UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 14:42

If all UK is hot for the C then why was it not picked in the first instance? I just don't get it at all. And I'll insist no matter what is selected soon - it ain't over 'til it's over. :D
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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 15:44

spazsinbad wrote:If all UK is hot for the C then why was it not picked in the first instance? I just don't get it at all. And I'll insist no matter what is selected soon - it ain't over 'til it's over. :D


I don't get it, you don't get it, none of us get it. How on earth such a catastrophic clutterfluff can be made of a set of core decisions, I cannot explain.
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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 18:13

http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.com/2012/ ... ell-f.html

Why is the US Navy so desperate to sell the F-35C to the RN???

Reports have surfaced that the Ministry of Defense in the UK is vacillating between buying the F-35B and F-35C. Proponents of the both airplanes have been very vocal in their support of their particular airplane.

Critics of course have been heard too. Those "flat earthers" want the Royal Navy to buy a non-stealth airplane. Doesn't matter which one as long as it isn't the F-35.

But check out these photos from JeffHead.com...and the potential F-35B customers worldwide. Make note of all the LHA's that are being developed/constructed/planned in the pacific region. Understand that this list isn't complete either. Singapore has announced that its working on the Endurance 1600, an LHA class warship.

The US Navy is realizing too late that its concept of operation----the big deck carrier is facing a period of transformation. The F-35B will outsell the F-35C.
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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 19:26

aaam wrote:
You can't mothball a nuke. You either keep it in service or totally retire it. This is the downside of the technology that gives so many advantages and allows you to run the ship for 50 years. The Nimitz carriers get refueled once during their careers, and the Fords run on the fuel they're built with their whole life.


I'm not a nuke, so I have absolutely no understanding of the issues surrounding the mothballing or refueling a reactor, other than looking at the gaping holes in CVNs that are in the process of refueling. Can you provide some insight as to why it is impossible to "mothball" a CVN? Would it be possible to minimally man the ship, keeping its reactor in some sort of "standby" mode until it becomes feasible to reactivate and refuel the ship? Or would that be incredibly expensive?
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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 19:41

popcorn wrote:
Why is the US Navy so desperate to sell the F-35C to the RN???



Maybe it's not about the plane, but the cats:

"Well, the U.S. Navy — who is spearheading development on the new catapults, known as EMALS for its Ford class aircraft carriers — has assured London that it will cost way less than the Biritish bean counters think it will to equip the Royal Navy’s new carriers with cats and traps. The best part, if the effort to develop the EMALS falters, the U.S. will foot the bill, not the Brits."

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2012/03/26/uk-mi ... z1qFVcsx1I
Defense.org

Besides, VAdm. Venlet says he will support the Brits with any model they choose to acquire.
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Unread post26 Mar 2012, 19:50

spazsinbad wrote:If all UK is hot for the C then why was it not picked in the first instance? I just don't get it at all.


It's because Big And Expensive Systems (or BAE Systems as its otherwise known as) make more components for the B than they do the C. Follow the money.
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Unread post27 Mar 2012, 00:23

maus92 wrote:
aaam wrote:
You can't mothball a nuke. You either keep it in service or totally retire it. This is the downside of the technology that gives so many advantages and allows you to run the ship for 50 years. The Nimitz carriers get refueled once during their careers, and the Fords run on the fuel they're built with their whole life.


I'm not a nuke, so I have absolutely no understanding of the issues surrounding the mothballing or refueling a reactor, other than looking at the gaping holes in CVNs that are in the process of refueling. Can you provide some insight as to why it is impossible to "mothball" a CVN? Would it be possible to minimally man the ship, keeping its reactor in some sort of "standby" mode until it becomes feasible to reactivate and refuel the ship? Or would that be incredibly expensive?


Perhaps to be more accurate I should have said it is horribly, horribly expensive to mothball a nuke. With enough money you can do anything.

