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JSF and A400M at risk?

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JSF and A400M at risk?

Old 28th Sep 2008, 22:16
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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"Only a witless, innumerate nerk like Lewis Page could get to £160 m GBP......"


Not true Jacko. Apparently others can also manage to get it to that figure.
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Old 28th Sep 2008, 22:19
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Tim

Who are these "British Aerospace" people you refer to? Last time I looked both Typhoon and the JSF consortium featured British input from some multinational defence company called BAE Systems. Perhaps thats why your view on their products seems to be so very 20th century.

Rafale is indeed a smart machine, but really needs to get an LDP fitted to save the embarrasment of a SEM buddy lase/ self generate coords for AASM.
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Old 28th Sep 2008, 22:49
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Clever boy Sammy - nobody had spotted that British Aerospace isn't called British Aerospace any longer

Anyway, wild claims, name calling and b*tching aside, I haven't actually read so much as a single line to suggest that my view (and that expressed by the Times) is somehow wrong. But then I really can't see how anyone could come-up with a plausible reason why the government would still be stupid enough to continue pouring money into the JSF when it patently isn't going to result in an aircraft which is in any way significantly superior to the Typhoon - which we've already got (or will be getting). It really is that simple.

It would be quite refreshing if the government really do make the right decision - for a change!
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Old 28th Sep 2008, 22:51
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Tim and others,

Trying to get the emotion out of the thread, may I offer the following:

Typhoon is an excellent BVR air to air combat aircraft. It's what it's designed to do. It will probably have a very reasonable air to ground facility in a short while. The delta wing layout and need for external fuel tanks will probably lead to restrictions on mixed weapons carriage (reduced space) but that doesn't make it a bad land based platform. It's very, very unlikely that it will ever be navalised - not strong enough (it's not weak, just not designed for carrier landings or catapult launches) and too fast on the approach (fine for runways, just not for carriers).

JSF will be a good strike fighter. It's what it is designed to do. Stealth, internal weapons and good internal fuel capacity have been attained by going for one engine and forsaking the air to air qualities Typhoon has in abundance. STOVL variant (35B) offers exceptional basing flexibility (including landing on a bare and relatively cheap flight deck) at a cost in range and payload. CV variant (35C) does better from a more expensive deck.

The point is that different aircraft are designed to do different jobs (not always the ones they end up doing, but the point still stands). Comparing them nearly always ends up as an 'apples and oranges' discussion, or worse, name calling.

My take - UK buy of JSF will go ahead, but I wouldn't rule out another slip in our delivery dates - this would hack the US off big time and reduce our ability to influence the programme, but our Government may decide it's a price worth paying. I don't agree but hey, I'm not in charge.

best regards to all as ever

Engines
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Old 28th Sep 2008, 23:22
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Jacko,

It was designed to cope with a developed Flanker, assuming parity in radar, avionics and weapons - and that is exactly the threat now being developed and likely to be out there 'tomorrow'.
Why are you so Air-to-Air orientated here? All well and good playing cat and mouse with MiG-this and Su-that to only get your ass burnt off by SA-surprise that Typhoon was NOT designed to be anywhere near!!

Only a witless, innumerate nerk like Lewis Page could get to £160 m GBP......
I neither agree or disagree with your petty journo squabbles, and I didn't get the figure from any of his articles either. Last time I was at CGY there weren't 232 jets on the line and talk was uncertain of getting anywhere near that many. Any way you slice it, Typhoon is already a monster of a money-pit even when the Saudis bailout the production commitment.

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Old 28th Sep 2008, 23:42
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Barney,

Flyaway infers a proper unit production cost - and we know that that is in the €60 m/£42 m ballpark. That's really not disgraceful or extravagant enough for the usual motley crew of slack-jawed 'Phoon-haters

Even if we were to talk unit PROGRAMME costs, then we can't get to the kind of figure you use. All of this: "Any way you slice it, Typhoon is already a monster of a money-pit" is just so much witless and tiresome buffoonery.

If production is limited to T1+T2 (about 144 aircraft) and we pay the full costs for the 232 aircraft programme, then the Unit PROGRAMME Cost (not the flyaway, numbskull) might reach £132-139 m. That's worst case.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 00:05
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Jacko,

My apologies for mistakenly using the wrong phrase when making my earlier point - do you suggest that your 140m GBP figure is acceptable then?! Treasury now saved from impending doom.....

