The Ministry of Defence is currently seeking information on the potential for industry provide assisted launch and arrested recover systems for a range of air vehicles, which would be suitable to fit to a vessel within 3 – 5 years.

The Ministry of Defence say that this request for information is to support the development of the Royal Navy’s Future Maritime Aviation Force with potential for use with both crewed and un-crewed air vehicles. The Ministry of Defence add that it is looking to assess the availability of electromagnetic catapult, and arrestor wire systems for the launch and recovery of air vehicles.

While the Request for Information looks to assess the “availability of electromagnetic catapult and arrestor wire systems to launch aircraft” from a ship, words associated with the previous effort to explore converting the vessels to ‘CATOBAR’ in order to launch carrier variant F-35Cs, it shouldn’t be taken as indication that the Royal Navy are abandoning the short take off and vertical landing F-35Bs and returning to catapult launched fighters.

In fact, the upper and lower weight limits of the catapult and recovery system outlined aren’t enough to launch or recover any variant of the F-35 in normal conditions. It’s far more likely that the launch and recovery options mentioned would be utilised for larger uncrewed aircraft as the armed forces begin to rely on them more and more in place of crewed platforms. My impression, and that of most I speak to, is that this will indeed enable the adoption of larger uncrewed platforms on the carriers.

Anyway, on to the Request for Information itself.

“Potential supplier and interested parties are invited to provide information in relation to potential solutions which are sufficiently technically mature to be fitted to a suitable ship from 2023.”

According to the Request for Information, the Ministry of Defence have set out the following requirements.

“Potential arrestor solutions ideally should offer:
a. Max trap 47000lbs / 21318Kg
b. Min trap 11000lbs / 5000Kg
c. Energy damping method
d. Potential for energy reclamation

Potential catapult solutions ideally should offer:
a. Max launch weight 55000lbs / 24949Kg
b. Electrical power input required against launch cycle time.”

According to the Ministry of Defence, the intended outcomes of the Request for Information are as follows:

“a. Develop further MoD understanding of the different technologies and capabilities available in the market, both current and emerging.
b. Alignment of potential future MoD requirements with industry standards and processes for procurement of maritime un-crewed and autonomous capabilities; and,
c. Enable the Authority to develop a procurement strategy that will deliver best value for money for Defence.”

The Royal Navy say that the DEVELOP Directorate leads the development of the Royal Navy’s future warfighting capability and “acts as the platform for the through-life capability for all maritime capabilities in order to achieve the optimum mix of present and future warfighting technologies for a modern, global and ready Royal Navy”.

The Royal Navy is driving hard to introduce a range of un-crewed air vehicles and to “give wider options for the use of different air vehicles types within the Fleet”.

Before jumping the gun on this news, a bit of perspective is important. Well respected naval analyst Gabriele Molinellli had the following words of caution to say.

 

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dave12

A bit to late now isn’t it lol!!

James Fennell

You could probably use all the steam generated by this thread to power a catapult.

Johan

to launch the Fuel drone…..

Paul42

Are we actually talking about fitting cats and traps to the QE class? Why on earth would we want to go there at this time?

Deep32

It’s where we should have gone from the outset, unfortunately steam cats are old technology and Emals wasn’t and still isn’t mature enough yet, so we were left with what we currently have – essentially a one horse shop with F35B.
Converting to cats/traps gives much more flexibility, particularly when it comes to aircraft types, we aren’t limited to one type-arguably the poorest of the 3 F35 variants.
If we go this route, the price well be great, but offset by the flexibilities of the choices of airframes we have, both manned and unmanned.

Paul42

Cannot honestly agree with all of that, given the weather we were operating in during the Falklands conflict, Cats and Traps could have been a major handicap, as it turned out Vstol was actually a blessing! I note this says installation in 3-5 years, and judging by the weight loadings we’re talking about the real thing which could only be fitted to a QE. But given the investment in F35B, integration of USMC, Crowsnest etc, to go down that route now would require billions to just fit the kit and acquire suitable aircraft……F35C, E2D etc?Or is that a huge compromise… Read more »

Herodotus

Why is everything referenced to the Falklands, as if we are going to do it again. Our present carriers are more than twice the displacement of anything we had in 82!

Paul42

Size is immaterial. In an exercise off Norway a short while before the Falklands, HMS Invincible launched a Sea Harrier in conditions that ment the USS Nimitz was unable to conduct flying operations. The Falklands proved a point about carrier operations in adverse weather.

Herodotus

If you have ever been at sea for any length of time you will understand that size is not immaterial. The evidence of one incident is not proof of your argument….

Paul42

I have, and I’m aware that adverse weather conditions can severely hamper carrier ops. Thankfully it doesn’t happen very often as a lot of forward planning is involved…..

Herodotus

Precisely!

Supportive Bloke

You are both right, carrier size does matter and VSTOL works at higher sea states.

However, think on this, the worst compromise is CATOBAR on a 40kt vessel in a high sea state.

The UK is responsible for Atlantic gap, in reality, and it gets pretty rough out there. But Russian Bears are land based and will be a Le to fly when CDG can’t.

That becomes an asymmetric threat as your principle means of AAW doesn’t work and the carrier becomes solely a target rather than a utilisable asset.

lee1

It was not one incident and it is a known issue with carrier launches. Harriers were always able to operate in higher sea states than other carrier based aircraft and also were able to operate in lower wind conditions. The wider launch and landing windows are a great asset. Not only that but catapult systems can not launch at the same high rate as vstol.

Herodotus

Reference the other incidents then!. Stating ‘it as a known fact’ indicates that you don’t actually know it to be so. I find it hard to believe that the US Navy has invested billions in an inferior system. I am sure there are advantages to VSTOL, but clearly the US Navy does not believe they are sufficient to warrant a change of system (that is probably a fact)!

Deep32

Hi Paul, not saying this is going to happen, or necessarily the answer, but just my thoughts on it. If we did swop over to C&T, it wouldn’t mean we couldn’t use the B version, just that we would have more options.
Assets like Crowsnest are a short term fix, the way ahead is probably some form of UCAV, C&T would probably make it far easier to use, I don’t know? We are not undertaking this study just to gain some understanding of what we could use/need. My opinion only.

lee1

The two carriers are not going to get cats as it would be far too expensive as was proven by the review during the build. They simply have not been designed to cater for them and so would need significant redesign to add them, including new power plants etc.

Supportive Bloke

It was too expensive to add EMALS.

The cost will be technology dependant.

Lee Fear

This is EMALS they are looking into! The cost was the major redesign of the carrier’s more than it was the actual system.

Supportive Bloke

Maybe and maybe not……

The whole field, sorry had to get that in, has increased in strength…..

