Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced that British F-35 Lightning jets are ready to be deployed on operations around the world, marking a major step forward in combat capability. 

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) described it as “a huge landmark” in what has been “the biggest defence project in history”.

The Defence Secretary made the announcement in a brand-new hangar at RAF Marham, which he opened today along with a new state-of-the-art training centre for F-35 pilots. This is part of over £550m being invested in the Norfolk base.

Mr Williamson said the UK was moving “into a new era outside the EU”, but that the F-35 shows “our commitment to a role on the world stage [is] clear to both our allies and our enemies”.

“The incredible F-35 jets are ready for operations, a transformed Typhoon has the power to dominate the skies into the 2040s and we continue to look even further into an ambitious future. The RAF has long shown Britain at its great and global best, and today it lifts our nation to even greater heights.”

There are currently 17 aircraft in the RAF F-35 fleet, with 18 more in build or on order. The UK has committed to purchasing 138 F-35 Lightning aircraft over the life of the programme.

2019 will see the F-35 pilots and ground crew to train in the new centre, which features state-of-the-art simulators, classrooms, and physical aircraft mock-ups. The Ministry of Defence says the facility provides “a real-life training environment replicating the challenges that both pilots and crew will face” on operations. Pilots already based at RAF Marham can now take advantage of four “full mission simulators”.

Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier described the “significant step”, saying “our F-35s are now ready to deploy on operations and, alongside our combat-proven Typhoon, offer a step-change in our ability to employ air power around the world”.

Mr Williamson also announced that the Typhoon has been integrated with three new weapons: Stormshadow, Brimstone and Meteor. These new capabilities allow the Typhoon to take over from the Tornado ground attack aircraft which will retire later this year. The Typhoon entered service in 2003 and is planned to remain until “at least 2040”.

The RAF trialled the interoperability between its Typhoon and F-35 aircraft last year, which it says proved “the effectiveness of both platforms when operating alongside one another”.


 

 

100
Leave a Reply

avatar
24 Comment threads
76 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
49 Comment authors
RAF Tornado jets return from operations for the final timeMeiron XSteve RRudeboyPaul T Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of
Robert Blay
Guest

Fantastic news, the F35 brings a real game changer in capability, even in small numbers.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

positive news is always welcome, we can expect ‘big lizzie’ to be declared fully operational soon

Rudeboy
Guest
Rudeboy

Initial Operational Capability won’t be until the end of 2020. But the big date is for Full Operating Capability which won’t be until 2023. But…thats for Carrier Strike capability. For full Carrier Enabled Power Projection capability we’re looking at mid 2026. And thats the real date, because until the F-35B has been delivered in numbers and has completed Block 4 development with all UK weapons it will be highly restricted. The F-35B on the QE will only be able to carry 4 weapons until 2025 (the external cannon pod, Asraam, Amraam and Paveway IV). Spear and Meteor, which are crucial… Read more »

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

How many Tornado’s, Harriers and Buccaneer’s did we have a few years back, How many F35’s, Tornado’s and Typhoons do we have now and how many will we have in a few years ? I’d like to see a Chart showing the numbers, reckon It would be a bit of an Eye opener.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Eye opener?

Depressing reading more like Cptn.

220 GR1 and 165 ADV in more recent times alone, added to Harrier, Sea Harrier, Jaguar.

I count around 30 Squadrons as recently as 1998.

While of course positive and welcome news the fact remains Typhoon is now taking on the role of a multitude of other types lost to never ending cuts.

No matter how high tech F35 is numbers alone are important, and the mass is gone.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Depressing Indeed.

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

To cheer you up a bit Daniele and Cap’n….. don’t forget that all countries have cut back on numbers and consequently squadrons over the last twenty years. France,Germany (ours do fly), Italy, Japan, even the U.S. although they probably haven’t noticed. Russia is recycling 30 year old bombers and for the moment at least the Chinese are flying old Migs.

dave12
Guest
dave12

Good point, the yanks also stopped production of the F22 early due to it being to expensive .