As I understand it, the entire reactor deteriorates over time, even faster when it's powered down, to the point where it won't go critical anymore. It can be shut down, but must be brought back up periodically to preserve the functionality. Eventually it still deteriorates. When a carrier goes through RCOH, you're basically rebuilding and relining the reactor. Enterprise was the only CVN that was designed to be regularly refueled, reflecting its older technology. Nimitz class ships get refueled once, timed to coincide with their major mid life overhaul. That's why you'll might see either Washington or Stennis retired at what would be their scheduled RCOH. Once you've spent all the money for an RCOH, you might as well keep running the ship for another 25 years. Fords, will not be refueled, they'll run on their initial fuel load and by the time that runs out the ship itself will be too old to keep functioning economically.

To my knowledge, no nuclear powered ship in the West has ever been mothballed. It make take a few years before they're scrapped, and they're preserved until then but once they're powered down for the last time, they deteriorate to the point where they can't be brought back.

Taking "advantage" of this was one way the Clinton Administration tried to triangulate the conversion of four SSBNs to SSGNs. The program made too much sense and was too popular both in the military and in Congress to come right out and cancel, so the tactic was to delay the refueling of the four Trident boats involved. Then, later on when it was time to proceed, it would be "discovered" that the reactors had deteriorated to the point where it was no longer feasible to perform the conversion. "We didn't cancel it; oh we were all for it. But you know what? It just didn't work out. Who'd a thunk it"?. This tactic was spotted and Congress blocked it.


When a nuke is retired, we cut out the reactor compartment and bury it and scrap or reuse the rest. Here's a shot of where our reactors go.
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Unread post27 Mar 2012, 00:30

fat_cat wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:If all UK is hot for the C then why was it not picked in the first instance? I just don't get it at all.


It's because Big And Expensive Systems (or BAE Systems as its otherwise known as) make more components for the B than they do the C. Follow the money.


Buying the C would have been much more expensive for the UK in the long run (discussed elsewhere), and they knew this. However, in the SDSR, converting to the C gave a convenient excuse to kick the can down the road and delay the CVFs, which suited the powers that be just fine (somebody else's problem), including the RAF. The latter hoping that RN fixed wing would disappear altogether (one of the reasons the Harrier was retired as well) and they'd become the world's largest helicopter carriers. They didn't expect the extra costs to show up so fast.
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Unread post28 Mar 2012, 21:17

Odd phrase in this report but I guess there are many and have been many and will be many odd phrases to come in this SAGO of a SAGA Arrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh! :D

PM calls for more checks on Joint Strike Fighter contract 28 March 2012 Gary Gibbon Political Editor

http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-o ... ract/18700

"...The problem was that Liam Fox’s preferred jet, the F35-C, which would land with the help of a catapult and wire or “cat and trap,” was discovered to be bad value, probably too slow in delivery, not compatible with allies [WOT?] and over-priced....

...David Cameron is sympathetic but is so stung by previous MoD twists and turns on this one he said he wanted to be utterly confident that they weren’t about to lead him up the garden path again. So he’s ordered five separate work streams double/triple checking that this time, the government is definitely taking the right decision. A few civil servants’ Easter breaks have disappeared and the decision, it is hoped, will be made when Parliament comes back. Not exactly a vote of confidence in the MoD, but David Cameron judges that it’s a lot better than having to U-turn for a third time."
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Unread post28 Mar 2012, 21:29

spazsinbad wrote:Odd phrase in this report but I guess there are many and have been many and will be many odd phrases to come in this SAGO of a SAGA Arrrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh! :D

PM calls for more checks on Joint Strike Fighter contract 28 March 2012 Gary Gibbon Political Editor

http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-o ... ract/18700

"...The problem was that Liam Fox’s preferred jet, the F35-C, which would land with the help of a catapult and wire or “cat and trap,” was discovered to be bad value, probably too slow in delivery, not compatible with allies [WOT?] and over-priced....

