HMS Queen Elizabeth has started having her Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems (CIWS) fitted.

The Phalanx Close-In Weapons System is designed for use as an anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence, the vessel also carries 30mm Automated Small Calibre Guns and Miniguns for use against fast attack craft.

The system is radar-controlled and is said to provide a “last chance” defence for ships against anti-ship missiles and aircraft. It automatically detects, tracks and engages threats. It features a 20mm M-61A1cannon, search and track radar and FLIR in the Block 1B model. To date, the United States Navy and 20 other nations have purchased more than 850 Phalanx systems.

Earlier in the month, HMS Queen Elizabeth returned to Portsmouth after completing a number of firsts for the ship, notably F-35 trials.

The Royal Navy said in a release that during the Development Trials, F-35 jets conducted 202 takeoffs from the ship’s ski ramp, 187 vertical landings, and 15 shipborne vertical landings —a landing technique unique to the UK. They also dropped 54 inert bombs, testing the weight loading in a variety of weather conditions and sea states. The operating envelopes will be further expanded during Operational Trials, scheduled for next year.

F-35B jets on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“HMS Queen Elizabeth’s inaugural deployment to the US has not only marked the return of the Royal Navy’s carrier strike capabilities, but also strengthened our special relationship with US forces. A true statement of our global reach and power, this ship will serve the United Kingdom for generations to come, keeping the nation safe and supporting our allies as we navigate increasing threats.”

FILE PHOTO: F-35B on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Captain Nick Cooke Priest summed up the deployment, saying:

“The WESTLANT 18 deployment has been a real success; and let’s not forget that we are just a year on from the Ship being commissioned and accepted into service.

The main effort – Fixed Wing Flying trials have delivered outstanding results, which is testament to the co-operation, hard work and dedication of both the Ship’s Company and the US Integrated Test Force, assisted by the US Navy and US Marine Corps.

Their combined efforts have put us in an excellent starting position for next year’s Operational Testing. The Ship has proudly flown the flag for the UK across the Atlantic.”

American MV-22B lands on HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Commander Air onboard, Commander James Blackmore oversaw the flight trials and said:

“Since the ship sailed from build only 17 months ago we have operated Fixed Wing – most notably the F-35B – Rotary Wing and the Tilt Rotor MV-22 Osprey – 9 different aircraft types in all. We have proved the incredible design of the Queen Elizabeth Class of ship and the partnership with the F-35B.

In that combination, we have something very special that will provide significant operational capability for decades to come, strategic choice for our government and a Task Group focus for the Royal Navy; we are truly back in the Super Carrier era.”

Commander Nathan Gray RN makes the first ever F-35B Lightning II jet take off from HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The deployment was also the first for the reformed UK Carrier Strike Group staff according to a Royal Navy news release, headed up by Cdre Michael Utley, who said:

“This has been an extraordinarily successful deployment on the Royal Navy’s journey to full Carrier Strike capability. It has once again demonstrated the strongest of relationships with our closest allies in the US and will underpin future work as we re-introduce fixed wing aviation at sea.

The design of HMS Queen Elizabeth, specifically built for the immensely capable F-35B Lightning II, has enabled outstanding progress which will form the basis of Operational Testing in 2019.

The other Task Group units deployed, including HMS Monmouth, our new Royal Fleet Auxiliary Tanker RFA Tidespring and the Merlin Helicopters from 820 and 845 Naval Air Squadrons, as well as Royal Marines and members from our sister Services, have all contributed to this significant success.”

The Task Group comprised HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Monmouth, RFA Tidespring and aircraft from 820, 845 and 814 Naval Air Squadrons, as well as Royal Marines from 42 Commando and supporting units from the US Navy and US Marine Corps, say the Royal Navy.


  1. Sea RAM – She (and PoW) need Sea RAM. Even if the units are switched between the two. Also. the Anti Torpedo Mini Torp system. Small price to pay to protect a mammoth investment.


    • Exactly what I was saying, Sea Ram would fit exactly where phalanx would go. but I would still keep 3 phalanx and just put 2 new Sea Ram onboard, atleast its a very cheap option and can do the job, American carriers have had it in the past and maybe future. It’s a must have I we have no other missile systems, but it’s still just a CIWS.

      • American carriers have never had SeaRAM. They have the standard RAM and 8-cell box launchers for sea sparrow. The USN is mostly using SeaRAM as a way to give the LCS a bit more defense in a small package (a few Burkes were fitted with it, but this isn’t standard).

