Ozair
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:49 am

moo wrote:
As I said, we would run out of budget before that becomes an issue.

The carriers will only ever see a maximum of 40 aircraft (fixed wing and rotary) unless something very unusual happens - the expected normal aircraft load is 24 F-35s and 5 helicopters, which is a small increase on the typical aircraft load carried by the Invincible-class carriers (22 aircraft, fixed wing and rotary) while the carrier itself has a deck space of nearly triple (yes, the F-35 is larger, but not that much larger).

We only have 14 F-35s on order, with an "agreement" for 42 in total - 138 were originally planned, but the UK will never see that number in operation. We may see another order in 15 years as replacement, but not realistically in any way is the RAF/RN going to operate more than 42 aircraft.

I think your concerns are baseless, tbh.

Why you think the UK will buy less than the 138 planned? The last SDR was very clear on the commitment to get the full number and nothing has indicated a change to that.

What we may see is a reduction in Bee for A models, as suggested again recently. Would certainly suit the RAF to have more land based aircraft that are overall more capable (minus the STOVL of course).
 
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moo
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:30 am

Ozair wrote:
Why you think the UK will buy less than the 138 planned? The last SDR was very clear on the commitment to get the full number and nothing has indicated a change to that.


*Cough*, please re-read my post...

I never said that the UK would buy less than the 138 planned, I said that the UK would never see 138 in operation.

The SDSR directly supports me in this:

We will buy 138 F-35 Lightning aircraft over the life of the programme. We will buy some of these aircraft more quickly than previously planned, creating an additional front-line squadron by 2023.


https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... ver_13.pdf

The MoD has directly said, again in the above document, that they will only operate two F-35B front line squadrons - given that a typical RAF squadron of Typhoons or Tornados consists of 12 aircraft, thats your carrier air wing of 24 aircraft, and thats your current planned order of 42 aircraft (24 front line aircraft and one or two training squadrons).

So I pretty much guarantee that the 138 will consist of multiple separate buys - another purchase in 2025 for delivery into the 2030s, allowing older aircraft to be retired (as per many Tranche 1 Typhoons) and be replaced by more capable later production aircraft, and then again in 2035.

What we may see is a reduction in Bee for A models, as suggested again recently. Would certainly suit the RAF to have more land based aircraft that are overall more capable (minus the STOVL of course).


No reduction needed, the MoD has never committed to 138 F-35B's, just 138 F-35s....

But I still don't see it happening. The Tornado force will go in 2019, which means that if we were replacing them with F-35A's then that decision should have been taken as part of the 2015 SDSR, which it wasn't - post 2020, the UKs air force fast jet capability will consist of whatever Typhoons we end up with (Tranche 3 being unlikely at this stage, given the wording of the SDSR that the RAF will create an additional two front line Typhoon squadrons from existing stock and their life will be extended through to 2040...) plus 24 front line F-35s.

Its looking likely that going forward, the RAF and RN will have less than 100 front line fast jets. Perhaps less than 100 fast jets in total (not including Hawks etc).
 
Kiwirob
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:46 am

ThePointblank wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Great pictures of some fine looking ships PB.

And they all look good, the extended island structure and blended 'ski jump' on some look far better than
the somewhat bizarre, twin island structure of the QE.

The extended island structure and blended ski jump cuts into deck parking, which reduces air wing size and sortie rates.


The maximum capacity of CVF according to some of the guys I've met at BAE is 70 aircraft and helicopters, that's a huge jump from what was previously operated and second on to the US carriers. They'll never have this many on board but the capacity is there if needed.
 
johns624
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:45 pm

moo wrote:


The carriers will only ever see a maximum of 40 aircraft (fixed wing and rotary) unless something very unusual happens - the expected normal aircraft load is 24 F-35s and 5 helicopters, which is a small increase on the typical aircraft load carried by the Invincible-class carriers (22 aircraft, fixed wing and rotary) while the carrier itself has a deck space of nearly triple (yes, the F-35 is larger, but not that much larger).

We only have 14 F-35s on order, with an "agreement" for 42 in total - 138 were originally planned, but the UK will never see that number in operation. We may see another order in 15 years as replacement, but not realistically in any way is the RAF/RN going to operate more than 42 aircraft.

I think your concerns are baseless, tbh.
So, once again, why such a big carrier for such a small air wing?
 
LightningZ71
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:18 pm

Operational flexibility.

