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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 17th Oct 2009, 14:23
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There are statements on this web site saying that we can no longer afford the do Iraq/Afghanistan - therefore we don't need a carrier. This is a flawed (illogical) argument. The logic is that to avoid the costs of another Afg we need to avoid 'invading' countries when we 'help them out'. So, tanking the GRs and then letting them stay there immediately puts us into the invasion category (long drawn-out conflict with problems 'getting out'). Carriers enable us to avoid this situation.
If the scope of the conflict is merely to turn up and destory some targets or loiter in the area with a big stick then carriers achieve that aim perfectly.

Yet for a conflict of the scope of Iraq/Afghanistan as soon as ground forces are commited the invasion line has been crossed and having some carrier based aviation that can be withdrawn more quickly is irrelevant. Furthermore, given the number of ground forces required to clear and hold ground for an extended period of time and the demands those forces have for resupply it would seem that some form of local land based aviation is a requirement.

The 'niche' argument for and against carrier aviation is misleading - surely it is about scenarios?

In the scenario where there are no friendly countries in the region that can support land based aviation or where we don't want to commit for an extended period or in the Falklands scenario then a carrier is the only choice.

In the scenario where there are friendly countries in the region or where we are going to be in the region for an extended period of time then land based air power would seem to be a more effective approach.

Also, taking the case of Afghanistan, given the ~500-mile round trip from the Indian ocean to the southern border of Afghanistan, the argument for purely carrier based aviation can only extend to fast-air, not to helicoptor resupply and certainly not casualty evacuation - that must be local.

So from a scenario perspective does the UK want to and can it afford to build and maintain a force that can cover all expeditionary scenarios in addition to all of the other defence scenarios?
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Old 18th Oct 2009, 14:10
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HMS Ocean, etc

If " strengthening the decks and enlarging the lift would be a relatively easy task " - I don't want to see your idea of a hard job ! ( Unless I'm on the contract end of it ).

Simple fact is, Ocean should have always been fitted out as a cheap ' Plan B ' carrier, with a ski-ramp and that daft goalkeeper fitted otherwise than the runway centreline ( which seems to my cynical self like a Naval political version of " No - operationally useful -Harriers here ) ".

Much the same for Bulwark, Albion & Argus - I suggest we install a plan NOW that in event of conflict, at least 1 of our 80 + Admirals ( see The 2 Johns sketch on Youtube ) , and a high ranking politician, be aboard; if they knew in advance that might happen, we might get proper ship capabilities and air support inc' fleet defence...

Well I can dream.
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 11:11
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Future Carriers

I realise this may be a bit obtuse but I found this buried away on an Andrew Neil blog on BBC.

I dont know how much of it is true and I realise that it may end up in another light v dark blue death-match, but I found its comments very thought provoking.

Also, I realise that this is a PILOTS rumour network rather than a political one, but...

Anyway, I'm waffling. Can anyone verify any of this info? Or is it hogwash?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2-years of hugely damaging, highly inadequate Labour govt Armed Forces' funding policies- accompanied by misleading public-statements and shameless Labour party self-promotion has likely contributed greatly to this...


The current aircraft carrier design/build programme provides a good example of how badly botched an urgently needed UK military project can become when being run/overseen by senior members of a governing party whose main objective with the project is increasing these member(s) re-election chances, as opposed to the main objective of the project being the nation's best interests:

A cursory examination of the present aircraft carrier programme would indicate to all but the most negatively biased or willfully blind that the Labour govt's absurdly inadequate levels of funding approved for the programme- and apparent direct design-interference- has converted it into a make-work-project fiasco: a disaster waiting to happen....

The Labour-handicapped design-decisions regarding the planned new carriers are- if the project proceeds- going to result in 2 warships that would barely be suitable to fight a mid-twentieth century type conflict, and certainly not 21st century ones...

The project is accurately described a 'two-nation project'- involving for over 7-years the UK & France:

Porte Avions 2 - Naval Technology

Queen Elizabeth Class (CVF), Royal Navy Future Aircraft Carrier - Naval Technology

Unlike France's plans for its 'French version' (PA2) of these warships- which are being designed and were to-be-constructed simultaneously- the UK's new aircraft carriers:

- won't be fitted with with deck-catapults for fixed-wing aircraft launches;

- won't be nuclear powered;

- won't be capable of carrying or deploying tactical nuclear weapons, such as depth charges, anti-surface-target, anti-ship ordinance, etc;

- won't be fitted with up-to-date 'inner layer' airborne threat defences. (Thanks to Labour's underfunding, the new carriers are to be fitted with a 25-year old 'Phalanx' inner layer defence system, once these Phalanx systems become available for cannibalization from retired/decommissioned RN warships);

- won't be fitted with any 'outer layer' airborne threat defence systems at all.

Ship-launched outer layer airborne threat defences are basic equipment on modern, first world countries' warships such as aircraft carriers.

This, to enable incoming airborne threats to be engaged as far out as possible- 15 to 90 miles or more- rather than the barely 1 mile out that Phalanx and similar inner layer defence systems reach their effective limits at...

Modern anti-ship missiles travel in terminal mode at upwards of 3/4 of a mile per second making 'taking a second shot at the incoming missile- if the first shot misses'- highly likely to not be feasible for warships restricted to using only Phalanx or a similar (machine gun based) inner layer defence system.

Technologically up-to-date warships that have outer layer defence systems, and that miss an incoming airborne threat are able to 'take a second shot' at the threat using either their outer layer defence system again- or their inner layer defence system- or both...

Phalanx and similar inner layer warship defence systems have not been shown in tests or battle records to be effective- as stand alone systems- at countering up-to-date airborne threats such as the widely marketed Russian SS-N-27 "Sizzler" anti-ship missile;

- won't be fitted with any sub-surface threat defensive weapons;

- won't be fitted with 'Cooperative engagement Capability' (CEC) sensors and equipment thereby eliminating the new carriers' potential to have the capacity to jointly- with other Royal Navy/allied countries' warships, aircraft, land-based and other assets- engage threats/targets; and

- won't even be fitted with armour...


Why does this matter??

- Lack of fixed-wing aircraft launch catapults:

Catapults are necessary for Aircraft Carriers to be able to embark, launch & recover a variety of the most versatile & capable types of fixed-wing aircraft, such as Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) types:

E-2D Hawkeye: The (U.S.) Navys New AWACS-

E-2D Hawkeye: The Navy’s New AWACS

The RN's new carriers will be restricted to Harrier type (short/vertical take off & land ) fixed-wing aircraft & helicopters- that can not duplicate even remotely the function of modern, fixed-wing AWACS...

Without AWACS planes flying high above the respective carrier & its battle group- scanning OVER THE HORIZON for potential threats & theatre data- carriers & their support/escort ships are enormously vulnerable to low-flying (sea-skimming) incoming airborne threats such as supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles & aircraft...

- The UKs new aircraft carriers wont be nuclear powered:

meaning these ships- if built- will be unable to generate sufficient power for fitting them with coming on stream/under-development 21st century armaments such as Directed Energy Weapons (DEWS) & will be significantly range/endurance-limited due to their fossil-fuel engines- & their aircraft- requiring constant refills of fuel from supply ships- particularly problematic if, during a conflict, the carrier's supply ships get sunk....

- UK Royal Navys future abilities to deploy tactical/other types of nuclear weapons at risk:

Due to their 'on-the-cheap' design, the RN's planned new aircraft carriers- unlike France's version(s) of these warships- won't be able to stock & use tactical nuclear weapons...

.... Thereby eliminating these ships' usefulness in a legitimate hot-war- a situation that only the very most willfully ignorant/tunnel visioned would say can be ruled out during the projected 30- 50 year operational life of these "central to the RN's function" warships...

- Current plans for the UK's new aircraft carriers put them, once built, at about 65,000 tonnes vs a projected 75,000 tonnes for the French version(s):

Britain’s New CVF Future Carriers

France Steaming Ahead on PA2/CVF Carrier Project?

- The UK's new aircraft carriers won't have 'outer layer' airborne threat defences and won't be fitted with armour:

ALL first world countries- other than the UK- that have recently built or are planning to build 'pocket sized', medium sized & 'big deck' (supercarrier) aircraft carriers have made sure/are ensuring that their carriers are extensively fitted with armour...

The United States has made an extra effort in this regard in the construction of its undergoing sea-trials 'Nimitz transitional' class supercarrier- the GHW Bush- & in the design work for the next-generation 'G Ford' class supercarriers...

Similarly, the US government has ensured that the US Navy's existing Nimitz class and 'improved Nimitz class' supercarriers are comprehensively fitted out with cutting-edge technology armour-

Improved Nimitz Class Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier | Military-Today.com :

"... These (US Navy Nimitz class supercarriers) were completed with Kevlar armour over their vital areas and have improved hull protection arrangements..."

"The Kevlar armour has been retrofitted to the earlier carriers, as have many of the advanced systems built into the newer ships..."


Meanwhile the UK Labour govt has engineered the full deletion of armour from the design of the planned new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy- to save money!!!!

Queen Elizabeth Class (CVF), Royal Navy Future Aircraft Carrier - Naval Technology :

".... A number of protective measures such as side armour and armoured bulkheads proposed by industrial bid teams have been deleted from the design in order to comply with cost limitations...."

The 4billion Airfix Kit: Behind-the-scenes at Britain's biggest warships | Mail Online :

"... Money has also been saved in side armour protection, though (Simon Knight, the project's Platform Design Director) insists this was a strategic* rather than a budgetary issue...

(*what kind of responsible 'strategy' would support building warships without armour??)

(Simon Knight stated) "'The CVFs first line of defence is the frigates and the new Type 45 destroyers around us,' he adds....

"'Our only self-defence is close-in weapons systems
(IE: 25-year old 'inner layer' Phalanx machine guns- rvl) and small guns...

"'Instead, what you have on the ship is 36 of the most lethal aircraft ever made.'..."


(... aircraft whose designed-capabilities do not include protecting warships from incoming anti-ship missiles...)

Is the value* of a sunk aircraft carrier or two less than the finanacial cost of properly constructing & competently equipping these warships??

(* in pounds, lives-lost and the UK's diminished national stature on the world stage)

If warship armour and inner layer as well as outer layer airborne threat defences weren't vitally important and necessary for modern aircraft carriers to have, again, why would other first world countries'- such as the US, Japan, S. Korea, France, and even Italy- be investing many, many millions of pounds in armour and airborne threat defences for their navies' aircraft carriers??

The CVN 21

CVN 21 will be armed with the ESSM :

"... (The G Ford class supercarrier) CVN 21 will be armed with the Raytheon Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), which defends against high-speed, highly manoeuvrable anti-ship missiles...."

The UK's half-baked Aircraft Carrier project should, at the minimum be put on hold until the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) is finished its first stage...

As part of the SDR, the carrier project ought to be examined in-depth to at the least determine:

1)
What country(s) is the most industrially appropriate and most likely to be constructive in terms of the resulting warships' capabilities, quality and functionality- for the UK in the design and building of its new aircraft carriers- a country with no internationally recognized expertise or world-leadership in building aircraft carriers- like France- or a country like the United States with its nearly half century of peerless aircraft carrier capabilities leadership and world-leading aircraft carrier technologies' development...??

2) should the UK be designing and building its new aircraft carriers in partnership with the US??

