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Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Contains threads on Royal Air Force equipment of the past, present and future.
Frenchie
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Frenchie » 07 Nov 2017, 21:00

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-france-germany-defence/airbus-dassault-vie-for-leadership-of-franco-german-fighter-idUKKBN1D31TD

For Germany, it is a question of find a successor to the Tornado in service with the Luftwaffe until 2025. On the French side we must to be able to replace the Mirage 2000D by 2030. Franco-German aircraft could later take the place of the Eurofighter and the Rafale.

France is already engaged with the United Kingdom to develop the Future Air Combat System (SCAF). This project benefits from an investment of 2 billion euros, should lead to a demonstrator of combat drone in 2020, planned to be complementary to the "classic" combat aircraft.

In addition, we will have to agree on common operational needs. For the French side, this future aircraft will have to be able to operate from an aircraft carrier and carry the hypersonic missile AS4NG for the nuclear deterrent. Constraints that the German forces do not have.

The big problem is "who will be the leader, Dassault or Airbus".

We are obliged to cooperate, the acquisition of aircraft from the United States could weaken the European defense industry and make it more and more dependent on US technology.

The Germans want to take Dassault to speed by focusing on the immediate needs of the German forces, we do not want it. If Airbus takes control of the program we will have a crappy aircraft.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 07 Nov 2017, 22:05

"Crappy" isn't exactly the word it implies, more just "not suited to all of France's needs".

But this is all sounding very very familiar to a few decades ago...

sunstersun
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby sunstersun » 08 Nov 2017, 06:57

Dassault deserves and should run point.

Airbus has not had good track record with A400m and Eurofighter.

Defiance
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Defiance » 08 Nov 2017, 07:52

Frenchie wrote:For Germany, it is a question of find a successor to the Tornado in service with the Luftwaffe until 2025. On the French side we must to be able to replace the Mirage 2000D by 2030. Franco-German aircraft could later take the place of the Eurofighter and the Rafale.

<snip>

In addition, we will have to agree on common operational needs. For the French side, this future aircraft will have to be able to operate from an aircraft carrier and carry the hypersonic missile AS4NG for the nuclear deterrent. Constraints that the German forces do not have.

<snip>


Would you see this carrier-capable Mirage replacement potentially being part of future French carrier air groups similar to how the SEM was deployed?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby seaspear » 08 Nov 2017, 11:14

With regards for the requirement of a replacement aircraft to be launched from an air craft carrier ,by that stage the aircraft carrier will be thirty years old , and unless there is a commitment to replace that aircraft carrier it might be cheaper to get the f35c for the Charles De Gaulle than factor in a design requirement for carrier landings

Frenchie
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Frenchie » 08 Nov 2017, 11:45

Yes, eventually we would have as with the Super-Etendard, not so long ago, a mix of Rafale and Franco-German aircraft on the future aircraft carriers, I speak in the hope that the CdG is replaced by a series of two aircraft carriers, it would be cheaper to build, but for the moment nothing is safe.
That said, we will never buy F-35s, rather die, and the CdG will be removed from service in 2040-2041.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Dahedd » 08 Nov 2017, 12:17

Surely Paris & the MN should just suck it up & opt for the F35 either in B or C versions. It is pretty much the only game in town. They'd be a valuable addition to the project. Certainly the USN would love them to get the C.

The French armed forces have bought US equipment before. The Predator, Extender tanker & both the Vought Crusader F8 & E2 Hawkeye for the MN.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 08 Nov 2017, 12:32

It really depends how much sway Airbus has here.

If Germany goes for the F-35, then Dassault may gain a lot more traction in being able to call the shots as they will have greater outcome. But right now the story seems to be that no-one has enough to do it on their own. If France "goes it alone" again then they're going to have serious financial problems with the project. 5th generations are mind bogglingly expensive to develop, it's a massive exponential amount over previous generations. And for a country with no previous experience in developing that sort of plane, France will be especially hard pushed.

However they've got the problem that if Germany wants to sit there and say "drop your carrier requirement or we're leaving and will just buy F-35" then they're kind of boned. Especially so as the UK has no Catobar requirement either, or any (known) plans for their future programs to go on the carriers at all for that matter. So no help there for France either.

Honestly, my estimate is that the MN just ends up sticking with Rafale for a long long time and doesn't advance past it. Unless Germany relents, or France is willing to cut a lot of other things to fund these 40 odd jets to go at sea, then they may not have much choice.

