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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 22nd Nov 2021, 13:01
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 08:45
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Italian F-35Bs cross-deck ops on HMS Queen Elizabeth

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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 23:25
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A splendid sight courtesy of QNLZ's Twitter feed.


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Old 24th Nov 2021, 17:18
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I was suprised the earlier cross-decking with the USS Essex hasn't been mentioned, but maybe Junglies and our allies exercises don't interest other parties.

ARABIAN SEA -- Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211 cross-decked F-35B Lightning IIs from HMS Queen Elizabeth to the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), Nov. 8, 2021.

U.S. Marines from “The Wake Island Avengers” were transported by a Royal Navy Merlin MK IV to the Essex to recover and refuel the F-35Bs, before launching them on mission ultimately to return to Queen Elizabeth. This evolution demonstrated the strategic importance of F-35 capable allied carriers, as well as the interoperability the F-35B facilitates.

“The fact the U.S. and the U.K. can operate their 5th-generation jets and other aircraft from the same deck at the same time is a huge strategic advantage for both countries,” said Royal Navy Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander of the U.K. CSG. “It is a compliment that the U.S. is comfortable with the U.K. Carrier Strike Group commanding the largest U.S. 5th generation air wing afloat today.”

Simultaneously, aircraft attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 165 (Reinforced), 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, landed on Queen Elizabeth demonstrating increased interoperability, information sharing, and expanded access across the region as allies, as well as credible and capable forces operating in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.
(VMFA-211 and the 11th MEU Conduct Cross-Deck Operations, by 1LT Zachary Bodner, 3 MAW)

Image 17 of 17 VMFA-211 and the 11th MEU Conduct Cross-Deck Operations [Image 17 of 17], by 1LT Zachary Bodner, 3 MAW 08nov2021 "The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement."

Last edited by SLXOwft; 25th Nov 2021 at 11:17.
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Old 24th Nov 2021, 19:54
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U.K. Aircraft Carrier, Italian Navy Carrier Cross-Deck F-35Bs in Mediterranean 24 Nov 2021 Dzirhan Mahadzir
"...VFMA 211 also completed its embarkation on Queen Elizabeth, with the squadron departing today for Naval Station Rota, Spain, for the first leg of the voyage home.... ...The U.K. Royal Air Force also announced today that the first F-35B from 617 landed at RAF Marham in the U.K...."
https://news.usni.org/2021/11/24/u-k...-mediterranean
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Old 25th Nov 2021, 18:41
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CSG21

Striking back Dec 2021 Richard Scott [4 page PDF of article attached]
"The first operational test of the UK’s reconstituted carrier strike capability has been a broad success, with its embarked F-35Bs performing in combat and working alongside US Marine Corps assets....

...Regenerating powers
Rebuilding and regenerating carrier capability has demanded that the RN and RAF put old enmities to one side. It has also hinged on the assistance provided by key allies, acknowledges Connell.

“The French have been a part of that, yes, but particularly the US Navy and the US Marine Corps [USMC]. The extent to which our partners across the Atlantic have helped us on this journey has been incredible,” he says.

Reflecting the strength of this relationship, Queen Elizabeth’s air group for CSG21 has included 10 F-35Bs from the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211 (VMFA- 211) alongside eight jets from the RAF’s 617 Sqn.

While the initial move to bring a USMC squadron on board stemmed primarily from the slow ramp-up of the UK’s own Lightning Force, it has at the same time given the RN and the RAF a golden opportunity to demonstrate what levels of interoperability and interchangeability can be achieved with their US partners.

“VMFA-211 has not just embarked as an element of tokenism,” Connell emphasises. “It’s a front line, combat-ready US Marine Corps F-35 squadron fully integrated with the strike group. And we’ve been testing the bounds of that day in, day out. Their energy and focus, and the fact that they’re a couple of years ahead of us with the aircraft, has undoubtedly helped us.”....

...“So we were also having to maintain a ready alert on the deck to counter daily probing from the Russian air force coming out to the carrier. Over 30 live intercepts of armed Russian fighter and bomber aircraft were conducted in just over two weeks.

