The UK’s First F35B

A collection of media from today’s handover

First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model.
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Here Lockheed Martin Chairman and CEO Bob Stevens addresses the crowd.
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Here Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, UK Secretary of State for Defence, addresses the crowd.
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Pictured is Vice Admiral David Venlet, F-35 Lightning II Program Executive Officer, handing the first UK F-35’s log book to Air Member for Materiel and Chief of Materiel (Air) Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson.
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Pictured (left to right): Robert Stevens, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin; Frank Kendall, U.S. Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; Sir George Zambellas, UK Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff; Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, UK Secretary of State for Defence; Larry Lawson, Executive Vice President, Lockheed Martin Corporation and President, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics company; Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, UK Chief of the Air Staff; Air Marshal Sir Kevin Leeson; Air Member for Materiel and Chief of Materiel (Air); Vice Admiral David Venlet, F-35 Lightning II Program Executive Officer; Tom Burbage, Executive Vice President and General Manager, F-35 JSF Program Integration
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Here BK-1 takes off for its inaugural flight with a Royal Air Force pilot at the helm.
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Here BK-1 makes its inaugural flight with a Royal Air Force pilot at the helm.
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Here BK-1 makes its inaugural flight with a Royal Air Force pilot at the helm
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Here BK-1 makes its inaugural flight with a Royal Air Force pilot at the helm.
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Here BK-1 makes its inaugural flight with a Royal Air Force pilot at the helm.
First UK F-35 Delivery Ceremony
On July 19, 2012, the United Kingdom took delivery of its first F-35 Lightning II jet during a ceremony at Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, Texas. The jet, BK-1, is an F-35B STOVL model. Here BK-1 makes its inaugural flight with a Royal Air Force pilot at the helm.

And a video

And the press release

FORT WORTH, Texas, July 19, 2012 – The United Kingdom accepted the first international Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] F-35 Lightning II aircraft in a ceremony today with senior representatives of the U.K. Ministry of Defence and the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Right Honourable Philip Hammond, U.K. Secretary of State for Defence, and Mr. Frank Kendall, U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, represented their governments.

“We are here to celebrate an important ‘first’ among so many milestones associated with the F-35 program,” said Bob Stevens, Lockheed Martin chairman and chief executive officer. “It’s fitting that our first delivery to an international partner is to the United Kingdom, because without sustained British innovation over many generations, we would not have an event to celebrate today.”

The U.K. was the first of eight international partners to join the F-35 program and plans to acquire the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft.

Lockheed Martin is developing the F-35 with its principal industrial partners, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems. Headquartered in the U.K., BAE Systems brings a rich heritage of capabilities to the F-35 program, including short takeoff and vertical landing experience, advanced lean manufacturing, flight testing and air systems sustainment, and is responsible for the F-35’s aft fuselage, fuel system, crew escape and life support systems. The U.K. will play a vital role in the F-35’s global production, follow-on development and sustainment over the next 40 years, bringing strong economic benefits to the country.

The F-35 Lightning II is a 5th Generation fighter, combining advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment. Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the A-10 and F-16 for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV8-B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 10 other countries.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 120,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation’s net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

Read more at BAE

And another video

 

93 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mark
Mark
July 19, 2012 8:05 pm

Have to say the pictures look pretty gd especially the first one they do they PR well over there.

As TD has produced this post I will put this link here to apparently our first 3 jets have cost use just under £300m and most likely now to be based at RAF Marham.

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120719/DEFREG01/307190001/U-K-Order-First-Production-F-35-Training?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Simon
July 19, 2012 8:26 pm

Agreed. That first pic is rather menacing.

When is it coming over?

Is it a true production model?

What are its capabilities – in terms of systems and weapons?

Will we try it off Lusty?

If we get them at the £100m mark they’re a bargain!

Phil
July 19, 2012 8:34 pm

Burger King One.

Sweet we finally have one.

What is happening with the C model we ordered before we re-realised our strategic aspirations (ie, changed our minds)?

Mark
Mark
July 19, 2012 8:47 pm

Phil

Turns out we never actually order a F35c version. It was only proposed and the us agreed in principle to swap one over we changed are mind before putting our money on the table.

Simon it or any of the first 3 will never leave the US it will stay there for test and training. Think lrip 3 onwards are all production standard though the shedule been re done so many times I’ve lost count.

Topman
Topman
July 19, 2012 9:02 pm

@ Mark

Re the first three, I think the plan is now to move them to California at Edwards at some stage, I think they will form a TES with shared arragements with the USAF Sqns that will be stationed there eventually. Nice posting if you can get it :)

Simon
July 19, 2012 9:11 pm

Mark,

So does that mean we’re not likely to be able to test it off Lusty?

I just think it would be a welcome sight and a great handover to the new era seeing an F35B launch and land on our old carriers ;-)

Mark
Mark
July 19, 2012 9:11 pm

Topman

Cheers at least it will guarentee proper summer weather all year round!! Unlike our excuse for one

Lusty could always sail to Florida but I doubt it very much

mmoomin
mmoomin
July 19, 2012 9:43 pm

@Simon not much real point really though given you’d have to get the jet to Lusty or vice versa and then it wouldn’t be much use without the concept of operations being sorted, being only one jet and the weapons integration only just starting. Lots of needless expense just to have to do it all again when QE has come out of sea trials and is ready for deck testing to begin.

