UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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blindpilot

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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 17:25

marsavian wrote:72 B so the RN can say they can nominally fill both carriers at the same time with their standard 36 leaving 66 for the RAF for 3-4 squadrons plus 7 voyagers will need a centerline boom fitted. This will run and run for each spending procurement decision as you have two services fighting over one resource.

No. The RN needs the UK to have 138 B's, training, reserves, attrition, and aircraft available for surge. Any thing else is selling one of the carriers (or worse both, and getting an LHA). If the RAF wants more for Tornado replacement, then let them go get money for "extra" F-35A's by themselves, if they can squeeze the politicians for it... or be content that the RN brought their weight to the table that got the RAF their F-35s (B's) in the first place ... instead of just more Tiffies like the Germans seem destined to do.
... but the government at any one time will decide the total split remembering politics caused this C muddle thread in the first place ;).


Yeah. That!

MHO
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blindpilot

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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 17:53

Spaz has tried to gently hint (gently?) but let's bring a clear statement from a comment at the save the royal navy org page.

From poster obionerussel

"To be fair the RN ordered 52 Phantom FG1s in the 60s, enough for two frontline sqns and a training unit plus spares, to operate from Ark Royal and Eagle. Then Eagle’s upgrade was cancelled and 20 of the FG1s were delivered in RAF Camo, the first the RN knew of it. Same BS, different decade. It’s odd though that the RAF are adhering to the doctrine of one of their greatest adversaries, Herman Goering, whose attitude was ‘Everything that flies belongs to me!’. In the 60s and 70s the RAF grabbed all the Navy’s Phantoms and Buccaneers, then in the 80s when we really needed them down south, they all sat impotent on the sidelines because we no longer had carriers capable of operating them. It’ll be the same if we buy ‘A’s, they’ll sit back in the UK whilst the Navy takes all the ‘B’s we can muster to the next ‘surprise party’…"

That's exactly what is happening again decades later with the RAF manuevers. Again I'll say it plainly. If the RN hadn't stepped up and said we(the UK) need the STOVL Bee's, the RAF would be flying Tiffies not Lightnings. That's a fact. No RN no stealth fighters. The RAF used the RN to get their stealth fighter, and now they want to screw the RN back to a puddle fleet, once they got what they wanted. Slam Bam Thank you ma'am. Sometimes you need to call a thing what it is.

MHO,
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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 20:04

Some posts back a poster said "RAF/RAN". NOPE - it is RN/RAF always - make NO MISTAKE the ROYAL NAVY is the SENIOR SERVICE whilst the RAN is the Royal Australian Navy that was stripped of FIXED WING CARRIER AVIATION by the B/S shenanigans of the RAAF CRAB Royal Australian Air Force back in the early 1980s. Their continuous undermining of the very small Royal Australian Navy Fleet Air Arm Fixed Wing, specifically the fast jet A4G Skyhawk component along with the ASW S2E/G Tracker fleets, caused much unnecessary trouble all through the 1960s and 1970s; much in the same manner that occurred in the United Kingdom UK with RN/RAF as pointed out so well by the poster quoted above by 'BP'.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post01 Dec 2018, 21:24

Had to laugh out loud with this comment on SNAFU : https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2018/12/r ... qus_thread
'spinfight': "...Generally if you mentally imagine the RAF and Ministry of Defence as feminist transvestites with borderline personality disorder then you won't be far wrong."
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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quicksilver

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Unread post02 Dec 2018, 06:37

“In the 60s and 70s the RAF grabbed all the Navy’s Phantoms and Buccaneers, then in the 80s when we really needed them down south, they all sat impotent on the sidelines because we no longer had carriers capable of operating them. It’ll be the same if we buy ‘A’s, they’ll sit back in the UK whilst the Navy takes all the ‘B’s we can muster to the next ‘surprise party’…"

This.
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ricnunes

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Unread post03 Dec 2018, 11:36

blindpilot wrote:No. The RN needs the UK to have 138 B's, training, reserves, attrition, and aircraft available for surge. Any thing else is selling one of the carriers (or worse both, and getting an LHA). If the RAF wants more for Tornado replacement, then let them go get money for "extra" F-35A's by themselves, if they can squeeze the politicians for it... or be content that the RN brought their weight to the table that got the RAF their F-35s (B's) in the first place ... instead of just more Tiffies like the Germans seem destined to do.


In the perfect world you'll be right (and this also includes your previous posts), no doubt about that.

