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Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
abc123
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby abc123 » 21 Jan 2019, 15:20

Lord Jim wrote:I do not think even the Carriers have good Command capabilities, wasn't that one of the things removed to save a few pennies? WE know the RN wanted to move forward with CEC, but could not get any such programme funded as it was seen as "Nice to have" rather then essential back when these decisions were made. I mean the Big Bad bear and Dragon had not really reappeared on the threat radar then, and the threats that were visible weren't believed to be of such a threat that CEC would be needed to cope. The fact that the RN's new platforms were designed when the world was different, and these designs have been stuck to even though things have changed greatly during their construction is going to cause issues for the RN. Simply look at the defensive systems on the new Carriers, does anyone think they are adequate for high intensity naval combat? The lack of systems like CEC within a Carrier Group makes the formation vulnerable to massed missile attacks and the lack of BMD gives them no defence against the weapons of this type being developed to engage such formations.


Yeeeep.
Simply put, if you send them against peer opponent (but even that is wrong expresson, sorry but UK isn't in the same league with Russia and especially China), they will end at the bottom of sea. For pounding ISIS, they are fine.
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What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 21 Jan 2019, 19:10

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Is our test installation on land the 7th in that reference?


Yes, I was including the installation above Portsmouth.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby RNFollower » 22 Jan 2019, 10:34

Lord Jim wrote:I do not think even the Carriers have good Command capabilities, wasn't that one of the things removed to save a few pennies? WE know the RN wanted to move forward with CEC, but could not get any such programme funded as it was seen as "Nice to have" rather then essential back when these decisions were made. I mean the Big Bad bear and Dragon had not really reappeared on the threat radar then, and the threats that were visible weren't believed to be of such a threat that CEC would be needed to cope. The fact that the RN's new platforms were designed when the world was different, and these designs have been stuck to even though things have changed greatly during their construction is going to cause issues for the RN. Simply look at the defensive systems on the new Carriers, does anyone think they are adequate for high intensity naval combat? The lack of systems like CEC within a Carrier Group makes the formation vulnerable to massed missile attacks and the lack of BMD gives them no defence against the weapons of this type being developed to engage such formations.


I seem to remember CEC being fitted to HMS Duncan for trials when new. I assume it has since been removed as no other vessels in the fleet had it also. :think:

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 Jan 2019, 10:48

RNFollower wrote:seem to remember CEC being fitted to HMS Duncan for trials when new


Don't know about that, but we had an order in (5% of a production batch for several USN ships) and we cancelled it.
- so all the Links (16 and beyond...) which come nowhere near are now "the thing"

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 22 Jan 2019, 12:09

New photo (from HMS Forth) showing QE's Phalanx CIWS still under tents.
Image

Image
(Photo: S. Wenham)

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Jan 2019, 13:10

Digging through my library I found an article in "Navies in the 21st Century", by Conrad Waters, discussing the state of the Royal Navy and the Carriers in Particular. It discusses how in order to keep both Carriers the Royal Navy realised that Carrier Strike was no longer Possible and the role of the Carriers was now going to be covered by a doctrine called Carrier Enables Power Projection (CEPP). This emphasised the ability and use of the Carrier to support amphibious operation and will result in the RN Carriers being used far more like the USN's America class LHDs than true Carriers.

It also points out that CEPP presents a number of risks. Firstly it requires the continuous availability of a Carrier. Secondly the high value of the Carrier will require a constant effective escort force meaning these operations will dominate all future RN operations. And thirdly CEEP is a "Joint" operation and is dependant on the availability of assets from all three services. Finally working with the RN's other amphibious ships will not be a simple affair, due to obvious things like the maximum speed of the various platforms.

A lot of the above has already been discussed over time, but I though it was interesting as discussions here have moved towards how many F-35s will be operating from the Carrier. Numbers of up to 36 have been discussed, and yes that was in the original design specifications, but that was when Carrier Strike was the role of the new Carriers. The RN may still aspire to this but I cannot see them ever carrying more than 24 and even then only in times of crisis. Instead they will probably carry a composite air wing comprising of one squadron F-35s and a mixture of helicopter types and personnel from the RN, RAF and even AAC. This was set out in the 2015 SDSR but I think it will actually become reality. The MoD will want to be seen as getting the most out of the Carriers, and having them sail around with 12 F-35Bs and 12 to 16 RN Helicopters would be embarrassing when one considers the time and resources given to the Carrier programme. Of course this will not be heavily advertised and any references will be of "Carrier Operations", which covers everything.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 23 Jan 2019, 14:11

What I don't understand is that F-35s are on track to be operational (on carriers) in 2023, but the year given for CEPP is 2026
- what on earth will be added in the three years?
- or is it just about the different air assets being rotated through, for training?

