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BobM

I’d guess that recovery would be problematic..would there be an assured destruction alternative such as could be undertaken by a surface warship or submarine?

Civvy

It’s probably easier to shoot satellites out of orbit…oh wait.

I’d guess they’d want to retrieve the black box recorder first, intact!

Captain P Wash

We wouldn’t want to leave any bits lying around.

Deep32

Locating it and then blowing it up in situ is an option, far cheaper then a salvage operation.
If recovered, it will ever fly again, so I assume it depends on if MOD thinks the costs are worth the effort.

Captain P Wash

I think They’ll be wanting to salvage everything they can before someone else does.

Roy

I would imagine that is a serious concern, though I suppose it depends on a variety of factors. At least two Improved Kilos reportedly currently in the Med. https://russianfleetanalysis.blogspot.com/2021/11/russian-forces-in-mediterranean-wk452021.html

Captain P Wash

I’m not certain but I believe the incident happened somewhere south of Crete so there will be many friendlies in the area.

Deep32

I imagine that it depends on the depth of water the plane came down in? 200m or less then yes no real problems. 2000-4000m then not really an option unless you spend big! Depends how much they want it back I suppose!!

Jim

Cheaper, but you can’t guarantee all the secret bits in it are destroyed beyond the point of being recovered for study.

Nobody is planning on flying it again, but there’s a lot of secret technology in something like that, that we don’t want someone like Russia or China to be able to study in detail (even if it is in pieces) to try to work out how to beat it (as well as ideas for their own designs).

Captain P Wash

^ This

Deep32

As I’ve said to Capt P Wash above, largely dependent on the depth of water the aircraft is in. The deeper the water, the greater the difficulty any recovery will be.

Captain P Wash

I’ve read a few reports that say it hit the water and broke up though, which does complicate things somewhat….. Undersea stuff is not my thing but I guess you could give a better picture of our chances on recovery from such depths mate…… Do we have assets capable of retrieval ?

Deep32

I’ve seen some reports that it hit hard and broke up too.

Unfortunately as the bits sink, they don’t drop straight down, so any search area could potentially be fairly large. The deeper the water the larger that search area will be. Added to the fact that the aircraft is coated in RAM, adds to the problems of finding them. Of course, we might just get lucky!

We (Navy) don’t really have the required assets for this, so suspect that this will go out to civilian contractors, even probably elements of the search phase.

Personally, if the wreckage is in deep water (1500m or more), then I can’t see anything being recovered, super secret or not. If they do decide too, then the costs will be great – perhaps LM will contribute if deemed important enough.

Duker

Med is very deep in parts but offshore from Egypt isnt too deep

Deep32

It appears that the aircraft went down where water was 1500-2000m deep!! Looks like USN has been asked to provide assistance with assets out of Rota.

Michael

I was aboard Enterprise in 1977 when we lost an F-14 in the Indian Ocean. The Tomcat was then the most advanced warplane in the world.
But she splashed in as I remember, in around 12,000 feet of water.
No recovery was ever attempted.

Deep32

Have to say, that’s deep!

Duker

Thats just based on an ‘average’ over the full Mediterranean.
Most of the Adriatic and Agean is not as deep along with a broad area from Sicily to N Africa and off the Egyptian coast.
This plane went down maybe a day out from Port Said where it would 200m plus

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Davy Jones' Locker
Last edited 10 days ago by Davy Jones' Locker
Duker

Says who ?
The story gives this timeline
just completed the northward transit of the Suez Canal and entered the Mediterranean when the jet was lost. ‘

To even get to the closest point off Crete is about 370nm or 1 days passage

100nm directly north of Port Said – out of regular shipping lanes- is a small number of ‘auxuliary vessels’ sitting very close together

Last edited 10 days ago by Duker
Glavnoje Razvedyvatel'noje Upravlenije

Посейдон

Captain P Wash

QE was off Crete a day later which is why I mentioned Crete earlier.

Jim

I’d assumed it wasn’t intact. That does actually mean that ROVs with grappling arms might be used to recover some of the lighter bits like the wings.

I wonder how much it’s worth to the US for their plane not to be recovered by non-friendly nations. As in, if it’s too deep for the RN, then perhaps they might do it as it is a primarily US-designed plane we’re talking about, and they probably have more to lose than we do if it’s brought up by someone like Russia.

Duker

Trawlers with nets
Thats what they used to bring up Comets pieces
But of course nowdays they want to go all high tech with drone this or that

Jono

“The first F35 lost at sea anywhere”. Wasn’t the Japanese F35 loss the first lost at sea?

