Re: The proposed two Royal Navy 'super carriers'
- From: "Kevin Brooks" <brooksvmi@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2006 10:19:36 -0500
"Paul J. Adam" <news@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
In message <jeqdnTHCEczImW3enZ2dnUVZ_sednZ2d@xxxxxxxxxxxx>, Kevin Brooks
"Paul J. Adam" <news@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Well, quite: we should be _happy_ to contribute to a program we're not
allowed to know about.
Let's see, you folks are planning on buying a whopping 15o F-35's, and are
whining because RR will get to contribute the lift-fans and associated
equipment for not only those, but another 500 or so B models to be
by the US forces (and no telling how many for export to other parties),
will be providing a chunk of the airframe (and lots of subsystems) for
1500 to 2000 US aircraft (all variants) and maye another thousand or two
thousand export aircraft, Smiths will be providing significant compoents
all of aircraft, etc.? Gee, what a LOUSY deal for you folks! Funny thing
that you may very well end up making more money off of the F-35 program
you may actually make off the Typhoon program...
Absolutely, Kevin. A quick trawl of Jane's turned up the following
Restrictions limiting the UK's access to design data and weapons
technology relating to the USD244 billion Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)
programme are a "very serious issue", UK Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram
6% SDD contribution. Purchase of a whopping 6% (at most--more likely to be
at the 4% or lower figure) of the projected production run...and you want
carte blanche in terms of workshare? I don't think so.
Mike Turner, head of BAE Systems, told reporters in June that he believed
that Britain might withdraw from the programme unless it secures a greater
share of the JSF technology.
We are waiting with bated breath. How come I see this as more bluster and
threat than anything else?
By the way, the news this month is that BAE Systems has started production
of their first F-35B components...guess their tune has changed since June,
huh? Wonder why? Maybe because, "The System Development and Demonstration
phase is estimated to be worth more than $3 billion to the company and
production contracts could total $21 billion." Gee! The UK ponies up $2
billion, and BAE alone looks to be getting $3 billion back during the SDD
phase alone! What a rotten deal!
Or as another source put it: "This phase of work on the JSF is estimated to
be worth £1.7bn to BAE Systems and it is hoped the project will provide
long-term job security for staff at Warton."
Terrible how the F-35 is maybe what it keeping that Warton staff busy, huh?
Chief of Defence Procurement Sir Peter Spencer and Minister for Defence
Procurement Lord Drayson told the House of Commons Defence Committee that
technology transfer was key to the aircraft's procurement.
The Chief of the Air Staff was reported to have stated that 'there is
clearly a growing urgency in addressing technology access and the related
ability of independent support of the aircraft'.
The UK Secretary of State for Defence, Dr John Reid, reiterated his
opinion that US reluctance to allow the UK full access to Joint Strike
Fighter (JSF) technology is a "serious issue".
But apparently the seriousness is overshadowed by the fact that UK industry
is reaping much more in contracted value than what the UK government
contributed to the program, and is in a position to reap major profits from
the program when it reaches full scale production, with a lot of those
profits coming from the US taxpayer who is buying the 1500-2500 (depending
upon which source you use) F-35's to be procured for US service. Methinks
British industry (and government) is going to be very reluctant to turn
their backs on such a sweet deal.
The UK will not sign the Production, Sustainment and Follow On Development
(PSFD) memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Joint Combat Aircraft
(JCA- known in the US as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)) with the US
"without achieving the appropriate level of sovereignty" over its
technology, according to the former UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) programme
Great--how about you guys get "sovereignty" over say, 6% of the technology?
Somehow I believe you will still cry foul...
Commodore Simon Henley, who headed the programme for the UK until
mid-January 2006, added that the UK "has no Plan B" if it is not allowed
the access it requires and admitted that if the terms of the JCA
procurement "become unacceptable, then we need to look again".
H'mmm...where is the evidence of all of that "looking". "Sir Swizzlestick,
we are *looking* at other options, but in the meantime you guys go ahead and
accept those contracts for SDD funding that exceed the amount we contributed
to the program, right?"
Or perhaps there's the Commons Select Committee on Defence?
We fully support MoD's position that the ability to maintain and upgrade
the JSF independently is vital. We would consider it unacceptable for the
UK to get substantially into the JSF programme and then find out that it
was not going to get all the technology and information transfer it
required to ensure 'sovereign capability'.
You deserve 6% "sovereignty".
This needs to be sorted
out before further contracts are signed and we expect MoD to set a
deadline by which the assurances need to be obtained. If the UK does not
receive assurances that it will get all it requires to ensure sovereign
capability, we would question whether the UK should continue to
participate in the JSF programme.
108. We note that production and support of the JSF will be allocated on
the basis of global best value. Achieving best value is important but, if
this resulted in all future support of the aircraft being undertaken
overseas, then achieving sovereign capability could be put at risk. We
expect MoD to demonstrate that achieving global best value and ensuring
sovereign capability are compatible.
Don't ask us, ask Congress. We thought we'd done our part, obviously we
Based upon the numerous examples of UK industry contributions to the
(the ones you conveniently snipped...), your argument does not hold any
Absolutely right, Kevin. You know better than the UK's Secretary of State
for Defence; better than the Parliamentary Select Committee for Defence;
better than the Armed Forces Minister; and so it goes.
Yeah, being as you folks are doing a lot of blustering on the issue while
continuing to hold your hands out for every scrap of contracted work value
you can get, value which exceeds your monetary contribution, I don't see
this as a big issue. Of course, if y'all really feel slighted, you can
indeed back out and find another aircraft to replace your Harriers...US
firms can undoubtedly use the work that you would free up, and the loss of a
whopping 150 aircraft order in a program that is projected to exceed 3000
when the export orders are considered (and yes, nations will still buy the
F-35 even if the UK backs out) won't be a major issue. In fact, now that the
USAF has jumped on the B model bandwagon and is projected to order even more
aircraft of that make than what the UK is planning on, the whole issue of
the criticality of UK participation is greatly diminished (IIRC one of the
original major reasons on this side of the pond was the USMC desire to see
the STOVL model made more economical).
maintain the aircraft. Go explain it in Westminster and Abbey Wood where
they lack your insight and wisdom.
But who is going to explain it to the folks at Warton, and the RR folks who
will be producing the lift-fan systems? Whi is going to explain the
necessity of dumping the program to the folks at Smiths? Again, lots of
bluster, but when it comes to generating more income than you are laying out
in contributions and purchases, y'all are not that dumb.
Now, stop wasting your time talking to _me_ and go and explain to those
silly Government and industry people why they're all wrong and you're
I'll wait till those silly government folks do more than whine and
bellyache, and in the slight chance that sombody dopes do more than that,
*then* I'll instead let the UK workers who are seeing the profits from this
program yield job security and fat paychecks do the talking.
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