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UK to Cancel F-35B Order?

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posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:27 AM
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The news was leaked in the Daily Telegraph today that the MOD is looking first to switch from the Rolls Royce engine for the JSF to the cheaper American version.

Telegraph Article

This is followed by a revelation that in the autumn/fall the MOD will be announcing a switch to the F-35C. This will lead to a cost reduction for the fighters themselves but will at the same time ensure that, if the new carriers are to be built, they will have to be constructed with catapults and runway; as opposed to the ski-jump which was originally planned.


F-35C



CVF in Conventional Take off and Landing Style



One has to wonder if this is a rather cunning way to cancel the carriers (ironically by ordering a carrier optimised aircraft).

Firstly they order the F-35C – with the argument that it makes more sense

Secondly they cancel the carriers - As the cost of making them CV rather than STOVL is too great

Thirdly they cancel the JSF completely – What is the point of these planes if there is nothing to land them on

Fourthly the RAF is left with only one front line aircraft the Eurofighter Typhoon – An excellent Interceptor but little more than a jack of all other trades.

IMHO it would make considerably more sense to pull out of the JSF altogether and buy a combination of Dasault Rafales to operate alongside the typhoon as both a strike craft and carrier airpower.



Jensy




posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:33 AM
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This is going around everywhere, and its complete bull.

The British Government are simply cancelling their involvement in the F136 - the Rolls Royce/GE alternative engine to the F135. Thats all. No change to conventional aircraft, no change to the carriers.

The US cancelled their involvement in the alternative engine last month, and now the British Government has decided not to fund the program itself.

Thats it. No change to the F-35C.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:53 AM
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True or not, I haveoften wondered why the RN has opted for the STVOL version of the JSF. When compared to the 'B', It is heavier, more costly, has a shorter range and a reduced payload capability. As I understand it the carriers are designed to be retrofitted with CATOBAR , so why are we pursuing what seems to be a more costly and less capable option?



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 10:57 AM
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@Fang,

Likewise I have never understoof that decision. Or else why we are purchasing this over priced oversold fighter in the first place.
A navalised Typhoon would have been a far better idea and likely would have kept France in the Eurofighter project; thus lowering the unit costs even lower.


Jensy



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 11:27 AM
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Originally posted by jensy

A navalised Typhoon would have been a far better idea and likely would have kept France in the Eurofighter project; thus lowering the unit costs even lower.


Jensy


A navalised Typhoon would be very costly, as it would require significant changes to the flight software (I have changed my stance on a navalised Typhoon since it last came up in discussion).

It also wouldn't have kept France in the Eurofighter program, as their decision to leave over the requirement was 11 years prior to the initial British involvement in the JSF program, 12 years before the Future Carrier Borne Aircraft project was started, and 14 years prior to the British requirement for new carriers was confirmed.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 11:40 AM
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the new QE2 allready have designed in CATOBAR backfit - so any `massive cost increase` is BS , they are ready to go cat and trap

maybe , just maybe someone , somewhere has seen sence over the STOVL version and binned it in favour of les , but better of the C version , AND get 2 carriers.



posted on Aug, 6 2009 @ 05:09 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin
the new QE2 allready have designed in CATOBAR backfit - so any `massive cost increase` is BS , they are ready to go cat and trap


Its big enough for it, but why a conventional plant? It seems that CVX may get a magnetic catapault and you needs gobs of electricity to run such a monster. Nuclear seems tailor made for an aircraft carrier IMHO.




maybe , just maybe someone , somewhere has seen sence over the STOVL version and binned it in favour of les , but better of the C version , AND get 2 carriers.


Yeah the C variant makes more sence to me period. Bigger wing and greater range esp for an aircraft that will be providing frontline fleet air defence as well as maritime strike.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 12:35 AM
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Likewise I have never understoof that decision. Or else why we are purchasing this over priced oversold fighter in the first place.

Probably because "nothing comes close", to the JSF for the role it is designed and will be doing. Also your OP has a picture of the X-35C not the F-35C.



[edit on 7/8/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 02:40 AM
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Originally posted by C0bzz

Likewise I have never understoof that decision. Or else why we are purchasing this over priced oversold fighter in the first place.

Probably because "nothing comes close", to the JSF.


