So far the B fleet is unable to meet its target of flying for 12 hours or more between critical failures.
The target (That it cant meet) is the equivalent to ~10 sorties please tell me this is not normal for a combat jet!
British F-35Bs deploying to the South China Sea next year may not meet key reliability metrics set by an American government watchdog, its annual report has revealed. The US Department of Defense's Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOTE) warned that the multinational F-35B fighter jet fleet is lagging behind a key …
Sopwith Camel could do this as well...
Here in Finland the Ministry of Defence is pondering replacements for the ageing F/A-18 Hornets. They're testing Rafale, EF, Super Hornet, Saab Gripen and of course, F-35A. I'm pretty sure the powers that be have already selected F-35 but they're just putting on this charade to explaing why we bought the most expensive craft available.
The fighter just needs to be good enough to deter
Russia anyone from attacking, nothing more.
Well, assuming you mean the Dassault Rafale, it could reasonably be argued that we did.
The original Eurofighter program include France as well as the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy.
France wasn't happy with aspects of the program (not least of which being that they were not program leads, if most reports are to be believed), so left and developed the Rafale.
So the project that came out with the Rafale started off as the same project as that which came up with Typhoon (Eurofighter), and the UK stuck with it (and now operates Typhoon).
And Typhoon is really rather good.
Dassaut were producing "delta wing" fighter jets since a long time. The company building Typhoon was created from scratch. Typhoon and Rafale have a similar "delta canard" design. Which final design is probably the best?
Have you noticed any design faults on the Typhoon?
First the canards are so far forward that the pilot's view of the ground is blocked. OK for air-to-air, which was the Typhoon's original target.
Then the wheels fold up laterally into the wings, making it more difficult to put extra tanks and heavy weapons close to the centerline - on the Typhoon they're all mounted wayyy forward. The wheels on the Rafale fold up longitudinally.
The great one is how the Typhoon sales people have always criticized the Rafale for being designed to do everything from the beginning, whereas the Typhoon was specialized for air-to-air. But now they've stopped saying that because they're trying to compete as a multirole fighter
Nope, I've not noticed any design faults on Typhoon.
There are design compromises, but they are not the same thing. One you missed by the way is that the Tornado RAPTOR reconnaissance pod apparently doesn't fit, so Typhoon could not seamlessly take over the recce role from Tornado.
Typhoon was designed to be exceptionally agile, and particularly effective in the air to air role (both within visual range and beyond visual range), but was always intended to have a full air to ground capability: In the RAFs case, the priority was to get a replacement for the Phantoms and Tornado F3s in the air to air role, both of which were considered to be inadequate in the 1980s. However, Typhoon was also designed to replace the Jaguar (finally retired from the RAF in 2007, and that was due to budget cuts, not because it was considered to be obsolete and no longer fit for service).
With Rafale, the French has specific requirements including that it should be carrier capable. That design requirement meant that it too had design compromises. The UK, Germany, Italy and Spain were not interested in carrier capability (perhaps with hindsight an error on the UK's part, although the FAA seem very convinced that they want VSTOL on the carriers, not Cat-launcher aircraft). The French also had requirements for the weapons fit on the Rafale (including that it could deploy their air-launcher nuclear weapons -more design compromises.
The Rafale is a very good aeroplane. I would certainly rate it as far better than the F/A 18. Had the UK chosen to go with conventional take off carrier aircraft, Rafale would have been a good choice.
But for what the RAF wanted and are using the Typhoon for, the Typhoon is better - for the really quite straightforward reason that the Typhoon was designed to do what the RAF wanted, and Rafale was designed to do what the French navy and airforce wanted.
The F22 / F35 pairing is often compared to the F15/F16 pairing, though I think both the F15 and F16 started off as dedicated interceptors, with the air to ground capability added, whereas, while the F22 was also supposed to be air-to-air only, the F35 was always intended to be dual role (air-to-air and air-to-ground). As such, I believe it was supposed to be less capable in air-to-air than the F22, but also to be cheaper, since it was anticipated to be the new F16 'NATO-standard' fighter.
Plus, the Americans refused to export the F22 to anyone.
Of course, the F22 super fighter that was designed to be solely an interceptor has since been modified to drop bombs, because clearly, erm, something.
After all, the USAF doesn't have enough F15s and F16s to drop bombs on AK-toting insurgents riding around in Toyotas.
