RN to "surrender one carrier" - or is it?

#1
Story from the times (link below) claims that the RN is to surrender one carrier. The problem is that reading through it, it is clear that no policy decision has actually been taken, and there is no evidence that this is anything other than one option in the current context of the PR09 process.

Its a great piece of speculation - claims that we'll only use one carrier, but has not a single shred of evidence to back up the suggestion that this will actually be actioned.

Now given that the PR09 process is still ongoing, and that Ministers haven't yet made any final decisions on cuts, is this not a spectacular own goal on behalf of the RN as now the option is public knowledge, its much easier to see how much of a negative reaction it gets if we took a "reduce JSF option" now, or in the post SDR environment. The well meaning idiot who leaked this may just have screwed the RNs chances of getting the JSF airwing. Additionally, as anyone who has been exposed to the prep work for the SDR will know (as there are MOD wide roadshows), absolutely no decisions about force levels have been made, or will be made prior to the election.

Theres a reason why people are told not to leak during a planning round - garbage articles like this are what results.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6888962.ece
 
#2
It's been no secret for at least a year that we'll probably only get 1 carrier and the other will be used as a helicopter carrier to replace HMS Ocean. The RAF has also said it can live with an all Typhoon force if the F-35 is cut… No further Astute SSN's have been ordered either or a new class of fleet tankers that would be needed to support proper carriers with air wings.

Add 2+2 and you get to five pretty easily.
 
#3
I thought the whole point of having two was that when ones in refit, you're not left defenseless. To suggest we borrow from the French is rediculous!

Two or none is the sensible option.
 
#4
colton said:
I thought the whole point of having two was that when ones in refit, you're not left defenseless. To suggest we borrow from the French is rediculous!

Two or none is the sensible option.

If Gordon could cancel them he would, but it would hit his own parliamentary seat very hard if he did.
 
#5
colton said:
I thought the whole point of having two was that when ones in refit, you're not left defenseless. To suggest we borrow from the French is rediculous!

Two or none is the sensible option.
Two will be built (Too much has already been contracted out), its just a question of if the RAF/RNAS has anything to fly off them!

The Navy will probably plan for the long run, and hope that the Conservatives redistribute some of the £600Bn that the government spent last year.
 
#6
Absolutely Colton - the article is terribly vague, and points out that both carriers will be completed - but when both are in service, one will basically act as LPH(R), and the other as the duty strike carrier.

Now given that the RN has fundamentally been doing this for years, and this was exactly how the French did business with Clemancau and Foch, its not really new.

The problem is that the article purports that some major policy decision has been taken, but the only quote is from a 'senior naval officer' saying we're buying less JSFs than before. Now given that this is a force structure decision, and a decision of this nature is likely to require ministerial endorsement, its unlikely that it would have been signed off yet, as PR09 is still ongoing.

I'm not saying such a thing wont' happen (and personally, given how difficult the RN has found it to generate front line sqns in recent years, it wouldnt surprise me if we could only generate sufficient FE@R for 1 CVF), but the article is basically saying a policy has changed, when all other signs suggest that nothing has happened.

We're going to see a lot more stories like this in the febrile PR09 / SDR run up environment - people will be looking to protect their sacred cows, and we're going to see a lot more leaks, where thinkpieces or early planning round options are leaked to the press, and conveniently ignore that in most cases work is still ongoing. If you dig around a bit, you'll find that in fact, while many very difficult decisions will be made in due course, we're not yet at the point where they are being made - particularly on the SDR, on which work has not even begun, so how is it likely that a hugely significant shift in naval posture, which would have huge impact on RN structure and tasks appears to have been decided anonymously without reference to Ministers has been made?
 
#8
jim30 said:
Story from the times (link below) claims that the RN is to surrender one carrier. The problem is that reading through it, it is clear that no policy decision has actually been taken, and there is no evidence that this is anything other than one option in the current context of the PR09 process.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6888962.ece
I don't understand The Times article at all.

It bangs on and on about losing 1 CVF but look at para 4:-

It is too late for the navy to renege on contracts to build the two carriers, the Queen Elizabeth, due to go into service in 2016, and the Prince of Wales, due to follow in 2018. Although the second carrier will be built, it will be used as an amphibious commando ship, with only helicopters on board instead of JSF aircraft.
So RN gets both carriers after all. Probably identical ships save for the airwing configuration.

It all boils down to the fairy stories that the airwing is going to be 36 JSF on both ships all the time.

As we have previously discussed jim30, under 'normal' sailings a CVF will probably only sail with less than 10 JSF. So, 20 needed for both ships not the silly willy-waving sales gimmick of 72!!!!

What's more worrying, perhaps, is that Ocean is up for chop and possible for retirement at its original OOS date in 2018 (not extended to 2022 as announced last year).
 
#9
Have a friend in the Andrew (the shame) who has long been of the opinion that the second carrier is being built for the Germans. He says we can't crew two, don't have the escorts for two, or the air wing.
 
#10
jim30 said:
I'm not saying such a thing wont' happen (and personally, given how difficult the RN has found it to generate front line sqns in recent years, it wouldnt surprise me if we could only generate sufficient FE@R for 1 CVF), but the article is basically saying a policy has changed, when all other signs suggest that nothing has happened.

It's reckoned that at best the FAA could field two 9 plane Sqns…
 
#11
Whitecity - totally agree on your points ref airwing - I think the idea that we'll always have a 36 plane CAG pootering about on the oggin is utter rubbish. My long held view has been that you will probably see a full CVF CAG maybe once in its entire career using only UK assets. I simply don't see how it can be done with the planned JSF structure of 4 Sqns (48 front line aircraft). We'll never have the pilots or planes to crew 72 JSF at sea, but the space onboard provides a useful asset to offer to coalition JSF partners.

