UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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ricnunes

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Unread post26 Apr 2022, 17:17

quicksilver wrote:“Yes, I am.“

Really?

So, you would accept the risks of driving your car or having your kids drive the car after a similar dunk? Or better yet, how ‘bout taking a several hour flight on an airliner that had been underwater for a couple weeks?


mor10 wrote:Salt water causes an untold amount of invisible damage, so I would be very surprised if they managed to get that bird flying again. Even an unsophisticated Harley-Davidson is hard to get running right after a flood in fresh water, let alone salt water.


Well, cars and bikes aren't exactly built to the same or similar standards of toughness as a fighter aircraft, are they?

Moreover, old aircraft can be re-built to as basically new or almost new condition. There are lots of examples of this in both military and civilian aviation.
Of course the same can potentially be applied to cars and bikes. However their very low cost (compared to aircraft) means that this is not economically feasible except for some rare collection/classic cars and bikes.

Anyway, this is not like trying to recover an aircraft that has been several months or years underwater since corrosion takes time to take its toll.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post26 Apr 2022, 23:00

Yes it is difficult to imagine what the PRESSURE of the column of saltwater above is like - that is why the table for such was posted. Most media reports suggested the aircraft was at about 1,500 metres: https://bluerobotics.com/learn/pressure ... alculator/ The aircraft being ALMOST one mile under - the pressure is phenomenal. Sea water corrosion effects on avionics has been answered well by others here. [this site offline for 2 hours?]
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steve2267

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Unread post27 Apr 2022, 05:40

ricnunes wrote:
Well, cars and bikes aren't exactly built to the same or similar standards of toughness as a fighter aircraft, are they?



This is priceless!

Find for me please the systems requirement that Lockheed Martin design, build, test, and deliver F-35B aircraft able to withstand 5000 ft below the surface of the sea for one months time, be taken out, rinsed off, and able to fly again. I'll wait.

Oh... not rinse off and fly again... re-build? I wager it would be far cheaper to just have LM build another one. From scratch.

Next, find me a pilot that will risk their noggin flying an aircraft that had been an undersea submersible. Not gonna wait. I'll be dead and buried before you find one.
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 post27 Apr 2022, 05:54

Try ALMOST 5,000 feet ("almost 1,500 meters" is the most quoted metric for recovery of this F-35B) almost 1 mile below.
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Unread post27 Apr 2022, 05:56

timmymagic wrote:It's being reported that the UK is to purchase an additional 26 F-35B following the initial 48 being delivered (which should be complete by the end of 2025). Negotiations are already underway, these will be likely delivered from Lot 17 onwards (which also points to the UK potentially upgrading all its fleet to that standard as that means full EW capability as well, RAF is loathe to have fleets within fleets again).

In practice this means a force size of 70 aircraft as one a/c has been lost and 3 are ITF non-combat capable aircraft. These aircraft will be in 5 Squadrons; 17 TES (with 3 ITF a/c) at Edwards AFB, 207 (OCU) Sqn at Marham, 617 Sqn, 809 NAS and one other operational squadron also based at Marham.

The budget has been delegated so appears that it will definitely happen.

This probably puts to bed the idea of 138 being procured. The rest of the Combat Air budget will go on Typhoon upgrades and then, from 2030 onwards, be swallowed up by Tempest. Any further buy of F-35 would also need another airfield adapted to take it at the cost of £100's million. There are only a couple of suitable HAS equipped airfields that aren't already in use (Leeming and Wattisham spring to mind) and there is no sign of them being used/redeveloped.


Optimistic to assume Tempest will be on track with only a decade to mid-30s.

May not be a good idea from risk perspective to operate 70 F-35 from just 1 airbase (not withstanding RAF Lakenheath). Originally thought Wittering as a candidate for a 2nd base. Some originally though 48 was the max. Now we have 70+. Let's see in another 5 years.

Who knows post Covid + Russia risk, defence budgets might go up, wot.
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Unread post27 Apr 2022, 09:15

ricnunes wrote:Well, cars and bikes aren't exactly built to the same or similar standards of toughness as a fighter aircraft, are they?

Moreover, old aircraft can be re-built to as basically new or almost new condition. There are lots of examples of this in both military and civilian aviation.
Of course the same can potentially be applied to cars and bikes. However their very low cost (compared to aircraft) means that this is not economically feasible except for some rare collection/classic cars and bikes.

