Export Variant Of The F-35 Near Approval

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posted on Jul, 1 2007 @ 09:16 PM
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The "sanitized" export variant of the F-35 for countries outside the original international partnership is near approval. This variant will likely not feature the same level of capability that will be found on partnership F-35's. And the deal will likely not include very sensitive components or very sensitive technology transfer packages (see source code).

In other news the US government has for once made a good decision! It appears foreign military sales of the F-22 Raptor are simply not going to happen, no matter who the customer may be. Instead the US will offer close allies like Japan and Israel (who have expressed interest in the F-22) the export F-35 Lightning instead. For Japan this means that the F-22 will not be a choice in their F-X program.

In my humble opinion this is a good decision, the F-35 offers more than ample capability for ally nations and the F-22 is simply too advanced to risk sharing with anyone, even if they are friends.


A "sanitised" aircraft design should be approved by year-end to sell the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to countries outside the original international partnership. The non-partner international variant is being approved ahead of expected Foreign Military Sales orders from Israel and Singapore, and as a new export campaign ramps up to target Japan.

Meanwhile, the US government has decided to offer the F-35 instead of the Lockheed F-22 as an option to meet Japan's F-X fighter requirement. Boeing is expected to offer the F-15E or F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, with the Dassault Rafale and Eurofighter Typhoon also to be offered.

Source


[edit on 1-7-2007 by WestPoint23]




posted on Jul, 1 2007 @ 11:31 PM
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I totally agree with you. The F-35 is the plane that was designed to be exported to allies and to make money. The F-22 was not designed for other countries and people knew it wasn't going to be a money-making plane like the F-16. It was made for the U.S.A., and solely the U.S.A., to have complete air dominance in the future.



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 02:58 AM
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While I obviously don't know any details about the level of 'sanitisation' in this export model of the F-35, I wonder if it is such a good idea?

The thought that originally sprang to mind was the last time the USA offered a sanitised version of a USAF fighter for export. This was the F-16/79 and it was completely ignored by potential customers to the point where the standard F-16A was offered instead. Even the 'winning' F-20 went the same way as F-16 sales racked up. The F-16/79 merely ended up being a waste of time and money, as did the F-20.

Is the F-35minus going to go the same way? Will customers think that a full spec (or even enhanced) Typhoon/Gripen/Rafale etc is a better bet than a watered down fighter from America?

This could get interesting.



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 09:01 AM
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... Or this could be a fatal error, damaging export prospects not just for the F-35 but other key high end US technologies. And I believe that this statement from bdn12 neatly illustrates why.

I totally agree with you. The F-35 is the plane that was designed to be exported to allies and to make money. The F-22 was not designed for other countries and people knew it wasn't going to be a money-making plane like the F-16. It was made for the U.S.A., and solely the U.S.A., to have complete air dominance in the future.

Now I am not unrealistic, building aircraft is a business not a charity, but how many prospective clients in any industry would feel comfortable knowing you were keeping your best product for yourself (or your biggest home grown client) while you get a still expensive second or compromised third tier? Not many me thinks? In the rest of the business world you would immediately look at what other suppliers can offer. Now I realise that for most western countries these days there aren't too many other choices if you don't like the F-35 and wanted the Raptor. If the Typhoon doesn't float your boat you have no choice and that will increasingly annoy people. It feels like the US deliberately set up a monopolistic trap, even if that wasn't it's intention. Many western nations had their A/C manufacturing industries wrecked in the 50's, 60's and 70's by their own short sighted politicians and the obligation to pay back the US for all that WWII lend lease gear, by buying US for their defence forces. I believe waynos's observation of the F-16/79 and Tigershark's fate is an earlier example of this annoyance. Both of them were given the barge pole treatment by Air Forces you could have almost guaranteed would purchase the aircraft. And the reason was simple, "we don't want your second best, what is this new imperialism?". As waynos said the US could loose a lot of sales to the Euro canards or the Russians over this point.

