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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
115
45%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
9
4%
Uncertain (RN)
12
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
46
18%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
35
14%
Uncertain (RAF)
38
15%
 
Total votes: 255

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

Postby seaspear » 06 Jan 2019, 05:57

In a Defense Aerospace article on the 3rd of January it discussed that the F35A required 36 hours for the engine to be removed and believed a similar time to install , a Rafael on a U.S.N carrier with a six man maintenance crew took out that aircraft's engine in 3 .
I have not come across an article for the F35B engine ,but would wonder if it might take longer and if this is yet to be attempted on the Q.E carrier

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

Postby bobp » 06 Jan 2019, 06:25

Just read the above mentioned article and it is not clear as to the amount of time needed, whether it is man hours or actual time. Nor does it state how many personnel are needed to do the job. I cant help thinking that Defense Aerospace are over exaggerating to make a story about the fuel lines that needed to be changed.

An article on f16net suggests a six man team can swap out a engine in 6 hours. Providing all the needed tools and maintenance rigs were available. Also because the engine itself is pretty reliable there has not been many actual engine changes been conducted.

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

Postby NickC » 06 Jan 2019, 16:38

Lord Jim wrote:Well anything bigger than a 1000lb bomb needs to be hung on the outside of the J-35B so it doesn't matter whatever AShM we choose it ain't going inside. But we do need to really up our game in this area, the few Harpoon the Carrier Group will have are totally inadequate for the job. It also shows we need to beef up the Carrier Groups defences as I argued a month or so back. We simple cannot cope with a saturation attack using supersonic or faster AShMs with the current set up. China for example has looked at what the USSR was training to do in the Atlantic and improved it by combining land based weapon systems. If things ever turned hot we would have to operate off the coast of Australia to be safe.


"have to operate off coast of Australia" USN planning for strike range of 1,200nm+ from carriers.

USN goal for the MQ-25 tanker is to be able to deliver 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of fuel total to 4 to 6 airplanes at a range of 500nm, current strike range of a USN carrier air wing is now only about 450 nautical miles, effective unrefueled radius of a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (F-35C has a longer range). The additional 300 to 400 miles could potentially extend the reach of the fighters up to or beyond 700 nautical miles, with the LRASM is thought to have a range of greater than 500nm.

PS USN F-35C operating from USN Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was damaged during exercise while receiving fuel from an F/A-18F Super Hornet acting as a buddy tanker last August.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Jan 2019, 17:05

NickC wrote:the MQ-25 tanker is to be able to deliver 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) of fuel total to 4 to 6 airplanes at a range of 500nm, current strike range of a USN carrier air wing is now only about 450 nautical miles, effective unrefueled radius of a Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet


Yep, short legs ( as no "real" opposition was the operating assumption).
- add to that yr own offensive (missile) range
- but also, start shooting down anything (other than ballistic) coming in, at that outer perimeter

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

Postby Lord Jim » 07 Jan 2019, 04:19

bobp wrote:Just read the above mentioned article and it is not clear as to the amount of time needed, whether it is man hours or actual time. Nor does it state how many personnel are needed to do the job. I cant help thinking that Defense Aerospace are over exaggerating to make a story about the fuel lines that needed to be changed.

An article on f16net suggests a six man team can swap out a engine in 6 hours. Providing all the needed tools and maintenance rigs were available. Also because the engine itself is pretty reliable there has not been many actual engine changes been conducted.


36 man hours seems far more realistic for an engine change.

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

Postby seaspear » 07 Jan 2019, 10:12

SAF: F-35B cannot generate enough sorties to replace A-10
16 May 2012 Dave Majumdar

"The US Air Force has concluded that the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) Lockheed Martin F-35B- model aircraft cannot generate enough sorties to meet its needs; therefore the service will not consider replacing the Fairchild Republic A-10 Warthog close air support jet with that variant....

..."The F-35B is well-suited to support of the Marine Air Ground Taskforce (MAGTF) in very austere locations," says USAF chief of staff Gen Norton Schwartz, speaking at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. "But the reality is, is that scenario is not a high sortie generation scenario."... ???????????????????????????????????????????? [HOW "BOUT BEING CLOSER TO THE FIGHT FOR SHORT TRANSIT TIMES?]

...Retired Lt Gen George Trautman, a former US Marine Corps (USMC) deputy commandant for aviation, disputes Schwartz's assertion that the F-35B cannot generate as many sorties as the A or C model aircraft.

"The F35B has highest sortie generation rate among the three JSF [Joint Strike Fighter] variants," Trautman says. "There may be other reasons the air force doesn't want the B, but sortie rate isn't a factor."

