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Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

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Timmymagic
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 14 Dec 2018, 23:15

Caribbean wrote:Yes - interesting systems - isn't the US one a development of SSTD?


It was a partial joint development, the UK handled the softkill part, the US went down the hardkill route. Not sure what the US uses for softkill though, never seen the dispensers on US vessels and they only have plans for CAT on CVN's.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Dec 2018, 00:51

The one area I have confidence in regarding the Queen Elizabeths defences is it countermeasures and decoys. This is one area the RN has consistently been up to speed. Ever since I read 2017 War with Russia I have been concerned about the active defences they carry, and though they will always have an escort screen around them I do not like the RN's doctrine on not providing the Fleet's Flagship with adequate means to protect itself against threats that penetrate said screen. Relying on one phalanx per arc doesn't fill me with confidence, but then again I do get paranoid sometimes as will the Carrier's Captain when his ship enters a "Hot" zone I am sure.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Dec 2018, 04:54

Lord Jim wrote:adequate means to protect itself against threats that penetrate said screen. Relying on one phalanx per arc doesn't fill me with confidence


I agree as it does not factor in salvo tactics (the rationale ? being that it is there for 'leakers' only).

The great feature of the solution is that it is pretty self-contained, so you can (as the RN does) drop it in, rotate the limited stock etc.

However, the USN is beefing up sensor integration to improve the systems potential (better reaction time than with its own radar only) as DID has picked up:
"The SSDS features an open architecture computing environment software, which includes selected software components from the total ship computing environment infrastructure, and is designed to speed up the process of detecting, tracking and engaging anti-ship cruise missiles. SSDS is installed aboard CVN, LSD, LPD, LHA and LHD classes. Work will be performed at Raytheon's facility in San Diego, California and is expected to be completed by June 2019."
- as it is a subsystem, I doubt that we could directly 'ride on the wing' of this one

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby NickC » 15 Dec 2018, 12:07

Dec 7, Mechanised Weapons Handling System, QNLZ


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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Dec 2018, 13:06

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:adequate means to protect itself against threats that penetrate said screen. Relying on one phalanx per arc doesn't fill me with confidence


I agree as it does not factor in salvo tactics (the rationale ? being that it is there for 'leakers' only).

The great feature of the solution is that it is pretty self-contained, so you can (as the RN does) drop it in, rotate the limited stock etc.

However, the USN is beefing up sensor integration to improve the systems potential (better reaction time than with its own radar only) as DID has picked up:
"The SSDS features an open architecture computing environment software, which includes selected software components from the total ship computing environment infrastructure, and is designed to speed up the process of detecting, tracking and engaging anti-ship cruise missiles. SSDS is installed aboard CVN, LSD, LPD, LHA and LHD classes. Work will be performed at Raytheon's facility in San Diego, California and is expected to be completed by June 2019."
- as it is a subsystem, I doubt that we could directly 'ride on the wing' of this one

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:adequate means to protect itself against threats that penetrate said screen. Relying on one phalanx per arc doesn't fill me with confidence


I agree as it does not factor in salvo tactics (the rationale ? being that it is there for 'leakers' only).

The great feature of the solution is that it is pretty self-contained, so you can (as the RN does) drop it in, rotate the limited stock etc.

However, the USN is beefing up sensor integration to improve the systems potential (better reaction time than with its own radar only) as DID has picked up:
"The SSDS features an open architecture computing environment software, which includes selected software components from the total ship computing environment infrastructure, and is designed to speed up the process of detecting, tracking and engaging anti-ship cruise missiles. SSDS is installed aboard CVN, LSD, LPD, LHA and LHD classes. Work will be performed at Raytheon's facility in San Diego, California and is expected to be completed by June 2019."
- as it is a subsystem, I doubt that we could directly 'ride on the wing' of this one


I understand what you are getting at (I think) but the USN uses a systems of systems. Even their Amphibious ships are to have both Mk15 Phalanx, and Mk49 RAM launchers. Add to that the Mk29 ESSM launchers on many vessels not to mention the Mk41 VLS, having them all integrated on the vessels so equipped and then integrate all the platforms in the Carrier Groups and you have a truly effective defence system that can respond rapidly to any level of threat. As for the RN we have a group of standalone vessels that are not integrated protecting a Carriers with the bare minimum of defensive capability, provided by three Mk15 Phalanx that have mediocre performance against the latest AShMs due to the latter's speed, size of warhead and difficult to predict terminal approach phase. Even if the Mk15 successfully engages an incoming high speed AShM the blast is likely to cause substantial damage to the Carrier. By the way do our newer vessels have Kevlar armour like the USN does to reduce the effect from blast damage caused by near misses? Remember how far back we held the Carriers in the Falklands war for fear of conventional air attack let alone one by an Exocet as having even one put out of action would have prevented the retaking of the islands. How far back are we going to have to place our Carriers in the next conflict as we definitely cannot afford to even have one severely damaged let alone sunk

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Dec 2018, 13:25

Lord Jim wrote: Remember how far back we held the Carriers in the Falklands war for fear of conventional air attack let alone one by an Exocet a

