UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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Unread post04 Jun 2019, 21:39

Queen Elizabeth Closer to Operations With Transatlantic Training
04 Jun 2019 Seapower Staff

"LONDON — HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s future flagship, will deploy in late summer for the eastern seaboard of the United States, including a port visit in the Washington, D.C., area, where she will host the Atlantic Future Forum, the U.K. Ministry of Defence announced....

...While in the Washington area she will host the Atlantic Future Forum, which aims at bringing the U.S. and U.K. defense industry and military together to address the changing nature of warfare and shared threats both allies face at home and abroad....

...The deployment, known as WESTLANT 19, will see Queen Elizabeth and her crew conduct deck and warfare trials with U.K. F-35 jets from 17 Test and Evaluation Squadron based in the United States and 617 Squadron based at RAF Marham as well rotary wing training with Merlin and Wildcat helicopters.

Photos: https://seapowermagazine.org/wp-content ... 24x819.jpg & https://seapowermagazine.org/wp-content ... 24x729.jpg

Source: https://seapowermagazine.org/queen-eliz ... -training/
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F-35B VX-23 QE 2018.jpg
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Unread post05 Jun 2019, 02:24

Why does the deck look like it has a non-random scorch mark pattern?
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Unread post05 Jun 2019, 02:48

VL landing spots.
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Unread post10 Jul 2019, 06:17

HMS Queen Elizabeth returns to Portsmouth, 9 July 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieR3FeWo_pg

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Unread post21 Jul 2019, 12:06

https://issuu.com/globalmediapartners/d ... wer2019/52
RAF Air & Space Power 2019: an official publication of the Royal Air Force
Published on Jul 9, 2019

My favorite part. 8) "Limitless ability"!! 8)
Much has been written about the development and attributes of F-35, but how do its capabilities compare with older aircraft? Using a simple, everyday comparison, it is the fast-jet equivalent of a smartphone.
In the same way that modern phones have evolved well beyond voice communications - with internet access, cameras, cellular connection and an almost limitless ability to upgrade and enhance through software-enabled apps - the same is true of the F-35 when compared with its predecessors.

Ambitious goals of F135. 8) (To the same CPFH as the 4th gen fighter's engine...!--------That's...$3,500...!! :shock: )
Now, Pratt & Whitney Is targeting a 50% reduction in sustainment costs, with a goal to bring operating costs for the fifth-generation F135 engine down to the same level as fourth-generation fighter engines.
We're looking to drive down the propulsion cost per flight hour to approacimately $3,500 by 2036 through the deployment of new repair processes, optimised work scopes and digital tools.
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Unread post22 Jul 2019, 16:12

Cyprus Deployment Tested UK F-35 Capabilities
19 Jul 2019 Tony Osborne

"...The flights over Syria were the culmination of Exercise Lightning Dawn, which saw six of the B-model short-takeoff-and-landing versions of the F-35 sent to RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus, proving the ability to deploy the aircraft to a remote location away from the normal logistics chain....

...At Akrotiri the F-35s flew a range of air-to-air and air-to-ground exercises, “the whole gambit,” Butcher says, routinely flying four-ship training missions. Flying from Cyprus, even while their counterparts in the Eurofighter Typhoon community were flying live missions, provided a “stable test” environment. “It’s a little like a science experiment, you know what good looks like,” says Butcher, “If you go where other combat aircraft are operating, you can really do an assessment about how you are performing. . . . It is a stable and known environment for us to go to.”

Among the components being proven was a deployable operations facility, a large secure unit containing the classified computer servers and other systems and equipment to support UK F-35 operations. The facility was flown to Cyprus by four Boeing C-17 airlifters.... [then details about stuff]

...While in Cyprus, the F-35s recorded their highest flying rate since they were moved to the UK, and the squadron flew 50% more missions than originally planned. “We had cleared out a lot of scheduled maintenance for the first month [of the deployment], so we were able to hit the ground running,” says Butcher. “We had done a lot of research to understand what we needed to do to operate at range, and we are confident we got the formula.”...

...Since returning from Cyprus, the F-35s have begun using the new £550 million ($690 million) Project Anvil facilities built for the F-35 at their main operating base at Marham, England. These include training facilities, a refurbished runway and vertical landing pads. The arrival on July 16 of the additional six aircraft, including the UK’s newest aircraft, its 18th of the type, paves the way for the establishment of the operational conversion unit, 207 Sqdn. on Aug. 1. The first pilot courses are due to commence in September. Three of the 18 are based at Edwards AFB, California....

