British aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales and frigate HMS Richmond have arrived in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The warships are taking part in Exercise Northern Viking 22. Below is a message from the British ambassador to Iceland.

The ships arrived around noon today.

According to Iceland, the exercise involves the defence of sea routes around Iceland:

The aim of the exercise includes practising the defence of the sea routes around Iceland and of important structures and security infrastructure, e.g. telecommunications cables. The participants will also practice the search and rescue of civilians, with the Icelandic Coast Guard and police.

Northern Viking includes an amphibious landing of American marines at Miðsandur in Hvalfjörður. The landing is planned for 11 April and temporary traffic restrictions may be expected in the area on the day. Members of the media will be invited to observe the exercise and related events, to the extent possible.

The exercise is open for participation of NATO allies and partners. The naval forces of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Norway have confirmed participation. Military vessels from these states will practice defending the sea routes to the south of Iceland and will participate in a submarine search off the coast of Iceland, with anti-submarine aircraft and helicopters.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
1 month ago

Nice. .Better than looking at burnt out Russian junk .

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago

The President “Where’s the Carriers?”. The Prime Minister “Where’s the Carriers?, Do we have any F35s?”.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

I am sure that we know that a British carrier does not have to have a full complement of F-35s to accomplish something. She can do tasks other than Carrier Strike.

David Flandry
David Flandry
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

An aircraft carrier can do nothing without, uh, aircraft.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  David Flandry

British aircraft carriers are multi-role – as well as Carrier Strike, they can act as a C2 asset (command a Task Group), support amphibious operations by acting as a LPH, conduct HADR, conduct FON operations.

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago

They could of at least took a F35 mockup to display on the end of the ski ramp.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Its bad. The US armed forces are going to reduce their F35 orders over the next 2-4 years and buy F15EXs as the current variants dont have all the desired capabilities and weapons fit. Block 4 is what we are waiting for. Ditto UK. We would be daft ordering any more F35s until block 4 upgrade rolled out. The reduction of US aircraft ordering is supposed to signify pentagons genuine grievance at LM for not getting block 4 fixed. Not sure the F15EX is going to be able to survive in contested air space but then when you look at… Read more »

Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The f35 in service at the moment even without any more are far to strong for Russian junk .

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

What is curious is how are the Russian air defence platforms performing. There has always been talk of needing stealth to break through the Russian SAM umbrella, but if Ukraine jets are still flying, doesn’t that mean they have equally failed with the rest of the kit and stealth isn’t so needed and the priority is probably with range of beyond visual range air-to-air missiles.

dave12
dave12
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Probably like all Russian equipment very over hyped ,we saw signs of this with Israel having no problems going in Syria taking out Rus made AA systems.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  dave12

What we didn’t know in regards to Syria was the why. It was rumoured that Russia had turned them off on purpose to avoid a war with Israel, but it now looks like that might have been just smoke/mirrors excuse.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I think we all suspected that it was an excuse for the non performance of their kit. As @Dave12 says it is very clear that a lot of their kit is very over hyped. Easier and cheaper to produce a press release and some terrible CGI than it is to make a really good quality working weapons system. That is not to say that all Russian systems are total garbage. They have some really good theoretical scientists and mathematicians. The problem is more the kleptocratic angle that very little of the money invested actually gets to where it is supposed… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Not a problem the UK has at all…

We saw in Falklands/Iraq/afgan/libya that UK supplies were paper fine, and yet we have one of the highest defence budgets in the world. Where the money has gone is anyones guess.

I guess with item purchases that are unique and so can’t be benchmarked on price or compared capability wise outside a war, it’s easy to funnel off money without anyone knowing.

Although in the UK case, I suspect most is going to corporate greed through incompetence rather than corruption, but I bet you anything a lot still is getting funneled off.

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

It is dangerous to assume Russia is a weak military, and prior to concluding with this, it is necessary to ask why Russia did not use and is not using their Air Force, why they elected to invade with conscripts and national guard as opposed to professional soldiers, etc. In my mind, the simplest answer is correct, and that Putin underestimated Ukrainian morale and resolve, and expected the invasion to be Crimea-like. The answer to the question you ask may be in line with this. However, it is also possible that Russia is not using its radars, S-400s and the… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

I suspect if Russia had capacity they were not orginally planning to use due to arrogance, they would have mobilised it by now. But the war is far from over, we will only be able to judge Russian armed forces after it does.