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Dam It , I hate being Cheered Up !!!

David Steeper
Guest

Capt. It’s being so cheerful what keeps You going ! LOL

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

David, I find the JD helps more !!!!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

True Geoffrey.

Difference is we do still deploy and get involved, many other nations don’t.

And do those other nations talk the talk like HMG do?

Cam Hunter
Guest
Cam Hunter

How about the figures on those country’s fast jets then? Almost all nations will no doubt have more than the UK, and South Korea and Japan both have navys bigger than ours… and I wouldn’t be surprised if they had more fighter jets also.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

The Russians have been running exercises much like we have been doing in using older Mig 23s and 29s as missile trucks flying alongside Su37s and guided by Mainstay AWACs aircraft. I’m pretty sure that they will also be using the older aircraft as sacrificial bait. We have made a very bad tactical error in that we like Nazi Germany have gone down the quality over quantity route. Both Typhoon and F35s can only carry so many Meteor and by carrying out a swarm attack using older aircraft as bait, that inventory will be used up very quickly. I’m pretty… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Geoffrey – I think the days of the Chinese flying ‘old migs’ are long gone,now they have Sukhoi copies and some home produced Fighters to play with.

Martin
Guest
Martin

We should not just think about numbers but look at capabilities. Jaguar’s, Tornado ADV and Harrier were all very limited platforms. Remember GR1’s having to use Bucanners to laser designate targets in GW1. Tornados were in the air with lumps of concrete instead of radar for years. Typhoon can not only outperform anything in the air it can also then carry out a bombing mission better than a GR4 all on the same mission. Once the block 2 of CAPTOR E with Bright Adder is ready it can also act as its own dedicated electronic attack aircraft. F35 practically runs… Read more »

Robert Blay
Guest

The most common sense post on this thread ?

P tattersall
Guest
P tattersall

It’s not numbers it quality .. Russia don’t have many active modern jets plenty of old rust but not fit for purpose .Some ppl talk like it’s unlimited spend lets get a few facts right we are Europe’s biggest defence spenders and we also spend more than Russia

Lee1
Guest

It is not really comparable information though. Times have changed, warfare has changed and technology has changed. It would be like working out who is the greatest F1 driver in history…

Meirion X
Guest
Meirion X

If the RAF requires some F-35’s for long range deep strike missions, why not fund adaptations to the F-35B, such as removable lift-fan and drop-in fuel tank, also stealth drop tanks for all versions. Extra fuel tanks for the F-35B would extend it’s range. The F-35B can be used conventionally by the RAF instead of STOVL. So maybe 12-24 F-35B’s could be adaptations, and the rest of the 138 committed to, are standard F-35B’s. I am aware that the bomb-bay is being lengthen a bit for Block 4 F-35B procurements. so the RAF need to take the decision to fund… Read more »

Mr Bell
Guest

Or buy a stealthy long ranged UAV to do deep strike. Something like Tarranis. Alternatively 2 versions of the new proposed tempest long range interceptor and long range strike. Or make Tempest like the Eurofighter now the world’s best multi role strike-fighter. I would leave F35B for what it is intended to do. Guardthe fleet from QE carriers, undertake close air support and kick the door down in wave one and two of an air campaign. Suppressing radar and SAM sites to allow Eurofighter in with stormshadow, brimstone, Paveway 4 etc. The RN and RAF need to be vocal in… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i’ve mentioned the ‘snootiness’ of the M.O.D in not buying second hand kit google;AMARG INVENTORY this regeneration has over 1000 aircraft that can be reborn, the u.k could, given a ‘mates rate’ increase the size of the R.A.F greatly there are even a couple of b1b lancers there, bomber command anybody?

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

In a type of “Lend Lease” Deal ?

Tim
Guest

Good idea Meirion, but in theory it could mean that someone sensible in the future could make all the F35B’s FAA only and the RAF won’t have that. By wanting the F35A option there will be no way the FAA can get their hands on them which makes the RAF bigger and the FAA smaller. And yes it will cost £100’s millions more but that would all have to go to the RAF of course and that would be money not going to the FAA so a double win.

