review, Mr Cameron announced the Ministry of Defence would convert the carriers and buy the longer-range F-35 C variant of the strike fighter. At the time he roundly criticised the previous Labour government for choosing the Stovl B variant.

Allowing France and the UK to share the expensive task of maintaining uninterrupted carrier capability was an important reason for the switch, the SDSR noted at the time.

But Mr Cameron is widely believed to have changed tack because his government underestimated the cost of converting the carriers, analysts said. Instead of the expected £400m, it is believed the conversion would cost about £1.8bn. Meanwhile, to make the carriers interoperable with French fighters, further expensive technological adjustments beyond the catapult and trap would have to be made.

Despite weeks of speculation, Mr Cameron has yet to announce the switch back to the B variant – which can land vertically and only needs a short runway to take off – to parliament. (end of excerpt)"

[WOW! Back in 2008 the RafaleM cross-decked with USS Roosevelt - no worries, though note brief workup for experienced French pilots but not experienced on CVNs.]
Link: http://www.dassault-aviation.com/filead ... ee_n12.pdf (7.6Mb)

"...For the French contingent, the exercise culminated with the deployment of five Rafales for five days onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Prior to embarking on the carrier, Flottille 12F pilots performed four simulated field deck landings each (two in daytime and two at night) at NAS Oceana or at nearby Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress. Experienced US Landing Signal Officers (LSOs) were assessing the performance and safety levels of the French Navy aviators before allowing them to trap onboard the carrier. On 19 July 2008, the first Rafale carrier landing was recorded onboard USS Roosevelt. The first two days onboard the US vessel were dedicated to Carrier Qualifications and every pilot had to log ten ‘traps’, six in daytime and four at night, in order to become fully qualified again. On the very first day, four pilots gained their day and night carrier qualifications, with the other four the following day, an achievement made possible by both the superb handling qualities of the Rafale in the circuit, and the size of the US carrier which allowed simultaneous launch and recovery of fighters...."]

Utube Video of FCLP in France:
Lann-Bihoué (56). Rafales et Hawkeyes en entraînement d'appontage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... WbbS4mWl-w

"Uploaded by LeTelegramme on Jan 25, 2012
Jusqu'au 3 février, la base de Lann-Bihoué vit au rythme des entraînements d'appontage de ses avions Hawkeyes et des avions Rafales de la base de Landivisiau. Une campagne à l'appontage simulé sur piste concentrée sur deux jours par semaine, en journée et en soirée, pour causer le moins de gêne possible aux riverains.

Ces exercices sont effectués dans le cadre de l'entraînement des pilotes de la flottille du groupe aérien embarqué sur le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle. Comment s'exercer à atterir « sur la surface d'un tSimhbowre m poarrer apport à une."

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 03:34
by spazsinbad
FWIW (I cannot hear sound) here is the UK Opposition Shadow DefMin on VIDEO:

Shadow Defence Secretary's take on F35-B 17 April 2012

http://www.bfbs.com/news/uk/shadow-defe ... 56561.html

"Forces News has been speaking to Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy about an imminent Government decision that could see Britain's new aircraft carriers carry a fleet of jump jets.

He says the F35-B - the Joint Strike Fighter version originally ordered by the previous Labour Government and now favoured by military chiefs - should never have been shelved by the coalition, which chose the F35-C cat and trap version after completing its Strategic Defence and Security Review.

But spiraling costs, including the billions of pounds of adaptations needed to the new aircraft carriers, have cast the wisdom of that decision into doubt. Now Downing Street sources have suggested the F35-C is about to be scrapped, throwing plans for "cross-decking" between the French and British naval fleets into doubt."

VIDEO may be downloaded: http://www.bfbs.com/news/sites/ssvc.com ... hy_i_v.mp4 (28Mb)

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 09:45
by delvo
This is unfortunate for their overall military force, with the lower range & weight, but if switching to C was really expensive, then it was really expensive.

I still don't get, though, why they can't stick with B for the carriers they've already got and just build the next carrier(s) for C. You'd still get at least one carrier that can handle the longer-range and heavier-payload plane instead of zero, you'd still get to skip the costs of altering the old carriers, and the similarity of the two kinds of plane would mean you only had to maintain the support system (such as training & supplies) for essentially one kind of plane instead of two.

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 10:05
by spazsinbad
The cost to alter the 2nd CVF was prohibitive - let alone altering the 1st CVF, which apparently has already had the ski jump removed which I guess will be put back. This is relatively easy it is said. We will have to wait until more official details announced in a week or so. But it ain't over 'til it is over.

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 10:55
by lb
It's in fact rather stunning they didn't cost out the conversion when they made the original choice to switch to the C. Moreover, that decision contained a lot of wording regarding saving money which was never explained in detail and was in fact obviously wrong. It entirely seemed like smoke and mirrors in that the real savings was made by only operating one carrier and cutting the aircraft buy by more than half. So now the RN is left with one large CV operating a dozen B's most of the time. Frankly they were better off with 3 small carriers and thus always having one with 12 fighters available with a 2nd when required.

As a very long time admirer of the RN it's rather sad seeing the state they're in now. The writing was on the wall when the Sea Harriers were retired early, the Type 22 batch 3's were retired without replacement, etc. In 1990 the RN had 49 escorts, 3 small carriers, and 29 SSN and SSK's. Today they're down to 18 escorts, no carriers, and 7 SSN's. Not to mention the Nimrod's were also retired without replacement.

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 11:22
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:The cost to alter the 2nd CVF was prohibitive - let alone altering the 1st CVF, which apparently has already had the ski jump removed which I guess will be put back. This is relatively easy it is said. We will have to wait until more official details announced in a week or so. But it ain't over 'til it is over.


The ski jump is a bolt on assembly which would go on last, once all the blocks have been joined - we're a way from that - construction of the ski jump might have been delayed or put off but it's certainly *not* been fitted, then removed.

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 15:47
by bjr1028
SpudmanWP wrote:Official -- It's back to the F-35B for the UK

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19482


So, in other words, they now have the World's largest LPH if the F-35B gets the axe or has become too heavy to be effective.

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 15:50
by spazsinbad
'bjr1028' said: "....or [F-35B] has become too heavy to be effective." How is this happening? Recent thread describes weight margin is under control for KPPs.

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 16:00
by emc2
stobiewan wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:The cost to alter the 2nd CVF was prohibitive - let alone altering the 1st CVF, which apparently has already had the ski jump removed which I guess will be put back. This is relatively easy it is said. We will have to wait until more official details announced in a week or so. But it ain't over 'til it is over.


The ski jump is a bolt on assembly which would go on last, once all the blocks have been joined - we're a way from that - construction of the ski jump might have been delayed or put off but it's certainly *not* been fitted, then removed.


The first ship - HMS Queen Elizabeth - has never been considered for CATOBAR conversion.

The second was only started in May 2011, so the faffing about shouldn't have made any real difference

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 16:11
by spazsinbad
Report about CVF 'ski jump removal' on page 21 of this thread:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-300.html

desider - Issue 43 - December 2011 PDF [4.3 MB] page 10

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/BC92C2AF ... er2011.pdf

Quote: Ramp off
"Removal of the take-off ramp on the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers is expected to be captured in a contract amendment early next year with further changes arising from decisions on the carriers to be captured in 2013, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Peter Luff has said. This comes from the decision to fly the Carrier Variant of the Joint Strike Fighter."

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 16:21
by SpudmanWP
It looks like the U-Turn will come just in time so as to not waste time & money putting the ramp back on.

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 16:40
by emc2
spazsinbad wrote:Report about CVF 'ski jump removal' on page 21 of this thread:


So it hasn't been removed.

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 22:36
by spazsinbad
Do you know?

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 23:33
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:Do you know?


The biggest bits of QE just got put together.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-17603865

There's no *deck* to put a ski jump *on*...

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 23:39
by spazsinbad
Any news on the front bits?

Unread postPosted: 18 Apr 2012, 23:39
by stobiewan
emc2 wrote:
stobiewan wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:The cost to alter the 2nd CVF was prohibitive - let alone altering the 1st CVF, which apparently has already had the ski jump removed which I guess will be put back. This is relatively easy it is said. We will have to wait until more official details announced in a week or so. But it ain't over 'til it is over.


The ski jump is a bolt on assembly which would go on last, once all the blocks have been joined - we're a way from that - construction of the ski jump might have been delayed or put off but it's certainly *not* been fitted, then removed.


The first ship - HMS Queen Elizabeth - has never been considered for CATOBAR conversion.

The second was only started in May 2011, so the faffing about shouldn't have made any real difference


Technically, no official announcement has been made about which carrier would get cats and traps, but everyone's assumed that the POW is the logical candidate, given that the delivery of EMALS wouldn't happen until after the QE had been floated out.

However, it's been assumed that the QE would be run as an LPH with no STOVL ops so the ramp would be superfluous and as far as I understand, there was never any intention to fit a ski jump to either ship if the CATOBAR option were followed.

That's how I understood it five minutes ago, it's probably been revised twice since then. :sigh:

Wish they'd just build the frickin' things already...Nghh...

Unread postPosted: 20 Apr 2012, 12:01
by spazsinbad
Reverse thrust The prime minister is set to announce another embarrassing U-turn

http://www.economist.com/node/21553064 Apr 21st 2012

"...Switching back to the F-35B will in many ways be a relief to the air force and the navy who, after decades of experience with the Harrier jump jet (controversially taken out of service by the defence review) will be returning to an operational comfort zone. It also leaves open the option of operating two carriers rather than just one. But the downside remains: the B variant has half the range and a third of the payload of the F-35C [try switching those numbers for a better result - I guess that is what 'economists' do eh]. :-) Joint operations with allies, deemed vital 18 months ago, are scuppered. Given the importance of these decisions—Britain will have to live with them for the next 40 years—the seesawing and lack of transparency is disturbing."

Unread postPosted: 20 Apr 2012, 13:12
by popcorn
Was the idea of joint operations really to regularly cross-deck with the US and French Navies i.e. swap squadrons including all support and logistics or more along the lines of operating in a joint task force as part of a,coalition?
I don't know how practical the former,would be if they buy the C.,The latter is the likely scenario for future crises and one which the B complements.

Unread postPosted: 20 Apr 2012, 14:36
by SpudmanWP
You've got to love people who don't do research :)

If you are only talking internal JDAM load, then it's half. Unless you are talking likely CAS load (SDBs) then it's the same (or 75% as some say 3 per bay).

If external load is compared, it's 83% (15k vs 18k).


On the range, it's 75% either way (450nm vs 600nm).

Unread postPosted: 21 Apr 2012, 04:51
by spazsinbad
Parliamentary Answers – week commencing April 16th 2012 Posted 20 April 2012

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2012/04/p ... Defence%29

Question
Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department purchased the three F35B variant Joint Strike Fighter jets for testing; and how many will remain operational as part of the RAF fleet.
Answer
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
In 2009 the Ministry of Defence reached an agreement with the US Government for the purchase of two F35B aircraft, and agreement was reached on the purchase of a third F35B aircraft in 2010. These aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in the current financial year 2012-13 and will be used to conduct joint operational test and evaluation with the US services.

Question
Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how much his Department sold the F35B variant jet to the US Marine Corps; and when the sale took place.
Answer
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Ministry of Defence has not sold any F-35B aircraft to the US Marine Corps.

Question
Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much the F35B fighter jet weighs with a full weapon load.
Answer
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The F-35B aircraft’s actual flyaway weight will be dependent upon its fuel load and the weapon load configuration fitted.

Question
Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence
(1) with which allies’ armed forces the STOVL variant of the Joint Strike Fighter would be inter-operable;
(2) with which other nations’ aircraft carriers the F35B fighter jet would be interoperable with a full weapon load.
Answer
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
holding answer26 March 2012
Nations which operate the Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter from aircraft carriers would be interoperable with other nations possessing equivalent capabilities.
If land-based, the STOVL variant will have similar requirements to each of the other two variants, and the similarity of their mission systems will allow all three Joint Strike Fighter variants to exchange information. This underlying interoperability between all nations with Joint Strike Fighter aircraft of any variant is an integral part of the programme, aiding the promulgation of a shared situational awareness and ‘air picture’.

Question
Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the maximum number is of (a) F-35B and (b) F-35C Joint Combat Aircraft variants that could be accommodated on Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.
Answer
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers are designed to operate up to 40 aircraft—of which 36 could be Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

Question
Angus Robertson (Moray, Scottish National Party)
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has stopped any work or deferred signing contracts on (a) the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and (b) the arrester hook equipment.
Answer
Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)
We have not yet signed any contracts for the procurement of any Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment, be that the Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System or Advanced Arrestor Gear."

Unread postPosted: 21 Apr 2012, 05:30
by spazsinbad
Fighter jets about-turn 'will harm capability’ 21 April 2012
"Britain will be less able to undertake military operations with the fighter jets that ministers are preparing to buy under a cost-saving exercise, secret defence plans show."

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9217918/Fighte ... ility.html

"...The about-turn follows an MoD warning that it cannot afford the growing cost of installing the catapults required to launch the conventional jets from aircraft carriers decks. The Labour government did not request catapults for the ships, but the SDSR ordered the carriers to be redesigned and fitted with the launch gear. The cost of that conversion is spiralling towards £2 billion, forcing ministers into a rethink that is expected to be confirmed within weeks.

The MoD document, marked “Secret – UK eyes only”, makes clear that the jump jets are both more expensive and not as militarily effective as those originally ordered. “The conventional variant is more effective than the jump jet in almost all cases,” the paper states.

Because of the shortfall in jump jet capabilities, the MoD will have to spend an extra £2.4?billion buying 136 aircraft compared with 97 of the conventional planes, the paper adds...."

Unread postPosted: 21 Apr 2012, 06:41
by 1st503rdsgt
spazsinbad wrote:The cost of that conversion is spiralling towards £2 billion


For one carrier or both?

Unread postPosted: 21 Apr 2012, 06:50
by spazsinbad
Until an 'official statement on decision' the conversion cost is usually plural for 'the carriers'. If the EMALS/AAG is 0.4 Billion pounds for one set, then it is easy to see how the conversion for one carrier comes in at around 1 Billion pounds. Just my guesswork though.

Scroll down from top of this thread page: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-375.html

"...The NAO Carrier Strike report of July 2011 suggested the cost range for converting one carrier of £800 million to £1.2 million...."
________________

Then this thread page scroll down: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-360.html

"...According to Stackley, the current estimate is in the range of USD733 million to USD840 million. This accounts for USD156 million in non-recurring engineering, plus the costs associated with the procurement of ALRE, including a two-track EMALS system and three-wire AAG configuration."

Unread postPosted: 21 Apr 2012, 14:41
by stereospace
"...The NAO Carrier Strike report of July 2011 suggested the cost range for converting one carrier of £800 million to £1.2 million...."

Can I assume this was supposed to read £800 million to £1.2 billion?

Unread postPosted: 21 Apr 2012, 14:53
by spazsinbad
Proof Reading. It [LACK of IT!] will kill us all.... :D

Unread postPosted: 26 Apr 2012, 18:19
by spazsinbad
Piercing questions over UK carriers 26 April 2012 | UK By Will Inglis

http://bfbs.com/news/uk/piercing-questi ... 56782.html

"The Ministry of Defence's top civil servant is being called before MPs today to answer what are likely to be difficult questions about Britain’s aircraft carriers.

Ursula Brennan has been summoned by the Public Accounts Committee to explain why there’s been no official answer to a damning report about the multi-billion pound saga....

...Last year the public accounts committee claimed that the full cost implications of the U-turn were not properly understood.

Now the Permanent Under Secretary is being called before the committee to explain why the MOD is yet to answer that report.

Amid persistent rumours the Prime Minister may be about to go back to Plan A - finishing both ships and buying hovering planes - the F35-B - after all, her answers could be pretty telling."

Unread postPosted: 27 Apr 2012, 00:05
by spazsinbad
More WAFFLE at the URL jump....

Hammond 'still considering carrier options' 26 April 2012 by Joel Shenton

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19580

"Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is still asking "a lot of detailed questions" regarding the decision on which variant of F-35 jet to fly from the UK's Queen Elizabeth class carriers, the Ministry of Defence's top civil servant has said....

...Permanent Under Secretary Ursula Brennan told the Public Accounts Committee that an announcement on the carrier programme was not now likely until after the end of the local election purdah period on 3 May, but that the Defence Secretary was focused on the issue.

"Ministers have not made a decision on this planning round," said Brennan. "The Secretary of State for Defence wanted to take the time to assure himself about these issues. He has been asking us a lot of detailed questions and he then has discussions that he needs to have with his ministerial colleagues including the National Security Council.

"That process has not concluded."

Brennan repeatedly refused to reveal how much had already been spent investigating the cost of converting the aircraft carriers, designed with the F-35B Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing jet in mind, to operate the catapults and arrestor gear necessary for the F-35C, the government's current choice of jet....

..."Getting these numbers right, even if it has meant expending longer than we wanted to do so, is the right solution for us."

Unread postPosted: 03 May 2012, 21:08
by spazsinbad
More FUD...

Shooting In The Dark DTI May 2012 by Sweetman

http://au.zinio.com/reader.jsp?issue=416220858&p=55

"...The U.K.'s requirement for a STOVL carrier jet had been a driving force behind JSF and its precursor programs for 24 years when, in October 2010, the new coalition government's Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) reversed course and took a painful decision to go with the F-35C, complete the second of two new carriers with catapults and arrester gear, and place the first in inactive reserve....

...The price of the launch and arrester gear came as a shock (although it was apparent from U.S. budget documents) and nobody had a clear idea of the shipyard modification costs - which allowed F-35B boosters to leak shock horror estimates. The F-35B was taken off probation, and the focus shifted to the F-35C after its tailhook flunked initial tests.

Now, F-35B supporters argue that the program is secure, because the U.S. Marines always get what they want, and that with the "B," the U.K. can have two carriers. But aside from lingering technical issues and an uncomfortably thin margin between empty weight and maximum vertical landing weight, the "B" version may test the Marines' influence...."

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2012, 04:48
by 1st503rdsgt
Yeah, we'd all prefer the UK to eventually have 2 CATOBAR carriers with all the trimmings, but the reality is that the British no longer have the motivation or tenacity to see such a program through to the end. Cats and traps require a great deal of commitment to long-term maintenance, training, and infrastructure; and I don't think the UK has what it takes for that anymore. Two STOVL ships are about all the UK can handle, and that's better than having one of them sitting in mothballs, waiting to be sold off to India or the like.

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2012, 13:06
by maus92
More discussion about Brit carriers:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... ea-370186/

Unread postPosted: 04 May 2012, 13:47
by spazsinbad
PAGE 26 of this thread already has it covered: STROLL DOWN to April 10th

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-375.html

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2012, 03:04
by spazsinbad
Another long discussion of the worth of 'cats 'n traps' and the F-35C for the UK over the long term and stategic-wise and it will make the USN very happy indeedy. :D

'Cats and Traps': Launching the Carrier Debate in the Right Direction? By Dr Lee Willett, Senior Research Fellow, Maritime Studies, RUSI

http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... B2B64D19C/

"Media debate on the UK's carrier programme is focusing on the jets, rather than the ships they land on. Central to this discussion is 'cats and traps', the launch and recovery system, which drives the choice of aircraft. Critics who say that this will cost too much overlook the long-term strategic value it will add...."

A very long post at the URL.

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2012, 03:17
by popcorn
I just wish they would makeup their minds already...

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2012, 04:19
by spazsinbad
Yep. :D But even when they do it won't finish there... Here is another RUSI take on the saga from a historical perspective:

Of Jets and Carriers... Again By Nick Childs for RUSI.org

http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... 68FA1E4B7/

"As the UK government grapples with whether or not to carry out a U-turn over which variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), chiefly because of issues surrounding carrier conversion costs, there are broader issues beyond technical and financial ones, and some echoes from the past...."

Another long post at the URL.

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2012, 06:54
by spazsinbad
I'm holding me breath.... :D

Britain Turns to Annual Budget Planning by Andrew Chuter 06 May 2012

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... |FRONTPAGE

"...A statement on the planning round for the financial year 2012-13 starting last month has been delayed by a debate in government over whether it should revert to purchasing the F-35B short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter.

The British had originally opted for the STOVL aircraft, but the incoming Conservative-led coalition government in 2010 switched to the F-35C conventional carrier takeoff variant without properly estimating the cost of converting a new aircraft carrier, now under construction, so it could operate the F-35C variant.

Now the spiraling costs of converting one of the two 65,000-ton carriers (the other one could be sold or mothballed) to carry the catapults and arrestor gear to operate conventional fast jets has forced the government to consider changing its mind again.

Even though the move to switch to the F-35C was heavily backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, a move back to the STOVL variant is the most likely outcome when Hammond outlines planning round deliberations."

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2012, 13:24
by spazsinbad
F-35 'facts have changed' since SDSR 08 May 2012

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19664

"Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has recommended the National Security Council revert to choosing the F-35B joint strike fighter for the UK's Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, it has been reported....

...The F-35C was considered to be the cheaper option at the time of the SDSR, but the cost of fitting the electromagnetic aircraft launch system to just one carrier has been estimated as high as £1.8bn since...."

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2012, 09:11
by spazsinbad
About-turn on new variant of carriers’ fighter plane By James Kirkup, 09 May 2012

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... plane.html

"David Cameron has approved a major retreat over aircraft for the Royal Navy’s new carriers, abandoning plans to buy the conventional take-off version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, will tell MPs tomorrow that the Government will now purchase the jump-jet model of the plane instead, reversing one of the central decisions in the Coalition’s controversial defence review.

The Prime Minister’s National Security Council yesterday considered Mr Hammond’s plan, which will be announced to the House of Commons.

Mr Hammond will claim the decision will save hundreds of millions of pounds...

...Downing Street confirmed a statement on the carrier programme was imminent."

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2012, 09:50
by stobiewan
Unbelievable cluster-f*ck from start to so far. More screwups due soon, stay tuned.

The thing is, the actual carrier build is going really well and what's a complex engineering task is being carried out fuss free.

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2012, 10:01
by spazsinbad
The F-35B is a Transformer - in UK anyway: http://defensetech.org/wp-content/uploa ... /F-35B.jpg
+
Twin CVFs Ski Jumpers from: https://connect.innovateuk.org/c/docume ... -31142.pdf

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2012, 15:02
by bjr1028
stobiewan wrote:Unbelievable cluster-f*ck from start to so far. More screwups due soon, stay tuned.

The thing is, the actual carrier build is going really well and what's a complex engineering task is being carried out fuss free.


It could get worse actually depending on what happens after November.

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2012, 19:47
by neptune
It'll be interesting to see how the brit's ski-jump affects the internal bulkheads of the Bee vs. the LHA/D STOVL launches. When will the Bee test flights migrate to the ski-jump at PAX? After the redesigned bulkheads are installed, how much penalty, weight gain/ payload loss, does the Bee incurr? :?:

Unread postPosted: 09 May 2012, 22:03
by spazsinbad
Until now there would have been only those potential F-35B operators such as Spain and Italy with ski jumps requiring that ski jump testing. I guess now that the Brits are back the ski jump will be in action soon enough.

Any potential weight changes are still within the KPP requirements otherwise the moaners would be all over it.

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 01:43
by quicksilver
neptune wrote:It'll be interesting to see how the brit's ski-jump affects the internal bulkheads of the Bee vs. the LHA/D STOVL launches. When will the Bee test flights migrate to the ski-jump at PAX? After the redesigned bulkheads are installed, how much penalty, weight gain/ payload loss, does the Bee incurr? :?:


Are you familiar with the 496 bulkhead? Are you familiar with the production fix? If so, how would the relatively minor difference in compression of the nose landing gear during a ski-jump STO impart more loads to the 496 bulkhead than those absorbed during a VL?

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... 5b-351768/

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 10:33
by spazsinbad
Needless to say 'Sharkey' is not a happy chappy but what the heck I wish some one would spell out what 'East of Suez' is. There be Dragons? :D

F-35 U-Turn is a Huge Mistake
Carrier Costs: Reversion to STOVL Is Neither Simple nor Cheap

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2012/05/f- ... stake.html

"Executive Summary
i. The short-term cost differential between remaining with the angled deck decision (SDSR 2010) and opting for ramp-fitted decks to support the STOVL variant of the aircraft is considerably less than originally anticipated (possibly less than £1.05 billion). This differential is likely to be eroded further when the true cost of ship-borne equipment and support for Ship Rolling Vertical Landings is established.

ii. A reversion to STOVL will not result in a marked difference in the date at which an initial carrier operating capability is achieved.

iii. The through life costs of the STOVL aircraft air group are significantly greater than those associated with the conventional CV variant (nearly £5 billion more).

iv. The operational capability of the STOVL ramp-fitted aircraft carrier is unlikely to be regarded as Carrier Strike and may equate to a zero capability in very high temperatures East of Suez.

v. The adoption of a ramp-fitted deck would remove the option for the future operation of other carrier borne conventional aircraft, whether manned or unmanned.

vi. In warmer climes, the STOVL aircraft will not be able to land on smaller decks/platforms in emergency because of the constraints of its power/weight ratio and consequent planned Ship Rolling Vertical Landing (as opposed to Vertical Landing) characteristics. THIS ONE ITEM NEGATES THE ONLY ADVANTAGE THAT THE STOVL AIRCRAFT MIGHT HAVE HAD OVER THE CV VARIANT."