Plus I suspect the jet really is going to get used for training our ground crews and logistics guys and proper flying won’t start until all three jets are available and a cadre of trained ‘ground crew’ exist.

Topman
Topman
July 19, 2012 10:03 pm

@ Mark

All year round good weather and close to NTTR makes it a good choice, well it was first choice last time I checked anyway.

Observer
Observer
July 19, 2012 10:14 pm

One down.

How many hundreds of back orders left to fill? :)

Mycoman
Mycoman
July 19, 2012 10:16 pm

When did we start marking roundels on only one wing, a la USAF? That said, liking the low viz scheme.

Observer
Observer
July 19, 2012 10:30 pm

I don’t mind the roundels, it’s the words “shoot here” in the middle that bugs me. :)

The Mintcake Maker
The Mintcake Maker
July 19, 2012 10:41 pm

@ Simon/all

I can’t remember now where I’ve read it but, the first 3 are to stay in the US for testing/training/evaluation. The fourth F-35b we ordered this year will be the first one delivered to the UK in around 2015, I think?, so by the time QE is completed and starts her sea trials we should have a couple over here ready to test deck systems/deck handling around 2018.

That said QE is supposed to be structurally complete by the end of 2013 so it’s possible that in 2015 just before the election we could see a nice bit off PR with QE starting her trails and the UK’s only F-35 taking off from her for the press or am I just being Mr cynical?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 19, 2012 10:53 pm

Not roundels, it should be marked with £££ signs, with the subtext “total waste of cash” also picked out in dark grey on light grey lettering. Also “could have been a proper marinised WAH-64D, and lots of them, which would have been more useful” somewhere else on the fuselage.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
July 19, 2012 10:53 pm

If I’ve got this right, the three that we have bought thus far are operational test and evaluation cabs. That means they will at first sit in the states and help fill in the dots in the test programme. Whether they actually become part of the operational fleet some years from now is another question.

They / it will not fly off Lusty. Insufficient MPa in the flightdeck structure……

Brian Black
Brian Black
July 19, 2012 10:58 pm

Reading defensenews.com, the first production model Lightning for the UK (the fourth aircraft) is scheduled for 2015-16.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 19, 2012 11:06 pm

RT Saving the utility argument for the inevitable moving forward thread. Surely rather than attempting to marinise Apache we could just buy this baby off the shelf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_AH-1Z_Viper

Jim
Jim
July 20, 2012 9:27 am

The first six UK aircraft are to remain in the US for training. What’s not clear is this six production standard aircraft or the three operational test and evaluation plus three production standard.

Mike
Mike
July 20, 2012 10:18 am

well, its something – something physical to all that money and time and embarassment.

Good to see Hackett on the team (BBC report), good bloke.

I really do hope we form an OCU in the US proper – just like every other country ordering the type – RAF and RN could use the facilities and mass of experience at a lesser cost/airframes… RN can stream onto USMC carrier qualls as well.

Interesting to see they have developed a carrier ramp over there as well.
long way to go, but a tinge of pride seeing one with the union flag there.

RT –
our apaches may be more properly marinised during their intended upgrade; would be interesting to see where they place the planned float-bags…apache with arm-bands!

Topman
Topman
July 20, 2012 11:29 am

@ Mike

The plan is to have the OCU in the UK, it will be the TES (OEU) that will be in the US.

Mark
Mark
July 20, 2012 11:43 am

Think this maybe the report mike was referring to.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18919388

Dispite some factual issues in the journo written piece the two videos offer a bit of insight. We will have a/c number 2 next month.

Loon Pants
Loon Pants
July 20, 2012 12:25 pm

Ooh, look. CM(A) is a kevin called Kevin – James should be in fits! :-) Also, BK-1 took off with an RAF pilot “at the Helm”? Really? I thought the RAF were always “at the controls”. I find it hard to visualise a sqn ldr or PO with a tiller in his hands!

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
July 20, 2012 2:20 pm

“I find it hard to visualise a sqn ldr or PO with a tiller in his hands!”

Well it does say on their website about being an ‘Agile, Adaptable’ air force ;)

SomewhatInvolved
July 20, 2012 3:20 pm

Mike, are they seriously planning on putting float bags on the Apache? Hope they work better than those on Lynx! Not many successful float bag deployments in that programme’s history. Anyway, with all that weight up top the thing will be over in no time at all – hope they work upside down!

The jet looks good – should bloody well hope so considering the cost. Chunky bugger isn’t it?

The Mintcake Maker
The Mintcake Maker
July 20, 2012 3:33 pm

@ All?

With regards to the “first” 48 we are ordering, does this start with BK-4 we are ordering next year or not?

Also has anybody heard anything about potential Squadrons assigned to the F-35b? I ask because 1 Sqn was a Harrier squadron and is now standing up with Typhoon? I’d assume 617 would be a safe bet, because if you asked joe public to name an RAF squadron you can bet the Dambusters will be up there in the top answers.

As for FAA squadron(s), everybody seems to think it will be 800/801 (if 2 FAA squadrons are eventually stood up) which I think is rather dull. What do people think of the chances that we may get an FAA squadron labelled as 809NAS (fitting as its phoenix badge symbolises the return to carrier aviation after the hiatus) or 892NAS (motto: strike unseen – very appt for a “stealth” aircraft)?

Mike
Mike
July 20, 2012 5:39 pm

SomeWhat

“Mike, are they seriously planning on putting float bags on the Apache?”

