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Britain should 'scrap F-35 stealth fighter'


Still Waters
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The Rafale Dassault operates off carriers, are better than the F-35 and cheaper. Infact they are better than the Eurofighter too. We should buy them instead.

They arn't STOL though.

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Completely wrong, it has LESS capability, less range, to deliver a missile than the Typhoon or Grippen, it does NOT have stealth capabilities that makes it invisible to enemy radar

Where are your facts found? I have seen nothing that indicates this and would be interested to see the source. I have no skin in the game, so to speak - don't really care what you guys feel is best for your military - it's your's after all. But if this aircraft is as bad as everyone is stating then things are worse in our procurement than I thought.
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I was on the understanding they have less stealth if they use the wing mounted weapons. Being the STOVL version they have a smaller weapons bay which can be compensated for with the addition on wing mounted payload at the price of reduced stealth.

Are we saying now the F35B has no stealth characteristics?

The blame for us settling for the B variant rather than the C I believe firmly lies in the lap of BAE who wanted a ridiculous figure to convert the two carriers that had barely started being built at the time. The same as them charging more to cancel one carrier than to build it.

Edited by skookum
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When it's in the hangar being fixed all day long after flying one sortie and experiencing multiple failures, it's true the enemy won't be picking it up on radar. A stealth characteristic.

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seeing as were talking about carriers, F35's ect.. a documentary from when we 'had' a Navy capable. it was filmed onboard HMS ARK ROYAL, 1976. this episode shows landing on the carrier. the old Phantoms and Buccaneers.

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Russia rolled its heavy fighters right off a ramp on their aircraft carriers, no catapult required. What's the killer app (tactic, strategy) of STOVL that I'm missing here? Landing at a Lockheed facility to get your hair and nails done?

This doesn't look like the most failsafe idea they've come up with yet either

US_Navy_111005-N-ZZ999-055_The_F-35B_Lightning_11_takes_off_from_the_amphibious_assault_ship_USS_Wasp_%28LHD_1%29.jpg

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Russia rolled its heavy fighters right off a ramp on their aircraft carriers, no catapult required. What's the killer app (tactic, strategy) of STOVL that I'm missing here? Landing at a Lockheed facility to get your hair and nails done?

This doesn't look like the most failsafe idea they've come up with yet either

Thats a very interesting point Yamato.

The Kuznotsev is 80' longer than our QE2 class carriers. However, the Kiev class (one of which is now in service with the Indian navy) is almost the same length, and IT can launch Su-33's and Mig-29K's as well.

It DOES require a ski-jump bow, however, which the QE2 doesn't have.

They also require an arrestor system for the planes to land ... again we don't have those.

But as somebody has already mentioned; it would be cheaper to have fitted both catapults and arrestors, and use a modified Eurofighter, than to continue with the F35.

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I get the impression that we went for this jet out of pure expediency: it was the best available at the time that could operate from our two future carriers.

I guess the MOD has an obligation to ensure there are no gaps in our defensive capabilities. Having no naval aviation for 10 years or so would obviously not be acceptable. So the F35 - whilst not the BEST aircraft on the planet - nevertheless could be delivered within the desired timeframe, and fill the gap.

Lets face it, the Harrier was a pretty awful combat aircraft even in its own time. Its success in the Falklands was as much down to the American Sidewinder missiles it carried (and the fuel limitations on the Argentinian jets) rather than the aircraft itself. Painfully slow, limited in range, and without even an air-to-air radar capable of guiding missiles etc.... the F35 has just GOT to be better than THAT ?

Are you talking about the RAF HArrier GR3? yes, they were never designed for air combat but for ground attack, and mounted Sidewinders purely out of expediency, and proved a lot more capable than anyone expected. the Sea Harrier was designed as a fighter, and was equipped with radar &c.
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"But as somebody has already mentioned; it would be cheaper to have fitted both catapults and arrestors, and use a modified Eurofighter, than to continue with the F35."

----

Even though operating one single type of fighter across both services would have been cost effective...not sure if that would have been the best move...apart from the cost factors associated with incorporating and operating catapults, the F-35B brings something to the game that the Eurofighter and F-18EF just can't... it will be flexible enough to launch and land from makeshift runways and launch pads. and since there are no other VSTOL fighters out there to compare price, performance and payload with I guess we'll never know whether the UK is getting the best bang for it's buck. but it's definitely getting a asset.