For the UK side of things, I don't see them being particularly eager to help there either. Hell it's still unknown exactly where FCAS fits into the equation, especially given the nature of it being considered more of a UCAV here.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Nov 2017, 12:54

RetroSicotte wrote:Honestly, my estimate is that the MN just ends up sticking with Rafale for a long long time and doesn't advance past it. Unless Germany relents, or France is willing to cut a lot of other things to fund these 40 odd jets to go at sea, then they may not have much choice.

For the UK side of things, I don't see them being particularly eager to help there either. Hell it's still unknown exactly where FCAS


I reverse order, does not help that the unmanned and manned (plane) projects have the same name.

I would hazard a guess that as MN just took delivery of their first F3 config Rafale(-Compact), the joint project - if there ever is one that gets to be fully fledged - will deliver a Rafale XL, and MN will be lucky to get to F4 by the time the CdG is retired.

Frenchie
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Frenchie » 08 Nov 2017, 13:44

Dahedd wrote:Surely Paris & the MN should just suck it up & opt for the F35 either in B or C versions. It is pretty much the only game in town. They'd be a valuable addition to the project. Certainly the USN would love them to get the C.

The French armed forces have bought US equipment before. The Predator, Extender tanker & both the Vought Crusader F8 & E2 Hawkeye for the MN.


Yes, we buy what we do not produce but we try to produce the most things, for example a MALE UAV :

http://www.janes.com/article/72753/partners-agree-configuration-of-european-male-rpas


ArmChairCivvy wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:Honestly, my estimate is that the MN just ends up sticking with Rafale for a long long time and doesn't advance past it. Unless Germany relents, or France is willing to cut a lot of other things to fund these 40 odd jets to go at sea, then they may not have much choice.

For the UK side of things, I don't see them being particularly eager to help there either. Hell it's still unknown exactly where FCAS


I reverse order, does not help that the unmanned and manned (plane) projects have the same name.

I would hazard a guess that as MN just took delivery of their first F3 config Rafale(-Compact), the joint project - if there ever is one that gets to be fully fledged - will deliver a Rafale XL, and MN will be lucky to get to F4 by the time the CdG is retired.


Absolutely ACC !

Frenchie
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Frenchie » 08 Nov 2017, 14:21


Ron5
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 08 Nov 2017, 15:15

F-35C is too big for the French carrier.

Frenchie
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Frenchie » 08 Nov 2017, 15:37

The future aircraft carrier will move 70,000 tonnes in theory. Anyway France will not buy F-35C.


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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby bobp » 08 Nov 2017, 17:48

I notice the Reuters article also suggest the Germans would want up to 20 Electronic Warfare Planes. Something the UK should invest in too I believe to ensure the safety of what few combat jets we have.

RetroSicotte
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 08 Nov 2017, 18:14

Frenchie wrote:The future aircraft carrier will move 70,000 tonnes in theory. Anyway France will not buy F-35C.


I don't believe they've ever shown such a design. Only this one:

Image

Dahedd
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Dahedd » 08 Nov 2017, 18:44

Frenchie wrote:The future aircraft carrier will move 70,000 tonnes in theory. Anyway France will not buy F-35C.


Then chances are they'll leave fixed wing carrier aircraft behind then. Short of tweaking the Rafale there's not much more they can do. To design a new carrier aircraft from scratch for a run of less than 50 aircraft would be economically unviable.

seaspear
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby seaspear » 08 Nov 2017, 20:48

With regards for future electronic air warfare craft , not knowing the limits in this field of the f35 that has been advertised as having this ability , there is often the suggestion the "Growler" is not needed , by those who have or are buying the f35 , or putting it another way unless Airbus comes up with some game changing abilities for an aircraft ,it could be unlikely their aircraft gets off the ground .
I would not suggest the f35 is the last word in a stealthy aircraft and perhaps Airbus should identify an aircraft that would be complimentary possibly a design that did not have to compromise for vertical landing had a twin engine and greater range and payload would do.

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Zealot
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Zealot » 08 Nov 2017, 20:58

FCAS.jpg


Sneak peak of FCAS Concept. The affordability part cut of at the bottom is a little hilarious. :lol:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Frenchie
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Frenchie » 08 Nov 2017, 21:28

Dahedd wrote:
Frenchie wrote:The future aircraft carrier will move 70,000 tonnes in theory. Anyway France will not buy F-35C.


