UK Should Ponder F-35 Pullout

UK Should Ponder F-35 Pullout

A left-leaning British thinktank is urging the Labour Party government to consider pulling out of the F-35 as that country combs through all its defense acquisition programs. The inimitable Doug Barrie at AvWeek broke the story about the report, authored by several respected British defense experts. While the Brits have shown few signs of anything but complete commitment to the F-35, this is a story to watch over the next few months as the government stares deep into its dwindling purse. Doug’s story follows:

LONDON — The U.K. should re-examine its commitment to the Lockheed Martin F-35, a left-leaning think tank suggests, as part of a broader review of defense procurements.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says that as part of a “Strategic Security Review” the U.K. government should “re-examine … its defense equipment requirements. This re-examination should explore all viable options for capability downgrading and quantity reductions, as well as for complete cancellation of some equipment programs.”

The IPPR’s Commission on National Security in the 21st Century’s final report, “Shared Responsibilities, A National Security Strategy For The United Kingdom,” published June 30, argues that given the pressure on defense procurement and the need for savings, these would best be made in areas “where we are members of an alliance that already possesses the relevant capabilities in abundance.”

Such an approach, it contends, “puts certain capabilities in the frame for reconsideration. For illustrative rather than comprehensive purposes, these might be said to include: The Future (Aircraft) Carrier program [and] … The F-35.”

The report is given weight by the members of the commission, which include co-chairman George Robertson, a former NATO Secretary General. Gen. Charles Guthrie, a former chief of the defense staff, and David Omand, a former security and intelligence coordinator in the Cabinet Office, also were members of the commission.

Robertson also was the British Secretary of State For Defense when the future carrier program, and the associated Future Carrier Borne Aircraft — for which the JSF was selected — were originally approved in 1998.

Two further naval programs are put forward for “reconsideration” in the final report — the Type 45 air defense destroyer, six of which are on order, and the Astute-class hunter-killer submarine.

Arguing the need for procurement cuts, the report says: “It is clear there is a ‘black hole’ in the defense budget if the U.K. persists with all current plans and commitments. The Commission shares the view that we cannot carry on as we are. We believe the U.K. needs radical thinking to address the challenges being faced. In some areas, we need only to implement the earlier reassessment in a more determined way. In others, we need to reconstruct our approach.”

It also suggests that “the U.K. should now pursue a new approach in relation to Trident [nuclear capability] in which the necessary steps are taken to keep the possibility of refreshing the system open, while a fundamental review of all options related to the deterrent are considered as part of a Strategic Review of Security.”

Further conventional cuts the “Government should look to explore” include cutting the number of main battle tanks, and “quicker reductions in the number of Tornado fighter and ground attack aircraft, especially given the recent decision to buy Tranche 3 of the Typhoon [Eurofighter].”

The report is stirring up understandable opposition. British armed forces lobbyist the United Kingdom National Defence Association describes the report as “fundamentally flawed.”

This article first appeared in Aerospace Daily & Defense Report.

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Denmark and Norway already did this, but are still in the fold. U.S. government and industry are going to do everything in their power (like the concessions made to Norway) to make sure all players stay on board.

POGO with a Brit accent?

Apparently this IPPR think tank doesn’t think you Brits need the RAF or RN.

yeah i mean london needs that cash to pay welfare to the millions of muslims pouring unchecked into that country.who needs defense when youre giving it away from the inside.

Gruntdoc has hit the nail on the head. Thats almost ALL of Europe. They come there, suck up all those generous social programs and breed like cockroaches. Within the next couple decades, they will outnumber indig. population. Look at the birthrates in Europe. Wat the Turks could not do by force, they are now doing it from the inside. As for the RN, wat are they gonna do, keep flying Harriers? Wake up West!!!

It’s those foreign birthrates that Europe (with its declining) it is going to be depending on to pay for those extravagant social safety nets. Don’t make the assumption that all those foreigners (like some in the U.S. are won’t to do) are lazy, and simply sponge off their adopted country.

Hispanic birth rates in this country (for better or worse) are keeping us from facing a demographic disaster in the near future.

I find it funny when Americans who get a government check, government health care, and soon a government retirement check complain about the “extravagant social safety network” in Europe.