More explanatory stuff at the URL!

The last point [vi.] seems ludicrous. If the F-35B is able to VL with KPP requirements how is that a problem if some stores are jettisoned 'East of Suez' in an emergency?

And point [iv.] ("...may equate to a zero capability in very high temperatures East of Suez.") is inane. How is it that the CVF with ramp can launch KPP requirement in 450+ feet and with extra deck length available could not launch KPP weight in hotter temperatures with 10 knots WOD? Sharkey makes a silly claim indeed. [I say 450 feet plus because the original USMC 550 was changed recently to 600 feet but no mention was made of original UK 450 feet with ski jump KPP change (not required at that time).]

I would be a lot happier if Sharkey spelt out stuff but he does not. So it is all FUD - Fear Uncertainty and Doubt mixed with a huge dollop of BLUSTER! :D

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 11:19
by spazsinbad
KPP DEFINITION: https://acc.dau.mil/ILC_KPP

"Those attributes or characteristics of a system that are considered critical or essential to the development of an effective military capability. A KPP normally has a threshold, representing the required value, and an objective, representing the desired value....

...KPPs are those system attributes considered most critical or essential for an effective military capability...."
__________________

"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 expendables, execute a 550 foot [NOW 600 ft] (450 UK STOVL) STO from LHA, LHD, and aircraft carriers (sea level, tropical day, 10 kts operational WOD) and 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."

https://www.afresearch.org/skins/rims/q ... nginespage [original source now not available]
SoGoHere:
http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-14791.html (for small PDF)
OR
http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... ard#221433 [for some more KPP HooHaa] :roll: :D :shock: :roll:

Scorecard: A Case study of the Joint Strike Fighter Program
by Geoffrey P. Bowman, LCDR, USN — 2008 April — [PDF 325Kb 'bowman0558.pdf']

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 12:06
by popcorn
Obviously, being "East of Suez" negates all that Spaz.. might be some sort of Bermuda Triangle phenomena where aircraft suddenly lose the ability to operate as designed LOL

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 12:32
by Asif
Royal Aeronautical Society wrote:What a carrier-on!

Professor Keith Hayward, RAeS Head of Research, provides expert comment and analysis on the UK Governments ’s decision to revert to the STOVL variant of the F-35 stealth fighter.

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond’s statement today confirms the rumours of an embarrassing U-turn over the JSF type to be bought by the UK. Declared by Prime Minister Cameron as making good a mistake made by the previous government, the shift to a conventional F-35C was lauded as a means of increasing compatibility with allied naval air power, and increasing the overall capability available to Britain’s air forces. With a screeching of austerity driven brakes, the government has now baulked at the £2billion (and rising) cost converting a VSTOL carrier to “cats and traps”.

As an early exemplar of military indecision, the Grand Old Duke of York marched 10,000 men up and down a hill. When first through Main Gate, the plan was to build two large carriers, but only capable of launching the VSTOL F-35B. A few years and a Strategic Defence and Security Review later, combined with the first dose of financial austerity, the UK decided to park the first ship in mothballs and shift to a conventional flight deck deploying the US Navy’s choice, the F-35C.

The first decision ostensibly saved some money – albeit at the expense of buying a toothless ship (contracted and legally binding) available for training or sale. It also added to overall capability, the F-35C having greater range and payload; and conveniently enough, having the ability to interoperate with US as well as French carrier aircraft. The latter would be politically and operationally important if UK-France were to have something like continuous cover for expeditionary missions under a “European” flag.

So far so good: switching to a “cat and trap” mode immediately implied some expensive modifications, especially as the carrier design required the untried electro-magnetic catapult system. As the design is stuffed to the gunnels with sophisticated integrated kit and features a high level of automation to reduce the size of the crew, this was not a simple case of stripping out bunks and altering the configuration of storage space.

There would also be a further stretch-out in deploying a modern carrier force, although delays in the F-35 programme might have brought some degree of convergence of in-service dates. However, as the UK National Audit Office (NAO) has noted, the untried catapult technology, combined with developing a UK fit of US technology, raised several new and potentially very expensive uncertainties. Rebuilding the core knowledge and skills of a ‘cats and traps cadre’ , last seen in the 1970s would also not have been simple.


Order, counter-order, disorder

So about turn and march the troops down the hill and revert to the original format, albeit with a smaller number of aircraft. New questions now arise: will Britain now seek to deploy both carriers? That’s certainly what the naval lobby is muttering and ‘continuous carrier availability’ was highlighted by Mr. Hammond in his speech today. It is self evident that if we don’t have two carriers, we will be without carrier air power for six months or so in any given year. But would the UK be able to afford to equip and operate two carriers, especially if the MoD is to commit to a Trident nuclear force replacement? What about interoperability? Clearly, the latter is now impossible with France, and limited to US Marine carriers, or perhaps Italian F-35Bs, if that is they survive an Italian defence review.

All of this uncertainty implies a breech in weapons acquision’s golden rule – customers should not change their minds in mid-procurement. This is the largest single cause of programme delay and cost escalation. As ever, this is a bi-partisan mess. The present government will blame their predecessors for the original choice; sometime in the next decade, this regime will be castigated by its successor. British tax payers and the UK armed services will pay the ultimate cost.


In another part of the procurement wood

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic the Pentagon is facing further delays and cost increases in the F-35 programme, already the largest and single most expensive procurement in US history. However, according to the US General Accountability Office (GAO), since 2010 total cost estimates for development and procurement rose by about $15 billion. Order numbers have been reduced, risking a hike in unit costs as the programme loses economies of scale. The GAO reports that about half of current primary objectives have not yet been achieved, as developing three versions concurrently has caused problems. The VSTOL F-35B has shown some progress in solving its particular problems, but it still has some ground to make up. A fully integrated aircraft will not now be available for testing before 2015.

The GAO goes on to consider uncertainties associated with the manufacturing phase, including managing the international supplier network. This is regarded as an especially “critical challenge”. Lockheed Martin is putting a lot of effort into helping some of the less capable partners. But as Boeing found from its 787 experience, a complex overseas network might yet throw spanners into the machinery.

The UK customer can expect to see an increase in unit costs, putting further pressure on its order. The programme has considerable industrial and military support; a large part of the US military aerospace base is tied up in this development (as is for that matter Britain’s). Cancellation is still unlikely, and as that would give the UK a mighty headache, let’s not go there – but historians, remember Skybolt). As we move into the next phase of the US electoral cycle, the balance of support for the F-35 may be less predictable, and deeper cuts in absolute costs may be required to satisfy austerity politics and tax cutting right wingers. This could have the effect of increasing unit costs still further. A little bit of good news: reverting to the F-35B will add to Rolls-Royce’s direct out-take from the programme, and provide the VSTOL variant with a bit more political top cover, pushing the Skybolt scenario a little bit further into left field.

A big commitment

Taken together, the carrier force and its equipment is one of the largest and mostly costly procurements taken on by the UK. Managing the time scales of ships and aircraft will imply a degree of good fortune as much as good judgement. Shifting back to the F-35B and committing the UK to just one aircraft option may save money, but it does leave the MoD rather exposed. In retrospect, developing a conventional carrier from the outset may have been better value for money, and a safer option. However, the F-35B is still a very advanced aeroplane, and while not as capable as its conventional cousins, it is a huge improvement on the generation it replaces offering greater operational flexibility. It also ensures that years of VSTOL experience are not thrown out of the window.

source: http://media.aerosociety.com/aerospace- ... r-on/6788/

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 12:54
by emc2
Clearly, the latter is now impossible with France, and limited to US Marine carriers, or perhaps Italian F-35Bs, if that is they survive an Italian defence review.



Operating off the CdG is and probably always will be impossible for the F-35C, their cat isn't up to it. However, the F-35B can and its can operate off all the US carriers. USN and USMC.

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 13:13
by popcorn
@Spaz,

Have you any idea how much added bring back weight a SRVL allows over the KPP i.e. fully loaded intrrnal,weapons bay plus appropriate fuel reserves?

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 13:34
by spazsinbad
'popcorn' said: "Obviously, being "East of Suez" negates all that Spaz.. might be some sort of Bermuda Triangle phenomena where aircraft suddenly lose the ability to operate as designed LOL"

:D Now why did I not think of that?! :D And good ole boy SharkeyWard is now domiciled somewhere near dat TRIANGLE!

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 13:40
by spazsinbad
'popcorn' asked about SRVL bringback. I guess because not much work has been done on SRVLs once the UK changed to F-35C back in late 2010 that the investigation into SRVL became less important, although a contract was issued for such purposes. I'll guess that instead of being on the backburner this investigation into SRVL (especially for CVFs) will come to the fore again. All I know are some initial parameters but no indication of what this might mean for 'bringback weight'. Maybe the answer is out there in the intertroubles? :D

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 13:57
by spazsinbad
The 'very long thread' has a lot of jabba about SRVL and here is onesuch:

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... c&p=183985 [scrill din] :D

JSF To Develop Landing Technique For U.K. Carriers Oct 15, 2010 By Graham Warwick

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... adline=JSF [NO LONGER WORKS]

"While the future of the U.K. Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers is uncertain, Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $13 million contract to incorporate shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) capability into the F-35B for the U.K.

SRVL will increase the payload that the F-35B can bring back to the carrier by 2,000-4,000 lb. above what is possible with a Harrier-style vertical landing, reducing the need to dump unused weapons or fuel before recovery.

The maneuver involves landing at a slow forward speed so that some wing lift is available to supplement lift provided by the short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing (Stovl) propulsion system...."
__________________

Contracts NAVY 06 Oct 2010

http://www.defense.gov/contracts/contra ... actid=4382

"Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Ft. Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $13,035,539 modif-ication to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee con-tract (N00019-02-C-3002) to incorporate the shipborne rolling vertical landing capability into the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the United Kingdom. Work will be performed at Fort Worth, Texas (54 percent); Warton, United King-dom (35 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (7 percent); & Orlan-do, Fla. (4 percent). Work is expected to be completed in October 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity."
_____________________

Date Posted: 11-Dec-2008 International Defence Review:

http://militarynuts.com/index.php?showtopic=1507&st=120

Preparing for take-off: UK ramps up F-35 carrier integration effort [EDITED]
“A range of simulation, modelling, risk-reduction and technology-demonstration activities are under way to optimise the safety and operability of the ship/air interface between the UK's new aircraft carriers and the F-35B Joint Strike Fighters that will operate from them. Richard Scott reports....

...SRVL manoeuvre
As currently conceptualised, an aircraft executing an SRVL approach will follow a constant glidepath (five to six degrees) to the deck. This angle is about twice that of a normal CV approach, offering increased clearance over the stern and less touchdown scatter. The touchdown position on the axial flight deck is about 150 ft from the stern, similar to that of a conventional carrier. No arrestor gear is required. Instead, the aircraft brakes are used to bring the aircraft to a stop. Low-key studies to investigate the SRVL technique were initiated by the MoD in the late 1990s, but the work has latterly taken on a much higher profile after the MoD’s Investments Approvals Board (IAB) in July 2006 directed that SRVL should be included in future development of the JCA design to mitigate the risk to KUR 4. Accordingly, the JCA IPT amended the CVF integration contract in mid-2008 to include this requirement. Addressing IPLC 2008, Martin Rosa, F-35 technical coordinator in Dstl’s air and weapon systems department, said the SRVL studies to date had shown “a way forward exists to achieving operationally useful increases in bring-back, compared to a vertical landing, on board CVF with an appropriate level of safety”.

Dstl began early work to examine the feasibility of employing the SRVL manoeuvre in 1999. According to Rosa, an initial pre-feasibility investigation demonstrated the potential payoff of the manoeuvre in terms of increased bring back, but also threw up four key areas demanding further examination: performance (as affected by variables such as deck run, wind over deck, aerodynamic lift and thrust margin); carrier design; operational issues (such as sortie generation rate); and safety.

Further feasibility investigations were conducted in 2000-01 using generic aircraft and ship models. Dstl also ran a two-day safety workshop in late 2001. This showed that there were no “showstoppers, and no SRVL-specific safety critical systems were identified”, said Rosa. “Also, the ability to ditch weapons and carry out a vertical landing instead of an SRVL in the event of a failure was seen as a powerful safety mitigation.”

During 2002, more representative F-35B information became available which altered assumptions with respect to aircraft ‘bring back’ angle of attack (from 16 degrees to about 12 degrees, so reducing the lift co-efficient); wing area (revised downwards from 500 ft2 to 460 ft2, reducing lift available on approach at a given speed by 8 per cent); and jet effects in the SRVL speed range (which were significantly greater than those in the hover).

Aggregated, these revised assumptions significantly reduced predicted bring back performance. Even so, the improvement offered by an SRVL recovery was still substantial and MoD interest continued. In the 2003-04 timeframe, Lockheed Martin became formally engaged in the investigation of SRVL recovery, with the JPO contracting with Team F-35 for a study into methods for Enhanced Vertical Landing Bring Back. Once again, safety and performance characteristics were considered broadly encouraging. “However,” pointed out Rosa, “at this stage work on the adaptable CVF design was progressing rapidly.... Consequently the obvious next step was to consider the detailed impacts that SRVL might have on the CVF design.”
___________________

FARNBOROUGH: BAE to ramp up work on JSF production - By Craig Hoyle - 13/07/10 - Flight International

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... ction.html

“...Considerable work has already been conducted to prepare for the UK’s future operation of the F-35B. Qinetiq’s VAAC Harrier test aircraft supported the development of its flight control laws, & also tested a shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) technique. This will enable the STOVL type to return to the carrier’s deck at a greater landing weight [than mandated KPP described earlier], allowing unused stores to be kept on the wing, rather than jettisoned before landing. [However there would be permutations and combinations of stores both internal and external that would require NATOPS advice about how to proceed - and if all else fails - jettison the stores and there would be a 'fail safe' mechanism to do this as well.]

Developed for the UK as an alternative to making a vertical landing, the concept also has the backing of the USMC, which plans to adopt the procedure when operating its F-35Bs from the US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Now installed at Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, Qinetiq’s simulator for the VAAC Harrier – being adapted for additional use by the Empire Test Pilots’ School – perfectly demonstrates the generational advance brought by the F-35B.

Flying an approach to the RN’s new aircraft carrier in sea state six should be a daunting prospect for a novice pilot. But a single button press slows the aircraft to 60kt (110km/h) and automatically configures its flaps and nozzle deflection, making it a matter of merely flying an approach angle of 6-7° towards a series of white lights on the deck. Such design traits go to showcase the F-35B’s attraction for military user and industry alike. Each of the Royal Navy’s ski jump-equipped Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers will be able to carry up to 36 F-35Bs...."
______________

F-35B starts critical tests in comeback attempt Stephen Trimble 05 Oct 2011

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... pt-362941/

"...Meanwhile, programme officials also appear to have resolved a 90.7kg performance shortfall in the vertical lift bring-back weight of the F-35B in hover while returning to a ship. Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney has confirmed the solution includes raising the output of the propulsion system by about 100lb-thrust (0.4kN)...."

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 15:20
by spazsinbad
Some detail at last...

UK switches to F-35B over £5bn carrier cost 10 May 2012 by Joel Shenton

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19704

"The UK has cancelled plans to operate the F-35C, the carrier variant of the F-35 joint strike fighter, due to the estimated £5bn cost of converting both Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers to operate the 'cat and trap' launch system, it can be revealed.

The price of converting both carriers, which were designed with 'ski jump' angled decks to launch the F-35B, would have reached the astronomical figure, equivalent to doubling the cost of the aircraft carrier programme, due to the need for intrusive work to fit the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System.

A senior Ministry of Defence source told DefenceManagement.com that while HMS Prince of Wales, the second carrier, could have been converted for some £2bn, allowing the use of the F-35C, the cost of retrofitting the system to HMS Queen Elizabeth would then have cost a further £3bn due to a need to conduct major alterations to some 290 of the carrier's compartments and minor work to a further 250. At the time of the SDSR it was believed conversion could be carried out with adjustments to just 80 compartments at a cost of less than £1bn per carrier.

The conversion work would also have led to a three-year delay in the carrier programme, with full capability from one carrier not available until 2023, something Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he was "not prepared to tolerate".

"The whole process itself was going to take longer than we initially thought and that time itself costs us money," the Ministry of Defence source said, adding that the complex catapult system also brought high running costs, which mitigated the decision to switch back to F-35B.

"Running costs of the catapult system are over half of the additional cost of the STOVL aircraft. This decision means we will have two carrier decks we can use for operations and availability will be potentially 100 per cent, as opposed to 60 per cent with the catapults."

The source also said that much-discussed differences in payload and range were effectively negligible for the MoD's practical uses. "The effective payload is essentially unchanged. Our current plans would not see us wish to stock weapons internally that we can't store on other aircraft."...

...The MoD source confirmed that some £40m had been spent on conversion investigation, but that no work except the 'negligible' removal of components for the angled deck of one carrier had been undertaken. The build process had not been delayed by the investigation, the source said...."

Not much more at the jump really.

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 16:45
by spazsinbad
OFFICIAL MUMBO JUMBO here: (may as well post all of it)

MOD announces change of Joint Striker Fighter jet 10 May 2012

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/Defen ... terJet.htm

"Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has announced that plans to deliver Carrier Strike capability will now be executed using a different type of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jet than was planned.

The MOD will move away from the Carrier Variant (CV) JSF and our Armed Forces will instead operate the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant.

Even with this change in JSF jet type, the MOD's plan to deliver Carrier Strike in 2020, as a key part of Future Force 2020, is still on schedule.

Speaking at the House of Commons this morning, Mr Hammond outlined the reasons this decision has been made. They included:

• sticking with the Carrier Variant would delay Carrier Strike by at least three years to 2023 at the earliest;

• the cost of fitting catapults and arrestor gear ('cats and traps') to the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers to operate CV aircraft has doubled from around £1bn to £2bn; and

• the STOVL aircraft offers the UK the ability to have an aircraft carrier available continuously. Although no decision on budgeting for crew and support costs will be taken until the next Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2015, the second carrier would be able to provide capability while the first vessel is in maintenance.

See Related Links to read Mr Hammond's statement in full. [Does not work for me]
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/About ... ay2012.htm

The STOVL aircraft has made significant progress since the SDSR was published over 18 months ago and the US Marine Corps has conducted successful STOVL flights from their ships.

The UK will receive the first STOVL aircraft this summer and, as HMS Queen Elizabeth is due to arrive for sea trials in early 2017, UK STOVL flight trials will begin off the carrier from 2018.

The SDSR stated that we wanted to develop joint maritime task groups with our allies. Through the adoption of the STOVL aircraft, the UK will benefit from full interoperability with the US Marine Corps and the Italian Navy - both of which operate the STOVL aircraft.

Mr Hammond said:

"The 2010 SDSR decision on carriers was right at the time, but the facts have changed and therefore so too must our approach. This government will not blindly pursue projects and ignore cost growth and delays.

"Carrier Strike with 'cats and traps' using the Carrier Variant jet no longer represents the best way of delivering Carrier Strike and I am not prepared to tolerate a three-year further delay to reintroducing our Carrier Strike capability.

"This announcement means we remain on course to deliver Carrier Strike in 2020 as a key part of our Future Force 2020."

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, said:

"Our Armed Forces have a successful history of operating short take-off and vertical landing aircraft and our pilots are already flying trials in this variant of the Joint Strike Fighter alongside our US allies.

"These stealth aircraft will be the most advanced fast jets our Armed Forces have ever operated and I know they will do so with the greatest skill and professionalism."

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 17:18
by spazsinbad
Government in £100m U-turn over F35-B fighter planes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18008171#

"The government has changed its mind over the type of fighter planes it is ordering for the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the F35-C had hit development problems and it would be cheaper in the long term to order F35-B jump jets, as originally planned by Labour.

The cost of the U-turn is likely to be about £100m, he told BBC News.

Labour said it was an "omnishambles" which risked "international ridicule"....

Don't bother with the rest it is all being repeated endlessly now but good details in above posts although this sidebar from article is useful....

"Why did costs escalate?
The F-35C was seen as an attractive option for the UK's non-nuclear carriers as it does not need steam from reactors to power its launch catapult or "cat"

Its Electromagnetic Arrestor Launch System (EMALS) works on land but there were problems with its arrestor gear in testing

The F-35C can fail to catch the wire or "trap" on landing due to the design of its hook

The US is paying for modifications

But any delays to new American carriers meant the UK could have been the first country to install EMALS on a ship

The expected technical problems led in part to the costs of fitting "cats and traps" spiralling from £950m to £2bn

The F35-B does not need "cats and traps" as it uses a short take-off "ski jump" ramp and can land vertically

But it also experienced testing problems and has only recently escaped the threat of cancellation"

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 17:55
by delvo
spazsinbad wrote:http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120506/DEFREG01/305060001/Britain-Turns-Annual-Budget-Planning?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

"...costs of converting one of the two 65,000-ton carriers (the other one could be sold or mothballed) to carry the catapults and arrestor gear..."
Why not one ship carrying Cs and one carrying Bs?

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 17:58
by arkadyrenko
Here's a highly critical article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/17 ... e_and_raf/

Personally, I think this is a massively shortsighted decision. Essentially, the MoD has decided that it will be reduced to buying a single fighter from a single manufacturer. A fighter class which will not be added to in any short period of time. To make it worse, they have ignored the big lesson from the Falklands: get airborne radars for the battle groups. The MoD won't be able to upgrade their carrier's airwing at all! until the Marine Corps decides that it wants a new airplane. As the article above puts it, the MoD has chosen a route which puts their carriers in a permanent state of disadvantage compared to an equivalent land based opponent. The F-35B makes sense if its your only option, a la the Italian situation, it doesn't make sense when you could buy catapult airframes.

Think of it this way: the British will have to fund their own special modification of a V-22 or similar airframe to get a substandard AEW capability. Had they gone with the catapult, they could have bought the F-35C, growler, and Hawkeye. That would give the carriers a full spectrum attack ability.

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 19:44
by sufaviper
I'm with delvo on this one.

Outfit the QE for B's and the PoW for C's. That way the USS Ford will already have deployed EMALS and the UK can barrow that technology for the PoW and get the QE in the water and ready for thier B's to arrive, then later the C's can come on over and maybe eventually the RAF will want some A's.

Sufa Viper

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 21:00
by arkadyrenko
sufa / delvo - That is a pretty good idea. I think this decision essentially boiled down to minimizing short term costs (EMALS). If they agree to outfit the PoW with EMALs in the future, they can do that at a lower cost / longer development and lead time. Later on, if the need arises, then can go back and redo the QE with EMALs.

In terms of battle group, the PoW with EMALS, giving it AEW and longer range strike can cover the QE with F-35B's and helicopters doing short ranged attacks near the shore.

The problem with forgoing EMALS is that the MoD has locked themselves out of a global development cycle.

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2012, 23:28
by spazsinbad
Lack of funds and non-practicality of conversion (the dream did not match the reality) as described above has proscribed conversion to EMALS. The Brits will become experts at 'expeditionary F-35B ops' - just like their natural partners the USMC and any other countries requiring F-35Bs for their flat tops (Spain & Italy) and perhaps inspiring to other real or potential flat top users.

"UK switches to F-35B over £5bn carrier cost 10 May 2012 by Joel Shenton

"...A senior Ministry of Defence source told DefenceManagement.com that while HMS Prince of Wales, the second carrier, could have been converted for some £2bn, allowing the use of the F-35C, the cost of retrofitting the system to HMS Queen Elizabeth would then have cost a further £3bn due to a need to conduct major alterations to some 290 of the carrier's compartments and minor work to a further 250. At the time of the SDSR it was believed conversion could be carried out with adjustments to just 80 compartments at a cost of less than £1bn per carrier...."

The above quote answers this recent 'Register Rave Against BAE Systems':

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/05/10 ... page2.html

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 00:00
by quicksilver
The un-asked question in all of this is about EMALS technical maturity. As suggested by the article at the link below, as recently as December, there were many 'ifs' about how it's going. The consequential uncertainty of EMALS viability may have been a contributor to the decision to reverse course.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/EMA ... ers-05220/

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 00:08
by quicksilver
From CRS Report to the Congress last month --

"Seven of the CVN 78 program’s 13 current critical technologies have not been tested in a
realistic, at-sea environment, including two technologies—EMALS and the dual-band
radar—which continue to pose risks. According to program officials, EMALS has
successfully launched F/A-18E, T-45C, C-2A, and E-2D aircraft during testing; however, the
system has not demonstrated the required level of reliability because of the slow correction
of problems discovered earlier in testing. In addition, according to officials, EMALS motor
generators have only been tested in a group of 4, rather than the group of 12 that will make
up the system. A test of the complete system will not take place until it is aboard the ship..."

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RS20643.pdf

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 01:28
by spazsinbad
Be the EMALS uncertainties as they may - IMHO the lack of money has forced the UK to return to STOVL Expeditionary Ops with F-35B. And they will be excellent at it.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 01:41
by quicksilver
When did 'Expeditionary Ops' return to the UK fast-jet capability set?

