HMS Queen Elizabeth and her Carrier Strike Group are visiting Singapore.

Launching from HMS Queen Elizabeth, F-35B Lightning jets took to the skies with the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s F-16 fighters yesterday. According to the Ministry of Defence:

“Exercising together in the international waters of the southern reaches of the South China Sea, the jets conducted simulated air combat training and formation flying. Meanwhile, ships from the UK Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and the Republic of Singapore Navy conducted a manoeuvring exercise in the international waters in the South China Sea. These activities kicked off the Strike Group’s engagements with Singapore, which will be led by flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth visiting the city-state tomorrow (11 October), as a demonstration of the deep and longstanding UK-Singapore relationship.

UK’s Minister for Asia, Amanda Milling and Royal Air Force (RAF) Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, are also in Singapore tomorrow, and will meet with senior military officials from Singapore onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth. Amongst her engagements in Singapore, Minister Milling will also lead the UK’s contribution to a think-tank roundtable, covering themes of ASEAN, regional security and prosperity, and the UK’s role in the Indo-Pacific. Whilst onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Air Chief Marshal Wigston will receive an operational update from 617 Squadron detailing how the F-35 Lightning has been integrated and operated throughout the deployment.”

(from top) RSS Vigour, RSS Formidable and HMS Queen Elizabeth
RSS Vigour and RSS Formidable from the Republic of Singapore Navy and HMS Queen Elizabeth exercising together on the 9th October 2021. (Photo via Royal Navy)

The Carrier Strike Group, which set off on its maiden operational deployment in May (2021), has sailed the Atlantic Ocean, through the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific – participating in a range of activities with partners and allies enroute.

“The deployment highlights the UK’s commitment to defending democratic values, enhancing defence and security cooperation and promoting free trade around the world – key themes in the UK Government’s Integrated Review, published earlier this year. While in Singapore, the crew onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth will host Singapore officials and industry leaders from a range of sectors – including defence and security, trade and business, and science and research – supporting the development of closer UK-Singapore cooperation and the UK’s engagement with the Indo-Pacific region.”

Singapore is one of over 40 countries which the Carrier Strike Group will visit or exercise with during its global deployment.

Commodore Steve Moorhouse, Commander United Kingdom Carrier Strike Group, also said in a news release:

“The Carrier Strike Group’s deployment has been designed to recognise the importance of the region globally. The Group’s presence also demonstrates our support for the freedom of navigation passage through vital trading routes and our commitment to an international system of norms that benefits all countries.

So thank you Singapore for your support to the Carrier Strike Group’s deployment, for contributing to air exercises alongside our jets and supporting HMS Queen Elizabeth’s pit stop at Changi. We are proud to play our part in continuing to grow and deepen the Singapore-UK relationship.”

As part of its maiden operational deployment, the Carrier Strike Group will sail over 26,000 nautical miles, engaging with 40 countries from the Mediterranean to the Indo-Pacific and back again.

The Carrier Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, the Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps as well as air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS.

The Carrier Strike Group.

Not pictured above is an Astute class submarine. The Carrier Strike Group was joined in the opening phase of the deployment by HMS Artful (which returned to Gibraltar after completing the opening phase), now another Astute class submarine (HMS Astute or HMS Ambush) has joined the group as pointed out by NavyLookout on Twitter.

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David Barry
David Barry
9 days ago

Just base her out of Singers – jolly japes for Jack ashore and a statement of intent to the Chicoms re Taiwan and regional allies.

Steve
Steve
9 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Why would we want to base any serious assets in Asia. Our interests are closer to home and realistically for the next few decades any conflict we fight in will be in the middle East over oil/gas. We need to stop pretending to be a global power and focus on reality of what might be needed and how we can deliver it. Lessons from Iraq/afgan need to be learned, i.e. Serious lack of ground forces and money spent joy riding globally.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

We are not re-fighting old wars. We are equipping for the next 20 years.

Steve
Steve
9 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

And where are those wars? The last 30 years have invovled blindly following the US into oil/gas wars, why do you think the next 20 will be any different?

Steve
Steve
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

No longer part of the EU, means we are even more linked to the US, we will like it or not follow them into the next stupid war that means nothing to anyone

Realistically the US isn’t going to face off directly against China, which means proxy wars, no different than Iraq/afgan are our future.

