UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Contains threads on Joint Service equipment of the past, present and future.

How do you feel about the F-35B for the RN and RAF? (2 votes per member)

GOOD choice for the Royal Navy
128
44%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
12
4%
Uncertain (RN)
14
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
54
19%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
40
14%
Uncertain (RAF)
43
15%
 
Total votes: 291

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 5065
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Ron5 » 10 Jan 2021, 13:08

SW1 wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:Army case the Grey Eagle?) from a 'safe' distance.
- this would replicate the 'Normandy' scenario, where it would be difficult for the OpFor to leave their SAM cover, for quick and decisive manoeuvres... without being picked up by stand-off weapons. And as opposed to the old days, night cover for movement in no cover, anymore.


Which kind of takes us full circle in that for a peer enemy they have a defensive posture that we don’t want to go into and we are now developing a similar posture so they don’t want to come into ours and as such a Cold War stand off ensues with guerrilla actions around the edges. ultimately this leads to the question if an airforce doesn’t have the nuclear strike role what are you wanting to risk them to attack in such a enemy’s backyard that can’t be done with long range precision standoff weapons.


One answer: targets which you do not know about, or have sufficient targeting information on, that threaten you.

NickC
Member
Posts: 772
Joined: 01 Sep 2017, 14:20
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby NickC » 11 Jan 2021, 11:17

Block 4 F-35Bs with capability of carrying ASRAAM CSM, Meteor and Spear 3, only 13 a/c?

My understanding of UK contracts and future buy at current time
LRIP - Number
lot
3 ---- 2
4 ---- 1
7 ---- 1
8 ---- 4
9 ---- 6
10 ---- 3
11 ---- 2
12 ---- 2
13 ---- 6
14 ---- 8
15 ---- 7
16 ---- 6
Total -- 48

Understand 21 delivered, 18 in UK, last three arrived in December and think the first 2 will stay in US as were in effect prototypes? So it would appear 46 deliverable and only the 13 a/c of lots 15 & 16 will be Block 4, if as hinted previous a/c will not be upgraded.

If partial upgrade funding were forthcoming presuming upgrade cost would depend on the various build states and maybe some of the earlier pre build lot 15 build lots would be excluded on technical grounds and cost.

Timmymagic
Senior Member
Posts: 1952
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Timmymagic » 11 Jan 2021, 11:50

Ron5 wrote:They will carry 8 Spear 3's plus 2 Meteors internally plus more Spear 3's on underwing pylons if required.


Truth is we don't know. Nothing has ever been said about external carriage of Spear.

I think a lot will depend on if the US decides to attach BRU-61's on the inner and mid pylons for SDB1, SDB2 and perhaps (in the future) JAGM and or Goldern Horde thingies...If the US goes down that route the UK may follow. At the moment the only store we appear to have planned that will be cleared there is Paveway IV. We'll probably see external tanks at some point for the inner wing pylon. But wing mounting doesn't seem to be high on anyones priority list at present, it looks like the 'Sidekick' device will be ahead of any external AMRAAM carriage as well.

Timmymagic
Senior Member
Posts: 1952
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Timmymagic » 11 Jan 2021, 12:00

NickC wrote:Block 4 F-35Bs with capability of carrying ASRAAM CSM, Meteor and Spear 3, only 13 a/c?

My understanding of UK contracts and future buy at current time
LRIP - Number
lot
3 ---- 2
4 ---- 1
7 ---- 1
8 ---- 4
9 ---- 6
10 ---- 3
11 ---- 2
12 ---- 2
13 ---- 6
14 ---- 8
15 ---- 7
16 ---- 6
Total -- 48

Understand 21 delivered, 18 in UK, last three arrived in December and think the first 2 will stay in US as were in effect prototypes? So it would appear 46 deliverable and only the 13 a/c of lots 15 & 16 will be Block 4, if as hinted previous a/c will not be upgraded.

If partial upgrade funding were forthcoming presuming upgrade cost would depend on the various build states and maybe some of the earlier pre build lot 15 build lots would be excluded on technical grounds and cost.


See my post on Page 203. There are 3 Instrumented Test Aircraft that will remain in the US until retirement. It's unlikely that they'll see the UK until they're shipped over for museum exhibition.

When it comes to upgrading to Blk. IV the majority of the UK's fleet is comparatively small hardware and software upgrades (new processor, new widescreen display and the unrelated EOTS upgrade amongst other things). Only the very oldest 'combat capable' aircraft, BK-03, is definitely in the $27m upgrade category, although the 4 a/c in LRIP 8 might be included. From that point on the aircraft definitely get progressively cheaper to upgrade, dramatically so for the newer aircraft. The UK has managed to get away comparatively lightly in upgrade costs, at least compared to the USAF and USMC, who have a much larger problem.

There was an answer to a select committee that advised the MoD might not upgrade all of the aircraft to Blk.IV. This makes me think that the 4 a/c in LRIP 8 might come under the higher cost as if it was just the one aircraft I think the MoD would bite the bullet and upgrade. Having 5 aircraft in that state might make assigning them permanently to 207 Sqn as a dedicated training fleet, a sensible (if not ideal) solution. Either way having 8 of a fleet of 48 aircraft being permanently 'hors de combat' would not be great.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 14548
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Jan 2021, 12:10

With just 5 the Red Arrows couldn't do their famous Diamond Nine :(

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 5065
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Ron5 » 11 Jan 2021, 13:19

Timmymagic wrote:
Ron5 wrote:They will carry 8 Spear 3's plus 2 Meteors internally plus more Spear 3's on underwing pylons if required.


Truth is we don't know. Nothing has ever been said about external carriage of Spear.

