CVF and Carrier Strike thread

Yokel

LE
@Yokel - please note the abbreviation is PWLS, not POW. POW has a somewhat different meaning.

I'll bow out now, chaps, this is getting a bit speculative for me.

I never got used to the four letter ship abbreviations. As far as I know no CIS system uses them. Do other NATO countries use them? I am sure that I have seen the abbreviation PoW used for the Second World War battleship in history books.

As you say, speculating about the future is often of dubious value.
 

Yokel

LE
With respect to Cold War CVS based ASW and how the cycles and numbers of aircraft compared to now, see this post on PPRuNe by Hot 'n' High:

You asked if you were missing something as your figures for SK vs Merlin weren't adding up. I think, in some of your analysis, you may not be making correct assumptions which is why your figures don't add up or seem not to make sense to you. In reality, it was all a bit more fluid. Now, where's a PWO(U) and a PWO(A) when you need them!!!
badteeth.gif
I'll give this a go but my memory is, shall we say, a bit iffy!

Based on my time back in CVS SK days, the ASW Screen was based on 4 hour sorties designed to operate a long-term screen against a target difficult to locate (very little other Intel to assist you/provide early warning) and then track/destroy so the idea would be to maintain a continuous 24/7 barrier up-threat supplemented by Towed Array (T/A) and, also, other ASW helos which would only, if available, really jump in to help with a kill if something was detected. That could be a SK from an RFA or even a Lynx (or Wasp!) acting as a weapons carrier. The T/A sort of served as an "Early Warning" system. A SK on an RFA or wherever could also be tasked to perhaps extend the screen but that was independent - the main barrier was run by the CVS Sqdn alone using 3 cabs as the core Screen system.

Sometimes there was only one "on task" at any one time with one out-bound and one in-bound with, maybe, some overlap at handovers. With a buoy screen you could manage that. Other times there were 2 on task the whole time, with one always in transit to/from the CVS. You really did need 2 on task for active "pinging". So it all depended on how far out the screen was and what was happening etc, etc, etc. We could plod along Ripple-Three Double-Bubble (R-T D-B) for a couple of weeks if needed - tho it was knackering for all inc us Engineers.

The plan was a crew did a double 4 hr rotation .... out - back - RR refuel - out - back - crew change - out ....... etc, etc, etc. Your "alert on deck" generally was for 2nd SAR (as it was mutual SAR between the 3 in the ripple) and to then slot in to the R-T D-B when servicing became due on an A/C in the screen or an A/C went U/S on the Screen. Sometimes we had spares up the ying-yang ...... other times it was more "interesting" shall we say! Other lines were then generated from the additional "S" Cabs for HDS or whatever else was thrown our way but your 3 + a spare we tried not to touch! And you only ever shut down a SK when you really had to - they were happiest just chugging along.

The Baggers never, certainly in my memory, ever did anything approaching that. Why? I think its because ASW is very different to AAW. Certainly in the North Atlantic (main Op area at that time), you would get initial threat warnings for a land-based air strike from friendly nations or maybe a Frigate way out "up threat". So, effectively, you'd run a CAP for very much shorter durations (measured in hours not days) once an initial alarm had been raised. Your Sub threat is much more persistent and difficult to track once the boats were in the Atlantic where they could sit for weeks on end - hence the continuous screen - basically to cover a N Atlantic crossing. Also, operating at greater altitude, the Bags operated closer to the CVS IIR. I know positioning was based on some odd tactical constraints which often meant a Bag would be located in a seemingly odd position. I'll not discuss why here!
eusa_naughty.gif


Also, there are other reasons why the SK and Merlin read-across may not work exactly. I don't have reliability figures but the Merlin-generation technology should (one hopes as that was the plan!!!!) be more reliable than the poor old SK so you need fewer assets to maintain a given Flypro. It could, as several have alluded to, be as simple as we have far less Merlins than SKs so they are spread more thinly - again, probably based on increased reliability predictions when Merlin was first being defined (plus the reduced ASW focus after the Cold War ended - cue another hot debate!!!), and maybe ££££s also caused numbers to be trimmed back (shurrly not!!!).