You think what we have approaches what countries like France or Sweden have? LoL.

The UK does not have ‘millions of muslims pouring in unchecked’ (trust me I am a Brit!), the government’s problms are down to it’s high level of spending on many things and will have to cut back on spending in the next few years, not least because of pouring Billions into propping up Banks.

There is a debate starting here on the future shape of UK forces, there is a strong possibility (in my view) that the proposed new Carriers will be cancelled and therefore with them the JSF — that will be misguided in my view but I suspect will happen becase the RN seems in danger of losing the battle for it’s future survival in any worthwhile way.

Dandy…you think every American gets a government check, government health care and a government retirement check? LOL…you must be a Non-American.

Mark, he could be a American that sees where Obama is leading us to.

Good point

I hope everyone has a lovely 4th of July. I know it’s off-topic. Than again, maybe it’s not off topic at all for a blog that speaks the truth about the defense of America.

God Bless you all, no exceptions.

Daniel Clay Russ

This “Think Tank” has it roots in a USA Center for American Progress, Leftist Think Tank. ALL are bent on eliminating the production capabilities of the DOD Industrial, either here or in Britain. The goal is the demise of the Industrial capabilities of the West. We are witnessing the implementation of the desired goals of the Liberal Left, en masse.
Semper Fi

Wow, i disagree with alot of your guy’s points. America has an Military Industrial Complex, with no signs of slowing dow. YouTube “Obama Deception”, and check out Alex Jones videos. Believe me, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but the guy is right in everything he says. History has proven him right. Don’t flame me for this..

American Military is more powerful then the President, and the Bilderberg group is more powerful the the Military.…think of it as a pyramid of power…

Corporate Bankers
Military Ind. Complex

It’s just a thought, check it out if you have the time…opened my eyes on what goes on behind the scenes.

Happy late 4th gents.…

“The IPPR’s Commission on National Security in the 21st Century’s final report, “Shared Responsibilities, A National Security Strategy For The United Kingdom,” published June 30, argues that given the pressure on defense procurement and the need for savings, these would best be made in areas “where we are members of an alliance that already possesses the relevant capabilities in abundance.”

Lovely. So in other words they want the US to take care of Britain’s defense needs. Let’s just let the Americans fight for us so we don’t have to deal with it. Bunch of punks. The idea of Fortress America might go against what’s best for the US but we might not have a choice given Europe’s proclivity for abandoning us when we need them. We might become a fortress against our will.

I know that Europe has a problem with immigration, moslem immigration. Thier aim, for most, is not ASSIMILATION. How many mosques in the UK overtly preach hatred of the west? Its the truth, its undeniable. Its been in TimesOnline, The Guardian, I do not mean to single out the UK. They are our “cousins’ across the pond. Pls take no offense. When they riot, and MI5 is breaking up all kinds of plots, how many can they stop? The war of civilizations is on, it has been for years. We just never realized it. The French have banned certain types of dress, and its thier perogative. Maybe Europe should take a good look at wats going on, and stop the Politically Correct BS.

Rhyno — this is not a new problem. I remember learning about the “Gastarbeiter” in my high school German class in the early ‘70s. These were the “guest workers” coming into western Europe from the Arab world doing the jobs that Europeans thought were beneath them. Does that sound familiar?

Let’s hope the Brits make the right decision and dump the JSF “Nitch Fighter.” Not since the McNamara (spitting on his grave) era has a single airplane been sold with so much capability; for those of you born after the South East Asia War Games (which McNamara conducted: see above demonstration of disgust) and the F-111 was his baby, intended to land on a carrier.
It’s all about trade offs with the design of combat aircraft. I can’t believe the pentagon has gone along with the JSF. It does nothing really well, several things somewhat well and comes up short in all those missions that the aircraft it will replace already do very well. And the price continues to grow.
The Marines deserve a simple attack aircraft that is easily maintained, has a high servicability rate and can be bought as a two place or single.…like the F-18 by gosh. First day of the war stealth is smoke and mirrors. Who in their right mind would go into a SAM threat carrying 4–250 lb’ers. That doesn’t sound like kicking the door down to me.
The USN will pull the plug on the F-35C for the same reason they didn’t go along with the F-16 after the light weight fighter comp. They like two engine airplanes on boats.
How many billions will we be wasting before someone comes to the realization that Lockheed has sold congress and the puzzle palace a large jug of snake oil.

