UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

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
124
44%
BAD choice for the Royal Navy
11
4%
Uncertain (RN)
14
5%
GOOD choice for the Royal Air Force
54
19%
BAD choice for the Royal Air Force
38
13%
Uncertain (RAF)
41
15%
 
Total votes: 282

Scimitar54
Member
Posts: 751
Joined: 13 Jul 2015, 05:10
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 27 Jul 2020, 15:20

Well it hurts no one for ministers to be given the opportunity to “come clean”. If they refuse to do so and the target date is then allowed to slip, it will call into question (at the very least) their capability and at the worst, their veracity.
Either way, their card (as a minister) will have been indelibly marked! :mrgreen:

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4358
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 27 Jul 2020, 16:55

SKB wrote:Interesting infographic.
Image


I don't know how old this graphic is but is clearly states two things:

Firstly that UK companies has helped the F-35 program in the areas pictured in the top half and listed in the left corner.

Secondly that $13.55 billion has been generated in contracts for the UK and that 15% by value of each F-35 is manufactured in the UK.

It could have added, but didn't, that UK owned companies in the USA have also added a great deal more, in my opinion lead by BAE supplying the EW software for the entire program.

It could have added but didn't, that UK arms of the multinational MBDA, have added significant vakue to the UK F-35's through their development and supply of ASRAAM, Meteor & Spear.

I do assure you that the British companies mentioned in the graphic: Bae & Rolls Royce in particular are very proud of their contributions, as are their share holders.

Some of you don't believe some or any of this but you have offered exactly zero in facts to support your beliefs. But then again, you belong to one of the most miserable species on the planet earth, the whinging poms.

PS Ajax is virtually a brand new vehicle, very little is left by value of the original ASCOD.

PPS If the UK would like to step aside, Texas, California, Washington, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea .... would gladly pick up the 15%.

Defiance
Member
Posts: 498
Joined: 07 Oct 2015, 20:52
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Defiance » 27 Jul 2020, 20:21

Also BAE UK are the lead design authority for the fuel system (all variants). Anyone thinking the UK doesn't benefit hugely from this program needs their head examined.

F-35 was my first stint in the business, it's very beneficial to the UK.

Timmymagic
Senior Member
Posts: 1705
Joined: 07 May 2015, 23:57
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Timmymagic » 27 Jul 2020, 22:07

Ok....I'll bite...

Ron5 wrote:Firstly that UK companies has helped the F-35 program in the areas pictured in the top half and listed in the left corner.

No-one is disputing that...

Ron5 wrote:Secondly that $13.55 billion has been generated in contracts for the UK and that 15% by value of each F-35 is manufactured in the UK.

What exactly does contracts for the UK mean? This is the heart of it. Is it 15% for UK headquartered companies, or 15% spent in the UK. One of those is ok, one of them is very good. And that's the point. The PR spin from LM doesn't seem to know the answer and swings from 'UK companies' to 'UK manufactured' through a whole slew of other options..

Ron5 wrote:It could have added, but didn't, that UK owned companies in the USA have also added a great deal more, in my opinion lead by BAE supplying the EW software for the entire program.


Thats true. But BAE Systems in the US pays its taxes in the US, IP is restricted to the US and pays its wages in the US so the actual benefit to the UK is very minor.

Ron5 wrote:It could have added but didn't, that UK arms of the multinational MBDA, have added significant value to the UK F-35's through their development and supply of ASRAAM, Meteor & Spear.


I'm not sure why 2 missile systems that were started way before F-35 with the intention of arming Typhoon would have much relevance. Particularly as one can't even be used by F-35...for another 6 years. How on earth is that adding value at the moment? No export orders yet either for F-35 use. And Spear isn't operational yet, hasn't won any export orders and won't be on F-35 until 2026 either...again..struggling to see the value there. Maybe the CGI's have some combat value...

