UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post19 Oct 2018, 21:57

F-35B completes initial testing aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth
19 Oct 2018 PEO(JSF) Integrated Test Facility Public Affairs

"...Within days of the first landing, Gray, Edgell and two other ITF test pilots on the FOCFT(FW)—Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lippert and Peter Wilson—qualified for daytime flight operations aboard the carrier. Nighttime flight operations began the next day and Edgell and Wilson soon became qualified for nighttime operations.

On Oct. 2, with winds over the deck exceeding 40 knots, the test team worked on wind envelope expansion conducting short takeoffs from the carrier’s ski jump along with vertical landings on the deck, which comprises a tower for the Bridge and a second tower for FLYCO (Flight Control). The team conducted the same maneuvers nine days later, but with winds on deck above 50 knots....

...Three days after the first SRVL was made, DT-1 testing wrapped up and the aircraft returned to NAS Patuxent River. In all, across 38 total flights, the team conducted 98 short-takeoffs from the ski jump, 96 vertical landings and two SRVLs....

...The test team—comprising nearly 175 ITF members aboard the ship—completed several needed parameters during DT-1, including day and night short-takeoffs and vertical landings with minimal deck motion, in varying wind conditions and with and without internal stores....

...Beyond the completed DT-1 test requirements—which were performed within the same flight envelope as will be used in the first operational test phase—the ITF also conducted about half of the testing that falls under the DT-2 threshold, or the flight envelope needed to reach initial operational capability (maritime). The ITF returns to the ship in late October for DT-2, which will concentrate on external stores testing, minimum performance short-takeoffs and SRVLs, and night operations. A third developmental test for FOCFT(FW), followed by operational testing, is scheduled for 2019. Together, the tests will help the U.K. Ministry of Defence reach F-35B IOC(M) in 2020.""

Source: http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=6955
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spazsinbad

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 01:53

HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2Ceg1YPA7w

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marsavian

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 09:55

This whole cheap F-35B super carrier concept will really pay off once the UK acquires some heavy standoff weapons for their F-35s which they could return with if necessary.
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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 14:22

marsavian wrote:This whole cheap F-35B super carrier concept will really pay off once the UK acquires some heavy standoff weapons for their F-35s which they could return with if necessary.


Supercarriers are all about launch rates, sustained OPs (and fixed-wing early warning). QE is undoubtedly a major improvement over Invincible-class, but I suspect it won't be able to catch up in those terms with CVNs, even as small as CdD, especially if Brits are going to use her as an assault ship/carrier combo.
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ricnunes

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 19:18

hythelday wrote:
marsavian wrote:This whole cheap F-35B super carrier concept will really pay off once the UK acquires some heavy standoff weapons for their F-35s which they could return with if necessary.


Supercarriers are all about launch rates, sustained OPs (and fixed-wing early warning). QE is undoubtedly a major improvement over Invincible-class, but I suspect it won't be able to catch up in those terms with CVNs, even as small as CdD, especially if Brits are going to use her as an assault ship/carrier combo.



Don't get me wrong but I disagree, specially regarding that QE vs CdG comparison.

IMO, the CdG does not have any significant advantage over the QE carrier with perhaps the sole exception of endurance (due to the CdG being nuclear). Let's see:
- The QE is bigger and carries more aircraft than the CdG (50 aircraft max for the QE vs 40 aircraft max for the CdG)
- A carrier usually is only "as good" as the combat aircraft it carries. The main combat aircraft of the QE will be the F-35B while for the CdG is and will be the Rafale. It doesn't matter how you put it, the F-35B (even the -B) is superior to the Rafale, period!
- Due to the QE nature (a STOVL carrier) it will be able to generate a much higher sortie rate, launching and recovering aircraft at a much faster rate than possible with CATOBAR carriers. Traditionally the STOVL carriers were at a major disadvantage because the aircraft carried by them (Harriers) were inferior to their CATOBAR counterparts (F/A-18s, Rafales, etc...). The F-35B completely changes this paradigm!
- The QE should be cheaper since it's not nuclear and doesn't have complex equipment such as catapults, arrestor cables, etc...
- Also due to the previous point, the QE's maintenance should be both cheaper and faster which means better availability rates compared to the CdG (which seems to spend more time on the dockyards than being operational).
Last edited by ricnunes on 20 Oct 2018, 22:02, edited 1 time in total.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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noth

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 22:00

That's CdG not CdD (Charles de Gaulle).
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ricnunes

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 22:03

noth wrote:That's CdG not CdD (Charles de Gaulle).


Thanks noth, I stand corrected.
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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marsavian

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 22:30

Charles de Gaulle is currently having its MLU with its avionics being updated. The UK MoD basically calculated that adding modern cats/traps would close to double the cost of the two carriers. They just need to buy a few Ospreys now for refueling and they are good to go as a cut price super carrier. I would not be surprised if other nations go this route in this century with F-35B. Will F-35C only ever have one national customer ?
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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 22:44

Duplicate
Last edited by marsavian on 20 Oct 2018, 23:08, edited 1 time in total.
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ricnunes

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 22:49

marsavian wrote:They just need to buy a few Ospreys now for refueling and they are good to go as a cut price super carrier.