    • Sea Ram was trialed on HMS York back in the day. It was fitted on the focsl. It was not moved forward with as the trials results where not to encouraging for what it gives you.
      In short it fitting it now aint going to happen.

      As for the Surface Ship Torpedo Defence …it will get it. Most HVUs do. A winch with the acoustic sensor array and decoy system and the upper deck launchers for the active decoys.

        • Your right.
          I am thinking of the Phalanx mount they fitted on the focsle area as a trial…Hey it was many years ago and I was a young single PO/CPO Tiff with a constant hangover!

      • a lot of issues are the result of insufficent sponson space which constricts the location of extras and upgrades
        maybe a couple of these parked on the upper deck and stowable in the hangar out of the looks like the land based version of a ceptor system would be ideal for the Q.E AND P.O.W they’d be a quicker installation the crew would need sailors with HGV licences!

        • Steve Taylor – indeed HMS Edinburgh had that arrangement to try to use a single Phalanx Mount instead of a pair,but this proved unsuccessful (too wet) so reverted to the original locations.

    • sea ram raytheon 116, is fitted to the american carriers its combined anti air and ciws role and cheap price may make a worthwhile punt.

      • You too Julian! Was about to say the same.

        Meltdown on UKDJ as AT LAST CIWS is added.

        I must agree with Helions surely it’s common sense to not penny pinch and spend extra to protect these highest value assets?

        • MoD has their head in the sand thinking escorts and embarked air wing will provide all that’s needed. Ridiculous! Why are we the only carrier operator that DOESN’T see the need for point defense missiles? What makes us so different from everyone else?

          Truth is we all know the answer – no money.

  2. Seems like a lot of carrier to be protected by only 3 guns. I suppose though the the carriers wouldn’t go anywhere in a war zone without at least 2 Type 45 destroyers and 2 Type 26 frigates so between those ships they should form a formidable defensive perimeter around it. The phalanx ideally will never be used outside of training.

    • So long as the enemy or glitches doesn’t reduce that 4 escort group, we might rest assured. But in war things often don’t go as planned. We must get a SAM added to the QEs: We cannot afford to deploy them without one.
      Political spin stops no enemy weaponry!
      Just glad the Phalanx are finally getting fitted. It’s a start.

  3. Withoud disclosing any sensitive information. Is there any particular reason why we didn’t keep Goalkeeper over Phalanx, especially as the former uses the GAU8 30mm canon compared to the M61’s 20mm used on the Phalanx?
    I find this paradoxical as the 30mm Automated Small Calibre Gun (DS30M)uses the same GAU8 30x173mm calibre rounds, so for logistics commonality alone, I would have thought keeping both the medium calibre weapons the same would make sense, not withstanding the extra range and hitting power that 30mm has over 20mm.

    • When the decision on which system to use was decided, Goalkeeper was far inferior electronically. Phalanx was equipped with an upgraded radar and FLIR while Goalkeeper hadn’t seen a significant upgrade in a long time. The Koreans even switched from Goalkeeper to Phalanx for their second Dokdo LPH. Goalkeeper has seen upgrades since that decision, including FLIR, but the upgraded Goalkeeper only finished trials this year.

    • I recall Gunbuster has mentioned several times Phalanx is easier to install as bolted on where’s Goalkeeper penetrates the deck. He’ll correct me I’m sure.

    • Josh has covered most of the reasons, to add to his points. Phalanx actually has a greater engagement range than Goalkeeper and tungsten dart fired from a 20mm has pretty much the same effect on a missile as from a 30mm. The greater caliber size only really makes a difference if you are using explosive proximity fused rounds.

      Phalanx is also a far less invasive system vs Goalkeeper as it is bolt on whilst the latter needs to penetrate below deck level.

      Phalanx has had more development over the years so standardising on it makes sense.

    • Davey it is all about top weight and deck penetration.
      Goalkeeper once fitted is fitted for a long time as deck is penetrated to ensure fitting. Phalanx just bolts down on top of the deck.
      Less weight phalanx approx 4 tons goalkeeper 8-10 tons
      Phalanx can be moved between platforms whereas goalkeeper required prolonged dockyard work to fit then remove and make the deck good.
      Hope that clarifies the main differences between phalanx and goalkeeper. Goalkeeper does have longer range and weapons penetration/ weight of fire. Note the Chinese have copied goalkeeper and their type 52 and 55 destroyers all have something looking very similar to goalkeeper.

    • Having worked with both systems they have their plus’s and minus’s.
      Goalkeeper better range heavier weight of fire but deck penetration, and complexity
      Phalanx bolt on (ish) fairly straight forward to use but light on the firepower.