“Responding to quick alert like that is something the Royal Navy hasn’t done with aircraft carriers for a generation. So that’s meant understanding the readiness state that you have to maintain so you can get the jets off at sufficient time to ensure you can intercept an incoming aircraft at appropriate range.”...

...Units and air wings undertook both day and night flying; a number of anti-submarine/anti-surface warfare activities were completed; and flight operations were conducted from Queen Elizabeth concurrent with replenishment at sea operations.

“We were flying fixed-wing almost continuously through the 24-hour period, which is something the US doesn’t do – they surge for 15-hour, maybe 18- hour periods, whereas we were able to keep flying over 24 hours, fixed and rotary-wing,” says Moorhouse. “It really allowed us to show the unique flexibility and agility of Queen Elizabeth-class aviation.

“For example, flying fixed-wing while replenishing is really quite straightforward for us once you’ve got everyone trained and good to go. And we don’t need much wind [over the deck] to launch the jets, even at full weights in hot conditions.

“We are clearly different to an American CVN [nuclear-powered carrier],” he adds. “We don’t have catapults and arrestor gear, we’re not in the same scale in terms of air wing size, and the F-35B does not have the same legs.

“But [Queen Elizabeth] offers something completely different in its agility to get aircraft up and off. A CVN is incredibly impressive, but it is operated very differently and simply does not have the same flexibility.”...

...“With the numbers that we have, and if you can tailor your flying rates sensibly, you can broadly speaking have 75% of the aircraft available in any one day, and the rest going through routine maintenance. So that mass gives you the flexibility, and then it’s just ensuring you have that regular pattern of stores delivery.”...
Flight International December 2021
Attached Files

Last edited by SpazSinbad; 26th Nov 2021 at 01:06. Reason: format
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Old 1st Dec 2021, 07:51
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Here is a recording of the late Professor Eric Grove giving a talk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies regarding NATO naval planning in the 1980s.



Professor Grove mentions carriers a lot, in terms of protecting shipping and amphibious forces. At 50:15 he suggests that the thing hostile submarine captains dread most of all is the dipping sonar - and that an airborne radar flooding an area will keep the hostile submarines down. He then describes witness an ASW exercise in which a number of NATO submarines transmitted Soviet levels of noise, and everyone was covered by either an ASW helicopter or an MPA. With advances in towed array sonars, frigates and helicopters really can keep them at arms length.

He also discusses the potential of the F-35B operating with surface AAW platforms.

Since the talk NATO has established its Maritime Command at Northwood in the UK and Joint Forces Command (Norfolk) in Virginia. We have also restarted transatlantic reinforcement exercises.
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Old 2nd Dec 2021, 07:28
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"But [Queen Elizabeth] offers something completely different in its agility to get aircraft up and off." especially last week...............
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Old 4th Dec 2021, 11:50
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Old 5th Dec 2021, 09:01
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I guess if there is one good thing about losing an aircraft so early in the programme is that it highlights the need for follow-on orders..............
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Old 13th Dec 2021, 07:30
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The CSG21 deployment has been completed successfully.




I found this the other day..

Ready for Take-Off? The Next Generation of UK Maritime Air Power

The United Kingdom views its investment in maritime airpower as an important part of its contributions to the NATO Alliance. In 2020, it committed the CSG to the NATO Readiness Initiative, alongside other inputs such as the British Army's leadership of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence in Estonia. Reflecting its historical areas of strength, the United Kingdom also hosts Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) in Northwood, England, and the RN regularly contributes to the Standing NATO Maritime Groups and Standing NATO Maritime Countermeasures Groups. The RAF is similarly active in supporting NATO exercises and air policing missions.

Rebuilding the capability to deploy a CSG with embarked F-35Bs and a mix of helicopters presents not only the United Kingdom, but also NATO, with a new range of tactical options. This includes the added operational flexibility that comes with increased capacity (or 'mass') and new ways of bolstering the NATO Alliance's conventional deterrence and defence posture.

