UK F-35 variants

Variants for different customers or mission profiles
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steve2267

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Unread post07 Mar 2017, 05:43

I'm quite sure this has been asked / discussed / answered, but please forgive me for asking... as my search-fu has failed me, and browsing around a few sub-forums failed to reveal the answer.

Is the UK purchasing the F-35A for the RAF? Or only the F-35B for both the RN and the RAF?

If only the F-35B, will the RAF pilots also be trained on the SRVL and operate from the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers?

(I shudder to think of poorly coordinated Air Force rifraff operating from a naval carrier. The horror.)
Take an F-16, stir in a little A-7, bake, then sprinkle on a generous helping of F-117. What do you get? An F-35.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 Mar 2017, 05:52

There are a few MEGA UK threads (I think because few people interested - but that is just me - my interest is NAVav in all the glory thereof - THE U KAY has it in spades because the Combined F-35B force will be composed of RN/RAF personnel.

Why is this so? Short story would be that is how the HAIRIERS finished several years ago now. Not everyone was happy but few here would understand the longstanding birdie / crab argybargy (with the UK RN FAA having well justified cause & long history since beginning of aviation then just before WWII then afterwards as the CRABS tried to take it all). But again my prejudice is showing and I'm proud of it because my own RAN Fleet Air Arm was unreasonably molested by our CRABS!

So water under that proverbial bridge I know in these PC tymes I must get along. Easy for an ex-birdie RANer - try living on a ship with some people that just get on your nerves. :mrgreen: So I would get along with Oz CRABs these days - eh. I realise I spent almost 2 years living/flying in crab territory Oz & USofA *but OK @ Lowry AFB* so I know them well enough <sigh>

BACK to the FUTURE: UK MOD in a MUDDLE Thread would have the guts of all the info with various side threads about SKI JUMPS and SRVLS and CVF doodads and suchlike. viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969

Search that thread - go there then paste COMBINED into the search box top left - you will get useful thread hits about it.

ONE example about Key User Requirements KUR: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=223193&hilit=Combined#p223193

We know the F-35B is easy to operate Ski Jump & VL so there are no worries about who will do this. What may be a worry are RAF attitudes about their duties on CVFs. I'll guess that will be managed much the same as the previous HAIRIER combined squadron managed it but I do not know details. Career wise we might see CRABS converting to BIRDIES? Dunno.
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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blindpilot

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Unread post07 Mar 2017, 06:42

Spaz gave great links but here`s the cliff note version ...

" Bees! Bees! nothing but Bees! we don`t need no stinkin` A`s, we have Tiffy canoe and Typhoids too`s ,..or wait ...
maybe Sea`s, yeah that`s the ticket we can get Sea`s.... cost what? :shock: A qua-zillion pounds? :shock: .. and another qua-zillion for the carriers? :shock: ... hmmm ...

Bees! Bees! nothing but Bees all around for RN and RAF! Bees!"


FWIW
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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 Mar 2017, 06:54

OK thanks 'BP' I forgot about the RAF F-35As MayBEE. RAF have made rumblings about getting a last tranche on top of the intended 138 Bees but that is way in the future decision. Italy has a mixed, or will have mixed A/Bs, with fewer all round due to budget troubles and they WILL NOT allow Air Force pilots to fly the BsKnees. They saw what happened in UK. :doh:
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Dragon029

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Unread post07 Mar 2017, 12:15

Long story short; the UK doesn't have any actual plans to buy anything other than B models, but there isn't a contract / specific order defining all 138 F-35s as B models, and at Farnborough / RIAT last year, UK MoD brass did state that they were looking at potentially having some of the 138 F-35s be A models.

A decision to go with some A models probably won't happen for another 3-5 years or so though.
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blindpilot

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Unread post07 Mar 2017, 17:58

Dragon029 wrote:Long story short; the UK doesn't have any actual plans to buy anything other than B models, but there isn't a contract / specific order defining all 138 F-35s as B models, and at Farnborough / RIAT last year, UK MoD brass did state that they were looking at potentially having some of the 138 F-35s be A models.

A decision to go with some A models probably won't happen for another 3-5 years or so though.


I think they still have around 20 more Tiffy`s to get in from their 160 order. I doubt they will muddy the water with A models until they get that last Typhoon. Meanwhile keeping the B orders moving as quickly as they can afford will be a priority for the near future certainly.

MHO anyway,
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ricnunes

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Unread post10 Mar 2017, 14:06

In my opinion it would make sense to see the UK "splitting" its 138 F-35 order into -B and -A variants.

