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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
126
44%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
11
4%
Uncertain (RN)
14
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
54
19%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
39
14%
Uncertain (RAF)
42
15%
 
Total votes: 286

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

Postby bobp » 18 May 2020, 20:45

Scimitar54 wrote:3 in 2020 6 in 2021 5 in 2022
Does not add up to 17

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 18 May 2020, 20:51

Where the figure of 17 came from will remain a mystery (plucked from the air or a mistake perhaps). The number of additional F35 is 18, if 2023 were to be included. :mrgreen:

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

Postby jonas » 19 May 2020, 07:35

Without wishing to appear churlish, I know how many we are supposed to be getting by 2023, but my question was does anyone know the approx date when the 3 aircraft due to be delivered this year might be.

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 19 May 2020, 11:51

All by 31/12/20 ?

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

Postby jonas » 19 May 2020, 14:54

Scimitar54 wrote:All by 31/12/20 ?


Hilarious, but actually about what I expected. Page after page of speculation and personal opinions, repeated ad nauseam. Ask for a simple fact and we can't even get a sensible answer. Still I suppose you are all happy airing your fantasies, so I am sorry if I reminded you that there is a real world out there.

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

Postby downsizer » 19 May 2020, 14:57

jonas wrote:
Scimitar54 wrote:All by 31/12/20 ?


Hilarious, but actually about what I expected. Page after page of speculation and personal opinions, repeated ad nauseam. Ask for a simple fact and we can't even get a sensible answer. Still I suppose you are all happy airing your fantasies, so I am sorry if I reminded you that there is a real world out there.


Mate c'mon, you knew that already right?

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

Postby jonas » 19 May 2020, 15:34

downsizer wrote:
jonas wrote:
Scimitar54 wrote:All by 31/12/20 ?


Hilarious, but actually about what I expected. Page after page of speculation and personal opinions, repeated ad nauseam. Ask for a simple fact and we can't even get a sensible answer. Still I suppose you are all happy airing your fantasies, so I am sorry if I reminded you that there is a real world out there.


Mate c'mon, you knew that already right?


Yea your right, I should have known better :thumbdown:

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

Postby Caribbean » 19 May 2020, 17:20

Scimitar54 wrote:All by 31/12/20

About the only reasonable answer that could be given. I can't find an announcement of actual arrival dates (if they are even known). The 2017 timeline give Carrier Strike IOC as approx. October 2020, with F35 (maritime) IOC sometime in December 2020 and 3 new aircraft joining "during the year". Another 17 are supposedly due between 2020 and 2022 (Williamson 2018). I've seen no details on those either
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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

Postby bobp » 19 May 2020, 17:55

Caribbean wrote:Another 17 are supposedly due between 2020 and 2022

Not quite true, the 3 are part of the 17, and six next year, the rest the year after. With regard to the 3 this year, no one can predict when they will finish being made and tested, then delivered to the UK, especially if production gets messed up with this silly virus.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 May 2020, 18:30

jonas wrote: Mate c'mon, you knew that already right?



Yea your right, I should have known better


And your last "little factoid" that you contributed... as those seem to be the ones you are after?

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

Postby SDL » 19 May 2020, 21:14


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

Postby Caribbean » 20 May 2020, 11:34

bobp wrote:Not quite true, the 3 are part of the 17, and six next year, the rest the year after. With regard to the 3 this year, no one can predict when they will finish being made and tested, then delivered to the UK, especially if production gets messed up with this silly virus.

Ah OK - I think I confused the last batch from the early order(s) (which, now that I look it up was only two aircraft), with the first batch from the latest order.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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

Postby SKB » 29 May 2020, 17:03


(Curious Droid) 29th May 2020
Despite the criticism, the people that really matter, namely the pilots and aircrews love the F-35 not only because it can fly as well as almost any other plane but it give the pilots so much more information so that they don't end up in a situation where the odds are stacked against them.
In this video, we look as some of the reasons why pilots think the F-35 is the best fighter in the world today.
https://www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment/engi ... ent=270520

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

Postby Repulse » 31 May 2020, 12:02

Was reading the other day that during the Falklands war, the FAA Harrier squadrons were “expanded to war strength” - I believe from 9 a/c to 12 a/c by moving a/c from the training squadron and stores.

Given, it is quite possible that there will be very limited funds for much more than 48 a/c would it make sense to do this again - e.g. 4 squadrons of 9 a/c (2 RAF + 2 FAA) plus one training/reserve squadron of 12 a/c capable of boosting squadrons to 12 a/c in times of war. Typical load for the CVFs would be 18 F35Bs (2 sqds) plus day 12 Merlin.

Overall then, 48 + the 3 experimental a/c in the US.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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

Postby dmereifield » 31 May 2020, 12:24

Shows how badly things are when we are hoping for just 18 on HMS QEII. Then of course, there won't be anything left for HMS PoW...

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 31 May 2020, 13:17

Repulse
The Sea-Harrier squadron numbers were expanded from “5“ (to 9 on Invincible) and to 12 on Hermes (an additional 11 aircraft).