Let’s not forget that plans for 9/11 started in the mosques of Hamburg, Germany, where German intelligence wouldn’t even monitor their own extremists because they are still too scared from Hitlers SS and the Cold War Stasi.

In muslim neighborhoods in the UK, bookstores sell radical Islamic texts preaching for death and destruction of the U.S.

If the Brits don’t buy the JSF, then what will they buy? Seems like they don’t have any other options. Western Europe is in a sad, sad state of affairs. They continue to neuter their defensive and offensive capabilities, mostly in the name of Political Correctness, while domestic and international threats grow exponentially.

1 in 4 east germans were informants for the Stasi. And the Stasi being Germans, kept meticulous records.
If you had ever experienced such a state of affairs you would also fear a return to it. “Life, Liberty and the Persuit of Happiness”, sounds like you would “Give up some liberty, for security”. Well that one ends badly.
Learn from History.
You say “They continue to neuter their defensive and offensive capabilities, mostly in the name of Political Correctness,” I doubt it is political correctness, ineptitude seems a more reasonable answer.
You also say “domestic and international threats grow exponentially”, I don’t think you know what “exponentially” means. As an example of “exponentially”, in 2002 there should have been 2 9/11 size attacks, in 2003 there should have been 4, in 2004 there should have been 8, in 2005 there should have been 16, in 2006 there should have been 32, in 2007 there should have been 64, in 2008 there should have been 128, and this year 2009 there should be 256. This is an example of exponential growth of Violence.

Scathsealgaire, don’t give me that “life liberty pursuit of happiness” bullcrap, that argument is too generic and falls flat on its face without drawing a line between national security and those three things. Where do we draw the line? Certainly, it would appear that countries like Germany, who allow extremist hatred that openly calls for the death and destruction of infidel societies to knowingly be preached in certain parts of the country without any intervention, has failed to draw the line where law and order maximize the amount of “life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness” those of us who aren’t trying to kill one another can have. I’m not advocating a police state, or that all of a country’s citizens should be fair game for wiretaps with or without a warrant, but is it it really a breach of rights when a society makes an effort to stop the spread of religious hatred that is more than just an expression of free speech, but a call to violence and the death of those who are different from them? Where would you draw the line? And do you really think that putting spies in some mosques to try to learn about terrorist attacks is a breach of freedom and rights? I don’t think that is too much to ask.

As for exponential threat increases, yes you have shown yourself to be a clever guy, showing us the meaning of exponential growth. First of all, I would expect you to be able to differentiate between threats and actual terrorist attacks. I don’t think anyone will argue that radical Islam is GROWING, especially on the streets of Western European cities. Perhaps exponentially was an exaggeration, I don’t have the exact statistics on how many radicals on this planet would kill me 5 years ago vs today.

“The IPPR’s Commission on National Security in the 21st Century’s final report, “Shared Responsibilities, A National Security Strategy For The United Kingdom,” published June 30, argues that given the pressure on defense procurement and the need for savings, these would best be made in areas “where we are members of an alliance that already possesses the relevant capabilities in abundance.””

By this logic, virtually every British Military program should be reduced or eliminated because as part of NATO, virtually every capability exists somewhere in abundance. The problem with this logic is purely national concerns like the Falklands War or the British Sailors and Marines that were taken hostage by the Iranians. Didn’t see a lot of alliance members signing up to help on those. Not to mention the fact that if every nation took the same attitude, then there would no longer be any capability in abundance.

“life liberty pursuit of happiness” is the basis of the United States and is in no way “Bullcrap” as you put it.

If you are not advocating a police state, then you are advocating the status quo, there are no other options. No a “Heightened” security state is otherwise known as a “police state”.

“And do you really think that putting spies in some mosques to try to learn about terrorist attacks is a breach of freedom and rights?“
A mosque or a church is a PUBLIC PLACE. If anyone tries to claim otherwise they are nuts, so it is hardly spying to put an agent in them.

