Joint Combat Aircraft

Joint Combat Aircraft

The Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) is the official designation of the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence used for the F-35 Lightning II, formerly the Joint Strike Fighter, and the result of the Joint Strike Fighter Program.

Programme history

The JCA programme began in 1996 as the Future Carrier Borne Aircraft (FCBA), a replacement for the Royal Navy's Sea Harrier intended for operation from the RN's CVFs. The requirement for the FCBA was set out in Staff Target 6464 which specified a carrier-borne aircraft capable of air defence of naval and ground forces and self-escorting ground attack.

As the Royal Navy version of the JCA (and potentially Royal Air Force versions) would operate from the two newly ordered Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, the selection of the aircraft was closely linked to the design of the carrier. Candidates for the JCA were thus listed by carrier type:
** Joint Strike Fighter CATOBAR carrier version (later F-35C)
** F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
** Dassault Rafale-M
** Joint Strike Fighter STOVL variant (later F-35B)
** Eurofighter Typhoon (navalised)

Following the 1998 Strategic Defence Review the Navy's Harrier FA.2s and RAF Harrier GR.7s were merged to form Joint Force 2000 (later Joint Force Harrier. As such the requirement was revised to include the replacement of the RAF Harrier force; this led to the renaming of the project as the Future Joint Combat Aircraft (FJCA) in 2001. Later, in the third and final name change of the project, the word "future" was removed.

Aircraft selection

On January 17 2001 the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the U.S. Department of Defense for full participation in the Joint Strike Fighter project, confirming the JSF as the JCA. This gave the UK significant input into aircraft design and the choice between the Lockheed X-35 and Boeing X-32. On October 26, 2001 the DoD announced that Lockheed Martin had won the JSF contract.

On September 30, 2002 the MoD announced that the Royal Navy and RAF will operate the STOVL F-35B variant. At the same time it was announced that the carriers would take the form of large, conventional carriers, which will be adapted for STOVL operations. The carriers, expected to remain in service for 50 years, will be convertible to CATOBAR operations for the generation of aircraft after the F-35 JCA.

In 2007, the Ministry of Defence confirmed its order for 2 Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, to enter Royal Navy service in 2014.

Technology transfer

The UK has invested US$2 billion (GBP £1.08 billion) in development funding for the JSF. Britain has also worked for five years for an ITAR waiver to allow greater technology transfer associated with the project. The effort, backed by the Bush administration, has been repeatedly blocked by U.S. Congressman Henry Hyde because of his concern about potential technology transfer to third countries. [Spiegel, Peter, MSNBC [ UK denied waiver on US arms technology] . "Financial Times" (MSNBC reprint). Retrieved February 8, 2006.] On Friday May 27 2006 President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a joint statement which announced::"Both governments agree that the UK will have the ability to successfully operate, upgrade, employ, and maintain the Joint Strike Fighter such that the UK retains operational sovereignty over the aircraft." ["Financial Times" [ Bush gives way over stealth fighter] . Retrieved May 27, 2006]

The CEO of BAE Systems Mike Turner, the British contractor on the plane, had complained that the U.S. has not given the UK (and his company) access to the crucial source code of the plane's software, thus making it impossible for the UK to maintain and modify the JSF independently. On 21 December 2005 an article was published in the "The Herald" saying that MPs viewed as "unacceptable" the U.S. refusal to grant access to the source code. The article quoted the chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee as saying that unless the UK receives assurances of access to the software information, "the UK might have to consider whether to continue in the programme". [UK Defense Committee Statement [ MoD 'slippage' set to leave forces with reduced capability, says committee] "UK Parliament". Retrieved February 8, 2006.]

Following on from this Lord Drayson, Minister for Defence Procurement, while on a government visit to Washington to speak to members of Congress, took a firmer stance. He was quoted as saying, "We do expect [the software] technology transfer to take place. But if it does not take place we will not be able to purchase these aircraft", and has mentioned that there is a 'plan B' if the deal falls through. [ Matt Chapman [ Britain warns US over jet software codes] "" Retrieved March 16, 2006.] A suggested likely option was the development of a navalised Typhoon. Mike Turner has said it was not what he recommend, but::"as Lord Drayson has made clear, there needs to be a fall-back in case something goes wrong." [Turner, Mike (2006). [ Evidence to UK Defence Select Committee] . Retrieved April 1, 2006.] A navalised Typhoon may have required the RN's Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers to be built with catapults, adding considerably to their cost.


In November 2005 it was announced that the F-35 main base will be RAF Lossiemouth, Scotland. Seven other sites were considered; RAF Marham, RAF St. Mawgan, RAF Cottesmore, RAF Wittering, RNAS Yeovilton, RAF Leeming and RAF Kinloss. Lossiemouth was selected due its existing facilities and access to training areas. [cite news | title = RAF bases receive aircraft boost | publisher = BBC News | date = 2005-11-17 | url = | accessdate = 2006-10-11 ]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Medium Combat Aircraft — infobox Aircraft name = Medium Combat Aircraft type = Stealth Air Superiority Strike Fighter manufacturer =Aeronautical Development Agency Hindustan Aeronautics Limited first flight = Planned in 2012 introduction = By 2020 status = Under… …   Wikipedia

  • Multirole combat aircraft — Not to be confused with the recent Indian Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) Competition. The Panavia Tornado is an example of a multirole combat aircraft, and was historically the first bearer of such designation. A multirole combat… …   Wikipedia

  • Joint Strike Fighter Program — The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) became synonymous with the later F 35 Lightning II, however until 2001 the term was applied to the competition between the Boeing X 32 and Lockheed Martin X 35. The JSF program was designed to replace the F 16, A 10 …   Wikipedia

  • Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems — Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems, or J UCAS, was the name for the joint U.S. Navy/U.S. Air Force unmanned combat air vehicle procurement project. The two vehicles involved in the project were the Boeing X 45 and Northrop Grumman X 47. J UCAS is… …   Wikipedia

  • Combat history of the F-14 — Since its inception, the F 14 has been widely used in action by both the US Navy and the Iranian Air Force, although knowledge about the combat service with the Iranians is disputed. Even though the F 14 did not see a lot of aerial combat as it… …   Wikipedia

  • Joint Strike Fighter — Lockheed Martin F 35 Lightning II F 35A Prototyp AA 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Joint Unmanned Aerial Systems Center of Excellence — The Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence (JUAS COE) is a multi service unit based at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada.cite web |url= |title= Creech to host… …   Wikipedia

  • Joint terminal attack controller — A Joint terminal attack controller is a qualified (certified) military service member who, from a forward position, directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations. A qualified and current… …   Wikipedia

  • joint terminal attack controller — A qualified (certified) Service member who, from a forward position, directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations. A qualified and current joint terminal attack controller will be… …   Military dictionary

  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord — Part of United States Army I Corps United States Army I Corps Air Mobility Command (AMC) Located near …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”