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Thats a very interesting point Yamato.

The Kuznotsev is 80' longer than our QE2 class carriers. However, the Kiev class (one of which is now in service with the Indian navy) is almost the same length, and IT can launch Su-33's and Mig-29K's as well.

It DOES require a ski-jump bow, however, which the QE2 doesn't have.

They also require an arrestor system for the planes to land ... again we don't have those.

But as somebody has already mentioned; it would be cheaper to have fitted both catapults and arrestors, and use a modified Eurofighter, than to continue with the F35.

Well if we can dream, I'd upgrade your carriers and insist on the C or C+ model at least. And then maybe do your magic you did with the P-51...replace the engine. If it's agile and powerful and advanced while also being expensive and unreliable, at least it'll be that.

Because it wouldn't be good sport of you to bail altogether. Don't leave us with this thing, what kind of ally is that? ;)

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the F-35B brings something to the game that the Eurofighter and F-18EF just can't... it will be flexible enough to launch and land from makeshift runways and launch pads. and since there are no other VSTOL fighters out there to compare price, performance and payload with I guess we'll never know whether the UK is getting the best bang for it's buck. but it's definitely getting a asset.

Do you intend on using makeshift runways and launch pads, or do you want to land back on your carrier after successfully protecting her?

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Do you intend on using makeshift runways and launch pads, or do you want to land back on your carrier after successfully protecting her?

Let's face it Yamoto, the cold war is over and the chances of fighting another similar sized and equipped nation are pretty much over. COIN and territorial disputes against countries, like Argentina... lacking offensive military capabilities seems to be the way forward. VSTOL are more than capable to clear any threats and support ground troops with out loitering over a hot zone burning up precious fuel and resources...so in that respect, sure, the F-35B can utilise areas capable of landing and launching...of course we're not talking of dumping the entire squadron unto land leaving the carrier undefended.. but in the absence of credible threats against a carrier group, the fear it would be directly attacked is limited.

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Let's face it Yamoto, the cold war is over and the chances of fighting another similar sized and equipped nation are pretty much over.

Which would be even more of an argument to not spend the amount of money the UK govt is willing to spend on an ultra-expensive "plane that is poor-to-okay at everything, but not good at anything" turkey, and concentrating on a cost-effective alternative.

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Let's face it Yamoto, the cold war is over and the chances of fighting another similar sized and equipped nation are pretty much over. COIN and territorial disputes against countries, like Argentina... lacking offensive military capabilities seems to be the way forward. VSTOL are more than capable to clear any threats and support ground troops with out loitering over a hot zone burning up precious fuel and resources...so in that respect, sure, the F-35B can utilise areas capable of landing and launching...of course we're not talking of dumping the entire squadron unto land leaving the carrier undefended.. but in the absence of credible threats against a carrier group, the fear it would be directly attacked is limited.

Thats a bit of a naive view, 70 years of no major war and people starting to think that one will never happen again.

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Which would be even more of an argument to not spend the amount of money the UK govt is willing to spend on an ultra-expensive "plane that is poor-to-okay at everything, but not good at anything" turkey, and concentrating on a cost-effective alternative.

What low cost-effective options?

Thats a bit of a naive view, 70 years of no major war and people starting to think that one will never happen again.

...are you suggesting that a major war in Europe is going to erupt on the magnitude of the last war 70 years ago? or that China and/or Russia is going to invade the UK? thought not...truth is very few nations have the capabilities to project and sustain forces over distance these days, with the exception of the USA, no one else has much of a chance to even win...a major war of the magnitude of WW1/WW2 IMO will not happen in the foreseeable future. I'm interested in reading any scenario you might think is probable though.

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...are you suggesting that a major war in Europe is going to erupt on the magnitude of the last war 70 years ago? or that China and/or Russia is going to invade the UK? thought not...truth is very few nations have the capabilities to project and sustain forces over distance these days, with the exception of the USA, no one else has much of a chance to even win...a major war of the magnitude of WW1/WW2 IMO will not happen in the foreseeable future. I'm interested in reading any scenario you might think is probable though.

Two revolutions will occur this century:

A - One will start somewhere in the EU. The cause will be a people angry at their Government selling them out against their will. It will spread throughout the union causing a major European war as those Governments intent on dragging their peoples into a United States of Europe attempt to put it down.

