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Tiger331

F-35 - Another News Article - NO politics Please !

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Interesting story has emerged this week on the ongoing F-35 fiasco. Unnamed senior US sources (operating under Chatham House rules AT Chatham House) have indicated that the USAF have approached industry to cost the upgrade or new production of F-15 Eagles, F-16s or even F/A-18E/Fs for the AIR FORCE !. Evidently the on going cost overruns and budgetary challenges with the delivery of Tranche 1 F-35s (let alone the follow on orders) into USAF service has now become 'unacceptable' and they wish to review alternatives if the USAF is to retain a credible number of combat aircraft into the immediate future.

At the same time, the new Canadian Government are also looking very closely at the implications of ditching the F-35 and have shortlisted four types, including the F/A-18E/F, Typhoon, Rafale or Gripen to replace the ageing CF-188A/B fleet. I also happen to know the Norwegians are also having serious misgivings about the F-35 and their potential buy was even bigger than that of Canada.

What about us ?…..What do you think ?

NO Politics PLEASE

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You cannot avoid politics when dealing with major defence buys. It is ALL political. Not only party politics, but industrial politics and international politics and service politics...

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F-35 is a total waste of money. It's been known for years that VHF radar can pick up stealth and the F-35 is vulnerable to detection by it. It's almost certain the aircraft has no on board active jamming either, as what's the point? To use active jamming you have to be certain you've been detected, otherwise you just telegraph your approximate position to every radar that can pick you up.

I'd be building more F-18 and F-15, along with more Growlers and EW aircraft. Stealth does have a place on the battlefield, but I don't think the F-35 is it.

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You cannot avoid politics when dealing with major defence buys. It is ALL political. Not only party politics, but industrial politics and international politics and service politics...

I can assure you that you do not need to lecture me on politics vs. defence purchases, industrial cooperation etc !. I merely wanted to remind interested parties not to enter into a political debate on the forum, jaw the rules and avoid getting the thread shut down…..I am merely interested in peoples thoughts on where we (the UK) should go with this given all the problems with the F-35 programme. Post 4 sums up my desire for this thread quite nicely, thank you.

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One question. Where would that leave our nice new Carriers? No cat and trap on them!

Duncan B

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I can assure you that you do not need to lecture me on politics vs. defence purchases, industrial cooperation etc !. I merely wanted to remind interested parties not to enter into a political debate on the forum, jaw the rules and avoid getting the thread shut down..I am merely interested in peoples thoughts on where we (the UK) should go with this given all the problems with the F-35 programme. Post 4 sums up my desire for this thread quite nicely, thank you.

I think Graham's point was that your original post WAS political, so to ask that subsequent posters refrain from politics (unless presumably they agree with yours) is a little ironic.

J.

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My frustration is the predictability of the situation- As the only Tier 1 partner, and £5 billion in the hole already, we have, in my opinion, the wrong variant (STOVL) of the wrong platform, and that money is already spent, long before a commitment to an actual order is made- and we don't even have a production line in the UK!

An absolute waste of time and money.

UK Government briefing paper here:

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN06278.pdf

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If we had selected the non STOVL variant at least the Carriers would have been compatible with conventional aircraft. We are so far down the line with the carriers that we are basically committed to continuing with the STOVL F35 (unless someone knows of a fleet of Harriers in storage in a desert somewhere?).

Duncan B

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"Nail in the coffin". That's funny. Very reminiscent of the "bring out your dead" scene in Monty Python's Holy Grail. "But I'm not dead!" "Yes you are, be quiet!" "No I'm not!" "Well, he's nearly dead, can't you take him anyway?"

Just because fearful old folk and paid industry hacks want the program to die, doesn't mean it is anywhere near dying. In fact, it's just being born.

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I think of all the customers for the F35 we in the UK are the most locked in. The simple reason being we have built two very expensive carriers that cannot be used for conventional carrier aircraft, they would just become the worlds largest helicopter carriers, though they could also fly drones, maybe.