3) what is the optimal propulsion method for these warships, and which method of propulsion will- during their 40-50 year operational lives- best serve to enable mission-competence for these warships, their accompanying escorts, and the Royal Navy generally? (nuclear vs conventional?);

4) considering the unpredictability's of international relationships/world events- and looking 40-50 years ahead: should the UK's new carriers be built so that they can accommodate and deploy tactical/other types of nuclear weapons?

5) should the new carriers be constructed with catapult-launch-of-fixed-wing-aircraft capabilities? AND if no- WHY ??

6) should the new carriers be constructed with the sensors, radars and communication suites required for 'Cooperative Engagement Capability' (CEC)??

7) should the new carriers be constructed with outer layer airborne threat defense system(s)??

8) should the new carriers be constructed with "NEW", technologically up-to-date, inner layer airborne threat defense system(s)??, rather than being fitted with recycled 25-year old inner layer defense systems that have been cannibalized from scrapped/decommissioned Type-42 Destroyers (as is currently being directed by Labour)??

9) should any new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy have to be fitted with armour??

10) if yes, should the armour fitted be technologically up-to-date and comprehensively applied?

Why should the UK operate aircraft carriers- or any warships other than tiny coastal patrol boats- and especially, why plan to task these vessels with 'world role' missions- if the UK is not going to ensure that they are sufficiently up to date- weapons and defensive systems wise- to perform capably against known-to-exist and expected types of threats??

Immediate govt actions to upgrade the Royal Navy's grievously degenerated, dangerously inadequate capabilities are needed... not more false-logic avoidance of reality...

Without such occurring, voters' confidence levels in whatever party forms govt can only be damaged...




__________________
Roderick V. Louis,
Vancouver, BC, Canada

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


(**lights blue touchpaper and scarpers to safe distance**)
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 12:15
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Jabba

You may wish to repost it in this long, long, long running thread

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...e-carrier.html

before WEBF gets to you (and then delete your original!)

(although I'm sure the MODS will merge the threads in due course anyway)
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 12:42
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All interesting points Jabba, but it has an "old" smell to it. Do you have any dates that this was written/published?
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 12:43
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By the time you've finished reading the thread and its associated links the things will have been built anyway......
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 13:07
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Originally Posted by Jabba_TG12
I realise this may be a bit obtuse but I found this buried away on an Andrew Neil blog on BBC.

I dont know how much of it is true and I realise that it may end up in another light v dark blue death-match, but I found its comments very thought provoking.

Also, I realise that this is a PILOTS rumour network rather than a political one, but...

Anyway, I'm waffling. Can anyone verify any of this info? Or is it hogwash?
It's a bit long and rather rambling in places (more on that anon), but...

12-years of hugely damaging, highly inadequate Labour govt Armed Forces' funding policies- accompanied by misleading public-statements and shameless Labour party self-promotion has likely contributed greatly to this...

The current aircraft carrier design/build programme provides a good example of how badly botched an urgently needed UK military project can become when being run/overseen by senior members of a governing party whose main objective with the project is increasing these member(s) re-election chances, as opposed to the main objective of the project being the nation's best interests:
The first question that springs to mind - almost as if to cue Jackonicko - is whether or not the CVF is urgently-needed. Just as JN is on record as saying it isn't needed at all, I'm on record (helpfully for insomniacs) as saying that if the government was/is serious about expeditionary warfare it requires carriers - but not at the expense of other capabilities such as (in no particular order) UK AD, the provision of MPA, SH, ISTAR and AT in sufficient numbers, and perhaps being kind enough to give the VC10 the opportunity to retire before the airframes are old enough to be given a state pension.

If the government isn't prepared to fund the full gamut of capabilities, then the fundamental question of whether we should aspire to expeditionary ops has to be asked, and if the answer comes back as 'No', or 'Yes, but only in a limited form' then the urgency for the CVF (yes, I know I should be calling it the 'Queen Elizabeth class', but...) is up for doubt. The author doesn't give us any sense of whether or not he has considered this matter or whether he's taken a 'the carriers come hell, high water or high tempo land operations' position. I suspect the latter...