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

The problem is that the Russians have got bogged down while advancing. They sent light armoured vehicles in front, old Soviet ones mind you, followed by national guard completely inexperienced troops. The idea was that the front would swiftly break the Ukrainian defence, and then the national guard would be responsible for maintaining peace during the occupation. This entire thing was drawn out in long columns. The problem arose when the front light armour did not break through anything but was crushed by Javelins, NLAWs, and fierce resistance. Now, the front of the column is stuck and it is impossible… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

It’s an interesting point. Russia took months to build up the troops they are using for the invasion. I guess it will take an equal time to readjust and move more appropriate gear into place. The issue for Russia is the longer they wait the more time the west has to sent new gear to Ukraine and the more time Ukraine has to mobilise additional forces and train them

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

I would counter that in saying Ukraine has handed Russia’s elite forces their arse, which they certainly weren’t prepared for. This was particularly highlighted when Spetznaz and airborne troops tried to capture several airfields surrounding Kyiv, eg Hostomel airfield. Airborne will probably slap me for this. But the planning and execution seemed very much like the “Bridge to Far” scenario. Whereby, they occupied the airfields initially, but then weren’t relieved by the follow-on elements. As these got held up and decimated on the roads leading to the airfields. This then allowed Ukraine’s forces to envelop the airfields and wipe them… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

There are many considerations to be accounted for but the main one is the quality of the manpower and time/cost per man spent on training. Even a “professional” Russkie soldier has only extended his conscription on contract! It doesn’t make him a Brecon Instructor mate. The training even for these contract soldiers have shown to be bare minimum, and most certainly no combined arms training or experience. While we should never underestimate an enemy, when planning we should never over estimate their ability and let them dictate our scheme of manoeuvre. Cheers.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

There are funeral reports in the Twitterverse for russian spetznaz troops. Some where 21/22 years old and contracted, meaning some of the “elite” russian SF troops actually have 3 years in the army.
I think I am safe in saying that any UK troops are still learning at the 3 year point and will still be in their original Bat /Reg and not even considering tabbing or yomping around the Beacons on selection.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Correct mate, as I’ve said many times in a force such as Russias SF you get there because you can punch yourself in the face the hardest, bang your head on a wall and shout and bully others the loudest! They are only a selection of the recruiting pool available and that recruiting pool in the Russian army is shite! At the three year point in Battalion you are just leaving the joe crow stage and gaining experience! You may be looking at getting coursed up to try and get your lance jack if your on the ball! The Russkie… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

spetznaz is often compared to the sas / seals etc but it’s not a fair comparision. They are more similar to the paras. They are not what the US call tier one operators, as they have a very different role.

Airborne
Airborne
29 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Not even at the same level as a Rifle Coy in a line Battalion. The only difference being the Spetznaz are about the only unit which has money spent on kit and training, therefore they are a little more capable than most, but your average Rifle Coy could’ve at the same level with some financial commitment mate.

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Our troops are some of if not the best trained in the world… so I agree comparing the Russians to us isn’t really an option. But I do think their professionals are somewhat more capable than what is being displayed in Ukraine.

Airborne
Airborne
29 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Disagree about the Russian professionals mate, as they are contract soldiers and part of being a professional soldier is all about the skill set within the all arms battle, command at least one up, technical ability and tactical knowledge. It doesn’t seem that this is there within the Russians, as why invade somewhere with second rate soldiers? Even after a short period of time when you realise it’s going pear shaped, why not bring their “professionals” in? It takes a long long time (and good funding) to achieve this, and it doesn’t seem apparent that they have this! Also part… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

It would be interesting to see how many Russian officers could pass the seniors course?

Airborne
Airborne
29 days ago
Reply to  DaveyB

They would get lost going to Sarah Siddons mate!!!!!

Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

They are weak do you think they went in to the Ukraine planning to make it hard work . No they didn’t it’s hard work because they are weak .

Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

Russia are not professional that was obvious in Syria and Chechen war …poor weak Army & navy air force Russia.

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago

Please take a look at my reply to Steve above. Russia underestimated the enemy greatly and is now struggling to move the troops necessary – that is, modern tanks, AFVs, and more capable troops – to the frontline. They have undoubtedly created an utter mess, both tactically and literally, but I am afraid that pulling out is not surrender nor retreat but an attempt to allow their better troops to move forward.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

I agree it is a mistake from a defence planning point of view to be blind to the opposition’s potential.

A balanced view is essential.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Well the US and all its budget and training seriously messed up underestimating in Vietnam and iraq2/afgan. Just seems to be a global trait of miltiary /policitcian relationships

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

Not sure it was all conscripts and the like. I saw a thing on YouTube by a guy who seems to know his stuff breaking down the models of tanks and other gear that could be verified and quite a lot of it was the Guccier stuff. Not the gear they give to the conscripts. It was quite a good watch (sorry, can’t remember who did it) and he made a point of trying to be as even handed about his conclusions as he could. Guess time (and history) will tell on this stuff. From a purely technical perspective it’s… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
29 days ago
Reply to  Andy P

I think the Russkie head sheds have made the mistake of buying some high price, seemingly capable platforms, and then not investing in the (correct) people to operate it! It’s all about training, training and yet again training as I’m sure you know! Cheers.

DRS
DRS
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

If you go to http://www.thedrive.com then the war zone section they have a lengthy interview with a Ukrainian airforce pilot “Juice” that talks a lot about SAMs and air war and what tactics there are and what the Russian use in Belarus (S400) and elsewhere (BUK/S300) and their relative merits. Interesting thing was where that have 12 planes Russia v 1 Ukrainian. V good interview recommend it.

Airborne
Airborne
29 days ago
Reply to  DRS

The fella with a big ginger beard…lol….he looks just like he has got out of a 2 man fire trench! He looks very capable and up for it, very interesting video mate.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

No not really. Russia has the S400 system along the borders with Ukraine. For some reason they are not deploying then in Ukraine? The deployed systems will cover the majority of Ukraine, east of the Dneiper river from medium to high altitudes. They have also deployed several A50 Mainstay AEW aircraft. These patrol long the Belarus and Russian side of the border. The Russian Air Force (RuSF) controls the airspace in eastern Ukraine. It did not stop Ukraine using the 2 Hind gunships to attack the fuel depot though! Ukraine has lost a large number of its Su25 attack aircraft.… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Reports are saying that the Ukr aircraft are staying low a lot of the time to limit the S400 engagement envelope. I wonder where they where getting the info to do that? 😀
Ukr has obviously been receiving a shed load of Elint and Sigint info from NATO. Its obviously been put to excellent use.

Rob N
Rob N
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I presume their planes have radar warning equipment. The S400 like any land based system has the earth’s curvature to cope with – so the further away you are from S499 the more low level sky you have to play with. Also there is the use of land feature to mask you from SAMs….

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob N

If someone helpful tells you where the radar shadow will be…..

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes, I wonder who is telling them what is going on……

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

It’s not just Russia. And Russia hasn’t been the main concern for almost a decade now.

It’s what the PRC are doing now that matters more.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Concern yes, military threat to the UK no. We would be fighting someone else’s war if we got into a fight with China.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

I think most Europeans are more concerned at Putin’s Ukraine campaign and what he may do next, rather than think about what the PRC are doing on the other side of the world.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

PRC are the real long term threat. Russia is a busted flush now. Putin has humiliated Russia in the PRC’s eyes as it cannot even win against a 3rd tier military in the country next door. Pure amateur hour stuff. Most CCF kids could plan a better campaign than the Russians have executed.

