We reported back in May that Israel planned to share its experience operating the F-35 with the US and the UK in an exercise. That exercise has now happened.

While deployed to Cyprus, British F-35B aircraft undertook an exercise with Israeli and US jets in addition to carrying out patrols over the skies of Iraq and Syria, you can read more about those patrols here.

The operational experience acquired by the Israeli Air Force in recent months was of great interest to the United States and other countries that operate the F-35, according to local media.

Last year’s operation fighting in Syria has made the Israeli Air Force one of the most experienced operators of the jet. Local media reported that one of the primary reasons for Israeli involvement was among other things, to share operational experience related to using the aircraft in combat.

In addition, earlier in the year it was confirmed that Israel will join the RAF’s Cobra Warrior exercise in September along with aircraft from Germany and Italy.

An MoD spokesperson told the UK Defence Journal:

“The Israeli Air Force will be participating Exercise Cobra Warrior in Sep 2019. This is the culminating event for the UK’s Weapons Instructor qualification course. The exercise will be run out of RAF Waddington.

The Israeli Air Force role, basing and footprint during Ex Cobra Warrior is yet to be determined. Israel are planning to bring an, as yet, unspecified number of F15 aircraft with appropriate support personnel. Other participants in Ex Cobra Warrior 19 include Germany and Italy.”

The Cobra Warrior exercise traditionally includes crew and aircraft from other allied air forces that train together with their British counterparts in complex combat scenarios.

Formerly named the Combined Qualified Weapons Instructor, Cobra Warrior is focussed on providing the combined assessment phase for the RAF’s Weapons Instructors.

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DaveyB
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DaveyB

It’s pretty much guaranteed that Israel would use their F35s in a near peer conflict compared to us using them for counter insurgency. It would be interesting to hear their comments on the Pantsir and S400 systems deployed in Syria.

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

“We have to understand that the period of U.S. absolute dominance of the air is over,” said Elbridge Colby, the director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security, a nonpartisan defense think tank.

The Pentagon acknowledged that S-400 batteries in Syria have forced adjustments to coalition air operations, but it contended the U.S. in general still maintains freedom of movement in the air. “We can continue to operate where we need to be,” a U.S. defense official said.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-missile-defense-draws-a-new-iron-curtain-against-u-s-military-11548255438

Ian
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Ian

There is always a tactical way around these situations, as Israel proved in Operation Abirey-Halev/Sinai.

Simon
Guest
Simon

It’s pretty sobering to watch Russia outmanoeuvre NATO by simply relaxing their RoE.

Once you do this you can engage any air contact you like with SAMs and kill any radar emitter with cruise or ballistic anti-radiation weapons.

We’re going to need plenty of F35 and plenty of low-observable (pref), stand-off, anti-IADS weapons too.

dan
Guest
dan

Like any other SAM system there is always a way to either go around it, deceive it or destroy it. SAM systems like the S-300/400 create problems when the 2 opposing sides aren’t at war or are in a very low intensity conflict like Israel and their neighbors. Israel doesn’t like the fact that the Syrians can now monitor most of their aircraft from takeoff until landing. Unless Syria does something that’s very provocative Israel can’t justify taking out those SAM systems. Btw, its not the big, fixed SAM systems that are the problem during the past 30 or so… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Who would Israel fight that is “near peer” and why is it guaranteed?

DaveyB
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DaveyB

Originally, I would have said Syria, but that boat has sailed. Iran is the main protagonist behind the complete and utter destruction of the State of Israel. Personally, I think it is only a matter of time before Israel do something pre-emptive. The F35 gives them a significant edge as Iran’s best SAM system is the S300.

