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Posted: 3/15/2006 5:14:42 PM EDT
March 15, 2006

Brits may pull out of JSF

By David Hammer
Associated Press

Britain may pull out of a multinational jet fighter project if the Bush administration goes through with its plan to eliminate funding for a backup engine for the aircraft, Britain’s defense procurement minister said Tuesday.

Britain was not consulted about the decision involving the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Lord Peter Drayson said. His government would have serious concerns about continuing with the project should the second engine be scrubbed, he said at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“Without the technology transfer to give us aircraft that are fit to fight on our terms, we will not be able to buy this aircraft,” Drayson said. He said Britain had expected to be consulted before cuts were proposed for the engine program.

The schedule for the project would have the engine made mainly in Ohio by General Electric Aviation and Britain’s Rolls-Royce.

Britain was the first country to sign on with the United States, in 2001, for a project that now includes eight nations besides the U.S. Britain’s memorandum of understanding committed it for $2 billion to buy about 150 planes. If made, the engines would cost $7 million to $9 million each.

The proposed administration action would reverse a $2 billion research and development contract signed last summer by General Electric and Rolls-Royce. Testing of the engine is to begin in 2008.

The main engine is being made by Pratt & Whitney.

Sen. John Warner, R-Va., chairman of the Armed Services Committee and a former secretary of the Navy, called the hearing because he questions the administration’s decision to cut the program to save about $1.8 billion this year. He said that ignores potential cost savings and quality improvements over the 30-year contract.

But Sen. Joe Lieberman, who represents Connecticut, the home state of Pratt & Whitney, defended the Bush administration’s stance. The Democrat said Pratt & Whitney has won the competition to make the engine, and a second engine no longer would offer competitive advantages.

GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy disagreed. He said the “great engine wars” competition for military contracts that began in the 1980s have saved the U.S. government 20 percent on the cost of equipment. Based on that history, Kennedy said, the continuing competition on the Joint Strike Fighter engine could save as much as $12 billion.

Australian military officials testified Tuesday that they supported a second engine so long as it did not raise the cost or lower the capabilities of the aircraft.

Italian Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Bernardis, who heads procurement for Italy’s armament programs, told the hearing, “This should be a U.S. decision only, and Italy will adhere to it.”
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:18:11 PM EDT
Quitters
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:20:35 PM EDT
It'd be nice if we could work things out to keep them on board.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 5:27:27 PM EDT
Paging ANdy.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 6:55:47 PM EDT
The Brits are getting pissed about the technology transfer process. They are getting treated the same as any other country and they`re pissed. The Rolls Royce engine was a bone thrown to mollify them until the State dept got its` act together on the tech exports to the UK. Quit the program- not likely. It would seriously endanger the CVF program which their equivalent of the Treasury dept is trying to quietly kill.
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 7:00:11 PM EDT
UAV is the way of Future
Link Posted: 3/15/2006 7:00:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:
The Brits are getting pissed about the technology transfer process. They are getting treated the same as any other country and they`re pissed...



Being the allies that they are, they should not be treated 'like any other country'.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:11:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By arbob:
The Brits are getting pissed about the technology transfer process. They are getting treated the same as any other country and they`re pissed...



Being the allies that they are, they should not be treated 'like any other country'.






I absolutely concur. State needs to get their act together or GW should light a fire up somebody`s rectum.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:21:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By arbob:
The Brits are getting pissed about the technology transfer process. They are getting treated the same as any other country and they`re pissed...



Being the allies that they are, they should not be treated 'like any other country'.




They are now part of the EU, which means our military secrets become France's military secrets.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:38:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:


Italian Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Bernardis, who heads procurement for Italy’s armament programs, told the hearing, “This should be a U.S. decision only, and Italy will adhere to it.”