PRC will be using most of the same garbage systems as the Russians but they have much more money to modify them and to train their troops.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago

It will be interesting to see if Putin asks for or is granted economic support and military hardware from PRC. The trouble with the Russians is that they come back for more after major setbacks. I fear that the Russian Army will resupply (effectively this time), regroup, focus on the Donbas and achieve concentration of force and the ground will dry out favouring tank raids, and they may launch WMDs – then they might just win, locally. PRC – it remains to be seen what military campaigns they seek to wage – certainly achieving control over the South China Sea… Read more »

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

The increased F-15EX buy has very little to do with the reduction in the F-35 buy. All of the F-15EXs are slated for Air National Guard units engaged in continental defense and are replacements for the deactivation of F-16C and Ds that face their life cycle. This increase in the F-15EX buy is to accelerate the replacement of these aircraft. The Pentagon’s displeasure over the pace of LM’s software upgrades for the F-35 really has nothing to do with it.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Your right Mr Bell. Why worry about the Chinese and Russians. We won’t be able to contest anything, anywhere for ten years so why not take some pictures of the carriers as memorabilia and then sell the real thing to the Japanese who in typical oriental style will fly aircraft off them. Weird but I bet that’s what they would do.

Sheffield Steve
Sheffield Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

A bit like this fake birds of prey to scare away the pigeons in your garden?

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

I think the Navy are making a moot point by sailing carriers around without F35s on board. Its makes the UK government look pretty stupid even if we embarked just half a dozen f35s to keep up with at sea training.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

They probably wouldn’t have taken jets for these planned exercises even if we had 100 F35s sat at RAF Marham. We didn’t take Harriers to sea every time the Invincible class sailed from Portsmouth. HMS Invincible took part in a similar exercise in Feb 2001 to Norway.We only took SeaKing helicopters, and Army Lynx. No Harriers.

Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Correct don’t speak the truth it spoils a good story .

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago

😄 spoken like a true Matelot ⚓️

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Invincible was not an aircraft carrier. QE2 is.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Invincible was very much an aircraft carrier and served in that role until her retirement. Illustrious was a helicopter carrier for the last three years of her life, but other than that I’m not quite sure what you could mean.

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Invincible class = “Through Deck Cruisers”. Queen Elizabeth class = “Aircraft Carriers”.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

That was a largely political distinction at the time with the cancellation of CVA-01 and it’s very clear the Invincibles operated as aircraft carriers throughout their lives. true, they were envisioned as helicopter carriers with missile capability providing support to CVA-01 and Type 82 fleets, but the advent of STOVL technology and the cancellation of those two classes completely changed the equation. they were built specifically as the fixed wing aircraft platforms of the Royal Navy. Their missile capability was limited to Sea Dart (a very different system from, say, Granit on its Russian counterpart), and were then removed in… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Through deck cruisers for political purposes, small aircraft carriers in operation.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

That was political and that reply mate was clutching at straws.

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Splitting hairs?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Haha. You could be a politician.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

The Through Deck Cruiser term was a ruse to fool the Treasury in staffing papers, such that aircraft carriers could once again be fielded. I don’t think it was an official description of the Invincible class project.

You do know that the Invincible class carried aircraft, don’t you?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

They where through deck cruisers for a dog watch during trials . As soon as they entered service they where aircraft carriers. They even had the R pennant letter determining them as Aircraft carriers. There is no pennant letter for a “Through Deck Cruiser”

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Be as pedantic as you want mate, it was a small flat top that carried aircraft. It also carried helicopters, sometimes both.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Sadly it had aircraft on it so has to find something else to criticise!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

Invincible class was very much aircraft carriers. Just smaller. Could still carry 16 Harriers FA2/GR7 and 5 helicopters. Or 6 Chinooks. They embarked, Lynx, Apache every type of Seaking, USMC SeaNights, Merlin and even a V22 Osprey back in 2007. I served on them on and off for 14 years. They were very capable warships and served our nation well for 30+ years.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

POs mess was a bit weird. Having to go through then up the stairs to use the showers. To many times were there sights seen that could not be unseen, especially if the main hatch was down. It got better in the CPOs though. Plus you got paper doilies on the table at meal times.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

The whole wanting to spend a life on a warship is weird mate…..lol, and don’t get me started on those strange people submariner 😉s!!!!!