...In February, construction work began on new facilities to support U.S. Air Force F-35s at RAF Lakenheath, which will be home to 54 F-35s operated across two squadrons. The first F-35As will arrive in late 2021 and operate alongside two units flying the F-15E Strike Eagle and another flying the F-15C Eagle. The addition of the two F-35 units will grow Lakenheath’s 49th Fighter Wing by an additional 1,244 personnel, the first of which will begin arriving in early 2021.

Basing the F-35 at Lakenheath is a “great opportunity to reinforce our strategic relationship with the UK and in particular with the Royal Air Force at Marham,” says Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, commander of the U.S. Air Force in Europe.

“Recent deployments [of the F-35] have reinforced how we are going to operate with our partners here [in Europe],” he tells Aviation Week. “So to be so close to our partners at Marham, we can not only work together from an operational perspective, but garner their lessons and share ours, and really focus on how we best interoperate to achieve the effects we are required to deliver.”"

Source: https://aviationweek.com/combat-aircraf ... pabilities
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Unread post23 Jul 2019, 10:11

Very ambitious plan. 8)
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/dstl ... ft-for-raf
Dstl to develop conceptual unmanned aircraft for RAF
A new project to develop a novel unmanned combat aircraft has been announced by the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).
Published 22 July 2019 From:Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
A new project to develop a novel unmanned combat aircraft has been announced by the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

The Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) concept looks to offer additional capability, deployed alongside fighter jets like the F-35 and Typhoon – offering increased protection, survivability and information for the manned aircraft - and could even provide an unmanned combat air ‘fleet’ in the future.

Specifically, in a break with traditional approaches for combat air systems in the UK, the innovative LANCA concept aims to deliver dramatic reductions in traditional cost and development timeline.

Under LANCA, a technology demonstrator project known as ‘Mosquito’ has awarded contracts for Phase 1 of the work, which will produce a preliminary system design for an unmanned air vehicle and assessment of the key risk areas and cost-capability trade-offs for an operational concept. Initial flight test of the demonstrator air vehicle could take place as early as 2022.

Phase 1 will include the exploration of novel design, development, prototyping, manufacture, and support, to enable low-cost rapid development and evolution of a potential future unmanned combat air system. Dstl, which provides science and technology for the defence and security of the UK, is delivering the technical oversight, project management, and partnering for Project Mosquito.

For Phase 1, contracts were awarded to three teams led by Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd, Boeing Defence UK Ltd, and Callen-Lenz (Team BLACKDAWN partnered with Bombardier Belfast and Northrop Grumman UK Ltd).

LANCA originated in 2015 studies by Dstl to understand innovative Combat Air technologies and concepts that might offer radical reductions in cost and development time. Subsequently LANCA was brought into the RAF RCO as part of the Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI). LANCA aims to explore the utility and feasibility of unmanned capability adjuncts to existing and future Fast Jet aircraft, specifically those that offer substantial reductions in traditional cost and development timelines.

Project Mosquito has two planned phases. After the 12-month Phase 1, Phase 2 will select up to two of the Phase 1 solutions to further mature the designs, complete manufacturing of the technology demonstrator and conclude with a limited flight-test programme.

The RAF RCO, in partnership with Dstl, is adopting creative approaches to deliver this challenging project. For example, by conducting a competition to access ‘best of breed’, it has enabled non-traditional suppliers to propose their approach to meet the MOD’s ambitious aims. Additionally, subject matter experts within the MOD are assigned as technical partners to each team, supporting industry with technical and operational advice and decisions. This will enhance the opportunity of this game-changing concept in a coherent approach for future combat air systems.
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Unread post25 Jul 2019, 06:55

The new UK defence secretary, Ben Wallace, appears to be an F-35 supporter. His tweet just last month...

https://twitter.com/BWallaceMP/status/1 ... 4699919361
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Unread post15 Aug 2019, 19:26

207 Back in the UK [Four page PDF of article attached below]
Sep 2019 Jamie Hunter

“The UK’s latest Lockheed Martin F-35B unit returned to RAF Marham on July 16. No 207 Squadron is the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) and Jamie Hunter was there for the arrival....

...Wg Cdr Scott ‘Mox’ Williams, officer commanding No 207 Squadron, led the formation and was still in his flying gear and immersion suit after the long flight when he kindly spoke to AFM. “We took off just after 0600hrs local time this morning at MCAS Beaufort, climbed up to about 26,000ft, met up with the tanker, which came out of [MCAS] Cherry Point. Then we plugged [for fuel] a couple of times as we flew up the US east coast, got abeam Halifax/Gander – that sort of area – and two other Voyager tankers met us and we jumped onto those two. We split, two F-35s on one and four on the other, and we all flew across the Atlantic and they dropped us off at Land’s End. We did eight refuellings each; some were close together because you want to keep your fuel high – so you can go in an emergency as far as possible – and it went pretty much on rails.”...

