Update on the construction of the QE

#2
No matter what the rights or wrongs of the QE / PoW / F-35 debate, the QE is under construction and this article shows some of the amazing engineering that's going on. Shifting 30000t of steel with accuracies of mm...

Queen Elizabeth is now a Navy record breaker | Opinion | The Engineer
I'd be a lot more impressed if they just built it in a yard that could accommodate it.
Kinda like how you'd be proud if your kid won gold at the special olympics, but you still like not to have mong.
 
#3
Not that impressive, given that we're in the 21st century, etc, and should be churning out ships like this as a matter of course.

I'm more impressed when I look at photos in the Vickers archive where, 100+ years ago, they are shaping and fitting vast belts of face-hardened armour to the sides of battleships, or forging and machining 100+ ton guns to the same tolerances being trumpeted today for light metalwork thats been cut by a computer and aligned with a laser...
 
#4
Isn't it strange, footprints on the moon, stealth bombers, giant space telescopes that can see a gnats arse on Mars and yet no-one can make a tea pot which pours properly!
 
#5
Isn't it strange, footprints on the moon, stealth bombers, giant space telescopes that can see a gnats arse on Mars and yet no-one can make a tea pot which pours properly!
I know. My mother has tested teapots for Emma Bridgewater and no, they can't make one.
 
#6
And to think, Finncantierri churn out cruise ships that dwarf this like sausages, and have done for many years.
 
#8
And to think, Finncantierri churn out cruise ships that dwarf this like sausages, and have done for many years.
Theres a documentary out there somewhere about Mitsubishi Heavy Industries or another of the eastern shipyards: quite awe-inspiring, a complete production line for 100k tonne ships.....
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Theres a documentary out there somewhere about Mitsubishi Heavy Industries or another of the eastern shipyards: quite awe-inspiring, a complete production line for 100k tonne ships.....
You're a cynical bugger, 4(T). Those ships are designed to last 10 years, not the 50 we'll expect to get out of Big Lizzy. And there's a world of difference between building what is effectively a giant floating tank with an engine at the back and a multicell hull designed to go to war. If you want something to be cynical about, how about the fact that it was cheaper to build the giant crane assembly in China and ship it here than it was to get it built in britain, or even in Europe?
 
#10
It is impressive but how much more do they cost by building in sections and shipping them?

Let politicians loose on defense and industry and this is what you get.
 
#11
It is impressive but how much more do they cost by building in sections and shipping them?

Let politicians loose on defense and industry and this is what you get.

God knows, 20%?


What's really depressing is the speed at which the US Navy goes from order to fully commissioned fitted for and with super carrier - just 6 years.

How long has CVF been in 'build', let alone how long before commissioning possibly with a slack handful of planes?
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Way over a century ago someone calculated that if more than 2000 men worked in a battleship in build they started getting in each others' way. Splitting the carriers' build may have got over that factor. Building them from the keel up all of a piece in Rosyth (which I'm sure would have been Gordon Brown's first preference) might not be practicable. Also, it means that work can start on bits for PoW in yards that have now sent their QE bits to Rosyth; that sort of parallel building would be impossible otherwise.

What will be interesting is the exactness with which the bits fit together or whether there will be little bumps and steps where they don't, quite. Exact fit is not an easy thing to achieve. As a worked example, the 3" barrel trolleys designed and used on board Tiger could not squeeze down Blake's catwalks as there was a small difference in beam.
 
#13
Hopefully BAE UK are doing a bit better on the fit than BAE OZ

"…AUSTRALIA'S largest defence project, the $8 billion plan to build the navy's new air warfare destroyers, has had its first serious setback.

A Melbourne shipyard has botched the construction of the central keel block of the first warship.

The multi-million-dollar bungle could delay the project by up to six months and is believed to have triggered a rift between the Williamstown shipyards, where the hull block was built, and the warship's Spanish designer.

The setback has alarmed the Defence Materiel Organisation, which sees the AWDs as its flagship project and a key test of whether Australia can sustain a viable naval shipbuilding industry.

The three new 6500-tonne destroyers, based on the Spanish F100 boats, will be the most capable warships in the nation's history when they enter service from 2014.

The Australian understands that the central keel block of the first AWD warship, HMAS Hobart, was built to inaccurate dimensions as a result of faulty welding and inadequate quality control at the Williamstown shipyards, operated by an AWD subcontractor, BAE Systems Australia.…"


. | The Australian
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
It is impressive but how much more do they cost by building in sections and shipping them?

