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Originally posted by intelgurl
I think it would be foolish to assume that Russia, Great Britain, France, China, India, Israel, Japan and other countries are not working secretly on indigenous advanced aircraft...
Of course I have no proof, but I would be very surprised if the first 3 countries I mentioned did not have secret or unacknowledged stealth aircraft/UCAVs in development.
Originally posted by waynos
The major UK independant effort today is centred on FOAS, of which 'Replica' forms a part. This is such a loosely defined programme however covering 'studies' of everything from armed Hercules through UCAV and F-35 based strike aircraft up to B-2 like strategic bombers (unlikely to get built for sure) that ir could easily be used as cover for currently unknown programmes.
Originally posted by longbow
FOAS could be used as coverup but I don't think this is the case.
- relatively restricted UK mil.budget (in comparison to US,China,Russia) - with the purchase of EF and JSF-B there is simply not much money (and no need ) for additional aircraft.
This is true except FOAS is aimed at replacing the Tornado and at the same time introducing a long range strike element that we have lacked since the Vulcan was retired.
- lack of threats - Cold war is over and I don't think planes against terrorist is a good idea. Again no need for something new.
This is fairly sound reasoning and has been used in the argument against the USAF procurement of the Raptor, however the ever changing nature of threats is something that should not be ignored IMHO, I hope those that use this argument do not get their way.
- tradition - lately, UK planes are based on proven designs (except Harrier) so I think it is more likely to buy/licence form US (or built in co-op with EU - but I dont think in such case it will remain secret).
This is a comment that has baffled me, Jaguar, Tornado, Typhoon etc were all-new designs and not based on anything that already existed whereas the current Harrier was a re-engineered version of a plane that had already been in service 15 years so, if anything, the polar opposite of what you say is true. However I agree that if an all new FOAS is selected it will not be produced by BAE Systems alone and it will either be a straight purchase off the shelf or a UK/US or pan European venture.
IMO the future british airforce will consist only of Eurofighters, and versatile cargoplanes able also to carry Tomahawks (I actually like this idea:up. I don'tAfter the fighters purchase the money will flow mainly into the new cargoplanes. I highly doubt they will try to develop or purchase long range bombers. If the UCAVs are proved to be effective and cheap enough than also X-45. This all + carriers with JSF is sufficient in my opinion.
BTW I have 2 questions
- how long are Tornados expected to be in service The FOAS is *suppoosed* to replace the Tornado from 2014-2018
- do the RAF have the plans to use F-35B too like USAF for CAS? (in addition to the RN)
With the removal of the Sea Harrier from service un-replaced it is most likely that ALL UK F-35B's will be operated by the RAF.