Well it has to be for a full marinisation/safety (its already ‘readied’ to stand a few days of ops) – its weight already means that if it crash lands on the water the crew stand little chance, I’ve been told that escape from its cockpit underwater/in immersion is a major concern of the AAC. The floats will be for ‘a few mins to GTFO’ (maybe just one under the forward ‘fuse) – but its a serious requirement for more substanctial ops from sea, which is something we should fully exploit post afghan.

As with sqn’s, Mintcakc Maker, Combat experience and period active (front line) is also a big contributor to sqn placement (for RAF, not sure re FAA).

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 20, 2012 5:52 pm

@ Loon Pants,

They are all called Kevin, and if they are not, they all still think, sound and act like a Kevin from some low grade suburb who has spent too much time on the X-Box (currently banned in the RT household after a not-cleaning-up-their-bedrooms mutiny by the juniors: they are going to discover that my patience is infinitely longer than theirs’). Also, the lardy spendy jet is called BK-1, which surely stands for “British Kevin 1”.

I once did not buy a car because it had on the number plate “KEV”. It would have been too shameful.

Opinion3
Opinion3
July 20, 2012 6:10 pm

@Somewhat and @RT

Must say I’m quite impresses with the Marine’s Viper despite marinisation. Below is the response to a parliamentary question.

“While not originally designed as a maritime helicopter, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has modified and cleared the Apache to support operations from the maritime environment as demonstrated from HMS Ocean on Operation Ellamy. The modifications included wet-sealing the aircraft to resist corrosion and modifying the windscreen wipers to include a solution to disperse sea spray. We are also currently in an assessment phase to fit flotation equipment to increase safety when operating over water.

The Apache is currently armed with variants of the Hellfire missile which are due to go out of service in 2021-22. The MOD will look at various options as a replacement to this capability. The successor to Brimstone, the 50kg class Spear Capability 2 Block 3 missile, will be one of the options considered as a replacement.”

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 20, 2012 6:26 pm

Opinion3, Or we could just buy whatever the US are going to replace hell fire with on their Apaches?

George
George
July 20, 2012 6:26 pm

@Mintcake Maker

Absolutely with you – 809 and 892 make a nice change from 800 & 801.

George
George
July 20, 2012 6:27 pm

@RT – what’s wrong with coming from the ‘burbs…?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 20, 2012 6:41 pm

George,

you can’t go for a run on your own land, there’s all sorts of jobsworths who will stop a young man from developing his woodcraft and anti-wood pigeon sniping skills with an illegally enhanced air rifle in the municipal park, there are not very many old people around who can show you how to dress said dead wood pigeon and fry with wild garlic on a woodland fire, there are not very many rabbits to trap and also eat, and to boot if you live in a semi, you have to put up with the neighbours’ nocturnal habits (I had a girlfriend once in a semi – beats me how she stayed in the house when next door was like a war zone).

Apart from that, very little. Oh, you can’t have your favourite old troop Sergeant’s young son (last seen at age 5, now a strapping 25 year old with his own family) come to take his kids camping and to learn to pick the gooseberry bushes, and lend him a thirty year old illegal air rifle for his week’s stay on the edge of the wood so that he too can teach his kids about shooting some wood pigeon).

Opinion3
Opinion3
July 20, 2012 10:14 pm

@APATS

Indeed, although I understand the Spear Cap2 Blk3 is being developed as an updated Brimstone for our jets Tornado; Typhoon; and F35. The USAF is apparently interested and asking about its capabilities and development plan.

One of the Spear objectives was to develop an indigenous/Euro missile industry, so I reckon they will lose the Hellfire. The Brimstones seem to be being developed into everything short of a shoulder launched missile. It looks like the US’s replacement, the JAGM, is a long way off fruition and given their cuts have yet to come and they have large stocks of hellfire, maverick etc it might well keep getting delayed. If our programmes go to plan we should have a good missile for a lot less than a US equivalent.

Article is here :http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/joint-common-missile-program-fired-but-not-forgotten-0229/

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 20, 2012 10:27 pm

Opinion 3, “If our programmes go to plan we should have a good missile for a lot less than a US equivalent’. Well I suppose a pan European project must create something other than jobs for the boys eventually.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 20, 2012 10:53 pm

As you have to bring everyone inside a big tent, it is easy to forget (because of the naming convention) that Spear 1 & 2 are effectively Brimstone enhancements, whereas the 3 is a slimmed down SS

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 21, 2012 12:56 am

RIP Lt Alfred Henry Templeman-Lorraine Yates-Speer RFC. Great Uncle Harry, shot down today 96 years ago over the Somme battlefield. Buried in London Cemetery, Neuville-Vitasse.

George
George
July 21, 2012 11:43 am

@RT – All good skills to fly a £100m stealth fighter I am sure!

I hope you are being tongue in cheek – so difficult to tell on the net. I’ve always enjoyed your posts and amusing asides, but there are about 100 people who live the way you describe now and it was always a bit of mythical golden age. I am sure most of the servicemen in the last two worldwars came from towns and cities and not the countryside.

Mind you, the way the army is being cut, maybe you’ll only need those 100 people from the landed gentry!

Ultimately it should not matter if your name is Tarquin or Kevin, George or James*, if you have the intelligence and potential, one’s background or the geography you grew up in should not matter a jot. All the skills you mentioned are teachable at any age.

* I Do draw the line at Wayne though!

PS – All due respect to your Great Uncle Harry.

George
George
July 21, 2012 12:06 pm

@RT again – sorry – I just remembered you saying that the only things you were serious about were Sex, Recce and UAVs, so I probably shouldn’t have risen to your outrageous comments! ;-)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 21, 2012 12:30 pm

George,

not that mythical at all (“golden age”), and while you certainly do have a larger social point, it is not exclusively enduring. One of my best Troopers – he was years later the RSM – was a country boy from Shropshire who grew up on a farm. He just knew how to move about the countryside quietly and unobtrusively – I did not have to train him. He and I borrowed for a few hours a couple of ponies to do a recce on an exchange exercise with the Italian army near to Udine, and his riding was more than competent. We did ask the owner, BTW, and left her 200 duty free cigarettes in payment.

I do regret that young children today seem to be alienated from the natural world around them. I teach my two all that I know, but I’m lucky in that I have some land. But that should be no barrier – you can teach your child about fire-starting and shelter in a suburban back garden, and there are millions of miles of footpaths and public access roaming land where you can teach proper navigation, camping out*** and so on.

*** Yes I know that it’s technically against the law, but let’s face it law is a guidance for wise men, and the obedience of fools. Get 100 metres off a footpath and no one’s going to find you, and if they do, in addition to being moved on, you’ll need to reflect on what gave you away and use it as a learning point.

El Sid
El Sid
July 21, 2012 3:54 pm

@ACC
You’re mixing up your blocks and Capabilities. The different blocks of Spear Capability 2 are the developments of current Brimstone, the shorter-range anti-tank/FAC weapon. Spear Capability 3 is the 100km-range missile, but is not the same as Capability 2 Block 3.

The success of Brimstone is in marked contrast to the US’ efforts in small anti-surface missiles, what with JCM cancelled, JAGM nearly cancelled (instead booted into long grass) and NLOS cancelled. SDB-II seeker mated to Hellfire seems their most likely option now. I thought it was interesting Bob Work commenting on ID recently, in a thread on the LCS that

“If we want an over the horizon stick, Harpoon probably the most cost effective option right now, with the new offensive ASuW missile in trail.

Right now, long-range engagement weapon remains armed helo with Hellfire, soon to be replaced by the digital rocket launcher armed with APKWS followed by LOGIR.

Mid-range engagement weapon probably Griffin (spiral I), ER Griffin-like weapon with fire and forget seeker (spiral II), horizon range fire and forget weapon (spiral III).

Outer ship engagement zone: 57 mm with 3P ammo

Inner ship engagement zone: 30 mm

RAM/SeaRAM for ASCM self defense.

Can add Harpoon and RAM HAS if necessary. ”

Spot any similarities between “Griffin spiral II” and MBDA’s recent rush to prove up surface-launched Sea Brimstone? :-)

PS Is it any wonder that the F-35 has problems, when they put a Vice Admiral in charge of building a plane? :-)

[Yep, I know, Venlet has a distinguished career on Tomcats including a DFC and Top Gun instructor. Still doesn’t look right though.]

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 21, 2012 4:12 pm

Thanks El Sid, with such naming convention, easily done.

BTW, did they not fire the airforce general and had to to get an admiral instead (for the programme)?

Opinion3
Opinion3
July 21, 2012 4:36 pm

@El Sid

The Spear program certainly appears to be well thought through and working. Well done MBDA (not to be mistaken with MBNA who should be taken down with a missile). These developments really don’t seem to be fantasy land. Although I recollect the plan overlooks one significant capability ….. I can’t remember what at the moment but I think it might be antisub.

Still not convinced that F35Bs should end up with the RAF, surely if Marham is going to get planes then As or Cs would be better. (Cs ‘cos we could refuel them!!). The FAA need to get on with the jobs without RAF interference, give them MPA and F35Bs and they’ll look after the Nation and kit, the boys in light blue might or might not.

George
George
July 21, 2012 6:37 pm

@RT – You make some valid points old chap, and I agree that someone brought up in the country is going to make a better recce trooper than some brought up in Toxteth or Brixton. Outdoor skills are important, and what meagre knowledge (having been brought up in the ‘burbs too, in case you haven’t already guessed) I have I will pass on to my young ‘un, but I daresay he’ll learn more when I pack him off to the Cadets!

The only point I was making was that those skills are not the same as those required to be Fighter pilor or a ship’s commander.

Sorry everyone else – we are probably just a little bit off the thread. I’ll shut up now.

RT, if I ever get to meet I will happily buy you a drink – I am sure you have plenty more tales to tell. :-)

George
George
July 21, 2012 6:39 pm

@ Opinion 3 – Tend to agree, they should be based at Yeovilton and let the FAA get on with it and get up to strength. Only then do the RAF get a sniff.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 21, 2012 7:54 pm

George,

here you go, to pass on to your young one. This will work in suburbia.

Kill one wood pigeon (not the scraggly sort of town pigeon).

Pull off the feathers from both sides of the breast, from collared neck down to where the body stops being fleshy. Leave the rest – of no use to you.

Take the very sharp pocket knife every boy should always carry and slice off the breasts.

Fry in very shallow oil for one minute on the bone side, then 2 minutes on the skin side. Garlic is good, but not essential. Slice into strips and make 2 sandwiches. More than enough calories to last you all day, and truly delicious.

