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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
127
44%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
12
4%
Uncertain (RN)
14
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
54
19%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
39
13%
Uncertain (RAF)
43
15%
 
Total votes: 289

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

Postby downsizer » 02 Oct 2020, 19:31

Weapon loading has never been done by the RAF w/reaper.

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

Postby topman » 02 Oct 2020, 20:47

Timmymagic wrote:
topman wrote:It did used to be done by RAF in house, but it was contracted out some time around 2011.


Are they bringing it back in house for Protector?


I don't know.

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

Postby NickC » 03 Oct 2020, 10:29

Thx to pointer from post by ARES on Tempest, with ref to the Northrop Grumman video on the F-35 radar APG-81.

The capability of the F-35 radar to search, target and launch long range AShMs, eg SPEAR 3, or pass targeting info to RN frigates/destroyers for ship to launch AShM, eg NSM, if ever funded, will be part of the Block 4 upgrade by adding a wide-area high-resolution synthetic aperture radar, SAR, mode to the NG APG-81 radar.

Defensenews June 2019 article "The US Navy is seeking upgrades for the F-35 radar’s sea-search mode "

"The [US] Navy wants to be able to scan a wider area when in sea-search mode, something that the radar is currently not set up for // the problem is on track for a solution, but may not be implemented until as late as 2024 with the Block 4 upgrades, notably adding that a solution will not be in place before a full-rate production decision on the F-35 this year. // The issue is listed as a category 1 deficiency // The issue dates back to 2012. // We’re not mechanically scanning, we’re electronically scanning,” Winter said. “And being able to accurately scan the maritime environment, it just takes increased computing power, and that’s what we’re doing. … It’s a software fix, and then an allocation of computing power.” Winter may be referring to a planned bundle of computer upgrades called Tech Refresh 3, where the jet will get more modern computing systems that will increase the jet’s processing power [25x] and memory // TR3 is a prerequisite for a future radar fix. Those TR3-equipped jets won’t roll off the production line until 2023."

May 2020 GAO reported development cost of the F-35’s Block 4 upgrade had increased by $1.5 billion in the past year, to $12.1 billion, while adding acquisition will boost total cost to $13.9 billion, plus $6 billion to retrofit Block 4 to aircraft already delivered. Would note MoD, Jeremy Quin, hint not all UK pre Block 4 build a /c will get the partial upgrade to Block 4 standard, ~ $27 million cost per a/c so perhaps cost rising and no additional funding will made available, so unkown how many current UK F-35B and future buys will be upgraded before future Block 4 with SAR and SPEAR 3 capabilities deliveries commence ~2024.

From <https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden-troubles-f35/2019/06/12/the-us-navy-is-seeking-upgrades-for-the-f-35-radars-sea-search-mode/>


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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Oct 2020, 11:03

Further to the above,
Timmymagic wrote:FRP Delivery 1 - 2023 - 2 x UK F-35B
FRP Delivery 2 - 2024 - 4 x UK F-35B
FRP Delivery 3 - 2025 - 7 x UK F-35B - These were all previously expected by 2024 at latest


So the number of F-35s for use in ship-killer targeting mode would be 13; without retrofits. Hence the retrofit numbers (and cost) are quite important, but also rather 'nebulous'.
- nevermind, we only have a limited number of Harpoon kits to make use of the capability. Perseus being 2030(+)? And not confirmed.
- Spear 3 not exactly being a ship-killer missile (launching a lot of them might put all the sensors out of action, yes).

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

Postby Ron5 » 03 Oct 2020, 15:13

The upgrade improves a capability, doesn't add it.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 03 Oct 2020, 18:55

Ron5 wrote:The upgrade [im]proves a [sleeping beauty ] capability, doesn't add it.


Indeed, at a cost... Fly Navy :D

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

Postby NickC » 06 Oct 2020, 14:55

Report released on crash of a USAF F-35A tail number 12-005053 19th May 2020, reason given tired pilot and a previously unknown flight control logic glitch. What also surprised me besides the glitch was the USAF valued the a/c at $176 million way higher then any figure seen for F-35A, early lot build?, how figure was calculated not specified, but it does thru into doubt the recent talk of ~$80 million F-35A's, what other equipment/costs could USAF have added so they consider it an operationally viable a/c, puzzling.