Cherry-picking bits and bobs:

The Labour-handicapped design-decisions regarding the planned new carriers are- if the project proceeds- going to result in 2 warships that would barely be suitable to fight a mid-twentieth century type conflict, and certainly not 21st century ones...
His evidence for this stunning assertion is...?

Unlike France's plans for its 'French version' (PA2) of these warships- which are being designed and were to-be-constructed simultaneously- the UK's new aircraft carriers:

- won't be fitted with with deck-catapults for fixed-wing aircraft launches
But the design can be amended to accomodate such types; he's missing the point that the provisional decision to go with the F-35B meant that the expense of adding catapults (and what about the arrestor gear??) was avoided. It may be that we end up with a conventional carrier and the F-35C; we just don't know yet. So this charge is a bit of a straw man effort. I don't dispute the fact that it would be better if MASC came in the form of the E-2D, but given the current spending constraints, it seems unlikely that this would be procured anyway.

- won't be nuclear powered;
Because of the expense of doing this. The old USN conventional carriers weren't exactly slouches in projecting air power, so the chap needs to articulate why this is a bad thing and he doesn't. The use of nuclear power was thought to risk making the carriers unaffordable.

- won't be capable of carrying or deploying tactical nuclear weapons, such as depth charges, anti-surface-target, anti-ship ordinance, etc
A major problem being unable to carry weapons we don't have...

- won't be fitted with up-to-date 'inner layer' airborne threat defences. (Thanks to Labour's underfunding, the new carriers are to be fitted with a 25-year old 'Phalanx' inner layer defence system, once these Phalanx systems become available for cannibalization from retired/decommissioned RN warships);
The Americans are happy with Phalanx - CVN-77 has them. Can't recall if RIM-116 is to replace Phalanx aboard the Nimitz-class, though. His complaint seems to be that the Phalanx is old - is he, I wonder, making the mistake of suggesting that even though something works, it should be replaced because it's an old design?
- won't be fitted with any 'outer layer' airborne threat defence systems at all.
Not noticed the Nimitz-class touting SM-2/SM-3 capability recently...

Ship-launched outer layer airborne threat defences are basic equipment on modern, first world countries' warships such as aircraft carriers.
Apart from on American CVNs, if one takes the view that the Sea Sparrow is a point defence weapon (which is what the USN has always said it is on its web publicity, and in other PR material in the days before t'interweb). Unless you take the view that the aeroplanes aboard might form part of the outer layer defences...



- won't be fitted with any sub-surface threat defensive weapons;
Nor was Ark Royal, nor is, as far as I recall, the Charles de Gaulle. Unless you count the ASW helicopters, of course...



The chap seems to be a tad obsessed with giving the CVF nuclear weapons storage, but again - are we seriously suggesting that a government in the UK is going to restore tactical nuclear weapons capability to the FAA/Joint Force Lightning II (Joint Force Dave if you wish to set BEagle's teeth on edge...)


why would other first world countries'- such as the US, Japan, S. Korea, France, and even Italy- be investing many, many millions of pounds in armour and airborne threat defences for their navies' aircraft carriers??
The Japanese and South Koreans are investing in conventional aircraft carriers? Quick, someone - tell them! The Koreans have a vessel which displaces less than the CVS; and the Japanese Hyuga is only a tad larger than the Korean effort. By the by, part of the Hyuga's defences include the apparently useless Phalanx...


I'd suggest that the rest of the blog post becomes a bit of a rant, coupled with a spot of Frog-bashing; some bits of his argument give the impression that he secretly wants us to sign up to the CVN-X, which - if that is the case - is a tad... barking.

Immediate govt actions to upgrade the Royal Navy's grievously degenerated, dangerously inadequate capabilities are needed... not more false-logic avoidance of reality...
Now that I can agree with - albeit he should substitute 'British Armed Forces' for 'Royal Navy'...