So what do I think they will do and what will happen? For the most part little. Some may grumble then begrudgingly accept their fate, or as a f##k you protest, buy European or maybe Sukhoi's. But the richer and more technically resourced may go it alone or several team up to build their own "F-22" or what they deem necessary, and this is not as far fetched as it seems. Japan is probably the most capable and given their current investment in an indigenous turbofan airlifter and maritime patrol/ASW program they have shown the capacity and willingness to do so. If they were to team up with say the Israelis and one or two others it would be quite achievable. Yes I know I know, what your thinking, the cost, the technology required would be prohibitive. Well yes and no. Just because the US blew obscene amounts of money on the F-22 and F-35 R&D doesn't mean everybody else would follow the same mistakes. Just look at how little the Japanese have spent on the tactical airlifter and MPA program. And lets not forget that low RCS mockup concept they put together a couple of years back for a crash program fighter. It would seem they learnt a few lessons from the expensive 1980's/90's FS-X/(F-2) "reinvention of the F-16 wheel" fiasco. If the US could be arm twisted into selling engines or one or two other technologies it becomes much easier (the Israelis seem to have an uncanny knack of doing that). And of course the implied threat of "well if you don’t, we will go it alone on engines and radars etc" might be enough of a scare to make such sales a possibility. After all it would be better for the US to have that wedge in case the aircraft were being offered to someone down the track that they wouldn't want to see getting their hands on a possible Raptor or Lightning II counterpart, free of the strings of US export controls.

So do I think this is likely? Probably not, but if the US continues to blatantly "hog" all the best technology to itself like the F-22 while offering downgraded but still expensive second tier fighters, it may just force the issue upon itself.

Incidentally Westy, why the change to a monochrome avatar? Is this an unwritten comment about how you see the US these days?


LEE.

[edit on 2-7-2007 by thebozeian]



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 09:26 AM
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Well personally, I'm missing the sexy tart, and I mean the avatar, not Westy.


Thats a very good post Lee and maybe we can speculate on where it might lead (in a purely fantasy setting of course) for instance we all saw the recent Japanese 'F-22-like' mock ups so imagine, a BAE/Mitsubishi design with Japanese money and technology helping to turn the BAE Replica into a genuine flying aircraft? Obviously this wouldn't happen due to the UK getting the 'max strength' F-35B anyway, but its a nice fantasy for a modelmaker to work on


A more realistic outcome might see Japanese investment making the TVC and AESA Typhoon a production reality, perhaps?

Even more realistically, the US may just relent and export the standard F-35A

[edit on 2-7-2007 by waynos]



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 10:07 AM
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waynos I would LOVE to see BAE and Britain involved. If I had to pick a dream team it would have BAE, RR, and Mitsubishi right at the top. But as you said you can rule Britain out now that some half assed technology agreement has finally been signed and the UK can hardly justify a third combat aircraft program. Actually that debacle on it's own is illustrative of the whole problem with buying from a monopoly even when you have significant involvement in the development.

Even more realistically, the US may just relent and export the standard F-35A

Or relax even more under another administration and make the Raptor available.
As for RN FAA why don't they just fit catapults to the QE class carriers, buy F-35C's and be done with it? Hardly makes sense hobbling yourself with a STOVL fighter and all its drawbacks when you dont have to.

LEE.



posted on Jul, 2 2007 @ 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
Even more realistically, the US may just relent and export the standard F-35A


Quite possibly but not unless real big players (outside the partnership) like Japan and others start to complain and take measures. Still, for most counties they will essentially have no choice but to accept the F-35 (watered down or not). Israel is one such example, they are very unlikely to buy a non US fighter for their next generation replacement. Even if they did I'm not so sure that would be such a bad thing. They are one of the reasons for the US being more uptight bout FMS and technology transfers. Id rather see Typhoon technology going to China than see a generic "F-35" built by the Chinese. Anyway, in terms of just capability alone an F-35 with a higher overall RCS is still just as capable as a Typhoon, if still not more so.


Originally posted by theboezian
Or relax even more under another administration and make the Raptor available.


FMS of the F-22A Raptor are banned by congressional law, any request by the executive must first gain congressional approval. Seeing as how the ban was set during a Republican congress and reauthorized under a Democratic one, it is unlikely for that to happen. And unless the USAF procures more Raptor's the production line will close in 2011-2012.


Originally posted by theboezian
Incidentally Westy, why the change to a monochrome avatar? Is this an unwritten comment about how you see the US these days?


Something like that, notice the file title of my avatar, I might be inclined to make old glory even darker...






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