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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 30th Apr 2013, 21:53
  #2181 (permalink)  
 
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Oh. So how about something to lower our spirits a bit?
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Old 1st May 2013, 07:35
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"This program, from what we all have available, fell out of cost control a long, long time ago."

Oh, I don't know. I imagine LM are very happy with it.
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Old 1st May 2013, 10:58
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Procurement of 1st Squadron UK F-35Bs by end of 2013?

UK set to procure first F-35 Lightning II squadron 01 May 2013 By Gareth Jennings

UK set to procure first F-35 Lightning II squadron

"The UK is expected to obtain authority to procure its first squadron of Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)/Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) before the end of 2013, IHS Jane's was told on 18 April.

Speaking at BAE Systems' Warton production facility in Lancashire, Craig Smith, the head of F-35 Sustainment Programme Development UK/EU, said that military officials with industry support are working on the Main Gate 4 approval process for the procurement of an additional 14 F-35Bs to stand up the UK's first squadron in 2016.

"Main Gate 4 is being worked on right now, and should be submitted to the Treasury later in 2013," he said. "Another 14 aircraft will be ordered to stand up 'Squadron A' [the Ministry of Defence has yet to assign a unit designation] in 2016, with support to run through to 2020."...

...With three UK F-35B aircraft already delivered, a contract for the fourth is expected in the coming months...."
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Old 1st May 2013, 11:35
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Presumably 'squadron A' will be the OCU? That's quite a big OCU for such a small number on the frontline, isn't it?
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Old 1st May 2013, 11:54
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Bastardeux - To some extent, since the jets will still be Block 2A/3I standard, so no external stores (no ASRAAM, no gun) and some flight envelope limitations. I suspect that they will be working some CONOPS and CVF integration.
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Old 1st May 2013, 12:06
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You'd hope there would be 700L IFTU before you stand up a full squadron

Or 700D......

Last edited by Not_a_boffin; 1st May 2013 at 12:07.
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Old 1st May 2013, 13:37
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Presumably 'squadron A' will be the OCU? That's quite a big OCU for such a small number on the frontline, isn't it?

Reading the full story, the plan is that, in 2014, BK-1, BK-2, and BK-4 will stand up as 17 (Fighter) Squadron at Edwards AFB for OT&E duties.

In 2016, 'Squadron A' will be stood up, comprising the 14 F-35Bs currently being approved plus BK-3. This unit will initially be located at Beaufort Pilot Training Center at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Beaufort, South Carolina.

In April 2018, 'Squadron A' will transfer its aircraft and personnel back to RAF Marham in Norfolk as the UK's inaugural F-35B unit, and in December 2018 the UK will declare initial operating capability - land (IOC - Land) for its F-35B force. 17 (F) Sqn will remain at Edwards AFB.

An operational conversion unit is expected to be stood up at RAF Marham in 2019.

Last edited by melmothtw; 1st May 2013 at 13:39.
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Old 1st May 2013, 13:40
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Anyone checked with the Chancellor of the Exchequer recently?????//
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Old 1st May 2013, 14:17
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So the OEU will be permanently based in California??

I'm surprised at how long it's going to be before the OCU is back in the UK...and this is all assuming that the US's fiscal problems are all sorted and don't cause any further delays in the programme (I'll exclude technical delays), which is looking pretty unlikely!

The "we'll be able to deploy fixed wing carrier ops again by 2020" looks extremely tight...
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Old 1st May 2013, 14:24
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So the OEU will be permanently based in California??
It would appear so, but this would seem to make sense given that it allows the 'squadron' (not sure 3 aircraft officially constitutes a squadron) to directly tap into the knowledge-base being worked up by the US and international fleets that will also be based there.

The OCU is for new pilots transitioning onto the aircraft. By 2019 the UK will already have a trained cadre of pilots flying with Sqn A, so there shouldn't be any problems with initial carrier integration. And I'm guessing the RAF/RN will still be passing pilots through the Eglin training pipeline prior to the OCU being stood up.