Mr Lewis has posted similar stuff on the Telegraph's have your say pages - he did something rather long and rambling about how the last budget should've increased funding for the BBC, and there's another link-fest about carriers in the have your say section of the Torygraph from 29th Sept this year (although the Torygraph page won't load, the Zimbabwe News Wire's direct lift of the page does.... )

My take would be that while there's some merit to some bits of his argument, he has a bit of 'let's return to the days when we had big aircraft carriers, Lord Reith at the helm of the Beeb and were, frankly, jolly rude to the French on all occasions' (not that there's necessarily anything fundamentally unsound about the sentiments... ) which seems to overwhelm his analytical faculties.

Last edited by Archimedes; 23rd Oct 2009 at 19:20.
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 15:01
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Due to their 'on-the-cheap' design, the RN's planned new aircraft carriers- unlike France's version(s) of these warships- won't be able to stock & use tactical nuclear weapons

Thats because we haven't got any tactical nucleur weapons. We could borrow some though.
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 15:55
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No sorry, didnt have any dates on it, it just popped up out of nowhere on a BBC blog. On first skim, I thought some of the points were salient, but on review and thanks to those of you who've put in your thoughts maybe one shouldnt be getting too alarmed....
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 15:57
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More likely that, since these things will only ever be used to ferry sailors around the world to cockersPs various, by having a 'no nuclear' limitation (whether propulsion or weaponry), they will also be able to call in to the more tree-huggy nations' ports for a pinkers or three.
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 16:57
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That Roderick V. Louis from Canada chap has appeared on several websites rambling on about the same thing even 22 days ago (see Save the Royal Navy - Articles) - I think it started off on the Daily Telegraph and has since spread around the web like a bad case of swine flu. Besides it's pointless talking about the CVFs and PA2 anymore. The two-nation programme was pretty much abandoned last year when Sarkozy decided to postpone a decision on its development until after 2012. The French are now planning to launch an entirely new study looking at the options for a second nuclear or conventionally powered carrier. Like here, money is tight, so they might not even be able to afford to build one.
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 17:31
  #2212 (permalink)  
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Archimedes, when he was talking about the error of not having catapults he was referring to the issues for the subsequent FJ component, which you rebut, rather, as he states explicitly and in detail, the subsequent inability to operate a capable AWACS/AEW such as the Hawkeye.

As such you set up an Aunt Sally to gleefully knock down.
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 18:19
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ORAC, with respect, I disagree - sadly this paragraph of mine:

I don't dispute the fact that it would be better if MASC came in the form of the E-2D, but given the current spending constraints, it seems unlikely that this would be procured anyway.
Somehow came adrift from the rest of the paragraph dealing with this point (presumably while cutting out bits of the blog post - I shall go and amend it) My contention, though, remains - namely that he has ignored the fact that the CVF can be fitted with catapults, and indeed some rumours going around earlier in the year suggested that the F-35C might be bought, which would lead to the fitment of these items. Mr Lewis is being selective in his argument, since he wishes his readers to believe that the CVF is destined irrevocably to be without catapults.

His objection:

Catapults are necessary for Aircraft Carriers to be able to embark, launch & recover a variety of the most versatile & capable types of fixed-wing aircraft, such as Airborne Early Warning & Control (AWACS) types
as I say, is not unreasonable, but he goes rather quiet upon 'variety' and focuses upon the Hawkeye. In effect, he is suggesting that the RN should procure a carrier with a launch system appropriate to an aircraft that it is doubtful we can afford to meet the MASC requirement...