      Personally Goalkeeper in its latest guise with the FLIR fitted is better than Phalanx. However the sheer weight of numbers of phalanx mounts gives it the commercial and the inservice support advantage.

  4. If Phalanx is to stand a chance against modern anti-ship missiles, it ought to be upgunned to 25mm. There is a 25×137 gatling gun available. If the international Phalanx users decided on a joint upgrade, that would be the best way of doing it.
    Last I heard (Dec 2016) HMS Bulwark still had manual 20mm guns. These seem more use than the 7.62 miniguns. If you have let a suicide terrorist boat get within minigun range, that is too close for my liking. I would swap a couple of miniguns on QE/PoW for manual 20mm.
    Also agree the need for an anti torpedo system (see the book “War with Russia”).

      • Seaspider is ok but the Italian anti mine, anti torpedo system used on Italian FREMM frigates is superior.
        Fitting these + SeaRam or SeaCeptor would probably only add £30 million to each of our 2 carriers but ultimately is necessary to protect very valuable high strategic and tactical value assets. £30 million Vs £3.5, billion carrier!

        • You say £3.5b Mr B, but to that base build cost as part of a design program we need to add:
          1) Personnel
          2) Air wing – up to 36 F-35b plus Merlins
          3) Replacement gap – lose one and it or it’s airwing ain’t getting replaced before any war has ended
          4) Weapons
          5) Weapons systems
          These are irreplaceable platforms with an absolute cost of closer to £10b

    • Mini guns have a near 90 deg depression so you can sweep up and down the ships side with 3600 rounds of 7,62 a minute.
      A 20mm has about a -5 deg depression with a min effective range of some 200m from the ship.
      It is all to do with layering defences. Most RN ships now have 50 cals fitted as well so you now get overlaps in ranges from 20mm/30mm guns to 50 cal to Mini Gun to GPMG to Sharpshooter or 50 cal snipers. Added to that if needed you have a helo up with a 50 cal and a sniper as well.

      • Cheers mate, always wondered why the Navy downsized. It now makes sense in regards to the capability of swapping between ships. The GAU8 is an absolute beast, having seen them up close fitted to A10s and called in ground strikes. Also saw Phalanx operational in both Iraq and Afghan when being used as an anti-rocket/mortar defence, did its job – mostly!

    • Type: Landing Helicopter Assault [5]
      – 33.000 t (32.479 long tons) full-load [6]
      – 25.816 t (25.408 long tons) [7]
      – 245 m (803 ft 10 in) LOA [8]
      – 213.4 m (700 ft) LPP [9]
      Beam: 36 m (118 ft 1 in)
      Depth: 27.70 m (90 ft 11 in)
      – CODOG scheme + electric engines
      – 2 x Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines providing 76,000 kW (102,000 hp) [10]
      – 2 x diesel engines M.A.N. 20V32/44CR, 24,000 kW (32,000 hp) [11]
      – 4 x diesel engines generators M.A.N. 9L32/44CR, 20,960 kW (28,110 hp)
      – 2 x 2,250 kW (3,020 hp) electric engines
      – 2 x shaft
      – 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph) on TAGs
      – 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) on diesel engines
      – 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) on electric engines
      Range: 7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) to 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
      Endurance: 30 days
      460 crew
      604 marines component
      (max 1043 + 21)
      Sensors and
      processing systems:
      – Leonardo CMS SADOC Mk4
      – 1 x Leonardo Kronos Dual Band, AESA 3D DBR 4FF, only with X-band radar (Kronos StarFire) [12]
      – 1 x Leonardo Kronos Power Shield, AESA LRR L-band radar
      – 1 x Leonardo conformal IFF
      – 1 x Leonardo Black Snake, anti torpedo towed array sonar
      – 1 x TACAN
      – 1 x PAR (Precision Approach Radar) Leonardo SPN-720
      3 × Oto Melara 76/62 mm Strales Anti-aircraft guns
      3 × Oto Melara KBA 25/80 mm, remotized
      2 x Oto Melara ODLS-20 (decoys launchers)
      FFBNW 2×8-cell SYLVER A50 VLS for 16 Aster 15 and 30 missiles or 32 CAMM ER missiles
      Aircraft carried: usually 12 × AgustaWestland AW101 or combination with SH90A, AgustaWestland AW129D and F-35B; able to operate with up to 10 F-35B
      – 50 m (164 ft 1 in) x 15 m (49 ft 3 in) dock, for 4 x 60 t LCU or 1 LCAC
      – 55 m (180 ft 5 in) x 19 m (62 ft 4 in) garage decks for vehicles (235 m (771 ft 0 in) for parking vehicles
      – 21 m (68 ft 11 in) (25 m (82 ft 0 in)) x 107 m (351 ft 1 in) hangar for up to 5 AgustaWestland AW101 or combination with SH90A, AgustaWestland AW129D and F-35B (or 530 m (1,738 ft 10 in) for parking vehicles)
      – flight deck length 230 m (754 ft 7 in) and wide 36 m (118 ft 1 in)
      – flight deck with up to 9 spots for AgustaWestland AW101 or combination with SH90A, AgustaWestland AW12