In fact, the USMC's concept of operations depends on the STOVL variant generating more sorties more rapidly than other JSF models, says retired USMC Lt Gen Emerson Gardner, a former naval aviator.

The key performance parameters (KPP) for the F-35 require higher sortie rates for the B-model at four sorties per day. The A and C models are only required to generate three sorties per day.

"So far in SDD [System Development and Demonstration], all three variants are on track to exceed their KPPs at the completion of SDD," Gardner says. "The B looks to come in at about six sorties per day, the A at about 3.5 and the C at close to four."

While USAF will not consider buying the F-35B, the service is fully committed to buying its own conventional take-off F-35A variant...."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ac-371985/


I have included this article because of the claim of sortie rates for the F35b there has sometimes been discussion on how many aircraft should be carried on the carrier not the number of sorties that are aimed for by the aircraft to meet the required number of sorties in daily operations of the carrier ,is there any further data on this

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Jan 2019, 11:07

seaspear wrote:discussion on how many aircraft should be carried on the carrier not the number of sorties that are aimed for by the aircraft


The problem (with these comparisons) is that for the USMC the "B" is in a fairly specialised role - that's how they got to declare IOC so early (when none of the variants were ready for A2A) - whereas on our carriers they would be required to do "pretty much everything"
- e.g. put two up, to fly CAP over the MTF for their max. duration... plenty of fuel as A2A missiles are not that heavy
- that's two sorties, when the others (each) might be tasked with 3 (close air support/ interdiction) with fairly short transit times and no loitering as targeting has been done pre-launch
-- interdiction, of course, might be at extreme range as opposed to CAP that is likely to be needed at a much lesser distance
-- etc

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

Postby Lord Jim » 07 Jan 2019, 18:51

I agree, the way the USMC plan to operate their F-35Bs is along the lines of how the AV-8Bs were operated. A2A does really come into it for them, that is the role of other assets. Remember that although some of their Harrier had the same Radar as thot of the Italians, they did not equip their planes with AMRAAM like the latter did. In USMC service the role of the F-35B is CAS in support of the Marines on the ground. Where possible they will relocate ashore operating as close to the front line as possible.

With the RN, we are trying to carry out the roles of a multitude of fixed wing platforms used by the USN with a single platform. This is the key argument for having as many F-35Bs on a Carrier as originally intended. If only twelve are embarked you limit their role to a mainly defensive one, protecting the fleet.

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

Postby seaspear » 07 Jan 2019, 19:12

I understood the required number of sorties is around 110 first day for the carrier for full engagement operations, 24 f35b,s should be able to meet this requirement , increasing the number of aircraft could that not impact the number of rotary aircraft ?

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Jan 2019, 20:02

seaspear wrote:24 f35b,s should be able to meet this requirement , increasing the number of aircraft could that not impact the number of rotary aircraft ?


The sortie numbers required were, as far as I understand, the (documented) design driver. Which then guided the size and the arrangement of the spaces, so that

-[optimally]The ship is designed around 34 aircraft comprising Joint Strike Fighter fixed wing
aircraft and Merlin helicopters
- and [if needed] has the ability to surge up to 40 aircraft for short periods of time.

The hangar has an overall volume of 29,000 metres3 which can accommodate
about 20 x JSFs in a nested configuration.

The flight deck area is over 13,000 meters2 with a runway leading to a single ramp or ski jump.

Lift capacity, their location (to avoid constant repositioning, congestion) etc. I think has been covered in reams of docs (the only difficulty being to differentiate what was considered and how it ended up... quite a few iterations).

If anyone wonders why 34, when two sqdrns (24)
and 9 Merlins (5+4)
only make 33
... well, you need the cab up in the air, should a launch (or recovery) fail - which cab can be a Wildcat

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 07 Jan 2019, 20:50

It is 3 squadrons (of 12) plus 4/5 ASAC Merlins. The ASW Merlins planned as being farmed out to the escorts. :mrgreen:

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Jan 2019, 20:59

Scimitar54 wrote:The ASW Merlins planned as being farmed out
for ops, but they will still come back for maintenance... and be "in the way"

Scimitar54 wrote:It is 3 squadrons (of 12) plus 4

Amazing hand, by a mere reshuffle :o
- the day when we'll have 100+ F-35Bs, we can do that
- just that the sqdrns are likely to be of 10 ... 30+4 = TICK!

SW1
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby SW1 » 07 Jan 2019, 21:33

Never in the field of military aviation has so much been expected of so few by so many.