...With just one UK student pilot remaining at Beaufort, No 207 Squadron planned to start operations from Marham alongside No 617 Squadron almost immediately, steadily increasing its flying rates so that it’s ready to begin training its own students at the beginning of September.

Wg Cdr Williams previously told AFM: “We don’t have any ab initio UK pilots on the courses right now.

The first [and last] of these went through VMFAT- 501 in late 2017 and are now flying on 617 Squadron at Marham.” The first ground school course at Marham started on July 1 and will include the next two ab initio students. A flying phase will begin a couple of months later.

A joint approach
The Marham-based Lightning Force will maintain a pooled fleet of aircraft shared between Nos 207 and 617 Squadrons – to be joined by the Fleet Air Arm’s 809 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), which will be established at the base in 2023. A new lightning bolt tail marking is being applied to all British jets, and Wg Cdr Williams was clear that this isn’t a No 617 Squadron marking, it’s “Lightning Force”. He said: “We’re going for a ‘wing’ approach to producing aircraft to meet the daily and weekly needs of not just the operational squadron but the OCU as well. There are a lot of other factors that need considering beyond just the flying, so coming up with an optimised and sustainable flying schedule is a key part of the synergy we will generate by combining both 207 and 617 Squadrons’ engineering output.”

No 207 Squadron has slotted straight in alongside No 617 Squadron ‘Dambusters’, making use of its facilities, although the AFM latter is very much an operational unit. “Our core business is fundamentally different and only the OCU’s F-35B qualified flying instructors will teach new students,” explained Williams. No 617 Squadron will also train on a daily basis, but the OCU will be following a dedicated syllabus that encompasses all F-35B missions and capabilities. It is also planned for No 207 Squadron to establish post-graduate courses, including the Qualified Weapons Instructor (QWI) and Flying Instructor courses.

Ultimately, the OCU will feed new Lightning pilots and core expertise into both No 617 Squadron and 809 NAS. Williams said: “We will train every OCU student in all the missions and give them all the knowledge they need to be tactical frontline pilots on either 617 or 809 Squadrons. We’ll also be giving students their carrier qualification as we plan to embark twice a year in HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.” ...

Source: AirForces Monthly Magazine September 2019 No.378
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Unread post30 Aug 2019, 21:33

Carrier Queen Elizabeth departs for Westlant19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-nhZfJwftM

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Unread post31 Aug 2019, 01:19

Carrier Queen Elizabeth off to Westlant19 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IV7IgpBxaQw

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Unread post02 Sep 2019, 02:19

HMS Queen Elizabeth sails for the US where she will embark UK-owned Jets for the first time
30 Aug 2019 SaveTheRoyalNavy

"...Allocated assets
QE will be joined on the deployment by the destroyer HMS Dragon, the frigate HMS Northumberland and will be supported by tanker RFA Tideforce. 7 UK F-35B jets flown by RN and RAF pilots will fly on to the ship when she is on the eastern seaboard of the US. The jets and personnel will be drawn from the UK squadrons; the operational squadron (617 Sqn), the operational conversion unit (207 Sqn) and the test and evaluation squadron (17 Sqn based in California).

The UK-owned aircraft based at RAF Marham will not embark while the ship is in UK waters, instead, they will cross the Atlantic (using Air-Air Refuelling) for temporary basing on a US east coast airfield before joining QE, probably in the second week of October. The reason is that the landings will be these pilots’ first deck landings and ideal weather conditions are needed, with a diversionary airfield close by. Additionally, the jets only need to be embarked for the 5-week flight trials period, rather than the whole deployment. The British jets will be supplemented by up to 4 additional USMC F-35B aircraft. 9 rotary-wing aircraft, Merlin Mk2, Mk4, and Wildcat will be embarked on the carrier or her escorts. All UK military helicopters, except the ageing Puma, have now been certified for QEC carrier operations.

During this deployment, the QE group expects to work with a range of US assets, including ships and an SSN with USN, USMC and USAF aircraft helping train the ship’s fighter and aircraft controllers. As well as qualifying RN and RAF pilots for carrier operations, they will then begin developing new tactics and conduct sorties with bomb and missile loads. 617 Squadron will also start working up combat air patrol procedures (CAP), coordinating with fighter controllers onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Dragon. This is a particularly important moment as the RN has been dangerously bereft of its own fleet air-defence capability since its last fighter, the Sea Harrier FA2 was axed prematurely in 2006....