Anyway, that's what could be screwing up your read-across.


My bold. Two things immediately come to mind. Firstly Merlin has a five hour endurance, and secondly towed array sonars offer greater range these days.
 
I never got used to the four letter ship abbreviations. As far as I know no CIS system uses them. Do other NATO countries use them? I am sure that I have seen the abbreviation PoW used for the Second World War battleship in history books.

As you say, speculating about the future is often of dubious value.
Yes.
That's the whole point of them. In a signal the use of the 4 letter code is much easier than typing a name in a foreign language, especially if your keyboard does not have the appropriate special characters that might be required.

ALL the systems I have used recognise the NATO four letter designator.
 

Yokel

LE
Yes.
That's the whole point of them. In a signal the use of the 4 letter code is much easier than typing a name in a foreign language, especially if your keyboard does not have the appropriate special characters that might be required.

ALL the systems I have used recognise the NATO four letter designator.

Not SMAs though, are they? NSTN, CSS, and NAMC need proper addresses.
 
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Yokel

LE
Oldgrubber on PPRuNe also has something to say about helicopter operations from the carrier...

I also remember the days of the 9 cab ASW CAG. We would always have one in Min strip, leaving 8 to play with. The routine we worked was "long day, short day" or modified 10 about, I must admit the 8 about the Puff jets worked was not very attractive. we worked this routine from embarkation to disembarkation, and it always made us laugh when the ship would make pipes praising themselves for being in defence watches for "2 days now!" or similar. The baggers (Mk2s) would generally fly when the jets did and they did have an easier time than us. We used to rib them about it, but being from Culdrose, we all knew eachother so it was good natured. That all changed when the mk7 baggers came in and I found myself on an 849 unit, my initial, "this is going to be easy" thoughts were soon dispelled as the capability of the aircraft became known. Lets just say 10 days continuous flying from a pool of 3 aircraft, plus milk/mail collecting, viptax and SAR (the 771 cab was bust) off Somalia was an eye opener.
 

Yokel

LE
The junglies probably didn't want the bullshit that goes with being on a capital pussers grey!



That answers that!

Meanwhile I have been looking on and off at ATSB. A Merlin HM2 appears to have been flying from Yeovil and spending hours off the South Dorset coast. Another one that has been taken out of the deployable fleet to return to Leonardo for the modifications to carry Crowsnest?

1620316801786.png
 

Yokel

LE
BAE Systems have a story about the QEC shared infrastructure for the QEC:

The recent successful installation of HMS Prince of Wales’ innovative Shared Infrastructure (SI) networks and an integrated facility to trial systems (known as a sandbox) is testament to British engineering and innovation; effectively delivering a secure private cloud on warships. New agile approaches to installation, integration, assurance and trials have enabled the rapid insertion of scalable computing technology and an accompanying sandbox, allowing the Royal Navy to host, trial and deploy new mission capabilities on one single, reliable digital platform.

From prototype to delivery, the path to achieving an operational deployment with a capable Shared Infrastructure has been challenging. Over the last 18 months, teams across BAE Systems, the Royal Navy, DE&S and industry have not only delivered two large-scale, complex upgrade programmes, but have done it against the challenging backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. In testament to the significance of this work, the successful efforts of all involved across the Enterprise were recognised through a recent MinDP Acquisition Award for the DE&S Shared Infrastructure Team and a BAE Systems Chairman’s Award.

Also installed in her sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the technology and collaboration endeavour will continue as Shared Infrastructure is rolled out to other ships involved in Carrier Strike Group, such as the Type 23 Frigates and Type 45 Destroyers.
 

Yokel

LE


More rotary wing action soon. Will her FOST training period include doing ASW with embarked Merlin HM2s and an accompanying frigate?

