Babcock at Rosyth has been awarded a 10-year contract to provide dry-dock maintenance for the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers, beating H&W in Belfast.

The new £30m contract follows a previous maintenance period where Babcock completed the first docking for HMS Queen Elizabeth at the Rosyth site in 2019 and includes all routine maintenance and repairs that cannot be done when the vessel is afloat.

In addition to the scheduled dockings, Babcock will provide facilities for any contingency dockings required over the 10-year contract duration while sustaining and supporting c300 jobs.

The first planned activity will take place next year with a six-week work package.

“This is a significant milestone for big ship dockings at Rosyth, which was the integration site for the UK carrier build and assembly programme from 2008 to 2019. Babcock has invested more than £100million in skills, digitisation and site infrastructure over recent years at Rosyth. This is now one of the UK’s most modern, capable and competitive manufacturing and repair facilities for large scale marine and energy programmes, with a circa 2000-strong workforce.

Alongside traditional maintenance practices, the ships’ docking period will further benefit from the digital transformation underway at the Rosyth site, which is already in place to support the build and assembly of the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 Inspiration Class frigates.”

Sean Donaldson, Babcock’s Managing Director of Marine Engineering and Systems and the Rosyth site, said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded the contract to provide dry dockings for the aircraft carriers over the next decade. The investments in our Rosyth infrastructure and facilities over the last 10-years mean we are ideally placed to deliver projects of this size and scale. The programme will also benefit from the extensive knowledge and expertise of Babcock’s skilled workforce which is steeped in carrier experience. It’s a really proud moment for us.”

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. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
113 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago

Sorry, one of my favourite rants…is there any update on likely/unlikely further defensive armament being added to these carriers? Maybes 30/40/57mm or SEA trainable decoy launchers? I won’t mention CAMM…

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

There doesn’t seem to be Quentin, I would love to see 40mm Bofors mounts going where the phalanx mounts are if possible.

Plenty of height to mount Lazer weapons in the future too..

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yes, I forgot about “Dragon Fire”…which I wish they’d call it “Dragon Eye”, I mean it’s not very “dragony” anyway, is it?…lol

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

It would make sense to put 40mm or 57mm with 3P ammo. so it won’t happen

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

C’mon Steve, be a bit more positive…there’s potential there…four mounts a waiting on something.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve M

You say that but with the type 31 moving to the 40mm bofors there is possibly that the RN May take this as a future standard.

Im not sure any direct energy weapon will be a standard for a long time, good supplementary weapon system for slower targets, but they just don’t have the energy delivery at present for fast missiles.

Darren Heaton
Darren Heaton
4 days ago
Reply to  Steve M

You know common sense seldom comes into decisions like that , it will be made by a small man with no military experience in the accounts department some were in bowels of government .

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

The 57mm cannot possibly happen as the sponsoons that support the guns are not big enough or strong enough. It is more likely that the 30mm are upgraded to the 40mm with the programmable ammunition. Something is going on as the 30mm mounts were bought but not fitted. They are literally sat in a warehouse. Mind you are 30mm is widely used in the fleet they will not go to waste. As this is quite a sensitive issue I don’t expect loads of press releases or real time updates. But given the general mood music we can expect an improved… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

Hi SB, yes 40mm could be the go. They would give good effective coverage out to 10km, but 2.5km in CIWS mode (Navy Lookout article, 21 Dec 2021) . I’m also curious if these carriers have any decoy launchers fixed. Hard to see so I’m assuming so but could be way wrong on this. Also the forward port 30mm sponson position might need to be moved a tad as the CIWS mount looks like it has restricted its firing arc, unless they move the CIWS back down. But I could be wrong on that also. Any extra armament complementary would… Read more »

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

At the same time there is very little point in just slapping things onto the carrier just because it is bristling with weapons it must be better Russian style. We have all seen where that got the Russians…… I’d really rather have the 40mm with the 3P and the 20mm Phalanx as these compliment each other rather well. The problem with anything missile like is deconflicting it with carrier operations so you don’t end up creating a hazard for your own people etc. Carrier operations are complex enough without having other random variables shoved into your face. The problem is… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago

40mm for self defence perm, couldn’t we use something like Mk56 bolted on when deployed without full air wing? like PoW just did up North like

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago

I’ll have to accept that there is a genuine argument for FOD re not deploying missiles, despite every other country with carriers having missiles, France and Italy with Aster 15s. And as Martin mentions below CAMM should have reduced or minimal or no FOD being cold launched. I don get the T45 AAW escort thing, I even think they should try and get more than 24, maybe 32 CAMM on those too!

