Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Erik

UK May Borrow F-18s For Carriers; F-35Bs May Be Scrapped

Recommended Posts

carrier.jpg

 

UK May Borrow F-18s For Carriers; F-35Bs May Be Scrapped

 

DOD Buzz --By Colin Clark Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 10:22 am

 

Britain’s Conservative government, faced with enormous deficits, may launch its Queen Elizabeth class carriers without airplanes to put on them as it considers early retirement for its Harrier jump jets.

 

The two 65,000 ton carriers are built into the UK’s defense budget, but new airplanes are not. Scrapping the Harriers early, combined with delays to the Joint Strike Fighter short takeoff version, could leave the UK temporarily dependent on the U.S. for F/A-18s and V-22s. That raises the prospect of one country deploying carriers and then relying on another country to supply the airplanes to fly from them.

 

Although the U.S. and some NATO allies have engaged in exercises flying each others planes from each others carriers such heavy reliance on another country raised eyebrows among analysts the idea was reported in British newspapers.

 

“My first thought after reading the article was that [british Defense Minister Liam] Fox was floating a trail balloon, perhaps hoping the British public might object to the British Empire losing its independent ability to project power on its own. I recognize the UK will seldom deploy without others, including the US. However, it did just that during the Falkland campaign and likely does so periodically to show the UK flag globally. In either case a brand new carrier will lose much of its shine if deployed without a complement of capable combat aircraft,” Frank Cevasco, one of Washington’s top international defense consultants and a former senior Pentagon official responsible for international weapons cooperation, said in an email.

 

“Desperate times require desperate measures,” Cevasco wrote, noting that “only the UK voters and their leaders can decide where the red line is.”

 

The London Daily Mail quoted a senior military source saying that the “U.S. Marines have the aircraft. Their aircraft would fly from the British carriers. Or we could borrow some from them.” To show just how sharp the debate must be within the British government and its Ministry of Defense, the Daily Telegraph has reported that Britain will scrap the F-35B and go with the JSF carrier version, known as the F-35C

 

The Queen Elizabeth carriers, the biggest warships ever built by the U.K., are designed to handle traditional carrier aircraft such as Super Hornets and the carrier version of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) or STOVL aircraft such as the Harrier and JSF. While the primary design stresses STOVL, the carriers are designed to be retrofitted with arresting cables, according to U.S. defense industry sources. That would enable the F/A-18 E/Fs and their predecessors to take off and land on the British ships.

 

Also, the ships are designed to be fitted with steam catapults and the UK has also continued work on electro-magnetic catapults.

 

An industry source said Super Hornet and their predecessor models should have no trouble taking off from the British ships as the ships are “extremely capable and are extremely big.” A Super Hornet should be able to “take off with a very significant combat load over deck with a zero wind load,” the source said. And the F/A/-18’s high energy nose gear mean it “is also ideally suited for ramp launches because they can absorb” the enormous energy required for a ramp launch.

 

The British plan to use the STOVL F-35 as the main weapon on the carriers so it would seem reasonable to conclude that any plans to use F-/A-18s instead of the F-35s would pose a threat to Lockheed Martin’s long-planned sale of 138 F-35Bs.

 

However, the industry source dismissed the threat to the F-35Bs, saying that any sharing of Super Hornets with the U.K. would be strictly a “capability gap-filler,” and not a replacement for the more advanced, fifth generation fighter.

 

If Britain hopes to supplement the Super Hornets with MV-22 Ospreys, that would be much more difficult, the industry source said. The Marines are relying on MV-22s in Afghanistan and as key aircraft for their Marine Expeditionary Units. The U.S. would be “hard-pressed” to lend some of those planes, according to the source.

 

Arms export restrictions should not be a problem for sharing any of the aircraft, the industry source said, especially for what he described as perhaps America’s staunchest ally.

 

 

 

DOD Buzz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It´s curious. Recently, the RN carriers sailed with detachments of USMC, Spanish and Italian AV-8B+ for fighters. I thought they would lease some from the USMC. I know i´m talking about a shorter term solution, but i still think that the RN plans to get CTOL or the multishare carrier with the Marine Nationale are kinda unorthodox.

Edited by macelena

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

post-1-059950500 1284426024.jpg

 

UK May Borrow F-18s For Carriers; F-35Bs May Be Scrapped

 

Hey Spinners, HERE YOU GO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:drinks:

 

Hou doe,

 

Derk

Edited by Derk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...Now why the hell did they go off and want to scrap the Harriers early? Is it not cheap to just keep the bloody things?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really, aging fighters cost more to run than newer ones as the number of things that break on flights go up.

That's why the US retired the SR-71, EF-111, F-14, and F-117 when they were still very useful....they just cost more than we were getting from them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well getting Bugs or Super bugs means the carriers will have to be setup for CTOL which means that buying the STOL variant of the F-35 is a crazy idea... as everything is in place to use the CTOL USN Variant which can bring more back payload and fuel wise also has better range, as well as being cross deckable with the USN jets and should work out slightly cheaper than the STOL Variant. Makes a whole heap of sense to me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harriers are a 40 yr old design, there's little more to be done in upgrades for them. You can give them a better radar and weapons, but things such as range, stealth, payload, speed...none of those can really be changed much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well getting Bugs or Super bugs means the carriers will have to be setup for CTOL which means that buying the STOL variant of the F-35 is a crazy idea... as everything is in place to use the CTOL USN Variant which can bring more back payload and fuel wise also has better range, as well as being cross deckable with the USN jets and should work out slightly cheaper than the STOL Variant. Makes a whole heap of sense to me...

