New RAF jet 'combat ready'     

2019/01/1547109831.jpg
Read: 537     13:40     10 January 2019    

The RAF's new stealth jet is expected to be declared ready for combat in time to counter the “resurgent Russian threat”.


Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, is thought to say today that the F-35B Lightning, the latest addition to the RAF’s fighter jet fleet, is capable of launching combat missions.

Details of what the ‘Initial Operating Capability’ (IOC) entails is expected to be announced by the Secretary of State later today at RAF Marham, Norfolk, the home to the F-35s and the Tornado, the RAF’s workhorse since the 1970s.

The Tornado will be retired from service in 2019 after four decades of active service, during which time it has provided critical air power in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and wider afield.

It is anticipated that Mr Williamson will also announce a significant enhancement to the RAF’s fleet of Typhoon fighter jets, a move welcomed by Defence experts.  

Justin Bronk, a Research Fellow at Rusi who specialises in combat airpower, said: “If the UK is going to have answers to a threat we absolutely need Typhoon and F-35 working together, which needs quite a bit of modernisation”

“In theory both complement each other brilliantly, but you need to get the modernisation before that becomes a reality”.

An upgraded Typhoon operating alongside the F-35 should see the UK fielding the world’s most capable combat aircraft for at least 20 years. Typhoon is likely to be replaced at the end of its life by Tempest, the next-generation stealth jet unveiled in July at the Farnborough air show.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will invest £2billion by 2025 to deliver the new plane, which should be in service by 2035.  

The upgrades planned for Typhoon are expected to include some of the technology enhancements that would be further developed for Tempest, such as a new state-of-the-art radar.  

Current radars fitted to fighter jets generally comprise one large dish which provides a big, high-powered beam. This can be very visible to enemy systems and can only track, and guide weapons to, a small number of targets at one time.

The latest systems, which could be fitted to Typhoon and further enhanced for Tempest, are known as Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars.

The AESA radar consists of over a thousand tiny individual transmit and receive modules, which electronically steer a single frequency-agile beam each. They can deliver cyber effects to enemy air defence systems or even other aircraft.  

“It’s see without being seen,” said Mr Bronk.

“It means you can scan with a low probability that someone with a radar warning receiver in a hostile aircraft will pick you out of the background noise and detect you are there scanning.  

“An advanced AESA...proven on Typhoon, would go a long way to de-risking something similar on Tempest.”

The MoD has said it will buy 138 F-35 aircraft and has committed money for the first 48. British industry provides 15 per cent of every aircraft sold, with 3,000 currently on the order books. At peak production, the F-35 programme is expected to support 25,000 jobs in the UK.

Whilst unlikely to be part of the Defence Secretary’s announcement at RAF Marham, there are currently questions being asked about whether all 138 F-35s will be bought and what variant they will be.

Any discussion about adjustments to the number of F-35 fighters Britain will buy will be “very politically sensitive with the Americans”, Mr Bronk said.

A purchase of F-35 B-models (able to operate from aircraft carriers as they can take off and land vertically) is thought to be sensible if the total number of F-35 is reduced from the 138 Britain has committed to, but questions remain about the Royal Navy’s ability to run fast jet operations on its own.

The F-35 A model - a conventional jet requiring a runway, but which has increased payload and endurance as a result - has to be refuelled in mid-air via a boom on a tanker aircraft. The MoD paid to remove these booms as an overall cost-saving measure when the RAF’s Voyager refuelling tankers were brought into service. An additional cost would therefore be incurred to modify the tanker fleet if the UK bought A model F-35s in the future and did not want to be reliant on the US for refuelling capability.  

“If we bought As we would have to either accept total dependance on US tankers or modify our tanker fleet,” said Mr Bronk.

Peter Kosogorin, a test pilot with BAE Systems and former RAF fighter pilot, said: “It’s a critical time for the RAF. On the one hand it’s sad to say goodbye to the Tornado, but it’s exciting to have a brand new aircraft in service.

“Tornado has been a stalwart, always there when you need it. It has proved a very effective workhorse for a number of decades in a number of conflicts."

Statistics recently released by the MoD show that RAF Tornado and Typhoon fighters, along with Reaper drones, conducted 46 airstrikes in Syria in the first two weeks of December 2018. 

“F-35 brings stealth capability, which is of great use, and has other systems to make it a true multi-role aircraft: it can protect itself, it can protect other aircraft and prosecute multiple different missions at the same time," Mr Kosogorin said.  

