The Royal Air Force has deployed Typhoon and F-35B Lightning jets to Finland and Typhoon FGR4 jets to Sweden as part of an increased presence in the region due to Russian aggression.

The RAF say here that the deployments, which took place over the last month at the request of the host nations, allowed the partner air forces to develop their joint tactics and strengthen their ability to operate alongside each other.

“Two F-35Bs and four Typhoons conducted high-end warfighting training with Finnish F-18 Hornets and Swedish Gripen aircraft, underlining the UK’s commitment to strengthening our collective defence capabilities. The deployments are a practical demonstration of the mutual security assurance declarations that the UK signed with these nations in May, as they progress their respective applications to join NATO. All three nations already work together through the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, which is a coalition of 10 member nations who cooperate to maintain the security of Northern Europe.”

Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence, said:

“Finland and Sweden are important defence partners and we welcome their applications to join NATO, which will make the alliance stronger as we face a renewed threat in Europe. These deployments highlight our determination to enhance that partnership and ensure our forces can work together seamlessly.”

The F-35 deployment to Finland was only the second time that the aircraft type has landed in the country, after two US F-35A visited for an air show in June. The F-35B’s arrival was of particular interest to the Finns as they recently announced that they will purchase F-35 aircraft.

The RAF say that the UK Lightning Force will continue to develop their partnership with the Finnish Air Force as they integrate their new aircraft, you can read more on this here.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Ian M
Ian M
28 days ago

I wish communique writers had more imagination:

(Insert number) F-35Bs and (insert number)Typhoons conducted high-end warfighting training with (insert country name) F-18 Hornets and (insert country name)  Gripen aircraft, underlining the UK’s commitment to strengthening our collective defence capabilities. The deployments are a practical demonstration of the mutual security assurance declarations that the UK signed with these nations in (insert date), as they progress their respective applications to join NATO. All (insert number) nations already work together through the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, which is a coalition of 10 member nations who cooperate to maintain the security of Northern Europe.”

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
28 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Does it not state most of that in the article? I picked up 2 F35b and 4 typhoons deployed to Finland. On top of that single deployment there have been other missions undertaken with typhoons in Sweden.
Anyway the main point of these exercises is not just about the pilots working together. It’s also really important to see bases, how ground crew work, where the raf could go in a hurry if required, store weapons etc etc etc.
great stuff. Love the gripen. It with the Norwegian f35 and Finnish F18 make a great team.

Ian M
Ian M
28 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Hi MS. I’m not disputing the facts of the article. My comment is about the anodyne and unimaginative way the MOD makes such announcements. As you’ve said, they could emphasis the how the crews (air and ground) explore and interact with their comrades rather than the “boiler plate” form we get with some numbers and names filled in where appropriate.
All the best
Ian M.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
28 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Fair enough, you do have a point.

Ian M.
Ian M.
27 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

😎

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
27 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Ahh I see what you mean. I thought you were demonstrating how they should write an announcement and I’m looking at it thinking that’s what they did😂😂😂😂😂

Ian M.
Ian M.
27 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

👍😜

eclipse
eclipse
28 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

He copy and pasted what the article said but removed the specific numbers and stuff to highlight how boring and repetitive these emissions are.

Tim
Tim
28 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

The question is, have they deployed as part of an increased presence in the region, or have they just taken part in a training exercise? Six aircraft spread across two countries looks like a training exercise to me and not the same as a 6 month Typhoon deployment to Romania.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
28 days ago
Reply to  Ian M

Thx I already read that above.

JayR
JayR
28 days ago

The MOD is fixated on maximum of 2 fighter types. The F35B and Typhoon. The best fighter for the RAF is the F35A. Smaller radar cross section, increased range, heavier weapons load. Yet the MOD continues to make illogical choices. So if you are reading this MOD: 48 F35Bs for the FAA. 60 F35As and 90 Typhoons for the RAF. Also while you at it order 60 Blackhawks and 18 Ospreys.

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

I forget to mention MOD. For a similar nation in size and gdp, look to Japan. They seem to make the right choices with combat aircraft.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

13% of the U.K. defence budget is eaten up by nuclear stuff. This obviously increases when extra development of new subs/warheads are needed.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Yes. If you add operating SSN/SSBN, the footprint of overseas bases, the costs of AWE, Trident, our Soft Power commitments, and other areas of “defence” like SS/SIS/GCHQ/UKUSA, which, while not part of MoD still cost money, and are larger and more widespread than that of Japans, they would not be operating so many ships and planes.
Sure they might make less cock ups procurement wise, I have no idea, but they do not have those financial commitments, and have China on their doorstep.
These sort of comparisons are false in my view.