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Don’t think neither are near peer, Iran is getting closer but Israel is lightyears ahead in technology and has total air superiority without the F-35.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Totally agree on the air power front, whilst Iran has been steadily building up its SAM technology. They have the latest S300 PMU2 from Russia and have developed the Kamin-2 and Sayyad-3. They have obviously had outside informal assistance probably from both China and Russia.
I think this is one of the reasons that Israel and LM have been researching the stealthy conformal fuel tanks. With a 40% increase in fuel this would give the A model the round trip range to reach Tehran.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@DaveyB – Can you provide some incontrovertible proof that Iran is planning any time soon to attack Israel? Or indeed that they ever did? And if that is their undying ambition why did they sign up to a deal / agreement / treaty with Israel’s benefactor the USA? And maybe show how it can achieve success in that endeavour given Israel is a massive (in local terms) nuclear power and wouldn’t bat an eyelid to use them given its extreme Right Wing political stance, its history of very firm (some might say brutal) actions against unarmed civilians in Ghaza and… Read more »

DaveyB
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DaveyB

Yes, Iran has attacked Israel twice now this year and has used Hezbollah as their proxies. Admittedly, Israel are less inclined to use the carrot, preferring the stick. As to signing up to the deal with the USA, that was totally in Iran’s interests. At that time they were making big noises about how developed their nuclear program was becoming, especially with the enrichment centrifuges. Israel did a cyber attack on them, making them spin out of control until they destroyed themselves, but that didn’t stop Iran building new ones. Israel has stated that if they “feel” threatened by Iran’s… Read more »

maurice10
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maurice10

I’m a little surprised how quickly the F35 appears to be taking up some of the slack left behind the demise of Tornado? Surely, the combination of Typhoon and F35 gives the RAF real punch in the coming years.

Julian1
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Julian1

It’s pretty impressive the confidence shown so so soon. A far cry from the early Tornado and typhoon years as any kind of maturity took years to reach. There again, perhaps we sat back and watched the Americans struggle with the early issues.

Spyinthesky
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Spyinthesky

Yes to be fair I have lost count of just how far behind schedule the F35 programme is presently and at least some aspects of the aircraft must be very mature by now even if some of the software is stil not yet final and mature. Plus they have waited so long for it I presume they are pushing ahead as fast as possible to catch up those lost years and truly pressure test the software suite. I reckon that last sentence is pretty accurate too.

Ian
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Ian

F35A, still, by far, the best route for land/forward-based ops.
Full interoperability regarding range, mission requirements…would then be met.
I would imagine that the B variant would have reciprocity failings in combined deep strike situations? Thereby reducing it to an (albeit very effective) support role?

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Of course it is, but remember the B can land in a field somewhere when all our runways have been bombed out so it’s better than the A apparently 🙄

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

Hi Sole, There’s quite a lot of logistical support needed for off-base operations in the countryside. (Preparing landing sites, getting fuel, ammunition, spare parts to a remote location etc) I believe our F-35Bs will operate predominately from carriers or airbases (as indeed did the old Harrier force). The STOVL capability will mainly be used when aircraft are deployed at sea. It’s why there is an argument for a split A & B buy ie why accept a performance penalty in range & payload for a capability that won’t be greatly used? If that argument is accepted, and it is under… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Hi mate, I’m in total agreement with you, and I think it’s not that popular because they think it will put the B numbers at risk to fill both carriers, but I have always said as long as both carriers can be filled then the A variant for the RAF would be the best way forward.

Julian1
Guest
Julian1

Do we need to fill both carriers? I’d say fill one carrier and have a more limited defensive force for the 2nd. One carrier as strike, the 2nd as commando/amphib support. Plus obviously enough Bs for training, maintenance, OEU etc. 72 tops, the rest As. Don’t forget both carriers on ops is likely to be as a result of all-out war with in a distant theatre, probably not that likely. Oh, and consolidate the Bs at Yeovilton operating under the FAA and the As at Marham as the RAF

Spyinthesky
Guest
Spyinthesky

Plus in that scenario I am sure there would be plenty of Marine F35s to fill the gaps and show solidarity.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Wouldn’t Yeovilton be very crowded with all the choppers.

julian1
Guest
julian1

I agree with this and I wonder if its time to re-open a former RAF base for front-line use – perhaps Leuchars or Kinloss or Wattisham – and turn it into a RNAS. Gone are the days when Lossie and Portland were also RNAS stations. If Hunt becomes PM and defence budget increases, more Navy choppers are likely if number of frigates increase or helicopter carrier ordered