However and due to current events and unless things drastically changes regarding Britain (because of Brexit and the economical situation) I won't see an increase regarding the F-35 order (from 138 to a bigger number).
So splinting the 138 F-35 order among F-35As and F-35Bs (and it doesn't need to be 50-50 - That was a poor attempt on my part to make a joke regarding the "universally known" 69 number) may be Britain's only choice for the time being since having some F-35As in the British order:
1- would give Britain an excellent (actually the best) Tornado replacement.
2- would make the overall 138 order cheaper (the F-35A is cheaper to purchase and maintain compared to the -B).

Then there's this which you posted (in another post):
"To be fair the RN ordered 52 Phantom FG1s in the 60s, enough for two frontline sqns and a training unit plus spares, to operate from Ark Royal and Eagle.


So if 52 Phantoms (FG1) were enough to equip two carriers and a land based squadron and this back in the 1960's why won't 69 (for example) F-35Bs be enough to do the same today?
Yes, it's true that during that time the RN also operated the Buccaneer attack aircraft but the much better availability rates and multi-role capability of the F-35B today would definitely offset (and by far, IMO) any combined numbers of Phantoms and Buccaneers that the RN would ever be able to operate on their carriers at that time.
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Unread post03 Dec 2018, 11:38

spazsinbad wrote:Some posts back a poster said "RAF/RAN". NOPE - it is RN/RAF always


Yes, that poster would be me and yes, it was a mistake from my part.
To be perfectly honest with you, I don't know what I was thinking about when I typed RAN instead of RN. :oops:
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Unread post03 Dec 2018, 11:45

RN Phantoms were only TESTED aboard HMS Eagle. They were NEVER operated from that aircraft carrier; only ARK ROYAL.

Don't forget the spares for the F-35As & F-35Bs are NOT the same, some are but most are not. You can find compatibility statistics elsewhere. Also the air refueling gubbins are not the same so some of the UK tankers will have to be modified.

Despite the apparent 'cheapness' of the A with the B having the two fleets will probably NOT save money but also exacerbate the split between the RN and the RAF (probably a good thing but only as long as the RN wins enough F-35Bs to properly equip their two VERY EXPENSIVE carriers and to their satisfaction). What a sad state of affairs to be lumbered with the RAF. Italy decided long ago not to go down the same road with some kind of joint force. It would seem the UK Joint Force F-35Bs works well but it is the sad RAF crab clowns not in that force wrecking it from the sidelines I reckon.

'ricnunes' no worries as long as you know the difference - we all type with fumblefingers sometimes. :-)
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Unread post03 Dec 2018, 13:05

@spaz,

Yes, I tend to agree with you (including other posters) that splinting the 138 F-35 order (into -As and -Bs) is not ideal.
However it may be the only choice in terms of economics if a Tornado replacement is (and it will be) required, this even after considering the somehow bigger maintenance/sustainability costs associated to operating 2 variants against only 1 variant.
So I honestly believe that the RAF will need F-35As to replace the Tornado. The ideal would be adding the F-35As on top of those 138 (supposedly Bs) but again fiscal constraints will likely go against this "ideal solution".

The other alternative as mentioned by another poster would be buying some F-35Cs as the Tornado replacement (instead of -As) but this would be even more expensive - The F-35C is quite more expensive (in terms of acquisition and probably in terms of sustainability as well) than the -A, carries the same payload and the gains in terms of range are minimal. On top of this would be the extra money (and considerable amounts of it) needed to fit the carriers with arrestor cables (and all the other associated costs).


And yeah, I agree with you regarding the "typing with fumblefingers". It seems that sometimes fingers and keyboards have a will of its own :wink:
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Unread post03 Dec 2018, 13:10

No one in the UK is going to fit arrestor cables and catapults on the current two CVFs - ever. The meme that they were built with space for them is incorrect. This thread details the hoohaa and the truth of the matter. Sad perhaps but true.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post03 Dec 2018, 17:49

spazsinbad wrote:No one in the UK is going to fit arrestor cables and catapults on the current two CVFs - ever.