Sorry, one should show more respect to an enthusiast with 3000+ posts.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 01:00
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Mmm....muses...I wonder if the UK will end up buying the CTOL Naval JSF, the Rafale - or will that early MOD concept drawing for CVF showing parking boxes marked 'F/A-18E/F' come true....?
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 01:29
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Barney,

F*ck me that's a big chip on your shoulder, fella.

'Petty Journo Squabbles', 'Enthusiast'......?

What's next? Beagle Pup-driving amateur? Former UAS mediocrity?

All accurate insults, but can't you argue the point, rather than attacking the man?

I'm not a pro FJ pilot, like you, but looking in detail at programmes is my bread and butter, and I have notebooks full of interviews with IPT folk, Main Building desk warriors and NAO people, and files of correspondence too.

I therefore do understand the difference between a flyaway, a Unit Production Price, and a Unit Programme Cost, and it gives me the pip when the stupid, the lazy, or those with a pro JSF agenda distort Typhoon prices. You quoted a 'flyaway' of £160 m GBP - which is about 400% wrong as a 'flyaway' or 'Unit Production Price', and about double the planned unit programme cost.

I hope that you're a bit more careful with your flight planning calculations.

The only way programme costs can rise to £130 m are if more than one third of the Typhoons covered by the umbrella contract are cancelled. I don't and would not approve of that.

There are plenty of good reasons to kick Typhoon (and more than a few valid criticisms of F-35, too), without dragging in exaggerated and partial views on cost, and silly claims extrapolated from Typhoon's 'Cold War origins'.

Shit-canning Tranche 3 would not save the UK any money, up front - though we'd save on support and operating costs. Cancelling the carriers and JSF could still save the better part of £12 Bn.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 01:54
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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How much would eliminating the entire MOD cost? I'll bet you like that number even more.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 04:23
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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I think this article should be taken with a pinch of salt. Consider this part

If Britain abandons the JSF, it will be seen as a further snub to the Americans following Gordon Brown’s decision last week not to send 4,000 more troops to Afghanistan.
After a quick google search I found this August article from the Mail Britain must send more troops to Afghanistan to defeat Taliban, says military chief | Mail Online

The interesting part is

Military chiefs are understood to want to bolster the number of troops on the ground in Afghanistan's southern 'badlands' by 50 per cent, from about 8,000 to 12,000.
The Times are trying to make an interesting story about a gulf between UK and US policy that does not exist. They imply that the US have asked Britain to send 4000 more troops when in fact it was our own generals that seem to have floated the idea in the first place. How then can the decision not to send them be perceived as a snub to the USA?

Sorry, I know this adds nothing to the discussion re JSF and A400M but perhaps it highlights the emotions the Times are trying to engineer in their readers and casts doubt on the story's authenticity.

The Times:- "Mr Bush. Are you aware the UK was going to send an additional 4000 troops to Afghanistan?"

Mr Bush:- "Er, really? I hadn't heard that."

The Times:- "Well they're not going to do it you know! How do you feel about this snub?"

Mr Bush:- "Ummm, what?"
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 09:08
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Cancellation/delay of JSF wouldn't have an immediate effect on operations in the sand pits, however:-

Cancellation/delay of A400M would put these ops at considerable risk as the AT fleet cannot cope now!

If A400M is cancelled we'd better start buying wings for the C130Ks and look at some fatique-reducing options for the 'new' C130Js that are already approaching outer-wing fatigue life.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 11:05
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Cancellation/delay of A400M would put these ops at considerable risk as the AT fleet cannot cope now!

If A400M is cancelled we'd better start buying wings for the C130Ks and look at some fatique-reducing options for the 'new' C130Js that are already approaching outer-wing fatigue life.
Got to agree with Trukkie here. For the guys on the ground it has to be helo's and AT over future/possible fast air, for pressing concern.

If EADS are attempting to renegotiate the penalty clauses for late delivery, it surely does not bode well for the entire project. No company in this situation would announce the full extent of any delays until the last possible minute.

EADS announces new A400M first flight delay

Not that anybody will be the slightest bit surprised. A400M 'looks' and 'sounds' great in its conception. Although (as I understand it...), delivery #1 is due 2010; of an unproven airlifter, built by a company with zero previous military experience, with brand new hypothetical engines, that are not even straight off the drawing board but a theoretical stab at the world's most powerful turbo-prop.

