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
140
44%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
13
4%
Uncertain (RN)
15
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
62
20%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
44
14%
Uncertain (RAF)
43
14%
 
Total votes: 317

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Tempest414
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Tempest414 »

Now if you are talking about the 74 it is the number that AM Knighton stated to the Defence committee on the 28th his words were we have a fixed contract for 48 jets and we are now in talks with Lockheed for another 26 jets on top of the 48 on contract

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

Post by Scimitar54 »

48 + 26 are the known (factual) numbers, but do not forget to subtract 3 (+ 1). So number of aircraft available would be 70.
The rest is nothing but pure fiction. I could write a novel myself, but I will not.

Perhaps you also believe that the QEC are too large, bearing in mind that you are advocating a Wartime Maximum of only 2/3rds of the capacity that the ships were designed for.

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

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Scimitar54 wrote: 30 Apr 2022, 12:28 48 + 26 are the known (factual) numbers, but do not forget to subtract 3 (+ 1). So number of aircraft available would be 70.
The rest is nothing but pure fiction. I could write a novel myself, but I will not.

Perhaps you also believe that the QEC are too large, bearing in mind that you are advocating a Wartime Maximum of only 2/3rds of the capacity that the ships were designed for.
It would be great if we could surge 36 F35b's on one carrier for certain deployments, including wartime, but that prospect won't be achievable for many years yet.

And agree with the need to increase the number of missiles certified for use on F35b including Meteor.

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

Post by Tempest414 »

Scimitar54 wrote: 30 Apr 2022, 12:28 48 + 26 are the known (factual) numbers, but do not forget to subtract 3 (+ 1). So number of aircraft available would be 70.
The rest is nothing but pure fiction. I could write a novel myself, but I will not.

Perhaps you also believe that the QEC are too large, bearing in mind that you are advocating a Wartime Maximum of only 2/3rds of the capacity that the ships were designed for.
No where did I say a War time Maximum of 25 jets

And no I am more than happy with the size of the Carriers having a wartime deployment of 50 jets 25 jets per Carrier is a good place to start these could be surged by a USMC Sqn to make 35 jets or by 10 of the remaining 20 jets if needed

This being said as I said a peace time deployment of 16 jets is also a good place to be as said these 16 jets could be joined by 10 USMC jets

And where is the pure fiction 70 jets split between 4 Sqns and a OCU gives you 60 jets plus 10 in deep Maintenance given the Typhoon fleet of 137 is split between 7 sqns a OCU and OEU plus the Falklands flight I see no fiction

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

Post by topman »

I don't think it matters too much if most of the stuff here regarding deployments and operations are fantasy. It's harmless enough, i don't think anyone takes themselves seriously that the things here are realistic. Its nothing than harmless fantasy chit chat.

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Useful update on Block IV progress..

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

Post by Jdam »



LRASM possibly for the F-35 and with plans for the P-8 and vertical launch from the MK41 its almost there for us :think:
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Timmymagic »

Jdam wrote: 04 May 2022, 08:05 LRASM possibly for the F-35 and with plans for the P-8 and vertical launch from the MK41 its almost there for us :think:
The plans for LRASM on F-35 and P-8 are all for post 2028. I think that for the UK that will be too close, politically and industrially, to the promise (and capability) of FCASW.

The smart move for the UK is a purchase of JSM for both F-35 and P-8. Wouldn't need to be a huge buy either. c100 missiles would do both fleets. It doesn't step on FCASW's toes in terms of capability and its made by a very close Ally. But there is a potential political and industrial benefit if we were smart. Both the UK, Norway and Australia use P-8 and F-35. JSM was going to be integrated by the Australian's on P-8 but has gone quiet for a few years (remember the Australian's also make a key part of JSM). My suggestion would be the Norway and Australia fund the integration of JSM to P-8, there are clear benefits to both nations, plus a number of P-8 users who would then be encouraged to purchase JSM for their P-8 (New Zealand or India for example) and F-35/P-8 (Norway, Australia, South Korea, UK, Canada and Germany will use both, and in some cases NSM as well...). The quid pro quo for the Norwegian's would be the UK integrating Stingray to P-8 witha wing kit like HAAWC (plus a purchase by the UK has a lot of weight in terms of prestige and sales). Both the UK and Norway are Stingray users, have significant stockpiles that are currently unusable on their MPA, and have a high threat ASW need, both committed to defend the High North and are currently stuck with the inferior Mk.54 torpedo, clearly not an ideal postition. End result would be both UK and Norway continue with Stingray Mod1, can re-use their stockpiles and have a better capability. JSM gains users and is integrated onto an additional platform with some additional export sales.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Timmymagic »

I should add...Stingray integration to the P-8 should be very easy, the mission system used by P-8 is to all intents and purposes the same as Nimrod MRA.4. Seperation tests would need to be done, but as MPA don't do high manoeuvres or need seperation trials done at extreme ends of the envelope these are really simple. MBDA already produce wing kits with guidance so adding it to a Stingray with seperation wouldn't be too technical a task...the number of issues and gaps it would close, in conjunction with a JSM buy, for the UK are enormous...

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

Post by Jdam »

If those are the timescales then the JSM might be a better option and the integration path sounds good.

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Just a quick view on F-35B aircraft availability for everyone to factor in when looking at the UK's total force. The Congressional Budget Office in the US maintains stats on US military aircraft availability using the below criteria:

- CBO looks at availability—a measure of the percentage of time aircraft can be flown on training or missions—and flying hours per aircraft per year.
- CBO’s measure counts aircraft in depot-level maintenance or storage as being unavailable.