        • Um. It’s a Royal Navy thing. The RN put a lot faith in EW. And then there are budgetary considerations too. The MoD seem to think that we live in age where we will see the ‘next one’ a few years out allowing us to fit those things that are missing. Personally I don’t think that is how things will pan out. It will be more ‘Falklands with less lead time’ than ‘WW2 with several false starts’. That is too say a situation will quickly develop, forces will be deployed, at some point somebody will blink or a move will be misinterpreted, there will be a brief exchange of fires, whereupon the diplomats and politicians will enter into treating to de-escalate (ceasefire), and so on until the crisis is at end. We are in a post-industrial age now where the armed forces of most nations are small, expensively equipped and trained, so difficult to replace both in terms of times and treasure , and so not to be risked lightly. This is similar to how things were in the early modern era. We are short of ships, platforms, but we have to make sure we don’t compound that with the curse of ‘fitted for but not with’. The obvious one to me being for the RN say T45 ‘questionable’ ASW capability we end up with a supposed escort that is in fact something that needs to be escorted……

          Note too there is also a lot of ‘churning’ too; the word Leonardo and Oto Melera appear a lot in that spec sheet. Churning being Italy spending Italian tax on Italian products……

          As for the question of CIWS. The Italian navy have always like their proper guns. Where we looking to do away with guns (first AA with the cancellation of STAAG with a move to missiles and then the decision to remove the medium gun from B1 T22) Italian ships were going to sea with 5in and 3in guns. Luckily the Falklands stopped that folly.

      • It is an assault ship. Chances are that it will not have the carrier group that the UK carriers will be travelling with. You can not really compare its role to that of a super carrier.

        • Comparable to a USN fleet strike carrier, no. To a large aviation support ship like the Queen Elizabeth? Well not in size certainly. But perhaps in terms of utility and purpose the question becomes more interesting. Would we have been better of with an LHD balancing out support of aviation and maritime operations, instead of being aviation centric. To me the important aviation capability a large aviation ship brings is ASaC / AEW not bomb trucks. But I am more interested in operations at sea and not land attack by aeroplanes. I do wonder wether at times whether we should have had a pair of something like the USS Makin Island / America class. But we are where we are. I know many here find aeroplanes really exciting and see them as a panacea to all defence problems.

          • twin islands? looks like the R.N has started a new trend the multiple sponsons allow a lot more flexibility in say weapon fit. something the Q.E design misses just two sponsons for the phalanx uses up all the space for say R.A.M missile systems

    • I wonder if there is a counter view to this. We assume that the carrier will always have an escort with missile based defence, which would have failed if the seaRam or any ciws came into play. Could there be an arguement that a different method of spraying an area with lead rather than needing a solid track, could be a better layered defence? I don’t know the answer but it’s a thought.

      • The only arguments I can think of are that guns are cheaper, have no minimum range, and are less affected by jamming. It’s not much really

      • A major lesson of the Falklands war was the lack of AAA. We added a few extra for a while, but have returned to relying on missiles or CIWS. Rather than having Bushmaster 30mm which can only engage small boats effectively, wouldn’t it be better to have a rapid firing aa gun that can do both tasks effectively?

        RAM would be good as a longer ranged layer to anti-air defence.

      • Missiles create a lot of smoke which is not necessarily a good thing over a large ship deck operating aircraft at high speed. That being said STOVL aircraft carriers are better able to deal with that er until it clears.

    • Nigel – as Gunbuster correctly stated on another article the RN did trial SEARAM on HMS York some time ago but for whatever reason decided not to proceed with it.

    • raytheon 116 being fitted by the u.s to the ford class, the chassis is almost the same as a phalanx. plus raytheon is british.and the system is in use with over a dozen countries including being fitted to corvette size ships cheap too

  5. Goalkeeper 30mm system is a through deck system ie its magazine etc are below decks and require quite some space and fitting, Plalanx is just a bolt onto the deck system with an internal magazine etc

  6. Sea Ceptor. Takes minimum space where the existing phalanx are (in addition to) externally mounted with hard covers no FOD as the main engine lights up 30m above the launcher. Pack of 612 in each space. Failing that if we end up with an urgent operational requirement we can always get a couple of land Ceptors placed forward and aft, but really this needs to be integrated.

