F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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

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Jdam wrote: 18 Mar 2024, 11:22 Are those the last of the F-35B without the TR3?
I think they are. Last 13 should be TR3. Also post is wrong in numbers, as 30 planes are in UK while (now) 4 are in the US.

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

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I think you will find that 17 Sqdn. now has 4 x aircraft and Marham has 30. Although the expectation had been for 3 and 31, but AFAIK the third aircraft from the previous batch was delivered to Edwards Air Force Base (not Marham).

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

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Have the US started accepting jets from Lockheed again they had suspended delivery due to software issues?

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

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SW1 wrote: 18 Mar 2024, 13:09 Have the US started accepting jets from Lockheed again they had suspended delivery due to software issues?
No, it's not. US still did not resume accepting new planes (according to 6 day old news), and will not until TR3 upgrade is ready, which could probably be expected either in second or (more likely) third quoter of 2024. Looks like this is main reason for ordering just 42 planes for the FY2025.

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

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

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new guy wrote: 19 Mar 2024, 23:48
So we can now finally go back with arguing which squadron should be risen as the 3rd F-35B squadron :).

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

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For me, it should be 892 NAS without a doubt.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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Scimitar54 wrote: 20 Mar 2024, 12:04 For me, it should be 892 NAS without a doubt.
It should be four squadrons of 9 a/c like the harriers had IMO.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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Repulse wrote: 20 Mar 2024, 15:49
Scimitar54 wrote: 20 Mar 2024, 12:04 For me, it should be 892 NAS without a doubt.
It should be four squadrons of 9 a/c like the harriers had IMO.
I agree however I would go with 4 x Sqn's with 10 jets plus a OCU with 16 making 56 jets leaving 18 jets in the pool

This could mean under a full effort we could have 30 jets on one carrier and 20+ on the second in time
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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2 x RN & 2 x raf with the gov saying they have increased squadron numbers from the planned 3 ..... :lol:
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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4 squadrons would probably required some 80 to 90 planes, even with 10 planes per squadron. 74 would mean 3 squadrons. Considering which one will be raised, I expect to be from RAF. Still choosing some currently inactive squadron between 201 to 217, 209 for example, it could still keep strong connection with the RN.

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

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Hope the existing ones get upgraded to latest spec. ,and that we get a minimum of 74 airframes.

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

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bobp wrote: 20 Mar 2024, 22:34 Hope the existing ones get upgraded to latest spec
That is a plan, to bring all current TR2 to TR3 standard.
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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sol wrote: 20 Mar 2024, 22:15 4 squadrons would probably required some 80 to 90 planes, even with 10 planes per squadron. 74 would mean 3 squadrons. Considering which one will be raised, I expect to be from RAF. Still choosing some currently inactive squadron between 201 to 217, 209 for example, it could still keep strong connection with the RN.
I think 4 Sqn's plus OCU & TEU could be done with the 74 jets the aim should be to have 2x Sqn's with 20 jets ready to deploy on the high readiness carrier plus 2 sqn's training or on leave

Given the Typhoon fleet operates 7 sqn's Plus 1435 flt , OCU & TEU with 137 jets I maintain that 4 + OCU, TEU should be possible with 74 jets

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

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Tempest414 wrote: 21 Mar 2024, 07:38 I think 4 Sqn's plus OCU & TEU could be done with the 74 jets the aim should be to have 2x Sqn's with 20 jets ready to deploy on the high readiness carrier plus 2 sqn's training or on leave
With 60% plane availability, there would not be enough planes for 4 frontline squadrons, even with 70%, all 6 Squadrons would be at least 10 short. Unless UK could achieve consistent availability of at least 80%, some squadrons will not have full compliment of planes. US for example is currently achieving only 51% availability with their F-35s, with goal to reach 65%. 65% availability for UK would mean 48 planes. So I just don't see how 4 frontline squadrons would work, without some of them being seriously under strength or training fleet would suffer.

