no lessons learnt from the falklands

This has not been reported in the press, but I was informed today that the new aircraft carriers are being built with no ground to air defence capabilities.

After the number of lives lost in the Falklands due to insuffient air defence on board ship after the cut backs of the 1970s. Surely it should ring alarm bells.

My sources inform me the ships carry no defence what so ever and BAE are making a complete hash of it.

(PTP PM for sources)

Edited to give more info
Probably papers talking shite again, pretty sure they will have Phalanx or Goalkeeper. Unless they think the Aircraft on board negate the need?


Book Reviewer
FNUSNU said:
Probably papers talking shite again, pretty sure they will have Phalanx or Goalkeeper. Unless they think the Aircraft on board negate the need?
Zip and Zap are Close Engagement weapons.....a few years ago, the organic Air Defence system (Sea Dart) was removed from the Invincible class to enable a longer ski-jump, IIRC.....according to Navy News circa 1999 anyway.

The concept of ops is that CVS will ALWAYS have both their own CAP overhead AND a supporting screen of Type 45s in attendance. The 'new' shipborne anti-air weapon is called PAAMS.

( Right, now which of the red-tops is going to cut+paste this explanation word for word.....that'll be , um, 67 words at £1.20 a word ...that's oh, call it a round £90 to ARRSE please)

Le Chevre
Checking the web for stories finds

Which includes a comment about 16 cell VLS Aster system with the dreaded words "...if budget were made available..."

RAF Eurofighter is being provided without a gun cos IT's too expensive. But as few Flyboy Magazines pointed out the cost of fitting a gun was equal to the cost of ONE Typhoon.

This is were rothering to read comes into use. The USN's new Fighter in the 1960's, the F4, was sold as a missile armed fighter ONLY. Then Vietnam happened and the F4 flew CAP with Visual Identifaction RoE. Which meant that the F$ crew had to SEE their targets, confirm they were Mig 17 aned 19's and then try not to get shoot down by the F**k bigg cannon the Mog 17 and 19 carried whilst they ran away to gain range to launch missiles. Very Funny. At extra cost the F4e was developed which carried a cannon.

Tell me No one will ever come up with RoE's that force us to do stupid things to obey them and I'll call you Tony
Last I heard, the RAF Eurofighters are now all getting guns.
There appears to be no chance of Aster being fitted to CVF (no surprise as it will always have a Type 45 Destroyer designed around PAAMS/Aster in attendance), but every model of it to date has shown Phalanx fitted. I'd be stunned if they were removed, particularly as it's a system that can simply be unbolted from ships being taken out of service and bolted straight on to CVF.
having spent some time on ships recently and talked to RN Gunners... the Type 23s have no AD other than the very expensive VLSW and Harpoons...expcept a couple of 20mms and a few GPMGs, Seems the RN budget keepers are relying more on top end of the technology scale and the very bottom end of the scale with ZERO in between.

The new carriers i hear will have GPMGs for Close in AD as well as the usual escort of Type 42s and thier replacements if they ever come into fruition. relying more on CAPs as mentioned.... however CAPs require flying conditions...incoming missles do not.

big mistakes if you ask me.

someone might end up with a nasty sore because of penny pinching.

smoojalooge said:
new aircraft carriers are being built with no ground to air defence capabilities.
Are they building them with an Amphibian capability?

I'll get my coat.......
No he doesn't mean that harpoon, he means an actual Harpoon, like what you shoot whales with. Wouldn't surprise me if the budget won't even stretch that far either.

I was under the impression that although the new carriers are going to be built without surface to air weapon systems the ones on the existing carriers were going to be retrofitted.

The RAF Typhoons are being ordered with guns but no ammo I believe. The reason is that the lack of gun would affect CoG of the a/c and its cheaper to fit the gun that a lump of concrete or something.
Wouldn't surprise me if the budget won't even stretch that far either.
Or the rope ..........

My brother in LAw was on the Typhoon implementation team about 15-20 years ago. They told them back then cannons are no use for todays fast jets in air to air combat and it was best to have detachable cannon pods. I believe it was the RAF who INSISTED they have a cannon and look whats happened since, crab morons!
Typoon is to be fitted for Guns but not with , Basically it is there but not ''wired up''
This means no use at all as a CAS or ECAS platform . Even Tornado F-3 can provide
a limited E-CAS service with its 27mm cannon.So no doubts it will be up to the yanks
to bale any Brit troops in contact out.Shame that the JAGS are on there way out .Once again
the Great from Great Britain is going as the Government water down our Armed forces for the sake
of money .Dont even start on Brimstone !
PW3 - story I heard is that once a certain senior RAF officer retires, his decision to delete the cannon capability will be overturned. Various people are going around making loud noises about CAS/ECAS and the ability to fire warning shots at stray aircraft that need intercepting, etc, etc - there are rumours/suggestions that the money may mysteriously be found shortly after 3 Sqn gains full IOC with the aircraft and starts standing QRA.
I just spent some time typing out a reply only to have an error come up when I tried to post it. Grrrr.

Said there was no real need to a carrier to have a SAM system.......because if they get that close. Carrierborne fighters provide much better protection for a whole task group.

However CVF is in service until after 2012, and after the Sea Harrier is retired early in March 2006, the RN will have no organic air defence. I don't think there are any plans to store aircraft just in case. This issue has been discussed widely on a number of threads elsewhere, not leastPPRuNe - Sea Jet. Very long thread but if you speed read...