...David Cameron is sympathetic


Just a heads up for non UK folk. Channel 4 news is a thinly veiled left wing anti military set-up, do not expect honest or accurate reporting from them on any matters involving the military or armed conflicts. (And Camerons a prize plonker who can't be trusted either.)
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Unread post31 Mar 2012, 22:37

Cameron orders independent review into F-35 decision By Richard Scott March/30/2012

http://www.janes.com/products/janes/def ... l=business

"Prime Minister David Cameron has asked the UK Treasury to conduct an independent assessment of the costs associated with converting one of the two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers to operate the F-35C: the carrier variant (CV) of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Cameron's intervention follows a meeting with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond on 19 March, during which Hammond is believed to have recommended backtracking on the CV acquisition plan because of the costs of carrier conversion. He is thought to have instead advocated the purchase of the F-35B, the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of JSF.

The prime minister's decision to seek an independent review is thought to reflect two principal concerns. First, the political embarrassment resulting from a U-turn on one of the central components of the coalition government's October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR); second, the possible adverse reaction from the US government and the US Navy (USN)...."

160 of 500 words So get a subscription or GO HOME! - I went home.... :D
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Unread post02 Apr 2012, 23:08

Sharkey criticises RUSI (pot calls kettle black). I'm interested in some of his facts but there is no indication where they come from. Sad but true and I won't guess. :D

Does anyone have any data on F-35B STO performance other than required KPP (full internal load with now 600 foot T/O run?). For example what is load capacity with longest available run? I guess info is classified eh.

RUSI advice on F-35 Choice is Flawed 25 March 2012
“Choosing Plan B”: A Research Paper That Lacks Objectivity"

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2012/03/ru ... lawed.html

Sharkey must have missed all the USS Wasp/F-35B movies:
QUOTE:
"...Implications of STOVL operations on flight deck activity.
The jet efflux from a Harrier landing vertically has enormous power (it is keeping more than eight tons of aircraft airborne). The jet efflux from a ‘B’ STOVL aircraft landing vertically has more than twice that power and much more heat. If not understood and properly catered for on the flight deck during recovery operations, this jet efflux represents an extreme hazard to flight deck personnel, other aircraft and flight deck equipment.

If not properly managed, the 16 tonnes of vertical thrust associated with the STOVL aircraft would blow personnel and equipment overboard or into the superstructure of the island causing inestimable damage, death and destruction...."

POINTS TO:

Choosing Plan B: Reviewing the UK's Choice of Joint Strike Fighter By Elizabeth Quintana, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI March 2012 I guess.

http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... C9D5A2F291

"As the full ramifications of the austerity measures become clear, the UK may be reconsidering the choice of F-35 variant which it will buy under its Joint Combat Aircraft programme. For costs and operational reasons, Variant B is the logical choice...."
&
"...However, delays to the Ford Class carrier mean that the UK will be the first country to integrate EMALS onto a ship, with all the technical problems and costs associated with it. This may explain in part why the UK's initial estimate of £400m cost has already escalated to £1.8 billion. Interestingly, the UK has not committed to spend any money on the new EMALS system. Although it has issued an official request for the system, no contract has yet been signed...."

Interesting if true but I don't claim to know - I thought EMALS & Ford were going OK?

There are some way weird facts in this report. Check out the details in graphic comparing the F-35B/C - Research? Bugga All. :-)

ONly TeXt portion EdiTeD/aLmaLgamateD attached from two graphics here:
http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... C9D5A2F291
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Unread post03 Apr 2012, 11:29

A nice poster added missing text from above truncated post (when I went home)...

JDW: Cameron orders independent review into F-35 decision 30 March 2012 By Richard Scott

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/ ... 5b-19.html (SCROLL DOWN)
&
http://www.janes.com/products/janes/def ... l=business

"Prime Minister David Cameron has asked the UK Treasury to conduct an independent assessment of the costs associated with converting one of the two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers to operate the F-35C: the carrier variant (CV) of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).

