Don’t worry, the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers are planned to remain in service until 2069.

The information came to light in the following response to a Parliamentary Written Question.

James Cartlidge, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, stated:

“The purpose of HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales is to provide the UK a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) capability. A CSG is a secure, versatile, agile and survivable, well-found sovereign operating base that exerts global influence through power projection, which, enabled by sea control and with minimal risk, delivers strike warfare against targets ashore.

On current plans the out of service date for the Queen Elizabeth Class carriers is 2069.”

On increasing the lethality of the vessels, James Heappey, Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, stated:

“Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Carriers are designed to embark and operate fixed wing and rotary wing assets that are able to conduct offensive and defensive roles. Additionally, the QEC Carriers are complemented by other platforms within a task force deployment that bring a range of additional offensive capabilities. Operational planning ensures that any deployment has the offensive capabilities it needs to deliver its mission.

A range of programmes across Defence will enhance the lethality of a QEC-led task group going forward and ensure the capability remains credible in the future.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Dave
Dave
11 days ago

Which means reserve by 2025! lol

Jack
Jack
11 days ago
Reply to  Dave

would not be a surprise….

DP
DP
11 days ago

…. and a single vessel replacement reaching IOC by 2090! 😆 Should I joke?

AlexS
AlexS
11 days ago
Reply to  DP

Spaceship capability hiatus from 2069 to 2090?

Dern
Dern
10 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

…well… technically we’re on a Spaceship Hiatus since 1971.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
10 days ago
Reply to  DP

… with 6 F-98s with no UK weapons

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
10 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Won’t be able to afford it.

dc647
dc647
11 days ago

You’ve published the story 8 days to soon!! You’ve ruined the joke 😃

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 days ago

Seriously, I wish they’d stop avoiding it. Get some additional defensive armaments on these carriers and they’ll be even more secure. Stop being overly reliant on all the other ships, subs, and platforms in a CSG. It’s just common sense, isn’t it?

Last edited 11 days ago by Quentin D63
Steve
Steve
11 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Especially when there is a serious lack of escorts. Pretty sure if we ever went to war there wouldn’t be enough escorts to go around and losses will happen due to it. Can’t really expect all available escorts to only be assigned to the carrier and nothing to cover anything else.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

It’s probably the same buggers dragging the chain with the GBAD! Thinking it can wait another day. Why wait!? Hope there’s more going on behind the scenes. We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt for a while longer. 😆

DJ
DJ
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Carriers are a rare & expensive commodity. Allies will usually provide escorts to add to carrier groups. Even USN often have allied escorts on long range carrier deployments. Many countries can field a frigate or better, not many can afford a carrier. The likes of Netherlands, Denmark, Norway etc have very capable escorts.

The problem really only exists in a UK only sense, such as a Falklands repeat. Otherwise, escorts are obtainable. Things like aircraft, not so much.

Steve
Steve
11 days ago
Reply to  DJ

If a war hits, allies will be focused on protecting their own logistic chain and not ours. In peacetime no problem but when the stuff hits the fan it’s everyone in it for themselves. No nation these days really has excess escorts, the US believes its short on what would be required for its logistics chain.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Every conflict since the end of the cold War has been part of a coalition. The two Gulf wars being very good examples of that and Afghanistan. Which is why we exercise with our allies so much and practice interoperability.

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

If a major war hits the carrier will be protecting their supply chains so they will be trying to protect the carrier….however anyone sometimes feels about it the defence of the European western democracies are intimately linked….The really big question mark for the future is European US levels of support for each other and if the US goes into hibernation as that would change the geostrategic picture dramatically.

Jim
Jim
11 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Having the US and Europe linked makes the west unassailable in Geo politics. The risk is that even a perceived weakening of the bond invites challenging powers to have a go a changing the status quo. The is exactly what happened in 1939-41 It’s also exactly what happened in 2022 with Russia in Ukraine. With the rhetoric coming out of Washington now it’s easy for China to interpret that to mean the US won’t support its Allie’s in East Asia if congress is having a hissy fit about a measly $60 billion in support for Ukraine. This is exactly what… Read more »

frank
frank
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

🙄

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
10 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Spot on Jim and it concerns me that Trump 2 to help shore up failing US corporations who have had it far too easy (are you listening Boeing, LM) wasting US dollars will tie ‘protecting’ Europe with substantial commitments to buying US weaponry, or other offset business to weaken Europes competitive edge. It’s the way he has always done business. Anyone who thinks Trumps ‘love of Britain’ as someone put it will in anyway alleviate any animosity to it (or others) ‘stealing’ what the US sees as its defence clients is being very naive. He will try every trick and… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I agree you have highlighted the key issue facing western civilisation. In my view both Russia and China are targeting the UK intensively with hybrid warfare in order to break the Atlantic relationship physically, diplomatically and economically in order to separate the UK from both the EU and the US and therefore the US from Europe – which extends eastward to Ukraine. We must cure our addiction to dirty Russian and Chinese money.

