Three more F-35B aircraft have been delivered to the UK, bringing the fleet to 24 aircraft.

The aircraft flown from Texas to RAF Marham by 207 Squadron and assisted in crossing the Atlantic by a Voyager tanker.

Six more jets will arrive in 2022 and seven more will arrive in 2023 with an expectation that all of the 48 in the first batch will be delivered by the end of 2025.

UK looking at ’60 and then maybe up to 80′ F-35B jets

Since the delivery of the first jet in 2012, the United Kingdom F-35 programme has expanded tremendously.

Recently, the UK fleet reached a new milestone, when it crossed the threshold of 10,000 flight hours. This milestone has been nearly 10 years in the making.

In 2012, the first F-35B was delivered to the UK. Currently 24 of the planned first batch of 48 aircraft designated for the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy are operating as three squadrons in two locations: the 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron and 207 Operational Conversion Unit Squadron at Royal Air Force Marham and the 17R Test and Evaluation Squadron at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Here’s a look back at some of the programme’s most significant milestones over the years.

 

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago

Excellent stuff.

Just don’t tell our Nigel! 😉😆

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
12 days ago

😂 The RAF’s version of Ajax 😂
How many of the current 24 did not meet durability testing with a life cycle of only 2000 hrs?

Not forgetting Meteor and Spear Cap 3 in 2028 of course.

Time for dinner I’ve been told, more to come later!

Last edited 12 days ago by Nigel Collins
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

😆 now now mate, comparing to Ajax is a very low blow, even from your good self.

Enjoy din dins.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
12 days ago

Very true, but so is this! Do you happen to know our Lot breakdown? “Static Structural and Durability Testing • The program secured funding and contracted to procure another F-35B ground test article, which will have a redesigned wing-carry-through structure that is production representative of Lot 9 and later F-35B aircraft. Testing of this production-representative ground test article will allow the program to certify the life of F-35B design improvements. The production and delivery dates are still to be determined.” Can you begin to imagine trying to sort out this mess? I have and when you start to add different… Read more »

expat
expat
12 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

But there’s probably not a fighter program in history that’s not had issues. Our own Typhoon T1s were limit to air to air and we’re retiring them early. Typhoon development has been glacial and there’s been quality issue along the way. Not saying the Typhoons bad but just as a case in point that most fast jet programs have problems so the F35 is not unique it was just a bigger more ambitious program.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2015/10/13/germany-suspends-eurofighter-deliveries-due-to-quality-problems/

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  expat

Things have moved on since 1995 and for the better.

Note the reference to carrier operations, I wonder what’s in the pipeline?

https://www.key.aero/article/team-tempest-takes-new-approach

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  expat

There’s more to come it would appear?

“The Eurofighter Typhoon will receive many of the innovations first, as Team Tempest sees the aircraft’s technologies, sensor and human-machine interface synergies as one that could serve the programme best.”

https://defence.nridigital.com/global_defence_technology_sep21/team_tempest_fcas

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

2015
“The German Air Force has temporarily suspended delivery”

2020 has now ordered 38 Tranche 4

Expat
Expat
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the Typhoon, I’mquite please with recentprogress. Just that fast jet programs are complex. The F35 gets a lot of bad press but for what the UK want its will perform far better than the Harrier its replaced. Again the Harrier wasn’t bad its just a generation behind. Going back to the F35 its winning every procurement competition against 4+ gen fighters. So when airforces are looking at it they’re clearly seeing something they like and they have far more data than us or the press.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I see what you’re saying. From my perspective, It’s the only game in town unless we opt for Russian or Chinese 5th gen aircraft which have now caught up with the west. The F35 was supposed to keep us ahead of them until the arrival of 6th gen aircraft but has failed to deliver what was promised at the time and will not be able to do so until 2030 when the 6th gen prototypes will be flying. Next year will be the moment when the USA decides which way it will spend the lions share of its defence budget… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

None of your own words then 😆 Are you trying to pinch UKDJ’s job. I do agree with you on Tempest though.

Rob N
Rob N
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The Russians and Chinese my be Close to parity with the West in 5th Gen but not the numbers. Both countries have majority 3/4 gen planes and only a number of 5th gen.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Not by 2024/5 when the US admits they will have more 5th gen than them. I posted the link to this story in another thread.

From a senior Airforce General, I believe who is based in the Indo- Pacific region.

Some more news on that front.

Report: New Stealth Aircraft and Capabilities in China’s Air Arms Eroding U.S. Advantages Nov. 4, 2021

https://www.airforcemag.com/report-new-stealth-aircraft-and-capabilities-in-chinas-air-arms-eroding-u-s-advantages/

Last edited 11 days ago by Nigel Collins
Meirion x
Meirion x
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“Can you begin to imagine trying to sort out this mess? I have and when you start to add different requirements for different customers, the problem simply becomes even more unmanageable.”

The same issues will apply to the Tempest program in a few years down the line. Most likely with Sweden wanting different requirements out of the aircraft and other customers too.

Last edited 11 days ago by Meirion x
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Not the case, fortunately. Note the part in relation to carrier ops. “If I look back to the days when I was an aerodynamicist on Typhoon, we looked at a range of different configurations, the P110, P113, P120, etc. We had to go through a whole series of wind tunnel tests and gradually mature the product. I could never have depended on computational fluid dynamics in those days to do that. “I can do that synthetically now an awful lot more quickly than I was able to do it back in the 1980s. We can rattle through these configurations at a… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago

I wonder what’s happening behind closed doors? Enjoy your breakfast Daniele!   14th April 2021 FEATURE   “In this exclusive look behind the scenes of Britain’s new Future Combat Air System, Jon Lake gets under the skin of an aircraft due to enter service in just 14 years’ time, and yet its configuration is still undecided.   Tempest will be a ‘system of systems’ with a manned (or optionally manned) fighter aircraft at its heart – the final design, however, may differ substantially from the configuration featured in BAE Systems’ marketing effort   The Tempest name refers to a planned new… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
12 days ago

He’s here!