Ron5 wrote:I do assure you that the British companies mentioned in the graphic: Bae & Rolls Royce in particular are very proud of their contributions, as are their share holders.


I'm sure their shareholders, who are a multinational bunch, are very happy. But their shareholders couldn't care less where the money is made....whereas UK gov and LM seem to be very confused in their messaging what % is done where..

Ron5 wrote:But then again, you belong to one of the most miserable species on the planet earth, the whinging poms.


Play the man not the ball Ron...very classy.

But if asking for a little honesty and clarity from our elected representatives and government departments, when they're spending large chunks of taxpayers money, whilst they use supplier crafted PR statements that seem to twist in the wind is whinging, then guilty as charged.

Defiance wrote:F-35 was my first stint in the business, it's very beneficial to the UK.


Ok, but to what degree? If its not 15% spent directly in the UK, rather than just with UK companies why is our government parroting that line? Does that not bother you?

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 4366
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 27 Jul 2020, 22:27

This is all a bit old. We have invested in the programme and gained a far greater share of the work that any other country besides the US obviously. Many UK companies have received work they otherwise wouldn't have if we hade simply bought the aircraft. The F-35B was really the only game in town to equip the Navy's new carriers once it was decided (second time around) that they were to be a STOVL design. Yes the picture is a piece of PR but what else do people expect LM to produce?

Defiance
Member
Posts: 498
Joined: 07 Oct 2015, 20:52
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Defiance » 28 Jul 2020, 09:30

Timmymagic wrote:
Defiance wrote:F-35 was my first stint in the business, it's very beneficial to the UK.


Ok, but to what degree? If its not 15% spent directly in the UK, rather than just with UK companies why is our government parroting that line? Does that not bother you?


Not as a headline, whatever money they are spending (which is still very significant) is being put to good use. Moreover to get this level of workshare with 'only' 138 aircraft seems like a mental deal in our favour.

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4358
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 28 Jul 2020, 14:59

Timmymagic wrote:Ok....I'll bite...

Ron5 wrote:Firstly that UK companies has helped the F-35 program in the areas pictured in the top half and listed in the left corner.

No-one is disputing that...

Ron5 wrote:Secondly that $13.55 billion has been generated in contracts for the UK and that 15% by value of each F-35 is manufactured in the UK.

What exactly does contracts for the UK mean? This is the heart of it. Is it 15% for UK headquartered companies, or 15% spent in the UK. One of those is ok, one of them is very good. And that's the point. The PR spin from LM doesn't seem to know the answer and swings from 'UK companies' to 'UK manufactured' through a whole slew of other options..

Ron5 wrote:It could have added, but didn't, that UK owned companies in the USA have also added a great deal more, in my opinion lead by BAE supplying the EW software for the entire program.


Thats true. But BAE Systems in the US pays its taxes in the US, IP is restricted to the US and pays its wages in the US so the actual benefit to the UK is very minor.

Ron5 wrote:It could have added but didn't, that UK arms of the multinational MBDA, have added significant value to the UK F-35's through their development and supply of ASRAAM, Meteor & Spear.


I'm not sure why 2 missile systems that were started way before F-35 with the intention of arming Typhoon would have much relevance. Particularly as one can't even be used by F-35...for another 6 years. How on earth is that adding value at the moment? No export orders yet either for F-35 use. And Spear isn't operational yet, hasn't won any export orders and won't be on F-35 until 2026 either...again..struggling to see the value there. Maybe the CGI's have some combat value...

Ron5 wrote:I do assure you that the British companies mentioned in the graphic: Bae & Rolls Royce in particular are very proud of their contributions, as are their share holders.


I'm sure their shareholders, who are a multinational bunch, are very happy. But their shareholders couldn't care less where the money is made....whereas UK gov and LM seem to be very confused in their messaging what % is done where..

Ron5 wrote:But then again, you belong to one of the most miserable species on the planet earth, the whinging poms.


