A French Parliamentary report about the future French Aircraft Carrier has said that studies are underway to analyse the implications of a dedicated landing spot for F-35B aircraft.

The full section, titled ‘Interoperability with our allies’, from the report reads (translated by Google Translate) as follows:

“A strategic prerequisite, interoperability represents a centerpiece in military dialogue, even in peacetime. Thus, by the place that the aircraft carrier occupies in our contacts with the American armed forces, it constitutes a real rebalancing factor in the trilateral relationship with the United States and the United Kingdom, in the face of the special bond that unites them. .

 Designed for a high level of interoperability, the GAN holds a very strong potential for cooperation opportunity, particularly within the aircraft carrier escort, made up of at least three frigates, a tanker and a sub -nuclear attack navy, and expandable depending on the mission and threat status. Due to the level of excellence required to integrate into the extremely complex operations that the GAN can conduct, participation in the aircraft carrier escort is highly sought after by Allied navies, especially European navies. These demanding operational experiences and these infrequent opportunities for high-end engagement, as during the Clemenceau deployment in 2019 and Foch in 2020, forge very close links with our allies and draw them to a level of excellence that is valuable for designing the coalition operations of tomorrow.

 On the PA-Ng, interoperability with the US Navy will be based in particular on the installation of electromagnetic catapults and stop wires identical to those fitted to the USS Ford . Concerning the Royal Navy and the navies equipped with F35B fighters with short runway take-off and vertical landing, studies are underway to analyze the implications of a dedicated landing spot.”

The Future French Aircraft Carrier

For more on the Future French aircraft carrier, I recommend reading ‘What We Know About France’s Future Aircraft Carrier’ by Xavier Vavasseur , this can be found here.

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Dern

Interesting, I’m guessing F-35’s will only be able to land in Barrier Arrested landing or Vertical Landing modes, which means that allied F-35B’s would have to drop their munitions before landing on a CdGmkII. Which makes me think this would only be used as a last resort if UK/Italian/USMC etc aircraft can’t do a SRVL… Anyway interesting, I wonder if they’ll follow through with it and how they envison using it. I don’t see USMC/RN/MM F-35B squadrons embarked on board, so maybe just a fig leaf for joint exercises and the ability to go “see we can land a 5th… Read more »

Secundius

What gives you that idea, that USMC can’t perform SRVL’s. The first SRVL was performed on 6 October 2010, at the Pax River Naval Air Station…

Dern

I never said they couldn’t kiddo. Please read my post again thoroughly.

Secundius

Considering that Vertical Landings usually involve Ordnance Dumping into the ocean before landing, it’s only a matter of time that even the US Navy or USMC rethinks to policy of doing so, in the ever decreasing defense budgets. And I don’t think either the Royal Navy or French Navy are going to look kindly to the US, in dumping their limited supply of munitions…

Dern

…um… kid you really need to actually read my post before replying to it.

Joe16

I may be wrong, but I understood that F-35Bs don’t need to jettison a standard internal loadout for vertical landing. It was just if they’re carrying the larger class weapons on external points that they needed to?
Maybe I’m wrong, I’m pretty sure they say that they can take off (ski ramp) fully loaded, but I know that the dynamics are different. I thought the SRVL was for increasing the operational tempo and reducing strain on airframes? Maybe it doesn’t do that at all!

Dern

I believe the difference between a F-35B doing a Vertical Landing and a SRVL is something in the order of 1,400kg of fuel and weapons.
It does also reduce strain on airframes that’s true though.

Phil C

Would they not be able to land the USN C version on board? Would that not allow them to say “see we can land a 5th Generation Aircraft” on twitter?

Jack

Is the next French carrier to nuclear powered ? If not, how are they able to get away with a single island design ? Cheers.

Watcherzero

Yes its likely to be nuclear powered, primarily due to logistics. France lacks the overseas naval bases and support fleet to keep it fueled so nuclear gives it that range.

They are looking at 70,000 tonnes displacement a hull possibly being derived from the QE Class but with flat top and nuclear power.

Last edited 2 months ago by Watcherzero
Dern

Also pride thingy, despite the fact that Nuclear virtually guarentees that France will only have 1 Aircraft carrier, and thus condem itself to the same availability problems that CdG had, they set great stock in being able to say “We are one of only two nations that field nuclear powered aircraft carriers.”