Pingers on deck soon?
 

Yokel

LE
This will be an epic documentary - with a lot of exercises and activities to cover. I wonder if they can cover air defence with coverage of the jets as well as the Baggers, and of the Operations Rooms in the carrier and the Type 45? What about ASW with FLYCO directing flight deck activities, the Pingers hunting, and the carrier and frigate Ops Rooms teams working hard?

 
BAE Systems have a story about the QEC shared infrastructure for the QEC:

The recent successful installation of HMS Prince of Wales’ innovative Shared Infrastructure (SI) networks and an integrated facility to trial systems (known as a sandbox) is testament to British engineering and innovation; effectively delivering a secure private cloud on warships. New agile approaches to installation, integration, assurance and trials have enabled the rapid insertion of scalable computing technology and an accompanying sandbox, allowing the Royal Navy to host, trial and deploy new mission capabilities on one single, reliable digital platform.

From prototype to delivery, the path to achieving an operational deployment with a capable Shared Infrastructure has been challenging. Over the last 18 months, teams across BAE Systems, the Royal Navy, DE&S and industry have not only delivered two large-scale, complex upgrade programmes, but have done it against the challenging backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. In testament to the significance of this work, the successful efforts of all involved across the Enterprise were recognised through a recent MinDP Acquisition Award for the DE&S Shared Infrastructure Team and a BAE Systems Chairman’s Award.


Also installed in her sister ship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the technology and collaboration endeavour will continue as Shared Infrastructure is rolled out to other ships involved in Carrier Strike Group, such as the Type 23 Frigates and Type 45 Destroyers.

Sounds like they’re moving the ships‘ systems onto virtual machines, which is an excellent idea.

“I’m awfully sorry Sir, the database is corrupted, and a rebuild’s going to take 18 hours”
”Well, that’s my plans for this afternoon’s mission completely ballbagged then”.

Stuff like that becomes “Sir, bit of a glitch, the database is corrupted, so instead of a rebuild, which would take 18 hours or so, we’ll roll back to the last snapshot from 30 minutes ago. Should be about 5 minutes’ downtime”.

Or the mission control software is peaking at 100% CPU or memory. Just allocate more resources to that VM then. Or split the workload across multiple physical machines.

If BAE have taken the straightforward route, they’ll have gone with VMWare, which has >80% market share. And in fact their flagship hypervisor, ESXi, that underpins all of it, will run on a Raspberry Pi. So no doubt they’ve gone with Oracle and HPE 36-core servers with 256GB RAM for millions.

Whichever way they did it, Cloud is the way forward for most (but not all) workloads, whether private or public.
 

ZW Clanger

Old-Salt
So Lizzy and some of her escorts left Pompey ready for work up exercise, but when I look and marine tracker she’s showing as still in Pompey?
I’m currently in North Cornwall. A glorious evening weather wise last night and on the horizon with the sun beginning to set there were two ships that resembled the silhouette of T45s - my mistake if they are back in Pompey and biting showed up on the tracker?
 
So Lizzy and some of her escorts left Pompey ready for work up exercise, but when I look and marine tracker she’s showing as still in Pompey?
Check the "ping" date and time showing on your AIS tracker.

Warships will switch on the tracker when working in areas of high merchant shipping activity, as, obviously, an important aid to navigation. Conversely the AIS will be turned off when trying to hide, which is the rest of the time, especially during exercises.

We don't like the Brylcreem boys interrupting meal times with an ADEX.
 
Sounds like they’re moving the ships‘ systems onto virtual machines, which is an excellent idea.

“I’m awfully sorry Sir, the database is corrupted, and a rebuild’s going to take 18 hours”
”Well, that’s my plans for this afternoon’s mission completely ballbagged then”.

Stuff like that becomes “Sir, bit of a glitch, the database is corrupted, so instead of a rebuild, which would take 18 hours or so, we’ll roll back to the last snapshot from 30 minutes ago. Should be about 5 minutes’ downtime”.

