Annex A (continued)
The Future Joint Combat Aircraft (FJCA)formerly
the Future Carrier Borne Aircraft (FCBA)will replace the
capability currently provided by the RN's Sea Harrier and the
RAF's Harrier GR7/9 in the second decade of this century. The
aircraft will be operated in a joint force, from both the new
aircraft carriers and land bases, in the manner of the current
Joint Force Harrier.
The Secretary announced on 17 January 2001 that
the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) had the best potential to meet
the FJCA requirement. The UK accordingly joined the System Development
and Demonstration (SDD) stage of the JSF programme as a Level
1 collaborative partner. On 26 October 2001 Lockheed Martin was
selected as the prime contractor for the JSF programme, the UK
having participated in the source selection process. On 30 September
2002 the Defence Secretary announced that the UK had selected
the Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant to meet
its FJCA requirement.
The Future Carrier Borne Aircraft (FCBA) requirement
was originally intended to provide the Royal Navy with a new multi-role
fighter/attack aircraft to replace the Sea Harrier from about
2012. There has been no significant change to the requirement,
in terms of the aircraft's capabilities, since the Staff Target
was approved in 1996. The Strategic Defence Review (SDR), however,
concluded that we should plan to replace Invincible class carriers
with two new larger aircraft carriers and establish the Joint
Force 2000 (since renamed Joint Force Harrier), comprising RN
and RAF elements. Therefore the FCBA project, now restyled Future
Joint Combat Aircraft (FJCA), envisaged a common aircraft to replace
both the Sea Harrier FA2 and RAF Harrier GR7, capable of being
deployed in both land and sea based operations.
UK and US requirements are largely the same
and UK staffs have participated in development of the JSF Joint
Operational Requirements Document (JORD), which includes UK specific
Trade-offs are an essential part of the procurement
process in the JSF programme, using the "cost as an independent
variable" process. This means that, in the evolution of requirements
and design solutions, affordability is taken directly into account
along with lethality, survivability and supportability. The initial
JSF trade-off studies were completed in the autumn of 2000, in
time to allow the competing prime contractors to include results
in their respective SDD bids.
The current UK planning assumption is for 150
Short Take Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft. Final numbers
will depend on the outcome of ongoing work to confirm overall
future offensive air capability requirements.
Strategic Defence Review
The requirement for FCBA and other future fast
jets was closely scrutinised in the SDR. The Joint Force 2000,
now renamed Joint Force Harrier, arising from the SDR has brought
all Naval and RAF Harrier squadrons under a unified command and
control structure, with squadrons capable of operating from ashore
or afloat as required. In addition, the SDR noted that the US
JSF was a strong contender to meet our requirement for a Future
Carrier Borne Aircraft.
JSF is a single seat supersonic aircraft, incorporating
advanced "stealth" technology, that is capable of performing
multi-role (strike, reconnaissance and air defence) operations
from aircraft carriers and land bases. Our analysis of the available
options demonstrated that, on a through life basis, JSF should
meet most cost-effectively our military requirements.
Equipment to be Replaced and In-Service Date
Pre-SDR the FCBA was planned to succeed the
Sea Harrier FA2 from 2012, and following the SDR, FJCA will also
succeed Harrier GR7/9 from 2015. As a result of a new investment
strategy to take forward Joint Force Harrier (JFH) into the era
of FJCA and Future Carriers (CVF), we plan to increase the offensive
capability of our carrier-borne aircraft by upgrading the Harrier
GR7 to GR9 standard and withdrawing the Sea Harrier FA2 from service
in the period 2004 to 2006. The FJCA in-service date remains defined
as the ability to conduct sustained operations with 8 aircraft,
and is currently planned for late 2012.
JSF is a collaborative programme, which runs
to US procurement procedures. It could be considered to be in
the Demonstration Phase of the Smart Procurement process. JSF
Concept Demonstration was run on a competitive basis between consortia
led by Boeing and Lockheed Martin under cost plus fixed fee (subject
to maximum price) contracts placed by the US Government. The SDD
contract is on a similar cost plus award fee basis. The US Government
also has a contract on a similar basis with Pratt & Whitney
for the development of the engine. UK industry is teamed with
Lockheed-Martin and Pratt & Whitney. In addition to participation
in the SDD phase, there will be work on national requirements.
This will probably be undertaken through Lockheed-Martin for risk
containment reasons but this has not yet been finally decided.
