Queen Elizabeth class Aircraft Carriers

#1
The Guardian has reported both carriers have been given the go-ahead after todays meeting.

The FT also says Cameron has backed both carriers and that "His preferred option is to redesign the second vessel, delay production, and buy the conventional Joint Strike Fighter, rather than the planned jump-jet variant."

To back this up Janes are saying:
Converteam readies EMCAT for new UK Royal Navy aircraft carrier launch trials

Converteam UK is working to complete a scaled-up design of its electromagnetic catapult (EMCAT) system that will be capable of launching the F-35C variant of the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter from the UK Royal Navy's new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. The company specialises in power conversion systems and has been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) to develop a 100 m-long EMCAT design that could fit into a 1.5 m-deep well under the flight deck of a 65,000-ton carrier

Jane's International Defence Review
 
#2
Magic_Mushroom said:
Personally, whilst there is a great deal to recommend an FA-18 procurement, I really do not think it has ever been credible and my money remains on F-35C.

Why? Because the F-35 opens political as well as capability doors.

If I were a betting man (and I emphasise I have absolutely no inside knowledge on this whatsoever), I suspect that we’re looking at a procurement of sufficient F-35Cs to ensure a single CAG of 25 wargoers (probably a purchase of 60 ish?) for an EMALS equipped PoW (I think that’s the name of CVF2).

Buying the CV variant will enable the CVF CAG to be bolstered by Aeronavale Rafale M or US F-35s if required. Likewise, when PoW is in refit, our F-35s will cross deck to CdG or a USN CVN. Meanwhile, QEII will be retained purely for rotary ops to offset the loss of Ocean and one or (god forbid both) LPDs.
So, pretty much as I suggested on 5 Oct in the ‘Why we need a navy’ blah.

F-35 buy is switched to CV which will mean (and justify) a minor delay to enable EMALS to be added to PoW. QEII remains helo only to replace Ocean.

Result: UK looses a permanent fixed wing carrier capability but can share ops with allies whenever PoW is in refit.

Regards,
MM
 
#3
And there is no reason, eventually, that QE could not be refitted up to PoW standard.
 
#5
I would suggest that an EMALS retrofit to QEII is extremely unlikely.

All of the atmospherics from Town over the last few months (if not frankly years following the French approach) suggests that we will probably be looking at the UK and French sharing a fixed wing carrier capability. They cannot afford a sister ship for CdG. It's fairly evident that QEII will replace Ocean and that makes sense to a degree. Meanwhile, it appears to be too late to add cat/trap to QEII and probably too early for EMALS anyway.

I just cannot see an EMALS retrofit on QEII for many years (when is it due it's first refit?) if at all.

For all it's faults, that was one advantage of F-35B in that it could have been operated from either carrier, irrespective of role.

Regards,
MM
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
So the upshot is we end up with an operational fixed wing carrier in 2019/20 (ISD for POW is 2018 plus slippage, plus time to get the CAG operational) rather than 2016/17 and the biggest helicopter carrier in the world? And this is a successful use of my money?
 
#7
Depends if we go for F-35C or not. All the atmospherics suggest we will. RAF want it. RN want it. However, as I've said many times before, for all it's undoubted limitations, it could be argued that STOVL was a better deal for the RN in terms of how flexibly the 2 x CVF could be used.

It's almost a no-win situation.

Regards,
MM
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#8
I have a nasty suspicion that one of the reasons we got into this ridiculous and ultimately highly wasteful F35B mess is that, because of the peremptory scrapping of our pukka fixed-wing FAA in the 70s, all the aviators in the game in the 90s were Harrier bods and none of this later generation of RN officers knew any better.
 
#9
Great news! Though apologises for slight derail, but how will the boats be powered? I believe they are not nuclear and can not understand why. If a learned gent could enlighten me it would be much appreciated.
 
#11
There is actually every chance that, eventually, QE will be upgraded to CATOBAR too. Was always in the design of the ships.
 
#13
IronDuke, do you work for RN PR or ADS by any chance?
M_M suggested that he is some "RN Black ops" PR team the other day.

I guess the Black lynx's are coming for you tooooo!!!
 
#14
So the upshot is we end up with an operational fixed wing carrier in 2019/20 (ISD for POW is 2018 plus slippage, plus time to get the CAG operational) rather than 2016/17 and the biggest helicopter carrier in the world? And this is a successful use of my money?
Please allow for my lack of knowledge here, but it seems an issue we have had regarding any true joint helicopter force was putting standard airframes to sea, because of space / non folding rotors etc and therefore we would always have to have separate forces.

Would the size of QE negate that issue and allow standard airframes to carry out protracted ops if that was what was required?
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Please allow for my lack of knowledge here, but it seems an issue we have had regarding any true joint helicopter force was putting standard airframes to sea, because of space / non folding rotors etc and therefore we would always have to have separate forces.

Would the size of QE negate that issue and allow standard airframes to carry out protracted ops if that was what was required?
Its not really about the helicopters its about what these ships are for. When the RN needed a helicopter carrier it got Ocean, a 22000 tonne ship capable of carrying a number of troops and doing a single company lift from the deck. Now the RN is getting a 60000 tonne ship which will be used for amphib ops for which it was never designed and for which it has no dedicated accomodation. And this isn't being built because there was a user requirement spec and a strategic purpose but because they've started but can't afford the aircraft to fly off her. For all those citing this as a victory for the RN I'd like to know why. Failure to have an operation fix-wing carrier is abject surrender of the strategic imperatives that the RN have been arguing as the reasons for these ships. If getting the hull in the water is a success then this has just been about willywaving
 
#17
#18
I can't believe the Navy are getting a 2nd carrier if all they are going to do is fly helicopters off it. Now this could be conjecture and they might get the a/c it was designed to carry but if they are going down the route of 1 catapult equipped carrier and one not, doesn't that mean you have two types of JSF with crews that can't operate from both carriers?
 
#19
"At a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday, the Navy won its battle for two new aircraft carriers. With the Army facing only modest cuts, the RAF is now in line to bear the brunt.

The full extent of the cuts still hangs in the balance as Liam Fox battles George Osborne. The Chancellor is pressing for a 10 per cent cut in defence, while the Defence Secretary is arguing for around 4 per cent.

But as the defence review nears conclusion, substantial allowances have been made to the Navy, with much of the Fleet surviving significant cuts and the future of the two new aircraft carriers secured.

It is understood that the Navy will not suffer severe cuts to its surface fleet despite offering up to half of its warships to secure the carriers.'

RAF cuts 'could make Britain's air space vulnerable to attack' - Telegraph
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
"At a meeting of the National Security Council yesterday, the Navy won its battle for two new aircraft carriers. With the Army facing only modest cuts, the RAF is now in line to bear the brunt.

The full extent of the cuts still hangs in the balance as Liam Fox battles George Osborne. The Chancellor is pressing for a 10 per cent cut in defence, while the Defence Secretary is arguing for around 4 per cent.

But as the defence review nears conclusion, substantial allowances have been made to the Navy, with much of the Fleet surviving significant cuts and the future of the two new aircraft carriers secured.

It is understood that the Navy will not suffer severe cuts to its surface fleet despite offering up to half of its warships to secure the carriers.'

RAF cuts 'could make Britain's air space vulnerable to attack' - Telegraph
Are you going to cut and paste that into every carrier/navy thread?
 

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