The UK now has two large aircraft carriers at sea ready for operations after HMS Prince of Wales was recently declared operational.

The Royal Navy say here that a fortnight-long international exercise off the Scottish coast “put the stamp on two years of intensive training for the Portsmouth-based warship, 700-plus crew, the Royal Navy and RAF squadrons who will operate aircraft from her flight deck – including the fifth-generation F-35 Lightning stealth fighter – and thousands of military personnel and civilians who support and maintain the endeavour”.

It means HMS Prince of Wales can join her sister HMS Queen Elizabeth on operational dutues when required; the latter is currently beginning the second half of her maiden deployment leading a carrier strike group in the Pacific.

F-35B jets on HMS Prince of Wales

“We have excitingly jumped the final hurdle and are now a fully-fledged strike carrier, ready at 30 days’ notice for operations around the globe,” said HMS Prince of Wales’ Commanding Officer Captain Steve Higham.

“This is a significant moment for the ship which will see us operate with fighter jets, helicopters, drones, and other vessel. We’ll achieve all of this by working with our friends and colleagues from the RAF, the British Army and across Defence to deliver our contribution for the UK as a problem-solving, burden-sharing partner nation. The whole Prince of Wales team are grateful for the support of our followers, our families and our friends and hope that they keep following us towards our first deployment.”

According to a news release:

“The final act of the new carrier’s preparation for operations was participation in the largest military exercise hosted in the UK this autumn. Thousands of military personnel from a dozen nations took part in the combined UK/NATO exercise Joint Warrior/Dynamic Mariner which ended yesterday, testing their abilities individually and collectively to deal with global events. More than 20 warships and submarines, plus maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters and thousands of military personnel from a dozen nations are taking part in the fortnight long combined exercise.

Ten Royal Navy vessels, plus elements of four Fleet Air Arm squadrons (troop carrying and submarine-hunting Merlins, Commando and anti-surface Wildcats and Hawk jets which have decamped from Cornwall to Scotland), Royal Marines of 3 Commando Brigade and the guns of their supporting artillery regiment, 29 Commando RA, plus senior staffs – around 2,000 men and women in all – represented the Senior Service.”

HMS Prince of Wales is due to return to Portsmouth in the small hours of Saturday October 2.

HMS Queen Elizabeth in the South CHina Sea last month.

For more on what HMS Queen Elizabeth is up to, click here or visit the link below.

HMS Queen Elizabeth gets new Captain

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Bulkhead
Bulkhead
18 days ago

With no aircraft ?

Reaper
Reaper
18 days ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

It can fly 2 f35 and 20 choppers…

Andy Reeves
Andy Reeves
18 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

wouldn’t make much of a photo

geoffi
geoffi
17 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Will have more F-35s when QE is mothballed at the end of CSG21.

Sean
Sean
18 days ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

Clearly it has aircraft onboard for it to be declared operational. And if you’d bothered keeping up with the news over the last couple of weeks then you would have seen pictures of them too 🤦‍♂️

You’re just embarrassing yourself 🤷‍♂️

Bill
Bill
18 days ago
Reply to  Sean

2 F35’s. Cosmic.

Reaper
Reaper
18 days ago
Reply to  Bill

It can and will carry far more F35bs!.

It can and will carry More Choppers too!.

Just a commando helicopter force of say 10 Merlin HC4s with Chinooks, Apaches and wildcats is a force only a handful of nations can muster..Then add just 8 F35s on the carrier for top cover…

Bill
Bill
17 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Presumably that’s for amphib operations. The American assault carriers have only 6 fixed wing planes so that configuration is entirely feasible.

Peter S
Peter S
17 days ago
Reply to  Bill

But the plan to spend @£70m adapting POW for amphibious operations has been dropped. Instead we are looking to EMCATS and drones to make up numbers. Quite why anyone thinks that operating unmanned full sized aircraft is going to be easier or less expensive than manned CATOBAR which we opted to avoid ( twice), I don’t understand. Given the limited F35 fleet, the amphibious role looked sensible.

Sean
Sean
18 days ago
Reply to  Bill

2 None*

(* which is what you originally disingenuously claimed.)

So you’ve demonstrated your basic maths skills suck. 😆

If 2 F35’s are all that’s needed to test and validate operational capability… then why on Earth would you have any more? It’d just be wasteful. 🤷‍♂️
(Or do you think you know better than the senior officers of the FAA and RN – which would add hubris to your list of deficiencies…)

Like I said, you’re embarrassing yourself.

James
James
18 days ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

Come on. That’s enough. If you read here you know that F35’s were on deck. Cannot see the purpose of your post. Thank you.

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  James

And Anyway, Flight disembarks prior to Entry into Portsmouth you can’t disembark a squadron once alongside , A the Ship is not into Headwind B Pompey City Council would Fine the Navy for Noise pollution, Can’t wait too see Insulate Britian laying on the flight deck during Navy Days James

James
James
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I have actually seen an F35B leve the deck of QE while she was docked in Portsmouth.

Dern
Dern
18 days ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

Always one isn’t there…

Andy Reeves
Andy Reeves
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

i always enjoy tongue in cheek posts

Airborne
Airborne
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Quite a few at the moment mate!

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

You’ll enjoy this:
I’m having a argument on Twitter over the new Army Smoking Regs to come in in 2022 (my position fwiw; broadly in favour, but forsee lots of teething problems).
Best comment so far is someone who seems to think that soldiers have a choice to “pay” to grow their sideburns out.

Couldn’t seem to get his idea around the fact that Queens Regs are non-negotiable and that just because Civies can choose to do things doesn’t mean the Squaddies can.

Airborne
Airborne
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Ah Queens regs, that most flexible and changeable of publications…..😆!

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Lots of angst coming from (mostly civies) about the Army banning smoking it seems.
“You can’t stop soldiers from doing legal things, they’re adults it’s their choice. What about alcohol!?”

Meanwhile the Army be like “Is that on informed sports lad?”

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
18 days ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

They’re stealth aircraft, so you’ll have to squint to see them if you haven’t had the proper training.

J anderson
J anderson
17 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

😆😂🤣

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Spot on Tomartyr, that’s one of the reasons why the Flight Deck teams form a line across the Flightdeck not just a FOD PLOD but also too find those illusive Stealth fighters

Mark B
Mark B
18 days ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

PoW could sail in virtally any direction and be joined by F35B’s from many nations not to mention other aircraft. It is even possible F35s might be flown half way across the world from the QE. Flexibility. 😀

It would be nice to have greater numbers of F35s but this has surprised people because it seems to have been declared operational 18 months early? I thought the target was 2023? Correct me if i am wrong guys.

Meirion x
Meirion x
18 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I think from 2023 the PoW becomes the Flag Ship for a while, and goes on a worldwide cruise with 809Squ(FAA).
The QE goes into refit for a several months.

Last edited 18 days ago by Meirion x
Meirion x
Meirion x
18 days ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

Yes there were aircraft aboard from 207 Squ. use to qualify pilots for future carrier operations. And the testing of new drone aircraft including jet powered ones.

Last edited 18 days ago by Meirion x
Emilio Dumphque
Emilio Dumphque
16 days ago
Reply to  Bulkhead

I count 14 F-35s on the deck in the photo.

maurice10
maurice10
18 days ago

Formidable capability and a huge improvement in RN operations. I wonder what the turnaround time will be to operate two carries simultaneously? The likelihood of dual operations is probably small, but it’s a good feeling to see both at sea after all this time.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

We needed two carriers to retake the Falklands. Thats why we need three carriers.

John Clark
John Clark
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We needed three in Falklands because the Invincible class (and Hermes) only had very limited operational capabilities….

A single QE class can carry far more ‘effective’ combat capability in aircraft, drones, Royal Marines etc than all three Invincible class ships could dream of deploying if they were to operate together.

In reality only two Invincible class ships were ever operational.

Andy Reeves
Andy Reeves
18 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

ark royal was retired 5 years early because it was too expensive to operate ditto the entire type 22 class some were barely run in

geoffi
geoffi
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy Reeves

What happened to the B3s was a disgrace. The best frigates the RN ever had…

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy Reeves

Spot on Andy, the type 22 batch 2s went before their time ,

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

John, we had 2 carriers on Op Corporate. Probably not because they had limited capability but to avoid putting all eggs in one basket aka redundancy. Argentine jets were looking to take out a carrier and it is widely believed that when they attacked MV Atlantic Conveyor they were going for and thought they had got a carrier.