Granting that the plans were finalized when budgets were different and plans were also different, it made no sense to cancel them, or attempt to downsize them. They are to be in the fleet for a long time to come, and as such, had to be large enough to handle many different use cases, including being the basis for amphibious assault operations while also being able to handle their airspace protection duties.
 
GDB
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 5:15 pm

When we talk about up to 22 aircraft on the Invincible Class, they were packed in, this was also only possible once the forward Sea Dart SAM system (a legacy from the original, pre Sea Harrier, ASW Command Cruiser role), was removed.
With far less provision for stores for the air-group.
It's not the number of aircraft on the ship, it's how long you can sustain them for. Space will abound for stores, personnel, making the CVF's far less dependent on replenishment, either at sea or in port.

It's been mentioned before how also you can 'mix and match' far more, several hundred Royal Marine Commando's and their Merlins and Lynx Wildcats, along with Army Apaches and RAF Chinooks. It's a tri service asset.
Which depending on the threat, may or may not need a token F-35B group of say 6. If not, more space for choppers.

When Commissioned Invincible (an old RN Cruiser name just in case the Treasury thought the Navy wanted aircraft carriers!), had an air group of 5 Sea Harriers and 9 Sea Kings. For it's ASW task group leader role.
But it wasn't like that when it went to war, in rather different and unexpected circumstances.
In 1982 the RN had nearly all of the 31 Sea Harrier FRS.1's and 3 T.2Ns on order.
Aircraft from the training unit (899 NAS) reinforced the aircraft on both Invincible and Hermes, (the latter, larger ship also got RAF Harrier GR.3's releasing the Sea Harriers later on for mostly AD and not ground attack).
During the conflict 809 NAS also stood up as a Sea Harrier unit.

The same could happen with the CVS, if a situation needs more than 24 F-35B's, a half dozen could come from the joint training unit, (likely to be 14 aircraft), without impacting too much on training.
Even in the Falklands, a few Sea Harriers had to be held back not just for training but testing modifications and new weapons for combat.

With the F-35, I don't see us buying the -A. I do see a case, later, for some land based F-35C's. Why you may ask? It's nothing to do with the carriers, everything to do with it's range.
The RAF are due to get 40 (down from 88) Tranche 3 Typhoons, they, along with the Tranche 2 frames, will soon get the Storm Shadow ASM from the Tornado fleet.
While mooted, it does not seem likely that the RAF nor the other operators, will go with the upper-fuselage conformal fuel tank option, potentially available for Tranche 3 frames.

It can be argued that there is a gap that the retirement of Tornado and a smaller than planned Typhoon force could fill.
As the Tranche 1's will operate for longer than planned, with the RAF raising 7 not 5 front line Typhoon units, when it comes to replacing these why not buy a batch of F-35C(UK)?
They won't be QAR assigned (though they can do AD), they would take a share of the strike role from the remaining Typhoons however.

So you would have 5 Typhoon units, 2 F-35C(UK) and 1 F-35B for the RAF, plus, eventually, two RN NAS with F-35B. (One NAS is currently planned).
In this situation the RAF F-35B unit has a secondary role reinforcing CVF, however it's primary role would be similar to the world's first operational VSTOL unit, 1 Sqn RAF, from 1969 on Harrier GR.1's.
That is rapid reinforcement, whether there is an airfield with full facilities where they are going, or not.
 
angad84
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:21 pm

LightningZ71 wrote:
Operational flexibility.


Exactly. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Plus, tonnage is relatively cheap.
 
johns624
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:14 pm

The spin doctors are out in full force...
 
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moo
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:53 pm

johns624 wrote:
The spin doctors are out in full force...


Just because you don't like an answer or an opinion doesn't make it spin.

One could say that you yourself are trying to guide the discussion by claiming spin doctoring.
 
johns624
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:04 am

moo wrote:
Just because you don't like an answer or an opinion doesn't make it spin.

