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  #126  
Old 03-08-2016, 02:34
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Updated info on the USMC F-35B squadron stand-up and deployment status.

Second F-35B Squadron Stands Up At Marine Corps Air Station Yuma

Quote:
Second F-35B Squadron Stands Up At Marine Corps Air Station Yuma

By: Megan Eckstein June 30, 2016 5:18 PM

The Marine Corps’ second F-35B Joint Strike Fighter squadron stood up today, as the AV-8B Harrier-flying Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 211 became Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211.

A re-designation and change of command ceremony was held at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Arizona today, with Lt. Col. William Maples taking command of the second operational JSF squadron. The squadron flew its final Harrier flight on May 6 and received its first two JSFs three days later.

VMFA-121 became operational when initial operational capability was declared on the platform last July.

Due to readiness improvements in the Harrier fleet and ongoing readiness challenges in the F/A-18 Hornet fleet, Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation Lt. Gen. Jon Davis told USNI News earlier this year that the F-35B transition plan may change, with Hornet squadrons prioritized and the Harrier squadrons flying their legacy planes for a bit longer.

Under current procurement plans, the Marines should receive 20 to 24 planes a year, allowing them to transition two squadrons a year. VMFA-122 will be the next Hornet squadron to transition, followed by VMFA-314 becoming an F-35C squadron to operate off of Navy aircraft carriers. This faster rate of squadron re-designations will “allow me to shut down F-18 squadrons faster” and “get out of the old metal into the new,” Davis told USNI News previously.

seapowermagazine F-35B Set for Sea Deployment in 2018

Quote:
Posted: August 1, 2016 12:51 PM
F-35B Set for Sea Deployment in 2018

By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Marine Corps will send the F-35B Lightning II strike fighter on deployments onboard amphibious assault ships in 2018, the Corps’ top aviator said.

Speaking to an audience July 29 at the American Enterprise Institute, Lt. Gen. Jon M. Davis, deputy commandant for aviation, said that the first operational F-35B squadron, Marine Fighter Attack 121 (VMFA-121), will deploy F-35Bs onboard an amphibious assault ship in summer 2018.

VMFA-121, currently based at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Ariz., will move to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, in January with 10 F-35Bs. In accordance with the Marine Corps Aviation Plan, VMFA-121 will receive six more F-35Bs next summer. Reaching full strength of 16 aircraft, the squadron will be able to deploy a six-aircraft detachment in 2018 onboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, which is based in Sasebo, Japan.

The second operational F-35B squadron, VMFA-211, also based in Yuma, is slated to send an F-35B detachment to sea onboard an amphibious assault ship, Davis said.

VMFA-122, an F/A-18 squadron, will become the third operational F-35B squadron and move from MCAS Beaufort, S.C. VMFA-314, also an F/A-18 squadron, will receive the F-35C in 2019 and deploy with that aircraft onboard an aircraft carrier in 2020, Davis said.
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  #127  
Old 10-08-2016, 00:19
Surfgun Surfgun is online now
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Video: refueling transatlantic F-35B's.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wDZf9D0YRgE
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  #128  
Old 10-08-2016, 00:41
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Brian Wentzell Brian Wentzell is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Surfgun: I heard a report that there were 15 refuelings to get the three F35 A's across the Atlantic. That would suggest that the aircraft are "range" challenged, even when unarmed.
Brian
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  #129  
Old 10-08-2016, 01:45
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BlackBat242 BlackBat242 is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

BS.

They were refueled in the same manner all other USN/USMC/USAF aircraft transiting over water are - they are required to keep enough reserve in case of a botched refueling to reach a land airfield - you will find that the longest-ranged fighters refuel about the same number of times.

The F-35B is longer-ranged than the F/A-18 (any variant) and at least as long-ranged as the AV-8B - all of which have flown cross-atlantic with a similar refueling schedule.
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  #130  
Old 10-08-2016, 20:48
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Brian Wentzell Brian Wentzell is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Chuckle! I must have hit a nerve Jon.
Cheers,
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  #131  
Old 11-08-2016, 03:40
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BlackBat242 BlackBat242 is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

I've been hearing people spout that "F-35B is short-legged" crap for years - when it has better range than over half of the USMC aircraft it is to replace, and at least as good a range (if not a bit better) than the rest.

