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Britain, Italy seek to slash Eurofighter orders

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posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 09:48 AM
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news.yahoo.com...


FRANKFURT (AFP) - Britain and Italy are considering cutting orders of the Eurofighter combat jet that both countries helped develop, a press report said Monday.

"These countries have asked for information that indicates a reduction in the number" of orders, the president of the Eurofighter consortium, Aloysius Rauen told the German business daily Handelsblatt.



And so it begins ; cut eurofighter or F35 - as both cannot really be afforded.




posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 03:22 PM
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Will not happen, the penalties are too high, and the RAF especially need the eurofighter (and it's already in the works upgrades) to replace the retired jaguars and some of the tornados which are coming to the end of their lives.

I just with the MOD would sort itself out, the RAF and FAA are already low on planes (less than 1/3 of what I'd run if I were in charge), we should be aquiring more airframes, not thinking of ways to back out of orders. Hell if it were me I'd be aquiring all the harrier airframes I could find worldwide and having them upgraded to GR9A standard (with a new gun pod) as a contingency against further F35 delays, when the F-35 comes in, give them to the army air core



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by MisterVoid
 


So far the RAF has replaced four Tornado squadrons, three Jaguar squadrons and a Harrier squadron with just TWO frontline Typhoon squadrons (3 & 11, as 29 and 17 are training units). The RAF has just five Tornado GR.4 squadrons compared to 11 just over a decade ago and is considering disbanding one more.

Until 3 Sqn came on stream with the Typhoon the air defence of the UK was entirely in the hands of just three squadrons of Tornado F.3's, or about 45 or so of the 165 we originally bought.

In addition to this the reformation of 6 Sqn, the last to relinquish the Jaguar, has now been delayed by at least a year in the wake of the Saudi order for the Typhoon as 6 Sqn's aircraft are now being diverted to the RSAF instead.

With all the high intensity operations in Afghanistan, and following the operations in Kosovo and Iraq, the airframe hours of the RAF's primary types is running out fast and the USAF situation with the F-15 is one the RAF has been living in fear of for quite a while now.

With the delays to the F-35 as well the RAF faces the entirely realistic proposition of not being able to field a single airworthy combat aircraft that is not a Typhoon by 2017. And what sort of utilisation rate will these then face? Scandalous.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 04:34 PM
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I know, it's insanity, the crazy thing is the jaguars had plenty of time left on the frames, so did the sea harries, they were cut to save money, and the tornados seem to be folling suit.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 06:51 PM
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Originally posted by waynos
With the delays to the F-35 as well the RAF faces the entirely realistic proposition of not being able to field a single airworthy combat aircraft that is not a Typhoon by 2017.


Maybe I have missed something, but what "delays" are you referring to? Or do you mean there may be possible delays in the F-35B production until 2017? As unlikely as that might be.



posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 11:24 PM
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Westy,

Are you seriously suggesting that the $71M contract to redesign and re-qualify the F-135 gearbox (which won't be ready - reportedly - until 2009) won't affect the F-35 test program in any adverse way?

I would suggest, considering all other contracts in recent years, that availability of the gearbox (not an uprated item in itself, but an item that was built to drive a generator that was mistakenly designed below specification) could quite reasonably be expected to take longer than anticipated. Every contract concerning every project seems to be a continuing litany of over optimism with regard to satisfactory on-time / on-budget completion. If this gearbox comes in on time or on budget, it will be the only part of the F-35 that does!

Sorry, but history tells me that a phrase 'unlikely to be delayed' should not be used when referring to any part of the F-35 program. Alas, I am beginning to see parallels with the A-12 Avenger program. Basic errors like the gearbox / generator situation and continued time and budget blow-outs added to the political problems of restricted technology transfer, does not tend to maintaining confidence in the program, especially for customer nations.

If you have some news that might instill even the slightest confidence that (especially for customer nations) the technology will even be workable when such basic errors are made, or that there will be no more delays leading to capability gaps in OUR force structures, then by all means, please reassure us.