B - Multi-Party Democracy will come to an end thanks to the internet. Political parties dont represent most of their nations people because each has their own set of ideals they want to impose. The internet allows the removal of political parties and the expanding of Government to include everybody in the country instead. It will only occur following a revolution because politicians will do anything they can to stop it. After all if people start getting the policies they want it underminds the politicians ideals and it also removes their power. The revolution will spread as other peoples want the same and cause many Governments to try and put it down causing a major conflict.

There you go, two scenarios which I suspect may occur together that have a high probability of coming true this century. Whatever side your people are on (the true democracy/Euroskeptic side or the side that tries to put it down) you'll want to be well equipped.

Edited by RabidMongoose
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I suspect you are wrong there Mr Mongoose. People will be hard won over to the side of dismantling the EU after it has kept European war at bay and seen a period of prosperity for so long. The Irish, who have some of the most right to be aggrieved at Europe, are still almost universally in support of remaining firmly in the EU.

The simple question is would things be better for the member states without the EU ? The probability would be that Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy would already have slipped back into Dictatorships at this stage without the influence of Europe. Would that be progress ?

Br Cornelius

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I suspect you are wrong there Mr Mongoose. People will be hard won over to the side of dismantling the EU after it has kept European war at bay and seen a period of prosperity for so long. The Irish, who have some of the most right to be aggrieved at Europe, are still almost universally in support of remaining firmly in the EU.

The simple question is would things be better for the member states without the EU ? The probability would be that Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy would already have slipped back into Dictatorships at this stage without the influence of Europe. Would that be progress ?

Br Cornelius

I cant speak for your country but we dismantled industry in mine to enter it. We would be better off out and rebuilding our economy. You cant protect your industries with tariffs when the union demands no barriers between member states.

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I cant speak for your country but we dismantled industry in mine to enter it. We would be better off out and rebuilding our economy. You cant protect your industries with tariffs when the union demands no barriers between member states.

I think most of the dismantling was done in the name of Thatcher and her vision of a service led economy. There are no tariff to prevent your industry from selling to the largest captive market in the world, only tariffs to protect you from competition from the rest.

Br Cornelius

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STOVLformation.jpg

Two F-35B aircraft have flown close formation while in short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) mode for the first time last week. Pilots Peter Wilson and Dan Levin flew the test aircraft in STOVL mode, also known as Mode 4, with the F-35B LiftFan engaged and engine rotated downward. The exercise measured the effects the aircraft had on each other while in Mode 4 to ensure they can operate in formation safely in an operational environment. The UK will use the F-35B primarily from its new supercarriers, the Queen Elizabeth class.

F-35 development is being principally funded by the United States and United Kingdom with additional funding from partners. The partner nations are either NATO members or close U.S. allies. Israel, Italy, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Turkey are part of the active development program; Japan has ordered the F-35, while Singapore may also equip their air force with the F-35. South Korea decided to purchase 40 F-35s in late 2013.

Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries.

http://ukdefencejour...ther-formation/

F-35B may be present at HMS Queen Elizabeth naming ceremony

by George Allison · May 20, 2014

According to multiple defence news websites, a British F-35B is to perform a fly past at the naming ceremony of the HMS Queen Elizabeth. We can’t get any official confirmation on the fly past, but the F-35B will travel to the UK make its first flight outside of the United States.

The F-35 Lightning II will make its international debut in July at the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford and in the same month will also fly at the Farnborough International Air Show. The selection of 2 UK airshows demonstrates the significant role that Britain has in the programme. Around 15% of every aircraft sold globally is built in the UK and at its peak, the programme is expected to sustain 24,000 jobs and bring anywhere between £1 billion and £2 billion to the UK economy annually.

Current plans call for several F-35s to participate in the air shows, including at least one of the three F-35 B-model jets already built for Britain, with a UK pilot at the controls. American and British officials agreed on the need to bring over a number of aircraft to avoid any technical flight disruptions. Officials also said the overseas flights would be used for additional training and would help the F-35 program office learn how the plane’s logistics, maintenance, aerial refueling, and security systems work overseas.

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said:

The US and the UK have worked closely together on the F-35 project from the beginning. We are the only country that is a Level 1 partner in the project, which is sustaining tens of thousands of jobs in the UK. This fifth generation stealth combat aircraft will be a major boost to British combat air power and it is entirely fitting that the F-35’s first stop outside the United States will be in the UK.

