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F-35B in Flight Testing
No F-35B for the UK

The F-35 program is one of the more ambitious programs in the aviation world today. The F-35 is a fighter that will be sold all around the world and will be offered in several different variants for different mission needs.

One of the major partners in the aircraft program is the United Kingdom and it decided to switch from the F-35B STOVL version of the fighter to the F-35C carrier based version of the fighter. UK officials are now offering three reasons for the switch to the F-35C fighter from the B version of the jet. 

UK General Sir Nicholas Houghton has said that the UK determined that the price of the STOVL version of the fighter was too high given the financial status of the UK at this time. He also stated that the greater range and payload of the F-35C fighter would be needed. The third reason for the chance according to Houghton was that the U.S. and French were buying the carrier version and the UK buying the same version would foster better interoperability between the countries services.

UK officials also stated in October that by moving to the F-35C version of the aircraft they would be able to save significant money on the construction of aircraft carriers that are slated to begin soon. The carries would be fitted with catapults and arrestor systems that would be cheaper and allow allied forces to land their fighters on the aircraft.

Houghton also took the chance to comment on the long running fiasco for choosing the replacement aerial tanker for the U.S. Air Force. He stated that the U.S. choosing Airbus over a Boeing aircraft "would be a good thing" and would foster "good faith" between the U.S. and Europe. Houghton also stated that America has to understand that British officials would not "misuse" their military power and will go through a process to ensure that any use of their military was "legal."



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F-35B should never have existed
By corduroygt on 11/2/2010 11:23:17 AM , Rating: 1
USMC doesn't need an expensive and fragile airplane, the money should have been used for more marines, more/better choppers, better weapons, and more UAV's.

Hell, it'd be cheaper to give the marines full-sized carriers and Superhornets instead of their current "Helicopter Carriers" that the F-35B must be able to take off from, but I say that's the Navy's job anyway.




RE: F-35B should never have existed
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/2/2010 11:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
Going along these lines, did the AV-8B Harrier ever live up to its potential/design goals during its use with the Marines?


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By corduroygt on 11/2/2010 11:36:21 AM , Rating: 1
I think it killed more US servicemen than the enemy, and of course it starred in a shitty Schwarzenegger movie.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/2/2010 12:09:19 PM , Rating: 4
You are going to hell for that last statement. True Lies is one of the BEST action flicks EVER!

quote:
Same thing happened to me with wife number two, 'member? I have no idea nothing's going on, right? I come home one day and the house is empty, and I mean completely empty. She even took the ice cube trays out of the freezer. What kind of a sick bitch takes the ICE CUBE trays out of the FREEZER ?


Also, Jamie Lee Curtis dance scene -- nuff said. That movie is full of win.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By theapparition on 11/2/2010 12:42:37 PM , Rating: 4
Agreed.

And who'da thought Tom Arnold would be awesome as the wacky sidekick.

quote:
Let's face it Harry, the vette gets 'em wet.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/2/2010 1:03:03 PM , Rating: 4
I know, what's not to like?

Arnold -- that's win right there
Tom Arnold -- probably the one role where he's ACTUALLY funny
Jamie Lee Curtis -- boring housewife turns into a super MILF with titties that make you stand up and scream for buttermilk
Dana -- Cute daughter, nuff said
Turrrrrrists -- Terrorists with nukes
Charlton Effin' Heston with an eye patch -- so much win
Tia Carrere gettin' b!tch slapped...TWICE

This movie is win served with a side dish of epic win. I could watch True Lies and Die Hard on a loop and probably never get tired of either :)


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By corduroygt on 11/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: F-35B should never have existed
By Connoisseur on 11/2/2010 3:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
How's True Lies a guilty pleasure? That implies that it's a movie people don't want to admit liking. I have not yet met a single person who's watched that movie and hates it. It's a James Cameron movie for god's sake. That guy could pee all over a movie reel and it would still be gold.

In my mind easily up there with Die Hard. Although, i THINK die hard had a few more good one-liners... Haven't done a scientific analysis on this one though.


By Connoisseur on 11/2/2010 3:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
Also, Die Hard had by far the better villian.


By werepossum on 11/3/2010 2:53:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I know, what's not to like? Arnold -- that's win right there
Tom Arnold -- probably the one role where he's ACTUALLY funny
Jamie Lee Curtis -- boring housewife turns into a super MILF with titties that make you stand up and scream for buttermilk
Dana -- Cute daughter, nuff said Turrrrrrists -- Terrorists with nukes
Charlton Effin' Heston with an eye patch -- so much win Tia Carrere gettin' b!tch slapped...TWICE

Agreed, True Lies rules. Jamie Lee Curtis in that scene is probably the hottest actress ever.

As far as Marine air support, there is no comparison between Marine close support pilots and Navy or Air Force close support pilots. Marine close support pilots have balls the size of their heads and come in much, much closer; Navy and Air Force close support pilots stand off and attack what they think is the enemy. I don't know if the STOVL model is required rather than the standard carrier version, but Marine air definitely needs to remain.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By FITCamaro on 11/2/2010 12:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
I could go for a fake mother/daughter threeway from that movie today.....


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/2/2010 12:55:55 PM , Rating: 2
"No, Dana! NOOOOO!" ;-)


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By theapparition on 11/2/2010 1:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
But can you name the Schwarzenegger movie where there actually was a mother/daughter threeway.....?


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/2/2010 1:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
End of Days


By theapparition on 11/3/2010 10:04:25 PM , Rating: 2
Winna Winna Chickn Dinna


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By HrilL on 11/2/2010 5:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
that would be the 6th day but I think true lies was a better movie overall.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By MrBlastman on 11/2/2010 1:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. I actually got to see the film on a sneak preview so there were only like three or four other people in the theater at the time--had the whole thing practically to myself.

Such an awesome movie. Easily one of the best action films of all time. It was so over the top with so much funny in it, Tom Arnold was perfectly paired with Arnie. Not to mention, the one liner "You're fired" was just simply one of the most appropriate, ever.


By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/2/2010 2:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
It's still hard to top "Stick around" though ;)


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By Belard on 11/3/2010 3:48:59 AM , Rating: 2
That guy who said True Lies sucked; You go to hell, you go to hell right now!

Hey... it was a cool movie. And what other VSTOL craft could be used for the scene they wanted to shoot?


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By nafhan on 11/2/2010 11:34:56 AM , Rating: 3
I can't really make the cost value comparison as to whether or not choppers/troops/etc. would be better, but F-35B is going to allow the Marines to use real fighter jets in places the AF and Navy can't. So, it will be giving the Marines some unique capabilities.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By mcnabney on 11/2/2010 12:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
Uhm, now just where are the Marines going to use a jet that a Navy jet couldn't work as well?

You do still understand the relationship between the Navy and Marines, right?


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By nafhan on 11/2/2010 1:09:30 PM , Rating: 1
I understand that the Marines are technically part of the Navy, yet sometimes operate independently...
Anyway, it sounds more like you're questioning whether the Marines should have their own aircraft at all, rather than the need for the F-35B, specifically. That's a whole different can of worms.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By mellomonk on 11/2/2010 1:18:17 PM , Rating: 2
Marine Aviators exist to support marines on the ground. They are specialists in close in infantry support and must each spend time in the sand as forward air controllers to provide a unique side to that skill. They have a unique relationship and understanding of the Marines on the ground and their mission.

Personally it is a relationship that I think is best not messed with. If you are going to question the need for Marine aviation you might as well question the need for a Marine Corps entirely.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By Chillin1248 on 11/2/2010 2:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you are going to question the need for Marine aviation you might as well question the need for a Marine Corps entirely.


Which, in all respects to the Marines, is a question well worth asking. What do the Marines really bring to the table that the Army cannot perform equally, especially with the Marines folded into the Army (theoretically).

In the Pacific during WW2 the Army actually performed more amphibious landings than the Marines, though some were both. And the greatest amphibious landing of all time [Normandy] was carried out by the Army.

I think the Marines should be folded completely into both the Navy (which I know they are part of) and the Army. The Navy will still use the Marines to guard their ships, etc. While the Army will use them for Amphibious assaults, much like how the Airborne is an Army division and not its own separate branch.

I do fully value the contributions the Marine Corps has offered in the past, and present for that matter. However the need to keep such a highly niche force as its own branch is questionable. I really do hope they can find a a good use other than a second land army as is being seen today and continue to serve with distinction into the future.

-------
Chillin


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By gamerk2 on 11/2/2010 3:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
Its worth noting: Less planes sold means a higher per-unit price, so this move jacks up the cost of the SVTOL varient up a notch.


By marvdmartian on 11/3/2010 9:21:35 AM , Rating: 1
At the same time, by buying the carrier variant instead, it increases the number of those sold, and should drop the price per unit. Hopefully it all evens out in the end.


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By kyp275 on 11/2/2010 4:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
With all due respect, as far as I'm concerned you can stick that idea where the sun don't shine. If you honestly can't see the difference between the Marine Corps and the Army, then you don't know Marines at all.

Your idea in essence is to have the Marines continue doing exactly what they're doing... except you want them to wear Navy and Army uniforms. What exactly does that accomplish?

quote:
In the Pacific during WW2 the Army actually performed more amphibious landings than the Marines, though some were both. And the greatest amphibious landing of all time [Normandy] was carried out by the Army.


Yea... operations that were based on doctrines developed by the Marines, and carried out with Marines on the command staff. Also, in case you didn't notice, the Marines were a bit busy with the Japanese in the Pacific.

Eisenhower and Marshall tried to pull this crap before, and you're just saying the same thing. Though it's laughable that you're comparing the entirety of the Marine Corps to the Army Airborne :rolleyes:


By Chillin1248 on 11/3/2010 2:30:43 AM , Rating: 2
Please, don't take this as a personal attack on the Marine Corps. I offer it as more along the lines of constructive criticism.

quote:
Your idea in essence is to have the Marines continue doing exactly what they're doing... except you want them to wear Navy and Army uniforms. What exactly does that accomplish?


Do the Marines honestly need their own air power?

I see a much better use of resources if the Navy would take care of that business. Same goes for the armored vehicles, etc.

quote:
Yea... operations that were based on doctrines developed by the Marines, and carried out with Marines on the command staff. Also, in case you didn't notice, the Marines were a bit busy with the Japanese in the Pacific.


And I would ask if there would've been a difference if the Marine Corps were part of the Army?

We really have to step back and ask if the Marine Corps are worth their cost, which is for example:

quote:
budget request for fiscal 2011 totals $26.6 billion with an additional $7 billion in supplemental war funding


What I should ask in return, is for you to tell me what the Marine Corps offers not being a part of the Army. Please understand, if the Marine Corps are folded into the Army, it is not the end for them, there is absolutely no reason that they can't serve with pride and honor as part of the Army.

-------
Chillin


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By NAVAIR on 11/3/2010 7:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
If you are not a military man, specifically a Marine or a Sailor, it would be hard to understand the Marine Corps fighting doctrine. Marines are an initial invasion force; they establish a beachhead or a foothold until the regular Army can arrive. Yes; in wartime their mission can be adjusted as it has in previous wars. Marines are never an occupying force, that is the regular Army's job.

Marines typically deploy in an ARGIMA that comprises the ground and air assets under one very close chain of command. The Marine air assets have a keen understanding of the ground assets job and vice versa. The Air guys train with the ground assets every day back at the beach just as they do during deployment. The Marine Corps is a smaller highly trained force that works very well together; i.e., the right hand knows what the left hand is doing instinctively. On a LHA/LHD (Amphibious Assault Ship,) the ground and air components brief together in the same ready room every mission.

The relationship the Marine Air/Ground assets have is different and could be replicated with Navy/Army or AF/Army.

As for the AV-8's, yes from first hand experience, they are a POS. Although currently, it’s the only option for a flat top boat that purposely sinks its ass in the water for the water born invasion force (LHA/LHD.) And just for my own opinion, a regular Army Soldier will never hold his own against a regular Grunt. Grunts are better trained, the best marksman any regular fighting force in the world has to offer and YOU WILL NEVER here a Marine past or present say anything negative about his or her service.

If I have misquoted the Marine Doctrine, sorry, its from a USN CPO perspective. Feel free to correct and feel free to fire away Army, you guys are patriots as well.