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Correct Graham,25th May Xhxtty day , Argie Press showed Fake Photo of surpossed Bomb damage too Flightdeck of Invincible with smoke emanating from Inside the Hangar. Loss of AC meant no replacement Harriers and Chinos for troop airlift

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Loss of Chinooks (bar one) for troop lift meant that the plan had to be recut for 5 Inf Bde – they were not fit enough to do a megatab (they had only just come off public duties – and they were not in the same fitness league as Paras and bootnecks), so they were sailed around to Fitzroy, with disastrous consequences.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks Graham , I know people on this Thread will say that Was 39 yrs ago .So what , Lest we Forget , Bluff Cove could have been averted ,1 RM officer told a senior Army officer it would be best too get the guards disembarked at first light Snd was basically , just ignored , Hope Inter service Co operation has been also Been Rectifed

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hermes used too sneak in close after Sunset, Invincible stood off Hermes
Departed July Illustrious turned up too releive Invincible beginning of Sept .Invincible returned to Portsmouth Friday 17th Sept .82

Andy Reeves
Andy Reeves
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

if we bought a roll on roll off ferry and put a full length deck on it we would have. after all its only a step away from what was done with atlantic conveyor in 1982we’d also restablish all that was lost when ocean was sold

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy Reeves

I thought HMS Ocean was quite a bit better than just a ferry with a full deck. She was very capable and modestly priced. In losing the LPH, we have lost a lot. Now we have to deploy a larger, more expensive asset to deliver helicopter aviation and commandos.

geoffi
geoffi
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

She was already knackered – built to commercial standards

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy Reeves

Rfa Argus ,was R on R off problem was FWD superstructure width way across beam to beam

Cuthy
Cuthy
16 days ago
Reply to  Andy Reeves

I always thought we should have kept HMS Invincible (or Ocean) to use as a FOB for F35B strikes. It could have been kept with a skeleton crew closer to enemy positions and enable Elizabeth to stay out of harms way.

Mark B
Mark B
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We needed two carriers to retake the Falklands because the Argentinians believed we were two weak to even attempt to take the islands back. They were wrong. Now we are a stronger more self assurred fighting force. I can’t see many countries looking at the QE Class, type 45s etc. and thinking we are a push over. Had we had this type of kit before maybe many lives would have been saved.

Terry Willson
Terry Willson
17 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The United States does not deploy carriers with a ski jump configuration as does the UK, India, Russia and China as a flat top design allow multirole fighters to be catapulted from the flight deck with a much heavier weapons load. China’s third super carrier -estimated to be 100,000 tonnes by US survelience satellites will be launched at the end of this year, with fitting out/commissioning likely to take 18 to 24 months. US flat top design but far more streamlined stealth profile than Uncle Sam’s with a more advanced CATOBAR system and electromagnetic (EM) launch catapults. As opposed to… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago
Reply to  Terry Willson

I think you are missing the point Terry. It should not and will not be up to one nation to defend against dictatorships. The are far more free nations who if they wish to remain free will outpace the advances of any single nation. China will also need to keep in mind that their economy is built upon the delivery of goods to the very nations which are concerned about their new offensive posture. Whilst I agree that western nations have been slower to respond to China you must remember that many western contries sustain far higher spending on defence… Read more »

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

We deployed 2 carriers to ensure redundancy. If we had deployed a single carrier and lost it to breakdown or enemy action, the operation would have been aborted.
The Argentine junta did not think Britain was militarily weak – our Navy was more than twice today’s size then, but that we did not have the political will to launch a task force.

Mark B
Mark B
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Point taken however I wonder if Fieldhouse, given the option, would have preferred the superior fire power and resilience of today’s fleet against the numerical superiority available to him at the time? A few type 45s would give any air force something to think about and provide a few more options to the commanders. The much meligned drone technology will provide the option in the future of cheap rapidly produced platforms in numbers not seen before. Victory will definately go to the nations with the most open minded approach.

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Graham we deployed 2 carriers because that’s all we had Bulwark the carrier was in the Basin Pompey would have taken 6mnth too bring her too readiness, Illustrious was speeded through all works

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Thanks Tommo. My point was that we needed 2 carriers for Op Corporate to create redundancy (avoid all eggs in one basket). Could we deploy 2 carriers again out of a complement of just 2? Hence we need 3 carriers in service.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Thanks got what you meant ,Graham

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We had 31 Sea Harriers in 1982 (subsonic, crap radar, only WVR missiles, excellent pilots), of which oinly 20 made it to the Falklands on May 1st – even today we can put 20 F-35Bs on two carriers – aircraft which pretty much trump anything in the air put up by any nation. Definately + 1982.

Last edited 18 days ago by James William Fennell
Graham
Graham
17 days ago

All that is true except that I had heard that Sea Harriers radar was quite good; at least they had a radar unlike the RAF planes. I am aware that the 2021 capability is well up on the 1982 capability. My point is that we deployed 2 carriers in 1982 to ensure redundancy, as a single carrier lost to breakdown or enemy action would have led to the operation being aborted.
To be sure of 2 carriers deploying you need 3 in service, and a modicum of luck that the gremlins keep at bay.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

The Blue Fox radar that was on the SHAR was OK for the time. But it wasn’t really suitable for what it was being asked to do. In typical RN fashion they got the most out of what they had and all credit to them for that. The SHAR neither had the space of electrical capacity for anything fancier at the time. Processing wise you then had to contend with what a pilot could do on his own in an aircraft that was quite quirky to fly which was, at the time, limiting the processing power wasn’t that compact. So… Read more »

James William Fennell
James William Fennell
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Blue Fox was very basic derived from the Sea Spray radar on the Lynx helicopter. Blue Vixen on the SHAR FA2 was much better, but did not enter service until the 1990s. Blue Vixen is the ancestor of the CAPTOR radar on Typhoon.

geoffi
geoffi
17 days ago

Crap radar ? Reckon you should read Sharkey Ward’s book. The CAP was used incorrectly more often than not.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
17 days ago

Hi James, During the Falkland’s campaign, Harrier numbers peaked on 20th May 1982 (the day before the San Carlos landings) – 25 FAA Sea Harriers and six RAF Harrier GR3s. On that day, there were 15 SHARs on Hermes, plus the GR3s – and 10 SHARs on Invincible. Thereafter, attrition reduced those numbers during the remainder of the campaign. As well as redundancy, two carriers were needed to deploy sufficient air-resources to recapture the islands. Sandy Woodward stated the loss of one carrier would probably have forced the British to abandon the campaign. I agree that British carrier air-power is… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Thanks Alan. It sounds like you are unconvinced by Merlin/Crowsnest as AEW, yet its endurance is fairly good.

Andy Poulton
Andy Poulton
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You forget the massive increase in stand-off weapons and the capability for precision strike that comes with a single bomb where previously several would have been required with no guarantee of a hit. See “Black Buck ” missions for an example of this

DaveyB
DaveyB
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy Poulton

Did somebody mention Trafalgar/Astutes and TLAm?

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago
Reply to  Andy Poulton

I totally agree with that. Now you could put a line of bombs down the middle of a runway dropped at very high level: with total confidence and a ridiculous degree of precision. To be totally fair there were a couple of laser packages down South in ’82 and they were not really used to their best potential. It was pretty much untested kit at the time. I think one of the SF ones got dropped in the drink? The GR’s with laser targeting could have done a much better job than the Black Buck’s did. The argument was really… Read more »

Dave G
Dave G
17 days ago

They deliberately didn’t try and go along the runway to ensure that at least one hit it…. The mission was a success. However, one major point was by showing we could hit the falklands with vulcan we also showed we could hit the Argentine mainland if we chose to. This meant they had to keep a significant number of aircraft at home to protect against that option.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago
Reply to  Dave G

Yes, I know all that: hence why I phrased it the way I did.

Alan Reid
Alan Reid
16 days ago

Personally I am not so sure: as it showed that if we did heavy dumb bombing we could only achieve WW2 levels of precision”.

I agree SB – in fact, the Vulcan’s main bombing-aid was essentially an updated version of H2S (ground mapping radar) carried by Lancaster bombers over Berlin in late-1943.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
16 days ago
Reply to  Alan Reid

Exactly.

The flip side of Black Buck was is showed UK airpower limitations perfectly. If you are doing that there isn’t anything else in the cupboard.

I was always a bit surprised that there was no attempt to link up SF laser designator with the Black Buck bombings. I suspect the problem was the weather conditions. Anyone know?

Ray Van Dune
Ray Van Dune
13 days ago
Reply to  Andy Poulton

Speaking of Black Buck, I would be interested in strategic assessments of its overall effectiveness. Did it surprise the Argies or did they hear about it coming, did it draw a lot of Argie resources, etc?

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As we joked whilst down there oh the Invincible taken up on Station as South African Guardship Don’t think they got the joke though . Graham

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
18 days ago

When is the maiden deployment? 2023?? Anyway this is very good news not just for the RN but for the country.

Chris
Chris
18 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

For the Anglo-sphere!

-From Canada

Mark B
Mark B
18 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Canada should join in “CAUKUS?”

We could build you a few Carriers, T45s that work etc.

Last edited 18 days ago by Mark B
Bill
Bill
18 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

CANCAUKUS.

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
18 days ago
Reply to  Bill

CAUKUS
no, wait.

Frank62
Frank62
18 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

CAKES R US more to my appetite!

geoff
geoff
17 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Haha! When I was battling the ScotNats on the Glasgow Herald ten years back I said WISE for the UK-Wales,Ireland,Scotland,England. One smart ass Nat retorted-SWINE-Scotland,Wales,Ireland North,England.😂 Had to concede a few points on that day!

Last edited 17 days ago by geoff
Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  geoff

If Scotland does a runner followed by NI teaming up with Ireland, then what remains should be called KEW, Kingdom of England & Wales. Appropriate given that we like our gardens.

geoff
geoff
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

👏Nice one Graham. Impressive fleet with PoW!!

Frank62
Frank62
17 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Or maybe good WINES.

geoff
geoff
15 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Indeed Frank-from the Cape of Good Hope!!

