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
143
44%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
14
4%
Uncertain (RN)
15
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
63
19%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
45
14%
Uncertain (RAF)
44
14%
 
Total votes: 324

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

Post by Little J »

Any idea why it wasn't seen during the walk-around?

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

Post by downsizer »

Little J wrote: 08 Sep 2022, 16:47 Any idea why it wasn't seen during the walk-around?
That is what the SI is for.

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

Post by mr.fred »

downsizer wrote: 08 Sep 2022, 17:12
Little J wrote: 08 Sep 2022, 16:47 Any idea why it wasn't seen during the walk-around?
That is what the SI is for.
What's an SI?

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

Post by downsizer »

Service Inquiry.

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

Post by topman »

Some strange things in that interim report, perhaps it's an unusual way of working on a ship or something else.

I guess we'll know more after the SI.

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

Post by Tempest414 »

topman wrote: 08 Sep 2022, 21:09 Some strange things in that interim report, perhaps it's an unusual way of working on a ship or something else.

I guess we'll know more after the SI.
Yes some very strange working practice here but the big thing for me is why all the blanks and pins were not accounted for before start up
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by jonas »

Chinese metal found in F35 parts :-

https://www.thedefensepost.com/2022/09/ ... component/

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

Post by Little J »

I don't get why this is such a big thing, it's not like it's a chipset or something, so as long as the material is to standard (and can be sourced from other places when the prices are right)...


Plus it was OK to build the SR-71 out of Russian titanium at the height of the cold War!?!

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

Post by Repulse »

I’m not sure if I’ve missed an announcement or if it’s pure speculation but it in Septembers edition of Warship IFR they are reporting that of the 74 a/c, 15 would be in maintenance at any time with 59 available for four operational squadrons.

I guess guess this could suggest - 3 a/c No.17 Sqd, 8 a/c No.217 OCU sqd and 4 operational sqds of 12 a/c.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Timmymagic »

Repulse wrote: 11 Sep 2022, 07:03 I’m not sure if I’ve missed an announcement or if it’s pure speculation but it in Septembers edition of Warship IFR they are reporting that of the 74 a/c, 15 would be in maintenance at any time with 59 available for four operational squadrons.
They've got one bit wrong straight away...
There are 73 F-35B because one was lost...

To maintain 4 Sqn's of 12 aircraft we're going to need a bigger OCU than 8 aircraft we well...to get to 4 operational squadrons of 12 with a reasonable availability rate we'd need in the mid 80's

serge750
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by serge750 »

Maybe an OCU of 15 & 4sqn of 10 :D or 5 x 11 :lol: a few options that JF Ligthning can ponder...or less in maintanace etc

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

Post by bobp »

serge750 wrote: 11 Sep 2022, 19:35 Maybe an OCU of 15 & 4sqn of 10 :D or 5 x 11 :lol: a few options that JF Ligthning can ponder...or less in maintanace etc
Some of the airframes will require deep maintenance for upgrades to modifications.

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

Post by serge750 »

15 would be in maitance according to warship mag quoted a few posts ago - from a fleet of 73 ( Inc 3test ) leaving 55 for OCU + 4 x spuadrons, or would more be in deep maitanance ?

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

Post by Scimitar54 »

Unless it is the OCU and THREE Squadrons? 56 / 4 = 14 in each Squadron (OCU regarded as an operational Squadron). I would however, regard that as a major mistake unless it was as a (very) last resort. If we do need FOUR Frontline Squadrons, which IMHO we do; they should be in addition to both the OCU and the Maintenance/Attrition Reserve. Looks like we are going to need a larger FAA ! :mrgreen:

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

Post by SW1 »

How many airframes can u get into marham I doubt more than mid 50s in number and can’t see a second base.

You will have a split between the a/c that are in the fwd fleet assigned to the OCU and operational sqns and those in deep upgrade/repair or hanger queens. Then unless they buy more spares those in the fwd fleet, a/c assigned to operational sqns will be further reduced on a day to day basis.

So I’d say a fleet of 73 would give you about 50 a/c in the fwd fleet spread between ocu and 3 operational sqns and each operational Sqn with about 8 a/c available as a guide. If we get anywhere near the 73 to start with.

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Not sure I quite get Gareth's surprise here, its been well known for an age that full operational capability of 2 squadrons will not arrive until 2025 based on deliveries alone.

And as I've said before if you count full operational capability as having more than 3 weapons available, 2 of which are Air to Air,....realistically you're actually waiting until 2030 when all a/c should have been upgraded to Block IV Lot 17 standard.

As for the conversation around how many aircraft you'd need to sustain 4 Operational Squadrons of 12 a/c. I reckon you would need at least 87 aircraft including the 3 ITF a/c. That would be 3 ITF a/c, 16 in the OCU, 48 in the Operational Squadrons and 20 in the maintenance/attrition pool. To have a margin you'd probably want to get to 90 a/c all in. Thats 15 a/c more than we're going to get at the moment so we need to forget about it....unless Liz Truss actually brings Defence Spending to 3%...


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

Post by Timmymagic »

Not sure I quite get Gareth's surprise here, its been well known for an age that full operational capability of 2 squadrons will not arrive until 2025 based on deliveries alone.

