Interesting. Surely if the build was slowed for political reasons, then it can be speeded back up?
Also I understand that there is nothing to stop Illustrious
being retained post 2014 (until QE
comes along). Even in a LPH role, having more than one flat top gives a margin of safety in case of accidents or other unexpected things (Lusty
recently sustained some damage on exercise). Things do crop up - like this possible deployment to Somalia
Perhaps this would be better discussed on the "No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B" thread?
|We don't have any to embark. The UK doesn't operate Harriers. |
I have noticed that. But other countries do, and their jets could be embarked. There was also talk at one time of an RN Hornet squadron - why not an RN AV8B squadron?
|If F35B is chosen, the RN and RAF pilots need to be worked up on that, not a type we no longer have. |
What about the guys flying the F/A18? The UK has never operated that, and I think the idea for RN guys to fly them was to build CTOL experience. If the future is not CTOL, but V/STOL, then perhaps training on AV8B will be more suitable for a future transition of F35B? An RN AV8B squadron has other attractions too (such as giving us back a task force capability this decade). The politicians (the PM mostly) looked into the crystal ball with closed eyes, and saw nothing unexpected this decade.
The Americans want to UK to have a decent carrier capability - seeing us as a very important ally.
|Carrier crews will need to be worked-up once the new carrier is being introduced to service. Quite a way to go yet. |
Hmm! I am not sure the Officers quoted here
would agree: The lack of adequately training personnel could delay the carrier coming into service by another three or four years, the Navy commander has said.
Another officer has told The Telegraph that the loss of carrier deck handling skills could prove "disastrous" with fatal accidents caused by inexperienced ratings.
Or indeed the First Sea Lord: Loss of Carrier Strike Capability Top Concern of Royal Navy Chief
F35B or F35C, we still have to get there. Current policy does not answer several key questions?
How will we maintain and develop carrier related skills this decade?
What will we do if we need to provide a task group with air defence beyond the range of ship based sensors and weapons, or if ROE demand positive ID before things can be engaged?
How will we make up for the shortfall in maritime force projection, given that SSN numbers will decline this decade, so there will be less TLAM shooters, and Apache is limited in sped, range, and payload, and available only in limited numbers?
These were (and still are) the issues discussed on the Decision to axe Harrier is "bonkers" thread
In late 2009 I remember listening to a briefing by the Fleet Air Arm Command Warrant Officer, who emphasised the need to have more jets embarked as sea for longer periods, to build up both individual and corporate experience. Sometimes the whole ship aspects are forgotten about - but they are key to safe and efficient aviation operations.
A lot of things have to come together, not just the chockheads being confident and experienced in handling jets on a moving deck, but also the OOW keeping the ship on the right course and speed and understanding the movement limitations ship and aircraft place upon each other, the watchkeepers in the Ship Control Centre keeping the deck trim and flashing up power when needed, operators and maintainers of various sensors, communications, and landing aids, the Cdr(Air) et al
running things, etc.
I am very reluctant to post an article by a politician who was described as a failure by those she was/is meant to represent (as their MP), but here we go: 'The government only has itself to blame for any carrier strike U-turn'