Would you like some popcorn, mate?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Oh go on then….!

I’m on nights here in box so got all evening to enjoy the show.

Lusty
Lusty
12 days ago

Hah! Don’t get up to no good in that box.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Oh, just a little breathing, surely!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Enjoy the read, Hopefully, Daniele will see the thread.
Interesting times ahead it would appear 😉

https://www.key.aero/article/team-tempest-takes-new-approach

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Morning mate.

Thanks.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago

You’re welcome!

And with the USA contemplating the same landing gear (Carrier) to save on maintenance costs across platforms plus the our recent announcement for EMAL/CATOBAR within the next 3-5 year time frame, you start to wonder?

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2020/09/15/the-us-air-force-has-built-and-flown-a-mysterious-full-scale-prototype-of-its-future-fighter-jet/

Jonathan
Jonathan
12 days ago

Oohhh I hate working nights, it gets your hang overs out of sink.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
12 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Last night was a good one. I’m already awake.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
12 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

One for Ron5 to answer I guess. What a shocking comment to make. Even I wouldn’t use language like that!

Former US Marine Corps captain Dan Grazier believed the line of critics was growing longer, as the combat jet failed to deliver on promised capabilities.

“The F-35 program right now is certainly a program in trouble,” Mr Grazier said.
 
“The last acting Secretary of Defence under the Trump administration, in a kind of parting shot in his final week … he essentially called the F-35 a piece of shit.”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-08/f35-program-design-flaws-part-shortages-costs-opinions-divided/100431664

Jim Royale New Master.jpg
Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
12 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Good article. About 80% of it is extremely positive about the aircraft and it’s capability. Hence why Australia is buying it. 👍🇬🇧🇦🇺

Jon
Jon
12 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Chris Miller (the acting Def Sec) recounted a story. He had challenged a former F-16 pilot who had moved to F-35s, to tell him about the F-35, saying, “It’s a piece of ….” The pilot had responded that it was an “unbelievable aircraft”.

What does the anti-Lightning press take from Miller’s story?

He essentially called the F-35 a piece of shit.

Talk about out of context. Thanks for checking your sources, Nigel.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I always do my best Jon.

I wonder what we have in store for our carriers and why the USA has built a sixth-gen fighter so quickly if the F-35 is such a glowing success?

It was designed to fill a gap between 4th and sixth Gen in order to keep the west ahead, now the USA is already flying a sixth Gen prototype.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II development started in 1995 and still cannot produce what it said on the box and not until 2030 at the current rate.

https://www.key.aero/article/team-tempest-takes-new-approach

Padre
Padre
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I would imagine the experimental 6th Gen fighter built by the US is going to be a successor to the F-22, an Air Superiority Fighter, when the design finally matures in the years to come.

The F-35 is essentially a Ground Attack aircraft with an aerial combat capability. The very variant the RAF/RN has does not even have a cannon fitted as standard, and as far as I’m aware, isn’t gong to be purchased.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Padre

Yes, it will be the replacement for the F22 with a longer range for the Indo-Pacific region and ground attack capabilities.

Jon
Jon
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Anything to do with the F-35 is hugely political. If you freeze out other huge US companies, be it Boeing for the the airframe or GE for the engine, there’s massive corporate money whose vested interest is to talk your solution down. In the US, there are regional and state political lobbies doing that too. It certainly isn’t a perfect plane or project, but what is? It’s the best available at the moment. It’s the best option for years to come. Will there be something technically better coming off the production line in ten years? Probably. But remember this: JSF… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Use the technological advantages we have today and learn from the F-35’s mistakes.

“The importance, Roper said, is that just a year after the service completed an analysis of alternatives, the Air Force has proven it can use cutting-edge advanced manufacturing techniques to build and test a virtual version of its next fighter — and then move to constructing a full-scale prototype and flying it with mission systems onboard.”

Sounds similar to the Team Tempests approach.

https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2020/09/15/the-us-air-force-has-built-and-flown-a-mysterious-full-scale-prototype-of-its-future-fighter-jet/

Last edited 11 days ago by Nigel Collins
Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Technology has certainly come on a very long way. But we are kidding ourselves if we think that developing a 6th gen platform or systems that is significantly more capable than a F35 or F22 is suddenly going to be quick and affordable. I want Tempest to succeed as much as the next guy. And they really do need a new way of thinking to make these projects a success. But it’s 15-20 years away. And navigating the politics will be just as important as perfecting the technology to turn these projects into reality. As well convincing the voting public… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I certainly have my reservations on the F35 however the US is building a 6th Gen fighter so quickly for the following reasons. 1) the US needs a replacement Air Superiority fighter to replace the near disastrous state of the F22 ie capable when it flies but hardly ever does, is getting long in the tooth, needs. Outlying updating, costly to maintain and running low on numbers. It’s not a strike fighter like the F-35. 2) that didn’t matter too much while enemies didn’t have 5th gen air superiority fighters (or 5th gen aircraft generally). Now they do and increasingly… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

This sounds exactly like what we hope to achieve with the Tempest programme. I wonder if we are sharing ideas and technology? I found the comment on landing gear interesting. As mentioned in the article I posted on Tempest, there appears to be a design for a carrier-based variant of Tempest on the drawing board which suggests the USA are contemplating doing the same thing. The commonality of parts between platforms seems to be the way forward and the USMC have asked for their own version of a sixth-gen aircraft in the past. Building in landing gear which clearly has… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

As for future software development. Lessons learned from F-35 programme?

UK reveals Pyramid programme to rapidly reconfigure software across multiple aircraft types
https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uk-reveals-pyramid-programme-to-rapidly-reconfigure-software-across-multiple-aircraft-types

Last edited 11 days ago by Nigel Collins
Ron5
Ron5
11 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

… the US needs a replacement Air Superiority fighter to replace the near disastrous state of the F22 ie capable when it flies but hardly ever does

What drivel, the F-22 flies every day of the week.

Paul42
Paul42
12 days ago

So it won’t really be until end of 2023/ 2024 that we’ll actually have enough airframes to put 24 on a carrier and even then we’ll still be waiting to integrate key weapons…..

Klonkie
Klonkie
12 days ago

Happy days! All l want for xmas is a MOD order for the next batch of F35 and three of four more P8.s

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
12 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

And some extra CAMM and AShMs…nicely wrapped in some shiny new canisters… please. Lol 😁 🤩

Klonkie
Klonkie
12 days ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

QD, you need to ping Santa now to avoid delays and disappointment!

Padre
Padre
11 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

3 or 4 more P-8’s?
I think the RAF is going to be more desperate to get an adequate number of E-7’s instead.

Klonkie
Klonkie
12 days ago

oh I forgot my stocking filler – another 16 Protector UAV please -all in the one stocking with spares and crews in the other one
Thx Santa BJ (yes I have been well behaved).

I’ll leave the xmas RN and Army wish list to others on this site. Place your wish list asap given current global supply chain disruptions.
Happy Friday and Guy Fawkes to all!

Lusty
Lusty
12 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Don’t ever Google ‘Santa BJ’!!!!

klonkie
klonkie
11 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

oops!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Father Christmas has run out of spare parts so you will have to make do with this for now 😂

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/uk-receives-new-reaper-uav-to-support-transition-to-protector

Rob
Rob
12 days ago

Given that a Sqn = 12 aircraft we should be looking to get:

48 F35Bs (2 x RN & 2 x RAF Sqns)
24 F35As (2 x RAF Sqns) – replaces Tornado in the deep strike role
4 F35s for Test & Evaluation Sqn
12 F35s for OCU Sqn
18 F35Bs for through life replacement
6 F35As for through life replacement.

114 aircraft in total not the 138 originally ordered but 6 front line Sqns. Can it be done?

John Clark
John Clark
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I think the RAF have a hankering for Generation 6 Rob.

Once deliveries of Tempest are underway they will probably happily turn the F35B over the Navy.

I would work out an acceptable F35B order as follows.

4x 12 aircraft operational squadrons.
1x 8 aircraft OCU
1 x 4 OTU
10 x in use reserves
30 x maintenance/sustained fleet reserves

= 100 total….
.

Rob
Rob
12 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Good points. To be honest I’d be happy with that IF

Tempest actually happens in an acceptable time frame.
They keep the Typhoon F1s in service to free up more FGR4s for strike rather than AD as a stop gap.

I reckon we won’t get 138, 114 or even 100 F35s, more like 60 to 80.

John Clark
John Clark
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I’m sure you are right Rob, we need 4 squadrons of B’s to properly support Carrier Strike and make it sustainable.

Nathan
Nathan
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob

The actual costs of the F35, although falling, don’t come in anywhere near projected unit prices. I think the MOD will be well within their rights to scale back the order so long as they maintain the same level of expenditure. I don’t like the idea of spending more on this platform than we need to. Don’t get me wrong, I think the F35 is great, and its benefited us industrially, but we need it in numbers, finished and now. By the time everything is sorted out and a solid quantity are available to us we will be well into… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes
12 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

I tend to agree with you. The F-35 has the temporary advantage of stealth but otherwise is not really any kind of fearsome combat aircraft in terms of performance. The A would be the right aircraft for now for the RAF’s interdiction/strike role, filling the big capability gap left by the premature retirement of the Tornado wing. Interdiction and air defence are the key strategic air roles, far more critical in any conflict than manning one Harrier carrier and getting As into the RAF should really be the top priority. I would not buy many more Bs. Looking at its… Read more »

Jon
Jon
12 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

Unit price be damned. The F-35 is free! Okay not free to use, but the first 150 or so are free to buy. It has been consistently claimed and never denied that 12 to 15% by value of the plane is made in Britain. Like you say, good for industry. The US says it wants to buy almost 2,500. Even ignoring all the Intenational orders, 12% of 2,500 is 300. We get 300 F-35s worth of money coming in. Roughly 50% of that trickles back to the Treasury through various taxes: Corporation, Income, NI, VAT etc. The Treasury will get… Read more »

joseph carson
joseph carson
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

A YANK here,One of the most on point articles ever written.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

 It has been consistently claimed and never denied that 12 to 15% by value of the plane is made in Britain.”

That figure has been torn apart many times…

The MoD word it carefully….its ‘up to 15% made by British owned companies…’. RR make the lift fan for the B in….Indianapolis, Survitec make survival gear….in the US, Martin Baker make the seats…in the US…and on and on and on.

The maximum made in the UK content is around 5-7%.

Jon
Jon
11 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

That’s a pity. We only get the first 80 planes free. Hey ho. 48 down, 32 more to order.

Pete
Pete
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Not free…just recovering the development costs that were pumped in !

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Jon

What concerns me is when one talks of procurement costs and the article I read explained the difficulty in like for like comparisons admittedly the F-35 didn’t come in at massively more than Typhoon. So what may we ask will Tempest come in at especially if fewer aircraft are actually built in a competitive environment.

Peter Gee
Peter Gee
12 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

And when do you think Tempest will be available at strength? 20 years?? F35 is fine. The current schedule makes sense against Block 4.

