Re: Persuasive Arguments
The F-35C cannot land on a carrier, its redesigned tail hook has still failed to perform satisfactory. Redesign my require major structural work and delay the variant for years.
The F-35B can operate of 20 US Navy and USMC, 1 French,1 Brazillian, 1-2 Indian, 1 Spanish, 1 That and two British carriers. plus any number of Aux/support ships. The F-35C can operate off 10 USN and one British navy carrier.
The F-35C is so slow its performance specifications have had be reduced. The time it takes to to go from mach 0.8 to mach 1.2 have risen from 70 seconds to 113seconds. F-35B has risen to 83seconds.
The F-35C costs more than the B and is shares the least commonality with the A and B
F-35C will not be in service for several years after the B
F-35C is the least popular variant bought only by the US Navy.
Due to the very expensive training and certification for carrier landing, only 12-18 F-35C would be affordable on one carrier. This would mean long periods with any carrier while it undergoes periodic refits.
With the B, larger number of pilots could train to land on the carrier and surge to up to 40-48 aircraft within a few days due to the simplicity of vertical landing and ski-jump launches.
Two carriers could be afforded with STOL aircraft providing 100% coverage and the possibility of two carriers with up to 40 aircraft each (i.e. most of the RAF) in emergences. The French fly 12 Rafales from the CdG.
Up to three other Aux-carriers would be possible operating small numbers of F-35B's in emergencies (like the Atlantic Conveyor)
The f-35C has longer range and bigger internal weapons storage. The UK will soon have a very large tanker fleet that could refuel a fleet of F-35B pretty much anywhere they need to go. The small internal storage is somewhat mitigated by the new weapons been design for the F-35, up to eight SDB's or Brimstones for instance
These are the reason why the Conservatives/Libdems made the very embarrassing decision to switch back. It really is a no-brainer, the F-35B is the best option..