The MoD has 3 aircraft which are all currently based in the US undertaking training with Royal Navy and Royal Air Force pilots. Orders for further aircraft will be placed over the next few years. The UK’s first operational Lightning II squadron, 617 Squadron, is scheduled to transition to RAF Marham in Norfolk from the US in 2018 ahead of flight trials of the Queen Elizabeth Class Carrier later that year.

The naming ceremony will be held at Rosyth. Flight trials of the F-35B from the Queen Elizabeth are due to start in 2018. After Rosyth, the F-35B is also scheduled to fly at the Royal International Air Tattoo and then at the Farnborough Air Show, the latter two being confirmed.

We understand that Britain, the sole “Level 1″ partner, asked for the jet’s participation to help showcase the increasing maturity of the F-35. Britain was also the first international partner on the program. It now seems we’ll just have to wait and see if it appears over the HMS Queen Elizabeth on July the 4th.

f35testb_142_uss_wasp_20111020.jpg

http://ukdefencejour...aming-ceremony/

Edited by stevewinn
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I think most of the dismantling was done in the name of Thatcher and her vision of a service led economy. There are no tariff to prevent your industry from selling to the largest captive market in the world, only tariffs to protect you from competition from the rest.

Br Cornelius

I meant no tariffs between EU memberstates so if steel is cheaper in Germany (as an example) then we can't protect British steel mills from their competition. Memberstates are not allowed border tariffs between each other.

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I have got to say that the whole concept of a "5th Generation aircraft" is without any verifiable provenance. It is just a Sales Tag to make people believe that they are getting the "Best of the Best" and virtually indestructible. As already mentioned, ANY Long Wave Radar will detect the aircraft, and long wave is very old technology.... why do you think that Russia has installed Long wave radar into its defences?

The UK has been "Had".. the whole programme is nothing more than an excuse to channel money into corporations that are friends to Labour and the Tory Party.

Why was there not a Free, Open competition? Cronyism is my answer

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I meant no tariffs between EU memberstates so if steel is cheaper in Germany (as an example) then we can't protect British steel mills from their competition. Memberstates are not allowed border tariffs between each other.

Which should encourage specialization in areas we are good in. The benefit's of been in a European tariff free zone far outweigh the penalties of competition. Where unfair competition hurts us is when the likes if China, India and Brazil undercut us due to cheap labour costs and lack of regulation.

I do not intend to derail this thread, I suggest you start a dedicated thread on the subject if you want - but I suspect take up will be light since this has been done to death hundreds of times before - never to a reasoned conclusion.

Br Cornelius

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Let's face it Yamoto, the cold war is over and the chances of fighting another similar sized and equipped nation are pretty much over. COIN and territorial disputes against countries, like Argentina... lacking offensive military capabilities seems to be the way forward. VSTOL are more than capable to clear any threats and support ground troops with out loitering over a hot zone burning up precious fuel and resources...so in that respect, sure, the F-35B can utilise areas capable of landing and launching...of course we're not talking of dumping the entire squadron unto land leaving the carrier undefended.. but in the absence of credible threats against a carrier group, the fear it would be directly attacked is limited.

So bullying wimps is all your crystal ball can come up with. "The Cold War is over" is as much rhetoric as "the Cold War is back on". The absence of credible threats such that there is, is a good reason to pull the plug altogether not waste money you don't have on things you don't need. Given your stack of assumptions you don't even need the F-35. Who would attack your carrier, the fear is limited, in the absence of threats, you've got to be kidding. If things in the world have proven anything it's that they change overnight. Betting on forever is a fool's bet.

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Which should encourage specialization in areas we are good in. The benefit's of been in a European tariff free zone far outweigh the penalties of competition. Where unfair competition hurts us is when the likes if China, India and Brazil undercut us due to cheap labour costs and lack of regulation.

I do not intend to derail this thread, I suggest you start a dedicated thread on the subject if you want - but I suspect take up will be light since this has been done to death hundreds of times before - never to a reasoned conclusion.

Br Cornelius

You do seem to be derailing it further and further. I will restrain from getting sucked in to correct the errors about the EU being a benefit in that reply.

Edited by RabidMongoose
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