Fully agree.
An AEW Osprey would also be great.

marsavian wrote:I would not be surprised if other nations go this route in this century with F-35B. Will F-35C only ever have one national customer ?


I wouldn't be surprised a bit.
The only countries in the world that operate CATOBAR carriers are precisely the USA and France and there seems to be absolutely nothing that indicates that this will change in the future (more countries operating CATOBAR carriers).
And obviously France won't likely buy the F-35 (even the F-35C).

I guess that in theory the F-35C could eventually operate from STOBAR carriers but the only countries that operate or plan to operate these kind of carriers are Russia, China and India. None of them I believe will ever purchase the F-35, which obviously include the F-35C. The only of such countries that could have a slim (and I repeat slim) chance to be able to purchase the F-35 would be India but this would be a very, very slim chance and this for the F-35A (but honestly I don't believe this will happen) so the chance of purchasing the F-35C would be even slimmer (and even in such case the F-35B would probably have a much better chance).
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 23:01

"...The only countries in the world that operate CATOBAR carriers are precisely the USA and France and there seems to be absolutely nothing that indicates that this will change in the future (more countries operating CATOBAR carriers)…."

Hmmm. Plenty of new reports repeat claims by both India and China for their future catapult & arrest aircraft carriers.

Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in NYC for first US visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-nPLC7IveA

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ricnunes

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Unread post20 Oct 2018, 23:33

spazsinbad wrote:
Hmmm. Plenty of new reports repeat claims by both India and China for their future catapult & arrest aircraft carriers.



So far, all Chinese and Indian future carriers under construction are all STOBAR carriers (and not CATOBAR).

Yes, there's indeed some talk about potential (Chinese and Indian) follow up carriers that "could" end up being CATOBAR but even those follow up carriers actual construction is still in doubt let alone if they'll end up being CATOBAR.
My "virtual bet" is that if (and that's a big if) those follow up carriers are to be built (which I have my doubts) than they probably will end up being STOBAR instead of CATOBAR. But again, I could be wrong...
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post21 Oct 2018, 00:12

I like your crystal balling "...there seems to be absolutely nothing..." so your claim is not correct - there is something....

How do you see India being interested in EMALS - is that just for YUCKS? Chinese develop their own version? YUCK YUCK?
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Unread post21 Oct 2018, 01:50

marsavian wrote:Charles de Gaulle is currently having its MLU with its avionics being updated. The UK MoD basically calculated that adding modern cats/traps would close to double the cost of the two carriers. They just need to buy a few Ospreys now for refueling and they are good to go as a cut price super carrier. I would not be surprised if other nations go this route in this century with F-35B. Will F-35C only ever have one national customer ?


That's because EMALS at the time was in early development and the MoD didn't want to pay for that (the quote was 2 billion USD per unit), nor wait around for it to be ready. There's a very slim chance that in 20 years during MLU they might switch to CATOBAR but it'll cost a lot because to save money during construction they didn't leave the adequate space ready for it (unlike what had been originally planned). It's entirely speculation at this time anyway as to whether the UK would bother, since they never seem to increase the defence budget. Same goes for AEW Ospreys.
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Unread post21 Oct 2018, 15:45

spazsinbad wrote:I like your crystal balling "...there seems to be absolutely nothing..." so your claim is not correct - there is something....


Yes, I have no problem at all admitting that I was wrong and that I chose by words poorly (and forgot about the potential plans for China and India to acquire CATOBAR carriers).


spazsinbad wrote:How do you see India being interested in EMALS - is that just for YUCKS? Chinese develop their own version? YUCK YUCK?


I see it as an intention or potential plan only.
A plan that (IMO) might never become a reality, something akin to what your country (Australia) did in the 1980's when it planned to purchase one of the Invincible carriers (HMS Invincible) and Sea Harriers but it never happened. And I believe that this plan was further ahead than currently this India and China plan to build/acquire CATOBAR carriers is.
Or something akin to the current Brazilian "plan" which plans to purchase a (fixed-wing aircraft) carrier in the future - not going to happen, LOL. Although I admit that the odds for India or China to acquire/build a CATOBAR carrier are quite bigger than Brazil getting any (fixed-wing aircraft) carrier at all.

Anyway, the reason for my "crystal balling" above is that neither China or India have unlimited resources (just like any other nation) and they also have to spend massive amounts of resources on other military equipment as well so if they managed to be successful with the STOBAR carriers that they are currently building plus the its associated aircraft (in which they are still years away from being operational with the need to perform lots of testing) and if they plan to build further carriers, I strongly believe/bet/Crystal ball that those will also be STOBAR carriers as well (despite the current plan indicating they could be CATOBAR).

In any case, all of this was because of marsavian's post/question about the F-35C ending up being operated by a single country only (USA) and my opinion/answer here remains the same even because if my "crystal balling" above ends up being wrong than I can hardly imagine either India and much less China to acquire F-35Cs for their carriers. At least we could somehow agree on this, no?
A 4th/4.5th gen fighter aircraft stands about as much chance against a F-35 as a guns-only Sabre has against a Viper.
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