As for Ocean - a lot depends on her material condition - I understand she has been worked hard, and may simply be at the point of collapse in 18. Whether LPH(R) can make it, particularly given the pressures on the budget in the next 5-6 years when there is simply no room for a "LPH (R) line" in the programme is more concerning. Using a CVF as an LPH is a sensible compromise to keep one going, and then try to sneak in a replacement in about 15 years time?
 
#12
whitecity said:
What's more worrying, perhaps, is that Ocean is up for chop and possible for retirement at its original OOS date in 2018 (not extended to 2022 as announced last year).
I think that will be the last time that the RN try and build ships on the massively cheap then!

Regardless of how much money is saved in building it, an in service life of 10 years is absolutely pants.
 
#13
Majorpain said:
whitecity said:
What's more worrying, perhaps, is that Ocean is up for chop and possible for retirement at its original OOS date in 2018 (not extended to 2022 as announced last year).
I think that will be the last time that the RN try and build ships on the massively cheap then!

Regardless of how much money is saved in building it, an in service life of 10 years is absolutely pants.
Commissioned in '98. Possible retirement in '18.

How do you make that 10 years?
 
#14
whitecity said:
Majorpain said:
whitecity said:
What's more worrying, perhaps, is that Ocean is up for chop and possible for retirement at its original OOS date in 2018 (not extended to 2022 as announced last year).
I think that will be the last time that the RN try and build ships on the massively cheap then!

Regardless of how much money is saved in building it, an in service life of 10 years is absolutely pants.
Commissioned in '98. Possible retirement in '18.

How do you make that 10 years?
Bit of an Epic fail on my part sorry! :oops:
 
#15
jim30 said:
Whitecity - totally agree on your points ref airwing - I think the idea that we'll always have a 36 plane CAG pootering about on the oggin is utter rubbish. My long held view has been that you will probably see a full CVF CAG maybe once in its entire career using only UK assets. I simply don't see how it can be done with the planned JSF structure of 4 Sqns (48 front line aircraft). We'll never have the pilots or planes to crew 72 JSF at sea, but the space onboard provides a useful asset to offer to coalition JSF partners.

As for Ocean - a lot depends on her material condition - I understand she has been worked hard, and may simply be at the point of collapse in 18. Whether LPH(R) can make it, particularly given the pressures on the budget in the next 5-6 years when there is simply no room for a "LPH (R) line" in the programme is more concerning. Using a CVF as an LPH is a sensible compromise to keep one going, and then try to sneak in a replacement in about 15 years time?
I accept your analysis of the behind-the-scenes briefing shenanigens. However, I don't think the article tells us anything new. By 'us', I mean those that have not been taken in by the 36 JSF concept!!!!!

We know finding is tight and that the total number of JSF purchased is predicated by the unit cost as there is a fixed total budget. It was announced in parliament years ago.

Due to crewing, it is highly unlikely that 2 CVFs will sail in tandem - or are they going to have matelots running 6 on-6 off rotations???? The FAA will NEVER crew a front-line fleet more than 20 aircraft strong and I don't see the RAF jumping forward with 20, 30 or 52 aircraft and crew, do you? They'll have empty airfields FFS!
 
#16
HMS Ocean is worn out…

Built to commercial standards, operated at a military high tempo.
 
#17
"The decision to have only one new aircraft carrier will cut the number of JSFs to be flown by RAF squadrons from 138 to about 50, saving £7.6 billion."

The correspondent made no mention of FAA pilots crewing JSF. Have the crabs won that battle already?

On the issue of sharing platforms with the French won't their proposed CVF be optimised for catapult launched Rafael jets and not the JSF type B VSTOL that we're going to have? If that is the case how will the cooperation work?
 
#18
So, is this 'cooperation' with france regarding carriers, stage one of the integration of the EU's armed forces?

run the navy into the ground so hard that we have no choice but to surrender defence soverignty to the EU.
 
#19
jim30 said:
Whitecity - totally agree on your points ref airwing - I think the idea that we'll always have a 36 plane CAG pootering about on the oggin is utter rubbish. My long held view has been that you will probably see a full CVF CAG maybe once in its entire career using only UK assets. I simply don't see how it can be done with the planned JSF structure of 4 Sqns (48 front line aircraft). We'll never have the pilots or planes to crew 72 JSF at sea, but the space onboard provides a useful asset to offer to coalition JSF partners.

As for Ocean - a lot depends on her material condition - I understand she has been worked hard, and may simply be at the point of collapse in 18. Whether LPH(R) can make it, particularly given the pressures on the budget in the next 5-6 years when there is simply no room for a "LPH (R) line" in the programme is more concerning. Using a CVF as an LPH is a sensible compromise to keep one going, and then try to sneak in a replacement in about 15 years time?
Coalition JSF partners? Who else apart from the USMC are getting STOVL JSFs......

I was originally in favour of the two carriers, but given the total financial mess we are in coupled more importantly with our inability to defend the carrier(s) and put a decent air wing on them then they might as well be cancelled now

Odo
 
#20
sandy_boots said:
Have a friend in the Andrew (the shame) who has long been of the opinion that the second carrier is being built for the Germans. He says we can't crew two, don't have the escorts for two, or the air wing.
We are buidling two so that Gordon can keep his seat :x
 

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