* Posts by EvilDrSmith

43 posts • joined 30 Jan 2018

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free


Re: But he got less votes.

Because the US has a system of representative democracy. ('A' system, not 'the' system... there are many variations...)

We just had this discussion re the .eu domain, where the argument was whether UK MPs as representatives can ignore the expressed instruction of the people on a particular issue. (Based on comments and up- / down- votes, the majority view amongst commentators seemed to be that the representatives should be able to ignore the expressed will of the people, and decide for themselves).

While not especially familiar with the US election system, it appears that the people elected their representatives, who then chose President Trump.

If the US presidential election was run along the lines of a referendum-style '50%+1 for victory', then the US would now have President (H) Clinton (simplified - this assumes only two candidates, of course).

Of course, the same system that gave us (well, the US) President Trump also gave the US Presidents (W) Clinton, Obama, and Carter, amongst many others. (Examples selected because they are markedly 'not-Trump', not for any other reason).

Strangely, there seems to be a lack of appetite amongst US presidents of any/all political persuasion to try to significantly change the system that put them in power.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt


Re: How long until the new referendum will be called?

The 1975 referendum was on membership of the EEC; the EEC changed into the EC and then the EU; the rights and obligations of the UK under the EU are substantially different to what was created by joining the EEC. It is therefore dishonest to suggest that the 2016 referendum was a 'repeat' of the 1975 referendum.

I do not recall there being any substantial call for a referendum on the UK's membership of the EEC after the result of the 1975 referendum (but admittedly, I was a bit young, so probably wouldn't have noticed it).

So in fact, the 'Brexiteers' did respect the result of the 1975 referendum, which the 'remainers' won.'Remainers' that then refused to allow any other direct consultation of the UKs membership of the EC/EU for 41 years.


Re: Wow, it's almost...

"Democracy is about representative government"

Not correct.

Representative government is (if implemented correctly) a form of democracy, but Democracy does not require representative government.

A society where every decision is resolved by ballot of all members of that society is a non-representative democracy, and in fact a truer democracy, since every member of that society gets to express their own specific view on every decision.

In practice, such a system seems impractical for any but the smallest groupings, hence representative democracy is generally accepted as the most practical solution.

In a representative (parliamentary) democracy, parliament is sovereign because it wields sovereign power (the 'parliamentary' bit of parliamentary democracy), but the sovereign power comes from the people, not the representatives (the 'democracy' bit).

If a parliament composed of the peoples' representatives is ever stupid enough to ask the people a direct question, then they cease to be representatives and, for that issue only, become ciphers, with no authority to exercise sovereign power other than as instructed by the people from whom that power originates.

No not THAT kind of Office Wizard! Roll a diplomacy check to win the election: Vote tie resolved by a D20


Re: Statistically speaking

Bah! Beaten to it....

As I was about to say, "Tsk! All true Dorks know that CHR is charisma..."

Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt


Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

No problem at all with the grammar.

The UK is a member of WTO

On leaving the EU, we are still a member of WTO.

We then find ourselves without agreed schedules, so need to submit these for WTO approval, as per the WTO rules. These will be reviewed in accordance with the rules of the WTO. Other countries may object, but fortunately, WTO is a rules based organisation, so the objections have to be based on something other than an attempt to gain an unfair advantage.

What you forget to mention is that proposed fast track schedules for the UK are also accompanied by the EU attempting to reduce the quantities listed under their schedule - the proposal is that the current EU schedules are divided between UK and EU (that's already agreed between UK and EU).

If you are correct that this somehow renders the UK not party to WTO, then the same logic means the EU is also no longer party to the WTO.

It's also a lot more likely that the UK will simply agree to up the quantities permitted under the UK schedules, thus immediately addressing the concerns raised by third party countries, than it is that the EU will agree to keep the quantities listed in its schedule unchanged following the UK departure.


Re: FUD Central Nervous System @amanfrommars 1


>Am I going mad?

Possibly, there seems to be a lot of it going about...


Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

Sorry, which part of the WTO's own statement that:

"The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its member states."

leads you to think that the UK is not a member of the WTO in it's own right?

I like reality, it has less Zombies in it than the worlds that some pro-remain people seem to inhabit.


Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.

Richard 12,

From the WTO page on the UK:

"This page gathers information on the United Kingdom's participation in the WTO. The United Kingdom has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. It is a member State of the European Union (more info). All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU (until 30 November 2009 known officially in the WTO as the European Communities for legal reasons) in its own right"

No mention of associate membership there.