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 01:45
by quicksilver
And if you tell me Bagram or Kandahar, I'm going to point you to these links --

http://googlesightseeing.com/maps?p=404 ... &t=k&hl=en

http://www.marines.mil/unit/mcascherryp ... 6xfBhz6F9t

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 01:47
by spazsinbad
When pigs were flying? I'm just using an old term used when the two CVFs before SDSR in 2010 were going to use F-35Bs off a ski jump. I recall that another term was starting to be used but I cannot be bothered to go find it [in the meantime Google is your friend as you are want to say - and what about the engine sea/corrosion proofing?]. If I find it in my reading I will amend this post.

ADDITION: 'Carrier Enabled Power Projection' (CEPP) was the new term being bandied about. (see below)

In the meantime here is a ten point Dewline post:

Explaining the UK's F-35 variant switch: a Top 10 guide By Craig Hoyle on May 10, 2012

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... arian.html

"...The DEW Line's friends might like to get the extra detail that I had to leave out. So in no particular order, here are my Top 10 questions about the decision:..."

So go read it.
________________

F-35: Lemon or lemonade? May 10, 2012

http://blogs.star-telegram.com/sky_talk ... onade.html

LOOKs Like an SLDinfo DataFusion Illustration to me! :D

And when youse only have lemons youse make lemonade: http://blogs.star-telegram.com/.a/6a00d ... 970c-popup

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 02:07
by spazsinbad
In the context of 'BACK to the FUTURE' this is what BEEDALL has to say about original UK requirements:

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvf3-1.htm (c.2003)

"...CVF Role
The Invincible class of carriers were designed for Cold War anti-submarine warfare operations, with an airgroup of mainly ASW helicopters plus a limited air defence capability provided by a small number of embarked Sea Harriers. This essentially defensive role is no longer appropriate and the emphasis with he Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) is now on increased offensive air power and an ability to operate a wider range of aircraft in a variety of roles.

The CVF mission statement has been officially defined: "The statement of mission need for CVF declares: "The CVF is to be a joint defence asset with the primary purpose of providing the UK with an expeditionary offensive air capability that has the flexibility to operate the largest possible range of aircraft in the widest possible range of roles."

Nine top-level Key User Requirements (KURs) for CVF have been laid out, as follows:

KUR 1 Interoperability: CVF shall be able to contribute to joint/combined operations;

KUR 2 Integration: CVF shall be able to integrate with the joint battlespace to the extent required to support air group operations, command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) functions and survivability;

KUR 3 Availability: CVF shall be able to provide one operational and available platform at all times;

KUR 4 Deployability: CVF shall be able to deploy for operations worldwide;

KUR 5 Sustainability: CVF shall be able to sustain operations;

KUR 6 Aircraft operation: CVF shall be able to deploy offensive air power to the sortie-generation profile specified without host-nation support;

KUR 7 Survivability: CVF shall be able to achieve a high probability of survival;

KUR 8 Flexibility: CVF shall be able to operate the largest possible range of aircraft; and [I guess helos included?]

KUR 9 Versatility: CVF shall be able to operate in the widest range of roles.

It is expected that CVF will be tasked:
As an early coercive presence that can promote conflict prevention through deterrence;

As a flexible and rapidly deployable offshore base during expeditionary operations when airfields may be unavailable or denied, or when facilities ashore are still being established; and

Contributing to the support of peacekeeping forces, and, when necessary, initiating offensive military action...."

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 02:11
by spazsinbad
Challenging the STOVL Myth

http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/397/

"...The STOVL rationale now being put forward by air force circles in both Britain and Italy is of a completely different nature, and hinges on the concept’s supposed advantages and benefits in an expeditionary scenario. While these advantages remain based on STOVL aircraft not being tied to traditional runways and airfield, this capability is now perceived in terms of operational flexibility rather than survivability. STOVL aircraft are described as being the ideal solution for expeditionary operations, thanks to their supposed ability to be brought quickly in theatre as well as being inherently suitable for operating from forward/austere bases that would not accept CTOL types. Forward basing of tactical aircraft by definition reduces the distance to the battlefield, which translates into improved response times to urgent calls for air support, increased aircraft surge rates, and higher combat load or/and longer times on station for the same fuel fraction.

Does this make sense? It certainly does. Indeed, the concept has already been demonstrated in real combat operations, including most notably the RN’s SEA HARRIER being moved on an improvised strip ashore during the Falklands conflict, the forward basing of USMC HARRIERs during “Desert Storm”, and more recently in Afghanistan. During “Desert Storm”, the twelve USMC aircraft based at an ARAMCO helicopter field at Tanajib in Saudi Arabia, south of the Kuwaiti border were within 65km and five minutes flying time from the battle, whereas CTOL combat aircraft flying from bases in southern Saudi Arabia and the coastal Gulf states as well as from aircraft carriers had to cover at least 250km to reach the nearest targets in Kuwait. By the same token, during the earlier phases of Operation “Enduring Freedom” the six GR7A HARRIERs of No 3 (Fighter) Squadron, based at Kandahar airfield while the single runway there was being slowly rebuilt were the only combat aircraft able to operate from the south of the country, and the sole local fighter asset readily available to support allied troops. And even at a later date, the STOVL performance of British GR7/GR9s and USMC AV-8Bs based at Kandahar were of pivotal importance in enabling simultaneous combat, logistic support and civil operations all using a single runway. Further, the very nature of combat operations in Afghanistan has highlighted the fundamental importance of nearly immediate, “on call” air support....

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 02:17
by spazsinbad
Complete I assume verbatim text of statement by Minister here:

PDF here now: 'oral_statement_on_carrier_strike_capability.pdf'
http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/2DFCE705 ... bility.pdf (18Kb)

The F35 Decision Think Defence | May 10, 2012

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2012/05/the-f35-decision/

"...And fourthly, further work with our allies on the best approach to collaborative operation has satisfied us that joint maritime task groups involving our carriers, with co-ordinated scheduling of maintenance and refit periods, and an emphasis on carrier availability, rather than cross-deck operations, is the more appropriate route to optimising alliance capabilities....

...We have discussed this decision with the French Government and with the United States. The French confirm that they are satisfied with our commitment to jointly planned carrier operations to enhance European-NATO capability.

The United States, on whose support we would rely in regenerating either type of carrier capability, has been highly supportive throughout this review and I would like to record my personal thanks to the Secretary of Defense, the Pentagon, the Navy and the Marine Corps for their high level of engagement with us. I spoke to Secretary Panetta last night and he confirmed the US willingness to support our decision and its view that UK carrier strike availability and our commitment to the JSF programme are the key factors.

The Chief of the Defence Staff and his fellow Chiefs of Staff – all of them – endorse this decision as the quickest and most assured way now to deliver carrier strike as part of an overall affordable equipment programme that will support Future Force 2020...."

COMMENT by ThinkDefence: "...The MoD has to live within its means; I am not sure why so many people have difficulty understanding this fundamental principle...."

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 02:43
by spazsinbad
Carrier Enabled Power Projection (CEPP) was the new term being bandied about [and wot I could not remember - lordie lordie]. Google it. Which I did of course. And here is but one example:

Carrier costs could hit other projects 12 July 2011 [PRESCIENT!?]

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=16864

"Future defence equipment programmes could face the axe if Britain's Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers go over budget, senior MoD figures have said.

The carriers have increased in cost from £3.65bn in 2007 to the latest estimate of £6.24bn following the conversion of one carrier to use the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS). The conversion alone is costing £950m for just one of the two planned carriers....

...The Public Accounts Committee heard that costs of Carrier Enabled Power Projection (CEPP) could be subject to change in the next decade, and that planning had included 'assumptions' on the as-yet unconfirmed cost of the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighterr (sic)....

...Rear Admiral Hussain also said that in 2020 there would be six operational Joint Strike Fighters available for use on the first carrier, increasing to a full squadron of 12 as new aircraft arrived.

Several of the aircraft would be required as training platforms, Hussein said."

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 03:11
by quicksilver
My point being that the UK hasn't really exercised 'expeditionary' fast-jets in an operational context in a long time. Falklands/Malvinas was 30 years ago. DS/DS was over 20 years ago. OEF was 10 years ago. Bagram and Kandahar were not really expeditionary unless one compares them to home plate in the states or the UK; they were shore locations and the USAF was there (which tells you something). 'Expeditionary' is not really about the jets -- it's about the enablers for such ops (exped log and C3) that the UK has largely given up (along with many other things). The arguments by UK commentators are parroting the USMC rationale which the USMC supports with maintenance of the assets necessary to conduct such operations -- the MALS (and the MALSP), the MWSS and the MWCS (and detachments thereof). The UK does not.

And of course, all this was not about the aircraft -- it was/is about the ships and money. Notably however, this episode also put a stake in the heart of the Boeing whispering campaign for SHs, as well as the sideshow that suggested the UK would hobble their jets by putting them on the decks of French ships.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 03:11
by spazsinbad
This change of course on aircraft carriers is essential By David Richards [General Sir David Richards is Chief of the Defence Staff] 10 May 2012

Our new fighter jets will give Britain an outstanding military capability much sooner.

www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysecto ... ntial.html

"...Carriers are expensive – there is no way around that. But they offer a capability that few can match: an independent, flexible, sovereign base, not tied to other countries’ wishes, that can operate around the world.

By choosing the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) model of the Joint Strike Fighter over the Carrier Variant that we had previously ordered for our two new aircraft carriers, the UK is significantly shortening the time it will take to deploy our maritime air power. For me, this is the key factor. We are getting an exceptional military tool that is capable of projecting power, deterring our enemies and supporting our friends. In an uncertain world, this is a capability that I know we all wish to have sooner rather than later....

...Switching to STOVL means we are getting an outstanding capability sooner, for less financial and technical risk. It also gives us the ability to operate two carriers if we choose, a decision that the next SDSR will review.

Managing the Carrier Strike programme is as complex and demanding as the maritime and air environments in which these ships operate. They are not just mobile flight decks, but among the most capable intelligence and targeting tools in the world. Both the Carrier Variant and the STOVL aircraft represent a generational shift from the jets that we use today. Through their computer technology, stealth and communications they are more capable than their ship- or land-based predecessors. They are cutting-edge, multi-role platforms fit for the battlespace of the 21st century. They can both carry the full range of weapons we intend to buy.

The bedrock of successful combat capabilities is Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance. This allows us to understand, track, strike and remain poised to react to the unexpected. It is this capability that ensured our success in Libya. The Joint Strike Fighter increases it immeasurably.

This fifth-generation aircraft is a weapons system unmatched by our rivals, and will be an integral part of the package we offer our friends and allies – not least the French, with whom we have developed such a close relationship, and the Americans, who have been and will continue to be essential partners in developing our new capability.

Yesterday’s decision guarantees that we will have a hard-hitting carrier capability up to five years sooner than looked likely. The advice of the Chiefs of Staff is clear: this is the right decision for the Armed Forces, and the right decision for Britain."

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 03:35
by spazsinbad
Surely the terms used are looking at the future - not the past. I think it is up to the Brits to decide how they will use their assets and how many etc. The USMC is a good role model in that respect - the Brits will add to the USMC bag of tricks I'm certain. And GOOD LUCK to them all.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 04:15
by arkadyrenko
The fact of the matter is that the British now can operate only 1 aircraft from their carriers. They cannot operate any AEW, airborne tanking, any new stealth drones. They cannot leverage advances in the US state of the art carrier aircraft. They cannot hedge with French fighters. The Brits will take on the entire cost of developing Helicopter AEW, no one will want to go down that sad road. The Brits have to design their own jamming suite for the F-35B and deal with the weight issues. (Need to keep it below 2000k lbs, so no HARMs or multiple pods, and only fly it in cold weather chaps) Think of it this way, no one will be building STOVL recon and strike drones. All of this talk about drones being weapons of the future? Unless the MoD wants to pay a fortune to some lucky contractor to build a STOVL stealth long range recon drone...

The Fleet Air Arm will not be an independent service, it will be a subsidiary of the USMC. It's upgrade schedule is hostage to the USMC. Its development cycle is hostage to the USMC. Want electronic attack? You'll have to wait til the USMC gets some. And if it doesn't work, well, you get to pick up the tab. The FAA cannot and will not do joint projects with any other navy. Why should the USN care about them any more? The Royal Navy has chosen to marginalize themselves.

And I'm not even getting into the utter ridiculousness of the idea that "expeditionary ops" are in any way suitable for a battle group. The British learned first hand that operating STOVL aircraft does not a battle group make. Look at their significant losses in San Carlos Water. Why? Because they needed to keep their carriers, operating short ranged STOVL aircraft, away from the hostile air force. That was 30 years ago, when the Argentine military had only 5 exocet missiles they could launch. Today? Hezbollah has anti-ship missiles.

This is not a choice made to create a powerful and independent expeditionary force. This choice renders the British unable to conduct independent operations against a serious opponent. The British will need to operate with the French or the Americans if they want to conduct any sort of serious military operation. Given the increase in killing power in anti-ship missiles and the corresponding rise in cheap recon options, the barrier to good anti-access abilities is falling rapidly.

Personally, I bet the British will reverse this decision. In 20 years, they'll make the monumentally expensive decision to add catapults to the warships. Why? Because those ships will be totally obsolete in 30 years.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 04:35
by spazsinbad
Oohh the RN FAA are such bad boys. And they will innovate - guaranteed - already started with SRVL if required. I can see how the money is not available and that is that. Yes you can hope for future better financial circumstances for the UK. And the USMC are an allied service [along with the French - there are treaties and co-operation agreements aplenty between them] let us not forget. Funny how the Brits are happy with the F-35B. Who'da thunk it. :D

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 04:50
by spazsinbad
BBC commentator gets his Bs and Cs mixed - no wonder MOD is in a Muddle...

Why did coalition government change fighter plane plan? 11 May 2012 by Mark Urban

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18030174#

"The kindest way of describing the government's U-turn over its new F35 fighter fleet is to point out that it should never have rushed to decide on the subject back in its Strategic Defence and Security Review or SDSR of October 2010.

Today a defence source conceded, "it's taken 18 months to figure out all of the detail"....

...In the current public spending climate, it's hardly surprising that the government has ducked the decision to spend £5bn to gain this capability.

Instead, it will use the F35C (sic), which will use a ski jump type take off ramp much like the now retired Harrier, and the first operational carrier will be available, says the MoD, in 2018 rather than 2025....

...Speaking privately to those who were party to some of the decision making, one hears less kind explanations of what has happened. One senior naval figure calls it, "a hopeless shambles".

The key axis in the government's mistake of October 2010 appears to have been that between Downing Street and the RAF.

Liam Fox, the defence secretary at the time, had ordered that his review should retire one major type of combat aircraft in order to save money. Fairly soon the choice narrowed to one between the Harrier and Tornado.

Senior RAF officers saw the possible disappearance of the Tornado, which is the last vestige of the service's wartime Bomber Command, as a threat to the future existence of their service.

They argued strongly for the Harrier to get the chop instead, and succeeded creating the carrier gap, since no replacement could be ready quickly....

...'Grown up carrier'
Downing Street, it seems, wanted some positive headlines out of the SDSR, which was largely an exercise in cutbacks, so it decided to back the idea of Britain getting a "grown up" aircraft carrier, ie one launching conventional aircraft with catapults rather than a very large replacement "Harrier Carrier". It therefore stressed the ineffectiveness of the F-35C (sic)....

...But today the government has not given any commitment to deploy both vessels, and it seems quite likely that the nation's huge investment in ships and planes will produce a one carrier "force" with a less capable jet." ??????? HUH? :D

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 05:09
by popcorn
The grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence.. only problem is in this case it comes with a £5 Billion grazing fee.. the UK will be fine and will find ways to get the most out of their,investment..

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 05:12
by spazsinbad
Yep, agree. It is going to be interesting to watch the RN FAA F-35B progress with STO Ski Jumping and SRVLs etc. - I'll include the USMC also with their CONOPS.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 05:40
by arkadyrenko
I think we can look at the bright side of this whole discussion. The British have announced to the world that they don't take sea power seriously. They don't really care about being an independent and capable military force. They will always need someone to come and hold their hand if the going gets tough. And, unlike the 1980s, they don't have a big enough fleet to absorb any significant losses.

It makes the USN's job much easier, the USN can and probably will just ignore the Royal Navy. Every advance in aircraft carrier technology and tactics will be done without the RN. Drones, cooperative engagement for fleet air defense, new 'network-centric' anti-ship strike, advanced airborne electronic attack and strike? All of those advances will happen without the Royal Navy.

And in the end, the RN will probably only operate a single carrier with half its designed air wing. And no EW support. And no effective AEW. Look at the bright side, Britain was going to be unimportant in the 21st century, now we have proof.

Why the pessimism you ask? Because the F-35B type carrier cannot be used, on its own, against any competent hostile enemy force. Anti-access threats are rising, hence fleet air defense will be more demanding. On the plus side, the UK has 6 of the most advanced air defense destroyers in the world. On the down side, they've just chosen the route that will prevent them from having any good airborne AEW. So those destroyers will need to continuously radiate in order to protect the battle group. (Unless you want to put half of the air group on permanent rotation to give top cover) But, continuously radiating means that the ship is broadcasting to the whole wide world where the battle group is, thus inviting missile attack. The solution? Operate further out. But wait, the F-35B doesn't have a long range and so it can't operate further out....

The British learned in 1982 that STOVL aircraft just barely make the cut, and against a clear second rate foe. They've chosen the same path for incredibly short sighted, and possibly corrupt, reasons. Its a bit sad to see a former world power die, but we're watching it happen right now.

ps. F-35B CONOPS will be incredibly simple. Get the USN to provide top cover.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 06:01
by spazsinbad
'arkadyrenko' you have an amazing 'bright side view'. I was so looking forward to it but was so disappointed. Oh well. Dems de breaks.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 15:02
by spazsinbad
F-35B: Anatomy of a decision 11 May 2012 by Joel Shenton

http://www.defencemanagement.com/featur ... p?id=19743

"...behind the scenes it appears to represent a victory for pragmatism in defence procurement....

...Now the decision has been made the dust will take some time to settle, but some very senior defence figures have been giving politics-free briefings about the background behind the decision....

...Just over a year into the [review] process it became apparent that initial cost estimates had been optimistic to say the least. The design of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers – the biggest ships the Royal Navy will have ever operated – was not friendly to 'cats and traps', and this was perhaps the biggest hurdle the F-35C move faced. The plans for angled decks [? I think perhaps ski jump is meant here but it shows again either lack of proof reading or understanding - I dunno] and short take-off and vertical landing aircraft were already set in stone, so decks would need to be removed and hundreds of compartments would need to be carved up and re-engineered to get the two catapults per ship on to the deck. Installation would be "substantially more invasive" than had originally been thought, a defence source told DefenceManagement.com. Some 290 major modifications and 250 minor alterations to existing compartments would have to be made on HMS Prince of Wales in order to allow the installation of the equipment. With HMS Queen Elizabeth, which would have already been fitted with a completed [NON?] angled deck, conversion costs would have approached £3bn....

...the UK's planned two catapult system would require substantial re-engineering of EMALS. The US was also insistent that the UK use a foreign military sales process to procure the system, rather than allowing a direct purchase from the manufacturer, which increased costs further....

...As for the QE class carriers, there has only been one 'negligible' building issue involved in this 18-month political flap; a ski ramp was removed from HMS Queen Elizabeth and must now be reinstalled...."

As always sometimes more much more at the URL jump!

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 15:51
by neptune
It's good to see the Brits and their pilots back in the Bee; mostly it’ll be great to see them move on to their next muddling. :lol:

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 16:21
by emc2
arkadyrenko wrote:And I'm not even getting into the utter ridiculousness of the idea that "expeditionary ops" are in any way suitable for a battle group. The British learned first hand that operating STOVL aircraft does not a battle group make. Look at their significant losses in San Carlos Water. Why? Because they needed to keep their carriers, operating short ranged STOVL aircraft, away from the hostile air force. That was 30 years ago, when the Argentine military had only 5 exocet missiles they could launch. Today? Hezbollah has anti-ship missiles.


The UK, unlike the US has some sort of defense against sea skimming missiles in the T45. So if the US wants to attack Syria, Iran or Russia it would have to to be defended by UK or french ships.

The F-35 is absolutely irrelevant to that.

"And in the end, the RN will probably only operate a single carrier with half its designed air wing. And no EW support. And no effective AEW. Look at the bright side, Britain was going to be unimportant in the 21st century, now we have proof. "

The are a whole range of AEW options - helicopter (and its quite a popular option with various navies) , the V-22 and the AW609. Just becuase the USN uses the E2 doesn't mean its the only option or the best- its a compromised solution to fly off a carrier. using a v-22 would be not quite as good, but its more than good enough.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 22:16
by lb
Firstly engaging aircraft launching anti missiles before they enter launch range is certainly a job for fighters especially carrier based F-35's. See "One Hundred Days" by Sandy Woodward the RN TF commander for some insight. Secondly the notion that "The UK, unlike the US has some sort of defense against sea skimming missiles in the T45" is indicative of not having the first clue about the history, development, and status of the USN. The entire history of development regarding anti air coming out of Okinawa was dealing with mass attacks by anti ship missiles (in that case human piloted). The USN is now on the 4th generation of AEGIS and AEGIS is deployed on roughly 84 active CG and DDG's and increasing.

While the Type 45 is a very good ship it's not superior to DDG-51 and the RN, sadly, is only getting 6. When you've got a TF deployed and are facing aerial threats and are protected by 2 DDG's having fighters such as the F-35 defending the TF is certainly not "irrelevant". As for an AEW version of the V-22 that would certainly be a better AEW platform than the current Sea Kings with Searchwater; however, there is no current program and FOAEW as a notional idea to replace the Sea Kings has been floating around for more than a dozen years. What probably happens is they swap the current, and recently updated, Searchwater from the Sea Kings to new Merlins. Putting another system on a V-22 would of course result in a far better system but at much higher cost and the desire to limit spending is exactly the heart of all these current issues.

Unread postPosted: 11 May 2012, 23:34
by archeman
arkadyrenko wrote:I think we can look at the bright side of this whole discussion. The British have announced to the world that they don't take sea power seriously. They don't really care about being an independent and capable military force. They will always need someone to come and hold their hand if the going gets tough. And, unlike the 1980s, they don't have a big enough fleet to absorb any significant losses.

The USN can and probably will just ignore the Royal Navy. Every advance in aircraft carrier technology and tactics will be done without the RN. Drones, cooperative engagement for fleet air defense, new 'network-centric' anti-ship strike, advanced airborne electronic attack and strike? All of those advances will happen without the Royal Navy.

And in the end, the RN will probably only operate a single carrier with half its designed air wing.

Look at the bright side, Britain was going to be unimportant in the 21st century, now we have proof.

Why the pessimism you ask? Because the F-35B type carrier cannot be used, on its own, against any competent hostile enemy force.

Its a bit sad to see a former world power die, but we're watching it happen right now.

ps. F-35B CONOPS will be incredibly simple. Get the USN to provide top cover.


Ark, wow this is some creepy dark stuff here.
Maybe up the meds? :)
Lower the meds? :?: :?: :?: :?:

I think that it was pretty clear that this move back to the 'B' was the way the wind was blowing - so would there have been this gush of dismissive judgement of Briton from you if they had stayed with the 'C' version? If so, how would that change their outlook?

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 00:16
by SpudmanWP
The F-35B fly's farther, faster, better (more missions), carries more, and has a better change of survival than the Sea Harrier which they were using up to this point.

How is this a bad thing?

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 00:19
by arkadyrenko
The issue is that the British have the modern day equivalent to the Harrier on their carrier. They've built 65k ton LHA's.

I'm frustrated with the decision because it means that the US cannot rely on the British to carry their own weight in any sort of moderately serious conflict. They've chosen a route which turns the British NATO contingent into little more than an additional Marine Corps MEU. Given that Marine MEU's are useful and not exactly rare, this isn't a good step forward for allies helping the US with serious military contingencies.

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 00:25
by popcorn
SpudmanWP wrote:The F-35B fly's farther, faster, better (more missions), carries more, and has a better change of survival than the Sea Harrier which they were using up to this point.

How is this a bad thing?

Not only vs the SeaHarrier but even against the current champ of hip-based aviation, the SH. The F-35B will give the UK the most capable carrier force second only to the USN.

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 00:46
by archeman
British have the modern day equivalent to the Harrier on their carrier.


I think that we will have to wait for feedback from the first few Red Flag exercises to hear if the B is able to hold its own. There is a so much noise out there right now that it is difficult to measure from this distance. It seems to early to despair now though.

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 01:11
by arkadyrenko
The reason I'm despairing is that the British won't be able to go back. Once they've made this choice to have a STOVL aircraft carrier, they can't reverse it unless they wish to do a horrendously expensive modification.

As for the Brits getting the most advanced carrier. May I remind you that they won't have AEW and they won't have an upgrade path. The french can build stealthy replacements for the Rafale, they can add in stealthy UCAVs for their carrier. The British have to wait until someone decides to make a STOVL drone. Finally, does anyone know the range for the F-35B in STOVL attack mode? I doubt that's 490 nm.

