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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

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

Postby Ron5 » 02 Jun 2020, 15:42

What's the RAF availability rates for Typhoon & F-35?

How does the RAF measure availability relative to the USAF, USMC and USN?

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

Postby seaspear » 02 Jun 2020, 22:31

In this discussion of mission-capable, what is known on what is required for the f35b to be fully mission capable as opposed to other aircraft without being disparaging to other aircraft the f35b is a very complex aircraft with many capabilities that other aircraft don't have .
Is comparing the f35 to other aircraft is like comparing apples and oranges in this regard?

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Jun 2020, 05:50

seaspear wrote:Is comparing the f35 to other aircraft is like comparing apples and oranges in this regard?


Well, list the missions that F-35 flies, but other a/c don't. Operation "Fruit Knife"

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

Postby seaspear » 03 Jun 2020, 08:28

Are you suggesting there are no advantages to fifth-generation fighters over the preceding a/c , certainly the f35b can fly off a carrier unlike the Eurofighter to perform its missions or do we compare the Harrier to the f35b in capabilities,

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

Postby Lord Jim » 03 Jun 2020, 14:22

The missions have remained basically the same it is the additional capabilities different platforms have to enable them to undertake said missions that vary, the improved stealth of the F-35 for example. That of course bring additional operating costs with the need to maintain the aircraft to a higher level so as to retain its stealth characteristics.

However both the F-35 and Typhoon are expensive platforms as is the Rafale for that matter, and all bring a different toolbox with them to carry out the same missions and therefore each is better at some missions than their rivals as well as being worse in others.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Jun 2020, 22:18

Lord Jim wrote: bring additional operating costs with the need to maintain the aircraft to a higher level


Oh, well, as soon as we moved off the Typhoon thread, the discussion about F-35 died down... let's rekindle :) it

As for the above, the complexity means that the 'delivery of missions' costs about twice as much per hour than the average, counted over the current more specialised types.

But that's not all: the F-35’s mission planning system is part of the ALIS network. After the details of a combat mission — such as targets, predicted enemy radar locations, the routes to be flown and weapon load — are worked out, the data needs to be programed into the aircraft.

Now,
the USMC have developed a cut-down spur of ALIS so that anything at all could happen on ships, in a timely manner.

And,
Norway and Italy are co-funding the separation of the mission part from the diagnostic & servicing file.

Why
... would that be?

Let me tell ya :D And this is official and open source (Pentagon's own testing):
pilots consistently rated the system used to support mission planning “cumbersome, unusable, and inadequate for operational use.” They report that the time it takes to build the mission plan files is so long that it disrupts the planning cycle for missions with more than just one aircraft.

This means that when several F-35s receive a mission, they can’t go through all the pre-flight processes fast enough to launch on time if anything but a huge amount of planning time is allotted.

The Air Force conducted a major test of the F-35 program when it conducted a deployment demonstration from Edwards Air Force Base in California to Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho.
The ALIS data must go wherever a squadron goes. Crews must transfer the data from the squadron’s main ALIS computers at the home station to the deployed ALIS SOU before the aircraft are permitted to fly missions. This process took three days during the Mountain Home deployment. This was faster than in earlier demonstrations, but Lockheed Martin provided eight extra ALIS administrators for the exercise.

It is unclear if the contractor or the Air Force will include this level of support in future deployments. When the squadron redeployed back to Edwards at the end of the exercise, it took administrators four days to transfer all the data back to the main ALIS computer. Delays of this kind will limit the F-35’s ability to rapidly deploy in times of crisis.

... and what did we learn from this?
Make the carriers the permanent home base; not Marham? - Problem solved

Post script: ALIS is of course being rewritten, under a new name
- and when will that be ready then? Another block under the Block4?

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

Postby SKB » 10 Jun 2020, 18:48




(STRN/MoD) 10th June 2020
Four 617 Squadron jets landed on HMS Queen Elizabeth in the North Sea

The F35s began initial pilot qualification period right away. 4 more jets likely to join soon. The jets will then exercise defending carrier group by maintaining combat air patrols (CAP), launching and flying strike missions on simulated land targets and being held on deck to launch at very short notice. This is the first complete deployment of 617 Squadron on the ship.

The four planes are:

1. BK10 (ZM144)
2. BK12 (ZM146)
3. BK17 (ZM151 - Has a distinctive Union Flag on inside of lift fan flap. Was the first UK owned F-35B to take off from QE's deck in October 2019)
4. BK?? (Unknown)

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

Postby Timmymagic » 11 Jun 2020, 10:51

Well this solves the mystery....personally think its a mistake, there are still circumstances where a gun can be very useful, or even irreplaceable, balanced against that is the fact that as soon as you go to an external gun its utility and number of times it is actually carried would drop like a stone.


