Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battle

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
#2
Re: Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battl

From the linky
Since both aircraft carriers will still be built, there are unlikely to be job losses at the Rosyth ship yards, close to Brown’s constituency. The JSF aircraft are being built in Fort Worth, Texas, with the involvement of BAE Systems.
So we're surrendering what exactly? Both are being built, one carrier goes into refit, the other one gets the limited 'proper' aircraft. D'uh? It isn't Flexible Global Reach as we know it but it isn't surrendering anything. The RN still get two aircraft carriers.......or rather; 'aviation capable' ships.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
#4
Re: Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battl

We've been here before

It'll get to the point where it is cheaper to see the project through rather than jump through specification authored hoops to save a farthing. Hello, it is 'GCSE Economics' not PhD Rocket Science.
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
#6
Re: Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battl

No Witsend; the point is; according to the 'gloom' article - we're still getting both carriers (at the time of writing), just not enough aircraft to satisfy those who don't get the utility of aircraft,

If Broon bins both carriers I won't be surprised and will happily collect my winnings. If both survive SDR 10 / 11 I'll be just as delighted.....and collect my winnings. If Cameron bins both CVFs, I'll be looking for another job outwith Defence.

Bottom line Wistend, I'm taking issue with media reporting and understanding , not real life. Oh....you knew.................
 

witsend

MIA
Book Reviewer
#7
I always wish a bet comes in, good luck. I jumped to the wrong conclusion without reading the full article. I'm still stuck in a timewarp that the platforms won't be constructed.

Now we will only have enough aircraft to support...............

I love Gloom Britian, defending the nation.
 
#9
Re: Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battl

Queen Elizabeth as an LHA and Prince of Wales as a proper cat equipped strike carrier togged out with the far more capable F-35C's is a compromises that I'm sure the RN could live with.

As the article notes, the cost driver is the eyewatering cost of the 'cheap' F-35B… it's gone up from $65 million at the start of the contract to $130 million now, you can buy the far more capable, bigger weapons load, more range and more agile carrier version F-35C for $90 million.

My bet is that the RAF will switch all the 50 a/c buy to the F-35C and use them to replace the Tornadoes as their main long range strike aircraft.
 
#13
Re: Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battl

92rc11 said:
Bit insane if you ask me especially if the carrier is cat and trap.

RAF will own the planes, pilots who can cat and trap will have 'ROYAL NAVY' shoulders tabs but will be de facto Crabs.

There won't be enough planes/pilots to have a separate fixed win FAA.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#14
If ALL the detail above is true the demise of the -B VSTOL abortion can only be welcomed. Since the occasions when both QE & PoW are in commission together must be limited we will EITHER have air support over the beaches but no Commando carrier or a Commando carrier that can only operate in an unchallenged air environment, as at present. But of course - by then there will be no such thing as a national op, only a Euro one. And presumably Euro AF pilots. I do wonder whetehr the names will survive the consolidation of European power and the demise of our nation states.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#15
If PoW is to be a 'real' aircraft carrier, will it have the new sort of catapult and arrestor gear that is being developed for Gerald R Ford [Google to see] (and which presumably will be retrofitted in the Nimitzes)? I realise that'a a rhetorical questiona s I don't suppose there is any sort of decision yet BUT I note the claimed advantages of reduced wear and tear on airframes and aircrew, and the statement that without these improvements, operation of UAVs from carriers wouldbe difficutl or impossible.

re the Crabs, presumably if they own the air group it's not just the pilots but the maintainers and others as well who will be all light blue, as the a/c will be on other errands much of the time. Can't think how the RAF junior rates will cope without single cabins with en-suite facilities, let alone their seniors.
 
#17
Re: Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battl

Oil_Slick said:
92rc11 said:
Bit insane if you ask me especially if the carrier is cat and trap.

RAF will own the planes, pilots who can cat and trap will have 'ROYAL NAVY' shoulders tabs but will be de facto Crabs.

There won't be enough planes/pilots to have a separate fixed win FAA.
We seem to be regressing back to the Inter-war period when the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Air Force was manned by Naval Pilots and Air Force Maintainers, controlled by the Air Force but tasked by the Admiralty. This hybrid arrangement was ultimately unsatisfactory for both Services and eventually led to the famous Inskip Award where full control of the Fleet Air Arm was rightly passed to the Admiralty.

Look let's not beat about the bush, this is a disaster. Having only one Strike Carrier available at any one time might seem like a good compromise, but it wouldn't be too hard for the enemy to work out when the ship is in refit before causing trouble.

The only way this will work is to configure both ships with the same kit so that they are completely interchangeable. I see 2 options:-

1. Fit both with cats and traps and buy F-35C

Pros
*Cheaper aircraft utilising proven technology
*More capable aircraft in terms of range and payload
*Completely interoperable with Allied carriers

Cons
*RN Cat/trap deck ops experience lost in 1978 - training overhead
*Expensive Carriers

2. Fit both with a ramp and buy F-35B

Pros
*Cheaper Carriers
*RN leaders in STOVL carrier deck ops - minimal training required

Cons
*Expensive aircraft with immature technology
*Less capable aircraft in terms of range and payload
*Aircraft requires bespoke Carrier to operate

To my mind, option 1 is the more attractive. Looking at the bigger picture - we could have complete interoperabilty with USN (who will buy F-35C to replace F-18) and FN (who will have the same ship). Their handlers could teach us how to operate cats/traps again. We could piggy-back on their aircrew and engineering training programmes to reduce costs. We could buy a larger number of more capable aircraft. The money we save on the spiralling costs of F-35B could be invested in fitting out both ships with cats and traps.

A STOVL F-35 is a hangover from when this programme originated and the UK were looking for a Harrier replacement to fly from CVS. I'm afraid that time has marched on and we need to start thinking outside of this constraint.

It's a no-brainer.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#18
One crucial downside of the dissolution of the RNAS on All Fools' Day 1918 and the subsequent deal on manning shipborne aircraft (justified only by fallacious argument by analogy), and a future downside from the bruited deal of the RAF owning and flying all future FAA fixed-wing aircraft is that there was/is no grobag for senior naval officers with an all-round understanding of aviation. But I've mentioned this before. Expediency will win as usual. Cost us HMS Glorious though.
 
#20
Re: Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battl

It's also been no secret since about 2004ish that the numbers of pilots versus the number of F-35's just didn't match up unless they started expanding JFH.

At the current force levels, about half the F-35 buy even if we had bought all 135 would have gone straight into storage as attrition spares.

We've always only had enough pilots for 4 squadrons plus an OCU, all this decision does is formalize that reality.



Although this decision seems like the end of the world, lets be realistic here…

Any UK only op would be Falklands War Mk 2, and a strike carrier with 36 F-35's would be more than enough to wipe out a 3rd world airforce in a busy morning work.

If we involved in a bigger op, it's going to be in concert with the US invading another country again, and there will be plenty of USMC F-35's to embark on our carriers to make up the numbers.
 

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