Klonkie
Klonkie
14 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Hey Geoff what’s up -you must have enjoyed the Rugby on Sunday – what a game!

geoff
geoff
13 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Howsit Klonkie-nailbiter and nice consolation prize for the Boks! Always good to beat the AB’s in their own back yard!
Cheers from a wet and cold(like NZ😉) Durban

Klonkie
Klonkie
13 days ago
Reply to  geoff

Nice one Mate!

rattopia
rattopia
17 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

canada actually need a military first with some first rate equipment and not clapped out hand me downs

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago
Reply to  rattopia

😀I think this alliance will be producing the best that Austailia, the US and the UK can produce as new kit. Hand me downs are only relevant when the kit has exhausted its useful life and only then non nuclear tech. Some countries will want to go it alone but some will recognise that they will get a greater quantity and depth of quality kit. You pays your money you takes your choice.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Won’t go down well with those Peskie French Canadians in Quebec though Mark

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

😀That’s democracy.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Their Gaelic flare, won’t cut the mustard, so too speak Come and join The Anglo pact the waters lovely LOL

Meirion x
Meirion x
18 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Looks like PoW’s maiden deployment to Australia in 2023!

Rob
Rob
18 days ago

Speak softly but carry a big stick.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the QE carrier programme. Just need to get those F35s rolling in and integrate weapons on them. Outside of the USN this is a world beating capability.

Andy Reeves
Andy Reeves
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob

agreed just need those t26 and t31’s asap

Mark B
Mark B
18 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Wise words. Seem familiar 😊

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Well said. All part of global Britain. And to think Cameron wanted to stop the PoW build almost on his first day in office.
I still get annoyed at some Americans demeaning the capability because it is not CATOBAR or nuclear powered – very irritating.

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago

A 65 000 ton aircraft carrier with no aircraft. How can anyone put a positive spin on this. Absolutely disgraceful.

Chris
Chris
18 days ago

The USA only has 32 active F-35B’s. 12 are on the QE. They also have 80 harriers. With 9 STOVL flat tops are they also disgraceful?

Last edited 18 days ago by Chris
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
18 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Well said Chris, negativity for negativity’s sake seems to be a British disease, there’s a lot to be negative about but this particular situation needs to be put into perspective. I spent last night educating a friend on Britain’s launcher/spaceport plans who was being derisive of them without any real knowledge of the actual plans or technology being developed. Criticise fine, but let’s criticise based on some actual facts.

Chris
Chris
18 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It needs to be put in perspective. The USN is the only navy with multiple real operational blue water carriers. The PRC and Indian operations are really experiments. Look at how the French baby Cdg. This is rare air, it won’t come overnight.

Last edited 18 days ago by Chris
James
James
18 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Chris, you raise an interesting issue. With the USN down a carrier after the fire loss of BonHomme Richard, and with USMC aircraft active on QE, there may well be plans for the QE or more likely the PW to easily join into a USN Carrier (LPH) Strike Group with both RN/RAF and USMC F35’s on board.

rattopia
rattopia
17 days ago
Reply to  James

Bonhomme Richard was not a carrier, it was an LHD, money is starting to be allocated for a America class assault ship (LHA-9) to replace Br

James
James
15 days ago
Reply to  rattopia

I know, and it used to carry F35B’s and Harriers. Both helicopters.

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago
Reply to  James

Hi James, don’t wish to appear picky, but the BonHomme Richard isn’t a carrier, it’s a amphib assault ship. Depending on mission carries between 6-20 F35Bs.

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Spot on Deeps mk 1 eyeball for recognition Or Jane’s

James
James
15 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Yes I know, the point is it used to fly F35B’s, it no longer does.

Ray Van Dune
Ray Van Dune
13 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

BHR was not a Fleet Carrier.

Reaper
Reaper
17 days ago
Reply to  Chris

I thought only 10usmc were aboard..

Bill
Bill
17 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Correct.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
18 days ago

They have not been delivered yet. Are you aware of Block IV integration costs on F35, which have meant the MoD decided to slow deliveries rather than buy quicker then update them? Having 2 carriers means 1 is always available. There is also currently only an air group for 1, that is Merlin ASW, Merlin ASCS, F35. If necessary in war both would be used and whatever aircraft available, including helicopters of the AAC and RAF, and other nations F35, could use her. Advances in UAV hopefully will also fill both carriers out. If we had the aircraft and no… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
18 days ago

Indeed you can’t guarantee the concurrent timing of two separate and disparate tech programmes especially when one is effectively a foreign one so let’s be a little patient.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago

One carrier will always be available when they are in ‘the first flush of youth’ barring unscheduled maintenance – but as they age, that cannot be guaranteed. That is why we should have three carriers. In an ideal world we would have a LPH in addition. But I know none of that will happen.

Tams
Tams
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We should have had three carriers, but that ship has long since sailed.

It would have required the full orders of Type 45s, Type 26s, and Astutes to have been built and *manned*. The latter being one of the bigger issues as we currently struggle to provide enough personnel as it is.

All that would have required a significant (though manageable) increase in the MoD’s budget. Perhaps 4 or 5% of GDP. The political will and public stomach for that just wasn’t there.

Reaper
Reaper
17 days ago
Reply to  Tams

No way… three is fat too much…we wouldn’t have any or just 1 if there wasn’t a contractual agreement meaning we would lose all the money anyways. We need more frigates, subs and destroyers first.

Jon
Jon
18 days ago

Are you “with no aircraft” people Russian trolls, blind or just plain daft? Despite having seen pictures of F-35s, Merlins and even Banshee drones operating from the deck of PoW over the last few weeks, Apaches and Chinooks over the summer, you still trot out the same old lie: “with no aircraft”. I would spell it out for you. That PoW is operating at the same time as its sister ship is deployed abroad. That the helicopters are aircraft. That more F-35s are being bought. That fixed wing aircraft currently in use for training can be deployed in an emergency.… Read more »

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Apparently if you have a difference of opinion on here you are a troll. As a ex member of the Royal navy I just find that laughable. I was waiting for the positive spin and wasn’t surprised. I remember the old ark royal sailing without its phantoms buccaneers, gannets, sea Kings and wessex helicopters but that was when it went to the breakers yard. As for my self I did deterrent patrols on Hms Repulse and Revenge but before we went to sea we always remembered to pick up our Polaris missiles. Mind you on here, some of you would… Read more »

Nick Hall
Nick Hall
18 days ago

Your argument is weak, even if there aren’t currently enough F35b available there will be. Are you saying we should have delayed design/construction/certification/work up of QE & POW until all our F35 squadrons were fully equipped and operational? Procurement of such complex aircraft/warships is a hugely time consuming & difficult process, we are still in the middle of that process. Your negative comments indicate you think the process is now over, I would kindly point out that as a former submariner you should know all of the above. And one final point, we’re you as critical of the effectiveness of… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
18 days ago

I hope you read some of the responses and accept some of the very pertinent points made. I am not sure what you want here should they have slowed the build till enough planes were available for a full load? Of course it’s not ideal but the F35B is a complex aircraft more complex than the other two indeed and there are limited supplies and as Daniele has stated it’s best to time their complex arrival so that costly updates aren’t required while we work up the carriers and to do otherwise just to show numbers on deck just seems… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Hi fella, while I accept the rationale behind delaying the purchase of more F35s to avoid boating for costly upgrades, I do wonder how much a F25 is going to cost once the Blk 4 improvement s have been implemented? Currently the cost over runs are somewhere in the region of $2 billion. These costs will be added onto the price of every new build airframe, so one has to hope that that increase is substantially less then the cost of any upgrading of older airframes. Come 2026, it will be interesting to see how much each one is going… Read more »

Jon
Jon
18 days ago

How long did that Ark Royal fly its Phantoms and Buccaneers? Less than a decade for the former I think, a bit longer for the latter. The ship spent more time in refit than in operational service and was nearly scrapped before the Phantoms flew at all. Care to wager how long HMS PoW will be flying F-35s? I was at Wallsend when the following Ark Royal was launched in ’81. If it hadn’t had been for the Falklands it wouldn’t even have been fitted out, much less had aircraft operating from it. If you really want to stay with… Read more »

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Wow, I certainly do not wear rose tinted specs unlike the majority of contributers on this site. I was in the royal navy during the falklands war so I don’t need a lesson on that. The plain truth is the royal navy has not got enough ships. The royal navy has not got enough aircraft, fixed wing or rotary. The RAF has not got enough planes. The army has not got enough tanks. But when people keep putting positive spin on everything, and do not face reality that is the issue. So maybe some on here should look at what… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
18 days ago

So keeping a sense of reality that you keeping talking about. Considering the current financial climate, a global pandemic recovery to pay for. Voters far more interested in more money for the NHS and adult social care, education, green energy ect. What would you do about it all then? Or you just hear to talk fantasy fleets,and fantasy budgets from back in the day.

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Well 37 billion on test and trace would be a good start. Oh what about the over 100 billion on HS2. If you want a global Britain, and you want to deploy global forces, yes you are right they don’t come cheap. But you don’t put positive spin on things saying you can do things when clearly you can’t. That’s the reality I am on about, be honest with people.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago

37Bn hasn’t been spent on test and trace.Thats the budget, it doesn’t mean they have spent that much. And during the last 18months, I’m bloody glad that money has been available. Tens of thousands of people have been employed to man testing centres, and administer vaccines. We would be in a far worse position if that money wasn’t available. And the RN has continued to operate globally throughout all of it. HS2 will affect the lives of millions of people. And create a lot of job’s. High speed rail is good enough for France/Germany, so why not us. And Global… Read more »

Meirion x
Meirion x
17 days ago

I agree with you on test and trace, which could of been done much cheaper using local council staff using local phone numbers.

