UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 03:34

FWIW (I cannot hear sound) here is the UK Opposition Shadow DefMin on VIDEO:

Shadow Defence Secretary's take on F35-B 17 April 2012

http://www.bfbs.com/news/uk/shadow-defe ... 56561.html

"Forces News has been speaking to Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy about an imminent Government decision that could see Britain's new aircraft carriers carry a fleet of jump jets.

He says the F35-B - the Joint Strike Fighter version originally ordered by the previous Labour Government and now favoured by military chiefs - should never have been shelved by the coalition, which chose the F35-C cat and trap version after completing its Strategic Defence and Security Review.

But spiraling costs, including the billions of pounds of adaptations needed to the new aircraft carriers, have cast the wisdom of that decision into doubt. Now Downing Street sources have suggested the F35-C is about to be scrapped, throwing plans for "cross-decking" between the French and British naval fleets into doubt."

VIDEO may be downloaded: http://www.bfbs.com/news/sites/ssvc.com ... hy_i_v.mp4 (28Mb)
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 09:45

This is unfortunate for their overall military force, with the lower range & weight, but if switching to C was really expensive, then it was really expensive.

I still don't get, though, why they can't stick with B for the carriers they've already got and just build the next carrier(s) for C. You'd still get at least one carrier that can handle the longer-range and heavier-payload plane instead of zero, you'd still get to skip the costs of altering the old carriers, and the similarity of the two kinds of plane would mean you only had to maintain the support system (such as training & supplies) for essentially one kind of plane instead of two.
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 10:05

The cost to alter the 2nd CVF was prohibitive - let alone altering the 1st CVF, which apparently has already had the ski jump removed which I guess will be put back. This is relatively easy it is said. We will have to wait until more official details announced in a week or so. But it ain't over 'til it is over.
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lb

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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 10:55

It's in fact rather stunning they didn't cost out the conversion when they made the original choice to switch to the C. Moreover, that decision contained a lot of wording regarding saving money which was never explained in detail and was in fact obviously wrong. It entirely seemed like smoke and mirrors in that the real savings was made by only operating one carrier and cutting the aircraft buy by more than half. So now the RN is left with one large CV operating a dozen B's most of the time. Frankly they were better off with 3 small carriers and thus always having one with 12 fighters available with a 2nd when required.

As a very long time admirer of the RN it's rather sad seeing the state they're in now. The writing was on the wall when the Sea Harriers were retired early, the Type 22 batch 3's were retired without replacement, etc. In 1990 the RN had 49 escorts, 3 small carriers, and 29 SSN and SSK's. Today they're down to 18 escorts, no carriers, and 7 SSN's. Not to mention the Nimrod's were also retired without replacement.
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 11:22

spazsinbad wrote:The cost to alter the 2nd CVF was prohibitive - let alone altering the 1st CVF, which apparently has already had the ski jump removed which I guess will be put back. This is relatively easy it is said. We will have to wait until more official details announced in a week or so. But it ain't over 'til it is over.


The ski jump is a bolt on assembly which would go on last, once all the blocks have been joined - we're a way from that - construction of the ski jump might have been delayed or put off but it's certainly *not* been fitted, then removed.
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 15:47

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

http://www.defencemanagement.com/news_s ... p?id=19482


So, in other words, they now have the World's largest LPH if the F-35B gets the axe or has become too heavy to be effective.
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 15:50

'bjr1028' said: "....or [F-35B] has become too heavy to be effective." How is this happening? Recent thread describes weight margin is under control for KPPs.
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 16:00

stobiewan wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:The cost to alter the 2nd CVF was prohibitive - let alone altering the 1st CVF, which apparently has already had the ski jump removed which I guess will be put back. This is relatively easy it is said. We will have to wait until more official details announced in a week or so. But it ain't over 'til it is over.


The ski jump is a bolt on assembly which would go on last, once all the blocks have been joined - we're a way from that - construction of the ski jump might have been delayed or put off but it's certainly *not* been fitted, then removed.


The first ship - HMS Queen Elizabeth - has never been considered for CATOBAR conversion.

The second was only started in May 2011, so the faffing about shouldn't have made any real difference
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 16:11

Report about CVF 'ski jump removal' on page 21 of this thread:

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... t-300.html

desider - Issue 43 - December 2011 PDF [4.3 MB] page 10

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/BC92C2AF ... er2011.pdf

Quote: Ramp off
"Removal of the take-off ramp on the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers is expected to be captured in a contract amendment early next year with further changes arising from decisions on the carriers to be captured in 2013, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Peter Luff has said. This comes from the decision to fly the Carrier Variant of the Joint Strike Fighter."
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 16:21

It looks like the U-Turn will come just in time so as to not waste time & money putting the ramp back on.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 16:40

spazsinbad wrote:Report about CVF 'ski jump removal' on page 21 of this thread:


So it hasn't been removed.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 22:36

Do you know?
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 23:33

spazsinbad wrote:Do you know?


The biggest bits of QE just got put together.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-17603865

There's no *deck* to put a ski jump *on*...
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 23:39

Any news on the front bits?
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Unread post18 Apr 2012, 23:39

emc2 wrote:
stobiewan wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:The cost to alter the 2nd CVF was prohibitive - let alone altering the 1st CVF, which apparently has already had the ski jump removed which I guess will be put back. This is relatively easy it is said. We will have to wait until more official details announced in a week or so. But it ain't over 'til it is over.


The ski jump is a bolt on assembly which would go on last, once all the blocks have been joined - we're a way from that - construction of the ski jump might have been delayed or put off but it's certainly *not* been fitted, then removed.


The first ship - HMS Queen Elizabeth - has never been considered for CATOBAR conversion.

The second was only started in May 2011, so the faffing about shouldn't have made any real difference


Technically, no official announcement has been made about which carrier would get cats and traps, but everyone's assumed that the POW is the logical candidate, given that the delivery of EMALS wouldn't happen until after the QE had been floated out.

However, it's been assumed that the QE would be run as an LPH with no STOVL ops so the ramp would be superfluous and as far as I understand, there was never any intention to fit a ski jump to either ship if the CATOBAR option were followed.

That's how I understood it five minutes ago, it's probably been revised twice since then. :sigh:

Wish they'd just build the frickin' things already...Nghh...
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