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby RNFollower » 23 Jan 2019, 14:48

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
RNFollower wrote:seem to remember CEC being fitted to HMS Duncan for trials when new


Don't know about that, but we had an order in (5% of a production batch for several USN ships) and we cancelled it.
- so all the Links (16 and beyond...) which come nowhere near are now "the thing"


When Duncan was Launched she had 4 extra "fittings" on the main mast just below the Sampson Radar and at the time someone told me was part of the CEC being trialled. I cannot see them fitted to any of the other T45 pictures. I could of course be wrong.



Apologies for going off subject of QEC. :)

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Jan 2019, 17:37

ArmChairCivvy wrote:What I don't understand is that F-35s are on track to be operational (on carriers) in 2023, but the year given for CEPP is 2026
- what on earth will be added in the three years?
- or is it just about the different air assets being rotated through, for training?

he whole thing is part of the foggy area under the surface ot the Carrier programme. On the surface it is all flags and firewooks, celebrating the reintroduction of carrier aviation to the Royal Navy. Underneath we have the timescales for he introduction of the F-35 in sufficient nunbers, queries about how many of the "B" variant will be bough, when will Crowsnest actually be operational. what other platforms are going to be embarked and will they be modified for extended sea depolyment and so on. All these questions are awaiting answers.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 24 Jan 2019, 12:10

ArmChairCivvy wrote:What I don't understand is that F-35s are on track to be operational (on carriers) in 2023, but the year given for CEPP is 2026
- what on earth will be added in the three years?
- or is it just about the different air assets being rotated through, for training?


2 Carriers fully operational, personnel trained, operational training and we can't ignore the integration of weapons to make F-35B really useful.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Aethulwulf » 24 Jan 2019, 12:21

Timmymagic wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:What I don't understand is that F-35s are on track to be operational (on carriers) in 2023, but the year given for CEPP is 2026
- what on earth will be added in the three years?
- or is it just about the different air assets being rotated through, for training?


2 Carriers fully operational, personnel trained, operational training and we can't ignore the integration of weapons to make F-35B really useful.
Plus the first of the FSS ships will be available in 2026. Full logistics support, via FSS, is critical to sustained operations.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 25 Jan 2019, 18:15


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

Postby seaspear » 28 Jan 2019, 01:03

Without trying to stir things up ,has there been any studies on the emplacement of the Emcat system for the launching of drones ?

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 28 Jan 2019, 01:21

I don't think there is any talk of modifying the Carriers to launch UAVs. The may have a launcher and retrieval kit embarked but for a medium sized UAV but I cannot see them operating UAVs the size of Predator or larger.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 28 Jan 2019, 02:37

50 years is a long time and they were always intended to carry UAVs. A problem may have been introduced by the decision to go for STOVL configuration and the lack of a suitable STOVL UAV.
If the EMCAT project were to be re-activated and development continued, perhaps we might be able to get a full size (Waist) Catapult at a more affordable cost .... but that would still leave us with the lack of Arrestor Gear.
Oh well, it was a nice thought.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 28 Jan 2019, 08:36

Sensible but still surprising if true.

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defen ... ssion=true

Portsmouth-Naval-Base-D-Lock-Conversion-1024x489.jpg
Is this a priority when money is tight and budgets are under so much pressure?
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 28 Jan 2019, 09:18

Preparations for the break up of the Union?
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Aethulwulf » 28 Jan 2019, 09:58

There are some issues with Rosyth and continuous carrier availability. The second carrier will still be at 20-30 days notice during the periods of dry docking, so they will have to be kept short (a few weeks). The carriers will only be dry docked for the hull maintenance type work that can only be undertaken in a dry dock. All other maintenance/refit work will be carried out alongside at Portsmouth. Previously when carriers went in to Rosyth for dry docking and refit, they would mostly loose their crew over these long periods. This will not be the case during the much shorter dry dockings for QEC.

The first issue with Rosyth relates to the crew. While at Rosyth (and travelling there and back) they are 'away from home', which counts against their harmony guidelines. This reduces the number of days away from home they are able to undertake for other duties.