Rokuth
Guest
Rokuth

“If the RAF requires some F-35’s for long range deep strike missions, why not fund adaptations to the F-35B, such as removable lift-fan and drop-in fuel tank…” Of the 3 versions, the F-35B is the most complex and the most expensive to build. To re-engineer the F-35B with a removable lift-fan, and a drop-in fuel tank would be a epic disaster, financially. Plus, they would not be ready in any reasonable time. Part of the reason for the delays in the F-35 project was all the new manufacturing technology being used in its construction. This caused additional delays as the… Read more »

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Rokuth – pretty much what I said on the similar (almost identical thread) here,but can I add that your mention of the F35c is interesting,my take on it is purely versus the ‘A’ version,im sure their Range is about the same,the ‘C’ has a bigger Wing area (folding) and is heavier but if used in the relatively benign Land based role its Strengthened Airframe would result in more Airframe hours and therefore a longer life,plus the fact that if HMS QE and POW did actually get Cat’s and Trap’s in the future (admittedly not likely) there would be no need… Read more »

Robert Blay
Guest

Why adapted the F35B? Just buy some F35A’s

Rob N
Guest
Rob N

Yes it is the RAF’s master plan to buythe F35A so it can have sole use of it not the Navy. Oh yes they might want to use the F35Bs too.. By splitting the F35 but they enhance the RAF role at the cost of the numbers of F35Bs that can be ussed on the QE/PoW. You are talking about the RAF here the folk that ‘moved’ Astralia on the map to prove we did not need CVA-01. We should buy all F35Bs to get maximum use for the carriers and by the way flexibility for the RAF. Any F35A… Read more »

Robert Blay
Guest

And you really believe all those bullshit stories? The RAF have been involved in the carrier program for well over 10 years, they are assets for all 3 services.

Rob N
Guest
Rob N

Hi,

Yes as this came from an RAF officer…

The lower levels of tge RAF are with the carrier, however it appears tgat tge higher levels may have another agenda.

Rob N

Lee
Guest

So, Cyprus deployment soon then?

Nice hanger as well. It was still being built when I was up for the family day in the summer.

Mr Bell
Guest

Good point Captain The bigger worry for me is not the low numbers of this undoubtedly good aircraft but how the low numbers equate to battlefield effect on target, resilience and attritional reserve. It is craven folly to think we have exquisite kit we can win against peer opponents but not consider how we will continue the fight when 10, 20,30, 40 + aircraft are lost in combat. Ditto the navy how would our current lean navy, with only 17 escort warships in service, cope with a Falklands level of attrition eg 4 sunk, 6 heavily damaged, 7-8 moderately damaged… Read more »

Nath
Guest
Nath

In sum, NATO is significantly larger than Russia.

The problem I think is, coordination and resolve. I’m not convinced all our European friends are as committed as we’d like to think and even if they are – trying to marshal their resources quickly against a highly organised and singular, coherent fighting force would be difficult and I imagine the initial attrition rate would be terrible.

Steve Taylor
Guest

Careful! I wrote quite a detailed post here just before Christmas detailing how Western Europe outguns Russia (sans nukes) and the post got deleted.

BB85
Guest

The problem for Nato is that every country has a different red line before they would be willing to take action against Russia. We can see that most obviously with Germany who are not as keen to impose sanctions when Russia invades another country. The only clear red line is that if a full Nato member is attacked everyone has signed up to fight, if the democratic system of a Nato member is influenced by Russia or down right manipulated there is no clear policy which Russia is happy to exploit.