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Of course, peop!e wanting to jump out of perfectly good planes isn’t strange at all!!! 🤣

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

My way is safer…..much safer lol

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Think you would have enjoyed it mate. Most did once they got used to the routine, and showers with no shower curtains 😆

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Really…..mmmmm maybe I have missed a trick here! Hand towels around the waist as well obviously, up and down steep stairs, I can see a recruitment advert being developed here for the new generation of LGBTQ+DOTDASHNONEBINARYDIDDLYSQUATX2 😁

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

😆 Honestly, it was a good crack. But you needed flip flops, or you got shouted at in heads. A 2 deck dash was always fun on Saturday night party night. You had to run a full lap of 2 deck (it went all the way round the ship) without getting caught wearing nothing but a anti flash hood, and maybe pants. 🤣 If you managed a 5 deck dash ( the main deck, Ops room, dinning halls ect) then you went down as a Naval legend 😄

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

😂👍🍺

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

😝

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I was up in 2G or 2L usually. The sound of Harriers landing just a few inches above your head took some getting used too 😄 Couldn’t beat a ice cold can of larger after 8 hours on the deck. It was a strange life on-board at times, but a good life. Plenty I don’t miss, but I have very fond memories of my time at sea.

Klonkie
Klonkie
29 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Hi Robert. How are things ? Out of interest , where you with Invincible in the Falklands in ’82?

Paul C
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael

I think the point is the Invincibles were designed as ASW helicopter carriers, not light fleet carriers. They ended up being used in the light carrier role but were far from ideal as it was not the intention. The Invincibles as originally conceived were helicopter only platforms. I suspect the addition of F-35 capability to the Japanese Izumo class will be a stepping stone to the JMSDF eventually acquiring full-size carriers.

Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

A. Light carrier invincible about the same size of the planned Japanese carrier planned to carry the f35

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Uh?

It was called a through deck cruiser to placate the treasury and for no other reason than that.

Invincibles were aircraft carrier by any sensible definition.

The fact they were also used for other jobs doesn’t take away from that.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago

Exactly. The County class were described as ‘destroyers’ but were I believe larger (gross tonnage) than previous classes of cruisers. This was done to pull a fast one over the Treasury. It looks a bit farcical I think, but we have to make up for a whole series of historical blunders. One day though …

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Larking

HMS Belfast (light Town class cruiser) is 10,500t approx

Counties were about 6,500t

Bristol was about 7,200t

But I take your point ship sizes were growing at that time.

Although T42 shrank things again as it was the ‘low cost’ version of Bristol…..

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Troll or idiot, just begone.

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  Tams

Thanks Tams, sorry you don’t agree.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

TBH, I don’t think that they are. We are still at IOC with Carrier strike, FOC wasn’t envisaged until 2024ish, so hardly a surprise given LM problems getting Blk 4 out on time,/cost.
We would all be having a right old whinge if said carriers were just sat alongside in Pompey waiting until we could declare CS at FOC. Makes perfect sense to utilise these assets even if just for various trg purposes without a fixed embarked airwing. Recent events have shown the benefits of training training and more training (especially if you are Russian!!).

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Well said, nice to see someone with engaged brain.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

The Invincibles served as Aircraft Carriers regardless of size, perhaps the best example of that is 40 years ago today! The Sea Harrier FA2 was first rate, but there was no funding to carry out wing spar replacements and the Navy ended up with ‘Joint Force Harrier’ which meant the RAF had full control and ensured the existing Harrier force was used in land based deployments, with a rare visit here and there to a carrier.
The same is occurring now…..

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

It was a bit more complex than that.

The upgraded Pegasus engine and radars etc would not fit into a SHAR.

Yes, the wing spars from the SHAR was heading towards EoL.

So there was the option of creating a tiny orphaned fleet of aircraft at eyewaterinw expense which didn’t have a very long shelf life in view of F35B.

The fact that F35B is effectively running 10 years late is more the problem.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago

It’s a shame as BAe had developed a new wing for the Sea Harrier. It would have an increase in hardpoints and fuel carried, but perhaps critically it would have allowed the aircraft to cruise faster and more efficiently.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Shame it was.

But the tiny number of SHAR would have been monstrously expensive to upgrade.

