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Britain May Consider buying French Fighters, Cancelling Joint Strike Fighter Purchase!

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posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 07:07 AM
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Look what I just found:



Anglo-US defence deals in jeopardy
BRITAIN may consider buying up to 150 French fighter jets for two new-generation aircraft carriers scheduled to go into service with the Royal Navy in 2013.

If the Government went ahead with the £5bn deal, it would mean cancelling existing US contracts to supply aircraft for the carriers and could cause a major crisis in Anglo-American relations.

The unexpected verbal offer to buy the Rafale Marine jets came on January 24 when Defence Secretary John Reid met his opposite number, Michele Alliot-Marie, for crucial talks in London.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.



Very interesting. The British have been protesting American protectionism over the F-35 JSF program for quite some time now, and the recent engine program cut only made it worse. This is the first time I've read about the Jan 24th meeting, does anyone have more information about this?

The French Rafale woudl be an excellent replacement for the JSF, considering the French build their aircraft carriers based on British designs:



The MoD still hopes that the Americans will change their minds. Meanwhile, it is looking at its options. Giving consideration to the French offer could strengthen the MoD's negotiating hand with Washington.

The 60,000-tonne carriers planned for the Royal Navy are designed to have powerful catapults built into the deck. This means they are not restricted to the vertical take-off version of the JSF. They could fire conventional take-off JSFs as well as modified Typhoon Eurofighters.

The Rafale Marine is already in service and is designed for use on France's new carrier - identical to those being built for the Royal Navy.

The decision by Paris to buy the design of the UK carriers for their own second large carrier makes the French option more palatable.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Here is a list of related news articles I have reported over the past two years:

- Cutback in F-35 program frustrates British (Feb 8th, 2006)
- Transatlantic turbulence over strike fighter deal (Jan 19th, 2006)
- Britain in battle with US over fighter plane (Dec 4th, 2005)
- The Shrinking Demand for F-35s (Oct 15th, 2005)
- The US threat to British sovereignty (Jun 20th, 2005)
- Australia's new joint strike fighters will be delivered late (Aug 18th, 2004)




posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 07:20 AM
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I started this thread on Jan 28th where I tried to spell out some of the considerations.

www.abovetopsecret.com...


Also Britains past experiences working with Dassault have not been happy ones so I don't think there is much mileage in this idea. More importantly, America may see it the same way.



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 07:38 AM
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This is the first time I've read about the Jan 24th meeting, does anyone have more information about this?


I looked this meeting up and it would appear that this is the same meeting were France agreed to contribute to the development costs of the new Carriers. Would seem quite feasible that in in order to facilitate the deal, Dr John Reid could have made an agreement. Taking into consideration the problems besseting the JSF and it seems at least mildly possible.



english.epochtimes.com...

The only drawback I see is that, even though the Rafale is a very capable aircraft, come 2012 and beyond it would be somewhat dated. But, the Harrier is a very old aircraft itself and is still in use and has proved capable, so who knows what will happen?

My personal thoughts are somewhat different though....

FRENCH aircraft on a Royal Navy ship? Not very palatable from a historic point of view, seeing as it is the Royal Navy that stopped the Frogs hopping onto our shores for the past 1000 years! But hey, Entente Cordial, water under the bridge and all that tosh....

As an afterthought though, maybe the Rafales will be bought as a stop gap? The JSF is not going to be ready anytime soon, I doubt before the carriers come into service.

Then you have to wait for them to be built, train the crews (both flight and ground) to operate and maintain the aircraft, thats at least another 2-3 years on top once you have taken delivery.

Look at the Apaches we bought, they have only just started coming online themselves, even though we bought them some years back.

[edit on 26/2/06 by stumason]



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 07:47 AM
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Up to 150 ? That seems very many... Half of the French planned orders... That would deserve an assembly line.



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 07:54 AM
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Thats another good point echoblade. I would put any RN need at 60-80 tops, probably more like 50. The RAF would never fly the Rafale (ALONGSIDE the Typhoon in the inventory? Zut alors!) So that will never happen. The press here would have a field day.



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:07 AM
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If the F-35 order was swaped from STOVL to CV how much money would be saved? Enough for a few Rafales to tied us over?



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:11 AM
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I think this is great actually, if the Americans have to be so uptight and secret, stuff 'em and get something else, even if it is French!

Still, I can't see this going down well with the RN pilots who have to fly them. Would they have an overwhelming sense to surrender when they enter the plane? Only time will tell.



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:15 AM
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Dassault CEO - C.Edelstenne on 20th Feb :


Dassault hopes the Rafale fighter will capture 13-15 pct of the market for air force fleet renewals, excluding France, across the world over the next few years, a potential market of some 5,000 planes.