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

Postby seaspear » 11 Jun 2020, 14:08

Would an external gun pod effect stealth ?

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

Postby SKB » 11 Jun 2020, 15:31

Fifth and sixth F-35B on their way to QE....



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

Postby Timmymagic » 11 Jun 2020, 22:39

seaspear wrote:Would an external gun pod effect stealth ?


The pod is apparently low observable. It probably adds to the aircrafts RCS to a very small degree.

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 13 Jun 2020, 23:49

Not sure how many F35B are on board at present. Possibly 6? However seemingly one of them either is (or was) a 207 Squadron Aircraft (ZM151). :mrgreen:

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Bring Deeps » 14 Jun 2020, 08:49

In all the debate about how few F35s the UK has there hasn't been much recognition of how professional and successful the RN/RAF have been in re-creating fixed wing aviation.

Years ago I can remember the revised (post Brown carrier delay) timeline for the project being set out and the 2021 initial operational deployment looked as far away as a manned expedition to Mars.

Despite that, not only is the first QE tasking now in touching distance but, I don't think, the date has slipped.

How many Government or industry projects do that?

On top of that look at the progress made by the Indian, Russian and Chinese navies. It doesn't matter how much kit you have if you can't get it to work reliably, as intended or on schedule.

Of course the number of airframes is less than ideal but if the tie up with the USMC allows the RN to practice with 16 or 24 planes now then it can surge when more UK F35s are available having already developed the expertise.

BZ the RN, RAF and the UK.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 14 Jun 2020, 21:59

Bring Deeps wrote:In all the debate about how few F35s the UK has there hasn't been much recognition of how professional and successful the RN/RAF have been in re-creating fixed wing aviation.

Years ago I can remember the revised (post Brown carrier delay) timeline for the project being set out and the 2021 initial operational deployment looked as far away as a manned expedition to Mars.


That's all true, but I think everyone needs to recognise how far we are away still from a full capability. At present the limited munitions available to UK F-35B mean that we're still about 7-8 years away from getting the full capability, and even then, based on current plans, the effects that our rather expensive aircraft are able to deliver on an enemy will be rather limited. The RN/RAF have come a long way on it, but we're still in danger of 'spoiling a ship for a 'happorth of tar...'

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Jun 2020, 02:57

Timmymagic wrote: all true, but I think everyone needs to recognise how far we are away still from a full capability. At present the limited munitions available to UK F-35B mean that we're still about 7-8 years away from getting the full capability

Yep, the official recognition (for a while) has been 6 years (between IOC carrier strike and ISD CEPP). The 1-2 extra, on top, are coming from the Block4 forever just gliding, and being chopped up into interim deliverables for LM to maintain some credibility
... expect a bill, too, for anything in those deliverables that wasn't specifically covered in the Tier1 Partnering Agreement
- which year, again, was that text written?

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 15 Jun 2020, 05:09

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Timmymagic wrote: all true, but I think everyone needs to recognise how far we are away still from a full capability. At present the limited munitions available to UK F-35B mean that we're still about 7-8 years away from getting the full capability

Yep, the official recognition (for a while) has been 6 years (between IOC carrier strike and ISD CEPP). The 1-2 extra, on top, are coming from the Block4 forever just gliding, and being chopped up into interim deliverables for LM to maintain some credibility
... expect a bill, too, for anything in those deliverables that wasn't specifically covered in the Tier1 Partnering Agreement
- which year, again, was that text written?


Absolute bollocks. Partners are asked to pay for integration of their weapons, the US picks up the tab for the rest of the R&D. Cost of the software upgrade is covered by existing support agreements, nothing to do with partnering.

As for limitations on F-35B munitions, that's bollocks too. Ample choice of weapons if a hot war arrived tomorrow.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Jun 2020, 10:10

Ron5 wrote:Partners are asked to pay for integration of their weapons
The Uk has added no weapons to the list... so no bill will be arriving.

And when it does (as it will, barring a change of Administration), you will send a virtual pint this way :?: Namely, our Defence Committee asked LM directly (after 'utterings' from POTUS, which of course change day by day ;) ) about the matter:

"Lockheed Martin also informed the Committee that following the completion of the SDD phase, the partner nations in the programme “are committed to developing enhancements to in-service aircraft through ‘Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2/D2)”. According to Lockheed Martin, they expect the UK to “pay approximately 4.5% of the total cost to develop and integrate new capabilities into the F-35”.[86] = the source reference, on p.23 of HC 326, Published by authority of the House of Commons

You will no doubt provide a counter quote from gvmnt, parliament/ congress or LM level of sources,
rather than :!: just more 'hot air'

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 15 Jun 2020, 10:13

Ron5 wrote:As for limitations on F-35B munitions, that's bollocks too. Ample choice of weapons if a hot war arrived tomorrow.


