Hi all, well it seems a few air framer's out there are smelling blood in the F-35's water and are starting to circle for the kill, which in my opinion
and probably that of a good many others, is a good thing as it stimulates diversity rather than the half assed McDonaldsizing that is the F-35. Which
would have swamped markets and strangled good competition, on the assumption it would ever work and cheaply enough.
Interesting few tidbits given out here I thought as well. First the design work is to be conducted in the UK due to the perceived expertise, funny how
neither the MoD or the British Govt can see this but some how SAAB can, good on them.
Second, it will be done by a very small team of just 10. That to me is a very positive move as it follows a classic model set out by the likes of
design greats like Ed Heinemann. Keep the team small, hand picked and manageable and you will get good, reliable and quick results (they are talking
of deliveries from 2018).
Third, they are going ahead with this after consultation with the MoD, and the SAAB head quips that they are "looking for competition". That has to
mean the F-35, and the competition they talk of is probably the navalized Typhoon concept and Rafale. It could even be an outbreak of common sense
that see's the return of more than one airframe type to cover all rolls which in my opinion has been a blind cost saving alley. Hence one of the
reasons for the complexity, supersonic cost's and failure of the F-35.
Fourth, this is claimed as being just the first project to be undertaken by this team with other designs presumably to follow, now I wonder what they
could be? Perhaps a new fighter airframe altogether?
Fifth, I was rather surprised that they are designing it to work on carriers with as little as 25,000t displacement, to me that implies that they
intend on keeping the weight down and trying to avoid the classic fighter problem of "middle aged spread" that has affected types like the F-16. If
achievable then it will open up markets to small carriers that other designs just wont be able to fill due to their size exceeding deck weight,
catapult and takeoff landing length limits. And of course if operated from larger carriers like the RN/s forthcoming Elizabeth class then there would
be much more generous bring back restrictions available which is another bonus. Smart move I think.
Lastly my favourite part of this is the last line in the third last paragraph,
We believe we have a gap to fill, and that we can show that it's possible to acquire extremely fine products that are affordable.
they can pull off these goals they wont just have a winner, I believe they will force a change in the way other airframe manufacturers do business,
and that can only be a good thing.
See the Link
edit on 24-5-2011 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)