Johan

for drones and alike The refueling drone

ChariotRider

Hi Deep32, The simple answer your final question is – yes. I spent 12 years as a defence operational analyst and this type of question often came up. The MoD needs to be a smart customer, something the politicians don’t always seem to understand. The challenge of launching large UAV’s is an obvious issue that needs addressing, hence the request for information. This will then be used to advise a larger on-going study or studies into future technologies which are obviously gaining in importance and urgency in the MoD / RN. I suspect that the stated timescales may in part… Read more »

Deep32

Hi CR, sorry for late reply, totally missed this post, to busy ducking and diving from the flak after my initial post!!!!
The MOD is often portrayed in a bad light, but does get things right, and as you say don’t spend for no reason. It will be interesting to see what pans out with this over the next few years.
Cheers D32

Supportive Bloke

Agreed and add the cost of qualifying pilots for CATSnTRAPS to that as well.

There will be a decent sized club of countries operating F35B.

Robert Blay

Read the article. This doesn’t mean we are buying F18’s or F35C’s ect. It’s looking at options for the future for large UCAV’s. It’s just a study to look at what might be available, how much it might cost, and what capabilities will we perhaps need further down the line. It doesn’t mean we are not going ahead with F35B

Deep32

Read my reply Robert, I know it doesn’t mean we will be going this route! It doesn’t mean that were not in the future either, and yes, agree it is probably intended for large UCAV’s looking at the launch weights. Whatever the reason we have painted ourselves into a corner with our choice, and dare I say at the mercy of LM, on a protect which is both over budget and very late. As they say we are where we are, but , there is a reason why the USAF is buying new F15’s, and are now looking at a… Read more »

Meirion X

C&T will be procured for large drones and Tempest, it looks like.

lee1

Tempest will need a large carrier to operate it will not likely be using cats. However we could have some smaller new ships in the future that are dedicated to launching medium sized UAVs etc or even potentially launching them from our amphibious landing ships.

Michael Hannah

Is it part of team Tempest remit to produce the aircraft with Carrier opps in mind?

TrevorH

Tempest is going to be marinised?

John Clark

The manned element, no chance of that, I suspect they may be considering the capability for Loyal Wingman / ucav aspect of the Tempest programme.

Perhaps, rapid prototyping and new technologies might make it viable??

It would certainly be useful to have a jointly owned fleet of carrier capable UCAV’s, able to carry out the full spectrum of war fighting missions.

lee1

As far as I am aware the UAV Tempest is the same as the manned version. In fact it is the same aircraft as it can either be manned or unmanned depending on the mission. That could obviously change over the course of the program (if it ever actually sees the light of day of course).

Michael Hannah

Given the USAF are buying large numbers of F15 Ex , then perhaps the route forward may not be Tempest but a Super Typhoon ?

Nigel Collins

Loyal wingman is moving forward at pace it seems.

We might see a revival of Taranis which would be about the right size and weight as I recall?

“Boeing Australia has successfully conducted the maiden flight of the ‘Loyal Wingman’ unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) it is developing in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), the company announced on 2 March.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/boeings-loyal-wingman-uav-makes-maiden-flight

Meirion X

Possible, with a mini unmanned version?
It would need to meet the weight launch and recovery weight limits of the CAT & Traps proposed.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Spyinthesky

On land you are probably correct however I note that at sea it seems that orders for the latest F18 Super Hornets are actually being cut short though that may be due to cost savings over an actual love of replacing them with F35s.

Jon

F18s. SH are having issues with there conformal tanks. Due to the shot and caps. Tanks are flexing and then leaking to the point the tanks are being removed which makes the New Hornet a old one.

TrevorH

We are buying relatively few F35Bs. Enough for our carriers and some for RAF. The USAF have only recently confirmed their commintment to the F35. It’s hugely advanced and has a development for many many years.

Chaswarnertoo

Why the bleep would we buy F18? Tempest can be carrier bourne.

lee1

Can it? I have not read anywhere that it is to be designed for carrier operations.

Nigel Collins

Could this mean an unmanned version of Tempest, which would clearly weigh less, or a separate UAV-Taranis?

https://www.uasvision.com/2019/02/19/uk-tempests-unmanned-loyal-wingmen-to-be-carrier-capable/

Lee Fear

Tempest is unmanned and manned at the same time. It just depends on the mission. The UAV they are talking about is loyal wingman which is a small UAV that can work alongside the F35 and Tempest.

Jon

Tempest is not VSTOL. So that’s shot that onell no

Supportive Bloke

Tempest would almost certainly have vectored thrust.

There is a version of the EJ2000 that does that already. So RR have that tech.

Really what you are talking about is toughening up the undercart to hit the ski ramp hard/fast enough to go get liftoff.

If the plane can take off fully loaded in 550m from a flat runway then it can take off from QEC.

Robert Blay

And what choice of airframes do we have? We are never goingto buy F18 or Rafale or Hawkeye, and F35C has identical capability to the F35B apart from the way it takes off and lands. And the much talked-about extra endurance will largely be taken up with bring back fuel for missed bolters. Extra cost, lots more to maintain, more expensive refits. You need bigger flight deck crew’s, you can’t launch and recover aircraft as quick as a STOVL carrier, and you have stricter weather limits. All the disadvantages for a RN carrier with cat’s & traps.

Deep32

Much of this is very true Robert, but like I mentioned to Paul above, Crowsnest is an interim solution, and we have no AAR capabilities, perhaps that is what is intended.

Robert Blay

Could be. Lots of investment going into UAV’s. So Could be looking at how we could operate larger UAV’s alongside F35.

Spyinthesky

Absolutely right this is the main thrust, whatever the result of this study it’s obviously focused on what might be coming available by the end of the decade in terms of airborne early warning and in particular how this and other capabilities can be served by UAVs. The manned aspect is likely a sensible consideration in case that option just might be able to be considered through innovative ideas/developments without any real expectation it will be an option I suspect but in preparation otherwise for longer term considerations so as to future proof future naval aviation. Always best to think… Read more »

peter wait

Steam might be old hat but it was reliable, think the Americans have had problems with “electromagic” versions. Seems the F35 has a shorter engine life than expected and the cannon has caused some cracking issues.

Spyinthesky

True but it’s the future and everyone from the French to the Chinese are committing to it, steam is as good as dead on new ships. Equally the increased electro centric generation needs will tie in with the development of electro magnetic and laser weaponry that will be a feature of future ship design work.

Daveyb

There’s a design flaw in the Ford class EMALS. Each of the four cats are not a singular item, but they are all linked to each other via the power supplies. So if one has a power problem, it can manifest itself in the other three cats. It also means if you need to work on the electrical feed to one cat, you have to remove power to the other three. Very poor design with no built in redundancy. Hopefully, they changed this arrangement in the following John F Kennedy. The problems with the F35’s gun is with the A… Read more »

TrevorH

But we are told that VTOL is actually better in terms of realistic sortie rate.