Jon
Jon
18 days ago

I agree that the RN doesn’t have anywhere near enough ships; I doubt you’ll find many people on this site who would disagree with that assessment. I also agree that the root cause is the lack of overall defence spending. I even agree that having 90+ F-35Bs simultaneously would be required for both carriers under sovereign control, operating in full strike mode without any other fixed wing craft. Not to mention additional RAF requirements. While the MoD have already said it’s ordering more than 48, the pundits reckon somewhere in the 70s is likely, so not enough for that. But… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Jon
ChariotRider
ChariotRider
18 days ago

Hi Peter, Firstly, thank you for your service it is appreciated. I think most of us on here recognise the lamentable state of defence that you describe and it is for that reason that so many are pleased to see the carriers entering service. Many of those above have critised the slow build up of the F35’s at some point, including myself. However, I and many others have come to the opinion that the slow procurement rate may actual work out well in the long run because of the development issues that the programme has encountered. It is not ideal,… Read more »

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Thank you for your reply. All I said was it was a disgrace having a huge 65000 carrier without aircraft. I did not expect the Spanish inquisition. We will never have enough aircraft for both carriers. As for unmanned aircraft, drones etc they could be years if not decades away before fully operational. We ordered the carriers in2007 so we have had 14 years to order enough aircraft. My concern is that if the next 14 years are like the last 14 your dream will never be fulfilled.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago

The intention has never been to operate both carriers at the same time. Having two means one will be available 365 a year to work around maintenance, and refits. The plan was never to have enough jets to put 36 on both vessels at the same time. Even 24 F35’s is a huge capability to take to sea. Only somone from the UK would call it a disgrace when a new 65k aircraft carrier is declared operational. Regardless of how many aircraft are available. This is a good news story after years of hard work, and another step forward down… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
17 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Well said.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
17 days ago

Hi Peter, Yup, I agree with everything you say and so would most of the posters on here. I also recognise that the fleet has not yet increased in size and as many have commented on here such is the nature of politics it may not grow ever again! However, there is at the moment at least, a little room for optimism and I guess we are focusing on that for this story at least. Even without sufficient aircraft the second carrier reaching operational status represents another significant step forward but as you rightly point out there is still much… Read more »

Meirion x
Meirion x
17 days ago

The F-35 program is years behind schedule, Peter because of past development problems with this type of aircraft. That is out of our hands, you need to blame LM there! It has also affected deliveries to the RN over the past few years.
Yes we should of kept some Harrier GR9’s for battlefield support etc until in the future drones can provide this sort of capability.

Last edited 17 days ago by Meirion x
The Big Man
The Big Man
17 days ago

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
18 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

The positive is the ship has been declared operational and is now part of the navy. Means other one can have a rest and fix up when it gets back. I’m sure we would all love to see more equipment and funding for the forces and monies to be spend wisely.
With current tax/NI rises about to come in and benefit cuts for lower income people I imagine a further tax rise to double armed forces budget would be about as palatable a day trip to the conservative conference.

Dern
Dern
18 days ago

There’s a difference of opinion, and then there’s repeating the same old (very tired) bits of misinformation that have been peddled for years and disproved multiple times.

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Well stop doing then

Dern
Dern
18 days ago

Someone break your translator there comrade?

Airborne
Airborne
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

😝👍

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
18 days ago

As ex RN, then you should know better shipmate. Carrier Strike isn’t regenerated overnight. It’s very complex, and expensive. 48 F35’s are on order, more will follow. This is a 5th gen stealth fighter that eclipses anything we have operated from a carrier before. AEW and A2A refueling and strike UCAV’S will follow ect. But it takes time, and a lot of hard work and cash. Just like the new Dreadnought class won’t be in service and doing 3 month patrols overnight.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago

I think Daniel and Spyinthesky have made valid points re current F35B numbers. Firstly, HMG has made a wise decision in delaying the purchase of further aircraft simply because there are too many problems to be ironed out in the hardware/software. Clearly, rising costs are a concern. Secondly, new engines will be required to support future upgrades to both hardware and software to the F-35 fleet and this is in the very early stages, to say the least. For now, we will rely on USMC and other NATO allies F-35B’s to increase the numbers and let’s not forget, we only… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

August 12
The Pentagon is exploring its options for a more efficient and powerful F-35 engine

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/08/12/the-pentagon-is-exploring-its-options-for-a-more-efficient-and-powerful-f-35-engine/

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

A more comprehensive report (FY2020) can be found here.

DOT&E F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

https://www.dote.osd.mil/Portals/97/pub/reports/FY2020/dod/2020f35jsf.pdf?ver=C5dAWLFs4_N3ZLrP-qB0QQ%3D%3D

Pete
Pete
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Pretty sure I read somewhere that those more powerful engines were for the A and C models only. May need an international ‘B’ club working with RR to generate a B upgrade.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Pete

Correct! Which begs the question, what will be in place for block 4 software currently due in 2026 after further delays and at what cost to us? Sept. 10, 2021 GE Says New Engine for F-35 Possible by 2027, but Not on STOVL Version “While “we think we have a very competitive offering for the F-35A and the F-35C, … we did not design the AETP engine to integrate with the F-35B. It was beyond the scope of what we set out to do,” he said. While Tweedie did not comment on how hard it would be to adapt AETP… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“Latka said the F-35B’s unique short take-off and vertical landing lift system can’t accommodate the AETP engines.

To create competition with GE, she said, two variants of each company’s engine would be needed, with parallel repair and supply chains. That contributed to Pratt & Whitney’s $40 billion cost figure, she said.”

https://www.airforcemag.com/pratt-pushes-alternative-to-new-adaptive-engine-for-f-35/

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

You should read your own articles properly. AETP isn’t designed for any F35 version, It’s for a potential 6th gen aircraft, and more than likely, won’t be seen on any F35. Engine upgrades for the F135 are in the works for all current variants of the F35. F135 just like the airframe is at the start of it’s development cycle, with built in growth, just like EJ200 has considerable thrust increase potential.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

As I said, at what cost to us? For the Air Force’s F-35A, “the technology could be remarkable,” Fick said. But, GE and Pratt & Whitney’s AETP engines would “require significant modifications” to fit in the Navy’s F-35C and are “completely a non-starter” for the Marine Corps F-35B, which has vertical takeoff/landing capability. Both engine makers have said the AETP engines will not fit in the F-35B. It might be possible to alter the AETP engine to fit in the F-35C, and if so, “some cost-sharing there might be possible,” Fick said. But at a minimum, choosing to put AETP… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Pete

This is also worth noting. At some point, we will find out!

“The F-35 Block 4 upgrade has been included in the UK F-35 programme budget since its inception. Decisions on the number of aircraft to be upgraded will be made on the basis of military capability requirements.

The costs of the Block 4 upgrade are managed through the F-35 Joint Programme Office and, as one partner in the multinational F-35 programme, the UK is not in a position to share detailed cost information,” the minister said.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/uk-may-not-upgrade-all-f-35bs-to-block-4-standard

Last edited 17 days ago by Nigel Collins
Pete
Pete
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Sounds like the OCU may miss out and therefore only limited potential for an effective surge or reserve capacity. When numbers are low we need all units capable of operating at maximum potential to mitigate attrition risk.

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Thank you for your very detailed reply. My concern is you have rightly said the new engine and software is in very early stages. We may not see that come to fruition before 2030. The f35 has enemies in the US. The air force have ordered a new version of the good old f15. The US navy have ordered more good old f18s, only ceasing production in favour of a new aircraft, not the f35. If the f35 is cancelled or production is drastically reduced we will be up the creek without a paddle.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago

You’re welcome! and thank you for your service. The F35 was initially designed to fill the gap between 4th and 6th gen aircraft. Sadly, that has not gone to plan, creating some real headaches for the military commanders to sort out due to China’s ever-growing military capabilities and huge investment in additional military equipment over the coming decade. Some very tough decisions will have to be made going forward, including the amount of F35’s that the US and her allies will actually purchase in order to maintain a technological advantage over future adversaries. “According to Janes forecasts, China’s defence budget will grow… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago

Re “production is drastically reduced”

It appears they are working on fixes for the premature distress of rotor blade coatings, the issue with the canopy and maintenance schedules.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/02/12/an-engine-shortage-is-the-newest-problem-to-hit-the-f-35-enterprise/

Last edited 17 days ago by Nigel Collins
Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago

It is very unlikely that F35B development would be cancelled given how much of NATO and other allies like Japan, who are mission critical to US foreign policy, are buying it.

If you cancel if then you cancel anyone trusting in joint programs with USA.

Chris
Chris
17 days ago

You’re off your rocker. The F15’s and F18’s are pork spending to help Boeing, who’s fighter biz is in great peril.

Meirion x
Meirion x
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel, how about a retractable or raiseable ramp at the bow(in front of the CAT), for STOVL operations?

Last edited 17 days ago by Meirion x
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Meirion x

That would make a great deal of sense if they could achieve it but the ramp is curved and you would lose a great deal of internal space too.

No expert here, but would it make sense to have EMALS with a reduced ramp across the entire front end?

One for Gunbuster I’m guessing!

