UK ordering first 14 F-35's

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posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 12:35 PM
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Sorry if this has already been posted, I did do a search and couldn't see it...

Just seen this article on BBC that the UK is about to confirm its order for its first batch of 14 F-35's, coming in at a jaw dropping £2.5 billion.

BBC Article

The article says that,

One Pentagon estimate last year for an aircraft plus support costs for the first few years came out at £154m ($253m) each.

I know that the cost per plane over the lifetime of the production run will fall, but is £154m, initially, each just too much?

Would an adapted version of the Typhoon not have been cheaper and just as capable?

All that aside though, the F-35, providing they can work out the teething problems, looks an awesome plane!




posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 12:41 PM
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reply to post by ukmicky1980
 


The Typhoon is more capable in flight, but lags in sensors and stealth.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 01:00 PM
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reply to post by ukmicky1980
 


Both aircraft are really amazing, one because it is designed to be aerodynamically unstable, so as to be more agile, which it most certainly is (which means that if its onboard computers fail, it will drop out of the sky), that being the Eurofighter Typhoon, and the other is basically a short take of and vertical landing capable, stealthed up, flying transformer, with a crap ton of new technology on it, most of it linked to causing things to explode an awful lot.

The thing is though, that although I think the price is ridiculous, I suppose that the MoD is after a replacement for the harrier, in terms of its vertical landing, and hovering capacity.

I am concerned about the price however, because as a nation we are hardly in a position to be putting down such vast sums on things like this. Right now, our government should be concentrating on growing business by reducing rates to small businesses, improving its health service, and more immediately, stopping half the sodding south of the country from being drowned, constantly.

When we have done all that, and have a nice big pot of cash to sit on, then we ought to make these purchases, but from where I sit, this really does not seem to be the right time for all this.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by ukmicky1980
 


The UK needs a VTOL capable replacement for it's harriers, and the typhoon isn't capable of vertical takeoff and landing. The Typhoon is a pretty capable aircraft in it's own right for the role it plays, but the F-35B is currently the best possible aircraft to replace the harrier (despite it's astronomical price tag).



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 01:14 PM
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reply to post by ukmicky1980
 


Well Harper announced he was ordering some for Canada at an exorbitant cost too. Then the proverbial excrement hit the fan blades and doodoo was flung everywhere when people found out the initial monstrous cost was for the *shell* of the plane only and that the innards would be even worse, all hell broke loose. So at present I believe the order was cancelled (Someone correct me if I'm wrong) and Lord only knows what that cancellation cost the taxpayers.

And you know what really presses my buttons in all of this? They (US/NATO/UN) want uniformity of defense and attack capability among its allies as the supposed reason they are pushing this plane on everyone. And we all know don't we that the very next day after they get that, China/Russia/Iran will roll one off the assembly line. Mark my words; you read it here first. /sarcasm off. Damn the war machine!!



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by aboutface
 


China and Russia between them have three stealth aircrafy under development already.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 01:28 PM
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ukmicky1980
The article says that,

One Pentagon estimate last year for an aircraft plus support costs for the first few years came out at £154m ($253m) each.

I know that the cost per plane over the lifetime of the production run will fall, but is £154m, initially, each just too much?


One of the things I've noticed in F-35 reporting is that the costs are always listed as unit cost plus. In this case, plus support program (spare parts/engines, simulators, other LM provided training for X number of years), while other aircraft are generally reported at unit cost.
One of Canada's latest reports had the cost listed by lifetime cycle costs! That includes all the parts, fuel, training, and even disposal costs over the life of the aircraft service (probably 40+ years if the legacy aircraft are any indication and service lifes are definitely strongly trending upward)!
When you buy a car, you never factor the costs as list price+fuel+insurance+maintenance over seven years for the BMW compared to list price on a Volvo. Politically motivated reporting (thinly veiled opinion pieces) have started doing this with the F-35.




Would an adapted version of the Typhoon not have been cheaper and just as capable?

Doubtful. When you factor support costs and smaller fleet size for the current generation of Typhoon you rapidly approach the F-35 price. Add a development cost to enhance them (whether it's avionics or RCS or aerodynamics or all the above) and the unit cost skyrockets.

"The aircraft, originally called the Eurofighter in a joint project with Germany, Italy and Spain, was conceived in the cold war when the Ministry of Defence ordered 232. The RAF will end up having fewer than half that number from a project in which the cost of each plane has increased by 75% to £126m each.

The overall project is costing £20.2bn, £3.5bn more than first expected, says the report by MPs on the Commons cross-party public accounts committee. The RAF has had to spend an extra £2.7bn buying 16 additional aircraft it does not need to honour contractual commitments to other countries producing the planes. In 2019, it will scrap more than 50 Typhoon jets that became operational only three years ago to a cost of more than £4.5bn because it cannot afford to update them.
www.theguardian.com...

160 airframes under contract for £20.2bn for Typhoon.
14 airframes first run contract for £2.5bn for F-35.

To be clear, the Typhoon will be superior in a knife-fight and available sooner, but it won't offer the same type of integration capability and versatility as the F-35. I'm not sure if the F-35 number includes money that the UK has already fronted for development or if they did that for the EFA programs etc when including the Typhoon number, but I'm trying to get apples to apples. That's a pretty favourable first contract for a stealthy fighter.