Also your calculation is missing planes for TEU (currently 4 in USA). So 4x10 (frontline) + 16 (OCU) + 4 (TEU) will leave only 14 for a pool.
Tempest414 wrote: 21 Mar 2024, 07:38 Given the Typhoon fleet operates 7 sqn's Plus 1435 flt , OCU & TEU with 137 jets I maintain that 4 + OCU, TEU should be possible with 74 jets
Looking just in number of squadrons might not be enough. For example, list of aircraft tail number, published around 2019/2020, it is showing only 3 aircraft assigned to 12 Squadron, 6 to 9 Squadron, 10 to II, 6 and 11 Squadron and so on. So things might not always be as they seems. 7 frontline squadrons should theoretically have 84 planes, while list is giving only 61 allocated to those squadrons (in 2019/2020 not sure what is situation now).
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

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I recall seeing a defence committee hearing where then ACM Wigston stated that ~ 20% of the entire fleet should be expected to be in deep maintenance i.e. of planned 74 ~ 59-60 would be front line strength

I also think that Marham only has the infrastructure for 4 sqns i.e. 1 OCU + 3 frontline.

Allowing for say ~ 20% of the active fleet being in line maintenance gives 48 available.

So perm 48: 3x10 frontline sqns + an OCU of 18 appears plausible for peacetime.

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

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Pte. James Frazer wrote: 21 Mar 2024, 20:28 I recall seeing a defence committee hearing where then ACM Wigston stated that ~ 20% of the entire fleet should be expected to be in deep maintenance i.e. of planned 74 ~ 59-60 would be front line strength

I also think that Marham only has the infrastructure for 4 sqns i.e. 1 OCU + 3 frontline.

Allowing for say ~ 20% of the active fleet being in line maintenance gives 48 available.

So perm 48: 3x10 frontline sqns + an OCU of 18 appears plausible for peacetime.

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Well I would say we need to get away from the Norm that the RAF operate as these jets are and should be for the Carriers firstly given a front line number of 59 the aim should be to deploy 20 jets to the duty carrier meaning that when jets/ Sqn's are not deployed to a carrier they should be in maintenance or working up training to deploy to a carrier

This should mean that the Sqn's not at readiness to deploy to the duty carrier could be operating as few as 4 or 5 Jets day to day

Can anyone tell me the current time back ops for a jet in line maintenance and the current flying hours between line maintenance periods

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

Post by Pte. James Frazer »

Tempest414 wrote:
Pte. James Frazer wrote: 21 Mar 2024, 20:28 I recall seeing a defence committee hearing where then ACM Wigston stated that ~ 20% of the entire fleet should be expected to be in deep maintenance i.e. of planned 74 ~ 59-60 would be front line strength

I also think that Marham only has the infrastructure for 4 sqns i.e. 1 OCU + 3 frontline.

Allowing for say ~ 20% of the active fleet being in line maintenance gives 48 available.

So perm 48: 3x10 frontline sqns + an OCU of 18 appears plausible for peacetime.

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Well I would say we need to get away from the Norm that the RAF operate as these jets are and should be for the Carriers firstly given a front line number of 59 the aim should be to deploy 20 jets to the duty carrier meaning that when jets/ Sqn's are not deployed to a carrier they should be in maintenance or working up training to deploy to a carrier

This should mean that the Sqn's not at readiness to deploy to the duty carrier could be operating as few as 4 or 5 Jets day to day

Can anyone tell me the current time back ops for a jet in line maintenance and the current flying hours between line maintenance periods
Broadly agree that ~ 30-32 active airframes allocated to the 3 frontline sqns would allow a 'surge' of 20-24 i.e 2 sqns to the active carrier with 8-10 remaining for the rotated 3rd sqn at Marham for training or other duties.

Not sure 20-24 for the carrier will ever be the peacetime norm though.

