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Jump jets to fall victim to spending cuts

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Jump jets to fall victim to spending cuts

 

Telegraph -- By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent -- 30 August 2010

 

In a move that could put hundreds of British manufacturing jobs at risk, defence chiefs are ready to abandon plans to buy a vertical-landing fighter jet for the Royal Navy.

 

Instead, a cheaper conventional-landing warplane will replace the Navy’s Harriers when they retire.

 

The decision is the first to emerge from the Strategic Defence Review to have direct consequences for British industry. Rolls Royce will be hard hit by the move, which could also strain British relations with the US.

 

The Navy is buying two new aircraft carriers at a cost of more than £5 billion. Army and RAF chiefs have questioned that plan and suggested that one carrier should be scrapped or shared with the French navy.

 

Attempting to defend the carriers, Royal Navy chiefs are seeking cuts elsewhere in their planned spending.

 

Aircraft carriers now in service carry Harrier jets, which are can take off from a short runway and land vertically by directing the blast of their engines downwards.

 

The next generation of carriers are expected to carry US-made Joint Strike Fighters.

 

Originally, the Navy was planning to buy a specially-adapted short take-off vertical-landing (STOVL) variant of the JSF, which would take off and land on the carriers much as Harriers do now.

 

However, developing and building the special STOVL version of the JSF would cost more than buying the conventional version, and insiders say that cost cannot be justified.

 

The military value of vertical landing has also been questioned by senior officers, who say conventional fighters are more useful because they can fly further and faster and carry more weapons.

 

Using conventional jets would also make it easier to conduct joint operations with allies including the US and France, whose carriers

 

As a result of those calculations, the STOVL aircraft is set to be scrapped in favour of the cheaper conventional JSF, which would be launched from the new carriers using catapults.

 

In recent weeks, the MoD has quietly commissioned design work on catapults to launch jets from the new carriers, due to enter service in 2014 and 2016.

 

Because construction work on the ships is still at an early stage, adapting their designs to accommodate conventional aircraft is said to be relatively easy.

 

In addition, a team of 12 Royal Navy pilots has been sent to the US to train with conventional take-off aircraft on carriers.

 

Much of the specialised engine system for the STOVL jet is being made by Rolls Royce in Bristol, and the switch would jeopardise hundreds of jobs there.

 

The decision to abandon the STOVL jet could be rubber-stamped at a meeting of the National Security Council next week, although ministers are aware that the move could be controversial.

 

Giving up on the STOVL aircraft could lead to accusations of waste, since the Ministry of Defence has already spent more than £500 million on the programme.

 

But insiders say the overall saving of buying standard fighters instead will more than justify writing off that spending.

 

Pulling out of the STOVL project could also strain British relations with the US. The STOVL jet is being jointly developed with the US Marine Corps, and without British involvement, US costs are likely to increase.

 

Government sources said ministers will blame the previous administration for the need to change plans on the carriers and their aircraft.

 

A source said: “Labour chose the wrong type of aircraft and the wrong configuration of carrier, and they wasted a lot of money doing it. What’s going on now is about trying to fix that mess.”

 

An MoD spokesman said: “The Defence Secretary has made clear that tough decisions will need to be made but the complex process of a Strategic Defence and Security Review will be concluded in the Autumn and speculation at this stage about its outcome is entirely unfounded.”

 

 

 

 

 

Telegraph

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Makes sense to me as it also means the RN can get a proper AWAC's now instead of a cobbled together Seaking... Also it does mean that the RN can go down the road and purchase the Superbug instead... or a mix of both... also due to the size of the carriers it seems crazy not to have catapult launching on it... Also its a good slap in the face to the Arms industry here designing kit for the UK military and then charging 3 times as much for it and offering poorer capability than what can be purchased cheaper elsewhere...

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the uk would be ebtter off out of jsf anyway. - conventional carriers with super hornets and hawkeyes.A combination already proving itself on US carriers. The JSF cant carry amraam stealthily and to even have a descent combat persistance would need to carry weapons/fuel on pylons which would negate its stealth anyway, not to mention the extra drag incurred. Change now before the navy gets a turkey to fight with !!!!!

post-1-066678300 1283209762.jpg

 

Jump jets to fall victim to spending cuts

 

Telegraph -- By James Kirkup, Political Correspondent -- 30 August 2010

 

In a move that could put hundreds of British manufacturing jobs at risk, defence chiefs are ready to abandon plans to buy a vertical-landing fighter jet for the Royal Navy.

 

Instead, a cheaper conventional-landing warplane will replace the Navy’s Harriers when they retire.