Last edited 9 days ago by Steve
David Bevan
David Bevan
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

The point is to deter the Chinese from doing something stupid. I don’t think anyone would be particularly happy by a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or Australia being bullied into being a client state. By partnering up with allies in that region we can make a substantial contribution to keeping Beijing away from regional hegemony.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Because it’s very clear, no western government is going to get drawn into a long unwinnable war in the middle east anytime soon.

Wolf
Wolf
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

A new Cold War in my opinion, in fact, we have already entered the early stages of Cold War II – you just never know when that cold war can turn into a hot war. This is something that should be prevented.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
8 days ago
Reply to  Wolf

The Cold War was about deterrence.

Making the risks of doing silly things unacceptable.

Thus the risk of attacking a QEC task group is that you loose 50+ aircraft and probably other assets by going down that route. So that is an unacceptable calculation to anyone. Yes, you might overwhelm defences eventually but the cost of doing so is so high that realistically only a desperate megalomaniac would do that.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Can’t see any more large scale interventions in and around the Middle East, no support for it amongst US electorate and no desire for it from any President who wants their support plus I suspect holding the US together might be biggest priority of any President and increasingly so as the US declines in power and influence which will be like a knife to the heart of the sense of invulnerability and confidence of average Joe. It’s all why Biden wanted was willing to take the flak esp near term for the Afghan exit. Simple fact is our future is… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve, I don’t recall my time in Afghan being remotely concerned with securing oil/gas for the UK.

[Oil reserves were only found in 2010 (which post-dates involvement) and they have no oil industry to extract, refine or export hydrocarbons].

I feel the next 20 years of British military operations will follow a different arc, and that we will be far more reluctant to follow American adventures overseas, unless they involve a peer or near peer opponent for the US.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

But we need to learn lessons from the recent past, nevertheless.

Klonkie
Klonkie
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve, I do think this exercise is more about sending a clear message to the Chinese.

Steve
Steve
9 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

You really think that? I think its more about it’s sending a message to home, that post brexit we are still a global power (not that we have been in a century). Same with the countries that joined. I would like to think this would send a message to china, but I doubt it. Only the US with a multi carrier battleground has a hope of scaring China, and even then I’m not sure anymore, as the age of carrier destroyer weapons are with us. Realistically afgan/Iraq has told China that the west is no longer a miltiary threa, as… Read more »

dave12
dave12
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

We are a global power but not a super power which only the US and China can claim , so which nation are you comparing UK power too ? I’m being suspicious that you are a Russian troll due to your lack of reality , or you are just too woke again lack of reality.

Rob
Rob
8 days ago
Reply to  dave12

Exactly my thought.

Matt
Matt
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I think this has less to do with being a global power but more to do with upholding international trade waters & forming alliances with eastern allies not as solely western powers but as multinational force to check China’s growing indifference. If you really think that the our focus should be on the middle east over oil & gas (soon to be made redundant fuels) you should really rethink your understanding of the world & leave it to those that know better, namely our own leaders & govt. departments!

Rob
Rob
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Sounds like Brexit sour grapes. Get over it mate – Britain is back on the World stage and about time too.

Tommo
Tommo
8 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Round of applause for Rob I’ve had enough of these Wokers and Remoaners my god what’s wrong with having Bulldog gumption, hope the Navy renames on of the Subs Amerthyst that crew had some balls , Bullies don’t like it when other turn up for the bullied , China even added Taiwans Olympic medal too her own tally so as too Beat the US on the medal table that how trustworthy they are you can tell if the Party is lying when on TV their LIPS are moving dead give away

Rob
Rob
8 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Hear! hear! Cheers Tommo 👍

David Barry
David Barry
7 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Have you ever youtubed Amythyst? Full film available in Europe but blocked here!

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Yes indeed Dave the First Doctor Who William Hartnal starred in it , little side dit in 1984 our ship visited Toronto, Canada just round the Lake ,Laid up in a Scrap yard was,the Amerthyst sad ending for such a Ship , She should have been the centre piece at the Royal Dockyard , Chatham as the Ship that defied Moa

David Barry
David Barry
7 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

That’s a whole thread! Vanguard should have been kept, a Leander, an Invincible and perhaps a 42, but, I’m not Navy so I’ll leave the list to the grown ups!

