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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Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
16 days ago

Typical. We’re going to retire them when their aircraft are ready.😏

David Barry
David Barry
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

You too funny.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  David Barry

😇

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

They are going to have to speed up a bit. POW four years from commissioning this year. The only F35 she has seen is two from the the US trial squadron. At that rate come 2040 they might have double figures onboard.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

Yes but one F35b is worth more than a Zillion other aircraft and it can be in thousands of places at any one time too….. It’s true, I read it on here….

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Has the price gone up again 😂 09 February 2024WDS 2024: BAE Systems unveils autonomous collaborative platform concept UAV “BAE Systems unveiled a new autonomous collaborative platform (ACP) concept at the World Defense Show (WDS) 2024 held in Riyadh from 4 to 8 February. The conceptual unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is characterised as an attritable platform with low-observable features and will feature electrical actuation systems. The concept vehicle will be able to operate from either land or maritime environments featuring independent or synchronised action capability, in air combat. According to BAE Systems, the concept vehicle will feature modular construction and… Read more »

david anthony simpson
david anthony simpson
15 days ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

No its not – you need to look back further!

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

Every time I bring this up I’m told there’s no rush. It’s fifty year programme. I wonder if the other side are going to wait for us?😏

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff like you I despair across the board our armed forces are at breaking point. I firmly believe we are headed to the defence force status. Guys are leaving faster than they join. Kit is failing in all areas. These carriers are becoming a farce. The Gosport ferry has more sea time than them. Could we deploy one carrier with its full complement of F35 today. Could we muster the ships to protect and supply the CSG. The answer is no. We are sleepwalking to the levels of readiness before WW2. In both WW the regulars where not enough when… Read more »

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
14 days ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

And we had about 300,000 expeditionary soldiers and equipment when it did break out! 70,000 is not going to cut it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

The F-35 Programme is a US-led international programme with many customers. The carrier programme is a UK national programme with one customer. They could not ever perfectly dovetail together. One programme was always going to be ahead of the other.

Darryl2164
Darryl2164
8 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We haven’t got the f35s,s because the government are dragging their feet in ordering them .

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
7 days ago
Reply to  Darryl2164

It was announced that we would order the first 3 a/c as far back as 18th March 2009.
In July 2012 it was announced that we would buy a total first tranche of 48, and an order followed soon after
.
As of now 32 F-35Bs received for the UK with 28 in the UK after the loss of one aircraft in November 2021.

Darryl2164
Darryl2164
8 days ago
Reply to  Exroyal.

In the run up to WW2 we had the world’s largest navy , an army 5 times the size it is now and an air force of hundreds of planes and we were under prepared then . We now have a shadow of those forces . We wouldn’t last 5 minutes without US help

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

It would be funny if it wasn’t actually true…never a truer word said in jest…

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

😂😂👏

david anthony simpson
david anthony simpson
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Goodness what insight Admiral!

John
John
15 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

😵‍💫

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  John

Andrew, Steve, David, John.. Thank you gentlemen. You gotta laff…or else you would cry. 😂

Jim
Jim
16 days ago

With the aircraft carriers on a 50 year build cycle and everything else on a 25 year there is going to be yet another big gap in construction post 2040’s and 2050’s. Seems the MOD can’t break away from feast and famine.

Louis
Louis
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

T31 have are on a 20 year build cycle, T26 25 and Rivers between the two. Assuming it takes the same time to build and enter into service T31 replacement build has to start in 2041, T26 in 2042 and River B2 replacement sometime between 2034 and 2039. Given there are dozens of British made OPVs in service around the world, hopefully the River replacement will get some exports. T83 build will go on beyond 2042, Rosyth may have a little gap if T32 is ordered. If T32 isn’t ordered then Rosyth is buggered. If the government sticks to that… Read more »

Adrian
Adrian
15 days ago
Reply to  Louis

Given the speed of type 26 program we better start the replacement now if we’re going to meet the 25 year replacement of Glasgow

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

With a new Belfast line for large surface vessels..we may be able to keep the escort lines open..which would be better..I think we are heading into a world where defence reviews start showing a need for more and not less.

Paul42
Paul42
16 days ago

‘On current plans’ , but who knows what might happen in the next 45 years? Perhaps we’ll build bigger and better Carriers along the lines of the US Ford class.

Val
Val
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Or extend the hull lenght mid life, sponson issues being resolved?

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Unlikely. Better to get the most out of these ones.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

Demolish and widen the Gosport side of Portsmouth Harbour entrance so as too accommodate Her or she’ll have to be based in Southampton won’t go down well with Pomponians Paul

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

We could not afford to buy, operate or man something like a Ford carrier – and they would not fit in the HMNB.

