HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to sail up the Clyde later this month.

The Royal Navy say that the 65,000-tonne aircraft will return to Glen Mallen on the Clyde in Scotland for a “routine logistics visit and also hopes to visit Liverpool on her return leg to Portsmouth at the end of the month”.

The ship is currently at sea conducting training.

The exact date has not been confirmed but I’ll update you all when I find out.

This will be the first time the vessel has visited the Northern Ammunition Jetty at Glen Mallan near Faslane since it was upgraded.

According to a news release on the upgrade work:

“We awarded a £67m contract to VolkerStevin in 2019. Alongside them, we worked with managing agent Jacobs, which provided engineering and professional services, as well as designer Arch Henderson. In completing this major project, £20m was spent with local suppliers and small and medium enterprises in Scotland. The jetty was last upgraded in the 1970s and had reached the end of its economic life. The upgrade work has not only extended the life of the jetty by an estimated fifty years, but has also made the site accessible for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

In fact, HMS Queen Elizabeth visited part way through the work, back in March 2021, in preparation for her first operational deployment. This was not originally planned but became necessary when the scale of the ship’s deployment increased, presenting the team with a challenge to make the jetty operational in time for her arrival. Everyone involved, from DIO, VolkerStevin, Jacobs and the various subcontractors worked closely together to enable HMS Queen Elizabeth to berth at the unfinished jetty, which she did successfully.”

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
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Quentin D63
Quentin D63
29 days ago

Good morning 🇬🇧, if I can start with a pet rant of mine. Is there any update on an additional defensive armament being added to the two carrier’s? Such as RAM/CAMM, 30/40mm/RWS and trainable decoy launchers? Given the current tension with Russia.

Farouk
Farouk
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Yup, I’ve heard they are going to replace the bootie at the front of the ship armed with an SA80 , with one armed with a Bow and arrow, only time Will Tell if this will be successful.

I’ll get me coat.

Last edited 29 days ago by Farouk
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
29 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Luckily I have a good sense of humour…too.

Jonathan
Jonathan
29 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

Yes but they are longbows and bodkin headed armour piercing arrows. it’s part of the cunning plan to stabilise the capital budget as well as reduce dependence on Russia hydrocarbons and chinese tec industries. It’s ensuring a Great British success story is built open and developed.

James
James
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

In a nutshell no. I doubt the funding would come for any of those and even if it did the mounting points etc dont exist. Plus firing missiles from carriers is not without issues, debris/smoke etc is not what you want being exploded around a flight deck.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
29 days ago
Reply to  James

Hi James, I think it’s just plane laziness. I just don’t buy it. All other navies have a higher level of defensive armament on their carriers, CSG or not. Anyway I’m not in charge.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*plain

James
James
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Its not being lazy at all, bringing yet more weapons systems on line that arent used anywhere else in the RN is not simply bolt it on and turn the system on. Costs are huge when factoring in training, storage, handling and installation etc. Yes most other navies will have a few additional systems on the carriers but as stated fire one of them you immediately cancel all take off and landings of aircraft until HSE have made sure all the flight deck is clear of debris. Simply by launching one missile as a countermeasure you can effectively cripple the… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
29 days ago
Reply to  James

I probably should not have used the word “laziness”, but seriously, electronic countermeasures or not, missiles, rws or not i/we all hope no corners have been cut with protecting these carriers. Appearances are definitely deceiving and in a good way.
Thanks for your reply.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The Job of the T45 is to protect the carrier, plus any other escorts that are part of the task group, that’s it’s job, thats what its armed and equipped to do. The carrier is to generate its primary weapon systems. Aircraft.

Frank62
Frank62
29 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Usual spin. If that is the plain logic maybe you should try to get the USN, Russian, PLAN, French & several others to stop using 1 or 2 SAMs on their carriers. We had SAMs on out carriers before, it’s just a poor excuse using the debris/escort line. USN isn’t short of escorts yet they have 2 or 3 different SAM systems on their carriers.

zavve
zavve
29 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

The Russian and French have VLS if I remember correctly so that could interfere with the flight operations. The USN have their SAM’s “below deck” so that problem is solved. RN Should have Seaceptor in a RIM-116 configuration where the current Phalanx systems are. Alternatively, they could use Bofors 40mm Mk4 as that is already ordered for the T31.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
29 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

We took the Sea Dart system off the Invincible class to make more room for its weapon systems. Aircraft. We use a layered air defence system that works very very well. And if the carrier has to use its close in defence weapons, then all is probably lost, and it’s a very bad day indeed. Oh. And Russia doesn’t have a carrier. The investment has gone into Sea Viper on the T45 and Sea Ceptor. The right tools for the job.