There is no other vertical take off military aircraft available. The F35B is it. I supect the USMC is not far behind in terms of commitment.

However if you look at the customers for the F35A from the USAF through the Canadians and the European members of NATO, they all have some serious alternatives. F15ES would be my selection but of course the F18E/F, Grippen, Rafale, Typhoon would all be options.

The F35C is a no brainer, just buy more F18E/F.

I think we are stuck with our selection ,and very expensive it maybe.

Nigel

Edited by Nigel Foster60

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Well, my sources at the Admiralty think the F-35 will be perfectly acceptable -provided it has provision for a basket slung below, wherein an Able Seaman of suitably compact dimensions can observe the fall of shot from our Ironclads...

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Just because fearful old folk and paid industry hacks want the program to die, doesn't mean it is anywhere near dying. In fact, it's just being born.

And another bunch of paid industry hacks are trying to make us believe it's the best thing since sliced bread. When you slice bread, you have to put it in some sort of packaging, or it falls apart. Take your pick

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I can assure you that you do not need to lecture me on politics vs. defence purchases, industrial cooperation etc !. I merely wanted to remind interested parties not to enter into a political debate on the forum, jaw the rules and avoid getting the thread shut down…..I am merely interested in peoples thoughts on where we (the UK) should go with this given all the problems with the F-35 programme. Post 4 sums up my desire for this thread quite nicely, thank you.

It's quite obvious what the UK will do with F-35B. In fact, it's so obvious that it barely merits discussion. They will buy the absolute lowest numbers of aircraft possible commensurate with retaining the very considerable workshare for UK industry. Probably in the region of 20 - 30 to equip one RAF and one FAA squadron.

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A great 1/1 scale WHIF.

A Harrier GR9 made from new out of modern materials and modern electronic, faster, more range, even room for a radar! Jobs in the UK.

Sell to any disappointed F35 customers.

No, what a silly Idea.

Nigel

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A great 1/1 scale WHIF.

A Harrier GR9 made from new out of modern materials and modern electronic, faster, more range, even room for a radar! Jobs in the UK.

Sell to any disappointed F35 customers.

No, what a silly Idea.

Nigel

Think of the name of the company that would be involved in building this restomod Harrier and there's the answer as to why this is a total non-starter.

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The F-35 project is too big to fail.

That is what they said about the banks. :whistle:

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My frustration is the predictability of the situation- As the only Tier 1 partner, and £5 billion in the hole already, we have, in my opinion, the wrong variant (STOVL) of the wrong platform, and that money is already spent, long before a commitment to an actual order is made- and we don't even have a production line in the UK!

An absolute waste of time and money.

Yep, what he said. Even at £5bn sometimes you need to walk away, lick your wounds, learn the lesson (there's a first time for everything) and then do the right thing.

It was said Nimrod MR.4 was too big to fail and the penalty payments were too large to stop the project - but it was pants and the decision had to be made, even if there was no 'replacement' waiting in the wings.

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But could this just be a stalking horse by the USAF to put pressure on Lockheed Martin to reduce the cost of the F-35? Bringing alternatives into the mix will certainly concentrate the salesmen's minds.

Peter

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I've said it before , and been heckled for it , but one of the few viable options for a F35 replacement would be the Sukhoi T-50 , I believe the Indian partners sre developing a naval version.

Andrew

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From the USAF's point of view, there IS no alternative to F-35A. A clean-sheet-of-paper replacement would mean another 15-20 year delay. Of course, Gripen E looks quite nice :D

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As others have said the UK is locked into the F-35 it has no other choice, there really is no alternative for our carrier, I say carrier as we sure as hell won't have two for long

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I have a contact in Sweden who's said that the Navy's supposedly been sniffing around the possibility of a navalised Gripen, but I have no idea whether or not that's even feasible. :hmmm:

Considering the design limitations of the carriers (no way can they accept CATOBAR mods, not now), I think drones are probably the (only) way forward if the F-35 is cancelled. We know that the current government's rather keen on them, given various statements by Cameron to that effect.

Mike.

Edited by MikeR

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