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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 14th May 2014, 00:39
  #4381 (permalink)  
 
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Here ya go for the F-35C lookyhookylooky on this thread page 216 (more news as it arrives)....

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...ml#post8449331
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Old 14th May 2014, 00:46
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F-35B May Fly At Queen Elizabeth Carrier Christening

F-35 May Fly At Queen Elizabeth Carrier Christening.... Colin Clark 13 May 2014
"WASHINGTON: The best Fourth of July celebrations this year may happen in the evil empire we cast out, if the F-35B flies at the christening of the United Kingdom’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The final details are still being hammered out, and it may all fall apart, but the official announcement is expected soon. Someone clearly thought this might happen — or was really smart — as the British Ministry of Defense had a new CGI-generated photo of an F-35B landing on the Queen Elizabeth (see above) posted on its web site. It’s likely the US Marine Corps is pushing for this to happen: Gen. James Amos, the first jet pilot to serve as Marine Commandant, has campaigned relentlessly for the Marine version of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35B, to be certified first for Initial Operating Capability and for the plane to be seen publicly as much as possible.

Whether or not it flies at the carrier christening, the F-35B will fly a week later at the Royal International Air Tattoo, where the world’s air chiefs all gather for the famous gala dinner on the Friday night before the Farnborough Air Show begins. And it will fly at Farnborough, arguably the world’s biggest air show. That will be remarkable exposure for an aircraft that has never flown outside the United States before and will be remembered in years to come — presuming all goes well — as a major turning point for the program, especially on the international scene...."
F-35 May Fly At Queen Elizabeth Carrier Christening; Sen. McCain Praises Plane?s Capabilities « Breaking Defense - Defense industry news, analysis and commentary
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Old 14th May 2014, 12:43
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Farnborough may "arguably" be the world's biggest air show, but "factually" it takes second place to Paris.
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Old 14th May 2014, 13:36
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McCain's praise of the F-35 capability:
Meanwhile, one of the program’s harshest critics, Sen. John McCain, offered some positive comments about the F-35 when I asked him for his views at today’s annual Norwegian American Defense Conference.

“The aircraft itself is turning into a pretty good weapon system,” the senator said, saying that his earlier harsh criticisms of the program had been all about cost and schedule — not the aircraft’s performance. “I never questioned whether it would be a good weapon.”
Good example of how major DoD programs go amuck under Congressional oversight. Perhaps a question McCain should have asked was: What were the promises and what is the reality as to aircraft performance? Pretty good isn't exactly great, an expectation surely required for an aircraft that is replacing the current fleet of fighter aircraft, all services…
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Old 14th May 2014, 15:22
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U.S. general confident F-35 logistics system will work overseas 07 May 2014 Andrea Shalal
"(Reuters) - The computerized logistics system that controls the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet still needs work, but it will be able to support three F-35s on their first overseas trip for two UK air shows this summer, a top Pentagon official said....

...Marine Corps officials twice tested a version of the ALIS system from a U.S. base in Britain before approving the plane's trip to the Royal International Air Tattoo and the Farnborough air show in July, according to a source familiar with the issue.

Schmidle said hangars were also being built for the planes at the military base in Fairford that will host the RIAT air show from July 11-13. The planes will fly over the Farnborough air show the following week but not land there."
U.S. general confident F-35 logistics system will work overseas | Reuters
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Old 14th May 2014, 21:58
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Spoiler Alert for LO - DO NOT WATCH - 'Game Changer'

Meet the First British Pilot to Take the F-35 to the U.K. Published on May 14, 2014
"Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Hugh Nichols will become the first British pilot to fly the F-35 in the skies over the United Kingdom when the Lightning II makes its international debut there this summer. Hear what Nichols has to say about this aircraft's 5th gen capabilities and how he's looking forward to taking the F-35 overseas for the first time."
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Old 14th May 2014, 23:45
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Quelle surprise... He was never going to call it (the F-35B) a pile of dog$hit was he?

-RP
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Old 15th May 2014, 00:13
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Now hear what DM Hammond has to say about the stuck-in-mid development F-35:

May 4, 2013 --Philip Hammond Unsure About F-35 Order (SkyNews)

British operational military pilots have begun flying what is being touted as the world's most advanced stealth fighter jet, the F-35.

But even as they take to the skies, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has given the clearest indication yet that the UK may not now buy all the jets it had planned.

Speaking exclusively to Sky News, Mr Hammond pledged that the first 48 aircraft on order at a cost of around £100m each would be bought to service the new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers from 2020.
Philip Hammond Unsure About F-35 Order
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Old 15th May 2014, 06:10
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I wonder if LM employees are paid a bonus for each '5th generation' ™ drop.
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Old 15th May 2014, 08:08
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Mr Hammond said there were two trains of thought, one suggesting an 80/20 split of manned to unmanned aircraft in future, the other suggesting the exact opposite.
It seems to me that unmanned is being seen by the politicians as a means to reducing expense by eliminating personnel costs, when in fact the manning levels required for 'unmanned' platforms is at least as high, and in most cases higher than that required for manned.
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Old 15th May 2014, 08:26
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A one year old news interview. Phew. I'm glad you did not go back to prehistoric times when the F-35B was on probation. I wonder if the old Hammond has his thoughts sorted now - May 2014.


