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CVF and Carrier Strike thread

ZW Clanger

Old-Salt
Spotted a few things on YouTube pointing to the fact that QE will get Martlet for her China Sea deployment.
Am I reading this wrong or are they simply saying that the missile platform will be Wildcat as previously indicated or shall we see it bolted in to her in some fashion?
 

Yokel

LE
They should fly the ones they've got a bit more to get value for money.

Spares. We need more spares.

The ones for the Marines?

Could a Jungly Merlin HC4 deliver a torpedo? I assume the answer is no, but since they are now routinely going to sea it seems a pity.

Spotted a few things on YouTube pointing to the fact that QE will get Martlet for her China Sea deployment.
Am I reading this wrong or are they simply saying that the missile platform will be Wildcat as previously indicated or shall we see it bolted in to her in some fashion?

It is definitely being fitted to the Wildcat, as is the larger Sea Venom (Sea Skua successor). However it has also been tested in trials where it was fired from a mounting aboard a frigate.

Back to ASW, some people have got their arithmetic a bit wrong and forgot that thirty Merlin HM1s got the HM2 upgrade, and that 90 minutes extra endurance compared to other ASW helicopters means more time on station, and that longer sorties mean that less aircraft are needed to achieve the same level of coverage.

Just as the shorter legged Wildcat can deliver ASW weapons and assist with radar and EO systems, shorter legged helicopters embarked will continue to the ASW effort with dipping sonar etc.

Lastly - there are initiatives to boost our ASW capability. I particularly want to look two of them:

Merlin helicopter Multi Static Active sonar capability

Multi-static sonar uses a combination of sensors which may be either active or passive, operating from different locations. This could include a combination of sonobuoys, warships, UUVs or seabed arrays. The upgrade to the Merlin will integrate a Multi Static Active (MSA) system within the existing acoustic processor carried by the helicopter. The on-board processing capability will be able to manage data received from an increased number of sonobuoys. This will allow much greater co-operation with surface and subsurface assets to improve the search area and probability of detection. Not only are there more sensors in the water, but multi-static sonar operations have the advantage of triangulating the target position and allows some of the assets to remain passive and covert. For example, the Merlin transmitting on its active dipping sonar may allow passive detection of the target by a frigate operating many miles away, or when working independently using a dispersed field of sonobuoys previously laid by the aircraft.

Multi-Static Sonar Data Network Architecture (MSSDNA)

The establishment of a new network to share sonar data is a particularly good example of increasing effectiveness without the need to buy expensive new kit. The UK network will use standardised protocols for exchanging, storing and communicating sonar information but will be compatible with NATO and other allies systems. With a cohesive networked platform, the RN will be better able to leverage AI, big data tools, rapid algorithm and app development. Programme Nelson will coordinate the MSSDNA development and integration effort which should be completed by 2023.
 
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Spares. We need more spares.



Could a Jungly Merlin HM4 deliver a torpedo?
I assume the answer is no, but since they are now routinely going to sea.
My bold.

Are you for real? If so, the answer is; no, they couldn't.

Hardpoints, wiring, training, C of G...........

That said, I suppose they could if the weapon was still in it's delivery case, or as an underslung load...........
 
My bold.

Are you for real? If so, the answer is; no, they couldn't.

Hardpoints, wiring, training, C of G...........

That said, I suppose they could if the weapon was still in it's delivery case, or as an underslung load...........

I was going to say exactly the same thing.

The torpedo needs to know where it needs to go towards the target before it is launched and the junglies don't have any of that kit along with the bits mentioned above.
 
My bold.

Are you for real? If so, the answer is; no, they couldn't.

Hardpoints, wiring, training, C of G...........

That said, I suppose they could if the weapon was still in it's delivery case, or as an underslung load...........

It's a good job the Argentines didn't try rolling bombs out of the back of a Herc, then...... :)
 
It's a good job the Argentines didn't try rolling bombs out of the back of a Herc, then...... :)
From a Pprune thread on the Herc, and I’ll have to find the actual source to credit.

1613701182662.jpeg
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Spares. We need more spares.
What's the point ?
They only fokoff to uncivilized locations with third rate actresses and/or two bit whores.
 