Then add in the legions of people who trumpet every thing that could possibly be twisted to imply, however slightly, a "flaw' with the aircraft as "proof it is crap" - and who even make up non-existent 'flaws', and yes - I suppose you did touch a nerve.
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  #132  
Old 11-08-2016, 07:04
gruntfuttock gruntfuttock is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Originally Posted by BlackBat242 View Post
I've been hearing people spout that "F-35B is short-legged" crap for years - when it has better range than over half of the USMC aircraft it is to replace, and at least as good a range (if not a bit better) than the rest.

Then add in the legions of people who trumpet every thing that could possibly be twisted to imply, however slightly, a "flaw' with the aircraft as "proof it is crap" - and who even make up non-existent 'flaws', and yes - I suppose you did touch a nerve.
So I can take it as given, that Pierre Sprey and Bill Sweetman aren't on your Christmas card list.
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  #133  
Old 11-08-2016, 08:33
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Originally Posted by BlackBat242 View Post
I've been hearing people spout that "F-35B is short-legged" crap for years - when it has better range than over half of the USMC aircraft it is to replace, and at least as good a range (if not a bit better) than the rest.

Then add in the legions of people who trumpet every thing that could possibly be twisted to imply, however slightly, a "flaw' with the aircraft as "proof it is crap" - and who even make up non-existent 'flaws', and yes - I suppose you did touch a nerve.
probably the same people who complain a make of car is crap because it has poor fuel economy when they have the hammer hard down all the time.
it's the way you use it, and if that is in after-burn all the time then the fuel economy plummets.
Obeying safety requirements for plane, personnel and those on the ground is a paramount not normally talked about, just part of the norm.
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  #134  
Old 11-08-2016, 08:39
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

What the pilots think. It's well worth reading in its entirety:
New Report Details What 31 US Air Force Pilots Who Flew the F-35 Really Think
Quote:
Originally Posted by The National Interest 5 Aug 2016
Air Force Gen. Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, this week declared the F-35A fighter jet ready for combat. While many pundits and politicians have questioned the worth of this jet, the only people who know the ground truth are the pilots themselves.

A total of 174 U.S. pilots currently have been trained to fly Lockheed Martin’s F-35A Lightning II. The Heritage Foundation recently interviewed 31 of these former F-15C, F-15E, F-16C, and A-10 pilots. Each expressed a high degree of confidence in the F-35A, their new fifth-generation platform.

Here are nine insights gleaned from those conversations:

1. Even with developmental restrictions that limit the F-35A’s responsiveness and ability to maneuver, every U.S. fighter pilot interviewed would pick the F-35A over his former jet in a majority of air-to-air (dogfight) engagement scenarios they could face... (more)
Also see the associated charts at:

Operational Assessment of the F-35A Argues for Full Program Procurement and Concurrent Development Process
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  #135  
Old 11-08-2016, 10:14
gruntfuttock gruntfuttock is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Althoughthe following link is solely in regards to the USMC, it does make interesting reading on how they will use the F35B. As such it should it should be of interest, as to how we in the UK will operate our own aircraft. It is also a 'warts and all' article.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/7-t...rth-1560672069
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  #136  
Old 12-08-2016, 05:25
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Originally Posted by gruntfuttock View Post
Althoughthe following link is solely in regards to the USMC, it does make interesting reading on how they will use the F35B. As such it should it should be of interest, as to how we in the UK will operate our own aircraft. It is also a 'warts and all' article.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/7-t...rth-1560672069
Note the date of your link... Tyler Rogoway 5/31/14 10:51am

And even then it was a re-run...
Quote:
Adapted from a previous post from Aviationintel.com
Even in 2014 almost all of the things he wants the USMC to do were already underway - and most had been in-process for years.



The USMC was and is way ahead of him in re-configuring operational plans, etc to make use of ALL of the capabilities of the F-35B - something they started when the capabilities of the JSF (the program that created the F-35) were being defined in the late 1990s!



His idea of "lilly-padding" F-35Bs from short-deck amphibs (LPDs/LSDs) is a fan-boy's "gosh-wow" idea - examined and rejected for the Harrier in all its forms (the only time they were used in anything like that was the Falklands - and they flew from the transport ships to the carriers to be armed, he is suggesting the opposite).