  7. My concern is swarm attacks. Should the Iranians put 15 – 20 highly maneuverable fast attack motor boats out against any of our escorts in the Persian Gulf for example – never mind the carriers – how well would we fair? Type 45s have Phalanx as well as the 30mm but how long before their ammunition is expended and how long to reload? In the meantime their boats are able to target our escorts. Type 23s would fair worse – no Phalanx.

    This scenario has always concerned me as in my opinion, in any future conflict, the Iranians know they can’t take us on peer-to-peer so will resort to swarm attacks that are cheap and effective.

    Video on YouTube shows Brimstone being used to counter swarm attacks very effectively. Anyone know if this is/will go anywhere?

    As always, I welcome your comments/thoughts.

    Thank you all.

  8. The QE class should have an electronic warfare suite and a torpedo defence system, such as surface ship torpedo defence, if they aren’t already fitted so.

  9. An alternate approach to the issue of the QEC’s defences: instead of bolting on missiles to the carrier, double down on the T45’s.

    Looking at the diagram, the Mk8 gun takes up about as much internal space as the existing SYLVER system. The T45s are already specialised as air defence ships, with no significant contribution to anti-submarine or -surface warfare, and with only 6 ships they’re unlikely to deploy as anything other than carrier escorts or task force leaders. Remove the obsolete 4.5″ and double up the VLS. 96 A50 cells gives 72 Sea Viper and 96 Sea Ceptor.

    Pros: literally double the missile load per ship, removes obsolete weapon system and its associated costs from ships that will be in service for at least two decades

    Cons: they’re still only AA cells, without space for strike weapons (although imo carrier escorts should focus on defensive weapons anyway, cannister launched AShMs are enough offensively), the loss of the main gun reduces their general utility (once again, they’re carrier escorts and task force leaders, not available in numbers great enough to be wasted on anti piracy or such)


    • “Thoughts” ? Yes, I think you are correct, I think Everyone Is Correct. I think History has proved that we can never be too “Cock sure” about Defensive Armaments. 1982 has obviously taught our Politicians bugger all. 70,000 tons of Carrier and her precious Human Cargo even if shielded by so called “State of the Art” Destroyers and Frigates, should have much more than 3 Phalanx as a Last resort, In my humble Opinion.

    • I can’t deny your logic Callum, I really can’t.

      But lessons from the past tell us that a big gun can come in very useful at times too.

      How about a compromise, landing the Astor 15’s and quad packing Sea Ceptors in their place.

      Also give them the anti surface capability to deal with a mass small attack boat assault.

      • Has the RN actually purchased any Aster 15’s?

        With only 6 hulls T45 will never go on the gun line, a 5in mount would be waste.

        • Never say never Steve, with only 6 units and probably only 4 operational at any one time ( at best), we might not have a choice to use one for fire support at some point.

          With only 19 units in total, I doubt we will have the luxury of keeping the T45’s for their core mission 24/7.

          Enough T31’s, with a big enough gun will be the answer to that problem.

          • True. We would be in pretty dire straits if a Daring class finds it self steaming towards a land mass under enemy occupation, battle ensigns inaired…….

        • Steve Taylor – Aster 15 is listed as part of the inventory,id imagine per Missile it would be cheaper than a ’30’ so id say yes,although obviously any loadout numbers would be classified.

          • It might be listed, did the MoD actually buy any? My understanding was that it wasn’t as were to buy SeaCeptor.

        • The type 45s are fitted with both aster 30’s and their smaller brother the aster 15’s both were purchased and should be operational albeit only on 6 ships (the type 45s)

    • I like the Horizon’s layout with 76mm mounts at B on each beam with the Italians having additional mount at X.

      I would go as far doing away the hangar and having 76mm mounts on each beam at Y. Perhaps find space for SeaCeptors cells there too.

      Replace Phalanx with SeaRam.

      If we could find ABM capability we could class T45 as ‘aerospace warfare cruisers’ platforms just as we had air defence cruisers in WW2. (To me cruiser smacks too much of a GP platform capable of independent action. I would prefer the term ‘monitor’ but that is a bit too weird…….even for me…..)

        • A 76 mm gun would have a better anti-air capability due to rate of fire. It can also use the specialized AA/AM round with 3 penetrators.

