Skip to comments.New warplanes 'less capable', secret paper shows (Royal Navy)
Posted on 04/20/2012 9:10:21 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
New warplanes 'less capable', secret paper shows
Britains Armed Forces will be less able to undertake future military operations with the fighter jets ministers are preparing to buy in a cost-saving exercise, secret defence plans have revealed.
The Daily Telegraph has seen a Ministry of Defence document setting out secret contingency planning for future British military operations in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the Falklands and Africa.
The highly-classified report which shows that planners have grave doubt on the jump-jets ministers now want to buy for the Royal Navys new aircraft carriers.
David Cameron is poised to approve a decision to abandon plans to buy the conventional take-off variant of the US-made Joint Strike Fighter in favour of a jump-jet model of the aircraft.
The decision to buy conventional take-off aircraft instead of jump-jets was at the heart of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. Reversing the decision will raise fresh questions about the defence review and the Coalitions handling of the Armed Forces.
The U-turn has been made because the cash-strapped MoD says it cannot afford the growing cost of installing the catapults that would be required to launch the conventional jets from the decks of Britains new aircraft carriers.
The Labour government ordered the carriers to be built without catapults, but the SDSR ordered the ships to be redesigned and fitted with the launch gear.
The cost of that conversion is spiralling towards £2 billion, forcing ministers into a U-turn on the warplanes that is expected to be confirmed within weeks.
The MoD document, marked Secret - UK eyes only makes clear that the aircraft Britain will now buy are less militarily effective and more expensive than those originally ordered.
The conventional variant is more
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
Son of the F-111.
By the way, the Super Hornet is much less capable than the airplane it "replaced" the F-14D.
What a circular argument.
"The F-35B is less effective and more expensive, so let's buy the F-35C. The F-35C requires we spend £2 Billion more on carriers, so let's buy the F-35B. But the F-35B...."
Got to see a 14D @ Reno years ago do a routine, and while no fan of GE, that thing had moves no Pratt Powered 14 did, it was breath-taking.
Yet everything I read about the F18 series is it has a drag penalty of something like 20%
I don't know, put stealth aside for a moment, something like a double delta folding wing design with off the shelf components ( think F-16XL-ish ) could be cobbled together and may work better than what they have now. And give up on this VTOL fantasy, it isn't worth the hassle. STOL / unimproved fields capabilities yes....
STOVL is no fantasy.
Ya you can do it, but at what cost ?.....
Apparently at a lower cost than the infrastucture and maintenance required for CATOBAR airframes.
More short-sighted stupidity from HM Government. I read somewhere that this reversion to the F-35B is coming despite letters from the American and French Governments pleading with the UK to go for the F-35C. Without catapults and traps, we won’t be able to land US and French planes (so no naval inter-operability) and the AEW will be a p-poor helicopter solution, instead of a proper Hawkeye aircraft.
There isn’t even any point in having an aircraft carrier this size if we aren’t even going to have proper aircraft on it. Looks like the RAF managed to hamstring the Royal Navy once again. If I were PM, I’d abolish the RAF and split the resources between a newly resurrected Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service.
The Air Marshals keep screwing over the real branches of HM Forces to salve their own pride in maintaining the illusion that they still have an independent strategic role, when their actual useful role is simply to provide logistical and battlefield support for the other branches...
India is looking at using the V-22 Osprey as an AEW platform for their ski-jump carrier. Bell Boeing to brief India on V-22 Osprey