Knut Sulen
We who are old enough remember the Hawker Siddeley Harrier developed in the 1960? and where crusial in the defgending of the Falkland Islands during that war 30 years ago. also VTOL
L1ma
The P1227 took 9 years to develop into the Harrier from 1957 - 1966 at the point where the first production version was shipped. The X35 first flew in 2001 and we are at least another 2 years from a production aircraft (14 years). The US 2001-2011 built and flew over 4000 UAV drones, many now armed, the implications are obvious. The F35 is looking at an air superiority role in a time when no ememy aircraft could survive a drone and missile attack on the ground (i.e Frances Armée de l'Air has over 600 aircraft which simply would be swarmed by this armarda of drones plus the US cruise missile stock).
Slowburn
@ Knut Sulen I do. I also Remember the Mach 2 Mafia claiming that the Argentinian pilots weren't trained well enough to know to turn when being shot at. I called bullcookies on that at the time and history has come down on my side. @ L1ma So. There was a lot less bureaucratic nonsense to deal with when the Harrier was designed and introduced. the P-51 went from a signed contract to the prototype making its first flight in 149 days and was in combat later that same year. The F-35 is not an air superiority fighter she is primarily a ground attack plane. Going up against a competent air defense system drones will fall like skeet. Also hitting targets of opportunity with drones requires 2 way communications this can be jammed.
AA Cunningham
"The P1227"(sic) You're thinking f the P.1127 not the "P1227". Any idea where Hawker would have been without all of that MWDP funding from the United States since the UK wouldn't fund the project? "1957 - 1966 at the point where the first production version was shipped." The first pre-production aircraft flew on 31 August 1966. The order for production aircraft wasn't issued until 1967. The first GR.1 flew on 28 December 1967. The first GR.1 was delivered to the RAF on 18 April 1969 at Wittering. That's a timeframe of 12 years not 9 as you earlier asserted. "we are at least another 2 years from a production aircraft" LRIP aircraft are already being produced in Fort Worth. Was the P.1127 a fly by wire aircraft? How many lines of code did the P.1127 utilize? etc. Big difference between the capabilities of the P.1127 and the F-35. "The F35 is looking at an air superiority role" The F-35 is a multirole fighter not an air superiority fighter.
Richard Auchus
How much did this thing cost again...?
James Kroeger
Shouldn't have been very difficult with such calm seas/water. I'd like to see them do it again with the ship rocking. Not that impressed.
ezeflyer
Drones are making the F-35B obsolete. Why keep spending billions on it?
StWils
First & Foremost, focusing on only ONE system is Gigantically Flawed. Anyone recall how well the French Maginot line or Hitler's Atlantic Wall fared upon attack? Drones are great but still limited. A man in an airplane is still an irreplaceable combatant. Next, not to quibble, but the article said that there were 41 landings and 40 launches. Don't you generally want the number of landings & takeoffs to pretty much be equal? Hey, I'm just noticing what they wrote, not be judgmental ... It is a lot like with subs where the number surfacings should equal the number of dives..
Slowburn
@ StWils The national Socialists went around the Maginot line. Hitler's Atlantic Wall was hit at its weakest point in a manner that the Rommel did not think that the Americans had in them. (Coming in on the heals of a storm.) @ James Kroeger One step at a time.
Nairda
I second ezeflyer's comment. This is all PR to calm the public that not all funds are going into the lucrative branch of UCAVs. Flight control's proverbial tether of communication to UCAVs are an administrative control, not a technical one. Not for a number of years. UCAVs can fend for themselves, and while at present will struggle in a dogfight, for targeting and defending against enemy ground forces they would do just fine. Besides, one could argue that jamming of UAV electronics is no different jamming a manned vehicle. Either way substantially reduces effectiveness.