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Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

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

Postby Poiuytrewq » 12 Dec 2018, 19:11

Lord Jim wrote:So why does every other navy with large carriers and effective escorts, still see the need to fit a far more comprehensive defensive suite on theirs, and these countries have been operating large carriers continuously for decades. Even when we had Ark Royal and Eagle, they were not fitted with the defensive weapons they were supposed to be in their case Sea Cat. We only installed Phalanx on the CVLs after we realised the error during the Falklands war, why wasn't it fitted during construction. The threat of sea skimming missiles was well known. The only reason I can think of is to save money, there being no military reason that justifies the omission. The T-45s are very capable and two will provide a reasonable level of protection, but historically the best way to protect vital assets is a layered defence and ours on the Queen Elizabeths is lacking.
I agree with a lot of your points but is it necessary for the CVF to be the final defensive layer before the Phalanx CIWS?

The QE's are not supposed to be globe trotting singletons. They will always be part of the CSG. This is the complete opposite of the Invincibles which often deployed as singletons. Why should the defensive bubble around the CSG be dependant on CAMM from the CVF's? By all means bolt as many CAMM and SeaRam onto the QE's as the budget allows but I think it's totally the wrong approach unless it's a last ditch insurance policy. Are we making excuses for a lack of escorts?

I would like to see the CSG made up of one QE, two T45's, two or three T23/T26's and a SSN. If an ASM makes it through that lot then probably a couple of dozen CAMM on the QE will make little difference.

Just my opinion.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby serge750 » 12 Dec 2018, 20:17

2 x T42, 2 x xT26 would be ideal as a CSG etc

Another CIWS on QEC would be good aswell, 8 x CAMM on QEC would be preferable IMO just incase we only had 1 x T45 escorting her and went offline for some reason, very unlikely in a wartime footing but a small possibility although the QEC should be able to take a lot of battle damage before she was lost & hopefully that would give time for the crew to exit

I know the ARCS for the 3 x CIWS work but would another one be better for such a relatively small cost ?

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 12 Dec 2018, 20:27

serge750 wrote:I know the ARCS for the 3 x CIWS work but would another one be better for such a relatively small cost ?
A 4th Phalanx would be a very worthwhile upgrade in my view. :thumbup:

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby serge750 » 12 Dec 2018, 20:32

Perhaps we could set up a crowd funding page ... :lolno:

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 12 Dec 2018, 22:41

serge750 wrote:Perhaps we could set up a crowd funding page ... :lolno:

Does the MOD do embarrassment?
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 12 Dec 2018, 23:07

Why not just park a Challenger 2 at each corner of the flightdeck?!

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby seaspear » 13 Dec 2018, 04:47

The Ford class carriers have just the three ciws as well , would though an upgrade to sea Ram be an improvement

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Dec 2018, 05:08

Ford Class:
2x Octuple Mk29 Launchers for RIM-62 ESSM
2x 21 cell Mk49 RAM Launchers for RIM-116 Missiles.
3x Mk15 Phalanx CIWS

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby seaspear » 13 Dec 2018, 06:06

I Was only comparing the ciws between the carriers not the overall defensive capability ,my query was on changing ciws for Searam similar foot print greater range and capability

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 13 Dec 2018, 08:58

but with 2 x 21 cell units it already has 42 RAM missiles ready and maybe more in the magazine for reloading no need for SeaRam as with the 16 RIM-162 it has 58 AAW missiles so the Phalanx makes a good defence in depth of 10 meters to 50 km

For me SeaRam on the QE class would be a good short term move with 2 at the back with 2 Phalanx at the front. But long term I would like to see a 6 cell EXLS fitted for 24 CAMM and 4 Phalanx on the 2 Carriers

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby shark bait » 13 Dec 2018, 10:34

It's not worth introducing a bespoke system just for the carriers.

Not convinced more kinetic options are the best way forward, if a missile has already defeated the more advances kinetic systems on the escorts why does SeaRam stand a better chance? Wouldnt it be better to focus on non-kinetic options?
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 13 Dec 2018, 10:52

be clear are you saying the carriers should not have CAMM

Also to be clear I feel a buy of 10 SeaRam units would be a good move right now this would allow them to be fitted to RFA ships and Albion class with a fit of one Phalanx and one Searam unit for greater defence in depth also as I have said in the past it would allow the future MHPC to be FFBNW this system

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby shark bait » 13 Dec 2018, 11:47

If the kinetic kill systems equipping the escorts have already failed to stop the threat, why would a kinetic system on the carrier do any better? Kinda sounds like doing the same thing, but expecting different results.

