F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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

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Nothing that new but nice to know.

The wait for Block 4 is painful considering what we have in the works for it. Lucky we got some of our stuff in the block 3F software.

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

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Who needs runways anymore.

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

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Could this help with f35b dispersal operations - if needed - ?

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

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 21 Sep 2023, 19:07 Who needs runways anymore.

RSAF has conducted alternate runway exercises on lim chu kong road since 1986 it’s not a new idea

USMC have also used FARP with matting to land in dispersal areas


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

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It's approaching that time of year when another delivery happens...

Should be another flying shortly (BK-35/ZM169). Probably delivered together in late October/early November based on previous delivery cycles. The only question is if BK-31 which has been at Edwards AFB also comes over at the same time. If the 2 are delivered we'll be up to 30 aircraft at Marham. If all 3 then up to 31...

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

Post by Jensy »

https://www.defense-aerospace.com/uks-t ... execution/

Was just reading this from Tusa. Something that caught my eye:
[...] a sidebar chat with an MoD official: the next batch of 24 F-35s for the UK is on hold – the funding is needed elsewhere, and Tempest will get some of it.
On an entirely unrelated topic. Curious when F-35B production is expected to end/be mothballed?

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

Post by Scimitar54 »

Well they had better start work now on making Tempest “Carrier Capable” and make it snappy too, otherwise it will be of limited use.
Of course the RAF would prefer this! A similar and predictable reaction to the Scrap Sea Harrier / Harrier GR9 and keep Tornado debacle. They are not a fit Service to “own” the UK’s Naval aircraft (or budget).

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

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Jensy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 00:09 https://www.defense-aerospace.com/uks-t ... execution/

Was just reading this from Tusa. Something that caught my eye:
[...] a sidebar chat with an MoD official: the next batch of 24 F-35s for the UK is on hold – the funding is needed elsewhere, and Tempest will get some of it.
On an entirely unrelated topic. Curious when F-35B production is expected to end/be mothballed?
well it was 27, so maybe they were talking about the next-next batch.

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

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new guy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 07:17
Jensy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 00:09 https://www.defense-aerospace.com/uks-t ... execution/

Was just reading this from Tusa. Something that caught my eye:
[...] a sidebar chat with an MoD official: the next batch of 24 F-35s for the UK is on hold – the funding is needed elsewhere, and Tempest will get some of it.
On an entirely unrelated topic. Curious when F-35B production is expected to end/be mothballed?
well it was 27, so maybe they were talking about the next-next batch.
That would be very disappointing and another sign of the MOD chasing jam tomorrow than aiming for a coherent force with depth. However have thought for a while that a line in the sand to say that the 48 F35s ordered are all allocated to Carrier Strike (FAA + RAF) it could actually protect it longer term. I suspect even the RN is looking at spending more money on carrier enabled drones.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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Repulse wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 07:36
new guy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 07:17
Jensy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 00:09 https://www.defense-aerospace.com/uks-t ... execution/

Was just reading this from Tusa. Something that caught my eye:
[...] a sidebar chat with an MoD official: the next batch of 24 F-35s for the UK is on hold – the funding is needed elsewhere, and Tempest will get some of it.
On an entirely unrelated topic. Curious when F-35B production is expected to end/be mothballed?
well it was 27, so maybe they were talking about the next-next batch.
That would be very disappointing and another sign of the MOD chasing jam tomorrow than aiming for a coherent force with depth. However have thought for a while that a line in the sand to say that the 48 F35s ordered are all allocated to Carrier Strike (FAA + RAF) it could actually protect it longer term. I suspect even the RN is looking at spending more money on carrier enabled drones.
It would be a real shame if that happens. It means a cap on two front line squadrons of B's.

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

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Jensy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 00:09
On an entirely unrelated topic. Curious when F-35B production is expected to end/be mothballed?
Production of the B variant will likely continue on to at least 2035. The USMC still have a lot to be delivered, the UK has additional orders that will be in soon. Add in Japanese, Spanish and potentially Singaporean, South Korean and further Italian orders and there should be enough work for some time. There might be even more if the USMC decides to replace is earlier a/c that are expensive to upgrade to the full Block IV lot 17 standard.

Basically nothing to worry about for the foreseeable...
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Jensy »

new guy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 07:17 well it was 27, so maybe they were talking about the next-next batch.
I suspect it's more likely just a mistake with numbers in the quote.

