UK MOD in a muddle over F-35C

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spazsinbad

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Unread post03 May 2021, 03:19

Shorter edited version found here earlier: viewtopic.php?f=59&t=54401&p=453271&hilit=Eckstein#p453271
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Unread post03 May 2021, 23:08

Marine F-35Bs Land Aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth for Strike Warrior Exercise, Deployment
03 May 2021 Sam LaGrone

"The Marine fighter squadron that will be part of the largest F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter deployment to date landed aboard the U.K. Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) on Sunday, the U.S. Marine Corps announced.

The 10 jets from the “Wake Island Avengers” of U.S. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 flew to Royal Air Force Lakenheath from their home base of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., last week ahead of embarking Queen Elizabeth. Now aboard, the Marines will pair with eight jets from the Royal Air Force’s 617 Squadron, “The Dambusters.”...

...For the Marines, the deployment is a test case for other deployments of U.S. Marine F-35Bs on other allied carriers capable of supporting the fighter. U.S. allies Japan, South Korea and Italy are fielding carriers that could host the Marines."

Photo: "F-35B Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 21 The ‘Wake Island Avengers’ conducts carrier qualifications in an F-35B Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II aboard Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Queen Elizabeth at sea off the coast of the United Kingdom (UK) on May 2, 2021. US Marine Corps Photo" https://news.usni.org/wp-content/upload ... 26348.jpeg


Source: https://news.usni.org/2021/05/03/marine ... deployment
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Unread post04 May 2021, 05:41

First Jets land on HMS Queen Elizabeth ahead of exercise Strike Warrior https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03c_-TbPeAU

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Unread post04 May 2021, 07:04

Did someone finally develop some colored paint that is stelph friendly? Although only red. First the Danes, now the Jarheads with red splashed on the tails and underneath the canopy.
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 post04 May 2021, 08:12

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Unread post04 May 2021, 13:22

I didn't catch the yellow previously. The last two photos are of aircraft test articles. I presumed they had more leeway with color as their stealthiness was not so much as issue.
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 post08 May 2021, 01:30

Not ONLY but ASLO (yes I know) read this blog post about the significance of USMC F-35Bs aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The Start of Something Special - CSG21 & HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH
05 May 2021 Sir Humphrey

"The Royal Navy currently has two aircraft carriers at sea off the coast of the UK in different stages of working up. HMS PRINCE OF WALES is undergoing sea training and getting ready to carry out a range of flying trials and duties this year ahead of embarking on her programme.

Meanwhile HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH is now at sea with at the heart of a Carrier Strike Group standing up alongside her. At the time of writing, she has now embarked around 18 F35 fighters, and about 9 Merlin helicopters, ensuring that there are nearly 30 aircraft on board. This represents one of the largest carrier air groups to operate from a Royal Navy carrier in decades, and in terms of raw capability, is to date, the single most potent airwing ever embarked by a British aircraft carrier....

...The result is an asset that is truly joint in nature, and which will be of benefit both to all three UK services, but more widely allies too.

Nowhere is this truer than the fact that a core part of the airwing is derived from the presence of 10 US Marine Corps F35 jets, supported by a large contingent of US military personnel onboard. They form an integral part of the ships company and will be embarked throughout the deployment.

This marks the first time in history that a significant US military force has embarked on a foreign vessel in peacetime as an integrated part of a ships airwing for an operational deployment.

Although highly limited ‘cross decking’ has occurred, usually linked to landing/recovery and possible overnight stops, interoperability is far more limited than some people imagine. In fact other than the odd training deployment (such as a small number of French aircraft embarking for maintaining carrier skills, or the occasional south American ‘touch and go’) it is difficult to find any record of this ever occurring before.

Integrated is a quite different concept to that of just landing and taking off. It means that the jets and their crew are part of an integrated weapon system, at the disposal both of the local commander and more senior political decision makers in both nations, to be employed as seen fit.

It means crews embarking as part of the ships company, working seamlessly together as one to plan the mission, arm the aircraft, prepare them for take-off, before conducting a mixed multi-national mission, then recovering to the ship where the aircraft will be serviced by a mixed crew. In other words, the US Marines embarked onboard are an organic part of the ship and are treated as such.

It is difficult to find words to describe adequately just how big a deal this is – it means that the Royal Navy has built an aircraft carrier that the US armed forces feel comfortable embarking a fully worked up squadron of jets on and conducting routine operations off. The level of planning that has gone into this is huge – it means the right IT, the ability to embark different stores, and ensure that any minor national differences on equipment are properly supported....

...What this deployment of a joint airwing offers is a toolbox of enormous flexibility to British and American policy makers and military planners. It provides an asset that can be used to support NATO or other coalition operations, or if needs must could support bilateral airstrikes instead.