Play the man not the ball Ron...very classy.

But if asking for a little honesty and clarity from our elected representatives and government departments, when they're spending large chunks of taxpayers money, whilst they use supplier crafted PR statements that seem to twist in the wind is whinging, then guilty as charged.

Defiance wrote:F-35 was my first stint in the business, it's very beneficial to the UK.


Ok, but to what degree? If its not 15% spent directly in the UK, rather than just with UK companies why is our government parroting that line? Does that not bother you?


Most smart folks when digging a hole they're standing in, stop digging.

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4358
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 29 Jul 2020, 17:36

https://rusi.org/publication/occasional-papers/combat-air-choices-uk-government

I read it cover to cover.

My recommendation: don't bother. If you must, the 'executive summary' is enough, no further logic or evidence is on display in the rest of the document.

My favorite logic in separate sections: a) many times more airframes are needed to support one airframe in operational use that's why the RAF need 140 Typhoons to support 7 squadrons plus 1 OCO and that's not really enough; B) 48 F-35B's are sufficient for Royal Navy use even if some will be always be kept in the USA, if more F-35's are bought they should be F-35A's because they are cheaper.

Second favorite logic: a) Typhoons are based at two locations, this is bad because the Russians can easily take out their long runways. b) if more F-35's are bought they should be F-35A's because they are cheaper and because they need long runways (guess which bit added by me).

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4358
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 29 Jul 2020, 18:25

A shed load more interesting, I'm kinda excited by the possibilities here to be honest ..

Boeing Aims ATS Program At UK's LANCA, May Move Faster
Bradley Perrett Tony Osborne July 27, 2020
Boeing unmanned Airpower Teaming System concept The ATS appears to be sized for packing in a 40-ft. shipping container.

Boeing may accelerate development of its Airpower Teaming System (ATS) to begin deliveries before the middle of the decade, amid what it says is unexpectedly strong early interest in the loyal-wingman drone. The ATS is evidently the basis of the company’s offer for the UK’s Lightweight Affordable Novel Combat Aircraft (LANCA) initiative.

RAF sees LANCA derivative aboard aircraft carriers First ATS prototype will soon taxi

The possibility of operating the ATS or a derivative from British aircraft carriers is raising the question of how the type is intended to be deployed, an issue that Boeing has declined to discuss in detail. Evidence points to one possibility for land operation being containerized dispersal by road, rocket-assisted launch from a rail, and recovery to a runway or road.

The first of three ATS prototypes will taxi soon, says the program chief, Shane Arnott, reiterating that the first flight is due this year.

Boeing is developing the ATS in Australia with support from the Royal Australian Air Force, for which the program is research work on manned-unmanned teaming. For Boeing, it is creating a product for the international market. The company unveiled the ATS in February 2019 and rolled out the first prototype in May 2020.

Arnott said in May that the first-production ATS could be completed around the middle of the decade or a little earlier. Speaking to reporters on July 16, he said the schedule had not changed. But he then referred to high interest in the product and added that the schedule might be advanced. “Everyone is trying to solve the same problem” of achieving mass—large numbers—in an air campaign, he says, adding that many military aviation services were reaching out to see if the ATS could solve the issue.

Kratos, builder of the conceptually similar XQ-58 Valkyrie drone, has also attracted interest from possible buyers apart from its primary customer, the U.S. Air Force.

For LANCA, Boeing Autonomous Systems is working with Marshall Aerospace and Cranfield University and submitted a proposal in the northern spring. The Boeing-led team was one of three chosen for Phase 1. One or two of those teams will be selected for Phase 2, called Mosquito, a £30-50 million ($38-64 million) initiative that will lead to the candidates producing flightworthy demonstrators for a UK-based flight-test program.

