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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 24th Feb 2021, 07:47
  #6081 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Not_a_boffin View Post
You'd assume wrongly. UK ships for UK yards is the new mantra. DSME got their fingers burned as well, they won't be playing with MoD again, any time soon.

you know - that doesn't fill me with joy - when did a British yard last build a similar sized commercial vessel?
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 08:30
  #6082 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
you know - that doesn't fill me with joy - when did a British yard last build a similar sized commercial vessel?
2000-2001. When that "shipyard" in Belfast completed two of the Point Strategic Ro-Ro ships.

Not going to be easy (or cheap to start with) - but it would appear that a decision has been made to include all HMG owned/operated ships within scope of the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
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Old 24th Feb 2021, 17:22
  #6083 (permalink)  
 
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Dear oh dear...............
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Old 25th Feb 2021, 05:00
  #6084 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
Littoral Strike Ships......
Good to see Chinooks on the deck. CHF might feel a bit left out.

Batco
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Old 27th Feb 2021, 18:34
  #6085 (permalink)  
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The mighty Sea Harrier, although long retired, is still key to teaching young men and women the basics of handling live jet aircraft in the confines of a carrier deck.


We are regenerating things than many of us took for granted. If only our politicians in 2002 and 2010 could have accepted that the Status Quo existed for a reason.


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Old 2nd Mar 2021, 14:06
  #6086 (permalink)  
 
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UK carrier aviation has gone through some remarkable twists and turns, but this takes the cake, the plate and the little plastic bride and groom on top.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/mod-...rcraft-at-sea/

Given the last time we went through this, lo, a decade ago, "3-5 years" sounds like the result of inhaling fungal fumes, unless somebody has come up with a miracle solution and this RFI is the kind you write when you know who's going to deliver the only valid response.

The weight limits say "definitely not FJs" unless the RN plans to buy Sea Gripen. More like a recognition that in the era of manned-unmanned teaming, the RN will be excluded unless people build STOVL UAVs, which is unlikely.
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Old 3rd Mar 2021, 19:48
  #6087 (permalink)  
 
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Rafales could come for a cup of tea
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Old 8th Mar 2021, 23:45
  #6088 (permalink)  
 
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And now they think they need the damned catapults again that have been on and off more times than a lady of the nights knickers..

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/202...jets-aircraft/
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 06:30
  #6089 (permalink)  
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If, as reported by The Times, no F-35s will be purchased beyond the 48 already on order, and the planned delivery schedule, what would be a possible plan for a future air wing?

Extended cooperation with the USMC and a permanent squadron on board alongside one RAF/RN squadron?

One RAF/Wing 24 aircraft wing rotating between the QE2/POW with the other just used as a CVH and a trickle buy of attrition spares?

Fitting drone capable EMALS and having an air wing of one F-35B Sqn with drone UCAV wingmen?

Rotating one full wing between the two until a refit with EMALS and a naval Tempest?

As above but hanging on for the rumoured USN F-XX?

I imagine there will be a lot of pages written if the capping at 48 aircraft is confirmed.

Last edited by ORAC; 9th Mar 2021 at 10:01. Reason: Sp
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 09:58
  #6090 (permalink)  
 
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ORAC,
My thoughts are that with the loss of the Bonnie Dick, the USMC will be a deck down for the foreseeable future, probably enabling a near-permanent USMC presence on the QEC. Capping at 48 now, applying the 'rule of thirds', only realistically sustains 16 jets for warfighting (ie embarked), 16 for training/currency and 16 for sustainment (depth servicing, upgrade, repair and attrition). Add in a USMC VFA and you're back to 24-26 embarked which is the advertised 'peacetime maximum'. Given that F-35 is so 'digital' and comes with a heavy use of synthetics, there might be some variance in those fleet numbers. However, the current plan is for F-35 to be in production for decades so we can 'dip back in' if finances permit, we lose too many to sustain the fleet or to take advantage of a Block Upgrade that is cheaper to build from new than retrofit. Re EMALS, my suspicion is that the RN have finally worked out that they are going to be too 'upthreat' to effect many near-peer nations with F-35 without the ship being vulnerable to shore based ASMs (and some nations, doctrinally, will launch a mass attack to empty the DD/FF VLSs…). It's a similar issue that the USN faces with decks full of tactical aircraft and no tanker save for 'buddy buddy'. The USN answer is the MQ-25 Stingray, and I suspect this is in the mind of the RN when looking at UAV EMALS, as well as launching LANCA style UAV wingmen to add combat mass, deception and EW/EA/SEAD to an F-35 strike package. Naval Tempest would need to be factored into the program now, if not already too late, to influence design and stress assumptions, the USN F-XX may be a desirable option in terms of risk/cost but I doubt we can afford 2x Gen 6 platforms.
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 11:11
  #6091 (permalink)  
 
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...and a lot of money was spent upgrading Marham for just 48 shiny Daves......
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 11:46
  #6092 (permalink)  
 
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These articles always appear at the time of defence reviews and always get the same response. Capping at 48. Buying a mix of C and B. Mothballing one carrier. Navalised Typhoon! Navalised Tempest! (Sorry Evalu8ter). It's probably designed to elicit such a response. The Daily Telegraph are at it with EMALS for the carriers to launch shiny new all singing all dancing vapourware drones and future aircraft.

