British aircraft HMS Prince of Wales, acting as NATO’s command ship, is heading to the Mediterranean Sea.

The Royal Navy say in a news release here that HMS Prince of Wales will complete two weeks of preparations off the UK’s South Coast before joining warships from across NATO for Spanish-led training and port visits to Spain and Portugal.

“The aircraft carrier is scheduled to visit Rota, on Spain’s west coast, before linking up with a multinational task group for Spain’s annual exercises, known as Flotex. It will involve a large contingent of Spanish ships and will include NATO task groups (Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2) which are responsible for the security and prosperity of the Mediterranean. 

The ship has a new commanding officer for the deployment after Captain Richard Hewitt replaced Captain Steve Higham, who took the ship through major milestones and her maiden operational deployment to the Arctic earlier this year.”

The Royal Navy also opened up on what aircraft will be present:

“Two Merlin ‘Crowsnest’ helicopters will train alongside the ship ahead of future operations, in which the aircraft will provide protection from aerial threats using its powerful radar to scour the skies for potential foes. The distinctive-looking helicopter – a large radar dome or ‘bag’ sticks out from the fuselage, earning the aircraft the affectionate nickname of ‘baggers’ – provides airborne surveillance and the control of other aircraft (known as ASaC) for the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers.

The iconic Osprey tiltrotors will also make an appearance on the ship, perfecting ways of operating seamlessly with the US Air Force aircraft from RAF Mildenhall. Two anti-submarine warfare helicopters from Culdrose-based 820 Naval Air Squadron will also be training aircrew in operating from the ship as she sails off the South Coast, plus Chinooks from the Royal Air Force’s 27 Squadron.”

Capt Hewitt was quoted as saying:

“Taking command of the largest warship is an honour as we push the limits of aircraft carrier operations. I’m excited to lead this amazing team as we head for exercises in our role as NATO’s command ship.”

You can read more on this from the Royal Navy here.

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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andy
andy
1 month ago

I would have thought being the lead NATO ship it would have full air assets on her or at the very least some of our F35 on board…After all we are one of NATO,s founding fathers at least lets start to act like it..

Jack
Jack
1 month ago
Reply to  andy

Yawn.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack

Like I said in my post…complacent.

andy reeves
andy reeves
30 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

reckless?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
27 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

Don’t understand andy?

andy reeves
andy reeves
27 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

because the ukraine issue has undermined an already unstable world, and given putins veiled threats towards the west with his suffer the consequences diaribe, then it makes sense to be forarmed than getting to see that our most valuable unarmed surface asset has been lost to an unprovoked attack

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
25 days ago
Reply to  andy reeves

👌absolutely

andy reeves
andy reeves
30 days ago
Reply to  Jack

agreed should never leave port without less than 8 aircraft on board, and an escort.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  andy

Well, yes. Just a few perhaps. 😐

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon
Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
1 month ago
Reply to  andy

Don’t be ridiculous

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  andy

What are the Italians getting, any 35B?

Or do they have them?

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

You mean in general? They have a handful already, but are some years behind us in gearing up. Cavour is working up with F-35Bs, but has very few planes. Their navy only expects to get 15 in total. The air force should be getting 75 F-35As and F-35Bs. I think Trieste is still in manufacturer’s sea trials, and Garibaldi won’t be converted, using Harriers to the end.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Hi, thxs for a gr8 reply.

Iirc… if… the Italians did land on QEC, right?

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

That’s correct, David. the Italians briefly operated from QE as she returned from her deployment last year.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  andy

It’s “fitted for but not with” fixed wing aircraft such as the F35b. Doubtless the Admiralty are worried about dropping another one off the ski jump.

The MoD needs to find another £5 billion to pay GD for the on-going, stupendous Ajax cock-up. Expect this ship to be mothballed shortly and the crew paid off, followed by flogging it on the cheap to the Brazilians.

RAY YOUNG
RAY YOUNG
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

I couldn’t have said it better, POW is supposed to be an amphibious carrier, there are no means to carry landing craft or a back door to launch any. It is just an oversized helicopter carrier.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  RAY YOUNG

No, it is not. Both were built as fleet carriers with POW having some minor modifications. That does not mean it is supposed to be an amphibious ship to replace Ocean or carry LCVP, nor have a well dock for LCUs! 😆

andy reeves
andy reeves
29 days ago

i’d have been as happy with the R.N getting half a dozen invincible type carriers with one to replace ocean

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  RAY YOUNG

Ray, you seem rather confused. What is your background?

POW (and QE) was never supposed to be an amphibious carrier. Why do you think that? Its an aircraft carrier, so why would it have amphibious support design characteristics?

It carries a lot of F-35Bs when it is in Carrier Strike role, so why do you call it merely a helicopter carrier?

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Fake News again from you?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

MoD has so far paid GD £3.5bn, and need to pay another £2bn (nt £5bn), but not until they have got all their Ajax (and variants) and they are acceptable for service.

Ian mac
Ian mac
1 month ago
Reply to  andy

Well said not an F35 in sight, complete madness

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian mac

You lot really are getting tiresome, HMS Q.E is the strike carrier on readiness at the moment, however both carriers will be heading to the US later in the year WITH f35’s for further flight trials (perhaps srvl).
Remember they are still on initial operating capability but should the shit hit the Fan both could be mobilised quickly at the moment.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

I wonder if they’re Trolls having a poke?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Ian mac

Ian, our carriers have at least 4 roles: Carrier Strike, Command & Control, RM Commando support, HADR.

It is configured and equipped for whichever role it is on – POW is in a C2 role, not a carrier strike role on this deployment, so it does not need F-35Bs.
My car can carry a lot of junk to the tip – but it is not loaded with rubbish all the time!

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  andy

I wonder if they are sorting out a similar problem with ours are the world tour?

“The photos below clearly show three rust-covered fighters, as well as an F-35C Lightning II take-off fighter also covered in rust. According to INF, when asked, Pentagon spokesman Joe Dellavedova said the rust was caused by a manufacturing error by arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin, with all models being affected. It’ll be “fixed” in new batches of F35s.”

Photo credit: Twitter

Shocking-photos-US-F-35C-Lightning-II-jets-covered-in-rust.jpg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Photo credit: Twitter

Shocking-photos-US-F-35C-Lightning-II-jets-covered-in-rust-1.jpg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Report Jan 28, 2022
Photo credit: Twitter

Shocking-photos-US-F-35C-Lightning-II-jets-covered-in-rust-2.jpg
Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
Nathan
Nathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Rust covered? No, it really isn’t. The airframe structure is titanium or aluminium and the skin is composite, not sheets of steel as you seem to think.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nathan

Makes for an interesting read. And i’m not Joe Dellavedova by the way!“The pure titanium material is resistant to corrosion, unless in an environment without oxygen.  Titanium is reliant on the presence of oxygen to form titanium oxide. The thin layer of titanium oxide formed around the outside of pure titanium is the key to its corrosion resistance without that film, titanium can corrode just like a typical corrosive metal. Oxygen in the atmosphere or water will do — even saltwater works. But, if titanium is in an environment devoid of oxygen, like in a man-made vacuum or even outer… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  andy

It is acting as NATO’s command ship, not practicing ‘Carrier Strike’. She has many roles.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

Hopefully better runs ashore than the covid blighted CSG in the pacific.