Cameron's intervention follows a meeting with Defence Secretary Philip Hammond on 19 March, during which Hammond is believed to have recommended backtracking on the CV acquisition plan because of the costs of carrier conversion. He is thought to have instead advocated the purchase of the F-35B, the short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant of JSF.

The prime minister's decision to seek an independent review is thought to reflect two principal concerns. First, the political embarrassment resulting from a U-turn on one of the central components of the coalition government's October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR); second, the possible adverse reaction from the US government and the US Navy (USN)....

...Meanwhile, a letter sent by US Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Research, Development & Acquisition, Sean J Stackley, to the UK's Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Minister, Peter Luff, in mid-March has provided insight into the projected cost of the US-supplied aircraft launch and recovery equipment (ALRE) earmarked for Prince of Wales.

According to Stackley, the current estimate is in the range of USD733 million to USD840 million. This accounts for USD156 million in non-recurring engineering, plus the costs associated with the procurement of ALRE, including a two-track EMALS system and three-wire AAG configuration."
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Unread post03 Apr 2012, 11:43

I'm actually genuinely surprised on reading Cdr Ward's analysis that he doesn't then recommend SuperBug (as he routinely does!)

Progress of sorts :)

I'm not aware of any major issues with Ford or the EMALS/AARG and RUSI don't reference any comments which is a bit naughty professionally.
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Unread post05 Apr 2012, 04:30

spazsinbad wrote:Sharkey criticises RUSI (pot calls kettle black). I'm interested in some of his facts but there is no indication where they come from. Sad but true and I won't guess. :D

Does anyone have any data on F-35B STO performance other than required KPP (full internal load with now 600 foot T/O run?). For example what is load capacity with longest available run? I guess info is classified eh.

RUSI advice on F-35 Choice is Flawed 25 March 2012
“Choosing Plan B”: A Research Paper That Lacks Objectivity"

http://www.sharkeysworld.com/2012/03/ru ... lawed.html

Sharkey must have missed all the USS Wasp/F-35B movies:
QUOTE:
"...Implications of STOVL operations on flight deck activity.
The jet efflux from a Harrier landing vertically has enormous power (it is keeping more than eight tons of aircraft airborne). The jet efflux from a ‘B’ STOVL aircraft landing vertically has more than twice that power and much more heat. If not understood and properly catered for on the flight deck during recovery operations, this jet efflux represents an extreme hazard to flight deck personnel, other aircraft and flight deck equipment.

If not properly managed, the 16 tonnes of vertical thrust associated with the STOVL aircraft would blow personnel and equipment overboard or into the superstructure of the island causing inestimable damage, death and destruction...."

POINTS TO:

Choosing Plan B: Reviewing the UK's Choice of Joint Strike Fighter By Elizabeth Quintana, Senior Research Fellow, RUSI March 2012 I guess.

http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... C9D5A2F291

"As the full ramifications of the austerity measures become clear, the UK may be reconsidering the choice of F-35 variant which it will buy under its Joint Combat Aircraft programme. For costs and operational reasons, Variant B is the logical choice...."
&
"...However, delays to the Ford Class carrier mean that the UK will be the first country to integrate EMALS onto a ship, with all the technical problems and costs associated with it. This may explain in part why the UK's initial estimate of £400m cost has already escalated to £1.8 billion. Interestingly, the UK has not committed to spend any money on the new EMALS system. Although it has issued an official request for the system, no contract has yet been signed...."

Interesting if true but I don't claim to know - I thought EMALS & Ford were going OK?

There are some way weird facts in this report. Check out the details in graphic comparing the F-35B/C - Research? Bugga All. :-)

ONly TeXt portion EdiTeD/aLmaLgamateD attached from two graphics here:
http://www.rusi.org/analysis/commentary ... C9D5A2F291


I hope to god that chart is completely inaccurate because its showing a 16,000lbs reduction in max takeoff and a 48% reduction in range for the F-35B compared to the C.
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