“Typhoon will carry on the torch from Tornado. It will operate seamlessly with F-35 in the future, as it is today over Syria with Tornado. The forces complementing each other is very formidable.”

telegraph



Tags: RAFjet  



News Line

New RAF jet 'combat ready'     

2019/01/1547109831.jpg
Read: 538     13:40     10 January 2019    

The RAF's new stealth jet is expected to be declared ready for combat in time to counter the “resurgent Russian threat”.


Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, is thought to say today that the F-35B Lightning, the latest addition to the RAF’s fighter jet fleet, is capable of launching combat missions.

Details of what the ‘Initial Operating Capability’ (IOC) entails is expected to be announced by the Secretary of State later today at RAF Marham, Norfolk, the home to the F-35s and the Tornado, the RAF’s workhorse since the 1970s.

The Tornado will be retired from service in 2019 after four decades of active service, during which time it has provided critical air power in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and wider afield.

It is anticipated that Mr Williamson will also announce a significant enhancement to the RAF’s fleet of Typhoon fighter jets, a move welcomed by Defence experts.  

Justin Bronk, a Research Fellow at Rusi who specialises in combat airpower, said: “If the UK is going to have answers to a threat we absolutely need Typhoon and F-35 working together, which needs quite a bit of modernisation”

“In theory both complement each other brilliantly, but you need to get the modernisation before that becomes a reality”.

An upgraded Typhoon operating alongside the F-35 should see the UK fielding the world’s most capable combat aircraft for at least 20 years. Typhoon is likely to be replaced at the end of its life by Tempest, the next-generation stealth jet unveiled in July at the Farnborough air show.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) will invest £2billion by 2025 to deliver the new plane, which should be in service by 2035.  

The upgrades planned for Typhoon are expected to include some of the technology enhancements that would be further developed for Tempest, such as a new state-of-the-art radar.  

Current radars fitted to fighter jets generally comprise one large dish which provides a big, high-powered beam. This can be very visible to enemy systems and can only track, and guide weapons to, a small number of targets at one time.

The latest systems, which could be fitted to Typhoon and further enhanced for Tempest, are known as Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars.

The AESA radar consists of over a thousand tiny individual transmit and receive modules, which electronically steer a single frequency-agile beam each. They can deliver cyber effects to enemy air defence systems or even other aircraft.  

“It’s see without being seen,” said Mr Bronk.

“It means you can scan with a low probability that someone with a radar warning receiver in a hostile aircraft will pick you out of the background noise and detect you are there scanning.  

“An advanced AESA...proven on Typhoon, would go a long way to de-risking something similar on Tempest.”

The MoD has said it will buy 138 F-35 aircraft and has committed money for the first 48. British industry provides 15 per cent of every aircraft sold, with 3,000 currently on the order books. At peak production, the F-35 programme is expected to support 25,000 jobs in the UK.

Whilst unlikely to be part of the Defence Secretary’s announcement at RAF Marham, there are currently questions being asked about whether all 138 F-35s will be bought and what variant they will be.

Any discussion about adjustments to the number of F-35 fighters Britain will buy will be “very politically sensitive with the Americans”, Mr Bronk said.

A purchase of F-35 B-models (able to operate from aircraft carriers as they can take off and land vertically) is thought to be sensible if the total number of F-35 is reduced from the 138 Britain has committed to, but questions remain about the Royal Navy’s ability to run fast jet operations on its own.

The F-35 A model - a conventional jet requiring a runway, but which has increased payload and endurance as a result - has to be refuelled in mid-air via a boom on a tanker aircraft. The MoD paid to remove these booms as an overall cost-saving measure when the RAF’s Voyager refuelling tankers were brought into service. An additional cost would therefore be incurred to modify the tanker fleet if the UK bought A model F-35s in the future and did not want to be reliant on the US for refuelling capability.  

“If we bought As we would have to either accept total dependance on US tankers or modify our tanker fleet,” said Mr Bronk.

Peter Kosogorin, a test pilot with BAE Systems and former RAF fighter pilot, said: “It’s a critical time for the RAF. On the one hand it’s sad to say goodbye to the Tornado, but it’s exciting to have a brand new aircraft in service.

“Tornado has been a stalwart, always there when you need it. It has proved a very effective workhorse for a number of decades in a number of conflicts."

Statistics recently released by the MoD show that RAF Tornado and Typhoon fighters, along with Reaper drones, conducted 46 airstrikes in Syria in the first two weeks of December 2018. 

“F-35 brings stealth capability, which is of great use, and has other systems to make it a true multi-role aircraft: it can protect itself, it can protect other aircraft and prosecute multiple different missions at the same time," Mr Kosogorin said.  

“Typhoon will carry on the torch from Tornado. It will operate seamlessly with F-35 in the future, as it is today over Syria with Tornado. The forces complementing each other is very formidable.”

telegraph



Tags: RAFjet