Providing we can actually get 72 F35B's under contract to equip and sustain 3 squadrons and 150 GCAP to equip 8 Squadrons, plus a carrier capable Ghost Bat (or equivalent) to provide mass for both forces, then we might actually create a fast air force that surpasses anything we've ever had.....Jensy wrote: ↑24 Sep 2023, 01:41Under Project Anvil we've invested a fortune in Marham. If, and it's a big if, Lighting is transferred to the Navy so would the base.serge750 wrote: ↑23 Sep 2023, 15:08 When the Tempest program starts showing its full potential late this decade or early 2030, perhaps the raf will offer up lightnings to the RN in exchange for the funds for the potential xtra f35b to be transfered to tempest product airframes.....but if the FAA get the 48 f35b that will a huge drain on th RN budget ( 48 maybe enough for 2 sqaudrons on 1 carrier in peactime - would be good to see ! ) but where would they operate from ? is there room at yeovil ?
Our current and future situation was defined by two things in the late 90s / early 00s:
- The RAF believing they could get Typhoon, JSF and a replacement for Tornado
- The RN wanting a Shar replacement that was both supersonic and stealth
In that period we had 120 odd Harriers of all sorts (FAA & RF); about 300 Tornados split between F3 and GRA4 (being upgraded) and about 60 GR3/GR3A Jaguars, by the time it was retired in 2007 (unsure of exact figures before then).
That's more than triple the UK's current FJ mass. A change of circumstance like that is very hard to plan for or predict.
In hindsight our combat air procurement perhaps should have been very different but we are where we are. Getting GCAP into series production might give us the opportunity to reverse that course, even if only marginally.
The mix of capabilities and weapon systems will create an extremely effective force.