British F-35B jets will be equipped with Meteor missiles by the ‘middle of this decade’ say the Government.

Kevan Jones, Member of Parliament for North Durham, asked via a written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timeframe is for the rollout of Meteor on the UK’s F-35b.”

Jeremy Quin, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“Initial development work for Meteor integration has progressed well. Final contract award is currently under negotiation which, on current plans, would deliver the integration of Meteor on the F-35B Lightning in the middle of this decade.”

Last year we reported that a team of BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and MBDA engineers are enhancing the capability of the UK’s fleet of F-35 Lightning aircraft by commencing work on the integration of next generation weapons.

BAE Systems has received an initial funding award from Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor on the F-35 programme, to start integration efforts for MBDA’s Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missile and SPEAR precision surface attack missile. Under this initial package of work BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin will also complete further integration work with MBDA on ASRAAM and with Raytheon on Paveway IV, initially integrated in support of delivering Initial Operating Capability for the UK.

Cliff Waldwyn, Head of Combat Air, Group Business Development of MBDA, said:

“This is a significant milestone for the UK Combat Air’s capability. This initial package of work officially commences the integration of Meteor and SPEAR and will enhance the operational capability of the UK’s Lightning Force in the future; it is also a positive step for the wider F-35 enterprise as it adds additional capability choice for international customers. MBDA’s integration team have worked well with our BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin colleagues and we plan to build on this excellent foundation into the future on this follow-on modernisation work.”

Meteor is a ‘Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile’ system developed by MBDA.

The Meteor programme sees the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Sweden working together to provide access to technology and expertise across those nations.

You can read more about the missile here.

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Andy
Andy
17 days ago

Open systems, modern software architecture, agile processes and management, common application interfaces and …. it still take 5+ years to integrate a missile.

Are they deliberately trying to delay meteor as long as possible? This timeline will slash any export success we might have had with this incredible weapon.

I’m sure by the time we have this integrated the US will have an alternative to sell to F35 users.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy

Well that’s the usual tactic, it’s bern prototyped on Brimstone after all.

Simon m
Simon m
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy

Yeah does my head in bought all this mil std database crap for easy integration I can understand a year for aero & software – but what are they doing for 5 years?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Simon m

It’s not as simple as plugging on a new weapon. That new weapon has to be integrated with the radar, the HMS ,the mid course guidance, the defensive aids, the weapons management systems. Integrating new weapons requires a large amount of testing. So when the pilot pulls the trigger, the weapon performs and works as it should, every single time.

Simon m
Simon m
16 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Yeah but 5 years you can produce and slowly two Type 26 frigates in that time period! The RAF swallow this crap as well!
No wonder we didn’t bother with Storm Shadow probably take 10+ yrs so this means if the future cruise missile is available by 2030 the earliest we will see it on F35 is 2035+ if its delayed goodness knows when it will get on the aircraft. Hopefully tempest will solve this absolute farce.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
16 days ago
Reply to  Simon m

I think the RAF knows what it’s doing don’t you. Tempest is far from guaranteed, especially in the current financial climate. The Americans could barely afford the F22, so how will we afford a new 6th gen fighter, that will only be built in small numbers. I think a group of unmanned systems is the more realistic outcome. We’ll see. We didn’t bother with Storm Shadow, because it’s 20 years old, and Typhoon has that capability. And it could only be carried externally, so reduces the stealth capability. Spear 3 will have a 130km range, can be carried internally (8)… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
16 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Hi Robert. There seems to be a general assumption that if a manned platform does result from the Tempest program then it will be exotic and expensive. However this runs very counter to the affordability goal that was expressed as a critical requirement by both the RAF and BAES at the Farnborough 2018 launch. You might find the interviews by Vago Muradian of BAES management and ACM Hillier at the time of launch of interest. I’ve linked the first, the other should show up in list of next video options (affordability starts about 6 mins in on the latter, followed… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
16 days ago

Hi mate, thanks, I’ll take a look. I really do want Tempest to succeed, in whatever form it eventually takes. But after the experience of pretty much every fighter project from the last 40 years, it’s easy to be doubtful. Cost will be critical to it’s success, even to survive the politics and the post COVID world that will threaten large defence projects, especially when the paying public want to see more NHS funding etc. Fingers crossed it works out, and maybe the forthcoming SDSR will give some more direction. 👍

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Simon m

A new tail fin had to be designed for it as the current version would not fit inside the F35B as I recall.

