Feeds

Blighty orders first 3 supersonic stealth jumpjets

Fleet Air Arm still has tough battle ahead

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The UK has ordered its first three Joint Strike Fighter (aka F-35 or "Lightning II") supersonic stealth jumpjets. The initial trio of UK planes will be prototypes built as part of the F-35's development phase, giving Blighty access and input to the jet's final design.

The supersonic jumpjet flies: no jumping until 2009

The F-35B operating as a normal runway plane.

"The Joint Strike Fighter will form an essential part of our Future Combat Air capability," said Defence minister John Hutton, announcing the buy yesterday in Washington.

"By purchasing three aircraft for testing, we will secure access to the development of the programme. Working alongside their US colleagues, our pilots will gain an unrivalled understanding of this awesome aircraft and its capabilities.

"This is a vital programme for UK Defence both for the military and for industry, with over 100 UK companies involved in the programme."

The American F-35 programme will produce three different versions. One will be a conventional runway plane, intended for service with the US Air Force and various overseas buyers. Another will be built for catapult launch and arrester-hook landing, and will be bought only by the US Navy on current plans.

The other type, the F-35B, will have a central lift fan driven by the engine and a downward-swivelling exhaust. This will deliver vertical thrust, letting the plane land on a pad like a helicopter if lightly loaded. The F-35B is meant to replace the famous Harrier jumpjet with many of its current operators, including the US Marines, the RAF and the Royal Navy.

There are indications that the RAF is actually more than a bit lukewarm about replacing its present force of Harriers; senior airmen would perhaps prefer to sink that money into enhancing the third tranche of Eurofighter, making the Euro jet into a proper deep-strike bomber. (It can drop smartbombs already, but the RAF regard this as an "austere" capability.)

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.