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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 28th Apr 2006, 23:34
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SirPercyWare-Armitag
"Sierra Leone 2000 - Op PALLISER classic example of the connect between amphibious and carrier elements in distant expeditionary ops. Air presence missions of RN and RAF Harriers from Illustrious from 17 May onwards proving significant in maintaining escalation dominance of the situation."
Obviously, I quite agree that the carriers make a critical contribution in 1982 but the role of a carrier during PALLISER could have been (and nearly was) replaced by another RAF asset flying from a neighbouring country. I dont believe that PALLISER is a good example of a decisive contribution of aircraft carriers

Forgetting one MAJOR issue to Base RAF aircraft on foreign soil needs Diplomatic clearences sometimes thease aren't exactly forth comming. Whereas an aircraft carrier can sit in International waters.
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 23:38
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Jackonicko
Nice line SASless, but utter bollocks.
So: No, the studies I've seen have been from BAE and the Typhoon joint structures team.
Who had bug.ger all to do with Boeing's Chinook disaster, the AAC's inability to plan properly for Apache, or the cost-driven proposal to omit Typhoon's gun on RAF aircraft.
Bismarck.
The UK didn't need carriers to mount a post 9/11 attack on Afghanistan, because we weren't heavily involved in that dodgy piece of adventurism. And hey, we had an ally ready and able to provide the carrier air power required.
And when the Americans went in, they weren't calling on the UK for carrier support, the UK capabilities they really wanted (and that made us a useful partner) were SF, tankers, R1s and PR9s. They gave us real influence, while Illustrious was an irrelevance - useful only in that it provided a visible proof that we were participating.
Generally speaking, if HNS isn't available, it tends to be because the proposed op is politically unsustainable or unwise.
In any event, B-2s were not the only available option for delivering ordnance, as you'd know if you looked at Diego Garcia, or remembered TLAM, CALCM, Storm Shadow, etc.
And it's my understanding that HNS was offered by a number of nearby nations, including (but not limited to) the 'northern 'stans', while the CV based air power required overflight permissions to do their job.
And if we had to repeat a Falklands type scenario and dip clearences weren't forth comming then without carriers we would be well stuffed. I know the arguments Uncle Sam will always provide (when it suits him)
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Old 28th Apr 2006, 23:59
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Nursey,

If by some mischance we withdrew the F3s and then had to recover the Falklands, without coalition support, we would be f*cked without carriers.

If we needed to drop paras at Brigade strength, we'd be hard pressed.

If we needed to make a full-on cavalry charge, we'd be b*ggered.

But with shrinking budgets, and with increasing costs of defence equipment, we can't hope to be able to do everything that we used to do.

And if we have to cut corners, it's better by far to ditch the higher cost capabilities that we are least able to need and to concentrate on those areas that make us most useful to our allies, and that we do best.

As for Dip Cs, they were there for Dakar during Palliser, long before the carrier got there.


Bismarck,

UK commitment was certainly useful to the Yanks, but what they asked for first were R1s and PR9s and then tankers, and I'll bet they'd have welcomed one more R1 or a couple more VC10s than they welcomed Illustrious, that just got in the way, without generating a meaningful sortie rate or effect.
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Old 29th Apr 2006, 01:29
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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No we can't hope to everything we once did. But there is a level of capability we should be able to provide. We have restructured our forces to fight expititionary warfare like we did in the 1930's and look what happened when they went to war without proper aircover!!
As to Dip clearences they can have caveats like no offensive air. Again you are relying on somone elses good will and at some point in the future we may be having to send a force into an area which there is limited of no goodwill for us. BTW I said a Falklands type operation IE proper unilateral expiditionary warfare and force projection from the sea. Which is more viable than dropping an airborne Brigade in which even 16 AA admit is a non starter which is why they focus on dropping a Batalion group and TALO or Air Assualt the rest in.
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Old 29th Apr 2006, 13:19
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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West Side Boys procure IADS?

Surely the 'lack of HNS' argument being used to underpin the purchase of CVF is flawed? Unless the carriers are equipped with awacs, aar etc, those aircraft will have to be based somewhere. The argument that some countries will not allow fighters to be based on their soil, but will allow basing of all associated enablers, does have historical precedent but is that a basis for spending 20 Billion+ (est cost of CVF and JSF) on building carriers that can only launch fighters. CVF has to be fully autonomous or the 'lack of HNS' argument is bollox.