And later, in discussing groups of countries:

"The largest and most comprehensive group is the European Union and its 28 member states. The EU is a customs union with a single external trade policy and tariff. While the member states coordinate their position in Brussels and Geneva, the European Commission alone speaks for the EU at almost all WTO meetings. The EU is a WTO member in its own right as are each of its member states."

So the WTO clearly thinks that the UK is (already) a member in our own right.


Re: Not it isn't allowed under WTO rules at all.


The UK already is a member of the World Trade Organisation.


We are already covered by WTO rules (as is the EU) and hence we already trade in accordance with WTO rules, either in accordance with trade agreements negotiated by the EU, or under the normal 'most favoured nation status' for nations with which we have no deal.

If we revert to trading with the EU under WTO rules (the 'No deal' option) no doubt there will be some issues that need to be sorted out, but we will nevertheless be legally covered by the WTO rules.

Additionally, a number of the nations with trade deals with the EU have already stated publically that, for their part, they intend those trade deals to be rolled forward such that they continue to apply to the UK once outside the EU.


Re: I think the issue was the binary question


>I think the issue was the binary question

>1) Leave things as they are

>2) Change things

Not entirely true.

I have seen numerous people that support 'remain' claiming that they knew what they were voting for/it was to keep things as they were, yet this is incorrect: the EU is not static, but is constantly changing.

If you voted to leave things as they were, then, as (relatively trivial) examples, your vote has already been overturned by:

the implementation of PESCO (occurred after the vote)

the reduction in the percentage of tariffs raised by the Common External Tariff (which are, of course, actually paid by UK consumers, so amount to the UK 'sending money' to the EU) kept by the home nation from 25% (2016) to 20% (2017) (with commensurate increase from 75% to 80% paid to the EU).

Remain voters (assuming they were moderately intelligent and informed) voted for ever closer union - constant change, in a direction that was broadly known, but with huge uncertainty in the details.

So the options were:

Vote for moderate uncertainty (change things a little, but continuously), and a broad direction of travel that was known

Vote for extensive uncertainty (change thing a lot), on an entirely different direction of travel

'BMW, Airbus and Siemens' get the Brexit spending shakes


Re: BMW and Airbus have more to worry about...

Regarding 'easiest deal', that was July 2017, so over a year after the referendum, plus is invariably (deliberately, I suspect) mis-quoted (incompletely quoted): see my comment above.

But you are right - lots of promises:

A technical recession immediately after a vote to leave;

a guaranteed 500,000 unemployed within 6 months of the vote (unemployment actually fallen steadily and now at a lower rate than before we joined the EEC, let alone the EU);

GDP down by 3.6% (admittedly, that was compared to remain, but does anyone believe our GDP would rally be 3.6% higher today?)

Inflation 2.3% higher after a year

No plans for an EU army (yet we have PESCO; proposed European battle groups).

So the leave campaign lied. And the remain campaign lied.

Just like politicians always do in elections.


Re: "Keep calm and carry on"

From the FT, on the grounds that it is very pro-remain, and therefore is less likely to be accused of being pro-leave propaganda:

The UK’s international trade secretary Liam Fox has said that the country’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU should be “one of the easiest in human history” to strike.Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s Today programme, Mr Fox said: “We’re already beginning with zero tariffs and maximum regulatory equivalence. The only reason we wouldn’t come to a deal is if politics gets in the way of economics.”

It's strange how everyone seeking to mock the claim always seem to forget that last sentence.

HMRC rapped as Brexit looms and customs IT release slips again


Re: no surprise

Charlie Clark

Not disputing any of your points (and I certainly agree that time was wasted in the aftermath of the referendum), but none prove all brexiteers = racists or all racists = brexiteers.

Nor does your post dispute that free movement is discriminatory (which it plainly is on the basis of nationality), or that such discrimination on the basis of nationality amounts in effect to discrimination on the basis of race.

Hence you do not address the fact that people that supported remain were supporting membership of the single market and free movement (for EU citizens) and were thus supporting a racist policy (in effect, if not in design).

It wasn't clear in my first post that I was trying to show that all who voted for remain were voting for a racist policy, but this does not by any means mean that all who voted remain are racist - I do not believe that and would view such an accusation as a dishonest smear. Just as I view the brexiteer = racist = brexiteer claim to be a dishonest smear.

17.4 million people voted to leave, and they did so for 17.4 million individual and likely high complex, reasons. Some will have been racist, and some won't be, just like some remain voters were racist and some won't be.


Re: no surprise

"I accept not all Brexiteers are racists, but I also accept all racists are Brexiteers..."

Then you're completely wrong.

Assuming (no evidence to support this, but it's a reasonable hypothesis) that most people that voted for Brexit agreed with the ideals put out at the time of the referendum, and which have been repeated continuously since then, Brexiteers voted to leave the single market and so end free movement.

It is, in fact, remain orthodoxy that everyone that voted in favour of leave did so because they wanted to leave the single market and thus end free movement.

Ending free movement means that immigrants from the EU are treated the same as immigrants from non-EU countries.

Remain voters voted to stay in the single market and thus keep free movement of people for EU citizens, which does not apply to non-EU citizens.

Free movement is taken to be a good thing, thus the single market gives a benefit to EU citizens that is specifically and deliberately denied to non-EU citizens.

Thus Remain voters have voted for a discriminatory policy (discriminating on the basis of nationality). This is clearly undeniable.

However, the bulk of the EU population are (again, no evidence offered, since I consider it self evident) white and Christian (by culture if not by observation).

The bulk of the world's non-EU population are non white and non-Christian.

Supporters of free movement are therefore, in effect, discriminating on the basis of race, since they support a policy that discriminates in favour of a majority white population, and against a majority non-white population.

Opponents of free movement (Brexiteers) are seeking to remove a mechanism that permits discrimination on the basis of race.

The continued repeat of the lie that brexiteer = racist = brexiteer merely proves to those of us that were not too fussed one way or the other about the EU that it's the hard core remainers that are the bigots.

UK space comes to an 'understanding' with Australia as Brexit looms


Re: RE: Mooseman

"I grew up in the 70's, I remember rolling blackouts, winter of discontent, cap in hand to the IMF, inflation, high interest rates. That's the whole reason we joined the EU in the first place."

I remember them too - they occurred during the mid- to late 1970's.

After we joined the EEC.

So not 'why we joined the EU in the first place'. (Plus of course, we joined the EU when it formed in 1992, by which time the economic problems of the 1970's UK were long passed).

If there is a link between those economic problems and the EU (which I don't actual think there is) it would prove that joining EEC (/EC/EU) was detrimental to the UK economy. Which in some respects it was, and in other respects it was beneficial.

I have no objection to remain supporters pointing out the lies told by the Brexiteer, but if they do, they should make a modicum of effort to tell the truth themselves, less they be labelled hypocrites.

Never mind Brexit. UK must fling more £billions at nuke subs, say MPs


Re: Let's cut the BS. It's about the UK's self image as a "World" power.

"IE A massive willy waving exercise"

To a large (but not entire) degree, yes.

But by your examples, you appear to misunderstand the principle of deterrence. Deterrence applies to any/all weapon systems, but only works if the weapon system is credible and the person to be deterred believes that you will use it.

Fairly obviously, you do not deter terrorists that are hiding within your own cities with city-destroying weapons (ICBM is not a credible weapon for use in this case, therefore cannot be considered to be a deterrent for use in this case)

However, deterrence worked perfectly in the case of the Falklands - hence there was no Falklands War of 1977, when the Argentines made all the same moves to invade the Falklands as in 1981/82, and the British response was to park a SSN in the south Atlantic. This left the Argentine junta in no doubt that the UK would defend the islands, and they were deterred from invading (since the weapon systems deployed to deter them were credible as a means of destroying the invasion fleet, and the Junta believed the UK government would use them).

In 1981/82, the British response to aggression from Argentina was to continue with the plan to sell off both carriers, scrap both the amphibious assault ships, and withdraw the Falklands guard ship without replacement. The logical interpretation was that the UK weren't prepared to fight to stop the islands being annexed. Therefore, the weapons possessed by the UK were irrelevant: the Junta believed there was no political will to use them.

A similar example of deterrence succeeding / failing due to political will would appear to be the invasion of Kuwait: the Iraqi invasion of 1961 didn't happen because the UK chucked in troops and made it clear to the Iraqis that we would fight to defend Kuwait, whereas in 1990, the US (the new 'outside power' dominant in the area) failed to make clear politically their view, and failed to deploy troops, so failed to deter, with the Iraqis thus assumed the US would do nothing.

Whether the UK needs a nuclear deterrent is certainty a point for discussion, however, there would appear to be a political/diplomatic advantage (willy -waving isn't entirely without impact).

It might also be noted that Litvinenko was poisoned by Polonium, an action which is generally held to have been the actions of the Russian state, and this year there has been a reported small scale chemical weapons attack against civilians in the UK, again the action of the Russian state. Given that the current Russian government has been prepared to use two classes of weapons of mass destruction (chemical weapons and radiological weapons) against targets in the UK (though only in very small scale volumes, and has attempted to do so covertly in both cases), one could conclude either:

(i) our deterrent has failed, and is useless

(ii) our deterrent is vital, and possibly the only thing stopping the use or the threat of use of a nuclear warhead against civilian target in the UK

(iii) we were never going to launch a nuclear warhead against an attack of such a small scale, so the deterrent was never relevant in either case, but the world is dangerous and unpredictable, so it might be a good idea to hang on to it, just in case.

So those are at least some possible points of the exercise.


Re: Simplistic solution to two problems

Not entirely.

On-shore wind appears to be particularly sensitive to variations in the wind speed, and the UK does get weather systems big enough to blanket the island, where no wind somewhere = no wind everywhere.

Off-shore is more dependable, and the turbines tend to be bigger, so it offers the potential for significant energy supply. However the development of these large offshore turbines in large off-shore wind farms is taking these machines to much harsher environments: long term durability of these big turbines in harsh conditions is still uncertain. Anything that needs to be maintained that far from shore in the conditions of the North Sea or North Atlantic is neither easy nor cheap to maintain (I don't, however, no how much maintenance these things actually need, so possibly the costs are low in relative terms).

Solar is relatively good for 'trickle-charge' type applications, but is unlikely to be a significant energy source for the UK - peak energy demand is, I suspect, on cold, dark, days in winter, when solar will struggle to generate much.

Solar panels on every new property would be useful for reducing demand from the grid - but there is environmental damage in actually creating the panel which needs to be considered.

Tidal has, in my opinion, real potential, but is nowhere near mature yet. Tides are predictable and reliable (and also vary slightly in timing around the coast). But the best tidal energy locations are where the tidal flow is highest, and sticking a tidal generator in these tidal flows is difficult - the same energy that you are drawing out of the water to create electricity is also trying to rip your tidal generator from it's anchorage and send it bounding along the sea bed, breaking its expensive bits in the process. And as with wind turbines, tidal turbines are in a harsh environment, where long term durability is going to be an issue.

Tidal lagoons offer a potential solution, but these are large scale structures - expensive, and with a heavy footprint on the environment.

Additionally, all these 'green' energy sources have to be built, installed, and the electricity brought to the grid, which makes for lots of vehicle movements shipping components, transporting to site, possible energy loses in transmission, etc There are direct environmental impacts (wind turbines emit noise, are visually intrusive, and kill migratory birds, etc). There has been little attempt at decommissioning any of these types of generators (what do you do with a 100-year old wind farm in the north sea, where the existing foundations are not strong enough to carry the load of your 22nd century mega-wind turbine? Can you recycle pv panels? etc)

There is also the issue of what effect these techniques have on the environment - these are not generating energy, they are taking it from the natural system. I suspect that the energy drawn from the wind by even the largest wind farm is insignificant on the resulting wind patterns. But then, the CO2 put into the atmosphere by burning coal was insignificant until it wasn't.

All three of these energy sources (Wind/solar/tidal) have potential, but solar is unlikely ever to be a major source of electrical energy in the UK, and tidal power is some years away from being a practical proposition.


The problem with that is in the year after you scrapped the Nuclear capability, you would have lots more money for your conventional forces. But after about 5 years, you'd have a reduced defence budget, and your conventional forces are back at the level they were when you had the Nukes. Only now, you don't have the Nukes.

Plus actually having sufficient conventional ships, planes tanks etc is quite expensive - buying the kit, storing the kit, operating the kit, and most importantly employing the large number of people to operate the kit.

Plus having Nukes is partly about deterrence (if the Russians/French/N Korea threatened to Nuke us, could we rely on the US to say no? If the US threatened to Nuke us, could we rely on the French to say Non?), and partly about diplomacy - we have nukes/we are on the UN security council/we something else, yar-de-dar, therefore we are important...

UK.gov finally adds Galileo and Copernicus to the Brexit divorce bill


Re: To anyone pro-Brexit



Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

I broadly agree, apart from it actually being democratic to hold another referendum - democracy, like justice has to be seen to be done, as well as to be done. The most voracious cries for another referendum are from those people that have been trying to overthrow the decision from the start.

Whatever the arguments for a new referendum may be, it will clearly be seen by many as an attempt to frustrate BREXIT, and as such would be harmful to democracy.

Add in that the EU (and ECC/EC) has a history of telling countries that have held referenda on EC/EU issues to think again when they came back with the 'wrong' result, and also the suggestion (repeated below I see) that it should be a three way referendum with two options to leave, thus ensuring the leave to vote is split so that remain can win, and any attempt to force through a second referendum would be viewed as an attack on democracy, and be even more highly divisive than the original back in 2016.

Which is pretty much what you said.


Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

So at the time the referendum bill was in parliament you wrote to your MP insisting he or she oppose it?

Or wrote a strongly worded letter to the Times, demanding the rules be changed?

Or took to the streets and opposed the whole process in a demonstration parliament square?

Or actually, you did nothing, smug and confident that your side would win by the rules which you knew (or which you would have known if you had made the modicum of effort to find them out).

And then only when you lost could you be bothered to do anything (that being, posting rudely worded comments on a discussion board).

How many of the people here so upset with the vote did anything to help the remain campaign?

How many volunteered to hand out fliers outside rainy stations, or deliver leaflets to a two-mile stretch of houses?

The rules were set down clearly, and in plenty of time, There was no widespread disagreement with them (with the exception, if I recall, of the SNP, who I think did object to some of the rules, but also to the whole idea of the referendum anyway).

How many even bothered to vote?

As a society, we agreed the rules and we agreed that the result would be implemented.

We reached a result.

We implement the result.


Re: To anyone pro-Brexit

You're logic is sound, but I disagree. Democracy is something that we in the 'liberal west' take for granted, yet it is so incredibly fragile and easy to lose, and it is invariably so difficult and bloody to restore.

You do not defend democracy when the government is a dictatorship, and the gulags/death camps are in operation - by then it's way too late; you defend democracy over the first little things.. when the PM tries to lock innocent people (erm.. terrorist suspects) up for 90 days without charge or trail.

Or when attempts are made to overthrow a decision of the people by assorted individuals, many of whom fail to understand that democracy doesn't mean that we all vote and that they then get what they want, but some of whom are politicians carefully noting how 'the people' are accepting that democracy can be ignored (if they accept it once, they have no fundamental principle over it happening again, and again, and again...).

Whether BREXIT is good or bad is irrelevant (and a matter of opinion).

We agreed a set of rules for the referendum. We agreed that the result would be implemented, on the basis that +1 vote was enough. We reached a democratic decision.

We now implement that decision. Anything else is an attack in democracy.

And it's never a waste of time to stand up and defend democracy.

I will no doubt now be heavily down voted. Meh!


Re: Neverendum

You missed out that the breach of the law committed by the leave campaign was because they took advice from the Electoral Commission, who stated that what they were going to do (in general terms) was legal, when, in fact, it was not. And that the Electoral Commission then attempted to cover up their own part in this to the High Court.

From the High Court ruling:


94. For the reasons given, we conclude that the Electoral Commission has misinterpreted the definition of “referendum expenses” in section 111(2) of PPERA. The source of its error is a mistaken assumption that an individual or body which makes a donation to a permitted participant cannot thereby incur referendum expenses. As a result of this error, the Electoral Commission has interpreted the definition in a way that is inconsistent with both the language and the purpose of the legislation.

So the Electoral Commission have found the leave campaign guilty of serious crimes, but the High Court has found the Electoral Commission (in effect) misled the leave campaign, causing that breach of the law.

There have also been numerous accusations of breaches of the rules by the remain campaign which the Electoral Commission has failed to investigate (not investigated and found to be unsubstantiated, but failed to investigate).


Because in a democracy sovereign power comes not from parliament (or even the sovereign), but from the people.

If the peoples' representatives ask the people for direction, then they follow the instruction they get back from the people.

The sensible thing is, of course, never to be stupid enough to ask the people a direct question like this in the first place.


Re: Neverendum

The difference is that we vote for our representatives to parliament, on the strict basis that they fill that role for a period not exceeding 5 years. When we then have the next general election, we are not 'changing our mind'; once we vote for our MP, that result is fixed and permanent, and is not, and cannot be, over turned, because some people don't like the result / think it may be harmful.

