Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter engine

Discussion in 'The Fleet Air Arm' started by soleil, Aug 5, 2009.

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  1. now this is big news. The F35C is, technially the superior aircraft, and will give the carriers the capability to get 'proper' carrier AWACS, not a converted Merlin (or whatever) such as Hawkeye...

    But won't the crabs kick up a fuss now that they lose their STOVL version to replace Harrier, and essentially get another single engined aircraft that needs a long runway, a lot like another capable twin engined aircraft...whats its name...oh yeah, Typhoon!

    Good for us, bad for them IMHO, awful for Rolls Royce and yet another blow to British Manufacturing.

    As a helpful link, this 'which engine' debate has been going on in the US for a while now, see here and
  2. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    In an official statement the MoD said: “To maximise the flexibility that the carriers will offer over their service life, they are being built to an adaptable design that can operate both Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) and Carrier Variant (CV) type aircraft.â€

    It added that the STOVL or “B†variant of the JSF remains “our prefered solutionâ€.

    The only official statement in the whole article. Aircraft are a bit away from my usual realm of expertise, but I was at a conference last week all about the new carriers and it was made very clear that the F35B remains the aircraft of choice, although no official announcement has been made.

    I'm not saying I don't believe the MOD are beyond changing their mind, whatever the cost. I wouldn't put anything past them. The whole article does seem to be based on the speculation of 'defence sources' though.
  3. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    Bloody typical they change their minds, at great cost. Then redesign the new carriers at great cost only to get an inferior peice of kit. If they had stayed out of it and left things alone, carriers built, aircraft to suit and all at much the same price
    I think that just about sums things up. *******

    :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
  4. Two main possibilities (and hundreds of other lesser ones).

    1: It's an RAF conspiracy chaps ! They are out to screw the Navy and get the carriers cancelled (joke !)

    2: It's a wind-up.


    If true, which I really doubt, then there is no real "downside" for the navy. The government have already delayed the carriers which have already be designed to be built or refitted to conventional carriers. The Navy gets "better" jets and can operate UAVs in future.


  5. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    It's been no big secret for some years now that the RAF would be more than happy to switch some or all of the buy to the miuch more capable F-35C to use them as replacements for the Tornado GR4.

    If the MOD opts for the F-35C it's a WIN-WIN situation for BOTH Services.
  6. So what your saying is that the RAF ould prefer F35C...

    The Navy would prefer F35C...

    The Treasury would prefer F35C because its cheaper

    The MoD would prefer F35C because it'll be in service faster

    WHY then is F35B still the preferred option FFS??!
  7. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en


    Back in the day when I was working with Boeing on the original X planes, they were being touted as going to be much cheaper than contemporary fighters, IIRC, they were bandying about figures like $30 Million a plane, and so, the STVOL version of the X-32/X-35 seemed a good fit to replace the Harrier.

    Moving on smartly, the 'cheap' GR-9/AV-8B replacement is now going to cost a rather eyewatering $100+ Million a go and to get it to actually STVOL, they had to halve the original internal weapons bay capacity and reduce fuel load, (It was originally believed they could have STVOL without a weapons load penalty).

    Now, why has the RAF now warmed to the F-35C? Simple, they originally thought the GR4's would be replaced under the FOAS programme. Things like stretched Typhoons, UCAVS and suchlike.

    Well, being as how FOAS is now dead in the water, the GR4's have no dedicated long range strike aircraft on the horizon to replace them. However, when you look at the specs for the F-35C you have a high supersonic speed, very stealthy strike aircraft with a big internal, (and stealthy), bombload and can also carry over 18,000lbs of stuff if it uses it's wing pylons - and also has a very long range as is the way of carrier based strike planes. It would make an excellent GR4 replacement.

    As the old saying goes, "If I wanted to end up here, I wouldn't have started from there".