Netking
Netking
11 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

“…when Tempest will be coming on line that will wipe the floor with it” ” Put it up against similarly stealthy systems with equivalent data fusion, loyal wingman drones and far superior performance” Lots of assumptions in one post on an aircraft and capabilities that are essentially vaporware at this point and for the foreseeable future. You’re also assuming that the F35 will be standing still while these other aircraft catch up to it. The f35 undeniably has it’s share of flaws, all cutting edge capabilities do. It’s interesting that even with all these well publicized flaws and cost growth,… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Nathan

Difficult to say for sure. The Indians did war games between Thai ( I think ) Gripens and their own Russian fighters ( far superior on paper) and found that in dog fighting they thrashed the lower power Gripens but at medium + range the results were reversed due to superior sensors and missiles.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Rob

I reckon 80 is towards the max unless Tempest gets into trouble.

Steve
Steve
12 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I suspect the talk of tempest is 99% a smoke screen to avoid stories of cuts. I doubt the RAF want the tempest over the f35, as it would be a paper plane that might never get built over one that can do stuff today. I’m sure the RAF will love tempest when and if it happens, but that is still a long way off.

Padre
Padre
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

F-35 is a completely different aircraft compared to Tempest. One is a Strike aircraft, the other is an Air Superiority Fighter. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.

Steve
Steve
11 days ago
Reply to  Padre

Tempest doesn’t exist, you can’t compare to to anything. The idea it will be a air superiority fighter is very unlikely. The typhoon was meant to be one but was changed and changed over the years, because dog fighters were just not required for most realistic wars.

Cripes
Cripes
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I’m not sure the Typhoon bit is quite right Steve. It was indeed conceived by the RAF as an air superiority fighter, primarily to engage hostiles beyond visual range, but with the agility to survive a close-in encounter within visual range. The need for some ground attack capability became more urgent due to the perceived vulnerability of the Tornado in the low attack role, hence the switch to the FGR4. Typhoon remains an air superiority fighter but with a secondary ground attack capability. I hope that Tempest follows that template and doesn’t end up trying to be all things to… Read more »

Steve
Steve
10 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

To me the future isn’t an agile fighter jet, its a big missile truck that has a large number of beyond visual range missiles, for both air and ground attack. If the beyond visual range missiles work as advertised, then the idea of an agile fighter is just not needed anymore.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
10 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

Thats not the case at all. The Typhoon was developed under a staff target to specifically replace the Jaguar and Phantom. It was supposed to have A2G capability from the off. It was never supposed to replace Tornado F3. However the post Cold War drawdown meant that the UK had lots of strike aircraft (Tornado GR, Harrier and Jaguar with life left in them). The Germans were looking for cost reductions and replacing the Phantoms (for UK and Germany) and F-104 (for Italy) became the priority. As a result the A2G capability was cut back to save funds, but the… Read more »

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
12 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

There is still the nuclear weapon delivery consideration.
At some point it might even be cheaper to rebuild WE177s.

Pete
Pete
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Wonder how many of the 48 will end up being Like Typhoon T1…and unsuitable for upgrade / long term retention ….stop thinking like that Pete….be positive.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
12 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Hi Pete,

I believe they can be upgraded and with half the airframe hours still left. We need something and in numbers for Air Intercept duties until the arrival of Tempest.

The F35 can only fly supersonic in short bursts of 50 seconds without risking damage to their stealth coating and sensors positioned near the tail.

The upgrade developed by Airbus includes modifications that integrate Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 equipment on the aircraft, not least a Computer Symbol Generator, Digital Video and Voice Recorder, Laser Designator POD and Maintenance Data Panel.

https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2019-02-airbus-delivers-first-upgraded-tranche-1-eurofighter-to-spanish-air

Last edited 12 days ago by Nigel Collins
Pete
Pete
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Agree they should extend if they can and good to see some basic upgrades going through. My rather poorly communicated thoughts were meant to be sarcastic around the lack of political will to retain, retire early on the excuse of them being not viable to retain and then allow the front line force of F35 to remain small and save a few quid in operating costs

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Pete

I see where you#re coming from! 😀

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

That’s shocking to hear about F-35 limitations in supersonic flight, not great for an interceptor role in particular. Surely that doesn’t apply to the F-22 so why this problem with a more modern F-35 one wonders.

Ron5
Ron5
11 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It’s shocking because its not true.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
11 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The F35 supersonic limitation story is largely blown out of all proportion. The below article explains the reality. It’s worth a good flick through all the comments. 👍

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-the-F-35-cant-maintain-supersonic-speeds-not-to-mention-supercruise-because-it-results-in-structural-damage-and-loss-of-stealth-and-that-the-Pentagon-is-OK-with-it

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

😀 I’ve read enough.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 days ago

😆 Some long ones on this story. Hope you are keeping well pal.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The facts rather than the usual BS a few tend to make on here.

Think air intercept against the long-range J20 and stealth coatings that require depot maintenance in order to fix the coating.

Not ideal for a carrier-based fighter a long way from home!

As for the sensors???

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2020/04/24/the-pentagon-will-have-to-live-with-limits-on-f-35s-supersonic-flights/

Last edited 11 days ago by Nigel Collins
Daniel
Daniel
10 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

It’s just a precaution hasn’t been replicated abd a new coating has been applied that has not shown this issue. No, that’s just misrepresentation with a click-bait headline. In 2011, stealth coatings on the horizontal tail of F-35B and F-35C was damaged after a test flight near the edge of their flight envelope. Since then the JPO tried to replicate the conditions but failed. In 9 years and over 275,000 flight hours – there are only 2 incidents of F-35’s coating being damaged. Winter [current F-35 Program Officer] noted that the issue was documented while the jet was flying at the very edge of its flight envelope.… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
10 days ago
Reply to  Daniel

This includes the B too. The J20 has been designed for long-range intercepts and anti-ship engagements carrying 4x additional tanks putting surface ships at risk as US commanders have already noted. How will we intercept them in time without sustained use of the afterburners? Clearly, for most missions, this will not be a problem, but for intercept duties and dogfighting? “The problem may make it impossible for the Navy’s F-35C to conduct supersonic intercepts. “This issue was closed on December 17, 2019 with no further actions and concurrence from the U.S. services,” the F-35 JPO statement read. “The [deficiency report]… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Nigel Collins
Ron5
Ron5
10 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