Martin
Guest
Martin

The Good thing is that the Russians would only be invading our European neighbors anyway. Zero Chance of a Russian force every getting past Poland. This may stiffen there resolve with the exclusion of Germany However most of NATO adds very little militarily. Its the US and British response that matters

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Mr Bell. I believe that our Technology, Ships, equipment and Training since 1982 have completely eclipsed anything the Argentines Had, Have or may have in the future. The Lack of numbers Is my concern, and most of us here seem to share those concerns too. We are seeing a determined Russian and Chinese military introducing new ships, aircraft and Equipment. The Chinese Navy Is building at an astonishing rate If you go look It Up. We appear to be heading back (foreward) to a new Coldwar Will we have enough equipment to make a difference in so many parts of… Read more »

David Steeper
Guest

Agreed. To all intents and purposes the Argentine armed forces are non operational.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

A Good time to Invade Argentina then !!!!! See how they bloody Like It.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Actually, That’s not such a bad Idea, Post Brexit, We could Kick off “Global Britain” by Moving Into Argentina and Rebuild their Economy I’m sure The Majority would Welcome the chance to become Wealthy again. And We’d get Cheep Steaks too. Plus, We get to Refine all the oil Locally rather than having to Ship It 8000 miles.

What do you guys think ?

David Steeper
Guest

Capt. Put more soda in your JD !

Jason
Guest
Jason

Great news! Check out the subreddit r/greatbritannia for more patriotic news

Geoffrey Hicking
Guest

First off, I apologise for my hysterical behaviour here a month ago. I was convinced that everything I said offended people (and when I thought the opposite later on another website, this turned out to be true). Anyways: Can someone tell me whether the F35 will have any anti-ship capability? I presume that her main purpose is to network with U.S/other friendly craft and tell them where the enemy ships are, whilst also defending any friendly carriers from aircraft, thus freeing up U.S/other friendly craft to undertake strikes. Therefore our only heavy weight anti-ship capability will be in Astute. I’m… Read more »

Alan Reid
Guest
Alan Reid

Hi Geoffrey, Since the Sea Eagle missile was retired ten or fifteen years, I think our fast-jet
anti-shipping capability has been limited to LGBs.
Indeed during the recent Libyan campaign, RAF Tornados took out at least one Libyan corvette with such weaponry – albeit the vessel was tied-up in harbour at the time.
I know SPEAR is supposed to be deployed on the F-35B, but I think its really only suitable against light-attack craft.
It’s certainly another capability gap that has been allowed to open up!

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

That’s a big capability gap that needs closed.

Graham
Guest
Graham

Unless you count the F-35’s gun, I expect the trusty term ‘fitted for but not with’ applies to the F-35’s anti ship capability. Then again, with the upcoming retirement of Harpoon, the ‘gun’ is the UK’s surface fleet only anti ship capability.

Helions
Guest
Helions

“Just like the GOOD old days”!

comment image

Cheers!

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Hello Geoffrey, It’s only a place for people to discuss and give their opinions, In the big scheme of things It’s really not that important and certainly nothing to get upset about. We all have different Views, nice to see you back.

Josh
Guest
Josh

SPEAR 3 is the planned anti-ship weapon for the F-35B for the UK. There are foreign options as well (the American LRASM and somewhat secondarily the JSOW-C1, and the Norwegian JSM). Turkey also has the SOM-J, but god only knows how far along that actually is. The UK as far as i’m aware hasn’t expressed interest in any of these for the F-35. None of these are actually integrated onto the F-35 as of yet anyways (well JSOW is, but it probably won’t be approved for combat use until next year).

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Hi when it’s operational spear3, 8 weapons in internal bay + external hard points if not stealthy ( 3 per hard point) so a flight of RAF f35s could be throwing 50+ missiles, size will not be a consideration with numbers like that. Even one F35 or typhoon will likely overwhelm and mission kill any warship that’s not a top end air defence vessel. Everyone gets all excited over heavyweight ASMs but I suspect the way we are going with small stealthy highly accurate weapons will be far more useful and deadly in any future wars the UK will be… Read more »

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

Rolls Royce have made an electric aeroplane which will be used for a British attempt at the electric aircraft World speed record with a target speed of 300 m.p.h.+.

https://www.rolls-royce.com/products-and-services/civil-aerospace/future-products.aspx#/

Stephen
Guest
Stephen

The link isn’t working properly, click on “introducing ACCEL” under “related stories” at the bottom.

