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Meat Loaf

Do You Expect The F-35/eurofighter Projects To Be Cut?

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These are potentially big hitters that could save the country a decent amount of money. However with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars our defence aircfaft may need to be replaced soon.

So do the Government do:

(1) Cut no defence projects.

(2) Cut F-35

(3) Cut Eurofighter

(4) Cut both!

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My big fear is that Generals and sneior Army types 'love' war because wars allow them to build careers and reputations, to do the things they dreamed about doing as little boys and use all their tanks, guns, etc,

I personally think, and fear, that the strategy in Afghanistan is fundamentally and dangerously wrong - we are bogged down, we are getting men and kit worn and there is not an endless supply of brave young men who are willing or capable to go and defuse IEDs, etc.

But the senior military officers 'love' Afghanistan because it puts them centre of attention.

The bottom line is that no modern war against a state can be won without adequate air cover - preferably air superiority and, if you are lucky, air supremacy. In 1940 Britain and France got it's **** spanked by the Germans because we had so little modern aircraft compared to the Germans. The Germans did the same to the Russians initially. Ditto Japan to the Americans for the first few months after Pearl Harbour.

The Germans then got it back a thousand-fold when the Allies, on all Fronts, gained air superiority and then air supermacy. Tanks, guns, soldiers - no matter how good they are - can do anything against aircraft. Nor, for that matter, can battleships - we lost a few battleships in WW2 because the Admiral in charge insisted of sailing without his aircraft carrier and the Japanese bomber caught them and sunk them.

We might not be fighting men in turbans forever - although I fear the army boys would 'love' to do so.

We need modern fighter aircraft and fighter bombers. We also need modern warships and subs. There are some countries who might become our enemies in future that we would not stand a chance against without them.

In fact, there are some countries which have such vast armies we would need the bomb to stop them.

I will say it again, Afghanistan is a waste of life, a distraction and a folly - but the generals get to be generals and the majors get to prove they are general material!

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If the F-35s are cut then the carriers will also have to go as well since there will be no aircraft to fly from them. That is unless Harriers and various helicopters are used instead but that's no better than what we already have with the existing carriers.

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These are potentially big hitters that could save the country a decent amount of money. However with the Iraq and Afghanistan wars our defence aircfaft may need to be replaced soon.

So do the Government do:

(1) Cut no defence projects.

(2) Cut F-35

(3) Cut Eurofighter

(4) Cut both!

One possibility I have heard is they will cut the F35. Then they will harden the eurofighter for carrier landings. The eurofighters can then be used as part of the carrier force and for general RAF duties. This would probably be a big operational save, but I don't know the cost of making the mods. You might think its just a matter of strengthening up the landing gear but making any change to an aircraft is stupidly costly.

Some further things :

I guess politically cutting the F35 won't make the Yanks too happy.

It makes us very dependent on the one type of fighter. If that fighter has some sort of issues in a war we wouldn't have the ability to switch to another.

The two new carriers have an estimated aircraft complement of 36 F35's each. Each carrier will carry more F35 fighters than the enitre Invincible class (invicible, ark royal, illustrious) could. There is obvuously a requirement for two carriers for redundancy, but I guess there is a possibility that they may only buy enough F35's to populate one initially and leave the other in a mothballed state for when the finances/war picks up, or maybe operate both with only half the number of aircraft initially.

Of course according to some on this site Britain is now a third world nation in terms of arms, Argentina would whoop us etc. The reality is that these carriers will be second only to the US nuclear carriers in terms of firepower, and will dramatically increase the UK military strength. I find it hard to believe we need anything like this level of capability.

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One possibility I have heard is they will cut the F35. Then they will harden the eurofighter for carrier landings. The eurofighters can then be used as part of the carrier force and for general RAF duties. This would probably be a big operational save, but I don't know the cost of making the mods. You might think its just a matter of strengthening up the landing gear but making any change to an aircraft is stupidly costly.

Some further things :

I guess politically cutting the F35 won't make the Yanks too happy.

It makes us very dependent on the one type of fighter. If that fighter has some sort of issues in a war we wouldn't have the ability to switch to another.

The two new carriers have an estimated aircraft complement of 36 F35's each. Each carrier will carry more F35 fighters than the enitre Invincible class (invicible, ark royal, illustrious) could. There is obvuously a requirement for two carriers for redundancy, but I guess there is a possibility that they may only buy enough F35's to populate one initially and leave the other in a mothballed state for when the finances/war picks up, or maybe operate both with only half the number of aircraft initially.

Of course according to some on this site Britain is now a third world nation in terms of arms, Argentina would whoop us etc. The reality is that these carriers will be second only to the US nuclear carriers in terms of firepower, and will dramatically increase the UK military strength. I find it hard to believe we need anything like this level of capability.

The carriers also need hunter killer subs operating with them and destroyers as escorts. More and more 'nutty' states are gaining subs.

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I suppose it depends whether you believe the US will always bail us out in a state-on-state conflict and how likely you think such a conflict is.

Not sure how good the Eurofighter would be on a carrier. My understanding is that it has very limited air-to-ground capabilities which were retro-fitted and not part of the original specification. The F-35 would be a proper multi-role fighter.

I think scrapping Trident would be a better option that cutting the carriers/F-35s.

I think we don't necessarily need more Eurofighters.

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cutting eurofighter will save very little in real terms since most of the headline costs (£70m per aircraft) are sunk costs and cannot be recovered. ie if we cut 10 aircraft we do not save £700m.

The F-35 is a different matter though....chop, chop, chop!

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The carriers also need hunter killer subs operating with them and destroyers as escorts. More and more 'nutty' states are gaining subs.

Well a lot of the subs (Astute class) and destroyers (type 45 I think) have already been built. These are awesome weapons systems, the capabilities of these new ships are far in excess of what we have had in the past.

As for Afganistan, I share your despair. Seems increasingly pointless without a sensible strategy. This war can only be won by patrolling and holding ground. By a constant physical presence of troops that people on the ground can see. Unfortunately this will cost a lot of lives, which appears to be politicallly unacceptable.

As for whether troops are brave or simply doing their job, that's a discussion for another thread.

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The answer is clear.

Neither programme will be cut willingly.

Cuts may occur of the Govt loses control or the ability to refi debts i.e. IMF scenario.

End of.

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If the F-35s are cut then the carriers will also have to go as well since there will be no aircraft to fly from them. That is unless Harriers and various helicopters are used instead but that's no better than what we already have with the existing carriers.

There are many options and all are compromises of some sort.

An alternative would be to build new or bigger Harriers. They are a well understood asset but have relatively small ranges and weapon loads. Bigger would be more efficient in almost every respect and you could start with a relatively clean slate for fully modern electronic avionics, perhaps with folding wings so it can still fit on existing small carriers so there is export potential. The F-35B whilst a good idea is perhaps a luxury too far being supersonic.

Another option for the future carriers is to have the usual catapult launch rather than a ramp and pick an aircraft that can be fired off them. The catapult version of the F-35 (F-35C) is expected to be cheaper than the jump jet version. If they did go down that route, and if the RAF had any designs on eventually getting some as well, I would get that for the Royal Navy at a later date for the Royal Air Force rather than buying two models of the same aircraft.(accepting that the F-35C is a poorer performer than the F-35A but the economies of scale and more robust construction ought to make up for it)

There are other catapult aeroplanes already flying that would do the job well enough too.

The biggest problem is that the MoD and the Government don't appear to have much of an idea what they want to do with the equipment but do want to buy some.

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There are many options and all are compromises of some sort.

An alternative would be to build new or bigger Harriers. They are a well understood asset but have relatively small ranges and weapon loads. Bigger would be more efficient in almost every respect and you could start with a relatively clean slate for fully modern electronic avionics, perhaps with folding wings so it can still fit on existing small carriers so there is export potential. The F-35B whilst a good idea is perhaps a luxury too far being supersonic.

Another option for the future carriers is to have the usual catapult launch rather than a ramp and pick an aircraft that can be fired off them. The catapult version of the F-35 (F-35C) is expected to be cheaper than the jump jet version. If they did go down that route, and if the RAF had any designs on eventually getting some as well, I would get that for the Royal Navy at a later date for the Royal Air Force rather than buying two models of the same aircraft.(accepting that the F-35C is a poorer performer than the F-35A but the economies of scale and more robust construction ought to make up for it)

There are other catapult aeroplanes already flying that would do the job well enough too.

The biggest problem is that the MoD and the Government don't appear to have much of an idea what they want to do with the equipment but do want to buy some.

With all respect, this is exactly the short of mess that the MOD has been making for 50 years.

The F35 is now pretty long-developed, engineered and on schedule. A supersonic 'bigger' Harrier was initially looked at but the costs would have been prohibitive, in terms of avionics and air-frame and engine plant, to build so the decision was made to go with something brand new - F35.