Expat
Expat
9 days ago
Reply to  Jim

tbh we’ve give Trump everything he needs to weaken NATO, there’s even support on this forum to only deploy close to our shores. But yet we expect US to come our aid. Even without Trump 2 thats very hard for a US leader to justify the one sided relationship.

Andrew D
Andrew D
11 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

👍

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I hope there’s a comprehensive plan to deal with what’s in Kaliningrad, which if loosed, could be very devastating at short notice. No GBAD anywhere in UK making ships, subs in docks, airfields, infrastructure, general population, all very vulnerable to any unannounced even announced conflict. Sorry, this a bit worse case scenario, but hopefully those in the know and in charge are covering all the bases (pun intended) literally! 😁

Last edited 10 days ago by Quentin D63
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Exactly and that is the overwhelming danger there is a large section of US voters who seem to think Europe is an entity they can do without. Short term maybe but if the US deserts Europe its own demise is inevitably set in motion I’m afraid. Sadly I will say that fact and the general assumption the US will always be around has been exploited by too many in Europe not to spend enough on defence. Russia is taking advantage of these factors and testing the glue that holds us together so anyone playing their game is beyond stupid and… Read more »

Expat
Expat
9 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

And what are we doing to give the US the comfort that we’ll be there for them? We’ve only just had countries commiting to 2% GDP and that took a war on our boarders. Politicians are talking about deploying to EU and ‘our patch’. Forget Trump how does any US leader sell that to an electorate as something that has value for them?

Jonathan
Jonathan
9 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I completely agree, Trump is using a kernel of truth in regards to European defence spending..all the western democracies in NATO should be turning up the defence expenditure to 3%, while hardening their economies against action from china…

Last edited 9 days ago by Jonathan
Simon
Simon
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Under nato command

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Our logistics and that of Western Europe will be pretty much identical so I don’t see anyone for the overwhelming scenarios going it alone. Britain is not going to operate a task force against a serious opponent on its own it would be combined operations, even during the War when European allies had sparse resources esp after occupation we had various ships operating alongside the Royal Navy.

DaSaint
DaSaint
9 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Disagree. Look at the Red Sea now. That’s a coalition. All it takes is 2 or 3 additional NATO ships to complement 2 or 3 RN escorts, and these carriers will be fine. They are the centerpiece of task groups.

That said, additional defensive armament won’t hurt. Phalans, RAM, SeaRAM, and counter-drone systems like VAMPIRE would all be of good use. My hunch is that when they get their angled decks and catapults, they will also get additional defensive systems in new sponsons.

Steve
Steve
11 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Although the only war we are realistically going to NEED to fight is against Russia and that wouldn’t need the carriers, no where to get them into range. Outside Russia it would be a war of choice, at which point we can choose how much we commit, so easy enough to cover the carriers only.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Really, ever heard of China?

Greg Smith
Greg Smith
11 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Pointless sending the carrier to fight China, it wouldn’t be within a useful F-35 range before it got deaded. Pointless sending it anywhere, why risk it Vs a pikey nation, let alone rebel groups on mopeds.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
11 days ago
Reply to  Greg Smith

The point was not the carrier, it’s whether Russia was our only necessary adversary, Greg.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
10 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Complicated with China we won’t get involved directly with a China conflict any priority will be in Europe where Russia would inevitably try to take advantage of any such conflict, but the big unknown esp in the future would be any Chinese operations out of that Pacific zone from places with whom they have links, bases and ports which could be anywhere from the Middle East Africa, or South America at some stage. So a little unpredictable at best.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
8 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Classic example, the Red Sea & Bab el Mandeb at present. China in Djibouti, yet another choke point, but could be interpreted as leveraging relationship with Iran to encourage Houthis to back off theirs & Russia’s vessels, perhaps utilising carrot in finance & potential big stick in naval base proximity. In meantime, West busy protecting marine traffic to their own considerable risk and expense in advanced weapons systems; whilst UKMTO makes itself available – to any nation – that requests it’s maritime risk and security assessment in the region, night & day. I use ‘perhaps & interpreted’ as reasonable acknowledgement… Read more »