By Chillin1248 on 11/4/2010 5:25:08 AM , Rating: 2
You have some very valid points there buddy, some of which I will try to address.

quote:
If you are not a military man, specifically a Marine or a Sailor, it would be hard to understand the Marine Corps fighting doctrine.


Army Air Assault assault, now in the Reserves.

quote:
Marines are an initial invasion force; they establish a beachhead or a foothold until the regular Army can arrive. Yes; in wartime their mission can be adjusted as it has in previous wars. Marines are never an occupying force, that is the regular Army's job.


That is sound in theory, however in practice they have since become a second land army in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do acknowledge however that they are currently attempting to return to their roots.

quote:
On a LHA/LHD (Amphibious Assault Ship,) the ground and air components brief together in the same ready room every mission.


That is a very admirable quality that the other services would do well learn, inter-unit cooperation always has room for improvement.

quote:
And just for my own opinion, a regular Army Soldier will never hold his own against a regular Grunt. Grunts are better trained, the best marksman any regular fighting force in the world has to offer and YOU WILL NEVER here a Marine past or present say anything negative about his or her service.


I would also put forward the same opinion regarding many Army soldiers, unit pride is a given.

One of the problems facing the Marines is their idea of "contested entry", an idea that they consider essential to their existence and many consider outdated following the development of advanced long range anti-tank and anti-ship missiles, both of which can be easy hidden and hardened against air strikes.

-------
Chillin


RE: F-35B should never have existed
By Totally on 11/2/2010 12:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
"Hell, it'd be cheaper to give the marines full-sized carriers and Superhornets"

You were going well till that, when the idiot kicked in. The Cost to built and maintain an LHA or LHD is only a fraction of that of a carrier. Then you have personnel 800 crew and 2000 troops vs a carrier's 3200 crewman, 2500 air wing, and maybe another 1000 additional troops. Quite a few LHD can be put in the water for just one carrier. And FYI those boats marines ride are still Navy, you know M y A ** R ides I n N avy E quipment.


By corduroygt on 11/2/2010 2:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
That's when I said at the end, best leave it up for the Navy anyway. I don't see why the marines need anything that can get into dogfights. If you find your Marine pilots getting into dogfights, that means the Navy and the AF aren't doing their job!


Cheaper carrier?
By CharonPDX on 11/2/2010 2:28:17 PM , Rating: 2
How does ADDING a catapult and arrestor cable mechanism make a carrier cheaper than a simple ramped flat-top like they're using now?




RE: Cheaper carrier?
By e36Jeff on 11/2/2010 3:28:33 PM , Rating: 2
cause they were planning on switching thier carriers to a CATOBAR setup 15-20 years down the road anyway. building them as CATOBAR carriers in the first place removes the costly refit and allows better integration into international naval operations.


RE: Cheaper carrier?
By CharonPDX on 11/2/2010 3:48:12 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you! Somehow I had missed that detail. That makes perfect sense.

(Hrm, now that I do some searching, looks like most stories about this don't mention that detail - they just say "will make the carriers cheaper" with no explanation of how.)


RE: Cheaper carrier?
By e36Jeff on 11/2/2010 7:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
I was reading a bit between the lines when I said that. But the carriers were going to be built with the ability to retrofit a CATOBAR system for the plane that replaces the F-35, so that refit was most likely still going to happen. The US isnt going to stop building CATOBAR carriers and the UK will likely use whatever plane we develop to replace the F-35 as well. There is no guarantee that we will build STOVL planes in that generation, but its pretty much a lock that we will build CATOBAR. Also, it saves them from having to develop a AWS for a STOBAR carrier, and simply use an existing system like the E-2. and yeah they do have one based on a helicopter currently, but they are looking to replace that from what I hear.


Proofread please...
By azcoyote on 11/3/2010 12:05:01 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The carries would be fitted with catapults and arrestor systems that would be cheaper and allow allied forces to land their fighters on the aircraft.


Who edits this stuff? There is a name for landing a fighter on an aircraft... I believe that is called a CRASH... So the OP meant Aircraft Carrier? (misspelled at beginning of the sentence BTW)

I know it is tech rag but at least learn to proofread a little.... A little is all I am asking...




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