Since Arnott says LANCA is a key activity for the ATS program, it is clear that the Boeing proposal to Britain is based on the loyal wingman. “Safe to say that the problems being presented in Australia are similar to the problems being presented in the UK,” Arnott says. “LANCA and Mosquito have similar requirements [to Australia]: an affordable platform to be developed in one-fifth of the time.”

Australia has allowed Boeing to share ATS design materials with Britain. Arnott would not comment on the level of information released. Discussions with the Royal Air Force (RAF) and its Rapid Capabilities Office have extended to the Royal Navy, he says.

The RAF envisions an aircraft derived from LANCA’s Mosquito phase being used on the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales, alongside Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightnings, Air Chief Marshal Mike Wigston said at the RAF’s Air and Space Conference during a webinar on July 15.

But how could the ATS operate at sea? Indeed, how is it supposed to operate on land?

Asked about the apparent reliance of the ATS on vulnerable airfields, Boeing autonomous aviation executive Jerad Hayes told Aviation Week in May: “We recognize the need for the system not to be bound by traditional runway operations to meet the rising-threat conops [concept of operations]. This is core to the ATS design to enable that flexibility of distributed operations to the customer.”

The landing gear for the ATS is clearly not designed for rough fields, so distributed operation implies dispersal by truck and rocket-assisted takeoff from a mobile rail launcher; less flexibly, it might also use straight stretches of road. Rail launch has been used by many aircraft types for decades, including the Valkyrie. Boeing has been careful not to show the rear of the ATS. One reason could be to hide stealth features there, but another could be to avoid disclosing provision for a takeoff rocket or two.

The Valkyrie lands by parachute, but since the ATS has landing gear, it must be intended to recover to an airfield or a road. The Boeing type has a considerable range, presumably ferry range, of 3,700 km (2,000 nm), so it may be able to reach a safe airfield well behind its launch point.

The aircraft’s length is 11.7 m (38 ft.). The wing is built of two pieces, upper and lower, that appear to be unbroken from tip to tip. Conceivably, the wing could be removed and placed on top of the fuselage. The result: a package that might go into a 40-ft. shipping container for storage, transportation and deceptive deployment, with many empty containers lying about to keep an enemy guessing.

Compact stowage, probably stacked, would be valuable on an aircraft carrier.

An ATS probably could not take off from a deck at a useful weight on only turbofan thrust (likely not much more than 3,000 lb.). But rail launch, or perhaps a rocket-assisted deck run, could be used.

At first sight, deck landing looks improbable. But it may not be impossible for a drone that could conceivably achieve a precision touchdown at a low sink rate acceptable to its landing gear. If the carrier moved at 20 kt. (10.3 m/sec. or 38 ft./sec.) and a returning drone, lightly constructed and just about empty of fuel, could approach at 100 kt., touchdown speed relative to the deck would be 41 m/sec. Deceleration at 5 m/sec.2 by brakes alone would bring it to a halt in 170 m. The British carriers are 280 m long.

Also, the UK Defense Ministry last year called on industry to devise means of arrested recovery for shipboard drones. A further option for the long-legged ATS would be landing at an airfield.

Other bidders in Phase 1 of LANCA are Team Blackdawn, a consortium of Callen-Lenz working with Bombardier Belfast and Northrop Grumman UK; and Team Avenger, led by Blue Bear Systems Research and several undisclosed partners.

Low cost is a key ATS project aim: Boeing believes the aircraft must be cheap enough to be attrited. To this end, the company is heavily automating the production process—using robots to build these robots, Arnott says. Payloads, in detachable and swappable noses, may cost more than the rest of the airframe, he adds, though this will be up to the customer.

Since several ATS aircraft could together form one large array, very cheap sensor payloads could outperform elaborate, costly systems fitted to single aircraft, Boeing points out, apparently referring to passive radio.

As part of ATS development, Boeing has demonstrated an end-to-end mission in which three small jet drones autonomously took off, assembled in formation, departed from formation and landed. The speeds were up to 200 kph (108 kt.). This showed that the mission system worked, says Emily Hughes, director of Boeing Phantom Works International.