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Probably not Julian, and don’t the US have just three squadrons of 10 Hornets on their carriers now? could be mistaken there but if it is true then at 24 jets for each carrier sounds pretty good to me, and not far off the yanks. Could 48 jets be operated out of a total of 72? either way I am in agreement about the A. Edit The second carrier as amphib/support, yeah definitely if the situation needed it, but i do also believe it be wise to have enough jets for both carriers for strike/air superiority, there might not be… Read more »

Meirion X
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Meirion X

An LPH is really needed for a commando carrier. Yes, a replacement for HMS Ocean would be better for operating closer to shore with embarked choppers.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@SoleSurvivor – As one who regularly argues (sorry disagrees in a friendly way Lol) against the ‘A’ I am not worried about filling the carriers as we have extra support from the USMC for some years forward as our production orders are filled. My issue is a simple one – Why would we buy yet another airframe with all the extra invisible on-costs that go with that decision when we have already established a rather unique ability that can deliver a substantial attack with what we now have. The ‘B’ can enter, assess, suppress and target as well as an… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

Hi Chris hope you’re well Yeah I get that but i was more on the line on if we need both carriers independent of Uncle Sam, as Julian said above highly unlikely, but as you say in your last paragraph better to need something and have it than to need it and not have it. Would the cheaper cost of the A variant make up for the invisible costs, currently sits at $25m cheaper per airframe, and could be more as the A variant is being procured in huge numbers, and follow on to that is parts for the A… Read more »

Glass Half Full
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Glass Half Full

Do we need F35A if we have Tempest?

Deciding aircraft mix is a long term decision, with Typhoon likely in service out to 2040 and potentially beyond, and F35 in service out to 2060 and beyond. If Tempest comes in around 2035-40, as an air superiority biased multi-role, then F35A seems redundant as a likely subset of Tempest capability. If we stick with buying F35B then we retain those unique capabilities, whether solely for RN use or still split between RAF and RN.

julian1
Guest
julian1

its a good point. let’s say we were in a position to order f35As in 5 years time (after 72 Bs are all ordered/delivered), we will know a lot more about tempest then. is, is it happening, what will it cost, who will the partners be. It’s a decision and thought process that will evolve but getting the Bs full complement is the current priority and focus

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

But we don’t have Tempest, like you say it’s two decades away, maybe more, in the here and now we have Lightning that is replacing Tornado and Harrier, let’s give the RAF what they clearly want which is the A, i’m sure they will have Tempest in mind when thinking about the future. If, in a few years time the RAF are conducting a mission out of Cyprus, stealth entry etc, at current rate they will be using the B, it makes no difference in 2040 if we are using the A or the B now for that, we will… Read more »

Glass Half Full
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Glass Half Full

Two points. Tempest might be >2 decades away. It might also only be 15 years away. There is a very strong focus on spiral development from continuing Typhoon improvements to de-risk and cost manage the program. The F35 program has demonstrated that its the avionics and software packages that are by far the most critical and time consuming components in the development. Leveraging Typhoon helps address this. The current F35B purchase rate is planned to deliver the 48 aircraft currently committed to by 2024, 2025 might be the earliest we could get F35A, depending on demand from others customers. That… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
Guest
SoleSurvivor

It could only be 15 years away , but it could also be 30 years away, and that is it entire possible. And yeah i get the point about support and redundancy for carrier strike, i would not want that jeopardized, and maybe it cannot be done with a mix buy with just 138 airframes, the order could be increased though especially with how cheap the F-35A is going to be, i guess we will wait and see, but if the RAF are fighting for it and the Gov have not ruled it out i think there is a good… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

Are the RAF fighting for it? And even if so would they still fight for it if given the choice between F35A and Tempest, because I suspect it may come down to that choice. The UK’s original plan for a total of 138 F-35’s did not comprehend Tempest, and I don’t see that number surviving a Tempest program. For Tempest to be a successful program it will have to be produced in significant volume to drive down cost, which probably means at least 500 air-frames across all partners and third party sales. Regardless of potential partners, the UK will need… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Well it’s just sources isn’t it, “Sources tell Sky News that senior RAF officers are pushing for a version of a supersonic warplane that can only fly from land” And along with not ruling out when asked about a split buy I don’t think the decision has been made. Again I think it’s a question of if Tempest is on time, if it’s on time like you say then I can sort of see where you’re coming from but my opinion still stands. And there will have to be an F-35 fleet of some ilk because we will still have… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

