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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

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Future Carrier (Including Costs)

Old 5th Jul 2008, 21:17
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The reason for the choice of Queen Elizabeth is entirely in keeping with RN tradition, which is that the first major (surface) vessel of a monarch's reign is named after/for them.

Thus Victoria's ship was HMS Queen; George V had the KCV; George VI 's ship was the Duke of York (he said that having a KGV and a KGVI would just confuse people) and HMQ has had to wait over 50 years to have a major ship.

CVA02 was to have been called the Duke of Edinburgh, and the cynic in me says that CVF2 is the PoW solely because there's a very good chance that Charles/George VII (or whatever he intends to call himself when monarch) wouldn't otherwise get his own ship.
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Old 5th Jul 2008, 21:36
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I assume the French carriers that are being built as part of the "partnership" are cat and trap.
Yes, they are.

And their commitment to CTOL lends support to arguments higher up the thread that when the joint Anglo-French program inevitably gets downsized that we will move to cat and trap with marinated Typhoon (or just adopt Rafale, which is perhaps more versatile than Typhoon and already marinated).

For versatility of adapting new airframes as the need arises (especially UAV and UCAV), and interoperability with major allies (US, France) cat and trap is the way forward.

Last edited by CirrusF; 5th Jul 2008 at 22:03.
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Old 5th Jul 2008, 21:54
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Personally I think we should have gone cat and trap with the CV variant for many many reasons.
There are arguments for and against cat/trap and STOVL but pleeeaaassseee let's not go over old ground again!! However, please remember that F-35 is not just going to operate from CVF.

Victoria's ship was HMS Queen
Now that would have been a funny name!!!!

...we will move to cat and trap with marinated Typhoon
Not this again!!!

Alternatively we could present BAeS with 2B in cash to be presented to those shareholders with open fires who wish to reduce the felling of trees.

Regards,
MM
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Old 5th Jul 2008, 21:57
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"That is why the UK Armed forces must be equipped to meet ALL Scenario's not just the one's we THINK are going to happen."

That would be nice, but it's already clear that we can't afford every capability, and so we must concentrate on those that are most useful, most often, and carriers don't tick that box.

And it's no use at all buying a gold plated contents insurance policy if stretching to afford it means that you can only afford to live in a f*cking tent.

These carriers are unaffordable, and paying for them will distort force structure for decades to come.
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Old 5th Jul 2008, 22:14
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These carriers are unaffordable, and paying for them will distort force structure for decades to come.
Agree to some extent.

I think we should just have one CTOL carrier, and the French have an identical sistership, we integrate as far possible operations and make them both able to carry either Typhoon and Rafale. We are still fully operable with US. Plus we are relatively future-proof in that we can carry UAVs and UCAVs.

Will a STOVL carrier be able to launch and recover UAVs? I would imagine not, at least not without designing a specially adapted UAV. I think we will be severely limiting our options if we can't carry (say), Mariner (the US Navy version of Predator) which already has 48 hour autonomy in prototype form.

With a few Mariner ASW UAVs on a CTOL carrier, we could have an ASW patrol vehicle that might actually be useful as it would be deployable worldwide instead of just in a coastal sweep around the porridge wogs.

Last edited by CirrusF; 6th Jul 2008 at 08:41.
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Old 6th Jul 2008, 09:22
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unfortunatley I have to agree. The order is more to do with preserving Jobs in Gordon Browns back yard than the defence of the relm. The Carriers are and will be white elephats as there will not be sufficient escort and support vessels to use them operationally. And thats if JSF STOVL survives the US presidential campaign.
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Old 6th Jul 2008, 09:47
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Magic Mushroom said:
"CVA01 were also to be named QE2 and PoW and it didn't do them much good."