Mr Bell

Yes but soon France will not be able to brag like that as China will have a nuclear flat top or 2 with their 004 and 005 model aircraft carriers now in design/ forecast.
Chances of a Russian token nuclear aircraft carrier? Project Storm?

Dern

Extremely unlikely for Russia, their budget can’t afford a new aircraft carrier without a major uplift, not only do they need to build a nuclear Aircraft Carrier (something they only contemplated at the height of the Soviet-US arms race) but they’d have to build a new facility that can handle a 70,000t+ ship. Remember that Kuznetsov was built in Ukraine (the facility remains in Ukraine even after the Russian invasion), and that the only facility capable of even refitting Kuznetsov sank a while ago. *edit* and remember that Kuznetsov is only about 50,000t. At any rate France will still be… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Dern
Steve

With Russia its also a military doctrine thing. Even in the cold war they did not field full carriers, because their focus was always more on land based combat and limiting the US ability to operate their carriers.

Dern

Bit of a chicken and Egg thing though, did doctrine influence industrial choices, or did industrial capabilities influence doctrine?
(The answer is it’s neither and both)

Joe16

Also an industrial support thing- they have a relatively sizable nuclear sector which also builds the reactors for their SSNs and SSBNs. Also building reactors for one or two carriers gives them extra work share to keep them running, kind of opposite to what we did in letting Barrow stagnate for a few years without any orders in the pipeline.

ETH

The primary reason for nuclear is to support France’s nuclear industrial base and (similar to CdG) perform as a test bed for the next SSN’s nuclear power plant. Whilst they do not have as sizeable a replenishment fleet as the UK this does not justify the immense cost disadvantage of nuclear IMO. Atleast, not for France.

TrevorH

Is it not the other way round ? That the SSN is used for the carrier? I mean a carrier has more space an a sub.

Mike

Problem is that they still need to replenish stores and fuel for on-board aircraft and crew. So when doing this, why not replenish any GT needed fuel? You can cruise for years but why when your stores of everything else you need are empty?

Dern

I’ve never honestly really thought that nuclear powered Aircraft carriers was such a great idea. Setting aside the whole nightmare of what happens when one is sunk in action, you have the fact that everything else needs to be replenished added in with the fact that nuclear power limits what ports you can put in too (unsurprisingly a lot of countries aren’t happy to have a nuclear reactor that they can’t inspect or control showing up off one of their ports) . Submarines that need to remain unsupplied and undetcted for their cruise yeah I get, Aircraft carriers, not so… Read more »

Steve

In peer warfare, its highly doubtful that carriers could operate as they would be sitting ducks from anti-ship missiles / subs.

Which means that carriers are mainly about a show of power and nothing says power than nuclear. Same for prestige, nuclear says ‘don’t forget about us’ which nations like France and the UK need in a world were their military forces just aren’t able to go toe to toe with the major nations.

Mark B

The first objective of the modern military is to deter aggression. NATO countries have deterred a lot of aggression in the last 70 years. Having a substantial navy especially for those who have a long shoreline seems only sensible.

With every day that goes by the carriers & their escorts are becoming better protected. F35 landing pads are just one indication of nations working together. I hope that western countries do more to defend their coastline.

OldSchool

Err I see. And how many major navies have carriers or are building them….lot of money just for show…….don’t think so.

Steve

Comes down to you have one so we must have one. Carriers are really only useful if your in attack mode, for defence it’s better to use land air strips and the more capable planes they allow. For attack you also massively prefer to use a neighbouring country for the same reason. They are massively expensive status symbols, that are rarely actually needed. However a US carrier task force is a solid show of power / bargaining chip against countries that don’t have the capacity to neutralise them but could could be taken on by the US with out using… Read more »

Ian

They are used to provide a power-projection capability that is effective against militarily inferior opponents, and can be used as a visible show of intent- essentially gunboat diplomacy. The USN has got a lot of use out of them over the past few decades doing exactly that- despite Adm Rickover’s (probably correct) assessment back in the ’70’s that they wouldn’t last 48 hrs in a war against the Soviet Union (which would have simply nuked them).

Dern

That’s a mighty big claim, lets see if the next war bears it out (I suspect you are wrong and most naval powers seem to think so too).

Steve

The US is worried about it and is looking to invest instead into smaller carriers. Let’s hope we don’t have another war to find out and for sure not a peer one, the last peer war was probably WW2.