Deep32

Yes Trevor, I have no reason to not believe what is said on the subject, but you don’t need a ski ramp to launch a F35B, in fact, currently we are the only ones employing it, so it’s a bit of horses for courses in that respect. I don’t know if it is intended to have both on one ship, or on a separate ship/ships. My own view is that this is probably intended for UCAVs (AEW/AAR). I am starting to believe that all is not necessarily well within the F35 program, so perhaps this is an indication that we… Read more »

TrevorH

A ramp would allow a heavier load than off a flat deck. It strikes me that the F35 will have quite a long project life based in what the USAF have said. The EMALS etc are even now not working properly, so I think we are along way from that. Generally all these catapult stories are surely wide of the mark. Won’t most unmanned vehicles be Helecopter, drone types? Certainly for marine use. Of more interest for me to ask is have any practical rolling landing tests been perfected yet? This allows more weight to be landed. Certainly without that… Read more »

Daveyb

The Ski ramp, is equivalent to an additional 300m of runway. Or in more simplistic terms allows the aircraft to take-off from the carrier at its maximum take-off weight (Full fuel and weapons load). The America class LHAs put a restriction on the F35B. It can either take of with a full fuel load and a reduced weapon’s load or a full weapons load and a reduced fuel load. This will have a knock on effect for you concept of operations. For the USMC this isn’t such a major problem, as they would be expected to operate within a carrier… Read more »

Deep32

Hi mate, gosh didn’t hat put the cat amongst the birds! Was only speculating really, so will probably have to tar myself and jump into a bath of feathers!!! I was aware that there was a trade off in not operating with the ski jump, just wasn’t sure exactly what, so tavm for info. Combat radius sucks, so anything that can add to range is only good, if this is the path them great. Same with the possibility of replacing Crowsnest. We seem to need to fulfil lots of tasks with our 24-36 embarked aircraft, as you say strike, CAP… Read more »

Jon

The Italians are qualifying F-35B launches from the Cavour. If they aren’t using the ramp, I’d be very surprised.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Deep32

Cheers mate, totally forgot about the Cavour.

Nigel Collins

Some progress has been made with the F35 programme it appears during 2020. And with block 4 software arriving around 2027, we have plenty to look forward to! “Lockheed Martin F-35 deficiencies: two fewer in 2020, 871 issues remain It appears that Lockheed solved more than two deficiencies in 2020; however, it also discovered additional problems, which meant the total number of open issues only fell slightly. The total number of deficiencies solved and discovered in 2020 was not disclosed in the DOT&E report. “Approximately 100 new deficiency reports were written in 2020 and about as many were resolved and… Read more »

Deep32

It appears to be one step forward, two backwards with progress regarding F35 program. I think it is the CAT 1 deficiencies that are of most concern, despite rumours suggesting they might not be rectified! BLK 4 software is 2 years late and some 1.5 billion over budget. To me this is starting to look like a big bottomless money pit with the only winner being LM!!!
A tad cynical I know, but the whole project is late, vastly over budget and not delivering what it said on the tin!!! That’s just me though.

Nigel Collins

Agreed, I’ve been making this point on here over the past two years!

Johan

Won’t Convert QE class, not cost-effective and what 5 gen fighter do you use. FORD CLASS cannot fire or catch a 5 gen bird. there is a problem with any composite being shot and caught, composite is great at being strong n flex. but doesn’t like returning back to form. weights n specs point to the Fuel drone, Quintic @ Farnborough been shooting drones for years but as the weight goes up they rip wings off….

Deep32

You might well be correct Johan, but the system isn’t small, and they will put it on something big I imagine. A fuel drone/drones to support F35 makes sense, so, putting it alongside F35 would also make sense. I have no idea how it would work if fitted on QE class, or how much it might cost, but this might be the way we are going.

Rob N

It would only allow you to have a greater range of forth generation planes. Why would you want that…? True there may be sixth generation planes in the future that will be carrier capable but this is some time off. Also the F35B is more flexible then the other types. On the whole .I think the QE and F35B are a powerful combination. The only down side is the limited AEW platform capability.

Jon

Oh crows nest is well off program dragging a huge bag stressing the airframe. And composite is failing sealing made of alloy gave a little

Nigel Collins

Purely as a gauge to the potential size of aircraft we might be looking at.
With lighter composite materials being used today?

Table 1. General F/A-18E/F Specifications

Maximum Allowable Carrier or Field Takeoff Weight 66,000 lb
Maximum Carrier Landing Weight 44,000 lb

https://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=3489&context=utk_gradthes

Nigel Collins

I’m beginning to wonder about the numbers quoted in the article after reading this!

02 MARCH 2021

“UK issues RFI for shipborne aircraft launch and recovery equipmentby Richard Scott

Almost a decade after dropping plans to introduce catapults and arrestor gear on one of the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking to be appraised on shipborne assisted launch and arrested recovery systems applicable to both crewed and uncrewed air vehicles.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uk-issues-rfi-for-shipborne-aircraft-launch-and-recovery-equipment

Deep32

Hi Nigel, interesting isn’t it! I have my own theory about all this, as once it’s fitted for drones, all you would need to to scale things up for heavier vehicles!!!! Only my thoughts of course, but the carriers are to remain in service for 50 odd years, so who knows!

Nigel Collins

Interesting times indeed. Note, at the time of writing, currently being considered and adaptable airframe! “Answering questions in the House of Commons, the Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (MoD), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, Earl Howe, said that the Tempest needs to be compatible with the Royal Navy’s two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, and that the concept currently being considered is that the UAV ‘loyal wingmen’ will be ship-based rather than the fighter itself. “The combat air acquisition programme is looking at the replacement of Typhoon’s capabilities [through development of the Tempest], and any new combat… Read more »

Deep32

That’s not a million miles away from going the whole hog! Small incremental upgrades over time would be achievable in budgetary terms, although a more expensive way then going for gold from the outset.
I’m not sure what info the IDR will provide on this, we may just have to wait and see how things develop.

Nigel Collins

Agreed, And with the mention of an adaptable airframe, I’m thinking along the lines of a possible Tempest Lite? Time will tell!

Pete

Been thinking this for a while … same software, sensors, weapons, defensive suites, same loyal wingman interface, similar airframe concept etc but single engine instead of twin. Will mean a lighter load but probably some commonality of training, maintenance etc.

captain p wash

A flip flop decision, open to political ridicule !

Geoffrey Roach

UAV launch…next to the ski jump?

