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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

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F-35 Cancelled, then what ?

Old 15th May 2018, 18:37
  #11281 (permalink)  
 
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Bit like the original Force de Frappe that could only nuke W Germany.....
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Old 15th May 2018, 19:03
  #11282 (permalink)  
 
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Ho hum.

Britain to slash F-35 orders? Erm, no, scoffs Lockheed UK boss


"F-35 maker Lockheed Martin’s UK chief has breezily dismissed the idea of Britain cutting the number of jets it is buying from the US firm.

Speaking to the Press Association, Peter Ruddock said he was “respectful” of the Ministry of Defence’s financial situation, which happens to include a whopping great big black hole to the tune of £21bn.

But he didn’t believe the MoD would reduce its planned F-35 order, on the grounds that without the full order, Britain’s two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers would be left in a sticky situation.

“I think what we have seen in terms of the analysis that we are privy to, is that when the MoD has looked at what capabilities they need in the future, the F-35 rates very highly on that list,” Ruddock, a retired RAF air marshal who is now chief exec of Lockheed Martin UK, told the "

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/14/lockheed_f35_uk_order_numbers/
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Old 16th May 2018, 11:54
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Originally Posted by glad rag View Post
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/05/14/lockheed_f35_uk_order_numbers/
The Register? Really?
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Old 16th May 2018, 13:53
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FODPlod? Really?

It's a bit of a vacuous denial from LM in any case, since nobody's being specific about which orders are under threat. I don't think anyone is thinking of the first 48, and there's no schedule (or contractual commitment) for the remaining 90.
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Old 16th May 2018, 20:58
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Is it just me, or is the F35 the ugliest brick shit-house cum dustcart that ever graced the skies?
Unlovely from every angle.
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Old 16th May 2018, 21:41
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Targets are are a lot further east these days
There is aerial refuelling these days.
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Old 16th May 2018, 23:34
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Is it just me, or is the F35 the ugliest brick shit-house cum dustcart that ever graced the skies?
Unlovely from every angle.


I have to admit that it's better looking than the runner-up. It's not an ugly as the Blackburn thing that lost to the Gannet, or most Blackburn designs until they miraculously pushed out the Bucc. It's more visually appealing than either of the Fleet Shadower candidates, or the Transavia AirTruk, or the Lockheed XFY-1 or the Convair XFV-1.

None of those represent a high bar...
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Old 16th May 2018, 23:35
  #11288 (permalink)  
 
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There is aerial refuelling these days.

There are lean, fast, nasty things that like nothing better than a nice fat slow tanker these days too.
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Old 17th May 2018, 05:45
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There are lean, fast, nasty things that like nothing better than a nice fat slow tanker these days too.
Ah, yes. Those much vaunted new Russian SAM systems that have completely shut down allied air operations over Syria.
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Old 17th May 2018, 07:05
  #11290 (permalink)  
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If the real threat is so low that you can send a civil airline based tanker without bang seats deep into enemy airspace - why do you need a stealth bomb truck in the first place?
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Old 17th May 2018, 07:45
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
If the real threat is so low that you can send a civil airline based tanker without bang seats deep into enemy airspace - why do you need a stealth bomb truck in the first place?
Not sure anyone has said that the tankers would need to fly "deep into enemy airspace", ever.
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Old 17th May 2018, 08:58
  #11292 (permalink)  
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So you’re back to dropping nukes on Poland, Hungary or the Baltic states then?

Alternatively, if you want to go bunker busting in any feasible enemy - then the targets are deep inside their territory outside the range of the F-35A without AAR well inside their airspace.
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Old 17th May 2018, 09:09
  #11293 (permalink)  
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https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...uld-play-like/

Dogfight over UK's pledge to buy American fighter jets 'could play out like the Westland affair'

Theresa May is under pressure to row back on a multi-billion-pound deal to buy the new generation of US fighter jets in a row being likened to the Westland affair.

The British Government is committed to buying 138 F-35 fighter aircraft from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has so far bought 48 aircraft at a cost of £9.1 billion but is now reconsidering its pledge to buy a further 90 F-35s. Instead, the Telegraph understands it is looking at purchasing Eurofighter jets, made by a European consortium that includes the UK. The European manufactured jets are currently, on best estimates, about half the price of an F-35.

Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, is publishing a defence review in July, which may cast doubt on the affordability of the further 90 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the most expensive but technically advanced fighter jet in history. He has also launched a Combat Aircraft Industrial Strategy, due to report in the summer, which is set to decide the balance of future spending on jet fighters - and whether the UK goes for a predominantly European fighter, despite Brexit, or a US-developed jet.