Dern

Because Ford cost them 13 billion USD, and even the US can’t really afford to drop 130 billion on a carrier fleet.

Jay

Exactly, sailors can’t eat uranium!

Jack

👍

Supportive Bloke

You mean like our trusty rusty Fort Vic?

We can get plenty of fuel into our QEC’s but solid store hmmme…

Andrew Deacon

Documents on another site suggest in order of preference they want:
1. 2 nuclear carriers
2. 2 conventional carriers
3. 1 nuclear carrier
4. 1 conventional carrier

Adrian

What is the relationship between single-island and nuclear?
I thought that was a purely logistical design aspect.

Paul T

The Picture shown is one of many possible configurations,id doubt that there was any relevance to the Island Arrangement.

The Big Man

It’s about whether you want all your exhaust in one place and subsequently all your energy generation close to each other. From a redundancy POV it makes more sense to spread out, hence the two islands on QEC class. Therefore any other vessel requiring two GT’s and DG sets would consider this rather than nuclear propulsion.

Dern

The two islands on the QE design are because of the two engine uptakes from the turbines. In practice there is no need for two islands for a non-nuclear aircraft carrier. For example look at USS Forestal, Giuseppi Garibaldi and Cavour, or even the Kutznetsov cousins. They’re all Non-Nuclear but have a single Island. The issue is the bigger your carrier becomes the more power you need to drive the thing, which means (if it’s non nuclear) more uptakes to facilitate bigger engines, and bigger engines means the uptakes are in more inconvienient places. This translates to effectively one of… Read more »

Pacman27

Having said that it is an amazing piece of British design to create 2 interchangeable islands..

personally I think the RN has nailed the design of this and the T26

Ian

I don’t think they’re interchangeable. One is used to run the ship and the other for flight operations.

ETH

Both FLYCO and navigation can be conducted from either island should one be damaged.

Adrian

interesting thanks for the response.
It’s surprising to me that the position of engine exhausts would have any impact on the positioning of the superstructure. I would have expected them to just route exhaust ventilation to somewhere a little more practical, and then do as they please above-deck – although I’m not a shipbuilder so it’s out of school for me.

Dern

The more you route exhaust ventilation, see option 3, the more internal volume you sacrifice, which means less space inside the ship for stores, crew, facilities, and aircraft hangars. You can and many designes do route exhaust ventilation, but it’s all a trade off: What’s more important topside deckspace or internal hull volume? And there are limits to what you can do, for example going back to the pr-war designs, several ships routed all their exhausts out along the side, and saved entirely on superstructure, but the loss of volume inside and the effects on aerodynamics on the deck where… Read more »

The Big Man

And when you are dealing with electric propulsion it does not matter where the energy generation location is as there are no prop shafts involved just cabling. Again, massive benefit for redundancy.

Dave G

Also the more complex the exhaust path, the harder it is to get the exhaust to keep going out of the ship…. on aircraft at least, this makes the engine work harder so less efficient. Depending on the design, i suspect you also risk fumes coming back into the ship if you get it wrong.

Dern

IIRC a lot of the early Japanese carrier designs had problems with this.

Japanese_aircraft_carrier_Ryūjō_underway_on_6_September_1934.jpg
Dern

Kaga:

Japanese_Navy_Aircraft_Carrier_Kaga.jpg
Dern

Akagi:

1920px-JapaneseAircraftCarrierAkagi3Deck_cropped.jpg
AlexS

Note that Italian Trieste LHD has 2 islands also.

Supportive Bloke

“ as during the Clemenceau deployment in 2019 and Foch in 2020“

George have I missed something here?

Clemenceau was withdrawn in 1998(?) scrapped 2009 so was this a ghost ship deployment or is the joke on us for not spotting that this is a Halloween spoof?

ETH

‘Clemenceau’ and ‘Foch’ were the names of French-led operations based around the CdG carrier strike group, if I recall correctly.

Supportive Bloke

Ah Ok Missed that small point.

Sorry George.

Mr Bell

I spotted that. I guess it was a French minister who made the statement who had literally zero awareness of current French navy active fleet.
He must have been aware of Foch and Clemenceau and thought they were still in service.
Similar cock ups have happened in the UK before around military equipment that was scrapped, decommissioned or sold off.