Last edited 8 days ago by Gavin Gordon
Airborne
Airborne
10 days ago
Reply to  Greg Smith

I see military knowledge and experience not your strong point! Never mind eh, all posts are encouraged! This is a great site to lear from however, lots of SMEs all there to educate you 👍

Cripes
Cripes
9 days ago
Reply to  Greg Smith

It is hard to see a wartime situation where a carrier could operate freely, usefully and safely,. A2AD makes it a vulnerable entity anywhere near an enemy shoreline. The short range of the F-35 (and the F35b in particular) means that the carrier would be at significant risk if it closed to a distance at which the F35s could carry out an attack. The idea that allies will rush to provide the additional escorts that we failed to provide is for the birds, unless its the USN, the others will all be deployed doing their own national and NATO key… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I think NATO would need the carriers! We would probably take the North Atlantic and free up a US carrier for deployment elsewhere. The convoy routes will need protection against anything that can get past Sweden etc.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
10 days ago
Reply to  Jacko

Not Sweden surely if you mean ships/subs? Nothing would escape the Baltic even subs I suspect but getting past Norway would be the greater problem though again only subs but that is a massive threat and will need to be stopped getting into the Atlantic between Iceland and Scotland but yes your gist is spot on. Freeing up US resources for the Pacific and Indian ocean would be the priority. And this is the greater point the US population must understand any conflict with China will inevitably include Russia on the Wester front you can’t separate the threat from one… Read more »

Pete ( the original from years ago)
Pete ( the original from years ago)
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Can easily foresee places like Svalbard being future flash points despite the 1925 treaties. Imagine Trump declaring that any dispute was Russia simply resolving a historical anomaly from a time when soviets were weak and the matter is down to those involved to sort out…’Russia send more ‘miners’……meanwhile UK declares it stands shoulder to shoulder!…the UK Carriers become critical european assets in projecting European will 800 -1200km km north of the Norwegian mainland.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
10 days ago

Yep it’s the main problem spot now that Gotland is secured. Such US policy would be madness of course because it would open up the Artic to Russian domination but since when have some US politicians played Chess rather than draughts.

Frank62
Frank62
10 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Even the whole escort fleet, if ever operational at one time, would be smaller than the size of the Falklands TF in 1982 & would leave the whole UK defenceless sea-wise.
Some might say today’s escorts are more cpable. So are enemy warships etc. In fact due to gapping etc, many existing escorts are less well armed.
We don’t defend the nation or deter enemies by having a navy that is even too small for benign peacetime, especially when the current peace is faer from benign.

Airborne
Airborne
10 days ago
Reply to  DJ

Agreed 👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

We frequently sail the CSG with a number of escorts from other NATO or Commonwealth nations. Of course we would not do this for a solely national operation.

Andrew D
Andrew D
11 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Absolutely 🇬🇧

Jonno
Jonno
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Especially when they are alone unescorted up some Loch in Scotland like Tirpitz in Alten Fjord. Our Hubris is truely breathtaking at times.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
10 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

You’d hope that these carriers would have good monitoring and decoys for any sub surface activities that might happen around and under them.

Frank62
Frank62
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Exactly right Steve. Excesive cuts will cost lives, even threatens the future of nations.

Jim
Jim
11 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The royal navy has an aversion to mixing smoke from missiles and active flight decks.

Steve
Steve
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The original plans for the carriers had missile tubes. The navy wanted them but along with the additional armour etc they were cut due to cost reasons.

Andrew D
Andrew D
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Nothing new then Steve 🙄

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

It would be interesting to see exactly where they would have located these missiles and what type on these QE carriers. We can see where other nations have theirs. And, if anything in addition to the three Phalanx’s like the 4*30mm is actually still be considered?

Last edited 10 days ago by Quentin D63
Steve
Steve
10 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I would guess they would go for something like the RIM mounted at a level below the flight deck to avoid any issues from launch.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

That’s something that they still could do, maybe convert the Phalanx mount to take a UK missile type like Starstreak/LMM /ASRAAM. The vertical launch CAMM flying around might be a problem.