I think a lot will depend on if the US decides to attach BRU-61's on the inner and mid pylons for SDB1, SDB2 and perhaps (in the future) JAGM and or Goldern Horde thingies...If the US goes down that route the UK may follow. At the moment the only store we appear to have planned that will be cleared there is Paveway IV. We'll probably see external tanks at some point for the inner wing pylon. But wing mounting doesn't seem to be high on anyones priority list at present, it looks like the 'Sidekick' device will be ahead of any external AMRAAM carriage as well.


True but if the UK goes down the route of the triple pack for Typhoon, I think it unlikely they will not add that to F-35 as well. Time will tell.

I suppose the argument against is if you are in need of a stand off weapon, you would also be in need of operating in the most stealthy config and 8 internally carried per aircraft is a decent load.

seaspear
Senior Member
Posts: 1606
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 20:16
Location: Australia

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby seaspear » 11 Jan 2021, 19:30

Is there any suggestion of the types of missiles carried by U.A.V.s accompanying aircraft ?

Timmymagic
Senior Member
Posts: 1952
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Timmymagic » 11 Jan 2021, 19:55

Ron5 wrote:True but if the UK goes down the route of the triple pack for Typhoon, I think it unlikely they will not add that to F-35 as well. Time will tell.


MBDA do seem to be pushing their racks. I suspect we'll go with Triples on Typhoon and Cobham BRU-61 Quad's internally in the F-35, then see if the US pays for the external rig. The one thing I can't figure out is if the Triples for Spear are exactly the same as Brimstone. Both missiles in size are roughly the same dimensions, but Spear weighs more.

Ron5 wrote:I suppose the argument against is if you are in need of a stand off weapon, you would also be in need of operating in the most stealthy config and 8 internally carried per aircraft is a decent load.


Thats partly why I think the BRU-61 may be cleared by the US externally. It makes sense as a rack for SDB1 following the degradation of the enemies defences, but not so much for SDB2 in comparison (although it would be useful for anti-armour).

Timmymagic
Senior Member
Posts: 1952
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Timmymagic » 11 Jan 2021, 19:59

seaspear wrote:Is there any suggestion of the types of missiles carried by U.A.V.s accompanying aircraft ?


Not at present. Most of the proposed Loyal Wingmen haven't shown their cards on armament. The Australian Boeing one for example appears to be unarmed with the focus on ISTAR. The Kratos Valkyrie has the ability to carry SDB's and the 500lb JDAM internally. Nothing about air to air weaponry, although DARPA is also looking into Flying Missile Wings...ultimately its early day's.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 14548
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Jan 2021, 23:04

Timmymagic wrote:I suspect we'll go with Triples on Typhoon and Cobham BRU-61 Quad's internally in the F-35,


As for the latter, we have already ordered the ERU units from L3 (to be made in Brighton; v clever pneumatic launchers that push the missile out far enough to be clear of the a/c)
- though can't think that the Meteor, hung onto the opposite side of the bomb bay door could be fired simultaneously; whereas the ASRAAMs, from the wing-tip pylons could

inch
Member
Posts: 899
Joined: 27 May 2015, 21:35

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby inch » 16 Jan 2021, 11:07

Sorry not been following too intensely but when might UK get its first block 4 f35 delivered ?,cheers dudes :thumbup:

User avatar
xav
Senior Member
Posts: 1430
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 22:48

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby xav » 19 Jan 2021, 07:39

xav wrote:SPEAR3 Mini-Cruise Missiles To Provide ASUW Capability To British F-35B
Image
In the absence of a true anti-ship missile for British F-35Bs, MBDA’s SPEAR will be the only option available for the Royal Navy to fly anti-surface warfare (ASUW) missions from the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. Each F-35Bs can carry up to 8x SPEAR missiles internally (in the weapons bay) meaning they remain low observable. Despite its subsonic speed and relatively small warhead (for anti-ship role) a single F-35 could theoretically launch a saturating attack of 8 missiles against a surface vessel. This is probably enough to disable or put out of combat most vessels, of frigate size and below.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... ish-f-35b/



SPEAR3 is OK for ASUW but how about a true, long legged, next gen, anti-ship missile (until FCASW) ?

Lockheed Martin Progressing Towards LRASM Integration On F-35
Image
During the Surface Navy Association (SNA) 2021 Virtual Symposium held last week, Lockheed Martin was showcasing a new artist impression showing two LRASM fitted on a F-35 Lightning II.

This image was new to us. Naval News contacted Lockheed Martin to ask about it, wondering if it meant that the company is looking to integrate the Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) aboard the next generation fighter. Here is what a Lockheed Martin spokesperson told us:

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... n-on-f-35/



By the way, do we know for sure yet that FCASW will be integrated on F-35 ?

Tempest414
Senior Member
Posts: 2278
Joined: 04 Jan 2018, 23:39
Location: France

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 19 Jan 2021, 10:22

just a question but given Marte ER has the same length as a Meteor at 3.6 meters could this be carried in a F-35B's weapons bay if so the UK and Italy could work together to fit Marte ER to the UK's and Italy's F-35's , Typhoons and Merlin's and it would fit nicely between spear 3 and Storm shadow

Online
Caribbean
Senior Member
Posts: 2105
Joined: 09 Jan 2016, 19:08
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Caribbean » 19 Jan 2021, 12:11

Since Italy is already paying to integrate it onto AW101 and Typhoon (Marte ERP), it would seem like a simple task to add it to both those platforms. Adding anything to the F35 seems to be problematic if it's not US built.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 14548
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Jan 2021, 13:05

Caribbean wrote:Adding anything to the F35 seems to be problematic if it's not US built.


Does that come as a surprise :?:
- we've kept our industry alive by participating , but now is the time to take some more definitive steps (... with partners, of course :idea: - For affordability. We don't want an other TSR2 :?: )


Return to “Joint Service”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests