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Feb 9 12 10:52 AM
Feb 24 12 10:49 PM
Lockheed Martin's short take-off and vertical landing F-35B has
made its first flight with a key weapon system for the US Marine Corps
Flown from the US Navy's Patuxent River test site in Maryland on 22
February, test aircraft BF-2 carried a 25mm gun pod on a centreline
weapons station, in addition to two Raytheon AIM-9X Sidewinder
air-to-air missiles beneath its outboard wing stations.
Both images © Lockheed Martin
"Significant weapons testing for the F-35B and F-35C variants is
scheduled for 2012, including fit checks, captive carriage, pit drop and
aerial drop tests," said Lockheed.
Meanwhile, Royal Air Force experimental test pilot Sqn Ldr Jim
Schofield has become the first UK pilot to fly the carrier variant
F-35C, having performed a sortie in test aircraft CF-2 from Patuxent
As of 23 February, some 1,704 flights totalling more than 2,500h had
been performed by the F-35 development and test fleet, said Lockheed.
This total includes 114 flights conducted so far during 2012, it added.
BF-2's first flight with external stores came less than a week after a
conventional take-off and landing F-35A AF-1 had also flown with two
AIM-9X missiles as part of a payload including weapons carried in the
aircraft's two internal bays.
Feb 24 12 11:06 PM
Feb 28 12 1:42 AM
Feb 28 12 3:41 PM
istobie wrote:Plans for one? I do you special price my friend, finest quality QE plans, we must have the package we prepped for the French someplace still?
Feb 28 12 4:00 PM
Meeware wrote:Stealth really is only one part of the F35 system- arguably more transformative will be the networked capabilities. After all, a/c have always skulked around avoiding radar, fo as long as radar has been a factor, so the stealth is just more of the same (and with advances in radar it's arguable that some of the time there really won't be a huge improvement in capability). No, the key thing is that a single pilot will have access to so much more information, so much better presented. These, with UAVs and good AEW, will be radically game changing systems, but there's the rub.
AEW and UAVs are pretty much essential if this system is going to deliver the goods, otherwise Hornets or even Rifraf would have been a better bargain. Fingers crossed we get the whole package, and not just the very sexy cherry on the top.
Mar 1 12 3:11 PM
Mar 1 12 10:24 PM
Decision expected by Easter on which US joint strike fighter Britain will buy: ministers now want to revert to original choice
Britain's troubled and increasingly expensive plan to equip the
navy with new aircraft carriers has been plunged into fresh turmoil as
ministers consider reversing their earlier decision to change the type
of plane that should fly from them, it has emerged.
announced in last autumn's strategic defence review that it had decided
to buy the "cats and flaps" (catapults and arrester gear) version of
the US joint strike fighter. This would have a "longer range and greater
payload ... the critical requirement for precision-strike operations in
the future", the government stated.
Moreover, the government
added, it will be cheaper. It would also enable French planes to land on
British carriers, and vice versa, inkeeping with the new UK-French
defence spirit of co-operation.
Now, in an extraordinary volte-face, the Ministry of Defence
says the "cats and flaps" planes may well be cheaper but it would be
too expensive to redesign a carrier – more than £1bn – to accommodate
them. The ministry is thus faced with the prospect of renegotiating a
deal with the US, reverting to its original plan – namely buying the
short take-off and vertical landing version of the aircraft, even though
it is acknowledged to be less effective and more expensive .
latest chapter in the troubled saga of Britain's future aircraft
carriers – whose own estimated costs have soared – was raised on
Thursday in a letter to the defence secretary, Philip Hammond, from Jim
Murphy, his Labour opposite number.
Murphy referred to "worrying
suggestions" that the government was about to change its mind about the
kind of aircraft to buy from the US. "It is vital that there is now
clarity on the government's plans for this vital area of the defence
equipment programme," he wrote.
Murphy said the decision in the
defence review to scrap the Harrier fleet meant the UK would have no
carrier aircraft capability until 2020 – and then only one carrier would
Defence officials said that the government was
"re-assessing" its earlier decision because, they indicated, of
pressures on the defence budget.
HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first
carrier, will be mothballed immediately it is launched in 2016,
according to existing plans. The second, HMS Prince of Wales, will be
able to put to sea by 2020, but it is not known how many planes will be
able to fly from it – nor what kind.
The two carriers, originally
priced at £3.5bn, are now estimated to cost £6.2bn. According to the
Commons public accounts committee, the cost is likely to icrease to as
much as £12bn.
The government, which originally said it wanted
more than 100 joint strike fighters, says that it will have just six
operational ones by 2020. The unit cost of the joint strike fighter,
made by Lockheed Martin, has soared because of production problems and
delays caused by US defence budget cuts. Britain's BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce have big stakes in a future deal adapting the joint strike fighter for British forces.
spokesperson for the MoD said: "We are currently finalising the 2012-13
budget and balancing the equipment plan. As part of this process, we
are reviewing all programmes, including elements of the carrier strike
programme, to validate costs and ensure risks are properly managed. The
defence secretary expects to announce the outcome of this process to
parliament before Easter."
Mar 1 12 10:29 PM
Mar 1 12 10:38 PM
Mar 1 12 11:49 PM
Mar 2 12 12:05 AM
Mar 2 12 12:39 AM
Lord Lieutenant wrote:"cats and flaps"
Mar 2 12 1:00 AM
Mar 2 12 1:04 AM
Mar 2 12 1:08 AM
Mar 2 12 1:53 AM
Mar 2 12 3:20 AM
Mar 2 12 3:35 AM
HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first carrier, will be mothballed immediately it is launched in 2016, according to existing plans. The second, HMS Prince of Wales, will be able to put to sea by 2020,
Mar 2 12 6:27 AM
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