Paul42
Paul42
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Just over 45 years ago HMS Ark Royal IV sailed into Devonport for the last time and look where we are now, who knows where we’ll be in 45 years time!!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

In 45 years time, we will have either :
a. two very old carriers that should have been replaced c. 2069 but weeren’t, but I have no idea what will be flying off them – upgraded F-35Bs or something else? OR
b. 1, 2 or 3 shiny new carriers OR
c. we will have another 10-year carrier hiatus as before.

Adrian
Adrian
16 days ago

That’s the plan, but if I was a betting man there will be budget cuts and 1 will retire and be sold off sooner

Expat
Expat
15 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

There’s plans for an EU carrier. I can see this as a compromise the political class could sell. Ie look we have a carrier ok it not under our control but its defending has and Europe.

I don’t think there needs to be budget cuts, just spending priorities shifting, afterall no party is upping the anti on defence spending.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Indeed, and a missile defence shield too. It should be a priority for us to deter any potential aggressor while we wait for the 2030s to arrive. In short, cheap option, smart move. BRUSSELS — Thierry Breton wants Europe to get serious about its defense — including by developing an aircraft carrier and missile defense shield. Speaking at a defense conference, EU Internal Market Commissioner Breton — whose portfolio also includes defense — said the European Commission “must present an ambitious European defense investment program” that makes sure fledgling efforts to build out production of ammunition and missiles can be sustained while… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Err right so it takes them three months to get a task group to the Red Sea?

The carrier will be built in blocks some in Spain some in Germany and most in France with French tech. Can you imagine the mess that will be as the arguments over workshare take off? Why built on carrier that might be usable for 50% of its life?

It has to be French tech as they are the only European country with the small reactor tech for a carrier.

I won’t be holding my breath for this to become real.

Andy Gass
Andy Gass
15 days ago

Of course there will be tough negotiations but European have quite a good record.

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Andy Gass

Not on building carriers…it’s not really very EU to be honest..I don’t think it will get passed most nations…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  Andy Gass

Not on building AFVs or aircraft carriers or any other kind of ships.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
15 days ago

It would make more sense to build three and share the cost.
France to start building new nuclear aircraft carrier by 2026

“France will begin the construction of its next-generation nuclear aircraft carrier by 2026, with sea trials to start by 2037.
 
In an interview with the daily Le Parisien, French Minister of the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu confirmed that the next Military Planning Law for 2024-2030 would include the construction of the PANG (Porte-Avions de Nouvelle Génération, New Generation Aircraft Carrier), slated to start between the end of 2025 and the beginning of 2026.”

https://

aerotime.aero/articles/france-to-start-building-new-nuclear-aircraft-carrier-by-2026

Expat
Expat
14 days ago

But it’s conceivable our political class could lease ours to the EU. Ticks boxes, they can justify it by saying Russia is number one threat we need integrate closer with EU allies. It ‘keeps’ the carriers in some sense of course they off load the costs.

David Smile
David Smile
15 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

An EU aircraft carrier?, I’m guessing it would have to be powered by oars, to meet EU targets on net zero, obviously it couldn’t have sails, as that would get it the way of the planes launching and landing, I say planes, it would have to be gliders,for net zero commitments, on the plus side it sure the EU carrier will be the most expensive carrier ever built, with the most exquisite wine cellars and moved pointlessly twice a year at vast expensive and bureaucracy – like the EU does with it’s headquarters- as is the EU way

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  David Smile

As you say it will be a culinary triumph with an amazing wine cellar and coffee/gelato to die for.

It will use the Joseph Borrell (roulette) decisional system and will therefore be on 18 months notice to deploy.

For fairness it would have to dock in rotation in every country including Austria, Czechia, Slovakia & Hungary.

Andy Gass
Andy Gass
11 days ago
Reply to  David Smile

Power with nuc??????

Darryl2164
Darryl2164
8 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

By that he means France must get the majority of the work or they won’t take part

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
8 days ago
Reply to  Darryl2164

They do at least have the expertise, so I would guess so.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Let’s hope they don’t put a Hungarian Captain in charge of it.

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Don’t think that’s a good move ,and I hope the RN keep away from that one although won’t be in there hands 🙄

Expat
Expat
14 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

It’s pretty much going to be next government’s policy to integrate more with the EU on defence. Healy already co authored a paper with his German counter part on EU defence integration.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

No there aren’t any current plans for a EU carrier at present. The only plan they have so far is a EU common Patrol Frigate which is pretty sensible. There is EU Commisioner called Thierry Breton who is French and a product of their Ecole National system, he thinks it’s a great idea and so did Merkel. But like most of her bright initiatives they unravel when reality sets in. Given that France would insist on Nuclear power, they take design lead, build in France and be equipped with only European Carrier enabled Aircraft it’s a dead duck before it… Read more »

Adrian
Adrian
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

The EU carrier will be great, it’ll need to spend 35% of the year in french port, the 35% in Germany and 20% in Spain and 20% in Italy… No time for it to actually do it’s job..

