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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 31st May 2021, 23:23
  #6261 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you so much, 'Engines', for this view from the coal face.
It is another illustration of the rot in Boeing's formerly preeminent engineering culture.
When management is seduced by 'Powerpoint Engineering', stuff like 'all the risks materialized' is to be expected. Nobody dares ask the hard questions early.
As shown by the KC-46 or the SLS capsule, Boeing reliably does a poor job of detail engineering, but the marketing remains world class.
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 09:50
  #6262 (permalink)  
 
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Etudiant,

Glad you liked my post - I try to offer information that might help better understand the challenges faced in developing military aircraft.

I would offer a couple of thoughts - Boeing is a huge organisation, and within that there will be people of varying abilities. In the run up to the JSF decision, I had a chance to learn a little about the two teams (Boeing and LM), and Boeing's strong suit was their avionics system integration - 'mission systems'. I heard US Government types saying that what they really wanted to do was to award the airframe contract to LM, and the mission systems integration work to Boeing. However, the rules were 'only one winner'. One of the major causes for the later F-35 delays was the very poor job that LM did in developing and testing the mission system components and software. My guess is that this has added around two to three years at least to the programme.

The other main cause for delays was LM's more or less complete failure to pay attention to airframe weight. This is a huge issue for a powered lift aircraft, where every pound literally counts. I saw first hand a series of poor decisions, driven by a belief within LM that the new computer CAD systems would 'take care of weight control', and that 'the correct aircraft weight would fall out of the design process'. Wrong on both counts, and the subsequent redesign of the F-35 (all 3 variants, by the way, not only the B) added at least 20 months to the programme in around 2003/4. I personally saw examples of really bad airframe design decisions within LM, as well as some really excellent ones.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that any organisation will screw up at some time - the recent 737 Max episode was an absolute shocker for Boeing, but it also shows the perils of not having a competent, active and independent regulator who is able and given the time to ask the 'hard questions'. Thats an issue you will have seen aired hundreds of time on PPRuNe.

For my money, the biggest risk to any programme, civil or military, is the rise of the 'JFDI' school of management - that's 'Just F*****g Do It'. This is where the schedule and cost (and sometimes marketing) people get to run the programme, and if an engineer steps forward and says that they need more time to look at a problem, they get told to shut up and press on - 'JFDI'. The best way forward is always a team effort. That often means listening to your team when they are giving you bad news.

Best Regards as ever to all these good team leaders who listen and take timely decisions - even if they're hard ones.

Engines

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Old 1st Jun 2021, 11:02
  #6263 (permalink)  
 
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F35 diverts into Ibiza from the Queen

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/f-35...ibiza-landing/
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Old 1st Jun 2021, 12:57
  #6264 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Engines View Post
Etudiant,

I heard US Government types saying that what they really wanted to do was to award the airframe contract to LM, and the mission systems integration work to Boeing. However, the rules were 'only one winner'.

The other main cause for delays was LM's more or less complete failure to pay attention to airframe weight. This is a huge issue for a powered lift aircraft, where every pound literally counts. I saw first hand a series of poor decisions, driven by a belief within LM that the new computer CAD systems would 'take care of weight control', and that 'the correct aircraft weight would fall out of the design process'.

Engines
I can vouch for the first part of the quote - and it wasn't just the US Government types - it was a widely held view across the entire Government team......

On the second point I believe LM were sucked into complacency by their early programme experience with the CAD system. On the demonstrator they had made an allowance of several pounds for shim when mating the LM and BAe manufactured sections of the airframe. In the event they used less than one oz, with which they were highly delighted, probably leading to eyes off the ball.
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Old 2nd Jun 2021, 16:57
  #6265 (permalink)  
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It is funny how some people seem determined not to see the wood for the trees. Exercise Steadfast Defender 21 was/is a transatlantic reinforcement exercise, and carriers are needed to make that sort of reinforcement by defending shipping against air and submarine threats.

Some conclusions:

1. The QEC can indeed operate aircraft.

2. We will have ASW Merlins and Lightnings aboard both carriers in the next few weeks.
3. 820NAS can provide 24/7 ASW defence for the carrier group and any forces or shipping being escorted.
4. Carriers are critically important to NATO.
5. The first real mission for HMS Queen Elizabeth, and the first part of the CSG21 deployment, was playing a key role in NATO deterrence activities to help keep the peace.

As for F-35B range - how does it compare with that if the Super Hornet - if they both carry the same load? Do Typhoons launching from Cyprus on Operation Shader missions need tanker support?
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Old 3rd Jun 2021, 23:04
  #6266 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Engines View Post
Their final design solution using liquid fuelled rockets firing vertically downwards to achieve a vertical landing was, to my mind, an act of desperation.