How do you say, "'Nuff said" in Italian?
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:54:20 AM EDT
www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2152035/joint-strike-fighter

Britain warns US over jet software codes

£12bn Joint Strike Fighter order could be scrapped

Matt Chapman, vnunet.com 15 Mar 2006

The UK has warned America that it will cancel its £12bn order for the Joint Strike Fighter if the US does not hand over full access to the computer software code that controls the jets.

Lord Drayson, minister for defence procurement, told the The Daily Telegraph that the planes were useless without control of the software as they could effectively be "switched off" by the Americans without warning.

"We do expect this technology transfer to take place. But if it does not take place we will not be able to purchase these aircraft," said Lord Drayson.

The problem stems from strict US guidelines on the transfer of technology to other countries. Under current rules any British requests for the use of US technology can take 20 days to go through, obviously limiting the usefulness of a jet strike force.

Lord Drayson is currently in Washington to speak to members of Congress. His tough talking on the project includes the fact that Britain has a 'Plan B' if the Joint Strike Fighter deal falls through.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:56:07 AM EDT
I'm currently working on the structural analysis of a turbine component from the GE/RR "back up" engine to which they refer in the above article.

My understanding is Congress decided to cut funding for this program beginning in 2007. However, both GE and RR are still proceeding at full speed if/until the money stops flowing. The unofficial consensus seems to be that Congress' decision was simply political posturing to get the DoD to trim its budget. They knew the DoD would absolutely NOT want to drop the second engine in such a huge contract so it will force them to find the cuts somewhere else.

The second engine gives them an important safety net in case the Pratt version can't meet performance, production, cost, or reliability targets. When you invest tens of billions of dollars into a new aircraft design you want to be absolutely sure it will have the powerplant it needs.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:56:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 7:57:30 AM EDT by leungken]
Rolls Royce currently have a pretty good chuck of the STOVL version of JSF. The lift fan is made by Allison, part of Roll Royce.

The Brits are playing ap political game of more share of the A/C for purchasing the A/C, which is done by other countries we export fighter to, to assist in offsetting the cost to acquire the fighters, logistic equipment, and spare parts.

It was also a tradition that all US fighters have at least one b/u engine alternative, for example, the F-16 and F-15 have both P&W and GE engines.

As for UAV, it will take quite a while for the ground commanders to accept a UAV make its own decision to release a weapon against any targets, occupied or not. Then the UAV is basically an RPV, that have a secure link, a link which could be detected, jammed, or worse, hi-jacked. UAV being the future is quite a way to go. UAV have very narrow operation window, and does not have the broade mission capability of a manned A/C.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 7:59:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 12:55:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By chuckhammer:
When you invest tens of billions of dollars into a new aircraft design you want to be absolutely sure it will have the powerplant it needs.



Think TF-30 and F-14.....
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 1:00:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
UAV is the way of Future



But not the near future. At least not in any way that is a reasonable risk.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 1:01:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Brohawk:

Originally Posted By KA3B:


Italian Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Bernardis, who heads procurement for Italy’s armament programs, told the hearing, “This should be a U.S. decision only, and Italy will adhere to it.”



How do you say, "'Nuff said" in Italian?



Finito
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 1:08:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:

Originally Posted By chuckhammer:
When you invest tens of billions of dollars into a new aircraft design you want to be absolutely sure it will have the powerplant it needs.



Think TF-30 and F-14.....



Exactly. The GE F110 came to the rescue.


I forgot to add the name of the GE/RR engine for the JSF in my first post: F136.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 1:38:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 1:43:02 PM EDT by Sub-MOA]
What I'm hearing is...

"Pay us to buy your aircraft or we won't buy your aircraft."

JSF is starting to look like one of those programs that needs to be stomped on, set on fire and then have the ashes scattered.

<ETA>
Bet ya Taiwan would be happy to buy those orders.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 3:09:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 3:37:17 PM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 3:22:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
UAV is the way of Future


Not for another 15 years it isn't. Maybe 20.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 3:35:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 3:35:22 PM EDT by Spade]
If we sell them good weapons, it will be harder to conquer them later.