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
28 days ago

Hi Daniele,

I tried to come back to you about a certain boat visiting a certain place but the article seems to have vanished🕵. I do agree with you about the cost of Successor. Should again have a budget of it’s own. Cyber…Defence or the Spooks? Also to my mind we have a wonderful opportunity at the moment for the UK to build and provide on station TWO disaster relief medivac hospital ships, one for the Central Atlantic and one for the Indian Ocean. A superb way of the OAB contributing something real. Stay safe😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

“Cyber…Defence or the Spooks?” Both mate. Those organisations sit under the Home Office and FCDO but bits of them are provided by the armed forces and MoD, especially personnel. You cannot separate them. The point I have made before here is that “defence” is more than just MoD and military, there are other organisations just as relevant, maybe more so. “provide on station TWO disaster relief medivac hospital ships” I’m a believer in soft power. It sounds like a good idea, and more acceptable to many than just giving money. Whether it is feasible I do not know, as I… Read more »

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
28 days ago

Cyber. Yes your right. Point taken. I suppose I was thinking Cyber/GCHQ but your always going to have other folk involved. On the ships I wasn’t necessarily thinking large service personnel numbers, at least in peacetime. Thought needed. An idea for one of the candidates?!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

Yes. The SIS have a Cyber unit. The SS have a Cyber unit. GCHQ obviously have several, some of which are hand in glove with the military/MoD and part staffed by them. The MoD itself has a Joint Cyber Group, a Joint Forces Cyber Group, a JCEAG, “Joint Cyber Electromagnetc Activities Group” and 3 Joint Cyber Units beneath, one of which is reservist. Added to those tri service units are 3 small single service units in the army, RAF, and RN that dabble in cyber amongst other things. Then the Cabinet Office, the NCA, and the Police have a hand… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
28 days ago

I’ve got a lot of new kitchen UNITS. You don’t think? No. How small er you goi🤐ng to have to be?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

😉 Another point I’d make. You mentioned cyber in response to my comment on SS SIS GCHQ to MS above, after JayRs original comment about Japan. I was not thinking of cyber in relation to them as such, but their whole global intelligence remit, especially in the field of Sigint and interception of other traffic. Our involvement in that is greater than with most other nations. If we decided to reduce that there may be more cash for conventional forces. I myself prioritise our place at the top table intelligence wise, even if it means less conventional military. Knowledge is… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
28 days ago

One of the things I have tried to bang in to my employees heads over the year with mixed success is …there is no such thing as bad information. Sometime even negative news might be useful so yes I agree.
My ongoing concern always, as you know, is that we’ll be able to be average over many areas because of funding problems when it must be better to be superb world beaters at a lesser number.

Martin
Martin
28 days ago

The UK is the only other country outside the USA that operates globally deployed high end military forces and that’s not cheap. Keeping tonnes of 60’s vintage aircraft with questionable capability doing nothing more than defending your own air space is cheap. As the Russians are finding out numbers are largely irrelevant in the face of quality these days.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I agree. I would want more numbers and bemoan cuts like the rest, and i dont think mass is as irrelevant as you suggest, but so many forget all the rest or are ignorant of it.
I believe in a balance between quality and quantity.

Martin
Martin
28 days ago

Yes however just look at the effect 4 HIMRAS are achieving in Ukraine, given enough time, ammunition and ISTAR they may be able to take out Russia entire artillery force.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Again quality and precision trumps piles of junk.

1 HIMARS projectile = 1 kill

Russian need to Pepper the area with 100’s of shots to get a chance of hitting the target.

If you listen to Biden & Austin carefully they did promise piles of reloads.

I can see all the Russian tanks, artillery AAW and command/intelligence being obliterated in a few months at this rate.

So 10 x HIMARS might well be worth a few hundred Russian antiques on that basis?

What does Mad Vlad do then?

The Russian army will have been broken and ground up.

Martin
Martin
28 days ago

Very much seems to be our strategy, give the Ukrainians enough weapons to keep the fight going but nothing decisive. Mad Vlad wont have anything left soon enough as the Ukrainians full mobilisation kicks in. The MLRS we gave them will take out what’s left of their artillery in the same way our Anti tank missiles took out their armour. Russia won’t be able to replace any of this stuff as western sanctions tighten.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I think the 10 HIMARS with infinite reloads will be decide when added to the 270 system we are giving them.

The bigger is that most of the heavy stuff as made in the Ukraine…..

