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UK makes odd decision- reF-35

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posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 08:31 AM
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The UK Ministry of Defence (also known as Muddled old Duffers) have made an important decision on the UK's F-35 force, they have not yet selected which version of the F-35 to buy (either F-35B or C), but they have selected the location for the UK F-35 support base. This will be RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland, which is currently a Tornado GR.4 base. This decision is rather awkward as the new carriers from which the F-35B/C is to fly are to be based in Portsmouth! For those of you who are not familia with the UK I will just say that these two bases could not possibly be further apart as Portsmouth is on the south coast and the F-35's would be closer to their carriers base if they were in France.

The choice between the F-35B and C has also been muddied because the only reason that was given for the nomination of the B version as 'preferred' was that the new USN EM catapults would not be ready in time for inclusion of the UK ships, now though the completion date has slipped (inevitably) and there is no practical reason for the UK to favour the STOVL version any more.

(source ; Air International - Jan 2006)




posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 10:00 AM
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Weird.

Are there advantages, besides just cost, on getting the F-35C over the F-35B?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 10:54 AM
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Due to the lack of VL equipment there is a greater internal volume (for fuel or weapons) available to the F-35C, it can also actually carry a greater payload and fly further too, the C is by far a better strike fighter overall than the B, whos' sole merit is really its STOVL capability, this is really important to the RAF but not so to the RN so there might be a squabble in the offing.

[edit on 19-12-2005 by waynos]



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 11:00 AM
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This picture should explain pretty much...





posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 12:19 PM
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The Brits are sure that their getting American EM catapult technology?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by NWguy83
The Brits are sure that their getting American EM catapult technology?


Why should they when the Brits invented the first catapult in the first place. They can make the EM as well. But it is costly. But the Brits want to be self independent, right?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 01:40 PM
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The EM catapult was offered along with the F-35C for MoD appraisal, otherwise they wouldn't have considered it


As I said, it was the time factor that counted against it. There are many in the UK that are now convinced the F-35C is the way to go but would there be repercussions with UK workshare I wonder?



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 02:01 PM
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The CV F-35C on the board looks like a single engined F-22. I would probably go for the C variant out of all of them, the other two maybe? Not sure.

I also heard the British Service F-35 will be Re-Fitted to use a Rolls Royce engine.

Another 'Spey Phantom' thing!



posted on Dec, 19 2005 @ 02:07 PM
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I have seen an artist's impression of the new british carriers with both ski-jump and caterpult fitted!.

Would the F 35C be able to use the ski-jump methord of take-off assist or would the lack of vectored thrust prevent this?

The battle between the two services will always continue as the RN were not happy about losing the Sea Harrier and having the crabfats on their carriers!!!!!!

Sv Out.....!



posted on Dec, 25 2005 @ 06:05 PM
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Originally posted by Silentvulcan
I have seen an artist's impression of the new british carriers with both ski-jump and caterpult fitted!.

Would the F 35C be able to use the ski-jump methord of take-off assist or would the lack of vectored thrust prevent this?

The battle between the two services will always continue as the RN were not happy about losing the Sea Harrier and having the crabfats on their carriers!!!!!!

Sv Out.....!


This thread is about the Royal Navy new CVF carriers:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

I believe one will be called the HMS Prince of Wales.



posted on Dec, 25 2005 @ 08:26 PM
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>>
Due to the lack of VL equipment there is a greater internal volume (for fuel or weapons) available to the F-35C...
>>

The F-35B bay length is actually too short to accept some of the longer munitions now, I believe including the 2,000lb JDAM and the AGM-154 JSOW.

>>
it can also actually carry a greater payload and fly further too, the C is by far a better strike fighter overall than the B,
>>

Six of one. The radius shortfall is undeniable, with only 14,000lbs of gas onboard and most analysts saying that even that is likely down to about 10-12,000lbs on a hot day, the JSF-B is going to be lucky to make a 450nm radius.