As I understand it they were to be called QE and Duke of Edinburgh, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story?
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Old 6th Jul 2008, 09:58
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the 2 CVA 01 carriers were to be called Queen Elizibeth and Duke of Edinburgh. But they were cancelled in the 1970's

The new carriers are to Be called

HMS Queen Elizabeth
HMS Prince of Wales
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Old 6th Jul 2008, 13:49
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I agree with MM that the STOVL train has left the station. We'll find out in the next year or so whether it was a good idea, or how much it will cost to make it a good idea.
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Old 6th Jul 2008, 16:10
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I wasn't so much suggesting the STOVL train had departed, more that there are pros and cons to both F-35B and F-35C.

The former would enable the CVF air wing to be rapidly and significantly reinforced by RAF sqns without the need to maintain highly perishable cat/trap skills. STOVL also allows greater flexibility in operating from austere land bases, and from a wider variety of RN and coalition surface ships. Who knows, the replacement for Ocean (if there is one) may even be designed with a ski jump and without a dirty great CIWS to ensure fixed wing cannot fly STO!!

The CV option meanwhile is clearly the more capable aircraft in terms of range/payload. People who argue for CV so that E-2 can be procured really need to wake up and smell the coffee. The money is just not there for such a MASC solution and the SKASaC sensor already out performs the E-2 sensors in many respects; those advantages will remain even over the E-2D. Yes, a rotary MASC suffers from many limitations but there are very few scenarios where theatre C2 will not be be supplied by land based assets such as E-3 and Wedgetail. A Merlin ASaC would offer a pragmatic balance between ensuring CVF has a useful C2 capability, and allowing cash to be spent on other essential capabilities such as CVF C2 and J6.

In the very unlikely event that F-35B and C are unavailable, I would suggest that the FA-18E/F offers a better solution to Rafale due to its sensor/weapons mix. Sea Typhoon is a complete non-starter imho.

DOG,

Apologies, I stand corrected!

Regards,
MM
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Old 6th Jul 2008, 17:34
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I can't imagine the Treasury taking kindly to an abrupt and fairly serious change to the plans, since industry and MoD have sworn on their grannies' graves that there will be no surprises this time, we've really got this one sussed guv.

And there is no really good CV aircraft out there. The Rafale is French and eccentric, with all that implies. The F-35C is a Buccaneer with supersonic dash, and the Rhino can't get out of its own way (and moreover will be out of production by the time the CVFs are operational). It gets harder as time goes on to see any alternative to the F-35B, so everyone had better pray that it works.

In short, that's the problem - the longer that everyone remains infatuated with JSF, the fewer and worse the alternatives get.
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Old 6th Jul 2008, 23:55
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Costs

The RN already covers the cost of running 2 carriers within its budget - so its not extra money being spent. The type 45s have been found to run on half the fuel of the type 42s they replace, so although the CVFs might be 3 times the size of the Vinis they will probably cost about the same to drive as the current old CVS'.

They take 1500 men rather than 1200 on the CVS, but the RN will be replacing 6 T42's at over 300 men/women a ship with 6 45s at 190. So less overall.

They need an airgroup, but are we saying that the harriers should not be replaced - after STOVL has demonstrated real utility in Stan? Also add on the fact that UK plc will earn more from F35 through its workshare than it will ever pay out buying them.

So it must be about the 4bn capital cost? But the RN has sacrificed ships to pay for them. Remember it used to be 12 Type 45s, and now it is 6. The escort fleet is significantly reduced on 1998.

Many people think its worth the sacrifice. The 45s might be good at protecting a task group, but they don't give you the power to drive the military strategy of that group. They allow the UK to make the big calls.

So the RN have paid for them in capital savings, and running costs. So why can't we afford them?

A certain 20bn contract comes to mind at this point.

Last edited by hulahoop7; 7th Jul 2008 at 00:19.
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Old 7th Jul 2008, 06:35
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I don't think that most people have an issue with F35 - it is with F35B. The C can carry more/bigger bombs further and/or stay on task longer (in stealth mode and bomb truck mode). The stealth delivery of 2 x 1000lbers is fine, just so long as the bad guys haven't hardened their assets too much!