Steve
Steve
10 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Starstreak is beam tracking, which I couldn’t imagine would work well with a ship bouncing around. The US have hybrid versions of phalanx that has the gun and RIM, that seems like the best option for a cheap fit. Trying to pay to get uk kit installed would just end up costing way too much.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Interesting comment on Starstreak as there was a proposed SeaStreak platform ages ago. That can surely be reworked, and brought up to date. All 🇬🇧 too.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Lol….and I’m not even talking about having missiles.

frank
frank
11 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The Smoke part had nothing whatsoever to do with it…… there was a fear that spent Cartridges and missile Debris might cause issues but his statement about smoke is just wrong. …. yet again.🙄

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

The old “FOD” argument. Even without missiles HMS Ocean had its 3 x CIWS and 4 x 30mm. Not sure about actual decoys. Someone here will know.

Jonno
Jonno
10 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Didn’t stop it (having meaningful guns) in WW2; shouldn’t stop it now.

Steve
Steve
11 days ago

Out of service dates are pointless, when was the last time anything got pulled from active service at that date. They either get pulled early for cost saving reasons for decades after as no money to replace.

Andrew D
Andrew D
11 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Don’t think anyone can disagree with you on that one 👍

Jon
Jon
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

HMS Penzance. Pulled on its out of service date two months ago. Sorry? Was that a rhetorical question? Forget I mentioned it.

Steve
Steve
10 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Was that the original out of service date? I couldn’t find from a quick Google but commissions 1998 decommissioned 2024 after 26 years, seems an odd number of years of planned service.

Jon
Jon
10 days ago
Reply to  Steve

That’s a good question. I’m not sure there was an original out of service date. It’s hard to tell with fibreglass hulls. However, we know the Sandowns are ostensibly being replaced in a planned fashion by autonomous systems.

I think I read that the more expensive Hunt class was originally going out of service in the early 2030s without replacement, and now it will be by 2030. So even if I was right, half in jest, about HMS Penzance, your point is still valid.

Last edited 10 days ago by Jon
Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago

This looks like the answer to a question asked by Stephen Morgan, labour MP for a Portsmouth constituency. Probing for information for John Healey I would guess. It confirms I think that QE class will stay, that Albion and Bulwark will go and that their replacements will probably be more like the Bays. Be interesting to see what comes out of the joint project with the Netherlands.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The key word there is replacement, if that means a NEW vessel rather than the oft already in service “replacement” which equals a cut.
If that’s so then retiring the LPDs is acceptable. Assume the C2 capability would be taken by a QEC attached to a group, as that is one of the LPDs features.
If ones faced with losing LPDs or the QEC it’s not even a choice.

Jim
Jim
11 days ago

I presume your right on C2 being on one the queen elizabeth probably with most of the helicopters on board while the other stays further out with the fixed wing assets. I think 6 supped up bays with aviation facilities is exactly what we need. Happy for the LPD to go if that’s the replacement.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Agree. I recall reading here of the USMC looking at being more dispersed? So smaller sized assets in greater numbers, with faster ship to shore connectors.
I see nothing of this so far beyond the updated ORCs and the MRSS concept, I’m unsure how far this has progressed beyond talks with the Dutch.

Patrick C
Patrick C
11 days ago

yeah the USMC got rid of their abrams and some other heavy equipment and focusing on agility and sea denial. they’re purchasing a bunch of land based NASAM launchers with the idea they can get spread out amongst and move QUICKLY among the hundreds of smaller islands there and give china’s navy hell from the land, sea and air with minimum logistics trail.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
11 days ago

USN / USMC DMO Distributed Marine Operations, lots of much smaller but more mobile inter locking weapon systems, distributed from multiple locations and platforms. They are trying all sorts of ideas from NSM on light trucks, to TLAM and Standard missiles in Containers mounted on Lorries and even on LCS2. It’s even driven them to decreasing the size of their F35B down to 10 so they can be more flexible.
It flies in the face of everything they have been doing since WW2.

Andrew D
Andrew D
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

And having replacement ready before LPD is gone 🙏

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago

Point taken on the C2. Surely, even the most cost conscious MOD spreadsheet expert can see the consequences of selling Largs Bay? I am assuming QE / POW have dual role and are the replacement for Ocean. So we clearly need at least 6 vessels capable of carrying out an amphibious assault / littoral support / humanitarian assistance but we can’t afford Albion and Bulwark. The only decision is how big they are, how many and whether they are all the same size….and where they are built of course.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

