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JSF and A400M at risk?

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JSF and A400M at risk?

Old 1st Oct 2008, 22:31
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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I guess that'll be a no to all then.
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 22:41
  #82 (permalink)  
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The Government is obliged to look at a much wider picture, not least in terms of the political fallout and the amount of money being spent.
True. Governments often stay in power when they lose the war, no matter what war. You can look it up in that history book you tout.

Surely you must be able to grasp that it's really not about technical performance figures?
So, it's about having what you can afford not what will win?

Say, how'd that Boulton-Paul Defiant work out for you? Funny how examples of 'wider' picture procurement are so often tossed aside once shooting starts.

Would you be willing to tell the widows of the casualties of why their loved one went to battle in a cobbled together jet? If you were a politician, could you stand the heat?

See the first line above.

Not to mention that your answer to the questions posed regarding your qualifications were all resounding 'no's.'
 
Old 1st Oct 2008, 22:50
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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Tim.

I take your points.

I must stop looking at the simple laws of physics and how that impacts on current aero-engineering.

I must stop believing that just because some of us know what we are talking about our views are somehow worth more than someone who flew "Afterburner" twice.

I need to get away from that parochial attitude and see the "wider picture"

One further question though.
What colour is the sky on your planet?
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 23:15
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Sorted!

It's ok,you can all relax. TATA Industries has purchased the design and construction rights to the P1154. The new V/STOL multi-role aircraft will be produced by HAL, Bangalore. The design is being upgraded to use lighter modern materials in the structure to give enhanced performance, reduced weight and greater payload capacity. A TATA spokesman said "This aircraft is large enough to accomodate all the latest radar and weapons systems at an extremely competitive priceand could even be equipped with a working gun!" Rumours of TATA acquiring production rights for the TSR2 were said to be untrue although an enquiry about producing a modernised Belslow in competition with the A400M was met with a coy smile and "no comment".
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 23:45
  #85 (permalink)  
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I've resisted butting into this. Many if not all of the arguments stated here are true and well stated. The simple fact of the matter is that land based aircraft do not make good carrier aircraft. They never have and never will. I would sooner see a reciprocal arrangement with the French for the Rafale M than some hodgepodge of a lash-up with the Typhoon. It simply isnt stressed or strong enough for sustained carrier ops. The navy doesn't want them and doesn't need them. They cannot do a stealth Alpha strike in conjunction with the USN and that is what is needed. We need the F-35, Typhoon secomd best simply isn't good enough.
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Old 1st Oct 2008, 23:57
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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As far as FJ operations from CVF, can we all agree that there is no single aircraft solution that has low risk, delivers "all" that is required up to its OSD and does not require continued £Bns to be pumped in to even reach ISD!

JSF - Dave B or C still questionable maturity and degrading performance (mass growth). Other posters/threads have already indicated that Dave C will not be feasible (cats and traps) on HMS QE without adding further delay to CVF.

F-18E/F - mature, issue with CVF integration as per Dave C

N_EF - barking - complete redesign required for both aircraft and carrier = risk (cost, performance and time!). I mean what would be the worst situation, say 70% redesign. BAES have a proven track record with this type of situation, i.e. MRA4 (80%+) and we all know how well that programme is going (7/8 years late according to NAO). Even the Chinese are baulking at the idea of marinising J-10s for their carrier programme, I bet they're not short of money!

Rafale - it works right, limited performance? Cats and traps issues as above.

Have the USMC got any low mileage AV8s that could complement and extend GR9 ops even further?
Could we buy the next CVN due for retirement or enter into a "time-share" arrangement with our US cousins?

In short the UK taxpayer (that includes me) has to accept that there is no cheap and easy way to deliver this, pending a proper defence review convincing that carrier strike effects can be delivered by other means (UCAV, TLAM, AH etc.) more cost-effectively.
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 00:57
  #87 (permalink)  
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I can't speak for anyone, but I was on the TR briefly in July and got to speak with some of the USN crew that had worked with the FN Rafales. They are good aircraft and impressed the USN. Not surprising since they trained them.
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 08:25
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Exactly how do you conduct a "stealth attack" from a sodding great carrier with all it's attendant support vessels? Do it during the night I suppose, when the enemy is fast asleep. After all it's not as if the potential enemy has any way of seeing you is it, we've got stealth!
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 08:47
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Yea, cos airfields are so much stealthier.......