          • Smaller mounts having less mass track quicker. The Italy 76mm tracks a third quicker than Mk 8. doesn’t sound much but it is a lot. And it is about weight of fire. Again the 76mm fires three times plus as many rounds as Mk 8.

          • Considering where the centre of gravity is in T45 because of the height of Sampson and the weight of the 76mm being about 8 tonnes, or about .1% of T45’s displacement then, well, nothing……….

      • Technically it does have ABM capability, radar in particular, though the missile Aster version carried holds it back, for true effectiveness a software upgrade to the missile would improve that to some degree of intercept for medium range Ballistic missiles but upgraded missiles themselves to French/Italian standard would be required for true Ballistic envelope defence apparently with new versions in the planning stage. MOD despite test firings if I remember correctly has not announced plans for such upgrades as yet. Don’t think the next serious upgrade don’t come on stream til early 2020s mind and I wonder if they will go for the intermediate updates now.

        • Yes. I am ‘aware’ of what Sampson can see. And yes we haven’t the missiles. So you mean it is technically capable? As I said if we could find our way towards it would be good.

    • T45s need a MG for anti-ship, AA & NGS. Stick some ASMs on & they’re fully anti-ship capable, even if primarily anti air ships. We’ve got precious too few ships, so all need to be able to counter all threats. Enemies don’t hang around to attack until we can get a suitable ship ready. Anything else is myopic.
      Even the best weapons system is never 100% effective or 100% available, so we need layered defences with back-ups, rather than accountants simply trying to get away with as little as possible.

      • If T45 is in the situation where it needs to fight another ship with its gun then the game would already be lost. I assume the other ship is reduced to a medium gun too? How many shells do you think it would take to sink an 8000 ton ship?

        Mk8 Mod 1 against modern air? No use at all.

        And with 6 of them they will never go on the gun line. Far too valuable with a carrier to protect.

        • Well if it got that close that we’re using the gun against another ship I’d say bugger trying to sink it; aim for the bridge and kill the commanders and senior officers.

          • He seemed to be grasping at straws somewhat. HMS Warriors has racks of naval pattern Enfields, Colts, and cutlasses through her gun deck. Should we issue every sailor aboard T45 a rifle, body armour, helmets, and pistols just in case she is boarded?

      • I never said remove the cannister launched. AShMs. Extending the VLS into the gun space wouldn’t effect the cannisters.

        The 4.5″ isn’t an AA weapon, and it’s usefulness in surface warfare and NGS is limited to short range littoral operations. Looking at the bigger force mix, an all-missile T45 protecting a QEC is more effective at strike missions than a T45 equipped with a gun.

        The point that we’ve not got enough ships supports optimising ships for their roles. Maintaining a carrier group will likely require most of the active T45s (out of 6 ships, you can generally expect to have 2-3 deployed or ready to deploy). So instead of pretending we could afford to have them do low end operations like NGS or piracy patrols, we need to make them as effective as possible at their given role to maximise the capability we get out of a single hull.

        Same logic applies to the T26s. Land attack missiles take up valuable space that should be spent on ASW and a stock of AShms (16:8 ratio)

    • bin the type 31 use the money for 6 more type45’s, gun up the river batch 2’s to corvettes, that way they could be as powerful as the sigma 10514, A SHIP WITH ALMOST THE SAME SIZE yet has a 76mm oto melara gun, two triple tube torpedo launchers, two quad anti air missile launchers an exocet. if the u.k has any ambition, the R.N could be 9 ships better off in no time, you could upgrade all the rives faster than waiting for a t26 to be built, plus, they ARE ALREADY BUILT!

  10. Any armchair admirals think that if these ships were close enough to shore to be swarmed by small boats then Apache and Wildcats would be embarked? I expect an Apache would make a mess of gunboats by the half dozen. A Wildcat might scratch a few too.

  11. Any armchair admirals think that if these ships were close enough to shore to be swarmed by small boats then Apache and Wildcats would be embarked? I expect an Apache would make a mess of gunboats by the half dozen. A Wildcat might scratch a few too.

  12. Oh dear. What can be done about this under armament? I know, let’s write lots about it on an internet forum. That will sort it out!

  13. 30mm I.e. Goalkeeper takes minimum 2 decks and the ammo is prohibitively expensive.
    Where you read 7.62mm Minigun, you’ll see HMG instead.
    ITAR will place restrictions on anything HM MoD wish to buy from the USofA. Not once have I seen a comment from anyone who may have looked at the lead time it takes for any of this kit to be added onto QE.
    Most comments are looking at systems that are all far too expensive and just a wish list – let’s wait for the first major refit and what monies are available from HM Treasury.

