Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Discuss all things 'aviation' that do not fit into a more appropriate forum

Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy?

Forget the carriers - F-35A
1
1%
Forget the carriers - F-35A
1
1%
Back to VTOL - F-35B
7
4%
Back to VTOL - F-35B
7
4%
Carrier Variant - F-35C
57
31%
Carrier Variant - F-35C
57
31%
Cancel it all.
28
15%
Cancel it all.
28
15%
 
Total votes: 186

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bennysdad
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by bennysdad »

A Super Hornet in the hand is worth two F35s in construction when the carriers are launched.

Unknown74
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by Unknown74 »

Forget it and go for SAAB Gripens and/or Rafales.

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TonyO
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by TonyO »

fighterfoto wrote:The C version is too heavy for French carriers and if we go down the catapult route we'll only get one carrier, which will only be at sea some 65% of the time. If we want a credible carrier strike capability, i.e. one that is always available, then it's going to be the B model as we can't afford two boats with Cs aboard.


I am intrigued to know if that's really true. I read the same thing in the Times and thought whoever briefed the Times must have just forgotten that the CdG operates E-2C Hawkeyes regularly! Is an F-35C really heavier than a Hawkeye? And theoretically an F-35B will be just as heavy again, so that argument has to be bolleaux too! Surely if we are now in this with the French, we'll be able to use their carrier when ours in maintenance and vice-versa? Credible capability 100% of the time?
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bigfatron
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by bigfatron »

phreakf4 wrote:
81tfw wrote:....what is so special about VSTOL?...


I almost couldn't believe that any aviation enthusiast would ever ask that question. As partial answer, let me put another question; Why do so many bemoan the passing of the RAF/RN Harriers, is it simply because they were British, or is it because they provided a near-unique capability. I suggest you ask those who served in the Falklands war or in Belize how they feel the outcome might have been different had we not had Harriers.....or ask the US Marine Corps why they bother to continue operating their Harriers.


Serious question. If hypothetically we'd gone to the Falklands two catapult-equipped carriers and comparable aircraft instead of Hermes/Invincible and Sea Harriers then how would things have worked out differently? I don't recall us ever doing anything in the Falklands that only a VSTOL jet could've done (operating from improvised forward bases for instance).

Dragon Rapide
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by Dragon Rapide »

And so the debate goes on about which is better for this and which for that but not a mention of cost. It may have escaped your attention but, whatever the decision it has to be paid for and it is we who are all paying for it!! The choice must be the most cost-effective strategic solution - and that means for the next 20/30 years, not the next 10/20.
Listen to that Gipsy music.....

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bigfatron
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by bigfatron »

fighterfoto wrote:The C version is too heavy for French carriers and if we go down the catapult route we'll only get one carrier, which will only be at sea some 65% of the time. If we want a credible carrier strike capability, i.e. one that is always available, then it's going to be the B model as we can't afford two boats with Cs aboard.


I thought we were going to mothball/sell the 2nd carrier irrespective of whichever JSF variant we bought? And isn't the per-unit cost of the C less than the B anyway?

SHARFA2
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by SHARFA2 »

I voted for the C model. But for me the ideal situation is to go ahead with both QE class carriers with Cat/Trap, but with Super Hornet or Rafale option, then wait for the F35 replacement in another 30 years time.

raffairford
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by raffairford »

Well ive had a very good from a lt cmdr who works at the whitehall has told me that the navy are looking to either quote " either buy av8 b's or buy 12 harriers back from the usa or the spanish ".

To be honest im not surprised you ???

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T_J
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by T_J »

bigfatron wrote:
Serious question. If hypothetically we'd gone to the Falklands two catapult-equipped carriers and comparable aircraft instead of Hermes/Invincible and Sea Harriers then how would things have worked out differently? I don't recall us ever doing anything in the Falklands that only a VSTOL jet could've done (operating from improvised forward bases for instance).


A forward operating base was set up. It would have been larger if the Atlantic Conveyor hadn't been taken out by Exocet.

See following.

http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2012/04/h ... d-islands/

jag636
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by jag636 »

How about building an aircraft that can take of and land using one engine that has a small planform and fits in the hold of an aircraft carrier. I've just had a thought I could call it after a type of bird, any ideas. :clown:

Hmmm; how about freehand, no thats not a bird, Hmmm forger, naaaah thats not one either, matador, nope! Ohh I don't know, doe's any politician have any idea? :sweat: After all they know every thing and we know so little as only being tax payers. :surrender:

Hang on I've just had a look in a book and found that many years ago there was an aircraft called the Harrier, was it a success or did it fail? Oh can anyone tell me, looking at the book it seemed to tick all the right boxes and it did go to war many times and it is therefore tried and tested.

What happened to it?

They should have listened to the people who run the forces instead of stupid idoligists who only are in the back pocket of the yanks, even they see a bargin when they see one. £70, millions worth that is, and that doesn't even buy you one F35. Mean while the debate rolls on which waste of time/effort/and money should we buy?

neather of the F 35's thats for sure, we can't afford them even one is to much and what of all the expertise we gained after all the operations over many decades, gone lost for ever.
UK government has failed us yet again.
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DanH
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by DanH »

I've often wondered what stopped Britain from developing its own Harrier replacement to rival the F35 in the export market? We used to be capable of designing and building some very good planes, some of them even sold well overseas. So what has changed? Think how much of a boost it could be to our economy if we were able to offer for export a rival 5th gen. naval warplane.
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Liveforriat
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by Liveforriat »

Regarding the F35 C and its capability of landing on the French Carrier. A fully loaded F35 C is heavier than a Hawkeye and it its maximum capable take off weight is significantly heavier. This isnt the whole issue though its also relates to the landing profiles of the two aircraft eg approach speeds and angles etc and the decks ability to do cope with these.