The jump jet, as you call it, by which I assume you mean the VTOL or SVTOL has so many military advantages in flexibility over that opting for any other version is, again, typical short-sighted MOD mindset that inevitably results in something going squillions over budget and arriving years late.

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There are many options and all are compromises of some sort.

An alternative would be to build new or bigger Harriers. They are a well understood asset but have relatively small ranges and weapon loads. Bigger would be more efficient in almost every respect and you could start with a relatively clean slate for fully modern electronic avionics, perhaps with folding wings so it can still fit on existing small carriers so there is export potential. The F-35B whilst a good idea is perhaps a luxury too far being supersonic.

Another option for the future carriers is to have the usual catapult launch rather than a ramp and pick an aircraft that can be fired off them. The catapult version of the F-35 (F-35C) is expected to be cheaper than the jump jet version. If they did go down that route, and if the RAF had any designs on eventually getting some as well, I would get that for the Royal Navy at a later date for the Royal Air Force rather than buying two models of the same aircraft.(accepting that the F-35C is a poorer performer than the F-35A but the economies of scale and more robust construction ought to make up for it)

There are other catapult aeroplanes already flying that would do the job well enough too.

The biggest problem is that the MoD and the Government don't appear to have much of an idea what they want to do with the equipment but do want to buy some.

Don't rate the Harrier too highly myself. It did well in the Falklands, but probably more because of the fact that the Argie fast jets were operating right on the limit of their range and the Harriers were equipped with the latest missiles. I think if you put the Harrier up against a simple lightweight fighter such as an F16 it would get slaughtered.

I think it would be cheaper to go with the F35 than upgrade the Harrier to a more sensible performance level.

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Can't cut the F35 - when the Typhoon is shown to be the POS we all know it is we'll need something that works to fall back on...

I think the carriers will get it.

Build two and sell one immediately to either France or India.

What I definately expect them to do is drop the F35b and go to the c saving 25 mill a unit and get a much better aircraft into the bargin.

Then again that might be too sensible.

What else might get cut - already cut the number of type 45's to the bone.. what about the Astute subs - cut some of those?

Cut the FIFV program?

Rumour has it that this is the MOD's latest FIFV design for deployment to Afghanistan...

Granby082.jpg

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Depends where we think the threats are going to be for the next few decades. If it's asymetric war we would be far better spending the money on intelligence gathering forces, drones, helicopters, up-armoured vehicles. Although, I can't help but think of a mult-million dollar Apache helicopter, with all it's weapons systems and armour being shot down by a part-time goat herder with a World War II era Rocket propelled grenade who then melts away into the background.

Also, while we're on the subject of cutting costs, surely the Royal Navy would be the natural place to start? If I was a soldier in Afghanistan I would be seriously pissed off with the relatively safer life of a sailor, especially if my equipment was crap or I had to face IED threat in soft skinned vehicles or worse shape charges when I could have gone by chopper.

Remember when answering this question, the UK is broke, can we really afford this kind of equipment, who are we kidding?

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Depends where we think the threats are going to be for the next few decades. If it's asymetric war we would be far better spending the money on intelligence gathering forces, drones, helicopters, up-armoured vehicles. Although, I can't help but think of a mult-million dollar Apache helicopter, with all it's weapons systems and armour being shot down by a part-time goat herder with a World War II era Rocket propelled grenade who then melts away into the background.

An Apache was shot down with a single bullet in Iraqi. In the same attack nearly an entire wing (up to 50 aircraft) of Apache's were put out of action for the rest of the war when they stumbled upon a large ground force armed with machine guns. The event means helicopters are now considered unsuitable for front line use.

Un-manned drones are the future.

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Depends where we think the threats are going to be for the next few decades. If it's asymetric war we would be far better spending the money on intelligence gathering forces, drones, helicopters, up-armoured vehicles. Although, I can't help but think of a mult-million dollar Apache helicopter, with all it's weapons systems and armour being shot down by a part-time goat herder with a World War II era Rocket propelled grenade who then melts away into the background.

Also, while we're on the subject of cutting costs, surely the Royal Navy would be the natural place to start? If I was a soldier in Afghanistan I would be seriously pissed off with the relatively safer life of a sailor, especially if my equipment was crap or I had to face IED threat in soft skinned vehicles or worse shape charges when I could have gone by chopper.

Remember when answering this question, the UK is broke, can we really afford this kind of equipment, who are we kidding?

Tell that to the Royal marines who are there.

Or the jungly mates flying aeromed choppers. Or the navy officers there in support on the ground.