In the real world, the RAF has successfully intercepted many, many aircraft types in their F-35Bs. Including Russian ones on the QE’s current deployment.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

In the real world, nobody shows the opposition their true capabilities or flaws hence the Luneburg lenses as an example. Here’s a nightcap for you Ron5, enjoy. And don’t forget my comments in relation to 2026/7 in regards to stealth detection which I posted some three to four years ago on here! 😉 “Also noteworthy, in the year and a half that followed the air show, emphasis on stealth features for the Franco-German-Spanish Future Combat Air System program, meant to be Europe’s next-generation warplane, shifted. Officials from the industry teams involved in the program increasingly converged around the idea that… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
9 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

As usual, a bunch of meaningless “what abouts” that totally ignores that your comment that F-35’s cannot perform intercepts has been comprehensively disproved on many, many occasions.

And once again continuing your campaign of pissing on the UK military. Despicable.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

As usual Ron 5, clueless as ever, head buried in the sand and constantly being corrected.

Think, trying to point out what an expensive disaster the F-35 actually is.

Any news from your side of the pond as to what aircraft will replace the F16? I thought it was supposed to be the F-35?
Nothing to do with cost and performance I take it!

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The F-35 production lines are running at full capacity and cannot keep up with demand. Country after country are ordering the aircraft or increasing their orders.

This year, the F-35 was the lowest bidder in the Swiss competition beating Typhoon, Rafale & Gripon. The F-35 also won every Swiss capability test except one.

Meanwhile you and your phony pal Jon Lake are running your pathetic campaigns designed to undermine confidence in the UK’s military. Despicable

I wonder if Lake (not his real name) is still claiming to be an ex-RAF pilot.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
11 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Typhoon T1 isn’t only used for QRA. The Typhoon fleet is operated as a ‘whole fleet’ meaning aircraft are moved around between the sqns depending on maintenance schedules and different aircraft standard’s. Aircraft are pooled depending on the requirements, such as Op Shader, or we might be sending 8 jets for a Red Flad exercise. Currently T2/3 are also used for QRA. We only operate 22 T1 Typhoons, and they are not used for out of area operations. Now larger numbers always look nice on paper, the reality is that the T1 Typhoon is a bit of a drain on… Read more »

Pete
Pete
11 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Thanks Robert. My original point was meant to be great we are heading to 48 F35… but how many might end up being retired sooner rather than later on basis uts not viable to upgrade due to their early vintage……being a drain!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Hard to say at the moment, maybe none, as F35 is much more software driven. With Typhoon, there are structural differences between T1 and T2/3. T1’s could be upgraded, but that costs money we don’t have. We simply don’t have the budget to fund upgrading Typhoon T1. Radar 2 and all the fancy toys for T2/3 Typhoons. Buy more F35’s, and fund Tempest.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
11 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

I posted this in a comment above, nothing quite like the facts! As for  “structural differences” Let’s buy more! “In March 2005 we reported that the F-35 program had started development without adequate knowledge of the aircraft’s critical technologies or a solid design. 12 Further, we reported that DOD’s acquisition strategy called for high levels of concurrency between development and production—an approach that runs counter to best practices for major defense acquisition programs. In our prior work, we identified the F-35 program’s lack of adequate technical knowledge and high levels of concurrency as the major drivers of the program’s significant… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

You realise most of the Typhoon fleet is at different software blocks. That in it’s self is nothing new. So yes. Let’s buy more. And we will. As will many other nation’s. Remember Nigel, bad press sells. Meanwhile the Airforces and Navy’s around the world are not put off, the subject matter experts. Because they have the true facts and data, all the stuff we will never see. And they like what they see. They really like what they see. So having a good rant on sites like this isn’t going to change anything.

Ron5
Ron5
10 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

His continual pissing on the UK military is designed to destroy our confidence in them. Despicable.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Wrong again Ron 5, Saving them hard-earned money on a complete disaster, unlike the USA.

Start saving!

USAF commits nearly USD11 billion to future F-22 upgrades

The USAF fields 186 F-22s, with the ‘fifth generation’ type’s all-aspect stealth making it difficult to detect for all but the most advanced of systems and dedicated of operators. It is employed in both the air-to-air and air-to-ground roles.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/defence/latest/usaf-commits-nearly-usd11-billion-to-future-f-22-upgrades

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Pete

A few already can’t I believe. It is a a concern and why the buy is slow currently I think, though admittedly relatively few Bs seem to be coming off the production line presently. My main concern looking longer term, is what happens with the upgraded engines as and when introduced. If they go new gen GE engines with considerably improved power (and hoped for improved reliability) then they won’t be available on the B leaving it even less capable compared to the other versions. If they choose intermediate PW upgrades the extra thrust is much less but will be… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
10 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

No.

The reason for the UK slow acquisition is twofold: lack of money on the UK end and COVID in the US.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
9 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

NO, the reason for the UK slow acquisition is Block 4 delays and spiralling maintenance costs. I thought even you might know that by now.

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The MoD has explained that the movement of F-35 orders to the right was done to spread cost over more years. Lockheed has explained that they’re re-profiling F-35 deliveries due to the effects of COVID.

Meanwhile Nigel makes up his own stories to undermine confidence in the UK military. Despicable.

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

PS F-35 maintenance costs are rapidly declining.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

The horse’s mouth once again. Do your homework first rather than constantly making a complete fool of yourself on here Ron 5. DOD started the F-35 program in 2001 to develop a fifth-generation fighter aircraft intended to replace a range of aging aircraft in the U.S. military services’ inventories and to provide enhanced capabilities to warfighters that capitalized on technological innovations.  “DOD is now in its third year of its modernization effort, known as Block 4, to upgrade the hardware and software of the aircraft. While DOD added another year to the schedule, GAO found the remaining development time frame… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Nigel Collins
Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

As usual, nothing to do with the point under discussion.

