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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
115
45%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
9
4%
Uncertain (RN)
12
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
46
18%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
35
14%
Uncertain (RAF)
38
15%
 
Total votes: 255

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

Postby SDL » 03 Dec 2018, 17:37

seems there's been a government committee today involving the MOD.... some points made about the F35s

Tweets from @hthjones

SL says the variant of the other 90 after the initial 48 aircraft has not yet been confirmed.

Says that decision won't be made for a V. long time.


F-35A is the less complex aircraft, and is thus cheaper to procure says Poffley.

Interestingly he says a lot is dependent upon the orders of other nations


Poffley: for the avoidance of any doubt, all initial 48 aircraft will be Bs.

Describes likelihood of an order of As as "pretty remote", but "analysis will be done"

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

Postby Ron5 » 03 Dec 2018, 19:11

There's been chatter about the appointments of the next heads of the RAF & RN. Surprising choices as more senior names were overlooked and explained by saying Williamson wants younger guys with transformational mindsets.

Just a passing thought but what if "transformational mindsets" is code for guys that don't participate in inter-service warfare of the kind sparked recently by various RAF types musing out loud that the RAF would be better off with F-35A's.

If I remember correctly, one of those doing the musing is also one of those that has been passed over.

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

Postby indeid » 03 Dec 2018, 20:08

Ron5 wrote:There's been chatter about the appointments of the next heads of the RAF & RN. Surprising choices as more senior names were overlooked and explained by saying Williamson wants younger guys with transformational mindsets.

Just a passing thought but what if "transformational mindsets" is code for guys that don't participate in inter-service warfare of the kind sparked recently by various RAF types musing out loud that the RAF would be better off with F-35A's.

If I remember correctly, one of those doing the musing is also one of those that has been passed over.


Who was that? It seemed that Atha was the main name, followed Osborne, although he was a Nav so that was unlikely :roll:. Maybe one will shift into CJO to wait for the next shot.

Great move for Fraser, hope he nails it and makes the next step up in a few years.

Considering the timelines involved with the F35 I doubt it had much if any impact on the decisions, there are much bigger issues closing in. Atha was a Harrier mate though.....

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

Postby seaspear » 04 Dec 2018, 02:38

Continuing a discussion from the aircraft carrier thread that went into the F35 b or a Storm shadow has a 1000 lb warhead the a version of the f35b can carry internally a two thousand pound bomb stealthily

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 04 Dec 2018, 04:25

Sounds a bit like you have been on the Woolarbra Wonga Mate!

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

Postby SKB » 04 Dec 2018, 17:16

Exercise Point Blank

(Forces TV) 29 Nov 2018
Two of the RAF's F-35B Lightning stealth fighter jets have taken to the skies over the North Sea as part of Exercise Point Blank. Aircraft from the British, US and French Air Forces all scrambled together to practise what has been described as part of an "insurance policy" against global threats. The exact details of the scenario are classified but some of the aircraft were playing the enemy whilst the rest were trying to defeat them...

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

Postby CameronPerson » 05 Dec 2018, 00:24

Ron5 wrote:There's been chatter about the appointments of the next heads of the RAF & RN. Surprising choices as more senior names were overlooked and explained by saying Williamson wants younger guys with transformational mindsets.

Just a passing thought but what if "transformational mindsets" is code for guys that don't participate in inter-service warfare of the kind sparked recently by various RAF types musing out loud that the RAF would be better off with F-35A's.

If I remember correctly, one of those doing the musing is also one of those that has been passed over.


Interestingly enough it was picked up by Jonathan Beale at the BBC that not only were they younger but they were all very much veteran “Whitehall Warriors” already at this stage in their career. As you say, maybe also evidence of an attempt to try and kirb those inter-service rivalries at the most senior levels

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

Postby NickC » 07 Dec 2018, 10:44

Yesterday after more than 18 years in R&D the Pentagon F-35 Program Executive Officer Adm. Winter announced at long last they had 23 aircraft of suitable hardware/software standard (3F version 30R02) to officially start Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Phase, about 16 months later than the program predicted it would in the revised 2012 schedule.

Once IOT&E is finished in late 2019 or early 2020, expects the award of Milestone C, authorisation for full rate production decision.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Dec 2018, 11:09

NickC wrote: at long last they had 23 aircraft of suitable hardware/software standard (3F version 30R02) to officially start Initial Operational Test and Evaluation Phase
[for the eventual] award of Milestone C, authorisation for full rate production decision.


I have been upsetting a lot techno-infantalists around Europe by trying to make them acknowledge this as a fact, and some of the accelerated IOC gymnastics as the necessary evil to get to the next stage... so that in the end there will be a product that is near to the spec that it was ordered with.