The test was done at Tara, west of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Boeing intends to use a specialist drone test facility that Qinetiq is setting up at Cloncurry in outback Queensland.

Image

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4358
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 31 Jul 2020, 18:00

If I read this correctly, RN/RAF drop tanks are not too far away. Of course that assumes they are F-35B compatible. 25% range increase sounds handy.

Lengthy F-35 Upgrade List To Transform Strike Fighter’s Future Role
Steve Trimble July 20, 2020

This is the vision for the Lockheed Martin F-35 program in 10 years:

A worldwide fleet of more than 2,000 fighters is in service with a still-growing list of customers. Sales are spurred by a unit procurement price and cost per flight hour equal to or only slightly higher than a fourth-generation fighter. Yet the newly modernized Block 4 fleet of F-35s boasts 25 times more computing power than the version of the aircraft operating today, enabling the software-based onboard fusion engine to mine data from a far more advanced set of active and passive sensors.
As the situational awareness in cockpit expands, the pilots have a variety of new weapon options available: the ability to carry six Lockheed Martin AIM-260 or Raytheon AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles internally; a maritime strike capability of the Joint Strike Missile; and the use of new long-range strike missiles, such as the future Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW) internally and possibly a hypersonic cruise missile carried externally. Meanwhile, the Lot 22 F-35 rolling off Lockheed’s assembly line in 2030 also can access a new class of air-launched attritable stores that add vast new sensing capacity, multiply weapon loadouts and, depending on the mission, serve as kinetic options themselves.
The F-35’s role has already evolved from standard counterair and strike missions. The Army and Navy now use the F-35’s sensor data remotely to guide their interceptors to knock down incoming missiles. The Air Force’s decentralized command-and-control system relies on the F-35’s processing power, sensor data and communication hooks to orchestrate a wider attack in all domains. F-35 pilots still train to perform traditional fighter missions, but the role the aircraft plays defies the vocabulary of the Air Force’s designation system.

A decade may seem too short for such an evolution in one program, but it is possible. Ten years ago, the F-35 was still in crisis mode: With the flight-test fleet grounded for most of 2009, the supply chain was reeling. Ashton Carter, who was then the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, later acknowledged that proposals to cancel the program had been briefly considered during that period.

To date, Lockheed has delivered more than 500 F-35s to nine countries, with another three countries signed up for still more. The unit flyaway cost of an F-35A will fall to $77.9 million for aircraft delivered in 2022 as part of the 14th lot of yearly production.

In plotting the program’s next decade of development, a similar narrative of early struggles is becoming clear.

Schedule pressure grows on computer upgrade
First Block 4 upgrades arrive late and flawed

The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) identified the first 66 hardware and software upgrades listed under the Block 4 Follow-on Modernization in a report to Congress in May 2019. The first eight upgrades were due to enter service in 2019, but because of unexpected complications, only one of them—an automatic ground-collision avoidance system—was released to the operational fleet on time. Other improvements, such as an interim full-motion video capability for the Marine Corps’ F-35B fleet, fell behind due to later hardware deliveries, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released in May.

The JPO also adopted an agile development process for Block 4. The upgrades are still organized in four major increments—Block 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4—and smaller batches of new capabilities are released in six-month cycles, a process called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery (C2D2). Lockheed, for example, is scheduled to complete development of 30P5 software in the third quarter of this year, which will be followed by software drops called 30P6 in the first quarter of 2021 and 30P7 in the third quarter of 2021. The agile development method is intended to reduce the scale of delays caused by a release of a large batch of flawed software every two years, but it is not a panacea. As the software from the first C2D2 release entered testing, new problems appeared, such as Block 4 software code causing “issues” for Block 3F functions that had been working, according to the GAO.