Let politicians loose on defense and industry and this is what you get.
Given that block-building seems to be the standard industrial process used in commercial ship building (and has been for quite a while), then any increase in costs would be down to the ****-ups in the contracts and ****-ups by BAE. And thus they cannot be ruled out...
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
Two of the cost increases were entirely down to Govt:

Stretching the build time across more financial years in order to achieve paper fy savings;

And demanding redesign to give a shorter hull in the mistaken belief that less steel meant less money BUT

It meant very expensive redesign and rework AND

Function planned into the longer hull had to be reallocate dinto the hangar space thereby reducing the numbe rof aircraft that can be carried - and thus foreclosing the option of a larger maximum air group way into the future.

The taxpayer in money and the RN in future func tion are thus paying for the suits' ignorance and stupidity.
 
#16
Not to mention foreclosing on using any offensive air except the F35B.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#17
God knows, 20%?


What's really depressing is the speed at which the US Navy goes from order to fully commissioned fitted for and with super carrier - just 6 years.

How long has CVF been in 'build', let alone how long before commissioning possibly with a slack handful of planes?
At least you're starting to openly admit your ignorance when you make stuff up. Too lazy to use google today?
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Of course the mind-changes on VSTOL vs CTOL vs VSTOL also cost money.
 
#19
It's really quite simple. The build location was driven (primarily) by the beam of the vessel, which in turn was driven partly by the size of flightdeck and hangar needed and partly by the need to make the flightdeck capable of being angled. You simply can't do this on an overall beam much less than 65m.

When the build strategy was being determined, every single UK yard was looked at. That meant Barrow (no beam restriction on the ways, but no way to get her into the outfitting dock and more importantly she'd be too long and too deep), Govan (not enough length or beam on the building way), Scotstoun (too small in every respect), Swan Hunter (too small ever since the daft Dutch idiot who bought the yard put the building dock in), Portsmouth (not enough beam in C&D locks, plus limited draft in 3 basin), Harland & Wolff (plenty of room in the building dock, but no steel, outfit or technical organisation left for something of this size, Cammell Laird (shed too small and at the time in receivership). Rosyth could not have been used to build it, because the steel and outfit facilities simply aren't big enough and there is no real room to expand without building an entirely new facility where RD57 (the abandoned Trident docking facility) stands. Nigg Offshore yard near Inverness was also considered, as was Inchgreen dock on the Clyde, but both were essentially bare facilities with Nigg not having been used for years.

The other problem was that none of these yards were individually capable of fabricating all the steel units and outfitting them at a sufficient rate to meet the original in-service date.

Once people got their heads around those factors, it was obvious that if the ship was to be built in the UK, she would have to be built in heavily preoutfitted units and assembled in a suitable dock. MoD wanted the ship built in the UK to retain onshore design and build skills, as well as ensuring that some of the protective details in the design of the ship remained in UK eyes alone. That left a choice between Inchgreen, Harlands and Rosyth, which was not really a choice at all as neither of the first two were "secure" sites (Harlands managed to let PIRA bomb Fort Vic in build), nor did they have the space and infrastructure to accommodate the steel units and people needed to assemble the ships. Rosyth did - and apart from the crane, required only minor mods to the dock.

The idea that Rosyth was chosen to appease the Great Financial Genius / One-Eyed Pillock is superficially attractive, but is actually a myth. He - more than anyone - delayed the ships and increased the cost by continually blocking the order- it was only when he was grasping at any straw he could lay his hands on to get re-elected that the build contract was allowed to be signed.

Fincantieri do indeed churn out some fantastic large cruise ships. However, the level of compartmentation and outfit complexity is far removed from QEC - their yards are also big enough in the first place. The Far East yards are also huge undertakings - no doubt they could build something like QEC, but not necessarily as cheaply as people immediately assume - you'd be looking at something as complex as a drill ship, but with different design and build standards, which would increase cost.

The US are actually fairly arcane in their carrier build process. The level of outfit as the hull is erected is fairly low compared to ours.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/027708.jpg

The reasons they can do it quickly are primarily that - they don't spend ten years having the Army & Air Force sniping about the size of the ship; until this latest one, they've essentially been building the same design for 40 years and finally that their entire facility is optimised to build the things. Three factors that just don't apply in the UK.

I've been very impressed with the standard of build and outfit on QE whenever I've seen a unit. The constant arguing about the type of aircraft and the tortuous approvals process have not been success stories. The build most definitely is.
 
#20
Of course the mind-changes on VSTOL vs CTOL vs VSTOL also cost money.

Hush your potty mouth! VSTOL is the one true and cheaper way with full sized carriers!
Do you dare doubt the visionary wisdom of our great leaders deciding on an evolutionary dead end?
 

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