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
28 days ago

HIMARS are being used tactically which is a very interesting conceot. Hit HQ units taking out Major Generals and dozens of their support officers…result a whole division and army group are now headless. Using HIMARS to target the Russians ammo dumps is also very interesting. Russia’s piss poor excuse for an army has precious little logistical lift and relies on manpower and the rsil system. Manpower to load ammunition onto trains. Trains then transport supplies closer to frontline then manpower to unload supplies from rail heads to very close nearby ammo dumps. Again little to no transport to move supplies… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Isn’t that the point of massed precision weapons?

The Russians are effectively re-fighting WWII. It is about as pointless as French tactics against Blitzkrieg.

The harsh reality is that the Russian have neither, tactics, equipment, leadership or trained soldiers to do the job. Failure is pretty much guaranteed: the sad bit is how many bodies are created all for Mad Vlad’s delusions.

Incredible really that a country like Ukraine can stop and possibly beat Russia with a modicum of help.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Their propagandists are doing their nut one is absolutely pillorying this stupid Cold War tactic of piling masses of supplies together without even camouflage. One even revealed that they are using Tochka-U rockets which a month back they claimed were no longer in the Russian armoury when one destroyed the railway station and blamed Ukraine. How very MK.

Simon
Simon
27 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The Soviet army was always very reliant on the railways to move troop and supply’s forward despite a vast investment in truck factorys and fleets of trucks. I wouldnt be surprised if it is worse for the Russian army with a limited budget and vast amounts of corruption

Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago

Its being reported that Putin is buying drones from Iran to counter the Ukrainian HIMARS. Will this strategy work?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I’d be surprised if it did.

How does a very average tech drone differentiate a HIMARS from a truck from a distance?

These don’t have ISTAR capabilities. Are they any less rubbishy than the Russian ones?

Paul.P
Paul.P
27 days ago

If you run out of things to read…
https://dronecenter.bard.edu/irans-drones/
As you say they probably can’t discriminate between a truck and a HIMARS.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Yes, why have we not got this for the RA? Seems ideal for the Strike Bde concept.

It depends on the asset. 1 HIMARS with its accuracy might be worth a battery or more of guns.

Other assets, numbers matter. In Afghan we had a lack of transport helicopters. The most modern, mission efficient type can still only be in 1 place.

It’s a balance.

Martin
Martin
28 days ago

Yes HIMRAS would be top of my list for sure. We should aim to at-least double our MLRS capability. With the capability of small sats, drones and modern SIGNIT having a long range precision system in numbers would seem to be a game changer. Especially if you add in the long range precision fires capability then your taking ground attack missions away from the Air Force and freeing up aircraft. You can even do SEAD operations with it.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago
Reply to  Martin

MLRS is no longer made though as has happened with Finland and others they have been acquired from other users when their original users like Denmark have been decommissioning them. However the US is in the process of massively upgrading theirs with new engines, missile types, sensors and electronic systems ( effectively tracked HIMARS) and that is what we need to do I reckon, though depending on that rather than acquiring new HIMARS is the better option overall. In Scandinavia you can see why a tracked vehicle would be preferred. Oh out of interest the latest target struck around Luhansk… Read more »

Last edited 27 days ago by Spyinthesky
Ian M
Ian M
27 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I believe we are upgrading 33 M270B1’s to the latest US standard.

Martin
Martin
28 days ago

Actually the USMC are trialling it for anti ship capability with up to 500km range. Park one in the Falklands and job done.

Sean
Sean
27 days ago
Reply to  Martin

8 HIMARS with 4 more en route 👍🏻

Marked
Marked
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

It’s proven numbers are relevant, numbers are the only reason Russia has had any success. Yes, quality is needed as well, but numbers will always be relevant.

Martin
Martin
28 days ago
Reply to  Marked

As technology expands numbers reduce in importance. The best platforms operated by the best people can achieve results of 100-1 and realistically at levels of a 100-1 you have basically no chance of winning. Imagine a fight between F22 and F35 against J10 or Mig29. Such aircraft can easily score kill ratios of 20 to 1 against F15 operated by US pilots. Short of running out of missiles the J10 and Mig29 have no chance and that’s before you work in all the force multipliers like C4 ISTAR. Humans need moral to operate and it’s almost impossible to function in… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

“ As technology expands numbers reduce in importance”

Yup, but the units you do have need to be in theatre and in range.

So CBE (can’t be everywhere) is relevant if numbers are too thin. Also the risk of being unlucky or mechanical failure then becomes more significant than fighting odds.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

To a point I agree but we must remember that is only happening in Ukraine because of sustained western support providing and replacing their weapons in a very big and expensive commitment. In reality however only the US can and is sustaining this over a long period, most other Countries are actually struggling to provide more materials than they already have certainly beyond the relatively low level the can produce from new. Only the US has the heft and stockpiles to continue it remotely in the numbers and depth required. Germany is saying it can’t provide some stuff as it… Read more »

JohninMK
JohninMK
27 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Very good analysis, pretty much nailed the importance of having the self contained manufacturing base that we once had.