Jon
Jon
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Best to ask the Russians. One of their recent model carriers that they bring out to display at shows was designed similarly, with reduced length catapults behind ramps. I like the idea, but you need different undercarriage strengthening for ramps than you do for cats/traps. It’s hard to say if the F-35C could handle it without further adaptation.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
17 days ago

And I remember a Polaris boat at the end of its life having helos fly spares out to it to keep the thing at sea as a “deterence”

Things have moved on since them.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Yes, they use tugs now to do the job instead! 😂

USN_Tug_escorts_USS_Dallas_at_Diego_Garcia.jpg
Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
17 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Don’t know why you are showing a tug next to an American submarine. Have I missed something.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
17 days ago

“And I remember a Polaris boat at the end of its life having helos fly spares out to it to keep the thing at sea”

Yes, clearly a poor attempt at a joke!

Last edited 17 days ago by Nigel Collins
Airborne
Airborne
17 days ago

Nigel is having a laugh mate, humour……

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

Thanks Mr Blythe , One has too educate some people that Royal Navy subs have never had planes attached to the Conning tower or Fin (yank slang) Our boats Planes ,are placed either side of the Hull

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Complex platforms won’t need spare parts in future? Things really have moved on that we now have 100٪ reliability and availability.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Those boats where a nightmare towards the ends of their lives. Once Trident came online there was an audible sigh of relief from the engineers in Faslane that was heard in GUZ! .
With more modern systems, maintenance regimes and reliability they should never get to the position they where in with the last polaris deterrence patrols.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks for the reply. I once heard that a SSN/SSBN was as or more complex than the Space Shuttle. So, I am not surprised some things break down on patrol. I was in REME for over 30 years so have some affinity with this.

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Hang on a minute. We now have 100% reliability and availability. Would you like to reconsider that statement in relation to the type 45 destroyer. Or do you know something that nobody else does.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

45s the piece of equipment that you’re referring too Is Guess what ? American And we fell for it as the Yanks would say “SUCKERS”

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago

I was being ironic, Peter, as regards the incoming comment.

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

I think you will find that most things break down towards the end of life. Apparently according to you things have moved on. Really, did not a type 45 destroyer Break down whilst accompanying the Queen Elizabeth on her deployment, and haven’t these wonderful vessels have a history of breaking down. Did you forget this. Polaris submarines had a hell of a better reliability rate than this. Between 1969 and 1996 the CAS deterrent never missed a day. Something to be proud of. Bloody hell, you have me putting a positive spin on something.

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago

Hi Peter, I think you will find that between 1969 and now, CASD has never missed a day. Something to be said about that I think.
All things are relative of course, MOD pours a lot of money into our nuclear programme to keep it running.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
16 days ago

Stuff breaks … there is no denying that and some of it breaks without warning. However things such as MMS have thankfully gone by the by. The RN no longer takes stuff apart for the sake of taking it apart to check that it will still work after you put it back together. RCM is a far better way of maintaining equipment. Equipment is more reliable. The way equipment is manufactured and put together is far better. Solder joints replaced by crimps, Keelering couplings replaced by more modern joints. Electronics replacing valves… That said the Polaris boats had huge issues… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Gunbuster
Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Anything mechanical is subject to failure. Polaris boats suffered towards the end of their lives because they reached the poi t they were designed too. They never got life extension refits. The vanguard class boats are now operating passed their design lives. They are doing this because they received major life extension refits. Otherwise they would be experiencing the same problems polaris boats did. The same as type 23 frigates. All operating way passed their design lives, purely and simple down to lifex. A friend of mine told me that iron Duke was in such a state they considered scrapping… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago

The Ark came back from Norfolk Va 78 was on the old DLG HMS London massive exercise North Atlantic ,hit big storm , 2 F14 slide off one of the carriers, The Ark lost nothing , Might have been smaller than A nimitiz class but boy at least the deck crews knew Chocks and Lashings why because we’re Professional

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
17 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I was on DLG Hms Kent at the same time. Was also in Norfolk Virginia and I remember the tomcats going over the side. But apparently that was so long ago it doesn’t mean anything on this site. Can’t give history lessons.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago

And with a spitty attitude like that you wonder why you’re being branded a troll LOL
I presume replying to gunbuster and explaining why experiences from 50 years ago should be relevant would just be too hard compared to complaining to another poster about it.

Last edited 16 days ago by Dern
Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

It’s called experience, knowing what happened in the past allows to to design equipment for the future. Something obviously you know nothing about. Your entire contribution to this debate is to call me a troll. This seems to be the extent of your knowledge. And for your information I was replying to tommo so you can’t even get your facts right. Keep on contributing drivel you do seem an expert at that though.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago

LoL, once again not actually responding to anything I’ve said instead going off on your own tangent.

But I didn’t call you a troll, I pointed out your spitty attitude was leading to you being branded a troll. And holy crap you can’t even read.

You where bitching to Tommo about someone else in this thread (I assume GB but possibly Airborne), instead of actually having a conversation with GB about why your out-of-date (alleged) experience is relevant. That’s what I was picking you up for, get with the program.

Last edited 16 days ago by Dern
Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

Like I’ve said before ,” If you forget your past then your condemned to repeat it again Ad infintum

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

DERN ,What I was saying was a reply about the old old Ark And how Nimitiz class 90,ooo tons plus RN carriers 30.000 tons alot smaller but crews more professional and how the yanks lost 2 tomcats overboard Hope the same can be said of today’s QEs class crew a third smaller than the Ford Class carrier not mk 2 cortina

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I know, I’m tracking.
It’s Peter complaining about Airborne and GB that’s got my goat up.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thank god we’ve got two other colours too the national flag of the union Blue and Red if you catch my drift Dern

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

Pull up a bollard ,and I’ll spin you a dit after you’ve doused that glimpse Mr Blythe

Andrew Deacon
Andrew Deacon
18 days ago

How can anyone be so negative or are you just trolling?
There’s even a picture with f35bs onboard, 4 have been onboard to get the necessary qualifications to be declared operational, while her sister ship is currently on deployment in the Far East .
Yes we don’t have enough yet but this is just the beginning!

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
18 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Deacon

Must admit far too long ago but I do wonder if the first Polaris submarines and the first uk Polaris missiles and warheads were actually all ready at precisely the same time. Of course back then it’s highly unlikely we would have known the real truth.

Last edited 18 days ago by Spyinthesky
Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Polaris patrols stopped in 1996, a whopping 25 years ago, so not that long ago. We keep mentioning the falklands war and yet that was 14 years earlier. Funny how things get twisted around.

Dern
Dern
18 days ago

I do wonder if the FIRST Polaris submarines and the first uk Polaris missiles and warheads were actually all ready at precisely the same time.

Selective reading there eh?

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Well I do know the answer to that but I don’t think this forum is the right place. I do remember having to sign something to stop me from doing that.

Dern
Dern
18 days ago

Sure thing comrade. Yes, you’re totally telling the truth. *yawn*

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

So quite obviously your the know it all. So I am arguing for a big increase in defence spending and you are calling me comrade. As an expert on everything I thought you would have got that right. Maybe if you stopped yawning and woke up you may display a shred of intelligence. Won’t hold my breath though.

Dern
Dern
18 days ago

You’ve come in here spouting the same tired old misinformation, that is what got you branded a troll (I wouldn’t be surprised if you are Captain P on another fake account tbh given the tone of your insults). I will continue yawning at you comrade (because that’s what you are if you’re not a troll) when you actually have something that isn’t a tired, boring, debunked cliché to say. Oh and re intelligence, plenty of people here have posted well reasoned, intelligent replies to you that you simply have chosen to ignore, probably because you’ve got no actual reply, so… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Dern
Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

So I have come on this site to offer my opinion. I did not realise that I had to get your permission dern. I do not contribute to any other sites, but it does appear YOU seem to have a problem with people who happen to have a different opinion to you. You also seem to be very happy to keep saying comrade. Can I suggest you stop looking in the mirror because history teaches us it’s people like you who hate other peoples opinion that’s the real problem. Your attitude would have gone down great in the old Soviet… Read more »

Dern
Dern
18 days ago

Wow, you can’t even invent your own insults. You are entitled to have an opinion, and I’m entitled to tell you you’re stupid for voicing it, especially after several other people explained (patiently) that you’re wrong, and, assuming you’re not who I think you are comrade, you’ve been watching this news for long enough to know better. Grow up. Say stupid things you’ll be called on it. Don’t like it, that’s not my problem. *Edit* For the record: “I think we should spend more on defence” = an opinion. “The Aircraft carrier doesn’t have aircraft” = demonstrably false misinformation designed… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Dern
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
18 days ago

Just out of interest we’re you on the boats when the 1983 bbc documentary was done. Been watching it on you tube. First episode was perisher, then on warspite still got to watch the 3rd episode title Polaris

Mr Peter M Blythe
Mr Peter M Blythe
18 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I was on boats between 1980 and 1987, before that general service on destroyers.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
16 days ago

Thanks for the response and your service. Looked like good times in subs. Drinking, smoking on board. Obviously the job got done aswell. I always thought hot bunking was still going on but the program from 83 said it was no more. That was on warspite anyway

Airborne
Airborne
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Observed and agreed!