Ian
Guest
Ian

For those wanting more:
We are only as powerful as our Tax Receipts. The nation is burdened with crippling welfare demands…

As for the F35B, great news! Israel shows us how quick you can combat ready something when you have enemies on your borders. I’m sure The US would prioritise the UK delivery of F35 should the need arise!

And what about Gavin Williamson? He’s doing a great job replacing Michael Fallon and sounds like he could transition us out of Europe single-handedly.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

“We are only as powerful as our Tax Receipts”. Yup 90% of us pay them, the other 10% Use off shore accounts !!!!! not to mention Google, Costa et al, oh and Don’t mention Foreign Aid, It might cause an argument.

Ian
Guest
Ian

LOL! I didn’t throw that one in to be divisive, merely an objective view.

Ditto, Gavin Williamson. I just hope I haven’t stirred up the Brexit/Anti-Brexiteers!

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

I Know, There Is enough Division In this Country as It is at the moment.

AndieHooligan
Guest
AndieHooligan

Scrub reference to Costa and tax dodging! Very wrong. You mean a big green coffee company! Precision is important! ;o)

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

“The United Kingdom (UK) Ministry of Defence (MoD) has abandoned plans to integrate the MBDA Storm Shadow air-launched cruise missile on the F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), and is instead looking at the far future integration of a new long-range deep-strike weapon projected under the still embryonic Selective Precision Effects at Range (SPEAR) Cap 5 programme. Officials have also disclosed that while the United Kingdom still plans to integrate the MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and the projected SPEAR Cap 3 precision stand-off air-to-surface weapon on the F-35B, there is as yet no concrete programme agreed with the… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins
Steve
Guest
Steve

An interesting post, i read that as we were a tier 1 partner and yet got nothing material out of it. The idea they left the program for 2 years resulting in the internal bay being incompatible is just non-sense, or if true shows terrible management of the project.

I can’t help thinking the F35b will be a great jet, but the UK version will be extremely restricted in its ability to use the stealthy design due to the lack of weapons that can fit in the internal bay.

Russ
Guest
Russ

I thought it was close to combat ready but when the D Sec says it is – you KNOW it isn’t

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

Cam,
coming back to your response to mine…that was the very point I was making. They don’t have the equipment levels that we have. As for the size of the South Korean and Japanese navies I think you need to do a recount, particularly with regard to capability.

Lusty
Guest
Lusty

Indeed, it’s worth noting that the Japanese navy lacks some of the assets possessed by the RFA, and all of their replenishment tankers are smaller.

I believe they also count landing crafts as part of their fleet, and this is something we also best them in – i terms of numbers and capability.

dave12
Guest
dave12

Going by wiki the japs have 37 destroyers and some of them are massive ,cruisers really.

Bill
Guest

Great news for the RAF and not before time. Now let’s have 2 RAF and 3 FAA frontline squadrons by 2021. Fat chance of that of course. The pilots will be there if they haven’t died of noredom by then but the planes won’t.
The yanks don’t stockpile their planes, they operate them. Look at the F22. 187 built 75% operating. 300 op hours p.a. 20 year lifespan. Same with their ships. And the B52? Triggers broom doesn’t come close!!

Martin
Guest
Martin

Not sure that’s true on F22. The US wants 75% availability across the entire aircraft fleet but its not going to get it even on legacy aircraft. F22 availability is terrible. Look How many could not even get off the ground to get away from the Hurricane. Navy F18 Fleet is also in a terrible position. B52’s are kept in the air due to vast historic spare part inventories while B2 also has a terrible availability. The US claims 13,000 active military aircraft yet its tempo rate is terrible for a fleet that size. Its held on to too many… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

F-18 mediocre? Surely you don’t mean the superhornets? There are a few typhoon pilots who have attached to USN superhornet squadrons who say its far superior to the Typhoon because of of sensor integration. As for spending billions of pounds to develop “our own” weapons to mount on the F-35, we’d be better off using that money to purchase already proven and far more tested american weapons. The money saved from not developing them on our own would mean perhaps we could afford to actually purchase an adequate enough of those weapons.

