Feeds

Blighty orders first 3 supersonic stealth jumpjets

Fleet Air Arm still has tough battle ahead

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.)

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.