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Airborne
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
17 days ago

What is the focus thing on the Falklands by everyone. The main thing to come out of the Falklands lessons learned for the RN was the need to improve Damage control and Fire fighting which they did to a huge degree

Its now the same amount of time from the Falklands to today as it was WW2 to the Falklands …40 + years!

As technology moved on from WW2 to the Falklands era, things have move on immensely from the Falklands to now.

David Steeper
David Steeper
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Spot on.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Exactly.

But I would add to that – discarding out of date carp weapons systems so you can focus on the ones that you need.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Alright Gunbuster ,WW11 at least they wore Cotton Action working dress , We wore Fxxxing Nylon Action working dress 39 years ago A year after in 83 we reverted back too Cotton We learnt that i things fromHistory Can be the best things too use

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The only good thing about polyester 8s was that they didn’t shrink when the dhoby wallah got his hands on them.
When the first new cotton/flamban 8s came in my shirts turned into muffin tops…great on a 18 yr old girl…not so good on a 20 something hairy arsed matelot.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago

It takes time to build the F-35Bs – be reasonable.

James
James
18 days ago

If you read here you know it had F35’s on board and flying and qualifying pilots.

Dylan
Dylan
18 days ago

It has aircraft, if needed to be deployed, UK has more f35s coming this year and could easily be equipped with apache and 8 f35s

Bill
Bill
18 days ago

I know. Some of the comments here are beyond parody. To be fair, 2 F35’S were sighted on this fully operational battle star, sorry aircraft carrier.

Palaboran
Palaboran
18 days ago

Don’t you be upsetting the armchair admirals, they heavily outnumber you.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Palaboran

Correct coming into Portsmouth if someone even moved whilst fallen in at Alpha Before the Ship got alongside some retired Admirals in old Portsmouth would have complained to Semifore Tower whod then inform the Ship of the 4th person upper deck between midshipman bollards and boat Derrick moved his left arm when coughing . I wonder if that tradition is still alive Palaboran

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Predictive txt struck again Read Midships not Midshipman Palaboran

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
17 days ago

Definition of the word Aircraft –
An aeroplane, helicopter, or other machine capable of flight.

just saying…

Last edited 17 days ago by Gunbuster
Tomartyr
Tomartyr
15 days ago

Not sure what your solution is, tell Lockheed Martin to hurry up?
As I understand it we already have the bare minimum numbers for two carriers ordered.
I agree we should have done more earlier, but we didn’t and nothing can fix that.

I think people’s optimism comes from seeing a branch of the Armed Forces grow, and achieve long term goals, after the decades of cuts and mismanagement we’ve become accustomed to.

Wolf
Wolf
18 days ago

Rule Britannia!

Paul.P
Paul.P
18 days ago

👏👏
Kudos all round. The result of a lot of hard work.

JJ Smallpiece
JJ Smallpiece
18 days ago

The RN just needs another 25 warships and 10 SSNs to be a credible navy.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
18 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

How did you get those numbers?
We need another carrier, an LPH, 6 more Type 45s, up to 12 more frigates and at least 10 more submarines (mix of SSN and SSK).
But I know that none of that will happen.

Reaper
Reaper
18 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well, I’m fine with the 24 escorts total planned 6 45s, 8 26’s, 5 31’s, 5 32’s.. maybe more if type 45 replacement ups to what we need 8 minimum. Can’t see atack subs number going up due to how FUCKING HUGE COSTLY AND DEADLY Drednoghts are…they are out trump card when comparing navys…the Royal Navy is top5 most deadly going on firepower even if Japan has 24 destroyers.,,

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  Reaper

Good points. I think we should buy some SSKs as they are cheaper than SONS. 7 attack subs, of which only 2 or 3 might be available for ops is not enough.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham

We sold our Last virtually brand new Upholder class ssks so as Britain’ went totally Nuclear in our Submarine Sevice boats Another waste of Taxpayers money I don’t think we made a profit selling them

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham

SSNs, not SONS!

James
James
17 days ago
Reply to  JJ Smallpiece

So is the USN the only credible Navy currently on the planet then?

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  James

Might be the biggest but 2nd best in personel

luciusjulius
luciusjulius
18 days ago

Let’s live in the real world here. Just because the RN declares a ship operational doesn’t mean more than than it can sail the ocean blue. Nothing more. It is not equipped with the necessary strike aircraft and ready to be sent into combat, especially against a peer, and won’t be for many years to come. While one can applaud the achievement of building it and getting it functional, let’s not delude ourselves that it represents any real combat capability in the near term.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 days ago
Reply to  luciusjulius

Ummm

So say putting 12+ F35B and 10 Merlins and some Apache onto a QEC has no combat capability?

Interesting.

So if say there was a rerun of the Sierra Leon intervention you are saying that would be no good?

Or if there was a rerun of the Balkans that wouldn’t help?

I would beg to differ.

I would also suggest that even with the amount of F35B that we have kicking around in the UK it would not be far off the Air Power you would need to rerun Corporate. Given that the opposition have, well, less aircraft!!

Last edited 18 days ago by Supportive Bloke
luciusjulius
luciusjulius
18 days ago

Precisely. The UK doesn’t have 12 F-35Bs to put on the POW. And the UK is not going to send any AC into the Eastern Med to support action in the Balkans unless it’s protected by the Sixth Fleet.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 days ago
Reply to  luciusjulius

I was more referring to the Yugoslav issues….

And one singular QEC in action at a time.

For a low intensity non peer conflict we do have a very decent capability.

At a deterrence level we have a rapidly evolving capability.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

Did it 93/94 not under Nato or the Un but the EU what a waste of Aviation fuel it was Groundhog day everyday

Dern
Dern
18 days ago
Reply to  luciusjulius

207 Sqn: 8 F35’s
17 Sqn: 3 F35’s
RAF Marnham: 2 F35’s
That’s 13, not including those on QE, so… yeah the UK does have 12 for PWLS if it was absolutely desperate.

Not sure why the 6th fleet is relevant, the UK can deploy a CSG into the E. Med with or without their help to be fair.

Airborne
Airborne
18 days ago
Reply to  Dern

You are on form tonight mate! Crack the troll whip and get them dancing 👍!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
17 days ago
Reply to  luciusjulius

I worked in Naples as part of the NATO HQ. The Sixth fleet is 4 ABs and some Supply ships. The ABs are based in Rota , Spain. Mount Witney is in Gaeta. Anything else drops in and out of control as required.

Reaper
Reaper
18 days ago
Reply to  luciusjulius

Well firepower.. the Royal Navys cruising the oceans constantly with Nukes.. enough to destroy most nations…

Tams
Tams
17 days ago
Reply to  luciusjulius

Yes, well done. Operational means that a vessel can be sent on operations.

It’s still a landmark even in her life. If needed she can be sent.

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago

Does anyone actually know what the operating plan for 2 carriers over the next 5 years is? It is clear that we won’t have enough F35s for both any time soon, if ever. The RN are looking at EMCAT to be available by 2023/4 but that is a major and likely expensive project. An earlier plan to adapt one carrier to carry out an amphibious role has been abandoned. Obviously, refits will mean that at times only one will be available but for much of the time both will be potentially operational. Or will one be kept in extended readiness… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
18 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

They are both crewed and likely to be kept that way.

Docking periods will mesh with leave.

They are designed to not need very long docking periods.

So yes both will be operationally overlapping. Even if working up alongside.

Peter S
Peter S
18 days ago

I’ve never been a fan of the carriers. Whilst the key early decisions looked logical (STOVL, large size for future flexibility) success depended totally on the ability of the F35 programme to deliver what it had promised – an affordable replacement for several types of legacy platform. That promise has not been achieved- costs of acquisition have soared, operational costs are far greater than those of aircraft replaced and technical problems persist. All this 20 years after LM won the JSF competition. So we are now stuck with an aircraft we can’t afford in the numbers planned to make full… Read more »

Graham
Graham
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Really? I heard unit cost of F-35 was reducing.

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

You are correct, they are. Unfortunately still not to the levels that were promised – believe the latest figures negotiated between LM and US DOD are somewhere in the region of $33000 per flt hour by 2023. This I think, is still some 25-30% higher then was originally forecast. Whatever the reasons, LM are currently still unable to deliver on their sales pitch for the F35 programme. Added to that, the late arrival of Blk 4 increment upgrade, and its associated cost over runs will only increase the price of later aircraft builds as LM look to recoup its development… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
17 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I recognise those numbers. I think that the hourly operating cost is @ 3 times that of aircraft like F16/F18. Shortages of spare parts is also reported to be affecting operational availability.
The flight control software seems to be working well. The problems are with other software- ALIS, its intended replacement and the hugely complex sensor packages. Makes me wonder if a more austere and affordable version might be possible.

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

I wonder if that is one of the reasons behind the USAF wanting a cheaper clean design new fighter to supplement the F35, that and the fact that in some instances, the F35 is too much of a fighter for what is needed?
Might also just be the USAF,s way of getting LM to pull their finger out and start delivering on what was promised!

Netking
Netking
17 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

the fact that in some instances, the F35 is too much of a fighter for what is needed”

You hit the nail on the head with that as this is precisely what was stated by the UAF chief of staff. The F35 is a scalpel that is designed for high intensity against combat against peer adversaries and it does not make financial sense to use it for missions that can be handled by less sophisticated/expensive aircraft such as the f15.

