A 60/40 split in favour of the RAF for F35 (Penultimate paragraph).
Why split? Wouldn't it be beater to have joint squadrons?
Interesting evidence to the Commons Defence Committee - what was not stated is whether the order is for F335cs only ( PM has committed to that version ) which is 'navalisaed' ( i.e. folding wings, ruggedised construction and tail hook all for carrier operation ) or will the RAF go for either the A version ( as USAF ) or the B version (as in the original order ) UK already owns two development versions ?
On why split RAF / RN there is very good reason ass flying from ships is VERY different to flying from terra firma. From 1918 ( when RNAS and RFC we ere mergede to form the RAF ) alol planes were flown by the RAF. It did not work and wa schnaged by the 'Inskip Award' which formed the Fleet Air Arm.
I can't see us buying two separate versions as it just wouldn't make sense (since when was that ever an issue) from a maintenance or logistics point of view.
I watched the defence committee live, and there was no indication anyone is thinking of a split buy. Indeed, its a non starter for the reasons DeltaWhisky says. They may have not specified B or C to leave open the possibility of a U-turn on type if the government gets cold feet over the cost of cats & traps.
If you read what Dalton says,then it seems to me that there is no confusion whatsoever.
He is talking of a 60/40 split with the FAA that has already been agreed,the RAF starting with one squadron and working up to three.
So these obviously have to be the C version.
As for changing the design of CVF again and therefore negating the reason it was changed in the first place,i.e. interoperability with the US and France is a complete non starter.
Not only would it be financialy catastrophic for CVF but would be a political disaster,actually proving what we all know that the government doesn't have a clue on defence.
Unfortunately the RAF seems to have been suffering from poor quality senior leadership for some considerable time now. Stirrup, Torpy and now Dalton, none seemed to have the confidence of their troops and have made a long succession of very questionable decisions, many to the extreme detriment of the service. Between the effects of such poor leadership, and the lack of support for the Fleet Air Arm from senior naval officers, leaves British Air Forces in a poor situation at present. Until RAF leadership improves and the RN leadership spends more time looking realistically upon air power as in integral part of the fleet, things could go from bad to worse.
I am of the belief that the current administration is doing a passable job considering the appalling state our Armed Forces after thirteen years of total mismanagement under the Labour Government. Labour committed us to conflicts we had neither the manpower or equipment to maintain and something had to suffer. The present cuts were all but inevitable in some shape or form and would have happened sooner or later even if Labour had continued in power such was the level of their ignorance, incompetence and duplicity.
RAF (and presumably Fleet Air Arm) morale is currently at a low ebb, with personnel stretched to extreme levels - I don't see this improving any time soon.
The freason I was suggesting the A version for the RAF and the C version for the RN is that (a) C is unnecessarily complicated for the RAF and , I assume, therefore cheaper and (b) the naval version has, in addition to the points previosly made, has to have different metals for the maritime environment. Essentially more expensive corosion resistant metals. My apologies to any of our very informative correspondents if their experience of operating aoircraft at sea ia greater than mine ( I am a retired FDO - Flight Deck Officer - qualified for single spot helicopters ops - also an HCO ).
'and the RN leadership spends more time looking realistically upon air power as an integral part of the fleet,things could go from bad to worse'
I take it you have read Sir Mark Stanhopes address to the Commons Defence Select Committee,I would say that he is one of the few senior officers of any branch of the services who is putting his case forcefully re CVF in particular.
I'm afraid that your assertion in regards to senior FAA officers is completely misleading,do you honestly think that their opinions mean anything to Cameron and Osborne. Their one and only interest is finance,cutting the armed forces to the bone whilst increasing the foreign aid budget to countries with economies in far better shape than ours.
Admittedly Labour was a complete disaster, but please do not put the entire blame on them for this governments crippling cuts.
This believe it or not is still a comparitively rich country and these cuts do not need to be so drastic as they are,Cameron has proved time and again that he has no knowledge of defence matters and it seems very little interest.
Liam Fox is one of the few cabinet members daring to stick his head above the parapet and speak out against these cuts, we know already that he is not the flavour of the month with Cameron and his penny pinching chancelor and this wont have earned him any points (criticising the increase in foreign aid)
As far as ignorance,incompetence and duplicity is concerned, I think this government is fast catching up.
May I ask why is the C version unnecessarily complicated for the RAF,and then you go on to say and therefore cheaper. Sorry but this does not make sense to me or am I reading you wrong.
The whole reason for having the C model is so that we can have an RN/RAF joint force capable of flying off CVF which obviously the A version cannot.
I am sure that in the future if finances become available the RAF would love to get their hands on some A models,which would be solely for their own use and at the moment unafordable.
Do I detect a slightly veiled tone of sarcasm in your last remark.
I myself make no claims to having been and FDO or HCO but I have known many of them,and whilst they were skilled in their jobs it did not make them experts in aviation (naval) in particular.
In fact in most cases I knew the HCO's job was secondary to their primary appointment onboard.
Between the effects of such poor leadership, and the lack of support for the Fleet Air Arm from senior naval officers, leaves British Air Forces in a poor situation at present.
Videos from A&P group showing the work going on in Tyneside, and the process for loading the irngs onto the barge from the purpose-built West Quay.
which portions of the ship are they building there?