I certainly have no problem with constructive disagreement, and you may well be correct in your overall assessment. I am just approaching from a more holistic perspective on what Tempest will need and by default how that may impact F35. I suspect those Sky sources may be pushing for a Mach 2 class, >60,000 feet ceiling, >60,000 feet/min rate of climb air superiority biased, multi-role replacement for Typhoon; F-35 in any guise won’t do that. Oh and they do probably want a gun because … fighter pilots 🙂 IMO there will definitely be an F-35 fleet, but perhaps more like… Read more »

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@SoleSurvivor – I am rather well thanks mate – bumbling along as they say. I can understand the straight line argument for an ‘A’ above a ‘B’ where STOVL is not a requirement. However for the next at least 10 years it will be so it seems to negate that discussion. And as other well informed contributors mention we are then into Tempest timeframes. But I have to come back to the simple statement that if you are going to use a ‘A’ for a stealth assisted operation then that is no more asset than a ‘B’ offers on the… Read more »

SoleSurvivor
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SoleSurvivor

Glad to hear it mate I think for a stealth assisted operation you would want the benefits of a better fighter just in case the s**t hits the fan and you need to fight your way out of dodge, the A is a better fighter, it’s not a 100% cert it will go undetected. If it can be done without compromising the carriers then I think we should do it to give the RAF the best all round option to replace Tornado. It was not long ago we had 70 odd Tornados and 70 odd Harriers (or whatever the numbers… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Guest
Gavin Gordon

And one critical field is a QE

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@Ian – Sorry I disagree. What does the ‘A’ variant offer that a combined ‘B’ plus a Typhoon can’t? The ‘A’ needs runways (or roads) and that stops the discussion for me right there because if there is a runway then we can stick Typhoons on it. Why would we buy an aircraft that cannot lift anywhere near what a Typhoon can, that cannot Supercruise like a Typhoon can, that has nowhere near the max QRA speeds of a Typhoon and has no more stealth / surveillance / suppression capability of a ‘B’ variant?

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

As I posted in reply to Sole above, everyone seems to be overlooking our plans for Tempest. If we have Tempest by 2035-40 then we definitely don’t need F35A IMO.

With Tempest the RAF get an air superiority biased multi-role aircraft that’s a superset of F35A capability. So we should continue to buy F35B for RAF and RN use until that time and then the RAF either retains some F35B because of its unique capabilities if they deem a need, or transfers them all to the RN.

Ian
Guest
Ian

No need to be “sorry”, no fragile ego’s on here. Besides, I have the RAF in my corner, LOL!
Still very much a hot-potato this one, between FAA and RAF. I’m convinced 617 would opt for the A variant over the B, if they were given the option.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@ Ian – Well I am not so sure about 617 preferring the ‘A’ variant. The ‘B’ does all an ‘A’ can (OK less range and less weapon load) but you possibly miss the point that we have the F-35 to enable the Typhoon to do what it does at a distance and more effectively. It is an enabler and in that role the ‘A’ does not offer anything more. I always smile when I see people say that the F-35 is a replacement for the Tornado. It is no such thing. The upgraded Typhoon is that replacement while the… Read more »

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

I wonder if the ‘lift-fan’ could be removed from
the F-35B, and stored for when necessary needed, and a fuel tank fitted in the space vacated by the lift-fan? If so, it would give the F-35B the same range as the F-35A.

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

I would like to add:
This type of the F-35B would be use by the RAF conventionally

Rokuth
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Rokuth

Technically, anything is possible if you “throw enough money at it.” It would be an expensive conversion. In many ways, it would be cheaper to just but F-35As if the idea was to use a conventional version of the Lightning.

Gandalf
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Gandalf

I would rather see further typhoon development over f35a. There are not as many common parts between a and b versions as LM originaly claimed 80% commonality between all 3 variants. It’s probably less than 50%, i have read only 20% commonality, who really knows. RAF already have parts warehouses, training facilities for pilots and maintenance crew, so greater synergy than adding another plane to the mix. The typhoon is one of the most capable platforms and has much better flight characteristics than any f35. It’s night and day. Upgrade typhoon with aesa and you have improved detection and EW… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Nicely put Gandalf, EW capabilities are most definitely going to be in demand. I wonder if we could use our earlier Typhoons in a similar way to the Growler with technology like this?