Elliott
Guest
Elliott

The USN is NOT based on the F-18 Hornet it is based on the F-18 Super Hornet which is only theoretically the same aircraft. Only the Marine Corps is still flying the original F-18 as they decided to consolidate the Harrier and Hornet fleet replacements. On Super Hornets being mediocre? They do better than most at their price point. Especially the Growlers and new Block III birds. On the F-16 being “very mediocre” how many have actually been shot down? Despite it being one of the most widely exported panes ever. They are easy to fly simple to maintain and… Read more »

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Martin, Elliott. Thanks for both Viewpoints. Proof that there are Two sides to a story.

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

I understand the US will replace the B1 and B2’s with the B-21 Raider and upgrade the engines on the B-52 fleet.

I’ve often wondered why we never purchased some of these as our pilots have been flying them for some considerable time now?

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2017/12/22/air-force-solidifies-options-for-b-52-engine-replacement/

Robert Blay
Guest

They operate 120 F22’s out if the 187. They rotate aircraft in and out of storage to spread the flying hours acrkss the fleet, just like we do.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Personally I think we should be emulating those numbers for our F35s.

Increase our order from 138 to 180 (Either all B or some A variants; either way) and have 100 to 120 of them as frontline planes.

Robert Blay
Guest

And the money comes from where?

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

To be honest that would be an increase of 32 fighters; hardly going to break the bank.

Robert Blay
Guest

Well its cost 9.3 billion for 48 F35’s, so it’s quite alot of money for another 32 to be found from an already very stretched defence budget.

Meiron X
Guest
Meiron X

The 48 F-35b’s will cost nearly $5.5 Billion at $115.5M each, which should cost in pounds, is about £4.2 Billion.

Bill
Guest

Noredom? Boredom of course!

geoff
Guest
geoff

Morning Gentlemen from a balmy in the sub-tropics Durban. Some random thoughts. We have some superb equipment in small numbers-certainly enough to fight a regional conflict such as another Falklands and enough to fight elsewhere in tandem with our main allies. Going beyond that the question is-can you ever see us fighting a conventional war on our own against the likes of Russia or China? Or more to the point-can you ever imagine us fighting Russia with our allies in a conventional war that would not soon escalate into a Nuclear war in which case the number of F 35’s… Read more »

Ron
Guest
Ron

@geoff, the idea is not so crazy, if we can get the Hawk and F35 to speak to each other then the idea would even have more merit. With one F35 using its sensor suit to control the Hawks weapons fit it would cause the same problem as what NATO forces face when facing Russian tactics of using old air-frames mixed in with modern aircraft.

Albert Starburst
Guest
Albert Starburst

I agree. I’m not in the loop and no expert, but a while ago I raised the concept of re-manufacturing some basic but tried-and-tested aircraft designs that were relatively stealthy and (these days) low-cost. e.g. dH Mosquito and in reasonable quantities i.e. Bulk – not absolute high-end whizz-bang state-of-the-art. The point is something like it, airships, or even take a few scrap Jumbos from Kemble and ram them full of launch-able weapons could be a really useful weapons platform today (a la B52). Come up with a secure data-link to say NATO F35s for target designation and weapon-type selection, and… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

I think realistically they wouldn’t be used in combat unless the first line was broken/defeated, which means there would be no F35’s to provide targetting data, better to use AWACS or land radars to provide this. I can see a lot of merit of having a final line of defence for the AWACS of some hawks with whatever they can be armed with.