Alternative Acquisition Options
Should the JSF programme fail to deliver a suitable
STOVL aircraft a number of alternatives would need to be considered,
but this would potentially have implications for factors such
as cost and in-service date. A non-STOVL solution would also impact
on the CVF programme. However, in selecting the Adaptable carrier
design, we will be designing in the flexibility to adapt the warship
if necessary at some point in the future, as circumstances dictate.
The JSF programme is managed from a US Joint
Project Office (JPO) in Washington, which has a total of about
150 staff, currently including 10 UK staff. There is no formal
work-share agreement within the MoU for SDD, but a number of UK
companies have competed successfully to win significant work with
the US prime contractor. Seven other countries have now joined
the JSF programme: Italy and the Netherlands as Level 2 Participants,
and Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey as Level 3 Participants.
Israel and Singapore have signed Letters of
Intent (LoI) to become Security Co-operation Participants (SCP)
in JSF. SCP status is a separate bilateral arrangement with the
US and does not involve accession to the joint programme MOU.
The eventual JSF production requirement, extending
across the MOU participating nations, is at least 3,000 aircraft.
JSF has a considerable potential to generate
export opportunities including for UK industry. The entire JSF
production run, including exports, will exceed 3,000 aircraft
and may approach 5,000 aircraft, estimated to be worth some $400
The industrial implications of the alternative
solutions to the FJCA requirement were taken into account in determining
the UK's choice of aircraft. UK participation as a full collaborative
partner in the JSF programme represents a significant opportunity
for UK industry. They have won, on merit, substantial high quality
work and this is expected to continue in the future production
and support phases of potentially the largest military procurement
The JSF programme accords with Smart Acquisition
principles. The joint US/UK programme office operates as an integrated
project team, including close partnering arrangements between
the programme office and the prime contractor, and operational
staffs are contributing to the development of the requirement.
The concept of "cost as an independent variable" is
a further indicator of the iterative approach to the programme,
as cost is seen as another "engineering parameter" against
which potential technical solutions have to be measured and moderated
if they produce unsatisfactory outcomes. The US programme made
significant "front end" investment, as evinced by the
Technical Maturation Program, a risk reduction measure to prove
technology before it was offered to both companies for potential
incorporation in their solutions. This early investment was also
seen in the Concept Demonstration aircraft flown by both companies.
In addition to proving flying qualities, those aircraft were used
to prove various "lean manufacturing" techniques aimed
at reducing both build and through life costs.
Acquisition Phases, Milestones and Costs
(All figures expressed in resource terms at
outturn prices, except where stated otherwise)
The JSF Concept Demonstration Phase ended in
October 2001. On 26 October 2001 Lockheed Martin was chosen as
the contractor for the SDD phase of the JSF programme. SDD started
in October 2001 and will last for some 11 years. UK entered the
SDD phase as a full collaborative partner with the US, having
participated in the selection of Lockheed Martin as the US prime
contractor. The purpose of the SDD phase is to mature, complete
and evaluate the detailed design of the aircraft and to integrate
key equipment prior to Manufacture. The Manufacture phase for
UK aircraft is likely to commence in 2008.
Some £143 million had been spent by the
end of 2001-02 on the UK's contribution to the US JSF Concept
Demonstration Phase and UK Feasibility Studies. The current estimated
cost of the Demonstration phase is £2.32 billion, against
an approval of £2.36 billion. The UK SDD contribution to
the US in cash terms under the MOU remains at $2 billion, which
equates to £1.4 billion using current mandated exchange rate
assumptions. This contribution will be paid over an 11 year period
beginning from October 2001.
Overall numbers, which have yet to be determined,
will drive the cost of the programme. It is currently estimated
to be in the region of £7-10 billion.
Support arrangements are currently being examined,
including the desirable extent of collaborative support and the
role of industry in direct support. Detailed plans for the transition
from the current Harrier fleet to FJCA will be formulated nearer
Front Line, Storage and Reserves
The numbers have yet to be determined, but the
planning assumption is 150 aircraft.
JSF STOVL will offer good interoperability with
the US and the other NATO allies who buy JSF. It will also be
designed to be fully interoperable with legacy UK systems.
Disposal of Equipment Replaced
Disposal has yet to be considered. But the aircraft
may be of interest to existing overseas STOVL customers, although
the aircraft are likely to have a limited useful life remaining.
FJCA is planned to have a 30-year service life.
It is too early to comment on the potential
options for the further development, update or use of JSF.