Oh no, wait a minute, airfields are inherantly unstealthy, because spys can sit near them and watch stuff take off, just like we did in Argentina.

It is one of the advantages of a carrier, that you can launch with less chance of observation.
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 10:27
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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you can launch with less chance of observation.
Not by much. The only point of a carrier is its mobility, which means that it can project airpower over great distances but slowly and at huge risk. Land-based aircraft such as the B-1, B-2, B-52, those Russian ones and any fighter/bomber with AAR support can launch from any of hundreds of airfields on this planet. Unfortunately for the navies of this world there are not many carriers about.
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 10:29
  #91 (permalink)  
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Exactly how do you conduct a "stealth attack" from a sodding great carrier with all it's attendant support vessels?
If your carrier is hull down, way over the radar horizon, then very easily.
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 11:32
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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I get the feeling this thread's reach the end of its useful life if nobody else has anything intelligent to say. Thanks to Engineer and a few others who did have though - it was a good debate - for a while
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 11:46
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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Ok Tim, we'll close the thread down just for you.

Gosh we'll all miss your "intelligent" debate.
Pity nobody "else" has your wisdom

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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 14:10
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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Keep on digging your hole Tourist - 'atta boy!
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 17:21
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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Tim

Let me help you a little. You do seem to be having problems with certain ideas and concepts.

For a start, if Typhoon was navalised it would not mean extra Typhoon orders, it would however put paid to the UK JSF/F35 order. BAE Systems (who you STILL refer to as BAe) has very little to gain from this, but a huge amount to lose. It is not in their interests, or the wider economic and interests of the UK. UK industry will benefit hugely from JSF: not just BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and other major players like Martin Baker or Ultra Electronics, but smaller concerns all over the UK building various mechanical, electrical or electronic components or sub assemblies ranging from valves and actuators for the fuel system to contactors for the electrical systems and printed circuit board assemblies.

Secondly, your comment that "Thankfully, the final choice between JSF and Typhoon will not be made by naval aviators or the Navy" says sweet FA about the subjeect, but a lot about you. It struck me as one of the most stupid and arrogant things I've ever heard. Likewise, your rejection of arguments based on physics or those by people with experience of the landing aircraft on a ship, on the basis of something someone told you, makes you look like a self important fool.

Thirdly, you seem to ignore some key (but basic) issues.

Modifying Typhoon for carrier operation would mean strengthening or redesigning the landing gear so that it can deal with the stress of catapult launch and deck landing, and the rear fuselage so that it can take an arrestor hook and cope with the stresses of landing (with a very high landing speed compared with other naval aircraft). The weight penalties would reduce the weapon load and range. The need to design and analysis work would make this far more costly than you might think.

Additionally the need to catapults and arrestor gear would make the carriers more expensive to build, maintain and man (more personnel would be needed) compared with F35B. This is a fact the decision makers have to keep in mind.

As noted on similar threads, Typhoon has a high angle of attack as well as a high landing speed. The nose up attitude will mean that the pilot will not be able to see the carrier (or landing aids). I have heard talk of using a camera, attached to the nose wheel, connected to a cockpit in the screen. This idea has the words "bodge" and "Heath Robinson" all over it. The lack of a real world view, and the camera's restricted field of view (how compatible would it be with a system like GLIS?) would mean a real risk of pilot disorientation, particularly in poor weather, at night, or when the aircraft is in a degraded state. Therefore the risk of accidents would be higher. Deck landing accidents kill people, both pilots (and other aircrew) and flight deck personnel. You do realise this is what you are talking about, don't you?

