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
138
44%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
13
4%
Uncertain (RN)
15
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
60
19%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
42
13%
Uncertain (RAF)
45
14%
 
Total votes: 313

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

Post by Jensy »

Dahedd wrote:
Jensy wrote: Would agree, but what the RAF probably needs is a couple of squadrons of medium bombers - bring back the Vulcan :P
Think that was Repulse's suggestion. Mine would have been to bring back the Victor!
Dahedd wrote: Totally OT but how's about a Bomber version of the P8 Poseidon. Think a P8 with all the ASW/ASuW gear ripped out & replaced with EW/ECM gear. It has the bomb bay, it has the wing pylons.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... 134202?amp
The P-8 airframe (despite their P-1 picture) does seem to offer quite a capable non-penetrating platform for stand-off weapons, in the same vein as the Chinese H-6K. Whether it will be fit for purpose in a decade plus against a peer adversary is to be seen. Not quite B-21 Raider prices (c.$650m) but it won't be overly cheap either.

Sadly, the title of 'last British bomber' will belong to the; Vulcan, Buccaneer, Nimrod or Tornado depending on your perspective. I'd even make a case for the retirement of the final Canberra PR.9, despite them having been specifically built for recon purposes.

Meanwhile... back on F-35B related content :oops: from the US Navy League periodical:

https://seapowermagazine.org/carrier-gr ... -officers/

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

Post by Little J »

Surely BAe still has the drawings for the Vulcan :thumbup:

... And the Victor too 8-)

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

Post by Repulse »

Little J wrote:Surely BAe still has the drawings for the Vulcan :thumbup:

... And the Victor too 8-)
Can’t be that difficult to build an unmanned version?!
:idea: :wtf:
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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

Post by Ron5 »

downsizer wrote:B-21 I think.....
Medium bomber? Yikes !!

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

Post by Bring Deeps »

Timmymagic wrote:
jonas wrote:Of the six aircraft due this year, how many have been delivered up to the present date.
Zero.
Just seen something on SM that said next 3 are on their way over to the UK.

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Bring Deeps wrote:Just seen something on SM that said next 3 are on their way over to the UK.
That will be it for this year by the sounds of it.

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

Post by Timmymagic »

The 3 aircraft (down from the expected 6 this year) will be on the way shortly. RAF have taken delivery.


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

Post by Timmymagic »

And weirdly I actually saw this Dutch F-35 trail heading out in the opposite direction on Monday, over Whitby. The KC-10 taking them over is a USAF one, and not the last Dutch KDC-10 that was in air at the same time on its way to Omega Air in Duluth. The F-35 are heading to the US for training (8 F-35 with 2 KC-10 from the USAF).


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

Post by Timmymagic »

Made a rod for my own back here....time to update this again...

Here's the delivery timeline again...any changes since last time in Red

So of the UK's '48' here's the status:
Note - Delivery is 'usually' a minimum of 2 years after order.

Delivered to date (N.B. Dates below are order date)

LRIP 1 - April 2007 - No UK Orders, (US F-35A only)
LRIP 2 - July 2007 - No UK Orders (6 F-35B for USMC, first F-35B order)
LRIP 3 - May 2008 - 2 x UK F-35B order - Test aircraft for ITF (not combat capable)
LRIP 4 - Nov 2009 - 1 x UK F-35B order - First 'Combat Capable' aircraft - BK-03
LRIP 5 - Dec 2011 - No UK Orders
LRIP 6 - Sept 2013 - No UK Orders
LRIP 7 - Sept 2013 - 1 x UK F-35B Order - Additional Test aircraft for ITF (not combat capable)
LRIP 8 - Nov 2014 - 4 x UK F-35B Order
LRIP 9 - Nov 2015 - 6 x UK F-35B Order
LRIP 10 - 2016 - 3 x UK F-35B Order
LRIP 11 - 2017 - 1 x UK F-35B Order
LRIP 12 - Nov 2018 - 3 x UK F-35B Order
LRIP 13 - Nov 2018 - 3 x UK F-35B Order - Part order delivered in Oct 21 consisting of 3 a/c, 3 a/c pushed back into 2022

Total - 24 Delivered - Consisting of 21 'Combat Capable' F-35B and 3 F-35B ITF test aircraft.

On Order, Not delivered - (N.B. LRIP's 12, 13 and 14 were ordered simultaneously as a 'Bulk Buy')

LRIP 13 - Nov 2018 - 3 x UK F-35B Order - Part order delivered in Oct 21 consisting of 3 a/c, 3 a/c delivery pushed back into 2022
LRIP 14 - Nov 2018 - 8 x UK F-35B Order - 3 a/c from this order likely to be delivered in 2022 (along with the 3 remaining LRIP 13 a/c), the remaining 5 a/c will be delivered in 2023

N.B. - LRIP 13 and 14 have been affected by COVID delays. Given the completion dates of the LRIP 13 a/c delivered in Oct 21 it is possible that we might see the remaining 3 a/c of that LRIP delivered in the first part of 2022 rather than at the tail end of the year that we have gotten used to. LRIP 14's 3 a/c for delivery in 2022 might turn up at the back end of the year.