Link Posted: 3/16/2006 3:44:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 3:45:18 PM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:02:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Sub-MOA:
What I'm hearing is...

"Pay us to buy your aircraft or we won't buy your aircraft."

JSF is starting to look like one of those programs that needs to be stomped on, set on fire and then have the ashes scattered.

<ETA>
Bet ya Taiwan would be happy to buy those orders.



What you are hearing is wrong…

UK is a Tier 1 Partner, the only one, and is designing and developing the F-35 in collaboration with LM and has full access to all the Stealth tech.

Without access to the software, the UK cannot integrate it's own weapons systems into the F-35 but will have to get LM to do it…

The concerns are valid. The US would never buy a system without full access to the source code. UK's position is : No source code, no purchase,

F-35 JSF Involvement Across BAE Systems

F-35 JSF involvement delivering the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the program comprises two particular areas within BAE Systems, airframe and mission systems. A major part of the UK industrial contribution to JSF will come from BAE Systems aircraft manufacture facilities in Warton and Samlesbury, and from facilities at Rochester and Edinburgh. BAE Systems facilities in Nashua, NH and Johnson City, NY, also support a significant amount of F-35 JSF involvement for BAE Systems.

The aft fuselage and empennage (tails and fins) for each F-35 JSF are being designed, engineered and built at the BAE Systems Samlesbury site, using the latest in advanced design and manufacturing technology.

The F-35 JSF will set new standards for assembly precision and pace. Innovative precision machining techniques ensure that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter meets its stealth requirement. This accuracy is achieved through digital design and manufacturing controls pioneered by BAE Systems. During full-rate production, assembly time for an F-35 is expected to be less than half that of current-generation fighters.

The first F-35 aft fuselage was delivered on-time and within budget to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company in Ft. Worth, Texas on May 17, 2005. The aft fuselage was joined with the Lockheed Martin wing and forward fuselage and the Northrop Grumman center fuselage on June 9, 2005. The empennage was delivered July 15, 2005 and the horizontal tails were shipped in August 2005, thus completing BAE Systems’ airframe deliveries. The F-35 Program celebrated ‘Power-on’ of the first F-35 JSF aircraft on September 7, 2005.

BAE Systems is responsible for the design and delivery of key areas of the vehicle and weapon systems, in particular the fuel system, crew escape, life support system and the Prognostics Health Management (PHM) integration. BAE Systems also has significant work share in Autonomic Logistics, primarily on the support system side, and is involved in the Integrated Test Force, including the systems flight test and mission systems.

BAE Systems is also responsible for supplying the Vehicle Management Computer, the Communication, Navigation and Identification (CNI) modules, the active inceptor system and the EOTS Laser subsystem.

BAE Systems has successfully delivered all Vehicle Management Computer (VMC) Engineering Development Units that are supporting Flight Control System Integration testing. Environmental qualification testing for the VMC is underway, with completion expected in Winter 2005.

Through its Nashua, NH facility, BAE Systems is responsible for the F-35 JSF’s Electronic Warfare (EW) systems suite and is also providing advanced affordable low observable apertures and advanced countermeasure systems. Additionally, BAE Systems will provide critical and complex electronic circuits and modelling and simulation capability in support of the SDD and production phases of the program.

BAE Systems successfully completed the first flight test of its F-35 Electronic Warfare suite in July 2005. The 2005 flight tests were not part of the scheduled F-35 SDD phase. BAE Systems funded the tests internally, and outside of the Joint Strike Fighter Program flight test schedule, in order to evaluate potential cost savings and performance improvement options. The EW system is 5% below target cost and 11% under required weight. The 210 pound system continues to exceed all contract performance metrics within the SDD phase.


www.baesystems.com/programmes/airsystems/jointstrikefighter2.htm




I`m just an internet voyeur, but what I`ve read indicates LM is willing to share, but State would not give them a permit. After Clinton`s fiascoes with the chinese, the State Dept became almost xenophobic in issuing permits. They also classified technical discussions as an arms export because of what Hughes Satellite and others did to improve the chinese ICBM force after several commercial launch failures in the 90`s. Seems they forgot their satellite launcher was the Long March ICBM.
As a result, the State Dept has severely cracked down on the issuance of permits and scrutinizes all applications to the nth degree. Again, I believe Secretary Rice and GWB could rectify this quickly.

