I see that Navalised Typhoons are being offered to India for their future carriers. Apparently this is quite easy to do. Now we all know that there shouldnt be much involved in it. Look at Phantoms and F-14s but the question is why dont the UK government! We plough millions/billions into the F-35 for what reason? Lets face facts why and when exactly would we need an F-35? The chances are if we need to use aircraft from a carrier it is likely to be against the likes of Argentina/Afghanistan/Iran. A navalised eurofighter would be more than capable at doing the job at far less of a cost. Even if we did have to go up against Russia or China, RAF/RN pilots in Typhoons(Tornadoes and Harriers too) would make very very good accounts of themselves without the need for expensive F-35s. Unfortunately we have a government currently in the UK which does not have a clue about anything. Rumour also has it that they are even considering totally retiring Tornadoes if they can persuade the Americans to provide more air cover in Afghansitan. Apparently if they arent needed in Afghanistan then we can get rid of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish it was as easy to get rid of our government!
The Navalised typhoon still on paper and the proposal has been to joint develop it with India. but its promised features look impressive- ski jump take off, thrust vectoring and AESA.
The F-35 is damn expensive and its use wud be justified in the kind of conflicts the US enters in.. but UK?. even the F-35 program cost is rising and is atleast 2 years away from deployment. The only advantage it offers is radar jamming and stealth , compared to the typhoon.Add this to the defence budget cuts UK is doing, the F-35 is an unnecessary expenditure for any govt.
The US uses it coz of the variety of threats its bound to face..somethin which the Uk doesnt.
maybe the UK govt is just too much inclined to the US to refuse and back away frm the program.
For more details on the Naval Typhoon, http://airbornegeeks.blogspot.com/2011/02/naval-variant-of-eurofighter-typhoon.html
This is an interesting debate with regard to the UK and F-35C, but from speaking with BAE Systems people at Aero India last week the message was loud and clear that a navalised Typhoon could only happen with the buy-in of an export user, such as the Indian navy. That's also true with Saab and its proposed Sea Gripen - a concept they first started to explore a decade ago and would love to get in use in Brazil and India. But let's not forget that the global market for deck-based fighters is miniscule once you've taken the US Navy out of the equation.
I updated my news story a couple of days ago to add a schematic showing what you would have to do to the Typhoon to make it work on a carrier - not all that cheap looking, to my mind: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2011/02/09/352925/aero-india-eurofighter-reveals-offer-to-produce-navalised.html But I spoke to an RAF pilot who has flown the simulator model spoken about here, and he was impressed.
Re Victor's point about why the UK has an interest in JSF, it's simple: if BAE builds major fuselage parts for 3,000-plus F-35s it's going to have a lot more industrial stability than through four nations scrabbling for sales of a few hundred more Typhoons, if they get that many. Like it or loathe it, JSF is going to happen and it's going to sell in massive numbers. And if it works as promised, it's going to be a very useful ISTAR asset for the UK. Let's just hope that there really will be enough pennies to invest in the Typhoon as hinted at in the SDSR, because if the AESA modification doesn't happen then we can wave goodbye to future export sales!
The F-35C is what the UK should have gone along with right from the beginning, but I think it will be compromised by the platforms it will operate from.
The carrier/s that they are supposed to operate from ;in plain language will just not have ummph to launch them at optimal weights and as the UK tends to bring back unspent ordinance there is another problem with approach speeds unless an obliging 30 Kts steady wind can be found every time
Although allegedly they were built with strech to allow them to go CTOL the design is compromised by the original decision to go with the F-35B
EM catapults although under development for the Ford Class CVN's are untried and a nuclear plant can deliver 30+ knots in most sea states and generate enough to power steam catapults so if the EM cats prove non viable at least the USN can revert to steam cats.
One last thing,
Only aircraft designed from the outset to be naval fighters are really practical, and they have to be designed to operate from the class of ship from which they will recover and launch from.
Not the other way around
We have similar concerns in Spain. In 10-15 years time our air force will have to replace its F-18s and the Navy its Harriers. The logical choice is the F35 and/or the Superhornet, but they are expensive and come with the traditional US-imposed limitations of use. Spanish gvt wants the Navy and the Air force to share equipment, but this is difficult. A navalised multirole Typhoon, as offered to India, would be a great solution, but unfortunately both UK and Italy seem to have "jumped" into the US arms too quickly; this leaves Germany as a potential partner, with resources and know-how, but they do not have any carriers neither an aeronaval culture. Spain can't do it on its own, goes without saying. I ignore the political costs, but UK and Spain are in similar situations (you need to replace your Tornados and Harriers, we need to replace our F18s and Harriers),...and India is interested in the navalised multirole Typhoon, so,...why not partner with them?
The QE class carriers are a bit of a disaster, they were designed with the F-35B in mind (should be the other way around) so really this far along, the only way to go is back to the F35B.
Typhoon may have been offered to India but it smacked of desperation, in an attempt to undermine Rafale.
Here is a thought for you.
Why not a UAV carrier?
The problem as always in carrier aviation is weight and UAVs can be recovered without all the complexity inherent in inhabited aircraft.
X47 may be a bit on the big side but some of European projects may be more suitable