Cam
Cam
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy

I bet they could get it integrated on the f3b over the weekend if they really wanted too 😆, but seriously 5 years is a dam joke, maybe a year or so to do but 5 years!! What the he’ll will we do in the meantime guys, use inferior missiles?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Cam

They use AIM120D AMRAAM and ASRAAM, which is still superior to anything the bad guy’s posses

Cam
Cam
16 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Ah right Robert. Cheers

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy

Main bottle neck has been flight testing on the limited number of test planes operated by Lockheed, americans got their requests in first so we have been at the back of the queue for flight test campaigns.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
17 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Edit: Also not enough experienced programmers who know the codebase employed by Lockheed to code the OS updates.

4thwatch
4thwatch
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy

Shamefully slow. Its more of the same cr.p. If it was asbestos in Whitehall it would be done in months. Defence is apparently not important.
We have learned nothing since we lost 5500 men through sending them into battle in unsafe battle cruisers 80-100 years ago! Lest we forget- HMS Queen Mary, Indefatigable, Invincible, Hood and Barham.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago

Block 4 software now delayed till 2026, so the missile will be ready but what about the software? IOC when?

The good news is, each F-35B will be able to carry two Meteor missiles and two air/ground weapons in the internal weapons bay for missions requiring stealth.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“The clear implication here is that while Block 4 has been a factor in the U.K. government’s budgeting around the F-35, that doesn’t mean that it plans to upgrade all 48 of the jets it expects to receive.

Quin also declined to offer a figure for the total project cost of the upgrades, though Jennings noted that it has been reported to be as high as 22 million pounds – nearly $27.4 million at the rate of exchange at the time of writing – per aircraft in the past.”

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/34330/british-government-says-it-might-pass-on-27m-upgrade-for-some-of-its-f-35s

Steve
Steve
17 days ago

It seems yet again the MOD negotiators have signed a terrible contract. Considering we put a lot of money in for R&D of these jets, you would think that early integration of UK weapons would have been a required condition.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Block 4 and the capability upgrades that it will bring, will come to F35 a dam sight quicker than project centurion came to Typhoon. F35 development will be a constant stream of upgrades, but big block upgrades take time, and are expensive. Capability like this comes with a hefty price tag. And block 4 is so much more than just weapon integration.

Jason Holmes
Jason Holmes
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Cheaper short term, more expensive long term, Mantra of the MoD

Steve
Steve
17 days ago
Reply to  Jason Holmes

I don’t get why block 1 included zero uk weapons. We now have a number of jets that the MOD has confirmed will not be upgraded and therefore are like block1 typhoons, of limited use.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve

They are far from limited use. very far.

Steve
Steve
17 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

which are you talking about, the typhoons that the RAF tried to get rid of or the f35 that can’t carry most of our ground attack or air attack weapons?

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The F35 Steve. New aircraft entering service takes time, and systems need to mature. No new combat aircraft enters service, and on day one has all the bells and whistles, and all the new weapons available. Our F35B’ have Enhanced Paveway 4, which is a very deadly, accurate and flexible weapon, and has been the weapon of choice over Iraq/Syria for a long time. Along with AMRAAM & ASRAAM. Meteor and the Spear family of weapons are next, and more will follow. Typhoon had to wait 15 years to get Storm Shadow and Brimstone. And project Centurion cost $540M. It… Read more »

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Its more that the MOD confirmed it won’t upgrade the ones that have already been brought due to cost, which means we will have a significant part of our fleet that can’t carry the full weapon load.

Bill
Bill
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Really Steve? You probably think we are going to buy 138 of these as well. A tier partner for initial investment, but less jets than Norway at present. Another 4 years plus for the meteor?
Par for the course!

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  Bill

I doubt anyone including the US really believed we would buy 138. I suspect everyone just halved the number and based everything on that being the number.

Paul T
Paul T
17 days ago

Also there should ( hopefully ) be the JNAAM Meteor Hybrid Missile in the same timeframe,i wonder if it will need a fresh Integration process ?.

John Clark
John Clark
17 days ago
Reply to  Paul T

Indeed Paul and the new trade agreement with Japan could unlock all sorts of joint future defence projects.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley
17 days ago

I still think UK F-35B will need some sort of heavy stand off weapon. Perhaps Spice 1000 if it fits in the bay?
What happened to the uprated engine proposals? They were timed to coincide with block 4 software, had the go ahead been given.
Then there is the need for extra range. V-22 AAR is one option. Israeli stealth drop tanks is another, or perhaps conformal saddle tanks.
A few gun pods for CAP would be wise.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  JohnHartley

This was interesting considering we are talking 2027 before Meteor will be available to fit inside the F35B, something I’ve mentioned before over many years on UKDJ as some of you may recall. Hence the reason for 6th Gen no doubt and longer-range standoff missiles. “While the U.S. military designed the F-35 to rely heavily on its stealth capabilities for survivability, Israel’s military has indicated that it places little faith in these systems in the face of ever-advancing anti-aircraft technologies fielded against it. Israel, as a result, insisted that its Air Force be allowed to modify its F-35A fighters with… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Six years from now they might be able to track and lock on to low observable objects?

“KUBINKA, Russia — Russian-made radar Rezonans-NE, which Iran purchased to identify and track stealth aircraft and hypersonic targets, successfully spotted and tracked US F-35 fighters near the country’s borders during an aggravation of tensions at the beginning of 2020 following the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the deputy CEO of the research center Rezonans Alexander Stuchilin told TASS on Monday.”

https://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/212984/iran-tracked-f_35s-with-russian_made-radar%3A-tass.html

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

No point making Tempest stealthy then, and save ourselves a few quid 😉

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Its all range dependent. You can lock up a regular aircraft at say 100miles…a stealth one at only 30miles then the stealth one has the advantage. It can fly around known threats as it knows what the detection thresholds are and avoid radar hot areas. Stealthy is not invisible. A number of UK Search and Tracker Radars on RN vessels have successfully tracked and locked up Stealth aircraft. The pilots really don’t like it and scream blue murder on the radio but the lock ups where at ranges less than you would expect for normal aircraft. That’s what sometimes happens… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Absolutely Gunbuster, the F35 really excels as it possesses advanced passive EW equipment, enabling it to pick it’s route around radar systems of all types and stay outside of the 30 mile bubble

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Apart from the obvious advantage of a longer range and hight advantage than what we have currently have with either the F35B or Typhoon, the next-generation fighter bomber (Tempest) will include technologies like this to warn of radar threats at greater range and hopefully the weapons to defeat them at a greater distance. “In a laboratory demonstration for the UK Ministry of Defence and other Team Tempest partners, the new sensor demonstrated a direction-finding performance of four times what is possible with a typical radar warning receiver while being just 1/10th the size of a standard system. Leonardo UK is… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

A decent-sized internal weapons bay will also be an advantage.

“Chris Allam, Managing Director of MBDA UK, said: “We are utilising our unique role in this collaboration to ensure that a future fighter is able to fully utilise existing weapons and planned weapons, whilst supporting a full range of system-design studies assessing the space between the future fighter platform and the weapons of the future.”

https://www.defenseworld.net/news/25435/MBDA_Reveals_Innovative_Weapons_for_Tempest_Stealth_Fighter_at_DSEI_2019#.X1yTrWhKjQA

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I read somewhere that the Tempest is quite a large aircraft which would also help considerably with weapons carriage.

Makes sense to have the main European guide weapons designer and manufacture on board.

I am impressed with the way this programme is progressing at the moment. I can see that even if Tempest falls foul of government cuts some of the technology already being developed could possible be brough forward on F35 or Typhoon. I hope that given international agreements that cutting this programme is most unlikely, although given recent annoucements by the UK government one as to wonder..!

Daveyb
Daveyb
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Yes, Tempest will be bigger than Typhoon, best guess based on the mock-up is between F22 and YF23 size. The RAF always wanted a larger aircraft than Typhoon. Typhoon’s size was a compromise, as Germany wanted a smaller aircraft that was more in keeping with their perceived threats, i.e. QRA interceptor and local ground attack. The UK wanted something that could patrol the GIUK gap with less aerial refuelling. Further, to maintain a low RCS, an internal weapons bays will be a must. Therefore, the aircraft will need to be larger to accommodate them plus the required fuel storage. I’m… Read more »

Simon m
Simon m
16 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I think it needs to be most countries will have invested in F35.
If it can aim at around the F15E/C+ market hopefully it will beat the yanks there and we can actually get some export sales as well. Plus with Russia/China the threats deep strike is really a must.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
16 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The J20 is heading in the right direction, something we should consider when entering the South China Sea!

The F35 was designed to fill a capability gap in order to keep the UK and like-minded friendly Countries ahead of the pack.