(If you are organised, it is possible to do all of this and be eating your sandwich less than 5 minutes after the bird was flying about innocently)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 21, 2012 8:04 pm

George,

above also works – unsurprisingly – with pheasant, duck and chicken, albeit with longer cooking times. Those birds are also easy to acquire, although Joe Public might take more notice and it may involve some poaching. Best to slice the duck breasts into two (horizontally), as they are quite thick.

If you bash up the carcase a bit and leave it in a heap surrounded by feathers it only looks like a fox got the bird. Or bury it.

George
George
July 22, 2012 10:16 am

@rt

James, thanks for the culinary tips, will help with the summer holiday activities!

All tips gratefully accepted!

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 22, 2012 11:07 am

George,

get him to make some feathersticks – very very useful little skill (actually, not hard at all). You can do it with just about any twig or small branch that is not soaking wet, and with most things from a sharp blade to the knapped edge of a flint. Watch his eyes light up as he makes a proper fire in less than 2 minutes with what he finds about him on the woodland floor.

Then introduce him to the covert cooker. Two holes each about 12 inches wide and 18 inches deep, next to each other. Carefully make a little fist-sized tunnel between them as deep as you can get. Half fill one with wood for burning, leave the other empty. Get the fire going and you’ll have a roaring little fire to cook your brew and supper upon that won’t show a glow or give your position away.

Tell him to steal some of his mother’s cotton balls or cotton pads for removing the makeup. Nearly the best firestarter going. When he’s old enough, introduce him to tampons as being even better fire starters.

If he has been seriously good with passing exams, buy him one of these. UK street legal, it will last him a lifetime: http://edenwebshops.co.uk/en/pt/-fallkniven-sk3-juni.htm#tabbutton1 (I’ve still got mine – not a Fallkniven, but similar) that my old man gave me when I was 9. Never leaves my pocket, goes everywhere.

Jim
Jim
July 22, 2012 12:10 pm
Mr.fred
Mr.fred
July 22, 2012 1:46 pm

Red Trousers,

The knife linked to is a fixed blade – i.e. not “UK street legal” in the sense of being able to carry it about day-to day. General carry is limited to 3″ long and a folding (not locking) blade. If you have a lawful reason to carry a fixed blade about then it’s fine, but for general carry plod will look upon it most askance.

From memory, the only things that are flat-out illegal are butterfly knives, spring or gravity-operated folders or concealed knives (sword-sticks and the like)

If you are looking at a fixed blade, as a starting knife I would recommend one of these:
http://www.woodsmithstore.co.uk/shop/Products/Tools/Knives/Gerneral+Duty+Knives/Product/Mora+of+Sweden+840+Companion+MG+Carbon/
For a cheap (but decent) folding knife Opinels are pretty good, but the blades are pretty thin and tend to have locks on them.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 22, 2012 3:08 pm

Mr Fred,

I was unaware of the “fixed” aspect not being legal – I thought it was only the length of blade that mattered as less than three inches.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
July 22, 2012 3:38 pm

Folding and, critically, not locking. The 1988 Criminal Justice Act notes:
“This section applies to a folding pocketknife if the cutting edge of its blade exceeds 3 inches.”

A couple of later court cases have set precedent that a locking blade counts as a fixed blade in the eyes of the law.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 22, 2012 3:46 pm

Thanks Mr Fred, looks like George’s son had better go for a folding blade. I’m sure there’s some reasonable ones around. I’ll carry on taking my chances – my little (fixed) blade knife has been with me for 38 years every day.

George
George
July 22, 2012 4:05 pm

All good stuff – thanks chaps.

George

Phil
July 22, 2012 4:42 pm

“I do regret that young children today seem to be alienated from the natural world around them.”

Not to derail the thread but please this is the usual Daily Mail type rubbish. If you have not yet, do read The People’s War where evacuee children flood into the country not knowing what a cow is or the difference between a pig and a sheep.

And it also describes the kids who used to take shits in the corner of the house as thats how they lived in the slums in the east end and kids sewn into their clothes and evacuee mothers handing over their kids to the hosts and going on the piss.

The past, was not a better place.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 22, 2012 5:27 pm

Phil,

you appear to think that at some point I said “become” or became”, as though there is a retrograde process going on. I don’t for a moment think that kids from a Glasgow tenement or a Cheltenham suburb in 1940 were that wired into the natural world. Their country cousins probably weren’t that wired into the modern town or city world, either.

What does seem to me to be happening is that country children seem quite clued up and wise on modern urban things (and why not – cars and ubiquitous TV etc), but city and town kids seem like Bambi when you put them in the country. We had several of my daughter’s school friends come to spend a weekend with us. Not one of them could tell north in either day or night, none had a clue about weather patterns or could tell rainy clouds from ignorable clouds, none wanted to drink woodland tea or to skin the rabbits I trapped (although they did all eat some of them), most shied away from converting brambles into lashings for our raft competition. Thank God my daughter was able to show them how. She’s now nicknamed “Ninja” by her friends which pleases both her and me, but really, it’s all pretty basic stuff.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
July 22, 2012 6:00 pm

“Not one of them could tell north in either day or night, none had a clue about weather patterns or could tell rainy clouds from ignorable clouds, none wanted to drink woodland tea or to skin the rabbits I trapped (although they did all eat some of them), most shied away from converting brambles into lashings for our raft competition. Thank God my daughter was able to show them how. She’s now nicknamed “Ninja” by her friends which pleases both her and me, but really, it’s all pretty basic stuff.”