Then chances are they'll leave fixed wing carrier aircraft behind then. Short of tweaking the Rafale there's not much more they can do. To design a new carrier aircraft from scratch for a run of less than 50 aircraft would be economically unviable.


I agree with you, the future for French Air Force is the evolution of the Rafale so that there is not a lot of technological gap with the F-35, in a few words the Rafale is going succeed to himself.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Nov 2017, 03:01

The RAF has rarely used if at all offensive EW platforms. It has used EW platforms for training, but prefers to have EW kit either integral or podded on its other platforms.

I cannot see the RAF actually operating another European fast jet after Typhoon leaves service. The Anglo/French agreement may result in an effective stealthy UCAV to supplement the F-35, but it will be the latter that carries the RAF forward. IF Germany does also go for the F-35 then as stated the French will just do what they have planned and continue to evolve the Rafale, though the platform in 20 years may look radically different from those flying today.

As for the RAF, the Typhoon should have a service life of at least 25 years with regards to the Batch 2 and 3 aircraft, taking it through past 2030. The second batch of F-35s should start being delivered around that time by which time it will be a very mature platform an probably a fair bit cheaper, relatively speaking. these would be supplement by whatever UCAV is purchased. Ideally these would work with the newer F-35s and be co-located at the same station.

The future RAF fast jet fleet will probably be stations at the present three locations. Marham will house those designated for Carrier use, where as Conningsby and Leuchars will house the joint F-35/UCAV wings. I can only see the RAF having 6 fast jet squadrons supplemented by 4 UCAV squadrons giving a frontline strength of around 70 F-35s and 40 UCAVs backed by a joint OCU and small OEU. The OCU will be significantly smaller than traditional units of its type due to the increased use of simulators, far more time spent on these that actually in the cockpit that at present.

This would require fleets of around 90 F-35s and 50 UCAVs respectfully. 12 to 20 F-35s would be deployable on a carrier at any one time and the same number 20 to 12 available for land based deployment supported by 12 UCAVs depending on the priority.

It is going to be the manned and in manned platform mix that is the most interesting. The UCAV should team up with the F-35 in all missions be they air to air or at to ground. In addition the UCAV will be able to operate independently, and also work with other assets such as the AAC's AH-64Es and the FAA Merlin/CROWSNEST.

Defiance
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Defiance » 09 Nov 2017, 07:45

..........

Frenchie
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby Frenchie » 09 Nov 2017, 11:49

As you know, the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program was launched in cooperation with the United Kingdom with Dassault and BAE. This program should lead to the development of a combat drone demonstrator in 2020. But the two different manufacturers have repeatedly said that the project would also develop key technologies for a future combat aircraft.

In the future, UCAV and manned aircraft could coexist, like said Lord Jim. Manufacturers imagine UCAVs that can collaborate with current aircraft and their successors. Both types of platform could be used depending on the type of mission.

The article is a little old but as the Germans are going to buy F-35s, we will perhaps make the future aircraft with the United Kingdom, since the Rafale will be removed from service in 2040 like the Typhoon. It would be better from my point of view.

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2017/10/26/bae-cuts-could-light-a-fire-under-britains-combat-air-strategy/

serge750
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby serge750 » 09 Nov 2017, 18:13

Frenchie wrote:As you know, the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) program was launched in cooperation with the United Kingdom with Dassault and BAE. This program should lead to the development of a combat drone demonstrator in 2020. But the two different manufacturers have repeatedly said that the project would also develop key technologies for a future combat aircraft.

In the future, UCAV and manned aircraft could coexist, like said Lord Jim. Manufacturers imagine UCAVs that can collaborate with current aircraft and their successors. Both types of platform could be used depending on the type of mission.

The article is a little old but as the Germans are going to buy F-35s, we will perhaps make the future aircraft with the United Kingdom, since the Rafale will be removed from service in 2040 like the Typhoon. It would be better from my point of view.

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2017/10/26/bae-cuts-could-light-a-fire-under-britains-combat-air-strategy/


Maybe if there is a manned fighter that comes out of this collaboration past 2040 & the French insist on a CATOBAR version for a future carrier the RN may get a naval version as well & convert the QEC ...ok wishful thinking...

andrew98
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft General Discussion

Postby andrew98 » 09 Nov 2017, 20:34

I've said it before and I'll say it again.
I'd rather work with the Japanese. Island nation, long range required, advanced technology.

And I don't think they've shafted us as many times as our European "partners"


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