I really should change my personal text
- Oct 25, 2013
- Reaction score
The RAF will likely end up with a fighter mix similar to Italy's (Typhoons, F-35As & F-35Bs).FighterJock said:How about instead of split buying F-35B and F-35A we should honor the F-35B contract and then buy 100 F-35As as a separate purchase to replace the Tornado force.Flyaway said:UK to decide on future F-35 variant 'at appropriate time'
http://www.janes.com/article/72277/uk-to-decide-on-future-f-35-variant-at-appropriate-timeThe UK government has given its clearest indication to date that it could be considering a split-buy for its future fleet of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF).
Answering questions in Parliament, the Minister of State for Defence and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Earl Howe, said that while the UK had committed itself to its full quota of 138 aircraft, it had yet to decide on which variant these would be beyond the initial 48 F-35Bs that will be used to fly off the country's two new aircraft carriers.
"As part of the Strategic Defence and Security Review [SDSR] in 2015, we reaffirmed our commitment to procure 138 F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The first tranche of 48 aircraft will be of the F-35B variant, which will be jointly operated by the Royal Air Force [RAF] and Royal Navy [RN], and capable of operating from both land and the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. The decision on the variant of subsequent tranches of Lightning will be taken at the appropriate time," Howe said.
The mix of the 2 F-35 variants wil depend on how many required to maintain the carrier air wings.
However the RAF is likely to take longer to get there; F-35A is very unlikely to be a remotely immediate Tornado replacement; far more likely such a purchases will be delayed and will be stretched over time and will actualy replace the Tranch 1 Typhoons (which were originally pencilled for early retirement and now will only see limited upgrades).
The combination of F-35Bs and the latest Tranch 2 & 3 Typhoons are the immediate Tornado replacements.