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
28 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Hi Robert, good to have replies from all different angles. We all agree that the carriers are very dependent on the escort group for AAW, and that’s our very point. In my opinion, too dependent. The T45 availability is not consistent at the moment, allied ships might have other commitments, so all this could restrict carrier Ops ability severely. I think a bit more defensive armament on the carriers and RFAs would be very prudent and money well spent. Even if the T26s had a CAMM/CAMM-ER mix in their 6 pack silos, that would offer a very extra 25-50km SAM… Read more »

Quentin Drury
Quentin Drury
28 days ago
Reply to  Quentin Drury

*usual…useful

Ian
Ian
29 days ago
Reply to  James

Hi James
How about the debris/smoke is a missile going through the flight deck…

Ian
Ian
29 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Of not is

James
James
29 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Similar problem so why create it yourself albeit without the hole in the deck?

If missiles are getting that close to the carrier past all of the escorts then its pretty much game over anyways, have a small additional close in system that ‘might’ make a difference but also cause problems in itself is hardly going to help the situation.

Ron
Ron
28 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Ian Hi, Sea Ceptor has no debris or smoke as they are cold launched, to be honest they would be the best anti air missile to fit on our carriers if we ever will. I have often wondered if we could use Sea Ceptor in the same way as Sea RAM , remove the gun from the Phalanx CIWS and replace it with a 12 tubed Sea Ceptor launcher. Then instead of the intended 30mm gun mounts install the 40mm gun mounts that the T31 will get. That should give the QEs the same defence ability of a T26 at… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
29 days ago
Reply to  James

Missile debris is not something that stops virtually every other nation operating carriers mounting SAM systems! We’re not being sensible/prudent, we’re just recklessly cutting costs.

James
James
29 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Im not saying it doesnt but with all other nations they are literally a last last chance system that they would only fire if everything else fails. The US mount the systems under the level of the flight deck to try avoid the debris issue, we didnt design the carriers for this and its not easy to change them now they are built. Its all well and good saying fit every single system known to man to the carriers but it has to be factored in when building them and also critically we need the money for them which we… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
28 days ago
Reply to  James

I would in no way underestimate the softkill systems. They are remarkable and spoken about very little for obvious reasons. Any missile has to have some way of targeting the ships. A lot of effort has been put into these systems and being able to disable incoming missiles.
Torpedoes are probably more worrying. There is also effort been put into defending against these also.

Alistair
Alistair
28 days ago
Reply to  James

It makes no sense to say say we don’t have the money available to protect fully a billion pound investment, yet come straight out a pandemic and fund a war , far too many experts and legends in their own lifetime are having a say without compromise or common sense entering the debate 🤷‍♂️

James
James
23 days ago
Reply to  Alistair

Exactly we have just come out of a pandemic in which we have borrowed an unthinkable sum of money to fund, now we have the expense of helping Ukraine out and this war is going to have an impact on our and other economies.

So yes, we dont have the money. We could cut other capabilities in the forces to pay for up arming the carriers slightly but that will be a best case scenario.

Jay
Jay
29 days ago
Reply to  James

US Navy have been doing it successfully for decades!

James
James
28 days ago
Reply to  Jay

Which US carriers have come under attack to launch these systems in the last decades exactly?

You can imagine the scene, got a matter of seconds to react to fire a final CIWS missile system but how do you coordinate with air traffic control to know the location of all inbound aircraft including helicopters. Do you launch knowing fine well you may take out friendly aircraft?

Jay
Jay
28 days ago
Reply to  James

So something that hasn’t come under attack is justifying not spending on defence? Interesting logic matey

James
James
28 days ago
Reply to  Jay

That was in no way what I said, should work for the daily fail with spin like that!

David
David
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

It will always be escorted so there are probably bigger priorities even if there is a GDP % rise as a result of the war. Adding SAM capacity to type 45 has been announced but will be slow. Sea Ceptor on the frigates is actually a decent umbrella. Feasibly a RAM Ciws on a sponsoon below the flight deck might work, but the RN I believe doesn’t like IIR homing missiles where friends helo’s and vessels operate. Give it a few years and the 20mm on Phalanx will be replaced by a laser. The US Burkes and cC arriers are… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
29 days ago
Reply to  David

Hi David, I’m sure you’re right. There would many suites of defensive measures on board as well as in a CSG. I’m just a bit old school and like be able to see some actual hardware!

Nick B
Nick B
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I think you make a valid point, Quentin, albeit one that’s been made before. If the powers at be were truly 100% confident in the ability of escorts to neutralize missile attacks, then they wouldn’t have thought it necessary to install Phalanx. On a positive note, it is encouraging to learn of plans to add Sea Ceptor to the T45s. That will improve the carrier air defence umbrella.