ChariotRider

Hi Mr Bell,

I also noted that but thought they might be Destroyers that I was note aware of given the minister was talking of ‘escorts’. However, as ETH says above they were the names given to deployments of the CdG.

https://news.usni.org/2020/01/23/french-carrier-strike-group-begins-foch-deployment

Cheers CR

ETH

The one major reason I can think of for fitting catapults to the QE class is future proofing the next aircraft. Come 2040 the UK will be the only large strike carrier operating country which does not operate 6th gen aircraft from said carriers. Would this not put the QE at somewhat of a disadvantage in any carrier based warfare?

Same goes for large unmanned platforms; France, the US and likely China will all operate large, unmanned weaponised UCAVs from their carriers whereas the UK will be falling behind.

Robert Blay

In the current financial climate, I wouldn’t get to excited about 6th gen operating from aircraft carrier’s anytime soon, or 2040. How on earth will France be able to afford a brand new nuclear carrier, and a fleet of 6th gen fighters, when it can barely afford a handful of Rafales today. And like us, it’s economy is around 20% smaller due to COVID-19.

Dern

Possibly by co-financing it with other European powers (note I don’t actually think this will happen).
But given the ever closer ties between Germany and France the idea of a joint-funded Aircraft Carrier isn’t that far fetched. I think the Marinefileger would like a flattop to fly off of, Germany can start to power project, and the French can afford maybe 1-2 new nuclear aircraft carriers and some shiny new aircraft to go with it, and German voters can feel good about it because it’s fostering European intigration. Everyone wins (which of course is why it won’t happen).

Robert Blay

😄 Exactly.

Jonathan

Agree, it’s taken well over 20 years from inception/start of program just to get the first navalised fifth generation fighters operationally deployed at squadron strength and that’s just the one fighter flying for two nations….most of the other carrier based nations are still 5-10 years from operational deployment of 5th generation naval air power…France does not even have a plan. 6th generation is just power point and snazzy concept descriptions at present and will likely be for at lest a decade before even the first prototypes/early production models start the long road if testing.

Robert Blay

I think that is the reality too, despite the advances in technology and manufacturing techniques, the idea that a 6th gen platform, manned or unmanned is suddenly going to be ‘affordable ‘ is a bit far fetched to say the least. And with COVID likely to be around for a few years yet, I think governments will have more pressing things to spend the money on. I think modified F35’s and UCAV’s are a more likely outcome for our combat air power over the next 40 + years. And let’s be honest, Russia or China has nothing in it’s arsenal,… Read more »

Jonathan

Yes I really think Covid is going to be nail on development of pretty much any major projects going forward. It’s going to take years to get some form of normalised economic outputs and government spreading.

4th watch

I dont like to emphasise the politics of all this, but to be sure Macron is fiercely competitive vs the UK.
That means they will go for Anything bigger than the QE class carriers so probably 80,000t and 310m.
Already they struggle to escort the CDG. Few Foreign ports would allow berthing.
The thing I do like is they are aiming to build their next fighter a/c (6gen) larger and CATOBAR.
My guess is they can only afford one, unless they strip the Maginot Line! Interesting to see how the eventual ship turns out..

Sean

Well Italy and Japan will be in the same position as their carriers are designed for the F35B aircraft rather than car and flaps. Not sure why you assume all UCAVs would need trap and cats too, some pretty large ones that are currently available that handle VTOL.
Of course if faced with weather conditions like those of the South Atlantic the QE would have the advantage. Back then the Harriers could still take off and kand, but the aircraft on the Argentine carrier couldn’t launch due to the bad sea state.

Jonathan

I think predicting what will and will not be flying from our own and other carriers in 20 years time is going to be difficult. I’m not sure I would be thinking about any six generation Response and getting left behind. We are after all still in the early life/stages of 5the generation fighter development and production. We are whatever the ambitions and pretty graphics produced unlikely to see any six generation fighters with an ICO or operating at squadron strength off carriers before the early/mid 2040s at best.look how long the USN has been taking to get the F35C… Read more »

Robert Blay

They haven’t any. Zero 5th gen. I don’t downplay the threats China and Russia represent, especially to regional stability. But they are way behind with 5th gen technology, let alone 6th gen, or putting anything usable to sea. I personally think, and I may be wrong, but I think the cyber threat and unconventional warfare/industrial espionage, is a bigger threat from China then any glued together fighters with smokey old Russian engines 😆

Meirion X

Mig 57?