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

Postby Caribbean » 09 Dec 2018, 22:52

The red tops are at it again

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6476697/Coating-makes-RAFs-jets-invisible-enemy-radar-wearing-quicker-expected.html

Hi-tech coating which makes RAF's new £100million F-35 fighter jets 'invisible' to enemy radar is wearing off more quickly than expected
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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

Postby Little J » 09 Dec 2018, 23:37

Sunday Express had same article... Some times I think they share reporters :roll:

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Dec 2018, 06:49

Little J wrote:share reporters

Would be a good idea as 'defence' is a complex topic, and drawing on a pool (more broadly) might raise the standard.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 11 Dec 2018, 04:00

I think it is more like they "Draw straws", in the office to see who is that day's defence editor.

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

Postby NickC » 15 Dec 2018, 11:11

The importance of the small print - mission capable/fully mission capable?

What does ‘mission capable’ mean, it does not mean the aircraft can do all the missions that are assigned to it, that means “Fully Mission Capable”.

US Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered the military to raise fighter aircraft availability to 80 percent by the end of 2019 for the F-35, F-22, F-16 and F-18 inventories

DOD GAO Pendleton stated last year the F-35 typically had a 15 percent Fully Mission Capable rate, it took months, sometimes six months or more to get parts repaired and back out to the fleet.

F-35 JPO replied “The F-35 program office said in a statement that the aircraft’s reliability across all three variants “continues to improve and newer production aircraft are averaging greater than 60 percent mission capable rates with many operational squadrons consistently at or above 70 percent. In partnership with our customers, we’re taking aggressive actions to achieve the shared goal of 80 percent mission capable rates.”

Just this Thursday, USAF announced that with the F-35 JPO and Lockheed they are working to apply agile software development techniques used by the Kessel Run Experimentation Lab Boston to the troubled F-35 Autonomic Logistics Information System, ALIS.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 21 Dec 2018, 10:06

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/12 ... ters-world

My guess would be that it is the "A" that will bear the brunt
... and Italy will show renewed interest in Typhoon upgrades

Part of the F-35 order has been justified by the need to retire subsonic mud-movers; will it now be spelt out what kind of numbers that part translates to?

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

Postby SKB » 21 Dec 2018, 18:00


Scimitar54
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Scimitar54 » 30 Dec 2018, 21:44

Only 1 day left for the MOD/RAF to declare UK Initial Operating Capability (Land) for the F35B! Or perhaps they will wait until the New Year and claim it retrospectively. :mrgreen:

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

Postby NickC » 02 Jan 2019, 13:57

27-12-2018 LM awarded $712M for development of TR3, Technology Refresh 3 modernisation programme, to replace the old tech in F-35, new computer, panoramic cockpit display electronic unit, aircraft memory system plus new distributed aperture system. Plan is to build into Lot 15 aircraft, expected to begin deliveries in 2023.

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

Postby NickC » 04 Jan 2019, 13:34

Maritime Strike Capability

Vice Adm. Mat Winter head of the F-35 Joint Project Office , JPO, talking to US airforcemag in December stated that Block 4 will add a fifth “mission thread” to the four missions it already performs—that of “expanded surface warfare”. The four core missions in the F-35 baseline version are: air superiority, suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses, close air support, and strategic attack of key targets.

"The Block 3F version can do limited strikes against ships, but Winter explained the radar and other sensor functions needed to attack land targets are different for attack of sea targets. The update in Block IV will allow the F-35 to be effective in the sea strike role as well, he said."

"The Navy/Air Force Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), a variant of the AGM-158 JASSM-ER, is not a fundamental element of the new mission capability, Winter said. Although the F-35 has had fit checks of LRASM externally and can probably carry the weapon internally, the Navy’s threshold munition for the mission is the AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon, or JSOW, he said, noting that LRASM may be added later."

My first thoughts
Until Block 4 aircraft in service the Mach 1.6 F-35B will have limited mission capabilities, especially in the maritime strike role. Block 4 will bring 53 additional capabilities, JPO previously said about 22 of the capabilities, not revealed, will require the F-35 to include the Technology Refresh 3, TR3 upgrade, planned for Lot 15 a/c due for delivery 2023. (TR3 new computer with 25x power, panoramic cockpit display electronic unit, aircraft memory system and new DAS (as yet no mention if the new generation silicon tech IR in an Advanced EOTS to be included, the new tech in current upgrades to the F-15 & F-18 and the new Litening, Sniper and Talios pods, "the radar and other sensor functions needed to attack land targets are different for attack of sea targets" presumably the inclusion of SAR capability in the radar slipped from Block 3.6F).