We (the nation) voted in a free and fair referendum, which was not just authorised but instructed to occur by act of parliament. We voted to leave the EU: the exact details of what this meant were indeed unclear (other than it meant leaving the single market, leaving the common external tariff area / customs union, and ending the general jurisdiction of the ECJ, all points that were absolutely clear during the referendum). Parliament voted to enact that result, and duly started the process for leaving the EU. It would be an over-turning of democracy to stop that process: the instruction to leave the EU has been given and so should be carried out.

Once we have left the EU, then anybody is of course entirely free to make the case to then reverse that decision, just as once your duly elected MP takes his seat in parliament, you are entirely free to start campaigning, for or against him/her, for the next election.

Of course, given that the only previous time the people of the UK were consulted on membership of the EEC/EC/EU was 1975, which was a referendum won by the remain campaign, it might be viewed as hypocritical for supporters of remain to insist on another referendum in less than 40 years from 2016.

Blighty's super-duper F-35B fighter jets are due to arrive in a few weeks



"if you want a intercept - buy a missile"

The attitude adopted by the UK government in the 1950's that was a significant (though not sole) factor in the decline of the British aviation industry. And which was not fully thought out, then.


Re: A plane so expensive it’s useless

While $20mil for an F16 is floating around as a number on the internet, it seems to be the lower-end figure of what the USAF pays; I doubt that it represents a realistic number for the cost-per airframe for a nation acquiring the aircraft from scratch (thus needing to set up all the support infrastructure, etc).

That's not to say that it won't be a lot cheaper than an F35, but probably about half the cost.

The F16 also entered service in the 1970's. It's a good aeroplane. It's also 40+ years old and obsolescent.

An F-22 can't be had for any sum of money. The production line is closed, and the US decided that it would be unavailable to any and all foreign customers.

No idea what the cost an F14 was - it's been out of service with the US for so long now, I couldn't even reliably guess when production ceased - some time in the 1980's at a guess. The Iranian's still use it (bought by the Shar prior to the revolution). Slightly ironically (given the constant incorrect claims made about Typhoon), the F14 was designed for air-to air only, as fleet air defence fighter, though did have a ground attack capability 'bolted-on' in later life (the Tomcat became the Bombcat).

I suspect that rather than F14 you may have meant the F/A18 - currently in the E/F model (Super Hornet aka Super Bug). A good, sound aeroplane, the original (A/B) version of which entered service around 1983. So a 35 year old design - again, it's obsolescent.

Regarding flight experience and costs of training - a significant issue, which the ever increasing use of ever-more-realistic simulators is addressing - if you crash the simulator, the trainee walks away and you reset the simulator, you don't need a new aeroplane and a new trainee. Simulators also tend to be cheaper to operator (no jet fuel needed).

As for career over if you crash - I doubt it, plenty of service pilots have crashed. Sometimes it was their fault, sometime not. They don't generally get dismissed from the service or permanently grounded (there is a medic limit on flying again following multiple ejections, I think - not sure of details).

If the plane malfunctions and the pilot bailed out, than a very expensive component of the plane (the highly and expensively trained pilot) has been saved for re-use. It's not his/her fault the plane malfunctioned.

Less anyone mistake me from the above - I am not a great fan of the F35.

It seems to me to have been a poor idea to create the three variants: there must have been design compromises, particularly with regard to the -B model affecting the -A and -C models.

The maintenance system seems perfectly cost efficient for a civilian logistics operation, but unwise for a military system.

It's taken too long and cost too much.

But it has some very clever features that will probably prove highly effective. It does actually work, and (as regards the -B model) is easier and a safer to fly than a Harrier, so should end up killing less of its pilots (*I'm not sure how many Harrier crashes actually killed the pilot, but they were noted as being tricky to fly).


Re: bombing cities

Indeed they were - hence 'the bomber will always get through'. What the theories tended to miss was the relatively poor capability of a bomber force to 'destroy' a city with 1920's / 1930's technology. Douhet also underestimated the effectiveness of the air defences opposing the bomber - 'A bomber will always get through...but if we shoot enough of it's companions down, they'll give up bombing long before they actually destroy the city'.

Of course, that's taking the broad view...if it's you and your family under the bomber(s) that gets through, then the city is destroyed quite enough.


Re: re: anything to add

Not again...

As I and others have pointed out on more than one occasion, the UK intended the Eurofighter (Typhoon) to be a replacement for the RAFs Jaguars (amongst others).

The Jaguar is a ground attack aircraft.