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

Your welcome Dave

Tommo
Tommo
4 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Just read this in the Economic Times ROB China-Pakistan military tensions over Substandard and poorly maintained hardware with an array of modern Armaments from Beijing After the Pak Air force took delivery of Ucavs unmanned Combat Aireal Vehicles That don’t work More tacky exports from China Should of just given something the Chinese did invent KITES

Klonkie
Klonkie
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

yep I really do think that. Just look at all the different nationalities contributing to the task forces. Look a where they conducted the exercise. And then consider China’s open hostility to Taiwan.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

“Carrier destroying weapons” have always been there…they are nothing new.

Wolf
Wolf
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Sorry mate but this is meant to be a message to China, a message telling China that they cannot just do what they like and a powerful message that Britain is willing to protect its strong allies in the region, even if they have to be supported against China, a world superpower.

Tommo
Tommo
6 days ago
Reply to  Wolf

China’s flexing of her expansion round the SC Sea isn’t just too intimidate her Neighbours but also Show her Population how superior their Communist style of governing is it keeps the Natives in line with the Party’s doctrine

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

In actual reality the military invasion of Iraq in 2003 was tremendously successful, defeating Saddam’s Armed Forces in a little under 6 weeks. The 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and removal of Al-Qaida was equally as successful. It was also equally as short and swift, being offensively complete within 6 months with extremely low coalition casualties and cira 15,000 Taliban dead. The UK, nor the US were ever beaten militarily on the battlefield. the tactical choices by local commanders saw to that. The following strategic decisions made by politicians are what crippled the effort & dragged it out for 20 years.… Read more »

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
8 days ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

I would add I can’t see any of the above actually bearing out. In reality I think if anything were to escalate it would do so extremely quickly and as quickly dissipate into a stalemate for fear of nuclear exchange.

Steve
Steve
8 days ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

The issue is you can’t take the initial invasion and what came next in isolation, they were one conflict, and have demonstrated to policticans /media/ the general population that another war is not on the cards, and I’m sure our opponents also know this. It’s the same thing that happened to the US after Vietnam, the policitcal will to go to war again took decades to occur. If it’s another war like iraq1 / Falklands, where your only aim is to kick out an invader and stop, then maybe, but if it had the chance to needing to go further… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

My fear would be unlike Russia and the West, China hasn’t had to learn that yet, especially as it grows it’s might military and economic to unpredicted levels and various historical slights to feed its xenophobia and Nationalism. Taiwan is it’s one short term military priority (it sees it as sovereign territory) and it’s when not if invades, especially if the World turns a blind eye as it tests the water of opposition and opportunity. However even beyond that it’s expansionist policy is admittedly one of using economics and perceived threat to attain its goals, first in securing Asia and… Read more »

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
8 days ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

Rule No. 2 in the Book of War; Don’t send your land armies into China.

– Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
8 days ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

I dont know, Boxer rebellion went quite well when Europe, Japan and US scrounged together a joint taskforce from local troops to rescue the hostages.

Tommo
Tommo
8 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

If it hadn’t been for Charlton Heston we would have lost Peking,

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

… or into Russia, I would add.

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
8 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That’s rule No. 1: Don’t march on Moscow!

Tommo
Tommo
8 days ago
Reply to  SwindonSteve

RULE ONE listen too your Intelligence officers before you drop 12,000 Airborne into Holland

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Maybe but in that case we might as well accept our eventual fate of resulting self destruction in a generation or so because there will simply be no place for us or Europe in this ‘brave new world’ people are just too blind to see it yet, or are too selfish to care like the Spanish Aristocracy were for centuries while the country. Collapsed around them and eventually took them out. In reality I don’t think anyone believes we are a World Power, though it’s in the interest of Boris and co to try to raise internally (and externally for… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Spyinthesky
fearlesstunafish
fearlesstunafish
8 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

a cold war “with chinese characteristics” perhaps? 😉

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve what is your Bee in your bonnet. First of all we stopped being a global superpower only in 1956 with the Suez crisis…that’s hardly a century. The carrier is about working with other friendly nations to show China that the west are serious about it following international norms. The Brexit statements are really unncessary and I’m not sure why you included them at all. In many ways your statement was a little bit childish and I think you are more intelligent than that. There is no need to make cheap shots that do you no justice at all.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I think we stopped being a superpower once the Cold War started and the UK economy tanked, then we became a ‘significant global power’ (Suez 1956 proved that we could not operate in opposition to US policy, but not that we lacked power projection or a global perspective).

