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How embarrassing to have to get the U.S.Navy to provide a tanker because our brand new built in Korea R.F.A tideforce Has broken down, I hope that the bean counter’s in Whitehall are watching when it comes time to award the contract for the new Fleet solid support ships, British built should be first priority.


A. Its not embarrassing, its merely an example of the close defence relationship we hold with the US.
B. RFA Tideforce has not ‘broken down’. If you had read the article then you would have seen that it had merely failed Flag Officer Sea Training alongside some unconfirmed reports of minor teething problems with some onboard systems. All to be expected with a almost brand new, and untested, class of ship.


Chris .I have read the article in the UK defence journal and these do not seem to be “minor teething problems” not when parts are being swapped from one ship to another,when they are brand new.perhaps someone out there can throw more light on the subject


If it was British no excuses would be made, if it’s foreign it will be kept a secret and made up excuses for.


The Type 45s engine troubles are more concerning than teething problems with new ships…QE sprung a leak (Liters per hour was how it was measured lol Tons per minute is real sinking worries) and people were in meltdown. Design decisions is where it really comes back to bite you in the ass compared to manufacturing issues.


Just a few duff valves or the whole ship contaminated with sub standard components and bodgeing ?It’s hard to say from the information provided, but Korean built commercial ships have an excellent reputation. Meanwhile, has anyone got any news about how BAE systems is getting on with fixing “A few minor teething problems ” on HMS Forth?

Lord Curzon

Many thanks for another excellent piece.

I suspect we will only go for V-22 Ospreys if we require a discrete refuelling capability that flies from the carriers (something which I understand is off the cards due to the current PFI contractual provisions with Airtanker, although I haven’t seen precisely what these are). However, I’m sure we can always borrow some from the Americans!


No one seems able to provide details of the Airtanker exclusivity deal, but it seems to be a classic British procurement cock up.The idiot that allowed that to go through should be named and shamed, but it’s just hushed up until everyone concerned has retired as usual.


The point of contention is the A400 and what you mean by “if a voyager could do the job “


The Deciding test for a Warship, Warplane or any military equipment or personnel is combat against an equal or more powerful adversary. My concerns with the F35 has always been its flight characteristics in the the F18 was able to outdogfight it (granted its design was stealth over dogfighting but in war nothing is guaranteed) and its Armaments vs stealth trade off as it can only carry so many missiles internally before they have to be wing mounted which affects its stealth capabilities. I would like to see the F35 tested against the Type 45 destroyers air defence system.


The F35 failed against the Aegis system in a exercise when it had external weapons fitted and was also detected with just a internal weapons fit but at a lot closer range.
It is in a report to the congressional defence committee.


It failed against Aegis? Oh dear :S Arliegh Burkes use Passive Electronic Scanning Array radar and only the Next Flight 2a or 3 (Whichever the next batch is called) will have Active Electronic Scanning Arrays which are superior (Type 45, FREMM frigates have this). I know Iran possibly shot 1 israeli F35 down with an S300 missile. Having worse handling than an F18 gives the F35 a harder time evading missiles that are fired.


Apparently the IAF is not impressed with the F35A.
And the F35B first combat mission over Afghanistan was to blow up a weapons cache.
They used a $100 million plane to bomb a weapon cache of AK47 and heavy machine guns because it was booby trapped, the usual method is to lob a few mortar shells or rpg rounds into to it . But the USMC is desperate to get the F35B into combat ,congress was not impressed.

The problem with the F35 is we want it to do to many things so it has ended up as a dog’s breakfast.
It always looks good on paper having one platform do multiple missions but in real life you get a flying pig and a big hole in the taxpayers wallet.

The F35 is probably a good stand off strike platform but as a fighter or close support platform it sucks and it’s stvol version is overly complicated and did away with the rotating nozzles that gave the Harrier it’s agility in exchange for a separate lift engine adding weight to the plane and complexity.
But the QEC ship is beautifully designed and well engineered.


I wasnt fond of the F35s twisting exhaust compared to the harriers nozzles. I agree that the F35 would be great for standoff attack missions


Don’t know about agility, but rotating nozzles contributed to giving the Harrier its Godawful safety record.


If you’re referring to GR3s, then yes I agree as the flight stabs were not up to the job and the early Pegasus did have its problems. The later GR5/7/9 was much better with respect to it’s flight stabs and the Pegasus 105 and later had much better reliability and power.
The supersonic Harrier 3 prototype would have used a development of the Pegasus with a RB199 core with a rear nozzle arrangement similar to the F35s but kept the two cold air nozzles.
Could have been promising….


Part 3????