Paul42

That would hamper Flight deck operations due to the length of the Catapult, plus you are talking about fitting arrestor wires for which you would need an angled deck? For all intents and purposes you would need to convert a QE to catobar configuration…….which is perfectly feasible, but at enormous cost, and to make it worthwhile you would want two firing over the bow with a waist catapult but the bow section on the QE class is too short, so it’ll just be one over the bow in similar config to Ark Royal IV unless they plan to insert another… Read more »

John Clark

Additional flight deck area on the bow, an angled flight deck added and the cats and traps would all be quite feasible. We would be talking a very considerable modification of the ships, perhaps those in long-term defence planning consider electro magnetic cats and associated systems will mature and be affordable by then?? My guess would be about 2032-5 ish, to coincide with major refit requirements and Tempest systems roll out. To fair, the QE’s are so big, the F35B would probably be little effected by the loss of the ski jump, just use a longer take off run. There… Read more »

Jon

Ski jump gives your pilots 25 seconds of height n time. This is why so many USMC Harriers were lost.

DRS

This is for smaller scale UAV etc we have the IPO and research already https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2014/05/whatever-happened-emcat/ EMCAT/EMKIT.

David

“Max launch weight 55000lbs / 24949Kg”

Seems more than smaller scale UAV

Johan

its to do with launching drones mainly the fuel drone….

Paul42

The fuel drone is a reasonable size, and the article does refer to manned and un-manned vehicles, plus of course you still have to think about the arrestor wires, which will require an angled deck….

Jon

Angled deck not required as the drones lighter and not landing as fast as a jet and no pilot risk.

Paul42

For fuel drones an angled deck is required. They are reasonably large and you need to ensure that if it misses a wire it won’t pile into anything else parked on the deck like a very expensive F35B for example.

ArgyllAtheist

It’s this indecisiveness that causes the MoD to waste so much money. They must have wasted a few tens of millions redesigning the back end of the carriers to support cats and traps, only to rip it all up and go for a non-cat design.. hate to think what it would cost to retrofit them now…

DRS

I think the top ship level underneath the surface has the space available to add these in as we want to, we could have some sort of hybrid with an angled desk with retractable traps for planes with traps and then a single/dual launch either port or starboard o main runway. See EMCAT post above/below. WE don’t need the full on EMALS that ford carries have we could go with something that helps UAVs launch and lighter craft too?

Spyinthesky

I think you are right and such a system would I think be feasible if events start to make the carriers increasingly obsolete without such a capability, these are supposedly 50 year lifespan ships after all so will have substantial Midlife upgrades. I have seen angled decks layed out on the early design proposals for these carriers, the difference is not great to the present design just the layout and use of the space, only the big US carriers have the very pronounced angled configuration we think of.

Paul T

From what i have read on the QE’s the Reservation of Machinery Space under the Flight Deck for the Possible Future Upgrade of Cat’s and Traps never went any Further than the Sales Pitch.

Daveyb

I don’t believe it is indecisiveness, but actually be quite canny. When the carriers were being built EMALS was at its infancy, therefore, issue with it reliability etc were in doubt. So instead lets build a carrier that is designed for EMALS but can be quickly launched as a STOVL vessel. This means there is less risk with not getting EMALS to work, but we have a carrier that is fully operational a lot sooner that gets us back in the carrier business. At some point in the future, when the bugs of EMLS have been worked out, then look… Read more »

Supportive Bloke

I agree: not going down the EMALS path was actually very smart.

As was the general big but simple design of the QEC: just allow mass and physics to do things.

As you rightly say, we have two fully functional carriers very cheaply.

Captain P Wash

Type 32’s anyone ?

Geoffrey Roach

Could well be Captain. The 32 is certainly going to be different, even with the limited info. to date.

john melling

Hmm the T 32 for a future cat and trap capable ship? it would have to be built more like the forgotten UXV concept

Levi Goldsteinberg

Or something along the lines of the old Soviet Moskva-class, where it is a conventional fighting ship up front and a carrier in the rear. I doubt T32 would be anything like that large but a platform of that shape in a hull of T31 proportions would be suitable for launching medium sized drones

Ron5

The type 32 is a frigate hence the designation. No cats and traps. These are for the carriers.

lee1

They are not for the carriers. That is just not possible due to cost. It may however be for a future landing ship or light carrier. Although it is possible small ones could be added to the QE but they would not be on the main take-off area. There is some space to the right of the ski jump that could be potentially used for launching medium UAVs. I doubt it though.

Captain P Wash

Oh, Are they…. How do you know this ?

Ron5

Because this is old news. The Navy have been talking with industry for some time on how to launch and recover large drones like the loyal wingman, from the QE’s. The Navy has expressed a desire to operate large drones from the carriers in the next few years.

Most of the comments here are based on wet dreams and guesswork rather than reported information.

Captain P Wash

Yes mate, We noticed that about your comments over on the STRN site too. X sends his regards BTW and asks why you don’t seem to post there anymore since you got your arse handed to you after the site reboot ?……. anyone seen the Down Vote feature ?

Herodotus

Crikey…talk about pot and kettle! Have you no shame….clearly not!

Captain P Wash

Nope, none at all…. nice to see my personal Troll is still around.

Ian M.

This’ll be for the “new” class of carriers, the QE2’s! Nuclear powered, missile equipped flat tops with 2 squadrons of F35, UAS refuelling, Ospreys, well deck, landing craft…………………:-)

Geoffrey Roach

and….follow the yellow brick road. Nice one Ian.

Will

Here we go again. Prepare for a shitstorm of. “WE SHOULD HAVE ALWAYS GONE WITH CAT AND TRAP!” and “DID YOU KNOW WE ACTUALLY INVENTED IT?”

Joe16

Interesting, launch weight sits somewhere between a fully loaded Typhoon (21,000 kg) and F-35 (29,000 kg), so we’re not talking a small drone here. I’m guesing this will be for whatever replaces F-35.
I hesitate to say Tempest, because I’m not sure whether CATOBAR capability is something on the list, or whether it’ll be a large UCAV instead.
Hopefully, the UK solution for EMALS that we passed up on for the Elizabeth class hasn’t completely died…

Watcherzero

Yeah I noticed the weight too, and that sort of weight is too much to be launching drones from a destroyer.

Could potentially be for an Amphibious support ship, ie helicopters and fuel drones.

Joe16

For sure, this is for a flat top of some description or another.
I think they’re looking ahead to loyal wingmen and tanker drones, for the amphibs as you say in the nearer term and potentially for a mid-life refit of the QEs in 15-20 years. We’re unlikely to have the money for those airframes before then anyway!

David

How much would a refuelling drone weigh?

Supportive Bloke

A lot with a useful load of fuel.

Ideally you want the F35 to take off with say 25% fuel load to reduce engine wear and then fully tank off – so that will be about 6,000kg of fuel or more if you are using drop tanks.

That way you can take off with max weapons load without thrashing the engine to death.

