UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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count_to_10

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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 00:23

maus92 wrote:Umm, any ideas why the -C would be incompatible with French carriers? That would affect the USN as well.

Good question:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_air ... _%28R91%29

Unless this is mistaken, the French use CATOB CVs.
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 00:34

'maus92' British newspapers have a habit of being imprecise (remember 'cats 'n flaps'?). However this is one reason:

EXCLUSIVE: Cameron in humiliating u-turn on future of Britain's aircraft carriers with return of the jump jet
By Tim Shipman and Ian Drury [& the BLOCKHEADS] :D PUBLISHED: 17:45 GMT, 16 April 2012

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... riers.html

"The F-35C warplanes are also too heavy to land on the deck of France’s Charles de Gaulle carrier."

Later perhaps more detail will emerge so I can only speculate what 'too heavy' means. Reasons would be the arrestor gear and catapult cannot deal with a Maximum Landing Weight F-35C or Maximum Weight for catapult. If the deck itself is too thin then that is another matter altogether. There is a thread about the CdeG and Rafale with weight issues.
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 00:39

Times via Defense News:

"Britain’s military chiefs have unanimously backed a plan to switch back to the short take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to equip its aircraft carriers, a report in The Times newspaper said April 16.

The newspaper quotes unnamed officials as saying the “overwhelming case” from military chiefs for a change from the catapult-launched F-35C to the F-35B STOVL version could land on Prime Minister David Cameron’s desk this week."

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... /304160002
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 01:02

Thread about CdeG and WEIGHTS [Heavy!]

F-35C maximum takeoff weight question

http://www.f-16.net/index.php?name=PNph ... c&p=207412
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 02:03

maus92 wrote:Times via Defense News:

"Britain’s military chiefs have unanimously backed a plan to switch back to the short take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) version of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to equip its aircraft carriers, a report in The Times newspaper said April 16.

The newspaper quotes unnamed officials as saying the “overwhelming case” from military chiefs for a change from the catapult-launched F-35C to the F-35B STOVL version could land on Prime Minister David Cameron’s desk this week."

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... /304160002


Always seemed odd to me that when the RN had designed their entire operational concept of their new carriers on STOVL - workup periods, maintenance, sortie generation - they then found the C to be cheaper. I have this suspicion that the C was a poorly thought out idea by the Treasury.
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 09:32

As I recall the decade old decision to operate the F-35B was not only for reasons 'bumtish' cites above (expeditionary force) but also to ease the training load on the RAF/RN pilots as described the other week herein: SLOGAN? 'STOP & LAND' not 'LAND & then STOP'! :twisted:

UK’s delayed decision on F-35 purchase may be too little, too late 7 April 2012

http://defencereport.com/uks-delayed-de ... -too-late/
-
“...capability has been augmented by reducing aircrew task saturation in managing transitions to and from critical phases of STOVL flight, according to BAE F-35 test pilot Pete Kosogorin.

Kosogorin, a former Royal Navy Harrier pilot, told DefenceReport that reinventing cockpit management in the F-35B has been a primary design goal, with a focus on automating power plant management and control surfaces during transitions from conventional flight.

These automated systems, Kosogorin said, reduce pilot input to a fraction of what was required to transition the Harrier from shipboard landing and takeoff, which would likely translate to faster training for student pilots and the ability to broaden F-35B training to RAF and Navy aircrew – advantages that would not cross over with the F-35C....”
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 13:06

spazsinbad wrote:Thread about CdeG and WEIGHTS [Heavy!]

F-35C maximum takeoff weight question



The French operate the Hawkeye, which almost as heavy as the F-35C.
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 13:10

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/f276fbaa-87e4-1 ... i_referer=

Aircraft carriers will not be reconfigured for French

By Carola Hoyos in LondonThe UK will not reconfigure its aircraft carriers so that French fighter jets can land on them, senior government officials have told their French counterparts.

The move, confirmed by parliamentary officials, makes it increasingly unlikely David Cameron, the prime minister, will avoid an awkward U-turn in announcing the UK will buy the Stovl B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the version of the aircraft that can land on British carriers without the catapult and trap needed by French planes.
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 13:30

'emc2' we have only hints about 'heaviness'. A heavy Hawkeye lands slower (less ground speed compared to an F-35C) into the arrestor gear thus putting less 'weight' into the arrest I'll presume; whilst the 'deck hitting' will be lessened by decreased rate of descent compared to an F-35C at Max Landing Weight? But I'm only guessing. This is just supposition until detailed reasons are given. The 'too heavy' F-35C on CdeG might just be 'code' for some other complicated reason that either the reporter does not understand, or cannot explain in two words. Or both.

BTW that TIMES report two paragraphs is a very complicated way to say something really simple - but that's the times I guess. :roll: :shock: :D
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 16:01

spazsinbad wrote:'emc2' we have only hints about 'heaviness'. A heavy Hawkeye lands slower (less ground speed compared to an F-35C) into the arrestor gear thus putting less 'weight' into the arrest I'll presume; whilst the 'deck hitting' will be lessened by decreased rate of descent compared to an F-35C at Max Landing Weight? But I'm only guessing. This is just supposition until detailed reasons are given. ...


