SW1 wrote:Alpha strike is really a US navy term.
Yes, and the borrowing of it into UK usage was remarkable... but so were the monies being requested (for which just one rationale - carrier air - would not have "flown").
SW1 wrote: F35 or any tactical fighter can be as stealthy as it likes but a a330 is not.
SW1 wrote:FCAS models doing the rounds are larger than f35. The RAF and indeed the UK will only likely acquire f35a if a production contract is not forthcoming for “Tempest”.
Agreed. But as someone said upthread: It's good to have a plan B
- especially if it is other people paying for the development & testing
SW1 wrote: long range mlrs artillery systems and pressure to solely rely on strike aircraft in this area is reduced.
US Army is into that game and have set their "parameter" or rather goal at 500 km... beyond that air (cfr. ownership of cruise missiles, which are also 'air'. Russia - with INF now gone - is interestingly working on a cruise mutation of Iskander as it makes the missiles more difficult to counter than the ballistic ones)
Ron5 wrote:makes their need for drop tanks a lower priority than the Navy's?
Sure, but in the UK (with UK budgets) having same/ similar capabilities in different services soon runs out of road - not enough money... as we hear here, often
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)