Joe16

For reference, the USN’s refueling drone, the MQ-25 is intended to carry just shy of 7,000 kg of available fuel out to 500 nm and be roughly the same dimensions as a Super Hornet. No statement on its takeoff weight with that fuel load though. Apparently 7,000 kg is the same fuel load as a Super Hornet with maxed out drop tanks and onboard fuel load, so we’re probably talking about a similar weight to that aircraft, which is 21,000 kg with a standard combat loadout and a 29,000 kg max takeoff weight. a 3-1 or 2-1 weight ratio for… Read more »

Jon

Fully loaded the Boeing one is right in that ball park.

Steve R

I’m not a fan of a navalised Tempest, especially if it had to be STOVL. That drives up the cost significantly, which then puts off customers = fewer orders, again = increased costs.

In terms of flight capabilities the Tempest should be as simple as possible, like the F35a (no carrier takeoff, STOVL etc) to keep costs down and partners and export customers on side. That’s the difference between the RAF getting 200 of them vs maybe 90.

Jon

BAEs would kill it

Joe16

Given the number of allied navies who’re wanting to get into the carrier game at some level or another, I’d want to really consider the options and costs before discounting navalisation completely. Off the top of my head Italy, Japan, South Korea, India and Australia are all operating or building flat tops that could take a navalised 6th Gen fighter (I’m discounting France, because they’ll only operate a domestic product). Italy’s commitment to the Tempest project and the information sharing with Japan, may well mean they’d be interested in something carrier capable. I’d agree that the complexities of STOVL make… Read more »

David Buckley

Or… with an eye to the future the MOD are thinking about how to practically add air-air refueling, supply and loyal wingman capability.

Matt

That’s where my thoughts led me as well. One issue with the F35B is its relatively short range. An air to air refueling drone is perfect. Having no pilot would save on weight of the pilot as well as all the manual flight control gear, seat, canopy and monitors etc.
Loyal wingman, again it would be a great lightweight addition to the air group with a practical launch and recovery solution. Really excited to see where this leads.
[email protected]

john melling

Someone, please poke me in the eyes… as I seem to be reading cat and traps

For what? UAVs or are we changing our mind on the F35?

David Buckley

the rare and elusive joined up thinking

DRS

Was thinking about this before. We did this already have something when looking at options for electromagnetic launch for the carriers back in 2005/10. EMCAT:

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2014/05/whatever-happened-emcat/

http://geneva-globaldefence.blogspot.com/2010/07/converteam-develops-catapult-launch.html

Admittedly this is launch only (2nd link has video)

Maybe off the main runway and ramps to starboard we can have 1 or 2 lines for launch. For recovery we still have enough space for an angled deck as well with perhaps the ropes having the ability to be “sunk”/retracted into the main structure so they are not impacting Ship Bourne Rolling Vertical landing if that becomes a thing with the F35B.

Lordtemplar

If i remember correctly, they already did a study for retrofit of Catobar and that was estimated to cost £1.5 billion for both ships. I expect EMALS will be much more expensive
Lastly the QE class only produce about 110MW of power (2xRR Trent 30 turbines @38MW and 4 Wartsila diesel @10MW) , is that enough juice for EMALS considering US carriers produce significantly more power at +600MW?

DRS

Doesn’t have to be full on, more for drones and smaller aircraft – we did this work already. Search for EMCAT Converteam thinkdefence to see what was looked at – there is a whole slide deck in there on what was developed back in 2007.

Supportive Bloke

The energy is stored and then released.

Energy can be stored kinetically in flywheels or electrically in EV lithium battery / capacitor banks. All that is mature tech that is increasingly off the shelf.

It is the RMS energy consumption over 24hrs that actually matters not the peak energy consumption in launch. You don’t connect EMALS directly to the the power plant!

When EMALS was developed EV’s were limited to glorified milk floats.

Watcherzero

Electricity generation has moved on quite rapidly in the last couple of years with power packs for lasers. I believe rolls royce were working on a containerised high output electrical generator using a turbofan, that could be slotted in to an existing ship.

Supportive Bloke

Well I mused on this for a bit this and thought of a way of approximating the electrical energy required (other than going down the F = ma route). So here are my rough doodlings: I’m surprised at how little power is actually needed. I’ve used some very round numbers so it is easier to follow by backwards logic. So let’s sense test this. For instance my Tesla uses about 450kW at max acceleration of a 2,500kg vehicle in a 0-60 (60 = about 25m/s) of about 4s. The over deck speed needs to be 170kph which we would then… Read more »

Gunbuster

I’m sure I floated this as an idea a few weeks ago in some comments.. Fit a mini emal on the right of the ramp for drones and retain the ramp for F35.
The RN transformation strategy is heavily investing in drones so this makes sense and is an early toe dip into the waters for what’s possible.
With the issues Ford Is having the decision to not go for unproven emals seems to be the correct one.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Not a half bad idea. I doubt QE or PoWs decks will ever be so full that they need the aircraft stowage to the right of the ramp, would make sense to instal a small cat there. Where would the arresting wire go though?

expat

If this is for the QE class then isn’t there a problem. Assuming the F35B will continue to operate then parts of the deck would be unusable to launch and recover an F35B unless the EMALS installed is protected against hot exhaust of the F35B.

captain p wash

” A range of air vehicles” does the UK have anything other than F35B’s that are suitable to go to sea ? Why Is everyone assuming it’ll be fitted to the Carriers ? What would be the cost for retrofitting these and upgrading power supply ? “A capability in 3-5 years” What do we actually know about the Type 32 ? we know there is talk of new automated capability and Drones seem to be the next big thing.

Watcherzero

Capacity for a 25 tonne aircraft being launched from a Type 32?
Not unless it looked suspiciously like an Izumo class (which displaces the same as our old escort carriers)

captain p wash

At this moment in time, You know no more than me about what may or may not be in the pipeline. Fixed Wing Aircraft used to be launched from Battleships, Helicopters were added to surface ships long after Frigates and Destroyers appeared, Drones and UAV’s are prominent in the minds of many, Who says they have to be launched from large vessels or for that matter, carried in large numbers ? Think to the future.

Watcherzero

Bi-plane Seaplanes (often folded wing) used to be launched from Battleships and Cruisers, they used a small launch rail and a catapult that could be disassembled and landed on the water where a crane would lift them back on to the ship again. They were extremely light (2-3 tonnes fully loaded) with a takeoff speed around 50-60mph which made the launch rail possible.

During WW2 the odd convoy escort ship had a similarly launched wheeled scout plane which was treated as expendable or only used where it could return to land after takeoff.

Captain P Wash

Ermmm, Yes, I know mate…….. WW1 and WW2 … Hurricanes too.

Trevor W Hogg

yep they were called MAC ships and CAM ships

Paul.P

Or Hyuga class maybe.

John Hartley

Well I have long wanted AAG on QE/PoW to give them STOBAR as well as STOVL capability.

Meirion X

The proposed weight limit of the traps, is just a bit beyond the weight of an empty Growler.
So No Growler!

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Geoffrey Roach

Wingman ? UAV.?..Naval version of the Mosquito with the F35 as mother ship ?.It would make a lot of sense and solve a lot of problems, not the least of which is how are we going to afford F35’s for both services if we still intend to do so.

Levi Goldsteinberg

The Type 32 is rumoured to be a conventional frigate but also with a drone mothership role. I’d bet diamonds to walnuts this announcement is a proof of concept for technology that will be integrated into Type 32

captain p wash

Blimey, someone else actually thinking ahead for a change……. I’m off to lay down !

Ron

Surely some work must have been done when the MoD looked at converting PoW to Cats and Traps, also if memory serves me correctly the original design was to have the possibility of cats and traps fitted at a later date. I’m not sure if it would be possibile or advisable to have a cat running along side the ski jump, it would limit deck space. Several types of aircraft can take of from a ski jump, I seem to remember seeing a F14 Tomcat do it. The main thing would be to get traps on board the QEs. Cats… Read more »

Dave Wolfy

ICCALS was proven some time ago, they have a website somewhere.

Robert Blay

I think people need to read the article before they get they Top Gun dvd out. This is about UCAV’s, not F18’s or F35C’s.

captain p wash

Exactly.

Glass Half Full

Hah! I feel the need, the need for … nice slow, economical, long endurance turboprop/fan powered AEW and AAR platform(s). The rather high launch and recovery weight capability suggest that MQ-25A and E-2D could be supported by such a system, in addition to other large unmanned platforms. The operating cycle for such aircraft would be low versus fighter sorties with F-35B. Supporting a loyal wingman capability would probably change that assumption though, presuming availability in numbers. So the RFI would seem to help inform on the system availability and practicalities for supporting such an option. However, while it might be… Read more »

Challenger

Haha – predictable surge of people wanting to drag the whole F35C saga back up!

This will clearly apply to future UAV’s and potentially on a lot more vessels than just QE and PoW.

Plenty of variation in size and weight in designing UAV’s which should offer a bit more freedom beyond large steam/electromagnetic catapults and standard arrestor wires when looking at solutions.

captain p wash

Exactly again.

Crabfat

Thought you were going to lie down…?

Captain P Wash

I did but the excitement was too much !

Robert Blay

Well said that man ???

Meirion X

Agreed!

Billythefish

It will be for a next generation ship – not QE class.

Captain P Wash

Yup.

Ron5

nope – specifically for the QEs.

Simon m

I think that this is a smart move a full EMALS system was too expensive when considered. There is no reason the mod shouldn’t dip it’s toe in the market every so often to see if anything has changed. In fact it would be irresponsible for them not too cats & traps were never ruled in or out. They were always considered considering the long service life of the carriers. Considering report on F35B expense & issues. It’s worth looking at the option before we order anymore & if something turns up that doesn’t quite meet the spec it may… Read more »

DRS

We have already done this. EMCAT/ EMKIT from Converteam 2007 to 2013. https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2014/05/whatever-happened-emcat/ for drones and smaller craft perfect put it the right of the main ramp. Can then do both . Trap is either straight down the main line or angled deck.

David Barry

Well, UK AF receive loads of extra dosh and immediately float an idea…

How much is this costing?
How much are the evaluation team costing?

Did the extra wedge solve the MOD budget worries? No.

And now off they go and spend money they don.t have.

Others have posited QECs and/or T32 will benefit.

Given the LPDs will need replacing and no one has any idea on the Litoral Strike Ships, could this technology be aimed at this project?

James

It is amusing, RN gets an extra few billion in the budget, should be solve the current budget black hole? Heck no that can continue as was, let’s blow the money on as many ideas as we can!

Ron5

Not new news, MoD has been soliciting input from industry on how to launch and recover loyal wingman type drones for some time.

I predict we will see an announcement for the production of loyal wingmen as part of the defense review. I’d favor joining the Australians with their Boeing drone but being british that would be far too simple and logical.

Daniele Mandelli

Calm down all, Calm down.

Nothing to do with QEC or changing to F35C!

Captain P Wash

Mate, I fear you are wasting your time on that one, we seem to be fixated with the whole Cats and traps, Carrier/F35 subject once again ! ….. Bring back the Harriers, Bring back the Fairy Gannet, bring back National Service……

The Artist Formerly Known As Los Pollos Chicken

It’s like the blue light emitting insect killing light thingy majiggies the fly or in this case the “let’s not bother to read the article properly and get our wee panties all twisted thinking the RN are wanting F35C” crew just see the blue light and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz gone into frenzy of high grade horse shite .no we need more Michael Winner Calm injected into the discussion . Surely this move from the navy should be welcomed a small outlay asking the private sector to come up with some ingenuity for potential future use something we are rip roaringly good at… Read more »

Captain P Wash

Here, Here………….

Daniele Mandelli

With you on Gannet! How’s about going further on AEW and trying to launch a Shackleton off the QEC!!! ??

Captain P Wash

I heard they were secretly Calving Burgs and mixing Pykrete on South Georgia……….. Might just be a rumour though.

Ron

True, it is logical for the MoD to see what is out there and what is needed. When I think that the T32s are meant to be mother ships it is probable that the Cats and Traps is for that project. It would give minimum flight deck size and power plant needed. The RFI could also be aimed at looking at the requirements of the LSS or dare I say a replacement for Albion Bulwark. The MoD/RN could go down the road of a type of LHD for these vessels. Who knows possibly future RN ships could all have a… Read more »

ChariotRider

Hi Ron,

Just a quick point on the T32. It is slated as a conventional frigate so will not have a big flight deck. It is also slated to be a UAV mother ship, but UAV irratingly has TWO meanings as I am sure you are aware. Unmanned Air Vehicle OR Unmanned Autonous Vehicle, the latter could be a submersible, surface or air vehicle. Marry the conventional frigate to the latter meaning for UAV and you have a very flexible and potentially cost effective enhanceed T31…

AS for the rest of your point – yup I agree…

Cheers CR

Jonny

Can’t believe I’m looking forward to a defence review 🙂

Andrew

Sure it’s time to worry again even if Boris has put more money in what are we to lose jonny

Herodotus

That’s lockdown for you…a bit sad really!

John Hampson

I had numerous discussions years back, until I got fed up with being told I knew nothing, that the F35 was turkey and the program had already failed. If anything shows that the program has not delivered, it is not that the US has already developed a 6th gen replacement but the recent reports that in addition to buying F-15’s the US is also now even considering buying F-16’s. It is now a real possibility that the F-35 will never reach full rate production. I suggest that the sooner a replacement for the RN’s F-35B’s is developed the better. The… Read more »

Peter S

Yes. The tests were carried out in a way that fans of the A10 and others claimed were wholly rigged in favour of F35: no low flying, no targets of opportunity, minimal use of A10 gun, no test of sustained operation.
There seems to be a growing concern about the operational costs of F35 which could lead to a drastic reduction in orders. Son of F22?

Meirion X

Talking Rubbish again, putting it mildly!

Peter S

Your lack of interest in verifiable facts goes a long way in explaining your unique blend of ignorance and stupidity.

John Hampson

The degree to even consider possibilities by some on here is sometimes remarkable, especially people posting here are supposed to be making a contribution not massaging their ego’s.

Meirion X

Just speaking of Yourself again!
Just carry on making a fool of Yourself!
And working hard for the Kremlin!

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
TrevorH

No.

Meirion X

I am disappointed You have believed All the misinformation about the F-35 Program!

The new proposed replacement for the F-16s are to replace the National Guard operated F-16s across the States.
The majority of F-16 in the US are operated by the National Guard.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
John Hampson

And the F15’s??? The USAF said they would never buy another aircraft that wasn’t stealth.

Meirion X

The USAF have numbers of F-15C/Ds that are reaching airframe lifetime limits, that are needed to suppplement the F-22s due to the insufficient buy of only 180 F-22s.

John Hampson

Aviation Weekly 21st Jan 2021. That broke the news , quote, “U.S. Air Force officials are talking about ordering new Lockheed Martin F-16s two decades after signing the last production contract.” It continued, ” Over the previous two decades, Air Force leaders consistently called for transitioning their roughly 2,100-strong stable of fighters to an all-stealth fleet of Lockheed F-22s and F-35s.” So why are the UA AIR FORCE now considering buying a 50 year old design if the F-35 program delivering on its promises? NOWHERE does the article which mention the National Guard. Even if the NG did buy new… Read more »

Meirion X

You need to ask the Americans why they got an Air National Guard then!
Every state has got one, did you not know?
George Bush serve in a State Air National Guard.
ANG units were deployed over in the Gulf, in the Gulf War.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
John Hampson

You have answered the question yourself. Your point that the ANG is used in external conflicts sort of makes the excuse you provided that the F16’s are for the ANG not the USAF meaningless.

Meirion X

Both the USAF and ANG wings, deploy F-16s in the States and overseas. Some
USAF F-16s are deployed in Italy, 2 Squs, I have Not seen any plans to replace them with F-35A, unlike their plans for the UK to replace the F-15E. So maybe a F-16 replacement, as Italy based F-16s have a fighter role.
The F-15E has a similar role to the F-35A, deep strike.

e.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
TrevorH

It’s not producing a f35 replacement. The USAF chief just recently committee to F35. This new 6th gen plane is reported to be an air superiority aircraft. Surely much of the computer and other technology from F35 will go into the new proposed plane.

Meirion X

Agreed Trevor!

Nigel Collins
John Hampson

Thank you.

Gareth Ellis

Cant be for the F35C as the weight requirements arent sufficient. Would be cool to see C-2A operating but its about 10% below the weight requirements for that,
must be for UCAVs and maybe unmanned refueling drones?

Peter S

The weight limit for launch would cope with a fully loaded F18. Is this partly driven by a realisation that the plan for 138 F35s is unaffordable? If not then it may be a longer term ambition to operate something like the X47 ucav. Seems odd timing.

Meirion X

The proposed weight limit of traps, would Not be able to catch a fully loaded F-18.

Peter S

Duh! They have to dump fuel and or weapons if they have to abort a take off. In normal operations the fuel will be at low levels and weapons gone to meet the max permitted landing weight.

Meirion X

The weight limit of the traps will just be beyond recovery weight limit of F-18, and F-35C, so most likely snap the cable each time or damage the internal AAR mechanisms.
The proposed system is very much to operate large drones from the carriers.
The CAT will also be shorter in length with that weight limit.
So drone AAF and AEW!

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Jason

Strange to make this request for information now. Way too early to get any useful information about a future carrier to replace the Queen Elizabeth class when they retire. This is at least 20-25 years from now, at least. Any information would be useless and out of date by then. Way too late to effect the QE class carriers given that they’re both just about in service and it’s impossible to change them and the aircraft operating off them now. I’d guess, and that’s all it is, that this is about UAVs operating off of perhaps the new Type 32… Read more »

James Fennell

For UAVs prsumably

Ron5

Of course

Jonathan

Very clearly this is not about moving our carriers from F35B to cats and traps, flying off F35C or some other such like F/A18 E/F, as the catapult is not going to launch 65-70,000lbs of full loaded fighter.

Having a catapult/arrestor for new heavyweight unmanned vehicles is a very very good idea indeed and if it can be fitted to an Elizabeth without interfering with F35B ops then well done clever chaps.

Meirion X

Agreed!

BB85

What is the point in wasting money on such a review when we already know the ball park cost will not have changed from 5 years ago and we are not going to spend anywhere near $1bn to enable this capability. If we want to review in 10 years time to see if the cost has come down as part of a mid life update fair enough but this is just pissing away money for the sake of it.

Captain P Wash

It’s nothing to do with the Carriers…… Jeese Chaps……

ETH

That’s not a given, considering a requirement is ‘to be fitted to a ship within 3-5 years’.

Captain P Wash

Reckon ? ….. What Aircraft do we have ?

ChariotRider

Hi ETH

I would suggest that this timeframe may be to simply to filter out wildly optimistic / futureristic claims, rather indicate any particular platform.

Cheers CR

ETH

I see your point, that would probably make more sense 🙂

Ron5

It’s everything to do with carriers. The navy wishes to fly loyal wingman drones alongside F-35s in the mid 20’s timeframe.

Captain P Wash

It’s OK Stating Your Opinions mate but what about giving Facts and Figures to back it up ?

Ron5

How about you do some reading of technical press like Flight, Aviation Week or Janes which have reported on this topic several times over the last year. Would serve you better than just pulling random thoughts out of your …

Daniele Mandelli

Great news if true Ron regards LW / LANCA types if we can get them alongside what will be limited number of F35B.

Captain P Wash

If True. No Facts or Figures forth coming yet, just the normal insults from Ron.

Pete

My experience is that the cost basis of technology, engineering and innovation should be recalibrated every 5 years or so. UAV Technology is advancing in leaps and bounds as is sensor quality v range v weight. This study appears to be to reconsider the enablers to facilitate an augmented capability to work alongside and enhance the F35b capability…..may be for QE class…may be for ano class. Time will tell.

ChariotRider

Yup!

Nice calm, common sense post.

All in all not much to get excited about. 🙂

Cheers CR

Pete

Cheers

Richard

Given that:
The QE Class has a 50 year designed service life
We keep them around that long
There are no leaps in VTOL tech
We want/are able to keep them up to date and effective

It doesn’t seem conceivable that they won’t at some point be equipped with a CATOBAR system of some sort, even if it’s limited to UAVs. SVTOL only just seems too limiting in the long term.

borg

Autonomous Launch Platforms towed behind Type 32’s into Conflict zones, let loose under their own power, launching Drones.