I can see us getting 4, 6 I’d be delighted, and that’s only replacing what he have numbers wise. Yes, in the LRG concept, either could be supplemented by the QEC CSG to form a bigger LSG, with the aviation provided by the Carrier. Thus Chinook ER. If the FCF is now about light raiding with a bit of arctic stuff on the side, and as GB often says, Sweden and Finland now in NATO, does the new vessel need to be of the size to accommodate LCU, LCVP? Not saying that I agree with it, as I value what… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago

Point taken on the core RM size. The smallest of the Damen Enforcers (120m, 9000 tons) has the same beam as a Bay so I assume can host LCU / LCVP. I read a post on Naval News saying the Dutch are planning to replace 2 LPDs and 4 Holland Class OPVs (4000 tons) with 6 of the smallest Enforcers, which have crew size roughly the same as a batch 2 River. Thinking about replacing the 3 batch 1 Rivers I can see an argument for 2 LPD sized Enforcers and 4 smaller ones whose primary role might be global… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

More versatile certainly.
As long as they don’t spin a Bay as useful as a LPD. They cannot carry 4 LCU and 4 LCVP. But if we’re going away from landing D day style to lighter, smaller, I guess that’s the fit.

Jonathan
Jonathan
11 days ago

To be honest Daniele I honestly cannot envisage any possible requirement for over the beach deployment into a high threat environment using LCU and LCVP..apart from anything around the risk to the landing, the littoral is now more deadly than ever and sticking your flag ship into it would be bonkers. So in the future is there a place for an Albion type direct replacement…probably not. Actually what would be more use would be replacing the Two albions with a single LHA along the lines of an America class.. that way we have three multi purpose flat tops/flight decks with… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
11 days ago

I suppose it all depends on what we see the RM doing ? Is it expeditionary warfare at distance or reinforcing the Northern Flank in the Nordic countries. If you look at the recent History of Major Exercises then I think the writing is on the wall that it’s the latter. And historically the Dutch Marines have been our partners in crime for decades in Joint Viking Exercises. And we can see which direction they are now heading ? Smaller but more numerous Amphibious assets rather than large LPH / LPDs. But if we have a more effective RFA able… Read more »

Markam
Markam
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Having a bunch of small LPDs (branded as Multiple Purpose Support Ships as they are) that can handle most of the patrol tasks and have escorts focus on protecting carriers and handling dangerous tasks feels like a good idea. A 9ktn LPD can do the work of multiple Rivers depending on what patrol craft it can launch. Maybe we could have up to 7-8 of them, 3 for the Bays, 1 for RFA Argus, 2 for the Albions and 1-2 for the 3 Rivers. I had a crazier idea though, 6 Enforcers for the Bays/Argus/River (7 ships) and 2 SVTOL… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago
Reply to  Markam

Well, good luck with that. Two Izumos or LHDs would be nice but we would have to win the lottery 🙂

Markam
Markam
11 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

My crazy plan involves selling one of the QE for 3 billion (optimistic), with which we could buy EMALS (France paid roughly 1 billion GBP, or 1.3 billion dollars) for a QE and 2 Izumu/Juan Carlos style for 1 billion each, put the current F35B on the small carriers, cancel the rest of the F35B and buy F35C/F18 instead. Theoretically costing us little but the time it takes to build the new carriers/refit the QE, which is just more work for our industry. Just a bit of out of the box thinking, pay me no attention! Cheaper airframes/flight cost for… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago
Reply to  Markam

The history of QE class catobar vs stobar etc is what it is. We are where we are; committed to a QE strike capability based on F-35B plus future drones with a secondary LHD capability likely based on Chinook. O Our challenge is that we can’t man or afford Albion sized LPD capability; we are in any case arguing that large scale opposed landings these days would risk heavy losses. Hence the convenient solution to our problem is a switch to a raiding doctrine for a smaller RM from smaller ships- OPVs, frigates, mini LPDs…. I can’t help but notice… Read more »

Markam
Markam
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Project Ark Royal is not dead yet, so we can yet have hope! Even with just arrestor wires, that opens up the possibility of Gripen or similar aircraft (stobar will have weight limitations however). Gripen costs less than half the F35B to fly and has a Growler equivalent, plus Saab will let us build it in the UK and it already uses 30% UK made parts like radar, ejection systems and wheels etc. I am personally sick of the F-35B availability issues, and it is well known that flying just the F-35 is not sustainable.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago
Reply to  Markam

Haven’t the MOD asked for (drone) catapult proposals for QE?

