UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post02 Jun 2021, 03:50

UK confirms plans to order more F-35 jets
01 Jun 2021 George Allison

"The UK has confirmed that it will purchase a second tranche of F-35B jets in addition to the 48 already planned. The UK currently has 21 of the jets with 48 orders being confirmed....

...How many?
The First Sea Lord recently said during a webcast that the UK intends to purchase ‘around 60’ F-35B jets and then ‘maybe more up to around 80’ for four deployable squadrons. A defence insider informed the UK Defence Journal of a live wbecast given by the First Sea Lord....

...We knew that the UK planned to increase the F-35B fleet due to the recently released Defence Command Paper titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age’, which states that the UK intends to increase the fleet size beyond the 48 F-35 aircraft it has already ordered but we now know they’ll be F-35Bs."

Source: https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/uk-conf ... f-35-jets/
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mixelflick

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Unread post02 Jun 2021, 13:07

Not surprised they cut their order, am surprised its apparently going to be something less than 100.

Also, good to see USMC B's operating off British carriers.... but is that helping or hurting the British long term/full buy prospects? Part of me thinks these deployments will become "expected", and if they continue... why would you buy more F-35's?

Maybe that's been addressed already, but if not seems to me to be a slippery slope..
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Corsair1963

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Unread post03 Jun 2021, 09:43

mixelflick wrote:Not surprised they cut their order, am surprised its apparently going to be something less than 100.

Also, good to see USMC B's operating off British carriers.... but is that helping or hurting the British long term/full buy prospects? Part of me thinks these deployments will become "expected", and if they continue... why would you buy more F-35's?

Maybe that's been addressed already, but if not seems to me to be a slippery slope..




They haven't cut anything. Also, let's not forget that they will build F-35's for the next 20+ years. So, in the end they may actually get more!
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ricnunes

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Unread post03 Jun 2021, 12:30

Corsair1963 wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Not surprised they cut their order, am surprised its apparently going to be something less than 100.

Also, good to see USMC B's operating off British carriers.... but is that helping or hurting the British long term/full buy prospects? Part of me thinks these deployments will become "expected", and if they continue... why would you buy more F-35's?

Maybe that's been addressed already, but if not seems to me to be a slippery slope..




They haven't cut anything. Also, let's not forget that they will build F-35's for the next 20+ years. So, in the end they may actually get more!


Exactly!
What that news/link says is that the UK approved the purchase of a second tranche of F-35Bs which will increase UK's current order of 48 to 60 (minimum) or 80. There's nothing saying that the UK won't purchase a third tranche or more tranches of F-35s.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post04 Jun 2021, 17:11

spazsinbad wrote:
F-35 from HMS Queen Elizabeth in precautionary Ibiza landing
01 Jun 2021 George Allison
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The tire has been changed. 8)
https://www.instagram.com/p/CPl3whAh3mK/
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doge

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Unread post04 Jun 2021, 17:13

Great job by the F-35's sensors and communications capabilities and the pilots ! :applause:
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-57287432
Helicopter reports near-miss with fighter jets over Norwich
2 June 2021 BBC News
A helicopter pilot reported a "near-miss" event after four RAF F-35 fighter jets flew close by.
The AW139 was flying over Norwich on 24 February when air traffic control informed the pilot of "intense military activity" in his "vicinity", an Airprox report said.
Four F-35s were flying in formation as part of a course at the time.
The vertical separation between one of the jets and the helicopter was recorded as 600ft (183m).

After being notified of the jets' presence, the helicopter pilot spotted three of the four.
The report said the AW139 "could not predict the F-35 pilots' intentions and so elected to maintain course and altitude initially" but then descended "when the conflicting flight paths became apparent".
It added the crew should be "commended" for their "proactive actions to help reduce the risk of a collision".
The first F-35 jet was unaware of the helicopter and passed over it at a distance of about 1,000ft (300m), the report said.

The second jet's sensors detected the AW139 and stopped descent before informing the third F-35, which enabled the aircraft to increase separation.
It was the second jet that passed the helicopter at 600ft, the report said.
The report said the pilot of the second jet should be "commended" for their "quick action in passing traffic information" to the third F-35.

The AW139 was under Norwich air traffic control while the F-35s were under Marham.
The report found the Marham radar controller's workload at the time was "high" and "an opportunity to provide additional support" had been missed.
All F-35 operators have been mandated to read the Airprox report into the incident "as a case study to help improve awareness of the importance of lookout as much as the continued need to follow good airmanship practice", the report said.

As a result of the report, the level of supervision to controllers will be increased during busy periods, it said.
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Unread post06 Jun 2021, 02:09

You may have missed this, so I'm posting the picture. HMS Queen Elizabeth and FNS Charles de Gaulle spent three days exercising together in the Mediterrean a few days ago. Here they are side by side:

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https://twitter.com/EtatMajorFR/status/1401146786849431553

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Unread post10 Jun 2021, 04:20

Hubba Hubba Toil & Trubba: An F-35 Lands On ‘HMS Prince of Wales’ Aircraft Carrier For The First Time
An F-35 Lands On ‘HMS Prince of Wales’ Aircraft Carrier For The First Time
09 Jun 2021 Martin Manaranche

"The stealth fighter touched down for the first time on the deck of the second of Britain’s new aircraft carriers on a calm, clear day off the south coast of England. HMS Prince of Wales manoeuvered into position to accept the aircraft [pilot RAF Squadron Leader Will of 207 Squadron] which touched down on the sprawling flight deck with precision amid an air of excitement from the ship’s company....

