Britain threatens to withdraw from JSF project

#2
This is a riculous thread to have started - obviously those reading it will not understand that when you are allies you are not equal (or even perhaps on the same side) but are putting one's personnel where they can take the flak for the more valuable allies and are, as allies, nothing more than customers who should pay up and accept what their bigger and better allies give them!

Wish they would tell them where to park their a/c and while we're at it bring back the SLR or move towards a weapon that is more than just an urban warfare toy (.223 - bleah - give me 7.62 mm). There are so many areas where we re-invent (or purchase) the wheel yet again when there is weaponry that has stood the test of time (M16, FM, GMPE - what use is the lsw with 30 rounds of BB?) or better still is developed and built within our shores?

Whilst on my soapbox (horrible funeral visit today so can let off steam here I guess :) ) why do we need to buy propellant (nasty bang powder) from western mainland Europe when we used to make perfectly good stuff here? Perhaps we can source it from an Iraqi supplier and complete the idiocy.

Taz, thank you for this - going out now to scour local area for cat to kick.

Will the septics never grasp the concept of partnership or even plain customer service?

P
 
#3
I don't think there's much to worry about on this. Drayson was in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The problem originates in the House of Representatives. My first guess is that Drayson's testimony is to be used as ammunition by the Senate (who tend to be altogether more sensible than the House when it comes to policy matters) when the appropriate piece of legislation goes into conference. The House will fold after making a political point (they don't want to lose export orders any more than anybody else involved) we'll get the appropriate toys and everyone is happy.
 
#4
Not quite that simple.

Technology transfer is one of these things that really matters. It is often done on a quid pro quo basis but in respect to this ac, if we don't have the full tech pack then we decrease the capability of the plane substanially.

We bought in to this project to meet a capability. If that capability is no longer going to filled, then we (UK PLC) have to look elsewhere to find it.

Why bother buying "damaged" goods? :?
 
#6
The USA have cut Rolls-Royce out of the package which means that there is no "British" VTOL on the horizon which is the variant we were after. We can barely afford today's essentials having committed to buy every other light blue bod his own Typhoon, so anything we can wiggle out of has to be grasped at.

On the plus side once we have airfields full of Typhoons Ivan won't dare think about moving west....oh what's that, he's busy watching his team play football at Stamford Bridge?
 
#7
I believe that the tech-transfer thing has been causing raised eyebrows at BAE for some time - the LM side having being reticent about letting all the goodies out of the sweet shop...
 
#8
I can understand that they (the US) wet their pampers at advanced and /or possibly 'secret' IT and hi-tech entering China, Russia or other potentially compromising countries but the amazing mentality of the Senate and the other plonkers-in-control of our ex-colonial territories gets my goat.

This attitude makes obvious that the special relation we have is pretty much master and obedient lap-dog and not equals. Wouldn't be suprised if it didn't come with a licence that states that we are only renting the software and that we will have to buy renewals as per large US naff software meglomaniac Corp!

What makes it even worse is the fact that Chelski have the premiership sown up as well :-(

P
 
#10
Intregate with Europe ! you have to be joking , what the feck do we want to do that for their
hardly reliable are they , lets get the whole story about JSF first .The only europeans worth
bothering with are the Scandanavians.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#12
Buy navalised Typhoons instead and bung that on the new carriers. Failing that, a few Rafale-N's off the Frogs will do.
 
#13
paveway_3 said:
Intregate with Europe ! you have to be joking , what the feck do we want to do that for their
hardly reliable are they , lets get the whole story about JSF first .The only europeans worth
bothering with are the Scandanavians.
Oh god..I agree with you.
 
#14
Mr_Mitty said:
I believe that the tech-transfer thing has been causing raised eyebrows at BAE for some time - the LM side having being reticent about letting all the goodies out of the sweet shop...
I have a mate who works on it at Warton he mentioned a few months back at the lack of information and knowhow comming to this side of the deal by reading the article on the BBC site wouldnt be surprised if the cut backs on the engine programe weren't deliberate as a spam firm never got the contract,
Taken from another website
f the US Government wants to perform commercial espionage in Europe, then it's easy - just use Menwith Hill. The scandal surrounding the Airbus contract a few years ago, confirmed Menwith Hill's role in this murky world. The communications involving the bidding process by the various companies vying for the contract were intercepted by the NSA at Menwith Hill. The details were passed directly to the US Government, who then made sure their own US companies were furnished with this "insider knowledge". Thus, the US companies mysteriously landed the contract!
 
#15
paveway_3 said:
Intregate with Europe ! you have to be joking , what the feck do we want to do that for their
hardly reliable are they , lets get the whole story about JSF first .The only europeans worth
bothering with are the Scandanavians.
Rather arse-fcuk Europeons than Yanks.
 
#16
brettarider said:
I have a mate who works on it at Warton he mentioned a few months back at the lack of information and knowhow comming to this side of the deal by reading the article on the BBC site wouldnt be surprised if the cut backs on the engine programe weren't deliberate as a spam firm never got the contract
Ummm.... the F136 engine (the one being cut back) is a joint venture between General Electric and Rolls-Royce, with GE (an American company) getting 60% of a project. It's nothing whatsoever to do with "a spam firm never got the contract".
In any case, the cutback is most likely a negotiating ploy to get congress to stump up more cash rather than a deliberate attempt to cancel it.
 
#17
pdf27,

Without looking, IIRC, weren't R-R (and BAE?) were involved in both consortiums (consortii?!) going for the JSF contract. I agree with bretta about the information flow though - my mum's well hacked off with it, or it's relative absence.