Total - 11 contracted, being manufactured

Next Steps
Full Rate Production Orders (FRP) - (N.B. Will be placed once pricing agreed, dates are est. delivery dates)

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

N.B. - Worth noting that the production timeline appears to be 2 years from order to delivery. For FRP Delivery 1 to take place in 2023 the order looks likely to need to be placed by the end of 2021. However, this is dependent on Full Rate Pricing being agreed....which has been a long running, dismal saga to date....it looks likely that FRP Delivery 1 of 2 a/c in 2023 is still supposed to happen as well...they need to get them ordered very soon... All FRP 2 and 3 a/c will be delivered by December 2025 according to MoD. Important to note that most deliveries to the UK tend to happen at the end of the year. This should be taken into account when standing up of new Sqn's is mentioned.

Total - 13 Promised/Confirmed will be ordered by MoD

Since last time the only change has been the confirmation from MoD that they do intend to procure more than 48 F-35B, with additional buys being explored. A total in service of 60 has been mentioned. The 138 figure now appears to have been abandoned even in MoD comms. For my money if they want to get to 60 (although even then thats not perfect, a fleet of mid 70's would be good, with mid 90's ideal, though spectacularly unlikely...) they need to order them in 2026-2029. After that Tempest will start to suck the Combat Air budget dry.

However....the recent budget actually cuts the MoD's funds for the next few years in real terms, so I'd guess unless the MoD can do some very fancy footwork that any orders beyond 48 are back in the 'unlikely' category any time soon...

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

Post by jonas »

Much appreciated :thumbup:

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

Post by SW1 »

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/10 ... 35-engine/

WASHINGTON — The Air Force may decide that it can’t afford to build an entirely new, advanced engine for its F-35A Lightning II fighter jet, the Raytheon Technologies chief executive said Tuesday.
In 2016, the Air Force awarded Raytheon-owned Pratt & Whitney and General Electric Aviation each a billion-dollar contract to develop a new F-35A engine under the Adaptive Engine Transition Program. This engine is intended to deliver better fuel efficiency and thrust by using a third stream of air.

However, Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes said in a call with analysts Tuesday morning paying for the new adaptive engine will be a “tough putt” for the Air Force.
Because the adaptive engine could not be used in the F-35B, the Marine Corps’ vertical takeoff and landing variant or the Navy’s carrier-based F-35C, Hayes said the Air Force would bear its entire development cost.

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

Post by Timmymagic »

The 3 new aircraft are at Marham. Should be 13 there at present (for the remainder of the 24 UK owned aircraft 3 are in the US, 8 on QE).


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

Post by Ron5 »

Timmymagic wrote:Made a rod for my own back here...
Many thanks :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

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

Post by Jdam »

SW1 wrote:https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/10 ... 35-engine/

Because the adaptive engine could not be used in the F-35B, the Marine Corps’ vertical takeoff and landing variant or the Navy’s carrier-based F-35C, Hayes said the Air Force would bear its entire development cost.
Surprised about the C engine I always thought the A and C shared the same engine. Anyone know the difference?
Timmymagic wrote:The 3 new aircraft are at Marham. Should be 13 there at present (for the remainder of the 24 UK owned aircraft 3 are in the US, 8 on QE).

These F-35's will have 3F software?

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

SW1 wrote:Because the adaptive engine could not be used in the F-35B, the Marine Corps’ vertical takeoff and landing variant or the Navy’s carrier-based F-35C, Hayes said the Air Force would bear its entire development cost
Oops... and I don't mean the Bs in USMC service.
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.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Timmymagic »

Jdam wrote:Surprised about the C engine I always thought the A and C shared the same engine. Anyone know the difference?
Apparently its to do with the arrestor hook area. No space.
Jdam wrote:These F-35's will have 3F software?
Yes, Block IV is not released yet. However these aircraft have been built with it in mind. But even then its likely, in terms of hardware, they will need a new processor, new DAS and EW improvements (including additional aerials) to hit the Lot 17, Block IV standard that the UK should be aiming for.

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

Post by NickC »

SW1 wrote:https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/10 ... 35-engine/

WASHINGTON — The Air Force may decide that it can’t afford to build an entirely new, advanced engine for its F-35A Lightning II fighter jet, the Raytheon Technologies chief executive said Tuesday.
In 2016, the Air Force awarded Raytheon-owned Pratt & Whitney and General Electric Aviation each a billion-dollar contract to develop a new F-35A engine under the Adaptive Engine Transition Program. This engine is intended to deliver better fuel efficiency and thrust by using a third stream of air.