The simmering row has been likened to the Westland helicopter furore that blighted Margaret Thatcher’s government, and forced the resignation of the then defence secretary, Michael Heseltine, who insisted the UK should pick the British-made helicopter over a US model.

The purchase of the extra F-35s is expected to be raised by Donald Trump when the US president meets Mrs May during his visit to Britain next month. But Mr Williamson is understood to favour an option that would ensure the viability of a joint European jet fighter business until 2050 at least. The Prime Minister will come under pressure to pick a side.......

The MoD made a commitment to buy 138 F-35s in its Strategic Defence and Security Review of 2015. The MoD is currently negotiating with the Joint Program Office, the US department in charge of contracts, over the cost of the Lockheed Martin built aircraft.

The Conservative MP Mark Francois, a former defence minister, and a member of the defence select committee, said: “We are sceptical about the viability of all 138 aircraft, which is what we are theoretically committed to. Unless Lockheed Martin can bring the cost down, the F-35 will suck up other funds for other programmes in the defence budget. If the costs continue as they are that will have a serious knock-on effect to the rest of the defence spending programme.” He added: “The MoD are looking again at the costs of the F-35. The question remains from aircraft 49 onwards how many of these are you going to end up buying and the MoD is looking at that at the moment.”........

In a possible indication of MoD thinking, it has emerged that the UK Government has been lobbying its Belgian counterparts to buy the Eurofighter in preference to the F-35. The F-35 is the most technologically advanced aircraft on the marketIn a joint letter, co-signed by the British, German, Italian and Spanish ambassadors, they urged the Belgian government to commit to the Eurofighter Typhoon. “We believe that our European offer to Belgium, through Eurofighter Typhoon, is the best solution to meet the country’s immediate and long-term defence, security and industrial needs,” wrote the ambassadors including Britain’s Alison Rose, adding: “Almost every Euro spent on Eurofighter remains in Europe across a broad European supply chain involving more than 400 companies and 100,000 jobs.”

Tim Ripley, aerospace expert at Jane’s Defence Weekly, said: “It’s shaping up to be a grand stand-off, a transatlantic dog-fight, the defence-industrial saga of the summer and a Westland-esque moment for the British Aerospace industry.” Mr Ripley said that the Defence Secretary was “reputedly dead keen on the European plane”, which had prompted him to launch the Combat Aircraft Strategy.

An MoD spokesman said it was too soon to speculate on the outcome of the review. The spokesman said: “The F-35 programme remains on track and within budget, providing a game-changing capability for our Armed Forces. We continue to drive down costs with every purchase and remain committed to purchasing 138 F-35 Lightning aircraft while British industry benefits from an order book of over 3,000 jets.”



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Old 17th May 2018, 09:35
  #11294 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Mil-26Man View Post
Not sure anyone has said that the tankers would need to fly "deep into enemy airspace", ever.
Th USAF are/were considering it

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...c-z-ta-429534/

and the US Navy is looking at similar for the MQ25
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Old 17th May 2018, 10:51
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
Th USAF are/were considering it

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...c-z-ta-429534/

and the US Navy is looking at similar for the MQ25
Yes, I'm not sure I buy that Davef68. Seems to me that Boeing is looking for a differentiator to the A330 MRTT, and this is what they have come up with to justify the USAF's U-turn. Can't see the USAF ever flying a KC-46A in contested airspace. As for the MQ-25, that's less about fielding a tanker and more about finding a mission (any mission) that allows them to develop the unmanned platform they really want for strike and ISR.

So you’re back to dropping nukes on Poland, Hungary or the Baltic states then?
Why would the F-35 need to drop its ordnance directly over where it has tanked? That's not how tanking works, but you already know that.
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Old 17th May 2018, 11:44
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"Committed to 138" may mean different things to different people in this context. I have also seen 138 referred to as an "ambition" and although the MoD has said it "remains committed" to 138, I don't think there's any contractual commitment to that many.

it's been suggested that the long term plan was for an establishment of 4 front line squadrons of F35s. If true, you don't need 138 for that. I suspect that the words "over the life of the programme" were key. 80-90 airframes would allow 4 front line sqns and reserves, rotating airframes in and out of the front line etc, so the plan might have been to follow these up with a very late order for late model examples to replace the originals, to equip the second half of the life of the carriers. Under that scenario we would never have more than 80-odd at any given time. I could equally be completely wrong about that, but the numbers and timeframes do sort of fit.