Using the F-35B in that manner was examined by the USMC/USN/RM and discarded long ago - it simply isn't practical, no matter how many times someone drags it back up. The big-deck amphibs are being modified as they go through their scheduled shipyard periods - in fact, their mod schedule is ahead of the squadron stand-up/deployment schedule for the USMC F-35Bs!



And his insistence that "only the Marines wanted a STOVL version" shows either a bad "US-only" mindset or a definite lack of knowledge about the program/aircraft. The Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, and Italian Navy were part of the "requirements definition phase", and they all wanted the STOVL version... all of the ~138 the UK currently plans to buy will be that version, as will a good number of those Italy gets.

And while Spain has not formally joined the program, they expressed a desire for the STOVL version long ago to replace their ship-board Harriers... and it is very likely that they will do so in the 2020s.
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  #137  
Old 12-08-2016, 09:54
gruntfuttock gruntfuttock is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

I'm afraid your assertion that the RAF and the RN both wanted the F35B, is rather too simplistic In fact the 'end users' in the case of the RAF would have prefered the 'A' and the RN the 'C'.

Whilst the original plan was for a STOVL carrier, it was later realised that cat and traps would be the prefered option. The sole reason for the forthcoming fiasco over 'yes we will, and no we won't' was completely due to costs.The whole issues was a typical MOD/Government clusterf**k.

The decision made was by the bean counters in the treasury.

https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/up...ull-report.pdf
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  #138  
Old 12-08-2016, 12:11
Rupert Rupert is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Sometimes cluster****s can occur when people make sensible decisions.

One can argue as to whether the decision to try and move to CATOBAR was sensible, but I think events on Gerald Ford are proving and will prove that moving to EMALS was a huge risk when it was looked into, so the reversion to STOVL was sensible.

Bear in mind that steam catapults was never a viable alternative
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  #139  
Old 12-08-2016, 12:29
gruntfuttock gruntfuttock is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Sometimes cluster****s can occur when people make sensible decisions.

One can argue as to whether the decision to try and move to CATOBAR was sensible, but I think events on Gerald Ford are proving and will prove that moving to EMALS was a huge risk when it was looked into, so the reversion to STOVL was sensible.

Bear in mind that steam catapults was never a viable alternative

Sometimes one persons 'sensible decision' is another persons 'clusterf**k'

This from a very recent interview with Peter Roberts of the 'think tank' RUSI.

http://forces.tv/31902357
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  #140  
Old 12-08-2016, 16:09
gruntfuttock gruntfuttock is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Whilst over the last few years there have been many detractors of the F35 and its stealth capabilities, this must be one of the most blatently anti posts I have come across, and the most pathetic.

Then I looked at the blog, and realised that 'O'h well Brigantti is at it again'. Sorry if I have spelt your name wrong, well no I'm not really sorry at all, one would expect this from yourself. Any averagely informed F35 interested person will accept justified critisizm of the aircraft. This however is utter S**T.

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/art...mitations.html


N.B. The editor of this blog has been running down the F35 for years, but this is the lowest point he has reached. Pathetic.
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  #141  
Old 12-08-2016, 22:41
Rupert Rupert is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Originally Posted by gruntfuttock View Post
Sometimes one persons 'sensible decision' is another persons 'clusterf**k'

This from a very recent interview with Peter Roberts of the 'think tank' RUSI.

http://forces.tv/31902357
Most of his points are valid, though a couple towards the end are just plain wrong. However my point is that if we had gone for EMALS/AAG we might be in a much worse situation

https://www.rt.com/usa/352639-us-car...lity-problems/
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  #142  
Old 13-08-2016, 04:29
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Originally Posted by gruntfuttock View Post
I'm afraid your assertion that the RAF and the RN both wanted the F35B, is rather too simplistic In fact the 'end users' in the case of the RAF would have prefered the 'A' and the RN the 'C'.

Whilst the original plan was for a STOVL carrier, it was later realised that cat and traps would be the prefered option. The sole reason for the forthcoming fiasco over 'yes we will, and no we won't' was completely due to costs.The whole issues was a typical MOD/Government clusterf**k.