Speaking of which, why buy JSF? If the US won't sell on favourable terms and if we're always going to go to war as part of a US-led coalition (an assumption that seems to underpin current UK defence policy) then why can't they do the stealthy thing for us? As far as National or European capabilities are concerned, are the peace-loving pygmies of the Upper Volta replacing their sharpened mangos with double-digit SAMs? If so, shouldn't we be buying more Stormshadow and TLAM (which will also allow us to meaningfully contribute to the early stages of a Coaltion campaign)?

Scrap JSF, navalise Typhoon, properly equip and outfit CVF, and let's do the whole Watusi village. . .

Thomas Power, General
Commander, Strategic Air Command

Restraint? Why are you so concerned with saving their lives? The whole idea is to kill the ba*tards. At the end of the war if there are two Americans and one Russian left alive, we win.
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Old 30th Apr 2006, 16:52
  #126 (permalink)  
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GTP

Unless the carriers are equipped with awacs, aar etc, those aircraft will have to be based somewhere.

1. AWACS/AAR aircraft have greater range/endurance than fighters.
2. Some nations will be ok with support aircraft based on their soil, but tooled up jets? No...........
3. MASC will provide a lot of the capability of AWACS (how much depends on what platform is chosen) and I can't see why limited carrierborne AAR (either a buddy buddy system, dedicated F35s or V22 (if chosen for MASC) isn't considered to augment FSTA (which is more expensive than CVF).

I assume that when you say "fighters" you mean fast jets. But remember CVF will also carry MASC (a key enabler for all forces in the naval/maritime/littoral domain) and various helicopters for a variety of possible missions.
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Old 30th Apr 2006, 17:32
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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WEBF, are you sure about the CVF vs FSTA costs? ISTR that this was raised (possibly on PPRuNe) a while ago, and it was suggested that the difference came from comparing the whole-life costs of the FSTA programme against the unit cost (i.e. the on-the road [water] cost] of the CVF, so it was a bit of an apples and oranges comparison.
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Old 30th Apr 2006, 20:55
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Jacko,

I do not disagree with much of what you say above. I did not suggest that ILLUSTRIOUS was there as a battle winning asset or that it was what the US needed (most definitely they needed the PR9, AAR, R1 etc) but are we to build an RAF around recce and AAR? For sure the Typhoon is a white elephant and we need the capability of JSF instead. What is important is that if we are to get CVF then the MOD trick is to deliver on budget and on time - as opposed to Typhoon, MRA4, Astute etc the money wasted to date on which would pay for CVF many times over.


If JSF were scrapped then we would be in the appalling situation of relying on Typhoon for combat power - we would never take part, because the US would not want the a/c anywhere near an OP theatre.
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Old 30th Apr 2006, 22:36
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Ah yes. JSF.

No internal PWIII.
No external ASRAAM.
No Brimstone.
No ALARM.
No external tanks.
No Storm Shadow for years.

No ITAR waiver, so no STFs, SEMs, and little chance of UORs. Doubt as to the viability of autonomous repair/support.

Downgraded LO characteristics and capabilities.

A programme that the US GAO believe to be a huge risk, which is being flown before key technologies are mature or in place.

Unit price for the USAF already more than $100 m.

Not a hope of getting the aircraft into frontline squadron service before 2017. (Think GR7A/9/9A can last that long without new back ends?)

Yet Typhoon is the aircraft you choose to kick......

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Old 1st May 2006, 07:24
  #130 (permalink)  
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IIRC the inner pylons are wet and cleared to 5000lb.
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Old 1st May 2006, 09:43
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Now is it my fault you don't keep yourself up to speed, Orac.

28 April

Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Ft. Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $52,400,000 ceiling-priced modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002) to exercise an option to certify the small diameter bomb for the U. S. Air Force Joint Strike Fighter conventional take off and landing (CTOL) aircraft and eliminate the effort for wind corrected munitions dispenser and external fuel tanks. *Work will be performed in Ft. Worth, Texas (89 percent); El Segundo, Calif. (6 percent); Orlando, Fla. (3 percent); and Wharton, United Kingdom (2 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2013. *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.
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Old 1st May 2006, 14:07
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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Clarkson claims JSF has less boot space than Vauxhall Astra

WEBF - copy all ref MASC (I do mean FJ). . . however, JSF STOVL has about the same range and payload as a Golf GTi. When you start looking at anything more than BAI against a littoral opponent in the air-to-ground role, or how long it can stay on CAP in the air-to-air role (which will determine how many of the embarked ac will be needed to protect their own ship) you'd have to conclude that without (bootloads of) AAR the CVF will be a self-licking lollipop. I would agree with you if we were buying C-Variant JSF. . . but we aren't . . . a light blue, industry-inspired stitch-up apparently. . . or our interminable fascination with things that go jump in the night.