Being late to the game only allows your potential enemies to play catch up and the F35 is already 12 years late to the game and counting, hence the reason for upgrading 4th gen aircraft and the rush to develop an air superiority fighter/Bomber to defeat current and future threats.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24841/chinas-j-20-stealth-fighter-stuns-by-brandishing-full-load-of-missiles-at-zhuhai-air-show

Daveyb
Daveyb
16 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

All F35s are flying with Luneberg lenses fitted, even on operations over Iraq/Syria. The lenses are high gain reflectors used to mask the actual aircraft’s RCS. So what if other countries are detecting F35s? I’d be worried if they didn’t, when the aircraft are fitted with the lenses. The lenses can be tuned to give a greater reflection in certain directions to further throw off the aircraft’s true RCS. The lenses will come off in a true war scenario.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
16 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Read that some time back, very interesting. Also interesting to note the use of AESA radars on Chinese missiles and data links. “First off, if a Raptor is carrying external fuel tanks—as it often does during “ferry missions”—it is not in a stealth configuration. Moreover, the aircraft is often fitted with a Luneburg lens device on its ventral side during peacetime operations that enhances its cross-section on radar. That being said, even combat-configured F-22s are not invisible to enemy radar, contrary to popular belief. Neither is any other tactical fighter-sized stealth aircraft with empennage surfaces such as tailfins—the F-35, PAK-FA,… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“ Indeed, some industry experts suggested that a combination of high-speed data-links and low-frequency phased-array radars could generate a weapons quality track.” Careful every time I say that you can create a large synthetic LF array on this forum I get shot down!! It is the sort of thing that once would have been very very hard now is just moderately difficult. Let’s put it this way when it was tested in the 80’s it was done using LoS laser interferometry. It didn’t really work well because that doesn’t give you all three axes only two. Let’s put it another… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago

Passive coherent and incoherent radar along with active radar will always have a part to play in searching for and detecting air/sea and land based targets. Its a question of physics and the attributes on how these systems operate. The bistatic radar (Chain Home) has been around since the beginning of radar and is the forefather of passive coherent radar. It used a common transmitter with a number of receivers placed in nearby locations. Passive coherent radar is an evolution of this. Instead of just using one transmitter it uses a number and also many more receivers. This means there’s… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Perhaps we need a few more of these!

“Battle of Britain radar tower in Essex given protected status”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-54117382

Daveyb
Daveyb
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

In 1944, the ministry were going to scrap Chain Home as it had be supplanted by newer radar. However, they found it was the only radar that could detect the V2. Ok, it could only give a warning, but it was better than nothing. During 1938/39 Germany actually detected Chain Home as it was interfering with some of their radio broadcasts. Luckily they didn’t figure out what it was until much later in the war. During the war the system went from 40 miles to just under 100 miles range. It could actually see a lot further (about 500 miles),… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Very interesting and another first for the UK!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

No doubt the west will be doing the same thing!

“China Says It’s Building a “Ghost Imaging” Satellite to Detect Stealth Jets”

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/16488/china-says-its-building-a-ghost-imaging-satellite-to-detect-stealth-jets

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The one thing that is obviously wrong in that article is the “low frequency” truck mounted array. Honesty it isn’t big enough to do what they say it does. That I am afraid is the ‘just physics’ colliding with a good story. The quantum entanglement thing I would bracket in with and slightly less plausible, than the full GWizz hypersonics that’s the Russian ‘have’. This is proper weapons to the press release stuff. Great ideas but pretty detached from where physics research has got to. If you want a sense of how realistic this is talk to the guys at… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Totally agree with that.

It was CEC that I was referring to. Thanks for making that clearer.

The one thing I don’t totally agree with in your post is that I don’t really think processing power is that big an issue now with the ubiquity of high power graphics cards – it is not like the old days when we were using array processors for the FFT’s! Getting a rack of slim line Xeon servers on the case wouldn’t even cost that much.

Daveyb
Daveyb
14 days ago

I agree it’s not just the cost, it’s the space. If we are talking about giving an aircraft a network radar ability. It can be done, but only by using a large aircraft such as a E7 Wedgetail, for example. Something like a Typhoon would not have the spare space for an additional set of mini servers. It can just about squeeze in the processing for the Captor as it is. I believe it will be ground based radar followed by ships, that will develop the network radar capability first due to the available space. For today’s radar, it’s processing… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

I was more talking about using F35 or Wedgetail as the sensor and then processing aboard the wedgetail. Or alternatively using the radars on ships and radar heads. I take your point on the Capacity of the data links but if the data was preprocessed and cleaned at source and then only the limited valuable data was transmitted to form the picture. Ideally you would send all the raw data the the central area and process it there as there are a few things that can be done with the full data set that you cannot do with a reduced… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
16 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Even if that were half way true, which it isn’t, why are the Russians and Chinese spending so much time and money trying to build stealthy aircraft?

