UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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m

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Unread post17 Mar 2012, 21:56

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.
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Unread post17 Mar 2012, 23:57

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...
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 02:46

The decision should month right? Anyone willing to go on the record with their prediction?
I'm guessing they go for the B.
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 03:49

What decision? :-) There are many decisions to make - and unmake - and remake - down this long muddled road. :-)
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 04:33

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."
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 04:35

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 )
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 06:16

"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? :-)
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 18:47

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...."
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 19:24

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.
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 20:31

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.
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 20:40

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.
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 21:15

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?
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 21:30

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:
Last edited by spazsinbad on 18 Mar 2012, 21:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post18 Mar 2012, 21:48

spazsinbad wrote: After Easter the plan will be decided again.


*Sigh* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un5uZDVFu3s
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Unread post19 Mar 2012, 12:17

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19200
Another report suggesting the switch back to the B.
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