James
James
29 days ago
Reply to  Nick B

Thats the entire point of phalanx, its a last ditch effort to shoot down something that has got through everything else.

If missiles are that close in on the carrier having an additional small CIWS isnt going to make much if any difference by that point in time.

Phalanx can have a secondary use against surface targets such as a swarm of small ships heading in which does give it an additional use in certain scenarios.

Nick B
Nick B
28 days ago
Reply to  James

Of course, James. My point is that if the powers that be were 100% sure that nothing could get through to the carrier, then they would not have felt the need to install Phalanx. If you follow that logic forward, then a discussion about the adequacy of carrier defence becomes reasonable. I accept that it may be difficult to fire missiles from a carrier without causing FOD problems or risking targeting escorting ships if they are IR missiles. Hopefully, those powers that be make decisions based on tactical analysis rather than bean-counting…

James
James
25 days ago
Reply to  Nick B

Sadly I think the reality is a compromise between the two from your last sentence.

DRS
DRS
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Pet rant here too, added is a bit of fantasy CIWS with 2x 40mm bofors with 3P ammo (range 12.5km) and sea ceptor (range 25km) added where you had the 30mm mounts planned. Showing you response time to current normal and hypersonic missiles and coverage arcs (darker areas shows overlaps of coverage). The sea ceptor mounting points will hopefully minimise FOD especially as they have soft launch and if they are using VLS with a hard top that opens prior to launch rather than mushroom farm. All perfectly possible and not too expensive. we need defense in depth, with the… Read more »

fantasy-CIWS QE-and-response-time.png
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
29 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Hi DRS, well at least there’s two of us… I like your take on this. Hope it gets up one way or another. I’d like to see them squeeze more than 4*6=24 CAMM on T45s. Put some side silos and get it up to 32 or 48 CAMM…and why don’t they pinch the CAMM silos for the first three T26s and put them on the six T45s sooner as they’re bustingly urgent…? Sorry, I’m getting a bit carried away here and haven’t even mentioned AShMs.. Lol 😁

Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Better hope those Merlin AEWs are up to scratch. Shows you how increasingly inadequate both the Phalanx and the Harpoon weapon systems are in the modern era. Lasers are really the only likely reliable answer and I use that word carefully! Hopefully if anyone does decide one day to put Sea Ceptor on the QEs then it will be the extended range version (~40 km). Another thing to bear in mind is that a projectile flying at 2700 m/s (Brahmos II) will still have a lot of forward momentum even if it gets hit by an interceptor so there’s still… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Gareth
Gareth
Gareth
29 days ago
Reply to  DRS

One other thing to mention is that the response times might be a little more optimistic (for the carrier) as the emissions from the incoming missile’s own radar seeker are likely to be detected before the missile itself, which would at least give a bearing, before it actually crosses the radar horizon.

Frank62
Frank62
29 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Like it. I’d just replace Phalanx with 40mm Bofors & add Sea Ceptor.
If the RN rationale for nothing more than Phalanx is sound, why doesn’t any oither major carrier operator take the risks we do? They don’t & most have far better escort availability than us. Previous RN CVAs had SAMs until they got cut, replaced by the current empty spin frequently trotted out.

Daveyb
Daveyb
28 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Your 40mm range is not quite correct. The 12.5 km is the shell’s maximum range when fired at 45 degrees. The maximum effective range is about 4km when fired flat at sea level. I would forgo the BAe/Bofors 40mm and instead use the 57mm weapon system. This would probably require the structural strength of the sponsons to be increased and would likely forgo a below decks magazine. But the reason for the increase in calibre, is not only due to the larger shells effects, but also because you can now use guided rounds. The BAe/Bofors 40mm shell has nearly double… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Good afternoon Quentin, There are some interesting points raised in these links in answer to your question. Should HMS Queen Elizabeth be fitted with her own missile defences? https://www.navylookout.com/should-hms-queen-elizabeth-be-fitted-with-her-own-missile-defences/ Close-in defence for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers https://www.navylookout.com/close-in-defence-for-the-royal-navys-aircraft-carriers/ “A ship-borne laser weapon being developed for the U.K. is edging closer to achieving pinpoint accuracy, and it is all being done with mirrors. Launched in 2017, the U.K.’s Dragonfire laser program, led by missile house MBDA, will reach a milestone this spring when team member Leonardo delivers technology to the group to ensure the beam can strike a tiny target miles… Read more »

britlaser-1mbdaconceptpromo.jpg
Last edited 29 days ago by Nigel Collins
DRS
DRS
29 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

How much time does it need to penetrate armour or blind sensors? What happens on a foggy, blustery, rainy day.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
29 days ago
Reply to  DRS
Last edited 29 days ago by Nigel Collins
ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
28 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Does it work in the rain ?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
28 days ago

Hi ExcalibursTemplar, It has been designed to operate in all weather conditions.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
28 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

So i take it the lasers are just that powerful now (it used to be a problem). Even if water vapour does refract the beam, it has a negligible affect.

Cool as then.

Daveyb
Daveyb
28 days ago

Blooming is still a problem, where water droplets cause the beam to diverge, thus making the spot bigger. Which thereby increases the spot’s surface area where it is trying to burn through a material. However, this can be mitigated by using a multi-beam (fibre laser) where the individual beams are converged at the target. You can also use different frequencies of lasers as how a laser is affected by water droplets etc is a also dependent on the operating frequency.

ExcalibursTemplar
ExcalibursTemplar
27 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Nice reply thanks for taking the time to write it.

Daveyb
Daveyb
28 days ago

Yes, but the effective range is reduced.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
28 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel, Dragonfire looks the business but how far is it away from being operational? I’m also curious about its effective range – maybe out to 2-5km? I have no idea. Just think that with the T45s going through PIP and missile upgrades that CAMM could be more widespread across the fleet. Others have said the same before too including the Albions, Bay’s, RFAs. Why not protect these few and valuable and essential assets? Any enemy will attack logistics and fuel supply lines whenever it can, we would too. I’d also like to see if the two types of CAMM… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
28 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Good morning Quentin D63, It is designed to be a close-in weapons support system which I assume will eventually replace Phalanx onboard, so times three on the QE class and far cheaper per shot. “According to the Ministry of Defence: “A novel laser weapon could complement or replace existing weapons systems with the potential for significant benefits. It could be employed to protect our maritime and land forces; for example, ships from threat missiles or soldiers from enemy mortars.” MBDA UK Ltd will assess how the system can acquire and track targets at range and in varying weather conditions over… Read more »

David Pattinson
David Pattinson
26 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

i know it was a long time ago but the Sheffield probably thought everything would be ok until was hit. Has the carrier fleet been upgraded with it’s own guns that can actually hit a speeding bullet yet? hopefully yes. Will these counter measures be doubled up so in the case of a laser being rendered useless by chaff, or a bit of tin foil glued to the incoming missiles pointy end, there will be a reserve to fall back on?

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
29 days ago

The official line you will always get from the MOD is ‘ we always keep defensive updates on our carriers under review.’

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Hi Mark, hopefully something will magically happen one day. But it is good to see all the new ships coming along for RN. Britain needs to be a force for good around the world.

Mark franks
Mark franks
29 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

I left the airforce 15 years ago to this day, can’t belive it. I was speaking to a mate of mine the other day he is still serving with 6 months to go, ‘Never been so busy’ was his reply ‘and they have offered me another 3 years’
There is alot of planning going on its almost like cold War days, old plans have been pulled from the back of some dusty draw that otherwise would not have seen the light of day and many scratching of heads.

Frank62
Frank62
29 days ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

i.e. The treasury won’t fund anything else so we keep our finger crossed we don’t get caught out.

Jonathan
Jonathan
29 days ago

As we are getting bofors 40 Mk4s on the type 31 we should really think about using them as the standard close in weapon system fit for all ships. They don’t need to be deck penetrating and have lots of advanced munitions.

zavve
zavve
28 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Replace all 20mm with 40mm Mk4 or Seaceptor in a SeaRAM configuration.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
28 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Totally agree. They’re not as autonomous as CIWS can be, but will offer cover out beyond 2km and up to 8-10km?

Daveyb
Daveyb
28 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Not quite. The effective range is 4km, but it will still expend a lot of ammo, as it doesn’t currently have guided rounds and has to rely on proximity shells.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  Daveyb

Hi Db, i had read in a recent Navy Lookout article that the 40mm mk4:s effective CIWS range was only 2.5km, so if 4km that’s much better, with max range out to 10-12.5km. And i thought they were working on programmable shells. Anyway a very useful system for beyond the T31.

Coll
Coll
29 days ago

I can’t wait. I will be back at work when it comes in.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago

Permission to ask two slightly crazy questions… With the RN 4.5″/114mm Mod 1 mounts… would it be feasible to rebarrel these all to 5″? As it only a 1/2 inch variance. Could you then add a case (sabot?) to the current 4.5″ shell so that could also be fired from the new 5″/127mm guns being purchased? It would involve a lot of rework but the calibre difference is so minor it got me thinking about re-using the current gunnery system.
Apologies in advance if this is a ridiculous suggestion… Lol… and I haven’t been taking anything!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
27 days ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

* I had put the above on the wrong article so you might see it twice.

Iain Rankin
Iain Rankin
27 days ago

She arrived this morning