I suggest the effort would be better spent on other methods, such as decoys or lasers.
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby SKB » 13 Dec 2018, 13:47

QE's Westlant 18 escort T23, HMS Monmouth, arrives home at Devonport on Friday 14th December 2018.
https://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/news/p ... ng-2318911

Her Wildcat helicopter, "Blackjack" (ZZ529) of 213 Flight, 815 Naval Air Squadron, had a quick refuel stop at Culdrose, before arriving home at Yeovilton. Blackjack was the first ever Wildcat to land and takeoff from a QE class carrier.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby seaspear » 13 Dec 2018, 21:13

shark bait wrote:If the kinetic kill systems equipping the escorts have already failed to stop the threat, why would a kinetic system on the carrier do any better? Kinda sounds like doing the same thing, but expecting different results.

I suggest the effort would be better spent on other methods, such as decoys or lasers.


The "kinetic" kill systems can be limited by their load out against a peer adversary , there have been many posts on the loadout of the escorts and what could be done to increase this , I would believe there should be a greater capability needed in the defence of a carrier than self defence of a destroyer and certainly the limited amount of escorts gives a reason to suggest Searam

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Dec 2018, 01:19

No systems it 100% effective which is why a layered approach is seen as the best option. Against many modern AShMs Phalanx is mediocre at best, not being able to react fast enough or engage a target far enough way to prevent damage to the vessel it is defending. That is why the USN carriers by themselves have three layers of defence, ESSM, then RAM then Phalanx. If the USN is not convinced the escorts in one to its Battle Groups cannot fully protect the carrier I see no logic or argument that says even two T-45 and two T-26 can do what the USN cannot. Ideally the Queen Elizabeths should also have between two and four three cell ExLS launchers giving each carrier between twenty four and forty eight Sea Ceptor. The RIM-162 missile is a good weapon system able to engage high speed target far further out the Phalanx. It even has a surface engagement capability. The issue as usual is cost, but as an interim fix to reduce some of the defensive shortcomings on the Queen Elizabeths that cost may be worth paying, I mean the purchase of four to six conversion kits with the associated number of missiles should not cost a lot in the grand scheme of things.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Dahedd » 14 Dec 2018, 08:20

You would think that Sea Ceptor and/or Sea Ram would be a no brainer on a huge asset like the carriers, amphibious vessels & supply ships.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Zero Gravitas » 14 Dec 2018, 10:45

Not convinced.

The RN AAW onion skin on a war footing will be something like (I have no idea what the actual ranges are, but in principle):

F35 - outermost
Aster 30
Astute (?)
Merlin
Lynx
Aster 15
Camm
ECM (?)
Chaff
Phalanx - innermost

This is almost identical to the USN except that the RN with T23/T26 and Merlin is probably better at anti sub stuff.

Does a US CBG have more of each onion skin layer etc? Yes. Do we know if that means they will hit more or just that they need more to get a similar affect? No. Does the USN equivalent cost two or three times (or more) as much as the RN? Yes.

As for the international comparisons, the UK has a history of getting doctrine correct. More so than the US, Germans, Russians, French and Chinese anyway... Maybe Japan in prep for WW2 was superior.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Dec 2018, 11:54

The RN is very well equipped with counter measures like decoys etc and it is safe to assume the Queen Elizabeths are so equipped. What we are looking at is the air threat so the Carrier Groups defence ring would be:
F-35B with Merlin/Crowsnest
Aster 30
Aster 15
Phalanx.

Sea Ceptor though a capable systems has only a limited area defence capability. To be effective the two T-26s in the group carrying it would have to take up "Goalkeeper" positions very close to the carrier which would be contrary to their primary role of ASW. Therefore I have considered it only in a self defence weapon on the T-26s as they carry out ASW operations on the outside of the Carrier Group.

The number of F-35Bs available for CAP over the fleet will be limited simply by the number actually carried by the Carrier and the other tasks they will possibly be carrying out. We cannot assume all the planes will be available to be used for air defence, and add to this the lack on AAR that will impact on the efficiency of CAP operations. This leaves the Carrier group relying heavily on the likely maximum of two T-45s escorts, and the defences of the Carrier itself. The former will not be able to successfully engage and destroy every incoming threat to the Carrier if the Group came under a concerted attack. and the Phalanx on the Carrier will struggle against the many of the current large, very high speed AShMs. Just one hit by one of these could produce a "Mission" kill putting the Carrier out of actions. Even a near miss or interception by Phalanx could cause serious damage. The Carriers counter measures will provide some added protection but possibly the sophisticated seekers on the latest AShMs may not be seriously affected by the RN's current systems. Surely spending a few £M on increasing the defences of out multi billion pound Carriers is worth it compared to having one put out of action due to failings of their current level of protection.