The 700nm F-35C can go the distance but /with what/? 2 internal bombs is nothing if you only can afford 10-20 airframes on deck (the USN is currently shaping up to roughly this amount). There is no reason not to shift to external loads for many theaters but that will cut into your safety margin even as it adds back drag with no buddy system in place to play strike or recovery whale. It must also be stated that the wetted area on that beast of an airfoil (JSF-C: 620 square feet, F-15C 608 square feet: F-22A 840 square feet) is going to virtually ensure zero supercruise which means that you will be looking at 5-7 hour round trips, on a 1,500km radius regardless.

If you don't expect to fight at those distances then trading down to the zippier wing may well buy back some EM agility if not lift at drag cruise efficiencies (subsonic) and yet here the fact of the matter is that the JDAM well is in no way suitable for AMRAAM carriage (Bill Sweetman, _Ultimate Fighter_) and if the Brits have their way, they will be playing Snoopy with all of 2 AIM-132 internally.

>>
Whose sole merit is really its STOVL capability, this is really important to the RAF but not so to the RN so there might be a squabble in the offing.
>>

It's more than that actually. Without at least /3/ carriers, the Brits will be hard pressed to maintain a cruise+workup+SLEP option on their big decks and most certainly will not be more than a fire brigade force (knee jerk adventurism) on maintaining an air presence in even 'traditional' areas of interest like the Med.

However; if you pull the STOVL ramp, you get a bigger foredeck park and/or the option to run 2-3 times as many catapults. Such may be important if you are running near-simultaneous cycles on that /long/ angle deck.

OTOH, the realities of stealth at sea are not yet really proven IMO, the F/A-18C had a hard time with ferrous RAM corrosion and the F/A-18E total protection is markedly less in both weight an material type as a consequence.

It should also be noted that one of the many reasons USN is generally unpopular before Congress is that the realities of CVTOL loads on the jet tends to fatigue it more than twice as fast as equivalent USAF jets. And so they seeks a new airplane or model of one roughly every ten vs. twenty years for the blue suiters.

STOVL is it's own engineering nightmare for dollar:flighthour and mmh:fh but let's face it, that was for a first generation and a modified variant of same which is like comparing the Red Baron's triplane with a 1950's jet (specifically, you don't have to pull the bloody wing off to change engines and the AFLCS has many more command-hover and hover-entry auto modes). Such that Stop And Land vs. Land and Hope to Stop may have some serious effects on total lifecycle costs.

Again, IMO, the RN will be damn lucky to be able to afford to bring a single squadron on each deck with the way costs on both the class and the JSF are running. _IF_ the premise of FCBA/FJCA is borne out (namely the RAF necks down to 2 types, max and one of these is common with the RN) your deckload numbers may go up a tad.

The question then becomes whether you trust JPALS enough to let lubber-air come on board with virtually no carrier qual 'in emergency'.

Or if you want to saddle the RAF with an F-35B that in no way meets the FOAS requirement. While continuing a crippled tradition of maintaining STOVL air 'because we were first damn it!' along with an air defense fighter and a true (UCAV) strike platform which will (I guarantee it) _destroy_ your outyear budgets on spares and aircrew pipe splits if nothing else.

There is no easy answer. But I think you may get a boot in the right direction when you realize that halving the production order while maintaining the complexity of cousined parts and a tri-rail assembly line will not sit well with Lunchmeat's profit margin.

Which means 'one of the three will go'. It won't be the F-35A since that is the primary bread winner USAF/export sorta-cheap fighter for them.

And the Jarheads have always had the short end of the stick, even compared to the Squids, when it comes to backing high ticket items through a naval acquisition system.

Plus the Marines have already sold their collective souls to the V-22 and so will have a deaf ear in Congress.

Since they want to ditch the USN functional reserve role, and the USN cannot justify maintaining the dilapidated Bug-1 spares pipe on 'just in case' basis of scrambling a deck in the present economic environment, the alternatives are that the Marines get their allowance cut off. They pick up the Bug Deux. Or they accept the bigwing JSF.

The Super Horror is going to be a rewinging nightmare in another ten years, just like Bug-Plus has turned into a major center-barrel structural augment (straining relations with Boing) and the JSF C is no less a 'CAS' airframe than the JSF-B in terms of systems or external carriage of small munitions.

