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Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

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Jake1992
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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Jake1992 » 04 Jan 2020, 13:22

Lord Jim wrote:We will probably purchase additional F-35s down the line but these will not increase the number in service but rather replace older versions maintaining a pool of available airframes at around 50.


To me this shows how perfectly sad our situation is, for a nation that is aspiring to global influence and a 2 super carrier force to only have 50 aircraft suitable for this role is down right abysmal.

HMG need to recognise that to have any real global influence you need a strong armoured forces, nothing shows this better that Russia. Despite what we like to think Russia has global influence but why ? It’s economy is smaller than Italy’s, it’s manufacturing exports are smaller than our own, it’s cultural export / impact is almost non existent. Yet it has global influence due to a large and powerful armed forces.

Another example is China, 20 odd years ago is was still an economic force in the world but wasn’t seen as a real power, now it has a large modern armed forces it seen to be the next superpower.
Closer to home you could look at Germany, been an economic power house for decades now but it’s voice on the world stage is no where near a big as it’s economy due to it very weak forces.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Timmymagic » 04 Jan 2020, 14:40

Jake1992 wrote:To me this shows how perfectly sad our situation is, for a nation that is aspiring to global influence and a 2 super carrier force to only have 50 aircraft suitable for this role is down right abysmal.


50 Stealth fighters that are deployable, without gutting home defence forces would put us in the top 4-5 military powers on earth...easily.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 04 Jan 2020, 15:48

Not sure I follow why f-35 & tempest orders can't over lap. And when will tempest be ready for service? I'll take any plan date and add 5 years and still be early.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 04 Jan 2020, 15:52

Timmymagic wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:To me this shows how perfectly sad our situation is, for a nation that is aspiring to global influence and a 2 super carrier force to only have 50 aircraft suitable for this role is down right abysmal.


50 Stealth fighters that are deployable, without gutting home defence forces would put us in the top 4-5 military powers on earth...easily.


I wish I had a dollar for how many times folks on this board ripped Germany n France for promising large orders in shared projects to get workshare then reneging.

If you think 138 down to 50 won't get noticed by Congress, think again.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Cooper » 04 Jan 2020, 16:06

Ron5 wrote:If you think 138 down to 50 won't get noticed by Congress, think again.


Yeah well, if you thought that refusing to handover full control of the F-35B source codes to your supposedly 'closest ally' wouldn't go unnoticed, thereby reminding the Government & armed forces of the need for a fully UK soveriegn jet , think again.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Caribbean » 04 Jan 2020, 17:37

Cooper wrote:if you thought that refusing to handover full control of the F-35B source codes to your supposedly 'closest ally' wouldn't go unnoticed, thereby reminding the Government & armed forces of the need for a fully UK soveriegn jet , think again

.... couple that with Germany refusing to allow the UK to sell Typhoon to whoever they want to and there, in a nutshell, are your compelling reasons for the Tempest program.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 04 Jan 2020, 17:54

Whatever makes you sleep at night after breaking your promise I guess.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby mr.fred » 04 Jan 2020, 18:04

In fairness, the US is having problems getting all the access to the software that it wants.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Jake1992 » 04 Jan 2020, 21:05

Timmymagic wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:To me this shows how perfectly sad our situation is, for a nation that is aspiring to global influence and a 2 super carrier force to only have 50 aircraft suitable for this role is down right abysmal.


50 Stealth fighters that are deployable, without gutting home defence forces would put us in the top 4-5 military powers on earth...easily.


You forget the F35B is here to replace both sea and RAF harriers along with the tornados, so what we are talking is 140 odd air craft plus add to this the fact that the carriers now require a larger complement so keep parity we talking really needing 170 odd air craft in service.

The typhoons May of taken over some of the tornados roles but unless the tornados are replaced it’s stills cut as the typhoons were in service at the same time as the tornados.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 04 Jan 2020, 23:35

Two of the seen Typhoon units are only temporary until the F-35 sleet stands up so we are not likely to see more then eight frontline fast jet squadrons moving forward. We will buy more than 50 F-35s, but I do not thinks we will ever have more than a pool of fifth airframes available at anyone time.