Anyway, this is not like trying to recover an aircraft that has been several months or years underwater since corrosion takes time to take its toll.


Realistically you'd need to replace every single electrical component, inspect every part of the aircrafts structure, any safety critical part before you could fly it again. Imagine if you had to do that with a car for example? Purchasing and replacing all the parts would cost more than purchasing a new one direct from the manufacturers..

And even if you did all that work you'd still be left with an aircraft that was utterly outside all of the known engineering standards and testing. No-one would sign it off to fly ever, particularly in the UK as they would be bound by the MAA and post-Haddon Cave implications (these followed the fatal crash of a Nimrod in Afghanistan). These essentially make senior officers legally responsible for the safety of aircraft. Without a safety case, which you could never get for a salt water immersed aircraft, every officer or engineer signing it off would be legally liable, including criminally, if anything ever happened with that aircraft. No-one would ever take that chance.
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Unread post27 Apr 2022, 10:04

weasel1962 wrote:Optimistic to assume Tempest will be on track with only a decade to mid-30s.

May not be a good idea from risk perspective to operate 70 F-35 from just 1 airbase (not withstanding RAF Lakenheath). Originally thought Wittering as a candidate for a 2nd base. Some originally though 48 was the max. Now we have 70+. Let's see in another 5 years.

Who knows post Covid + Russia risk, defence budgets might go up, wot.


Doesn't matter if its on track or not. It will swallow up increasing parts of the Combat Air budget every year going forward, 2030 will be roughly when it starts to ramp up massively. Add in Mosquito/LANCA and other developments and there's very little headroom.

Wittering has been turned over to the Army, like a lot of Cold War RAF bases. Pity really as it was a lovely place, the Officers Mess in particular was wonderful (imagine a stately home, ivy covered, oak panelled walls etc). But...it wasn't a frontline station, more the base station to the deployed force out at RAF Gutersloh in Germany (who would obviously deploy to field sites with Harrier as soon as the Cold War went hot). In terms of facilities there are better alternatives. Cottesmore which is just up the road from Wittering was the TTTE base for years and has a lot more facilities, particularly bomb store (Wittering's has long since been divested). So the sensible list (in order of likelihood) would be...

1) - RAF Leeming - Fairly modern, still in service. Was extensively rebuilt for Tornado F.3. Plenty of HAS and located to support northern or southern QRA (it used to be a QRA station, replacing Binbrook back in the day). Still in regular use.

2) - RAF Honington - Still in RAF possession. Lots of HAS, not far from Marham

3) - Wattisham - Used by the Army. Lots of HAS, not that far from Marham

4) - Cottesmore - Used by the Army. Fairly modern, lots of space and large bomb store. No HAS though...

5) - Leuchars - Lots of HAS, still in MoD possession. Very nice part of the world...incredible golf nearby...support to Northern QRA

6) - Kinloss - Was reused recently whilst Lossie was getting runway work done, but is now Army, was never a fighters station so no HAS, arguably too close to Lossie.

7) - RAF Woodbridge - Huge runway and HAS, not a huge distance from Marham.

The would have been perfect list...but long gone...

RAF Alconbury - Huge number of HAS
RAF St. Mawgan - RAF still there, but most of the site is civilian, perfect location to fly on to carriers coming out of Portsmouth, no HAS but enormous weapons storage areas. RAF would probably appreciate maing it live again for MPA ops.
RAF Upper Heyford - Huge number of HAS, very large ones (designed for F-111), huge bomb store

As to Defence Budgets rising...unlikely....we're already hitting 2%, Russia is geting wrecked, lets face it we massively over-estimated them...they won't be a conventional threat again for at least 10-15 years after the Ukraine War and sanctions (it will take them that long to rebuild weapon stocks..). But if they did the RAF priority would be more Typhoon Tranche 2 Radar, another 9 x Poseidon, A400M and more RPAS.
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ricnunes

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Unread post27 Apr 2022, 12:44

spazsinbad wrote:Yes it is difficult to imagine what the PRESSURE of the column of saltwater above is like - that is why the table for such was posted. Most media reports suggested the aircraft was at about 1,500 metres: https://bluerobotics.com/learn/pressure ... alculator/ The aircraft being ALMOST one mile under - the pressure is phenomenal. Sea water corrosion effects on avionics has been answered well by others here. [this site offline for 2 hours?]