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

*don…do

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

How do you deconflict the firing arcs of the missiles from your own aircraft and cabs?

CAMM is not a horizontal launch weapon. Even if it was it would likely have to ride up to intercept a target.

There is a strong practical side to this.

The software for controlling those parameters would get very complicated very quickly. The counter to that is that it would also have dead spots built in. These would be obvious from flying patterns.

The CAMM on a T45 are more to do with self defence and dealing with medium sized boats intent on mischief.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago

Hi SB, I agree with you that basically the rectangular cube air ops area prohibits missile systems being nearby. Other babies must face these same issues but seem to accommodate SAMs. There are a couple of areas where I think CAMM may go and obviously they’d need to be built out and low down as much as possible to limit FOD. One is around and just behind from where the current forward port CIWS is currently though I admit with the lift nearby this could be an issue. The other, which would also need to be built out and low… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

*babies??…lol…navies

David
David
1 month ago

Hi SB, What you are saying makes sense but at the same time, why does every other carrier operating nation have some form of point defence missile system? Even France and Italy have Aster 15 on their respective carriers. It just seems odd that we are the only ones who don’t. Surely protecting such a huge investment – as an aircraft carrier with its airwing is – as much as possible should be the way to go. We can’t always rely on escorts to deal with threats. To me – and I hate to be cynical – the reason the… Read more »

DMJ
DMJ
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Or operational experience in firing Sea Dart from Invincible in 1982?

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  DMJ

Temporarily interrupting flight operations vs hoping a 20mm peashooter will take out an anti ship missile – or multiple missiles as we saw in Ukraine….. I know which one I would choose.

1982 also showed you can’t rely 100% on escorts – war is war and stuff happens.

GlynH
GlynH
1 month ago
Reply to  David

I’d love to know how you get to a M61 L99 being a peashooter :/

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  GlynH

Well, I can share with you this. My uncle was 30yr career RN and was in charge of the weapon systems onboard HMS Southampton. His belief in Phalanx was non-existent. His words ‘when you have a missile the size of a bus coming at you at 500mph, that peashooter (pointing to Phanlax) isn’t going to do shit’.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Good comment David. With you and Uncle!

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  David

I agree David. 40mm has far greater range & hitting power plus the flexability to do what our current 30mms do. Our 30mm have negligable AAA abilities. I would certainly add CAMM. FOD can be mitigated & most other carrier operators manage fine with onboard SAMs. Our planners/accountants seem to imagine in any conflict everything will go exactly as we’d like & we’d suffer nil losses or breakdowns. When we start with a tiny fleet, stretched even in peacetime, delusional assumptions can be catastrophic.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Well said Frank. Still boggles my mind with the investment in our carriers, how paltry their current weapons fit is compared to other carrier operating nations.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Totally agree. It’s grand delusional stupidity and quite frankly totally irresponsible. Even the lack of any onboard anti-torpedo defence, kinetic or decoy on the carriers!? If any escorts get sunk, destroyed, incapacitated, guess what’s next!?

