Change to Carriers and JSF ?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by sc_obvious, Aug 6, 2009.

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  1. Nothing the CVF were designed to be either/or and as they're not built yet, nothings been wasted.

    Speaking as a crab, albeit the blunt kind, I think this is probably a good thing: 'C' appears to be cheaper, we can fly them off spam and french carriers and they can do likewise. Cats mean we can buy Hawkeye off the shelf rather than having to develop MASC and last but not least, the C has a better range and payload, making it a more cpable aircraft.

    Sure, we loose STOVL but tbh, I don't think that brings as much to the party.
  2. Despite the big effect on defence jobs and the fact it is being spun as a money saving move, I don't think it's that bad a decision for the navy. The carriers are going to be big enough to accomodate conventional take off and landing jets, and the standard version of the JSF has slightly better capabilities due to not having to lug around the extra VTOL kit. This would also mean flat deck carriers rather than ones with ramps, so we could operate other naval aircraft from them as well (if we had any of course). Unfortunately the retraining for the navy pilots is going to be an absolute bugger.

    The main loser is probably going to be the RAF who were the main pushers for the VTOL variant as a direct replacement for the harrier, and they have no need for another fighter/bomber that has similar capabilities to what they've already got. (Though I wouldn't be opposed to just starting up the Harrier production lines again, just for old times sake)

    (EDIT: Just a more verbose version of what DPM_Sheep said really)
  3. The Telegraph article seems to suggest that because the MOD are switching to C variant for their order that no RR engines will be needed at all, but aren't most of the B variant going to USMC anyway? Seems to me that the Telegraph are being a little sensationalist, not what I would expect of them at all.
  4. If true, this is potentially seismic news!

    The principle advantage of the F-35B over the C is that it would enable RN CAGs to be reinforced more readily by RAF sqns; cat/trap skills are a lot more of a perishable skill than STOVL.

    For pure RAF ops, the F-35C is not such a bad deal as it gas a pretty healthy short field performance in its own right. Moreover, it has always been the best performer in most respects out of all the F-35 variants. Therefore, there have always been a fair number of pro-C types in my Service.

    If it saves money than that’s an added advantage although I suspect those economies may be eaten up by having to modify the CVF design now to accept a steam generator or the somewhat immature EMALS (which even the USN are considering dropping from their first Ford Class CVN21 to allow the technology to mature).

    However, I don’t think there’s much chance of an E-2C buy as there’s simply no money. In addition, the Hawkeye is far from a stellar performer over land and its sensor in some regards is inferior to those of the SKASAC, even in the new E-2D variant.

    In terms of numbers bought, if there is to be a reduction, I suspect it’ll mean the F-35C will only go to the RN.

    However, I would suggest all this debate is fairly pointless before the next election and the ensuing SDR.

  5. And you think the Seps will spec RR engines in their planes?

    While Broon spouts about 'British jobs for British workers', the Yanks actually do follow through and are very keen on only spending their dosh on kit that brings jobs to US workers.
  6. I'm a little disappointed by the loss of the contract for Rolls Royce, who, as we know, produce some of the finest engines in the world. It reminded me somewhat of the cancellation of the Blue Streak rocket (engines built by Rolls Royce) by the then government and everything that cost us as a nation.

    As for losing the VSTOL capability - the jury is out on whether this is a good idea or not. Sure, we aren't planning on working anywhere that doesn't have access to airports or runways like we planned to in the cold war, but, never say never. What's important is that the development of the VSTOL engines and experience that we HAVE paid Rolls Royce to do is not lost.

    Dropping this capability is costing Rolls Royce £5 billion apparently, plus the money lost on paying for the development (hundreds of millions), plus the contractual/legal fees we are going to have to pay, plus the re-design of the carriers will come to something like a minimum of £6,000,000,000 lost to British tax-payers and Rolls Royce. It's going to save us £1 billion, but only if we don't find we need VSTOL later on and have to go back to the drawing board in terms of engines AND carrier changes.

    Short-sighted? The Government? The MOD? NEVER!!!!!
  7. I just cannot see Rolls junking this engine as so much work has gone into it over several years, It must be a pretty mature design by now surely ?

  8. You have to make no changes to a conventional carrier to operate STVOL.
  9. meridian

    meridian LE Good Egg (charities)

    I always thought the B was a sensible and pragmatic choice for sortie generation, training and a whole host of other reasons. Looking forward beyond the JCA for strike roles though the future is ultra long range UCAV's which are likely to need a cat so in this respect I can see the reasoning behind the decision

    Whichever aircraft flies off it I still think they are not in the best best interests of the RN who, if they were really smart, would build a credible surface and sub surface fleet that could protect the UK and her interests rather than trying to keep up with the US in their expeditionary/power projection capabilities.

    Wasnt the through life costs of steam powered catapults one of the principle reasons for going VSTOL, whats changed?

    Also, EMAL's uses HUGE amounts of power, fine if you have a nuclear reactor but what about CVF's power generation capability
  10. The seps WILL have RR engines in their B variant. PW do the engines for the A and C, Rolls do the B because they know about VSTOL. But I do broadly agree with you about the relative openess to foreign products of UK defence procurement compared to other countries.
  11. Is there no requirement or "vision" for a new generation of "super Harrier" that might utilise and maintain the VTSTOL technology?

  12. The ONLY thing an F-35B does better than the C version is take off vertically.

    The F-35C is faster, more agile, longer ranged, bigger weapons load, cheaper.

    For steam you can use a flash steam boiler like the French were going to use in their CVF design.

    For generations rates and numbers of weapons on target, a proper strike carrier with proper conventional strike aircraft will wipe the floor with a STVOL carrier with STVOL aircraft.

  13. Yes, it was called the F-35B.
  14. I appreciate the point, however, the carrier designs already include the VSTOL element, and there is a cost in removing the capability from the carriers, which would then make best use of the standard aircraft.

    The first super-carriers in the world to be designed with a ski-jump ramp. Now, considering that construction has already started, with prefabricated sections being built alle uber de platz, I would imagine there's going to have to be some expensive jiggery pokery to get things to the new standard.

    Edited to add: Anyway, FFS, this isn't just about the navy fly-boys! A VSTOL capability could be very useful on land, never mind the sea. Just because the matelots don't want them, doesn't mean the AAC couldn't use the aircraft.