Yes, but there were other factors in play as well. The escorts had sailed so abruptly that they still had their nuclear depth charges. Some were moved to the carriers, some to the RFA deep mags
- entering the Latin American denuclearised zone (Falklands territorial waters included) would have scored an easy propaganda point (or two) for the Argies

Yes, we are much poorer, so being able to afford this system of systems is unlikely:
with authority to eventually integrate with ACDS and Cooperative Engagement Capability (CEC) systems on CVN, LPD-17, LHD and LHA ship classes. Ships with SSDS include:

SSDS MK1: LSD-41 Whidbey Island Class and LSD-49 Harpers Ferry Class amphibious assault.
SSDS Mk2 MOD 1: CVN 76 USS Ronald Reagan, March 2003. Probably post-RCOH aircraft carriers from CVN 68 to CVN 71, USS Theodore Roosevelt.
SSDS Mk2 MOD 2: LPD-17 San Antonio Class amphibious assault.
SSDS MK2 MOD 3A: LHD 7 USS Iwo Jima & LHD 8 USS Makin Island amphibious assault aviation ships. May be refitted to other Wasp Class LHDs.
SSDS MK2 MOD 4B: LHA 6 America Class escort carrier, presumably LHA 7 Tripoli too.
SSDS MK2 MOD 5C: LSD ships to be refitted from SSDS Mk1.
SSDS MK2 MOD 6B: CVN 78 Gerald R. Ford Class carrier, presumably refitted CVN 72 USS Abraham Lincoln.
- as can be seen in the above, there are constant improvements being made

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby hovematlot » 15 Dec 2018, 18:53

I do find the QEC lack in organic EW somewhat concerning She has absolutely no onboard EW detection equipment and has to rely on escorts, aircraft, satellite or intelligence to cue her to react to an inbound missile attack to conduct ASMD countermeasures . All ok in theory. But in a very heavily cluttered electronic environment in a full scale war there is the potential she would be totally blind.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 15 Dec 2018, 19:35

Caribbean wrote:
RetroSicotte wrote:That is not possible without Type 26 being able to contribute more than the limited self defence it currently does

For all the talk about T26 having limited AAW capabilities, it's worth considering that it is broadly similar to a T42 in terms of protected area (approx. 2000 sq km if 25km range is true and 11,000 if 60 km is true) and it's missiles, software and sensors are all far more capable.

And so is the rest of the world. "Its better than a decades old design" is a false way of judging current capability.

You judge your current capability against nothing other than the current peer, or future peer.

There is no other metric matters when determining effectives once it's in service.

Top trumps vs old Royal Navy ships matters nothing. They aren't the enemy!

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 15 Dec 2018, 23:24

Not getting the point again, are you ? The point that I made is that it's weapons, sensors, software and probably a great deal more, are considerably better than the T42 (being several generations more modern), and that it can provide coverage to approximately the same area as a T42, which was considered suitable to provide cover for a fleet.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby seaspear » 16 Dec 2018, 01:20

How is the coverage of the area affected if the reaction time is shortened by the advent of hyper sonic missiles

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 16 Dec 2018, 02:34

Caribbean wrote:Not getting the point again, are you ? The point that I made is that it's weapons, sensors, software and probably a great deal more, are considerably better than the T42 (being several generations more modern), and that it can provide coverage to approximately the same area as a T42, which was considered suitable to provide cover for a fleet.

And thats exactly what I was saying. AAW engagements aren't as simplistic as "if you have max range = can kill within". Incoming missiles are faster, stealthier, more evasive, in closer timescales between networked salvos, approaching from several directions at once.

The requirement for what constitutes a wide area aid in such a battlegroup has raised significantly. The envelop at which the system can reliably operate to 100% certainty (which is a mandate with how deadly these missiles are now) suffers far more degradation than it ever did. Just because the T26 can cover the same area does not mean it can cover the same effective area on a contextualised basis.

In modern terms, T26 really isn't that great at AAW in the modern context of peer to peer missiles. Point defence at most, whereas an independent CBG (as I was indicating) needs a lot more than just 2 ships capable of area defence. hence, T26 is the only one that can really do that, since there's no more T45s coming.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Dec 2018, 06:36

RetroSicotte wrote:The requirement for what constitutes a wide area aid {AD?} in such a battlegroup has raised significantly. The envelop at which the system can reliably operate to 100% certainty (which is a mandate with how deadly these missiles are now) suffers far more degradation


LJ used a good expression - that a system of systems is required - but did not elaborate on its parts. It will - as it says on the 'tin' - need to be multi-layer. The detect-to-engage sequence against anti-ship missiles requires manual steps, involving different ship systems that use different displays. When a Mach 3 missile gives you 45 seconds from appearance on ship’s radar to impact and you don't necessarily have an airborne AEW up in the air 24/7 (from 8 in all, incl. those in maintenance, sligthly mitigated against by the roll on/off nature of the system), having the AAW component alone is not enough.
- This is compounded by the fact that we have 6 such assets and a near-par one joining as the 7th in 2027!