...Shortly after the first landing, the first take-off: Lieutenant Commander Ben, also from 207 Squadron – the joint RAF-Fleet Air Arm formation dedicated to teaching fast jet pilots how to fly and operate the stealth fighter – powered along the deck and leapt skywards courtesy of the carrier’s iconic ski ramp, blazing the trail for thousands of similar launches over the next half century.

The jet and ship are carrying out Sea Acceptance Trials which test the ship’s ability to not only receive and launch the jets but also maintain near-continuous air operations...."

Photo: "The Flight Deck Officer onboard HMS Prince Of Wales launches the ships first ever F35. Royal Navy picture." https://g7a6v6x7.rocketcdn.me/wp-conten ... e-goah.jpg (600Kb)


Source: https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... irst-time/
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Go-for-launch-Flight-Deck-Officer-Lieutenant-Graham-Blick-gives-the-first-launch-of-an-F35-the-goah ED.jpg
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spazsinbad

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Unread post10 Jun 2021, 12:09

Prince of Wales embarks Lightning, Apache for first time
09 Jun 2021 Gareth Jennings

"...A single F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter from the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) 207 Squadron (the Operational Conversion Unit based at RAF Marham), and three British Army Air Corps (AAC) Apaches from 4 Regiment, 656 Squadron, arrived aboard the second Queen Elizabeth-class carrier in early June for ship/aircraft integration trials.

“Operating together as part of Sea Acceptance Trials, [the F-35B arrival] is the first time a fixed-wing aircraft has landed onboard HMS Prince of Wales ,” the MoD said on 9 June...."

Photo: "F-35B pilot, Squadron Leader Will, stands in front of his aircraft aboard Prince of Wales . (Crown Copyright)" https://www.janes.com/images/default-so ... -12437.jpg


Source: https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... first-time
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Unread post10 Jun 2021, 13:06

The American F35 fighter leaves Ibiza, jun 7

https://www.diariodeibiza.es/pitiuses-b ... 07869.html
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spazsinbad

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Unread post17 Jun 2021, 21:16

VIDEO of Carrier Strike Group 21 with F-35Bs featuring amongst the talking heads.

NATO Assistance Essential as US Withdraws from Afghanistan, CENTCOM Chief Says 16 Jun 2021 VoA Voice of America
https://www.voanews.com/episode/nato-as ... ys-4720461

VIDEO DOWNLOADs of various quality. BEST qual: https://voamedia.voanews.com/pd/p/24463 ... al_(Source) (MP4 80Mb)
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Unread post19 Jun 2021, 08:26

zhangmdev wrote:The American F35 fighter leaves Ibiza, jun 7

https://www.diariodeibiza.es/pitiuses-b ... 07869.html

I hope the pilot got the opportunity to have some good time before he had to leave :D
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spazsinbad

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Unread post20 Jun 2021, 04:22

6 page PDF about CSG21 'Back in the Carrier Business' from AirForces Monthly Magazine July 2021 Issue 400 below.
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UK Carrier Biz AirForces Monthly Jul 2021 pp6.pdf
(1.21 MiB) Downloaded 8 times
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steve2267

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Unread post20 Jun 2021, 04:42

From that article:
The F-35Bs embarked on HMS Queen Elizabeth currently boast a limited capability in the air-to-air role. Although the AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) has been integrated onto the Lightning IIs, the pilots of No 617 Squadron and VMFA-211 have been primarily trained to perform a strike role, and the aircraft’s radar is not optimised for air-to-air operations.


Hmmm... Don't tell that to the jarheads. (Not sure about the Brits. But I suppose they are the same.)

The flying leathernecks musta left their air-to-air 'dars back in the states. Didn't want to show up their hosts.

Feh...

I would be more concerned about the air-to-air surveillance / early warning ability of those Crowsnest helos compared to Hawkeyes than any mediocre air-to-air capabilities of those Panthers.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post20 Jun 2021, 06:35

"...aircraft’s radar is not optimised for air-to-air operations."

What an odd quote from the author. I thought - if anything - the radar was yet to be 'optimised'/better enabled in BLOCK 4 'over sea search mode' (I would have to look up correct terminology). Air to Air OPS are part of the bread & butter here.

Then there is another quote about the F-35Bs not able to handle small boats. Did anyone mention a gun pod underneath?
"...In confined waters, fast patrol boats and small warships can be a major threat to CSG21, but the British and American F-35Bs lack the dedicated anti-ship missiles to counter them. That task, therefore, falls to the Wildcat HMA2 helicopters, which can be armed with up to 16 Martlet anti-ship missiles to counter swarms of small boats...."

The US Navy is seeking upgrades for the F-35 radar’s sea-search mode
12 Jun 2019 David B. Larter & Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy wants more from the F-35 jet’s radar, which in sea-search mode is limited to what is directly in front of the aircraft, according to documents exclusively obtained by Defense News. According to the documents, the radar, Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array radar, can either hone in on a sector based on a specific point on the ground, or work in what is commonly known as “snowplow mode,” which, as the name suggests, searches everything in front of the aircraft.

The Navy wants to be able to scan a wider area when in sea-search mode, something that the radar is currently not set up for, according to officials who spoke to Defense News.

Officials also said the problem is on track for a solution, but may not be implemented until as late as 2024 with the Block 4 upgrades, notably adding that a solution will not be in place before a full-rate production decision on the F-35 this year. Ultimately, giving the Navy what it wants will be a matter of boosting computing power and upgrading software, officials explained...."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden- ... arch-mode/
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