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Aircraft Carriers


ams4127
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In an article in yesterday's Sunday Times it was reported that the new F35c aircraft, which have been ordered by the MoD for the Navy's new carriers, will not be able to land on them due to a design flaw.

It seems that the distance between the main U/C and the arrester hook should be about 18 to 20 feet to enable the arresting line to be caught and stop the aircraft. Unfortunately, an error in the drawings means that the actual distance is 7 feet.

It seems that a total redesign is needed and this is going to cost many pennies, adding substantially to the overall cost which may stop the MoD from ordering any of the 'planes.

Words fail me!

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Woolwell

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I suspect that there will be a lot of in-fighting between the Pentagon and Lockheed with differing claims. A lot depends on what the contract says. I think that we have only bought 3 so far and those are for test purposes. Step forward the French, Russian or Chinese?

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Forum Editor

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I'm struggling to understand how we could contemplate ordering carrier-borne aircraft without first ensuring that they could actually operate from a carrier.

It defies belief that something as fundamental as the ability of the aircraft to engage an arrestor wire on landing had been overlooked by the makers, but obviously it's true.

"When asked how such things could have been missed, Peter (industry expert) suggested they likely weren’t, at least by the engineers, but their concerns would have just as likely been ignored."

It gets worse.

"...all F-35 variants suffer from paper-thin weight margins, unsafe fuel dumping, flight restrictions on diving, speed and proximity to lightning hazards to name a few. And, it can only be flown during the daytime."

I gather that we had committed to buy 40 of these at around $130 million each.

I have a friend who is in the military software business. He seems to know quite a bit about fighter aircraft. I called him this evening,and he told me that we could buy an aircraft called the Super Hornet for about $60 million apiece. he says these aircraft have a proven track record,and could easily fulfil our carrier requirements. They are already used by the American navy.

If he's right (and he sounded convincing) why didn't we go with these aircraft from the start?

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morddwyd

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"I'm struggling to understand how we could contemplate ordering carrier-borne aircraft without first ensuring that they could actually operate from a carrier."

Since we ordered carriers without ensuring we had any aircraft to operate from them, this would appear to be a natural progression!

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carver

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morddwyd"Since we ordered carriers without ensuring we had any aircraft to operate from them, this would appear to be a natural progression!"

I really do like your thinking, have you ever thought about entering politics.

FE that aircraft is over 15 years old and by the time any carrier we have gets into service it could be getting on for 20+, aircraft design that old would be ancient before we even use them.

Theres not much point using an aircraft that can be picked up by radar when the latest designs are coming with stealth technology.

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Woolwell

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With the long lead times to procure military aircraft to get the latest aircraft contracts are entered into to purchase what at the time are concepts. Unfortunately some of these concepts develop unforeseen problems with consequent budget and time over-runs.

The Super Hornet is only 13 years old but by the time the carriers are built and come into service they will be an old design. There seems to be few combat aircraft currently in design. I think that the F35C will eventually be sorted out.

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Woolwell

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Should have added that most, if not all, combat aircraft have an arrestor hook for emergency use. These are not up to repeated carrier recoveries and many cannot be retracted after use. The F35's design should have allowed for the arrestor hook to work on land at least.

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Covergirl

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I hesitate to say it FE, but your knowledgable friend may just be an "armchair expert" despite his apparently convincing knowledge and background in military software.

How often do I hear conversations off really keen football fans (and local league players) about how football managers should manage their football teams . . . ?

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HondaMan

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I'm struggling to understand how we could contemplate ordering carrier-borne aircraft without first ensuring that they could actually operate from a carrier.

It is called gross incompetence and what idiots would de-commission our existing fleet without a replacement being ready? I think it's known as "knee-jerk government".

If he's right (and he sounded convincing) why didn't we go with these aircraft from the start?

Because "we always know best"

It is a sad fact of the British, I'm Cornish, that incompetent people have talked themselves into positionms of power when in reality they are complete idiots and should have been sent to the remedial classes at school. High academic qualifications does NOT equate to commonsense which sadly most of our lords and masters seem to lack.

Rant over!

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Woolwell

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When you are buying a brand new aircraft, that probably hasn't completed its early test flights, then you cannot "ensure" that it can actually operate off a carrier. The alternative is to buy a proven aircraft that will be an old design and need earlier replacement at probably greater cost.

The problem with the F35 is that they are trying to develop 3 variants including STOVL. Jack of all trades aircraft tend to be master of none (a bit of a generalisation that!).

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Covergirl

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Bring back the Harrier. How much do they cost these days? I'll have a couple myself LoL

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