“AESA technology could migrate to electronic warfare equipment”
https://www.janes.com/article/89293/aesa-technology-could-migrate-to-electronic-warfare-equipment

Gandalf
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Gandalf

Yes the addition of an aesa radar has the potential to enhance the EW capablities. Also the Typhoon has an Electronic Counter Measure system called Praetorian. But this is very sensitive classified information well above my paygrade or understanding. Therefore, I cannot comment on how effective it is in comparison to a Growler. But if it were lacking in any way, it can be upgraded if money is invested. All i can say is that EW is something worth investing in constantly and will be needed for Tempest as well. EW = active stealth and has better upgrade potential than… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

The RAF Typhoon T2s are still around, just been cannibalised and held in storage, so in theory can be reinstated. The T2 would be an ideal candidate for both an EW support platform as well as drone controller. As much as the research is being put into the loyal wing man or drones being controlled by the pilot, I feel the workload will be huge, especially when things start to go wrong and they have to adapt to the situation. Having the rear seat occupied by someone who can concentrate on controlling the drones rather than fighting the aircraft makes… Read more »

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

Ok thx, i agree it makes sense to make better use a Tranche 2 typhoon than just spare parts and enhance the RAF capabilities
Also all this EW knowledge acquired will be required for Tempest, so the proverbial 2 birds with one stone comes to mind

billythefish
Guest
billythefish

It’s a slow burn re-organisation of world alliances. UK and Israel traditionally just avoided each other for various reasons of historical note, and now looking to kindle those ties militarily (at first). France looking more and more independent in operation and equipment in terms of Rafale programme vs. Eurofighter and F35. Would expect Germany to come onboard with an F35 order in the near future to replace their Tornados. Expect a change in the top in Germany to signal a stronger defence line as well – Merkel has an agreement with Putin which will expire on her stepping down (Nordstream… Read more »

Alan Reid
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Alan Reid

Hi Billy, Germany has no need of the F-35; the Luftwaffe won’t be joining the USAF on the first night of operations against an advanced, integrated air-defence network.
I expect (and hope!) for a Typhoon Tranche 3 buy to replace the Tornado in Luftwaffe service.

Cam
Guest
Cam

Yeah Tranche 3 typhoons makes more sense for Germany.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@Alan Reid – Happy to agree entirely with that view. And there is an added factor as well – Germany plays no (or very little) part in F-35 manufacture but has a substantial part in Typhoon manufacture especially final build of its own aircraft. If Germany fails to order new aircraft (as it should given the way the RAF has transferred all Tornado capabilities to Typhoon) then that sends a very significant and negative message to export buyers and then raises questions in the UK and Italy why both Eurofighter and Eurojet are GMBH and based in Germany given the… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Alan – Typhoon would make sense but its not wired for the B61 Nuclear Bomb,which is a Luftwaffe Requirement.Either this can be addressed or they will look at other Aircraft (F35,FA18E-F or F15).

Glass Half Full
Guest
Glass Half Full

Its also possible that they husband their remaining Tornados for the B61 role until they have FCAS and buy Typhoon in the interim for everything else.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

It does seem somewhat coincidental that the US UK and Israel are conducting these exercises at a time of heightened tension between the USA and Iran. Russia has apparently not fully closed the door on Iran purchasing the S400 missile system just yet! “Russia expands air defense network in Syria to US dismay “The US and Israel both must be prepared to suppress a larger number of air defense systems and use more expensive stealth aircraft such as the F-35 in Syria. Russia stands to gain a long-term strategic advantage over NATO through its new capabilities in Syria. The US… Read more »

Cam
Guest
Cam

Why does USA lick Israel’s ass? The6 give them many billions in foreign aid and many billions in free military equipment or highly subsidised equipment.