Mr Mark Franks
Mr Mark Franks
1 month ago

Yet again no F35s. Not even a token one or two. The protagonists on here will be telling me she doesn’t need them for this kind of deployment. So do we really need an air wing of fast jets on our carriers or should we redesignate them Helicopter carriers. I’m going to duck and cover now.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

I’m a protagonist! 😀

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago

🤣

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

I’m a poltergeist! I mean, I do lurk in the shadows enough.. Did you know, the Russians only had six fixed-wing airframes on their carrier during the ship’s maiden deployment? They rotated them through the hangar and painted new numbers on them each time to ‘fool’ US intelligence assets into thinking they had more than they did. At my last count, the UK has around 250 fixed-wing and rotary assets that can be deployed from the carriers (not including drones, which are being trialled). That’s a fair number, and Wildcat/Apache and a Chinook/Merlin loaded with Royals or SF will ruin… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Guilty as charged. Let the protagonists of the UKDJ unite. 😆

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

And no, I didn’t know that mate.

I think the takeaway here is flexibility is the key. Such as Js points below.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Hah!

And yes, that’s the whole point of them. They can go to war with a loadout of fixed-wing or rotary assets, engage in exercises with a smaller compliment, conduct disaster relief with a larger rotary load, or act as a staging point for amphibious assault/littoral support.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Not to mention the last Russkie foray into the Med. A supporting tug boat or two in anticipation of the inevitable break down coupled with a ditching of a Sukhoi or two!

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Or parking a crane on the flight deck!

klonkie
klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

😂

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Didn’t realise the Royals were that scary.. well other than Andy and family.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

😂

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Yes, the Russians may have had 6. But at least they had them. This is PoW’s second deployment, no fast jets.

I know it bores some on here, but it must be concerning that a ship this size and cost isn’t being utilized for its intended purpose.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Concern is welcome. I’m concerned about the procurement of jets, the provision of helicopters, the availability of escorts and the frankly woeful SSS programme, which is taking an age to progress into something concrete. I’m concerned that HMG isn’t putting money where it’s mouth is to fully fund the project. I know T45 will see improvements and I know T26/31 will come online, but what about support ships, investment in overseas bases, the 30mm cannon, providing upgrades and spares for the F-35s and expanding the number of cabs? And the thing is, that’s not just a ‘now’ thing. I want… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Lusty
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Good points. I am surprised that some commentators here do not know that a carrier is only equipped with strike aircraft when it is on a carrier strike mission or exercise (evolution).

Marius
Marius
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Banging a drum of boredom mate, change the music. The RN has nothing to learn from how the third rate Russian naval contingent runs their outfit.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

Its intended purpose is to be a flexible capital ship – it has at least 4 roles. It is not in the Carrier Strike role for this deployment so doesn’t need any strike aircraft on board – it is in the C2 role.

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

As an aircraft spotter many years ago, it was apparent to us kids that aeroflot changed the TU104s registrations.

Max Jones
Max Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

Queen Elizabeth is the fleet ready carrier, the jets are assigned to her so she is free to use them when necessary outside of some training for POW later this year.

Don’t ask me why QE isn’t being sent to the Med, possibly for a larger CSG being line up for a few months’ time.

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Max Jones

I thought QE was off to middle East based out of the RNs new facility in Barain HMS Jufair.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Where did you hear that?

The carriers can access facilities there but they can’t go alongside, and besides, the facility isn’t able to support the carriers on a long-term basis.

And besides, you couldn’t base a ship out of HMS Jufair, as it doesn’t exist. Neither does Barain. The base itself is called the ‘United Kingdom Naval Support Facility’.

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Mums the word.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Can’t they use the American facilities?

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The majority of the port itself is too shallow to support the carriers. The UK/US facilities sit side-by-side, with the UK effectively having its own ‘compound’ and jetty facilities, as well as the access to the finger jetty. While we have improved our jetty to allow escorts to come alongside (instead of going to the finger or flour jetties), carrier support was not part of the scope. The same goes for the American facilities: even they can’t fully support their carriers, and they have to use the port’s container facilities OR anchor offshore. In principle, it’s similar to what happens… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Lusty
Tim
Tim
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

More reasons to justify a medium sized carrier. If the 40t ton CDG is good enough to bail out the US when they don’t have one it should be good enough for us. We wouldn’t have needed to dredge Pompy as much either.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

She has got access to port facilities in Duqm Naval Dockyard, Oman.

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Yes she has but apparently we are not allowed to talk about it according to Lusty.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

I didn’t say that.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

?! It is well known Duqm will be a UK LSB and the carriers will be able to use the facilities.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

Yes I know, I made reference to HMS Jafiar in Barhain and was told on this thread it didn’t exist, which is funny because it was definitely there when I was in Bahrain.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Oh!

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Naval jokes go over people’s head like drones in the night. I was just messing around, haha.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Ohhh yes please, or one of the USAF black budget triangles painted black. Always wanted to see one. 😄

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

As I stated, the facility is called the ‘UK Naval Support Facility’. The name ‘HMS Jufair/Juffair’ was dropped some time ago.

So yes, the facility exists. But the HMS name doesn’t. I was trying to be mildly humourous with some of my old naval humour, which sadly fell on deaf ears.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lusty
Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

I humbly apologise

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

No worries mate. I didn’t mean to cause any upset (sorry if I did!), and I do respect your concerns over the project. 👍

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Cheers Lusty.

Nick C
Nick C
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

I don’t think there is a need for a token fixed wing presence for this exercise. I suspect that the exercise is built around the command and control aspects of handling multi national forces, which will keep the staff busy for the duration. However, if the brown sticky does hit the fan you could ferry a bunch of aircraft from Marham in short order, equally the USMC could have a squadron deployed out of the US in much the same time. Given the situation in the Black Sea I suspect the ship is already carrying the necessary munitions, and while… Read more »

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

I’d say the precursor would need to be M142 to Ukraine, and some more comprehensive holes in the Black Sea fleet.

M142 is already in Eastern Europe – Romania, though not the longest range version.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

Could you imagine the US Navy or the French for that matter put a carrier to Sea without an air wing? No is the answer, we already have assets in the region, tankers in Akrotiri with I believe 14 Tiffies plus 4 in Romania. Rivet joint out of Waddington and tankers out of Brize. For me you put a carrier to sea with a full airwing of F35s and associated rotary, its a statement that we can and will if necessary use it. An aircraft carrier is only good when you use it for what it is intended for. Call… Read more »

Azincourt
Azincourt
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

The French did send out the CdG at the equivalent stage of its introduction without it’s air wing embarked . I’m pretty sure I saw the Americans doing the same thing with the Gerald Ford with some exercises off the US coast .

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Azincourt

I believe GR Ford is on a shakedown after a refit

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Ford still cannot launch 5th gen fighters, so it still has issues

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Exactly been a big embarrassment for a state of the art horrendously expensive ship that’s taking years to get operational what with iffy launch systems and unreliable lifts and ordinance handling. That said I thought it had finally got its clearance for F35 use but it’s been such a seesaw It’s difficult to remember precIsely..

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

We missed a bullet, by not choosing CATaBAR.

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Also have Typhoons (callsign ‘physcoxx’ flying from Lossie everyday with Voyager from Brize, either doing CAP over Lithuania or Poland

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

Yes is the answer. The CDG will carry out many routine deployments without a full airwing. The French have only the one carrier and 42 Rafale M’s, so they are limited in what the can do. And they can’t do anything when the CDG is in refit.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Considering how long it took the French to get their ship to sea at all with or without an air wing due to safety ‘hazards’ I doubt I would swap experiences tbh, the embarrassment level being a whole different dimension indeed.

expat
expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Perhaps just list the countries around the med that are in Nato, so what’s the burning need to have airframes at sea when we can do everything from partner nations if things turn hot. Exposing stealth coating to sea water unnecessarily adding to the maintenance burden seams pointless to me.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

I am sure the PoW is assigned to NATO, since the beginning of this year?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

The USN and presumably the French Navy have single purpose carriers, not multi-role carriers.

You put to sea with a full air wing of F-35s and rotary when you are doing carrier strike (for real or on exercise) or there is some deterrence reason to do a massive Show of Force. You don’t do that when the carrier is solely on a C2 role.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

People keep saying this Nick but you can only “ferry a bunch of aircraft” if you have the ‘planes and the trained pilots to do it. Also what if the RAF need the same ‘planes at the same time? I keep saying this but it seems to me that people are in denial or maybe it’s because the situation is so ridiculous that they don’t believe it.

edwinr
edwinr
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I agree, Geoff. Certain politicians are controlling the narrative. Just have a hard look at us – we are happy to regurgitate their rhetoric and swallow their lies . Budgetary constraints. Really? Arguably, if the UK had a much stronger military, we may have deterred Putin. Our ability to negotiate with bullies relies on our ‘street cred’. We ‘talk the talk’, but can we ‘walk the walk’?

expat
expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

And there pretty much nothing we couldn’t prosecute from Nato Nations should anything turn hot. The med has a large part of it coast dominated by Nato plus few other friendlies.

Last edited 1 month ago by expat
Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

To be fair what is doing at present is acting as a command ship and practicing how the Elizabeth’s will be operating rotor component. I’m sure there will be some form of 35b evolutions. If it was trekking off on a large scale world wide deployment I’m sure we would see a squadron deployed…but not pottering around Western European waters practicing and acting as a command ship.

expat
expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

Is that relevant, QE visited the med as part of its work up. I really don’t get the negativity around the carriers. The 2 we have are way more capable and the f35 is several times more capable than the Harrier with stealth, more range, larger weapons fit and payload. There’s plenty wrong with UK defence but the carriers stand out as being an area where we have enhance our capability for a change..

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  expat

Was I negative about the carrier’s? Certainly not and I know the capability of our carrier’s and the F35. Put them together and you have a very powerful tool. The Navy fought the airforce long and hard to get these flat tops and sacrificed the surface fleet to boot. We have worked up and worked up. If you are going to put a carrier in the Med and possibly east of Suez, get some fast jets on there. The clue is in the name. Too many are defending these carrier’s which are a cog in the so called global Britain,… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

For the record helicopters are rotary wing aircraft. Why put jets that are expensive to maintain just to parade the around the med? See below

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/44067/the-f-35cs-radar-absorbent-skin-is-looking-pretty-rough-after-months-at-sea

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

I’m fully aware what rotary is having spent many flying hours in the Cab of Chinooks
So a common problem with the radar absorbant paint. Nothing new there and we have a fleet of hanger Queens! That answers my question.

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

As you pointed out all stealth aircraft are hanger queens I doubt the latest B21 is much better and congress seems to be drilling into the hourly cost of flying the F35 daily so the UK is not alone in wanting too control cost, its the nature of the beast. So best roll them out only when needed rather than for the sake of it. We’ve already proved we can operate the F35 as far away as the South China Sea. I don’t see the need to prove it on a daily basis and certainly not in NATOs back yard… Read more »

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Mmm, expensive toys then that will stay I their box until needed.

simon alexander
simon alexander
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Expat, i understand the stealth coating on F35 can only take a certain amount of supersonic speed before burning off, they are hanger queens perhaps. i say this as a fan of our carriers and f35b’s. best to keep the F35bs safe as you say and fly them out when needed, land or sea. our foes will know we can deploy quickly.
we are also waiting for block 4 F35b which will use UK weapons , worth the wait.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark franks

No-one is laughing at our carriers. Mark, please understand that we have multi-role carriers – they are not always doing carrier strike.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  expat

Exactly!

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

Incoming…..

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Mr Mark Franks

Mark, here is the answer I sent to Ian Mac:

“Ian, our carriers have at least 4 roles: Carrier Strike, Command & Control, RM Commando support, HADR.
It is configured and equipped for whichever role it is on – POW is in a C2 role, not a carrier strike role on this deployment, so it does not need F-35Bs.
My car can carry a lot of junk to the tip – but it is not loaded with rubbish all the time!”

You will be ducking and covering for a long time!

Mark F
Mark F
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

😆🤣😆🤣😆🤣

Bulkhead
Bulkhead
1 month ago

Deploying with what, or am I not allowed ask ?

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

I wouldn’t you’ll get shot down Bulkhead.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

I took it to mean he was asking about what escort not what aircraft.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

I doubt other NATO founding fathers have aircraft carriers full of assets for every exercise.
Are they even necessary on this occasion for port visits and an exercise off Spain? It’s hardly Joint Warrior.
Once more arrive you’ll see more as standard til then, there are only so many.
I’m more interested in the status of Crows nest and whether it’s fully operational now.

AV
AV
1 month ago

Likewise👍….has to be priority.
40 years ago highlighted exactly why they’re needed.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago

Yes ref Crowsnest. Need an update, if possible.

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago

Yes, I’ve learned that the carriers are to be configured for their operation and that there are I suppose more important issues to be dealt with.

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago

Daniele, Really! Come on, Uncle Sam has at readiness aircraft carrier’s deployed around the world with a full airwing, do you honestly think Joe public in the US wouldn’t be asking the same question if the US Navy sent thier carrier’s off without an airwing. Showing the flag is part of what the Navy does so our wonderful new shiny QE pays a port visit, what is the first thing the people of that host nation are going to say. “Wow what a ship but where are the Aircraft.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

And the rest of NATO? My NATO founding fathers comment was in reply to Andy’s rather daft “acting like it” comment. Comparing to the US who’s budget dwarfs the world combined in not a comparison, Mark. Neither is comparing to the US people’s well known patriotism for their gigantic military, which I wish we had here. It boils down to this. We have 2 carriers. Both crewed. We have, barely, at present enough AC for 1. The reasons for that have been endlessly explained here and elsewhere. So. What do you choose? A. Use the assets we have. B. Sit… Read more »

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

I agree with you and what you have said is very well put across. We need to work up and train on a continual basis, it’s what the British military are renowned for, but if we at least park up 6 F35s on the deck for continual training it’s better than nothing and before anyone starts I know much of this is conducted in the Sim. It does not make you combat ready.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

‘E’ – Superglue both carriers together. We’ll then have enough planes/helicopters to fill our new mega carrier, and we’ll operate the largest carrier in the world. It could be called HMS Prince of Elizabeth’s Wales or something.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

I know it is Lusty Friday but COME ON!!!!

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

😂

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Two CV-22’s Ospreys are now also operating from PoW deck,
as well as Merlins, as a NATO command vessel.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

I am aware, Meirion. 👍

Certainly a sight to see.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago

I agree with both you and Mark. We’ve come a long way since the Invincibles retired. We’re still working up and it takes time to order, pay for and take delivery of the F35. Not bashing or moaning for moaning sake. But we have 20 or so. Flotex is only 2 weeks. Would it have been such a hardship or cost so much to send 4 or 6 to stretch their legs in the Gulf of Cadiz? There are obvious advantages – Vauable time at sea, good experience for PoW deck crew to move them around, service them, manage flight… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Maybe tight fisted MoD as usual saving every penny. I don’t know.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago

It would be worth whatever it cost to stop people moaning about it on here 😆

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Perhaps we should have utterly pointless military parades through London to show how mighty we are 😀. .

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Fairly sure you’re being sarcastic here. If not, sorry for what is to follow. I’ve listed some advantages above (training etc) but in addition to those, underestimate PR at your peril. Let’s hide all military away shall we? Let’s not make movies about it. Let’s not have photos in papers or online. Let’s not show the latest kit being used for the purpose it was bought for. In fact, let’s not try and have anything discussed by the public. Let’s see how that works for us. Heck, if we actually got people interested, the electorate might actually give a s***… Read more »

expat
expat
30 days ago
Reply to  Stu

I don’t think we hide our military away, we just do things differently. There’s been TV crews on the Carriers, subs and T45 deployments. As for recruitment and attracting people there Typhoon, Wildcat, Chinook, falcons and red arrows display teams that will be doing well over 100 appearances around the UK and some overseas this year alone. I went to the Bournemouth air festival a few years back and they had British Army, Royal Marines showing off capabilities as well as Argus, an OPV and Monmonth anchored in the bay. I understand that’s an annual event that attracts close to… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 month ago

Spot on. One way to ensure capability cuts is to needlessly burn cash parading expensive aircraft on carriers for no logical reason. I’d be surprised if even with all F35 delivered you’d see carrier decks crambed with F35s, just wouldn’t make sense.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

And as I expected, 24 hours on, no Trolls bit and tried to answer my challenge realistically.

It’s just bashing for the sake of it. I humbly make Geoffrey an exception in that.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

Hope there’s a port visit to Gib on the itinerary. Significant stare at Spain. 😐

Geoff Montegriffo
Geoff Montegriffo
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Agree, David. Just coming to the comments to say the same thing.
There needs to be a stop in Gib.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

👍

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Could operate Italian F35Bs or Spanish Harriers?

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I don’t think either are fully cleared for QEC operations?

The question, as always is, ‘why do you need to do that’ and if there isn’t a really good answer it won’t happen.

These are not joy rides but carefully planned operations to build up deployable tactics.

eclipse
eclipse
1 month ago

I’m pretty sure the Italians have been; I recall QE being the first carrier to host a three-nation air group; it was British, American and Italian F-35Bs. Harriers I believe are not certified.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  eclipse

A little more complex I think.

For a persistent deployment support and maintenance would need to be fully integrated.

Never mind qualifying the pilots for QEC flight rules.

One transitory landing/takeoff isn’t full operational certification.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

The Italians have even fewer F35s than we do !

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Yup but their carrier(s) are much smaller.

The number they will have would ram theirs and not leave enough space for ASW or AEW….

Mind you they are not that different in size from Invincibles. Hopefully without the dumbbell hangar.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago

Italians will also get F35A and F35B for the air force.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago

I do , unfortunately , have to ask why half a dozen or so havent been deployed- surely its all experience if nothng else- in my laymans mind.
It is de rigeur to be FFBNW these days?

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

Perhaps because its the med. Weve a base in Cyprus and lots of friendly NATO countries on the meds coast. Some also have the F35. Stealth coatings and sea air don’t mix so we’d be increasing our maintenance burden and fleet costs for minimal benefit.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago

More osprey training, is this a prelude to us actually buying some say 8? 2 for training 2 maintenance and 4 available for either ship?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Would be nice if money were no object. To be honest if that sort of money was available I’d prefer it spent on a mix of additional Merlin and Wildcat, each carrier could then have a dedicated Merlin ASW/ ASCS squadron.

JamesD
JamesD
1 month ago

I don’t know, I think some persistent longer range osprey over crows nest would be better

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

Crowsnest and Osprey are different systems, one is transport other is EAW

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

The EAW bag(Crows Nest), could be hung at the rear of the CV-22.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago

With Boris now getting a telling off from the 1922 Committee for lack of warpons stocks, he might just agree to buy CV-22’s, Daniele. They told him to return back to Cold War warpon stock levels!

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

It would be nice if the carriers were equipped with a COD .

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

When was the last time RN operated COD, Has worked without it for decades

Mark franks
Mark franks
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

I said it would be nice to see.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark franks

It would be, particularly as the carriers work up to carrying a larger number of cabs. We’re going to have to think about that one as the carriers develop further.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Can that be RAS’ed via Merlin from the FSS or too heavy for a vetrep?

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Possibly. The F-135 power module weighs over 4500lbs. If I recall, the Merlin can carry an external payload of 12,000lbs – so it’s possible, although you’d need to factor in the weight of the delivery container as well. The US COD works well as they can shove the engine inside an Osprey and deliver it. This is advantageous as it minimises risks to the flight deck crew, damaging the engine through VERTREP or losing it at sea. The Americans have trialled delivering the engine through VERTREP (which, as noted, will require the engine to be placed inside a protective container),… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Lusty
Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

It could be due to the weight and size of the F35b engine. At the moment we can only operate a small number on the carriers so only require 1 or 2 reserve engines which can be stored on board.Once we move to a full capacity air wing we are going to have to think about spares and maintenance when operating far from land. So at the moment we don’t need it but when we start to have 30+ planes on board or heaven forbid a conflict starts with sustained air engagement they are going to need COD.

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Good point on the F135 engine. There’s also a shortage of F35 engines. Right now best not run engines just for the sake of it.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Just because we haven’t operated it, doesn’t mean we have not suffered because of it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Mark franks

Surely we use a helo?