You know every time you knock the F-35, you’re also knocking Tempest because they are both being built and designed with the same aim: low observability.

So to say F-35 is baaad and Tempest is good is just plain dumb.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Who is knocking what?

F35B is a massive +++ for RN.

I’m on the whole very positive about it.

Perfect it isn’t: nothing is.

Technology moves…..

Ron5
Ron5
15 days ago

Talking to that idiot Nigel.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

The one that proves you wrong every time you choose to comment Ron5 with facts rather than fiction.

At least do some research on a subject before posting, It will in part go some way to stop you looking a fool which you are renowned for on here by the way!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
16 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Incorrect, what any intelligent person developing the successor to a 5th gen aircraft will be looking at is the potential shortfalls in their design characteristics and improving on it. Look at the differences between the Nighthawk, B2 and the new B21 Raider as prime examples of this. Magma. Note the part which says, “more observable on radar” “MAGMA, designed and developed by researchers at The University of Manchester in collaboration with engineers from BAE Systems, successfully trialled the two ‘flap-free’ technologies earlier this month at the Llanbedr Airfield. The technologies have been designed to improve the control and performance of… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
16 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I’ll guarantee the F35’s flown anywhere near Iranian (or anywhere else) radar range will have the radar signature boosters (?something? lens) fitted.

They are always fitted, unless they are on combat missions.

RoboJ1M
RoboJ1M
17 days ago

Elon Musk started SpaceX because he believed that the government standard of increased complexity breeds quality and safety was wrong and that simplicity would increase quality and safety while reducing costs.

He was correct and I bet the same is true for stuff like this. Simplicity will maintain quality, reliability and reduce cost.

I bet I could do it, I know I could write a proper standard for this stuff to talk to each other.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
17 days ago
Reply to  RoboJ1M

I agree with that generally, although somethings are inevitably more complicated because the problem you are dealing with throws up some every complicated issues. There was a trend to integrate everything to squeeze out every last little bit of capability on the Typhoon. From what I have heard there is a general desire to do it more simply going forward as a result of lessons learnt on Typhoon. Problem is those lessons have to be remembered at an institutional level and the MoD / military customers have a very short memory because individuals only stay in post for 2 or… Read more »

Daveyb
Daveyb
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

No mate, you are quite correct. This is perhaps one of the biggest issues within DE&S. The military, I’ll say officers and not noncoms, have a career progression path, which means they they used to move around every 18 to 24 months, which must include a number of staff tours, befoie they can go back to front line units. This was ok-ish during the Cold War when we had the numbers, but today it just causes multiple issues due to the lack of continuity and the next person in post looking to make their mark. Today, the tour length is… Read more »

Julian
Julian
16 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

“Problem is those lessons have to be remembered at an institutional level and the MoD / military customers have a very short memory because individuals only stay in post for 2 or 3 years generally” Is this also a problem at the supplier side, e.g. MBDA? I’m a computer software guy but I remember early on in my career, in the 1980s, new university graduates were fodder for the big software consultancy companies to put onto defence projects. I worked a few defence projects during the early/mid 1980s and I certainly changed company about every 2 years mostly in search… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
15 days ago
Reply to  Julian

Hi Julian, I like the story about the Argentinian Navy phone call 🙂 – guess given the investment in Cyber Warfare we’d take the opportunity to pull a nasty on an enemy. I worked with MBDA about 10 years ago and there was a hard core of long term emplyees in key decision making positions. I know that there is a cardre of contractors who move from contract to contract worked with many of them in the past and very good they are too. You are to right to suggest that there is a risk the to constant churn of… Read more »

HF
HF
17 days ago

Until then the pilot will have a ready supply of small rocks to throw…….

peter french
peter french
17 days ago

Does it really take 6 Nations to develop a Missile like Meteor
.unbelievable

AlexS
AlexS
16 days ago
Reply to  peter french

Yes. But main reason is to assure commercial success.