Ah ok, thanks for the answer Spaz. And I stand corrected!
I really didn't know that the F-35B settled at a depth of 1,500 meters - For some reason, I thought that it was shallower than that hence why my question.
But yes, it's indeed too much pressure down there at that depth so the aircraft structure was almost definitely compromised.


steve2267 wrote:This is priceless!

Find for me please the systems requirement that Lockheed Martin design, build, test, and deliver F-35B aircraft able to withstand 5000 ft below the surface of the sea for one months time, be taken out, rinsed off, and able to fly again. I'll wait.

Oh... not rinse off and fly again... re-build? I wager it would be far cheaper to just have LM build another one. From scratch.

Next, find me a pilot that will risk their noggin flying an aircraft that had been an undersea submersible. Not gonna wait. I'll be dead and buried before you find one.


Hey Pal, look my reply above! And BTW, the one below as well!
Last edited by ricnunes on 27 Apr 2022, 17:32, edited 1 time in total.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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ricnunes

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Unread post27 Apr 2022, 12:54

timmymagic wrote:Realistically you'd need to replace every single electrical component, inspect every part of the aircrafts structure, any safety critical part before you could fly it again. Imagine if you had to do that with a car for example? Purchasing and replacing all the parts would cost more than purchasing a new one direct from the manufacturers..

And even if you did all that work you'd still be left with an aircraft that was utterly outside all of the known engineering standards and testing. No-one would sign it off to fly ever, particularly in the UK as they would be bound by the MAA and post-Haddon Cave implications (these followed the fatal crash of a Nimrod in Afghanistan). These essentially make senior officers legally responsible for the safety of aircraft. Without a safety case, which you could never get for a salt water immersed aircraft, every officer or engineer signing it off would be legally liable, including criminally, if anything ever happened with that aircraft. No-one would ever take that chance.


Yes, you're right. The recovery of such aircraft would never be a "not rinse off and fly again" like steve2267 claimed that I said/hinted but this is something that I NEVER SAID!
Obviously the recovery of such aircraft would require a "re-built" like you said and this was also what I previously meant.
I guess that another way to post what I did earlier would be: Is it cheaper to rebuild such aircraft or to build a new one? And again this would be a question. Not that this matters much because the aircraft was submerged at a depth of 1,500 meters (something that again, I didn't know) and as such its structure is most likely compromised.
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post27 Apr 2022, 16:10

UK to purchase at least 74 F-35 jets
27 Apr 2022 NavyLookout

"It was revealed yesterday that the MoD is in negotiations with the F-35 Joint Project Office to buy another tranche of F-35 jets. This second batch will consist of 26 aircraft, in addition to the 48 already under contract.

The Integrated Review published in March 2021 stated only that vaguely there was an intention to buy “more than 48” F-35s. Speaking in a Parliamentary Defence Select Committee session, Air Marshal Richard Knighton, Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff specified the exact figure for the first time in public. The initial tranche of 48 jets already on order will be delivered by 2025 and Knighton said the MoD now has the funding in place for the purchase of a further 26 aircraft, including the support and personnel costs. This will bring the UK fleet up to a total of 74 aircraft (minus the one jet lost in a non-fatal accident at sea in 2021).

In negotiations with Lockheed Martin and the JPO, the Defence Secretary has stated that the contractor must demonstrate reductions in support costs and more urgency applied to UK weapons integration. Work on the integration of Meteor BVRAAM and SPEAR-3 has begun but there is no definitive date for their entry into service which is largely dependent on how quickly LM can deliver the Block IV software update for the aircraft. The flyaway cost of an F-35B is now approximately £85M so the MoD has considerable leverage when negotiating what is potentially a £2.2Bn deal. It is unclear when the UK can expect delivery of this second batch but will need to reserve aircraft from the production runs which are divided into ‘Lots’. LM’s target is to build 156 jets per year for customers worldwide but recently COVID, inflation and supply chain issues have complicated negotiations for Lots 15-17 and the price tag may begin to rise, reversing the downward trend as production has ramped up.

The idea that the UK could go for an F35-B / F-35A split buy has thankfully now been consigned to history but for now, it is unclear if there will be a third tranche of F35Bs. Knighton noted that: “the decision around further purchase beyond that 74 will be taken in the middle of the decade in the context of what we decide to do on our Future Combat Air System [FCAS] programme. It’s perfectly plausible we have a fleet of 138 as we described back in the early 2000s.” If the UK goes all-in with FCAS – ie, Tempest and its associated UCAV, distributed sensors and novel munition components, there are unlikely to be any spare funds available for further F-35 purchases in the 2030s....