The thing still hasn't flown.

Which would be fine. Were it not for the immediate and pressing needs.

We have future requirements, lets not forget the here and now.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 12:24
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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It's all about the wider picture. Throwing performance figures back and forth is something best left to plane spotters. Likewise, juggling cost figures is a hobby best reserved for politicians. The point is quite simple; the Typhoon is a perfectly adequate aircraft for the new carriers, no matter how many fancy scenarious you might like to imagine. It's clear that unless the Treasury is prepared to cough-up money for Typhoons that they claim we no longer need, then they may as well take them. The "navalisation" issue is a red herring, besides, the RAF's JSF replacement Typhoons wouldn't even need "navalisation" in any case.

Consequently, the JSF has not been a particularly attractive option for a long time. As the development plods-on, the costs keep climbing and the Americans continue to treat us as inferior partners in the project, it becomes even less attractive until (as the Times says) we reach a stage where a serious choice has to be made. Given the huge cost of the JSF purchase, and the availability of Typhoons, it's a no-brainer. Even our confused and twisted politicians ought to be able to make the right decision this time and get out now. Let's leave the Americans to play with their shiny new toy at their own expense, methinks.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 12:32
  #35 (permalink)  
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AW&ST - 22nd Sept: "Two for One"
Limited weapon-bay space in F-35 drives talks at the Pentagon on a new weapon

Options to expand the limited internal weapons capacity of the F-35 JSF are emerging as operators begin thinking seriously about how they will use the stealthy aircraft's combat capability.

THe USAF and USN have begun talks talks to define the Joint Dual-Role Air Dominance Missile (JDRADM) intended to replace both the air-to-air AIM-120 AMRAAM and anti-radar AGM-88 Harm beyond 2020 and allow the F-35 to defend itself against both opposing fighters and air defenses.

Operators are concerned the baseline F-35 will carry only two AIM-120s internally, in addition to air-to-ground munitions. The larger AGM-88 is an option for external carriage only, but is not on the weapons road map for the JSF.

"I wake up in a cold sweat at the thought of the F-35 going in with only two air dominance weapons", Maj Richard Koch, chief of USAF Air Combat Command's advanced air dominance branch, told an IDGA air-launched weapons conference in Vienna, Va, last week.......

Separately, studies into "super-packing" the JSF's bays to increase the number of weapons carried have come up with a way of loading six AMRAAM-sized missiles internally, according to the program office. This could be an option for later F-35 capability blocks.*

The JSF program office (JPO) meanwhile, says it will cost at least $100 million to add a new weapon beyond the initial suite being integrated under the F-35 development program. Weapons planned to be cleared for the baseline Block 3 JSF include two AIM-120s internally and two AIM-9X externally on the outboard wing pylons.

Block 4, proposed for funding beginning from 2015, would add the latest AIM-120D and AIM-9X Block 2. New air-to-ground weaponry would include the the Small-Diameter-Bomb Increment 2, Dual-Mode [email protected] Bomb and AGM-154C-1 Joint Stand-off Wweapon, all carrier internally.

"Anything beyond Block 4 is notional", Capt. John Martins, JPO air vehicle director cautioned at the conference, but the program office has a "wish list" of weapons for Block 5 (targeted for 2017). Block 5 includes the anti-armour Joint Air-to-Ground Missile and anti-ship Joint Strike Missile internally, as well as [email protected] guided 70mm rockets, AIM-120s, JDAMs and JSOWs externally. Block 6 would nitionally add the European Meteor BVR missile and the UK's Spear air-to-ground missile......

With no anti-radiation weapon programmed for the F-35, the Air Force and navy continue on their separate ways, with a decision on low-rate initial production of the U.S. Navy's AGM-88e Advanced ARM Guided Missile (AARGM) scheduled in October...... The Navy requires 1,750 AARGMs...... IOC is planned for 2010 on the F/A-18C/D followed later by the F/A-18E/F and the EA-18G......

The Air Force's position is not to spend additional money on HARM upgrades, including AARGM, but to focus instead on weapons suitable for carriage in stealth aircraft... The Air Force has in excess of 2,000 HARM in it's stockpile....