The one message that is coming through loud and clear from the US at the moment is that the US is over-optimistic on fatigue lives, over-optimistic on airframe usage, over-optimistic on the time taken to master technological solutions, over-optimistic on the time that it takes to get an aircraft off the drawing board and into service, over-optimistic on the state of your own fighter situation, and most definitely over-optimistic on the likelihood of further delays. AND that you are apparently not learning anything from the results of your over-optimism. The 'spin' that everything will be fine and the F-35 program won't be further delayed just doesn't cut it.

The only questions left to be answered are - do we continue in this program? and do you actually believe your own over-optimistic 'no delay' spin? We certainly don't - we understand that 'spin' is just a polite word for 'lie'! - favorable truths don't need the attention of 'spin-doctors'.

The Winged Wombat


[edit on 10/12/07 by The Winged Wombat]



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Maybe I have missed something, but what "delays" are you referring to? Or do you mean there may be possible delays in the F-35B production until 2017? As unlikely as that might be.


Name a fighter in the last 30 years that has arrived on time.



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 05:15 AM
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There`s allready been a report that teh F35x (all versions) will not be properly A2A capable before 2016 at the earliest - and by properly anything other than point and shoot an AIM-9x



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 09:22 AM
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as waynos has pointed out,

The UK needs MORE eurofighters as do italy.
The UK will find itself with its "pants down" with the slashing of
military spending across the board.
With the world that just cant get on u would think the politicians
would want a strong military to protect there fat arse's in government?


[edit on 11-12-2007 by Jezza]



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by The Winged Wombat
Westy,

Are you seriously suggesting that the $71M contract to redesign and re-qualify the F-135 gearbox (which won't be ready - reportedly - until 2009) won't affect the F-35 test program in any adverse way?

I would suggest, considering all other contracts in recent years, that availability of the gearbox (not an uprated item in itself, but an item that was built to drive a generator that was mistakenly designed below specification)..... If this gearbox comes in on time or on budget, it will be the only part of the F-35 that does!
[edit on 10/12/07 by The Winged Wombat]


Can u supply me with some more info there WW? I have yet to see a crediable news source etc or a lockheed statement on the gearbox issue that everyone has been talking about. I'm not saying your wrong all I'm saying is I've asked in 3 this is my 4th thread about where people are getting this info. It must be from somewhere if people have dates etc but I havent seen it on my aviation sites that I follow.

Oh and the cost over runs are happening but I've seen a number of parts and delivery dates that where ahead of schedual.



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 11:46 AM
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That was from me and i used

www.defenselink.mil...

that contract as the source.


United Technologies Corp., Pratt and Whitney, Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., is being awarded a $71,503,988 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3003) for the procurement of F-135 gearbox redesign and re-qualification, and delivery of nine redesigned gearboxes. The gearboxes will be incorporated into F-135 flight test engines being delivered to Lockheed Martin for the F-35 flight test aircraft. Work will be performed in East Hartford, Conn., and is expected to be completed in December 2009. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md. is the contracting activity



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 12:09 PM
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Westy, the RAF reported last year that it does not expect to deploy an F-35 operationally, at all, until 2018 and will not have full weapons clearance (ie storm shadow, brimstone etc) on the type until 2022.

On top of this the out of service dates for the Tornado and Harrier (based on utilisation rates which have since gone up) were set at 2017 and 2019 respectively.

I made a post about this RAF bomber gap at the time but I do not have the link unfortunately



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 04:05 PM
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[I]Originally posted by Harlequin[/I]
There`s allready been a report that teh F35x (all versions) will not be properly A2A capable before 2016 at the earliest - and by properly anything other than point and shoot an AIM-9x


Yeah, I don't think so, there is no "report", such wording may fly with others but not me. What there is however is an anonymous unconfirmed source, a single individual, within the huge F-35 program providing this "information". How convenient that this source is European and also works for other Air Forces… Let me consider the situation for just a short second. The European consortium has several current systems which it is pushing for current and future competition with the F-35, this source is European and works for several other Air Forces. This apparent lack of capability affects the air to air suite of the F-35 and features a very opportune time frame. Yes, lets base an entire discussion, and claim omniscient knowledge (undisputed fact), about exacts dates of block, version, serial, software and weapon development (which are several years away) for production F-35’s (B) from this early in the program phase. All from a single unidentified source with a questionable background and no official project documentation to offer as proof. Not to mention how illogical and unlikely such a situation would be…

And one more thing, this claim is not very specific, as such, its pointless to add on personal commentary about the Aim-9X and its integration into the F-35.