Word on the Street at main building is there are no sacred cows. EVERYTHING is being considered. If we get away with 20% cuts we will be lucky.

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The word on the street is the MOD cuts were pretty much sorted before the election.

Both Labour and the LibCons were/are to have a strategic defence review.

The smart money is the two major airframe developments are safe as are the planned carriers (although there may now only be one). In order to pay for this the RAF will cease to exist in its present form and only certain parts will survive. Transport Command and some smaller training elements.

The fighting elements will in future be based off the new carriers as to whether that means the RAF will operate from flat tops or be amalgamated into the fleet air arm remains to be seen.

Carriers are more flexible and be transported around the world to wherever you need a strike force. At the same time the Government gets to sell off all the prime RAF real estate and moves it all to Lee on Solent and Culdrose as operating land bases.

Downside of course is eggs all in one basket..........

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Something more radical:

2 carriers and supports ships, carriers full of unmanned drones, get rid of army and have 13 yr olds piloting said drones to enemy.

In fact, get rid of carriers and air-refueling drones for the drones.

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ABsolute ******.

Nothing quite like watching women beating camel f*ckers getting turned into pink mist with a 30mm chaingun.

Not much return fire on this vid....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuZnsg56h0I

This is what happens when you try and kill squaddies with roadside bombs.

Beyond the call of duty: Sergeant Major leaves his wife for war widow he was meant to comfort

By Neil Sears and Dennis Rice

Last updated at 7:44 AM on 8th June 2010

* Comments (212)

* Add to My Stories

When war hero Darren Chant was killed in Afghanistan, his three devastated children and their mother Connie understandably needed support.

So next to Mrs Chant and the grief-stricken youngsters at the funeral in December was Brad Miller, assigned by the Army to offer the family comfort as a 'Casualty Officer'.

But it appears that Regimental Sergeant Major Miller has gone far above and beyond the call of duty - by leaving his wife and setting up home with Mrs Chant.

Regimental Sergeant-Major Brad Miller and Connie Chant

Living together: Regimental Sergeant-Major Brad Miller and Connie Chant

In a family break-up that has scandalised two regiments, RSM Miller left his wife of ten years, Angela, 44, a week before attending Darren Chant's funeral.

By then his relationship with Mrs Chant was already blurring personal and professional boundaries.

When RSM Miller, 39, walked out on his wife, he said he wanted a divorce because of what he called her 'unreasonable behaviour'.

Darren Chant and family

Hero: Darren Chant with his children Victoria, Connor and Adam

Friends of Mrs Miller, however, tell a different story - including how she opened his phone bill and found 109 texts to Mrs Chant and dozens of calls.

One such call was made to Mrs Chant, 41, seconds after he left his marital home for the final time.

He has now admitted falling in love with the mother of three but has strenuously denied they started their relationship while he was on duty as her Casualty Officer.

The Chant family

Miller accompanies Victoria, Connie, Adam and Connor Chant at Darren's funeral in December 2009

And, in spite of a three-page letter of complaint which Mrs Miller sent to her estranged husband's brigadier, he was last week cleared by his bosses of any impropriety.

The Army has apparently been desperate to keep its inquiry secret.

Darren Chant, also a Regimental Sergeant Major, was a highly respected figure in the Army.

He was killed along with four other soldiers by a rogue Afghan policeman in November last year.

Angela Miller

Estranged: Angela Miller leaving her work at Tesco, Sandhurst

In her letter, Mrs Miller offered to show detailed evidence she claimed to have on her husband's relationship.

Despite the offer, no one came to study the documents - further fuelling fears of a whitewash. Mrs Miller yesterday declined to comment.

Soldiers in RSM Chant's old unit, 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, and the Army's Royal Logistic Corps, in which RSM Miller enforces discipline on young recruits, are outraged by the goings on.

One said: 'It is no secret that the top brass are very worried about this all getting out. Angela doesn't deserve to be treated this way - I know that a number of other army wives are furious on her behalf.'

Another senior soldier said that the case highlighted concerns over how the Army uses Casualty Officers, who are only given a single day of training.

He said: 'I also believe that the Army is creating a real rod for it's own back letting Miller get away with it.'

Although RSM Miller has an Army flat he spends his days and nights at Mrs Chant's Hampshire home.

His own former marital home nearby in Aldershot is for sale because his wife cannot keep up mortgage payments.

Mrs Chant was the late RSM Chant's ex-wife, but he was still in regular touch with their children, Connor, 16, Adam, 11, and Victoria, nine.