If the RN want to equip the F-35B with an AShM with powerful warhead for the Maritime Strike role the 1,100kg/450kg warhead LM Long-Range Anti-Ship Missile looks a long time off (USN will be using F-18 with LRSAM IOC end of 2019), another option maybe the Norwegian 400kg/125kg warhead Joint Strike Missile, JSM, Norway made it a condition of their F-35A buy that JSM capability included in Block 4, expected in service 2022-4, Australia also procuring the JSM for its F-35As. The drawback of the JSM for the F-35B is that it will have to be carried externally degrading the stealth capabilities, the F-35B weapons bay is shorter than that of the F-35A due to lift fan. The fall back is the 100kg SPEAR 3 with a 20kg? warhead.

From <http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pages/2018/December%202018/Updated-F-35-Will-Get-Maritime-Strike-Capability.aspx>

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Jan 2019, 14:37

NickC wrote:another option maybe the Norwegian 400kg/125kg warhead Joint Strike Missile, JSM, Norway made it a condition of their F-35A buy that JSM capability included in Block 4, expected in service 2022-4, Australia also procuring the JSM for its F-35As. The drawback of the JSM for the F-35B is that it will have to be carried externally degrading the stealth capabilities, the F-35B weapons bay is shorter than that of the F-35A due to lift fan. The fall back is the 100kg SPEAR 3 with a 20kg? warhead.


JSM's range can easily counter what is lost in the way of stealth (bcz of external carriage).

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

Postby seaspear » 04 Jan 2019, 21:27

Is there much information on the Lockheed Martin CUDA missile for the F35

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Jan 2019, 03:47

seaspear wrote:Is there much information on the Lockheed Martin CUDA missile for the F35


This came out mid-Sept: "The U.S. Air Force has funded a flight test demonstration program for Lockheed Martin’s Cuda air-to-air missile, pushing the concept forward more than five years after it first appeared"
- we all remember the RAND simulation for an air battle over the Strait of Formosa (that the F-35s lost, due to the combination of lack of range and running out of missiles) dated back well over that 5 yrs mentioned
- since then China has introduced their carrier killer missile, often likened to the 'good old' Pershing
- having loadsa of these new hit-to-kill missiles on planes flying off carriers can turn out to be very useful; here the much older PAC-3 (also HTK) takes out an 'evasive' Pershing in a test

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

Postby NickC » 05 Jan 2019, 13:33

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
NickC wrote:another option maybe the Norwegian 400kg/125kg warhead Joint Strike Missile, JSM, Norway made it a condition of their F-35A buy that JSM capability included in Block 4, expected in service 2022-4, Australia also procuring the JSM for its F-35As. The drawback of the JSM for the F-35B is that it will have to be carried externally degrading the stealth capabilities, the F-35B weapons bay is shorter than that of the F-35A due to lift fan. The fall back is the 100kg SPEAR 3 with a 20kg? warhead.


JSM's range can easily counter what is lost in the way of stealth (bcz of external carriage).


Would have thought the shorter range F-35B compared to the F-35A plus the drag incurred by carrying missiles externally would increase the threat to the QNLZ/PoW as having to close with target for launch of F-35Bs and so increasing probability of discovery and coming under counter attack by one of the many Chinese/Russian systems, e.g. the Chinese YJ-12 supersonic AShM with its 500km/300 mile range.

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

Postby NickC » 05 Jan 2019, 14:19

Re. my above post should have mentioned that what severly limits the capability of the QNLZ/PoW/F-35B as a weapon system is no tankers carried.

USN F-18 carrier ops ~ 30% are for refueling, USN now funding $13B+ for development and build of 72 MQ-25 refueling drones. They scrapped their 90 KA-6 Intruder tankers, replaced them with the F-18 to simplify supply chain to save costs, but as not designed for role they wear out fast, turned out very expensive so now reverting to dedicated tankers with the MQ-25.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 05 Jan 2019, 18:58

Well anything bigger than a 1000lb bomb needs to be hung on the outside of the J-35B so it doesn't matter whatever AShM we choose it ain't going inside. But we do need to really up our game in this area, the few Harpoon the Carrier Group will have are totally inadequate for the job. It also shows we need to beef up the Carrier Groups defences as I argued a month or so back. We simple cannot cope with a saturation attack using supersonic or faster AShMs with the current set up. China for example has looked at what the USSR was training to do in the Atlantic and improved it by combining land based weapon systems. If things ever turned hot we would have to operate off the coast of Australia to be safe.


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