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

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posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 02:01 PM
But thats just it planeman, the RAF will not sanction replacing the Harrier with the Rafale when it is committed to recieving 232 Typhoons , about 60-100 of which it reckons it does not need (ready made Harrier replacement without spending any extra dosh if the F-35B is binned, which I'm still not convinced will happen.

Also regarding numbers, the Royal Navy never operated more than 48 Sea Harriers, including shore based and training aircraft. If more F-35's than that are bought it wont be by much and certainly wont be three times as many considering our ever shrinking defence budget.

KPI; I really wish you would keep the cynical sniping element out of your posts as it detracts from what good stuff you do write and makes them hard to read objectively.

[edit on 26-2-2006 by waynos]

posted on Feb, 26 2006 @ 02:03 PM
ignore this I hit quote instead of edit, like a retard.

[edit on 26-2-2006 by waynos]

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 03:28 AM
I was kind of worried this story was based on wrong information/ speculation, but Reu ters and Forbes are reporting this story too, today

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 06:27 AM

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.


Actually Thales UK (the wholely UK based subsidary of Thales) won the design contact. They them promptly subcontacted the design work to BMT defence services in Bath. There has been no french involvement in the design up until this point (they just get a slice of the money).

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 08:36 AM
I'd just like to point out that the source for all this is none other than 'The Mail on sunday'.

Stop laughing. Seriously. That is the source.

Hardly one of the most reliable of Britain's tabloids and certainly not anyone I know ofs first call when it comes to either military information or inside information about the activities of this current UK government.

I can shoot the breeze and speculate about this as much as anyone but I certainly wouldn't see it as more than that based on their word for it.

.....and as said before now that Harrier is set to get a life-extension I am waiting for news that a version of Typhoon was initially examined and designed fully capable of carrier operations anyway.

I think that the more likely contender........especially given the time constraints (ie there aren't really any).

[edit on 27-2-2006 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 09:20 AM
In my opinion, these kind of problems will hold NATO back from being the force it should be. All NATO countries should have been developing joint weapons systems from the beggining(except small arms). This would save a lot of trouble when deciding in which weapon systems to buy. Save a lot of conflict, make them more affordable for our common defense ect. I just believe if you have a common defense treaty it makes more sense to try and standardize equipment to some degree(not just the 5.56 mm ammo either), I believe most tanks in NATO all use 120mm main guns, making tank rounds interchangable. In the event of another European war in the future, this would have made things so much easier to have all the equipment and ammunition and other supplies at the fronts, universal missiles and other munitions for aircraft. To me this would make NATO an even greater force, ease of supply means ease of operation.

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 12:21 PM
I for one never thought the JSF would enter service any way. Its short fat and ugly (Im my opinion
) he vertical take off variant is way way behind schedule, and the US is screwing us here in the UK at each and every turn on the project. Dump it, let the US keep the tech and we'll keep our money. Buy the Rafale and for once get a decent airframe for our money.

This is an interesting read with some thoughtful links about the current problem with the US.

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 12:32 PM
Well, nothings decided yet of course so its a tad early to be dancing on the F-35's grave. Greebo, I'm a little curious how you see the differences between the Rafale and Typhoon?

I'm not going to start a war or anything but I notice you seem to rate the Rafale (As do I) and yet on another thread you called the Typhoon something like 'out of date and rubbish' or thereabouts.

Its just that this seems to be a little inconsistant whern both aircraft are directly comparable in role, tech level and timescale with the Typhoon having a slight edge in having more power and more payload.

For the record I think both aircraft are superb and would have no qualms about the RN operating the Rafale but would prefer a Sea Typhoon if it was viable.

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 12:39 PM
Waynos... er other than the rafale can land on a carrier and typhoon cannot? Thats a huge difference to the naval pilot i would of thought....???!!

ok the typhoon may be able to be upgraded but at a huge cost. the rafale is ready for it (M variant). get a fixed wing carrier and you have a ready to use replacement for the JSF program.

er does that answer your question about the difference? hope so. As to my dislike of the Euro fighter (Typhoon) well the rafale is in service and the typhoon is nowhere near ready for combat at this time. The tranch debacle is embarrasing, and the french ASKED for a naval typhoon in 1983 and the UK and other partners said no. Big kudos for the French on seeing a future need for its combat aircraft. Would i like to see a naval typhoon? well yes, but if the consortium hadn't been so stupid in 83 we would have one ready now and not be the whipping post for US tech wars.