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-defence-f35-idUSKCN1TB0BM

Or did you mean “lost while operating from a carrier”?

Jono

Ah thanks! As always, a well written article that includes the nuance and accuracy almost all other news sites lack. I really appreciate the work you do, and always enjoy reading your articles!

Hopefully they’ll release to the public the cause of the crash once a thorough investigation has taken place. Always lots to learn with a new system, glad noone was injured.

Michael Dickinson

Hopefully we have a guardboat near to where the aircraft went down, and that they are there to try an deter our russian friends.

Roy

Can’t keep a “guard boat” there forever. But anyone who wants to take a look/recover somthing can return to that spot forever. So if it’s accessible, it’s a problem.

Challenger

It’s certainly true that both Typhoon and the F35 have very good safety records and modern fast-jets are unavoidably very expensive.

Even so the glacial build-up of the UK fleet means losing even one will most probably cause a few headaches when it comes to carefully planned squadron ops and maintenance schedules. It’s a truism that the larger the overall fleet the more it can absorb losses without limiting overall operational capability. If a replacement is procured it’ll be factored into the post 2026 follow-on purchase.

Glad the pilot is OK though! It’ll be interesting to see if/when/how the jet is recovered and whether the Russians will snoop around.

Captain P Wash

The actual number of British F35’s and Typhoons is staggeringly low now, as indeed are the numbers of Ships, yet we are expanding around the Globe.

Grant

Yep. Just 100 frontline Typhoons and about 20 or so F35s is a paper thin force. The Jaguar and Tornado were effectively not replaced meaning the RAF is half the size it is now then in 2010…..

Captain P Wash

Exactly.

Meirion x

It’s about 130 Typhoons in the fleet. 16 T1’s two seaters were scrapped and a few one seaters.

Challenger

Dropping to 107 by 2025. Combined with the now 47 F35B that should be delivered by 2026 gives 154….better than now but still not great!

Any more F35’s after that will surely be at the expense of some Typhoons or older F35 airframes too.

Grant

That includes OCU aircraft and the like. Front line aircraft will be more like 124…

The RAF need their own STRN site 😉

Captain P Wash

Not for much longer.

Meirion x

What I hear is, the RAF don’t have enough pilots to fly even a 100 fast jet aircraft.

Captain P Wash

Maybe we can convince a few MP’s to take up Second Jobs Tax Free !

Ron

Meirion, now now thats not quite true, from my understanding there is a waiting list for future fast jet training. We the UK seem to have at the moment about four pilots for every fast jet. Even the F35B pilot situation is that we could double the aircraft and still have some pilots in reserve. So we have the wierd situation where we have to many combat pilots for the fighters we have, so they want to leave, to many pilots waiting for fast jet training, so they want to leave and to many potential fast jet pilots leaving as they are waiting to long for training. The RAF/FAA could probably man 250-300 fast combat aircraft if the government give them the money tomorrow to buy them.

chris

BBC reports roughly 2,000 take offs and landings so far on this deployment, about 120 per jet. That has to be the highest tempo I’ve ever heard of. Most USN birds average 30-40 carrier landings per deployment.

Last edited 13 days ago by chris
Jack65

And that is where the problem lies……US birds fly less sorties due to greater numbers, meaning less stress on the airframes which have a greater expected service life fatigue wise etc and no doubt have a high serviceability rate. If you go to sea with much smaller numbers everything is greatly exaggerated, which actually magnifies the chance of something like this occurring….

N-a-B

I wouldn’t get too excited about that. 2000 T/O and landings = 1000 sorties. They’ve been away for six months or thereabouts and if you figure they’ve been at sea 70% of that time, that’s an average of 8 sorties/day spread across 18 birds. Or flying once every two days or so.

Those USN figures don’t ring true either. That would indicate around 16 sorties per day for the CVW – which wouldn’t even be enough to maintain carqual.

chris

It’s 2000 take offs, 2000 landings. In aviation they aren’t referenced separately. 2000 fixed wing sorties, 1,000 rotor wing according to BBC.

The USN numbers are accurate, it takes 3 deployments to get 100 traps. 2 if it’s wartime/Iraq/Afg related.

Captain P Wash

Not sure at all but did that figure include Helicopter’s ? Maybe ?

Captain P Wash

Good news that the Driver Is OK, you can bet that area will be a point of interest for some time. The last 3 F35’s flown in all had Faults apparently.

Jack65

The 3 recently delivered?

Captain P Wash

Apparently so yes.

Ron

Ouch

X

Modern equipment isn’t getting any more reliable or safer. These things happen. Losses are factored in. Pilot is safe and that is all that matters.