This enhancement in European NATO Allies' contributions to NATO maritime airpower—alongside the smaller and older carriers operated by France, Italy, and Spain—comes at a time when the U.S. Navy's own (much larger) fleet of aircraft carriers is facing growing demands from other theatres. Most notably, the U.S. military is increasingly having to juggle its ongoing presence and commitments in Europe with efforts to deter China's fast-growing People's Liberation Army, Navy, and Air Force in the Western Pacific. The return to United Kingdom carrier operations therefore presents opportunities for the RN and RAF to 'take some of the slack' from their U.S. counterparts, either by deploying the CSG within Europe or by taking up station elsewhere—for example, in waters off the Middle East—to help free up a U.S. task group for operations in other parts of the world.

It also comes as Russia continues to develop and deploy capabilities intended to deny NATO access to waters and airspace off Norway in the event of a conflic
t (so-called 'anti-access, area denial'), securing Russia's northern bastion and approaches and making any Allied reinforcement of Norway a more complicated and risky undertaking. Russia's naval and air forces similarly hope to contest NATO's access and control as far as the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap, directly threatening the SLOCs of the North Atlantic that lie beyond. These waters are vital to NATO's broader strategy and resilience, enabling the safe and timely movement of troops and materiel from North America to reinforce the European theatre in the event of a crisis or full-blown conflict.


The connections with the Future Commando Force and the Littoral Response/Strike Group are also mentioned.

The RN and Royal Marines are currently developing concepts for Littoral Strike, complementing the new CSG with Littoral Response Groups (LRGs) bringing together different amphibious assets. One (LRG North) is to be focused on the Euro-Atlantic region, and another (LRG South) is reportedly to be stationed in the Middle East and spend time as far afield as the Pacific. The United Kingdom's carriers will have an important role to play, for example deploying the CSG alongside LRG (North) in event of NATO amphibious operations in the High North and enabling aerial missions in support of forces deployed on shore. In June 2021, the United Kingdom conducted tests involving RAF Chinooks and Apache attack helicopters from the Army Air Corps' 656 Squadron operating from the deck of HMS Prince of Wales. This presents new options for deploying rotary-wing assets in support of NATO operations in littoral environments, such as through resupply or land attack.
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Old 13th Dec 2021, 12:23
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Can't help thinking that CSG21 was a bit senior management heavy. You have the Commodore embarked, his Flag Captain as CO HMS Queen Elizabeth and another 4 bar Captain as Commander(?) Air. I'm sure its all very chummy in the wardroom but a little OTT?
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Old 13th Dec 2021, 12:52
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Originally Posted by Navaleye View Post
Can't help thinking that CSG21 was a bit senior management heavy. You have the Commodore embarked, his Flag Captain as CO HMS Queen Elizabeth and another 4 bar Captain as Commander(?) Air. I'm sure its all very chummy in the wardroom but a little OTT?
Apart from a 4-ring Wings, which I suspect is a combination of appointing policy not to move the selected till normal tour end and because the USMC are used to a 4-ring Air Boss the top level arrangements are normal.
The Old Ark would embark FOCAS, or FOF3 plus his seagoing staff. CO Ark as Flag Captain, with probably a Captain CSO(A) on the staff. The staff there to direct and command the Task Group/Force. Not to run a carrier which was (is) the job of the CO and his Hods.

N
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Old 13th Dec 2021, 13:43
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Originally Posted by Navaleye View Post
Can't help thinking that CSG21 was a bit senior management heavy. You have the Commodore embarked, his Flag Captain as CO HMS Queen Elizabeth and another 4 bar Captain as Commander(?) Air. I'm sure its all very chummy in the wardroom but a little OTT?
Mirrors USN practice (albeit with fewer stars) - and as Bengo points out, not a million miles away from FOCAS etc in the 60s & 70s.

COMUKCSG is the equivalent of the USN 2* Commander Carrier Strike Group.

CO QNLZ is the equivalent of the Captain of the CVN

Wings is the equivalent of CAG on the CVN (again normally 4-ringer)

So all normal jogging - although reportedly there were an awful lot of people on the staffs that might be best described as augmentees......
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Old 13th Dec 2021, 15:30
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All those cross decking Americans, must have been a run on bacon butties..
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 17:31
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Pride, passion and purpose" as Royal Navy takes on key NATO mission

The Royal Navy today took charge of NATO’s most important task force with a ceremony aboard aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales in Portsmouth.