[duck]Stands by for incoming for being related to BAE[duck further ;)]

Mitty
 
#18
Meanwhile:

Raptor Sales to Foreigners?
Atlanta Journal Constitution | Dave Hirschman | March 15, 2006

It would take a rich, trusted buyer --- plus an act of Congress.

But Air Force officials are cautiously floating the idea of selling Marietta-built F-22A Raptor fighters to foreign allies, a move that would keep production lines at the Cobb County plant open longer than now planned.

Top Air Force officers have discussed such proposals at conferences, according to the Air Force Times newspaper, which characterized the idea as "gaining strength" among service leaders.

The list of potential customers is short --- Japan and maybe Israel --- and the obstacles are formidable.

Each F-22A costs about $130 million. And a 2000 law prohibits foreign sales of the high-tech fighters that U.S. taxpayers are spending more than $72 billion to develop and field. But defense analysts say there are compelling reasons to get F-22As into the hands of close allies --- particularly Japan.

"Japan has the cash," said Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst at the Teal Group. "And there are some pressing national interests that argue in favor of selling this airplane to Japan."

Aboulafia said selling Raptors to Japan would offset some of the costs to U.S. taxpayers and put the world's best warplanes in the hands of a trusted ally that is geographically close to powerful potential adversaries China, North Korea and Russia.

Japan reportedly requested technical information on the F-22A during a recent industry trade show in Singapore. And Britain has requested a Raptor display at the high-profile Farnborough Air Show in England this summer.

Foreign sales also could extend Lockheed Martin's production line in Cobb County and lower F-22A unit costs for the Air Force, Aboulafia said.

"The F-22 is great for Japan's needs," he said, "and the U.S. would get world-class air superiority over much of the Pacific."

There are many pitfalls in the details, however.

Powerful computers drive the Raptor's revolutionary avionics, and the software is a closely guarded secret. The plane's stealthy shape, radar-absorbing coatings and production methods are highly classified. U.S. regulators and lawmakers would have to be satisfied that such technology won't "migrate" to other countries.

Also, Japan has traditionally insisted on building major components of the U.S. planes it buys --- both military and commercial. U.S. and Lockheed officials would be reluctant to hand over the F-22A's many trade secrets. Technology a touchy issue

"There will be technology transfer issues, and U.S. regulators may not sign off on it," Aboulafia said. "The Asia-phobia lobby would see all kinds of dangers."

A future sale to Japan has a good chance of going forward, he said, but it won't be easy.

"If [the Air Force] fights this fight, they may win," Aboulafia said. "But it's going to be a fight."

Loren Thompson, defense analyst at the Lexington Institute, said Japan is the only realistic F-22A buyer.

The plane is probably too costly for Israel, he said, and "Israel doesn't have the greatest track record when it comes to technology security." Britain and other European allies are committed to buying similar but less capable F-35s or non-stealthy fighters made by their own consortiums.

"Japan has a big wallet," Thompson said, "and its neighbors are some of the biggest threats in the world. Japan is completely trustworthy, and it's in a location where the planes are needed."

Thompson said Japan is about to retire obsolete, American-built F-4 Phantom fighters, and it could buy a stripped-down, air-to-air version of the plane. The F-22A was designed as a pure fighter, but Lockheed has added ground-attack capabilities during its nearly 20-year development.

If Japan went ahead with an F-22A purchase, it would probably buy about 60 airplanes, Thompson said. That's enough for two active squadrons of 24 airplanes each as well as spares and a few planes for training.

At current production rates, a 60-plane sale would add about three years to the F-22A assembly line. About 2,200 workers build F-22As at Lockheed's 7,800-employee plant in Marietta. Without additional sales, F-22A production could end in 2012.

Thompson said extending F-22A production is important to the Air Force because the service has never relinquished its goal of obtaining about 300 Raptors, even though the Pentagon slashed planned purchases to just over 180 planes.

"The Air Force has already stretched production past [Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld," he said. "They'll be back for more Raptors."

Keith Ashdown, policy director at Taxpayers for Common Sense and an F-22A opponent, said foreign sales undercut the rationale for building the plane touted as the ultimate fighter.

"It flies in the face of the argument that we built it to have sole air superiority," he said. "If our allies can use it to compete with us, our capabilities are no longer unique."

Ashdown said the prospect of foreign sales is attractive because it would allow U.S. taxpayers to recover some costs. But he doubts enough planes would be sold to meaningfully reduce unit costs, and many defense-related sales are traditionally made with loan guarantees that may never be repaid.

"I'm a pragmatist," Ashdown. "I worry we may be giving away the store." Some deals backfired

Previous military sales have drawn controversy. The Pentagon sold F-14 Tomcats to Iran in the 1970s, but the country's pro-Western government was soon toppled and the planes fell into the hands of a hostile regime. U.S. defense firms also sell front-line F-15, F-16s and F/A-18s throughout the Middle East, and sales in other regions have stoked arms race fears.

Winslow Wheeler, director of the Center for Defense Information's military reform project, said he regards talk of foreign F-22A sales as a marketing ploy.

"The F-22 is under increasing pressure in our own budget," he said. "The Air Force is desperate to push the F-22. Holding out the prospect of foreign sales is a gambit I've seen before. The sale and cost savings may never materialize."

Lockheed officials declined to comment on foreign F-22A sales and directed questions to the State Department.

To allow the sales, Congress would have to overturn a 2000 law that bars such exports. Defense analysts said efforts to change the law would likely begin after a buyer is found.

Air Force spokesman Doug Karas sees no such effort under way. "Right now there's a law that says we can't sell [F-22As] overseas," he said. "There's ... no official move to change the law, and I know of no plan to ask Congress to change the law."
P.S. Don't believe the $130m price tag. It doesn't factor in R&D,T&E costs. The true figure is actually around $300m
 

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