Bismark - you're right about the interoperability piece. However, for the majority of any campaign, that will be driven by whether or not we're on the net, rather than whether or not we're stealthy. Yes, there will be target sets that are so heavily defended that we'll want to use stealth, TLAM or Stormshadow - but how many and for how long? If we were being brutally honest, the US wouldn't really need our help in the early phases of any campaign. Where they do need our help is in the UN and on the ground over the long haul. . . ask 'em whether we've been more valuable as allies during Telic 1 or Telic 8. . . . I don't know the answer, but if it caused a pause, then maybe it's not worth burning our conventional FJ capability to pay for a stealthy jumping bean. . .there's not a huge amount of stealth being used at the moment. No doubt they're all getting repainted and bombed-up ready for the Big One (in Iran or North Korea, or somewhere else where Perfidious Albion has no national interest or desire to get involved, thanks very much). As regards conventional air interoperability - well, that'll be determined by whether or not the US are prepared to tech-share JTRS (son of JTIDS). If they're going to be as tight with JTRS as they are with JSF, then maybe we ought to ask ourselves why we're always so keen to be a member of their gang. . .and whether or not it's time to go and start our own.

Jackonicko is right - don't knock Typhoon. It may be ugly but it's our baby, and it could be a truly great weapons system for want of a few Billion quid. That may sound crass, but we'll have spent 20Bn through life by the time we're done and a "a few Billion" is about 15% of what we're going to pay for JSF. Finally, if Typhoon is our baby, then JSF is somebody else's foetus, and we're going to end up sitting around for years waiting for its arrival. That's going to introduce further delays to CVF which is already being hollowed out by the vultures - if the Naval sheds had any sense they'd embrace Typhoon, which, to some degree, is a politically protected programme, and could meet CVF's in-service date. I don't buy any of the earlier lines on this thread about how difficult it would be to navalise Typhoon. I suspect the real difficulty might be how much it would cost to redesign CVF as a cats 'n traps carrier (although I am told a cat wouldn't be required) . . .

Tom "Bark like a dog for me" Power

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Old 2nd May 2006, 08:41
  #133 (permalink)  
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That's crazy. How the h*ll can Australia, or for that matter the RN, buy an aircraft you can't hang jugs on? Even if you have tankers, they're not always available or can't enter the combat zone; and I wouldn't like to be half way across the Indian Ocean or pond without jugs when the tanker broke.
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Old 2nd May 2006, 11:15
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Don't shoot the messenger, ORAC.

And is it any crazier than buying an aircraft that can neither:

a) carry our chosen day one weapons in its day one configuration?
nor

b) carry our chosen A-A weapons externally (or, in the case of Meteor, at all)?

and that we cannot:

modify, upgrade, support nor sustain without US Government and Lockmart say-so?

NB:
The US GAO say:

"The combination of cost overruns and quantity reductions has already diluted DOD's buying power and made the original JSF business case unexecutable."

"Given continuing program uncertainties, DOD could use more time to gain knowledge before it commits to a new business case and moves forward. Any new business case must be accompanied by an acquisition strategy that adopts an evolutionary approach to product development-one that enables knowledge-based decisions to maximize the return on remaining dollars-as dictated by best practices."

"The cost estimate to fully develop the JSF has increased by more than 80 percent. Development costs were originally estimated at roughly $25 billion. By the 2001 system development decision, these costs increased almost $10 billion, and by 2004, costs increased an additional $10 billion, pushing total development cost estimates to nearly $45 billion. Current estimates for the program acquisition unit cost are about $100 million, a 23 percent increase since 2001."

- That's 58m - already perilously close to the programme unit cost of Typhoon - and much more than the price of additional Typhoons would be.

"Design and software teams have found greater complexity and less efficiency as they develop the 17 million lines of software needed for the system. Program analysis indicated that some aircraft capabilities will have to be deferred to stay within cost and schedule constraints."

