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What could possibly go wrong with this?

Ah yes, Britain’s socialists, working tirelessly towards a world in which Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping & Kim Jong-un are the only people with nuclear weapons. What could possibly go wrong with that?

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36 comments to What could possibly go wrong with this?

  • Mr Ed

    For the socialists, it could not go wrong. But has anyone asked them if we should keep nukes to deter Israel from using any nukes it may have (should it turn out that it has any)?

    The Putinbots will need a software patch ‘Does not compute, Nuking Israel? Does not compute, outcome good, method bad.‘ before insanity returns and they agree to nuking Israel (were such a course proposed to them) as a way of getting rid of (1) our nuclear arsenal, and (2) a self-confident country proud of its history and determined to survive.

  • Laird

    As I understand it you’ve already scrapped your aircraft carriers (or is it just the aircraft they carried?), and your army probably couldn’t successfully invade the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, so I suppose it just makes sense that you go all-in and eliminated the nukes, too. Then the US can absorb all of your defense costs.

    The logic seems unassailable.

  • Cristina

    Human stupidity has no bounds.

  • JohnK

    Laird:

    The crap Cameron government did indeed scrap our two old aircraft carriers in its first term. However, we are building two new ones, which may be ready by 2020 or so (hope they are no needed before then). Sadly, these new carriers are being equipped with F35Bs, the “plane that ate the Pentagon”. It all seemed like a good idea at the time, no doubt.

  • AKM

    HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently fitting out and is scheduled to make her first sea trials this year and will be commissioned in 2017. Helicopter flight trials will also begin in 2017 with the F-35B flight trials in 2018. It is hoped that a fully operational capability will be declared in 2020.

    HMS Prince of Wales is about 2 to 3 years later in development.

    The F-35B might not be as desirable as the F-35C variant however it is still a massive leap forward after operating Sea Harrier and Harrier on our carriers since the early 1980s.

  • Thailover

    Anyone who thinks socialism is a good idea is retarded de-facto. (Or is that too politically incorrect?) LOL.

  • al kane

    johnk;

    cameron didn’t scrap our carriers, brown did and they were end of life. brown then gave the contract for the new carrier to his own scots shipyards in another blinding piece of jerrymandering.

    blame anyone then blame labour for not building carriers when we had the money and before the old ones became too old,

  • Eric

    The carriers will most likely be finished. The real question is how long they’ll be in service before being mothballed in favor of other budgetary concerns.

  • Rich Rostrom

    “a world in which Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping & Kim Jong-un are the only people with nuclear weapons…”

    You forget Nawaz Sharif and potentially Ali Khameini.

    But as you say, what could possibly go wrong?

  • Paul Marks

    And independent Texas, in alliance with other States (in the West – not just the South) will need large scale nuclear forces.

    Putin’s Russia and the People’s Republic of China show no sign of reform – they are utterly vicious and bent on expansion. And the forces of Islam (Sunni and Shia) are as hostile now as they were under Mohammed and others (there are just vastly more of them now – the expansion of the Islamic population of the world over the last century is utterly astonishing).

    And the United States of America is essentially bankrupt (in fact if not in formal law) – the financial system is a Credit Bubble joke (leading families in Texas, and the State itself, are right to take their physical gold back from the New York Federal Reserve) and the Welfare State has expanded beyond any real chance of it being sustainable – the “unfunded liabilities” are crippling.

    And the hundreds of thousands of pages of Federal regulations twist and cripple American life – as does the absurdly high level of Corporate and Federal Income Tax in the United States.

    Britain?

    Best not to think about about British problems.

    The problems of Texas are “serious [very serious] but not hopeless” – as the Germans say (“serious but not hopeless” is a call to action, logical action).

    “Ah Paul now you are going to be Austrian and say the problems of Britain are – “hopeless but not serious” “.

    No actually I am not.

    I suspect that the problems of the United Kingdom are both serious (very serious) and hopeless.

    Still “keep buggering on” as we say on this island – without any sexual meaning.

  • long-lost cousin

    I liked the “NHS Not Trident” sign.

    Which has actually killed more people, the NHS or Trident?

  • Alsadius

    It may have been on Samizdata(I can’t remember for sure), but there was a comment made about how the left used to work towards weaponry so horrible nobody would dare fight another war…and now that we have it, they want it gone.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Which has actually killed more people, the NHS or Trident?

    A more interesting question is which has potentially saved more people. As Trident was part of the early 1980’s arms race squeeze on Soviet Russia which tipped the balance of power and ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the communist threat of nuclear war, it could certainly be seen as “saving” many more.

  • …which tipped the balance of power and ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall…

    Which could not possibly influence the transcendent loathing of the socialists for Trident, right? 😀

  • JohnK

    Al:

    The dogshit coalition did indeed scrap our carriers and Harriers prematurely; they were due to stay in service until replaced by the two new CVFs, and would still be sailing now if the twat Cameron had not decided to slash the armed forces to pay for the EU and foreign aid.

    The CVFs were built in sections around Britain and assembled in Scotland. It was in fact a very successful bit of shipbuilding and has gone remarkably well.