One could say that you yourself are trying to guide the discussion by claiming spin doctoring.
Not really. I originally edited my post and expanded it greatly but when I went to post it, the software said it was too late to edit it. Grrrr!!!
Here it is again. Although I'm an American, I get a lot of my naval information from a well respected British monthly publication called Warship IFR (International Fleet Review). They slag the RN and British SDR's regularly.
First, they build two carriers when they only have the planes and crew to operate one at a time.
Second, they decide to try to operate one as an LPH but have to pay off the HMS Ocean, an as-built LPD, to get crews for the carriers. The Ocean is under 20 years old and just recently underwent a refit.
Third, the original number of AAW Type 45 destroyers was cut from the original 12 down to only 6, with only 5 in operation. That leaves maybe 3 available to go to sea (on a good day). So, even if they could get both carriers operating simultaneously, they'd have trouble with sufficient AA protection.
Fourth, the 13 Type 23 ASW frigates are getting older and are going to be replaced by the on-the-drawing-board Type 26. They were originally going to be replaced on a 1:1 basis, but now they are talking about building only 8 (if that).
Fifth, the Royal Marines, while probably the best light infantry in the world, aren't a large force. They only have three battalions, only1-2 of which are available at one time for deployment. Therefore, with the HMS Ocean, Bulwark and Albion, the latter two barely 12 years old, they presently have all the lift capacity they need, or could even use.
 
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moo
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Sat Jul 08, 2017 2:47 am

johns624 wrote:
First, they build two carriers when they only have the planes and crew to operate one at a time.


That is a recent decision - the current government wanted to cancel both carriers back in 2010 but were locked into contracts the previous government had signed (it was more costly to cancel than to continue).

So the options were to sell them, scrap them, mothball them or operate one in place of other RN assets.

The RN and RAF chose the last option - retire other assets to operate a carrier.

Second, they decide to try to operate one as an LPH but have to pay off the HMS Ocean, an as-built LPD, to get crews for the carriers. The Ocean is under 20 years old and just recently underwent a refit.


HMS Ocean is also not built to military standards due to budget restrictions, it was instead built to commercial standards with a much shorter lifespan than the Invincible-class carriers, and was originally intended to operate for a 20 year lifespan before undergoing a major refit - the upgrade in 2014 was not a life extension, so it would have to undergo a life extension soon anyway if it were to be retained.

Ocean is also currently coming up to 22 years old, so she is older than 20 years - perhaps you are thinking of her commissioning date rather than her launch date...?

So, even if they could get both carriers operating simultaneously, they'd have trouble with sufficient AA protection.


Current plan is to operate one carrier and retain one in reserve - neither will be at sea at the same time.

Fifth, the Royal Marines, while probably the best light infantry in the world, aren't a large force. They only have three battalions, only1-2 of which are available at one time for deployment. Therefore, with the HMS Ocean, Bulwark and Albion, the latter two barely 12 years old, they presently have all the lift capacity they need, or could even use.


The Royal Marines are not the only force to embark on RN ships, so thats pretty moot.

The current situation is a mix of lack of ongoing budget and the government being tied into contracts, as well as the military wanting shiny new toys - we are the fifth largest economy in the world but our actual military is dwarfed by several smaller economies, including France, Turkey and others.... not much really you can say about that.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Sat Jul 08, 2017 4:55 am

On top of that, consider that the RN have an agreement with the USMC to allow basing of USMC F-35B's off of their carriers. If there is a scenario where both the US and the British are deploying together overseas, I could foresee a scenario where HMS Queen Elizabeth or HMS Prince of Wales will deploy with a mixed air wing of RAF, RN, and USMC F-35B's all operating together.
 
Ozair
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:21 am

moo wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Why you think the UK will buy less than the 138 planned? The last SDR was very clear on the commitment to get the full number and nothing has indicated a change to that.


*Cough*, please re-read my post...

I never said that the UK would buy less than the 138 planned, I said that the UK would never see 138 in operation.

The SDSR directly supports me in this:

We will buy 138 F-35 Lightning aircraft over the life of the programme. We will buy some of these aircraft more quickly than previously planned, creating an additional front-line squadron by 2023.


https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... ver_13.pdf

The MoD has directly said, again in the above document, that they will only operate two F-35B front line squadrons - given that a typical RAF squadron of Typhoons or Tornados consists of 12 aircraft, thats your carrier air wing of 24 aircraft, and thats your current planned order of 42 aircraft (24 front line aircraft and one or two training squadrons).

So I pretty much guarantee that the 138 will consist of multiple separate buys - another purchase in 2025 for delivery into the 2030s, allowing older aircraft to be retired (as per many Tranche 1 Typhoons) and be replaced by more capable later production aircraft, and then again in 2035.