Confident that these won't be capabilities that the UK deems essential?

JSF's planned approach will not capture adequate knowledge about technologies, design, and manufacturing processes for investment decisions at key investment junctures......the JSF program will lack critical production knowledge when it plans to enter low-rate initial production in 2007.
Only one of JSF's eight critical technologies is expected to be demonstrated in an operational environment by the 2007 production decision.

o Only about 40 percent of the 17 million lines of code needed for the system's software will have been released, and complex software needed to integrate the advanced mission systems is not scheduled for release until about 2010-3 years after JSF is scheduled to enter production. Further, most structural fatigue testing and radar cross section testing of full-up test articles are not planned to be completed until 2010.

o The program will not demonstrate that critical manufacturing processes are in statistical control, and flight testing of a fully configured and integrated JSF (with critical mission systems and prognostics technologies) is not scheduled until 2011.


Still think the JSF is a better bet than Typhoon N? Perhaps it is, but the issue is less clearcut than JSF adherents pretend. I can't help but wonder whether this isn't another C-130J, waiting to bite us in the ar.se.

Still think the JSF will be ready in time to meet UK timescales? And if it isn't we are royally screwed, because there's no way on earth the GR7/9 will last beyond the planned 2017 OSD.

Last edited by Jackonicko; 2nd May 2006 at 11:34.
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Old 2nd May 2006, 11:40
  #135 (permalink)  
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It is rapidly acquiring the look of the F-111/TFX programme.
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Old 2nd May 2006, 15:24
  #136 (permalink)  
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Looking again at that contract it drops the requirement to cetify the F-35A with external tanks. Anyone know if this eliminates the same for the B/C and any time implications?
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Old 2nd May 2006, 15:59
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Will the USMC want to pay for tank certification, instead of simply piggy-backing off the USAF?

Would a USN tank clearance on the C-model, with its very different wing, read-across?

Who knows.

But tanks or no tanks, it's becoming less and less like the right choice.

How about the other issues, Orac?

AGAIN:

No internal PWIII.
No external ASRAAM.
No Brimstone.
No ALARM.
No external tanks.
No Storm Shadow for years.

No ITAR waiver, so no STFs, SEMs, and little chance of UORs. Doubt as to the viability of autonomous repair/support.

Downgraded LO characteristics and capabilities.

A programme that the US GAO believe to be a huge risk, which is being flown before key technologies are mature or in place.

Unit price for the USAF already more than $100 m.

Not a hope of getting the aircraft into frontline squadron service before 2017. (Think GR7A/9/9A can last that long without new back ends?)
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Old 2nd May 2006, 16:45
  #138 (permalink)  
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Jacko, look at my previous posts, I have always had misgivings about the F-35B, but none were a show stopper. As far as I am concerned, this is.

I also have strong suspicions it is only being dropped for the overt/overseas build and the US versions will be able to slap tanks on as when they see fit......
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Old 2nd May 2006, 17:02
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We disagree then.

Radius is respectable on internal fuel, and you can plan around a known limitation.

The jet can still fly useful short range missions.

The ITAR issue raises unpredictabilities which are impossible to plan against.

The UK weapon incompatibilities limit the aircraft's usefulness.

If it doesn't arrive bang on time we're as screwed as we were when the US $hit-canned Skybolt.
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Old 2nd May 2006, 20:59
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The need for CVF

You never know where a carrier might be needed next. In 1971 Guatemala rattled its sabres at the then British Honduras (Belize). The nearest asset was the old Ark and she was this side of the pond but she set off at max chat and when 2000 miles out she launched a flight of Buccaneers, a mix of tankers and bombers, which over flew the country and put the Guatemalans back in their box purely with a simple fly by. Just shows what the thought that there is a carrier just over the horizon can do.

Their territorrial claim remains as does that of Argentina over the Malvinas and when might the next Grenada kick off? and we had to rely on Uncle Sam for that last one (maybe we were still getting over the Falklands).

So yes, the Buc could buddy refuel it carried a huge extra fuel tank in the bomb bay and even the bomb bay door was converted to a tank. Could this be done to the JSF? why not put a couple of big tanks in the Weapons Bays. It would require wet pylons to enable an additional tank and an AAR Pod to be carried but wouldn't it be worth the effort to provide CVF with such a useful force multiplier.

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