At present the F-35B is the second most 'available' US fighter aircraft. Currently its running at c58% availability...the only aircraft higher is the F-35A at around 64%.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Lord Jim »

I assume that whatever missile that could possibly be chosen would be carried externally on the "B" model?

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Lord Jim wrote: 05 May 2022, 09:11 I assume that whatever missile that could possibly be chosen would be carried externally on the "B" model?
Have to be. Apart from AMRAAM, Meteor, Paveway IV variants, Spear variants and possibly a baggage pod eventually, I can't see the UK adding more stores for internal carriage any time soon. Outside of Spear I don't think there are any other modern Western powered air to surface missiles that would fit in the B's internal bay.

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Just a quick update.
Although the next 8 aircraft have been assigned serial numbers in sequence there's been no sign of any new build RAF aircraft on test flights yet. The next 3 look like they will be delivered at the back end of this year. Possibly in November like previous deliveries were. I'd expect the next plane to be flying on test in July/August time to be ready for a November transit.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by sunstersun »

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/t ... rst-vessel

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/s ... in-pacific

No way any 4th gen plane could survive using a JDAM against a ship with a decent radar.

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

Post by Jdam »



I am starting to doubt those 2026 integration dates. :roll:

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Jdam wrote: 21 Jun 2022, 22:56 I am starting to doubt those 2026 integration dates.
It had already slipped to 2027 for F-35.
Spear does seem to have slipped behind Stormbreaker somewhat. Obviously its more complex but they were started at the same time.

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

Post by Jdam »




If that is the 2nd lot of the initial 48 and we have 22 right now (google) that is not a lot of new aircraft to come between now and when these start arriving in 2026

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Jdam wrote: 23 Jun 2022, 22:30 If that is the 2nd lot of the initial 48 and we have 22 right now (google) that is not a lot of new aircraft to come between now and when these start arriving in 2026
27 delivered so far (with 1 lost). 23 are at Marham with 3 at Edwards AFB in the test force.
The 21 left to get to the '48' should be delivered as per below:

2022 - 3 a/c (3 have already been delivered earlier this year, this second batch should arrive around November)
2023 - 7 a/c
2024 - 4 a/c
2025 - 7 a/c

Then the 26 a/c of Tranche 2 will start to arrive in 2026. How quickly they arrive would be guesswork at present. But recently we seem to be capable of absorbing 7-8 a/c max per year so I'd expect deliveries to conclude in 2030 at the earliest. At that point the oldest 'combat capable' a/c. BK-03, will be 17 years old...
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by SW1 »

Might be better shipping over some additional consumables ..

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

Post by dmereifield »

So we'll have 47 plus 26 in total, minus the 3 experimental airframes equals 70. Enough for 3 frontline squardons, but probably not 4...

Anyone know what the breakdown will be? 1st squadron is joint RAF/FAA, the 2nd is RAF (I believe?), will the 3rd be FAA? Would be nice to have at least 1 squadron dedicated to the carriers...

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

Post by Timmymagic »

dmereifield wrote: 24 Jun 2022, 14:32 So we'll have 47 plus 26 in total, minus the 3 experimental airframes equals 70. Enough for 3 frontline squardons, but probably not 4...

Anyone know what the breakdown will be? 1st squadron is joint RAF/FAA, the 2nd is RAF (I believe?), will the 3rd be FAA? Would be nice to have at least 1 squadron dedicated to the carriers...
They will all be joint squadrons.

The sequence is 17 (Test and Evaluation) Squadron, 207 (OCU) Squadron, 617 Squadron, 809 NAS, then an RAF one, I don't think which number will be used has been chosen yet. If there was ever (and it is unlikely) to be another NAS I suspect it would be 800 or 801 that would get the nod. Possibilities for the next RAF one, after 809 NAS, could include XV or 74(F) Sqn's amongst many others..

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

Post by wargame_insomniac »

dmereifield wrote: 24 Jun 2022, 14:32 So we'll have 47 plus 26 in total, minus the 3 experimental airframes equals 70. Enough for 3 frontline squardons, but probably not 4...

Anyone know what the breakdown will be? 1st squadron is joint RAF/FAA, the 2nd is RAF (I believe?), will the 3rd be FAA? Would be nice to have at least 1 squadron dedicated to the carriers...
I assume that operational squadrons would ideally have 12 active aircraft and 3-4 aircraft as spares to allow for repairs / maintenance etc. If training squadron needs the same then that would be 75-80 aircraft needed for 4 operational squadrons plus 1 training squadron.

So not too far away. It would need just a small 3rd order to get to 75-80 aircraft.

Obviously if squadrons would need more than 3-4 spare aircraft each, then that would be further increase required.

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

Post by Repulse »

I’ve always thought that 2 operational squadrons of 12 a/c (one permanently for each carrier) and 3 operational squadrons of 8 a/c that can held at different levels of readiness and float between carrier and land operations as required would be optimal. Perhaps with one of the 8 a/c squadrons being held at low readiness in rotation could mean that 5 operational squadrons + OCU + Test & Evaluation would be possible.
”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

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

Post by Tempest414 »

For me the way ahead would be 5 units of 10 jets plus the OCU and TES allowing for 3 carrier based units and 2 land based it would also allow 30 jets to surge to 1 carrier

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