    AKM:

    I agree that the F35C would have been better than the F35B, but we are stuck with it now. The F35B might be better than a Harrier or Sea Harrier on paper, how it will fare in practice is another matter. If you try and make an aeroplane supersonic, VSTOL and stealthy, it seems you end up with a staggeringly expensive flying pig.

  • Gingerdave

    Si vis pacem, para bellum. Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, 4th-5th century.

    If you want peace, prepare for war.

  • AKM

    JohnK can you think of a single modern jet fighter that isn’t staggeringly expensive? If they can get production rates up as intended, then the unit price should come down in real terms, as it has for all previous mass produced fighters. The only problem is that the operating cost for STOVL & stealth aircraft tends to be higher due to the larger number of moving parts and caring for the stealth characteristics.

    As to being a flying pig, F-35 appears to have similar flight performance to the F/A-18 Hornet which might not be in the same class as up to date air superiority platforms like the Eurofighter Typhoon or the F-22, but hardly deserves to be called a pig.

  • mojo

    “Kai Carrwright, 17, from Exeter said: “We are having to pay to go to university”

    Uh-hmmm. Think I’ve spotted the problem.

  • JohnK

    AKM:

    Any fighter you care to mention is cheaper than the F35, and since it can be outflown by an F16 I do not feel too bad about calling it a flying pig.

    It is more of a bomber than a fighter, but the decision to use the same airframe for VSTOL and conventional models has compromised the whole design. It would have been much cheaper and easier to have had a VSTOL aircraft and a conventional one.

    The F35 is a rerun of the F111, which was meant to be a single design which could do everything for the Air Force and the Navy. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

  • The F35 is a rerun of the F111, which was meant to be a single design which could do everything for the Air Force and the Navy. It didn’t work then, and it won’t work now.

    I suspect you may be right 🙁

  • Laird

    There is a reason a professional mechanic has a whole set of wrenches rather than one adjustable one.

  • AKM

    “It is more of a bomber than a fighter”

    You say that as if it’s a bad thing! (It was originally called the Joint Strike Fighter after all).

  • JohnK

    AKM:

    Maybe that’s not such an issue for the USN, but for the RN it has to do everything, and it certainly seems to be more oriented towards the bombing role.

    The great thing about the Sea Harrier is that despite being VSTOL it was quite a simple design, and I seem to remember that in the Falklands War availability was over 90%, which was helpful as we only had about 20 aboard the carriers. I very much doubt the F35B will be able to match that level of reliability. Its VSTOL solution of having a seperate lift fan is something Hawker moved away from in the 1960s, but it seems to be necessary if you want stealth and supersonic capability, which apparently the US Marine Corps decided it really needed. I am not so sure.

  • Eric

    Yes, the F-35 is supposed to be a jack-of-all-trades, which is seen as a problem. But so was the F-18, which many people consider the most successful US naval design.

    The F-35 may yet be a great fighter. That really all depends on how well the stealth stuff works out in practice.

    IMO the biggest problem is cost – it was supposed to be to the F-22 what the F-16 was to the F-15: A cheaper fighter that could be produced in numbers and was still pretty good in a scrap. It’s not cheap, though, and will probably never be produced in the thousands like the F-16.

    And using the STOL version seems like a mistake to me. Is CATOBAR really so expensive it was worth the performance hit to go with the “B” version? What’s the point of building large carriers if you’re going to use ’em like pocket carriers?

  • Eric

    The great thing about the Sea Harrier is that despite being VSTOL it was quite a simple design, and I seem to remember that in the Falklands War availability was over 90%, which was helpful as we only had about 20 aboard the carriers. I very much doubt the F35B will be able to match that level of reliability. Its VSTOL solution of having a seperate lift fan is something Hawker moved away from in the 1960s, but it seems to be necessary if you want stealth and supersonic capability, which apparently the US Marine Corps decided it really needed. I am not so sure.

    I”m surprised they were able to get a 90% up-time with the Harrier. I’ve always heard it described as being somewhat finicky. And the whole water injection scheme seems a bit odd to me.

  • AKM

    My understanding (possibly flawed) of that 90% availability number from the Falklands is that it was originally stated as; “90% available each morning”. So after working on them all night they usually managed to get 90% of them ready for operations the next day. Unfortunately I can’t find the quote online at the moment, however this link claims an availability rate of more than 80% ( http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/report/1984/HJA.htm )

    As for the F-22/F-35 compared to the F-15/F-16, I don’t think you’re quite right. Originally the F-15/F-16 duo was supposed to be a high/low mix, as you say, with both aircraft being primarily intended for air to air combat. However the role of the F-16 evolved during the 80’s until the F-16 was being used primarily as a ground attack fighter. Due to this experience, when they were specifying the requirements for the F-35 it was never regarded as the low-end of a high/low mix with the F-22. Instead it was designed as a strike-fighter from the ground up; the air to ground partner to the air to air F-22. As such it should really be seen as the spiritual successor of the A-7, A-6 and Buccaneer but with a perfectly respectable air to air capability that allows it to self-escort too and from the target.