Well, I hope you're right. Many of the claims being made for the JSF by it's supporters have yet to be backed up a practical demonstration of it's capabilities. It is still a bit of a 'paper plane'.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 03:21 AM
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reply to post by FredT
 


given the french experience with the charles de gaul , they are moving away from nuke power - the new brit boats (and likely the french as well ) will use the RR MT30 mairne trent , 4 of them producing 36MW each - coming of 144MW total.

as for launch of a MAGCAT , even a nuke boat cannot `on demand` divert power - EMALS needs in the order of 122 mega joules to use , and the peak load of even the Gerald Fords cannot really do that , not with other ship demands - so they take up to a minute to recharge - so if the new CVF use them they will take longer to charge - but alot less time than steam cats do now


[edit on 7/8/09 by Harlequin]



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 03:29 AM
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The F-135 engine is higher risk for the STOVL as it has less power and growth potential than the F-136 since the F-136 design started later and more was know about the weight growth. This could be a reason why CV could be reconsidered.

If there was a change to the CV this would be mean a loss of the short runway performance which means it wouldn't be replacing the role the harrier has in the RAF, so this might mean the RAF ones get cancelled.

If they do go for the CV version this we also the lower the risk as it allows a later change to other carrier aircraft such as Rafale or superhornet.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 05:21 AM
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The first new build F136 engine didn't begin testing till this January, and then it had to be shut down after four weeks of testing, because of bearing problems, testing resuming in May. Prior to this, the F136 had only 800 hours on two prototype engines made with non-production representative hardware. I am not claiming the F135 is immune from such problems - but it now has over 12,000 SDD hours and is flying on multiple aircraft, while furthermore being a derivative of the F119, which, by the way, won the ATF contract over the F120, the F136 precursor.

Additionally both engines are supposed to be completely indistinguishable from a pilots perspective - furthermore, there is no data on the performance of the F136. So while the F136 COULD be a better engine, there is currently no evidence to support that claim - maybe that will come at a later date. Turbine and compressor stages do not count - an arguement of the calibre of P&W F100-220 < GE F110-129, might count - but then again there will be no big mouth F-35. Does anyone else find it curious that the GAO claims having two engine choices will have the SAME sustainment cost?

[edit on 7/8/2009 by C0bzz]



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 05:45 AM
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Originally posted by FredT
Its big enough for it, but why a conventional plant? It seems that CVX may get a magnetic catapault and you needs gobs of electricity to run such a monster. Nuclear seems tailor made for an aircraft carrier IMHO.


The only British naval yards capable of handling nuclear powered ships and boats (for refueling, heavy maintenance et al) are submarine bases - they cannot take the new carriers.

Thus it would mean either major construction work at these bases, or upgrading the Royal Navies home base to handle nuclear materials.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 05:58 AM
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they also don`t actually need nuke power and with the marine trent`s have more power than the charles de gaul - which has 2 x K15`s each rated at 61MW , which is less than the 4 x MT-30`s (marine trents) each rated at 32MW

in fact other than the USA (and 1 french carrier) everyone else uses conventional engines.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by RichardPrice
This is going around everywhere, and its complete bull.

The British Government are simply cancelling their involvement in the F136 - the Rolls Royce/GE alternative engine to the F135. Thats all. No change to conventional aircraft, no change to the carriers.

The US cancelled their involvement in the alternative engine last month, and now the British Government has decided not to fund the program itself.

Thats it. No change to the F-35C.


I agree. There was a big interview on Radio 4 on thursday morning with some general guy saying that he had been misquoted and the rest had been fabricated by the Telegraph! They hadn't decided what engine was going to be used and were weighing up all the options.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 08:14 AM
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reply to post by C0bzz
 

True that the F136 performance is just what is being reported that GE people are saying and you can't trust them any more than P&W or LM.

Where as P&W gets an order worth $571 for 21 engines
www.forbes.com...

$27 million an engine I wonder how much that can be brought down as production ramps up.

Any body know if the telegraph cost figures for the F-35B F-35C are likely to be accurate.



posted on Aug, 7 2009 @ 08:55 AM
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in the real world no one knows the real cost of an F-35 , as , prices are quoted (as cobzz likes to remind me) in 2002 , lasy year or future year $$ , with or without engine , and with or without spares.

we`ve seen figures from $60 million USD per aircraft to $175 million per aircraft ($175 is the telegraph price of £105million using todays exchange rate)


so no one knows.



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