He remarried in September to a Muslim woman, Nausheen, who is understood to have given birth to their son.

Mrs Chant refused to comment when contacted and RSM Miller did not respond to questioning.

But a friend of Mrs Chant said: 'Brad was sent to Connie's house to support the children - and he left his wife because he didn't love her.

'He did nothing wrong and was the children's rock.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1284751/Beyond-duty-Sergeant-Major-leaves-wife-war-widow-meant-comfort.html#ixzz0qJ6brN54

And that is why Britain is doomed, my friend.

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Please be advised that further posts of a racist nature will earn a week's suspension.

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One possibility I have heard is they will cut the F35. Then they will harden the eurofighter for carrier landings. The eurofighters can then be used as part of the carrier force and for general RAF duties. This would probably be a big operational save, but I don't know the cost of making the mods. You might think its just a matter of strengthening up the landing gear but making any change to an aircraft is stupidly costly.

Navalised Typhoon will never happen. Too much risk, too much money to what end, exactly?

We can't get out of our Typhoon purchasing commitments as the agreements were screwed down tight when the cash-strapped, post unification Germans went a bit wobbly in the mid 90s. The best we can do is sell our production slots to other countries. We got rid of 24 of our Tranche 2 airframes to the Saudis and great hopes exist of selling some of the Tranche 3 RAF build slots to Oman. The Typhoon has, of course, absolutely f**k all chance of winning any of the other major procurement competitions (Indian MRCA, Japan NextGen Fighter).

Our F-35B commitment on the other hand is currently only 3 development aircraft so I'd expect that to be cut from 138 to as close to zero as we can get away with.

The QE class carriers will be "re-roled" to some sort of ambiguous helicopter/amphibious assault business with occasional deployments by a handful of F-35Bs.

RAF Strike Command 2020 will look like this in my opinion:

1 F-35B (maybe 24 active airframes) wing based at Lossie

2 Typhoon wings (24 each) at Conningsby and Leuchars. All other Typhoons will be stored/robbed for parts/sold to Arabs.

1 MQ-9 UAV wing for expeditionary deployment, crewed by RAF personnel but based on the west coast of the USA

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Navalised Typhoon will never happen. Too much risk, too much money to what end, exactly?

We can't get out of our Typhoon purchasing commitments as the agreements were screwed down tight when the cash-strapped, post unification Germans went a bit wobbly in the mid 90s. The best we can do is sell our production slots to other countries. We got rid of 24 of our Tranche 2 airframes to the Saudis and great hopes exist of selling some of the Tranche 3 RAF build slots to Oman. The Typhoon has, of course, absolutely f**k all chance of winning any of the other major procurement competitions (Indian MRCA, Japan NextGen Fighter).

Our F-35B commitment on the other hand is currently only 3 development aircraft so I'd expect that to be cut from 138 to as close to zero as we can get away with.

The QE class carriers will be "re-roled" to some sort of ambiguous helicopter/amphibious assault business with occasional deployments by a handful of F-35Bs.

RAF Strike Command 2020 will look like this in my opinion:

1 F-35B (maybe 24 active airframes) wing based at Lossie

2 Typhoon wings (24 each) at Conningsby and Leuchars. All other Typhoons will be stored/robbed for parts/sold to Arabs.

1 MQ-9 UAV wing for expeditionary deployment, crewed by RAF personnel but based on the west coast of the USA

Fair comment but why after all these years of developing VSTOL and incorporating take off ramps onth thru deck cruisers (carriers) which after all are much cheaper that the traditional variant why are we taking a step back with the QE class?

The boffins are working on a solution as we speak. As you point out we are committed to the airframes pretty much already so it will be a huge loss (and waste which the Government will try and avoid) to ditch Typhoon at this stage. Although that said missile technology on board picket ships is improving all the time so does that reduce the need for a carrier fighter element (which to a degree the Lightning can handle) certainly in defence but maybe not in offence

What I find interesting in there are 3 potential variants of the new Lightning a conventional runway aircraft good range good payload, a VSTOL version poor range/poorer payload and the carrier version which seems to be a compromise between the two. The UK is coming out for the third version..

In all of this it seems the Tornado has had its day.

Wiki F-35 Lightning II

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Cut the lot. 'Defence' spending is just a big teet for certain sectors to suckle away untold billions.

Pull the troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq. They are dying for nothing of any worth, we'll need them

to fight Argentina over the Falklands oil anyway.

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  • 152 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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