I'm not sure the last 2 letters of STOVL have proved their utility on current ops.
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 10:27
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Range vs Flexibility

A quick search on google gets you onto wikipedia which quotes its source as the JSF media briefing packs, which although obviously unclass are quite enlightening about aircraft range.

They quote range for the A,B, C models as 1200nm, 900nm and 1400nm.

These must obviously be taken as very rough figures. But when considering austere ops etc one must be mindful of the fact that if the C can fly 500nm further than the B it isn't a bad assumption that it's combat radius is going to be somewhere iro 250nm more. (All agree? Good)

How many austere basing options in the world are there without decent bases within 250nm? Does an extra 250nm from Mum negate the need to step ashore anyway? How long would it take for a squadron to launch from the boat, recover to a strip, set-up, re-fuel, re-arm, mend the planes and then start fighting again? What asset would take the kit/ engineers etc?

My personal opinion is that the 'flexibility' given by STOVL is at best disingenuously sold, at worst a complete red herring. I'm sure someone far cleverer than i shall disagree.
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 11:08
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STOVL

I think it's mostly about the training. With STOVL the whole of JFH, or JFDave can either be flexibly deployed ashore or to the CVF, without any particularly difficult retraining.

If the UK went CTOL, those pilots would be spending a LOT of time keeping carrier current. I think a super power luxury.

Range is obviously relative, and C version is exceptional. B doesn't look to shabby when compared to some contemporary aircraft. e.g. twice that of a harrier.

If the UK wants to drop big bombs at range from a land base, there is always a conformal Phoon?
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 14:06
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Training

Imagine, just imagine that Dave B were performance limited. i.e. the engine geeks were getting about as much from the donk as the airframe geeks had made their structure weigh. That would mean that every deck landing would be a one off, and the pilot would then taxy to the chocks on vapour. So to do five or so would require the same amount of turn rounds etc on deck (i.e. deployed/ detached)

Imagine, just imagine, if Dave C were able to pitch up to the boat with enough gas for four touch-and-goes followed by the real deal/ RTB. It could even do it unsupported, and be back at Lossie before the rubber marks cooled.

If the above were true Dave B would be ridiculously hard to actually derive training benefit from, whereas Dave C could fit a carrier qual or two into just about any mission you care to mention.

Of course, the VSTOL performance of JSF B has never been in doubt, and anyway, aeroplanes tend to get lighter as kit tends to be taken away during the platform's development....err, no wait.
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 16:34
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So let me get this right - the justification for STOVL F35 is that conventional carrier landings are hard and require constant training whereas VLs on carriers are much easier and don't? LOL - as the yoof say. Can't wait to banter the harrrier mates about that!
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 16:58
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a bit out of touch here, is AEW going to be deployed onboard ?,some earlier posters mention the possibility of a converted merlin.
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 18:54
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What about a split buy of Bs for the carrier ops and a few land based squadrons plus a few squadrons of Cs for long range land based attack. In the event that the CVs are ever converted to Cat & Trap the Cs would then obviously be available for use on them.
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 22:25
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So let me get this right - the justification for STOVL F35 is that conventional carrier landings are hard and require constant training whereas VLs on carriers are much easier and don't? LOL - as the yoof say. Can't wait to banter the harrrier mates about that!
Does it matter? I thought F35 (whatever variant) will be auto land - as demo'd by the VAAC on INVINCIBLE a couple of years ago and the F18 today.

Re range - what likely targets require such addl range that make the B so unsuitable?

Re choice, it seems from Janes that more nations are beginning to choose the B variant - UK, USMC, USAF, Canada, Japan, Italy.....plenty to operate off CVF.

Re Mariner - not sure the USN will operate this off a CV, in any event there is no reason not to use the angled deck to avoid the ramp for UAV launches -plenty of deck run available.

Re costs of CVF....pales into insignificance when the costs of Typhoon (incl deployment costs) are taken into account....and Typhoon doesn't do the diplomacy bit in the political arena before hot ops.
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