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  DMJ

CAMM is totally different launch method to the Dart, and way less or no efflux at all.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  David

You have to remember that the RN did start with AAW systems on carriers, but moved away from it after operational experience. Anything you put on the carrier that is not focused on the air wing will by the nature of opportunity costs impact on the air operation. It’s always better to carry your AAW systems on an escort as they can be moved to focus on areas of risk. My chief concern would be that we have the correct numbers of AAW escorts assets to ensure the carriers, amphibious units and logistics ships are well protected. Its one of… Read more »

Steve M
Steve M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Fair enough but we need to have enough escorts with decent weapon load out. If CSg go far East and the dirty stuff hits the spinning thing then how long do you think our 2 xt-45 & 2xT-26 missile load will last? ok last year they had 2 other escort but still i expect China has more than 300 AshM? as far as i know none of the RFA’s carry additional Aster/camm that could be reloaded in foreign safe port let alone on open ocean. Its along way back to Glen Mallan

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Simple answer is which of these other nations carriers is a true 5th gen carrier.
Why fit a missile system to you carrier when your escort has the same system.
QE class is allways going to sea with a escort. end up shooting 6 missiles at one target.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

“end up shooting 6 missiles at one target.”

Isn’t that the point of using a cooperative engagement system to map the battle space?

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Escorts become unavailable inconveniently, get sent off for other duties, suffer breakdowns or get damaged/sunk. An onboard SAM is a better problem to have than a ruddy great hole blown into the ship by an AShM or two. Complacency is our greatest danger.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank62
Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

I think it will only take a real hard losses Frank to wake some people up!

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

The group should be coordinating as a group what it shoots at and not like a pinball machine! Escorts first, others second as a default back up.

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago

Common sense, surely not.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

I do t understand CAMM, the radar and combat system supports it. It’s cold gas launched could go almost anywhere on the ship. No sense.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

Main Issue with any 30/40/57mm added to the carrier defence was highlighted in a trial. due to how the RN Operates its carry defence screen. anyone of these defence weapons could and would Punch a Large hole in a thin skin RN Asset, and keep going. There is a host of defence suites that are classified that have slowly been added to the QE class, so they may not be as cutting edge as we would like for our Top Trumps cards. But currently if we take a Invincible class at its time of launch to its end of service.… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

By that logic, the escorts themselves shouldn’t be fitted with 30/40/57mm as they too could punch a hole in the very assets they’re meant to be protecting.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

I’m struggling to understand Johan’s post TBH. Here goes my thoughts on what he appears to be saying – any errors in translation are of course mine! The main thing with EW/A30/A15/Ceptor/57mm/40mm/30mmm/20mm is that RN operates defences in layers which gives redundancy and depth. Gone are the days when a T42 had Dart and a T22 had Wolf and that was that. As was discovered in ’82 one T22 had holes put through her by the guns on the Argentine jets attacking here and that took Sea Wolf off line so it had to be manually cued as one of… Read more »

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Yeah, that was my take as well. However, I also feel there was an element of fearfulness of rounds from the carrier hitting escorting ships, hence the decision to not fit the mounts. Such an explanation for the lack of 30mm was offered by NavyLookout in an article published before the CSG departed last year, but I personally disagree with that assessment. I’d like to see what you suggested (40mm fitted instead), with continued investments to the escort fleet and the ‘mundane’ technology that a lot of people forget about. Of course, the RN’s damage control is a lot better… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Exactly! Or they’re too close to each other! 😆

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Hi Johan, like others here, how are other navies, like the USN, Italy, India and China utilising their gun/asm mix on their carriers? They surely must have the same or worse FOD issue? The Italians gave 76mm+Asters and the French will also have on their new carrier.
I’m nit trying argue a point for the sake of it but trying to get to the “real” bottom of this issue. I’m not convinced so far.

DRS
DRS
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

My favorite fantasy CIWS (though this is quite a realistic capability we should add in) with max theoretical engagement… Gambling 1000+ souls and 3+ billion of carrier & other kit v’s a few 10s of millions capex to protect it seems very odd. Escorts can’t be everywhere all the time.

fantasy-CIWS QE-and-response-time.png
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  DRS

Very nice. You have put some though into this. My thoughts to add would be is it better to have a sea ceptor at the back of the ship to help with debris as the ship will always be going forwards. I see u have one there. I like SeaRam as it goes on a phalanx mount. Whether it’s the best or not I don’t know

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Don’t know why Seastreak was never developed? Or, put Starstreak/ER into a RAM type mount? Turkey has just produced a new RAM mount bug I can’t remember the name of it. Someone here will…

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  DRS

Like it….now you’re talking! 😏

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

Is there anywhere else that could actually do this ? If not it’s not really a winning anything, it’s a negotiated Monopoly.

Enthusiastic amateur
Enthusiastic amateur
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

According to Navy lookout Harland and wolf submitted a rival bid.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago

Unfortunately the never ending arguing and fighting in the Northern Ireland assembly make H&W an unsafe bet for a long term contract…

They can’t even agree to form a government to argue about the problems, they would rather argue about the argument … Whilst all the time being paid, to not do their jobs!

Nope, not a stable environment for a long term project…..

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Morning John, agree with what you’re saying, it probably made an easy choice even easier. Rosyth has the experience with these platforms already so to give the contract to anyone else would maybe have been questioned. The situation in Norn Iron probably didn’t help H&W though, the government might have made a political decision and awarded it elsewhere but as you say, why the hell would they when the NI parlie are more interested in age old squabbles. Cue Jockpendence angle now though I suppose.

Suportive Bloke
Suportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Crankie might decide to shut Rosyth to save Fergusons given her sound commercial track record. Cough, cough…..

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago

Exactly – even though the polls say that less than 3 in 10 Scots want another divisive referendum

Actually, I would like to see H&W given some military work. We do not have enough shipyards left. Its a huge yard and could easily build replacements for the usless T45’s with support from the MoD

Shelley
Shelley
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

‘…useless T45s…’? Why so dismissive, David? Could you elucidate please? Probably the finest AA radars anywhere, missiles to match. Only lacks an AShW capability, but ships 3 – 6 have Harpoon launchers sitting around doing nothing. Not the ship’s fault, but a crass political decision. If you’re referring to the intercooler problem on the powertrain, that unit was foisted on us by the US, when the proven MT30 was fit for the job and preferred by some. Besides, it’s fixable and indeed being fixed. I hate it when some of our best kit is trashed by commentators, on what seems… Read more »

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  Shelley

Shelley, they dont work. They may have Sampson etc but they cannot produce enough power to run the electronics and radars. They have spent most of their lives alongside waiting for repairs or the PIP. Twelve years on, only one of them (Dauntless) has had the PIP ppower upgrade https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/what-is-the-status-of-each-type-45-destroyer/ They are so noisy a Russian SSN can hear them 1000 miles away. Their Harpoon antiship missiles have been removed so they cannot defend themselves. During the recent CSG21 global deployment Diamond broke down in the Med and was detached The T45’s look good on paper but we will not… Read more »

Shelley
Shelley
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Thanks for that info, David. Though I still think you’re being a bit tough on them. I’d like to see at least a couple more built, batch 2s, re-engined, other issues fixed, armed to the teeth with a bigger suite of weapons. Otherwise it’s a long wait till T83 comes along.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  Shelley

hi Shelley I have replied to your post, but its been moderated

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Shelley

The RR MT30 option didn’t exist when the Type 45’s were designed and built, it was a straight choice between the WR21 as fitted or the LM2500.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

Very sad situation Andy, H&W could potentially be a busy place, but who’s going to invest long term in a yard (or other major business), when they don’t know if it will be in the UK, or in the EU in 5 years time and all the contractual implications that come with it…

It rules the Provence out out of long term defence contracts unfortunately.

johan
johan
1 month ago

H & W have built less ships than Ferguson Marine.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Portsmouth had a feasibility study, but needed a huge upgrade to 1 dock i think to take the carriers. and lacked investment.