At the time, the Government said the gap would be for "only" six years, as the new carriers (CVF) and the JSF to go with them would enter service in 2012. They also said that frigates and destroyers would provide shorter range defence, and the new Type 45 would start entering service in 2007, and offer a huge leap in anti air capability.

Since then......

CVF delayed. In Service date unknown but after 2012.
JSF: Same as above.
T45: First of class delayed until 2009, rest of class also delayed.
Frigate/Destroyer numbers cut by approx 20% to 25, despite the First Sea Lord and CINCFLEET stating that the minimum number was need is "about thirty".

And cuts to the rest of the three Services mean that losing a chartered merchant ship (remember ATLANTIC CONVEYOR) result is losing a singnificant percentage of helicopters, tanks, warriors etc. And in TELC 95% of stuff used by UK forces went by sea. Without fighter cover our enough escorts...........the potential for disaater is high.
I also hear the MOD are also looking into a lighter service rifle than the SA80. At 4.45 KG's fully loaded it is lighter than the L85A2 which weighs in at 4.78 KG's with a full mag. Also since this new rifle will only be semi-automatic and fire single shots only, it will be more economical with ammunition, so you will be able to carry less! This will enable it to use a larger calibre with more stooping power.

This rifle to be tested beginning of April, Will be called the 'Self Loading Rifle' and will be chambered in 7.62 x 51mm which has already been approved by NATO. Its model number will be SLR L1A1 and will be capable of carrying a SUSAT Sight and Grenade Launcher, and can be fired by both right and left handed users.

Merry Christmas :roll:
I will say this very slowly: RAF TYPHOON WILL ALL BE FITTED WITH GUNS!!!!!!! The weapons software thinks there's a gun. The fly-by-wire software thinks there's a gun. It's too difficult to redesign said FBW software to account for the CoG change were the gun to be removed.

Officially however, no ammunition will be procured as a cost cutting measure. Unofficially' I'll guarantee Typhoo will get the ammo. However, even if it's not, it would take an average pilot a few days to get checked out on the gun in A-A and A-G role. Additionally, there are plenty of other options for ECAS weapons such as CVR7. The GR7/9 also lacks a gun and is doing just fine providing CAS to the Spams and others in Afghanistan on an almost daily basis.

As far as CVF goes, it does seem very strange that PAAMS is not being fitted (The French CDG has ASTER 15). CVF is going to be a HUGE ship (60 000 ton) and there'll be ample space to stick an AD system on. Frankly, I suspect that this is a clever ruse by the RN to aid the case for the T45. Given that the T45 lacks any form of offensive capability (such as TLAM) due to cost cutting, they are struggling to justify the programme costs of a single role ship. I hope that they'll get TLAM scabbed on (I understand the design caters for this) at a later date. However, if it doesn't, CVF lacking its own AD would allow for them to justify T45 more readily.

As far as the loss of the Sea Harrier gows, this is indeed far from ideal, but sadly a reflection of the cost cutting that goes on. The SHAR is extremely limited in the AD role (despite having a superb radar) and was by far the most expensive UK fast jet flying due to its small fleet size and 1960s airframe technology. Therefore, the RN elected to retire early and migrate to an all GR9 force with ourselves.

The RN decided.............hmm. Our was it decided for them?
Why do we even contemplate building 2 enormously expensive CVFs, possibly the most important acquistion for the forces in a very long time, yet cant be bothered sticking a few point air defence missiles on them? Especially as we are already procuring the missiles for Type 45! Its not difficult to see what we should do is it, especially when 65000 tonnes of warship and an air group are at stake!

Its like saying you don't need arty if you've got air, or some other such bullshit. Its like methods of defence - the best approach is a layered approach, that way when some defence (whether it be a bunker line or a missile) goes tits up, theres another one to take its place. And another one after that. Hence despite having Sea Dart, the old CVSs and T42s also had Phalanx or Goalkeeper to deal with whatever leaked through.

The PAAMS deployed on T45 promises to be a very capable system, but why are we progressing with this class as-is? The VLS battery will be woefully small when compared to other nations contemporaries (Arleigh Burkes?). T45 will not get Harpoon or TLAM. Basically its got a small number of air defence missiles, a gun for shore bombardment, and a helo. Just like T23 lacks a real air defence, having only the short ranged (if accurate) Sea Wolf VLS. I know, different ships for different roles, and they're meant to complement each other etc, but they are all overly vulnerable to what they're not designed for, so why dont we just get a class of escort that can do AAW, ASUW and ASW? That way nothings going to catch them out.
MM, thanks for adding the clarity I meant to offer but neatly deleted when re-writing after spotting PW3's post. Doh. Always check your editing hasn't cut something vital as someone not a million miles from my computer once said to a DRP student....

As MM says, the idea of removing the cannon completely fell down because of the need to re-write lots of software. The cannon has been back in the plan for a considerable time now. Tranche 1 aircraft (i.e. those that will equip 3 and 11 Squadrons) were always meant to have the weapon, with the deletion affecting Tranches 2 and 3.

Restoring the actual cannon meant that we ended up with the position MM articulates. As I said, while the capability is still officially lacking (unless the gun has ammo to can fire, there's not a capability), there are signs that this position will change, with a variety of supporting arguments (including ECAS) being used to help the process along.

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