UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

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
Senior Member
Posts: 1791
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 20 Sep 2018, 06:04

Germany has gone for a core member of NATO to a sideshow since the end of the Cold War and any increases in size and capability are mainly for PR purposes with little real substance. Their Politicians don't want to spend the money or commit their troops to actually fight.

sunstersun
Member
Posts: 203
Joined: 09 Aug 2017, 04:00
Location: United States of America

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

Postby sunstersun » 20 Sep 2018, 06:41

The money is a giant problem, but the politics is much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much more problematic than money.

Clausewitz theories on war - war is a politics by other means rings true here.

Fundamentally at the core of a military is the people. In a democracy, people determine public policy. What do I mean by this? Let's say the super pragmatic decision of purchasing the F-35 over the Typhoon to replace the Tornados.

1) The F-35 is a strike aircraft, it's at least 8-10 times(I'm being conservative) more effective than the Typhoon in penetration attacks.
2) The F-35 is a much better aircraft, that's costs are actually lower if you really dive into it.
3) The spares problem Germany always has? Instantly solved. There's literally no way you could fuck up the logistics of the F-35 supply chain anywhere near as bad as Germany did with their Typhoons.
4) Built to last to 2070(2080 Germany time) while Typhoons are supposed to be phased out by 2040.
5) If I'm going to be honest here, the Typhoon is a good, not great jet. It's too expensive, it's still lacking the AESA radar, many key A2G capabilities. The Rafale has been shown to be a better plane in two international competitions especially with the supporting evidence. Obviously, it's the be all end all, but it's pretty much a guarantee the Typhoon has a shorter shelf life than the Rafale.
6) Turkey's withdrawing, Germany's entering. This addresses that industrial concern issue Germany has.
7) Germany is desperately needing of bigger pools of shared equipment or else their military is never EVER going to be a serious threat again.
8) 5th generation experience and tech share is helpful in a sense for their Franco-German plane.
9) NO SCREWUPS WITH NUKE SHARING EITHER.
10) Could placate Trump for trade tensions.

So, this is probably a very summed up version of what the Germany generals and military guys who actually want to win a war are presenting Merkel.

But, the German population does not give a fuck about the military except they really care about how they get industrial share and sell weapons(to be fair they do get upset when they're used wrong)

Even without Trump making it political suicide for Merkel to pick the F-35, the debate would be fierce. Like now it's 0% chance, but if it wasn't Trump I'd bet it would be a shitstorm.

And politicians that care about their ratings and reelection more than they care about the countries well being in the long term? Also known as like 99% of em, will gladly sacrifice an insignificant issue to the public over the potential benefits of a better military, more cohesive military alliance.

Any semi-competent country could do better and procuring arms. And it starts with the public, the politicians and the culture. They simply are willing to let it rot to nothing and think that's okay.

Just think this one decision, but for everything and don't get me started on German inefficiency at bureaucracy.

endrant

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 8000
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 20 Sep 2018, 06:58

sunstersun wrote:still lacking the AESA radar


Lacking it and the AESA not being in service are two different thing (... that thing that makes the world go round ;) )

abc123
Senior Member
Posts: 1738
Joined: 10 May 2015, 18:15

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

Postby abc123 » 20 Sep 2018, 13:34

Lord Jim wrote:Their Politicians don't want to spend the money or commit their troops to actually fight.


But really, why would they fight? What will they get from it?

USA, UK or France WILL mostly get something ( somebody more, somebody less ) from Iraq, Libya or Syria etc. What will get Germany? Except new millions of refugees and accustions for Nazism and Fourth Reich?
As I said allready, Germany either needs the strongest military in Europe, or even this is more than enough.
Consequently, why spend any more than you have to?
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 8000
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 20 Sep 2018, 17:30

abc123 wrote:As I said allready, Germany either needs the strongest military in Europe, or even this is more than enough.


And what might be your advice on the matter?

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 3251
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 20 Sep 2018, 17:54

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
sunstersun wrote:still lacking the AESA radar


Lacking it and the AESA not being in service are two different thing (... that thing that makes the world go round ;) )


Be nice if they could actually get it to work.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 8000
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 20 Sep 2018, 17:58

Ron5 wrote:nice if they could actually get it to work.


Ohh; I thought Leonardo+Edinburgh was a match [politically] made in heaven.

At the same time I have been wondering about a production order for 160(!) of the older kit... which according to the official releases would then be replaced/ upgraded in short order - when money is tight!

abc123
Senior Member
Posts: 1738
Joined: 10 May 2015, 18:15

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

Postby abc123 » 21 Sep 2018, 13:40

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
abc123 wrote:As I said allready, Germany either needs the strongest military in Europe, or even this is more than enough.