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 07 Jan 2019, 22:03

Remember, The Few (Politicians) are being scrutinised by The Many (those of us who really care about the defence of their country) or the lack of it. We will remember those who had the courage (and those who did not) as well as the what and the when. ’Strewth, can our "representatives" not see what they are facilitating? They may not think they will be in parliament by then, but their reputations can still be tarnished. We shoul expect (and require) them to do their duty. :idea:

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

Postby seaspear » 08 Jan 2019, 00:22

I thought it was the sortie numbers that the ship could generate that determined the aircraft numbers , if a f35b could sortie 5-6 times a day well times 24 is a respectable number of sorties ,

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

Postby Lord Jim » 08 Jan 2019, 02:40

No chance, three or at most four in a surge and that is only fleet CAP. Any long distance sorties and that number fall to two or three per day at most.

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

Postby seaspear » 08 Jan 2019, 03:25

Then what are the key performance parameters for the f35,s operating off the carrier are they different to the U.S.M.C for the carriers they use ?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 08 Jan 2019, 12:58

Theirs are used to provide CAS for the Marines on the ground whether during an amphibious assault and/or conducting land operations. They will have only a minimal A2A role and no maritime strike role. It is the USNs job to provide A2A coverage over the Marines. If there has been a total change in doctrine with the introduction of the America class I am not aware of it.

Our F-35s are having to carry out all the roles carried out by the fast jets in a USN Carrier Air Wing, with just one platform and not as many.

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

Postby Gabriele » 08 Jan 2019, 15:49

The limitations to the Harrier's role are due to the fact that only a part of the fleet is the AV-8B+ with the radar. AMRAAM without radar obviously wasn't a thing, but the ones with the radar definitely have A2A as part of their mission. As of their 2018 Aviation Plan, the Harrier frontline fleet includes 34 radar-less "Night Attack" and 76 with radar plus 16 trainers.

The AV‐8B Harrier is the Marine Corps’ only fixed‐wing TACAIR on MEUs
during the transition to F‐35B. As the strike, long range escort, and air
defense asset of the MEU
ACE the AV‐8B must continue to develop and
address future capability gaps that will allow it to conduct its METS until
sundown. This evolution over the next five years will focus on:
1) Avionics and software upgrades (LINK‐16, RNP/RNAV, Mode 5/S,
ADS‐B out)
2) Weapons modernization (AIM‐9X Block II, AIM‐120C, APKWS
warhead and envelope expansion, precision stand off weapons)
3) Digital interoperability (LITENING ATDL, high definition video
wireless to the cockpit, VMF, SATCOM)
4) Readiness (PRE/PRL, F402 engine safety/reliability, FOD programs
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 » 08 Jan 2019, 17:35

Gabriele wrote: As of their 2018 Aviation Plan, the Harrier frontline fleet


Are they still planning to make them last out to 2030?
- Spain (and Turkey) are hankering after usefully-lifed airframes

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

Postby Gabriele » 08 Jan 2019, 17:50

2022 consolidation on a single coast; 2026 last unit on Harrier converts to F-35.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

Arma Pacis Fulcra.
Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

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

Postby Lord Jim » 08 Jan 2019, 21:19

Ok so they have changed their doctrine.

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

Postby SW1 » 09 Jan 2019, 21:13

It needs to be remembered that key performance requirements are contractual commiteements that are to be demonstrated. They are not necessarily indicative of what will happen in service. The differences on f35 between a, b and c is down to sortie endurance. In the real world your unlikely to do more than 2 sorties a day maybe 3 it will depend greatly on the number of maintenance personnel, spares and weapons a nation operating the a/c has got or purchased not all will be equal. It should also be noted in a real operation the enemy gets a vote a/c will get damaged or lost and this will affect sortie generation.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Jan 2019, 21:28

These guys saw no need to cheat, and are coming in a couple of years behind. But are less likely to end up with hundreds of a/c needing remedial remanufacturing:
[4 Jan 2019 Military.com | By Oriana Pawlyk ]
The U.S. Navy is on track to reach critical milestones and declare its F-35 Joint Strike Fighters ready for combat next month.
There have been no reported delays in the service's F-35C reaching initial operating capability (IOC) next month, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Chatmas told Military.com on Friday.


- can't remember anymore how many years cats&traps would have added to our carrier construction schedule

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

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Jan 2019, 22:58

Probably not too many as we would only have brought one into service so more resources would have been allocated, shifting many of those that were working on PoW at the time. I do think we would have ended up with a better ship though and certainly a more balanced and effective airwing.


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