Meanwhile the world keeps ordering more and more F-35’s.

Steve M
Steve M
12 days ago

How many Voyagers / refuellings did that take to bring 3 across the pond?

HarryR
HarryR
12 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Just curious: Why were they flown such a long way, eating into their service flight hours and requiring expensive maintenance on arrival when they could’ve been shipped?

Steve M
Steve M
11 days ago
Reply to  HarryR

Don’t think very practical to sail PoW across pond for 3 jets? i suppose they could have delayed delivery and gotten QE to sail just far enough across for the USMC F-35’s to fly off and the new RAF/RN ones to land on, would have saved 2 or 3 Voyagers flight hours?

HarryR
HarryR
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

I was thinking create up in factory after testing, stick in a container and send by freight

Steve M
Steve M
11 days ago
Reply to  HarryR

Think you might struggle to breakdown an F-35 into TEU size components and then re-assemble you may as well build in UK. Of course with current shipping issues you can just imagine the phone calls!!
CAS to Felixstowe docks- hi this is the RAF i have £240M of jets sat in xx containers when can they be delivered
Felixstowe docks to CAS – well with all the current delays we have a few due in 2 months and we aren’t sure where the rest are or when they might be hear. So sorry don’t you know there’s a Pandemic on?

HarryR
HarryR
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

Fair enough. But the uk has military transport vessels, yes? Could they be put in/on one of those? The benefit being they save the 3000 km flight befo werere they start uk service, plus the cost of the refueling. The French Rafales were flown to India, a long way. I assumed because the Indians wanted them quickly

Steve M
Steve M
11 days ago
Reply to  HarryR

As i said you can’t break aircraft down that easily and ships like the Point ships don’t have reinforced decks for F-35’s exhausts QE’s only have 2 landing spot due to heat protection required. the cost of sailing ship 7000+ miles on a round trip would be more than 7-800 tons of jet fuel and few overnight hotel bills

Paul T
Paul T
11 days ago
Reply to  HarryR

I guess there’s no hard and fast rule for deliveries,whatever the quickest and cheapest solution is ends up being used i would hope.Interesting to note the first F39-E/F Gripen produced for Brazil was delivered by Ship.

RobW
RobW
12 days ago

Happy bunch aren’t we 🤣

A good news story turned into another moanfest. Yep just made that word up.

Sean
Sean
12 days ago
Reply to  RobW

That’s this site for you 🤷‍♂️🤦‍♂️

Jon
Jon
12 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Oooh. Moanfest. Good word!

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
12 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Only a very limited number of commentators have anything positive to say. Bad news sells I’m afraid.

Cripes
Cripes
11 days ago
Reply to  RobW

I like moanfest, it’s a good pejorative word!

I think though that it’s really happy clappys v pragmatic realists on here the former largely buying whatever HMG/MOD says in its press release, the latter – the alleged ‘moaners’ – being perhaps a bit more objective and even critical!

T

RobW
RobW
11 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

I’m not sure anyone has ever described me as happy clappy but I like the thought!

Nothing wrong with critical analysis but it does rather descend into repetitive moaning. Just look at the next story about the T45 simulator. It’s meant to be about investment in training but a large proportion of the comments are moans about the speed of PIP.

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  RobW

Too many putinbots and trolls here. Not hard to figure out who they are.

Paul.P
Paul.P
12 days ago

Can these F-35Bs deliver the SDB?

Deep32
Deep32
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul, I believe that they can deliver SDB, and that they are cleared to. We haven’t purchased any and are going to integrate SP3 instead. Well, that’s my understanding of the situation.

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Thanks DP. Of course the reason I ask is that although SDB does not have the range and attack profile options of SP3 ( which needs the later s/w release) it would give a CSG a longer range anti ship stand off weapon than Paveway. A good reason to have US Marine F-35s aboard.

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Wouldn’t disagree with you there mate, as SP3 integration has been pushed back beyond 2028, and we aren’t currently buying anything else of a offensive nature to equip them with.

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

SDB1 for anti-ship work????

It’s GPS guided….its for fixed/stationary targets only….ships have a habit of…moving….

SDB2 has the exact same guidance as Spear 3, only with half the range, but larger warhead. It is not cleared on F-35 yet. A SpearGlide variant has been mooted by MBDA without the engine and larger warhead as a direct competitor to SDB2/Stormbreaker.

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Good info. Thx. I didn’t know SDB1 was only GPS, or that SDP2 was not yet cleared for the F35.
Spearglide and SDB would be a fair bit cheaper than S3 I suppose, that being their only advantage?

James Fennell
James Fennell
10 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

Spear Cap 3 is designed for moving targets, it uses both GPS/INS and a datalink to update targeting data and has a multimode seeker like Brimstone for terminal guidance onto moving targets.

Stc
Stc
12 days ago

No expert, but I daresay that the current Typhoon is superior in what it can deliver compared to the first batch and presumably will continue to do so with new radars. I see no reason why the F35 cannot go through improvements in its life time. I think it would be ideal if each Typhoon squadron had a couple of 35a in the squadron. I do no know if would be practical.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
12 days ago

Good…but not before time.

James
James
12 days ago

By the time we get the aircraft to fill second carrier the carrier itself will be out of date

James Fennell
James Fennell
12 days ago

When does 809 Sqn FAA stand up?

Paul42
Paul42
12 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I think that’s undecided. At least two dates, possibly three have been given already then quietly forgotten. Its good to get three more, but delivery rate and weapons integration are painfully slow.

