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No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?

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No cats and flaps ...... back to F35B?

Old 25th Jun 2012, 15:32
  #1261 (permalink)  
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What would I apologise for? I think we have just agreed to differ!

I was also at CAOC5 with the 'Bear', whom I remember called me Leon for the first week as he hadn't got the hang of my nom de plume on my grow bag. Fortunately, for me I worked there for a few weeks or so, thus I was not investigated for allowance fiddling (were 't they Harrier mates in the end?).

Yes, the F3 was great for NVG night work - especially when escorting a French Puma to rescue one of your wonder jets pilots!

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Old 25th Jun 2012, 16:44
  #1262 (permalink)  
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"Perhaps if 1SL was an aviator not a sub/frigate driver, JFH would still be grooming dark and light blue cloth for JCA. Celebrating a combined success in Libya with the rest of Combat Air and training for STOVL CEPP as we speak. "

Fair point, however one of the bonuses of getting the carriers is that the the boss of the RN will probably become an aviator again like they were before we stepped away from proper conventional carriers.

When your "teeth" asset is the carrier rather than the bombers, then the route to 1SL will most palmost certainly involve Captain of a carrier just like the old days, and most (nearly all?) carrier captains are aviators.


Nice to see that you and engines are offloading me for the crab baiting.

Ivor Nydia

" If every other nation (USMC, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, India, Thailand etc) manages to commit naval aviation on varying degrees of a part-time basis, does the UK have to pay to do full-time USN tailhook-style carrier ops"

France is not part time, and has vastly lower OC than we aspire to due to their carrier problems.

Italy, Spain, Russia, India, Thailand etc are just playing at it.
It is better not to do it at all rather than just play at it. The worst waste of money is to spend 80% of whats needed and end up with a useless vanity project.

USMC are in no way part time on carrier or otherwise.
The USMC is about the same size as our entire armed forces, and vastly more capable due to their equipment and training budget.
With multiple carriers, they are in no way comparable. There is more to doing naval aviation properly than just the pilots, and the USMC take it very seriously.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 18:23
  #1263 (permalink)  
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There is a sliding scale here that some obviously get, some clearly don't.

If you want to land on a carrier you can do it in a few seconds. Bell them up, ask where they are, gear down and VV jsut in front should crack it. If you want to be good at it you need to put aside a few days and find all sorts of weather.

If you want a whole squadron to be up to speed (defined as 'unlikely to crash if left to their own devices') then the aircrew will need about three weeks once you have taken the 1 in 7 days off and factored in weather and servicability.

If you want the fighter controllers to be good at the force marshal thing, and the ATC chaps to be good at getting you all down safely in ever increasing numbers you need to be onboard for at least a week after you were prepared to start pushing four ships off the front.

The deck team will take about a week of fourships etc to get used to it and then you can start the complex evolution of recovering fourships at the same time as launching them. Your chaps will start complaining at this point about not being able to get to the jets to fuel and arm them because someone else is quite selfishly trying to launch.

Once you have that cracked you can start thinking about holding a GCAS pair at alert whilst flying your four over four frag.

Not to worry though, because contrary to popular opinion you can actually be training on all these missions - it's not just about wasting fuel. But your planners and Fleet N7 probably need a kick every now and then to make sure the training is actually available.

At about this time Flyco can cope with just about anything up to the planning assumptions you told the ACC at the get go you could manage.

Which means it's time to embark the staff and get ACC talking to MCC about priorities etc and seeing if the deck, ship and weapon supply can cope with changing frag, dynamic targets, aircraft coming home late, ship needing to nip off to avoid submarine threat etc.

So. Assuming you want to be at high readiness as a driver takes a few days, delivering the UK a capability can takes about eight carefully scripted weeks.

Then you can go off to Bright Star, Magic Carpet whatever you fancy, and not embarass yourself. And yes if you are driver you will think one of two things. 1. "But I could do all this ages ago." or 2. "Wow, jets ranged, weapons correct, Green Crown actually there, E-3 talking to boat, Baggers talking to JTAC...it's all been worth it!"

And that is where JFH just about got (back) to when they were canned. I personally heard a OC JFH brief at Shriv that he considered his annual commitment to CVS to be 10 days. I was also there when the last one was stood in the ops room of a CVS briefing the 1 star on the DT his boys were about to service.

