UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post02 Sep 2011, 13:40

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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stobiewan

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Unread post05 Sep 2011, 11:17

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 post05 Sep 2011, 22:08

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.
A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.— Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.
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Unread post06 Sep 2011, 02:44

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 post06 Sep 2011, 12:23

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 post07 Sep 2011, 01:11

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 post08 Sep 2011, 11:40

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 post08 Sep 2011, 11:57

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 post08 Sep 2011, 12:42

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 post08 Sep 2011, 12:58

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 post08 Sep 2011, 16:55

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 post08 Sep 2011, 22:09

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 post08 Sep 2011, 23:41

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 post09 Sep 2011, 00:47

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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Last edited by spazsinbad on 09 Sep 2011, 14:06, edited 3 times in total.
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Unread post09 Sep 2011, 01:10

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