To be fair though, these are not exactly priority skills for modern kids. Maybe if there is some form of Zombie Apocalypse then I’ll end up taking that statement back, but right now?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 22, 2012 6:28 pm

@ Chris B,

well, those are skills I’d value more than some nonsense about Justin Bieber.

Had an odd experience on the M3 a couple of enters ago. Sudden snowstorm, and there’s about 1000 cars stuck between Junctions 7 and 8 around Basingstoke. We we there all night.

Very few had water in their cars, although that was not such a problem with the snow. No one appeared to have any dry food in the glovebox, and when I got a fire going on the hard shoulder the first reaction was from a job’s worth who worried about setting the woods alight (as if). Several cars ran out of fuel due to having the engines on all night. Not many people had proper boots and so were hopping about in wet leather shoes. Only a few among us had shovels to dig snow away from the wheels, so come morning when a snowplough and gritter had made a track way, lots of cars still could not move. I’d had quite a comfortable night lying on an old piece of carpet I keep in my car and in a small snow shelter I dug in the wood. I don’t think anyone I saw in the locality apart from me was able to wash and shave in the morning.

Completely pathetic performance from the British public, all because of about 6 inches of snow in Basingstoke, which is hardly Siberia.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 22, 2012 6:36 pm

“winters”, not “enters”. Ruddy spell check thinks it knows better than me.

Simon
July 22, 2012 8:55 pm

RT,

I’ve read books-and-books on survival (the basics) and still failed to be even slightly prepared for being stranded on the M11 a few years ago.

Even though I carry a little survival kit with me every time I’m “out in the wilds” – weird how you get caught short.

I’ve kept a sleeping bag in the boot ever since!

Sorry to hear about the knife thing. I guess that’s why I get looked at with my Bowie knife strapped to my thigh when I’m in the West Country. They smile, though, when I cut the brambles and hedges back to get through when the path is overgrown! Health and Safety – pah! Now, I just keep a “proper” knife in my pack for emergencies and use the old Swiss Army most of the time… just try knocking a fish out with one, or gutting it so that you can take it home in your bag – next to impossible!

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 22, 2012 9:29 pm

Simon,

I must say, I was unaware of the “knife thing” (i.e. got to be folding) until Mr Fred pointed it out. Though mine is never on public display – that’s asking for trouble. Trick in life is to slip through unobtrusively.

Never had too much luck with fish – caught a few, but not lots. Rabbits are much easier.

Good stuff with the sleeping bag in the boot. I have some old carpet, but I’m a bit odd in not liking sleeping bags. I also now carry a spare business shirt still in the original packaging, after my M3 overnight when I had to recycle the day before shirt, and to be honest it had lost some crispness. Grollies and socks can be turned inside out, so not such a worry there.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 22, 2012 9:49 pm

Simon,

if you’ve got £17 going spare, a Bahco Laplander folding saw is the dog’s nuts for creating some firewood.

Simon
July 23, 2012 8:22 am

RT,

Hmmm, that Bahco Laplander looks much more legal. I may well buy said item. Thanks for the pointer.

George
George
July 24, 2012 8:51 am

Just ordered one from Amazon today, thanks for that

paul g
July 24, 2012 10:23 am
Reply to  George

lots of videos on you tube about how to make an alcohol stove from a coke can (well 2 really) I made one when i was bored one weekend it was good fun.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 24, 2012 6:31 pm

Thanks Paul G, brought some memories back.

We used to use full sized coke cans, buried up to half way for some stability, and 3/4 full of petrol. 20 or so holes punched through the upper slopey “shoulder” of the can for the jets with a pointy screwdriver. Dig a circular hole 18 inches deep and then semi bury the coke can at the bottom of that and you’ve got enough fuel to cook a meal and boil a brew without anyone noticing visually, but it can get a bit whiffy with petrol fumes. That special burning alcohol is I suspect odourless.

Nivea tins work as well, enough fuel for a hot brew. I might buy my kids one of those metal 58 pattern mugs which you can cook / boil directly in (I think they are called Crusader? – came in after I pushed off so I never got issued with one). Silvermans and the usual suspects sell them for less than £20. Looks like a good little system with a 58 pattern water bottle and pouch, neatly contained on your belt with a litre of water as well.

I always steal those little individual coffee sachets from the room in the cheap little chain hotels my company insists are adequate for business use. Ideal when you are out on a bit of a wander, although I prefer my coffee not to smell and taste of petrol so build a little wood fire. I’ve got a metal mug (normal shape) that sits well on a fire for boiling, and a piece of muslin stretched over the top and held in place with a thickish rubber band acts as a lid to hold in the sachets and milk pots, and as an emergency filter for stream water.

Simon
July 24, 2012 7:44 pm

We used to make a shoe polish stove – I guess similar to RT’s Nivea stove, except you roll a 1/2″ strip of corrugated paper into a spiral, shove it in the tin and then melt a couple of candles into and over the paper. A little blacker smoke than the stove mentioned above ;-) but utterly brilliant for cooking a tin of beans and a brew.

A damn sight safer for your kids to try than petrol too :-)

paul g
July 24, 2012 9:35 pm
Reply to  Red Trousers

if it’s a metal mug, don’t forget a strip of black nasty (duct tape to normal people) stops you burning you lip on the hot metal, eh eh down there for dancing, up here for thinking!!! BTW google bio-lite stove, what a cracking little thing

nah, i’m a good bloke here’s a link

http://biolitestove.com/

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 24, 2012 11:06 pm
Reply to  paul g

@ Paul G,

I am numb-plussed by the idea of a small camping wood burning stove with an integrated USB port for charging your mobile phone or iPod. Possibly, the idea is genius, but I am clearly not the man to sell it and make millions for the patent-owner. The idea just seems so alien to me. I must be getting old and out of touch. My daughter would immediately think it is a brilliant idea, but then she’s never had to carry unnecessary kit through the woods.