We are still a global power of course, by any indicator.See what the Henry Jackson Society said in mid-2018 after a most rigorous study of all factors (not just a count of military strength) – https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/new-study-ranks-britain-second-powerful-country-world/

David Bevan
David Bevan
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve a modern carrier strike group with stealth jets and SSN’s can really ruin your day. It’s not something you can ignore. If you do you’ll lose something you like really like really quickly. It’s not an insignificant military threat and just saying it is doesn’t make that fact any less true.

OdinSon
OdinSon
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

huh two homebuilt state of the art carriers – plus nuclear capability. You guys are not any small player..in fact, u are one of the key backbones of western civilazation.
Respect from Iceland.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve, I agree we should not base serious assets in Asia – scarce assets should not be dispersed over a wide arc. We should not be fighting in the Middle East to secure oil and gas supplies – we should be phasing out the stuff. COP26/Global Warming and all that. We are, and have always been, a global power. Why do you think we aren’t? I totally agree about learning lessons from Iraq/Afghan [and would have thought that the work had been done in that regard, by now], even if we don’t find ourselves in those 2 countries ever again… Read more »

Dern
Dern
9 days ago

Can’t remember, did she stop there or the way out or just pass through?

Last edited 9 days ago by Dern
Goldilocks
Goldilocks
9 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Pass through, but I think one of the tankers might have stopped there.

Lusty
Lusty
9 days ago
Reply to  Dern

The Tide visited last time and Diamond has recently visited as well.

Mark
Mark
9 days ago

Hope the girls n boys have some shore leave they deserve it. This deployment seems to go from 1 exercise to the next every week lots of great training and team building with our allies.

Chris
Chris
9 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Singapore is rife with Delta strain Covid at the moment… hopefully they can avoid it as much as possible

Mark
Mark
9 days ago
Reply to  Chris

All our sailors are double vaccinated so as long as they take…hands face space precautions will be no different to shore leave back home. And it’s just been announced..
Singapore has announced it is easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions and will allow quarantine-free travel from a number of nations, including the UK. So hopefully they can get some shoe based RNR.

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  Mark

QE jollies to Singars lasted 24 hrs Mark must of been a postcard run for the crew

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 days ago

Such a shame it cannot do a port stop in Hong Kong.

Donaldson
Donaldson
9 days ago

Just had a look at the Singapore armed forces and jeez they are well equipped given their size!

Over 100 fighter aircraft, 11 tanker aircraft(!!) Apaches, Chinooks, Amphibious ships, Frigates and on and on.

Very impressive for a City sized country.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
9 days ago
Reply to  Donaldson

Very rich country due to continuing to be the major trade hub Britain built through into the 21st century, average wages there are like 50% higher than the UK while tax is less than half as much. However even then they do spend about 3x as much per person on defence as we do (£550 per person in UK, £1540 in Singapore), its almost a quarter of their entire public spending (they only spend a third of what we do on public healthcare).

Last edited 9 days ago by Watcherzero
eclipse
eclipse
9 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

I question whether it is futile though. Powerful for its size or no, in a war it’s Britain or China they will get smashed, whether they have 10 frigates or none. Since I doubt the US or U.K. will be attacking Singapore, I’m guessing it’s mostly to deter China. But, like I said, isn’t it quite pointless?

Sean
Sean
8 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

No not pointless. Even if you cannot hope to defeat an enemy you can make the price they pay so high and the conflict so prolonged that they give up or don’t attempt it in the first place. The biggest military doesn’t always win.

eclipse
eclipse
8 days ago
Reply to  Sean

I get what you’re saying about being a pufferfish… or a hedgehog; the price is too high for the prize. But, strategically, Singapore is quite important due to its location. In a conflict, by the way, I doubt the Chinese would lose any capital ships.