Robert Blay

Yes, but another one plagued with problems and delays , and not lived up to expectations, and I think only 11 have been delivered to date.

BigH1979

At least we have the kit here and now (and before Covid turned up). And QE and POW can be adapted when Emals and AAG are mature. And whats more one of them can be adapted whilst the other is still deployable. A bird in the hand….etc.

Levi Goldsteinberg

Perhaps they should pour some money into patching the holes in their impotent logistics fleet before splashing the cash on a lone carrier. Those four replacement replenishment ships aren’t going to pass muster

Paul.P

Yes, forward bases, the Tides and a brace of non nuclear QE class with F-35B has been a successful strategy for a modest but credible UK sovereign global carrier strike capability.

Basra

It’s one of the amazing things about the CVF F35B combo, it’s so adaptable and interoperable than the only other western navy operating CATOBAR wants a place for it as well.

geoff

Good Morning Gentlemen Some questions-for a vertical landing then, what is required is an uprated staging point in terms of heat resistance to cope with the temeperatures generated by the nozzle configured vertically? For a conventional landing in an F35B, why should any further modification be needed? The rolling landing technique is at a much lower speed than that at which an arrestor assisted landing is made and the QE class can accomodate this within the length of its deck, so why won’t the French carrier be able to do the same. Also, with only one carrier as pointed out… Read more »

Paul T

Good Morning Geoff -Indeed the only obstacles to the F35b using the SVRLTechnique on a possible Future French Carrier are firstly the Physical Size of the Ship and its Deck and secondly any specific Landing Aids needed ( Bedford Array etc ) ,im sure the first wont be a problem,as for the second i dont have that knowledge.Also it would be good for UK plc to sell the French the Special Deck Coatings.

Secundius

“Thermion” (i.e. Aluminum Oxynitride) is extremely expensive to apply on to Flight Decks and take up to 6-days to cure properly under controlled conditions…

geoff

Hi Secundius. Correct! I have had some experience with these coatings in an industrial setting and they are expensive and finnicky finishes to work with, however i would imagine even the deck coatings on conentional carriers would require some heat resistance and high film build so the HR finish would only constitute an ‘extra over’ and in relation to the total build cost would not be a significant sum

Secundius

I know on the “QE” and “PoW” only ~14,700-square meters flight deck, approximately only 11% of it has Thermion coating in addition to Titanium Oxide and Chromium Oxide, whereas the US Navy doesn’t use chromium in the thermion mix…

Dern

For SRVL I have a feeling that the barrier arrest is a problem. If you watch videos of F35B’s landing that way they still have their jet nozzle turned down. I have no evidence for this, but if decks and improvised landing sites need work done to stop F-35’s ruining them when landing, I suspect arrestor wires won’t fare too well either.

geoff

Morning Dern. Good points.It was the same for the Harrier I would imagine. they were often touted as being able to land almost anywhere, especially in an emergency but obviously there are a lot of caveats to watch out for in such landings. I should imagine that the possibility of starting a fire on the ground below was always a possibility-I wonder if such an incident ever occurred?

The Big Man

Sub-lieutenant Ian Watson managed to land a Harrier on top of shipping containers on board the Alraigo, before sliding off onto the deck and florist van below.
Containers looked in pretty good shape afterwards. No fire or anything, but Lady Luck probably played a fair part in the success.
6 June 1983.

Daveyb

The F35Bs shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) is designed so that the aircraft can return to the carrier at a higher all up weight, i.e. carrying weapons, fuel etc. The aircraft is supposed to be able to land vertically with a full internal weapons load, but I think that will also be dependent on how much fuel it is also carrying. The Sea Harrier FRS1, was the first fixed wing aircraft to do SRVL. It was done when a Sea Harrier was hit in the tail by ground fire and the pilot was unsure if the tail reaction jets were… Read more »

Dern

I just replied to a comment above, I think the difference is on the order of 1,400 kg in terms of how much fuel and weapons can be carried for SRVL compared to VL. VL still can be done with some weapons therefore, just not as much as SRVL by any means. My main issue isn’t that the F-35 would have to use the barriers, it clearly doesn’t have to if it can do a SRVL on QE. My main question is “Would a F-35 doing an SRVL on a French carrier destroy the arrestor gear with it’s jet nozzle… Read more »

geoff

A footnote- my 1978 copy of Jane’s has an artists impression of Invincible with a flat deck and helicopters thereon. It is of course possible,even probable that the Admirals planned to operate Harriers from the beginning without letting on, and that the ski ramp could not be included in the drawing as it would have given the game away!

JohnN

If I remember correctly, the Invincible class were at one time referred to as ‘through deck cruisers’, flown under the radar so to speak?

Sort of how the Japanese Izumo class carriers have been referred to as ‘helicopter destroyers’.

What’s in a name hey?

Cheers,

Jonathan

Yes they had no “official plans” for fixed wing naval aviation, it after the cancellation of the CVA 01 fleet carriers that they very slowly evolved into the light fleet carriers they became. sort of twisty invincible timeline: 1960-66 ASW cruisers with flight deck for helicopters ( around 6-7 thousand tons). 1966-1970 12 to 17.5 thousand ton missile armed cruiser with around 6 sea kings, largest design is a “ through deck cruiser” 1970- stabilised design requirement into a through deck command cruiser at around 18.5 thousand ton (TDCC). 1973- final order of a 19 thousand ton CAH helicopter carrying… Read more »

Meirion X

Also Geoff, the Sea Harrier was still in development at that time of 1978.

Dave Wolfy

Could a F35 do a rolling landing on a carrier without the Bedford array?

My other consideration, a nuclear powered carrier is part of the replenishment fleet. As such, it makes some sense.

Ron5

Already has.

Dave Wolfy

I realise that, but a Bedford Array is required for a reason.
Would there be any use having a landing spot without the array?

Ron

Just thinking out loud, if France went with a CAT and Trap version of the QE using both EMAL and the advanced arrestor gear systems possibly we could look at the development and costs and then possibly build them into the QEs when they go in for an extended refit in say ten years time. This would future proof the carriers for aircraft and UAV development the EMAL and AAG would be a tested and proven system and as far as I am aware the EMAL will work on the ski jump giving an even better return on the investment… Read more »

ChariotRider

Hi Ron, I have often thought that a Ski Jump in combination with a cat would allow the best of both worlds, but I read something a little while ago that suggested that it wouldn’t work. The article, rather irritatingly, didn’t explain why. The first thing that occured to me was that the nose gear on the aircraft would not survive the higher speed contact with the ramp, but I’d be surprised if that was the case given the landing loads nacal undercarriages are designed to survive. Another thought was the article may have been assuming the cat would have… Read more »

Ron

CR, hi, I did some checking with friends from Siemens a company that is also looking into electro magnetic rail systems they explained that there is no apparent reason why EMAL should not work on a ski jump. However as you pointed out the landing gear would need to be strengthend. Possible as an idea would be to use the method that was used on the old Ark Royal and the Buccaneer where they were cat luanched in a nose up attitude. It is my personal opinion that the first stage should be to install traps and a crash barrier,… Read more »

Secundius

Always assuming that Siemens is used and not “Generally Atonic” (I.e. General Atomics)…

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy

Not the catapult bit, but they proved that existing aircraft can use a ramp.

ChariotRider

Hi Dave, I am not surprised that using a ramp on its own is not a problem, it was the combination of cat and ramp that was reportedly an issue. Although as I said in my original post existing undercarriage designs for naval aircraft should be able to cope. The article I read made the point but did not explain the reasons why they thought the combination would not work. (I wish I could remember where I read it!) I have often thought that it would work fine as the main problem is ensuring that the aircraft is capable of… Read more »

Daveyb

Yes, so long as the aircraft has a greater than 1:1 power to weight ratio. If the power is less the aircraft will stall after leaving the ramp.

Peter S.

There are growing calls on a number of US defens(!)e sites for a change of approach to the aircraft carrier fleet. Partly this stems from the huge cost of the new Ford class but also from a move to more distributed power projection. Hence the calls for a new non nuclear Essex type carrier.
Given the experience of ski jump operations the USMC is enjoying on QE2, F35b equipped ships would be the obvious choice, allowing the greatest possible interchangeability with allies and the cheapest way of keeping or expanding its carrier fleet.

