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Barry Larking

Best Wishes to all who serve.

Supportive Bloke

Great work & thank you – hopefully not needed but probably will be.

Shire boy

I see this all as really positive news. The Royal Navy stepping up, our European military allies helping as well. Always makes me feel a bit angry that David Camaron allowed the SAR to be taken completely away from the Fleet air arm and RAF.
Keep the good news coming 🙂


An important fact to note recently, is that the US marines have indicated that they are looking at cutting the number of F35’s in each squadron from 16 to 10. If this goes ahead it could equate to a reduction in their F35 buy of more than a third.

A major part of the rationale for the Queen Elizabeth class carriers is that they will be able to provide a taxi service for the US Marines, given that realistically the UK is only going to buy 48 F35Bs (shared with the RAF). Any future orders are likely to be F35A due to being cheaper.

The UK government is likely to run a deficit of hundreds of billions of pounds this year, with the national debt increasing substantially year on year.

Going forward the Royal Navy is going to have to figure out how to do more with less and focus on getting what it already has working rather than being fixated on buying the latest expensive new toys. The money is simply not going to be there going forward.

Cameron Izard

Erm… This isn’t correct.
The UK are ordering 138 F35Bs, I’m not sure where you’re getting only 48 from, this just isn’t correct. The F35A will actually be more expensive due to the need for duplicate parts and knowledge. The two aircraft are very different. This is why the RAF were made to have the F35B even though they wanted the F35A.

Do you have a reliable source for the USMC cutting their numbers?


He’s gotten it from the “Initial” purchase of 48, instead of the full planned purchase of 138.


This is a number that has been stated by defence bureaucrats, although it doesn’t really mean anything as there will be many new elections, Prime Ministers, Chancellors and Defence Secretaries between now and then. No contract has been signed for 138 aircraft as there is no guarantee that there will be any more B’s beyond the first 48, as the Air Force is arguing that all remaining purchases be the A. Most (or all) of the 48 are also essentially prototype aircraft, as operational testing has not yet been completed, meaning that they will need to be either upgraded or scrapped at some point in the future.

Meirion X

Do you really believed the UK would have been given a Tier 1 partner status with a 15% share in the project, if we had only intended to procure around 48 F-35’s?? Come On now, get a brain!


I wouldn’t be too insulting to him there, apart from anything else you are talking about different things – you are talking about decisions made as far back as 1995 while he is talking about decisions made in the last few years or that are going to be made in the next few – and there is a disturbingly good chance he will be right as well, STRN had an article last just last year about the RAF’s manoeuvring to reduce the B buy in favour of the A model, and if you thought money was tight last year just wait and see what it’s going to be like mid 2021 when the coronavirus is over (if it’s over by then) and the fight against it has to be paid for. His brain isn’t the problem here and on the subject of insulting people – people can downvote him as much as they like it’s not going to change the situation, until the UK actually orders 138 the UK has only ordered 48 there are 90 to go and neither that number nor the type is as set in stone as anyone around here would like it to be.

Meirion X

The US would see it as a betrayal of our commitment to F-35 project if we reduced the total order over the lifetime of the project to less then 50, especially as the US has given the UK a 15% workshare in F-35.
In the same way as Turkey has been thrown out of the F-35 project, the US will certainly take some action over the betrayal!
We wouldn’t be thrown out completely, most likely our work share would be reduced to about 2%. Uk would No longer be a Tier 1 partner in F-35.
Japan will most likely take up our workshare, a big win for them.
That would be a big loss to the Uk!


The US isn’t committed to buying planes that Turkey would have. All indications are that the US themselves are looking at cutting their own order of F35s. Marines have indicated recently that they will be cutting F35 squadrons from 16 to 10 (probably partly a recognition of the high maintenance/operating cost). US Air Force is still ordering F15s and Navy Super Hornets. Kicking Turkey out of the programme has also increased costs.

Meirion X

I seen No plans to cut Overall numbers of F-35s. And the USAF has Not procured any new F-15s yet. Only the Saudi’s and Qatari’s have procured new F-15s.
Just more Fake news as usual?

Phillip Johnson

138 was always a ‘planned’ number which assumed the RAF would replace Tranche 1 and 2 Typhoons at the 20 year mark. That is not likely to happen anytime soon. 48 F-35B’s is all the UK is likely to procure into the medium term. That will buy 2 sqn’s plus support units.
If you are talking about deliveries post 2030 it really comes down to how much money is around and how much growth the F-35 airframe has in it compared with other projects the UK may choose to get involved with in future.
Beware politicans estimates.


It doesn’t mention the F35 by name, or the size of it’s squadrons, but at the bottom of page 4 (to be read in conjunction with most of pages 2 through 5) starting with the bit where he say’s they are ditching the 2 MEB standard the new Commandant has ordered a force structure assessment to supersede the 2016 force structure assessment:'s%20Planning%20Guidance_2019.pdf?ver=2019-07-17-090732-937 I’m led to believe that there are supporting documents out there that imply the USMC is going to reduce it’s F-35B buy in favour of more C models (while holding the total number of airframes steady) but I can’t say that I’ve seen them, or anything specific as to squadron size, but it needs to be noted that the US, like everyone else, is 18 months out from having to adjust their budget downwards.