However, Raytheon CEO Greg Hayes said in a call with analysts Tuesday morning paying for the new adaptive engine will be a “tough putt” for the Air Force.
Because the adaptive engine could not be used in the F-35B, the Marine Corps’ vertical takeoff and landing variant or the Navy’s carrier-based F-35C, Hayes said the Air Force would bear its entire development cost.
My take on Raytheon comments
Raytheon which is the parent company of Pratt & Whitney saying USAF might no be able to afford the new gen multi-billion Adaptive Engine Transition Program intended to replace the F-35 P&W F135, ADTP sized to fit F135 hole and to deliver a 25% improvement in fuel efficiency, a 30% increase in aircraft operating range and a 5-10 % increase in thrust by using a third stream of air. The P&W ADTP XA101 could not be used in the F-35B or F-35C, whereas the GE saying their ADTP version XA100 could be used in both F-35A and F-35C, again no mention fitting in F-35B.

P&W saying best if USAF stick with an upgraded F135 with more cooling and thrust which would be at significantly lower cost than the ADTP, which will be important as F-35 Block 4 version is rolled out.

The above Raytheon comments reflect the possibility 50% chance P&W XA101 will lose out to the competing GE XA100 if ADTP goes ahead, may make sense for USAF to stick with upgraded F135 for the F-35 but both USAF/USN want the new gen ADTP for their new 6th generation fighters (mention that the GE second prototypes of its XA100 engine to be under test before year end, operational time frame target 2027/2028).

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

NickC wrote: both USAF/USN want the new gen ADTP for their new 6th generation fighters
I think you got to the gist on this one
... I was quite taken aback by the sudden negativity.
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)

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

Post by Jensy »

Timmymagic wrote:Since last time the only change has been the confirmation from MoD that they do intend to procure more than 48 F-35B, with additional buys being explored. A total in service of 60 has been mentioned. The 138 figure now appears to have been abandoned even in MoD comms.
From today's Select Committee session, Jeremy Quin at 17:15:40.

- Decision on future numbers not to be made till 2025 (which suggests a gap in procurement unless LockMart is keeping some slots for us)

- 138 Lightnings "still there"; "as a defined number"; "not dismissing that number".

- Admiral Radakin talks of a "second carrier airwing", composed of "jets and drones".

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

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

Post by Ron5 »

My advice is to not read Minister Freer's Twitter feed like I did :?

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

Post by Ron5 »

Jensy wrote:
Timmymagic wrote:Since last time the only change has been the confirmation from MoD that they do intend to procure more than 48 F-35B, with additional buys being explored. A total in service of 60 has been mentioned. The 138 figure now appears to have been abandoned even in MoD comms.
From today's Select Committee session, Jeremy Quin at 17:15:40.

- Decision on future numbers not to be made till 2025 (which suggests a gap in procurement unless LockMart is keeping some slots for us)

- 138 Lightnings "still there"; "as a defined number"; "not dismissing that number".

- Admiral Radakin talks of a "second carrier airwing", composed of "jets and drones".
Is 2025 the next defence review?

PS yes it's defined by the UK commitment to buy that many

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

Post by Timmymagic »

LM are pushing the F-35 to 4 new countries in Europe at the moment. Obviously Finland with the HX Competition is one, the other 3 are the Czech Republic, apparently for 40 F-35A, Greece (no surprise) and Spain.

The Spanish numbers quoted were an eye opener, remember this is LM's proposal, not a Spanish competition/requirement at present....25 x F-35A and 25 x F-35B. The 25 x F-35B would be a replacement for the AV-8B+ fleet, but....the number seems high. The Spanish Navy only has 12 AV-8B+ in service and the Juan Carlos I can't handle much more than that. They can make that number work as they never have more than 8 at sea, and like the French, have synced the major maintenance cycles of the ship and aircraft together. Not sure if the Juan Carlos 1 could handle 12 x F-35B efficiently with any helo's attached. The only reason I can see for the 25 F-35A mentioned would be a speculative offer to try and head off the purchase of 20 Typhoon Tranche 4 that Airbus has been trying to negotiate to replace the oldest EF-18's in Spanish Air Force service. Despite being mentioned a long time ago the contract has yet to be concluded.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defe ... -customers (subscriber content)

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Jensy wrote:- Decision on future numbers not to be made till 2025 (which suggests a gap in procurement unless LockMart is keeping some slots for us)
Given the c2 year lead time that means no deliveries in 2026. However, it might be the fact that the current re-profiling to the UK's deliveries over the next couple of years feeds into the years beyond to a degree, wouldn't be surprised to see some of 2025's deliveries slip into 2026. Given that an order for F-35B is expected soon for South Korea, and there is a likely order for Spain in the works I don't think there will be slots open on spec.
Jensy wrote:- 138 Lightnings "still there"; "as a defined number"; "not dismissing that number".
First time its been heard for a while...wonder how much longer MoD can keep up the pretence...

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

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Timmymagic wrote:4 new countries in Europe at the moment. Obviously Finland with the HX Competition is one, the other 2 are the Czech Republic, apparently for 40 F-35A, Greece (no surprise) and Spain. The Spanish numbers quoted were an eye opener....25 F-35A and 25 F-35B.
The Spanish number seems like the Italian one.. ever shrinking. But keeping the balance (between the navy and the AF)
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)

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