Britain may dump F-35s for Rafales on new carrier

Discussion in 'Modern' started by R988, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. R988

    R988 Member

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    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=407244&in_page_id=2
    Interesting development, though I suspect it's nothing more than a British ploy, to may the Americans play ball.
     
  2. dinos7

    dinos7 Member

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    thats bad
     
  3. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    friggin hell why're the american's so uptight about their equiptment? and i hope we're not reduced to using french aircraft.........
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Unfortunatly I think the political appointee's in the DOD and State dept have gotten a "fortress america" mentality.

    I'm looking forward to the 2008 elections as anyone is better than our current presidency. And, no I'm not a bleeding heart liberal.
     
  5. Royzee617

    Royzee617 Active Member

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    The Rafale is a great plane and there is an off-the-shelf navalised version.... but isn't the Super Hornet good enough? JSF is a turkey.
    Also isn't the Rafale contesting the market Typhoon is hunting?
     
  6. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    The Super Hornet is a fine plane but in the end, its an older design that has been updated. The JSF, Rafel are new technology aircraft with a longer in service life with room to grow.
    The Rafel is a fine plane but not designed for UK needs and I am sure that there is a certain amount of pressure being applied on the USA for them to give way.
    There are alternative solutions. Buy enough Rafels or JSF for the RN and Grippens for the RAF. Economically we have a 40% share in the Grippen so it makes sense on that side of things and is another aircraft in the same category as the Rafel.
    The key question is dare the USA lose the UK order. The whole world know that we are the lead partner and the only one to participate in the design and test phases of the project. If we walk away and buy another alternative then this will do the USA a serious amount of damage when trying to sell it to other countries. They would be forced to ask 'if the UK don't trust the USA, why should we trust them'
    We have spent a lot of money on this but you can be sure that we would get a good deal on anything we purchase. Also the potential cost savings on maintanence would be huge compared to having to rely on the USA.

    I would ove to see us buy more Typhoons but suspect that would be to costly.
     
  7. dinos7

    dinos7 Member

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    i still cant believe they did that
     
  8. jameshr4

    jameshr4 New Member

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    The United States and Britain announced agreement May 26 to end a long-running dispute over technology that had threatened plans to cooperate in developing a new-generation Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
    A statement by President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair on the final day of their two-day summit appeared to put to rest a row over British access to codes used in U.S. avionics systems aboard the F-35 fighters.
    Britain, angered by U.S. reluctance to share the codes, had been preparing to pull out of the project and the planned purchase of 150 aircraft at $104 million apiece.
    Bush and Blair said they agreed that Britain “will have the ability to successfully operate, upgrade, employ, and maintain the Joint Strike Fighter such that the UK retains operational sovereignty over the aircraft.”
    U.S. officials said the move would allow the British to make their own adaptations to the JSF without having to call in U.S. technicians.
    ”Both governments agree to protect sensitive technologies found within the Joint Strike Fighter program,” Bush and Blair wrote. “Together, we are working out the details, while remaining committed to these principles.”
    The statement did not mention another dispute over the U.S. cost-cutting move to cancel a $2.4 billion contract for the British firm Rolls-Royce and the U.S. giant General Electric to develop a backup engine.
    The JSF has been billed as the United States’ biggest fighter program. The Pentagon has planned to buy 2,400 of the stealthy multi-role fighters and international sales could account for another 2,000 to 3,500 aircraft.

    http://www.defensenews.com/story.php...0029&C=america
     
  9. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Bush and Blair: No quarrels at the moment with war on their heads.
     
  10. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    It isn't Bush or Blair who are against this agreement. My understanding is that its Bush's inability to get it past the committees who would ave to agree it. Without that approval, anything that the two leaders sign is a good as the Munich Agreement on 1938
     
  11. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    well i'm glad to hear they finally got it sorted........
     