Those 8-10 airframes + a few 'borrowed' as required short term from the OCU should be enough for the 3rd sqn. I assume a pilot rota of ~ 15 per sqn...so they hot desk as always.

Think the USMC have gone to 10 jet sqns = 2 flights of 4 plus CO and XO?

We seem to be 'aligning' with many things the USMC do.



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

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Tempest414 wrote: 22 Mar 2024, 09:04 Well I would say we need to get away from the Norm that the RAF operate as these jets are and should be for the Carriers firstly given a front line number of 59 the aim should be to deploy 20 jets to the duty carrier meaning that when jets/ Sqn's are not deployed to a carrier they should be in maintenance or working up training to deploy to a carrier

This should mean that the Sqn's not at readiness to deploy to the duty carrier could be operating as few as 4 or 5 Jets day to day
That would be waste of the squadrons and jets. What is a point of having 74 aircraft if you are only effectively using 20 deployed for duty aircraft (basically 27% of effective usage of fleet) or 4 squadrons if only 2 (50%) are operational? Why not use F-35B squadron for some land based deployments if needed if they are not deployed at CV? Having 4 squadrons just for name/number sake is pointless. 3 squadrons are enough, as:
  • RN does not intend to ever operate more than 24 from one carrier so 2 squadrons
  • Chance that UK will simultaneously operate both CVs at the same time with full air wings are minimal
Even US, even thou it have 11 CVs, only have 5 CV air wings, as that enough to cover all operational CVs. If there is a need for both CV to operate at full strength, UK would probably be able to get 24 on one and maybe 16 - 18 on the second using planes from 207 Squadron, maybe even full 24 but probably with serious impact on training of new pilots. But for short time (like Falklands War for example) this should be possible. Or either allies, like USMC or Italians, could provide additional planes if this falls is under NATO.

Having 4 squadrons would be great but not necessary, but also it would require more planes, aircrews and facilities. Australia is having 3 frontline squadrons with 72 planes, Canada will have 4 squadrons with 88. So UK would require some 80 to 90 for 4 squadrons even if only 10 per squadron.
Pte. James Frazer wrote: 22 Mar 2024, 09:43 Think the USMC have gone to 10 jet sqns = 2 flights of 4 plus CO and XO?

We seem to be 'aligning' with many things the USMC do.
Yes, but they have their own reason for that. Both new LHA, America and Tripoli could operate up to 20 F-35B (so 2x10) but also usual deployment on rest of LHD fleet is 6 (1 flight, Co and XO) with maximum of 20 but not sustainable for a long time. Doing the same as USMC just because they are using it, even if there is no reasons for it, is not the best practice.

And if UK want to operate squadrons with 10 F-35B I don't mind, but I do not see how there could be 4 frontline squadrons from 74 planes without some of them basically be just a token force due lack of operational planes.

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

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sol wrote:
Tempest414 wrote: 22 Mar 2024, 09:04 Well I would say we need to get away from the Norm that the RAF operate as these jets are and should be for the Carriers firstly given a front line number of 59 the aim should be to deploy 20 jets to the duty carrier meaning that when jets/ Sqn's are not deployed to a carrier they should be in maintenance or working up training to deploy to a carrier

This should mean that the Sqn's not at readiness to deploy to the duty carrier could be operating as few as 4 or 5 Jets day to day
That would be waste of the squadrons and jets. What is a point of having 74 aircraft if you are only effectively using 20 deployed for duty aircraft (basically 27% of effective usage of fleet) or 4 squadrons if only 2 (50%) are operational? Why not use F-35B squadron for some land based deployments if needed if they are not deployed at CV? Having 4 squadrons just for name/number sake is pointless. 3 squadrons are enough, as:
  • RN does not intend to ever operate more than 24 from one carrier so 2 squadrons
  • Chance that UK will simultaneously operate both CVs at the same time with full air wings are minimal
Even US, even thou it have 11 CVs, only have 5 CV air wings, as that enough to cover all operational CVs. If there is a need for both CV to operate at full strength, UK would probably be able to get 24 on one and maybe 16 - 18 on the second using planes from 207 Squadron, maybe even full 24 but probably with serious impact on training of new pilots. But for short time (like Falklands War for example) this should be possible. Or either allies, like USMC or Italians, could provide additional planes if this falls is under NATO.