So I can almost guarantee they will swing with the latest thing this time.

In fact, institutionally, there is also an overwhelming majority of Marine tacair that /hates/ the AV-8B as an asset which can't do half what the hornet does and is a maintenance and flying hours (safety) nightmare. It didn't help much that the II+ radar conversion (that added further weight to an already dumpy jet) sucked up flying money for the entire community throughout the 90's.

Lastly, the F-35B will be an easy mark to tank due to it's far right first-flight of a production prototype. SDD->Ramp is based /entirely/ on the 'overwhelming success' of the F-35A. So anything which adds complexity to a pass:fail grade is going to get short shrift indeed.

At which point one must ask, why should we pay for the Brit's naval air force?


KPl.



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 05:37 AM
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well..i think even without the VTOL.

It's good to have a backup to the eurofighter, for ground attack purposes.

Though the tornado in my opinion is something which will be very hard to replace in this role!

Though saying that.. is VTOL all that important these days? I mean i thought the original harrier jump jets were designed so they could be hid in forests, for example in places like russia, if war had ever broken out.

I can see the advantages though for carrier landings and take offs. I mean after a while dosen't the stress on the air frames damage the aircraft?

Thats just my opinion though, it would still be cooler to have VTOL though definitley, you never know when we may need it!



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by clashrock
well..i think even without the VTOL.

>>
It's good to have a backup to the eurofighter, for ground attack purposes.
>>

The problem is that the Eurofighter /cannot/ 'escort' the F-35 (as FOAS or FJCA) anywhere 'deep' because it lacks the legs as much as signature and, in the case of an emergency naval-only deployment would likely be even further from the flashpoint.

Which leaves the F-35C as a kind of 'A-12 with afterburner' but STILL _only two missiles_, internally. BVRAAM may redress this, somewhat, as a sniper rifle standoff aid. But without decent ARM you will not penetrate a contemporary IADS on stealth alone.

>>
Though the tornado in my opinion is something which will be very hard to replace in this role!
>>

The Fin is a piece of crap. It's does not have the internal fuel to go deep which means it pirates wing pylons for tanks instead of the standoff PGM which should be there to give it a X4 instead of 'both pylons today I tell'ya!' (F-16 marching song) X2 carriage option as a true interdictor.

Of those tanks, the 'useful one' has severe G limits and a massive drag index. While the other is subsonic restricted. With the tanks in place, loading weapons on a Tornado then becomes a function of inching them under the belly on a low-loader and praying you've got clearance and don't nick the MLG doors or struts. Which slows your combat turns to a veritable crawl.

Aerodynamically, the Tornado has severe boattail problems which adds yet more drag penalty (the ADV fixed the fineness ratios a bit). And, as with all VG aircraft, it trades wing area for Mach point which means by the time you are up high where guys with wrist rockets cannot ding you, you are also fighting for energy maneuver margins as a function of a /huge/ wing loading deficit, often well over 200lbs per square foot. This takes the big-SAM ducking game from more or less simplicity to a real nail biting experience.

A situation not helped by the design of the RB.199 which yields as much as 20-25% of it's installed compression factors by the time you cross 20,000ft.

The Tornado was yet another 'fashion trend' attempt to jump on the VG bandwagon pioneered by the F-111 and MiG-23 without really understanding what the coming changes in LDSD and ever more potent VSHORADS would butterfly-pinned-to-board mean to the TFR penetration profile itself. Without that variable aspect ratio (ride) advantage, most of the Tornado's design justfication is equal to or less than the Phantom on the efficiency scale.

>>
Though saying that.. is VTOL all that important these days? I mean I thought the original harrier jump jets were designed so they could be hid in forests, for example in places like russia, if war had ever broken out.
>>

For all the good it did them. Don't think that the Russians didn't know /exactly/ where all the 'alternate hides' were for RAF-G harriers.