On the subject of aircraft in a degraded state, what if the aircraft trying to land has been damaged? I have seen a picture of an A7 Corsair II that had done a wheels up barrier landing, suring the 1991 Gulf War, after ground fire meant that the landing gear could not be lowered. There are countless tales of damaged aircraft struggling back to the carrier, many of them from the Vietnam era Tonkin Gulf operations. Relatively minor damage to an aircraft depending on a nose wheel camera could mean that the camera system is put out of action by damage to electrical systems, or cockpit instrumentation. The aircraft would be unlandable due to minor damage. In other words survivability would be reduced.

None of this means it is impossible. It does mean that:

1. UK economic/industrial interests would be adversely affected.
2. The naval Typhoon would be more expensive, heavier, and have less range and weapon load than the land based counterpart.
3. The high landing speed and very limited view during landing would lead to more accidents and to lives being lost.
4. The fact that the pilot cannot see during landing without electronic aids would reduce the ability to recover damaged aircraft.

Doesn't seem like such a good idea now, does it?
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 18:33
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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Very good WEBF, and while I'd acknowledge your enthusiasm, I'd point out that you're no better informed than Tim Mc, who has been a respected aviation author for two decades.

We are committed to buying 232 Typhoons, and I believe that number is appropriate for a long term seven squadron fleet, as planned.

But if we're only getting four or five squadrons, delivering some of Tranche 3 as navalised aircraft would make use of aircraft that are bought and paid for and would avoid the need to pay cancellation penalties.

I remain absolutely convinced that only STOVL would give us the flexibility required (avoiding the aircraft purchased being permanently dedicated to carrier training and ops) and that Typhoon will never be as good a carrier aircraft as JSF.

But it could be good enough, and at least close to being as good as a Rafale (sorry - cancelling Tranche 3 Typhoon and buying Rafale is a non-starter).

As to the impact on JSF, Lockmart keep telling us that BAE's workshare is unrelated to UK uptake - that's what all the investment in being a Level 1 partner was all about, so we really don't need to buy the damned things to build bits of them.

You also over-state the difficulties of navalising Typhoon. I've seen one of the studies, and know the weight penalties involved, and they are not huge. Strengthening the landing gear is not that hard (there are two options, one using Tupolev style fairings!), and nor is the arrester hook. As to the view on approach, the solution I've seen involved the use of a simple pop-up periscope - and you can ask generations of MiG-21, MiG-23 and MiG-29 instructors how such devices work. Alternatively, a very modest increase in seat height with a more bulged canopy would do the trick.

I've spoken to large numbers of people involved in the Typhoon Marinisation studies (some of them former naval aviators) and I'm convinced that the concept could work (admittedly producing a heavier Typhoon than the land based aircraft), and clearly so does Ays Rauen, after his comments this week.

But this is all just so much distraction. We shouldn't be talking about what aircraft to fly from CVF, but should instead be cancelling CVF and its aircraft. Defence spending is being dramatically distorted by the CVF/JSF programme - which threatens to cost as much as Typhoon did - the difference being that much of the spending on Typhoon was committed when we had Cold War budgets to play with.

We face a stark choice - first rate armed forces with adequate SH/tankers/SEAD/recce, etc. without carriers, or third rate forces with a first rate submarine-based nuclear deterrent and two shiny first rate, top of the line aircraft carriers.

Do we want to be able to undertake ops like the two Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, or to be able to project cocktail parties across the world's oceans?
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 19:15
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst I tend to agree with the prevailing view that navalising Typhoon is far from simple, littered with technical risk, and probably unattractive - I'd suggest its not necessarily simple to dismiss it as an option from ones armchair as:

a) the (huge) cost of Typhoon development was probably 40% engine, 40% avionics (mainly 'weapon system' related)
b) 'airframe' costs were actually therefore about 20%
c) hence, even though very significant changes would be needed to the structure and undercarriage etc. (as highlighted you can't navalise a land aircraft without siginificant redesign), this may only constitute say 25% of the 20% airframe cost - or 5% of total development.
d) I don't know what 5% of total typhoon development cost would be, but in relative terms to full JSF procurement it might not be that scary a number - especially if you could try and share it with fellow Harrier-Carrier punters Spain or Italy.
e) Whilst the performance degradation of navalising Typhoon would be significant, the basic engine/airframe is pretty good, so potentially no worse than a "plain-paper" carrier design.
f) Typhoons basic warfighting abilities / avionics are not at all bad, esp A-A, - whether its taken off from a carrier or land base, noting the performance issues at e).