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago
Reply to  Netking

If that is the case, then it leads one to wonder why the US effectively stopped any future replacement designs for its ‘Teen series’ jets or indeed the venerable A10?
Whilst we have undoubtedly benefited from the production of the B varient, I’m not entirely convinced that the USMC need something this focused or expensive for what is essentially a CAS requirement on their part! Yes it can undoubtedly do the job, but, the costs are horrendous, also, if not the B varient, then what to replace the Harrier with? A conundrum I imagine.

Netking
Netking
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I think you make raise some valid points and from what I have read with the regards to the A10, the USAF do not believe it is survivable against a modern adversary and will only grow more expensive to maintain as time goes by as parts were last manufactured decades ago. Rather than designing replacements for the teen series they have proposed buying even cheaper options for the low intensity and COIN type scenarios.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/10289/three-planes-will-square-off-in-the-usafs-light-attack-experiment

Deep32
Deep32
16 days ago
Reply to  Netking

An interesting read tavm. Will be very interesting to see which way the
US decides to go with this.
I think they will also push hard for a slightly more capable design too, a F16 replacement if you like, wIth the aim of perhaps a high-medium-low mix of capabilities. Just speculating of course, but the rest of NATO needs to up its game too, take some responsibilities instead of just relying on the USA.

Andy Reeves
Andy Reeves
18 days ago

utterly fantastic. move over frenchies with your obsolete de gaulle you can scrap it now and marvel at the mighty u.k with two supercarriers

Turenne
Turenne
18 days ago
Reply to  Andy Reeves

Frenchie here.
CdG has Asters, Rafales with Meteor and nuclear missiles, long range projection and AtA refueling, proper AEW Hawkeyes and a newly refit ship. I agree that 1 is not enough but I would hope my British friends agree it is not too shabby a CSG.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
18 days ago
Reply to  Turenne

It’s not, it’s impressive.

Deep32
Deep32
18 days ago
Reply to  Turenne

I think you will find that many are a little jealous of your capabilities, if the truth be told!
It may only be one, but it’s a pretty good one!

Delabatte
Delabatte
17 days ago
Reply to  Turenne

And Rafale with Exocet missiles… for naval warfare that’s a match point..

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Turenne

CdG and it’s battlegroup are a genuinely impressive asset, the only issue I have with it is that it’s so expensive that there’s only 1, which means limited availability, and the only reason I harp on that point is because people seem to think Nuclear is all positives with no draw backs.

Roger Hill
Roger Hill
18 days ago

Total waste of money and resources. Can be sunk with one missile.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
18 days ago

I think you have all forgot that the F35s are all sheared with the RAF, The few F35s we do have can all deploy on one Carrier (they were designed to carry up to 70 airframes.) but with both carries active they will only deploy with a much reduced airwing as the RAF also have to keep their commitments up.
if ever the money did become available a better solution would be for the RAF to have the F35A’s a far cheaper version so then the poultry few F35B’s we do have could be fully committed to the RN.

Jay R
Jay R
18 days ago

Having 2 supercarriers, with 5th generation fighters is a significant increase in the UK’s offsenive capability. I honestly thought I would never see this day. The Royal Navy possess the greatest warships on the face of the earth. The only equals are with it’s greatest ally the US Navy. All potential adversaries can only look on with envy……but UK politics.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
18 days ago
Reply to  Jay R

Hello Jay, I think you might be overstating your case a little, The QE and PoW carriers are good but could be better, they are the centre piece of the RN’s surface fleet so with all that demand to be at sea they should be Nuclear powered, The Americans and the French under stand that so why can’t we!!. secondly we need more types of aircraft, like the Osprey which has a better range and lift capacity and speed than the Merlin’s. The RN has taken a large step forward but how much further forward would we be if the… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
17 days ago

Why should they be nuclear powered? It’s overrated for carriers; escorts aren’t nuclear powered, nor are the aircraft or crews.

If they were nuclear powered we would only have one. And even fewer escorts for it. All for no significant increase in capabilities over a conventionally-powered carrier.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
17 days ago
Reply to  Steve R

Hello Steve, Fuel carried to run the vessel takes up a lot of space, space that could be used to carry extra fuel for the aircraft on board allowing the carrier to stay on station longer. The amount of money spent in the development costs for the engines for the QE/PoW far out strips the cost of 4 nuclear (2 for each carrier) engines, the same engines that go into the SSNs. Like the SSN’s fresh water is in ample supply so there is no need to fill up with fresh water as well. The Americans have had CVN’s since… Read more »

The Big Man
The Big Man
17 days ago

Search this on Navy Lookout.
The reasons HMS Queen Elizabeth is not nuclear poweredVery educational rather than subjective.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
17 days ago
Reply to  The Big Man

Hi there, A good read but a lot of it you have to take with a pinch of salt, for example in the first chapter “Tactical” the QE is already sailing vast distances around the world and this is set to continue with the current government insisting we show the flag around the world (especially around the Pacific). Some of the Financial argument is a bit one sided as it dose not take into account the development costs to date of the propulsion systems in the QEC just a one off cost of filling up with diesel, you then have… Read more »

James
James
16 days ago

I think the constant production run of Nuclear submarines is keeping the training of Nuclear engineers going.

We dont want too many of them as each one is a potential security leak from such programs!

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago
Reply to  James

Hello James. We are all potential security leaks, our own government wants to invite our potential enemy into the hart of out Nuclear programme.

Tams
Tams
17 days ago

We want our carriers to be able to dock anywhere.

They need supplying regularly anyway, so nuclear doesn’t really help.

We use nuclear-powered vessels for where they are useful (submarines).

Dern
Dern
16 days ago

Worth noting that if they where Nuclear powered, we’d have only gotten 1, and then we’d only have a carrier available some of the time. Like the French.
Not a great position.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Hi there. I guess we will never know as we did not opt for the Nuclear option, so now we are left with a hi-bird option with 2 vessels. The basic numbers for any class should be 3, 1 at sea, 1 in port ready to deploy, 1 in maintenance/refit.
As we have no reserve fleet if we do have a problem (damage/accident) then it takes months to put right or if the vessel is lost years to put right. But we have to run with what we have got and like you said 2 is better that 1.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago

No, but we can compare to similar projects in other Navies, The MN has a similar budget and size to the RN, and has now twice chosen to go for a Nuclear design, in both cases resulting in a fleet with only 1 carrier (plus a heavy reliance on the US for pilot training due to CATOBAR). We can also compare with Gerald Ford. Okay CVN-78 is bigger, is build with CATOBAR and has several new and innovative technologies built in all of which drives the price up, but at the end of the day CVN-78 was twice the cost… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Hello Dern, The RN is also reliant on the Americans for training, Pilots and ground crew are we not. Plus with only one type of fixed wing aircraft the QEC are very limited to the type roles it can take on, we have gone down the STOVL route so we should be augmenting our carriers with a mix of aircraft like the MV22 Osprey which can fit a hole F35 Engine in is hold, the Merlin’s cannot. It also has for more range and payload than the Merlin’s. The USS Ford (CVN-78) is I agree well over the original budget… Read more »

Dern
Dern
16 days ago

Not entirely. We where reliant on the USN to keep our pilots current during the carrier “holiday” we took between 2010 and 2018. Without that it would have taken a lot longer to regenerate our Carrier capability when the QE’s came online. The difference is that during the periods that we actually have carriers we don’t need US aid in keeping our crews competent because 1) STOVL requires nowhere near as many flying hours to be competent as CATOBAR and 2) with multiple decks it’s easier to find the time to keep pilots current. MV22 Ospreys are ridiculously expensive though… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

We are effectively keeping a reserve fleet already as we have a number of T23’s laid up for spear parts and at least 1 T45 has been canalised to keep the others at sea. The modern Frigate and Destroyer is not designed to take incoming (they have no armour) so with any engagement that involves them taking punishment will soon take them out of the operational fleet with no possibility of replacements around the corner the war of attrition will be a short run affair. I am not saying we need a massive reserve fleet but what I am saying… Read more »

Dern
Dern
16 days ago

Um. 5 Are deployed in UK Waters, 2 are attached to the CSG, 4 are in refit/regular maintenance, and 1 is fwd deployed. This is exactly in line with the 2 operationally available 1 in refit/maint ratio that most navies aim for. None of them are laid up for spare parts. The Type 45’s are slightly worse, with 2 deployed, 1 ready to deploy and 3 in maint/refit. Dauntless was laid up when the RN was short of crew, but it hasn’t been cannibalised and is now having it’s engines upgraded in the PIP program. Again, the cost of maintaining… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Hello Dern, It is common practice to take parts from a vessel that is in refit to keep the vessels at sea going but this practice keeps the vessel in refit longer and just compounds the problem as it take the vessel in refit longer to get back to sea to replace the ones who then need to get into refit. Crew shortages have played there part but it dose not takeaway the fact that the T45’s have spent more time along side than they have at sea. With the extremely limited number of vessels the RN has been left… Read more »

Dern
Dern
15 days ago

So you think it’s commonplace to strip the components of a ship that is being upgraded? The Type 23’s have also spent more time alongside than at sea, they only average about 180days at sea, so that’s a bit of a moot criticism. The only ships in the Navy that can manage a positive sea-port ratio IIRC are the Rivers. If anything the RN has gotten better availability from it’s fleet in recent years than other navies, and it works hard to do so. Getting a “mothball” fleet would directly undermine this (again and be expensive something we can’t afford).… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Hello Dern, The Co-operation as you put it would have a good test if the RN is deployed on a UK only engagement like the Falklands, I just wonder how far that Co-operation would be extended then.? I agree 100% the QEC are not Commando Carrier but with the present F35 availability that is effectively what they become. If telling the truth is being a Troll I had better check myself in the mirror and look for horns!! The availability of ships is improving in the RN but that is as a direct result of the carriers coming on line… Read more »