Typhoon was designed to replace a ground attack aircraft.

Typhoon was designed to be a ground attack aircraft.

The actual implementation of that capability was delayed because it wasn't a priority, and the Cold War ended (apparently), and defence budgets amongst the partner nations were slashed, leaving not a great deal of funds for defence spending relative to what the people in charge wanted to spend money on.

However, Typhoon is and always has been capable of fulfilling the ground attack role.

F-35B Block 4 software upgrades will cost Britain £345m


Re: It's not RAF nor UK It's Nato ...

The Typhoon vs Indian Su30 claim was actually 0-12.

However, it was apparently made in an Indian equivalent of the mail on-line, and, from what I read reading around the subject at the time, no more reliable.

It appears to be based on the RAF playing nice in the first couple of days that the Indian pilots were there and learning the area, prior to the exercises starting properly (the idea of the exercise being to learn from each other, not humiliate the guests). When the actual exercises started, the Su30's suddenly weren't anywhere near as good.

That's not to say that the Su30 isn't a very good aeroplane. But so is Typhoon.

The SU 30 gets its very good manoeuvrability from thrust vectoring - but if you're not moving in the direction you are pointing, you tend to generate a lot of drag that slows you down. And if you've vectored your thrust, a large chunk of that thrust is not available to counteract the drag.

Typhoon gets its very good manoeuvrability aerodynamically, and so keeps its energy (speed) much better. (Apparently, if I understand all the technical bumf correctly, which I might not have).

Both has IRST (passive detection), both have helmet-mounted sights (giving high off-boresight missile lock-on).

Typhoon carries ASRAAM, which can successfully engage a target directly behind the aircraft, which I think remains a unique capability: RAAF did it, firing from an F/A18:


Typhoon also has what is claimed to be the best Defensive Aids System fitted to a combat aircraft (incorporates warning receivers, threat library, expendable decoys, jammer and towed decoy).

As I said, the SU30 is a very good aeroplane, but so is the Typhoon.


Re: It's not RAF nor UK It's Nato ...

"who cheat by including service pensions as defence spending"

Financial and Economic Data Relating to NATO Defence, published 13 April 2012 (by NATO), makes it clear that "Personnel expenditures include military and civilian personnel expenditures and pensions".

The same document notes that defence expenditures do not include pensions, in one exception: Bulgaria.

So including military pensions in defence spending may seem to mis-represent the degree of funding on active defence capability, but for NATO countries, it's not cheating. The change in UK accounting procedures simply made us compliant with the rules.


Re: and Pigs might fly a.k.a F-35

Stealth does exist, it's just not binary ( 'you have it or you don't'), but shades of grey.

It's about reducing the radar return from the aircraft to the detecting system, and the basic physics behind shaping and radar absorbent (or transparent) materials doesn't change just because your opponent also understands these principles and has made his detection systems less vulnerable to them.

Whether 'full stealth' is worth the financial cost or other design compromises necessary to achieve it is, of course, and entirely different question.


Re: They're bringing 617 back ?

Went from Vulcans to Tornados. Disbanded as a Tornado squadron when??? can't remember, but quite recently, as a prelude to reforming with F35.


Some sound comments, but implying the new UK carriers are 'the wrong ships' ignores a whole host of very good arguments for STOL carriers and against the 'cats-and-traps' type (which arguments have been repeated more than once in these comments pages).

Also, referring only to UK air-to-air kills strictly limits your data set - plenty of air-to-air kills have been achieved by supersonic capable aircraft (Indo-Pakistan wars, Arab-Israeli wars, Various US adventures, East Africa, etc)


Re: Submarine palaces for marine fauna

"As to the UK, we ought to know better after the Falklands (where we had to keep the carriers out of range of pretty much any and every threat, or lose the war) but politicial stupidity and short-sighted penny-pinching will always have their way ... our two "supercarriers", if we have to fight against a real opponent, really are just big, fat, dumb floating targets."

And yet, without the carriers, we would have lost the Falklands war.

UK.gov: Psst. Belgium. Buy these Typhoon fighter jets from us, will you?


Re: @ wolfetone

Cynical is good....


Re: @ wolfetone

Indeed...Lewis has never much liked Eurofighter / Typhoon, and at no point have I ever claimed that the programme was necessarily well managed.

However, that doesn't change the fact that the Typhoon was conceived and designed to replace Phantom FGR2 in RAF service in the air defence role, and Jaguar in the ground attack roll.