 

The decision is the first to emerge from the Strategic Defence Review to have direct consequences for British industry. Rolls Royce will be hard hit by the move, which could also strain British relations with the US.

 

The Navy is buying two new aircraft carriers at a cost of more than £5 billion. Army and RAF chiefs have questioned that plan and suggested that one carrier should be scrapped or shared with the French navy.

 

Attempting to defend the carriers, Royal Navy chiefs are seeking cuts elsewhere in their planned spending.

 

Aircraft carriers now in service carry Harrier jets, which are can take off from a short runway and land vertically by directing the blast of their engines downwards.

 

The next generation of carriers are expected to carry US-made Joint Strike Fighters.

 

Originally, the Navy was planning to buy a specially-adapted short take-off vertical-landing (STOVL) variant of the JSF, which would take off and land on the carriers much as Harriers do now.

 

However, developing and building the special STOVL version of the JSF would cost more than buying the conventional version, and insiders say that cost cannot be justified.

 

The military value of vertical landing has also been questioned by senior officers, who say conventional fighters are more useful because they can fly further and faster and carry more weapons.

 

Using conventional jets would also make it easier to conduct joint operations with allies including the US and France, whose carriers

 

As a result of those calculations, the STOVL aircraft is set to be scrapped in favour of the cheaper conventional JSF, which would be launched from the new carriers using catapults.

 

In recent weeks, the MoD has quietly commissioned design work on catapults to launch jets from the new carriers, due to enter service in 2014 and 2016.

 

Because construction work on the ships is still at an early stage, adapting their designs to accommodate conventional aircraft is said to be relatively easy.

 

In addition, a team of 12 Royal Navy pilots has been sent to the US to train with conventional take-off aircraft on carriers.

 

Much of the specialised engine system for the STOVL jet is being made by Rolls Royce in Bristol, and the switch would jeopardise hundreds of jobs there.

 

The decision to abandon the STOVL jet could be rubber-stamped at a meeting of the National Security Council next week, although ministers are aware that the move could be controversial.

 

Giving up on the STOVL aircraft could lead to accusations of waste, since the Ministry of Defence has already spent more than £500 million on the programme.

 

But insiders say the overall saving of buying standard fighters instead will more than justify writing off that spending.

 

Pulling out of the STOVL project could also strain British relations with the US. The STOVL jet is being jointly developed with the US Marine Corps, and without British involvement, US costs are likely to increase.

 

Government sources said ministers will blame the previous administration for the need to change plans on the carriers and their aircraft.

 

A source said: “Labour chose the wrong type of aircraft and the wrong configuration of carrier, and they wasted a lot of money doing it. What’s going on now is about trying to fix that mess.”

 

An MoD spokesman said: “The Defence Secretary has made clear that tough decisions will need to be made but the complex process of a Strategic Defence and Security Review will be concluded in the Autumn and speculation at this stage about its outcome is entirely unfounded.”

 

 

 

 

 

Telegraph

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Makes sense to me as it also means the RN can get a proper AWAC's now instead of a cobbled together Seaking... Also it does mean that the RN can go down the road and purchase the Superbug instead... or a mix of both... also due to the size of the carriers it seems crazy not to have catapult launching on it... Also its a good slap in the face to the Arms industry here designing kit for the UK military and then charging 3 times as much for it and offering poorer capability than what can be purchased cheaper elsewhere...

 

How comes its only the Telegraph printing this stuff - I mean call me mr suspicious or what!!

 

What poor capability are they offerering exactly? - last time I looked the F-22A was the only comparible jet to the F-35 and Im pretty sure thats not for sale. If someone can point me in the direction of the other stealth jet with such advanced avionics I'd be pleased to see it.

 

Anything other than the F-35B or F-35C at this point in time is a waste of money.

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the uk would be ebtter off out of jsf anyway. - conventional carriers with super hornets and hawkeyes.A combination already proving itself on US carriers. The JSF cant carry amraam stealthily and to even have a descent combat persistance would need to carry weapons/fuel on pylons which would negate its stealth anyway, not to mention the extra drag incurred. Change now before the navy gets a turkey to fight with !!!!!

 

 

Where did you get that AIM-120s could not be carried internally - was this on the A/B or C? - I have seen diagrams that suggest it can be.

 

As for range - well check out the figures when its past IOC - but I bet it has much better fuel fraction than the FA-18EF (which btw can't carry FA stealthly).

 

 

What you are saying would suggest that Squadron Leader Steve Long is lying a lot in this video - its the first video:

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10654822

Edited by MigBuster

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