topman wrote:I'm not pretending anything, I'm interested in how people peering in think this works.
I can't quite follow people's thoughts as to how they get to the conclusions, so I ask questions. Honestly it's nothing more than that.
OK I am interested to know how you see 48 F-35b working
I guess this one has been done several times before but for me similar to how other fleets have been grown and are operated.
There's lots of things that are behind the scenes that drive detachments, by that I mean A1/4/6 which is people, logs&eng and IT. We (I mean the Mod have never been great at spending money in these areas but however boring and unsexy they may seem they are absolutely key. So much so that quite often its these that limited how much we can do, in this example the amount we can do being the amount of a/c that can be deployed.
I understand that a lot of this stuff isn't really covered online so it's really easy to overlook and to an extent its not something the MoD ever make available or cover at all so it's entirely understandable.
This leads to people throwing numbers about that, from my experience aren't realistic, for example doubling numbers from 10 to 20 as what they think *should* be deployed, without realising what a doubling is asking of those working in that particular fleet. Its merely an example but the workload is huge. A/C take large amounts of prep to get them ready to go on a long detachment, it can often start weeks beforehand at the same time as flying more, planning more etc.
A typical fj sqn without an op would be deployed to various exercises. A lot of the deployments are driven by government needs balanced with what that particular force would like to do. So a particular unit might not always get what they want.
The idea above of every sqn doing 1x6 month deployment on a carrier and nothing else (unless there is an op on) to be unrealistic. Mainly because I doubt in the currencies and skill base of pilots it would cover them all. For example Red Flag is widely thought to be the best exercise there is, I think its very unrealistic for them to not do this. That's not to say they should only do that but you need a broad base of experiences for them.
Then if you've got things like any short term readiness commitments that'll drive down the amount you can do as you have to 'protect' them. They do this so they are able to meet that commitment.
In short it's easy to underestimate how much more effort, work and cash goes would go into the increase in numbers that people suggest.