As for an alternative. the Brits really don`t have one. The Typhoon is not a carrier plane. It would cost millions to re-engineer the fuselage and wings for carrier service. Unless the UK made it a requirement (carrier capability) on all future Typhoon orders for UK service, it simply would not be cost effective. Besides, during WW II, the RN had a carrier variant of the Spitfire called the Seafire. It did not prove as successful as its land based brother. The french Rafale fighter is french and unproven. I think there are a lot of people left from the Falklands War who remember the french refusal to supply the source code for exocet. The cool reaction the french received when they suggested joining the CVF program is a case in point.
The Super Hornet would be a possibility. However, this would require serious rework of the design to accomodate steam catapults, or risk a serious delay in the entry into service of the CVFs waiting for the Electromagnetic catapult. A delay that the Exchequer would try to kill the project with. Basically neither the US or UK can let the JSF fail for many reasons, technological, economic, and military. JMHO
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:03:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
UK is a Tier 1 Partner, the only one, and is designing and developing the F-35 in collaboration with LM and has full access to all the Stealth tech.



Yeah yeah. The time invested in those rudder assemblies certainly indicated that you had access to all the avionics sources.


Withput access to the software, the UK cannot integrate it's own weapons systems into the F-35 but will have to get LM to do it…


Not to mention port it over to your systems… or sell it in a different wrapper.


The US would never buy a system without full access to the source code.


Ok let’s compare the maybe 10k lines of code in the MMAWS to the 100 million+ lines of code in the avionics for JSF.

No way in hell would Bofors ever give the U.S. even a hint. Given that the software pretty much is the whole system. I would venture to say that it is even less likely that BAE will ever see the uncompiled sources for JSF.

The whole “How will we ever get out system to work with it?” argument is just a smoke screen. The interface specs are well documented.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:38:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 4:39:09 PM EDT by Tomislav]

Originally Posted By arbob:
As for an alternative. the Brits really don`t have one. The Typhoon is not a carrier plane. It would cost millions to re-engineer the fuselage and wings for carrier service. Unless the UK made it a requirement (carrier capability) on all future Typhoon orders for UK service, it simply would not be cost effective.



This is project that they are willing to spend 20+ billion on procurement, so what difference does a few more million make, should they choose to go that route?



Besides, during WW II, the RN had a carrier variant of the Spitfire called the Seafire. It did not prove as successful as its land based brother.



Completely and totally irrelevant.



The french Rafale fighter is french and unproven. I think there are a lot of people left from the Falklands War who remember the french refusal to supply the source code for exocet.



The Rafale has been in service longer than the JSF, or Typhoon, or Super Hornet. How much more proven can it be?

As for the Falklands, you have a lot to learn.



The Super Hornet would be a possibility. However, this would require serious rework of the design to accomodate steam catapults, or risk a serious delay in the entry into service of the CVFs waiting for the Electromagnetic catapult. A delay that the Exchequer would try to kill the project with.



The CVF is already being designed with Rafale and Hawkeye operations in mind. Throwing Hornets into the mix wouldn't delay the project at all.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:46:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
UAV is the way of Future


Not for another 15 years it isn't. Maybe 20.




Come to some of the UAV shows I go to.

I'd say we are there, mostly.


UAV's are doing kills now
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 4:55:31 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:04:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2006 5:10:55 PM EDT by arbob]

Originally Posted By Tomislav:

Originally Posted By arbob:
As for an alternative. the Brits really don`t have one. The Typhoon is not a carrier plane. It would cost millions to re-engineer the fuselage and wings for carrier service. Unless the UK made it a requirement (carrier capability) on all future Typhoon orders for UK service, it simply would not be cost effective.