Ianbuk
Ianbuk
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I assume this contracts has a “as long as it’s in the United Kingdom” clause in case Kranky gets her way?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

Great to see forward planning. Rosyth being the obvious choice with there history on the carrier project. Harland and Wolff maybe are better focusing on other heavy engineering projects. The docks probably needs some work as well as the support structures/buildings. Last time I saw it in the news a large crane fell over. Does anyone know what has happened at Harland and Wolff over the past few years? Have they had any work? There used to be great picture of HMS queen Elizabeth being built in the dock next to an invincible class carrier. It gave a great perspective… Read more »

BB85
BB85
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

The facilities aren’t too bad and can easily be upgraded. But agree they would be better focusing on building offshore wind turbines and other renewable engineering projects. They have won a few maintenance contracts recently which is a positive sign.
I’m not sure if they still have any ship design expertise left equivalent to BMT but that is where the real money is. But the best I think they will get from the mod is a couple of modules from the mars program.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago

I believe this is the wrong decision. we should have moved the Goliath Crane to Cammel Laird and made that the large vessel shipyard. It would require a bit of investment – but you then have the ability to build and service large vessels and perhaps build elements for Barrow should we choose to increase our SSN fleet. There should be enough orders all round if we just think it through and keep the drumbeat steady. 4 SSBN = £40bn 10 SSN = £30bn 10 T26 ASW = £12bn 10 T26 AAW = £12bn 10 T32 = £5bn 10 T32… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Expected cost of above £120bn over 30 years or £4bn pa, with the majority going to Subs.”

Now if we can build these vessels so that they don’t need any maintenance and we can convince the crews (and base staff) to work for free you might be onto something mate.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

we will probably spend this anyway – but get less for our money and I have put prices in at the top end as well costs include maintenance (but as per FSL we should aim to sell off at year 13-15 and replace with new) Crews are ok as most of these will use less crew than the assets they are replacing – so its £4bn out of the published £17bn annual equipment spend – probably closer to £6bn. We do spend a load on maintenance – keeping knackered ships long past their sell by dates… I would do away… Read more »

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

👍

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

CL already do build sections for Barrow.

To be clear NOT parts of the pressure hull. Outer casings etc.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

The cost of the crane is peanuts.

The cost is in having something strong enough for it to roll on. Piles, capping, foundations etc

Then, is the base of the existing dry dock strong enough to allow for precision fabrication – ie does it nice when loaded?

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago

understood, but it also gives us another yard, one importantly in England so we are not constantly held to ransom. and CL have done a good job on what work they are getting it would seem.

I hope Rosyth enlarges its exits as its a tight fit…

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I’d be amazed if Rosyth ever altered its dock gate what bigger than QEC is ever likely to be built there?

CL can focus on the more mid sized stuff?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago

*does it move when it is loaded….

some of the older docks will have been built on soft ground on wooden piles that may have been fine when ships were 8,000t but not when they are much, much bigger….

Ian Malone
Ian Malone
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

QE cannot be docked at Cammel Laird without a new bigger Dry Dock. There are only a few Dry docks large enough and they are Rosyth, H&W, Inchgreen and Teeside.
If it was up to me I’d build a new Dry dock either at Portsmouth or Falmouth or refit the disused KGV one at Southampton.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Malone

Pompey i think its was dock 1 was looked at but would need a huge investment to enable a QE in.
Falmouth the problem is its to shallow for the QE Class to get up so would require the same upgrade as Pompey entrance to get into and then the Dock.
Southampton is more of a liner port now and lacks any serious yard labour force. l

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I’ve no problem with shipbuilding in Scotland, but would like to see other sites outside Scotland developed too for back-up. We have to have capacity to ramp up production & repairs/refits when we need to or if Rosyth is put out of action.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank62
Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Me neither. What I am really saying is if we are really committed to shipbuilding we can easily have 3 surface and 11 submarine building facility. We need to be placing orders for all the ships required in the next 30 years and then tranche the payments. It doesn’t matter too much what the soecifics of the River class replacement is today. But it does matter that a replacement is scheduled and funded with ring fenced budget for ship building. This is then detailed down as the timeline ticks along. Just look at FSS for how not to do this.… Read more »

Grant
Grant
1 month ago

Doesn’t this create a problem for the manufacture of the FSS? The QE will be due a refit during the period the FSS will be constructed: essentially takes Rosyth out the running?

It would of been better to build something at Pompey / Maybe used the H&W site (although that would of taken them out of the FSS running)

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Grant

Are you seriously suggesting building a whole new QEC sized dry dock? The problem with H&W is that it may or may not be in the UK and it may or may not be in business in a year or two time. The next problem with H&W is that they have a tiny, tiny core crew of people to build a ship of any kind. The number of people with ship building skills on the island of Ireland is tiny. FSS will at most be block built at H&W or at CL but either of those is a reach. And… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Supportive Bloke
Grant
Grant
1 month ago

I agree with you, the Team Resolute (Navantia, H&W and BMT) seems like it has a lot of issues to overcome BUT Team UK (Babcock and BAE) were proposing building the FSS at Rosyth and surely that won’t be compatible with refitting the QE during the same period? And if that is the case doesn’t it force the FSS down the Team Resolute route?

I was seriously suggesting building a whole new QEC sized dry dock! Appreciate the expense, but these ships will be in commission for 50 years.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago

Of course it’s still going to be in the U.K. 🤦🏻‍♂️
Sinn Fein may be the largest party at Stormont, but that’s only because the Unionists are split between 2 parties. Together they have more elected members than Sinn Fein.

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago

That’s assuming that FSS is built in the UK in the first place!!
It’s gone v silent on that front over the last 6 months or more especially as Ft Vic is a single point of failure for CSG ops. That should make FSS an absolute priority where finances are concerned.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

Couldn’t agree more

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Deep32

The have a process, you know. A very long, mostly uneccesary process. Hell could freeze over and the sun go nova, but the MoD would keep calm and carry on. Anything rather than come to a premature decision that involves spending money on delivery. In fact they’ve already paid four companies money to go away and do design work for an extended period so they have an excuse not to commission the essential first ship. The reason given is that there are no FSS options that can be used off the shelf that would meet the very specific requirements of… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

All very true, and actually shows, despite the large uplift in finances in 2020, just how precarious the MODs finances actually are. Without a doubt, we should already have a FSS designed and work on the first already in progress, so that it is available well before FT VIC actually bows out. This is after all the only SSS we actually have for the entire fleet!! I have absolutely no idea where they will be built, but if this process drags on and on, getting closer to Ft Vic OSD, then purely on economic and build time grounds, I can… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  Grant

There are 3 dry docks at Rosyth, so I’d assume plenty of capacity for other work.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

It’s worth noting that one of the docks at Rosyth will be utilised for some of the submarine disposal work, so that effectively leaves two dry docks for drydocking or build activities. Of course, they have the new hall and the existing MCM support building, so there will be a good amount of capacity to support their current and future aspirations.

Gfor
Gfor
1 month ago

I’m very happy with this.
I spent a fair amount of time in the Rosyth/Dunfermaline area and the team, the location and the locals are top notch.
I can confirm that the top of the crane is a very, very long way up, but well worth doing if you get the opportunity.
Also got to walk underneath the QE from bow to stern.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Gfor

Is it a tourist trip the crane? Sounds like a good day out.

Gfor
Gfor
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I suspect not, you have to be there ‘for a purpose’ when the carrier is in it is a busy place.
I do believe that they open the crane for charity abseils though when there are no defence assets around so maybe.

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago

Just seen that the BBC is reporting this, can you believe it!?

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
1 month ago

What is likely to be the most complex job for the carriers in the next 10 years?
They’ll obviously get a refit at some point but could they do something really drastic like extend them if that’s even possible?
Maybe fit a massive missile system or fancy pants lasers?

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Crisp

Cats and traps?

Peter Crisp
Peter Crisp
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

I think the may add such a system for any new drone system but I think the idea of F35-C is now dead.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago

Poland has just announced its chosen Brimstone to be the missile for its self propelled tank destroyer program Ottokar Brzoza. I dont think the vehicle itself has been chosen yet so may look quite different but a reminder of the concept image below. The agreement also allows for Brimstone to filter through into other Polish air/ground platforms in future if desired.