Having 4 squadrons would be great but not necessary, but also it would require more planes, aircrews and facilities. Australia is having 3 frontline squadrons with 72 planes, Canada will have 4 squadrons with 88. So UK would require some 80 to 90 for 4 squadrons even if only 10 per squadron.
Pte. James Frazer wrote: 22 Mar 2024, 09:43 Think the USMC have gone to 10 jet sqns = 2 flights of 4 plus CO and XO?

We seem to be 'aligning' with many things the USMC do.
Yes, but they have their own reason for that. Both new LHA, America and Tripoli could operate up to 20 F-35B (so 2x10) but also usual deployment on rest of LHD fleet is 6 (1 flight, Co and XO) with maximum of 20 but not sustainable for a long time. Doing the same as USMC just because they are using it, even if there is no reasons for it, is not the best practice.

And if UK want to operate squadrons with 10 F-35B I don't mind, but I do not see how there could be 4 frontline squadrons from 74 planes without some of them basically be just a token force due lack of operational planes.
That's what I'm saying. 1 OCU plus 3 frontline sqns is the stated plan.

My reckoning is that frontline sqns of 10 jets are more sustainable than 12 jets in peacetime as the latter would leave the OCU a little short with 12.

If things got hot they can be increased to 12 jets per sqn.

Or the land based squadron in training (or on other non-carrier duties) could be a smaller sqn. e.g 6-8, so 2x12 + 1×6-8.

Perms of 48, take your pick:

1x18 + 3x10
1x18 + 2x12 + 1x6
1x16 + 2x12 + 1x8
1x14 + 2x12 + 1x10

A lot depends on how many are needed for the OCU and whether the ~ 12 in line maintenance nominally allocated to the 4 sqns are counted on the sqn strength.

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

Post by SW1 »

Have you noticed that when a fastjet squadron deploys as a squadron they go with 8 jets be they tornado, typhoon, or f35 even though there peace time compliment is 12. For intense operations they may add 1 or 2 additional jets for fwd deployed maintenance spares.

The problem with comparing what the US marine corp does with its squadrons is they have twice the amount of people to keep the squadron going.

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

Post by Pte. James Frazer »

SW1 wrote:Have you noticed that when a fastjet squadron deploys as a squadron they go with 8 jets be they tornado, typhoon, or f35 even though there peace time compliment is 12. For intense operations they may add 1 or 2 additional jets for fwd deployed maintenance spares.

The problem with comparing what the US marine corp does with its squadrons is they have twice the amount of people to keep the squadron going.
Yes I had, and I know the jets in the fleet are pooled and only nominally allocated to a sqn.

Suppose to restate, based on the assumptions above, if the peacetime compliment for the 3 frontline sqns is to be the standard 12 then that leaves the OCU with 12.....

I've seen it stated that CSG25 will have a 'full compliment' of 24.

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

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Pte. James Frazer wrote: 22 Mar 2024, 10:35
sol wrote:
Tempest414 wrote: 22 Mar 2024, 09:04 Well I would say we need to get away from the Norm that the RAF operate as these jets are and should be for the Carriers firstly given a front line number of 59 the aim should be to deploy 20 jets to the duty carrier meaning that when jets/ Sqn's are not deployed to a carrier they should be in maintenance or working up training to deploy to a carrier