Rob Young
Rob Young
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Far too slow. At this moment in time we should have (at the very least) the 48 needed to put both carriers in the field fully equipped.

Cripes
Cripes
12 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Rob it has never been the plan to field 2 carriers at once. One will be operational, the other in reserve. They will alternate between the roles.

All warship classes/squadrons have one ship alongside in squadron reserve/maintenance/ minor upgrades, and another in war reserve and/or major refit. Back in the day, there was often a training ship as well.

Same applies to the carriers, one operational, one reserve/training.

Ron5
Ron5
12 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

Incorrect.

Deep32
Deep32
12 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

You could always expand upon your answer a little Ron!!

Lusty
Lusty
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I’ll have to watch it myself, but during Tuesday’s Defence meeting, Radakin apparently stated there’s a desire to have two air wings operational, achieved through F35 and greater use of drones.

24 F35 on one carrier by 2024.

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Looking at the released delivery schedule over the next 3 years, entirely realistic, so long as we have enough pilots to fly the things!
Juries still out about the delivery of drones by that timescale – in my world anyway!!!

Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Totally agree, mate.

James Fennell
James Fennell
10 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Correct – he stated they are working on a plan to field two carrier air wings using both F-35 and drones.

Ron5
Ron5
11 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Completely incorrect.

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Yes, your getting there Ron!!!🤣

Rob Young
Rob Young
12 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

Agreed. But there may be a time when both are required – not saying saying there will be another Falklands War, but there might be something similar. Meanwhile the ‘spare’ 24 would be used in their ‘RAF’ role. Think of it as necessary insurance.

James Fennell
James Fennell
10 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

In 1982 we had 21 Sea Harriers, we already have 24 F-35s. We are better off than we were in April 1982 in terms of carrier aviation.

Rob Young
Rob Young
10 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Not really:
‘A total of 28 Sea Harriers and 14 Harrier GR3s were deployed in the theatre.’ – from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Aerospace_Sea_Harrier#Falklands_War

James Fennell
James Fennell
10 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Correct with a caveat. That should have read 31 Sea Harriers in total. However of those 28/14 only 22 SHAR sailed in April with Invincible (10) and Hermes (12), two were lost in an accident on the way down, and of the rest 3 GR3s were kept at Ascension for local air defence and 6 SHAR and 6 GR3 came down with Atlantic Conveyor and were luckily flown off before she was lost. Those were only aircraft which actually fought in the conflict. I guess the remaining 5 GR3 were at Ascension and came down with the three already there… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by James Fennell
Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Just a note – Atlantic Causeway didn’t become RFA Argus. Argus was MV Contender Bezant.

Atlantic Causeway carried Sea King and Wessex helicopters down south. Conveyor took 8 SHAR and 6 GR3. The RAF only used 10 GR3 and the RN used 28 SHAR. If I recall, the remaining 4 GR3 airframes were physically flown to Ascension, although one made an emergency landing due to a fuel problem and later returned to the UK. That left three for local defence at Ascension.

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

You win the award for most upbeat comment of the week!!!

Meirion x
Meirion x
11 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

The exception are the fleet soild support ships, with only RFA Fort Victoria in the fleet
Fort George was scraped after less then 20 years service.

Last edited 11 days ago by Meirion x
MarkT
MarkT
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

I think the plan was for 617 Squadron to expand to beyond usual size and then 809 NAS to break away in 2023, becoming fully operational in 2024.

julian1
julian1
12 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

2025 was last I heard…delayed from 2023

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
11 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

2023.
But with the recent slowing down of orders due to Covid its unlikely they’ll have the aircraft to be ‘operational’ until end of 2025.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
12 days ago

For every hour of F35B flight time. how many hours of maintenance are required? Any estimate of the cost?

Deep32
Deep32
11 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

F35 costs are still far in excess of what was envisaged, currently at some $33000 per hour instead of the budgeted $25000.
Apparently the USMC F35Bs are costing an extra $1.9million per aircraft per year over budget!! This is now the programmes biggest issue.

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Last year it was $33k. Lockheed is contractually required to reduce to 25K in 5 years . They are on track to do that.

By the way, how much does it cost to keep Typhoon going? Be nice to know as a comparison.

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Yes that is the figures I have seen in several different publications on Ur side of the pond too. Think it might be a bit early to say LM are on track to get the figure down to $25k, I will wait a year or so to see how it’s going. Ref Typhoon, haven’t a clue, can’t find any reliable figures anywhere, . A FOI request last year was effectively stonewalled by the RAF, saying they didn’t measure parameters in that fashion!!!! So, suspect that those figures are not cheap. Perhaps someone like @Robert zBlay or Daveyb might be able… Read more »

Ron5
Ron5
8 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

👍

Dave barton
Dave barton
12 days ago

We have been told that both carriers will be at sea at the same time with minimum of 18 planes and we only gave 24 !!!!!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 days ago
Reply to  Dave barton

No, we haven’t.

Full airgroups for both don’t exist, that is Merlin Sqn, F35, CHF Merlin det.

Both carriers are crewed. One May be in reserve so 1 always available bar refit issues.

At no time have I ever read that each will have 18 planes. I think that’s your meaning?

We have 24 because it takes time to build this from nothing. Training pilots, training carrier crews, it does not happen quickly, nor should it.

And we have 21. 3 are in the USA and probably will never leave.

Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago

The 24 is true mate – 21 in the UK and 3 in the US. I assumed that’s what you meant, but just a clarification for future readers. The only way those three will leave is if training requirements change or if the MoD requires them for a national emergency. Orange Wired I know, but I also know what a crisis does! For Dave – both carriers are crewed and both have been at sea this year, albeit with mixed aircraft. The UK will be able to deploy one carrier with 24 F35 by 2024, or at least, that’s the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

It was indeed mate. 21 in the UK plus 3 in US with 17R.
Fully aware of my numbers, as you know!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Would we be able to get a 2nd Merlin carrier sqn if the squadron which provides the small ships flights on tailed t23s moved over to carriers, and in it’s place we use UAV? Forget which squadron, is it 819?

Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago

819 was the utility/SAR squadron based at Gannet. Decommissioned in 2001, with Gannet hosting her own SAR flight. 814 provides ships’ flights, with 820 being the primary carrier squadron. It’s difficult to know how many aircraft are in the squadrons – 814 is apparently the largest Merlin squadron ever, but 820 must be pushing up there now that it has absorbed the Crowsnest system. Oh for sure, I can see UAV ASW being a major driver in the future and it’s worth noting that the large hangar/work bay facilities on T26 will make the conversion over to UAV a lot… Read more »

Last edited 9 days ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
9 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Thanks mate. Of course! Silly me how did I forget that, (819 ) I have wondered, why was 829 disbanded too? I guess 824 could provide the squadron if in dire need? “Still, it’s a case of scraping the barrel, mate. If you add up the numbers, you could pretty much fit the entire FAA into the ships that we have/are planned… with little room for losses or addition. It’s why UAVs are needed – we need to swell the numbers!” I’m looking at you Blair Brown Cameron May. No use wailing at BJ like so many on here, that… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago

No idea, chap. Perhaps a way of cutting down some of the admin stuff and creating two distinct squadrons/identities – carrier and escorts? In a similar fashion, 849 has been merged into 820.

Idk if I agree with both – I like having unique identifiers as well as the history of the squadrons in the public’s view. However, we have often talked about the whole ‘preserving cap badges’ thing, so maybe the merge is a good thing. I still think Crowsnest should be separate, but as the airframes aren’t dedicated AEW (they’re plug and play), I guess it makes sense.

Marked
Marked
12 days ago

Nice to see a positive story about the RAF. A refreshing change from the usual cuts to aircraft numbers. Now let’s just hope the numbers do actually increase beyond the initial 48 so both the RAF and RN can deploy a credible force simultaneouslyon land and sea.

Last edited 12 days ago by Marked
Cripes
Cripes
12 days ago

I thought the delivery schedule was fixed at

7 in 2021
8 in 2022
7 in 2023,

22 aircraft to bring the total to 42 by 2023. Has that now changed? Going by the article, there seems to be a slowing down of deliveries?

Ron5
Ron5
12 days ago
Reply to  Cripes

COVID forced a re-profiling of F-35 deliveries.

Ron5
Ron5
12 days ago

Earlier this year Switzerland selected F-35 in a competition over Gripen, Typhoon and Rafale because the F-35 was way cheaper than the others and won all but one of the capability tests.

Poland and Spain will probably be the next two European countries to buy F-35.

At the moment it’s the very best fighter attack aircraft in the Western inventory.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
12 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

Switzerland is ordering F-35As which amongst other things are notably cheaper than Bs & potentially could take the upgraded engine if that comes to fruition https://www.airforcemag.com/ge-new-engine-for-f-35-possible-by-2027-not-stovl-version/

Ron5
Ron5
11 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

Yes, the Swiss ordered the less capable version. What is your point?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Heidfirst

As I said elsewhere it depends on which engine solution they go for, but if they do choose to introduce the GE new gen engine it would indeed present big questions on acquisition as it will only go into A and B versions as it stands.

Ron5
Ron5
11 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

No it wouldn’t any more than if the model of your car was to get an upgrade next year. Does that present big questions on your purchase?

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
11 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

It seems some haven’t got that memo, and choose to completely ignore the very different capability story told by the guys and gals who fly and maintain this aircraft from the many countries around the world who are now operating the jet.

Ron5
Ron5
10 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

They have different objectives with their comments than we do. It causes their economical use of the truth.

James Fennell
James Fennell
10 days ago
Reply to  Ron5

And Czech Republic are looking at F-35.

Ron5
Ron5
9 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Didn’t know that. Good news.

Geoffi
Geoffi
12 days ago

Its meant to be 27 by the end of the year

Rudeboy1
Rudeboy1
11 days ago
Reply to  Geoffi

Looks like the last 3 for this year have been pushed into next, only 3 of next years promised 8 will arrive as well. So 3 this year (already delivered), 6 next and 5 in 2023. There should also be an order shortly for the remaining 13 of the 48, they won’t arrive until late 23/eary 24 at the earliest..but shoudl still complete by December 25.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
11 days ago
Reply to  Rudeboy1

I know that there is one more undergoing tests in the US no idea as and when it will be delivered mind.

Martin
Martin
11 days ago

Let’s just hope LANCA/Mosquito/Vixen actually produces something and we can actually fly something in bulk off of the Queen Elizabeth class as the buy rate for F35B is so painfully slow I can’t see us ever fielding more than 12 and that will have to be split between RAF and RN roles. CVF’s are likely to get infrequent visits by a squadron on a biannual basis with us never seeing two squadrons operate outside of anything other than a Falkland two scenario. Given the amazing diplomatic success of CSG 21 I can’t believe how the government continues to short change… Read more »

James Fennell
James Fennell
10 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Mosquito due to flight test in 2023.

andy reeves
andy reeves
11 days ago

i’d still like to see the traditional coloured roundels rather than the bland grey ones

James Fennell
James Fennell
10 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Like this?comment image&f=1&nofb=1

Ron5
Ron5
9 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Fly Navy !!

Klonkie
Klonkie
9 days ago
Reply to  James Fennell

awesome , man I miss the old bucs!

Bill
Bill
11 days ago

24 planes in nine years. Cosmic!!

Richard B
Richard B
33 seconds ago

I hear that 617 Squadron lost a F-35 today in the Med today, thankfully it sounds like the pilot ejected safely. But that’s 6% of QEs fixed wing aircraft and 4% of the entire UK’s F-35 force lost.