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

@ Cam – One answer: The Jewish voting lobby in the USA. No candidate will ever get elected President if he / she upsets that lobby and $ Mns it contributes. There is of course the added historical factor that it was the USA that created Israel against the wishes and advice of the Mandated protecting power (the UK) and it was the first to recognise the State of Israel so it can hardly ‘walk away’ from something it created as its first act of post WWII foreign policy. Must be nice though for a country the size of Israel… Read more »

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf
BB85
Guest
BB85

I was at the Air festival in Newcastle Co Down last week. Great to see the Red Arrows but not Typhoon in site. Anyone know when an F35 might grace the circuit. I know they are flat out testing and integrating but wondering if it will be 10 years before they start doing shows.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

The F35 has appeared at Airshows,but its usually the major events like Farnborough and the IAT.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Aren’t those appearances just a fly by then onwards. I’d like a static display and landing take off at least.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Hope this answers a few questions on this particular subject!
“Why the RAF needs the F-35A JSF as well as the F-35B”
https://uklandpower.com/2018/12/07/why-the-raf-needs-the-f-35a-jsf-as-well-as-the-f-35b/

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

Thanks for a well written article, obviously he has his biais, but then again so do i 😉 He compares superior capabilities of f35a vs f35b, but conveniently avoids comparing f35a vs typhoon. He summarily dismisses the typhoon as obsolete in 2035, but fails to mention that typhoons can get updates to prolong their relevance! AESA, EW, IRST etc… He seems to think that a plane’s dogfighting capability is summarized by a simple 9g limit!? What about climb, turn and roll rates, speed, acceleration, combat ceiling etc…. ? And i don’t believe for a second that an f35a beat an… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Very well put sir,

I’ve mentioned on many occasions over the past year that stealth has ten years at best before it becomes redundant due to the improvements of radar technology, and many posts on improving the capabilities of Typhoon.

Developing a stealthier and longer-ranged version of Storm Shadow (£790,000) makes far more sense to me personally, and a suitable low-cost delivery system in order to increase the budget for developing Tempest.

I wonder what sort of deal could be had with the F15X?

“Boeing has expressed interest in becoming part of ‘Team Tempest’, the effort to deliver a new British fighter jet.”

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/boeing-would-be-thrilled-to-take-part-in-british-tempest-fighter-project/

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins
Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

Not sure i would count national interest as a reliable source. The Rafale flew without any support accross Libya against S200, i am not a fan of the F35, but i would assume that it can fly against S200 without any issues. AFAIK, no one has tested a western aircraft vs S300 or S400 activated, or it’s classified. When the allies bomb Syria, they target ISIS in the east of the country so the Russians and Syrians have no incentive to target western planes and i assume that they do not fly over Damascus. And the one time the allies… Read more »

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

The aircraft taking off from Cypress, don’t enter Syria from the West, They fly over N. Israel, into Jordan, W Iraq eventually going into Syria from the SE and E. This circumvents the defences around Damascus and W Syria in particular. The S400 battery at Khmeimim is just out of range of viewing aircraft take-off from Akrotiri. Our aircraft skirt the S400’s bubble down to Israel.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

It is in Boeing’s interest to join a project like this. They are effectively out of the fighter market, with only the F15 still pulling in orders although that may be only for the next 5 years. The F18 hasn’t had any major sales and is at the end of its development cycle. The US Navy and USAF are both looking for a fighter to replace the F15, F18 and F22s in the air dominance roles. The US Navy have declared that their new aircraft will be separate from the USAF one. I think the time lines marry up for… Read more »

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

One last detail. AFAIK the RAF Voyager tankers uses drogue for aerial refuelling system, unfortunately the f35a uses a boom refuelling system. And there goes more money down this bottomless pit
F’ing nightmare is never ending

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

I do see the Voyagers being updated with a boom, much like the French and Australian ones. It must be on the cards as the future Poseidon and Wedgetail both require the boom style of refuelling. We have too few of these assets, therefore to maintain endurance and duration. The Voyager upgrade must be on the cards, if there’s the money?

Gandalf
Guest
Gandalf

Ok thx, i stand corrected re f35a refuel
they have no other choice than to put the money since other aircrafts will need the boom as well. At least we know the solution works since other air forces have been using it

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

As I said earlier, a F-35B converted for use to land conventionally, without a lift-fan and with a fuel tank fitted in place, would still use drogue refuelling.