  14. Well we can’t all just use internet trolling and chemical weapons like you Russians do TH, go back to your vodka comrade….

  15. Perhaps we should buy a Russian Gun/missile combo CIWS….

    The T45 is under armed we should fit the extra 12 VLS slots and fit them with ASTEr 15 the other 48 VLS ASTEr 30 with softwear upgrade to give them ASTER 30 land varriant performance. Thus the T45 would have a local ABM capability. I would fit ASTER 15 not Sea Ceptor as ASTER is more capable.

    I would then put a Sea Cepter launcher on the hanger roof or a SEA RAM if the Sea Ceptor cannot be fitted.


  16. 4.5 in air burst shreds a target. It will be going at 20 rnds a min and in threat areas it is always loaded and at immediate notice( a few seconds to flash up and start shooting)

    30mm Bushmaster and can put rounds on a target quickly and accurately. It to is loaded and at immediate notice to put rounds on target. In rapid single shot 6 or 10 30mm HEIs are going to ruin your day if you are still going that is having survived being airburst by a 4.5

    Then you get to 50 cal range. That is also firing HEI at you .

    Now you are in the MiniGun/GPMG range so that is putting upwards of 4000 rounds per min on you …

    All this is not individual on at a time engagements. If something is close in it gets the attention of everything and everyone…4.5, 30mm, 7.62, Sniper rifles and ships upperdeck crew with 5.56 and 7.62.

    And the ship will be manouvering doing hard turns and going max chat away from the attackers or at least on a course to maximise the weapon arcs whilst also keeping the attackers at a distance.

    • In 4.5 in air burst shreds a target – in theory. As long as the target is at a convenient arc at a convenient speed. Mk8 mount was one of those clever compromises we Brits come up with from time to time. 55 degrees elevation? 45 degree tracking? No on board FC radar?

      • It its latest guise with a GSA 8 attached its electro optic tracking with a laser range finder. No need for a tracking radar as AA capability was removed years ago.
        It will still Proximity airburst shells or do Direct Action shell bursts though depending upon what you fuze the shells for.

        • It’s interesting to watch a proximity burst on a THIM. You get to see the white hot shrapnel and how far it all goes from the initial detonation. It’s not something you see normally which is a flash and a cloud of smoke.

    • one thing i like about the yank,(but, nothing else is, that all weapons are locked and loaded at all times, the carriers have armed asw helicopters airborne AT ALL TIMES.

      • but it WAS better than the awful seacat and seaslug systems, antrim missed a slow moving hercules at south georgia because the weapon couldn’t reach the target!!

    • I won’t say it wasn’t because everything was used due to our paucity in air defences. The anchorages were crowded and were surrounded by hills and Mk8 is a low angle weapon. At sea the task groups were quite tightly packed and wouldn’t be the place for pooping off Mk8’s either. (And surely the best place for air defence cannon as the French and Italians have shown is aft and not for’ard?)

      But even the Mk 6 mounts on the Type 12’s and County’s designed for AAW didn’t account for any Argentinian air losses. Whether the Type 12s would have some kills if they had been fitted with 3in mount which originally planned to have who knows?

      Small arms (like GPMG’s) are for more disuading than killing. Tracer is important for that reason too. There is also a moral factor in that at least the crew have some capacity to hit back. But mandraulic weapons were obselete even before the end of WW2.

      • if the rapier system had been put ashore faster than they were, its possible that several of the the ships would not have been attacked, there was ample time to deploy rapiers on the relatively un occupied west falkland island, but the option was used.

    • 4.5 still had an AA capability then. During AA shoots you often got TTBs (Target Triggered Bursts) where the proximity fuse set the round off.

  17. Jut read the FT the Japanese are purchasing an additional 100 F35 aircraft. This is great news. Total orders to date 142 confirmed aircraft. crucially 42 will be the STOVL B variant.
    Izumo is going to be converted into a STOVL carrier.
    This kind of commitment is what the UK needs. A firm order guaranteeing front line strength. The fleet air arm needs at least another 48 active F35Bs and ditto RAF (although they might go for A variant against better judgement) as long as at least 96 B variants are in service I will be content that if push came to shove both QE carriers could be used at the same time.

    • i’d have been happy if the u.k showed at least SOME AMBITION, all we get is type 26, type 31,f 35 and a copy of the last manifesto i know because the M.O.D sent me a letter via my local M.P saying so

  18. The Type 45 cuuently has room for 2 x 8 VLS, either Mk 41 or Sylver, to port & stbd between the 4.5 and current silo – though not if you replace the 4.5 with a 5 inch. You could still keep cannister launchers behind the silo, if desired, as that position is not suitable for VLS, I’m advised, since the deck penetration would adversely affect support for the Sampson mast. In addition, the designers trails evidently revealed that vertical launch missiles would endanger the radar mast under certain scenarios.