What we may see is a reduction in Bee for A models, as suggested again recently. Would certainly suit the RAF to have more land based aircraft that are overall more capable (minus the STOVL of course).


No reduction needed, the MoD has never committed to 138 F-35B's, just 138 F-35s....

But I still don't see it happening. The Tornado force will go in 2019, which means that if we were replacing them with F-35A's then that decision should have been taken as part of the 2015 SDSR, which it wasn't - post 2020, the UKs air force fast jet capability will consist of whatever Typhoons we end up with (Tranche 3 being unlikely at this stage, given the wording of the SDSR that the RAF will create an additional two front line Typhoon squadrons from existing stock and their life will be extended through to 2040...) plus 24 front line F-35s.

Its looking likely that going forward, the RAF and RN will have less than 100 front line fast jets. Perhaps less than 100 fast jets in total (not including Hawks etc).

Fair enough but if the plan is three buys off approximately 42 aircraft then that will probably be a waste of resources. The Bee is rated for 8000hrs and airframes purchased today will still have plenty of life left come 2035. They would need to operate 400 hours a year for 20 years to reach that hour limit and that is highly unlikely unless a major conflict occurs.

GDB wrote:

With the F-35, I don't see us buying the -A. I do see a case, later, for some land based F-35C's. Why you may ask? It's nothing to do with the carriers, everything to do with it's range.

There is zero reason to buy the F-35C unless you operate a carrier as the F-35A happily out-ranges the F-35C. The 2016 F-35 SAR shows a difference of just 5 NM in range between the two variants with the C in front. The reality is the mission profile for the C is a lot less demanding than the A and so if identical profiles are flown the A out-ranges the C comfortably. The C is also a less capable airframe rated for 7.5G over the 9G of the A model while it will cost significantly more to own and operate, with a 30% higher acquisition cost and a heavier and more complex airframe increasing per hour costs. The F-35C will also likely only be operated by the USN while the A model will be operated across Europe and currently will have at least 15 operators.
 
GDB
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:30 am

To the comment about Type 26 Frigate, just the other day the first steel was cut on them, three batch 1's, with a later batch of 5 to be ordered later.
The plan is now to operate 8 Type 26's, while a multi role vessel it's primary one will be as an ASW escort, it's main customer in this a CVF task group.
However 6 Type 31 Frigates are also now planned (up from 5 when first mooted not long ago).
These will be smaller and cheaper but well able to deploy for West Indies Guard Ship, take it's turn along with other Frigates and Destroyers as Falklands Guard Ship, anti piracy operations, act as a closer in escort for Amphibious operations.
The sort of Hi-Lo mix the French have long had.

Few details on this class, I would envisage them being armed with the latest 76mm rapid, 16 SeaCaptor, 8 Naval Strike Missiles (suited for both littoral operations against sea and land targets), the usual two 30mm cannon, a Lynx Wildcat with a 20mm Phalanx atop the hangar.

The change to Type 31 seems to show that the Government have woken up to the fact that they have cut the RN too much, one extra escort is not much but it's a start.
It's another U-Turn from the worst defence review since the war, the 2010 SDSR.

True about joint ops, a couple of years before retirement, HMS Illustrious hosted USMC V-22's.
 
mjoelnir
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Sat Jul 08, 2017 12:48 pm

johns624 wrote:
moo wrote:
Just because you don't like an answer or an opinion doesn't make it spin.

One could say that you yourself are trying to guide the discussion by claiming spin doctoring.
Not really. I originally edited my post and expanded it greatly but when I went to post it, the software said it was too late to edit it. Grrrr!!!
Here it is again. Although I'm an American, I get a lot of my naval information from a well respected British monthly publication called Warship IFR (International Fleet Review). They slag the RN and British SDR's regularly.
First, they build two carriers when they only have the planes and crew to operate one at a time.
Second, they decide to try to operate one as an LPH but have to pay off the HMS Ocean, an as-built LPD, to get crews for the carriers. The Ocean is under 20 years old and just recently underwent a refit.
Third, the original number of AAW Type 45 destroyers was cut from the original 12 down to only 6, with only 5 in operation. That leaves maybe 3 available to go to sea (on a good day). So, even if they could get both carriers operating simultaneously, they'd have trouble with sufficient AA protection.
Fourth, the 13 Type 23 ASW frigates are getting older and are going to be replaced by the on-the-drawing-board Type 26. They were originally going to be replaced on a 1:1 basis, but now they are talking about building only 8 (if that).
Fifth, the Royal Marines, while probably the best light infantry in the world, aren't a large force. They only have three battalions, only1-2 of which are available at one time for deployment. Therefore, with the HMS Ocean, Bulwark and Albion, the latter two barely 12 years old, they presently have all the lift capacity they need, or could even use.