Assuming all the automated flight/landing stuff developed at Bedford was fitted they would have become very complex aircraft and debugging that lot would have been a nightmare of epic proportions.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Dont think thats really the case with the F35, more to do with small numbers we currently have. Did we really need to send a flight of 4 to Europe? could we not have sent more Typhoons, given the fact that a sizable portion of said aircraft have just returned from a 7 month deployment and will need extensive care to regenerate the capability as it were. We will have our initial purchase of 48(47 now) F35’s by late 2026, so it will always be a tad tight on who gets what and when until we have at least 4… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Simply put, the F35Bs are for the carriers, and we made a huge mistake by not re-forming FAA Squadrons from the word go and place the aircraft under the control of the FAA not the RAF.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Sadly the FAA just don’t have the money to purchase a fleet of F35’s alone. They have to compete with the Fleet, RM, RFA for there share of the RN budget. Increasing in one part means reducing someone or everyone else’s share.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Would like to have thought so, but have to agree with @DS comments, F35 is a big ticket programme to purchase for one branch of the AFs. Without the RAF buying in I doubt the FAA could have purchased the first 24-30 aircraft.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

It also shut down RAF attacks on buying F35B by the ‘we need wall to wall Typhoon’ brigade?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

How did it happen that the FAA has got second dibs on F-35Bs?

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They don’t, Lightning Force is entirely joint. The difficulty is that it comes under Air Command and so its tasking is a bit difficult as its operational output also requires land based ops (so not fully dedicated to Carrier Strike). But eg 617Sqn is actually about 40%FAA bioth pilots and ground crew. 809 when formed will be roughly same ratio reversed.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

It will get better as numbers improve.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

Thanks Bob. I realised that Lightning Force was joint but not that squadrons had mixed RAF/FAA staff. I am still unclear as to why the RAF should fly F-35s off carriers. They’ll be wanting to fly Apaches next!

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

I expect the aircraft are also being used in the ISTAR role, seeing what they can hoover up from across the border. Even with the Luneberg lenses fitted and external weapons fit. They still have a smaller radar cross section than a Typhoon.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Fair point mate, fair point.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Training has a quality all of its own.

Just ask the Russians how goes if you don’t train properly……

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago

It most certainly is.

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Ah! An adult in the room!

Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Don’t spoil the rubbish stories with hard facts . 2024 correct .. Russian trolls are out in force with the Bear getting smashed in Ukraine.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago

Fair point, will stop now!🤭

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

I remember some sort of mantra that if you weren’t on deployed operations you were training. Not quite true as admin and equipment care etc had to be done as well.

Peter tattersll
Peter tattersll
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Why would they have planes on top to sail to Iceland . We’ve got one carrier battle ready and an other getting ready how many countries can say that… Them tin pot Russians can’t so what’s the panic .

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago

Russia has never had a credible carrier, what’s your point? Are carriers supposed to batte other carriers? They are not battleships.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Hardly the general public just sees images of the carrier, they don’t realise there are too few jets to go around.

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

I see an aircraft carrier as part of a system. Aircraft are a major part of that system. An aircraft carrier without aircraft is a failure of procurement. That failure is poor political decision making to save money. The same happened in the Falklands – Lives lost because of no AEW. You can’t compromise on naval aviation, do it right or don’t do it all. QE class is designed to deploy F35 at a high operational tempo. To do this properly you need 138 aircraft for both the RAF and RN. The MoD for some reason can’t commit to this,… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Not sure what foreign aid has anything to do with it. Most of the money goes to extremely poor nations, which couldn’t afford to buy our kit. Foreign aid and miliary influence are generally aimed at different types of countries anyway.

Foreign aid is meant to go to people that need the money because they live well below the poverty line and most of it does just that. Of course there is corruption but that applies across the board when it comes to government expenditure and also international aid charities.

Mr Anderson
Mr Anderson
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Seeing as the article talks about sub hunting, then it’s safe to assume there are Merlins on board the carrier. The carriers always were about a flexible aircraft deployment for different scenarios. So isn’t that exactly what they are doing and training for?

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Anderson

My thoughts exactly, pretty sure they set off with Merlins on board for the anti-sub exercises.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Ok lets buy 138 F35 and spaff the whole budget on them.
Currently with the software and integration standard that they have they are equivalent to, in the Top Gear car world a Mk 1 Ford Sierra.
So do you want 138 Mk1 Sierras or buy a few Mk1 Sierras whilst waiting for the RS Cosworth?