...The RAF now plans to have 3 frontline F-35B squadrons (4 were originally planned). Each will have a strength of between 12-16 aircraft. Assuming that around 20% of the jets are in maintenance at any given time, this leaves about 60 available for the ‘forward fleet’ which includes aircraft assigned to the OCU (207 Squadron – pilot training) and OEU (17 Squadron – operational evaluation unit based in the US). The 47 aircraft remaining aircraft that make up the tranche 1 purchase provide a bare minimum output for carrier strike capability. Routinely the carrier will deploy with 12 jets (although this may be frequently enhanced with USMC aircraft). In ‘surge’ condition 2 squadrons totalling 24 jets could be deployed. The carriers are designed to embark up to 36 fixed-wing aircraft (plus helicopters) but this could only be managed by the UK alone in a dire emergency by stopping pilot training and severely disrupting the maintenance cycle.

Although just 54% of the promised 138, a force of 73 jets provides a little more depth and the possibility of 24 aircraft more routinely deployed on the carrier. Of course, this will also be dependent on what other land-based tasks the Lightning Force is required to undertake in addition to its core naval aviation role."



Source: https://www.navylookout.com/uk-to-purch ... f-35-jets/
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steve2267

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Unread post30 Apr 2022, 03:29

ricnunes wrote:Yes, you're right. The recovery of such aircraft would never be a "not rinse off and fly again" like steve2267 claimed that I said/hinted but this is something that I NEVER SAID!
Obviously the recovery of such aircraft would require a "re-built" like you said and this was also what I previously meant.
I guess that another way to post what I did earlier would be: Is it cheaper to rebuild such aircraft or to build a new one? And again this would be a question. Not that this matters much because the aircraft was submerged at a depth of 1,500 meters (something that again, I didn't know) and as such its structure is most likely compromised.


What was priceless was that after you made your initial suggestion about "hey, let's just rebuild the old girl" (quotes -- my tongue in cheek paraphrasing)... two former nasal radiators corrected you, yet you had the temerity to ascertain that it could be done... implying no big deal.

So the temerity of arguing with seasoned naval pilots is priceless, and worth a chuckle. Thanks for the laugh.
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 post30 Apr 2022, 07:22

Getting there but they still need 36 F-35B's per Air Wing plus the OCU and spares.....Which, always gets us back to the "138".
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Unread post30 Apr 2022, 14:35

steve2267 wrote:What was priceless was that after you made your initial suggestion about "hey, let's just rebuild the old girl" (quotes -- my tongue in cheek paraphrasing)... two former nasal radiators corrected you, yet you had the temerity to ascertain that it could be done... implying no big deal.

So the temerity of arguing with seasoned naval pilots is priceless, and worth a chuckle. Thanks for the laugh.


Like I previously said, I wasn't aware and missed the part that the aircraft has been under the water at a depth of 1500 meters and again for some reason I thought that instead it rested on shallow waters (together with a short period of time).
I also didn't know that arguing/asking for more details from experts (this case, the two former naval aviators) was a bad thing either? Go figure.

Anyway and also like I previously said, I stand corrected!
“Active stealth” is what the ignorant nay sayers call ECM and pretend like it’s new.
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Unread post30 Apr 2022, 14:56

Fair enough Ric. But... it is not so much the depth as it is the salt water contamination.

Almost certainly any spaces that had not vented to the sea would have been crushed at that depth. But even if the aircraft had been setting on its undercarriage underneath 20ft of salt water, it would have been relegated to the scrap (or maintenance training) heap.

The water is going to get into everything... unless there was a program requirement to survive X length of time submerged up to Y depth. (And I am fairly certain there was no such requirement. No one has replied to my earlier request to identify such a requirement.)
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 post30 Apr 2022, 17:00

And to add to what steve has posted ref system requirements, if ‘survival’ of an aircraft after being submerged in sea water was a requirement, you can bet that it would have been tested against said requirement.

From a press release ref climactic chamber testing —

https://www.codeonemagazine.com/article ... tem_id=161

You can also search the topic of chamber testing and find a more detailed account by the LM engineers who were responsible for such things on the aiaa site (firewalled).
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