Or the mission control software is peaking at 100% CPU or memory. Just allocate more resources to that VM then. Or split the workload across multiple physical machines.

If BAE have taken the straightforward route, they’ll have gone with VMWare, which has >80% market share. And in fact their flagship hypervisor, ESXi, that underpins all of it, will run on a Raspberry Pi. So no doubt they’ve gone with Oracle and HPE 36-core servers with 256GB RAM for millions.

Whichever way they did it, Cloud is the way forward for most (but not all) workloads, whether private or public.

So we've gone from Windows for Warships to AWS for Aircraft Carriers?
 

Yokel

LE
The theories about how many helicopters and crews you need for 24/7 ASW cover are about to be tested in the NATO theatre:



Air defence by the F-35B Lightnings too.
 
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ZW Clanger

Old-Salt
T45 = CSG air defence... guessing our Yankee Doodle Dandy friends have a ‘similar’ capability within their AB class. That’s our argument for not popping some rocket thingys on QE etc... but them over the pond see it a different way...


Any reason we are poles apart (aside from budget of course)????
 
T45 = CSG air defence... guessing our Yankee Doodle Dandy friends have a ‘similar’ capability within their AB class. That’s our argument for not popping some rocket thingys on QE etc... but them over the pond see it a different way...


Any reason we are poles apart (aside from budget of course)????
The same reason we got rid of Sea Dart on the Invincibles. All the deck space, crew, magazine space, power etc etc you use for a missile system isn't available for supporting aircraft.

That and money
 

Yokel

LE
Some ASW to get the exercise started - a frigate and a Merlin from the carrier working together:


 

Yokel

LE
I imagine that HMS Prince of Wales will soon embark a Merlin HM2 or perhaps a couple for her FOST training period....

Anyway: Navy's head visits new NATO command ahead of its toughest test yet

Joint Force Command Norfolk – based in Virginia – was set up in 2018 to acknowledge the re-emergence of the Atlantic as a key region for the alliance.

It’s the task of the international headquarters to oversee NATO’s efforts across the North Atlantic, ensuring the strategic lines of communication – from seabed to space – which are central to our daily lives and would be critical to the reinforcement of mainland Europe in an escalating crisis.

Later this month it will face its first large-scale test, Exercise Steadfast Defender, a massive workout for NATO forces by land, sea and air from the Atlantic to Romania, involving upwards of 10,000 military personnel and assets including HMS Queen Elizabeth and her carrier strike group.

HQ personnel in Norfolk, Virginia – a diverse mix of military and civilians from 17 Allied nations – are undergoing an intense period of battle staff training, which First Sea Lord Admiral Tony Radakin witnessed on his visit to the new command.

Commanded by US Vice Admiral Andrew Lewis – also in charge of the US Navy’s Second Fleet – with the Royal Navy’s Rear Admiral Andrew Betton as his deputy, JFC Norfolk is rapidly approaching Full Operational Capability.


and

“The expertise and professionalism of Royal Navy personnel, alongside colleagues from across the Alliance is invaluable to bridge the gaps in understanding the complex and dynamic challenges that we face in the North Atlantic and High North,” said Rear Admiral Betton.

The admiral – who previously commanded the UK Carrier Strike Group – believes Steadfast Defender, which takes place at the end of May, will demonstrate what NATO, its new command structure and the Queen Elizabeth task group with its fifth-generation F-35 jets and cutting-edge tech/vessels can do to secure the critical transatlantic link.

“Steadfast Defender is a golden opportunity to demonstrate the Alliance’s capability to coordinate and deliver transatlantic reinforcement in support of the European theatre,” Rear Admiral Betton added.

“Enabled by JFC Norfolk’s flexibility at the operational level, working closely with US Second Fleet as our Maritime Component Commander, the contribution of the HMS Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group is a fabulous portrayal of the UK’s commitment to NATO.”
 

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