Feeds

UK's first Stealth fighter in successful catapult test

Royal Navy version of the F-35 shot into sky

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Vid The tailhook version of the F-35 Lightning II stealth combat aircraft – which, following the recent UK defence review, is now planned to fly from new Royal Navy carriers in years to come – has successfully completed its first catapult launch test.

The test launch took place on the landbased steam catapult at US Naval Air Station Lakehurst (also the location of a prototype electromagnetic one of the type the Royal Navy will be compelled to use).

The F-35C is intended to operate from the catapult-equipped fleet carriers of the US Navy and will equip the Royal Navy and the RAF too. The jumpjet F-35B (formerly the chosen British model) will now be delivered only to the US Marines to begin with. The F-35A version, intended for ordinary landbased runway operations, will serve with the US Air Force and many allied nations.

All F-35s feature Stealth technology, and for most non-US purchasers including the UK it will be the first proper stealth aircraft to enter service. The planes are designed specifically with strike missions in mind – the most common employment for combat jets today – but are also meant to offer useful air-to-air capability.

Critics of the F-35 – who are many – say that in fact its stealth is no good, that it will be dreadful at air-to-air combat and that its cost and time overruns are going to be worse than normal for the aerospace biz.

On the other hand it may be worth noting that if the F-35 programme survives at all, the plane will surely be sold in large numbers and that will eventually drive costs down. In air-to-air combat, stealth etc it will surely be good enough to send against anything that realistic enemies can actually put up. One can't help feeling that much of the hatred for the F-35 in the aerospace world comes from the fact that it seems set to put most of its rivals out of business in coming decades.

That said, the Royal Navy will need tailhook jets from 2020 when the F-35C will still in all probability be rather pricey. Current plans have the single UK carrier of the future – with room for 40+ aircraft – putting to sea with no more than 12 fighters aboard. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?