Last edited 27 days ago by JohninMK
Airborne
Airborne
25 days ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Oh dear oh dear Farouk has found you and caught you out! Quite a few websites your trolling on, same spew, same agenda and some very dodgy posts supporting and utilising Soviet Union propaganda pieces! The troll has been caught and confirmed and hence why to afraid to condemn his boss Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine! Hilarious, sad sad sad but still a laughing stock 😂😂😂😂😂🍼💩

dave12
dave12
28 days ago

Exactly!!!

Jon
Jon
28 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Nuclear stuff costs about 25% of the operational costs, perhaps a little less than 13% of the total UK defence budget (about 6% Trident, 6-7% AWE). But it also takes up around 25% of procurement and support/maintenance, as detailed in the defence equipment plan. That adds a further £5.8bn a year, or a further 13% of defence total budget. If defence spending increased significantly, I’d hope that percentage would fall, but nuclear took the lion’s share of the last increase, so who knows? All in all, over 25% of the UK defence budget is spent on nuclear stuff. (I exclude… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
28 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Woah didn’t know it was that much. Thanks for that.

Klonkie
Klonkie
27 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I’m dumbfounded by these costs. I’ve learnt something new today .Thanks for posting this Jon, fascinating stuff.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
27 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I now can’t even remember where I saw the 13% figure from. Well I think we can all agree it costs a lot but adds a lot.
From the discussion I can see how important it is to be able to manufacture a lot of your own weapons for your forces.

Martin
Martin
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Your smoking crack if you think Japanese aircraft procurement is anything but a joke. Half the capability at four times the price for domestically built copies of US fighters. They just stopped flying the F4.

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Yes but they have e3, Osprey, 2 f35 variants etc. They seem to get a lot right.

Klonkie
Klonkie
27 days ago
Reply to  Martin

A very true point Martin, think about the F2 debacle.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Thanks I was thinking that too but wasn’t well enough informed on the specifics to make that particular claim.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

They also don’t deploy overseas. Or have a global footprint and logistics supply chain.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Or half the other stuff I mentioned.

Not a fair comparison at all.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
28 days ago

No, not at all. I don’t know why I bother replying to half of these guys 😆

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Japan, Israel, South Korea seem to get a lot more for their budget than the UK does.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

They don’t. They do not have the tier 1 globally deployable capability we do.

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I completely appreciate what you are saying, but the overall point I make is we could have more capability for the same money, if the MOD made the right decisions. For example the nimrod upgrade. Millions wasted. Capability gaps. And you could argue because of it we have too few p8s. Yet Japan have will have SIXTY p1s.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Japan has very different requirements from our own. And think about what they don’t have, compared to what they do when thinking about our equipment and capabilities. Could they do an evacuation of Kabul for example on the scale that we did? No is the answer. Can they do an on-going operation Shader over Iraq/Syria and deploy to Eastern Europe. Support the Falklands ect, Gulf Maritime task groups, Operate on every single continent? Support aircraft carrier’s operating on the far side of the world, and Support a 24/7 365 nuclear deterrent. And support nuclear attack boats around the world. This… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

A few are persuaded.

Others read the informed comments and better debates.

I think you would be surprised at who reads this site: it isn’t an echo chamber and has a fair bit of influence as has NL.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
27 days ago

Thanks pal 👍.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
27 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

A few persuaded, a few persuaded, a few persuaded, a few persuaded.
Stupid echo😂😂😂😂😂

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
27 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

😄

Sean
Sean
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Simply wrong.

Japan GDP $5 trillion
U.K. GDP $2.7 trillion

Japan population 126million
U.K. population 67million

I doubt the MoD will take notice of someone who can even Google basic facts before posting.

JayR
JayR
27 days ago
Reply to  Sean

Thanks, too true

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

I just saw Netherlands are buying 5 KC-390 aircraft from Brazil to replace there 4 C-130H.
Saw it on flight global.

Nathan
Nathan
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

There’s been a lot of discussion on this board around that and the consensus seem to be that introducing the A variant would broaden the logistics footprint too much as commonality between A and B types is actually quite low.
The preference seems to be to stick with things as is, and ensure Tempest gets built and on time.

Ian
Ian
28 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

Hi Nathan ….. with our track record we will only get half what we need but they will be fitted for but not with the space travel option…….👍👍

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

On that point tests are about to start on Reaction Engines pre cooler tech in the US at expected full flight operational conditions (as an example 3 times the last throughput speed) in the expectation that the tech can be applied to existing military turbojet designs and allow them to operate up to Mach 4 or so. That could be a game changer for both Tempest and US aircraft in a foreseeable timescale if all works out as well as expected.