Mr Lewis's view, therefore, takes little account of key realities - one of which, I suggest, is that his belief that the correct course of action would have been to base the (initial) decision regarding which version of the F-35 to procure upon the choice of the airframe for MASC- which seems somewhat arrse-about-face, IMO.
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 18:24
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Phalanx

I'm probably wrong or this would have been jumped on by now, but isn't ' Goalkeeper ' a more modern system, touted by a few lucky RN ships such as 'Ocean', compared to the original Phalanx CIWS- whichever it is, I'd rather like to have my ship bristling with them if actually going to war, and allowing barrel depression such as to give nuts in speedboats the bad news too...
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Old 23rd Oct 2009, 20:28
  #2215 (permalink)  
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Touching on the CIWS aspect, a Goalkeeper would indeed be good to deal with fast boats but against sea skimming missiles a 1000 yard engagement distance risks the 'destroyed' missile debris creating a shotgun effect on the target. Kevlar armour, if he is right, would seem a sensible and complimentary option.

On medium range defence, he may be suggesting that the CVS, like the Invincible class had, should have a SAM capability given the shortage of destroyer escorts. This would be a particular British need as the USN has a sufficiency of escorts.
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Old 24th Oct 2009, 01:15
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- won't be fitted with any 'outer layer' airborne threat defence systems at all.

That would be a bad idea, even if the space were available on the proposed aircraft carriers. Missile launches and missile-related radar operations would interfere with aircraft operations and reveal the capital ship's position to opponent radar sensors.

Look, all you fellows need to do is to adjust your attitudes. These two notional ships are more similar to America-class LHA(R)'s than to the Nimitz or Kitty Hawk classes. Just think of 'em that way: bigger LHA(R)'s.

The LHA(R)'s are going to be very useful warships. Liikewise for the RN's Queen and Prince.
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Old 24th Oct 2009, 07:52
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If " strengthening the decks and enlarging the lift would be a relatively easy task " - I don't want to see your idea of a hard job
Oh I don't know, what about, say, marinising a Chinook with twin folding heads, "wet built" fuselage and beefed up undercarriage? I reckon cutting some steel and moving some cabling would have taken considerably less time and money!

Nick
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Old 24th Oct 2009, 08:06
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You're not wrong - and making sure all the avionics are compatible with the shipboard EMI/EMC environment might cost a bob or two as well.........
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Old 24th Oct 2009, 11:21
  #2219 (permalink)  
 
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You are the weakest link -goodbye !

I know this has been mentioned previously, but yes, armour of any kind is essential; and that includes one's own aircraft accidents on deck, which seems to have been planned out - remember the unfortunate accident when even a tiny practice bomb penetrated a CVS deck causing serious injury, well say an F-35 of any kind or helo' having a mishap is GOING to happen sometime - another VERY hard won lesson conveniently forgotten.

CIWS; yes, I still don't fancy being on the wrong end of even bits of a high subsonic / supersonic missile, hence armour, and the layered defence, with I presume a Type 23 close by, if we haven't sold them all, ( deals with ASW to an extent too ) and if really lucky a Type 45 further out, then - gasp ! - aircraft able to knock out the guys in black hats either in the air or lair.

As also mentioned, RFA's are the weak link, currently lucky if they get a single CIWS, and probably a few Marines with 20mm & MANPADS; as the Argentinians proved, one doesn't have to play by the rules and go for the capital ships, RFA's - sod the legalitilies I'm afraid - are big juicy targets, and if I were a nasty person in an aircraft, submarine or speedboat, would regard taking one out as a job well done.

I know some are designed to be ' Seawolf capable ' but has there ever even been a trial fit & firing, and if things did get lively, would they have time to fit such sophisticated kit, command control etc ?

Maybe it's corny to say this, but as Rememberance Day approaches, with so many lessons paid before with so much blood, if we're going to 'do' defence let's do it right or don't bother, just roll over, but don't send any of our services out with crap kit.

I have read most of the books going on the Falklands War, ( was involved to a microscopic degree in trying to help Harrier mod's from UK ) and a common theme seems to me to run through them; " Christ, we didn't expect to have to actually go to war in / with THIS ! "
Double Zero is offline  
Old 24th Oct 2009, 22:26
  #2220 (permalink)  
 
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Navy surrenders one new aircraft carrier in budget battle
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