Expat
Expat
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Why do you think they will stay? why do we need carriers to potter around off our coast when other assets can do what it would be tasked to do without the need for protection a carrier needs? If strategically we’re limiting our reach then pure logic dictates carriers aren’t needed. But hey Politicians rarely use logic to make decisions😀

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Well yes, pure logic does suggest we should not have built carriers but a differently configured navy. But the thinking at the time, the tradition, the experience of the Falklands, job creation in Scotland and I think input from the US lead to us building 2 ‘strike’ carriers. Some might say they are a solution looking for a problem, but we are where we are. The Arctic ice is melting – Russia will control the shortest northern route to the Pacific. China has 5 or so warships spectating the goings on in the Red Sea and is already sending local… Read more »

David
David
11 days ago

I wonder what they are expecting to happen on New Years eve 2068 that will render these 2 ships redundant.

Darryl2164
Darryl2164
11 days ago

Out of service dates don’t mean a thing with this government , too many assets have been retired early in strategic defence reviews ( penny pinching )

John
John
11 days ago

The steel for these carriers has been around since 2009 , no way will the hulls be fit for anything by 2069, more than likely scrap value 20 years earlier .

Kendonian
Kendonian
11 days ago
Reply to  John

Steel lasts 50 years. Us carriers are proof of this

John
John
11 days ago
Reply to  Kendonian

50 years is a feasible lifespan , not 60 years as ours would be , and American carriers have heavier armoured hulls , that’s why they last 50 years

Louis
Louis
11 days ago
Reply to  John

Steel on USS Nimitz is already nearing 60 years old and she won’t decommission for another 2 years.

frank
frank
11 days ago
Reply to  John

HMS Victory springs to mind….. just sayin.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
11 days ago
Reply to  Kendonian

It really depends on the quality of coatings and maintenance.

If you design for 50 years you take the corrosion effects into account.

Andrew D
Andrew D
11 days ago
Reply to  John

Did we buy our steel from China 🤗

Angus
Angus
9 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

NO, China steel comes with rust and fractures built in and may last 4 – 6 years max, but what for the future? Perhaps flat pack from IKEA!!!!!!! Glad one will not be about to see.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
11 days ago
Reply to  John

HMS Hermes Laid down 1944 decommissioned 2018. 74 years the Falklands was half way through her lifespan. 🤔 Not bad for a wartime built ship designed for a limited life.

John
John
10 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

That’s when ships were built to last not like nowadays

Kendonian
Kendonian
11 days ago

I wouldn’t even send these carriers out without at least 5 escorts. 2 type 45 and 3 type 26/23. That should be the minimum escort for either carrier. More importantly, a world class AEW / AWACS aircraft. Get the V247 from belle and fit the biggest and best AESA radar to it that’s possible, then put 5 on each carrier. Without any of this they are sitting ducks. Our 45’s have the capability to shoot down most things out there, but if your leaving high supersonic or hypersonic missiles to be detected at radar horizon or even with crowsnest then… Read more »

Jim
Jim
11 days ago
Reply to  Kendonian

In almost any operation we likely to be part of a coalition, lots of countries can provide escorts, only three can provide carriers. Even if we can’t set out with an escort of 5 on every operation there is still merit in having them.

Kendonian
Kendonian
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

You can’t count on allies being there though. If Iran sank a river class in the gulf because something happened that warranted it, who is sailing their destroyers and frigates with a QE carrier to defend us? Or do we just do nothing? We are talking about 2 carriers here, not a fantasy fleet. If we can’t supply escorts and a world class AEW system we really shouldn’t bother

Jim
Jim
11 days ago
Reply to  Kendonian

But we can and we do, we are about to send an entire fleet to the pacific on a peace time training exercise.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
11 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Not one single other Carrier operator agrees with the RN on not arming them with a decent self defence capability. And I’m not being funny but the US, China and India have far more escorts than we do. The other 2 European operators have their carriers armed with VLS Aster missiles but no not the RN because we say we know better.

Which is total BS we just didn’t have the money to arm them properly !

Louis
Louis
10 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

None of those Navys have seen combat with carriers. The US don’t have VLS on carriers for a reason. CdG is Frances third ever carrier, Cavour is only the second ever Italian carrier, China have only had a carrier force for half a dozen years and India have only ever had 4 carriers. Why listen to blatantly inexperienced Navys?

Deep32
Deep32
9 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

What is somewhat surprising is why we don’t even put Phalanx on both carriers? It’s not a cost issue, as we have some 12-15 sets that are not currently fitted to units. Some will be in maintenance, but not all. Bit of a mystery that one?