F-35B ~ 30% more expensive than F-35A.

https://www.afjag.af.mil/Portals/77/AIB ... Signed.pdf

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

Postby Ron5 » 06 Oct 2020, 16:08

NickC wrote:but it does thru into doubt the recent talk of ~$80


No it doesn't Mr Hater.

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

Postby Jensy » 07 Oct 2020, 23:23

Qatar makes formal request for F-35 jets

They're not building an air force. They're building a flying circus, and buying influence with their defence budget.

If (and I sincerely hope not) this goes through, they will add to a fleet of:

24 x Typhoons
24 x Rafales
36 x Strike Eagles
12 x Mirage 2000 (which I assumed are set to be replaced)

Despite the loving embrace of the US, I suspect there's a more sinister game at play here. The startling new Bahrain/Israel/UAE alliance of convenience will not be
too happy either.

https://www.reuters.com/article/qatar-i ... ce=twitter

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

Postby dmereifield » 07 Oct 2020, 23:52

Jensy wrote:Qatar makes formal request for F-35 jets

They're not building an air force. They're building a flying circus, and buying influence with their defence budget.

If (and I sincerely hope not) this goes through, they will add to a fleet of:

24 x Typhoons
24 x Rafales
36 x Strike Eagles
12 x Mirage 2000 (which I assumed are set to be replaced)

Despite the loving embrace of the US, I suspect there's a more sinister game at play here. The startling new Bahrain/Israel/UAE alliance of convenience will not be
too happy either.

https://www.reuters.com/article/qatar-i ... ce=twitter


Just need Gripen for the full set?

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Oct 2020, 02:56

They're building a flying circus, and buying influence with their defence budget.
Yep, buying London (and influence in that way) came cheaply :)
The startling new Bahrain/Israel/UAE alliance of convenience will not be
too happy either.
The fact that ' Abraham Accord' had a side letter of F-35s for UAE is the driver for this; effectively Qatar saying that if you do not love me more, you'll have to demonstrate at least equal 'love'
dmereifield wrote:Just need Gripen for the full set?
Set up an 'Aggressor Sqdrn' :D The Empire Flying School could do graduations after a bout of flying against it as a final exam...

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

Postby Jensy » 08 Oct 2020, 11:15

ArmChairCivvy wrote:The fact that ' Abraham Accord' had a side letter of F-35s for UAE is the driver for this; effectively Qatar saying that if you do not love me more, you'll have to demonstrate at least equal 'love'


They may very well overplay their hand.

Despite very public noises to the contrary, Jerusalem is pretty happy for the UAE to fly F-35. Defence ties, that have been building for the best part of five years, are now in the open and look set to escalate rapidly.

The UAE will be exhibiting at ISDEF (when it next happens) and Israel will have its own section at IDEX 2021 in the Emirates.

Qatar however will be perceived as the 'Hamas/MB Air Force' by Israel and their new Gulf friends.

Whether Trump (or Biden) would care is a separate matter.



On a very different note, looks like an F-35 got into trouble, let out an emergency squawk and diverted to Kinloss. Despite initial suggestions it was a USMC aircraft, photos show it was RAF:


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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Oct 2020, 11:26

Jensy wrote:the 'Hamas/MB Air Force'
with a massive USAF base and our whole Expeditionary Airwing - stretching from the Med to the Gulf - commanded out of there.

As you say, they might not get the a/c (as they don't need them) but it is a way of signalling "don't forget us".

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

Postby Timmymagic » 08 Oct 2020, 18:46

ArmChairCivvy wrote:with a massive USAF base and our whole Expeditionary Airwing - stretching from the Med to the Gulf - commanded out of there.

As you say, they might not get the a/c (as they don't need them) but it is a way of signalling "don't forget us".


I hope the US extracts a Qatar/Israel peace deal as the price...

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

Postby Bring Deeps » 09 Oct 2020, 13:13

This is interesting, sounds like USMC pilot, so true interoperability.