That is almost entirely normal for modern combat aircraft. You've got lots of cutting edge systems that are essentially artisan due to the quantities produced. If you think that's bad jets in the 50s/60s such as the Supermarine Scimitar allegedly* needed 1000 man hours of maintenance per flying hour.
*I've read this a lot but I have yet to find a definitive reference. Even so they needed a lot of work to keep them flying.
I've seen numbers of the English Electric Lightning putting it at over 100hrs of maintenance for one hour of flight (for example, the tires had to be replaced after ten landings, often less).
Aircraft have got more complex over the years, because they are more capable*. More complexity means more hours of maintenance.
*(eg, the F-35B can carry about three times the bomb load of a B-17, and drop it about 100 times more accurately).
To be fair the Lightning (me262) wasn't intended to last that long
One last ditch mission to try and take out a few of the Russian (Allied) bombers before they dropped their bombs on Blighty(Fatherland)
The F35 is never going to go into combat against any modern airforce, it's far to expensive to risk, its job is to fly around for 20-30 years generating support contracts
“expensive to risk, its job is to fly around for 20-30 years generating support contracts“
I’m afraid you’re right. Buy hey, if everybody had them, it would end all wars. “F-35 - Good for peace, good for GNP!” (from L-M marketing slides).
Bad jokes aside, superior* weapons are always bad for peace. ~Zero risk to take out inferior enemy troops, guess what does to the threshold to initiate a war?
*When latest Service Pack has been installed and license keys have been paid for.
get weapons that are too valuable to risk
Which is exactly what happened in the Dreadnaught era - which is why there was only one (inconclusive) naval battle during WW1 since the ships were simply too expensive to risk.
And people wonder why repeat our mistakes - because those in power refuse to learn from history.
The F-35 was designed to transfer money from the US (and foreign) governments to Lockheed Martin and it is doing that very well.
The secondary task - being a viable military aircraft - is rather harder especially as it is crippled by stealth technology which several Russian radar systems can circumvent. That's not going to stop the really important payment of bonuses to the LM execs. Tough on the aircrew and those they support.
The stealth technology is BS. 1/4 wavelength means any UHF radar will see it easy. So the only stealth is angled panels that reflect radar, as long as the frequency is not too low. The Russians do have sets that operate over a wide range, as do the Chinese. Think SS400. Plus if their 5G gets in, there will be an app to detect aircraft - if its not raining.
The Americans assume a saturation cruise missile strike will defang such nasty missile sites so it is safe for the F35 to fly in. Oh wait, the Israelis had some faster jets shot down or shredded, so old assumptions are very suspect. After 2-10 minutes on afterburners, mission survival for the F35 with bays open to vent heat, will be hot targets indeed.
In the mid-90s, I used to play a combat flight sim called "US Navy Fighters". You had a selection of the US Navy's contemporary carrier-capable combat aircraft available for each mission. After every mission, you had an allocation of man-hours that you could use to repair or maintain your fleet. Obviously, taking damage during combat quickly put you behind the eight ball maintenance-wise, which is how the game placed an emphasis on Not Getting Hit!
Fortunately, there was also an unlimited number of A-7s available to you as a fallback, for when your F-14s, F/A-18s etc. were all too worn out or damaged to fly. They were the equivalent of the forfeit car in a Top Gear challenge, but at least you could "expend" them with impunity.
So what the RN needs is an unlimited supply of A-7s.
If you think that's bad jets in the 50s/60s such as...
Please do note, that was 5x - 70 years ago.
As in, I was born in 1961, I don't need maintenance after 12 hours of work. Oddly, neither did the B-52 or F-105, both of which are 1950's aircraft. Nor did the F-16, FA-18, F-15 and oddly, the F-22.
All of those aircraft (indeed, all aircraft) require maintenance after flight, even if it's just a quick checkup.
Numbers on military aircraft are hard to find, but for the B-52 I found a source from 1957 saying that after 25 flight hours (or three flights), it requires a post-flight check, which takes 12-15 man-hours, not including the pre-flight checkup. I suspect BUFFs take a bit more looking after these days now that they're all fifty years old or more.
Maybe the Chinese can sell you folks an aircraft carrier. If they can conjure up a hospital in ten days, slapping together a warship in six months or so should be no big problem. Or maybe HMAS Melbourne is still around stashed in some obscure inlet disguised as a shrimp farm. It had an excellent record for sinking destroyers. True, they were friendly destroyers, but that's more sinkings than most modern aircraft carriers can claim.
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