Yokel

LE
My bold.

Are you for real? If so, the answer is; no, they couldn't.

Hardpoints, wiring, training, C of G...........

That said, I suppose they could if the weapon was still in it's delivery case, or as an underslung load...........

Someone else sort of suggested it - I just wondered why not exactly? I assumed it was due to lack of weapon release units and so on. They will still help by picking up some of the SAR/HDS/VERTREP roles that the Pingers used to have to do as well as ASW and ISTAR, and I think they are getting some sort of EO sensor capability.

I was going to say exactly the same thing.

The torpedo needs to know where it needs to go towards the target before it is launched and the junglies don't have any of that kit along with the bits mentioned above.

I do not know about aircraft/torpedo interfacing - other than the connector on the top of a Stingray having lots of pins.

It's a good job the Argentines didn't try rolling bombs out of the back of a Herc, then...... :)

Dumb bombs so no need to interface - and the Herc was designed to chuck stuff out the back.

@jrwlynch (and other clever people) can you say whether or not I am right in thinking that having great sortie length means the same level of coverage can be achieved with less aircraft, and if the MSSDNA network will be as significant for ASW as Link 16 was/is for air defence?

Merlin-Observer-Console.jpg


The heart of the ‘flying frigate’, Merlin Mk2 observer consoles. The planned enhancements to Merlin ASW capability will primarily be to the software, processors and consoles over a 4-year project starting in 2019. The first trials will begin within 18 months and using an agile approach to development, will see incremental improvements involving flight trials, and feedback to DSTL and industry.

The Americans really miss a trick by not putting a Naval Flight Officer in their ASW cabs.

[Reposted to deal with replies - back to the corner with my pointed hat.]
 
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Yokel

LE
Just as I predicted, before the CSG21 deployment, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her aircraft and task group will undertake a mission of the greatest importance - both nationally and to the NATO alliance. This follows on from her participation in Exercise Joint Warrior late last year. I imagine that this will be in conjunction with the NATO Exercise Steadfast Defender 21.


Atlantic first!
 
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jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
I was going to say exactly the same thing.

The torpedo needs to know where it needs to go towards the target before it is launched and the junglies don't have any of that kit along with the bits mentioned above.

If you want to drop a Sting Ray, you need at least three points of contact: the safety & arming wire, the battery ports cover, and the parachute pack lanyard.

(If you've got a presetter, then you also need to retain the Cable Harness Pull Out that lets it talk to the torpedo, but for an improvised drop you could skip that and go with the default settings)

Not sure how you'd do that on an improvised launch, that reliably activated all those lanyards without tangling, hanging up, or having things hit the aircraft... I could probably figure something out but it would need some trials work.

There may, or may not, have been a point in 1996 or so where the Flight In Air Materials design authority for the Sting Ray torpedo was asked, quite urgently, by an aircraft manufacturer how to fit Sting Ray to, and drop it from, a fixed-wing aircraft: since they'd been advertising their product as "able to drop lightweight torpedoes such as Mk 46, Sting Ray, or A244" for years - and a Sting Ray user had just called their bluff...
 
My bold.

Are you for real? If so, the answer is; no, they couldn't.

Hardpoints, wiring, training, C of G...........

That said, I suppose they could if the weapon was still in it's delivery case, or as an underslung load...........
That wasn’t what I meant, I think someone suggested another service had too many, at least that is how I read it, I asked if it was the RM.

I would expect a complete upgrade of anything changing roles.

When we get those V-22, the Navy can convert all jungly to ASW and carve a few up for spares.
 
I didn't see this posted yet, the national audit office released a report on progress towards full carrier strike capability. I hadn't realised the delays with Crowsnest are really due to programme (mis)management rather than technical difficulties.

PSX_20210220_123559.jpg


Also just kicking the solid support ship issue down the road is clearly a problem in the making. How big a problem is the underfunding of Merlin spares?

 

Yokel

LE
. How big a problem is the underfunding of Merlin spares?

There is currently a drive to put more RN ships to sea, and this has involved big changes such as increasing the number of personnel. I presume that it will also involve buying more spares for ships' systems - so hopefully that will improve the situation with aircraft spares.