    So there we have it. After a decade of pissing about with the carriers and building in lots of extra expense and delays by buggering about to try and get the strike rates etc they wanted using a less than optimal airframe becuase it was originally thought we were buying a 'cheap' Harrier replacement, we could now end up having another redesign of the carriers, (more expense, more delays), to get them to operate the dedicated carrier version that we should have bought in the first place.
  8. If true, this is potentially seismic news!

    The principle advantage of the F-35B over the C is that it would enable RN CAGs to be reinforced more readily by RAF sqns; cat/trap skills are a lot more of a perishable skill than STOVL.

    For pure RAF ops, the F-35C is not such a bad deal as it gas a pretty healthy short field performance in its own right. Moreover, it has always been the best performer in most respects out of all the F-35 variants. Therefore, there have always been a fair number of pro-C types in my Service.

    If it saves money than that’s an added advantage although I suspect those economies may be eaten up by having to modify the CVF design now to accept a steam generator or the somewhat immature EMALS (which even the USN are considering dropping from their first Ford Class CVN21 to allow the technology to mature).

    However, I don’t think there’s much chance of an E-2C buy as there’s simply no money. In addition, the Hawkeye is far from a stellar performer over land and its sensor in some regards is inferior to those of the SKASAC, even in the new E-2D variant.

    In terms of numbers bought, if there is to be a reduction, I suspect it’ll mean the F-35C will only go to the RN.

    However, I would suggest all this debate is fairly pointless before the next election and the ensuing SDR.

  9. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    Weren't the Phroggies touting around the idea of a joint UK/French E-2 Squadron at one time to reduce costs along the idea of the shared NATO E-3's? Moneywise, couldn't we always buy some cheap ex-USN ones until their is some more pocket money to be spent?
  10. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    From my armchair, excellent news - the fundamental error of sticking with VSTOL for the carriers when it was only an historical aberration in the first place driven by the miniscule size of the Invincible class is at last corrected and cross-decking with the US comes back as an operational possibility, plus increased range/payload/saunter time instead of having to come back to other because the VSTOL has to cart all that extra ironmongery round the sky. Solution to Crab participation is to scrub round this aspect of the RAF and give it to the RN who do all things more efficiently. After much costly delay and muddled thinking we shall (but they will be even later) get real carriers and real aircraft.
  11. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    We lost a lot of expertise when we stopped doing that back in the day.
  12. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    I hadn't heard that option touted although I've always seen jointly operated French and UK carriers as a possibility.

    Regarding used E-2Cs, you really wouldn't want to go down that route. Sensor capability is awful overland. The E-2D upgrade would be the minimum I would suggest is credible, although even that would be a retrograde step from ASAC in some respects. That's why 849 was allocated a more important job than the E-2s (which frankly did very little) during OIF.

  13. I know when I play BF2 the F35B is facking crap, no chance against the SU ;)
  14. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    The French were floating the idea about the same time they were trying to interest us in 150 Rafale M's at a very handsome price.

    Well, the Other option would be the V-22 with the paletized TOSS… kills a few birds, AEW and COD role.

  15. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    Any version of the F-35 could kill an SU-27 with ease.
  16. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    Looking at the backdrop and the colour of that Osprey, the plan could be to lease them from Maersk. :D
  17. Re: Telegraph: Jobs at risk as MoD drops jump jet fighter en

    Mr Davies said: "There is no sense at all in which a decision has been taken. We are a long way from taking a decision.

    (Translation: We are thinking about doing this)

    "I haven't in my own mind reached any conclusions. I'm still in the process of examining the evidence, having conversations with people.

    (Translation: We are still running the numbers to see how much money we can save)

    "We will move to a decision over quite a lot of months. I'm sorry that all sorts of people may have been upset and agitated in Rolls-Royce from a completely false report."

    (Translation: There's an election early next year and we don't want to lose Labour votes in the Midlands by spilling the beans on some more MOD cuts we're planning that will effect jobs in the Midlands.)
  18. You cynic, you

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