I would have cancelled JSF several years ago, but it's too late for that now. With over 100 of them off the line already, the program has too much momentum to fall now. At the end of the day, the west should have a pretty capable fighter on its hands.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 01:30 PM
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The UK builds excellent planes so why are they buying any from America? And seeing how these problems still exist with the jet why would the UK want them?

Only a third of the fleet is airworthy.
The Inertial navigation system does not work.
There is an unknown bug with the AMRAAM.
DAS confuses the aircraft's own flare launches with incoming missiles.
And a single well placed bullet can render the F-35B's vertical landing capabilities useless



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 01:49 PM
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reply to post by buster2010
 


The U.S. has bought planes from England. No reason the reverse isn't applicable.

The cost of developing a similar stealth aircraft would cost England far more.

A "well placed bullet" will stop ANY modern aircraft.

All fleets have high down time with all the gizmos, coatings and the like. A still developing airframe has higher down time...yawn.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 02:06 PM
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nwtrucker
reply to post by buster2010
 


The U.S. has bought planes from England. No reason the reverse isn't applicable.

The cost of developing a similar stealth aircraft would cost England far more.

A "well placed bullet" will stop ANY modern aircraft.

All fleets have high down time with all the gizmos, coatings and the like. A still developing airframe has higher down time...yawn.


The point I was trying to make that you obviously missed was if you already have a good aircraft industry then there is no reason to buy any from another nation. Besides the F35 has had nothing but problems since it started being built.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 02:11 PM
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Zaphod58
reply to post by ukmicky1980
 


The Typhoon is more capable in flight, but lags in sensors and stealth.


Wasn't the EU dumping a ton of money into the Typhoon to make it as good as an "f35" or was that the "f22"?



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 02:47 PM
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Zaphod58
reply to post by aboutface
 


China and Russia between them have three stealth aircrafy under development already.


I have no illusions left. If the NSA can collect all kinds of stuff on everyone, then so can China and Russia, and somewhere in there is info vital for their own war machines. So then it's left to Iran to shoot one down if they want one? I really do wonder where they got the plans, she thought. And are they exact copies, she wondered? Hey, don't fault me for thinking this way. Nothing seems to be sacred any more, including national secrets and my own damn privacy.



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 04:27 PM
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OK! You Brits have to give a name as only you Brits can! (Mustang, Hurricane, Spitfire)



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 04:56 PM
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reply to post by buster2010
 


The UK is in the long run saving billions by getting F-35s. Not to mention years of development. If the UK were to develop a similar aircraft, they'd have to develop the equipment to roll out and install large sheets of RAM, design, redesign, and then flight test.

Yes, the F-35 has problems, but it's still faster, and in the long term, cheaper than an indigenous design.
edit on 2/11/2014 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 11 2014 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by HUMBLEONE
 


You forget...

We also had a plane called the "Wellington". You really want us to name it? Are you sure? Heh!



posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 08:10 AM
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reply to post by TrueBrit
 
. I still will expect English elegance, simple, not overstated and in perfect accord.



posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 09:59 AM
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The British are calling it the "Lightning 2". What ever anybody thinks about the F35 the British need something to put on there aircraft carrier!!!



posted on Feb, 12 2014 @ 10:08 AM
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Kurokage
The British are calling it the "Lightning 2".


See, now I am worried. The sequel is rarely as good as the original!



posted on Feb, 13 2014 @ 01:09 AM
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We never call anything '2" or "II". That's strictly American. Our first F-35's will still be Lightning mk 1's, possibly FG.1 or FGR.1.

Talking of names, I'm glad we stopped the the Typhoon being forever being only known as the Eurofighter, even if the Germans didn't particularly want reminding of the name, We are doing the same for the A400M, with ours being called the Atlas C.1, I saw my first press report this week that also referred to the "first German Atlas" on the production line, Yay!

The Boulton Paul Bobolink and Gloster Gnatsnapper are amongst our less impressive offerings


Anyone who knows me off here may be surprised by this but I would be totally against scrapping the F-35 in favour of more Typhoons. It's nothing to do with the relative merits of each type, merely that following the withdrawal of the Jaguar and Harrier, and with the forthcoming withdrawal of the Tornado, such a move would leave the RAF with just a single fast jet combat type. If the Typhoon ever has to be grounded we have no Air Force. I believer operating at least two dissimilar types is essential. Back in the day the RAF would always buy multiple types for the same role; Hurricane and Spitfire, Lancaster Halifax and Stirling, Vulcan Valiant and Victor and, more recently, Lightning and Phantom, Jaguar and Harrier. It will be a sad day when we don't have two different combat types in the whole Air Force.



posted on Feb, 13 2014 @ 01:24 AM
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I bet they aint so stealthy once you start hanging fuel tanks, bombs, missiles etc from the thing!


Seriously though, it's a mess. Latest reports of cracks appearing in the development aircraft that may need redesigned parts, increasing cost again and also weight, make it even more of a joke.

Regarding the Harriers, why didn't we keep them in service until a replacement is available? As I understand it, they had all undergone fairly recent upgrades, then we "retired" them and sold them for pennies to the US to bolster USMC capabilities until their F-35's are ready. I mean, who the hell came up with that plan?
Those 2 carriers are going to be sailing around (if we can afford it) without any aircraft, except helicopters, for a while I think.


Of course, it also begs the question, if we are not at all bothered about having any maritime carriers and aircraft to operate from them for several years, then do we REALLY need them at all?
edit on 13-2-2014 by Britguy because: (no reason given)





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