Tim Hirst

I would disagree with that. The introduction of the F35 has resulted in far fewer crashes per 1,000 that that of the F16. Go back to the Phantom, Lightning or Mirage and difference is huge. As to the Mig21 the less said the better.

Jim

I raise you the F-104 Starfighter which reached 25.2 aircraft lost per 100,000 flight hrs in USAF service, West Germany lost a 1/3 of their fleet over 31 years & Canada lost 46% of theirs over just 25 years (though they did a lot of flight hrs in that time).

And then there was the Supermarine Scimitar, which “achieved” a loss rate of 51% due to accidents.

Davy Jones' Locker

Small number of Supermarine Scimitar was built – 39 lost out of 79.

North American XB-70 Valkyrie – 2 built 1 crashed, 50%

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCORwUxlNQo

Last edited 12 days ago by Davy Jones' Locker
X

Oh……..

Andrew Deacon

It’s much safer , the raf received its first typhoon in 2003 and hasn’t lost a single pilot , I don’t believe there’s even been an ejection, the worst incident was in 2007 when a pilot landed without putting down the landing gear.
One would expect a higher attrition rate at sea as there’s so much more that can go wrong.

Jim

Unlikely to be pilot error if it’s not long after take-off on a clear day. Sounds like some kind of fault.

My initial thought/prediction was an engine failure, but we’ll wait and see.

Duker

Wouldnt engine failure mean they restrict operations till they know more about the cause.

Jim

Depends what they think it is. If it was something like birds (pretty common at low altitudes) being ingested into the engines, I wouldn’t have thought so.

[…] were carried out covertly. “An immediate priority will be the recovery of the wreckage,” notes analysis site Navy Lookout. ”This is both to ensure the sensitive technology and data held onboard does not fall into the […]

Davy Jones' Locker
Ex-Service

138x F-3Bs – The above article is one such inclusion in how that number was calculated (and from my understanding these did not factor in an air wing above 36/CVF).

HMG needs to smartly order the remaining 90x F-35Bs based on these estimates, and then redress based on the scenario where greater than 36 are embarked.

Dependent on munitions and other victuals, the CVF design should be able to support 72x F-35Bs and the possibility of operating 2x CVFs concurrently (ready for hostilities) obviously implies the need for more airframes. If the Light-Blue protest, then the decision to revert to full RN control should be taken. Given the timeframe, subsequent recruitment increases should be manageable.

Basing Options Comparison (enter into any map site):
RAF:  52.648150, 0.550088 or 34.590629, 32.989185 or 52.629862, 0.669891 (!)
RN:  3.264907, -176.597734 or 31.339159, 125.411876 or 71.356816, 33.088284.

Recovery of the ditched aircraft will be a high priority given the sensitivity of the technologies and those falling into the wrong (enemy) hands. This will also hopefully inform as to the causes of the aircraft crashing and any lessons which may improve the operation of the aircraft type.

X

And pilots? Where do we find the pilots?

Ex-Service

Refer to the recruitment comment. Clearly HMG would need to increase funding across the board to all three services.

X

Means nothing. All the services have recruitment and retention problem; it isn’t just money.

Duker

Impossible to operate 72 F-35s on a QE class, unless its acting merely as ferry carrier which they dont do these days

Captain P Wash

I’ve never seen or read about this 72 figure but wonder if he just meant to say for both carriers which would equate to the 36 often mentioned ?

X

One will be in refit. As Duker says you can fly 72 Bravos off a QE.

It would be nice to think that they would go away from the wall with more than 24 cabs.

Captain P Wash

You can fly Thousands off a QE but the 72 you say here are an impossible fit as a ferry load, what’s more I seriously doubt we will ever get 72 so it’s a BS post in every way.

Nicholas R Messinger

US assets are being deployed in order to recover the jet, which lies in about 6,000 feet of water, well within reach of a number of ROVs – Remotely Operated Vehicles. Lift bags will be attached to the wreckage, and once inflated, will rise through the water column. In the late 1970s,I frequently recovered items from the seafloor in 3,000 feet, using the US Perry built manned submersible PC16. Since when, unmanned remotely operated submersible and autonomous, free swimming submersible technology has increased in leaps and bounds. There will be a battery powered pinger locator onboard the F35, which will greatly aid accurate location.

Ron5

Thanks for the info

BobM

Has that tabloid story about the aircraft taking off with the covers on been discounted?

captain mainwaring
Last edited 1 day ago by captain mainwaring
captain mainwaring

who would believe such fake news? total fantasy by Sky, rain cover joke.

Last edited 1 day ago by captain mainwaring
Bloke down the pub

Are you disputing the video, or the back story?