As far as getting Doctrine right, I would put the USN ahead of the RN historically by quite a margin. Yes we led the way with many technological developments, but it was the USN who capitalised on these advances and pursued them to their full potential. RN carriers have always been compromised by one factor or another. In WW2 is was the need to have substantial armour as they were to operate within range of land based threats, this severely reduced their airwings. It took the FAA well into the war before they gained truly effective aircraft, the majority leased from the USA. After the War the RN was hamstrung by budgetary restraints. All its large Carriers were actual WW2 designs and required very extensive and expensive refits to remain in service and operate effective aircraft. Their replacement the CVA-01 programme was an utter disaster and the RN lost its true Carrier capability in the 1970s and will not regain it until the 2020s and if that is up for debate. The CVLs gave Stirling service but they were never Carriers in the proper sense They would have provide adequate air defence for an ASW task force and maybe given such a force a limited anti-ship capability, but no real stike capability.

Nowadays both the Russian and Chinese navies have (when the Russians can get theirs to sea) better protected Carrier Groups then we will have with the Queen Elizabeths. They will also have a far greater surface strike capability which is another serious issue the RN have. Our Carrier Groups at the most will have 32 Harpoons or its replacement and whatever is carried by the F-35s and possibly an SSN. A Russian or Chinese Carrier Group will have at least three to four times as many AShMs just to begin with.

So in theory our theoretical opponents Carrier Groups are better defended and have more offensive power that that currently planned for the RN. Of course if additional escorts are provided by our allies things would be better but even so the RN needs additional resources. As I said at the beginning of all this, the current situation is a false economy, supported by a false argument based on a false doctrine.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby shark bait » 14 Dec 2018, 12:36

The RN don't even have an in service early warning aircraft. Fix that, and integrate Crows-nest into the Sea Viper system, that will do far more to protect the carriers than a few extra silos will.
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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 14 Dec 2018, 13:34

Really to be at a comfortable level I'd say:

- Get Crowsnest in service
- Ensure it's compatible with Aster
- Ensure the Type 26s have something more than just CAMM on hand
- Upgrade the Type 26's radar to a fixed facing AESA of some type

The first one is obvious, the second is for that proper engagement timescale.

The third and fourth are simply because of the lack of escorts. You really do need 3-4 escorts minimum to match up to what carrier groups ought to be on a world wide scale of comparison at this level. That is not possible without Type 26 being able to contribute more than the limited self defence it currently does, which is especially magnified by that the T26 will often be further away from the carrier chasing sonar echoes, as a result its very small range won't be as useful. Boosting it out with a proper air defence radar and something akin to CAMM-ER at minimum or SM-6 at optimum would go a long way to the group being credible.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Dec 2018, 18:38

Maybe we should bin Artisan for the T-26 and go with the bit of kit the Australians are planning to use CAEFAR or something like that. Ditch any idea of using the "Mushrooms" for Sea Ceptor and fit as many Mk41s as possible (5-6), though not all necessarily "Strike" length. That would be four up front and 0ne or two amidships where some of the "Mushrooms" are currently shown.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Timmymagic » 14 Dec 2018, 22:37

Lord Jim wrote:We only installed Phalanx on the CVLs after we realised the error during the Falklands war, why wasn't it fitted during construction.


Phalanx only entered US service itself in 1981 so was not available when Invincible was built, or indeed available in general in 1982. The US did expedite a couple for Illustrious when she was rapidly completed towards the end of the war, direct from USN stocks, it was also notoriously unreliable for the first 5-6 years. The RN sensibly chose Goalkeeper when they had the time to make an assessment. The only reason Phalanx entered service at all with the RN was because some platforms, like the T42's, had no space for a Goalkeeper fit out, and the lightweight Sea Wolf was cancelled. Phalanx was always the RN's 3rd choice CIWS after Sea Wolf and Goalkeeper.

In 1982 Sea Wolf was the only credible anti missile system in service anywhere at the time, and it was the RN who had it in service. AEGIS had only just arrived, and that also had trouble with sea skimmers initially, being primarily aimed at Soviet high divers.

I know everyone wants to see Sea Ceptor and an additional Phalanx on the QE Class. But right now I'd say the priority was a decent EW system and modern countermeasures suite. Softkill is far more effective than hardkill. We've heard little about the QE's softkill, which makes me wonder if its FFBNW. I'd love to see Chemring's Centurion finally get an order from the MoD. A well thought out system, and would support British industry. After that my priority would be the hardkill torpedo system, either the US CAT or Atlas Elektronik's SeaSpider to complement the RN's passive SSTD fitout. Only after that would I be looking to stick a 4th Phalanx and Sea Ceptor onboard.

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Re: Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers - News and Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 14 Dec 2018, 22:56

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

Postby Caribbean » 14 Dec 2018, 23:01

Timmymagic wrote: Softkill is far more effective than hardkill. We've heard little about the QE's softkill, which makes me wonder if its FFBNW. I'd love to see Chemring's Centurion finally get an order from the MoD.

I suspect that we will only hear about that once QNLZ gets closer to operational status
Timmymagic wrote:After that my priority would be the hardkill torpedo system, either the US CAT or Atlas Elektronik's SeaSpider to complement the RN's passive SSTD fitout.

Yes - interesting systems - isn't the US one a development of SSTD?
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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