In regards to the covering naval force, when we talk about NATO operations, other countries air defence frigates, some of them destroyer sized, are available.
Talking about the Marines, the Royal Netherlands Marine Corps is training for joint operations with the Royal Marines.

There are more examples, but we should not forget that many operations are with combined forces from several countries and one has to evaluate operational possibilities with that in mind.
 
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moo
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:40 am

Ozair wrote:
Fair enough but if the plan is three buys off approximately 42 aircraft then that will probably be a waste of resources. The Bee is rated for 8000hrs and airframes purchased today will still have plenty of life left come 2035. They would need to operate 400 hours a year for 20 years to reach that hour limit and that is highly unlikely unless a major conflict occurs.


We were planning on retiring Tranche 1 Typhoons barely a decade into their life.

We retired Tornado ADVs just over 20 years into their operational life.

We retired Harrier IIs barely 15 years into their operational life.

We retired Sea Harrier 2's barely 13 years into their operational life.

We scrapped ready-to-deliver MRA4 Nimrods.

We have hangars full of Typhoons whose only operational life consists of a delivery flight, with those airframes acting as spares mules.

Are you really suggesting that:

1. The UK MoD isn't above conducting vast wastes of resources on a routine basis...?

2. These F-35s are going to see 25 years operational life...?

Bear in mind that part of the plan is to take advantage of the block upgrades inherent in the program life time - the F-35s delivered in 2030 arent going to be the same beasts as the F-35s we will be flying off the carriers in the 2020s.
 
Ozair
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:47 am

moo wrote:
We were planning on retiring Tranche 1 Typhoons barely a decade into their life.

We retired Tornado ADVs just over 20 years into their operational life.

We retired Harrier IIs barely 15 years into their operational life.

We retired Sea Harrier 2's barely 13 years into their operational life.

We scrapped ready-to-deliver MRA4 Nimrods.

We have hangars full of Typhoons whose only operational life consists of a delivery flight, with those airframes acting as spares mules.

Are you really suggesting that:

1. The UK MoD isn't above conducting vast wastes of resources on a routine basis...?

2. These F-35s are going to see 25 years operational life...?

Ha point taken. I’d like to think they will see longer than 15 years but perhaps those rational thoughts go against accepted practise. My experience is with occasionally more rational (but not without issues) Australian procurement processes.
moo wrote:
Bear in mind that part of the plan is to take advantage of the block upgrades inherent in the program life time - the F-35s delivered in 2030 aren’t going to be the same beasts as the F-35s we will be flying off the carriers in the 2020s.

The whole point of the block upgrades is for any airframe to be able to receive these in a far easier and more seamless way than previous airframes. About the only thing I see changing significantly in a 2030 F-35 is an engine upgrade and that is only if they go for an AETD requiring increased airflow, everything else can be upgraded within the Blk program as currently envisioned.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:11 am

moo wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Fair enough but if the plan is three buys off approximately 42 aircraft then that will probably be a waste of resources. The Bee is rated for 8000hrs and airframes purchased today will still have plenty of life left come 2035. They would need to operate 400 hours a year for 20 years to reach that hour limit and that is highly unlikely unless a major conflict occurs.


We were planning on retiring Tranche 1 Typhoons barely a decade into their life.

We retired Tornado ADVs just over 20 years into their operational life.

We retired Harrier IIs barely 15 years into their operational life.

We retired Sea Harrier 2's barely 13 years into their operational life.

We scrapped ready-to-deliver MRA4 Nimrods.

We have hangars full of Typhoons whose only operational life consists of a delivery flight, with those airframes acting as spares mules.

Are you really suggesting that:

1. The UK MoD isn't above conducting vast wastes of resources on a routine basis...?

2. These F-35s are going to see 25 years operational life...?

Bear in mind that part of the plan is to take advantage of the block upgrades inherent in the program life time - the F-35s delivered in 2030 arent going to be the same beasts as the F-35s we will be flying off the carriers in the 2020s.