Dern
Dern
15 days ago

By definition “UK only” won’t have co-operation because it’s UK only. If you are comparing to the Falklands, you mean like when the Americans gave us access to their Satellite imagery? Sorry but you seem to be ignoring what I say, they are not Commando Carriers or Helicopter carriers and saying so is what I’d class as devolving into trolling. They are a fully fledged Carriers which have a better airwing already than their predecessors. Of course the Rivers are not Frigates, that is why they have such great availability. Rivers don’t fill the role of Frigates, they fill the… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

The Americans also gave use the latest Sidewinders so that we could test them out in the Falklands, but what they did not give us is personnel on board our vessels which is the problem we have at the moment. But with the uptake increasing for personnel hopefully that will be remedied in the not to distant future. Yes the QE has deployed with more aircraft than were on the Invincible class but it dose not take away the fact that half of the F35’s on board her are from the USMC, The Rivers are a good class but are… Read more »

Dern
Dern
15 days ago

Except that we don’t rely on US personnel on board our ships. We do the occasional exchange program which is co-operation, but if all US personnel went home tomorrow the RN could continue. You are confusing the odd exchange program with “we need the US to man our ships” which we do not. So where you incensed when Illustrious deployed with a USMC Harrier Squadron on board? Ho boy, no they haven’t. River B1s: Doing Fisheries protection and monitoring Channel transits. Does not require a Frigate. ATP(N) : Humanitarian Relief and Drug interception. Does not Require a Frigate. Mediterranean Patrol:… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Dern
Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

We have been cross decking equipment and personnel with the US since WW1 and with other allies as well since the turn of the last century. But it was the Canadian Navy that helped us out in the 2000’s with personnel based on our ships as there was a shortage of RN trained personnel. The USN and USMC has helped us over the low point in the RNs history since the 2010 government wiped out of UK’s Naval airpower. We are now starting to stand on our own feet again but to be fully independent is going to take a… Read more »

Dern
Dern
14 days ago

You’re behind on your Rivers. The Batch 2’s where originally meant to replace the Batch 1’s but no longer, the Batch 1’s are now all recommissioned into the RN. I’ve literally listed every single tasking Rivers are on, and only one of them, ATP(N) was previously done by a frigate. Please explain why patrolling the Caribbean on constabulary and HADR duties requires a frigate. Contrary to what you’ve said, the Rivers are perfect for the roles assigned to them. I know it’s been a long time since we had a 2,000t frigate, that description is of a River B2, which… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

The fact of the matter is that they are being deployed to areas like the Black Sea, Pacific, Middle East were there is a strong possibility of getting incoming so with the lack of armament and sensing equipment we are putting our most precious commodity, our brave men and women who staff these vessels in harms way were if they were on a more heavily armed vessel which has the ability to at least detect incoming they will have a better chance of getting through the encounter. The River’s are glorified guard ships that should be guarding our extensive coast… Read more »

Dern
Dern
13 days ago

I’ve posted exactly where each River is posted, what their tasks are and you’ve literally got no response to that, it’s like talking to a brick wall.
None of them are deployed to high risk areas, and if you REALLY are that concerned about it, why not mention of the MCMV’s in the gulf hrm?
(Hilarious btw that you say that HMS Spey (not Spay) is doing it’s designed job, for a number of reasons. Pretty much showing you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to the Rivers.)

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
13 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I did not mention the MCMV’s based in the gulf because we are talking about the River class batch 2’s being under armed and with very little sensing equipment being asked to go to places were a better armed vessel would fair better. So the Black sea is not a high risk area, the Middle East, is not a high risk area !! To return the conversation back to the carriers, it is the same as sending one of the carriers to sea without proper escort or sufficient aircraft, Oh but that is the current view point.!! The problem is… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Plus the fact that most countries on deployment jollies would refuse us entry too most ports of call because their the Devils energy (Nuclear) nukes don’t use shore supply Fossil fuel does 1 is a lose, lose 2 is a win,win

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

I know Steve they should have been Nuclear but Can’t wait too see Extinction Rebellion trying too block the Flight deck during any flying stations it will be worth the Fossil fuel being used by both Carriers whoops Heads will roll along with other body parts

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Hello Tommo, You are right, may be we could get David Attenborough to make a documentary of them getting pushed off the flight deck then with the money we could buy some extra F35s

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

I’d even hose down and conduct a Bod plod rotarblades can avf throw bits of the Anatomy at full revs they would be extinct

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Sounds like reality TV to me

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago

I doubt if they at Ofcom would allow a second episode Steve

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

They allow Jeromy Kyle to keep going!!!

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago

Please don’t Judge me as a person who does not Have his finger on the pulse of Today’s daytime TV society but I’m sure I saw said Jeremy stacking shelves at Tescos Steven

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

So many problems with nuclear propulsion for a carrier – and just one theoretical advantage – you don’t have to refuel one ship in the CSG by RAS every 19,000km.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago

Steven, nuclear power should only be for long range subs. The Americans and French do not have better judgement than us in fitting nuclear propulsion to carriers – we weighed this up and favoured conventional power. The one advantage of nuclear power for a carrier is that you do not have to refuel at sea one vessel in yor CSG every 19,000km. There is no speed advantage in nuclear propulsion and even if there were it is irrelevant as the carrier cannot go faster than the slowest escorting ship (some of those MCMVs are slow). Disadvantages: higher purchase price, higher… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hello Graham, I am sorry but you are wrong on so many levels. The advantage of a carrier having a good burst of speed is not to out pace its escorts but to lunch its aircraft as you need a good breeze over the deck to help lift the aircraft that are heavy with armaments and fuel so need all the help the ship can muster. Having a more nuclear vessels especially carriers take commitment from the government and that commitment is just not there as the RN and the armed forces in general are just seen by our political… Read more »

Graham
Graham
17 days ago

The RAF has deployed STOVL aircraft on carriers for over 40 years. Do you fear that they may not do so in future? I don’t think the RAF has much by way of commitments for their F35s outside of carrier operations.

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham

Hello Graham, What I am saying is because there are so few of them the demand put on them from the 2 carriers and the RAF wishing to deploy ( the resent deployment to Cyprus comes to mind) will have a rather negative affect on the few airframes we do have. As I stated above the RAF would do better with the F35A as it is considerably cheaper than the STOVL F35B’s. This would leave the RAF and RN able to deploy independently and have less stress on the airframes. The USMC are already finding it hard to get the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
17 days ago

Hello Stephen, There are few F-35s in British service at the moment, about 18 I believe, and many of those are in the training organisation. But that will change over time. We are likely to get 60-80 in service rather than the 138 originally ‘promised’. It will be a very rare occurence that both carriers are at sea at the same time – and I have heard some claim that there will only be one active air wing, that being deployed on the at-sea carrier – not sure if that us true. I did not know that the RAF had… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hello Graham, The numbers banded around at the moment is 48 based at RAF Marham for RAF/RN front line use, also the government have stated that both carriers will be used at the same time or at least one in /one out routine, so with this amount of airframes the turn around is going to be high not to mention the back to back deployments for the pilots and ground crew. The Tempest is some way off 2030+ in the meantime I would have thought it would be better for the RAF to have a couple of squadrons of the… Read more »

Deep32
Deep32
17 days ago

Evening Steven, whilst it looks extremely attractive having some A varients if we could afford them, it won’t happen. Given that the F35s are supposed to be a replacement for both the SHAR (58ish) and Tornadoes (64ish), the numbers we are going to purchase 70-80, do not make it a cost effective choice to have 2 varients. The B can do everything that the A can, albeit at a slightly reduced range and payload. Whereas the A can’t operate off of a carrier, which is the main requirement for this aircraft. Perhaps if we were buying say 150+airframes, then a… Read more »

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
16 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Hi there. I agree absolutely that we need more more airframes the 48 that the government have committed to (at the moment) just will not cut it. If we do end up with the numbers originally talked about (130+) then it would solve the problem but the government are now talking of 100+ over the lifetime of the program but only having 48 for front line duty at any one time. So my read on that (I may be wrong I oftern am) is as the lose airframes from wear and tear/ accidental loss they will be replaced to keep… Read more »

Marked
Marked
17 days ago

Are you a farmer? Sheared, poultry? 🤣

Steven Alfred Rake
Steven Alfred Rake
17 days ago
Reply to  Marked

Yes Mr Troll, get a life

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
18 days ago

😂

Jim Royale Master.JPEG
Airborne
Airborne
18 days ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

😆😆😆

Airborne
Airborne
18 days ago

Quite a bit of negativity on this story, and if truth be told quite a few “one story” newbies who aren’t seen on other stories. Possible trolls, yes of course as we all have come across Mike, who is the regular saddo troll with numerous previous avatars but all whining the same chuff in the same, easy to spot, way. Anyway some of the negative posts are from many who clearly don’t understand the military. Being declared operational doesn’t mean it sits in port with a full crew, all in glass cases, a shit load of F35s and Merlins on… Read more »