So the real weakness is in the next layer- the backstop insurance policy :) . Hence the more of ready-to-fire Seaceptor missiles a task force carries, in total, the better. The design requirement was for being able to deal with supersonic missiles (though Mach 3 was not [?] part of that)
- the survivability of the Royal Navy’s most important power projection assets (carriers, amph. shipping and RFA vessels, without which a task force with some of the former types of assets would be too much of a one-shot character) cannot be a function of the number of Phalanx'es we fit onto them, alone. The pool itself (20+) will be stretched: carriers 6, tankers (6 x 2) 12, SSSs some (?)...

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Dec 2018, 08:26

AEW on the Carrier sis also going to be limited. From what I have read, only 6-8 Merlins will be fitted with CROWSNEST at any one time and those have to cover both the detachment on the Carrier and those ashore for training. This should allow the Carrier to have one up most of the time through rotation but in the real world and platforms going U/S nothing is certain. Obviously in a conflict some of the training airframes could be surged to the Carrier with space made by shifting some of the ASW Merlins to other vessels hopefully.

Turning to the T-26. It has been discussed how effective the T-26 can be as an area AAW platform with a Carrier Group. Whilst the system is very good, the main issue is that the T-26s will not be near the Carrier but on the outside of the Carrier Group conducting ASW, so the ability to provide area AAW to the Carrier Group is really moot.

To sup up my argument, the UK is making a very grave mistake in not enabling the Queen Elizabeths the ability to truly defend themselves. It has been done far more to save money than as part of any well thought through operational doctrine and the possible risk that existing is far greater then any savings made. Given the cost of the programme, fitting better systems to each carrier would not have increased their cost by any large amount, but is more indicative of the MoD's habit of shaving small amounts of a multitude of programmes to make savings rather then make far more politically sensitive decisions to reduce or cancel a number of programmes that are not performing or no longer really required.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Dec 2018, 09:05

Lord Jim wrote: Whilst the system is very good, the main issue is that the T-26s will not be near the Carrier but on the outside of the Carrier Group conducting ASW, so the ability to provide area AAW to the Carrier Group is really moot.

Let me add water to the water wheel: Seaceptor is a very good POINT area defence missile/ system.

So it boils down to what the first "A" in AAW is taken to mean. Take the range of the heftier Aster (before we get the ABM version) and to mind there should be at least 2 T45s, flanking the CTF.
- not an expert in ASW tactics, but a diamond as for placing such assets would make their number 4; any number of them could be T-26s adding some redundancy
- my Japanese is wanting, but I think their 888 formation stands for excellence below, on and above the waves... check out the number and type of escorts they deem necessary to achieve that

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 16 Dec 2018, 14:19

hovematlot wrote:I do find the QEC lack in organic EW somewhat concerning She has absolutely no onboard EW detection equipment and has to rely on escorts, aircraft, satellite or intelligence to cue her to react to an inbound missile attack to conduct ASMD countermeasures . All ok in theory. But in a very heavily cluttered electronic environment in a full scale war there is the potential she would be totally blind.


I think this is more concerning than any additional Phalanx or Sea Ceptor fit out. It's the first thing that needs to be addressed bar none.
You only have to look at the USN's desperate race to update their systems in the last couple of years to see how far we have fallen behind on this.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 16 Dec 2018, 15:24

Image
(@HMSQnlz)
Fast, powerful and technologically advanced; yet so aesthetically pleasing. Still a fearful sight for our enemies though, and rightfully so.
Under the white sheeting our first phalanx of three is being fitted.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 17 Dec 2018, 01:33

To defend against sea skimming missiles in Portsmouth Harbour? Why else be moored "Bows South" at present? :mrgreen:

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 17 Dec 2018, 01:38

"Fast", could be faster, "Powerful", by herself no, "Technologically advanced", yes, Aesthetically pleasing", I agree, but it is not the ship our enemies may fear but its airwing and on that front a lot is unknown, though current statements are probably causing both our friends and possible enemies more to scratch their heads as they try to work out what we are actually intending to do.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 17 Dec 2018, 01:44

Same bunch of inadequate politicians making a pigs breakfast of it, as those doing the same with --x--. :mrgreen:

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 17 Dec 2018, 10:02

Scimitar54 wrote:To defend against sea skimming missiles in Portsmouth Harbour? Why else be moored "Bows South" at present? :mrgreen:

If it's a saturday night in Portsmouth I can promise there'll be a few "skimming missiles" one must be aware of. Bravo for the MoD taking proactive action. Only one bottle's supposed to smash on that hull!

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 17 Dec 2018, 11:57

Further thought: Perhaps it is to help the Paint Dry when the Bow is repainted. :geek:

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 17 Dec 2018, 15:55

The nearby Burrow Island (aka "Rat Island") offers many moving targets for Phalanx target practice. :mrgreen:

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 17 Dec 2018, 16:08


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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 19 Dec 2018, 23:35

Photos of QE's Flag Dining Room.
Image
Image
(@HMSQnlz)

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 20 Dec 2018, 15:14

QE has left Portsmouth and is now heading up the A23 to Gatwick Airport to test her new Phalanx.... :mrgreen:
#GatwickDrones


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