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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Oct 2020, 16:20

Timmymagic wrote:40 F-35A for £5bn (although it would probably be slightly lower for the UK as we wouldn't be buying the small numbers of US munitions included in the deal


The full works ( scale up with 64/40 x...) for the Finns come at
$12.5 billion request for 64 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
- with all weapons (I think the Swiss won't require cruise missiles for a field trip to decimate the OpFor in their bases?)

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

Postby NickC » 15 Oct 2020, 08:49

Ron5 wrote:
NickC wrote:but it does thru into doubt the recent talk of ~$80


No it doesn't Mr Hater.


Reading the SavetheRoyalNavy 300+ posts this morning on T31 and saw the comment by 'X' on your posts,

"Now I have finished laughing at you pomposity and stupidity" and "You really are an idiot. Why don’t you go troll somewhere else?"

I LOL :clap:

BlueD954
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby BlueD954 » 12 Nov 2020, 15:47

https://questions-statements.parliament ... -09/113006

By December 2020, when the UK declares Initial Operating Capability (Maritime), 17 aircraft will be fully carrier compatible. The remaining four aircraft will have the required modifications completed as part of an ongoing programme of work.

***

Slowly does it.

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

Postby whitelancer » 12 Nov 2020, 23:48

Less the development aircraft, aren't they delivered carrier capable?
What mods are needed?

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Nov 2020, 06:55

whitelancer wrote: aren't they delivered carrier capable?
What mods are needed?
Exactly. All I can think of is that the SPN-41 instrument landing system is being replaced in the USN (fitted in during the QE's build) and in 2017 there was controversy re: whether it would be replaced by the nxt-gen system, MoD spokesman was noncommittal then “No decision has been taken as to whether HMS Prince of Wales will be equipped with the Joint Precision Landing and Approach System (JPALS), or whether the system will be retro-fitted to HMS Queen Elizabeth”.
- the UK specific rolling landing for weapons/fuel bringback is a closely related topic (which generally has been reported going well, but perhaps some mods are needed to make it a safe 'routine')

There is a possibility that the statement is 'code' for the extra costs that will be incurred from Block 4 (a much ;) discussed topic upthread).

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

Postby bobp » 13 Nov 2020, 07:59

ArmChairCivvy wrote:There is a possibility that the statement is 'code' for the extra costs that will be incurred from Block 4


If these 4 aircraft are early production models they may require a lot of rework to bring them up to the newest standard, including hardware and software.

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

Postby topman » 13 Nov 2020, 08:17

whitelancer wrote:Less the development aircraft, aren't they delivered carrier capable?
What mods are needed?


All depends on how you define 'capable'.

There's always mods need to done, it's never ending. Some big some small.

BlueD954
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Postby BlueD954 » 14 Nov 2020, 04:39

whitelancer wrote:Less the development aircraft, aren't they delivered carrier capable?
What mods are needed?


That's only the IOC date so by FOC....

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

Postby Old RN » 14 Nov 2020, 06:32

Does the 17 capable and 4 not yet capable F35Bs mean that the UK now has 21 F35B delivered by the end of the year? With 17 at Marham that would imply that in a Falklands 2.0 the carriers could credibly sail with at least 16 F35B?

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

Postby Timmymagic » 14 Nov 2020, 13:40

Old RN wrote:Does the 17 capable and 4 not yet capable F35Bs mean that the UK now has 21 F35B delivered by the end of the year? With 17 at Marham that would imply that in a Falklands 2.0 the carriers could credibly sail with at least 16 F35B?


Have a look at my post on page 191 on the delivery schedule. There should be 18 at Marham by the end of the year. I think BK-03 and the 3 ITF aircraft are the 'non-carrier capable' aircraft. BK-03 is the one that will cost a lot of money to update to Blk.IV standard (still far cheaper than buying a replacement though).

As to sailing with 16 it depends how 'credible' that is. We could certainly get 16 on the deck of a carrier (we might have to crane a few on...), how many would be airworthy, how many fully combat capable, how long we could sustain them with parts etc. would be questionable. Remember although Sea Harrier was comparatively new in 1982 we still had a lot of infrastructure, production capacity, personnel etc. which had been developed as part of the overall Harrier programme that we could lean on.


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