Ron5
Ron5
16 days ago

Meanwhile the UK F-35B’s have two excellent air to air missiles to use. The impression the article leaves is that the aircraft will be defenseless. Far from it.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

At least some possible good news for the A & C come 2026/7 “One of the F-35’s shortcomings is the relatively low number of air-to-air missiles it can carry internally. The F-35 can carry just four AIM-120 AMRAAM medium-range radar-guided missiles, two per bay. That’s a step backwards from older combat aircraft that could carry up to eight air-to-air missiles on a combat mission. (The F-35 can carry weapons externally—the recent airstrike by U.S. Air Force F-35s in northeastern Iraq saw the planes involved carrying AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles on their wingtips, but in this particular instance F-35s didn’t have to… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

As for the latest confirmed orders of 4.5 Gen F15EX, I wonder if these will help in filling the current capability gap until the next generation of 6th gen aircraft arrives?

I wonder why they have chosen these over the F35?

“Boeing is quietly proposing a new version of the world-famous F-15 Eagle that combines an updated airframe with an unprecedented number of anti-air missiles. The F-15X would carry more than two dozen air-to-air missiles, more three times more than most fighter jets. According to DefenseOne, the Air Force is considering the proposal.”

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a22355833/boeing-new-f-15x/

Daveyb
Daveyb
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

There were two main factors of the F15X decision, cost and politics. The USAF had done an investigation on the costs to start up the F22 line again. They were astronomical, although they never stated why? Boeing have lost a significant number of the latest fighter programs and were suffering financially due to the KC46 program and you could add the 737 issue. Boeing were in need of help! The USAF were also getting close to being desperate as the F15C/Ds were ageing fast and needed replacing. The future air dominance fighter that will replace the F22 is at least… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
14 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

“However, against other 3/4 gen fighters the F15 is still the top dog in mission flexibility and capability”

Typhoon on line 1.

DaveyB
DaveyB
14 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Scch, don’t tell the cousins across the pond…

CJH
CJH
16 days ago

Five years development. Don’t suppose any of the “developers” have read a history book lately? The Second World War lasted five years. In that time military development moved from biplanes to jets, Mark One Eyeball to Radar and Bombs from TNT to Nuclear. Just saying because if any rogue state decided to attack us at any time it’ll be no good asking for them to wait while the “development” is conducted.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  CJH

If that happened the gravy train would be curtailed in short order.

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  CJH

Everyone knows that mainland UK has zero chance of being attacked in the medium term and that is why defense procurement can take ages, the threat is just not there thankfully. Even if Russia decided to get aggressive, it would not attack the UK directly, it would focus on eastern Europe. Which yes we need to support our allies, but having no direct threat means it is of zero interest to the general public and we live in an era where there are many many things that a in visuable need for cash from the NHS to poverty in our… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I agree: the Russian navy/air force does not have the mass Or the edge to attack NATO head on…….

That being said a strong defensive posture is pretty important and it halts the maybe-could-get-away-with-that calculus of blaming rogue elements…….and that is the strange place that the world is in right now with little green men and asymmetric being the buzzwords.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago

While good news, what I would love to read is an announcement of purchase of a top notch ASM for F35.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago

The Joint Strike Missile (JSM), and Lockheed’s Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) are currently the best options available, but only for external carriage on the F35-B and will most probably require Block 4 software?

Both of which can be fitted to the Poseidon P8 and Typhoon I believe.

https://www.airrecognition.com/index.php/archive-world-worldwide-news-air-force-aviation-aerospace-air-military-defence-industry/defense-security-exhibitions-news/air-show-2017/lima-2017-bis/lima-2017-news-coverage-report-bis/3367-kongsberg-s-jsm-missile-to-be-added-to-eurofighter-typhoon-weapons-package.html

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thanks Nigel. External is a nuisance.

Yes I’d like all assets to get them. I was asking nicely and not being greedy!
To HMT. “Please Sir…can I have some more!”

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
14 days ago

lol!

Ron5
Ron5
14 days ago

@Daniele

Spear 3

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Ah, yes of course. Thanks R5, I did not realise they are proposing ASM capability. Assumed it was a Brimstone follow on.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
12 days ago

The F-35-B is currently only armed with Paveway precision-guided bombs ASRAAM (wing mounted only) and AMRAAM air-to-air missiles.

It was also interesting to note the B variant carries 1000lb of stores less than either the A or the C.

After Block 4 (2026/7) you will have Meteor, SPEAR Cap 3 (medium-range, air-to-surface missile), Paveway 4 Mk3, Paveway 4 tactical penetrator and Block 6 ASRAAM” for use on the F-35=B.

http://ukarmedforcescommentary.blogspot.com/2012/03/f35b-f35c-rethinks-weaponry-costs-and.html