The second issue with Rosyth is the restricted access. There are only a few days every two weeks when the tides are high enough for QEC to get in and out. If the winds are too high during these days, the carrier will miss the slot and have to wait a couple of weeks for the next one. This clearly could cause problems with keeping to the 20-30 day notice requirement.

Whether these (and other) issues are enough of a problem to justify spending hundreds of millions on a big dry dock in Portsmouth (or some of the other options) is the question currently being studied.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby RNFollower » 28 Jan 2019, 10:10

Aethulwulf wrote:There are some issues with Rosyth and continuous carrier availability. The second carrier will still be at 20-30 days notice during the periods of dry docking, so they will have to be kept short (a few weeks). The carriers will only be dry docked for the hull maintenance type work that can only be undertaken in a dry dock. All other maintenance/refit work will be carried out alongside at Portsmouth. Previously when carriers went in to Rosyth for dry docking and refit, they would mostly loose their crew over these long periods. This will not be the case during the much shorter dry dockings for QEC.

The first issue with Rosyth relates to the crew. While at Rosyth (and travelling there and back) they are 'away from home', which counts against their harmony guidelines. This reduces the number of days away from home they are able to undertake for other duties.

The second issue with Rosyth is the restricted access. There are only a few days every two weeks when the tides are high enough for QEC to get in and out. If the winds are too high during these days, the carrier will miss the slot and have to wait a couple of weeks for the next one. This clearly could cause problems with keeping to the 20-30 day notice requirement.

Whether these issues are enough of a problem to justify spending hundreds of millions on a big dry dock in Portsmouth (or some of the other options) is the question currently being studied.


This is an issue that was anaylised last week by an article on the "Save the Royal Navy" website

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/dry-do ... e-options/

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Aethulwulf » 28 Jan 2019, 10:15

RNFollower wrote:This is an issue that was anaylised last week by an article on the "Save the Royal Navy" website

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/dry-do ... e-options/
True, but they did not mention the two issues I outlined above.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 28 Jan 2019, 10:32

Aethulwulf wrote:The second issue with Rosyth is the restricted access. There are only a few days every two weeks when the tides are high enough for QEC to get in and out. If the winds are too high during these days, the carrier will miss the slot and have to wait a couple of weeks for the next one.
I wasn't aware of this issue but it would seem to virtually rule Rosyth out. Working under such constraints isn't really going to work longterm it would appear.

If the crew harmony guidelines are a major influencing factor it would also appear to rule out all of the other options as well?

Getting back to Portsmouth from Belfast, Liverpool or Glasgow isn't a lot different to returning from Edinburgh.

Does this make Portsmouth the only realistic longterm option, hence the feasibility study?

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby shark bait » 28 Jan 2019, 10:45

Having extensive facilities at the home port is by far the most sensible option. It'll make the next 50 years much easier, and not only benefit the carriers.
@LandSharkUK

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Aethulwulf » 28 Jan 2019, 11:17

Poiuytrewq wrote:
Aethulwulf wrote:The second issue with Rosyth is the restricted access. There are only a few days every two weeks when the tides are high enough for QEC to get in and out. If the winds are too high during these days, the carrier will miss the slot and have to wait a couple of weeks for the next one.
I wasn't aware of this issue but it would seem to virtually rule Rosyth out. Working under such constraints isn't really going to work longterm it would appear.

If the crew harmony guidelines are a major influencing factor it would also appear to rule out all of the other options as well?

Getting back to Portsmouth from Belfast, Liverpool or Glasgow isn't a lot different to returning from Edinburgh.

Does this make Portsmouth the only realistic longterm option, hence the feasibility study?
I don't think these issues rule out Rosyth, or dictate that it must be Portsmouth - but they are factors in the decision.

The downside for Portsmouth is the infrastructure work will likely mean it is the most expensive option (at least over the short term). And there are many other things the Navy wishes to spend money on.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 28 Jan 2019, 11:28

With the suggested potential for commercial contracts, is there any likelihood of getting some of the cost paid by other budgets (Dept. of Trade and Industry, for instance)
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 28 Jan 2019, 11:39

Aethulwulf wrote:I don't think these issues rule out Rosyth, or dictate that it must be Portsmouth - but they are factors in the decision.

The downside for Portsmouth is the infrastructure work will likely mean it is the most expensive option (at least over the short term). And there are many other things the Navy wishes to spend money on.
Its all a question of priorities I suppose.

Maybe the likely outcome is Rosyth in the short term with Portsmouth more of a longer term aspiration.

As ever it will probably all come down to the money available.


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