Andy P
Andy P
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Yet the MOD continues to make illogical choices.”

Maybe just ones that you disagree with ????

I’m not sure that buying 60 Blackhawks (for example) is logical when its a very old airframe. I mean there is a logic to it but ‘IN MY OPINION’ that logic doesn’t stack up. Is that the sort of thing you mean ???

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

What I mean is Blackhawk is battle proven affordable and still in.production. the modern variants have avionics as good as anything else. But the MOD will waste money on a euro project.

Sean
Sean
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

If that was true the MoD would have bought the European Tiger which proofed to be rubbish. Instead it bought Apache.

We won’t buy Blackhawk. The Americans are already trialling replacements for it, and the U.K. has joined at least one of their future helicopter projects.

Andy P
Andy P
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

My point was that just because you disagree with it doesn’t make it illogical Jay. What you are offering is opinions and while you might have a logic for your opinion it doesn’t mean there can’t be several other opinions and logics which vary wildly from yours. Maybe splitting hairs but its not illogical for the MOD to get a ‘Euro project’ if they want it to be built in the UK to preserve jobs and keep the ability to build/maintain the thing. I’m not arguing for it by the way, just pointing out that a different opinion to yours… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

I suspect that a lot of people who want Black Hawk also support buying Osprey and then will eventually ask why we don’t obtain examples of the new helio projects in the US when they come on stream down the line. Trouble is if we buy the first two now certainly Osprey, it will almost inevitably mean we won’t get those new technology platforms when they come on stream which I think we will seriously regret. Osprey is now old technology effectively where they learned how not to do things in future, and that is a money pit to maintain… Read more »

Monty
Monty
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Why does everyone keep saying the Blackhawk is an old airframe but the Chinook avoids this? The Hercules is still being made but we know a C-130J is quit more capable than a C-130A. A recently built aircraft with new metal and modern avionics is not an old airframe. What the Blackhawk is..a proven design that can be modernized. If higher speed is a requirement then a new design would make sense. But at a higher cost.

Andy P
Andy P
27 days ago
Reply to  Monty

Aaaaargh ! Hopefully for the final time…… My point was on the use of the word “illogical”. Just because someone comes to a different conclusion than yourself on an issue, it doesn’t mean that their choice is inherently “illogical” because its different to your own. When you break that ‘logic’ down, its extremely self absorbed.

I’m out……

David Steeper
David Steeper
27 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

Ok. Deep breaths now. 😡😐🙂😀👍

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

I disagree with the A type. Much better having more B models if numbers were to be added. More flexibility.
Can deploy on ships.
Can deploy from anywhere with a little preparation. With the typhoon the F35b make a great team.
I would rather see more training aircraft and positions for pilots. Any spare places can be given to Ukrainian pilots with a view to getting them gripen or typhoons.

Last edited 28 days ago by Monkey spanker
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Mass has a quality of its own……

So a decent fleet of F35B would seem to make sense.

RAF, sensibly, doesn’t like small orphaned fleets anyway.

Thing is we do already have Typhoon and a buy of 24 more T4 would make more sense to me keeping production alive and preventing skills fade.

We’d be some much better if with a load of Typhoon and F35B. ATM that would do the job better than a smorgasbord of types.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Well it also seems illogical to me to buy only 48 F35B for 2 carriers we’ve spent a lot of money on, hamstringing both with no possibility of extra wartime aircraft if such a surge is necessary. A should only be bought once enough B are procured, and even then, that will impact Tempest. 18 Osprey! No money for F35As with those included, or anything else. On Blackhawk, I agree, simply as I think an OTS solution gives the army what it wants at a good price. I’m well aware of the pros of a UK solution regards industry, as… Read more »

JayR
JayR
27 days ago

Ha, too true. 48 B variants would give 4 squadrons, and with the usmc, we could deploy each carrier with 2 squadrons each. But yes 60 would be the ideal number.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

4 Squadrons, but 2 of which are reserve, the OCU and OEU.
Add in those in depth maintenance and a small reserve and 48 is nowhere near sufficient. You get what we are getting currently, 617 and 809 NAS.
The additional order to get to 70 plus is vital, but after that you choose either Tempest or F35A. And the UCAV will be another voice in that funding pool.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago

Sounds logical to me.