[I]Originally posted by kilcoo316[/I]
Name a fighter in the last 30 years that has arrived on time.


The F-35 (all versions) IOC dates (for the US) have already been established and are unlikely to slip more than a year or so. The F-35B is schedule to enter IOC in 2012 with the US. I seriously doubt, in the face of no substantial problems, that its production will be delayed by five years. As for when the RAF reach IOC with the type or when it estimated it will reach IOC, not my concern. My point is that the F-35B production will not be delayed or pushed back until 2017.



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
My point is that the F-35B production will not be delayed or pushed back until 2017.


Ok but a plane that can't do anything isn't IOC. Sure its "could" be off the line but its useless. If its only A2G as well when it reachs the buyers in 2012 or later that wont do since we don't all have the F-22 to provide cover.

I do think that I need to find something though to back up this lack of A2A claim that people have been making or if someone could show me that would be great.



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 04:45 PM
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Now, let me address another point of discussion about the F-35 program which is being purposely misquoted and spread around, by one particular member, with personal opinion inserted in.

Out of all the F-35 variants, the F-35C is the version which will be flight tested and officially produced last. It has the latest IOC date of all the versions and its test aircraft will be assembled and flown after the A and B models. The F-35A test aircraft flew in 2006 and IOC for the A is expected in 2013 (US). The F-35B test aircraft will fly in 2008 and IOC is expected in 2012 (US). The F-35C test aircraft is not scheduled to fly until 2009 and IOC is expected in 2014.

That may have seem redundant but I wanted to be sure everyone got the point, hence the childish repetitions. And please don't forget to read the linked article…

Source

Now with that out of the way lets actually quote the biased article which mentions this gearbox issue.


Nor are these the only challenging problems facing the F-35 program. The F-35C naval variant's Hamilton Sundstrand power generator was mistakenly designed to only 65% of the required electric output. To accommodate the required increase, it will also be necessary to redesign the gearbox for the standard Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which will be fitted into the conventional F-35A version as well as the naval F-35C. The contract announced by the US Department of Defense in August 2007 says that this engine update won't be ready for use until the end of 2009, which is almost the beginning of low-rate initial production.

Link


Hmm… interesting, so the power generator error only concerns the F-35C. Its test aircraft wont be ready to fly until 2009 anyway and its IOC is not scheduled until 2014, translation, no delay. Notice, the 2009 date only concerns the gear box issue, not the underpowered generator.

As for the gearbox, lets see, testing for the F-35A, B and C is expected to last well past 2009 and the F-35B (US version) is not scheduled to reach IOC until 2012. Sorry, but three years does no translate to "almost the beginning of low-rate initial production". At this point, I wont even mention the F-35C as the gearbox issue will be resolved before its first test aircraft even flies. And I might as well add that the F-35B's the UK will be purchasing will come equipped with the F-136, a different engine. This issue does not affect it in anyway whatsoever, not to mention it's under a separate test, evaluation and IOC calendar.

Let me summarize, these so called "major design problems" being used as straws to vent irrational hatred for the F-35 program (for one reason or another), will not have a major (delay) impact on the testing and fielding of the F-35 Lightning II.

Is there any other BS going around concerning the F-35 that I should be aware about?



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
…if someone could show me that would be great.


There's nothing to show aside a mention of an unconfirmed mention from an aonymous individual "within" the F-35 program. For more detail see my post above.