For the next 12 months it is responsible for leading the alliance’s Maritime High Readiness Force – an international task group formed to deal with major global events.

The most senior sea-going staff in the Royal Navy – Commander UK Strike Force, headed by Rear Admiral Mike Utley – takes charge of the force, with HMS Prince of Wales serving as NATO Command Ship, ready to deploy in support of NATO exercises and operations throughout the year.

Those will include major workouts for British and allied forces in the Arctic at the end of the winter, Baltic in the summer, and an extensive deployment to the Mediterranean in the autumn.

To mark the formal transfer of command from the French Navy, the NATO flag was raised aboard the carrier today during a 30-minute ceremony – shifted to the carrier’s aft hangar rather than the flight deck due to thick fog in Portsmouth – attended by defence attachés and military representatives from across the alliance.

Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Andrew Burns, inspected some of the ship’s company and Royal Marines Band before Captain Steve Higham, Prince of Wales’ Commanding Officer, addressed those present.

He reminded his ship’s company that as the carrier began her active career of 50 years or more, she did so at “an uncertain time in an uncertain world.”

He continued: “I know that everyone here is committed to doing their best for the Navy, nation and NATO. And we do so with a sense of pride, passion and purpose.”

Both the ship and the staff of Commander UK Strike Force underwent thorough training and preparations for the complex challenge of directing a large, multi-national naval force.

“Our battle staff have been preparing for this responsibility over the last 12 months by exercising and developing the capabilities required, which culminated in NATO Dynamic Mariner exercise in September 2021,” Admiral Utley said.

“This exercise demonstrated to our NATO Allies that the UK’s Carrier Strike capability will strengthen NATO countries' long-term ability to work side-by-side and our commitment to each other.”


HMS Prince Of Wales is due to put to sea tomorrow morning.
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 09:15
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WEBF - did you mention the F-35 loss in this long running thread? Surely it should be there for completeness of all thing RN?
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 10:00
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Well he did mention a Report headed “Ready for Takeoff”!!!
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Old 12th Jan 2022, 11:42
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Exactly 👍👍
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Old 17th Jan 2022, 06:59
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
WEBF - did you mention the F-35 loss in this long running thread? Surely it should be there for completeness of all thing RN?

No - but others did. I seem to recall a dedicated thread. Are you saying the commitment of a carrier to NATO as Flagship is not noteworthy?

The ship is due to sail tomorrow, raising the curtain of a demanding year in the waters of the Atlantic, northern Europe and Mediterranean.

“This year, as the NATO Command Ship, we will spend over 200 days at sea operating globally with our allies. We are ready to lead UK carrier operations for NATO over the next 12 months,” said Captain Steve Higham, Prince of Wales’ Commanding Officer.

Originally Posted by KiloB
Well he did mention a Report headed “Ready for Takeoff”!!!

The article from RUSI drew attention the importance of the carrier(s) to NATO.

The return to United Kingdom carrier operations therefore presents opportunities for the RN and RAF to 'take some of the slack' from their U.S. counterparts, either by deploying the CSG within Europe or by taking up station elsewhere—for example, in waters off the Middle East—to help free up a U.S. task group for operations in other parts of the world.

It also comes as Russia continues to develop and deploy capabilities intended to deny NATO access to waters and airspace off Norway in the event of a conflic
t (so-called 'anti-access, area denial'), securing Russia's northern bastion and approaches and making any Allied reinforcement of Norway a more complicated and risky undertaking. Russia's naval and air forces similarly hope to contest NATO's access and control as far as the Greenland-Iceland-UK gap, directly threatening the SLOCs of the North Atlantic that lie beyond. These waters are vital to NATO's broader strategy and resilience, enabling the safe and timely movement of troops and materiel from North America to reinforce the European theatre in the event of a crisis or full-blown conflict.


On the same note, the recording of the talk by the late Professor Eric Grove both underlined and explained why carriers and their aircraft were key to NATOs operational concepts in the 1980s, and that they still are critically important to NATO, including for both air defence and ASW,


You might also like a look at this paper on 1980s US Naval strategy.

Last edited by WE Branch Fanatic; 27th Jan 2022 at 15:04.
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