Last edited by SpazSinbad; 15th May 2014 at 08:29. Reason: Tubby the Tuba Version
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Old 15th May 2014, 08:31
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A one year old news interview. Phew. I'm glad you did not go back to prehistoric times when the F-35B was on probation. I wonder if the old Hammond has his thoughts sorted now - May 2014.
Good point - didn't stop to notice the dateline. Still, it does seem that this headlong rush to unmanned is being driven more by perceived cost savings rather that any increase in operational effectiveness (in the cash-strapped West at least), but isn't that always the way?
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Old 15th May 2014, 09:26
  #4393 (permalink)  
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Apologies for duplicating here what I have just posted in Nightfall - Unmanned fighters (and for contributing to to a slight thread drift):

Saving in manpower? Here's an extract from the RAF website (open source RAF - Reaper):

The Reaper RPAS is operated by Nos 13 & 39 Squadron. The aircraft is operated by a pilot, a sensor operator aided by a non-aircrew Mission Coordinator (MiC). In support of current operations the Reaper RPA is launched from an airfield within Afghanistan by crews deployed in theatre. Once airborne the mission is flown by the crews of 39 Squadron from Creech Air Force Base in the USA or 13 Squadron from RAFWaddington by secure satellite communication before control is handed back to the crew in theatre for landing. The current aircrew of UK Reaper have all been previously qualified as pilots on other military aircraft (such as Tornado, Harrier, Apache, Nimrod, Puma, Merlin and C-130).

So, two crews involved, one consisting of three mission operators (leave aside the groundcrew/maintenace for the moment, as this could be common to both manned and unmanned aircraft) and one that launches and recovers the aircraft.

Don't see much saving there; plus for long missions (14 hours fully loaded) you might have to use two or three replacement crews, especially the sensor operator.

Mister B
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Old 15th May 2014, 10:12
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HTB,

Rather than the simple comparison of "3 crew on Reaper vs 1 in F35," a better comparison might be the total footprint required.

How large is the TGRF, how many pers do they have at KAF, and how many hours airborne per day do they generate?

Then compare that to the size of the Reaper Force, the number in theatre, and how many hours airborne they generate.

Pretty sure that there'll be a considerable manpower saving when you look at it like this. Unmanned stuff seems mostly about efficiency; your entire Force can fly combat missions every day, with no need to deploy, carry out pre-det training, no need to be away from family, etc etc.
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Old 15th May 2014, 10:42
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5F6B

Partially agree. No need to deploy? How about (from the RAF site): launched from an airfield within Afghanistan by crews deployed in theatre...handed back to the crew in theatre for landing;flown by the crews of 39 Squadron from Creech Air Force Base in the USA [or Waddo].

That sounds to me like "deployment", which would require an element of pre-det training, and in the Afghan case certainly not accompanied by family (probably not at Creech either).

Sure, they can fly long missions, but once the ordnance is delivered, do they loiter for surveillance, or RTB to re-arm? Guess that depends on a host of associated or conflicting requirements.

As for airborne hours/sortie rate, this could be constrained by the number of "cockpits" and airframes (which must inevitably be prone to malfunction or require servicing). From the RAF website:

"The Reaper system consists of 4x Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), 2x Ground Control Station (GCS), communication equipment/links,spares, and personnel from all 3 services and contractor ground crew. At present the UK has 5 aircraft with a further 5 on order with associated ground equipment, spares and personnel."

So, you are correct to say that it is not a simple comparison of bums on seats in a cockpit, it's a bit more complex, but no less labour intensive (maybe more even more).

Mister B





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Old 15th May 2014, 10:50
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New hangars?????
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Old 15th May 2014, 12:43
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HTB, I would suggest that in terms of operating crew comparing Reaper et al to future drones is much like comparing a B-36 to a B-2. One major purpose of the Taranis project, for example, is to vastly increase the automation of operation. Whether it will be politically acceptable to have a drone 'think' for itself is another question. There will, for Air to Ground missions at least, almost certainly be a ground operator - but only to permit/deny weapons release. Command of the airframe during any phase of flight will be by black box, not some chap or chapess dressed in a flying suit and sat in an iso-container.

I agree the support crew for an autonomous drone will be much as it is for a current type with a similar mission, but they tend to be much cheaper to train and keep than the '2-wing master race'.
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Old 15th May 2014, 15:46
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So now it's no VLs, because the unspecified new matting hasn't been tested, and building special hangars? Isn't there a nice big secure and air-conditioned B-2 barn they can use?
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Old 15th May 2014, 16:19
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Not wanting to restart the Rivet Joint thread but what as a matter of interest, are the regulations regarding "foreign" test and development aircraft displaying at airshows and overlying major cities?
Thinking that single engined aircraft do not seem to be too welcome over London.
I would have thought that the F35 would have to keep a number of miles from the VIPs at Rosyth, making a display interesting.
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Old 15th May 2014, 17:11
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ALIS seems to me like a very nice way for some people in the States to know where all your aircraft are and how ready they are. Also any spies they don't manage to block out.

I wonder if it's so real-time that they know when you're getting ready to do something and roughly what it is?
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