We're ok in air to air at the moment, Legacy Asraam and Amraam C-5 are acceptable. The situation will improve with Amraam D in 2021-22.

But for anything else? Pull the other one...its got bells on.

For the UK we've got Paveway IV, a 500lb bomb with a max range of about 40 miles from high altitude release. That's it...

And we're not suddenly going to start fielding US weapons that we have no experience of using, procedures or training for. Even then, the numbers and capabilities of currently integrated US weapons are limited at present. Even the US is limited to 500lb GBU-12, 1,000 and 2,000lb JDAM, SDB1 and JSOW.

Do you really consider 1 type of 500lb LGB an 'Ample choice of weapons'....

Even Typhoon has a cannon, Brimstone, Paveway IV, Enhanced Paveway II, Enhanced Paveway III and Storm Shadow in UK service. And thats considered fairly austere by some people. It's likely that it will get Spear ahead of F-35 as well.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby downsizer » 15 Jun 2020, 10:23

I think the point he was making was that the UK could use US weapons should it choose to.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 15 Jun 2020, 11:03

Was meant to be meeting up with friend at Wattisham in Aug he is working on Spear 3 and his son is the junior engineering officer on 17 Sqn at this time I will try and have a word about what they think re Spear and Brimstone on F-35 may take a few days

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Jun 2020, 11:21

Tempest414 wrote: re Spear and Brimstone on F-35

That will be interesting as it all relates to the JSF numbers we will (at least for the first half of this decade) have. Spear will be key to doing SEAD/DEAD, ahead of other fast jets, and in that use its small-ish warhead is not such a disadvantage.Hi-value interdiction targets could well be an area as well where the JSF advantages come fully into play.

Whereas with Brimstone we are getting nearer to CAS and perhaps we should reflect how often the small fleet will be tasked to that... there are ways to get Brimstones onto targets (if those other 'ways' are not required to be able to take off from a carrier; shortens the list 'considerably').

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 15 Jun 2020, 11:26

downsizer wrote:I think the point he was making was that the UK could use US weapons should it choose to.


Why would we bother? They all do roughly the same thing. Hit stationary targets at fairly close ranges. JSOW and SDB1 can get out to slightly more than 60 miles, but thats only a marginal increase. For moving targets its GBU-12/Paveway IV or nothing, and you're not going to be doing that at much more than 20 miles range.

Tempest414 wrote:Was meant to be meeting up with friend at Wattisham in Aug he is working on Spear 3 and his son is the junior engineering officer on 17 Sqn at this time I will try and have a word about what they think re Spear and Brimstone on F-35 may take a few day


Brimstone was cancelled from F-35 integration an age ago and will never happen (which made sense when Spear was announced). MBDA are working on Spear integration, they were awarded a contract by the MoD for this, but its tied up in the Block IV software. That's scheduled to be done in 2026, having recently added another delay. A short while ago Spear was supposed to be arriving in 2025, according to the MoD, along with all the other UK weapons. They haven't said anything sine the Blk. IV delays were announced in the US. Best case we'll see Spear on F-35 in 2027..but that's really dependent on the Blk. IV improvements not sliding further to the right in the next 6 years.

Not sure anyone would want to put any money on that one personally...

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby downsizer » 15 Jun 2020, 11:30

I never said his point wasn't obtuse.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby serge750 » 15 Jun 2020, 11:35

I would of thought If there is a need for a weapon intergration, it could be done under a Urgent operational Requirement ? even if its used by the US, & rushed through, 'tis amazing how quickly things can get done if needed urgently.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 15 Jun 2020, 12:31

downsizer wrote:I never said his point wasn't obtuse.


Well thats fair enough...

serge750 wrote:I would of thought If there is a need for a weapon intergration, it could be done under a Urgent operational Requirement ? even if its used by the US, & rushed through, 'tis amazing how quickly things can get done if needed urgently.


It wouldn't need weapon integration, just a buy of the munitions and training. According to LM once a munition is integrated to F-35 it is automatically available for other users via software updates (although we have to remember if it doesn't fit in the B's smaller bays and no-one has cleared it on the B's wing pylons its a no-go still). Providing you keep your F-35 current all you need to do to field a munition is buy it and then train on how to use it..

But that's only if its been integrated in the first place. The problem is that very little has been integrated by now, most munitions that have, have directly overlapping capabilities. And there appears to be the bottleneck of Block IV software that is holding some of the most important munitions up. A UK UOR isn't going to move that log jam...

Basically, if you want to drop a bomb on an ISIS building in Syria? You're good to go...Want to dismantle an integrated air defence system on the first day of war, the F-35's supposed raison d'etre?....can you come back in 6 years please?

Anyway back to QE specifically....apparently she's off Norwich at present



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