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 01:24
by spazsinbad
'arkadyrenko' asks & says: "...Finally, does anyone know the range for the F-35B in STOVL attack mode? I doubt that's 490 nm."

Have you been asleep? But I'll take 490 nm if that is what you think it is? :D

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 01:31
by spazsinbad
France: U.K. F-35 Pick Could Reduce Naval Cooperation May. 11, 2012 By PIERRE TRAN

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... |FRONTPAGE

"PARIS — France regretted the prospect of reduced cooperation with the British fleet air arm following London’s selection of the F-35B short-takeoff, vertical-landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter, and hoped collaboration would continue, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said....

...In France, the British U-turn drew wide press coverage, headlining a missed chance for interoperability between the two fleet air arms.

The afternoon daily Le Monde gave full-page coverage to the F-35 fighter program, and quoted from point 9 of the 2010 Lancaster House defense cooperation treaty, which referred to the capability to deploy an integrated Anglo-French naval aviation attack force.

For the French Navy, a British carrier offering cross-deck operations held out the hope of flying a handful of Rafale fighters from the HMS Prince of Wales while the Charles de Gaulle went into dry dock for its periodic six-month overhaul.

And closer cooperation with a British carrier force would have balanced the close ties with the U.S. Navy, where French Navy pilots are sent for carrier training.

One of the questions hanging over cross-deck flights was whether the British Navy F-35C would have been too heavy to land on the Charles de Gaulle. Now, that question seems purely academic."

More at the jump but mostly about the decision wot has been repeated here now endlessly....

Unread postPosted: 12 May 2012, 02:01
by stereospace
emc2 wrote:The UK, unlike the US has some sort of defense against sea skimming missiles in the T45. So if the US wants to attack Syria, Iran or Russia it would have to to be defended by UK or french ships.


CIWS & RAM don't count? http://youtu.be/Zdp9llrBLnA
:roll:

Unread postPosted: 13 May 2012, 15:47
by popcorn
stereospace wrote:
emc2 wrote:The UK, unlike the US has some sort of defense against sea skimming missiles in the T45. So if the US wants to attack Syria, Iran or Russia it would have to to be defended by UK or french ships.


CIWS & RAM don't count? http://youtu.be/Zdp9llrBLnA
:roll:


Or better yet, a SM-6 fired in Launch-On-Remote mode cued by offboard sensors and nailing the incoming cruise missile hundred of kilometers distant.

Unread postPosted: 13 May 2012, 18:55
by madrat
If the UK had chosen Rafale M rather than F-35C would they have U-turned. The MoD wants their cake and to eat it, too, even when only one or the other was the option.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 14:56
by emc2
stereospace wrote:
emc2 wrote:The UK, unlike the US has some sort of defense against sea skimming missiles in the T45. So if the US wants to attack Syria, Iran or Russia it would have to to be defended by UK or french ships.


CIWS & RAM don't count? http://youtu.be/Zdp9llrBLnA
:roll:


No. CIWS is useless against even subsonic and especially if there is any interference from other ships/helicopters/chaff. Hypersonic swarms tats change direction and come from all angles, while bypassing the escorts and going straight for a Carrier. No chance.

The USN and government has expressed the explicit fear that the carriers and completely vulnerable against Russian missiles. Syria and Iran have then, seen any chance of a US carrier going near their shore?

Or better yet, a SM-6 fired in Launch-On-Remote mode cued by offboard sensors and nailing the incoming cruise missile hundred of kilometers distant.


Yeah, good luck with catching a mach 5 or mach 7 missile with a mach 3.5 missile.
And I hope you can fire six at once and hit every incoming target.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 17:01
by SpudmanWP
Wow, completely clueless ;)

1. While CIWS has some issues with a supersonic missile, subsonic ones are within it's target set.

2. RAM was specifically designed to counter supersonic ASMs

3. RAM (and Sm-x, ESSM, etc) do not have to chase an inbound missile as they will "intercept" it in a head-on engagement.

4. Laser based CIWS is already being developed

5. There is no such thing as a "hypersonic ASM" as even the much vaunted Sunburn is only a mach 2-3 ASM.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 17:22
by neptune
http://defensetech.org/2012/05/10/navy- ... -on-ships/

ONR wants to capitalize on the work it’s done with BAE Systems to marry lasers to the Mk 38 chain guns. :idea:

Office of Naval Research is moving forward with a plan to arm ships with solid state lasers capable of taking out small enemy vessels that could be used in swarming attacks or suicide bombing mission against American warships. (..or other applications):devil:

Want to sell your laser to the Navy? You’re in luck, ONR is hosting an industry day on May 16 “to provide the research and development community with information about the program,” reads the service’s announcement. Potential laser-dealers can expect a request for proposals soon after that, according the announcement.
:D

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 17:43
by southernphantom
emc2 wrote:
stereospace wrote:
emc2 wrote:The UK, unlike the US has some sort of defense against sea skimming missiles in the T45. So if the US wants to attack Syria, Iran or Russia it would have to to be defended by UK or french ships.


CIWS & RAM don't count? http://youtu.be/Zdp9llrBLnA
:roll:


No. CIWS is useless against even subsonic and especially if there is any interference from other ships/helicopters/chaff. Hypersonic swarms tats change direction and come from all angles, while bypassing the escorts and going straight for a Carrier. No chance.

The USN and government has expressed the explicit fear that the carriers and completely vulnerable against Russian missiles. Syria and Iran have then, seen any chance of a US carrier going near their shore?

Or better yet, a SM-6 fired in Launch-On-Remote mode cued by offboard sensors and nailing the incoming cruise missile hundred of kilometers distant.


Yeah, good luck with catching a mach 5 or mach 7 missile with a mach 3.5 missile.
And I hope you can fire six at once and hit every incoming target.


Surely you must be joking. Krypton missiles are decently representative of WarPac ASMs, IMO. They are a very large target that can be intercepted miles out. Other things like the Kayak aren't even supersonic, and would be CIWS fodder.

Hypersonic swarms that change direction and come from all angles? You haven't been reading too much Dale Brown, even his writing is (marginally) more reasonable than that. The turning radius of any true hypersonic vehicle will be measured in small countries, and the heat flare/exhaust radar return will make a rather juicy target for a RAM/ESSM.

Your assertions are completely baseless. The reason USN carriers don't approach the Syrian coast because there is no need to, and they do come within relatively close range of the Iranian coast. This occurs because USN antimissile defense is capable of dealing with any conceivable threat missile the Iranians would be able to pull out of the sand.

You are also discounting the possibility of using an SSGN to trash the missile launch sites with BGM-109s, or Super Hornets striking the target with SLAM-ERs, granting a potential radius of action of over 600 miles. Either way, the ASM sites would hardly know what hit them.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 18:52
by arkadyrenko
southernphantom - I wouldn't go so far as to state that the USN can approach Iran's shore. They can, but they'll be taking unnecessary risks, if the ships close within visual range of the Iranian shore (they may not have a choice) the targeting requirements for the Iranians plummits. As for Hornets dealing with missile sites, that's hoping against hope. Unless the Iranians are terminally stupid, they will have dispersed their ASCMs along the entire shoreline and hidden those missiles. In fact, I would be surprised if the USN hits a significant fraction of the existing ASCM launch sites at the beginning of the conflict.


As for the SM-6 and the E-2D, I think that's more to deal with those missiles that have a subsonic cruise stage followed by a supersonic terminal stage. Sizzler is the prime example, though Krypton's fighter carry can be called a 'subsonic stage.' Its much easier to shoot something further out, when its going slow, then trying a terminal engagement. (Yet another argument for effective AEW)

Here is one point to think about, the current class of Russian and Chinese missiles seem to be predominately focused on fighter carry, as those two countries mainly do fighters right now. What happens when China finally transitions to making its own long range strike bombers.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 19:12
by emc2
arkadyrenko wrote:Here is one point to think about, the current class of Russian and Chinese missiles seem to be predominately focused on fighter carry, as those two countries mainly do fighters right now. What happens when China finally transitions to making its own long range strike bombers.


They can also be fired from a ISO standard shipping container, they are quite common at sea.. and on land

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 20:40
by southernphantom
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the PRC is building new or upgrading Xian H-6 Badgers. These can carry C-801 missiles.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 20:46
by SpudmanWP
C-801 is a subsonic AShM similar to an Exocet or Harpoon.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 21:02
by arkadyrenko
I don't know if they're building new Badgers, they are upgrading them though.

Luckily, because they're old airframes, they can't close as well with the battle group and thus they need longer range anti-ship missiles. Currently, that probably means that they have to stick to subsonic cruise missiles. Think of it this way, the Chinese have to use B-52's to attack a battle group. You aren't going to stick a relatively short ranged missile on that airframe because it'll be eaten up by the CAP before it gets into launching range. The next missile upgrade should be some version of the sizzler, subsonic cruise to avoid the CAP followed by supersonic sprint.

The next generation of Chinese bombers, if they are being designed to replicate the Tu-22 network, will have to be stealthier or faster in order to allow it to close with the battle group and launch more kinematically advanced weapons. If they can get something to rotary launch Kh-15s, that will be a nasty way of attacking battle groups.

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 21:41
by spazsinbad
Resuming normal transmission... back to thread topic...

Government drops plan to buy F-35 for navy’s aircraft carriers 11 May 2012 By Sam Shead

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/sectors/mi ... 67.article

"...A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said the F-35B will begin trial flights off the HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018. The official completion date for HMS Prince of Wales has not been announced but a decision will be taken on whether the ship will be put into operation in the 2015 SDSR."
______________________________

U.K. May Overhaul Management of Carrier Program May 14, 2012 By ANDREW CHUTER

www.defensenews.com/article/20120514/DE ... |FRONTPAGE

"...Now, with no conversion costs for cats and traps, the country is holding out the prospect of having a continuous presence, with the second carrier providing capability while the first vessel is in maintenance.

The MoD admits there is no decision on budgeting for the crew or support for a second carrier, and said the next strategic defense and security review planned for 2015 would decide the issue....."

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 22:19
by popcorn
Deleted

Unread postPosted: 14 May 2012, 22:48
by spazsinbad
‘OLD’ 20Mb CGI Video of intended F-35B Ops aboard CVF with AfterBurner Ski Jump Takeoffs which must have been an 'old' idea a decade ago. Anyway this video shows a night time SRVL recreation which most likely is accurate including touching down more toward centre of deck as shown in screenshot (AFT Island in view). Video clip and screenshot(s) of (near) touchdown point is from the 20Mb .MP4 video:

Right mouse clicking on the video to select 'ZOOM' then 'Full Screen' view is useful

http://www.baesystems.com/cs/groups/pub ... dition.mp4

NOW on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnB4lBltLAA

Unread postPosted: 15 May 2012, 00:39
by popcorn
emc2 wrote:
stereospace wrote:
emc2 wrote:The UK, unlike the US has some sort of defense against sea skimming missiles in the T45. So if the US wants to attack Syria, Iran or Russia it would have to to be defended by UK or french ships.


CIWS & RAM don't count? http://youtu.be/Zdp9llrBLnA
:roll:


No. CIWS is useless against even subsonic and especially if there is any interference from other ships/helicopters/chaff. Hypersonic swarms tats change direction and come from all angles, while bypassing the escorts and going straight for a Carrier. No chance.

The USN and government has expressed the explicit fear that the carriers and completely vulnerable against Russian missiles. Syria and Iran have then, seen any chance of a US carrier going near their shore?

Or better yet, a SM-6 fired in Launch-On-Remote mode cued by offboard sensors and nailing the incoming cruise missile hundred of kilometers distant.


Yeah, good luck with catching a mach 5 or mach 7 missile with a mach 3.5 missile.
And I hope you can fire six at once and hit every incoming target.


If the Navy has identified the SM-6 as the basis for its Sea-Based Terminal BMD capability, why do you think it would have any difficulty dealing with an incoming airborne missile, hypersonic or otherwise? Why would firing on multiple targets pose a problem? Intercepting incoming threats has nothing to do with luck.

Unread postPosted: 15 May 2012, 13:06
by emc2
popcorn wrote:
If the Navy has identified the SM-6 as the basis for its Sea-Based Terminal BMD capability, why do you think it would have any difficulty dealing with an incoming airborne missile, hypersonic or otherwise? Why would firing on multiple targets pose a problem? Intercepting incoming threats has nothing to do with luck.


Sorry, I meant probability, not luck.

Unread postPosted: 15 May 2012, 23:29
by bjr1028
SpudmanWP wrote:The F-35B fly's farther, faster, better (more missions), carries more, and has a better change of survival than the Sea Harrier which they were using up to this point.

How is this a bad thing?


Because for all intents and purposes, they're not replacing the Invincibles and Sea Harrier, they're replacing Ark/Eagle and the Phantom/Buc combo. A cruiser hull with a handfull of Harriers is not not something much of anybody cares about, its not much of a threat. 66,000 tons with supersonic stealth fighters (whether they actually work right or not) receives a lot more notice and the UK is doing their best to make them as easy to sink as possible.

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2012, 00:11
by spazsinbad
NO other country on the planet has the capacity to operate a single equivalent US Carrier Battle Group - so get over it.

Unread postPosted: 16 May 2012, 14:01
by spazsinbad
Go for it!

Making Sense of the F35 Decision Think Defence | May 15, 2012

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2012/05/m ... -decision/

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2012, 01:15
by spazsinbad
UK MoD admits rush job on overturned F-35 recommendation By Tim Fish 14 May 2012

http://defencereport.com/uk-mod-admits- ... ndation-2/

"...Explaining carrier strike cost increases The MoD has outlined four areas where they say programme cost increases originated:

installation of ‘cats and traps’ was more invasive than originally thought with 290 major modifications required instead of the original estimate of 80

the number of systems that were needed to be brought over from the US to operate the catapult and arresting gear was more than expected

the routing of the procurement process through the US’ Foreign Military Sales programme instead of direct from manufacturers has added to ancillary costs

production and manufacturing time delays have inflated original cost projections..."

Unread postPosted: 17 May 2012, 02:28
by stereospace
"...Now, with no conversion costs for cats and traps, the country is holding out the prospect of having a continuous presence, with the second carrier providing capability while the first vessel is in maintenance.

The MoD admits there is no decision on budgeting for the crew or support for a second carrier, and said the next strategic defense and security review planned for 2015 would decide the issue....."


It seems that cooler heads and more rational minds have prevailed. Cheers! :beer:

Unread postPosted: 19 May 2012, 15:52
by spazsinbad
An 11th May 2012 Briefing Note (an update from the previous one).

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Standard Note: SN06278
Last updated: 11 May 2012 Author: Louisa Brooke-Holland
Section: International Affairs and Defence Section

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06278.pdf (225KB)

Timetable
The Government expects to have operational military capability of the Carrier strike in 2020. This is in line with previous statements to deliver carrier strike capability from around 2020. Mr Hammond laid out the following timetable in his announcement on 10 May 201213:

July 2012 Delivery of first test aircraft

2016 Delivery of first production aircraft

2017 Queen Elizabeth begins sea trials

2018 Aircraft begin flying from Queen Elizabeth

2020 Operational military capability of carrier strike

Unread postPosted: 20 May 2012, 22:07
by spazsinbad
'istobie' might post on this forum already so I hope he does not mind that 'I steal his thunder'? :D

istobie said here 21 May 2012:

http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... te?page=89

"I've just watched the commons select committee meeting covering the carrier decision. The summary of the conclusion would be that :

Costs of the EMALS system had been underestimated - the first estimate given in 2010 had been based simply on taking the price of a set for a Ford and halving it as we need two rather than four catapults - it turned out that in fact there were substantially more common kit in there and the price was rather higher than half.

There were also additional items relating to landing and retrieval which had not been costed, further driving up the price.

Stunningly, of course, the bulk of the costs were driven by the invasiveness of the changes - and in questions it transpired that the "can be converted" claim was not in fact reflected in any contractual arrangements. There were no requirements in the contract to provide any such capability and no pricing structure had been agreed. Given this, no work had been carried out since around 2002 and onward to support any such future rework.

Bit of an eye opener.

On the bright side, all three aircraft we're buying as part of testing will be F35B, and firm agreements regarding support for training with the USAF and USMC have been reached, and Lockmart have capacity to build the B model during the time frame we require and have no interest as to which model we select."
______________

And an excellent pic from here: http://www.fleetairarmoa.org/Content/si ... _large.JPG

Unread postPosted: 21 May 2012, 10:47
by stobiewan
No problems at all - I should have been taking notes as it was an interesting meeting to watch, even made me abstain from beer for an hour so I had my wits about me.

It was revealing - hopefully there'll be a written transcript available someplace as I'd love for other folk to pick over what I've understood from it all in case I've misreported any exchanges.

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2012, 07:40
by spazsinbad
£500m jump jets may melt the decks of aircraft carriers: Latest MoD plan shambles By James Lyons 24 May 2012

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jo ... ips-845478

"Tests found the fumes which blast out of the £500million Joint Strike Fighters when they land damage the ships’ decks.

NEW Harrier-style jump jets set to fly from Navy aircraft carriers could melt their decks, US trials show.

Tests found the fumes which blast out of the £500million Joint Strike Fighters when they land damage the ships’ decks.

Now the UK will have to go cap in hand to the Americans, who are developing a new super-tough, heat resistant deck coating to deal with the problem. [THERMION BABY!]

The flaw is the latest problem to hit the Ministry of Defence’s shambolic plan for two aircraft carriers, costing £6.2billion.

David Cameron intervened to cancel the Harrier-style jets that can land and take off vertically.

But he was forced to make a U-turn after adapting the carriers with “catapult and trap” technology for normal Joint Strike Fighters proved too costly.

The blunder cost Britain £250million.

An MoD spokesman said: “the cost of deck paint was relatively small”. [PHEW!]

The UK will be without aircraft carrier cover for a decade after the Harriers were sold and Ark Royal scrapped in 2010.

"The new carriers will carry 12 jump-jets from 2020.

Shadow Defence minister Kevan Jones said: “Only this Government could melt aircraft carriers.” [A comedian.] :D

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2012, 13:25
by spazsinbad
Youse can see where the Canuks get their 'newspaper training'... or their 'NOT newspaper training'...

New £500 million Joint Strike Fighters set to cost taxpayers even more... because jump jets may MELT ships' decks By James Titcomb, 24 May 2012

"MoD must pay for heat-resistant paint on new warships
Exhausts from jet takeoff can damage aircraft carriers
News comes two weeks after £250m U-turn on new jets
Latest embarrassment in £6.2bn 'omnishambles'

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... l?ITO=1490

"The controversial replacements for the Harrier jump jets may cost taxpayers even more than their £500million asking price - because the heat from take off could melt aircraft carriers' decks.

The fumes from the U.S. Joint Strike Fighters are so hot that special heat-resistant paint will be required to protect the take-off strip.

But American military experts are still developing the coating [QUE?], which the Britain will now have to beg for as well as the new planes....

...The new heat-resistant 'Thermion' coating has been developed in America after U.S. tests showed that exhausts from the jets could melt ships' decks.

An MoD spokesman said the cost of the new paint would be 'negligible' and were 'greatly offset' by the savings from not fitting the £2billion 'cats and traps' to the aircraft carriers.

'Work to identify a suitable deck coat is ongoing so exact costs are not yet available,' the spokesman said...."

This is so sad. :D 'BEG' mind you. 'Beg'! :D Almost saved by the last paragraphs.

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2012, 14:12
by sufaviper
Do these people know what a credible source is? I don't remember reading anywhere that testing showed the deck would melt (BS and APA would have been all over it had there been any mention of it in a credible source).

This is pathetic.

Sufa Viper

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2012, 14:58
by delvo
They could solve that problem by switching to model C...

:D

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2012, 16:17
by SpudmanWP
They could solve the problem by learning to read....

That and learn to use Google.

Unread postPosted: 24 May 2012, 16:39
by stobiewan
SpudmanWP wrote:They could solve the problem by learning to read....

That and learn to use Google.


The paper in question is a fairly hideous rag and shouldn't be confused with a serious newspaper :)

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 05:21
by spazsinbad
The THERMIONites have a sense of humour:

http://www.thermioninc.com/nonskid.php

"...Lawsuit Resistant..." :roll:

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 11:36
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:The THERMIONites have a sense of humour:

http://www.thermioninc.com/nonskid.php

"...Lawsuit Resistant..." :roll:


If it provides corrosion protection for 10 years, I say coat the entire,ship and spare sailors from paint duty :D

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 12:52
by spazsinbad
Yeah - If it don't move - paint it! :D

And GodSpeed with the jumpin' at Pax River Ski Jump Championships soonish....

JSF ski jump tests due in 2011 Jane's Defence Weekly Jul 08, 2010

http://articles.janes.com/articles/Jane ... -2011.html

“'Ski jump' trials of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter are expected to take place in 18 months' time at US Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Maryland.

The tests will see if the F-35B can fly from the take-off ramps to be fitted to the UK Royal Navy's two new Queen Elizabeth-class future aircraft carriers (CVF), but BAE Systems F-35 test pilot Graham Tomlinson told Jane's that he expects such take-offs to be far more straightforward than those from flat deck aircraft carriers.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 14:10
by spazsinbad
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articl ... decks.html

"...(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first official acknowledgement that the F-35’s very hot exhausts can damage carrier decks, which has been previously reported.)"

A 'beatup' begets a 'beatup' which confirms the first 'beatup' which in turn spawns another 'beatup' and I GIVE UP! :twisted:

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 16:06
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:Yeah - If it don't move - paint it! :D

And GodSpeed with the jumpin' at Pax River Ski Jump Championships soonish....

JSF ski jump tests due in 2011 Jane's Defence Weekly Jul 08, 2010

http://articles.janes.com/articles/Jane ... -2011.html

“'Ski jump' trials of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter are expected to take place in 18 months' time at US Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Maryland.
The tests will see if the F-35B can fly from the take-off ramps to be fitted to the UK Royal Navy's two new Queen Elizabeth-class future aircraft carriers (CVF), but BAE Systems F-35 test pilot Graham Tomlinson told Jane's that he expects such take-offs to be far more straightforward than those from flat deck aircraft carriers.


So, will the UK's B jets be able to do a STO carrying a heavier payload courtesy of the ramp compared to their USMC counterparts flying off a LHA?

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 21:50
by spazsinbad
That has been said all along especially in the 'very long thread'. UhOh. [This is the very long thread: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-12631.html ] :D And here is another quote for ye:

Lockheed Martin rebuts F-35 critics on cost, progress by Chris Pocock | July 15, 2010

http://www.ainonline.com/taxonomy/term/ ... node/25359

“...When asked how the F-35B compared to the Harrier in terms of ease of takeoff/landing, Tomlinson replied: “It’s chalk and cheese–and so it should be! This is a single-button operation with no special controls–much easier than the Harrier. For short takeoffs you just power up; the system takes care of everything else. On the ski-jump, for instance, the system detects the change in deck angle and doesn’t apply any rotation as it would on a flat deck.”...”

If the KPP for the same load is/was 550 feet [changed to 600] on a flat deck but 450 [now changed to 450+ equivalent] on CVF then the ski jump does impart some extra oomph. :D However there is likely some maximum groundspeed that the aircraft can attain before/on the ramp limit but I don't know what that is. And don't someone say 'Google is my friend'. If it is I could find it but likely NATOPS will know and yet I don't have a copy. :-(
_______________

This info is repeated on the verylongthread but I'll insert it here for good reference...

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

http://militarynuts.com/index.php?showtopic=1507&st=120

"...A NEW ANGLE: OPTIMISING THE SKI-JUMP PROFILE FOR CVF
The origin of the ski-jump ramp now widely fitted to aircraft carriers undertaking fixed-wing STOVL air operations at sea is widely credited to Lieutenant Commander Doug Taylor RN. His thesis, written while studying for a PhD at the University of Southampton in the early 1970s, identified the substantial gains in payload radius achieved if an aircraft performing a short takeoff — such as the Harrier with thrust vectoring — was launched upwards on a semi-ballistic trajectory.

The ski-jump ramp works by imparting an upward vertical velocity and ballistic profile to the aircraft, providing additional time to accelerate to flying speed whilst ensuring it is on a safe trajectory. This additional time is manifested either in a reduced take-off length for a given weight, or increased launch weight (fuel and/or ordnance) for a fixed take-off distance.

This additional performance does not come for free, however, with a significant increase in landing gear loads above those of a standard take off, which are very low compared to a landing. The increase represents the energy transferred to the aircraft as it translates up the ramp; and if the angle and curvature of the ramp are increased to obtain greater performance benefit, so are the loads.

An essential first step for optimising the ski-ramp profile for CVF was to define key performance and load cases (in terms of aircraft configurations and environmental condition thresholds). Other ground rules such as take-off distances, maximum ramp length and height constraints, wind over deck speeds and ship motion factors were also generated prior to the main analysis which was based on legacy experience with Harrier analysis, Team JSF ‘best practice’, sensitivity studies of performance and loads to identify sensible values and ranges.

Based on predicted F-35B performance and landing gear loads data, the CVF ski-jump was defined as a 12.5 degrees angled ramp, with the profile achieved by combining a nominal profile based on a quartic fit to an optimum cubic transition plus circular arc, a rounded step lead in and an elliptic let down. Analyses have also confirmed that fatigue impact as a result of cyclical loading was significantly less than that for the legacy Invincible-class ramp; and that minimum weapons physical clearance limits were met even in worst cases (combinations of flat tyres and compressed struts)...."