Last edited by melmothtw; 1st May 2013 at 14:25.
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Old 1st May 2013, 14:24
  #2191 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry
Anyone checked with the Chancellor of the Exchequer recently?????//
He says he can only afford to spend 720,000,000,000 this year (link). Not a penny more.
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Old 1st May 2013, 14:34
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I don't know much about UK procurement procedures, but when BAE say "working on the Main Gate 4 approval process", before we even consider technical or manufacturing issues, what scope is there for this to sit in ministerial/Treasury "in trays" for months awaiting someone with the gonads to actually make a decision, or a good time to announce one?



Given that the schedule is already tight, and there are inevitable unexpected delays/issues in all such programmes, I would say that the chances of "deploying fixed wing carrier ops again by 2020" are about zero!!! Which isn't to say there won't be pretty pictures of a few aircraft on a boat and some politician making an inaccurate statement for the media....
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Old 1st May 2013, 14:45
  #2193 (permalink)  
 
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deploying fixed wing carrier ops again by 2020" are about zero
It depends what you mean by "ops". No one has suggested that the UK will be able to send the QE carriers and F-35Bs to war in 2020, but given the current state-of-play of both programmes I would say it is in entirely feasible that both should be in UK service by then (the SDSR of 2015 notwithstanding).
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Old 1st May 2013, 14:49
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The OCU is for new pilots transitioning onto the aircraft.
Jesus, I thought it was for people to bum around

No seriously though, 'squadron A' returning to the UK in December '18 and an OCU standing up in Marham in '19 reads to me like 'squadron A' and the OCU are going to be the same thing. Yes there will be a cadre of pilots capable of landing on an aircraft carrier, but if the OCU is only being stood up in 2019, then I get a distinct impression there won't be nearly enough aircraft on the frontline by 2020 to 'do' fixed wing carrier ops.

I appreciate the pilots and the planes will both be capable of landing on a boat, but as biggus has alluded to, that is very different to being able to sustain a fixed wing carrier deployment!
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Old 1st May 2013, 15:05
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As told in the Jane's story, Sqn A and the OCU are two seperate units.

Sqn A is the first operational unit, comprising 15 aircraft. The numbers for the OCU have not yet been disclosed.

Again, what do you mean when you say "do" fixed wing carrier ops? If you're saying 'go to war', then I agree that the UK will not be in a position to this in 2020 (but then, no one ever said they would be).

If you mean 'begin the process of integrating the F-35B onto the QE carriers" (the MoD's stated position for 2020), then as things stand it is probable that there will be enough aircraft and trained pilots (and, indeed, a carrier) to do so.
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Old 1st May 2013, 15:17
  #2196 (permalink)  
 
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Just a comment on the procurement process:

It is now 2013. If IOC is to be 2019, you could have fought and won WW II in that time, with a few months left over for celebration ...

Ugh.
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Old 1st May 2013, 16:41
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How about the time taken from the beginning of the jsf programme to IOC being enough to win WW1, have a depression and then win WW2...

Ah.

Last edited by Bastardeux; 1st May 2013 at 16:41.
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Old 1st May 2013, 17:10
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U.K. Looks Ahead To F-35 Carrier Ops

According to this Aviation Week item,
...The U.K. wants to be able to deliver an initial operating capability from land bases toward the end of 2018 and a full capability, including carrier operations by 2023....
I guess these milestones are still aspirational and represent the earliest dates they might be achieved. With another 10 years plus to run, and at least two more administrations, there remains a very wide range of possible outcomes.

LF
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Old 1st May 2013, 17:59
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Is it sensible for the UK to be buying planes now? I ask this as in my understanding, any planes purchased now will have to be returned to LM to have the spars that crack replaced, to say nothing of the software updates etc. The UK has funded LM for some of the development as a Tier 1 partner, could the UK not simply lease some planes from LM till fit for as previously promised war fighting planes started coming off the line?
This way the UK implicitly pays less per plane, not LRIP rates, it also does not take on the contingent liability that the LRIP planes carry as they have to be updated etc.
Just a thought...
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Old 1st May 2013, 20:21
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Full rate production is intended to start in 2015 as I recall. The buy of fourteen being planned I would expect to be in that or in one of the later LRIP's.
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