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
11 days ago
Reply to  Kendonian

In comparison, look at all the defensive weapons on the French Charles de Gaulle carrier.

They also l have EC2 Hawkeye AEW aircraft

Louis
Louis
10 days ago

CdG has 2 E2C Hawkeyes in its airwing. A part time capability.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
10 days ago

Not much good though when it spends half its life in refit.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
10 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

But the point is: when CdG is at sea it has 24 Aster15 and 12 mistral SAMs and is also ringed with 8 20mm cannons.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
10 days ago

And if they ever had to use any of those weapons, then something has gone very very badly wrong. The best offensive/defensive weapons for a carrier are it’s aircraft. Let the escorts do the job they are designed to do. With T45 and T23 and the future T26/T31 that is the most capable integrated air defence system on the planet. Add in allied escorts and US assets and you have the most protected vessels that can put to sea. We took the Sea Dart system off the Invincible class to make more room for aircraft. Generating airpower is what a… Read more »

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
9 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I don’t agree with that, I think drones, both airborne and seaborne, are becoming more and more of a threat. All ships including carriers will need more CIWS to counter them.

Last edited 9 days ago by Bringer of facts
Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago

Wouldn’t a T31 inner layer be the best way to address that risk?

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Yes, but we do not have any T31s in service today, so how do we mitigate the risk right now? Also, that means the T31s end up as dedicated carrier escorts. I’m still in the mindset that the Carriers need to have more close-in defence weapons.

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago

Well, that’s a view. And its true that RN doctrine does look like a bit of an outlier. I just assume that someone in the RN has assessed the probability of a drone swarm attack in the next 2-3 years versus escort defences and availability and have concluded the risk is manageable with help from allies. The Dwight D Eisenhower carrier group in the Gulf of Aden has 3 US escorts and one French escort + Rafales flying out of Djibouti. Worth noting that even the US carrier keeps her distance from Yemen. I think the RN have got it… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
9 days ago

The carrier group can detect track and engage targets across hundreds of miles. The air threat is constantly monitored, and the ready state is constantly monitored. The operation in the Red Sea is a very good example of that in action. That US carrier will never use any of its close in weapons. Operations like this don’t work how many people think they do. The Navy are absolute experts at this stuff.

DeeBee
DeeBee
11 days ago

2069? Mothballed next week then!!

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
11 days ago

MoD had better start saving up.

Suffolk Flyer
Suffolk Flyer
11 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Let’s cut to the chase. We struggle to man them, we can’t defend them, pathetic number of F-35s (8) available to deploy with them, too vulnarable to send to the Red Ses, no useful role to play keeping Putin in his box equals WHITE ELEPHANT. Mothball both and stop throwing good money after bad.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
11 days ago
Reply to  Suffolk Flyer

Can you really be sure they will not be used operationally in a kinetic war over the next 45 years? Anyway they do far more than carrier strike. They can act as helicopter carriers, C2 node and HADR vessel. Shortage of F35s right now is due to that being a different, US led programme, so it’s timeline was never going to dovetail perfectly. Do we really struggle to man them? They have not ever failed to sail due to crew shortfall.

Expat
Expat
9 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

45 years, I don’t think any government thinks that far a head. Most are looking at how to get enough votes for the next win. I really don’t think the UK electorate would care if we got shot of the carriers, especially if its framed that they not required for regional defence. Infact whilst I wouldn’t like to see them go if they only used to sail around Europe then logically get shot of them, we could spend the money on assets better suited to regional defence. If we’re going to keep them then use them as they should be… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I have worked with politicians and agree that they do not look beyond the next General Election. Of course they are not looking 45 years ahead, but it is no bad thing to set a planning date for their replacement. I agree that the electorate would not care if we got shot of one or both carriers – it does not help that we managed without carriers for 10 years. They do not have a role in the defence of the UK homeland and I struggle to see much of a role in regional defence except if you include the… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
11 days ago
Reply to  Suffolk Flyer

RN is part of a civilization that wants the seas open to trades for more than a century.
Certainly UK can modify RN mission, but it will bea sea change – pun intended…

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  Suffolk Flyer

Drivel. What is needed iin the Red Sea are T45s there is already a carrier there.