[edit on 27-2-2006 by MadGreebo]

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 12:40 PM

Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
I'd just like to point out that the source for all this is none other than 'The Mail on sunday'.

Stop laughing. Seriously. That is the source.

Yep sminkey but it's been reported before... Although for now it's just speculation about what may have been said. What made me doubt the reliability of the source, more than the source itself, was the surprisingly high number of planes quoted.

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 12:41 PM
The scenario that I envision here is that of the prudent, comparison shopper. The U.K. have quite prudently brought another suitor into the deal. If the U.K. appears to be genuinely interested in purchasing French planes, I can see the U.S. plane manufacturers offering some perks to the British to "take a more serious look" at what the U.S. has to offer. This will mean that everyone involved in the department for 'purchasing' will have a pile of of "freebies" such as logo emblazoned coffee mugs, pens, portfolios, brief cases, clip boards, "Swiss army knife" USB drives, as well as price savings on aspects of the military plane deal. That's the way it's done.

The French, in return, can be expected to strongly promote their 'underdog' aviation industry by offering huge tax incentives as well as putting out their own low-ball price figure in the hope of clinching the deal. Oh, and not to be outdone by the Americans, you can bet that the desks in that British 'purchasing' department will be cluttered with even more -- logo emblazoned -- 'French corporate" coffee mugs, pens, calculators, tie clips, t-shirts, and advertising 'give aways'.

Of course, in response, the Americans will point out that their planes have been 'proven in battle' -- hardly a claim that the French can make -- and the Brits will sign on the dotted line (with a cool fountain pen that is probably a Waterman -- the French always made excellent pens).

Like I said, that's the way business is done.

As far as I am concerned, the British will almost certainly purchase American planes. However, I also don't see why the Brits have to go with the first deal that is presented to them. If they can haggle the price down a few million , all the more power to them. It's simply good business sense.

And, if the Brits ultimately go with the French offer, it won't necessarily be because the French make great aircraft but that it was financially -- and politically -- expedient and advantageous for them to do so.

[edit on 2/27/2006 by benevolent tyrant]

[edit on 2/27/2006 by benevolent tyrant]

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 12:56 PM
Yep, we make average aircraft but have nice giveaways

That said the "proven in battle" argument doesn't stand for the JSF. On the other hand the Rafale has a proven buddy-buddy refuelling capacity, proven in battlezone... But I digress

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 01:15 PM
Greebo;I see your position, I think, but you may be misinformed on one or two issues.

Firstly there was no requirement for a naval fighter among any of the remaining Eurofighter countries, the UK was the only partner with any sort of carriers and we thought we had gone VTOL for good at that time. Circumstances change of course but it is not an example of stupidity. The French requirement for a carrier version to replace the Cusader and Super Etendard was drawn up AFTER they left the ECA consortium in order to extend any production run for a national solution, making it more industrially viable.

I must correct you that France never had any interest in a naval Typhoon at all, ever. What they wanted was either 50% of any collaborative fighter (with the other 50% shared 4 ways) or, preferably, 100% of their own aircraft and no rival, this was the root of French disruption in the early days of the ECA studies and carrier ops were never mentioned at this time.

I agree that the Rafale M now offers a ready made solution, but this is not a reason to denigrate Eurofighter, why would they develop a carrier variant when there was no requirement? A Sea Typhoon was studied in the 1990's for JCA before the F-35 was selected (on the back of the STOVL operations it offers, which we thought we needed). Just How expensive this Sea Typhoon might be or how long it might take to produce is something we can't really guess at, it might well be hugely expensive, but we don't know for sure. For instance the Typhoon already has an arrestor hook, so that is one area of re-engineering that wont be necessary, there may well be others and it may prove to be quite affordable, who knows?

I don't know what you mean by the 'tranch debacle is embarrassing'. I am unaware of any debacle, as far as I know the 'tranches' are going according to plan, aren't they? I know the aircraft are coming on stream later than they should, but that is more political than technical, surely?

The worst aspect about the Typhoon for me is the political stalling by Germany and their totally unnecessary quest for a stripped out cut price version which achieved nothing but delaying the full spec aircraft that was built anyway and upping the price of it in the process. As an aircraft itself I think it is admirable.