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

Random Thoughts The Daily Flail is reporting that RAF F-35B have a gun. I thought F-35B had no internal gun & needed a bolt on gun pod. Did the UK buy any gun pods? Re Typhoon. Has any anti-ship missile been integrated yet? Publicity shots have shown Harpoon, RBS 15 & Marte-ER. Did any of those get fully integrated? It would be useful to have at least one RAF Typhoon sqn equipped with an anti-ship missile if it can be done cheaply with an off the shelf, already integrated missile. Is Qatar getting Marte-ER for its Typhoon? I note that… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Guest
Nigel Collins

Not sure how much benefit a gun pod would be?

“The F-35 GAU-22/A gun has been among the most controversial topics: some criticised the fact that the Joint Strike Fighter’s gun can only hold 181 20mm rounds, fewer than the A-10 Thunderbolt’s GAU-8/A Avenger, that can hold some 1,174 30mm rounds.

Moreover, although it was designed with LO (Low Observability) characteristics, the external pod degrades the F-35’s radar cross section making the 5th generation aircraft more visible to radars. Still, this should be acceptable for the scenarios where the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B will be called to carry out CAS missions.”

https://theaviationist.com/2017/05/18/watch-this-f-35b-fires-gau-22-external-gun-pod-in-flight-for-first-time/

JohnHartley
Guest
JohnHartley

I agree the UK would not need a large number of gun pods for its F-35B, but a few would be handy for warning shots, or in a heavy EW situation where GPS was jammed or tampered with.

BV Buster
Guest
BV Buster

Most people see a nice pic of flying things, I see some poor bastard cleaning the floor fore weeks before the pic was taken.

BV

Ian
Guest
Ian

I often wonder, what do F35A pilots think of deep strike missions on a single engine?

Robert Blay
Guest

I love this website, but my god am I sick of reading about fantasy fleets, largely by people who have a very un-realistic view of the armed forces, and today’s threats and how much it all costs. . We would all like more kit, and people, but capability is everything. Capability keeps us at the top table, not 30 sqns of hawks or 50 old school frigates. And the gov will spend to meet the defence requirments of the day, as somebody mentioned above, we have capabilitys today we could only have dreamed about in the 80’s and 90’s. One… Read more »

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Just Give me 300 F35’s. That’s a Capability !

Robert Blay
Guest

And we pay for them how?

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

it was a Tongue In Cheek comment :). I make no apologies for wishing we had more of everything. Neither am I a Russian Troll.

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

I don’t see it as fantasy fleets; merely people expressing the numbers they feel the UK forces should have, and the implication is that proper funding is required. As for how to pay for it: some advocate reducing the overseas aid funding and using that money, others for increased taxation. If it were up to me I’d do a bit of both; refine the overseas aid and cut it out for countries like India who have the cash but don’t want to spend it on their poor. I’d also increase corporation tax to 25%, which is still lower than the… Read more »

Longtime
Guest
Longtime

Anybody else hoping the RAF brass consider using the Tonkas for the red arrows.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

No.

Robert Blay
Guest

That’s ridiculous.

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Last I read, There Is plenty of life in the T1’s yet.

P tattersall
Guest
P tattersall

Russian trolls are out in force again we’ve just got the 2nd best fighter on the planet just behind the F22 .. It’s now battle ready and ppl are moaning Russia don’t have a stealth fighter all Russia have realistically is artist impression .

captain P Wash.
Guest
captain P Wash.

Where are you seeing these Russian Trolls ?

Dennis Reeves
Guest
Dennis Reeves

…best plan is to avoid a war…..

Steve R
Guest
Steve R

Sometimes a war cannot be avoided however, and it is for that event that we must be prepared. It does us no good to cut our defence down to the bone and then, when war comes, get spanked by the enemy. A credible armed forces, in both technological capability and size, also acts as a deterrent to prevent future conflict. If we’d had a fleet or large carriers and multiple squadrons per ship in the 70s and 80s, Argentina probably wouldn’t have invaded the Falklands as they’d know we’d have the power to take them back and overwhelm their forces.… Read more »

trackback

[…] Gavin Williamson recently announced that RAF F-35 Lightning jets have been declared operational and are ready to be deployed around the world. Alongside the Typhoon, it will now form the backbone of the UK’s combat air fleet. […]