The "next-next batch" only exists on Wikipedia with some highly questionable numbers and citing a UKDJ article which says nothing of the sort.
Timmymagic wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 12:14 Production of the B variant will likely continue on to at least 2035. The USMC still have a lot to be delivered, the UK has additional orders that will be in soon. Add in Japanese, Spanish and potentially Singaporean, South Korean and further Italian orders and there should be enough work for some time. There might be even more if the USMC decides to replace is earlier a/c that are expensive to upgrade to the full Block IV lot 17 standard.

Basically nothing to worry about for the foreseeable...
Excellent rundown as always Timmy.

I'm relatively relaxed on us going above 48 (47) until we see progress on UK weapons integration in Block IV.

Even in the heady days of the 1990s, when 150 JSFs were being spoken of, only 60 of those were expected for FAA/carrier ops. Even if theoretically there was a larger fleet to pool from. That then fell to the familiar 48 + 90 'aspiration' that has only recently been dropped.

I remain convinced a couple of dozen more Typhoons is a better option for the RAF and Warton.

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

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Jensy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 15:25
new guy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 07:17 well it was 27, so maybe they were talking about the next-next batch.
I suspect it's more likely just a mistake with numbers in the quote.

The "next-next batch" only exists on Wikipedia with some highly questionable numbers and citing a UKDJ article which says nothing of the sort.
Timmymagic wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 12:14 Production of the B variant will likely continue on to at least 2035. The USMC still have a lot to be delivered, the UK has additional orders that will be in soon. Add in Japanese, Spanish and potentially Singaporean, South Korean and further Italian orders and there should be enough work for some time. There might be even more if the USMC decides to replace is earlier a/c that are expensive to upgrade to the full Block IV lot 17 standard.

Basically nothing to worry about for the foreseeable...
Excellent rundown as always Timmy.

I'm relatively relaxed on us going above 48 (47) until we see progress on UK weapons integration in Block IV.

Even in the heady days of the 1990s, when 150 JSFs were being spoken of, only 60 of those were expected for FAA/carrier ops. Even if theoretically there was a larger fleet to pool from. That then fell to the familiar 48 + 90 'aspiration' that has only recently been dropped.

I remain convinced a couple of dozen more Typhoons is a better option for the RAF and Warton.
I meant it more as a tongue-in-cheek joke.

I still thing we need them, however.

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

Post by Dahedd »

Agree on more Typhoons for the RAF. A Tranch 4 with ew fittings as planned by the Germans seems nice. Always found it odd we retired a lot of our 2 seat variants. Surely a 2 seater would be handy jn these days of EW & drone Wingman.

But any attempt by the RAF & it's supporters in the MOD to scrub future F35b purchases needs stamped out right now. The carriers need those aircraft. If the RAF won't play ball then maybe the FAA needs it's funding increased and that will come from RAF coffers.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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Dahedd wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 22:46 Agree on more Typhoons for the RAF. A Tranch 4 with ew fittings as planned by the Germans seems nice. Always found it odd we retired a lot of our 2 seat variants. Surely a 2 seater would be handy jn these days of EW & drone Wingman.

But any attempt by the RAF & it's supporters in the MOD to scrub future F35b purchases needs stamped out right now. The carriers need those aircraft. If the RAF won't play ball then maybe the FAA needs it's funding increased and that will come from RAF coffers.
The RAF needs them too until tempest comes. as for typhoon, I would prefer for more tempest then extra typhoon.

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

Post by mrclark303 »

new guy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 22:49
Dahedd wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 22:46 Agree on more Typhoons for the RAF. A Tranch 4 with ew fittings as planned by the Germans seems nice. Always found it odd we retired a lot of our 2 seat variants. Surely a 2 seater would be handy jn these days of EW & drone Wingman.

But any attempt by the RAF & it's supporters in the MOD to scrub future F35b purchases needs stamped out right now. The carriers need those aircraft. If the RAF won't play ball then maybe the FAA needs it's funding increased and that will come from RAF coffers.
The RAF needs them too until tempest comes. as for typhoon, I would prefer for more tempest then extra typhoon.
I think ( bloody hope) the 24 top up F35B order is placed soon, it's important to get three squadrons operational.