The next major advance for the Block 4 program should arrive in 2023. This Block 4.2 configuration will be the first to include Technical Refresh 3 (TR-3) hardware, which includes a new integrated core processor, an aircraft memory system and a panoramic cockpit display system. As the first cockpit computing for the F-35 since Block 3i appeared in 2016, the TR3 will enable a leap in sensing capability, especially for the BAE Systems ASQ-239 electronic-warfare system.
F-35 panoramic cockpit displayIn addition to upgrading the F-35’s panoramic cockpit display, the ongoing Technical Refresh 3 upgrade will install a new integrated core processor that is 25 times more powerful than the current version. Credit: U.S. Air Force

The TR-3 upgrade, however, also is facing development challenges. The F-35 JPO is seeking a $42 million increase in spending on TR-3 in fiscal 2021 to offset higher “technical complexity.”

“Suppliers are challenged to meet a demanding schedule with one holistic hardware-software system; therefore, interim releases of hardware [will] reduce risk and enable parallel software development,” the Air Force said in a budget justification document for fiscal 2021.

The latest F-35 selected acquisition report (SAR), which was released by the Defense Department in early July, reports similar issues with TR-3, citing specifically higher costs due to additional support needed to help one supplier manage the complexity of a field-programmable gate array used in the new processor system. The development of the integrated core processor and the aircraft memory system also are suffering delays, according to the annual SAR.

As the TR-3-equipped Block 4.2 configuration arrives in the fleet, the F-35’s power to sense targets and threats passively should rise enormously. The upgrade also paves the way for a critical update to BAE’s electronic-warfare system, especially the jamming techniques generators embedded in Racks 2A and 2B of the ASQ-239. BAE also plans to upgrade the wing-leading-edge-mounted receivers in Bands 2, 3 and 4 as well as activate new Band 5 receivers from broad spectrum coverage from very low to extremely high radio frequencies. Aided by the more powerful processors introduced by TR-3, the F-35 may be able to develop jamming techniques as it encounters new signals not previously stored in the aircraft’s mission data files. Such a capacity for so-called cognitive electronic warfare is becoming critical as adversaries shift to software-defined radios and frequency-hopping radar arrays.

If the current schedule is maintained, the TR-3 and Block 4.2 upgrades arriving in Lot 15 aircraft will include more than improved computing power. Lockheed is modifying the internal weapons bay to enable the “sidekick” upgrade, which increases the Raytheon AIM-120 missile loadout by 50% to six missiles. As the Lockheed AIM-260 becomes available, the same loadout will become possible with a missile measuring the same length as the AIM-120 but with significantly more range.

The same modification also accommodates the dimensions of the Air Force’s new SiAW missile, which adds a new warhead to the Navy’s Advanced Antiradiation Guided Missile-Extended Range. An Israeli-funded program to add wing-mounted fuel tanks to the F-35’s loadout options also should become available and would increase the range by 25% if the mission does not require minimizing the aircraft’s profile on radar.

By the end of the decade, operating the F-35 could be very different from how the aircraft’s designers in the late 1990s had anticipated. The Air Force’s Skyborg program seeks to introduce a new family of ground- and air-launched aircraft that can serve as autonomous teammates, or wingmen, for F-35 pilots. “Skyborg” itself refers to the development of a new autonomous control system that can be trained to perform a diverse set of missions. The Air Force expects F-35 pilots to use the Skyborg-equipped aircraft much like reusable munitions; in other words, a missile that can be fired and, if no worthy target appears, recovered and used again.

The capabilities envisioned by the F-35’s designers two decades ago are now available in operational aircraft, albeit several years later than originally envisioned and for higher procurement and operating costs. As the next decade unfolds, the JPO and Lockheed will seek to add capabilities that have become defined only within the last decade and to adopt several concepts, including Skyborg and SiAW, that have emerged only recently. The history of the F-35 program is characterized by overpromising and underperforming in the development phase. As Block 4 development transitions from concept to reality, the challenge will be avoiding similar missteps.