I personally thought the first an odd choice for OC of a Joint force the other (and the one before him) I considered a gentleman and one of the best officers I had served under.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 19:26
  #1264 (permalink)  
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If we are having RAF pilots deploy onto US carriers for the full deployments, lerarning the full skills of operating from the decks of these carriers including night flying etc then hats off to them. The shore based operational RAF squadrons are arguably an expensive way to use those resources and why not have them operate from carriers but of course retain one for the duties you have outlined. Far better to deploy from a fully equipped mobile airfield as opposed to what we saw over Libya?
The RAF and RN have been exchanging for years and years. Lets take the RAF then... they have had conventional carrier exchanges at no less than 3 US Naval Service bases for a large number of years. In fact, a recently retired 4* officer was also an exchange officer who had carrier experience. The problem has been that, until the sudden change from the -B to the -C, conventional UK carrier ops was nothing but a long forgotten myth of the 1970s Cold War era when folk talked of angled decks, steam catapults, jets that were as heavy as the ship but still got airborne, the Buccaneer, the Buccaneer and...oh, yes, the Buccaneer! So, those exchange officers with carrier expertise came back in the 80s, 90s and 'noughties' with no platform to continue their newly-acquired skill. So, back to their old jet and bravo old bean.

18 months ago the unthinkable happened. The UK actually wanted an angled deck, special electric catapults....you get my drift right?! Anyway, many people thought that Britain's Navy would once again be a huge maritime player on the World stage with our two 65,000kg wonderous carriers and a bunch of amazing stealth jets: Awesome indeed! But, it proved to be a tease. We are now left licking our wounds because we're back where we began before that glimmer of hope came our way. People are upset, and some shall forever haunt these forums to speak of the F-35C with a fondness comparable to the Buccaneer, but it shall, alas, never be....

So, Glojo, the skills that the current exchange pilots are getting are not directly transferable to the ramped QEC. That said, their knowledge and experience of the big deck environment and of being on a bigger carrier; the pace of life; the sights, sounds and smells etc, are all relevant and very transferable. However, from a pure piloting perspective, the best place right now to 'keep one's hand in' would be either flying the F-35B in the USA or flying the AV-8B with the USMC. STOVL Ops are where we're headed.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 20:08
  #1265 (permalink)  
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"As far as I am aware there is not one single senior Naval officer that has had any experience of serving aboard a conventional aircraft carrier?"
Something that was written during the Libyan campaign jogged my memory that the 1SL had served on a carrier so I checked.

The current 1SL commanded the Aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious as did the previous 1SL.

(and while checking the above was correct, I noticed that Admiral Sir George Zambella also served on the HMS Illustrious as a helicopter pilot).
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 20:30
  #1266 (permalink)  
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Illustrious (R06) is, was, an Invincible Class carrier, NOT a conventional carrier.

Illustrious (R87) was a conventional carrier that was in service until 1954.

'Conventional carrier' is a phrase that, to most people here I think, would bring to mind catapults and arrestor gear.

There may be serving RN who were aboard Ark Royal, our last conventional carrier, but they'd be aged mid 50s and would, 34 years ago, have been quite junior.

Last edited by Willard Whyte; 25th Jun 2012 at 22:18.
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 22:12
  #1267 (permalink)  
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Wise words ICBM and thank you WW for the clarification... Ark Royal whose final voyage was way back in 1978. Phantoms, Buccaneers and the Gannet....

Definitely a possibility to still ahve a serving sailor but I doubt they would have held a senior position on that Audacious ship!
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Old 25th Jun 2012, 22:35
  #1268 (permalink)  
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I suspect any serving officers that served on Ark Royal (IV) are enjoying a well earned rest after 34 years. We are not going back to that, so lets embrace the new world and show what we can do. I have every faith in the navy to make this work and it will. So lets get a reality check and stop going round in circles.
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Old 26th Jun 2012, 02:22
  #1269 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tourist
Italy, Spain, Russia, India, Thailand etc are just playing at it.
I'll agree about Italy, Spain, Thailand (especially)... and even Russia.

But India? They have maintained carrier capability continuously since 1962, and currently have 1 "second-hand" carrier in service, a second "second-hand" carrier on sea trials and scheduled for delivery at the end of this year, and a third "home-built" carrier about half-completed!

They are even in the design phase for their second home-built carrier, which is planned to bring their fleet to 3 active ships (since Viraat, ex-Hermes, will be decommissioned no later than the commissioning of their first home-built carrier). And serious consideration is being taken for this second home-build to have "cat&trap" fitting, although it might just be a repeat of the first, due to budget considerations.

That seems like a pretty darned serious devotion to a real carrier force to me!
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Old 26th Jun 2012, 06:04
  #1270 (permalink)  
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Yes, fair point, they don't really deserve to be in that group.

What I should have said is that India is investing a lot in getting to a decent capability because they recognise the requirement, but as yet do not have a serious capability.