Re Thypoon, there's no chance of further RAF orders, Tempest will suck those coffers dry!
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by Timmymagic »

Jensy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 00:09
Was just reading this from Tusa. Something that caught my eye:
[...] a sidebar chat with an MoD official: the next batch of 24 F-35s for the UK is on hold – the funding is needed elsewhere, and Tempest will get some of it.
I suspect this might be the same official who said it was a good idea that we ditched Tempest and purchased more F-35....the good news is there are far more sensible people in MoD
Jensy wrote: 05 Oct 2023, 15:25
I suspect it's more likely just a mistake with numbers in the quote.

The "next-next batch" only exists on Wikipedia with some highly questionable numbers and citing a UKDJ article which says nothing of the sort.
The next purchase of 27 F-35B (in addition to the 48 initial purchase) has been confirmed by ACM Sir Richard Knighton in evidence to the Defence Committee.

https://committees.parliament.uk/event/ ... e-session/

Go to Transcript, Page 10, Q321....

Q321
Mr Jones: We have mentioned F-35s, but I want to turn to them. How many F-35s have we delivered to date, and what is the expected timescale for delivering tranche 1?

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton: We have delivered 30 to date. We will have 48 by the end of 2025, and you will know that the Department and Government committed to taking us up to 74, which includes replacing the aircraft that was lost last year. The delivery of the additional ones—tranche 2, if you want to describe it like that—will start before the end of the decade and will be complete in the early part of the 2030s.

Q322
Mr Jones: That is when we will have 74.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton: Correct. They will all be F35Bs.

Q323
Mr Jones: And that is it, is it?

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton: We have always said that we would make a judgment on whether we would buy more of those in the middle of this decade, and some of that would depend on the progress we have made—

Q324
Mr Jones: I have been around this subject for many years. We started out with a plan for 148 aircraft.(Note:this is incorrect it was 138) Is a bit of honesty not needed here? If 74 is what we need for our NATO commitments—like you say, it is not just Britain; we are working with others—should we not just say that rather than keep up this nonsense of getting to a magical 148? We are never going to get to that number, are we? It creates a lot of hassle for you that, frankly, I do not think you need. (Note: Finally someone on the Defence Committee is calling out the MoD on the ridiculous line that we will get 138 and giving them an 'out'. If they're not foolish they'll take it)

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Knighton: The original plan was 138. If you go back 20 years, that was the number that was used. The decision was taken in 2010 to reduce that significantly to only 48 and to reduce the number of squadrons and therefore the number of parts associated with it. As I have said before, it is still plausible that you can get to 138, but it depends on the decisions that we make associated with the future combat air system.(Note: MoD never take an opportunity thats staring them in the face...he should have taken the 'Out' when it was offered...).
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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Jdam wrote: 20 Sep 2023, 14:28

Nothing that new but nice to know.

The wait for Block 4 is painful considering what we have in the works for it. Lucky we got some of our stuff in the block 3F software.
Actually the whole thread is fairly new, and a lot bears repeating.

The new 'Reference Standard' for Block IV is the Lot 19 aircraft. Previously we thought that Lot 17 (TR-3 processor and extra EW capabilities and antenna) would be the one to aim for. Looks like that has moved on.

Other points to note:

- 4 upgrade kits needed at most to get an aircraft to Lot 19 standard
- Pre-Lot 15 to Lot 15
- Lot 15 to Lot 16 (small upgrade)
- Lot 16 to Lot 17
- Lot 17 to 19 (the most expensive)
- Dependent on what batch an aircraft is originally from will drive how many kits it needs to go through.
- Total cost for all 4 kits is $7.82m (£6.4m at current prices).
- As Gabi notes the number of UK aircraft requiring all 4 kits is definitely 30. But might be 37...this is because TR3 has been delayed and a number of aircraft are due to be delivered that were supposed to have this onboard, be interesting to see how this works out contractually...
- Of the initial '48' a/c, 44 a/c will need upgrading to varying degrees. Obviously the lost aircraft won't, and its also unclear if the 3 x ITF test aircraft will require any upgrades. If they don't you have to wonder how much utility they retain...it might be then they are retired and sent to museums...
- Total cost to the UK for the upgrade kits is at least c£240m for 37 a/c, but I think you could add more to cover the remaining 7 a/c of the 44.
- Engine upgrades will also be required...the F-135 costs c£10m a piece, but only some components will need changing from 2028 onwards.
- I suspect we'll be looking for an EOTS upgrade as well by then...DAS upgrade is already on contract.
- No mention of radar upgrades, or if the UK will automatically move to the new radar in later production Lots (the so called Tranche 2 F-35B order for 27 a/c).
- Upgrades will also see alterations to make sure the a/c will hit the designed 8,000 flying hours.