At the time, I was a strong supporter of the Boeing design, as I liked its layout and potential simplicity - but as Scotty used to say in Star Trek. 'You canna change the laws of physics'.
Engines
From my perspective at the time, the Boeing concept was never as simple as the LM one. Even from the word go, the Boeing aircraft relied on big scary engineering stuff that was far from simple and also on subtle scary stuff that was fiendishly complex. Then the design got more and more complex as every problem required more things to be added to the design (introducing new problems). The special requirements of the C variant can't have helped and certainly did not help credibility when the PWSC started to look very different from the "simple" concept demonstrator. The "vertical lift augmentors" or whatever they were called, were just a very (very) late arrival in that line of added systems. I recall they weren't actually rockets, although the proposed supplier had ample form in that field, but with regard to exhaust characteristics they might as well have been. Their inclusion was a surpise to many people, including (and I made a point of asking at the time) many within the design team. The aircraft ended up massively complex and it was a big relief that LM, with their inherently simpler concept, won the day. Of course the LM PWSC subsequently had plenty of development issues, as has been written about at length (my favourite being the C variant's inability to trap), but I think LM were able to get through in part because they had been rewarded by their basic concept rather than persistently tripped up by it.
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Old 7th Jun 2021, 22:20
  #6267 (permalink)  
 
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So it is looking interesting for naval aircraft refuelling en route
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Old 8th Jun 2021, 07:30
  #6268 (permalink)  
 
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But how do you recover the MQ-25 to a QE?
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Old 8th Jun 2021, 08:46
  #6269 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
But how do you recover the MQ-25 to a QE?
You don't, you sail the QE in a task force with a US carrier that can. We now have a capability far greater than what we used to have and one we can actually afford. The cats/traps, nuke propulsion arguments are done and dusted.


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Old 9th Jun 2021, 07:40
  #6270 (permalink)  
 
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"you sail the QE in a task force with a US carrier that can"

You can see why a lot of the USN can't get excited about getting a lot of smaller carriers can't you?
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 10:56
  #6271 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think the issue here is the size of the carrier - the QEs are pretty big after all - but whether it has cats and traps. On that, the UK has (as I think has already been noted) put out a request for information on acquiring a cat and trap system ideally capable of launching up to 55K lb and recovering 44Klb - recognising that in future a mix of manned and unmanned systems will become increasingly the way to go.

By comparison, the figures I've seen for MQ-25 suggest a MTOW of around 45K lb. Of course a healthy does of PPRuNe-style cynicism may be justified here given past experience in this area, but at least for now we seem to be planning for unmanned options including those that require catapult launch.

In the meantime, worth remembering that any operation against peer or near-peer opposition will always be carried out as part of a coalition effort. That's how it is these days and also how it will remain, and any discussion of QE carrier capabilities should recognise that. The UK, quite rightly, is not trying to emulate what the US could do on its own, or anything close.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 11:04
  #6272 (permalink)  
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HMS Prince of Wales has recovered and launched her first F-35B Lightning

The stealth fighter touched down for the first time on the deck of the second of Britain’s new aircraft carriers on a calm, clear day off the south coast of England.

HMS Prince of Wales manoeuvered into position to accept the aircraft which touched down on the sprawling flight deck with precision amid an air of excitement from the ship’s company.

“It was a real honour to be the first pilot to land the F-35B on HMS Prince of Wales,” said RAF Squadron Leader Will of 207 Squadron from Marham.

“With all the training that we have previously undertaken with HMS Queen Elizabeth we are now looking forward to using that experience and knowledge as we work with HMS Prince of Wales as she moves towards her full operational capability.”

Shortly after the first landing, the first take-off: Lieutenant Commander Ben, also from 207 Squadron – the joint RAF-Fleet Air Arm formation dedicated to teaching fast jet pilots how to fly and operate the stealth fighter – powered along the deck and leapt skywards courtesy of the carrier’s iconic ski ramp, blazing the trail for thousands of similar launches over the next half century.

The jet and ship are carrying out Sea Acceptance Trials which test the ship’s ability to not only receive and launch the jets but also maintain near-continuous air operations.
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Old 9th Jun 2021, 11:12
  #6273 (permalink)  
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RAF Squadron Leader Will
Lieutenant Commander Ben
Bill and Ben?



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Old 9th Jun 2021, 18:31
  #6274 (permalink)  
 
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do not mention Weed, anybody. Incompatible with flying duties [as in aircraft].
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Old 17th Jun 2021, 13:10
  #6275 (permalink)  
 
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A video containing some interesting stuff including spectacular shots of our carrier strike group:

As US Withdraws From Afghanistan, CENTCOM Head Says NATO Assistance Essential

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