This is project that they are willing to spend 20+ billion on procurement, so what difference does a few more million make, should they choose to go that route?

Because your not making a few slap dash changes. Then there`s the question of unique parts and maintenance needed for the CVF version. Economy of scale is ever more important in defense acquisitions these days. Just like the F-22, the more costs rise, the more likely it will be cancelled. One of the biggest factors in procurement is simply numbers to be produced.The smaller the number, the higher the unit cost. With european multinational programs the number produced tends to be more unstable. This true not just with Typhoon, but with the Airbus A 400 as well.



Besides, during WW II, the RN had a carrier variant of the Spitfire called the Seafire. It did not prove as successful as its land based brother.



Completely and totally irrelevant.
Not really. The historical track record of land aircraft being adapted to carrier use is not at all promising, i.e. Seafire and Jaguar-M.



The french Rafale fighter is french and unproven. I think there are a lot of people left from the Falklands War who remember the french refusal to supply the source code for exocet.



The Rafale has been in service longer than the JSF, or Typhoon, or Super Hornet. How much more proven can it be?

As for the Falklands, you have a lot to learn.
Let`s just say I find John Nott`s statements to be a little self serving. I`ll stick with more documented sources and the opinions of those that served there.



The Super Hornet would be a possibility. However, this would require serious rework of the design to accomodate steam catapults, or risk a serious delay in the entry into service of the CVFs waiting for the Electromagnetic catapult. A delay that the Exchequer would try to kill the project with.



The CVF is already being designed with Rafale and Hawkeye operations in mind. Throwing Hornets into the mix wouldn't delay the project at all.



Really? Please cite your source. Janes Defence Weekly and Warship IFR make no such claims.Those publications seem to have good access to the UK admiralty.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 5:58:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arbob:
Let`s just say I find John Nott`s statements to be a little self serving. I`ll stick with more documented sources and the opinions of those that served there.



And not a cite to back that up? Imagine that...


Really? Please cite your source. Janes Defence Weekly and Warship IFR make no such claims.Those publications seem to have good access to the UK admiralty.


The French PA2 carrier is a variant of the CVF, which will be CATOBAR from the get-go, and will deploy Rafale-M and Hawkeyes. The Brit CVFs are convertable to CATOBAR, ostensibly for the next gen of aircraft after the JSF, but also as a fallback in case the JSF project goes tits up. Which it very well might, given how the douches at State are handling it.

Overview of CVF.

Overview of PA2.

"As CVF will be built to an innovative and adaptable design, it will be capable of modification to operate future generations of air platforms, such as aircraft requiring a catapult launch and arrested recovery."

Unless the JSF programs unasses itself rather quickly, the Brits (and the US) would be much better off just going with Super Hornets or whatnot until UCAVs are deployed.
Link Posted: 3/16/2006 6:43:10 PM EDT
OK, go to the Falklands thread in the History forum. Also you can read Fight for the Falklands among others.


As for the french version, that`s nice. But UK sources are pretty consistent that the UK versions will be fitted with a ski jump ramp initially to be followed by the electromagnetic catapult system when available. Also the UK and French versions will be similar, not carbon copies of each other.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 12:28:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/17/2006 1:45:29 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 1:15:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Without access to the software, the UK cannot integrate it's own weapons systems into the F-35 but will have to get LM to do it…

The concerns are valid. The US would never buy a system without full access to the source code. UK's position is : No source code, no purchase,




I don't disagree with your point on the source code. It is the way it should be.

You're incorrect on the point in red. The US has adopted systems with no access to the source code whatsoever. Admittedly not something as expensive as a F-35, but the systems are still expensive and not at all trivial. And, it is turning out to be a huge pain in the butt, which only reinforces your point.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 1:35:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/17/2006 1:45:51 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 2:04:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
UAV is the way of Future


Not for another 15 years it isn't. Maybe 20.