We already know that the airwing will be conducting operations over Syria to take the fight to Daesh in the coming weeks and months. For the first time since 1942 and the “USS ROBIN” (aka HMS VICTORIOUS) the combined air forces of the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and United States Navy & Marine Corps will be going on operations from the shared deck of one carrier.

This is perhaps the ultimate demonstration of the flexibility of the concept – providing a platform that both nations can use to best effect. It is a good example of just how effective the working relationship is that both countries feel comfortable committing their assets to what are essentially wartime operations on the first operational deployment of the ship.

The deployment of the CSG21 team represents the first of many deployments like this, which could run for decades to come. It demonstrates the incredibly close links between the two nations and is a timely reminder of the versatility of the carrier platform...."

Source: https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com ... csg21.html
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Unread post10 May 2021, 01:07

Sounds like a lot of hot air to me....


Just trying to justify the lack of F-35B's....(among other systems)
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Unread post10 May 2021, 01:39

Opening the BLAST furnace door 'blast of hot air'. How does the USA justify their lack of flat decks (burn 'em). TOO SOON?
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Unread post10 May 2021, 02:29

IIRC, USMC Harriers went aboard HMS ILLUSTRIOUS for a few weeks in 2007 (JTFX?) Not an operational deployment, but hardly ‘cross decking’ simply for the sake of ldg/to work. I think there was similar work in 2012 aboard ARK ROYAL, but I might be mistaken in the year that occurred.

Yeah, yeah ‘...not F-35 capability’ etc — I get it. But, the long pole in this is the use of one nation’s aircraft for an operational deployment aboard another nation’s warship. The number and height of the political hurdles surmounted to make this happen are far, far more than routine.

Going forward, consider a contingency wherein other US strike assets are participating in combat strikes but the UK has chosen to participate with something less than strike ops. Or reverse the circumstance; the UK chooses to play but the US does not...
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Unread post10 May 2021, 03:00

'Sir Humphrey' said it well I think above (although recently there was a news item that ONLY UK F-35Bs will bomb with no USMC F-35Bs taking part in the operation against DAESH: [this report does not specify so I'll find one that did/does] https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... ike-group/ )
"...Nowhere is this truer than the fact that a core part of the airwing is derived from the presence of 10 US Marine Corps F35 jets, supported by a large contingent of US military personnel onboard. They form an integral part of the ships company and will be embarked throughout the deployment.

This marks the first time in history that a significant US military force has embarked on a foreign vessel in peacetime as an integrated part of a ships airwing for an operational deployment.

Although highly limited ‘cross decking’ has occurred, usually linked to landing/recovery and possible overnight stops, interoperability is far more limited than some people imagine. In fact other than the odd training deployment (such as a small number of French aircraft embarking for maintaining carrier skills, or the occasional south American ‘touch and go’) it is difficult to find any record of this ever occurring before.

Integrated is a quite different concept to that of just landing and taking off. It means that the jets and their crew are part of an integrated weapon system, at the disposal both of the local commander and more senior political decision makers in both nations, to be employed as seen fit.

It means crews embarking as part of the ships company, working seamlessly together as one to plan the mission, arm the aircraft, prepare them for take-off, before conducting a mixed multi-national mission, then recovering to the ship where the aircraft will be serviced by a mixed crew. In other words, the US Marines embarked onboard are an organic part of the ship and are treated as such.

It is difficult to find words to describe adequately just how big a deal this is – it means that the Royal Navy has built an aircraft carrier that the US armed forces feel comfortable embarking a fully worked up squadron of jets on and conducting routine operations off. The level of planning that has gone into this is huge – it means the right IT, the ability to embark different stores, and ensure that any minor national differences on equipment are properly supported...."
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Unread post10 May 2021, 03:07

Some aircraft side number details for CSG21: https://theaviationist.com/2021/05/03/f ... elizabeth/

Looks like 'news' that ONLY the DAMBUSTERS would be used was premature/mistaken; USMC likely to participate also.
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Unread post10 May 2021, 06:38

Britain’s Royal Air Force chief talks F-35 tally and divesting equipment [VIDEO of Interview at URL]
09 May 2021 Aaron Mehta

"WASHINGTON — On March 16, the United Kingdom rolled out its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, a document that will serve as the guidepost for its military going forward. Included in that document were both cuts to existing systems and investments in new technologies. During an April visit to Washington, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston, the head of the Royal Air Force, sat down with Defense News to discuss the impact of the review on the service, program cuts and future investments.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
"...The U.K. had an official target of buying 138 F-35B fighter jets. However, the integrated review only says the government plans to buy more than the 48 planes already under contract. Officials have dodged when asked for specifics, such as if 138 is still the target. Is that number still in play for you?
The F-35 is a hugely important program for me. We’re still in the early stages. I’ve only had 21 delivered so far of my 48 original order, we’ll be up at 33 next year and 48 in the years after that. I’m very conscious that the reason we bought the F-35Bs was to pair them up with our two carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. [The carriers] are going to be in service until the late 2060s, at least. And so I need a fleet of aircraft that is going to last into that sort of time frame. So I’m taking a very steady view to how I build a fleet up because I need these aircraft to last for that amount of time.