Klonkie
Klonkie
27 days ago

Moring D. I’m wondering if the MOD may re-visit the original plan to procure 135 F35s, given the planned increase in defence spend to 2.5% of gdp? I’d like to see some procurement detail from the MOD on the plan to ramp up existing projects as the additional cash comes on stream over the next 4-6 years. No doubt a sizeable chunk of the extra funding will be attributed to current underfunded projects. I don’t foresee any significant increase in force size across the armed forces, but rather an emphasis speeding up existing projects. And perhaps some enhanced capability –… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
27 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Morning mate. I’d like to see details too. The MoD are v good at not giving out much detail in equipment plans going forward, the when’s, the how manys, and how much. Allows them to cut easier thsn committing I guess?

How many Land Sceptre did the army get, for example? No one ever seems to know.

Klonkie
Klonkie
25 days ago

Thanks D, enjoy the weekend!

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

I agree JayR, a discussion I’ve been having here for many a month. With all the reengining and upgrading of the A variant now in the pipeline now would be a good time to earmark all the B’s for the RN. Four squadrons of ten and a small OCU. I would order another ten or twelve to ensure that both carriers were able to be used if the occasion arose. Order sufficient additional Typhoons to enable eight full squadrons of twelve or ten of ten. I don’t know if we’re going to get sixty F35A’s but forty (?). Four squadrons… Read more »

Louis
Louis
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Given we’ve bought two large and very expensive aircraft carriers, 108 F35B would be better, allowing 36 F35B per carrier.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

I agree that the RAF should have F-35As and stick to operating from land bases and leave carrier strike exclusively to the FAA, not before handing over their F-35Bs to the RN of course..

Steve R
Steve R
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

I agree re: Black Hawks, as long as they’re built here. They work and they’re affordable. Personally I think we should just order 100+ and split between Army and RAF. Would likely still cost less than we’d be paying for 44 or so gold-plated AW149s. Completely disagree re: F35A. You’d actually end up with fewer operational aircraft doing it that way. You’d need three separate OCUs, three separate pools of spare aircraft and three separate OEUs. Any additional aircraft should be either Typhoon Tranche 3/4 or F35B. It makes no sense to do an A/B split unless we’re getting close… Read more »

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

The US Army just placed what is most likely its last order for Blackhawk helicopters to take it though the next five years. With the Blackhawk replacement to be selected probably in the next few months there is no way in hell Sikorsky is going to build a plant in the UK to manufacture 100 Blackhawks.

Steve R
Steve R
28 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

They wouldn’t need to.

Agusta Westland licence-build our original AH64 Apaches; they could do the same with Black Hawks.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

They could but 1) why would Leonardo feel remotely desirous of being part of that 2) can’t see how it remotely fits in with any plan they originally had for Westland and 3) there is a reason that the new Apaches aren’t being done by Westland it simply wasn’t financially or operationally a sane choice sadly.

Chrislondon
Chrislondon
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

I am not certain I would support getting the 35A but feel the above comparison is wrong.
The differing designs and order numbers mean the price has diverged dramatically.
I believe the current unit cost is 80m for A and 135m for B.
You have to compare 60 35Bs to 100 35As.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Correct.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
27 days ago

Role out the Westland Blackhawk from the 1980’s. Perhaps the licence still stands.
My thinking with Blackhawk is that even if it’s cheaper the same airframe numbers will be bought. Would be good if we get to see a breakdown of costs for each candidate etc and see what the cash actually will buy.
Would also like to know if the choppers are built in the U.K. are the U.K. able to build more if needed easily and quickly

Last edited 27 days ago by Monkey spanker
Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

You don’t need more than two fast jets types when you have two of the best. And working together, they present a deadly capability. We don’t need F35A, we need more F35B’s, which we are getting. Info about radar cross section isn’t available, I’m taking that as guess work. Weapons payload also isn’t an issue. The F35A internal weapon bay is slightly longer, not bigger. It can fit a 2000lb class munition, F35B can carry a 1000lb class weapon. But as the RAF doesn’t use the 2000lb weapon anymore or the 1000lb, it doesn’t make any difference. The primary weapon… Read more »

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

The radar cross section of the B is larger than the a or c, that is common knowledge. The airframe is wider and creates more drag. The b has less fuel and a smaller weapons load. It is at disadvantage when operating from land bases when compared to the a. Also it is more expensive.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

How is it common knowledge? If any of the 3 varients would have a larger radar cross section it would be the C due to its larger wings and vertical stabilisers. The B doesn’t have a wider airframe. And the B doesn’t have a smaller weapon load due to the reasons I explained. Its worth noting, The F35B carries more fuel than a Typhoon.

DaveyB
DaveyB
27 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

The B does have a wider airframe, behind the cockpit to make room for the vertical lift fan. This space on the A and C is used as a fuel tank. Everything else is similar in proportion to the A version.

