IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: UK to spend £2.5bn on F-35 fighters
Topic Summary:
Created On: 12 February 2014 10:17 AM
Status: Post and Reply
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 12 February 2014 10:19 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004


"UK to spend £2.5bn on F-35 fighters"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26124894


"The initial UK order for 14 F-35Bs will, with support costs added, cost about £2.5bn, Newsnight has learned."

Full complement of 40 aircraft at the lower Pentagon estimate of £154 million each will cost roughly the same as the two aircraft carriers combined (40 x £153 million = £6.12 billion)

"Aircraft carrier: What is costing £6.2bn?"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24833555


Even if it eventually works the range of the F-35B is terrible 500 miles out and then 500 miles back. From Portsmouth the F35B doesn't have the range to protect the entire land area of Britain. Although it will do if Scotland votes for independence.

Yet...

"Former Royal Navy chief Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, who now works with Lockheed Martin, believes the new aircraft is vital to maintaining Britain's status as a serious international player.

"By the end of the decade, we are going to have a credible air capability," he said, adding that the Ministry of Defence's original commitment to buying 48 jets "will certainly not be enough". "


http://www.lockheedmartin.co.u...p/uk-board.html


-------------------------
James Arathoon
 12 February 2014 11:06 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Incidently the F-35B only has stealth capability when not attached by umbilical to a refueling aircraft.

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 12 February 2014 02:31 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

As long as the money is spent on a plane that is actually flying and delivering what it is supposed to then I can live with it. Just a shame that we more or less gave away our harrier jump jet technology.

We need these things James; because basically some humans like to inflict harm on others and we need to protect against it and of course others need to protect against it as well.

Regards.
 12 February 2014 04:08 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Originally posted by: westonpa

As long as the money is spent on a plane that is actually flying and delivering what it is supposed to then I can live with it. Just a shame that we more or less gave away our harrier jump jet technology.

We need these things James; because basically some humans like to inflict harm on others and we need to protect against it and of course others need to protect against it as well.

Regards.


The trouble is the carriers + F-35B can't be used to fully defend uk airspace because of range and payload limitations. This is a disaster for our military capability. The coalition government should have had the courage to junk the whole carrier programme when they came to office. Given that a full complement of F-35B will cost twice as much as each carrier, it is time to cut our losses now, and spend the £6 billion more wisely.

We might be able to use one of the carriers for laying off-shore wind turbines I suppose when the costs of off-shore wind turbines reduce. The other carrier can be turned into a Thames side venue.



-------------------------
James Arathoon
 12 February 2014 11:12 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

James, the politicians new the full cost and implications when they placed the order for the carriers, they are just not going to admit it. Full costs are never released at the start when they know it will be very expensive else it may upset someone; so the unwritten policy is to drip feed it and which the press go along with because they get a steady stream of info to report rather than just getting some big release at the start. As long as we have a ship that floats and a plane that flies the talent of the boys and girls that do the real work will make it work just fine. The politicians and Admirals are just the show pieces it's the captains and below who are the cream of the crop and they will adapt accordingly. Who do you think is going to attack UK airspace; Saddam in 45 minutes?

Regards.
 12 February 2014 11:30 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

How about this one then James:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26157641

"A total of 14 of the planes are being bought for military use under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract that is costing more than £10bn."

Regards.
 13 February 2014 02:37 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Can somebody explain why the euro fighter isn't good enough anymore? Didn't they spend billions on that project?
 13 February 2014 08:23 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ectophile

Posts: 546
Joined: 17 September 2001

Originally posted by: mbirdi

Can somebody explain why the euro fighter isn't good enough anymore? Didn't they spend billions on that project?


Because the Eurofighter Typhoon isn't designed to take off from an aircraft carrier.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 13 February 2014 07:13 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: ectophile
Because the Eurofighter Typhoon isn't designed to take off from an aircraft carrier.


That's ok, we do not have an aircraft carrier.

I say that in jest!

Regards.
 19 February 2014 03:26 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

As I try to be consistent in my thinking, I should point out to the people of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands that if my views become politically influential in the UK, it may put the future governance and status of these places up for negotiation, perhaps negotiation arbitrated by the EU or UN. I would rather spend money on increasing trade links with Spain and Argentina, than to build expensive aircraft carriers, packed with expensive F35-B's, to protect some past out of date notion of the UK's place in the world.

My personal favourite starting point solution is to give Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands autonomous governing status under bilateral treaty. In extended analogy to Buenos Aires (now called Autonomous City of Buenos Aires) they could perhaps be Autonomous Federated Regions of two nation states conjointly. Both sponsoring countries would have open access to all information in regards to matters of state and governance, and a direct say and veto (where appropriate) on matters which involve border control and national security.

The aim and existence of such federated regions should be for the promotion of business and cultural exchange, between the two sponsoring countries, not the reverse. There will be huge economic benefits to Spain, Argentina and the UK if tens of billions of pounds of business and cultural investment can be leveraged upon a new set of bilateral treaties.