Optimistic

After short-term stagnation, global defense spending resumes growth and Lockheed delivers 4,000 F-35s overall
Despite early concerns, Lockheed completes the Block 4 modernization program on-time and on-budget

Neutral

Global defense spending stagnates through 2040, increasing downward pressure on programs of record
Block 4 modernization suffers some delays and overruns but does not affect aircraft procurement

Pessimistic

Global defense spending enters a long-term decline, setting off a 1990s-style “procurement holiday” for fighters
TR-3 Refresh and Block 4 are delayed significantly, with cost overruns leading to further cuts in the procurement budget

Steve Trimble

Steve covers military aviation, missiles and space for the Aviation Week Network, based in Washington DC.

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4358
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 31 Jul 2020, 20:54

Getting back to the Boeing LANCA for a minute:

I'm still excited by the project. I keep thinking it's like each carrier's flight of F-35's takes its own AWACS with them wherever they go. Like Wellingtons green riflemen or Custer's scouts (mmm bad example) or Bomber Commands pathfinders or Ajax probing ahead of Challenger 3s, these little boeing imps would be practically invisible and could go reconnoiter ahead of the main force.

Invisible in any spectrum. Tiny RCS by the look of the CGI, small engine/no reheat/subsonic means low heat, small everything means lo visibility. Send them a hundred or so miles ahead and let them check out the bad guys dispositions (that doesn't sound right, they're bound to be mad) and lay bare the best way for the following F-35's to come in and bash hard. Imps can keep an eye open for unwelcome bad guy anti air while that is going on. Or lay a nice decoy trail someplace else.

Flying the imps from a QE surely can't be that difficult. As the writer speculates, a simple rail launcher might do the trick or a very, very, very simple EMCAT that GE could rustle up one lunch hour. Landings of course would be via SRVL except without the "V" (SRL?) assuming that the writer is correct in a low, low stall speed.

No weapons pleeeeze. That would just bugger the whole thing up and send it into an unaffordability orbit. Supposed to do 2,000 km so already big enough. Leonardo UK does radars and EO that would fit. Just stick an F-35 data link on it. And a jammer or two.

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 4366
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 31 Jul 2020, 21:47

Or have the option to stick a 500lb warhead on it for ultra long range strikes if the need arises. Just kidding :lol:

Online
Caribbean
Senior Member
Posts: 1916
Joined: 09 Jan 2016, 19:08
Location: England

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

Postby Caribbean » 01 Aug 2020, 10:22

Ron5 wrote:No weapons pleeeeze

A fair point, but the ability to carry one or two Spear 3, particularly the EM version (if it comes about) would certainly provide additional options.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4358
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 01 Aug 2020, 17:34

Caribbean wrote:
Ron5 wrote:No weapons pleeeeze

A fair point, but the ability to carry one or two Spear 3, particularly the EM version (if it comes about) would certainly provide additional options.


GET THEE BEHIND ME !!! :D

serge750
Member
Posts: 575
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 18:34

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

Postby serge750 » 01 Aug 2020, 17:54

Would be great to see on deck of a QEC with the f35 :D hopefully could also do a long range sort of CAP to relieve pressure on the F35 :thumbup:

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 4366
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby Lord Jim » 01 Aug 2020, 21:05

Knowing our Politicians, we would see the QEC with them but no F-35! :D

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4358
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

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

Postby Ron5 » 01 Aug 2020, 21:20

:clap:
Lord Jim wrote:Knowing our Politicians, we would see the QEC with them but no F-35! :D


That's worth a double thumbs up, made me laugh out loud :clap:

bobp
Senior Member
Posts: 1892
Joined: 06 May 2015, 07:52
Location: United Kingdom

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

Postby bobp » 02 Aug 2020, 01:05

Well if they can sort out the launch and recovery having a few onboard would be a good thing.


Return to “Joint Service”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests