The UK’s Carrier Strike Group will visit Japan as part of the flagship 2025 Indo-Pacific deployment, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has announced today.

The group, comprised of an aircraft carrier, her escorts and her aircraft, will work alongside the Japanese Self Defence Forces and other partners to help defend peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

On a visit to Japan’s Yokosuka Naval Base, the Defence Secretary highlighted the importance of the UK exercising the best capabilities our Armed Forces have to offer alongside partners in the region.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“The strength and global reach of the UK’s Armed Forces should never be underestimated. The Carrier Strike Group 2025 is another tangible example of our ability to deploy globally. Such deployments send a strong deterrence message while presenting important opportunities for engagements with key partners. Japan is our closest security partner in Asia and the task group’s visit to the country will only serve to strengthen our military and diplomatic ties.”

A Carrier Strike Group is a versatile and lethal resource that few countries possess. Always led by an aircraft carrier embarked with F-35B Lightning jets, the rest of the UK formation can be made up of submarines, warships and support vessels, including from other allied navies.

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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. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Nevis
Nevis
3 months ago

I can’t see us sending more than 16 f35b’s on this deployment. Would be great if the Italians came along with 8. And a vessel or 2. Would imagine the Japanese would like to send 8-12 f35b’s too. Would be great to see 32-36 on deck for 3 months or so.

Brom
Brom
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

I don’t think the number matters, I would imagine there’s going g to be a lot of cross decking.

I’m wondering if we will have some sort of drone on there

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Brom

Agreed, believe the Japanese will be interested in having the Izumo or Kaga participate in joint exercises w/ CSG 25 to the maximum feasible extent, however that is defined. Certain that JMSDF will be quite motivated to (re)learn fixed wing a/c carrier’ops from the RN after a minor interruption in capability of, umm, 80 years. 😉 (And some believe the RN’s transitional time period from the Invincible to QE class was interminable! 😁) Would anticipate that subsequent RN CSG deployments to Indo-Pacific may involve JMSDF, RN and USMC/USN CSGs in combination. Actually, if current trends continue, would not be surprised… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

what will be very interesting is that I suspect you will see a Chinese carrier battle group heading into the Indian Ocean, East African coast and into the Middle East and gulf…in the same 2025 time period…they may even pass in the night….

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Quite possibly either before or afterward, but reasonably certain PLAN will arrange a substantial reception committee to shadow CSG 25 when w/in SCS.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Well last time, bereft of escorts, we slipped away in the night handing a victory to the Chicoms.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Possibly, but believe the larger message transmitted to ChiComs was that the RN is capable of parking a CSG in the SCS, at uncomfortably close quarters. This was a peaceful, relatively care-free excursion. Depending upon circumstances, a future CSG could come loaded for bear, or Peking duck. 😉

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Except, we didn’t.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

They have to do it in winter don’t think I was trust those J15 engines in the summer in the ME or African heat.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

. I think it would be a great idea for Australia to operate a small fleet of F35B. I think it will depend on if you guys sell them B21 and or they join GCAP fighter program though.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Actually, believe the Aussies could embrace all three programs, especially if offered advantageous terms. The ChiComs have inadvertently managed to concern them re home defense. Believe the Aussies are prepared to make the budget trade-offs to ensure their freedom.

Nigel
Nigel
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Regarding the two RAN LHD’s and F35B, we (I’m a Brit but have lived in Australia for 20yrs) are due to hear the results of a review into the future Surface Fleet composition around April/May 2024. It’s touted as covering the surface combatant side of things, i.e. how many Hunter Class Type 26’s will actually be built. Will we acquire additional AWD’s. Are we going to build what Defence is terming Tier 2 Warships in the form of Corvettes or ‘Light’ Frigates. However, I have a hunch that a surprise announcement will be tagged on that either one or both… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel

Hmmm…perhaps a high-low split frigate order, T-26/T-31, ala the RN? Believe the Brits may have been fashion forward, basically every Navy w/ some aspirations is mulling over the concept of interim, auxiliary carriers laden w/ F-35Bs. The Brits actually have the benefit/luxury of purpose built carriers, which should optimize eventual performance. In the not-roo-distant future, some enterprising country may well offer a scaled-down version of QE class for purchase. 🤔😁

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

… not-too-distant… 🙄

Nigel
Nigel
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Babcock are establishing a presence here in Western Australia, having won a contract to maintain the RAN Anzac Frigates. Also in the longer term, they will likely be the Sustainment authority for the RAN AUKUS SSN’s when they come on-line, but need to start first by helping us to develop the necessary Nuclear facilities. As far as the Tier 2 surface combatants go, they have put forward the Type 31 (and to the RNZN), which would certainly be my pick. Corvettes are just too small to allow future upgrades. Far better to build big, especially given the transit distances the… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Nigel

The only unresolvable deficiency of the current T-31 class may be the amount of radiated subsurface sound energy. Submarines in general, and SSNs in particular, will become more lethal to surface fleets in the future. Most of the other deficiencies could presumably be addressed during scheduled refits. For example, the current T-23 class has markedly evolved since initial induction into the fleet. Believe the financial taps would be opened during conflict. 🤔

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

RN have already said 24 UK jets.

Maybe plus 12 others….given heightened tensions? These could well be a blend.

Bear in mind though having too many groups on board is bad for safety.

So if there are +12 it will likely only be from one country.

Nevis
Nevis
3 months ago

It would be great if it was 24. Delivery schedule seems to be behind, that would be my concern there.

As regards to too many groups and safety, in times of war surely an element of that goes out the window. Would it not be a good idea to prepare for something that hopefully never happens? I am not a military person so am happy to be put in my place.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

Problem is that nobody wants another £80m plane in the drink and to risk a pilot or deck crew?

Doing 24 or 36 properly would send enough of a message as it is quite credible for UK to have 18-24 jets on a QEC and USMC to send 12-18 jets to augment them if that is what The Pentagon or NATO wants.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago

Am quite curious to learn how AAR, MPA support and fixed wing AEW will be provided for CSG 25 w/in SCS. Multiple options available.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

RMAF Butterworth would be the obvious choice. It will put Malaysia in a diplomatic bind however. Do they want their cosy financial relationship with China or do they want 5 powers defence agreement to remain in place. I believe the RAAF regularly conducts flights from Malaysia challenging Chinese claims to SCS. Given the capability of Merlin HM2 to conduct MPA and the ability of F35B to conduct landing with no emergency AAR capability I doubt we will have either capability in SCS on a peace time deployment unless Australia or US provides. We need all our P8’s in the Atlantic… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Interesting, did not realize either RAF or RAAF may have the option of operating from a Malaysian airbase. Congrats on your soft power. Sometimes it pays to have a former empire, and a legacy organization, the Commonwealth, w/ multiple loyal and/or cooperative members scattered across all continents and seas! Neither the Orcs nor the scumbag, slimeball ChiComs can make that claim. 🤔😊👍

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Five Powers Defence Agreement is the reason we still have naval facilities in Singapore as well, no UK ships stationed there but USN uses those facilities. The UK maintains a small presence at Butterworth but the Australian’s have a much larger presence there. Fortunately we were able to save a little sliver of empire all round the world strategic located next to most of the naval choke points. Even better our American cousins paid to build massive runways and naval bases on a few of them as well. Mauritius is going out of its way at the moment to try… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yes, was aware of Singaporean facility. Always pleased to learn Uncle Sugar’s infrastructure $ have been well spent. 😊 Unfortunately, the ChiComs both recognize and have targeted virtually everything, everywhere in the Indo-Pacific that is, or potentially will be, considered a threat. ChiComs also recognize the value of strategic and tactical surprise in subduing opponents. That is precisely why there is general concern re the nearly inevitable coming conflict in the SCS. WW III may well begin as a conventional conflict, but not end in like manner. Also, the very probable significant lag time until commencement of WW IV. 🤔🤞😳🤯😱… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

China has something like ownership of 33% of the world’s ports – Pireaus, Greece for example – the Economist.

And the Chicoms use their own form of soft power to keep countries in check: debt.

Ask Sri Lanka how they like their arms being twisted to give China, port access.

War has to come with China – first economic, we just stop their trade with the West (fat chance). And then substantial debt relief and investment in decarbonisation and finally, if China is still out of its box, recognise Taiwan. Fireworks will follow and give the Chicoms the good news.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

We don’t have fixed wing AEW (or ASaC). We have rotary wing – Crowsnest on Merlin Mk2. The upgraded version is currently being fielded this year, so there won’t be a different system in 2025.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Was speculating re deployment of E-7, perhaps somewhat optimistically.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

This recent (US) article speculates about IOC for E-7 Wedgetail being pushed back to 2025 – and worse still, says the saving of reducing from a too-small fleet of 5 to a barely credible fleet of 3 aircraft, has saved almost nothing!

https://breakingdefense.com/2023/07/an-absolute-folly-uk-lawmakers-scathing-report-on-e-7-wedgetail-acquisition/

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks, interesting, if somewhat sobering/depressing article. Presume Boeing was able to force a renegotiation of a previous agreement. Reminds one of an old US comic strip entitled Pogo which once proclaimed: “We have met the enemy, and they is us.” 🤔😳☹️

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago

That’s brilliant news, so both squadrons..that’s really needed..I would hope they can get a U.S. squadron for at least some of the time…they really need to test working a carrier with a full air wing and at max sortie rates to write the book on it…you don’t want to be doing that because your forced to…

Also we need to be showing maximum deterrence to china…as 2025-2027 will be the crunch point.

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Yes. China has also claimed Fujian will be operational by 2025. I think there will be a lot of compare and contrast going on, so we need to put best foot forward.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I suspect 2025 will see a Chinese carrier battle group in the Indian Ocean, with a deployment to Africa and the Middle East..you may sea a UK and Chinese carrier battle group passing each other or even undertaking ops in the same foreign seas…

Last edited 3 months ago by Jonathan
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Don’t forget India also has quite a strong navy with two carriers with Rafales and a third being considered plus subs, P-8s. They’ll probably want to play a part in whatever is going on.

Last edited 3 months ago by Quentin D63
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

As someone stated, in paraphrase, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, about standing eyeball to eyeball and compelling the other guy to blink, while operating in SCS. 😳

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The tag line was 24-for-24 which is now 24-for-25 as the deliveries slipped a bit…..

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago

Well we can forgive a bit as long as it’s 24 jets for the 2025 deployment.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago

We could put 25 for 25 onboard. Provide 1 spare airframe to cover for an F35B plopping off the deck again into the drink.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Hopefully they have learned to remove the air intake covers before takeoff now.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago

It wasn’t the USMC that screwed up maintenance causing a jet to crash on take off, was it?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Your point being?

If you are referring to the Uk ‘in the drink’ incident that was maintenance. That was a procedural failure caused by a defectively designed protective blank that hadn’t been upgraded.

The lack of upgrade was caused by red tape as the fix was well know and could have been created by any competent workshop or 3D printer…..who had some red…..

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

“Authorities found a debris field on Monday from a Marine Corps F-35 stealth fighter jet that crashed in South Carolina after the pilot ejected and parachuted to safety.”

“It is the third event documented as a “Class-A mishap” over the past six weeks, according to a Marine Corps announcement.”

Guardian, Sept 2023

You think the USMC don’t have problems?

Noth
Noth
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

Don’t forget the Marine Corps may send a squadron on board again. I think we can get to 30+ aircraft with them with us.

Louis
Louis
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

Japan doesn’t have a single F35B yet and won’t have 12 in 2025. Italy also won’t have enough to send 8 on a deployment across the world, and it would have already been announced as they would have to join for the whole deployment.

Erich W
Erich W
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

Italy and Japan definitely won’t be fielding 8 F-35Bs each. Italy currently only has 6 in service (both branches) and Japan hasn’t won’t get any until next year. The UK will have 40-48 in 2025 so if they can only muster around 40% of their fleet, I can’t see two allies providing their entire fleets for an allied operation. As much as people like to acknowledge the issues with our jet numbers it’s not like anyone else is operating carriers with dozens of fifth-gen fighters. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some cross-decking and coordination. It would… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
3 months ago
Reply to  Erich W

Italy currently only has 6 in service (both branches)

You being specific about B version?
By May 2023 Italy already had 27 F-35 including some in testing.

Erich W
Erich W
3 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes, specifically the B variant. I don’t think the F-35A would be much use aboard carriers.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

Can get Singapore on as well.

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

They won’t have recieved any F-35s at that point.

Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

Current plan is for 24 UK F35Bs to be embarked for CSG25

Last edited 3 months ago by Paul42
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

It gets me a bit again. Why is there a huge need to broadcast a shopping list of everything that’s going out in CSG25 when it’ll just give you know who time to prepare a response accordingly. Should be getting a move on to get some T31s in the water, armed and out in Red Sea and Persian Gulf providing a presence and freeing up other RN ships for the CSG and other usual NATO duties. Don’t want Russia, China, and Iran getting too much squeeze or disruption power in any of the international trade lanes. Any news on the… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Quentin D63
Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

We don’t actually know which escorts will be going with CSG25, I guess that will depend on which ships are available, but I would imagine we’re talking g 2 x Type 45, 2 x Type 23 and a sub. Bearing in mind the whole world knows what little we have, it’s not difficult for them to be able to predict with some accuracy what will be going?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Lol. Yes, true, and it will be interesting what doesn’t go and stays behind. How useful would a few more ships be right now ?

Last edited 3 months ago by Quentin D63
Alan Reid
Alan Reid
3 months ago
Reply to  Nevis

I have read that the current plan is to send 24 British F-35Bs and demonstrate a sovereign capability.

DRS
DRS
3 months ago

Would it go westward this time – is QE less than PANMAX in size to go through Panama Canal? Will it visit Oz considering AUKUS?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

An Astute is scheduled to visit Oz around the same time so it may detach from the Carrier group while the rest is in Japan.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

No QE is definitely able to squeeze through Panama canal.

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

I don’t think so. The beam at the waterline is possibly ok but the flight deck is 240 ft wide. Panamax container ships are a particular size and shape to make transit practical.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Surely the flight deck is well above the level of the canal walls and any close-by buildings.

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

There have been long queues at the Panama Canal caused by drought: insufficient rain water to work the locks among other issues, such as the silting of the Lake Alajuela following deforestation. The requirement to flush massive amounts of fresh water from the internal lakes led to restrictions on the number of ships able to transit. Millions of dollars are reportedly changing hands to skip places in the queue. The authorities (which cut the number of ship slots again only last month) are holding auctions. Who knows what it will be like in 2025?

To be avoided if possible.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

The Panama canal design is clever but why did they not plan to use close-by sea water to operate the lock gates?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  DRS

I’m sure QE was designed to fit through Panama Canal.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago

I have doubts this will ever happen, given Healeys stated comments on Labour’s retrenchment to NATO Eurasian area.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago

Surely not?
There’s been too much made of this, we’ve spoken to allies and made agreements. It would send a really bad message re UK reliability if we cancelled deployments. Would still be bad but if Labour wanted to carry this through then would just be “no more long-distance commitments” rather than cancellations. T31 aren’t much use in Europe anyway

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

It would, it would be bloody disastrous for this nations standing.
We will wait and see, I will either be shown to be correct or will very happily be relieved to be wrong.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago

I prefer the latter outcome mate….. but I see your POV.

Frank
Frank
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Absolutely 100% agree….. apart from the T31 bit, they ain’t even salty yet.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

These CSG deployments to far east have happened for decades, they are nothing new. They happened under labour and Tory governments.

Labour does not care enough about defence just like the Tory’s to stop it as it would cost political capital to do so.

Labour very much cares about AUKUS and GCAP and will continue to support both as both generate massive numbers of jobs in labour key target seats in the north.

Ian
Ian
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I think a lot of what Labour comes out with on defence is just about criticising the Tories without acknowledging that the fundamental problem is an inadequate budget (that Labour are equally unwilling to do anything about).

Meirion X
Meirion X
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

👍certainly!

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago

I honestly think it will be ok, the leadership have been putting down markers and pissing off the left…CND hate the new Labour Leadership..which is always a good starting point.. so the last motion on defence passed at the labour conference was: “The motion reaffirmed Labour’s “absolute” support for Britain’s nuclear weapons and NATO spending commitments, deepening military ties in the Indo-Pacific and Europe, as well as promising to increase the British military manufacturing base.” The reason I think the indo pacific is safe is all the industrial ties…Labour is very focused on top end manufacturing and defence is that..so The… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thanks J.
As always, the balanced voice of reason. I will try to be positive!
Yes, HMG of all colours are capable of unbelievable own goals.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago

It can’t get any worse than the current rabble.

Labour are run by the head of the former head of the criminal prosecution service and a Bank of England economist.

These are the most professional people entering government since the late 20th century if not ever.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Agree, one thing is certain Sir Keir is a professional. He was knighted by the late queen for his service as head of criminal prosecutions.
Bank of England economist👍 much better then a billionaire out for his own investments.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Sir Keir had his own Act of Parliament to maximise his pension when switching from the legal profession to politics. See the
 Pensions Increase (Pension Scheme for Keir Starmer QC) Regulations 2013 

BigH1979
BigH1979
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Sorry to be pedantic. Its the Crown Prosecution Service. And i agree with your statement.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  BigH1979

Quite right

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Had to engage the good services of Mr. Google re definition of “fuckwittery.” 😁

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

It’s a very useful word, especially in regards to the actions of governments and government agencies.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

😂😁👍👍

Ryan
Ryan
3 months ago

The Royal Navy is limited to what it can do in NATO’s region though. The RAF and the Army are much more relevant in Europe so unless they’re planning on scrapping a load of ships and cutting back building, a sure fire way to be a single term government, keeping up occasional deployments to the Far East and maintaining economic and security links with allies there costs next to nothing.

SeekTruthFromFacts
SeekTruthFromFacts
3 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

The Royal Navy a vital role to play in the NATO region. Their primary role is anti-submarine warfare to keep supplies & reinforcements flowing from North America & Great Britain to continental Europe. Securing undersea cables is now increasingly important (as shown by the current JEF deployment in the Baltic), as is protecting the North Sea oil and gas fields.

Jim
Jim
3 months ago

Yes although I can’t imagine the Russian navy submarine force lasting for more than a few days in the North Atlantic now. Just the RN alone could probably hunt them down pretty fast now much less the rest of NATO.

The cables are a much bigger issue now than protecting convoys but the Russians can only affect them in peace time.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Ryan

Taking Poland as an example, what do you think the UK brings to land warfare?

Now, what does the UK bring to naval warfare compared to Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany all together? Take your time.

BigH1979
BigH1979
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Sorry what is your point? The tone of your reply seems to be contradictory and sarcastic but you are basically agreeing with the OP???

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  BigH1979

Which point?

Daniele is a tad OCD about Labour Defence policy which becomes a tad monotonous when you consider the country is short of funds and retrenchment to NATO taskings is pragmatic.

Will the carrier deployment happen under Labour, yes it will, given the Tempest programme and next gen AUKUS SSN build at Barrow.

Do I think Healey will be a good DefSec, no I don’t and I also don’t think much of the Labour parliamentary candidate for Furness who puts the sophistry of Bluffer the Convict look amateurish.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago

I think that a Labour Government will have learnt a lot whilst in the wilderness and calm heads will be running things. If they win the next GE, there are at least 2 things that I believe will ensure they don’t do anything stupid and damage our reputation (any further). The first one is Political and it’s obvious to anyone that Labour have to stay near their present centrist position. They actually have to be demonstrably sensible because the previous more extreme policies they had, got them absolutely walloped. Simple truth is GB never elects extremists. Secondly Healey isn’t the… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

“Simple truth is GB never elects extremists” you say. Except right wing loons & dunderheads like Rees Mogg, Priti Patel, Cruella Braverman, Boris, Truss, Gove, Osborne etc.

Last edited 3 months ago by Frank62
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Left wing loons…been plenty of them in the Labour Govts over the years as well. Not in charge but in the Cabinet to placate the trots.

Frank62
Frank62
3 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Indeed. My point was that extremists do get elected & my major gripe with modern politics is the useless egomaniac idiots who go for the highest offices rather than the wisest, most capable & compassionate.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

They got into govt, they weren’t exactly elected there…

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

Yes and the same can be said for Mr’s Corbyn, Foot, Benn etc etc. They get elected as they are part of a larger party which stands on a manifesto, but the one thing the 1st past the post system does is limit them. It’s why there is a very odd situation going on in EU where they nearly all have PR. Italy, Netherlands , Hungary, Sweden are all seeing an upsurge in Right wing Nationalist Parties and we aren’t, our odd system ensures they actually have to get elected in a constituency (hence Farage got to be an MEP… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by ABCRodney
ChrisLondon
ChrisLondon
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

That is because in a democratic system the surge in xenophobia that gave us leave would have given us an increase in the far right parties. Instead it led to a takeover of what traditionally was the mainstream right party. This will hopefully destroy it for a generation but too late to protect the country.

That is not an improvement.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thanks my friend.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago

However, you may have missed several of his visits to Barrow in the last three months Daniele; AUKUS is serious money and Healey acknowledged this and said he wanted it to continue.

North West Evening Mail, Google is your friend.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Great news, David. I had.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

Doesn’t the ‘Asian bit’ of Eurasian include the SCS?

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago

Fingers crossed we will see both squardons deployed on this deployment, 809 squadron will be operational at the end of 2024 so it’s possible..as well as have another nations squadron cross decked so they can hit 30+ jets. The RN/RAF really need to be showing that they can operate a carrier at capacity..and at full tempo sortie rates…it’s important for them to practice this so they know the operationally how it will work and it’s very very important to show china…china is monitoring the west very very closely and 2025-2026 is likely to be very important as they will be… Read more »

Erich W
Erich W
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Fully agree. At this point I would settle for smaller routine numbers. If 16-18 UK jets (with an occasional US squadron) becomes typical then that’s not bad at all. There are maybe 3-4 other countries in the world that can reliably operate carriers with 2+ fixed wing squadrons and only one is on a par in terms of quality of aircraft and the others are all lacking in other areas too. That said, as you mention we need to be prepared for operating with a full deck in the event that it has to be put to use. It’s all… Read more »

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  Erich W

16 to 18 F35 would be an immense force especially if we start packing the carrier with some off the shelf drones. Four Mojave style MQ9 with the sea guardian kit providing both MPA, ASW and limited AEW would be a massive capability enhancement that no other carrier in the world has at present for just a few tens of millions of pounds then sea vixen and Proteus by the end of the decade.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago

2025 is over a year away, a lot can happen. So nothing happening in 2024 somewhere?
1 deployment east of suez in 2021 and another in 2025 is not really making much difference to countries in the region.
Would have been good to have each year a carrier group or amphibious group or even a frigate, destroyer RFA tanker going to the region. It’s not just the region it’s all the stops on the way that give a presence.

Erich W
Erich W
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

My guess is that 2024 will have something similar to the last two years – probably under 20 aircraft total, shorter more local deployment with just a few escorts but nothing like a full scale CSG.

Alternatively there might be a drive for drone trials or it might be more of a workup exercise in anticipation for CSG25 much like what we had in 2020. It’s clear in any case that 2025 is being set up as a major milestone for what full operational capability looks like, whether or not we are successful in achieving it by then.

Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Erich W

We’ll need to venture out in 2024 with the maximum number of jets we can muster to get the flightdeck crews up to speed prior to CSG25, if we don’t, accidents will be inevitable and someone will die .

Erich W
Erich W
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

In that case let’s hope it’s similar to 2020/21 where there was a workup deployment beforehand with similar aircraft numbers, but the operation in 2025 by itself is largely training – at least that was my impression. The point of this exercise is to be able to demonstrate and train the operation of a full capacity carrier in a comparatively low-pressure environment so that we know what we’re doing when it comes to doing it wartime, should the need ever arise.

Paul42
Paul42
3 months ago
Reply to  Erich W

There will be expectations on CSG25, a demonstration that we can safely operate a carrier with that many aircraft aboard. Crews need to train without the world watching and be up to speed prior to setting off.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Fingers crossed when the T31s are commissioned and deployed into the gulf, Indian Ocean and pacific that will show a bit more presence especially now as they will have MK41 silos ( that could have a strike package inside ) as well as 8 navel strike missiles..a SSN based on Auz will be massive as well. Don’t forget littoral response group south is now operational ( as of sept/Oct) based out of the UKJLSB in Oman.that’s got responsibility for the indo pacific, with Argus and Lyme bay, it’s will have around 500 Uk troops and 120 Dutch marines..backed up by… Read more »

Jim
Jim
3 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

This is not achievable when the Russians are kicking off on our door step.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Russia so big it’s at the pacific side aswell.

Barry White
Barry White
3 months ago

Question for the keyboard experts
Re supply ships
We have the tankers but the only stores ship we have is laid up in Liverpool and some says she’s knackered and given its 2025 this group is for there’s has to be a lot of work done on a knickered ship to get her shipshape (forgive the pun )

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry White

Not that knackered. I think there’s every chance Ft Vic will sail in 2025.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry White

she has been in refit since 2022 but is now reported sound and ready to deploy if needed..the issue at present is crew and manpower.

If your willing to throw money at a boat of ship you can keep it going..the big issue is:

1) cost, essentially it becomes more and more expensive to keep the ship/boat going.
1) as there is only one when she is in refit there is a big hole in the capacity…which would limit deployment options…but for most deployments around Europe, Middle East and western Indian occean it’s not an issue.

Louis
Louis
3 months ago
Reply to  Barry White

Fort Vic is in a good enough state to deploy on an unplanned CSG deployment.

She’s being saved up for CSG25 so they don’t tire her out before.

Dave
Dave
3 months ago
Reply to  Louis

Fort Vic will need a complete engine change before deploying whether – She was in a bad materiel state when she was in Leith laid up (not refit) for a few months. She only had one working engine when she arrived and departed.

She left Leith 30th Aug heading to Birkenhead for lay up before commencing refit in 2024.

John
John
3 months ago

Well if Dianne Abacus is Minister of Defence? Its a certainty. She thinks Japan is next to Italy.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago

We can make a pretty good stab at POW’s tailored air group for CSG25:

  • 12 UK F-35B’s in a composite squadron (perhaps tagged 809NAS for convenience and PR)
  • 7 Merlin HM2’s of 820 NAS, with 3 in a Crowsnest ASaC configuration.
  • 4 Merlin HC4’s if Fort Victoria isn’t part of the deployment
  • Probably a few headline gaining UAV’s from 700X NAS
  • Just possibly a few USMC MV22’s

No USMC and certainly no Italian F-35B’s, the later don’t have any a/c to spare for a 6-7 month deployment
.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago

Why discount the possibility of USMC F:35B deployment? Minimal advance notice could be attributed to an OpSec issue, for deployments w/in SCS. The rest of the list appears to be reasonable. HMG’s commitment to have 24 UK F-35Bs on board in 2024/2025 timeframe could indeed be satisfied by a short-term exercise pre CSG 25. 🤔

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Are the USMC not selling off the a/c?

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Huh? Say what?!? 😳

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

? They haven’t had them for that long. They got rid of their M1 tanks though!

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I agree that its still theoretically possible that USMC F-35B’s will embark, but I really doubt it. For CSG21, official hints and informed speculation that a USMC F-35B squadron would form part of the air group had begun by December 2017. After the formal agreement was signed and announced 2 years before the deployment started, a permanent USN/USMC detachment embarked on QE (eventually headed by a Colonel, promoted to Brigadier General as senior US representative) with their own USA-only compartments, also specialist American owned and maintained equipment was temporarily fitted. CSG25 is perhaps 17 months away and there’s no sign… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard Beedall
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago

Hmmm…on second thought, have to admit the prospects do appear to be somewhat diminished…🤔 RN may have chosen to demonstrate capability to conduct a high intensity deployment independently.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

To interject a strictly personal opinion, if in a position to provide counsel, would strongly recommend participation of USMC. Perhaps fruitful to consider USMC as very well trained attack dogs. Issue the proper command, point in direction of the bogey (er…victim) and generally attempt to stay the hell out of the way until threat terminated. Could prove useful in the SCS.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Senior RN/FAA/RM officers freely and publicly admit that they would love to have some V-22’s on strength for carrier strike for COD, ASaC, VertRep, aerial assault … but also that there’s simply not the money to buy and operate these. If we see any USMC assets embarked on PoW for CSG25, it will be a few MV-22’s. At the 2012 Farnborough Airshow, after 4 years of trying to gain MOD (rather than just RN) interest, Boeing revealed that it had submitted an unsolicited bid to provide the UK with 6 MV-22’s configured for AEW with a palletized Cerebus mission system and… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago

From an outsider’s non-SME perspective, the RN in recent years has appeared to generally make more informed and intelligent procurement decisions. Uncertain whether to attribute decisions to enlightened management or multiple crises which require focused attention.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

The Ukraine war seems to have finally made the MOD aware that building £1+ billion warships primarily armed with just a modest number of AAW missiles, a single 40-year old 4.5″ gun, and an embarked helicopter (when available) might not deter potential enemies. The scary price tag alone is not sufficient!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago

😁👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

Type 45? Why does everyone say it is the best AD Destroyer in the world then?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

Crowsnest always was going to be an updated Cerebus;
that was stated by MoD in 2017:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/crowsnest-helicopter-surveillance-deal-to-protect-carriers-sustains-200-high-skilled-uk-jobs

but what leads you to conclude that £500m (was it really that much?) has been wasted? Is Crowsnest really not fit for purpose?

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Yes, Crowsnest is simply not fit for purpose in the modern and very diverse threat environment (stealth aircraft; hypersonic missiles plunging from near space; small, slow and very low flying drones …) . Hence the desperate effort to get a replacement in service by 2030 – a decade earlier than anticipated. Crowsnest IOC was expected in March 2020. After many delays this was achieved in September 2023. Full operating capability was originally planned to occur in 2025 – 5 years after IOC. The revised FOC date would now be just one year before the official out of service date of 2029! The… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

Thanks Richard. I had not realised that Crowsnest could not deal with those ‘modern’ threats. LMUK is not covering itself with glory on this and also on army projects.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Crowsnest system is basically 50-year old technology given a lick of paint and a modern looking interface. The core of the system is a Searchwater 2000 radar with some minor upgrades and obsolete parts replaced. The original Searchwater was state of the art when developed in the 1960’s for the Nimrod MPA. The updated Searchwater 2000 was still acceptable when fitted to the Sea King ASaC7 in the early 2000’s – but two decades later a AEW radar with a mechanically scanning dish just doesn’t cut the mustard.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago

Thanks Richard. Makes sense to get something basic into service quickly, then press hard and fast for a better system.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

True. FAA and RAF F-35s also capable of attacking enemy targets of course. If USMC F-35s also embarked on QE carriers, I would see UK/US jets both going to war together.

klonkie
klonkie
3 months ago

Can anyone advise if the intended route? I’m ineterested to know if a goodwill visit to AUS or or NZ is planned.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

Or, NZ first then to Aus… Lol 😁

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

And good morning NZ.

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Mate , I’d be happy enough if Aussie was on the schedule and not NZ. I’ll be on a flight and make a weekend out of it for sure!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

Would presume a visit to Oz would almost be considered mandatory, given AUKUS relationship. Would guess an NZ invitation would probably be. extended and accepted, under auspices of current government. 🤔👍

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

BIoody hope so Sir, it’s a bot of a bucket list thing for me!. Best to keep the tactical nukes under a tarp or two though!😉

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago
Reply to  Klonkie

If only Klonkie, if only

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

💪

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Klonkie

A very interesting possible future consideration. There is a seldom-noticed or discussed provision in the FY 24 NDAA to authorize $100+M in research funding for a nuclear armed SSN cruise missile program. Believe it was a Congressional insert. If developed and implemented, it would both complicate Orc and ChiCom first strike targeting, as well as reduce the threshold to WW III. Because all AUKUS partners will possess the VPM, could envision a scenario wherein USN passes out nucs in a crisis like Pez candy (not certain whether Pez is a known quantity in UK or Oz). Hell, it wouldn’t even… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Pardon…nukes…,🙄

Klonkie
Klonkie
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

This is a fascinating but of intel. I had no idea, thx fo posting. I remember pez well as a kid, Think I had a Popeye dispenser at one time.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Klonkie

😁👍

Jon
Jon
3 months ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Load those and every time we fire FC/ASW or a Tomahawk, we risk triggering a global nuclear exchange, as the enemy don’t know if we might have fired a nuke.

With Japan and South Korea predicted to join the nuclear club, the world is once again getting very scary, very quickly.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
3 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Hence the reference above to reducing the threshold of WW III. May become like the Old West–when everyone is packing, all may be more polite.

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
3 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

The CSG25 route is completely unknown, nothing is in the public domain except for the port visit to Japan. The route, likely exercises, serials and port visits will start being firmed up in 2024, with occasional announcements when it suits the relevant governments. If CSG21 is anything to go by, we wont know even the high-level itinerary until the deployment starts, and that can still be subject to significant changes due to events (Covid lockdowns in the case of CSG21). Interestingly, France has announced that its Charles de Gaulle carrier group will now deploy to the Indian Ocean and Pacific… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
3 months ago

Have they announced which route they will take to get to Japan? As they went east last time, can we expect them to go west this time? Though visiting the Falklands and passing close to Patagonia might upset a few people!

SeekTruthFromFacts
SeekTruthFromFacts
3 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

No and there’s not much to be gained by announcing it so early. And I think going westwards would be a poor use of a precious resource. Why would you do it? Visiting the BOTs in the Caribbean would be a nice gesture, but the area isn’t a UK strategic priority and is a permanent station. The Panama Canal is currently struggling with drought, which risks the whole trip. Then you spend weeks sailing across open ocean which doesn’t achieve any diplomatic objectives. If an Australian visit is a political priority, then the obvious choice is Perth, which is nearer… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago

Going out that way then go past Australia/NZ then back around South America. World round trip.
Port visits, crew changes, sorted.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
3 months ago

Still, Falklands would be nice if only a frigate to put of that new lunatic Argentine president

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
3 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

A frigate often sails to the Falklands for a protracted stay – or at least used to.

Ernest
Ernest
3 months ago

I would like to know! it says escorts, I wonder how many and type of ships?

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 months ago
Reply to  Ernest

Carrier Escort Group is usually around 6 ships, a mix of air defence destroyers and frigates and a minimum of one submarine.

David Barry
David Barry
3 months ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

All of which detach to do this and that… leaving the carrier alone in sometimes perilous situations…

And other NATO States have said they are in trouble with surface escorts at the moment. Hmm.

BigH1979
BigH1979
3 months ago

Because we like to show our big willy off to everyone 😀

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
3 months ago
Reply to  BigH1979

It’s a gentleman’s appendage when the U.K. is concerned.

GaryC
GaryC
3 months ago

Came across this prototype aircraft on The Warzone website – its quite amazing. Something like this fitted with the SAAB Globaleye Radar would make for an excellent replacement for Crowsnest. Where’s there a will (an money) there’s a way! https://youtu.be/k_eDutgh4IU?si=BpUYPHpAZ3OPhCpC

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
3 months ago

If the CSG 2025 goes through the Suez canal / Red Sea it’ll be interesting to see what kind of reaction and posturing there’ll be from China, Russia, the Iranians and the Houthis in Yemen.