It is a pity a carrier version wasn't requested in the first place but is this the fault of Eurofighter or the aircraft? The Typhoon was never going to be operable from the Invincible class ships (neither is any other fighter without a Pegasus engine) and back then this looked like being the only type of carrier we would ever have, you might expect Eurofighter to predict military defence needs, but predicting what the British Govt will actually stump up for is a different matter, our need for full size carriers never went away, only our willingness to pay for them.

No doubt we will agree to differ on this matter.

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 01:26 PM
Waynos although I agree with you on the big picture, I don't think the Typhoon already having an arrestor hook is a point, since it's designed to be used with different constraints than those met in carried based operations.

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 05:09 PM
Yeah, thats true, but it shows that the rear fuselage is already designed and stressed in the right way, it may require beefing up, but then again it might have needed a full structural redesign if this facility wasn't already included. I may be off beam with that but I was just trying to show that its possible that navalizing the Typhoon might not be as difficult as it first appears.

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 06:35 PM
A right royal pain in the arse to navalise a typhoon. They even looked at blowing air across a deck to help slow down landing speeds so they could get away with out having to strengthen the airframe! read this from another forum.

BAe admits it would be costly and unsafe...weapons clearance of the deck ect ect.... Rafale M was born and bred to fight from the deck of a carrier, typhoon was not. Why not have both types in service? Now that would be smart, and junk the F-35 jsf all together. If the US wont trust us with the software, who are we to trust them to deliver safe airframes?

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 06:40 PM
Waynos, I do actually agree with what you say about the UK seeing harrier as the only naval combat aircraft operating from small through deck cruisers. I just wish that the Germans would put up or shut up and im really miffed off that rafale is in service and typhoon is yet to get a working air to air radar beyond the test kit it has. Oh and i haven't even touched on the 'will it/ wont it have a cannon fitted' debacle going on at the minute....

Waynos my point being that if rafale is up and combat ready, why in Gods name is eurofighter still stuck in the testing stages and not yet even begun to be tested with air to ground kit? The consortium makes me MAD!

Hers the cannon

[edit on 27-2-2006 by MadGreebo]

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 07:09 PM

Originally posted by benevolent tyrant
The scenario that I envision here is that of the prudent, comparison shopper......

......As far as I am concerned, the British will almost certainly purchase American planes.

- I think you inadvertently sum this up very well BT.

We aren't just buyers, the point was supposed to be partners in this venture that thanks to the UK transferring our V/Stol tech (and not forgetting the not so small - to us anyway - matter of being America's staunchest ally).

Obviously not straight 50/50 partners - we never expected that - but certainly not to be treated in the manner in which we have been so far.

The ball I'd say is in America's court; carry on behaving as if we are slightly suspect and very definitely the most junior of partners in this and see us walk taking our several billions with us and orders elsewhere
recognise that we have contributed (once again) some of our best secrets to US know-how in this (who else could do V/Stol with any serious practicality before the UK came along?) and see unit costs lower thanks to the economies of scale and thereby enable the US military to afford more of these F35 planes (plus all the political benefits that come from employment and longer production runs etc etc).

Greebo -
Typhoon has a gun and the ammo is apparently the same as Tornados.
They can fly with it armed or not, no big deal.

As for why the delays?
Short-term political thinking, nothing less.
Thanks to a threat level that hardly demands anyone move quickly on this kind of thing the various governments have indulged in delaying the program (knowingly at the expense of inflating the overall program 'end-costs') to reduce the costs in any particular year; it's sheer expediency.

[edit on 27-2-2006 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 07:29 PM
Sminky ill dig up the BAe info but im sure they said that the tranche 2 and 3 will NOT be cannon equiped.
Let me get the link and ill show you. The rest of your above post is ace though. I agree that the UK's being treated real bad on the F-35 issue.

posted on Feb, 27 2006 @ 07:41 PM
Western Europe would have been buying French and or Swedisg fighters long ago if the Big Brither had not threatened them. In the 60's we forced the infamous Starfighter upon our German allies much to their chagrin.
The Saab fighter is very advanced and the French fighters have proven tbemselves in combat time and again. I doubt that any European fighter can match the Raptor however but the cost and application of the F22 does not meet all combat needs or budget abilities..

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