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 21 February 2014 03:01 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Couple of Snippets from "Director, Operational Test and Evaluation
FY 2013 Annual Report" January 2014 J. Michael Gilmore (Director)

http://www.dote.osd.mil/pub/reports/FY2013/

"F-35C Air-Ship Integration and Ship Suitability Testing" p 50

"Engine noise is a potential risk to personnel on the flight
deck and one level below the flight deck. The Navy has
decided to procure active noise reduction personal hearing
protection for on-deck personnel. Projected noise levels
one level below the flight deck (03 level) will require
at least single hearing protection. On most carriers
this is a berthing area, but on CVN-78 [United States Navy supercarriers] this is a mission planning space"


Ear defenders required in the carrier mission planning space - this would be bad news if this also applies to the Royal Navy.

Captain says "It's Time for Tea" - Lieutenant-Commander - "Sorry Sir please confirm you said 'It's World War Three' ". Captain says "Yes, It's definitely Time for Tea" - with an imaginary tea cup sip gesture learnt at nursery school needed to save the world an unnecessary destruction.

Question for electrical engineering students is written into one of the "FY13 Recommendations" on page 51

"6. Determine the vulnerability potential of putting 270-volt
power on a 28-volt signal bus. Due to the unique electrical
nature of the F-35 flight control system, the Program
Office should thoroughly examine and understand this
vulnerability before this aircraft becomes operational. The
Program Office should successfully incorporate the wire
harness design and the associated vulnerabilities in the F-35
vulnerability analysis tools."


If there are any student volunteers willing to try this test on a £150 million aircraft, please contact the Pentagon.

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 21 February 2014 02:27 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Why The F-35 Is The Wrong Choice for Canada - Part 1

Why The F-35 Is The Wrong Choice for Canada - Part 2

Why The F-35 Is The Wrong Choice for Canada - Part 3

CBSNews 60 minutes: Is the F-35 worth it?

The CBS News interviews are worth watching, inspite of the adverts.

Short exerpt from the interview...

"That stealth coating was repaired and the problem with the running lights fixed but, so far, not the tires. With about 35 planes a year coming off the Lockheed Martin assembly line, it seems awfully late to be discovering such basic flaws. That's because early in the program the Pentagon counted on computer modeling and simulators to take the place of old-fashioned flight testing.

Frank Kendall: An old adage in the, in this business is, "You should fly before you buy." Make sure the design is stable and things work before you actually go into production.

Frank Kendall is the under secretary of Defense for Acquisition - the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer.

Frank Kendall: We started buying airplanes a good year before we started flight tests.

David Martin: So you buy before you fly?

Frank Kendall: In that case yes.

David Martin: Just saying, it doesn't sound like a good idea.

Frank Kendall: I referred to that decision as acquisition malpractice."


So is the UK Ministry of Defence going to "Buy" more aircraft "before they fly" - and add to the existing "acquisition malpractice".

Learn about how "Alice" tells the pilot whether or not he/she can fly the plane in the 60 minutes overtime video. This looks like an excellent mechanism for the Pentagon to ground the RAF F-35B squadrons if they disagree with a particular mission plan. Will they turn into remote control drones at the flick of a switch?

Will the UK military have access to the full F-35 source code?

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 22 February 2014 12:29 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ectophile

Posts: 546
Joined: 17 September 2001

Realistically, no defence company is ever going to invest the huge amounts of money to develop a new aircraft, unless they have committed orders from at least one government.

So I hardly think that the UK committing to buy at least some of the aircraft before they have been flown could possibly be described as "malpractice". It is normal practice, and is the way in which defence procurement has been carried out for many years.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 22 February 2014 02:23 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

Originally posted by: ectophile

Realistically, no defence company is ever going to invest the huge amounts of money to develop a new aircraft, unless they have committed orders from at least one government.



So I hardly think that the UK committing to buy at least some of the aircraft before they have been flown could possibly be described as "malpractice". It is normal practice, and is the way in which defence procurement has been carried out for many years.


I don't disagree. However this is not what Frank Kendall (the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer) meant by "acquisition malpractice". He is referring to setting up and running the final product production line before the new aircraft is fully flight tested and the deficiencies found remedied.

What Lockheed Martin are doing is prematurely building £150 million production line aircraft, that may well need similar amounts of money to completely refit at the end of the flight test programme. Additionally if things go from bad to worse, the Pentagon may want to cancel the F-35B variant, to simplify the development of the F-35A and F-35C. If we order 14 F-35B's now, we may end up with a £2.5 billion bill for a failed and unsupported aircraft.

It will be better in terms of an integrated and multilayered UK air defence capability if we use some of the £2.5 billion to buy some longer range, higher payload, French Rafale aircraft instead.

How is the F-35B going to defend a carrier group, let alone uk airspace, when it only has a supersonic flight range of the order of 100 miles?

I think the MoD and our military defence chiefs have lost the plot.