It does also seem to be a bit large for a belt-order survival pack, and nor do I think that iTunes forms part of the E&E kit. Christ on a bike, my E&E kit was in a 58 pattern water bottle pouch, and I could live for weeks on that.***

*** My SSM disapproved hugely of me allowing my Troop to customise our web gear, instead of the insane packing list he published for the full CEFO. After I’d been a Troop Leader for a year, I walked into his office (closed the door behind me) and told him to sod off – it was my Troop, my boys and his ideas were from antiquity. He left me alone after that, particularly when my Troop won our Regimental Cup for best Troop. We used to cut about with 2 pouches only – water bottle, and E&E gear. SMG magazines were stuffed into our smocks. I also bought all of the boys a decent knife – the one piece of kit you can’t really do without.

WiseApe
July 27, 2012 3:18 pm

@All

Just to bring you back to the point of the post – do these 3 plus the one on order count towards our total of 48? Is 48 enough to equip 2 carriers concurrently, even with only 12 embarked? Is the plan still to share between RN and RAF?

Jeremy M H
July 27, 2012 3:27 pm
Reply to  WiseApe

Honestly if they are just buying 48 doesn’t it make the most sense to allocate all of them to the Fleet Air Arm and then have the RAF be an all Eurofighter force until it makes the switch to F-35A down the road? I don’t see any benefit to splitting the F-35B force at all. You can always land base them easily enough if necessary and use FAA pilots.

The F-35B force mixed with an eventual F-35A(or whatever the newest variant is in 2025-35 range) for the RAF to replace the Eurofighters make the most sense to me honestly. You can always accelerate the F-35A buy since production should be pretty high if you need them sooner due to a changing environment as well.

Jim
Jim
July 27, 2012 4:03 pm
Reply to  WiseApe

We are also supposed to be supplying six aircraft to the joint training squadron/wing in the USA. So that drops the total available down to 42. One carriers worth with attrition spares?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 27, 2012 4:57 pm
Reply to  Jim

exactly

WiseApe
July 27, 2012 5:21 pm

@Jeremy M H – Yes to all-Typhoon RAF, always seemed daft to upgrade T1s then sell/scrap them as soon as T3s arrived, so total force ought to be circa 160 Typhoons. Suspect only T3s will get AESA etc upgrades though to save money. Of course it makes sense to give all F35Bs to FAA – so not likely then!

If I’m interpreting Hammond correctly the eventual F35A buy will not replace Typhoon 1-4-1, but at least we’ll be buying a mature aircraft in high rate production, rather than an immature aircraft in low rate production = risky and pricey.

But what is now RAF’s Tornado replacement strike aircraft? Typhoon with conformal tanks? Or lion’s share of F35B buy? Strike UCAV may also be around in 2025-35 timeframe. Of course, if we’d stuck with cats and traps we’d be buying Cs for both forces!

Challenger
Challenger
July 27, 2012 7:50 pm

‘But what is now RAF’s Tornado replacement strike aircraft?’.

That’s the problem isn’t it. Under current plans the FAA and RAF will be sharing 48 Lightning B for the foreseeable future, and I wouldn’t mind betting that Tornado is run down pretty fast as they come in-to service.

As Jim said 48 is enough to do 1 carrier’s worth of jets with spares, or alternatively at a push it could be a half decent strike platform for RAF, but it can’t do both!

Trying to accomplish both tasks simultaneously with only 48 aircraft will provide capabilities in a fairly watered down and feeble state.

You could counter argue by mentioning UCAV’S and additional Lightning’s, but who know’s when they will be available or has any clue how many we will be able to afford.

I agree, at least on paper, that an all Typhoon RAF is a good idea. Give them conformal tanks and mature the combat systems and you have a pretty amazing (plus crucially flexible) platform.

Couple that with a FAA in sole possession of the F35B (as Jeremy says operating them from land in a pinch would be easy) and the prospect of a proven, full production F35A replacing Typhoon down the line and I reckon you have a winning formula!

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
July 27, 2012 7:58 pm

Challenger, Makes sense my only question would be that we are going to buy far lee B variants than we would have C. Is it worth buying A earlier to take up the slack as Tornado goes out of service and gradually replacing Typhoon with A over a longer period with Typhoon continuing as an air superiority fighter and F35A and B providing strike capability.
Then over x number of years the number of A variants grows as Typhoon numbers fall, ending up with an entire manned fleet of A and B F35.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
July 27, 2012 9:32 pm

Typhoon is swing-role. Why would you need to replace it with a strike fighter?

Jeremy M H
July 27, 2012 11:35 pm
Reply to  Mr.fred

The Typhoon is a pretty limited aircraft in Air to Ground roles even now. It really depends on how much of the Air to Ground program really ends up getting done before you can bet on it being your premier strike fighter. Right now it basically does LGB’s and I think GPS stuff is coming in the future. Standoff weapons are a bit down the road yet. Even then it will never be a first day of war type craft, except as a cruise missile bus (not that Tornado was either anymore).