The decision made was by the bean counters in the treasury.

https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/up...ull-report.pdf
No - my assertion that both the RN and RAF wanted STOVL during the "requirements definition phase" is completely correct.

Both services continued to desire the B until long after the development aircraft first flew - the "second thoughts and change to the C and an expressed possibility for the A" didn't come about until 2010 - 15+ years after the decision to make 3 versions of the same base aircraft was made (Congress ordered all the US F-16/F/A-18/AV-8B/A-10 replacement programs merged into a single program to produce variants of a single base design in October 1994)!

From the late 1980s through at least 2008 both the RN and RAF were firm in their desire for a direct Harrier replacement that had STOVL capabilities. Until that point ALL of the "fit CVF for catapults & arresting gear" planning was for the mid-life modernization IF THEN - scheduled for 20+ years after commissioning.
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  #143  
Old 13-08-2016, 11:12
PhilipG PhilipG is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

It would have been quite embarrassing for HMG is the build of the QECs had not been slowed down for cost reasons, HMS Queen Elizabeth was meant at the outset of the project to be in service in July 2015.
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  #144  
Old 13-08-2016, 12:26
Rupert Rupert is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Originally Posted by BlackBat242 View Post
No - my assertion that both the RN and RAF wanted STOVL during the "requirements definition phase" is completely correct.

Both services continued to desire the B until long after the development aircraft first flew - the "second thoughts and change to the C and an expressed possibility for the A" didn't come about until 2010 - 15+ years after the decision to make 3 versions of the same base aircraft was made (Congress ordered all the US F-16/F/A-18/AV-8B/A-10 replacement programs merged into a single program to produce variants of a single base design in October 1994)!

From the late 1980s through at least 2008 both the RN and RAF were firm in their desire for a direct Harrier replacement that had STOVL capabilities. Until that point ALL of the "fit CVF for catapults & arresting gear" planning was for the mid-life modernization IF THEN - scheduled for 20+ years after commissioning.
Actually the history is a lot more complicated than that. Even back in 2003 there was a desire for CATOBAR if one of the competing catapult systems could be sufficiently de-risked. So STOVL it was. And recent reports from EMALS/AAG/GRF suggest that was the correct decision
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  #145  
Old 13-08-2016, 14:01
gruntfuttock gruntfuttock is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
Actually the history is a lot more complicated than that. Even back in 2003 there was a desire for CATOBAR if one of the competing catapult systems could be sufficiently de-risked. So STOVL it was. And recent reports from EMALS/AAG/GRF suggest that was the correct decision
Really? So no one expected delays in a completely new system ? No teething problems at all, and everything would go according to plan. Never was that going to happen.

So if we take as an example the F35B, no other aircraft to my knowledge has been the target of so much criticism and derision, from so many so called experts. The vast majority of whom have never even sat in one.

The aircrafts entry into service has been delayed, so on that basis we have chosen the wrong aircraft.

Seems to me the EMALS delays is a pretty poor excuse for why we reverted to STOVL. The facts are it was all about money, and the constant pressure from treasury that if we converted QE to cats and traps we would only be able to afford to keep one carrier.

The other rather spurious reasoning being fed to us, was that if EMALS caused delays in the QE, that some people were questioning as to why, if we had managed this long without carriers, did we really need them. I wonder where these rumours originated from. Not number 11 downing street by any chance.

The USN is going to make this work, and it will be a great advance on steam. I wonder why India is so interested in acquiring it. Not to mention China is developing one for its future carriers. Not quite the failure it's being made out to be.

https://news.usni.org/2016/05/17/adv...mpact-expected
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  #146  
Old 13-08-2016, 18:38
PhilipG PhilipG is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

The B or C debate brings up big inter service rivalry as I understand it as well as crewing issues on the carriers.

In the Falklands RAF Harrier pilots transitioned to landing on carriers quite quickly, creating it could be argued Joint Force Harrier. If the version that the UK had was the C, would all of the force be carrier qualified? Not having the ability to surge aircraft to the carriers in time of need would be embarrassing.