And as I've said before if you count full operational capability as having more than 3 weapons available, 2 of which are Air to Air,....realistically you're actually waiting until 2030 when all a/c should have been upgraded to Block IV Lot 17 standard.

As for the conversation around how many aircraft you'd need to sustain 4 Operational Squadrons of 12 a/c. I reckon you would need at least 87 aircraft including the 3 ITF a/c. That would be 3 ITF a/c, 16 in the OCU, 48 in the Operational Squadrons and 20 in the maintenance/attrition pool. To have a margin you'd probably want to get to 90 a/c all in. Thats 15 a/c more than we're going to get at the moment so we need to forget about it....unless Liz Truss actually brings Defence Spending to 3%...


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

Post by topman »

I'm not sure of the sums to work out how many aircraft are in second line maintenance, at anyone point, on a fleet that we haven't bought yet.

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

Post by NickC »

According to the reporter if understanding correctly if the USAF selects either of the new gen GE XA100 or P&W XA101 AETP engines which will give the F-35A a range increase of 25% and 10% in thrust (in preference to an updated P&W F135 which gives 10% range and thrust increase) would not be compatible with the F-35B and its lift fan.

The AETP engines and upgraded F135 include 'double the power management", presuming meaning the additional electric power necessary to power the new systems for Block 4 aircraft, so would mean no F-35B Block 4 if AETP chosen.

Which choice the USAF makes not certain, USAF priority more range or operating in Pacific to counter China, USAF Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall not so certain as saying the AETP additional cost equivalent reduced buy of 70 F-35A's, Congress will have the final say, maybe a bitter fight as already 30 Senators and Congressmen announced support of P&W, will be interesting how many GE can muster, decision due in FY23.

PS The AETP engine will not be used in the twin engine USAF NGAD fighter in current development, a larger and more powerful engine will be required.

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/09/gen ... -the-f-35/


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

Post by mrclark303 »

NickC wrote: 14 Sep 2022, 09:05 According to the reporter if understanding correctly if the USAF selects either of the new gen GE XA100 or P&W XA101 AETP engines which will give the F-35A a range increase of 25% and 10% in thrust (in preference to an updated P&W F135 which gives 10% range and thrust increase) would not be compatible with the F-35B and its lift fan.

The AETP engines and upgraded F135 include 'double the power management", presuming meaning the additional electric power necessary to power the new systems for Block 4 aircraft, so would mean no F-35B Block 4 if AETP chosen.

Which choice the USAF makes not certain, USAF priority more range or operating in Pacific to counter China, USAF Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall not so certain as saying the AETP additional cost equivalent reduced buy of 70 F-35A's, Congress will have the final say, maybe a bitter fight as already 30 Senators and Congressmen announced support of P&W, will be interesting how many GE can muster, decision due in FY23.

PS The AETP engine will not be used in the twin engine USAF NGAD fighter in current development, a larger and more powerful engine will be required.

https://breakingdefense.com/2022/09/gen ... -the-f-35/

Thanks for the info Nick, i'm of the opinion that LM will want to kill off B and C models asap (2030 ish) and concentrate and simplify things with an enhanced 'A' model, pushing forward.

A new engine, power generation ancillary systems, increased gross weight, avionics refresh etc etc.

Much like the evolution of the F16.

As the Gen 6 replacement for surviving F15's and the F22 gets into its swing, the USAF will want to optimise the F35 as the affordable bulk infill, selling them abroad in numbers will help drive down costs...

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

Post by Timmymagic »

Looks like we can expect a delivery of 3 x F-35B to Marham in the coming month or 2...

BK-28, 29 and 30 are all flying now. BK-30 had its maiden flight on the 12/09/22.

This will mean RAF Marham will have 26 x F-35B on hand.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Jensy »

mrclark303 wrote: 14 Sep 2022, 09:47 Thanks for the info Nick, i'm of the opinion that LM will want to kill off B and C models asap (2030 ish) and concentrate and simplify things with an enhanced 'A' model, pushing forward.

A new engine, power generation ancillary systems, increased gross weight, avionics refresh etc etc.

Much like the evolution of the F16.

As the Gen 6 replacement for surviving F15's and the F22 gets into its swing, the USAF will want to optimise the F35 as the affordable bulk infill, selling them abroad in numbers will help drive down costs...

Though the Drive isn't always the most reliable of sources, I don't think they're the type to fabricate official quotes:
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/x ... -f-35b-too
Speaking to The War Zone, David Tweedie, GE Edison Works' vice president and general manager for Advanced Products, confirmed that, “within the last few weeks,” the company has concluded a technical integration study looking at what it would take to modify the XA100 and integrate it with the F-35B. The company has assessed how the F-35B’s performance would be improved as a result, but is remaining tight-lipped about this and the wider requirements that drove the study.
While recognizing that the baseline XA100 would not fit in the F-35B ‘as is,’ the question became one of assessing what additional and unique efforts would be needed to integrate it with the F-35B — and what capabilities they would end up with. What GE found was a viable path to bring the XA100, or a variant of it, to the F-35B.
Any range improvements on the F-35B are going to be very welcome considering its rather diminutive starting point, compared to its siblings.
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