And what might be your advice on the matter?


Nothing. While things stand as they are, maintaining the status quo mostly, maybe some slight adjustments. When and if things change, that's something completely different.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 1791
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Sep 2018, 15:14

I understand Germany's issues with NATO's out of area role it adopted after the Cold War ended and the alliance went looking for a new role, but its attitude to the changing situation in Europe over the last decade or so shows that now the front like has moved away from their border and further east they simply are not interested in defence and mow simply pay lip service to their commitments to NATO. The reductions they made to the military had no military relevance, but were purely a cost cutting exercise and even what was left was hollowed out with little support infrastructure or material left. WE complain about the state of the UK's armed forces but ours are at full effectiveness compared to those of Germany and the situation will not chance for at least another decade at the earliest based on the language coming out of Germany. In a nutshell they like the Status Quo and don't want to change it, so would probably let an aggressor get away with anything rather than take military action.

abc123
Senior Member
Posts: 1738
Joined: 10 May 2015, 18:15

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

Postby abc123 » 22 Sep 2018, 08:52

Having Red Army moved 1000 km east of your borders Germany feels pretty safe from armed attack. On the other hand, Russia is such a nice market for German industry and such a nice source of energy and raw materials, not to mention useful counterweight to USA, UK and France...
From interventions in far away lands like Iraq or Libya or Siria Germany has nothing to gain, and can lose a lot, so why bother?
So, if you look at things that way, this state of German defence has a lot of sense.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

SW1
Member
Posts: 279
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby SW1 » 22 Sep 2018, 09:08

The Germans did have over 5000 deployed to Afghanistan at still has over a 1000 there. It also has over a 1000 deployed to Mali as well as about 150training people in Iraq. So there making a contribution.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 8000
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 Sep 2018, 09:19

SW1 wrote: It also has over a 1000 deployed to Mali


That bit is the interesting one as it is clearly more than a training mission (Taleban is increasing activity in the normally more peaceful Afghan North, so the nature of the activity there may also change; at least the Germans took the right kit with them, unlike us to the South - or the Americans to Mogadishu, for that matter).
- also, the back filling in Mali was done at France's request and many more countries responded (our Chinooks go in to replace those from the Netherlands)

I also seem to remember that German Tornados lobbed 250-300 missiles at Serbian air defences, when the latter chose to illuminate our or other NATO a/c on missions
- having had the good sense to equip theirs for SEAD missions (something that we have, unexplicably, skimped on). As for the headline here, the gap will finally be closed with Spear3s for our JSF... when again was the IOD for Spear3 going to be?

benny14
Member
Posts: 555
Joined: 16 Oct 2017, 16:07
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby benny14 » 22 Sep 2018, 11:50

ArmChairCivvy wrote:when again was the IOD for Spear3 going to be?

I think its 2025.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 8000
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 Sep 2018, 12:12

benny14 wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:when again was the IOD for Spear3 going to be?

I think its 2025.

Not that bad, falling in-between the IOD of F-35s on carriers (12 onboard will do, to achieve this) and now the talk is about the carrier(s) being fully operational in 2026.
- the latter is quite far ahead, though, if the first batch of F-35 deliveries completes in January 2024

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 1791
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 22 Sep 2018, 12:15

abc123 wrote:Having Red Army moved 1000 km east of your borders Germany feels pretty safe from armed attack. On the other hand, Russia is such a nice market for German industry and such a nice source of energy and raw materials, not to mention useful counterweight to USA, UK and France...
From interventions in far away lands like Iraq or Libya or Siria Germany has nothing to gain, and can lose a lot, so why bother?
So, if you look at things that way, this state of German defence has a lot of sense.


From a German point of view I am sure it makes a lot of sense but form NATO's point of view, one of their richest nations is spending less on defence that the majority of other members as a percentage of GDP, and would spend even less if it could get away with it.

abc123
Senior Member
Posts: 1738
Joined: 10 May 2015, 18:15

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

Postby abc123 » 22 Sep 2018, 13:26

Lord Jim wrote:
abc123 wrote:Having Red Army moved 1000 km east of your borders Germany feels pretty safe from armed attack. On the other hand, Russia is such a nice market for German industry and such a nice source of energy and raw materials, not to mention useful counterweight to USA, UK and France...
From interventions in far away lands like Iraq or Libya or Siria Germany has nothing to gain, and can lose a lot, so why bother?
So, if you look at things that way, this state of German defence has a lot of sense.