Sean
Sean
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

But the F35B is not going to be fighting any F35As so nothing you mentioned matters.

Adding a third fast jet to be maintained (there is only 30% commonality between the different versions of F35) will just simply reduce the number of aircraft we can afford.

Having 74 F35Bs as planned is far better than only having 48 F35Bs and 12 F35As (or even fewer) due to the additional training and maintenance costs.

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Italy, Japan and South Korea operate both types.

grizzler
grizzler
27 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I must admit I too thought I had read that the radar cross section for the B was worse than the A or C – but can’t recall where. You also mention SPEAR 3 for the B but isnt that waiting for block IV release …and waiting and waiting …so the weapons availabilty for the B is not the level we need them to be – also did I read the engines are being developed for the A & C – but not the B. Out of the 3 variants I’m still not convinced its going to be the version… Read more »

JayR
JayR
27 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

I am sure it was in AFM.

GlynH
GlynH
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

How are you going to refuel your A’s. How are going to justify having two different supply chains for the not so common parts. Hell one might as well argue we should have had C’s and CATOBAR. Osprey’s no, BHawks Yes.

grizzler
grizzler
28 days ago
Reply to  GlynH

re C’s and catobar -we should have – but we aint so we gotta do with what we got. I believe we sold our developing EMALS type solution to the yanks -via company aquisitions- now theres a surprise dontcha think?!. Funny how many on here harp on about only 1 carrier with planes is needed when people mention not enough F35B’s to go round(or up and down in this case) and when the PoW is out and about with a few cans of beans on it but then mention how we need two carriers with a full compliment of planes… Read more »

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

The overall point is, time and time again the MOD make illogical decisions for short term gains. The royal navy should have 2 carriers with catobar, with the f35c and e2. The raf should be operating the f35a and typhoon, and voyager should have both refuelling methods. Osprey is a quantum leap forward over chinook. Blackhawk is more capable than anything in service in Europe. The mod must start to get things right. The armed forces always seem to make do.

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Maybe somebody could answer, but what is Japan’s deterrent against nuclear attack?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Duck and cover.

DaveyB
DaveyB
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Currently cruise missiles launched from land. Though it would not take Japan long to build a suitable fission or thermonuclear device that can fit in a cruise missile. They already have the technology to make weapons grade plutonium.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

CATOBAR would bring even more delays to the carrier’s. CATOBAR has more weather limits, requires larger deck crews, far larger training burden to keep pilots deck current. More maintenance, more to go wrong, longer more expensive refits. Are just some of the disadvantages. We are not the USA, this isn’t TopGun. The QE class with F35B is the best bang for our buck. And the RN is never going to have the budget to operate it’s own single service fast jet force, and F35 is a whole new ball game compared to two sqns of Sea Harriers back in the… Read more »

Sean
Sean
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

I presume you’ll be sending a voluntary cheque to HMRC to pay for all these extras? They do accept donations.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

I guess some of this depends on exactly what Tempest becomes, is it predominantly an Air Superiority fighter, is it an all rounder or a swing role aircraft as the Typhoon is now being described. I was just reading about the US efforts and it seems despite this ‘demonstrator’ they have flown it claimed it was predominantly demonstrating 4 new technologies and they will decide what form their plane will actually take, whether it will be a recognisable fighter like Tempest (whatever it’s primary role) or something else, even pondering something sounding more akin to a 21st Century B17/Black Widow… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
27 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It looks like Japan and the UK will look at merging their respective 6th gen programs. Italy are predominantly looking for an air dominance fighter. Whilst Sweden require a multirole aircraft with good STOL performance to operate from roads etc. On the face of it Sweden’s requirement doesn’t match the UK’s, Japan’s or Italy’s. However, the system the aircraft will be fitted with good be installed in a lighter airframe that would suit the Swedish requirement. Could you make a high performance heavy fighter, STOL capable? Yes, but you will definitely need vectored thrust and probably a blown wing. But… Read more »

JayR
JayR
28 days ago
Reply to  GlynH

Voyager needs a boom. To refuel p8, rivet joint and c17. How do Italy refuel the f35a?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
28 days ago
Reply to  JayR

Ospreys, oh my God MoD please don’t listen to that one.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I thought we had killed off the V22 debate…..it is a bit like bamboo in your garden…..you can’t get rid of it!

Tams
Tams
27 days ago
Reply to  JayR

F-35A and Blackhawk. Wowzer, you’re among one of the worst here.

At least you didn’t suggest us getting 20 Type 26s.

Paul42
Paul42
28 days ago

This is old news.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

It’s only old if you have already seen it👍😂

JamesD
JamesD
28 days ago

Bit off topic but today over Brighton I saw 6 jets flying in close formation but couldn’t work out what they were, bit unusual round these parts anyone got any ideas?