Going over the number of fast jet squadrons now has compared to the turn of the century is depressing enough but it gets worse when you look at the number of aircraft in each squadron. This is partly dur to the change in maintenance practices but when you look at how many aircraft other nations have per squadron it isn't encouraging. We have almost by accident adopted the French structure of a Wing containing two or three small squadrons, we just haven't formalised it yet.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Jake1992 » 05 Jan 2020, 01:41

The problem is before 2010 we had what 150 odd typhoons, 70 odd tornadoes and 70 odd harriers in service to do all the RAF tasks and fill 3 carrier with a 20 odd air craft capacity each.
We are now looking at having 150 odd typhoons and 50 odd F35Bs in service to do all the same RAF tasks if not more over the coming decade and to fill 2 carriers with 60 air craft capacity each. We’re asking to do more with 90 odd less planes.

What makes it even worse is some on here think we’ll get no more than 80 odd tempest to replace all our typhoons. This is just maddening.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Jan 2020, 07:19

Timmymagic wrote: have to wonder that as the costs for new F-35 fall as we reach FRP if the MoD won't just bite the bullet and order new production rather than updating older aircraft. So by 2025/6 (if the order for the extra 13 a/c is placed) we could have c40 F-35B that are actually combat capable, with c8 a/c just for test or training only.

Realistically any orders of additional F-35B need to take place before 2030. Otherwise they will directly conflict with 'Tempest' orders for the planned entry to service of 2035.


V accurate, I would say. That 'combat capable' brings to mind how it was announced in the US,
- USMC (to go first) was honest, of their a/c being combat capable for a limited number of missions (but key to its role with the Marines)
- USAF told blatant lies, just to keep the Congress 'off its tail'... meaning not withholding funding
- and the Navy took its time as the test results were in the public domain, for every one to see.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 05 Jan 2020, 08:54

Jake1992 wrote:The problem is before 2010 we had what 150 odd typhoons, 70 odd tornadoes and 70 odd harriers in service


No we didn’t.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby topman » 05 Jan 2020, 10:03

Lord Jim wrote:Going over the number of fast jet squadrons now has compared to the turn of the century is depressing enough but it gets worse when you look at the number of aircraft in each squadron. This is partly dur to the change in maintenance practices but when you look at how many aircraft other nations have per squadron it isn't encouraging. We have almost by accident adopted the French structure of a Wing containing two or three small squadrons, we just haven't formalised it yet.


The numbers on each sqn haven't changed much. What sqn are you thinking of?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 05 Jan 2020, 10:33

Well at one time there were sixteen aircraft on a squadron but then with the maintenance system at it was a certain number would be unavailable. Now a days things are different, with the Forward and deep systems and so a squadron really only counts the aircraft available, with the most a Squadron can expect to have available at anyone time usually being twelve but often less. I suppose things could be looked at as being the same just different accounting methods. Anyway Squadrons really don't matter except for the historians, what matters is the total number of aircraft in the fleet available at anyone time. Maybe Squadrons should not actually have any aircraft in future, but instead be deployable joint headquarters and support units, that manage a given number of aircraft when deployed, together with a number of engineering and other technical personnel from the forward and deep support elements.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby topman » 05 Jan 2020, 10:53

Sqn numbers aren't rigid they change as required. I'm not sure which sqns you mean had 16, F3 sqns possibly, GR4 didn't.
A certain number will always been unavailable, that's no different to what it was and is now.
Sqns shouldn't have any a/c ? Totally lost me on that one. Genuine question, have you ever seen how a flying sqn works day to day?

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Jake1992 » 05 Jan 2020, 12:27

SW1 wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:The problem is before 2010 we had what 150 odd typhoons, 70 odd tornadoes and 70 odd harriers in service


No we didn’t.


Admitingly I may have got my individual aircraft numbers wrong but in 2007 the RAF had around 210 fighters made up of around 75% tornados, add to this the fact the the UK 70 odd harrier fleet wasn’t brought by the US until 2011 means that around 2007-2010 time the UK has roughly 250 plus fighters do not far off what I mentioned above.

This goes to show the point I made about the RAF having to do the same if not more over the coming decade with less fighters along with the fact the were putting out 2 carrier that have twice the capacity of the 3 they replaced yet with expected 20 less fighters.