1. Fact: The “3” are included in the “48”!
2. I believe that “The Plan” is still for 4 x Squadrons (of 12)!
3. If anything less than 24 x F35b are not routinely available for deployment on the High Readiness Strike Carrier,
then the UK will not possess “Carrier Strike”. IMHO it would be impossible to proceed beyond “Initial Capability”
without sufficient available aircraft (short of an emergency), when every aircraft would be required anyway.
4. Unless the High Readiness Strike Carrier is to be restricted to being within F35b Ferry Range from RAF
Marham, which of course the anti-carrier brigade would applaud with glee, the Carrier needs to have it’s air
assets on board for the duration of the deployment to be credible.

Any Politician or Service Chief would put their own (and the National) credibility in doubt if they were to argue for, or allow any backsliding from WHAT IS REQUIRED. :mrgreen:

Ron5
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Ron5 » 31 May 2020, 16:26

Be a shit lot easier to get F-35B funding if such funding (and the aircraft) belonged to the RN and not the RAF.

The RAF can't be trusted. See last 100 years of UK naval aviation history.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 01 Jun 2020, 22:51

As a matter of national pride, and for operational needs, the Government and MoD need to inform the RAF that the F-35s will only be available for land operations when they are not required by the Navy, which is to have 24 available for deployments on the carrier at all times with a further 12 available to cover any surge requirements. 617 Squadron is going to have to get used to life on the ocean waves and find their sea legs.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 01 Jun 2020, 23:01

The F-35 is sold aggressively not only to overseas customers, but also to the US Congress with incomplete unit cost estimates used by the JPO, Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon. In general their so called “flyaway” unit costs do not include the purchase of support equipment (tools, computers for ALIS, simulators for training, initial spare parts, and more) needed to enable the F-35 fleets to operate.
- Quite literally, the DoD’s “flyaway” cost does not buy a system capable of flight operations.
- multi-year block purchases will probably get to cover a third of the planned proc total before testing completes; making for a huge potential cost from putting already purchased planes through overhauls
- engines are a big part of the cost and mid-20s might see the start of replacing the already purchased engines with an improved model
- add in the apportioned costs from Block4 - all things coming out of it necessary for true combat readiness

... and it is probably not far off to say that each plane will come to cost twice its "flyaway cost"

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

Postby seaspear » 02 Jun 2020, 04:27

In fly away costs why is the F35 different from other aircraft? don't other aircraft require training simulators and spares and upgrades, certainly, much of this is not such an expense in further orders .

Ron5
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby Ron5 » 02 Jun 2020, 05:27

seaspear wrote:In fly away costs why is the F35 different from other aircraft? don't other aircraft require training simulators and spares and upgrades, certainly, much of this is not such an expense in further orders .


If course it is the same, dear old ACC is talking thru his euro hat. The UK call it UPC (unit production cost), in the US it is called flyaway. Means the same dam thing. Just one way to compare relative costs.

And of course he is taking advantage of open US information that less democratic countries like the UK, keep secret.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Jun 2020, 09:29

shark bait wrote:
dmereifield wrote:How many airframes from the 48 (worst case scenario) would we be able to operate in a real shtf scenario?

With today's availability rates half would be ambitious.

dmereifield wrote:How many sea harriers did we have available in 82, and how many of them were we able to send down to the Falklands?

Out of 32 sea harriers we sent 28 south. That is an astonishing availability figure, one we wont see with the F35.


I pulled this out of the euro hat; SB seems to be a clairvoyant as exactly that kind of quote from Airforce Mag was part of my post (2018 stats).
- and the F-35/ Harrier comparison seems to have got @dmereifield suitably impressed. The reverse is... unimpressed ;)

Now going back to the discussion we had here after The Times article (I think there was a follow on as well) about UK F-35 costs, I could pull someone with high authority [Ron, does this ring a bell :!: ] from that same hat stating on these pages, towards the end of that discussion that "I would not be surprised if we were looking at a 200 mln plane"
- my memory does not serve whether there was a £ or a $ sign in front of that figure (search engines are good for something, after all)

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

Postby shark bait » 02 Jun 2020, 10:14

Why are you digging up posts from July 2017?
@LandSharkUK

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 02 Jun 2020, 10:29

Cabin (Lockdown) Syndrome? :mrgreen:

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Jun 2020, 10:32

If you dig up the latest availability figures, they are not far off from what you stated then (don't know what stats you had used). So the point is that planes are coming off the production line at an increased rate, but availability has not improved - and that is making no provision for how many will end up being sent back, for overhauls relating to the fact that testing (finding faults) and production are contemporaneous.

So look up what you can find for these:
Of the aircraft that are available at AF bases, the numbers can be broken down into two categories:
- the Mission Capable and Fully Mission Capable. Mission Capable aircraft are those that are ready to conduct at least one type of mission, even if it’s only a training mission; whereas
- Fully Mission Capable aircraft are those ready to conduct all missions the aircraft is declared to be capable of. The latter is the real measure of a combat-ready aircraft.

If I use the ratio between the two, no wonder Mattis ordered 80% to be the target... MIGHT give you 37% on the latter measure. No need to say that what you will find will be far off - on both measures.

EDIT: for "you" above read SB; this one :mrgreen: got in with a constructive comment faster than I could put the response together. I can see that a lot :) of research went into it


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