'These past years, our market share has been 13-15 pct. So we think Rafale exports could represent one plane for every seven renewals, or about 350 planes,' Edelstenne said.


www.forbes.com...

Hint at the deal coming ? Expanding from the tag - how proud will the british be with a French fighter in service with their 'France defeating' navy ?


Also - the JSF F-35 has turned out to be unacceptable because the US have refused to share its technology and software source codes with the British ... will the French be prepared to hand over 100% of the Rafale's technology to the British?? ... how would the guys at BAe feel ? would this transfered tech of the Rafale be used on the Typhoon and could this prove a major disadvantage to the Rafale in future tenders where it is pitted against the Typhoon ??

IMHO the possibility of this deal coming through is close to 0. IMHO its plain propoganda used bargain with the yanks to push them to accept British terms on to the F-35's tech transfer and the RR partnered engine for the same.

[edit on 26-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:22 AM
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Well the French will have a British designed, carrier. We could have a French designed plane.

Seems fair



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:28 AM
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Waynos the French version of the planned CVF carries 32 Rafales + 3 E-2Cs + 5 NH90s, so for two CVFs plus a few spare planes we can consider about 70 planes unless there is a land-based squadron. So 150 Rafales seems a delirious number, unless :
- 4 CVFs are built...
- a number of Rafales finally replace the Typhoons from the UK quota that will be allocated to the Saudis... ahem

Also the Brits feeling backstabbed in the JSF program (with the cancellation of the alternative engine which RR was to lead, repeated threats on the F-35B and repeated complains about the limited access to some JSF technology) is not to be neglected, but buying 150 Rafales sounds utterly delirious.



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by Nacnud
Well the French will have a British designed, carrier. We could have a French designed plane.

Seems fair


The bid to build CVF carriers (for both Britian and France) has been won by Thales (owned by the French Govt.
)

link



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by Stealth Spy

Originally posted by Nacnud
Well the French will have a British designed, carrier. We could have a French designed plane.

Seems fair


The bid to build CVF carriers (for both Britian and France) has been won by Thales (owned by the French Govt.
)

link


From your own source:




Carrier Alliance
On January 30, 2003 the Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon announced that the Thales Group design had won the competition but that BAE Systems would operate as prime contractor. These two companies, with the MoD, formed the "Carrier Alliance."

During a speech on July 21 2004 Geoff Hoon announced a one year delay to allow contractural and cost issues to be resolved. In February 2005 the MoD announced that Kellog Brown & Root UK Ltd had been selected as "Physical Integrator" for the project, overseeing the finalisation of the design and the construction process. This was due to concerns that neither BAE nor Thales had the capacity to oversee the construction on their own.

The building of the carriers was confirmed in December 2005. A statement said "the Alliance team of MoD, BAE Systems, Thales and KBR, is to be joined by VT Group and Babcock". The building is to be across 4 shipyards with final assembly at Rosyth. The Defence Select Committee warned that the project may be failing behind schedule and may even be in jeopardy.


Seems everyone and their dog has a finger in this pie!

Interestingly enough, I wonder how many Americans know that many of their own defence companies are either completely or part owned by BAe....

Its a tangled web indeed, with a few rich guys selling weapons to everyone on the planet....Bastards....

[edit on 26/2/06 by stumason]



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:39 AM
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Actually the Brits made it clear that their CVFs will be built in UK, and their design (by BAE Systems, Thales UK, KBR, VT, and Babcock) will be the basis for the French version.

edit : didn't see your post, stumason

[edit on 26//2//06 by echoblade]



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:50 AM
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my understanding is that the French offered 150 rafales, one can only assume thats come from the highest levels and been thought about and studied for awhile, the French have been watching our problems with the JSF for some time, i think we can safely assume that the 150 figure includes at least 50+ that would go straight into storage for attrition replacements which is our military norm cycle, that leaves around a 100, enough for 2 carriers at max war strength?( aren't the CVFs meant to carrier nearly 60 JSF in wartime?)

I see nothing wrong with the Royal navy going down this avenue, i hope we get the Rafales, I'm sure the French will do everything they can to accommodate our needs, maybe a Ej2000 in the plane, our weapons, and maybe the typhoons radar and some other system, Maybe the deal we are really after is a empty airframe from Dassault to furnish the way we want, but then again with the penny pincher's .. maybe we will just get French built rafales using our weapons... i hope our boys don't have to "Think French" to fire them meteors!!

another problem is, if we cancel our JSF order... the USA maybe be a bit funky about selling the E-2 hawkeye for our AEW role.