As for threats growing. I think you will find that the US public’s PERCEPTION of threats growing is because, before 9/11 the media tended to ignore these threats as the media tended to focus on local events and politics. Sure there has been some growth in threats, but I would doubt it has even doubled.

As for Radical Islam growing. It has been fed and watered for the past eight years. Of course it grew. But for the most part Radical Islam is a nation of BIG MOUTHED CLERICS and Keyboard Jihadis. Big on words, small on action.

Hey guys, the subject is the JSF. How about redirecting the conversation to the subject?

Well, they just cut steal on the first CVF’s and the UK is not leaving the JSF Program. So, the critics are wrong yet again.

Guys they will build one carrier for now but the question is can the US provide the plane on time and in budget its already well over budget so will be intresting to see,however there is thoughts in the UK to revert to deck launched planes so we only need to build one model thus cutting costs for everyone, the other tought being to buy grippen which is cheaper and does very much the same as the f35 says it does or will and its already available as for muslums in the UK i agree were almost becoming a minority in our own country, but much of this is down to bloody Political correctness another stigma of a Labour Goverment

Ya we have a mil indus complex today…one or two heavy weight Boeing, Raytheon, and several use-to-be’s who can get jobs only by partnering with foreign heavy weight government owned entities. What ever happened to the Nation who had several concurrent fighter types, bomber types, in the inventory with follow on generations on the boards, in development. All down to 20 to 50 year olds airframes with single type follow on’s, if that…

By nature, I have very right conservative views, especially on defense, and I have read this report, my initial apprehension about it being a lot of extreme left wing dogma was quickly dispelled, it is a very well constructed and thought provoking report. It IS strongly PRO-US and NATO, while at the same time encouraging the rest of Europe to get their act together.

It also suggested that the Trident Submarine replacement programme should be scrapped, Which I agree with, and cutting our Air Defense Capability, which I disagree with.

Personally I think we should have a Nuclear Diade, consisting of 16 land based Trident Missiles, each with 4–6 warheads, and up to 30 MANNED 2018 Medium LR Bombers carrying both Conventional PGM’s as well as ASMPA Nuclear tipped cruise missiles.

As far as the Joint Strike Fighter is concerned, I think we should either pull out of the programme or cut our order in half and then only for the RAF. One of the many blunders that this discreditted government has made over the years was to tie the Future Carrier Programme with the JSF Programme. What they should do now is buy either Rafale or the Super Hornet, both are a lot cheaper, have longer range and carry more weapons than the V/STOL variant of the F-35.

My personal opinion is you Americans in General and the USAF in paticular have badly cocked up with it’s fighter replacement programmes. And yes, I do include the F-22 in this mess, and I will give you my reasons.

First of, the USAF decided to replace two aircraft, the F-15 and the F-16, with two aircraft, the RAF is using the Typhoon to replace the Tornado F-3 Bomber and the Jaguar Ground Attack Aircraft in a two for one job. The US Navy is likewise using the F/A-18 to do the work of two aircraft, why couldn’t the USAF do the same.

Secondly, Why are you buying two CTOL variants of the same airframe? The Canadians, Australians, the Swiss as well as Spanish Air Force use the F/A-18 as a land based fighter, so why can’t the Air Force and the Navy use the same version?

Thirdly, with any V/STOL aircraft you sacrifice both range & payload for the ability to take off and land vertically. The reason why the Harrier was the ONLY successful V/STOL design of the many that have been proppsed, is the Peagus Engine, which is the only purpose built V/STOL engine ever developed and all the other designs were mostly converted CTOL airframes using modified CTOL Engines as is the V/STOL version of the F-35. Especially, the F-35Bunter, the main design flow in the aircraft is the engine system, especially the forward horizontal lift fan, not only is it mechanically driven via a drive shaft from the engine’s compressor, but in order to put the lift fan in they had to remove a third of the aircraft’s fuel. The aircraft is too heavy, too expensive and not cost effective especially when you compare to the A variant, which will account for over 70% of the proposed production run.

I think one of Gate’s many recent failures was not to rationalise the F-35 Programme.

If the UK pulls out, how can they support thier expeditionary forces? The Sea Harrier? This aircraft performed well in the Falklands, but this is 2009. Same with the Marine corps. I don’t see an alternative.


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