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 22:30
by SpudmanWP
Does that mean if the LHD hits a REALLY BIG swell just as an F-35B takes off, that it will detect the increased angle and not rotate? ;)

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 23:45
by spazsinbad
NavAvvers are used to dealing with 'REALLY BIG swell' - the sweller the better - for launching / catapulting aircraft. Probably an RBS will have a regular up and down motion which can be anticipated. The time taken for exiting the ski jump / catapult from 'Launch Officer Signal' is known and he will signal such so that the aircraft is at least at the end of launch on a rising bow or close to the top of that UP part if good enough. Yes sometimes the LO gets it wrong and chaps skim the greenie coming over the bow! :D

I think the question has been asked but perhaps on another forum [old NEPLEX] anyhoo here is an old SHAR pilot answer [to similar question]:

“I was TAD from VS-32 to FOF-3 as the S-3 (Viking) Liaison Officer. We didn’t get into Vestfjord, but Airops just outside were quite colorful. Watching a SHAR mis-time his roll and fly through a wave (totally, and I mean totally, submerged) after he jumped off that pointy-end ramp thing-a-majingy was quite an experience. Especially when Wings (their Airboss/CAG equivalent) turned and looked up at me, stogie belching, and remarked:
“Well Yak, that’s gonna f!€k up the bloody corrosion effort!” Old Phantom driver he was.”

http://www.neptunuslex.com/2010/12/15/f ... ent-663784

Old Hairier Driver Retort:
“1) you can't "mis-time" to that extent.
2) a Sea Harrier flying through water is impossible
3) if a Sea Harrier was still on the ski-jump as the wave broke over the bow it might look spectacular, but the aeroplane would still be primarily in the air and going upwards relative to the surface.”

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 23:54
by popcorn
Thanks Spaz. I can only hope that some day someone will quantify how much of an advantage in additional payload the ramp provides.

Unread postPosted: 25 May 2012, 23:55
by popcorn
Thanks Spaz. I can only hope that some day someone will quantify how much of an advantage in additional payload the ramp provides.

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2012, 00:12
by spazsinbad
'popcorn' IMHO the benefit is MASSIVE! Given the benefit of the ski jump to RN Harrier ops but I don't know how that benefit translates to CVF ski jump F-35B ops. Shirley someone will tell us at some point. But first theys have to JUMP! :D

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2012, 01:35
by quicksilver
With all other performance elements held constant, the Rule of Thumb for Harrier was roughly a 40% reduction in deck run for ships with ski-jumps. Limiting factor was nose gear compression -- i.e. excessive speed at ramp entry could impart loads to the nose gear in excess of the design limits.

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2012, 02:47
by popcorn
I can see how the ramp,would help increase,MTOW vs a STO without a ramp.. yet it appears the performance gain is not compelling enough to install ramps on GATOR ships. Obviously other factors were taken into consideration,as other aircraft would inhabit the deck and not, just B,jets.

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2012, 02:54
by spazsinbad
This excerpt is in the very long thread. It will be worthwhile to trawl through there (perhaps search for 'Ski' on the F-35 forum will be helpful). Anyway here is an excerpt from an article - I'll add some extra text by typing soonish.

Harrier Operations on a Ski Jump by Major Art Nalls, USMC 1990

http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backiss ... 0/mj90.pdf

"In December 1988, a detachment from the Naval Air Test Center (NATC), Patuxent River, Md., conducted a flight test program matching up a Spanish aircraft carrier, Principe de Asturias, and the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II vertical/short takeoff and landing attack aircraft. The flight test results were nothing short of amazing. Takeoff performance of the AV-8 was dramatically improved, as well as safety and the potential for true Harrier/helicopter interoperability. All of this was realised from a single device with no moving parts - the ski jump....

...Ski jump operations are not entirely new. Since the mid 1970s, the British have routinely employed ski jumps on their Harrier carriers, but they fly the Sea Harrier, which is a variant limited to roughly 25,000 pounds gross weight. NATC also performed a brief flight test evaluation of the YAV-8B on a land-based ski jump in the late seventies, but a land-based ski jump is limited to the ambient winds (low wind over deck) and the YAV-8B was basically an AV-8A with an AV-8B wing and was still limited to 23,000 pounds gross weight. These operations were far too limited in maximum gross weight and wind over the deck, which are where the real advantages of the ski jump become apparent.

For years, it was thought that the performance improvements in the AV-8B were so substantial over the AV-8A that a ski jump was unnecessary. It's true that the AV-8B clearly out performs the -A, but the aerodynamic improvements that make the AV-8B superior also make it ideally suited for ski jump operations: excellent slow-speed handling qualities, rapid acceleration, and improved vertical/short takeoff and landing capability. The important difference between a ski jump and a flat deck is that the heavier the aircraft, and the higher the wind over the deck, the greater the advantage of using a ski jump.


The aircraft takeoff performance was so dramatically improved that the heaviest Harrier ever flown from any ship - 31,000 pounds gross weight - was launched from Asturias with only a 400-foot deck run. The 31,000 pounds equals the maximum gross weight capability of the AV-8B. To put this in perspective, a "typical" AV-8B with a close air support ordnance load of full fuel, full water, guns, and 12 MK-82 bombs would weigh only about 29,000 pounds. On a typical 59-degree Fahrenheit day, with 35-knot winds over the deck, this load could be launched from a 300-foot deck run with a 12-degree ski jump. The same ordnance load would require the entire 750-foot flight deck of an LHA...."

I guess the whole article should be typed out for better future reference, however all of it I think is on the very long thread. I'll check.
______________

And in case anyone thinks that Art Nalls is some kind of numbnuts here is his bio:

Sea Harrier Set To Fly On | 16 March 2007

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/hawkerassoci ... flyon.html

‘...[Newsletter] Editor's Note. In answer to some questions raised by the above, Art [Nalls] sent the following.....’

“I was a military test pilot at Pax River, having graduated from the USAF Test Pilot (TP) School with Class 85A. At that time the new AV-8B was being introduced and there was no shortage of work. In fact, I had been offered a TP job Edwards AFB while a student there but Marine Colonel Harry Blot, my former CO, told me in no uncertain terms that if I accepted a job testing for the Air Force I was to stay there and never come back to the Marines; I had been sent to Edwards to become a qualified TP so had better get back to work for the Marines!

I was the project officer for the ski-jump testing aboard ship. The first ship was the Italian Navy Garibaldi, with a 6 deg ramp, designed specifically for Harriers. The ship must have been designed by someone who had never actually been aboard a fighting ship - centre deck elevators, centre hangar bay with passages round the outside, fuel lines running round the ship perimeter, no deck-edge scuppers and no lights - but it does look good!

Anyway, we did the tests and provided the launch bulletin for them. The second ship was the Spanish Navy Principe de Asturias with a 12 deg ramp. This had a much better configuration being based on the unbuilt US designed Sea Control Ship sponsored by Admiral Zumwalt, USN.

The ski-jump so impressed me that I authored several technical papers and was a huge advocate for the USMC to push the USN to install it in our amphibious ships (LHDs). We could then use the single flight deck as essentially two runways; the helos launching from the stern, the Harriers from the bow. There is nothing that can be loaded on a Harrier that it can't take off with from 400 ft with 15 knots wind over deck - absolutely nothing - and the flight deck is 800 ft long on the LHDs.

Doubled take off performance, increased inherent safety from the launch trajectory and no moving parts. Seemed like a no-brainer to me but the USN didn't want to jeopardise their big deck carriers. I even attempted to orchestrate a cross-deck operation with the Russian ski jump ship Tiblisi.

Towards the end of my flight testing career I conceived and got official approval to take a test team to Russia to explore the YAK-141 supersonic VSTOL fighter and to fly and report on the YAK-38 Forger. I was the first western TP to do this.”

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2012, 04:22
by spazsinbad
Here is the complete article.

Harrier Operations on a Ski Jump by Major Art Nalls, USMC, Naval Aviation News, May-June 1990

http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backiss ... 0/mj90.pdf

In December 1988. a detachment from the Naval Air Test Center (NATC), Patuxcent River, Md., conducted a flight test program matching up a Spanish aircraft carrier, Principe de Asturias, and the U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II vertica/short takeoff and landing attack aircraft. The flight test results were nothing short of amazing. Takeoff performance of the AV-8 was dramatically improved, as well as safety and the potential for true Harrier/helicopter interoperability. All of this was realized from a single device with no moving parts - the ski jump.

For Shipboard takeoffs, the AV-8 does not use a catapult like other conventional aircraft. The AV-8 pilot simp­ly aligns the aircraft with the short takeoff line on the flight deck. On the launch officer's signal, he slams full power and accelerates. When he reaches the bow, the pilot rotates his four engine exhaust nozzles downward. The combination of engine lift from the nozzles and wing lift al­lows the aircraft to fly. The amount of deck run is determined for each takeoff and varies primarily as a func­tion of aircraft gross weight, wind over deck, and ambient temperature. The most limiting factor in Harrier takeoff gross weight capability is the deck run available. It is currently limited in U.S. amphibious ships to 750 feet on the Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship (LHA) and approximately 800 feet on the new Wasp-class multipurpose am­phibious assault ship (LHD).

What makes this Spanish carrier so different from any U.S. ship is the additlon of an upwardly curving surface on the ship's bow, called a "ski jump." Based on an original U.S. design for sea control that was never con­structed, Asturias was built in Spain and delivered to the Spanish Navy in May 1988. ln December of that year, the United States was given the unique opportunity to perform, for the first time, a complete shipboard flight test program using instrumented AV-8Bs on an operational ski jump up to the gross weight limits of the AV-8B.

Ski jump operations are not entirely new. Since the mid-1970s, the British have routinely employed ski jumps on their Harrier carriers. but they fly the Sea Harrier, which is a variant limited to roughly 25,000 pounds gross weight. NATC also performed a brief flight test evaluation of the YAV-8B on a land-based ski jump in the late seventies, but a land-based ski jump is limited to the ambient winds (low wind over deck) and the YAV-8B was basically an AV-8A with an AV-8B wing and was still limited to 23,000 pounds gross weight. These operations were far too limited in maximum gross weight and wind over the deck, which are where the real advantages of the ski jump become apparent.

For years, it was thought that the performance improvements in the AV-­8B were so substantial over the AV-8A that a ski jump was unnecessary. It's true that the AV-8B clearly out per­forms the -A, but the aerodynamic im­provements that make the AV-8B su­perior also make it ideally suited for ski jump operations: excellent slow-speed handling qualities, rapid acceleration, and improved vertical/short takeoff and landing capability. The important difference between a ski jump and a flat deck is that the heavier the aircraft, and the higher the wind over the deck, the greater the advantage of using a ski jump.

The aircraft takeoff performance was so dramatically improved that the heaviest Harrier ever flown from any ship - 31,000 pounds gross weight - ­was launched from Asturias with only a 400-foot deck run. The 31,000 pounds equals the maximum gross weight capability of the AV-8B. To put this In perspective. a "typical" AV-8B with a close air support ordnance load of full fuel, full water, guns, and 12 MK-82 bombs would weigh only about 29,000 pounds. On a typical 59-de­gree Fahrenheit day, with 35-knot winds over the deck, this load could be launched from a 300-foot deck run with a 12-degree ski jump. The same ordnance load would require the entire 750-foot flight deck of an LHA.

Any flight deck in front of a Harrier is unusable for any other flight ops until the AV-8 is airborne. On the other hand, any flight deck behind the Harrier can still be used for concurrent heIo/MV-22 Osprey operations. If the deck run can be shortened from 750 to 300 feet, a valuable 450 feet for concurrent flight ops is acquired - an important consideration in amphibious operations. For all practical purposes, the 820-foot flight deck of an LHD could be utilized like two completely separate ships - the front 400 feet for Harrier launches and recoveries, and the back for completety separate and concurrent helo/MV-22 ops.

Another important aspect of ski jump operations is the inherent safety over a flat deck launch, after which the aircraft is only 60 feet (height of the flight deck) above the water for the accelerating transition to airborne. With a ski jump, the Harrier ALWAYS has a positive rate of climb due to the incline of the ramp. The accelerating transition begins at approximately 150 to 200 feet, vice 60 feet [ASL]. This altitude cushion is a considerable increase in safety should the pilot encounter any emergency.

This NATC flight test program served to highlight the significant performance improvements in takeoff capability and safety that could be realized by the addition of a ski jump to our existing amphibious ships for the AV-8B. In fact, every navy in the world that operates Harrier carriers uses ski jumps, except one: the United States. Rarely before has such a dramatic increase in performance been achieved from a device with no moving parts."

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2012, 06:51
by spazsinbad
French Navy develop their own new deck coating - in their own time... I wonder if it is as good as THERMION?

New DCNS carrier deck coating process validated on CVN Charles de Gaulle

http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.ph ... iew&id=458

"Recent tests have demonstrated the effectiveness of new coatings applied to the flight deck of CVN Charles de Gaulle using a process tailored by DCNS. Phase I of this programme involved the application of new coatings to the landing zone, the portion of the flight deck subject to highest stresses.

The tests, involving landings by Rafale Marine combat aircraft, demonstrated the new coating’s qualities. The advanced materials and application process help reduce nose gear loads [?] suffered by in-coming aircraft while ensuring excellent grip between tyre and deck....

...DCNS contributed to the success of phase I and to meeting all milestones. The DCNS teams assigned to the programme are now preparing for phase II which will involve the application of new coatings to CVN Charles de Gaulle’s tow-ways and parking areas when the ship is laid up for its next scheduled refit in 2013."

Get Arrested at the JUMP! :D
http://www.navyrecognition.com/images/s ... le_CVN.jpg

Unread postPosted: 26 May 2012, 10:49
by popcorn
I don't know if the French coating can take the heat of an Osprey or B jet... or will the CdG melt and burst into flames?LOL

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2012, 00:28
by 1st503rdsgt
spazsinbad wrote:Here is the complete article.

Harrier Operations on a Ski Jump by Major Art Nalls, USMC, Naval Aviation News, May-June 1990

http://www.history.navy.mil/nan/backiss ... 0/mj90.pdf

...This NATC flight test program served to highlight the significant performance improvements in takeoff capability and safety that could be realized by the addition of a ski jump to our existing amphibious ships for the AV-8B. In fact, every navy in the world that operates Harrier carriers uses ski jumps, except one: the United States. Rarely before has such a dramatic increase in performance been achieved from a device with no moving parts."


Frankly, I think the USN is terrified of ski-jumps because installing them would give weight to the perception of assault-ships as real carriers, especially with the F-35B coming into service soon. Informed individuals know that there's no way an LHA or LHD can compete with a CATOBAR carrier when it comes to operational tempo and capability; but the temptation would certainly be there for stupid politicians looking for any opportunity to cut military spending. So we keep the decks flat and avoid discussing ways to improve the TACAIR contribution that these versatile ships can can make to the fleet.

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2012, 02:19
by spazsinbad
This thread is after all about the UK and their flip-flopping on the Ski Jump/Conventional Carrier F-35B/F-35C so I don't see how the USN/USMC comes into it - except to illustrate the worthwhileness of the ski jump - as exemplified in recent posts. But I know the anti USN ski jumpers spare no effort as seen in the very long thread. But it doesn't bother me because we know the result but we speak about the CVF with ski jump and any others that have or will have a ski jump on their flat decks. In other words I do not care to hear about the USN/USMC and ski jumps thanks.

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2012, 13:57
by quicksilver
Art once landed an AV-8A sans engine power on a 7000 rwy after it flamed out during routine training flight. Not an easy thing to walk away from -- and they gave him a medal for it. He bought a late model SHAR a few years back and now travels the air show circuit is the U.S.

His second observation about performance (nothing you can't shoot from 400' with 15 kts of WOD) is more realistic, since what the book says one can do and what one does in actual practice are not always the same. At high t/o gross weights, AV-8B also has some fore/aft CG restrictions that you have to work around with different fuel and external stores loadings. Ramp doesn't help you there at all.

Biggest inhibitor to use of ramps on US ships is fact that the primary mission of those ships is to deliver expeditionary forces -- not to launch strike aircraft. Ramp reduces landing spots and complicates aircraft handling up front.

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2012, 14:05
by spazsinbad
As mentioned earlier I don't care to hear about the USN / USMC problems with ski jump ramps. This thread is about CVFs and F-35Bs on ramps - both designed to be used together but we don't know many details yet - except details about the ramp itself, as designed for the CVF. In the meantime here is another story about Art:

Flameout - Why the fire in a perfectly healthy jet engine can die. By Peter Garrison
Air & Space magazine, September 2006

http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today ... c=y&page=3

"...Art Nalls, now retired from the Marine Corps, recalls a wintertime test of a TA-4J—a training version of the single-engine A-4 Skyhawk—at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The giant lake bed, an alternate landing site for space shuttles, is normally bone dry, but recent rains had soaked the ground and left it largely flooded.

The test card called for restarts at selected points along the edge of the restart envelope; if the engine failed to relight, Nalls would move to the “heart of the envelope,” where the engine was considered sure to start. “One of the last points was a low-altitude, slow-airspeed point that left little margin for error,” he remembers. “Only a small portion of the lake bed was available for landing, and it was soft. Quite possibly the airplane could flip over. But it was legally usable and met the criteria of our test plan, so we elected to continue. We were almost done with the project, everything had worked normally so far, and get-home-itis had started to set in.”

Already at a low altitude when the test began, Nalls found it impossible to restart the engine. Only when he was below 1,000 feet, seconds away from a landing on the muddy lake bed, did the engine finally relight. It later turned out that the cause of the trouble had been a malfunctioning ram air turbine—the backup electrical source for the engine’s igniters.

Nalls was a test pilot, and test pilots feel strong pressure to bring back the ship in one piece. Under the same circumstances, a service pilot whose jet had flamed out would long since have ejected. The likelihood of making a successful dead stick landing in a jet fighter is considered so slight that the military services have wavered on whether “flameout approaches” should be taught at all.

Though the reliability of jet engines is far better than that of the reciprocating engines that they largely replaced half a century ago, the danger of flameouts hasn’t disappeared. Flameouts are a natural consequence of the way jet engines work. They live on an island of stable operation—a dynamic balance of powerful forces—ringed by a sea of instability."
_______________________

http://www.nallsaviation.com/BIOGRAPHY.htm

"...While on a training mission attached to VMA-231, Art’s “Harrier” suffered a catastrophic engine failure near Richmond, Virginia. With little time to react, he essentially landed the Harrier engine-out at a civilian airfield. This was an extremely precise and risky landing, not normally attempted. The emergency procedures recommend an ejection. Art is the only person to have made such a landing and he was consequently awarded an Air Medal, with gold numeral one for the act. With over 900 hours in the AV-8A and over 400 shipboard landings, Art was selected as the single Marine Corps Pilot to attend the USAF Test Pilot School at Edwards, AFB, CA for Test Pilot Course, 85A. One Marine, per year, is sent to Edwards, and for 1985, it was Art...."

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2012, 17:14
by archeman
Biggest inhibitor to use of ramps on US ships is fact that the primary mission of those ships is to deliver expeditionary forces -- not to launch strike aircraft. Ramp reduces landing spots and complicates aircraft handling up front.


Just outside my house right now my son and his buddies are jumping their bikes off a ramp made of wooden boards. When the big kids take a turn they just increase the angle of the ramp for a bigger jump. When the little kids take a turn they pull out some 2X4s and then it works for them.

I understand that F-35s and AV-8s are not kids bikes but the principal is a simple one. If we really need a ramp sometimes you can have one and when you don't need that much angle could be reduced sufficiently for rotary wing loading, departure and landing.

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2012, 22:21
by spazsinbad
In this 'very long thread' AFAIK the 'movable angle ski jump ramp for USMC' was discussed I believe: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-12631.html Perhaps a search of this F-35 forum will find page(s). AsIrecall the extra top weight of the mechanism to raise/lower the ski jump ramp would 'outweigh' the benefit of such a ramp. Top weight effects on flat tops need to be minimised. Increasing the ramp angle does introduce other difficulties for the aircraft entering the ramp so there is an ideal. The Brits and Italians and the Spanish have worked out their ideal angle for F-35B use. Here are some aspects about what that might mean with the 'very long thread' having a lot more info. I might put the 'CVF Ski Jump Ramp Optimisation' PDF on SkyDrive as it seems to be no longer available at the original website. Anyhoo...

Using Simulation to Optimize Ski Jump Ramp Profiles for STOVL Aircraft Dec 01, 1999
Greg Imhof and Bill Schork | Naval Air Warfare Center/Aircraft Division | Air Vehicle Department | Patuxent River, MD | Abstract for AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 14-17 August 2000 Denver, Colorado

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA378145

Introduction
“Ramps have been used for many years aboard the Navy ships of many countries to reduce takeoff run distance and wind-over-deck (WOD) require-ments, as well as to increase the aircraft takeoff gross weight capability over that of a flat deck carrier. Under the Joint Strike Fighter program, an effort has been funded to evaluate various ramp profiles & ramp performance optimization methodologies. Results of these evaluations will be used with an advanced STOVL aircraft to provide the maximum benefit to takeoff performance, while not becoming a design driver for landing gear or adversely affecting ship designs.

The Boeing AV-8B Harrier is a true STOVL aircraft, in that it routinely performs short takeoffs and vertical landings. This allows operations from ships not equipped with catapults or arresting gear and that are considerably smaller than the US large deck carriers. This unique capability is obtained through a group of variable angle nozzles for vectored lift and a reaction control system for stability and control, which uses engine bleed air to provide thrust through several small nozzles located on the aircraft.

Many foreign navies operate Harriers from ships equipped with smooth profile ramps. The US Navy has conducted many ship and shore-based tests of smooth and segmented (flat plate) ramp profiles over the years to demonstrate the performance advantages of a ramp-assisted takeoff. Much of this work serves as the basis for our research initiative.

Preliminary Work
The first step was to collect data from prior flight tests to validate the AV-8B landing gear model. The test data were incomplete because the test aircraft did not have sufficient instrumentation to measure gear/store loads and accelerations. Therefore, criteria were developed which enabled us to compare predict-ed gear load trends and instead of actual gear and structural loads.

Preliminary Criteria for Ramp Optimization
I. The landing gear shall not compress to full closure at any point during the takeoff. Harrier flight tests have been conducted to within 1/2 inch of full closure with no adverse results.
2. Investigate a segmented ramp versus a smooth profile ramp, and how it could be used with the existing structural and operational requirements of the aircraft. If so, what is the maximum angle change between segments that can be tolerated by the aircraft and aircrew?
3. Resonance effects from segmented ramps on landing gear and wing mounted stores are unknown, and efforts should be taken to break up or reduce these loads.

Preliminary Results
Preliminary simulation runs have been completed. Test results indicate that the segmented ramp concept shows great promise and could allow ship designers options in building retractable or reconfigurable ramp designs for future STOVL capable ships. Segmented ramp takeoff performance is not diminished as compared with a smooth ramp. Initial results indicate that segmented ramp profiles can be modified to keep the gear loads well within their structural limits. Since the velocity of the aircraft remains fairly constant while it is on the ramp, an equally distributed (same length) segment pattern generates a recurring load on the landing gear at each joint. If the frequency of these inputs is close to the natural frequency of the gear, or transmitted through the aircraft structure to a wing store, a resonance condition could be excited. This will be investigated at in more detail in the coming months.

Preliminary Conclusions
The smooth and segmented ramp profiles have demonstrated significant performance gains over a field or flat deck ship takeoff. Work will continue over the next several months to expand & refine the optimization criteria and investigate various ramp profiles and quantify their benefit to aircraft performance.”
__________

And from Flight International 23 June 1979 is this news item:

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/ ... 02348.html

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2012, 22:55
by spazsinbad
On page 38 [http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-t-15969-postdays-0-postorder-asc-start-555.html ] of this thread SWP asked: "Does that mean if the LHD hits a REALLY BIG swell just as an F-35B takes off, that it will detect the increased angle and not rotate?"

To answer in another way than earlier, it is also possible to do three types of STOs (with other possible variations of basic three perhaps itemised elsewhere - now excerpt below) whilst one of them is manual. And the Launch Officer on Brit ships (not mentioned below) says when to go, with perhaps the pilot being able to decide when to actually launch after that. So anyhoo...

Navy Sees Few Anomalies in F-35B Ship Trials Oct 31, 2011
By Amy Butler | Onboard the USS Wasp

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/ ... avy&next=0

"...There are three methods for takeoff: manual (pilot pulling back on the stick); using a button that actuates the nozzle at the rotation line; or auto STO, which places the aircraft at a known distance from the rotation line. In this auto setting the aircraft will actuate automatically when the pilot reaches that rotation line. Cordell says pilots were able expand the scope to experiment with the auto-STO mode...." [Remembering these are STOs with NO ski jump - so more variations to test at PaxRiver/ onboard CVF Ski Jump one day.]
__________________________________

Flying the Sea Harrier: a test pilot’s perspective By Peter Collins, Flight International 20/04/09

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/20 ... ctive.html

“Royal Navy Cdr Nigel "Sharkey" Ward and the Royal Air Force's David Morgan gained their place in British military folklore by flying the navy's British Aerospace Sea Harrier FRS1 fighter with distinction during the 1982 Falklands War.