Challenger
Challenger
July 28, 2012 12:05 am

@APATS

I think what you highlighted earlier is an interesting consideration within this strand of thought.

If you give the FAA sole access and control to the 48 Lightning B then it means you won’t want to procure any-more and something else needs to slot in-to the RAF inventory to fill the strike role.

I tend to agree that the best course of action is probably to maximise the use of Typhoon (decent numbers, conformal tanks, an advanced air to ground programme) and then once the RN buy is out of the way look at what comes next.

Id have no problem with a gradual introduction of Lightning A as a replacement, perhaps a chunk at a time to spread out the cost and provide a smooth changeover.

Mr.fred
Mr.fred
July 28, 2012 9:17 am
Reply to  Jeremy M H

Typhoon is as capable A2G as the money for it. It can be an interceptor or a bomb truck while the F35 is primarily a bomb truck.
I do not subscribe to the logic of going to a one-type fleet for a capability that needs a certain amount of redundancy.

WiseApe
July 28, 2012 9:17 am

Another Hammond speech which raises more questions than it provides answers (can I nominate this guy for rendition and waterboarding) – what is meant by “split buy,” purely numerical i.e. 48 Bs now, more later; or Bs now, As later? Or 1st buy for RN (their need more urgent), then 2nd buy for RAF, but what type? He gives us so much to talk about, I wonder…has anyone ever seen him in the same room as Think Defence? Unmasked!

topman
topman
July 28, 2012 9:36 am

i would think split numbers. That would make the most of sense since the f35 will be operated by both operated by both the raf and navy. The a version is an option for the future b is the here and now.

WiseApe
July 28, 2012 11:06 am

It’s being reported this morning that Hammond said the 48 F35Bs were for our aircraft carriers – if true this indicates a RN only buy, but Hammond’s statements in the past have proven to be rather imprecise – I don’t mean untrue, just open to interpretation.

Challenger
Challenger
July 28, 2012 11:10 am

So is 48 the definite number for the initial Lightning buy? If that’s the case then I hope for the sake of sense they are primarily used to get carrier ops off the ground.

Let the RAF concentrate on Typhoon and get a follow up buy of additional jets later on. Keeping a reduced 40-60 force of Tornado until the mid 2020’s would help ease the burden, although I bet they ditch the entire fleet as soon as a sizeable amount of Lightning’s come in-to service.

topman
topman
July 28, 2012 11:22 am

the number bought might be who will be the operators isn’t.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 28, 2012 11:26 am
Reply to  Challenger

It is not that straight forward ” Keeping a reduced 40-60 force of Tornado until the mid 2020′s would help ease the burden, although I bet they ditch the entire fleet as soon as a sizeable amount of Lightning’s come in-to service.”…I mean the ditching part
– SS will continue to be the main stand off weapon for a while
– “B”s have a problem bringing any back
– conformals for Tiffies have not been funded (you may have implicitly thought that this investment is slotted in to save on operating two, rather than three, fast jet types?)

Challenger
Challenger
July 28, 2012 11:33 am
Reply to  ArmChairCivvy

Fair enough, yeah I did assume that the money would be slotted in to push through SS and conformal tanks for Typhoon as quickly as possible in order to ditch the third jet type as soon as possible.

So are you saying that we will in fact see Tornado in service for a bit longer than some have speculated?

Just read the Hammond statement, exciting stuff!

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 28, 2012 11:43 am
Reply to  topman

@ challenger RE ” did assume that the money would be slotted in to push through SS and conformal tanks for Typhoon as quickly as possible in order to ditch the third jet type as soon as possible.

So are you saying that we will in fact see Tornado in service for a bit longer than some have speculated?”
– yeah (1): that would be a reasonable assumption, but no sign of it… is it because the Tiffies are subject to so many upgrade programmes that for us common folks there is no visibility of the pipeline further out?
– yeah (2): not quite out to 2030 like the Germans, but half way through the ’20s?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 28, 2012 12:09 pm
Reply to  ArmChairCivvy

48 seems to be a magical number in many ways
– one of our commentators closer to the RAF than the rest of us advised that the upgrades to the “last” 96 Tornados have not started yet (but have been funded at least since two years now)
– if the 48 Bs are now “hard” information, with hard dates as well, why bother?
– cut that fleet to half (48) as well and use the rest of the Tornado fleet for training, to spread the airframe hours ( a bit like T1 Tiffies)

Simon
July 28, 2012 4:58 pm

Is there really any point in conformals for Typhoon now we’re getting Voyager?

As you say, if SS and Paveway IV are planned then is there really any necessity for much else on Typhoon? Don’t see the point in Brimstone for example.

All this being… as long as we’ve got a squadron or two of F35B for “specials” and CAS. One squadron for FAA, one for RAF and then double up later?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
July 28, 2012 8:20 pm
Reply to  Simon

Simon, heard the joke about the stealthy jet that is easy to tell on the radar because of the fleet of the tankers trailing?

RE ” if SS and Paveway IV are planned then is there really any necessity for much else on Typhoon? Don’t see the point in Brimstone for example.”
– it is as easy as 1,2,3 (SPEAR)
– won’t attempt the blocks and capabilities again, but in the end we will have much improved Brimstones (they are good even now)and miniaturised SSs (well, much smaller anyway, may be even fit into a B)

While all that is happening, PW IV will be excellent for all-weather capability, from medium altitude so that the antiquated AA cannons don’t need to worried about (those buggers have not heard of ECM)