The RAF considered replacement of the Phantom (and stopgap Tornado F3) as more urgent than the replacement of the Jaguar, so development of the Typhoon gave priority to the air-to-air capability (I think the Luftwaffe and Italian air forces shared that view, since they both were also proud possessors of relatively new Tornado strike aircraft).

While I am always happy to read Lewis' articles (invariably entertaining), I prefer not to base my opinion on a subject purely on his views; if I were at home, I could add a fairly long list of book and magazine references on the Eurofighter /Typhoon dating back to the 1990's, which provide a somewhat less biased record of the development history than Mr Page.


Re: @ wolfetone



The Eurofighter / Typhoon was designed to meet a number of requirements, including replacing the Jaguar ground attack aircraft in RAF service.

As I and others have said before it was always designed to have an air-to-ground capability.

It was not an expensive 'fudge' upgrade; it was a sequential development of planned capability, which is still on-going.

In fact, the UK were arguably the drivers for the current capabilities of Typhoon - the Germans in particular were reluctant to continue with the development of the aircraft as agreed, after 1990, and for a while pushed hard for a less capable (=cheaper) option.


I think the contenders now are Typhoon, Rafale and F35.

The F16, while still a good aeroplane due to continuous updates, is obsolescent, and any nation looking to maintain a first-line airforce is looking to replace them (if it's their only tactical jet).

F/A18 was in the running for Belgium, but was withdrawn, because of "unfairness in the bidding procedure" (i.e. they claim it was skewed in favour of F35). But the F/A 18 is also obsolescent, and it may just be Boeing realised they had no chance.

The Gripen was also an option for a while but was withdrawn, because SAAB couldn't guarantee the support requirements (the contract is apparently to be government to government, which means government foreign policy impacts on what the supplying company can actually supply).

The Rafale bid may not be fully compliant with the Belgium requirements (not sure of the details of this).

So in practice, there isn't really a 'something cheap' option, if they want to keep a first line (NATO compatible) capability.

South China waters are red, Brit warships are blue, HMS Sutherland's sailing there


Re: re: You can't manufacture sovernity by manufacturing islands

Well, by and large, the Brit's never kicked the natives out - Diego Garcia / Chagos islands excepted.

Britain got to rule the waves by finding unoccupied islands, or pinching occupied ones, and keeping the population (need someone to work in the dockyards).

But it was all within the bounds of what passed for international law at the time (again, Diego Garcia possibly excepted).

And assuming your comment was actually a not-so-subtle reference to the Falklands, nope, no population kicked out by the Brits, just the illegal Argentinian* military occupation forces (twice).

*Not strictly correct for the 1832 event, since the Argentinian Republic hadn't been declared at that point.

Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin


Re: And sometimes the flood is concrete

"...a small quantity of sugar (about 0.05 per cent of the weight of cement) will act as an acceptable retarder: the delay in setting of concrete is about 4 hours....A large quantity of sugar, say 0.2 to 1 per cent of the weight of the cement, will virtually prevent the setting of cement."

Properties of Concrete (A M Neville). 3rd edition (which probably shows my age, somewhat).

I have a dim and distant memory that the effects of sugar retarding the setting of concrete were first discovered when sacks previously used to transport molasses were then used to transport cement. But that might be me imagining things.

F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus


It was quite late...

Tornado F3 (not Typhoon F3), obviously...



Please, for the love of God and the Vampire Baby Jesus, will people please stop repeating this rubbish that the Typhoon was designed to be only a fighter, with surface attack capability added as some sort of after thought.

The RAF wanted Typhoon to replace the Phantom FGR2 in the air defence role in UK and Germany, Typhoon F3 in the air defence roll in UK and the Jaguar as a close air support / ground attack aircraft. Typhoon was ALWAY intended to have an air-to surface capability.

And it's really not hard to find this out - just read a book, magazine, or even website written by someone that actually knows what they are talking about. For example:

RAF Yearbook 1997: "The aircraft (Typhoon) will provide the major element of the RAF's front line strength...in the air defence, ground attack and tactical reconnaissance roles."

International Air Power Review, Vol20 (2006): "Though all of its customers placed their primary emphasis on getting the aircraft into service in the air-to-air role, the aircraft was designed from the start to be a swing-role fighter...capable of switching from air-to-ground to air-to-air...The aircraft has always been a versatile, deployable, multi-role aircraft."

I could list (many) more references but that just gets boring, and it's quite late.

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