From a German point of view I am sure it makes a lot of sense but form NATO's point of view, one of their richest nations is spending less on defence that the majority of other members as a percentage of GDP, and would spend even less if it could get away with it.


Considering that only a few countries in NATO spend proscribed 2% ( not a big number anyway, if we compare it to US or Russia's 4-5% ) that's true, but Germany has relativly little foreign ambitions that can't be fulfilled trough the EU and free trade ( anything more- or even that- brings accusatios for Nazism and 4th Reich ) and practically no military dangers- so that you might need stronger defence spending. Something like say Portugal.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

downsizer
Member
Posts: 714
Joined: 02 May 2015, 08:03

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

Postby downsizer » 22 Sep 2018, 13:44

SW1 wrote:The Germans did have over 5000 deployed to Afghanistan at still has over a 1000 there.


Are you aware of the RoE they had? As I suspect not, let me help you, they weren't exactly spoiling for a fight.

SW1
Member
Posts: 279
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby SW1 » 22 Sep 2018, 19:16

Downsizer

I am aware they operated under restrictive rules of engagement but not aware of what they were specifically.

But they were there none the less and are still there. Better you know your limitations than run off into a operation you don’t understand then get in way way over your head and scream for help like we did in Helmand.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 1791
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 22 Sep 2018, 23:14

I agree with the last point, but my issue is that Germany was the European core of NATO, totally committed to the alliance and no one doubt this for an instant. Now despite having the biggest economy in Europe they are simply not pulling their weight or even trying to. They have stated that they will not reach 2& of GDP on defence for at least a decade! if at all. Yet they expect to retain their influence and when it comes to industrial partnerships their level of workshare even if they no longer intend to purchase the amount of kit that would entitle them to such a level. If they are happy as they are then they should take a back seat and let the other countries such a Poland step up and over them. This is why any country that wished to have Germany as a partner in any future military programmes will need to be very careful and truly lock them in legally to a level of investment and procurement they must stick to. Remember it was Germany who nearly caused the Eurofighter programme to come off the rails when then suddenly decided it was no longer needed.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 8000
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 23 Sep 2018, 06:21

Lord Jim wrote: Remember it was Germany who nearly caused the Eurofighter programme to come off the rails when then suddenly decided it was no longer needed.


I do, just too well, but now it is going to be the one buying more, which could lead to something more than the very incremental upgrades done, on a shoe string, for the RAF
- RUSI might be proved right - by ze Germans: The best is yet to come (for tiffie)

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 1791
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Sep 2018, 15:32

I hope so and we could actually benefit from it as well.

sunstersun
Member
Posts: 203
Joined: 09 Aug 2017, 04:00
Location: United States of America

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

Postby sunstersun » 27 Sep 2018, 19:02


NickC
Member
Posts: 356
Joined: 01 Sep 2017, 14:20
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby NickC » 28 Sep 2018, 16:38

Lockheed have awarded contract to Harris contract for the new F-35 Integrated Core Processor for “Technology Refresh 3” modernisation. ICP is the brains for processing data for the aircraft’s communications, sensors, electronic warfare, guidance and control, cockpit and helmet displays. The new ICP will be integrated into F-35 aircraft starting with Lot 15 aircraft, expected to begin deliveries in 2023.

Claimed benefits
A) 25 times increase in computing power to support planned capability enhancements
B) Greater software stability, higher reliability, and increased diagnostics resulting in lower sustainment costs
C) An Open System Architecture to enable the flexibility to add, upgrade and update future capabilities
D) 75 percent reduction in unit cost

The F-35 Technology Refresh 3 to date also include the Panoramic Cockpit Display Electronic Unit and Aircraft Memory System plus the new Raytheon Next Gen Distributed Aperture System.

Raises the question should UK delay/minimise any future F-35B buy until Lot 15 by which time may be Block 4 available for Meteor, Spear 3 and ASRAAM CSM, would no doubt save substantial costs of upgrading earlier aircraft.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 1791
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 28 Sep 2018, 16:47

That would make sense but only if a single order for the balance of the 48 airframes was placed for delivery at that specification. Taking a break form placing orders and them continuing to place penny packet orders form then on would be a worse solution.

sunstersun
Member
Posts: 203
Joined: 09 Aug 2017, 04:00
Location: United States of America

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

Postby sunstersun » 28 Sep 2018, 17:09



Return to “Joint Service”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest