R N to buy FA-18F instead of JSF.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by spike7451, Aug 1, 2010.

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  1. spike7451

    spike7451 RIP

    With all the rumours floating about,here's one from the Sunday Times.

  2. Makes sense. Boeing has delivered EVERY Super Hornet ordered on budget and on, or before, schedule. JSF is a luxury we can no longer afford, especially while the Super Hornet can do fighter, attack, tanker and EW. It would be in service quicker, when we want it, and for the agreed price.
  3. Interesting - it would mean writing some cash off, and also finding money in the next 20 years or so for the next generation fighter. However, given that JSF looks vulnerable in the US - (if you think we've got it bad, the US armed forces are about to get cuts that make ours look nonexistent).

    A buy of FA18s would get them in service quicker, continue to deliver effect as required and provide us with a 'day 1' strike capability in conjunction with the US. It also would address the looming gap between GR4 removal, the build up of JSF anyway (its going to take years for the UK to get its full JSF buy) and be a significant recruitment / retention booster for the RN, plus allowing us to settle on 2 fleets, with the likelihood of a JSF buy eventually for the follow on Typhoon replacement.
  4. maguire

    maguire LE Book Reviewer

    are the carriers in the pipeline big enough for fixed wing or are they going to be 'Invincible' sized ships?
  5. More than big enough, they have also spaces in the design not just for the cat and traps but for two generators to power EMALS.

    I know a lot of people are going to be throwing around cost vs. capability but I really think the work done on the f15 and f18 (e.g. silent eagle) over the last few years to compete with air craft three times the price shows the kind of budget responsibility and inservice flexability we now need in procurement.
  6. I remember discussing this with an Admiral about 3 years ago, he said the main reason for buying the JSF in VTOL rather than another aircraft with greatly superior range and payload, was that the RN didn't want to fit catapults. According to him, they would have to use electromagnetic catapults and these were untested technology.
  7. I agree - we need to accept that if we keep on our current path we'll be able to afford huge carriers and an airwing of 6 F35s, and err thats it. Lets buy the FA18 (say about 80) - this gives us an OCU of 20 planes, 20 in storage, plus 3 front line sqns of 12, enough to generate a carrier, plus another sqn for wider service. I sugges the cost would be a fraction of buying 80 JSF, and still give 8-90% of the required capability, and could even find the spare cash for an E2C buy.

    Money saving capability - no chance of it getting past Ministers and BAE then :)
  8. I was working at DERA when they did the orginal downselect for JCA. F/A-18 came a close second and many of the grown ups were more than happy to go with it, even on the RAF side.

    I've always felt that F/A-18 was the best choice for the UK. It does what it says on the tin, it's a proven design and they get delivered on time and on budget.
  9. They're going to be the size of Lichtenstien. If only someone had thought of FA18s as the cheapest and most logical solution in the first place. Imagine how much money could have been saved... or diverted on to another cake & arse project like the MRA4... which will also get the chop, thus saving more money to be wasted on Trident replacement and carriers we can't afford... which we'll end up selling to the Sri Lankan Coast Guard... along with the Hornets that we no longer need... or can afford.
  10. Ditch the lot and buy dozens more helis
  11. Ironically I wonder how much General Bailey (retd.), who is rather high up in military sales for Boeing Europe, will have had in pushing his army chums now the top jobs towards this end?

    Just to point out the f18 international which is what we would most likely be buying has a large number of toys available as options (and can be purchased later). These include conformal fuel tanks, centreline stealth weapons pod etc.

    Boeing sees on oppurtunity to **** the JSF program, and are going hell for leather on this objective globally. Offering outrageous innovations such as value for money, delivery on time and mid life buy back schemes (so we can get dave c at a later date at a better price when the niggles have been ironed out). Obviously this is the first salvo expect Lockheed to answer it in 2011 when the US defence cuts start to bite.

    Details here:

    Boeing Bombshells
  12. F/A-18E, the current version. The USN bought their last tranche as a fixed price contract at $68 Million a plane delivered.

    The F/A-18 is an object lesson in military procurement. It's a 'good enough' fighter bomber that just keeps getting better and the unit cost adjusted for inflation keeps dropping.
  13. Spotter hat on.

    Invinsible class Aircraft Carriers are 20,000 tonnes. New carriers are 65,000 tonnes.

    Spotter hat off.
  14. This is a good decision.
    Will involve an awful lot of re-training for the wafus though, especially maintenance.

  15. You'd be be surprised how many people in the RN and RAF have experience on the F/A-18 through exchanges.