*(The above, of course, is based on the larger internal bay of the F-35A/C, not the smaller one of the F-35B. So which, if any, of the alternate designs being considered would fit is open to question. Even if something like the super-pack were possible, which I doubt, I also doubt whether the capability to bring it back aboard wouldn't be there either.)

Last edited by ORAC; 29th Sep 2008 at 12:55.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 12:39
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Indie/Truckkie,

Completely agree that given the current Op Tempo the need for more/better AT is a priority. I have no experience of the A400M programme but one thread that seems to run common here is sceptisism over 'unproven' designs - we've come a long way since the days of having to actually build aircraft to find out how they fly/handle/operate.....modern modelling and simulation, whilst not being the whole solution, is now suprisingly accurate. I'm not sticking up for the aerospace companies, simpy suggesting that 'unproven' is perhaps not an argument

Jacko, your worst-case suggestion, which could very soon become reality BTW, was 140m GBP.....that's not a good news story, come on! If you consider the capability you get for the money, right now, it's doesn't paint a rosy picture - they couldn't even get the austere capability for A/G ops sorted in time, and how much extra are we pumping into the Typhoon programme to give it this capability? I guess the answer is in one of your notebooks somewhere perhaps?

The research in the Times article is clearly flawed (3 x 500lb bombs??) and therefore loses it for me I'm afraid.....please don't get me wrong, I didn't produce the 160m GBP figure, and I understand changes will be made to procurement plans but, to get back on track, cancelling the A400M and our JSF buy is not the solution by any means.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 13:45
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"They couldn't even get the austere capability for A/G ops sorted in time, and how much extra are we pumping into the Typhoon programme to give it this capability?"

The official position is that the Austere air-to-ground capability embodied under CP193 (single target engagement on a single pass using EPW and Litening III) was 'sorted in time' for FOC on 1 July 2008, when the Typhoon force was declared combat ready in the air-to-ground role.

I would venture to suggest that the extra funding required has already paid for itself, since Saudi Arabia would not have bought a single-role Typhoon
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 14:40
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Typhoon air to surface

It's also worth bearing in mind that the Luftwaffe, which originally had zero interest in Typhoon Air to Ground, is also participating. Now Typhoons will replace some Luftwaffe Tornados and instead a squadron of ancient air to air tasked Luftwaffe F4s must soldier on until 2015.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 14:55
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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- we've come a long way since the days of having to actually build aircraft to find out how they fly/handle/operate.....modern modelling and simulation, whilst not being the whole solution, is now suprisingly accurate.
Barn Doors, that's just my point. The faith we have in modern techniques reducing testing and design timescales completely flies in the face of the reality of putting an aircraft together (no pun intended). Surely I don't need to point out the A380, 787 delays to prove my scepticism.

Furthermore, the A380 and 787 are single mission airliners! The C-17 and C-130J both had huge complex issues to solve in their development programmes. The A400M was supposed to replace the C130K - the 'unproven' aspect, I would suggest, is absolutely an argument.

I do, however, agree that cancelling JSF and A400M is not the answer. We may not have that choice, financially.

(Dons floppy hat and shoes...) I propose we accept EADS request to waive late delivery charges. As long as they understand we will take first A400M delivery and make first payment around 2020. Replace the J's which will by then, be shagged...

In the interim, use the money allocated to the A400M to buy C-17's, enhance the J's capabilities and develop the '400 in a sensible timescale.

J's stay at Lyneham 'till endex, A400M arrives at Brize when ready - Catara simplified, Lyneham happy.

I'm still working on my plan for JSF.


indie
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 16:22
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"I wake up in a cold sweat at the thought of the F-35 going in with only two air dominance weapons", Maj Richard Koch, chief of USAF Air Combat Command's advanced air dominance branch, told an IDGA air-launched weapons conference in Vienna, Va, last week


This is just the sort of stuff that makes me giggle, and if this is the sort of language that is exchanged between the JSF partners, it's little wonder that we've been dragged along in this saga so needlessly. I mean, what is this guy talking about? Going in where precisely? To do what, against whom?

It's quite comical - both Britain and America are busy trying to avoid going bust, and people like Koch are waking-up in cold sweats becaus the F-35 has only two air dominance weapons. I think it speaks volumes for the absurdity of the whole saga.
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