This becomes even worse if what many on here think with tempest numbers comes to pass down to only 80 odd.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 05 Jan 2020, 13:01

Jake1992 wrote:
SW1 wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:The problem is before 2010 we had what 150 odd typhoons, 70 odd tornadoes and 70 odd harriers in service


No we didn’t.


Admitingly I may have got my individual aircraft numbers wrong but in 2007 the RAF had around 210 fighters made up of around 75% tornados, add to this the fact the the UK 70 odd harrier fleet wasn’t brought by the US until 2011 means that around 2007-2010 time the UK has roughly 250 plus fighters do not far off what I mentioned above.

This goes to show the point I made about the RAF having to do the same if not more over the coming decade with less fighters along with the fact the were putting out 2 carrier that have twice the capacity of the 3 they replaced yet with expected 20 less fighters.

This becomes even worse if what many on here think with tempest numbers comes to pass down to only 80 odd.


Depends if your just counting airframes flyable or not or inservice ie those flying, in fwd or depth maintenance. If it’s the latter by the mind to end of the 00’s. I think there’s want more than about 100 tornado, and about 45 typhoon and 45 harriers inservice. Part of going from single role to multi roles always means numbers would reduce but your right it also means that what is possible also reduces and what can be deployed reduces as well.

As for the carriers there capacity is irrelevant to what will be deployed. For example mount pleasant can handle way more than 4 typhoons but only 4 are deployed. The capacity is in theory a future proof against a once in a generation event. The RN were repeated told they were mad to go so big before they were built but then ploughed on regardless we weren’t going to run a very large scale air war from a carrier

Tempest is to deliver a range of capabilities to begin replacing the Typhoon force from about 2035 onward. The primary and only vital fast task post the withdrawal of NQRA is the national air defence task. While there are many other important fast jet tasks that’s the main one that needs to be maintained. It will be extremely unlikely that will be meet by the b version of f35.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Ron5 » 05 Jan 2020, 16:33

I suspect when tempest is ready for production, individually and without any reseach and development costs, they will run three times the then cost of the f-35b's. Which will make the MoD's life interesting.

Must admit I enjoyed reading that the primary rationale of tempest was to fight the next battle of britain.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Lord Jim » 05 Jan 2020, 17:04

topman wrote:Sqns shouldn't have any a/c ? Totally lost me on that one. Genuine question, have you ever seen how a flying sqn works day to day?

I was trying to think outside of the box, badly in this case. Yes I know how a flying Squadron works, I worked with them for fifteen years, retiring seventeen years ago, but we have to do more with less resources moving forward.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Jake1992 » 05 Jan 2020, 17:19

SW1 wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:
SW1 wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:The problem is before 2010 we had what 150 odd typhoons, 70 odd tornadoes and 70 odd harriers in service


No we didn’t.


Admitingly I may have got my individual aircraft numbers wrong but in 2007 the RAF had around 210 fighters made up of around 75% tornados, add to this the fact the the UK 70 odd harrier fleet wasn’t brought by the US until 2011 means that around 2007-2010 time the UK has roughly 250 plus fighters do not far off what I mentioned above.

This goes to show the point I made about the RAF having to do the same if not more over the coming decade with less fighters along with the fact the were putting out 2 carrier that have twice the capacity of the 3 they replaced yet with expected 20 less fighters.

This becomes even worse if what many on here think with tempest numbers comes to pass down to only 80 odd.


Depends if your just counting airframes flyable or not or inservice ie those flying, in fwd or depth maintenance. If it’s the latter by the mind to end of the 00’s. I think there’s want more than about 100 tornado, and about 45 typhoon and 45 harriers inservice. Part of going from single role to multi roles always means numbers would reduce but your right it also means that what is possible also reduces and what can be deployed reduces as well.

As for the carriers there capacity is irrelevant to what will be deployed. For example mount pleasant can handle way more than 4 typhoons but only 4 are deployed. The capacity is in theory a future proof against a once in a generation event. The RN were repeated told they were mad to go so big before they were built but then ploughed on regardless we weren’t going to run a very large scale air war from a carrier

Tempest is to deliver a range of capabilities to begin replacing the Typhoon force from about 2035 onward. The primary and only vital fast task post the withdrawal of NQRA is the national air defence task. While there are many other important fast jet tasks that’s the main one that needs to be maintained. It will be extremely unlikely that will be meet by the b version of f35.