Flight International's UK test pilot Peter Collins offers a rare insight on flying the "SHAR", having sailed south aboard the rapidly completed aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious as the combat action drew to a close.

Freshly posted to Germany as an RAF Harrier GR3 ground-attack pilot, Collins was recalled to the UK after the war broke out and diverted to the Fleet Air Arm for a short tour flying the Sea Harrier. Type conversion was con-ducted with 899 NAS at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset between June and July 1982.

"My first memory is of my first FRS1 familiarisation flight, including 'Ski Jump' launch," says Collins. "The FRS1 cockpit wasn't like the GR3's at all, with the engine and critical aircraft systems instrumentation on the left [rather than the right], to allow space for the Blue Fox radar display. There was no Sea Harrier T-Bird [two-seat trainer] and no simulator training; just a quick cockpit self-assessment in the last FRS1 left in the UK. And then go: taxi up to the very bottom of the ramp, gaze upwards at what looked like Mount Snowdon (the ramp was set at the maximum angle of around 18°), remember some words of wisdom from somewhere, pause, slam the throttle, depart the lip, take nozzles and fly away. Piece of cake!"

Collins then moved aboard HMS Illustrious – aka "Lusty" – with 809 NAS for the voyage to the South Atlantic. The vessel arrived in the Falkland Islands Protection Zone in late August, with its SHARs flying combat air patrol sorties to plug a gap until a new landing strip could be completed for the RAF.

Recalling one experience, Collins says: "It was a perfect day, but Lusty was heaving in a massive swell and the flight deck was pitching through 6°. I manoeuvred into my launch position while Flyco [Flying Co-ordination] had a think about it. Through my forward canopy the entire world alternated from completely bright blue to completely bright green (the sea was alive with plankton) as the ship pitched through more angles than I had ever seen before. Refusing the launch is mutiny: it has to be done by the pilot slamming the throttle as the deck starts to pitch down. Thankfully Flyco scrubbed the launch!" Illustrious returned home after two months of duty, with Collins having logged a total of 66 deck landings."

"I am immensely proud of my short time with the Fleet Air Arm," says Collins. "I wish them every continued success as a uniquely professional element of our fighting services.”

Unread postPosted: 27 May 2012, 23:11
by spazsinbad
More about that increased angle and benefit of ski jumps but remember this is early days in 1976 whilst more is known today and the CVF ski jump ramp has been optimised for all required conditions for F-35B use. From Flight Global PDF archive comes the attached graphic 'Ski Jump Harrier' 20 Nov 1976:

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/ ... 02666.html (PDF 1.5Mb)

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 01:55
by spazsinbad
Remove any inferences of talk in this article about 'ski jumps' on any USN flat decks. It is submitted here to illustrate how the ski jump installations will likely be used on the 'already ski jumped other country flat decks' including CVF. This article written in 2002 is not here for the purpose of encouraging ski jumps on any USN flat decks. That is a dead horse well flogged here by now (similar to F-35Bs on Oz LHDs dead horse idea gone to the great knackery in the sky'). :D

The STOVL Joint Strike Fighter—From a Harrier Skeptic 2002 Captain A.R. Behnke USMC

http://dodreports.com/pdf/ada520417.pdf

“...Harrier Argument: Skeptics of the AV-8 “Harrier” argue that STOVL is forever a flawed concept, and proof of this is readily available when you focus your attention on the Harrier....

...Carrier STOVL Operations/Ramps: For the Marine Corps and Navy to reap the full benefits of the STOVL JSF, it must be deployed on carriers. In addition, the Navy should modify both the Tarawa and Wasp class (LHA/LHD) ships to include a ramp (ski jump). These two issues are not received well by most naval officials. Their arguments are: STOVL aircraft on the carrier will hinder the deck cycle, & modifying the LHAs and LHDs with a ramp is too costly (in ad-dition to losing one helicopter deck spot). However, it has been proven in many studies conducted by the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA) that both would greatly assist the Navy in sortie rate & deck cycle impacts.

Carrier: On a carrier the operations of STOVL recovery and respot are greatly simplified. In addition, vertical landing pads on the port side of the carrier take up less area than the landing area required for normal carrier aircraft. This facil-itates the simultaneous operations of launch, recovery, and respot. Therefore the flight deck is never fouled for any single operation, thus reducing the impact on sortie generation. For STOVL, the limiting factor of sortie generation then becomes aircraft servicing rate. Today’s CTOL carrier airwing has reached a near optimum level of mission perform-ance. That is, no increase in airwing size or availability will result in increased maximum sorties attainable....

VSTOL, on the other hand, has been shown to be limited by the servicing cycle only. Here significant increases in sortie generation capability and decreases in numbers of aircraft required to support that capability are attainable simply by increasing the number of servicing crews. It is evident from this excerpt and other studies by AAIA that the STOVL JSF on the carrier will not hinder operations. In fact, it will contribute to a better deck cycle and more sorties.

LHA/LHD & Ramps: The next step the Navy should take in support of the Marine Corps & the STOVL JSF is to modify its LHAs & LHDs with a bow ramp. By doing so, the Navy will increase the combat payload a STOVL JSF can bring to the battlefield, while improving deck cycle. With a ramp on the bow of the ship, the STOVL JSF can take off in only 400 feet, freeing the aft end of the ship for concurrent helicopter & MV-22 operations. The Harrier’s takeoff performance was dramatically enhanced; the heaviest Harrier—31,000 pounds—ever from the deck of any ship was launched from the [Spanish carrier, Principe de Asturias] with a deck run of only 400 feet. An aircraft whose weight precluded its launch from any LHA or LHD, even using the entire deck, used the ski jump to take off in approximately one-half that distance.

Conclusion: The STOVL JSF is the correct aircraft...”

Probably this article has been repeated elsewhere on this forum but submittted here again due relevance of CONOPS for CVF now.

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 05:52
by spazsinbad
AGAIN this is in no way a plea for Ski Jumps on USN/USMC flat decks. Just passing along USMC Harrier pilot impressions of their first use of an onboard ski jump and the rest...

Marines experience Brit style on ‘Lusty’ By Vago Muradian Aug 8, 2007

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/20 ... in_070805/

“...Another philosophical difference is that the British are open to ideas that to Americans seem goofy, but work, such as the 12-degree ramp at the bow of the ship that dramatically improves Harrier operations. Senior U.S. naval officers over the decades have vetoed the idea, saying they don’t like how it looks and that it takes up three helicopter landing spots. British and Marine officers say only one deck spot is lost to the “ski jump.”

To a man, Marine pilots want the ramps installed on their ships to improve operational flexibility & safety.

“We’re all in love with the ski ramp because when you come off that ramp, you’re flying,” Bradicich said. “From our ships, if you’re fully loaded, you need 750 feet, and even then you’ve got some sink once you clear the deck. Here, you can do the same thing in 450 feet and you’re climbing.”

But the ramp is intimidating at first sight, pilots said.

“I expected it to be violent, but when you take off, it’s almost a non-event,” said Maj. Grant “Postal” Pennington, a pilot with VMA-513 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. “Up you go, and you’re climbing. It’s a great experience.”

Equally important is the ship that’s bolted to the ramp, pilots said.

“Some of our younger guys who haven’t flown from our ships yet are in for a big surprise when they do,” Bradicich said. “This is probably the best ship you could possibly fly a Harrier from. It’s not very big, but it’s really stable, no roll, just a little pitch, not like the flat-bottom gators that roll so much. You’ve got the island moving 30 feet in each direction when you’re trying to land. That tends to get your attention.”

The combination of ski ramp, stability and dedicated crew contributed to a breakneck operational pace. The Marines proudly logged a ship record 79 takeoffs and landings in one day.

“These guys are great. We’ve qualed 28 guys in three days, most with eight landings and takeoffs, so even though we said that we were going to crawl, walk, run, our pace has been tremendous, even with different procedures,” Pennington said. “We like to approach the ship at 45 degrees and hit one of the spots, but they approach from dead astern, come to a hover abeam, slide over, then drop down to the deck. It’s different, but you get the hang of it.”

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 06:50
by bjr1028
Harriers operate better with Ski-Jumps, but the gators are not aircraft carriers and not about the Harriers, they are about the helicopters/Tilt-Rotors and the Battalion-sized detachment of Marines they carry. As far as the Corps is concerned, how long it takes the Harrier detachment to take off is secondary to the ability of the V-22s and CH-53s to load Marines and equipment. With ships like the Invincible, PdeA, and Garibaldi, launching harriers is their primary mission. The Ski-Jump makes sense.

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 08:00
by spazsinbad
'bjr1028' you should read what I type here. Why not start a thread to whine about NOT having ski jumps on USMC LHAs? Thanks.

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 08:32
by 1st503rdsgt
Look Spaz, I can see you're pi$$ed, but you opened this can of worms yourself by posting an article WRITTEN BY A USMC MAJOR on the advantages of ski-jumps. Deal with it. I've seen you post a few threads here that weren't even relevant to the F-35 topic (which is understandable given the lack of action on other topics), so don't "spit the dummy" over some minor thread creep. Now that the MoD's reversal has been pretty much finalized, perhaps it is time to start a new thread on how a 60,000 ton ski-jump carrier can be effectively utilized. I'd be curious about the aircraft-mix, support, and the makeup of a CVF carrier-group. I'm not even sure if the UK can put a carrier group together as they very short of warships and those they do have are often barely armed.

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 09:12
by spazsinbad
And I have made it clear that this old USMC Ski Jump testing material is for the CVF and any other ski jumped flat deck and NOT for the purposes of convincing anyone about the merits of USN/USMC flat decks acquiring ski jumps. Don't be so lazy. Start your own thread for gorsake.

Soon a 100 Mb PDF will be at the SpazSinbad page on Microsoft SkyDrive which will be about the 'ski jump ramp' and STOs and EAFs. The PDF 'SomeSkiJumpRampEAF+AM-2Info' will be in a folder named "_F-35 PDFs with Embedded Videos" at:

https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=cbcd63d6 ... =822839791

Now Direct Link to PDF in folder: https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=CBCD63D6 ... 0707E6!223

Material about CVF Optimised Ski Jump amongst other info not yet placed in this forum is in the PDF. Of course some stuff here is repeated in PDF - that's life.
___________-

'1st503rdsgt' said: "...I've seen you post a few threads here that weren't even relevant to the F-35 topic..." WOW! And these 'irrelevant posts' were moved elsewhere. Go figure.

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 14:40
by spazsinbad
11Mb F-16.net version of the 'Ski Jump, STO & EAF AM-2 matting' PDF attached.

Unread postPosted: 28 May 2012, 16:12
by archeman
Spaz, thanks as always for the detailed and well researched response

Unread postPosted: 29 May 2012, 00:18
by spazsinbad
An excellent over view of Carrier Aviation from an English perspective is available as a PDF:

'How Carrier operations Work’ By EAO Steve George BSc MSc CEng FRAeS Cdr RN 28 March 2012

http://www.phoenixthinktank.org/wp-cont ... opsPTT.pdf (4.6Mb) ‘The Particular Mechanics of Carrier Aviation’
OR
http://www.phoenixthinktank.org/2012/03 ... ions-work/

The article was written [28 March 2012] before the change back to F-35B from F-35C and as the article points out there are similarities for flat deck operations for both types.

RAF Lossiemouth:
'The Aircraft Carrier - Not a Floating Airfield': http://www.phoenixthinktank.org/wp-cont ... gure-1.png

Unread postPosted: 29 May 2012, 18:33
by spazsinbad
Astonishing amount of deck space when comparing CVF to olden CVS.

Graphic from URL below:

http://www.aircraftcarrieralliance.co.u ... ships14new?

Unread postPosted: 29 May 2012, 23:06
by popcorn
Zooming out a bit..

I wonder if something like a navalized Taranis could operate off her ramoed deck?

Unread postPosted: 29 May 2012, 23:26
by spazsinbad

Unread postPosted: 30 May 2012, 11:52
by madrat
Not so sure the F-35B on a 20kT dedicated ship isn't a better situation than on a LHA.

Unread postPosted: 30 May 2012, 13:51
by spazsinbad
Why?

Unread postPosted: 30 May 2012, 19:11
by bjr1028
madrat wrote:Not so sure the F-35B on a 20kT dedicated ship isn't a better situation than on a LHA.


It would be a much better situation. Harriers and transport helicopters tend to get in each other's way and that would get worse with twice as many fighters on the LHAs. I've been thinking about for a while, they'd better off shifting LHA-6/7 to a command/ SOCOM support role, buying more LHD-8 type ships and replacing the LSDs with a modified LCI/Canberra type that would act as a hybrid LSD/CVE.

Unread postPosted: 30 May 2012, 20:08
by madrat
Plus you have dedicated support, stores, and mission. The LHA has too much on its platter already, it doesn't need F-35B to gum up workflow.

Unread postPosted: 30 May 2012, 21:55
by spazsinbad
And yet this thread is about CVFs?

Unread postPosted: 30 May 2012, 22:35
by spazsinbad
UK F-35B Decision Reversed Cause and effect | by: John D. Gresham May 10, 2012

http://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stor ... -reversed/

“The British Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced May 10, 2012, that the Royal Navy’s (RN) new carriers Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales will operate the F-35B version of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), rather than the previously announced F-35C. This reversion to the short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) variant of the JSF, which had been chosen before Prime Minister David Cameron reversed the decision in favor of the F-35C CV version, is already creating massive ripples in the air and naval world, some extending well beyond Great Britain....

...In summary, the RN move to the F-35B version of the JSF continues their strong tradition and commitment to STOVL and helicopters for sea-based aviation operations. It also is a boost to the F-35B variant of the JSF, since many critics had seized upon the UK’s switch from F-35B to F-35C as an indictment of the STOVL variant, pointing out additionally that the switch would increase the price of each individual F-35B due to reduced procurement numbers. In the end, the projected additional procurement costs for the two carriers simply due to the conversion to catapult launch and arrested recovery operation, plus a three-year delivery delay, proved too much of a penalty.”

Jump to the MORE!

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2012, 00:05
by delvo
Every time I see another "decision reversed" article, I think at first that they've gone back to C (at least for one carrier if not for the other). And it keeps turning out that they're still re-reporting the same old story.

When they switched from C to B, did they not consider other types of airplane that having a catapult-equipped ship would have allowed them to use? I don't see it mentioned.

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2012, 00:09
by spazsinbad
'delvo' the reason for CVF to NOT use EMALS and AAG equipment is that it was discovered that the COST to convert even one CVF was too great. The decision to use a version of the F-35 has been decided for some time. If no cat/traps on CVF - then only one option: F-35B.

The previous late 2010 decision to change from F-35B to F-35C was made on a 'wing and a prayer' with no real idea of the cost to convert CVF. Please read the thread for all those details. Once the cost was known then decision reversed. MUDDLE is a good word to describe the whole fiasco so far. On the bright side there is no doubt about the F-35B now - on perhaps TWO CVFs - which is a good thing. And the RN FAA can get on with their simulation and actual testing of the F-35B at NAS Patuxent River and Wharton UK etc for the actual time of testing on CVF at some future point. Three LRIP RN F-35Bs will be used.

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2012, 00:38
by spazsinbad
A LibDem Politician in UK Guvmnt explains: [Nick Harvey: "After the 2010 general election, as part of the Liberal Democrat - Conservative coalition, he was made Minister for the Armed Forces." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Harvey ]

Nick Harvey MP writes on Carrier strike capability By Nick Harvey MP | 30th May 2012

http://www.libdemvoice.org/nick-harvey- ... 28760.html

"Earlier this month the Defence Secretary announced that the MoD’s budget was in balance, for the first time in a generation. A number of tough but necessary decisions meant that the £38bn black hole inherited from the last Labour government had finally been eliminated – a major part of which was the decision to deliver Carrier Strike capability using a different type of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jet because of unacceptable cost growth and project delays. In particular, the Government has decided to change the type of jet which will fly off the Navy’s two new aircraft carriers – from the Carrier Variant (CV) JSF to the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant.

As we set out in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, Carrier Strike will be a key capability our Armed Forces must maintain, but the equipment plan we inherited was deeply unsustainable. At the time of the SDSR, the idea was that one of the two new carriers would be converted with catapults and arrester gear (‘cats and traps’) so it could operate the carrier variant of the JSF. A decision on the future use or disposal of the second carrier would be taken at the next SDSR in 2015. This was then followed by a detailed programme of work to look at the costs, risks and technical feasibility of this proposal.

It rapidly became clear that a number of the underlying facts on which the SDSR’s decision was based were changing. Firstly, it emerged that the Carrier Strike capability using ‘cats and traps’ would not be delivered until 2023 at the earliest – three years later than the original envisaged date of around 2020. Partly as a result of the delayed timetable, the estimated cost of fitting this equipment to the HMS Prince of Wales carrier had more than doubled within the past 17 months, rising from £950 million to £2 billion. Additionally, at the time of the last SDSR, consideration of the STOVL variant was ruled out on account of the fact that there was judged to be a very significant technical risk around it. However in the last year there have been vast improvements to the ‘risk profile’ of the aircraft, and US Marine Corps flight trials have now taken place...."

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2012, 02:55
by madrat
If the UK reversed their decision one more time, this time keeping HMS Illustrious and HMS Ocean both in service and taking money saved from not launching either the PoW or the QE, would they lose all that much capability? This would require them to make the F-35B work on the shorter deck of the HMS Illustrious. Seems like they are sticking all their eggs in one basket, going for the CVF, and risk far bigger strategic issues. They would have been better served IMHO going for dispersed capability using smaller vessels rather than opting for a small fleet of perhaps one big capital ship and a few escorts.

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2012, 03:14
by 1st503rdsgt
madrat wrote:If the UK reversed their decision one more time, this time keeping HMS Illustrious and HMS Ocean both in service and taking money saved from not launching either the PoW or the QE, would they lose all that much capability? This would require them to make the F-35B work on the shorter deck of the HMS Illustrious. Seems like they are sticking all their eggs in one basket, going for the CVF, and risk far bigger strategic issues. They would have been better served IMHO going for dispersed capability using smaller vessels rather than opting for a small fleet of perhaps one big capital ship and a few escorts.


My understanding is that the PoW and QE contracts are so ironclad that it would actually cost more to cancel them, a prudent precaution on the vendor's part given the UK's fickleness in matters of defense spending. As for the previous class of carriers, I don't know if they could even handle the F-35 (Harriers are quite small by comparison).

That said, I think the UK bit off more than it could chew with these supercarriers. It would have been a better idea for them to build 2-3 Cavour-sized ships instead, but times were better when that decision was made.

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2012, 03:41
by spazsinbad
The UK have puzzled over these CVFs now for many years. When the TWO CVFs built for F-35Bs were started, already there had been government intervention causing delay and extra expense. Having sold off the Harriers: what to put on the two small flat decks indicated by 'madrat' - just helos? At least now the plan is back on track as envisaged for most of the time in this prolonged struggle. At the same time the size of these CVFs was thought through to allow maximum use of aircraft on deck for sortie generation. 'Going small' in deck/ship size is a backward step in that regard. Having a large deck allows SRVL (and other innovations to come) in regard to deck ops. At least now the RN/RAF can get on with figuring this out again (after a brief pause in comparison to the otherwise long gestation time for these CVFs).

Unread postPosted: 31 May 2012, 12:43
by stobiewan
madrat wrote:If the UK reversed their decision one more time, this time keeping HMS Illustrious and HMS Ocean both in service and taking money saved from not launching either the PoW or the QE, would they lose all that much capability? This would require them to make the F-35B work on the shorter deck of the HMS Illustrious. Seems like they are sticking all their eggs in one basket, going for the CVF, and risk far bigger strategic issues. They would have been better served IMHO going for dispersed capability using smaller vessels rather than opting for a small fleet of perhaps one big capital ship and a few escorts.


The RN did a series of studies around the matter, and debated going for three 40Kt sized ships vs two larger and they went for the current config after crunching the numbers. Working F35B off the deck of a 22Kt CVS would be a nightmare - I'm not even sure the deck lifts are sized for the B model but even if they were, it'd be very very hard to recover, spot and service the aircraft as they're much larger than Harrier.

You'd need more crew for three carriers anyway and you'd have greater through life costs maintaining three ships.

Having two modern carriers on tap with decent deck space and an automated munitions handling system will be a big step forward for the RN.

Once they're in the water, the twists and turns it took to get here will be irrelevant.

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 02:05
by spazsinbad
Perhaps we will see some SKI JUMPing soon?

Photo Release: 200th flight for the first F-35B Jun 1, 2012

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=5014

"NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. – U.S. Marine Corps test pilot Lt. Col. Fred Schenk flies a mission May 10 in F-35B Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft BF-1. The mission expanded the aircraft’s flight envelope in short takeoff and vertical landing mode, and was the 200th flight for the aircraft. The F-35B is the variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for the U.S. Marine Corps, capable of short take-offs and vertical landings for use on amphibious ships or expeditionary airfields to provide air power to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. The F-35B is undergoing test and evaluation at NAS Patuxent River prior to delivery to the fleet. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)"

BIG PIC: http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/ ... 59_001.jpg

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 04:34
by madrat
My gut instinct says that the F-35B, having much granular controls and support suite, could manage just fine on a deck like the HMS Illustrious if it was modified to use them. Let's forget the CVS, though, and ponder why a pair of 40kT carriers wasn't acceptable. Why supercarriers if they could hardly afford their past fleet of two active CVS ships? Now, instead of two task forces supported by CVS they had to pare down to one which will have to make do without any CVF most of the time. Stupid strategic decisions.

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 05:15
by spazsinbad
Hmmm, still early days however it is likely that the TWO CVFs with F-35B capability will remain in service - rather than one being mothballed. Decision to be made in 2015 I think? As mentioned the gestation period for the 2 CVFs has been over a long period of time; where as 'stobiewan' has mentioned already the 40K ton option was ruled out. The BEEDALL website has an humungous history of the twists and turns of this very muddled but getting clearer perhaps CVF UK project.

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvfmain.htm
&
CVF Deck Layouts http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvf5.htm

"...The following "official" flight deck layout is for the BAE Systems CTOL design, it dates to late 2002 and is probably their final design prior to the down-select...."

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvfimag ... k2-med.jpg

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 05:25
by 1st503rdsgt
madrat wrote:My gut instinct says that the F-35B, having much granular controls and support suite, could manage just fine on a deck like the HMS Illustrious if it was modified to use them. Let's forget the CVS, though, and ponder why a pair of 40kT carriers wasn't acceptable. Why supercarriers if they could hardly afford their past fleet of two active CVS ships? Now, instead of two task forces supported by CVS they had to pare down to one which will have to make do without any CVF most of the time. Stupid strategic decisions.


Like I said earlier, that decision was made in better times, but Spaz is also right; you actually get more TACAIR bang for your buck with the lager ships.

That said, I think the MoD should have been more realistic about what they could actually handle. In that light, choosing the more operationally-efficient supercarriers was probably not the best decision.

There's no reason to worry too much though. Having gone back to the F-35B, the MoD no longer has to worry about having a 60,000 ton white elephant on its hands, and the extra investment in the larger hulls may pay off later in terms of operational safety an tempo. What the RN needs to do now is work out how it's going to integrate these ships into the fleet without having to keep one in mothballs, or God forbid, selling one off.

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 12:17
by stobiewan
1st503rdsgt wrote:
madrat wrote:My gut instinct says that the F-35B, having much granular controls and support suite, could manage just fine on a deck like the HMS Illustrious if it was modified to use them. Let's forget the CVS, though, and ponder why a pair of 40kT carriers wasn't acceptable. Why supercarriers if they could hardly afford their past fleet of two active CVS ships? Now, instead of two task forces supported by CVS they had to pare down to one which will have to make do without any CVF most of the time. Stupid strategic decisions.


Like I said earlier, that decision was made in better times, but Spaz is also right; you actually get more TACAIR bang for your buck with the lager ships.

That said, I think the MoD should have been more realistic about what they could actually handle. In that light, choosing the more operationally-efficient supercarriers was probably not the best decision.

There's no reason to worry too much though. Having gone back to the F-35B, the MoD no longer has to worry about having a 60,000 ton white elephant on its hands, and the extra investment in the larger hulls may pay off later in terms of operational safety an tempo. What the RN needs to do now is work out how it's going to integrate these ships into the fleet without having to keep one in mothballs, or God forbid, selling one off.


Yep - I wanted CATOBAR but switching to STOVL gets us the strong possibility of getting both carriers into operation, not simultaneously but certainly at a combined rate of availability approaching 100%. Assuming we ditch Ocean at some point, that's 200 crew available potentially to add to the pool of crew.

I dunno - I'm bummed about the twists and turns and the extra expense but no matter which way you stack it, going STOVL does get us a large, capable carrier on tap with the ability to easily surge up to 36 aircraft, carqals suddenly become a piece of piss to do compared to persuading the RAF to release pilots for all that scary three wire routine.