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

France was looking at that as an EU Naval Carrier built in France ,Captained by a French officer paid for by the EU

Patrick
Patrick
15 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

The last few days have shown the need for 2.

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
15 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

They only have the life of the next government if that. After each election they are in the melting pot potentially.

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

That’s the question

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
12 days ago
Reply to  Adrian

One carrier is insufficient. It could not be available 100% of the time, more like 30-40% of the time.

Expat
Expat
15 days ago

Tbh once next government takes over all bets are off. What’s clear is they will refocus all services away from global to more regional.

I for one can’t see logic in retaining carriers for deployment close to home and allies shores. The only save is political class in the UK lacks any logical thinking.

Deep32
Deep32
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

I expect that you may well be correct there,but, imo and many others that would be a huge mistake.

To quote ‘Sir Walter Raleigh’ I believe it was – ‘He who controls the sea controls the trade, he who controls the trade controls the wealth, he who controls the wealth is king!’

We are and always have been a sea trading nation, heavily dependant on the sea and FON, if our political masters cant see this then they have no right to be in charge of the nation. Its a tad more complicated I appreciate, but you get the gist.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Course it’s a huge mistake!!! Watch this space.

klonkie
klonkie
14 days ago

Hey DM – this article is good news. I’ll be long gone and dead by the time 2069 rocks around!

Tony Rosier
Tony Rosier
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

You are absolutely right we need a good Army and a very good air force but we absolutely require a World Class Navy more so than most we are a trading nation and require a navy that can defend our mercantile trade anywhere in the world.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Sir Walter Raleigh was a giant in the history of Great Britain….Exploration, Discovery, Defence of the realm …. Potatoes, Tobacco and so much more…. Shame his bloody head was cut off !

Last edited 15 days ago by Frank
Deep32
Deep32
14 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Yes, he does seem to have been royally shafted after such stellar service to crown and country.
Didn’t know that ‘Hugh Grant’ is a distant relation though!

Expat
Expat
14 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Your correct. Trouble is sone politicians have never been pro Wealth, even now they use the term class war. So I think Raleighs comments are lost on certain parts of the Poiitical class. There also factions who sea our seafaring/trading past as something we need to apologise and pay reparations for, not invest in and protect.

Jack
Jack
15 days ago

Why is MoD so keen to plan to retire navy units anyway? They spend so much time on this topic!

Andrew D
Andrew D
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Because there bloody stupid ,Jack

Lusty
Lusty
15 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Where?

Coll
Coll
15 days ago
Reply to  Jack

Or they can have a clear idea of when to start on the replacement if they give a damn.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Jack

You need to plan successor equipment.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago

POW has de-cluttered her flight deck now… just saw some of the crew doing a deck object check walk…. might see some Merlin’s arrive soon….. looks like she’ll be off to Scotland in a while.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

It’s called a FOD plod. Foreign Object Damage.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

It’s called a FOD plod. Foreign Object Debris.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I know…. I was just trying to simplify it……. 😂

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
15 days ago

I hope Govts in this Country now see the error in trying to discourage a European focused defence strategy in fear of threatening the Trans Atlantic connection. Trouble is the other side of the Atlantic is threatening that, even if NATO remains under Trump there is great danger in whatever ‘peace’ he may want to negotiate and impose upon Ukraine. Putin will want sanctions lifted criminal charges dropped and present occupied lands accepted as Russian. That will represent a win for Putin and empower him to plan further strikes within a decade in Ukraine or beyond. And I have no… Read more »

Vital spark
Vital spark
15 days ago

Hahahahahaha So when do they start service

Fat dave
Fat dave
15 days ago

Dreadful news for the UK and allies. These obsolete monoliths have no credible role

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
15 days ago
Reply to  Fat dave

Ha Ha Ha- that’ll be why China are trying to produce a strike carrier fleet to rival the USN, why the USN is spending billions on the Ford class. Why France are designing and going to build their 72,000 ton PANG class carrier. Not to mention Japan retrofitting their Izumo class for F35B operations and South Korea designing and likely going to build their CVX design of medium carrier circa 40,000 tons. Then add Italy with Trieste and Cavour In short many other countries see the benefit of carrier aviation but don’t worry Dave you must be right and the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Fat dave

No credible role? What, like air power? In effect, it’s the air power you’re criticising. The ship is just enabling that.
Air power is a dominant force in control of the sea. Take that away, and things like SSN, and you have no control.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago

Mate…. I think you are replying to people with no other interest than winding others up on here….. go check their comments history….. Interestingly, I’ve been seeing a trend again…. Multiple accounts, similar themes….. Wyn Baynon, Yes, David Lloyd, Vital spark, Fat Dave….. they just keep coming !!!! 😂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank

Don’t include David Lloyd in that though mate.