Just a thought - I can't back the numbers up, they are just guesses, but probably not far off. Typhoon in itself is not necessarily a bad starting point for a carrier aircraft solution - for example it would be nowhere near as bad an idea as trying to turn a bomber into a fighter - who would do that (GR1->F3!)

That said, the stealth abilities of JSF are quite handy in a range of scenarios - it matters not whether an enemy knows where the carrier is and hence may expect attacks - being stealthy must still help survivability even if the enemy theroetically knows that you're coming!
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 19:31
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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Just thought I would throw this into the mix

Download infamous RAND air power briefing (hint: the "baby seals/F-35" report) - The DEW Line

admittedly it is based on a number of assumptions but does raise some serious issues of Dave's actual capability and utility.
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 19:47
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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But this is all just so much distraction. We shouldn't be talking about what aircraft to fly from CVF, but should instead be cancelling CVF and its aircraft. Defence spending is being dramatically distorted by the CVF/JSF programme - which threatens to cost as much as Typhoon did - the difference being that much of the spending on Typhoon was committed when we had Cold War budgets to play with.

We face a stark choice - first rate armed forces with adequate SH/tankers/SEAD/recce, etc. without carriers, or third rate forces with a first rate submarine-based nuclear deterrent and two shiny first rate, top of the line aircraft carriers.

Do we want to be able to undertake ops like the two Gulf Wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, or to be able to project cocktail parties across the world's oceans?


A tad disingenous Jacko and your last comment does you no credit at all.

Firstly £4Bn (for the ships) spread over the years 2008-2015 works out at about £500M per annum, which for a £9Bn pa procurement budget is (give or take 7%). Secondly, while your point regarding Typhoon fund commital may have some validity, what you are implying is that we signed up to this when there was shedloads of wedge in the EP and as we are now in the main procurement phase are spending significant amounts of a much reduced budget - Mr Pot & Mr Kettle spring to mind, although I'm happy to admit that we desperately need the aircraft.

F35 is another story. Again, £10Bn over the years 2012-2022 given current schedules is essentially 10% of the budget from which we should get a top of the line strike capability, which is also deployable from land or sea.

When you talk about dramatic distortions in spending, you might want to look at other little projects like DII and DII(F). Your point re SEAD is well made, but unless its wrapped up in whatever FOAS is called this week, you've just invented a new programme (I hear there's a new SEAD aircraft on the market btw, EF18G or something, might even be carrier compatible don't you know).

People also seem oblivious to the material changes that may be required to Typhoon to operate succesfully at sea without fizzing away. Not at all trivial. We might even wish to consider how something as "trivial" as removing the gun proved to be so expensive in terms of CofG and certification that it was dropped (very cunning plan!). Do we honestly think wholesale redesign of the u/c, rear fuselage and FCS will be signed off just like that?
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Old 2nd Oct 2008, 22:30
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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Serious analysts are now estimating the UK JSF programme at more than £11 Bn, and £6-7Bn for the ships. But it makes little difference if it's £14 Bn or £18 Bn.

The simple fact is that this is money that would be better spent on more important priorities.

Top of that list is remedying the shortfall in battlefield helicopters identified by the NAO in 2005, by fully restoring the original Future Rotorcraft Capability programme - and then some.

Next on the list are the FSTA tankers - even before the current credit crunch, it was clear that the PFI would benefit no-one except a Government desparate to keep borrowing off the books, and the successful bidder's shareholders. They need to be purchased properly, and in large numbers.

I'd also want a proper replacement for the PR9 and for Nimrod R1 (£1 Bn each?), and greater investment in SEAD. And you could do all of that for the cost of CVF and JSF, and still have money left over to ease the pressure on budgets and get away from the endless options and duck-nibbling!
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