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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
110
45%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
9
4%
Uncertain (RN)
11
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
44
18%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
35
14%
Uncertain (RAF)
35
14%
 
Total votes: 244

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

Postby Lord Jim » 02 Nov 2018, 01:40

But at least then we could also refuel our P-7s, P-8s, EC-135s and C-17s, and also friendly USAF planes using contactless payment on the go :D

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

Postby Ron5 » 02 Nov 2018, 16:35

I'll step aside and let you renegotiate the tanker PFI to allow that :D

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

Postby Lord Jim » 02 Nov 2018, 23:10

Something that should have been done to the core fleet of voyager from the beginning, but renegotiating the Tanker PFI should be undertaken with great trepidation. Mind you everyone likes to make more money and Airbus would be keen to do the work, I mean the RAF operating a boom and drogue MRTT is good for their business. And the RAF gains additional flexibility and capability. If I was confident in the MoD commercial abilities I would push for it but then again.

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

Postby Pseudo » 03 Nov 2018, 00:30

Lord Jim wrote:Something that should have been done to the core fleet of voyager from the beginning, but renegotiating the Tanker PFI should be undertaken with great trepidation. Mind you everyone likes to make more money and Airbus would be keen to do the work, I mean the RAF operating a boom and drogue MRTT is good for their business. And the RAF gains additional flexibility and capability. If I was confident in the MoD commercial abilities I would push for it but then again.

Does anyone have any idea what it would cost to buy AirTanker out?

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

Postby NickC » 03 Nov 2018, 13:26

The October Belgium buy of F-35As said to cost $6.53B for 34 F-35As, 38 Pratt & Whitney F-135 engines, and other equipment, training, logistics, and support, which equates to $192M per a/c.

F-35B said to be ~ 30% more expensive than the F-35A so would expect if budgeting for future UK buy ~ £190M / £200M per a/c for the RAF/RN a/c you would not be far off.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Nov 2018, 14:54

NickC wrote: would expect if budgeting for future UK buy ~ £190M / £200M per a/c for the RAF/RN a/c you would not be far off.


It's not far off (48 x the above ~ £ 9.1 bln?) for starters, either.

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

Postby Ron5 » 03 Nov 2018, 16:37

Still cheaper than Typhoon.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Nov 2018, 17:19

Ron5 wrote:Still cheaper than Typhoon.

I wonder what number (the NAO thru-life one for the tiffies?) you had in mind. The fleet for most of the time averaging between 100 and 160, out to 2040 (at least).

Just for the first tranche of "The UK F-35 programme, which is the procurement of 48 F-35Bs and their support to
2048 only [... remains on track, on time and within budget to deliver a world-class capability
to our Armed Forces]. The MoD has disclosed both the 10-year approved budget, and the
total cost estimate out to 2048 for the overall UK F-35 programme as circa £13 billion
- so the comparison would be adjusted whatever average number the total of 138 can provide, out to 2060 (?)?

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

Postby Ron5 » 03 Nov 2018, 17:41

Belgium selected F-35's over Typhoons based on price. And the price advantage is growing.

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

Postby Gabriele » 03 Nov 2018, 20:42

Kind reminder that the 9 billion include the early 1.9 billion contribution to design phase which is a one-off. Also included are hundreds of millions of RAF Marham infrastructure. These costs would not be part of future purchases, among with others.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Nov 2018, 05:28

Gabriele wrote: the 9 billion include the early 1.9 billion contribution to design phase which is a one-off. Also included are hundreds of millions of RAF Marham infrastructure

+
ArmChairCivvy wrote: the 10-year approved budget, and the
total cost estimate out to 2048 for the overall UK F-35 programme as circa £13 billion


The 9 is a totally arbitrary figure, down to the 10-yr horizon prescribed for the EP. Where the 2048 derives from (as a cut-off? The 'lifing' of the airframes of the first batch? Tiffies reeceived 5000 hrs, each, from nowhere - meaning that once there were stats from actual use, then the original estimate could be revised) ...who knows, as the next decision point (after the deliveries tailing off 2023/24) comes earlier, with the remaining tiffie Tr1s leaving.