-------------------------
James Arathoon
 25 February 2014 12:43 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

The argument in favour of the F-35 for Canada have now been published in the Ottawa Citizen. See the arguments against above.

Why The F-35 Is Essential For Canada - Part 1

Why The F-35 Is Essential For Canada Part 2

For the UK we have to replace our 2 seat Tornado Strike Aircraft, which are due to be retired in 2019. This might best be achieved by ordering a few squadrons of 2 seat Dassault Rafale Strike Aircraft, as second layer defence behind the Typhoon squadrons.

Once the F-35 proves it can breach a layered Typhoon + heavily armed Rafale backstop defence in war gaming, and visa versa, then we should consider it. Until then we should spend our valuable resources on a defence system that we know is going to work cost effectively.

Additionally if France, India, Canada and the UK got there act together on this jobs could be shared out in an economically sensible fashion with costs slashed relative to buying the F-35B at this stage.

Set up a competition and use the aircraft carriers for someting else, e.g. building off-shore wind farms more quickly and more cheaply.


-------------------------
James Arathoon
 26 February 2014 01:00 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

And another part of the pro- F-35 argument...

Why The F-35 Is Essential For Canada Part 3

The F-35B the bulk heads crack after a little over 9000 test flight hours, and this is without the airframe being stressed as it will be in combat duties (full rated g turns etc.)

The F-35B airframe is now in the process of being redesigned; once ready a further 8000 hours of flight tests needs to be done to get back to where we are now.

Lets say 2 hours of flight tests on a particular aircraft can be done every 12 hours, that's 4 hours a day. To get to 8000 hours required 2000 days elapsed time, which is 5 years at the very minimum.

This puts the whole F-35B development programme completely out of sink with the F-35A. On this basis there is little chance that the F-35B will be proved combat ready before 2025. With ordering and production time lags this means that this is an aircraft that might just be ready for active duty from the early 2030's onwards. With enough US investment the F-35B might be able to beat (in war games) a well designed multi-layered defence of Typhoons and Rafales by the mid 2030's. Since there already exists a mix of these planes (Typhoons and Rafales) in operation across Europe, such defence strategies can already be practiced, honed and developed (and any weaknesses gradually fixed) using combat ready aircraft.

The UK does not have the resources to play political games like the US military. (The F-22 Raptor being the most recent Lockeed-Martin procurement debacle prior to the unfolding story of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter). If we want to replace our combat ready 2 seat Tornado squadrons by around 2019 then the F-35B is not the solution for the UK Royal Air Force.

The UK aircraft carrier program, critically depends on the quick and sucessful develeopment of the F-35B. It is now very clear that this cannot now happen and the aircraft carrier programme is now fatally undermined in its current form. Let's have some honest debate on what the UK does now please (before the 2015 general election and defence review). No one wants to reduce army personnel numbers still further to fund this unfolding Navy procurement misadventure.

-------------------------
James Arathoon
 26 February 2014 01:55 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: jarathoon
The UK aircraft carrier program, critically depends on the quick and sucessful develeopment of the F-35B. It is now very clear that this cannot now happen and the aircraft carrier programme is now fatally undermined in its current form.

Ooops, I guess it will soon be Lord Hammond then and the new Labour government blaming it on the last lot.

It does not matter James, because as long as the boats float and the planes get off the ground the fine people in the British military will make them work. They have been managing to do this for decades.

Regards.
 26 February 2014 03:30 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

I agree military personnel often have to go to phenomenally lengths to make things work because procurement staff and leaders have seriously messed things up.

e.g. it is reported that the F-22 Raptor required 30 hours of maintenance for each hour of flight.

Therefore as an order of magnitude calculation it would take 30 aircraft and 30 times 2 or 3 ground crew maintenance teams on 8 or 12 hour shift system (60 to 90 ground crew maintenance teams) to keep one F-22 Raptor in the sky 24 hours a day.

If an adversary uses their aircraft to buzz the edge of US airspace: How many points on the edge of US airspace would you have to buzz to engage all 187 F-22 Raptors. In such a war gaming scenario it seems an adversary would have to constantly buzz the edges of USA airspace in 6 or seven places, to pull all 187 F-22 Raptors into active service, along with 360 to 540 ground crew maintenance teams to keep the six aircraft in the air 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



-------------------------
James Arathoon
 26 February 2014 09:07 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Quite correct James, but not an issue for the senior politicians because they deal in what it says on paper and not what the real world looks like. Let's not forget even the infallible and top notch organisation known as NASA and their decision to build a reusable space craft without properly considering the service/repair requirements every time it came back from a mission. The point is that the big decision makers are never sanctioned for failure, unless we call promotion or a Golden hand shake a sanction.

You will not get the fine people currently in the military publically complaining because they are not allowed to, as well you know. However there is a positive in all of this because as long as the other side are as incompetent as we are then they will not be attacking us because their own planes/ships will not get far from their own carriers/airspace. Could even be the next development is mid air servicing!

Regards.
Statistics

See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2014 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.