    • I keep hearing different statements on where the FFBNW space is for the extra VLS. I’m pretty sure that I remember Gunbuster posting that the space is between the existing silo and the bridge (where Harpoon goes when fitted). Who is right or am I misremembering?

        • I thought the extra space was berween the two rows of current VLS.

          Where ever the space is it should be ussed with extra VLS for ASTER. I do not know that MoD was thinking when it only fit 48! That amount is able to protect a taskforce against multiple attacks…. I doubt it. A US destroyer has 90 missiles plus.

          I think we a guilty of planning for the Falklands war not a tussele with Russia/China.

          • HMS Duncan was recently bussed by 17 Russian jets: if they had 2 ASMs each that would be 34 inbounds not to mention the launch aircraft. That is one raib.

            The MoD gas to serriously up-arm the T45s of buy some extra ones. What we have now is not enought.

          • with 5 ticonderogas now in mothballs an one per year slated for retirement, i think the u.k could do a lot worse than acquiring a couple google naval inactive ship facility register ad see what those pesky yanks aren’t using, but we could be. but we’re the u.k we don’t stoop to buying second hand, even though the rest of the world does it. the 4 upholder class submarines were sold to canada for £1 AND ARE STILL IN USE TODAY AS THE VICTORIA CLASS IN THE CANADIAN NAVY.OFFER THEM A FIVER, AND GET THEM BACK. MAYBE EVEN GET THE T23’S FROM CHILE,BRAZIL AND ROMANIA THEY’D BE CHEAPER THAN A 26,

    • go back to the ‘big bertha 6 inch.’, i was on blake when the last was fired,THAT, would have been ideal in the south atlantic 4 sea kings and a ship with armour plate would have been ideal, shame she and tiger were gone before 1982.(best years of my life was on old ‘snakey ‘blakey!) and antrim)

      • They looked at activating them along with Bulwark as a floating deck. Luckily saner heads prevailed and the time wasn’t wasted trying to get them working.
        An auto twin 6 inch and a twin 3 inch would have done a lot of damage!
        A major issue was that they used FFO (As did Britania hence it never went south as a hospital ship) Everything else at the time was running on Deiso. That would have meant an extra tanker asset dedicated just to that fuel load.

  19. Interesting comments as always.

    Can’t help thinking not enough is being done about defence against old-fashioned and relatively cheap torpedoes, fired from frigates but also small craft or even land. But what do I know.

    Things go in cycles.

  20. There is a lot of deck covered in the photo – are they fitting anything else other than Phalanx?

    A SAM VLS – we can but hope…


    • Rob N – yes that’s a large area covered by a White Tarpaulin,and its in a near identical place to where the Charles De Gaulle has one of its VLS Silo’s – but alas we all know its not going to happen – right ?

      • I think that we would know if any extra VLS has been bought by MoD. The VLS for type T26 have been ordered – it is not a secret. I suspect other VLS orders would be on recprd.


  21. Can the media in general stop calling HMS Echo a ‘warship’. It isnt and its embarassing. It doesn’t send a message to Russia at all other than to say we are prepared to survey the hell out the Black Sea.

  22. Several years ago I wrote to my MP and asked them about this very problem, the reply from the minister for defence replied stating that the QE are designed for but not equipped with Sea Ceptor. Apparently on the same decks as the CIWS. I do not know what they actually mean with designed for but not with, if that means that the space is reserved and wired up or something else.
    In any case Sea Ceptor for a carrier is the best missile fit, it is cold launched meaning no smoke or debris over the deck and no dedicated fire control radar. I still would like to know if Sea Ceptor can be bolted on to the sides of the Phalanx CIWS two quad packs per CIWS that would give 24 missiles without any deck penetration.

    • I think Sea Ram needs the Phalanx mount to provide radar and thermal input, however Sea Ceptor would not need Phalanx mountting. So best left off the mount.

      It is likely that QE was planned with future kit in mind Sea Ceptor would appear an obvious addition.

      I think the only problem in fitting a missile to QE is money and thar means political. If the wiil was there it would happen.

      I have seen pictures of Dragon Fire having a side Phalanx mount possirion. This is the new UK laser CIWS under development for the RN.

  23. An exceedingly quick fix (a few hours) to the lack of weapons would be to roll on a few tracked Rapier units from the Army.


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