So in total, and this is a guesstimate, I think upgrading the UK's fleet of F-35B, all 71 of them (minus the 3 ITF test aircraft) to Lot 19 standard will cost c£500m in todays money, thats a conservative estimate with a fair bit of leeway...remember the last 27 a/c will be from Lot 18 and later...if we're sensible we'll order them all as Lot 19 and beyond...so that they require zero upgrades..aircraft built after 2027/28 presumably will come with the F-135 engine improvements baked in from the start.

£500m is a lot of cash....but its a lot cheaper than we thought it could be ($30m per aircraft in the earliest batches has been mentioned before)....and to a higher, consistent standard.

Don't think HMG will have anyway of not doing it either...I fully expect LM and the US DoD to stop supporting Block 2 and 3F aircraft in due course, like AH-64D, and this will force HMG down the upgrade path. Which is a good thing as it means we will have a 'full fat' F-35 capability with all the goodies...plus if the main F-35B user is following that path the RAF/FAA will have to as well, doing anything else will increase risk (the USMC will have proved and refined the upgrade by the time we start) and endanger collaboration/cross-decking etc.

The real killer will be time....Gabi notes that a pre-Lot 15 a/c will take c4 months to be upgraded to Lot 15 standard. Lot 16 doesn't sound like it will take long, but Lot 17 involves new antenna and other physical alterations. Now the time it takes may fall as LM get used to doing the upgrades...it might also be something done only at scheduled major maintenance intervals....which would extend the timeline out.

Ultimately, as I've said before, just because Block IV is available in 2027/28 does not mean that we will have more than a handful of aircraft at that standard shortly after (and they're likely to be new production). To get all 71 combat capable aircraft to the same Block IV Lot 19 standard is going to take some time. After all we can't just remove them all from service for upgrades simultaneously....realistically even if we programme it very well with maintenance events and accept some slowdown in sqn generation for the 3rd Combat Squadron I can't see us getting it all done before 2031/32....which is when the last F-35B of the Tranche 2 batch will likely arrive. Realistically that 3rd Combat Squadron cannot arrive and be operational before 2031....there just won't be the aircraft available...

Don't expect to see more than a handful of F-35 flying around with Spear, Meteor etc. until 2031...this also explains the orders for Amraam D...so on the weapons front things will continue to be dismal for some time...how this effects Asraam Blk VI will be interesting....the older Asraam will be out of life before 2031 (hence why we're ok donating them to Ukraine), presumably we could fire Block VI but perhaps without the full capabilities....be interesting to see how that pans out...
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by serge750 »

Thanks for explaning the upgrade path, as you mention, definatly better than thought :thumbup:

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

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

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Some delayed but long awaited good news with standing up of 809 NAS:

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

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wargame_insomniac wrote: 09 Nov 2023, 21:45 Some delayed but long awaited good news with standing up of 809 NAS:



https://committees.parliament.uk/oralev ... 13758/pdf/

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

Post by new guy »

I think it's time to start looking at the delivery times of F-35 vs tempest.

Tempest with deliveries starting 2035,
how quickly will our F-35B Batch 2 order arrive?
Is the +27 jets worth it?
Used as delay overlap?
Batch 3?
Larger Batch 2?

All important questions. I don't put this against tempest, just talking about the transition to tempest
When will typhoon production stop?

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

Post by Timmymagic »

new guy wrote: 29 Nov 2023, 01:00 I think it's time to start looking at the delivery times of F-35 vs tempest.

Tempest with deliveries starting 2035,
how quickly will our F-35B Batch 2 order arrive?
Is the +27 jets worth it?
Used as delay overlap?
Batch 3?
Larger Batch 2?

All important questions. I don't put this against tempest, just talking about the transition to tempest
When will typhoon production stop?
How quicly they arrive depends on when we order them. But I believe that the intention is to have them all delivered by 2032/33.

Are 27 jets worth it? Yes. We need them to have a credible fleet to provide enough aircraft for the active carrier + training, ad by extension an all out effort to equip both carriers. Personally I've always wanted to see an fleet of around 90 combat capable aircraft, but 74 is better than 48.
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