RobW

So how many of you actually read the article before posting? Not many it seems!

I like Top Gun as much as the next guy but this isn’t it.

Cats and traps for potential future UAVs. Good news though.

Captain P Wash

Read it, understood it, thought about it, worked it out…….. Time frame, types of aircraft, Costs and downtime, Political Back tracking…… pretty much rule out QE and POW. But apparently I’m wrong. I guess we’ll see eventually.

RobW

I don’t think you are wrong. Might be for a support ship to launch UAVs within a carrier group but I highly doubt it will be for the carriers due to cost.

Captain P Wash

Would be @ £2 Billion by now….. That buys an awful lot of Type 31’s or Type 32’s with a different, simpler design ? Just how I’m seeing it though.

ChariotRider

Hi Captain,

I would suggest that it is asking for information to support some kind of future scanning effort or early concept study. Limiting the timeframe could simply be to keep everyone’s feet firmly planted in the world of the possible. There is a real risk of getting lots of wild dream world statements back, especially in a fast developing area such as EMALS /UAV’s.

It is an entirely sensible low cost way of keeping your fingers on the pulse of technological developments.

Fun reading though.

Cheers CR

kin

Could be useful if the cat was on the port side and the ski jump displaced just slightly starboard

Johan

Boeing MQ-25 Stingray CBARS
lookup this thing’s specs and something might just click.

What is the F35b Achilles heal? QinetiQ been firing drones for a while now,

Paul.P

Yes, I think this could well be the sort of thing they have in mind. Interesting that the flight video has been removed from this web site.

https://www.baesystems.com/en/product/taranis

Is the idea that T32 will be a kind of affordable ‘through deck cruiser’ perhaps; a reincarnation of Ocean.

Michael Hannah

From what I can understand from an American colleague who has an involvement. The problem with EMALs is not the actual catapult. It has functioned pretty well from day one. It is the control of the enormous amount of energy required to accelerate a fighter from standstill to flying speed in such a short space of time. The biggest problem is maintenance. With an old steam catapult it was relatively easy to work on as they could easily and quickly vent the steam but with EMALs you have a mind boggling amount of stored energy and no easy way to… Read more »

Andrew

Whoa……

comments about new carriers, F35C’s type 32 with cats and traps!!!!

we are talking about the MOD here, so a bare minimum investment to provide a minimum capability for launching/recovering large drones, presumably from the QE & POW, nothing more nothing less!

Captain P Wash

Andrew, Tell us the facts then. Tell us what you know.

Captain P Wash

I’ll just throw this in. UXV Combatant. A concept from some years ago, @8000 tons, 155mm main gun, VLS, Flight deck for UAV’s, UACV’s,Drones, VSTOL and Helicopters. Pretty darn useful if you ask me. What do we know about Type 32 again ?

Last edited 1 month ago by Captain P Wash
Ron5

We know that its a line in the Navy’s future budget aimed at increasing the size of the frigate fleet and that the Navy has done nothing in terms of defining what it needs to do and what it will look like because its still many years away.

DaveyB

Where’s this 155mm gun coming from?

Captain P Wash

The UXV Combatant was a Design Concept. Ask me another.

expat

 I recall the concept, the Italians have the San Giorgio-class @8000 tons

Dave Wolfy

ICCALS was proven to work, reliable and probably much cheaper.

Josh P

Key point in the RFI is the maximum takeoff weight they’re looking at of 25 tonnes. F-35C is up to 32 tonnes takeoff weight. Clear indication they’re looking at other capabilities. 3-5 year timescale says that they’re not thinking about Tempest as suggested. Large, currently in-service, UAVs is exactly where this is pitched. Which platform they’ll be fitted to is a good question; I can’t see past the QE class getting the capability as the only other option is ALBION/BULWARK. Nothing else really offers the deck space for a catapult that large. I think Johan, below, makes a good suggestion… Read more »

Steve

I don’t think it would be Albion class as any aviation activities would be extremely limited without a hanger. Potentially the new assault ships they were talking about, but I think the QE class makes most sense.

expat

 San Giorgio-class or similar for the T32?

Julian ADAMS

If it is to add a mid position cats for a drone tanker or drone AEWC, which does not effect the ski ramp or F35B operations. This would allow launch and recovery
of USA and French aircraft. This was one of the original three deck layouts proposed. Pity it was not done at the time, this is not as big a alteration as removal of the skiramp.

expat

Could we be considering something like the San Giorgio-class for the T32

Paul.P

I think you might be onto something. There is a school of thought that in an assault you don’t want to put all your eggs in one LPD basket. One hit with a AShM and you lose everything. Plus the LPDs flat top area is too small. Many have suggested replacing Albion and Bulwark with Mistral / Canberra type LHDs but that would not solve the eggs – basket problem. Distributing the assault force over 2-3 smaller LHD vessels each of which can launch UAVs, helos and landing craft perhaps even the odd F-35B sounds like the way to go.

Jon

Brilliant news. We need some relatively small, auxilliary carriers, maybe 15,000 tons, built to commercial+ standards. Capable of launching and servicing MQ-25 tankers and Crowsnest, they would allow the QE class to optimize sorties.

Knowing the MoD, they’ll have to do at least two things, so look out for a totally inappropriate hybrid rather than just keeping it simple and cheap. (If they absolutely must, I hope they add some of the functionality of Dilligence, rather than anything with the word Littoral in it.)

I wonder if we’ll resurrect EM-KIT.

Nigel Collins

I’m wondering if we might just see Tempest flying from the carriers as well as a UAV/Taranis after reading this?

“02 MARCH 2021

UK issues RFI for shipborne aircraft launch and recovery equipment
by Richard Scott

Almost a decade after dropping plans to introduce catapults and arrestor gear on one of the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) is seeking to be appraised on shipborne assisted launch and arrested recovery systems applicable to both crewed and uncrewed air vehicles.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uk-issues-rfi-for-shipborne-aircraft-launch-and-recovery-equipment

Sandro carvalho

For me, can be to operate Sky Jump + Auxiliary catapult for one same take off operation.
Perhaps one form to allow UCAVs, including others traditionals fixed wings, like C-2, SH, Rafale, etc…

Small Catapult added to Ski jump, maybe be on solution to operate any kind off aircraft. The relation thrust/weight can be superated with this model.

Nick

I’m confused. Couldn’t we negotiate a contract to build Gripen Es in the UK with technology transfer and access to the source code? That way not only would the RAF get a welcome boost in aircraft numbers, we could also develop a navalised variant of the Gripen E. The Gripen E has a max takeoff weight of just 36,376 lbs according to Wikipedia, which is way below 55,000 lbs for the cats and 47,000 lbs for the traps. I know the difference in weight between the Rafale M and land-based Rafale is only 300 kg (approx 660 lbs) so even a… Read more »