Putting the cost and risk factors in physically converting the QECs to Cat and Trap aside, the number of crew needed to service Catapults and Arrestor Gear is materially higher than if the carrier is STOVL, or SRVL, requiring besides new for this generation skill sets to be learnt but also materially increasing the crewing costs of the ships.

A QEC with Cats and Traps, F35Cs, a Hawkeye or three etc sadly seems to be beyond the purse of the UK.
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  #147  
Old 13-08-2016, 19:58
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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No - my assertion that both the RN and RAF wanted STOVL during the "requirements definition phase" is completely correct...
Agreed. Where the Royal Navy is concerned, the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) started off under a long-gestating Naval Staff Target endorsed in 1996 as the FCBA (Future Carrier Borne Aircraft). This was to be a fighter/attack replacement for the Sea Harrier intended to operate from a CVS or its hoped-for successor.

Simultaneously, the RAF wanted a modern replacement for the ground attack Harrier GR7 capable of operating from 'austere' FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) as in Germany during the Cold War. It was therefore decided in SDR 1998 to form 'Joint Force 2000' comprising aircraft that would be interchangeable without the need for considerable cross-training, i.e. RN jets able to operate from land and RAF jets able to operate from carriers. The FCBA project was therefore renamed the FJCA (Future Jet Combat Aircraft) with a STOVL (Short Take-Off Vertical Landing) version as the obvious solution. The STOVL version of the US JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) was chosen to meet this requirement.

This written evidence, presented to the House of Commons Defence Committee, was printed in Hansard on 3 Nov 1999:

Future Carrier Borne Aircraft—FCBA
Quote:
Future Carrier Borne Aircraft—FCBA

The Future Carrier Borne Aircraft, FCBA, is planned to replace both the RN's Sea Harrier and the RAF Harrier GR7 in the second decade of the next century, in a joint force to operate from the new aircraft carriers or from land bases. While the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing version of the US Joint Strike Fighter is a strong contender to meet this requirement, other options are also being studied, with a view to selecting an aircraft type in 2000-01. Meanwhile, the UK is a full collaborative partner with the US in the JSF Concept Demonstration phase.

OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENT

1. The FCBA requirement was originally intended to provide the Royal Navy with a new multi-role fighter/attack aircraft to replace the Sea Harrier from about 2012. There has been no significant change to the requirement, in terms of the aircraft's capabilities, since the Staff Target was approved in 1996. The Strategic Defence Review, however, concluded that we should plan to replace Invincible class carriers with two new larger aircraft carriers and establish the Joint Force 2000, comprising RN and RAF elements. The FCBA project, therefore, now envisages a common aircraft to replace both the Sea Harrier FA2 and RAF Harrier GR7. A strong contender for the FCBA requirement is the Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing, STOVL, version of the US Joint Strike Fighter, JSF. Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 1995, the UK is a full collaborative partner in the JSF Concept Demonstration phase, which began in November 1996. UK/US requirements are largely the same and UK Operational Requirements staffs are participating in a joint US/UK process of requirement definition.

.................................................. .

STRATEGIC DEFENCE REVIEW

4. The requirement for FCBA and other future fast jets was closely scrutinised in the DR. The Joint Force 2000 arising from the SDR will bring all Naval and RAF Harrier squadrons under a unified command and control structure, with squadrons capable of operating from ashore or afloat as required. Current plans envisage that FCBA will start entering service in 2012—see paragraph 6.

.................................................. ...

ALTERNATIVE PROCUREMENT OPTIONS

8. We are studying the estimated costs and merits of other potential solutions for FCBA. These include the possible develoment of a short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery. STOBAR aircraft, potentially a marinised Eurofighter, off the shelf purchase of a conventional catapult-launched aircraft, such as the Rafale M, and options related to an advanced Harrier design. The relative strengths and weaknesses of these options will be examined in the Combined Operational Effectiveness and Investment Appraisal.
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  #148  
Old 13-08-2016, 22:07
Rupert Rupert is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Quote:
Originally Posted by gruntfuttock View Post
Really? So no one expected delays in a completely new system ? No teething problems at all, and everything would go according to plan. Never was that going to happen.

So if we take as an example the F35B, no other aircraft to my knowledge has been the target of so much criticism and derision, from so many so called experts. The vast majority of whom have never even sat in one.