I think its one of those times where the truth is being spun to support a decision that is unpopular. Could the F35 C Land on the French carrier ? Yes it almost certainly could. Could it do it repetitively for years without damaging the deck? No probably not but it probably wouldn't do that anyway so its not as clear cut as some of the reports have made it out to be. The F35 B however is much more likely to damage the deck of the CDG for the reasons I explained around a year ago in this thread (under a different logon name a I had problems with my password ) :)

http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9735&p=124618#p124618
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DamienB
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by DamienB »

bigfatron wrote:Serious question. If hypothetically we'd gone to the Falklands two catapult-equipped carriers and comparable aircraft instead of Hermes/Invincible and Sea Harriers then how would things have worked out differently? I don't recall us ever doing anything in the Falklands that only a VSTOL jet could've done (operating from improvised forward bases for instance).


Harriers were launched - and recovered - in weather that would have made normal catapult/arrestor operations impossible.

On balance thuogh I suspect the loss of AEW Gannet capability more than cancelled out that advantage. Don't see us buying a new AEW aircraft though...

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ericbee123
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by ericbee123 »

DamienB wrote: Don't see us buying a new AEW aircraft though...


Ah but that decision will have to be made after the version of Dave we decide on.

If it is the B model, then we need an AEW aircraft with a Vertical component in its operation -- i.e. probably a helicopter like we have now.

If it is the C model then we can get a cat and trap AEW aircraft -- like a Hawkeye or an alternative or a future Hawkeye replacement.

But......

And I could be totally wrong here, but isn't AEW basically endless tedium of flying holding patterns and looking for things which 999 times out of 1,000 are NOT there ?

Wouldn't this be an ideal application for UAV, whereby an automated vehicle can fly a holding pattern and scan for non-existant things all day long and alert people when it actually finds something different that needs human interpretation ?

As a UAV there is less need to worry about G's and take off and landing stresses and weights so there are many more options for getting it airborne and recovered, however the carrier is configured --- Just a thought.
Disclaimer-I have spell/grammar checked this post, it may still contain mistakes that might cause offence.

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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by Dragon Rapide »

Listen to that Gipsy music.....

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bigfatron
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by bigfatron »

Dragon Rapide wrote:Another angle....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... riers.html


A couple of questions from that piece. He suggests why build the QE Class when we could've just stuck the F35B on an Invincible class. Would the carriers have been able to cope with them? (the F35B is about 10ft wider than the Sea Harrier was and 5ft wider than the GR9). There is of course also the issue of whether the deck could've coped with the extra heat from the F35B's exhaust in VTOL operations.

He also says 'He [Liam Fox] announced that he would give the carriers the aircraft they were originally designed for'. AFAIK we were only looking at the F35B when the carriers were designed? Although I agree that we probably should've always been looking at the F35C anyway.

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bigfatron
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by bigfatron »

DamienB wrote:
bigfatron wrote:Serious question. If hypothetically we'd gone to the Falklands two catapult-equipped carriers and comparable aircraft instead of Hermes/Invincible and Sea Harriers then how would things have worked out differently? I don't recall us ever doing anything in the Falklands that only a VSTOL jet could've done (operating from improvised forward bases for instance).


Harriers were launched - and recovered - in weather that would have made normal catapult/arrestor operations impossible.

On balance thuogh I suspect the loss of AEW Gannet capability more than cancelled out that advantage. Don't see us buying a new AEW aircraft though...


Fair enough. What would constitute conditions that preclude catapult/arrestor hook operations? Excessive sea pitching/rolling? I assume a Harrier would be as vulnerable (if not moreso) in extreme wind conditions during landing especially?

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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by ATrs.jules »

should have kept the Harrier :wall:
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the concerned
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by the concerned »

The jsf'c is the only aircraft that could give us the operational flexibilty that the UK armed forces needs.With regards to it being able to fit on the french carrier by the time we get any Jsf's to be able to conduct actual operations will be the early to mid 2020's so i'm sure that the French would have to be looking into replacing the CDG by then.

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T_J
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Re: Which variant of the F-35 should Britain buy...?

Post by T_J »

bigfatron wrote:
Dragon Rapide wrote:Another angle....

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... riers.html


A couple of questions from that piece. He suggests why build the QE Class when we could've just stuck the F35B on an Invincible class. Would the carriers have been able to cope with them? (the F35B is about 10ft wider than the Sea Harrier was and 5ft wider than the GR9). There is of course also the issue of whether the deck could've coped with the extra heat from the F35B's exhaust in VTOL operations.


Operating JSF from Invincible Class was looked into and apparently dropped by 1999. Invincible Class would be just too small and the lifts would have to be re-designed.

part of the the UK originally required that JSF should be able to operate from these small ships but the requirement had been dropped by 1999


From

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/jca1-1.htm

Although its conclusions were never published, the FSR study apparently found that the CVS's cannot be cost-effectively altered to operate the Joint Strike Fighter (assuming the STOVL variant is purchased by the UK), partly because they are simply to small for a plane much larger than the Harrier. Adoption of the FSR option is now regarded as very unlikely by both defence and industry officials and the significance of the study has been played down by both. It has been suggested that the MoD aimed to utilise the study simply as a means of pre-empting Treasury pressure to accept the refit option by demonstrating at an early stage that a FSR is not a cost-effective alternative to CVF, and is only capable of producing short-term savings.


From

http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvf3-1.htm