    I’d also like to point out that the Harrier, from which the Sea Harrier was derived, was also a ground-attack fighter. You can’t really complain about F-35 being a bomber first while praising the Sea Harrier. 🙂

  • JohnK

    AKM:

    The article you cited quotes Sea Harrier availability at 90%, then again it states that Type 21 frigates had Sea Slug, so swings and roundabouts.

    The Sea Harrier was indeed derived from the Harrier, but the Harrier was a nimble little fighter bomber, so it was not hard to turn it into a nimble little naval fighter. The F35 is something else. If it ends up costing £100 million a plane we will be very lucky.

    A similar mistake to the F35 was made with TSR2. It had to be supersonic, STOL capable, and able to fly at very low level. It ended up so expensive it was cancelled. Really, as a deep penetration bomber its main requirement was for low level flight, and we already had that solution in the form of the Buccaneer, but the RAF did not want it because it was a naval aircraft. When they were eventually forced to have it the crews loved it.

    The F35 is meant to be all things to all men, and that never works. The VSTOL requirement really is a step too far. It probably won’t be cancelled now, but we will end up spending a huge amount of money on a very compromised aircraft.

  • AKM

    Harrier and Sea Harrier were only ever nimble at low altitudes, at high level their specialized high bypass turbofans ran out of thrust. F-35 has a more conventional low bypass afterburning turbofan and doesn’t have to sacrifice performance at high level like the Harrier family. It should also be pointed out that however nimble the Harrier was, a competently flown F-16 would have an even greater performance advantage over it at medium or high altitudes than over the F-35. Also the Sea Harrier cost about the same as the F-16 yet delivered far less performance in the air by all measures, all you got for that money was the dubious value of STOVL. While expensive, at least with F-35 the money is buying some serious advantages over F-16 and F/A-18 in the ground attack role.

  • AKM

    Ah, forgot to mention the article. Yes it gives two figures for availability, I didn’t see the first one initially, sorry.

    “The 28 Sea Harriers flew more than 1,200 sorties in 44 days and achieved an exceptionally high availability rate–almost 90 percent.”

    “A total of 1,000 Sea Harrier air defense missions were flown during the conflict with an aircraft availability rate of more than eighty percent.”

    However I don’t claim it has any particular authority, I was just doing a quick google search to see it I could find a quote. 🙂

  • JohnK

    AKM:

    The Sea Harrier may have cost as much as an F16, but F16s would not have been much use from HMS Invincible would they?

    I should hope the F35B will be a considerable improvement on the Sea Harrier, given the staggering costs of the programme, but the truth is the two new carriers should have been built with catapults and arrestors from the start. The F35B is the least capabale of the three F35 types, and hamstringing a 65,000 ton carrier with the inferior VSTOL type never made any sense. I think it was a political ruse to keep the RAF in the loop.

  • AKM

    No, F16 (or the slightly more expensive F/A-18 for that matter) wouldn’t have been much use from HMS Invincible, however that’s a weakness of the carrier being unable to operate modern fast jets rather than a strength of the Sea Harrier! (ok, ok, slightly stretching the point here 🙂 )

    I agree about F35B vs F35C for the new carriers overall, however there are some meager advantages to STOVL that shouldn’t be forgotten: F-35C is the heaviest and draggiest of the 3 variants at combat weight and will presumably be the least agile because of it. Also it is easier and quicker, as well as less risky, to recover a large strike package using vertical or rolling landings on the STOVL carrier than it is using the arrestor gear on a conventional carrier. I know that doesn’t amount to much, but there are some pros as well as cons.

  • JohnK

    AKM:

    I think the real reason Britain went for the F35C was because it was presented as a replacement for the Joint Force Harrier, which was nominally a joint RAF/Navy unit. It made a sort of sense to replace the Harriers with another VSTOL type, and it helped sugar the pill for the RAF that the Navy was getting new carriers, as RAF F35Bs would be able to operate off them fairly easily.

    In practice the RAF made sure that first the Sea Harrier and then the Harrier were retired, so long as their Tornados could remain. At that point a divorce should have been arranged, and the RAF gone for the F35A which they want, and the Navy the F35C. However we are where we are, with both services having the wrong aircraft which will operate off the wrong carrier. Isn’t defence procurement fun?

  • JohnK

    Correction: s/b F35B in line one above. The F35 saga makes my head spin.

  • AKM

    I think you are correct, especially when you say that “RAF F35Bs would be able to operate off them fairly easily” being a major selling point.

    The RAF has previously expressed an interest in F-35A or F-35C as a replacement for Tornado GR.4 in the long-range strike role, however it appears that they are currently planning on fitting Typhoon with conformal fuel tanks for that task.

  • Mr Ed

    I happened across a post from an apparently reputable source, of a Norwegian Major and F-16 pilot’s comments (in English) on flying an F-35.

    I wonder why he bothered to fly it, he could have learnt a lot more by going on YT and some blogs and reading the comments, and saved some money.

  • JohnK

    Mr Ed:

    I am glad that this pilot can report to his superiors that they are not complete morons for buying the F35A. Of course, this is not the VSTOL variant Britain is buying, thus handicapping its carriers. Nor does this article address the staggering cost of the programme. I doubt Norway will be able to afford more than a few F35As, so they had better hope that they are good.