JamesD
JamesD
28 days ago
Reply to  JamesD

Never mind it was the South Korean black eagles

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
28 days ago
Reply to  JamesD

They’re stationed at Boscombe at the mo.

dan
dan
28 days ago

Finland will make a great NATO member. It needs more members that actually take their defense seriously. You listening Germany?

Martin
Martin
28 days ago
Reply to  dan

When Germany was on the NATO frontier they took defence very seriously. There is a free riding ethos across almost all of Europe. Poland and eastern countries take it seriously now but it’s not altruistic or for the benefit of the alliance.

Louis
Louis
28 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Very true, people like to say that the German army is small because of their tender history. Yet their armed forces numbered over half a million at the end of the Cold War, whilst Britains was about 300,000. Conscription also only ended officially in 2011.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Altruistic no why should it be, but directly, deliberately or otherwise Poland being well armed is definitely to the benefit of the Alliance and considering their future potential as a powerhouse increasingly more so.

David Steeper
David Steeper
28 days ago

Harland & Wolff Group Holdings PLC (AIM:HARL) is steaming ahead after winning its first defence contract, a vessel for the Lithuanian Navy. The infrastructure projects firm said it had been awarded the £55mln contract – the M55 Regeneration Programme – by the Ministry of Defence on behalf of the Lithuanian Defence Materiel Agency after a competitive bid process. The value of the contract – which involves the delivery of a regenerated vessel with mission and sonar systems – could be increased through additional equipment and further upgrades. Contractual payments will be spread across the next three financial years, creating a predictable, ongoing revenue stream. Harland said it… Read more »

Last edited 28 days ago by David Steeper
Paul.P
Paul.P
28 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I think H&W have been gifted a decommissioned mine hunter with this order to keep HMRC off their backs. They have to stay solvent because they are part of Babcock’s proposal for future frigates, T32 I think.

David Steeper
David Steeper
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Pessimistic interpretation. Could be right.

Paul.P
Paul.P
27 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Could be optimistic…MOD, BAe and HMRC combining to put H&W on life support until bigger orders are sorted.

David Steeper
David Steeper
27 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

We are going to need them in the future. If this was the difference between them surviving or not it would be money well spent.

David Steeper
David Steeper
27 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes HW owns Appledore. 👍

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
28 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The HMRC thing was over £90k so hardly a massive sum.

You do very often get HMRC sending you a cheque in one envelope for £90k and in the other envelope a declaration of war over £90k.

HMRC are getting very aggressive having been very gentle for the last few years.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
28 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Its a regeneration of the former HMS Quorn Hunt-class MCM vessel for Lithuania. H&W also already purchased the former HMS Atherstone to re-furbish for non-military use and to help de-risk the work on the former HMS Quorn were they to win that contract, which it seems they now have.
https://www.harland-wolff.com/news/harland-wolff-acquires-former-hms-atherstone/

It seems H&W are steadily making progress in their marine business having also recently dry docked two large cruise ships, Cunard’s 294m Queen Victoria and also P&O Cruises’ Aurora at 270m.

David Steeper
David Steeper
28 days ago

Optimistic interpretation. Think your right.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago

Aren’t they both the biggest ships in each’s fleet? Know someone who has cruised on the latter as her daughter works on it and she said it was actually too large with too many passengers to really be pleasurable.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
27 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Sorry don’t know Spy. Wouldn’t catch me on any cruise ship, but to each their own. As far as H&W are concerned these types of contract certainly helps them build a diversified marine business that isn’t dependent on MOD contracts. IIRC they also opened an office in Florida in order to target this type of business.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
27 days ago

Well at least after decline during the whole of my life time there are at least a few shoots of regrowth even if real growth is still a fair way off. So happy Appledore in particular is regenerating that site might become vital in any aftermath of Scottish Independence which to me is beginning to look like when more than if as things stand.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
27 days ago

Harland and Wolff has won its first military contract in decades, £55m for refurbishing the Hunt class mine sweeper HMS Quorn for the Lithuanian Navy including replacing engines, sonar and weapons systems. The ship was sold to the Lithuanians by the RN for £1m. The work will however take place at its newly acquired Appledore shipyard. H&W is hoping to use this as a springboard for its Fleet Solid Support Ships bid.

Harland & Wolff wins $65 million deal to fix up ex-British ship for Lithuanian Navy (defensenews.com)

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
27 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

So Harland have a contract for the refit and are doing it at the appledore yard.
The 2 cruise ships must have been at Northern Ireland? Hopefully the Belfast site is in an ok condition. Last I saw a crane collapsed a while ago