And on that bombshell… Goodnight…

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Very well put.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Brilliantly put! 😉

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

We should of called the carriers HMS Nimrod and HMS TSR2.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Ok so what would you have purchased to put on the carriers now they are at sea and in what number please?

Lets get the perfect solution from you in writing as all you do is moan about the exact same topic every time a picture of a carrier is on the website.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  James

I don’t think I would have. But I wouldn’t have cancelled the Harriers so quickly!

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  James

None. I would of delayed the carriers until we had a proper carrier air wing. 2 carriers would be CATOBAR with F35C. 69 F35C for the FAA and 69 F35A for the RAF. Training of FAA pilots would be embedded in the USN with Goshawk squadrons. Effectively our 2 carriers become an extension of the USN fleet enabling cross decking with F18s and Hawkeyes etc. But again the MOD couldn’t move on from the “stop then land” mantra.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Whilst I agree with some of that dream (CATOBAR/F35C
) I thnk that would mean they would still be a long way off & I would have gone nuclear as well …
but ….there is no way I would ever ever ever have our carriers as an extension of the USN fleet ..as they are ..well ..ours.
Although ironically the way they have ended up they have a foot in that camp anyway, unfortunately.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Which place would that fantasy fleet be finding the funding from then? EMALS was looked into, it didnt work at the time so was not an option. Steam catapults would have required a complete redesign of the carriers. Slowing the build rate would have spiraled the costs of them meaning even less money for aircraft. Delaying them would also delay training so when they did enter service one would take ages to work up to operation capability let alone 2. F35A has the same integration issues with the weapons so we still wouldnt have the aircraft as of now and… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Surely Merlin/Crowsnest provides AEW?

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It does, but it is a compromise. E2 would of been a vastly superior platform.

James
James
7 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

How much better is an E2 than an F35 exactly?

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  James

The carriers should of been nuclear powered CATOBAR vessels from the start. Our fast jet options are now limited to the F35B. With CATOBAR our airwing options are greatly improved. Too late now, as is always the case with the MOD

James
James
7 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

And we would have had 1 carrier not two, plus the EMALS system might or might not be working so who knows what mess that would have led to regarding using aircraft.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

They are sailing around with the assets on board required for the exercise they are taking part in.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Our carriers are not used the same as americas. They have multiple missions at different times. They do carrier strike, helicopter carrier, amphibious support etc. They can do a combination or single role depending what they are doing. Main thing is there are being used. The jets also have multiple roles and won’t just be sitting around waiting for the carrier to return.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

British carriers can do more than just Carrier Strike with fixed wing jets.

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Exactly, part time aircraft carriers. No nuclear propulsion. No catapults. An Air wing shared with the raf. No QRA. All the talk of Britain being a great naval power again, a load of hot air. Another MOD balls up.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

Jay what is your background as you say things that sound strange to me. The fact that our carriers can fulfill multiple roles, not just Carrier Strike, is a huge advantage and makes the investment very worthwhile. How often do you think we need to do Carrier Strike – makes sense for it to be able to do other things. Nuclear propulsion – one theoretical advantage and numerous disadvantages. It was a very good choice to avoid nuclear propulsion. Why do you think we should have had it? I agree that I have trouble with the RAF presence on the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham Moore
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
29 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Bravo Graham.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago

Just a question. Dont the Icelandic banks still owe UK banks, pensions organisations, savings schemes tens of billions of £ still?

Pleiades
Pleiades
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Google it

JakesDad
JakesDad
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I think you are referring to the ICESAVE deposits that had been lost when Landbanksi failed. After a couple of failed attempts to make the Icelandic state repay them the receivers who took control of the Landsbanki, through liquidation of assets, repaid the deposit claims to the UK and Dutch governments by January 2016.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Final payment of £730m from £4.6bn owed to Government/industry made Jan 2016.

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
RS
RS
1 month ago

This is largely an ASW exercises – and PWLS is carrying Merlin HM2s and is working with a towed array frigate..