...Flying the flag in Canada and the US
In addition to working visits to Naval Station Norfolk and Naval Station Mayport, the deployment will include a formal visit to the Canadian port of Halifax.... In November QE will visit Annapolis, not far from the US Capital to host another meeting of the Atlantic Future Forum....

Going large – CSG21
Commodore Utley described Westlant19 as another element of the ‘Crawl-Walk-Run’ approach to re-establishing full carrier strike capability, expanding on the work done during Westlant18. The landing of the first UK jets onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth would be another landmark in the programme. Next year QE will join another group exercise on the way towards declaring an IOC (Initial Operating Capability) in December 2020. The first operational deployment, in 2021 (CSG21), is anticipated to include the Eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Pacific. CSG21 will be by far the largest and most powerful task group assembled by the RN for some time. QE will be escorted by 2 Type 45 destroyers, 2 Type 23 frigates, an SSN, a Tide-class tanker and RFA Fort Victoria. F-35Bs of 617 Squadron and a USMC squadron will be embarked. Full Operating Capability (FOC) with all-UK jets is planned for 2023....

...HMS Queen Elizabeth will be away for just over 3 months and is expected to return to home in early December. Before entering Portsmouth, it is possible QE may be photographed at sea with HMS Prince of Wales, provided she departs Rosyth as expected and initial sea trials progress well. We will provide regular imagery and reports here and on social media covering the progress of the Westlant19 deployment."

Source: https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/hms-qu ... irst-time/
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 22:25

I'll keep looking - others may find - to see if there is a transcript/article from this lecture - may take awhile - dunno?
F-35B / HMS Queen Elizabeth Development Flight Trials
12 Sep 2019 John Slater at RAS the Royal Aeronautical Society

"Flight trials of the F-35B with HMS Queen Elizabeth were required to allow the UK to regain fixed-wing carrier capability. Our team was at the core of planning and delivering these trials.

Using our world class flight simulation facility at Warton, evidence was produced to justify the flight clearances for the test aircraft, and rehearsals were carried out with Ship Staff and the Test Pilots. Some of our team deployed on the trials as key members of the F-35 Integrated Test Force, contributing to the highly successful F-35B / Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Flight Trials conducted in Quarter 4 2018 off the US East coast.

Of the trials, Vice Admiral Winter PEO F-35 Program said: “You have planned and executed one of the most productive, successful and dynamic maritime test phases in history”. This presentation discusses the build-up to the flight trials and the progress of the test team while embarked...."

Speaker Details John Slater MRAeS, Senior Flight Test Engineer, BAE Systems
"John Slater has worked as a Flight Test Engineer since 2005 on a variety of Flight Test programmes including Typhoon, Unmanned Air Systems, and the F-35B. He spent 4 years working as part of the F-35B Integrated Test Force in the USA and, since 2015, has worked in the BAE Systems F-35B / Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier Integration team. John was heavily involved in the trial planning, simulation trials, and successful flight trials of the aircraft aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth in Quarter 4 2018"


Source: https://www.aerosociety.com/events-cale ... ht-trials/
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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 13:44

Second Royal Navy new aircraft carrier, Prince of Wales, to sail this week

https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/u ... 302436.amp
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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 22:00

DSEI: New Carriers Sparking Royal Navy Renaissance
11 Sep 2019 Jon Rosamond

"...Air Commodore Paul Godfrey (Royal Air Force), the head of Carrier Enabled Power Projection, said that F-35Bs could be armed with next-generation smart weapons such MBDA’s SPEAR Cap 3 (Selective Precision Effects At Range, Capability 3) standoff air-to-surface missile.

However, the aircraft’s advanced sensors and networked data links meant the pilot would not be limited to his own weapons payload, but could also, for instance, launch Aster anti-air missiles from the silo of a Type 45 destroyer.

“The F-35 pilot will have more situational awareness than any pilot in history. How will we let him use that knowledge? There’s a need to re-write the rules of engagement. We’re at the start of that process,” Godfrey said. “I’ve now got the full might of a maritime task group available to me. F-35 is the catalyst for transformation in the maritime domain.”


Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/09/11/dsei-n ... enaissance

USNI News Video [2018]: The Future of the U.K. Carrier Strike Group https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwdTKuwAV6I

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