back to article Blighty's buying another 17 F-35s, confirms the American government

The UK will buy a grand total of 17 F-35B fighter jets between 2020 and 2022 – and acquiring the A model of the supersonic stealth fighter hasn’t been ruled out. The American government announced on Wednesday the awarding of F-35 production lots 12, 13 and 14 to Lockheed Martin. A legal formality, the class justification and …

Page:

      1. Threlkeld

        Re: Appeal to armchair strategists

        I can't decide if this is the post-colonial illusion or the sunk costs fallacy. A bit of both, perhaps.

        Yes, we have historical links with many countries, and yes students have valued an education in the UK (though we may have blown this advantage now). But why should we have military obligations? The reality, surely, is that any such obligations cannot aid the other parties because the true economic costs of really accepting those obligations would impoverish the UK and thus lead to unacceptable deaths here. The austerity programme is already killing our citizens in significant numbers, but a global military commitment would kill many more, even before any more British blood was spilled, just by draining more resources from the Health Service. If the duty of the state is to protect its citizens, then UK citizens would need to accept a lot less protection for Singapore to enjoy even a modest level of extra UK support. Most other countries don't burden their economies in this way, and we are competing with them.

        It's an illusion of power, and an expensive one. It's backward-looking and hinders the adoption of a truly effective national strategy that plays from our strengths and not our weaknesses. The military tail is wagging the national dog, surely?

    1. Jason Hindle

      Re: Appeal to armchair strategists

      I don't see what strategic interests Britain has in the South China Sea. All our problems are closer to home.

  1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    "y the year 2023,...the MoD hopes Lockheed will go into full production that year."

    IOW by 2023 they should have all the bugs (mostly) worked out by then.

    Yey.

    Something to look forward to.

    Aircraft by LM. Carriers by BAe. Economy f**ked by Brexit.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lets hope Jeremy Hunt isn't moved from the NHS to be put in charge of the software....

  3. Kev99 Bronze badge

    They should buy 35Bs because they can operate anywhere. No need for for A or C.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Great idea Kev!

      Let's buy the most complicated, expensive, problematic version,. Yep, the one that's dragging the whole F35 programme down because of its excess of ambition over capability, and the one that nobody actually needs other than the British.

      1. Graham Dawson

        We didn't need it. The usmc top brass wanted a replacement for their version of the harrier, so we decided to build a carrier around that planned replacement rather than go back to regular carriers and much cheaper conventional airframes.

        Basically everyone involved decided to be an idiot and pick the most retarded way of doing things, as usual.

        1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          "Basically everyone involved decided to be an idiot and pick the most retarded way of doing things, as usual."

          I heard a story about the Eurofighter procurement that agrees with your analysis: To try and save some costs, some bright spark in Govt thought the cannon could be dispensed with, as guns were deemed old school. The avionics however were trimmed to accommodate the weight distribution of the cannon, so said spark asked 'what can we have that has the same weight distribution as the cannon?' and the answer was 'The cannon'. OK says spark, we can save money by not buying ammunition.

  4. Archtech Silver badge

    Tough choices

    "Each aircraft costs around $120m, though the exact price is jealously guarded by all involved".

    Exactly the cost of a medium-size hospital, by a curious coincidence. Not that we want any of those.

    Or the cost of paying 1,000 doctors for a year - since Tony Blair cleverly negotiated their pay up through the roof.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Tough choices

      @ Archtech

      I think the political view is its only money. Can always take more from the tax payer. If they used it right in the first place we would likely be better off as a country.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Tough choices

        The annoying thing is that, while the money would be better spent on any of a dozen productive things we can all think of, a couple of aircraft carriers in the South China Sea (or the Persian Gulf or the Baltic) can only cause us all very large amounts of grief.

        Look up the effects of a single Topol or Yars warhead; then look up how many of them the Russians have; then try to find one square inch of the British Isles that would be habitable if Putin were to get cross enough with us to push the button.

        But of course, if the Russians wiped out the UK with a thermonuclar attack, it would be OK - we can rest assured that our faithful American allies would commit suicide by avenging us.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Tough choices

          Doesn't the UK have enough warheads as well to ensure Putin will the reign on a devastated land as well? Without any need for US to intervene (but nearby EU countries may not appreciate the situation too, even after the Brexit, and NATO article 4 stands...

          Also, because not many are ready to press the red button, and not everybody has even the button, how often conventional forces have been deployed? Ask the Chinese why they are deploying aircraft carriers too...

          1. Roj Blake Silver badge

            Re: Tough choices

            A lot of the time we have a single Trident-carrying submarine at sea. That's a single point of failure and so can't be relied upon.

            Also, Russia is big. Really big. You may think it's a long way to the chemists, but that's nothing compared to how big Russia is. So even if that single submarine did fire its nukes, it wouldn't be able to completely depopulate Russia immediately. And of course, Putin will have a fancy bunker somewhere.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              Unhappy

              "it wouldn't be able to completely depopulate Russia immediately. "

              "Russia" has never been the target for the UK "independent" nuclear deterrent.

              Moscow, and in particular the Kremlin is the main target. Any warheads left other will be assigned to high value targets to disable the Russian's ability to fight a war.

              To be a deterrent with such a small force both the UK and France have to hurt their opponents in a way that makes them think twice about starting a war in the first place.

              1. Threlkeld

                Re: "it wouldn't be able to completely depopulate Russia immediately. "

                As the French used to say "We only have to be big enough to tear an arm off".

                Which never seemed to me to be a terribly rational way of dealing with a large, angry bear. The Russians, as has already been pointed out, can destroy us many times over. It would be up to us to give them a good reason to want to do that.

                Once a Trident boat is at sea, the crew cannot be prevented from firing missiles (should they decide to do so) by anything short of sinking the boat first. No codes, no locks, no real control. Navy traditions and discipline are very good indeed: perfect, not so much.

                Anyone fancy a remake of Dr Strangelove, only with dolphins?

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        "If they used it right in the first place we would likely be better off as a country."

        A view that people on most sides of any political debate could agree with.

    2. Jason Hindle

      Re: Tough choices

      Welcome to Brazil. First world taxes, third world public healthcare, and enough heavily armed police by the time the populace realise they've been had.

  5. ThereisaGod

    The F35 is the biggest disaster ever designed and the most wasteful. Study this total joke of a machine that has killed its test pilots because they are breathing oxygen manufactured from engine gases (multiple billions required in developing the technology to do this ... technology that failed) rather than let pilots breathe oxygen from tanks of oxygen as usual (a stupid idea ... far too cheap).

    If Britain buys this crap we will lose any war in which we are engaged. Maybe that's a good thing. Enough of being led by corrupt idiots.

  6. ThereisaGod

    The F35 is the biggest disaster ever designed and the most financially wasteful. Study this total joke of a machine that has killed test pilots because they are breathing oxygen manufactured from engine gases (multiple billions required in developing the technology to do this ... technology that failed) rather than let pilots breathe oxygen from tanks of oxygen as usual (a stupid idea ... far too cheap [and too safe]).

    If Britain buys this crap we will lose any war in which we are engaged. Maybe that's a good thing. Enough of being led by corrupt idiots already.

    western governments have forfeited the right to rule. they are not trusted. America should split up. So should the UK.Let's get rid of these damn bankers and their hoors.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019