We are committing to growing the fleet and we’re going to continue to grow the fleet. And in that regard, nothing has changed. We’ve had discussions with the F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin this year, and decisions are to be made next year about the next batch of aircraft that we will buy. We have now established two squadrons: a training unit and a front-line squadron. I’m looking to establish a third squadron, and I think I need at least three, probably four squadrons worth of F-35Bs to work off the carriers.

But as I say, this is still a force that we’re growing. And we are going to be operating these platforms for potentially 50 years. So I’m not in any hurry to get to any final figure in the short term. And we will just make sure that we’ve got a force that is sustainable through the life of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

Could you see the U.K. shifting from buying the “B” model to the conventional “A” model?
Yes. It’s been a live topic over the years in the United Kingdom, and to that, I also say: “Never say never.” But that’s a decision for the future, and that’s something that perhaps my successor will come back to.

But there is no question that for the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, our focus right now is on building sufficient F-35Bs that we can operate from our two carriers, and not be trying to do it with too few aircraft and too few people and putting unnecessary strain on the force....

...Another kind of futuristic capability in which the U.K. is investing is the Mosquito, which is a unmanned loyal wingman program. What is the target date for it to be operational?
When we talk about the Future Combat Air System, Tempest is the piloted fighter within that. But the Future Combat Air System will be a mix of piloted combat aircraft, of unpiloted or autonomous or remotely piloted combat aircraft, and then down to cheap, expendable drones all working together. The date for the Tempest (the piloted fighter) is from the late 2030s. For me, I want to see — and I think technology allows us to get our loyal wingman, our uncrewed autonomous combat aircraft Mosquito — on the front line this decade. And that’s the target I’ve set for our team who is working on it. I want to see it flying on the wing of the F-35, I want to see it flying on the wing of Typhoon this decade, as an operationally deployed platform and as a concept demonstrator, and to de-risk the Future Combat Air System program. So the first flight within the next couple of years [as part of] a really impressive, digitally enabled design program where we are iterating the design very rapidly, and then fielding it within a matter of years, is the ambition...."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/interviews/ ... equipment/
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Unread post11 May 2021, 21:20

US and UK Relationship Strengthened by CSG-21 Deployment
10 May 2021 1st Lt. Zachary Bodner, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

"...“We are excited to operate from the deck of the Royal Navy’s Flagship alongside 617 Squadron, supporting a unique, historic opportunity” said Lt. Col Andrew D’Ambrogi, the commanding officer of VMFA-211. “Marines are expeditionary, we exist to operate forward and to provide rapid response capabilities in support of national and allied defense.”

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA)-211 is based out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Their mission is to destroy surface targets and enemy aircraft, day or night under all weather conditions during expeditionary, joint or combined operations.

VMFA-211 can trace its lineage to January 1, 1937 when Marine Fighting Squadron 4 -was activated at Naval Air Station San Diego, California. The “Wake Island Avengers” were the second operational squadron to transition to the F-35B and were the first unit to fly the F-35B in combat. The F-35 combines next-gen fighter characteristics of low observability, sensor fusion, fighter agility and advanced logistical support with the most powerful and comprehensive integrated sensor package of any fighter aircraft in history, providing unprecedented lethality and access to highly-contested environments.

VMFA-211 is also supported with U.S. Navy personnel assigned to USS John C. Stennis. The Sailors, all aviation ordnancemen, will be assembling ordnance in support of VMFA-211 for the duration of the deployment...."

Source: https://www.f35.com/f35/news-and-featur ... yment.html
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Unread post12 May 2021, 14:18

Cutting their F-35 buy from 138 to... something less is going to be a BIG mistake.

Reason #1: The Typhoon isnt going to last forever, and likely won't survive in any future contested environment
Reason #2: The Tempest is 12-15 years out, going to be very expensive and bought in much smaller numbers

So if they cut the buy to say, 50 F-35's they'd be in a real pickle. Typhoons retiring and/or costs to maintain the aging fleet will inevitably skyrocket. Even if they were to hang on to it, it still wouldn't be a first day of war aircraft. Tempest would be of course, but then again if they can't affort 100+ F-35's, how in the hell are they going to afford a similar number of Tempests?

British pilots, maintainers etc have proved their worth over and over from saving the day during WWII to winning the day in the Falklands. And in both cases they were outnumbered and behind the 8 ball. They still took care of business.

They deserve the F-35, and lots of them..
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