Russia could be said to be the other side of the curve.
They used to want a decent capability, but pretty much gave up during the dark years of the USSR breakup.
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Old 26th Jun 2012, 08:48
  #1271 (permalink)  
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The Indians are no fools - they have two serious potential adversaries on their borders - the Chinese they can't fight conventionally due to the terrain so that requires a missile force. They have proved several times they can roll up the Pakistani's in a conventional war

But they also have a lot of ocean around - and a vested interest in the Gulf area - a couple of carriers and one or two SSN's mean they can do what they damn well like from Cape of Good Hope to Singapore
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Old 27th Jun 2012, 16:03
  #1272 (permalink)  
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Not an Officer but there was an Aircraft Handler on Ark V who had served on Ark IV and been for a swim off Atlantic Conveyor in '82. An absolute wealth of experience and good dits who may just about still be in the Navy. Sadly he will be long gone by the time QE is ready.

I think the benefits of experience operating from a big deck will be relevant to those UK aviators of both cloths currently flying F-18s. They'll probably find it quite spacious on QE compared to what they are used to as we will never have a similar number of aircraft onboard as a CVN. Hopefully we will retain enough and get them into the F-35 training pipeline soon enough for it to be worthwhile.

When given a choice between 1 ship with Cats and Traps and F-35C in 2023ish or 2 ships with F-35B in 2018ish then of course 1SL is going to go for the second option. There's a lot of elements to a carrier apart from the CAG, and nearly all of them involve RN manpower.

Post Afghanistan JFH was getting worked back up to where it wanted to be with regards maritime ops, sadly it wasn't allowed to get there.

We have already had RN and RAF intimately involved onboard the USS Wasp for F-35B initial sea trials so the next step is to build on the upcoming trials of both F-35B and F-35C as a precursor to First of Class Flying trials from the QE. We have the right people in the right jobs to do this today.

Last edited by WhiteOvies; 27th Jun 2012 at 16:08.
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Old 27th Jun 2012, 17:30
  #1273 (permalink)  
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you people have no idea what you are talking about... the -35 has more capability than you can imagine.
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Old 27th Jun 2012, 17:50
  #1274 (permalink)  
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Surely you mean "will have".....with the caveat "if it ever comes into service"
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Old 27th Jun 2012, 18:10
  #1275 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by White Overalls
When given a choice between 1 ship with Cats and Traps and F-35C in 2023ish or 2 ships with F-35B in 2018ish then of course 1SL is going to go for the second option. There's a lot of elements to a carrier apart from the CAG, and nearly all of them involve RN manpower.
Do you think we will have two operational ships with air wings by 2018-ish or even 2022 -ish? I would like to think you are right but that date is not that far off and so far all we read in our papers is doom followed by gloom regarding the aircraft!

Fingers crossed
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Old 27th Jun 2012, 18:16
  #1276 (permalink)  
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Oh my.

One takes a couple of weeks off, dropping off the odd thumb-drive at nuclear research facilities here and there, and the thread has just surged on, in runaway mode.

Also hearing a lot of LockMart people and their trained parrots (and I am not referring to anyone here) informing all and sundry that the program is just going absoinglutely wonderfully well, and that the professional customers are just spouting wind about 2019 IOT&E completion dates, A-model cost per flight hour being almost 60 per cent higher than the F-16 and so forth.

Which is all reassuring, in view of the fact that they haven't started delivering Lot 3, which was supposed to be finished last December, and that the earned value management system (a quite basic bit of accounting, intended to show the customer that the money handed to the contractor paid for what it was supposed to pay for) has been deemed unfixable for now, having been broken since 2009.
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Old 27th Jun 2012, 19:02
  #1277 (permalink)  
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Any more info on the EVM status?

It can't just be 'broken' - where is the baseline and how bad are the indices?

Where does f35 sit regarding the auto cancel triggers I wonder?
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Old 27th Jun 2012, 19:18
  #1278 (permalink)  
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Apologies, probably overstated things a bit there: we won't have both ships up and running by 2018 but we should have initial sea trials sorted. The time frame we're working to according to the politicians is 2020 I believe so 1 ship (QE) plus first Sqn of jets , with the second ship (PoW) getting ready to go for when QE goes into her first refit seems realistic.

But at least 2 ships will be coming into service rather than just 1, with the other being sold/mothballed. I am just hoping that all of this doesn't change again in 2015....

I wouldn't believe everything in the papers!

Last edited by WhiteOvies; 27th Jun 2012 at 19:20.
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Old 28th Jun 2012, 04:03
  #1279 (permalink)  
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lets see...
the british were either inventors of or instrumental in developing:

jet engines
steam catapult
angled flight deck

and you guys won't invest in a ''real'' carrier? even the French have a nuclear carrier.

and is it RUE Brittania or Rule?
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Old 28th Jun 2012, 04:15
  #1280 (permalink)  
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I'd like to add another to your list.

The Optical Landing System / Mirror landing aid.
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