Very likely this. Possibly also its mirror image with respect to the ability of the catapults to impart the necessary take-off speed for either plane.
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 16:27

EMALS has no troubles, I think the CdeG catapult situation is covered here: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopic-p-207412.html

Scroll down to the CdeG C-13 catapult capabilities and why the RafaleM cannot carry same Max.Wt. as an Rafale.
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 19:15

Official -- It's back to the F-35B for the UK

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19482
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 20:05

@ Spaz

Thought that was included in "workup period." I may have been to generous to include it in there...
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 23:10

'bumtish' I think the point being made by the test pilot above is that every vertical landing in the F-35B ashore is the same as one on a flat deck at sea (more or less) allowing the F-35B pilot (RAF/RN) to remain 'deck current' if they remain 'VL current' (remembering that most F-35B landings will be RVL due to the ease of them with wide conventional undercarriage with less wear and tear all round).

Even though an F-35C pilot will use the IFLOLS or whatever 'mirror equivalent' is used on the carrier to land ashore when possible this is never the same as an actual carrier landing, thus requiring the workup period. If the RN use similar RN/RAF Harrier workup period this time will be minimal. Do a few landings on the carrier and that is that. However the USMC have used a different regime for their Harriers as described in another thread - so I'm not talking about them - just the potential RN/RAF operations of the F-35B.
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Unread post17 Apr 2012, 23:49

More excerpts from 'The Times' article above from: http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... 79?page=20
OR
http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.c ... 35?page=39

"Aircraft Carriers Will Not Be Reconfigured for French (excerpt)
(Source: Financial Times; published April 16, 2012)

The first F-35 for the United Kingdom, a STOVL “B” variant, has made its first flight. (LM photo) The UK will not reconfigure its aircraft carriers so that French fighter jets can land on them, senior government officials have told their French counterparts.

The move, confirmed by parliamentary officials, makes it increasingly unlikely David Cameron, the prime minister, will avoid an awkward U-turn in announcing the UK will buy the Stovl B variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the version of the aircraft that can land on British carriers without the catapult and trap needed by French planes.

In the 2010 strategic defence and security review, Mr Cameron announced the Ministry of Defence would convert the carriers and buy the longer-range F-35 C variant of the strike fighter. At the time he roundly criticised the previous Labour government for choosing the Stovl B variant.

Allowing France and the UK to share the expensive task of maintaining uninterrupted carrier capability was an important reason for the switch, the SDSR noted at the time.

But Mr Cameron is widely believed to have changed tack because his government underestimated the cost of converting the carriers, analysts said. Instead of the expected £400m, it is believed the conversion would cost about £1.8bn. Meanwhile, to make the carriers interoperable with French fighters, further expensive technological adjustments beyond the catapult and trap would have to be made.

Despite weeks of speculation, Mr Cameron has yet to announce the switch back to the B variant – which can land vertically and only needs a short runway to take off – to parliament. (end of excerpt)"

[WOW! Back in 2008 the RafaleM cross-decked with USS Roosevelt - no worries, though note brief workup for experienced French pilots but not experienced on CVNs.]
Link: http://www.dassault-aviation.com/filead ... ee_n12.pdf (7.6Mb)

"...For the French contingent, the exercise culminated with the deployment of five Rafales for five days onboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). Prior to embarking on the carrier, Flottille 12F pilots performed four simulated field deck landings each (two in daytime and two at night) at NAS Oceana or at nearby Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress. Experienced US Landing Signal Officers (LSOs) were assessing the performance and safety levels of the French Navy aviators before allowing them to trap onboard the carrier. On 19 July 2008, the first Rafale carrier landing was recorded onboard USS Roosevelt. The first two days onboard the US vessel were dedicated to Carrier Qualifications and every pilot had to log ten ‘traps’, six in daytime and four at night, in order to become fully qualified again. On the very first day, four pilots gained their day and night carrier qualifications, with the other four the following day, an achievement made possible by both the superb handling qualities of the Rafale in the circuit, and the size of the US carrier which allowed simultaneous launch and recovery of fighters...."]

Utube Video of FCLP in France:
Lann-Bihoué (56). Rafales et Hawkeyes en entraînement d'appontage

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pl ... WbbS4mWl-w

"Uploaded by LeTelegramme on Jan 25, 2012
Jusqu'au 3 février, la base de Lann-Bihoué vit au rythme des entraînements d'appontage de ses avions Hawkeyes et des avions Rafales de la base de Landivisiau. Une campagne à l'appontage simulé sur piste concentrée sur deux jours par semaine, en journée et en soirée, pour causer le moins de gêne possible aux riverains.

Ces exercices sont effectués dans le cadre de l'entraînement des pilotes de la flottille du groupe aérien embarqué sur le porte-avions Charles de Gaulle. Comment s'exercer à atterir « sur la surface d'un tSimhbowre m poarrer apport à une."
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