If the approach firms up to be one of F35s for the carriers only, the question becomes one of how many you need for that. Views on here will doubtless differ. I'd argue that 4 sqns would be the minimum to support sustained deployments, and especially if we want to hold out the possibility of deploying both carriers concurrently in extremis. For its part, on the other hand, the RAF might argue that 2 sqns of Bs for the carriers is just fine, thank you very much, and please give us something else in addition based on land.

If we do end up with 4 sqns of Bs, a further question is whether that leaves any room to fund anything additional concurrently, if previous plans were only for a top up buy of late model Bs as replacements.

If we end up with a Typhoon-versus F35A decision presumably there are pros and cons for both. I'm guessing the F35A would shade it as the airframe of choice for land-based ground attack - but how far does project centurion narrow the gap? Whereas late model Typhoons with AESA would presumably shade it for air to air. But then is the Typhoon really a better bet for UK industry and employment? It might be, but then the UK builds 15% by value of every F35 built - which adds up to the value equivalent of 400 or so full aircraft if current plans are followed through.

This one could run and run...too many variables....
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Old 17th May 2018, 12:05
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Originally Posted by Frostchamber View Post
"Committed to 138" may mean different things to different people in this context. I have also seen 138 referred to as an "ambition" and although the MoD has said it "remains committed" to 138, I don't think there's any contractual commitment to that many.

it's been suggested that the long term plan was for an establishment of 4 front line squadrons of F35s. If true, you don't need 138 for that. I suspect that the words "over the life of the programme" were key. 80-90 airframes would allow 4 front line sqns and reserves, rotating airframes in and out of the front line etc, so the plan might have been to follow these up with a very late order for late model examples to replace the originals, to equip the second half of the life of the carriers. Under that scenario we would never have more than 80-odd at any given time. I could equally be completely wrong about that, but the numbers and timeframes do sort of fit.

If the approach firms up to be one of F35s for the carriers only, the question becomes one of how many you need for that. Views on here will doubtless differ. I'd argue that 4 sqns would be the minimum to support sustained deployments, and especially if we want to hold out the possibility of deploying both carriers concurrently in extremis. For its part, on the other hand, the RAF might argue that 2 sqns of Bs for the carriers is just fine, thank you very much, and please give us something else in addition based on land.

If we do end up with 4 sqns of Bs, a further question is whether that leaves any room to fund anything additional concurrently, if previous plans were only for a top up buy of late model Bs as replacements.

If we end up with a Typhoon-versus F35A decision presumably there are pros and cons for both. I'm guessing the F35A would shade it as the airframe of choice for land-based ground attack - but how far does project centurion narrow the gap? Whereas late model Typhoons with AESA would presumably shade it for air to air. But then is the Typhoon really a better bet for UK industry and employment? It might be, but then the UK builds 15% by value of every F35 built - which adds up to the value equivalent of 400 or so full aircraft if current plans are followed through.

This one could run and run...too many variables....
Ahhh so we have a hierarchy ...

Firm Order
Negotiating
Committed
Planned
Ambition
Aspiration
Deferral
Cancellation
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Old 17th May 2018, 12:52
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
Ahhh so we have a hierarchy ...

Firm Order
Negotiating
Committed
Planned
Ambition
Aspiration
Deferral
Cancellation
Isn’t that a progression?
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Old 17th May 2018, 13:26
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Originally Posted by Mil-26Man View Post
Why would the F-35 need to drop its ordnance directly over where it has tanked? That's not how tanking works, but you already know that.
I had a real education dropped into my lap when I had to deal with it for real in sustained ops. All those things I thought I knew .... uh, I didn't. Good to learn, though. In a non permissive environment, the tanking puzzle is critical to get right. I would expect that any number of CONOPS documents have been drawn up, and probably a few tested out a Nellis at the very least.

Edited out incorrect assumption. (oops)

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 17th May 2018 at 18:13.
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Old 17th May 2018, 13:34
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First of all, the US ambassador is really called Woody Johnson? Sounds like a co-star in one of Ms Daniels' movies.

Second, here's Boeing's shill on the KC-46: It also will be certified and equipped to fly pretty much anywhere, including into contested air space. We all know that is tosh, but Boeing is paying to have it said. (PS Mr Mil - I wasn't talking about GBAD.)

Third, the support for Typhoon in Belgium is really telling. That's not just planting leaks in the Torygraph in hopes of pressuring LM into a better deal (and the UK is pretty insignificant there, compared to the Pentagon). That's "we want to keep Typhoon going because we may end up needing to buy more".
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