Mark F
Mark F
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We sure do but CODS are freighters and can carry significantly heavier loads, faster and at a longer distance. Spare engines, machinery outsize loads a merlin cannot carry. During QEs 2021 global deployment it was the RAF herc fleet soon to be binned was flying resupply support for the group. The group used the US Navy Ospreys to bring the kit from shore to QE.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Osprey has a problem when you put it in the UK Forces, Comes under the RAF Remit as its Transport.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

It also has a problem of cost to buy and run, its not for the UK budget wise sadly.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  James

That’s my big problem with it. Hell of a capability. Hell of a cost!

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Certainly a unique asset, sadly only the US realistically could afford to design and run it.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  James

The US has brought the replacement for the V22 Osprey into service already. The V-280 Valor can do a range of things the V22 cannot do. Plus it’s 2/3 cheaper at $20m each. When you look at what the V280 Valor can do, plus it’s range and speed, I cannot understand why the Royal Navy isn’t buying several. They are far from just being transport aircraft. They can carry side and front facing weapons. It can carry refueling rigs. Lift 10 ton. Unlike the V22 Osprey, it doesn’t have issues with burning the deck, can take off in half the… Read more »

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Ianbuk

The V-280 isn’t in US military service yet, and if you meant the CMV-22B by your opening sentence you weren’t very clear when going on to talk about the V-280. Indonesia was cleared for Valor foreign sales, but is there actually a contract yet? Not that I can find. I don’t think it’s ordered much less operational anywhere. I like the V-280, but I think the costs would be much higher than the outdated figure you quote and that’s without marinisation. By the time you test out the new configuration with inverted tail and foldy wings, add in spares and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
AV
AV
1 month ago

Hope they weigh anchor at Gib 1st 👍😂

Geoff Montegriffo
Geoff Montegriffo
1 month ago
Reply to  AV

Seconded.

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

SOOTY (Sort of on-topic).

What is the range for a Chinook carrying the same load as the max. on an Osprey?

I’d say the Osprey is actually a bit of an albatross. And I see that no else has bought any except a couple to Japan.

Last edited 1 month ago by Matt
Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Ch-47 will between 4-500miles with 24 troops, Opsrey will do 1000miles as std, the USAF CSAR have additional tanks and can go even further and do it twice as fast

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Main issue and it was looked @ by the RN, Osprey unit cost is very high and they didnt like salt water in the rotation gear. so maintenance cost were high. In Uk service it would be classed as a Transport so would be operated by RAF. so navy moved on

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Sorry I may be completely off beam here but I thought I read a while back that the US is already planning for the eventual out of service for Osprey and it was rather nearer than I would have anticipated as there seems no direct replacement in sight presently. But as I say I may have remembered incorrectly. Certainly didn’t get the feeling however despite its great assets and flexibility that it was especially beloved in service due to its downsides. First of breed learning cycle I guess.

Simon
Simon
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I live in London, when President Obama came over there were 3 osprey s flying over the city for several days. Fast and quiet compared to helicopters. Very impressive.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

The replacement for the Osprey is half the price and part British. The CMV-22B has Rolls Royce engines and BAE AN/APR-39 Radar Warning Receivers.

$20m price per unit, I list of it’s capability is a few posts above this one.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago

I don’t know what it is about the F35 that makes so many bloggers so complacent. It is seven years since the B was introduced into service and today we can cobble together a dozen if we’re lucky. If this was a tank or ship we would have dozens of people complaining about all sorts but the F35.? No problem, doesn’t matter; two empty decks why worry; £6billion spent, not a problem; no more aircraft available for three or four years, never mind.
Half the navy is tied to these carriers and they have no aircraft. Please.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

How many European nations have two carriers capable or air ops?
IF needed I am sure aircraft would be on her very quickly indeed!

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

An aircraft carrier without airplanes is a bit of an oxymoron. The fact is the UK can, right now, deploy one aircraft carrier with half of its authorized fighters. That does not equal two carriers capable of air operations.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

I say again IF she needs aircraft she will get them and be capable of air ops! So yes we do have TWO carrier’s that can do the job as needed.

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

And just where does she get them from? The USMC has its hands full in the Pacific with China. Maybe Harry Potter can conjure some up. The air of unreality over these carriers is just mind boggling.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

USMC has 170 F35bs on hand. as of Jan 2022, they currently only have 3 assault ships @ sea. which can hold 20 F35s so if it really hit the fan, you would see a influx of airframes. not perfect but better than the rest of NATO

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

It’s not unreal though is it? You state that they are not capable of air ops of course they are! two fully qualified crews and ships that with aircraft can sustain operations. You don’t need aircraft on your ship to actually be ready to do the job!

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

But name another World Navy with a 5TH Generation Carrier in SERVICE,
Let alone having 2
Name another world navy that can launch 5th gen fighters.

its a 50 year program what is the rush, when we had 3 Invincible class available, we didn’t have airwings to fill.

Army has 3000 Land rovers in its Inventory are they all driven at the same time.

Its a poor argument,

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

How many Harriers regularly deployed in the inviceable class, 4 or 5. They deployed the class at least twice with just rotary wing even when the Harrier was still in service because the Harrier was deemed unnecessary fior the mission. 12 F35B spilt 50/50 across 2 carriers would still.be more capable than 2 invincible class with 8 Harriers and that capability will only grow.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

The international but US-led F-35B build programme lags behind the British national QE class carrier programme. That’s life.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

The answer is none. France and Italy both have carriers with aircraft to fly from them.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Capabilities oscillate over time. During the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, France sent the carrier Clemenceau without any fixed wing planes, just helicopters and a regiment of infantry. It was accompanied by one cruiser, a tanker and a tug. The shoe was on the other foot twenty year’s later in Libya, where the French did proper strikes from Charles de Gaulle, and we sent a handful of helicopters on HMS Ocean. However, helicopters are not nothing. Going back to Kuwait, it’s worth remembering we didn’t even send our carriers, which were employed in Bosnia. The RAF flew strikes from land, while… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Is the Rafael 5th gen. Has Italy qualified the F35 on its carrier?

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Yes it is qualified.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Whinge, moan, yawn… 🤦🏻‍♂️

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

…or if you prefer…concerned, enthusiastic and articulate.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I’m ok with it as a tax payer as its a 50 year project and we are regenerating a capability we lost a long time and now. Even if we could buy 50 jets we don’t have the infrastructure to support them at present. We have a clear trajectory with a government promise to purchase appropriate numbers, if we do have a deployable squadron and 22 aircraft,( not counting the test aircraft) and will have 44 within 3 years. That’s not actually bad

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Let me try a different tack. If you were given a CD player for Christmas and were told that the CD would follow in three years you would feel that that was a good idea? In any case we will not have 47 aircraft in three years. We will have the start of the balance of the order which could take a further three years. Under shifting plans at the moment around fifteen aircraft would be committed to trials and the OCU. We have 32 left to be shared between the navy and two carriers and the RAF and I… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Unfortunately when something is complex and expensive you just have to build up to it and as we trashed our fixed wing navel aviation a while back it’s going to take a fair while to build back up. It’s not ideal but it is what it is and at least we are regenerating the capability and do have a squadron of 5th generation strike aircraft to launch of our carriers and two carriers to make sure we have one available, in reality that’s more than every other nation apart from the US.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Ok dont take this the wrong way, if this was the case, wouldn’t the RAF deploy Typhoons. and the Joint Strike Force would be deployed to where they are intended. USAF F35s from Lakenheath would support the NATO units,

they do have a plan

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

What’s a cd I’ve moved on to downloads.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

When I had my first flat I had a small portable CD player plugged into a hand me down stereo system. I only 2 CD’s and played them to death. Took me a good few years to build up a decent collection… The point is the seriously poor decisions were taken years ago when we axed the Harriers and threw away, reputedly, the worlds oldest maritime fixed wing capability. We have had to start again from scratch, literally from nothing. If we were trainsitting from one aircraft type to another we could have flown Harriers from the carriers for a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Well said.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago

Read this thread and thought you and Lusty et al were doing a fine job of defending the RN’s progress – thought I’d chip in mate. People need to remember that continually running the progress and achievements down not only misses the point but also risks putting people off even trying to improve things. Many of those in the crews and squadrons are just kids (I’m knocking on a bit so I think I can say that!) and failing to recognise their achievements cannot be good for their morale. Too many Brits are way too quick to focus on the… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Cheers, CR. Always a pleasure. There have been a few bumps, but progress is being made. All navies have issues (I mean, heck, the US has a destroyer class with ~150 rounds for its guns!), especially when introducing a new capability or regenerating one. With PoW set to trial drones again later this year, we’re moving toward a capability we thought we’d probably never see. Some people have valid concerns. But some fail to see what else the RN can offer: support ships, escorts, rotary capabilities, a network of global bases and allies, support facilities and industrial partners. The Ruskies… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

But CR would you agree that the capability we now have in the F35 is far better than the Harrier. Sensor fusion, stealth, more range, more payload, and great weapons fit make one F35 worth at least 2 or more Harriers. So we’ve now reached the point we’re we are surpassing the previous capability. More F35 plus loyal wing man drones are going to give us capability we’ve never had.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Absolutely Expat. However, our potential adversaries are also making improvements in capability. Even if the Russian’s are performing really badly in Ukraine at the moment they will learn. Much of their trouble appears to be down to training and logistics (roman candle tanks notwithstanding), which could be put right relatively quickly. We should also remember that we are developing links and trade in the Far East which means our carriers and their F35’s will be facing off with the Chinese who are definately working hard to close the technology gap. All of which is a long winded way of saying… Read more »

expat
expat
30 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I do agree, I think on the the first point, we’ll need capable drone to make the numbers and I think this is an areas we’re behind the curve on and only now taking seriously. Your second point on the Harriers it wouldn’t have done any harm to have kept one until the QE was operational. I think we would have needed to have still done a deal with the USMC to lease/maintain some Harriers as keeping so few would have come at a cost premium. I would say although they proved themselves in the south Atlantic if we had… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff, do you think we should have delayed the QE-class carrier programme for quite a few years so that it could be in synch with the F-35B build programmme?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
26 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, I’ve been away for a few days so a late reply. The simple answer is no. The need, once the decision was made to order the carriers, was to get on with providing it’s fighting force and the F35 is key to that. Acquisition, pilot training and squadron formation has been slow to say the least. The USMC introduced the F35b seven year ago and as the only full partner we could have done the same to ensure that the carriers had at least some trained up aircrew when they entered service. What I find astonishing about many… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
26 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Hi Geoff, thanks for the full answer. As far as I know 5 countries have ordered F-35Bs (US, UK, IT, JPN, SING). I must admit that I have no knowledge as to what determines the sequence of delivery (ie whether it is the date the order was placed or the partnering status of a nation). I assumed that the US would favour themselves then we would take our turn in some way. If our deliveries have been slow/late due to MoD ineptitude or Treasury foot-dragging that really is scandalous.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

between you me and the National Audit office we only have 14 pilots to play in our 24 airframes.
but i agree its a 50 year program what’s the rush

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

The RAF’s training program / contract has had issues in the past and the number of Hawks continues to drop. I would be really interested to know how the (?)privatised(?) training scheme is doing…

Cheers CR

Marked
Marked
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

A government promise? 🤣

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Isn’t the problem the much overdue Block IV? Not the fault of the carrier programme that Block IV is so slow to appear. I can understand UK being reluctant to buy too many units pre block IV and then having the expense of upgrade. Quite a tricky balancing act it seems to me with no perfect answer. The F35 with Meteor and the other UK weapons really will be something.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Your talking 2030 at the earliest and from the talk coming out of the Pentagon the block IV may never fly.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Well in a way it sort of is the fault of the carrier program as they decided to go with the F35B.Therefore being tied to a single aircraft that is now having issues with delivering the s/w we need for the weapons upgrades on the planes. We are to some extent being held over a barrel by LM in regards its delivery- I understand we put a caveat in about expediting block IV as part of our recent upgraded order (I think?) …but even then it will depend on what LM’s priorities are….I doubt theirs are the same as ours… Read more »

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

Israel does not seem to be tied so tightly to LM as UK is. Do we know what level independence Israel has to develop their F35’s and if that direction would be practical for UK? For example UK to integrate Meteor on our own without waiting for LM?

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

That was (one of) my arguments when debating CATOBAR v STOVL. Had we gone CATOBAR, we could have still got the F35 (albeit the C) & if things go awry (i.e. delayed B.IV), we have options – navalized Typhoon, F18, dare i say… Rafale. Could of explored Naval Tempest for the future – they won’t build a STOVL one! Makes drone integration easier. Could’ve cross decked with France & US, and still host F35B without a ski jump from Japan, Italy, Singapore etc. You nailed it – we’re over a barrel & I imagine LM are smart enough to know… Read more »

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

The reality is its more of a funding decision. Current F35s are still very capable but we’d need to pay for the upgrade.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  grizzler

The carriers are NOT tied to a single fixed-wing fighter aircraft. For example we could add arrestors and optical landers to fly Rafales before France could deliver us any planes we could order. The same is probably true for FA-18s. So in what way is the carrier a limitation? But we’d have to continually train/certify pilots for carrier landings, something that would increase costs and make sharing the planes with the RAF harder. We’ve chosen not to do that for reasons unrelated to carrier limitations. That option is still there and we continue to choose not to take it. We… Read more »

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Ok try to understand the following, reasons why its kept on a low key, failures in the pilot training program caused a huge delay in the training program. to clear the backlog Pilots were trained by Private flying schools across the country. But no Fast jet pilots could be trained in this way, F35s pilots were taking 2.8 months to complete there training, 8 months longer than planned due to the complex systems. at the end of the last batch we had 14 qualified Pilots and it would be another 2,5 years before more came on stream. then COVID added… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

That does seem to be a major issue now. Critical mass has fallen and with there only being enough training spaces/aircraft to just manage in normal times it won’t get better quickly. A solution to getting more pilots and maintainers etc would be difficult, costly and time consuming. There should always be extra going through the pipeline and extra aircraft to do this just in case. Block 4 Aircraft is another headache that won’t shift. Really annoying. Then Add in that the aircraft are mostly RAF and it just adds to the issues. If people want a permanent carrier force… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Yes it’s always people, most people forget how long it takes to get the skilled and experienced people in place. You can have all the airframes in the world, but you cannot order experience and you need experience to train people. It takes decades to regenerate lost experience in your workforce or develop a new set of expertise and pipelines. It’s why all this new money going to the NHS is considered a bit of a joke, our problem is not money now, it’s a decade of trimming down training to save money historically……which means there is no point giving… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

May be 7 years but that is nothing in terms of the protracted Ted gestation period of F-35 in general and the B version in particular I’m afraid, even the US Marines are short of what was expected at this point I believe.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I agree Geoff. Another F-35 development type is not sustainable. Takes too long – several decades – from first draw to real operation. It is even yet not certified for several weapons.

It is too complex.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

“No more aircraft available for three or four years” not actually the case Geoff, we are scheduled to receive 6 more F35’s in 2022, down from 8, and a further 7 in 2023. The new order (yet to be placed I know) for the extra 26 should see those being delivered from Lot 18 onwards – 2026/7. As this order hasn’t been signed yet, wouldn’t know what the delivery rate will be. Expect them all to be delivered by 2035 though.

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

That dozen is more than twice as capable as the Harrier and would suffer no where near the losses should things turn ugly. Why the fixation with parading aircraft around carrier decks for no reason? Parading military might is for Russia and North Korea.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

It’s the oldest game in town. Willy waving. Look how great I am. I’ve got a massive military on show. It’s some leaders favourite toys to play with. Being strong and powerful is a human attraction, trait, desire.

Shane Ramshaw
Shane Ramshaw
1 month ago

She is fitted for, but not with, aircraft.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Shane Ramshaw

And you can be sure of that 🤗

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Shane Ramshaw

Yes. 😀 And so are many of the RAFs stations. Doesn’t mean they’re not useful, or necessary, as aircraft can deploy to them.

In time, more will arrive. For this exercise, given the extremely limited number of 35s available and other commitments, such as the forward deployment in Estonia, 4 Merlin plus RAF Chinooks are involved.

Would people have preferred she was not built until the 70 plus aircraft were available?

Even then they would not have landed an masse on her immediately given that the capability is being regenerated and B4 issues remain, which is hardly HMGs fault.

Expat
Expat
1 month ago

If the deck was brimming with F35s they’d all be moaning about the RN wasting money taking expensive airframes to sea for no reason.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Agreed. For me the key is the availability of the airfield, which is the carrier, and it’s escorts. The assets on it depend on the task.

We demonstrated the capability with CSG 21.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

That will make a nice change from the high north. Seriously though that’s a lot of interesting rotor based work up. Interesting to see the work they do with the tilt rotor and the the chinooks. one of the advantages of the size of the queen Elizabeth’s will be that ability to shove in a lot of rotor utility as well as fixed wing. I wonder if we will see a few Italian F35Bs practicing with the carrier as well. I would imagine they will do some fixed wing work with all those rotors. Our carriers are really working very… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They’re an expeditionary asset that provides HMG with a sovereign airfield wherever on the seas it is needed. That is how I see them.

I feel many see the vast USN and it’s CBGs and expect our flat tops to be the same, ALL the time.

I don’t.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

I suspect even the US carriers potter around at home doing exercises and stuff without huge air wings. They go on major deployments with their air wings, just like Elizabeth did. I’m sure the next time one of our carriers goes on a major deployment it will have a decent air wing. I think the other thing people forget is the US carriers have to have a large air wing on its deck a lot of the time as they need to keep all their pilots carrier qualified and that’s a major expensive undertaking in people and airframe hours…we on… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jonathan
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes, also good points J.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Their carrier groups have even been known to go on exercises without their carriers!

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Name one or two.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

It’s rare but it happens. They form a Surface Action Group. For example:

Truman CSG-8 2019
Nimitz CSG-11 2013

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

A quote has come to mind on this CSG becoming a SAG thing, that over 80% of the CSGs original task/goals can be achieved without the carrier. I wish I could find it again.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

QE went on deployment with seven UK F35’s. Brilliant. And once again I say. What aircraft?

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

We do have 20+ F35s.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Fatigue is beginning to set in. I must have said this dozens of times. We do have around twenty and they have to be shared between trials and research, and pilot training, and deployment between two carriers and the RAF. Please see other posts. The next airframe to arrive will be in three years with another three years to fully deliver and integrate.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I just answered the question, what aircraft, we do have them if we need them. If there was a war to tomorrow and we needed one of our carriers in sure it would have a squadron of f35s on it. But we don’t need to be fatiguing our crews and airframes like the US and France has to do to keep their air wing carriers carrier qualified. We can have ours just sitting in the nice safe base and surge them as needed. It’s the really big advantage over a CATOBAR carrier….you have to keep a CATOBAR air wing on… Read more »

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

When did typhoon first enter service? How many years did it take to get Tranche 3 up and running properly?

Can Tranche 1 be upgraded to Tranche 3 or 4 standard, no.

F35 is not an old airframe, its exceptionally complex and takes time to work up.

Latch71
Latch71
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

So Geoff, first you say QE deployed with aircraft, then you ask “What aircraft?” That really doesn’t make any sense, now does it? And, just in case you didn’t know, we’re buying more.

Charles
Charles
1 month ago

I did think the idea of having 2 carriers was to always have one on or available for operations at any given time, along with this I thought the air wings of F35s would be able to easily transition between the carriers as one begun operations and one went into dock (or whatever was needed). Is it the case that each carrier will have their own compliment of air wings that can’t be shared or transferred?

Latch71
Latch71
1 month ago

I saw Prince of Wales in Portsmouth last week on my way to and from France. Ii was the first time I’d seen one of the new carriers in the flesh and I have to say it was a lovely sight!

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Latch71

I had the chance to see both carriers in Portsmouth back in ’19 between Christmas and New Year. Had a wonder around the Historic Dockyard and to 100m away from the carriers, well one of them anyway! Great ships and something to be proud of.

Cheers CR

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I was lucky enough to be doing the same thing a week or two earlier just before PoW was due to be commissioned and HMS QE still had three Merlins and an F-35 on deck. I couldn’t see much of the F-35 from shore, but I took the boat trip to get a better view. There were false rumours it was due to take off that day, and like a train spotter I remember eating fish and chips while sat on the dockside waiting in hope.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

That sounds like a cold way to eat fish ‘n’ chips, mate.

Cheers CR

Jay R
Jay R
1 month ago

Great to see HMS Chakri Naruebet is off on her travels again. They should put some asraams on the merlins for self defence. Shame the US couldn’t spare any F35s this time.Oh well, 1 day Prince you may see F35s

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

It will see more drones than F35’s, thats the idea.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay R

I’ve not looked at the Thai navy deployments. Where are they going with the carrier?

Richard B
Richard B
1 month ago

Despite the spin, deploying operationally a large aircraft carrier to the Mediterranean without an air group really doesn’t look or feel great. My understanding is that the UK has purchased only one F-35 Afloat Spares Package (including the ALIS logistics system), and that is still fitted to QE. There also seems to be other important equipment such the AN/SPN-41B Instrument Carrier Landing System (ICLS) and the Precision Approach and Landing System (PALS) that is currently only fitted to QE [If anyone has better info, please let us know!]. As such, PoW can’t do anything more than the odd F-35 deck landing… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard B

I would think that is because the plan has always been 1 in service, 1 in reserve, be it alongside, in trials, training, as a heli carrier, whatever.

Maybe they should sell it then people won’t complain when it has not enough aircraft, the fleet ready carrier is QE. 🙄 And on, of course I’m not serious.

grizzler
grizzler
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard B

Interesting, thanks for sharing that – PoW seems fundamentally lacking at the moment then?
It will be revealing as to long term plans to see if this is addressed or not.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard B

POW is fitted with the Bedford Array,i thought that was a superior System for Air Ops than that which is fitted to the QE.

Richard B
Richard B
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

The ‘Bedford Array’ is the name for a set of lights embedded on the centreline of the flight deck which guide pilots when making a Shipborne Rolling Vertical Landing (SRVL) – a technique that’s not been operationally used on either carrier to date.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Richard B

POW is not doing Carrier Strike on this deployment; she is doing C2.

Bill
Bill
1 month ago

And no F35’s. On an aircraft carrier. Pathetic.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill

Why? Its gone out for trials of crowsnest with allies and to operate other aircraft types.

Its also a command ship which it needs to practice the software and techniques regardless of what is on the deck.

Simply sending it out without some fixed wing aircraft is not pathetic at all.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  James

And here we have ( in my Attenborough voice) a “moaning for the sake of it” example which I mentioned further up thread.
A look at the comments history only enforces this view.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Carrier strike is one of the roles POW does. It is doing C2 on this deployment, not carrier strike.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago

O.K. I give in. With a few exceptions it appears that most are content to spend £6/7 billion on two carriers, allow 15/20 years to equip them and meanwhile spend on 1500/2000 personnel to man and maintain them. On the 14th June we remember the end of the Falklands War and in particular the people killed and injured during a conflict that was at least partly due to the complacent attitude of the British Government. I leave you with the following, just as a thought… Prime Minister to SECDEF. “the Argentinians have invaded the Falklands. I want to send a… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I don’t think there’s anyone here who doesn’t share your deep frustration. I think for most of us that frustration is directed at LM failings not the RN’s the RAF’s or the MoD’s.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Ironically David, I’ve not really been blaming anybody. I just want the best for our boys and girls. I appreciate the comment.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

No worries. 👍

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

I don’t think there’s any complacency. We could have gone for smaller carriers or 4th gen aircraft but we’ve gone for cutting edge 5th gen airframes and large carriers capable of high sortie rates. You seem to think we’ve fallen behind. But no other nation other than the US can deploy 12 5th generation fighters at sea. Some can field 4 th gen.fighters in a few more numbers. We’ve also a drone program running alongside the F35 program again very few countries will have the capability to deploy a loyal wingman in the next decade. Lastly does Argentina have 15… Read more »

simon alexander
simon alexander
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

the thinking about the QE carriers i believe was build bigger as metal is cheap, can sustain more damage and have more space to future proof for whatever systems become needed.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago

The thinking was that they need to be bigger than their predecessors to generate the required sortie rate.

Simon
Simon
30 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

GM Agree, did the yanks tell us that we had to match their operations to be credible.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Our new carriers could never match US carriers, yet are perfectly credible.

Alabama Boy
Alabama Boy
1 month ago

I cannot help but wonder if this is really just RN PR to keep the Carriers in the news whilst Continental Air defence and a full scale land war are focussing attention on actual threats today and should force some rethink of our defence strategies. Surely a T45 could lead the task force? what’s so special about a aircraft carrier with no aircraft?

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Alabama Boy

I think those who fly rotary wing aircraft on the carriers my take offence at your comment. AEW, ASW, SAR, resupply are equally as important as fast jets and in some cases more so.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

The carriers are HMS oceans replacement as well. They have to be a fleet carrier, command ship, helicopter carrier, task force leader, troop carrier, flag waver among other roles. Rightly or wrongly this is where the Royal Navy is. If I was In charge I would of being arguing to get 2 helicopter flat tops for HMS ocean and Argus replacements to take the strain off the carriers. The crew maybe an issue maybe with the mine hunters going and 2 type 23 going they could be found. Make them lean manned as possible. Also enough helicopters may be an… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Monkey spanker
Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I’d agree with that we know drone are going to play a big part in the future so have deck space will give us flexibility.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

On a related topic has there been any information about a CSG21 ducumentry or series yet?

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
1 month ago

The emperor has no clothes!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

He has clothes, their hung up on their hardened coat hanger at Marham.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago

Way OT but oh dear talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel!

https://defence-blog.com/russia-deploys-cold-war-era-t-62-tanks-to-ukraine/

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

Bloody good news though not for Putin.

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Jacko

The bad news is that it seems the Russian generals are finally generalling as Putin has given up on allowing his FSB buddies to control the war. We might see the Ukraine having a much harder time in the coming weeks.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Maybe at the moment but if they are using T62s and extending military service to 40 yr olds what does that tell you of their losses!

https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2022/05/is-there-any-value-in-war-reserves.html

Expat
Expat
1 month ago

Read the article again and there appears to be be no description of the exercises to be conducted that require F35s to be on board.

Jacko
Jacko
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

Well who would have thought a RN warship could have more than one role!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

I count at least 4 roles for our wonderful new carriers.

OOA
OOA
1 month ago

Split F35A/B buy would have been the way: This pooled fleet means there is a good chance that inter-service politics will dictate the size of the air groups as much as anything else with the result being the hilarious-if-it-wasn’t-so-depressing sight of a massive aircraft carrier deploying with a couple of half clapped-out helicopters on board. Nowhere will you see better ammunition for those who try to undermine our reputation and erode our efforts as a leading global nation (eg.) through the role we’re playing in standing up to Russian aggression – and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.… Read more »

Graham Cummings
Graham Cummings
1 month ago

It’s an aircraft carrier with no aircraft 🤷‍♂️ If this were a US carrier, you wouldn’t get moved for F18s on deck. If we need carriers, we need the aircraft to go with them – otherwise they’re a total waste of money

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Use it or lose it. Can’t afford to have an asset like POW not earning its keep.

peter fernch
peter fernch
30 days ago

So no F35,s then just Helicopters whos surprised

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
30 days ago
Reply to  peter fernch

The mission (C2) does not require F-35s.

Heidfirst
Heidfirst
29 days ago