From what I've read the one of the intended roles for the UK F-35 fleet (so far only -Bs confirmed) is to replace the Tornado GR4.
However the F-35A is not only cheaper but has a quite longer range compared to the F-35B which makes the -A much more suitable to replace the Tornado GR4 whose main role is interdiction and deep strike into enemy territory.

So the combined UK -A and -B 138 F-35 order would in my opinion:
- Still give more than enough F-35Bs to operate on both carriers plus some on land/reserve.
- The total F-35 order would become cheaper since the F-35A is cheaper.
- The entire Tornado fleet could started to be replaced much sooner which would also translate into cost/budget savings.

I also heard and read rumours about the UK F-35 order becoming a mix of -A and -B variants but so far and like it was already said here, nothing is yet confirmed.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post14 Mar 2017, 15:30

A lot of negative things have been said about 'Sharkey' Ward however he has bin dere & dun dat in spades. Possibly in his dotage now with WizenHeimers Creeping In. All that to preface a long article (mentioned probably in the 'Muddle' thread) with The WARD thoughts on RAFers in the RN. I have no experience of this meself but have been in the RAAF (& USAF) under training. The shenanigans referred to in this article perhaps can be taken with a grain of salt however IMHO 'Sharkey' has some excellent things to say about the requirements of Naval Aviation - tho' predicting future is difficult:

My relevant comment about 'Sharkey': viewtopic.php?f=22&t=20304&p=314277&hilit=Ward#p314277

Nice 'stobiewan' comment: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=225285&hilit=Ward#p225285

The forum link to story below: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=12631&p=194229&hilit=Ward#p194229 04 Apr 2011

“Flying from our new Carriers—The RN or the RAF Ethos” http://linkis.com/blogspot.com/Jzy6l
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 post18 Mar 2017, 21:28

Further to my post above. The Sharkey Ward post link should be: [and of course nothing there now]

https://thephoenixthinktank.wordpress.c ... raf-ethos/

However the original Ward post - repeated recently - was noted by me here to be on 04 Apr 2011 - ffsake.

Most of that post is repeated on 03 Aug 2011 in a UK Parliament submission:

Annex A: https://www.publications.parliament.uk/ ... 61vw39.htm

FLYING FROM OUR NEW CARRIERS—THE RN OR THE RAF ETHOS
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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neptune

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Unread post14 Aug 2017, 02:34

http://alert5.com/2017/08/14/first-f-35 ... nd-asraam/


First F-35B ski-jump take-off with Paveway IV and ASRAAM

A F-35B loaded with Paveway IV laser-guided bombs and ASRAAM air-to-air missiles has taken off from a ski-jump for the first time. Peter “Wizzer” Wilson was at the controls during this test at NAS Patuxent River.
:)


Wizzer Wilson
Test Pilot at BAE SYSTEMS

Washington D.C. Metro

Experience

Test Pilot; BAE SYSTEMS
June 2000 – Present (17 years 3 months)

Pilot; Royal Navy
1992 – 2000 (8 years)

Pilot; Royal Air Force
August 1987 – November 1989 (2 years 4 months)

Education

USNTPS Test Pilot
1995 – 1995

St Olave's
1977 – 1984
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spazsinbad

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Unread post14 Aug 2017, 02:43

This board locks up for me probably because this same info from a LATE 'Alert5' post was posted here on the 18 Jul 2017:

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=371924&hilit=Wilson#p371924

Same photo here 10 Aug 2017: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=20138&p=373345&hilit=Jump#p373345
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 post14 Aug 2017, 03:44

i see these and wonder whats inside
"Spurts"

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spazsinbad

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Unread post14 Aug 2017, 03:49

Unless specifically informed one must always wonder - even at airshows - 'is that a B61-12 I see you with or are you just happy to see me' sort of thing. :devil: Anyway the 2nd round of ski jump testing ashore will be 150 tests extensive: :shock:
"...According to Pete ‘Wizzer’ Wilson, BAE Systems F-35 STOVL lead test pilot, the current Phase 2 ski-ramp trials will be used to evaluate handling characteristics with external weapons including asymmetric weapon loads, crosswinds up to 15 kt, and overspeed/underspeed take-offs. “In the order of 150 ski jumps will be performed from the Pax ramp on this part of the programme,” he told Jane’s . “Right now, we’re approaching the halfway point...."
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=15969&p=371924&hilit=campaign#p371924
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 post14 Aug 2017, 05:53

If the UK are going to order A variants it would be far down the road. They need to ensure at least 80 B's to operate their two carriers and that's probably selling the amount needed short.

In general I don't think it would be a good idea unless they increased the number of F-35's they buy, which of course might happen.
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Unread post30 Nov 2017, 07:31

f35bbbb.jpg
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