ChariotRider

Hi Peter,

It could make sense. The USS Gerald R. Ford is reportedly costing $13b, excluding development costs and the USS America LPH is costing about $3 to $4 billion each. On those numbers you could forgo a couple of Ford class and get 6 smaller 45,000 carriers.

The America class would need some development work has they would need different munitions and hangar layouts to facilitate a bigger F35b airwing. They would also need more engine power as the current design tops out at 20knots and wind over the deck matters…

Cheers CR

4th watch

Any sort of carriers need to be at least 60,000t, USS Forestall size. The RN has done the home work on this and with the distances of the Pacific, size certainly matters for USN.

Pacman27

Now that we have the uk, ASUS and Canada operating T26 it would be a game changer if the USN adopted this platform as well as the QEC class.

the level of interoperability that it would bring is very impressive as well as the fact they can buy 4 QEC for the same price as a Ford class.

if the US are really looking for more ships with great capability, look no further than the RN, who have been forced into innovating great platforms at a relatively low cost.

Paul.P

This makes sense. The F-35B is proving a key enabler in the projection of western values. In the same way that the QE carriers could routinely host USMC F-35Bs in support of joint operations it would make sense for France to be able to deploy their carrier in support of a US lead expeditionary force or in a European force with Italian or Spanish F-35Bs for example. In light of Turkish assertiveness in the Aegean and Libya and Russian and Turkish presence in Syria these nations, lead by France ought to assert their control over the Med.

Rob

Best thing for the Marine national to do would be to build 2 QE class carriers & F35B and some Tide class tankers and FSSS and then fully integrate with the RN. If western Europe had 4 carriers and 100F35s that would be a mighty deterrent. Never happen though because the French will never not buy French

Dern

HMS Queen Elizabeth, HMS Prince of Wales, Giuseppi Garibaldi, Cavour, Juan Carlos Primero, Charles deGaulle. Well that’s more than 4 alreay 😀

Peter S.

Although there is an admirable buy French policy, France has bought foreign kit for niche roles. Before Rafale M , French aircraft carriers used Super Etendards for strike and US F8 Crusaders for air defence. These served until 1999. The Charles de Gaulle is on the small side for a strike carrier (even after stretching) so a new nuclear powered carrier will need to be bigger and costs may well match those of Ford. France couldn’t afford a second CdeG class and I don’t see how a new nuclear supercarrier will be afforded. With UK, USA, Italy, Japan and maybe… Read more »

Dern

Australia won’t be operating the Canberras as a carrier any time soon, too much internal retooling needed apparently to fly fixed wing off them.

Secundius

They don’t have too! The “Canberra’s” can also be used as a convenient Refueling and Rearmament platform…

ChariotRider

Probably not as I believe there are issues with deck stength on the Canberra Class particularly with regards to heat. Estimates suggest that it would cost AUS$500m just to upgrade one vessel and that would compromise the Class’ LPH capabilities apparently. https://www.defenceconnect.com.au/maritime-antisub/4630-expanding-allied-interoperability-by-enabling-f-35-cross-decking The RAN is not keen on compromising their amphibious capability either. If Australia decides to go down the light fleet carrier route they may be better off looking at the Italian carriers. The Cavour is about the same size as the Canberra Class but crucially designed as a carrier with appariate weapon and aircraft handling to allow effective… Read more »

Secundius

One would wonder why those that purchased the “San Carlos I” type LHD with a 12* Ski-Jump Ramp IF no F-35B weren’t being considered to be using it. Maximum angle for a Turboprop type Aircraft is ~3* without the nose gear compressing and the propellor blade damaging the flight deck…

AlexS

The French already bought 4 resupply ships are based on Italian Vulcano Logistic Support Ship.
It has an amazing bridge with 360º windows.

Geoffrey Roach

Interesting though it may be but realistically I can’t see this carrier and it’s air group ever going to sea. You have to be talking in excess of £10 billion for one ship. Forty aircraft at £100 million each plus …..it goes on.
.If you cannot use aircraft to their full extent there is no point having the carrier’s and sadly that applies to the UK as well.

OldSchool

I confess I’m not sure I see any real value in the French carrier having a single F35b landing pad. Still perhaps they have their reasons.

What I do know tho is that when the French talk about ‘interoperability’ with their ‘allies’ what they’re really about is using said ‘allies’ for their own purposes. Remember the Stena – when we needed their support they said ‘Non’ – what a surprise……not.