Come to some of the UAV shows I go to.

I'd say we are there, mostly.

UAV's are doing kills now


But to rely on UAVs to fight air-to-air against other developed air forces is still many years away. Probably 15-20.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 3:35:41 AM EDT
The Australians joined the game, too. When I get to work, I'll try to find a link to that news release. I think they are in for $12B.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 3:59:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/17/2006 4:01:37 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 4:10:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By AeroE:
The Australians joined the game, too. When I get to work, I'll try to find a link to that news release. I think they are in for $12B.



Here ya go……

Australia, UK Demand Joint Strike Fighter Software
Sven Olsen - March 16, 2006 4:32 AM

The most ambitious military program to date might have a problem over intellectual property

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the future military aircraft designed to replace most of the US and UK fighter fleet by 2011. Developed between the US Air Force, the US Marines, the US Navy, the UK Royal Air Force and the UK Royal Navy, the fighter is expected to be the low cost all purpose strike attack aircraft. Unfortunately, the UK's $2B USD investment so far may all be for naught; there is a large discrepancy between the US and the UK over the software that runs the aircraft. According to The Telegraph:

Without full access to computer software, the next-generation aircraft would effectively remain under the control of the Americans and could be "switched off" without warning.

If the US and the UK cannot come to a conclusion on this issue of the fighter software, the UK may scrap plans to purchase 150 of the aircraft. Australia has expressed similar doubts with plans to purchase 100 aircraft on the table.

Ultimately, for any country to have invested billions of dollars at this point it seems like a fairly large oversight to not have the details of a virtual kill switch hammered out. Even if the software described by The Telegraph is less critical than described, there is still concern that without access to full documentation and source code that the aircraft might fall into compulsive maintenance control to the US only. If the US is the only country with access to programmable code on the F-35 JSF, countries who buy the plane would still depend on US companies to localize or make changes to the software.


www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=1266&ref=y


ETA: We should have bought the F/A-18E…



My guess is you will buy F/A18's of various sorts, but I suppose that depends on which flavor of government in running the show, or whether they are needed for an emergency.
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 12:45:15 PM EDT
Andy,
Why not mount both catapults forward to allow launching and landing at the same time? Also, Ive read that your CVFs are like our CVN 21s. That, where possible you are going all electric. Wouldn`t a steam system system take up a lot of space and weight?
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 2:41:52 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 6:38:06 PM EDT
What other option do the brits have for VTOL, keep using the harrier?
Link Posted: 3/17/2006 6:42:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/17/2006 6:58:42 PM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 5:28:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/18/2006 5:28:38 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 9:15:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
If we do pull out of the F-35 project and that's a $21 billion order for 150 aircraft we are looking at, the fall back option is to order navalised Batch 3 Typhoons…

France has also offered to sell Britain 150 Dassault Rafale-M fighters at a unit cost of $45 mil per plane

More details here…



Do the Frenchies actually have Rafale-M's that work yet?

That program is so far behind that I'd be leary of buying them...

JSF, IMHO, is the UK's only real option. F/A-18E would be a stop gap measure, only. The USN needs them to fill the gap. The UK doesn't.
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 9:21:45 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 10:27:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/18/2006 10:28:58 AM EDT by vito113]
Link Posted: 3/18/2006 11:21:39 AM EDT

Yep, we have plenty of Harrier GR9's aka AV-8B but that is not an option.

If the JSF goes tits up the preferred options will be…

Navalised Eurofighter Typhoon (not popular)
Dassault Rafale M (France has already offered them at a great price)
Boeing F/A-18 SuperHornet (Navies 'preferred' fall back)



OK Im confused... I thought that VTOL was an abosolute must have for the brits..... And that the harrier must be replaced with something with VTOL capability. None of these other Options are vtol correct? I realize there are plenty of ways to get a navalised jet.


thanks.

Link Posted: 3/18/2006 11:54:40 AM EDT
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