Over all fleet numbers have been cut, now how ever you look at it up if you cut over numbers the knock on effect is a cut to useable numbers.
We have gone from an over all fleer of 250 odd to one of 150 odd and that my drop further still.
The idea behind multi role is to make a fleet more flexible and should of seen as close to one for one replacement as possible, saying they are multi role so less are need is a political sound bite to gloss over cuts just how the T45 cuts we covered over with they’re more capable.

The QEs were planned by HMG in the 97 review, HMG cane to the conclusion that 2 large carriers were needed to match their ambitions. Only people who tended to be against carriers kept repeating one this size are not needed.
They’re capacity does matter as they were designed at that capacity for a reason not just random, the issue has been that 2010 cuts are now mean the aircraft won’t be there to fill them even at max effort. Nothing more that a perfetic showing really.

Tempest will be used in a multitude of roles and have a multitude of capabilities but this should not be used as an excuse to cut. I agree their main task will be national air defence but if you are saying that is all the numbers we need then we no longer have an offensive Air Force capability.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby Tempest414 » 05 Jan 2020, 17:37

Jake1992 wrote:Admitingly I may have got my individual aircraft numbers wrong but in 2007 the RAF had around 210 fighters made up of


just for shits in 2007 the UK fast jet fleet was made like so

Tornado GR units x 8 Sqn's ( 2, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 31 ,617)

Tornado F3 x 4 Sqn's ( 25 , 43, 56, 111)

Harrier x 4 sqn's ( 1 ,4, 20, 800 NAS )

Typhoon x 3 sqn's ( 3 , 6, 11 )

total 19 squadrons plus 4 jets in the Falklands = 232 jets deployable as needed

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby topman » 05 Jan 2020, 17:52

Lord Jim wrote:
topman wrote:Sqns shouldn't have any a/c ? Totally lost me on that one. Genuine question, have you ever seen how a flying sqn works day to day?

I was trying to think outside of the box, badly in this case. Yes I know how a flying Squadron works, I worked with them for fifteen years, retiring seventeen years ago, but we have to do more with less resources moving forward.


More often than not the only thing you get with less is less.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby SW1 » 05 Jan 2020, 18:28

Jake1992 wrote:Tempest will be used in a multitude of roles and have a multitude of capabilities but this should not be used as an excuse to cut. I agree their main task will be national air defence but if you are saying that is all the numbers we need then we no longer have an offensive Air Force capability.


It will have multiple roles but it’s primary one will be control of the air. In a peer conflict ie one against Russia the defence counter air requirement will be quite large. How exactly the offensive mission in such a conflict would develop before the nuclear one is an interesting question. The typhoon of course has sort of 7 sqns now and the hope would be these are replaced 1 for one with whatever develops out of tempest. The offensive capability will as it is with typhoon be an important part of tempest. However if numbers do not increase and there not likely too the numbers committed to any offensive mission will be dictated by how many are tasked to the NATO air policing mission.

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Re: Future UK Combat Aircraft (Project Tempest)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Jan 2020, 19:21

SW1 wrote:it’s primary one will be control of the air. In a peer conflict ie one against Russia the defence counter air requirement will be quite large

Large as in area that will need to be covered (or large as numbers required for the intensity?); would say that the former as the Kinzhal is dual purpose (nuclear/ not so) and Tyler Rogoway (in the Drive) gives these stats for its reach (to our fewer and fewer fighter stations): It reportedly has a range of approximately 1,250 miles and a top speed of more than 10 times the speed of sound. According to the Russian president, units in the country’s Southern Military District, which borders Ukraine and the Black Sea, have deployed the missiles operationally.

Sputnik goes one better and writes about a second squadron (for the Baltic region) being rolled out:
https://de.sputniknews.com/politik/2018 ... im-dienst/
- all observers seem to buy the story that the missile is a ship killer (i.e. defensive) when it could be quite potent in offensive counter-air use


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