[edit on 26-2-2006 by yeehaa]



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 08:53 AM
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Originally posted by Stealth Spy


will the French be prepared to hand over 100% of the Rafale's technology to the British?? ... how would the guys at BAe feel ? would this transfered tech of the Rafale be used on the Typhoon and could this prove a major disadvantage to the Rafale in future tenders where it is pitted against the Typhoon ??



[edit on 26-2-2006 by Stealth Spy]


What technology would that be?
The reason (the only reason) that the Rafale might be considered for FAA service is that it already exists in fully developed carrier capable form, whereas the Typhoon would require a relatively expensive redesign. This makes sense to me. But if you think that UK acquisition of the Rafale might present some opprtunity to gain technology that the UK doesn't already posses? please!



BAE and EADS are so intertwined do you really think that one possesses technology that is not freely available to the other?



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 09:03 AM
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Waynos we're talking French overtechnology here, please
Though you're right Dassault and BAe should be quite equal in tech.

I don't get the point with EADS though since the Rafale is made by Dassault ?



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 09:09 AM
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my bumbling mistake, IU was laughing too hard to think straight



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 12:50 PM
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Waynos,

>>
BAE and EADS are so intertwined do you really think that one possesses technology that is not freely available to the other?
>>

Snort. And when /I/ said that... When JANES said that... But never mind.

The reality is this folks. The Brits are clamoring loudly so they won't look like idiots to their own when they cut and run.

Indeed, typical City tactics are to buy up everything, run it into the ground. Sell off the residuals after Chapter 11/13. And then cut loose everything that is left. Believe me, I've seen it happen and am watching it happen again.

It's how the UK continues to stand as a financial giant on Empire amputee knees.

In this case, the likelihood is /overwhelmingly/ high that when the U.S. finally gets the boot from Iraq (this last deal with the Mosques could be it, if they don't melt down, they don't need U.S.. If they do a header into the rolling donut of civil war, we're too incompetent to the task of stomping on their necks to make them stop and should go anyway. It's the best there is...) we will face defense budget cuts not seen since 1973.

Of course the USAF will return Congress' kick in the nuts on the Raptor by saying they only need 1/3rd as many F-35s, publically, in AvLeak or similar. And Congress will not be able to 'insist' otherwise.

Given the blue suited monkeys are the lynchpin (scalar economic) buy of the whole program and and further given their original purchase numbers were on the order of 2,400 out of 3,000 (@ 28 million each in 1994 dollars)and they are already down to 1,763, at roughly 104 million dollars each.

The resulting shrink to 1,100 jets, when added to 'cousin variant' higher R&D and materials costs for the Squid/Jarhead/RoyalNits versions would lead to a PAUC or Program Acquisition Unit Cost of just over 154 million dollars.

If you scale to then-year dollars at point of service entry, this comes up to about 210 million apiece.

Money which, traditionally, export sales have helped the base company lay off costs on so that U.S. models are cheaper.

Yet no one will buy an export fighter that costs twice what the Rafale/Flubber do. The F-35 being late will give the EADS people a chance to fasttrack Neurone or it's followon at about 30 million 'and no training!' to every Slobovitch, Alibaba and Ming.

And with no position of profit and a likely fallback from Europe (denying even local USAFE depot work, let alone NATO FACO status) by U.S. forces in the next 5-7 years, the Brits would be fools to stay in a dead program.

Again, they are losing 1 billion dollars. And 100 jobs. Over this F136 deal. Something which nobody in the industry could believe was still a going deal after the YF120 was not even seconded to the F-22 (with better supercruise performance and TSFC no less).

Yet if you believe the truth, as the U.S. sole Tier-1 partner, they stand to make a minimum 10-15% profit on a THREE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLAR DEAL.

Which is frankly no more or less 'bully for U.S.' than the last DOTC (F-16) coproduction effort was.

They have no right or need to complain on spec. IF it was going to happen. They simply are scared that we are a toppling redwood ourselves and are backpedaling as fast as possibe to avoid being penny nailed into the dirt by our debt-heavy, production-lax, impact.

I wish The Continent well of them. But I don't believe their guff for a second. Po Wittle Toweez.

Death to the Fighter Mafia!


KPl.



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 01:38 PM
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When you are counting the number of Rafales/Eurofighters/JSFs the RN needs, have you considered that in addition to 2 carrier units RN needs a training squadron unless they want to give basic Fighter training in operative units...

And does the RN rotate their pilots on and off carriers? If so they probably need some aircraft for "off carrier" training and readiness...?

Then number could climb close to the 150 if UK continues it's habit to buy replacement airframes straight to storage



posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 01:42 PM
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the 150 figure may relate to a purchase which also covers replacement of the Harrier in RAF service as the JCA is supposed to - albeit without the STOVL capability.




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