The aircrafts entry into service has been delayed, so on that basis we have chosen the wrong aircraft.

Seems to me the EMALS delays is a pretty poor excuse for why we reverted to STOVL. The facts are it was all about money, and the constant pressure from treasury that if we converted QE to cats and traps we would only be able to afford to keep one carrier.

The other rather spurious reasoning being fed to us, was that if EMALS caused delays in the QE, that some people were questioning as to why, if we had managed this long without carriers, did we really need them. I wonder where these rumours originated from. Not number 11 downing street by any chance.

The USN is going to make this work, and it will be a great advance on steam. I wonder why India is so interested in acquiring it. Not to mention China is developing one for its future carriers. Not quite the failure it's being made out to be.

https://news.usni.org/2016/05/17/adv...mpact-expected
Teething problems? Yes

these go beyond that. The issues with EMALs, AAG and Spy-3 may not be fixable.

Certainly at the time of the decision there was concern. Also there was the issue of then needing to either pay for buddy-buddy refuelling to be added to F35, or to buy some F18s. Either would have been extraordinarily expensive.

Better a bird in the hand than 1.25 birds in a very expensive bush
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  #149  
Old 14-08-2016, 07:13
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BlackBat242 BlackBat242 is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

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Teething problems? Yes

these go beyond that. The issues with EMALs, AAG and Spy-3 may not be fixable.
EMALS - the problems are in reliability, not in functionality - this has 90+% probability of being fixable.

AAG - the problems are in functionality - fixability completely uncertain at this time. Fortunately, the Mk7 arresting gear currently installed in the Nimitz class carriers has great functionality and reliability*, and can be installed in CV-78 Ford if the AAG proves unfixable (AAG was designed to be able to replace the Mk7 during a normal yard period, so the reverse should be true as well).

SPY-3 - I'm not certain what problems you are referring to - please expand and explain.



* AAG is designed to provide less stress on the aircraft during arrestment, thus increasing airframe life-span (and reducing both maintenance and replacement costs for the carrier aircraft). If necessary, this can be forgone in favor of the proven/reliable Mk7.
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Old 14-08-2016, 07:53
Rupert Rupert is offline
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Default Re: Lockheed Martin F35B Lightning II

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBat242 View Post
EMALS - the problems are in reliability, not in functionality - this has 90+% probability of being fixable.

AAG - the problems are in functionality - fixability completely uncertain at this time. Fortunately, the Mk7 arresting gear currently installed in the Nimitz class carriers has great functionality and reliability*, and can be installed in CV-78 Ford if the AAG proves unfixable (AAG was designed to be able to replace the Mk7 during a normal yard period, so the reverse should be true as well).

SPY-3 - I'm not certain what problems you are referring to - please expand and explain.


* AAG is designed to provide less stress on the aircraft during arrestment, thus increasing airframe life-span (and reducing both maintenance and replacement costs for the carrier aircraft). If necessary, this can be forgone in favor of the proven/reliable Mk7.

EMALS:
90%+ chance. Lets assume you are right. Lets call it 95% chance. This late in the programme a 1 in 20 chance that EMALS doesn't work is massive. Had we gone for EMALS that would be a 1 in 20 chance that our carriers would be useless as designed (because we could not concert to steam catapults as the USN could do) and that our aircraft purchase would be the wrong type even if we managed to convert to STOVL (and don't underestimate the cost of doing that at this late stage). It would be a 1 in 20 chance of at least a Ł1bn bill. There is no way that is acceptable for us. The US can sned its F35Bs to the USMC and convert to steam catapults and have loads of other carriers in the meantime. For us it would be game over - the carriers would probably be scrapped.

Furthermore the risk was higher at the time, and the whispers I have heard in the last 2 months are that it might be higher now. Like I said, this is way beyond teething problems.


Spy-3: It's been taken off the Zumwalt, and they have already made the decision that it won't be on any future carriers. So GRF is the only one with it. That tells us all we need to know. But essentially volume search is not working, so the X band will have to do both surveillance and fire control. And it won't be as effective for long range surveillance as the S-band (there are other issues with this as well, but this is not the place for an explanation of time-energy of phased arrays)
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