It has been an unmitigated feckup from start to present day but hey, that's traditional for a UK carrier program - it's like some sort of national characteristic, like our constantly under performing football team ;)

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 15:18
by bjr1028
madrat wrote:My gut instinct says that the F-35B, having much granular controls and support suite, could manage just fine on a deck like the HMS Illustrious if it was modified to use them. Let's forget the CVS, though, and ponder why a pair of 40kT carriers wasn't acceptable. Why supercarriers if they could hardly afford their past fleet of two active CVS ships? Now, instead of two task forces supported by CVS they had to pare down to one which will have to make do without any CVF most of the time. Stupid strategic decisions.


They went larger because the french were having a sub-optimal deck handling experience with CdeG and they wanted a larger ship. Plus, under Blair you didn't see the near complete dismantling of the British armed forces you have under Brown and Cameron coming.

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 15:24
by spazsinbad
Your just making stuff up.

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 18:50
by stobiewan
spazsinbad wrote:Your just making stuff up.


Well, the comment on deck handling on CdG rings true - it's a cramped deck for aircraft the size they're shoving around. And no, I don't think anyone saw the scale of cuts coming that have bitten hard.

Let's not forget, that whole recession thing caught most folk by surprise.

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 21:41
by spazsinbad
Where is the French plan to build their own CVF?

Unread postPosted: 02 Jun 2012, 21:47
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:Where is the French plan to build their own CVF?


I seem to recall reading that if they do build a new carrier it may be a different design from the UK ships as they may opt to go with a nuke reactor.

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2012, 23:31
by spazsinbad
[UK] Parliamentary Answers – Week Commencing 28th May 2012 Think Defence | June 2, 2012

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2012/06/p ... -may-2012/

Question m Murphy (East Renfrewshire, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the operation of two active carriers is budgeted for in his Department’s post 2015 Equipment and Support budget.

Answer Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

holding answer 22 May 2012

A decision on the status of the second aircraft carrier will be made in the next strategic defence and security review in 2015. An £8 billion headroom has been established in the Equipment and Equipment and Support programme over the next 10 years having balanced the Ministry of Defence budget."
&
Question Kevan Jones (North Durham, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Statement of 10 May 2012, Official Report, column 141, on carrier strike capability,

(1) from which year he proposes that the net additional operating cost averaging about £60 million per year will be incurred; and for how many years;

(2) from which budget he proposes that the net additional operating cost will be met.

Answer Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

As stated by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend Mr Hammond, in his statement of 10 May 2012, Hansard, columns 141-42, on Carriers, the net additional operating costs estimated to be around £60 million relate to the second aircraft carrier. A decision on the use of the second aircraft carrier will be made in the next Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2015."
&
Question Jim Murphy (East Renfrewshire, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many pilots who are trained to operate Harriers will be retrained to fly STOVL.

Answer Peter Luff (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Defence Equipment, Support and Technology), Defence; Mid Worcestershire, Conservative)

Detailed planning for the training of Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Joint Strike Fighter pilots is currently being conducted. It is too soon to determine specifically how many Harrier pilots amongst existing UK trained pilots will be trained to fly the F-35B variant of Joint Strike Fighter. There will be no shortage of STOVL-experienced pilots with such personnel currently flying other aircraft or attached to flying duties in the US."

Unread postPosted: 06 Jun 2012, 01:08
by spazsinbad
'Carrier Waves' Magazine Issue 7, May 2012

F-35B for Queen Elizabeth Class | May 2012

http://www.aircraftcarrieralliance.co.u ... ay-2012-LR? (0.8Mb PDF)

"The Government has announced the selection of the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter as the fast jet that will operate from the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.

The F-35B is a Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) capable aircraft. This means the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers will be built to support them.

Programme Director, Geoff Searle, explained: “The STOVL capabilities of this aircraft call for some specific designs. HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will be built with a ramp at the bow and we’ll be developing the flight deck with visual landing aids designed specifically to help pilots guide the aircraft safely back down.

“We have plans to develop the ships to support this aircraft, and we are now putting them into action. We will now work with the Ministry of Defence to ensure both ships meet their requirements.”

Unread postPosted: 06 Jun 2012, 01:38
by spazsinbad
As a reminder - some factoids about the PaxRiver CVF ski jump:

EAF enables JSF landing anywhere, everywhere Jun 29, 2009

http://www.navair.navy.mil/press_releas ... site_id=15
[NO Longer at this address it would appear?]
Also mentioned on this F-16.net thread:
http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... c&p=191141

“...Although the AM-2 matting is serving its purpose as vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) pads and a 1,900 x 96-foot runway for the EAF/STOVL testing, it also doubles as the run-up for a test “ski-jump” used in conjunction with JSF testing for the British Royal Navy. The AM-2 matting and the 12-degree ski-jump ramp were installed at the centerfield area last month [May 2009]....

...The mock ski-jump is 150-feet long, with a 15-foot high “lip” for aircraft launch. These shore-based ski-jump takeoffs will be conducted at varying airspeeds prior to the first UK ship detachment with the F-35B.

Unread postPosted: 07 Jun 2012, 01:39
by spazsinbad
Programme Director's Blog Apr/May 2012
Geoff Searle is Programme Director of the Queen Elizabeth Class.

http://www.aircraftcarrieralliance.co.u ... -blog.aspx

"...Of course the other big news that won’t have escaped your attention recently is the announcement that the Ministry of Defence is to procure the Lightning F-35B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter. This means the Queen Elizabeth Class will be built to support the Short Take off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) jets, with a ramp at the bow and specially designed flight deck. We have plans for the carriers to be built to this specification and we are now working with the MOD to put them into place.

We will keep you all updated on the work, but importantly this decision doesn’t affect any of the construction that has already been accomplished and is underway on both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales...."

Unread postPosted: 07 Jun 2012, 09:54
by spazsinbad
This item is for 'delvo' from top of previous page on this thread: "Every time I see another "decision reversed" article, I think at first that they've gone back..." :D

Government set for U-turn on aircraft carrier By Michael Powell 6 June 2012

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/local/ ... -1-3919694

"THE government is set to perform another U-turn in the Royal Navy’s £6bn aircraft carrier programme.

The News understands the coalition’s plan to mothball one of the 65,000-tonne warships is to be scrapped.

Instead, both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will enter operational service in Portsmouth later this decade – as was originally planned by the former Labour government.

It follows the coalition’s recent backtracking on the type of fighter jets it will buy for the nation’s flagships.

‘Planning assumptions are that both carriers will now enter service,’ a defence source told The News.

The move, to be confirmed in the next defence review in 2015, is being welcomed by the navy as it will offer the UK a continuous, year-round carrier capability....

...An MoD spokeswoman said: ‘We are planning on having the first of the two carriers brought in on sea trials in 2017. The decision on when the second ship will be brought in will be made during the SDSR in 2015.’..."

Don't bother to JUMP! :roll:

Much ado about paint

Unread postPosted: 11 Jun 2012, 02:41
by weasel1962
Did some calculations on the tabloid article posted by Spaz on pg 37 regarding cost of deck paint.

If they are going to use the Thermion TH604, then it would cost a princely $7XXk for a 16k m2 deck coat according to cost published on their website . Not exactly fantastically expensive when compared to GBP 6 billion ships.

Best part of all, re-coating only needs to be done on specific 625 m2 landing spots (reducing area of maintenance) which will cost ~$10k per spot which even if done everyday would cost ~$3.7m annually. The "if" is a big if as testing seems to confirm longer life span which was demo-ed on the wasp.

RE: Much ado about paint

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 02:54
by spazsinbad
Some more UK 'RUBBERY' Figures for youse... :D

How the Trident replacement and the MoD's £38bn 'black hole' help to subsidise India By William Forbes
PUBLISHED: 23 May 2012 | UPDATED: 14 June 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... l?ITO=1490

"...The number of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters that the MoD planned to buy has been reduced, but the new number has not been published. However, Mr Hammond has spoken of having 12 F-35B STOVL aircraft at sea, and of having a surge ability of 36. That number for each carrier must be supplemented by an attrition reserve, a service reserve (for a rolling maintenance programme), and a training squadron, so we may calculate on around one hundred being bought.

Price? This month the US Air Force contracted to buy twelve of the simpler F-35A variant for a price equivalent to £125 million each. The MoD will pay more than that because it is buying the expensive F-35B STOVL variant, because it is a foreign buyer and will have an overseas marketing contribution added to the basic figure [? QUE?], and because it insists on a British weapons pack and British electronics, all of which will increase the price significantly, certainly by 20 per cent. This produces an estimate of £15 billion, three times the original expectation (which is about par for the MoD's procurement calculations and thus of no surprise)...."

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 04:52
by weasel1962
36*2 CVFs = 72
72/80% serviceability =90.
Training/OCU sqn = 12? Could be 100+.

100*GBP 150 m each = GBP15 billion. Sounds right considering Japan's F-35A price (US$10b for 42).

Not surprised if MoD decides to get 50 since isn't the intention to keep just 1 CVF at sea at anytime?

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 05:16
by spazsinbad
'weasel1962' asked: "...isn't the intention to keep just 1 CVF at sea at anytime?" Now that the CVFs are STOVL it is thought it will be possible (with a decision in 2015 SDSR) to operate the two CVFs in some fashion.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 07:00
by weasel1962
Each CVF is supposed to have an availability of ~300 days (probably max, and this is a figure reported in parliament as well). That means that 4+ months a year = 1 CVF available. The reality is that 300 days could be optimistic.

http://frn.beedall.com/cvf1-04.htm

Would it make sense to have 2 full complements of aircraft that can be used 2/3 of the time or just 1 complement? Normally, imho, most will get 2 sets just in case but with budget constraints, £7.5billion savings from cutting 50xF-35Bs might just be a bit too tempting for the bean counters. Having said that, the original number to be acquired was 138.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 07:07
by stobiewan
Guys, it's the Daily Fail. Nuff said...

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 07:24
by spazsinbad
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).

Re:

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 08:40
by weasel1962
Not the first to ask. The history and current status can be found in the link below.

http://frn.beedall.com/jca1-1.htm

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 09:15
by stobiewan
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.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 09:47
by spazsinbad
'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.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 10:15
by stobiewan
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.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 10:26
by spazsinbad
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.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jun 2012, 11:08
by stobiewan
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

Unread postPosted: 02 Jul 2012, 23:43
by spazsinbad

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 03 Jul 2012, 04:13
by neptune
UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C, yes still muddling but not about the "Sea"; :lol: :cheers:

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE over F-35C

Unread postPosted: 03 Jul 2012, 05:57
by spazsinbad
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...."

BEST To Read the WHOLE FING at the JUMP melads. :D

Unread postPosted: 03 Jul 2012, 11:53
by stobiewan
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 ?

Unread postPosted: 03 Jul 2012, 13:46
by spazsinbad
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

Unread postPosted: 05 Jul 2012, 05:53
by spazsinbad
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

Re:

Unread postPosted: 05 Jul 2012, 11:52
by weasel1962
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.

RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 05 Jul 2012, 12:37
by spazsinbad
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?

Re: RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2012, 02:18
by weasel1962
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.

RE: Re: RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2012, 02:54
by spazsinbad
'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).

RE: Re: RE: Re:

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2012, 12:56
by spazsinbad
British to accept first F-35B on July 19 By Dave Majumdar on July 5, 2012

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d ... f-35b.html

"The British will be accepting their first Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, aka the Joint Strike Fighter, at the company's Fort Worth plant on July 19. That will mark the first international delivery of an F-35, Lockheed says...."

That's all.

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2012, 14:00
by stobiewan
Hoora! Shiny....!



Smells of new jet! The most expensive perfume in the world ;)

Unread postPosted: 06 Jul 2012, 14:08
by spazsinbad
Benny and the Jets:
"Say, Candy and Ronnie, have you seen them yet
But they're so spaced out, B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets
Oh but they're weird and they're wonderful
Oh Bennie she's really keen
She's got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
B-B-B-Bennie and the Jets" :shock:

Unread postPosted: 09 Jul 2012, 00:50
by spazsinbad
FARNBOROUGH: Lockheed ready to deliver UK's first F-35 By: Craig Hoyle Farnborough 08 July 2012

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... 35-373942/

"Lockheed Martin will deliver its first F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to an international customer on 19 July, with the UK to formally accept short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) test aircraft BK-1.

The milestone will take place at Lockheed's Fort Worth site in Texas, where F-35B BK-1 flew for the first time on 13 April. Following its acceptance, the aircraft will be flown to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where it will join a US-led initial operational test and evaluation programme for the F-35.

A second UK aircraft has recently undergone preparations to conduct engine runs at Fort Worth, and will be flown soon. Its delivery is scheduled for two or three months after BK-1, according to Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed's vice-president F-35 programme integration and business development. A third STOVL jet will be produced for the UK during the programme's fourth lot of low-rate initial production (LRIP-4)...."

Unread postPosted: 09 Jul 2012, 21:30
by spazsinbad
UK Aircraft Carrier Budget Shortfall Likely Farnborough Air Show » July 09, 2012 by Chris Pocock

http://ainonline.com/aviation-news/2012 ... all-likely

"...The second vessel is now being built but, on current budget projections, the country cannot afford to operate both. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has twice changed its mind on the type of F-35 stealth fighter to be operated from them.

At 65,000 metric tons displacement, the QEII and the Prince of Wales are the largest ships ever built in the UK, and are designed to support a variety of missions, such as amphibious or humanitarian operations, as well as air strikes. Described as eight acres of floating sovereign territory...

...Significantly, the all-steel construction would meet commercial standards, and the MoD has admitted to “a certain degree of risk with regard to shock and survivability.”...

...Recently, the MoD reverted to the F-35B after it discovered–thanks to a £40 million study–that the cost of conversion to “cats and traps” could be a whopping £2 billion. The MoD also said that the next defense review in 2015 might provide enough funds to bring the second carrier into service....

...Two software integration facilities are up and running. Thales is leading on aviation equipment, integration of the F-35 and on power and propulsion. BAE Systems is responsible for the mission systems. The QEII is scheduled to be fully assembled in 2014 and delivered in June 2016, with the Prince of Wales following in September 2018. Sea trials should begin four months after these dates....

...But while estimates of the F-35’s production cost have steadily increased, the UK’s defense budget has steadily decreased in real terms. The MoD sticks doggedly to the mantra that it doesn’t need to decide how many F-35s it will buy before 2015. But the SDSR reduced the number of F-35s to be routinely deployed onboard the new carrier from 36 to 12. The UK total may not be much more than half the originally-planned 138.

When the MoD switched to the F-35C version in 2010, it was good news for the Royal Air Force (RAF). The F-35 is also supposed to replace the RAF fleet of Tornado land-based strike aircraft. Its greater payload, range and internal weapons capacity made the F-35C a closer match to the ageing but still-very-capable “Tonka.” Moreover, the F-35C would have cost 10 to 20 percent less than the F-35B to acquire, depending on how the sums are done.

Now that the MoD has reverted to the F-35B, officials are making the best of it. The UK doesn’t have a 2,000-pound bomb, so it doesn’t matter that the F-35B weapons bay can take only 1,000-pound-class weapons. The STOVL version can be topped up by aerial refueling after takeoff, thus mitigating the range penalty. The additional cost of operating a cat-and-trap carrier, including the extra pilot training that is required, was over half that of the additional acquisition and support costs of the F-35B versus the F-35C, an senior MoD official said....

...Having recognized a few years ago that the F-35B still had a weight problem, despite the 2004 redesign, the MoD was contemplating a shipboard rolling vertical landing (SRVL) technique to solve the “bring-back” problem. In a recent briefing to explain the decision to revert to the F-35B, the senior British officer confirmed to AIN that SRVL would now be further explored.

The F-35B is scheduled to make its first landing on the QE II sometime in 2018. If the switch to the F-35C had been sustained, there would have been a two-year delay. Meanwhile, the RAF’s prospective land-based operations of the F-35 have been largely overlooked in all the debate over the carriers. An RAF spokesman told AIN that the service was hoping to declare initial operating capability in 2018."

A LONG article - best read at source. TAH.

Unread postPosted: 10 Jul 2012, 00:16
by count_to_10
Is there a particular reason they decided to go with just two super-carriers instead a handful of smaller carriers?

Unread postPosted: 10 Jul 2012, 00:57
by spazsinbad
Smaller carriers were not judged efficient for combined F-35B and helo ops. Going back to F-35B enables this effort. Another consideration was the possible future (although not present) conversion of the straight deck to angle deck later for cat/trap. Recently looked at but binned for back to the future STOVL ops. TOO small carriers are always crap carriers. The old through deck cruisers were made for ASW helo ops in the North Atlantic. Then they were modified for STOVL ops. They were never designed for that purpose from the beginning. RN creativity made them work with the Harrier.

Unread postPosted: 15 Jul 2012, 22:46
by spazsinbad
There are a lot of words at this URL. Just jump to the Question excerpt below and read forward & onward as required...

UNCORRECTED TRANSCRIPT OF ORAL EVIDENCE To be published as HC9-ii
HOUSE OF COMMONS ORAL EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE DEFENCE COMMITTEE DEFENCE ACQUISITION | TUESDAY 15 MAY 2012

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... /uc901.htm

...Q146 Thomas Docherty: That is helpful.

The Secretary of State told the House that the cost of cats and traps had risen from, I think, £900 million-that was the figure bandied about-to over £2 billion for one carrier, and the suggestion was that it would be a greater sum again for retrofitting. How did the Ministry of Defence get its estimates so spectacularly wrong?

Peter Luff: That is a very good question-one that I would like to know the answer to myself, in some respects. We did underestimate, it is true, the complexity of the conversion process. I want to make it quite clear that it is not an increase: there was some increase in the cost of the equipment, but that is not actually the total picture of the cost. The cost is also a reflection of various other issues, such as the FMS route for the equipment itself, but the cost of the conversion itself was the real issue.

Bernard has been following this very closely for a rather long time, and I think it is best to give him a detailed opportunity to explain the situation.

Bernard Gray: Let us leave aside the start and end point. On the component parts that build up the change, the cost-in particular of the catapult system-proved, on further dialogue with the US, to be significantly higher. I cannot remember the exact figure for that component, but it was of the order of 50% higher than the original estimate for that piece of equipment, largely because of the assumptions, made broadly at the time of the defence review, that we would be procuring half of a US system. The US system has four catapults on a Ford-class aircraft carrier; we would have two. Broadly speaking, therefore, the assumption was that the cost of the equipment would be about half.

In practice, there is a lot more common equipment that is required to drive the system overall, regardless-up to a point-of the number of catapults that went into that. There was also a significant component of additional technical advice, which the contractors in the US were recommending was required. That was of the order of over £150 million. Additional aircraft launch and recovery equipment was required, on top of the cats and traps, which had not been included in the original estimate. The cost of going through the FMS purchasing route and some inflation adjustments were further components. The final component was the degree of invasiveness into the ship that was required to install the cats and traps. I think that we gave the numbers last week: it went from 80 to 280 major compartment changes, as we got into the detailed design. Those are the component parts of how you get from A to B.

To take on your second point about the conversion of the second carrier being even more expensive, that arises out of the fact that having built the Queen Elizabeth, you then have to take her back in, refit her, and take her apart again in order to put that in. Our estimate, which was very preliminary, suggested that it was between £2.5 billion and £3 billion to retrofit it to a fully built carrier, as opposed to just shy of £2 billion to insert it into the Prince of Wales in build. So that is the delta, if you like-the difference between the two.

As for why you get from one to the other, the team worked with and got initial estimates from the United States around EMALS, and had dialogue with people in the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, during the defence review, to come up with a feel for what that cost was. There had always been envisaged a development process that went on over two years, in order to determine exactly what those costs were going to be. Immediately after the defence review concluded, the people working in the Ships Operating Centre in Defence Equipment and Support started that work, and there was a set of approval processes to go through. It has become clear, over the course of that period, that some of the initial assumptions being made were too aggressive, which has led to some of these changes.

One of the reasons why we have effectively cut that two-year process short at 18 months is that we would have been required to commit ourselves to long-lead items for the catapult system, and indeed to commit ourselves to the course of action on the aircraft over the next two or three months. We were looking at a situation where, had we decided to proceed, we would have bought over £100 million-worth of long-lead items for the catapults, for example. That forced us into a situation of evaluating all those data prior to making that choice, because clearly, we would not want to waste any more money.

From that perspective, the decision that was made at the time worked on the best data at the time, which had been discussed with industry. However, when you do all the additional work, it turns out that this job was substantially more difficult than was originally thought, and therefore, changing that decision seems to me to be entirely the appropriate thing to do...."
___________________________________

THE SESSION ENDS at Q157 on this note:

"...As we made this decision in time, our three test and evaluation aircraft will be STOVL aircraft. We did not change any of them, and our ability to fit UK requirements into the block 5 upgrades has been maintained, so our position in the programme is unaffected by this...."
___________________________________

EARLIER starting from Q143 might be relevant but in any case this is a marvellous 'British' Call & Response. :lol:

"Q144 Thomas Docherty: Okay, that is helpful. That was easy, wasn’t it?
Bernard Gray: To have a stab at your personnel number-I am drawing from the depths of the goo at the back of my mind about 100 people in my organisation have been working on it. There will have been other people involved."

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2012, 03:41
by popcorn
It's interesting to note that the UK carriers are built to commercial and not military structural standards. Penny-wise, pond-foolish?

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2012, 03:54
by bigjku
popcorn wrote:It's interesting to note that the UK carriers are built to commercial and not military structural standards. Penny-wise, pond-foolish?


I would tend to agree if this is really true. First I had heard of that though. It would not stun me. I would describe a lot of UK military decisions as penny-wise pound-foolish.

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2012, 04:12
by spazsinbad
Esoteric stuff for an aviation forum but it is NavAv after all... FLY NAVY!

The info in this 1.1 Mb PDF (page 4 & 5 amongst others) may be useful:

"The [CVF] vessels will be designed, constructed and classed at a number of UK shipyards in accordance with Lloyd’s Register’s Rules and Regulations for the Classification of Naval Ships (Naval Ship Rules) to the following notations:

@100A1, NS1, AIRCRAFT CARRIER
SA1, AIR, RSA2 ESA2, SDA, FDA, CM, ES, LA(NS), TA(NS) @LMC(NS), CCS, PSMR*, RCM, RAS, LMA, NAV, IBS, CEPAC, EP, POL, FIRE.

‘NS’ indicates that the notation is tailored to naval requirements."

Unread postPosted: 16 Jul 2012, 23:22
by spazsinbad
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water (cue the 'JAWS' music with a bit of 'PSYCHO' beep, beep thrown in)...

Ministers 'confident' over aircraft carrier fighter planes 16 July 2012

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-18861904

"The government has said it is confident there will not be a second U-turn on the type of fighter planes to be used on the navy's new aircraft carrier....

...newspaper reports say problems with the US-led Joint Strike Fighter project could force another change on the UK.

However, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he had had reassurances at the "highest level" in Washington....

...Now the Sun newspaper reports that another alteration is likely. It says the US - which is leading the F35-B project - is likely to cancel its orders, as Washington struggles with a government debt crisis.

The newspaper adds that this could force another change on the UK government.

But Mr Hammond told MPs: "We've made a decision to revert to the Stovl [short take-off and vertical landing] system. We are quite confident of the delivery."

He added: "We've had the highest-level discussions with US officials who support the programme."

Fellow defence minister Nick Harvey said people "shouldn't believe everything" they read in the press, adding: "We have every confidence that it will come into service as planned."..."

The SUN newspaper 'report' is here but unsourced: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... signs.html

I guess this kind of UK press speculation will continue until the US CONGRESS fixes their budget woes and whatever else needs afixin'. That seems unlikely due their total inability to compromise on anything over the past several years it would seem. 'Bunch o'Bastards' for sure. :shock: :D :wtf:

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2012, 02:01
by maus92
Totally unsourced speculation on the part of the Sun.

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2012, 06:24
by stereospace
spazsinbad wrote:US CONGRESS --- 'Bunch o'Bastards' for sure. :shock: :D :wtf:


Just think of them as an organized crime syndicate whose goal is to destroy the USA while making off with as much loot for themselves as possible...then the things they do will make more sense. :D

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2012, 11:05
by spazsinbad
SOMEBODY STOP ME!.... (THE MASK with Jim Carrey) :devil:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oiMPKvxQzs

Britain Demonstrates the Flexibility Inherent in the F-35 Program 2012-07-16 by Robbin Laird

http://www.sldinfo.com/britain-demonstr ... 5-program/

"This week the UK government will officially accept its first F-35B. There are a total of 4 under contract, which includes the first operational aircraft to be received in LRIP 7.

This is a re-affirmation of the importance of the F-35 and the B version for the future of UK military operations. After a period of uncertainty over whether the British carrier would be re-designed to carry a tailhook version, the British determined the cost not worth the effort, and remained with the B.

Lost in the public coverage of this debate was a fundamental element of the F-35 program – once you are in the program, you have the opportunity to switch variants or mix and match planes.

It could well turn out over the life of the F-35 program that the UK ends up with a mix of F-35Bs and F-35As. Or Australia, which is now focused on the F-35As, may decide that Bs would be a nice addition, both for the new projection ship and for the flexibility of basing which the B provides...."

More at de JUMP!