Then again defence procurement in the UK and US is an absolute mess. No-one knows what they want and as soon as costs are realised the reinvention of the wheel starts again with an evaluation of a brand spanking new square wheel with plenty of gold plate, which will morph into something slightly better than the old wheel but at 3 times the cost. Then the cycle repeats. Lessons don't ever seem to be learned, so we jump on reports of such lunacy which often turn out to be the sad truth. If we just stuck to the original plan we'd be far better off as each platform matures.

Navalised Grippen-E anybody? /joke

P.S. Interest payments on the UK debt are now greater than the defence budget.
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 12:48
  #6093 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
If, as reported by The Times, no F-35s will be purchased beyond the 48 already on order, and the planned delivery schedule, what would be a possible plan for a future air wing?

Extended cooperation with the USMC and a permanent squadron on board alongside one RAF/RN squadron?

One RAF/Wing 24 aircraft wing rotating between the QE2/POW with the other just used as a CVH and a trickle buy of attrition spares?

Fitting drone capable EMALS and having an air wing of one F-35B Sqn with drone UCAV wingmen?

Rotating one full wing between the two until a refit with EMALS and a naval Tempest?

As above but hanging on for the rumoured USN F-XX?

I imagine there will be a lot of pages written if the capping at 48 aircraft is confirmed.
I suspect giving the pre-IR speculation by an echo-chamber of defence journos a stiff ignoring might be the best view. The latest "official" view on the F35 buy was back in December at the HCDC by FinMilCap himself.

https://committees.parliament.uk/oralevidence/1350/pdf/

Q52 Sarah Atherton: Gentlemen, can I speak about the air combat strategy and in particular the F-35? Originally, the MOD stated its intention to buy 138 Lightning aircraft to support four operational squadrons and both carriers. That is now being degraded down to 48 jets to be delivered by 2026. So, with this increase in defence spending, will we see a commitment to purchase more aircraft?

Air Marshal Knighton: The 48 aircraft that you describe are those that we have ordered, that we have funding set aside for; as you say, the final ones are due to be delivered over the next five or six years. We know from our analysis that in order to sustain the F-35 capability and the carrier capability, we do need to increase the number of F-35s that we buy, and that we will want to do that over the period beyond 2025, when the next batch are brought into service. The precise number and the shape of that profile is, to some extent, dependent on our analysis around the overall future combat air system. While we know we need to increase the number of F-35Bs to support the carrier right the way through to its out-of-service date, the precise number will depend a bit on the work we do and the investment we’re making in the future combat air system, which the Prime Minister talked about. So we expect to be able to make definitive judgments around total future fleet in the 2025 timeframe; it could be up to the 138 or it could be less than that, but we need to do that analysis and that work to make sure that we get the right number.I can confirm that we know we will need to order more F-35Bs than we currently have on order.

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Old 9th Mar 2021, 12:51
  #6094 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by iranu View Post
P.S. Interest payments on the UK debt are now greater than the defence budget.
And have been for most of the preceding decade....
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 17:38
  #6095 (permalink)  
 
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Reading between the lines and the fact it says the cat would be capable of taking an F18, one wonders if the US is also pushing the idea to the MOD. Surely the ski jump would have to go.

https://www.naval-technology.com/fea...ats-and-traps/
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 19:19
  #6096 (permalink)  
 
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Reading the Sunday Times piece again, I note the wording is that an "order" for 90 F35s will be cancelled. This shows a misunderstanding of the present situation as there is no 'order' beyond the first 48; the remainder are merely a stated intention. I suppose it is possible that the review will conclude that no additional F35 orders will be placed during this review period (ie before 2025, as stated by AM Knighton) and that either the leaker or the journalist has misinterpreted this as 'cancellation'. Not long until we find out, anyway.
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 20:00
  #6097 (permalink)  
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I believe the point is that any available funds are being diverted towards the Tempest - so unless extra billions are made available no cash for extra F-35s will be available...
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Old 9th Mar 2021, 20:39
  #6098 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Surely the ski jump would have to go.
Can't they just drive backwards and fire them off the stern? :-)
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 07:48
  #6099 (permalink)  
 
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"I suppose it is possible that the review will conclude that no additional F35 orders will be placed during this review period (ie before 2025, as stated by AM Knighton)"

But even if that happens (and I really cant see why the finances are going to be better in 4 years time) i'll be several years before they turn up - The UK will only have 48 (or 16 active as per Evalu8ter's post). I can see the USMC being a permanent addition to the QE
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 16:42
  #6100 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
But even if that happens (and I really cant see why the finances are going to be better in 4 years time) i'll be several years before they turn up - The UK will only have 48 (or 16 active as per Evalu8ter's post). I can see the USMC being a permanent addition to the QE
It's potentially a question of time rather than finances. If it's decided to make a go of Tempest as land-based-only and keep F35B until carrier OSD, then we might find that operating assumptions change such that a handful of additional F35Bs would be taken in the 2030s before a fatigue replacement of the original 48 at the very end of the production run (ideally 2040s or even 50s if the line keeps going). Better to work the original 48 hard and take delivery of new-build late model aircraft than to be liable for upgrade and support costs of a large but lightly used fleet. That would mean no deliveries at this, or perhaps even the next review.
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