The difference is that the F-35 is for the British, an off the shelf purchase, with very minimal modifications for the British, other than the coat of paint. There will be hundreds, if not thousands of F-35's produced for lots of customers, including the US military, which the British can lean on for support. Almost all of the other options were built specifically to British requirements and are unique to the British military.

The Eurofighter is a hot mess of a program; there's 3 production variants of the type, being produced across 4 assembly lines in 4 different countries. Works fine if there's a significant volume of aircraft to make, but makes less sense with the number of Eurofighter's being produced.
 
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moo
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:56 am

ThePointblank wrote:
moo wrote:
Ozair wrote:
Fair enough but if the plan is three buys off approximately 42 aircraft then that will probably be a waste of resources. The Bee is rated for 8000hrs and airframes purchased today will still have plenty of life left come 2035. They would need to operate 400 hours a year for 20 years to reach that hour limit and that is highly unlikely unless a major conflict occurs.


We were planning on retiring Tranche 1 Typhoons barely a decade into their life.

We retired Tornado ADVs just over 20 years into their operational life.

We retired Harrier IIs barely 15 years into their operational life.

We retired Sea Harrier 2's barely 13 years into their operational life.

We scrapped ready-to-deliver MRA4 Nimrods.

We have hangars full of Typhoons whose only operational life consists of a delivery flight, with those airframes acting as spares mules.

Are you really suggesting that:

1. The UK MoD isn't above conducting vast wastes of resources on a routine basis...?

2. These F-35s are going to see 25 years operational life...?

Bear in mind that part of the plan is to take advantage of the block upgrades inherent in the program life time - the F-35s delivered in 2030 arent going to be the same beasts as the F-35s we will be flying off the carriers in the 2020s.

The difference is that the F-35 is for the British, an off the shelf purchase, with very minimal modifications for the British, other than the coat of paint. There will be hundreds, if not thousands of F-35's produced for lots of customers, including the US military, which the British can lean on for support. Almost all of the other options were built specifically to British requirements and are unique to the British military.


You assume that the issue is the uniqueness of the system in question, and not the financial aspect of differing governments across those periods...

The Eurofighter is a hot mess of a program; there's 3 production variants of the type, being produced across 4 assembly lines in 4 different countries. Works fine if there's a significant volume of aircraft to make, but makes less sense with the number of Eurofighter's being produced.


Which production variants are those? If you mean the differing tranches, its no different to block versions of US aircraft - and we both know there will be block variations on the F-35.

The 4 assembly lines aren't an issue - the same subassemblies are delivered to all of the assembly lines. The aircraft wouldn't have been made had it not been set up this way.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:42 am

moo wrote:

You assume that the issue is the uniqueness of the system in question, and not the financial aspect of differing governments across those periods...

The uniqueness creates problems further down the life cycle of the system in question as it means that the user is 100% on their own in developing and procuring upgrades for their systems.

moo wrote:
Which production variants are those? If you mean the differing tranches, its no different to block versions of US aircraft - and we both know there will be block variations on the F-35.

The 4 assembly lines aren't an issue - the same subassemblies are delivered to all of the assembly lines. The aircraft wouldn't have been made had it not been set up this way.


The Eurofighter cannot be easily upgraded between the varying production tranches due to hardware differences. The F-35 is different in that the block variations of the F-35 revolve around software and the mission computer; and the mission computer is easily upgraded through replacing ICP cards. Other hardware changes are fairly minor and are retrofitted across the entire fleet to make sure the entire F-35 fleet is on the same block level.
 
Ozair
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Re: UK launches aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth for sea trials

Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:23 am

Some updates on the progress of the QE can be found here,
http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.com.au/

Some great shots of testing of the pre-wetting system for CBRN washdown.

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As for the airwing, the UK currently has the following buy rate planned,

The UK has received 11 F-35B so far, and by the end of the year they will be 14. 3 more aircraft will be delivered next year (BK-15, 16, 17), while BK-18 will follow in 2019, alone, as the MOD ordered a single aircraft within LRIP 11.
3 will follow within LRIP 13, for delivery in 2020. 6 more in 2021, 8 in 2022 and 7 in 2023. By the end of 2023 the UK will have 42 F-35B, of which 24 will be in frontline units as 809 NAS stands-up.
6 more aircraft will follow in 2024, so that by January 2025 the UK will have taken delivery of 48 F-35B.


and there is a long section on current and planned construction at RAF Marham.

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