Frank
Frank
15 days ago

Yes maybe not him…. there was another chap who had a similar name. it’s all a blur !

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Fat dave

That’s why every major nation is racing to build carriers or already has them.

US
UK
France
italy
spain
japan
china
russia
South Korea
india
Turkey..

anyone who think navel air power is not fundamental to navel warfare is a bit delusional. the amount of navel aviation is growing.

Last edited 15 days ago by Jonathan
Mr Bell
Mr Bell
15 days ago

These ships were built with a hull with at least a 50 year lifespan. So 2069 is fine, a long time away. Do we need to get the design for the future carrier started now though as it seems to take well over 30 years to get a RN ship into service?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

HMS Queen Elizabeth ordered on 20 May 2008. Commissioned 7 Dec 2017.
Less than 10 years!

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
15 days ago

OT Just read on Naval Technology that Babcock are insisting that nothing slow down the delivery of T31 so they are saying the Mk41 vls will have to be fitted during capability insertions. NT suggested that the first few ships will get their Mk41 10yrs into their service with the possibility that later ships might get them during build.

Let’s hope there will be early capability insertiions…

Cheers CR

Martin
Martin
15 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Certainly the first one or two vessels should be built as originally planned. At least one vessel doesn’t need the extra capability to carry out anti drug patrols and hurricane disaster relief in the caribbean. But it does need the helicopter capability that the current OPV doesn’t have. Along with an OPV it could do a decent job in the Caribbean, releasing other vessels which have been committed there recently for the literal strike groups which are needed to provide a swift counter attack to any aggression. The conflict on Ukraine shows how hard counter attacks are after an enemy… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

I will be luckily to see that.

John Brian Doyle
John Brian Doyle
15 days ago

Please explain that ever one or both these
Carriers cross China’s Red line in Sth.China
Seas in a offensive and aggressive manner
Just how the Hell they can possibly survive
What would await them in the form of Hypersonic missiles all integrated with formidable radar, satellite constellations, computing and the Worlds most sophisticated AI
Along with ability to launch from Land, Sea by way of the Globes most fearful warship
The type 055 destroyer , Submarine and from the Air
Answer Tis a suicide mission

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

Because in a warfighting situations with china you would not place a single UK carrier battle group of one carrier smack bang in the middle of the South China Sea within strike range of land based strike fighters…that would stupid…. The RN would not be fighting china on its own in the china seas for any reason what so ever…but we may be part of a wider war or in a local conflict with China somewhere else on the planet….anyone who floats a single aircraft carrier next door to a peer and under that peers air umbrella will not get… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Jonathan
Netking
Netking
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I’m afraid this poster is the Chinese version of JohnyMK or whatever his name was, Just another troll out of touch with reality.

klonkie
klonkie
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

nicely written Jonathan- a very good post.

Exroyal.
Exroyal.
13 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Assuming we can mount a properly equipped Carrier force and keep it supplied. Air group would need to contain AEW still issues with that I believe. No credible COD available. Your belief that the carrier would need to be out of range of land based enemy assets is well placed. I have mentioned on here before how costly that became in the Falklands Given the recipe for multiple hull losses. One KC 130 a few Etendards and one obsolete Neptune add in a limited stock of Exocets . Sadly we had no AEW the Harrier with a limited endurance. Then… Read more »

Darryl2164
Darryl2164
15 days ago

To enhance the lethality a good start would be to equip them both with the f35s they were designed for , give them both a fully equipped escort fleet and get them out to sea not stuck in port

Something Different
Something Different
15 days ago

Nice

DeeBee
DeeBee
15 days ago

Either of them working yet??

DeeBee
DeeBee
15 days ago

There’s a good article by Andrew Neil in the Daily Mail today about the dire state of our armed forces, lacking ‘bang for buck’ (ive been saying it for years) it makes for sobering reading!

Knight7572
Knight7572
15 days ago

So HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales will be over 50 years old when they retire

Billythefish
Billythefish
15 days ago

Errrr…I think we are all still waiting for them to start!

Apart from ‘working up ‘cruises etc. they haven’t really done anything yet.

They haven’t been used in anger yet as far as I am aware.

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Billythefish

Qnlz assisted in airstrikes in the middle East in 2021.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Billythefish

CSG21 was impressive in scope and duration.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
14 days ago

So that means we will keep them on until 2071 or 2072, then retire them and start thinking about building replacements! Unless they get mothballed before then of course and sold of to a third world country, leaving an even bigger capabiity gap.

Darryl2164
Darryl2164
8 days ago

Thought they already were retired , they are hardly at sea