  12. HealzDevo

    HealzDevo Active Member

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    But the problem is that the underlying causes of the problem haven't been forced to really be addressed by either party in this dispute. The committees will soon be able to block a future aircraft getting to Britain. Also I suspect you are going to get a bit of a lemon with the F-35 as we did with the Seahawk Helicopters. I suspect that behind the deal might be a fighter with equiment levels reduced to advanced Soviet Fighter level. I don't really think that everything is being told. The only way this is ever going to be solved permanently is for the US to examine its defence committees, so that it doesn't alienate its greatest allies. I could understand the wrangling if it was Lebanon or Turkey, but not Australia or Britain. After all our relationship with the US goes back to WW1 and WW2 in its present very close form.
     
  13. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Couldn't agree more.
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I seen the X-35 up close and in person and was there when it first flew - The F-35 (essentially the same airframe) is far from a Lemon and may be more formidable than anything being developed by any nation at this time. Where the problem will lie is in intergrating some of those systems into a functional package and doing it when promised. That's where the manufacturer has to be held accountable. Comparing the F-35 program to the Seahawk is like comparing apples to oranges and that's a major understatement. Two different contractors two different contract, two different platforms...
     
  15. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    i think what he was saying was that the Americans will tune down the F-35's capabilities before shipping them out, so ours are inferior to the USA's.......
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    If so that "de-tuning" will only be found in the avionics package. Bae will build the exact airframe cominig out of Fort Worth...
     
  17. the lancaster kicks ass

    the lancaster kicks ass Active Member

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    yes but it's those avionics and weapons downgrades thet're gonna make the difference, how would you like it if you're car, or in your case placne :lol: was limited to just above stall speed with a crappy little engine after you'd paid the same kinda money as someone else but they get the whole lot, a nice big shiney engine and, i dunno, some fluffy dice, then imagine you'd help develop the aircraft! and i know this's got nothing to do with engines but you get my point :lol:
     
  18. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    But understand this - BAE is building the whole airframe, they will have design authority and be able to stuff the aircraft with any avionic suite desired by the MOD. Its not a matter of just procuring something from the US - the UK will be able to stuff with aircraft with whatever they want, including avionics that could be superior than those already planned for the F-35.
     
  19. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I think we are touching on the root cause of the problem. Without the software we cannot integrate our weapons or sensors into the core systems of the plane. As I understand it its that which is causing the disagreement. When new I believe our aircraft will be as good as anything the US have but we need the flexibility to make them fit our requirements.
    Also we would have control of our own destiny. If all changes or mods have to be done in the USA then RAF changes are almost certain to take second place to US changes.

    Nearly all the US combat aircraft the UK have purchased have been enhanced or modified over the life of the aircraft. The F4 is a good example, with Skyflash instead of Sparrow which was a considerable improvement and it was also cleared to carry the SRAAM which didn't make production which was also an improvement over the Sidwinder plus tweaks to the radar. None of this would be possible on the F35 without the code to integrate it.

    Its the code we need.

    PS I know the UK F4 had Spey engines but they were built that way and not tweaked. Also our naval versions had different undercarridge
     
  20. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    Flyboyj's comments on the F-35 I think are true. I also worked on the F-35 for Northrop Grumman in Avionics. There are many codes used on aircraft, some, like encription, are highly classified and often not released to allies. Others, like operating systems (like windows) are commercially sensitive, and there are subsystem operating systems, like radar data processing and defensive systems processing, which also can be highly classifed and competitively sensitive (UK may have radar competitors to the F-35 subcontractors). Without knowing what codes are in question, it is difficult to assertain reasonableness of the debate. The airplane itself will be an impressive and cost effective aircraft. As Flyboyj said, UK can use their own avionics, if they wish. This is a spat between brothers. The US knows who it can depend on and who it will help when times are tough. UK, Australia, and Canada (although there are some Canadians that make us nervous) all understand whats at stake in working together and have a history as was noted.

    All countries have secrets it is adverse to share, even with friends.

    I doubt if there really was a serious thought of not using the F-35 after all the expense. A competitor helps keep even brothers honest, though.
     
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