Jonathan
Jonathan
10 days ago
Reply to  Suffolk Flyer

Since when in the last 80 years has a carrier not been a key weapon of war…they are so pointless that every major power is doing their best to have them..carriers are flourishing…if you don’t think a large carrrier battle groups would not be key in any conflict in the northern occeans with Russian your not paying attention…eastern med critical, gulf of Aden critical…these are all places that our enemies will use to attack us and carriers are the thing that will allow us to project power into those areas…8 is not the number that can be deployed 8 is… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
11 days ago

So government of the day saying 2069 ? Who knows what the next government party will be? And no doubt they will do what suits best for them. But what we need now on these Carriers is Aircraft , plus better self defence system and an EW what Hopfuly works .Can’t really have big pieces of kit under funded 2% is ridicules .Which ever government get in next need to raise defence spending to at least 3.5% not just for Equipment but for more manpower as numbers far to small in all 3 services. Sorry for rant guys will go… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
11 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Well, hope you enjoyed the defeat. I’ve no sympathy. A team that rejects its own identity and trashes its flag rejects itself. Even supermarkets like Lidl defend their logo against Tesco.

Pleiades
Pleiades
10 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

That’s funny, could’ve sworn it was Nike that wanted a swish new flag 🤔

And flag shaggers need culling anyway 😂

Andrew D
Andrew D
10 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Morning Paul yes defeat it was ,will always support team however I completely agree with you on this flag business .Nike shouldn’t be given any more contracts for .UK sports events unless they put wrong right.Do think the Team should of spoke up on this subject, but to be honest footballers these days life such a high live I don’t think George Cross is on there engender sadly . 👍

grizzler
grizzler
10 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

The FA is the only one to blame- They sanctioned the design …and charge £120 for a match day replica KIDS shirt- An absolute disgrace on both counts

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
10 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

I do wonder f carriers by that time will have any real survival expectancy, perhaps well before.

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Perhaps already. Who knows. Much will change over the coming decades but as long as we keep up with the cutting edge kit all should be well. At least that is the plan.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Carriers are protected primarily by their Air Group and their escorts. Why do you think these will not be effective in future?

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

3.5% – you are having a laugh. The Soviet Union managed to defeat itself by trying to spend more on defence than they could possibly afford. Let’s not wander down that road. True we need to sharpen up in a few areas but not commit suicide.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
10 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

3.5% on Defence is what we were spending at the tail end of the Cold War. How was that committing suicide? The USSR was spending far more than that in the 80s, wasn’t it 20% or more?

Mark B
Mark B
9 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We struggle to cover our expenditure costs as it is. We would have to carve what £40 Billion (probably close to the Education budget) from somewhere and move it to defence. Sure at one point the military had a bigger slice of the pie but it has been reallocated somewhere else.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The first duty of Government is Defence of the Realm! Monies are often reallocated. They can be reallocated back to Defence if the matter is serious.

Mark B
Mark B
8 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Realm is defended in many way nowadays Graham. The NHS defends the people whithout which there would be no Realm. The Education Budget Educates the Realm etc. etc.

I think there is a good case for bumping the budget towards 2.5% and then maybe 3.0% however in peacetime a sudden jump might cause more problems than it solves. Certainly any Government that did it would be ousted before you could say “Liz Truss”.

roger sharp
roger sharp
10 days ago

What utter tosh. Anyone estimating the effective life of an aircraft carrier is a fool. Modern warfare is changing so quickly that in under ten years time both may be either redundant or sunk. It’s already proving difficult to cobble together enough of the Navy’s other vessels to allow for the carrier’s safe deployment.

Mark B
Mark B
10 days ago
Reply to  roger sharp

Roger the out of service date ignores the possbility of the vessel being sunk, world peace or any other reason. It is simply a date after which the expectation is that it will have no military value or indeed any financial value (other than scrap). In the public sector they do this for Schools, Hospitals etc. There are Schools, Hospitals etc. that never made it to those date because they burnt down or have lasted much longer. It does allow for a bit of forward planning although replacements are always dependant upon there being sufficient budget etc. to make it… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  roger sharp

We only expect to deploy one carrier at any given time. Mostly the escort fleet is drawn from international allies, be they other NATO members or Commonwealth countries. It would only be for a purely national operation (ie Falklands again) that we would need all escorts to be RN.
I find it difficult to envisage future maritime war without naval aviation.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
10 days ago

I hope we have all the aircraft by then

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago

Am I the only one to consider that to be a very long service life?

Paul.P
Paul.P
9 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

It’s longer than mine 🙂

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Haha. Good one!

Expat
Expat
9 days ago

Out of service means they can function until that date as they were desgined. The question is by then which Navy will they be serving 🙂