Yes, I agree.
And I also tend to agree with one of your previous points (if I understood it correctly) that having a F-35 Joint Force (like previously the Joint Harrier) is not much of a good idea.
Yes, it's a good idea for the RAF to have some F-35Bs (which ends up replacing their old Harriers) and train these RAF squadrons to be "deployable" from the Carriers if the need arises (like as it happened on the Falklands) or otherwise there's a need to project a RAF force when no airfield or airbase is available just like otherwise it happened during the pre-joint Harrier force days (again the Falklands as an example).
But the core of F-35Bs and their respective squadrons operating from the UK carriers should IMO be Navy (Royal Navy or RN to be more precise) and not RAF.
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Unread post03 Dec 2018, 18:35

spazsinbad wrote:No one in the UK is going to fit arrestor cables and catapults on the current two CVFs - ever. The meme that they were built with space for them is incorrect. This thread details the hoohaa and the truth of the matter. Sad perhaps but true.


Catapaults no but what about arrestor cables so it becomes a STOBAR carrier with the F-35C being launched off the ramp ? If Mig-29 and Su-33 can be launched off ramps why not the F-35C ? Certainly would satisfy the range/payload requirements of the RAF but also could be used on the carriers to supplement the F-35B. I would have thought that the catapaults would be the most expensive part of the changes previously calculated to use the F-35C. Also no Voyager tankers would need amending.
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Unread post03 Dec 2018, 20:06

Hmmm. I guess you have not been on this forum long enough to know about how problematic your STOBAR concept is in reality. Yes other Naval Aviationists do it but they suffer greatly for doing so (and not with the F-35C but crappy ruskie aircraft or worse). In a nutshell these aviators have to operate with a light load for run up the ski jump and then deal with the difficulty of arrested landings when otherwise all they need to do is 'stop & land'. Yes the F-35C will be easier to deck land than any other naval aircraft so the light load for ski jump launch remains. There is an 11Mb 152 page PDF about ski jumps available that canvasses a lot of the issues (now a little old but still relevant because we know the recent history of the F-35B on the CVF ski jump):

SKI JUMP INFO VARIOUS Sep 2015 pp152 forumED.pdf download/file.php?id=21005 (11Mb)

Fitting the arrestor gear on a now angled deck is a major change to the CVFs overall which is also not likely to occur given the launch issues - at likely a light weight making your 'extra range' a non-starter. More likely there will be a payload/ range penalty however these details are unknown and likely to remain that way unless India decides to do it. And yet they will be transitioning to CATOBAR with new carriers in future as will China apparently. This thread and others here debate the same issue for other countries with the Chinese Naval hierarchy making pointed comment about the J-15 being inadequate. They see LIAONING as a training carrier with better gear to come including CATOBAR.

You may suggest that aircraft can refuel once airborne however the tanker suffers the same lightweight penalty. There is good reason why the UK went with the F-35B on a ski jump with the range being a furphy (bad meme) in reality. The F-35B can land with much less fuel than can the F-35C given the same conditions. The F-35B is assured of landing whereas the F-35C may not (although as stated it is easier to DL than any other arrestor geared up naval aircraft). Overall it is thought the F-35B will have similar range to the F-35C in operational circumstances so then the weight of weapons penalty is the only stand out issue, so why go to all that trouble. And again to appease the RAF? Nope - not gonna happen.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post04 Dec 2018, 00:43

Pax River F-35 ITF leaves HMS Queen Elizabeth after ‘eclipsing aspirations’
30 Nov 2018 PEO(JSF) Integrated Test Facility Public Affairs

"NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN--F-35 Lightning jets from the Pax River Integrated Test Force (ITF) left HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), Nov. 19, 2018, after eight weeks flying on and off the 65,000-tonne warship, helping to write the ‘operator’s manual’ so the jets can fly from her deck on front-line operations. The success of the Westlant 18 deployment – which has also included a visit to New York – allows the Portsmouth, UK-based ship to move on to operational trials next year....

...Weapons experts loaded various configurations of bombs and missiles on to the Lightnings, making use of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s unique automated munitions magazine.

ITF scientists recorded masses of data from the ship and the jets; that data will determine the limits (weather, humidity, pitch and roll of the ship, aircraft weight) at which the Lightnings can safely launch from and land back on HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister Prince of Wales...."

Photo: "The F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force wrapped up the first of class flight trials (fixed wing) aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), Nov. 19, 2018. A third phase of testing followed by operational testing is scheduled for 2019. Together the events will help the UK ministry of Defence reach IOC(M) in 2020. US Navy photo" http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/18P00230_106.jpg
&
"The F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08), September through November, to carry out first of class flight trials (fixed wing) testing. US Navy photo" http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/18P00174_015.jpg


Source: http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... ry&id=6986
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RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post05 Dec 2018, 02:57

RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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