Sean
Sean
8 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Given Singapore doesn’t share any land borders with China either the Chinese are going to have to fight their way through a load of countries to get there, or they’re going to have to do everything by sea. Which makes the PLA Navy the sole target of the Singapore navy, air-force and any shore based defences. So the odds are that they would lose shops – I’d don’t anyone uses “capital ships” since WW2. Carriers would be the obvious target, a single loss would be a high blow to Chinese pride and numbers. But I would expect troop transports would… Read more »

IwanR
IwanR
8 days ago
Reply to  eclipse

Actually it’s more to deter Malaysia and to a lesser extent Indonesia. They’ve had a few scuffles already.

China’s investing through Singapore like everyone else. So, their biggest concern with China is about escalating tensions with the neighbors.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
8 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Rich yes, expensive to live in …ruinously so. Most people live in social housing because to buy a house/flat is beyond most peoples reach. The tax on putting a car on the road is the price of the car!

I have relatives living there and have stayed with them when I have visited in the RN and latterly on business. Avoid the tourist areas and get into the community areas to see the real Singers…it aint so shiny and bright then.

Doug Scott
Doug Scott
8 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Gunbuster – yes, you’re correct in saying Singapore is a very expensive place to live. No more so than Hong Kong for example (in fact housing in HK is far more expensive). However, it has the highest % of home ownership in the world – as of 2020, 87.9% own their own home. This is primarily via the Housing Development Board (HDB). This is not social housing. This was designed to give people a tangible asset in the country and a stake in the country. If you know anywhere else that has a higher rate, please let me know. The… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
7 days ago
Reply to  Doug Scott

No one has mentioned the close relationship of as I still call it Burma has with China how the military junta, has allowed China access too its mineral and Forests wealth lining their pockets and also how the democratic rule was erased last year If China needs an Allie look no further than Burma

Doug Scott
Doug Scott
8 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Watcherzero – Singapore spends between 3.7% – 4.3% GDP on defence. Public healthcare is heavily subsidised but not free like the NHS. Upon independence, LKY commissioned a study of healthcare systems around the world including the NHS to see what type and form of system could be implemented. The NHS system was discounted as being unsustainable.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
8 days ago
Reply to  Doug Scott

They barely spend on anything else however, just 14.32% of GDP in 2019.
Their 2018-19 budget was 78.99 billion SGD, that broke down as 14.7bn on defence, 13.09 on education, 11.75 on transport, 10.6 on health, 6.6 on police/fire/customs, 4.6bn on trade (50% industrial infrastructure and 50% trade subsidies) and 2.8 on administration.

Last edited 8 days ago by Watcherzero
Pete
Pete
8 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

A key issue of Singapore success is that they seldom waste money. Long term planning and a focus on successful delivery of projects first time every time is underpinned by the brightest graduate mind’s are recruited and paid top salaries to join the civil service.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 days ago
Reply to  Donaldson

And not just Singapore!Taiwan progresses ‘special’ funding plan as relations with Beijing deteriorate 05 OCTOBER 2021 “Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense (MND) has advanced its plan to allocate TWD240 billion (USD8.6 billion) in additional military funding to enhance the island’s sea and air combat capability. The MND submitted its funding plan for approval to the island’s Legislative Yuan on 4 October. The proposal was approved by Taiwan’s Executive Yuan in September.  The funding plan was submitted on the same day that the MND announced that nearly 150 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft had been deployed near Taiwan since 1 October: the… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

As for the USA, not sure why they need to increase their presence in the Indo-Pacific when some on here think that a handful of US subs could get the job done? But there you go!

For example, the army’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2022 budget (not yet approved by Congress) cut USD3.6 billion over the FY 221 discretionary spending levels.

This trend is expected to continue as the Pentagon looks for ways to fund navy modernization and increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/british-carrier-jets-refuel-from-us-navy-f-a-18e-super-hornet/

Klonkie
Klonkie
9 days ago

I do hope at some point in the future QE will visit Auckland

David Steeper
David Steeper
8 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

PoW is visiting Oz in a couple of years that would be a good opportunity to visit NZ. Just a bit concerning as to whether there would be opposition from some in NZ. Brits are not popular in some quarters and getting less so. You’d know more than me but visit might just fuel the fire.