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2012, 14:04
by delvo
Now they're saying the Brits "may" get a mix including F-35A? I thought it was the obvious choice to make all along. Why would their Air Force ever have even momentarily considered anything else?

If getting some CTOL models for their on-land operations is a new change they're just now considering for the future, maybe the price difference will save them the money they need to get that carrier ready for F-35C (and other catapultable planes)... :whistle: :lmao:

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2012, 14:06
by spazsinbad
Who are 'they' though. The Brits have not been saying this yet. Only youse SLDyanks have been saying it as a possibility. It is important who 'they' are.

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2012, 01:49
by boff180
The latest news is on basing.

In their strongest hint yet, the Government has pointed towards RAF Marham as being the main operating base for the F35 in uk service. Originally this was going to be Lossiemouth in Scotland however, with the announced of the closure of Leuchars, half the Typhoon fleet will move to Lossiemouth. The gov have stated it is impractical to collocate the two types on one base.

Interestingly one of the reasons cited for using Marham is its close proximity to Lakenheath and the 48th FW for shared maintenance. Is this also the clearest indication yet that the USAF intend to re-equip the 48th? It would Make sense that the DoD have kept the UK appraised of future plans for it and the 'Hall next door. Perhaps replacing the Grim Reapers C Eagles? Or Spangdalem being closed following the disbandment of the A10s with the remaining Viper unit moving to LN and re-equipping?

Andy

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2012, 00:35
by spazsinbad
Further to 'popcorn' 'on previous page statement / question' on building 'CVF to commercial standards'. Here is more information about that (already posted some earlier info on this).

The Future Aircraft Carrier 20 March 2007
- the engineering and technical challenges of designing and building the largest ever warships for the Royal Navy

Speaker: John D Coles, CB FREng, Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF)
Integrated Project Team Leader, Ministry of Defence

http://www.raeng.org.uk/events/pdf/Tran ... _Coles.pdf (155Kb)

"...CVF design standards and key technical issues
Let me say something about a few of the standards and general principles before talking about the ships themselves.

General design standards and policies
We have used, as much as we can, Lloyds’ rules for structures and systems, and also for commercial equipment – very much like the cruise liner industry – and, where we need to, defence standards for military features. The transversals, across the ship, noise, environmental – these, again, are based upon commercial standards. We have tried to put a lot of the work from the cruise liner industry into these ships as well, where we have specific standards, for magazines, ability to withstand shock and noise signatures. Although it sounds like a commercial ship, it is still a warship, because it has all these features in it and, where we need military features, it has those too. In any case, it is also painted grey!..."

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2012, 01:38
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:Further to 'popcorn' 'on previous page statement / question' on building 'CVF to commercial standards'. Here is more information about that (already posted some earlier info on this).

The Future Aircraft Carrier 20 March 2007
- the engineering and technical challenges of designing and building the largest ever warships for the Royal Navy

Speaker: John D Coles, CB FREng, Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF)
Integrated Project Team Leader, Ministry of Defence

http://www.raeng.org.uk/events/pdf/Tran ... _Coles.pdf (155Kb)

"...CVF design standards and key technical issues
Let me say something about a few of the standards and general principles before talking about the ships themselves.

General design standards and policies
We have used, as much as we can, Lloyds’ rules for structures and systems, and also for commercial equipment – very much like the cruise liner industry – and, where we need to, defence standards for military features. The transversals, across the ship, noise, environmental – these, again, are based upon commercial standards. We have tried to put a lot of the work from the cruise liner industry into these ships as well, where we have specific standards, for magazines, ability to withstand shock and noise signatures. Although it sounds like a commercial ship, it is still a warship, because it has all these features in it and, where we need military features, it has those too. In any case, it is also painted grey!..."

Thanks, reassuring to know..

Unread postPosted: 21 Jul 2012, 01:39
by popcorn
spazsinbad wrote:Further to 'popcorn' 'on previous page statement / question' on building 'CVF to commercial standards'. Here is more information about that (already posted some earlier info on this).

The Future Aircraft Carrier 20 March 2007
- the engineering and technical challenges of designing and building the largest ever warships for the Royal Navy

Speaker: John D Coles, CB FREng, Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF)
Integrated Project Team Leader, Ministry of Defence

http://www.raeng.org.uk/events/pdf/Tran ... _Coles.pdf (155Kb)

"...CVF design standards and key technical issues
Let me say something about a few of the standards and general principles before talking about the ships themselves.

General design standards and policies
We have used, as much as we can, Lloyds’ rules for structures and systems, and also for commercial equipment – very much like the cruise liner industry – and, where we need to, defence standards for military features. The transversals, across the ship, noise, environmental – these, again, are based upon commercial standards. We have tried to put a lot of the work from the cruise liner industry into these ships as well, where we have specific standards, for magazines, ability to withstand shock and noise signatures. Although it sounds like a commercial ship, it is still a warship, because it has all these features in it and, where we need military features, it has those too. In any case, it is also painted grey!..."

Thanks, reassuring to know..

Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2012, 18:36
by spazsinbad
Animation video of how CVF is slapped together - sort of. (see NOTE)

The blocks that make up the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUxyl4R1KRo

"Published on Oct 18, 2012 by QEClassCarriers
See the process the Aircraft Carrier Alliance is using to assembly the largest and most powerfuil warships ever constructed for the Royal Navy.

Note; This is designed to outline the modular build approach. It is not an engineering animation, so may not match the final process or design in every detail."

Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2012, 00:21
by count_to_10
What's with the weird distortions in the video?

Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2012, 00:27
by spazsinbad
It is not reality.

Unread postPosted: 19 Oct 2012, 00:45
by count_to_10
spazsinbad wrote:It is not reality.
:|

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2012, 09:56
by spazsinbad
Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Agreed Approach to Carrier Jets October 23, 2012

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/4060 ... c539ee48c5

"An article in the latest Sunday Times entitled 'Naval carriers face being without jets for most of year' claims that the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers may regularly be without aircraft because of a 'row' between the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force over how to operate the jets.

This article misrepresents the reality. Both Services have a long-agreed approach to the joint operation of this highly capable, fifth-generation stealth aircraft. Lightning II will be operated by both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force as part of the UK's carrier strike capability and as a replacement for the GR4 Tornado. The first UK test aircraft have been delivered and are undergoing flight trials in the US.

The aircraft will conduct initial flights off HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018, which will routinely deploy with Lightning II jets embarked with pilots from both Services, providing a step-change in capability compared to the Harrier fleet.
----
Official Blog of the UK MOD"

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2012, 13:48
by bigjku
spazsinbad wrote:Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Agreed Approach to Carrier Jets October 23, 2012

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/4060 ... c539ee48c5

"An article in the latest Sunday Times entitled 'Naval carriers face being without jets for most of year' claims that the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers may regularly be without aircraft because of a 'row' between the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force over how to operate the jets.

This article misrepresents the reality. Both Services have a long-agreed approach to the joint operation of this highly capable, fifth-generation stealth aircraft. Lightning II will be operated by both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force as part of the UK's carrier strike capability and as a replacement for the GR4 Tornado. The first UK test aircraft have been delivered and are undergoing flight trials in the US.

The aircraft will conduct initial flights off HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2018, which will routinely deploy with Lightning II jets embarked with pilots from both Services, providing a step-change in capability compared to the Harrier fleet.
----
Official Blog of the UK MOD"


This still makes no sense to me at all.

Buy the RN the number of F-35B's they need for their role.

Buy F-35A's for the RAF or just let them keep running out Typhoon if that is what you want to do.

I see no reason in the present defense environment for the RAF to operate VTOL aircraft at all.

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2012, 17:55
by spazsinbad
The F-35B aircraft are STOVL - Short Take Off Vertical Landing - not VTOL Vertical Take Off Landing. The last UK Harrier force was combined RN/RAF nominally - Joint Force Harrier was one name with the RAF at the top. So really the RAF will not be operating VTOL aircraft nor will the RN.

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2012, 18:05
by neptune
[quote="bigjku...I see no reason in the present defense environment for the RAF to operate VTOL aircraft at all.[/quote]

Unlike the Harrier,

The "Bee" has full CTOL capability with only a "slight?" range, performance, weapons bay penalty from the lift fan.

Otherwise it flies the same as the "A" and would be a suitable a/c for runway operations. Todate, no vertical landings have been performed from the 13 "Bees" at Eglin.

The 33rd FW has flown more than 100 JSF sorties; 12Jul2012
The 33rd FW has flown more than 200 JSF sorties; 7Oct2012
:)

Unread postPosted: 25 Oct 2012, 18:59
by spazsinbad
'neptune' good point about conventional landing capability of the F-35B, which as mentioned on another thread specifically about this issue, will likely be the majority of F-35B runway landings. Why? Because the F-35B is so easy to land vertically (and we hope SRVLerly) that to reduce wear and tear on aircraft most landings will be runny ones. There is much less requirement to practice vertical landings compared to the Harrier as mentioned recently several times by various pilots including Col. Tomassetti.

Lockheed: Many F-35B landings won’t be vertical

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... tches.html

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2012, 00:51
by delvo
neptune wrote:The "Bee" has full CTOL capability with only a "slight?" range, performance, weapons bay penalty from the lift fan.

Otherwise it flies the same as the "A" and would be a suitable a/c for runway operations.
The shorter bay means some weapons that are under the weight limit don't fit anyway. (Only three SDB1 instead of four, but, since SDB2 gets all four in there, I think we can presume the British "Spear" will too. Definitely no JSOW, though, and no word yet on the Strike Missile or a pair of air-to-air missiles.)

To make it lighter, they made some of its structural parts a bit thinner, which reduced the weight limits for not only the internal bays but also two of the external hardpoints from 2500 in A or C to 1500 in B. The same weight changes also resulted in a reduced g-limit.

The range is about 75%-80% as long, which means the area it can cover is about 56%-64% as large. And part of how they kept the range sacrifice even that mild was by putting fuel where the gun would be, so there's no gun.

And it's a lot more expensive.

Unread postPosted: 26 Oct 2012, 08:05
by spazsinbad
Lightning II: A flier’s dream DESIDER Oct 2012

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/86DA7E86 ... _2012U.pdf (4.4Gb)

"Picture Caption:
Sqn Ldr Jim Schofield, below, has flown 45 hours on the STOVL (short take off and vertical landing) type and has been selected as one of the test pilots who will embark in USS Wasp with two STOVL F-35s for the second LHD trial next summer [mid 2013]....

...So what’s it like to fly?
From a pilot’s perspective the ‘fifth generation’ slogan is more than just marketing – it also applies to the cockpit and the way the aircraft flies.

The cockpit couldn’t be any simpler, a single sheet of glass that would be familiar to any iPad user replaces the traditional instruments and screens and there isn’t even a head-up display to clutter the view. This information and much more besides is projected directly into the pilot’s visor no matter where he’s looking.

Flying the jet has also been made as simple as possible. There are very few checks to carry out and the aircraft’s handling is impeccable. Nowhere is this more applicable than in the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) regime which typically requires in aircraft such as Harrier complicated controls and continual training to avoid mishaps.

With F-35 the designers revolutionised the STOVL experience; the controls have been simplified and the experience now requires much less training and is a wholly stress-free affair. F-35 is the easiest aircraft to fly of the 80 or so I’ve flown by a large margin, allowing the pilot to focus his mental capacity on warfighting rather than ‘just’ flying.

Sensors
The heart of the aircraft is its sensors and the way the information they collect is presented to the pilot. The amount of data that can be gathered has increased to the point where the pilot would be swamped many times over – it is therefore vital that the data is processed to the point where it can be presented in a coherent and meaningful manner.

Sensors include APG-81, the most advanced radar fitted to a fighter, the Distributed Aperture System which gives 360 degree infra-red coverage, a comprehensive electronic warfare system and an electro-optical targeting system.

Information from all of these sensors is combined to provide a seamless multi-spectral picture of the battlespace. From a pilot’s view the situational awareness provided is breathtaking, even more so when datalinks are used to share information with off-board assets. These sensors aren’t merely applicable to high-end warfighting but also the more traditional roles such as close air support where tasking can be sent digitally from forward air controllers, targets digitally shared among wingmen and weapons can quickly be brought to bear with great accuracy....

...Survivability and availability
F-35 was designed with survivability in mind. It features, for example, defensive systems and flying controls that automatically reconfigure so that the aircraft remains flyable even with battle-damaged control surfaces. If subsystems fail during flight then the aircraft will let the maintenance team know even before it has landed so that they can be ready for troubleshooting or order replacement parts.

A computer system, ALIS, hosts all the support functions from flight planning through to documentation and maintenance tasks. There are very high expectations for how available the aircraft will be in front line service and ALIS will be key to this becoming a reality...."

I'd post the entire article but this is most of the 'pilot' bits.

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2012, 20:20
by 1st503rdsgt
http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... |FRONTPAGE

The RAF has been arguing for a small number of aircraft to be routinely deployed on the carrier in the early years as the overall fleet of aircraft is built up. The number is unknown, but one RN source said it was in single figures.

Why is the RAF being so demanding here? The F-35B is way more useful on a ship, and they already have the Typhoon (which I thought the Europeans liked better anyways).

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2012, 20:30
by madrat
Unfortunately the F-35B is going to be rather futile along the equator.

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2012, 20:36
by spazsinbad
For the record on this forum (news reports come and go online) here is the news from the URL immediately above....

Hammond: Keep Both Carriers in Royal Navy Service Nov. 1, 2012 By ANDREW CHUTER

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... |FRONTPAGE

"LONDON — British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has thrown his weight behind the Royal Navy operating both of the new aircraft carriers once the new Queen Elizabeth class warships enter service starting late this decade.

Hammond said no decision would be taken before the 2015 strategic defense review on whether the second carrier would be retained for use by the Royal Navy, but the “relatively modest” additional £70 million pounds ($112.7 million) annual cost of having the two warships available is an “extremely good investment,” he told the Royal United Services Institute annual air power conference in London Nov 1.

The British government’s decision earlier this year to switch back to purchasing the short take-off, vertical-landing variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter meant there was now “a realistic possibility of both carriers coming into service,” said Hammond.

A second carrier would allow the Royal Navy to have one of its two 65,000-ton warships continuously available for deployment throughout their lifetime, of the assets he told the audience of senior military officers and industry executives. In extreme circumstances, and given a little notice, it would be possible to have both carriers available at once, he said.

Hammond also used his speech to settle a row between the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy over exactly how many jets should be routinely deployed on board the aircraft carrier once it enters service.

The British F-35 fleet will be operated by a joint RAF/RN force. The exact number of aircraft to be purchased initially remains unclear, but media reports have put the figure at between 40 and 48.

The RAF has been arguing for a small number of aircraft to be routinely deployed on the carrier in the early years as the overall fleet of aircraft is built up. The number is unknown, but one RN source said it was in single figures.

Hammond appeared to end the debate, saying the RN would “routinely embark 12 jets when deployed outside home waters with an ability to surge that number higher in periods of tension.”

Land-based initial operating capability for the F-35 is scheduled for 2018, with initial flights off HMS Queen Elizabeth set for 2018, said Hammond...."

That is it.
___________

With 'madrat' comment: "Unfortunately the F-35B is going to be rather futile along the equator.." I thought the problem was being 'east of sewers'? But now I understand it is also a problem west of sewers. <sigh>

Unread postPosted: 01 Nov 2012, 20:42
by 1st503rdsgt
madrat wrote:Unfortunately the F-35B is going to be rather futile along the equator.

Christ... :roll:

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 00:43
by madrat
Short roll landings have not solved the thin air at the equator problem.

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 00:46
by spazsinbad
Go home madrat or provide some evidence instead of your one line bollocks. Thanks.

Hammond underscores joint force model for UK F-35s by Craig Hoyle 02 Nov 2012

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... 5s-378452/

"..."The RAF and the Royal Navy are working together to deliver a joint force that can operate from land bases in the UK, from the carriers when they are at sea, and from forward operating bases when deployed abroad," Hammond told RUSI's Air Power conference in London on 1 November. Use of the type will commence in 2018, and concepts of operation are now being drawn up covering the use of the combination in the carrier strike and littoral manoeuvre roles, he added....

...Hammond was responding to recent suggestions that the RAF instead favours the acquisition of the longer-range, conventional take-off and landing F-35A. The Ministry of Defence will also decide on the size of its production order for the Joint Strike Fighter as part of its next SDSR [2015]...."

The Royal Navy is the Senior Service so it should always be the first in any joint reference to RN/RAF 'notwurkintogether'. :D

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 03:01
by 1st503rdsgt
spazsinbad wrote:...Hammond was responding to recent suggestions that the RAF instead favours the acquisition of the longer-range, conventional take-off and landing F-35A.

They may as well suck it up and accept that two carrier's worth of F-35Bs are the priority; but if the UK ends up buying the F-35A as well for the RAF, where will that leave the Eurofighter? HOLY HELL, SWEETMAN IS GONNA $HIT__A__BRICK!!

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 13:39
by stobiewan
madrat wrote:Short roll landings have not solved the thin air at the equator problem.


Can't solve a problem that doesn't exist - air density across the planet is relatively uniform :)

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 15:11
by madrat
Maybe I should use a /tongueincheek hash next time. Sheesh, what happened to the levity around here?

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 17:36
by bigjku
1st503rdsgt wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:...Hammond was responding to recent suggestions that the RAF instead favours the acquisition of the longer-range, conventional take-off and landing F-35A.

They may as well suck it up and accept that two carrier's worth of F-35Bs are the priority; but if the UK ends up buying the F-35A as well for the RAF, where will that leave the Eurofighter? HOLY HELL, SWEETMAN IS GONNA $HIT__A__BRICK!!


It would leave the Eurofighter where it should be, an expensive dead end of development.

What makes sense if you are the UK? Spending money trying to develop weapons and upgrades for something with a user base of a couple hundred planes and a major partner in Germany that seems to only be taking the planes because they could not find a way out of the deal. Or does it make more sense to stop pissing money down the EF hole, buy F-35B now and when Eurofighter is no longer cutting it buy F-35A's towards the end of the production line that will have lots of life and support left in them.

I know which one makes the most sense to me.

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 17:51
by spazsinbad
'madrat' fair enough. A smilie face will indicate you make a joke. How about that? I took the joke for your first one liner (without smilie) but then when you came back with another one liner - whatever - without a smilie I did not see the joke. BooHOOme. geddit?

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 18:05
by 1st503rdsgt
I think the UK will still end up sticking with Eurofighter; its fanbase is too vocal to do otherwise. It just strikes me as odd that the RAF is now trying to horn-in on what I would consider a Royal Navy-oriented program.

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 18:28
by spazsinbad
'1st503rdsgt ' said: "...It just strikes me as odd that the RAF is now trying to horn-in on what I would consider a Royal Navy-oriented program." I don't believe you know the history of the F-35B for UK. It has always been a joint aircraft. Yes there has been press speculation about many variations (but before and after the recent change to F-35C and back again) officially it has always been an RN/RAF aircraft to be operated from CVFs. Only recently has the idea of having F-35As for the RAF (and using them also as training aircraft for both RN and RAF) been FLOATED by the press - who else - it sells newspapers. I rest me case m'lud.

Look again at this article on previous page of this thread for example:

Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Agreed Approach to Carrier Jets October 23, 2012

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 19:14
by 1st503rdsgt
spazsinbad wrote:'1st503rdsgt ' said: "...It just strikes me as odd that the RAF is now trying to horn-in on what I would consider a Royal Navy-oriented program." I don't believe you know the history of the F-35B for UK. It has always been a joint aircraft. Yes there has been press speculation about many variations (but before and after the recent change to F-35C and back again) officially it has always been an RN/RAF aircraft to be operated from CVFs. Only recently has the idea of having F-35As for the RAF (and using them also as training aircraft for both RN and RAF) been FLOATED by the press - who else - it sells newspapers.

I understand what you're saying, and it would have made more sense back when the plan was to buy 138; but now that the number has been reduced to just 48, I have trouble seeing the RAF's logic. One might think it more practical to dedicate the things to naval use, even if the RAF does gets to fly some of them.

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 19:37
by spazsinbad
Sorry, I have read your last para above and don't get the point. Are you saying that ONLY the RN should operate the 'initial 48 F-35Bs'? For a start the total number of aircraft to be bought by RN/RAF will not be determined until SDR 2015. Probably something might change between now and then - do you know?

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 20:06
by 1st503rdsgt
spazsinbad wrote:Sorry, I have read your last para above and don't get the point. Are you saying that ONLY the RN should operate the 'initial 48 F-35Bs'? For a start the total number of aircraft to be bought by RN/RAF will not be determined until SDR 2015. Probably something might change between now and then - do you know?

My understanding is that the RN and RAF share the load in carrier aviation (admittedly, my understanding of this is incomplete), so dedicating the planes to carrier usage doesn't mean that only the navy gets them. As for the rumors about 2015, I'm not sure how the MoD would square an F-35A order with it's Eurofighter commitments, which will still be ongoing (surely the UK can't afford both).

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 20:09
by madrat
spazsinbad wrote:'madrat' fair enough. A smilie face will indicate you make a joke. How about that? I took the joke for your first one liner (without smilie) but then when you came back with another one liner - whatever - without a smilie I did not see the joke. BooHOOme. geddit?


Sorry my ornery is hard to detect at times. We've more or less been over that thin air at the equator so many times I thought it was debunked by default anymore. :)

I'm the quiet guy at the bar that drops the one line antagonist quotes to visitors to stir up the bees nest. Inside jokes are a much more sophisticated form of humor.

Unread postPosted: 02 Nov 2012, 20:43
by spazsinbad
I geddit but note others do not so clarification is required. A smilie indicator of a joke is no effort - then the joke is clear (if not even comprehensible - a joke is a joke). That is a Joke Joyce! <boohoo>

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2012, 07:45
by spazsinbad
Excuse me if this news item is elsewhere, I missed it (I think) due Canukian Headline but anyway the Canuks need all the publicity they can get - there is no such thing as bad publicity - right? :D

Experts: Canada's Potential F-35 Cut Would Hurt Mission By DAVID PUGLIESE 16 Dec 2012

http://mobile.defensenews.com/article/312150002

...Better JSF News in Britain
Britain has committed to ordering 48 of the F-35B jump-jet versions in the current 10-year core equipment program, but Jon Thompson, the permanent undersecretary at the Ministry of Defence, told the parliamentary defense committee Dec. 12 that he expected the number of aircraft purchased to "rise over time to more than 100" aircraft.

The first production orders are expected to be placed after the government's 2015 strategic defense review.

The MoD has taken delivery of two F-35s ordered for test and evaluation purposes and a third aircraft is in production. A fourth aircraft could be ordered next year for evaluation work.

The F-35 will fly first operationally with the Royal Air Force in 2018, followed by the Fleet Air Arm and soon after from new aircraft carriers, which are now in production."

That is it for the UK news....

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2012, 12:26
by whitewhale
The 'First operational with the RAF' part strikes me as a little odd, I would have thought the FAA would be the main focus in first utilisation and training.

I read in a blog a couple of years ago when the first decision for the B was 'confirmed' that the B variant was made with an option of removing the lift fan and associated drive gear in order to fit an additional internal fuel tank for operators who wanted additional range of that model when required then the lift fan equipment could be put back in as/if needed. Has any information or further mention of that capability been released or was it pure author speculation?

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2012, 12:56
by spazsinbad
Everything about the UK MOD is odd. Hence the title of this thread. IF an F-35B is modified as described, who is going to pay for it along with the testing. Sounds like a fanciful idea to me.

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2012, 16:26
by stobiewan
whitewhale wrote:The 'First operational with the RAF' part strikes me as a little odd, I would have thought the FAA would be the main focus in first utilisation and training.

I read in a blog a couple of years ago when the first decision for the B was 'confirmed' that the B variant was made with an option of removing the lift fan and associated drive gear in order to fit an additional internal fuel tank for operators who wanted additional range of that model when required then the lift fan equipment could be put back in as/if needed. Has any information or further mention of that capability been released or was it pure author speculation?


I suspect it's probably to do with the fact that the OCU for F35 will be most likely an RAF unit - they have more maintainers, ground crew, staff and will likely end up with the simulators. So, they'll be the first in line (quite logically) to actually fly the aircraft. Having stood up an OCU, the first fruits of that will be pilots to deliver up to the carrier force as we'd need at least a half dozen to get the carrier commissioned and into operational use.

As far as I know, the actual F35B structure will be "purple" - ie, it'll be a joint force. I'd be more comfortable if someone just bought 48 F35B and handed 'em to the FAA, job's a good 'un but realistically, the capability to swing the aircraft to wherever they're needed, as well as to fall back on the larger structure of the RAF is too attractive in terms of cost/capability.

I've heard the story about removing the lift fan before and as far as I understand it. the lift fan can be pulled or reinstalled in under ten hours of work, and that would leave a large space to park a fuel bladder in I guess.

I don't know if anyone has seriously suggested doing this for the RAF and I still expect at some point, that common sense will prevail and we'll buy A for the RAF, designate the B's as FAA, do the OCU/conversion via a common RAF capability for both forces.

Unread postPosted: 29 Dec 2012, 18:45
by neurotech
spazsinbad wrote:Everything about the UK MOD is odd. Hence the title of this thread. IF an F-35B is modified as described, who is