Pic_08-1-e1599408665231[1].jpg
Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Poland has already this year chosen CAMM as the missile for its air defence battalions so double win for MBDA UK. Also this week Nikkei-Asia and other sources reporting Japan is in negotiations for BAE to join its F-X fighter program replacing Lockheed Martin as the principal design engineering/project integration advisor to Mitsubishi for the project, Lockheed will be fired due to issues over Lockheed being unwilling to transfer technology for Japanese manufacturing (wanting to supply US made parts) and indications US government would be applying arms control restrictions that would prevent Japan exporting the design (remember Japans main bugbear… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Watcherzero
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Good for Poland. It’s definitely somewhere the U.K. should look to coming on board with some projects.
If Japan did break from Lockheed Martin I understand why. The restrictions the USA put on tech is such an issue. For some of the highest tech items I understand but the restrictions are stuck to loads of items and they never seem to time out. Why still restrict the F-2? The USA would never buy kit with similar restrictions from an ally so why should the allies unless absolutely necessary.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Now why can’t the British Army have something like this? 12 missile load here more than the Ajax based Overwatch with just 4 + any reloads?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

One other thing I’d like to see in the UK is another major naval base on the eastern Scottish seaboard for quick access to the North/North Sea/Far North/ Baltic. Is there anywhere on the Firth of the Firth it could go? I’ve not been to Scotland, but does Edinburgh have any naval facilities?

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Sorry, I meant the “Firth of the Forth”…it was my iPad that did it!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I don’t see the need myself. We have 3 already that some wanted to reduce to 2, both Pompey and Devonport are half empty already with the reductions to the surface fleet since 97.
Just reactivate Rosyth, the MoD/RN part which remains being HMS Caledonia.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

If wevwent with Rosyth, any additional base can help disperse the fleet around the UK if ever needed and even a possible home for a small fleet of diesel subs if ever adopted or uuv drones.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Thing is it will cost money that could be spent on the front line.

A naval base is expensive, it comes with POL depots, armaments depots ( admittedly with Rosyth Crombie is up the road ) and other features.

I think if the fleet needs to disperse, it goes out to sea. Having 3 HMNB or 4 won’t change the Russian missile targeting much, let’s get decent SAM protection for 20 plus UK sites instead.

The dispersal I do want to see is with the RAFs limited assets.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

You know me! I’d love to see more. However, it’s unlikely to happen with the consolidation of certain assets, autonomous boats, forward-deployed vessels and the smaller fleet. I mean, if money were no object, I’d like to see the construction of a brand new base with modern support facilities, large dry docks, helo/aviation facilities, accommodation, areas to cater for the provision of training and even shipbuilding facilities. While I have a great deal of respect for Pompey and Guzz (as well as Chatham and all the ‘old’ places – you know me!) it would be nice to move into a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Morning mate.

That is interesting, I had HMS Rooke as being in existence already at HMNB Gib as the Admin and Accomodation Centre?

You want a 21st century facility, I give you Weston Mill Lake at Devonport, the RNs “Centre of Excellence” for amphibious ops once they got rid of Turnchapel! 😆🙄

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

It technically closed in the mid 90s I believe. The buildings were passed over to the police/converted into private accommodation. The admin area remained as ‘the Rooke site’ for a number of years, but it has been demolished. It’s a bit of a weird situation. A lot of the buildings have been sold off or taken under the stewardship of GibDock and some of the land (which was often empty or used as caravan parks for workers!) has been built on… but a slither of the base remains active, and the MoD still has access to GibDock’s facilities. So even… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Thanks. I’m out of date.

Agree, sites like this in the strategic position it is in should be enhanced and more use made of the dock.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

Only 20 years or so! No idea where I got ‘tin’ from, haha.

I heard there was something floated regarding enhancing the area for the carriers, which currently have to come alongside at the ferry terminal. Maybe it was just a bit of internet guessing, as someone on here once suggested buying back a slither of Chatham for the yacht or whatever they’re calling it now.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago

With you on those GBAD SAM sites!

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
1 month ago

Considering they have one of only two dry dock in the U.K. they can fit in and the only one with a Goliath crane Any competing bid would have needed to factor in building there own. So it was theirs to loose.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

What’s loose? I’m sure a dockyard would be able to tighten it up.. they could even use superglue!

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

très drôle

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I try my best!

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Whatever

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Whatever