However, there is a way to slice through this Gordion's knot and make the two prgrms' costs to be more 'equal' and that way was speculated about in The Telegraph, following the Germans' lead - of all things :o "The British Government is committed to buying 138 F-35 fighter aircraft from US manufacturer Lockheed Martin. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has so far bought 48 aircraft at a cost of £9.1 billion but is now reconsidering its pledge to buy a further 90 F-35s.
Instead, the Telegraph understands it is looking at purchasing Eurofighter jets, made by a European consortium that includes the UK. The European manufactured jets are currently, on best estimates, about half the price of an F-35."
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/0 ... play-like/

All of this, small change anyway if we look across the Gvmnt's major projects, the so called GMPP (portfolio that is tracked and departments then named and shamed... may be even a minister going for performance ;) , not personal life reasons)
" For some projects (Nuclear Warhead Capability Sustainment Programme and Hinkley Point C), there are significant costs (approximately £57 billion) but no rating."
- one can find a rationale for those being for "selected eyes" only. But
" For other projects like the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, neither a RAG rating, nor a whole-life cost figure is available (although a budget for the financial year is published)."
- the F-35 and T-26 are perhaps not brothers, but at least cousins in the way that both involved services will have to come up with a cost effective mix of 'bleeding edge' and 'good enough'. OR, the defence budget will have to shoot from 2% of GNP to 3 :)

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

Postby Lord Jim » 04 Nov 2018, 06:21

There's thinking outside the box and then there's this! Has this been reported anywhere else or is it a case of Parliamentary Chinese whispers?

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Nov 2018, 06:44

Lord Jim wrote: or is it a case of Parliamentary Chinese whispers?

...or, negotiating with Trump in Trump style?

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

Postby Gabriele » 04 Nov 2018, 17:53

Typhoon at half the F-35 price is describable only as bullshit, pure and simple.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

Arma Pacis Fulcra.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Nov 2018, 18:57

Another letter to The Telegraph by mr. Angry from Tunbridge Wells :)

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

Postby SDL » 15 Nov 2018, 12:09


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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Nov 2018, 13:51

the UK is set to double its number [of world-beating F-35 stealth jets] after ordering 17 more
... whose words?

Or is it indicative of us having 34, after deducting the test a/c and [for now, and also a tad longer] allowing for the OCU?

That is not bad, anyway
- 24 on a carrier
- and an RAF mini-sqdrn (of 10) poised for a Day1 Strike

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

Postby bobp » 15 Nov 2018, 17:27

These birds were due to be delivered anyway, so this is just MOD bullshit to grab some headlines.

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

Postby Little J » 15 Nov 2018, 22:44

If it was 17 on top of the 48, that would be worth an announcement...

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

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Nov 2018, 05:41

We are going to see only one squadron on the carriers for quite a while except on rare occasions. The second will the either to surge on to the carrier of for land use and than their will be the OCU which won't be the historical size of such units due to increased use of the Sims. Routine two squadron deployments won't happen if at all until the late 2020s or early 2030s when we finally decide how many F-35s to purchase and what variant.

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 16 Nov 2018, 07:57

I agree that we will only see one squadron most of the time (the second will often be in the hangar). In the worsening international climate, the U.K. CSG is unlikely to go in harm's way without the carrier having 2 x squadrons on-board.

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

Postby Clive F » 16 Nov 2018, 11:07

We will have max of 12 for some years. Any additional will be USMC.

With the "issues" with the USS Ford it will create a partial solution for both of us.

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

Postby RetroSicotte » 16 Nov 2018, 11:31

Clive F wrote:We will have max of 12 for some years. Any additional will be USMC.

With the "issues" with the USS Ford it will create a partial solution for both of us.

Pretty certain it's been stated there will be 24 on it by 2022/23.

I'm actually looking forward to the USMC coming to visit it. The inevitable "needs US to make up numbers" nonsense is really just eyerolling, compared to the real, tangible benefit that having an ally who can seamlessly operate on another platform will be.

Having a large carrier to plonk down if the US requires something to launch off of is a big political boon.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Nov 2018, 11:44

RetroSicotte wrote: the real, tangible benefit that having an ally who can seamlessly operate on another platform


Agreed. One can pick up quotes about the issues with overcrowding the deck on the early Americas. Adding the dock to the later ones does not make the deck larger, and only marginally decreases the demands on helo ops at peak times
- so, yes: one of those and one of our carriers. A good match
- and then they have the older ships with MEUs. The expectations were lower so "problems" do not get written about. But capacity is part of capability...

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

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Nov 2018, 12:47

RetroSicotte wrote:
Clive F wrote:We will have max of 12 for some years. Any additional will be USMC.

With the "issues" with the USS Ford it will create a partial solution for both of us.

Pretty certain it's been stated there will be 24 on it by 2022/23.

I'm actually looking forward to the USMC coming to visit it. The inevitable "needs US to make up numbers" nonsense is really just eyerolling, compared to the real, tangible benefit that having an ally who can seamlessly operate on another platform will be.

Having a large carrier to plonk down if the US requires something to launch off of is a big political boon.


As I stated, we may have 24 available by 2022/23 but I can still only see 12 as a routine compliment. Yes there will be press releases saying the QE has reached full capability and so on but the RAF for one will want 12 onshore in a squadron unless something happens. There will be rotation so both squadrons are Carrier trained and maintain these skills. At least this is better than the CVLs which only occasionally had Harriers on board towards the end of their service life. This is the reality of the "Flexible Air Wing" principal.


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