And don't be misled into thinking that you can just hoist a pack on your shoulder and go off into the wilds of dispersal. Because even the Harriers take anywhere from 5-8,000lbs of internal fuel and another 3-5,000lbs of munitions /per sortie/ which effectively means you are going to be trailing a fleet of semi trailers on roads 'patrolled' by enemy SOF and stuffed with fleeing civillians. /Hardly/ apt to be a 'discrete' operation with threat surveillance radar also seeing every launch from whatever roadway you finally settle on.

RAF Regiment aside, you also LOSE your entire options for hard sheltering which means that not only are you vulnerable to an infantry-portable mortar shell or ATGW treebursting from 2-5 klicks or more out. But when the lines are shattered and the Soviet OMG spearheads break out, nukes will fly and you will actually have /less/ of a chance against the overpressure and rads than if you were in a TAB-V (little as that is, in Germany proper).

STOVL exists to give cheap navies and airforces a way to be a nuissance to the real thing. As such, they proliferate war rather than solve any particular problem that a first-tier nation would otherwise find insurmountable.

>>
I can see the advantages though for carrier landings and take offs. I mean after a while dosen't the stress on the air frames damage the aircraft?
>>

As I recall, the Brits lost 3-4 Sea Harriers in 1982, 2 to a midair in a fog on climbout, 1 to a SAM or 35mm and I forget the other. In the following decade of _peacetime ops_ they lost 10-15, almost half the available force. All due to 'operational' accidents involving trying to settle on a torrent of thrust (imagine a fire hydrant getting knocked off it's mount and then reverse the perspective). Now it's only fair to say that the AV-8B was better than the GR.1/.3 and SHAR and it's likely that the F-35B will be a /lot/ better than the Harrier overall in this area.

But the fact remains that STOVL operations are a killer on par with the Me-109 'landing kills' in WWII. You are either on the top of your game. Or you are dead. And there is a serious reflection of this in both type-selection (only experienced pilots) and number of hours spent in basic around-the-boat and roadway STOVL training exercises (compared to 'real', tactical, training).

About the only option for STOVL these days is the Taiwanese or Korean scenario wherein you have a serious water barrier and/or superb defensive terrain advantagement, and yet the enemy is slinging DF-15/30 and SCUD/No Dong left, right and center.

In such a 'blindfire saturation' mode, it's likely that every airbase will be so massively over targeted that even sheltering systems will not be sufficient and so long as you maintain firm control of the social and logistical situation, you -may- be able to get jets up from a clearing to take on the simultaneous (short range, light AAM/PGM) threats of an Air Supremacy effort and any counter-beachhead attack.

My problem with this is that if, particularly the PRC, have AEW&C, you will still be tracked back to the roadbase. And if they are _serious_ about winning, they will have so many jets overhead that you will simply not be able to disengage and withdraw to a sanctuary airspace. At which point, it is better to be able to come from Okinawa or the PI and _stay_, until you've depleted your munitions. Before RTB'ing and back to a secure logistics point, even if it's nothing more than an emergency APOD type airhead on Manilla International.

>>
Thats just my opinion though, it would still be cooler to have VTOL though definitley, you never know when we may need it!
>>

STOVL means hot plumbing. Plumbing means volumetric and weight penalties ducting everything around the jet. It also means that if ONE thing fails (an RCS thruster for instance) you can kiss your sorry butt goodbye if you are dependent on short-strips. Until we get AGrav, it's unlikely that STOVL is worth the effort (compared to radius and super/hypersonic reach thereto, expanding the 'search area') on a fast-jet level.

At best, it's a useful throwaway option on cheap 'battlefield' assets like drones and medium/heavy lift where you are either operating out of the back of a deuce and a half in terms of fuel and munitions/C2 shelter commitment. Or when you need to resupply/shift/casevac airlanded forces without going above a 1,000ft horizon line on intelligent (hunting) Turbo-SAM or DEW threats (and need more speed than a helo to stay fluid).


IMO, KPl.



posted on Dec, 26 2005 @ 09:59 AM
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Hey guys.

I live pretty near Lossiemouth and the main reason i can see for it being placed here is that if the area lost the raf bases (was uncertain if they were to close) it would of destroyed the area as many of the shops etc and ppl in the area work directly or indirectly for the raf bases. Without them I would imagine unemployment in this area would rocket.




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