This should mean that the Sqn's not at readiness to deploy to the duty carrier could be operating as few as 4 or 5 Jets day to day
That would be waste of the squadrons and jets. What is a point of having 74 aircraft if you are only effectively using 20 deployed for duty aircraft (basically 27% of effective usage of fleet) or 4 squadrons if only 2 (50%) are operational? Why not use F-35B squadron for some land based deployments if needed if they are not deployed at CV? Having 4 squadrons just for name/number sake is pointless. 3 squadrons are enough, as:
  • RN does not intend to ever operate more than 24 from one carrier so 2 squadrons
  • Chance that UK will simultaneously operate both CVs at the same time with full air wings are minimal
Even US, even thou it have 11 CVs, only have 5 CV air wings, as that enough to cover all operational CVs. If there is a need for both CV to operate at full strength, UK would probably be able to get 24 on one and maybe 16 - 18 on the second using planes from 207 Squadron, maybe even full 24 but probably with serious impact on training of new pilots. But for short time (like Falklands War for example) this should be possible. Or either allies, like USMC or Italians, could provide additional planes if this falls is under NATO.

Having 4 squadrons would be great but not necessary, but also it would require more planes, aircrews and facilities. Australia is having 3 frontline squadrons with 72 planes, Canada will have 4 squadrons with 88. So UK would require some 80 to 90 for 4 squadrons even if only 10 per squadron.
Pte. James Frazer wrote: 22 Mar 2024, 09:43 Think the USMC have gone to 10 jet sqns = 2 flights of 4 plus CO and XO?

We seem to be 'aligning' with many things the USMC do.
Yes, but they have their own reason for that. Both new LHA, America and Tripoli could operate up to 20 F-35B (so 2x10) but also usual deployment on rest of LHD fleet is 6 (1 flight, Co and XO) with maximum of 20 but not sustainable for a long time. Doing the same as USMC just because they are using it, even if there is no reasons for it, is not the best practice.

And if UK want to operate squadrons with 10 F-35B I don't mind, but I do not see how there could be 4 frontline squadrons from 74 planes without some of them basically be just a token force due lack of operational planes.
That's what I'm saying. 1 OCU plus 3 frontline sqns is the stated plan.

My reckoning is that frontline sqns of 10 jets are more sustainable than 12 jets in peacetime as the latter would leave the OCU a little short with 12.

If things got hot they can be increased to 12 jets per sqn.

Or the land based squadron in training (or on other non-carrier duties) could be a smaller sqn. e.g 6-8, so 2x12 + 1×6-8.

Perms of 48, take your pick:

1x18 + 3x10
1x18 + 2x12 + 1x6
1x16 + 2x12 + 1x8
1x14 + 2x12 + 1x10

A lot depends on how many are needed for the OCU and whether the ~ 12 in line maintenance nominally allocated to the 4 sqns are counted on the sqn strength.

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My point being that we should move to 4 Sqn's within the F35 wing with the wing having 58 jets Sqn's would be allocated jets as needed having more sqns mean's less det time as this is spread across more pilots

We could see 2 sqns deploy to a carrier with 16 or 18 jet and a third deploy to Cyprus with 5 jets = 23 jets the forth Sqn & OCU would be at home with 25 jets plus 10 jets in line maintenance

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

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How would having more sqn with fewer aircraft mean more pilots?

Problem with creating more Sqns is it requires more people, where do all these people come from?
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Re: F-35B Lightning (RAF & RN)

Post by sol »

Pte. James Frazer wrote: 22 Mar 2024, 10:35 Perms of 48, take your pick:

1x18 + 3x10
1x18 + 2x12 + 1x6
1x16 + 2x12 + 1x8
1x14 + 2x12 + 1x10
You are missing TEU which currently has 4 planes. If I am not wrong, original plan was to have 3 previously deployed to US to be upgraded to TR-3 and sent to UK while 17 Squadron would get 3 new planes. But now 4th plane was sent to it, so not sure if there is some change to plan.

With 74 UK should be able to have three fully functional frontline squadrons, if that would means 10 plans than 10 planes would be. I am not arguing against that. My whole point was that 74 aircraft is not enough to have 4 frontline squadrons as some previous post (not by you) suggested.

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