Now, typically when an aircraft reaches IOC, ee. the Raptor and Typhoon, it has all or almost all of its avionics installed and upgraded and it has most of its weapons integrated, tested and deployed. However some systems will still need to be installed/upgraded, tested and evaluated gradually as production increases. This is not uncommon or unusual.
However to say at this point that the F-35 (all versions), each with their own unique IOC date; will not be able to conduct aerial or ground missions until several years later is total nonsense.

There is actually a funny story here regarding the Typhoon in this situation, cost, production and capability wise, but I digress…



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 06:02 PM
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Totally amaizng - you completely IGNORE the SERIOUS issues surronding the airplane , and then tick off any discussion about it whilst pretending to know more than all the experts put together


P&W have been awarded a $71 million doller contract above and beyond to fix the flaw within the engine - the DoD cotract says that.

and yet you dismiss any discussion aboout it.


please westpoint WAKE UP , the F35 has issues - so stop PRETENDING it doesn`t.



posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 06:19 PM
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Shocking, I know, that they found and issue with the initial production version of the F-135 during initial testing.
And now they have issued a contract to address the flaw in several test bound F-135's and to implement the fix in all future production versions. Interesting, yes, alarming, no.

I have never claimed that problems concerning the F-35 program are not being discovered during the testing phase. I have simply maintained that these developments are not unprecedented and or otherwise fatal. Yet that's exactly what's being pushed, as if the F-35 is the first new aircraft in the history of aviation that did not go from development to production with a short and incident/accident free test phase. Then people have the brass ones to claim these initial problems are impassible. Usually leading to the irrational bashing of the F-35 as an aircraft and as a concept as well as the US military and defense industrial complex. This in turn leads to the promotion of current (often foreign), less capable and non comparable aircraft. Which shockingly suffered the same sort of early problems (often greater) as the F-35 and continue to have their own issues.

I'm not the one who needs to wake up, the F-35 will be an amazing aircraft, both in terms of performance and capability. I have no interest in agenda laden discussions or articles.



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 07:14 AM
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Westy, it doesn't matter one iota whether YOU think everything is fine with the F-35 program.

What matters, is that we are telling you that officials within the customer nations are losing confidence in the project and are considering dumping their interest in it, and further, that such loss of confidence also reflects upon their decisions in future programs and replacement strategies.

Somehow, you seem to think that you can convince us, here, when the official word coming out of America is not convincing those responsible for purchasing (or not) the aircraft.

Believe me, if the Netherlands and the UK pull out of F-35, standby for the stampede.

This is not in any way a form of 'bashing'. It is a report of what's happening within our own governments! Get it? The message that they are receiving is one of over-optimism (as outlined above) across the board from US aerospace manufacturers. Do you, for instance, think that the USAF finds the situation 'not a problem' that their F-15s are suffering structural failure before they reach their claimed airframe life? Do you think that the USAF will apply some sort of 'fudge factor' (or rather exaggeration / optimism factor) the next time an airframe has its life extended ? What do you think the politicians in Singapore (the latest customer for F-15) are thinking right now, having just discovered that their new aircraft will need to be rebuilt/modified, at great expense to them, to get the advertised life out of them, not to mention the changes that will make to their defense spending down the line if their F-15s have to be replaced earlier than they planned? (If that happened to your car, wouldn't that be a warranty claim?)

Frankly, I don't care if the F-35 is the best thing for the job for everyone (it's actually irrelevant in the real world) - if the customer governments (and their political opposition) lose confidence that they will get the 'real McCoy' in the time frame that they need it, I can assure you that those governments will cancel rather than hand over power to their opposition parties in the wake of a 'political defense spending scandal'. Regardless of whether the loss of confidence is really warranted or not, the first rule of politics remains in force - get re-elected! Cynical, sure - real world, absolutely!

The Winged Wombat



posted on Dec, 12 2007 @ 07:24 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23

To accommodate the required increase, it will also be necessary to redesign the gearbox for the standard Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, which will be fitted into the conventional F-35A version as well as the naval F-35C.

Link


How do you only get F-35C out of that?




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