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago

Ajax: 60 jobs could be cut at Wales’ General Dynamics plants – BBC News

General Dynamics has begun redundancy talks with the 60 out of 800 workers in Merthyr Tydfil that assemble Ajax, this is despite the government saying as recently as last month that they were still committed to the program, its not been formally cancelled. Its likely this is due to the slowdown of the program with the factory being overstaffed for the current build rate.

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Interesting, but is this relevant to this article?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As there isnt a forum if you want to share stories the only way is to post them on the most recent story.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago

On matters aircraft carriers, today 40 years ago Invincible and Hermes set sail for the Falklands. Remarkable to consider what theses two small carriers and their limited air group achieved. Even more so considering the distances and atrocious weather.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Very true, our carriers played a key role, without them there would not have a task force. Lessons were learned that have since been forgotten due to the usual cuts……..

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul42
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

A sobering thought but a good point well made.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

These were the only ones available that could be sent in the shortest amount of time. If the UK waited for better weather down south and sent the task force later in the year, Illustrious would also have been ready along with the reactivated Bulwark. There still would not have been enough Sea Harriers, but it would have made more space available for GR3 and Junglies + Chinooks on Bulwark as a helicopter carrier. The other significant asset that would have been available to the task force later in the year were the three Sea King AEWs. I have nothing… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Well said Davey B!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Bulwark? I was a 17 1/2 year old baby tiff loading war supplies on to ships in Pompie ( CSB, Red Death, Tennants etc !) Latterly I spoke to people who looked at Bulwark…It would have needed to be towed down there with gen sets on the deck for power. The propulsion plant was a none starter literally. It would have been a floating death trap. It was never a serious consideration. Further conversions of Container ships was a better option and far easier to achieve if needed. The UK still had a decent Merchant Fleet for STUFT then. The… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I have heard similar, that parts of her boilers had been robbed to service Hermes. Plus there was the other issue of repairing the fire damage to the hangar. Would it have been possible in 1982 to get her up and running again? I would say yes. If the Navy believed that she was needed. I’m sure heaven and earth would have been moved to get her sea worthy again.

Ernest
Ernest
1 month ago

Is Prince of Wales carrying any Jets, if not then why bother?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Ernest

Because our carriers are multi-role – they don’t just do CS with jets.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They are strike carriers, which should have strike jets on board. They are given other ‘roles’ some of which they will never act in to hide our pathetic F35B delivery rate……

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

When a carrier vists Liverpool it is not in the role of Strike Carrier. More seriously our carriers have a primary role of Strike but also act as amphibious support ships, C2 nodes, HADR etc. They don’t need to carry a huge complement of aircraft every day and for every task. When I was in the army I very rarely carried a weapon, the tanks rarely carried ammunition, RAF fighters were rarely loaded with live ordnance. Carriers don’t need to carry a full air wing all the time. It is a matter of fact that the British carrier build programme… Read more »

Grant
Grant
29 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The points valid on the fact they aren’t one trick ponies, but the empty decks are embarrassing, because there is a lack of aircraft of any kind: the Navy is also way down on helicopter numbers as well.

The other point is because we have no LPH (and we’re going to get rid of Argus) we actually don’t have ships which would be far better to providing a deck for 4-6 helicopters then our expensive (and of course wonderful) flagships

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

‘Our’ pathetic delivery rate, please enlighten us on the alternative and how its ours exactly?

The planes have a build time which is long, they are also in development still, why would we buy lots of (even if they had been available) early build planes which arent anywhere near as capable as we need them to be?

How long has Typhoon been around, the difference between T1 and T3 is huge so what do you want a full carrier full of T1 F35’s which need replacing as soon as we have them all?

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Ernest

That’s a bit ‘all or nothing Ernest. For starters there will be plenty of opportunities for a lot of different training, Ships company, embarked units and operating with other countries. Throw in a bit of’ flying the flag’ and there will be plenty of benefits to this deployment. It’s just the F35 types who are missing out. Assuming they’re not being kept busy doing something else…

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Is there any news around on potential updates to the defensive armament on these carriers?
Just asking while we’re here… Lol 😁