Klonkie
Klonkie
8 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Thanks for the update David, I’m going to hold you to this! I don’t think this would cause too much of a stir. There is still a very strong sense of association to the UK and Commonwealth

David Steeper
David Steeper
8 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

I was referring to controversy about treaty of Waitangi I think it was called. I love history but it’s dangerous to take it too much to heart. Which I think some in NZ are. Hope you get to see PoW in the flesh.

geoff
geoff
7 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Howsit Klonkie. It would be nice to see her in Durbs too!! The last RN ship to stop here ws HMS Enterpise/Echo-can’t remember which, about 10 years back! I remember Eagle coming here in about 1970. West street was full of Pom sailors 😂

Klonkie
Klonkie
7 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Hey Geoff -how are tricks? I wonder if QE is transiting back around the Cape? Would see logical to call in at DBN & CPT for a goodwill visit. I never missed the chance to visit any RN ship when in CPT back in the 1990s. .

geoff
geoff
6 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

All good Klonkie-hope the same with you. It would be wonderful to see QE in Durban and CT-she could then continue to brief stops in St Helena and Ascension to spread the love in the Empire😂 I doubt it will happen though. The extra over expense of diverting round the Cape might cause a problem with the bean counters in the MoD! Hope your weather improving in Auckland. Our cousins in Wellington are miserable with temps stuck in the low teens!
ps my wife was also born in 1964-7th August. I’m a cradle snatcher

Last edited 6 days ago by geoff
Klonkie
Klonkie
6 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Sumerish looking morning today Geoff -bring on summer I say! Lookin forward to the end of this Covid lockdown, I’ve had enough!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago

Why are there no FAA F-35Bs on the carrier?

Deep32
Deep32
8 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Evening Graham, 617 Sqn RAF were the first F35 Sqn to stand up – 2019 I think. 809 Sqn FAA aren’t due to stand up until 2023 I believe.
Despite this, 617 contains both RAF and FAA pilots, as they build up experience on the jet.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Many thanks.

I think the Navy has blundered badly (in a PR sense) by allowing the RAF to be ‘first on parade’ on a carrier, but I am reassured and surprised that some FAA pilots are in a RAF Sqn.

I still don’t get why the RAF still do carrier operations! It was an expedient in 1982 – but why continue this?

The embarked USMC must be very puzzled by all this.

Challenger
Challenger
8 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

There are a mix of FAA and RAF pilots in 617 Squadron. 809 NAS will stand up around 2023 but all units are grouped under Joint Force Lightning and will contain personnel from both services.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
8 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

Thanks very much. Why do you think there is still a need for RAF aircrew on carriers? Is it just empire-building on the RAF’s part or is there a solid reason why the FAA cannot alone crew F-35Bs?

David Steeper
David Steeper
8 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Money. The only way the FAA could operate an F35B fleet is if the costs are shared with the RAF. The RN has to find cash for the Fleet, RM and RFA as well as FAA.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Not sure I follow. Why does the FAA not get 100% of the budget for F-35B procurement and operation and the RAF 0% – that costs Defence the same as 50% to RAF and 50% to FAA.

David Steeper
David Steeper
6 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well I didn’t realise until recently that it’s a controversial thing to say. There are a few people on here who’ll disagree but the way the budget is shared out is that first the nuclear deterrent is deducted then the rest is split evenly between the 3 services. It may vary a bit one year to the next depending on equipment programmes but over time that’s how it’s done. So the Army has land forces plus AAC. The RAF aircraft plus RAF Regt. The RN has the fleet plus RM plus RFA and FAA. So the RN doesn’t have anything… Read more »

Challenger
Challenger
7 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As David says it’s just too expensive for the Royal Navy to run its own separate fast-jet fleet. Makes sense for both them and the RAF to pool resources so they don’t have to build and run parallel fleets. Training and maintenance have been joint since 1998 with the respective Harrier fleets so it’s not a new thing.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
6 days ago
Reply to  Challenger

No need to pool resources – just give the Royal Navy all the F-35B funding and the RAF none – it costs Defence the same.

This twin service plan does not happen elsewhere.

Boot on the other foot – It would be bizarre for the FAA to be allocated some Typhoons (obviously do the right training etc) and operate them alongside RAF Typhoons at RAF Coningsby. It would also be odd to issue the RAF with some Apaches (train the guys properly of course) and have them operate side-by-side with AAC Apaches at the army’s Wattisham Flying Station.

geoff
geoff
7 days ago

Did any of you notice the big Singapore Navy battle ensigns flying from the main masts? Nearly all the Commonwealth Navies fly White Ensigns in the British tradition

Last edited 7 days ago by geoff