 

But you have to consider the cost of training would skyrocket compared to a VTOL platform... and thats a key consideration over here, "its easier to stop then land than land and stop"...the RAF and RN pilots didn;t need to religiously train and practis cat and trap techniques like our cousins over the pond.

Also VTOL is a very useful feature...whats crazy is the USMC's plans to have squadrons by late 2011/12, lol that wont happen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harriers are a 40 yr old design, there's little more to be done in upgrades for them. You can give them a better radar and weapons, but things such as range, stealth, payload, speed...none of those can really be changed much.

 

True the design is old, but the original harrier and the ones flying today are apples and oranges, the current stock are bigger and meaner/BAD ASS compaired to the 30 + old birds. There is plenty of upgrade left. Stealth is good to have, but the need for that came from the "Cold War" all stealth aircraft were designed 2-3 decades ago give or take 5 years. The threat has changed from the Big Reds (not worried about Russia,China (needs the US for them to survive) or North K.) to the lowly terrorist in a cave, bunker or clay hut. The Harrier can make quick work of those guys still. The US has lent aircraft in the past and they would most certainly do it again. The F-35 is about a decade behind scheduel. I say scrap it, move on quit wasting all that cash, but I am a just a civie now. Oh well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point most of the money has been spent. All that's really left is the money to actually build them which is far less by comparison.

The other thing is the Harrier is a dangerous plane. Lots of accidents on takeoff and landings over the years. The F-35B is FBW and many times easier to fly, mitigating the risks to both pilot and ground crew.

The search for a replacement for the Harrier has been underway for 25+ yrs, to stop now is short-sighted.

 

The final point...creating a new plane to replace either the F-35 (and that means it also will have to be in 3 versions) or to separately replace the planes it is meant to (F-16, F/A-18, AV-8) will result in yet again a large bill for R&D before we can even start rolling any off the line. If you think they could be cheaper than the F-35, you're dreaming. There's no going back to $20m fighters/bombers. The gov't literally is incapable of running a program with that focus.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Harrier cant be upgraded more,The Indian navy recently upgraded them with Israeli avionics but still a mig-29k is more lethal and cost effective in present scenario.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The threat has changed from the Big Reds (not worried about Russia,China (needs the US for them to survive) or North K.) to the lowly terrorist in a cave, bunker or clay hut.

 

This is improper thinking for 2 reasons.

 

First, you never just develop for the current war, you must develop for the next war. The idea of only building for subconventional conflicts is not smart if your caught short when massed tanks with embedded IADS start rolling across the plains.

 

Secondly, a stealthy, high tech platform can fight from subconventional all the way to a high threat environment. A non-high tech platform won't be able to do that. Only an idiot would throw a BUFF into NK airspace without killing the IADS first...a job done by your high tech, stealthy strikers. But, you can throw a B-2 or F-22 into the desert right now and they'll be just as effective giving a bad guy a JDAM enema.

 

The only exception might be COIN/close CAS ops, where a low tech, slow aircraft might be a better solution...which we're already filling with UCAVs.

 

FC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is improper thinking for 2 reasons.

 

First, you never just develop for the current war, you must develop for the next war. The idea of only building for subconventional conflicts is not smart if your caught short when massed tanks with embedded IADS start rolling across the plains.

 

Secondly, a stealthy, high tech platform can fight from subconventional all the way to a high threat environment. A non-high tech platform won't be able to do that. Only an idiot would throw a BUFF into NK airspace without killing the IADS first...a job done by your high tech, stealthy strikers. But, you can throw a B-2 or F-22 into the desert right now and they'll be just as effective giving a bad guy a JDAM enema.

 

The only exception might be COIN/close CAS ops, where a low tech, slow aircraft might be a better solution...which we're already filling with UCAVs.

 

FC

 

 

With insurgent and terror groups intel is the best weapon, we have learnd a lot over the past decade dealing with these cowards. Strap JDAMs on your new shinny expensive fighter and bomber's and we won't have them for the next war, which if it does happen will probably involve the Big Shinny Red Button. Two point of views to everything, I see where your coming from though FC.

Edited by MAKO69

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I agree with FastCargo. The last news about the budget cuts in the UK show a lack of future vision wich is taking the british armed forces to a status wich, if reached, will prevent the UK from having a proper defense for decades. One thing is that the UK should realize that it is no longer the power it was, and resize, assume a less ambitious role is the world, maybe.But there are news wich threaten to trash out the british armed forces to pathethic points. Why so much trouble with carriers? The crisis is hitting hard here in Spain and in Italy, but this doesn´t prevent us from keeping a fighter capable Air Arm. And the RAF being merged?

 

All those talking about dismantling the armed forces into a COIN enforcement agency are mad. The conventional threat does not emerge because the western conventional forces would own their enemies. Keeping the war assymetrical may not guarantee a fast success, but will not be as bloody as a conventional one wich will happen as soon as the western armed forces loose their conventional capabilities

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

British government wants to cut military budget, and I'm sure keepping Gibraltar is too expensive, so... :grin:

Edited by shotdown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..