According to certain dark blue posters, such as those who see it up close and personal regularly, it is the spares issue that causes problems - ask @wafubustard and @alfred_the_great - but it is a very capable ASW system. Hopefully developments such as multi static sonar and the networking of sonar data will enhance that even more.

Others, perhaps assuming that the RN does ASW helicopter operations just like the USN, said we would be better off with a shorter legged aircraft because it would automatically have ample spares. A fighter with greater range can spend longer on CAP at a certain distance from the carrier, so surely it is a no brainer that the same is also true for a helicopter being employed as a task group asset?
 

ABNredleg

War Hero
There is currently a drive to put more RN ships to sea, and this has involved big changes such as increasing the number of personnel. I presume that it will also involve buying more spares for ships' systems - so hopefully that will improve the situation with aircraft spares.

According to certain dark blue posters, such as those who see it up close and personal regularly, it is the spares issue that causes problems - ask @wafubustard and @alfred_the_great - but it is a very capable ASW system. Hopefully developments such as multi static sonar and the networking of sonar data will enhance that even more.

Others, perhaps assuming that the RN does ASW helicopter operations just like the USN, said we would be better off with a shorter legged aircraft because it would automatically have ample spares. A fighter with greater range can spend longer on CAP at a certain distance from the carrier, so surely it is a no brainer that the same is also true for a helicopter being employed as a task group asset?
I don't understand the connection between the range of the aircraft and the amount of spares. Smaller aircraft can be just as complex as larger ones.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I don't understand the connection between the range of the aircraft and the amount of spares. Smaller aircraft can be just as complex as larger ones.
It’s two separate issues, to a degree. Longer range means... well, longer range. You can go farther or stay up and hunt longer.

The spares issue is to do with getting the airframes serviceable and on the flight line in the first place.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
I don't understand the connection between the range of the aircraft and the amount of spares. Smaller aircraft can be just as complex as larger ones.

for some reason he seens transfixed by the theoretic hour extra endurance a Merlin has over its competitors....
except when it’s broken down, as it all too often is.

50% availability vs 90%+, it’s why no one buys Merlins, not even the RN.
20 years service, endless tinkering, and it’s still the ultimate Hanger Queen.
 
I don't understand the connection between the range of the aircraft and the amount of spares. Smaller aircraft can be just as complex as larger ones.

Smaller aircraft without enough spares would be equally an issue, amount of spares depends on the serviceability of the aircraft.

Ergo, a hangar queen needs more spares, whether it is a big queen or a little one.

That’s my take on it.

However, if you decide you need fewer cabs because of their supposed endurance and this cabs are queens, your royally fcuked.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Smaller aircraft without enough spares would be equally an issue, amount of spares depends on the serviceability of the aircraft.

Ergo, a hangar queen needs more spares, whether it is a big queen or a little one.

That’s my take on it.

However, if you decide you need fewer cabs because of their supposed endurance and this cabs are queens, your royally fcuked.
Equally, if you want something that can do a task out to a certain distance but your existing cabs don't have the legs... you're still fùcked.

You can solve the serviceability issue (parts and £££s). You can't necessarily solve the range issue.

The Merlin was designed to supersede the Sea King and with specific criteria in mind. The answer isn't always Seahawk (even if, eventually, it might be...).
 
Equally, if you want something that can do a task out to a certain distance but your existing cabs don't have the legs... you're still fùcked.

You can solve the serviceability issue (parts and £££s). You can't necessarily solve the range issue.

The Merlin was designed to supersede the Sea King and with specific criteria in mind. The answer isn't always Seahawk (even if, eventually, it might be...).

Oh don’t get my post wrong, I am not qualified to comment on the cabs, from reading this site it seems clear the range and size of the Merlin is the right choice, but it seems the particular cab may have been the only choice and perhaps it wasn’t what it should be.

However, nothing else fit that requirement.

That is my take on it.
 
As I mentioned in a previous post, Canada flies the same helicopter as the Merlin as an SAR type. If there have been any problems with serviceability there has been nothing in the press about it so far as I have seen.
 

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